Northwest Wellness's Blog

Useful information for a healthy lifestyle.

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Tight Psoas Muscle and Low Back Pain

Tight Psoas Muscle and Low Back Pain

If you have ever had low back pain, often times one of the main culprits is a tight Psoas muscle. The psoas muscle is the primary hip flexor muscle, and is the largest, thickest muscle in the body. The psoas is the most powerful hip flexor. The psoas muscle originates at the lower vertebrae of T12 and inserts on the posterior of the femur. 

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Before and After Surgery: How Massage Can Help You Heal

Before and After Surgery: How Massage Can Help You Heal

My very first surgery occurred when I was a small child and I had to get tubes placed in my ears to help decrease ear infections. When the time came to have the tubes removed I can remember going in for the surgery holding a stuffed bear dressed in scrubs that the surgical staff gave me to help quell my anxiety. The staff also showed me the proper way of wearing a hospital gown. Surgery is a pretty common experience and some procedures have changed greatly within the past 10-15 years. Read more on how massage can help with pre and post-surgery.

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Dr. McCarter's Spotlight on: Skin Health

Summer is right around the corner and many of us were able to enjoy the teaser of what is to come recently! Our skin is one of the largest organs of our body and while it provides us with protection as one of its primary functions, we must also protect it.

As we prepare for fun in the sun it is important to take appropriate precautions to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. There are three types of UV rays, UV-A, B and C. Of the three, we are exposed to UVA and UVB as these two are not blocked by the ozone layer.  Each year more research occurs to help inform us of the things that we need to do in order to make sure that we are protecting ourselves from these harmful rays. It was once the prevailing thought that we needed to be primarily concerned about UVB rays as they are the cause of sunburn and were more associated with skin cancer. What we have now known for some time is that UVA rays are just as harmful to the skin. Primarily associated with signs of aging (wrinkles, sun spots). UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply and can in fact initiate skin cancer. UVA rays are also the primary ray used in tanning beds, making them a hazard for the skin. It is also important to keep in mind that we are exposed to these rays throughout the year. While the intensity of the rays, UVB rays specifically, vary depending on the season, there is exposure year round. Sun protection is not just for the summer!

No matter the skin tone, everyone should take appropriate protective measures against sun damage. While those with darker skin tones have some (natural) protection due to pigmented cells call melanocytes, they are just as susceptible to the damaging rays of the sun and skin cancer as those with lighter skin tones. Individuals with darker skin sunburn just as those with lighter skin. In fact, melanoma, one of the most common and deadly types of skin cancer, is generally detected much later in those with darker skin tones. It is important for all, regardless of skin tone, to wear sunscreen and protective clothing in the event that they will be in the sun for extended periods of time. 

Keep in mind these guidelines from the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Usa a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours, or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

Resources:

Skin Cancer Foundation: www.skincancer.org 

Chiropractic Care and Fibromyalgia

Chiropractic Care and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that causes extreme fatigue and muscle pain. It is more common in women. People who suffer from this condition have tender points in the shoulders, arms, legs, back, hips, and neck. Common symptoms include insomnia, morning stiffness, headaches, numbness or tingling in hands and feet, memory problems, chronic fatigue syndrome. There is not a known cause of fibromyalgia. It may be linked to a variety of things including traumatic events, injuries, illness, stress, diseases. Middle aged women have the highest risk for fibromyalgia.


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Britt's Tips: It's all about ankles this summer!

Britt's Tips: It's all about ankles this summer!

 Some of our favorite summer activities necessitate ankle strength, stability and proprioceptive balance strategy. Hiking, paddle boarding, water skiing, soccer, yoga, surfing and even sandy or rocky beach walks all require stable ankle joint performance. Think of all the stress those joints take on, especially when navigating uneven ground or landing from a big jump. You can improve your skills by upping your ankles’ reliability.  Here are a few strength and balance exercises to prevent injury (the dreaded ankle roll), boost your strength, and keep you upright on that tricky paddle board! No special gym equipment or resistance bands required.  

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Happy Mother's Day

Mothers are our multi-tasking heroes. They are the ones who have many different roles to fill and make the balancing act look so easy. They hoist us up when we are at our lowest and praise our accomplishments.They are our number one fans before anyone even knew us. They are always there when you need them the most and are there for life.

While I personally am not a mother of human children, I am a daughter, and a Cat-Mom to two cats. So, in a way, this makes my Mother a Cat-Grandma and if you ask her she will always say how proud she is of my sister and I. I think we can all agree that being a mother does have its own rewards but definitely has moments of stress and panic. Mother’s Day is a chance for us offspring to recognize our Mother’s and tell them how much we appreciate them.

Every year I send my Mom a thoughtful card (sometimes it’s humorous) and flowers to let her know that I am thinking of her always. Later this month when she is in town, my sister and I are going to take her out for pedicures and dinner.

The main theme of Mother’s Day gifts or treats has always been something that makes her happy and what better way to make Mom happy then treating her with a massage! Massage will help her relax, unwind, relieve stress, and feel more rejuvenated
 

Treat your Mother to a relaxing massage with one of our in-house gift certificates! Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!  

Fun fact about Mother’s Day:

Mother’s Day is a special holiday that is observed by over 40 countries and roughly 95 countries (including the United States) observe Mother’s Day on the 2nd Sunday in May. Fun fact, in 1908 Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton West Virginia. St. Andrew’s now holds the International Mother’s Day shrine.