Archive for the ‘Bodywork’ Category

Chronic Fatigue and Exercise Intolerance

Sleeping when studying - Nakhon Sawan, Thailand

Sleeping when studying – Nakhon Sawan, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Exercise Intolerance is exactly the thing that people blame themselves (and others for).  Stop being lazy, push yourself harder, nauseous?  here have a half a stick of gum, now don’t give up!

Maybe all these things are valid at one level to get one out of a rut, or complacency, but when you have chronic fatigue these behaviors maybe fairly dangerous.  One young man who pushed himself despite his Exercise Intolerance, died from his efforts.

The Test

Using the same stress tests as used by doctors and sports professionals 8 minutes on an exercise bike, add in a mask to test for oxygen levels, the system tests several systems, cardiac, pulmonary, and metabolic.  Normal people after having this type of stress should recover and have the same performance the next day.   CFS people do not. If you have CFS you know that it takes several days to recover.

The test can give you your “anaerobic threshhold”.  This is the activity level where CFS patients now lose strenth and stamina in a way that is difficult to recover from.  Less than your threshhold you can still “bounce back” from your activities.  That threshold can be referred by heart rate, so theoretically you can exercise as long as you remain below that threshhold.


Unfortunately some people meet this threshhold while taking a shower, or other daily activities.  Luckily Social Security has been accepting the results from this test as an independent marker of disability.

Categories: Bodywork, Fatigue, POTS, Stress

Touch and Move

December 30, 2012 Leave a comment
Massage Faciale © Hélianthal - Office de Touri...

Massage Faciale © Hélianthal – Office de Tourisme de Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Photo credit: Terre et Côte Basques)

YOHAF had a recent show up stress and hormones, I’ve summarized it here for reference.  Please forgive the bulleted summary style!


Massage releases oxytocin, which reduces fear. Stretching and physical activity with massage add to the effect.

Intervention studies abstract out many other variables such as mood, time, place, practition etc when it comes to massage studies, but why not add these variables back in to suit you.

Moving helps  heal affects of stress.  In this study fruits and vegetables did not address consequences of stress, but movement did.  Rest is also important; need time to recover.

Continous Stress

Stress hormones are also hormones of learning and adaptation, but Downtime is also important to integrate what they’ve learned.

Adrenaline -> Cortisol -> higher blood sugar -> lower immunity healing, digestion, sex hormones go down during acute stressors.  Can present as autoimmune things like Lupus, Thyroidits.  Amygdala grows and hippocampus shrinks.  Now you have chronic inflammation.

Recover by:

  • Be Kind to yourself
  • Eat
  • Rest
  • Walk
  • Avoid Helplessness

 If Cortisol is high/low, sex and thyroid hormones are affected.   If sex hormones are lowered, choleserol will go up. Alcohol raises estrogen in men. 

Stress causes people do want comfort foods raise insulin and cortisol.  Now there is depression and weight gain.  Now progesterone gets low and can cause acne and PCOS.  Sustained stress causes depression and lowered TSH. Pharmaceuticals used to push you when you need rest then messes up other nutrients, like vitamins, carnitine etc.


Exercise increases metabolism for up to 4 hours, it can also make you smarter.  Around 20-30 minutes of exercise upregulates your metabolism and switches to burning fat!  If stress makes fat, then exercising burns it while it’s being made.  But again be gentle with yourself. If you are in stress mode, exercising more than you can handle can create even more stress.

  • Wireless is also a stressor
  • Socialize
  • Take an iron-free vitamin supplement, especially Vitamin C
  • and minerals
  • Omega 3s from Vegan sources
  • Meditation
  • Art


October 28, 2012 Leave a comment

 Do you ever feel like you may have PTSD?  I have been known to tell myself that I do.  Not because I’m a hypochondriac but because it actually does feel like I’m different from what I used to be.  Contrast that with some people who are always like that.  What is “that” anyway?
This Mindhacks article spells out that PTSD is defined by 3 characteristics:

  1. Intrusive Memories
  2. Hyper-arousal, and
  3. Emotional Numbing

I think my memories are not intrusive but otherwise, I do feel I have the the other two symptoms, and that of course creates a barrier in relationships.  Relationships are what you need to help you through this, so this doesn’t seem like a good situation.

The Mindhacks article implies that there was no documentation of similar symptoms during the Civil War, but during that time, men didn’t really express their problems, and if they did, it was not shared, discussed, blogged.  The term “shell shocked” came into existence during WW1, and that really does sound like PTSD.  Nonetheless the point is made that PTSD during that time  (and now) may just have looked like alcoholism or depression instead.  The implication is that some people do not manifest PTSD while others do.

On the genetic side, the RORA (retinoid-related orphan receptor alpha) gene has been associated with trauma. The hypothesis is that brains that make less serotonin are then more susceptible to PTSD.

So if you have this genetic setup do what every lame article tells you: avoid stress.  Now that you have picked yourself up off the floor from laughing, let’s look at some other direct suggestions on what to do after you already have PTSD.  Generalized suggestions will follow in the next section, but I want to highlight the topics that will be coming up in subsequent posts terms of treatment.

  1. EMDR
  2. Trauma Releasing Exercise
  3. Ear Training (Polyvagal)

Now if you have the gene, how do you avoid PTSD? I know these sound obvious, so I won’t elaborate too much on these:

  • Supportive and large kind families — the larger the (and kinder) family the more likely that assisting with your symptoms will be spread out amongst several people.  But friends who are like family will help too.  Being a loner single parent is probably not the situation to be in.
  • Support your detoxification-Physical stress through lack of detoxification can also build up.  Take Vitamin C, lipoceutical glutathione, epsom salt baths, magnesium, fish oil to help support your body
  • Simplify — Our world continues to get more complex, you may have to consciously simplify to reduce points of stress. This might mean automation of certain things, but it could also mean staying off the computer!
  • Nutritious Food–this seems obvious right? Do what you can, but do more than you are already doing.  Take the proper folate to help you detoxify.
  • really!  It has been shown to help alleviate stress.

Once you have trauma/PTSD you stay primed for response, but the methods mentioned above may help modulate it a bit.

Mast Cell problems

July 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Mast cells are one type of cell that works as part of the immune system.  Mast Cells degranulate or open up and spill their granules.  These I think then are instrumental in raising histamine and otherwise responding to infections.  Bottom line is greater inflammation.  One way to reduce inflammation is through the use of Luteolin .  It has been shown to reduce inflammation and be neuroprotective.

So of course how do you get Luteolin.  “Luteolin is most often found in leaves, but it is also seen in celery, thyme, dandelion, rinds, barks, clover blossom, and ragweed pollen”.  Interesting that ragweed pollen is exactly the thing that often sends one into an allergic reaction some through mast cells .  I love to juice celery, but not sure what the ratio to product would be in a juice.  Probably the most  concentrated way of getting Luteolin would be through Thyme essential oil.  Wikipedia also says that “Dietary sources include celery, green pepper, thyme, perilla, chamomiletea, carrots, olive oil, peppermint, rosemary, navel oranges, and oregano“.

Now thyme, rosemary, peppermint and oregano are some of the oils that are used in the raindrop technique along the spine.  The others also underlined are also available through Young Living.   Although I give raindrop to people, this makes me think I need to get one myself!

Essential Oils for Lyme Disease

July 21, 2012 Leave a comment

I was on a local health group and someone had asked about alternative methods to control Lyme Disease. I had remembered listening to a woman who had Lyme for 15 years before she was treated. She had a specific protocol that she had used. So I sent this post off to certain members who showed interest:

“There are some recommendations/testimonials from people about how essential oils helped them and am responding to the request for alternative treatments. I didn’t want to post on the list because I consider it public, but will send this particular one which is the strongest. Because each person is different, please start low and slow,and after assessing that the healing reactions are acceptable one could accelerate usage. In addition you may find that after some time you may able to take more of a break between treatments.

This is from a woman who had lyme disease for 15 years before she started treatment and she used a multistep approach:
Raindrop Technique- this is a body technique where several essential oils are applied to the spine in a particular order using specific oils and massage techniques The person in question had done this once/week for 9 months. Within the 1st month her LLMD took her off of several supplements. Initially when you get the Raindrop you may feel better for a few days and then begin to taper off. As you continue you should see that the positive effects last longer. If the detoxification is happening you will need to drink LOTS of water.
Ningxia Red- This is a whole highly concentrated drink with a high ORAC score that provides bioavailable antioxidants. 1/oz per day. This is a general tonic.
Lyme Capsules. You can take empty vegetable capsules from the health food store and put the following EO drops into them and swallow. Every 4 hours for first 3 days. Every 8 hours for the rest of the 4 days for a week. Repeat this if you feel symptoms return and continue for 3 months (may be related to replicated cycle of particular spirochettes). Drink LOTS of water.
2 drops Frankincense
12 drops Thieves
6 drop Oregano
She also did a master cleanse afterwards

I have personally used the lyme capsules and can say I did not have any untoward effects. I have also used the Raindrop Technique on several people and they felt better, but they did not have Lyme. The oils used are Young Living brand which I trust internally. I wouldn’t use oils from the healthfood store unless they were labeled for internal use.

If you were getting a raindrop, the person giving it to you should have the oils, but if you wanted to try the capsule you would have to purchase the oils from someone. I became a distributor for my own use because of massive health problems that have not yet been diagnosed as lyme related.”

Archetype Movements

February 10, 2012 Leave a comment

So I just finished a fabulous, fabulous course called Archtype Movements with Dr. Svetlana Masgutova.  I was so mesmermized for all three days.  The basic premise of this course is that there are archetypal (or foundational) movements in the body that form the foundation of the 30+ reflexes addressed by the Masgutova Method.  Therefore one archetypal pattern can inform 4 or more actual reflexes. 

How is this important?  If you can understand the foundation of the reflexes, you can then be more adept at actually using the exercises that address each separate one.  You will know what the body wants to do automatically, so instead of fighting that pattern you work with that pattern to integrate the reflex.

Maybe you’re wondering why look at reflexes? I’ll answer that in another post.

Categories: Reflexes
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