To My Dog, Fred

IMG_1834Freddie Fred Freddie, you do really try and I truly appreciate that.  It’s quite unfair to you, but I’m trying.

It’s not your fault that no dog could compete with the dog that came before you.  He was awesome.  You would have loved him, but not as much as I did.  He was my best friend, ever.

He was so athletic and strong: he could jump up onto my saddle as I sat on my horse; he could bounce off my chest from a full sprint and leap into the air to catch a frisbee.

He defended me from a thief who broke into my office while I was working and held him in a corner until I called him off.  He defended me against a stalker just after your human sister was born and I could barely walk. There are many adventurous stories I could share about him. He could have taught you so much.  He was good to younger dogs.

It’s very unfair of me to compare your manners to his majestic ways.  Or to expect you to stay by my heel without a leash, to never run away or after any animal ever.  If he were sitting in my car with all the windows open and dogs walking by and he wouldn’t leave his “Stay”.  You’re not quite there yet, little Freddie. But I’m trying.

I’m not really yelling so angrily at you when you chew through my seatbelt, get the steak off the counter, drag all bread outside to the backyard or chase the neighbors cat.  It’s not that I’m so mad at you or expecting great things from you when I haven’t even taken the time to know or train you.

It’s not you.  I just miss him so much.  I expect you to be like him, to behave like him, behave like I’m used to my dog behaving.  Immediately.  Without the 24/7, 10 years without anybody else around to train you.

You don’t understand the expectant looks I give down the hallways because I still hear him coming.  I still feel for him next to me, still wait for him around the corner, still expect him to be waiting in the car, at home or under my massage table.

Even after all these years… July 3rd, 2008, when he slipped running on a wooden floor to slide into a corner wall and broke his back.  A freak accident, even for a geriatric dog of 15 and three quarters years old.  It was my fault.

Thats why I won’t let you run in the house after your beloved ball, Fred, especially on slippery floors. It reminds me and scares me of the awful days that followed of trying to save him with steroids that made his stomach bleed from his mouth and anus.  Sleeping with him on the floor and holding him in my arms as he couldn’t move except to lick me and raise his eyebrows and ears.

He had just gotten an A+ from the vet the week before: “He’s doing great!  For a 15 year old Dog, you couldn’t tell it by looking at him. He is well loved. All he might need is some doggie aspirin if he seems sore.”   That’s also why I don’t take you to the vet very often.  I hate it there. They took him overnight to give him those steroids to “reduce the swelling in his spinal cord.”  It back fired, badly.

I should have said no.  I should have taken him to an acupuncturist or a doggie chiropractor.  At least, I should have taken him home to just be quiet and together.  The look in his eyes when he realized I was leaving that God Awful place without him… For the first time EVER, leaving him somewhere besides at home… Instead, what I chose made him suffer, not just to be paralyzed, but to bleed internally as well.

There was no “goodbye hike”, “farewell frisbee game”,  or “hang your head out the window one last time.”

I miss him, Fred.

Why can’t some very mean people live only 15 years and the good pets live 80??

You are living now, Fred.  Right here, by my feet, every day.  Trying Soooo hard to be good.  I know.  I’m trying, little Freddie, to give you a chance.  To let you learn and be the best you can be.  You are so loving and playful.  You love the kids and they love you.  I love how you hide your toy and then find it, or how you throw your toy and chase it.  You are a good dog and I love you.

My logical mind knows this and tries to notice you.  But my heart is still breaking and I’m mad at you that it’s YOU here and NOT HIM.

But it’s time to accept you as you. I’m working on it.

Wanna go for a walk?

Your Person

Low Back Pain and Massage, by Jesse Byrd

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Low back pain is the 2nd leading cause to see your doctor in America

One of the most common ailments for which people seek massage is Low Back Pain.​​

Recently, a good friend hurt his back by hefting some lumber around while building a greenhouse. He wanted to build it quickly as he was racing an upcoming cold-snap. He learned something that most of Americans do at some point in their lives: lifting and twisting at the same time is not a good idea. The New York Times reported in 2012 that Low Back Pain is the second most common complaint for which people consult their doctors’ (6).​

The most important thing to learn regarding Low Back Pain (LBP), is how to prevent it. A lot of grief can be circumvented using proper lifting techniques. The Mayo Clinic has a brief, but informative, slideshow on proper lifting techniques here (4). Many people who come to see me for LBP have been lifting things that they don’t expect to cause them trouble.​

For example, one woman had been frequently reaching down to pick up her child, and then carrying him on her hip. Children are light at first, but they quickly get heavier. This client was used to just twisting, bending over and hoisting the child up. She wasn’t concerned with bending at the knees and maintaining proper spinal curvature.​

Another friend often comes to me for LBP treatment. He frequently lifts heavy things, alone, so it isn’t surprising that he gets occasional spasms. There was one instance, however, when he was simply moving wet clothes from the washing machine to the dryer. Wet clothes are heavier than you might think, but more importantly transferring them from one machine to the other requires lifting and twisting (probably with knees locked). He may not have had any trouble doing this usually, but my friend, having previous injury to the area is more susceptible to re-injury.​

It isn’t just previous injury that predisposes someone to LBP caused by muscular strain. A number of other factors can be involved, and paying attention to them can help avoid not only low back strain, but strain elsewhere as well. These factors, called perpetuating factors, by Travell and Simons’ (p178 1.) include mechanical stresses, nutritional inadequacies, metabolic and endocrine inadequacies, psychological factors, chronic infection, and others. Questions to ask yourself and your doctor include:​

  •     Am I overusing, underusing, or misusing my muscles? Bad furniture? Bad posture, repetitive strain?​​​
  •     Am I getting adequate amounts of vitamins B and C, Iron, calcium, potassium, and trace minerals?​​​
  •     Is my thyroid functioning properly? Am I anemic?​​
  •     Am I fully addressing my stress, depression, and/or anxiety?​​
  •     Are there underlying psychological motivations for continuing to be sick?​​
  •     Am I uncomfortable asking for help? Are there secondary benefits to being in pain that I don’t want to lose?​​
  •     Do I have a chronic infection or allergies?​
  •     Am I getting adequate sleep?​

Having an awareness of these perpetuating factors, along with proper lifting techniques and body mechanics are important to preventing strain and spasms in the low back, and if strain has already occurred, will help to promote faster recovery and prevent re-injury. ​

​©Jesse W. Byrd 2013

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Jesse writes for our Athletic Touch blog monthly. Visit his page on our website here.

1. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual,  by Travell & Simons’

3. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-treat-lowerback-pain.html

4. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/back-pain/LB00004_D

5. http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/lower-back-pain/pulled-back-muscle-and-lower-back-strain

6. http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/back-pain-low/overview.html

​​

Our Boston Marathon Runner Safe & Sound

Our client finished 20 or more minutes before the tragic finish-line blast.  She had stopped for a drink and a snack and then made her way back to her hotel when the blast went off. We are so thankful and blessed to have her on her way home safely.

Join us to pray for those who lost someone and for the injured spectators to heal quickly.

Subtle Massage is great Right After a Car Accident

If you or someone you know has been in a recent car accident, keep in mind that light massage, Cranial Sacral Therapy or Core Synchronism treatments are VERY beneficial even moments after a car accident. If the victim is feeling fine at the moment, suggest they become proactive, and get ahead of possible whiplash symptoms that may follow if they don’t get treated.

Deeper massage techniques can come later, in a few weeks.  Even regular massage pressure can have the opposite effect, causing more pain or bruising to the car accident victim.

Subtle massage treatments are so gentle, they cannot cause any harm. These techniques work mostly with the nervous system, using very little pressure on the body so the car accident victim will feel more balanced and relaxed after one of these sessions.

These types of treatments help balance the body again, both in body and the brain. Literally, the brain can be tossed around in the skull during a car accident. Often a victim isn’t feeling pain RIGHT THEN, saying that they feel “fine”, sometimes feeling “lucky” for not having to go to the hospital. It is common for us to hear after an accident that someone “walked away without a scratch”. Though it may be true that the outside of the body was not harmed, the severe jolt to the brain, spine, spinal cord and joints can come back to bite later.

Here are some quotes from several car accident victims we have helped through the years, describing that they feel, “anxious”, “confused”, “not quite right”, “weepy”, “partial memory loss”, “out of breath”. This is common language for these victims, and many of them feel “crazy” for feeling this way, feeling that there is no reason for these symptoms to exist. These symptoms ARE Whiplash. Most of us hear the normal whiplash symptoms like headaches, muscle pain, neck pain, muscle spasms, but the more sneaky, not commonly discussed symptoms are the ones that can ruin your day.

Whiplash can creep up on people after an accident. Some uncommon symptoms of whiplash:
Anxiety, Shaking, Tremors Jaw and/or teeth pain, Sudden crying, Shortness of breath, Sudden disorientation, Partial memory loss, Apathy, Loss of appetite, Stomach pain,  many others…So, if you or someone you know is in a car accident, suggest “subtle massage techniques” for them to feel better right after the accident.

I’m Taking Time Off to Heal My Hand

Dear Loving Clients,

I wanted to let you know that my right hand, after the cut in October, has developed a nagging pain and weakness between the forefinger and the thumb.

It is difficult to write, open can lids, hold plates up, open doors, and play golf, to name a few. Of course, it’s also difficult to massage. I can do it, but I pay the price with pain for days after.

I have several different appointments with therapists around town and am seeing Dr. Bernstein, who specializes in hand pain, on June 7th.

The blog on my website will keep updates after each therapy.

Please pray for me, for God to use me in the way I am needed, and if not massaging anymore is my road, then to give me the strength and courage to listen.

Plans for my Hand

I want to keep you posted on my hand progress. I’m going to try many different routes to get my hand back to 100%, so maybe one of these therapies, stretches, remedies, medications or salves could help you with chronic pain. I’m trying to update my “Recommendations Page” to have all the numbers and contact info of those doctors and therapists I’m seeing.

Here is what I’m trying first:

1. Massage
2. Chiropractic
3. Rolfing
4. Accupuncture
5. MRI, Talk with a Hand Surgeon on June 7th

First, I saw my Chiropractor, Larry Marrich. 889-3333. I had a massage earlier in the day from my officemate, Sharon. Larry adjusted my neck, wrist, thumb and the rest of my back. He suggested a supplement to support my adrenals which he had there at his office. (I’ll look up the name) He also prepared some Homeopathic Hypericum for nerve pain/damage.

I also started taking Homeopathic “Ruta Grava” for ligament and tendon support.

Tomorrow I will see Robert Younger, a Rolfer, to see if he can break up the scar tissue around my tendons. I will post soon about how that went.

Thanks for your support and prayers.

Love
Ruth