Massage Therapy as Preventative Medicine

by Guest Blogger, Shalon Da~Nai, LMT

Preventative Medicine is anything you do to help you stay pain and disease free. Exercise, eating healthy, and washing your hands often to limit your exposure to germs are all considered preventative. Most of us know that these are things we should do if we want to stay well . After all, the best way to be healthy is to never get sick right?

Preventing Illness

There are a few ways Massage Therapy can be helpful in preventing illness. Receiving regular massage can strengthen the Immune system by helping to detoxify the body and also by reducing stress. It is known that having too much stress in your life can wear you down and make you vulnerable to the germs and virus’s that you come in contact with. It has been proven that massage has the ability to reduce stress hormones and increase endorphins, or pleasure hormones. When you feel happy and not stressed, your systems have less interference and your body is better able to protect it self. Those long, gliding strokes that make a massage so calming are also very effective at moving blood through the circulatory and muscular systems. That blood drops off oxygen and nutrients and picks up metabolic waste and toxins from cells. Muscles and organs are nourished and strengthened. It circulates the lymphatic system and helps the body to eliminate the bad stuff.

Preventing Injury

Most of my clients come to me regularly to manage aches and pains that occur from the demands of daily life. They may have tight shoulders from sitting at a desk all day, or a sore lower back from carrying too much abdominal weight. But all too often, the first time I see someone is because they have “pulled” something from sleeping wrong or lifting something the wrong way. They book a massage with me to “fix” the problem that has popped up. Most people don’t realize that they can avoid these acutely painful experiences by receiving massage therapy before they are injured. What a whole new concept for a society that says “ If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!  This is how Massage Therapy fits into the wellness paradigm of prevention, to “fix” things before they “break”. When our muscular system gets out of balance we may have tight muscles in one area that cause overstretching in the weak, under-activated opposing area. That means our muscles are working against each other, instead of in synergy. This is what causes them to fail when we call on them to perform a difficult task, and how we can be injured without even moving, from being in a certain position for too long. It is that final straw in an already precarious situation.

By taking care of yourself in advance, you can minimize the effects of pain and disease . Include Massage Therapy as part of your preventative medicine and lead a more relaxed, healthy and productive life.

About the Author:

Shalon’s practice is located within Healing Hands Chiropractic-Londonderry. Shalon  has been a NH licensed Massage Therapist since January of 2007. She is certified in Mother Massage® and specializes in prenatal, postpartum and fertility massage.   She offers Labor Support techniques and Infant Massage classes, as well, to educate new parents in the art of touch.   Shalon is also a certified Reiki practitioner having studied both Usui and Shamballa traditions.  Her Therapeutic services are offered to  men, women and children of all ages. Integrating tools from different modalities, she  inspires healing of both the body and the mind. During an Integrative Massage session, Shalon creates an environment of relaxation through guided breathing and visualization. Swedish Massage is combined with various techniques from Neuromuscular, Thai massage, Lomi Lomi, Reflexology and the Grigorian Method®. Each massage is customized to the needs of the individual, with pressure varying from light to deep and the focus ranging from pain management to mental relaxation.Shalon may be reached by phone at Phone: (603)303-6968 or online by visiting

About Healing Hands Chiropractic:

Healing Hands is a family wellness center that offers family chiropractic care, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioral therapy, reiki & aromatherapy, massage therapy, La Leche League breastfeeding groups and pregnancy & birth classes. To learn more about Dr. Jessica Caruso and Healing Hands Chiropracticplease visit or call (603)434-3456.

Stress in September

by Shalon Da~Nai, LMT

back to school stressIts that time of year again. The carefree days of summer are gone. It can be a stressful time as schedules fill up and the pace of life seems to turn from a walk to a run. Everyone has experienced some kind of stress in their lives and many deal with it on a daily basis. Stress can be caused by a plethora of things; the daily demands of life, personal relationships and deadlines at work as well as bigger life changes and transitions ie the loss of a job or a loved one. Even positive things can cause stress like planning a wedding, the birth of a child or a child’s first day of school.

We all know what stress is, but how does it affect us and our body?  Noticeable physical responses to stress include an increase in heart rate, sweating, rapid breathing and heightening of the senses. These are all symptoms of the “Fight or Flight” response that nature has equipped us with for our own protection. Unfortunately our physiology can not tell the difference between a life or death situation and a rough day at the office. Anything that causes us stress will cause the same release of the hormones Adrenaline and Cortisol. Over time, heightened stress states can affect our moods, sleeping habits, eating habits and energy levels. Physical aches and pains may develop. Even our memory and ability to conceive can be impinged. If stressful conditions persist it may increase the risk of more severe disease ie: heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression and disorders of the autoimmune system.
So what are some ways we can manage our stress so that it does not weaken our Body and Mind?  There are many coping techniques available. The most basic and easy tool to reduce stress is simply to breathe. Slow, deep breaths can lower a fast heart rate and make you feel more calm. Exercise is not only good for your cardiovascular and muscular systems, it also reduces stress hormones and releases endorphins, which are those “feel good” hormones. Meditation can take the use of breath a step further and invites the mind to quiet. Letting go of stressful thoughts is the key to reducing stress levels, but it may not be as simple as it sounds. It is good to practice these methods. The more you do it, the more adept you will be at coping and will be able to balance yourself quickly.

Therapeutic services like Massage Therapy and Reiki (and of course chiropractic care) focus on lowering stress levels and can bring you to a deep state of calm. Massage packs all the benefits of breath, exercise and meditation into one synergistic experience that takes little effort for the recipient. Not only does it reduce stress hormones, Cortisol and Adrenaline, it also releases endorphins and reduces physical pain or tension.
It’s important to take stress seriously, as it can have some very harmful effects. Mastering your ability to manage your stress will make you healthier, happier and more emotionally balanced. You will be more productive at work or at school and your personal relationships will benefit as well. Everyone experiences stress differently. Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to experience it at all?