Massage

Massage for Arthritis

massage-300x200by Jeanne Mancinelli, RN, LMT

Massage is often used to relieve common symptoms of arthritis by helping to reduce pain and stiffness, easing anxiety, improving range of motion in joints, and helping to promote restful sleep. People who experience the chronic symptoms of arthritis may consider using massage therapy regularly and even daily self-massage to help manage the joint pain and stiffness or help promote better sleep.

Massage is an ancient form of pain and stress relief that usually involves physical manipulation of the muscles as well as relaxation techniques. Swedish massage, the most common type of massage utilized for this, involves long fluid stroking of muscles and tissues to reduce soreness and stiffness in muscles and joints, reduce anxiety, and improve circulation. The therapist may utilize heat and cold applications to the muscles and joints. Certain essential oils may also be employed to relax the muscles or ease joint pain.

Be sure to tell your massage therapist that you have arthritis and point out the affected joints prior to the start of the session.  During the massage, the therapist should check in frequently with you to determine if the pressure is within your comfort range. If it is not, be sure to tell  them immediately.

Performing self massage can help manage muscle and joint pain between massage sessions. If done daily, you may be able to lengthen the time between massage sessions. Inform your therapist if you are interested in learning self massage. It is not difficult to learn and can be incorporated in your appointment. Before getting any type of massage, it is always best to consult your physician if massage is safe for your arthritis or any other health conditions you may have.

Call Jeanne Mancinelli today at 610-393-9676 for you FREE consultation!!!

Too Busy to Relax?

massage-300x200by Jeanne Mancinelli, RN, LMT

Busy-ness is the trend these days. People carry over-packed schedules like winning trophies. I’m SO busy at work! How do you have time to do that? I’m too busy to read/watch TV/exercise/do anything fun. I can’t get monthly massages I have too much to DO!

Too much “busy” could be making you tired, sick, and probably cranky.

When do you relax? RELAX. “Relaxation” is a word we hear often, but don’t know always know what it means. Here, I’ve compiled some options for you.

re·lax  verb \ri-ˈlaks\

1: the state of being free from tension or anxiety.

2: a way to rest and enjoy yourself

3: recreation or rest, especially after a period of work.

4: the loss of tension in a part of the body, especially in a muscle when it ceases to contract.

5: something that you do to stop feeling nervous, worried, etc.

More importantly, what does relaxation mean to you? 

If you’re not a “hot bath and good book” kind of person, you probably cringe at Calgon commercials and spa photos of people with stones piled on their backs. But here’s the beauty: You can make your own definition of relaxation.

It’s your job to figure out what you enjoy doing, what makes you smile, and what makes you feel like you are a hundred miles from work or home jobs?

Then, make time for that. 

You have a schedule. Write in special time for a hobby, a nap, massage, your favorite show, a weekend getaway, a new class, ANY thing you enjoy can be relaxing.

Need someone to give you a reason? Want permission?

August 15 is National Day of Relaxation. Yes, it’s a thing! And it’s just begging for celebration.

Here are some ideas:

  • Spend part of the day alone.
  • Spend part of the day with your family, doing ONLY fun stuff.
  • Meditate
  • Devote time to your hobby.
  • Sleep in. Or get up extra early. Whichever excites you!
  • Arrange for take-out or pre-cooked meals all day.
  • Schedule a massage! (My personal favorite.)

Call Jeanne Mancinelli LMT to schedule 610-393-9676.

If you’ve always wanted a day to “not leave the house” today’s the day! Wake when you wish, eat when you’re hungry, stay in your jammies and read a book.

Taking care of you is important. And, self-care puts you in a better frame of mind to take care of the people who depend on you. So find the thing that mellows you out, and make it happen!

 

Keeping Your Inner Well from Running Dry

Close-up of a young woman receiving back massage at spa

by Jeanne Mancinelli, RN, LMT, Reiki Practitioner

Constantly giving to family, friends, job, life events all help to drain your energy. When the inner well is full, we are able to give as the situation needs. If these events or situations begin to drain our energy and we do not take the time to replenish our supply, then we run into trouble.

As the body approaches this level, it begins to send out warning signals. These can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor quality of sleep
  • Feeling “down”
  • Irritable, Etc.

Now we are entering a “dis-ease” state. If left unchecked, it will spiral downward and become more systemic. You may experience:

  • An increase in blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent severe headaches

How to replenish the well?

  • First is to recognize the situation
  • Secondly, realize that if you do not take care of yourself, you could end up with a physical or emotional breakdown.

What do do?

What helps you relax? Make some “you time.” This is where massage can help. As early as 15 minutes into the massage, the body releases endorphins. These are the “feel good” hormones. During this time your blood pressure begins to lower. Further into the massage, your muscles begin to relax and tension begins to ease. Clients frequently report improved sleep.

The type of massage will depend on the needs of the client. The therapist should discuss the expectations of the client. Some people prefer a more vigorous massage, while others enjoy the long, slow strokes of the Swedish massage. Incorporating essential oils can help ease muscle tension, help elevate moods, and help alleviate stress.

Taking time to refill your inner well is good preventative medicine.

According to a statement issued by the American Massage Therapy Association, there is a growing body of research supporting the health benefits of massage. They have listed 25 conditions that are positively affected by massage.

Included in this list are:

  • Relieve stress
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Relieve tension headaches
  • Improved sleep, Etc.

Massage is so much more than what a lot of people think it is.

Massage is not just a frivolous activity. It improves your health and well-being, it is good preventative medicine.

Join Jeanne Mancinelli, licensed massage therapist, for a cup of tea in our homey kitchen and learn about the different kinds of massage and their benefits.

Tuesday, February 9th at 5:30-6:30 pm

Register with Jeanne at 610.393.9676.

 

 

 

 

 

Massage, the Ultimate Mind Body Medicine

Massage, the ultimate mind body medicine isn’t just for the wealthy any more. . . and it isn’t a rare occasion when someone enjoys a massage.  Now-a-days, many people are taking regular trips for a massage to a spa, chiropractic office, alternative health centers, and even a hospital. Is this a sign that people are becoming proactive with their health?  Let’s hope so!

People of all ages are scheduling a massage on a regular basis because they have learned that it isn’t just a mental sensation that makes them feel better, but a very deep healing process. Something many of us don’t realize is that a massage also involves giving us a sense of being cared for, comfort, empowerment, and adds to the healing process by creating a deep connection with another human being, the massage therapist.  These are all so important for our over-all health.

          We have all heard that newborns need touching or they will die.  It seems that we humans never stop needing to be touched and a massage is the “ultimate touch.”

        Physical contact is more precious than ever in our world where so much of our interaction is virtual (Facebook, e-mails, and texts).

Most people don’t realize that our skin is our body’s largest organ, and when its sensory receptors are stimulated, the hormone oxytocin, the one that makes you feel good, is released. At the same time, cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced.

We just don’t realize how stressed we are until we have relaxed enough to feel the difference.  That gives us a clue as to how deeply a massage can affect us. Since the skin is the largest “organ” in the body, it is amazing what benefits we experience when it is massaged or even when we are touched.

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine and is increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Check the website, TwinPondsCenter.com, one of the largest complementary and alternative health centers in the country, to learn the many types of massages available.

It is the touch of massage that has become the ultimate mind-body medicine. If you’re into “preventative medicine,” this is a great avenue to take; however, once the body has gotten off balance, some studies have found massage to be helpful for:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Paresthesias and nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain
  • Happiness
  • Lowered blood pressure & heart rate
  • Boosted immune function
  • Relief from pain
  • Stress release  (cortisol hormone level drops)
  • Release of muscle tightness

Because there are many different types of massage for specific conditions or diseases, it is recommended that you talk with a few experienced practitioners to be confident the one you choose is the right one for you. 

Despite the fact that massage is called the Ultimate Mind Body Medicine, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care.  Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

For more information and help in finding the right practitioner for you, please call 610-395-3355.

 

 

Lymphatic Drainage by Vera Lovewell, RN, LMT

Lymphatic System
by Vera Lovewell, RN, LMT

The lymphatic system is so important to our health. It plays a vital role in balancing our body’s fluid distribution. The lymph system is also a major component of our immune system. It aids in filtering bacteria and toxins out of the body and assists the body to fight infection.

As with any system of the body, there are things we can do to optimize its function. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a central pump (heart) to move fluids. It depends on the pumping action created by the movement of muscles; so exercise and activity are important to the functioning of the lymph system. The muscle movement of the diaphragm is a major mover of the lymph; therefore, good deep breathing is important.  A good balanced diet that maintains a healthy weight is also important. Treat yourself well and you’ll treat your lymph system well.

Unfortunately, despite good effort, not everyone is blessed with a healthy lymph system.

Whether it is residual damage from a surgery or a traumatic injury, or a genetic trait, some people experience an insufficient lymph system that causes chronic edema in their  leg (s) or arm (s); lymphedema. Many people are never adequately treated. In the USA manual lymph drainage wasn’t really practiced until the 1980’s – 90’s. Manual
lymphatic drainage and complete decongestive therapy can treat this problem, reducing the edema and supporting the lymph system.

Lymphatic drainage is beneficial to many people. It is used to reduce lymphedema caused by dysfunctions or impairments of the lymph system. It assists with the edema and healing of chronic leg wounds often found with venous statis/peripheral vascular disease.  Manual lymphatic drainage reduces the chronic inflammation suffered by people with various forms of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other autoimmune diseases. And, it is also beneficial to the healthy population who desire to detox their bodies and give a boost to their immune systems.

Manual lymphatic drainage is a very gentle massage technique that encourages the flow of lymph from the extremities back toward the body’s center and to the circulatory system.  Decongestive therapy is the wrapping done with special bandages after manual lymphatic drainage treatments. It helps maintain the flow of lymph and furthers reduction of edema.

It’s an exciting field that is beneficial to many people and I’m happy that it can now be offered at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center.

If you have a need for Lymphatic Drainage or Complete Decongestive Therapy, please
call 610.395.3355

Do You Know Why a Lymphatic Massage…

is beneficial for your health? The lymph is like its red brother, blood. It filters foreign matter and removes excess fluid, protein, and waste products from the tissues and transports them to the blood to be circulated and eliminated.

If the lymph didn’t do its job, you would die from protein poisoning within
twenty-four hours.

Unlike the blood, lymph does not have a heart to pump it through the body. It moves along slowly with the help of the contractions of voluntary muscles (a reason exercise is beneficial), squeezes of intestinal muscles, and pulsations of nearby arteries. The negative pressure in the chest cavity provides suction.

External hands-on stimulation helps increase the passage of lymph, especially when it gets backed up.

Lymph collects at nearly eight hundred nodes throughout the body, with two hundred in the neck alone. When nodes become swollen in the neck, armpit, or groin, the areas feel tender.  And, when the ankles, feet, legs, arms, and hands become thick with accumulated fluid, you have edema. Lymphedema also may occur following the removal of lymph nodes due to cancer.

Therapist and doctors report good results for:

  • sprains and bruises
  • puffiness in the face following cosmetic or dental surgery
  • muscular spasms from overuse or chronic tension
  • also figures in the treatment of:  sinusitis, burns, acne, scars, arthritis, emphysema, migraines, tinnitus, trigeminal neuralgia, spinal injuries, and some cerebral disorders

For patients who have undergone such operations as hysterectomy, prostectomy, and mastectomy, clinical evidence indicates that Massage Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) moves fluid when an area can no longer perform this function. If begun before the 5th month of pregnancy, it can serve as a preventive for swelling and stretch marks.

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center has 4 Lymphatic Massage Therapists.  If you would like to make an appointment, please call 610.395.3355.

“I was introduced to the Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The massages continue to be very helpful in my recovery and well being.” Mary 

Research by European scientists confirms the effects of MLD. From the book, “Discovering the Body’s Wisdom,” by Mirka Knaster

 

When Is It My Turn? I’m tired of feeling stressed!

Does this sound like you?  It was me.

“Caught between…. The sandwich generation….. no time……stressed, running through life…. pulled every which way.  I love my husband, my kids, my parents, his Dad, my kid’s friends, my friends.  Am I crazy?  I want the very best for them.  I wonder how we can better communicate.  What do they want? Need? As a wife, mother, co-worker and friend,  I have to be a their leader and a supporter, but I can see us all falling into the same stress traps, and all living with chronic often destructive stress.  I see them stuck in certain behaviors which cause them problems.   How am I stuck? Am I the one on a treadmill which is going in the wrong direction?” 

Then I started working with Betsy Wetzig and her Coordination Pattern Training to fix my chronic knee and back pains.  She told me about her upcoming (it was last January) Self and JOY Renewal Retreat.  The flyer read……Release, Refresh, ReJoy and ReNew! …….. It sounded like my turn!  Break out of the behaviors which are holding you back, making life less fun or even causing chronic stress and pain.  It so sounded like just what I needed, including a mini one and a half day vacation.  Enjoy fun, play, food/cooking, and music as you improve the way you move, enjoy life and interact with others.  And that’s exactly what happened.

From the start, I got a core understanding of my style and how other people were different from me.  I saw how some of my “restricting” habits were learned in my family and culture and how I was handing them on.

By Saturday, as we all entered into a fun competition of salad plate design I saw a new me, using the new creativity and communication skills, I had learned just that morning.  But most of all I learned how to turn stress into something positive.  I experienced how the Coordination Pattern Training exercises opened up both my movement and my mental processes so I could respond to stress in a healthy positive way.

Betsy said that Coordination Pattern Training does not “change the computer, but it does clean up your basic hard drive and get all the programs and apps working smoothly.  It helps you to breakthrough to your best self and your easiest way of functioning.” Release, Refresh, ReJoy and ReNew! …….. It was my turn!

“ JANET”, a doctor’s wife.

Deep Relaxation For The Body

One of my regular clients at Twin Ponds integrative Health Center called for a massage today and requested a 90 minutes massage.  He wanted to feel relaxed at a very deep level.

Every time I give a massage it is different.  I love just following my inner guidance and the client’s requests to make the session special for that client on that day. I set up the room with the heated pad to warm his muscles and put on some gentle soothing music. These start the relaxation process.  I blended some gentle and long Swedish massage strokes and deep tissue massage, to help with the release of tension and knots. His 90 minute session gave me the opportunity to spend more time on his right shoulder that was holding a lot of tension.

Before I started to work on his back, I did some Craniosacral Therapy to release restrictions that would improve the functioning of his central nervous system. This was a new experience for him and the depth of relaxation he was feeling was amazing to him! He commented on how surprising it is that just placing hands in certain areas allowed his breathing to go so deep. The 90 minute session also allowed me to do extra work on his back and legs. I did different massage strokes and Myofascia Release where I gently applied pressure into the myofascial connective tissue restrictions.  This helps to eliminate pain and restore motion for overall better results. I could feel his muscles let go of the tension.  When I massaged his legs, he told me they felt lighter.

It is very rewarding to get feedback right away. I finished our session with some gentle energy healing called Reiki which helps the body relax and quiets the mind at the same time.  This energy work enhanced the massage and allowed the muscles to let go even more.

By the time he was ready to go home, he was so relaxed he looked as if he had just awakened from a deep sleep! Some research states that a massage is equivalent to four hours of sleep. It is so rewarding to help someone reach such a deep level of relaxation in just a short period of time.

I love helping my clients relax on all levels: body, mind and spirit. Blending gentle, deep massage with energy work like Reiki gives amazing results.  I feel such joy knowing that because of the depth of this client’s relaxation, his muscles will continue letting go of the tension he was experiencing.

Murielle Wesch, Licensed Massage Therapist