Partner neck and shoulder massage:
Self massage for neck and jaw:
Hello to all, warm greetings during this challenging time. Below are links to videos I've made that are easy, fun, and super effective for staying relaxed and pain free while we are physically distant from each other. Please feel free to share.
Partner neck and shoulder massage:
Self massage for neck and jaw:
Who doesn't love a good massage? Well, most of us do, but it turns out it doesn't just feel good, it's good for you! Increased immunity, better digestion, lowered stress levels, better sleep.. these are just a few of the benefits of therapeutic touch and massage. It turns out that babies benefit from it too, in ways that are even easier to see and measure because their little systems haven't seen as much wear and tear as our adult bodies. In addition, incorporating infant massage into your daily routine is a fantastic way to help the all important bonding that helps babies thrive and parents figure out what the heck is going on with their little one. Plus it's super fun!
JP Family Acupuncture is starting infant massage classes for babies approximately one month to crawling on Thursday mornings. Classes run the first 2 Thursdays of the month, $30 per class, series of 2 classes is suggested but less or more is also possible. Timing is flexible depending on demand, but generally speaking 9 am - noon on Thursdays.
Kate Ellsworth first got trained and certified through the International Association of Infant Massage in 1997, and is extremely excited to get back into teaching baby massage to parents and caregivers!
If you watched the Olympics you probably have heard about cupping! But did you know it is a healing modality first used in Ancient Egypt, China, and the Middle East over 3,000 years ago?
Traditionally done with horn, bamboo, and fire, modern cupping uses silicone or glass cups and a hand pump to create a gentle vacuum, lifting a small area of skin into the cup. Cupping can leave a red or purple mark that lasts 2-7 days as a result of blood rising to the surface of the skin, but there are cupping techniques that leave no marks at all.
SO WHAT CAN CUPPING DO FOR YOU?
Relieve muscle pain
Improve blood flow
Encourage lymph circulation
Help general detoxification
Rehabilitate injuries like rotator cuff disfunction, plantar fasciitis, and neck and back pain
Improve respiratory and digestive function.
Come on in and see what all the fuss is about!
Fall is a special and magical time in New England, but it can also be a challenge in terms of fall allergies, skin conditions, emotional ups and downs, and even digestive issues.
In Chinese Medicine, each season has correspondences with the physical and emotional body. The organ related to Fall is the Lung. Lung conditions include nasal allergies, respiratory flare-ups such as asthma and bronchitis, and skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
The emotion corresponding with Fall is sadness or grief. As the expansive nature of summer shifts to turn inward, it’s natural to become more introspective and somber. If you find yourself feeling extra melancholy at this time of year, or waking between 3 and 5 am, you can chalk it up to autumn’s slower, deeper pace and know that you are not alone!
Other “Fall” symptoms can be digestion-related, and can include upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhea. Turning from cold energy foods such as salads and smoothies and incorporating more warm energy foods such as root vegetables and roasted meats may help tonify the digestive energy and ease GI disturbances. If you’re having respiratory symptoms or constipation you can also incorporate moistening foods such as cantaloupe, pears, eggs, pork, figs, and honey.
What else can you do? (Besides getting some acupuncture to balance you out, of course!) Nothing earth-shattering or new:
Take time for yourself. Get out in nature. Breathe deep. Eat well. Don't skimp on sleep. Make time for connecting with friends and family.
Summer is Here!
Finally! The sun is out, the garden is growing, and the energy of summer tends to infuse many of us with extra pep, better digestion, and feelings of joy. In Chinese Medical theory, every season has correspondences with emotions, organs, tastes, even colors and sounds. In the summer you can expect to feel pretty good! The Yang quality of the sun’s energy has similar effects on us as it does on the earth: sunshine and warmth are translated into movement, growth, and expansion. Emotions like joy high and you may feel more motivated to connect with others and be more active in general.
How to get the most out of Summer?
Stay active and use the extra Yang energy to fuel fun outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and swimming. Be careful not to overdo, however. In Chinese Medicine too much exercise / activity is just as harmful as too little. Pace yourself, listen to your body when it tells you to rest, and make sure to balance the heat of summer with cool (not cold) foods like watermelon and cucumber and plenty of room temperature (not iced) water.
Ocean, rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams.
The element associated with summer is Fire. In order to balance the fiery energy of summer it’s an excellent idea to incorporate time in and near water into your summer fun. Splash and play and spend some time immersed to get your body’s fire & water elements in harmony.
Connection is the Key
Summer’s extroverted energy is the perfect backdrop to what Western medicine is touting as the secret to longevity and Chinese medicine has known for a long time: connection with is the key to a long happy life. It’s easy in our modern lives to get so wrapped up in work and family that we forget how important community is. So greet your neighbors and find out their names, smile at strangers, call your parents, have that BBQ and invite your good friends and then invite some new people too. Laugh as much as much as you can. Then laugh some more.
Many people come to my acupuncture and massage therapy practice for muscular skeletal pain. However, it’s only recently (in the Western world) that acupuncture has become known as an effective strategy for enhancing sports performance as well as a treatment for injury rehab and prevention. This is partly because in the world of elite sports, the margin of error is such a narrow one that anything that might edge out a competitor is used. You often hear of elite athletes getting massage, chiropractic care, and acupuncture to keep them healthy and injury free. Most of my clients are weekend warriors, people trying to keep in shape, or just keep up with their kids and enjoy an active life. The good news is that everyone can benefit from regular acupuncture treatments, especially in combination with lifestyle modifications, proper work place ergonomics, and some simple stretching and strength training exercises.
So how does it work? From a Western medical perspective, acupuncture creates a small amount of inflammation at the needle site, increasing blood and lymph flow to the tissue and bringing needed nutrients for healing the microscopic muscle tears that result from exercise, as well as taking away the waste products of metabolism.
But that’s only the beginning of the story. In Chinese medical theory, imbalances in your qi can predispose you to physical injuries and muscle tightness. Regular acupuncture treatments seek to bring you back in balance, nourishing your muscles and helping your sinews and tendons to become supple.
In addition to the 12 main acupuncture meridians (think of rivers of energy moving up and down your body in specific pathways with acupuncture points dotted all along them), there are “sinew channels”. These channels have a relationship with the main meridians, but run more superficial to them- they have a lot in common with what we normally think of as fascia, or connective tissue.
So what is fascia? Think of an entirely interconnected web of thin, strong, stretchy, pliable tissue that encloses your organs, muscle groups, muscle fibers, tendons, and ligaments. While your bones provide structure, and your muscles move your bones, your connective tissue is what makes all this system work the way it’s supposed to: holding everything in the right place while allowing for movement. When there are injuries or restrictions to the fascia, you will often experience pain and restriction of movement.
Acupuncture and manual therapy (Myofascial Release, Deep Tissue massage, gua sha, and cupping) work beautifully together to free up this stuck fascia while releasing restrictions in the corresponding sinew channels. Results that everyone can see are decreased pain and increased mobility. What this translates to for athletes is more energy in general, quicker recovery from injury, and better body mechanics and functional movement- all of which lead to improved performance in their given sport.