Pregnancy massage helps the body adjust to accommodate the life growing within. Using proper positioning and support with pillows and padding, a safe and comfortable massage for the mother-to-be can provide several health benefits. Massage relieves physical discomfort including leg and back pain, muscle spasms, and cramps. Ongoing massage helps to recognize and alleviate physical and emotional tension, allowing a more enjoyable pregnancy. Massage helps the mother to relax, lowers blood pressure, increases energy and circulation, and encourages restful sleep. If needed, labor-inducing techniques can be utilized between 37 and 40 weeks. Postpartum massage helps reduce stress which interferes with breastfeeding by reducing milk production and flow. Postpartum massage also helps ease the body back to its pre-pregnancy state, refuels the new mom’s energy and reduces tension. It is a wonderful way for the new mom to have some time just for herself, while being nurtured and comforted by a caring professional massage therapist. Less stressed and more relaxed, she is better equipped to care for her newborn.
A form of massage that is typically used before, during, and after athletic events. Specific techniques are applied to enhance performance and speed recovery. Pre-event sports massage will focus on increasing circulation to warm up muscles (gentle stretching may be included as well). Post-event sports massage focuses more on calming and helping flush metabolic waste from muscle tissues to reduce recovery time. Sports massage can help to not only prevent sports related injuries (cramps, spasms, pulls) but can help reduce recovery time if any injury does occur.
A unique injury therapy that combines compression, extension, movement, and breath to provide, in many cases, relief from pain in one treatment. With the Muscle Release TechniqueSM scar tissue is broken up, the muscle is lengthened, muscle memory is restored and relief from pain starts immediately.
Focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders. Some of the same strokes are used as classic Swedish Massage, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain. The amount of pressure is given at a depth and tolerance that the client communicates is comfortable to them.
Techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, andrubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and pliable. It reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and is suggested in a regular program for stress management.
As acupuncture continues to gain acceptance, more Western physicians are seeing the positive outcomes their fertility patients experience when combining the two modalities. In a recent educational video and fact sheet by The American Fertility Association, the potential benefits are discussed along with a demonstration of how acupuncture treatment works. To view the video click here: Acupuncture, Stress and IVF
Just in time for the Boston Marathon! Check out the article here: Acupuncture: Reversing the Stressful Effects of Running
A recent study shows that acupuncture is an effective treatment for Crohn’s disease. The study was conducted by researchers at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Shanghai Research Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion and was published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science. The objective of the study was to determine the effects of acupuncture on intestinal fibrosis in cases of Crohn’s disease. The researchers measured the effects of acupuncture on basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and type I collagen (Col I) in the intestines of laboratory rats with Crohn’s disease. After the use of acupuncture, the expressions of Col I and bFGF reduced markedly in rats with Crohn’s disease. The research proved that acupuncture treatment reduces abnormally high levels of these substances. By reducing the abonormally high levels of Col I and bFGF, acupuncture prevents fibrosis in the intestines of those with Crohn’s disease.
Acupuncture was applied at points St25 (Tianshu) and CV6 (Qihai). Electroacupuncture and moxibustion were applied in different groups. A separate control group did not receive acupuncture. The electroacupuncture and moxibustion groups showed marked improvement whereas the control group did not. The study shows that acupuncture and moxibustion reduce excessive deposition thereby treating fibrosis in patients with Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease (regional enteritis) is an inflammatory disease of the intestines. It can affect any area of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus. Common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal bloating and pain, vomiting, weight loss, eye disorders, arthritis, dermatological disorders, and fatigue. Crohn’s disease is considered to be an autoimmune system disorder of the GI tract. Genetics may play a role in its etiology, however, there is significant evidence that environmental factors contribute to this pathology. Smokers are approximately twice as likely to develop Crohn’s disease. No western medicine cure exists for Crohn’s disease and therefore most MD’s focus on controlling the symptoms. Crohn’s disease may cause growth failure in children and increases the risk of cancer in the affected regions of the intestines.
Crohn’s disease is often confused with ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease commonly affects the terminal ileum and the colon. Ulcerative colitis rarely affects the terminal ileum and always affects the colon. Crohn’s disease commonly affects the anus and ulcerative colitis rarely affects the anus. Crohn’s disease causes patchy or serpiginous (snake-like) ulcerations of the intestines whereas ulcerative colitis causes a continuous area of ulceration. Ulceration is shallow with ulcerative colitis but is deep with Crohn’s disease. As a result, Crohn’s disease may cause stenosis of the intestines. The study shows that acupuncture prevents fibrosis of the intestines thereby helping to prevent stenosis.
Chen Zhao, Juying Ding, Jindan Ma, Linying Tan, Huangan Wu, Yingying Zhang and Linshan Zhang, Acupuncture on the basic fibroblast growth factor and type I collagen in colons of rats with Crohn’s disease, JOURNAL OF ACUPUNCTURE AND TUINA SCIENCE, Volume 9, Number 1, 1-6.
Here is a wonderful article from a patients perspective on her experience using acupuncture as a regular part of her life for general well being and disease prevention. She also discusses a little of the history of acupuncture, how it came to this country and what to expect during a treatment – check it out here: Acupuncture: When East Meets West
Turmeric is one of my favorite herbs. It works great when prescribed in therapeutic dosages to treat specific issues yet is also a wonderful addition to your cooking to aid in your overall wellness. For an in depth look at how Turmeric can be of benefit in Breast Cancer, click here: Can Turmeric Slow Down the Spread of Breast Cancer