Natural Balance Therapy has a team of therapists that has been providing therapeutic treatments to residents, in all stages of life, in southeast Wisconsin for the past ten years, helping them return to a pain-free, active lifestyle. We seek to help people understand their bodies and what is causing their pain and discomfort, as well as teach them what they can do to help themselves heal. Natural Balance Therapy is known for giving people in chronic pain hope and long-lasting results.
If visions of sugarplums take you to nightmares of scales, or if a brandied eggnog is followed by disrupted sleep, or if holiday gatherings leave you with a headache of epic proportions, your body might be trying to tell you something.
Are you feeling frazzled? Or are you a little over-scheduled, especially with the holidays approaching? When taking a week off in the Caribbean isn’t an option, here are some ways to work some stress-relieving activities into your everyday routine. While some of these might need a little bit of planning, many of them take only a few minutes, no special equipment, and can be added into your day at any time and just about anywhere.
- Take a little time to just ‘goof off’ – even if it’s just a half an hour, that can have a significant effect on your stress levels. Regular relaxation time is vital for physical and emotional health. Read a humorous book, watch a funny movie, go to a park and play on the swings like a six-year-old (or go sledding and make snow angels). Remember, 'getting physical' has the added benefit of producing mood-lifting endorphins.
- Schedule time for a new hobby – or revisit an old favorite. Getting in touch with your creative side away from whatever causes you stress can even help you solve those problems. While one part of your brain is creating, other parts of your brain are working in the background, coming up with solutions.
- Try out a new stress-management ‘routine’ to turn to when you get overwhelmed – whether that be a few minutes of deep breathing, a five-minute self-massage for the face and scalp, or practicing guided imagery to daydream yourself into another location.
- Go on a ‘tech’ fast for a day, a morning, an hour. With television, computers, tablets, and smartphones, we’re bombarded with news and images that are often threatening or downright depressing. Taking a little time to shut off the technology reenergizes us and helps us focus on what we can take action on.
- For the more ambitious, try throwing an exotic travel party. Have each guest bring a dish from a destination of their choice or yours (that way, you aren’t doing all the cooking). Play international music, try activities from other cultures, and enjoy foreign flavor – no passport required.
Do you get frustrated if you don't make progress with your healing? Do you feel like you're taking two steps forward and one step back? Sometimes, being too attached to our plans and expectations can actually get in the way of our healing process.
No, not Napoleon Bonaparte – we want to help you access your inner Emperor Penguin! The weather change this past week has reminded us that it's never too early to start planning for winter weather – and thinking about ways to keep ourselves safe and healthy through the coming season.
Clicking or popping noises, locking or grating sensations, pain or stiffness in and around the jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can all be symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. Many people also experience headaches, neck pain, or earaches. Bodywork, and particularly the whole-body approach of myofascial release, can be very effective in helping to rebalance the TMJ and the entire cranial vault to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
Because the jaw spans the midline of the body, it is often a place where misalignments between the left and right sides of the body show up - the symptomatic end link in a chain of tension and restriction. A seemingly minor strain or injury can produce a chronic holding or bracing pattern on one side of the body. This holding pattern may lead to secondary or compensatory changes in alignment elsewhere in the body, above or below the original location. These changes can then affect the soft tissues in the neck and shoulders, creating lines of pull that subtly distort the positioning of the bones of the skull, altering the jaw's position and producing the associated symptoms.
With myofascial release therapy, we assess the whole body, looking not just at the direct region of the jaw, but widening our treatment to include other misalignments or soft tissue restrictions and tensions that we notice. As we rebalance these other areas, we often find that the symptoms in the jaw are greatly reduced. In particular, we frequently see a connection with the alignment of the hips - the pelvis serves as a foundation for the entire body, and restrictions and twists here often produce tensions that pull the entire length of the spine to the bones of the skull.
TMJD, like many other symptomatic complexes, can often have several different factors that contribute to its development. In my practice, I have found that myofascial release, with its broad, whole-body approach, is a highly effective method of addressing multiple causes to relieve these symptoms and restore full function.