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Sharon Leake's Blog
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Get Weight Off Your Back!
Staying physically active not only is good for your psychosocial health, but also enhances your physiological health. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." - Benjamin Franklin Keeping a healthy weight can reduce intradiscal lumbar spine pressure, hip, knee and ankle stress. Being overweight increases your risk for developing osteoarthritis, the most common cause of joint pain. Excess weight puts undue stress on your weight bearing joints, creating more wear and tear. Being overweight also increases inflammatory factors, which can cause joint pain and swelling. ... Read More
Natural Therpaies for Low Back Pain
If you're suffering from back pain and want to avoid drugs or surgery, there are effective alternative treatments available that can give you relief and help you enjoy an active life. Exercise releases pressure on your discs and can help increase diffusion of nutrients and oxygen to promote intervertebral and arthrodial health. Strengthening your muscles and maintaining a healthy weight will also help alleviate spinal load. Tai chi is a great choice for someone who is just beginning an exercise regimen. Yoga & Pilates ... Read More
Taking Care of Your Back
It can be difficult to regain momentum after you've been out of the game for a while. Whether due to injury, surgery, or other extraneous circumstances, getting back into a fitness routine after a prolonged break should be done gradually. Your doctor or physiotherapist can help guide you. Talk to your doctor about low-impact exercises that can accelerate your recovery, or your return to a healthy & active lifestyle. Using a stationary bike, swimming, brisk-walking or using the elliptical are great low-impact ways to exercise and to keep your body fluid. Yoga & ... Read More
Say Goodbye to Pain
Neck pain is the third most common type of pain in the United States, with headaches being #2 and low back pain #1.  Drugs are a poor choice in the treatment, or rather management, of chronic pain. Not only are they often ineffective, but the side effects may be as bad as the pain itself. Research suggests that massage therapy sessions that last at least an hour, 1-3 x per week to start, offers effective relief for neck pain sufferers. The study also concluded that dose matters when it comes to massage therapy for pain relief; sixty minute sessions were ... Read More
Let Me Drain Your Brain
The new discovery of lymphatic vessels in the central nervous system is of no surprise to many manual therapists, especially if you practice lymphatic drainage, like myself. As a bodywork/massage therapist & student of osteopathy this was, and is, an underpinning philosophy and approach to manual manipulation. Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the father of osteopathic medicine, taught his students the importance of having good lymphatic circulation. "The lymphatics are closely and universally connected with the spinal cord and all other nerves, long or short, universal or separ... Read More
Massage & Bodywork Therapy for Back Pain
Low back pain effects more than 80% of the population at some point in their lives and is one of the main reasons people seek medical attention in the U.S. That's pretty significant, especially when you factor in medical expenses and missed work. Studies show that very few medical treatments (medications, injections, surgeries) reliably relieve back pain, and some may actually aggravate it. I plan to blog more on that subject later... Back pain is considered to be the most over treated ailment in American medicine. A 2011 study randomly assigned 400 adu... Read More
Astragalus Root
Astragalus membranaceaus is an immunomodulator that has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Western medicine adapted its use after research highlighted its effects on the immune system. The polysaccharides in Astragalus enhance phagocytosis in reticuloendothelial systems, stimulate pituitary-adrenal cortical activity, stimulate production of interferon, and restore RBC formation in bone marrow. Astragalus also has anticancer effects and may be beneficial for some who are immunocompromised. This herb has been used ... Read More
Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an adaptogentic  Indian herb known for it's rejuvenating  and energy boosting properties. Useful for nervous exhaustion, fatigue, and stress-induced memory loss. It has also been used to promote tissue regeneration and to slow down the aging process. It may also be useful in treating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Ashwagandha has potent antioxidant properties that help prevent neuronal free radical damage. Research shows that ashwagandha extract enhances the reconstruction of synapses, where nerve cells communicate with each other. ... Read More
Arnica Montana
Leopard's Bane, Wolf's Bane or sometimes called Mountain Daisy, Arnica is a very popular remedy amongst bodywork therapists. Arnica is one of the most popular homeopathic remedies used throughout the world. Used by athletes for DOMS and overexertion, recommended by surgeons to alleviate post-operative swelling, bruising & discomfort, and by moms for all of those bumps & bruises our little tots seem to constantly get on the playground. Arnica cream & Arnica homeopathic tablets are a must have in the medicine cabinet in my home. Clients who have strained mus... Read More
The Aloe Vera Plant
One of the most useful plants to have, IMO, is the Aloe Vera. The Aloe Vera plant can be used for such a variety of conditions, that this plant makes my top 10 for sure. It's also easily grown indoors. Beneficial for : Wounds, minor burns (1st or 2nd degree), sunburn, mouth sores, herpes, psoriasis, eczema, constipation, bloating, ulcers, to reduce blood sugar & cholesterol. Aloe is a natural source of B12 (which is not common in the plant world). B12 plays an important part in RBC formation, neuro... Read More
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