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7 Types of Massage

Nothing spells out “relaxing” more than a good massage. There are many kinds of massage therapy techniques and of course, each of these techniques are good for specific purposes. Therefore, it is always in your best interest to learn all about these different techniques in order for you to discern and decide for yourself which type of massage suits you best. It will depend on your needs and what kind of benefits you expect to reap out of massage therapy.

Here are the seven most common types of massage and what you should expect from each one:

1. The Swedish Massage

The Swedish Massage is considered by many to be the most popular type of massage. This particular style of massage is credited to a person named Johan Georg Mezger. It is worth noting that the Swedish Massage is known as such only in English and Dutch speaking countries. The rest of the world knows this type of massage as the “Classic Massage.”

The Swedish Massage uses five primary techniques including effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, friction, and vibration/shaking. If you have ever had a massage therapy done and you had no idea what type of massage it was, there is a good chance that it was probably a Swedish type of massage.

  1. Lymphatic Massage 

    This type of massage is known for using light, gentle strokes. This is the type of massage that your therapist might give you if you ask for light pressure without specifying what kind of massage you want administered. The aim of the lymphatic massage is to stimulate the lymphatic system of your body. This type of massage relaxes the muscles so that the lymph vessels can more efficiently deliver the lymphatic fluid throughout the body. Danish doctors Emi and Estrid Vodder are credited with the creation of this type of massage.

  2. Thai Massage 

    If you prefer harder pressure when you are being massaged, then you might want to go for a thai massage. Don’t worry, your therapist won’t go crazy and use muay thai elbows and kicks all over your body. This type of massage has no universally-accepted routine, but it is generally characterized by harder pressure, rhythmic application of pressure and stretches similar to yoga. This massage cannot be credited to a single founder, but the founder is said to be Shivago Komarpaj from over 2500 years ago.

  3. Deep Tissue Massage 

    A deep tissue massage is characterized by application of slow friction combined with deep finger pressure. Its aim is actually to relieve tension in the muscles as well as aches and pains in the joints. People who complain of stiff joints in particular problem areas of the body can benefit greatly from a deep tissue massage. The massage can be localized to the problem area such as the head, neck, shoulders, and the joints of the limbs. It may also be used with other types of massage as a part of a complete package.

  4. Myofascial Release

    This type of massage aims to improve the functionality of all of the body’s different systems. The “fascia” is a thin layer of tissue that covers the muscles. By stimulating the fascia and releasing it from tension, the muscles and joints of the patient can benefit from a greater range of motion. Janet G. Travell was the first to mention this type of massage in literature back in the 1940s. The techniques involved in myofascial release include the use of the knuckles and forearms in order to move the fascia all around the body.
  5. Reiki

    If you prefer your massage to be a more mystical experience, then Reiki is the type that you should choose. Hands-on holding positions are used in order to stimulate the Ki energy inside the body. It can be a relaxing and therapeutic experience with proven results. The Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui is credited with developing this technique. The western variant of Reiki is more systematized while the Japanese version is more intuitive.
  6. Reflexology

The study of reflexology maps all of the organs of the body into areas on the feet. Therefore, the practice of reflexology massage necessarily focuses on applying pressure to these areas. This is very similar to pressure point needle therapy. Doctor William  H. Fitzgerald first popularized this type of therapy in the US way back in 1913.

Questions to Ask Your Chiropractor

Thinking of seeing a chiropractor? Whether you have a stiff neck, lower back pain, or some similar problem involving aches and pains in your joints, neck, shoulders or other parts of your body, a chiropractor can be of immense help in providing instant relief from body pain. In fact, it is well-recommended that you consult with a chiropractor first rather than taking in painkillers such as 500 mg of mefenamic acid at the first sign of pain. Remember that painkillers can only bring temporary relief, but they will not solve the problem with your body if it happens to stem from a misaligned spine or something similar.

Furthermore, just in case your injury is too serious for a chiropractor to handle, most modern licensed chiropractors can quickly refer you to a surgeon or some other specialist who can help you out.

What Are The Techniques That You Are Qualified To Practice?

Remember that in the US, chiropractic practice is licensed by state. This means that different states may have different rules as to what type of techniques certain levels of chiropractors can use. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with both, the type of chiropractic practice in your area and the different techniques involved in chiropractic adjustments. Taking it a step further, you can even do your own research and find out what are the common chiropractic techniques used to treat your particular problem.

Do You Treat My Particular Condition Often?

You might think that this is a bit insulting, but it is really not. In this day and age, sugarcoating your words when your own well-being might be at stake is a definite no-no. Therefore, be straightforward and ask the chiropractor just what is his/her personal experience in treating people with conditions similar to yours.

How Long Does One Session Last?

Your chiropractor should be able to tell you what type of spinal adjustments need to be made and how many sessions you need to undergo for full recovery. In this case, it would also be prudent to ask further as to how long each session will last. After all, everyone’s time is precious. You may still have other appointments throughout the day, so you can still reschedule if the session will take longer than you anticipated.

Do You Do/Recommend Further Diagnostic Testing If Necessary?

This is a very important question to ask. Not all, but some chiropractors will insist that they are able to fully treat your condition on their own even though it may be beyond their capacity. When you go to a professional, you want honesty. A licensed chiropractor should/will not be shy about asking for further X-rays or even MRI tests to reveal if something more serious may be the true cause of your particular condition.

What Are Your Payment Plans?

You may be surprised to know this, but more established chiropractors will actually allow for different payment plans other than just cash up front. Therefore, it doesn’t hurt to ask your chiropractor if there are any alternative payment plans for the treatment. You may be able to make use of your insurance plan and or even spread out the payment in low monthly installments.

Is There A “No Waiting Policy?”

Time is precious. This is true for everyone. Therefore, even if the chiropractor that you are visiting is a successful, well-recommended one, you should not have to waste over an hour of your time in the waiting room. In fact, a truly professional practitioner should schedule patient visits in advance so that no one would have to wait for more than 10-15 minutes at most. Patients who have already scheduled their visit should not have to wait anymore than 5 minutes past the appointed schedule.

6 Benefits of Chiropractic Care That You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

It is no secret that chiropractic care comes with a multitude of benefits. For example, people who suffer from headaches have been proven to feel relief after a brief session of chiropractic adjustment coupled with a relaxing massage. More commonly, people often turn to chiropractors for back pain, neck pain, and joint pain in other parts of the body. After all, this is what chiropractors are best known for; being bonesetters who can fix any misalignment in the spine, neck, and shoulder area using very basic techniques that do not require invasive surgery nor even any medication.

In other words, chiropractic care is a very natural, alternative method of treating aches and pains. However, there are also several lesser-known benefits of chiropractic care and some of these you might not even have heard of yet. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Enhanced Performance In Sports

Athletes both at the amateur and professional level often have their own steady chiropractors. This is not only because high intensity activities make you prone to injury, but also because it can actually enhance your over-all performance in sports. By using spinal adjustment techniques to relieve pressure in the joints, the muscles are allowed to perform faster and more efficiently. Therefore, going to a chiropractor is like getting your car tuned up; it allows your body to deliver at peak performance.

  1. Immune System Stimulation

Not only does going to a chiropractor make you perform better, it can also make you healthier from the inside by stimulating your immune system. This is done by removing any obstructions in the nerves and allowing the nervous system to open lines of communication with all parts of the body. As a result, regular chiropractic care can help to optimize the immune system. Of course, the best part is that you can reap this benefit without relying on vitamins and other external medication which may not agree with your body’s particular physiological makeup.

  1. Cancer Prevention

This might seem like a bold claim, but it is actually true. Many types of cancer originate either from stress in some parts of the body, or muscoskeletal pain signaling the start of a malignant tumor. By reducing stress significantly (proven by test results) , chiropractic care can actually prevent certain types of cancer from developing. Furthermore, cancer patients/survivors can benefit from chiropractic care as well and prevent the disease from re-emerging by boosting immune function.

  1. Fixing Digestive Issues

The gastrointestinal system is prone to a variety of problems including colic, heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease. This can result in a dependence for medication that in return, results in obesity, inflammation of the cells, and over-all lower life-expectancy. This is where chiropractic care comes to the rescue. Using decompression techniques and spinal care, a licensed chiropractor can treat many of these gastrointestinal problems without having the patient rely on medication. The best part is that there are really no known side-effects to using chiropractic care as an alternative form of treatment.

  1. Arthritis

There are many forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Using gentle spinal manipulation combined with prescribed exercises and a special anti-inflammatory diet, a licensed chiropractor can actually treat arthritis without medication. You may not be aware of this, but licensed chiropractors also undergo a diet and nutrition course in order to enhance their practice.

Patients with Osteoarthritis  have also been reported to respond well to chiropractic care with quick, positive results within two weeks of treatment.

  1. Ear Infection

Perhaps one of the least likely things that you would expect chiropractic adjustment to be helpful at is with ear infections. However, if you experience pain from ear infections, chiropractic care can actually relieve this pain. Usually, a misalignment in the neck area is the root cause of ear infections. Trapped nerves can cause a blockage in the Eustachian tube and prevent the liquid from draining properly.  By removing any unhealthy contortions in the spinal column using somewhat forceful, but safe techniques, a chiropractor can relieve nerve pressure and get your Eustachian tube to function normally.


4 Chiropractor-Approved Stretches To Relieve Neck Pain And Tension

Neck pain and tension in the neck and shoulder area is becoming more and more common nowadays. This is really unsurprising considering the amount of stress that the average American is subjected to on a daily basis. There are numerous ways that you could have acquire a sore neck from poor sleeping position, to simply slouching in front of your office computer all day. This is why it is necessary to take breaks and stretch out those neck muscles every 30 minutes or so of intense work. You might think that it’s all unnecessary, but you will be singing a different tune once you develop a stiff/sore neck.

Therefore, remember to stretch out those neck muscles whenever you can. Of course, do not just perform any kind of stretch that comes to mind. You might be doing yourself more harm than good if you stretch your neck the wrong way and it could lead to even worse problems. Try out some chiropractor-approved stretches that you can do safely from just about anywhere.

Whether it’s from poor posture at your desk, looking at your phone for too long, or sleeping in a bad position, we’ve all experienced neck pain and tension. Strain in our levator scapula, the muscle that connects our cervical spine to our shoulders, is common and happens from everyday activities. Last week I left town to visit family, and after a week of sleeping in different beds and on an airplane, my neck was so stiff I couldn’t turn my head to one side. I made sure to visit my chiropractor, Dr. Greg Vanvakaris at The Health Spot in L.A., as soon as I got home. Dr. Greg is well-known for treating professional dancers around town. If anyone knows how to ease body aches and pains, it’s him. Dr. Greg showed me some stretches to do to release my neck tension. When I did them, I felt immediate relief. They are basic enough to remember and safe to do every day. Here are 4 chiropractic stretches you can do to relieve neck pain and tension.

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Via Peaceful Dumpling

Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress

One of the most silent but deadly killers in the US is stress. This is because stress sneaks its way little by little in our daily lives. From being stuck in traffic, to getting told off by your boss – to that tiny accident at starbucks that stained your favorite shirt with café au lait. These little inconveniences and setbacks might seem pretty insignificant, but it is exactly these little annoyances that add up to our daily dose of stress. If you leave your stress levels unchecked, it could lead to a whole host of problems in including chronic diseases and heart ailments. Most terrifyingly, a high level of stress could lead to a sudden attack of stroke.

Fortunately, there are also dozens of ways that you can relieve yourself of stress and one particular method that you can try all by yourself is an age-old technique called “meditation.” Wherever you might be, you can reduce your stress levels by engaging in a little meditation break. The good news is that you do not have to believe in the mystical forces of life or nature in order to engage in meditation.

If stress has you anxious, tense and worried, consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. Anyone can practice meditation. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. And you can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you’re out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor’s office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.

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Via Mayo Clinic

Stress Management: Relaxing Your Mind and Body

Are you managing your health well? How stressed out are you nowadays? Considering that it’s a busy time of the year, you might be suffering from high levels of stress without even knowing it. Be careful as this could lead to chronic illness, general fatigue, and a whole slew of other problems.

There are a multiple ways that you can manage stress and of course, all of these methods simply boil down to relaxation. Whether you undergo reflexology, acupressure therapy, massage, or maybe just buy something you like or see a movie, these things all have a certain therapeutic effect which relaxes you.

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, your daily schedule can sometimes get so hectic that you forget how to relax. Take a step back and think about it. What are you working so hard for? To secure your financial future? To buy your family the things they love? To save up for that brand new car that you’ve been wanting to own since forever? Whatever your goals might be, it is important to keep in mind that the primary reason for whatever you are doing is that it will make you happy. Therefore, while you should definitely work hard towards your goals, you should also know how to relax both mind and body every once in a while.

Take a deep breath. Hold it for a moment, and then exhale. Feel more relaxed? Breathing exercises are one way to relax. Here you will learn about different ways to relax your mind and body. Being relaxed can help ease stress. It can also relieve anxiety, depression, and sleep problems.

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Via Healthlink BC



Warts—10 Ways To Get Rid Of Them Naturally

Do you suffer from warts in certain parts of your body? Warts can grow just about anywhere from your hands and fingers to your feet legs, neck, even your face. Warts are generally not dangerous, but if left alone, they can spread quickly. Most people choose to have their warts cauterized or even surgically removed via a dermatologist.

Of course, surgical removal can be expensive and the warts could reappear again after removal. Don’t worry though, warts aren’t actually cancer cells. They are actually caused by a virus of the human papillomavirus (HPV) group.

Also, do not attempt to pop or remove the wart on your own. Doing so will only put the wart in contact with more skin and facilitate the spreading of the virus. With that said, you don’t have to feel helpless. There are actually a number of things that you can do in order to get rid of the wart using only naturally remedies.

I was teased to bits at school today for having hands that look like bubble wrap,” says one online forum member. “I want to get rid of my warts, now.”

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Via Annmarie Skin Care

14 Natural Headache Remedies for Instant Relief

A headache is one of the most common annoyances experienced by the average American. Of course, considering all the stress that we go though at work, in traffic, and just about every aspect of our lives, it is no small wonder that headaches are so common. While most headaches will simply go away after getting a good rest, some can become chronic and some types of headaches can even be painful enough to be debilitating. This can result in lost productivity hours leading to huge losses for your business or in your workplace.

Therefore, it is very important to address a headache as soon as it appears. Instant relief from headaches is a must, which is why many people turn to stresstabs or headache pills in order to get rid of the pain. The bad news about taking medication too often is that it can result in damage to your liver and/or kidneys. Perhaps most doctors will not inform you of this, but if you know someone in the medical profession and you ask them to answer you honestly, they will confirm this to be the truth. This is especially true if you have issues with your kidneys from the very beginning. Fortunately, there are a few safer alternatives for getting rid of headache fast.

“Life can get pretty busy and stressful, and the “common” headache is sometimes overlooked or masked with a painkiller like aspirin (which, especially when overused, can sometimes cause more serious health issues). A headache is a good indicator that your body is missing something – maybe you need to take a breather, drink some water or change the way you eat. You may have a vitamin or nutrient deficiency or a food sensitivity that is causing this built-up tension.”

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Via Dr. Axe




Chiropractic For Pinched Nerves

A pinched nerve in your back could lead to a variety of different problems. The symptoms of a pinched nerve can vary from person to person and may also depend on age and over-all physical fitness. Depending on how severe the pain is from your pinched nerve, you could try a few safe methods/remedies in order to alleviate the pain. Try putting your legs in an elevated position wherein they can be fully stretched out. If you suffer from pinched nerves often due to office work, try to work from a standing desk if possible. You can also try applying ice to the affected area. Alternatively, applying some mild degree of heat also work. There are therapeautic heat pillows that you can use for this or you can just try wrapping your neck in some good old hot towels.

With that said, if the pain from your pinched nerve doesn’t seem to go away even after trying several of these methods, then you may need to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor. Chiropractic care is one of the most effective natural methods of treatment for a pinched nerve and with good reason.

The nervous system is interconnected throughout our bodies, allowing organs to function properly and a person to respond to stimuli. The nervous system goes from our head to our toes and if something is out of whack in our neck, it may be felt in the arm of thigh. When someone suffers from a pinched nerve, it means that a nerve is compressed and in an abnormal position. Pinched nerves are somewhat common and can be caused by improper posture, lifting heavy items or reaching for something in an awkward way.

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Via  The Joint Chiropractic


8 Tips for Back Pain Relief

Back pain can be either a very excruciating experience or a mild annoyance. If your back pain is reaching unbearable levels, it may be time to pay a visit to your chiropractor. Some types of chronic back pain may in fact be indicative of something amiss with the structure of your spine, which is the specialty of chiropractors. Furthermore, a licensed chiropractor can easily determine whether your back pain requires surgery or not.

Fortunately, in most cases, back pain is only temporary and there are a number of things that you can do in order to alleviate it. Also, a few healthy lifestyle choices can really make a huge difference in preventing back pain from reoccurring. In any case, if your back pain becomes chronic, you should try making a few adjustments in your lifestyle. Certain things that you do in your everyday life may actually cause or prevent back pain from happening. Things as simple as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and making wise diet choices can really go a long way into facilitating back pain relief.

Sometimes all it takes is bending over to pick up a pen from the floor for back pain to strike. Fortunately, most of the time back pain is short term and goes away on its own. But if you experience chronic back pain, you may benefit from making certain everyday adjustments.

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Via Everyday Health