Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lymphatic Massage


 Do You Have:

*      Pain and/or Inflammation

*      Low Energy/Fatigue

*      Susceptibility to Colds/Flu

*      Headaches/Sinus Problems

*      Neck/Shoulder Pain

*      Limited Range of Motion

*      Stiff Muscles

*      Illness

Lymph Massage can often help people who suffer with pain, inflammation, low energy, fatigue, susceptibility to colds and flu, headaches, sinus problems, neck and shoulder pain, limited range of motion, stiff muscles and various illnesses.  

After all, a healthy lymph system is part of our body’s effective immune response.  A sluggish lymphatic system can cause all kinds of mischief, including damaging the immune reaction.  There are many reasons that the lymph system becomes impaired.  One of the common ways that this happens is when lymph fluid becomes blocked in different parts of the body because of tight or twisted muscles. 

Having a massage that drains the lymph, relaxes the muscles and restores proper muscle structure can often relieve tightness and discomfort that has been carried for years.  Other benefits may include: detoxification, improved immune function, releasing muscle strain, increased mobility, and increased energy.

Jan Olds has been practicing massage in Salt Lake City for the past 17 years and has developed a unique massage that blends lymphatic drainage and structural integration.  She is also known internationally as a neck and shoulder expert. 

Jan Olds LMT
1104 E Ashton (2355 South) #112
By Appointment Only

Monday, November 17, 2014

Are You Absorbing Oils and Fats?

Contact Me

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor and this article should not replace professional medical care

Most people have heard how important it is to have good oils and fats in their diet.  It is widely accepted that oils are imperative for:
  • Brain and Organ Function
  • Hormone Health
  • Healthy Skin, Eyes and Bones
  • Proper Metabolism
  • Mood Stabilization
  • Energy
  • Reproductive Health

The problem is that most people think that if they are taking a supplement or eating foods high in oil then they are getting what they need.  Unfortunately many people do not absorb oils and fat properly.  If this is true for you, then no matter how much oil supplementation you do, your body simply can't use the oil.

I have given many lymphatic massages in the last 15 years.  Each year, more and more clients come to me in despair.  Some just have a feeling that something is wrong with their health but their physicians can't find anything.  Others, have auto-immune illness and are trying to find ways to feel better.

When I touch healthy clients there is a different feel to their skin and muscle tone then clients with auto-immune type problems.  I am starting to believe that people with these types of illnesses are simply not absorbing oils properly.

In the 1950's, Dr Budwig, a cancer doctor in Europe, noticed that her patients were not absorbing oils and hypothesized that this was a crucial factor in their developing cancer.  She developed a diet that included her own unique concoction, designed to deliver flax seed to the body instantly.  She reports that many people with tumors and degenerative disease have been radically helped by this diet.

Recently I have had several clients with chronic health issues try the Budwig concoction and I am starting to see improvement in overall health when this is eaten on a fairly regular basis.  Regularity is important as it can take some time to get the body balanced after severe deprivation.

Here is the recipe for the Budwig concoction, or as she calls it, muesli.

I personally add a scoop of Trader Joe's powdered Super Green drink to mine.  The green makes it look less than appetizing but the combination seems to really increase my overall energy levels

Also this recipe has many substitution options which I am not listing but should be easy enough to find with an online search.

Customized Cottage Cheese Flax Seed Oil Recipe:

3 TB Spoons Organic Flax Seed Oil
6 TB Spoons Organic Cottage Cheese (Do not use nonfat.  I use low fat)
2 TB Spoons Fresh Ground Organic Flax Seeds
Non Sugar Flavoring to hide the taste of of the Flax Seed

Using an immersion hand-held blender(a stick-shaped mixer)blend the cottage cheese with the flax seed oil until the oil is no longer separated.

Grind the flax seeds in a coffee grinder and add to the mixture.  (Flax seeds must be used within 20 minutes after grinding or they start to breakdown.)

Add your flavoring.

Add one scoop of Trader Joe's powdered Super Green Drink*  Mix well.

*The Super Green Drink is optional but if you are not absorbing oils, chances are that you are not absorbing many nutrients.  This green drink tastes good and is a great way to get your nutrients.

Questions? Contact Me
©Jan Olds, EssentialStillpoint

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why Does My Neck Crack?

To Contact Lymph Massage of Salt Lake Click Here

One question I get asked most often a few days after a massage, is why is my neck or back cracking so much when I move?

The answer is pretty simple.  The short answer is that it happens as we age.  It doesn't have to, but in the US the average diet, lifestyle and poor body mechanics make this a common sign of aging.

More often than not, when someone comes to see me they are overly tight and many of the micro joints in their neck, back, shoulder girdle and jaw are not able to move.  The longer this is allowed to go on, the more it can severely limit lymphatic flow which can set off a chain reaction of chronic pain and serious illness.

In the course of a massage treatment I introduce the process of unwinding patterned tightness and draining the lymphatic system.  At this point the joints are often ready to move back into place with some stretching or gentle compressions.  If my client comes in with an already limited amount of fluid in their joints from age, then this process is almost always accompanied by cracking.

The most common reason that clients may not have been experiencing the cracking before they come in for a session, is because their body is too locked down on the joints for them to move.

In the US almost everyone over 30 has some of the cracking sounds, also known as crepitus, that gets worse with age.  If you have less fluid in your joints and you don't crack when you move, you are probably much too tight.  My regular clients crack regularly, because they have good mobility due to the massages they receive. As long as the cracking is not accompanied by pain this is perfectly normal.

It is important to note that back, neck and shoulder cracks that are painful are a different story and should be investigated.

Your spine, neck and rib cage are made up of multiple joints that make it possible to turn, hunch, hug, rotate and do all kinds of motions.  There are 3 main types of joints:  fibrous (fixed), cartilaginous (stiff but flexible) and synovial (sacks of fluid.)  In the spine for instance, the discs between each vertebrae are synovial and the little knobby things are cartilaginous.

It would fill a very thick text book to go into all the locations and types of joints you have in your body.  Suffice it to say, that any place that you can move, includes a joint.  There are many micro joints that most people are unaware of.  Some of these are in the front and back of your ribs and all through your neck and jaw.

There is not yet a good understanding of how these joints receive nutrients but in young healthy people up to 80% of the cartilage and almost all of the synovial fluid is water.  When joints are out of place or when you are "holding" in an area of your body you are limiting crucial access of both water and oxygen that your muscles and joints need.  Over time these joints, which are in almost constant motion, begin to loose fluid and elasticity which causes the movement to be hard.  The two bones move against each other and as they move in to position they crack.

Early in life, if you were born healthy, most of your joints were fairly quiet even when they were in constant motion. As you age and allow your muscles to develop chronic over- tightness your joints start to loose their elasticity. The joints then start to snap, crackle and pop and these sounds get louder as your joints become more and more dehydrated

To Contact Jan Olds Click Here

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor nor do I play one on the internet.  This should article should not be a replacement for professional medical care.

Copyright © Essential Stillpoint 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ten Tips to Get the Most From Your Lymph Massage


1.     Take your time and find a therapist that is a good fit for you.  Do your research and ask potential therapists about their qualifications.  There are many fresh out of school therapists who list lymph massage as a specialty to get  internet traffic.  Often they are not trained in lymph work or the training is minimal.  If you have lymphedema or a compromised lymph system it may be best to find an experienced therapist.

If you simply want to boost your lymph system and you have a less than dire need for lymph massage, it may suite you to work with a less experienced therapist.  If this is the case it is best to make sure they are charging a fee that corresponds with their experience.  Everyone needs to have the opportunity to learn but that should be figured into the cost. 

Another thing to keep in mind, in looking for a lymph worker, is that many people complete massage school but don’t actually work full time as a massage therapist.  They may say that they have 10 years of experience but what they mean is they graduated massage school 10 years ago and may not have done very many massages.  When it comes to lymphatic therapy, experience of bodies under your therapist’s hands does matter!

Even if you do not live in the Utah or Salt Lake area I am happy to help offer ideas on how to find a qualified therapist in your area.  Feel free to leave a comment or private message me.

2.     Hydrate well several days before your session.  Hydrated tissue is easier to work with and  essential in moving the lymphatic system.

3.     Eat a light meal a few hours before your session (unless you are on a fast or a cleanse.)  Being hungry during the massage can be a distraction.  Also, when the deep lymphatic is draining, it can cause a gurgling in your abdomen, which can create discomfort if you are hungry.

4.     Give yourself extra time to get to your appointment.  If you are in a hurry chances are you will launch your body into a stress response and arrive tight and frazzled.

5.     Use the Restroom before the session and ask to go during the session if necessary.  Lymphatic work will move much more fluid than the standard Swedish massage and there is no reason to spoil your session with that kind of discomfort.

6.     Communicate during the massage.  Let your therapist know if there is pain, discomfort or if something is frightening.  Also let them know if something feels particularly good.  I have several clients who like to be very still on the table.  I have them tell me “ouch” or give some kind of sound that indicates if it feels good or is hurting.  That way they don’t have to engage in conversation unless they want to and I still get important feedback.

7.     Be aware of your breathing.  While you are on the massage table make sure you are not hyperventilating or holding your breath.  Breathing is essential to relaxation, and relaxation is essential to eliminating body tension and draining the lymphatic system.

8.     Relax you muscles and your mind.  Tightening up by contracting or hardening your muscles during the massage is counterproductive.  If you find your thoughts are racing during the session, one way to be more aware is to focus on the sensations of the touch and/or focus on breathing in and out of the area that is being worked on.

9.     Drink lots of extra water after your massage.  If you have received adequate lymph work the draining and releasing can last for 2-5 days after the massage and it is wise to double your water intake.  If you experience soreness…there is a good chance you are not drinking enough.

10.  Be prepared to schedule several lymphatic massage sessions.  Lymphatic massage works best when received frequently as the therapeutic benefits are cumulative.  The more often you get a lymph massage, the better you will feel and the more quickly your body will respond.  The chronic patterns of stress in the body are often layered and it can take some time to work through those layers to uncover and address the original cause.

Additionally, if you have a soft tissue injury this may take more than one session to resolve.

copyright © Essential Stillpoint 2013

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Lymph System and Autoimmune Disease

To Contact Jan Olds Click Here

I have been seeing an alarming increase in auto-immune responses in the last 5 or 6 years.  What this refers to is the response when the body's immune system sends out a message to attack the bodies' healthy tissues and cells.

Normally the immune system sends white blood cells to attack foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses and toxins.  In an auto-immune response the body does not differentiate between healthy body tissues and foreign invaders.  What follows is an immune response attacking the normal body tissues.  This response is similar to an allergic reaction.

In allergies, the immune system goes to battle with an outside substance that it normally ignores.  In an autoimmune response, the immune system battles healthy body tissue that it normally ignores.

A few examples of auto-immune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, hashimotos and chronic fatigue.

When someone asks what causes auto-immune responses the most common answer is that the cause is unknown.  I am not a doctor or a scientist but as a highly experienced body worker I believe that part of the issue lies in the health of the lymphatic system.  No doubt there are many factors that go into the creation of auto-immunity and it would certainly be pie-in-the-sky to say you can get a massage and cure all of this, but I believe that in addressing the issues that are contributing to the lymph slow down, you improve your chances of healing your immune system.

This would be a good place to reiterate that I am not a medical doctor and am not qualified to diagnose or to treat medical conditions.  The opinions in this article should not take the place of professional medical care.

Now let's look at the lymph and it's function in relation to the immune system. The Lymph fluid carries white blood cells that defend against the aforementioned germs.  The lymph nodes and spleen are two examples of places in the body where white blood cells fight infection.

The lymphatic system is an important part of how the body clears away infection and keeps the body fluids in balance.  When this system is not working fluid builds up in the tissues, resulting in swelling.

Most people have lymph slow down that is caused by musculoskeletal displacement most commonly found in the neck, ribs, low back and hips. When joints are out of place or muscles are tight over lymphatic chains it creates a lymph blockage.  Because the lymph system has a vacuum effect, each blockage, no matter how small, causes the lymphatic to slow down throughout the body.

Here are a few ways you can support your lymphatic health:

  1. Get lymphatic massage or lymphatic drainage
  2. Increase the amount of quality water you drink (no tap-water)
  3. Do Yoga (this is one of the best exercise you can do for your lymph)
  4. Start a conscious breathing program

I have recently been impressed by certain teachers of Kundalini Yoga and if nothing else you can learn to do what is called the breath of fire.  It has been said that if you do the breath of fire for 3 minutes it will purify all the blood in your body.  When I have clients do this prior to coming in for lymphatic massage the drainage is increased exponentially.

Here is Carolyn Cowan teaching breath of fire:

To Contact Lymphatic Massage of Salt Lake Click Here
copyright © Essential Stillpoint 2012                                                   

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why Does My Back Hurt?

In my experience I would say that the biggest factor in back pain is that your shoulders can rotate almost 360 degrees. There are a lot of moving parts in that motion. If anything gets caught or pulled tight it will start to pull on the back and rib cage. Add to that tightening of the jaw, front of the neck and pectorals and things get pretty locked down. If your hips pull on your back in the opposite direction of the shoulder, it can cause a tightening that can lead to major distress.

What happens if you have any or all of the above scenarios and you fall down...or reach for something...or sleep wrong? All of your muscles are attached to bones. In the upper body many of these are attached to the rib cage. When you are tight and your body is pulling in opposite directions even a simple sneeze can pull a rib out of its proper alignment.

This rib misalignment can cause sharp pain by itself but as long as the rib stays out of whack it will cause that part of the lymphatic system to back up and get stuck. This commonly results in a stiffening and pain in the neck that can't be resolved until the rib goes back into place.

If you have ever reached for something and felt a sharp pain followed by your back or neck "not feeling quite right" or all of a sudden just noticed a weird tightness in your arms or neck that wasn't there before, you may have pulled a rib out.

If you are loose enough, sometimes a rib will go back in on it's own in time or you may be able to get it to go back in with some stretching or yoga. On the other hand, I have had clients that I suspect have had a rib out for several years.

When you hear that you may have a rib out, you might naturally think a trip to the chiropractor is in order. If you go to the traditional bone cracker, odds are this issue won't resolve. What needs to happen first is a loosening up of all the major tethering points or muscle attachments pulling opposite directions.

Draining the lymph is useful in the loosening process because what is sure to accompany the tightness is a build up of lymph fluid which can make the area more sore and deep work quite painful.

It took me years to know to look for a misaligned rib. If you have back pain and suspect you may have a rib out it would be worth your time to find a massage therapist in your area with the experience to release the areas binding the rib. Once you find somebody, often simple stretching after the work is enough for the rib to move back into place. If not, setting a chiropractic appointment for after the massage session will greatly increase the success of realignment.

Although many chiropractors now employ massage therapists, in many cases either the therapist doesn't have the experience or the sessions are just too short to do more than get the fluid moving and to warm up the muscles.

If you are in the Salt Lake area feel free to contact me for more information. If I can't see you, I can make a reliable referral.

If you are not local and would like more information on how to find someone who has the experience to help, you are welcome to leave a comment or send me a private email and I will try to offer some useful suggestions.

copyright © 2010 Essential Stillpoint

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What's the Difference Between Lymphatic Massage and Lymph Drainage Therapy(LDT)?

On a first session with a new client I typically give them what I refer to as the Lymph lecture. It is a simplistic description of how the lymph system works, why it is important and how it directly relates to pain, malaise and other illnesses.

When I first started doing this years ago, less than 1% had any working knowledge of the lymphatic system. I am happy to report that those numbers have been increasing. People who are educated on the lymph system are still a dismally small number but it is promising that, at least in my practice, t
his number is on a steady rise.
So what is the difference between Lymphatic Massage and Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT)? My primary massage practice is in Salt Lake City, Utah and in this state most of the people trained in lymphatic work have been trained in a technique that calls itself Lymph Drainage Therapy (a therapy developed by French doctor Bruno Chikley.) This is an uber light technique that helps to move fluid with the slightest pressure (5 grams or the weight of a nickel.)

LDT is based on a premise that the lymph cells will rupture with more than 5 grams of pressure and regenerate within 24 hours. I don't believe this is true. In my experience, when someone has severe lymphedema it is possible to rupture the lymph cells with too much pressure but the amount of pressure it takes to burst these cells is variable based on multiple factors. It may be 5 grams but not necessarily.

Severe Lymphedema (Light Pressure)
There is always an optimum pressure and finding that requires the therapist to have a finally developed sense of touch and sensitivity to their client's body.

For healthy people 5 grams will not rupture the lymph cell. When someone is extremely ill or has the most severe form of lymphedema...the almost imperceptible touch of LDT can be quite healing and do wonders for an overtaxed parasympathetic system.

For anyone who is healthy, moderately ill or has the kind of lymphedema caused by a mastectomy or adolescent onset...Lymphatic Massage is often the more effective and satisfying choice.

Moderate Lymphedema (Variable Pressure)
In Lymphatic massage...the lymph fluid is still being drained and depending on the expertise of the therapist there is potential for a much bigger release of toxins than in LDT. For a very ill person...too many toxins released at the same time can send them into a downward spin that can be challenging to overcome.
However, in the moderately ill to healthy person, releasing as many toxins as possible is desirable.

I do occasionally use LDT when the circumstance is warranted...but in my experience Lymph Massage is typically by far more effective and satisfying.

For those of you that have had both the uber light LDT and Lymph Massage (usually not by the same therapist), how do you notice the difference?

This article should not be a substitute for professional medical care
copyright © 2010 Essential Stillpoint