Tag Archives: infection

MASSAGE THERAPY AS COMPLIMENTARY ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

Massage therapy is a broad term that encompasses a wide variety of procedures and methods of pressing, rubbing and manipulating muscles and other soft body tissues such as tendons, ligaments, skin and connective tissues. The main objective of massage therapy is to relax the soft tissues while promoting an increased delivery of blood and oxygen to the areas being massages and, therefore, to decrease tightness and pain. Massage therapy is most often accomplished by utilizing the massage therapists fingers, hands, arms, elbows and/or feet. Occasionally, however, mechanical and electronic devices may be also used.

As a matter of fact, there are more than eighty official types of massage therapy treatments but some of the most widely known are the following:

* The Deep Tissue Massage. This technique uses a combination of strokes and deep finger pressure applied way down under the skin and into the muscles at the painful sites in order to breakup knots and loosen tightness.

* The Trigger Point Massage. This procedure is also known as the Pressure Point Massage and it is more focused on specific myofascial trigger points with a stronger force than the Deep Tissue Massage. The goal here is to dissolve the painful knots that were formed in the muscles as well as to relieve additional symptoms in more remote areas of the body.

* The Swedish Massage. This system utilizes oblong smooth strokes, kneading and friction of the muscles as well as movement of the joints to increase their range of motion and flexibility.

* The Shiatsu Massage. Using altering rhythmic pressure, tapping, squeezing and rubbing along the meridian and on various other parts of the body, the main objective of this Eastern massage therapy is to enhance the flow of a fundamentally important energy called gi. And this energy, in the ancient Chinese medicine is believed to be the life force that regulates a persons spiritual, emotional, mental and physical wellness that is easily affected when subjected to the rival forces of yin and yang.

Whether the four most often practiced massage therapies I mentioned above are used as complimentary alternative medicine (also known as CAM) or any one of the other recognized eighty which are available to a lesser or greater extent, there are important points to be considered:

* No massage therapy should ever be used in place of regular or ongoing medical care.

* Massage therapy should not be the cause or the excuse to postpone visiting a medical professional for existing medical issues.

* The massage therapists schooling and credentials must be verified as well as his or her experience with specific health and medical conditions.
* Any additional complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) such as herbs, supplements, special diets or other treatments which are suggested by the massage therapist must first be reviewed with a medical professional.

* Although the subject of massage therapy (how it works and why) has been studied for many years and continues to be studies, much of it still remains within the realm of a mystery.

* If and when massage therapy is performed by a well training and experienced professional, few risks are involved and the worst of them may be temporary pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling or an allergic reaction to the massage oils. The small number of serious injuries which have been reported were triggered by untrained hands that were not aware that certain medical conditions should not be massaged. It is, therefore, essential to consult a medical professional before undergoing massage therapy, particularly under the following circumstances:

* Deep vein thrombosis
* A bleeding disorder or when taking blood thinners
* Damaged blood vessels
* Weakened bones from osteoporosis, a recent fracture or cancer
* The presence of high body temperature
* Open or healing wounds, tumors, damaged nerves, an infection, a severe inflammation or fragile skin
* Pregnancy
* Heart problems
* Dermatomyositis or any other skin disease
* History of physical abuse

PPPPP

* (Word Count 662)

THE HAND AND ARM MASSAGE

From the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep, we all work with our hands, as they are our anatomical tools with which we perform the day-to-day tasks of living; the simple as well as the complex. Some of us use our hands to a greater extent than others in which case they may become painful, tense and stiff. And since the hands are connected to the arms, chances are that the same hard work which applies to the hands also applies to the arms. As a consequence, the arms may suffer similar pains, tenseness and stiffness. A mere five to ten minute Hand and Arm massage can literally work miracles in relieving all these unpleasant indications. However, a good Hand and Arm massage also brings with it a whole battery of other health benefits.

As a matter of fact, our hands and arms have scores of acupressure and reflexology points which are correlated and linked to a number of vital internal organs (appendix, pancreas, gall bladder, kidneys, stomach, brain, spleen, heart, bladder, colon, intestines, lungs) and to other remote parts of the body (sinuses, thyroid and parathyroid, hips, ovaries, testes, uterus, penis, prostate, spine, solar plexus, thymus, shoulders, knees, neck). A Hand and Arm massage, therefore, does not only result in healing the hands and arms but it also provides curative effects for such cases as poor blood circulation, arthritis, headaches, neck and shoulder pains, backache, digestive and reproductive problems, and so on and on.

Hand and Arm massages are one of the easiest massages to perform on oneself and on others, and they can be safely applied anywhere and to persons of all ages and genders; infants, young children, teens, adults and senior citizens. Furthermore, Hand and Arm massages are harmless to people who are dealing with most health issues, whether they are slight, moderate or severe. Hand and Arm massages provide instant relief from stress, anxiety and nervousness as it relaxes the entire body. However, Hand and Arm massages should never be performed on hands or arms that are affected by any kind of skin disease, infection, inflammation, swelling, bruises, cuts or recently broken bones, torn ligaments, ripped tendons or surgeries. If and when oils or lotions are to be used during the Hand and Arm massage therapy, an earnest verification regarding allergies should be made and any pressure applied must be tailored to the clients tolerance level to pain or discomfort.

A full Hand and Arm massage should ideally begin with the biceps, the muscles in front of the upper arms and those should be pressed and stroked upwards along the biceps from the elbows toward the shoulders and then back and forth across the tendons. When the biceps have had their thorough workout the triceps, the muscles in the back of the upper arms, should be approached with similarly gentle pressing and stroking movement but this time moving downwards from the armpits down to the elbows. Moving on down the arms by kneading the flesh, pressing the muscles and stroke the tendons; the massage therapist should slowly make his or her way toward the hand that is awaiting its turn for a therapeutic workout. The hand portion of the Hand and Arm massage treatment should begin by gently pulling each finger and thumb away from the palm it attach to, while applying firm pressure to any painful or aching areas and then soothing them with moderate rubbing and rolling. The four fingers and the thumb should then be pushed upwards as far as they will go without causing undue discomfort. The thumbs should be used to massage the palms of the hands by applying firm circular motions through the entire palm while intermittently stopping in various areas, particularly those which are sore, to apply steady and direct pressure for a number of seconds. For a soothing effect on the palms and in closing of the Hand and Arm massage therapy session, the thumbs should stroke the surface of the palms in an up and down movements.

A therapeutic Hand and Arm massage can display love, appreciation and devotion more explicitly than any other free gift that anyone can think of. Just ask anyone who has ever been on the receiving or giving end of one.

PPPPP

(Word Count 718)

What Are Sinus Infections?

Sinus infections are also known as sinusitis. In fact, there are two types namely acute and chronic.

An acute sinus infection is caused by harmless bacteria that most healthy people have in their upper respiratory tracts. This happens to approximately 2 percent of adults and 20 percent of children who are suffering from a cold. It usually lasts for two to four weeks and those affected respond very well to medical therapy.

Among the two types, chronic sinus infections are very common. It is estimated that at least 37 million Americans are affected by this every year and this usually lasts for 3 months or more and it may keep on coming back.

The symptoms for acute and chronic are very similar. These include bad breath, cough, dental pain, difficulty breathing through your nose, erythema, facial pain, fatigue, fever, nasal congestion, nausea, pain or tenderness in the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead and sore throat.

If you have acute or chronic sinus infection, you are advised to see a doctor because if left undiagnosed and untreated, complications could occur which may lead to severe medical problems and at times death. Just to give you an idea, here are some of the complications that could happen.

We know that fevers and headaches are common with a sinus infection. But did you know that this together with soft tissue swelling over the frontal sinus may indicate an infection of the frontal bone better known as Potts Puffy Tumor or Ostemyelitis?

The persons eye socket may also get infected due to ethmoid sinusitis and if it swells or becomes droopy, this may result in the inability to see and even permanent blindness. What is even worse is when it causes a blood clot forms around the front and top of the face. The persons pupils will become fixed and dilated and this will happen on both eyes.

A sinus infection could also make someone experience mild personality changes or altered consciousness. If this happens, it is possible that the infection can spread to the brain and result in a coma or death.

Given that anything can happen if you have a sinus infection, you are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible. This will the professional time to diagnose what is wrong and then recommend the proper medical treatment.

Some of the tests could be as simple as touching your face lightly to check for tenderness in the skin to CT scans, MRIs and X-rays.

The treatment that doctors initially recommend to a patient who has a sinus infection is usually an over the counter drug like Tylenol. If there is no improvement after a week, then he or she can assume that it is a bacterial infection and treat it with a proper antibiotic.

The length of the time that the patient will be under the medication depends on the person. Usually, the person will use antibiotics for 2 weeks but this can be extended for another 7 days should the infection be chronic.

Sinus infections can be treated so before you take any medicine out of the cabinet, have yourself checked by the doctor first to determine what is causing it. For all you know, your sinus infection is not caused by bacteria but rather an allergy.

Sinus Infection Prevention

You dont always have to wait for sinus infection to strike before you take action. In fact, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening and here are a few.

1. Moisten the air in your home. You can do this by buying a humidifier or an air conditioning unit as this regulates the temperature during hot and cold weather.

2. Aside from humidifiers or air conditioning equipment, you can also install electrostatic filters which are designed to remove allergens in the air.

3. If you live in an area that is polluted, move somewhere else. You have to remember that sinus infections area also caused by strong fumes and chemicals that may irritate your sinus linings.

4. Drinking too much alcohol may also trigger a sinus infection because it swells the nasal and sinus membranes which leave them exposed to irritation. This simply means that you should drink moderately.

5. Smoking also causes sinus infections because it irritates the sinus lining which causes bad drainage of the mucus and the sinus to congest. So, you should quit smoking and stay away from people who smoke.

6. If you travel often, you should cut down the number of times you have to fly from one destination to the next. This is because a bubble of air within the body expands as the air pressure in the plane reduces. When this happens, this could result in the blockage of the Eustachian tubes causing your nose to clog during the planes ascent or descent. If you have to fly, be sure to bring with you a decongestant nose drop or inhaler and use this before the flight.

7. When you have a sinus infection, the best way to fight it is to stay hydrated. The same thing goes to prevent it by drinking lots of water, juice or any other liquid to replenish what was lost from the body.

8. You should also practice good hygiene since most sinus infections are caused by bacterial and viral infections. This means taking a shower twice a day and washing your hands with soap and water each time you go to the bathroom. You should also do this every time you sneeze because when you cover your mouth, the germs go to your hands.

9. For years, we have said that consuming dairy products will keep our bones strong. But studies have shown that too much can thicken your mucus and cause nasal passages to narrow down which results to headache and pain.

10. You should also get a flu shot every year.

11. Drinking liquids should also be followed with eating good food especially fruits and vegetables. After all, these are rich in antioxidants that will boost your immune system and help your body resist infection.

12. Lastly, stress makes us prone to sinusitis and many other infections. So we should get sufficient rest like 8 hours at least every night.

13. You should also take some multivitamins and supplements to add to your daily supplement.

You can prevent sinus infections from happening so that you dont have to call in sick and miss a day at work or school. It takes a little effort to take these safety measures which happen to be much cheaper than going to your doctor and buying over the counter medication.