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Health

March 30, 2017

Follow These Four Simple Steps to Promote Heart Health

Heart Health Month

Sure, when we think of heart health, aspects like intense cardio workouts come to mind. However, how can those of us with disabilities or conditions, including those of us who are aging, maintain – and even improve – our heart health? It’s easier and more practical than one may think.

Sleeping Your Way to a Healthier Heart

Indeed, increased heart health can be as easy as sleeping. Studies show that sleeping around 7 hours per night reduces calcium in arteries and heart disease. The quality of sleep, matters, too, so if you can get a truly sound 7 hours of sleep, you’re dramatically improving your heart health. Now that’s wonderful news!

View Your Weight Not Just From a Mirror, But From Your Heart

Weight is a physical, mental and emotional battle for many. It also weighs on your heart – literally. Speak with your doctor about your weight, and get a true diagnosis on whether your weight is appropriate. For most who are moderately overweight, losing just 5% can dramatically not only improve heart health, but decrease cholesterol. hypertension, and diabetes. This means for a 5’9” male, who ideally should weigh in the 170 lb. range, at 200 lbs., losing merely 10 pounds has a very positive effect on heart health, according to the American Medical Association.

Fuel Your Heart the Right Way

We often think of how our diet effects areas of our health. However, our hearts are the engines that power our bodies – and they, too, benefit from nutrition. Specifically, an easy way to note what best feeds our hearts are natural foods that grow. In the grocery store, this means staying away from packaged items, and looking toward fruits, vegetables and nuts. Additionally, if you’re out at a restaurant, according to WebMD, skip the steaks and pasta and look to the fish. Salmon, in particular, is rich with omega-3 fatty acids that have an anti-clogging effect, keeping blood flowing optimally to your heart.

E1 370 Series Platform Ergometer

The E1 370 Series Platform Ergometer

Your Heart Likes to Pump

Among the best ways to keep our hearts healthy is by using them beyond a resting state. Put simply, our hearts like when we move and make them work a bit. Exercise is a key to this, but in very liberal terms. Based on disability, condition or age, many have limitations when it comes to “exercise.” However, whatever movement we can do is very advantageous to heart health and getting our vascular system flowing. Specialized exercise machines are available, designed for those of us who are not able to stand to exercise in the ways we traditionally think of. Check out the upper and lower body Ergometers from Endorphin, and available at SpinLife.com . Always consult a physician before attempting any exercise program, but they can range from simple arm movements to as intense as handcycling for wheelchair users. Movement is the key, and it varies by individual.

Heart Health to a Natural Beat

We’ve all seen extremes when it comes to heart health, from triathletes to countless so-called supplements. However, the medical community proves that, regardless of disability, condition or age, there are very practical, everyday steps we can take toward better heart health – right down to how much we sleep, eat and move.

January 31, 2017

Diagnosis: Dementia. Repetitive behavior; Survival Secrets for Caregivers

The dementia epidemic is worldwide

They refer to it as the Dementia Epidemic. As many as 5.2 million people in America are living with this disease.

To review: Dementia is an umbrella term describing a variety conditions that develop when nerve cells in the brain die or no longer function normally. The damages to these nerve cells cause changes in one’s memory, behavior and ability to think clearly

In the next installment in the series, I’d like to discuss a common trait exhibited by individuals diagnosed with dementia: Repetitive behavior. That behavior may be exhibited as an action- like searching for something, changing the channels on the remote, or verbally-like repeating a question, or making the same statement over and over. Continue Reading

January 18, 2017

Relieve Pressure Using these Effective Wheelchair Stretches

pressure relief

Stretching and exercise are great ways to relieve pressure issues that come with prolonged sitting. Here are a couple of easy stretches that can be done, every day and without drawing undue attention to the exercise. Each technique can be done independently or with assistance; depending on your strength and balance. Be sure you are in a wheelchair of adequate weight when doing these stretches- for safety’s sake. Continue Reading

January 4, 2017

Can lift chairs help prevent falls? Learn how today!

fall-awarenessJanuary is National Falls Prevention month, and SpinLife is doing it’s part by hosting our Lift Chair Event.

How can a lift chair help prevent falls you may ask? You may be surprised at the answer! Statistics prove that among our aging population, falls account for an enormous number of injuries every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 4 older adults fall each year. About half of those are unreported, but 2.8 million older adults are treated in emergency rooms each year for fall related injury. 2.8 million! Continue Reading

September 9, 2016

Therapeutic Massage: Improving Body, Mind and Spirit

therapeutic massage benefits

There’s no question that a massage – whether by a partner or a professional – can be the ultimate in relaxation.

However, did you know that therapeutic massage has become a scientifically-studied, proven form of treating many permanent disabilities, including spinal cord injuries (SCI)?

Twenty SCI patients, with injury levels between C5 and C7, were involved in a therapeutic massage study. Half were randomly selected to participate in massage therapy for 40 minutes, twice per week. The other control group participated in typical rehab exercise routines twice per week. After five weeks, both groups showed physical improvement. However, the massage therapy group not only showed significantly higher physical improvements, but also lower anxiety and depression scores. Put simply, massage therapy proved dramatically more beneficial than traditional exercise with this SCI study.

So, what specific areas does massage therapy help with?

Circulation

Among those with spinal cord injuries and other movement-restrictive conditions, proper circulation – especially in effected limbs – is among the leading causes of secondary health issues. These issues can range from as seemingly mundane as a tingling sensation to as deadly as blood clots. Therapeutic massage can dramatically improve blood flow as muscles and tissue is stimulated. And, again, with as little as two sessions per week, improved circulation can be sustained.

Range of Motion

For those with a loss of movement, muscles and joints can become limited in range of motion (ROM). At its most severe, limited ROM can lead to contractures, meaning parts of the body become fixed in position – for example, limbs that no longer straighten. Therapeutic massage reduces muscle tension (which even for those with SCIs, muscles may still involuntarily contract). This reduction in tension can allow joints and extremities to have increased ROM, decreasing the likelihood of contractures.

Spasticity and Tone

For those with spasticity and tone, the constant muscle extension and contraction can be fatiguing, painful and frustrating. Through therapeutic massage, the relation of the muscles can decrease these symptoms. Fatigue often exacerbates spasticity and tone, whereas relaxation can decrease it. By relaxing the muscles through therapeutic massage, the adverse effects of spasticity and tone are often dramatically decreased, allowing improved muscle control.

Emotional Well-being

Getting back to the aforementioned study, therapeutic massage has proven benefits beyond the physical. Disability experience can be difficult and stressful. Knowing the mind-body connection, relaxing one can relax the other. Those undergoing therapeutic massage universally express lower anxiety and less depression, a correlation to releasing endorphins and other chemicals that improve emotional mood and mental health.

Therapeutic Massage as Modern Medicine

When it comes to therapeutic massage, it’s no longer a mystery: modern medicine proves its benefits not only for the physical, but the emotional and mental. More and more outpatient rehabilitation facilities offer therapeutic massage, and it’s recommended for many with spinal cord injuries and other conditions for dramatic improvements in quality of life – mind, body and soul.

New technologies in therapeutic massage products can provide the next best thing to your own personal massage therapist. For soothing, kneading massage to ease sore neck and shoulder muscles, try the Osaki Kneading Massage Belt.

Kneading Massage Belt

Kneading Massage Belt

OmKnee Foot Massager

OmKnee Foot Massager

 

 

 

 

 

 

The OmKnee Foot Massager offers shiatsu massage to the feet and legs, and heated air-pressure massage to your calves and knees to increase circulation and ease knee pain.

 

For the ultimate in massage and relaxation, check out the Refresh Massage chair. Recline, relax and enjoy a full body compression massage any time! See our full range of therapeutic massage products at Spinlife.com.

therapeutic massage chair

Refresh Massage Chair