February 25, 2016

Q:  How do you feel about massaging women?IMG_3313

A:  Most of my clients are women. I feel that I’m able to give a good, therapeutic, intuitive massage. I’m not judgmental of women’s bodies; I treat all of my clients with the respect they deserve.

Q:  And how about massaging men?

A:  In my experience, men who ask for a male therapist usually want deeper tissue massage, which is great for me because that’s what I like to do! Deep tissue focuses on the therapeutic aspect of massage. It’s a major part of what I do.

Q:  What are your feelings about being a gender minority in the massage world?

A:  I look at my job from the perspective of a massage therapist, not from that of a man. Unfortunately, massage therapy is still confused with intimacy, which it is not. It’s assessment, it’s treatment of soft tissue injuries. It’s an hour on the table working on your muscles. It’s therapy. Your therapists sex has nothing to do with it.

Q:  What would you say you focus on during treatments?

A:  Pain is often what brings clients in.  I always address pain first – it’s a symptom that shouldn’t be ignored. Once the pain goes away, I focus on function.  If the body isn’t functioning well, pain is always around the corner.

January 15, 2016

breast cancerPain and tightness suffered post mastectomy/ lumpectomy can limit one’s life drastically. Myofascial Release can help create vast changes by softening dense scars and fibrosed fascia that remain unchanged with traditional therapy and stretching.

 

Axillary Cording

Axillary cording is a web of thick, rope-like structures under the skin of your inner arm. These cords usually start near the site of your scarring in the underarm region and extend down the inner arm to the inside of the elbow (sometimes they can continue down to the palm of your hand, or in to the chest wall instead of, or in addition to, the inner arm.

Traumatized tissue can have a cascading effect on the body.  Locally, tightened and fibrous fascia can restrict blood flow and lymphatic flow resulting in lymphedema.  Auxiliary cording can also occur, causing a significant loss of range of motion in the shoulder, leading to a loss of function.  Pain and weakness can occur in the shoulder, arm and chest wall.  Burning, pins and needles, numbness, or spasms can also occur in these areas.

Tightness, with time, can start to effect areas not associated with the scar even if these areas are far removed from the local site.  Symptoms not “normal” to mastectomy, lumpectomy, reconstruction, or augmentation can start to occur.  Headaches, jaw pain, low back pain, pelvic pain, digestive issues, postural changes, hormonal imbalances, etc, may become a “common” occurrence for you.

The inability to move, or the pain suffered with common range of motion and activity can become debilitating.  This might happen immediately, or it might occur 6 years down the road.  In real life it might look like the inability to wash your hair in the shower, get dressed in the morning, pick your child up out of the crib, hug a loved one, carry your groceries, drive your car, work at your computer, or reach up and grab the sugar out of the cupboard.  No matter the role you have as a woman – mom, worker, grandma – your life is impacted.

breast mfrPain management and rehabilitation using Myofascial Release can help.  Gentle and slow work done at the fascial barrier (on the scar and surrounding areas) can assist in restoring functional patterns by decreasing the restrictions.

Whether you had surgery, chemo, or radiation last month or 10 years ago, Myofascial Release should be added to your recovery process.

 

 

IMG_8104cropbwTara Hagan-Fields is an RMT with Whole Therapy. Tara is a Women’s Health Specialist and Myofascial Release Therapist.  She focuses on the body as a whole and teaches you to do the same.  More about Tara here or find her on Facebook Tara Hagan-Fields RMT

 

March 6, 2015

healthy-giftAs a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, And Yoga instructor, I am both fascinated and       flattered that many of my clients will come forward believing I have all the answers.  They       believe within a couple appointments, their lives will be turned around. Learn a few tricks, pop a few supplements, and all their problems will be gone.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Too often people are giving their power away and             expecting to be able to undo years’ worth of poor choices once they invest in a few                 appointments with a healthcare practitioner or trainer.

It’s true, lasting change takes time; it’s hard work.  If it wasn’t, we’d all have done it by now.   It has taken me years to adopt a healthy lifestyle involving whole foods, regular exercise, restorative practices, and to develop intuition to know how to apply each of these and when.  If there was a quicker route, I would have taken it myself.  There are several more factors involved than simply the food we eat or the amount of exercise we do.  When someone wants to make a significant change in their health and well being, there are many things to consider:

Do you have support?
It’s an inspiring thing to witness someone strive to make a difference in their life. They start packing a lunch for work, getting up extra early for that workout, or having the energy to climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, and they start to radiate health. Although new, healthful habits should be commended by others, too often they are criticized.  Being called a “health nut” nowadays almost feels like ridicule.  You are coerced into sharing a pizza, or put down for not wanting to participate in a pub crawl in order to make it to the gym the next day.  Unfortunately, people like to see people fail. But why? Likely, it’s because your health habits make their own unhealthy ones all that more apparent.  As you feel better, they feel worseBe prepared for this!

It will be a challenge to stick to the plan to reach your goals when you don’t have supportive company.  It may take a tough conversation on your part to communicate how their comments are affecting your progress or even separation from those who cannot be happy for your success.

peer-pressure

” Honestly guys! I’m really okay with this broccoli instead”


Are you willing to say no?

Life will consistently test you as you try to walk a different path.  Temptation will arise without question.  Cake at an office party, buttered popcorn at the movies, cocktails at a friend’s gathering.  Can you say no?  Does saying no leave you feeling deprived or empowered?  Can you continue to say no?  For change to occur, consistency is key.  Turning down one treat only to say yes to the next one does not serve you, either.  Saying “no thanks” often enough slowly lets people know these indulgences aren’t for you.  Acceptance will come.  It’s like offering a vegetarian a steak every time you see them.  They are never going to accept, so after a while, people stop asking.  Say no, to be able to say yes to yourself.

Do you really want it?

Why do you want to make a change?  Is your health at risk?  Are your jeans too tight?  Do you feel uncomfortable in your skin?  Do you have digestion issues? Whatever your reason, are you willing to give it 100% effort to reach your goal? To feel better, are you willing to say no? Are you prepared for the reactions, both positive and negative from others?  Will you stick to it no matter what life throws at you? If you answer no to any of these, ask yourself if you truly want it.

Change is tough, it takes hard work and dedication.  Is it worth it?  Without a doubt! You will have to reorganize your schedule, make the time to follow through with the plan and stick it out no matter what.  You may miss out on a few social activities once in a while.  You may not get to taste the 3 layer chocolate cake at your friend’s birthday or miss out on a few beers and chicken wings at the football game but it’s worth it!  Being called a rabbit for having salad with protein as opposed to pasta with cream sauce?  Worth it!  All of this will be worth it when you feel the best you ever have.  When your confidence is through the roof and your health is impeccable.  When your skin is glowing, people will ask, “How did you do it?”  Your answer, as you sip on your green smoothie will be, “Hard work. Plain and simple.” So be ready for the challenge, otherwise question if you truly want it.  There is no other way.

Karen Yaworsky is a registered holistic nutritionist with Whole Therapy in addition to being a certified personal trainer and yogi.  Karen believes that the wholeheartedly that taking care of your body through diet and exercise is the key to a happy, successful and rewarding life.  More about Karen here

Karen2

January 28, 2015

So you went over on your ankle. Now, a black and blue softball currently resides where your ankle used to live. It’s painful, swollen, hot and difficult to walk on. When is this going to get better?!

This is probably the most frequently asked question I get as a physiotherapist. Generally speaking, a moderate sprain/strain can take upwards of 8+ weeks to resolve. HOLY CRAP! 8 WEEKS?! Yes, 8 weeks, give or take. I cannot expedite the body’s ability to heal tissue (I wish I could just place my hands on someone and heal them, I would make a lot of money!). I can merely help create an environment in your tissues conducive to healing. So if you have a swollen, black and blue body part, chances are it’s going to take 8+ weeks to heal itself (And compared to the 20 odd years it took you to become an adult, 8 weeks is pretty fantastic!). Understanding what happens during these 8 weeks, however, can really help prevent re-injury and decrease your risk of things becoming chronic.  

1. Inflammatory phase (3-5 days)

There is not much we can do during this initial phase short of resting, elevating and compressing the affected area. Trauma to your tissues (also known as collagen) cause bleeding. Fluid and other cells (your body’s knights in shining armor) travel to the area to help assess the damage that has been done. The pressure from the fluid, in addition to the chemical soup now residing in the injured area, stimulates nerve endings causing more pain.

Pain limits function. And from an evolutionary standpoint this makes sense. The brain needs to assess the area to figure out what it needs to do to heal itself. It doesn’t want you walking on that sprained ankle, you might hurt it some more! So get those crutches ready and take it easy for those 3-5 days, you have my permission!

2. Repair Phase (3-21 days)

Remember those knights and shining armor I talked about in the inflammatory phase? Well these cells initiate a chemical response which causes blood clotting to stop the bleeding. Fibroblasts also make their presence known in this blood clot. Fibroblasts are cells in your body which essentially act like little carpenters. They come in and help build new tissue. Unfortunately in this stage, Type 3 collagen is laid down. This type of collagen is very weak and has little tensile strength. Its goal is to essentially help plug up the injury!

It’s important to recognize that this new tissue is really weak. Your injury may start feeling a lot better in the next 2-3 weeks. It doesn’t take much to tear this new tissue. Tearing this plug will only bring you back to the inflammatory phase, starting the 8 week process all over again! Re-tearing the tissue over and over again can cause disrepair, which can leave you with an ugly chronic issue.

3. Re-modeling phase (21+ days)

This phase can last up to a year if the injury was severe enough. In this phase, the weak Type 3 collagen is replaced by much stronger Type 1 collagen. Type 1 collage has a lot more tensile strength and makes the tissue more resilient. Type 1 collagen is still not as strong as the surrounding tissue, however, due to its plug-like nature. Most of our tissues are composed of parallel fibers which oppose the forces we put through them. The new tissue is literally a shredded-wheat of fibers, all criss-crossed in a haphazard formation.

In this phase, we can start aligning the fibers in the optimal parallel formation using controlled stretching and strengthening. We also need to work on other important things, but I can’t give it all away in one post! Haha!

Source: http://www.physioroom.com/injuries/supplements/ligaments2.php

Bailey Gresham is a registered physiotherapist for Whole Therapy. She specializes in manual therapy and movement-based therapy. She likes bridging the gap between rehabilitation and performance training.  More about Bailey here.

Bailey