Category Archives: therapeutic massage

“Love Your Body” Guide – Valentine’s Day Edition

Social media, commercials, and the beauty industry bombard us daily with an unrealistic and often unhealthy view of what our bodies should look and feel like. We are shown photoshopped and edited versions of real women and men to shape our ideas of what beauty is. It’s time we get back to loving our amazing bodies and how they function. This Valentine’s Day, our staff at Angel Healing Group recommends celebrating your body for what it can do rather than what the media tells us we should believe beauty to be.

The statistics in our society are scary, at best. The National Organization for Women (NOW) reports that “By age thirteen, 53% of American girls are unhappy with their bodies. This number grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.” In order to counteract these negative feelings and sense of body-shaming, experts suggest de-emphasizing numbers such as the ones we see on the scale or on the tags of clothing. In fact, neither weight nor Body Mass Index tells practitioners anything substantial about body composition and overall health. Instead, eating habits, activity patterns, and other self-care choices are much more important in the larger scheme of things.

While there is no magic cure to solving our society’s obsession with beauty, we can counteract some of these messages with our own challenge to you this year – “Love Your Body.” How can you do this? Here are just a few of the ways that you can begin to embrace and celebrate the way that our bodies work to keep us safe, healthy, and happy.

  • Find a holistic practitioner who can help you discover the right foods for your body. This will include a guide to wholesome foods to eat and an adequate water intake.  Avoid fad diets and how problematic these can be. At Angel Healing Group we help clients discover their constitutional body type according to Ayurveda so people can choose foods and herbs that are more appropriate for their constitution versus a “one diet for everyone.”
  • Change your mindset about your body. You are a person, not a number on a scale or a size on a tag. Your body is made up of interdependent parts. When one part is not working correctly, all parts are impacted. Therefore, if there is an imbalance in one area, it may be affecting another area. Take care of your whole body and help it function the way it was meant to.
  • Explore alternative methods to support your body. For example, our IonCleanse® Foot Soaks can help detox your body and give your organs and systems the support they need to cleanse themselves. Or consider Therapeutic Body Massage to improve: muscle tone, circulation, sleep patterns, mental clarity, mood and range of motion. For those of you struggling with long-term or chronic health challenges, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or Far Infrared Therapy may be a better fit. Our practitioners can discuss which treatment is right for you and your lifestyle or health situation.
  • Think about how you feel. For many on a better health journey, they forget to consider how they feel on a daily basis. Are aches and pains subsiding? Is there a better range of motion when doing tasks around the house? Can you enjoy your hobbies or sports? Instead of envisioning what the media has taught us about being healthy and doing activities, like going to the gym, think about how you feel on a daily basis.
  • Be mindful. When you hear yourself thinking negative things about your body, or comparing yourself to airbrushed models, remind yourself about your body’s abilities. Transform those negative thoughts into reflections of how far you have come or how good you feel after eating right, exercising, or taking part in meditation. Loving your body starts in your mind!

 

This Valentine’s Day, enjoy being with your loved ones, but don’t forget to love your body too. Nurturing the parts of your body, mind, and spirit as one can make this year a great one. If you are interested in supporting your body in order for it to work the way it was intended, contact our practitioners through the contact page on our website. Happy Valentine’s Day to all. May this year be the one you learn to appreciate and love your body both inside and out.

 

Fibromyalgia and the Benefits of Therapeutic Massage

Fibromyalgia Syndrome is a widely misunderstood and mistreated condition that causes chronic pain, fatigue, and mental distress. Part of what we do here at Angel Healing Group is give our clients options to help alleviate the pain associated with this condition through therapeutic massage, often in coordination with other therapies. Let’s take a closer look at Fibromyalgia including the symptoms, causes and how the benefits of therapeutic massage can be a welcome relief for those living with this painful and often overlooked syndrome.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder resulting in abnormal pain processing. Most people suffering from this syndrome describe widespread muscle pain, tender point pain, extreme fatigue, morning muscle stiffness, headaches, sleep difficulties, anxiety and/or depression. In general, the symptoms resemble those of arthritis, but fibromyalgia affects the soft tissue, not the joints. The pain of this syndrome can range from mild to profound and is commonly described as having the flu all the time. To make matters worse, those living with Fibromyalgia often have dual diagnoses with other chronic conditions such as: chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and vulvodynia.

Prevalence

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), around 5 million adults aged 18 years or over in the U.S. experience the debilitating and chronic pain of Fibromyalgia. While men and children have been known to have the syndrome, more than 80 to 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients are women in middle age. Given these statistics, it is obvious that those who live with Fibromyalgia are not alone, although they often feel as though they are because they suffer for weeks and even years with symptoms that are not outwardly obvious.

Cause and Treatment Options

Although the cause of this syndrome is unknown, specialists in Fibromyalgia report in Medical News Today that risk factors include traumatic injury, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, and genetic factors. Recently, the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) issued a recommendation against using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat fibromyalgia in their updated 2016 guidelines. Other drugs have been tested to ease mental distress and the widespread pain associated with the syndrome. Antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs may help reduce pain. Unfortunately, further review has recommended that patients often stop using these drugs because they are not effective in relieving pain or because of their adverse effects. NIAMS puts forward a three-pronged treatment option for Fibromyalgia. It includes: traditional prescriptions to help with pain, lifestyle modifications, and complementary therapies such as therapeutic massage.

The Benefits of Therapeutic Massage

For many people living with the pain of Fibromyalgia, traditional medicines have not been able to provide any relief. Complementary therapies such as therapeutic massage may hold the key for help with the pain, fatigue, headaches, mood, and muscle stiffness. Recent studies completed at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Touch Research Institute examined the benefits of Therapeutic Massage for those with Fibromyalgia. The report concluded that massage therapy provided the following benefits: increased serotonin levels, decreased circulating stress hormones, decreased levels of substance P (basically a pain messenger), decreased tender point pain, improved sleep patterns, and an improved overall sense of well-being. The principal investigators stated that massage therapy is a clinically significant complementary treatment for Fibromyalgia. In addition to this study, the National Institutes of Health also recommends supporting treatments such as therapeutic massage.

The benefits of therapeutic massage include:

  • Improved sleep patterns that allow for the body to begin to restore itself during a restful night’s sleep.
  • Improved circulation can alleviate headaches with better blood flow and nutrients to the brain.
  • Improved range of motion in joints and increased production of the body’s natural painkillers.
  • Improved muscle tone for those muscle groups that have become lethargic due to pain.
  • Improved mental clarity while relaxing muscle groups.
  • Improved mood due to the release of natural endorphins during the massage.

If you have questions about our therapeutic massage services, contact Angel Healing Group today. If you are homebound, we can also come to you if you’re in the Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk counties. Learn more about how this process can help you, by visiting our website and contacting us.

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