News and views on topics of massage therapy, alternative therapies, and health/lifestyle improvement

Hieroglyphic characters for George
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Up to the 20th century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see, and hear. Since the initial publication of the chart of the electromagnetic spectrum, humans have learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear is less than one-millionth of reality.

Right quote image R. Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller

Fibromyalgia and inflammation

This quote is from an interesting article Fascia as an Endocrine / Neuroendocrine Organ - by Doctor Russell Schierling which discusses the relationship between the facia, the lymphatic system and the endocrine system in the body. The article also discusses a correspondence between the facia and the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Energy Meridian system.

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Fibroblasts elicit excessive production of IL-6 [an inflammatory marker], which normally subsides after a few days and deactivates the inflammatory immune response. However, the production of estrogen interferes with the recall of IL-6, and triggers the female body to maintain a constant inflammatory state observed as fibromyalgia. One initiator of the increased pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in fibromyalgia patients are fibroblasts, which are triggered by stress or injury to produce IL-6. Within fascia, this initiated inflammatory response increases the excitability of nearby nerve endings... only excitable under inflammatory conditions. These transmit noxious signals throughout the body, and lead the protective inflammatory response to be abnormally perceived as pain. Inflammation of the fascia, as a result of IL-6 production by fibroblasts, is also a source of long-term activation of the dorsal horn neurons of the spinal cord. This phenomenon is known as central sensitization, and refers to overreaction of the central nervous system to painful stimuli as a result of constant input. Central sensitizaton in fibromyalgia patients may occur spontaneously or as a result of active trigger points. Additionally, astrocytes and microglia cells within the fascia can be sensitized by the chronic inflammatory state and produce the exaggerated pain response characteristic of fibromyalgia. The increase in IL-6 and resultant fascial inflammation directly affects the regulation of the stress-induced HPA-axis.

Right quote image Jennifer Mayline Jing from her 2013 Master's Dissertation at Ohio State University (Fibromyalgia as an Inflammatory Disease: A Look into the Increased Prevalence in Women)

Chemo Finished!

picture of mandala-sun-rays

Al-ḥamdu lillāh!
5/19/2017 - Not that it has been fun, but in retrospect it was nowhere near as bad as we had been dreading. They have obviously improved & refined the drugs & the techniques over the decades, but the word Chemotherapy still conjures up the reputation of the early days when it frequently was almost as bad as the cancer.
It takes, on average, 148 days to clear the poisons out of the body – looking forward to food tasting good again 😋 - and I’m still getting meds to restore the white blood cell count, & other collateral damage, not to mention Physical Therapy to start rebuilding strength & muscle tone/function.
I cannot say enough good things about the great folks at Rocky Mountain Cancer Center – wonderful, caring people.
Ite in pace, glorificando vita vestra Dominum”.

Update on my Cancer treatment

Got the midpoint of Chemo CAT scan results today (4/3/2017). All tumors now less than 50% of original size! In some cases considerably more than that.
Child doing headstand Kickin’ A** & Takin’ names on this thang! Love to all.

Massage DOES help treat lower back pain, study finds

An article in Britain's Daily Mail from bottom line publication's Daily Health News - describes the study.

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Researchers have found that massage therapy can effectively treat chronic lower back pain. Lower back pain leads all disorders in years lost to disability in the US. But massage may end this problem: More than 50 per cent of people who participated in a study where they received massages experienced clinically meaningful improvements in lower back pain.

  • Lower back pain leads all disorders in years lost to disability in the US
  • But massage could end this problem as it can effectively treat lower back pain
  • Adults born in the baby-boom (1946-1964) and older generations were much more likely to experience clinically meaningful changes 24 weeks after therapy
  • Obese patients showed improvements too but failed to retain these improvements 24 weeks afterwards

Right quote image Frank L. Rice, PhD, CEO and chief scientist, Integrated Tissue Dynamics, Rensselaer, New York

Lavender and Tea Tree Oils May Cause Breast Growth in Boys | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

picture of lavender plants

An original study in The New England Journal of Medicine reports some very disturbing effects of exposure to Lavender and tea tree oils in shampoos and soaps.

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This report raises an issue of concern, since lavender oil and tea tree oil are sold over the counter in their “pure” form and are present in an increasing number of commercial products, including shampoos, hair gels, soaps, and body lotions. Whether the oils elicit similar endocrine-disrupting effects in prepubertal girls, adolescent girls, or women is unknown. Since gynecomastia is labeled idiopathic in approximately 10% of men, one might speculate that unidentified exogenous sources of endocrine-disrupting chemicals may contribute to the onset or progression of the condition, or both, in such patients

Right quote image http://www.alkalinediet.com/pdf/lavenderGynecom.pdf

Clickbook is back!

When the gentleman that ran the Clickbook on-line booking service died, the site went dormant. I deleted everybodys' data accounts, rather than leave them out there for some hacker to pick up. Recently, I discovered that the site is up and running again, so I have revived my account. If you wish to start using on-line booking again, then the next time that you book through them, you will need to open an account, just as you had previously.

Researchers Find Missing Link Between the Brain and Immune System

The implications are profound for neurological diseases from autism to Alzheimer’s to multiple sclerosis. Neurosciencenews.com reports that researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist.

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‘They’ll have to change the textbooks.’ There has never been a lymphatic system for the central nervous system, and it was very clear from that first singular observation – and they’ve done many studies since then to bolster the finding – that it will fundamentally change the way people look at the central nervous system’s relationship with the immune system.

Right quote image Kevin Lee, PhD, chairman of the UVA Department of Neuroscience

To schedule your next improvement in immune function, call or email me. For continous health improvement take advantage of my 3-session package deal, and check back often for the specials that I run from time to time!

Key to Fibromyalgia pain may lie in the skin of the palms

New research into arteriole-venule (AV) shunts, that control the flow of blood, suggests a possible cause of Fibromyalgia pain. This article from bottom line publication's Daily Health News - describes the study.

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. . . the AV shunts in women with fibromyalgia were nearly four times larger and had roughly two to eight times as many nerve fibers as those in women without fibromyalgia. This most likely explains why cold exacerbates fibromyalgia symptoms and it also leads to a compelling theory about the development of fibromyalgia pain and fatigue.

Right quote image Frank L. Rice, PhD, CEO and chief scientist, Integrated Tissue Dynamics, Rensselaer, New York

Are you trying to quit smoking?

Hand chained to cigaretes

I can help you break the chains and get through the withdrawal period faster with Lymph Drainage Therapy. Boost your immune system while you rid yourself of the poisons that you purchased along with those cancer sticks!
This powerful routine kicks out the addictive toxins in real time!

Great quote from the Lauterstein-Conway Massage School.

Quote: Touch is not a luxury.

Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations

picture of fingers working

Medicalxpress.com, in an article published in the Neuroscience section, reports on a study from Umeå University in Sweden published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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Our work has shown that two types of first-order tactile neurons that supply the sensitive skin at our fingertips not only signal information about when and how intensely an object is touched, but also information about the touched object's shape" says Andrew Pruszynski, who is one of the researchers behind the study.

Right quote image More information: "Edge-orientation processing in first-order tactile neurons." J Andrew Pruszynski & Roland S Johansson. Nature Neuroscience (2014) DOI: 10.1038/nn.3804. Received 27 June 2014 Accepted 08 August 2014 Published online 31 August 2014 Provided by Umea University - Medicalxpress.com

God save the Queen!

QE II Jubilee Flag

Research shows chocolate is good for you!

Easter Cartoon showing chocolate bunnies

From the Clevland Clinic page on Heart and Vascular Health & Prevention is this article answering the question"Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart?"
And, in answer to the follow-up query, "What about all of the fat in chocolate?" they say:

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You may be surprised to learn that chocolate isn’t as bad for you as once believed.

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US Military turns to alternative therapy for wounded warriors.

In this story from National Public Radio, it is reported that top doctors in the US Army have persuaded the Pentagon to let them use alternative healing therapies, such as acupuncture and massage to help wounded soldiers cope with pain. Not all military doctors approve, and some consider such treatments as placebos. However, medics have been using alternative treatments on the battle field, as well as in hospitals stateside, for a few years now. Nobody wastes time or effort when the lead is flying, so obviously these guys are using what really works.

Scientists may have identifyed how massage switches genes on and off.

The LA Times, in an article published in the Health section, reports on Canadian research into the effect of massage Therapy at the cellular level.

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Scientists identify the mechanism behind the therapy's benefits, comparing biopsies to show that the interaction with muscle proteins reduces inflammation and helps cells recover.

Right quote image Study works out kinks in understanding of massage - LA Times

Massage can be a powerful and effective weight-loss tool

An article published in massagetherapy.com - the online website of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) explains the subtle relationship between massage and weight loss.

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Massage--anything this good must be fattening, right? Wrong! Scientists now confirm what massage therapists have always known: massage can be a powerful and effective weight-loss tool

Right quote image Genevieve P. Charet - Author

In Memoriam, Zhenya Kurashova Wine

I am saddened to hear of the passing away of Zhenya Kurashova Wine, the originator of Kurashova Russian Medical Massage. For more about this wonderful lady and her pioneering work in introducing her methods to the US massage community see this article in Massage Magazine

Introducing Breze

Picture of Brez

Kris & I are Proud to be adopting Breze, a wonderful Doberman. After we lost Rocky, we had doubts about taking on another dog for a while, but she stole our hearts. Here is a link to her page on the breeder's website

Anouncing my New Client Referral Special!

Refer a Friend - receive some pampering energy work! For details click here.

Even One Massage Session Produces Measurable Benefits, Research Shows

Massage Magazine reports that “Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, set out to determine the effects of a single session of Swedish massage on neuroendocrine and immune function.” They found that even One Massage Session produces measurable benefits. This “may have implications for managing autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.”

To schedule your next improvement in immune function, call or email me. For continous health improvement take advantage of my 3-session package deal, and check back often for the specials that I run from time to time!

Studies show benefits of Tai Chi

Two recent studies mentioned in Science Daily concern the benefits of Tai Chi.

The results of research at The George Institute in Sydney, Australia, demonstrate that Tai Chi improves pain and disability in patients suffering arthritis.

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The fact that Tai Chi is inexpensive, convenient, and enjoyable and conveys other psychological and social benefits supports the use this type of intervention for pain conditions such as arthritis.

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Another study from Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Massachusetts, USA, gives a cautious Thumbs Up for the Psychological Health improvement associated with tai chi.

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More detailed knowledge about the physiological and psychological effects of Tai Chi exercise may lead to new approaches to promote health, treat chronic medical conditions, better inform clinical decisions and further explicate the mechanisms of successful mind-body medicine

Right quote image Dr. Chenchen Wang, Associate Professor at Tufts

Massage may prevent SIDS: pediatrician

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald cites a US-based, but Australian-led, study of common low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in newborn infants who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The article quotes Associate Professor Graham Reynolds, who is Director of Paediatric Research at The Canberra Hospital and also patron of the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), as saying, “Reducing a newborn's SIDS risk could be as simple as massaging them . . . as the practice was known to naturally boost a baby's serotonin levels.

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Scientists have known for a long time that touch and skin-to-skin contact play a major role in the development of serotonin pathways in babies brains.

Right quote image Dr Reynolds

Favorite Super Bowl Quote:

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Football incorporates the two worst elements of American society: violence punctuated by committee meetings.

Right quote image George Will, author, commentator, humorist
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Massage is an excellent remedy for the after effects of both violence and committee meetings.

Right quote image George Grant Certified Massage Therapist.

Not to mention the kinks and knots developed by sitting on the couch for 3 hours watching the game! Moreover, bear in mind that Lymphatic Drainage Therapy is a terrific way to detoxify if you have over-indulged in junk food (and beverages) at the tailgate party!

From The Civility Project

If we agree on nothing else, let's agree on this . . .

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It seems our society has become increasingly divided and polarized. Every week we are treated to scenes of bitter fighting, protests turning to violence and vandalism, name-calling, and personal attacks. Important debates are no longer fought with ideas and words but with shouting and screaming, even throwing things.

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link to The Civility Project website

Click on the banner to find out more and to Take the Civility Pledge.

New poll on health care reform, massage therapy, and the public option:

From: Massage Magazine.com posted: 11/13/2009.

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Public option should pay for medically necessary massage therapy according to new poll

Right quote image Kala Group, LLC

In a newly released poll sponsored by Kala Group, LLC, a day spa franchising company based out of Scottsdale, Arizona 84% of respondents believe medically necessary massage therapy should be paid for in a government run insurance plan.

In this unscientific random poll, participants were asked “Should any public health insurance plan be required to pay for massage therapy when deemed medically necessary by your doctor?”

Those who participated in the poll overwhelmingly agree that the answer is “yes” with 84% voting “yes” while only 10% say “no” with 5% saying “unsure”.

Voice your opinion:

Answer the poll question and your opinion will be included in the final results."

The above poll will be left open until health care reform resolved in congress.

The man who smuggled himself into Auschwitz

I was moved to reposition the quote from Sa'adi Shirazi’s poem to the top of this page on the website after reading this incredibly inspiring BBC story of one man’s courage and compassion in the face of evil. In this time of trouble, war, and violent news of all kinds, I cannot believe that it is random coincidence that the story of this brave man’s acts should be brought to light now, after all these years. Even more amazing is that I found the story not an hour after reading these verses from Isaiah Chapter 30:

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And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:

Right quote image ISA 30:20
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And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Right quote image ISA 30:21

Let your Kids Play in the Dirt!

Children should be allowed to play in the dirt because being too clean can impair the skin’s ability to heal itself, new research suggests. An article in theLondon Daily Telegraph tells about research at the University of California at San Diego to be published in the online journal Nature Medicine. The team, led by dermatologist Professor Richard Gallo, found that common bacteria called staphylococci, can reduce inflammation after injury, when they are present on the skin's surface.

Kissing is more hygienic than Handshaking!

Just in time for Christmas, the Telegraph reports that Debrett's, the last word on impeccible social etiquette, is advising Christmas party goers to avoid a full festive kiss on the lips under the mistletoe this year to avoid spreading swine flu. However, the article does take a positive note for the holiday season by emphasising that " . . . it’s medically proven that a peck on the cheek is much more hygienic than a handshake. People carry billions more germs on their hands so ‘cheek-to-cheek’ kissing is a healthier greeting by far.”

Massage and Mesothelioma

Therapeutic Massage and Palliative Cancer Therapy is an informative article on massage for cancer patients. The piece contains links to the website Mesothelioma.com, a leading web resource for those affected by mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that occurs in the lining of the lungs and abdomen.This website has a service directory for patients seeking an LMT or clinic offering massage therapy in their area. I am proud to announce that I have recently been listed in this directory.

Massage parlors, masseuses, and rub downs

Here is a link to an article explaining the difference between a Massage Therapist and a Masseuse in 21st century usage. This seems to be a cause for confusion, especially in the media when they are pursuing stories involving scandal, murder, "escort services," and, usually, members of the US congress.

Massage Benefits Women with Breast Cancer

Results of a study at the Touch Research Institutes, Department of Pediatrics, Hematology/Oncology Clinics, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Medicine at the University of Miami School of Medicine show that women undergoing treatment for breast cancer can benefit significantly from massage therapy.

The dangers of tight bras and deodorants

There are some topics which, as a guy doing massage, I file under the heading of " I'd like to tell my clients but don’t!" Amelia Mitchell, LMT,a nationally and state certified massage therapist with a private practice in Annapolis Maryland, has an excellent article in her news letter titled Tight Bra Syndrome. I recommend that all my female clients, of any age, take a look at this excellent advice and pass it on to all of their friends.

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This may seem to be just of interest to women. However, as far as I know, many men are quite fond of breasts and the women who have them. So if you are a man reading this and there are breasts in this world that are special to you, please read on.

Right quote image Amelia Mitchell, LMT

Alternative therapies for disabled get funding boost

As reported in a recent press release, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed House Bill 1047 , sponsored by Rep. Nancy Todd and Sen. Williams, which creates a program in Medicaid for spinal cord injury patients to receive alternative therapies such as message therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care.

" know that sometimes the most effective remedies can be the cheapest," Rep. Todd said. " those with spinal cord injuries can increase their mobility or decrease their pain through chiropractors, massage or even acupuncture, they should be allowed access to those alternatives."

Writing poems helps brain cope with emotional turmoil

The London Daily Telegraph reports that Dr Matthew Lieberman, a neuroscientist at the University of California, in a lecture called Putting Feelings Into Words outlined his findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Apparently, writing poems or songs - no matter how bad they are - could be good for mental and physical health. So all that turgid rubbish I wrote in my youth wasn't wasted effort after all!

Can a Massage cause a stroke?

In his Newsweek Magazine question and answer column Dr. Patrick O’Gara, director of clinical cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School discusses the possibility of Deep Tissue Massage of the neck causing a stroke. He concludes that it is highly unlikely. For the full article clickHere

Fibromyalgia a ‘Real Disease,’ Study Shows

An article in Science Daily, states that using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) researchers in France were able to detect functional abnormalities in certain regions in the brains of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, reinforcing the idea that symptoms of the disorder are related to a dysfunction in those parts of the brain where pain is processed.

For the full article clickHere

The Healing hand symbol in my logo

Healing hand Symbol

is a representation of Universal Healing Energy being channeled through the hands. This is an ancient symbol of protection used by many cultures. It is called the Hand of Fatima by Muslims, the hamsa hand in Arabic (Khamsa is Arabic for 5) and hamesh hand in Hebrew. There is also strong evidence that this symbol predates Judaism, Christianity and Islam and refers to an ancient Middle Eastern Goddess whose hand wards off the Evil Eye. There is usually an image in the center of the hand: eye, spiral and heart designs are common. The Hamsa’s protective energy is said to attract good luck, happiness, riches and good health. Peace activists in the Middle east often wear the Hamsa emblem to symbolize the common origin (scripturally and culturally) of the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

In Buddhism, the abhaya-mudrâ, an Iconographic hand gesture meaning "fear not," is formed by raising the bent right arm with the extended hand open and the palm facing to the front. In many cultures across the millennia the raised hand, open to show no weapon, has, similarly, symbolized a pacific intention.

For more information see Wikepedia entry for "Hamsa"

Several people have asked me

about my life before becoming a massage therapist, particularly about my time in the British Army; so I have expanded the " about me" page and will add some more tid-bits here from time to time.

This is the badge of an Artificer of the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers.

REME Artificers Badge

The Hammer and Tongs device is very ancient, going back to the days of the medieval armorers. It perfectly symbolizes the tiffie’s repair philosophy of "If you can’t pull it out, bash it in." - or "si non potes, detrahe eam, percutiet eum in!" if you want to be fancy about it.

Note that the tongs are mechanically impossible to operate, which about sums up some of the stuff we had to work with.

When I transferred from the Royal Signals to the REME I discovered that the biggest difference in repair procedures was that kluges had to be done using 2-part epoxy instead of electricians tape.

In my massage practice I often improvise, but never use either epoxy or electrical tape. So far I have not applied the tifie’s pull/bash maxim either!

Benefits of Massage

  • Feels Good!
  • Relieves fatigue
  • Alleviates pain
  • Improves postural alignment
  • Increases Range-of-Motion
  • Improves circulation of blood & lymph
  • Increases relaxation, and reduces stress
  • Speeds injury recovery & scar tissue healing
  • Calms the mind
  • Feels Good!

What a great day to book a massage! For Appointments please call:
(303) 775-5715 or contact me here