Top Massage Therapy Clinics in San Diego 2016
Janet Lawlor's practice has been recognized as one of the top San Diego Massage Therapy practices.


  1. You've heard it before . . . The effects of stress in the body are cumulative.  But what does that really mean?  

    Let’s start with life is stress, begins at conception and ends when you die.

  2.  
     
    Soft tissue dysfunction is responsible for more discomfort and pain than any other system in the body.   It has always puzzled me why doctors discount the effects that the soft tissues of the body have on overall health.
     
    I specialize in the body’s soft tissues, restoring musculoskeletal balance through relieving tension in the muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons, and rebalancing the patterns of movement.

  3. Summer is generally thought of as the season of fun, a season when we can send the kids to camp and kick back at the beach.  Romantic evenings walking on the beach holding hands with your mate, enjoying the radiant sunsets with a glass of wine (or beverage of your choice), the opportunity to get out in nature and enjoy more fresh air.
  4. I've tested my body to its limits and beyond most of my life.  So, how, after numerous back injuries over more than 32 years and having spent 3 years in a wheelchair as a chronic pain patient, am I pain free today?

  5. Preventing the Damaging Effects of Stress

  6. Tension, trauma and poor posture can alter the biomechanics and undermine smooth integrated core movement.  A weakened core and loss of proper diaphragmatic breathing will often cause:

  7. One of the greatest benefits of massage therapy is stress relief.  Humans have always been aware, it seems, of how detrimental unresolved stress can be.  Various herbs, aromatherapy, alcohol and drugs have been used throughout our history to ease the mental, emotional and physical stress that builds in the body, with touch therapy being the #1 choice throughout history.
     
    Stress affects us all.
  8. Humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.
     
    Have you ever noticed that when you lose your sense of humor, life becomes so much more difficult?  The element that most contributes to the loss of humor is stress.  Stress from relationships, stress from your job, stress from life.
     
    As a caregiver, as well as advanced bodywork therapist, I am very aware of how very much stress enters into the equation of trying to balance work, a social life, and being a caregiver on call 24/7.

  9. Excerpt from:  Massage Therapy Journal mtj/spring v.54 no.1
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome are two issues that people in an office setting may face and, with these conditions, come a variety of symptoms that massage therapy can help relieve - pain being but one.
  10. Most peope would agree that massage is good for them, without realizing exactly why or how good massage is for their overall health or that massage improves performance, aids in recovery, prevents injuries, reduces stress and even enhances metabolism and circulation!  Touch was the first form of medicine and the Chinese have been using massage to heal the human body since around 5,000 BC and are still seeking the benefits of massage today.

  11. The good news is this: if you enjoy a massage, you just might be helping your heart and arteries stay healthy and youthful.   Scientific studies have shown benefits of massage therapy for insomnia, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, cancer pain, post-operative recovery and other conditions.

  12. "How is the pain now?" I ask.  "The pain is gone!  How did you do that?" is the response.  I often respond with "It's magic!" and a wink.

    Even though it may feel like magic makes the pain disappear, there's actually good science behind the way Ortho-Bionomy works.  I love this modality because there is no pain involved in relaxing a muscle.  Does it always work?  No, it doesn't always work.
  13. 5 Tips for a Happier Holiday Season

    Happy holidays! Happy 'getting stressed out, trying to do too many things and please everyone' season. Oh, wait. That's not promising.
    Maybe this is the year to mix it up a little and make the holidays a little easier.  Here are a few tips to try to ease the stress this holiday season:

    Forget perfection

    Sometimes gingerbread men will be missing a limb. The tree may have a bald spot.
  14. Imagine a normal day.  You wake up, grumble about not having enough sleep, and reluctantly get out of bed.  Today your day is routinely filled with work, errands, and other ordinary tasks.  It's nothing you could consider special.

  15. Think of your most tender body part.  Imagine that spot has developed a deep, burning pain - like having your hand held on a hot burner from which you can't pull away.  This burning pain is with you every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, every hour of every day, every day of every week . . . It's relentless, it never changes, it is always with you, for months on end, driving you to distraction.

    This is nerve entrapment pain and this is where Client X was when referred to me.
  16. How important to you is maintaining, or even improving, your health?  Do you strive to get plenty of the right types of exercise?  Do you manage your diet and seek nutritional help when necessary?  Do you participate in a form of stress management?

    The reason I ask these questions, is because I regularly see clients who do none of these things.  Really?  You ask.  Truly!  I answer.
  17. Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults in a given year.  Anxiety is described as a feeling of dread, fear or apprehension, often with no clear justification.  Most people experience symptoms of anxiety at one time or another, but for those with a disorder, normal daily life is often interrupted and limited.

    A few common anxiety disorders are panic disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social phobia (Social Anxiety) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  18. Everybody talks about active aging, but not everybody knows what it’s supposed to look like. Working to stay happy and healthy as we get older shouldn’t be a drag, something done to slow an inevitable decline into decrepitude.

  19. Did you know that September 14th is National Hug Your Hound Day?


  20. A client recently told me at the end of the session, and after dressing, that he had a headache, 'but probably had it when I got here.'   Hmmmm.

    If you've ever been to see me, you know that I do a in-depth intake for each client prior to beginning every session.  I ask about what's going on in the body currently, whether there any sore, tender, tight or painful areas; I ask about range of motion and freedom of movement; I ask about emotional factors, whether the client has suffered with any anxiety or high stress levels recently; I ask about general health; I ask about areas that have traditionally been a problem.
  21. Busy-ness is a trend these days.  We carry over-packed schedules like vying for trophies.  "I'm SO busy at work!" "How do you have time to do that?  I'm too busy to read/watch TV/exercise/do anything fun." "I can't get monthly massage, I have too much to DO!"  Have you ever caught yourself saying one of these?

    Too much BUSY could be making you tired, sick and probably cranky

    When do you relax?  Relaxation is a word we hear often, but do you really know what it means?

    Re-lax    verb /ri-'laks\
    1. the state of being free from tension or anxiety
    2. a way to rest and enjoy yourself
    3. recreation or rest, especially after a period of work
    4. the loss of tension in a part of the body, especially in a muscle when it ceases to contract
    5. something that you do to stop feeling nervous, worried, etc.
  22.  Fibromyalgia is a chronic and painful condition that can affect every area of your life.  If you suffer with Fibro you probably ache all over and have trouble sleeping at night.  You may experience severe fatigue, increasing as the day progresses.  You may be anxious, perhaps even depressed, about feeling like you do.  Fibromyalgia literally translates as: fiber or fibrous (“fibro”), muscle (“myo”) and pain (“algia”).
  23. Arthritis isn't just one disorder.  It's a complicated set of musculoskeltal disorders made up of over 100 different diseases or conditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues.  Arthritis causes pain, limits movement and can halt an otherwise active person's life.

    Of the 20 million Americans affected by arthritis, almost 300,000 are kids.  Juvenile Arthritis (JA) is a broad way to describe a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 and younger.
  24. Gone are the days of dad working all day to come home to a pipe, slippers, and the evening paper while the kids sit waiting for dinner.  This generation of fathers and step-fathers are “all in” when it comes to child-raising.  There’s more to a dad these days than coaching little league.  Men who play an active role in their children’s lives deserve a little recognition.
     
    Whether they are baby-rearing or carpooling, more dads are helping care for families “in the home,” some even full time.
  25. Whether you're a mother, have a mother or know a mother, Mothers Day is time to honor those who've played this important role.  Stepmothers, birthmothers, and godmothers too.  There are as many ways of being a mother as there are moms in the world, and one thing is certain:  It's a tough job, but a rewarding one.  Here are just three ways massage might be of service to the mothers in your life:

    Expecting Mothers
    Prenatal massage is a growing field, as training programs for massage therapists increase and old myths about massage during pregnancy fade.
  26. As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and warmer weather of April, there can be a bit of a dark cloud hanging in the spring sky.  Often the first few weeks of the month are a rush of receipts and 1040's as the April 15 tax deadline looms, and a rush of new schedules as the kids' sports seasons fire up.  Maybe that's why April is Stress Awareness Month; to remind us to take care of ourselves, and not let stress build up.

    Meditation

    Meditation does not have to be about pretzeled legs, chanting, and reaching enlightenment.
  27. The most common issue I'm asked to address is low back pain; and one of the most common causes of back pain is pelvic girdle imbalance.

    The pelvic girdle is a fascinating structure.  Comprised of bones, muscles and other connective tissues, the pelvic girdle provides a foundation for our lower extremities, serves as the base for our torso and protects the bladder, reproductive organs and other visceral organs in the lower abdominopelvic region.
  28. March is fun for a few reasons.  Exciting basketball, green beer and a confused body clock.  Wait!  That's not fun.  March is when we attempt to shake off the winter doldrums and see the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of daffodils and lighter weight clothes.  Daylight Savings Time robs us of a precious hour of rest we won't see again 'til fall and our sleep cycles get all out-of-whack.
  29. Spring is just around the corner, and with spring comes an increase in our general activity levels.  Are you in shape for spring and summer?

    Excessive repetitive motion can cause a tightening of muscles and soft tissues, blocking the normal circulatory flow of blood to that area.  When muscles become excessively tight, flexibility, relaxation and muscle balance are all affected.  Tight muscles are the result of overuse, excessive stress and the accumulation of wear and tear on tissue that is unable to withstand continual overload, and can distort or disturb physical integrity and cause postural compensation that can result in chronic pain.
  30. Massage Helps you Stay Young

    The Anti-aging Benefits of Massage


    While we can't turn back the clock, or stop the aging process, massage therapy can slow the effects from the passage of time in your body.

  31. The New Year is something of a clean slate. We start a new calendar, make resolutions, pop champagne, and a few days later, jump into a January of slightly elongating days with a fresh hope that this year we can begin again, and do it all better. 

    But wherever you go, there you are.

  32. Just about every family I know has been affected by chronic illness, including HIV/AIDS, in some manner, my own included.  While we've come such a long way from the early days, there's a long way yet to go to overcome the stigma, reduce the fear, and hopefully find a cure.  In the meantime, massage therapy is here to help.

  33. Psychological studies show that happiness stems not from being the best, most successful or sexiest, but from gratitude.  In a world that sells dissatisfaction, it can be difficult to feel happy about your body.  For all the sunshiny Facebook messages telling you "You're beautiful", there's not much to make us feel legitimately joyful to be in our own skins.  So, telling yourself over and over that you've got a great body is less likely to leave you feeling happy than feeling grateful for the body you've got.

  34. The holidays should be a time of joy, sharing with friends and family; a time of love, celebration and pleasure.  That's what we're told, anyway.  But for many, the holidays bring an added layer of stress that can push a person into the blues, or even a time of depression.

  35. Pain relates to a sensation that hurts.  If you feel pain, you feel discomfort, distress and perhaps agony, depending on the severity.  Pain can be steady and constant, or a throbbing, pulsating pain; pain can have a pinching sensation, be a stabbing pain, or a burning pain; and pain can be a combination of these and other symptoms.

  36. I generally feel like a broken record when I say “the affects of stress in the body are cumulative.” 

    Managing stress and overcoming its affects are critical for achieving and maintaining optimal health.

  37. From coast to coast, an estimated 80 million cyclists take to the streets or trails each year - risking injury with each ride.

    Many cycling injuries are dictated by the nature of the bike itself.  Road biking demands that riders subject their low backs to a prolonged flexed posture, exaggerated curvature through the rib cage, neck hyperextension and close-packed hip/knee angles.

  38. Are You a Workaholic?

    On the seventh day, even God rested .

  39. One muscle in the front of the pelvic girdle, the other in your rear – what’s their connection?   The psoas and the piriformis are the bridge between your lower and upper body, connecting your legs to your spine.  The pelvis is the keystone of your foundation, with the psoas/piriformis muscles acting as the guide wires that determine the keystone’s positioning in motion and at rest.
  40. The 21st century is hard on us.   The pressure to do it all and do it well is strong in our society. Finding ways to bring a sense of balance to your life - to feel successful in your job and happy in your outside activities - is critical to maintaining physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

    The stress inherent in living to today's world affects all of us on many different levels.  When stress levels in the body get too high, we lose our equilibrium - we are less able to deal with new developments, we lose our sense of humor, often we lose our sense of physical balance, we lose our ability to be flexible and adapt, we sleep less well, we eat for comfort instead of nutrition, pain levels rise - we are more prone to head and body aches.
  41. Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, types of arthritis and other problems. This article is an overview, since each of these conditions would require an entire article to cover.
     
    Symptoms
    The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:
    • Swelling and stiffness
    • Redness and warmth to the touch
    • Weakness or instability
    • Popping or crunching noises
    • Inability to fully straighten the knee
    • Injuries
    Injuries
    A knee injury can affect any of the ligaments, tendons or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround your knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself.
  42. The formation of adhesive scar tissue in the tendons, ligaments and joints is often the primary culprit in long-term pain. Although muscles get injured most frequently, they also heal more easily. Tendons, ligaments and joints, on the other hand, often take months or years to heal and often stay injured for a lifetime.
    An injury is present when there is tissue damage. The damage could manifest as a swelling in a bursa or a joint; pinching of a nerve or a tendon; micro-tears in a muscle, tendon, ligament or fascia; or a major disruption of tissue like a broken bone or a ruptured tendon.
  43.  
    Have you ever experienced a stabbing sensation when you’ve picked up something heavy? Does your back ache when you’ve been sitting too long at your desk? Do you feel stiff after gardening or household chores? If so, you are not alone. Next to the common cold, back pain is the most common complaint heard at the doctor’s office.  Research and experience show that massage is a safe and effective treatment that can help your back heal and prevent further injury.
  44. It takes more effort to maintain both muscle mass and flexibility as we age.  Lots of factors contribute to this truth, including our high-stress sedentary lifestyle and natural hormonal changes.  Which is more important to aging well?  Strength or flexibility?  Research shows that both flexibility and functional strength play a large role in injury prevention as well as athletic performance.
  45. Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages and may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions — including arthritis, gout and infections — also can cause knee pain.
     
    Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measures. Therapeutic massage can help relieve knee pain. In some cases, however, your knee may require physical therapy or even surgical repair.
     
    The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem.
  46. The rise of computer use is calling attention to an increasing occurrence of repetitive strain injuries or RSI’s.  Often attributed to long hours of desk work, RSI’s can develop from repeated movements during any activity at work or leisure, resulting in pain, loss of work, and decreased enjoyment of everyday life.  Therapeutic massage is proving to be an effective tool for prevention and recovery from repetitive strain injuries.
  47. Pain Relief

    All types of massage help relieve pain caused by tense muscles, stiff joints or injuries, but Hot Stone Therapy may provide greater relief due to the intense nature of the massage.

  48. Hormonal balance is necessary for us to feel and function our best.  As we age, our bodies become less responsive to the hormones we produce, plus some hormone levels drop, others increase, and yet others stay the same.
     
    The endocrine (hormonal) system is made up of organs and tissues that produce hormones; natural chemicals produced, released into the bloodstream, then used by other target organs and systems.  Hormones control the target organs.

    Regardless of age, hormone levels can change based on diet, stress and exercise.
  49. According to the National Institutes of Health, Reiki is a “Biofield Medicine” which involves systems that use subtle energy fields in and around the body for medical purposes.
     
    The name Reiki originates from Japanese REI (spirit) and KI (energy, life force). Reiki therapy utilizes universal energy to assist the healing process. Healing can occur on physical, emotional or spiritual levels. Reiki as a modern healing method was initiated at the beginning of the 20th century by Dr.
  50. The soft tissues of the human body are responsible for more pain, injury and dysfunction than all other systems of the body and can range from a minor nuisance to a life changing limitation.  Chronic pain, repetitive strain and restricted motion can deplete your levels of health and vitality, limit participation & performance in your activities and create a challenging environment for you to exist within.
  51. The holiday season is fast-approaching and is supposed to be a time of joy and togetherness. Unfortunately for many, with that togetherness comes the pre and post holiday blues and anxiety. Whether it's from missing those who aren't or cannot be with us, the stress of getting together with family members we wish lived just a little too far to visit, the preparations, the bills, or the let-down after the festivities fade, the holiday season needs to be prepared for, mentally and physically.
  52. Neuromuscular therapies (NMT) are forms of soft tissue manual therapy which are distinguished from other types of massage in that pressure is used to stimulate specific areas of muscle, often myofascial trigger points.  A comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation techniques, NMT balances the nervous system (brain, spinal column and nerves), the structure and form of the musculoskeletal system.  NMT is based on neuromuscular laws that explain how the nervous system maintains homeostatic balance.
  53. Why Ortho-Bionomy

    One of the most frustrating parts of the work I love, is trying to relieve pain without causing pain in the process. I love EASING pain, getting to the root of a problem and correcting it. Therapists have had some wonderful tools to help accomplish that, such as Proprioceptor Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), active isolated stretching, craniosacral therapy and myofascial release, but you can bet that at some point trigger point work or deep tissue would be necessary, with the possibility of leaving the client sore during the work and following the session.
  54. “Health is wealth”- this age-old saying holds true even today.
     
    We live in an increasingly toxic world--from the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, we are constantly being bombarded with new toxins.  Add in the toxins created from the stress of daily living, from disease processes, from cleaning products, treating your yard with pesticides and herbicides, and you can see how quickly toxicity levels can escalate.
  55. Did you know, there are specific Yoga poses and breathing exercises to help with allergies?  
     
    "Allergies are worsened by a stress reaction, which causes physiological responses, including the release of stress hormones and histamine, and triggers inflammation," says Jeff Migdow, M.D., director of Prana Yoga Teacher Training  through the Open Center in New York as well as a holistic physician at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Mass.
  56. Stress is a threat to a person's well-being, and can be accelerated by acute illness, trauma, smoking, poor diet and chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. The body handles stress by means of an elaborate system involving enzymes and dietary compounds including antioxidant vitamins and minerals.  Stress can also reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the foods we eat and the supplements we take.
  57. As you lie on the table under crisp, fresh sheets, hushed music draws you into the moment.  The smell of lavender fills the air, you hear the gentle sound of massage lotion being warmed in your therapist's hands, and your body cries out for the therapeutic hands to begin their work.  Once the session gets under way, the problems of the world fade into obliviousness of relief, and all you can comprehend is you never want the session to end.
  58. As much an inborn mechanism as the stress response, the Relaxation Response is used to combat the negative effects of stress in a number of ways.
     
    The Relaxation Response
    In the late 1960's, in the same room in which Harvard Medical School's Walter Cannon performed fight-or-flight experiments 50 years earlier, Herbert Benson, MD found that there was a counterbalancing mechanism to the stress response.
  59. I’m pretty much an expert on stress and stress management.  It’s true that I’m very well educated in many different types of therapeutic massage and bodywork, but recent highlights of the stress I experience include:
    • For the past 3-1/2 years, I’ve been the primary care-giver to an old friend who’s been a life-long smoker and drinker.  During the past six months, his health has deteriorated rapidly and my responsibilities have grown exponentially.  
    • Prior to this adventure, a back injury completely side-lined me for several years – not by itself, but as the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.
  60. Most everyone agrees that exercise makes us calm and happy, a conclusion that is supported by research.  Take for instance a July 2011 Norwegian research survey that found that those who engaged in any exercise, even a small amount, reported improved mental health compared with Norwegians who never got out and exercised.  A separate study, presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, showed that six weeks of bicycle riding or weight training eased symptoms in women who’d received a diagnosis of anxiety disorder.
  61. There are many physical, mental, and physiological benefits to regular exercise. One category of benefits is the impact that exercise has on many of your body's hormones.
     
    1. Growth Hormone
    • Stimulates protein synthesis (muscle tone/development), and strength of bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
    • Decreases use of glucose and increases use of fat as a fuel during exercise. This helps to keep blood glucose at a normal level which helps you to exercise for a longer period of time.
  62. Because hormones affect so many different aspects of how our bodies operate, the outward symptoms tend to be varied and nonspecific. It may feel as though you are simply tired or upset after an unusually stressful or busy week. With a hormonal imbalance, a person may suffer from anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, and poor concentration. Irritability and mood swings are also quite common. Hormonal balance is critical for our emotional well-being, so radical changes in the way we feel about ourselves and interact with others may indicate a problem.
  63. The best way to think about the human body when it comes to food is to think of it as a machine. In fact, it is probably the finest machine ever designed and created. It has amazing and bewildering powers and capabilities. In general and in a simplistic sense, it actually requires little maintenance and is not very demanding in terms of upkeep. All it needs is water, fuel (food), rest or stress management and exercise.
     
    A good way to think of food is that it is actually a drug for the body; think of cause and effect.
  64. The endocrine system is in charge of body processes that happen slowly, such as cell growth. Faster processes like breathing and body movement are controlled by the nervous system. But even though the nervous system and endocrine system are separate systems, they often work together to help the body function properly.
    The foundations of the endocrine system are the hormones and glands. As the body's chemical messengers, hormones transfer information and instructions from one set of cells to another.
  65. We’ve all heard it, it’s been all over the news lately, and the more science delves into the physiological reactions in our bodies, the more it’s realized that:  Stress does kill.
    It’s not really stress itself that does so much damage, it’s our response to stress.   For that reason, it is vitally important that in tough times you keep up whatever stress reduction programs work best for you, whether it’s running, Yoga, kickboxing, or getting regular massage sessions.
  66. Why Am I So Tired? 10 Possible Causes of Fatigue

    When it's time to see a doctor about your exhaustion -- and what to try first.

    This morning, you promised yourself that you'd head straight to the gym right after work. But by the end of the day, you were so beat that all you could think about is collapsing on the couch with takeout and the remote.
    Why are you so tired all the time? Are you just not getting enough sleep, or could something be medically wrong?
    Chronic tiredness is one of the most common complaints that bring people to their doctor, says J.
  67. While it's obvious that massage is a great relaxer, the true health benefits of massage therapy have not received as much scientific investigation as many other forms of treatment; but following are the results of just some of the recent research into the benefits of massage.

    Physiological adjustments to stress measures following massage therapy

    Source:  Massage Therapy Foundation, Evanston, Illinois, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, School of Nursing, Denver, Colorado, University of California at San Diego, School of Medicine, San Diego, California, University of Iowa, Community and Behavioral Health, Iowa City, Iowa and Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA.

  68. Eating vegetables is an easy way to help a poor diet become healthier.  Vegetables contain a number of antioxidants that may help stop certain cancers from forming in the body.
     
    High in antioxidants like Vitamin C, vegetables help the body repair after long bouts of illness and help to protect the body in the future.  Tomatoes, for example, include Lycopene which even helps protect your eyes.
     
    Vegetables contain high levels of water in their structures, which allows them to be generally fat free and low in calories.
    • In 2008, over 616,000 people died of heart disease. Heart disease caused almost 25% of deaths—almost one in every four—in the United States.
    • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2008 were in men.
    • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. In 2008, 405,309 people died from coronary heart disease.
    • Every year about 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack.
  69. Adrenal Fatigue – is it real?  Are you at risk?
     
    According to Dr. Todd Nippoldt, MD, board-certified specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology and metabolism at the Mayo Clinic, adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems.
     
    Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to life.
  70. This ancient form of healing is now becoming an essential part of stress management programs. It reduces stress and fatigue and promotes an overall feeling of well being. This relaxing and rejuvenating massage can do wonders and improves the strength and vitality of the patient.
     
    Circulatory massage is the preferred method for relaxation and promotion of blood flow in the body and is the most common healing method used for enhancing the proper flow of blood through the body while providing relaxation to the various muscles.
  71. Not only is a rich, hearty soup great comfort food in the cold of winter, the health benefits of eating soup are tremendous.  A bowl of warm broth not only warms the body, but also the soul. Soup has great appeal for its convenience, low cost, and variety. Soup can not only help prevent disease, but it also adds much needed nutrition to your general diet. And most of all it's mmm mmm good!
     
    HEALTHY AND PREVENTS DISEASE
    Eating soup is a great way to add healthy vegetables to your meals.

  72. If you’ve ever had athlete’s foot or a yeast infection, you are familiar with fungal infections.  Certain types of fungi (such as Candida) are normally present on body surfaces or in the intestine. Although normally harmless, these fungi sometimes cause localized infections of the skin and nails, vagina, mouth, or sinuses. Fungi seldom cause serious harm, except in people who have a weakened immune system or who have foreign material, including medical devices (such as an intravenous catheter or an artificial joint or heart valve), in their body.
  73. Candida albicans is a yeast-like fungus which reproduces by budding and is generally found in trace amounts in the mouth, skin, intestinal tract, and vagina of normal individuals. Candida is the organism most commonly associated with mycotic (yeast or fungus) infections. Such infections are referred to as candidiasis. Ordinarily, the growth of this fungus is kept in check by the immune system and by the beneficial bacteria of the body or flora.
     
    The symptoms of a candida overgrowth vary from person to person and fluctuate in severity, or may come and go.
  74. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called a "silent disease" because you usually don't know that you have it. There may be no symptoms or signs. Nonetheless, it damages the body and eventually may cause problems like heart disease.

  75. Support groups are important because they provide emotional support for people facing similar, tough situations. Support groups allow people to share information and openly discuss their problems without judgment, to process their feelings and to hear others talk about their situation. Participation can help people deal more effectively with their problems. The main thing support groups provide is the feeling that you are not alone.

  76. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious condition affecting one in four American adults.  Although there aren’t many noticeable signs of hypertension, it increases the risk of both heart disease and stroke.

    Research studies continue to support massage therapy as an effective tool in managing hypertension.   Researchers, in 1999, from the Touch Research Institute, the University of Miami School of Medicine and Nova Southeastern University in Florida conducted the study "High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy".

  77. There is a great deal of misinformation floating around about what massage will or won't do for you.  Much of that misinformation continues to be taught in massage schools.  For instance: "Massage detoxifies the body". 

    Myth:  Perhaps we should start with the definition of toxin:  "a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usally very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation".

  78. Do you get enough sleep? What about exercise? If you're like most people, the answer is no.

  1. You've heard it before . . . The effects of stress in the body are cumulative.  But what does that really mean?  

    Let’s start with life is stress, begins at conception and ends when you die.

  2.  
     
    Soft tissue dysfunction is responsible for more discomfort and pain than any other system in the body.   It has always puzzled me why doctors discount the effects that the soft tissues of the body have on overall health.
     
    I specialize in the body’s soft tissues, restoring musculoskeletal balance through relieving tension in the muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons, and rebalancing the patterns of movement.

  3. Summer is generally thought of as the season of fun, a season when we can send the kids to camp and kick back at the beach.  Romantic evenings walking on the beach holding hands with your mate, enjoying the radiant sunsets with a glass of wine (or beverage of your choice), the opportunity to get out in nature and enjoy more fresh air.
  4. I've tested my body to its limits and beyond most of my life.  So, how, after numerous back injuries over more than 32 years and having spent 3 years in a wheelchair as a chronic pain patient, am I pain free today?

  5. Preventing the Damaging Effects of Stress

  6. Tension, trauma and poor posture can alter the biomechanics and undermine smooth integrated core movement.  A weakened core and loss of proper diaphragmatic breathing will often cause:

  7. One of the greatest benefits of massage therapy is stress relief.  Humans have always been aware, it seems, of how detrimental unresolved stress can be.  Various herbs, aromatherapy, alcohol and drugs have been used throughout our history to ease the mental, emotional and physical stress that builds in the body, with touch therapy being the #1 choice throughout history.
     
    Stress affects us all.
  8. Humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.
     
    Have you ever noticed that when you lose your sense of humor, life becomes so much more difficult?  The element that most contributes to the loss of humor is stress.  Stress from relationships, stress from your job, stress from life.
     
    As a caregiver, as well as advanced bodywork therapist, I am very aware of how very much stress enters into the equation of trying to balance work, a social life, and being a caregiver on call 24/7.

  9. Excerpt from:  Massage Therapy Journal mtj/spring v.54 no.1
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome are two issues that people in an office setting may face and, with these conditions, come a variety of symptoms that massage therapy can help relieve - pain being but one.
  10. Most peope would agree that massage is good for them, without realizing exactly why or how good massage is for their overall health or that massage improves performance, aids in recovery, prevents injuries, reduces stress and even enhances metabolism and circulation!  Touch was the first form of medicine and the Chinese have been using massage to heal the human body since around 5,000 BC and are still seeking the benefits of massage today.

  11. The good news is this: if you enjoy a massage, you just might be helping your heart and arteries stay healthy and youthful.   Scientific studies have shown benefits of massage therapy for insomnia, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, cancer pain, post-operative recovery and other conditions.

  12. "How is the pain now?" I ask.  "The pain is gone!  How did you do that?" is the response.  I often respond with "It's magic!" and a wink.

    Even though it may feel like magic makes the pain disappear, there's actually good science behind the way Ortho-Bionomy works.  I love this modality because there is no pain involved in relaxing a muscle.  Does it always work?  No, it doesn't always work.
  13. 5 Tips for a Happier Holiday Season

    Happy holidays! Happy 'getting stressed out, trying to do too many things and please everyone' season. Oh, wait. That's not promising.
    Maybe this is the year to mix it up a little and make the holidays a little easier.  Here are a few tips to try to ease the stress this holiday season:

    Forget perfection

    Sometimes gingerbread men will be missing a limb. The tree may have a bald spot.
  14. Imagine a normal day.  You wake up, grumble about not having enough sleep, and reluctantly get out of bed.  Today your day is routinely filled with work, errands, and other ordinary tasks.  It's nothing you could consider special.

  15. Think of your most tender body part.  Imagine that spot has developed a deep, burning pain - like having your hand held on a hot burner from which you can't pull away.  This burning pain is with you every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, every hour of every day, every day of every week . . . It's relentless, it never changes, it is always with you, for months on end, driving you to distraction.

    This is nerve entrapment pain and this is where Client X was when referred to me.
  16. How important to you is maintaining, or even improving, your health?  Do you strive to get plenty of the right types of exercise?  Do you manage your diet and seek nutritional help when necessary?  Do you participate in a form of stress management?

    The reason I ask these questions, is because I regularly see clients who do none of these things.  Really?  You ask.  Truly!  I answer.
  17. Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults in a given year.  Anxiety is described as a feeling of dread, fear or apprehension, often with no clear justification.  Most people experience symptoms of anxiety at one time or another, but for those with a disorder, normal daily life is often interrupted and limited.

    A few common anxiety disorders are panic disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social phobia (Social Anxiety) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  18. Everybody talks about active aging, but not everybody knows what it’s supposed to look like. Working to stay happy and healthy as we get older shouldn’t be a drag, something done to slow an inevitable decline into decrepitude.

  19. Did you know that September 14th is National Hug Your Hound Day?


  20. A client recently told me at the end of the session, and after dressing, that he had a headache, 'but probably had it when I got here.'   Hmmmm.

    If you've ever been to see me, you know that I do a in-depth intake for each client prior to beginning every session.  I ask about what's going on in the body currently, whether there any sore, tender, tight or painful areas; I ask about range of motion and freedom of movement; I ask about emotional factors, whether the client has suffered with any anxiety or high stress levels recently; I ask about general health; I ask about areas that have traditionally been a problem.
  21. Busy-ness is a trend these days.  We carry over-packed schedules like vying for trophies.  "I'm SO busy at work!" "How do you have time to do that?  I'm too busy to read/watch TV/exercise/do anything fun." "I can't get monthly massage, I have too much to DO!"  Have you ever caught yourself saying one of these?

    Too much BUSY could be making you tired, sick and probably cranky

    When do you relax?  Relaxation is a word we hear often, but do you really know what it means?

    Re-lax    verb /ri-'laks\
    1. the state of being free from tension or anxiety
    2. a way to rest and enjoy yourself
    3. recreation or rest, especially after a period of work
    4. the loss of tension in a part of the body, especially in a muscle when it ceases to contract
    5. something that you do to stop feeling nervous, worried, etc.
  22.  Fibromyalgia is a chronic and painful condition that can affect every area of your life.  If you suffer with Fibro you probably ache all over and have trouble sleeping at night.  You may experience severe fatigue, increasing as the day progresses.  You may be anxious, perhaps even depressed, about feeling like you do.  Fibromyalgia literally translates as: fiber or fibrous (“fibro”), muscle (“myo”) and pain (“algia”).
  23. Arthritis isn't just one disorder.  It's a complicated set of musculoskeltal disorders made up of over 100 different diseases or conditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues.  Arthritis causes pain, limits movement and can halt an otherwise active person's life.

    Of the 20 million Americans affected by arthritis, almost 300,000 are kids.  Juvenile Arthritis (JA) is a broad way to describe a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 and younger.
  24. Gone are the days of dad working all day to come home to a pipe, slippers, and the evening paper while the kids sit waiting for dinner.  This generation of fathers and step-fathers are “all in” when it comes to child-raising.  There’s more to a dad these days than coaching little league.  Men who play an active role in their children’s lives deserve a little recognition.
     
    Whether they are baby-rearing or carpooling, more dads are helping care for families “in the home,” some even full time.
  25. Whether you're a mother, have a mother or know a mother, Mothers Day is time to honor those who've played this important role.  Stepmothers, birthmothers, and godmothers too.  There are as many ways of being a mother as there are moms in the world, and one thing is certain:  It's a tough job, but a rewarding one.  Here are just three ways massage might be of service to the mothers in your life:

    Expecting Mothers
    Prenatal massage is a growing field, as training programs for massage therapists increase and old myths about massage during pregnancy fade.
  26. As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and warmer weather of April, there can be a bit of a dark cloud hanging in the spring sky.  Often the first few weeks of the month are a rush of receipts and 1040's as the April 15 tax deadline looms, and a rush of new schedules as the kids' sports seasons fire up.  Maybe that's why April is Stress Awareness Month; to remind us to take care of ourselves, and not let stress build up.

    Meditation

    Meditation does not have to be about pretzeled legs, chanting, and reaching enlightenment.
  27. The most common issue I'm asked to address is low back pain; and one of the most common causes of back pain is pelvic girdle imbalance.

    The pelvic girdle is a fascinating structure.  Comprised of bones, muscles and other connective tissues, the pelvic girdle provides a foundation for our lower extremities, serves as the base for our torso and protects the bladder, reproductive organs and other visceral organs in the lower abdominopelvic region.
  28. March is fun for a few reasons.  Exciting basketball, green beer and a confused body clock.  Wait!  That's not fun.  March is when we attempt to shake off the winter doldrums and see the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of daffodils and lighter weight clothes.  Daylight Savings Time robs us of a precious hour of rest we won't see again 'til fall and our sleep cycles get all out-of-whack.
  29. Spring is just around the corner, and with spring comes an increase in our general activity levels.  Are you in shape for spring and summer?

    Excessive repetitive motion can cause a tightening of muscles and soft tissues, blocking the normal circulatory flow of blood to that area.  When muscles become excessively tight, flexibility, relaxation and muscle balance are all affected.  Tight muscles are the result of overuse, excessive stress and the accumulation of wear and tear on tissue that is unable to withstand continual overload, and can distort or disturb physical integrity and cause postural compensation that can result in chronic pain.
  30. Massage Helps you Stay Young

    The Anti-aging Benefits of Massage


    While we can't turn back the clock, or stop the aging process, massage therapy can slow the effects from the passage of time in your body.

  31. The New Year is something of a clean slate. We start a new calendar, make resolutions, pop champagne, and a few days later, jump into a January of slightly elongating days with a fresh hope that this year we can begin again, and do it all better. 

    But wherever you go, there you are.

  32. Just about every family I know has been affected by chronic illness, including HIV/AIDS, in some manner, my own included.  While we've come such a long way from the early days, there's a long way yet to go to overcome the stigma, reduce the fear, and hopefully find a cure.  In the meantime, massage therapy is here to help.

  33. Psychological studies show that happiness stems not from being the best, most successful or sexiest, but from gratitude.  In a world that sells dissatisfaction, it can be difficult to feel happy about your body.  For all the sunshiny Facebook messages telling you "You're beautiful", there's not much to make us feel legitimately joyful to be in our own skins.  So, telling yourself over and over that you've got a great body is less likely to leave you feeling happy than feeling grateful for the body you've got.

  34. The holidays should be a time of joy, sharing with friends and family; a time of love, celebration and pleasure.  That's what we're told, anyway.  But for many, the holidays bring an added layer of stress that can push a person into the blues, or even a time of depression.

  35. Pain relates to a sensation that hurts.  If you feel pain, you feel discomfort, distress and perhaps agony, depending on the severity.  Pain can be steady and constant, or a throbbing, pulsating pain; pain can have a pinching sensation, be a stabbing pain, or a burning pain; and pain can be a combination of these and other symptoms.

  36. I generally feel like a broken record when I say “the affects of stress in the body are cumulative.” 

    Managing stress and overcoming its affects are critical for achieving and maintaining optimal health.

  37. From coast to coast, an estimated 80 million cyclists take to the streets or trails each year - risking injury with each ride.

    Many cycling injuries are dictated by the nature of the bike itself.  Road biking demands that riders subject their low backs to a prolonged flexed posture, exaggerated curvature through the rib cage, neck hyperextension and close-packed hip/knee angles.

  38. Are You a Workaholic?

    On the seventh day, even God rested .

  39. One muscle in the front of the pelvic girdle, the other in your rear – what’s their connection?   The psoas and the piriformis are the bridge between your lower and upper body, connecting your legs to your spine.  The pelvis is the keystone of your foundation, with the psoas/piriformis muscles acting as the guide wires that determine the keystone’s positioning in motion and at rest.
  40. The 21st century is hard on us.   The pressure to do it all and do it well is strong in our society. Finding ways to bring a sense of balance to your life - to feel successful in your job and happy in your outside activities - is critical to maintaining physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

    The stress inherent in living to today's world affects all of us on many different levels.  When stress levels in the body get too high, we lose our equilibrium - we are less able to deal with new developments, we lose our sense of humor, often we lose our sense of physical balance, we lose our ability to be flexible and adapt, we sleep less well, we eat for comfort instead of nutrition, pain levels rise - we are more prone to head and body aches.
  41. Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, types of arthritis and other problems. This article is an overview, since each of these conditions would require an entire article to cover.
     
    Symptoms
    The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:
    • Swelling and stiffness
    • Redness and warmth to the touch
    • Weakness or instability
    • Popping or crunching noises
    • Inability to fully straighten the knee
    • Injuries
    Injuries
    A knee injury can affect any of the ligaments, tendons or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround your knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself.
  42. The formation of adhesive scar tissue in the tendons, ligaments and joints is often the primary culprit in long-term pain. Although muscles get injured most frequently, they also heal more easily. Tendons, ligaments and joints, on the other hand, often take months or years to heal and often stay injured for a lifetime.
    An injury is present when there is tissue damage. The damage could manifest as a swelling in a bursa or a joint; pinching of a nerve or a tendon; micro-tears in a muscle, tendon, ligament or fascia; or a major disruption of tissue like a broken bone or a ruptured tendon.
  43.  
    Have you ever experienced a stabbing sensation when you’ve picked up something heavy? Does your back ache when you’ve been sitting too long at your desk? Do you feel stiff after gardening or household chores? If so, you are not alone. Next to the common cold, back pain is the most common complaint heard at the doctor’s office.  Research and experience show that massage is a safe and effective treatment that can help your back heal and prevent further injury.
  44. It takes more effort to maintain both muscle mass and flexibility as we age.  Lots of factors contribute to this truth, including our high-stress sedentary lifestyle and natural hormonal changes.  Which is more important to aging well?  Strength or flexibility?  Research shows that both flexibility and functional strength play a large role in injury prevention as well as athletic performance.
  45. Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages and may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions — including arthritis, gout and infections — also can cause knee pain.
     
    Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measures. Therapeutic massage can help relieve knee pain. In some cases, however, your knee may require physical therapy or even surgical repair.
     
    The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem.
  46. The rise of computer use is calling attention to an increasing occurrence of repetitive strain injuries or RSI’s.  Often attributed to long hours of desk work, RSI’s can develop from repeated movements during any activity at work or leisure, resulting in pain, loss of work, and decreased enjoyment of everyday life.  Therapeutic massage is proving to be an effective tool for prevention and recovery from repetitive strain injuries.
  47. Pain Relief

    All types of massage help relieve pain caused by tense muscles, stiff joints or injuries, but Hot Stone Therapy may provide greater relief due to the intense nature of the massage.

  48. Hormonal balance is necessary for us to feel and function our best.  As we age, our bodies become less responsive to the hormones we produce, plus some hormone levels drop, others increase, and yet others stay the same.
     
    The endocrine (hormonal) system is made up of organs and tissues that produce hormones; natural chemicals produced, released into the bloodstream, then used by other target organs and systems.  Hormones control the target organs.

    Regardless of age, hormone levels can change based on diet, stress and exercise.
  49. According to the National Institutes of Health, Reiki is a “Biofield Medicine” which involves systems that use subtle energy fields in and around the body for medical purposes.
     
    The name Reiki originates from Japanese REI (spirit) and KI (energy, life force). Reiki therapy utilizes universal energy to assist the healing process. Healing can occur on physical, emotional or spiritual levels. Reiki as a modern healing method was initiated at the beginning of the 20th century by Dr.
  50. The soft tissues of the human body are responsible for more pain, injury and dysfunction than all other systems of the body and can range from a minor nuisance to a life changing limitation.  Chronic pain, repetitive strain and restricted motion can deplete your levels of health and vitality, limit participation & performance in your activities and create a challenging environment for you to exist within.
  51. The holiday season is fast-approaching and is supposed to be a time of joy and togetherness. Unfortunately for many, with that togetherness comes the pre and post holiday blues and anxiety. Whether it's from missing those who aren't or cannot be with us, the stress of getting together with family members we wish lived just a little too far to visit, the preparations, the bills, or the let-down after the festivities fade, the holiday season needs to be prepared for, mentally and physically.
  52. Neuromuscular therapies (NMT) are forms of soft tissue manual therapy which are distinguished from other types of massage in that pressure is used to stimulate specific areas of muscle, often myofascial trigger points.  A comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation techniques, NMT balances the nervous system (brain, spinal column and nerves), the structure and form of the musculoskeletal system.  NMT is based on neuromuscular laws that explain how the nervous system maintains homeostatic balance.
  53. Why Ortho-Bionomy

    One of the most frustrating parts of the work I love, is trying to relieve pain without causing pain in the process. I love EASING pain, getting to the root of a problem and correcting it. Therapists have had some wonderful tools to help accomplish that, such as Proprioceptor Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), active isolated stretching, craniosacral therapy and myofascial release, but you can bet that at some point trigger point work or deep tissue would be necessary, with the possibility of leaving the client sore during the work and following the session.
  54. “Health is wealth”- this age-old saying holds true even today.
     
    We live in an increasingly toxic world--from the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, we are constantly being bombarded with new toxins.  Add in the toxins created from the stress of daily living, from disease processes, from cleaning products, treating your yard with pesticides and herbicides, and you can see how quickly toxicity levels can escalate.
  55. Did you know, there are specific Yoga poses and breathing exercises to help with allergies?  
     
    "Allergies are worsened by a stress reaction, which causes physiological responses, including the release of stress hormones and histamine, and triggers inflammation," says Jeff Migdow, M.D., director of Prana Yoga Teacher Training  through the Open Center in New York as well as a holistic physician at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Mass.
  56. Stress is a threat to a person's well-being, and can be accelerated by acute illness, trauma, smoking, poor diet and chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. The body handles stress by means of an elaborate system involving enzymes and dietary compounds including antioxidant vitamins and minerals.  Stress can also reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the foods we eat and the supplements we take.
  57. As you lie on the table under crisp, fresh sheets, hushed music draws you into the moment.  The smell of lavender fills the air, you hear the gentle sound of massage lotion being warmed in your therapist's hands, and your body cries out for the therapeutic hands to begin their work.  Once the session gets under way, the problems of the world fade into obliviousness of relief, and all you can comprehend is you never want the session to end.
  58. As much an inborn mechanism as the stress response, the Relaxation Response is used to combat the negative effects of stress in a number of ways.
     
    The Relaxation Response
    In the late 1960's, in the same room in which Harvard Medical School's Walter Cannon performed fight-or-flight experiments 50 years earlier, Herbert Benson, MD found that there was a counterbalancing mechanism to the stress response.
  59. I’m pretty much an expert on stress and stress management.  It’s true that I’m very well educated in many different types of therapeutic massage and bodywork, but recent highlights of the stress I experience include:
    • For the past 3-1/2 years, I’ve been the primary care-giver to an old friend who’s been a life-long smoker and drinker.  During the past six months, his health has deteriorated rapidly and my responsibilities have grown exponentially.  
    • Prior to this adventure, a back injury completely side-lined me for several years – not by itself, but as the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.
  60. Most everyone agrees that exercise makes us calm and happy, a conclusion that is supported by research.  Take for instance a July 2011 Norwegian research survey that found that those who engaged in any exercise, even a small amount, reported improved mental health compared with Norwegians who never got out and exercised.  A separate study, presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, showed that six weeks of bicycle riding or weight training eased symptoms in women who’d received a diagnosis of anxiety disorder.
  61. There are many physical, mental, and physiological benefits to regular exercise. One category of benefits is the impact that exercise has on many of your body's hormones.
     
    1. Growth Hormone
    • Stimulates protein synthesis (muscle tone/development), and strength of bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
    • Decreases use of glucose and increases use of fat as a fuel during exercise. This helps to keep blood glucose at a normal level which helps you to exercise for a longer period of time.
  62. Because hormones affect so many different aspects of how our bodies operate, the outward symptoms tend to be varied and nonspecific. It may feel as though you are simply tired or upset after an unusually stressful or busy week. With a hormonal imbalance, a person may suffer from anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, and poor concentration. Irritability and mood swings are also quite common. Hormonal balance is critical for our emotional well-being, so radical changes in the way we feel about ourselves and interact with others may indicate a problem.
  63. The best way to think about the human body when it comes to food is to think of it as a machine. In fact, it is probably the finest machine ever designed and created. It has amazing and bewildering powers and capabilities. In general and in a simplistic sense, it actually requires little maintenance and is not very demanding in terms of upkeep. All it needs is water, fuel (food), rest or stress management and exercise.
     
    A good way to think of food is that it is actually a drug for the body; think of cause and effect.
  64. The endocrine system is in charge of body processes that happen slowly, such as cell growth. Faster processes like breathing and body movement are controlled by the nervous system. But even though the nervous system and endocrine system are separate systems, they often work together to help the body function properly.
    The foundations of the endocrine system are the hormones and glands. As the body's chemical messengers, hormones transfer information and instructions from one set of cells to another.
  65. We’ve all heard it, it’s been all over the news lately, and the more science delves into the physiological reactions in our bodies, the more it’s realized that:  Stress does kill.
    It’s not really stress itself that does so much damage, it’s our response to stress.   For that reason, it is vitally important that in tough times you keep up whatever stress reduction programs work best for you, whether it’s running, Yoga, kickboxing, or getting regular massage sessions.
  66. Why Am I So Tired? 10 Possible Causes of Fatigue

    When it's time to see a doctor about your exhaustion -- and what to try first.

    This morning, you promised yourself that you'd head straight to the gym right after work. But by the end of the day, you were so beat that all you could think about is collapsing on the couch with takeout and the remote.
    Why are you so tired all the time? Are you just not getting enough sleep, or could something be medically wrong?
    Chronic tiredness is one of the most common complaints that bring people to their doctor, says J.
  67. While it's obvious that massage is a great relaxer, the true health benefits of massage therapy have not received as much scientific investigation as many other forms of treatment; but following are the results of just some of the recent research into the benefits of massage.

    Physiological adjustments to stress measures following massage therapy

    Source:  Massage Therapy Foundation, Evanston, Illinois, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, School of Nursing, Denver, Colorado, University of California at San Diego, School of Medicine, San Diego, California, University of Iowa, Community and Behavioral Health, Iowa City, Iowa and Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA.

  68. Eating vegetables is an easy way to help a poor diet become healthier.  Vegetables contain a number of antioxidants that may help stop certain cancers from forming in the body.
     
    High in antioxidants like Vitamin C, vegetables help the body repair after long bouts of illness and help to protect the body in the future.  Tomatoes, for example, include Lycopene which even helps protect your eyes.
     
    Vegetables contain high levels of water in their structures, which allows them to be generally fat free and low in calories.
    • In 2008, over 616,000 people died of heart disease. Heart disease caused almost 25% of deaths—almost one in every four—in the United States.
    • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2008 were in men.
    • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. In 2008, 405,309 people died from coronary heart disease.
    • Every year about 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack.
  69. Adrenal Fatigue – is it real?  Are you at risk?
     
    According to Dr. Todd Nippoldt, MD, board-certified specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology and metabolism at the Mayo Clinic, adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems.
     
    Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to life.
  70. This ancient form of healing is now becoming an essential part of stress management programs. It reduces stress and fatigue and promotes an overall feeling of well being. This relaxing and rejuvenating massage can do wonders and improves the strength and vitality of the patient.
     
    Circulatory massage is the preferred method for relaxation and promotion of blood flow in the body and is the most common healing method used for enhancing the proper flow of blood through the body while providing relaxation to the various muscles.
  71. Not only is a rich, hearty soup great comfort food in the cold of winter, the health benefits of eating soup are tremendous.  A bowl of warm broth not only warms the body, but also the soul. Soup has great appeal for its convenience, low cost, and variety. Soup can not only help prevent disease, but it also adds much needed nutrition to your general diet. And most of all it's mmm mmm good!
     
    HEALTHY AND PREVENTS DISEASE
    Eating soup is a great way to add healthy vegetables to your meals.

  72. If you’ve ever had athlete’s foot or a yeast infection, you are familiar with fungal infections.  Certain types of fungi (such as Candida) are normally present on body surfaces or in the intestine. Although normally harmless, these fungi sometimes cause localized infections of the skin and nails, vagina, mouth, or sinuses. Fungi seldom cause serious harm, except in people who have a weakened immune system or who have foreign material, including medical devices (such as an intravenous catheter or an artificial joint or heart valve), in their body.
  73. Candida albicans is a yeast-like fungus which reproduces by budding and is generally found in trace amounts in the mouth, skin, intestinal tract, and vagina of normal individuals. Candida is the organism most commonly associated with mycotic (yeast or fungus) infections. Such infections are referred to as candidiasis. Ordinarily, the growth of this fungus is kept in check by the immune system and by the beneficial bacteria of the body or flora.
     
    The symptoms of a candida overgrowth vary from person to person and fluctuate in severity, or may come and go.
  74. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called a "silent disease" because you usually don't know that you have it. There may be no symptoms or signs. Nonetheless, it damages the body and eventually may cause problems like heart disease.

  75. Support groups are important because they provide emotional support for people facing similar, tough situations. Support groups allow people to share information and openly discuss their problems without judgment, to process their feelings and to hear others talk about their situation. Participation can help people deal more effectively with their problems. The main thing support groups provide is the feeling that you are not alone.

  76. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious condition affecting one in four American adults.  Although there aren’t many noticeable signs of hypertension, it increases the risk of both heart disease and stroke.

    Research studies continue to support massage therapy as an effective tool in managing hypertension.   Researchers, in 1999, from the Touch Research Institute, the University of Miami School of Medicine and Nova Southeastern University in Florida conducted the study "High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy".

  77. There is a great deal of misinformation floating around about what massage will or won't do for you.  Much of that misinformation continues to be taught in massage schools.  For instance: "Massage detoxifies the body". 

    Myth:  Perhaps we should start with the definition of toxin:  "a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usally very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation".

  78. Do you get enough sleep? What about exercise? If you're like most people, the answer is no.

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  1. You've heard it before . . . The effects of stress in the body are cumulative.  But what does that really mean?  

    Let’s start with life is stress, begins at conception and ends when you die.

  2.  
     
    Soft tissue dysfunction is responsible for more discomfort and pain than any other system in the body.   It has always puzzled me why doctors discount the effects that the soft tissues of the body have on overall health.
     
    I specialize in the body’s soft tissues, restoring musculoskeletal balance through relieving tension in the muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons, and rebalancing the patterns of movement.

  3. Summer is generally thought of as the season of fun, a season when we can send the kids to camp and kick back at the beach.  Romantic evenings walking on the beach holding hands with your mate, enjoying the radiant sunsets with a glass of wine (or beverage of your choice), the opportunity to get out in nature and enjoy more fresh air.
  4. I've tested my body to its limits and beyond most of my life.  So, how, after numerous back injuries over more than 32 years and having spent 3 years in a wheelchair as a chronic pain patient, am I pain free today?

  5. Preventing the Damaging Effects of Stress

  6. Tension, trauma and poor posture can alter the biomechanics and undermine smooth integrated core movement.  A weakened core and loss of proper diaphragmatic breathing will often cause:

  7. One of the greatest benefits of massage therapy is stress relief.  Humans have always been aware, it seems, of how detrimental unresolved stress can be.  Various herbs, aromatherapy, alcohol and drugs have been used throughout our history to ease the mental, emotional and physical stress that builds in the body, with touch therapy being the #1 choice throughout history.
     
    Stress affects us all.
  8. Humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.
     
    Have you ever noticed that when you lose your sense of humor, life becomes so much more difficult?  The element that most contributes to the loss of humor is stress.  Stress from relationships, stress from your job, stress from life.
     
    As a caregiver, as well as advanced bodywork therapist, I am very aware of how very much stress enters into the equation of trying to balance work, a social life, and being a caregiver on call 24/7.

  9. Excerpt from:  Massage Therapy Journal mtj/spring v.54 no.1
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome are two issues that people in an office setting may face and, with these conditions, come a variety of symptoms that massage therapy can help relieve - pain being but one.
  10. Most peope would agree that massage is good for them, without realizing exactly why or how good massage is for their overall health or that massage improves performance, aids in recovery, prevents injuries, reduces stress and even enhances metabolism and circulation!  Touch was the first form of medicine and the Chinese have been using massage to heal the human body since around 5,000 BC and are still seeking the benefits of massage today.

  11. The good news is this: if you enjoy a massage, you just might be helping your heart and arteries stay healthy and youthful.   Scientific studies have shown benefits of massage therapy for insomnia, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, cancer pain, post-operative recovery and other conditions.

  12. "How is the pain now?" I ask.  "The pain is gone!  How did you do that?" is the response.  I often respond with "It's magic!" and a wink.

    Even though it may feel like magic makes the pain disappear, there's actually good science behind the way Ortho-Bionomy works.  I love this modality because there is no pain involved in relaxing a muscle.  Does it always work?  No, it doesn't always work.
  13. 5 Tips for a Happier Holiday Season

    Happy holidays! Happy 'getting stressed out, trying to do too many things and please everyone' season. Oh, wait. That's not promising.
    Maybe this is the year to mix it up a little and make the holidays a little easier.  Here are a few tips to try to ease the stress this holiday season:

    Forget perfection

    Sometimes gingerbread men will be missing a limb. The tree may have a bald spot.
  14. Imagine a normal day.  You wake up, grumble about not having enough sleep, and reluctantly get out of bed.  Today your day is routinely filled with work, errands, and other ordinary tasks.  It's nothing you could consider special.

  15. Think of your most tender body part.  Imagine that spot has developed a deep, burning pain - like having your hand held on a hot burner from which you can't pull away.  This burning pain is with you every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, every hour of every day, every day of every week . . . It's relentless, it never changes, it is always with you, for months on end, driving you to distraction.

    This is nerve entrapment pain and this is where Client X was when referred to me.
  16. How important to you is maintaining, or even improving, your health?  Do you strive to get plenty of the right types of exercise?  Do you manage your diet and seek nutritional help when necessary?  Do you participate in a form of stress management?

    The reason I ask these questions, is because I regularly see clients who do none of these things.  Really?  You ask.  Truly!  I answer.
  17. Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults in a given year.  Anxiety is described as a feeling of dread, fear or apprehension, often with no clear justification.  Most people experience symptoms of anxiety at one time or another, but for those with a disorder, normal daily life is often interrupted and limited.

    A few common anxiety disorders are panic disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social phobia (Social Anxiety) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  18. Everybody talks about active aging, but not everybody knows what it’s supposed to look like. Working to stay happy and healthy as we get older shouldn’t be a drag, something done to slow an inevitable decline into decrepitude.

  19. Did you know that September 14th is National Hug Your Hound Day?


  20. A client recently told me at the end of the session, and after dressing, that he had a headache, 'but probably had it when I got here.'   Hmmmm.

    If you've ever been to see me, you know that I do a in-depth intake for each client prior to beginning every session.  I ask about what's going on in the body currently, whether there any sore, tender, tight or painful areas; I ask about range of motion and freedom of movement; I ask about emotional factors, whether the client has suffered with any anxiety or high stress levels recently; I ask about general health; I ask about areas that have traditionally been a problem.
  21. Busy-ness is a trend these days.  We carry over-packed schedules like vying for trophies.  "I'm SO busy at work!" "How do you have time to do that?  I'm too busy to read/watch TV/exercise/do anything fun." "I can't get monthly massage, I have too much to DO!"  Have you ever caught yourself saying one of these?

    Too much BUSY could be making you tired, sick and probably cranky

    When do you relax?  Relaxation is a word we hear often, but do you really know what it means?

    Re-lax    verb /ri-'laks\
    1. the state of being free from tension or anxiety
    2. a way to rest and enjoy yourself
    3. recreation or rest, especially after a period of work
    4. the loss of tension in a part of the body, especially in a muscle when it ceases to contract
    5. something that you do to stop feeling nervous, worried, etc.
  22.  Fibromyalgia is a chronic and painful condition that can affect every area of your life.  If you suffer with Fibro you probably ache all over and have trouble sleeping at night.  You may experience severe fatigue, increasing as the day progresses.  You may be anxious, perhaps even depressed, about feeling like you do.  Fibromyalgia literally translates as: fiber or fibrous (“fibro”), muscle (“myo”) and pain (“algia”).
  23. Arthritis isn't just one disorder.  It's a complicated set of musculoskeltal disorders made up of over 100 different diseases or conditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues.  Arthritis causes pain, limits movement and can halt an otherwise active person's life.

    Of the 20 million Americans affected by arthritis, almost 300,000 are kids.  Juvenile Arthritis (JA) is a broad way to describe a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 and younger.
  24. Gone are the days of dad working all day to come home to a pipe, slippers, and the evening paper while the kids sit waiting for dinner.  This generation of fathers and step-fathers are “all in” when it comes to child-raising.  There’s more to a dad these days than coaching little league.  Men who play an active role in their children’s lives deserve a little recognition.
     
    Whether they are baby-rearing or carpooling, more dads are helping care for families “in the home,” some even full time.
  25. Whether you're a mother, have a mother or know a mother, Mothers Day is time to honor those who've played this important role.  Stepmothers, birthmothers, and godmothers too.  There are as many ways of being a mother as there are moms in the world, and one thing is certain:  It's a tough job, but a rewarding one.  Here are just three ways massage might be of service to the mothers in your life:

    Expecting Mothers
    Prenatal massage is a growing field, as training programs for massage therapists increase and old myths about massage during pregnancy fade.
  26. As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and warmer weather of April, there can be a bit of a dark cloud hanging in the spring sky.  Often the first few weeks of the month are a rush of receipts and 1040's as the April 15 tax deadline looms, and a rush of new schedules as the kids' sports seasons fire up.  Maybe that's why April is Stress Awareness Month; to remind us to take care of ourselves, and not let stress build up.

    Meditation

    Meditation does not have to be about pretzeled legs, chanting, and reaching enlightenment.
  27. The most common issue I'm asked to address is low back pain; and one of the most common causes of back pain is pelvic girdle imbalance.

    The pelvic girdle is a fascinating structure.  Comprised of bones, muscles and other connective tissues, the pelvic girdle provides a foundation for our lower extremities, serves as the base for our torso and protects the bladder, reproductive organs and other visceral organs in the lower abdominopelvic region.
  28. March is fun for a few reasons.  Exciting basketball, green beer and a confused body clock.  Wait!  That's not fun.  March is when we attempt to shake off the winter doldrums and see the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of daffodils and lighter weight clothes.  Daylight Savings Time robs us of a precious hour of rest we won't see again 'til fall and our sleep cycles get all out-of-whack.
  29. Spring is just around the corner, and with spring comes an increase in our general activity levels.  Are you in shape for spring and summer?

    Excessive repetitive motion can cause a tightening of muscles and soft tissues, blocking the normal circulatory flow of blood to that area.  When muscles become excessively tight, flexibility, relaxation and muscle balance are all affected.  Tight muscles are the result of overuse, excessive stress and the accumulation of wear and tear on tissue that is unable to withstand continual overload, and can distort or disturb physical integrity and cause postural compensation that can result in chronic pain.
  30. Massage Helps you Stay Young

    The Anti-aging Benefits of Massage


    While we can't turn back the clock, or stop the aging process, massage therapy can slow the effects from the passage of time in your body.

  31. The New Year is something of a clean slate. We start a new calendar, make resolutions, pop champagne, and a few days later, jump into a January of slightly elongating days with a fresh hope that this year we can begin again, and do it all better. 

    But wherever you go, there you are.

  32. Just about every family I know has been affected by chronic illness, including HIV/AIDS, in some manner, my own included.  While we've come such a long way from the early days, there's a long way yet to go to overcome the stigma, reduce the fear, and hopefully find a cure.  In the meantime, massage therapy is here to help.

  33. Psychological studies show that happiness stems not from being the best, most successful or sexiest, but from gratitude.  In a world that sells dissatisfaction, it can be difficult to feel happy about your body.  For all the sunshiny Facebook messages telling you "You're beautiful", there's not much to make us feel legitimately joyful to be in our own skins.  So, telling yourself over and over that you've got a great body is less likely to leave you feeling happy than feeling grateful for the body you've got.

  34. The holidays should be a time of joy, sharing with friends and family; a time of love, celebration and pleasure.  That's what we're told, anyway.  But for many, the holidays bring an added layer of stress that can push a person into the blues, or even a time of depression.

  35. Pain relates to a sensation that hurts.  If you feel pain, you feel discomfort, distress and perhaps agony, depending on the severity.  Pain can be steady and constant, or a throbbing, pulsating pain; pain can have a pinching sensation, be a stabbing pain, or a burning pain; and pain can be a combination of these and other symptoms.

  36. I generally feel like a broken record when I say “the affects of stress in the body are cumulative.” 

    Managing stress and overcoming its affects are critical for achieving and maintaining optimal health.

  37. From coast to coast, an estimated 80 million cyclists take to the streets or trails each year - risking injury with each ride.

    Many cycling injuries are dictated by the nature of the bike itself.  Road biking demands that riders subject their low backs to a prolonged flexed posture, exaggerated curvature through the rib cage, neck hyperextension and close-packed hip/knee angles.

  38. Are You a Workaholic?

    On the seventh day, even God rested .

  39. One muscle in the front of the pelvic girdle, the other in your rear – what’s their connection?   The psoas and the piriformis are the bridge between your lower and upper body, connecting your legs to your spine.  The pelvis is the keystone of your foundation, with the psoas/piriformis muscles acting as the guide wires that determine the keystone’s positioning in motion and at rest.
  40. The 21st century is hard on us.   The pressure to do it all and do it well is strong in our society. Finding ways to bring a sense of balance to your life - to feel successful in your job and happy in your outside activities - is critical to maintaining physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

    The stress inherent in living to today's world affects all of us on many different levels.  When stress levels in the body get too high, we lose our equilibrium - we are less able to deal with new developments, we lose our sense of humor, often we lose our sense of physical balance, we lose our ability to be flexible and adapt, we sleep less well, we eat for comfort instead of nutrition, pain levels rise - we are more prone to head and body aches.
  41. Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, types of arthritis and other problems. This article is an overview, since each of these conditions would require an entire article to cover.
     
    Symptoms
    The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:
    • Swelling and stiffness
    • Redness and warmth to the touch
    • Weakness or instability
    • Popping or crunching noises
    • Inability to fully straighten the knee
    • Injuries
    Injuries
    A knee injury can affect any of the ligaments, tendons or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround your knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself.
  42. The formation of adhesive scar tissue in the tendons, ligaments and joints is often the primary culprit in long-term pain. Although muscles get injured most frequently, they also heal more easily. Tendons, ligaments and joints, on the other hand, often take months or years to heal and often stay injured for a lifetime.
    An injury is present when there is tissue damage. The damage could manifest as a swelling in a bursa or a joint; pinching of a nerve or a tendon; micro-tears in a muscle, tendon, ligament or fascia; or a major disruption of tissue like a broken bone or a ruptured tendon.
  43.  
    Have you ever experienced a stabbing sensation when you’ve picked up something heavy? Does your back ache when you’ve been sitting too long at your desk? Do you feel stiff after gardening or household chores? If so, you are not alone. Next to the common cold, back pain is the most common complaint heard at the doctor’s office.  Research and experience show that massage is a safe and effective treatment that can help your back heal and prevent further injury.
  44. It takes more effort to maintain both muscle mass and flexibility as we age.  Lots of factors contribute to this truth, including our high-stress sedentary lifestyle and natural hormonal changes.  Which is more important to aging well?  Strength or flexibility?  Research shows that both flexibility and functional strength play a large role in injury prevention as well as athletic performance.
  45. Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages and may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions — including arthritis, gout and infections — also can cause knee pain.
     
    Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measures. Therapeutic massage can help relieve knee pain. In some cases, however, your knee may require physical therapy or even surgical repair.
     
    The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem.
  46. The rise of computer use is calling attention to an increasing occurrence of repetitive strain injuries or RSI’s.  Often attributed to long hours of desk work, RSI’s can develop from repeated movements during any activity at work or leisure, resulting in pain, loss of work, and decreased enjoyment of everyday life.  Therapeutic massage is proving to be an effective tool for prevention and recovery from repetitive strain injuries.
  47. Pain Relief

    All types of massage help relieve pain caused by tense muscles, stiff joints or injuries, but Hot Stone Therapy may provide greater relief due to the intense nature of the massage.

  48. Hormonal balance is necessary for us to feel and function our best.  As we age, our bodies become less responsive to the hormones we produce, plus some hormone levels drop, others increase, and yet others stay the same.
     
    The endocrine (hormonal) system is made up of organs and tissues that produce hormones; natural chemicals produced, released into the bloodstream, then used by other target organs and systems.  Hormones control the target organs.

    Regardless of age, hormone levels can change based on diet, stress and exercise.
  49. According to the National Institutes of Health, Reiki is a “Biofield Medicine” which involves systems that use subtle energy fields in and around the body for medical purposes.
     
    The name Reiki originates from Japanese REI (spirit) and KI (energy, life force). Reiki therapy utilizes universal energy to assist the healing process. Healing can occur on physical, emotional or spiritual levels. Reiki as a modern healing method was initiated at the beginning of the 20th century by Dr.
  50. The soft tissues of the human body are responsible for more pain, injury and dysfunction than all other systems of the body and can range from a minor nuisance to a life changing limitation.  Chronic pain, repetitive strain and restricted motion can deplete your levels of health and vitality, limit participation & performance in your activities and create a challenging environment for you to exist within.
  51. The holiday season is fast-approaching and is supposed to be a time of joy and togetherness. Unfortunately for many, with that togetherness comes the pre and post holiday blues and anxiety. Whether it's from missing those who aren't or cannot be with us, the stress of getting together with family members we wish lived just a little too far to visit, the preparations, the bills, or the let-down after the festivities fade, the holiday season needs to be prepared for, mentally and physically.
  52. Neuromuscular therapies (NMT) are forms of soft tissue manual therapy which are distinguished from other types of massage in that pressure is used to stimulate specific areas of muscle, often myofascial trigger points.  A comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation techniques, NMT balances the nervous system (brain, spinal column and nerves), the structure and form of the musculoskeletal system.  NMT is based on neuromuscular laws that explain how the nervous system maintains homeostatic balance.
  53. Why Ortho-Bionomy

    One of the most frustrating parts of the work I love, is trying to relieve pain without causing pain in the process. I love EASING pain, getting to the root of a problem and correcting it. Therapists have had some wonderful tools to help accomplish that, such as Proprioceptor Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), active isolated stretching, craniosacral therapy and myofascial release, but you can bet that at some point trigger point work or deep tissue would be necessary, with the possibility of leaving the client sore during the work and following the session.
  54. “Health is wealth”- this age-old saying holds true even today.
     
    We live in an increasingly toxic world--from the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, we are constantly being bombarded with new toxins.  Add in the toxins created from the stress of daily living, from disease processes, from cleaning products, treating your yard with pesticides and herbicides, and you can see how quickly toxicity levels can escalate.
  55. Did you know, there are specific Yoga poses and breathing exercises to help with allergies?  
     
    "Allergies are worsened by a stress reaction, which causes physiological responses, including the release of stress hormones and histamine, and triggers inflammation," says Jeff Migdow, M.D., director of Prana Yoga Teacher Training  through the Open Center in New York as well as a holistic physician at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Mass.
  56. Stress is a threat to a person's well-being, and can be accelerated by acute illness, trauma, smoking, poor diet and chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. The body handles stress by means of an elaborate system involving enzymes and dietary compounds including antioxidant vitamins and minerals.  Stress can also reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the foods we eat and the supplements we take.
  57. As you lie on the table under crisp, fresh sheets, hushed music draws you into the moment.  The smell of lavender fills the air, you hear the gentle sound of massage lotion being warmed in your therapist's hands, and your body cries out for the therapeutic hands to begin their work.  Once the session gets under way, the problems of the world fade into obliviousness of relief, and all you can comprehend is you never want the session to end.
  58. As much an inborn mechanism as the stress response, the Relaxation Response is used to combat the negative effects of stress in a number of ways.
     
    The Relaxation Response
    In the late 1960's, in the same room in which Harvard Medical School's Walter Cannon performed fight-or-flight experiments 50 years earlier, Herbert Benson, MD found that there was a counterbalancing mechanism to the stress response.
  59. I’m pretty much an expert on stress and stress management.  It’s true that I’m very well educated in many different types of therapeutic massage and bodywork, but recent highlights of the stress I experience include:
    • For the past 3-1/2 years, I’ve been the primary care-giver to an old friend who’s been a life-long smoker and drinker.  During the past six months, his health has deteriorated rapidly and my responsibilities have grown exponentially.  
    • Prior to this adventure, a back injury completely side-lined me for several years – not by itself, but as the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.
  60. Most everyone agrees that exercise makes us calm and happy, a conclusion that is supported by research.  Take for instance a July 2011 Norwegian research survey that found that those who engaged in any exercise, even a small amount, reported improved mental health compared with Norwegians who never got out and exercised.  A separate study, presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, showed that six weeks of bicycle riding or weight training eased symptoms in women who’d received a diagnosis of anxiety disorder.
  61. There are many physical, mental, and physiological benefits to regular exercise. One category of benefits is the impact that exercise has on many of your body's hormones.
     
    1. Growth Hormone
    • Stimulates protein synthesis (muscle tone/development), and strength of bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
    • Decreases use of glucose and increases use of fat as a fuel during exercise. This helps to keep blood glucose at a normal level which helps you to exercise for a longer period of time.
  62. Because hormones affect so many different aspects of how our bodies operate, the outward symptoms tend to be varied and nonspecific. It may feel as though you are simply tired or upset after an unusually stressful or busy week. With a hormonal imbalance, a person may suffer from anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, and poor concentration. Irritability and mood swings are also quite common. Hormonal balance is critical for our emotional well-being, so radical changes in the way we feel about ourselves and interact with others may indicate a problem.
  63. The best way to think about the human body when it comes to food is to think of it as a machine. In fact, it is probably the finest machine ever designed and created. It has amazing and bewildering powers and capabilities. In general and in a simplistic sense, it actually requires little maintenance and is not very demanding in terms of upkeep. All it needs is water, fuel (food), rest or stress management and exercise.
     
    A good way to think of food is that it is actually a drug for the body; think of cause and effect.
  64. The endocrine system is in charge of body processes that happen slowly, such as cell growth. Faster processes like breathing and body movement are controlled by the nervous system. But even though the nervous system and endocrine system are separate systems, they often work together to help the body function properly.
    The foundations of the endocrine system are the hormones and glands. As the body's chemical messengers, hormones transfer information and instructions from one set of cells to another.
  65. We’ve all heard it, it’s been all over the news lately, and the more science delves into the physiological reactions in our bodies, the more it’s realized that:  Stress does kill.
    It’s not really stress itself that does so much damage, it’s our response to stress.   For that reason, it is vitally important that in tough times you keep up whatever stress reduction programs work best for you, whether it’s running, Yoga, kickboxing, or getting regular massage sessions.
  66. Why Am I So Tired? 10 Possible Causes of Fatigue

    When it's time to see a doctor about your exhaustion -- and what to try first.

    This morning, you promised yourself that you'd head straight to the gym right after work. But by the end of the day, you were so beat that all you could think about is collapsing on the couch with takeout and the remote.
    Why are you so tired all the time? Are you just not getting enough sleep, or could something be medically wrong?
    Chronic tiredness is one of the most common complaints that bring people to their doctor, says J.
  67. While it's obvious that massage is a great relaxer, the true health benefits of massage therapy have not received as much scientific investigation as many other forms of treatment; but following are the results of just some of the recent research into the benefits of massage.

    Physiological adjustments to stress measures following massage therapy

    Source:  Massage Therapy Foundation, Evanston, Illinois, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, School of Nursing, Denver, Colorado, University of California at San Diego, School of Medicine, San Diego, California, University of Iowa, Community and Behavioral Health, Iowa City, Iowa and Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA.

  68. Eating vegetables is an easy way to help a poor diet become healthier.  Vegetables contain a number of antioxidants that may help stop certain cancers from forming in the body.
     
    High in antioxidants like Vitamin C, vegetables help the body repair after long bouts of illness and help to protect the body in the future.  Tomatoes, for example, include Lycopene which even helps protect your eyes.
     
    Vegetables contain high levels of water in their structures, which allows them to be generally fat free and low in calories.
    • In 2008, over 616,000 people died of heart disease. Heart disease caused almost 25% of deaths—almost one in every four—in the United States.
    • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2008 were in men.
    • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. In 2008, 405,309 people died from coronary heart disease.
    • Every year about 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack.
  69. Adrenal Fatigue – is it real?  Are you at risk?
     
    According to Dr. Todd Nippoldt, MD, board-certified specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology and metabolism at the Mayo Clinic, adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems.
     
    Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to life.
  70. This ancient form of healing is now becoming an essential part of stress management programs. It reduces stress and fatigue and promotes an overall feeling of well being. This relaxing and rejuvenating massage can do wonders and improves the strength and vitality of the patient.
     
    Circulatory massage is the preferred method for relaxation and promotion of blood flow in the body and is the most common healing method used for enhancing the proper flow of blood through the body while providing relaxation to the various muscles.
  71. Not only is a rich, hearty soup great comfort food in the cold of winter, the health benefits of eating soup are tremendous.  A bowl of warm broth not only warms the body, but also the soul. Soup has great appeal for its convenience, low cost, and variety. Soup can not only help prevent disease, but it also adds much needed nutrition to your general diet. And most of all it's mmm mmm good!
     
    HEALTHY AND PREVENTS DISEASE
    Eating soup is a great way to add healthy vegetables to your meals.

  72. If you’ve ever had athlete’s foot or a yeast infection, you are familiar with fungal infections.  Certain types of fungi (such as Candida) are normally present on body surfaces or in the intestine. Although normally harmless, these fungi sometimes cause localized infections of the skin and nails, vagina, mouth, or sinuses. Fungi seldom cause serious harm, except in people who have a weakened immune system or who have foreign material, including medical devices (such as an intravenous catheter or an artificial joint or heart valve), in their body.
  73. Candida albicans is a yeast-like fungus which reproduces by budding and is generally found in trace amounts in the mouth, skin, intestinal tract, and vagina of normal individuals. Candida is the organism most commonly associated with mycotic (yeast or fungus) infections. Such infections are referred to as candidiasis. Ordinarily, the growth of this fungus is kept in check by the immune system and by the beneficial bacteria of the body or flora.
     
    The symptoms of a candida overgrowth vary from person to person and fluctuate in severity, or may come and go.
  74. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called a "silent disease" because you usually don't know that you have it. There may be no symptoms or signs. Nonetheless, it damages the body and eventually may cause problems like heart disease.

  75. Support groups are important because they provide emotional support for people facing similar, tough situations. Support groups allow people to share information and openly discuss their problems without judgment, to process their feelings and to hear others talk about their situation. Participation can help people deal more effectively with their problems. The main thing support groups provide is the feeling that you are not alone.

  76. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious condition affecting one in four American adults.  Although there aren’t many noticeable signs of hypertension, it increases the risk of both heart disease and stroke.

    Research studies continue to support massage therapy as an effective tool in managing hypertension.   Researchers, in 1999, from the Touch Research Institute, the University of Miami School of Medicine and Nova Southeastern University in Florida conducted the study "High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy".

  77. There is a great deal of misinformation floating around about what massage will or won't do for you.  Much of that misinformation continues to be taught in massage schools.  For instance: "Massage detoxifies the body". 

    Myth:  Perhaps we should start with the definition of toxin:  "a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usally very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation".

  78. Do you get enough sleep? What about exercise? If you're like most people, the answer is no.

Beating the Holiday Blues

Beating the Holiday Blues

The holidays should be a time of joy, sharing with friends and family; a time of love, celebration and pleasure.  That's what we're told, anyway.  But for many, the holidays bring an added layer of stress that can push a person into the blues, or even a time of depression.

Aside from the guilt of not taking pleasure from what is supposed to be a joyous season, and aside from just feeling like crap on an emotional level, depression (and even the blues) can have a serious impact on one's health.  People who suffer with depression are more likely to engage in negative habits, less likely to get sufficient exercise, and more likely to stop engaging in the physical activities they used to participate in.  Depression (and the blues) can disturb sleep schedules and negatively impact one's professional and personal relationships, resulting in more stress, which leads to its own host of health issues.  It's a truly nasty cycle.

But, take heart!  Making just a few changes can make all the difference in the world!  Here are a few suggestions to make this holiday season one to truly celebrate.

Breathe Deeply.  For many of us, the main cause of mental and physical exhaustion is stress.  Stress impairs concentration, disrupts sleep and makes us more likely to get sicK>  fortunately, we can quiet stress's clamor with simple, focused breathing.  To do it, close your eyes and concentrate on the sensation of your breath coming in and out of your body.  Continue this mindful breathing for one to two minutes.  Not only will it diffuse stress, but MRi scans have shown that deep breathing quiets the white noise in the brain, improving your concentration.

Get some Sunshine.  Vitamin D is 't just good for your bones, it helps build strong muscles as well, so you can power through your day.  Though Vitamin d is readily available - our bodies make it when exposed to sunlight - 75% of us aren't getting enough.  Vitamin D deficiency impairs the production and secretion of insulin, the hormone that heps regular blood sugar levels.  in fact new research shows that Vitamin D deficiency is thought to contribute to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Eat to Improve your Mood.  Stress: we all have it, and how we handle it can make all the difference.  Stress management can be a powerful tool for wellness, since too much stress can affect physical health.  One strategy involves what you eat.  Foods can help tame stress in everal ways.  Comfort foods, like a bowl of warm oatmeal, boost levels of serotonin, a calming brain chemical.  Other foods cut levels of cortisol and adrenaline, stress hormones that take a toll on the body over time.  Stress busting foods include; complex carbs, oranges, spinach, fatty fish like salmon and tuna, black tea, pistachios, avocados, almonds, raw veggies, and milk.

Massage.  Really?  You betcha!!  Massage has been found to reduce depression and improve mood.  Research is still trying to determine exactly why it works, so get a ssage for science!  Caring touch has a real effect on mood, whether it's from a loved one, a massage therapist, or a favorite pet.

Move.  I don't mean packing up your household and relocating, I mean move your body: take a walk, go dancing, stretch at your desk.  Buy a hoola hoop, join a Yoga class, or a Tai Chi class.  Studies have shown that exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which give relief from pain, both physical and mental.  Even the smallest amount of exercise three to four times a week can positively impact a person's life.  So, move to release those endorphins and be happy!

Detoxify your home.  It could be a chemical intolerance, not a bad day at work, that's causing your blues.  There's no single chemical or group of chemicals responsible for chemical intolerances, so your best bet is to avoid potentially bothersome chemicals as much as possible as there's no medication that helps with this.

Three simple steps to detoxify your home:

Go organic.  Pesiticides used in chemical farming, particularly organophosphates, have been shown to trigger gastrointestinal and heart problems in people with chemical sensitivities, and nervous system disorders and learning problems in children.

Say not to plastic.  Whether it's hormone-disrupting BPA lining your soup can or that vinyl shower curtain in your bathroom, all plastics contain a huge array of danerous materials, including brain-damaging flame retardants, cancer-causing UV stabilitizers, hormone-disrupting antibacterial chemicals, and dozens of other chemicals that are protected as trade secrets that have never been studied for health impacts.  All those chemicals can leach out of plastics into your food and water or into household dust that you inhale.

Learn to make it yourself.  The only way to know what's in (and is not) in a product is to make it yourself.  Learn how to control pests with things like borax and white vinegar and to make your own homemade cleaning products.  Personal care products are loaded with chemicals, but they're easy to replace with homemade beauty products.

You'll never be able to avoid every chemical out there, but these steps can help you cut down on the pernicious exposures in your home.


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