How Massage Therapy Supports Post-Operative Rehabilitation

The recovery process after surgery is equally important as the procedure itself and healing time is a critical challenge to ensure its
success. Because surgery is essentially unnatural, your body may respond either positively, accepting and easily moving on, or negatively, leading you down a bumpy and difficult road. But either way, patients are usually left in exceptional amounts of pain once sedatives or pain medications have worn off. Luckily, there are natural methods to reduce the burden of surgery and support your body’s innate ability to heal during the post-operative rehabilitation process. The best and most effective method is massage therapy.

Many studies have been done to show the amazing benefits of massage after surgery. In a recent study conducted by the Samueli Institute, massage therapy was proven to reduce negative effects and significantly help patients and reduce recovery time. Let’s explore why…

Most people are still in inconsiderable amounts of pain once they begin rehab. While it may be tempting to continue to take prescription pain medications, popping pills won’t offer a solution to the pain. It will rather mask the pain until the medication wears off and its time to take more. Massage offers a natural and longer lasting solution.

Massaging and kneading different muscles and areas of the body helps to increase circulation, allowing fresh blood and oxygen to flow to the injured areas. This process sends vital nutrients to those areas that may have been blocked to help restore and strengthen healthy muscles and tissue while reducing inflammation – ultimately resulting in less pain.

Increasing circulation can also lessen the chances scar tissue will form around the injury site. One of the most beneficial applications of recovery from surgical procedures is cupping therapy. Physicians are amazed at the speed and total recovery that their patients exhibit when cupping is used to complement their surgical work. Patients with extreme burns and deep abdominal scars, such as C-sections, can benefit from this therapy. Cupping can loosen and soften rigid tissue, no matter how old the scar is.

Surgery-related pain can not only cause immediate discomfort, but it can also lead to problems in other areas of patients’ lives. It can lead to disrupted sleep, negatively affect mood, and interfere with living a normal life. All these factors can lead to stress and anxiety, further delaying the healing process and putting additional burdens on the body.

If we are in a state of stress, we hold these emotions inside, often resulting in tightness in our muscles. Massage therapy releases this tension from the body creating a sense of calm and reducing anxiety. It is also just a wonderful way to relax and meditate. Having any type of procedure – big or small – can take a huge toll on your mind and your spirit. Taking time to reflect on your body and its abilities to heal will support a move peaceful and enjoyable recovery process.

If you have recently had surgery or have one scheduled in the near future, reach out to your favorite massage therapist and see how they can help you.

Benefits of Ancient Healing Techniques

At Nature’s Touch, we are continuously expanding our minds and seeking new techniques to provide our clients with the best and most effective therapies possible. Recently, three of our massage therapists attended a training seminar to learn two ancient healing techniques that have been practiced around the globe for thousands of years: Tok Sen and Gua Sha. They may be hard to pronounce but the benefits of these two practices couldn’t be more clear.

Read on to learn about these amazing techniques and how they can benefit you.

What is Tok Sen Massage?

Tok Sen massage is an ancient form of healing from northern Thailand that has been practiced for thousands of years. Although there is not much written on the history on Tok Sen, it is believed that its origins are credited to farm workers in the paddy fields. After a long day’s work, the farmers developed the simple technique of tapping “sen” lines in order to release tension and pain.

Tok-Sen is based on the belief that every individual has energy flowing through them.[i] This energy works in harmony with the body to ensure all systems work together, resulting in a person that is happy and healthy. Due to the stressors of everyday life, this flow of energy can become blocked leading to pain or other chronic health conditions associated with stress. Tok Sen massage works to open up these blockages to reduce inflammation and promote consistent energy flow.

How Does It Work?

The technique involves the use of a special wooden hammer and wedge, made from the bark of the tamarind tree, and used to relax muscles in a rhythmic tapping motion. Tok means to hammer or hit and sen refers to the energy pathways in the body.

This method of tapping causes a healing vibration throughout the body. It helps to alleviate physical aches and pains, muscle tension, energy blockages, blood circulation and nerve problems.

What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha is another ancient healing technique used by many clinicians of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has gained western attention for the temporary red marks it leaves on the body, similar to a cupping technique.

This method of treatment was developed based on the premise that scraping the superficial layers of skin releases blood stagnation in areas of the body, bringing red blood cells to the surface tissues to release heat and toxins. Increased blood flow and free flowing oxygen to the muscles and tissues decreases pain and stress, allowing those areas to heal faster. It’s been practiced for thousands of years as a method to treat physical ailments but also to promote overall wellness and longevity.

How Does It Work?

In this procedure, a lubricating medium, such as massage oil, is applied to the skin of the area to be treated. A smooth-edged instrument is used by the therapist to apply short or long strokes across the skin, typically in the area of pain or on the back parallel to the spine. As the stroking motion increases red blood cells and releases toxins, painless, raised redness called “petechiae” appear and usually away within two to four days. Gua Sha can be practiced on most areas of the body but is usually done on the back, shoulders, neck or chest.

Who Is A Candiate for Tok Sen and Gua Sha?    

As we tell all our clients, let us know about any pre-existing health concerns or skin ailments before your treatment. Most people can benefit from these techniques but if you are pregnant, taking blood thinners, or have suffered any recent burns or damage to the skin, talk with your doctor before receiving any treatment.

 

[i] http://toksenmassage.com/what-is-tok-sen-therapy/

$5 For 5 To Feed Medina County

With the holidays quickly approaching, we thought it would be nice to reach out and help those in our community that could use a little extra support right now. For every 5 items from the list below that you bring in and donate, we’ll give you $5 off your one hour massage session.

In Medina County alone, close to 8,000 children are on the free and reduced lunch program. What happens to these children when they go home for the weekend? Weekenders for Children happens!

A grocery bag of healthy foods is prepared by volunteers to help fill the gap for those students and families by ensuring that kids show up Monday morning hungry for learning, not for food.

What would be good items to donate? Nutritious, non-perishable foods! Here’s what’s needed most:

Protein: spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli, beefaroni, stews, soups, tuna, chicken, peanut butter (1 lb. plastic jars), etc. (pop-top items and microwavable cups preferred)
Canned vegetables: corn, peas, carrots, green beans, canned beans, pasta sauce (plastic jars or canned), etc.
Grains: boxed cereal (whole grain, individual, 12 oz. or smaller), oatmeal, rice, pasta, macaroni & cheese, crackers
Fruits: canned fruit, fruit cups, dried, boxed fruit (raisins, plums, cranberries), applesauce cups, 100% juice boxes
Kid-friendly items: peanut butter (1 lb. plastic jars), squeezable jars of jelly, granola bars, popcorn, graham/animal crackers, fat-free/sugar-free pudding cups, individually packaged treats (rice krispie treats, fruit snacks, etc.)

Please don’t donate expired or high sodium/sugary items, and no glass containers. Items that are individually packaged or smaller than 18 oz work best for sending home with the kids.

Won’t you help us help others this holiday season? We will start our collections on Monday, November 7th and wrap it up on Saturday, November 26th. All items will be taken to Feeding Medina County on Monday, November 28th to be used during the Christmas break to help feed over 900 kids in the Medina County area.

We thank you, and are thankful for you and your continued support.

Help us help others to have a happier holiday this year!

A Steamy Secret to Better Health

For centuries, steam has been used by healers of all kinds for its health and beauty benefits. From sweat lodges to saunas, the power of steam is undeniably effective. Whether you are seeking relief from nagging symptoms like muscle soreness or inflammation or simply just looking for a new method of relaxation, steam tent therapy is the solution you have been looking for.

What is Steam Tent Therapy?

Steam tent therapy is like a relaxing sauna. While laying comfortably on a massage table, a tent-like dome is secured around you and sealed with Velcro. To avoid overheating or dizziness, your head remains outside the tent and a cool wrap is draped around your neck to promote an enjoyable experience. With a flip of a switch, warm steam fills the tent and within just a few minutes, you are engulfed in an even distribution of pleasant heat.

Sessions are completely private in the comfort of one of our massage rooms and usually last anywhere from 10-30 minutes.

When Should You Steam?

Steam tent therapy is a perfect follow-up to a massage because it helps the body sweat out toxins released during the session. We recommend combining regular steaming session in tandem with your routine massages in order to get the full benefits of these two therapies.

Health Benefits of Steam Tent Therapy

Boosted Immunity

The heat from a steam tent raises the body’s core temperature putting the body in an induced fever-like state. The elevated temperature signals the body to create white blood cells, producing antibodies that spring into action and fight off any unwanted invaders.

As you lay in the steam tent and begin to sweat, the increase in white blood cells will help support the body’s natural detoxification systems, expelling hidden toxins through the skin. The fewer toxins the body has to process, the healthier your immune system will be!

Reduced Inflammation & Muscle Soreness

Steam therapy is a fantastic form of treatment for those suffering from inflammation and pain. While it’s not a cure for these conditions, it has been proven to reduce symptoms and help alleviate discomfort.

As heat penetrates your muscles and joints, your capillaries dilate, increasing oxygen saturation within the tissues. Muscles become more pliable and relaxed helping to increase mobility, reduce stiffness, and minimize inflammation. Plus, it makes your muscles just feel good!

Detoxification

With over 82,000 known chemicals in the environment, we are exposed to more toxins than our bodies are designed to handle. And when those toxins start to build up, disease and dysfunction start to set in. Since our skin is the largest organ in the body, it makes sense that sweating is a fantastic means of detoxification.

As we stated before, steam tent therapy helps support the immune system in combination with massage therapy sessions. Although we do recommend these two therapies work in tandem, sessions can also be offered as a standalone method to detox. Treatments offer a comfortable and relaxing way to open up your pores and encourage your sweat glands to excrete waste, promoting an overall sense of health and well-being.

In Conclusion: Everyone Should Steam!

Aside from these fabulous benefits, many people who steam regularly report they notice significant improvement in congestion, headaches, and improved sleep, just to name a few. The benefits are truly unbeatable! Anyone can benefit from the healing powers of this ancient method.

Looking for a relaxing, natural treatment to melt your symptoms away? Click here or call 330-721-9357 and start steaming today. 

Five Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System

Your immune system plays a vital role in your overall health. Made up of a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs, it’s your body’s defense against unwanted bacteria and viruses that can make you sick. If the immune system gets out of whack, due to stress or other factors, it isn’t able to fight off unwanted invaders, letting them creep into the body leading to disease, auto-immune disorders, allergies, and a mess of other problems leaving you sick.

Stress and the Immune System

Stress is one of the biggest disruptors of the immune system. Whether is stems from emotional, physical, or chemical origins, stress is one of the top reasons why the immune system begins to shut down.

Not all stress is bad. It is the body’s natural defense mechanism against our prehistoric fight or flight instincts. However, when your body is in a constant state of stress with no relief, your body can’t function properly and the immune system can’t fight off the bad stuff.

Lucky for us, when people start to feel sick from the copious amounts of stress in our lives, there are natural solutions to give your immune system the boost it need to get back on track.

Essential Oils

Essential oils have incredible, natural detoxing properties. Just about every type of essential oil has anti-viral, anti-fungal, or anti- bacterial elements.

One of the best ways to use essential oils to boost the immune is through aromatherapy. Diffusing oils of relaxing scents such as lavender can promote a feeling a calm and has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety. It can even promote a better night’s sleep. Scents such as lemon or peppermint have also been shown to help purify the air, killing off pathogens before your breath them in.

Incorporating essential oils mixed with a carrier oil into your regular massage therapy session has also been shown to boost the immune system. The cleansing properties of rosemary or grapefruit massaged near areas of the lymphatic systems can promote detoxification and help expel toxins from the body.

Herbal Teas

It’s been jokingly said that the Englishmen would pause a war to have their afternoon tea, and for good reason too. Herbal teas have been used for thousands of years for their healing and detoxing qualities. Not only does it promote a relaxing sense of calm, it can help soothe aches and pains, decrease inflammation, and promote the body’s ability to produce pathogen fighting white blood cells. Most teas are also loaded with antioxidants to help fight free radicals and other bad microbes. And as an added bonus, it tastes delicious!

Steam Tents

The skin is our largest organ and a major factor in eliminating toxins from the body. As you sweat, your pores expand, allowing your body to naturally eliminate these impurities. A steam tent is a great way to allow your body to sweat safely and comfortably to expedite the detoxing process to boost your immune system.

Steam tents also provide a highly relaxing experience. As your body warms from the steam, muscles start to soften and areas where you may hold stress start to release any built up tension. The high temperatures also trigger the body to create more white blood cells and antibodies that strengthen the immune system further.

Chiropractic Care

The nervous system controls just about everything in the body, including the immune system. Misalignments of the spine can interfere with the body’s ability to function properly, creating inflammation, and preventing it from healing its self. Regular chiropractic adjustments can maintain proper spinal alignment, promoting a healthy body.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help support a healthy immune in several ways. When the body is stressed physically, circulation decreases, preventing healthy blood flow to your muscles. Massage therapy can increase circulation back into these areas through kneading and stretching the injured tissue to return them to their natural state. Massaging these areas results in reduced pain and decreased swelling and inflammation. Vital nutrients essential for proper cellular function will be restored allowing the body to heal itself.

In addition to the physical immune boosting benefits, massage is the perfect way to relax and calm the mind. Massage therapy has been proven time and time again to decrease depression, reduce stress, and create and overall sense of wellbeing.

 

The next time you feel stressed or like you are on the brink of catching a cold, try incorporating these natural approaches of boosting your immune system in your routine. Not only will you start feeling better right away, you’ll prevent future health concerns from developing in the future.

Show Yourself Some Love With Massage Therapy

Although summer is filled with fun activities, it’s busy. And that busyness can easily catch up with you. Whether you are a parent who has been running around with your children or a teacher who is gearing up to start the new school year, the end of summer is always a more stressful time of the year. At Nature’s Touch, we often talk about stress and the huge emotional, physical, and spiritual impact it can have on the body. Did you know that according to The American Institute of Stress, stress is the cause of more than 60% of all human disease? Some would say this statistic could even be higher! And in our world, no matter how hard we try, there is simply no way to avoid it. However, there are ways to cope and manage our stress levels so we don’t end of hurting ourselves. The most important thing you can do is make sure you are taking care of yourself first, above anyone else.

Self-care is not an indulgence. Taking care of your body is an act of survival. Your body is your temple and needs attention to live on. Massage therapy is one of the many ways that you can love yourself.

Placing a priority on yourself keeps you centered; it keeps your mind at peace. A less-stress filled life starts with a balanced and calm mind. Even if the 60-minutes you spend during your massage is the only down time you have in your day, that peace and quiet can help you feel rejuvenated to re-focus on you thoughts and to get in touch with important feelings. Massage therapy has been proven to decrease anxiety and feelings of depression, improve energy, and promote an overall sense of well being.

The physical benefits of massage therapy can dramatically help you de-stress your body as well. One of the biggest benefits of massage is that it can help you become aware of what relaxed muscles are supposed to feel like. Often times we start to ache and feel pain and because it’s manageable, we go on our daily lives and just live with that discomfort. Or even worse, we depend on medication and pain killers to help alleviate the symptoms, verses addressing the cause or why we are feeling that discomfort in the first place. Taking care of your body helps you realize how you were designed to feel – free of pain and achy-ness. Self care through massage can improve the quality of your life tenfold; through improved mobility and elasticity of skin and muscles, improved quality of sleep, stronger immune system function, and increased circulation, just to name a few benefits.

And most importantly, taking care of yourself supports and nurtures your spirit. Your spirit is your true-self. Taking time to relax and let go of toxic emotions can help you open your heart to a greater love of yourself and often times helps to support a more positive body image. 

Put as much energy into taking care of yourself as you do others. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find out. And to help you get started, we are offering $5 off a one hour massage from now until August 15. What are you waiting for? Click here or call Nature’s Touch and start showing yourself some love today.

How To Keep Your Cool In the Summer Heat

If you’re accustomed to getting long, deep massages, you’ve probably heard your therapist tell you to drink lots of water when you get home. Ever wonder why?

Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is important year round but especially important during the summer months. When it’s hot outside, our bodies naturally need more water because we are usually perspiring more and are generally more active, using more energy.

One of the best things you can do to prepare for your massage is to start your day out with a tall glass of water. While you sleep, your body is busy working repairing and rebuilding your cells from the day before. By drinking a glass of water first thing, you jump start your metabolism and give your body the fuel it needs to start the day.

If you are going to be participating in any physical activities, its crucial to keep the water flowing. Muscles are about 70 percent water. When you are dehydrated, muscles can cramp and tighten causing pain and discomfort. Your massage therapist will be able to determine your level of dehydration from the way your muscles feel during your massage. Massages are dehydrating because when your muscles are worked on, it gets fluid pumping out of your soft tissue and into your circulatory system. Fluid then travels to your kidneys and other detoxifying organs where it carries toxins out of your body. It’s essential to replenish this water lost so your body can continue to detox and replace that water back into your cells. That’s why we encourage our clients to refuel their bodies not only before and after their therapy, but all day long. We know that your muscles and organs work best when they have they have the fuel that they need. Drinking enough water will keep you out of pain and feeling your best.

During the summer months, being dehydrated could also increase your risk for sun burns. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and helps regulate fluid. So when it’s burned or damaged, it can’t function properly. If you do happen to get too much sun, fear not. Our massage therapists can work around the damaged areas, but please be sure to let your therapist know ahead of time so they can accurately address the issue. Because the tissue may be sensitive, we gently massage the skin and avoid using deep tissue techniques. We also massage the skin with coconut oil and soothing essentials oils to promote healing and rejuvenation and help your skin repair it’s self more quickly.

At Nature’s Touch, we know that regular massages are a necessary component to any health routine but it’s more important than ever to make sure you are taking care of your body during these hot summer months. Come on in and cool down and schedule your massage today. Your body will thank you later.

Feeling Stressed? Try A Massage

In a perfect world, we would all have wonderful jobs, be in great health, and not have a care in the world. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most people. Most of us are stressed to some extent every day. Whether it be from physical stress from a demanding job, emotional stress from a family crisis, or chemical stress from poor food choices, stress adds up in the body and wreaks havoc on our health.

Now, not all stress is bad. Stress is the body’s natural defense mechanism against our prehistoric fight or flight instincts. However, when your body is in a constant state of stress with no relief, that’s when your body’s “distress” reaction starts to happen.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to cope with stress is by taking care of your body, and we couldn’t agree more. When your body is physically healthy, it makes everything else easier.

We hold stress in our bodies in the form of muscle tightness. When muscles are tight, it’s not only uncomfortable, it causes a decrease in circulation which can trigger a chain reaction of problems. It can affect sleep patterns, cause headaches, anxiety, digestive issues, and ultimately weaken the immune system causing you to become sick more often. Yikes!

Massage therapy is an effective and enjoyable way to manage these symptoms and reduce stress. By working on muscles through a variety of specific techniques, your massage therapist will be able to help increase circulation in tight muscles to push toxins out and allow fresh blood to easily flow into the injured or tense areas. Kneading and stretching muscles can reduce inflammation to allow vital nutrients to flow back through the area and promote healing to the tissue. Depending on the severity of your health concerns, your massage therapist will design your session based on your needs.

In addition to the wonderful physical benefits you will experience, massage is also an excellent way to relax your mind! A one hour massage will give you time to calm your mind, meditate, and enjoy the peace and quiet of your session.

At Nature’s Touch, we know that incorporating regular massage into your life will provide lasting benefits far beyond your appointment time. Why not give it a try? You only have stress to lose.

Stressed out? Let us help you calm your body and relax your mind. Give us a call at (330) 721-9357 and schedule your massage session today.

Massage + Chiropractic Care = Freedom from Pain

Ever have a headache that just wouldn’t quit? How about back pain so bad it was hard to walk. Neck pain, anyone? Thousands of us have been involved in an auto accident that has plagued us with pain for many years afterwards. Even sitting all day at a desk can cause injury and pain with repetitive motion and overuse of our joints. Let’s take a look at what’s causing us all this pain and discomfort.

Our joints are surrounded by soft tissue that supports and moves us in all directions. Muscles and tendons move joints, while ligaments and fascia support joints. Fascia is a soft tissue that permeates our entire body. Surrounding our muscles and organs, fascia provides protection and holds things in their place. If you’ve ever taken the skin off of a chicken breast, it’s that yellowish tissue under the skin that is very elastic. Together with the muscles this tissue is call myofascia. Imagine one muscle being injured and becoming tight, and the fascia being pulled in all directions surrounding this tight muscle. Everything that piece of facia is attached to is pulled out of place. Now there’s pain, and we don’t want to use that muscle. Circulation decreases when we don’t use our muscles and poor circulation will cause the myofascial tissue to become glue-like and will prevent the muscle from lengthening fully. Painful trigger points can develop that will refer pain or numbness to other areas nearby. In extreme cases these tightened muscles can compress nerves causing even more pain. These tight tissues will then start to pull the joint itself out of alignment, called a subluxation, which can in turn affect nerve transmissions to our entire body. The result is pain and possibly numbness at both the site of injury and other areas as well.

Using a variety of techniques, a massage therapist can take care of these soft tissue problems. Kneading and stretching the injured tissues will increase circulation to the area. Toxins will be pushed out of the injured tissue and fresh blood will be pumped into that area. Fascial tissues will be slowly stretched back to their normal state. Trigger point pain will be released, painful swelling and inflammation reduced and nutrients will be brought back into that area. The fascia and muscle will begin to soften and lengthen. After this is accomplished, your chiropractor will use maniplulations to return your joint to its normal position and which in turn will restore joint mobility back to normal.

Your Chiropractic treatment will proceed much easier and with less discomfort when your soft tissue has been addressed first with a massage treatment. Your adjustment will last longer when your muscle tension is released as tight muscles will pull the joint out of alignment again. Once your pain is gone and your body is back into normal alignment, use these two great modalities as part of your personal health plan.

Your recovery time will be shorter and more complete when you address all the components of your pain. Massage teamed with Chiropractic care work great together as a treatment for the cause of your pain, not just the symptoms. Both modalities offer natural, hands on and drug free healing techniques to help you maintain optimal health and well-being.

Got pain? Don’t wait! Call today and return to a pain-free lifestyle! 330-721-9357

Emotional Healing with Massage

When we are sad or depressed, angry or stressed out, we hold these emotions in our bodies in the form of muscle tightness.  We’ve all said more than once in our lives that we are holding all of our tension in our neck and shoulders.  We hear it all the time.  This is the most common area for tension to sit and cause a decrease in circulation.  Then the headaches begin.  All of this tension in our bodies can lead to a breakdown in our immune system.  We notice we’re becoming sick more often.

Massage can help by releasing the tension from the body.  Not only will the muscles release, but often times the negative emotions will release from your mind as well.  You’ll find that gradually, with regular massage treatments, you won’t feel the anger or sadness as much, you’ll be able to release the memories of what caused the tension in the first place.  Massage makes your body feel better, so you feel better.  Better about life in general.  Regular Massage to release this emotional tension can change your entire outlook on life.

We have everything we need on this earth to heal our bodies, minds and spirt.  Consider adding Massage and some other holistic treatments such as Reiki to your wellness plan for a more holistic approach to life and all its challenges.