Monthly Archives: July 2012

Why do massage therapists tell you to drink water?

If you ever have had a massage, you probably were given a glass of water afterwards and told to drink plenty of water. The reason for this is simple and complicated. Massage therapy helps to release toxins in the body and without proper hydration your body cannot remove them as effectively. Additionally, any deep work performed on your muscles by your therapist can cause minor soreness and tenderness. This is not usually a bad thing but it certainly is not a necessary thing – if you can eliminate the soreness after a deep tissue massage, why not do so? Proper hydration is essential for muscle health and therefore helps your muscles heal more quickly after a deep massage then if you were dehydrated. The same applies to reducing soreness after a tough workout at the gym.

Two-thirds of your body is composed of water. Muscle consists of 75% water, brain is 90%, bone is 22%, and blood is 83% water. Water transports oxygen and nutrients to cells and vital organs in our body. It also lubricates and moisturizes the lungs, nasal cavity, and sinuses. It regulates body temperature, detoxifies our system, and also protects and moisturizes our joints. There are numerous benefits to drinking water on a regular basis. Here are most of them:

Lose weight; Water has zero carbs, zero calories, zero fat, zero everything. It also helps flush out the by-products of fat breakdown as well as curb your appetite.

Relieves headaches; Dehydration is a common cause of headaches.

Healthier looking skin; By drinking the right amount of water replenishes the tissues in your skin and also improves elasticity.

Raises your metabolism; Drinking water raises metabolism because it aids in digestion.

Less cramps and strains; Proper hydration keeps your joints and muscles lubricated so you are less likely to hurt them.

Keeps you from being sick; Water can help improve the immune system and fight against the flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack.

Relieves fatigue; Helps to flush out toxins and excess waste in your body.

Good mood; If your body feels good then that makes you happy :)

To calculate the right amount of water that you should drink every day, just divide your body weight in half and whatever that number is, you should be drinking that in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds you should drink 75 ounces of water per day.

So next time listen to your massage therapist and drink up!

Benefits of mangos

10 Health Benefits of Mangos
Mangos taste so good that people forget they are also healthy! Discover how the “king of fruits” can help you, plus fascinating trivia and a few mango cautions and concerns.

Health Benefits:
1. Prevents Cancer: Research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. These compounds include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes.

2. Lowers Cholesterol: The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff)

3. Clears the Skin: Can be used both internally and externally for the skin. Mangos clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples.

4. Eye Health: One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.

5. Alkalizes the Whole Body:The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.

6. Helps in Diabetes: Mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood. The traditional home remedy involves boiling leaves in water, soaking through the night and then consuming the filtered decoction in the morning. Mango fruit also have a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.

7. Improved Sex: Mangos are a great source of vitamin E. Even though the popular connection between sex drive and vitamin E was originally created by a mistaken generalization on rat studies, further research has shown balanced proper amounts (as from whole food) does help in this area.

8. Improves Digestion: Papayas are not the only fruit that contain enzymes for breaking down protein. There are several fruits, including mangoes, which have this healthful quality. The fiber in mangos also helps digestion and elimination.

9. Remedy for Heat StrokeJuicing the fruit from green mango and mixing with water and a sweetener helps to cool down the body and prevent harm to the body. From an ayurvedic viewpoint, the reason people often get diuretic and exhausted when visiting equatorial climates is because the strong “sun energy” is burning up your body, particularly the muscles. The kidneys then become overloaded with the toxins from this process.

10. Boosts Immune system The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangos, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy and strong.

Facts and trivia:
• According to some, more mangos are eaten fresh than any other fruit in the world.
• Originated 4,000 plus years ago.
• Biologically a close relative with other flowering plants like cashew and pistachio.
• Originated in sub-Himalayan plains.
• In India where they are most heavily grown and eaten, mangos are known as “safeda.”
• There are over 1,000 different varieties of mangos.

Nutrition by the NumbersOne cup (225 gms) contains the following. Percentages apply to daily value.
• 105 calories
• 76 percent vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster)
• 25 percent vitamin A (antioxidant and vision)
• 11 percent vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)
• 9 percent healthy probiotic fiber
• 9 percent copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells)
• 7 percent potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)
• 4 percent magnesium

1. If you have a latex allergy, a reaction is possible with mangos and particularly green mangos. This reaction develops because of anacardic acid.
2. Mango peel and sap contain urushiol, the chemical in poison ivy and poison sumac that can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.
3. Mangos are ripened by some dealers using calcium carbide which can cause serious health problems (one more reason to buy organic). If you do have inorganic mangos, do wash them properly before consuming or soak overnight in water.

The Scalene

Scalene muscles are three paired muscles of the neck, located in the front on either side of the throat, just lateral to the sternocleidomastoid. There is an anterior scalene (scalenus anterior), a medial scalene (scalenus medius), and a posterior scalene (scalenus posterior). They derive their name from the Greek word skalenos and the later Latin scalenus meaning “uneven”, similar to the scalene triangle in mathematics, which has all sides of unequal length. These muscles not only have different lengths but also considerable variety in their attachments and fiber arrangements. As you will see from the descriptions below, these muscles are in a very crowded place and are related to many important structures, namely nerves and arteries, that run through the neck.

The scalenes run deep to the sternocleidomastoid. They all start at the cervical vertebra and run to the first to second ribs. The anterior scalene runs almost vertically and its upper part is concealed by the SCM and the lower part is concealed by the clavicle. Along its medial border runs the carotid artery. The internal jugular vein, the intermediate tendon of the omohyoid, the phrenic nerve; and the transverse cervical and scapular arteries all lie between the anterior scalene and the sternocleidomastoid (in front of scalene behind the SCM) Between the muscle and the clavicle runs the subclavian vein. The rear of the muscle, its posterior border, makes contact with the brachial plexus nerve roots, which run between it and the medial scalene.
Together with the first rib these muscles form a triangle known as the scalene triangle or interscalene triangle1 through which the brachial plexus nerves and the subclavian artery pass.

Also behind the anterior scalene are the pleura of the lungs and the superior intercostal artery.

Just behind the anterior scalene is the scalenus medius, referring to the “middle” muscle. This muscle forms part of the floor of the posterior triangle of the neck2. The front of the muscle runs close the the brachial plexus and the upper two thoracic nerve roots run through it. It makes contact with the levator scapulae in the rear, and the dorsal scapular nerve and transverse cervical artery pass between the two. The upper two roots of the long thoracic nerve go through the muscle. Only the anterior and medial scalene can be palpated. The posterior scalene is much shorter than the other two, and only starts at the lower cervical vertebra, where it attaches via two three tendinous slips. Whereas the first two attach to the first rib, the medius attaches to the second rib. 1,2,3,4,5,6.7

Some texts refer to a fourth scalene muscle, the scalenus minor. This variant does not always occur on both sides of the neck, but may be present in up one-third of people. This normal variation may have implications in thoracic outlet syndromes as does the scalenus anterior, resulting in a syndrome known as Scalenus Anterior sydrome or Scalenus Anticus syndrome (another name for the anterior muscle). The brachial plexus and the subclavian artery, as mentioned above, pass between the anterior scalene and the middle scalene. When present, the minimus inserts between the scalenus anterior and medius, passing behind the subclavian artery while the scalene anterior passes over and in front of it.7,8

At the top of the lungs is a the suprapleural membrane, which is a dense fascial layer also called Sibson’s fascia. This fascia is attached to the inner border of the first rib and the costal cartilage. The pleura of the lungs attach to this fascia underneath. The fascia attaches to the transverse process of the C7 vertebra and when muscle fibers are found in it, it is called the pleuralis muscle, which is another name for the scalenus minimus. So this suprapleural membrane could be regarded as a flattened out tendon of the scalenus minimus, meaning that the scalenus minimus is attached to the pleura of the lungs, or the pleural dome and then beyond to the first rib, lying behind the anterior scalene and the groove of the subclavian artery. The scalenus muscle is a reinforcement of Sibson’s fascia, which serves to stiffen the thoracic inlet and the neck structures above it so that they are not “puffed” up and down during forced respiration.8

The scalenes are clearly individual muscles but the all work together as a functional unit. They are usually considered accessory muscles of inspirations, as they work to elevate and fix the first and second ribs, while serving to fix them during quiet breathing, becoming guy-wires from the neck. It was thought that they were only active during labored or forceful breathing. However, measurement of their activity with concentric needles electrodes have demonstrated their activity even during quiet, normal breathing, even when the intake of breath is quite small. This has caused some researchers to drop the “accessory” label and consider them primary muscles of inspiration.

During normal diaphragmatic breathing, the ribs are elevated by the intercostal muscles and the scalenes. The orientation of the ribs causes them, when elevated, to expand the chest to the sides and front which increases the thoracic volume available for the lungs to expand into, although a most of this expansion is into the abdominal space which is made available by the contraction of the diaphragm downward. Their exact role in breathing is difficult to resolve.

The actions of the scalene muscles as movers of the neck and head are variously reported. They stabilize the cervical spine against lateral movement. The most common moving action attributed to them unilaterally is contralateral rotation of the cervical spine (rotation of head to the opposite side of working muscle). They have also been reported to be ipsilateral rotators (rotation to same side as working muscle). Bilaterally they are reported to be flexors of the neck. Their action in this regard depends on whether the thorax is fixed or the neck is fixed.1,2,3,4,5,6.7

Whether they are always active during breathing or not, the scalenes may become overactive in quiet breathing in upper chest breathing patterns. Prolonged coughing can overuse these muscles as well, and they may be especially problematic to asthma sufferers. Pain can come from myofascial trigger points in the scalenes or from thoracic outlet entrapment syndromes associated with the muscles.7

Origins, Insertions, and Actions
Origins: The Anterior Scalene (front scalene) originates on the anterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the third or fourth to the sixth cervical vertebrae.

The Scalenus Medius (middle scalene) originates on the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the first or second to seventh cervical vertebrae.

The Scalenus Posterior (rear scalene) attaches by two or three tendons from the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the the fifth or sixth to the seventh cervical vertebra (the last two or three).

Insertions: The scalenus anterior inserts onto the scalene tubercle and cranial crest of the firt rib, in front of the subclavian groove. The middle scalene inserts onto the cranial surface of the first rib, between the scalene tubercle and the subclavian groove. The posterior scalene inserts onto the outer surface of the second rib.

Actions: As above, the scalenes function as fixers and elevators of the first and second ribs during inspiration. The anterior and medial scalenes elevate the first rib and the posterior scalene elevates the second rib.

It is generally accepted that, acting unilaterally, they flex the head to the same side and acting bilaterally the flex the head forward (cervical flexion). Their roles as rotators of the neck given differently by different texts. Some report that all three scalenes rotate the head to the same side and some report that they all rotate it to the opposite side. Some report different functions for each scalene. According to Buford, et al., a multiple single-subject study on anesthetized macaques and human cadaver follow up revealed all three muscles as contralateral rotators of the cervical spine (rotating the head to the opposite side).4 The scalenes also help to laterally stabilize the neck, which is especially suited to the scalenus posterior.7

Sources of Scalene Trouble and Trigger Points
As stated above, breathing habits can be a cause of the scalenes being overworked. Here is a list of possible causes of scalene trouble which can lead to trigger points in the muscles or the neurovascular entrapment syndrome:
• labored breathing and/or habitual upper chest breathing (paradoxical), or chronic coughing, possibly associated with:
◦ nervous hyperventilation
◦ asthma
◦ emphysema
◦ pneumonia
◦ bronchitis
◦ allergies
◦ playing wind instruments

• work habits and activities such as:
◦ working for long periods with arms in front and possible slouched forward (as at a desk)
◦ working long periods with arms overhead
◦ work the requires repeatedly raising and lowering the arms
◦ carrying heavy loads at the sides
◦ pulling or lifting (especially with arms as waist)
◦ rowing
◦ swimming
◦ pulling ropes as in sailing
◦ wearing a heavy backpack

• poor posture with head-forward, kyphotic slouching and other problems such as:
◦ one short leg when standing
◦ small hemipelvis when sitting
◦ idopathic scoliosis

• sleeping with the head and neck low
• trauma from a hard fall or auto accident, whiplash (also affects sternocleidomastoid)

Full article, with references & more great tips here:

Muscle atrophy is the wasting or loss of muscle tissue.

Did You Know: Muscle atrophy is the wasting or loss of muscle tissue.

There are two types of muscle atrophy.
Disuse atrophy occurs from a lack of physical activity. In most people, muscle atrophy is caused by not using the muscles enough. People with seated jobs, medical conditions that limit their movement, or decreased activity levels can lose muscle tone and develop atrophy. This type of atrophy can be reversed with exercise and better nutrition. Bedridden people can have significant muscle wasting. Astronauts who are away from the Earth’s gravity can develop decreased muscle tone after just a few days of weightlessness.

The most severe type of muscle atrophy is neurogenic atrophy. It occurs when there is an injury to, or disease of, a nerve that connects to the muscle. This type of muscle atrophy tends to occur more suddenly than disuse atrophy.

Examples of diseases affecting the nerves that control muscles:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
Guillain-Barre syndrome
Polio (poliomyelitis)
Although people can adapt to muscle atrophy, even minor muscle atrophy usually causes some loss of movement or strength.

Some muscle atrophy occurs normally with aging. Other causes may include:

Alcohol-associated myopathy
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
Dermatomyositis and polymyositis
Guillain-Barre syndrome
Long-term corticosteroid therapy
Motor neuropathy (such as diabetic neuropathy)
Muscular dystrophy
Not moving (immobilization)
Rheumatoid arthritis
Spinal cord injury

Home Care
An exercise program (under the direction of a therapist or doctor) is recommended to help treat muscle atrophy. This may include exercises in water to reduce the muscle workload, and other types of rehabilitation.

People who cannot actively move one or more joints can do exercises using braces or splints.

When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your doctor for an appointment if you have unexplained or long-term muscle loss. You can often see this when you compare one hand, arm, or leg to the other.

What You Should Know About Dance Injuries

What You Should Know About Dance Injuries

In recent years, dance medicine has become increasingly separate from the traditional sports medicine culture. As dance injuries are being evaluated and studied from many different medical perspectives, it is becoming more apparent that there is a serious need for dance medicine specialists to educate not only the dancers but the dance company managers and teachers.

Awareness of injuries among dancers and their need for proper treatment and rehabilitation has become more accepted by the dance community. Prompt evaluation and treatment can facilitate long lasting benefits for dancers, and reduce the risk of damaging or career threatening injuries. Early intervention and treatment can save money, time and potential long-term disability. Intervening with young dancers can set a positive tone for future injury prevention and knowledge.

Dancers, like professional athletes, operate in a very competitive environment. Given this competitive culture, paranoia can set in for dancers. When they suffer injuries, they may seek medical care outside of the company’s medical staff and pay out of pocket in order to conceal an injury. Dancers realize that their contract may be scrutinized for past injury history and may ultimately lead to dismissal. It is understandable why this occurs as the average age for a dancer to retire may be in the mid- to late 20s, which is similar to the average retirement age of professional football players.

Fortunately, these attitudes towards medical care for the dancer are changing, due to intervention by doctors, Massage  therapists and company managers. Accordingly, this helps promote longer, healthier careers.

What About The Etiology Of Overuse Injuries?
There are two types of injury mechanisms: overuse and traumatic. Dance injuries typically fall into the overuse category. Given the numerous repetitive movements in dance, there is a higher incidence of overuse injuries, which usually occur during class or rehearsals as opposed to happening during performance. Approximately 50 percent of overuse dance injuries are foot and ankle injuries. Injuries of the lower extremity comprise the vast majority of all dance injuries as well. Most injuries increase seasonally as the rehearsal and performance schedules increase.

Other contributing factors to overuse injuries include:

Age. Often, dance students start out very young and if they are pushed along too quickly, they may not have the ability to perform at a certain level, neurologically, structurally and/or emotionally.

Nutritional status. Unfortunately, as with other sports, aesthetics are very important and having a certain body type is expected. Young dancers may have a tendency to restrict food either by cutting calories, purging or over-exercising, which will lead to performance failure, injuries and the possibility of other developmental, mental and emotional problems.

Strength and flexibility issues. As the dancer matures, so does the technical difficulty of the dance class. When flexibility and strength are compromised, injury can ensue. It is very common for a dancer to have left and right-sided strength disparities, which one should address immediately. Going up onto pointe before a dancer has developed proper strength may lead to injuries. Massage therapy and classes like Pilates may help the dancer to improve these areas quickly. Many dance schools offer strengthening classes that are incorporated into the weekly dance schedule.

Biomechanical imbalances. Turnout is especially crucial among ballet dancers. It must come from the hip and not from the foot or knee. When bad turnout habits occur over a period of time, the dancer will often have problems. The soft tissues of the knee, hip, ankle and foot joints may be affected. Scoliosis may also be a detriment to a dancer as this may affect balance, aesthetics and create overuse back injuries.

Shoes. Proper fit of the ballet and other dance shoe is very important. As a dancer goes up on pointe (usually around 11 to 12 years of age), she or he should be evaluated and fitted by a professional. Although pointe shoes are expensive and have a short life span of approximately 10 to 12 hours of dancing, it is critical to have the correct shoes. Shoes that have been fitted incorrectly will accelerate issues with calluses, blisters, toenail trauma and, inevitably, bunions and hammertoes. Many dancers without properly fitted shoes will resort to stuffing various padding items into the shoe in attempting to adjust the fit, often making matters worse.

Flooring. Flooring may be the most subtle etiology of overuse injuries. A hard, unforgiving floor may predispose the dancer to increased stresses through the lower extremity. The important properties of good flooring are resiliency, shock absorption and surface friction. Many floor companies use techniques and products that achieve these properties. Most professional companies travel with their own flooring and use it for rehearsals and performances.

Class schedule. It is not uncommon for dancers to be taking classes five or six days a week and for three to five hours at a time. This type of schedule may infringe on proper eating habits, and may create fatigue and even burnout. It may be best to space out classes throughout the week when the body can recover more properly.

Non-healed injuries. Typically, the healing of injuries takes time, thorough evaluation and medical care. Many companies and dance centers are becoming familiar with preventive medical care and early detection of common injuries. However, if the dancer returns too soon after an injury, other muscles and joints may compensate and result in additional injury. Dancers typically are tough athletes. They endure pain and injury, and continue dancing even when it exacerbates an injury.

A Guide To Common Dance Injuries
Anterior impingement syndrome. Typically anterior ankle capsule pain can be reproduced by demi plie. This impinges the capsule. It can become very irritated and “stuck,” as the dancer describes it. These injuries can result from a spur or oddly shaped talar dome.

Posterior impingement syndrome. When an os trigonum is present at the posterior ankle, going up onto pointe may become very uncomfortable. The ossicle or capsule can get impinged and the flexor hallucis longus tendon may get inflamed as well. If the pointed foot position is too far forward or ligamentous laxity is present, the tibia may ride too far back onto the talar dome and cause the impingement.

Stress fracture. Similar to athletes in other sports, dancers typically experience stress fractures of the second or third metatarsal. Increased jumping and landing may be the cause of this injury. Nutritional deficits or amenorrhea may predispose the dancer to this as well.

Dancer’s fracture. This is a spiral fracture of the fifth metatarsal. It usually occurs in the distal third of the shaft. This injury may occur while rolling off pointe, and may involve a lateral ankle sprain in addition. One can usually manage a dancer’s fracture conservatively with a walking cast.

Midtarsal joint/ Lisfranc’s ligament injuries. The proper pointe technique requires the dancer to plantarflex at the Chopart’s joint, which is the “coup de pied.” Many dancers force plantarflexion at the first/second metatarsal cuneiform joints and this will lead to instability and overstretched ligaments in that area. These injuries are chronic in nature and may result in hypermobility and chronic pain in that area.

Shin pain/posterior tibial tendonitis. This injury occurs when dance classes and rehearsals involve a lot of jump work, or when new or unfamiliar flooring is present. If dancers force turnout while they are pronated, it will lead to strain of the posterior tibial muscle. There may also be imbalances as footwork never involves an inverted position but instead creates a “winged” (abducted, non-weightbearing) type position, which results in constant stretching of the tendon.

Cuboid subluxation/peroneal tendonitis. Due to the turned out positions in dance, the peroneal muscles are often concentrically contracted, which can cause shortening and potential injury. They help the pointed foot have the appropriate “winged” appearance, etc. However, the tendons can get irritated or eventually slip out from behind the malleolus from strain or a tear of the retinaculum, and create snapping and subsequent instability. This injury may require surgery. The cuboid may sublux or rotate out of position, sometimes in association with an ankle sprain. This injury is quite painful. Cuboid padding and manipulation is the treatment of choice. One should rule out fracture if this injury is associated with trauma.

Metatarsal joint level conditions: capsulitis/metatarsalgia. These conditions are common among dancers and need immediate treatment. One should evaluate shoe changes (street and dance) during the treatment process.

Neuritis/neuroma. This is not unusual with all the pivoting and jumping. Traditional treatments usually work well. One should avoid surgery and emphasize correct shoe sizing for dance and street shoes.

Sesamoiditis. This condition is common with all forms of dance. A fracture should be ruled out. With all of these conditions, evaluate shoe fit and avoid walking barefoot. Strapping, padding and injection therapy may help.
Addressing Common Dermatological Conditions And Injuries

Toenail bruising and injury. This occurs primarily when dance shoes are too tight. Excessive jumping on pointe will bruise the nails, especially the hallux nail. One should aspirate the nail and accommodate the toenail with padding in all the dancer’s shoes. Also tell the dancer to avoid jumping or pointe work for a few days.

Blisters. Increased friction on the foot may lead to blisters. Modern dancers dance barefoot and many suffer from increased blisters and calluses.

Corns and calluses. Corns may develop any time dancers have bony pressure. These can be especially difficult to accommodate with padding in pointe shoes because they are tight. Traditional callus care will keep the buildup to a minimum. One should encourage digital padding in street shoes.

Warts. These lesions are difficult to treat in the dancer especially if they are in an area of friction. They can be painful and difficult to manage. Encourage regular shaving and application of desired topical products on a regular basis.
Assessing The Treatment Options

Treatment should always start with prevention. Screening the dancer’s biomechanics, flexibility and strength is essential. When a dancer is injured, early medical intervention can easily reduce rehabilitation time. Having physical therapy and medical services close at hand greatly facilitates immediate treatment. Traditionally, most injuries can be rehabilitated easily in house via physical therapy, Massage or the care of a visiting physician.

Treatment should always be swift, with an emphasis on aggressive conservative care. One should consider the following treatment guidelines:
1. Institute RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). 2. Use antiinflammatory medication as needed. 3. Encourage early use of physical therapy modalities and massage therapy. 4. Consider homeopathic injection therapy, an excellent alternative to corticosteroids. 5. Prescribe relative rest with proper cross-training for cardiovascular support. 6. Evaluate and correct biomechanical imbalances. 7. Improve nutrition knowledge via handouts, short lectures or suggest visits to a nutritionist. 8. Dance pointe shoe changes can help, but keep in mind that advanced and professional dancers often find it difficult to accept or adapt to these shoe changes. 9. Recommend a revision of the dancer’s class or rehearsal schedule in order to accommodate rest days. 10. Strengthen weak or imbalanced areas.

Surgery is not a first choice for most dancers. While a loss of 5 degrees of range of the first MPJ after bunion surgery may not bother the general population, it can have devastating effects on a ballet dancer. If surgery is necessary, excisional type procedures work the best as they have quick recovery times.
Final Words

The early intervention and treatment of dance injuries is becoming more commonplace. Many dance companies and studios are incorporating physical therapy, Massage and podiatry care into their budget. This can save enormous amounts of time off, medical care costs and may allow the dancers to extend their careers for many years.

Ron is a Clinical Massage Therapist, and a diploma in physical therapy. Treats many dancers and performing artists of all ages and backgrounds. I am a Clinical Massage therapist in Osteopathic Pain Relief Centre in Singapore.Related articles

The lymphatic system

Lymph capillaries in the tissue spaces

Lymph capillaries in the tissue spaces (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The lymphatic system is the metabolic garbage can of the body.
It rids you of toxins such as dead and cancerous cells, nitrogenous wastes, infectious viruses, heavy metals, and other assorted junk cast off by the cells.

Yet the lymph is totally dependent on physical exercise to move.

Without adequate movement, the cells are left stewing in their own waste products and starving for nutrients, a situation that contributes to arthritis, cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Vigorous exercise such as jumping is reported to increase lymph flow by 15 to 30 times.

Vertical motion workouts such as rebounding and jump-roping are much different and much more beneficial and efficient than horizontal motion workouts, such as jogging or running.

You must activate the flow of lymph away from the tissues it serves and back into the main pulmonary circulation. Lymphatic flow requires muscular contraction from (1) exercise and movement, (2) gravitational pressure, and (3) internal massage to the valves of lymph ducts.
Rebounding supplies all three methods of removing waste products from the cells and from the body.

The gentle bounce of rebounding is effective in returning natural, regular bowel movements to chronically constipated persons. The steady bounce sets up a pulsating rhythm transmitted by the nervous system to the brain area responsible for regulating the intestinal system, which reestablishes one’s rhythmical bowel activity. Digestion is improved as well.

What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip Dysplasia means that the bones of the hip joint are not aligned correctly. It affects thousands of children and adults each year and is known by many different names:
Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)
Hip Dislocation
Congenital Dislocation of the Hip (CDH)
Loose Hips

Hip Dysplasia prevents the hip joint from functioning properly and the joint wears out much faster than normal, much like a car’s tires will wear out faster when out of alignment. It is also a “silent” condition that means pain is not normally felt until much later stages, making it harder to detect.

Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) – is commonly used when talking about hip dysplasia in children. Approximately 1 out of every 20 full-term babies has some hip instability and 2-3 out of every 1,000 infants will require treatment. In spite of the frequency of DDH in babies and the potential for life-long disability caused by DDH, the awareness of this condition is poor outside of the medical profession.

Early diagnosis, prevention, and simple treatment is the best solution, however many hip dislocations are difficult to treat with the current methods of care.

Adults with hip dysplasia – is the most common cause of hip arthritis. A 2008 study from Norway showed that more than 90% of these young adult cases cannot be diagnosed in childhood by current methods of screening.

Fight The Effects of Cancer with Massage

Twenty percent of cancer patients use massage therapy to provide relief from cancer treatments. According Prevention Magazine, cancer patients can alleviate symptoms of nausea, depression and fatigue. The study included more than 1200 patients who were studied over a period of three years. The study found that massage can lessen the effects of cancer symptoms short term.

Two days after massages, patients reported that anxiety levels were reduced by 52 percent on average, and pain was reduced by 41 percent. Depression reduced by 31 percent, and nausea was reduced by 21 percent. Because of the studies conducted by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, some insurance plans cover massages. Massages received in a hospital are likely to be covered, and massages received through physician referrals are likely to be covered by insurance. Without insurance, massages are likely to cost between $40 and $80 per hour.

Other studies have shown that massages twice per week may help women cope with breast cancer. The massages reportedly reduced fatigue, physical discomfort and mood disturbances. Mood improvements were better in people who were seen regularly by the same therapist. This same study confirmed that massage may reduce pain, anxiety and depression symptoms in breast cancer patients. Though breast cancer was the focus, other cancer patients have benefitted from massage also. From mesothelioma to ovarian cancer patients, massage has been proven effective.

Potential Problems with Massage
Deep tissue massage may be harmful for patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation. These patients have low platelet count and may bruise easily. If a patient has a tumor, the area closest to the tumor should not be massaged. Experts think massaging the area may cause the cancer to spread, but studies are inconclusive.

Patients with osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis or other ailments may suffer from bone fracture if too much pressure is applied during massage. These patients should always seek physician advisement before beginning a massage therapy treatment program. Physicians may be able to recommend alternatives.

Consult a Physician
Always consult a physician before beginning a massage regimen. Doctors can determine if there are any health risks that may prevent you from obtaining massages. If there are complications, doctors may recommend a light touch massage or Reiki.

Schedule Your Next Massage

Cancer patients should not feel one ounce of guilt when scheduling multiple massages. In fact, some people may also financial receive help from insurance companies. Consider how a massage can enhance your life, physical well being and mental well being. Schedule a massage and possibly improve your quality of life. Give your mind, body and spirit a vacation from some of your everyday stresses and consul your doctor about seeking a treatment that works best for you and your cancer.


the article originally by: Melanie L.Bowen

Thanks again for all you do in making a difference!

Function of the skin

Did You Know: Functions of the Skin

The skin not only gives us our appearance and shape, it also serves other important functions:

Protection from

mechanical impact (i.e. pressure, stroke)
thermic impact (i.e. heat, cold)
chemical impact (i.e. acids)
microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi)
water loss

Immune function
Besides providing a biological barrier against microorganisms through its acidic pH-value, the skin is immunologically active through defense mechanisms in epidermis and dermis.

Temperature regulation
Through sweat-producing glands and the evaporation of sweat and water, the body temperature is controlled. Another mechanism for rapid cooling is vasodilation (widening of blood vessels). Through vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels), heat loss is prevented.

Through nerve endings and receptors in the skin, sensations such as touch, pain, heat or cold are processed.

Vitamin production
The skin produces Vitamin D through exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight.

Through paling, blushing and other expressions regulated by the autonomic nervous system, the skin serves as a communication system.

Morton’s Neuroma

Did You Know: Morton’s neuroma is an injury to the nerve between the toes, which causes thickening and pain. It commonly affects the nerve that travels between the third and fourth toes.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Morton’s neuroma is more common in women than in men.

The exact cause is unknown. However, some experts believe the following may play a role in the development of this condition:

Abnormal positioning of toes

Flat feet

Forefoot problems, including bunions and hammer toes

High foot arches

Tight shoes and high heels


Symptoms of Morton’s neuroma include:

Tingling in the space between the third and fourth toes

Toe cramping

Sharp, shooting, or burning pains in the ball of your foot (and sometimes toes)

Pain that increases when wearing shoes or pressing on the area

Pain that gets worse over time

In rare cases, nerve pain occurs in the space between the second and third toes. This is not a common form of Morton’s neuroma, but treatment is similar.

Signs and tests

Your health care provider can usually diagnose this problem by examining your foot. A foot x-ray may be done to rule out bone problems. MRI or high-resolution ultrasound can successfully diagnose Morton’s neuroma.

Nerve testing (electromyography) cannot diagnose Morton’s neuroma, but may be used to rule out conditions that cause similar symptoms.

Blood tests may be done to check for inflammation-related conditions, including certain forms of arthritis.


Nonsurgical treatment is tried first. Your doctor may recommend any of the following:

Padding and taping the toe area

Shoe inserts

Changes to footwear (for example, shoes with wider toe boxes)

Anti-inflammatory medicines taken by mouth or injected into the toe area

Nerve blocking medicines injected into the toe area

Other painkillers

Physical therapy

Anti-inflammatories and painkillers are not recommended for long-term treatment.

In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove the thickened tissue. This can help relieve pain and improve foot function. Numbness after surgery is permanent, but should not be painful.

Expectations (prognosis)

Nonsurgical treatment does not always improve symptoms. Surgery to remove the thickened tissue is successful in about 85% of cases.


Morton’s neuroma can make walking difficult. Persons with this foot condition may also have trouble performing activities that put pressure on the foot, such as pressing the gas pedal of an automobile. It may hurt to wear certain types of shoes, such as high-heels.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have persistent pain or tingling in your foot or toe area.


Avoid ill-fitting shoes. Wear shoes with a wide toe box.


McGee DL. Podiatric procedures. In: Roberts JR, Hedges JR, eds. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 51.
Davies AM, Grainger AJ. Techniques and imaging of soft tissues. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, eds. Grainger & Allison’s Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 5th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 45.

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