August 23rd, 2012 | No Comments »

Traveling Can Be A Pain, Literally!heavy baggage

Long car rides, cramped airline seats, and lousy hotel beds can make you feel miserable while on that long awaited vacation. Being in a seated position for hours upon hours, improper position of the head, unlevel seated position, no lumbar support, dragging and lifting that overweight luggage, and too much physical activity can wreak havoc on your back, neck, spine, shoulders, hips, and legs. No one wants to be on vacation or return from vacation in pain!

There are lots of ways to prevent traveling pain. Here are a few tips:

1. Stretch as often as your trip allows. Stretching prevents muscles from tightening and causing pain. Get up and stretch as often as you can. If you’re stuck in a seated position try these three exercises:

  • Seated Scapular Contractions: Sit up straight on the edge of your seat. Keep your feet and knees pointed straight ahead and hip width apart. Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back and hold throughout the exercise. Squeeze and release your shoulder blades together – back and down NOT up and down. Do 10 repetitions.
  •  Seated Knee Pillow Squeezes: Sit on the edge of your seat with your feet pointed straight ahead. Place a pillow between your knees. Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back and hold this position throught the exercise. Squeeze and release the pillow with your knees. Do 20 repetitions.
  • Seated Isolated Hip Flexor Lifts: Sit up straight on the edge of your seat. Keep your feet and knees pointed straight ahead and hip width apart. Let your arms hang down at your sides. Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back. Lift one foot about 3 inches off the floor and then lower. Use your front hip muscles to generate the movement. Maintain the arch in your back, keeping your hips rolled forward throughout the exercise. Switch sides and repeat. Do 20 repetitions.

2. Pack a pillow.  Use a neck pillow or rolled up blanket to support your neck. Do the same behind your lower back to support the lumbar spine.

If you are staying at a hotel, you may find the hotel pillows are too big. Ideally you want to keep your neck in a neutral position while sleeping – aligned with your spine, not bent forward. Bring your favorite pillow from home or improvise your own pillow using a towel from the bathroom and folding it to look like a wedge shaped cervical pillow – the thicker part of the wedge goes under your neck while the thinner part goes under your head.

3. Lighten your load.  Most of us are traveling with more than we need. Using luggage with wheels makes it easier to manage but when you are wheeling your bags and other items from your car to the airport check in counter or down long airport halls, this can become a potential hazard.

4. Stay hydrated.  Be sure to drink water when flying. Being in the compressed air of the cabin can dehydrate you. Joint pain is one symptom of a lack of sufficient water in the human body. If you’re not a big water drinker you can meet some of your daily needs by eating fruits, especially watermelon, and foods like mixed green salads, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, cottage cheese, green beans and tomato sauce.

5. Get a massage.  Massage therapy can be used as prevention before, during and after travel. Take care of potential problem areas before they become a vacation buster. You may find you need to unwind after your vacation due to the transition of getting back to your daily routine of work, family and everyday stress.

 

Can A Postural Assessment Help You Become Pain Free?

by Bill Baurley, LMT, CFT, PAS
Pain Relief Specialist
 
When a person is suffering from pain, focusing attention on the muscles involved may offer relief. A practitioner may be able to help with massage and other bodywork techniques, but what may be missed is that the moment the client moves off the treatment table, gravity exerts force on the load bearing joints and pulls the body back into dysfunction and the problems return.

When a client is lying down on a table this gives the practitioner some information. To obtain a full picture of all structural abnormalities, it is important to analyze the client’s total structure standing, lying down and moving. Your posture from all sides – the front, the back and the side – should all line up, both vertically and horizontally. If your posture is out of whack, you’re probably feeling it – in your knees, your back, hips, shoulders, and neck.

Pete Egoscue, author of six books, including the best selling books, Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain, and more recently, Pain Free Living, developed a posture therapy method based on the understanding the body requires a healthy alignment of parts – from the head, to the shoulders, to the pelvis, to the knees, on down to the ankles and feet. If one shoulder rests higher than the other, something is wrong. The difference between Egoscue and other therapies is there are no drugs, surgery or cracking.  

Understanding what is happening in the body to cause it to be out of position and what muscles are controlling that position will help the practitioner develop a sequence of exercises that return the body to get back into the proper alignment.

 

 

Trainers run into a lot of clients who have developed knee or back pain and don’t really know why.  If you start training with weights and other exercises, you may become stronger with the same painful condition, and in some cases, the training can aggravate it.  This eventually may lead you to stop training. This doesn’t have to be the end of your training days, you may just need to straighten and then strengthen. 

The first thing an Egoscue therapist does is assess posture, examine the walk, and watch how the client performs a range of motions to pinpoint the problem areas. Then a custom tailored physical fitness program is created that includes stretches and static strengthening exercises all aimed at correcting those postural deficiencies to get the body back into proper alignment and pain free.

For more information about postural assessment and corrective exercises with Bill Baurley, Nationally Board Certified Massage & Bodywork Therapist, Certified Fitness Trainer, PAS (Postural Alignment Specialist – Certified by Egoscue University), please call Charleston Therapeutic Massage and Wellness at 843-723-7005.  

Source:  The Egoscue Method
 
 
 

green drinkNaturally Energize and Transform Yourself

by Jacquelyn Baurley, CHC, AADP -Board Certified
Certified Health Coach, Nutrition  & Lifestyle Educator
 
Do you want a fast, nutritious, delicious energizing meal that won’t wreck your diet? Whole real foods are a delicious and healthy way to jump start your day and your weight loss program. What could be more fresh than tossing a few raw super whole foods into your blender and enjoying a great tasting smoothie. Customizing your smoothie with super foods you enjoy and right for your body will leave you feeling energized and vibrant transforming your health from the inside to the outside.

 Virtually every health authority recommends that we get 6 – 8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day and very few of us actually get that. Smoothies are an excellent way to guarantee that we reach our daily target.

Smoothies help you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables and fruits. This is important because many people have impaired digestion limiting the body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients. Blending vegetables and fruits will help to “pre-digest” them for you so you will receive most of the nutrients.

There’s no reason to be concerned with your ability to make a smoothie or if you will like it. No matter what degree of experience you’ve had with raw whole foods or smoothies, you will find it’s easy to consume an optimal amount of vegetables and fruits if you decide this is something YOU can and want to do. 

To make a tasty smoothie, you need to consider what you’re going to put in it. Be careful not to go overboard with fruits as for some people fruits can cause disturbances in blood sugar creating an imbalance. Only you know what it’s going to take to push your limits. Blending your own smoothie will help you to avoid the high sugar and processed smoothies offered at stores. 

Have fun making your smoothie and gradually add new foods.  Don’t be afraid to add greens; they are the closest thing to a multi-vitamin that you can eat with plenty of healthy energy boosting polyphenols. Eating fresh greens in a salad is not your only option to incorporate greens into your diet. Many of my clients tell me they dislike the taste and smell of greens. If you are not a fan of greens, try spinach in your smoothie. It has a mild taste that you won’t taste when mixed with the sweetness of fruits. I like to combine spinach with blueberries or banana. Dark leafy greens like kale blended with banana tastes exactly like a banana smoothie. Honestly, you can’t taste the greens!

 Be creative and find your favorite combination. It’s best to rotate your greens and fruits to get the nutritional variety your body needs. A few super foods such as chia, hemp, coconut oil, almond butter, avocado, goji berries, nuts, and seeds can be added to help regulate hormones and provide healthy fats and proteins. I like to add cilantro because it has been shown to be a highly effective and natural solution to ridding the body of heavy metals.

In case you’ve never made a smoothie before, start with just two ingredients: ripe bananas and fresh spinach (or Romaine or leaf lettuce). Put your banana in the blender, add a bit of water and blend until they are combined. Then add a really large handful (or two) of spinach and poke it down into the mixture and continue blending. Blend long enough that it’s not chunky.

Helpful Blending Tip:

If you don’t have a 3 horsepower blender, here are some tips for blending smoothies in a household blender:

  • Start with the softest ingredients first.
  • Add just enough water to make ingredients blend well
  • Add one handful of greens at a time. Poke down and mix in the greens first on slow speed. Once they’ve been sucked down, use a higher speed.
  • Sometimes adding a little bit of water at the bottom and some ice on top of the greens can help.  

When you’re ready to get a little more creative, gradually add more raw foods. Here’s a few of my favorite smoothie recipies:

 Recipe # 1:

            1 apple (cut up & cored)

            2 large handfuls of spinach

            1/2 medium cucumber (cut up)

            1 rib of celery (cut up)

            1/2 tsp of fresh ginger root (peeled)

            1/2 cup parsley or cilantro

            Juice of 1/2 lemon

            5 ice cubes (optional)

            Add water as needed until desired consistency

    Recipe # 2:

            1/2 cup parsley or cilantro

            4 large kale leaves (center ribs removed) or 2 large handfuls of spinach

            1 cup frozen organic blueberries

            1/2 banana

            1 tsp. raw ground flax or chia seeds

            1 – 2 scoops raw hemp protein

            1 tsp. coconut oil

            1/4 avocado

            1 cup of water, or unsweetened almond, coconut, or hemp milk

            5 – 6 ice cubes

            Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add more liquid if too thick.

 Recipe #3: (This is based on a whole food approach to healing and cleansing the body of heavy   metals – Smoothie Formulas by Jeff Primack)

            Blend:

            1½ cup distilled water

            5 nodes of cilantro with stems

            8 organic strawberries

            1 organic cucumber with skin

            1 fuji apple w/skin (& seeds if using a 3 horsepower blender)

            1″ slice ginger root

            1/2 lime w/pith (& seeds if using a 3 horsepower blender)

 

 
 

 

We understand how overwhelming the process of learning new information can be. Even if it makes sense it is a huge undertaking to transform a lifestyle. We would like to support your intentions of being healthy and happy.  We are here to help you choose the most appropriate treatment or program for your particular needs and interests. 

 

Call 843-723-7005 now to speak with us to help you get started and take the first step to a healthy and vibrant life.

 

Sincerely,

Bill & Jacquelyn Baurley

Owners

Charleston Therapeutic Massage and Wellness

www.charleston-massage.com

 

April 5th, 2012 | No Comments »
 
 
 
This month we’re highlighting low back pain (LBP) – one of the most common musculoskeletal problems in modern society. Seventy to eighty five percent of the population will experience LBP at some time in their lives.

Back pain can interfere with work, routine daily activities and recreation.  Most acute back pain is mechanical in nature – the result of trauma to the lower back. Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and/or range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. 

Occasionally, pain felt in one part of the body may “radiate” from a disorder, misalignment or injury elsewhere in the body. A full postural assessment can help determine if posture imbalance is the cause. The way we use our bodies through physical demand, repetitive motion and even lack of motion can cause our posture to become unbalanced. This deviation from our functional design causes musculoskeletal compensation and pain.

Ice and heat (cold and hot compresses) may help reduce pain and inflammation and allow greater mobility for some individuals. As soon as possible following trauma, apply a cold pack or a cold compress (such as a bag of ice or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel) to the tender spot several times a day for up to 20 minutes.  After 2 to 3 days of cold treatment, you should then apply heat (such as a hot pad) for brief periods to relax muscles and increase blood flow.  Warm baths may also help relax muscles.  

Massage therapy has been found to be especially effective for individuals with  low back pain.

back massage

Clinical research has shown that massage therapy has benefits for many serious medical conditions. Massage therapy alleviates pain and aids in the healing process. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine supports massage therapy  as producing better results for low back pain than other therapies, including acupuncture and spinal modification. 

Massage for low back pain was more likely to work when combined with exercise and education. 

Thirteen randomized trials (1596 participants) assessing various types of massage therapy for low-back pain were included in a review. 

In summary, massage is beneficial for individuals with sub-acute (lasting 4 to 12 weeks) and chronic (lasting longer than 12 weeks) non-specific low-back pain, especially when combined with exercises and education. (Furlan AD, Imamura M, Dryden T, Irvin E. Massage for low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.:CD001929.DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD001929.pub2).

The best thing you can do for your pain is to talk with us about your specific needs and goals.  Our staff of extensively trained and experienced professionals will assist you to reach your goals in our nurturing stress free environment.

 
Resource: AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association)
July 30th, 2011 | No Comments »

(NaturalNews)

Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a luxury splurge that has no real health benefits. To the contrary, hands-on healing helps you unwind, lowers blood pressure, promotes muscle relaxation and boosts your immune system. During a massage session, massage therapists use their hands and fingers to press and manipulate your skin, tendons, ligaments and muscles. The strokes gently move your blood, oxygen and lymph to various tissues and organs in a way that normally doesn’t happen in the bodies of most people. As a result, the person who is receiving the massage experiences a level of physical and mental renewal that is hard to surpass.

Hidden Health Benefits of Human Touch

Today, numerous well respected studies indicate that massage therapy doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you. Take a look at the health benefits below and discover the power of human touch:

Stress & anxiety relief

Muscle relaxation

Blood pressure control

Better circulation

Pain reduction

Enhanced cancer treatment

Improved quality of sleep

But there’s more – a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that individuals who undergo massage therapy experience measurable improvements in their immune response.

Mark Rapaport, M.D., and his colleagues from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center followed 53 healthy adults who were divided into two groups: The participants received either 45 minutes of Swedish massage or the same amount of time of light touch massage, which is much milder and served mainly as a comparison to the more vigorous Swedish massage. After examining their blood samples, the scientists found that people in the Swedish massage group experienced a decrease in cortisol and a significant increase in lymphocytes, cells that keep our immune system strong.

“More research is ahead of us but it appears that a single massage may deliver a measurable benefit,” Rapaport said in a news release.

Massage is far more potent therapy than most people realize. In fact, it can (and should) replace analgesics as a treatment for tension headaches. As it turns out, it takes only a 30-minute massage on cervical trigger points to boost autonomic nervous system regulation and alleviate the symptoms. Patients also report an improvement in their psychological and physiological state, which goes hand in hand with the reduction in stress and anxiety associated with such a disturbing condition.

Stress and lack of rest have devastating effects on our health, fitness and beauty. Don’t be afraid to find yourself a good massage therapist and get some healing on a regular basis. When you’re taking care of your skin and what’s beneath it, you are taking care of your whole world.

Source: www.naturalnews.com

Posted Saturday, April 09, 2011 by: James Schreiber

December 17th, 2009 | No Comments »

What is Massage Therapy? 

Massage Therapy is the treatment of disorders of the human body by the systematic external application of touch, stroking, friction, vibration, percussion, kneading, stretching, compression, and passive joint movements. 

 What Does Massage Therapy Feel Like?

There are over 80 different individual types and techniques of Massage Therapy. For this reason it is hard to predict exactly what you will feel as any one of them is being applied. Some techniques use less pressure than the weight of a hand, while others press intensely into certain points to release muscles. Discuss with your therapist what techniques they intend to use for your specific health concerns and what they should feel like being applied. During the course of the treatment you should tell your therapist what you feel and your comfort level with the sensations. Such as if a certain technique or level of pressure causes you pain; you will need to inform the therapist so they can address it.

 What Diseases or Ailments Can Massage Therapy Treat?

Different techniques of Massage Therapy are used to address different ailments/diseases:

  • Respiratory disorders, such as sinus pressure can be relieved through trigger point release, congestive chest symptoms can be relieved through tapotement;
  • Neurological and muscular disorders, such as headaches, migraines, neck pain, tennis elbow, low back pain, frozen shoulder, and pain associated with osteoarthritis, tendonitis, menstrual symptoms; can all be addressed through Cranio-Sacral Release, Swedish massage, Myo-Fascial Release and a variety of other techniques;
  • Digestive disorders, such as constipation can be relieved through abdominal techniques;
  • Post-Operative discomfort and Lymphedema can also be addressed with Lymphatic Drainage

Massage Therapy is very assistive in resolving physical problems related to stress and emotional conditions.

Are There Overall Health Benefits From Massage Therapy?

  • Increases joint range of motion and strength
  • Increases blood and lymph function
  • Facilitates response and ability to tolerate medical procedures and other related therapies
  • Reduces pain, depression, stress, and apprehension
  • Reduces muscle tension/soreness and helps restore muscle tone caused by prolonged bed rest, stress, and anxiety

 

Resource: Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute

Posted in Uncategorized
October 7th, 2009 | No Comments »

Boosting Our Immunity  

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is a highly specialized technique using precise and complex hand movements to encourage the draining of lymph fluids. Using slow and gentle strokes with a rhythmic pumping action, the therapist follows the lymph pathways throughout the body to move the flow of lymph fluids and accelerate detoxification.  In comparison, normal massage techniques are much too forceful to allow drainage in the tissues and may hinder transport.

Practiced throughout Europe for decades, lymphatic drainage is a well documented method of stimulating the lymph system to activate fluid circulation, detoxify, rejuvenate and strengthen the body’s natural defenses.  The therapy has been successfully used to alleviate conditions such as swelling (edemas) of many origins and chronic pain, as well as to detoxify and regenerate body tissues.

It is also effective for stimulating the immune system to improve chronic infections and inflammation such as sinusitis, acne, chronic fatigue syndrome and allergies. Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is also beneficial for people scheduled for surgery to prevent swelling and speed the post-surgery recovery process.

Almost everyone can benefit from lymphatic drainage. It is a great treatment to boost energy and immunity, especially during the change of seasons.  Our lymphatic system can become blocked, causing fluids and toxins to build up, making us more susceptible to colds and viruses.  Our therapists recommend receiving a lymphatic drainage treatment every 2 – 3 months for maintenance and more often in times of illness or need.

Posted in Uncategorized