SAUNA USE LEADS TO A HEALTHIER BRAIN AND MORE
Listening to a pod cast about how to improve muscle growth, endurance and generate better brain function has me really excited today. To sum up what Dr. Rhonda Patrick presented: If you use the sauna for "Hyperthermic Conditioning" you can increase your body's production of Growth Hormone. Science has proven that Growth Hormone (IGF-1) increases muscle while reducing fat, helps repair lean muscle, increases the growth of new brain cells, AND it prevents your brain cells from dying. You can also increase your body's production of Growth Hormone with strenuous exercise but your body will become acclimated to strenuous exercise over time and it will be less effective. BUT you can use the sauna for 30 minutes a day and enhance your body's performance. This is less stressful on the body and just as effective! But don't stop exercising all together, you just add the sauna on those days when you need a rest from pounding the pavement or slamming the weights. Super simple, super effective, sit in the sauna for 30 minutes.
This is the video: http://youtu.be/aHOlM-wlNjM
Who should not use a sauna is answered in this article from the American Journal of Medicine: http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(00)00671-9/abstract
Sauna use leads to a healthier brain, enhances endurance, and increases muscle while reducing fat!
REDUCE STRESS WITH A MASSAGE IN CARSON CITY
Massage is defined as systematic manual or mechanical manipulations of the soft tissues of the body for therapeutic purposes, including stress reduction. Some of the physiological benefits are improved muscle tone, circulation, and glandular activities. It promotes health and wellness while reducing stress. Soreness and stiffness of muscles will also get relief.
A professional massage also benefits all the other systems of the body. For example; a massage therapist can use cross-fiber friction and compression movements to help prevent the formation of adhesions and fibrosis in muscles. A therapist may also use friction, vibration and percussion movements to produce a stimulation effect on the nervous system, while gentler strokes such as petrissage produce a sedative effect for the relief of tension. Massage movements that are directed toward the heart will facilitate the flow of blood and lymph back toward the heart. All these movements improve the circulation of blood, which in turn supplies beneficial nutrients to the skin.
Because mind, body and spirit are one, massage is a good start in the pursuit of your personal practice and process for stress reduction.
Massage should be avoided if you have a condition that appears to be a contraindication (medically inadvisable) to massage. Similarly, if you have a medical or mental condition that needs medical attention such as pain, redness, swelling or high temperature, massage should be avoided.
In a future musing, I hope to discuss simple roles we can take on for our own state of health and wellness. These include meditation, exercise, low-fat/high fiber diet, the balance between work and play, keeping a positive mental and spiritual attitude, healthy aging and stress resistance, the benefits of epsom salt baths and essential oils, self-acupressure for common ailments and more on massage. My source for much of this information came from; Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage by Mark F. Beck
Lisa Crowley @ Paradise Salon/Spa/Wellness is your massage therapist in Carson City.
ARTHRITIS PAIN RELIEF TIPS AND TRICKS
First, what is arthritis? (Source: Arthritis Foundation)
Simply put it is painful inflammation of the joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis... Symptoms are joint pain, swelling, stiffness, a loss of range of motion, plus pain can be moderate to severe, coming and going, etc. Diagnosing arthritis is complex, but we are not focusing on diagnosis. That is for you and your doctor to do together.
What can you do about arthritis pain?
Here are a few GENERAL actions you can take to relieve the pain of arthritis.
Regular non-impact physical activity (water exercise is excellent)
Maintaining a healthy weight (diet is #1, eating fresh healthy food)
Strengthening the muscles around the joint for added support
Balancing activity with rest (a good night’s sleep is priceless)
Using hot and cold therapies (ice packs, warm water soaks, sauna)
Qigong can be used for relief from arthritic discomfort as well
What is Qigong?
Life is energy. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the word for that life-force energy. Qi is everywhere, it’s in the earth, the galaxy, and your body. Qigong is meditation with movement; a conscious form of very gentle exercise. Qigong enhances the body’s natural healing abilities, it helps you to cultivate Qi through slow movements, smooth breathing, and focused thoughts.
The Chinese physician believes Qi imbalance is the cause of many illnesses. An emphasis is put on rebuilding the overall health and strength of spirit of the person, restoring a proper supply of Qi and blood to the body’s cells.
Aquatic Qigong called Ai Chi is taught in the warm saltwater pool at Paradise.
Theory: There are 3 levels of relaxation. The first level is postural relaxation. The second is relaxation of the muscles & tendons. The third is deep relaxation reaching into the internal organs, allowing you to sense their state. In the case of Qigong treatment for arthritis, when you have reached the third level of relaxation you can lead the qi deeply into the joint where it will repair the damage. And so the Qigong treatment must begin with relaxed and gentle movements to smoothly increase Qi circulation. The first stage of treatment is to learn how to relax and avoid muscle/tendon tension and stress, which can increase pressure on the joint and continue to damage it. (This is why water is wonderful, the buoyancy takes all the stress off the joints.) You must also place your mind on the tender joints. The more you bring your mind deeply into the joint and relax it, the more Qi will circulate smoothly and freely to repair the damage. The best time to practice Qigong is in the morning, it gets your energy flowing after being still all night.
Practical: XU HONGTAO MEDICAL QIGONG SELF MASSAGE
Sitting comfortably with relaxed muscles, take 9 slow deep breaths, women L (left) hand over R(right), Men R hand over L, placed on the low belly. Your mind is calm focusing on what is going on inside your body. Visualize energy in your body moving, taking away stagnant or stale Qi.
- Warm your hands by rubbing them together 9 or 18 times
- Make 3 slow circles around your eyes, feel the warmth from your hands
- Brush your hands over & around your ears 3 times, combing your hair back
- Make 3 sweeping strokes down the back of your neck and shoulders
- Make 3 sweeping strokes downward on the chest
- Make 3 sweeping strokes downward on the front of your hips
- Make 3 strokes down reaching as high as you can on the kidney region (low back)
- Make 3 inward circles around kneecaps, 3 outward circles around kneecaps
- Make 3 long sweeping strokes down the outside of the legs
- Make 3 long sweeping strokes UP the inside of the legs
- Make 3 circle strokes around the elbow joint, women L then R, men R then L
- Make 3 long strokes down each arm, women L then R, men R then L
REPEAT 3, 6 or 9 times, ending as you started, sitting comfortably… etc.
Some more tips for success:
- Do not do heavy exercises when inflamed, gently massage the joint & do light Qigong.
- When you have less pain & stiffness, take advantage & practice a little more.
- Don’t overdo it. If you have significant pain 2 hours after, you overdid it.
- Practice a comfortable length of time and gradually increase the repetitions.
- Focus your mind on the body part, imagine breathing in and out of the joint.
- Practice in nature for maximum benefits.
- Bundle up if cold increases your arthritis pain.
- As always, your doctor is the one to talk to before beginning a new exercise routine.
- This Qigong self massage is a tiny sampling of the EXPANSIVE knowledge in traditional Chinese Medicine.
- Use anti-oxidants to help reduce inflammation. We personally recommend SOD, CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Turmeric Curcumin, Hawaiian Astaxanthin, or Vitamin C, along with a diet rich in dark colored fruits and vegetables.
I hope this helps you get relief.
Starr Nixdorf, ATRIC