Category Archives: Health

The 5 Key Steps to Receiving a Massage That Will Help You to Feel Better

1. You are always right and should get exactly what you want. Many massage consumers assume that you are going to a professional massage therapist and therefore whatever they say goes. The old adage that the consumer is always right also applies to the massage therapy industry. Of course, you want to work with a “trusted expert”, but that does not mean that if you think you need more focus on a particular area or altered pressure that you should not receive exactly that.

A “trusted expert” will listen to exactly what you want and apply the techniques that are going to help you achieve that goal. When you go out to buy something that you have already decided to purchase you are not going to let a salesperson sell you on something different than what you had in mind (although this happens all too frequently in the marketplace). The same is true for your massage therapy experience. If you are not sure what you need but have a specific complaint, your massage therapist should listen to your chief complaints and provide a solution that helps you achieve your desired outcome (more on this later).

If you sense that the massage therapist you are working with is not listening to your needs, it is perfectly alright for you to end the massage session. This may seem a bit harsh, but wasting your time and money on ineffective treatments is not an acceptable option.

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2. What you should expect from your massage therapy treatment. The massage therapy treatment should specifically fulfill your desired result. You should expect that you are going to work with a skilled massage therapist that is going to listen to your issues and help you receive a massage that is very satisfying for you. From the moment you call in to schedule your massage treatment you should have a sense that you are going to work with a therapist that is going to treat you as an individual and respect your individual needs. It is appropriate to ask for the massage therapist’s credentials and experience.

You may also want to speak with an existing client to ensure that they have had a pleasant experience an existing client that they work with that has had a pleasant experience with the practitioner you are about to have a massage with. You can ask to come by and see the facility where you will be receiving your massage. Does it look clean, relaxing, and therapeutic? What does the energy of the facility feel like? Does it align with your energy and feel like a place that you will be comfortable with? It is also appropriate to ask to meet with the therapist who is will potentially be working with you prior to the massage treatment so you can be assured that you will be comfortable with the massage therapist.

When you have set up your massage treatment and arrive for your massage you will be asked to fill out some paperwork. Allow for enough time to fill out the paperwork so it does not interfere with your massage time. After all, if you are seeing a massage expert, chances are they are very busy and they have clients before and after you.

When you arrive at the establishment you should be warmly greeted and offered water while you fill out the paperwork and wait to meet your therapist (if you did not meet them prior). Your therapist should introduce themselves to you and welcome you and direct you back to the massage room. The therapist should then ask you about your specific goals for the session and listen to you before proceeding. You should feel that the therapist cares deeply about your goals for the session and is interested in helping you achieve them. The treatment room should be relaxing and comforting. The massage therapist should explain that you can disrobe to your level of comfort.

Note: For some people their level of comfort may be to keep all of their clothes on. This is perfectly fine. I have worked with clients who started with me working with me fully clothed and as their comfort level increased they began to remove some clothing so I could massage directly to their skin. The fact is that massage therapy feels better when it is applied directly to the skin. The other fact is that a skilled massage therapist can work with you with all your clothes on and still provide a great massage.

You should be covered or draped with sheets properly during your massage. This is not only a law, but is intended for your comfort. This means that only the area of your body that is being massaged will be exposed. The rest of your body will be covered by a sheet and when you are cold a blanket as well.

Note: I have had massage at establishments that have used very little towels to cover my naked body. I am very comfortable with my body, but in one session in particular (at a San Diego establishment) I was very cold during the session and the draft made the massage very uncomfortable. I have come to find out that this particular establishment may not be a legitimate massage practice but a front for prostitution. You would never know this as it is marketed as a day spa, so be wary of where you set up your appointment. I can guarantee that if I would have implemented these 5 steps I would have known that this establishment was not legitimate and I would have saved myself the uncomfortable experience and the waste of my time and money.

The practitioner will leave the room once they explain where you should place your clothes and they will indicate that they will be back in a while to start your massage.

Note: We implemented a “relaxation switch” in our clinics that when pressed by the client turns on a light outside to know you are ready. I have had numerous experiences of opening the door on clients who were not comfortably under the sheets. If the establishment does not have the “relaxation switch” make sure that you are quick to get on the table to avoid any uncomfortable racing to the table scenarios.

Once you are on the table you should not have to wait too long for the therapist to come and start the massage. The therapist should enter the room and ask you how you feel on the table. How is the temperature of the room? How does the table feel? How do the pillows or bolsters feel?

Before therapist begins doing the massage they should tell you that if at any time during the massage you would like more or less pressure to just let them know and they will accommodate you. If you are getting the massage for general relaxation the massage therapist should not talk with you during the session. This is one of the chief complaints I hear from massage consumers across the country when they tell me about their massage experiences. I have heard of therapists who will tell the client about all their personal problems while the client is “held hostage” and is paying good money to council these therapists on their personal issues.

Remember the first step, You are always right and should get exactly what you want, so tell the therapist that you prefer to just listen to the music or zone out during your massage. If your therapist is a massage expert you will find that they will have listened to you describe your goal of relaxation and therefore they would be quiet during your massage session.

NoteIf you are receiving a massage for a goal of reliving pain or a specific injury then your massage therapist will need to discuss your history with you and explain what they are doing. You also may be asked to move around on the table from face down, side lying to on your back.

After the massage your therapists should thank you for the session and discuss their assessment of your muscular health. Your therapist will explain what they recommend for a treatment plan for you to achieve your goal. It may be as simple as you needing to receive massage once a month to keep stress levels low enough to help you to better manage your life; or it may require that you come in as often as 2X a week for 6 weeks to aggressively treat a specific issue you are dealing with.

Whatever the case is, the therapist you work with should give you a plan that will help you achieve your massage goals. It may be that massage therapy will not be the best method for helping decrease your pain. In this instance, your therapist should refer you to the appropriate group or therapy that will help you achieve this.

3. Why massage modalities are a thing of the past and what a massage modality is. If you are new to massage you will peruse the massage menu and wonder what all these treatments are. A massage modality is a massage technique that has a specific purpose for the massage receiver. There are literally hundreds of massage modalities and they can seem daunting to someone who has never received a massage before. There is also misrepresentation of massage modalities by therapists who are not adequately trained in the modality they offer. This is due to the third point I discussed in the potential problems massage consumers can experience when receiving massage.

The fact is that the only people that know what a shiatsu, reiki treatment, deep tissue massage or Swedish massage are massage practitioners. As the massage consumer you care about one thing: that you will receive a massage that will help you achieve your specific goal for that particular session. Whether that is stress management, sports performance, injury prevention, injury rehabilitation, pain relief, or just overall wellness, the modality that is used to achieve these goals is not of importance to you. Most of the time you do not even know what the modality is. So, if you are faced with having to choose between a Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, thai massage or trager, then you know that you may want to look elsewhere to get your massage treatment. You want to work with a massage expert that will listen to your needs and integrate a variety of modalities that fulfills that outcome.

4. How to effectively communicate with your massage therapist. As you recall from the first step you are always right and you should always get what you expect from your massage treatment. Before, during and after your massage treatment you should have an open communication line with your massage therapist. If at any time during the session you would like more or less pressure you should only have to say a little less pressure and your therapist should immediately respond to your requests.

If for any reason you feel uncomfortable during the session you should be able to state it and have the therapist validate your feelings by making the necessary changes. So, it’s as easy as just speaking up. Unfortunately, I have heard from too many massage consumers who have received a massage that they were uncomfortable, but they did not speak up because they did not want to upset the therapist.

Here’s the deal, if your therapist responds in a defensive manner to your feedback, you can end the session right at that moment. You should not have to pay for the treatment. When you work with a massage expert they will be able to sense what you are feeling and address your concern before you have a chance to express them. I have trained our therapists to watch body language and listen for any cues to change the direction of treatments with clients. If you do not experience this, I urge you to politely end the massage session and seek out an expert to help you with your massage needs.

5. You may be able to get massage for Free (that’s right, I said it, for free)

I know I don’t mind paying for something when I get exactly what I ask for. I usually buy things based on a problem I would like to solve (a pain I would like to avoid). Massage therapy is exactly the same.

If you are stressed and your stress is relieved, your head is clearer, and you are able to enjoy a more relaxed life, then you are happy to pay for the service. How about if you could get the service that relieves your pain or stress and get it for free? Sound too good to be true? Well, some massage establishments have referral incentive programs where they will give you a massage or money towards a massage when you refer a friend, family or colleague. At the clinics I own we offer $35 for every referral that our wonderful clients honor us with. We have some clients that get a couple of free massages a month because they enjoy the service and they encourage their friends, family and colleagues to come in to our clinic and get a massage. The end result is that you end up getting massage for free.

Of course if the massage establishment you go to does not produce a massage that meets or exceeds your expectations then you would get more massage that is basically worthless. There are options out in the marketplace. Use this reference to help you receive a massage that meets your expectations.

Adult Day Care: 5 Reasons It’s a Preferred Alternative to a Nursing Home

Adult day care centers are a preferred alternative to nursing home or institutional care, providing activities, opportunities for socialization, convenience, and independence all while providing expert health care dedicated to helping clients improve daily functioning or delay worsening of conditions. There are many reasons to consider adult day care, including the following benefits.

1. Prolonged Independence and Improved Daily Functioning

Medical adult day care centers promote their clients’ ability to remain independent by supplementing the assistance they receive from family caregivers with a program of health care services and activities custom-tailored to each individual’s needs and interests.

By taking part in these activities, clients receive cognitive and physical stimulation that helps to enhance well-being while delaying or preventing a decline in health that would ultimately lead to placement in an assisted living facility or nursing home. In addition, many offer on-site specialists to provide physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. These therapists work with clients to improve daily functioning by developing strength, range of motion, balance and cognitive abilities.

2. Nutrition and Medication Management is a Priority

Ensuring that clients receive proper nutrition and medication each day in the absence of their family caregivers is an important factor in fulfilling the commitment of helping clients maintain the best possible quality of life and well-being.

Caregivers can be assured that nutrition is a top priority. Adult day care centers provide appetizing, wholesome meals and snacks that are approved by a dietician. Meals served at centers typically include provisions for diabetics, vegetarians, sodium-restricted or low-cholesterol diets and other special dietary needs.

Additionally, the staff can administer medications and injections as prescribed, monitoring the effectiveness of the treatment and relaying this information to the client’s physician, caregivers and case manager.

3. A Cost-Effective Alternative to Nursing Homes or Institutions

Adult day care centers offer the most cost-effective long-term care option. While costs differ based on care level and geographic region, nationwide averages show that the annual costs for medical adult day care services are significantly less than those for other long-term care options.

In many cases, services may be paid in part or in full by Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, or private long-term care insurance, although coverage varies by state and policy. Additionally, out-of-pocket expenditures may qualify as a tax-deductible medical expense.

4. The Convenience of Door-to-Door Transportation

Some adult day care centers provide flexible, door-to-door transportation for their clients within a convenient radius of the center.

In addition to transportation to and from centers, many also escort their clients to medical appointments when needed. This service is particularly helpful for caregivers who maintain full- or part-time employment outside the home, as it decreases disruption of and distraction from their work day.

5. Effective Management of Chronic Conditions

When clients come to an adult day care center, they typically receive a customized care plan that incorporates cognitive and physical activities as appropriate in order to help them remain active and intellectually stimulated throughout the day while maintaining or improving their present level of independence and functioning.

Adult day care centers typically staff skilled RNs, LPNs, personal care assistants, activities staff, and therapists who play an important role in helping their clients address the challenges of chronic conditions. The staff is able to help by assisting with daily personal care and hygiene, nutrition and medication management, blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring, tracheotomy care and tube feeding, and offering on-site physical, speech and occupational therapy. Additionally, many centers will work with families in the implementation of these health management and therapeutic techniques, so they can take an active role in the client’s care and treatment at home.

Adult day care centers provide many benefits for both caregivers and their loved ones. The convenience, health assurance, socialization, and cost all contribute to the many reasons that adult day care is becoming a preferred choice for caregivers. The decision for what type if care is best for your loved one can be difficult. Before making the decision, consider if adult day care may be the right choice for these reasons, and many more.

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Massage Therapy Modalities

Now that you’ve made the decision to become a massage therapist, and pursue a career in the field of bodywork, you will need to decide what type of therapy to specialize in. Many therapists choose to specialize in more than one area of massage therapy. This opens up the door for more services you can provide (and also, more places where you can find employment, which translates into more money). Each modality requires its own specialized training. There are approximately 80 different specialties of massage but, we’ll only mention a few of the more popular ones here.

Swedish. Swedish massage is the most common and best known type of massage in the US. Swedish massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology and was pioneered by Swedish physiologist Per Henrik Ling. During your training to specialize in this modality, you will focus on five basic strokes, all which flow towards the heart. This type of massage therapy is a great choice for beginners. One of the beauties of this form of massage is that it can be performed slow and gentle or vigorous. More often than not, a Swedish massage lasts between 50-60 minutes. To perform this type of massage, you will use massage oil to help warm up the muscles. Your client will generally be nude, underneath a towel or sheet. As with other types of massage, Swedish massage helps to promote relaxation.

Deep Tissue Massage. Deep tissue massage is a style of massage that focuses on working with the layers of the body to help relax, lengthen, and release holding patterns. When you think about deep tissue massage, you probably think about the masseuse being extremely large and exerting and extreme amount of pressure. However, this is an incorrect assumption. In order to obtain the results of deep tissue massage, you will learn how to use your elbows and forearms to obtain deep results. You will also learn how to change the angle of your touch to the body. Deep tissue massage can be done without straining and requiring very little massage oil. It’s all about proper technique, hence why it’s important to receive training in the areas of massage therapy for which you want to specialize.

Sports Massage. Because so many athletes push their bodies to the extreme, it’s no wonder that many of them could greatly benefit from the art of massage. Sports massage is a style of bodywork that focuses on applying massage techniques and stretching exercises to help enhance athletic performance. Massage can be provided before an event, after an event, and during times where the athlete is a state of maintenance work (such as an off-season break). Sports massage is good for people with injuries and/or restricted range of motion. When performing a sports massage, you will generally focus on a specific problem area, like the neck or shoulders.

Pregnancy Massage. Pregnancy is a time where a woman’s body undergoes a number of changes. Pregnancy massage aims to help a woman find balance as she goes through these changes. Massage is tailored to the different trimesters, since the body changes drastically during all three of them. During your training, you will learn the proper way to position a pregnant client on the massage table. Pregnancy massage will help to reduce stress, improve circulation, and contribute to the overall wellness of the mom-to-be. Some of the conditions you will help to alleviate include joint pain, sciatic nerve pain, and edema or swelling. You will also learn about the anatomy and physiology of the pregnant body, precautions to support healthy pregnancies, and emotional concerns of pregnant women.

Shiatsu Massage. Shiatsu is a form of bodywork, specifically acupressure massage. Shiatsu, in Japanese, means finger pressure and much of the foundation originates with Traditional Chinese Medicine and the concepts of energy pathways in the body. You will usually perform Shiatsu massage on a floor mat but, you can learn how to perform it on a table or while a client is seated in a chair. No oils or lotions are used and the client only removes their shoes. Shiatsu massage helps to relieve stress, digestive discomfort, and headaches. You will learn how to apply firm pressure to energy points, so that the flow of “chi” (life force) is restored.

This by no means describes all of the different modalities associated with massage therapy. There are over 80 recognized massage modalities. While you undergo your formal education and training, you will probably become adept at 2 or 3 different specialties of massage. As you gain more experience during your career, you may begin to direct your focus to specific direction. The better you are at a specialty, the more results you will get, leading to happier clients and more business for you. You’re ultimate goal is to satisfy clients. So, set out to learn about as many different modalities as possible, until you find the one that feels right to you.

Things to Consider When You Buy White’s Tree Frogs

When it is determined that a White’s Tree Frog makes a great pet, a hardy variety is the White’s Tree Frog because they are easy for beginners, and very interesting species for experts. This species lives up to 20 years and are a quite striking combination of green, blue green, or aqua in color. The waxy coating helps them retain moisture allowing them to tolerate drier conditions that other varieties.

Choosing

When choosing a White’s Tree Frog ensure it is healthy; below are suggestions:

1. Lively ones are preferable even though these tend to be content to sit quietly for hours.
2. Check bone structure for abnormalities, skinniness, sure signs of malnutrition, or obese frogs which reduces life span.
3. Avoid frogs with cloudy eyes indicating illness or infection.

Environment

Setting up a healthy environment for White’s Tree Frogs requires a terrarium with the following recommendations:

1. An amphibian tank or a minimum 10 gallon terrarium is preferable.
2. Tanks should contain dirt, bark, or small smooth rocks and a small water dish no more than one inch deep – they are poor swimmers and can drown.
3. Ensure there are items to climb on and lots of places to hide.
4. Plants are needed, but make sure that the ones selected are not poisonous to them..
5. The humidity must be kept between 65% and 90% and the habitat should be frequently misted.
6. Temperature must be kept between 65 and 80 degrees.

Diet

The White’s Tree Frog prefers a diet of crickets, mealworms, and occasionally pinkie mice. The main problem in their diets is overfeeding because it will become fat, which makes it very prone to illness and infection. When they are obese, the flaps of skin over the eyes fold over, and can cause blindness, so putting them on a diet when they have overeaten is certainly recommended. They don’t tend to move much in general except during feeding time, when they will stalk and chase their prey. Feeding should be two or three times a week.

Temperament

White’s Tree Frogs typically are very friendly, and don’t really object to humans handling them; although, they should not be handled too much or too frequently. They do prefer a peaceful, quiet environment and should be kept in a relatively serene room, because stress can be very harmful to this variety of frogs. Be sure to wash hands before handling them because disease can be easily transmitted. Their habitat should be kept clean avoiding illness, and a poorly designed environment can cause unnecessary stress also creating sickness.

Medical

One of the interesting topics about White’s Tree Frogs is that their secretions are being studied as medical treatments for high blood pressure, staphylococcus, and herpes simplex cold sore infections. It is thought that these frogs may contribute in the cure for these ailments as well as potentially AIDS.

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People are becoming more and more aware of what they buy. And it’s no wonder, with the increasing number of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, food additives that are finding their way into our food, clothing and cosmetic products.

The only way to avoid these health hazards? Going organic. The problem is very few can afford to go all green, since organic products tend to have higher prices than regular products. Does this make organic products a luxury? Not at all.

The organic market is one of the fastest growing markets, reaching over $28.6 billion in 2010 – a 8% growth compared to 2009. The most growth was experienced by the fruits and vegetables niche – 12% from the previous year – reaching $10.6 billion in 2010. The statistics confirm the trend: consumers are starting to favor organic products, which in turn will help the organic farmers increase production and offer better prices.

But until the market will be able to offer us the best organic products at lower costs, we have to work with what we have: the current prices.

First, we can start by making at home some of the products we use. We can make perfume combing alcohol (vodka) and essential organic oils. Instead of expensive laundry detergents, we can use soap flakes not only for laundry, but also for washing the dishes (by melting the soap flakes and mixing them with a little vinegar and lime essential oil. We can make some food products in-house, such as baby food, instead of buying expensive purees.

Second, we can start by giving up products that are bad for us: sugary cereals (use integral cereals instead), all kinds of snacks with a long list of chemical ingredients, biscuits and sweets (use raw chocolate or raw cocoa to make your own sweets).

Third, you can use a price comparison site for organic products to help you find the cheapest organic products on the market.

Forth, we don’t have to go organic all at once. We can start with critical products – organic baby clothes and food – or products with a longer life span – organic shampoo, creams, deodorants, perfumes, cleaning products, organic toys…

Either way, you can start living healthier right now and avoid or at least minimize the risk of damaging your body and the environment. Organic products are not a luxury anymore, they are a necessity.

The Value of Medicare Insurance

Medicare is a health program offered to people from the age of 65 and above. However, even people who are below the age of 65 can be eligible for the same program provided but only if they meet certain qualifications and this site has more information. These services are only available for the citizens of the United States of America. It is a federal program and as such, residents from any of the states in America can enjoy the services. American Seniors are committed to providing adequate information on all the policies.

Under this program, any permanently disabled or elderly person can receive hospital and medical care. Medical care includes visits by the doctor, therapies, hospital stays, and prescription of drugs among other services. After one has attained the age of 65, then they can apply for Medicare insurance within a window period of seven months without paying any fee.

Medicare is a government-funded federal program. It may be administered courtesy of an HMO, meaning that the government has to pay a private hospital to give these services to the citizens. While enrolling for the services, the individual has to consider Medicare part A, B, C and D. Due to the many choices that are available; it pays to be well aware of the terms that are in every category if you are to make the right choice. It is worth noting that even after you are enrolled with these insurance services, there will be times when you will be required to dig into your pockets to pay for the services, such as co-pays and other deductibles. The American Seniors give comprehensive advice regarding all these issues and help you in making an informed decision.

Medicare Part A 
This part deals with the hospital’s bit of the insurance program. It deals with inpatient, nursing facility, hospice facilities and home care for patients. They cover the blood transfusion services during the stay in a hospital. They also cater to all your needs during the time that one is admitted to a hospital such as food and nursing. They also cover home nursing services such as therapies. Part A also covers hospice care for people who have an estimated six months or less to live.

Medicare Part B 
In real sense, part B comes to compliment what was lacking in Part A. It covers 80% of the services covered by the Medicare insurance after all the deductibles have been catered for. The remaining 20% is the responsibility of the individual. This part covers a lot of medical procedures and equipment that would have been your sole responsibility. It also covers some health services such as doctors’ fees, vaccinations, screening for cancer and diabetes, surgical services and therapies just to mention a few. The list of the services covered goes beyond this, and there is a need to expand the knowledge to know what works best for each person.

How Therapeutic Massage Helps During Pregnancy

Any person who has been through pregnancy knows that any form of body stretching is quite painful as the pregnant person is carrying a living being within her. And though it takes 9 months to produce a little bundle of joy, this period is quite an experience.

Pregnancy massage can help get rid of pains and reduce stress during pregnancy. Muscle cramps, spasms and pains can all be done away with after a sound pregnancy massage. Massage also increases blood and lymph circulation, which goes on to reduce swellings that are experienced during pregnancy. Aside from that, it also relieves the stress that a pregnant woman feels on her weight-bearing joints – the knees and the hips. And did you know that massage can also alleviate labor pains by strengthening the muscles that are stressed out to the maximum during labor? Of course, it also improves skin flexibility and makes the tissues supple. All this goes on to make the emotional job of the mother-in-law a lot easier.

Before a pregnant woman chooses a therapeutic massage therapist, she must investigate his credentials and check to see if the massage therapist is licensed and a “pregnancy massage” expert as well. Pregnancy massage is a specialized branch and needs some kind of special training, because the pregnancy massage must be safe – there is no margin for error and no ordinary massage therapist will do when it comes to pregnancy massage.

Pregnancy massage differs from a regular massage in many ways. The massage therapist must know all about how the body functions during pregnancy and how pregnancy causes structural imbalances. A woman who is pregnant will lie in a different pose altogether as compared to a non-pregnant woman while receiving this massage. If the correct positions are not followed, then pregnancy massage can even harm the pregnant woman and her baby. Needless to say, that there are certain parts of the pregnant woman’s body that must not be massaged.

Pregnant women, while receiving pregnancy massage, must always be in a semi-reclining position because it is considered safe for the child and comfortable for the mother. Props such as body pillows and pads must be put to use when the body position needs switching. These props provide a great degree of comfort during the massage. The table used for pregnancy massage must be a simple piece and fancy tables having holes in them must be avoided. If the pregnant woman is allergic to scents, she must tell the therapist to light any candles or spray any perfume. Light music must be played as enhances the experience of pregnancy massage.

The level of undress is a matter of personal choice and is best left between the pregnant woman and the massage therapist to decide. Some pregnant women prefer to undress fully, some prefer to wear lingerie and some prefer to be covered by sheets – it’s a matter of personal choice. The pregnancy massage must be gentle and must not make the pregnant woman uncomfortable in any manner.

The period of pregnancy is fraught with a lot of emotional and physical anxieties and therapeutic massage during pregnancy can relieve all the stress and make the pregnant woman ready for the wonderful event – the birth of the child!

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