Archive for November, 2012

Hip Pain.. a pain in the…..

Posted on November 30th, 2012 by Shari´ Parks

Pain in the hip, down the leg and thigh can be debilitating. When the hip abductor muscles are the root of the problem, massage therapy is an exceptional way to bring your clients relief and get them back to full activity levels. The primary hip abductors are the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and the tensor fasciae latae muscles. These three muscles also have important biomechanical functions and when there are problems here, other regions of the body can also cause problems for the hip abductors. When dysfunctional, the hip abductors produce pain with walking as well as pain lying on the affected side at night.

There are a few ways you can massage your own hip abductor region. One of the most effective ways is to use a tennis ball, or any ball of similar size. Next, lay on the floor. Place the ball right in the hip area and move about to massage the area.

References:
Massage Today magazine

Five Ways to Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Posted on November 23rd, 2012 by Shari´ Parks

Chronic inflammation plays a significant role in a variety of diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The good news is that diet, exercise and lifestyle changes can be powerful tools against inflammation. Five ways you can help reduce inflammation are:

* Massage Therapy *
A massage isn’t just a treat, but it can be part of staying healthy. Receiving a massage can greatly lower levels of two key inflammation-promoting hormones (according to Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine).

* Omega Fat balance *
Americans are eating too many inflammation-promoting omega -6 fats such as corn and sunflower.. many processed and fast food are made with these oils. There isn’t enough omega-3 fats such as flaxseeds, walnuts, and olive oils consumed. For a better balance opt for more fresh, unprocessed foods as possible.

* Practice yoga *
A Psychosomatic Medicine study found that women who had regularly practiced 75 to 90 min of Hatha yoga twice-weekly for at least 2yrs had markedly lower levels of key inflammatory markers.

* Exercise often *
Working out can lower inflammation even if you don’t drop one single pound. Exercising at about 60% – 80% of your max heart rate lowers level of key inflammation markers.

* De-stress *
If you are frequently frazzled, you may be opening the door to inflammation. While stress harms your body in many ways, stress increases blood pressure and heart rate, making your blood vessels work harder. If this damage happens over and over, inflammation persists.

Resources
EatingWell magazine www.eatingwell.com
Baltimore Beacon newsletter Dec. 2012 edition

Massage therapy with Cerebral Palsy

Posted on November 16th, 2012 by Shari´ Parks

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term that refers to many possible injuries to the brain during development, birth, and early infancy. It is the result of brain damage, usually to motor areas of the brain. The motor disorders of CP are often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, perception, cognition, communication, and behavior.

So, now that we know what CP is exactly, how can massage therapy assist an adult with CP? Right now, 400,000 adults with CP are living in this country. The most common problems are acute and chronic pain, fatigue, balance problems, and weakness. It’s undeniable that the studies conducted show massage therapy is a benefit in improving the quality of life of CP client. Contrary to what one might believe some of the best modalities are deep tissue and craniosacral therapy; however one should consult with their primary physician to assure this approach is suitable for you.

With my client, I incorporate a variety of approaches in our session. Swedish for general relaxation, deep tissue in very taut muscles and soon craniosacral to aid any CSF (cranial sacral fluid) blockage traveling the spinal cord. Massage therapy can work with proprioceptors to reeducate functioning muscles and improve balance. It can also help improve efficiency of movement for better stamina. Often times Massage Therapist become part of an important network of supporters for people who tend to live in social isolation.

The most precious benefit massage therapy can offer is the experience of being touched, rather than handled- this can be a rare gift for anyone living with a chronic serious condition.

Resources:
http://www.cerebralpalsysource.com
www.abmp.com magazine, Nov/Dec 2012 Pathology Perspectives

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Massage Therapy

Posted on November 11th, 2012 by Shari´ Parks

More and more people are being diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). It’s not wonder, we sit in front of a computer or use smart phones nearly every waking hour of the day. There are many ways to avoid CTS by incorporating a few exercises into your day.

What is CTS?
The carpal tunnel – a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand – houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.

What causes it?
When we use a muscle over and over again, the muscle tightens and restricts circulation. When this occurs, muscle memory is lost and the muscle is unable to go back to a full resting length. The result is inflammation, swelling and nerve entrapment. As the inflammation and swelling increase, the symptoms also increase.

How can massage help me?
Massage therapy will work to correct the muscle imbalance between your wrist and hand. This secondary type of massage helps to activate the forearm muscles and put them back into balance. Through continued massage , your forearm muscles will strengthen and lengthen, eventually returning to their full range of capabilities.

Why to cancel when you are ill

Posted on November 6th, 2012 by Aaduri Healing Arts

Cold and Flu season is just around the corner; or maybe, for you, it has already arrived.  So, I thought it fitting to post about why it is best to cancel your appointment when you are feeling under the weather, for your benefit and mine 🙂

If you have a fever or an infectious sickness, even a common cold, that is good reason to postpone your massage appointment. For one thing, touch may not feel good. For another thing, you may be contagious, especially in the first stages of a cold or flu. This is usually when you are feeling the worst, when you are coughing and sneezing frequently.

The more you limit your contact with others, including your massage therapist, the less you will spread it around. For example, if you don’t “pass” a cold on to your massage therapist, he or she won’t spread it to all the other clients.

Studies show that you can transmit a cold or flu to others one or two days before your symptoms appear, and up to five days after first being exposed to the virus. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), colds are most contagious two to four days after original exposure, when there is plenty of the virus present in nasal secretions.

There is another reason to avoid massage when you have a cold or flu. Because one of the major impacts of massage is on the circulation (including the removal of wasteful by-products and infectious materials), it is thought that massage can actually increase the spread of infection in your body. If you are sick, your immune system is already working hard. One of the best immune supports may truly be resting and drinking plenty of liquids.

And, remember, whenever you have any questions about the appropriateness of massage, be sure to talk with a massage therapist when you schedule the appointment. And, if you are under the care of a physician for any reason, let them know you are receiving massage therapy.

And remember one of the easiest and best ways to avoid germs is by washing your hands!  The most important part of hand washing is actually the friction of your hands rubbing together.  So you want to:

  1. Wash your hands with running water and soap.
  2. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. (try singing the alphabet song or happy birthday to make sure you have washed long enough)
  3. Pay special attention to your wrists, the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
  4. Leave the water running while you dry your hands on a paper towel.
  5. Use the paper towel as a barrier between the faucet and your clean hands when you turn off the water.

Staying Stress Free this Holiday Season

Posted on November 2nd, 2012 by Shari´ Parks

I want to send a heartfelt prayer to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy. As many of us recuperate from the aftermath, we soon will come together with friends and family to give gratitude. What is it that you are thankful for this Thanksgiving season? I am grateful that I’m doing exactly what I love! Sharing the gift of massage therapy while educating people on the various benefits of regular bodywork.

Unfortunately, the last two months of the year are the most stressful for some. Experts estimate that upwards of 90% of dis-ease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Read this month’s article that will explain natural remedies to ease holiday stress.

http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/777/Soothing-the-Season

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