Tag Archives: circulation

Cold Laser for All Animals and People

Cold laser therapy offers a wide range of options for tissue therapy, wound healing, pain management, and improved circulation. Cold laser therapy is a game changer for many pets suffering from painful injuries. This technology allows us to successfully treat many injuries including tissue damage, inflammation, wounds, and even scars with minimal invasion.

The technology has been used in Europe since 1970 to promote healing, but has only been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. since 2002. It is only recently, though, that U.S. veterinarians have begun using it to treat many different conditions that affect pets today, such as fractures, ligament and tendon injuries, post-surgical incisions, arthritis, nerve injuries, sprains, muscle strains, abrasions, lesions, and more.

Cold laser therapy is non-invasive and makes use of light in order to stimulate activity or regeneration in cells in addition to increasing blood circulation. Unlike hot laser treatments that target tissue deep beneath the skin’s surface, cold laser therapy treats injuries or damage on or near the surface – without the risk of cutting or burning from the lasers. Most conditions require between three and eight treatments, though I have seen great improvement after the first laser session. Most animals enjoy their seession: many fall asleep or thoroughly relax. th

 

Releasing Trigger Points

Trigger points are tight spots within the muscle (not at the ends or attachments as in stress points) that cause pain, sensitivity, tingling, burning, or weakness.  Trigger point therapy causes the muscle to have a twitch response, which resets and relaxes the muscle. This can be uncomfortable for a moment, but the results are worth it. Reduction or elimination of pain and improved range of motion can be seen and felt immediately.

Another way to release trigger points is through myofascial release. Fascia is connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Fascia has multiple functions. It holds some structures together, providing stability.  It allows others to glide and move freely.

Trigger points can be caused by scar tissue, strain from repetitive movement, bad posture, poor nutrition, or injury. The most effective way to remove trigger points is through manual pressure. When the trigger point is released, the fascia will once again move smoothly over the muscle, pain will be reduced or eliminated, and range of motion will be increased.

Cold laser therapy can also relieve muscle pain caused by trigger points, and improve circulation.

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How to Reduce the Risk of Injury

What if I told you there was a simple way to reduce the risk of injury, increase mobility and flexibility, and increase blood flow to muscles? Before a workout or a horse show event, myofascial release can optimize your performance, and that of your horse, and greatly reduce the risk of strains, sprains, fractures,  or tears.

Restrictions and tensions of the soft tissue (muscle, fascia)  do not show up on standard hospital imaging and many patients  (both human and animal) suffer pain and injury because their pain cannot be diagnosed.

If a muscle is tight or stiff, moving it too fast can result in an injury. Fascia wraps around the entire muscle and every soft tissue in the body. When properly softened and stretched through massage, the entire structure of the body can function smoothly and safely. The investment of pre-activity body work can save months of costly rehab.

 

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Tissue Absorbs Light

For centuries, light has been used to heal. Ancient Egyptians constructed solariums to treat various conditions.  Light has powerful medical benefits, and with recent technologies evolving rapidly, we are capable of using light to target specific light-absorbing molecules to treat select tissues.

Low Level Laser Therapy administers an exact wavelength, or color of light, in a coherent manner. Coherence is an important characteristic for maximizing the depth of light penetration. This is key, as a specific dose (or energy) of light is required to trigger a biological response.

Although the exact mechanism remains elusive, studies have made tremendous progress to understand how LLLT alters cell function and, in turn, treats certain medical conditions. In order for laser therapy to modulate cellular behavior, light energy must first be absorbed.

Concurrently, the red wavelength (635 nm) is used to activate immune cells and increase circulation, steps that reinforce the body’s natural defense against foreign pathogens.

Since 1966, lasers have been used in non-surgical applications, including for experimental wound healing, pain reduction, and acute inflammation of different tissues. Today, evidence based medicine provides the necessary support for effective treatment of injuries and diseases that have no current treatment such as spinal cord and brain injuries, acute inflammation, soft and hard tissues, and metabolic diseases.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1797825#ixzz2wQwZ6wVH

LLLT remains a controversial treatment, but with important objective studies being conducted to evaluate the technology, this subtle, noninvasive treatment is becoming an appealing therapeutic option.

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Since the Dawn of Time

The body is a complex network of muscle, soft tissue, and nerves that communicate with each other. Creating positive change in the external surface of the body has long been used to positively influence the internal organs. A disruption, injury, or imbalance in the soft tissue can lead to imbalance in other parts of the body.

Every body experiences injury to the muscles, bones, and fascia (connective tissue) during a lifetime. In severe cases, medication may be necessary to treat extreme pain, but in many cases, the body can be stimulated to heal itself. Body work can improve circulation and lymph flow, allowing the tissues to recover from injury. Massage helps immune cells fight inflammation and infection. Decreasing stress through massage can improve health in many ways.

There is no one system of massage or body work that I automatically use on every animal. Healing has to occur on many levels, including diet and nutrition, cold laser therapy, acupressure, myofascial release, and different types of massage. It is my challenge and inspiration to explore each individual and it’s needs.

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How Do You Get an Edge on the Competition?

Equestrians spend a lot of money on the latest improvements in tack, supplements, and training sessions, but one of the most cost effective ways to reduce injuries, speed up healing and recovery time,and increase circulation and blood flow is to have the right body work done on your performance horse.

Massage helps your horse recover from the last work out and get ready for the next one. Massage prior to an exercise routine should be part of your warm-up. It allows for a freer range of motion. There are so many benefits to sports massage: it can relieve pain, help in rehabbing from an injury, reduce stress, increase relaxation, and ease the aches and pains that come from travel to shows. Body work can become your secret weapon. I see it all the time!

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Massage Clears Waste From the System

If you have been reading here for a while, you know that massage therapy can improve circulation, release stress and trigger points, release tight fascia, relieve pain, and improve movement and performance. But did you know that massage can release toxins that are stored in tight muscles?

If you or your horse seems unusually fatigued for no good reason, consider that tight muscles can actually cause flu-like symptoms and pain. Drinking lots of water after a massage (often during or after a body work session, a horse will drink a lot of water) will help flush waste from muscles while carrying nutrients necessary for rebuilding.

When muscles are stressed, they block oxygen and nutrients, leading to inflammation that builds up toxins in the muscle tissue. A deep-tissue massage helps loosen muscle tissues, releasing toxins from muscles, and helps blood and oxygen circulate properly.

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Massage for Pain Relief and More

Bodies are designed to move. In modern Western society, humans and animals spend much of their time in the same static position. Horses stand in stalls or paddocks. Humans sit at desks or in cars. Children sit at desks in school.

Movement or exercise raises the level of endorphins (natural painkillers) and reduces inflammation in the body. Working muscles improves circulation and removes toxins from tissues.

Often pain will make an animal or person fearful of moving their bodies. But without movement, the body won’t get better. There is a difference between the achy soreness that is felt after a workout to get back in shape, and pain. Some soreness is normal and healthy when rebuilding muscles. Owners, trainers, and riders need to be very tuned in to their horses to protect them from re-injury.

The healing power of massage is so apparent that just about every culture in history has used massage to relieve pain. Massage faded into the background with the arrival of modern medicine, but is on the rise as a valuable tool. Massage may also change the way the brain senses pain. As Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky has said, sensations of a good massage can temporarily make the brain forget about other aches. The relief experienced after body work will help attitude and ability to focus, which can affect behavior, training, and performance.

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Why Does Your Horse Need Structural Integration?

Structural Integration, also known as Rolfing, manually releases body stress and tension that prevent postural alignment and balance.

Most pain relates to muscles and joints. Muscles and joints bear the strain when bodies are overused, misused, and unbalanced. Body balance also affects circulation, digestion, and the nervous system.

The muscles and skeleton is the largest energy user of the body. When the body is under strain, the result is fatigue, pain, and reduced athletic performance.

I see my job as a massage therapist as that of a body educator. There is nothing that makes me happier than to see previously uncomfortable and suffering animals able to enjoy their jobs with a bright look on their face.

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Pain Relief Without Drugs

The cold laser I use is different from the lasers used to perform surgery. The lower frequency of light of the therapeutic laser used at horse shows by me and other practitioners does not cut or cauterize tissue.

You might want to try the soothing effects of the laser on your own aches and pains, so you know what your horse, dog, or cat is experiencing. Laser light takes the soreness out of painful tissue and enhances the delivery of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the injury site. This increase in circulation allows the tissues to expel lactic acids or other metabolic wastes along with inflammatory substances that contribute to local pain and swelling.

You can experience natural pain relief without the risks associated with pain medications. Most studies conclude that much faster healing takes place from injury when cold laser therapy is included in the recovery treatment.

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