Posts Tagged ‘muscles’
Readers, you all know the benefits of getting massages. But today, we are lucky enough to have guest blogger, Melanie Bowen, discuss the benefits of massage a bit more in depth – focusing on how massage can help cancer patients. Melanie is a frequent contributor to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog, and as an awareness advocate for natural health, knows a thing or two about educating patients on natural remedies that can supplement their medical treatments.
Massage therapy can be a much-needed and welcomed gift for anyone. Loosening muscles, releasing tension, and mentally unwinding and relaxing are all results of professional massage therapy treatments. While this type of physical therapy is sublime for all people, cancer patients can dramatically benefit by attending regular massage therapy sessions.
Individuals, who have been diagnosed with breast, colon, mesothelioma, leukemia or other forms of cancer, can increase their quality of life and how they feel on a daily basis by indulging in pampering and relaxing massage therapy sessions.
When a person must go through the rigorous treatments that are often required for cancer patients to take, a person’s body can feel completely beat up and exhausted. Cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy can leave a person feeling utterly depleted, physically ill, and aching throughout the entire body.
Massage therapists who have experience in treating cancer patients with relaxing therapy are familiar with therapy procedures that stay away from skin that has been exposed to radiation. This allows a therapist to concentrate on unaffected areas of the skin and to work to relax the muscles and knead a significant amount of tension out of the body.
Massage therapy is an ideal form of treatment for supporting muscle and joint health. Many times when muscles are tense and sedentary, more of a burden is placed on joints and this can lead to aches and pains that linger. Massages help to relieve this stress and supports joint health. Massages can be mild or intense and a person can communicate his or her preference to the therapist in order to receive the best possible massage and gain the most benefits from the massage.
Taking time to invest in relaxation periods throughout each week can provide a great way for cancer patients to mentally regroup. Not only does massage therapy help to provide relief from aches, pains, and sore muscles, it is also ideal for people who need ways to cope with dealing with cancer. It is highly important for cancer patients and their families to have successful coping methods in order to effectively battle the disease. If a cancer patient attends a massage therapy session with his or her spouse, this can be an excellent way to release worries and anxieties while also enjoying one another’s company away from the home.
Harvard Health Publications lists the multiple benefits in full detail that massage therapy has for cancer patients. Taking the time to contact a professional massage therapist can allow anyone who is going through cancer to begin experiencing first-hand some of the benefits that are listed on the Harvard Health Publications. The sooner action is taken, the sooner a person with cancer can begin relieving tension and progressing towards an enhance quality of life.
Release from physical pain, or a reduction from physical pain, is possible when a person participates in massage therapy classes by an expert therapist who is experienced in working with cancer patients. Consult your doctor today and find a therapy that will work best for you and your treatment and give your mind, body and spirit a vacation from some of life’s everyday stressors!
Melanie Bowen joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. She highlights the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments for those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. For more information about our guest blogger, check out her bio here.
Let us know what you thought of our guest blogger… tweet us @meccamedical
Earlier this year, the Huffington Post listed 9 benefits of massage therapy, following a new study that showed massage really does work following a tough work out. They outlined that besides soothing sore muscles, massage can help
1- Manage anxiety & depression. Massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, resulting in lifted spirits and often lower blood pressure. It can also boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which are involved in depression.
2- Ease pain. Massage has been found to be just as effective as pain medication, exercise, yoga, and acupunture.
3- Improve sleep. Health Magazine has found that a number of studies claim that a massage affects your brain’s delta waves, which are connected to deep sleep.
4- Boost immunity. A 2010 study found that massage increased a person’s white blood cell count, which are in charge of fighting disease.
5- Beat PMS. Research shows that massage can help relieve premenstrual symptoms such as bloating and mood swings.
6- Raise Alertness. A 1996 Touch Reserach Institute study found that a person who received a brief 15 minute chair massage became more alert following the massage, as well as completed a several math questions faster and more accurately than those who did not.
7- Curb headaches. According to WebMD, a massage can limit the number of migraines one receives, as well as the amount of pain as a result of said migraine. Massage also helps with tension headaches, as it helps eliminate stress and tension in the body.
8- Save Face. Massage increases blood flow, which can plump up slack skin, encourage lymphatic drainage, and add vitality to a dull complexion and lackluster hair.
9- Ease Cancer Treatments. Because of many of the reasons above, massage can help cancer patients throughout their battle with the disease. Studies have shown that it helps relieve fatigue, pain, anxiety, depression and nausea in cancer patients.
After reading all of these benefits, why would you wait to schedule a massage at The Spa at Mecca?
Call to make your appointment today!
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These days, with the volume turned up on electronic stimulation, work, family, health, happiness, success and money, a massage is something that people deem an indulgence. Massaging the muscles that hold all the stress from the day ease the mind and the body into a more relaxed state. We even give out free mini-massages at some health fairs and expos, and people will line up just to close their eyes, and feel the tension melt as Tonia works her magic, even for a just a few minutes.
However, with new clinical evidence that shows the benefits of massage for chronic lower back pain, massages just might be able to lose the indulgence wrap, and swap it with medical necessity. Time Magazine recently published an article that detailed a study in massage therapy for back pain sufferers. An excerpt below explains further:
The participants in the study had all tried existing therapies but couldn’t find relief for their pain. The fact that massage made a difference when added to existing treatments may shift the way back pain is currently treated. And it couldn’t happen sooner: a recent report by the Institute of Medicine found that untreated or inadequately treated pain affects 116 million Americans and is a “public health crisis.”
The final message from the study? “There are always options, and there is always hope.” Our massage therapist, Tonia, offers that hope on an appointment basis. Call the office to schedule and have your stress melt away.
Read the full article here.
The sun is out, and sometimes nothing beats lounging by the pool, soaking up some rays and taking a dip in the water. Taking it easy poolside can be great for your back and spine, especially if you use the water for some aerobic exercises. Here’s some information about how the water can cool you off – and keep your spine healthy.
According to spine-health.com, water is a highly desirable medium to exercise in an effort to treat back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries.
The buoyancy of water counteracts gravity and helps support the weight of the person immersed, which can aid in the development of balance and strength. It also increases the range of motion, such as lifting the legs, which is the heaviest limb of the body for most people. In addition, spine-health states that “water provides resistance by means of gentle friction, allowing strengthening and conditioning of an injury, while reducing the risk of further injury due to loss of balance.” Finally, it is also a great means of cardio, as it strengthens heart and lung function and improves muscle blood flow.
Because the water provides both mild resistance and support through buoyancy, a person would most likely not experience the pain caused when a tired arm drops suddenly, as it can do at the end of land-based exercises.
Check out some great information about water exercises from Live Strong.
In addition to the great benefits for your spine IN the pool, there are some things to think about when you are beside it.
Make sure to be aware of how you are sitting while lounging by the pool. Take note of the position of your neck and back while reading – are you bending your neck down as you catch up on that trashy novel? This will cause a lot of stress on the neck muscles. Raise your arms and hands to make sure the level of reading allows for the next to be comfortable. Are you hunched over the newest magazine? Try and sit with your back and shoulders supported, with a pillow supporting your lumbar spine.
The same things should be considered while you are sunning – neck and back are supported with pillows or rolled towels, not lying on your stomach, and making sure the angle of chair is appropriate and comfortable.
Thanks for following our three-part blog series with tips for keeping you and your spine happy and healthy this summer season.
The official start of summertime is just around the corner – and that means treating ourselves to some hard-earned vacation time. According to travelhorizons, a division of the U.S. Travel Association, auto is the primary means of transportation used by leisure visitors (76%) who traveled for leisure purposes between August 2008 and July 2009. All that time spent in the car can add up to some serious back and neck pain. Here are some tips for driving spine-safe.
ADJUST THE CAR TO FIT YOU
Make sure to adjust the seat, both the height and distance from the steering wheel, rear and side mirrors, and steering wheel to be positioned properly. This will ensure less stress is on the spine and neck and back muscles.
ICE & HEAT
What is a road trip without snacks? Since chances are you will be traveling with yummy treats, some which will be stored in a cooler, take advantage and put an icepack among the carrots and drinks. Applying ice in 15 minute intervals will slow back swelling, numb sore tissues, and slow the nerve impulses associated with back pain inflammation.
Heat can be used for stiff muscles, for up to half an hour at a time. Consider a travel car heating pad that will plug into the car’s dash board, or take advantage of a car’s heated seats and lumbar control. Thermacare, disposable heat wraps, are also another good option.
* Heather’s Note: Mecca offers patients a gel pack that can go both in the freezer and in the microwave, depending on the type of treatment the doctor recommends. Stop by to pick up a wallet-friendly pack, in both small and large sizes, before your next long car trip!
Make sure to make frequent stops- and make use of the warm weather and incorporate some stretching into the pit stop. Stretch your legs, lower and upper back, shoulders, and neck to keep the muscles loose and less likely to spasm.
Check out more information about how to travel safely, by car or by plane, in our previous blog, Traveling with Mecca Integrated Medical Center
Stay tuned for next week’s last blog in this series, tips on preventing back and neck pain at the pool.
With Memorial Day Weekend behind us, our patients are starting to get into a new summer routine – complete with long car rides to vacation destinations, trips to the beach, and lounging by the pool. These are great opportunities for relieving work-related stress, and enjoying the company of friends and loved ones. However, it is also an increase in the likelihood of back, neck, or shoulder pain rearing its ugly head. Here are some of our tips and suggestions for getting through the summer pain-free, as part of a three-part series.
The sun is shining, the waves are rolling, and the smell of saltwater is in the air. Your trip to the beach should be a treat to your senses, and a great place to relax and enjoy the sun, sand, and water. It can also be the cause of some major back and neck pain- from your beach bag to your lounge time to your summer wear.
Warmer weather means lighter footwear. Even though flip-flops are tempting, they do not offer proper foot support, which can cause back pain. However, since I know that most of you will be wearing flip-flops, make sure that they have arch support. Look for flip-flops that have a deep foot bed, and good heel stabilization with a heel cup. This type of supportive footwear doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style – you can find some that have a good sense of design for your fashion eye AND your back. Although their are cute and cheap sandals out there, spend the extra money, so you don’t end up spending more time in our office!
For more shoe tips, check out here.
When packing up your beach bag and cooler, it can be tempting to add just one more magazine, or a few more toys for the kids. Resist this urge to over-pack. The more your load your bag with unnecessary items, as the additional weight will cause more strain on your shoulder and back.
Instead of carrying all of those magazines or a heavy hardcover book, consider electronic bookreaders, which allow you to have hundreds of options without the added weight. Bringing a football can take up little space, with the benefit allowing your kids, or even yourself, of being physically active.
Packing your lunch and snacks can be a great money-saver, as well ensuring that you and your fellow beach guests have healthy snacking options. In order to preserve your back and neck from straining with awkward hard shell coolers, consider investing in one with wheels. If you are quite devoted to your soft cooler, make sure to distribute the weight evenly, and take turns on each shoulder during carrying.
Finally, your beach chair can be your most important item of comfort on the beach – that can cause some major DIScomfort in transport. When choosing your beach chair, consider not only how comfortable it is and its support features, but also how you will carry it. There are beach chairs that have straps, so that you can carry it like a backpack. This allows equal weight distribution on your shoulders, as well as frees your hands to carry something else. Others have wheels at the base, which also help take the weight of the chair off your back and shoulders. With the addition of storage compartments and neck rests, your beach chair can be your spine’s best ally.
When you have played your heart out at football and eaten yourself into a coma with all your delicious snacks, its natural to be inclined to lay down on the towel and catch a few zzz’s. Be careful about your positioning. While I understand the desire for an even tan, lying on your stomach is the worst position for sleeping. It forces your neck to be at an uncomfortable, extreme right or left angle for a long period of time, putting stress on your neck and back.
Consider investing in a therapeutic face down lounge beach chair, that has a hole for your face when you lie on your stomach, keeping your spine in alignment. Or, when laying on your back on your beach towel, use another rolled beach towel to support your head and neck, and elevate your legs and ankles slightly with another rolled towel to relieve additional stress on your back and neck.
Swimming in the ocean is a great form of exercise, and doesn’t put excess strain on the back and joints. Performing the back stroke will help build shoulder strength- but be aware of proper form to avoid further strain on neck muscles. Make sure to keep an eye out for water conditions, and always be aware of where you are in relation to the shore and other swimmers.
Check out our blog next week, to learn some great tips for a pain-free summer when driving to vacation. Until then, enjoy this beautiful weather!