Pain Management

Smoking, Depression, and Chronic Pain

If you need one more reason to quit smoking, add this to your list: smokers are more likely to have both acute and chronic pain. In fact, even after they quit, former smokers tend to have more pain than those who have never smoked.

Researchers have long known about the association between smoking and chronic pain. However, there is an important question to consider: is smoking the cause of the pain or do those who are in pain turn to smoking to self-medicate?

Why Massage With Warm Flax Pillows?

Whether you call it thermal therapy, Hot DNM, or Pillossage, using warm flax pillows for massage is absolutely delicious!

Those who know me will know that I don't go for fads or gimmicks, but when I recently got to spend a week giving and receiving massage with warm flax pillows in a Hot DNM class, my reaction was, "Oh my goodness, this is amazing!" It feels really, really good and it is great for places where you feel tight and achy.

Pillossage is the brainchild of Karen Kowal, a registered nurse who became a massage therapist. A number of years ago she began to make flax seed filled eye pillows and larger flax seed pillows to be used for hot or cold packs. She called her pillow making business Mother Earth Pillows. Somewhere along the way, she got the idea of using the pillows for massage and Pillossage was born.

Self-Help for the Hand, Wrist, Elbow, Forearm, Through Novel Movements

Musicians. Computer users. Massage therapists.  What do they have in common? They all use their hands and arms a lot in very repetitive ways. Anyone suffering from tight forearms, carpal tunnel syndrome, elbow pain, or wants to avoid those problems should take note.

We have habits and tend to move in limited ways. Our muscles develop habits. We use muscles in certain ways and neglect other muscles by not using them. Those unused muscles can end up going "dormant." If you've ever been in physical therapy, you may have had the experience of your PT giving you deceptively "easy" exercises that are impossible to do! That's because some of your muscles have become inactive. Those exercises are designed to wake them back up, to neurologically program them to start functioning again.

Our muscles are controlled by the nervous system. Every movement we make, every muscle fiber that is fired, is caused by the nervous system instructing it to contract or relax. Ultimately, the brain controls everything.