Daily Archives: May 13, 2012
You know that absolutely wonderful thing, that gorgeous men/women who love/lust after/appreciate a woman do, which makes us squirm, sigh, shriek and purr? The thing that we don’t really talk about yet still can’t get enough of? That thing that gives us such a guilty pleasure that we can’t even watch our beautiful partner perform the act?
Well, I had that same sort of guilty pleasure (although not nearly as pleasurable) today.
Mommy and I snuck away to get a massage from one of the Asian massage places that have popped up everywhere recently. Mommy had a sciatica massage and I decided to try some reflexology. WHAT? you say…it doesn’t even compare! Let me tell you that there are a myriad of similarities: latex (in this case, gloves), lubrication, pleasure and guilt, while trying to enjoy the entire process while a little Asian man (really! I am not being racist – it was an Asian man who was shorter than me!) massaged my feet. Comparable to the act I described earlier, I couldn’t actually watch the man performing the massage – it just felt wrong.
Reflexology is a wonderfully relaxing therapy that works on many levels, soothing, calming, balancing and boosting your entire body. Reflexology is based on the principle that certain parts of the body reflect the whole. Reflex points, which relate to all parts of the body, can be found in the feet, hands, face and ears. These points respond to pressure, stimulating the body’s own natural healing process. The body starts progressively clearing blockages, re-establishing energy flows and balancing itself, resulting in better health. There are many different styles and approaches used in reflexology, however the basic principle is constant. Subtle yet powerful, reflexology is becoming increasingly popular in the world of complementary therapies.
As a therapy, reflexology is not invasive – only the feet, and/or hands and ears are worked (we only did my feet). It is deeply relaxing yet surprisingly energizing – all part of its balancing capacity. You may feel you are being pampered during a reflexology session but do not underestimate the powerful effects this treatment can have on all of your body systems.
All body systems benefit from reflexology but you immediately notice the effect on your circulation, nervous and lymphatic systems in particular. My feet are tingling – and not the yucky FM pins and needles feeling, it’s my blood coursing through all the bits that feel like they normally get detoured.
Reflexology can address all of our particular needs: painful, congested, sluggish or overactive states within the body can be balanced and normalised. A Chinese survey of 8,096 case studies noted a 94% effective or significantly effective rate.
Stress and Anxiety
Lessening of stress and anxiety is demonstrated in twenty-nine reflexology studies with study participants including healthy individuals, senior citizens, women and cancer patients. The stimulation of reflexology’s pressure techniques creates change in the body’s basic level of tension as demonstrated by research showing that reflexology relaxes the body using a variety of measurements: brain waves (EEG), blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate, and anxiety.
Lessening of Pain
Reduction of pain is a significant result of reflexology work. The lessening of pain in response to reflexology is documented in thirty-six studies including individuals of all ages and health states: birthing mothers, menstruating women, phantom limb pain sufferers, lower back pain sufferers, cancer patients, kidney stone patients, senior citizens and individuals with pain resulting from surgery. Such results find explanation is what researcher Dr Nancy Stephenson considers as an effect on the neuromatrix of the brain, an expansion of the Fate Control Theory of Pain. According to Wikipedia: Gate control theory asserts that activation of nerves which do not transmit pain signals, called nonnociceptive fibers, can interfere with signals from pain fibres, thereby inhibiting pain. Stimulating nerves that sense touch, heat, cold and pressure – as does reflexology - overcomes the action of the pain nerves. (YIPPEE!!!!)
Twenty-four studies conducted by nurses in ten countries show that reflexology helps with each stage of the cancer experience: following chemotherapy, post-operatively, management of symptoms and during palliative/hospice care. Research demonstrates that cancer patients who receive reflexology work show significant improvements in physical and emotional symptoms: lessened pain, anxiety, depression and stress; reduced nausea and vomiting; lowered fatigue and improved quality of life.
Thousands of documented case studies from around the world have demonstrated benefits for:
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Menstrual Irregularities
As my reflexology massage was not the ‘official’ kind, I had a half hour session. If you attend a ‘real’ session, it will usually last about an hour depending on your age and state of health. First sessions tend to be longer as the practitioner needs to take a case history prior to any treatment (Umm, we missed that bit, too!)
The exact number of sessions required depends upon several factors including the condition being addressed and the healing response of the individual. A minimum of 3-4 sessions are usually recommended, however chronic conditions may take longer to respond.
As blockages clear and the body reaches a state of balance, the sessions would be cut back to fortnightly, monthly or whenever the client feels the need. It is generally recommended that sessions should be at least a few days apart to allow the body time to adjust to the changes that are taking place as toxins released from congested systems are processed and eliminated.
So, maybe all I had was a foot and calf massage but it still feels amazing! Perhaps our partners have a new wonderful thing to do for us?
- Benefits of Reflexology Massage (massageenvy.com)
- How Does Reflexology Work? (saltpuddle.wordpress.com)
- The Benefits of Reflexology to Manage Pain And Decrease Stress (massageenvy.com)
- Study Finds Reflexology 93% Effective (saltpuddle.wordpress.com)
- Footnotes on Reflexology ~ What Is It? (dianeshaver.wordpress.com)
Reblogged from Dr Rodger Murphree
Fibromyalgia is Real
Because you have an illness that’s hard to “prove,” loved ones may secretly convict you of hypochondria or laziness. You may be told, “it’s all in your head.” You may be urged to exercise or lose weight or get more rest. Physicians can be worse. If they believe the condition exists at all — and some don’t — their first impulse is to mask the symptoms with prescription drugs. Patients often end up on a medical merry-go-round, seeing doctor after doctor after doctor, trying drug after drug month after month, year after year, with little to no relief. Patients end up more confused and disoriented than ever, often concluding, “Maybe I am crazy, after all.”
For most of the world, it’s a common little phrase. But for people who have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (or both), it’s amazingly powerful, not to mention rare. The traditional drugs of choice for fibromyalgia, antidepressants (Cymbalta, and Savella), anticonvulsant medications (Lyrica), muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, and pain medications may provide short-term relief but their results are often fleeting and their side effects usually create more symptoms. It’s not unusual for my fibro patients to be taking twelve or more prescription drugs, many of which contribute to “fibro fog,” anxiety, depression, weight gain, and overall fatigue. I’m not against using drugs. But more and more drugs aren’t the answer for fibromyalgia.
Traditional medicine alone offers little long-term relief for fibromyalgia sufferers.
But don’t lose hope.
Dr Rodger Murphree is the founder and past clinic director for a large integrated medical practice located in Birmingham, Alabama. The practice was staffed with board-certified medical doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and nutritionists who combined traditional and alternative medicine. The clinic provided cutting-edge treatments for acute and chronic illnesses. He has specialized in difficult-to-treat patients for the last 10 years. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) and is a board certified chiropractic physician.
Dr. Murphree has written 5 books for patients and doctors including Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Heart Disease: What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You, and Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression With Orthomolecular Medicine, and Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Patient’s Manual (which is available as a downloadable FREE e-book online (For Kindle, iPad, and other e-Readers). I don’t know if there are any catches as I don’t have an e-Reader, but you might want to have a look – www.fibroexpert.com on the left hand side of the page)
In 2002, Dr Murphree separated from his medical clinic so that he could open his own practice in Birmingham, Alabama. He maintains a busy practice focusing on fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, and other difficult-to-treat illnesses. He consults with other physicians, lectures throughout the United States giving educational seminars to patients and healthcare professionals, is a regular columnist for numerous publications, and routinely appears on national radio broadcasts.
Dr Murphree presented a seminar to doctors in Pittsburgh, which was recorded in 9 parts. Although the seminar was delivered to medical professionals, anyone with, or just curious about, FM can follow it:
Dr. Murphree is a frequent guest on local and national radio and television programs including NBC, Fox, and ABC. He writes for several professional and public health related publications. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post as well as peer-reviewed professional journals, including, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Chiropractic Economics, Alternative Fibromyalgia News Magazine, The American Chiropractor, and Nutri-News.
Dr. Murphree conducts doctor’s continuing education seminars throughout North America helping doctors become proficient in nutritional medicine. Dr. Murphree’s books are available at most books stores and Amazon.com.
For anyone in the area, Dr Murphree’s new clinic is located at 2700 Rogers Drive, suite 100 Birmingham AL. 35209 (205) 879-2383. I expect a report back for the rest of us (please!)
Last week, I wrote a post about some meds I was giving a try. They didn’t work for me but I did get some fabulous advice from some of you, especially themirrenlee. She talked about Valium at bedtime, which I was able to talk my doctor into trying – hopefully, it will allow my muscles to relax enough to appreciate the sleep that I get.
According to a small study, funded by TONIX Pharmaceuticals, low doses of muscle relaxants (currently prescribes ‘off-label’), taken at bedtime, help people with FM sleep better and feel less pain.
Seth Lederman, MD and president of TONIX Pharmaceuticals, and other researchers from the University of Toronto randomly assigned 18 fibromyalgia patients to take cyclobenzaprine, beginning at a dose of 1 milligram a day, and another 18 to the placebo group. (Although Valium’s mode of action is completely different from cyclobenzaprine, both medications are muscle relaxants used to treat skeletal muscle spasms.)
Doses were increased, as needed, up to 4 milligrams a day. Twenty-nine patients completed the eight-week study. At the end, the researchers found that sleep quality improved. The total sleep time increased from an average of 5.7 hours to 6.4 hours in the treated group. Fatigue decreased somewhat.
Other results include:
- Pain declined 26% in the drug group over the study. That was 18% more than in the placebo group.
- Tenderness improved 30% in the drug group. That was 16% more than in the placebo group. Tenderness affects specific points on the body that are extra-sensitive to touch.
- Depression declined 22% in the drug group – 38% more than in the placebo group.
The side effects reported were similar for both groups. Headache was the most common side effect reported in the drug group. Some also had dry mouth and drowsiness. (These side effects do not appear to be any worse than the ones that we previously experience.)
Although three other drugs are approved for treatment of fibromyalgia, Lederman says that they are all daytime treatments. None of the muscle relaxant medications have yet been approved for fibromyalgia treatment, as the higher-dose muscle relaxants can sometimes produce excessive daytime drowsiness.
A lack of sleep is thought to make symptoms of fibromyalgia worse, Lederman says. (Ummm…I think we might all agree?) Once sleep is restored, as he reports it was in his study, the daytime symptoms may improve, too.
More study is needed to see if this may be the treatment we are all waiting for. BUT, if all goes well, Lederman says the medicine could be on the market as early as 2015. He cannot estimate how much the medicine might cost.
In response, Brian Walitt, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at Georgetown University, reviewed the study findings for WebMD but was not involved in the research. Overall, the new drug dose, if approved, ‘is not going to change things substantially for people with fibromyalgia,’ says Walitt, who is also associate director of rheumatology at the Washington Hospital Center.
Referring to the 18% difference in pain reported between the drug and placebo groups, Walitt asks: ‘If you have fibromyalgia, are you really looking to be 18% better?’ Personally, I’d like to be 18% better than I am now (although 100% is the ultimate wish)!