Sunday, June 3, 2012

Research finds that Massage Helps Parkinson's Disease

Investigators recently set out to evaluate the effects of traditional Japanese massage therapy on various symptoms of patients with Parkinson's Disease.
The research was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Therapies.
The subjects were 10 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's Disease, according to an abstract published on The intervention comprised a 30-minute session of traditional Japanese massage in conjunction with standard conventional medication. The abstract did not describe the exact strokes and techniques used in the sessions.
The outcome measures were: gait speed in the 20-m walk test (10-m walk and return) for gait disturbance, angular range of shoulder joint motion for frozen shoulder, and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for assessing the severity of
each of various symptoms (hypophonia, shoulder stiffness, muscle pain, heaviness or lassitude of a body part, and fatigue), as determined before and after the massage session, according to the abstract. The results showed:
• Patients with gait disturbance showed improved gait speed
• Patients with frozen shoulder showed improved range of motion of the shoulder joint; and
• VAS scores for assessing the severity of other subjective symptoms were improved.
"These results suggest that traditional Japanese massage therapy used in combination with medication is effective for alleviating various symptoms in patients with Parkinson's Disease and may contribute to enhancing their health-related quality of life," the researchers noted. "Larger studies with a control group are required to verify these findings."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Massage with Lavender Alleviates Colic

Reprinted from:  Massage Magazine (posted 3/27/2012)

Massage therapy isn't just for grownups; infants benefit from the relaxing effects of touch as well.
New research shows massage therapy performed with lavender essential oil is effective at diminishing colic in infants.
Colic is evidenced by frequent, high-pitched crying, and up to 25 percent of babies experience colic for a few weeks or months after being born, according to the Mayo Clinic, although the cause is unknown.
The research was carried out on a group of 40 infants between 2 and 6 weeks of age with a gestational age of 38-42 weeks and normal development and growth, according to an abstract published on
All the infants exhibited the signs of colic, and infants in the treatment group received abdominal
massage by their mothers using lavender oil while those in the control group did not receive an intervention, according to the abstract. "The infants in both control and treatment groups were monitored once a week by the researchers, in total five times," the abstract noted. "The effect of the massage was measured in terms of changes in the length of time the infants cried per week."
The research was conducted by investigators at Pamukkale and Ege Universities, in Turkey, and will be published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice, published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Create some happiness ...

For Your Information ...

If you have not noticed we have the new tunnel, (well almost new now) under Hwy 14, now open here in Washougal. This is going to made it so easy to get out and walk. I know that many of you will be seeing me with either my Amerrito (little Aussie) or my own two Aussies walking on the dike along the Columbia River more, now that it is so easy to get to from my office.

Create some happiness ...

Get outside—Whenever you feel bored, antsy, or gloomy, go for a walk. The fresh air, changing scenery, and exercise will boost your mood. Grab a pot and start some seed for that garden!

See you all walking the dike soon!

(Aromatherapy) Essential Oils for an alternative in the First Aid Box

Well, the Day has been bright and Sunny and if your like myself, you have been just waiting to get OUT and enjoy that 60 degree weather.  But, along with the wonderful weather come activity and yes that sometime bump, that may bruise.  So,  just for that unknown or known bruise I have a suggestion.
  • Increase your daily intake of Vitamin C
  • Try a bit of Aromatherapy. (suggested use to follow)
  • Cold Compress can also at times help.

Both Bruises and sprains are treated similarly with essential oils like lavender and chamomile, or helichrysum in either an oil or alcohol base. They help to reduce swelling and bruising while also helping to relieve the pain.

Healing Bruises with Aromatherapy The Essential Oils

Aromatherapy makes the use of essential oils in healing bruises. Some of the essential oils used in healing bruises include:

  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Thyme Essential Oil
  • Helichrysum Essential Oil
  • Yarrow Essential Oil
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • Hyssop Essential Oil

Mix a few drops of thyme essential oil with tea tree oil and dilute it in olive oil (carrier oil). Apply it over the bruised area. This will help in healing bruises. Also adding four drops of any of the essential oils like lavender, helichrysum, yarrow or hyssop to cold water compresses and applying to the bruises will help in healing.

I suggest to my clients that it's always a good idea to keep a small bottle of Lavender Oil in the First Aid kit at home.  Lavender is so useful when the cut and scrapes happen.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Purple Potatoes Lower BP

When it comes to health, massage therapists know the importance of practicing self-care. New research indicates potatoes could fit into a self-care regimen.
The research indicates consuming a small amount of purple potatoes each day can lower blood pressure in people with obesity and hypertension, without increasing weight—and that this practice could in turn reduce the risk of several forms of heart disease.
This is the first study to check the effects of eating potatoes on blood pressure in humans, according to a press release. Investigators concluded that two small helpings of purple potatoes (Purple Majesty) a day decreases blood pressure by about 4 percent without causing weight gain.
Purple-skinned potatoes, a variety increasingly available in food stores,
are noted for having high levels of healthful antioxidant compounds.
Eighteen volunteers, most of whom were overweight with high blood pressure, ate potatoes or no potatoes for four weeks, and then switched to the opposite regimen for another four weeks while researchers monitored systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body weight and other health indicators, according to the press release.
Average diastolic blood pressure dropped by 4.3 percent and systolic pressure decreased by 3.5 percent when potatoes were consumed.
The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Reprented from February 2012 Massage Magazine

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pregnancy & Massage

There is no more exciting time than when you’re preparing for a new life ... laying a foundation of health and love that sets the stage for a healthy, happy baby.

It’s only natural to want the very best possible for your new baby. When you can add a few simple things to your health program that offer lifelong benefits, you want to include them.

Sometimes the trick is discovering just what things can make a difference—such as regular pregnancy massage sessions. This newsletter will introduce you to some of the benefits to both mother and fetus.

I know what a special, magical time in your life this is. To be included as a part of the team of health providers that assists you during your pregnancy is a privilege and an honor. As a therapist trained in pregnancy massage, I find this part of my practice particularly rewarding.

Please read this newsletter and call me with any questions you have, or to schedule a meeting. I look forward to being a part of your joyful event!

How Can Massage Help Your Pregnancy?

Bringing a new life into this world holds certain challenges and responsibilities. You have a set period of time in which the things you do can contribute to the lifelong health and well-being of your new child. Obviously, you want to do all you can to help your new baby have every health advantage possible.

Think about what takes place within your body as your pregnancy develops and you can see why massage is so beneficial. As the baby grows, your lung capacity lessens, you experience greater pressure on your digestive area, and your posture changes to compensate for your new physical condition. Your ability to breathe and to digest is altered—both functions that can affect the development of the fetus.

These physical changes can lead to discomfort in the back, neck, and hips and often contribute to bouts of heartburn, reflux, constipation and swelling in the legs.

The good news is that regular massage is very beneficial in relieving many of these complaints experienced by expectant mothers. By addressing the tissues and muscles that are altered during pregnancy, we can improve your comfort level as well as your body’s ability to function properly. The result is a happier mom-to-be and a better functioning body, which can bring greater nutrition to your developing child.

Your labor experience can be improved by massage as well. Here are excerpts from a recent Massage Magazine article: “A study on the effects of massage for women in labor revealed that massage decreased the women’s pain, anxiety and depression, and shortened labor time. The study was conducted by researchers from the Touch Research Institute (TRI) at the University of Miami.”

In an article for Massage Therapy Journal, licensed massage therapist Elaine Stillerman wrote: “In our medically specialized world massage is often overlooked as a valuable adjunct to health care. Yet it is among the oldest of the healing arts, having been employed therapeutically for thousands of years in almost every culture. It accompanied childbirth nearly everywhere in the tribal world and it is appropriate that this time honored and tested tradition take its rightful place in prenatal care and postpartum recovery.” Stillerman is also author of the book Mother Massage: A Handbook for Relieving the Discomforts of Pregnancy and has taught a course on massage during pregnancy at schools around the country.

A summary of benefits can be found on the back page; please contact me to learn more. I look forward to hearing from you!

Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

Prenatal benefits:

Increase circulation to:

• decrease edema (swelling)

• alleviate anemia & fatigue

• increase blood supply to placenta to nourish the growing baby

Relieves muscular tension, assisting to:

• decrease strain on muscles of lower back, pelvis, abdomen & shoulders

• reduce aches associated with postural changes

• prepare muscles for the work of labor

• prevent and/or ease muscle spasms

• self-massage to the perineum promotes flexibility reducing incidence of tearing and/or episiotomy at delivery

• calm the nervous system

Provides support and education with:

• innovative ways to make you comfortable at home

• suggestions regarding exercises & stretching

• breathing techniques

• keeping you focused

• listening & supporting your needs

Benefits of massage during labor:

Relief of physical discomforts by:

• calming the nervous system

• relaxing tight muscles

• promoting general relaxation

• reducing muscle spasms

Stimulates glandular secretions to assist with:

• releasing of natural hormone oxytocin to stimulate the birthing process

• releasing of endorphins to reduce pain

Provide support by:

• being present to keep you focused

• being attentive to you solely

• providing prepared alternatives to get you through the delivery

• making the process as comfortable as possible

Postpartum benefits:

Massage after delivery aids with the healing process:

• helps to control bleeding and assists in returning the uterus to the pre-pregnant state

• assists breast feeding mothers with milk letdown by promoting relaxation and stimulating release of prolactin, a hormone essential for milk production

• alleviates fatigue

• promotes restful sleep

• provides you an opportunity to pamper yourself

• reduces postpartum depression

• enhances your health as a new mom

Benefits for your baby include:

• increased flow of oxygen and nutrition to the placenta which helps your baby to grow healthy

• helps the baby develop a relaxation response

• reduced need for medications or forceps during labor/delivery

• helps to develop a close, loving bond between you and your baby

The content of this newsletter is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you’re pregnant, please consult your physician.

Senate Bill 6103 - Washington State REFLEXOLOGY

Substitute Senate Bill 6103 - Re: Reflexology as being a different and specific bodywork profession then Massage. This would help in the licensing of Reflexology and giving creditability to both Reflexology Education and protect Reflexology from being practiced by those who do not have a set amount of Training hours in the Science and Art of Reflexology. ABOUT TIME! Thank you Washington Reflexology Association for leading to way to protect Reflexology as a stand alone practice and modality.

I support this 100%!!!