The Wellness Center: Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine & Massage Therapy in Melbourne & Palm Bay, Florida

Lee Tritt, OMD, AP & Adam Tritt, M.Ed, CHt, LMT

1071 Port Malabar Blvd, Suite 106 Melbourne, FL 32905 phone: (321) 676-3383
Friday, December 26, 2008

The Massage-esque, Non-acu-anything Table of Ultimate Promise

Adam Byrn Tritt, M.Ed, LMT


If you don’t feel well, if you need to get your blood flowing and muscles moving, take a walk. If you need medical care, if you THINK you need medical care, see an Oriental Medical Doctor, an Acupuncturist or Herbalist, see a massage therapist or even a good, decent MD, if you can find one who still remembers how to treat a patient and not a just a condition, but, for goodness sakes, see a real person who will put their hands on you, listen to you, look at you and actually take the time to see what is wrong, see you as an individual, treat you as an individual.

Don’t see a table.

I received a coupon as part of a drawing at a health fair. The prize I had won was a free month of massage, once a week, at a place which shall remain nameless here. I thought this strange because it was the same coupon/gift certificate I had seen lying in piles at a chiropractor’s office a week before. “Some prize,” I thought. Giving as a prize what one normally offers for free doesn’t exactly boost ones’ karmic brownie points.

Thinking I would give it a try anyway, I called to make an appointment. None needed? How many therapists do they have there that one doesn’t even need an appointment? Fine. It seemed strange but I thought I’d try it anyway. I jumped on my bike on a Saturday afternoon and headed into Melbourne.

A storefront in a plaza. Wide open view to the inside. People milling about. A row of six angled massage tables, or so they seemed, to the left side of the store. Each had a person on it, fully clothed, no draping, no therapist. At the front counter, a short line and, across from that, seating for six with four chairs filled.

I enter.

An old woman is at the counter asking about her next appointment. She will be seeing her MD between now and then about her diabetes.

She is told not to worry about it. The massage bed, yes, they called it a bed, will take care of it. The magic jade fingers will provide acupressure that will alleviate the diabetes.

The table provides, they say, the equivalent of moxa, acupressure, reflexology and massage as well as energy therapy. Further, I was told, using the Migun table means no need to exercise. as it will bring all the muscle movement and blood flow a body needs. Really?

A roller with, I am told, heated jade knobs, runs up and down the back shu points. Simply, up and down next to the spine. This is not acupressure. It is not acu-anything. It is not accurate in any way at all, as a matter of fact. And, of course, no diagnosis is done what-so-ever and certainly nothing that applies to any specific patient.

This, I think, standing there, is worse even than the Western medicine, one size fits all, treat the symptom not the person method. The most they do here is adjust the spacing of the knobs, those magic jade fingers, for the general size of the person.

She asks about her weight.

Don’t worry about that. Enough treatments and the weight will start to fall off.

I keep my mouth closed which is quite difficult for me even under the best of circumstances.

She hands them a check for six more sessions.

My turn at the counter. I hand them the certificate. It is unsigned. They don’t know where it came from, despite my giving them the location, time and circumstances, and don’t know how to assign the credit for the certificate. Somehow it becomes my problem and I must wait while they figure it out. I do wait a few moments and ask questions of the attendant left at the counter.

“Oh, it’s a wonderful massage.”

How do you all know what parts to massage or how much pressure to use?

“The table has variable pressure. We can turn it up or down.”

Just in general for all over or does the pressure vary by part?

“No, just in general. And it works on the back only. And the back of the legs and neck.”

What if I don’t fit on it, just in the right place. My legs tend to fall to the side.

“We can strap you in to keep your legs straight. That problem can be fixed with enough sessions.”

Since moxa is used for tonifying in a person who had a deficiency, what would you do if you had a patient who had excess?

“What?”

I was told I could have my turn in about a half hour and I could have a seat and wait.

I opted for my bike.

A month later I was assisting at a table at a Palm Bay city health fair held at out local community center. We had a booth there and we were one spot away from the Migun table. Again, I am leaving out the name of the outfit that was purveying the massage-esq, non-acu-anything table of ultimate promise.

As our practice is concerned with Oriental Medicine, Acupucnture and Massage, the fella at the table felt sure we’d be interested in purchasing a Migun table in our office, for the benefit of our patients. I almost never try the cure of the month club’s newest entry. But, as this one was offered, it was ten feet away, and I wanted to sit down, I thought it a sterling opportunity to give it a whirl.

I laid down and it hurt. Hard, knobby, pokey.

“I’ll adjust it.”

Knobs turned and the magic jade fingers moved closer together toward the space between the outer and inner urinary bladder channel about four fingers away from each side of the spine.

He turned it on. Was it badly adjusted? He said no. It hurt. Magic jade fingers rolled up and down the back of my legs and backside. Just hitting the wrong places nearly every chance they got. My legs turned to the side and the fingers hit bone. A separate set of magic jade fingers rolled up and down my back. They hit my scapulae, against my skull. A timer was set for five minutes and I was set to endure it for a fair trial.

About three minutes in I gave it up. Yes, he agreed, it often hurt. The pain would go away with many treatments as my tissues softened. Softened? Pulverised? Ok. Would the magic jade fingers also learn where the correct anatomical points were and stop ‘massaging’ bone?

How about acupressure? Oh, he said, everyone gets the same points done. The same meridian (inner urinary bladder channel).

Why?

“That fixes all the problems.”

Since moxa is used for tonifying in a person who had a deficiency, what would you do if you had a patient who had excess?

“What?”

I went back to my table.

Healing happens when a person, learned and skilled, finds the way you became ill and works to correct it. It is not done by a machine.

Sure, a machine may help. Electrosimulation is something we use with acupuncture. We might use a heatlamp. We find MRIs helpful from time to time. Precision lasers are amazing tools in the hands of one who is learned and skilled.

But don’t look to a table to heal you. Magic Jade fingers or not.

The Wellness Center

Adam Byrn Tritt on Wikipedia








Friday, December 26, 2008

Adam Byrn Tritt, M.Ed, CHt, LMT (54881)

 

Stress. Along with physical trauma and pollutants, stress is responsible for many, if not most, of our modern health problems.

 

When we say stress, we aren’t even talking about the major stressors we all experience from time to time: loss of a job, loss of a loved one, a change in location. All of these stressors are difficult to deal with, to be sure, but tend to cause short term problems. In other words, the stress comes and goes, our lives and bodies adapt and we return to health.

 

The damage comes from what psychologists call MMRs: Multiple Minor Stressors. MMRs are small stressors that happen one after another after another, often many at one time. Trouble at work, injury, relationships problems, lost keys, car problems, trouble in school, over-commitment, financial problems. This state can go on for weeks and years, depending on our life situations. Add to this physical trauma and the effects of pollutants (both which increase the effects of stress and decrease our ability to handle stress) and our bodies are in a constant state of stress. One more stressor, especially one major one, can be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

 

But what are the effects of this stress? Stress affects the entire body. It is supposed to but, here is the key, it is supposed to for only very short periods of time. Stress is meant to help us survive in times of danger. It is supposed to come and go quickly. This is called the “Fight or Flight” reaction and it is followed by the “Rest and Relax” reaction. In chronic stress, the Rest and Relax reaction never happens. How does this work? What does this do? More importantly, what can you do about it?

 

Stress first affects our adrenal glands – small glands that sit on top of our kidneys. When we perceive something as stress, our adrenals go into action pumping out hormones that allow us to handle that stress. They increase our heart rate, move function away from our digestion, store more fat, burn all available sugars, move blood away from our brains, increase our blood pressure, hold on to fluid, get us ready to run or fight and, in the end, handle the damage caused by the ‘danger’ to our bodies.

 

What happens when that danger never seems to go away? What happens when we have MMRs?

 

What happens is we run our adrenals until they can barely run anymore but, still, they keep pumping out hormones. Our bodies try to respond but can’t and hormones that were supposed to help us end up causing harm.

 

We drag through our day, feeling tired, often confused, lack the memory we once had and the ability, desire or energy to do things we once enjoyed.

 

We try to replace the loss of function and the loss of energy with coffee and energy drinks but those work by pushing the adreneals even harder, by squeezing more out of them, and the short term gains are bought at the cost of further damage.

 

Let’s look at some of these, what they are supposed to do in the short term and what happens if they stay around too long.

 

DHEA. This is often called the “Mother of all Hormones” because it regulates many of our body’s functions and keeps them in balance. DHEA is responsible for creating hormones we need to burn fat, regulate digestion and cardiovascular function. In other words, our stomach and heart needs it.

 

Under constant stress, our bodies cannot produce the DHEA needed because our adrenals are taxed. The result is we gain weight, our blood pressure goes up, we no longer burn sugar and, instead, we feel tired. Our sex drive may decrease but our irritability may increase. DHEA also helps regulate our immune system and decreases in DHEA are linked to pancreatic cancer as well as many other types of cancer.

 

Further, continued decreases in DHEA from exhausted adrenal glands can affect our sleep and result in depression. This results in greater stress and the cycle continues.

 

Cortisol. Under stress, cortisol holds onto fat reserves and decreases the function of organs we don’t need when we are fighting or running. When cortisol levels don’t drop because the body is constantly stressed, we gain weight because cortisol is telling our body to hang on to the fat. It also tells the immune system “we don’t need you right now” and it keeps telling it that, dropping our ability to fight common colds, flues, viruses and cancers. This increases our risk not only of becoming ill, but of multiple and systemic infections from common bacteria we would normally have no trouble fighting off.

 

Ldosterone. Under stress, ldosterone cause short term swelling. That’s right - swelling. When you are in danger, swelling is a good thing because it protects our joints and organs. It does this by holding onto salt and that holds onto water. Over time, ldosterone that keeps pumping out at stress levels causes us to hold that on to more and more salt and results in edema and weight gain. That is not the worst of it. It can result in hypertension and, according to the American Heart Association, actually damage the texture of the heart.

 

Adrenaline. We need adrenaline when get blood pumping for fight or flight. It gets us ready by moving blood from our core and brain to our limbs and it does this fast by increasing our pulse and blood pressure. Over time, adrenaline weakens digestion because of lack of sufficient blood to the organs, it weakens the immune system, stresses the heart and the entire vascular system and may result in damaged blood vessels and stroke.

 

Noradrenaline. Like adrenaline, we need this when stressed. Noradenaline helps return our bodies to normal using the rest and relax response. When that stress continues, we may find we are depressed. This may well be from a lack of noradrenaline.

 

Androgens. This is a hormone that mostly affects women. In the short term, it gets us ready to fight. If it hangs around too long, it results in irritability and, sometimes, aggression.

 

What can you do about this?

 

A recent study by Vanderbilt University tells us supplements don’t really help. We must remove whatever stress we can and get the body back into balance. How can we do that and kick in the lost “Rest and Relax” response? There are several things you Oriental Medical Doctor or Acupuncture Physician can do.

 

She will examine you and determine which systems are most in need or protection and work to strengthen them. She will also help initiate the rest and relax response by balancing out the body so your hormone levels are in balance again. She will then set out to repair the damage done to correct the problems causes and get your immune system back into shape and give your adrenal glands a rest.

 

She may give you herbs to assist in the balancing and correction and help you see what stressors you an remove or help you reevaluate some things so they no longer seem to be stressors. She will also help you repair the damage from trauma and pollutants to your body so you can handle stress better in the future.

 

We cannot get rid of stress completely but constant stress is associated with a host of diseases from ulcers and heartburn to cancers and heart disease. It affects the immune system and leaves us vulnerable to minor and major diseases and many things which were once rarely seen or which doctors once thought were “just in our head.”

 

Together, you and you Acupuncture Physician can end the cycle of stress and disease and return you to balance and health.

For more information about The Wellness Center, see us at http://www.trittwellness.com

The Wellness Center

Adam Byrn Tritt on Wikipedia

Friday, December 26, 2008

by Adam Byrn Tritt, M.Ed, CHt, LMT (MA54881)

 

 

Medicine has done wonders in the past century. Between advances in and increased availability of healthcare, nutrition, education and sanitary procedures across the board, many health-concerns are no longer concerns at all and many diseases once common to childhood are rare or non-existent and, over the last century, childhood mortality and morbidity decreased with every generation.

 

This generation, however, will be the first in that time to have a lifespan not expected to be greater than that of the generation preceding. While we no longer worry about smallpox or polio, other diseases have increased at alarming rates.

 

Asthma has increased 160% in children under five years of age with nearly seven percent of children, five million, suffering from it, two million children requiring emergency room visits and 170 thousand of those so serious as to be admitted to the hospital for their asthma and related conditions. Asthma is serious. It is the most common reason for school absence; it is responsible for 10 million lost school days each year and results in an estimated $1 billion in medical costs and missed time from work and school.1

 

Prescriptions for drugs designed to combat or control ADHD have seen an increase of nearly 2000% from 1990 to 1999 according to the National Institute of Health and Karen Effram, MD of the International Center for the study of Psychology and Psychiatry. Effram, responding to questions from the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Child Medication safety in 2003 2 stated antidepressant use in children up to the age of eighteen doubled from 1990 to 1995.3 Of course, in 2004 America discovered antidepressants, while saving the lives of many adults, often resulted in dangerous and, sometimes, fatal reaction in adolescents.4

 

Obesity in children has tripled in the last three decades along with childhood high blood pressure, sleep apnea and even type II diabetes, a disease which once was found only in adults, according to Pamela Starke-Reed Ph.D., Deputy Director of the NIH, in a 2002 report.5 Add to this growing health concern lost school days for children and lost income when parents miss work days to care for ill children and it is easy to see why parents are concerned.

 

It is clear Western Medicine and modern science have not provided all the answers to living longer and healthier. This is especially true where our children are concerned. Parents are looking for new answers to their children’s common health problems and childhood diseases and are finding them in some surprising places.

 

One of the places parents are looking for help with their children’s health is not new but, rather, an old system which predates Western Medicine. Oriental Medicine, also called Asian Medicine and popularly known by the misnomer acupuncture, is commonly used side by side with Western Medicine in much of the world and, in the US, is seeing growing use in pediatric medicine. For many families, Oriental Medicine is no longer “Alternative.”

 

Contrary to popular ideas, Oriental Medicine is more than acupuncture. Like any medical system, the tools used depend on the patient and disease. Doctor Lee Tritt, Oriental Medical Physician and Diplomat of Acupuncture, with practices in Melbourne and Palm Bay, Florida, tells us Oriental Medicine treats the full array of medical difficulties for both adults and children. Not only can asthma, AHDH, migraines and scoliosis be treated with Oriental Medicine but common ailments like colds and flues can be as well. What do her patients have to say?

 

Denese and Brian Kolbs’s son, Alex, age six, had a head cold from which he could not find relief. The Kolb’s took their son to see Doctor Lee who used herbs and acupuncture to treat his cold and prevent its return. Alex states “It didn’t hurt and I liked it much better than having a cold. I had six needles and wasn’t scared at all. It took my cold away.”

 

Even better, Alex was able to remain active because the herbs used did not cause drowsiness or other side effects. Denese Kolb feels “It was very effective. He liked it and wants to go back. I wouldn’t hesitate to go to an OMD first. Everybody should.”

 

Since Alex’s visit, the Kolbs have visited Doctor Lee for trauma and injury as well. Their daughter Jayden, age four, was seen when she was hurt in a playground collision with her older brother and the treatment was affected without the use of invasive techniques. In other words, no needles. The Kolbs are delighted.

 

So is Donna Beck, another patient of Doc Lee. She was so happy with her care she decided to take her son to see her as well. Jeremy is ten and a long-time migraine sufferer. Jeremy says “When I get Migraines, I throw up and see spots. I didn’t want to go at first but my mom said it worked. So I went. It works very very fast. And it doesn’t hurt”

 

Jeremy goes on to say “I was getting Migraines once a week. Now I don’t even have them once a month. That’s after three visits I had at the beginning of the year (six months ago) and I have been getting a treatment every two months. If I was hurt or sick I’d ask for an appointment.”

 

Donna Beck doesn’t wonder at her son’s reaction. “Jeremy cries for Lee when he has a migraine.” Ask Donna if Pediatric Oriental Medicine is effective and she answers “Is it effective? Absolutely effective. The alternative is to drug him instead. He can get a treatment and be back to normal in 20 minutes.”

 

Donna goes on to say “I would use an OMD before going to an MD. I am a former nurse and I would suggest everyone try Chinese Medicine. I’m converting my family.”

 

 

So is Nancy. Her son Luke, age nine, had asthma since he was an infant. Nancy remembers his first two months and that he hadn’t breathed properly since he was six and a half weeks old. His breathing affected his hearing as well and, at one time, Luke was on as many as twelve prescription medications at once. She heard about Doc Lee and felt, after trying everything else she and her doctor could think of, taking her son to see Doctor Lee was worth a try.

 

“After one appointment he looks at me and says ‘I can breathe out of both noses.’ He could breathe through both nostrils. He was amazed. I think it was the first time he had done that.”

 

“Two weeks later he had a cold. It came and it went. He was a little stuffy and then he could breath properly again. I would suggest other parents take their children as well.” Nancy suggests parents should not assume a problem or concern cannot be handled with Oriental Medicine. Most health concerns are perfectly within the scope of Oriental Medicine and parents should ask an OMD instead of guessing.

 

Doc Lee agrees. “We’re perfectly happy to tell a parent when something is in our scope, out of our scope, or if best done in cooperation with an MD when a concern requires it. But many parents would be surprised just how effective Oriental Medicine is and for just how many things.”

 

Doctor Lee goes on to say “Many don’t even realize we are full primary care physicians with exhaustive medical training, internship and clinical practice.”

 

For many families, Oriental Medicine is no longer “Alternative” or “Complimentary” but their method of choice for primary healthcare. Doc Lee says “Whatever is most appropriate is what should be done. Whatever works and is least invasive, does the least damage to the patient while doing the most good. If you break a leg, you should go have it set at the ER, but Oriental Medicine can keep the swelling down, relieve the pain and speed healing. Everything has its place. For children and teens an OMD can handle most common and most uncommon healthcare issues and even some many parents would not expect we could. For many families I am their primary family physician. And we do a great job of it. Just ask our patients.”

 

1. American Lung Association. 1999. Asthma in Children. [fact sheet]. [Web site]. Cited November 11, 1999; available at http://www.lungusa.org.

 

2. Hearing on "Protecting Children: The Use of Medication in Our Nation’s Schools and H.R. 1170, Child Medication Safety Act of 2003” Response by Karen R. Effrem, MD, International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, Maple River Education Coalition, National Physicians’ Center for Family Resources, May 12, 2003

 

3. Effrem, K. Data Privacy Chapter of Quist, A., (1999) The Seamless Web, Mankato, MN Maple River Education Coalition at http://www.edwatch.org/seamless_web.htm

 

4. FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. ADR reports for Prozac between 1987-1995. Document HFI-35. Obtained by Prozac Survivor's Support Group, Inc. under the US Freedom of Information Act. A summary version of the FDA statistics is available online at: http://www.cris.com/~shddemon/prozac.reactions, 2004

 

5. Pamela E. Starke-Reed, Ph.D., Deputy Director, NIH, Division of Nutrition Research Coordination

 

For more information see us at http://www.trittwellness.com
For more by Adam Byrn Tritt, See his blog at http://www.adamusatlarge.blogspot.com

The Wellness Center

Adam Byrn Tritt on Wikipedia

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

If you need acupuncture, why choose an Acupuncturist instead of an MD or a Chiropractor?


Why choose a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (OMD), Acupuncture Physician (A.P) or a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) over an MD or Chiropractor?  Simple. Training and experience.


If you break a leg, yes, certainly and immediately go to see an MD. Western medicine is tops in acute care, trauma and emergencies.  We would recommend then seeing an OMD to speed the healing, but no one would suggest seeing an acupuncturist first.  Why? MDs are the best for trauma due to their training and practice. They are a good choice for many things for that very same reason and often, MDs and OMDs work together for a patient’s overall health.


But, does an MD have any training in Oriental Medicine or acupuncture? Many do have a small amount of training but most have none. Yet, the law allows them to practice acupuncture regardless of this. The American Medical Association has been around a long time and a lobbyist is a great thing to have on your side.


How about a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.)?  If your spine is out of alignment, certainly. And a good chiropractor can adjust much more than your spine.  It works well with Oriental Medicine too.  If your nervous system is working well and your muscles are not too tight, then they will not pull your spine back out of alignment.  That is why Acupuncture and Massage work well with Chiropractic.


But what training does a Chiropractor who ‘does’ acupuncture have?  100 hours is the requirement. That is the minimum. Some DCs have more training but most who practice stick with the minimum.


And both MDs and DCs use the Western medical model for acupuncture. In other words, your OMD or Acupuncture Physician would treat you according to your individual set of signs and symptoms as well as history and constitution.  Two people with a headache in the same place would very likely get two very different treatments depending on diagnosis and history.  Eastern Medicine treats cause according to a patient’s constitution.   But an MD or a DC looks in a book and say, “Headache: do these points.” Everyone with a headache in the same place gets the same points done.  The same with knee pain or whathaveyou. 


MDs and DCs prescribe acupuncture just like most MDs prescribe drugs: by symptoms and not by cause. Then many people who have had acupuncture by an MD or DC complain that it just does not work. Why? They were not really treated with acupuncture the way it was designed to be used. 


Imagine if an Acupuncture Physician could take a 100 hour class in chiropractic to adjust your back? Would you trust that? I know I wouldn’t. I’d see a person trained, specifically, in chiropractic.  Would you trust an Acupuncture Physician who took a 100 or even 300 hour class to do surgery on you?  I think that would be crazy.  I want a skilled, trained and practiced surgeon. You should want, and insist on, a skilled, trained and practiced professional for Acupuncture and Oriental medicine as well.


The right person, with the right training, for the job.

Below are the Florida State minimum requirements for an Acupuncture Physician.


 

Formal Education Requirements:


Four year course of study in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, which includes western anatomy, western physiology, western pathology, western biomedical terminology, first aid, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 


1,155 hours of traditional Oriental acupuncture diagnosis and treatment (including 705 hours of Oriental medical theory, diagnosis and treatment in acupuncture and related studies and 450 hours of herbal studies). 


330 hours of biomedical clinical science (including 90 hours of pathology, 120 hours of anatomy and physiology, and 120 hours of western biomedical and diagnostic terminology).


30 hours of required adjunctive therapies.


200 hours electives of adjunctive therapies.


660 hours of supervised clinical experience.


15 hours of universal precautions; 3 hours of HIV/AIDS, and 20 hours in Florida statutes and rules.


Undergraduate Requirements: 60 college credits.


Exam: NCCAOM written and practical exam in acupuncture.


There are no requirements for medical doctors or osteopaths to practice acupuncture. Chiropractors may practice acupuncture with 100 hours training.


For more reasons to choose Oriental Medicine from a Qualified Practitioner, visit:

http://www.trittwellness.com

(Resource: http://www.chiropracticacupuncture.com/resources/laws.html#Florida)

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Swedish Massage

 

When most people think of massage, the image that comes to mind is that of a Swedish massage.  Originating in Europe, Swedish massage incorporates various strokes that address the whole body, in a section by section manner, for the purpose of bringing about an overall sense of relaxation.  Beginning with effleurage, the therapist warms the tissue by applying lotion or oil and performs gliding strokes over the body areas.  To further loosen and relax the muscles, petrissage (kneading) is used in conjunction with friction, vibration, and tapotement (a light hacking or tapping motion). 

 

 

In addition to providing a sense of overall relaxation, Swedish massage can help to reduce physical and emotional stress, improve circulation, increase range of motion and muscle flexibility, and help the client obtain a feeling of connectedness and better awareness of their body.  It is up to the client whether or not to engage in conversation during the course of the massage.  Most clients find that they achieve a deeper level of relaxation by lying quietly, letting their mind go and experiencing the immediate sensation of the massage. It is not uncommon for the client to fall asleep during a Swedish massage.

 

Your Session

 

A Swedish massage session generally lasts about one hour and encompasses the whole body: face, head, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, feet, back, and glutes. Clients may elect to skip certain body regions based on personal preference.  The client is undressed, but is covered or "draped" by a sheet or other material.  Each body part is undraped as it is massaged and then re-draped before moving on to another area of the body.  The client undresses and dresses in private and situates themselves on the table, under the draping, before the therapist enters the room for the massage.  It is important, after receiving any type of bodywork, to rehydrate the body by drinking plenty of water.

For more information on massage therapy, contact The Wellness Center:
http://www.trittwellness.com 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Therapeutic Massage

 

Therapeutic massage is a term used to describe a type of massage that is focused on a specific goal.  For example, while a full body massage may feel great and relax you, it may not provide specific relief from the chronic muscular stress that you feel in your neck, shoulders, or lower back.  Or perhaps you are recovering from an injury and would like some targeted attention on a particular area of your body.  Therapeutic massage may be what you need.

 

Therapeutic massage sessions are customized to your particular needs and presentation, drawing on various modalities and techniques such as Swedish, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point therapy, Precision Neuromuscular Therapy, positional release, Myofascial release, etc.  In short, whatever training and expertise your therapist has under their belt can be incorporated into your massage.  The stroke pressure used by the Therapist varies depending on the particular point or muscle(s) being addressed as well as your individual discomfort threshold.  In this regard, you, as the client, are in complete control.  Only you know the sensations you are feeling and the limits of your body.  Some areas are more sensitive than others, and pressure should never go beyond “comfortable pain”; just enough for your body to know it is ‘the spot’ but not so much that you tense up and have to hold your breath or “guard” the area.  Typically, this type of a massage is interactive, during portions of the session where targeted work is being performed, communication between you and therapist is key.

 

Like most massages, the client is generally undressed and covered, or ‘draped’, for the duration of the massage, uncovering areas only as they are to be worked.  Depending on the techniques being used, lotion or oil may or may not be used.  Based on the unique symptoms and complaints of the client, the acute or chronic nature of the issue and the type of session work, more than one session may be necessary.  The longer the body has been experiencing a problematic issue, the more likely it is that multiple sessions will be required.  It is also optimal for the client to follow after-session care guidelines and any suggested “homework” in order to potentiate the session work and expedite therapeutic goals. The body is a complex system and we must give it the opportunity and time to process and release at its own pace.

 

Although massage itself is not a panacea, its benefits can be wide-ranging.  In fact, in some cases, surgeries and more aggressive medical treatments can be avoided by receiving regular massage sessions.  Beneficial Effects of Massage Therapy

Peer-reviewed medical research has shown that the benefits of massage include pain relief, reduced trait anxiety and depression, and temporarily reduced blood pressure, heart rate, and state anxiety.[2] Theories behind what massage might do include blocking nociception (gate control theory), activating the parasympathetic nervous system which may stimulate the release of endorphins and serotonin, preventing fibrosis or scar tissue, increasing the flow of lymph, and improving sleep[1] but such effects are yet to be supported by well designed clinical studies.

Single dose effects

Pain relief: Relief from pain due to musculoskeletal injuries and other causes is cited as a major benefit of massage.[1] In one study, cancer patients self-reported symptomatic relief of pain.[3] [4]  Massage can also relieve tension headaches.  Shiatsu, Acupressure or pressure point massage may be more beneficial than classic Swedish massage in relieving back pain.[8]

State anxiety: Massage has been shown to reduce state anxiety, a transient measure of anxiety in a given situation. [2]

Blood pressure and heart rate: Massage has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate as temporary effects. [2]

Attention: After massage, EEG patterns indicate enhanced performance and alertness on mathematical computations, with the effects perhaps being mediated by decreased stress hormones.

Other: Massage also stimulates the immune system[9] by increasing peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs).

Multiple dose effects

Pain relief: When combined with education and exercises, massage might help sub-acute, chronic, non-specific low back pain. [6] Furthermore, massage has been shown to reduce pain experienced in the days or weeks after treatment. [2]

Trait anxiety: Massage has been shown to reduce trait anxiety; a person's general susceptibility to anxiety. [2]

Depression: Massage has been shown to reduce subclinical depression. [2]

Diseases: Massage, involving stretching, has been shown to help with spastic diplegia resulting from Cerebral palsy in a small pilot study.[7]



1. "Massage Therapy as CAM". The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) (2006-09-01). Retrieved on 2007-09-6.

2. "A Meta-Analysis of Massage Therapy Research." (PDF). Psychological Bulletin (2004). Retrieved on 2008-01-12.

3. "Massage therapy for symptom control: outcome study at a major cancer center.". NCBI PubMed (2004-09-12). Retrieved on 2007-09-11.

4. Grealish L, Lomasney A, Whiteman B. (2000). "Foot massage. A nursing intervention to modify the distressing symptoms of pain and nausea in patients hospitalized with cancer (abstract)". PubMed NCBI. Retrieved on 2006-03-07.

5. Furlan A, Brosseau L, Imamura M, Irvin E (2002). "Massage for low back pain.". Cochrane Database Syst Rev: CD0039. doi:10.1002/14611818.CD0039. PMID 12076429

6. Kuriyama, H. (2001). "Immunological and Psychological Benefits of Aromatherapy Massage (abstract)". Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2 (2): 179–184. doi:10.1093/ecam/neh087. PMID 147118

7. Macgregor R, Campbell R, Gladden MH, Tennant N, Young D (2007). "Effects of massage on the mechanical behaviour of muscles in adolescents with spastic diplegia: a pilot study". Developmental medicine and child neurology 49 (3): 187–9. PMID 17311474

8. "Massage for low back pain.". NCBI PubMed (2002). Retrieved on 2007-09-28.

9. Muscolino, J. (2004). "Anatomy Of A Research Article" (PDF). Massage Therapy Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-12-06.

For more information contact The Wellness Center:
http://www.trittwellness.com 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Massage as a part of Chinese medical treatment goes back about 4,000 years. Written massage textbooks began to appear as early as the fourth century B.C., along with the earliest Chinese medical texts. Massage appears to have developed alongside both therapeutic exercise (qigong) and acupuncture, as it depends on the same understanding of the meridians and the flow of qi in the human body. The type of massage known as qi healing, or curing with external qi, was developed by master teachers of qigong.

 

Eastern bodywork Vs Western massage

Eastern bodywork is based in the theories of Oriental Medicine, and focuses on manipulation of the soft tissue to restore the flow of Qi in the meridian system of the body to help maintain health and relieve pain. Tui Na, Zhi Ya  Shiatsu, Kiatsu, and acupressure are all forms of Eastern Bodywork.

Western massage is also based on manipulation of soft tissue, generally with the goal of relaxation or pain relief. It does not utilize the theory of the meridian system, relying instead on knowledge of local nerves, muscle, and fascia to achieve results.

Benefits

 

Chinese massage is not intended to be an experience of pampering or relaxation. It is a form of deep tissue, myofscial and meridian therapy that conveys the following benefits:

  • speeding the healing of injuries and clearing bruises
  • stimulating blood circulation and regulating the nervous system
  • removing scar tissue
  • easing emotional distress
  • curing some conditions affecting the internal organs
  • increasing flexibility in the joints and improving posture
  • relieving chronic pain
  • maintaining wellness and functioning as a form of preventive care
  • improving athletic performance
  • strengthening the body's resistance to disease

Other benefits include the fact that some forms of Chinese massage do not require extensive training and can be used at home.

Massage therapy is one of the most pleasurable ways to become healthy. An increasing number of research studies show that massage slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, Enhances the immune response, increases range of motion, and simply feels terrific.


Adam Byrn Tritt, M.Ed, CHt, LMT (54881) is a massage therapist, author, teacher, acitivist, shaman and some say, a mensch. He offers Oriental bodywork and Western massage to patients at The Wellness Center in Palm Bay, Florida.

 

 

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lomi Lomi

 

History

 

“In the temples of ancient Hawaii, the Kahuna, or Shaman practiced a unique lineage of Lomi Lomi known as Hawaiian Temple Bodywork.  This practice is designed to awaken and enlighten the being in the physical body, to awaken one’s true calling in life and to provide a space for transformation.”

 

“Lomi means to weave: weaving light, weaving love, weaving spirit, unweaving unhealthy patterns in the body, unraveling wounds and old belief systems. The Hawaiian term Lomi Lomi means to knead or massage. The intention is to reawaken the body to its divine connection with spirit and to release that which prevents the recipient from experiencing themselves in the most authentic, expanded sense.  This massage is practiced from a position of sacred respect for the person, providing unconditional love and acceptance. The work is designed to open energy centers, awaken the person’s internal light, and awaken to new ways of sensing and seeing the world.  The whole body is interconnected with flowing strokes and movements.” 

 

Reprinted by permission: Tom Cochran

 

Sacred Lomi is an meditative form of massage, often described as deeply relaxing, meditative or sensory. There is nothing for the recipient to do other than to receive and breathe.

 

YOUR SESSION

 

In traditional lomilomi, the client may drink herbal teas to cleanse the body internally prior to the massage. The body is also cleansed externally with red clay or salt. Sometimes time is alternated between a steam hut and plunges in cold water to increase circulation prior to beginning the massage. Much of this preparation is dispensed with by modern practitioners but we are happy to keep as much of the traditional preparation intact as the client desires and, indeed, prefer to do so.

A session lasts from an hour and a half to two hours. In preparation for the session, it is recommended that the recipient not eat or drink for several hours prior. Recipients are asked to not wear any perfume, cologne or other strong body scents.  All jewelry will need to be removed including any body piercing jewelry.  Legs, arms and faces that are shaved regularly should be recently shaved so that minimal stubble is present. No make-up should be worn.  Hair will need to be up so that no hair is able to fall onto the neck or shoulders.  Ideally, the body should be recently showered and clean so that the oil flows smoothly on the skin. After receiving Sacred Lomi, water should be consumed in significant amounts to help clear the body.  Many recipients adjust their day so they can spend some time after the session integrating and enjoying the lingering effects of the massage.

 

The recipient will be kept very comfortable.  This massage is performed while lying directly on the massage table, with no bottom sheet, allowing the practitioner to perform certain underbody flowing strokes and techniques. The room is kept very warm. Often the practitioner will breathe audibly to help sustain energy and assist in developing the proper intention.  Generally, there is no conversation between the recipient and the practitioner which allows the recipient and practitioner to focus on the massage. A liberal amount of unscented oil is used.  As is standard with any type of massage, the recipient will dress and undress in privacy and while getting on and off the table a draping sheet is used.

 

Considerations

 

This is a very beautiful and caring style of massage and the process is, at a minimum, fully relaxing. Some find it to be personally uplifting and insightful. It would be ideal to simply experience the massage as it unfolds; however, our cultural and ethical standards require that an informed consent be filled out prior to the massage.

 

Sacred Lomi is best performed with minimal draping based on the recipient’s comfort level.  The recipient’s comfort level is the primary consideration. If the recipient is not comfortable – then there really is no purpose in providing the massage.  Modifications of the typical Sacred Lomi draping method are possible, but any modifications will prevent the ability to perform certain strokes and movements.  It is preferred that no undergarments of any kind be worn – if underwear is worn it is very likely that it will be damaged from oil staining. During the actual massage, the preferred draping method uses a hand towel that will always be covering the gluteal cleavage and genital area. The genital area is never exposed.  As an alternative option, the full draping sheet can be folded down and used for covering the genital area / gluteal cleavage but it will need to be folded to a fairly thin strip positioned between the legs. 

 

It is recommended that no breast / chest draping be used.  If breast / chest draping is used, it consists of a hand towel folded into a strip and placed over the breast / chest area; it is also folded up at the sides so that the sides of the upper body are accessible. Most people experiencing a Sacred Lomi massage choose the option to not have any breast / chest draping. This choice allows for a much more complete massage and utilization of several very beneficial strokes and clear access to the sternum area (the Heart Chakra). The breast, or corresponding area of a male, is never touched.

 

The preferred leg placement is also different in this style of massage.  Optimal placement positions the legs so that the feet are at the edge of each side of the table. This allows access for numerous leg strokes and techniques.  Legs can be placed more center-line to the table, but this limits the effectiveness of the strokes and may prevent certain strokes from being utilized. Regardless of leg placement, the genital area is never uncovered or touched.  The client’s draping choices will be held in the strictest confidence and needs to be indicated on an informed consent before the massage session begins.

 

This is a wonderful experience and may end up being the best energy based massage that a person will ever receive.  It has all the benefits of traditional massage and also provides additional potential for balancing body energy, clearing Chakras, and providing a meditative state of relaxation.

 

For more information on Massage at The Wellness Center visit:
http://www.trittwellness.com

For more from Adam on massage and other matters visit:
http://www.adamusatlarge.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Integrated Therapeutic Bodywork at The Wellness Center

 

What we do.

We use a style of Asian Body work that does not just work on the individual muscles or muscle groups but on the body as a whole, working on the underlying fascia and connective tissue that surrounds the muscles and organs, holding and binding them.  Of course, we also will work on an individual muscle or area if a problem presents itself there, but more often, we will work on the whole body, the meridians and, sometimes, acupuncture points, integrating the musculature and the organs systems with the nervous system that supports to affect a whole and lasting change.

 

What to expect.

Therapeutic Bodywork is done with a minimum of draping, thus allowing the therapist to access the meridians, muscles and entire fascial planes in a fluid way without the constant movement and repositioning of sheets and covers.  This aids effectiveness and client comfort as well as increases the actual time “on” massage.

 

Of course, you may be dressed or covered to your comfort level and we want you to be comfortable physically and emotionally, but we also want to be as effective for you as possible.  As with any healthcare or medical work, there is often a balance between physical comfort, emotional comfort, the work and the results. We will work, of course, within your comfort level but we do request the client, if necessary for his or her own benefit, stretch outside his or her comfort level in order to increase effectiveness and results.

 

Is it effective?

Can we help you change? Can we fix your problem?  In many, if not most cases, the answer is probably yes.  If we cannot restore complete health and mobility, certainly we increase health, mobility, range of motion and comfort.  How much?  That is a good question.

 

First of all, ‘we’ is not just The Wellness Center. We includes you as well.  Therapeutic Bodywork is cooperative, done with you not on you.  It is up to you to be an aware participant, letting us know if a pressure is too much or two little, telling us if a pain has developed or a stretch is too much or not enough. 

 

On the table, you are an active participant, breathing into the process on the table, letting go and allowing us to bear the weight when we need to. 

 

Off the table, you are an active participant as well.  We may ask you to do stretches at home or make small changes toward changing a posture or increase a range of motion.  This supports the work we do in the office and moves you forward. This brings us to our second point.

 

How long does it take?

You have had this problem for a while now. Months, years or, in some cases, decades.  Will it get better? As we said, probably so.  How much and how fast depends on many things.  How long have you had the problem? A massage lasts an hour and won’t fix, in one session a problem you have had for a year, let a lone years.

 

It may take several sessions of you receiving massage, going out and supporting the work by making postural changes, increasing your range of motion, moving more and then coming back to us so we can support the changes you have made, further increasing your range of motion, ease of movement and flexibility. You then support what we do in the office by moving more, making changes, etc... Back and forth as the changes become greater and last longer.  Imagine, if you have had a problem for ten years, can you expect two or three massages, a total of three hours, to fix one you have had for 87,660 hours? 

 

So, work with us while we work with you and you will see results – lasting, positive results you can live with.

For more information on The Wellness Center and Adam Byrn Tritt, M.Ed, LMT, visit:
http://www.trittwellness.com

For more information and writing from the author, visit Adam's blog at:
http://www.adamusatlarge.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bilateral Therapeutic Massage

 

Bilateral Massage means, simply, “massaging both sides.” But it entails much more than that and is in no way a new practice.

                

Bilateral Massage, also called Bilateral Stimulation, comes from the study of neuroscience. It works by following the structure of the brain and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS is all the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord.

 

Originally, this was called the Tapping Technique when it was developed by Freud. He knew that all experiences are stored in the hypothalamus of the brain until sleep; then, during REM sleep, they are processed and stored as memory. Trauma, however, is often not processed completely, or is not processed at all. The problem with this is memories that are still in the hypothalamus exist in the present time no matter how long ago the event happened. The body reacts to these memories as though the event is current. Research tells us this is the most probable cause of post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

Pavlov also studies Bilateral Stimulation and learned that techniques using this were able to remove or “extinguish” unhealthy conditioned responses including those held in the body and the muscles.

 

Bilateral Massage works by stimulating both sides of the body, either simultaneously or alternately, and uses long, continuous strokes, which stimulate the sensory and motor nerves that run to the sensory and motor cortices of the brain.

 

The sensory and motor cortices span both sides (hemispheres) of the brain. The left side controls the right side of the body and the right side controls the left. Bilateral Massage integrates the sensory and motor parts of both hemispheres. This has several effects:

 

1)     Bilateral Massage draws memories from the hypothalamus into the rest of the brain for processing, where they can exist in the past instead of in the continuous present. That is why it is used to treat PSTD.

 

2)     Bilateral Massage allows space for creative and practical thinking to intersect by integrating the left and right sides of the brain. If you have ever noticed how many problems are solved in dreams (REM sleep is a bilateral activity) or during walking (also a bilateral activity), you can see how this works.

 

3)     Bilateral Massage, because it integrates the motor cortex, soothes the motor nerves of the body, which then allows the muscles to relax and ‘reset’ so they move back into the proper organization, tone, and function. Muscles held in tension are allowed to let go and relax. Many report improvements in balance, reflexes, and coordination.

 

4)     Bilateral Massage, because it integrates the sensory cortex, soothes pain and anxiety while decreasing nervousness and blood pressure. Many people report that their senses seem to function better and in a more integrated way. Many also state this is the most relaxing type of massage because it is composed of long strokes designed specifically to soothe and integrate nerve function.

 

5)     Bilateral Massage, because it integrates the motor and sensory cortices, leads the senses and the muscles into greater integration and co-function.

 

As you can see, Bilateral Massage is deeply therapeutic (the word comes from the Greek therapuo, which means “to heal”). We believe that the goal of massage is not simply to make the client feel good, though it certainly does that! We believe that massage, when offered by a knowledgeable and sensitive practitioner, can be deeply healing and balancing. Our hectic lives are frequently out of balance; Bilateral Therapeutic Massage can help us release lifelong traumas, heal neural pathways, and restore balance to our lives—all while providing a lasting sense of well-being.

For more information visit:
http://www.trittwellness.com

For more from Adam Byrn Tritt, M.Ed, LMT, visit:
http://www.adamusatlarge.blogspot.com

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