At Vive! Therapeutic Massage, we take the needs of seniors and our older clients very seriously. Whether it is addressing the aches and pains of growing older or helping to maintain your mobility, massage provides skilled touch and therapeutic interventions. As you age, it is important to continue moving your muscles to avoid stiffness and to promote flexibility. Massage provides many benefits for seniors, including improved circulation and decreased inflammation in joints. We see a lot of people before and after knee and hip replacement surgery. Massage therapy is often complementary to physical therapy. A good therapeutic massage can also be helpful for arthritis, muscle and bone deterioration, tendonitis, bursitis and even respiratory problems. The emotional support and tender loving care provided by our professional therapists can reduce anxiety, depression, stress and loneliness. Regular massage can increase your desire to be active and get the most out of life!
Your immune system works hard to protect you from colds, flu, and other illnesses, so why not give it a little help? Imagine your immune system as the first line of defense against an invading army. First, the proteins in the bloodstream look for foreign bodies (antigens). Then, the proteins call for reinforcement from phagocytes which devour bacteria and viruses. T cells in the lymphatic system take note of the invasion and increase white blood cells to further fight off the enemy (Build a Better Immune System by Brandi Schlossberg, Massage Magazine, 12/07). When the process is working properly, the germs are flushed out through the lymphatic system and you are not even aware of the battle within.
How do we keep the system humming? Boost your immunities to bacteria and viruses by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. According to a Harvard Special Health Publication, the immune system requires balance and harmony to function well. The report makes the following recommendations:
Whole foods , adequate protein, and plenty of water to flush out toxins will help keep your body in top form. For additional information, Dr. Jennifer Collins offers many dietary tips on the website www.alternativemedicine.com (http://www.alternativemedicine.com/alternative-medicine/departments/holistic-tips-boost-your-immune-system ).
In addition to these common sense recommendations, Schlossberg suggests herbal remedies, vitamin supplements, aromatherapy and massage to keep you feeling your best. Stress is particularly harmful to your defenses, and massage therapy is a great way to combat those debilitating effects. Deep tissue massage slows down the production of cortisol – the stress hormone. The skin’s receptors respond to moderate pressure and your immune system benefits. Essential oils of lavender, sandalwood, tea tree, eucalyptus and rose oil can be incorporated into massage lotions or diffused in to the air to offer additional immune system support. In addition, you might try herbal teas like Yogi Tea’s Echinacea Immune Support or Traditional Medicinal’s Echinacea Plus to stimulate and support the immune system. Schlossberg cites studies that show that even severely compromised immune systems, such as those weakened from HIV and leukemia, benefit from massage through the increase in white blood cells counts.
Stay in harmony with your body by eating well, getting enough exercise and sleep, and helping your immune system do its job of protecting the body from invading bacteria and viruses. The reward for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular massage, is a healthier immune system.
Have you heard of Cupping Therapy? Cupping made the news last year when some opportunistic photographers got some pictures of Jennifer Aniston sporting some big round hickies. These weren't the result of an adventurous tryst, but rather from an ancient form of therapy called Cupping Therapy. To learn more about cupping, check out this video.
Did you know that the National Institute of Health has a branch for studying Complementary and Alternative medicine? The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM for short - don't you love government agencies) has been studying the effectiveness of massage therapy as well as other alternative approaches to health and wellness. They are starting to build up a body of evidence that verifies what many of us already know to be true, that massage therapy can be an effective therapy for people with many conditions. Some of the studies that they have done include the effectiveness of massage for back pain, chronic neck pain, headaches, depression and anxiety, cancer, fibromyalgia, arthritis and even HIV/AIDS. They continue to study the effectiveness of massage for other conditions. If you are interested in learning more about their work, go to: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/massage
Are you experiencing lower back pain, pain between the shoulder blades and spine, neck stiffness and upper shoulder pain? Such pain could be caused by your posture and the debilitating effects the following could have on your muscles, bones and nerves: