Woman with lower back pain

Embrace Massage For Lower Back Aches and Pain

According to the principles of yoga, the inner spirit, or kundalini, is symbolized as a coiled snake at the back of the spine. When it is awakened, the snake moves upward and a burning flame shoots through your chakra. Thus, if you practice holistic healing, lower back pain may be an indication that your root chakra is ungrounded. If you don’t subscribe to this philosophy, however, you may just think that your lower back really hurts.

Either way you look at it, a lot of people suffer from lower back pain and most can agree that massage is a good way to relieve it. But, how does the medical world weigh in on the possibility of massage as a real world treatment for chronic back pain? Read on to find out.

Benefits of Massage for Chronic Lower Back Pain
William Elder is the principle investigator of a recent study on the benefits of massage therapy for lower back pain. He says, ” Current medical guidelines actually recommend massage therapy prior to the use of opioid medications for lower back pain.Yet, even with those guidelines, physicians and nurse practitioners are not recommending massage therapy.”

Lower back pain is a common problem, but it usually goes away relatively quickly, However, for about 15 percent of sufferers, it can be a more long term problem. For long term sufferers, treatments generally include prescription opioid painkillers, exercise, behavioral changes, steroid injections, acupuncture, and surgery. Recently researchers have begun to explore massage as another possibility.

Woman having a massage

The study included over 100 volunteers paired with approved massage therapist who expertly assessed the patient’s problem and created a suitable treatment plan. The participants received ten treatments and were reevaluated after 12 weeks. Findings showed more than half of the volunteers had less pain after 12 weeks and continued to report a reduction in pain over the following three months. Said Elder, “The results are exciting because it shows that most doctors can refer their patients for massage as a treatment. It’s applicable in the real world.”

The Medical World
Dr Anders Cohen also believes in the possibility of massage as a solution for lower back pain. The neurosurgery chief at the Brooklyn Hospital recommends massage therapy to his patients as a part of his comprehensive treatment plan. “Massage is a great way to break up adhesions and is great for soft tissue, If the back pain is a soft tissue issue, such as muscles and ligaments, it works great. Plus there is the bonus of a therapeutic touch,” he says.

Tips for Effective Treatment
Study co-author Niki Munk give some advice for those seeking massage treatment for lower back pain. She advises that massage needs to occur regularly until a level of general comfort is achieved, and then patients can manage their back pain on a schedule that suits their needs. Munk recommends finding a therapist that you can develop a good relationship with. ” Chronic low back pain is a complex issue that can’t be cured from just a one-hour massage. Find a therapeutic massage clinic and asks questions about the therapist, such as their initial training and continuing education. Also, make sure the therapist sets up a treatment plan that works for you.”

What do you think of massage as a way of treating lower back pain? Let us know how powerful you think the power of massage can be.

The Benefits of Massage for Chronic Inflammation

The feel of strong hands on your body, working out every muscle, kneading every knot, relieving every bit of tension until your body falls into a jelly-like-puddle of submission. There are few who would debate the sensual effects of a good massage, but what about its healing power?

While it’s clear going for a massage can provide temporary pain relief, can it actually offer a more permanent solution?

For those who suffer from chronic inflammation, pain is a fact of life. For many, massage provides a welcome escape, but can it actually reverse the effects of the condition itself? Read on to find out the impact of massage on chronic inflammation.

What is Chronic Inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural series of bodily responses to injury or abnormal stimulation caused by a foreign agent. Inflammation is a normal and desirable defense mechanism, but it normally goes away when the cause does. However, in the case of chronic inflammation, this is not the case.


Chronic inflammation can last from a few days to a lifetime. It is thought to be the leading factor in all autoimmune diseases, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Causes of Inflammation
The causes of inflammation may include stress, dietary choices, artificial chemicals in food, water, aid and cosmetics and pathogens like bacteria and viruses. However, while science seems to acknowledge many of the causes of inflammation, it is less forthcoming about possible strategies for dealing with it. While the use of anti-inflammatory drugs has proven effective, long-term use can lead to dangerous side effects, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and hemorrhages.

Reversing Chronic Inflammation
Since the biological processes of inflammation are turned on by pain, then it is possible that the inflammation will decrease with the pain signal, giving the body more energy to heal itself. Massage is an effective way of doing just that. The key lies in applying the correct techniques and working with, rather than against the body.

Massage and Chronic Inflammation
A massage therapist needs to be aware of the variations in pain levels in the body’s client with chronic inflammation. Generally, full body massage can circulate white blood cells, boosting their efficient and worsening the client’s condition.

The following are a list of treatments designed to alleviate body systems with our significantly increasing full body circulation:

  • Abdominal massage can greatly improve organ efficient. Chi Nei Tsang is a form of abdominal massage present in Chinese medicine which can be beneficial in this respect.
  •  Stretching provides the client with myofascial benefits without greatly impacting circulation.
  • Myofascial release is a good way to free blockages in the body’s myofascial network. It is well tolerated by clients during flare ups.
  • Shaitsu and Thai massage combine stretching while focussing on musculotendon pathways and specific muscle regions. They can vary in intensity depending on the client’s level of tolerance on the given day.

Have you used massage to treat chronic inflammation? What do you think? A short term relief or a long term cure? Let us know!

Woman having a bath

Adult Bath Time Is Good For Stress

“The boss! The baby! The dog! That does it! Calgon! Take me away!” You may remember the classic 1970’s Calgon commercials. A woman comes home, the image of her angry cigar -smoking boss still fresh in her mind, her crying child and barking dog, still taunting her memory. It all melds into a spinning wheel of confusion; the woman throws up her hands in frustration.The scene changes. The same woman in a bath filled with Calgon bath bubbles. The soothing voiceover encouraging her to lose herself in luxury. The stress formerly seen in the woman’s face replaced by a blissful expression. She has found her escape.

For years, bath times have been viewed as a source of stress relief. The warm water, the soothing scent, all calling up a sense of comfort and intense relaxation. Are you more than ready to make your bath time into a tranquil escape from insanity? Here’s all you need to know about perfecting your adult bathing experience.

Set the Mood
You know lighting is a very important part of atmosphere. Ditch those regular wall lights and get experimental. Try some old fashioned candles or tea lights which you can strategically place all around your bathroom; just keep them away from the towels!

Crank Some Tunes
Music is a crucial element when it comes to relaxation, just make sure it’s something you like. You can get sassy with Beyonce or Adele, or go more traditional with some classical movement. If heavy metal is more your thing, just make sure you don’t rock all the water out of your bath!

Snacks
You can’t relax if your hungry and you sure don’t want to leave the bath to search through your kitchen, so make sure to have some of your favorite snacks on hand, just make sure your chips don’t end up floating next to your rubber ducky!

Temperature
The optimal temperature is an absolute must if you want to achieve bath time nirvana. 33.3 degrees celsius is the recommended water temperature; it should not exceed 38.3, which will be too hot and may leave you feeling drowsy.

Woman with red wine in bath

Red Wine
Red, red wine, it makes you feel so fine. Not only might you want to sip while you soak, but you may want to actually mix the wine with the bath water. It will not only smell great, but it will treat your skin to some beneficial antioxidant action.

Don’t Dehydrate
Just because you’re soaking in water, it doesn’t mean you are safe from dehydration. You might be surprised at the amount of perspiration a body can produce in a hot bath. Have a cool glass of water on hand and it may be useful to keep a flannel and jug of water close by so you can make yourself a cold compress if you start to feel sweaty.

Face Mask
While you’re pampering, why not apply a face mask? It will nourish and cleanse the skin on your face while the bath does the same to the skin on your body.

Self Massage
While your muscles are relaxing, you might as well address the problem spots. You can use a water proof ball resting it against a solid surface, while exerting pressure on it evenly. The water will help to control the degree of intensity you apply.

Bath Oils
The type of bath oils you chose may effect the type of benefits your bath can give. Lavender oil is known to encourage sleep and sandalwood oil can help relieve anxiety. Just add about ten drops when the bath is half full to allow even distribution and a sufficient amount of scent.

Support Your Head
The last thing you want is a stiff neck when you’re trying to relax. Fold up a couple of towel for a makeshift pillow.

How do you like your bathing experience? Do you have some anti-stress tips for us? We’d love to know!