2 Your Health

Why Is Massage Considered Self-Care?

Heidi Overman, LMT #MT-24997

My theme for 2020 is: Self-Care Is Not Selfish.

We need to take care of ourselves—now, more than ever. When talking with clients, it seems that stress and anxiety have elevated more than ever, and our bodies and minds are taking the brunt of it.

Our bodies are holding on to that stress, protecting those muscles that have been locked in repetitive patterns for years, moving just enough to not cause an injury, and letting out a pang to let you know to stop. That continual ache is trying to tell you that it needs help.

Our minds are overstressed and over stimulated with news, work, issues, and problems. Every day, we wake up to someone telling us how bad things are. These outside stimuli are absorbed by our thoughts, and we hold on, even when we think we let it go.

So, what can help? Take care of your body and mind.

My first answer is: Stop watching the news. Or, if you must, only watch it once a week. There is nothing on the news that will change what you will be doing today. There is nothing on the news you can control or change. So, take that negativity and remove it. I used to be a big newsie. I watched in the morning and evening. I would get so hyped up on what was happening it dominated my conversations and my opinions. So, I stopped. The first thing I noticed was how calm I was. My conversations started shifting to asking my friends, “How are you today?” instead of, “Did you see what happened today?” It has made a world of difference in my own life.

My second answer is: Consider getting regular massage. It is a time to recharge your muscles and your mind. It is a time to answer those nagging aches and address why you are having pangs of pain. It is a time to get your blood and oxygen flowing throughout your body to improve flexibility, stimulate memory, and give yourself a feeling of homeostasis or balance. Massage reduces stress and anxiety, helping with sleep and fatigue.

Regular massage is self-care. Regular massage is preventative. It helps you to be body aware, so you can take care of those aches and pains before they become a real issue or injury. It helps to reduce fatigue and stress, so your mind can work properly and smiling isn’t a chore.

There are so many benefits to massage and self-care. Make sure you are recognizing what you need and take care!

If you are interested in a therapeutic massage, call me for an appointment at 520-771-1514. My website is www.mymendingplace.com, and I’m located at MEND Therapeutic Massage and Restorative Skincare at 15920 N. Oracle Road, Suite 170, Tucson, AZ 85739 (next to the Golden Goose).

Cortisone Shots – The Facts You Need to Know

Dr. Craig Brue, DC

Are you experiencing recurring episodes of back and neck pain, sciatica, or numbness in the hands, arms, or legs? Has your doctor recommended a referral to a pain management doctor for a cortisone shot? Before you consider an epidural steroid injection (ESI), here are the facts you need to know.

Fact 1: Epidural steroid injections are not approved by the FDA.

Epidural steroid shots are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for injection into the epidural space to treat neck and back pain that radiates pain into the arms and legs. However, epidural shots are being allowed as an off-label use.

Fact 2: There are serious risks associated with ESIs.

Side effects include allergic reactions, hematoma, stroke, paralysis, infection, and death.

Fact 3: ESIs are typically short-acting and ineffective over the long term.

Dr. Nancy Epstein, a neurosurgeon with Winthrop University Hospital in New York, after researching the effectiveness of ESIs, states, “The multitude of risks attributed to these injections outweighs the benefits.”

Fact 4: ESIs do not show any reduction in the rate of subsequent spinal surgery.

In fact, a recent study by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia documents that “patients who received ESIs had a higher rate of crossover to surgery and fared worse in physical health and bodily pain versus those who did not receive ESIs.” The study notes that patients receiving injections were more likely to require subsequent spinal surgery.

Fact 5: Epidural shots are expensive.

The average cost for an epidural shot is $3,500. In addition, an ESI is only performed after an expensive workup, including a doctor’s evaluation and MRI studies. A recent Bloomberg article, “Epidurals Linked to Paralysis Seen With $300 Billion Pain Market,” states that the significant increase in the use of ESIs is related to the “… generous reimbursements for treatment. If you pay people to do stuff, they will do more stuff.”

Fact 6: Not all doctors are qualified or properly trained to give ESIs.

Although almost any MD can administer a spinal injection, Dr. Richard Rosenquist, a pain management doctor with the Cleveland Clinic, warns, “The unsuspecting public has no idea someone might have gone to a weekend course and is testing out their brand-new skill on you. It’s horrible.”

Fact 7: Evidence-based medicine states that ESIs should be given only after conservative management has failed.

Dr. Oz recently interviewed Reza Ghorbani, MD, a Harvard-trained pain specialist, about ESIs. They both agreed that patients should not receive ESIs for neck/shoulder/arm or back/leg pain until conservative management, including chiropractic care and physical therapy, has failed.

My advice: Before considering expensive and potentially dangerous cortisone shots in your spine, consider a safe, alternative approach: chiropractic care. You may have nothing to lose except the pain you are experiencing.

Dr. Brue is an author, lecturer, and chiropractic provider located in SaddleBrooke, Ariz. For more information on the effectiveness of chiropractic care, go to bruechiropractic.com.