resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
December, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 12
Menopause, Part II
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
Editor's note: Part I of this article appeared in the October 2004 issue and can be accessed online at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/10/13.html.
Progesterone ranks second to estrogen in its importance as a female hormone.It is made in the ovaries and, to a smaller degree, the adrenal glands. It stimulates the growth of the lining of the uterus to support the fertilized egg, helps in the production of breast milk, and maintains pregnancy. Progesterone is beneficial in decreasing the risks of endometrial cancer and has many metabolic influences. It enhances mood elevation and acts as a calmative, helps reduce premenstrual syndrome and menopausal hot flashes, regulates fluid balance, encourages thyroid hormone activity and normalizes blood sugar levels. Progesterone also plays a role in restoring and maintaining libido, and helps build bone mass. Together, estrogen and progesterone regulate a woman's monthly cycle and prepare the uterus for pregnancy.
The severity of menopausal symptoms vary from woman to woman, but it is safe to say that almost 75 percent of women experience at least some of the symptoms, with hot flashes and vaginal atrophy the most reported. Hot flashes, also known as "power surges," are the classic sign of menopause. Often unannounced, these sudden feelings of intense heat, flushing and copious perspiration, spread all over the body; these symptoms may be followed by chills. In addition to the decreased levels of estrogen, other factors that contribute to hot flashes are hot and humid weather, enclosed spaces, alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods.
Women who have undergone hysterectomies are more apt to have hot flashes. This internal fire lasts from a few seconds to several minutes and can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing. Some women experience hot flashes for just a year or two, while others continue to have them even decades after menopause.
One of the most helpful herbs known to reduce the severity of hot flashes (and memory loss) is black cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa). Native to Eastern North America, this herb is widely used for female reproductive problems from dysmenorrhea (difficult menstruation) to labor stimulation and menopause. There is much research documenting the effectiveness of black cohosh in balancing a woman's glandular system. In a study of estrogen-dependent cancer, black cohosh was given along with Tamoxifen. The herb worked along with the cancer drug to help block the growth of breast cancer cells; it appeared that the combination was more effective than the drug alone (Nesselhut, et.al.1998).
Dong Quai, another powerful emmenagogue (pertaining to women's reproductive health), is used pervasively in China to address women's reproductive problems. It is a natural form of estrogen and proves to be a hormone balancer beneficial to the treatment of hot flashes. Wild yam is another popular herb used to support female reproductive health and treat hot flashes, irritability, depression, insomnia and other menopausal symptoms. And some women get relief from menopausal symptoms with licorice root.
Other ways to address hot flashes are to keep as cool as possible, avoid alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods, and wear natural fibers. Drink plenty of water and cool liquids. A full body massage can help regulate body temperature, and stimulation of Spleen 3, the hormone balancer, along with Liver 3 for water balance is very helpful.
Vaginal thinning can be very uncomfortable, even painful for some women. Since estrogen has a major role in maintaining the health and function of the vagina and surrounding tissues (uterus, urinary bladder and urethra), low levels of the hormone may cause these organs to weaken and shrink. When the bladder is affected, urinary incontinence, infection or painful urination may occur. The thinning of the vagina may result in painful intercourse, dryness and itching. It is estimated that at least 50 percent of women over 60 have some degree of vaginal dryness. The good news is that regular sexual intercourse actually helps keep the vagina moist and toned. Black cohosh can help by improving the thickness and elasticity of vaginal tissues.
Women should be aware of some of the serious consequences of menopause, as well. Bone thinning, or osteoporosis, which occurs naturally in both men and women after the age of 40, is particularly aggressive after menopause. Skeletal bones thin out and become brittle and more prone to fracture, with the bones of the spine, wrists and hips the most susceptible. Hormonal supplementation, especially those rich in estradiol, can help maintain bone mass. A proper diet rich in calcium is also essential to maintaining bone health. Calcium should be consumed from a wide variety of foods to be most beneficial. Weight-bearing exercises not only help to maintain bone health but also are vital to increase bone mass at any age.
The risk for heart disease increases in women after menopause; in fact, it is the leading cause of death among women. Originally, it was believed that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) reduced the risk of heart disease in menopausal women. Since then, we have learned the opposite is more accurate: HRT contributes to higher rates of heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer.
To lower elevated cholesterol levels and contribute to overall health, a diet rich in phytoestrogens (plant nutrients that mimic estrogen in the body) can be helpful. The major phytonutrients that promote estrogen-like activity are isoflavonoids (genistein and daidzien from soybeans) and lignans (from nuts and flax seeds). This means including soy products, whole-grain cereals, seeds (particularly flax), nuts (walnuts), and many herbs as a regular part of the diet. Soy is not for everyone, however. A connection between soy products and breast cancer is still being investigated, and the results are inconclusive. Cardiovascular exercise is also vital for a healthy heart, elevated mood and general well-being. Exercising, eating well and embracing a wholesome lifestyle will help minimize the discomforts of menopause and promote optimum health.
Menopause is an unavoidable fact of life, but one of the most pleasurable and effective ways to treat many of the discomforts of menopause is massage therapy. A full body treatment can help balance a woman's hormones, encourage the elimination of excess fluid, elevate her mood and make her feel more accepting about the inevitable changes in her body, mind and life.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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