);
Category

Health

Fruits and vegetables are part of a veganism diet

The Rise of Veganism

By Diet, Health No Comments

Why is Veganism so Popular?

More and more people are making the decision to switch over to plant-based and vegan diets and lifestyles. Moving towards these lifestyles not only provide health benefits, but also benefit the world we live in. For those that enjoy meat, you might be wondering, why would you cut it out?

In order to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle, it’s good to understand the reasons why. Since it is a big change, connecting the lifestyle to your values and morals is important. Some people go vegan because they value the lives of animals while others go vegan solely because of the health benefits.

Health Benefits

In order to sustain yourself on a plant-based diet, you have to make sure you are consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, and more. All of these options are very healthy and are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You still have to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to live well. Because they are so nutrient-dense, a vegan diet can reduce the risk of health conditions like:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • And more

Veganism is a diet that is healthy and consists of eating vegetables and fruits

It doesn’t matter how old you are; a vegan diet can benefit you at any age. Plant-based diets require cutting out all the animal products. This can impact the food industry and the environment.

Environmental Impacts

For those that choose to be vegan because of animal welfare and environmental purposes, they have good reasoning. The production of meat and other animal products uses up our natural resources in an inefficient manner. Since the demand for meat has only gone up over the years, the industry is taking over more than half of all agricultural space. 60% of worldwide deforestation is due to transforming land into agricultural land for raising cattle. By choosing a plant-based lifestyle, you aren’t contributing or supporting the meat production industry. It contributes less air pollution and doesn’t requires as many natural resources since it doesn’t require as much land.

Veganism is good for the environment

The meat industry in itself isn’t the most ethical, as documentaries and articles have shown over the years. Animals are kept in tight spaces and are treated poorly. Their living conditions are terrible until the day they are slaughtered. Some people find this good enough reason to give up meat entirely, but others might find it harder to understand why people choose to go vegan.

Ultimately, it comes down to this:

  • Plant-based and vegan diets are healthy for the human body and the environment
  • We are using up too many resources on meat production alone
  • The poor treatment of animals in slaughterhouses touches upon the heart of some people

Meat and animal products are a large part of society, but if more people moved towards a plant-based and vegan lifestyle, they could reduce the damage that is being done to our environment.

Coronavirus is global

The Coronavirus is a Global Threat

By Community, Health No Comments

The coronavirus has impacted the whole world. The fear is mounting and even in San Diego there are cases that are causing people to worry. But, we aren’t helpless. We have the ability to fight the coronavirus and change how we live. One of the best ways to do it is taking good care of our wellness so that our immune systems are strong to fight the coronavirus. Let’s ensure that we are doing our best to prevent the spread of the virus for the sake of our own health and the others around us. ICOHS College in San Diego is here to help with some tips and tricks to help prevent the virus from spreading:

1.       Maintain the body in an alkaline state. A body with high alkaline pH levels doesn’t get sick as often as a body with acidic pH. There is a wide variety of foods and substances that can help raise your alkaline level:

–          Magnesium chloride
–          Sodium bicarbonate
–          Olive oil and lemon juice
–          Turmeric tea
–          Ginger
–          Black pepper

–          Lemon juice diluted in water (without sugar)

2.       Start taking high quality vitamin C and, if you have children or elderly people in your family, be sure they take it as well. Vitamin C is important in maintaining a healthy and strong immune system. Its recommended daily intake is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. You can find a high-quality vitamin C supplement or get your daily dose from foods.

3.       Wash your hands consistently throughout the day with antibacterial soap. Soap kills any bacteria and germs that might find their way onto your hands.

4.       Avoid places where there is a crowd and close contact with people. Masks with professional grade filters are good as well if you want to be safe.

5.       Eat beef liver. It’s a nutrient-dense super food that can help boost the immune system. They are full of vital vitamins and nutrients. Beef liver can be cooked in a variety of ways and tends to be on the affordable side compared to other cuts of meat.

6.       Drink carrot and orange juice. Carrot juice is full of beta-carotene, Vitamin B, and other minerals. Orange juice is loaded with Vitamin C. You could also choose to eat oranges and carrots if you don’t want to drink juice. Sprouts and Trader Joe’s in San Diego carry great options of organic juices that you can purchase. The carrot and ginger juice is an efficient one for strengthening your immune system.

7.       Drink fennel tea twice a day. It has the same substance that is in the medicine used to treat the flu. It can also reduce stress, detoxify the body, and more, according to Medical News Today.

8.       Cut down on sugar. Sugar makes our bodies more acidic and prone to several health problems.

9.       Stay home if you’re feeling sick so you don’t put others at risk for catching the common cold. Getting sick already means that your immune system is lowered, therefore you want to be sure you give yourself time to recover and don’t put others at risk.

According to UC San Diego Health, the general public of San Diego is still at low risk for the coronavirus. They want to ensure the public that it is still safe and any patient that tests positive will remain in isolation until CDC makes a determination. They also stated that a person needs to be within 6-8 feet of someone with the virus in order to be at risk of being infected. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves and others, so be sure to share this with your friends and family.

ICOHS College offers a Holistic Health Practitioner program that prepares students to become Holistic professionals and use various forms of health care with a focus on promoting natural healing. 

Health and wellness in 2020

Health and Wellness Trends in 2020

By Diet, Health No Comments

A new decade has begun. It’s another chance for renewal, change, and growth. It’s good to start off a new chapter with healthy habits, positive thinking, and self-love. As humans, we are constantly striving to be the best version of ourselves. Here are the health and wellness trends of 2020 that may help you move a step closer to that goal.

Plant-Based

Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or are still a meat-eater, plant-based foods and meats are on the rise. Aside from the argument of plant-based foods is better for the environment, they are also good for our bodies. Eating too much meat, especially red meats and processed meats, can increase the risk of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Plant-based diet
Plant-based meats are becoming more common. They are good alternatives for meat if you are vegetarian or vegan or attempt to decrease your meat consumption. The research and development of plant-based meats have improved, and the alternatives are becoming less distinguishable from the real thing. If you are transitioning into a fully plant-based diet or a flexitarian diet, these plant-based meat alternatives can be helpful in making the transition smoother and easier.
We are becoming a more eco-conscious society as an awareness of the reality of climate change increases. According to the World Animal Protection report, over 250,000 animals are being saved annually due to the rise of plant-based alternatives.

Mindfulness

Meditation and staying mindful were shown to be on the rise in 2019. Studies have shown that meditation improves mental health, relieves stress, and improves overall well-being. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of meditating, it just means you haven’t found the right type of meditation that works for you.
There are many ways to meditate and no one is limited to a certain type. If you’re just starting out, any guided meditation may be helpful in beginning your journey towards mindfulness and peace of mind. Mindfulness meditation focuses on staying present and focusing on your thoughts through simple observation. It’s one of the most popular meditation techniques in the U.S. and it’s one of the easiest ones to practice alone.
There are other types of meditation practice like spiritual, focused, movement, and more. But, mindfulness meditation is the more common one amongst those that want to include mindfulness into their regular routine.

Home Workouts

Going to the gym can be a hassle and takes time out of your day. Working in the comfort of your own home has been increasingly more popular. With home workouts, you don’t have to pay for a membership, spend the time commuting or deal with other people (unless you enjoy the community).
With the internet, we have access to an array of information from our phones and computers. It’s easy to find resources to help build our own work out routines that we can do in our homes. Home fitness equipment has also become very sophisticated. If you choose to purchase them, you can build your own home gym that could rival commercial gyms.

CBD

CBD, or cannabidiol, products became bigger in 2019 and will continue rising as this new decade continues. CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis that is non-psychoactive. Don’t get it confused with THC, which is the cannabinoid that gets you high. CBD mainly helps with pain, anxiety, acne, and sleep.
The CBD industry is still new, but it is growing slowly. There are a variety of products that include CBD like muscle balms, lotions, and oils. They are starting in include CBD in food as well. Most CBD products have not been FDA approved, though, so you have to be cautious about what products you buy.

Circadian Health

As busy students and adults, we’ve been very obsessed with sleep; from counting the hours of sleep we need to get in order to feel rested to buying an array of products to help us get better quality sleep. Even after all this time, many of us struggle with getting a healthy amount of rest. As we enter this new decade, our focus might shift from sleep to our circadian health.
Our circadian rhythm influences our sleep-wake cycles, eating habits, body temperature, and more. If we are able to optimize our circadian health, then it will improve many aspects of our lives, including our obsession with sleep.
There are many ways to help improve your circadian health. The type of light we are exposed to and the timing of it can have a big effect on our sleep schedule. It’s good to avoid blue light, the light that is emitted from our device screens, before going to bed. It’s also good to get sun, exercise regularly, and lower stress. This could all help improve your circadian rhythm and improve your overall health and wellness.
Learn about different massage types at ICOHS College

6 Popular Massage Therapy Techniques

By Health, Massage Therapy No Comments
Massage therapy can help people of all types depending on the type of massage technique. Massage therapists word in hotels, spas, resorts, clinics and more. Massage therapy can be used to help those that are dealing with injuries, those that need stress-relief, and those that just want to experience the benefits of massage.
There is a variety of massage techniques that massage therapists can learn and practice. Each one can help with different types of issues ranging from muscle pain, back pain, and more.
Deep Tissue Massage
This technique focuses on treating musculoskeletal issues, like strains and sports injuries. As the name suggests, it involves applying a lot of pressure in slow and deep strokes. This helps target the inner layers of your muscles and tissues in order to reduce tension and break down any scar tissue that tries to form following an injury.
Deep tissue massage can help alleviate the pain that stems from deep in the muscles. After receiving a deep tissue massage, you might feel sore due to the amount of pressure that is used. But, the long-term benefits are worth the temporary pain.
Shiatsu
Shiatsu originated from Japan. It focuses on the acupressure points in the body in order to relieve stress and pain. The goal is to stimulate the acupressure points to improve the flow of energy within the body. This can help relieve stress, treat pain, and contributes to overall health.
Unlike other types of massage, there is no oil or lotion that is used. Massage therapists that do shiatsu massage therapy rely on their fingers, thumbs, and palms to apply pressure to parts of the body. It can regulate nervous system activity and promote good circulatory and lymphatic health.
Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is actually the standard type of massage that is offered in most spas, clinics, and more. Therapists will start with lotion or oil paired with broad general strokes to start the massage. Then, they transition into focusing more on your problem areas.
This the type of massage you might be most familiar with, especially if you’ve gotten a massage before. There are a handful of strokes that Swedish massage therapy uses regularly. It helps provide full-body relaxation for those looking for pain and stress relief.
Reflexology
Reflexology focuses on applying different levels of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. Unlike other types of massage, it is only focused on these parts of the body. Those that practice this technique are known as reflexologists.
Reflexology is based on the idea that areas of the foot are linked to organs and systems of the body. This means that when pressure it applied to these areas, it is believed to bring relaxation or healing to the linked area of the body. There are foot charts that indicate which specific parts are linked to each part of the body.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massages are quite common in spas. This type of massage is done by placing smooth, black stones are that slightly hot on the shoulders and back. The warmth of the stones can make people feel more relaxed. Heat relaxes the muscles which allows the massage therapist to work deeper into the muscles while applying less pressure.
This technique shouldn’t be painful at all. Even though the stones are heated, they shouldn’t be heated to the point of causing the patient pain. If you ever feel pain during a massage therapy session, please be sure to tell your massage therapist.
Aromatherapy Massage
An aromatherapy massage is actually a subset of Swedish massage therapy, but they use oils and lotions that contain essential oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant oils that usually have a relaxing aroma. When you inhale the essential oil scent or absorb them in your skin, it is thought to affect your emotions in a positive way.
Essential oils are used for aromatherapy
Some examples of essential oils used are lavender, rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, and chamomile oil. There are more that have different properties that range from calming to energizing. Essential oils may cause an allergic reaction, so you should be cautious and aware before getting an aromatherapy massage.
If you’re interested in becoming a massage therapist and learning some of these techniques, check out our massage therapist program: https://icohs.edu/programs/professional-massage-therapist/
Woman bathing in milk

What are the benefits of Milk Baths?

By Health No Comments

Milk does a body good

Don’t have the time or money to go to a spa? There are a variety of self-care activities you can do in the comfort of your own home; taking a milk bath is one of them. You don’t always have to go to a spa in order to relax and feel great.
A milk bath is exactly what it sounds like; soaking in a tub full of hot milk. It might sound strange at first, but there is a variety of benefits you can take advantage of. Milk baths date back to the ancient Romans.

Milk Bath Benefits

None of these benefits are scientifically proven, but there is anecdotal evidence that milk baths might provide skincare benefits.
Due to the fats and proteins in milk, bathing in it can make your skin feel smoother. Milk also contains lactic acid which can help gently exfoliate your skin. Lactic acid is commonly used in skincare products, like lotions and moisturizing creams.
To make your milk bath more relaxing, you can add essential oils, herbs, or fragrance. This will add another element to your bath and could make soaking in it more enjoyable. You can also do self-massage techniques on yourself to add to the experience. Since the milk makes your skin silkier, it will make massaging yourself easier.
Milk baths may help with dry skin and other skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and more. However, be sure to ask your doctor before you take a milk bath if you have any of these conditions.


How Do I Prepare a Milk Bath?

Milk baths are super easy to do at home! You can use milk that you drink to take a milk bath. You don’t want to use pure milk, because that will make you feel sticky and be very costly. It’s good to dilute the milk with the bathwater. It’s better to add the milk after you’ve filled the tub with water, otherwise, you’ll get little bubbles in your bath. Usually, it’s around one to two cups of milk for one tub of water. If you didn’t want to use liquid milk, you can even use powdered milk. Just add about one to two-thirds of a cup of the powdered milk into the warm bathwater. It’s as simple as that.

You can still take a milk bath even if you’re lactose intolerant! However, if you have a true milk allergy, it’s not a good idea to take a milk bath. It might cause an allergic reaction. Milk baths can be a fun way to spice up your at-home spa treatment. It can be soothing for your skin and an easy way to relax in the comfort of your own home.

Flexitarian meals are made up of vegetables and less meat

Flexitarianism: The Flexible Diet

By Diet, Health No Comments

What is Flexitarianism?

What does it mean to be “Flexitarian”? The word originated from the 1990’s and describes someone that consumes mainly plant-based foods with occasional meat or fish. It is a combination of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian.” In simple terms, flexitarian eating is the reduction of meat.

Health Benefits

With flexitarianism, you receive similar benefits as you would if you were a vegetarian. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and help with weight loss. Consuming anything in excess can be bad for your health, so meat reduction alleviates issues like high cholesterol and more.

Environmental Benefits

By reducing meat consumption, you might be helping improve the environment. The way meat is produced emits a lot of greenhouse gases that are negatively affecting our planet. Reducing meat consumption is one step closer to lowering the emission of greenhouse gases. It is also one step closer to maybe eliminating meat entirely from your diet.

Flexitarian Criticism

You might be wondering, why be flexitarian when you can just be full-on vegetarian? How can you be semi-vegetarian? There are others that ask the same questions. The arguments for a flexitarian diet could easily be used for a vegetarian diet. The only difference is that flexitarians still consume all types of meats, just rarely. There is no counter-argument

against this, except for the fact that they wanted to have a name to define this type of diet.

Flexitarianism is still a positive step towards healthier living that also benefits the environment. Even though some might be opposed to the term, it’s too late to go back now. Flexitarianism is being talked about more and more. For some, eliminating meat entirely might sound too hard, so opting for flexitarianism is still beneficial for those that want to improve their health and environment.

Cannabis has many positive effects and benefits

Cannabis Effects and Benefits

By Health No Comments

The Benefits Are Endless

The interest has grown in cannabis since it has become legal in California and other states. Cannabis is now being sold recreationally and medically in the state of California. Anyone that is over the age of twenty-one has access to this plant. Research on the health benefits of cannabis is continuously growing. Here are five benefits of using cannabis:

1)      Chronic pain treatment

Cannabis can reduce chronic pain and improve the quality of life for those that suffer with it. Cannabis has cannabinoids which have been linked to the reduction of chronic pain. According to a patient survey on the therapeutic effects of cannabis, the average reported pain relief was sixty-four percent relative decrease in pain.

2)      Reduces nausea

CBD, a cannabinoid found in cannabis that doesn’t get you high, showed promise in alleviating nausea. Nausea can be caused by many things because it is a symptom. It’s your body telling you that something is wrong through your nervous system. Since cannabis interacts with our cannabinoid receptors and alters the signals in our brain, it could help block nauseous sensations.

3)      Improves sleep outcomes

THC, a cannabinoid found in cannabis, is known for inducing sleep. In a 2008 study, it was found that it reduces the amount of REM sleep you get, which means reducing dreams and potentially nightmares. If taken moderately and properly, cannabis could be used to help alleviate insomnia and improve quality of sleep.

4)      Stress and anxiety relief

Cannabis can help reduce stress and anxiety as well. Even though cannabis is known to induce anxiety, if used moderately and in the right way, it can help alleviate anxiety. In a patient survey conducted in Hawaii, fifty percent of respondents reported relief from stress and anxiety.

5)      Helps with ADHD/ADD

Cannabis might also help with ADHD by increase the availability of dopamine in the brain. ADHD is caused by a shortage of dopamine, a neurotransmitter related to memory and attention. The medications that are normally used to treat ADHD/ADD stimulate the production of dopamine, but they also interfere with the breakdown of it. Cannabis might be able to provide a way to treat ADHD/ADD without the adverse side effects if administered properly.

References

de Sola Llopis, S, Miguelez-Pan, M, Peña-Cassanova, J, Poudevida, S, Farré, M, Pacifici, R, Böhm, P, Abanades, S, Verdejo-Garcia, A, Zuccaro, P, de la Torre, R (2008 a). Cognitive performance in recreational ecstasy polydrug users: a two-year follow-up study. Journal of Psychopharmacology 22, 498–510.

Webb, C. W., & Webb, S. M. (2014). Therapeutic benefits of cannabis: a patient survey. Hawai’i journal of medicine & public health : a journal of Asia Pacific Medicine & Public Health73(4), 109–111.
massage can benefit your immune system

Does Massage Boost the Immune System?

By Health, Massage Therapy No Comments

Activate Your Immune System

A new study conducted by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, suggests that massage therapy can do more than just relax your muscles and help you feel better. It might also benefit your immune system since they found that people who get a massage show changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response.

According to the results of the study, massage may have caused a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and an increased number of lymphocytes, one of the three types of white blood cells. White blood cells are important in helping the body fight off infections and sickness. They play a large role in our immune system and keeping us healthy.

There has been more research on the effect of massage therapy on the immune system. Research shows that massage therapy may reduce anxiety, depressed mood, and anger as well. It may also increase dopamine and serotonin levels, based on a study conducted on breast cancer patients. These two hormones help with elevated moods and levels of happiness and satisfaction.

Lymphatic Drainage and its Benefits

Lymphatic drainage is a gentle, painless massage technique that stimulates the drainage of the lymph to the lymph nodes activating the body’s natural functions and is an essential part of your immune system. The lymph is a colorless fluid that bathes every cell in the body. The lymph is circulated by massage and physical exercise.  Many tissues depend on the lymph to provide nutrients and to carry off wastes. If the lymph does not circulate, the tissues suffocate while stewing in their own acidic waste products like uric acid and lactic acid. This can increase the chance of developing illnesses such as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a result of a toxic lymph system, which is now one of the most rapidly growing cancers in the United States.

Getting a lymphatic drainage helps:

·         Activate the immune system: by stimulating the flow of lymph through the lymphatic system, invasive toxins in the body are pushed towards the lymph nodes where they can be analyzed and destroyed.

·         Reduce levels of cortisol (the hormone of stress): cortisol is reduced when you receive a lymphatic drainage massage. As a result, you will feel immense relaxation as well.
·         Relieve pain: poor circulation can cause pain and swelling from excess fluid stored in wrong areas around the body. When the lymph nodes are activated and decongested the pain and swelling disappear.

These are benefits that affect not only the body, but also the mind. A lymphatic drainage treatment along with other healthy habits, helps you against seasonal viruses and allows you to feel more relaxed and healthier. That’s why it’s so important to keep your lymph system healthy.

Between 2017 and 2018, 19 percent of American adults received at least one massage according to the American Massage Therapy Association. The report states that most adults that went to get a massage got one because they wanted to relax or for health and wellness reasons. So, pampering yourself once in a while can also really help you build a stronger immune system.

Massage therapy is a growing industry with research on its benefits continuously being conducted. It’s a craft that people need to be trained in so they can help improve the lives of others.

If you are interested in learning more about massage therapy or becoming a massage therapist, click here to learn more about our programs and our massage school in San Diego.

References

American Massage Therapy Association. (2018) Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.amtamassage.org/infocenter/economic_industry-fact-sheet.html

Mark Hyman Rapaport, Pamela Schettler, and Catherine Bresee. (2010) The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1079-1088.

Hernandezreif, M. (2004). Breast Cancer Patients Have Improved Immune And Neuroendocrine Functions Following Massage Therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 45-52.
Cupping is an ancient healing technique used by Chinese with evidence dating back to Egyptians, Arabs, and the middle ages.

What is Cupping or Cupping Therapy?

By Health, Massage Therapy No Comments

Cupping Therapy: An Ancient Healing Technique Still Present in the Modern Day

The Suction Cups (Bá Guàn 拔罐 in Chinese), is an ancient technique that comes from traditional Chinese medicine, cupping therapy basically consists in using suction cups that adhere to the skin at specific points by the vacuum that is created within them.

There is evidence that not only the Chinese used it but also the Egyptians, Arabs, Greeks and in Europe during the Middle Ages, they were built of bamboo, glass, clay, bronze. Today they are usually made of glass or plastic.

Suction cup massage and other application methods

Although formerly cupping suckers could be ceramic, clay or bamboo, nowadays they are made of glass or plastic (with or without valve). In glass, this vacuum is obtained following the traditional method: by lighting a piece of cotton inside it to perform the combustion of oxygen and thus generate the vacuum once the suction cup is placed on the skin. The professional can resort to different methods of application with their manipulation, according to the objectives of the treatment:

 

  • To free the body of toxins that circulate in the blood and lymph. This type of massage requires previously applying oil on the skin to easily slide the suction cup, which is usually plastic.
  • Application and rapid extraction or flash cupping: this method is usually done with glass suction cups and is recommended to apply specifically on the back, for purposes of pulmonary decongestion. It is based on the placement of a suction cup for 2 or 3 seconds on a specific point and its withdrawal with a rapid movement. The process is repeated until the tour of the entire area to be treated is completed.
  • Fixed suction cup or retained cupping: This technique is recommended to treat organic reflex areas at their reflex points in the back and also for the treatment of the points of maximum pain, the so-called trigger points, usually caused by severe contractures and structural blockages. It consists of leaving the suction cups on the skin for a few minutes, at specific points determined.
  • Suction cup bleeding or needing cupping: it is a recommended method to reduce tension in highly inflamed or congested areas of the body through a slight blood draw. The skin is gently punctured to then place the fixed suction cup until the body releases the necessary amount.(Al-Bedah, 2019)

 

Muscle, energy and circulatory benefits

The experience of professionals who apply cupping and that of the patients themselves who undergo it allows us to say that the application of this therapy entails numerous health benefits of various kinds, sometimes in a preventive and another rehabilitative manner. Among them, the following:

  • Increased blood and lymphatic circulation.
  • Decreased pain.
  • Detoxification of impurities.
  • Work on contractures.
  • Work at the energy level.
  • Stimulation of metabolism and defenses.
  • Relaxing, analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
  • Debugging and myofascial release.
  • Strengthening tendons.
  • Improvement in disorders of the digestive system.
  • Reduction of allergy symptoms and chronic fatigue.
  • Evacuation of retained liquids.
  • Improvement in the absorption of edema. (Castro, 2018)

 

Role in sport and scientific evidence of cupping

After a cupping session, also known as cupping therapy, it is possible to reduce muscle pain and fatigue, reduce inflammation and accelerate recovery. Hence, many high-performance athletes, such as athletes and Olympic swimmers, often use this technique to recover their physical condition quickly when they are in competition. In addition to resorting to it to eliminate contractures and prevent injuries.

A recent study on cupping, New is the well-forgotten old: The use of dry cupping in musculoskeletal medicine ensures that there is initial scientific evidence on its effectiveness in reducing musculoskeletal pain. There are also works that underpin the validity of cupping therapy for back pain by stopping inflammatory processes. And postulates that recommend it when it comes to the autonomic nervous system and reduces pain. Now, it is true that new scientific papers are needed that provide more light on their real clinical and therapeutic effects. (Rozenfeld & Kalichman, 2015)

From the point of view of Western medicine, it is necessary to continue researching about this therapy and its scientific evidence. In this sense, professionals of Traditional Chinese Medicine recommend research aimed at standardizing protocols, types of suction cups, number of sessions and frequencies, etc. On the other hand, as it is an alternative therapy, the placebo effect may be at the origin of its benefits, since there are not enough studies to verify the number of benefits attributed to it.

What risks can the application of Cupping or suction cups have?

In the hands of an expert professional, the use of suction cups is a simple and meticulous job, without risk to the patient, who in turn will begin to feel the improvements he was looking for. However, it is advisable to convey security and confidence at all times, explain slightly what will be the method to be applied, tell you that you may feel some discomfort and warn you about the reddish appearance of the skin after the session. Normally, it shows circular welts or purple spots, the product of suction and blood flow congestion. But in a few days, these bruises disappear naturally.

Bibliography

Al-Bedah. (2019). The medical perspective of cupping therapy: Effects and mechanisms of action. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.

Castro. (2018). Cupping therapy and chronic back pain: systematic review and meta-analysis. Elsevier.

Rozenfeld & Kalichman. (2015). New is the well-forgotten old: The use of dry cupping in musculoskeletal medicine. Beër Sjeva: Elsevier.

Hot Stone Massage at ICOHS College

8 Types of Massage

By Health, Massage Therapy No Comments

Which Type of Massage Best Suits Your Needs?

There are over 80 types of massage and each one of them with its own unique characteristics and benefits. Being aware of the different kinds of massage techniques is important to help you choose the right massage technique for your body.

From helping with stress relief, injury recovery, to pain management, here are the main types of massage you can probably find near you:

1- Swedish massage

Swedish massage is a gentle type of full-body massage that’s ideal for people who:

are new to massage
have a lot of tension
are sensitive to touch

It can help release knots in the muscles, and it is a great choice for people who want to fully relax. The massage therapist moves the sheet properly to uncover only areas that they actively work on, like feet, back, legs, arms and head.

The massage therapist will use a combination of:

kneading
long, flowing strokes in the direction of the heart
vibration and tapping
passive joint movement techniques
deep circular motions

2- Hot stone massage

If you have muscle pain and tension or who simply want to relax, this type of therapeutic massage is very similar to Swedish massage, but the massage therapist uses heated stones instead of or in addition to their hands. Hot stone massage:

Eases muscle tension
improves blood flow
alleviates pain
promotes relaxation
relieves stress

During a hot stone massage, heated stones are placed on different areas around your whole body. Your therapist may hold a stone as they massage different parts of your body using Swedish massage techniques using gentle pressure. Sometimes cold stones are used as well.

3.Aromatherapy massage

Aromatherapy massages are good for people who want to have an emotional healing component to their massage. This kind of massage can help:

boost your mood
reduce stress and anxiety
reduce symptoms of depression
relieve muscle tension
relieve pain

Aromatherapy massages combine soft, gentle pressure with the use of essential oils. The massage therapist will usually decide which essential oils to use, but you can let them know if you have a preference. Essential oils are diluted before being applied to the skin.

4. Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. It’s good for chronic muscle problems, like soreness, injury, or imbalance. It can help relieve tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.

The massage therapist uses slow strokes and deep finger pressure during the massage to relieve tension from the deepest layers of muscles and connective tissues. This technique is a little bit more intense, but shouldn’t feel painful.

5. Sports massage

Sports massage is used to treat repetitive use injury to a muscle, that people normally get from playing sports. It also helps with the prevention of sports injuries. You may also use sports massage to increase flexibility and performance. Additionally, sports massage can be used to relieve pain, anxiety, and muscle tension.

A sports massage can be done as a full-body massage or the massage therapist may focus on the specific parts of the body that need the most attention. Deep pressure massage may be alternated with soothing strokes.

6. Cupping Therapy

Cupping is an alternative therapy that originated in China. It involves placing cups on the skin to create suction and increase blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This technique helps relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue. The cups can be manipulated to help release fascial restrictions in the soft tissue.

7. Trigger point massage

Trigger point massages are suited for people with injuries, chronic pain, or a specific issue or condition. Sometimes areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, can cause pain in other parts of the body. By focusing on relieving trigger points, this kind of massage can help reduce pain.

Trigger point massage uses broader, flowing strokes that are gentle and relaxing combined with stronger, deeper pressure. The massage includes work on the entire body, however, the therapist may focus on specific areas of the body that may need release.

8. Prenatal massage

Prenatal massage helps reduce pregnancy body aches, reduce stress, and ease muscle tension. It can be done at any time during pregnancy, however, women are advised not to have them in the first three months due to the risk of miscarriage.

Prenatal massage uses mild pressure and the therapist focuses on areas such as lower back, hips, and legs. During the massage, women lie on their side with pillows placed around them for support and comfort. If women report pain in their calves or other parts of the legs, they should see a doctor before getting a massage.

 

If you’re interested in a career in massage therapy, click here to find out more.