• +01-8310888
  • info@riverholistic.ie

Tag Archives: pain management

How massage can affect your overall health

How massage therapy can improve your overall health

By Claire Kenny 17/07/2018

 

Some people still believe massage therapy is an indulgence purely for relaxation. The health benefits of massage, however, have proven otherwise.

Today we know that our mind-body connection means excessive stress brings on or exacerbates illness by reducing our own natural immunity to disease. People who value their health know that, like a healthy diet and exercise, regular massage treatments are a valuable part of a stress-reduction plan.

Anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions can be better managed with massage therapy, according an article on the Mayo Clinic website (mayoclinic.org). In addition, massage helps reduce or alleviate headaches, joint pain, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia and much more.

Massage therapy has many forms, applied according to a therapist’s training and a client’s ailments. Some commonly known techniques are Swedish, hot stone, deep tissue, prenatal, and sports massage.

Holistic massage is a combination of various movements used to manipulate muscles through the application of pressure to either soothe or stimulate the whole body. It aims to balance the “whole” person and the effects will vary with each individual.

This therapy helps in the relief of a wide range of problems physiologically and psychologically, they include:

Relaxation of the whole body, reducing stress and anxiety

Gives a “lift” to the emotions and increases positive feelings

Encourages deeper and therefore more efficient and relaxed breathing

Relieves muscle fatigue, soreness and stiffness

Encourages sleep

It promotes suppleness of the muscles, improves circulation and reduces stress.

Balances digestion and waste removal.

With regular Holistic Massages you will find that you have increased energy levels as there is less energy spent in holding the body in a state of tension and strain. In this fast moving world, shouldn’t we all have some real time out!

Hot Stone massage involves the use of water-heated basalt stones of varying sizes in combination with Swedish massage techniques. The heat of the stones helps muscles relax more quickly than in traditional massage, allowing manipulation of a greater intensity.

The benefits of Hot stone massage

Muscular aches, pains, sprains and strains.

Poor circulation

Rheumatic and arthritic conditions

Back pain

Stress, anxiety and tension

The term deep tissue massage refers to increased pressure applied by a therapist aiming to alleviate chronic pain and increase range of motion. This type of massage can be painful. Although some call it a “good pain,” any massage therapy should be done only to the client’s tolerance.

Deep tissue massage is a specialized massage aimed at the deeper tissue structures of the muscles. This massage uses many of the same movements and techniques as Swedish massage, but the pressure will generally be more intense. It is also a more focused type of massage, as the therapist works to release chronic muscle tension or knots (also known as adhesions).

PREGNANCY MASSAGE can help alleviate many of the symptoms and conditions associated with pregnancy. During this amazing time of physical and emotional change, pregnancy massage can be of enormous benefit to both the mother and baby.

Amoungst many benefits, massage during pregnancy has been found to help alleviate the following complaints:

Muscle tension,

Muscle spasm & cramping,

Sciatic pain ,

Swelling oedema

Back, neck and shoulder discomfort caused by hormonal and postural changes.

Improve quality of sleep

Reduce headaches

Relieve heartburn

Balance mood-swings and help depression.

It reduces stress and allows the mother to relax, both important for during the pregnancy and labour.

The health of the baby is enhanced by the pregnancy massage through increasing blood circulation, lymph circulation, reducing oedema and increasing cellular respiration. Massage helps the mother to feel nurtured and pampered and this can then be passed onto the baby.  Pregnancy massage assists in reducing tension in the weight bearing joints and other bone and muscle structures.

It also helps maximize breathing capacity which is needed during labor and delivery.

Sports massage can help relieve soft-tissue aches and muscle stiffness to prepare for events or recover from exercise. This type of massage isn’t just for sports injuries though. It can be beneficial to anyone who engages in repetitive physical activity, which is hard on the body.

It’s always best to check with your doctor before starting any new health regimen, including massage therapy.

Massage therapy is good for almost anyone, whether they are active or sedentary. So the next time you’re stressed, overwhelmed or in pain, consider getting a massage. It may help your overall health to massage that issue out of your tissue

www.riverholistic.ie/therapies

Natural treatments for psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease marked by inflammation in the joints and skin. This disease is progressive, worsening over time. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can lead to joint damage.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a form of arthritis that mainly affects people who have psoriasis or those with a family history of psoriasis. Often, those with PsA have joint pain and inflammation combined with the inflamed, itchy, red patches of skin covered with silvery scales that are typical of psoriasis itself.
The progression of PsA may be slowed with traditional therapies and the symptoms may ease. Alternative remedies may complement these therapies and may help people with PsA feel more in control of the disease.

Natural remedies.
Apple cider vinegar, when applied to psoriasis on the scalp, may help to treat PsA.
There are many natural remedies to try for PsA. Most of these do not have much scientific research supporting their use. The use of these remedies is backed mainly by anecdotal evidence.

Natural remedies for psoriatic arthritis include the following:

Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has a lot of buzz for, supposedly, being a miracle cure-all. For treating PsA, people may find it useful if applied to patches of psoriasis on the scalp. However, this should be avoided if the areas are cracked and bleeding.
• Tea tree oil. This essential oil may ease skin inflammation caused by PsA. However, science is cautious to recommend this as a treatment because it may aggravate more sensitive skin.
• Oats. Adding oats to a bath or using oats in a paste can help relieve itchy patches of psoriasis. While there’s little scientific evidence supporting oats as a treatment for psoriasis, oats are highly regarded in folk medicine as one of nature’s best skin soothers.
• Turmeric. Turmeric is highly regarded for its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shownturmeric may be able to alter gene expression, easing PsA symptoms. People with PsA can either add the spice liberally to their food or take turmeric capsules.
• Capsaicin. Capsaicin is what makes chili peppers hot and may be useful by blocking pain receptors. Some research has also found that when used in over-the-counter creams, capsaicin may reduce psoriasis symptoms as well.
Aloe vera. This soothing balm from an aloe plant may provide cooling comfort for irritated patches of psoriatic skin. However, aloe vera should only be used topically and never ingested. Taking it orally may be dangerous.
• Epsom salts. A warm bath with Epsom salts may help reduce joint pain and inflammation. Epsom salts contain magnesium, a mineral that boosts bone health and may soothe itchy skin. Warm water also helps loosen joints and relieve pain. People with diabetes should be wary when using soaks of Epsom salts as they can stimulate the release of insulin.
• Oregon grape. Some studies suggest that applying creams with Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) can ease psoriasis skin irritation. Like aloe vera, Oregon grape should only be used topically.
• Fish oil. Joint pain may be reduced by fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help block inflammation and ease painful swelling.
• Ginger. A root of ginger is well-known in folk medicine for having many anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have shown that taking ginger three times a day can reduce knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.
When trying these natural remedies, people with PsA should remember that these remedies are not a substitute for prescribed treatments.

Alternative therapies

Massage therapy may help to alleviate joint pain and provide relief from arthritis-related discomfort.
There are a number of alternative therapies available to complement PsA treatment. These therapies should not replace the traditional treatments for PsA but can provide some additional relief and quality of life benefits.

Alternative therapies include the following:
Massage therapy. A massage therapist trained in dealing with PsA can help relieve joint discomfort and release tight muscles and joints. A massage can provide significant relief from arthritis-related discomfort.
Acupuncture. This technique involves sticking needles into various pressure points to relieve chronic pain. No studies show its usefulness for PsA but some patients with chronic pain do find acupuncture helpful.
• Acupressure. Acupressure involves putting pressure onto different points of the body to reduce pain and pressure, stimulate the immune system, and release tension.

 

Diet
Eating more healthily will not cure PsA but eating well does promote good health and well-being. People with PsA should strive to maintain a healthy weight and stay mindful of their diet.

 

Following these healthy eating tips may help:
• eating plenty of fruits and vegetables
• getting protein through lean meat, beans, and legumes
• choosing low-fat and fat-free dairy products
• avoiding refined sugar and bad carbohydrates such as processed white breads and pasta
• choosing whole grains when possible
• drinking plenty of water
Anyone with PsA may benefit from keeping a food journal and planning healthful meals.
Lifestyle tips
The symptoms of PsA often flare up during periods of stress or fatigue. It may help people with PsA to change their lifestyle to reduce stress since stress is associated with increased inflammation. Doing so also helps people to get adequate sleep so that the body can heal itself.
The following tips and suggestions may help:
Relaxing. Using aromatherapy, breathing techniques, and keeping a journal may help manage stress and promote relaxation.

Getting gentle exercise. Exercise is recommended for people with PsA. They may find yoga and tai chi particularly useful for helping to loosen stiff joints and release stress.
Meditating. Meditation may result in a deeper level of relaxation that may help alleviate stress, so helping prevent or manage symptoms of PsA.
Getting enough sleep. Sleep is crucial to allowing inflammation to heal and to promoting good health.
Taking a warm bath. Spa therapy, including hydrotherapy like a warm bath, can loosen joints and ease pain and inflammation associated with PsA. These therapies can also promote relaxation and decrease stress.
Practicing mindfulness. Being mindful involves checking in with the body and taking stock of how its feeling. It also involves being aware of any situations that may cause unnecessary stress.
An increased sense of physical awareness can help people to catch a flare of symptoms early so that they deal with it before it worsens. Doing so may prevent a worse flare from occurring.
When combining lifestyle remedies with other forms of treatment for PsA, people may find an increased quality of life and more relief. However, lifestyle remedies and natural therapies are not a substitute for a doctor’s care and traditional treatments.

 

When to see a doctor
Anyone who thinks they are experiencing symptoms of PsA should see a doctor for diagnosis and to begin treatment. As the disease is progressive, beginning treatment early is crucial.
Anyone with psoriasis or a family history of psoriasis should be screened regularly for PsA by a doctor.
People with PsA should also see a doctor regularly and should speak to one before starting or changing treatments. This includes any natural or alternative remedies.
Some natural remedies may interact with prescribed medication or may not be recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women.

 

 

 

source

10 Reasons to Incorporate massage into your life

10 Reasons to Incorporate massage into your life

When you think of massage, odds are you think of an hour of relaxation – a little “me” time. Massage certainly offers a great way to escape from the stresses of our everyday lives, but more and more studies are showing that regular massage gives you so much more: a range of emotional and physical benefits. Here are the top 10 reasons to incorporate more massage in your life.

  1. Massage reduces stress – A single massage can lower your heart rate, cortisol and insulin levels, all of which are tied to how stressed you feel.
  2. It helps you relax – Long after your massage is over, you will still benefit from a host of brain chemistry responses that encourage feelings of relaxation, lowered stress and improved mood.
  3. Improves posture – Massage helps your body to reinforce healthy and natural movements, which will help correct any posture problems you may have.
  4. Improves circulation – The pressure from massage moves oxygen-rich blood through the body to damaged, tense muscles so they can heal, while removing lactic acid and other metabolic waste.
  5. Lowers blood pressure – Studies have shown that massage can lower both diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
  6. It relaxes muscles – Sitting causes a lot of chronic back pain and massage can help with persistent pain by relaxing those tense muscles.
  7. Improves flexibility – Sedimentary lifestyles and age can make joints less flexible.
  8. Massage helps improve fluidity and range of motion in your joints and connective tissues.
  9. Massage helps you breathe better – Massage can relax muscles in the upper body, which, if they become too tight, can constrict breathing.
  10. Relieves headaches – Regular massage reduces your chance of developing a headache in the first place by relaxing muscle spasms and trigger points. Already have a headache? It can decrease the pain.

 

With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder today’s client is beginning to see massage as an integral part of their well-being journey. As we all re-examine our wellness choices, massage therapy is shedding the stereotype of being an occasional indulgence. Instead, it’s become a highly integral body maintenance experience that offers any number of health benefits when consistently incorporated with other total body care actions.

1