Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

Which massage is right for you?

Posted on: February 22nd, 2016 by healthy1 No Comments

Do you consider massage a luxury? A treatment only received at a spa – when you have a day to relax and unwind? You need to view it as a necessity! You work long hours, often with poor posture, under stressful conditions. Your body is your temple and your tool. You must maintain it as a star athlete would. According to The Franklin Institute web site on the human brain and stress, “Massage releases endorphins that calm the peripheral nervous system” – impacting everything from digestion and body temperature to your muscles and joints. The Mayo Clinic website identifies massage as a valid medical method to reduce stress and pain. Continue reading to learn about the differences between the most popular options so you’ll know which is most appropriate for your needs. For additional resources visit About Health for a listing of even more choices!

  • Swedish: Swedish massage is often referred to as relaxation massage.  It consists of long, flowing strokes often in the direction of the heart.  Therapists use lotion to minimize friction or pulling on the tissue and may incorporate circular movements and kneading of the muscles.  While typically received in a spa setting, a swedish massage is very effective for releasing tension and stress. 
  • Deep Tissue: This type of massage is targeted at muscles that have been strained or are related to chronic pain or posture problems. The therapist targets deep layers of muscles and connective tissue by using short strokes and intense pressure. It’s not uncommon for clients to feel sore for several days after such a deep tissue massage session, but the benefits can be well worth it.  Therapists at chiropractic offices are extensively trained to target the muscles that are contributing to your diagnosis to help resolution take place as quickly as possible.
  • Trigger Point Therapy:  Trigger Point Therapy is similar to deep tissue massage in that a specific area of the body is focused on and may cause some discomfort during the procedure. A trigger point is a tight area in one muscle that can refer pain to other areas of the body. For instance, a trigger point in the neck can cause headaches or one in the upper back can cause chest pain. While not a pleasurable experience, the results can be system wide! With a little equipment such as a lacrosse ball or a “theracane” this is even a therapy that can be provided to yourself!
  • Sports:  Sports massage can be a combination of all of the above. Sports massage is the best of all worlds – stretching of over worked muscles, trigger point eradication, cross friction pressure and even flowing strokes to conclude. A sports massage can help not only keep you in the game but recuperate from the last competition.  elements-massage-types

Whether your main concern is a tight neck and shoulders from studying briefs all night or a sore low back due to poor posture from working on your laptop, there’s a technique that could be highly advantageous. It may even be an office benefit to bring in a company to do chair massage for the entire firm! Many firms utilize therapists monthly as part of their wellness program or yearly as an added bonus. If this is something you’d like to incorporate into your firm culture, have your HR department contact us today!

Top 5 Symptoms of Stress

Posted on: January 11th, 2016 by healthy1 No Comments

It’s a new year, time for a new you. As an attorney, stress is probably at the top of your list. Is your resolution to lower your stress, manage your stress or eliminate it altogether? There are many techniques that can help mitigate the effects of stress. We use a variety of supplements to assist our clients manage the symptoms that stress creates. Read on to learn more about some easy options. Please discuss the suggested supplements with your functional medicine physician in case there are contraindications not disclosed here.

  • Joint Pain – The easiest thing to remember during a time of stress is to increase your hydration. We often turn to coffee or alcohol to help combat two other stress symptoms (sleep difficulties and irritability). Both coffee and alcohol can increase dehydration and joint pain. After adding in more water look for a high quality Glucosamine-Chondroitin-MSM supplement. We highly recommend Joint Support to many clients. It is made of shellfish so if you’re allergic stay away but otherwise it’s fantastic for nourishing connective tissue and cartilage. We also recommend tumeric-cucumin to help reduce inflammation and promotes circulation.
  • Insomnia – Sleep difficulties come in many forms. Not sleeping at all? Sleeping but not feeling rested upon waking or wake up multiple times during the night? Each has it’s own cause and contributing factors but the good news is they can all be helped! 5-HTP is a serotonin precursor and helps not only improve sleep but mood as well! A B6 deficiency can cause insomnia and increase stress so conducting a WBC vitamin test is imperative to test for these levels.
  • Anger, Irritability – Do you find that you have a short fuse? That you are quick to anger, irritable or easily annoyed? Do you lash out over seemingly innocuous behaviours? You may be exhibiting anger and not realizing it. Especially if you notice this happens after drinking alcohol it should be addressed immediately. Zinc and Ashwagandha are fantastic supplements to curb angry outbursts. Ashwagandha can decrease estrogen – excessive estrogen can sometimes cause unexplained irritability. Zinc helps not only impact the level of anger but can also assist with depression and anxiety.
  • Headaches – Does your stress cause headaches in the base of your skull or do you get frontal headaches that span above both eyes? Do you feel tight muscles pulling in your neck or a band wrapped around your head tightening like a vice? Typically a mild to moderate version of any of the above is due to stress. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant and can help these pains almost immediately. Since headaches can be due to mitochondrial dysfunction we often also recommend CoQ10 which acts to improve the energy of mitochondria of the cells and thus improving their function. CoQ10 can also lower blood pressure!
  • GastroIntestinal Problems – High stress will disrupt your brain – gut interactions and result in a variety of gastrointestinal issues from constipation and diarrhea to more severe conditions like IBS. This happens by multiple pathways backfiring: blood flow decreases, gut permeability changes and even the bacteria in the gut can be modified. We us colostrum to heal the gut and probiotics to repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria. Colostrum should be taken on an empty stomach twice daily. Start at 1/4 tsp and work your way up. Probiotics should always be taken with food, they should be refrigerated and should contain a variety of strains. We most often use one that has 12 different strains of bacteria and 25 billion CFU’s per pill (I take the powdered version which contains 100 billion CFU’s in 1/4 tsp).

There are many diet modifications that can improve stress levels.  Lowering sugar and alcohol, increasing hydration and activity can automatically help you to feel better.  If the stress is getting to be too much, make sure to reach out for help or assistance. There are many lawyer assistance programs waiting and ready to help. For information on local lawyer assistance programs, click here.