sábado, 18 de mayo de 2013

Medical Herbal Hot Compress Massage

This treatment is based on the holistic principles of Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. Thai herbalism is an ancient tradition that was preserved for over thousand years in monasteries and temples and is still practiced to this day.

Medicinal herbs are blended, wrapped and tied in fragrant bundles, which are steamed hot, slowly releasing their revitalising and healing essential oils when pressed against the body during the massage.

Thai herbal massage stimulate the energy lines and points, while the herbs also provide medicinal benefits.

Moist heat radiates down through the tissues, melting away tension and soreness. Steam opens the pores and the skin breathes. The skin absorbs the rejuvenating and enriching herbal oil blend. Soothing, uplifting aromas open the senses and relax the mind.

Benefits of Thai Herbal Compress Massage

The combination of the heat, herbs and massage has the following effects;

Reduces tension through heat and aromatic properties of the herbs
Deep relaxation of muscle and nerve fibres (helps relieve chronic pain arising from overuse injuries)
Softens and nourishes the skin (many herbs are nourishing, exfoliating and restorative)
Eases respiration through the use of aromatic herbal vapours
Improves the circulation as the massage and heat dilates the blood vessels enabling them to work more efficiently
Aids the elimination of toxins and waste products through increased lymphatic circulation and detoxification provided by heat, herbs and massage
Restores the body’s vital energy flow (through the stimulation of the Sen Lines)
Beneficial for the following conditions:

Stress Insomnia PMT Stiffness Asthma
Headaches Pain Relief
Poor circulation
Exhaustion Migraine Back Pain Rheumatism Depression
Tension Menopause
Muscle Pain Fibromyalgia

No two people will respond to the treatment in same way. Some will find that a single treatment can radically alter their perception of their own body while others will require a longer time to achieve the same result. It is advisable to repeat the treatment few times to achieve best benefits.

Herbs used in Massage

Camphor – is stimulating the brain, heart and circulation but relieves mental and emotional stress, anxiety and insomnia. When inhaled it is good for sinuses and respiration. Used in compresses it soothes sore muscles and arthritis, and treats nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

Cassamunar Ginger – soothing the muscle aches and pain. Natural emollient used by women to tone and soften their skin, and has been used (in Thailand) by generations to restore the womb after giving birth.

Eucalyptus – the aroma has an emotionally refreshing effect. While inhaling the steamed vapours or applying to the chest and throat are all effective treatments for colds, cough, congestion, asthma and other respiratory conditions. It is also antiseptic killing germs and speeding the healing of wounds and infections.

Galangal – used internally relieves many digestive ailments. It is strong antiseptic, toning the skin and treating skin diseases.

Ginger – powerful stimulant with heating effects on the body. Its oil boosts circulation, eases muscle stiffness and increases the potency of all herbs combined with it.

Kaffir Lime – the vapours are uplifting, treating respiratory ailments and oil on the skin acts as a cleansing astringent.

Lemongrass – soothing yet invigorating, clearing the head and uplifting the mind.

Turmeric – one of the key ingredients in healing, used internally for circulatory and digestive problems. It is also natural moisturizer and antiseptic popular for skin treatments.

Contraindications to the massage

Total contraindications

Infection, Fever, Diarrhoea, Vomiting, 1st trimester of pregnancy, under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Sensitivity/intolerance to heat, medications that may have side effects to heat, allergies/sensitivity to herbs
In order to protect other clients coming to the practice from spreading infectious or contagious diseases I reserve the right to refuse any treatment to the client suffering illnesses I might believe are harmful to others.

Medical contraindications

If the client suffers any of following conditions and is not sure about the treatment he/she is advised to obtain medical permission for the massage from their GP. Otherwise the client might be asked by therapist to sign the disclaimer where he/she agrees to proceed with the treatment without confirmation from GP.

Asthma, Cancer, Diabetes, Whiplash, Slipped or Herniated Discs, Kidney Infection, Haemophilia, Osteoporosis, Medical Oedema, Osteoarthritis, Acute Rheumatoid Arthritis, Epilepsy, Nervous or Psychotic conditions, recent operations, Cardio Vascular conditions (i.e. Thrombosis, Phlebitis, Hypertension, Hypotension, Heart conditions)
Localised Contraindication

The area affected by any of following conditions will be avoided during the massage

Localised swelling or inflammation, skin disease, recent scar tissue, Varicose Veins, cuts or bruises, sunburn, Cervical Spondylitis, hormonal implants, recent fractures

jueves, 9 de mayo de 2013

The lymphatic system and massage

The lymphatic system is considered a "shadow system" to the blood system. Its function is to collect as much as three litres of waste, toxins and lymphatic fluid every day. This material is obtained from the circulating blood and tissues; and thereafter disposed off within the large intestine.

It is well known that massaging the muscles also simelatenously massages the lymphatic system as well. This promotes better functionality and fluidity.

The various forms of massage are still practiced throughout Asia. eg. Thai Massage, Indian Head Massage and many more. All these different variations originate from Ayurveda teachings.

Massage is a profoundly effective technique to help increase the body's natural flow of lymph by increasing lymphatic circulation through the body's natural filtration systems. This increased circulation assists in detoxifying the body and supports our health through a better functioning immune system.

Massage has been proven to be helpful for clients suffering from lack of energy, a sluggish immune system, emotional stress and depression, sports related injuries and cases where auxiliary lymph nodes have been removed.

Other applications include:
Depressed immune response due to poor production of white blood cells
Chronic fatigue syndrome and frequent colds or flu
Skin disorders including acne, eczema, poor complexion, etc.
Digestive disorders
Edema (swelling) of all kinds
Sinus congestion
Tension headaches
Muscle sprains or broken bones (above and below the site of the break)
Circulatory problems
Emotional stress and depression.


Lymph: A clear fluid that travels through lymph vessels carrying immune system cells and tissue waste products.

Lymph nodes: Small, pea-sized collections of tissue found near the breast under the arm, above the collarbone, in the chest, and in many other parts of the body. Lymph nodes filter lymph, and store immune cells such as lymphocytes.

Lymphatic system: Tissues and organs that produce and carry white blood cells that fight infection. The system includes a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells. The tubes branch into all tissues of the body.

Lymphedema: A condition in which fluid does not drain from the lymph nodes, causing swelling. Sometimes this happens in the arm after lymph nodes have been removed from the underarm. It can also happen after radiation therapy.

Lymphocyte: A type of white blood cell. Lymphocytes are responsible for certain types of immunity; they also produce antibodies and other substances that fight infection and disease.

sábado, 4 de mayo de 2013


The theory.

There are millenniums, the Chinese, the Indian, the Thai, the Egyptians massaged their feet. They had even made of this gesture a real therapy. One rediscovers the track of such practice with the Indian of North America, and even in certain Africa tribes. One rediscovers them today under the official terminology of Plantar Reflexology. The Thai Plantar Reflexology is the fruit of knowledge transmitted during these three last millenniums. This Thai Traditional Massage of the feet is a magnificent synthesis of the multiples and various traditional techniques used in the countries of the Southeast Asian. This a manual therapy used for the prevention and the care of the more common feverish diseases. This ancestral art is integral part of the life hygiene of the Thai. An institution as much as an art of living, it is practiced in the Temples and the medical centres but also in a convivial way in family. The nervous system and the skin are closely dependent, since they arise from the same embryonic layer. This is why the massage acts in depth on the nervous system, centre of command of all the activities, physical and psychic. All the received stimuli are evaluated, measured, studied, and then goes through our grey matter before arriving until the vital organs. Feet and hands have the characteristic to possess a big quantity of nervous endings and occupy a more important place than the remainder of the body at the level of the cerebral cortex. It explains action to distance of the deep stimulation of a reflex zone. The foot is a global reading chart of the body, in every zone reflex of the foot corresponds a precise part of the body. It is admitted that the Thai Plantar Reflexology has an effect on the blood circulation, the nervous system and therefore on the health of the internal organs. Knowing that about 70% of the disorders are due precisely to nervous tensions … this deep feet massage is the solution by excellence.

The practice.
According to the tradition, to receive this Thai Reflexology massage, it is advised to sit comfortably, the feet resting on a stool. This is a clever mix of cream and oil that will progressively be applied on the feet and the half legs (to the knees) during a good hour. To do so, one will use a stick made of wood (called notably " Iron wood stick " ) in order to make react more efficiently the specific reflex zones. When we know that our feet bear 100% of the weight of the body and that we inflict them an average of 7000 steps every day, recognize that we owe them a certain respect! This is why, it would be reasonable to give them the cares that they deserve and that they will require in any case one day or the other. Brings wellbeing and deep relaxation. Induce a lightness sensation.

Relieve heavy legs. Regulate the appetite and the digestives disturbances. Fight against insomnia, headaches, stress… Acts in depth on the nervous system. Reinforce the immune system...

jueves, 2 de mayo de 2013

Effects of traditional Thai massage versus joint mobilization on substance P and pain perception in patients with non-specific low back pain

Departmen of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
b Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Thailand

Although both Traditional Thai Massage (TTM) and joint mobilization have been practiced in Thailand to reduce musculoskeletal pain, a comparative study of these in relieving pain is not been found in the literature. The purpose of this study was to examine the immediate effects of TTM versus joint mobilization on substance P and pain perception in patients with non-specific low back pain. Sixty-seven adults with non-specific low back pain were randomly assigned to receive either TTM (35 people) or joint mobilization (32 people). The duration of each treatment was 10 min. The levels of substance P in saliva and a visual analog scale (VAS) were measured before and 5 min after each treatment. Paired t-test was used to compare outcome variables at baseline with outcome measures 5 min after each treatment. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was performed to compare the difference between groups. Both groups showed a decrease in the level of substance P after treatment when compared with levels pre-treatment (73.86±62.31 pg/ml versus 50.43±64.39 pg/ml in TTM and 80.61±85.26 pg/ml versus 56.27±72.77 pg/ml in joint mobilization; p=0.019 and 0.006; 95%CI: 4.03–42.82 and 7.48–41.19, respectively). Additionally, there was a marked decrease in VAS after treatment in both groups (4.22±1.98 versus 2.45±1.75 in Thai massage and 4.35±1.71 versus 3.39±1.66 in joint mobilization; p=0.000 and 0.002, 95%CI: 1.12–2.40 and 0.37–1.55, respectively). There was no significant difference in the substance P level after treatment between the two groups. However, the VAS pain score was slightly different between the groups after treatment (0.88; 95% CI: 0.16–1.59; p=0.017), where the TTM group reported less pain than the joint mobilization group (2.48±0.25 versus 3.36±0.25 VAS, respectively). Both TTM and joint mobilization can relieve pain in patients with non-specific low back pain. However, TTM yields slightly more beneficial effects than joint mobilization.

miércoles, 1 de mayo de 2013

Parkinson’s and Therapy Massage.

by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

Parkinson’s disease, also called Parkinsonism, is a fairly common progressive degenerative central nervous system (CNS) disorder. Affecting about one in 1,000 people in the U.S., Parkinson’s disease is a dysfunction in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that controls voluntary movement. Characteristic symptoms of this chronic, progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder include tremors, rigidity, slow movement (bradykinesia), poor balance and difficulty walking (called parkinsonian gait).

Parkinsonism results from the degeneration of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that stimulates motor neurons, the nerve cells that control muscles. When dopamine production is depleted, the motor system nerves are unable to control movement and coordination. People with Parkinson’s disease have lost 80% or more of their dopamine-producing cells by the time symptoms appear. While symptoms may appear at any age, the average age of onset is 60 years old.

Western Medicine
In addition to not knowing the cause, there is also no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Western medical treatment centers on the administration of medication to relieve symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved a surgically implanted device that lessens tremors. Medication for Parkinson’s disease is a process of experimentation and patience, as its selection and dosage must be individually tailored. As the disease progresses, medications and their dosages will likely require modification.

Designed to influence dopamine levels, the mainstay medications prescribed for Parkinson’s disease are Levodopa and Carbidopa, or a combination of the two, Sinemet. Of primary concern to bodyworkers, hypotension is a typical side effect of these drugs. Any client at increased risk of hypotension (low blood pressure) requires extra attention during a position change or when rising from a massage table.

Alternative Medicine
Tolerance to these medications builds with time, rendering them less effective and opening up the possibility of new side effects or unpredictable responses. Just like with medications, surgical therapies are not curative and often treat only selected aspects of Parkinson’s disease. It is no wonder that an increasing number of those affected with Parkinsonism are turning to complementary and alternative therapies for help.

Massage Therapy
The benefits of massage therapy have long been recognized by people with Parkinson’s disease. Because Parkinson’s disease typically causes muscle stiffness and rigidity, bodywork’s ability to alleviate joint and muscle stiffness makes it a logical choice. As long as the client has sensation in the area being worked on, it is safe for bodywork. Communicating with a client throughout a bodywork session will ensure a positive experience. However, before working with a Parkinson’s client, bodyworkers must understand the following:

Parkinson’s disease is a CNS dysfunction, and will not be completely resolved with bodywork alone.
Work in cooperation with a client’s primary physician, as massage may impact the need for antidepressants and other medication.
Since uncontrolled movement is characteristic of this disease, getting on and off a massage table may pose safety issues. Bodyworkers must predict this with Parkinson’s clients and either improvise or take extra cautionary measures to ensure the client’s safety.
According to a 2002 study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, along with staff from the university’s neurology department and Duke University’s pharmacology department, Parkinson’s disease symptoms are reduced by massage therapy. In this study, the group of adults with Parkinson’s disease who received two massages a week for five weeks experienced improved daily functioning, increased quality of sleep and decreased stress-hormone levels. The massage consisted of 15 minutes in the prone position, focusing on the back, buttocks, ribs, thighs, calves and feet; and 15 minutes in the supine position, focusing on the thighs, lower legs, feet, hands, forearms, upper arms, neck, face and head. The study’s authors reported, “These findings suggest that massage therapy enhances functioning in progressive or degenerative central nervous system disorders or conditions.”

While several different massage modalities have been quantifiably researched in the context of Parkinsonism, all modalities report improvement in function, from the reduction of rigidity and improvement of sleep, to the reduction of tremor and increase of daily activity stamina.

Don’t be afraid of working with clients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The pathology of this condition and the success reported with massage therapy make physical manipulation of the musculoskeletal system an ideal Parkinsonism management component. Being familiar with this disease and welcoming those affected can bring an enormous amount of satisfaction to any compassionate bodyworker.

Recommended Study:
Anatomy and Pathology
Pharmacology for Massage.

More Information:
Parkinson’s Disease: Massage Benefits and Precautions

Massage Reduces Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, Massage Magazine, January/February 2003.

Slavin, John, PhD, LMT, Massage and Parkinson’s Disease: A Few Lessons Learned, Massage Today, October 2006.

Werner, Ruth, LMP, NCTMB, Parkinsonism, Massage Today, March 2005.

www.medterms.com, Definition of basal ganglia, MedicineNet, Inc., 2006.

www.neurologychannel.com, Parkinson’s Disease, Healthcommunities.com, Inc., 206.

www.parkinson.org, Complementary Therapies and Parkinson’s disease, Melanie M. Brandabur, MD, Jill Marjama-Lyons, MD, The National Parkinson Foundation, Inc., 1994.