Archive for January 2015

Need Pain Relief? Get A Massage

Massage is the application of pressure or the kneading of the body and is usually done to promote relaxation. Each type has a different style, stroke, and even focus such as a body part or pressure point. A few of the famous types of massage are Shiatsu, Swedish, Reflexology and Aromatherapy. Shiatsu is a Japanese dry massage where in you are fully clothed. This makes use of applying pressure for a few seconds to specific points and parts of the body and is similar to the Chinese acupuncture. Swedish massage makes use of long stroking, rubbing, and kneading movements, using oil to help in lubrication and ease of movement. Reflexology is also known as foot massage and is again similar to the concept of acupuncture, where in pressure is applied to certain areas of the feet which correspond to certain organs of the body. For those who are always on their feet, reflexology massage and pain relief holds true for sore spots in their feet and legs. Lastly, Aromatherapy is similar to Swedish massage therapy with an added essential oil which is usually mixed with water and burned in an oil burner in order for the scent to evaporate. A few examples of these oils are lavender, peppermint, lemon, orange, and rosemary. The scent of the essential oil helps in calming, relaxing, and even decongesting the system.

The Loving Hands Institute likens massage to a sponge that has already absorbed liquid. They say that when a muscle is tight, it does not allow much blood to flow through it. When the muscle is massaged, it is kneaded, just like squeezing the sponge, in order to allow more blood to flow through it. The increase in blood flow allows for lower blood pressure and a more stable heart rate. This also results to a healthier immune system since allowing more blood through the body and its parts means allowing more vitamins and nutrients to be carried throughout the entire body. Pain relief is also achieved when more blood is allowed to flow through the muscles, hence allowing the release of muscle contraction.
Aside from more blood flow, massage helps in relieving pain and lessening anxiety levels due to the release of oxytocin. This is a hormone that brings about feelings that promote contentment, calmness, and relaxation, throughout our being and our muscles. A massage also helps in lessening a depressive mood and stress since the experience itself is distressing as well as the release of oxytocin and other hormones that uplift our mood.

Massage and pain relief go together very well, not only to fight pain and soreness but also to achieve less anxiety levels, less depression and stress, lower blood pressure, more stable heart rate, better blood flow, and a healthier immune system. These are only a few highlights of the many benefits of getting a massage. A healthier life style and a more relaxed state is only the beginning of what a massage can do for you.

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Neck Pain: When Is It Serious?

More often than not, neck pain is nothing to be worried about. You might sleep wrong, hold your head the wrong way when doing some normal activity, or even strain something while working out or moving heavy objects. If you can pinpoint a suspected cause and you aren’t in agony, you can usually expect the symptoms to go away within a week. If it lasts longer than that, it might be worth seeing a doctor or a chiropractor to see if there isn’t something that can be done to get you back on the right track. While most such symptoms are not serious indicators of health problems, others can be associated with meningitis, which is a very serious condition. Here are some symptoms for which you need to seek immediate medical attention.

Meningitis Symptoms

Watch out for the development of a rash in conjunction with neck pain. This is a common sign of meningitis and should be quickly evaluated by a doctor. Whenever this kind of discomfort is also accompanied by an illness, including but not limited by a fever, it should also be cause for alarm. Another sign of a potential problem is if it hurts too much to bend your chin to your chest. Watch out for light sensitivity, severe headache, vomiting, and additional pain in the back, as these can all be signs that meningitis should be considered a possible diagnosis.

Head or Disc Trouble

Of course, meningitis isn’t the only potential serious condition that can be accompanied by telltale neck pain. It could also be a sign of a more serious head injury. It could also point to problems with the discs running up your spine. Here are some signs and symptoms that require medical attention. First of all, if you know the origination of your neck pain is a head injury, you should automatically see a doctor. Head injuries are sometimes more serious than they seem. Drowsiness, confusion and throwing up are all bad signs. An ache behind a single eye or problems with any of your senses can also be signs of a problem.

Treatment Without A Doctor

If your neck pain is not too agonizing and you aren’t experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may find best results by simply pampering yourself at home until the injury heals. Keep active, but be conscious of how you move your head. Avoid driving if you are unable to move your head across a full range of motion. Try to avoid doing whatever activity you suspect caused the discomfort to develop.

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