By Hanna Kim - June 13, 2018
You might have seen this video of a man tapping a pine tree and releasing a plume of pollen. It went viral a few months back, as it probably prompted a feeling of resonance amongst allergy sufferers. You might also have noticed clouds of pollen in the mountains while driving by the pine-filled forests of the Rockies, and it is no surprise why more people are dealing with allergies in Colorado this spring.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and National Wildlife Federation co-published a report in 2010 linking climate change to an increase in allergens. Their study showed that warmer average temperatures encourage plants to pollinate longer. It is now mid-June and pollen count for trees and grass in Denver are still running high, causing symptoms including runny nose, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and hives to be a lingering annoyance for many.
I’ve heard from a dozen or so friends and massage clients that they’re experiencing symptoms for the first time this year, or symptoms seem especially bad this year. For myself, allergies are generally so bad that over-the-counter medicines help, but don’t take away all the symptoms. Here are a couple of things I do to reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Have you noticed you might be fine throughout the day, but start feeling congested when you get into your bedroom? Pollen accumulates on your body and clothing when you go on hikes, and even when you’re just walking around in town. Pine trees and other plants can pollinate up to 300 feet away. Make sure to wash bedding, curtains, carpets, clothing, (and of course, yourself) regularly.
While stress does not cause allergies, it can worsen the symptoms you already have. Stress releases hormones and chemicals, including histamines, into your bloodstream. Histamines are the chemicals that produce allergy symptoms.
By taking some time to de-stress, you can also decongest.
Try adding some yoga or massage by calling our RiNo 720) 360-0035 or Highlands (720) 999-3336 locations or booking online: www.lodomassagestudio.com
Is RICE or MEAT Right for My Injury?
With more people out and about playing under the Colorado sun, it seems there’s also been an uptick in injuries. Fortunately, not all injuries are severe, but something like a first-degree sprain can still lead to the pain and discomfort that stops you from having fun.
The care you take after an injury plays a big role in how you recover. Like any other science, sports medicine has seen changes over the years, and more recent research is showing that a popular at-home treatment method, RICE, may be outdated, and for good reasons.
What is RICE?
You’ve probably come across RICE at some point in your life. Dr. Gabe Mirkin coined the term in 1978 as a treatment protocol for athletic injuries, and it quickly rose to be the standard because it is effective in relieving pain caused by injured tissue.
RICE relieves pain, but it also reduces our body’s inflammatory reaction, which is our bodies’ natural response to an injury. Our immune system sends inflammatory cells to damaged tissue to rebuild after the injury. Below, you can see how RICE reduces inflammation, and thereby inhibits the healing process.
REST – Completely rest, especially for long periods of time, can slow recovery time after an injury. Continue reading to find out why movement might be a better alternative.
ICE – Ice causes vasoconstriction, or the decrease of blood flow, which inhibits inflammation. A review in the Journal of Athletic Training found a lack of evidence that rest and ice helps with the actual treatment of soft tissue injury. Dr. Mirkin says you can still apply ice to an injury for pain relief, but for no longer than 10 minutes at a time, with a 20 minute break in between.
COMPRESSION – When joints and muscles are immobilized, we are no longer using them correctly and potentially reinforcing a new dysfunctional pattern. Blood flow that would otherwise bring the cellular materials necessary to repair damaged tissue are also restricted.
ELEVATION - There is not as much evidence for or against elevation of an injury. However, think of how stiff you get from staying in one position; for example, having to keep your leg propped up above heart level after an ankle sprain.
Dr. Mirkin has since recanted his view on the efficacy of RICE and you can now see why it may not be the best treatment method. As always, if you get injured, immediately stop your activity and get the proper medical attention you need.
What is MEAT?
MEAT is a newer mnemonic device you might want to think about using for future injuries. You may notice MEAT seems to be the opposite of RICE.
MOVEMENT – You want to mobilize the muscle or joint as soon after the injury as possible, but without increasing pain. Early movement stimulates blood flow and helps reduce the formation of poorly aligned scar tissue. A 2004 review in the Journal of Family Practice showed early mobilization has benefits, including earlier return to work, decreased pain, swelling, and stiffness, and an ability to maintain greater range of joint motion.
EXCERISE – Once you start feeling better, you can ease back into your exercise or sport. Start slow, and listen to your body and your doctor.
ANALGESICS – Instead of anti-inflammatory medications such as cortisone and ibuprofen, and ice, try natural pain relievers such as arnica or CBD’s.
TREATMENTS – Additional treatments such as massage and physical therapy can help you get back into tip-top shape. At LoDo Massage, massage therapists can combine their expertise with Apothecanna’s pain relieving CBD cream into an effective post-injury treatment!
*MEAT is paleo, vegan, and gluten free!
Pair MEAT with MASSAGE!
Once your injury is past the acute healing stage, getting a massage is a fantastic way to reduce your recovery time. Massage increases local blood flow and relaxes tight muscles. It also helps break up scar tissue limiting range of movement.
Especially with severe injuries, we recommend getting cleared by your doctor before coming in for a session.
By Hanna Kim - May 30, 2018
By Carolina Cuartas - August 17, 2017
What questions do you have?
Ask anonymously here: https://ask.fm/LoDoMassageStudio
"Crying in a session is totally normal and completely welcome.”
We all know that massages can relieve muscle tension, but it also relieves emotional tension and stress. It's completely normal to shed a tear or two during your massage and your therapist doesn't mind. So, don't think you're crazy because you are not alone: “The limbic system in our brain controls our emotions, responses to stimuli, behavior and memories,” says Amy Olthoff, Spa Director of Spa Nalai at the Park Hyatt New York. “When the nerve endings in our tissues are stimulated, it’s not uncommon that this releases trapped emotional memories, even if you may not feel a sense of trauma or sadness."
"Hydration. If you're not properly hydrated, your body can be more sensitive during treatment. You may also feel sickly afterwards."
If you ever had a massage, you’ll remember your therapist telling you to stay hydrated. Kneading and working muscles gets fluids pumping out of your tissue and into your circulatory system, where it heads towards your kidneys.
First off, massages are dehydrating. Kneading and working muscle gets fluid pumping out of the soft tissue and into your circulatory system, where it heads toward your kidneys. That’s why many people have to pee right after a massage. Also, muscle tension can cause restricted circulation, which inhibits the ability for your body to flush out waste. So drink up!
"Showering before your massage is really appreciated.”
This one is more important than you think! Think about it, you and your therapist are in a tiny room for at least an hour. For example, if your getting a massage after working out, make sure you rinse off before getting your massage. Both of our studios have showers, so feel free to come early and take a quick shower before your appointment.
"For female clients... we really don't care if you forgot to shave your legs or don't shave them at all.”
It happens and don’t feel bad or embarrassed about not shaving your legs. “Once I had a female client and she said, ‘I’m so sorry I haven’t shaved in like 3 days.’ I laughed. Men don’t typically shave their legs at all (unless he is a competitive swimmer). Your therapist is happy to work on your legs.
"Massages are good for your health and is not just a luxury. It is part of a self care routine that will help you connect to your body and mind.”
Massage therapy is beneficial for everyone and shouldn't be seen on as a luxury. Getting massages regularly can help prevent serious medical issues, which will cost much more than a massage every month. There are tons of reasons to get a massage. Massage therapy improves circulation, relieves stress, relaxes tight muscles, reduces inflammation, improves joint mobility, increases energy, lowers blood pressure, improves posture, and so much more.