Friday, November 6, 2009

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
--Eric Hoffer

I just took a rejuvenating, healing, educational workshop in QiGong by Jeff Primack. It reminded me (again!) of the importance of much it can help us to breathe fully from our abdomen first, then lungs, then out in reverse (yogic breath.) It helps calm the mind and reminds us that we are present in our body NOW, and able to breathe at this moment. (So why all the worries?) It also helps us deal with the difficult emotions that arise from tragic world events and similar or challenging individual ones. Instead of "One day at a time" I think it would be helpful to focus on "One breath at a time."

Jeff also talked about healing our bodies of ANY illnesses with food from the grocery store! Quite a claim, with many testimonials. He advocates making smoothies which include the phytochemicals in seeds, stems, rinds, and skins. These phytochemicals are necessary for our cells to detoxify. It's certainly not new knowledge that fresh vegetables and seafood are so good for us, but Jeff incorporates specific foods that come from different parts of the world (ie. Goji berries) for specific illnesses (such as cancer.) One of the benefits of the world getting "smaller", so to speak, is that we have accessibility to amazing healing foods from different areas. His website is

This workshop "charged me up" so I'm excited to perhaps add some smoothies to improve my diet and health. And I'm more motivated to take time to relax and breathe, and focus on healing myself and helping, in my own small way, to help others heal themselves.

There is much more, of course, about the QiGong, and building up chi. Ask me about it when I see you next, or give me a call.

So I hope to see you soon, for a relaxing, HEALING, massage!

How Can Massage Help You?

Massage is one of the best known antidotes for stress. Reducing stress gives you more energy, improves your outlook on life, and in the process, reduces your likelihood of injury and illness. Massage can also relieve symptoms of conditions that are aggravated by anxiety such as asthma or insomnia. Because it relieves stress, massage is an excellent supportive therapy for people in psychological counseling or treatment for addiction.

Painful or Tight Muscles
Massage can relieve many types of muscle tightness, from a short-term muscle cramp to a habitually clenched jaw or tight shoulders. Massage acts directly on your muscles with stretching and kneading motions. It also stimulates the nervous system to instruct muscles to relax even more. Regular massage helps retrain chronically tight muscles to hold relaxation longer instead of returning to an habitual state of tension.

Massage can help heal injuries such as tendonitis that develop over time, as well as ligament sprains or muscle strains caused by an accident. Massage reduces inflammation by increasing circulation, which removes waste products and brings nutrition to the injured cells. Certain massage techniques can limit scar formation in new injuries and can reduce or make more pliable, scar tissue around old injuries.

Massage releases restrictions in muscles, joints and the muscles' tough connective tissue coverings (fascia), freeing your body to return to a more natural posture. Massage can also relieve the contracted muscles and pain caused by abnormal spinal curvatures such as scoliosis.


Recent News Reveals More Massage Health Benefits

Your really have to love massage! It seems that every new massage-related study brings to light more proof of how regular bodywork can improve your overall health. Here are a few more examples, hot off the press!

Massage Shown to Relieve Headache

Headaches are a leading cause of pain-and massage therapy helps relieve them.

About 78% of Americans experience a tension-type headache at some point in their lives, according to the National Headache Foundation.

New research shows the application of a single session of massage produces an immediate decrease in tension, anger status, and perceived pain in patients with chronic tension-type headache, and that the relief from a massage lasts at least one full day.

Researchers from Universidad Granada's Department of Physical Therapy, in Spain, tested massage on 11 patients; eight females and three males, between the ages of 20 and 68 years old. Patients received either the experimental treatment (massage protocol) or a placebo intervention (detuned ultrasound).

Pairwise comparisons showed that head pain (numerical pain rating scale) decreased 24 hours after manual therapy, but not after the placebo intervention, according to an abstract published on

Ther research ran in a September issue of the Journal of Manipulative and physiological Therapeutics.

Research: Healthy Muscles and White Blood Cells

Various studies have shown that massage therapy can increase white blood-cell count. In a new study, European scientists have found that, when a muscle is injured, white blood cells called macrophages play a crucial role in its regeneration.

Normally, macrophages--the white blood cells known for engulfing and eliminating bacteria and other infectious agents--are drawn to areas of injury. Once there, they act as "garbage men," eliminating the dead cells and releasing pro-inflammatory factors, fending off infection.

After clearing up the debris, macrophages stop releasing those pro-inflammatory factors, and start making anti-inflammatory factors that promote repair in the damaged area. This shift from clearing debris to promoting building is known as macrophage polarization and is essential for muscles to regenerate properly.

"There seems to be this point of no return", says researcher Nadia rosenthal. "If macrophages don't make this switch, then the muscle won't repair itself [and] you just end up with scar, instead of new tissue." Source:

Stress Relief Doesn't Just Feel Good, It's Good for You

Common Link between Chronic Stress and Serious Health Issues

"Doctors have linked chronic stress to a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, inflammatory arthritis and certain cancers. Stress can contribute to headaches, digestive problems, back pain, and difficulty sleeping. ...

"Reducing stress through massage therapy will have long-lasting health benefits, but what many don't realize is that massage therapy will also relieve respiratory issues, aid in post-surgery rehabilitation, and aid in prenatal care. Relieving stress has a domino effect in regards to other health benefits that people tend to overlook when considering a massage session."
2009 Massage Marketing