Feel Better About Aging

Help yourself get back on your feet with massage and smooth your way through the aging process.

Getting old is…
We often hear ‘Getting old is not for sissies’ and while I’m sure that’s true, regular massage therapy can help you put a positive spin on your aging process.

None of us really want to get old. It’s hard! For those of us who are lucky enough to be growing old, we need to remember that this is a privilege denied to many.

More and more we discover that our minds and bodies simply cannot do what they always did but we are also finding more ways to help ourselves combat the obvious effects of aging and feel better about ourselves.

Staying well as we age
If you read my blog regularly then you already know that I am a proponent of simple solutions to health and wellbeing. These include eating moderately and consciously whenever you can, drinking plenty (more than or two glasses per day) of pure water (click here for more information about hydration)  exercising regularly in whatever way your body will allow and steering clear of nasty people (you will know them if your stomach tightens, your jaw clenches, your head aches or you feel diminished at the mention of their name).

Add to that list getting regular massages! Of course being a massage therapist for the last 28 years, I tend to look at the world through the lens of massage but I have seen so many older adults reap huge benefits from bodywork that I remain a steadfast advocate.


Can’t get outside much?

If you suffer from any condition that makes it difficult for you to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, (pain, arthritis, poor balance, auto-immune disease and many others) then massage becomes even more important. It can help keep your muscles loose and ready for the activities of daily living, it can reduce inflammation and pain levels, it can aid with sleep and anxiety, it can help prevent injuries from falling and can flush accumulated waste from muscles and organs due to inactivity or medications.

Aging can impose many restrictions in our bodies depending on our circumstances and massage is something we can always do for our health and well-being. Many older adults living in Sedona have the time and resources to afford regular massages and you can easily book ahead the same way you do for vacations or doctors appointments.

Try a session with me
At the beginning of your session I will write a detailed intake, while all you have to do is speak. We talk about what you want from the session and how I think I can help. Then, you undress and get onto the table in private. The table is lowered so it’s easy for you to get on and off. I check in with you often about pressure and pace, warmth on the table and in the room. I hope you will rebook before you leave but you are never pressured to do so. I will often give you tips on how to feel better in between sessions and changes that would help you.

The massage that happens in the midst of all this is both unique and personal, according to what you have asked for. You are never too old to try massage for the first time and I would be happy to fill in while your regular massage therapist is sick, on vacation or has left town more permanently. I’m here to help you get back on your feet and smooth your way through the aging process.

Feel Better, Stay Well. Body Dialog Massage.

Crossover Toe

Though it can occur at any age, crossover toe is most often seen in adults.

Crossover Toe images

 

 

 

Causes:

  • Abnormal foot structure (bunion, arthritis, extra-long second toe for example), combined with
  • Abnormal foot mechanics due to tight calf muscles, an injury or even a steroid injection in that area of the foot.
  • These factors lead to overuse and eventually to a condition known as capsulitis.

What is Capsulitis?

Capsulitis is an inflammation and then weakening of the ligaments at the base of the second toe that, if left untreated can cause destabilization and dislocation of the joint so the second toe is then free to move on top of the big toe, creating ‘crossover toe’.

Crossover Toe Figures

Symptoms:

Mostly pain and swelling in the ball of the foot at the base of the second toe. If the toe has already started to move, there will be soreness and pressure on top of the toe from regular closed shoes.

Treatment:

  • As with many of the conditions I write about, this one responds best to massage in the early stages when the second toe is still in place.
  • Most obviously massage and stretching can easily address tight calves on an ongoing basis to reduce wear and tear on the feet. I will probably give you gentle stretches to do regularly at home.
  • It is helpful to decrease the amount of time on your feet if you are usually on them a lot.
  • Ice packs will become your friend because this is an “itis” condition, meaning inflammation, which is heat in the tissue so ice is the perfect remedy for the swelling and the pain. Remember, wrap the ice pack in a thin towel and leave it in place on your foot for 10-20 minutes out of any hour.
  • Ice massage. I keep an ice pack in my studio to apply after a therapeutic massage session and I can also use ice as a massage tool.
  • Topical analgesics come in many cream or gel forms that can provide relief when ice is not readily available. I recommend Arnica oil, Bio-Freeze, Magic Stuff as well as a composite oil that I make up myself called ‘Aches and Pains blend’. It contains many pain-relieving oils from the world of aromatherapy, such as Birch, Basil, Peppermint, Camphor, Cypress, Marjoram, Eucalyptus, Oregano and others.
  • For some, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can help ease the discomfort and swelling.
  • If you see your physician or physical therapist they could recommend using spacers between the toes and/or taping the toes in place. I have taken continuing education in taping so I’d be happy to re-apply tape as needed in with your massage appointment.Crossover Toe Spacers
  • Stiff soled shoes reduce pressure on the ball of the foot and many people benefit from custom orthotics that support the arch and distribute weight away from the irritated joint.
  • As a last resort or if advice is sought too late, surgery has helped many. My opinion is to keep this on the back burner unless absolutely necessary.

Last words:

  • Be kind to your feet from an early age and wear appropriate footwear if you need to stand for long periods.
  • Prop your feet up often and get regular foot massage. I charge a minimal price for a 30-minute session; if done regularly, it can help keep your feet in excellent shape for many years.
  • Notice any changes to your foot and toes and take action early. Knowledge is power but it’s also the booby prize because it doesn’t help you unless you do something about it!!