There are so many different therapeutic massage modalities to choose from. Many of them offer sustainable relief from pain and circulatory issues. But often it's challenging to understand what the options are and how to choose what's best for you.
The questions are:
This blog article will provide information to support your choice to add Therapeutic Massage to your self care menu! Therapeutic massage incorporates a variety of advanced modalities that enhance the body's natural restorative functioning. Light to firm touch is used to release tension, relax muscles, increase blood and lymph circulation, and increase production of serotonin...a neurotransmitter and your body's antidote to too much adrenaline!
Below are the massage modalities offered through Bridge to Health by Brittany Craven LMT. She has 7 years of active experience and has put together this information to educate clients and readers about therapeutic massage modalities, which therapies are best for your needs and how to know whether the therapist you are choosing is qualified. Regulations for training in massage therapy have expanded in the past twenty years, most states and some cities require licensing and certain levels of certification. Organizations such as ABMP & NCBTMB help ensure standards of practice throughout the profession.
Having a short conversation with the therapist before making your initial appointment is crucial. It's your opportunity to ask about their credentials, training and years of experience. Additionally it is recommended that you check out their website and reviews. Bridge to Health offers a Free Fifteen Minute Consult for all clients. This allows you to get to know the therapist and allows them to make recommendations based on your symptoms or needs.
The massage session will/should focus on your major areas of concern. A well trained therapist will also allow time to round out your session with other complementary modalities.
Conditions which will benefit from therapeutic massage modalities are:
Therapeutic massage differs from "spa like" massages in that they are specifically targeted to relieve pain and bring improvement to the acute or chronic issues that arise in the body of almost everyone at some time.
Spa massages generally are high in the "feel so good" response. They are relaxing and indulgent, but are not the best choice for those with chronic or acute pain, or other health issues. Practitioners of quality pamper who offer spa like sessions are providing a level of relaxation on the level of a mini-vacation. Sessions with an excellent relaxation massage therapist are a delight to the senses and will leave you smiling!
However, a massage therapist whose practice focus is to lead you into sustainable relief from pain, stress or other concerns, will provide the "feel good" response and sustainable relief leading to facilitation of healing potential. The modalities listed below can be integrated into therapeutic massage sessions.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage:
The lymphatic system cycles fluids with toxins from our tissues and intestines, it is a key component of the immune system
Similar to the circulatory system, the lymphatic system is a network of vessels that transport lymph fluid and pathogen fighting cells to the tissues of the body. However, it does not have a heart to pump it so it requires movement in order to flow properly.
Lymph vessels are very thin so it is easy for them to become partially clogged by dead cells and proteins or constricted by surrounding connective tissue tensions. For lymphatic drainage, gentle techniques are applied to release tissue tension to encourage lymph fluids to release clearing the internal clogs.
The intestinal lymphatic system serves vital functions in the regulation of tissue fluid homeostasis, immune surveillance, and the transport of nutrients, and conversely this system is affected by, and directly contributes to disease processes within the intestine. Lymphatic Drainage Massage and Visceral Manipulation work well together to improve overall immunity and fluid clearing.
Most people are unaware of the invaluable healing support massage modalities can offer, Visceral Manipulation is a key therapy to alleviate and in many cases promote a cure for many symptoms of the gut as well as improving function of the internal organs of the abdomen.
Visceral manipulation focuses on the internal organs in the abdomen and their interdependent relationship. Physical and emotional traumas such as car accidents, injuries, grief, PTSD and even everyday stressors can cause the tissues in the gut to constrict and twist in a pattern referred to as chronic holding. These restrictions will interfere with the movement of the stomach and bowels leading to conditions like heartburn, bloating, GERD, constipation, intestinal torsion (volvulus), and symptoms of IBS. For more information on the benefits of visceral manipulation visit this article, "Trust your Gut" from the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada
Level of pressure is guided by the client with the intention of gradually being able to move deeper into the abdomen to maximize benefits. Feedback from the client is crucial in all modalities, especially visceral manipulation.
Myo...latin derivation for muscle, fascial...the fascia tissue of the body.
Fascia is an network of tissue that runs throughout the entire body. it is interconnected through every cell, organ, and body cavities. You could remove all the bones, organs and muscles leaving only the fascia and your body would still be the shape it is now. The fascia is the amazing organ that literally holds you together!
Fascia can become injured, dehydrated or restricted. Causes of fascial restriction are numerous, but can be boiled down to injuries, repetitive movements (tennis elbow, etc..), poor workplace ergonomics, surgeries, scar tissue and emotional trauma which can also develop into chronic holding.
An example of chronic holding is finding yourself clenching your jaw...holding your breath, shoulders are up to your ears...everyday stresses of life tend to produce chronic holding as does lifetime traumas or abuse. This holding causes the restriction in the fascia, reduces the flow of blood and lymph leading to chronic pain anywhere in the body.
MFR is the "king" of pain relief modalities and is recognized by many professionals and researchers as highly effective. In addition to being effective for a wide variety of issues, a good therapist will also give you "homework" in the form of self treatment options to further promote healing. This modality is most effective when sessions are frequent and close together.
Pioneered by Osteopathic Physician, John E. Upledger, during his tenure years at Michigan State University where he served as professor of bio-mechanics. He developed the foundational techniques of Cranio-Sacral Therapy used today.
During CST treatment the therapist evaluates and enhances the functioning of what is called the cranio-sacral system. This system is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
Using these techniques practitioners release tension and restrictions in the cranio-sacral system allowing the body to relax and self correct, freeing the central nervous system to perform at it’s best. A truly unique experience this modality produces sustainable relief and a high level of something more than relaxation....it is somewhat indescribable when done with a well experienced therapist.
Reflexology and Trigger Point Therapy
Reflexology and trigger point therapies are similar and yet different. Reflexology focuses on the areas of the body that are junction points for the energetic meridians of the body. This therapy is applied primarily to the feet and hands, but is also used on other parts of the body especially along the neck, shoulders, arms and legs. Similar to acupressure the goal is to relieve congested energy improving the flow of chi or energy in the body system.
Trigger point therapy consists of the practitioner focusing on "hot spots" in the body, commonly referred to as trigger points. Pressure is applied to these painful, sensitive areas in order to alleviate the pain. Active trigger points can cause what is called "referred pain", meaning the constriction at the trigger point may be responsible for pain in other parts of the body. This brings us back to the fascia....restrictions in one part of the body can cause pain in another part of the body!
The therapist finds and applies pressure at painful trigger points which will relax the muscle and affected tissues.
When pressure is applied on the trigger point, it may cause discomfort, though it does sometimes produce the odd effect "it hurts so good"!
This modality is especially helpful for clients who suffer with "range of motion" issues due to injuries, lack of exercise, too much intense exercise or age related to limited movement capability.
During a session of therapeutic stretching the practitioner will initially assess the clients needs and work progressively on the areas of greatest concern.
As with MFR this modality becomes more effective when sessions are regular and clients continue to support the session work by doing recommended practices at home between sessions.
The relief that comes from having someone else stretch you out is amazing! The therapist is able to help you make gains in flexibility and improved range of motion that might not otherwise be possible for you to do on your own. The goal with therapeutic stretching is restoration of movement and improved overall flexibility.
Chronic constipation is nearly the norm in modern societies.
But, what exactly is constipation...how do we define it?
con·sti·pa·tion| ˌkänstəˈpāSH(ə)n | noun
* A condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened feces.
* A high level of constraint or restriction; a pronounced lack of ease.
Constipation is defined by transit time. Essentially from the time you ingest food until it comes out as stool should ideally be within 24-48 hours. Anything longer than that and you are constipated. Anything time shorter than that you may have Irritabel Bowel Syndrome, which is a variation of constipation with the same treatment protocols. See the PDF below for a test to determine your transit time.
Chronic constipation effects more than 20% of the US populations and is as common in children, teens adults and the elderly. For those who care for the elderly it is critical to pay daily attention to their bowel functions and seek professional help from someone who can bring a healthy solution to the problem.
In my practice I have seen that MD's and Emergency Rooms are not equipped with a proper understanding to solve impaction or chronic constipation. They often recommend products that will cause the colon to balloon above the impaction with disastrous results! Bridge to Health offers Emergency Colonic Sessions for situations in which a client is impacted.
Why is constipation a problem.....
Those who suffer from chronic constipation experience these common symptoms...
What are the causes of chronic constipation?
Is it possible to reverse chronic constipation?
Yes, but with all things related to the manifestation of symptoms, we must first be willing to understand that the symptom is the body talking to you....what is your body saying it needs? Just what does it need? The answers can be very individual, but there are tendencies and patterns that I often see in my Wellness and Colon Hydrotherapy practices.
What will help alleviate Chronic Constipation?
Bridge to Health offers the Online Chronic Constipation Relief Protocol as a support for anyone determined to overcome chronic constipation. If you are uncertain whether or not your constipation issue is chronic, schedule a Free Fifteen Minute Wellness Consult with Vanessa Goldeen Certified Wellness Consultant and I-ACT Certified Colon Hydrotherapist.
This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition
My interest in educating you about artificial sweeteners is a subject of a recent recovery success story in my practice and..... a painful story with a sad ending from my younger days.
My closest and dearest friend was an artificial sweetener junkie. Back then it was saccharin which was a trade name for a chemical, benzoic sulfimide. (if you follow this link you'll see who supports it's continued use...these same organization encourage the use of other non-foods as healthy for humans). Sodium saccharin is an artificial sweetener with effectively no food energy. It is 300–400 times as sweet as sucrose with bitter or metallic aftertaste, especially at high concentrations. Saccharin was used to sweeten products such as drinks, candies, cookies, and medicines. One of the principle reason soft drinks use artificial sweeteners...is that they have a low volume. Meaning they can add more water and make more money, sugar takes up too much room!
Now that was back in the early 70's...a clue to my age and experience. I started studying Chinese Medicine in my 20's as a hobby and had always been a closeted science geek. I knew that saccharin was not a good idea. There had been a number studies demonstrating that it clearly caused bladder cancer in animals who were feed drinks containing this potent artificial sweetener.
Over the years I encouraged my friend to STOP using that S#%T. She would wave her hand and tell me in her kindest words that I was a somewhat neurotic health nut!
Because of my interest in natural lifestyle and healthier diet! I was a weirdo to most of my friends, bless them!!
She continued to use saccharine until it was discontinued. Switching to Equal, Sweet & Low, Not that the new alternatives were any better. She found herself gaining more and more weight...which was a result of the way the body processes artificial sweeteners. By the time we were in our late 30's I received sad news from her that she had been diagnosed with cancer. It had gone undiagnosed for some time so she was at stage 3. The cancer had started in her BLADDER.....remember those rats! It spread and she died within a year. Her passing shook all of us, friends and family.
It pains me when I think of how many people, wave their hands and dismiss what is only common sense.
ANYTHING TOO FAR FROM NATURE TO WORK WITH THE BODY'S NATURAL PROCESSING MECHANISMS AND WILL CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE LIVER KIDNEYS AND GUT FUNCTIONS. IT'S A RULE!!
Now, to the present. A client recently came to see me because in spite of the fact that she is only in her early 30's she had presented with elevated liver enzymes and evidence of a fatty liver. She came to me as recommended by a close friend who thought I might be able to help her. Remember, I said I am a science geek, so the first thing I do is a little detective work. I immediately researched issues relating to fatty liver in individuals who do not fit the usual profile. She didn't drink other than occasionally, her diet was fairly healthy and she was not a big junk food eater and fairly active...the most common factor in fatty liver disease in alcohol and poor diet.
Upon reviewing her intake info I discovered that she had been eating a protein drink product "Gold Standard Whey" chocolate flavor for at least the past 3, maybe up to 5 years. This product contains acesulfame whose sweetening effect is even higher than saccharine. Acesulfame is currently being studied as it is implicated that is may be causing liver damage! Additionally she was taking inorganic vitamin supplements, an iron supplement and had occasional IV nutrient infusions to boost her energy and detox her body. All of which also may cause liver damage. IV nutrition has been widely used in hospitals, but recent studies indicate long term use of IV infusions are leading to liver damage. IV infusions are a popular fad these days...we'll be reporting more on this in future blogs.
I set her up with a liver restoring protocols, she began a series of colonics to push the detox, and is also having regular Chi Nei Tsang sessions to help improve her biological functions, increasing serotonin and reducing adrenaline...the true secret to real health! After only 2 months she present her last liver enzyme test to me and her test ratios where nearly normal. Her doctor was AMAZED, stating that she "had rarely ever seen anyone reverse in this way and certainly not this quickly". My client has been diligent and dedicated as her serious health risk threatened everything that means the most to her...her family!
A little note about liver enzymes....
The liver is a powerful organ, able to be restored to healthy function and is highly resilient when you provide it what it needs!
The Bridge to Health Winter Detox focuses on liver health. Look for our upcoming Liver Restoration Protocol which will guide you through all facets of improving liver function. All the BTH Protocols give you access to questions and answer via our members only Protocol Forum...is like having a Certified Wellness Consultant in your pocket...ie, your phone!
The label above doesn't say artificial sweetener. Many of the foods you may be eating daily could contain artificial sweeteners. Unless you know that acesulfame is what it is, you wouldn't recognize it.
They are added to foods such as...
Here's a few more facts about artificial sweeteners....
The following links support evidence that artificial sweeteners.
* Acesulfame potassium affects the gut microbiome and body weight gain.
*Aspartame intake causes changes in the trans-sulphuration pathway, glutathione depletion & liver damage
LEARN MORE ABOUT STAYING HEALTHY SUBSCRIBE TO THE BTH WELLNESS & RECIPE BLOG
How do I know it's Covid?
Having had a recent exposure to Covid at the Bridge to Health office we have decided to post this blog to help clients understand more about when and when not to come in for appointments.
The client thought their symptoms of LOSS OF TASTE AND SMELL were associated with allergies...
In truth this client was four days into a case of COVID and tested positive the next day!
Every person with active symptoms can expose many others who will then pass it on to their families, friend and co-workers. Many of those can be elderly, immune compromised or young children.
Refer to the chart above for a better understanding of symptoms associated with Covid.
FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES AND PASS THEM, NOT THE COVID, ONTO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO AN ACTIVE CASE.....
So I hope you are all getting the import here....get tested regularly, use your commonsense and focus on building your immunity and your consciousness in order to help yourself and others! Below is a chart showing the most common symptoms of Covid.
As a I-ACT Certified Colon Hydrotherapist I often recommend clients undertake a series of sessions close together.
This is not a "sales pitch" but a recommendation that enables the colon to be cleansed of accumulated biofilms, bacteria and older hardened stools. Additionally colonics help relieve constipation, strengthen the colon and improve peristaltic motion. The detoxification from one colonic equals three days of fasting. As a Certified Wellness Consultant, cleansing the colon is the first recommendation I make for those interested in restoring or improving their health. Our motto..."A Commonsense Approach to Wellness"!
Let's break this down......
Biofilm, what is it? and why should I be concerned about it?
How do we get biofilms in the first place?
The long and the short of it is biofilms harbor bacteria of all sorts, lyme, E-coli.....on and on, as well as parasites. These bacteria disrupt the immune system and rob your body of nutrients to support their growth.
A series of colonics is like soaking a crusty casserole dish in hot soapy water.....the more often the sessions, the closer together in combination with dietary recommendation and certain super foods that help break down these films, you will begin to see a wide variety of mucoid biofilm plaques loosen from the colon tract and flow out of the body!
After completing 6-12 sessions over 1-2 months a maintenance program of 1 colonic per month will ensure along with dietary changes, that your colon will be free of the mucoid biofilms. Learn more go to the Colonics link
Improving constipation and colon motility
How does a colonic detoxify the body...
To summarize....Your colon is the most amazing organ in your body!
Learn more about your colon:
Wikipedia, ER Services, The Second Brain, Michael D. Gershon MD
Certified Wellness Consultant speaks up!