Autoimmune Diseases are a group of disorders in which the immune system attacks the body and destroys or alters tissues. There are more than eighty serious chronic illnesses in this category including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Addison's disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis and Guillain–Barré syndrome.
According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) twenty percent of the population suffers from autoimmune disorders. Each disease appears uncommon on an individual basis but, as a group, the disorders make up the fourth-largest cause of disability among women.
Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune disorders, integrative medicine solutions including acupuncture and Asian medicine have received much attention as successful therapies in their treatment particularly for use in providing pain relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms and improving overall quality of life.
What Causes Autoimmune Disease?
Under normal conditions, an immune response cannot be triggered against the cells of one's own body. In certain cases, however, immune cells make a mistake and attack the very cells that they are meant to protect. This can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases which encompass a broad category of over 100 diseases in which the person's immune system attacks his or her own tissue.
The exact mechanisms causing these changes are not completely understood, but bacteria, viruses, toxins, and some drugs may play a role in triggering an autoimmune process in someone who already has a genetic (inherited) predisposition to develop such a disorder. It is theorized that the inflammation initiated by these agents, toxic or infectious, somehow provokes in the body a "sensitization" (autoimmune reaction) in the involved tissues.
As the disease develops vague symptoms start to appear, such as joint and muscle pain, general muscle weakness, possible rashes or low-grade fever, trouble concentrating, or weight loss. The following symptoms may point toward something being wrong: numbness and tingling in hands and feet, dry eyes, hair loss, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or repeated miscarriages can also be caused by an autoimmune response.
How Acupuncture Treats Autoimmune Disorders
According to East Asian medicine, autoimmune disorders occur when there is imbalance within the body. Imbalance can come from an excess or deficiency of yin and yang that disrupts the flow of Qi, or vital energy, through the body. Acupuncture is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while specifically addressing the symptoms that are unique to each individual.
Clinical research has shown that acupuncture causes physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones, and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that, by these actions, acupuncture affects blood pressure, body temperature and the immune system.
In addition to acupuncture, your treatment program to manage your autoimmune disorder may involve a combination of therapies including stress reducing exercises, moderate physical activity, herbal medicine and nutritional support.
By: Dr. James Rouse, Naturopathic Physician and
Human Touch Wellness Council Member
Full disclosure and absolute vulnerability here…have you ever been too tired to keep running but at the same time you felt too scared to stop? I know in my heart that you and I most always have the most powerful and sincerest of intentions to allow for the space of grace to envelope us on demand. Yup, every day we assemble our “to do” list and maybe, just maybe, we courageously insert our self-care towards the end of that long list as an “honorable mention” in the hopes that we may just make it happen.
Then life happens.
No doubt, we are living under the influence of “not enough-ness”. Not enough time, energy, mindfulness and presence. At the end of our daily decathlon we often times find ourselves feeling like we may let ourselves down… again. From there, we can go to the familiar place of finding all the reasons why we missed ourselves… again. Or, we can courageously choose to begin again, right here and now with a self-love, self-care intervention: wellness at the speed of life.
“Oh my, this sounds a bit self-indulgent… a little too self-absorbed…” I get it. How dare you place your SELF at the top of your “to do” list?
How dare you not?
Your ability to rise up each day and create a life you love - one that is awake, present, balanced and fully open to the highest expression of you is fully dependent on your ability to - openly and with enthusiasm - love yourself well-all day long.
Here’s some fun food for thought:
Massage Anywhere: planes, trains and automobiles. Make your commute a moving massage meditation. You will arrive more peaceful, balanced and ready to rock your success. Got lunch? Feed your mind and body the blessing of moving from stressed to blessed… the courageous move from being the human doing to re-claim the human being is done with your Human Touch iJoy Massage Anywhere. Make room for your afternoon delight. As stress hormones love to rise up with each and every email, voicemail and social media engagement, you can lower the drama and raise the positivity while you marinate in massage from your desk, meeting, soccer-mom-dad bleacher seat. All good. Always.
If you’re on the fence as to whether or not you can make the move to the greener pastures of peace, positivity and all out contagion, let me leave you with this: as you make your way into each day living under the influence of your self-care love affair the world will be watching. “They” will follow your lead, you will be a change agent, you will be the leader of the revolution- and you thought this was all about you. Rise and shine wellness warrior!
By Laura Gaskill, Houzz
Photo By: Gabriel Holland Interior Design, original photo on Houzz
So often we look forward to the weekend, but once it arrives, it gets swallowed up by errands and chores — and before we know it, it’s over. That hardly seems fair! If you’re ready to reclaim your weekend, begin by shifting your thinking and consider your weekend a “mini retreat” — a well-deserved opportunity to rest and recharge. And while not every weekend lends itself to this relaxed approach, even when life throws you a super-packed weekend, pulling even a few ideas from the list that follows can help slow things down enough that you can catch your breath and savor the abundance around you.
Gabriel Holland Interior Design, original photo on Houzz
Start your weekend off right by savoring your first cup of coffee (take it outdoors if the weather is agreeable) and using this moment to simply breathe and relax, without feeling the need to check your phone or fire up the laptop. Instead, pick up an old school pencil and paper and make a list of things you would love to do and (equally important) things you don’t want to do over the weekend. Really dreading the weekly cleanup session? Consider calling in a cleaning service, even if these chores are something you usually do yourself. If you must clean, plan to set a timer and get it out of the way as quickly as possible.
Scoop up armfuls of blooms. What could be more cheerful than flowers all around the house? If spring is blossoming where you live, all you may need to do is walk out to your garden and start snipping away. If it’s still cold (or you don’t have a garden) stop by a market, farmstead or flower shop and treat yourself to some beautiful blooms. Once you get home, trim the stems a bit (a fresh cut makes it easier for the flowers to drink water) and place them in vases of fresh water immediately. But don’t stop there — even if you bought just one bouquet, you can get more out of it by pulling out a few blooms to fill bud vases. Place a bud vase beside your bed, on the bathroom sink and in the kitchen to spread good cheer throughout your home.
Take a neighborhood stroll or bike ride. How much have you really explored your neighborhood? Take a walk (bundle up if you need to) or bike ride if it’s a lovely day, and set out to discover something new. Your eventual destination could be your local farmer’s market or a favorite neighborhood cafe or shop, or you could simply wander and explore, taking inspiration from the houses and gardens you pass.
Dafne Vijande, original photo on Houzz
Set up your own spa-like accoutrements. When you come in from your walk or bike ride, refresh yourself by making a pitcher of fancy water with slices of lemon, orange or cucumber and sprigs of a fresh herb like mint. Pour yourself a tall glass and sip it while paging through your favorite coffee table book.
Refresh your living space. If decorating is your cup of tea, put on some music and spend some time restyling your living room. There’s no need to buy a thing — just challenge yourself to be creative and work with what you have. Sometimes moving things from room to room, putting up some new art (you can always pull from your stack of family photos) or pulling a few textiles out of hiding are all that’s needed to give a space a fresh look. Of course, if shopping is on your agenda, it’s your weekend to do what you like — but consider checking out a small, local shop or flea market instead of hitting the big stores, as you never know what treasures you’ll come across (and it’s surprisingly satisfying to stay close to home).
Invite friends over for tea. When was the last time you got together with a few friends just to chat and catch up? Having tea together is a lovely, low-pressure way to host a gathering, since all you really need is a selection of tea and enough cups to go around! Teatime treats are always nice, but they can be simple — good cookies from a box along with a bowl of berries is totally fine. No need to bake scones from scratch (unless you want to).
Sand Design, original photo on Houzz
Think of the transition from morning to afternoon as a natural time to pause and “reset” your day. If something came up in the morning — soccer practice, errands — make this your chance to reboot your weekend and intentionally choose to relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
Picnic in the backyard. Whether you stopped by the farmer’s market on your morning stroll or are using what you have on hand, keep lunch simple and fresh. Think crostini with tapenade, crunchy veggies sprinkled with a bit of flaky salt, a prepared whole grain salad and a bowl of berries for dessert. If the weather is good, why not pack up your lunch and head out to the backyard? Everything tastes better in the fresh air! And if it’s rainy or cold, simply relocate your picnic to the dining table, and warm up with the addition of hot soup and mugs of tea.
Sneak away for an afternoon soak. Taking a leisurely bath in the afternoon feels luxurious, improves the spirits and helps release any lingering tension from a long week. If you have fragrant essential oils or fancy bath products you’ve been saving, now’s your chance to use them.
B Jane Gardens, original photo on Houzz
Read, journal and daydream. Whether it’s a sunny window or a backyard hammock, choose the best seat in the house for getting lost in a good book. Take along a journal and pens in case you get inspired to write down your thoughts — and if you’re not sure what to journal about, making a “things I’m grateful for” list is always a winner.
Kindle an old flame. Did you always love photography, art or poetry? Whatever your passion, take a little time-out to explore what sparked your interest in the first place. Pull out your old sketchbook and draw for 10 minutes; take a neighborhood walk with your camera; write a poem on the first scrap of paper you find — it doesn’t have to take up much time to feed your old flame, and it’s worth every second.
Kristy Noble Photography, original photo on Houzz
Unlike on a weeknight — when you’re probably already tired from your workday — after a day of rest, relaxation and creativity you should be feeling renewed and ready to have some fun. Make an official start to your evening hours by putting away the to-do list and setting aside your devices.
Put on your favorite music. Music, more than just about anything else, has the power to quickly shift our mood — so put on an album that lifts your spirits. If you have records, play DJ and curate a stack of albums to play throughout the evening. If you’d rather let someone else do the curating for you, try one of the many new online music streaming services … or invite a friend with great taste in music to come over!
Shabby Chic Style Dining Room, original photo on Houzz
Plan a vacation-inspired dinner. Whether it’s impeccably fresh fish in the Caribbean, tender Maryland crab cakes, a lobster roll within view of the beach in Maine or a warm and comforting meal in a tiny Italian trattoria, on vacation, dinner is often an event — something to really look forward to and savor. Whether you decide to cook or order in, choose something for dinner that captures the excitement of being away. Set the mood with music, candles and good friends or family to share the experience with.
Serve aperitifs or digestifs outdoors. So often it’s the little things that elevate everyday life into something special. One way to do that around the nightly meal is to change the venue before or after dinner (or both). Serve aperitifs (before-dinner drinks) and small nibbles in the garden before the meal, or head out onto the patio after dinner for a digestif surrounded by candles and strands of lights.
There isn’t any way to possibly say thank you properly to Human Touch so in lieu of that I would like to share my experience of what a difference this has made in my life. My story was heard by a member of their wonderful company and I was blessed with the most amazing gift of the Human Touch ZeroG to help me on my journey to remission.
I have Systemic Lupus Erythematous which is more commonly known as SLE and is the most serious form of Lupus. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body because the immune system mistakes the body's own tissues as foreign invaders and attacks them. What this means is that by virtue it can affect the skin, mouth, brain, lungs, heart, kidneys, eyes, muscles……any body part you can think of, Lupus can attack.
I was diagnosed more than 20 years ago and after a few difficult years I lived for the most part free of Lupus, at least from the debilitating kind of symptoms and damage. About two years ago the disease went into a fully active status and took what had been a very active lifestyle and brought it to an abrupt halt. I currently take more than 50 pills daily, go for monthly infusions at the hospital, see multiple specialists, and holistic care is part of the regimen as well. The initial diagnosis was Lupus of the brain with neurological involvement. What this meant for me was extreme fatigue, fevers daily, rashes, balance issues, and muscle cramping that feels like I have 100 “Charley Horses” all happening at once. There is no cure and at times it feels like I am most certainly living inside the impossible.
Then I met my chair. This is where healing happens every day for me. The first time I saw it I was shopping for a new recliner with my family at a local furniture store and I sat in it just to wait for the salesperson. I immediately started crying, almost to the point of sobbing. The instant relief was something that words can’t describe. These tears were tears of joy!
It would be impossible to say that I have a favorite setting because it’s not uncommon for me to use several of them every single day. The foot and calf massager is a must with every session. And I always “Go To Zero” before I choose my massage. My typical day involves 3 visits to the chair. One to get me going in the morning, one to keep me going mid-afternoon and one to calm before bed. I tend to tuck myself in when I’m in the chair. I like to have a small pillow on each side and have a blanket over me so that I’m cocooned in it. The quest for wellness takes an emotional toll as well and I’m not stretching it to say that being in this chair feels like a mom’s hug. I love this chair! So much so that my extended family went on vacation together recently and the chair traveled with us!!
When I first began using it I thought of all the sick people I know that could benefit from it and what I found is there is no single person without an ailment whether it’s physical or emotional that this chair wouldn’t benefit. I was paying $80 every other week for a therapeutic massage. After I started using the chair I no longer needed to make the appointment because my chair can do so much more and it doesn’t get tired! I am a portrait photographer and I run my business out of my home. Because of this my clients often come and stay for quite a while. My favorite thing is to nestle them into it and watch them beg me to never go home!
I am grateful to the entrepreneur that believed enough in the quality of life to see this to fruition and the team that supported the venture. This chair has quite literally saved my pride, doubled my daily potential both professionally and personally, and given me a quiet retreat when I'm unwell. It is my personal slice of heaven on earth.
-Becky H., Michigan
Thinking back to my childhood home, I remember the smells most vividly: the jasmine growing by the mailbox; the honeysuckle vines climbing the back fence; the clean, simple scent of baby bubble bath; even the subtle background scent of polished wood floors. Scent tends to be more closely tied to memories than any of the other senses, making it the perfect vehicle for tapping into your most cherished memories. Of course, it’s not all about the past. Delicious smells can make your home and garden a wonderland of sensory pleasures — so you can savor the moment today and create new memories to treasure tomorrow.
Bath time. The hot water of a bath or shower is a great aid in diffusing scent. Take advantage of that fact and choose a special bath product or essential oil that makes you breathe a sigh of relief. Whether you crave the simple, clean scent of Ivory soap or a rich, woodsy essential oil, honor your heart’s desires.
Breakfast. Do you remember waking up to the smell of pancakes, bacon and freshly squeezed juice? Why not treat yourself to a repeat of your childhood favorite breakfast this weekend — soft-boiled eggs and toast soldiers, anyone?
Amy Renea, original photo on Houzz
Vanilla beans. There is something magical about the vanilla bean. Let the warm, comforting scent of vanilla fill your house by baking a batch of sugar cookies, or place a few drops of vanilla in a bowl of warm water to let the scent diffuse.
Fragrant flowers. Let Proust have his madeleines — I’ll take flowers by my front door. Jasmine, honeysuckle and other fragrant flowers can prompt powerful emotional memories. If there is a special flower you remember growing near your childhood home, or in another place that was special to you, see if you can plant that same flower at your current home.
Jeni Lee, original photo on Houzz
A row of lavender. A lavender-lined walkway is a wonderful thing. Just imagine coming home each day and brushing your fingers across the leaves, the scent releasing into the air as you go by.
Tomato vines in the sun. I remember summers in my grandfather’s garden when the tomatoes were ripe on the vine. I would go lie underneath them, the scent of the tomato vines curling around me as the light filtered through the leaves. Tomatoes themselves are not nearly as fragrant — my young son has already noticed this, and loves to sniff the tomato vines in our backyard.
Sarah Greenman, original photo on Houzz
Scents on the evening breeze. As with those rows of lavender along the front walk or that jasmine by the front door, consider where you place other fragrant plants to get as much pleasure from them as possible. Surround your porch with beach roses, plant lilacs under your bedroom window and hang a window box of herbs beside the kitchen sink.
Coffee or tea. Which one does it for you? For me, it’s both! There is nothing like the smell of freshly ground coffee brewing first thing in the morning … but bending over a mug of deliciously fragrant tea can be equally wonderful. If you’ve been having the same beverage every day for years, experiment with something new.
Dreamy Whites, original photo on Houzz
Cut flowers. Treat yourself to cut flowers — whether from your own garden or the farmer’s market — regularly. Smell before you buy and choose the ones you love most. Or place a single fragrant bloom in a glass on the bedside table to encourage sweet dreams.
Perfume. Smelling the perfume or cologne that someone you loved always wore can instantly call up a vivid memory. If you want a blast from the past, track down the scent you wore in high school.
Avocado Sweets Design Studio, original photo on Houzz
Baking bread and bubbling soup. What cooking smells do you most love — baking bread, warm cookies, a bubbling pot of soup or chili? Whatever kitchen creation you most want to smell in your home, put that on the menu for the coming week. Even better, make a few batches so you can stash one in the freezer for quick comfort on another day.
Fire and smoke. The smell of a campfire has to be one of the most primal scent memories around. Channel your inner child — or caveperson — and gather around the fire pit for dinner.
Freshly cut grass. Mowing the lawn may not always top the list of favorite things to do, but the pleasure of smelling freshly cut grass is undeniable. And for those with fond memories of a farm childhood, why not bring back the scent of the hay barn by tossing a bale or two in the backyard to use as summer seating? Covered with old quilts, hay bales make comfy bench seats.
Photo Credit: Thomas Hafeneth
Massage is one of the fastest-growing complementary therapies around the world. Like any other treatment, diabetic massage has several potential benefits and side effects for people with this diagnosis. Some studies show that it has a positive impact on blood glucose levels and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. In fact, one group study found that when parents gave a full-body nightly massage to their diabetic children, the children’s glucose levels dropped from an average of 158 to 117 mg / dL within one month.
Diabetes massage relaxes the muscles and calms the mind, thus reducing the physical and mental ailments associated with diabetic symptoms.
What Are Common Complications of Diabetes?
According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 1 out of 3 diabetics over the age of 50 will suffer from peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD occurs when the blood vessels in the legs are narrowed and blocked by fatty deposits, and the blood flow to the feet is decreased. This can result in an alarming number of consequences, ranging from foot ulcers to amputation. Therefore, it is critical for people with diabetes to ensure that the blood flow to their legs is regulated.
Can Diabetics Use Massage Chairs with Foot Massagers?
Massage products—from recliners with foot-and-calf massagers, to targeted foot-and-calf relief solutions—can serve as an incredibly useful tool for patients with diabetes seeking to increase blood flow in their legs and swollen feet. The Figure-Eight® Technology in many Human Touch® products delivers an advanced technique that emulates those used by a professional masseuse, and this technique increases the blood flow between the legs and torso.
Benefits of Foot Massage for Diabetics
Massage has been shown to drop glucose levels, which can help to prevent hyperglycemia in diabetics. According to Healthline.com, hyperglycemia can cause eye damage, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, nerve damage (neuropathy), skin and gum infections, joint problems and even can result in a diabetic coma. Helping to relax your body will assist in lowering your glucose levels, which can prevent these types of hyperglycemic ailments.
Another benefit of diabetes massage is the increase in flexibility as the muscles are loosened. High blood sugar can result in the thickening of connective tissue, and massage will increase the mobility and elasticity of that tissue. As the muscles, tendons and ligaments are relaxed, patients will find an increase in motion and flexibility in the joints, therefore improving their quality of life. Thus, a foot massager for diabetics is a great way to increase flexibility and mobility in their feet. Diabetics also often have restricted blood flow in their feet, which massage can help increase.
Important Precautions of Massage for People with Diabetes
All of these benefits of massage should be noted by anyone suffering from diabetes. However, if you are diabetic, you need to consider a few important factors when seeking the therapy.
As with any type of physical therapy, you need to consult your physician before beginning massage therapy. It’s a great option for anyone seeking stress and pain relief, but people with diabetes need to be aware of fluctuations in their blood sugar levels at all times. Diabetics especially need to monitor their glucose levels after such therapy. They may not need as much insulin as they normally do after a massage.
It is also important for diabetics to avoid massage in an area where they inject insulin. Pressure in this area may influence the way that their body absorbs the shot and therefore alter their intake. This is one of the things professional athletes suffering from diabetes especially need to be mindful of.
Are Foot Massagers Good for Diabetics with Neuropathy?
As a final recommendation, diabetics should be cautious when assessing the pressure levels and heat options from any massage service, whether from a masseuse, a chair or with a foot massager. Those who want to try foot massage for diabetic neuropathy need to consult with a healthcare professional and also do their own research to determine if the massage technique or heating levels are ideal for a person of their body type and sensitivity levels.
When you hear the word “retreat,” what comes to mind — writing in a cabin by a lonesome lake, engaging in spiritual study or practicing yoga on the beach? How about doing a retreat in your own home? It may at first seem like an improbable idea (although that yoga-on-the-beach thing sounds pretty good), but there are some surprising positives to crafting your own retreat at home. For one thing, it’s free. For another, you can decide exactly the sort of activities you want to focus on, including things that may not be combined in most retreats (novel writing and cupcake baking, anyone?). Check out these 10 steps to designing your own retreat in the comfort of your home.
1. Decide on a focus. Are you craving a spiritual retreat? Time to work on your craft, write, do yoga or meditate? Make a short list of the things you want to incorporate into your retreat so you can start planning.
2. Get your household onboard. If you live with others, and especially if you have children, going on a retreat at home can be a challenge. Try to plan the retreat for a time when your family or housemates will be away, particularly during the day. At the very least, try to get everyone to agree to respect what you are doing. This includes not speaking to you too much if you decide to maintain silence (see No. 8) during your retreat. If you have children, it can be worthwhile to do a shorter (even a one-day) retreat when you know the kids will be out of the house.
3. Set an intention. An intention is different from a goal. A goal might be, “I will meditate two hours each day,” whereas an intention could be, “I will be mindful and appreciate each moment.”
To set an intention for your retreat, answer these two questions:
○ What do you hope to gain from your retreat?
○ What do you hope your experience will be?
Setting intentions before your retreat can help keep you focused on the experience you want to have.
4. Shop for groceries and plan meals. Retreats you travel to, no matter what the focus, tend to offer fresh, healthful food — so try to offer yourself the same. Get the main work out of the way before your retreat begins, so you can focus on the good stuff.
5. Gather other materials. Depending on what sort of activities you will be focusing on, you may want to pick up books, instructional videos, craft supplies, notebooks and pens, a yoga mat or meditation cushions.
6. Create a schedule. Any proper retreat has a schedule mapped out in advance, and there’s no reason you can’t do the same. Decide what time you would like to rise, eat, work on your project, read, have downtime and go to sleep each day. Of course, the beauty of having an at-home retreat is that you are free to leave your schedule as open or as structured as you like.
7. Prepare your space. There’s no need to go overboard cleaning and scrubbing, but beginning your retreat in a neat, clean home will help set a positive tone. Plan to spend a few hours getting rid of clutter and cleaning up before you begin your retreat.
Pay special attention to clearing away clutter and electronic devices in the bedroom so you can sleep restfully. And elsewhere in the house, put away anything that reminds you of work or things you may be feeling stressed about.
8. Try silence. Consider going without speaking during some or all of your retreat — you may be surprised how refreshing it can feel to get a break from constant chatter.
Of course, the more people in your household, the more difficult it will be. Perhaps someone else would like to participate in silence with you, or you can enjoy a silent break during the times you have the house to yourself. And, of course, talk if you really need to!
9. Unplug. If there is one thing that seems to be a given at a retreat, it’s that you disconnect your devices. No going online and no checking your phone or tablet. If you are used to being on your devices frequently, it can be a hard habit to break, but it’s worth trying!
10. Consider your media consumption. In addition to what you might be used to seeing online, consider taking a break from the magazines, newspapers and books you usually read. Be intentional about the material you choose to read or watch during your retreat. If you want to read a book or watch a film, pick one that meshes with the intention you set for the retreat.
More from Houzz:
Looking for a way to enjoy daily full-body massage on your retreat? Try the Human Touch Novo XT massage chair:
By increasing oxygen-rich blood to tired, sore muscles, Novo XT helps to restore your natural well being. You can also bet that the sleek, innovative design will serve as a conversation piece that captivates attention like that of your favorite sports car.
Once you’ve rejuvenated both your body and mind, you’ll experience a heightened sense of confidence, motivation, and clarity—all the tools you need be your best and keep your edge over the rest of the pack.
Words cannot express my gratitude towards the Novo Massage Chair, but I will try my best to tell my brief story which I have never expressed to anyone in complete details.
I just turned 27 last week and have lived a very active life style. I grew up working in construction, racing motocross, working out etc. I was blessed at the age of 19 to meet my soulmate who I have 2 beautiful young children with. I started my own company and was living the picture perfect life up until when I started experiencing back pain. I kept powering through them thinking they would eventually pass.
After 6 months of continuing to decline I elected to see a chiropractor. After a few X-rays their opinion was there was a fracture or defect in my L5-S1 that I was born with. After some MRIs and meeting with a neurosurgeon I was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis, and was told that I was limited by my pain and would eventually need a spinal fusion, but was last resort due to my age.
I continued to work through the pain with the hopes one day it would start to subside. I downplayed how I felt to doctors (which was not a good idea) but at I time I thought I did not have a choice as I had an obligation to my employees, current customers and to provide for my family. I continued to do less physically but things continued to decline and I will never forget the day when things hit rock bottom.
I walked up a single flight of stairs twice to check on one of my jobs, and was in so much pain. That night my 2 year old son was crying for me to pick him up, which I could not physically do for the first time because of the pain. Listening to my wife try to explain to a 2 year that I could not pick him up absolutely crushed me, and I ended up going to the hospital in excruciating pain. I was discharged with pain meds and received an expedited appointment to see my neurosurgeon.
I met with my neurosurgeon with the hopes of immediately getting surgery but was informed to do more PT and start pain management, which I was not happy with at all as I felt I had exhausted all my options. I started dieting, having specialized physical therapy, and taking pain management all at once. I started to slowly feel better and would get massaged on my worst days, but then started getting them once a week as I realized they were helping. I realized the days after my weekly massage I felt the best and wish I could get more massages, but mentally could not bring myself to spend more on them as they were only temporary relief.
One day I was walking through Costco and noticed the massage chairs but elected just to walk by. Curiosity got the best of me and I ended up checking out Human Touch’s website. The stretch feature is what really got me wondering if it worked. I tried zero gravity massage chairs in the past at Brookstone, but never heard of one that could do a spinal stretch. I waited until the last day of the sale to take a look but had no intentions of purchasing one. I sat in the chair and 2 minutes into the massage the airbags squeezed my legs and stretched my spine while the rollers ran down and I was blown away. I stopped the massage a minute later and purchased one.
Although I have been very fortunate I am nowhere near a millionaire so I did not take the purchase of the chair lightly. Human Touch generously expedited the chair to me after I explained that I had purchased it for medical issues, and since then my quality of life has greatly improved. The chair has helped me recover faster and get the blood pumping in muscles on the tough days.
I started feeling better and better each week, and thought my recovery was the typical story until I met with my neurosurgeon for a follow up 2 months after my last appointment. The look of shock on his face about not experiencing pain and feeling great made me realize and his exact words of "you were very rough 2 months ago and whatever you are doing continue to do because it is working. You still have back problems so keep that in mind, but if you have no pain then you have no reason to see me.”
I find myself sitting on the chair answering emails on my laptop due to the comfort and I feel as I am the most relaxed and focused. Words cannot express how thankful I am to everyone at Human Touch. Your product has helped me get through one of the most challenging times in my life. I have enclosed a photo of myself using the chair, playing with my son, so others can see this is a real story. I am able to now enjoy doing things with my family that pain prevented me from doing before.
Cape Coral, FL
Fibromyalgia, a chronic musculoskeletal condition, affects nearly five million Americans and significantly more women are likely to suffer from the disease than men. The main symptom of it is experiencing pain throughout the entire body, as well as tension headaches, fatigue, stiffness and sleep disorders. Still, the cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown. As a result, those who suffer from it often have anxiety if they will find long-term pain relief.
In 1990, researchers at the American College of Rheumatology identified 18 fibromyalgia pressure points, a.k.a. tender points, that are still used to help therapists diagnose patients with this disease. People feel the tension in their skeletal muscles and in the connective muscle tissue of their body. This tension decreases fibromyalgia patients’ muscle elasticity and affects their arterial blood supply. This activates someone’s pain receptors and results in chronic pain that may not be caused by anything apparent. As a result, treating pain for fibromyalgia sufferers is difficult. The root cause of what leads to experiencing symptoms often is unknown.
The pain of fibromyalgia is only a start to the endless cycle of issues that affect a person’s central nervous system’s release of serotonin. Because of problems with releasing serotonin, patience has an increased likelihood of depression and/or mood swings. Suffering from fibromyalgia also affects the ability to achieve quality rest, which prevents the body from being able to repair itself and can further increase a patient’s depression and exhaust the body, mind and spirit.
Massage Therapy for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia has no direct cure. However, several treatments are available to alleviate someone’s symptoms. One of the best treatments is for fibromyalgia sufferers to receive is massage therapy. Such therapy helps people get calf pain relief, decreases their stress hormones, and increases their serotonin level. With these benefits, it improves the overall sense of well-being. Special fibromyalgia massage therapy techniques also help to relax the body in order to achieve quality sleep, so the body can repair itself and start fresh for the following day. Once the body has reached homeostasis following a night of quality rest, someone can have both the mental and physical energy to address challenges throughout the next day.
Fibromyalgia and Massage Types
The best massage techniques for fibromyalgia patients combine kneading, pressure, stretching and heat. These techniques will loosen up the parts of the body that are tight and will increase someone’s mobility, allowing them to take on more physical tasks. Good techniques for fibromyalgia also increase circulation and help the body to clear out toxins within the muscles. Recommended forms of massage for fibromyalgia include:
• Swedish massage
• Passive stretching
• Sports massage
Massage Chair Benefits for Fibromyalgia Patients
Massage chairs make an excellent option for those suffering from fibromyalgia as they are the most cost-effective method for people who require regular, long-term therapy. They also make a great choice because of the convenience and availability for the user to take advantage of professional-grade therapy at any time of day, for as long as they like, and without having to leave the comfort of their home.
Some of the best massage chairs for fibromyalgia patients include:
Massage Constraints for Fibromyalgia Patients
Those with fibromyalgia should consult their physician prior to receiving any massage therapy. They also should receive only gentle-pressure massages because their muscles can be sensitive. Once you’ve consulted a therapist and picked a necessary therapy option, make sure to avoid deep-tissue work due to its pressure intensity and muscle overstretching through the treatment process.
Patients also should stick to short sessions. Otherwise, they take a risk to feel unwanted pain after the treatment. The goal is to make your muscles relax and make them more pliable, not to make you hurt.
Massage Benefits for Fibromyalgia Patients
Here are the advantages of fibromyalgia massage therapy techniques:
1) Relaxation to improve sleep. Evening sessions help patients improve their sleep quality at night, thereby allowing the body to recover faster.
2) Improving muscle tone. Massage therapy helps to strengthen the lax muscles and restore the strength and vitality of the client’s body.
3) Improving mental clarity. Relaxation sessions help raise health awareness and reduce mental stress for patients.
4) Elimination of headaches. Improving blood flow to the brain helps alleviate the physical source of headaches for patients. In addition, having such pain relief helps to keep the patient’s mind in a healthier space.
We work hard to improve the lives of ourselves and our loved ones, so it’s important to consider the rewards of any investment we make, whether it be of our time, our money, or our energy.
As many people look into the purchase of a massage chair, they ask themselves whether the purchase is worth the price. The value of a solution is relative to the individual problem it solves, so let’s examine a few different cases.
Massage for Injury Recovery
Whether you’re an athlete or a “Regular Joe,” physical injuries can lessen both your quality of life and the amount of money in your bank account. Missed work and multiple doctor visits come as an unexpected cost, and you’ll find yourself taking your vacation days for errands that are anything but relaxing. Even with health insurance, missed time from work can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. If your injury requires massage therapy, this also means taking a few hours per week to visit a therapist that is likely to only be available during your standard business hours.
Inconvenience aside, the cost for a 1-hour massage is generally $75-$125, which can cost up to $150 when you include a 20% tip. Let’s be lenient and say that your injury requires you to have weekly massages for three months. Your total cost is then $600 for one month of massage therapy. That’s more expensive than the cost to own a Human Touch iJOY Active 2.0 massage chair, forever. Even the most luxury massage chair will have paid for its $8,000 price tag in less than two months of daily use.
Massage for Stress Relief
Our stress responses are actually a primitive survival tool, commonly known as our “Fight or Flight response.” When we sense any type of potentially harmful situation, our bodies produce a chemical reaction that increases our heart rate and tightens our muscles. We are physically preparing ourselves to respond to a threat to our well-being. Small doses of stress can allow us to enhance our focus and performance, but long-term stress puts a strain on our bodies that can actually be harmful. Think about tension headaches, body aches, skin rashes, hair loss, and insomnia. Our modern way of life supplies us with plenty of stress, but we aren’t USING that physical response to run, fight, or otherwise exert that energy. Our bodies pump the adrenaline through our systems and it manifests itself as physical strain.
Aside from the same inconveniences of missed work that we mentioned in the previous example, bear in mind the effects that these ailments have on quality of life. Yes, you’re missing work. But, more importantly, you’re missing life. You’re missing play time with your kids, enjoying your weekend bike rides, and waking up refreshed and energized each day.
Some stressors can be avoided, but others can only be managed after they happen. That’s where meditation, exercise, and massage can make all the difference. Calming your mind will help you to manage stress, and easing the tension in your muscles through exercise and massage can save you from emotional, physical, and mental anguish.
Massage for Health Problems
We’ve discussed massage for injuries, but what about long-term illnesses or health problems that can’t be repaired in a few months? Those suffering from ailments such as Fibromyalgia or chronic anxiety may require medication that has a multitude of negative side effects. Stress-related skin problems may require topical medications that heighten sensitivity to the sun, making sunburns even more likely (and dangerous) than they already are. Loss of appetite related to depression can mean nutritional deficiencies with long-reaching and hugely impactful consequences.
Massage can help to stimulate blood flow and relax your muscles, allowing your body to better care for itself. Better blood flow means that you can move more easily, with less stiffness or pain. That means that less pain-management medication is required, which means that your mind can perform without medication-associated brain fog. Stress-relieving massage means flare-ups of eczema or acne are less frequent, which means less inconvenience and discomfort. The sleep-enhancing effects of massage mean that your body is better rested, more able to repair itself, and better charged to handle the small stresses that can develop into physical ailments. Your appetite improves, which means your body can be given the nutrients that fight illness and general lethargy.
Self-Care: Is It Worth The Cost?
When making a purchase of any kind, you should always consider whether the product/service is worth the price. But you should also consider the long-term effect of your investment. Some people find it challenging to motivate themselves to drive to work each day, but we do it because we know that it will allow us to create something worthwhile, engage in personal development, and provide for our families. Words like “investment” can make us feel like we’re in a business meeting, but an investment in our health can mean avoiding a hospital room and enjoying the outdoors instead. And a better, longer, more fulfilling life doesn’t come with a price tag.
Items 21 to 30 of 38 total