Welcome to the September 2015 newsletter! Fall is on the way. Traditionally, the upcoming months are among the busiest of the year. It’s not too early to start planning and organizing your schedule from now through the end of the year.
With virtually everyone spending so much of their time on computers, tablets, and smart phones today, paying attention to how you position your body can help you prevent injury to your neck, back, forearms, and wrists. This month’s lead article covers how massage can help you recover from a repetitive strain injury, a fairly common problem among regular technology users.
This is another great example of how your regular massage sessions can help you keep your body in better balance.
Your health depends on how well your body can return to its ideal state after any stressful situation. Help support better health and function with relaxing, restorative massage.
Do you ever wonder about other ways massage can help you? If you have questions about any specific health conditions, be sure to ask at an upcoming appointment!
Have a great month; see you soon!
Carpal Tunnel — Be Gone!
by Valecia Weeks
It sometimes starts as a vague feeling of numbness in the thumb and the first two fingers. Then it progressively numbs the entire hand; and the next thing you know, the entire arm is numb. You awaken to a sensation of tingling limbs in the middle of the night. You may have had to curb the activities that you love doing like cooking, kneading, knitting, and computer work.
The classic symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are soreness in her forearms, pain in her hands at the end of a long day at the computer, and a feeling of tightness that had spread from hands and wrists all the way to her elbows. Some individuals also experience headaches. If you have experienced any of the above symptoms, you may want to check with your health care provider to see if you are a victim of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
When an individual does the same motion over and over again for a long period of time, the tissues involving that motion begin to wear out. This type of injury is called a repetitive strain injury or RSI. RSIs create tiny tears in the fibers of the soft tissues of the body. While they don’t immediately cause loss of function, these micro-tears set up conditions for chronic inflammation that will eventually manifest as pain, soreness, tightness, tingling, and burning.
There are a couple of options for treating this disorder, one being surgery, which may or may not be successful, and the more natural one is massage therapy.
Can Massage Help? Research has shown that after the completion of four massage sessions of the affected area, individuals have experienced an improvement in grip strength and a decrease in pain and anxiety. Those who receive massage may also show an improvement in the medical test used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. Deep tissue massage ... can reorganize the connective tissue fibers, break up scar tissue, and reduce or eliminate the cause of inflammation. When the tiny fibers of the sheaths and tendons are realigned, the body can begin to heal itself, thus correcting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Massage to the entire shoulder, arm, and neck will also free soft tissues from tightness which can also help alleviate the problem. As a matter of fact soft tissue inflammation can travel through the continuous connective tissue from the fingertips to the head and cause headaches. That’s why headaches are sometimes associated with Carpal Tunnel. Consistent massage can restore these tissues to normal function.
Other Considerations: In addition to massage therapy, it’s important to evaluate your posture, how your work station is positioned, and movement patterns. When workers become so focused on their work that they forget their bodies, they tend to maintain positions that contribute to the cause. It’s important to identify a variety of ways and several positions to accomplish the same thing. Moving the mouse from one side to the other, even during the same day, can help prevent fatigue and tissue failure. Wrist rests and keyboard trays are extremely helpful, and a regular stretching routine is essential.
Finally, along with exercise and good nutrition, include massage as part of your regular health maintenance program. Regular massage reduces connective tissue inflammation and prevents scar tissue from forming. Massage is a treatment of choice to keep carpal tunnel syndrome from slowing you down.
Valecia Weeks is licensed in Texas as a therapeutic massage therapist, and is also a certified personal trainer and a licensed ZUMBA instructor.
You really are old as you feel—
People who look and feel older than their years may actually be aging faster, a new study reveals, and the opposite may be true for those who seem eternally youthful. Researchers tracked 954 adults in New Zealand over a dozen years, beginning at age 26, measuring a range of factors, including the condition of their vital organs and immune system, along with fitness level, IQ, height, and weight. At the end of the study the “biological age” of their now 38-year-old volunteers ranged from 28 to 61, reports Guardian.com. Some of the subjects “aged physiologically not at all,” says study leader Daniel Belsky of Duke University. “At the other extreme there were folks aging two to three times as much.” Those participants not only looked older but also experienced problems with strength, balance, and coordination and showed signs of early cognitive decline. The good news is that premature aging may be preventable. While genetics accounts for about 20 percent of the way people grow older, researchers say environmental and lifestyle factors—exercise, diet, stress, smoking—play a much larger role. Now the study group plans to follow the same volunteers until age 45. “We can start to evaluate which behaviors are working to slow down aging,” Belsky says. “It’s a tremendous way to sort things out.”
—The WEEK July 30, 2015
Big, sweeping life changes really boil down to small, everyday decisions.
— Ali Vincent
The content of this article is not designed
to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, consult a physician.
© 2015 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved.