Tag Archives: Chiropractic

Topical Analgesic Review

Topical Analgesic Product Review for Biofreeze, Cryoderm, and Sombra products

Biofreeze image

Biofreeze:

If you have ever been to a chiropractor or sports medicine clinic I am sure you have seen or heard of Biofreeze.

They have several products including gel, roll-on, and a 360 degree spray. The products are easily found for purchase at most chiropractic clinics, sports medicine clinics, and various spas.

The 360 spray is by far their best product, easy to apply even to your own back with a spray can that works even when held upside down.

The roll-on is simple to use for those areas that you can easily reach but due to direct contact with the skin it should only be used on one person.

Gel is the most common products that is used in most chiropractic clinics. For me personally this is my least favorite product to use in massage because the gel eventually balls up while I am working the area (the same can be said for gels from other companies as well,) however, it does provide a cooling sensation and helps aid in the relaxation of the effected muscles.

Pros:

Easy to obtain at various distributors, easy to use, temporary cooling effect and muscle pain relief.

Cons:

Not long lasting, smells like medicated alcohol, gel balls up with rubbing.

Now, onto my two personal favorites!

cryoderm image

Cryoderm:

I had never heard of Cryoderm products until I was introduced to them at the World Massage Festival. They have a number of products ranging from lotions, sprays, roll-ons, gels, and also heat therapy products.

The cooling effect lasts for several hours and far outlasts Biofreeze.

The heating products contain Capsaicin and provide lasting heat sensation, in fact much hotter than expected. This product might be a bit too much for anyone who is sensitive to hot peppers, but it definitely does exactly what it intends to do!

Pros;

Long lasting cooling or heating, effective muscle pain relief, never tested on animals.

Cons:

Heat therapy may be too hot for some people, strong medicinal scent.

If you like Biofreeze you will love Cryoderm.
sombra products image

Sombra:

What is not to love about Sombra? It has a more pleasant smell than the other products, comes in cooling, heating, and even a soothing lemon version.This also comes in a handy roll-on version as well as lotions, creams, and gels.

The cooling effect is effective but not overpowering, the heating effect is subtle but warming. The heating product also contains Capsaicin but is not as intensely hot as the Cryoderm Heat products. A nice happy medium that is long lasting and smells wonderful!

Pros:

Long lasting heat or cooling, pleasant scent, also comes in a soothing lemon scent.

Cons:

I cannot think of any cons.

http://www.sombrausa.com/

 

In summary:

My personal favorite if I want a powerhouse of an analgesic I prefer Cryoderm products, but if I am looking for an effective yet soothing option I prefer to use Sombra products. Biofreeze is good but if given a choice between them all I know which products I would prefer to use for my clients.

It is also very important to mention that no matter which of these products you use always remember to thoroughly wash your hands before touching your face, eyes, or other areas where the heating or cooling sensation might be problematic, I can assure you from first hand experience that getting these products in your eye is not a pleasant experience.

(I was not paid by any of these companies to write this review, the opinions expressed here are from my personal experience with the three products mentioned.) 

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist
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Can’t Afford A Massage?

I often have people telling me that they wish they could get regular massage but they cannot afford it. I would like to point out a few ways that one can get regular massage without breaking the bank.

First I would like to explain that you would be getting the same exact quality of massage from me if you came to me at a high end spa or a low end spa, at a chiropractic setting or in your own home. The only difference would be that you might not get the amenities of a high end spa such as a Eucalyptus Steam Room and showers.

PPO insurance: most PPO insurance covers alternative medicine, you can use this option to get part or all of the cost of your massage treatments covered by your insurance. In some cases a massage therapist can bill directly to insurance (depending on state laws) or a client can receive massage therapy at a chiropractic or other alternative medicine clinic. Find out if your insurance covers massage.

Memberships: Many spas offer membership rates which lock in a reduced price for being a loyal customer, and example would be non member rate of $99.99 an hour vs member rate of $59.99, saving you $30 per visit. Look into the terms of the contract and the cancellation policies before entering into a membership, introductory rates are often available at such places for first time clients.

Massage Schools: if your insurance does not cover massage and you absolutely cannot afford to get massage treatments don’t discount the idea of getting a massage from students. By the time they get to the clinical part of their education they have already been practicing on each other, family members, and friends and have learned all the basics they need to get started in their hands on education. You will also be providing them much needed practice and feedback to help them in their future career in the field. The cost varies from school to school so contact a few schools in your area and inquire.

Groupon: I hesitate to mention groupon because its business model can be financially hard on a massage therapist as the reduced rate and fees for groupon are generally cost prohibitive in a massage setting but it is an option for finding massage at a reduced cost, sometimes as low as $35 an hour depending on the location. It is a good way to shop around for a good price as well as a good therapist. The downside to groupon is that on average only 10% of people who use a groupon will become repeat clients, which is why many places tend to shy away from offering groupons.

Many private therapists are more than happy to offer you a reduced cost for repeat business and some offer special package deals such as pay for 4 massages get the 5th one free, feel free to ask your therapist if he or she offers any reduced cost options, many will be willing to work with you in exchange for your loyalty as a client.

Make sure that you are being treated by a trained and state regulated massage therapist as there are still many fake massage establishments out there offering very cheap massages that are not only untrained and uneducated but may also cause more harm than good.

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist
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What is Complementary Alternative Medicine?

http://www.medicinenet.com/alternative_medicine/article.htm

What is complementary medicine?

Complementary medicine is a group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that are used together with conventional medicine. An example of a complementary therapy is using aromatherapy to help lessen a patient’s discomfort following surgery.

Complementary medicine is usually not taught or used in Western medical schools or hospitals. Complementary medicine includes a large number of practices and systems of health care that, for a variety of cultural, social, economic, or scientific reasons, have not been adopted by mainstream Western medicine.

Complementary medicine is different from alternative medicine. Whereas complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. An example of an alternative therapy is using a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy that has been recommended by a physician.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) can include the following:

acupuncture,
Alexander technique,
aromatherapy,
Ayurveda (Ayurvedic medicine),
biofeedback,
chiropractic medicine,
diet therapy,
herbalism,
holistic nursing,
homeopathy,
hypnosis,
massage therapy,
meditation,
naturopathy,
nutritional therapy,
osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT),
Qi gong (internal and external Qiging),
reflexology,
Reiki,
spiritual healing,
Tai Chi,
traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and
yoga.

Complementary Alternative Medicine is used in cooperation with Western Medicine  and is not in opposition to Western Medicine, although many of the approaches focus on reducing the need for pain medications through alternative approaches such as stretching, acupuncture, trigger point therapy,  massage, and other therapies our treatments are intended to work with not against Western Medicine.

A good therapist will always tell a client to speak with their existing doctor if they have any medical concerns. I personally have referred some of my clients back to their doctors and encouraged many to see a doctor about their conditions. It is always best for both the client and the massage therapist to have a good understanding of the condition the client has and any contraindications that may alter the course of treatment for the client.

A massage therapist is not allowed to “diagnose” a client, so if we do see something of concern we may suggest that the client should talk to their doctor about it, we can tell them that many conditions present with similar symptoms and that it is always best to ask the doctor to be sure.

 

I always make sure to note if I recommended the client see a doctor in my client notes along with a description of what I observed. We should always make careful notes when we observe anything that seems unusual, such as excessive bruising, and make note of our approach such as “I avoided contact with the area in question.”

If we see something that we feel needs to be addressed by a physician it is our responsibility to say something to the client. There have been cases of melanoma that would have gone unnoticed by the client if their massage therapist had not noticed it and voiced concern that the area should be looked at by a professional. We are in a unique position to see  areas of the body that even the client cannot adequately see and are often covered by clothing and could go unnoticed.

What we do is often times more than simply massaging and stretching a body, our focus is on  the clients overall health and wellness, they trust in us, and we owe it to them to be honest with them if we believe they should see a doctor. The doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths are not our competition, they are our allies in health and wellness.

If a client has or has had cancer it is always best to get a release from that doctor that states the client is able to receive massage therapy.

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist
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Should I see a Chiropractor or a Massage Therapist?

I get asked this question a lot and in my opinion depending on your condition you should see both. Massage and chiropractic are complementary to one another. Muscles attach to bones and vertebrae and when a muscle is tight it can pull vertebrae and even ribs out of place, or out of “alignment” as they say in chiropractic.

I was very blessed to work with a very educational chiropractor right out of college. He was not only educational to his patients but to the staff members as well. Having been a patient of chiropractic since I was a child I was very familiar with chiropractic treatment. One day I asked him “how come you don’t use an activator like many chiropractors do?” his reply was “that is why I have you.” A massage before a chiropractic adjustment can loosen the muscles and make it easier for the chiropractor to adjust you.

I fully understand the concerns people may have about chiropractic and I will admit there are some chiropractors that I would never recommend and others that I highly recommend. What I look for when I get chiropractic care is, did the chiropractor listen to my history and treat my individual needs or did the chiropractor simply give me the standard adjustment (or cookie cutter adjustment as I call it) and send me on my way? Did the Chiropractor take the time to feel the vertebrae and assess me before the adjustment? Does the chiropractor educate the client in self care?

Similar questions should be applied when seeking a massage therapist, does the therapist listen to and address your needs and concerns? Does the therapist treat each client based on their individual needs or simply apply a structured routine? Does your massage therapist take the time to educate you on self care?

While it is not uncommon to have a “spontaneous adjustment” in areas of the neck or back with a massage treatment a massage therapist does not adjust and is not allowed to adjust a client. Massage focuses on the muscles and when the muscles relax or are manipulated during a massage sometimes bones or joints that are being pulled by those muscles will fall back into place naturally, that is not the same as an adjustment.

Also keep in mind that a chiropractor can also order further testing such as MRI’s and xrays to get a better understanding of the problem whereas a massage therapist cannot.

In short I believe that chiropractic and massage therapy go hand in hand. If you are trying to decide between the two then perhaps you should consider both.

Yours in Health and Wellness,

Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist

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