October 26, 2017

The pain can be almost unbearable. Sciatica can come on suddenly, or occur after sitting for long periods of time. The pain radiates from the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back and through your hips and your buttocks. It’s usually only felt on one side of the body, but as any sciatica sufferer can tell you, that’s enough. The pain of sciatica can range from mild and annoying to excruciating and disruptive when it comes to sleep and normal movements.

There are many conditions that can cause an irritation of the sciatic nerve, including a herniated disc, pregnancy, or a number of spinal problems. The treatment of sciatica is largely based on the cause. Treatment can include rest, medication, or even surgery to repair disks. Massage therapy can also be extremely helpful in relieving the pain.

August 4, 2017

Hospitalizations are often necessary for those who are ill, having a baby, or requiring lifesaving procedures.

While the patient care received is intended to enhance health and ensure survival of critical events, it can come at a cost. Some of the challenging aspects of hospitalization include pain, stress, anxiety, sleeplessness and social isolation. Adams and colleagues, the authors of "The Effects of Massage Therapy on Pain Management in the Acute Care Setting" published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage Bodywork, address these issues and detail five previous studies on the topic of massage benefits for patients. Among these studies, established benefits include a decrease in pain and the need for medication, lowered stress levels, improved sleep, as well as decreased anxiety and depression.

Adams et al., describe their study as an attempt to answer the question, "does the use of massage therapy in an inpatient setting improve patient perception of pain management?" Their study focused on the perception of pain management, in addition to the analysis of pain levels and medication usage. Their interest lied in the patient's quality of experience and psychological healing, the "personal experience of the transcendence of suffering." They proposed that such healing is very personal, with different meaning for different people. To study these inner aspects of healing, they used a mixed methods approach, meaning they blended aspects of qualitative and quantitative measures in hopes of uncovering valuable insights into the effectiveness of the intervention.

August 2, 2017

Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with some or all of the following symptoms: a depressed mood, a loss of interest in things that once brought pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep patterns, changes in appetite, a lack of energy, and poor concentration. These symptoms lead to impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities and can become chronic or recurrent.

According the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is common worldwide, affecting about 121 million people. Untreated depression can lead to suicide, and the WHO estimates that 850,000 people worldwide commit suicide every year. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and was the 4th leading contributor to the global burden of disease for the year 2000, according to the WHO. Their estimates project that depression will rise to 2nd place in the global burden of disease listing by the year 2020.

In many patients, mild to moderate depression can be successfully treated with a variety of naturopathic and holistic options, such as dietary changes, dietary supplements, exercise, massage, herbs, and sunlight.

July 26, 2017

A newborn baby girl lies swaddled in a receiving blanket in her isolette. While shehas ten fingers and ten toes, rosebud lips, and a great shock of dark hair, this baby somehow doesn’t look or act ’right’. Weighing only 6 lbs (2722 g) at birth, her muscles tremble and twitch whenever she turns her head towards lights, hears a noise, or is picked up for a diaper change. She frequently vomits her formula, cries unceasingly from morning until night, and she’s even had a seizure. The reason for these symptoms: the baby girl’s mother had opiates in her system when she was born.

 June 25, 2017

In 2017, 1,688,000 new cancer cases are anticipated in the U.S., with more than 600,000 deaths projected from the disease, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society, Cancer statistics, 2017.

Massage therapy can play a role in pain-and-stress relief—and since 2011, Oncology Massage Alliance volunteers have done just that for 9,000 cancer patients throughout Oregon and Texas.

Often, new patients don’t want to be touched during radiation or chemotherapy treatment, but once they see fellow patients relaxing and enjoying a free oncology massage, they, too, usually want one, said massage therapist Geri Ruane, L.M.T., the Oncology Massage Alliance’s director of operations.

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