Jan

12

By megfiddler

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

Tea for Two

On a cold winter evening, John and I often end the day with a cup of hot tea.  He prefers Yogi brand ginger tea for its digestive and inflammation fighting capabilities.  I opt for whatever strikes my mood at the time.  I am currently into a combination of lemon balm and chamomile, as they are both relaxing, something that I want as bedtime draws near  and lemon balm has some nice dimagedigestive properties as well.

There are many types of tea that have healthy benefits.  Green tea has shown to improve blood flow and lower cholesterol, as well as help with high blood pressure. Green tea may also help block the formation of the plaque linked to Alzheimers disease.  For diabetics,  green tea has shown to keep blood sugar stable. It may even help fight cancer due to its phytonutrient EGCG.

Oolong tea is a metabolism booster due to the combination of catechins (antioxidants) and caffeine; a fat burning powerhouse that is helped along by the polyphenols that help fat blocking enzymes.  You have to use sugar sparingly though if you want those good benefits.

A cup of peppermint tea can help with constipation and digestive issues and the aroma can elevate your mood.  A couple of lesser known teas include nettle tea, with its antihistamine properties it can help those who suffer from hay fever and allergies.  Licorice root tea(not the candy) is also anti-inflammatory with bacteria killing abilities.  It can also sooth sore throats.  This tea is naturally sweet, so if you don’t like a sweet tea this one might not be for you.

Finally, for most of us the most familiar tea is black tea.  We like it hot and iced. It is the go-to-tea for most of us, luckily it is full of polyphenols that help prevent plaque from clinging to teeth, while preventing the growth of bacteria in the mouth. It can help with belly fat and while more studies are needed it could help prevent diabetes.

These are just a few tea choices, there are so many many more, explore the tea isle and enjoy tea adventures, but if you can’t decide just change it up and let your mood guide you.

 

 

Jan

10

By megfiddler

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

B Vitamins Are Not Complex

We generally are aware of the importance of vitamin C, and calcium and in recent years are more educated about the need for Vitamin D, but most of us are probably a bit more vague about the family of B Vitamins. These vital nutrients help support adrenal function and maintain a healthy nervous system, as well as other body functions.

B1 (Thiamine)
B1 helps make new cells and support the immune system. It sis sometimes taken as a supplement to prevent memory loss, maintain a positive attitude and fight stress. The best way to get this in your diet is whole grains, peanuts, spinach, beans, kale. and wheat germ.

B2 (Riboflavin)
B2 helps fight free radicals in the body; those little buggers that damage our cells and age us. It is also needed for the proper development of skin and the lining of the digestive tract and red blood cell production. A diet containing almonds, milk, eggs, brussels sprouts, spinach and yogurt can help maintain necessary B2 levels, although alcoholics may need additional supplementation.

B3 (Niacin)
B3 is works to increase the HDL cholesterol in the body. It can be consumed in red meat, milk, eggs, beans and green vegetables.

B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
This nutrient breaks down fats and carbs for energy. It helps with the production of sex and stress related hormones. It helps promote healthy skin and perhaps reduce signs of aging such as skin spots. You can get B5 from avocados, yogurt, eggs, meat and legumes.

B6 (Pyridoxine)
Pyridoxine helps the body produce serotonin, melatonin, which help regulate sleep and norepinephrine, a stress hormone. It also helps regulate the amino acid homocysteine, which is associated with heart disease. There are studies being conducted that indicated it could help with inflammation for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. It is found in chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, sunflower seeds, cheese, brown rice, lentils and carrots.

B7 (Biotin)
This vitamin is often associated with healthy hair, skin and nails A deficiency can show up as thinning hair with loss of hair color, depression, exhaustion and tingling in the arms and legs. It is important during pregnancy for the normal growth of the baby. It can be found in barley, liver, yeast, pork, chicken, fish,potatoes, cauliflower, egg yolks and nuts.

B9 (Folate)
This is also known as folic acid, which is the synthetic form used in supplements and fortified foods like cereal and bread. This vitamin is important for women who are pregnant as it supports the growth of the baby and prevents neurological birth defects. You can get it from dark leafy greens, asparagus, beets, salmon, root vegetables, milk, bulgur wheat and beans.

B12 (Cobalamin)
This is the power house vitamin and one that people are probably the most familiar with. It is necessary for the proper function and development of the brain, nerves and red blood cells. It is used for dementia, paranoia, behavioral problems, tingling in hands and feet and pernicious anemia. It is only found in animal products such as fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, beef and pork. It is important that vegetarians and vegan supplement their diet with B12.

The B vitamins are not complex at all. A well rounded diet is an easy way to obtain these vitamins for a healthy mind and body.

Feb

10

By megfiddler

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

Open the Heaven

One of my favorite Attunement protocols is “Open the Heaven”. An Attunement practitioner works to balance the energy of the head area to help with sinus problems, ear difficulties, eye strain, TMJ tension and help relax a mind that cannot let go of thinking. The energy is radiated to the temples, eyes, ears, sinuses, mandibles, throat and pineal gland area. This current of love is the Attunement radiation.

A typical Attunement treatment involves balancing the endocrine glands of the body as well as organs, bones and the chakras. This non-touch work is very gentle and relaxing, almost soothing in nature. Many people experience warmth in the area that is being worked. It is not uncommon for people to fall asleep.

In his book “Love Made Visible”, Attunement practitioner and teacher, Chris Jorgensen writes; “The purpose of attunement is Love. It is twofold in nature. On a personal level attunement restores, renews, and enlivens the body’s health and healing energies. And viewed from a larger perspective, attunement enhances a person’s participation in the world, a world of divine beauty and order…”

One of the reasons I so enjoy both giving and receiving energy work is because it is non-invasive, be it Attunement which works mainly slightly above the body or Reiki where hands are gently placed on different areas of the body. I believe energy work brings about a sense of peace and stillness that allows individuals the opportunity to find their own place of healing and harmony; be it physical, emotional/mental or even spiritually. One has to remember though, that healing can come in many different and unexpected forms; also healing and curing is not the same thing.

If you would like to learn how to do Attunement on yourself or family members please visit the website of Chris Jorgensen http://www.heartattune.com/

If you have never experienced energy therapy I encourage you to give it a try. A session is usually 45 minutes to an hour in length. You are fully clothed and will lie on a massage table for the treatment. There might be quiet music playing in the background. The lighting is usually soft or dim. Doesn’t that sound lovely? Now close your eyes, take a deep breath in and exhale, imagine the gentle warmth of energy beginning to flow through your body.

I believe inner peace is the foundation for well-being. Energy work on a regular basis is one way to build that foundation and keep it strong.

Dec

10

By megfiddler

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

Watering Your Garden

There is a saying, “you can’t water your garden with an empty vessel.” Makes sense right? How often though do we attempt that very thing? We are constantly in the “doing or going mode”, even when we are exhausted. We shorten our sleep from a rejuvenating/repairing 8 hours to 4 or 5 hours and convince ourselves “that is all I need”. We eat at our desk or in our car or worse skip meals entirely.

We burn the candle at both ends, trying to meet the demands of spouses, children, employers or employees, elderly parents that need our attention, social obligations that require participation and numerous other drains on our energy. Yet we continue to add more things to the list and push forward; draining our personal vessel, our human form.

Take a bit of time to really examine your life. What things in your life can you eliminate or delegate to others? What things can you add that will enhance your life?   Can you work from home one or two days a week? Can you carpool or take the bus to work? Does the entire family help with cleaning, laundry and yard work? Maybe you are able to have someone come in once a month and clean your house. Do your kids need to be involved in every sport or club? Will they really be less rounded if they don’t do it all? How much sleep are they themselves getting and are they eating adequate and healthy foods? They themselves are developing life long health habits.   Are you eating healthy foods?

It is important that we get 8 hours of sleep a night or close to that amount and no 4 hours is not close. The bedroom is for sleeping, not doing homework or finishing up that work you brought home from the office. It’s not for reading, playing games on your tablet or phone, or watching TV, in fact get the TV out of the bedroom. The mind needs to associate the bedroom with relaxation and sleep. The bedroom is your sanctuary. You have numerous other rooms for everything else. Make sure the bedroom is dark. If you have light shining in from outside get blinds or drapes that block the light.

When we are stressed we tend to eat comfort foods, which are often high in sugar and carbohydrates. They give us a quick little feel good boost, but then we crash. I myself have a weakness for sweets, so I am aware that some habits can be hard to break. Fresh fruits and vegetables are of course better than canned, as canned foods often are in syrups and have can have unhealthy additives to preserve them. Buy a steamer. This is a great addition to the kitchen. Wash some fresh broccoli or cauliflower and put it in the steamer for 12-13 minutes and you have an easy healthy side dish. You can sprinkle with some sea salt and squeeze some orange or lemon juice on it to enhance the flavor. This is just one vegetable that you can easily prepare, explore the other options. If you like yogurt in the morning go with a Greek yogurt and sprinkle a few nuts, or hemp seeds, which are a good source of Omega 3 fats, add a little cinnamon, as that is believed to have blood sugar balancing capabilities. Instead of margarine or butter on your toast, why not substitute with some organic unrefined coconut oil? Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which may help with health issues such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, even though it is high in saturated fats it does not seem to elevate the LDL levels. Don’t skip meals though, as this is your source of energy to get you over the speed bumps that show up during your day.

It is good to get exercise of course and if it is something you enjoy then you are more likely to do it consistently. If you can combine some strength training to keep the bones strong with some cardio to keep the heart happy that would be great.

Finally, take time to enjoy life daily in as many ways as possible. Our lives are created moment to moment, not event to event. It is the moments that make our life. Create daily health practices that will keep your vessel full, so you can water your garden and enjoy all the moments of your life.

Nov

26

By megfiddler

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

Daily Gratitude

We live in a world that often feels full of negativity and the “sky is falling” warnings. The news reflects this 24/7 with stories of murder, robbery and religious fanatics perpetrating unimaginable acts. Our own politicians constantly use fear rhetoric to influence public opinion. Our entertainment, such as music, movies and video games often reflect despair, anger and violence. It often feels like there is no escape. It is easy to see only the negative in the world at large and unfortunately in our smaller personal worlds as well.

Thanksgiving is the holiday we reflect on all we have to be grateful for. The list usually includes; family, friends, home, job and hopefully good health. We quickly express our gratitude at the holiday table with a word or two, while we eye the turkey, potatoes and pumpkin pie. We remember to include the cooks at the table who provided the feast.

This of course is all very nice, but what if each of us took just a few minutes every day to find one or more things that happened to us that day to be grateful for? Would the world seem less negative? Would we be less negative? Would we feel a bit lighter?

I often encourage clients, especially those that seem to be experiencing an especially difficult time in their life, to keep a gratitude journal or notebook by their bed. At the end of each day write down at least one thing, several things would be even better, that happened that day for which they can be grateful. It doesn’t have to be something big like winning the lottery, although that would certainly warrant some major gratitude, but it can be, and in fact usually is, something simple like you hit all green lights on your way to work, which was especially good because you overslept. Maybe your spouse saved you the last piece of that dark chocolate cake you have been thinking about all day, or your teenager didn’t argue with you about anything. It is amazing how many things you can find in your day to day world that offer opportunities for gratitude.

Alright, you now have your daily gratitude list, let’s expand it a bit and include a list of things that you did or said during your day to make life a bit easier or happier for someone else. How did you lift someone else up? Remember these don’t have to be big things. Maybe you tossed your elderly neighbors newspaper onto their porch so they wouldn’t have to walk down the driveway in the rain. Maybe you told an employee they did a good job. Maybe you told the sacker at the grocery store they did a good job. Maybe you saved your spouse the last piece of the dark chocolate.
cake. Maybe you just smiled at people whose paths you crossed. Not only is it a nice feeling to reflect on how you might have been a bright spot in someone’s world, but you might find you look for ways to daily bring a little happy to someone else.

Gratitude is expansive. The more you are grateful, the more you will find in your life to be grateful for.

What did I find to be grateful for this Thanksgiving eve? There wasn’t a line at the grocery store when I checked out, now that is like winning the lottery.

Nov

5

By megfiddler

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

Don’t Do The Scrunchies

The first day of November started with temperatures in the 20’s. There are those who thought it was crisp, chilly, or invigorating and for others it was just down right cold. Ole Man Winter is making his presence known and he will probably just get bolder as the season progresses.

I always start to remind my clients about winter weather posture and warmth protection when the temperature starts dropping. We tend to bend forward, tuck our chin to our chest, elevate our shoulders to our ears and wrap our arms around our body to ward off the cold and biting winds. This can lead to shallow chest breathing and tight muscles.

Winter coats should be buttoned and zipped. Hats worn to keep body heat from escaping. Scarves around the neck to ward off chills. The scarves should cover the mouth and nose as well to keep cold air from entering lungs. Don’t forget mittens or gloves to protect the hands. I know the heavy winter clothing makes movement more cumbersome, but I believe it is better to be warm and bulky than cold, hunched over and stiff.

Keep your body relaxed. Be aware of your posture. Keep your eyes forward, shoulders down and relaxed. The head should be between the shoulders and not thrust forward. The average head weighs between 9-15 pounds so the  forward head thrust puts additional strain on the trapezius muscles. Watch this video to see three simple exercises to help with forward head posture and neck tension. The trapezius muscle is a superficial diamond shaped muscle that originates at the occipital bone(lower part of skull) and extends down to the mid back.  This muscle does  a lot of work.  It moves the shoulder blade in toward the spine and up and down.  It rotates and side bends the neck and brings the head and neck in a backward direction.  It also assists with breathing.

So dress warm, watch your posture, enjoy a warm beverage and don’t do the scrunchies.

Oct

14

By megfiddler

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

It’s that time of year

It’s that time of year again. Kids have returned to school, holiday parties, starting with Halloween will be filling up calendars and more and more of us will be finding activities located indoors as colder temperatures descend. Those indoor gatherings often are the precursor to what is known as “the cold and flu season”. We are encouraged to get our flu and pneumonia shots early as the first line of defense against illness. The truth though is that we each need to nurture our immune and lymphatic system year round as that is truly the first line of defense. There is a multitude of ways to do this.

What is the lymphatic system anyway?
The lymphatic system is tied to the circulatory systems and is a major part of our immune system. It consists of tissues, organs, lymph vessels, lymph nodes and lymph. The spleen is the largest lymphatic organ, sitting on the upper left side under the ribcage. It filters the blood, removing old and abnormal blood cells. There are white blood cells that are manufactured in the spleen that help fight bacteria, dead tissue and other foreign matter. The spleen also helps maintain red and white blood cells and platelets that help clot blood. The thymus is located behind the sternum. This gland is most active at birth and pre-puberty. It manufactures and stores a specific white blood cell known as T-cells, which help fight bacteria, viruses, abnormal cell growth and foreign material. The tonsils and the adenoids are part of the system as well. Lymph itself is a clear fluid containing white blood cells. It can only move in an upward direction due to one-way valves that keep it from moving backwards. The lymph is transported to the lymph nodes via lymph vessels. There are approximately 600-700 nodes in the body with a large portion in both the abdomen and neck. They can be as small as a pinhead or as large as an olive and are often in clusters or strings. Lymph nodes help to purify and filter the lymph of viruses, bacteria, and cancer. The purified lymph is returned to the circulatory system. This of course is a very simplified version of the lymphatic system, but you get an idea of why you want to support it anyway you can.

No one loves your germs
The first thing to remember is that germs love crowds and while you might love your own germs, no one else does. If you are symptomatic with fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose or nausea then stay home. That means no work, no school. One should also keep their distance from parties, bars, the grocery store, the movie theater, church (God will understand) and sporting events or anywhere for that matter that groups of humans congregate indoors. There is no reason to gift a total stranger, friend or co-worker with your germs. Don’t share the gift that keeps on giving.

Hand washing is good and should be done frequently, but stay away from the antibacterial soaps. We don’t always need to reinvent the wheel and generations have done very well using plain old soap and water. In fact the FDA is investigating the germ-killing ingredient triclosan to see if it really does what is claimed, but more importantly that it not pose any health risks. Something else to consider is that the common cold is a virus; antibacterial soaps will do nothing to prevent those types of illnesses.

Keep moving
We all know that exercise is a great way to stay in shape, burn calories, stimulate our cardiovascular system and release endorphins that help us feel good. It is also a good way to stimulate our lymphatic system and help circulate the lymph through the body. If you enjoy walking (pump those arms), running, swimming, playing tennis, dancing (even if it’s just in your own living room) then you are stimulating your lymphatic system. Hey even running up and down the stairs will contribute to the movement of lymph. The re-bounder, also known as a mini-trampoline is a method used by some to stimulate the lymphatic system, but exercise caution if you have any balance issues (use a stabilizer bar), a weak bladder or suffer from sciatica, pinched nerves, osteoporosis, or degenerative disk disease as the re-bounder could aggravate those conditions. Also make sure your ceilings are high and there are no light fixtures or ceiling fans in the way.

Eat those fruits and veggies
Mom knew what she was talking about when she mandated we eat our fruits and veggies, of course fresh not canned (store bought canned that is) would be the most beneficial and organic if possible. There are numerous fruits and vegetables that help bolster our immune system so just a few will be covered. Watermelon might not be as attractive in the winter, but eat lots during the heat of summer, as this fruit has wonderful hydration power and it’s packed with the antioxidant glutathione, which helps strengthen the immune system. In the cold months, cabbage (not one of my favorites) can be added to soups and stews or eaten as a stand alone side dish. It also contains glutathione. Need a snack? Grab some raw unsalted almonds for a powerful punch of vitamin E, riboflavin, niacin and B vitamins. Flavonoids and Vitamin C boost the power of grapefruit in the health department, but be cautious, as grapefruit does not mix well with some medications so check with your pharmacists to be on the safe side. Popeye loved his spinach and eaten raw or lightly cooked the folate it contains will help the body produce new cells and repair DNA. How sweet they are. Those sweet potatoes aren’t just for Thanksgiving. They contain beta-carotene, which mops up free radicals and the Vitamin A might help slow the aging process and reduce some cancer risks. We can’t forget the old standby broccoli and its vitamin A, C and glutathione. Salmon might not be everyone’s favorite, but it’s rich in Omega 3 fats which helps reduce inflammation. Not just for the soul: chicken soup. There is some research that indicates the amino acid cysteine is released from chicken during cooking. It chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine, which might be the reason we feel soothed eating it, plus the thin broth helps with mucous. If making your own soup be sure to buy hormone and antibiotic free chicken. I like to add lots fresh grated ginger, black pepper, onion and garlic to my soup.
When you do eat that healthy meal, turn off the TV, the cell phone and tablet and sit down at the dinner table and savor the food you have prepared; maybe even share a conversation with those people you call family.

Tea for two
Whether your preference is green or black they both contain flavonoids, polyphenoids and L-theanine, great stuff to fight free radicals. For some extra oomph add some raw organic honey to your tea. Honey has antimicrobial agents that prohibit certain types of bacterial growth. It is important to stay hydrated year round. One can become hydrated even indoors sitting at a desk. Fluids help to keep mucous thin, so keep water readily available and supplement with tea if you wish.

Be proactive with probiotics
Many believe that a healthy digestive system is a key factor to maintaining good health. There are as many as 500 different types of bacteria in the digestive system. When the good bacteria are thrown out of balance by infection, diets high in sugar or antibiotics then problems can occur. Probiotics are bacteria and organisms that can be found in Greek yogurt, kefir and supplements. There are studies that indicate probiotics can support the immune system, and support intestinal function. They may also be beneficial in cases of childhood diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea and infectious diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. A study published in 2010 suggests that probiotics may lower the risk of common childhood illnesses such as ear infections, strep throat, and colds.

Breathe deep
Most of us tend to be shallow chest breathers, but slow deep belly breaths can help move lymph. This is not a breathing technique that can be sustained for long periods, but if done just 5 or 10 minutes once or twice a day one can benefit. Take a deep breath in allowing the belly to extend out and then slowly exhale fully, repeat for a couple of cycles and then breath normally, then repeat the deeper breathing for a few more cycles.

Rest and Digest
The parasympathetic nervous system is also known as our rest and digest nervous system, just as the sympathetic nervous system is often referred to as our fight or flight system. Stress, if chronic can weaken the immune system, so finding ways to de-stress is very important. Make time for hobbies you enjoy, meditation, and yoga, tai chi are gentle and relaxing ways to unwind. Swedish or lymphatic drainage are two forms of massage that help the body in many ways including activating the parasympathetic nervous system, don’t underestimate their value just because they are gentle. Make sure you get lots of beneficial sleep; yes that ole 7-8 hours is best, even if you think you can get by on 4 or 5 hours. Children need even more sleep and we want to nurture their systems as well. It’s never too early to form healthy habits.

It all matters
As you can see it all matters, diet, exercise, hydration, sleep, probiotics and breath techniques all work together to support a healthy body. So that “time of year again”, is really all year.

Be healthy!

Sep

20

By megfiddler

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

Remember To Breathe

“Remember to breathe” is the advice I give many of my clients at the end of their massage session. They usually smile or laugh as if to say “Well duh.” The truth is that while we are of course breathing; we aren’t necessarily getting the most out of that breath. The average adult breathes between 12-20 breaths per minute or over 17,000 breaths in a 24-hour period.
Most of us are shallow breathers or chest breathers. What this means is that the diaphragm doesn’t move downward to the extent that is most beneficial. Shallow breathing doesn’t allow the lungs to expand into the abdomen. The lower portion of the lungs in turn doesn’t receive adequate amounts of oxygen. The lower lungs are filled with blood vessels that carry oxygen to our cells. When there is an inadequate amount of oxygen the heart and blood pressure rates increase. The benefit of abdominal breathing allows the diaphragm to move freely and the lower lungs to fill with oxygen and an expelling of carbon dioxide during exhalation.
I usually suggest my clients practice breathing techniques for a few minutes in the morning before they get out of bed and in the evening before they go to sleep. It is a nice way to begin and end a day.  The time spent doing these breathing techniques allows one the opportunity to feel the physical changes in their body as well as emotional changes.   It is also good to take a few moments during your day to practice as well, especially when feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
The following are three examples of deep  breathing exercises. Relax and remember to breathe!

Full Diaphragm Breathing:
Find a comfortable place to lie flat on your back. Close your eyes. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your lower rib cage. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your breath to travel all the way from your abdomen to your collarbones. Feel your abdomen expand. Exhale sharply through your lips, feeling your abdomen flatten. Make sure the exhalation is longer than the inhalation. If you count to 5 for the inhalation, then count to 6 for the exhalation. Try to keep an even rhythm without pausing from one full cycle to the next. Do this breathing for a few minutes. Not only will it bring fresh oxygen to the muscles and release carbon dioxide, but also help alleviate stress. You can also do this in a sitting position prior to meditation.

Alternate Nostril Breathing:
Sit comfortably in a straight back chair or on the floor, just be sure to keep your head and spine in a straight, upright position. Bring your right hand to your nose, and then exhale deeply. Cover your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril. Exhale through your left nostril. Then cover your left nostril with your index finger. Inhale through the right nostril. Exhale through the right nostril. Switch again to cover the right nostril with your thumb and repeat the breathing pattern sequence. Try counting to 3 for the inhalation and then counting to 6 for the exhalation. This technique will help calm the nerves.

4-7-8 Breath
This is a nice technique to practice when feeling stressed, anxious, frustrated or angry. It is recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil.   Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind the front teeth.  Breath in through your nose for a count of 4.  Hold your breath for a count of 7.  Exhale your breath audibly through your mouth with a whooshing sound for the count of 8—remember your tongue remains on the roof of your mouth for the entire exhale.  Count at a pace that is comfortable for you.  Repeat the 4-7-8 cycle  three times.  If you become lightheaded try counting a bit faster until you can gradually slow down, allowing the breaths to become deeper.

Sep

25

By megfiddler

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

Repetitive Strain Injury

The average teenager sends 80 text messages a day, some say it is close to 100. That is an average of 2400-3000 messages a month or approximately an hour a day spent texting.  Recent surveys indicate that teenagers would rather communicate via text than phone calls. I have many clients in their 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s who have taken up texting because they claim it is the only way their grandchildren will respond to their messages. Kids won’t return their phone messages.

Technology makes it easier to stay in touch at lightening speed with our friends, family and co-workers. We seem to perceive a more urgent need to respond quickly to a text, more so than a phone message.  Kids are in constant communication with friends; wanting to know where they are and what they are doing.  They are constantly seeking out opinions and advice for the smallest of decisions that may need to be made, leading some psychologists to believe that adolescents are not developing the ability to make independent decisions. Adults are not immune to this pressure either. I have clients who are checking their text messages when they come through my door and again after their massages end. They are returning test messages as they walk out the door. We don’t want to be left out of the loop.

We have become addicted to this instant form of communication. So what is the problem? On the surface the issues seem minor. So what if teens are texting in the middle of class, when they are suppose to be learning?  so what if everyone seems to be texting at restaurants or while standing in line at a check out counter?   So what if teens are texting in the middle of the night when they should be sleeping? Well lack of sleep leads to lack of concentration for one thing, not to mention increased stress levels.  This leads to a  lack of down time for the mind and body. Ah that pesky body. Why would the body need down time from texting?  What could possibly happen by constantly tapping  the thumb on a keyboard?  Repetitive strain injury(RSI).   An injury can occur when a part of the body does a repetitive movement.   RSI affects the nerves, tendons and muscles.  The thumbs were not designed to text at the rate that is happening.

Repetitive strain injury is characterized by discomfort, impairment and loss of muscle strength and function.  De Quervain’s Tendinitis is a repetitive strain injury that causes pain at the wrist and forearm.  A tendon is a rope like chord that attaches muscle to bone.  Tendinitis is the swelling of the tendons.   Two tendons to the thumb  pass through a tunnel located on the thumb side of the wrist, any swelling of the  synovium, which is a thin outer layer of the tendons can put pressure on the nerves resulting in wrist pain and or numbness in the fingers.

Some of the symptoms  are pain felt over the thumb side of the wrist.  The pain may appear gradually or suddenly.  The pain can be felt in the wrist and may travel up the forearm.  The pain is worse when the hand and thumb are in use.   There may be swelling over the thumb side of the wrist.  There may be a fluid filled cyst in this region.  A catching or snapping sensation may be felt when moving the thumb.  There may be numbness on the back of the thumb and index finger.

De Quervain’s Tendinitis is also associated with rheumatoid arthritis.  If you have arthritis in the thumbs or fingers then texting can aggravate the condition.

If texting starts to hurt it is recommended that you stop or decrease the amount of texting, use your other hand or vary the digits you use.  It is also recommended that you don’t text more than a few minutes without a break.  The following exercises may also be helpful.  If they cause additional pain, stop.

Tap each finger with the thumb of the same hand.  Repeat 5 times(5x).  Pull your thumb firmly with the other hand 5x

Wrap an elastic band around the tip o each  finger and thumb and open your hand against the resistance.  Repeat 20x

Palms down, wrap an elastic band around each thumb and force apart.  Repeat 20x

Tap the palm and back of your hand on your thigh as quickly as you can.  Repeat 20x

Massage thumb web, back of forearm and front of forearm.  2 minutes

Reach up high with both arms and shake your hands.  Reach down low with both arms and shake your hands.  Repeat 3x

Arms at 45 degrees squeeze them behind you.

wrap an ice pack on sore hand and arm parts.  Do not put ice directly on the skin.  Place ice in a zip lock bag, wrap bag in a dish towel.  10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.  Repeat 3x

Splints maybe used to rest the thumb and wrist.

We text as a way to interact socially, but what do we do with generations of young people to come who have repetitive strain injuries at younger and younger ages?

Sep

11

By megfiddler

No Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

Ten Years Later

September 11, 2001. It is the day that people will remember where they were and what they were doing. It is the day that is now simply known as Nine Eleven. It is the day that seemed to change the world, regardless of where you lived.

September 12, 2001 was the day the world united as a global community in the spirit of outrage, love, support and compassion. As a nation we joined hands and hearts while waiting for hopeful news from the search and rescue efforts. We donated blood. We offered up prayers and words of condolences for those we never knew. Everyone wanted in some small way to lift up the hurting because in turn it would ease our own hurt. That time of healing was all too brief.

The ten years that have passed have seen many changes in the way we conduct our lives, from boarding an airplane, going to a concert or attending sports event. It changed how we interact with people we perceive as different and possibly a threat. A generation of children have been born that have not known a time without the term “terrorist threat”. Sadly though, on this tenth anniversary of nine eleven we see more and more occasions where the emotions of anger, hatred, distrust, and prejudice are given free reign. We take every opportunity to spread conflict amongst ourselves. Ten years later, we as a nation are more and more polarized than ever. Ten years later we each must decide how to conduct our lives. We must each decide what thoughts, actions and emotions serve us individually and the world the best. I personally would rather honor the individuals who awoke on September 11, 2001, who were just going about their everyday lives, by living in the spirit of love, kindness, and compassion to all my fellow human beings. I am not naive. I do not live in a fantasy world. I do know that bad things happen for reasons that one cannot wrap their mind around. But I know that perpetuating the myriad of negative emotions serves no one, least of all me. In 2001 I was happiest when sharing love, a smile, a hug, an encouraging word. I was happiest being of service to others; a compassionate being. I feel the same way ten years later.