Traci Hardin’s Massage Q & A

Q: Can massage help or hurt my arthritis?
A: Clinical trials have shown that massage therapy can improve flexibility, reduce pain, improve range of motion, and the relaxation that comes with massage can aid arthritis patients with achieving deep sleep. The Arthritis Foundation says recent research suggests that massage can affect the body’s production of certain hormones related to blood pressure, anxiety, heart rate and other vital signs. The Foundation also refers to a study of 401 people with chronic low-back pain that found massage did lessen their pain, and the benefits lasted at least six months. Traci Hardin believes massage can help your arthritis but still recommends that arthritis sufferers, especially those with rheumatoid arthritis, speak to their doctor before making an appointment for massage and bring in a doctor’s note.

Q: What is vacuum therapy and what can it be used to treat?
A: Vacu therapy, cupping or Medicupping™ are different phrases used for the same treatment. Vacu therapy began as cupping therapy, an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine using local suction on the skin to mobilize blood flow to promote healing. An impressive aspect of today’s method is the “separation” that happens in tissue layers. This procedure allows water absorption and boosts blood flow to malnourished and dehydrated tissue. This technique provides a route for inflammation to move to the skin’s surface for elimination. Vacu therapy can help those living with diabetes, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. This technique can also release rigid scar tissue, aiding post-surgical patients. Another effect of Vacu therapy is nervous system sedation which can help with insomnia, auto-immune disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Q: What is an ionic foot detox and does it really work?
A: An ionic foot cleanse or detox is used to improve energy levels and purge toxins. The foot detox can also make the body’s pH more alkaline if unbalanced. Disease flourishes in an acidic environment so a more balanced or more alkaline body should be less prone to illness. Clients have reported less fluid retention, lowered blood sugar and bad cholesterol levels, improved memory, improved bladder control and circulation, and headache and arthritis pain relief following this treatment.
This treatment works by osmosis when a conductor with metals is put into salt water with the feet and the control unit sends a mild electrical current. This causes the water’s minerals and the metals to produce positively and negatively charged ions. There are claims that the resulting brown or discolored water is the result of the releasing toxins but really this is caused by a chemical reaction between the electricity and the salt water. The foot detox can be helpful to those with GI disorders, skin conditions, fungal or yeast infections and cancer.

Q: I have been told I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), can massage help me?
A: Massage therapists are being called upon more frequently to offer alternative therapy to those suffering from PTSD. Those with PTSD are reliving a traumatic event and are always in a heightened state of anxiety. The body cannot escape this anxiety and flood the system with stress hormones. Massage therapy can understandably relax tense muscles to ease the physical pain. Massage also triggers the body’s relaxation response, breaking the cycle of anxiety. Massage therapy, plus other alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture and exercise can all be beneficial parts of an overall treatment plan for those with PTSD. Always disclose any diagnoses with Traci prior to your massage so she may more effectively treat you.

Q: Could massage therapy help my chronic headaches or even migraines?
A: Massage therapy has shown to be effective in treating migraines and tension headaches. If your headaches are a result of tension or stress it could be caused by muscle spasms, trigger points, neck alignment, hormonal/chemical changes, dehydration or anxiety. Massage can increase blood flow to an area and therefore relieve pain. Chronically tight muscles can be loosened greatly with massage which can aid in neck alignment. Massage has also been shown to reduce levels of Cortisol, a stress hormone. So not only can massage help relieve headache pain, it can also help to prevent headaches from happening in the first place. If you do suffer from chronic headaches, please speak with a doctor to eliminate more serious causes. Be sure to disclose as much information about your headaches to Traci so she may develop the most effective therapy plan for you.

Q: I have carpal tunnel syndrome, is it safe to have a massage?
A: In a word, Yes, and Traci is the correct therapist to help. Massage therapists agree that clients with carpal tunnel syndrome should only use therapists with an above-average understanding of anatomy and physiology. Professional massage can reduce the pain of carpal tunnel. A 2010 study by the University Of Miami School Of Medicine showed that routine massage can also improve the strength of grip. Researchers also found that following massage, those with arthritis, fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel slept better. Hot stone therapy proved especially beneficial to those with carpal tunnel. Traci will want input from the client on the correct amount of pressure. A full-body session with concentration on the wrist is most beneficial as there may be other structures of the body contributing to the problem area. Be sure to disclose any diagnosis of carpal tunnel on the intake form when you arrive.

Q: I have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis; could massage help my foot pain?
A: Deep tissue massage can be used to help treat plantar fasciitis. Stretching, massage and ice is the first line of defense and treatment for this painful foot condition usually experienced by runners and caused by over exertion or strain. After suspending the activity that aggravates the foot or feet, massage can alleviate some of the inflation and pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Deep tissue massage relaxes muscle tissue, eliminates toxins and ensures better blood circulation and oxygen to the injured foot. A massage therapy treatment plan for plantar fasciitis should be applied to both feet even if only one foot is injured. Those suffering from this condition should be proactive as plantar fasciitis can get worse and resistant to treatment the longer it is present, says www.RunnersWorld.com.

Q: Can I get a massage when I have the flu or a cold?
A: NO. Please reschedule. You may feel worse after a massage. Stuffy noses make it harder to breathe while laying down to receive a massage. We don’t want to spread the germs either. You will need to reschedule when you don’t have one.