CranioSacral Therapy is a light-touch approach that can facilitate dramatic improvements in your health and well-being. It was founded by Dr. John Upledger an Osteopathic Physician who did clinical trials and extensive scientific research at Michigan State University from 1975-1983 to prove the effects of CranioSacral Therapy on the body and how it works. It releases tension and restrictions in tissue, both superficial and deep in the body. It helps to relieve pain and dysfunction while improving whole-body health and performance. This therapy can be performed while you are fully clothed while lying down on a massage table or it may be integrated with a personalized massage session. This therapy is deeply relaxing stimulating the Parasympathetic Nervous System and producing a state of calmness. People sometimes fall asleep during their sessions. CranioSacral Therapy can help with a wide range of problems such as TMJD (jaw joint dysfunction), Scoliosis, Lordosis, Kyphosis (curvatures in spine), headaches, neck and back pain, chronic pain issues such as Fibromyalgia, and other connective tissue disorders, concussion or traumatic brain injuries, PSTD, immunity and stress relief.
December 20, 2017
If you suffer from chronic pain, you’re well aware of that before an official diagnosis. But something about being diagnosed with a chronic pain condition can trigger an extra bit of fear and stress. If you’ve recently been told you have a condition, you’ve also been told that it could be something you live with for quite some time. You may be asking yourself where in the world do I start? Here are some tips for how to begin to cope.
Don’t be afraid of exercise
The stronger your muscles and the more flexible your joints, the less your chronic pain will affect you. Good ol’ fashioned exercise is the only tried and true way to achieve a strong, flexible body. Though exercise can be scary for those with chronic pain – and rightly so – it’s vital that you find something that works for you. Try something low-impact with a focus on flexibility like yoga or pilates. If an exercise hurts you, try something else.
Remember: obesity is a leading cause and exacerbating factor in chronic pain. The closer you can stay to a healthy weight range, the better off you’ll be.
Eliminate the three “S”s of pain-triggering at home
Three triggers absolutely contribute to making your chronic pain worse: smoking, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle. Making sure you don’t spend too much time on the couch and actually getting some exercise every day can help with the latter. Quitting smoking is simple but it’s not easy. Smoking cessation will – without a doubt – improve your pain, however, so it’s vital.
Finally, we come to stress. How do you make your home less stressful? Some surefire ways are to keep your home clean and organized, open up windows for natural light, invest in aromatherapy products, and dedicate one room/area of your home to meditation/relaxation. Check out more home destressing tips here.
Be mindful of your medication intake
For some chronic pain conditions, prescription medication can work in tandem with other holistic practices to help provide relief. With any prescription regimen, however, there are going to be risks. Nobody is above the risk of drug abuse and addiction. It can happen to anyone. That’s why, as a chronic pain sufferer, it’s doubly important that you know the warning signs of abuse. It’s often hard to spot them in yourself, but you still need to be mindful. Check here for a comprehensive guide to the warning signs.
Spend a little money on massage
It’s ok to spend a little money on the management of your chronic pain, as long as you’re smart about it and don’t fall victim to scams that don’t work at all. Massage is not one of those pain scams. Massage has a proven track record of working wonders for arthritis patients, as well as sufferers of other forms of chronic pain. The Arthritis Foundation says that massage “can lead to a significant reduction in pain [and improvements to] stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength, and overall function of the joints.”
Yes, your diet is a big part of how you feel. Eat well, feel well. Eat poorly, feel poorly. It’s not rocket science. Eating whole, healthy, non-inflammatory foods will help lessen your chronic pain. What are we talking about when we talk about a non-inflammatory diet? Check here for the details.
A chronic pain condition diagnosis is not some sort of sentence. It’s an opportunity. Now that you have a name for the pain you’ve been feeling, you can begin to tweak your lifestyle, home life, and habits to better manage your condition. Diet and exercise are the two biggest things to consider, and those can be supplemented with therapies like massage and cautious use of prescription medication. You’re strong. You got this.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
About the Author:
Jackie Waters is a mother of four boys and lives on a farm in Oregon. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same with her site Hyper-Tidy.com.
By Amy Wallace | April 3, 2017
Researchers at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis found real-world massage therapy is an effective treatment for chronic low back pain.
The small study included 104 patients with low back pain who were referred by their primary care providers to participate in 10 massage therapy sessions with community practicing licensed massage therapists.
The participants were measured at baseline and after massage therapy at 12 and 24 weeks.
The researchers tracked participants for 24 weeks, comparing pain levels at the start of the study, at 12 weeks and at the end of the 24-week trial. The results showed 55.4 percent of patients who reported clinical improvements in symptoms at 12 weeks, and 75 percent participants showing initial improvement were still improved at 24 weeks.
The study also found adults age 49 and older reported better pain improvement outcomes from massage therapy than younger adults.
“The study can give primary care providers the confidence to tell patients with chronic low back pain to try massage if the patients can afford to do so,” Niki Munk, assistant professor of health sciences in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, said in a press release.
The study analyzed different characteristics associated with the likelihood a patient would receive a clinical improvement in back pain from massage therapy and found that obese patients had significant improvements in back pain but the improvements were not maintained over time.
Researchers also found patients taking opioids were two times less likely to have clinical improvements compared to those not taking opioids.
Munk said more research needs to be done including a cost-benefit analysis.
“The fact of the matter is that chronic lower back pain is very complex and often requires a maintenance-type approach versus a short-term intervention option,” Munk said. “Massage is an out-of-pocket cost. Generally, people wonder if it is worth it. Will it pay to provide massage to people for an extended period of time? Will it help avoid back surgeries, for example, that may or may not have great outcomes? These are the types of analyses that we hope will result from this study.”
The study was published in Pain Medicine
A massage works in wonderful ways, easing stress and pain, calming the nervous system, increasing circulation, loosening tight muscles, stimulating internal organs, and enhancing skin. The multiplicity of physiological responses sends a simple, clear message to the mind: Massage feels good. Of course, you want to hold on to that just-had-a-massage feeling — total body relaxation, muscles relaxed and at ease, and fluid movement restored — for as long as possible.
But how long that bliss lasts depends on the state of your body. If you’re suffering from chronic pain or recovering from injury, then it may take more sessions and perhaps different modalities before optimal health is restored.
If massage is part of your regular health regimen, then it’s more likely the effects will endure. In other words, the effects of massage are cumulative, like any healthy habit. The more often you get a massage, the greater and longer-lasting the benefits.
Massage FrequencyHow often you receive massage depends on why you’re seeking massage. In dealing with the general tension of everyday commutes, computer work, and time demands, a monthly massage may be enough to sustain you. On the other hand, if you’re seeking massage for chronic pain, you may need regular treatments every week or two. Or if you’re addressing an acute injury or dealing with high levels of stress, you may need more frequent sessions. Your situation will dictate the optimum time between treatments, and your practitioner will work with you to determine the best course of action.
“You need to consider how you felt before the session and how you felt after, and then look at how long you maintain that,” says Pieter Sommen, the chair of the eastern department in the Swedish Institute School of Massage Therapy in New York.
In general, experts say “regular” is preferable, but how regular depends on your situation. While daily massage would be delightful, practical considerations such as cost, time, and physical need likely determine the frequency of treatments. “It’s best to maintain a schedule,” says Eeris Kallil, CMT, a shiatsu instructor at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy in Colorado. “That way the body becomes conditioned and prepared for session at specific intervals.”
MaintenanceWhether you get a massage weekly, monthly, or just every once in a while, the following habits can maximize and extend the afterglow of treatment.
WaterOne bit of advice you’ll hear over and over again is to drink plenty of water after a massage. Bodywork — no matter the particular modality — releases toxins, such as lactic acid and carbonic acid, that need to be flushed from the body. Massage also promotes circulation, increasing blood flow and oxygen and stimulating the lymphatic system, which helps rid the body of pathogens. After-massage hydration supports these functions, helping to eliminate released impurities, sooner rather than later.
StretchingAnother helpful habit is stretching between massages to maintain joint mobility, prevent muscles from tightening up again, and keeping the life energy flowing. This may mean doing yoga or whatever specific or full-body stretches suggested by your practitioner. After a shiatsu session, for example, your practitioner may recommend “makko-ho” stretches, a series of six exercises designed to keep energy circulating. “This series of stretches take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes a day, but really help keep the chi flowing through the body,” says Kallil.
ExerciseWorking out can also help maintain the benefits of massage, and this habit should be continually cultivated. However, if you’re receiving massage therapy to help speed muscle strain recovery, you may need to ease up on the exercise for a while and give the body time to heal — particularly if you’re recovering from a strenuous body-pummeling training regimen. “You don’t want to over-work your body,” says Kallil. That is, if running is taking a toll, try something more gentle and meditative such as swimming, walking, or tai chi.
Body AwarenessAfter a massage, respect how your body feels. If your body seems to ask for rest, give in to that demand. This may mean backing off the to-do list, taking it easy, moving slower, and perhaps doing less for a while. And don’t allow yourself to get fatigued because it will undermine the effects of massage. Get sufficient sleep to allow the body to absorb the effects and regain vitality.
DietFinally, since you’ve just rid the body of toxins, support the body’s renewed state by adhering to a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which will continue the detoxification process. Lay off the espresso and all adrenaline-challenges for a time — which would short-circuit relaxation anyway — and enjoy the calm.
The benefits of massage are many, including: increasing circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients throughout the body; stimulating lymph flow and boosting immunity; relaxing overused or tight muscles; increasing joint mobility and range of motion; reducing recovery time after strenuous workouts or surgery; and relieving back pain and migraines, just to name a few.
After receiving a massage, clients feel rejuvenated, relaxed, and refreshed. By opting for a few lifestyle choices, you can extend these benefits and get the most out of your massage.
When you schedule your next massage session, why not consider a Himalayan Salt Stone massage session?
The benefits are amazing. You can see the effects of the salt after one session. Your skin, body and mind will thank you! Himalayan Salt Stones provide 84 essential mineral and trace compounds. The stones can be used in conjunction with other massage techniques. Salt Stones can be used hot or cold and unlike River Stones, Himalayan Stones have anti micro-bacterial properties.
Benefits of a Himalayan Salt Stone Massage:
- Negative ions are produced when heated creating a sense of peace and a deeper sense of relaxation.
- The heat of the salt melts restrictive fascia to go deeper into the muscles and loosens the joints.
- The moist heat of the stones can assist with soothing inflamed muscles and joints.
- Leaves the skin feeling refreshed and glowing.
- The salt stones moisturize and plump up the superficial layers of the skin.
- May detoxify and alkaline the body.
- May aid in better sleep, reduce blood pressure and stress.
Himalayan Salt Stones can ground and balance meridian levels, Chakras and clear your Prana.
By: KARI OAKES, Family Practice News Digital Network JUNE 20, 2016
On Twitter @karioakes
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. – Simple, effective, nonpharmacologic therapies can significantly augment pharmacotherapy for patients with treatment-resistant depression, according to Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport. More complex complementary approaches are being explored and may hold promise as part of the future of precision medicine, but well-tested strategies can still help many patients, he said.
Speaking at a session focused on treatment-resistant depression at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Dr. Rapaport, chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and Reunette W. Harris Professor at Emory University, Atlanta, began with the basics.
Massage can effectively improve mood for individuals with depression as well. In a study of HIV-positive individuals with major depressive disorder and on stable medication, those who received weekly massage had a 33% decrease in HAM-D scores, compared with a 12% increase for those receiving light touch, and a 9% decrease for those on a wait list who received neither touch nor massage (P less than .05). The response rate of 40% for those receiving massage also was significantly higher than the 6.3% for those receiving light touch and the 14% for those on the wait list (P less than .05).
Recently completed unpublished work by Dr. Rapaport and his colleagues involving patients with generalized anxiety disorder also showed significantly greater improvement on a self-rating scale for anxiety for those receiving twice-weekly Swedish massage therapy, compared with those receiving light touch.
“Our patients – their symptoms aren’t just what we see on the monitors – they deal with quality of life, they deal with functioning,” said Dr. Rapaport, “so there are many things that we as clinicians need to look at,” he said at the meeting. “The key is this: There’s a slowly increasing but limited data set for [treatment-resistant depression]. We need to find the right treatments for the right subjects. “
The ASCP meeting was formerly known as the New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit meeting. Dr. Rapaport reported no relevant financial conflicts.
Online Source – Full Article: http://www.familypracticenews.com/specialty-focus/mental-health/single-article-page/alternative-therapies-can-augment-treatment-in-resistant-depression/178b525c26e436f3ab0a5657b5bca4b5.html
One in five Americans are impacted by seasonal change
Massage therapy has shown to improve mood and elevate energy levels
People looking to fend off the winter blues may find relief by integrating massage therapy into their health maintenance routine. Shorter days and colder temperatures leave many Americans feeling depressed and lethargic, yet studies show that regular massages improve mood and reset circadian rhythms, leading to better sleep and more energy.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is recognized as a major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns. A less severe form of seasonal mood disorder, known as the winter blues, impacts an even larger portion of the population. Combined, the two disorders affect as many as one in five Americans, and may be aggravated by the change to Daylight Savings Time. Symptoms include reduced energy, difficulty rising in the morning and a tendency to eat more, especially sweets and starches.
“As we approach the colder, darker months, massage therapy may be an effective method of deflecting common seasonal challenges,” said Jeff Smoot, President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). “Massage benefits the way our bodies react to negative influences, whether that’s weather, anxieties or disorders.”
A growing body of research is documenting the impact of massage therapy for relief of anxiety and depression for people in a wide range of health situations. For example, in a controlled study composed of HIV-positive adolescents, participants who received massage therapy reported feeling less anxious and less depressed by the end of the 12-week study.
A randomized study found women with stage 1 and 2 breast cancer benefited from regular massage therapy sessions. The immediate massage benefits included reduced anxiety, depressed mood and anger while the long-term impact reduced depression and increased serotonin values. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter with functions in various parts of the body, works to regulate mood, appetite, sleep, memory and learning. Massage therapy was also found to improve sleep, specifically by assisting with circadian rhythms, or the body clock. A study investigating the effects of massage therapy on the adjustment of rest to activity, as well as melatonin secretion rhythms in full-term infants, found massage therapy enhanced coordination of the circadian system.
Find a Massage Therapist Near You
A qualified massage therapist can play an important role in health and wellness. Individuals should consult with a professional massage therapist to determine the best massage therapy approach for their specific needs. By meeting or exceeding state training requirements, ascribing to a code of ethics and participating in continuing education, AMTA massage therapists are appropriate additions to any wellness regimen and create specialized approaches based on individual conditions, fitness and goals. www.ShaZenMassage.com
About The American Massage Therapy Association
The American Massage Therapy Association, the most respected name in massage therapy, is the largest non-profit, professional association serving massage therapists, massage students and massage schools. The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage.