Don’t talk to me about diet!


Don’t talk to me about diet!

I am over 100 pounds heavier than I need to be. This Is not news to those who know me, and if you look at my picture, you will see it also. So why am I even stating it? I am talking to you about it because I know that I am not alone. I know that most of the people who will read this have some type of battle going on within themselves around their weight. If not their weight specifically it may be around the health of their body.

I am writing this as a precursor to a series of articles I will be writing about food, health, exercise, and well being.

Why would you want to read anything I have to say about diet and wellness? Good question. My hope is that you will follow me on a journey I am taking and maybe along this journey I can share some things with you that will make your life a little better.

I am not an expert on any of these topics. Not yet, anyway. What I am is a student. I have dedicated this next year, 2015, to learning more about health through diet. It is one of my New Years Resolutions after all.

I am also open and willing to learn from you, if you have something to add to the conversation. I know that some will agree with a lot of what I say as I start down this path. I know some will disagree with things I say. All that is wonderful. I look forward to the conversation.

Here is what I propose.

I promise to learn and share what I learn.

I promise to keep learning and never be too attached to what I think I know.

I promise to not quit! This is where I may need your help. Encourage me with your thoughts and ideas. Don’t be offended if I do not jump at every suggestion. I need to take my own path.

I promise to be healthier this time next year. Will you join me?

Now, I named this article “Don’t talk to me about Diet!” The reason for that name is simple. I am not going on a diet. I am going to be making some big changes in my lifestyle so that I can achieve the outcome I desire, but I am not going on a diet. The reason for the clarification is that diets are a short term solution to a lifelong need. As I begin this process, I will be making some short term plans. These plans are designed to have a specific result. They are not lifelong changes. Some plans will be life long changes. These changes will be in the form of habits designed to help me gain and maintain health. I also retain my right to change my mind as I learn and grow.

I hope you come along with me on this journey. I hope we help each other.

More to come soon.

Resolve to Resolve


Resolve to Resolve

It is time! It is the new year. It is 2015. Well, almost.

It is time to make the new years resolutions. Do you make New Years resolutions? I never really have. As a matter of fact, I was pretty adamant about not making them. I had decided at some point that it was better to live my life always changing and growing and that to make resolutions at the beginning of the year was really just a cop out for not being who I should be all the time. Wow, what a bunch of poppycock. Sometimes I just shake my head at some of the goofy things I once believed. It is okay, you can shake your head also, I don’t mind.

So now I am rethinking this whole resolution thing. I think it is a good thing. (Random Thought) ( I hope that in 10 years I do not look back at this writing and call it poppycock, hmm) Where was I, oh yeah, I think it is a good thing to make New Years Resolutions. It is a time for us to push the “reset” button on our goals and plans. It is a great time of the year also to do this. What else are you going to do in January? Making New Years Resolutions gives us a chance to rethink our goals, to make new plans and just decide some things.

There is an old saying.  “You don’t plan to fail, you just fail to plan.” Deciding to make New Years resolutions forces you to stop and think about what it really is that you want in the new year and beyond. If done right, it also forces you to question your goals and plans. It also should lead you to making a list of steps to achieving these goals.

So today I Resolve to make New Years Resolutions! (Random Thought) ( Resolve and Resolution should not go together. Shouldn’t it be Resolvolution? ) Yes today, I resolve to start the process of making my New Years Resolutions.

That’s it!

What are you waiting for?

This Blog is done. ……….You can leave now……….


You want to hear my resolutions? Haven’t made them yet. It was a lot of hard brain work just resolving to resolve. You want me to do this right don’t ya? Stay tuned, you will hear all about them.

Massage heals the tissues of the body

(NaturalNews) Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a luxury splurge that has no real health benefits. To the contrary, hands-on healing helps you unwind, lowers blood pressure, promotes muscle relaxation and boosts your immune system. During a massage session, massage therapists use their hands and fingers to press and manipulate your skin, tendons, ligaments and muscles. The strokes gently move your blood, oxygen and lymph to various tissues and organs in a way that normally doesn’t happen in the bodies of most people. As a result, the person who is receiving the massage experiences a level of physical and mental renewal that is hard to surpass.

Hidden Health Benefits of Human Touch

Today, numerous well respected studies indicate that massage therapy doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you. Take a look at the health benefits below and discover the power of human touch:

Stress & anxiety relief

Muscle relaxation

Blood pressure control

Better circulation

Pain reduction

Enhanced cancer treatment

Improved quality of sleep

But there’s more – a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that individuals who undergo massage therapy experience measurable improvements in their immune response.

Mark Rapaport, M.D., and his colleagues from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center followed 53 healthy adults who were divided into two groups: The participants received either 45 minutes of Swedish massage or the same amount of time of light touch massage, which is much milder and served mainly as a comparison to the more vigorous Swedish massage. After examining their blood samples, the scientists found that people in the Swedish massage group experienced a decrease in cortisol and a significant increase in lymphocytes, cells that keep our immune system strong.

“More research is ahead of us but it appears that a single massage may deliver a measurable benefit,” Rapaport said in a news release.

Massage is far more potent therapy than most people realize. In fact, it can (and should) replace analgesics as a treatment for tension headaches. As it turns out, it takes only a 30-minute massage on cervical trigger points to boost autonomic nervous system regulation and alleviate the symptoms. Patients also report an improvement in their psychological and physiological state, which goes hand in hand with the reduction in stress and anxiety associated with such a disturbing condition.

Stress and lack of rest have devastating effects on our health, fitness and beauty. Don’t be afraid to find yourself a good massage therapist and get some healing on a regular basis. When you’re taking care of your skin and what’s beneath it, you are taking care of your whole world.

Further reading:




About the author
James Schreiber was a long time sufferer of Candida albicans – a little known and frequently misdiagnosed condition that causes seemingly unrelated symptoms such as chronic fatigue, digestive problems and flu-like symptoms. After completely transforming his diet and lifestyle to triumph over Candida infection, Schreiber made educating people on how to better cope with the disease a mission. He shares the secrets of his success at http://www.ecandida.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032005_massage_healing.html#ixzz1ZGdMo3AD

Body Work and Psychotherapy

By David L. Ruettiger

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, February/March 2005.
Copyright 2005. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.

Some years ago, I wrote an article for the New York State Society for Medical Massage Therapists titled “Counseling Psychology and Massage Therapy.”1 Rereading it recently, I realized I had more to say about the connection between the fields of bodywork and psychotherapy. Both practices are deeply involved in the therapeutic relationship and have much in common. The emerging field of somatic psychology has much to teach us.

I decided to research the possibilities of finding graduate level training combining the healing aspects of both disciplines. Similar to the Reese’s peanut butter cups commercial of peanut butter colliding with chocolate, it appears this same phenomenon has happened in academia in somatic psychology. This is a relatively new field and new therapists are emerging to start their practices.* For the most part, it appears that psychotherapists engage in talk therapy, while bodyworkers engage in touch therapy. As the mind and body can no longer be separated in healthy, healing relationships, neither can touch and talk. It is time for a new paradigm? Can we do both?

The Body’s Dialogue
In his book, The Body in Psychotherapy, Don Hanlon Johnson describes his Rolfing experience with Ed Maupin, a clinical psychologist educated at the University of Chicago. “His manipulations felt more
like an intense human dialogue,”2 Hanlon wires. Bodyworkers often develop somatic intuitive abilities achieving an energetic intimacy with their clients.3 This professional maturation is akin to counselors honing their listening and empathic skills.

In addition, bodyworkers can affect changes in body structure through soft tissue manipulations and various other techniques, but their role is much more complex than that of a “mechanic.” Many bodyworkers have, or will, face a client’s emotional release on the massage table as a result of the somatic work being done. Yet, most are not trained as counselors.

Conversely, counselors are not trained as bodyworkers either, but they can affect changes in attitude and, therefore, behavior through their various skills of listening and responding. In fact, effective listening is one of the counselor’s more effective tools. Responding is also a learned skill in knowing what, if anything, to say and how to say it. Counselors see the release of emotions as a goal.

For the bodyworker and counselor, I define emotional release as previously unexpressed emotions coming to the surface in various forms such as weeping, feelings of anger, laughing, etc. The two therapists may deal with the client’s emotional state differently, but their goals are identical. The person coming to bodywork is usually seeking relief from a physical complaint or stress. Part of the insight process is the person’s ability to see her own personal mind-body connection.4 These same issues hold true in the psychotherapeutic relationship.

When massage therapists gather together, the topic of discussion, other than technique differentials, is often tissue issues. Tissue memory is thought to be the remembrance, or holding, of trauma in the connective tissues.5,6 Bodyworkers often unlock the hypotonic structures and release the memory held there. The body remembers everything that has happened to it. Imagine the body as a tape recorder: The therapist pushes the play button and acts as a witness to the sounds, sights, and feelings expressed. A good example is reflected in the bodyworker whose clients are survivors of sexual abuse and trauma.7 What better way for the client who has disassociated from her own body to reconnect than in this safe touch environment?8 If only bodyworkers had the skills and training of psychotherapy, I believe the healing potential of these precious moments could be augmented for our clients.

Mutual Goals
In order to understand what benefits each field can offer, it is necessary to become aware of their respective goals. Once we know the goals, we can appreciate and decide if we are able to utilize them in the best interests of our mutual clients. I like the imagery that goals have in sports and children’s games, where the goal is seen as a safe place. Ensuring safety is a basic requirement to both disciplines, as is trust-building. Another way to look at our common goals is to examine our intentions, or that which determines the direction of our goals. The intention of the bodyworker and the counselor are very similar as they relate to their respective clients. Both intend for the continued or restored health and well-being through stress reduction and insight.

There is no doubt that bodywork has direct psychological and physical benefits.9 The physical effects of massage are well-documented, whether they be mechanical or reflexive. Mechanical effects on the muscular, cardiovascular, and integumentary systems are most obvious with muscle softening, increased blood flow, and skin elasticity to mention just a few. The reflex effects of massage are more indirect, yet all the systems of the body are affected. Breathing slows. Lymph moves. Elimination of wastes occurs. Digestion clears. Joints move more freely. The nervous system is also affected: Parasympathetic systems are stimulated toward relaxation, and the neural-gating mechanisms are affected to reduce pain.10

The emotional and mental effects of bodywork are equally well-documented, however, less understood. As neuro and somatic psychologies, as well as other sciences come into the light, there will be a fuller, scientific understanding of the emotional/mental benefits that bodyworkers repeatedly encounter.

A common feeling after massage is one of mental clarity and alertness. This is also true after counseling. The insight of “Aha, now I understand” is one shared by both psychotherapist and bodyworker. Applied research in the use of human touch and the many benefits of massage continue to be documented by Tiffany Field, Ph.D., and associates at The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami. Mental alertness is a common goal in sports massage. Short sessions, with a speed and technique different than regular table massage, are used to increase cardiovascular and joint mobility and prepare the athlete. Muscles are relaxed and ready for their full contractile and elastic natures. It is likely that mental alertness and clarity are related to increased blood flow to the brain and sensory stimulation.

Similarly, reduced stress and anxiety are common goals of both fields. One has only to see the incredible success of seated chair massage in the workplace to witness the benefits of even minimal bodywork, where sessions average 8 to 20 minutes per employee.

It is through the relaxation response that insight occurs. The activation of the parasympathetic nervous system and release of endorphins are thought to occur in massage therapy.11 When the mind and body mobilize in fear or rage, however, the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system is engaged and the heart pounds, among other symptoms. Obtaining a generalized feeling of well-being is another mutual goal, as is a positive outlook on life. As endorphins are released, pain and stress decrease, and the upgraded image and feeling replaces the previously negative experience. The insight of a client in psychotherapy serves to help gather the resources necessary to behave differently. The similar body integration of massage therapy at this time is fundamental to the client’s improvement.

I have often advocated the training of massage therapists and bodyworkers to include fundamental counseling skills and am heartened to see many schools beginning to include this type of programming into their academic areas of study. However, the institutions teaching psychotherapy appear to be more reticent in any endorsement of psychotherapists touching clients in any way, except through verbal interchange. I am happy to see this archaic view of human interaction changing. The California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco requires applicants to their somatic psychology program to have massage therapy training. Bodyworkers can be trained in simple counseling skills. Psychotherapists can be trained in simple touching skills. As professionals, we exist for the benefit of enhancing the healing process of our clients, using all the available tools we can acquire. I believe we can respect our mutual scopes of practice while enhancing our ability to make a real difference in the lives of our clients.

*For the purposes of this article, the words bodyworker and massage therapist are interchangeable, as are the words counselor and psychotherapist.

David L. Ruettiger holds a master’s degree in counseling and
guidance, and is a certified massage therapist. He’s pursuing an
additional master’s degree in somatic psychotherapy. He can be
contacted at drudy9191@netzero.net.

1 Ruettiger, D. Counseling Psychology and Massage Therapy. New York State Society for Medical Massage Therapists Quarterly. 1998 June.
2 Johnson, D.H., and Grand, I.J. Inquiries in The Body in Psychotherapy Somatic Psych. California Institute of Integral Studies. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1998: 2.
3 Benjamin, B., and Sohnen-Moe,C. The Ethics of Touch. Tucson, AZ: SMA Inc., 2003: 30.
4 Rattray, F., and Ludwig, L. Clinical Massage Therapy: Understanding Assessing and Treating over 70 Conditions. Toronto, ON: Talus Incorporated, 2000: 15-16
5 Upledger, J. E. and Vredevoogd. Craniosacral Therapy. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press, 1983.
6 Barral, J.P., and Mercier, P. Visceral Manipulation. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press, 1988.
7 Eckberg, M. Shock Trauma: Case Study of a Survivor of Political Torture. The Body in Psychotherapy. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books,1997:17-39.
8 Benjamin, B. Massage and bodywork with survivors of abuse. Massage Therapy Journal. 1995 Fall:12-15.
9 Beck, M.F. Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage 3rd ed. Albany, NY: Milady Publishing,
1999: 242.
10 Tappan, F.M. and Benjamin, P. J. Healing Massage Techniques: Classic, Holistic, and Emerging Methods. 3rd ed. Stamford, CT: Appleton & Lange, 1998: 34.
11 Kaard, B., andTostinbo, O. Increase in plasma beta endorphins in a connective tissue massage. General Pharmacology. 1989 20(4):487-489.

Can a Massage keep you from getting sick?

(NaturalNews) Massages are a great way to release tension and stress and promote relaxation. But a new study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has revealed for the first time that massages also provide a measurable, therapeutic benefit to the immune system as well.

Dr. Mark Rapaport and his team of researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif., evaluated 53 people, 29 of which received 45-minute Swedish massages–one of the most common forms of massage used in the U.S.–and 24 who received gentler, light touch massages. Researchers took blood samples at intervals before and after the massages and found that those who received even just one Swedish massage experienced significant, positive changes in blood composition.

“This research indicates that massage doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you,” explained Dr. Rapaport in a press release. “People often seek out massage as part of a healthy lifestyle but there hasn’t been much physiological proof of the body’s heightened immune response following massage until now.”

Besides experiencing a significant increase in lymphocytes, the white cells in the body that help fight and prevent disease, the Swedish massage group experienced lower cortisol levels as well. Cortisol is the hormone released by the adrenal gland in response to stress.

The Swedish massage group also experienced a decrease in arginine vasopressin, a hormone linked with aggressive behavior.

“European-style massage is often used to treat back pain, sleep disorders, and other stress-related disorders,” explain Bradley J. Willcox, D. Craig Willcox and Makoto Suzuki in their book The Okinawa Program: How the World’s Longest-Lived People Achieve Everlasting Health.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/029713_massage_immune_system.html#ixzz1ZGb0Xcvv