Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chronic Headaches

Let's take a minute to discuss Chronic Headaches. There can be many reasons for these and a few reasons are as follows: dehydration, postural imbalances, previous injury, cavities or jaw bone decay, food allergies, addictions, visual dysfunction, sinus pressure and chemical sensitivities. Holy guacamole! You didn't know that there could be so many possibilities did you? Well, I want to just focus in on two of these, as they are the most common, and go from there.

Postural Imbalance and Dehydration are the most common headache issues I see on a massage table. Most people think it is stress or tension and those factors will increase and exacerbate the symptoms related to the cause. Posture, even though by passed frequently, is commonly the most integral cause of these painful and annoying complications. Outside of the best possible thing one could do, which is to visit a CBP chiropractor. The next best thing would be to schedule for your next massage therapy session with a therapist prepared to give you a serious stretch session, accompanied by trigger point therapy and myofascial release techniques.

The occipital ridge, at the base of the skull, is full of trigger spots that will commonly be very sore, even under mild pressure. These pressure points are very helpful in the treatment of chronic and especially mild headaches. There are some very specific things that a professional massage therapist, who has experience in these areas, can do to greatly reduce or eliminate these headaches for the day or the week. Without ongoing care however, massage may not completely correct the problem. Taking appropriate steps to learn about your posture and how it effects your health will be key to really making a long term improvement.

If a pill isn't your idea of significant help (which it shouldn't be) then I suggest scheduling weekly visits to your massage therapist with a focus on neck, shoulder and occipital muscle work until the headaches are down to a dull roar or well managed. Accompany this with regular treatment from a CBP program and you really should be having some positive, long term, changes.

Drinking water is very important for everyone. Mountain Dew is not water and neither is Tea or Coffee. Sodas are a no, no, and I highly suggest taking all these things minimally and drinking pure drinking water as much as possible throughout each day. A person should drink half of their body weight in ounces (unless directed differently by your Dr.) So a 200 pound man should drink 100 ounces a day. Sound like a lot? Start with 64 ounces and work your way up. Your entire body will thank you for it and it may diminish your headaches.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Alternatives in Physical Rehabilitation

Over the years, physical therapy has changed some, mostly in the use of technology. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a physical therapist. I am a massage therapist who has been around physical therapy for a long time. My dad, Ed Snapp, was a PT since the 50's and his whole goal was to improve how physical therapy was done, at least in his private practice; and that he did.

He was frustrated, as many are today about many things, that there was too much bureaucracy and not enough room for growth and change in the profession. It seemed to Ed that all that was happening was that many ideas would be mandated and then new rules would be formulated to assure certain things would stay and some of the positive changes that should have occurred, would never be allowed into the field.

Similar things have happened over the years in traditional medicine as well. There is no room for holistic health at a traditional doctor's office or anywhere near the board of medicine. Sure they tell you to exercise and eat some fruit but that isn't necessarily going to heal cancer or improve a heart condition. They tell you what you already know but just aren't doing. The AMA can't tell you what healthy food looks like and the FDA thinks if it won't kill you in one sitting, then it is appropriate for consumption. It's what they are not telling you that can save your life and cure disease and dysfunction. So why is that information not available?

I guess what I am trying to say is, there should be more alternatives being utilized in physical rehabilitation and also in traditional medicine. We are supposed to be very aware of our health these days, would you say? Everything is becoming natural and organic, right? Well, we would like it to be but what is printed on the front of labels isn't always a good description of what is really happening in the package. The same can be said about medicine and rehabilitation. Sure, it gets some things accomplished but what if you could get more out of your health care program? Would you want it? What they are pushing on us now and calling prevention and health care is neither. We have a big responsibility to keep sharing what is true about food, medicine, recovery and how our bodies function. If we don't we will all be led astray and it will be very hard to turn back around.

In this country it has always been about the bottom line and just when you thought you might actually be getting somewhere, they flip the coin and you are suddenly back to the drawing board. As natural practitioners, we have to continue to do our best to educate ourselves on the facts so that we can continue to provide the best care for our clients and patients. It is up to us as small business owners to do the research and ask the questions that big hospitals, large pharmaceuticals companies and lobbyists don't want us to ask or to share with anyone else; "Is this really what is best for our bodies and is there another alternative?

To be continued......

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Intro to Massage as Medicine

This blog is about how massage for many people is medicine. Medicine for pain, depression, stress, anxiety, mental imbalance, spasticity, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, ADD-HD, autism, headaches, nausea and more.

I don't believe many people understand that the body is sensitive to touch, pressure, movement, temperature, and stretch and those sensitivities can be triggers for healing and recovery of central nervous system dysfunction and even help in the healing of disease. After all dis-ease is simply that. And massage techniques when applied appropriately will have therapeutic, healing and even medical benefits.

As this blog grows and changes, I will write about various experiences and techniques that I have personal experience with and we will also look at new and interesting information and research. I hope you will follow along and experience the wonders of massage therapy as medicine.