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Craniosacral Massage at ICOHS College

What Is Craniosacral Therapy?

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Craniosacral therapy is a revolutionary therapy that can help

In the past fifty to sixty years, the professional massage industry has expanded tremendously, widening its reach with the development of unique new therapies and other forms of alternative treatment.

One such innovative therapy is known as Craniosacral therapy, and it was developed in the 1970s by an osteopath by the name of John E. Upledger. After many years of research and clinical testing at Michigan State University, the therapy was more or less solidified and pioneered.

While the effectiveness of Craniosacral therapy has been largely debated over the past couple of decades, there are many who have benefited tremendously through its practice, and for this reason, it is still conducted by a multitude of certified professional massage therapists.

In this article, we will focus on explaining what Craniosacral therapy is all about, in addition to its considered benefits. This hopefully can serve as a resource for those interested in potentially getting certified as Craniosacral therapists, or for someone who would like to either integrate the practice into their life or into their career.

While we don’t specifically offer courses to get certified as a practitioner of Craniosacral therapy at ICOHS College, we do have a Professional Massage Therapist program, designed to provide students with hands-on training and the advanced skills needed to pursue a career in this highly rewarding and giving field.

What Is Craniosacral Therapy?

Typically utilized by chiropractors, osteopaths, and certified massage practitioners, Craniosacral therapy is an alternative massage practice and a form of cranial osteopathy that involves the use of gentle touch. These gentle movements manipulate various parts of the skull or cranium, spine, and pelvis, primarily adjusting the joints.

These light manipulations are said by some practitioners to help manage a variety of diseases and medical conditions. However, as with many alternative practices, Craniosacral therapy is susceptible to much criticism and skepticism, hence why there are plenty of people who do not believe in its benefits.

For those who do support Craniosacral therapy’s uses, it is an ideal form of management for the process is non-invasive and treats the body very delicately, making it suitable for even those with extreme pain or discomfort.

The Upledger Institute describes the touch of Craniosacral therapy as “a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams – about the weight of a nickel”.

Considered more of a preventative health measure that helps increase the body’s ability to manage and deal with disease and various ailments, these mild manipulations function in the sense that they improve the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid, along with freeing restrictions throughout the central nervous system, predominantly throughout the soft tissues that surround it.

Since the craniosacral system heavily influences the central nervous system, both of these connect closely and influence one another. The gentle manipulations of these regions encourage equilibrium around the spinal cord and brain, which in turn helps the body to naturally correct itself and prevent the furthering of a variety of dysfunctions and ailments.

Osteopaths often will prescribe treatments of CST (Craniosacral therapy) alongside other forms of therapies, but sometimes Craniosacral therapy is also used in a stand-alone way depending on the individual needs of the patient.

Craniosacral Therapy: The Benefits

Practitioners of CST have utilized the therapy for a number of ailments and conditions. While few studies have been conducted to prove Craniosacral therapy’s efficacy for illness, the Upledger Institute does list a number of conditions that CST has addressed including:

● Chronic fatigue
● Spinal cord and brain injuries
● TMJ syndrome
● Fibromyalgia
● ADD/ADHD
● PTSD
● Headaches and migraines
● Traumatic brain injury and concussion
● Chronic pain, especially throughout the back and neck regions
● Scoliosis
● CNS disorders
● Orthopedic conditions

While this list is fairly comprehensive, if you are considering receiving CST, be sure to speak with a qualified, trained Craniosacral therapy professional who can devise a course of action for the specific needs of your circumstances.

Understanding Craniosacral Therapy: Final Thoughts

Now that the practice of Craniosacral therapy has been presented, you can hopefully decide better if this is the right therapy or even career choice for you. As with all things in life, Craniosacral therapy is not a one shoe fits all solution.

For some, Craniosacral therapy is immensely helpful, healing, and restorative. Yet, there is not an extensive amount of comprehensive research available to strongly scientifically back up claims made of its effectiveness.

In all reality, CST is not a practice that is of benefit to everyone, so it is important to decide for yourself how you feel about it and commit to further in-depth research on the topic. The advantage here is that there is very low risk involved in receiving Craniosacral therapy, so the positive effects could far outweigh the negatives or any potential hazards.

If you are located in the San Diego area and are interested in studying to become a Professional Massage Therapist, at ICOHS College we offer this exact program designed for prospective students to learn the advanced skills and gain the practical training needed to pursue this career path.

Our Professional Massage Therapist program goes far beyond the standards set by the California Massage Therapy Council. While we don’t offer training on Craniosacral therapy specifically, we do have a number of other educational and exciting classes available, including:

● Energy Channels & Acupoints – Tui Na
● Shiatsu – Zen Touch
● Kinesiology
● Client Assessment
● Physiology/Pathology
● Business Practices
● Special Populations
● Communications, Ethics and Career Prep
● MBLEx Preparation
● Practicum – Clinic & Community Outreach
● Fundamentals of Holistic Health
● Anatomy and Massage
● Strategies for Success
● Touch Anatomy
● Circulatory Massage
● Deep Tissue Massage
● Passive Joint Mobilization
● Anatomy with Manikins
● Eastern Perspectives
● Chi Integrated Exercises

These courses prepare students to pursue careers as entrepreneurs and massage business owners, along with careers in settings such as doctor’s offices, chiropractor’s offices, nursing homes, hospitals, holistic health clinics, cruise ships, spas and resorts, massage therapy clinics, and health clubs/fitness centers.

Our dedicated educators are passionate about seeing their students succeed and fully pursue their professional goals.

Does this sound like the right next step for you in your education path? Reach out to us today and request more information about our Professional Massage Therapist program.

oils for massage, massage oils

The Benefits of Using Massage Oils

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What are massage oils for?

Massage oils are products that help us to perform this activity more easily, since, in addition to allowing our hands to slide more easily, they also hydrate and treat the skin and also allow us to choose from a large list of aromas and essences that promote certain sensations and help to calm body or mood ailments. Massage oils are a great help in all aspects.

Benefits of massage oils

The benefits that oils provide us for massages range from the fact that the touch allows us to better perform the massages, passing through the aromas that it transmits and the sensation they provide, among many other things.

They facilitate the movements

It would be almost impossible to perform a massage with dry hands, as well as it is difficult to perform them with normal moisturizer since the touch is never the same as with oils. Therefore, we know that nothing helps the hands to slide on the skin in the same way that occurs with oils to perform massages.

Aromatize

Each essential oil has a different aroma and each of them helps us to cause some sensations in our body. Depending on each case, it can help us to relax, to release stress, to motivate us, to be happier, to improve our self-esteem. In cases where the aromas are excessively strong or the person undergoing the massage is very sensitive to certain aromas, there is the possibility of making a mixture of the essential oil chosen with a neutral or natural one that reduces the smell and reduces its intensity, thus the massage will be more comfortable and pleasant.

The oils relieve pain and tensions

Massages with oils not only help us to relax the person who receives it, but it also serves to relieve certain pain. And it is that most massages are performed in areas such as the neck, back or legs, areas that suffer from ailments due to sports injuries, poor postures when walking or bad postures when sleeping or working. Massages with oils help us to eliminate these tensions and for the body to recover its previous health.

Great benefits at low prices

Another of the great benefits that oils have for massages compared to other products is the fact that they are truly economical. Apart from being natural and having many properties, it is a product that can be purchased at truly reasonable prices.

The oils care and nourish the skin

Apart from achieving lasting and effective benefits thanks to a muscle massage with oils, these also allow us to enjoy a feeling of hydration and softness in our skin that remains for a long time. And, in addition to moisturizing it, the oil helps to eliminate skin scars, to reduce stretch marks and to cure eczema that often appears due to dermatitis or any other problem that derives from the skin.

What oils can be used for a massage?

Aloe Vera massage oil

Aloe Vera is a healing and therapeutic ingredient for almost any medical condition. The moisturizing oil made with aloe Vera can also be used to perform massages, so we will improve the appearance and elasticity of our skin while improving it internally and externally.

Chamomile oil

If we are going to do a massage to cure some type of ailment caused by an excess of exercise, the best treatment is with chamomile oil, which also defeats insomnia, helping to better sleep, as well as improving the state of the nerves.

Orchid oil for massages

The aroma of orchids is special to perform any type of massage, as well as the relaxation that can transmit in people. In times of high stress, the best treatment that can be performed is a massage with this essential oil of orchids, since it almost immediately improves the accumulated nerves and tension.

Lemon oil

If we want the massage to also provide aphrodisiac properties, the best oil with which we can perform it is, without a doubt, a citrus one, such as lemon oil. This massage oil helps eliminate bad energies completely transforming them into good feelings.

Lavender essential oil for muscle aches

Often, due to the bad postures we adopt sleeping, walking or working, we can capture tension and pain in some areas of the body such as the back or neck. To solve these problems with a massage the best option is lavender oil, which will help improve the elasticity of these areas and eliminate tension and help them relax thanks to their therapeutic aroma.

Eucalyptus oil

Another of the oils with a long list of properties is eucalyptus oil, and this aromatic oil is able to eliminate muscle problems, in addition to not only being perfect for use in the body, but also suitable for Massages on the face (careful with the eyes), being perfect to relieve tensions.

Almond oil massages

When we talk about oils, we cannot leave aside that of almonds, since it has many properties, not forgetting that of being able to perform massages with it. And, while helping to eliminate tensions, almond oil provides a lot of nutrients and vitamins to the skin and helps the skin stay constantly hydrated, sporting a spectacular brightness and luminosity.

Foot massages with mint

One of the oils that often fall into oblivion is pepper oil, which mixed with the essential oil of peppermint is totally recommended for use in foot massages, as it brings relief and freshness.
Massages are necessary for day to day to help eliminate tensions, but it is also necessary to use the right oil for every need or medical condition because thanks to them we can help to improve the condition of the skin and of the muscles.
There are different ways to classify massage oils, since they do not all provide the same properties, nor do they serve the same purposes or have the same fluidity. That is why we can classify them in different ways to know what massage oil we are buying or which one we need.
#MariCarmenEsteve
massage therapy at ICOHS College

Therapeutic Herbal Poultice Treatments

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A glance at this unique ancient massage technique

In this fast-moving world, everything is always changing – and what seems like lightning speed. This is especially true for trends. Spa trends are no different, however, some seem to latch on for longer periods of time than others.

One steadily increasing trend in the bodywork field is known as therapeutic herbal poultice treatments. These treatments complement massage practices, and while they have only started trending over the course of the past few years, this technique actually originates from ancient times hailing from the practices of various indigenous groups.

One of the best-known origins is 14th century Thailand, where a similar hot pack was applied to war-soldiers that were coming back from battle. The combination of the heat, along with medicinal herbs, made it a promising solution for those in pain and discomfort, and also caused its more modern version, the herbal poultice treatment, to become an integral part of Thai medicine.

What Are Therapeutic Herbal Poultice Treatments?

At ICOHS College, we offer a comprehensive Professional Massage Therapist program that is crafted with each student’s goals and intentions in mind. For those who are passionate about massage and are interested in becoming licensed massage therapists, learning more about the therapeutic herbal poultice treatment is potentially useful information.

These steamed pouches are then stamped, rocked, and kneaded along the body utilizing a specialized technique that is designed to optimize the therapeutic benefits of the practice.

The ingredients that fill these poultice sacks can vary from region to region and are dependent upon where the treatment is conducted, but it is common for lemongrass, turmeric, camphor, ginger, and Kaffir lime to be a part of the mix. In some places, rice or sand are also added for additional stimulation and further impact.

In reality, however, a number of herbal combinations can be utilized to fill up these poultice pouches. Aside from the ingredients we just mentioned, ground peppercorns, dried rosemary, crushed bay leaves, sage, sandalwood, coriander, cloves, and a variety of essential oils are often selected.

This large variety of herbs can produce effects such as the stimulation of the lymphatic system, the regeneration of connective tissue, the toning of the skin, the easing of muscle spasms and aches, the aiding of the reduction of inflammation, the boosting of the immune system, and the stimulation of the central nervous system.

Who Can Benefit from Therapeutic Herbal Poultice Treatments?

While traditional massage practices do work their way deep into the body’s muscles and tissues, therapeutic herbal poultice treatments allow for an even more intense level of stimulation which supports lymphatic drainage and encourages better circulation.

While there is limited medical, peer-reviewed evidence as to the actual benefits of therapeutic herbal poultice treatments, those who regularly receive the technique comment on its abilities to improve a number of aspects.

Practitioners of herbal poultice treatments typically recommend this practice to those who are hoping to better manage muscle pain or hormonal imbalances, along with those recovering from illness or suspect they will soon be ill. Finally, this treatment is said to be especially beneficial for those experiencing feelings of lethargy and jet lag, for it has a naturally rejuvenating ability.

Final Thoughts: Therapeutic Herbal Poultice Treatments

When it comes to massage and bodywork, there are many techniques and practices available that can complement this therapy and improve wellness. It is vital to know your options and to select what you think might be best for you.

If you are unsure of where to start, get in touch with a licensed massage therapist who can advise you on what they believe may be best for your own unique needs. As bodywork professionals, massage therapists are happy to work closely with their clients and devise a system or program that is ideal for each person.

While herbal poultice treatments are certainly a preferred option by some, they are not suited to everyone. For this reason, the information above offers some core knowledge about this technique so that one can create an informed decision.

If you are interested in becoming a professional massage therapist and are located in the San Diego area, ICOHS College is a non-profit vocational college offering a program for this exact career path. We offer a comprehensive Professional Massage Therapist program that is crafted with each student’s goals and intentions in mind. For those who are passionate about massage and are interested in becoming licensed massage therapists, learning more about the therapeutic herbal poultice treatment is potentially useful information.

The courses we offer in our Professional Massage Therapist program includes:

● Energy Channels & Acupoints – Tui Na
● Shiatsu – Zen Touch
● Kinesiology
● Client Assessment
● Physiology/Pathology
● Business Practices
● Special Populations
● Communications, Ethics and Career Prep
● MBLEx Preparation
● Practicum – Clinic & Community Outreach
● Fundamentals of Holistic Health
● Anatomy and Massage
● Strategies for Success
● Touch Anatomy
● Circulatory Massage
● Deep Tissue Massage
● Passive Joint Mobilization
● Anatomy with Manikins
● Eastern Perspectives
● Chi Integrated Exercises

Studying professional massage therapy can actually prepare you for a budding career in a number of different environments including spas and resorts, nursing homes, chiropractic offices, hospitals, doctor’s offices, entrepreneurship opportunities, cruise ships, holistic health clinics, health clubs and fitness centers, and massage therapy clinics. Depending on the desired environment, additional training may be required as per an employer’s request, but our program offers the foundational and most vital first step in this education path.

Our Professional Massage Therapist program far exceeds the California Massage Therapy Council’s standards for massage therapists in the state of California, and both hands-on training and advanced education are offered to students so that they can also gain practical experience.

With so many options to choose from and the support of our passionate team of educators, ICOHS College gets you prepared for a fruitful career path in professional massage therapy. Reach out to us today to start your path to a new career.

aromatherapy at ICOHS College

A Short Lesson in Aromatherapy

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What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it’s called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health.

Does Aromatherapy Really Work?

Aromatherapy is thought of as both an art and a science. Recently, aromatherapy has gained more recognition in the fields of science and medicine.
Today we are going to talk about some garden plants that you may already have or might be inspired to get after this blog. We will start with the elders of the garden. The first flower we have is a yellow flower together with berries from the elder tree. The tree is called mother elder and there are rumors that her spirit was either a goddess or a dryad or a wish that could heal all different kinds of things. In the past, the word witch meant either holy or knowledge or wisdom. The wise woman had a lot of healing to give to other people. The word has a different meaning today. Over time, the elder tree that grows in the canyons can now be used as medicine! The botanical name of the flower is Sambucus Mexicana. Although, other trees that are also called elder, are not suitable for any kind of healing. As a result, it is very important to know the exact botanical name, genus and species of a plant before using them for healing or essential oils. The elder is a very flexible plant. You can use its berries for is elderberry syrup and its flowers for tea. The syrup is particularly helpful for a facial wash while the tea can help with the fever.

Another interesting flower is this sage plant also known as “salvia officinalis”. “Salvia” means to save and the plant is also considered a healer with many different uses. The second part “officinalis’ refers to the plant’s medicinal use. In former times, people would go to the monk’s office to get their medicine.
The garden sage is related to the white sage which is often burned to create a sacred space in many different cultures. It has the same genus but belongs to a different species. Its botanical name is salvia alba.

Sage, once again, is used for many things. It is not only a warming herb but also a drying herb. Latter is really good for colds, flu or even a runny nose because it dries up extra flam.
Additionally, Sage is also used for wisdom, more specifically to help increase brain activity and health. You can also use Salvia Rosmarinus or rosemary. Rosmarinus stands for a rose by the sea and is also an officinalis. It has many purposes such as facial washes or as a hair product. Old indigenous people used to take long pieces of rosemary and comb their hair with it. Rosemary can also act as a vasodilator which means it widens the blood vessels which in turn increases the oxygen flow to the brain. Many tests and studies have been done to prove that rosemary does indeed stimulate brain activity. The plant appears in different forms depending on where it grows which has an effect on the chemotype. If it has the cineole chemotype, it’s great to expand the lungs, circulation, and respiratory system

To learn more about the holistic health program at ICOHS College >>CLICK HERE<<

Holistic Health

What is Holistic Health?

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Holistic Health 101: An Alternative Approach to Western medicine

When Western medicine and convenient means of treatment just don’t seem to be doing the trick, it often becomes time to look for alternative options. In a world where Western medicine is very much the norm in many societies, especially the United States of America, it can be challenging for some to feel that they could trust alternative approaches.
While this is completely understandable, the truth is, many holistic health practitioners have given their patients hope when all other doctors had already given up. For this reason, holistic health is an incredibly valuable practice, and for those who are not keen on the ways of Western medicine, it is a precious and respected solution.
In this article, we will explain the primary concepts of holistic health and its practices, along with an overview of the holistic health courses that we offer at ICOHS for those interested in becoming holistic health practitioners.

An Introduction to Holistic Health

If you are interested in pursuing a career path in holistic health, chances are you are already familiar with some of the major aspects and fundamentals of this alternative to conventional medical treatments. For those who are not aware of the ins and outs of what holistic health is, in this section, we present essentially a brief holistic health 101.

What Is Holistic Health?

Holistic health is a form of healing the body and self by addressing all aspects with a wholesome, fully inclusive approach. This means that not only are symptoms in the body addressed – holistic health examines imbalances throughout the emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental realms as well. By recognizing present imbalances, awareness can be brought and a plan devised.
Holistic health practitioners work with their patients to once again restore that equilibrium through a diverse use of various methods and practices. In the practice of holistic health, patients are not viewed or labeled as their diseases; they are instead treated as individuals and welcomed with grace, kindness, and acceptance.
Holistic health, however, certainly is not a one-pill-fixes-all sort of approach. Instead of merely covering up frustrating symptoms with a bandaid, this work dives deep into the inner workings of an individual on all levels, which means that the patient needs to be committed to delving into self and confronting whatever surfaces.
By approaching the emotions that arise with acceptance and love and viewing them as gifts and messengers, further healing is facilitated – the type of healing that lasts because it is actually addressing the root of an issue and dissolving that layer so the next one can appear for further healing.
In this sense, a holistic health practitioner serves very much as a guide and carrier of support. They facilitate this healing with their expertise, but ultimately the patient commits to the practices, recommended methodologies, and treatments.
For many, the concept of healing in such an out-of-the-box manner may seem unreasonable and impossible. But for those who have been failed time and time again by Western medicine systems and how found significant healing and relief with the practices of holistic medicine, these approaches are simply put – phenomenal.

A Brief Overview of Holistic Health Treatments

It is difficult to pinpoint holistic health onto one or two practices and treatment methods, for this route is especially personal and encompasses a broad variety of options. There are, however, some common holistic health modes of treatment that are utilized by many practitioners.
A focus upon lifestyle change and taking care of self on a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual level is typical of a holistic health care routine. This could involve meditation and mindfulness, specialized diets, counseling and hypnotherapy, exercise, psychotherapy, and many other possibilities.
Some holistic health practitioners also take a more physical approach by complementing the above practices with alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and more.
Finally, some holistic health practitioners take more Western approaches to further facilitate healing, suggesting various surgical procedures and conventional medications alongside the more alternative routes to healing.
In all, holistic health therapies are well-rounded and take into account the entirety of a patient’s medical needs and history, along with the requirements for healing on a deeper, less physical level.

Holistic Health Programs at ICOHS College

At ICOHS College, we offer a tailored-to-you holistic health practitioner program that allows students to pursue an HHP permit for the city of San Diego or become better versed in a plethora of advanced techniques as one sees fit.
All of our courses are professional and designed to provide students with the highest level of certification recognized by bodywork, massage, and holistic health professionals in the United States.
Pursuing the holistic health practitioner path with us opens up a world of career opportunities and possible professional pursuits. Just to name a few, you will become qualified to pursue the following modes of employment:
● Certified Massage Therapist
● Holistic Health Practitioner
● Employment at Spas & Resorts
● Employment at Wellness Centers
● Employment at Health Clubs
● Employment at Chiropractic Offices
● Employment at Hospitals
● Employment at Doctor’s Offices
● Entrepreneurship
● Advanced Massage Techniques
● Yoga Teacher Training
● Herbology and Nutrition
Our holistic health practitioner program is a diverse collection of applicable courses that span across a wide range of topics and practices so that you can tailor your education to your interests and professional goals. The courses we offer for this program are as follows:
● Fundamentals of Holistic Health
● Anatomy and Massage
● Strategies for Success
● Touch Anatomy
● Circulatory Massage
● Deep Tissue Massage
● Passive Joint Mobilization
● Anatomy with Manikins
● Eastern Perspectives
● Chi Integrated Exercises
● Energy Channels & Acupoints – Tui Na
● Shiatsu – Zen Touch
● Kinesiology
● Client Assessment
● Physiology/Pathology
● Business Practices
● Special Populations
● Communications, Ethics and Career Prep
● MBLEx Preparation
● Practicum – Clinic & Community Outreach
For those who desire a stronger focus upon massage and its related practices, ICOHS also offers a professional massage therapy program to further concentrate on this aspect of holistic health.

Our Final Thoughts on Holistic Health 101

While opting to pursue a career in holistic health is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, a profession in this field is incredibly rewarding and giving, particularly for those who are passionate about helping others using the power of nature and a well-rounded approach.
Here at ICOHS, our dedicated team of educators wants to see their students succeed, which is why our programs are tailored to each student’s needs, goals, and pursuits. We are a non-profit vocational school and we offer a range of benefits to veterans, active-duty military, and their families.
If you are interested in studying holistic health to become a holistic health practitioner, reach out to us today and request more information about our program.
pain management, ways to manage pain, simple ways to get rid of pain

A Holistic Approach to Pain Management

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Listen When Pain Speaks

Sitting in pain is never a good feeling, however, we do not have to stay in pain. Sometimes we feel it and we are unable or unwilling to move because of the fear of more pain. It is important to recognize that our bodies are made to heal themselves and if we are unable to facilitate the movements that are necessary to help to alleviate our pain, we have options. Those options help us to feel better and to move us in the direction of not only feeling physically better but being calm of mind and more focused.

A large portion of us tends to walk around in our sympathetic expression of the fight, flight or freeze. This protective defense keeps us on guard. We do not even realize it, because it is something that we do naturally. From our first fear holding on to keeping our guard up as we walk through the world defending against physical & emotional predators, or simply life’s displeasures. This tension built up in our body tends to maintain itself in our every waking moment. This tension gets to a point where it restricts the circulatory conductivity that promotes functionality, and consequently, resulting in pain and physical restrictions. As a result, avoidance becomes a habit, “Don’t touch me, that hurts”, avoid that area, avoid that person, avoid, avoid, avoid. Avoidance becomes a way of life. We avoid not only the physical sensation of pain but also, all the emotional and mental aspects of things that cause us pain. There are solutions when we feel pain. First, our perception of pain must change. Pain is our friend, it alerts us that something is wrong, something needs attention. Pain says to us, “breath, I am stuck”, it says, “drink water, I am dehydrated”. Pain also says, “movement with proper breath & hydration is required”. “I need to rub this area”, “I need to relax and breathe”. Pain sometimes says, “I am hungry”, but overall, pain is a call to action, not the inaction that we do to avoid pain.

What You Can Do to Alleviate Pain

1) Hydrate properly:

Hold alkaline water in your mouth three times for 10 to 30 seconds before swallowing

2) Breath properly:

Take a deep, exaggerated breath three times (you can exhale with a “haw” sound)

3) Move or Get a Massage:

Exercise, get a massage, or some kind of bodywork. Bodywork or massage are forms of care that aid movement in body & muscles when you are unable or unwilling to do the movement necessary for keeping healthy actions. Bodywork helps in many aspects of the body’s needs to stay in better functionality. This form of care helps to repel stagnations and increases the body’s circulation in a way that most other forms of care cannot. It helps with balancing the structure, it helps to strengthen the muscles, tendons & sinews. It helps to nourish the whole body’s system, strengthens the mind and its ability to push forward despite the challenges. It helps to soothe the soul and free tension in the body. It gives hope to the pain-filled individual.

Most forms of holistic health care contribute to the betterment and wellness of the individual. There are many benefits gained simply by adding massages to your personal self-care plan. Thereby reducing our sympathetic expression that adds to our pain and declining functionality. If massage or bodywork is missing from your healthcare package or self-care package, I recommend at a minimum that you get a massage or some bodywork weekly or once a month. If you can receive bodywork or massage weekly, you will notice that it will improve how you function in this world.

Learn more about massage and holistic health programs at ICOHS College today!

 

 

 

smile everyday to improve emotional well being

10 Tips to Improve Your Emotional Well-Being

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Emotional Well being is an important part of your health. People who are emotionally healthy have control of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors are able to face the challenges of life. They can put problems in perspective and recover from setbacks. They feel good about themselves and have good relationships.

Being emotionally healthy does not mean being happy all the time. It means that one is aware of their emotions. That one can deal with them, whether positive or negative. Emotionally healthy people also feel stress, anger, and sadness. But they know how to handle their negative feelings. They can distinguish when a problem exceeds what they can handle on their own. They also know when to seek help from their doctor.

Emotional health is an important part of your life. It allows you to develop your full potential. You can work productively and cope with the stresses of everyday life. It helps you work with other people and contribute to society.

Research has shown a relationship between an optimistic mental state and lower blood pressure, a lower risk of heart disease, a healthier weight, better blood sugar levels, and a longer life, says the agency.

The smile is the facial expression associated with feelings such as joy, satisfaction or happiness. It is characterized in that the corners of the lips are lifted so that they form a U-shaped curve. When the smile is spontaneous, the muscles of the sides of the eyes also move.

The smile is a beautiful gesture that always transmits light, positive energy and contributes to the good physical and mental state of people. With a smile, we can change our mood, increase our attractiveness, improve our health and reduce stress. In addition, there will also be positive effects in our environment, it helps us to relate to others.

emotional well being at icohs.edu

 

The smile conveys part of our happiness and well-being to those around us. Smiling has many health benefits. Smiling rejuvenates, oxygenates, cleanses, eliminates stress and improves relationships with others. Smiling increases confidence, balances mood, improves digestion and makes you live longer. Laughter helps overcome many situations such as depression, anxiety or stress. When we laugh, we feel much better because it cleans and ventilates our lungs. Laughing regulates the heart rate. Laughing relaxes the muscles and is a good breathing technique.

Accompanying our words with a smile is the best gift we give each other.

The smile corresponds to the feelings, the laugh corresponds to the emotions.

Emotions are difficult to define because they arise when evaluating any previous event that affects memory, subjective experience, thought, etc. Faced with positive emotions, feeling joy, hope, fun we smile and laugh, the contrary to negative emotions such as fear, anger, anger, sadness, we express different facial gestures because they are unpleasant.

Laughter and a sense of humor are protagonists in our well-being and positive energy. And they are the most important strengths of people. The smile evolves into an emotional, mental and even spiritual behavior.

The smile and laughter work a positive attitude, causing a rapid effect of contagion towards others that is very pleasant to share. Exercise more than advisable to live with a sense of humor. Laughing is a biological function necessary to maintain physical and mental well-being. It is ideal to achieve relaxation and open our ability to feel and love.

10 Tips to improve your emotional well-being

1. Don’t think, feel
2. Don’t judge yourself, it flows
3. Do not deny, accept
4. Don’t look back, look here and now
5. Don’t expect to be loved, love yourself
6. Smile every day, practicing smiles is very healthy
7. Feel the positive force of laughter inside you
8. Contagious and let yourself be smiled
9. Give many smiles, you will heal your soul and sow joy
10. Smile and enjoy life

 

smile to improve emotional well being

You know now that smile and laughter are natural functions that you have, and it is only up to you to articulate your muscles to live with health and joy.

Remember that being emotionally well is more than just managing stress. It also means being attentive to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, whether positive or negative. Emotional well-being implies the ability to be aware of and accept our feelings, rather than deny them, have an optimistic approach to life and enjoy life despite their occasional disappointments and frustrations.

Read more about more ways to improve your well-being by reading the first article in our blog series “The 3 Neglected Needs”.

Holistic Health Practitioner at ICOHS College

Movement: The Neglected Need (3) 

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By: J Emanuel Hodge MSAOM, HHP
Integrative Medicine Physician

Movement: The Neglected Need (3)

Taking charge of your health is not a quick process, but if you do it, you will notice the benefits of it.
Through consistency of proper breath and hydration, as explained in the previous articles, and applied to Movement with Integrative-therapies, you can find a new healthy balance in your life.
Movement is the act or process of changing place or position. When performed with a releasing breath and focus, it compels muscles and body functions to release contractions.  Movement, as a Neglected Need, encapsulates Meditation, Exercise, and Nutrition:
●        Meditation – as in mindfulness of movement and stillness. Letting go of destructive obsessions, releasing judgments, fear, apprehension, and accepting the temporary nature of what is.
●        Exercise – as in mindfulness of exerted movement incorporating breath and hydration. Exhaling into pain, exertion, heaviness, uncomfortable sensations, and compound contractions.
●        Nutrition – as in the mindfulness of consumption and assimilation of foods. Chewing an average of 32 times, or until the taste is gone from food, compelling our internal systems to rest and digest.
Meditation, Exercise, and proper Nutrition facilitate our 5 basic needs for growth, expansion, and personal balance.  The 5 basic needs for growth and its associated expressions (natural elements, organs, emotions, etc.) are:
●        Breath – viewed as metal/lung
●        Hydration – viewed as water/kidneys
●        Exercise – viewed as wood/liver
●        Meditation – viewed as fire/heart, releasing judgment
●        Nutrition – viewed as earth/stomach, acceptance
Creating a balance for self by applying the proper breathing and hydration techniques shared in previous articles (i.e. exaggerated releasing exhale 3 times per hour and holding alkaline water in the mouth for 10 seconds or more 3 times per hour) and understanding that applying these to Movement will bring mindfulness of action and solution to challenges.
Applying breathing and hydration to exercise or daily functions to inspire growth and expansion is viewed as the element of wood. Maintaining Breath and Hydration enhances our body systems function (circulatory, digestive, immune, endocrine, integumentary, etc.), boosting and compelling our capillary exchange of nutrients and oxygen we consume. Allowing our alkaline water to aid in detoxifying our build-ups helps exchange acid and alkaline balance in our body (preferably 60/40 – 70/30 alkaline high).
The true challenge that we have in life is not realizing the effects on the body, the body systems, and the body‘s ability to function properly we cause when we exist in the compensated actions of trauma. The most basic muscles, organs, and body systems’ response are constructions, contractions, inflammation, Phlegm, and diminished circulation.
These responses often simulate the results of dehydration, which adds to tensions and restricted functionality.
Cold or heat sometimes caused by trauma often redirects blood flow and can starve an area of our life healing blood, nutrients, oxygen, and hydration. Just as when you slap a hand on a surface covered with water, this disburses the water into different directions. In a similar fashion, our body reacts to trauma and creates different directions to help compensate for its trauma, thereby leaving the area either undersaturated or oversaturated with blood, which defines our pain sensations, and compensated habits.
What are some of the reasons we fall back out of balance? Often it’s because of our habits – or rather, our Compensated Habits. When we experience trauma we tend to develop a compensated habit that allows us to stay in function, though this function is often strained from the trauma. We have a tendency to go to over the counter quick relief consumables that numb pain, thins the blood, attacks our liver and kidneys, disrupts our stomach, inflames our intestines, quickens our heart rates, and causes eruptions of the skin.
The purpose of Breath and Hydration 3x’s per hour is to provide the basis of how we compel our muscles to relax, as well as motivate smooth function of our stomach absorption and elimination, soothe our organ systems, and improve our circulation each day. Developing the habit of adding these two basic neglected actions helps produce a clear sensational awareness of body constriction and release.
The purpose of holding water in one’s mouth is to create the habit over time of activating out the system through consumption: holding, chewing, swishing, etc. Holding for 10-30 sec three times per hour and chewing food a minimum of 32 times acts as the pilot light to our stomach oven, heating it up to receive, causing a smoother absorption, transformation, and transfer of the nutrients we need from what we consume.
Movement is such an amazing and dynamic expression that can aid in or take from discomfort. It is the action taken that solidifies our body’s expression. In regard to pain and dysfunction, the lack of movement, hydration, and breath contributes significantly to distress, discomfort, constriction, compounded contractions, pressure buildup, tension, stress, and sustained pains we experience.
Diet is important as well, though it is not the focus of this particular expression. By practicing Breath (exaggerated inhale through the nostrils with a releasing “hawww” sound exhale through the mouth) 3x’s/hrs in conjunction with Hydration (holding alkaline water in the mouth for 10 seconds or more three times consecutively per hour) will enhance your metabolism and digestion.
Maintaining breath and hydration in conjunction with varying movements, therapies, and exercises will not only turn your ‘ok’ massage into an amazing massage, but it will also turn your constrictions and/or restrictions and pain into flowing, relaxed, improved circulation.
Breath and hydration are the key elements to enhancing our life experiences. They promote greater release enhances digestive, circulatory, systemic and lymphatic functions, as well as improve the clinical responsiveness, correction, and healing from therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic, and physical therapy. Exercises, movements, and total daily life functions from any therapy would be enhanced if we stayed aware of breath and hydration. To assume control of the body you must assume control of the breath.
Five needs that have to happen in order to create not just the self-awareness but the ability to let go of this defensive exterior that we hold onto those five things are:
1. Meditation
2. Exercise
3. Nutrition
4. Breath
5. Hydration
These 5 elements when properly performed, allows us the ability to be clear to take charge of our health and to be mindful of where we are within our lives. Bringing Mindfulness to our basic autonomic functions not only improves our health but also allows us to focus and achieve what’s important in our lives.
Read Part 2 of this series: The 3 Neglected Needs Part 2 Hydration
Massage Therapy for Blood Pressure

Can Massage Therapy Help With High Blood Pressure?

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Massage Therapy to help heal the dis-ease of High Blood Pressure

 

What is high blood pressure and how can it affect your health?

High blood pressure (HBP) or hypertension (HTN or HT), is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated (1). More easily understood, blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. High blood pressure typically does not cause symptoms. Long-term high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, peripheral arterial disease, vision loss, chronic kidney disease, and dementia (2).

How does a person develop high blood pressure?

Hypertension is classified as either primary (essential) high blood pressure or secondary high blood pressure (3). About 90–95% of cases are primary, defined as high blood pressure due to nonspecific lifestyle and genetic factors. Lifestyle factors that increase the risk include excess salt in the diet, excess body weight, smoking, and alcohol use. The remaining 5–10% of cases are categorized as secondary high blood pressure, defined as high blood pressure due to an identifiable cause, such as chronic kidney disease, narrowing of the kidney arteries, an endocrine disorder, or the use of birth control pills (3).
Blood pressure is expressed by two measurements, the systolic and diastolic pressures, which are the maximum and minimum pressures, respectively. (3) For most adults, normal blood pressure at rest is within the range of 100–130 millimeters mercury (mmHg) systolic and 60–80 mmHg diastolic. (1) For most adults, high blood pressure is present if the resting blood pressure is persistently at or above 130/80.
New guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology were released in November 2017, lowering the definition for high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). (4) High blood pressure affects no small number of people — about 70 million people in the United States have the condition. That means approximately one in every three Americans, or 31.3 percent, has high blood pressure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. (5)

Is high blood pressure curable?

Dr. Naomi Fisher, director of hypertension service and hypertension innovation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says “It is well documented that lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure as much as pills can, and sometimes even more.”(4)

Massage Therapy for High Blood Pressure

In addition to lifestyle changes encompassing, lowering salt intake, alcohol, smoking and weight, massage therapy is also a safe and effective method for changing the state of stress and anxiety and thereby controlling high blood pressure.  According to an article published by the National Institutes of Health, International Journal of Preventative Medicine, the following study was conducted on a group of women diagnosed with pre-hypertension (pre-hypertension is considered as a cardiovascular disease predictor):

Methods:

This was a single-blind clinical trial study. Fifty pre-hypertensive women selected by simple random sampling which divided into control and test groups. The test group (25 patients) received Swedish massage 10-15 min, 3 times a week for 10 sessions and the control groups (25 patients) also were relaxed at the same environment with receiving no massage. Their blood pressure (BP) was measured before and after each session and 72 hours after finishing the massage therapy. Analyzing the data was done using descriptive and inferential statistical methods (Chi-square, Mann-Whitney, paired t-test and Student t-test) through SPSS software.

Results:

The results indicated that mean systolic and diastolic BP in the massage group was significantly lower in comparison with the control group (P < 0.001). Evaluation of durability of the massage effects on BP also indicated that 72 hours after finishing the study, still there was a significant difference between the test and control groups in systolic and diastolic BP (P < 0.001).

Conclusions:

Findings of the study indicated that massage therapy was a safe, effective, applicable and cost-effective intervention in controlling BP of the pre-hypertension women and it can be used in the health care centers and even at home.
As described above, scientific studies provide measurable data in support of managing and reducing high blood pressure for people suffering from the condition.  As we learn further the benefits of providing complementary therapies for individuals suffering from dis-ease, the more we may help by providing such therapies on a routine basis.
  1. Naish J, Court DS (2014). Medical sciences (2 ed.). p. 562.
  2. Lackland DT, Weber MA (May 2015). “Global burden of cardiovascular disease and stroke: hypertension at the core”. The Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 31 (5): 569–71. doi:10.1016/j.cjca.2015.01.009. PMID 25795106
  3. “High Blood Pressure Fact Sheet”. CDC. 19 February 2015. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/6-simple-tips-to-reduce-your-blood-pressure
  5. “Considering Massage for High Blood Pressure? It Helps,” Acupuncture Massage College, https://www.amcollege.edu/blog/massage-lowers-blood-pressure (2016)
  6. “Durability of Effect of Massage Therapy on Blood Pressure,” NIH, International Journal of Preventative Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3733180/ (2013)
massage therapy program in san diego at ICOHS College to help relieve sciatica

The treatment of Sciatica using Massage Therapy

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How Can Massage Therapy Help Relieve Back Pain From Sciatica?

Back pain is a common occurrence in many adults from young adults to those that are advanced in age. While there are many possible reasons for a person to develop back pain, Sciatica is one specific condition that causes pain for many. The effects of this are felt by people in many walks of life, from athletes to working men and women at desk jobs. Some of the methods used for treating this include physical therapy, pain medication and in severe cases, surgery may be used. My contention is that massage therapy possesses techniques that can be more than effective in treating this ailments pain as well as treating its causes.

What is Sciatica?

‘Sciatica’ gets its name from the part of the body that it primarily affects.Simply put, Sciatica occurs when a part of the Sciatic Nerve is compressed as a result of contracted muscles, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) or a bone spur in its vicinity. The Sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body. It begins at the Sacral Plexus and runs down through the Iliofemoral joint and down the lower leg. Sciatica symptoms include sharp pain or dull throbbing that can remain local or can be felt radiating down from the lower back, through the buttocks and down to the back of the thigh and calf. Some of the risk factors for developing sciatica include age, physical fitness, and occupation. With advancing age, bone spurs and herniated disks become more likely to develop and cause sciatica related pain.Obesity can trigger sciatica due to the increased weight and strain on the spine, thus possibly compressing the sciatic nerve. Occupations that include heavy lifting and twisting or jobs that involve sitting for long periods of time also increase one’s risk of developing Sciatica. Treating the situations that compresses the sciatic nerve and reducing the associated inflammation are effective strategies in treating this condition.

Deep Tissue Massage Therapy for Sciatica

Massage Therapy is a powerful method for treating this condition because it utilizes techniques aimed at releasing tension in associated muscles and reducing inflammation. Studies have shown that deep tissue massage is particularly effective at achieving this goal. Deep tissue work achieves this goal by applying deep and intense pressure to myofascial tissue over a series of extended compressions. It is a versatile tool which allows for a therapist to use any part of the body best suited to accurately apply pressure to a localized area. In the case of Sciatica, a session would be targeted primarily at tissue in the lower leg, particularly those in the gluteal region. Muscles to be addressed would include but are not limited to the Gluteus Maximus, Medius, and Minimus. It would also include the muscle attachments of the hamstring muscles, which attach at the Ischial tuberosity of the lower pelvis. The Piriformis muscle is another muscle which commonly contributes to irritation of the sciatic nerve and is adjacent to the sciatic nerve. This muscle originates from the anterior portion of the sacrum and the superior aspect of the greater sciatic notch, runs through the sciatic foramen and it inserts at the anterior portion of the Greater Trochanter.
Deep tissue massage can easily address this muscle if indeed it is confirmed to be the primary agitator of the sciatic nerve. In addition to all these benefits from the implementation of deep tissue massage, Circulatory massage can be integrated into treatment to further increase blood flow to the muscles mentioned and add to their relaxation which will compliment the actions of deep tissue work.

Final Thoughts

Based on the research and findings of medical professionals, Massage Therapy offers effective and non-invasive treatment options to the pain and discomforts of Sciatica. It accomplishes this by addressing the two primary causes of the syndrome: tension and inflammation. Massage techniques use prolonged pressure and circulatory manipulation to induce release of tension in muscle tissue and increase of healing blood flow to the affected areas. These techniques are proven to have a positive effect and I encourage those who suffer from Sciatica to consider massage therapy to treat and relieve themselves and regain function and quality of life.

For more information about how to help relieve people who suffer from sciatica of their pain, check out ICOHS College’s Professional Massage Therapy Program.
By: Quenton A. Perry