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Massage Therapy

professional massage therapy, craniosacral therapy

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.

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!

 

 

 

ICOHS is a WIOA approved college

What is WIOA and How to Use it to Your Advantage

By Community, Financial Assistance, IT, Massage Therapy No Comments

What Is WIOA?

Finding opportunities in education can be difficult at the best of times. Still, over the last couple of years, a government program called WIOA has been trying to make the process more accessible than ever.
 
You may have heard the term WIOA occasionally bandied about during recent political years, or even online if you are looking for employment or educational support. But what exactly is WIOA? The term itself stands for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and it does exactly what it claims on the tin. The bill’s purpose was to ease the employment hardship that many Americans had found in the previous years.
Enforced in 2014 during the Obama presidential years, the original bill was founded because many senators believed that there was a strong disparity between job creation and unemployment. This idea was often spoken about by Senator Lamar Alexander, who said that:
“it’s too hard to find a job. It’s too hard to create a job. We have some differences of opinion on what to do about it, but I think we agree that matching job skills to a job is a solution to millions of Americans.”
The bill found support and was signed with Obama’s approval on the 22nd of July, 2014. The intention of the bill was to reduce unemployment, not only for those simply out of work but who found it harder than most to find work. The main force behind the bill is described well by this official government page, which is dedicated to all things WIOA.
“WIOA is landmark legislation that is designed to strengthen and improve our nation’s public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers.”
You may find that this description resonates with you if seeking employment has been far from easy. So whether you are looking to jump straight into a job or are planning on going back to school and choosing to study in a particular field, you may find WIOA beneficial. Schools, such as ICOHS, offer to take a WIOA grant, meaning you can study one of their courses for a lower price.

Who Can Use WIOA?

So who exactly can use WIOA? If you’ve researched the topic before, you may have found that it wasn’t the easiest concept to understand. Like we reiterated earlier, the main idea is providing a fairer working or skill-building opportunity to those who are considered to be in a more vulnerable position than most. And you may find this list broader than you initially thought. It can mean individuals who live with a mental or physical disability, those who have experienced incarceration, veterans, individuals who have grown up within the foster care system, or those who simply need to re-enter the workforce with a new skill-set.

What Resources Can WIOA Provide?

With the bill supporting 2,400 American job centers across the country, it can help you find access to an extensive range of jobs. Not only is this great for the people searching for jobs, but it enables job sectors who are struggling to find employees a new resource pool, helping to stabilize the economy.
WIOA offers a range of tools that you can use to further your education and career; they can be allocated into four different ‘titles’. These are summarized below.
Title I: This encompasses a large portion of the act and primarily oversees the ‘workforce development system’. It ensures that those from lower-income backgrounds are still able to express a degree of choice in their education.
Title II: This is the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, or AEFLA. This title not only promotes but provides learning and support to adults who need to gain functional English literacy.
Title III: This title is an evolution of the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, which traditionally controls the Employment Service or ES.
Title IV: This amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; it aims to provide care, support, and rehabilitation for adults and families who live with a disability.

How Can WIOA Help You Study?

The WIOA act has tried to cover all aspects of employment in its policy. There are many other ways in which a WIOA can help prepare you for work:
●     By assisting with your job search, and providing counsel to the current job market
●     Giving you access to a variety of self-help tools, including; computers, online programs, and photocopiers
●     Social services, such as practice interviews and techniques
●     Providing knowledge about compensation for unemployment
●     Group services, such as workshops and job clubs
●     Funding and grants for those who wish to learn a skill-set
WIOA is a great step to take if you want to re-enter the working world, and that can begin with education. Many career paths require a level of education, or a specialized skill-set in order to excel in that field. So whether you want to specialize in holistic medicine or business theory, further education is essential. However, this doesn’t come cheap, and college fees can often amas to crippling debt and unsavory repayments.
By applying for an educational grant from WIOA, you can make these goals accessible. They can support you financially so that you can learn all the essential skills you need to achieve the job of your dreams.

How to Use WIOA?

If you think you might be eligible to apply for a WIOA, you can follow the application process through each state’s webpage. For applicants in the state of California, you can access it from the CaliJobs site.
Many schools, such as ICOHS, accept the WIOA grant increasing your course diversity. At ICOHS, you can study a range of holistic and wellness programs that include; Professional Massage Therapist and Holistic Health Practitioner. We also offer classes geared towards technology education; this includes courses such as IT Systems Administrator and IT Network Specialist.
We make the application process as easy as possible and even offer WIOA guidance for those who are searching for it. Reach out and discover if you qualify for the WIOA grant and work towards your future career and goals. Get more information at ICOHS College.

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

By Health, Massage Therapy No Comments

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
MyCAA for military spouses at ICOHS College

MyCAA Benefits for Military Spouses at ICOHS College

By Community, IT, Massage Therapy No Comments

MyCAA the Benefit Military Spouses May Not Know About

Military families face many challenges. It is difficult for a military spouse to pursue educational and professional goals while supporting a spouse’s military career. The MyCAA scholarship program helps military spouses to pursue their own educational dreams.

What is the MyCAA?

The Military Spouse Career Advancement Account Scholarship (MyCAA) is a workforce development program that provides up to $4,000 of tuition assistance to eligible military spouses.
The scholarship helps military spouses pursue licenses, certificates, certifications or associate degrees necessary to gain employment in high demand, high growth portable career fields and occupations. Spouses may use their MyCAA funds at any academic institution approved for participation in the MyCAA Scholarship.

MyCAA is eligible for:

Spouses of service members on active duty in pay grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2 and O-1 to O-2 who can start and complete their coursework while their military sponsor is on Title 10 military orders, including spouses married to members of the National Guard and reserve component in these same pay grades.

MyCAA is not eligible for

• Spouses married to service members in pay grades E-6 and above, W-3 and above and O-3 and above • Spouses who are a member of the armed forces themselves currently on Title 10 orders
• Spouses who are married but legally separated (or under court order or statute of any state or U.S. territory) from a member of the armed forces on Title 10 orders
• Spouses whose National Guard/reserve component military sponsor is in a Warning Orders/Alert, Post Deployment/ Demobilization or Transition Status
• Spouses married to a member of the Coast Guard
• Spouses who are unable to start and complete coursework while their military sponsor is on Title 10 orders

What Does MyCAA Cover?

The MyCAA Scholarship pays tuition costs for education and training courses and examinations leading to an associate degree (excluding associate degrees in General Studies, Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies that do not have a concentration). The scholarship also covers the costs for obtaining a license, certificate or certification at an accredited college, university or technical school in the United States or approved testing organization that expands employment or portable career opportunities for military spouses.
•Tuition for courses and examinations not included in the spouse’s Education and Training Plan and courses already started or completed by the spouse
• Reimbursements of any kind
• Books, supplies, equipment, uniforms, computers and electronic devices of any kind
• Student activities, events and entertainment
• Pre-payment/deposits for future courses, unless costs are part of a block of study
• School or college level entrance examinations, comprehensive exams and related preparatory courses
• Courses, tests or fees normally paid by an employer as part of a job training program
• Fees of any kind including, but not limited to, registration fees, technology fees, parking fees, etc.
• Non-academic credit or ungraded courses, including courses taken on an audit basis or as an internship, practicum, apprenticeship or clinical supervision; also, non-academic credit or ungraded orientation programs
• Courses taken more than one time, unless MyCAA has received a full refund from the school
• Academic credit by examination tests (CLEP)
• General studies, liberal arts and interdisciplinary associate degrees that do not have a concentration
• Personal enrichment courses (excluding academic credit/graded electives in an approved MyCAA Spouse Education and Training Plan)
• Transportation, lodging, child care and medical services
• Course extensions (except for approved hardship waivers)
• Study Abroad Programs (excluding programs of study offered by participating MyCAA schools on overseas military installations)
• Private licenses (For example, a private pilot’s license would not be covered because it is for recreational use, but a commercial pilot’s license would be covered because it would be used for an occupation.)
• High school completion programs, including online high school completion programs
• Continuing Education Credits to maintain a standing in a professional organization

ICOHS College is a MyCAA Approved School

ICOHS College in San Diego is a MyCAA approved school and offers programs in Holistic Health, Massage Therapy, and Information Technology. Request information about our academic programs and scholarship for military spouses by email: admissions@icohs.edu or call: 858.581.9460 Ext: 8001 
How can massage help depression

Massage Therapy and Depression

By Health, Massage Therapy No Comments

Massage Therapy and Depression

By: Jessi Wiley
9/17/2019

What is depression?

Depression is both a brain disorder and a state of mind.  It is a common, serious illness that leads to a persistent sad, anxious or “empty mood.”  Affecting almost 300 million people worldwide, it can happen to anyone, at any age, and to people of any race or ethnic group.  It is never a “normal” part of life.  Depression, which is treatable, can come from chemical imbalances in the brain, hormonal changes, medications or life events.  Though it can be treated by methods like anti-depressants and talk therapy, massage therapy is a great addition to the treatment of depression.

How can massage help with depression?

Whether a person suffers from persistent anxiety and depression or experiences stress from time to time, massage therapy can help.  More than 500 men, women, and children with a history of depression and anxiety had their cortisol, a stress hormone in the body, measured before and after a massage. After a series of studies, researchers found that massage therapy helped participants lower their levels of cortisol by more than 53 percent.  Basically, if your cortisol levels are lowered, that allows your body to produce more serotonin and boosts your ability to fight depression and anxiety.

The science behind massage and how it can help with depression

Human touch is very powerful and can help us to heal.  It is a comforting gift that is present from infancy into adulthood and takes on many forms.  For example, infants long the touch of their mother after birth and throughout adolescence, while children seek reassuring gestures from their parents.  Touch is vital for the growth and development of a child, giving them a sense of belonging and security.  Into adulthood, even a simple pat on the back can turn a bad day around.
When we come into physical contact with someone, we can experience an increase of dopamine and serotonin levels in the body.  These two neurotransmitters help to regulate our mood. With that being said, massage doesn’t just relieve aches and pains, it can literally adjust the chemicals in your brain to improve your mood, making you feel refreshed and happier.
Anything that connects your mind and body like massage can be helpful for depression. By increasing serotonin levels, connecting your mind and body, and bringing a sense of safety and comfort, regular massages can be extremely beneficial for somebody suffering from depression.
Bibliography
https://www.myotherapycollege.com/can-massage-therapy-really-help-depression-anxiety/
https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/massage-therapy
https://dynamicphysiotherapy.ca/blog/massage-therapy/how-massage-therapy-helps-with-depression/
https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/cortisol/
https://www.lifealth.com/wellness/healthy-living/why-human-touch-is-important-for-an-individual-mj/57304/
Massage Therapy at ICOHS.edu

Launch Your Own Motor Home Massage Clinic with These 7 Steps

By Massage Therapy No Comments

Create a successful massage business on-the-go.

With a world that is becoming increasingly digital, new types of jobs have started to appear. From digital nomads who can work remotely anywhere in the world to individuals whose careers depend upon traveling all around the world, there are a multitude of opportunities that support employment on-the-go.

If you are a licensed massage therapist, you do not have to be tied down to one place either. Mobile massage clinics allow professionals to accept a diverse clientele without requiring a concrete office space or storefront. While there are a few different ways to begin with starting your own mobile massage clinic, this article specifically focuses upon a motorhome-style clinic, in which the office goes along with you.

By having your massage clinic on wheels, massage services are made more conveniently available to clients, who can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of massage from the comforts of their own area without having to commute very far. This concept could be especially favorable in large or crowded cities where traveling becomes increasingly time-consuming.

While it may seem confusing at first, opening your own motorhome massage clinic can be less of a difficulty, so be it that a concrete plan of action is set into motion. Of course, starting any business comes along with its challenges but committing to a particular path can offer a lot of direction and motivation to reach milestones.

 

Here are the 7 most important steps to running your own motorhome massage clinic so that you can launch your very own on-the-go business.

 

The 7 Steps to Initiating Your Own Motorhome Massage Clinic

While there may be other arrangements you will need to make in order to get your motorhome-style mobile massage practice up-and-running, here are the 7 most valuable steps that will get your on-the-go business rolling in no time.

 

  1. Make sure you have your massage therapist license and all the necessary certifications.

First thing’s first, do you have all the right massage therapist qualifications and certifications? In the United States, it is not permitted to practice massage therapy without a qualifying license. For those that reside outside of the United States where laws may vary, getting the right licenses helps protect you from any potential liabilities in the future and maintains a higher level of professionalism.

 

  1. Buy a motorhome plus all of the required equipment and insurance.

What’s a motorhome mobile massage clinic without the actual motorhome? Securing a reliable and professional motorhome is definitely one of the first steps when it comes to initiating this type of business. Check listings in your area for motorhomes or trailers that can serve as a spa on wheels.

Once you have decided upon the right motorhome for your business, you will also want to make sure the facility is well equipped which includes having all of the required equipment present.

Finally, make sure not only your business is insured, but all your equipment as well along with the motorhome itself. Organizations such as the National Association of Complementary and Alternative Medicines offer liability insurance for practicing massage therapists.

 

  1. Design your mobile massage clinic menu and define your services.

Since by this point you have already purchased equipment needed for your massage practice, you likely have an idea of the types of services you would like to offer. No two massage therapists are the same, which is why providing clients with a menu of your services is important so that communication remains clear and open.

Do you intend to offer any specialty massage services such as lymphatic drainage massage, craniosacral therapy, or sports massage? You will want to let potential customers know exactly which forms of bodywork you specialize in so that they can proceed with their decision making accordingly. Be sure to keep this menu also within easy reach so that clients will not have to jump through any hoops to discover prices or treatments offered.

 

  1. Convert your motorhome into a massage clinic that is comfortable and professional

After you have secured your motorhome and all the needed equipment plus defined your price list and menu or services, it is time to design your mobile massage clinic. For most purposes, the ideal aim or aesthetic of a clinic should be a professional yet comfortable feel.

This includes clean linens and up-to-date equipment as well as a tidy environment, but also a space in which a customer can feel relaxed enough to be able to fully unwind during the massage. After all, the comfort of your client should be the number one priority.

 

  1. Determine a marketing and publicity plan and decide on a clever business name.

Facility, menu, equipment, and massage license? Check! Now the next step is naming your business-to-be and getting going with a solid marketing and publicity plan. Sure, word of mouth can be a great way to get new clients to walk through those motorhome doors, but you cannot only rely on word of mouth and often need a little bit of an extra push.

Before you decide upon how to tackle the marketing factor, come up with a business name that exemplifies whatever image you would like your company to represent. Additionally, the name should be easy for people to understand, and it helps if it has a connection to mobile massage.

Once your name is set in place, now comes branding and marketing. Get a quality logo designed for your business and generate business cards. Open social media accounts for your business including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and possibly even get a website developed. This helps clients remember your company long after their appointment has passed and conveniently get in touch if need be.

If your budget allows for it, consider hiring a marketing professional to strengthen the buzz around your business. Once you have a solid foundation of clients, you will not need the marketing professional anymore and will be able to maintain a steady flow of customers, but in the very beginning, gearing up with all of your resources in place is the best way to make a full force premier into the corporate-world.

 

  1. Set up payment plan options and prepare customer consent forms.

Chances are you will not want to be running a cash-only business. Not only can this become dangerous without a collections company storing your profits, but it also can mean difficulties when filing taxes during tax season. Most of all, it can be an inconvenience to clients who potentially do not carry banknotes around in a technologically advancing world. For this reason, you will need to set up a payment plan with a credit card processing company as well as obtain a credit card reader.

In addition to possessing the needed digital money exchange technology, the preparation of consent forms also becomes an additional vital factor in running a mobile massage clinic. You do not want to be liable on the off chance that a client becomes injured or has a medical incident. For this reason, spas and massage clinics normally have every patient sign a consent form.

If you have been in the professional massage industry for a while then you are already familiar with this practice, but for those just beginning to dip their toes into the water, requiring every single client to sign a consent form is immensely important.

 

  1. Be confident and start spreading the word about your new business.

While planning, coordination, investment, and marketing are all essential pieces of this process, a massive portion of success directly correlates to confidence and believing in yourself. With that being said, out of all people, you should be the one that believes in your mobile massage clinic the most. By supporting your own business endeavors, you will feel more comfortable spreading the word about your new company, which will definitely help bring in more customers.

As is the case with many industries, word of mouth can still often be the best form of publicity and marketing no matter how digital the world turns. Dedicate yourself to ensuring happy clients leave your mobile massage practice and they are bound to tell their friends and relatives about your bodywork services bringing in new customers. If you also provide your clients with extra incentives to spread the word such as a discount on future services, this will help drive even more business to your motorhome massage clinic.

 

Conclusion: 7 Steps to Launch a Motorhome Mobile Massage Clinic

While reading all of these steps may appear overwhelming at first, remember to take action one effort at a time. Particularly if you have a strong passion for owning your own massage practice, in the end, all of the hard work will be worth it as your goals and dreams come into fruition. At the end of the day, the most important part is to enjoy what you do in life and to be happy, so if this mobile massage clinic offers that opportunity then it is certainly time well spent.

If you still have not received a formal education and have been searching for massage schools in San Diego or affordable career colleges, ICOHS is a non-profit vocational school that offers a tailored-to-you professional massage therapy program that will teach you what you need to know to secure a massage therapy license.

Reach out to us today to get started.