Incorporate Sports Massage to Become a Better Marathon Runner

marathonRunning can be very difficult on our muscles. It requires sustained contractions and a lot of force that shortens muscle fibers. This is the only way that we end up moving faster and further. But at the same time, it will lead to more than just shortened and tighter muscles. Your range of motion is also reduced and circulation of blood to tissues is decreased. For marathon runners like me, these are the risks we make whenever we train and race. Although I love running, I have to be aware how it affects my body too.

Because I wanted to make sure that I am able to run for many more years to come, I decided to incorporate the best sports massage in Melbourne Eastern Suburbs into my routine. I heard about this from other fellow runners before, and after reading up on its benefits, I became convinced that this is the best way to take care of my body and continue to do marathons.

Massage is a great idea to counteract the effects of running on your body. It will elongate your muscles and relieve tightness. At the same time, joint range of motion can be restored.

Another huge benefit of massage is that it makes your circulatory system more effective. This can, in turn, affect the transfer of oxygen and the removal of waste from your cells. This system is also responsible for bringing blood rich in glucose and electrolytes to your muscle tissue. Lastly, it cleanses your body by picking up by-products and waste from muscles. 

A more effective circulatory system will affect the other systems of your body as well. Surrounding cells and tissues receive more nutrients and oxygen. Your blood vessels will increase in diameter and blood pressure is decreased. This is very good for runners because the better function of your circulatory system will help us recover faster. Moreover, injuries can be prevented and we can even improve our performance.

A massage after training or a marathon can reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. Healing of connective tissues is improved. Other benefits include the reduction of both cortisol levels and norepinephrine and epinephrine levels. Even your posture and gait can be restored. Lastly, your breathing is improved because tight respiratory muscles are loosened.

To fully enjoy these advantages, one massage is not enough. This is why you have to incorporate it into your routine, because these effects accumulate and increase when you have repetitive and sequential sessions. 

Your massage therapy can also be part of a preventative program. And if you suffer an injury, massage can be part of the recovery process after going to the doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

Once you have found a reliable massage therapist, he or she can develop a plan specifically for you. This would depend on your running schedule, goals, and other factors. Regular sessions will be set, it can be done weekly, monthly or every two weeks. If you have recurring injuries or weaknesses, or targeting a new distance, take this into consideration. Even your budget is a main factor. Massages should be scheduled around dates of races or marathons. Sessions before a run should be done 3 to 5 days earlier and schedule one 3 to 5 days after as well. This is to make sure that muscles are not anymore sore. Do not forget to also drink a lot of water, to stretch and eat well as part of your routine.

Although running makes me feel good, and I would love to continue running for as long as I can, the fact is, it is also a sport that puts enormous pressure on our legs. In fact, forces equivalent up to 3 times of our body weight press down on our feet when we run. Imagine how much that is when we are running a long distance, like in a marathon. 

Your stretching routine before going for a run, though beneficial, is not enough. Only the middle of the muscles will reap the advantages, on the other hand, a good sports massage can take care of the entire muscle. Therefore, tightness can be adequately addressed. When the issue is resolved, then you can run normally and vigorously again without an pain or discomfort encountered.

Massage is not the complete solution, instead, it should be incorporated into your routine, along with proper stretching, warming up and cooling down, as well as a nutritious diet. This is the only way to make sure our bodies are ready and able to take on the demands of marathon running. So go and look for a great and reliable sports massage therapist to be your partner in achieving your running goals.

How Acupuncture Changed the Way I Looked at TCM and its Impact on Fertility

fertility acupuncture

I have always believed in Western medicine. There simply is something to other forms of medical belief systems that don’t sit well with me. While I do recognize the fact that there are certain things that still cannot be explained by science, I do believe that it is only a matter of time before the truth is eventually established. However, if the traditional medical practice has been used for many millennia, albeit with anecdotal evidence, is it not worth checking out whether acupuncture or even Chinese herbs for fertility work? I mean, sure science is supposed to know everything; but, what if science is also limited by man’s less-than-perfect understanding of his world? If tens of millions of people have benefitted from the use of traditional Chinese medicine yet unexplained by science, is it enough to discard TCM altogether?

My husband and I have been having problems conceiving. We went to doctors, the so-called fertility experts. We went through extensive laboratory and diagnostic tests to determine what is wrong, both me and my husband. My husband’s sperm cells were checked. My ovaries as well as hormonal profile were also checked. I was given some medications that I thought would get me ovulating more regularly. I’ve been on this treatment for 3 years and still no sign of getting pregnant. We had in-vitro fertilization and had to modify some of my lifestyle to really make it work. Unfortunately, while I did get pregnant, I was not able to carry it to term. I had a miscarriage at 4 months. You can just imagine the devastation. IVF is not cheap; not to mention the stress of having to really adhere to the other requirements of the therapy. This is when I started to question the effectiveness of Western medical treatments for fertility. I was desperate. I could see the frustration in my husband’s eyes as well. That’s when I knew it’s time to try TCM.

A friend of mine advised me to visit Freedom Chinese Medicine page to find out more, especially the range of services that they offer. Again, having been borne and raised in the idea that Western medicine is superior to traditional medical systems, I was really skeptical. But then again, what am I to lose?

Acupuncture, I found out, does not necessarily replace Western treatments but rather enhances the different physiologic processes of the body in order to increase the chances of success of these therapeutic procedures, particularly IVF. The idea is all about re-establishing the balance and harmony between and among the different organs of my body from my brain down to my ovaries and uterus. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that diseases or illnesses are the result of an imbalance in the flow of chi, an invisible force that gives life. An imbalance occurs when this life energy is blocked and cannot reach other parts of the body resulting in excess chi in one part and deficiencies in another. While I normally would like to hear a more scientific explanation to this, it actually made perfect sense.

What acupuncture does to the body, in terms of fertility problems, is that it enhances the functioning of the ovaries which provides a feedback loop to the brain which, in turn, regulates other bodily processes to help the ovaries get better. More importantly, acupuncture helps the ovaries receive all the nutrients and oxygen they need to function optimally especially in the maturation and release of healthier and more viable egg cells. For my husband, acupuncture also helped his testes produce healthier, more motile, and more acid-resistant sperm cells.

Freedom Chinese Medicine also introduced me to several Chinese herbs that have been used for thousands of years to help women to bear children. The mechanism of action of these herbal preparations are basically the same as acupuncture – reestablish balance. If there is deficiency, then something must be added. This is where ginseng, astragalus, and ho-shou-wu can help. If there is a heat syndrome, then it must be cooled down. Gardenia, lonicera, and phellodendron can help. If there is stagnancy, then the obstruction must be removed and the flow of energy facilitated. Salvia, carthamus, and persica can then be used.

I am now on my 6th month of pregnancy after having acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines for almost a year. And we didn’t require any medications nor any expensive in-vitro fertilization treatments. I do visit my obstetrician on a regular monthly basis complete with lab work and ultrasound imaging to see how the fetus is doing. And I cannot tell you how happy we are every time we see our baby’s image on the screen.

I never believed in non-Western medicine. But my experiences with acupuncture and TCM somehow opened my eyes to the fact that there are certain things in life that cannot be explained by science but it does not necessarily mean that they are useless.

6 Awesome Ways Drumming Can Benefit Kids

Kids playing drumsChildren are exposed to many things and exciting experiences that can hone how they see themselves and the things around them. Their age is also the time when you may notice their slow or fast development in several aspects of their being. This calls for immediate attention so they can grow normal, completely functional and able of carrying themselves. With this, it is very important to immerse them on activities that can foster their skills and body functions. One great way is to enroll them in a drumming class.

Drumming can help children development, which becomes more effective when they started at a very young age. If you’re not convinced, below are six awesome benefits of enrolling your kids in drumming class.

Greatly Improves Cognitive Functions                           

The development of cognitive functions is critical during the early years of an individual. This is why activities such as drum lessons for kids really matter. When kids participate in drumming sessions regularly, they are able to work on and improve their impulse control and attention. They are trained to effectively focus on details. In addition, they are also taught to become confident in their decision-making skills.

Significantly Improves Gross and Fine Motor Skills 

There are body movements that you won’t notice until you look at them closely. There are also body movements that are very obvious because of the big movements that each part of the body does. All these can be improved more when the kids are enrolled in drum lessons that require discipline. They can become more certain about every movement that they do because drumming trains them to strengthen their muscles. For example, playing a large drum such as the conga can highly develop their lower extremities.

Another Way of Communicating Effectively 

Communication is normally done using the tongue and mouth. We speak with others to express our thoughts. Writing is also another way, which we can use to be very exact about what we want to articulate. However, there are other meaningful ways of communicating with others without speaking or using the pen or computer. Drumming is one creative way to send your message to others. Usually, the message signifies unity and understanding. For example, kids are taught to listen to other kids who play the drums so they can play in the same rhythm and beat. This non-verbal way of communication is beneficial in upholding unity among them.

Great Way to Express Emotions 

Drumming can help children in many ways emotionally speaking. With a lively beat, they can express their happiness while playing with other kids. Playing the drum is also a great way to safely express what kids feel at the moment. In particular, banging the drum is an easy and creative way of releasing their anger or stress. The process of releasing negative feelings while playing the drums is immediately transformed into a process or activity that they will enjoy in the end. See, it only takes a few minutes to quickly change the bad mood into a good one.

Teaches Kids to Become Sociable           

When you enroll your kids to a drum class, you can expect that there are also other kids who are interested to learn to play drums. More probably, your kids don’t know the other kids yet. Your kids won’t be shy to interact with other kids because they are in the same venue with a common interest that will spark instant conversation between them. But aside from this, the actual activity of playing the drums is one way they interact with each other. In this way, they become sociable with the other kids because they are somewhat obliged to do so but in a very inspiring and encouraging way. In particular, they need to socialize with each other because of the collaborative nature of the activity. Drumming sessions teach them skills such as sharing and turn-taking. In the end, they will all feel that they have a part and have contributed significantly to the success of a drumming activity.

Helps Kids to Excel Academically 

Drumming undeniably improves the kids’ ability to effectively concentrate on the things they do. When they are able to concentrate well on their drumming activities, they can also do the same on their academic tasks. They can become more efficient in studying their different subjects such as arts, physical fitness, language, science, math and history.

Aside from these, there are also other benefits such as development of the different parts of the brain, improvement of listening skills, and kinesthetic development that your kids can enjoy. Apparently, drumming is not just a simple activity that can make the kids happy. Playing the drums is worthwhile activity that offers benefits that are truly essential to the kids’ growth and development. If you haven’t enrolled them yet, now is the time to ask them whether or not they are interested in hitting the drums.   

Factors to Consider Before Taking Health Supplements

health supplementsAs our generation becomes more aware of staying in shape and maintaining health and wellness, healthier food options, proper exercise, enough rest, as well as detoxification methods have become more popular over the years. Moreover, health professionals and fitness experts advise that in order to achieve your desired health condition and to cope with environmental stress, it is best to search for the best health supplements website.

In order to reap the benefits of these health supplements, one must consider which among them best suits his or her underlying health condition, age, allergic factors, and environmental circumstances. Below is a list of the factors to consider before ingesting health supplements in your daily diet:

  • Consult a physician before taking in dietary supplements – This should be the first thing on your checklist for a number of very apparent reasons. For example, a patient with an underlying case of diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension may be advised by a physician to avoid supplements that contain glucose and other ingredients that may cause palpitations. Although herbal dietary supplements are generally safe for most people, it is always a wise decision to seek medical advice before giving them to very young children. Additionally, pregnant women must take extra caution when it comes to the things that they ingest including these nutritional supplements as these may directly affect the development of their unborn babies. 
  • Consider your daily diets – There is such a thing as hypervitaminosis, a condition by which the body has an oversupply of certain vitamins that could potentially hamper its normal functions. Although vitamins and minerals are touted to be safe and effective when sourced from natural occurring raw materials, overdosage of some may lead to further health risks when taken in long periods. This is exactly where the doctor’s advice is mostly needed so as to learn the safe limits of a certain person depending on his daily food choices. 
  • The interaction between supplements and prescribed medicines – Adverse reactions may occur when orally taking health supplements together with prescribed medicines for some common illnesses. The combination of these medicines with the active ingredients of that from the health supplements in some cases may cause blood thinning and internal bleeding.

When searching on the internet for a reputable health supplements website, there are some vital things that you need to put into consideration. Some of them are as follows:

Information about the Product

In these times where advertising can be very deceiving, it is not easy to pinpoint which product is best to purchase when you enter Essential Health Foods store. This rings true with health supplements. When a health supplement is introduced through a website, it is essential to read the entire literature of the product. This is just like reading the label of a product before buying it in a supermarket. As you gather information and details, it would also be helpful to do your own research about the supplement. Another important aspect is the product consumers. Learn about their comments and testimonies in order to know if the product is worth an investment.

The People Behind the Website

You might want to remember that legitimate health websites are the ones moderated by health professionals such as physicians, dieticians, nurses and pharmacists. Although herbalists are sometimes considered when seeking health advice, it still pays to deal with licensed professionals to avoid unwanted effects.

The Mission of the Website

Some sites are built for business and introduce their products to the public to take in more cash for their companies; but there are others that genuinely aim to raise people’s awareness towards health and wellness. Be sure to distinguish first which ones have purposes that are beneficial to the general public.

Health claims and benefits should be backed up by reputable scientific research agencies in order to be considered as legitimate. Specific references that shows when, where, and who conducted these studies and researches should be emphasised on the website so that doubts and misleading information are prevented.

The market of health supplement is just too huge that you see tons of products in health and wellness stores as well as in online websites. To get the best supplement, explore product websites completely and get the best advice from a physician.

Treating Back Pain through Physiotherapy

back painOne of the most common discomforts that people experience today is back pain. This is often due to the sedentary way of life. Not enough physical activity and sitting for a long period of time play a role in back pain. The pain happens frequently and becomes chronic because there is no change in the daily activities whatsoever. A lot of people are prone to back pain especially those who are working in an office staring long hours at the. This stagnant posture which takes place five days a week, four weeks a month is tantamount to chronic back especially when no intervention is done. 

This condition can be treated through the use of physiotherapy, surgery and home remedies. Then again, there is no need always for surgery to treat your back pain. Prahran physiotherapy clinic for back pain can certainly help in the treatment of most cases of back pain. It is important to determine the real cause of your back pain before trying to find any treatment solutions. If it is a symptom of a certain disease such as herniated disc or bone fracture, you need to have the source treated right away. Back pain can be perceived as a simple body ache which can be treated with pain relievers or topical creams but when day-to-day activities are already being affected, it needs to be taken care of by a specialist. 

Generally speaking, physiotherapy is considered the first treatment method used for relieving back pain. This treatment is used without the need for surgery or medication. But there are times when the medical professional may also suggest surgery after physiotherapy for the purpose of restoration. 

How does physiotherapy help in treating back pain? 

Physiotherapy consists of active and passive treatment. The therapist may select from the two, or perhaps the combination of both of them, based on the type and extent of the pain. In the passive treatment, the patient does not actively participate during the process of these treatment options such as TENS unit, Iontophoresis, ultrasound, heat and cold packs. 

A heat pack is used to improve the blood circulation to a particular organ, while a cold therapy is used to address inflammation and muscle spasms, as well as slow down the blood flow. The TENS unit can be used to stimulate muscle tissues and cure muscle spasms. The ultrasound is a process used for relieving muscle stiffness, swelling, and many others. In addition to these, a deep kneading massage also works well for alleviating lower and upper back pain. 

On the other hand, active treatments are those that involve the patient in the activity. An active physiotherapy for back pain includes strengthening, stretching and low impact aerobics. Physical exercises such as stretching aid in the treatment and prevention of back pain. In the same manner, back strengthening exercises are effective for treating lower back pain. 

Be aware that there is no specific set of exercises that is performed by all people with back pain. Your therapist will advise you which best exercise is suitable for your needs. The two methods can be used for relieving pain. While the passive approach is applied for the overall relaxation of the body, the active treatment is useful for strengthening the body and also eliminate the discomfort of the condition. 

It is advisable that you should never carry out these exercise routines on your own without the professional assistance of your therapist. Incorrect exercises or asking the help of an unqualified therapist can worsen the pain even further. It is best to go to an authorized physiotherapy clinic that has a licensed professional therapist who can create a personalized plan for you to help relieve your back pain. 

With today’s fast-pace lifestyle where stress and pressure cannot be eliminated, back pain becomes a part of life. It can be prevented through proper exercise and improvement in posture. As for treatment, physiotherapy is the best resort. 

If back pain is causing you to be unproductive at work and inefficient to family errands, it is about time to consult with a physiotherapist. When attended by a specialist, you are assured of accurate treatment with positive results after some time. Compliance to doctor’s advice makes the healing process faster.

The Best Ways to Stay Healthy During Winter

winter healthWe all know that winter season is the hardest time when we need to keep up with cold and flu season. No one likes to feel sick and to have to go to a doctor, and be prescribed antibiotics and other drugs, but we cannot stay at privacy of our own home to stay away from all viruses and bacteria around us. So now is the best time to think about how to prevent this!

There are numerous ways of prevention, and we have chosen some pretty great tips for you to strengthening your immune system for the cold winter season! Here they are:

1) Consume a lot of water!Consuming the right amount of water will be great for your health in any time of the year, especially during the winter season.

2) Try to keep stress to a minimum! Stress is very bad for your immune system and recent studies showed that people with reduced amount of stress had minor chances of catching colds and flu. To keep the stress on a low level spend more time with friends and family and work reasonable hours at your work.

Eat Healthy

3) Eat healthier! If you maintain to have a good and healthy diet full of fresh vegetables and fruit, and keep organic meats, alcohol and other junk food away you will keep your body clean from toxins. Your immune system will be thankful.

4) Find the best supplement for your health! Fruits and vegetables are sometimes not enough, and you’ll want to boost your body with a supplement. Contact your nutritionist and ask for advice on what supplement will be the best for you and your lifestyle.

5) Get more sleep! If you try to get a right amount of sleep every night, you will feel much better! Sleep six to eight hours per night, that is the average amount and adult person needs. Without enough sleep your body will be weak and vulnerable to illness.

6) Washing your hands! Must be very regular, since it will keep viruses and bacteria away from your mouth and your eyes. A bottle of hand sanitizer will be good to have in your purse.

7) Stop smoking! Smoking weakens your immunity system and we don’t want that to happen during winter. If you can’t quit, try to keep it on minimal.

Stop Smoking

8) Eliminate sugar from your diet! Try to eliminate all forms of it. Read more about sugar on the internet and you will be surprised that you can also find it in pasta, bread, yogurt, rice, store-bought fruit juices etc.

9) Try to eat less! It will give your body rest from digestion and body will be ready to fight off potential viruses and bacteria.

We gave you some simple tips of what to do so keep your immune system in a good shape. And we hope that they will help you to stay healthy during the cold winter season! We are all looking forward to spring and better weather.