Archive for April, 2017

Massage Therapy For Multiple Sclerosis

 

Massage Therapy Benefits for Multiple Sclerosis

Have you tried massage therapy for dealing with your Multiple Sclerosis?

In my book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey To Health, Healing, and Living Symptom Free – I have a chapter focused on “Creating The Best Body.” In that chapter I look at many different therapies to ensure our health and healing. In my almost 30 years of living with MS, I’ve turned to chiropractic care, acupuncture, mediation and mindfulness, exercise, and one of the most enjoyable treatments I’ve used is Massage Therapy. On this journey to heal my body from the devastating affects of MS, I have sought out many alternative and holistic treatments that could repair my body on the cellular level without drugs.  

The most common types of massage:

  • Swedish Massage – This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you. (I prefer Swedish massage as I find it to be the most relaxing)
  • Deep-tissue massage – This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. I always hated the deep tissue massage, I’m all about relaxation!
  • Sports Massage – This is similar to Swedish massage, but is geared toward people involved in sporting activities. This can be used to help prevent or treat injuries. Many people use it to prepare themselves for sporting events.
  • Shiatsu – This massage technique uses fingers, hands, and elbows. This type of massage is used to stimulate different acupressure points throughout the body, it also helps with the flow of energy. No oil is used so people can remain fully clothed. (loose clothing is best)
  • Reflexology –  This involves applying pressure to the hands, feet or ears to produce changes in areas that are connected to specific body parts and organs. Applying pressure to any of the reflex areas, will remove energy blockages and promote health, and healing in the related body parts and organs.
  • Myofascial Release –  This technique involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue (trigger points) in the body to eliminate pain, loosen muscles, and restore range of motion.
  • Raindrop Technique – The Raindrop is a technique developed by Gary Young, the founder of Young Living Essential Oils, which is an application of highly antimicrobial essential oils directly to the spine with effleurage (finger stroking) techniques to distribute healing energy throughout the body.

PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY

Massage Therapy has many physical benefits. It will boost your immune system, calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure, slow respiration, reduce chronic pain, loosen tight muscles, stretch connective tissue, increase red blood cell count, improve muscle tone, speed-up recovery from injury, reduce tension headaches, increase tissue metabolism, decrease muscle deterioration, speed recovery from illness, increase range of motion, speed elimination of metabolic waste, increase blood and lymph circulation, stimulate release of endorphins, reduce swelling, improve posture, and improve skin tone.

MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY

Massage Therapy has many mental and emotional benefits. It will reduce stress, improve sleep quality, improve productivity, induce mental relaxation, improve concentration, reduce anxiety, enhance self-image, provide a sense of well-being and nurture emotional growth. This is something that all MS sufferers must be mindful of as our mental and emotional health goes hand in hand, many times, with our disease activity.  

I absolutely love Myofascial Release in tandem with a Swedish massage. I recommend getting massage therapy at least twice a month. I noticed benefits from my massage therapy right away. It gave me a sense of calm and peace, but at the same time it’s invigorating since it helps circulation and blood flow throughout the body. Remember, on this journey with MS we must stay focused on healing, repairing, and restoring our bodies. Anything we can do that will lessen inflammation and help build our immune system will have lasting affects.

Massage Therapy gives physical, mental, and emotional benefits. As you see from the list above, you have many different massage therapy options and your massage therapist can help find the one that’s right for you and also help you deal with whatever health challenges that come up due to your MS. Check out my MS Resources page to learn more about important health related information.

I always say, our mind, body and spirits are connected and we must focus on each of those areas to take back our health. We have plenty of tools and resources to help us on our journey. Massage Therapy is one way to get you on the path to health and healing.

 

To Our health!

Kellie Alderton

#wakingupfromms

To learn more about green technologies and products to add to your healthy lifestyle, check out my business page –  Healthy Solutions, Inc 

 

 

 

Mindfulness and MS

 Mindfulness and MS

What if I told you that you can help your quality of life and improve your Multiple Sclerosis by practicing Mindfulness? Would you even know what that means?

What is Mindfulness?

Definition of  mind·ful·ness: 

1. The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

2. A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Can mindfulness help us on our journey with MS?

MindfulnessMindfulness was something first introduced to me while I was studying under my mentor, New York Times Best Selling Author, America’s #1 Success Coach, Jack Canfield. He taught me how to live my life with purpose, passion, clarity and to be mindful of everything around me. It was life changing for me and my journey with MS.

When I was studying personal growth/leadership development I wasn’t doing it hoping to find a way to help my MS. I was doing it for my own growth.  At that time I didn’t understand the concept that the mind, body, and spirit are connected and if we want to heal our bodies from MS, we must focus on each of those areas to be successful. I started to wonder if mindfulness could help others in their journey with MS, too.

Why is mindfulness important in our journey with MS?

Many people with MS suffer from depression, fear, anxiety, insomnia, pain, and overwhelming stress. Each of these issues can be devastating to our health.

For years I’ve been searching for alternative ways for us to deal with each of those issues. When I say “alternatives,” I mean alternatives to drug therapy, which is what most MS Dr’s present to us immediately. It can end up meaning a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions that can actually make things worse.

Hmm. When I think about this, it makes me think about daily life.  Do we just go through the motions? You know, everything is pretty much on auto pilot, isn’t it? We all have our routines with our families, with our jobs, with ourselves – things are just done out of habit. Can we be mindful every day?  The answer is a resounding, YES!

Are there different ways to practice mindfulness?

1 – Being mindful – Going through your everyday functions and being present, engaged, aware and calm.

When I practice mindfulness throughout the day, it means being aware and grateful for everything – The sun, the rain, family, friends, my dogs, good things that happened in my day and even the challenges, too. It’s all about having the right perspective in any given situation good or bad and responding in a healthy, more positive way. I also do affirmations and journaling which keeps me focused on thinking the right way, which is so important, not only for all of us living with MS, but just in daily life.

2 – Mindful meditation – Meditation where you can focus on areas of the body in pain and releasing or separating yourself from that pain. You can focus on specific parts of the body and visualize it’s repair and healing (I have several MS friends that visualize their Myelin being restored over nerve endings throughout their body or picturing their MRI’s with less lesions). It can also be something as simple as deep breathing and just being in that moment of meditation.

MindfulnessThe great thing about being mindful and mindfulness meditation is that everyone can do it and it can have lasting health benefits to us. In studies people that practiced mindfulness had an improved quality of life, and more positive and hopeful expectations.  It also took away pain, stress, anxiety, depression and fear. Some hospitals now prescribe mindfulness meditation for patients dealing with pain. Check out MS & The Mind to learn more about its affects on our MS.

When you learn to practice mindfulness, you will have better coping strategies in stressful situations. We know stress can cause us to have an exacerbation or even cause new lesions, so we must do everything to ensure we are living stress free as much as possible.

Remember, our mind, body, and spirits are connected and we must focus on each area for healing.  Mindfulness can be a very powerful way to start on our journey to health and healing!

For inspiration and great ideas on healthy living with MS, check out my new book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom Free”  – It explores my almost 30 year journey living with MS and how I am now living symptom free, healthy, and thriving. On FB check out my MS Free For All page.

To our health!

Kellie Alderton

 

To learn more about healthy products and green technologies for your healthy lifestyle check out my business page –  Healthy Solutions, Inc 

Acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis

Acupuncture and MS

In my new book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom Free” I focus on treating the body as a whole and the mind, body, spirit connection to healing. I have a chapter dedicated to “Creating the Best Body” while living with MS. I believe acupuncture is an important part of that process.

The MS Society describes acupuncture as one form of traditional Chinese medicine. It’s based on a theory about body functioning that involves the flow of energy known as qi (“chee”) through fourteen pathways called meridians throughout the body. Acupuncture involves stimulating specific locations on the skin, usually by inserting thin, disposable metallic needles into points along the meridians in the body in order to alter the flow of energy. According to the theories of Chinese medicine, disease results from an imbalance or disruption in the flow of energy between the opposing forces of yin and yang.

I looked into acupuncture while I was receiving chiropractic care, and I learned that acupuncture can stimulate and balance the body and immune system.

Acupuncture is considered an alternative therapy for dealing with MS

Now, I do need to state that all of my MS doctors told me to avoid chiropractic care, acupuncture, and even supplements; they said they would stimulate my immune system. I asked the doctors – How can I ever be healthy if I’m constantly suppressing my immune system, which is the theory behind traditional MS protocols? They had no answer. If I had followed their protocols, I would still be sick, having frequent relapses.

When you look at the human body certain things make sense. Doing everything to repair the immune system is what I started to focus on. I’ve always believed that once your immune system is healthy and functioning properly, it’s healed, and I could be healed too.

According to the National MS Society, many MS sufferers use acupuncture for the relief of pain, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and bowel and bladder symptoms. It can also help regulate our immune system, provide mental clarity, stress release, and improve our overall quality of life.

Some people may notice immediate, positive results from acupuncture while others may notice symptoms or issues worsen a bit after, this means for some people that your body is going into “healing mode” and things may get a bit worse before they get better. I believe it’s important to stay consistent with all treatments and things will most likely subside. Now, I know in my own experience that the times I felt a little pain was when I was having the most health challenges.

The benefits you can receive from acupuncture are amazing, and that is the one thing I turned to in the beginning of my journey to start the process of healing.  I did acupuncture for many years to help my body get into alignment and in sync, and I use it today to keep my body that way. I believe acupuncture helps our mind, body, and spirit through each course of treatment and I believe it was a catalyst in me now living symptom free.

Acupuncture can relieve many of our MS symptoms

In studies, scalp acupuncture was used on MS patients suffering from: stabbing and burning pains, paralysis, dizziness and vertigo. The Southwest Rehabilitation Hospital and National Healthcare Center in Albuquerque, N.M.* did a study that used scalp acupuncture on 16 patients with limb pain. After only one treatment per patient, eight of the 16 patients instantly showed significant improvement (49 percent), six patients showed some improvement (38 percent), and only two patients showed no improvement (13 percent), thus yielding a total efficacy rate of 87 percent.

There are many different ways to use acupuncture to treat MS.  I’ve used acupuncture in my scalp and throughout the body. As I’ve been dealing with my MS now for almost 30 years, I have really focused on many different holistic and alternative therapies to aid in my healing. Just as one thing didn’t give us MS, there won’t be one specific thing that heals us.  My mantra – “A Healthy Immune System equals A Healthy Body.” So we need to do everything possible to help facilitate a healthy, properly functioning immune system. You can check out more information on health and healing under my MS Resources and Links.

We know acupuncture is an important part of our healing and I believe it is something you should thoroughly investigate.

I would love to hear your own stories about using acupuncture.

To our health!

Kellie Alderton  

 

You can learn all about my MS story and the reason I started this blog.

 (*http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=31710)

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