Today, 50 million Americans are suffering from arthritis, and half say that it can put a block on their daily routines. Arthritis can make you feel like there is not much you can do to manage or treat it, but fortunately, there are exercises, natural remedies like massage therapy and beneficial foods that can assist in managing arthritis.
Exercise: One of the most rewarding results of working out is endorphins. The body produces endorphins in response to exercise, which leaves the body feeling a sense of satisfaction or, as some call it, a “runner’s high.” Essentially, endorphins act as natural painkillers for the body. Putting aside 30 minutes each day to get a short workout in can help the body get the blood flow pumping and eliminate stress. Yoga is an arthritis-friendly workout, from the deep breathing and relaxation to the stretching of joints in every area of your body. Walking, too, is an ideal exercise for many people with arthritis, as it strengthens muscles, builds bones and burns calories.
Sleep: Add a scent of lavender to your bedroom, whether it is a candle, incense, spray or even a lavender sachet. Lavender is known to be a calming and relaxing herb normally used to relieve insomnia, anxiety and depression. Recent studies have found that the scent of lavender increases the amount of time spent in deep sleep. Topical remedies before bed can also assist with managing pain and discomfort caused by arthritis. Capsaicin cream is a cream that relieves osteoarthritis pain and is fortunately available without a prescription, made with the same substance that gives chili peppers their heat. If applied before bed, the bones will have time to heal overnight. If arthritis is making it difficult to fall asleep and you’re a fan of chocolate, you are in luck. According to the Arthritis Foundation, dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants and is good before bed due to the magnesium content it has.
Proper Nutrition: Food is an important factor in maintaining weight and health, which is a key factor to take stress away from your joints. Even losing a few pounds comes with beneficial outcomes for the body and arthritis. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which essentially reduce inflammation related to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Additional arthritis-healing foods are walnuts, freshly ground flax seeds and fortified eggs.
Massage: Massage therapy can lower your heart rate and blood pressure while relaxing your muscles as well. Like working out, massages can increase the production of endorphins. Serotonin and dopamine are additional chemicals that are released through massage, which relieves stress and leaves you feeling relaxed. Massages give stress relief, which leads to an improved state of mind and a healthier lifestyle. Massage Envy offers a variety of massages, with Swedish, deep tissue and hot stone, all of which aid in the managing of arthritis. The Swedish massage is designed to give additional circulation and lymph movement to your body, made for those who enjoy a softer touch. It is designed to reduce soreness and stiffness in muscles and joints. Deep tissue massage is intended to relieve muscle tension and provide pain relief while lengthening muscles, and is made for those who enjoy a deeper touch. Hot stone massages offer soothing heat directly to the muscles and tissues, which releases tension and promotes relaxation.
Massage Envy has joined forces with the Arthritis Foundation to host Healing Hands for Arthritis, a one-day national event to build awareness and raise funds to fight arthritis. Visit any of the 39 Massage Envy clinics located throughout Arizona on Sept. 28 and Massage Envy will donate $10 from every one-hour therapeutic massage or facial session to the Arthritis Foundation. FBN
By Mark Love
For additional information or to schedule an appointment with a massage therapist or esthetician, visit massageenvy.com, call 928-526-ENVY (3689), or visit one of Arizona’s 39 Massage Envy locations. The Flagstaff location is at 1235 S. Plaza Way in the University Plaza Shopping Center, off Milton Road next to Ross and Safeway.
Mark Love is co-owner of Massage Envy Arizona. For more information on the benefits of massage, visit MassageEnvy.com.