Health Benefits Ginger

Health Benefits Ginger

Health Benefits GingerHave you ever looked in to the health benefits ginger? It really has some fantastic benefits. Ginger can come in many forms

  • Fresh
  • Dried
  • Powder
  • Juice or as an
  • Essential Oil.

Health Benefits Ginger, Chinese MedicineHealth Benefits Ginger – Chinese Medicine

The health benefits of ginger can be linked right back to Chinese medicine and over 3,000 years ago. This plant was used for a multitude of reasons:

A range of digestive disorders

  • Muscular conditions
  • Life longevity

Health Benefits Ginger – Essential Oil

As an essential oil ginger can be used in many ways but must only be applied topically.

  1. When diluted in a base oil or
  2. Inhaled in very small amounts – ideally via a diffuser

As an ingredient ginger is quite harmless.   If you are thinking about taking ginger supplements internally you should consult your doctor.

In certain circumstances, with certain some conditions, taken orally could cause more harm than help.

Mostly the essential oil of ginger is non-toxic and non-irritant. Despite root ginger’s rather strong smell in its natural state, the essential oil smells rather warm and spicy, sweet and moody.

Health benefits Ginger – Sore Tummy

In The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy Valerie Ann Worwood, ensures that she always includes ginger in her Basic Travel Kit.

For travel sickness the book recommends applying two drops of oil to a handkerchief, to be inhaled during the journey.

Alternatively one drop diluted in a little vegetable oil can be rubbed gently on the tummy, which. This would work equally well for indigestion.

Health Benefits Ginger – Motivation

In aromatherapy, essential oil of ginger is believed to suit people who are full of the ideas and plans but find it difficult to motivate themselves.  It promotes a sense of well being and encourages the joy of achievement – amazing!

Health Benefits Ginger – Back Pain

Ginger is thought to be particularly beneficial for the lower back because of its association with the kidneys.

Chinese medicine has used ginger for years to warm and strengthen ‘yang’ energy of the kidneys, It is considered to be ‘hot & dry’ therefore helpful in treating ‘cold, damp’ conditions.

Blend a few drops of essential oil of ginger with the same quantities of lavender and eucalyptus oils in a carrier oil. This is great for massaging the lower back.

“It’s excellent for cold, debilitated individuals who have a pale swollen tongue”, Gabriel Mojay, Aromatherapy for the Healing Spirit

For more information about the therapy treatments we offer please feel free to contact us.

2013 Bupa Great North Run – Post-Event Massage by The Therapy Rooms

The Therapy Rooms’ Tracy Russell was on hand to give post-event massage therapy at the 2013 Bupa Great North Run on Sunday 15th September.

The Great North Run has become a national institution, and this year, as always, the host city, Newcastle upon Tyne, welcomed some of the finest athletes (amateur and professional) in the world.  It is a half marathon, so is somewhat less demanding than a full marathon, but will attract many first-timers so training and recovery are really key to avoiding injury.

Tracy and The Therapy Rooms were invited to support the runners who were fundraising for Calvert Trust and was on hand to welcome these wonderful people at the finishing line.

Post-event massage can really help to minimize muscle strain and help speed up recovery after a really demanding event.  But what does it involve?

Here is Tracy’s photo diary from the Calvert Trust’s marquee

After a big event, muscles will already be challenged so the level of pressure applied to the tissues is very important in post-event massage – too light and there is little effect and too deep and there is a risk that damage can be done to the already challenged muscle fibres.

Light Effleurage on IT Band
Light Effleurage on Iliotibial Band

Intense exercise causes micro-fine tears in the fibres, which, if allowed to heal correctly, helps to make the muscles stronger. But deep tissue work on muscles that have been intensely exercised can aggravate the muscles and interfere with the healing process.

Taking this into consideration, I needed to devise a treatment that would gently encourage the healing process.  With potentially 26 runners to treat over a relatively short period of time, I estimated that I could only spend about 10 minutes on each runner. I was also quietly hoping that they were all of varying ability so that they wouldn’t all turn up at the same time!
So the main techniques I used for my Post Great North Run Massage were Effleurage and Active Isolated Stretching (AIS).
Effleurage is a very gentle massage technique where you skim or touch the muscles very lightly with a series of gentle strokes, often to prepare the muscles for deeper massage therapy.
Active Isolated Stretching
Active Isolated Stretching on Hamstrings

Use of AIS is particularly useful in post event recovery.  The Active Isolated Stretching Method is a method of stretching the muscles in focused bursts of two seconds.

The client is asked to contract the opposing muscle that needs to be stretched. So for example, if the therapist wished to apply AIS to the hamstrings, the client would raise her leg. This sends a signal to the brain that in order to contract the quads, there has to be a relaxation in the muscle in opposition, i.e. the hamstrings.  The fancy name for this is reciprocal inhibition.

The therapist will then apply a passive stretch to the hamstrings and holds this stretch for 2 seconds – long enough for the brain to register the tightness of the hamstrings and send messages to relax them, but not so long that and damage to the tissues can be done.

Active Isolated Stretching
Active Isolated Stretching on Quads

Holding a stretch for more than 2 seconds can trigger a myotatic stretch reflex and deprive the muscle of oxygen, which is the last thing you would want after you have just run a half marathon.

This process of active movement, passive stretch and 2 second hold is then repeated as many times as is needed.

For more information about AIS, have a look at www.stretchingusa.com. It’s a great technique to use as a massage therapist, but it is also possible to use as a self help technique whether your a professional athlete, an occasional jogger or have a creaky joint.

Tracy was really proud to support The Calvert Trust and the half-marathoners raising funds for this important charity because of the important work they do and the respite care they provide at their beautiful activity centre at Kielder Water & Forest Park.

26 runners completed the 2013 Bupa Great North Run to raise much needed funds for The Calvert Trust and of those runners, Tracy attended to 16 in total.

Trigger Points… and the role of Massage Therapy in recovery

No, nothing to do with guns and aiming, although Trigger Point Therapy – as anyone who has experienced it will testify – is far from painless!

A Trigger Point is defined as

‘A hyper-irritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band’.

In essence, it is an especially tender spot similar to a muscle knot. Like a normal knot, it prevents the muscle from fully extending, and generally weakens its performance, but on top of this, a Trigger Point has the potential to send referred pain to other areas of the body.

The referred pains caused by a Trigger Point can be extremely acute, sometimes bad enough to send the sufferer to the doctor. The problem this causes is that while the pain might be in the upper arm, the Trigger Point, its source, might be at the base of the shoulder blade, and so the painful area itself would not be presenting any obvious lesions or tensions that could be causing the pain, and so the pain can either be misdiagnosed as other conditions such as Angina or a Migraine, or they might be simply told they are imagining it, or given pain killers and told it will no doubt stop at some point…

Image

Again, much like a muscle knot, a Trigger Point can develop through repetitive stresses on a muscle, such as the position, poor posture or a particular job puts it into. There can also be predisposing factors such as recent over-exercise, or an injury to the muscle.

The Signs
Sufferers from an active Trigger Point can experience a range of symptoms such as poor sleep, weakness in the affected muscle, numbness or even a noticeable feeling of depression.

The Treatment
A Massage Therapist will use a combination of palpation to find the exact point, pressurisation (the painful part) for up to 7 seconds at a time, followed by strokes to the surrounding area to encourage a ‘flow and flush’ reaction within the muscle.  Used together, these can dispel the point and thus relieve the pain in the affected area. This can often take more than one treatment, but once identified, the point can be pursued until it is smoothed. Treatment is more effective if the patient is motivated to self help as well – by exercising and stretching regularly and keeping to a good nutritional plan.


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