I went to Thailand recently to learn thai massage, visit some amazing places in nature, have a deep cultural experience, meet new people, and get out of my usual routine and comfort zone. I got all those things out of the experience, but I feel like those were only the tip of the iceberg. I experienced meditating, yoga, and massage surrounded by beautiful natural environments. I met all kinds of different people, each one unique, but they had the same goal of making the world a better place. I stayed in a traditional thai home for a few nights, massaged local health workers, visited a moken island, and roasted cashews. Snorkeling, living in the jungle for a week- these are just a select few of the highlights of this trip, which are far too numerous to go into detail.
I really got some amazing things out of this trip. I have confidence that I can go and do whatever I want to. I now have a taste for traveling more areas of the world, and will make sure that happens. My Thai Massage skills went from beginner to advanced, although I also realized how much more there is to learn. I also realise the importance of taking care of your health. A huge lesson for me, is that money has very little to do with wealth. Enjoying life as it happens, eating healthy delicious foods, taking time to take care of yourself through rest and exercise, meeting new people, and having new experiences; these are true wealth, and way more important than being stuck in a life you hate just to make money. My one piece of advice for anyone wanting to travel, but on the fence about it, just put any excuses you have aside , and find a way to make it happen.
“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.” Joseph Campbell“
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” Mark Twain
What is Kinesio tape? In the 1970's a chiropractor named Dr. Kenzo Kase came up with the idea of an elastic tape used to support the muscular system. It was designed to mimic the skin with it's elasticity and thickness. It can be applied of various muscles from insertion to origin, or origin to insertion depending on the desired result. This tape will improve lymphatic flow to an area, and can help improve range of motion in some cases. It is also believed to support the muscle by giving a maintained fascial stretch to the region. While many people have experienced a great level of pain relief, with the use of this tape, more research needs to be done, to prove how effective it may be. Still, some studies have shown that it can improve range of motion, and lymphatic flow, which is great news for some athletes. The tape is flexible,and breathable, and it does not impede range of motion. It can be worn anywhere from 3 to 7 days, and can be worn in the shower. I hope this blog post gives you a little introduction to this style of athletic taping, it just may give athletes that slight edge that they need! Here is the kinesio tape official website- http://www.kinesiotaping.com/
You may be asking, how does aromatherapy work? Once the aroma enters the nasal cavity, changes occur in the limbic system, a complex biological switchboard in the brain which controls things like memories and emotions. Some ways to use essential oils are, putting a drop or two on the hands (if direct contact with the oil is safe) and inhaling directly, there are also some high quality essential oil diffusers on the market, look for one that does not alter the chemistry of the oils. Some oils can be taken internally, and users have had some incredible health results with that. Do not take oils internally unless the label says it is safe to do so. Many people mix essential oils in ,what is called , a "carrier" oil like almond oil, vitamin e oil, or jojoba oil. You can then massage the oil blend into the skin, and will receive the benefits, as soon as, your body absorbs them ( about 20 minutes). One essential oil blend ,that I use during sports massage, is great for trigger point therapy. I use 4 oz vitamin e oil, and add 10 to 15 drops of lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, and sage. This blend has a high linalool content which , to make a long scientific story short, has been proven to effective in treating myofascial pain!
Essential oils have been a passion of mine for the past few years. The benefits are broad spectrum, meaning almost every essential oil has more than one benefit. Many oils such as lavender have relaxing qualities, and users report that it may help with insomnia. Many oils such Rosemary, Cinnamin,Thyme, and Frankincense have anti-inflammatory properties, and research has shown them to be valuable in treating arthritis. Frankincense has been shown to be effective against ulcerative colitis, in fact one research shows 82% of treated patients went into remission. Here is an article on the possible cancer killing effects of frankincense -http://guardianlv.com/2013/07/cancer-treatment-found-in-ancient-resin/.
Also resent Israeli research shows lemongrass may be effective in killing cancer cells -http://www.scribd.com/doc/12879711/Israeli-Research-Finds-Lemon-Grass-Kills-Cancer.
Also because of the anti-microbial properties of lemon oil, many surgeons are using lemon oil to disinfect their equipment. Many essential oils are resistant to bacterial mutation because of their broad spectrum properties. In fact some places in the world, France for example, incorporates essential oils into their healthcare system. In the next blog I will tell you about some of the best ways, to use essential oils, including an awesome blend that I use for sports massage...to be continued.
Working with athletes, I have found something common among cycling enthusiasts recently. They show up for a massage with tight I.T. Band, hamstrings, and low back (quadratus lomborum). I have found that most athletes especially cyclists and runners have a tight psoas, some of them are suprised to find the trigger points in the psoas refer directly to their low back pain! This is the major "core" stability muscle which structurally effects the pelvis, low back, and legs. Here is an awesome photo of the psoas, as well as, a more in depth article explaining psoas function! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=558590954195722&set=a.147110562010432.36040.147107135344108&type=1&theater