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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Massage and Bodywork as Preventative Healthcare

Could you use a little help keeping an eye out for your health?
How often do you check that mole in the middle of your back between your shoulder blades?
How about that small patch of skin on the back of your neck that has been changing texture over the last several weeks?
Did you notice the red spot behind your knee that just appeared within the last month?
Are your ankles slowly swelling?
Let me tell you a story:
I have a friend whom I have been providing weekly massage to for years now. Recently his son started having sore ankles and asked me for massage. The first time I gave him a gentle exploratory massage just to see what I could discern. I noticed that there was a bit of swelling in his ankles. I asked him to try keeping his ankles elevated above his heart especially in the evenings while he was relaxing. The next week I came by, the swelling was worse. I must tell you I was not immediately alerted but when I got home I started doing some reading and research as I do with all of my regular clients who develop some interesting anomaly that I am not familiar enough with. The information I read alarmed me. I did not want to be an alarmist so the next week I told the son that I did not feel comfortable giving him massage at this time and asked him to check with his doctor and specifically bring up this swelling problem which now seemed to be advancing to his knees. His father informed me that his son had just seen his family physician the week prior and was given a clean bill of health. I held off on the massage that week and explained that I was a bit concerned and would like to do some more investigation into what could be going on in this young mans system. Well, within that next week unrelated events occurred that alarmed mom and dad enough to take their son to the emergency department where they found out their son had a defective aorta with an infection significant enough to put him into emergency surgery to repair the valve and start on an antibiotic program to reverse the infection.
My observation was only one of many that were not tied together yet it made me acutely aware of the role I may sometimes play in the recognition of health issues in my clients.
While diagnosing illness is not in my realm of service I am in a position to observe conditions of change that may otherwise be overlooked by the client. This may very well be the subtle clue that leads you to “acquire” an early diagnosis to a problem or condition that may even be life threatening in the long term.

Give another thought to massage as another tool in your health care regimen.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Overcoming Chronic Illness: Take the Time to Pamper Yourself

Visit a wonderful site: "Overcoming Chronic Illness" Here is an article published on that site, posted by EV Satie at 10:48 AM Saturday, December 6, 2008:

Take the Time to Pamper Yourself
I know that it's been a while since my last post, but that's due to the fact that I have had many doctors appointments and many things to evaluate and consider. I am being faced with task of deciding whether or not I will have a defibrillator implanted in my chest as a precaution against sudden death. Supposedly when you have Cardiomyopathy, there is a much greater risk of dying- the problem is that none of the doctors can give me a straight forward answer as to how much higher my chances are. It makes a big difference if you ask me!
I could get into the details of all of this fun stuff, but I have decided to blog about something else entirely: pampering yourself. I was given a wonderful gift certificate for a massage for my birthday in October, and I finally made the appointment and spent the afternoon indulging in the spa experience. I used the facilities, drank the cucumber water, was treated to a special birthday bath, and then I had a wonderful massage by a very gifted masseuse. The reason that I am telling you all of this is because I feel that we all need to practice self-love and self-care regularly. Unfortunately, if you are like me, you tend to put off taking care of yourself until you think you will have the time. Or until you get all of the items on your to do list checked off. At the rate I have been going it's no wonder I don't get around to taking care of myself like this too often.
Having a massage reminded me of how much we all need to pamper ourselves. It doesn't have to be a big event- you can light a candle and sit and relax, take a long bath, go for a gentle stroll, or buy yourself some flowers. Do something enjoyable and self-loving every day-especially if you have been ill. Life is too short to keep pushing yourself and never taking the time to stop and recharge your batteries. I realize that it's a busy and hectic world we live in, but in order to thrive I believe that self-care has to be on the top of our list. If we don't make ourselves a priority then who will? I am making a promise to myself to do something that brings me joy, makes me laugh, or let's me relax everyday- can you do the same for yourself? You will be glad that you did!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pregnancy and Massage

As I was surfing the Internet I spotted a nice site called “Moms New Beginning”. It presented a nice electronic business card with the profile of the torso of a pregnant young lady. As I checked out the blog it made me start to think of the advantages of massage for mothers to be.

In the pregnancy class I took from a wonderful teacher and massage therapist; Val Guin (Who also offers many other wonderful modalities of massage training). One of the first things she brought to the forefront of my attention was the fact that, “There is no other time in a woman’s life where the body transforms itself so profoundly.” She began to display visuals showing the structural changes the female body must go through in its effort to maintain its balance. Her lecture did also explain, how the lifelong relationships between muscles, bones, viscera, tendons and ligaments are transformed during the course of pregnancy. I soon began to see the possibilities massage could offer in not only helping to keep good connections between the constantly transforming body of the mother-to-be and her changing mindset but, also to the miraculous new life that was growing inside of her.

It is well known that massage is a wonderful first remedy in helping to alleviate stress. Bodywork can be a valuable tool in the pregnant woman’s support system. Many of the aches and pains suffered during pregnancy are simply brushed aside as things simply to be expected along the course of the experience. Low back aches, sore necks and shoulders, swollen feet and hands, shortness of breath, stretch marks, etcetera are all things that can detract from the total experience. A massage therapist can assist with massage; education, exercises and information they may be able to share; which will probably help reduce some of these common complaints.

Some therapists have support systems that allow a pregnant client to actually lie face down in a prone position. Others will lye the client on her side and bolster her side, neck and head with pillows also using pillows for strategic support when sitting with the back down on the table.

It is however important to see a doctor and keep that doctor apprised as to what your wishes are. Find out if there are any complications, issues or something in your history you should know that might possibly contraindicate massage. Many therapists will not perform massage on a prenatal client until the second trimester to give the new life, time to make a strong healthy connection to the mother’s body. Make sure you are feeling relatively good and your state of mind is looking forward to receiving the work.

Know that you have choices as to what work you wish to have done and what work you may feel you are not yet ready for. It is all about being supported in your wishes and desires in the experience of your pregnancy.

Now that you have been introduced to the modality of: "pre-natal/pregnancy massage", go out there and find a qualified practitioner in your area and experience the benefits of massage along with your new child. Let me know how the experience went for you. Enjoy!

Namasté,
Jonz

Monday, December 1, 2008

Benefits of Massage and Bodywork

First, let me discuss some of the basic benefits of Massage and Bodywork in general:

The True Benefits of Massage Therapy
According to Millie Jones LMT

Massage is an avenue on which we may explore the path to personal health and wellness.

When we relax and allow a trusted therapist to push, pull and manipulate our bodies it allows our body to reconnect with itself. In this way our bodies can begin to communicate to our brain some of the memories it holds. In this way we can recognize and remember events likely forgotten in the rush of everyday life. We can then allow ourselves time to reconnect with small areas of dis-ease. It is at this moment we may allow ourselves an occasion to relax [in a world that often does not allow us this time] and bring our consciousness back on the areas we need to put more focus upon in an effort to take care of and repair ourselves.

Once the body recognizes a "disconnect" or "need of correction", it will on its own begin to right the problem and start on its natural journey towards health and balance. This progression has a medical term. The name of this process is “Homeostasis”. Using this natural mechanism of the human body we can search out and find small problems before they can fully manifest into major disease.


Massage is integral to the body, mind and spirit.

When the body completely relaxes, the mind can then relax. When the mind relaxes the spirit can rise from within to higher levels. This can allow us to truly take an hour or two to go within and take a small yet powerful vacation from the life we sometimes wall ourselves into.

The spirit will slowly, with time, start to let the mind know what the body wants and needs. Thus, your path will appear and if at each fork in your passage you can make the finest choice for the greatest positive outcome for you and all around you, your spirit will begin to find gratitude for all things along your journey.


Massage therapy is useful in health assessment.

How often [any more] can a medical doctor take the time to thoroughly check your body for small [yet possibly significant] marks, anomalies, feelings and features that your body will likely display, in it’s beginning effort to inform you that something is beginning to occur? How often do you forget to tell the doctor of all the little annoyances that have occurred since your last visit? How often to YOU inspect YOUR OWN body; from top to toe, back and front?

A therapist does NOT need to actually touch every square inch of your skin for you to become aware of an area in need of your personal attention. The body is an interesting thing. Many times a pain or condition in a particular area will radiate out into another area showing lines of travel. Just bringing this to your attention can start your body on its natural journey towards homeostasis. You do not even need to mention your thoughts to your massage practitioner. You may decide to find a medical doctor, counselor, psychological therapist, best friend or other professional or trusted individual with which to share your thoughts and concerns.



*Think on these ideas and concepts and get back to me on them. I will return with more, later.

Namasté
Jonz LMT

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