Tag: massage

Choose a Massage

Some people particularly enjoy a massage but what one do you think you would like? Massage is a soothing therapy that can help relieve the aches and pains in the body and also help relieve our tension.

As with many alternative therapies, the origin of massage can be traced back thousands of years to Egypt and in the East.

A massage will not only make you feel better but are some good health benefits to be gained. It increases blood flow to your muscles, tissue and every cell in your body which brings oxygen and nutrients to these critical areas. It also stimulates lymphatic flow, improving tissue drainage and the immune system. By drinking plenty of water after a massage, you can help flush out toxins.

Here are some of the different massages that you might consider.


An ancient Chinese technique involves the therapist using his fingers to acupressure points on the skin and this will release muscle tension and help promote circulation and energy flow. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture involves needles. The pressure restores balance through increasing or decreasing the flow of Chi.

Swedish Massage

This is the most common form of massage. The massage is for relaxation and improved circulation. The therapist applies oil to the skin and uses flowing strokes and kneading movements to relieve tension from the muscles.

Deep Tissue Massage

This type of massage is more vigorous and uses various styles to loosen the muscles. It helps break patterns of tension, relieves chronic pain, including inflammation-related pain such as tendonitis and improves range of motion.


Shiatsu is Japanese for “finger pressure.” This technique is similar to acupressure where the practitioner uses their finger, thumb, palm, elbow, knee (and sometimes even walk on you) to put pressure on acupuncture healing points. This unblocks the flow of energy and encourages blood and lymphatic flow. It also promotes relaxation and strengthens the body against disease and restores balance.

Sports Massage

This treatment incorporates several massage techniques which is great for athletes. It keeps the body flexible, increases performance and assists in rehabilitation from an injury.

Hot Stone Therapy

During this therapy, heated stones are placed strategically on the body which dilates blood vessels and gets blood and oxygen flowing into tense areas. It can feel like a body “rush.” The soothing heat can also prepare the body for deep-tissue work as well as alleviate pain.

Aromatherapy Massage

The therapist incorporates essential oils extracted from herbs, flowers and roots into the massage. They select the proper oils based on a particular physical condition and blend them into a massage oil or lotion. The end result is a relaxing massage tailored to your individual needs.

Pregnancy Massage

This massage focuses on a pregnant woman’s needs including swollen hands and feet, stress on weight-bearing joints, exhaustion and lower back pain. The practitioner positions you to accommodate your baby bump. This massage should only be carried out by a professional massage therapist.

Benefits of Alternative Therapies

There are people out there who have been victims of some degenerative diseases such as AIDS, MS and chronic fatigue syndrome and do we still wonder where these health problems started.

Is it possible to remain healthy and avoid a lot of illness and disease? What do you do to maintain a healthy mind and body? There a great number of people now seeking alternative cures. There are a greater number of people taking medicine and health additives that they can purchase from their health store.

These people are also more likely to try alternative therapies such as Traditional Chinese Medicine – from herbs, traditional massage or acupuncture.

We all know that many unhealthy conditions are caused through the wrong diet. These conditions can be reversed if we change the diet. These can include heart disease, weight problems, arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure. They may also need some medication in the beginning but it is possible to regain your health and you might be able to cease your medication with the agreement of your doctor.

Even our western doctors are advising patients to use alternative therapies. Natural therapies that are found in alternative medicine are much older than any of the western treatments.

While we can all agree that drugs have saved lives and modern medicine has extended lives, there are still super bugs out there that are now drug resistant.

It is important to know what is available to us in keeping healthy. I do not believe that just diet alone will keep our body healthy. There has to be some form of exercise that will help maintain our bodies. It could be as easy as walking or attending a yoga or tai chi class. Exercise is a vital component of staying healthy.

So why not allow yourself to try some of these therapies that are available. Some doctors are now realizing that just as in the eastern Medicine – you have to treat the body as a whole – that is body, mind and spirit. They are searching for answers why some of their patients are not improving with the drugs they have prescribed.

The world is once again embracing the natural way to healing.

Can You Boost Your Energy?

Are you suffering from lack of energy? Is there any apparent reason that you can find for this? When you are not nurturing your body properly, your body can shut down. It is not that your whole body shuts down but the individual systems start slowing down to conserve energy. You will find that your metabolism is starting to slow down and the glandular functions are impaired and you will start to lose your energy and strength. Firstly, you will notice that you are fatigued all the time and it is difficult for you to be able to function as before. You don’t need those energy boosting drinks but your body is telling you that you could consider a detoxifying cleanse.

Think of your body as a machine – like your car for example. Now you know, that to maintain your car for optimum performance, you must have it serviced and this involves changing the oil and tuning up the entire engine. Now our bodies work in much the same way as your vehicle. If our bodies are full of toxins, waste, chemicals and any other harmful substance our bodies will slow down and become sluggish. What we have to do is flush out these nasty harmful substances from our body.

Most of us know that the body can naturally get rid of a lot of toxins and waste matter naturally. While we know this to be true, in our modern society we are exposed to more and more foods containing preservatives, sugars and other chemicals. If these are in our body it is not able to operate at optimal levels. Until we can rid our body of these substances we may become ill or get fatigued. If you are a fan of massage, you will know that a good massage will help eliminate toxins.

How are we going to get back our energy?

I would suggest that you get medical advice before you decide to cleanse your body.

What we want is that the body can regain its energy naturally and at the same time repair itself. To do this we need to remove all of the accumulated waste in our body. This is easily done by flushing everything out of our system. To begin start drinking water, eating washed vegetables and fruit and only health fresh foods. At this stage do not eat any pre-packaged foods. You can also get a detoxifying product to assist you cleanse your body but it is not necessary. If you elect to buy one of these products, check the label and only buy one that is all natural. If you are unsure of the ingredients, do not purchase it.

As soon as you start this process, and detoxify your body by eating the healthy foods you will notice a change. Your body will feel a lot healthier and your energy levels will begin to rise. This process can take 7-10 days but once again I would advise you to check with your health practitioner.

To YOUR success





Natural Ways to Relieve Headache

Viburnum Opulus

If you are a person who suffers from headaches you will know how debilitating and how inconvenient they are. They can affect you anywhere and anytime, even when you are on holidays. Some people take medication to alleviate the pain but some of these pain relievers can come with side effects.

What is the cause of these headaches? Some of the most common causes of headaches are from muscle tension, dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the head. Another reason could be attributed to hormonal fluctuations in the body or you may be sensitive to a particular food. If you do suffer from headaches, it is always wise to discuss this with your health care professional. So now that your health care professional has ruled out any serious problem you may want to try some natural methods to see if you can get rid of the pain.

 The first one is Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus)

Viburnum opulus is one of the species of viburnum that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a herb that helps relieve muscle tension and cramps. There is another herb of the same family (viburnum prunifolium) that is used to relieve uterine cramping. Viburnum opulus has been used to prevent and treat tension headaches. It can be taken as a capsule or the bark can be made into a herbal tea.

 The second way is Massage

Massage is used to release the muscle tension and also increase the circulation. Both of these will help reduce the symptoms of the headache. One important factor after a massage is to drink copious amounts of water to flush the toxins out of the body. You can learn some techniques that you can do at home by yourself or you can go to a professional therapist and have a massage.

 The third way is Chiropractic.

It stands to reason if your bones and joints are misaligned, you could be suffering from severe pain. If you get an adjustment from your chiropractor you may notice that your headache will vanish. You may need more than one treatment to get a permanent result.

 The fourth way is Feverfew.

This herb is considered by some herbalists to be a very effective remedy for migraines. Some people take it in capsule or tablet form but it will take from 4-6 weeks to really prevent migraine attacks.

 The fifth way is Willow

White willow is used as a pain relief; but there are various willow (Salix) species can help relieve pain. This is the precursor to aspirin; the inner bark of the white willow can provide pain relief for headaches. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect. White willow (and other willow bark) is usually taken in capsules.

 The sixth way is by managing stress.

It is accepted that stress and headaches are connected. There are several ways to reduce stress and prevent such headaches. Yoga, Pilates and meditation are great for reducing stress levels and aligning the body, soul and mind. You may do one or more of these to achieve results but which one you choose – it must be done at on a regular basis to achieve permanent relief.


Why do Muscles Get Sore?

As people begin to age, they find that they tend to suffer from pain in their muscles and joints. As we age, without exercise we will “stiffen” up.

Research from Johns Hopkins Medical – shows that it is not the joints but the muscles and connective tissue surrounding the joint, which is the cause of the pain.

When we talk about flexibility, we are talking about the range of motion of a joint – going from full movement in other direction and then full movement in the other. So more movement – means the more flexible that a joint is.

Some people say if you can bend over and touch your toes, you have a certain amount of flexibility in your hip joints. This forward bend to touch your toes requires no exertion. If you have to expend maximum force to reach your toes, you are not really all that flexible.

In different joints and muscle, there are different factors that limit the range of movement and flexibility. For example the elbow and the knees have set limits because of their bony structure. Other joints such as the hips, ankle and back have a limited range of movement because of the muscle and connective tissue.

People who do not exercise and move the muscles and joints through there full range, may suffer some lose of movement. If you don’t move all joints regularly, you may find that you have pain and tightness in that joint when you try to move it. Massage can often help with sore or tight muscles.

Researchers now know that if you do not move your muscles, there will be a biochemical change in the tissue. This has been proven using laboratory animals that have had limbs immobilized.

There are other factors that can cause sore muscles.

 1. Over exercising

If you over exercise, you may find that you will get sore muscles in various parts of your body. To avoid this, start at a low to medium level and build up your intensity.

The muscles and connective tissue holds the body together. When the muscles start to ache, a lot of people want to stop exercising and go back to no exercise at all.

 2. Inactivity and Getting Older

Connective tissue binds muscle to bone by tendons, ligaments binds bone to bone, and covers and unites muscles with sheaths called fascia. With age, the tendons, ligaments, and fascia become less extensible. The tendons are the most difficult to stretch because of their dense fibers. The easiest to stretch are the fascia.

Stretching will prevent the fasciae from shortening. If the fascia shortens there will be pressure on the nerve pathways in the muscles.  When this happens, there will be aches and pains as a result of the nerve impulses travelling these pathways.

 3. Staying Immobile

If you have sore muscles or pain in the muscles, this may result in a cramp or an ache. This is what is known as splinting reflex. The body is automatically trying to protect that muscle by immobilizing it. This can really cause a person a great deal of pain.

When splinting reflex occurs, there will be a shortening of the connective tissue around the muscle. This will result in more pain and one area where this occurs is the lower back. Some people try lifting items that are too heavy and as a result the muscles react and the person suffers back ache.

 4. Regular Exercise

To avoid sore muscles, aches, pains, cramps or muscle spasm, you should exercise regularly.

Start out at a low level of intensity and as time goes by you can increase your output and this will increase your flexibility. One of the best exercises to gain flexibility and core strength is yoga. Through practicing yoga, on a regular basis, you will notice that you are moving freely and experiencing a better quality of life.

Yoga is an exercise, where as long as you are instructed on the correct positions, you should never injure yourself. It also requires that again you start gently and you will get more flexible the more you do the practice.

To maintain a healthy body free from muscle pain, it is advised to exercise at least 5 times per week between 30-60 minutes.

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

Manual lymphatic drainage is not a medical treatment but it is a treatment that can certainly help a lot of people. It is a gentle massage that helps eliminate toxins and stimulates the lymphatic system.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is an essential way of treating oedema (swollen state of tissue) and it is highly effective to reduce oedema after surgery. A lot of patients who have had cancer find it helps reduce the swelling especially after radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It is used to treat lymph oedema which often occurs after a mastectomy or if some lymph nodes have been removed during surgery.

There are other benefits that you can experience from this therapy. It can reduce the symptoms of a cold and may even stop it altogether. It helps relieve sinus problems. Manual Lymphatic Drainage can improve the immune system in general and this will make you less susceptible to infections.  Some people say they have noticed a reduction in cellulite but there is no proof.

This therapy is carried out on a massage table with the client stripped down to their underclothes and discretely draped with towels.

On your first visit the therapist will ask a series of questions about your health and the lifestyle you lead. The therapist especially wants to know if you have ever had tuberculosis or have any heart problems.

The treatment itself involves a gentle massage of the lymph glands. The stroke used is a very light, repetitive movement.

After a treatment you may notice some swelling in the glands. This is the toxins being moved to the lymph nodes. Clients often comment that their skin looks and feels much lighter and brighter.

As with any other type of massage therapy, you must always drink lots of water to flush toxins from the body. If your therapist feels that you are not eating a healthy diet, they may even give you guidelines on what you should be having. It is always advisable to included lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet and avoid high fat diets as these encourage a build up of toxins.

To YOUR success


Sue McDonald

P.S. Leave me a comment and as long as it is in good taste – I will approve it.




The natural healing art of Massage Therapies has been around for thousand of years but its popularity in the last 20 years has skyrocketed. We can thank the entrepreneurs who thought to start clinic and day spas, where most of us go to be pampered and relieve ourselves of our stress and tired and sore muscles.

What type of massage is for you? There are several types of Massage Therapies and I will just give you a brief description of some that are available.

The most common form of massage is the Swedish massage. This is a massage using oil or balm. It contains a series of stokes and movements using hands, fingers, thumbs, elbows and the forearm. The aim of this massage is to relax the client and let them enjoy that revitalized feeling.

Shiatsu, Thai and Tui Na (Chinese Remedial massage) are three Massage Therapies based on the eastern philosophy of treating the entire body. They are based on the meridian system and the energy Ki or Chi that flows through the body. The massage is carried out as the therapist traces out the meridians, using pressure points, and they tonify or sedated the Ki or Chi. These traditional massages are based on the idea that the body, mind and spirit form an integrated whole and that we are all connected to the environment and nature. After one of these massages, the body is returned to balance and the Ki or Chi flows smoothly and freely.

Reflexology is much more than a foot massage. This is an ancient massage and there are images in the tomb of Ankmahor in Egypt, depicting the practice of reflexology. The theory of this massage is that each part of your body is mapped out in the 10 zones of the feet. By massaging different areas of the feet, tension and blockages are released from the corresponding part of the body. This massage stimulates the lymphatic system and blood circulation. This is a non invasive treatment and there are people who love reflexology.

Aromatherapy is another massage that uses oils but they are essential oils and the massage is particular designed for a each particular person. There are about 300 oils that can be used by themselves or combined. The oils work with the chemistry of the body. The aromatherapist will take a full history of the client before deciding what oils to use. It is a very relaxing massage and can be found in most clinics and spas.

Remedial massage is a massage particularly used for people who are experiencing pain or discomfort in a muscle or a muscle group. It is through the use of strokes and firmer pressure to remedy the pain or discomfort. This massage reduces the tightness or soreness, thereby letting the client gains back their range of movement and their flexibility.

There are several other Massage Therapies available but it is an individual choice. My suggestion would be that you try a few of them to see what suits you the best.

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