OBCOSF.COM http://www.obcosf.com Just another WordPress weblog Mon, 29 Oct 2012 07:54:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=374 Massage vs. Bodywork – Is There a Difference? Part 2 http://www.obcosf.com/massage-vs-bodywork-is-there-a-difference-part-2.html http://www.obcosf.com/massage-vs-bodywork-is-there-a-difference-part-2.html#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 07:54:20 +0000 Theresa http://www.obcosf.com/?p=585 Now, I can hear many people saying, “she was sick for three days and you say GREAT?”

Oh, yes. My next words to her were, “you didn’t want to keep that inside you, did you? Who knows how that would have manifested?”

Yes, purifying of the body can be intensely uncomfortable, but for me, three days of discomfort sure beats a week, two, or more depending on what the cause of the congestion was and how it would possibly have manifested later on if she had suppressed it with drugs. I feel good that I could assist her in releasing it.

Now, it’s possible she didn’t do as I had suggested afterwards — drink plenty (maybe a liter or more, depending on time of day) of room temperature or even hot water, preferably with some lemon juice (kidney/liver purifier) added. This assists any freed-up toxins (which is what causes the pain during/after the session) to go down and out their natural channels of elimination. If the toxins overwhelm the system, the body will eliminate them however it can. The ideal thing is to assist the process. One can do this by skin brushing, hot and cold showers, and plenty of hot water with lemon or other freshly made juices.

Now to the first complaint: One thing I’ve experienced going to various massage therapists is that they go too deep too fast. They “grind” their clients. What happens when they do this is the tissue will retract from the contact. It’s as though you went to touch a person’s face. If you move slowly, they’ll be aware of your hand coming towards them and even though they may be wary, they wont necessarily withdraw. If you do it quickly, they will automatically react by pulling away or defensively blocking your hand. The tissue does the same thing.

So, what’s the answer? SLOW DOWN and bring more awareness to what you are doing. By slowing down and bringing awareness to the hands, thumbs, knuckles and elbows, and what one is feeling, the practitioner can go deeper into the tissue without the client feeling as though one was being “rough” with them or “beating them up.” Then again, the therapist also needs to notice what is deep. There have been times when I could not go below the surface because the client was in extreme pain; whereas at other times, I can sink into many layers of tissue and the client sighs with relief.

What to do? First of all, be aware of who you are working with. Have them breathe deeply into the area in which you are working. You may also, lighten your touch or use a different modality — palms instead of knuckles or thumbs. In addition, realize, the tension doesn’t have to be and probably will not be taken care of within the time frame you’ve set. It didn’t take an hour to build, did it? Make another appointment so the work can continue.

Another thing to understand is this: There are indeed times for extremely deep work where there will be pain and even bruising afterwards. The question would be, “What is the outcome being achieved?” Is this what the practitioner is looking for and can the client understand this and the reason for it? Communication is the key, here.

As for the client: If you are not used to moving much — i.e. through conscious exercise — or moving the area where the pain is, expect there to be some soreness afterwards. It’s like going to the gym after not having ever been, or not for a long time. You’re going to feel sore. Whether you move your muscles or the therapist does, it doesn’t matter. What can you do? Again, plenty of room-temperature (or even warmer) water with lemon juice and Epson salt baths and movement! Move your body in different ways as in yoga or qigong.

Bruising: Often when there is stagnant chi or energy, there may be large or small areas of bruised tissue after a session. Most people consider this as broken blood vessels.

My experience has shown that these bruises are toxins being brought to the surface so that they can be released. Most people will feel a freedom in that area as the color diminishes.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the healers do a form of bodywork called Gua Sha which, as Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson says in his book Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy, focuses on external surface tissue scraping. It is commonly used for promoting Qi (chee) and Blood circulation, removing toxins, clearing Heat, cooling Blood, removing stagnation, and dissolving masses.

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It’s the Rage http://www.obcosf.com/its-the-rage.html http://www.obcosf.com/its-the-rage.html#comments Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:12:47 +0000 Theresa http://www.obcosf.com/?p=581 Have you ever overreacted to something that happened at a sporting event? Maybe an umpire called your son out at a Little League baseball game, and you were sure he made it to home plate ahead of the ball. If you ran onto the field screaming and cursing at the umpire, you exhibited a growing phenomenon called sport rage.

Sport rage is an angry, aggressive response that is out of proportion to the situation, explained Robert Schleser, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Illinois Institute of Technology. Rage responses can occur in any situation or sport. Its probably just as likely to happen on a tennis court as on the football field.

Why sport rage has become more prevalent — just as road rage has — is hard to determine. Dr. Schleser suspected that there are many contributing factors. “Aggressiveness is valued in sports, and the line between good aggressive play and sport rage is hard to define,” he noted. He pointed to the availability of role models engaging in angry, aggressive behavior with little or no consequences as a reason for more and more people acting out in this manner.

Because children view athletes and adults as role models, Dr. Schleser contended children who witness sport rage will be more likely to engage in the same behavior. We need to reestablish the point of sports, he said. Emphasize playing well and fairly, and to have respect for the sport and its officials. Most importantly, we need to remember that its a game. Kids should be taught that their self-worth is not dependent on winning a Pee Wee league soccer game.

Dr. Darrell J. Burnett, a clinical/sport psychologist and volunteer youth league coach, offered these tips to kids in an effort to foster sportsmanship:

If you make a mistake, don’t pout or make excuses. Learn from it, and be ready to continue to play.
If a teammate makes a mistake, offer encouragement, not criticism.
If you win, don’t rub it in.
If you lose, don’t make excuses
I abide by the rules of the game.
I try to avoid arguments.
Dr. Burnett also provides this checklist:

Sportsmanship Checklist for Kids (and Adults!)

I share in the responsibilities of the team.
I give everyone a chance to play according to the rules.
I always play fair.
I follow the directions of the coach.
I respect the other team’s effort.
I offer encouragement to my teammates.
I accept the judgment calls of the game officials.
I end the game smoothly.

To help deal with sport rage and deter future episodes, Dr. Schleser advised that punishment should be swift, strong, and inevitable. For instance, if a football player punches an opponent for blocking his kick, he should be benched for the rest of the game. It should never be tolerated, he said.

We need to keep in mind, however, that sport is about physical competition. Tempers do flare, and thats normal, added Dr. Schleser. But rage is a disproportionate response. Officials should be taught the difference.

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Massage vs. Bodywork – Is There a Difference? Part 1 http://www.obcosf.com/massage-vs-bodywork-is-there-a-difference-part-1.html http://www.obcosf.com/massage-vs-bodywork-is-there-a-difference-part-1.html#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2012 08:10:42 +0000 Theresa http://www.obcosf.com/?p=578 There are many massage therapists and types of bodyworkers working in the health industry. It can get confusing figuring out who is who and who can do what. Here are some tips that may help you to choose the right therapist.

Many people, who are solely massage therapists, are now calling themselves bodyworkers. Admittedly, they do work the body, but where does that leave those of us who have had actual training in true “bodywork” modalities such as polarity, reflexology, structural rebalancing, myofascial release and integration? How do potential clients tell us apart?

Here are a few tips:

Most masseuses and massage therapists will go into the client’s environment. Most bodywork therapists have a place the clients can come to for reasons explained below.

Another difference would be in the way the work is done. In massage, most therapists use a set routine. A bodyworker has an understanding that ties his or her advanced schooling together — such as polarity, Traditional Chinese Medicine, yin/yang and the Tao, and/or Ayurveda, and works with each individual in a unique manner depending on what is needed and required — not always on a table or chair.

A third distinction would be the consciousness within the bodyworker and in his/her hands. This would be something that couldn’t be seen and/or felt by most people. With guidance, some people can learn to develop this awareness. Both practitioners and clients can attain this through a spiritual sadhana (practice) such as meditation and daily qigong practice.
One more distinction between massage and bodywork is the client’s participation. During massage, most people just want to go to sleep which is why the therapist often goes to their homes. With bodywork, the client participates in the process utilizing breath and sound, including voice dialogue and movement, which is why environment is important. The client needs to feel safe in order to respond to the situation, especially with sound. If there is someone else in the house, they may not feel comfortable releasing the sounds and emotions that may arise and will use many excuses to avoid the experience — such as a ringing telephone.

Many people who come to me think that because I use my hands to do my work, they receiving a “massage.” It tends to be difficult to get them to breathe, move or vibrate as their body feels, and bring awareness to what is going on for them. They have learned that they are not “supposed” to move or express through during hands-on work. (I’ve even had people apologize because they’ve twitched when I’ve gotten to a particularly sensitive area.) As a bodywork therapist, it’s my job to keep nudging and urging them to participate, as they will get more from the process the more they stay aware and participate. The “monkey mind” (that little chatterer in your head) is extremely afraid of and resistant to new things. It just wants to go to sleep and ignore what’s happening in the moment.

The other difference between bodywork and massage is the outcome. When someone leaves me, I want him or her to know they’ve experienced themselves differently. They may have released old suppressed emotions; experienced greater awareness in how they can enhance their lives; or realized old habit patterns which they are currently using and which worked years ago as “survival” techniques, but aren’t working any longer. My outcome is for my clients to feel — not just go to sleep so they can do it all over again the same way tomorrow.
Whether we are masseurs, masseuses, massage therapists or bodywork therapists, one duty we share is to educate.

I’ve had people come to me and say they’ve received massage before and never did it again because they were so sore afterwards they couldn’t walk or they couldn’t get out of bed for three days they were so “sick.”

To the latter complaint I say, “hallelujah!”

I actually had someone tell me this after I had worked the sides of her neck which were highly congested. My response to her was, “GREAT!”

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Useful Tips for Lowering Stress at Work http://www.obcosf.com/useful-tips-for-lowering-stress-at-work.html http://www.obcosf.com/useful-tips-for-lowering-stress-at-work.html#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2012 09:00:35 +0000 Theresa http://www.obcosf.com/?p=572 Shake your “booty.” Whether you are on the verge of exploding or you’re just feeling a little tense, exercise will almost always help lower your stress level. If you are healthy and you don’t use this technique you may be suffering from a condition commonly known as “laziness.”

Prioritize. If you have numerous tasks demanding your attention and they are all floating around in your consciousness like so many wildfires, you may be feeling a little uncomfortable. Take a few minutes to write them all down and then put them in order of priority. You will be amazed at how much less work you suddenly have on your plate.

One is the loneliest number. Some folks go to work and feel as though they disappear into the corporate hive. Working in isolation, especially in a fast-paced, technical workplace is common but unnatural. Get out of your cubicle and introduce yourself to your co-workers before they put a roof over your head.

“Read my lips!” You only have so much time to do your job. If you can’t say “no” to others who want to burden you with even more work (maybe their own) you are likely to become overwhelmed and resentful. Learn and use phrases such as; “I’m too busy right now,” “Sorry, my plate is full,” or the crude but effective line popularized by pugilist Mike Tyson, “Come in here again and I’ll eat your children!”

Laughter is the best medicine. Sure, your job is hard and your boss is difficult, but what are you going to do, become a “stress case”? Insurance premiums are already high enough.

Do yourself and the rest of the work force a favor and stay healthy. Learn to laugh when you can and have fun while your able. Develop a sense of humor at work. Remember, all work and no play made Jack a very dull boy.

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Wounds: Bleeding Severely? http://www.obcosf.com/wounds-bleeding-severely.html http://www.obcosf.com/wounds-bleeding-severely.html#comments Thu, 04 Oct 2012 12:12:05 +0000 Theresa http://www.obcosf.com/?p=569 Most people can handle cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds without much trouble. But when wounds bleed severely, follow these emergency measures:

  • Call 911 or go to an emergency facility immediately.
  • Lay the victim flat on his or her back. If you suspect a head, neck, or back injury, don’ t move the patient.
  • Position the victim so the wound is higher than the heart to reduce blood flow.
  • If the victim is unconscious, check their ABCs:

               – Lift the chin to open the Airway.

              – Check for Breathing.

               – Check for Circulation - a pulse.

  • Watch for shock: Symptoms include weak, rapid pulse; shallow breathing; cold, clammy skin; confusion or loss of consciousness.
  • Remove any visible objects from the wound, if this can be done easily; but not objects that are stuck or embedded in the wound – especially in the chest or back. Do not probe the wound.

When medical help arrives, report the findings from your own observations and examination.

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Do You Have Diabetes? http://www.obcosf.com/do-you-have-diabetes.html http://www.obcosf.com/do-you-have-diabetes.html#comments Wed, 03 Oct 2012 05:45:10 +0000 Theresa http://www.obcosf.com/?p=566 If you are over 40 you should have a blood test at least once a year. Ask your doctor to test for cholesterol and for diabetes. My husband’s diabetes went undetected for a year, and now we are working to reverse some of the effects. If it had continued unchecked he could have wound up in a coma or worse.

Diabetes is almost in epidemic proportions in the United States. Why? Experts say it is our diet, which is high in sugar and carbohydrates. This along with a sedentary lifestyle can lead to diabetes type 2.

You can avoid diabetes by eating a balanced diet of protein, vegetables and carbohydrates, but with limited sugars like desserts and junk foods. Walking is the best exercise for just about everyone. Walking will help lower blood glucose levels. In fact, any exercise will, but exertion is to be avoided. That doesn’t do you any good. Walking and swimming are the two most popular exercises that do not strain your heart.

Even if you are free of diabetes, eating a proper diet with food portions in moderation will help you maintain your general health.

Don’t wait to be rushed to the doctor to find out you have diabetes. Eat right, exercise and have your blood tested. Not all diabetes type 2 patients have symptoms, but here are the common signs to look for: drowsy even after a good night’s sleep, mood swings, blurry eyes and numbness in extremities.

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Confluencia, Plaza de Mulas http://www.obcosf.com/confluencia-plaza-de-mulas.html http://www.obcosf.com/confluencia-plaza-de-mulas.html#comments Mon, 24 Sep 2012 09:46:20 +0000 Theresa http://www.obcosf.com/?p=562 We got up early to get this long day started. Today is going to be an 18-mile hike. The trail was good and the scenery spectacular. The valley is immense and looks like the Karakorum. The trail was easy for about three hours and then it got rocky and difficult.

The weather also turned cold and windy. The valley was narrow and it was obvious we had to cross the river by wading through it. Stan tested some rocks and then slipped in the river. Now with soaked boots he waded across and put on his dry wading shoes. I changed to my old Nikes and stepped through the icy cold stream. Wow, that was a wake up! We were about two hours away from Plaza de Mulas.

We continued and of course the weather was getting worse and started to snow. Great, poor Stan has his wading shoes on and all our warm clothes, i.e. gloves went up with the mules. We didn’t worry too much because spare socks make for wonderful mittens. We finally came to the old Plaza de Mulas. It was really snowing hard now and we weren’t too sure where the mules had taken our stuff.

Stan and I decided that since it was our wedding anniversary it would be nice to treat ourselves to a night at the highest hotel in the world.

A man told us it was close and would only take 10 minutes. Don’t ever believe the phrase “10 minutes”. Up and down, up and down, we finally found the hotel after 30 minutes. The hotel is huge. I was shocked at the size. We asked for a room with a private bath and hot water. Other rooms are available also with no bath. Our rooms cost $30 each and are sparse but comfortable. Word is out that the weather is getting worse. Nobody really knows but that’s how conversation is made on a mountain. People seem to be summiting anyway.

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Physical Findings About Apnea http://www.obcosf.com/physical-findings-about-apnea.html http://www.obcosf.com/physical-findings-about-apnea.html#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2012 14:54:56 +0000 Theresa http://www.obcosf.com/?p=557 The physical findings of obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) can be obvious from across the room; while asleep, people with OSAHS tend to snore and take long pauses (greater than 10 seconds) in their breathing.

In fact, it is not uncommon that a bed-partner makes the diagnosis and then tells the patient’s physician of the problem. Otherwise, while awake, such a person’s physical exam can be quite normal because the airway becomes narrowed only in sleep.

A physician may note physical findings that are suggestive of OSAHS, including small facial bones, narrowed or blocked nasal passages, a large tongue, a long or low uvula or soft palate, a large circumference of the neck (for men, greater than 17 inches and women, greater than 15 inches), and/or occasionally an enlarged thyroid or swelling in the ankles.

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How Tai Chi Improves Balance http://www.obcosf.com/how-tai-chi-improves-balance.html http://www.obcosf.com/how-tai-chi-improves-balance.html#comments Thu, 13 Sep 2012 09:14:11 +0000 Theresa http://www.obcosf.com/?p=554 The benefits of daily practice are extremely useful. Tai Chi doesn’t only promote personal growth, but more importantly, it helps one emerging from limitations.

Everyday stress in the workplace tightens one’s tissue and compresses one’s mental ability to explore within. Tai Chi releases the hidden energy, which is called chi to calm and soothe the stressed tissues and positivize the negative mental alertness. Tai Chi movements are mostly slow and soft, which loosen the stressed body and mind. They expand the tissues down to the bone and loosen the distressed mind.

As a form of physical and mental exercise, Tai Chi Chuan benefits both the body and mind. Among the physical benefits one can expect to receive from the exercise are: increased flexibility, increased strength in muscles, better balance, improved posture, improved immunity, improved breathing, reduced pain, increased vitality and improved motor skills.

Mentally, Tai Chi helps people to reduce stress, increase relaxation, increase mental focus, improve memory, increase contentedness and increase the level of happiness.

A Tai Chi practitioner will eventually graduate to a level where he or she doesn’t only feel the benefits, but becomes one with them. As one has recruited so much from each moment, at many levels, the movements become an orchestra of sensation, perception and integrated balanced fluid consciousness. At this level, we’ll realize that body and mind are not separate.

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Hmmm, Do I Go for the Skis or the Bowling Shoes? http://www.obcosf.com/hmmm-do-i-go-for-the-skis-or-the-bowling-shoes.html http://www.obcosf.com/hmmm-do-i-go-for-the-skis-or-the-bowling-shoes.html#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 18:21:02 +0000 Theresa http://www.obcosf.com/?p=549 Buying new ski gear can be a confusing and intimidating experience. All the different equipment styles, colors and designs, combined with the salesperson so young he looks like he’s skipping social studies class, is enough to make a used-car salesman seem like a swell guy. And with the constantly changing technical who-ha and jargon, you almost need a mechanical engineering degree to figure out what’s right for you.

But things aren’t as bad as they seem. By arming yourself with a few pieces of information and gaining an understanding of what to look for, you’ll impress the chicks with your new gear long before the credit card statement arrives.

Maybe that winter bowling league has kept you from noticing what’s happened to ski equipment technology and throwing down the bucks for a new pair.

To get you caught up, today’s gear and shaped skis are the best thing since sliced bread. If you are still a skeptic vowing to stay on traditional sticks, then go ahead and join that bowling team for another season.

Otherwise, listen up! New technology has created equipment that will help everyone improve, from the first-timer to World Cup Racers. Like picking up that 2-10 split, you can take your on-hill performance to a new level.

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