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.  Massage Therapy

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.  Massage Therapy

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

If you want to learn more about healthy living and green technologies, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on twitter @kelliealderton or my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

 

 

 

 

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.

To our health!

Kellie Alderton

If you want to learn more about healthy living and green technologies, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on twitter @kelliealderton or my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

 

Extreme Temperatures and M.S.

cold weather BABY, It’s Cold Outside!!!!

It’s very interesting and ironic. As I sit here today finishing this article, I started to feel my fingertips and nose getting colder! So I walked to my closet and put on my husbands big Flannel hoping that would help. Well, no luck, turns out the heat is out!!! Waiting right now on the repairman and thinking how funny life can be as it looks like I’ll be taking my own advice today for staying warm!

Can any extreme temperatures cause an MS flare-up? I’m not sure where you’re located, but we’re now in full winter mode in Chicago. That means hat, gloves, scarves, ear muffs, snow pants, boots, you know, anything to beat the extreme cold. “BRRRR” seems to be my go-to word for the past few months and for anyone that knows me, Yes, comparisons of Chicago and Antarctica are definitely on my mind!  

Were you one of the millions of MS sufferers who were counting down the days for cooler weather?  Me too! Yes, heat and humidity can be very disruptive and cause minor, temporary flare-ups of our MS symptoms during the summer months, but did you know some people also have challenges during the winter months? It’s less common, but still can affect those of us with MS?

Some people do report worsening of symptoms just as much in the coldest part of winter as they do in the hottest months of summer!  You might be wondering if we can use ice, cold showers, cold compresses or cooling vests to cool down during the summer, why would the cold negatively affect us now, why is this different? The truth is that any drastic changes in temperature either hot or cold can have an impact on us.

Things you may experience due to the Cold:      

  • Fatigue
  • Spasms
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Numbness and tingling

The good news is, just like in summer months, there are things we can do to protect ourselves against the cold.

warm-winter-drinks-alcohol-free-caffine-free-healthy-drink-recipes

Make sure your house is properly insulated, check around doors and windows for any pesky drafts, there are plenty of low-cost ways to seal them.  While you’re in, you can use a heating pad, blankets, extra clothing. Some people find warm showers or baths may relieve some of the stiffness, aches, and pains. (Be careful to not become overheated!) You can also warm up with a nice cup of soup, tea or coffee.   

If you have to be out in the elements, try layering clothing to keep heat from escaping, protect your head and use hand or feet warmers. Also be sure to use any walking devices or aides to help you outside when your muscles can become stiff or slow to respond. Just like the summer months, it’s very important to stay hydrated, make sure to continue drinking enough water, people tend to think just because it’s cold outside you can’t become dehydrated. Dehydration can also cause or complicate many of the above symptoms.

 

As I’ve said before, our minds are extremely powerful and I’d like to say it’s as easy as thinking Warm thoughts of summer to beat the cold, but your best line of defense is to be prepared for the elements, listen to your body, and seek assistance if needed.  You can learn more about MS in All About MS and Resources to help you on your journey! Enjoy!

 

If you have found this article helpful please share. As always, I look forward to and appreciate your feedback!

To our Health!

Kellie

If you want to learn more about healthy living and green technologies, check out my products page at www.myvollara.com/kga

You can also follow me on twitter @kelliealderton or my FB page Waking Up From MS where I share insights and information for everyone dealing with MS.

 

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