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Conditions

“If you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong, no matter what is wrong”. – Jon Kabat Zinn

Depak Choprah, sharing an anecdote from monastic life in 2018, described his experience walking barefoot on rough ground. He complained to his teacher that his feet hurt. His teacher replied, yes, that is so. Notice how when you lift your foot, the one that is not on the ground doesn’t hurt. It feels good. Focus on that.

Although we want to know what ails you and treat your condition so you can live your life with enthusiasm, it is good to notice all that is well with you. Then, what is a meaningful activity you would like to do that your condition keeps you from doing? Let’s focus on that.

Here are some conditions we typically see:

Low-back pain

Low back pain (LBP) can be caused by too much sitting, poor biomechanics, lack of movement, narrowing of the space through which spinal nerves pass, and more. Massage therapy and Acupuncture are natural remedies that can alleviate LBP by relaxing the muscles that ‘brace’ against the pain, lengthen muscles that are shortening and potentially cause further nerve impingement, as well as help re-align the body so the muscles don’t have to work so hard to support faulty posture. Both therapies go a long way in promoting a sense of wellbeing, and supporting the systems of your body to better heal itself.

Home remedy for low-back pain

Provided your back is not inflamed or in spasm, you may experience temporary relief by lying on your back, your pelvis supported, with your lower legs resting on a kitchen chair. Your hips and knees will be at a right angle. Focus on slow, steady, diaphragmatic breaths. Emphasize a long exhale.

Plantar fasciitis

Whenever you see “itis” at the end of the word, it is referring to inflammation: Tendonitis, arthritis, etc. Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.

Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners, but often occurs if you spend a lot of time on your feet, especially if you are overweight, or wear shoes that don’t provide adequate support.

Pain is typically felt on the bottom of the heel and/or along the bottom of the inside part of the foot. Patients also note that pain is commonly worse with the first steps in the morning. This condition can be caused by poor function of the toes, feet, ankles, knees, or even hips. This dysfunction results in repetitive overloading of the fascia in the foot, which acts like a saran wrap around the muscles. This strain eventually leads to small tears which ultimately results in scar tissue formation, inflammation, and pain.

Home remedy for plantar fasciitis

In fascia talk, this thick band of connective tissue is connected to the back of your legs. Try stretching your calves and hamstrings. This may very well provide relief from plantar fasciitis pain. Lying on your back, bring one leg up, and cradle it behind the thigh with interlaced fingers. Slowly try to straighten the stretching leg without rounding out through the spine. You can try to pull the toes down toward the knee.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are caused by tight muscles in your head and neck. Myofascial trigger points refer pain to your head. They can be caused by stress, stress breathing (shallow, chest and shoulder breathing), and long hours at a computer or looking at your phone.

Home remedy for tension headaches

Place two, small, firm balls in a sock. Place them under the base of your skull while you lie on your back. Close your eyes, and take deep diaphragmatic breaths, emphasizing the exhale. This video shows a great stretch for the front and side of your neck. Although you probably feel symptoms in the back of your neck, it is important to do this one too.

Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches are caused by pressure in the face and neck. Many people suffer from sinus headaches during pollen season.

Home remedy for sinus headaches

Apply a hot, damp towel on your face. Press on points just beside your nostrils, under the eyebrows and between the eyes. You may also want to apply some eucalyptus oil to your finger tips and inhale deeply through your nose.

Neck pain

Neck pain caused by poor posture, too much time at the computer or looking down at your phone is becoming more and more common. The muscles in your neck are sore because they are being over stretched, or working too hard and long holding your head up. If your shoulders round forward, your neck will drop forward, causing neck pain.

Home remedy for neck pain

Minimize phone and computer time. Take a break every 45 minutes from your work station. Place both hands on the back of your hips, squeeze the shoulder blades together, and stretch your chin up. Hold this posture for 5 slow breaths.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the nerve running through the tunnel where your wrist meets your hand does not have enough space and is consequently compressed. There isn’t much space in this tunnel between the bones and the ligament band that holds the nerve, tendons and blood vessels in the space. Poor biomechanics and over use may cause the tendons to become inflamed. This results in the pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness experienced by patients in the palm, side of the thumb, and/or index finger. Many people also notice that these symptoms increase at night. However, these same symptoms can also be caused if the nerve is compromised higher in the arm such as in the forearm or even the elbow. Usually this is due to tight or scar filled muscle tissue compressing the nerve as it passes through the arm.

Home remedy for carpal tunnel syndrome

When inflamed, soak arms in an ice bath for 10 minutes or so. Try to sleep with your hands and wrist in an open position, rather than curled in. Stretching and strengthening the hand and wrists may also be beneficial.

Chronic pain

It is considered chronic pain when the pain lasts for 12 or more weeks. Pain can persist long after the injury has healed. Your nervous system basically hijacks you. The brain receives neurological stimulus and interprets it as pain. Chronic pain can be debilitating, and may lead to depression, sleeplessness, and a cycle of continued pain.

Home remedy for chronic pain

A full body, nurturing relaxation massage and acupuncture can do wonders for decreasing pain symptoms and increasing a sense of wellbeing. Developing a meditation practice is very helpful also. There are many apps you can download on your phone for free meditation aids. Here is a link for a list of some of the more popular meditation applications: https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/top-meditation-iphone-android-apps#headspace

Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress can lead to disrupted sleep. Stress also causes inflammation in the cells. Over the long haul, this can adversely affect health. Stress is the leading cause of disease, according to medical studies.

Home remedy for anxiety and stress

We demand so much of ourselves. Create a discipline to make time to simply be. Take a walk in the forest. Even 20 minutes a day of you time can make a profound difference.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension is measured by the amount of pressure exerted on blood vessel walls by blood. High blood pressure can cause heart problems and stroke.

Home remedies

Recent studies show that acupuncture can help to reduce blood pressure. Weight loss and stress reduction will help reduce your blood pressure. Lifestyle change is not easy. Rally support around you to accomplish these goals.

Pregnancy support

Although not a condition, Acupuncture is becoming a more common way of speeding up the birthing process if you are overdue. Back pain associated with pregnancy can be alleviated through both acupuncture and massage.

Stroke

blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die”. (overview from Mayo Clinic Website).

Massage therapy, movement therapy and acupuncture can be used as rehabilitation post stroke. Flaccid limbs can be stimulated, contracted areas require maintenance to restore range of motion. Through the guidance of your physiotherapist and physician, a movement therapy plan can be constructed to keep you as active as possible.

Home remedy

There is no home remedy for stroke. This is a medical emergency. However, you can help prevent stroke through improved diet, stress reduction, and exercise to make the blood vessel walls more resilient.

Sports Injury

We like to play hard. Take care of your fatigued muscles, by getting regular RMT massage and Acupuncture. Even during acute stages of injury, it is helpful to receive massage for the healthy parts of the body that are compensating.

Home remedy

As a general rule, if something is inflamed (swollen, hot, throbbing), apply ice. If you suspect something more than a strain, see your doctor. Although ice helps to reduce the sensation of pain, after a couple of days, heat may be more therapeutic as it promotes blood flow. A safe measure is to alternate hot and cold – a few minutes each, alternating between the two.

Mastectomy / Breast Augmentation

Any disruption of tissue through surgery creates scar tissue. Due to the breasts’ proximity to the shoulder, movement in the arms, shoulders and neck can be affected. Sensation changes may occur. If lymph nodes are removed, fluid retention can occur, pressing on surrounding nerves and blood vessels, causing pain.

Home remedy

Once the wound has healed, we can help you regain mobility by reducing scar tissue, and creating movement between structures. I will admit, this is not a comfortable treatment, but we will sandwich the discomfort with some nurturing, feel good General Swedish Massage.

Sciatica

Sciatica simply refers to symptoms of pain, tingling, weak muscles or burning somewhere along the distribution of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from the low back all the way down the back and side of the leg. Complaints include pain in the back, buttock, thigh, and/or leg as well as possible burning or tingling sensations into the foot. These symptoms can be caused by irritation of the nerve anywhere along its path.

Home remedy

Not infrequently, the piriformis, a muscle that crosses the back of your hip, becomes ‘angry’ and compresses on the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica. If this is your situation, the following stretch may alleviate symptoms temporarily.

Book chiropractic, massage and acupuncture appointments. You may need an adjustment through the pelvic bones or low back vertebrae. Massage and acupuncture will help to relax offending muscles. Developing core strength and postural balance are important preventative and curative measures.

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