arthritis

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!!!

Joints hurt? Arthritis is NO fun!

 

Nutritional counseling, a priority treatment for arthritis, can greatly reduce the painful symptoms.  Most people with arthritis don’t realize how much nutrition can improve the way they feel.

Nutrition Counseling and  Lifestyle Coaching are your first line of defense against disease. They teach you that self-care is the “finest health care.” Then you realize that doctors have a very small role to play in your staying healthy.

Of all the different types of arthritis, the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. As anyone with arthritis can tell you, osteoarthritis sufferers truly suffer as their knees wear down, rheumatoid arthritis can twist and deform the fingers, and gout can make the simple act of walking agony.  Chiropractic care is a great modality to help with painful joints.

Eliminating the following will help:

·        Fried & Processed Foods

·        Sugars & Refined  Foods

·        Alcohol & Tobacco

·        Salt & Preservatives

·        Genetically modified oils (Omega-6) – soy, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, and canola                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Ease your painful symptoms of arthritis by eating plenty of foods and ingredients that naturally reduce inflammation such as these:

Omega-3 Fats – The best foods for omega-3 fatty acids are salmon (wild, fresh or canned), herring, mackerel (not king), sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, Pacific oysters, flaxseeds (ground and oil), chia seeds, and walnuts.

Vitamin C – It is important to make vitamin C-rich foods — such as guava, bell peppers (yellow, red, orange, and green), oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, pineapple, broccoli, kidney beans, kiwi, and cauliflower — a part of your daily diet. (High-dose vitamin C supplements can actually be harmful for osteoarthritis sufferers, so talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.)

Olive Oil Contains a natural compound called oleocanthal which may help prevent arthritis-related inflammation. This compound blocks the same inflammatory pathways as ibuprofen and aspirin, medications commonly used to fight arthritis pain

Carotenes beta carotene: found in foods like cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, kale, butternut squash, and spinach; and beta-cryptoxanthin, found in foods like winter squash, pumpkin, persimmons, papaya, tangerines, red peppers, corn, oranges and apricots.

Anthocyanins Some of the best foods include: cherries, blackberries, black currents, blueberries, eggplant, elderberries, raspberries, boysenberries, red and black grapes, strawberries, and plums.

Spices Among the most promising anti-inflammatory spices: turmeric, the Asian mustard yellow spice found in curry, and ginger because it contains chemicals that work similarly to some anti–inflammatory medications.

Many people with arthritis don’t realize how much their food choices and lack of exercise can worsen the pain or, on the flip side, improve the way they feel. It is important to work with a professional to get the support, encouragement, and knowledge to make the diet and lifestyle changes that will enable you to lead a pain free, productive life.

Call today for an appointment with Gale Maleskey, MS, RD.

 

 

Nutritional Counseling, Wellness Coaching, and Chiropractic Care (incl. Functional Medicine) are offered for arthritis sufferers at Twin Ponds Integrative Center 610-395-3355

Feldenkrais®: Making the Impossible, Possible and Easy!

Anna, a middle aged mother of two has been experiencing more and more physical pain as she gets older. A childhood auto accident left her with physical challenges, but now her hip is the main concern. Her physician said that she would probably need a hip replacement in her future.

Naturally, Anna became very fearful about this prognosis and mentioned it to Laura, her good friend. Laura told her that she had read an article recently about an alternative health modality called Feldenkrais that helps people with hip problems, arthritis, and other painful physical conditions.

Anna was a little skeptical, but pursued the search for a Feldenkrais practitioner and made an appointment immediately. Sure enough, her experience after her first private session, which was called Functional Integration®, made her feel very hopeful.  Her tight muscles felt more relaxed and she was more aware of her body feeling more open. The practitioner used gentle, non-invasive touch and verbal instruction to guide her in her own movement process. As she walked down the hall after this session, she felt taller, her balance seemed to be better, and her hip was not hurting like it did before the treatment.

After a couple private Functional Integration sessions, the practitioner suggested that Anna attend some Feldenkrais classes called “Awareness through Movement.”  During the class the practitioner verbally directed the students to highly sophisticated movement sequences that were very pleasurable and effortless.  She did most of these exercises while on a floor mat, but there were others in the class who did them sitting in a chair.

Since Anna has been attending the classes for a couple months and doing the exercises at home, she has gradually felt less and less pain in the hip area. Her balance and flexibility has greatly improved along with her range and ease of movement.

What her original research said was that Feldenkrais exercises help at a fundamental level by improving the body’s underlying neuromuscular and skeletal organization. Learning new ways to move can be an essential addition to the treatment of neurological, orthopedic, chronic pain and stress-related conditions.

Since she caught the problem soon enough, surgery in her future is unlikely; however, she has learned that those who do have hip surgery still benefit greatly from the Feldenkrais classes because their physical therapy recovery is so much easier and faster.

Feldenkrais classes and private sessions are available at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center.

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

 

Feldenkrais: Pain in the Knee

Feldenkrais: Pain in the Knee

Alternatives to surgery for treating joint pain from arthritis

Even if you still have a spring in your step, chances are fifty-fifty that you have, or will have, “some evi­dence of osteoarthritis of the knee,” according to Mark R. Cutkosky, a mechanical engineer at Stanford University. He is part of a research program, known as Movement Re­training, which focuses on alleviat­ing pain by analyzing and possibly changing a person’s stride.

One of the major problems at the root of knee pain is uneven wear and tear on the knee cartilage, which leads to arthritis. “We’re trying to slow the rate at which arthritis progresses,” says Cutkosky. But, he cautions, do not to try changing your stride on your own: you could do more harm than good. The program is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and covered in a special report in NSF’s Science Nation.

With the guidance of a Feldenkrais Method teacher, you could safely change not only your stride, but how you habitually organize and move your whole self—since the knees are dynamically connected to, among other things, the ankles, pelvis, ribs, breath, and eyes. Devised by a scientist determined to defy the medical verdict that only surgery could relieve his knee pain, the neurologically informed method uses gentle movement and attention to unlock the brain’s power to learn a better way.

Exercise in general is crucial for people with arthritis, according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, lack of exercise can make your joints even more painful and stiff, “because keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones.

Carol Siddiqi, Certified Yoga Teacher & Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner