Relaxation and Health - Swedish Massage

If you are new to massage, you might consider giving Swedish Massage a go. The relaxing environment and gentle but firm techniques are sure to leave you feeling blissed out and rejuvenated.

The main focus of Swedish Massage is to promote overall relaxation of the muscular and nervous systems of the body. The longer, flowing strokes help to relax and elongate the major muscle groups of the body. The strokes are intended to move with the circulatory system in order to promote better circulation of blood and lymph. In turn, this helps the body to remove toxin build up and metabolic waste.

Recent studies have shown Swedish Massage to affect hormone regulation by lowering blood pressure and increasing immune system function. It has also been linked to beneficial results for easing joint related dysfunctions such as rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, relieving headaches and migraines and helping to ease pain from chronic symptoms for those suffering from conditions such as fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.

In addition to relieving muscular stress, Swedish Massage has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve self-esteem and positive body image.

Swedish Massage can be incorporated into your regular wellness routine to promote a happy and healthier lifestyle, free from chemical stimulants and prescription drugs. For those looking for a holistic approach to healing and stress relief, look no further.

Healthcare vs. Crisiscare

Often times, I will be working on a client and I recommend that they see a chiropractor to make sure that their skeletal system is all in order and the pain or discomfort they are experiencing is not due to some misalignment, which is out of my scope of practice. Most people are surprised to hear that I visit the chiropractor on a biweekly, sometimes weekly basis. I get comments like "but you're so young" "why would you need to see a chiropractor so often" and I think the problem lies with the deep seated mindset people have about healthcare, not just in relation to chiropractics and massage.

Wellness is a state of being that requires more than just diet and exercise to maintain. Yes, these things are very important and they provide a solid foundation from which to build a healthy lifestyle but wellness is more than just that. For me, I eat a plant-based diet and I exercise regularly. I practice yoga 5-6 times a week, I like to walk my dog and go for hikes. I am for all intents and purposes "young and healthy" - so why do I visit the chiropractor so often? 

Well, I also happen to have wrist problems caused by a ganglion cyst that I had surgically removed some years ago. My chiropractor also specializes in hands and feet so he helps me to maintain optimal functionality of my wrists, which are so important for me as a yoga teacher/practitioner and massage therapist. I also know that every week my back and neck crack in places they didn't previously and I also feel better for it afterwards- so really the question should be why don't more people visit the chiropractor on a regular basis??

Healthcare should really be about wellness. If you focus on wellness, you also emphasize prevention so that you lower your need to see a doctor or visit the emergency room. Unfortunately, our society places more emphasis on "crisis-care" or "sick-care" - dealing with an issue when it is already a problem and attempting to correct it. This approach usually ends of costing more time and money in the long run in addition to being more difficult to fix.

The fact that I receive chiropractic adjustments, massages, practice yoga regularly, and eat well are helping to ensure that I don't get sick, and my chances of straining muscles or injuring my back are far less likely than someone who only sees the chiropractor or gets a massage when they are already in pain. 

The body is a truly amazing machine and just like any machine, if you give it the right fuel and proper maintenance, the sky is your limit. The healthcare system is slowly shifting towards an emphasis on preventative medicine and promoting healthy living, which is definitely a step in the right direction. The remaining problem lies in promoting education to combat the longstanding beliefs on healthcare and making such services more accessible and affordable to the masses.


Acupunture and Gua sha

I have been dealing with a lot of pain and injury lately, and I'm not entirely sure of the cause. The most distracting injury currently is a tightness in my right shoulder, making retraction of my scapula pretty difficult.Practicing yoga daily is definitely helping but I have also been receiving chiropractic care on a weekly basis and have started receiving injury relief massage as well.

On Sunday I received my first acupuncture treatment accompanied with a bit of Gua-sha. I am by no means an expert in oriental medicine or acupuncture but I find the practice extremely fascinating. From what I was told, there are many different forms of acupuncture and the kind I was treated with targets the muscle nerves directly to help reset the muscles from the inside out, whereas something like massage helps to reset the muscle from the outside in. The sensation of acupuncture  was completely new to me but I felt really relaxed and was a bit sore after treatment.

Gua-sha is an ancient practice of scraping that was more recently accredited and trademarked under the name of the Graston Technique, with special tools that cost $$$. It was explained to me as a way to help break down connective tissue adhesions. Below is an image of my shoulders right after the process. *It was not painful to receive, maybe a bit uncomfortable but really not bad.* The result looks pretty rough, but I was told it is the "bad blood" coming to the surface and being expelled by the body. 

Even if you don't buy into Eastern medicine, from a western perspective it makes sense too, sore and/or tight muscles tend to hold on to waste and toxins and sometimes need help releasing. Bringing circulation to the area helps this process to happen, since blood brings nutrients to an area and eliminates waste.

Almost immediately after treatment, I had increased mobility to my shoulder and felt really great. I even went to the gym that night and worked on chest and biceps. The soreness I felt the next day could have been related to the gym sesh so I can't really say. 

As far as long term results, I will try to post an update on the progress of my shoulder after receiving these alternative therapies, so stay tuned!

Namaste :)