Sunday, January 23, 2011

Self Massage Muscle Aches and Trigger Points


I wanted to tell you today about the Acuball, which is now have available in the office.  The Acuball is a fantastic tool to have in your home care kit to self massage muscle aches and trigger points, and they can be heated!

The large ball can be heated either in the microwave, or in a pot of boiling water.  The heat provided is not super hot, but a very comforting warmth that slowly penetrates into your muscles, soothing and relaxing the outer layers of musculature, while the knobby curves of the ball stretch and release trigger points and tight tissues.

The large ball has a small groove in the middle of it, allowing you can lie down on it, placing the groove along your spine, so that you can work the muscles on either side of the spine without putting pressure on your spinous processes.  This is a great way to release the tissues in your low back.  Simply lie on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor.  I recommend starting on a soft surface such as a bed or sofa, or you can try a carpeted floor or yoga mat if you want a more intense release. 

Get the ball into position by lifting your hips off the floor, and place the ball in the small of your back, making sure that the groove is running parallel along your spine, and slowly relax down onto it.  Take a few deep breaths as you relax onto the ball, and stay there for a few minutes.  This is intense, so relax and give it a few minutes to let the muscles loosen.  If you have instability issues with your lower spine, please check with a health care professional before trying this.

This technique works well between the shoulders and neck level also.  My favorite thing to do is start with the ball at the base of the skull, take a few deep breaths, feel the release, and then move your body up just slightly, so that you creep up on the ball and it thereby moves slightly further down your spine.  Relax again, and continue moving up, and inch or two at a time, as the ball slowly moves down your spine, releasing segment by segment.  In ten minutes it will feel like you have had an hour massage!

The large ball is also great for releasing tight hamstrings.  Simply place it under your leg while sitting on a firm chair, and feel those trigger points melt away!

The Acuball Mini is wonderful for more specific work between shoulders, feet, temples, forearms, hips, pectorals, or practically anywhere!  You can put it into a long sock and lean against a wall onto it, lie on it, or simply press it into areas such as quads or forearms.  Use is just like you would a tennis ball.

The Mini is heated in boiling water for 10 minutes, but cannot be used in the microwave.

They both also work great without being heated, so you can take them with you anywhere!

These ingenious little trigger point terminators are fantastic, and I highly recommend picking yourself up a pair soon.  I will be re-ordering soon, but do still have a few left in stock if you don’t want to wait!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Green Cleanse Smoothie


Ah yes, time for another smoothie recipe!  This one will be the perfect remedy to an overindulgent season!  It is chock full of cleansing, alkalizing fruits and veggies to help clear out those pipes and get you out of the rich food blues!

1 apple – core and chop
1 lemon – I put the whole thing in, but if you are a little apprehensive then just use the juice
½ cup blueberries
½ cucumber
½ head romaine lettuce
½ bunch parsley

Just drop it all in the blender, add a tiny bit of water if needed, and blend until smooth.  It is like taking a scouring pad to the inside of your body – you will feel pure and clean after!

Note: this is a fairly advanced smoothie, as far as taste and texture go.  If you have been making them regularly then you will enjoy this one.  If you are new to smoothies, you might want to break yourself in slower, and try banana, blueberry and romaine to start.  Once you acquire a taste for green drinks, you can cut back on the higher sugar fruits, and increase the veggies for even more health benefits!

If you would like more great green smoothie recipes, please visit  Simple and Scrumptious Green Smoothies

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Health Prevention and Maintenance


Our society is so “cure-fixated”, that we seem to forget
that we can actually prevent things from happening in the
first place.

It is well known that many of today’s diseases are at least
partially lifestyle related.  Many forms of cancer, Type 2
diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders, and obesity,
just to name a few, are more prevalent in developed Western
societies.  

Our reliance on the drug industry allows for abuse.  It
doesn’t matter what we eat, drink or do anymore, because if
we get sick, there is a drug for that.

But our health care system is going to reach a breaking
point soon (or has it already?)  And will there be a “cure”
for that?

I have many clients who come in for massage therapy on a
regular basis, not because they are in pain, but because
they want to avoid it.  So many times we will find tense
tender muscles, and release the tissues before they get to
the point that they become an issue.

The other approach is to wait until you are feeling pain,
and then come for treatments.  Although this works too, it
often takes many more treatments to get things back to
normal.

This process works the same in other health situations. 
Lets use type 2 diabetes for example.  If you eat a low
glycemic diet with emphasis on fresh vegetables, fruits,
nuts and seeds, have regular meals and exercise regularly,
you should be able to avoid ever having to worry about
diabetes.  

If, on the contrary, you eat the way most do in this part of
the world, you are a diabetic ticking time bomb.  Once the
disease has taken hold, it is much harder to maintain or
improve through diet and exercise alone.

Think about all the things in your daily life needing
regular maintenance to prevent deterioration.  Garden beds,
vehicles, relationships, homes, appliances, teeth, muscles,
bodies, the list is endless.  Just imagine what would happen
if you stopped maintaining these things.  They might
continue to function for a while, but all will fail sooner
or later, and take much more energy to get back to its
original state, if it is even possible!

In this time of excess, please take a step back and ask if
what you are about to do or ingest might help preserve your
health, or contribute to its slow destruction.