Is TMJ Massage For YOU?

Many people are a bit unsure about the term TMJ when it is used in a sentence with massage.   TmjPub

Well, The TMJ is the name of the joint between the temporal bone (part of the skull)  and the mandible (jaw bone).  So we all have 2 of those joints.

Issues related to the joint range in severity:

  • From simple tension that makes you want to keep quiet for awhile to tension powerful enough to cause clenching or grinding of the teeth.
  • From periodic clicks or pops in the jaw to constant clacking with any movement
  • From aches that make you not want to yawn to outright cramping or spasms in the musculature around the joint
  • BIG HEADACHES may result from the tension in the muscles associated with the jaw and neck

There is also a variety of causal factors:

  • Chewing gum, speaking all day, long periods in the dental chair,
  • Playing musical instruments requiring air to be blown by the mouth to make sound.
  • Head and neck forward posture (also indicative of other muscle issues.)

Massage techniques to ease the musculature in the jaw and neck area can help just about anyone!

More people in America are beginning to realize that massage is not just for relaxation and is truly far more than just a good firm lotion rubbing.  Therapeutic Massage Techniques should be considered as a “first string player” and companion to many of your other health services.

To Book a TMJ Massage Special (45 minutes massage and 15 of TMJ work),  Click Here:  http://raindroptexas.fullslate.com/

 

Walk Like a DUCK?

I just love to read articles that paint an image for me.

Dr. Carolyn Dean does that when she describes an issue that I see all the time!

“Do You Walk Like a Duck”

She asks in her newsletter dated June 26.

She says

” When we walk , our toes should be pointing forward.  When thay are pointing in any other direction, they are putting strain on ankles, knees, and hips.  Its a mechanical fact that with every step, each of the joints I mentioned is rubbed the wrong way. Over time this can lead to arthritis, inflammation, pain and even the dreaded hip replacement.

On your annual medical exam, your doctor will not even notice your gait.  And if you do have ankle, knee or hip pain, you will usually be given a script for pain medication.  If you go to a chiropractor, they mught adjust your joints, but few take the time to really analyze your gait and tell you how to walk like a human and not like a duck.”

THEN she says one thing I love!

“I have no idea why you walk like a duck.”

That is an honest admission from a Medical Doctor and Naturopathic Doctor who had anatomy in undergraduate school and some periodic   reminders or reviews as they made it through medical school  BUT did not get indepth education about the MOVEMENT relationships of the muscles and bones NOR education about the Fascial connectivity within the body!  Doctors learn a whole lot of other important things.  No one can know it ALL.  So we need to learn to work together IF our goal is health for our client/patients.

As a massage therapist interested in the therapeutic impact of massage – to help YOU – I DO know the muscles involved in helping to keep you walking like a duck.  And I know how to work on them and what you may be doing on a daily or nightly basis to reinforce the positioning that keep you duck walking.

THEN she says another thing I LOVE-

“…what can you do about duck walking?  … First saturate yourself with magnesium to loosen your muscles….”

I LOVE this!  Some of you already know I am practically a nut about magnesium in massage and for home use.

Chemically, your muscles cannot shift from a contracted state to a relaxed state without magnesium to replace the calcium that created the contraction.  Massage helps to move the body fluids around within the cells etc.  This will help to get a fresh supply of nutrients into the stuck areas.  BUT if you are already short on magnesium, there will not be enough for the 1,350+ other things that magnesium is used for in the body!

So think for just a minute…If you really need 500 to 750 milligrams of magnesium daily (or more- much depends on size and activity level and believe it or not, your stress levels!)  and you are already short (there will be follow up articles on that because the Serum Magnesium Test is practically worthless as an indicator of anything other than why you had a heart attack)  You  need to have more!

Well, magnesium supplements typically speed up the digestive system especially if you take too much quickly.  So the next best way to get that nutrient is topically.  (Don’t get me wrong, supplements are still good, you just have to be aware.)

Come get a magnesium massage, purchase topicals for your use at home.  Get a better night’s sleep and put an end to those muscle spasms and the stubborn tightness that keeps our massage work from being as fully wonderful as it could be!   Seriously, massage needs magnesium too to do you the best good.

www.BookWithTeena.com  Located at Hillcrest and LBJ in Dallas Texas!

Check Dr. Dean’s book.  “The Magnesium Miracle”  (I have this one available in the office)

also see:

Dr Mildred Seeling “The Magnesium Factor”

Dr. Marc Sircus “Transdermal Magnesium”

Dr. Jay Cohen ” The Magnseium Solution”

Stay-cation

For many of us –a vacation is simply out of the question due to schedules, finances etc.

BUT you can still get some great summertime stress relief– in your own town!

Just schedule massage!  Maybe include a dinner out or carry out and a movie!  Just relax and pamper yourself with some self kindness.

Massage stimulates the “rest and digest” systems of the body that function best when stressors are eliminated (the parasympathetic system).  Regular massage has been shown to help with blood pressure, sleeplessness, and other symptoms of this fast paced world.  Of course massage has deeper therapeutic value too, but we are keeping it light, we are on vacation!

So whether you go on vacation or not, take the time to put massage into your normal self care, health care routine…. your muscles and peace of mind will thank you for it!

www.BookWithTeena.com

Insurance MAY Cover Massage

Many clients ask about insurance and massage.  Well, the answer is not simple.

First, in Texas, massage therapists cannot bill  health insurance companies directly.  Some exceptions include when there is an auto accident for which massage is being covered as treatment under the auto insurance and some kinds of workman’s comp claims.  There may be ways to have a referral from your physician to a qualified massage  therapist and THIS may allow YOU to file the insurance claim after receiving and paying for the massage.

In general, the path you need to take to discover the answer is to communicate with your insurance provider. Here is a helpful simple article about steps you should take to see if your provider may cover massage for you…  Natural News Article about Massage and Insurance

BEFORE you talk with your doctor, though, make sure that the condition you are experiencing is generally regarded as being helped by massage. Keep a record of the pain, restricted motion, and what causes it; if there was a specific action that you recall as instigating the pain, that is incredibly helpful in many ways.

Certainly sports injuries, repetitive stress injuries, and TMJ fall into the category that massage is known to help and there are others.   The doctor you select will make a difference too.  Sports injury doctors will understand the injury you are experiencing, a dentist or orthodontist will understand TMJ.

There are also many TYPES of massage and many techniques performed by massage  therapists that have associated billing codes.  The billing code must correlate with a diagnosis code provided by the physician.  THIS diagnostic is the health issue for which you are seeking massage as relief.

Massage therapists are working hard to learn how to clearly document the use of massage for specific issues.  The research is difficult to design because of the wide range of variables and the difficulty of isolating specific techniques that will work for ALL of a certain type of issue- for instance fibromyalgia.  We tend to want to use techniques that we believe will help and it is often difficult to stick with a specified protocol when you know that for THIS particular client, a little ease in the tension in “THIS muscle” will help but “THIS muscle” is not in the designed protocol.

Measurements also are sometimes confusing.  Massage tends to help in so many areas, that often there are greater improvements in the areas that are more quality of life oriented and peace of mind than the actual painful or restricted area.  Also clients tend to become quickly accustomed to feeling better, and then the comparative pain levels start from there instead of recalling the initial pain levels.  Thus, pain is not a really good measure although it tends to be one that is helpful to understand the other results.  There is a significant link between pain and tension levels and the attitude or level of internal “peace” of a client.

Having increased “Peace” within by reducing tension in the musculature has been shown to help you be more productive, and have a much better outlook.  This is part of the mind- body connection.

NOTE: People who have health savings plans or cafeteria plans may have a little easier time paying for massage with the pre-tax dollars of those accounts than folks have with billing insurance.  More on that later.

High Heels Cause Foot Problems? Duh!

I have to smile! 8-)

Dallas Morning News today ran an article about foot pain and other foot issues and the relationship with high heels.  The image shown reminds me of that old Steve Martin comedy IMG_20130608_0001routine “The Cruel Shoes”.   BUT I see people in these sorts of shoes everyday!

I do not know how women even walk in them since the soles are so thick that the shoes do not bend.  The wearer has to do a sort of modified sashay-march.    These shoes and the movement compensation that must be made to be mobile in them may cause more damage than the issues listed in the article:

Listed are:

  • Calluses and Corns- nuggets of keratin build up caused by the pressure on the skin (Bones inside and Shoe outside meet at the skin)
  • Neuromas- Pinches nerves between the toes cause by not having enough room in the toe area AND the squashing that the toes experience from the steep angle that the foot is forced into inside the shoe-  topped by the gravitational pull of the body weight.
  • Capsulitis- Joint inflammation in the toes, foot bones, or even ankle area
  • Achilles tendon tightness-  THIS is because of the shortening of the calf muscles which are attached at the Achilles tendon- THIS can cause some very real problems – even tears or strains.
  • Plantar Fasciitis- Inflammation and pain along bottom surface of the foot.  This may be just a short few minutes in the morning or may last all day!
  • Fractures, or cracks in the bones of the feet.-  This about it, take your body weight and think about the momentum with which you walk.  Up to 200 times your body weight may be being placed on a tiny surface of the foot as the foot strikes the ground.

Guys-  Dont think that you are immune!  Check how tightly the blankets pull your feet into this toe pointed position… whenever your heel is at a higher level than the toes, the calf muscles are shortened.  If left in this position repeatedly, or for long periods, the muscles may get comfortable in that short position and then will cause a tug on the achilles tendon when you flatten the foot out again.  It’s just the way the body works, one muscle group long, one will be short.  BOTH may hold issues for us.  We just need to learn what to do to keep normal function.

photo of hammertoes

Hammertoes

Here to the left  is one result fromfoot abuse: Its called Hammertoes.

What to do?  Choices are always available.

 Pick 3 or 4 and DO them!

  • Give up the shoes- wear shorter heels
  • Limit the time spent wearing them
  • EXERCISE and STRETCH the appropriate muscles to keep the calf and foot muscles balanced.
  • GET MASSAGES!  This should be a MUST anyway!  Keep the calf muscles from cramping, ease the foot ache.
  • Use Essential Oils to ease the aches and pains of the muscles.
  • Use Magnesium topically as a lotion or foot and body soak to replenish the magnesiumin your muscles after abusing them!  Get it  here

In North Dallas or Park Cities- Book a great therapeutic massage with Teena at

www.BookWithTeena.com

To Stretch or To Nutrient?

Here is a very long but very interesting article about stretching research.  The author has revised it since its original 2011 release and he has added footnotes, videos and humor.   Save Yourself 

The summary and conclusion of the article regarding the efficacy of stretching  is here:

SummarySaveYourselfStretch

 

So how can we get flexible?  How can we help our muscles elongate and keep our good nerve signals moving?

I propose that the answer is:

                       MAGNESIUM!

Magnesium is absolutely needed for the relaxation of a muscle fiber after the initial Calcium induced contraction.  This is for every muscle cell and fiber!  So no wonder stretching is not very conclusive as a tool for ease of pain and gain in ROM-  Everyone has a different magnesium to calcium ratio!

Start with soaking in Epsom salts… Graduate to Magnesium Bath Flakes  and Magnesium Oil  or Magnesium Lotion .  There is even a new product out there that contains magnesium and melatonin.   All are helpful to get the levels of magnesium up to be more in balance with calcium in our overly-calcium-fortified-processed- and-junk-food world.

Even those of you who are vegetarians or careful of what you eat—  the foods will not have a significant level of magnesium unless there is magnesium in the soil where the plants grew.  (There MUST  be at least some because Chlorophyll contains magnesium atoms- but we are talking about enough to balance our calcium!  And most of us are already OVERLY calcium fortified.)

Just remember Calcium contracts a muscle- Magnesium relaxes it.  We also need Potassium and Sodium for the pump that “opens the gate” for the Ca/Mg exchange.

Ask yourself  Do I get enough magnesium?

Note-  IF you purchase products from the links above, I will get a small commission from the sale-  I greatly appreciate your using these links.

WHY do I like these products?  Because I believe in QUALITY Here is a link to the certificate of analysis for the salts used in these products- no one else will go to this extreme to assure that  you have a quality product for your health.

Massage Therapists of Dallas-Get Continuing Ed credits for learning about Magnesium!

Attend a class by Dynamic Body Institute that will reveal to you how you can bring health to your clients with magnesium.  Importantly- learn WHAT they are saying on their intake forms and conversation that will tell you that you may want to encourage them to try your Transdermal Magnesium Massage!   5 Continuing Education Credits, NCBTMB approved provider- August 17, 2013

New Table for Teena!

Here we go! This is a new year and a time to get moving on helping more people feel better!
Here is my latest addition to my Hillcrest and LBJ location inside of the Finish Line Therapy Center.
This video shows how we can open the front with the table to ease tightness in the chest and abdominal region. For the back, we can help to create space between the vertebrae – just a little stretch can ease the tension a lot!
—-Note those with fused disks or certain other conditions may not be suited to this type of stretching.

Prevent Joint Replacement Surgery?

“Joint Replacement Surgery on the Rise” –

This is a headline in the Dallas Morning News Health and Fitness Section and its scary.  Osteoarthritis is said to be the most common reason for joint replacement.

A Feb 2012 study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery cited a “disproportionate increase in total knee replacements among younger patients.” The study also concludes that the aging population and rising rates of obesity – two reasons often cited to explain the trend – can’t account for the rise.

Dr. Joseph Borelli a Dallas Area orthopedic surgeon indicates his desire for people to be more proactive in seeking treatment when they first have pain or other difficulties in their joints.  Says he “If they can prolong the life of their joint, they’re better off.”

Robert W. Bucholz, a professor of orthopedic surgery at UT Southwestern says that a combination of overuse, overloading and genetics leads to the degenerative condition where the cartilage protecting the bones breaks down.

SO what might account for rising trend and what may be a first step in being proactive?

Dr.Carolyn Dean, M.D. and Naturopath, says this of Osteoporosis, in her book,  The Magnesium Miracle

Magnesium’s role in bone health is multifaceted.

∙  Adequate levels of magnesium are essential or the absorption and metabolism of calcium.

∙ Magnesium stimulates a particular hormone, calcitonin, that helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, preventing some forms of arthritis and kidney stones.

∙  Magnesium suppresses another hormone called parathyroid, preventing it from breaking down bone.

∙  Magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form so that it can help calcium absorption.

∙  Magnesium is required to activate an enzyme that is necessary to form new bone.

∙  Magnesium regulates active calcium transport.

From pages 149-150 The Magnesium Miracle by Dr Carolyn Dean.

NOW- combine that information with the fact that magnesium is REQUIRED for the muscle cells to relax (calcium is needed for contracting the muscle in performing work) and you can see that by having adequate magnesium in the body:

  • you can help the muscles relax so that they are not overly pulling on the attachments -which then can squeeze and wear out the pads between the joints.

AND

  • You can help the body to the right thing with the calcium that is floating around in the blood stream – which is put it back into the bones.

Is it that simple?  Perhaps… More research needs to be done.  Unfortunately, Magnesium is so inexpensive no one will be funding extensive research.  So it is up to us to be proactive.

Assuredly, using topical magnesium, soaking in magnesium baths, taking moderate amounts of useable magnesium orally and learning to PROPERLY use your muscles is a far sight easier to accomplish than the “internal amputation” of a joint replacement!

Ask your massage therapist if they do a Magnesium Massage!  Your muscles, heart, and more will thank you for it.

Minerals to Defeat Radiation

Cesium 137 is radioactive and mimics or replaces Potassium in our bodies.Mushroom Cloud from bomb explosion

Strontium 90 is radio active and mimics or replaces Calcium in our bodies.

Iodine 131 is radioactive and mimics or replaces Iodine in our bodies.

Bromine and Fluoride are NOT radio active yet compete with Iodine in our bodies.  (Fluoride is on our water- thus we shower in it and Bromine is used as a bread additive by bakers– they once used iodine but Congress made them switch.)

Calcium and Magnesium work in synergy with one another UNTIL we have too much Calcium relative to the Magnesium.

Sulfur helps maintain integrity of the cell walls and are key to biological activity of proteins.

Iodine is critical for good thyroid function.

Deficiencies in Magnesium lead to MANY of our current epidemic diseases!   These include cancers, diabetes, hypertension, and others…. even chronic muscle tension/ache/knots is tied to low levels of Magnesium.

While the other minerals are relatively easy to take in oral supplements, magnesium reaches bowel tolerance levels quickly, causing an increase in peristalsis and diarrhea.  SOOO  topical application of Magnesium is strongly recommended.

Learn more about the radioactive elements and isotopes here: http://blog.imva.info/medicine/mineral-deficienciesradiation-resistance

If you are in Dallas, Come on in for a Magnesium Massage. I am at 12700 Hillcrest Suite 245-  Inside Finish Line Therapy Center.  You can book online here www.BookWithTeena.com

If not in Dallas, find someone local who does it, or buy your own topical products.  You can click to learn more about topical application and symptoms of  magnesium deficiency  .

 

Hammertoes and Bunions? Try Massage

photo of hammertoesOur feet are amazing instruments of mobility.  We take them for granted – yet they continue to serve us as best they are able.

Hammertoes and Bunions are a common problem with over 10% of people over 60 having one issue or both!

In a balanced body- when there is extension of one muscle or set of muscles, there is a corresponding flexion of the counterpart muscles.  When this balanced give-and-take fails to occur, pathology is likely to develop.  This is true whether we are talking about the feet or hands, the hips, knees, or shoulders, and even the spine and abdominal muscles.

In Hammertoes, there is a sort of tug of war going on between the muscles that LIFT the toes (extensors) and the muscles that CURL the toes (flexors).   This causes a shortening of the toes by alternate buckling up and bending down at several of the toe joints.  The big toe may be similarly impacted but it tends to move sideways, causing the inside corner of the toe bone to jut toward the body’s midline, or away from the rest of the foot- we call this a Bunion.

Common causes include:

  • Shoes too tight or small (90% of women wear shoes that are too small)
  • Imbalanced muscle strength/tone/flexibility in the foot or lower leg
  • Injury
  • Genetic issues or neuro-muscular issues or disease such as diabetes.

Commonly surgery is recommended to either cut the ligaments, joint capsules, tendons or removing parts of the bones in the effort to either lengthen or shorten the muscles causing the shift in the toes that characterize hammertoes and bunions.   While these surgeries may ultimately yield a positive result, there is a lengthy recuperative period and complications do occur.  The most common complication is pain from reduced mobility – especially if there has been a fusion or wiring of the toe bones, and scar tissue.

Non-Surgical interventions generally include wearing shoes with a wider toe box, eliminating high heels and flip flops (which cause us to contract our toe muscles in attempt to control the shoe to keep it on the feet,) exercise or physical therapy, stretching the toe muscles etc. to create lengthening in the shortened areas or wearing spacers or braces.   Another suggestion is to sleep with no covers pulling on the feet (having the covers pull the feet into a toes-pointed position is similar to wearing high heels all night.)   Some also recommend walking barefoot for some period each day.

THIS is where massage comes in!  Massage may be corrective, allowing the uncurling of the toes; in other instances is it palliative, reducing pain or allowing a delay in or preventing the need for surgery.   Massage techniques for these issues take patience and skill; also the client must be prepared to participate by performing requested foot movements, and feedback regarding sensitivity levels etc.  THIS is therapeutic massage therapy!  This is where massage can shine for you!

In addition to massage and stretching activities, it is highly recommended that the person experiencing hammertoes and bunions begin a routine of soaking in either Epsom salts or Magnesium Chloride salts, and using topically applied magnesium supplementation at the site where it is needed.   Magnesium (Mg) does a myriad of wonderful things inside our bodies (learn more from Transdermal Magnesium Therapy: A New Modality for the Maintenance of Health  by Dr Mark Sircus   or The Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean.  In muscles, Mg is REQUIRED for the muscle to relax!

In our Calcium fortified world, we tend to have an abundance of Calcium floating around in our tissues (Calcium is needed to contract the muscles) and not enough Magnesium to counterbalance it.  We can- and should- ingest SOME Magnesium but the bowel quickly reaches a tolerance level that results in speeding up elimination (aka diarrhea.)  By topical application, the digestion is circumvented, allowing our skin to absorb the magnesium our cells so dearly need.

You can order Topical Magnesium products here.  OR ask your massage therapist if they perform a “Magnesium Massage”.    If you are in Dallas, you can book a magnesium massage with me at The Finish Line Therapy Center 12700 Hillcrest Road suite 245.  www.BookWithTeena.com

Note-  Nothing in this article is intended to be used as a diagnosis, protocol or prescription.  Ask your Dr. before beginning any program of exercise or nutrition.  Learn as much as you can about the issues that impact you.