by Jason VonGerichten
I asked my colleagues and friends:
What type of music do you listen to when you are giving or receiving a massage?
I’ve struggled with different types of music in the past. The obvious answer, and the one I received many varieties of, was new-age music. Or what experts refer to as “barely music.” Look, I agree, this stuff is soothing. It starts with some crickets chirping, or a brook babbling. The nature sounds eventually fade into some unidentifiable yet harmless horn instrument which is trying very hard to not sound too exciting. (We don’t want to stray into that booty-shaking Kenny G smut.) Soon after a keyboard sneaks its way in and snuggles up to your ears like a puppy on Quaaludes. By the time you reach what passes for a chorus on Planet Enya (because whatever musician is performing, this is clearly their home world) synthesizers and even a muffled string instrument or two have gently joined in, and your client has been completely and utterly lulled.
by Jason VonGerichten
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the scourge of anyone who works with their hands. It is most commonly a repetitive stress injury, meaning it’s caused by doing the same actions over and over. It can also be caused by trauma or edema in the wrists, but most often it’s attributed to flexing and extending your wrists too often without administering any self-care techniques, like ice if it’s inflamed, heat if it’s achy, or self massage and stretching.
The carpal tunnel is the small space at the base of your hand, just a smidge beyond the wrist crease and right in between the two pads (the thenar eminence and hypothenar eminence) of your palm. The base of this tunnel is, of course, made up of your carpal bones, and the roof is the flexor retinaculum, aka the transverse carpal ligament (in pictures it looks like a strip of masking tape going across your wrist).
In this tiny amount of space travels ten structures. Nine of those structures are tendons for muscles that move your fingers, thumb and wrist. The other structure, and the most superficial of the bunch, is your median nerve, which is what gets compressed with CTS, and what causes pain into your lateral three and a half digits (your thumb, index finger, middle finger, and lateral half of your ring finger).
The pain from CTS is a nerve pain, which means it can range from numbness and tingling to a shooting electrical pain. It is often described as a “painful numbness” that wakes you up at night, and in fact one of the main complaints of CTS sufferers is lack of sleep.
By Jason VonGerichten.
There was once a man from Lithuania who owned a haberdashery in Cleveland. On June 2, 1932, during the Great Depression, a man attempted to rob the haberdashery, pointing a gun at the owner. The owner, profoundly afraid of guns, had a heart attack and died on the spot. The robber was never caught.
One third of all deaths are caused by heart disease, and more heart attacks occur on Monday than on any other day. This would lead one to assume that these heart attacks are work-related.
Studies show that when your stress levels rise, many things can go wrong with your circulatory system, the worst, of course, being death.
Your white blood cell count increases to cope with whatever danger you may be facing. This would be great if you were facing off with an actual pathogen, but when facing off with emotional stress, these extra blood cells can cause blockages in your coronary arteries.
Most of us will suffer some sort of back pain at some point. Is yours a deep achiness in your low back that no amount of stretching seems to cure? This pain might be caused by a postural deviation known as hyperlordosis.
All of our spines are curved. If they weren’t the simple impact from walking would rapidly destroy our vertebrae. It’s when your low back has an excessive curve, going from a normal lordotic curve, to an abnormal hyperlordotic curve, problems may arise. (Sorry, Kim Kardashian; that’s not healthy).
As the population begins to age, more people are becoming aware of the benefits massage can bring to senior citizens. The Touch Research Institute has conducted studies that show massage therapy can provide emotional benefits to Alzheimer’s patients, because it can facilitate relaxation and communication. For seniors with arthritis, massage can greatly help in decreasing pain, increasing range of motion, and improving circulation to increase natural joint lubrication.