Kay McDonnell  - Massage , Advanced  Reflexology & Laser Therapist
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KayMcDonnell(Listowel Therapy Centre)

Arthritis and Massage Therapy

The two types of Arthritis.
There are actually 2 types of osteoarthritis—primary and secondary.
Primary osteoarthritis is the more common one and is basically the result of wear and tear of daily life.  At the years tick by, we incur degenerative changes in our joints and damage to our cartilage. 
Eventually the cartilage gets very hard and bone spurs form which causes the typical joint deformities.  This leads to increasing levels of pain as well as restrictions in your activities and mobility.
With secondary osteoarthritis, there is a precipitating factor that triggers the degenerative changes like a fracture, trauma or surgery.
Once you have been given a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, the typical medical treatments are aimed at the reduction of symptoms—in other words, pain relievers (NSAIDs) including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. 
Unfortunately, although medications can help ease the pain in the short term, over time the drugs can cause side effects and even end up making the condition WORSE!

The first obvious side effects that are seen from NSAIDs are usually tinnitus (ringing in the ears), stomach irritation and bleeding in the GI tract, headaches and dizziness.
A number of studies have shown that both aspirin and the other NSAIDs inhibit your body’s ability to synthesize collagen, and they actually accelerate cartilage destruction.

Stop eating for pain and inflammation
The sad truth is that many people have a diet that encourages pain and inflammation
And when you have already got degenerative changes going on, this means you are practically putting out The typical diet is loaded with hard to digest meals, fast food, soda, coffee and processed/packaged "foods"--ALL things that create acid waste accumulation in your body and lead to inflammation everywhere--your joints included.
But just as you can create inflammation with your diet, you can also just as easily help curb it!
You simply need to balance the acid and alkaline foods in your diet, plus eat easy to digest meals that don't create a lot of inflammation-causing acid wastes.

Get enough of Nature’s anti-inflammatory—Omega-3 EFAs
An imbalance of Omega-6 and 3 essential fatty acids is also a major source of inflammation in your body.
Here's what's happening:
Your body's healing mechanism is dependent on the actions of Omega-6 and Omega-3 EFAs.  Omega-6 EFAs stir up inflammation (such as when you get injured), and then Omega-3s come and calm everything down. 
However, when you have too many inflammation-causing Omega-6 EFAs and not enough cooling-down Omega-3s, you can induce chronic inflammation...and osteoarthritis can come knocking on your door.
Now, back in the good old days when our meals didn't come with a bar code and the animals raised for our consumption were allowed to graze as Nature intended, we got the proper amounts of these essential nutrients from our diets.
But things have changed dramatically.
Now we have a heavy reliance on packaged foods, which have not only “processed out” the naturally occurring Omega-3 fatty acids that were originally in the foods, but they have been chemically altered into disease-causing trans-fats!
Get enough Vitamin C
Vitamin C is probably best known for “cold prevention” but its resume goes WAY beyond that.
Because it can also reduce the risk of cartilage loss by repairing damaged connective tissue and improving collagen synthesis too!
Natural sources of Vitamin C include: Tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, green beans, celery, spinach, asparagus, broccoli and pineapple.
Food sources of nutrients are always best, but if you wish to supplement, most experts recommend a dose of 1,000 – 3,000 mg of Vitamin C per day. (Note; Always consult your Gp before taking any vitamins) 

MOVE away from osteoarthritis!
Exercise is crucial in halting and preventing osteoarthritis.
Strength training (weights), stretching and water workouts (swimming or water aerobics) all provide unique anti-arthritis benefits.  

The reason is simple--the stronger the muscles are around your joints, the more pressure they take off your joints.
Gentle stretching and yoga can improve flexibility and increase range of motion.
And water activities can take stress off your joints, block some of the pain sensation, loosen stiff joints and strengthen muscles and massage.
Consider glucosamine sulfate supplements
Glucosamine is a compound that stimulates your cartilage cells to produce glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which hold your joint tissues together.
Plus as its name suggests, glucosamine sulfate also provides atoms of sulfur which makes collagen stickier and can in turn make your joints stronger.
As we age, our bodies are less able to manufacture enough glucosamine--that can be a reason why, over time, our cartilage becomes less flexible and more rigid.
Many people have gotten significant relief from glucosamine sulfate supplementation, to the point where the relief was as good as or better than using NSAIDS (without the scary side effects to boot)!
If glucosamine supplementation sounds good to you, be sure to look for glucosamine sulfate to ensure you're getting the benefit of the sulfur like I mentioned above.  1,500 mg. a day divided into 3 doses is what is recommended by many experts.
Note that a very popular trend in joint support supplement pairs glucosamine with chondroitin--another cartilage building compound. 
However, studies have shown that chondroitin is far less effective than glucosamine and is not absorbed by your body as well. (Note discuss with your Gp the best brand for you)

Massage therapy in Kerry
Regular massage of muscles and joints, whether by a licensed therapist at a spa or by self-massage at home, can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis, according to Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, who’s conducted a number of studies on the benefits of massage, including on people with arthritis. In Field’s research and other recent studies on the effects of massage for arthritis symptoms, regular use of the simple therapy led to improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength and overall function of the joints.

How Does Massage Work?
While some studies show that massage can reduce pain and anxiety for people with arthritis, how exactly does massage make these results happen? Research has shown that massage can lower the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol, and boost production of serotonin, which, in turn, can improve mood. Additionally, massage can lower production of the neurotransmitter substance P, often linked to pain, and improve sleep as a result.
In 2010, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine and the nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center studied 53 healthy adults receiving just one Swedish massage therapy session and found that the participants’ levels of key hormones and white blood cells were positively affected. For example, the hormone arginine-vasopressin, which may lower blood pressure, was decreased, along with some inflammatory cytokines like IL-4 and IL-10. Cortisol levels were reduced by massage in this study as well, although not significantly.

Your goals for massage may vary. You may be interested in relieving anxiety and stress caused by dealing with arthritis, or you may be seeking relief for pain and stiffness in a specific area of your body. Talk openly  with me about your goals for the session so I can adjust my technique accordingly. There is no set way to perform a massage; I would be flexible to your needs.
Most importantly, massage should make your arthritis pain and stiffness feel better, not worse, says Veena Ranganath, MD, a rheumatologist at the University of California, Los Angeles Department of Medicine.

Contact; Kay 068 23574 . Email; Kay@kaymcdonnell.com
Kay is a qualified and experienced Massage & Advanced therapist with 14 years experience.

6 Comments to Arthritis and Massage Therapy:

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Buy Glivec Online on 13 December 2013 08:52
It's really pleasure to read your post. Thank you so much for writing such a nice post.
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Kay McDonnell on 11 March 2014 10:15
Thank you so much.Am glad you enjoyed reading this piece. Smiles

Kay McDonnell on 13 December 2013 11:21
Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Smiles Kay
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Kay McDonnell on 05 January 2015 10:58
Thank you. Appreciate your feedback. Smiles Kay McDonnell

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