Many of us suffer from headaches. It can vary in intensity; mild and nagging to debilitating. Many of us who do suffer from headaches would like to find a solution that is more natural in nature. I would like to share that I have been there. More than 15 years ago I went through a period in my life where I was suffering from tension type headaches on a daily basis for a period of approximately 2 years. After that they started to decrease in frequency and now I have occasional headaches.
One of the tools that played a big role in making this difference is Massage Therapy. Massage can help relax muscles, muscle spasms and trigger points, which will result in fewer headaches. This can be approached in a couple ways; one, when the headache is present or two, by using a more proactive way and going for a massage treatment on a regular basis (frequency and duration to be discussed with your therapist); this will most likely help you maintain optimal levels of stress-relief therefore decrease your chances of headaches. Massage has also been showed to improve sleep disturbances. There are many massage techniques that can be used to help you achieve optimal results.
During my time as a massage therapist I have come to learn that many clients and people I meet along the way get the impression that massage therapists only work on specific areas and that massage is only good for relaxation. I like to keep people informed on the many effects and benefits of massage. In this two part blog I will explain firstly the effects and benefits and in my next blog go into various areas and conditions that massage therapy is used to treat.
Massage not only helps physically with the body but also psychologically with the mind. Massage has effects on every system in the body, and Registered massage therapist spend years in training in a classroom and hands- on to learn the best techniques to treat a variety of conditions safely and effectively.
The following are some effects of massage therapy on the various systems of the body;
Massage has effects on a person’s pain levels in various ways. Many people experience pain from muscles that are experiencing tightening(spasm) and reduced local circulation in the area/ massage therapy can increase blood flow to the area of pain giving the client relief from pain. Massage therapists can also do manual stretching techniques on the tight areas or direct compression on trigger points that will help increase range of motion and decrease pain.
Massage therapy effects the blood flow in areas worked on. Local circulation is temporarily increased when massage in applied. If a muscle is experiencing some wasting due to a trauma or surgery etc. Then massage has been proven to improve the tissue health and speed the process of restoration of the muscle. Massage can decrease blood pressure; therefore helping with stress and tension.
Massage improves lymphatic flow by using specific trained techniques that pump lymphatic fluid through lymphatic capillaries. Massage can reduce swelling, easing pain related to the swelling. Another little-known massage benefit is lower risk of scar tissue formation.
Massage therapists spend a great deal of time learning about the muscles bones and joints and ligaments of the body.
Not only the names of the areas but what their functions and actions are also. We learn various techniques to help increase range of motion by lengthening shortened muscles. Reducing trigger points and adhesions with in the connective tissue of the body.
Massage therapists are taught various techniques that can help to loosen mucus and clear passageways. Massage can help to Reduce stress levels of people who have asthma, therefore potentially reducing the frequency of attacks.
Some studies support the effects of massage on the immune system. One study had shown an increase in fighter cells in some clients who were getting regular massage and fighting off immune disorders. stress decreases the immune response, resulting in illness. Massage reduces stress therefore improving immune function.
There are numerous studies and documented accounts of how massage helps psychologically.
Massage can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Massage gives clients an overall sense of well-being.
The massage therapist at Kingston West Family Chiropractic have over 15 years combined experience working with an array of clients with various conditions. We are excited and knowledgeable about our profession and are more than willing to answer any questions that you may have about how massage can benefit your life.
The May long weekend is upon us, “May 24” as we affectionately refer to it in Canada.
For many of us we are well on our way with our outdoor spring cleaning, but for others they are just getting started. This is also the big traditional gardening weekend where we are finally safe from frost and can plant those colourful annuals.
Everyone has read an article on spring cleaning and gardening and most want you to take it slowly and warm up and give you some particular stretches to try and do prior to and/or after gardening or yard work. These are all really useful and we’ll even have more tips on gardening coming up in future blogs.
Today however, we are going to talk about my own first hand experiences that I want to share with you.
My first suggestion for the home owner who has a yard to maintain is to invest in a wheelbarrow that has 2 wheels on the front. They are much more stable than a traditional wheelbarrow. They also take up more space, so make sure you have room to store it when its not in use. I’d recommend one with a poly tray. It won’t rust so it will last you longer. Their stability and size makes them terrific for pushing around bags of mulch, bags of soil for lawn repair or top dressing the lawn, leaf bags, yard tools, hardscape products and even plants.
The end result is they make it easier on your back and core as you are not trying to balance a wobbly, heavy wheelbarrow. It also makes it easier to move products around your home from road side to the backyard.
Next, I would invest in a nice thick pad to kneel on. If you don’t have one, in a pinch take several flattened cardboard boxes and layer them and use those to give your knees extra cushioning when doing clean up in your gardens. Now my knees don’t handle prolonged kneeling very well, even with a thick pad, so they force me to change positions often and I think that this is for the best for everyone. Some of my gardening is done standing, sometimes I am on my knees, other times on my bottom sitting cross legged or even on one hip and glut. The changing of positions will make you less sore, it forces you to take breaks and change it up.
I have also learned that not all gardening tools are created equally. How they feel in your hand makes all the difference. Feel the grip and the weight of the tools that you will use all the time and find ones that work best for you. There’s no point in purchasing the deluxe model if it feels terrible in your hand and hurts your wrist. Take your time and pretend you are going through the motion of using your weeder, pruner, hedge trimmer, shovel etc., before you take it home. Case in point, I myself thought a long grass shear that I could use standing versus bent over would be easier on my back. Well, I brought it home and it is much too heavy for repeated use and I don’t have the same precision standing upright when I use it as I did with my lighter shears with the shorter handles!
My final tip today is investing in what we affectionately refer to as a “grabber” in our family. It is a lightweight rust proof reach tool with a rubber grip for grabbing just about anything.
I participated in Pitch in Kingston and cleaned up near the office for many years. Now with a new gas station across the street, I will look for a new place to clean up! The land when undeveloped seem to serve as a dumping ground for all kinds of garbage and debris. After hours of filling anywhere from 5 to 7 bags of garbage the continuous bending and straightening would really bother my low back, knees and hamstrings. I also found that many items were sharp! There would be broken glass, crushed cans with jagged edges and various assortment of liquids remaining in containers.
I thought that there must be something out there to limit by bending and allow safe handling of garbage and debris. I found a product on Amazon that worked amazingly well. A Grip and Grab.
I purchased the first one in 2014. The original is still going strong after hours of use! I got my Mom hooked on my grabber and I got her one as well! She used hers for years to not only pick up debris on the lawn but to pick up all the walnuts that fell from the walnut trees onto their lawn. It is great for picking up pruned branches off the lawn as well as thorn covered or prickly plants such as barberry branches or the odd thistle that I have dug out
My Mom loves hers so much she has one just for indoor use as well (reaching high items on a shelf!)
Well I hope my tips find you well this long weekend for whatever your pleasure!
Enjoy your long weekend from all of us at Kingston West Family Chiropractic!
NHL playoffs are well under way and hopefully your favorite team is still in the playoffs to make another run at the cup. Mine is not, but I am still enjoying the high quality hockey and and this great sport. With such competition, comes greater risk of injury.
Ice Hockey is certainly not for the faint of heart. Next to football and rugby, hockey is an extremely high contact sport and players are at constant risk of injury. As one of the most physically demanding sports to be played in America and Canada, hockey players often demonstrate speed, agility, balance, strength, and flexibility while they play the game. These are essential attributes of every hockey player since they frequently collide with other players and often fall on the ice, which make injuries that much more likely to occur.
When National Hockey League (NHL) superstar Sidney Crosby suffered two concussions within days of one another, he sought the help of his chiropractor, Dr. Ted Carrick, a Chiropractic Neurologist who takes care of Crosby and other players in the NHL and NFL. Carrick says, “In professional hockey alone, there are more than 50,000 hits annually, and far too many of these are serious injuries to the head.” Hockey is a rough contact sport, as anyone who has been to a game can attest. As Rodney Dangerfield once famously quipped, “I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out.”
All kidding aside, the risk of concussion during a hockey game is high, with pucks traveling at around 100 mph. Add to that the injuries from players colliding with each other, or being hit by hockey sticks and skate blades and you can see why hockey is a sport prone to injury. Unfortunately, the number of neck and back injuries have increased, possibly due to the false sense of security provided by protective equipment. The knee is a frequent site of injury as well, with sprains to the ligaments being most common.
After suffering 10 months of dizziness, fogginess, instability and light sensitivity, Crosby began specialized chiropractic care that improved both his physical and cognitive functioning. After 6 months of chiropractic care, Crosby returned to the ice and helped his Pittsburgh Penguins score a win against the New York Rangers, and the Penguins subsequently signed him to new a 12-year contract.
Chiropractic care is so important to the Vancouver Canucks that they keep a team chiropractor on staff. Dr. Sid Sheard has cared for the Canucks for 24 years and says of his job, Chiropractic is not only for the treatment of injuries, it also keeps players in top form. Sheard notes, “The number of games lost to injury this year is running at less than half, which we like to think is due to the preventive and supportive training that starts in the off-season.”
Olympic silver medalist in hockey and former NHL player, Mike Modano is a strong advocate of the benefits of chiropractic care for hockey players. He says, “Chiropractic helps with recovery time and the way my body responds with the grind it takes.”
Chiropractic care is one of the best ways that professional hockey players can ensure that they stay on the ice as long as possible.
Most of us are not Olympic or professional athletes, however as a parent, spouse, employee, weekend warrior, etc., how do you want to perform? Talk to your chiropractor today so that you can keep enjoying what you love to do best! Working as a team with your chiropractor will help keep you active and at your best.
Dr. Adrina Patterson, the chiropractor and owner of Kingston West Family Chiropractic, is an avid gardener. She loves riding her recumbent bike and travelling. She also enjoys continuously learning and improving her skills.