Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cupping Points


Health Benefits of Traditional Chinese Cupping

When we think of Traditional Chinese Medicine, we usually think of acupuncture or Chinese herbs. There is a lesser known treatment in Chinese medicine that is known as "cupping". It is good for chronic pain relief, adhesions and scar tissue, myofascial release, deep tissue release and many other conditions or issues.  It is extremely effective while being a very pleasant experience. In 300 AD a Taoist herbalist named Ge Hong wrote a book called A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies. This is the earliest documented work on Chinese cupping.

Cupping is the name of a technique that uses glass or bamboo cups to create suction on the skin. They are swabbed with rubbing alcohol then a flame is used to rid the cup of air just before being placed on the skin.  Another method is to use an alcohol-soaked cotton pad over an insulating material to protect the skin, then lighting the pad and placing the empty cup over the flame to extinguish it. Flames are not used near the skin and the patient is never at risk of being burned.
  
Once the suction is created, the cups are gently moved across the skin in a way that is often called ‘gliding cupping’. The suction from the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be drawn into the cup. This is like the opposite of massage instead of applying pressure to the muscles it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. This is a relaxing and relieving sensation for people. Once the cups are placed they are usually left in place for ten to twenty minutes.

Cupping may be used during your massage therapy treatment and is sometimes used along with acupuncture, but can be a standalone treatment.  The pressure and suction from the cups loosens the muscles and encourages blood flow to an area that needs healing. Cupping can be used for back and neck pain, anxiety, fatigue, stiff muscles, rheumatism, migraines and cellulite. When used for weight loss and cellulite, oil is applied to the skin and the cups are moved throughout the surrounding area.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the body is divided into meridians. There are 5 meridians on the back. The cups may be placed on the meridians and the cupping can relax qi, as well as target other specific problems. Cupping on these meridians is done to open the channels along the meridians. These are considered the paths through which the life energy or qi travels to make it smoother and free-flowing. Cupping is a deep tissue therapy and it is considered to be one of the best. Clinicians think it affects tissues as much as four inches deep from the skin. Toxins are released and blockages opened up and veins and arteries can be refreshed. The hands, legs, wrists and ankles can also be cupped.

Another popular reason for cupping can be to clear congestion from the sinuses and lungs during colds and flu. In the earliest Chinese documentation of cupping it was recommended as a therapy to treat tuberculosis.

To read more about how my massage & cupping can help you visit my website at www.CuppingPortland.com or www.DoriWhiteMassageTherapy.com

Dori White, LMT Since 1998
www.doriwhitemassagetherapy.com
www.facebook.com/DoriWhiteMassageTherapy

Dori White - Founder & Owner of Cupping Portland
www.cuppingportland.com
www.facebook.com/pages/Cupping-Portland/1483422865259570

Dori White - Co-Owner & Founder of Portland Wellness Professionals
http://www.portlandwellnessprofessionals.com
https://www.facebook.com/PortlandWellnessProfessionals

This blog was written for Dori White by Herbalist Valerie Lull, MH. To read Valerie’s blog ‘Simple Ways to Stay Healthy’ go to www.vallull.blogspot.com

Monday, February 23, 2015



Stretching = Pain Relief
Most of us have routines that we do every day to enhance health and prevent disease. For example, you brush your teeth to prevent cavities. What do you do to prevent tension in your neck and shoulder muscles? What about the rest of your body? Many of us have bad habits that we are not fully aware of until they cause us pain, even then sometimes we wonder why we are in such pain. These bad habits are often to blame but we can always turn these bad habits into good habits that we can use to evoke positive change.  Yes, We can learn from our mistakes... See how many of these you recognize and ask yourself what you can learn and change.

Posture – Do you slump over your desk to view your computer? Bending over with your back curved puts pressure on the discs of your spine and cause straining. This pressure can cause bulging discs and pressure on spinal nerves. 
Sitting properly – Sit up straight with your hands on your hips.  Move your pelvis forward. Center your weight over your pelvis. Don’t sit on your buttocks.
Sleeping properly – Sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees and be sure your pillow is thick enough to support your neck. Memory foam is good for folks that sleep on their side.
Bending – When you bend try to do so from the knees,  keep your spine straight and bend from the hips if you can. A curved back puts pressure on the discs in your spine.
Lifting – Stand with your knees shoulder-width apart when you are lifting something heavy off the floor bend your knees and squat down, use the large muscles in your legs to raise and lower your body.
Stretching – Take regular stretch breaks. Sitting in the same position for too long can cause muscles to get short and tight. Take regular breaks. Get up and stretch at least once an hour.

Learning New Habits

Listen to your body – Check your position and posture as you go through the day. If you catch yourself slouching correct your posture.
Daily routine – A daily 30 minute stretching routine is optimal, however taking regular stretch breaks during the day is even more important and greatly beneficial. It only takes a few seconds to check in with your body and where it feels like it needs movement to loosen up, go ahead and do a little stretch or movement.
Don’t wait till you have pain – Prevent pain by moving your body, start out gradually and do a little each day. You can build up to a more vigorous stretching and movement routine over weeks or months.
Stretching is easy to do and does not take up a lot of your time. Find a few moments here and there throughout the day to stretch. Your body will be happy and you can stop pain before it starts.



Dori White, LMT Since 1998
www.doriwhitemassagetherapy.com
www.facebook.com/DoriWhiteMassageTherapy

Dori White - Founder & Owner of Cupping Portland
www.cuppingportland.com
www.facebook.com/pages/Cupping-Portland/1483422865259570

Dori White - Co-Owner & Founder of Portland Wellness Professionals
http://www.portlandwellnessprofessionals.com
https://www.facebook.com/PortlandWellnessProfessionals


Written for Dori White by Herbalist Valerie Lull, MH. To read Valerie’s blog ‘Simple Ways to Stay Healthy’ go to www.vallull.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2015





Massage Cupping: The Marriage of Two Therapies


Cupping therapy has recently become more popular in the field of Eastern bodywork therapies.  It comes from an ancient healing technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that goes back many centuries. Modern cupping uses an array of tools and application techniques, to treat soft tissues as well as an array of other day to day concerns.

Cupping is practiced by a few different types of practitioners.  Dori White, LMT has been using cupping in her massage practice for years.  Cupping or massage cupping is the use of negative pressure with a suction device on the skin aimed at treating a large array of conditions.  In a way that is similar to massage, cupping draws blood and circulation and lymph into the tissue to speed up the healing process. Suction, caused by the cupping draws or drains the accumulation of stagnation and cellular waste like lactic acid and other toxins that may be deep in the muscle tissue or joint.  Once drawn up the therapist pushes it into the lymphatic system to more speedily flush it out of the body.  These toxins may be the result of trauma, injury, overuse, disease, illness or even something as ordinary as a cold or the flu.   Stagnation that is deep in the tissues creates inflammation, pain, swelling, stiffness and a decrease in range of motion, feelings of malaise or just not feeling “good”.

The suction created by cupping penetrates deep into the muscle tissue to relieve inflammation or stagnation and can also bring blood and circulation to depleted areas. The result is vasodilatation with the use of the cups that is identical to applying external heat. Vasodilatation is reached faster with the cups because of the penetrating effect of the vacuum. As the tissues release heat, toxic waste which causes congestion is liquefied and brought to the surface where small blood capillaries and lymph carry it away.  The tissues become more receptive to fluids, oxygenated blood and other nutrients.  This procedure can become a catalyst for change as the body begins to eliminate toxins and the lymph becomes more fluid.

The massage therapist uses several different kinds of cups. For large areas like the back, the therapist can use silicone cups which come in a variety of sizes and shapes and that do not require the use of fire. They are quite flexible and can be used during stretching techniques and are great to use in curved areas like the shoulder or neck because they won’t pop off. These cups allow the therapist to simply compress the bulb to remove oxygen and create suction. 

A typical treatment begins with warming the fascia and inducing relaxation and palpating tissue and joints to locate the problem areas. Heat is generated by friction from repetitive gliding massage strokes. The fascia becomes supple after a few minutes. This can also be done by applying cups using gliding strokes in half the time and at a higher level of effectiveness.

Applying a light weight oil, like sunflower or safflower oil, helps the cups move as gliding massage strokes are applied. Suction lets the therapist “lift” the skin, releasing adhesions in the fascia and toxins deep within the tissues.  As heat is generated by the gliding cupping, different skin coloring will become visible. The color of the skin helps the therapist determine which technique to use. An area that is deficient in blood and fluids are colder and will appear white to light pink/red. Areas where stagnation and toxins accumulate will feel hot to the touch and be dark purple in color.  The movements of the massage cup can be sedating or stimulating depending on the type of treatment plan.

In massage cupping, the cup almost becomes an extension of the therapist’s hands, many times the therapists say they can feel abnormalities in the tissues even better than with their bare hands. Glass, plastic or silicone cups have a tendency to magnify the issue in the tissue.  The clear cups make it easier for the therapist to observe conditions such as stagnation and inflammation because they provides visual cues as to the differing skin color.  This is optimal when assessing the client’s reaction to cupping and allows the therapist to customize a treatment for each client individually.
To read more about what cupping can do for you or have your personalized cupping treatment, please visit my website at Cupping Portland

 Dori White, LMT Since 1998
www.doriwhitemassagetherapy.com
www.facebook.com/DoriWhiteMassageTherapy

Dori White - Founder & Owner of Cupping Portland
www.cuppingportland.com
www.facebook.com/pages/Cupping-Portland/1483422865259570

Dori White - Co-Owner & Founder of Portland Wellness Professionals
http://www.portlandwellnessprofessionals.com
https://www.facebook.com/PortlandWellnessProfessionals

Written for Dori White, LMT  by herbalist Valerie Lull, MH. To read Valerie’s blog 'Simple Ways to Stay Healthy', go to www.vallull.blogspot.com
Improving One’s Health Naturally
With Aromatherapy

A popular and extremely powerful way of improving one’s health naturally is through the use of the earth’s organic properties such as aromatherapy. Have you ever walked through a forest or a garden and felt a sense of renewal? It is so natural and pure. There is something about the smells of the plants that is healing and refreshing.


Native Americans believed that each plant had a spirit. They would ask the plant permission before harvesting it and thank it afterwards for its gifts of healing. You can enjoy this “plant spirit” by keeping plants around your house or in your garden. Herbs and flowers both fresh and dried can stimulate the senses and offer natural healing benefits.

There are a number of popular aroma’s that can be used therapeutically, several are listed below. Each one has its unique set of healing properties. Be careful if you have plant allergies but enjoy the many benefits of using natural remedies to improve your health.

Chamomile soothes and relaxes the nerves. Some people use it to help them get to sleep. It can also work for stimulating the circulation and causing perspiration to help rid the body of toxins.

Lavender also soothes and relaxes the nerves. It is another scent that can help you fall asleep. Lavender oil can be part of a relaxing massage and you get the benefits of the lovely scent as well as the pleasure of the massage.

Cinnamon is cheering, toning and calming. It can be used in vapor therapy for colds and flu, and has been known to lift depression. Cinnamon oil can be used with massage therapy for a warming effect.

Peppermint can be uplifting. It has a calming effect on the stomach and aids in digestion. Peppermint is antifungal and can be used to help relieve allergies and asthma.

Lemon Balm is joyful. It is a member of the extensive mint family and has traditionally been used for melancholy. It can sooth a nervous condition and help indigestion. It can reduce redness and swelling when used topically.

Rosemary has an awakening quality. It has vitamins A, C, and B complex. It is good for the immune system and is a good antioxidant. It has traditionally been used to boost memory. There is an old saying that “Rosemary is for remembrance”.

Sage is associated with wisdom. It is said to have a grounding effect on the body and nervous system. Sage is antibacterial, and makes a good gargle for a sore throat. It has been used cosmetically for darkening grey hair.

Growing your own herbs can be therapeutic as well as cost-saving. There is something about being close to the earth that is grounding. If you don’t have a lot of space you can grow herbs in containers on your patio or balcony. You can use, plant stands, ladders or shelves to have the containers at different levels and conserve space.

If you have a yard you can grow herbs instead of ornamental plants. You can grow roses for decorative purposes as well their therapeutic properties. Thyme and mint are good for a ground cover.

Plants can have wonderful healing properties, but many herbs and medications don’t mix. Be sure to check with your health are professional before using any of them for medicinal purposes.


Dori White, LMT Since 1998
www.doriwhitemassagetherapy.com
www.facebook.com/DoriWhiteMassageTherapy

Dori White - Founder & Owner of Cupping Portland
www.cuppingportland.com
www.facebook.com/pages/Cupping-Portland/1483422865259570

Dori White - Co-Owner & Founder of Portland Wellness Professionals
http://www.portlandwellnessprofessionals.com
https://www.facebook.com/PortlandWellnessProfessionals

Written for Dori White by Herbalist Valerie Lull, MH. Read Valerie's blog at www.vallull.blogspot.com

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Cupping Therapy   

A Chinese Therapy for Pain


                              


Many millenniums ago the Chinese developed a therapy for pain and illness that has recently come back into vogue.  Hollywood actresses swear by it, and now it is available to everyone, not just the rich and famous.   It goes by many different names such as; "Cupping",  "Massage Cupping", "Cupping Therapy", "Chinese Cupping", "Vacuum Cupping", "Suction Cup Therapy.  Cupping dates back centuries, But what is it?? This therapy known as “cupping” is used for a myriad of things including muscle & joint pain, headaches, stress, scars, stretch marks, sports injuries and so much more.

Cupping, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine moves energy along the defined meridians of the body. This energy is called “Chi” which your Chi gets blocked it causes pain and/or illness.  Cupping increases blood flow and circulation to aide healing. The therapy consists of the use of specifically designed cups to create suction on the skin.  These cups can be "parked" (left stationary) or moved around manually on specific areas (movement cupping).  Both of these processes are very effective and promote healing. The patient often receives immediate pain relief and it many times is the beginning of the end of their chronic pain.   

Sometimes the therapy leaves red marks on the skin, but these disappear in a few days.   These red marks have been referred to as bruises but they are not.  Bruises are caused by a blunt force trauma to the body causing blood to pool just under the surface.  Cupping marks occur when blood from deep within the body is called up through the body to get into the tissue, muscle or fascia that otherwise had no blood flow getting to it due to the issue being treated.  A good cupping therapist will never over treat an area and will use your body's reaction to guide them through how much or how little cupping is indicated.

Cupping has an interesting history. Originally the cups were made of bamboo, metal, pottery and even bones. In the 20th century glass cups wee invented. This helped a lot as pottery cups were easily broken, and bamboo cups would break down after being heated repeatedly. Making the glass cups was much easier than making the metal cups. For the therapist, using the glass cups over any other types of cups was preferred because the clear glass allowed the therapist to evaluate the response and treatment much more easily.
  
Cupping is very popular for pain in the neck, shoulders and back aches, headaches, myofascial release and muscle & joint injuries.  For more information about how cupping can help you, visit my website at www.cuppingportland.com





Dori White, LMT Since 1998
www.doriwhitemassagetherapy.com
www.facebook.com/DoriWhiteMassageTherapy

Dori White - Founder & Owner of Cupping Portland
www.cuppingportland.com
www.facebook.com/pages/Cupping-Portland/1483422865259570

Dori White - Co-Owner & Founder of Portland Wellness Professionals
http://www.portlandwellnessprofessionals.com
https://www.facebook.com/PortlandWellnessProfessionals

Written for Dori  White Master Herbalist by Valerie Lull, MH. To read Valerie’s blog go to www.vallull.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Massage and Eye Health




Massage and Eye Health


Do you suffer from eye strain? Does your back hurt? Do you have tension in your neck and shoulders?  Do you slump forward when you're on the computer? What is your posture like? In today’s busy world we use our eyes more than ever before and with the advent of cell phones, tablets and computers our delicate eyes take more punishment than ever. Did you ever think about how many years ago people seldom used glasses? In many cases they were not needed. They could see long distances and were sharp at hunting. Most people could not even read and did not start using their eyes for complex things like reading until they were much older than today’s children.


In the quest for eye health your massage therapist can be a great help. Here are a few pointers on how to make the most of your therapists’ skills to help maintain eye health.

  •  Talk to your therapist about your eye problems. Are you feeling pain, strain, tension? There are massage techniques that can relieve these problems. A massage of the muscles around the eyes, neck and shoulders can do wonders for relieving tension and increasing blood flow to the area.
  •  Your therapist can tell you about relaxation exercises that can help relieve the  stress and pain of eyestrain.
  •   Hot and cold packs over your eyes can do a lot to relieve the congestion in your  head and make your eyes feel better.
  •    Daily eye muscle stretches and self-massage are easy and inexpensive and your  therapist can instruct you in just how to do it.
  •   You may benefit from a referral to an eye care professional who can check the  prescription of your glasses and correct it if it is necessary.
  •   Talk to an ergonomic expert who can help you arrange your workplace so it will  not put a strain on your eyes.

For those who use computers:

 Computers take a toll on our eye health and the muscles in one’s head and neck. People tend to lean forward of center and slouch. When this goes on for long periods of time it can cause a strain on the muscles which can cause eye stress as well as back, neck and shoulder pain.

  • Check things like the glare of your computer, the size of the font and the resolution of the screen. These can cause tightness in your neck and shoulders which also affects your eyes.
  • Blink your eyes often. Computer users tend to stare at the screen. Your natural tears lubricate your eyes and cuts down on burning and strain.
  • Take a break every 20 minutes and look at something far away.
  •  Stand up every half hour and walk around a bit.
  • Gently massage around your eyes, forehead and temples. Relax and take a few deep breaths.
 Be sure the light is good and your computer monitor is the right distance and height for your eyes.

Your eyesight is precious, especially since so many of us use it for making a living, and just enjoying life. A little prevention now can really pay off in the long term.


Dori White, LMT Since 1998
www.doriwhitemassagetherapy.com

Dori White - Founder & Owner of Cupping Portland


Dori White - Co-Owner & Founder of Portland Wellness Professionals





Written for Dori White by Valerie Lull, M.H. To read Valerie's blog go to www.valerielull.blogspot.com