Vitamin D: Essential for Health (3 of 4)


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Vitamin DOver the past few weeks we’ve discussed the importance of vitamin D in our diets and the epigenetic role the hormone plays in expressing a multitude of traits (D1). We also defined what vitamin D is and how much we need in order for our bodies to function properly (D2). To further our discussion, we will identify the best sources to obtain vitamin D, touch on risk factors for deficiency, and identify some of the signs that may indicate a person is vitamin D deficient. Additionally, we will highlight some easy new ways to monitor your baseline biomarkers to ensure you are maintaining levels of the nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

Sources of Vitamin D

For most of us, our primary source of vitamin D comes from sun exposure; UVB irradiates 7-dehdrocholesterol in the skin to synthesize the vitamin before it is metabolized into its active form. It is thought that 15 minutes of sun exposure every day is adequate for most (Holick, 2006). Food sources of vitamin D are relatively scarce. The most vitamin D rich foods include oily fishes; salmon, mackerel, and sardines while foods such as egg yolks and fortified dairy products also provide a source of the nutrient. Mushrooms also contain vitamin D. Because it may be difficult to achieve sufficient amounts of the vitamin from your diet, supplements also play an important role in order to achieve intake quantities recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board. It should be noted however that because vitamin supplements are not regulated by the FDA, you should look for supplements that have USP (United States Pharmacopeial Convention) verification mark. Supplements with the USP mark on the label have been verified to contain the amount of the nutrients they advertise.

Vitamin D deficiency Pandemic

Despite the vital role vitamin D plays in our overall health, vitamin D deficiency is recognized as a worldwide pandemic (Holick & Chen, 2008). Across the globe, it is estimated that over 1 billion people are either vitamin D deficient or insufficient and in the U.S; an estimated 50 million teens, half of children ages 1-5 and 70% of children ages 7-11 are either deficient or insufficient (Holick, 2010). It is also estimated that between 50-100% of the elderly in both Europe and U.S. are vitamin D deficient (2010). If these numbers shock you…they should! As previously discussed, vitamin D facilitates numerous physiological processes essential for health. From neurological function to bone health, cardiovascular function to immune system regulation, and the prevention of many cancers…it has been well documented that insufficient or deficient amounts of vitamin D leads to a myriad of health problems. While I believe everyone should have their blood levels checked, some general risk factors include but are not limited to:

  • Obesity: vitamin D is fat soluble and is stored in body fat. The higher the body fat the lower the bioavailability (Patrick, 2013)
  • Insufficient sun exposure: sunscreens block UVB rays thus preventing vitamin D synthesis from taking place. Also, those in northern latitudes (above 37˚ N latitude) don’t receive sufficient sun exposure during winter months due to atmospheric conditions. Unprotected sun exposure should be limited to  15 minutes a day (2013).
  • Dark Skin Pigment: melanin acts as a natural sun screen, therefore darker skin pigment reduces the amount of vitamin D that can be synthesized through sun exposure (2013).
  • Aging: As we get older our bodies become less efficient at producing the active metabolite (2013).

So what are the signs of vitamin D deficiency?

As you’ve probably already guessed, the signs of vitamin D deficiency vary. Some symptoms you may be deficient include:

  • Bone and joint aches and pains
  • Depression
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Frequent sickness or ailments

Because these symptoms are so general it is important that you see a physician, family practitioner, or a host of other outlets to have your vitamin D metabolite blood levels checked on a regular basis.

Next time, we will conclude are series on vitamin D. Please remember to share your questions or comments, either on our website or on our Facebook page. Thanks for reading and until next time, stay healthy!

References

Hoessein-nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, March). (R. P. Moray Campbell, Ed.) Public Library of Science, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058725

Holick, M. F. (2006). High Prevalence of Vitamin D Inadequacy and Implications for Health. Mayo Clinic Proceedings (pp. 353-373). Boston: Elsevier Inc.

Holick, M. F. (2010, January). The Vitamin D Deficiency Pandemic: a Forgotten Hormone Important for Health. Public Health Reviews, 32(1), 267-283.

Holick, M. F., & Chen, T. C. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1080S-6S.

Norman, A. W. (2008). From vitamin D to hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 491S-9S.

Patrick, R. P. (2013, August 14). The “Vitamin D Sweet Spot” and its Relationship To Aging. Retrieved from Wellness FX: http://blog.wellnessfx.com/2013/08/14/the-vitamin-d-sweet-spot-and-its-relationship-to-aging/

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of modalities designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to: degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.

For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

 

Vitamin D: Essential for Health (2 of 4)

Vitamin DIn our previous blog we began a discussion about vitamin D and the wide ranging impact the steroidal hormone has on regulating a multitude of physiological functions necessary for human health. This week we will continue the conversation by describing what vitamin D is and what the recommended healthy levels of vitamin D are per the Institute of Medicine.

What is vitamin D and Why is it Important?

Vitamin D is essentially a steroidal hormone. There are two forms of vitamin D that are important to human health. The first is ergocalciferol or vitamin D2, derived from the ultraviolet exposure of mold or plant-based materials which has limited bioavailability due to its unstable chemical make-up (Houghton & Vieth, 2006). The second is calcipherol or vitamin D3, produced from the photoconversion of 7-dehdrocholesterol in the skin when exposed to UVB irradiation or, obtained through diet and supplementation (Norman, 2008). The vitamin D3 form is further metabolized by the endocrine system to produce 1α,25(OH)2D3, the steroidal hormone that binds to Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) located in our cells (Norman, 2008). These VDR’s are located throughout the cells of almost every organ in our body and according to a study in the open access journal PLOS one, may regulate the expression of up to 1250 genes in the human body, once activated (Hoessein-nezhad, Spira, & Holick, 2013). This is why vitamin D is so important to human physiological function. The expression of these genes affects a broad scope of vital biological functions from calcium homeostasis and blood pressure regulation, to immune system health and brain development. The synthesis of the metabolite 1α,25(OH)2D3 increases the bioavailability of the hormone in the bloodstream which makes the vitamin D3 form far superior than its D2 counterpart.

Recommended Amount of Vitamin D

To measure levels of available Vitamin D in the body, the Institute of Medicine recommends the following blood serum levels of 25(OH)D, to indicate status[i]:

Table 1: Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] Concentrations and Health* [1]
nmol/L** ng/mL* Health status
<30 <12 Associated with vitamin D deficiency, leading to rickets in infants and children and osteomalacia in adults
30–50 12–20 Generally considered inadequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals
≥50 ≥20 Generally considered adequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals
>125 >50 Emerging evidence links potential adverse effects to such high levels, particularly >150 nmol/L (>60 ng/mL)

* Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D are reported in both nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) and nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
** 1 nmol/L = 0.4 ng/mL

The recommended daily intake for Vitamin D varies by age as well as environmental factors. The following is the official Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D as per the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies[ii]:

Table 2: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D [1]
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0–12 months* 400 IU
(10 mcg)
400 IU
(10 mcg)
1–13 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
14–18 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
19–50 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
51–70 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
>70 years 800 IU
(20 mcg)
800 IU
(20 mcg)

* Adequate Intake (AI)

[i] Table taken from: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

[ii] Table taken from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

 

Next week we will continue our discussion on vitamin D by examining the best sources of the vital nutrient, important signs to identify vitamin D deficiency, and additional information you can use to optimize your health! Stay tuned…

References

Hoessein-nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, March). (R. P. Moray Campbell, Ed.) Public Library of Science, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058725

Holick, M. F., & Chen, T. C. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1080S-6S.

Houghton, L. A., & Vieth, R. (2006). The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 694-7.

Norman, A. W. (2008). From vitamin D to hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 491S-9S.

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of services designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.

For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

Vitamin D: Essential for Health (1 of 4)

Vitamin DIn April of 2003, scientist speaking on behalf of the Human Genome Project announced they had reached their goal. The collaborative efforts of scientist from across the globe had successfully mapped the entire human genome, the DNA sequences that make up Homo sapiens. The research findings gave rise to a whole new set of fascinating questions about human biology. For example, what caused the gene for a particular trait to be expressed or “turned on” in one person, while that same gene is “silenced” or inactive in another?  These inquiries sparked renewed interest in the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics studies heritable and non-heritable changes in gene expression that are not a consequence of altering DNA nucleotides. In other words, epigenetics is how our environment interacts with our genes to affect our appearance, behavior, and biological functions; the link between nature and nurture.

So what does this have to do with vitamin D…? Well, amidst all of the new biochemical studies, research suggest that vitamin D may be responsible for regulating the expression of over 1000 different genes (Patrick, 2013). Many of these genes regulate biochemical pathways associated with certain cancers, autoimmune disorders, transcriptional regulation (copying of a DNA segment to mRNA which will be used to make a protein), and cardiovascular disease (Hoessein-nezhad, Spira, & Holick, 2013), in addition to many other physiological functions. Of course, we are already familiar with the vital role vitamin D plays in the absorption of calcium and magnesium, necessary micronutrients needed to produce dense bones and prevent osteoporosis in adults or rickets in children.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will dedicate a series of articles discussing the latest developments in vitamin D research, the essential role vitamin D plays in our bodies, and the source of vitamin D in our diets. We will also look at the current recommendations for vitamin D levels in the blood and discuss some easy ways to monitor your own baseline blood levels so that you can put the information to use and optimize your personal health! Until next time…

References

Hoessein-nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, March). (R. P. Moray Campbell, Ed.) Public Library of Science, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058725

Patrick, R. P. (2013, August 14). The “Vitamin D Sweet Spot” and its Relationship To Aging. Retrieved from Wellness FX: http://blog.wellnessfx.com/2013/08/14/the-vitamin-d-sweet-spot-and-its-relationship-to-aging/

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of services designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.

For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

H2..Whoa! Water and Hydration Tips for Summer

Drinking WaterMost of us learned about waters’ distinct properties in elementary school. The agile molecule exists in all three physical states, (solid, liquid and gas) it’s a universal solvent, and it possesses an uncanny ability to absorb tremendous amounts of heat while at the same time, resisting rapid fluctuations in temperature. As an essential nutrient for all life on earth including the complexity that is the human organism, water makes up roughly 50% to 60% of our bodies.  It performs a multitude of functions within the body including the transport of nutrients in, and waste out, of our cells. Water also helps regulate body temperature and it lubricates joints, the brain, and all of our vital organs (Kravitz, 2014). It really is amazing that a single type of molecule is responsible for a plethora of essential tasks!

Despite the importance of the “life-giving” combination of hydrogen and oxygen, it is estimated that 75% of Americans fall short of the recommended 8-10, 8oz. (64-80 oz.) cups of water per day, required by the body to replenish water loss (Ericson, 2013).  The amount of water your body requires may be even more than 80 oz. if you maintain a high level of physical activity or if you live in a hot or dry climate.  According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, almost 7% of all hospital admissions are diagnosed as dehydration (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014). With the summer months upon us, the temperatures are already climbing. It’s not only important to emphasize good hydration habits but also to identify signs of dehydration. Symptoms of mild dehydration may include headache, muscle cramps, dry mouth, or dark yellow urine, while more severe symptoms consist of dizziness, confusion, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, unconsciousness, and even death if untreated (National Institutes of Health, 2014). In the event that you suspect you or someone you know is dehydrated, contact your healthcare provider or emergency service provider immediately.

For those who don’t find plain ole’ water particularly palatable, listed below are some creative ways to increase your H2O consumption. Try working them into your overall dietary strategy:

  1. Coconut water: a tasty way to increase your water consumption. It’s also chalk full of naturally occurring electrolytes to replenish salts you lose during perspiration.
  2. Fruit Infusion: cheap carafes are available online or in home good stores. Add lemons, oranges, strawberries or any of your favorite fruits to the infuser and fill the carafes with filtered water. This a great way to add flavor and nutrients!
  3. Eat fruits and vegetables: Nobody said that your daily intake must come exclusively from liquids. Fruits and vegetables are water dense and contain other essential nutrients. Fruits particularly high in water content include citrus, grapes, cantaloupes, berries, and you guessed it…watermelon! Vegetables that can provide a good source of H2O include cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli, just to name a few.
  4. Kombucha: This fermented favorite is a great way to hydrate. Available in a variety of different flavors, it’s also loaded with probiotics, vitamins, and other nutrients that are essential for health. You can find Kombucha in the organic section of your local grocer or in health food stores.
  5. Frozen Juice pops: another fun way to hydrate is to mix fruit juice with soda water, pour into ice cube trays, and insert Popsicle sticks then pop them in the freezer.

If you have some creative ways of you own you would like to share that will help people “beat the heat” and stay hydrated please share your comments on our Facebook page or on the comments section of our blog, we would love to hear them. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for discounts, events, and announcements from Surgical Alternative. Thank you for all your support!

References

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2014, March 5). Dehydration: Hospital Admission Rate. Retrieved from National Quality Measures Clearinghouse: http://www.qualitymeasures.ahrq.gov/content.aspx?id=38564&search=Dehydration#Section566

Ericson, J. (2013, July 3). 75% of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration, According to Doctors. Retrieved from Medical Daily: http://www.medicaldaily.com/75-americans-may-suffer-chronic-dehydration-according-doctors-247393

Kravitz, L. (2014, January 5). Water: The Science of Nature’s Most Important Nutrient. Retrieved from University of New Mexico: http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/WaterUNM.html

National Institutes of Health. (2014, May 16). Dehydration. Retrieved from MedlinePlus National Library of Medicine at NIH: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000982.htm

United States Geological Survey. (2014, March 17). Water Properties Facts and Figures About Water. Retrieved from USGS Science for a Changing World: http://water.usgs.gov/edu/water-facts.html

Please contact Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy with your questions regarding services we offer or conditions we treat. We would love to hear from you via the web or other social media outlets. For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

Sciatica Pain…you have options!

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain continues to affect millions of Americans each year. Some estimates suggest that 75-85% of all Americans will experience lower back pain during their lifetime. Over the last twenty years, surgery for conditions that cause sciatica pain, a specific type of lower back pain, have risen more than 200%.[a] Because this condition affects the quality of life for so many individuals, it’s important to let people know that surgery is an option but not the only option. In this article I want to give a brief description of what sciatica pain is and then share some thoughts on a popular randomized study I came across. Finally, I will discuss the Surgical Alternative therapies we integrate into a tailored treatment plan to help alleviate the pain and restore daily function so that our clients can enjoy an active lifestyle.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve bundle in the human body. Beginning at the fourth lumbar, the confluence of anterior and posterior nerve fibers run through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. Sciatica is pain associated with compression, pressure or irritation to the roots of the sciatic nerve. Symptoms related to sciatica include radiating pain in the lower back, shooting pain down the buttock or back of the leg, burning or tingling sensation along the pathway of the nerve, and numbness or limited muscle control in the leg. Typically, pain is localized to one side. Again, sciatica only refers to symptoms. There are a wide variety of conditions that cause sciatica. Multiple lumbar-spine associated disorders including herniated disks, degenerative disks, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis can affect the sciatic nerve resulting in sciatica. It is also important to point out that not all lower back pain is caused by irritation of the nerve; soft tissue damage or injury can also play a significant role therefor, proper diagnosis is imperative in order to form an effective treatment plan.

Now that we have defined what sciatica pain is let’s delve into the aforementioned findings. The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine; titled Surgery versus Prolonged Conservative Treatment for Sciatica. Participants in the study suffered confirmed sciatica pain caused by herniated disks, with onset of symptoms experienced between six and twelve weeks. Subjects were randomly assigned to two groups, early surgery and conservative treatment. The early surgery group had the procedure done within two weeks while the conservative treatment group continued therapy up to sixteen weeks with the option to have surgery extended. Data from each treatment group was collected on three different dimensions: functional status, intensity of pain, and perception of general health, then compared after one year[1]

As a therapeutic massage specialist who has helped clients find relief from sciatica pain, the results of the study did not surprise me. The rates of recovery on all three measures were nearly identical for both subject groups at the end of the one year follow up period. In other words, surgery did not improve the overall quality of recovery defined by the indicators mentioned above. While some benefits included a quicker rate of recovery from pain reported in the short term; the difference between the two groups in the level of pain diminished by week twenty-six. To me, the findings seemed to say two things; first, that there are different treatment paths that can achieve the same overall goal and secondly, people have the option to try non-invasive options before electing surgery.

Comparatively speaking, the only statistically significant benefit the study observed for early surgery was an increase in the rate of which the sciatica pain subsided. There is no question that this option could benefit someone who needed relief from debilitating pain immediately but many patients can find relief through other methods of treatment. For example, 16 of the 141 patients assigned to the early surgery group in this study recovered before surgery could be performed[b]. In addition, 61% of the conservative therapy group did not undergo surgery at all[c]. Remember, at the end of 1 year there were no differences in recovery between the two groups, an important note that should be emphasized to those faced with the option of surgery compared to alternative treatment methods. The point is that people are very diverse and each case is highly variable, so one treatment method will not work for everyone. Take time to learn the facts about each treatment option before charting a course to recovery.

As I mentioned before, surgery is a viable option for those dealing with intractable pain or for those who have exhausted all other treatment options. It is also important to recognize the benefits of surgical alternatives that have helped bring relief to individuals suffering from sciatica pain. We have helped hundreds of clients overcome the affliction of sciatica pain and return to happy, active, pain-free lifestyles through body and structural rebalancing techniques as well as therapeutic massage.

Our process is simple. In our first consultation we construct a pain profile which involves a description of symptoms the client is experiencing as well as visual observations to assess balance. Our goal is to verify that the pain the client describes matches what we are seeing.  Our next step involves kinesiology testing to assess for structural or musculature weaknesses / imbalances that are responsible for the symptoms. Once we have gathered all the relevant data we can begin treatment sessions and allow the body to begin healing. Our results-oriented approach is always focused on helping our clients alleviate their pain, regain normal function and, through our holistic approach; support a happy, healthy, pain-free lifestyle!

Please contact Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy with your questions regarding sciatica pain or other conditions of which we may be of assistance. We would love to hear from you via the web or other social media outlets. For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

[a]Vega P, Charles MD http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/737594

[b] Peul, W. C., et al. (2007). Surgery versus Prolonged Conservative Treatment for Sciatica.

[c] Peul, W. C., et al. (2007). Surgery versus Prolonged Conservative Treatment for Sciatica.

[1] Peul, W. C., et al. (2007). Surgery versus Prolonged Conservative Treatment for Sciatica. The New England Journal of Medicine, 356(22), 2245-2256.

 

 

 

Running towards and Active Life!

Marathon Preparation with Massage Therapy at  Surgical Alternative of Tampa Bay!

Reaching the with help from Surgical Alternative, Massage Therapy of Tampa Bay!

Surgical Alternative helping athletes with massage therapy in Tampa Bay!

While searching through the Internet, I have found another great review.  This one comes from Brad on Facebook.

 

 

I saw Pam a few days before my first marathon and she helped me make sure my leg muscles were stretched properly. Thank you Pam!
I highly recommend you scheduling an appointment with Pam before and after high impact races or sporting activities. – Brad

That is what we love to hear.  Here at Surgical Alternative, Massage Therapy of Tampa Bay, we love that our work helps our clients stay active and live a fulling life.

Thank you Brad for the great review and recommending us to other athletes.  We enjoy what we do; however, we love when we see the benefits of massage therapy in our clients lives.

If you are are an athlete in Tampa Bay, suffer from chronic pain, and feel that massage therapy could help you, Please visit the Contact Us page of the Surgical Alternative website.

Good communication assists both the Massage Therapist and Client!

Massage Therapist and client communication is optimum!

In any field , communication is key between customer and business.  Massage therapy is no different.  Last night I found this great article on the AMTA website of the importance between Massage Therapist and Client that I would like to share with you!

According to a recent consumer survey by the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®), massage therapy is on the rise as a method of improving personal health. As interaction increases among massage therapists and their clients, both can benefit from tips on what to expect from their professional health relationship.

These tips, released in conjunction with National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, October 24 – October 30, 2010, cover issues of respect and privacy between the massage therapist and client, and promote dialogue to help select the best massage technique based on the client’s current health conditions.

“These are important tips as massage therapy use continues to rise, especially with people who see a massage therapist for health benefits and stress relief,” says Kathleen Miller-Read, AMTA president.

In fact, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles recently reported findings demonstrating that people who received a Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can ultimately lead to a boost in the immune system.

Understanding what to expect in a massage session will aid consumers having their first massage, and guide those who get frequent massages but may be changing therapists or searching for a professional therapist while traveling on business or vacation.

“Whether you are scheduling your first massage, or engaging a new therapist, these guidelines are beneficial to both parties and will help facilitate a positive, relaxing experience that ultimately benefits a person’s overall health,” says Miller-Read.

Massage clients should expect a clean, safe and comfortable environment before, during and after the massage, and should expect a licensed/registered/certified professional massage therapist, working within their scope of practice and in an ethical manner. In turn, massage therapists should expect their clients to be courteous and respectful of them as healthcare professionals.

The American Massage Therapy Association offers the following expectations for the massage recipient and the massage therapist:

What Should Someone Expect from their Massage & Massage Therapist?

  • A clean, safe and comfortable environment before, during and after the massage
  • Respect, courtesy, confidentiality and dignity
  • Privacy while changing and right to remove clothing only to their level of comfort for the massage
  • Draped appropriately by a sheet, towel or blanket, with only the area being massaged exposed
  • A licensed/registered/certified professional massage therapist, working within their scope of practice and in an ethical manner
  • Option to ask questions of the massage therapist and receive professional responses
  • Determine if there will be conversation, music or quiet during the massage
  • An explanation of the nature of the massage and techniques to be used in advance of starting the massage
  • The right to consent to the massage techniques and approaches, including manual pressure, used in the massage

What Should a Massage Therapist Expect from their Client?

  • Respect, courtesy and dignity
  • Treated as a healthcare professional
  • Timely arrival at massage therapy appointment
  • Complete and accurate disclosure of health/medical conditions during intake process
  • Communication of expectations of and concerns about the massage
  • Payment at time of service
  • Reasonable notice (usually 24 hours) in cancelling a massage appointment

While it is true that that you should keep a constant, good flow of communication between you and your massage therapist, some people are shy and that doesn’t always happen.  Please do not be afraid to communicate your issues with one of us here are Surgical Alternative.  We are here for you!

Another Great Review for Surgical Alternative! Thanks Charles!

Another Online Review for Surgical Alternative!

While going through the Surgical Alternative Facebook Page last night I happen to find another review! I was so excited I just had to share it with you today!

Pam is a talented and experienced massage therapist. ….really listens to her clients concerns and works to relieve pain. I enjoyed my time there and recommend my family and friends too – Charles

Thank you so much, Charles!  At Surgical Alternative, we strive to take extra measures to relieve both their minds and their painful conditions.

We are also very happy that you recommend us to your friends and family as well.  No matter how fast technology evolves, the best way to get the word out is by word of mouth.

That is why we love reviews and recommendations so much.  The more people who know about us, the more people we can help return to an active lifestyle.  If it was not for our clients, then Surgical Alternative would not be where it is today.

So, if you have a review, please Contact Us.  We would love to here about your experience with us.  You can also place them all over the internet, we have been finding them all over the place.

How Massage Therapy assists with Chronic Neck Pain!

Cnronic Neck Pain relief from Massage Therapy

How Massage Therapy can benefit clients with Chronic Neck Pain!

New Research shows how Massage Therapy can benefit clients suffering from chronic neck pain.  According to the study, chronic neck pain is number eight on the top ten disabilities in the United States and causes over 10 million medical care visits per year.

The study came to the conclusion that multiple 60 minute massage sessions are more effective than fewer or shorter sessions in clients with chronic back pain.  Therapists should recommend the amount of massage to benefit each client.

If you would like to read more information about the research, Click Here!

According to AMTA’s Consumer Survey, 88% of consumers surveyed believe that massage can be effective in reducing pain.

If you would like to read AMTA’s full article, Click Here!

Don’t forget, you can join the Surgical Alternative Family on Facebook!

The health benefits of massage therapy in cancer patients!

Therapeutic massage therapy in cancer patients!

The National Cancer Institute now says over have of their facilities offer massage therapy as part of treatment for their patients.Of coarse this is great for patients going through harsh and difficult treatments, but is it just therapeutic?

Studies have shown that massage decreases anxiety, depression, pain and fatigue.  These benefits can be extremely important to cancer patients, who are not only going through the stress of serious illness but are also having to handle the side effects of the medical treatments they go through; however, there are studies that show more benefits of massage therapy in cancer patients.

In 2007, a study out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital also found that gentle massage also increases cancer fighting lymphocytes.  One of the largest studies came out of Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.  The study measured and reviewed the amount of pain, depression, stress, fatigue, and nausea over 1,200 cancer patients and 12 massage therapists.  After the use of massage, score were cut in half; however, the effects were short term.

If you would like to read more on the effects of massage therapy on cancer patients, Click Here.

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