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A Healthy Body

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.

Got Heartburn? Consider This!

digestion, health, IBS, myofascial release, visceral manipulation, wellness

Many adults suffer from chronic acid reflux (commonly called heartburn), also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.  GERD is a disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter which is a muscle connecting the esophagus with the stomach. Most of my clients describe their pain as under the middle of the chest and as a burning that occurs after meals and often worsens when lying down.

During an attack of GERD the contents of the stomach 'reflux' back up into the esophagus.  According to WebMD, “Normally, a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter opens to allow food into the stomach (or to permit belching); then it closes again. Next, the stomach releases strong acids to help break down the food. If the lower esophageal sphincter opens too often or does not close tight enough, stomach acid can reflux, or seep back into the esophagus, damaging it and causing the burning sensation we know as heartburn.” Other symptoms of GERD may also include hoarseness, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, unexplained lung infections, anemia, coughing, snoring, sore throat and chest pain.  

The conventional medical approach to GERD typically includes life-style changes such as changing the diet to avoid foods that may aggravate the symptoms and reducing stress.  Additionally, your physician may suggest antacids, non-prescription H2 antagonists, prescription-strength drugs and even surgical intervention.  This approach is centered on reducing the amount of acid in the stomach in order to decrease the reflux.

But if the problem is due to a dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter due to weakness or perhaps due to strain from surrounding tissues, why not reduce the stress of these tissues on the sphincter?  

Myofascial release therapy and visceral manipulation do just that. We have found that it is possible to improve the function of our organs simply by reducing mechanical and structural stress on them.  We use these techniques to locate and help solve problems in the body, to encourage your own natural healing mechanisms, to improve the function of your organs, to dissipate the negative effects of stress, and enhance general health and resistance to disease.

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Treat Your Feet!

fascia, health, myofascial release, pain, self-care, self-treatment, wellness, feet, foot care

Self-care for people on their feet and on the go

The Eyes Have It!

health, self-care, wellness, computer, eye strain

Blink!

If you’re reading this, you’re doing so on some sort of electronic device, either a computer, smartphone, or tablet. But spend too much time in front of the screen, and you may notice some of the following: dry or watery eyes, difficulty focusing, blurred or double vision, light sensitivity, and/or headaches.

These are signs of common eye strain, which can occur when we are intensely visually focused for long periods of time. Although eye strain can come from many causes, including driving, reading, or writing, it is most often seen with extended use of digital devices. Some studies suggest that we blink less frequently when using electronics, which can exaggerate the irritation by drying out the surface of the eye.

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Feeling the Flow or Stuck in the Muck?

health, wellness, summer, water

Last week, we talked about ways to keep cool as summer heats up. This week, Linda takes over the blog to expand on one of those methods: Just Add Water!

Imagine a warm pond, still and calm, that has not been disturbed in weeks. It looks brown, dirty and stagnant. You can't even see through the algae-filled water. Now imagine a cool mountain stream flowing over a bed of rocks, the sun shining through water so clean and clear you can see right down to the bottom.

Would you prefer to have the pond water or the stream water in your body? Of course we would all prefer the pure clean water of the flowing stream. But if you are not drinking enough water, the water in your body may be feeling more like the stale, stagnant pond water.

 Some interesting water facts:

  • The human body is between 60% and 80% water
  • Muscles are 75% water
  • Our brains are 74% water
  • Bones are 22% water
     

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Be Cool, Man!

health, wellness, summer, heat stroke, heat exhaustion

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.  ~Russell Baker

This past week or two, Mother Nature has finally been flirting with summer, and the summer solstice is just days away. Temperatures are starting to go up, and summertime activities beckon, in the brief spots between rainshowers. In the first joy of outdoor fun, though, it can be easy to overdo it, and our bodies can pay the price. So, what's a Wisconsinite to do when the mercury starts to get too high for comfort? Plan ahead and keep cool with some of these ideas - and be aware of what to look for to prevent or treat heat-related illness.

  • Add water! Remember to stay adequately hydrated, especially if you’re being physically active on a warm day - try to drink 8 oz of water every hour. You can also place a wet dishcloth or handkerchief on the back of your neck, where some of your body’s thermal regulators are located. Getting your hair wet (even just the hairline) or spritzing your face or body with a mist of water uses evaporation to cool you off (this is less effective when the humidity is high - and be sure to reapply sunscreen as needed). Soaking your feet or hands in a bucket or sink of cool water will also bring your body temperature down.
  • Dress cool. Lightweight, breathable fabrics, like woven cotton or linen, are optimal, especially in light colors, which reflect more of the sun’s rays. And have an extra layer handy for transitioning into buildings with air conditioning set to ‘Arctic’.
  • Eat cool. It’s no surprise that frozen treats are most popular this time of year - but it doesn’t have to be ice cream. Frozen grapes and berries can be eaten right out of the freezer. Mint is another food that can cool you - the menthol has a cooling effect whether you use it on your skin, such as with a peppermint foot lotion, or consume it, like mint tea (or, yes, mint chocolate chip ice cream).

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