Archive for January, 2013

Combat Cold/Flu season with Massage Therapy

Posted on January 25th, 2013 by Shari´ Parks

It’s here! Cold and flu season is like never before, so the new reports. Studies show massage therapy can boost your immune system. The theory is that deep massage strokes push lymph fluid more quickly through the network of vessels that deliver it throughout the body. Since lymph fluid carries immune cells, massage gives those cells more opportunities to seek out and neutralize disease-mongering invaders.

However, by no means am I suggesting you get a massage while the virus is swarming in your system. Quite the opposite. For the benefit of you and your massage therapist, it’s best to re-schedule your appointment when you do have a cold or the flu. 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. Also, because massage impacts the circulation system it can actually increase the spread of infection in your body. One of the best immune supports may truly be resting and drinking plenty of liquids.

So, bottom line continue to get your regular massage therapy services to help boost your already strong immune system. Once your system is compromised, please re-schedule your session until you are well. Your therapist will thank you!

Massage is Legal, Human Trafficking is Not

Posted on January 17th, 2013 by Shari´ Parks

In my Jan/Feb Massage & Bodywork magazine the tough topic of human trafficking is discussed. Below are excerpts from the article that I believe to be helpful in understanding the issue, signs of human trafficking and what you can do.

What is it?
“Worldwide, human trafficking is used to have more than 20million victims any time. It is the second largest criminal industry in the world and the fastest growing. Just as it’s been an effective front for prostitution, massage therapy is a natural cover for criminals involved with human trafficking.” The impact of human trafficking on the massage therapy profession is undeniable, unfortunately tainting the industry by lumping it into the seedy massage parlor sector.

Signs of human trafficking in massage?
“One of the leading organizations in the fight against human trafficking says women found in brothels disguised as massage businesses typically live on-site where they are confined. Some of the most notable telltale signs of illicit activity are:
*all male clients arrive late into the night
*Women ‘working’ have long fingernails and may not wear appropriate attire.”

What can you do?
There are many things I need to do as a licensed massage therapist to keep myself safe and put distance between my services and the massage parlor businesses that are hijacking my industries legitimacy. You, as a consumer want to consider some of these too. Some are:
*Massage therapy businesses should operate legally by having all proper up to date state and national credentials. All should be displayed in an area that clients will see.
*Selecting a professional business name. The words used should reflect nothing but professionalism.
*Proper advertising venues should be carefully considered.

Human Trafficking Resources
International Justice Mission: www.ijm.org
Not for Sale: www.notforsalecampaign.org

Fibromylagia and Massage Therapy

Posted on January 11th, 2013 by Shari´ Parks

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a musculoskeletal medical condition that plagues approx 2-4% of the American population with women being affected more than men. FM symptoms include chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia and joint stiffness.

As a massage therapist I was taught that there are specific pain points, but I have discovered sensitivity to pain and pressure differs from client to client. The approach to treatment also varies. Some things FM sufferers should share with the therapist during the health history are:

* What prescriptions and/or over the counter medications have you taken today?
* Are you in a flare up? If yes, how long?
* How has the pain changed your daily activities?

When scheduling an initial session be aware the therapist should be upfront. The first session will be a learning experience for both parties, airing on caution using light to moderate pressure. With more frequent treatments, specific techniques will be applied in future sessions based on the client’s reaction to the initial treatment.

Communication during the treatment is vital. Massage therapy has been proven to be effective for FM sufferers, but it’s essential that during the session the therapist is informed of the pressure. The client should speak up when the pressure is too deep. The treatment should never be painful.

So, go ahead and schedule that next appointment with peace of mind. Massage therapy can help FM sufferers manage the pain and stiffness while improving sleep patterns.

Reference:
ABMP Massage & Bodywork magazine

Water, Water, Everywhere

Posted on January 4th, 2013 by Shari´ Parks

We all know that water plays a key role in maintaining healthy bodies, inside and out. However; I hear, more frequently than I’d like, drinking the adequate amount is challenging.

Starchier foods, like potatoes, lack significant water content. They may sound hydrating but during the winter months we spend more time indoors in dry heat. This dries us.

Luckily, there are a variety of water-rich foods you can consume to get that water.

Some other water-rich foods include:
*berries
*cucumbers
*radish

Try them out!

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