After surgery massage.

Why do you need an after surgery massage?

There are many reasons you need an after surgery massage. The reasons may range from easing pain from post-operative scar tissue right the way down to reducing swelling in your body as it struggles with healing on its own.

The massage we use for these different issues vary depending what you need.

For instance, if you’re struggling with stubborn scars which are itching, restricting movement or raised (keloids) and looking unsightly, then we’d be likely to use myofascial release therapy to unstick the fibres that are causing the adhesions to clump together. This after surgery massage therapy helps to reduce the blood flow to the scar tissue that causes it to be raised.

At the other end of the scale is the light touch manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), which is another common after surgery massage. MLD is great for reducing swelling and helps decrease a patient’s recovery time and improving the end results of the scar. It does this by reducing the post surgery swelling and scar tissue formation (fibrosis).

Plastic surgeons often recommend manual lymphatic drainage, particularly as a post liposuction massage as it is safe and incredible effective using only gentle friction.

How does the healing process work? And what are the benefits of after surgery massage?

Our body carries oxygen and nutrients that it needs to help heal us in blood flow. Massage therapy increases our blood flow, and so a massage is how we can help our body naturally heal. An increase in blood flow produces not only an increase in the blood, but all the good stuff our body uses to piece us back together post surgery. This applies to muscles and joints as well as postoperatively, by the way. Once the blood has delivered all these nutrients, it removes the waste. It’s this removal of toxins and metabolic waste that also helps us to heal. So the more blood flow, the better our healing process.

Now, with particular types of scarring that can be helped by after surgery massage therapy, we’re working differently. All the above still happens, but then your massage therapist has trained in different techniques that allow us to support your body and your healing process in additional ways.

When you have an operation including plastic surgery and liposuction or freeze sculpting, they often disrupt the lymph flow which means your body can’t heal. If you use MLD as your choice of therapeutic massage after surgery then this supports the lymphatic system. This modality uses light pressure to stimulate the part of our body that helps drain away the waste and aids the healing process. After surgery it can become overloaded to the point where swelling occurs, impeding us so much that it often affects our range of movement.

Reduce scar tissue

To help reduce scar tissue on patients, myofascial release massage can be beneficial. When we injure ourselves our body sends additional blood to heal the affected site. So when a doctor slices through our flesh, our body goes into overdrive. It doesn’t know that they did this with good intention, all it’s intent on doing is sealing our damaged skin, muscle and tissues back together again. This excess blood leads to several effects; the heat that makes us itch, and the red swelling either side of the incision.

This can help as much if you’ve cut your finger on a broken glass down to post breast surgery, including mastectomy for cancer treatment. In this situation, massage can also help reduce stress, tension and anxiety and improving postoperative circulation.

In its eagerness to seal us back together, our body often overstimulates, increasing collagen.

This increased production is why all the sticky fibres that pull the skin back together can be a little too much. If we don’t have a scar tissue massage, we will often find that our range of movement is hindered by our once mobile flesh now being stuck to bones and other deeper set body parts that they were never meant to adhere to. Myofascial release literally massages your scar to release this sticky fascia and not only improve the appearance of your wound but also reduce the appearance of that red swelling.

fascia for after surgery massage
Fascia which is released during myofascial release therapy

Other conditions that may benefit from after surgery massage include:tummy tuck MLD manual lypmhatic drainage

Capsular contracture — during breast augmentation surgery a complication can arise in which internal scar tissue forms around the breast implant. This constricts the blood and lymph supply to the area, resulting in a misshapen and hard breast.

Hip replacement — an after surgery massage will loosen up tight muscles and help create improved flexibility as well as helping to improve blood supply to the area and improving skin elasticity. MLD will also help to decrease any buildup of fluids caused from the damage the surgical procedure has created.

Injury caused from abdominal surgery, including liposuction and tummy tuck. This encourages faster healing, reduced long-term discomfort and chronic swelling. This also applies to any kind of plastic surgery, including butt lifts.

Breast surgery, including enhancement procedures and cancer treatments.

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Garlic benefits

Garlic benefits our health. We know this, because we’ve been told it. But, for the health benefits of garlic, specifically cancer, then we need to delve a little deeper.

Let’s back up a little

Have you noticed how every month there seems to be a trendy new diet, but still obesity rates continue to rise? We’re not talking about that. This piece is about digging deeper into the demonstrable health benefits of the garlic bulb.
Superfoods and setting the background.

There are two categories of superfood most adept at blocking cancer cell growth in a petri dish. But which is healthier?

Imagine you’re standing queuing for one of those salad bars. You have no strong family history of cancer, so you’re not looking at avoiding one specific type of cancer.

Five popular food choices at the salad bar.

Spinach. Number one against:
Breast cancer
Brain tumours
Kidney
Pancreatic
Prostate cancer
Stomach cancer
Lung cancer
Paediatric brain tumours. That’s why we need to feed kids spinach.

If the salad place were out of spinach, then you’d want to choose your second choice from that salad bar.

Radiccio. Number 2 against
Brain tumours
Kidney
Four toppings on our salad:
Shredded beets
Brain tumour
Kidney cancer – helps suppress tumour growth in approx 50% of cases
Cucumber – suppresses rumour cell growth less than 50%

Tomato and potato are largely ineffective. Nor iceberg lettuce and carrots. And this is the issue, this is what we eat. If we choose a vegetable or salad, the ones we commonly eat have little or no effect at stopping cancer growth.

The one veg that stands out amongst the crowd. It stopped cancer growth in 7 out of 8 tumours.

Garlic benefits. Number one against
Breast cancer
Brain tumours
Number 2 against
Kidney cancer
Lung cancer
Childhood brain tumour
Pancreatic cancer
Prostate cancer
Stomach cancer

A garlicky salad dressing would therefore be great on our spinach!

Is it just that garlic is toxic to all cells?

Garlic Benefits. It stops the growth of cancer cells, but does it stop the growth of healthy cells?

They tested for this. Garlic slams cancer cells but doesn’t touch normal, healthy cells. And the same thing with all the vegetables. They’re selective. They go after the cancer cells but leave the normal cells alone.

The two best families of vegetables for cancer prevention are the cruciferous veg such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and the allium family of vegetables like garlic, onions and leeks.

So, you know all those recipes that start with garlic and onions and then you throw in some greens?

The researchers conclude that this is the way to eat if you want to stand an excellent chance of beating cancer. “Including cruciferous and allium family veg in your diet is ESSENTIAL for effective dietary based chemo or cancer preventative strategies.”

Are there any benefits of garlic powder for treating lead poisoning?

Lead is important when we’re talking about cancer because it inhibits DNA repair. And if we want to stand the best chance of beating cancer, then this is critical.

They often base dietary strategies for treating lead poisoning on rodent studies. However, there was a population study for tofu showing low lead levels in people who ate more tofu. There were a bunch of factors within this study.

What they set out to do was develop a kind of placebo which isn’t easy to do with food. It’s not like taking a pill. So, they did a disguised food intervention by using food that was so potent they stuffed it in a pill.

Like garlic.

Feeding garlic extract to chickens reduced the lead build up in the edible mass of chickens by up to 75% or more. What’s interesting is that these chickens were actively fed lead for a week to increase their lead levels. And then they compared the results of feeding these chickens garlic straight away by combining it with the garlic. And then waiting a week.

The results were better.

The value of garlic was more significant by giving garlic after they stopped building up the lead in in tissues.
We used to think the benefit of garlic on lead toxicity was primarily because of a reaction in the effects of the chemical compounds building up. A reaction between the sulphur compounds in the garlic and the lead that would cling onto the lead in the intestinal track and flush it out of your body.

But what this study appears to show is:

Garlic appears to contain compounds that not only pull lead out of the intestines but out of the tissues in our body.

So the results show that garlic contains key latent compounds capable of eliminating lead. so we can feed garlic to humans, which minimises the effect of lead compounds commonly found in meat.

If it is so effective why not explore it more?

There had never been a study to discover the effect of using garlic to help lead exposed humans until 2012.
A head-to-head comparison study between the therapeutic effects of garlic and a chelation therapy drug called deep penicillamine.

chelation therapy chemotherapy cancer oncology

 

They randomly split 117 workers who were exposed to lead in a car battery work plant into two groups.
They took the drug 3 times a day or 1/8 teaspoon garlic compressed into a tablet 3 times daily which is about the equivalent of 2 cloves of fresh garlic a day for a month.

The drug reduced blood lead levels by about 20%. This is as expected.

But so did the benefits of garlic. It worked just as well as the drug. And had fewer side effects. So this study suggests garlic is safer and as effective.

Garlic supplements such as these tablets that you can buy on Amazon, would therefore seem to be a good bet. This contains Allin, a compound which naturally arises from crushing and chopping garlic. It’s proven to reduce inflammation, and having some significant antioxidant benefits. Fresh garlic contains alliin (an amino acid) and crushing the clove creates an enzyme called allinase.

However, saying that something is as effective as chelation therapy isn’t saying much. It doesn’t sound that impressive.

Remember how for chronic lead levels chelation drugs lower blood levels, but don’t actually improve neurological function? This is where it gets amazing.

They saw significant clinical improvements in the garlic group:

Less irritability
Fewer headaches
improvements in reflexes
Reduced blood pressure
All after treatment with garlic. This didn’t apply to the drug, showing that garlic can be effective at treating mild-to-moderate lead poisoning.

Did you know that garlic and flavonoid nutrients found in e.g. nuts and beans protect against DNA damage induced from mutagenic chemicals found in cooked meat? Remember the study won out as the number 1 anti cancer vegetable?

Well, which kind of garlic would be the best?

Answer any garlic.

Flavonoid nutrients. Do they have a beneficial effect on the damage caused by lead?

They took white blood cells from colon cancer patients and exposed them to increasing doses of fried food carcinogens.

They added some plant micronutrients to this, found in apples, red onions and berry and also buckwheat and asparagus. This brought the damage down.

There was more DNA damage present found in the blood cells of the cancer patients. But note. they didn’t have blood cancer. They had colon cancer, so in theory their fried food intake shouldn’t affect their blood.

Even though the cancer was in their colon, their entire body was under increased oxidative stress showing significant higher DNA damage or maybe the DNA damage came first and that’s why they had cancer int eh first place. This study has no way to tell that.

Either way, they experienced less reduction of induced DNA damage suggesting that it would require higher concentrations of flavonoids to achieve the same protective effect. So, cancer and other chronic disease victims need even more fruit and veg intake to reverse the damage from carcinogens.

A note on raw foods. Almost all vegetables have an increased level of vitamin and mineral capacity when eaten raw. The one major exception to this is tomatoes, which improve when cooked. However, as we saw above, these are not part of the main cancer beating food groups and garlic trumps the lot.

Source: Dr Michael Gregor MD FACLM

Read more about how we can help you beat the effects of cancer treatments.

Progesterone hypersensitivity and how it affects fertility, miscarriage and early menopause.

What is progesterone hypersensitivity?

progesterone hypersensitivity skin rash example
This is a mild example of what you might expect

Progesterone hypersensitivity is a challenging disease also known as autoimmune progesterone dermatitis. Heterogeneous skin eruptions characterise the condition which start out feeling like you’re getting a burn.

Your symptoms can be multiforme and range from slight to extreme. Extreme side effects to progesterone can cause

your skin to feel like it’s burning, coming up in lesions and blisters.

Less severe outcomes in women may be hives or a skin rash.

These rashes may happen cyclically during the second part (luteal phase) of your menstrual cycle, post ovulation, because they link it to the rise in your progesterone hormone levels, but this isn’t a fail-safe diagnostic tool.

The phases of fertility and successful conception

What does progesterone do for fertility?

Progesterone does a bunch of stuff in our female body, but when we talk about pregnancy, it creates a thick and warm environment in our womb for our embryo to embed.

It is therefore a key fertility hormone.

Six hormones that are key to pregnancy and avoiding early miscarraige

How does progesterone hypersensitivity affect fertility and miscarriage?

During the stages of your early pregnancy it is imperative to maintain your levels of progesterone because it helps to prepare your uterus for the baby to implant by thickening the lining of your womb.

After about 9 weeks, the placenta takes over this role. But, it’s easy to see why ladies who suffer with the unfortunate but highly rare condition of progesterone hypersensitivity, are more likely to suffer an early miscarriage.

Without this thick bed lining our uterus, it’s difficult for the embryo to nestle in with enough stability to see it through the developments that take place during the first trimester of your pregnancy. It’s difficult for women to control their response to the hormone.

Therefore, if you don’t have enough progesterone, you have an increased chance of early miscarriage.

Progesterone hypersensitivity can happen during a normal pregnancy and also, as we see below, when you’re having fertility treatment.

I’m having IVF, can I avoid this situation?

If you’re a patient of any fertility treatment including IVF and ICSI, then you’ll take progesterone on the same day that your eggs are collected. This is to stimulate a nice, thick lining to your womb.

Some side effect of the progesterone pessary (suppository) or less common, an injection which fertility clinics prescribe their patients are:

*Insomnia

*Dizziness and/ or tiredness/ nausea

*Mood swings

*Bloating, often accompanied by cramps

As with all hyperstimulated hormonal balancing techniques, there are a ton of potential side effects besides the above. We’ve listed these below this article** for the sake of being diligent. But your fertility clinic should run through these with you. So, please don’t panic, these severe side effects are incredibly rare.

However, today, we’re picking out one of these rare forms of reactions, progesterone hypersensitivity, which results in the reddening of your skin.

Can I get tested to see if I’m likely to suffer with progesterone hypersensitivity?

First off, we’re talking about a rare disease here. But, if you like the idea of getting a standard dermatology allergy test to determine a pre-existing sensitivity, then they are available.

*If you suffer with some common side effects in the latter part of your cycle, then this could be a principled reason to get tested.

*Or, if you’ve been on progesterone only contraceptives such as an oral tablet or implant and had a poor reaction.

This report will determine whether you have a natural predisposition to reacting negatively to the hormone.

This works by putting a negligible amount of progesterone into your skin and testing your results. If you test positive then you can speak to your doctor or fertility specialist about their view on how sensitive you will be during a pregnancy. Particularly if you’re having months of fertility treatment.

How will I be treated for progesterone hypersensitivity?

Legally we need to spell out that we’re not doctors. We’re giving you a run down of the options we’ve heard of, but your medical specialist will treat you in accordance for what is right for your specific symptoms.

Very often your clinical practitioners will give you steroids to reduce the swelling either by cream or injections.

Is there another way to get the same fertility results without using progesterone?

It’s difficult because our body is so attuned to give us what we need, that each hormone has its own role to play.

When you suffer with a progesterone hypersensitivity reaction, depending on the severity of it, your doctor may stop adding this into your treatment plan. An old way that doctors used to help offset this hole in your plan is to add in HCG.

Read about your cycle and hormone balance throughout.

HCG is another hormone produced by your body. The role of this is to stimulate your corpus luteum.

The corpus luteum is the case of the egg, which once you ovulate dies off. This stimulates a surge in progesterone levels. So, by increasing your HCG, doctors are trying to stimulate your body to produce more progesterone. It hasn’t shown significant results from what we’ve read, but your doctors will know more because they will also have a specific view of your personal situation.

Is there anything else that may help?

Sometimes, after your miscarriage, your symptoms will continue for a period. These symptoms don’t last just a few days and then rectifies after you stop taking the drugs.

There is a possible option which you may want to look at in time. The symptoms don’t go immediately into remission. But, once they have, doctors can look at exposing you to insignificant amounts of progesterone over a prolonged period.

Desensitisation therapy works a little like any other allergy where the theory is that when you have exposure to a paltry amount of something, your body learns to build its tolerance. But this takes time.

We haven’t heard of any other medicine that works against this diagnosis.

We may have another solution.

Medical rectification to this disorder may be limited, but you need not be at a complete loss. We have seen repeatedly at Essential Feeling how powerful reflexology can balance hormones.

Fertility preparation

If we do this prior to you having treatment such as IVF or ICSI, the theory is that your body is more balanced. An autoimmune condition happens when your body misreads the signals and thinks its being attacked. It then does everything it can to rid your system of these invaders.

One way it does this is through your skin. So when you’re sick you’re always told to drink a lot of water, because this is the easiest way for your body to rid itself of toxins. And it avoids these painful inflammations, which is the panic mode used when all else fails. when you’re sick, you’re always told to drink a lot of water, because this is the easiest way for your body to rid itself of toxins. And it avoids these painful inflammations, which is the panic mode used when all else fails.

So, when we add, in this case, a heightened level of progesterone, quickly and unexpectedly, if your body starts out off balance, it tips over the eradication scale faster.

Explanation of progesterone and how hypersensitivity can affect fertility and early miscarraige

I’m not sure I’m explaining this well.

Think about it like this.

You are stressed at work; you have a bunch of emails, the phone rings whilst you’re trying to answer them and your boss calls you in to talk about the state of a massive project you’re working on.

Now, think about that same meeting with your boss where beforehand you know it’s coming, you have spent the night before preparing and you have made some great notes.

Which meeting will mean you get to present yourself and your knowledge in the best light?

This is how the body works.

So, if we let your immune system feel relaxed and at ease, then it’s less likely to spiral out of control, looking to fight fires where they don’t exist.

We can use this to help speed up your recovery after you’ve experienced a symptom such as an eczematous eruption.

Post outbreak/ allergic reaction

The above example relies on you knowing because you’ve already been diagnosed that you have a tendency to react to progesterone. But what happens if you only find out when you’ve already had that reaction. Or an early miscarriage?

This is when we use reflexology to calm the inflammation that results from progesterone hypersensitivity. We aim to balance your progesterone back with your oestrogen through using reflex points on your feet to release that internal stress we described above. This means your body isn’t fighting itself so much with the outcome being that your symptoms decrease.

We have also shown reflexology treatments at Essential Feeling an elsewhere reduce inflammation. If we can do this for you, then we can not only speed up the time it takes for your body to rebalance, but we can also ease the path to your recovery by reducing pain and swelling.

Check out our YouTube video on hay fever. You can see how swelling because of an allergic reaction to pollen goes down in minutes. Without the use of any drugs such as anti histamine,

To book in for reflexology to help balance your hormones and ease inflammation, you can use our online booking system.

** More rare forms of reaction to progesterone stimulation

  • Signs of an allergic reaction including anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock
  • Pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs or anywhere on your skin
  • Chest pain or pressure, a sudden cough or wheezing. Rapid breathing.
  • Vision problems that appear often with a nasty headache
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Pain or burning when you pee
  • Depression symptoms
  • A lump in your breast
  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Fast onset of numbness or weakness
  • Other issues with speech, balance, numbness

Endometriosis

You’ve just had your endometriosis diagnosis and finally, you have a reason. Something to hang your hat on for all the painful periods and gut wrenching sex.

But what is endometriosis?

Hormones cause endometriosis.

We have tissue which is sticky so that when we are trying for a baby, the egg can implant. Endometriosis happens when this sticky lining goes wayward and gets outside our womb. Because it is so sticky it causes no end of trouble as it passes on its journey around our pelvic girdle, sticking bits and pieces of organs together in places they were never meant to sitck!

This causes our pain and inflammation.

You’ll notice I’m talking about the ‘we’ here. That’s because I have Endometriosis too. I had one operation which had me off work for six weeks. And then they still didn’t get all the pesky tissue, so I was on strong hormone injections for months after that. They type that they give to women with breast cancer with a needle the size of a baby’s arm. Not fun.

When it was time for another op, I called a halt to the surgery. There must be a better way, I thought.

And there is.

Where are the common places the endometrial lining sticks to?

*Ovaries and fallopian tubes
*Exterior of your uterus
*Your bowel
*Mine got itself to my kidneys!

Endometriosis pain

Endometriosis ovary pain is common around the time of our period. This is because this tissue breaks down as our hormones change during our menstrual cycle. Hence why we get more pain around the time of our period.
Over time the effects of this build and we get long-term painful adhesions or scar tissue.

Endometriosis symptoms

Signs and symptoms of endometriosis include pain just before, during, or after menstruation. This is the most common endometriosis symptom.

The level of this pain can be different from woman to woman. Many find it debilitating.

There are some key times when we experience more pain:

*During or after sex
*During bowel movements or urination

Another endometriosis symptom is ongoing lower back pain, or in the pelvis.

At the other extreme, many women with endometriosis have mild or no symptoms. They only find out when they try to conceive and struggle. It depends on where that sticky lining attaches itself to. If it’s not pulling anything that causes pain then you won’t experience any symptoms. Where you feel pain will give you a sign of where the growths are internally.

Read more about surprising causes of lower back pain.

What are the first signs of endometriosis?

It’s often tricky to tell the difference between cramps and endometriosis. As a general rule, if your cramps continue for 2 days after your period has ended, then this is one of the first signs of endometriosis.

However, cramps can also be a sign of fibroids. These are non-cancerous growths around the uterine area. The difference between fibroids and endometriosis is that pain from the former is any time of the month.

And don’t rule out how this can affect teens. When their periods start, if it throws them backwards for a few days, this can be a sign of the condition.

Likewise, regular pain during sex can be another indicator.

Endometriosis and infertility

As we’ve said, some ladies only find out they have endometriosis when they struggle with fertility. Around one third of women with the disease have trouble getting pregnant.

The issue here may be because of scarring, but no-one is sure. We see the disease pass down through families so there is a role of heredity where your risk increases if your mother had endometriosis.

There’s also another theory that it’s down to the flow of menstrual blood. Some say that blood flows back through our fallopian tubes and into our pelvic cavity instead of out of our body.

The reason people class endometriosis as an autoimmune disorder is because it’s a faulty immune system that cannot get rid of these misplaced cells. However, one theory which works against the autoimmune theory is that we’ve had abdominal cells since we were embryos. If these keep their ability to become endometrial cells, then this is just pure genetics rather than a disease.

Who is at risk?

There are several classes that put you more at risk, including:
*Women in our 30s and 40s
*no previous children
*lengthy periods, lasting over 7 days
*cycles which last less than 28 days
*started our periods before we were 12
*mother with the same endometrial symptoms

Severe endometriosis treatment

It’s possible for many women to continue their daily lives without medical intervention. They may need to take some anti-inflammatory drugs at certain times of the month, but other than that they go on with their business unaffected.
It’s only when they want a baby that things get tricky.

The standard medical treatment for severe endometriosis is to go in for a laparoscopy which is an operation which lasts a brief period. During this a small incision is inserted in your belly button, and they inflate you. And then the surgeon will remove as much of the sticky lining as they can. You then have a brief window of fertility when your reproductive areas are free of the ‘gunk’ and so able to work freely without being tangled up.

Surgical procedures sound like a life line, but they have recovery time and trust me, that’s longer than you expect.

How does reflexology help?

I don’t know. That’s the issue with reflexology there isn’t enough formal research out there. But, speaking from personal experience on both sides of the counter, it works. As I write this, we’re in the middle of COVID-19. My clients are texting me, going crazy with their symptoms flaring up and mine are doing the same. When we feel like this, it doesn’t matter what reflexology does to treat endometriosis, it’s enough to know that it does. And we’re happy for the relief it provides.

What I do know is that when you come in for a reflexology therapy for endometriosis, I’m working to balance your hormones. By doing this, everything in your abdominal area functions better. It’s getting the right messages from your brain, so by treating the source, we treat the problems.

This is the same concept as your doctor giving you birth control pills to balance out your production of oestrogen and progestin. Another way that doctors manage endometriosis symptoms is through mimicking menopause.

Neither are a splendid solution if you’re looking to get pregnant!

And so reflexology treatments are helpful. On top of that I layer in work to reduce inflammation which is great for pain reduction.

If you would like to add in an optional fertility massage then we an also help to un-stick some areas. This is something I have and although it is uncomfortable during the session, afterwards the effects are immediate.

For some ladies this means that their symptoms stabilise, and their pain diminishes. This also means that when they go for IVF of ICSI, they are better placed to have a few cycles because their issues are not reproducing as fast, giving them a greater window to try for pregnancy.

Other’s symptoms quell which improves their natural fertility and their quality of life as their pain is no longer a factor.

You can use the online booking system or you can text us on 07757 946023.