Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Massage therapy gaining traction as medically beneficial procedure

By Molly Rosbach / Yakima Herald-Republic

Elbows bent above a 90-degree angle. Computer screen positioned too low or too high. Chin jutted forward. Shoulders slumped.
Engage in any of these ergonomic no-nos and over time, you may end up with chronic back pain or spinal problems, say local massage practitioners, who frequently treat clients suffering from work-related aches and pains.
That’s why it’s good news that massage therapy is slowly gaining more clinical recognition as a medical tool, and not just a luxury to indulge in at a day spa.
“We’re seeing more and more use of it on a continual basis,” said Dr. Ronald Warninger, who has had massage practitioners in his Yakima chiropractic clinic for about three years. “The increase that we have seen has been tremendous.”
Several other chiropractors around town refer clients out to massage practitioners or have them based in their office, he said. Physical therapists and hospitals do, too.
“If you have a chronic condition or an acute painful condition, medical types of massage therapy can be beneficial because they’re going to decrease stress and lighten up muscle tension, which is going to alleviate some pain,” said Danielle Stevens, licensed massage practitioner and owner of DCS Therapeutic Massage in Yakima. “If (people) would stretch their chest out, get massage and chiropractic care, it would decrease their pain considerably.”
Nationwide, workplace ergonomics is undergoing a major shift as employees chained to computers learn to improve their posture and help avoid back problems with standing desks and treadmill desks. And employers are learning that supporting better ergonomics could result in healthier, more productive employees.
Massage practitioners here say they see a lot of lower-back pain, particularly among people working in agricultural or warehouse jobs, as well as common desk-related complaints, such as pain between the shoulder blades that causes neck pain and headaches, and soreness in the right shoulder and arm — what Stevens calls “computer shoulder” or “mouse arm.”
Stevens said several physicians around town refer patients to her, particularly if they can’t figure out what’s wrong, and before they resort to an MRI.
There are often quick, simple things that can be done to help alleviate problems before they become too severe, but it’s a matter of knowing and then actually remembering to do them, said Amy Biskovich, another licensed massage practitioner who works at New Day Massage in Yakima.
“I tell my clients, ‘Children and cats, they naturally stretch when they hear their bodies telling them that they need it’ ... What I tell them is to listen to their body; when it gets cranky, move,” she said. “But people don’t want to take 30 seconds every half hour to stretch, and that’s what the body needs.”
Even while sitting in a desk chair, she said, people can stretch their lower back by leaning forward to put their head on their knees and twisting right and left.
The longer problems go ignored or untreated, the longer it will take to set things right when treatment is actually sought.
Sitting at a desk “changes the whole shape of your spine. You’re sitting there hour after hour, day after day, year after year — it takes its toll,” Biskovich said.
If more people understand how massage can address and reverse those problems, Biskovich said, they may be able to avoid costly and often unnecessary — even unhelpful — surgery.
“The sooner you address a problem, the easier it is to take care of. People tend to wait until they can’t take it anymore,” she said.
Warninger said he’s seen more insurance companies come on board to cover massage therapy, as long as it’s prescribed by a doctor. And nowadays, people are much more open to the benefits of massage than they were 30 years ago, he said.
“I think that trend is in full speed,” he said. “And it should be.”

Connie, Spa Director, at Stevenswood invites you to visit: http://stevenswood.com/spa/spa-menu/ for a list of spa treatments performed by our licensed/certified massage therapists.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Massage Therapy Plus Topical Analgesic is Highly Effective on Arthritis Pain

From:  www.chiroeco.com

February 6, 2014 — A recent study comparing the effectiveness of massage therapy plus topical analgesic and a massage-therapy-only treatment showed that the addition of the topical analgesic provided greater improvement in grip strength and a greater decrease in hand pain, depressed mood and sleep disturbances.
Numerous studies support the effectiveness of massage therapy for pain syndromes including migraine headaches, lower back pain, fibromyalgia and arthritis pain.1 In a 2007 study,2 massage therapy was noted to reduce pain and enhance function for those specifically suffering with hand arthritis.
The purpose of this most recent study,3 conducted by Tiffany Field, PhD, and her team at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School, was to determine whether applying Biofreeze topical analgesic following massage might be more effective than massage alone in treating hand arthritis pain. Their study was just published ahead of priBiofreeze_NewFormulaLogo_RGB_1300pxWnt in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.
“As both massage therapy and Biofreeze Pain Reliever have shown promise in the relief of pain associated with arthritis, we were not surprised by the outcomes from this latest study,” stated Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT, vice president, massage and spa, Performance Health. “Once again, the Touch Research Institute has validated the effectiveness of a low cost, non-pharmaceutical course of treatment that so many individuals are looking for today.”
In this study, 20 females with hand arthritis were randomly assigned to either a hand massage-only group or a group that received the same hand massage and a post-massage application of Biofreeze Pain Reliever gel. The study participants had an average age of 47.6 years. Both groups received a 15-minute moderate pressure massage each week for four weeks. In addition, all participants were taught the massage techniques and performed daily hand massages at home. The Biofreeze group had the topical analgesic applied at the conclusion of each massage session, both in clinic and home.
Each study group was assessed for their pain, grip strength, mood and sleep disturbances before and after the four week intervention. Both groups significantly improved in their outcome measures. However, the massage-plus-analgesic group showed greater improvement when the two groups were compared on the changes from the first to the last day of treatment. Field emphasizes the importance of self-massage by saying, “Getting a massage every week has significant benefits for those with arthritic pain, but self-massage followed by Biofreeze Pain Reliever on the days between can be even more effective”.
It’s important to note that this study did not include a control group, thus limiting conclusions on cause-and-effect. Nonetheless, the authors concluded, “The current study suggests that the combination of moderate pressure massage administered by the therapist and by the participants and the application of topical analgesic following the massage may be a more effective therapy for increasing grip strength and reducing pain and the associated depressed mood and sleep disturbances in individuals with hand arthritis.”
Source: Performance Health

1Lawle and Cameron, 2006; Hsieh et al., 2004; Kalichman, 2010; Field, et al., 2103
Field et al., 2007
REFERENCE: Field T, et al. 2014. Massage therapy plus topical analgesic is more effective than massage alone for hand arthritis pain. Article in press. J Bodywork Movement Therapies.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Top 9 Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massages have always been known for their relaxation benefits, but that’s not the only thing they’re good for. Online spa directory, Spahub.com has provided the top 9 unique health benefits of indulging in a massage.

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Spa Massage
Massage therapy can help people unaffected by the conditions listed above too..
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) October 30, 2013
Spahub.com, the online leading spa directory, has released their latest blog post on the top health benefits of massage therapy and the reasons people may never thought it could help them.
While there has been a lot of research done on the benefits of the different types of massage therapy, Spahub.com has now specified the top benefits of massage therapy to provide a better overall healthy life.
Professional massages have always been known to help bring on relaxation, but there are also a number of other health benefits that can come from it. Therapeutic massages came in to existence as a way to ease pain temporarily, which is where its medical benefits stemmed from.
Even when combined with other medical care, massage is still used today as a natural way to treat certain conditions. But today, there are many other reasons to utilize massage; not only to make someone feel good but for other reasons people may not realize:
1.    Anxiety: Massaging the body has been shown to calm anxious feelings in people going through withdrawal. It also helps with depression, eating disorders, and other medical issues where anxiety plays a factor.
2.    Poor circulation: A skillful massage can increase blood circulation in the body, which can lead to more energy, reduced pain, and better distribution of oxygen to the limbs.
3.    Spots-related injuries: Pulled muscles and torn ligaments are often treated with massage therapy. As mentioned previously, the increased blood flow to aching muscles helps reduce pain.
4.    Immune system: Frequent massage therapy has been shown to strengthen the immune system, making the body less prone to disease or illness.
5.    Migraines: This is especially beneficial for those with tensions headaches/migraines. It’s one the best ways to treat them.
6.    Chronic Pain: Illnesses like rheumatoid arthirits, sciatia, and other painful conditions can greatly benefit from massage therapy.
7.    Frequent cramping: Massages lessen cramps and spasms if performed regularly.
8.    Labor pains: Massages have been shown to reduce the pain associated with labor because it lessens the tension in the body.
9.    Low self-esteem: The most personal reason of all, massage therapy can help people feel connected because of the prolonged human contact.
“Massage therapy can help people unaffected by the conditions listed above too,” says Mark Verkhovski of Spahub.com. “It has been shown to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is responsible for moving waste through the body. Which makes a massage a natural detoxifier.”
Spahub.com’s team has provided a more in depth analysis of the health benefits of massage, their top recommendations to get one, and more on their latest blog post here: http://www.spahub.com/massage/health-benefits.html.
With Spahub.com’s expansive online spa directory and more informational resources on these top 10 spas (and more), visitors can find what they need to locate a spa in their local areas anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.
About Spahub
Spahub's mission is to create the largest Day, Medical and Getaway Spa Directory in the world. They strive to make the site a comprehensive place to learn about the different services spas provide. The goal is to provide every visitor an effective tool to quickly locate and explore a spa's amenities before taking one step out the door. For more information, please visit http://www.spahub.com.

Posted by:  Stevenswood.com, we invite you to visit our website for a menu of spa services.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Stress and Massage

From:  http://www.reactivemassage.com/stress-and-massage/

An instructor of mine once said that our generation is far more stressed out than our parents, entirely because in today’s world we simply don’t let things go. We dwell on them, we hold on to things and never let them go. Whether it’s trying to decide on the color of fabric for our furniture or that driver that ran a stop sign in front of us, we simply don’t get over things.
A major part of that problem is the massive amount of stimulus around us at all times. We have immediate access to all information at all times on the television, the radio, internet and cell phones. Our lives are constantly plugged into the world and everything in it. And because of this, our nervous systems are stimulated and overstimulated.
This constant bombardment of information to our nervous system stimulates our sympathetic nervous system, also known as the fight or flight system. It’s what encourages the release of hormones that keep us on edge, ready to run at a seconds notice. It’s also the system that can prevent us from having a restful sleep at night, properly digest our food, and cause us to be anxious.
The balancing mechanism to this is the parasympathetic nervous system, also called the rest and digest system. As the name suggests, its what helps us calm down especially at night when we need to rest and to help us properly digest our food.
It isn’t a simple matter of living in balance between the two since the sympathetic nervous system will always be the more powerful of the two simply out of self-preservation. But, with a little help, we can make sure that we don’t exist entirely in a fight or flight state. Massage therapy is a wonderful way to calm down the system and ease the tensions of life as it stimulates the calming receptors of the muscles to decrease tone as well as help the body enter a relaxed state.
Massage therapy isn’t a miracle cure that will remove all stress from the body, but it is a powerful and accessible tool. Combined with other methods of relaxation such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi, it can break the cycle of anxiety that many of us live in and help us regain a little more inner peace.

Posted by:  Stevenswood.com, we invite you to visit our website's spa menu for a variety of massages and facials performed by our licensed massage therapists and estheticians.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

New Research Supports The Mental Health Benefits Of Massage Therapy Symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression may be alleviated with massage therapy

From: EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- To mark National Massage Therapy Awareness Week (NMTAW), October 20-26, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has compiled research that suggests symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression (all associated with mental health) may be alleviated with massage therapy. 

Following are some recent research findings which highlight the role of massage therapy in mental health and wellness. View AMTA's Research Roundup Volume 4 online at www.amtamassage.org/researchroundup.

Massage Therapy for the Treatment of Depression in Individuals with HIV
Research published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine[1] indicates that massage therapy can reduce symptoms of depression for[1] individuals with HIV disease. The study lasted eight weeks, and results show massage significantly reduced the severity of depression beginning at week four and continuing at weeks six and eight. AMTA President Winona Bontrager says of the study, "This research suggests that regular therapeutic massage could be a useful tool in the integrated treatment of depression for patients with HIV." 

Massage Therapy to Reduce Anxiety in Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy
Research published in Applied Nursing Research[2] shows that back massage given during chemotherapy can significantly reduce anxiety and acute fatigue. "This research demonstrates the potential value of massage therapy within the full cancer treatment spectrum, particularly during the often mentally and physically exhausting chemotherapy process," says Bontrager.

Massage Therapy for Reduced Anxiety and Depression in Military Veterans
Research published in Military Medicine[3] reports that military veterans indicated significant reductions in ratings of anxiety, worry, depression and physical pain after massage. Analysis also suggests declining levels of tension and irritability following massage. This pilot study was a self-directed program of integrative therapies for National Guard personnel to support reintegration and resilience after return from Iraq or Afghanistan.

Massage Therapy for Nurses to Reduce Work-Related Stress
Research published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice[4] shows that massage for nurses during work hours can help to reduce stress and related symptoms, including headaches, shoulder tension, insomnia, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. "This study affirms the important role massage therapy can play in the work setting, in this case to ease stress for health care providers who, in turn, can better provide optimal patient care," says Bontrager.

It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association that massage therapy can assist in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.  Read additional research on massage for anxiety.

Visit AMTA's Find a Massage Therapist® to find a qualified massage therapist in your area.

Previous Research Roundups from AMTA
Volume 1: Highlights the growing body of evidence that shows massage therapy can be effective for a variety of health conditions, including:

    Osteoarthritis of the knee
    Inflammation after exercise
    Chronic low back pain

Volume 2: Outlines medical research that suggests the benefits of massage therapy, including the role it can play in overall health and well-being in people of all ages, including:

    Enhanced immune function in preterm infants
    Decreased blood pressure and improved stability in older persons
    Reduced stress and anxiety in cancer patients

Volume 3: Contains research that suggests massage therapy can be a helpful aid for manually controlling pain in people suffering from certain conditions, including:

    Metastatic cancer
    Rheumatoid arthritis
    Post-cardiac surgery pain

Massage Therapy Facts

    Results from AMTA's 17th annual consumer survey, conducted in August 2013, reveal more Americans are incorporating massage therapy into their regular health and wellness regimens to assist with medical conditions;
        88 percent of individuals view massage as being beneficial to overall health and wellness
        88 percent of individuals believe that massage can be effective in reducing pain
        75 percent of consumers surveyed claim that their primary reason for receiving a massage was medical (43 percent) or stress (32 percent) related
        53 percent of people say their doctor has recommended they get a massage
[1] Polane, RE, Gertsik L, Favreau JT, et al. Open-label, randomized, parallel-group controlled clinical trial of massage for treatment of depression in HIV-infected subjects. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2013 Apr; 19(4):334-40. doi 10.1089/acm.2012.0058.
[2] Karagozoglu S, Kahve E. Effects of back massage on chemotherapy-related fatigue and anxiety: Supportive care and therapeutic touch in cancer nursing. Applied Nursing Research. 2013 Sep;19. pii: S0897-1897(13)00070-0. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2013.07.002.
[3] Collinge W, Kahn J, Soltysik R. Promoting reintegration of National Guard veterans and their partners using a self-directed program of integrative therapies: a pilot study. Military Medicine. 2012 Dec;177(12):1477-85.
[4] Engen DJ, Wahner-Roedler DL, Vincent A, et al. Feasibility and effect of chair massage offered to nurses during work hours on stress-related symptoms: a pilot study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2012 Nov;18(4):212-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2012.06.002.

Posted by C. Sackman, Stevenswood Spa Director. We invite you to visit:  Stevenswood.com for a complete listing of massage treatments performed in the Indigo Eco-Spa by our Licensed Massage Therapists.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Incredible Healing Power of Infrared Saunas

From:  Cancer Defeated
By:  Lee Euler, Editor

When it comes to revitalizing your health, reversing illness, and just making you feel great, few things compare to an infrared sauna.

  Infrared saunas are clinically shown to help fight cancer, reduce blood pressure, relieve pain, reverse heart disease, promote weight loss, and give you a host of other health benefits.
The deep healing power of infrared energy
    Ever get in a car on a sunny day in winter? Wonder how it feels so warm inside when the air outside is freezing? That's the infrared light from the sun.

    In this same way, infrared saunas penetrate up to 1-1/2 inches below your skin to detoxify and revitalize your cells. This produces a deep, detoxifying sweat that eliminates toxins at the cellular level. Infrared energy is powerful, yet it's so safe it's used in hospitals to warm newborn infants.
Using infrared saunas to fight cancer
Over 2,000 years ago, the famous Greek physician Parmenides said, "Give me the power to create fever, and I will cure any disease." Cancer clinics in Germany and Mexico are putting this principle to use. They routinely treat patients with hyperthermia, where the body is exposed to high temperatures. High temperatures can kill cancer cells, usually without damage to normal tissues.1

    Most of the German cancer clinics that I've visited use both infrared hyperthermia and infrared saunas for their patients, and so do many of the Mexican clinics. Infrared saunas provide a form of whole-body hyperthermia that boosts your health in many ways. You can even enjoy infrared sauna at home, as I’ll explain in a moment.

    In an article in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Lawrence Wilson, MD writes, "If I were to single out one method to combat cancer, it is the sauna. It assists removal of chemical toxins and heavy metals, increases oxygenation, enhances the immune system, and reduces the radiation burden in the body."2

    Dr. Wilson notes that infrared sauna therapy for cancer offers a combination of healing mechanisms. They act simultaneously to support the fight against cancer. These include:
  1. Hyperthermia: Heating the body is a well-known and underused method of killing cancer cells, says Dr. Wilson. Cancer cells are weaker than normal cells and more susceptible to damage from heat. Infrared saunas are superior for this purpose, he says.
  2. Eliminate Toxins: Saunas also help purge the body of toxins, such as heavy metals and chemicals.
  3. Improving circulation. Cancer often grows in tissues with poor circulation and thus poor nutrition and oxygenation. Infrared saunas boost overall circulation. This brings nutrients, hormones, oxygen and other substances to all body tissues.
  4. Decongesting the internal organs. The liver, kidneys and other internal organs can become burdened with estrogen, chemicals, and toxic metals. Infrared saunas cause blood to move toward the body surface. This helps cleanse the internal organs.
  5. Care for your body's largest organ: Your skin is a major organ for eliminating body wastes. But in most people, it's inactive because they don't sweat enough. Infrared saunas help cleanse you from the inside. They encourage sweating and free up toxins stored beneath the skin.
Infrared treatment shrinks tumor volumes 86% in 30 days
    In a clinical study published in the Journal of Cancer Science and Therapy, scientists studied far infrared's effects on human cancer cells in vitro and on cancer cells in mice. Far infrared therapy reduced tumor volumes 86% in 30 days. The tumor-suppressing effects were even seen without high temperatures, even as low as 77 degrees Fahrenheit.3

    In another study, researchers in Japan discovered that whole-body hyperthermia with far infrared strongly inhibited the growth of breast cancer tumors in mice without deleterious side effects. Researchers believe this therapy is promising for long-term studies of a noninvasive treatment of breast cancer.4
The healing power of 'cellular cleansing'
    Most of us don't sweat enough regularly. We live in air conditioned homes, cars, and offices. We use antiperspirants and most of us don't exercise enough. But your body was designed to sweat. And sweat is a key way to cleanse your body.

    The infrared sauna is a powerful means of cellular cleansing. It increases your metabolism and boosts blood circulation. It also relaxes your muscles, soothes your spirit and rejuvenates your entire body.

    The deep penetration of infrared heat releases toxins from the fat layers just beneath the skin. It also helps your body eliminate toxins from your internal organs. These toxins pass from the organs to the fat tissue under the skin. Then they are eliminated in perspiration.

    To see how this works, researchers analyzed the sweat from both traditional and infrared saunas. Sweat from traditional saunas was about 97% water and 3% toxins. Infrared saunas produced a sweat that was only 80 — 85% water. The remaining 15-20% was made up of heavy metals, sulfuric acid, sodium, ammonia, uric acid and fat-soluble toxins.5
The secret to effortless detox
    If you're a regular reader of this newsletter, you're well aware of the toxins we're all exposed to in modern life. You also know well that many of these toxins in our food, water and air are believed to be a major cause of increased cancer rates. If you want to prevent or reverse cancer, you not only need to reduce your intake of toxins, you also need a regular program to get these poisons out of your body.

    Infrared heat is incredibly powerful because it helps you cleanse at the cellular level and release toxins stored in your fat cells. Infrared saunas are also powerful because they're such a simple, easy way to detox compared to fasting, exercise, colon cleansing, and other detox therapies.
Natural weight loss
    It is no secret that maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall quality of life. In fact, a 10-year study published by The New England Journal of Medicine found that waist circumference by itself is a critical factor in assessing the risk of premature death. In other words, if you can maintain a healthy weight, you increase your likelihood of a longer, healthier life.

    Did you know that you now have basically the same number of fat cells as you did when you were born? Fat cells develop during the third trimester of pregnancy and you keep the same number your whole life. So how do you gain weight? Your fat cells store fat like a sponge that soaks up water. Infrared saunas help release fat (and the toxins stored in the fat) like squeezing water out of a sponge.

    Infrared saunas have been clinically shown to dramatically aid in weight loss. A 2009 study showed that infrared saunas provide significant results in lowering weight and waist circumference in just 3 months. And for those who are sedentary due to medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, cardiovascular or respiratory problems, results were even more profound.6

Burn up to 600 calories while sitting still!

    According to information published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, infrared sauna sessions were shown to burn upwards of 600 calories. During a sauna weight loss session, your core temperature increases and the body works hard to cool itself. While using an infrared sauna, there is a substantial increase in blood flow, heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories.7

    Regular use of an infrared sauna may be an effective means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories, akin to regular exercise. Using an infrared sauna is like giving yourself a passive cardio workout — whenever you need it!
    As someone who always means to exercise and seldom gets around to it, I appreciate an easy way to get some of the benefits.
Drug-free pain relief
    Infrared rays also help you naturally reduce pain and inflammation. Infrared sauna heat works by penetrating joints, muscles and tissues. It increases circulation, and boosts oxygen flow to the tissues. By reducing soreness on nerve endings, infrared heat reduces muscle spasms and helps the body heal itself naturally.

    Infrared saunas are proven relief for sports injuries, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, joint pain/stiffness and other chronic pain conditions.

    According to Dr. Jeffrey Spencer, a sports medicine expert from the University of Southern California and consultant to Lance Armstrong, "infrared wavelengths penetrate the body to create heat, which creates profound therapeutic benefits. They increase blood flow to the muscles, delivering more concentrated oxygen, which creates more energy to heal."
  • Significant Reduction in Chronic Pain: A study reported in Clinical Rheumatology showed that infrared saunas gave significant relief for patients with chronic pain (such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis). Four weeks of 30-minute, twice-weekly sessions in an infrared sauna resulted in a 40 percent improvement in pain and stiffness (for rheumatoid arthritis) and 60 percent (for ankylosing spondylitis).8
  • 70% Less Pain AFTER JUST ONE SESSION! A recent study published in Internal Medicine, showed that patients with chronic pain saw their pain levels drop by nearly 70% after their first session of infrared sauna therapy. Pain scores remained low throughout the observation period.9
Reduce blood pressure WITHOUT drugs
    Infrared saunas have been clinically shown to provide one of the best, natural ways to lower blood pressure. In a 2005 clinical study by the University of Missouri Kansas City, infrared saunas were shown to lower blood pressure through a program of 30-minute infrared sauna sessions just three times per week.

    The study concluded that infrared sauna therapy dilated blood vessels and reduced the thickness of their inner lining. This increased circulation and promoted healthy blood pressure.10

    What's more, a Japanese study published in the October 2008 issue of The Journal of Cardiology examined the clinical effectiveness and safety of infrared blood pressure therapy, as compared to standard therapies for patients with chronic heart failure. The report concluded that far-infrared sauna therapy is both safe and effective at improving clinical symptoms and cardiac function in chronic heart failure patients. Repeated infrared sauna treatments improved impaired blood vessel functions in patients with high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. This suggests a preventive role for infrared sauna use for arteriosclerosis.11
Reverse heart disease
    A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that infrared saunas help improve the function of impaired vascular endothelial cells in patients who are at risk for coronary artery disease. The infrared heat of the sauna opens capillaries to improve blood flow. 15 minutes in an infrared sauna each day for 14 days improved the function of the endothelial cells lining the arteries by 40%.12

    Research also shows that infrared saunas help:
  • Relieve arrhythmias: A clinical study explored the therapeutic use of infrared saunas for patients in the end-stage of congestive heart failure. It showed that saunas helped relieve arrhythmias (an irregularity in the force or rhythm of the heartbeat).13
  • Improve congestive heart failure: In the Journal of Cardiac Failure, researchers reported statistical improvements in blood pressure, strength of heart (ejection fraction on echocardiogram), and exercise tolerance in patients treated with saunas. Saunas also helped reduce the number of hospital admissions for this condition.14
Other important health benefits
    It's hard to think of an aspect of health and wellness that infrared saunas don't benefit. But other clinical studies show that infrared saunas can help you:
  • Relieve Depression: A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine looked at a group of 28 mildly depressed patients. Half of the patients utilized an infrared sauna once a day for 4 weeks and the other half had just bed rest for 4 weeks. The sauna group showed a significant improvement compared to the control group.15
  • Boost Your Immunity: Infrared saunas are clinically shown to help patients with weak immune systems, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. MRSA is a potentially deadly bacterial infection that is resistant to most antibiotics. Infrared therapy knocked out the MRSA pathogens without causing increased inflammation.16 Another study from NASA showed that near infrared therapy, delivered by LEDs deep into body tissue, can quadruple cell health and tissue growth.
  • Give You Healthier, Younger-Looking Skin: A study published in The Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy showed significant improvements in skin appearance after just 12 weeks of sauna skin therapy using near-infrared technology. Participants saw a reduction in wrinkles and crow's feet, as well as improved overall skin tone, including softness, smoothness, elasticity, clarity and firmness.17
The health-boosting power of light
    Most infrared saunas on the market produce only far infrared. However, a new development in the field is full-spectrum infrared. These are saunas that provide all of the benefits associated with far-, mid- and near-infrared rays. For instance, near-infrared energy stimulates the body's natural healing powers. Scientists call this photobiomodulation. In cancer patients, near-infrared is used for healing chemotherapy-induced ulcers and wound healing.18
Boost your cellular energy for supercharged healing
    Near-infrared energy boosts your cells' ability to create energy. This can help stimulate your immune system and your overall healing. It helps your liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, skin, and other detox organs to neutralize toxins and work at peak efficiency. To create energy, the mitochondria (the power-generating centers inside every cell) depend on an enzyme called Cytochrome c oxidase. Studies show that infrared therapy recharges mitochondria. It boosts their levels of oxygen and cytochrome c oxidase. This can help you maintain a cellular energy level that's usually only seen in young people.20

How to use infrared saunas

    If you're already in good health, a 30-40 minute sauna session three or more times a week will do. Or if you're trying to heal a specific health condition, some doctors prescribe daily or even multiple sessions each day.21

    You can try an infrared sauna at a local health club, spa, or massage therapist. A typical fee is $30-$45 per 30-minute session. I also recommend purchasing one yourself. An excellent, cutting-edge manufacturer is Sunlighten, offering clinically backed full-spectrum infrared saunas. Visit their website or call 1-877-292-0020. Another reputable (albeit more expensive) brand is TheraSauna. Infrared saunas, with their myriad health benefits, are definitely an at-home therapy option worth checking out.

    If you decide to contact these companies you should mention that you read about infrared saunas in Cancer Defeated. But please be aware that these companies can’t give you advice about treatment for cancer or any other disease. It’s against the law for them to do that. You’d be wasting your time and theirs to ask what saunas can do for cancer and probably for most other health conditions. That’s why you need to read Cancer Defeated (and other sources of health information.) We have the first amendment right to tell you what supplement marketers and other vendors aren’t allowed to.
Posted by:  C. Sackman, Spa Director:  We invite you to stay at Stevenswood Spa Resort (Stevenswood.com) and enjoy the amenities including our infrared sauna.

1 van der Zee J. Heating the patient: A promising approach? Annals of Oncology 2002; 13:1173-1184.
2 Wilson, L. Saunas and Cancer, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, June 2004
3 Tatsuo I, Ishibashi, J. et al Non-Thermal Effects of Far-Infrared Ray (FIR) on Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells HepG2 and their Tumors, J Cancer Sci Ther Volume 1(2) : 078-082 (2009) - 078
4 Udagawa Y, Nagasawa H, Kiyokawa S, Inhibition by Whole-Body Hyperthermia (WBH) with Far-infrared rays of the Growth of Spontaneous Mammary Tumours in mice. Anticancer Res. 1999 Sep-Oct;19(5B):4125-30
5 Dr. A. J. Adams, International Institute of Holistic Healing: What is Far Infrared Therapy and How Does it Work Toward Healing the Body? (www.drajadams.com/SaunaDomeInfrared...)
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7 Dr. Masakazu Imamura, MD, et al. Repeated Thermal Therapy Improves Impaired Vascular Endothelial Function in Patients With Coronary Risk Factors. Vol. 38, No. 4, 2001. Journal of American College of Cardiology: pp 1083-1088.
8 Clinical Rheumatology, January 2009,
9 Internal Medicine (Tokyo) Aug 15, 2008 by Matsushita K, Masuda A, Tei C. The First Department of Internal Medicine, Kagoshima University Hospital, Kagoshima, Japan.
10 Becky Edwards, M.D., Heather Kort D.O, Faculty Staff Advisor: Dr. John Foxworth, PharmD. A Study of the Health Benefits of Far Infrared Sauna Therapy - Conducted by the University of Missouri, Kansas City, 2005.
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12 Imamura, M, et al. Repeated thermal therapy improves impaired vascular endothelial function in patients with coronary risk factors. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2001, 38 (4): 1983-88.
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18 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared#cite_note-24#cite_note-24
19 Hargate G. A randomised double-blind study comparing the effect of 1072-nm light against placebo for the treatment of herpes labialis. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2006 Sep;31(5):638-41.PMID 16780494
20 Whelan, et al. Photobiomodulation Directly Benefits Primary Neurons Functionally Inactivated by Toxins: Role of Cytochrome C Oxidase. JBC Papers in Press. Published on November 22, 2004 as Manuscript M409650200. Copyright 2004 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
21 Wilson, L, Manual of Sauna Therapy, Sauna Therapy, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc., Prescott, AZ 2003.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Technology Can Be A Pain In The Neck

From:  phillyburbs.com
By:      Rita Manno, Correspondent

Jen Probst, a massage therapist at Suede Salon and Spa in Evesham, rounds her shoulders, bends forward and then looks down toward her lap. She straightens out and then twists her wrist at an angle unnatural to those joints.
It’s a demonstration on what technology has delivered to our bodies — a BlackBerry thumb with damage to the joint from frequent texting and a bent wrist and sore palms causing pain up the arm from constantly holding devices like smartphones.
Then there are the painful neck spasms and headaches from always looking down at those hi-tech wonders that keep us from actually talking to each other. Not to mention strained and tight muscles caused by hours in front of a computer, which can lead to the even more serious carpel tunnel syndrome.
Put your phone down now and listen to Jen.
Probst, a slim, fit 39-year-old who’s been in the massage therapy world for 12 years, said in the last few years she’s seen an increase in clients who unwittingly have become the casualties of bigger and better technology.
“You’re so into what you’re doing, you don’t even feel the pain until you stop and try to relax and then it hits you,” she said.
Pain sends them to her. Some clients hold onto their cells so much during the day that even when they’re not, their fingers are curled as if the phone was still there.
“Everybody is looking down at their devices,” whether it’s in the car (you shouldn’t be doing that anyway while driving) or looking down at a laptop or an iPad on a table without a stand. The result: neck pain, back pain and headaches. After awhile it actually is a strain to try and sit up straight.
“Over time with such great repetition, you get stuck with that position and it’s hard to retrain your body.”
Take Shavon Rodriquez, 26, who is a student at Camden County College. She puts together car engines; plays flag football in a co-ed league as well as leagues in basketball and volleyball. Active, for sure.
But it was the five years on a computer at a mortgage company that contributed to the painful muscles in her hands and the tense and tight muscles all the way up both arms.
“It gets so bad I have trouble brushing my hair. My hand cramps up,” she said.
Rodriquez said she’d be willing to slow down with all her activities, including her close relationship with her phone. “But I won’t stop. This is my life.”
All of this sent her to Probst, the massage therapist, sometimes twice a week.
In 60- to 90-minute sessions for a full massage, Probst uses essential oils to reduce inflammation in Rodriquez’s hands and arms — bringing the blood flow down her arms to her hands, relaxing the nerves and loosening the wrist. She uses light to moderate pressure to achieve a better range of motion.
Probst also sees a growing number of men who complain of back and neck pain from long hours driving. Add to that their preoccupation with electronic devices, the result is big-time pain.
There are even skin products available for “smartphone breakouts.” Yes. Believe it. Holding a cellphone against your cheek repeatedly and for long periods can cause skin breakouts, not an attractive look for a professional.
Probst wants to help her clients with their pain through massage but she also gives them “homework,” to eventually make it less likely they’ll experience the degree of pain that brought them to her in the first place. Clients are given instruction on stretches and strength exercises, which have to be performed regularly to see any results.
“I talk to them about their electronic devices and how changing their body positions can make all the difference in the world,” she said.

Posted by:  Stevenswood.com:  We invite you to visit our stevenswood.com/spa/spa-menu/ for a listing of spa treatments performed by our Licensed Massage Therapists and Estheticians for information and relief from pain associated use of technology which affects our joints, muscles, & etc.