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Showing posts from 2018

Self Care With Acupressure, What The Research Shows

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In a study of a little over 659 participants, researchers were able to determine that the utilization of self-acupressure had positive effects. Participants from the United States, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and other countries had to be trained how to apply pressure the the acupressure points that fit their conditions, which ranged from allergies, cancer, or fatigue, but then were studied on how their bodies responded.

The time lengths over which participants were watched ranged from 3 days to 3 months, however overall the outcomes seemed to be positive with no adverse effects being reported.

To look into more from this study, please visit this site.


Corinne D. Bracko-Douglas, CMT, LMT, CKTP is the owner of Dochas Clinical Massage Therapy based out of Columbia, MO. She received her diploma in Clinical Massage Therapy from The Soma Institute in Chicago, IL in 2004. She enjoys teaching others about how to live a healthy lifestyle and still works one on one with clients out of her …

Meal Planning and Prepping

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Recently my husband and I set a new goal to achieve a more athletic body fat percentage to help us train for an upcoming half marathon. And so I started to travel down a rabbit hole that has had me doing hours of research on how our bodies burn fat,  and ways of training to increase endurance, strength, and speed.

After having been asked by several people for a breakdown of what I have integrated as a part of our lifestyle, I decided to write it all up here so that it is easily referenced when people need it.

Proper Nutrition

Instead of looking at the scale to determine fitness, it is more pertinent to look at our body fat percentages. These do vary based upon our gender.

Depending upon your personal fitness goals, you can determine what ideal body fat percentage is best for your lifestyle.



If you don't have a scale that currently tells you your body fat percentage, Omron makes a relatively inexpensive body fat loss monitor that helps you to keep track of your progress. This is …

Swedish Massage For Yourself

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What are the benefits of performing Swedish massage on yourself? Aside from the fact that it feels good, Swedish massage has been known to produce measurable biological effects that can decrease anxiety, help lower blood pressure, and boost your immune system.



So, how can you help yourself receive these benefits? It is completely possible to provide yourself Swedish massage techniques on various parts of your body depending upon your personal flexibility level.

With Swedish massage, lotion or oil is optional since you are not working into deeper tissues.

Body Mechanics

Whenever people scoff at my ability to provide 2 hour and longer massages, I just reassure them that it all comes down to body mechanics. This is the same if you are providing massage for yourself or for someone else.

Key Points of Body Mechanics:

Make your hand into a tool. To do this, use your other hand to reinforce your work. For example, if you are using your thumb along an area, take your other hand and use the palm…

Gratitude Breathing and Meditation Exercise

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While listening to a podcast entitled a Heartfelt Talk About Gratitude, Life, and Business, the guest on the show discussed what I felt is a fantastic breathing and meditation exercise that takes about a minute to perform.

The concept behind the meditation is to prepare yourself for a task ahead, while perpetuating love and gratitude. The exercise goes through 4 breaths, with a purpose behind each inhale and each exhale.

The Practice

First Inhale: Think that you are breathing in love. Imagine all of the particles of the world around you filled with love, and as you inhale, you bring that love into your lungs, which then goes into your blood stream and becomes a part of who you are.

First Exhale: Breath our with total security. Feel the positivity of the world surround you and hold you safe.

Second Inhale: Breathe in guidance. Listen to the world around you, and where it wants you to go, knowing that if you listen you will see the path ahead light up.

Second Exhale: Exhale gratitude for…

Plantar Fasciitis: A Look At The Underlying Causes

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Plantar Fasciitis is generally characterized as sharp, stabbing pains in the bottom (plantar surface) of the foot. The location of the pain may vary from person to person, with some people feeling the pain located directly under their heel, while others feel the pain more in the arch of the foot. For most individuals, this pain is greatest upon waking, followed by a slight decrease in pain throughout the middle of the day, and then another spike as the end of the day nears.

The Anatomy Behind Plantar Fasciitis


The key muscular players in planter fasciitis are the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles along the back of the lower leg (commonly referred to as the calf muscles), as well as possible tibialis anterior and/or the peroneus muscles involvement.

Due to overuse, the muscles will pull on the plantar fascia, which is a sheet of fascia that goes along the bottom of your foot. This fascia attaches to the medial process of the calcaneal tuberosity (heel bone) at the back of your foot, and …

At Home Care For Tension Headaches: Part 2 - At Home Treatment

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In our last blog, we looked at some of the main causes and symptoms of tension headaches. In this blog, we will be looking into at home care you can provide yourself to relieve the symptoms of your tension headaches. As always, please consult with your primary care provider prior to any type of treatment.

Treatment of Tension Headache

Massage therapy is highly recommended in the event of a tension headache. Even if you are able to decrease the headache with at home treatment, there may be underlying fascial restrictions that could lead to a repeat episode. Massage therapy can help to decrease a recurrence. If this is an avenue you would like to pursue, please contact a licensed massage therapist near you.

First, if you are experiencing a tension headache, start diaphragmatic breathing to assist with getting proper oxygen flow to the area.

Pre-treat the area with heat. You can use a flax seed pillowheating pad, or soak in a warm bath. Heat can be applied for 5-15 minutes. Please be cau…

Trigger Point: Temporalis

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Please be sure to refer to What Are Trigger Points and How To Release Trigger Points when working on trigger points at home. As always, please consult with your primary care physician prior to any type of treatment.

Temporalis: Muscular Origins, Insertions, Actions, and Nerve Innervations

The temporalis muscle originates along the temporal fossa and the fascia of the skull; it inserts into the coronoid process of the mandible. When working, the temporalis elevates the mandible at the temporomandibular joint, and it retracts the mandible. The main nerve associated with this muscle is the trigeminal nerve.

Temporalis Trigger Points: Location and Possible Symptoms

When a trigger point is active in the temporalis muscle, you may experience a headache in the side and front of the head. These trigger points can also can pain and/or hypersensitivity in the upper teeth.

Trigger points found in the sternocleidomastoid and  masseter muscles have been known to activate trigger points within the…

Trigger Point: Splenius Muscles

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Please be sure to refer to What Are Trigger Points and How To Release Trigger Points when working on trigger points at home. As always, please consult with your primary care physician prior to any type of treatment.

Splenius: Muscular Origins, Insertions, Actions, and Nerve Innervations

The splenius muscles are located along the back of the neck down into the upper back. They can easily be palpated between the upper trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles. There are two main muscle bellies within the splenius group: splenius capitis and splenius cervicis. The splenius capitis muscle originates at the ligamentum nuchae and the spinous processes of vertebrae C-7 thru T-3 and inserts into the mastoid process and lateral nuchal line. Splenius cervicis originates from the spinous processes of vertebrae T-3 thru T-6 and inserts into the transverse processes of the upper cervical vertebrae.

When contracted together, these muscles work to extend the head and neck. When contracted separate…

Trigger Point: Occipitofrontalis

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Please be sure to refer to What Are Trigger Points and How To Release Trigger Points when working on trigger points at home. As always, please consult with your primary care physician prior to any type of treatment.

Occipitofrontalis: Muscular Origins, Insertions, Actions, and Nerve Innervations

The occipitofrontalis muscle consists of two main muscle bellies, one in the front of the head, the other in the back of the head, that both originate from the galea aponeurotica. The galea aponeurotica is a broad sheet of connective tissue that stretches across the top of the skull. The frontalis muscle belly attaches to the skin over the eyebrows and is responsible for raising the eyebrows and wrinkling the forehead. The occipitalis

Occipitofrontalis Trigger Points: Location and Possible Symptoms

When a trigger point in the occipitalis muscle belly becomes active, you may feel pain along the side and back of your head. It has also been known to cause a traveling pain that goes through the …

Trigger Points: Suboccipital Muscles

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Please be sure to refer to What Are Trigger Points and How To Release Trigger Points when working on trigger points at home. As always, please consult with your primary care physician prior to any type of treatment.

Suboccipitals: Muscular Origins, Insertions, Actions, and Nerve Innervations
Our suboccipital muscles are composed of eight small muscles that run between the nuchal line of the occiput, our first cervical vertebrae, and our second cervical vertebrae. They assist us in being able to rotate our head, tilt the head backwards into extension, and tilt the head from side to side without moving the neck.

The nerve associated with these muscles is the suboccipital nerve.

Suboccipital Muscle Trigger Points: Location and Possible Symptoms


Feeling for these muscles may be difficult since they are under several other muscles and are right on the spine. When palpating these muscles, be sure to significantly warm up the area ahead of time and ease into the area so as to not cause pain…

Trigger Point: Sternocleidomastoid

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Please be sure to refer to What Are Trigger Points and How To Release Trigger Points when working on trigger points at home. As always, please consult with your primary care physician prior to any type of treatment.

Sternocleidomastoid: Muscular Origins, Insertions, Actions, and Nerve Innervations

The Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle originates at the top of the manubrium for the sternal head and at the medial third of the clavicle for the clavicular head. Both muscle bellies insert at the mastoid process of the temporal bone as well as the lateral superior nuchal line of the occiput.

When only one side of the SCM muscle is activated, the actions are to laterally flex the head to the same side, rotate the head to the opposite side. When you activate both of your sternocleidomastoid muscles, you are able to perform flexion of the neck. These muscles can also assist in respiratory inhalation.

The nerve associated with this muscle is the spinal accessory nerve.

Sternocleidomastoid Trigg…

Trigger Point: Upper Trapezius

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Please be sure to refer to What Are Trigger Points and How To Release Trigger Points when working on trigger points at home. As always, please consult with your primary care physician prior to any type of treatment.

Upper Trapezius: Muscular Origins, Insertions, Actions, and Nerve Innervations
Our upper trapezius muscle is located in our upper back to neck. The muscle originates from the external occipital protuberance, the medial portion of the superior nuchal line of the occiput, and the ligamentum nuchae. The muscle fibers insert into the lateral third of the clavicle, acromion process, and the spine of the scapula.

When contracted, the upper fibers of the trapezius muscle extend the head and neck. The nerves that are associated with this muscle are the spinal accessory and the cervical plexus.

Upper Trapezius Trigger Points: Location and Possible Symptoms


The upper trapezius has two main trigger points. The first one is located in the more superficial muscle fibers as illustrated a…

At Home Care For Tension Headaches Part 1: Causes and Symtoms

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Tension headaches are muscular headaches that present themselves in various ways. One of the main reasonings behind this is that the muscles associated with the headache may have activated trigger points.

You may remember from prior posts that trigger points are minor muscle contractions that refer pain to other parts of the body. For this post series we are going to look at primary tension headaches, in which the headache and associated muscular tension is the main cause of the headache itself. The other kind of headache is known as a "secondary headache," in which there is another cause of the headache that may be more severe, such as head trauma.

Depending upon the person, tension headaches can be a rare occurrence, or you may get them daily. Chronic daily headaches can lead to other issues such as decreased range of motion in the head, neck, and shoulders, postural imbalances, troubles sleeping, or secondary headaches from other trigger points being activated after the …

Breathing and Meditation Exercises

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Breathing is something that we do everyday without much thought, yet many of us are doing it improperly.

When you watch a newborn at rest, you will notice that they breathe into their belly first, and then the rest of their lungs inflate. Between infancy and adulthood, we lose this natural instinct to breathe diaphragmatically, and instead tend to breathe into our upper lungs only. Not only does this cause muscular imbalances within our system, it also does not supply us with as much oxygen as we could be getting.

Try these exercises at home to start learning how to breathe diaphragmatically and incorporate that into your life and meditation practice.

Exercise 1:

Lay down on a couch or bed (preferably with little to no distractions). You can put on calming music in the background if that helps to soothe you. Take one of your hands and place it on your stomach, just above your belly button. Take your other hand and place it on your chest above your heart.

When you go to take a deep brea…

Kinesiology Taping: What is it and does it work?

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Kinesiology Taping, Kinesio Taping, Elastic Therapeutic Taping: three names for the same concept. Many of us have seen athletes running around with bright pink, blue, and black tape on their bodies, but what is it and is it effective?



The Kinesio Taping Method™ was originally developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase who realized that while in house treatments for patients was good, providing them with something that could continuing providing therapy after treatment would be even better. After trying other types of tape that did not allow people to move through their range of motion, he designed a tape that provided stability to joints without over-restricting people.

Since then many different brands of Kinesiology tape have come out: Kinesio Tex, Rock Tape, and KT Tape just to name a few. As far as differences go, I find it depends upon the person or practitioner using the tapes. Personally, Kinesio Tex Gold has always been my favorite since I find less people tend to have a reaction to the adhes…