Massage therapy is a natural treatment approach that can help increase circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and relax your body to promote healing. Massage therapy is an important treatment tool. Did you know that many insurance companies now provide coverage for massage therapy sessions? Massage therapy benefits you in so many ways:
Strengthening Your Immune System – Regular massage sessions provide many benefits to the human body. It is a well-known fact that individuals who experience high levels of stress are more vulnerable to illness and injury. When stress is combined with sleep disturbances and poor nutrition, the impact is directed at the body’s immune system. Its ability to naturally protect itself against infections, pathogens, and bacteria is greatly reduced. Some might wonder how massage therapy benefits the immune system. Studies have indicated that regular massage sessions not only help reduce stress, but can also boost the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and enhances the body’s ability to deliver nourishment. Moreover, massage therapy can be a great addition to any exercise program. Much like regular exercise can keep the body fine-tuned, regular massage therapy can help keep the immune system strong and resilient.
Helps Lower Blood Pressure – Regular massage therapy sessions have been found to reduce blood pressure levels. In fact, some long-term studies have shown that a consistent massage program can reduce both systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number) blood pressure. Moreover, it can also reduce cortisol levels within the body. Furthermore, consistent massage sessions can also reduce trigger sources for anxiety, hostility, tension, and depression. In turn, lower blood pressure levels can also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and/or kidney failure, as well as many other health issues.
Promotes Healing – The purpose of massage therapy is to target the source of the body’s pain via eliminating tense muscles, increasing flexibility, and providing relaxation to the affected muscles as well as the body as a whole. Massage also promotes circulation to the affected or injured muscles, which increases nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues. In turn, this increased activity to the affected sites reduces stiffness and edema (swelling) in the muscles and joints, as well as increases flexibility to help reduce pain. Moreover, this form of therapy also releases endorphins (pain-killing hormones), which boost the dopamine and serotonin levels in the body. These hormones assist the body in many ways–physically as well as emotionally. Case in point, they promote healing, pain management, and feelings of euphoria, as well as help to calm the nerves.
Improves Circulation – The long-term benefits of massage therapy are not to be underestimated. Improved circulation is part of a snowball effect that occurs in the body as a result of receiving regular massage therapy on a consistent basis. This is because proper circulation brings damaged, stiff, and tense muscles the rich blood supply they need to promote healing.
Moreover, massage also promotes improved circulation via the use of hands-on pressure, which moves the blood through the damaged and congested areas of the body. In turn, the release of this same pressure causes new blood to flow into tissues. Furthermore, the squeezing, twisting, and pulling action of the massage technique also removes lactic acid from the muscle tissues. As a result, this action improves the lymph fluid circulation, which carries metabolic waste products away from internal organs and muscles. In turn, this results in lower blood pressure levels and improved overall body function.
Reduced Anxiety – When the body is tense and under stress, it produces unhealthy levels of the well-known stress hormone, cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, and headaches. Massage therapy has been shown to decrease cortisol levels in the body. This enables the body to enter a recovery mode. Moreover, this form of therapy also triggers lasting feelings of relaxation, improved mood, and reduced stress levels.
Stress Reduction – Not only can massage therapy help with stress relief, but regular massage sessions over a prolonged period of time can boost energy levels, reduce pain, and stimulate individuals on physical as well as emotional levels.
Improved Posture – Many Americans experience back, neck, and muscle pain from a variety of sources. However, the primary cause of this pain results from poor posture. In fact, chronic back pain, which is the number one reason for missed work days and second most common cause of disability, is often the result of incorrect or poor posture while standing and/or sitting. Moreover, being overweight, poor posture, and repetitive or overuse movements can also contribute to the strain on the back and other potential problem areas. As a result, the added strain often causes spasms, pain, and tense muscles in the hips, glutes, back, neck, and legs.
Massage therapy can help get the body back into proper alignment. In fact, improving one’s posture can be one of the most beneficial and relaxing aspects of massage therapy. Massage allows the body to relax and loosen the muscles made tense and sore via bad posture. In turn, this allows the body to position itself in its organic and pain-free posture. As part of a consistent massage therapy program, the body’s muscles are loosened and relaxed. Moreover, the joints have greater freedom, flexibility, range of motion, and pressure points are relieved. As a result, the body is able to position itself in an organic and healthy posture. In short, massage therapy helps to correct the positions and movements developed over time as a reaction to pain.
Massage therapy is now considered a mainstream treatment tool which means that most insurance companies provide treatment coverage.
As part of our whole-body approach to your health, massage therapy may just help you live the happy, healthy, well-adjusted life that you deserve. Make your health your top priority, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 and schedule your wellness consultation today.
Did you know that just one hour a week of brisk walking has been shown to stave off disability in older adults? A recent Northwestern Medicine study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reveals that an estimated 14 million older adults in the U.S. have symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. Approximately two in five people with osteoarthritis —most of whom have it in their lower joints —develop disability limitations.
The study found an hour of weekly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity allowed older adults to maintain their ability to perform daily tasks. The weekly hour of exercise reduced their risk of mobility disability (walking less than one meter per second) by 85 percent and reduced their risk of daily living disability (difficulty performing routine tasks such as walking in the home, bathing and dressing) by almost 45 percent.
Some health guidelines recommend older adults participate in at least 2.5 hours a week of moderate-intensity activity. But that level of activity can be daunting for many inactive adults.
If you are currently inactive and are looking for a path to a healthier lifestyle, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524. Schedule an exam to learn if you're ready to walk your way to the benefits of a more physically active lifestyle. She’ll help you begin your path to wellness safely and for maximum benefit.
Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Work pressures, relationship stress and other life challenges can cause tension headaches. Most of us share bad habits such as repetitive activities and poor posture. The result is tension in your neck and shoulders that feels like it slowly travels up the base of your skull to wrap around your head.
Schedule an examination with Dr. Dukes. Research shows that spinal manipulation can be an effective treatment option for tension headaches.
Together, see if chiropractic care is right for you. (813) 752-2524
Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to prevent tension headaches. Activities such as Tech-Neck, Commuting, Video-Gaming, Jaw Clenching, Stomach Sleeping contribute to tension headaches.
Episodic tension headaches are often tied to stressful events. They typically come on quickly and are fairly painful. Chronic tension headaches tend to occur daily. They may come on as you wake up or after a long day of work or activity. Muscles in your neck and scalp tend to stay contracted with pain and tightness on across the head, in the forehead and at the base of the skull.
Ease tension headaches by:
Schedule an examination with Dr. Dukes. Together, see if chiropractic care is right for you.
Mom Summer Survival: Focus on Self-Care
Some moms can’t wait for summer months. Family time, vacation, holidays, travel and keeping up with the yard. It's easy to over-do-it.
Regularly scheduled stretching and massage therapy is a great way to focus on your self-care and prevent everyday aches and pains from becoming problematic. Professional therapy works wonders. And, by scheduling regularly at a Chiropractic office, you’ll be much more likely to be aware of potential issues and be prepared in advance so you can take steps to prevent or treat them. Call and schedule a soothing therapy session today.
Call Dr. Dukes today. Schedule an examination. Together, you can learn if chiropractic care is right for you. (813) 752-2524
Stress is a reality of modern living. Left untreated, stress may compound minor health issues and lead to major health issues such as anxiety or depression. Luckily, chiropractic care can help you manage your stress because chiropractic focuses on the spine care.
One of the effects of chronic stress is muscle tension and contraction, which can lead to dangerously unbalanced skeletal pressures which often cause headaches, migraines, muscle tension, and back and neck aches. Chiropractic adjustments and manual therapies help ease these painful symptoms through natural, drug-free treatment. Take control by scheduling an appointment.
Chiropractic Care can help reduce stress in four primary areas:
Reducing Muscle Tension Helps Reduce Stress
As you encounter stress, muscles tighten and become more tense. Over time, this takes a toll through chronic poor posture, loss of sleep, and difficulty focusing on tasks. Chiropractic care can help reduce tension and restore your body to its natural balance through manual therapies and spinal adjustments.
Restore Natural Balance & Function Through Spinal Adjustments
Your brain communicates everything with the help of your spine. As stress intensifies, you tense up causing your spine to move and become out of alignment. Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper alignment so that the body can begin to heal itself.
Heal Faster with Proper Posture & Regular Stretching
Posture refers to the position of the body while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture and regular light stretching helps keep your spine in a neutral or balanced state which reduces the negative effects of stress and helps prevent regression of your condition through your course of care.
Good Nutrition and Hydration Help Too
Good nutrition and proper hydration are the foundation of maintaining your health. Eating the right foods, avoiding some foods and drinking plenty of water will help reduce your stress symptoms faster so you can get back to normal.
Call Dr. Dukes today. Schedule an examination. Together, you can learn if chiropractic care is right for you. (813) 752-2524
If you’re like me, time speeds up over the holidays and before I know it, healthy habits have fallen by the wayside.
It’s easy to talk keeping your workout schedule but quite a different matter to make it happen. It’s just so rewarding to celebrate with friends and family.
Make this year different. Minimize your stress and keep stay on a healthy schedule by introducing brief ‘micro-workouts’ into your daily routine.
Our bodies were designed to move. Study after study show how regular exercise reduces stress and improves function, flexibility as well as overall health.
Maintaining your regular routine through all the food, family and festivities over the holidays is tough – if not impossible – for most of us.
I recommend adjusting how you approach your workout so that you can stay on track. Incorporate ten-minute micro-workouts 3 times each day. No special equipment are needed. Walk to the store, take the stairs or create a 10-minute workout that combines 5-minutes of stretching and 5-minutes of calisthenics. No matter how you decide to formulate your micro-workout, you’ll be glad you did. Recent research published in the American Journal of Health Promotion suggests that short periods of activity really add up. When researchers analyzed data from more than 6,000 adults, ages 18 to 85, they found that those who got short bouts of exercise (between 1 and 10 minutes) through everyday activities experienced many of the same benefits, as did those who continuously exercised for 30 minutes.
Call Dr. Dukes today. Schedule a wellness exam before beginning any exercise regimen.
Dr. Dukes will help you find a safe and effective plan to help you feel your best and stick to it - for life.
Make health your top priority, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 and schedule your wellness consultation today.
Often when new Mom’s (or Grandmothers) return to my office with back pain I hear them say, ‘I’m just so busy I must have done too much again’.
It’s easy to let good habits fall by the wayside when you’re focusing on your babies health. Your health and wellness is important too!
I recommend that you find a moment to think about how you can incorporate these tips to help keep your back healthy:
Good Posture = Good Health
When lifting, use your whole body by bending hips, knees and ankles, keep the child close and avoid twisting & lifting.
Try carrying the baby face-out from the middle of your body.
If carrying a baby on your side, alternate the sides frequently.
Adjust your stroller handle to belly button level and push with relaxed, slightly bent elbows.
Use a pillow or arm rest to support the baby while feeding.
Support your back when sitting on the floor.
When Knocking Out the House Work…
Stand upright when mopping or vacuuming and keep elbows close to the body and avoid torso twisting.
Use a small stool to sit or kneel in comfort while cleaning the lower bath or kitchen areas.
If bending to clean tight areas – arch your back, take frequent breaks, and change your posture often.
When standing at your sink or counter – use a wide stance and lean your stomach against the edge to lower your body and prevent leaning forward, wear comfortable shoes or mindful of good posture.
When You Finally Have a Moment to Sit Down…
Your feet should touch the floor or be supported.
Keep your knees & hips level.
Sit-up and keep your spine straight.
Look straight ahead to avoid neck strain.
Position your TV or computer monitor even or slightly below your line of sight.
Be Kind to Your Body When Using Mobile Devices
Sit-up when texting or reading.
Steady your device at chest or eye level to decrease neck and back stress.
Use a hands-free device instead of holding to your ear.
Be Smart When You Lift
Avoid lifting too much weight or awkward shaped things, then ensure a clear path to move the object.
Keep a wide stance and bend from the legs (not from the waist!).
Keep the load as close as possible to your body - avoid bending from your back.
Do not twist – be sure to pivot from your hips and feet to reduce back stress.
Driving Can Be Hard on the Body
Adjust your seat height and distance so that your knees are slightly bent and your back is supported.
Adjust your seat to slightly different positions on long drives to avoid unnecessary strain.
Use lumbar support to support the natural curve in your low back…but not too much!
On long drives, take frequent breaks to stretch and throw in a short walk.
Be Continuously Active
Exercise at least 30 mins, 3 times a week – you will feel a difference.
Take rest breaks every hour: recline in your chair for a moment or walk around for a few minutes.
Perform a different task every hour or so & use different muscles to relieve back
Walk, Walk and Walk A Little More
Walking at a brisk pace is beneficial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Maintain upright posture to avoid slumping or leaning forward while walking.
Use a pedometer to track progress and stay motivated!
Find a walking partner – you’ll find yourself walking much more often!
Warm-up Before Exercise and Focus on Good Form
Stretch and then warm-up for a few minutes by increasing your heart rate slowly for 5-minutes.
Walk briskly, swinging arms in a pain-free manner, start slow, building up to higher intensity exercise.
When discussing long-term wellness, it's common for patient's to comment about a 'super-healthy' friend that doesn't have to diet or work to be fit.
They wonder what that friend does to be so 'lucky'.
The truth is that 'luck' is often grounded in a lifetime of simple habits.
If I had to pick one habit that my healthiest patients have in common, it is routine. They focus on making sleep a priority, enjoy daily physical activity, make water their primary beverage, eat regularly and cook most meals at home, limit screen (TV, phone, etc) time, make self-care a priority, occasionally miss a workout and they focus on keeping life simple.
Of course that demands of work and kids make holding to a routine tough. That's why keeping your routine simple is key to lifelong wellness. Here are a few tips to help you simplify your routine and stick to it despite the demands life throws at you:
1.) Go to bed earlier than you think you should. First, turn off your screens (TV, computer, phone, etc,) at least an hour before bed time. This will help que your body that it's time to rest and reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. Have a target bed-time and try to be in bed at least 15-minutes ahead of that. Going to bed at a regular time has broad benefits beyond helping to ensure that we get enough sleep each night.
2.) Wake-up, warm-up and eat. You don't have to wake and 5am and workout like a madman to be healthy. My healthiest patients wake-up about the same time every day. Then they warm-up. Some stretch, some walk and others have a more intense workout. All of them get moving first thing. Then they have good breakfast every day.
3.) Drink plenty of water. Healthy people make water their drink of choice. For them, it's not about avoiding coffee, tea or sugary drinks, they simply chose to drink water more often. You should too.
4.) Plan your meals and avoid processed foods. This can be tough - particularly for those with kids and demanding work schedules. You'll have to work ahead by planning your meals and maybe even preparing them ahead of time. Once you develop this habit, you'll feel the difference every day.
5.) Limit your screen time. Our digital gadgets have a big impact on our wellness. Healthy people simply spend less time in front of a screen at night. They understand that it's not realistic to eliminate TV, social media and checking email - they simple choose to limit their exposure after dark.
6.) Prioritize self-care. Whether it's work or social, healthy people make self-care a priority. They understand that it's important to say 'no' so that they can avoid being overscheduled and maintain their routine.
7.) It's okay to miss a workout now and then. Patients are often shocked to hear this. Healthy people listen to their body. They know that a workout should make you feel better, not worse. If you're not 100% it's okay to take a rest day, exchange your workout for a massage, or go to yoga instead of a HITT class.
8.) Keep it simple. Hopefully you recognize that what steps 1-7 have in common is simplicity. My patients that enjoy consistent wellness all share a sense of simplicity in their daily routines. They understand that life may disrupt their routine today and it's okay - tomorrow is a new day.
A consultation and wellness exam from Dr. Dukes can help you find what works best for you to feel your best and stick to it - for life.
Make health your top priority, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 and schedule your wellness consultation today.
Patients often seek out chiropractic care for acute conditions like headaches, back pain or neck pain. Did you know that these acute conditions are not the top 5 reasons patients stay with chiropractic care?
Proper nervous system care offers benefits that may surprise you such as: Stress Relief, Injury Prevention, Mood Improvement, Immune System Strengthening and Better Sleep.
Have you ever said, 'I just don't feel right'? When your nervous system is out of line we know something is wrong but it can be tough to figure just what the trouble is. This can cause a great deal of mental and physical stress on your body. That's why regular wellness care is so important to feel your best.
Proper posture is vital to preventing injuries that can hold you back. Posture education and regular chiropractic adjustments are powerful tools to help ou acheive consistently proper posture at work, paly or rest.
Improve Your Mood
Wellness care helps balance every system in your body - including your body's chemistry. Physically feeling your best, and even working towards feeling your best, jump-starts the chemical signals that keep you in a positive mood.
Improve Your Immune System
Chiropractic adjustments help remove subluxations that prevent the nervous system from working properly. This includes the signals to and from your immune system. Your immune system can only work properly when your nervous system sends and receives the right signals.
Improve Your Sleep
So many of us suffer from sleep-related issues. Most of these sleep problems are related to stress, pain and/or body aches. Wellness treatments helps you improve sleep quality and get a good nights rest.
Chiropractic wellness care can helps you live the happy, healthy, well-adjusted life that you deserve. Make your health your top priority, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 and schedule your wellness consultation today.
ts of us suffer from painful conditions without understanding that how we sleep may be a significant contributing factor. It’s not unusual for proper diagnosis to be delayed because how we sleep and sleeping position is often initially overlooked as a potential cause.
How you sleep can have can cause more than just back or neck aches. Did you know that sleep apnea, muscle cramping, impaired circulation, headaches, heartburn, tummy troubles and even premature wrinkles can be caused by poor sleep posture?
Sleep is vitally important. When discussing good sleep habits with my patients, we talk about sleep hygiene and which sleep position might be best for them.
First, understand that there is no sleep position that works best for everyone – life factors and health conditions must be considered.
Stomach sleepers are rare – about 7% of adults sleep facing down. While it may ease snoring, stomach sleepers are in an unhealthy position for their back and neck with their head turned to one side. I encourage patients to try a different position. Even if they are comfortable sleeping on their stomach, experience has taught me that eventually they’ll experience morning back or neck pain – symptoms of the tension caused by this poor position.
Side-sleeping and back-sleeping positions put most adults in a safer position. With the right pillow, your back and neck are in a neutral position.
Side-sleeping is the sleeping position recommended most often as it allows your back and neck to rest in a neutral position and it’s very adaptable to individual needs. Stretching your legs out and placing a pillow between the knees helps achieve optimal body alignment and comfort. Side-sleeping may help reduce symptoms of those suffering from sleep apnea, heartburn or acid reflux. And, sleeping on the left side is recommended for pregnant women because it may improve circulation to the baby.
Back sleeping is good position too – particularly when a good pillow is placed under the knees. The pillow helps restore the natural curve to your back making this position more comfortable for some while reducing the tendency to over-extend your back when sleeping in this position. One note of caution – avoid the sleeping on your back with your arms over your head as this can cause back pain.
Proper sleep position and a good sleep routine can keep you feeling your best. A consultation and wellness exam from Dr. Dukes can help you get the good night’s rest that you deserve and your body needs. Make your health your top priority, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 and schedule your wellness consultation today.
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