A few weekends ago, I spent three days learning how to provide safe massage to people with cancer, or who have a history of cancer. We had a very experienced teacher from the Greet the Day organization and great classmates (picture above). It was such a rewarding experience!
I learned so much about the treatment journey that people with cancer travel. I have many family members and friends who have suffered from cancer but I never knew how long and hard the treatments and side effects are. It's good to know that massage can be part of an integrative treatment plan for sufferers. On the third day, we had an oncology massage clinic and I was able to massage two lovely ladies. This was a new experience for these ladies, they had never had a massage. They were very pleased with the treatment and will be seeking massage again in the future.
Massage and other therapies such as Reiki, aromatherapy and restorative movement are various treatments that can be part of an integrative oncology care plan to help manage treatment-related side effects, and to improve the quality of life for people in active treatment, or with a history of cancer treatment. It is important that people with cancer, or who have had cancer, receive treatments like massage from an oncology-trained therapist not just during active treatment but for the rest of their lives.
I am pleased to now offer oncology massage in La Mesa. Please spread the word and let those who could benefit know!
Anyone who knows me, knows that Roses are my favorite flowers. I love growing them. I love the way they smell. I love the gigantic variety amongst them. I even have one in my logo. If you've been to my office in La Mesa (or when you visit soon), you'll find a beautiful rose garden in front of the building (pic above). It was a huge confirmation that my office was the right choice for my new business (and yes I do believe the Universe sends us signs).
While I was in Arizona recently, I discovered a new essential oil company, NHR Organic Oils, which has me really excited. NHR is located in England, a place where Aromatherapy has a long and respected place in the healing profession. I also want to complement the AZ store, Zona's Oils, in their excellent sourcing!
I was thrilled to acquire Rose essential oil. I've never had this particular oil before but have always desired it. I got poking around the internet and found this great article "19 Surprising Benefits of Rose Essential Oil." One of it's benefits is fighting depression and relieving anxiety. Used on a regular basis, rose essential oil can encourage positive emotions like joy, happiness, and hope. It seems rose essential oil would benefit many including seniors both on an emotional level while also boosting their immune systems. I look forward to using my new rose oil during therapeutic massage sessions to add some extra umph to the healing outcomes!
Recently I was visiting Palm Springs and had the great pleasure of spending a day at Two Bunch Palms. If you ever are in the neighborhood, I highly recommend this Spa to de-stress, enjoy the mineral baths, and receive one of their specialty treatments (I chose the Herbal Poultice, a full immersion mud bath followed by a massage, which uses a warm essential blend of oils and herbal poultices to soothe and detoxify the body.)
While there I had the delight of meeting Felina Danalis, who was teaching a "Meditation for Everyone" class. It was a great session as I was the only student that morning! While I have practiced meditation at times, I have never made it a regular practice. What I learned from Felina was that the power and benefits of meditation can only be achieved through everyday practice. Of course I immediately thought . . . how can I possibly squeeze meditation into my already busy life every day? But Felina walked me through some alternative strategies for incorporating meditation that have worked for other people. One paradigm shift for me was the idea that 10 minutes a day could create benefits IF practiced every day.
I know that when daily meditation was part of my Qi Gong classes at Pacific College, I did experience benefits:
In honor of Earth Day, I thought it fitting to share a major reason why I purchase and use dōTERRA essential oils and products in my business. Ethics are important to me, which includes respecting and honoring other people and our planet. I like that dōTERRA feels the same way:
"Cō-Impact Sourcing is an initiative that seeks to develop long-term, mutually beneficial supplier partnerships while creating sustainable jobs and providing reliable income in underdeveloped areas. dōTERRA is committed to the ethical treatment of its suppliers by providing on-time payments at fair prices. Growers and harvesters are encouraged to form cooperative groups to share collective benefits and bargaining power while improving skills and capacity."
There are many examples, Douglas Fir essential oil is one. dōTERRA's sourcing of this oil from New Zealand is helping to alleviate the environmental impacts this species (invasive in New Zealand) has had on the native plants there. In case you're curious about this oil's properties, Douglas Fir essential oil is used for it's energizing and calming properties.
Happy Earth Day to Everyone!
Recently I was sharing essential oil information at a health and wellness fair. At my table, I was diffusing Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) essential oil (EO). Aside from the wonderful smell, people were asking me about its uses. I was familiar with EO users talking about its immunity support and had heard stories of cancer patients using it but had no factual data on the subject. So I went to PubMed and looked it up. I found multiple articles, many too technical for my purpose. However, I did find a study done in the UK that used aromasticks in a cancer clinic with very good results:
So indeed, factual data does exist!
I was with friends recently and we were discussing massage. A few of my friends suffer from fibromyalgia and one commented that the massage experiences weren't always pleasant. In fact one therapist had refused to provide lighter pressure and objected to my friend calling a halt to the massage. That just made me sad (and angry)! Massage therapists ALWAYS need to listen to their clients. No one knows someone else's body better than they do. People's pain tolerance can vary from day-to-day based upon the season, their activities, medications, and many other reasons.
An unfortunate outcome for my friend was the decrease in motivation to seek massage. That's sad because massage greatly benefits those suffering from fibromyalgia in the following ways:
Had my 6 months cleaning at Dr. Wu's a few weeks ago and the hygienist was amazed with how great my teeth and gums were. I puzzled over this a bit . . . I knew that my electric toothbrush (Phillips Sonicare) had greatly improved the maintenance of my dental hygiene, but that's been the case for the last several years. So what had changed?
It dawned on me that I had changed toothpaste. I attended the mini health fair within the Del Mar Fair last summer and had purchased a new toothpaste, Davids. It's fluoride and sulfate free. It uses peppermint essential oil - so it also tastes good!
Ethically I also approved of its recyclable material and that it was 100% American made - really, what's not to like?! So I wanted to give a shout out about it and let others know what a great product it is.
I read a very interesting article today . . . something that I hadn't heard about before. It was an article about research that's been done over several years that proves Vitamin D levels can prevent colds and the flu. In many cases, Vitamin D supplements are as effective or more effective than the flu vaccine. Here's a key excerpt from the article:
"Most recently, a scientific review of 25 randomized controlled trials confirmed that vitamin D supplementation boosts immunity and cuts rates of cold and flu. Overall, the studies included nearly 11,000 individuals from more than a dozen countries."
If this topic has captured your attention, like it did mine, take a look at the article.
In honor of American Heart Month (February), I wanted to share some information that probably isn't common knowledge. Massage is GOOD for your heart in a multitude of ways.
Most folks are familiar with the concept of massage therapy for stress relief. However, did you know it can temporarily reduce blood pressure for up to 72 hours after a massage? It also can significantly reduce pain, anxiety and muscular tension, as well as enhance relaxation and satisfaction after cardiac surgery. Amazing!
More and more research is documenting the effectiveness of massage as an alternative health therapy that complements traditional medical treatment. Details about the research I've described above is available here:
Massage isn't just for relaxation. Over the last 20 years, an incredible amount of research has been done to validate the health benefits of massage therapy. Two groups of conditions, anxiety and depression, have indisputable documentation that proves they benefit from massage therapy.
According to the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork:
"Quantitative research reviews show that a series of Massage Therapy (MT) treatments consistently produces sizable reductions of depression in adult recipients. The effects of MT on anxiety are even better understood. Single sessions of MT significantly reduce state anxiety, the momentary emotional experiences of apprehension, tension, and worry in both adults and in children, and multiple sessions of MT, performed over a period of days or weeks, significantly reduce trait anxiety, the normally stable individual tendency to experience anxiety states, to an impressive degree in adults." (1)
Did you know anxiety affects about one in eight adults living in the US? The following disorders fall under the heading of anxiety (and this is not an inclusive list):
As is true for many health conditions, holistic approaches to treatment of depression and anxiety may yield improved outcomes. I would encourage other practitioners and patients themselves to include massage therapy in their course of treatment given its proven results.
1) Moyer, C. A. "Affective Massage Therapy." International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork 1, no.2 (2008): 3-5.