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Sleep is King, Water is Queen

Sleep is King, Water is Queen

At the North Carolina School of Advanced Bodywork, one of my instructors said, when asked the question of the perfect sleeping position, ‘I don’t care if you have to sleep upside down, with an arm sticking out.  A good night’s sleep trumps all!’.  I’ve always remembered that.  Research shows that a good night’s sleep improves cognitive function (improved memory), boosts the immune system, boosts performance whether at work or at play, strengthens the heart, and can prevent weight gain!  This is just a small list of great benefits.  This is why I say that Sleep is King!

I found a surprising statistic while doing research for this article from the CDC – there is a higher percentage of Americans in the southeast that are sleep deprived.  Unfortunately, part of this statistic is true because there is a higher prevalence of obesity, hypertension, and other chronic diseases.

Insomnia costs the US workplace $63.2 billion per year.  I would imagine this is lost work (sick days), and workplace accidents.  In adolescents, sleep deprivation can cause mood/behavior disorders and poor academic performance.  It also takes much longer than people think to catch up on sleep deprivation.  The longer the deprivation, the longer time (in nights) it takes to reverse.

What does it take to get a good night’s sleep?

We’ve all heard about unplugging.  It helps to put the phone in another room.  Limit the consumption of food and alcohol later in the day for improved results.  Take a relaxing bath or shower…..whatever works for you!  A routine helps as well.  For me, honoring my natural circadian rhythm is a must! I have always jokingly stated that I turn into a pumpkin at 10 pm.  It’s true – I really need to be in bed at that time. If I stay up too long after that, it gets harder and harder for me to fall asleep.  Something that also helps me is having a glass of water nearby.  Believe it or not, I wake up thirsty during the night.  Now we get to talk about why Water is Queen!

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Our bodies are anywhere from 50-75% water.  Like sleep, water also plays an important role in all the systems of the body.  By the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated!!

Being 2% dehydrated decreases cognitive function, slows down metabolism and negatively affects mood.  And it can make you sleepy!!  Being dehydrated can increase the risk of kidney stones.  Being 3% dehydrated can cause heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and cramps.  Being dehydrated can also decrease the function of our lymph system, which is the body’s first line of immunity!

As you can see, sleep and water are King and Queen and play a huge role in our overall health and wellness!

Please do some research, ask some questions!  Become an expert of your body.

And if you ever think of a question that you want me to write about, please let me know!

Julie Fisher NC 16532/SC 10822 LMBT, CPT T256290

#AdvancedTherapeuticBodywork #BeeTranquil #TransparentWarrior  #TheBodyEngineer

 

 

 

 

Feeding Yourself

Feeding Yourself

During the holidays, it is very easy to neglect your self-care.

As a single mom of two sons, it was very important for me to get up early in the morning and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.  This set the tone of my day so that I could ‘handle’ what the day brought on!

As a parent, it sometimes feels that you are expected to give, give, give.  However, if you don’t fill your tank, it will run empty, and that isn’t good for anyone.  I love how Lisa Nichols talks about feeding people from your saucer and not your cup.  If your cup is running over into the saucer, you can give without it costing you more than you have.

Because of the demands of my work and being a single parent, my empty tank began to take its toll.  Learning that taking care of myself first (can anyone say guilt?) went from being a luxury to a necessity.

Finding out what is important for your well being doesn’t have to be tricky.  Knowing that I am an introvert, it makes sense that quiet time refuels me.  Add in a little meditation, yoga, reading, classical music, and walking, and my take begins to fill.  But what works for me, may not work for you.

Don’t forget to eat healthy and drink lots of water!  Look for my future article – Sleep is King, Water is Queen.

I hope that everyone has a very Happy Holiday season, but remember – Feed Yourself!

Please do some research, ask some questions!  Become an expert of your own body.

And if you ever think of a question that you want me to write about, please let me know!

Julie Fisher NC/SC LMBT

#AdvTherapeuticBodywork  #TransparentWarrior  #TheBodyEngineer #ATB

Be Like a Concrete Truck – MOVE!

Be Like a Concrete Truck – MOVE!

Ever watch a concrete driving down the road.  It’s spinning, right?  And we all know the reason.  If the truck has concrete in it, it has to spin so that the concrete doesn’t harden.  Our fascia does the same. 

Fascia may be found as layers upon layers within our bodies.  In order for the layers to glide upon one another, the fascia has to stay soft and subtle.  Without fascia, our skeletal system would not be able to stay together or upright without fascia.  Think of a suspension bridge.  Fascia also allows muscles and organs to glide upon one another so that we can do complex movements like bending, rotate, and twist.

Groundbreaking research says that 80% of all people, worldwide, suffer from lower back pain!  Part of the research is finding out that ‘hardened’ fascia has a lot to do with lower back pain, even more so than the muscles. 

Scientists are also finding out how much the fascia does within the body like assisting with metabolism regulation, how our bodies interpret sensory input, lymph transport, and, of course, movement. 

They have looked at people who have had to have their arm in a cast.  Within a very short time, the fascia becomes more fibrous and ‘sticky’, which is why limbs that have been within a cast become stiff.  However, once movement is allowed again, the fascia breaks up and becomes fluid again.

Benefits of moving include:

  • better cognitive function
  • better oxygen production
  • more and bigger mitochondria (the power cells of the body – this helps nourish muscles, etc)
  • better sleep
  • better immune function

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People often ask me what is visceral manipulation?  It is the manipulation of some of the deeper fascial layers… helping your muscles, and organs ‘move’ better!  

As always, please do some research, and ask some questions!  Become an expert of your body.

And if you ever think of a question that you want me to write about, please let me know!

Julie Fisher NC/SC LMBT

 #TheBodyEngineer #advancedtherapeuticbodywork #advtherapeuticbodywork #BeeTranquil #TransparentWarrior 

 

Sewage System of the Body

Sewage System of the Body

No, it isn’t your bowels!  Welcome to the wonderful world of Lymph!  The lymphatic system is one of the first lines of immunological defenses of the body.  It has many other extremely important functions as well.

The lymphatic system creates immune cells such as lymphocytes, monocytes, and plasma cells.  The lymphatic system sends these cells throughout the body to wherever they are needed.  It then carries away dead cells to be removed.

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It is the circulatory system’s sister and is the second pathway back to the heart.  Lymph is the fluid that helps produce the connective tissue of the body – think fascia and bones, to name a couple.  The lymph system does not have its own pumping system like the heart in the circulatory system.  Movement is key!!  (Look forward to my video series – Combatting FFP – Front Forward Posture)

Ever wonder why massage therapists always tell you to drink more water?  The lymph system is throughout the body and a lot of it is just under the skin.  So, when you receive a massage, the lymph fluid has been manipulated, releasing toxins.

Think of cleaning with a sponge.  Before you use the dirty sponge somewhere else, you have to clean it.  Same thing with our lymph.  Once it has been manipulated it has to be cleaned out by drinking more water.  The type of water you drink is also important.  (Look for the Hydration vs Saturation)  If you ever feel like you have the flu the next day after a massage it means you need to drink more water!

When the body has had surgery or trauma, the damaged tissue responds with inflammation to protect the area (not to mention the fascial response, which we will talk about in another article).  Lymphatic massage helps to reduce painful swelling from the traumatized area.

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As always, like me on Facebook or Instagram and send me any questions you may have in the comment section.

Julie Fisher

LMBT SC/NC

#AdvancedTherapeuticBodywork #BeeTranquil #TransparentWarrior  #TheBodyEngineer

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Most massage therapists get into massage, not just because they have a calling to help others, but, typically, they are also on a journey of self-discovery into their own bodies and the pain and dysfunction within.  That being said, when I was in my early twenties, I had to have all four of my impacted wisdom teeth extracted.  During that process my jaw was hyper-extended.  Once I was cleared, I returned to work.  That very evening, on the way home, I was rear ended, driving me into the car in front of me.  This caused major whiplash.  From that point on, I had TMJD and had to wear a nightguard.

TMJD has many symptoms ranging from clicking of the jaw, headaches, ear pain, jaw/cheek pain, neck pain, bruxism and many others.

TMJ diagram front view

It wasn’t until massage school that I learned that  the muscles in the jaw, neck and the inside of the mouth could be ‘released’ to relieve bruxism/TMJD.  Bruxism is the grinding and clenching of the jaw that almost always goes with TMJD.  Bruxism has many side effects such as the need for extra dental visits, the wearing down of the enamel, cracked teeth, insomnia, and headaches.

There are many muscles that contribute to TMJD.  The traps, temporalis and sternocleidomastoid can contribute because they attach very close to the jaw near the ear.  (We will discuss front forward posture in a later article).  These muscles can be accessed externally.  However, for the biggest relief intra-oral work is needed.  The masseter, medial pterygoid, and lateral pterygoid need to accessed inside the mouth.

Usually the relief is instantaneous, and I’ve had quite a few clients that get emotional just because of the relief!

Please do some research, ask some questions!  Become an expert of your body.

And if you ever think of a question that you want me to write about, please let me know!

Julie Fisher NC/SC LMBT

#AdvancedTherapeuticBodywork #BeeTranquil #TransparentWarrior  #TheBodyEngineer

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Fun Facts about Massage

Fun Facts about Massage

​Fun Facts about Massage

70% of all Americans think that massage should be considered healthcare – I agree!

88% of all Americans think that massage is effective in reducing pain (and stress).

Studies show that receiving a foot massage after surgery helps reduce pain and the consumption of opioids.

Non-surgical treatments for plantar fasciitis, including massage, are shown to resolve 90% of cases within 12 months.

Massage in place of opioids would save $23-25 BILLION in prescription costs.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid promotes massage as a supplemental benefit.

Please do some research, ask some questions!  Become an expert of your body.

And if you ever think of a question that you want me to write about, please let me know!

Julie Fisher NC/SC LMBT

#BeeTranquil #TransparentWarrior  #TheBodyEngineer 

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What to Expect

What to Expect

Hello!  I have had quite a few clients go to my website and say ‘Which type of massage do I choose?’ If you are in chronic pain and/or dysfunction, the easiest massage to select through the website is the bodywork or neuromuscular session. Most people know if they want a relaxing, hot stone Swedish; for the rest, please read on!

I choose to operate in my home so that I may do the work that my client requires rather than be limited by corporate restrictions.  Most of the franchise massage establishments do not allow abdominal, pec minor, or pectineus muscle work. I want to be able to give my clients the work that they truly need!

One of the things that I want for my website is ease for the client.  When you choose a modality, you will receive an electronic intake form.  State law requires that this be filled out and signed.  The more information that you give, the better.  It gives me the opportunity to research any medications or conditions you may have.  It also helps me formulate the beginnings of your treatment plan.  For example, if you have arthritis or osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bones), there will be very little stretching in your session.  Or if you have hypertension, I will know to allow more time for sitting up after the session to limit dizziness.

When you arrive at my studio

entrance

entrance to Bee Tranquil

Putting clients at ease and comfortable is a huge priority to me.  One client told me that my studio looks like an orthopedic office!  The first few minutes we will communicate about your treatment needs, as well as a more thorough assessment.   Assessment will/may include a visual assessment, lots of questions, watching your gait, the condition of your skin, hands on assessing, and many other methods.

massage table

We will then discuss what will take place during your session, and then we begin!

studio for Advanced Therapeutic Bodywork

Afterwards, we will discuss things that you can do to help your results last longer and recommendations for follow-up sessions.

I truly look forward to working with you, and helping you move better!

Julie Fisher NC/SC LMBT

#AdvancedTherapeuticBodywork #BeeTranquil #TransparentWarrior  #TheBodyEngineer

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

During the holidays, it is very easy to neglect your self-care.  

As a single mom of two sons, it was very important to me to get up early in the morning and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.  This set the tone of my day, so that I could ‘handle’ what the day brought! 

Sometimes it feels as though as a parent you are expected to give, give, give.  However, if you don’t fill your tank, it will run empty and that isn’t good for anyone.

Because of the demands of my work and being a single parent, my empty tank began to take its toll.  Learning that taking care of myself first (can anyone say guilt?) went from being a luxury to a necessity.  

Finding out what is important for your well being doesn’t have to be tricky.  Knowing that I am an introvert allows me to recognize that quiet time refuels me. Add in a little meditation, yoga, reading, classical music and walking fills my tank.  But what works for me, may not work for you.

Don’t forget to eat healthy and drink lots of water!

I hope that everyone has a very Happy Holiday season, but remember – Feed Yourself!

Please do some research, ask some questions!  Become an expert of your body.

And if you ever think of a question that you want me to write about, please let me know!

Julie Fisher NC/SC LMBT

#BeeTranquil #TransparentWarrior  #TheBodyEngineer

The Body Engineer

The Body Engineer

Why My Massage is Different . . .

Sometimes I hate telling people that I am a massage therapist.  I try to introduce myself as a bodyworker or a neuro-muscular therapist because almost everyone views massage as a relaxation tool rather than a necessity!  Do I believe that relaxation is important? Very much so. The body won’t have the full range of benefits if the client is curled into one big knot.  And these days, people are living under such chronic stress that trying to get past the initial fascial layer is a challenge.

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn Stevenson of the Model Health Show.  I have probably said this a lot, but if you haven’t checked out his podcast you are missing out! Had I known he was out there; I would have been listening years ago.  Anyway, in describing to him what it is that I do, I told him that I like to think of myself as a body engineer. He loved that! I decided that was a great way to describe what I do. 

There are quite a few of therapists out there that have studied how the body moves, and why it is so important to find out what people do for a living and for fun. Sitting in front of a computer all day, driving, being on the telephone, or doing repetitive motions have your body telling a story.  Watching how people move, stand, and walk add to the story.  

The body is a sophisticated series of pulleys and levers.  A lot of clients ask, my back is hurting; why are you working on the front?  If you watch something being lifted by a pulley, some of the ropes get shorter and some get longer.  The body works the same way. Over time, sitting at a desk causes the body to slump over, shortening the core/abdominal muscles. The pecs shorten, causing the shoulders to round forward, and sitting causes the hamstrings to shorten.  Then there are the neck muscles. All of our muscles have synergists, antagonists. And, as one of is shortened, it pulls on the whole group.

I had the privilege of recently taking Visceral Manipulation 4 – The Thorax at the Upledger/Barral Institute.  I learned so much in that course, as well as the other three previously taken. Our bodies are phenomenal! A couple of the key things that stood out was that there are over 150 joint articulations in the thorax, and the role that fascia plays in the articulations.  We are literally beings of water. Fascia covers everything, and if it is dehydrated,it pulls on everything. And being dehydrated actually lowers brain function!

So, back to the topic of why a body working session from the Body Engineer is different.  Like I mentioned before, our bodies are a very complex system of levers and pulleys, all bound together in hundreds of ways.  Studying anatomy is one of my passions. Understanding why it behaves the way it does is an endless source of wonder.

What if your shoulder is tight because you have a tight liver ligament? (there are seven, depending on the individual)

What if the bladder urgency is due to a twist on the ureters? 

What if the pain in your left leg is due to the fascial being tight in the anterior neck? The body hugs the lesion, so tracking down the cause is my specialty. Helping people out of chronic pain for me is like opening presents on Christmas morning. The spark that comes into a client’s eyes is a privilege to witness!

Do you ever just not feel right in your own body?!  Come see me! And please do some research; ask some questions!  Become an expert of your body.

And if you ever think of a question that you want me to write about, please let me know!

Julie Fisher NC/SC LMBT

#BeeTranquil #TransparentWarrior  #TheBodyEngineer 

The Massage Safe Word

The Massage Safe Word

It has always been my belief that a massage should not be painful.  And before we go too much further, there is a difference between a Fluff and Buff Massage, (which is also great) and a Bodywork Massage, The Body Engineer, Why My Massage is Different.  Bodywork is a massage modality that focuses on solving a painful dysfunction within the body.

The main reason that I believe massages should not be painful, is that when pain is triggered, it keeps the autonomic nervous system (ANS) activated and does not allow the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to take control. What is the difference?  The ANS is responsible for releasing hormones for our fight or flight response.  It is responsible for many other functions as well. However, if our bodies are releasing these hormones during a massage, muscles tense and the brain tells the body it is in danger!  The PNS releases hormones that trigger relaxation, lowers stress, allows the digestive system to process the food we have eaten, and can make us sleepy.  That is why when receiving a wonderful massage can put us to sleep or make our stomachs rumble.

When our ANS has been stimulated during a massage, our muscles contract which is the very opposite of the results needed for chronic pain release.  However, triggering the PNS, allows for deeper, less painful results.  Think of all the layers between the hands of the bodyworker and the muscle lesion.  There is skin, lymph, subcutaneous fat, nerves and other muscles.  So, if we go in slowly, there is less damage to all these other layers, we don’t trigger the ANS, and we get much better results.

Communication is key!  So many clients think that they are bothering the therapist if they speak up.  That isn’t the case at all!  A great therapist always wants to know what is going on within their clients.  Most therapists look for “tells” within body language; but there are times, especially with new clients, that we can’t read the body language yet.  Something else to consider is that everyone’s pressure tolerance is different. Our bodies are different; likewise, our response to pressure/pain is different.  For new clients (and I do tend to repeat myself with repeat clients), I explain the word ‘Edge’.

You guessed it!  Edge is the massage safe word.   How does it work?  On a scale from 1 to 10, when your body hits about a 6 or 7, you say ‘Edge’.  Now, there are high pressure tolerance folks out there, and I have to trust my hands.  Another clue is, if as a client, you want to hold your breath, then there is too much pressure.  Staying under or just at ‘Edge’ allows a therapist to go through the multiple layers and actually get closer to the actual root problem.  Can we always get to the root problem in one session?  Absolutely not!  For more info, read my article – Why One Massage Won’t Fix You – Issue in the Tissue.  There are many culprits to muscle pain, and releasing one lesion while beneficial may not be the root of the issue.

Remember As always, it is YOUR body, if there is too much pressure tell your therapist!  It is your body, your money, your session.

Please send me your suggestions, comments or questions.  And if this article spoke to you, please share!

 

Julie Fisher NC/SC LMBT

#BeeTranquil #TransparentWarrior  #TheBodyEngineer #TheMuscleNinja

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