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Allostatic load? What’s That?

How many times a day do you wonder is a product or food or activity is good or bad for you. A landslide of questions can follow even mundane dietary things. Drink coffee because it contains antioxidants. Don’t drink coffee; you’ll ruin your adrenals. Do a spin class; it’s great for cardio vascular fitness. Don’t do a spinning; it’s hard on the knees, and on and on. Only a few years back the Atkins diet was all the rage and now some folks are telling us that to consume that much protein can change the body’s Ph so much as to create the conditions for acidosis. With all this confusion spinning around our heads how is it possible to make a rational and informed decision in regard to our own health and wellness programs? Simply the perception of feeling ‘stressed’ can add to our body’s stress load known as our ‘allostatic load’, or daily wear and tear on the body. This perceived stress can issue from three primary sources: physical, dietary, and emotional. This last is the most subjective as what is considered ‘stressful’ is determined by the belief systems of an individual. We are all susceptible to fluctuations of …
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Whip It! Whip it Bad! Part 1

One of the most common injuries from not just auto accidents but also for weekend warrior sports is Whiplash. In most cases at the moment of impact enormous forces are exerted into the soft tissues of both the anterior and posterior neck muscles. This may approach several thousands of pounds per cubic inch within a fraction of a second. The force of the initial impact traumatizes muscles in the back of the. Further damage is caused by the whipping action of the head a split second later as the head is rocked forward resulting in sprain and inflammation to the posterior muscles of both the neck and upper back. This action can then create spasm in the large diamond shaped trapezius muscle. This muscle attaches at its base to the 10th thoracic vertebrae of the spine. The nerve from the stomach exits the spinal column in this area. The pressure exerted on this nerve from acute spasm can be enough to cause vomiting following a violent event. In other cases chronic stomach aches or head may result. In less severe cases neuromuscular massage, deep-tissue, and sports massage therapy can addresses the chronic muscular issues that are keeping your muscles fixated. …
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Gray’s River- How Allopathic and ‘Alternative’ Medicines Work Together Part 1

Healthcare for the most part is presented to us through the media as an us or them proposition. So called ‘Alternative Medicine’, although gaining foot hold in the ‘Western community is marginalized as not true science while allopathic medicine is considered cold and wreak-less when applying it’s life altering methods. I propose that both allopathic and alternative as well as psychotherapy and spiritual belief systems as all part of the same spectrum of healthcare. Imagine a river where one end ends in enormous misty depths over a water fall. At the other end there is a underground spring that gently and continuously flows downward. It’s beginning is also unknowable. As the water flows to it’s terminus at the waterfall it changes characteristics from gentle and calm to faster moving to rougher water then rapids with rocks. All the time traveling in the direction to that inevitable drop off. I propose that the fountain head can be likened to our birth. Water free of sediments heading with little comprehension where gravity takes it. Further down the mountain the stream picks up speed and direction. We are like this part of the river, influenced by the belief system with learn from our …
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Benefits of Massage Therapy-Part 1

The body’s limbic system sits deep within the brain. It is what assigns meaning to incoming stimuli then just as fast creates a motor response to that stimuli. “See a bear, run like crazy”. “Delicious food, eat it now.” What is really meant by ‘motor response’ is neurotransmitters are released that precipitates an action. This can put our bodies into a sympathetic (fight or flight) like traffic or taxes, or parasympathetic (rest and repair) physiologic state, as from a long relaxing neuromuscular therapy massage session. This can either stress or relax the body which and has a direct effect on the immune and endocrine systems. Neuromuscular massage therapy works be reducing the body’s allostatic load or the wear and tear on the body from everyday living. The allostatic load is comprised of three inputs: Physical rigors, Dietary rigors, and Emotional rigors. By calming down the body’s nervous system with massage therapy it is also possible to beneficially relax the limbic and by doing so the endocrine and immune systems as well. Neuromuscular massage therapy and well as other bodywork treatments labeled as ‘holistic’ have proven to be of great benefit to many people. Those who suffer from a list of …
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Cause and Effects of Pathology-My Opinion

How is it possible that the armies of well trained medical and scientific professionals worldwide and billions of dollars over the last 50 years have not yielded a solution to the Cancer question? There can only be two possible reasons. Either the global oncology community is horrendously incompetent, (which I highly doubt), or they are simply not looking in the correct places. What if the true cause of not only Cancer and other wasting autoimmune diseases such as ALS, Dementia, and Multiple Sclerosis are discovered to have their genesis in the mental or even spiritual components of the ‘mind-body’? I am NOT saying that massage cures cancer, ALS, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis. By the time these maladies can be measured with medical tests, It’s doctor time. The body of the patience suffering from the physical presentation of any illness has been compromised via Physical rigors, Dietary rigors, and/or Emotional rigors. What does that mean? Example: Have you heard stories of active people with excellent diets dropping dead from a heart attack? How about stories of the spontaneous remission from a life threatening disease after seeing a long lost beloved relative or receiving good news. What are the life giving or life …
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Why Does My Low Back Pain Always Come Back?

After the onset of a trauma to the low back damaged tissues send a strong sensory signal to the spinal cord and brain of pain. Here the incoming sensory signal is amplified roughly ten times and returned to the low back site where we feel pain. The brain responds by returning a motor signal to the affected area to “splint” the affected mussels of the low back. By making the low back tight as well as enlisting surrounding muscles the body attempts to stabilize the compromised structure. This is systemically true and especially with low back pain injuries. While low back pain is in one’s conscious awareness the neuropathway or nerves being used to communicate the low back pain are being traversed many more times that other areas or the back. During this process the myelin sheath-a protein covering the nerve itself grows thicker resulting in lower resistance to subsequent nerve impulses. This mean the more your low back hurts the easier in the future it will be prone to pain. This is known in neurology as the “Law of Facilitation”. This results in a physical structure of thickened nerves with less resistance. Therefore, future injuries, even in other parts …
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Older Client Freed of Debilitating Low Back Pain

One client, an older woman with a chronic low back pain condition was adamant that she had done “everything under the sun” to alleviate her condition but not massage. She had issues with her knees but still enjoyed doing a lot of walking. I suggested her low back pain was most likely a symptom of her tight quadriceps muscles resulting in a hyper-anterior tilt of the pelvis. Therapeutic massage could help to really relax her legs. She was particular about the areas she would accept being massaged. She only wanted point therapy massage on the area that was directly hurting in the reign of the low back. Respecting her wishes those areas alone were massaged with only temporary benefits. She insisted on having these areas massaged with point therapy for years. Then seven years later she consented and allowing me to massage the hot spots in her quadriceps group in both legs. After one session of this deep massage therapy work she reported almost complete cessation of low back pain. What was then hot and painful had calmed way down. Later after a vacation she reported that the relief from the therapeutic massage and point work to her to her …
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High Heels & Aching Backs

A number of the clients that see me for sports massage and deep tissue massage are performance artists. The people, mostly women with very developed musculoskeletal systems usually work under a great deal of stress, tight schedules and usually in high heels on hard floors. These women rely on regular sports massage and deep tissue massage treatments to keep them on top of their game. The carriage of the pelvis is paramount in the relation of sacroiliac (S.I.) joint function. Wearing high heels changes the geometry of how the body maintains balance while walking. This usually requires the wearer to balance by sticking out their rear and standing more erect than natural. This posture places a sharp curve on the low back’s curvature and stresses the S.I. joint. Sports massage and deep tissue massage assists in stopping the pain now. This also can result in the quadriceps group as well as the gluteus medius to over develop in an attempt to protect the low back against pinching at the S.I. joint. The result of all this is usually a chronic nagging low back pain/tightness that baffles many highly trained medical doctors even with drug or surgical intervention. Remember that muscles …
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Quadriceps & Back Pain

Another big beneficiary from sports massage and deep tissue massage from lowback pain is a set of muscles on the other side of the body. The quadriceps group located on the front of the upper leg has an influence on the carriage of the pelvis, its’ position relative to the angle of the lower back. Activities such as running, spinning, dancing (jazz and pole), cycling and Pilates can rotate the pelvis in an anterior angle and accelerate the healthy curve in you low back to painful degree.All of these stressors can be successfully treated with regular sports massage and deep tissue massage treatments. It is possible to notice the relationship of developed quadriceps and the roundness of the gluteus maxims muscles in active people. While it can look attractive there is a good chance that person is often suffering from low back pain when they are not performing. Just about all people with chronic low back pain due to one or more of these sports and benefit from sports massage and deep tissue massage work. Chronic pain due to this cause usually takes time to show up to the point of affecting the joint structures of the low back adversely. …
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