Hi Everyone! Great to be able to share some fascinating info with you and a delicious recipe for the Instant Pot. We use ours every day. What is an Instant Pot? Click Here. Instant pot is an electric pressure cooker that will making cooking at home MUCH more simple and easy.  To see demos of Instant Pot cooking,  Click Here

Food and how it affects our health has become a big deal to us. As we continue into our 25th year as skilled body workers we’ve noticed that what a person eats has a much greater effect on their health than exercise or medications. I am not saying that exercise and meds are not important and should be forgotten, but for those who eat a Whole Food Plant-Based diet the big changes in their health happened when they changed they way they ate not the meds they take.

Here are the the conditions that improve or reverse with eating properly:

  1. Blood pressure issues
  2. Cholesterol
  3. Controlling/managing diabetes
  4. Heart health
  5. Weight and pain management 
  6. Other factors like improving sleep and allergies

The simple, but not necessarily easy, lasting change Dianne and I sought in our health came through food ( she lost 50 lbs and lowered her cholesterol).

It came down to a choice for us;

  1. Change nothing about what we ate
  2. Listen to conventional wisdom
  3. Stay sick and take medications for the rest of our lives

OR

Change what we ate and get healthy.

OK, I’ll get off my soapbox. If you have questions about how to make some simple changes in the way you eat to improve your health and feel better, please ask us or check out these links.

Forks over Knives

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

Dr John McDougal

 

Dianne and I are not selling anything but the idea that you can have great health by eating well.   

 

 

Treating Text Neck

by richard on April 2, 2015

As I finished texting everyone in my world this morning I noticed my neck hurt and it felt stiff. Later I got an email about treating Text Neck from one of the massage gurus I follow. Darn! He was describing me!
To see a 3 minute video about Text Neck

Simply put, Text Neck is the label that describes the postural changes that occur to your neck muscles and spine while using a hand held digital device. Text Neck is another way of talking about Forward Head Posture (FHP), something that is very common in our culture. Here are the most common symptoms of FHP, and Text Neck:

 

  1. Pain in the neck,
  2. Headaches (in all parts of your head, forehead and sometimes into your eyes),
  3. Possible pain radiating into your shoulders, arms and hands,
  4. Can sometimes make you feel dizzy (spatial orientation difficulties).

 

Often the reason you feel such discomfort and pain is because the muscles of your neck and upper back become locked in the Text Neck position.  That makes them very tight and overworked which makes them sore, painful and tender. Those sore, overworked muscles can contribute to the symptoms mentioned above. Plus, holding your head in Text Neck position can cause other issues, like spinal alignment issues and nerve entrapment issues, if it continues long enough.

 

We know about treating Text Neck here. Tight, sore, overworked muscles are what we are very good at dealing with. Clients often tell us Text Neck symptoms get much better in one session. They also say they can stand straighter and breathe easier, too.

Call us if you have questions about Text Neck, or headaches and pain in your shoulders, arms and hands. To read the article about Text Neck I mentioned at the beginning of this post CLICK HERE  

The first 25 years: Lewisville Massage Therapy

by richard on March 17, 2015

blog pic 2We finished massage school 25 years ago. As I was ruminating on this rather staggering milestone, I tried to figure out how many sessions I might have done over that time.   I settled on an average of 48 work weeks a year.  Some weeks were busy (over 20 sessions a week) and some not so much (less that 10). As I remember, we never took off two weeks a year for a vacation except when we went to China for a massage work shop and study tour in 1993, however I allowed  two weeks of vacation. I also threw in one week of sick time and one week of miscellaneous time off. I think this figure may be on the low side, but here’s what I came up with:

  • For me: 14 sessions a week for 48 weeks a year x 25 years = 17,500 bodywork sessions, more or less.
  • For Dianne: 10 sessions a week for 48 weeks times 25 years = 12,000 body work sessions.

While most weeks I wished we had disposable sheets, one of us washed and folded a set of sheets for each of those sessions.  I have no idea how many pounds of laundry soap that equates to.

This really all comes to mean two things in the end;

  • We must be doing something that you, our loyal customers, think is right.
  • We are blessed. Our hands have not fallen off, no problems with thumbs, wrists, backs or any other issues massage therapist face. We’re continuing to do what we love which is provide effective, skilled body work and help people feel better.

If you have pain, inflammation, or swelling, contact us.

 

HIVAMAT 200: relief of chronic pain

by richard on March 5, 2015

Typical HIVAMAT setup.

Typical HIVAMAT setup.

Tina’s Story

The first time I saw Tina (not her real name) she was in her wheel chair in the waiting room at her pain management doctor’s office. I was there to do a demonstration of the HIVAMAT 200 and Tina was who I would demonstrate on.

For the last eight years Tina had been dealing with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS), an intensely painful chronic neurological condition that developed after she had surgery. She was prescribed numerous powerful pain medications and had an implanted electronic pain management device. On a scale of one to ten, her daily pain level was 8, sometimes nine, in spite of the medications. On the day I treated her she said it was 9. Her feet and lower legs were the most painful and they were mottled red and purple. She could rarely tolerate shoes and could not perform any activities of daily living without help because her pain was so intense. Her doctor told her that he had a new therapy he thought would help her but did not tell her any more details.

Tina’s session was typical; a straightforward, lymphatic session using the HIVAMAT 200. (To learn more about the HIVAMAT, click here.) I did a full neck, abdomen, and worked on both legs. I repeated this sequence twice, once at a high HIVAMAT frequency of 150 and once at a low frequency of 20. Her feet were too sensitive for me to touch so I did not work on them.  Total time of the session was 35-40 minutes. While Tina’s session that day was typical the results were miraculous.

Getting off the treatment table was not painful for Tina. Dressing was not uncomfortable and she did not require assistance from her husband. She reported a pain level of 2 as her husband helped her out of the treatment room. As she sat in the waiting room waiting for her husband to get the car, she began to cry. “I don’t remember when I haven’t felt any pain. It didn’t hurt to walk. My legs… just don’t hurt.”

When I talked to Tina the following day, she reported the results of that session lasted almost the entire day, with the pain returning gradually that evening. She had one whole day without pain. She took the dog out and walked two houses down the street, which was something she had not done in several years.

The HIVAMAT 200 enhances skilled bodywork creating a powerful method of pain management for CRPS and other painful conditions.  If you have pain, inflammation and swelling we want to talk to you and answer your questions. Call us. To learn more about the HIVAMAT and how it works, and to see videos, CLICK HERE.

Lower blood pressure with Massage Therapy

by richard on February 19, 2015

We all have heard massage is good for us. Now a recent review article, “Massage Therapy for Essential Hypertension: A Systematic Review,” backs this claim up with evidence. Twenty-four clinical trials were included in the review, a total of 1,962 hypertensive subjects. (Hypertension is also more commonly known as high blood pressure.) Here is the breakdown of the twenty-four clinical trials.

Total of 24 clinical trials conducted

  • 9 compared two groups,
  • One got only massage for Hypertension,
  • One got only meds.

RESULT: massage better than meds for lowering systolic blood pressure (the top number in your BP reading). No change in the diastolic (the bottom number in your BP reading).

  • 11 clinical studies compared two other groups:
  • One that got meds and massage for Hypertension.
  • One that got only med.

RESULT: massage + meds were significantly more effective at reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure than meds alone.

Here are actual stats. The overall decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure due to massage therapy was approximately 6.9 and 3.6 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) respectively. To put this in perspective, the CDC reports that a 12-13 mmHg reduction in average systolic blood pressure over four years can reduce heart disease risk by 21%, stroke by 37% and total risk of cardiovascular-related death by 25%.

So, here’s the take away:

  1. People who take meds for high blood pressure have better results if they also receive massage.
  2. Massage was shown to be significantly safer than antihypertensive meds based on the number of side effects reported. No serious adverse events occurred in either group, but there were significantly fewer minor adverse events with massage than with medication.

So, lower blood pressure with fewer side effects and you feel great because you got a massage. Sounds like a win-win.

imagesKen (not his real name) is an active, healthy man in his early 70’s who came to me with pain and swelling from a recent knee replacement. He had finished physical therapy, but still had restricted range of motion and pain in and around the new knee joint. His entire leg on the affected side was swollen with his upper thigh being a bit larger and his lower leg, especially around the ankle and the top of his foot being puffy and having moderate pitting (pitting is when pressing a thumb gently on the affected area makes a deep indentation in the skin). Ken wore a below the knee compression stocking on the affected lower leg. (Click Here to see HIVAMAT videos and learn more.)

There are some differences in a HIVAMAT assisted lymphatic session and a “regular bodywork session”.

  • Most lymphatic sessions have a typical pattern that is different from regular body work. Treatment follows the flow of the lymphatic system in the body. This dictates the order of what body part gets worked on first and how the treatment progresses. I’ll talk more about the difference between Manual Lymph Drainage and “regular bodywork” in another post.

Next and most obvious is the HIVAMAT 200. The HIVAMAT technology enhances the effects of Manual Lymph Drainage in many ways:

  • It lowers pain quickly by how it affects the nervous system. It does this by interrupting the pain signals from thebody to the brain, similar to a TENS unit.
  • It helps quiet the Sympathetic Nervous System, the part of the nervous system that is associated with stress and increasing heart rate and blood pressure.
  • The HIVAMAT decreases swelling, and the irritation to the surrounding tissue, by generating a penetrating electromagnetic pulse that attracts and pushes Ken’s tissue gently against my hand. The HIVAMAT then turns the attracting pulse on and off anywhere from 5 to 200 times a second. By doing this, the HIVAMAT stimulates the body’s lymph vessels and “opens up” surrounding muscles and fascia, allowing the body to move the swelling out.   

I started the session like most all lymphatic sessions, by working on Ken’s neck to open and activate the lymphatic system. The neck contains one third of all the lymph nodes in the body and is where is largest lymph vessels empty filtered, clean lymph back into the blood just above the heart. Next I worked on Ken’s abdomen, then his thigh, affected knee and lower leg. I did this twice, once at a high frequency setting (150) and once at a low frequency setting (20). The word frequency refers to the number of times a second the HIVAMAT attracts/pushes and releases the tissue.

The effect of the first session was impressive to Ken.

  1. Gained approximately 15 degrees of pain-free range of motion in his new knee.
  2. Drew down the swelling (edema) and heat around the new knee joint.
  3. Noticeable reduction of the swelling (edema) above the new knee and in the lower leg, ankle, and foot.

The HIVAMAT is a unique technology that assists and enhances Manual Lymph Drainage and Myofascial Release. To learn more about the HIVAMAT and watch videos about it, CLICK HERE. Contact/email us with any questions.

The “anti-inflammatory diet” is a term for a way of eating that has some simple guidelines. Different authorities on this subject differ on some details, but agree on the basics. Here are some tips. I am not discussing gluten sensitivity or other allergies here. Please take these factors into account if they are an issue for you. Also, anti-inflammatory diets include eating meat and possibly limited dairy, Vegan does not.

 

Why are skilled body workers talking about food? There is lots of good data, and our personal experience and the experience of our clients who eat this way, that show that when a person eats the “right” foods they feel better. Feeling better means fewer aches and pains. It means no more bloat. Right! Flatter tummies! And lower blood pressure, cholesterol and the control of blood sugar, too.

 

Here are some simple steps to start changing the way you eat and feeling better:

 

Half/quarter/quarter

Half your plate is vegetables and/or fruit, quarter protein, quarter grains.

 

Avoid Dairy (inflammatory food)

Dairy causes digestive problems and does not deliver the nutrition you think it does.         There is a growing body of evidence that links diary consumption to cancers of the breast, prostate, and ovaries. Milk does a body more harm than good.

 

Avoid Sugar/sweeteners (inflammatory food)

They make you feel not full or satisfied and make you CRAVE.

 

Eat Whole foods

Whole foods are not refined or processed. Choose foods that are as close to whole as possible. For breads    and pasta choose 100% whole grain as the first  ingredient on the label. The fewer the number of ingredients on the list, the better.

 

Avoid processed foods

These foods are pre-made. Heat and Eat. These include foods from Costco, the supermarket, a business that makes meals for you and delivers them       (unless the ingredients are organic), convenience stores, or any fast food outlets. Read the Label. If you have to sound out the big words on the ingredient list and still have trouble with them, don’t eat it. It really isn’t food, it’s a science project.

 

Drink your water

Everyone needs this reminder. Water Good. Drink!

 

 

Check out the roasted veggie recipe below and start eating some delicious food that is easy and simple to prepare.

 

ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS AND/or ROOT VEGGIES

 

Tasting this recipe was the first time I had eaten brussel sprouts that I LOVED THEM. We eat them by themselves and along with other dishes. Enjoy.

 

Pre-heat oven to 400

 

Rinse and drain 1 lb of brussel sprouts

 

Cut the ends of the brussel sprouts off and cut them in half (some of the outside leaves come off) and put them in a large mixing bowl

 

 

Add 2 TBSP of any kind of mustard and 2 TBSP of Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve Balsamic Vinegar to the brussels. TOSS until all is coated.

 

 

Put on a baking sheet (with parchment paper if you have it) and bake for 30-60 minutes. 

 

About the Root Veggies: follow the same recipe for turnips, parsnips, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes. etc.

 

This is very simple and a great way to eat great tasting veggies with hardly any trouble.

 

Enjoy! Cheers!

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Pain Management

by richard on February 4, 2015

I just completed my first Dr Vodder re-certification and review last weekend. There were many fantastic things about the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday sessions that are worth mentioning, the hand technique review by Hildegard Wittlinger, the original pupil of Dr Vodder, being a definite highlight. She is the recognized master of Manual Lymph Drainage and is still practicing.

Enough about that, what I want to talk about today is the way in which Manual Lymph Drainage relieves pain.

One of the lymphatic systems’ main functions is to control fluid balance. Another way to say this is the lymphatic system controls swelling and inflammation. It’s true that inflammation is a normal part of the body’s healing process. It is also true that when a part of your body is swollen or inflamed (healing) it is often painful, too.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Washington, D.C. March 2012 reports that 1 in 3 people, or approximately 100 million, in United States experience chronic pain.

Here is a partial list of the kinds of pain that people present with for treatment. MLD is effective in managing:

  1. Low Back pain                
  2. TMJ
  3. Arthritis
  4. Headache and Migraine
  5. Cancer Pain
  6. Fibromyalgia
  7. Neuropathic pain
  8. Complex Regional pain syndromes
  9. Tendinopathies
  10. Adhesive capsulitis
  11. Sprains
  12. Postoperative pain
  13. Pelvic Floor Pain

The mechanisms of how and why we feel pain are wonderfully complex. Different conditions effect our nervous in different ways, but the result is the same, pain. Here are some conditions that affect the nervous system (Somatosensory Nervous system) in different ways.

MLD is a very good way to manage the pain from all of these conditions:

  1. Toxic             (Chemo-raditation effects)
  2. Metabolic (diabetes, alcohol abuse)
  3. Trauma (CRPS)
  4. Compressive (nerve entrapment)
  5. Autoimmune (chronic inflammatory demyelization polyneuropathy)
  6. Infections (post-herpetic, Lyme’s disease)

 

Manual Lymph Drainage is able to decrease the level of pain a person feels for two very important reasons:

  1. MLD decreases swelling and reduces inflammation. Swelling and inflammation occur around tissues that are healing from a wound or are damaged by disease. For example, a wound from a surgical procedure, a bruise, a deep cut (laceration), muscle pain caused by over use, pain from nervous system disorders, can cause pressure and irritation. MLD decongests that swollen tissue and relieves the inflammation and reduces the pressure. This, in turn, reduces the pain.

 

  1. MLD has a positive, calming effect on the overall nervous system. MLD is a very comfortable, soothing, rhythmic, yet very powerful form of body work that “calms the signals” to the brain that register pain.

 

 

Here’s the take away. Pain affects 1 in 3 people in the United States. This pain may come from a variety of different causes, but when it’s your pain you just want it to stop. One simple, effective way to manage pain is with Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD). MLD is comfortable, relaxing, it feels good and it has helped many people manage their pain and feel better.

Experience is the reason we’re still here

by richard on January 28, 2015

Dianne and I have been practicing massage therapists for 25 years this year. During that time our business has grown and so have we.

When we started in 1990 she worked at Richard’s Hair Salon (Lewisville) and I at Golden Triangle Chiropractic (Denton).

Our professional lives, as well as our personal lives, have grown day by day, challenge by challenge, but one thing has remained constant; our love of doing massage and helping people feel better.

When we opened the Lewisville Massage Therapy Clinic in June 1991 we were confident we could do a good job doing massage and helping people.

The details, like how to do double entry accounting, writing ad copy, filing corporate taxes, and marketing a massage therapy business, were things we could, and did, learn on the way.

We were right. The history of LMTC is told by the many, many clients we have met, helped, and gotten to know so well.

These experiences and memories are deep, rich and cherished.

The one factor that has not changed in twenty five years is we still get a thrill doing massage.

We still love it and still want to learn more about it. We think about our work the same way today that we did when we started twenty five years ago; give each client our best work.

We are deeply honored when a person puts their trust, and their body, in our hands,  whether it’s to address the swelling, pain and complications from lymphedema, to help relieve muscle/body/joint pain, or to take a one hour vacation.

We wake up every day looking forward to seeing people, and helping them feel better.

If you have pain or swelling because of lymphedema, old or recent sports injuries, we can help.

We look forward to your call or email.

Mary is in her early fifties, is fit, and plays guitar. She had an audition set up and had been practicing a lot more than usual to get ready for it. She called because she was having pain on the top and the front and back of her right shoulder. She also indicated the pain referred down into her right upper arm mostly on the back (posterior) side and she was having trouble raising her right arm any higher than the level of shoulder (90 degrees) without pain. All of this made it very difficult to play guitar, to say the least.

In situations like this I use a systematic, methodical approach to treating a situation like Mary’s (neuro-muscular therapy, MFR, positional release work, various stretching techniques), working on all the muscles involved in the movement of her shoulder in a particular sequence. Being able to use the HIVAMAT and it’s capability to positively and deeply affect inflamed, painful tissue, I was able to draw down the pain in Mary’s shoulder and increase the pain-free Range of Motion (ROM), then address specific muscles/tissues and do this without the guarding and discomfort often associated with deep tissue modalities. Why? The HIVAMAT is the reason.

With the HIVAMAT:

  • Inflammation is reduced
  • Pain is decreased
  • Pain-free Range of Motion (ROM) is increased
  • Deep work is accomplished easily for both client and therapist (saves the therapist’s hands)

The HIVAMAT’S internationally patented technology effects the nervous system to help prevent pain signals from reaching the brain and helps stimulate your body to produce higher levels of its own natural painkillers. It also affects the lymphatic system to break up and move inflammation and speed up the tissue healing process.

How did Mary feel after her session?

  • Her pain was significantly reduced (from 8 to 1).
  • Her pain-free Range of Motion (ROM) returned to her normal level.
  • No more pain referring down into her upper arm.

This is a dramatic, but common, example of how using the HIVAMAT in conjunction with traditional massage modalities can have a very positive outcome for a client and the therapist. The HIVAMAT is a very powerful tool that makes doing “deep tissue” work much easier for the client because it works deep without the discomfort often associated with deeper bodywork modalities. It’s easier on the therapist because the therapist does not have to apply a great deal of force with thumbs, elbows, etc., to affect the client’s tissue at a very deep level.  It’s a winning situation for everyone.

Here is a link to the HIVAMAT page on our website. There you will find lots of info, videos, and FAQ’s. Contact us anytime with questions or to schedule an appointment.