Friday, May 31, 2013

Stress, Diabetes, and Massage Therapy

By Rosie B.

Stress causes the release of stress hormones and those hormones can affect the diabetic’s blood sugar control negatively. It’s hard to think of stress as being or causing a series of chemical reactions in the body, but it does. Stress is a normal part of life, but how we deal with that stress can keep it from spiraling into a health problem.

Stress and diabetes sometimes results in high blood sugars. Massage has been shown repeatedly to have a beneficial effect on anxiety. Diabetics experiencing anxiety are at risk for poor blood sugar control. Massage therapy for diabetics helps reduce that stress.
Massage calms the nervous system, bringing stress hormones down to normal levels; in turn blood sugars are easier to control.
Diabetes can have a dangerous effect on the circulatory system. Diabetics tend to have problems with circulation because high blood sugars can cause hardening of the arteries. This poor flow of blood tends to occur first in the feet, since they are so far from the heart.

Massage improves circulation of blood in general, including to the extremities, decreasing this blocking effect of diabetes.
When poor circulation occurs, poor healing of wounds and infections also occurs. That is why diabetics sometimes develop sores on the foot. Massage therapy for diabetics improves feeling (sensation) and circulation, so it can help prevent this common problem. With improved blood (and lymph) flow from therapeutic massage, the body is more able to fight infections in the body. Circulation is critical for good health. It is impaired in the diabetic. Massage improves circulation dramatically.
Elevated blood sugars, because of stress hormones and poor circulation, cause the tissues around the muscles and tendons to become thicker. Diabetes can cause stiffness and decreased mobility in the diabetic’s muscles and other soft tissues. Massage therapy for diabetics treats this problem directly by manipulating these tissues in a way that causes them to be less stiff. Range of motion improves, so does general mobility of the whole body. Improved bodily movement enables the diabetic to do more exercise which has a beneficial effect on diabetes. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Massage for High Blood Pressure

 By K McCarty, Student

High blood pressure; hypertension

Benefits of massage include reducing hypertension and lowering blood pressure.
The cause of high blood pressure is divided into two large categories as essential hypertension and secondary hypertension. The cause of essential hypertension is unknown, but a person's lifestyle and genetic factors have been said to be involved. Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, is known to be caused by kidney diseases and diseases of the vascular system

Symptoms: Most people do not notice problems with their blood pressure. Numbness, headache, and stiff neck, hands, and feet are common signs.

It is possible that blood pressure can increase due to tension. It is necessary to warm up before therapeutic massages by massaging softly first. Avoid applying intense pressure.

Vascular massage is a way to help to lower blood pressure.
     For example, a 15 minute vascular massage would look like the following:
Fingers: Grip each finger and twist to the left and right.
Arms: Using the whole palm, twist the forearm between the wrist and shoulder.
Legs: Twist the legs from the toes to the thighs in the same manner in which the fingers and arms are massaged.
Head: Use the palm of the hand  and massage in a circular motion, between the forehead and the temple.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Step-by-Step Instructions for Doing an Enema

By Becky Makool, guest blogger

An enema is the injection of a large amount of liquid into the rectum to flush out and cleanse the colon.

Here are a couple great resources to check out before you try your first enema:

How to Do an Enema Safely from Home (Kimberly Davidson)

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Giving Yourself an Enema and Were Afraid to Ask


• When you have privacy and time to relax without distractions 
• Preferably anytime after you have emptied your bowels that day

HOW TO DO AN ENEMA What You Will Need:
- A hot water bottle kit from Walgreens or any large pharmacy (costs less than $20)

-  Hot water bottle
- Rubber hose P Plug P Hook P Shut-off clamp

- Nozzle (enema pipe or rectal tip)
- Organic coffee or tea or another recommended product (organic Chamomile tea works great)
 - A gallon of distilled water

- KY lubricating jelly or an organic oil such as olive oil or coconut oil
- A large towel

How to Prepare (in the Kitchen) 
It can save a little time to do all of the following steps in the kitchen: 
• Set out the items above from the hot water bottle kit.

• Attach the clamp about 6 to 8 inches from the end of the hose. You want the clamp to be positioned near the end of the hose so you can reach it easily to control or stop the flow of the fluid while you’re administering the enema. It’s also important to attach the clamp correctly so that fluid doesn’t leak out while you’re getting set up. The part of the clamp that opens and closes is the bottom of the clamp. Run the hose through the hole at the top of the clamp and out through the hole in the bottom. Then close the clamp tightly.


• Insert the nozzle into the end of the hose that is closest to the clamp.

• Insert the hook into the small hole at the top of the hot water bottle.

• The hot water bottle holds 64 ounces (half a gallon) of fluid. Heat 64 ounces of distilled water and prepare the coffee or tea following the instructions on the package. If you boil the water to make the tea or coffee, you must either add more cold water to the finished product or allow the tea or coffee to cool down to a comfortably warm temperature before you pour it into the hot water bottle. WARNING: You could easily burn yourself if the water is too hot when you administer the enema.

• Pour the fluid into the hot water bottle (using a kitchen funnel makes this easier).

• Screw the plug tightly into the hot water bottle and continue to hold the bottle upside down or else the fluid will pour out through the hole in the plug.

• Attach the upper end of the hose to the plug (after double-checking to make sure that the clamp is tightly closed at the other end of the hose).

• Turn the hot water bottle over so the hook is on top and head to the bathroom.

How to Prepare (in the Bathroom)
• Place a large towel on the bottom of the bathtub.

• Set the tube of KY jelly (or the oil) on the edge of the bathtub so it’s within easy reach.

• Hang the hot water bottle on the back of the bathroom door (on the doorknob) if the door is near the bathtub. If not, hang it on something else near the tub. You can hang it from the showerhead if that’s all that’s available, but the height of the hot water bottle determines the rate of flow of the fluid. The fluid flows more slowly if the hot water bottle is closer to you. The farther away it is, the faster the fluid will flow. It feels more comfortable when the fluid is flowing more slowly. Pressure from the intake of the fluid doesn’t build up as quickly when the flow is slower, so it tends to be easier to take in more fluid. The more you can take in, the better. The goal is to continue to take in the fluid until the hot water bottle is empty.

How to Administer the Enema:
• Sit down on the towel in the bathtub with your knees drawn up.

• Rub some KY jelly or oil on the nozzle and on your rectum.
• Insert the nozzle into your rectum, keeping your knees up, and open the clamp so the fluid will begin to flow.

• Keep your hand on the clamp or hose to prevent the nozzle from coming out as the fluid flows into your colon. You can recline back as much as possible while still holding the hose.

• Take some deep breaths and relax. The more you can relax, the easier it will be to take in more fluid. You can feel the pressure build as the fluid goes in. If the pressure is building too quickly, you can close the clamp for a minute to allow the pressure to lessen or you can partially close it to slow down the flow. Again, the goal is to take in all of the fluid. It may require a little practice (two or three enemas done over time) before you can take in all 64 ounces of fluid.

• Remove the nozzle and lay back on the towel (still keeping your knees up) after you’ve taken in all of the fluid or as much as possible.

• Continue to focus on breathing deeply as you hold the fluid in and begin to rotate your body 360 degrees from right to left. Rotating your body in this manner will allow the fluid to fully coat your colon. Lie on your right side first and try to hold that position for about 15 seconds. Then turn and lie on your stomach for about 15 seconds (or kneel and lean your forehead down on the towel if your tub is too short to permit you to stretch out). Then rotate again and lie on your left side for about 15 seconds. Finish by rotating back to your original position.

• Hold the fluid in for as long as possible. The goal is to keep it in for at least 5 minutes (up to 15 minutes), but it will probably require some practice to gradually build up to that. It helps to continue to breathe deeply and focus on relaxing while holding in the fluid. Sometimes repeating a simple mantra in your head (such as “I can, I can, I can”) can help you to relax and hold the fluid in longer, too.

• Move to the toilet when you know that you can’t hold it in any longer. Although the colon will empty fairly quickly, you may need to stay put there for 5 to 10 minutes. The colon will probably release fluid at least two or three times, if not more often.

How to Clean Up:
• Hold the hot water bottle over the bathtub or set it down in the tub and remove all of the attachments (except the hook). That way, any fluid remaining in the bottle and hose will drain into the tub and not onto your floor.

• Set the small attachments in the bathroom sink or on a washcloth or hand towel near the sink. Leave the hose in the tub.

• Rinse out the hot water bottle immediately—so the tea or coffee residue inside won’t have time to dry—by running warm water (not too hot) into it from the bathtub faucet and using a mild soap like a liquid hand soap or dish detergent. Then rinse the bottle thoroughly with warm water and hang it by the hook on the showerhead to drain and dry.

• Hold one end of the hose under the faucet and run warm water through it. Then take a sponge or a washcloth with some mild soap on it and thoroughly wipe off the outside of the hose. Rinse it in warm water and hang it over the showerhead to drain and dry.

• Wash all of the small attachments thoroughly with hot water and soap and place them on a clean towel to dry.

• Pack the hose and attachments back in the box that they came in when everything is dry and store the box under your bathroom sink or wherever you have room for it. The hot water bottle should be stored flat in a dark, cool, and dry place, so if it fits, it can go under the sink, too. Don’t place anything heavy or sharp on top of it.

• Gather up all of the dirty towels and washclothes and toss them in the washing machine.