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.

Dr. Jess’ Top 10 Ways To Help Prevent Colds, Flu & Illness

how to prevent cold and fluBy Dr. Jessica L. Caruso
1. Get Adjusted
Chiropractic adjustments release stress from your body and improve your nervous system by regulating the “Fight or Flight” response, improving your sleep and boosting your immune system 200%.

2. Neti Pot or Saline Spray
Using one of these is useful for removing dirt, pollen, excess mucous and other irritants

3. Handwashing
This a simple and effective way to help prevent diseases, such as colds & flu. Wash your hands with running water and soap; rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds(kids can recite the alphabet or sing “Happy Birthday”); and pay special attention to your wrists, the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.

4. Eat Well
Several vitamins and minerals are known to boost the immune system, like Vitamin A( please check with your PCP if you are pregnant or nursing regarding Vitamin A), Vitamin C and Zinc to name just a few . It’s best to get most of your vitamins and minerals from whole food sources and supplement as needed.

5. Add More Fiber
Adding fiber such as whole grains to your diet to improve colon health and increase immunity.

6. Drink More Water
Drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50% and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer.

7. Take Probiotics
Eating more yogurt or supplementing with a high quality, combination probiotic can boost the healthy bacteria in your gut where about 70% of your immune system resides.

8. Move Well
Exercise has the ability to protect and strengthen the immune system. Studies have shown that a regular exercise program of simply walking briskly for 20-30 minutes, 5 days a week can enhance the immune system’s antibody and natural T -cell responses.

9.Think Well
If your stress response is constantly activated it can lead to life-threatening health conditions and leave you more susceptible to colds and flu due to the continuous release of stress hormones. Finding a healthy way to manage your stress, like  meditation, yoga or tai chi  is essential to the health and vitality of your immune system.

10. Sleep
Studies show that people who get about seven hours of sleep a night have the best survival, and if we get less than six hours of sleep a night, our mortality seems to increase.Sleep loss not only plays a role in whether we come down with a cold or flu, it also influences how we fight illnesses once we come down with them.

For information on “to flu shot or not to flu shot” please visit us at:


Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Balch & Balch, 2000


What is BPA? (And how can it affect my unborn child?)

By Dr. Denise Ingrando, Family Chiropractor

If you’ve shopped lately for baby products like bottles or plastic toys, you’ve probably seen the label “BPA free.” While the advertisement itself is likely enough to pique your interest and perhaps keep you from buying products containing BPA, what exactly is BPA, and why is it important to avoid?

BPA (bisphenol A) is a petrochemical and contaminant found in plastic products such as water bottles, plastic containers and plastic wrap, as well as the lining of canned goods. It has been linked to a long list of serious chronic disorders including cancer, cognitive and behavioral impairments, endocrine system disruption, reproductive and cardiovascular system abnormalities, diabetes, altered immune function, asthma and obesity. It has been found to contribute to disease by mimicking the body’s hormones and causing disruption (3,5,7).

The disturbing part is, this toxic substance can affect your children even before they have the chance to drink from a bottle! According to recent research conducted by the Environmental Working Group, this substance, along with 231 other toxic chemicals, was found in nine out of ten random samples of cord blood taken from American infants (5, 6,7). This means that fetuses are not protected from the toxins their mothers are exposed to. “This can lead to chromosomal errors in the developing fetus, which can cause spontaneous miscarriages and genetic damage. And being exposed to just 0.23 parts per billion of BPA is enough to disrupt the effect of estrogen in a baby’s developing brain” (7). In fact, not only do infants and children have underdeveloped organ systems for detoxifying and excreting chemicals, they also have immature and porous blood-brain barriers, which increases the risk for brain exposure and neuro-developmental disorders (7). Women of childbearing age and those who are pregnant should consider the sources of BPA and diligently avoid them. Although the FDA declared BPA safe in 2008, they now have “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children” and are becoming more aggressive in “re-evaluating the way they regulate BPA” (1,2,3).

Tips to help you steer clear of BPA include:

  • Drink from glass bottles
  • Buy fresh or frozen rather then canned food products
  • Drink plenty of water to flush toxins from your system
  • Receive regular chiropractic care

Regular chiropractic care is an important aspect in helping your body handle the wide variety of chemicals it is exposed to, as it can keep your system functioning optimally in spite of a potentially toxic load. As the nervous system is responsible for regulating endocrine (hormonal) function, as well as the function of every system in your body, chiropractic adjustments that remove nerve interference can help the body to function at 100%. Consider chiropractic care for yourself and your family today, especially if you are pregnant.

[1]Understanding FDA food packaging regulations,” White-paper by Rohm and Haas,

[2] Kissinger M. “FDA says it’s unable to regulate BPA” (January 17, 2010) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[3]Update on bisphenol A for use in food contact applications: January 2010” U.S. Food and Drug Administration


[5] (12/09/09)


[7] Dr. Mercola -“232 Toxic Chemicals Found In Babies” (12/31/09)

Baby-Wearing: Why and How

When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, my mother’s ecstatic reaction was quickly followed by, “You have to get a baby sling.” At first, I didn’t see the point. I imagined that between a classic front pack, a car seat / stroller combination, a crib, and a bouncy seat, my daughter would have her choice of locations when my hands were occupied. I eventually agreed to the baby-wearing prospect, but mostly to appease the new grandma.

My daughter quickly revealed herself to be what many practitioners refer to as a “high-need baby.” She wanted to be held and cuddled almost constantly. She was not interested in spending her time in a vibrating bouncy seat, nor napping in her crib. (She did not enjoy riding in her car seat, either, but that particular issue was non-negotiable.)

Enter the baby sling, a piece of fabric I imagined sitting on a shelf next to the little-used blankets and newborn dress-up clothes. In her sling, my daughter was happy. In her sling, Delaney took in the world around her, she breastfed discreetly, and she napped at will. My husband and I became unexpected converts to the world of baby-wearing and attachment parenting.

After our son was born, we switched from the sling to the Moby Wrap, and discovered that, not only was baby-wearing beneficial for baby, but could be fun for parents as well. Many different carrier styles offer some of the benefits of baby-wearing: close contact and enhanced bonding, breastfeeding convenience, and an upright position for colicky babies, to name a few. But the Moby offers a host of additional benefits, including the following:

A variety of holds – With many carriers, parents are limited to just a few different positions for baby. Most babies have certain positions they prefer, and if you have a carrier with limited options, getting baby comfortable can be a daunting task. The Moby Wrap comes with instructions for a wide variety of baby positions, categorized for your baby’s age and development. You can experiment with a number of holds until you find your baby’s favorites (and yours!).

Works for newborns through preschoolersThe Moby Wrap is perfect for babies who are just days (or even hours) old, yet supports up to 35 pounds. That means one carrier for the first two or three years of your baby’s life. If you have two small children, one wrap can be used for either one. (My two kids, who are now 3 years and 16 months, respectively, took turns in it while we were shopping the other day.) Moby has specific instructions for wearing twins, too.

Skin-to-skin contact – One way to wear the Moby Wrap, the “Kangaroo Hold,” allows you to place baby directly against your skin. This skin-to-skin contact is strongly encouraged by proponents of attachment parenting, as a way to enhance bonding with either mommy or daddy. For mothers, skin-to-skin can also help to increase milk supply in the first months of breastfeeding.

Ergonomic, symmetrical design for parents– Many carriers distribute baby’s weight on the parent’s body unevenly, putting strain on one shoulder or pulling on the vulnerable muscles of the neck and upper back. The symmetrical wrap style of the Moby allows for even weight distribution, minimizing stress to the parent’s body.

Ergonomic design for baby – Many commercial baby carriers and front packs hold your baby with nearly all his or her weight on the tailbone, with legs dangling. This can cause stress and even damage to baby’s tiny spine. In the Moby Wrap, your baby sits with neck, spine, and legs supported comfortably and safely.

One size fits all No need to buy a sized carrier for each caretaker. The Moby Wrap is designed to fit different body types and sizes, so you need just one wrap for mommy, daddy, grandparents, and babysitters.

Moby Wraps are available at our office, Healing Hands Chiropractic in Londonderry, or can be purchased directly from our website here. We welcome your questions about baby-wearing and attachment parenting. To meet other parents with similar interests, please join us for Mommy Connection on Mondays from 4 to 5 pm.

Got Fever Phobia? Bring Your Child to the Chiropractor!

Fever Phobia

Our society is inundated with numerous commercials pushing fever -suppressing products. Parents are bullied into thinking that if they were good parents- they’d have their cabinets stocked with these products at all times to administer at the first sign of their child’s fever. Following these commercials’ advice is negatively affecting their children’s built-in natural mechanism to fight disease.

Fever phobia is escalated by “urban legends” of children who were severely harmed by having a high fever that caused seizures and/or brain injuries. In reality these problems are never caused by the fever but rather the illness itself is what caused the injury.

Pediatricians who are prescribing drugs to reduce fevers are doing these children a great disservice. Reducing the fever will do nothing to make the child well. In fact our bodies have an innate mechanism that prevents an infection-induced temperature from reaching dangerous levels. Please note that in cases of heatstroke, poisoning, or other externally caused fevers this innate mechanism does not operate correctly and immediate medical attention must be sought.

In cases of a child having an infection induced fever it is important to trust the body’s natural process and understand the importance of childhood illness and the necessity of fever as an important aspect of immune system growth and development.

We invite you to make a new patient chiropractic visit for your child today to learn how chiropractic care can help increase your child’s immune system by up to 200%.

Ref: Pathways to family wellness, Issue 22, Summer 2009, pp 12-13.