Using Light Therapy for Depression

September 27, 2009

Depression is one of the few disorders that can be treated successfully, and it responds well to it. But to find out which type of treatment works best is difficult, especially one that is new to the market such as light therapy for depression. But there are many medical conditions similar to depression, and medications can cause the symptoms of depression–fatigue, loss of pleasure, or sadness. And for a fact depression will not leave until the actual problem is not only identified but treated correctly.

Conventional methods for treating depression include psychotherapy, electroconvulsive or ECT therapy, and antidepressant drugs. The medical field recognizes that treatments for depression can vary, depending on its severity and its cause. Both holistic practitioners and traditional medical physicians agree that for extremely serious depressions, light therapy for depression should be considered as a complementary treatment as compared to the conventional ones.

These complementary conditions considered acceptable for light therapy for depression would be seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorders, not major or chronic depressions such as manic depression or manor depressive disorders. But there are several other conditions, including the light therapy for depression of SAD, that accept light therapy as an excellent treatment–early morning insomnia, productivity enhancement, night-owl insomnia, jet lag, late-shift drowsiness, bulimia, lupus, nonseasonal depression, or even prolonged menstrual cycles.

A lot of the early research on light therapy for depression has been inadequately funded, which has led to its lack of research at the very beginning. Also the studies had lots of flaws in its design problems, which caused them to be weak in their quality.

But research in Canada has completed one of the most recent studies that says light therapy for depression is just as effective of a treatment as medications, and is considered to be the safest treatment for bipolar depression. And not only is it effective, it is cheaper than traditional medication and treatments, in addition to being much safer with fewer side effects. Almost all of antidepressant treatments, except lithium, have the ability to make the condition of bipolar disorder much worse than without them, forcing an increase of subtle “manic side” symptoms.

When applying light therapy for depression treatments for winter depression or season affective disorder, light therapy originally started out with early morning treatments. But recent results have demonstrated how light therapy treats depression is still unknown, and is very much unestablished in its results. Recent studies have shown us that research in light therapy may occur in the evenings or other times with just as good of results.

The Ida Rolf Rolfing Technique

September 24, 2009

The Ida Rolf Rolfing Technique evolved over the span of many years. It is interesting how Dr. Rolf’s life work has continued on and evolved even after her death in 1978. Dr. Rolf graduated from Barnard College in 1916. After graduation she earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Dr. Rolf developed some back problems after being kicked by a horse on a camping trip soon after graduating from college. She was not satisfied with the medical treatment she was getting, so she sought treatment from an osteopathic doctor instead. What she learned from the osteopath would lead her on to make her own discoveries that would become the Ida Rolf Rolfing technique.

For 10 years Dr. Rolf studied Tantric Yoga and applied this knowledge to helping people with disabilities. She used the postures of Yoga in her practice, and as she learned new techniques she incorporated them into her practice which evolved into what she called Structural Integration, but later became known as the Ida Rolf Rolfing technique.

Over the course of 50 years she studied and taught that through structural integration the changes that gravity makes on the body could be corrected over time. The body would come into balance with the planet’s gravitational field. Dr. Rolf learned through her studies that gravity is a constant force that is either pulling structures down or holding them up. Gravity’s effect on the body is that the body shape changes just like the body was a piece of plastic that could be molded. The connective tissue that encases every muscle, bone, and organ of the body is affected by the force of gravity, but can also be restructured through the Ida Rolf Rolfing technique.

Dr. Rolf started teaching in California at the Esalen Institute at Big Sur. She taught that the body is changeable, and that the imbalance of poor posture can be replaced by the balance of good posture. She called her work body education, and later changed it to Structural Integration. Her work caught on so that Boulder, Colorado became the headquarters for her work and was called The Guild for Structural Integration.

As the Ida Rolf Rolfing technique caught on in the 1960’s, the term Rolfing was coined and later became a registered trade service mark. Only Ida Rolf Rolfing technique certified practitioners are allowed to display the Rolfing service mark in their company logos. Licensed practitioners are now commonly known as Rolfers.

The Ida Rolf Rolfing technique evolved from the work of Dr. Rolf. She discovered that just as gravity can change a body from a state of balance to imbalance, her techniques could use gravity to assist the practitioner to put the body back into balance. She taught that the connective tissue could be stretched over time to reshape the body and promote not only balance with gravity, but also improvement in health.

Benefits Of Physical Therapy

September 22, 2009

The benefits of physical therapy are undisputed. After all, the practice has been around since Ancient Greece. Physical therapy is used in multiple ways for multiple reasons all with the single desired result of restoring mobility and reducing pain in order for the patient to regain normalcy. There are several reasons that someone would seek out the aid of a physical therapist, ranging from stiff muscles to back pain, and even arthritis. Each of these conditions can benefit greatly from a trip to the physical therapist office.

Perhaps one of the most popular forms of physical therapy is the hands on treatment of massage. This massage differs greatly from the amateur massage of co-workers and friends; this massage actually does some good. A massage given by a physical therapist can help in any number of ways. For overall health, the benefits of the physical therapy massage can reduce the stress by unknotting muscles and causing the body to relax. It can also increase blood flow and circulation which will help in reducing toxins in the body. Massages will even improve range of motion and increase flexibility. Therapists do a lot more than hand out massages and everything they do and accomplish is a benefit of physical therapy.

Back pain is an increasing issue in today’s society and luckily patients can derive many benefits from physical therapy that will improve the back and reduce the pain. Back pain from daily stress and overuse, or from operations or other conditions can greatly decrease the quality of life. Physical therapist are to prescribe several treatments and procedures that will help the patient regain normal use of the back, improving reach, reducing pain, and restoring mobility. There are several ways that the physical therapists can improve the back and each of them has their own benefits.

Another benefit of physical therapy concerns joint pain such as arthritis. The therapist will assist the patient in a number of exercises and procedures aimed at regaining the range of motion that the joint once enjoyed. Usually, joints are stiff due to lack of use because of the pain that patients do not wish to endure. Therefore, the patient will perform actions to loosen up joints that will restore movement and ease any discomfort.

The general benefits of physical therapy can also include any manner of education, including the particular ailment and procedures, necessary exercises, and even diet plans. Physical therapy does not end when leaving the office and is a commitment and a lifestyle change. The benefits of physical therapy are innumerable as each case and each potential benefit are very different from one another.

Who is a Reiki Master?

September 19, 2009

The term Reiki has its Japanese roots. Literally, Rei signifies God’s Wisdom or Higher Power whereas Ki denotes Life Force Energy. The Japanese Makao Usui is said to have rediscovered this Tibetan kind of healing. After his death, his disciples continued its practice until today that the discipline has already been passed on to the Masters from varying generations and cultures. In the course of this healing practice, a Reiki Master plays an important role. This article focuses on the introduction of who a Reiki Master is and how he fulfills his role of molding the learners.

An Introduction of the Master

The Master is the person who has devoted his time and energy in learning the art of healing that is known as Reiki. He studied and earned the degrees relevant to enhancing his skills in self-healing, healing others, and teaching the Reiki students. Prior to being qualified as a teacher, he has to prove himself proficient in executing all techniques in the lower degrees or levels both with mastery and efficiency and then he must move on to studying the Master Level or Master Degree.

Looking into the entirety of the Master, you will see a person who performs the healing art with due proficiency. He is the kind of an individual who is able to feel the calling along with the willingness to assume the responsibility of being a mentor, an initiator, and above all, a teacher. He is the certified person who can teach the methodologies and then attune other students into this kind of healing art.

The Master’s Skills Enumerated

As the Master of Reiki teaching, he is endowed with numerous skills that has something to do with the spiritual healing. Included herein are his communication skills, the transforming, and handling of different types of emotional responses, carrying on the therapeutic figures, specializing in the teaching skills, and overcoming any resistance to perform the healing motivation.. Since Reiki is comprised of various levels, the Master should be knowledgeable enough in granting his students an in-depth knowledge in every level that he handles. It is furthermore required that he is capable of teaching all the encompassing levels or degrees.

Using the Energy

The master should therefore have the rightful knowledge on the usage of the life energy. As per the Reiki theory is concerned, the energy flows towards the target. Thus, it is exhibited to where the attention of the healer is directed. The symbols play a vital role in this sense especially in the production of the energy. There are different symbols involved and they all generate the respective energy. The produced energies are later on utilized for several objectives like stress relief and stress release, healing, and in curing a myriad of problems.

The Learning Course of the Masters

There are numerous courses that help mold a Master in Reiki. Reiki itself revolves within the straightforward philosophy of self-healing prior to healing other people. A Master’s first challenge is that of healing himself because it is the only way on how he will be able to heal and help other people. During the training, the student who aims to become a Master is aided in resolving his personal past issues so he can better hold the rein of his own emotions. The mind training likewise helps a lot in provoking the manifestations of his own wants.

At any rate, the Reiki Master has a spiritual power that should never be underestimated. With all the positive energies in him, he is sure to influence the outpour of positive results.

Causes of Neck Pain and Headaches

September 16, 2009

Many athletes that suffer from neck pain and headaches describe their headaches as starting at the bottom or base of the neck. From there it moves up their neck, to their eyes, temples and then their head. This is important because it tells the doctor that the headache is referred pain caused by an injury to the athlete’s body or neck. There are many different types of headaches and severity levels but what many people do not realize is there is often a connection between neck pain and headaches. A person suffering from a stiff neck may experience a very tense painful feeling in their neck that sends sharp pains every time they move or turn their head. To make matters worse, they have a headache at the same time. A common symptom of a stiff neck is neck pain and headaches.

In most cases, a cervical spasm or stiff neck is very painful but not considered serious. Sleeping in an uncomfortable position or using a pillow that does not support your neck and head properly is often the cause of neck pain and headaches resulting from sore muscles.

One of the most common causes of neck pain and headaches is poor posture. Poor posture habits are easy to start because most of the time you do not realize that your posture is bad. Curling up in front of the television, working on the computer with the screen positioned too high or low, reading in bed, carrying a heavy purse over your shoulder, or slouching while you walk can all cause neck pain and headaches.

Other causes of neck pain and headaches include medical conditions and diseases such as high blood pressure and meningitis. One of the many signs of meningitis is worsening neck pain when you move your chin downward, towards your chest. Severe headaches and neck pain can occur after an accident such as falling off a high ladder or suffering a blow to the head resulting in a concussion.

If you are suffering from a frequent stiff neck, neck pain and headaches or the pain continues to worsen, seek medical attention to find out the cause of your pain so you can receive the proper medical treatment. Also, consult your doctor if your neck pain and headaches do not start to lessen within twenty-four hours, you feel confused or nauseated, you are experiencing tingling sensations in your arms, or for any other unusual symptoms. Talk to your physician first if you are interested in starting any type of home exercise program to help relieve your neck pain and headaches.

Natural Remedy For Kidney Stones

September 13, 2009

If you are suffering from the excruciating pain that kidney stones or renal calculi can cause and your doctor has advised waiting to see if the stone will pass by itself, you could certainly benefit from finding a natural remedy for kidney stones.

Kidney stones are formed by the body from unprocessed minerals in the renal system. Most of them consist of calcium oxalate. They occur in about 10% of the population but men are four times as likely to get them as women. They tend to recur, so that once you have had one, you have a 75% chance of having more in the next 20 years.

It is possible to have them without noticing, because many will pass when very small. You might have a pain when urinating but you probably would not notice that you had passed something that could be as tiny as a grain of sand.

Larger stones can block the urethra and that is when the severe pain is caused. You may also see blood in the urine. This comes from the lining of the organs being damaged by the uneven surface of the stone. If you have pus or pain during urination you should tell your doctor as this may be a sign of infection.

Even in cases where the stone is large enough to cause pain, the majority of them do pass naturally. There are certain things you can do to help this happen, or make it happen faster.

Dealing With Kidney Stones

The best treatment to help a stone pass is simply to drink plenty of water. Aim for 2-3 liters spread through the day.

Consuming more soup, fresh fruit and raw vegetables is another way to increase your intake of water, as they contain much more than dry cooked foods and grains. Be careful however to avoid over consumption of oxalate which contributes to the forming of the most common type of stone.

Foods high in oxalate that should be avoided include chocolate, peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, beets and sweet potatoes. Also, cut down on salt and alcohol which have a dehydrating effect, and meat and dairy products which cause uric acid to form in the kidneys.

Some people take diuretics to increase the water flow through the kidneys. Some herbal teas have a diuretic effect, for example dandelion and stinging nettle. Replacing two glasses of water with one of these teas may help the stone to pass more quickly. Unless you have other medical reasons for taking them, prescribed diuretics should not be necessary.

You should strain your urine so that you catch the stone when it passes. Your doctor can have it analyzed to see what minerals it is formed from. This will tell you how you need to alter your diet in future to give you the best chance of preventing a recurrence. For most people, a diet that is lower in protein and salt is recommended.

It may be wise to not to take large doses of vitamins and minerals until you have had your stones or your urine analyzed.

A doctor should always be involved in treatment of renal calculi because of the possibility of infection and complications. A natural remedy for kidney stones should only be used in conjunction with medical advice.

Natural Remedies for Hangovers

September 10, 2009

So, you had a fun night out on the town last night with your romantic partner or a few close friends. Although you may have had a great time the night before, you may be feeling a little bit “weird,” the next day, especially if you consumed alcohol. If alcohol was consumed, you may be experiencing the ever so dreaded hangover.

Anyone who has every experienced a hangover before knows the feeling of just wanting it all to go away. Unfortunately, many individuals believe that there is no “cure,” for a hangover. Although cure may not be the best word used to describe seeking treatment, there are a number of natural remedies which many claim do provide hangover relief. You are looking to relieve yourself from a hangover, please continue reading on as a few of these natural remedies, as well as tips for your next alcohol drinking outing are highlighted below.

Water is a natural remedy for hangovers. Before heading to sleep, after a night of drinking, drinking a lot of water can assist with your hangover the next morning. Alcohol, especially when consumed in large amounts, can impact a body’s hydration, which can result in unpleasant feelings the next morning. That is why a glass or two of water before bed is a great idea. The next morning, as soon as you wake, start drinking even more water. In addition to helping to treat a hangover, drinking water before you starting consuming alcohol also has a number of benefits.

Eating can also help with a hangover from too much alcohol consumption. Eating should be done before, during, and after alcohol consumption. Most importantly, it is important not to consume large amounts of alcohol on an empty stomach. This increase a drinker’s likelihood of becoming intoxicated or drunk, and it also increases the chances of a hangover the next morning. Eating before, during, or after alcohol consumption can slow down the rate in which alcohol is absorbed into the body and bloodstream.

As for vitamins, which many individuals turn to when looking for a natural remedy, vitamin C and B is recommended for hangover relief. It has been claimed that vitamin B helps to shorten the length of a hangover. As for vitamin C, it can help to breakdown the alcohol in your body, also assisting with a hangover, namely by preventing one, shortening its length, or reducing symptoms.

When it comes to a headache associated with a hangover, there are many individuals who take pain relievers. Of course, this approach will work for many, but it is not natural. If you are concerned with that you are putting in your body, you may be looking for a more natural way to relieve the headaches often associated with hangovers. A natural way to relieve a headache associated with a hangover is to place a cold pack on the head; however, a ziplock bag filled with ice will also do. Depending on the activities that you have planned for the day, consider getting extra rest, preferably with an ice pack on your head or neck.

An extra tip to help reduce the likelihood of a hangover involves limiting alcohol consumption. Many professionals recommend pacing yourself with one alcoholic drink an hour, as anything else increases the chances of a hangover. As previously stated, eating before, during, and after alcohol consumption can help with hangovers, as you aren’t drinking on an empty stomach. Eating, even just snacking, while drinking will reduce the amount of alcohol consumed, as you are doing something other than just drinking. Also, some mixed drinks, especially those that are tasty, fruity, or sugary, should be avoided, as it is hard for some drinkers to gauge the amount of alcohol they are actually consuming.

The above mentioned natural remedies are just a few of the many that you can use to relieve the symptoms of a hangover. Also, the tips mentioned above can also reduce your chances of having a hangover following the consumption of alcohol.

Acupuncture and Arthritis

September 8, 2009

Acupuncture is a therapy that has long been held in high esteem because of the beliefs that the Chinese had about its capabilities. However, if you are currently living with arthritis then there is something that you should know about the acupuncture therapy. For starters, there have been arthritis patients who have experienced a great relief from the arthritis pain that they have felt. Whether or not acupuncture works for everyone dealing with this kind of chronic pain is unknown, but what is known is that the therapy does work and there should be lots more research being poured into this age-old technique.

Theories about Why Acupuncture Cures Arthritis

Many chronic arthritis have said that they feel instantly better after a round of the acupuncture therapy. This is not only an astounding finding, but many people and researchers don’t exactly know why it works. However, the only existing and current theory comes from the Chinese because they believed that the therapy of acupuncture could cure pretty much any pain in the body. For starters, the Chinese believe that there are various acupoints located along points in the body that trigger the pain that is felt, especially during a bout of chronic arthritis. If acupuncture needles are then pointed towards those acupoints in the body, it is believed that the pain will cease and the individual can go on living a healthy life.

This theory certainly is held true over the very many lives that have tried it. More than ten million Americans currently suffer from some form of arthritis, and many of those patients feel as if they have nothing to lose when trying acupuncture. Indeed, they do not have anything to lose, because the Chinese believed that this form of therapy, even if it wouldn’t work for some people, certainly would not be of harm to anyone.

Where to Receive Arthritis Acupuncture

If one is looking to find a cure for their arthritis and they are looking for an acupuncture cure specifically, there are many places one can go in order to try this age-old therapy. For starters, universities and colleges along with research centers are usually more than happy to take on arthritis patients in their effort to find out more about why acupuncture does work. Along with these kinds of establishments, though, there are also set acupuncture therapists that work alongside patients in their private offices, and these are the offices where the more individualized acupuncture care can take place. If one is not able to find an acupuncture therapist in his or her own city or town then chances are that they will have to drive a short distance to find someone who is interested in the therapy.

Nevertheless, though, there are thousands of places across the United States that are interested in pursuing the art of acupuncture in order to cure arthritis. What arthritis patients do know and what acupuncture therapists have known for quite some time is that the therapy does work well and it only take a little bit of believe and confidence in order to know that one will actually get better from the terrible and plaguing arthritis.

Some of the Chiropractic Techniques

September 4, 2009

When most people think of chiropractic techniques, the standard neck or back adjustment is what comes to mind. However to understand why chiropractic care is so useful, it is imperative to be aware that doctors of chiropractic have a lot more tricks up their sleeves other than just the famous back adjustment. Chiropractors treat more areas of the body than just the spine. These highly trained professionals go to school for in depth training of techniques and when and where they are appropriate, as well as detailed study of how the body works in relation to all aspects of health. Muscle and bones are just a part of their training. They also are taught how disease and injury affect each region of the body and how to treat it for optimum healing. Take a look at some of the chiropractic techniques you may be less familiar with.

One of the most interesting of the chiropractic techniques is known as the applied kinesiology technique. This one deals with more than just the alignment of the spine and joints. The placement of the bones can’t be correct unless the muscles surrounding them are in correct placement as well. Using light massage and manipulation of the acupressure points, chiropractors can encourage normal and healthy muscle function. This restored balance helps the bones move back into the proper ailment. This technique is an interesting look at how all the systems of the body work together as one.

Since the spine related adjustments are the most familiar to most of us, here’s a look at some of the spine chiropractic techniques and what they are used to correct. The Cox flexion distraction is first up on our list. This technique involves using stretching or traction of the spine to correct lower back pain and misalignment. The Thompson terminal point technique is another one of the frequently used techniques. Using a special drop style table, this technique is used to adjust the entire spine. Another fascinating example of the dynamic of how different areas of the body can adversely affect a seemingly unrelated area of the body is neck pain. In some cases the Sacro-Occipital technique is used. The patient lies on their back with padded blocks placed under the pelvic region. This allows the body to adjust itself and reduce neck pain. There are hundreds of other techniques chiropractors can use to improve the performance of the body and promote pain relief. These are just a few.

The various chiropractic techniques are an interesting look at how every area of the body directly impacts its neighbor. Understanding the purpose of some of the things your chiropractor may do is a good way to reduce fear of the unknown and take a proactive stand in your own health care.

Each of the chiropractic techniques was designed to heal a specific problem. These techniques help to relieve pain, improve joint flexibility, and increase body function without the use of medications or surgeries.

Massage Therapy Careers

September 1, 2009

A Bright Future For Massage Therapy Careers

There are many interesting massage therapy careers available for today’s massage therapists. Increased demand, coupled with an ever-growing acceptance of massage therapy as an integral health-management and treatment option, has opened many doors for graduates of massage therapy programs and for experienced massage therapists.

Forecasts For Massage Therapy Careers

The forecast for massage therapy careers is quite favorable. According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment within the various careers of massage therapy is expected to grow faster than the average for other careers. Better than average career growth is expected to last through 2014.

Employment in the field of massage therapy includes both full-time and part time opportunities, and approximately two-thirds of massage therapists are self employed (either running their own businesses or working as independent contractors for a larger organization).

The Many Faces Of Career In Massage Therapy

It can be difficult to find two massage therapy careers that look the same; that is because massage therapists enjoy a range of job opportunities housed within a variety of physical settings. Employment is in both public and private settings, with an array of focuses.

In self-employed positions, salaried, hourly, and contractor arrangements, massage therapists can be found working in

• Health clinics
• Spas
• Salons
• Resorts
• Physician and chiropractic offices
• Rehabilitation facilities
• Massage therapy offices
• Hospitals
• Fitness centers and gyms
• Corporate offices and corporate health centers
• Private homes
• Nursing homes
• Studios, alternative health studios and yoga centers
• Holistic health centers/alternative medicine practices
• Airports
• Shopping centers/malls
• Colleges and universities

Among many others, job titles for massage therapy careers may include

• Physical therapist/assistant
• Sports massage therapist
• Masseuse
• Massage therapist
• Mobile massage therapist
• Massage therapy instructor/teacher

The Nature Of Massage Therapy Careers

Massage therapy careers are quite demanding; demands on massage therapists are both physical and personal.

Physically speaking, massage therapy can take a toll on the body of a therapist. Maintaining a career in massage therapy requires spending long hours of standing and physical exertion. Repetitive stress injuries are common among those with improper physical care and technique. Fatigue from long hours on-foot is also a common problem. Maintaining a good technique and proper scheduling of appointments lessens the physical demands on therapists. Because massage therapy is so physically demanding, few therapists actually deliver massages for more than 30 hours per week; in fact, according to the US Department of Labor, many positions are considered full-time if the therapists treats clients between 15 and 30 hours per week. Additional time is normally required for administrative tasks, though.

Personally, massage therapy careers can be demanding because many times services are most in demand during off-work hours; this means evenings and weekends may be prime-time for client appointments, although many successful therapists are able to maintain a more “normal” work schedule.

A career in massage therapy can be very rewarding indeed; it can also be very demanding, but for those who are up to the challenge, the outlook is very good for massage therapy careers.