Do You Ever Wonder What Causes Your Muscle Knots?

by Cindy Chamberlain on July 31, 2018

Muscle Knot Relief In Overland Park, KS - Eastern Healing Solutions

Muscle knots are a puzzling fact of life for most people. They can occur almost anywhere in your body, but are most commonly found in the muscles of your upper back, neck, and shoulders. They feel like a hard, ropey lump in the belly of the muscle, and can range from being extremely painful to not painful at all. Some knots can cause migraine headaches, shoulder pain, back spasms, and even can compress nerves.

While many people have these knots in their muscles, most don’t know what they are or where they come from. To understand what a muscle knot is, you need to know a little bit about the anatomy of your muscles.

Made up of layers of fibers, your muscles are layered one on top of the other throughout your body. Most of those muscles, or layers, run in different directions from the ones above or below. In order to perform their function of moving your skeletal structure, your muscles need to be supple and flexible. Muscles knots occur through overuse, recurring positions, frequent dehydration, or an injury to the muscle. Then, the normally pliable muscle layers start to stick to each other, inhibiting movement and function. This adhesion is a muscle knot, and it can feel like a hard lump in an otherwise smooth muscle.

Some muscle knots are no big deal—they may be small and painless. However, large knots, or knots in large muscles can be hyper sensitive or painful. Those knots that are painful or hyper irritable are considered to be trigger points; similar to a muscle knot, but you can point right to it because it hurts. Whether a trigger point or a muscle knot, these adhesions can create scar tissue and cause a loss of muscle function over time.

When it comes to Chinese medicine and muscle knots, one of the key theories of good health is that blood and energy need to flow. A muscle knot or trigger point is considered to be a stagnant area in your body, in which flow is hampered.  That’s because the adhesion is blocking the movement of the muscle, the circulation of nutrients and blood into the muscle and surrounding tissue, and sometimes your range of motion.

Muscle knots, especially painful ones, are also considered to be Ah Shi points in Chinese medicine. Literally meaning “That’s the spot!” Ah Shi points are acupuncture points that are located primarily by palpation, and are tender to the touch. In most cases your acupuncturist will want to locate any Ah Shi points (actually trigger points), and place a needle at that point. While that may sound painful, it actually can be an effective way to loosen up the knot and relieve pain in the area.

Another technique your acupuncturist may use to treat a muscle knot involves inserting a needle into the knot, and then gently turning the needle to affect the muscle fibers that have formed the adhesion. This technique is called Stuck Needle, and over a series of treatments can, reduce the size of the knot and relieve any associated pain.

Beyond acupuncture, your practitioner has a couple of other tools that can be effective in treating trigger points and muscle knots. One method is a kind of Chinese bodywork, called Tui Na. Similar to massage, Tui Na involves a number of hands-on manipulations to increase circulation in the area, break up the adhesion, and relieve pain. Your practitioner might use a method called Gua Sha, which involves abrading the skin above and around the knot with a flat, hand held tool traditionally made from  animal horn, but can also be ceramic, metal, or jade. Gua Sha creates a red mark on your skin, similar to a bruise, which can help loosen the muscle fibers, increase circulation, relieve pain, and promote healing. While it may sound scary and painful, in reality most people who have had Gua Sha will tell you that it actually feels good and is an effective treatment.

If you suffer from knots that are chronic, painful, and inhibit your ability to function, there are some things you can add to the mix along with acupuncture and Chinese medicine. They include:

  • Physical therapy. A good physical therapist can perform an assessment and help determine the underlying cause of your muscle knot. They’re able to perform massage, manipulations, help stretch the muscle, and send you home with exercises and/or a stretching program to improve strength and functioning in the muscle. Physical therapy is a good adjunct treatment to acupuncture. And as always, make certain that any person putting needles in your body to treat muscle knots is a state licensed acupuncturist.
  • Massage. A number of sessions with a good massage therapist can help boost circulation in the muscle, relieve pain, and help loosen the adhesions.
  • Stretching. Try warming up the affected muscle for a few minutes, then stretch it through its full range of motion. Be gentle, slow, and avoid any stretches that are painful.
  • Lifestyle. If you spend your day hunched over a computer, be sure to take frequent breaks to get up, walk around, and readjust your posture. In addition, stay well-hydrated, check your posture regularly, make regular exercise a habit, and stretch to keep your muscles elastic and pliable.

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10 At-Home Tips To Calm Your Restless Legs

by Cindy Chamberlain on July 31, 2018

Restless Legs Treatment In Overland Park, KS - Eastern Healing Solutions

After a long day, there’s nothing better than to crawl into bed, drift off to sleep, and not stir until tomorrow morning. If you have Restless Leg Syndrome however, the scenario is a little different. You’re tired and ready to call it a night. You get comfortable in bed hoping for a good night’s sleep, but just as you’re relaxed enough to drop off, your legs seem to come alive. They twitch and bounce, feel antsy, are uncomfortable, and want to jump. You may feel like sleeping, but your legs have an entirely different idea.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder that affects about ten percent of the population. It’s characterized by uncomfortable sensations in your legs with an urge to move them when you’re sitting, lying, or at rest. Symptoms may come and go and are worse at night, also making it a sleep disorder.

Restless Leg Syndrome occurs most frequently in middle aged and older people, and is more common in women than men. It can also affect pregnant women, especially during their third trimester, but in most cases symptoms disappear after delivery.

There is no test for RLS, so a diagnosis is based on presenting symptoms. In addition, there is no known cause of this condition, but doctors suspect that there is a genetic connection. Almost one-half of people who struggle with RLS have a family member who has also had it. What doctors do know is that there are risk factors for RLS, which include having a chronic illness, such as Parkinson’s, diabetes, or peripheral neuropathy. In addition, some health care providers believe that RLS may be related to a deficiency of iron, Vitamin B12, or folate. Medications, such as those to treat nausea, antidepressants, cold and allergy medications, and antihistamines have also come under scrutiny in causing RLS. And in a recent study, researchers documented that when study participant’s varicose veins were treated, 98 percent of them found relief from their RLS symptoms.

In Chinese medicine, Restless Leg Syndrome is associated with poor circulation. The symptoms are worse when you are sitting or lying down, times when your legs aren’t moving and your circulation has slowed. As indicated by the study of patients with varicose veins, when circulation is restored by treating the varicosities, symptoms of RLS subside. Therefore acupuncture and Chinese medicine can offer an effective treatment for RLS, as it enhances circulation not only locally, but throughout your body. In addition, acupuncture is an effective treatment for insomnia. If you choose to treat your RLS, your practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese medicine would likely combine acupuncture with an herbal formula to enhance their treatment, as well as dietary guidelines, bodywork, and some lifestyle tweaks to enhance your sleep.

There are also some things you can try at home if you’re struggling with RLS, including:

  1. Take a good food-based vitamin and mineral supplement if you don’t already. Doing so rules out a vitamin deficiency as the cause of your RLS. Because an iron deficiency may be the culprit in some cases of RLS, and iron can be toxic if you supplement it when you don’t need it, ask your doctor to check your iron levels before taking an iron supplement
  2. Avoid eating a large meal late in the day. If you go to bed full, your body is actively digesting, which can keep your body active and interrupt your sleep.
  3. Try cutting out alcohol, which can disrupt your sleep, especially later in the night. In addition, give eliminating caffeine a try, which can also mess with your sleep.
  4. Get some gentle exercise before bedtime, like a short walk, gentle stretching, or massaging your legs. Some people with RLS find relief from some light activity before turning in for the night.
  5. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise, but not too much. Some people find that when they’re physically active during the day, their RLS symptoms are better at night, however too much exercise can activate your muscles and aggravate your symptoms.
  6. While RLS disturbs your sleep, it’s important to get plenty of rest. Many people with Restless Leg Syndrome find that their symptoms are worse when they’re fatigued
  7. Experiment with temperature changes. A number of RLS sufferers have found that when they warm up their legs with a heating pad, their symptoms are greatly reduced. Applying heat actually relaxes your muscles and increases the circulation in your legs. On the flip side, other people have found that soaking their legs in cool water before bedtime has been helpful. The cool temperature initially constricts your blood vessels, but gently opens them up and increases circulation when you get into a warm bed.
  8. If you’re under a lot of stress, do what it takes to deal with it. Stress interrupts your sleep with or without restless legs, and stress aggravates any health conditions you may have. Bringing calm into your life can only help.
  9. Some people with RLS report that their legs act up only in certain positions. When your leg symptoms begin, try switching up positions.
  10. Finally, keep track of what things aggravate your symptoms and what things help them calm down for some clues to triggers and ways to manage your symptoms. Also remember that it may be a combination of factors that makes a difference.

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The Key To Healthy Skin Is Hidden In The Clues

May 25, 2018

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and yet most of us don’t give it much thought until it misbehaves in the form of a rash, shingles, or unwanted wrinkles. While you may not think much about your skin, it can give your practitioner of Chinese medicine a number of clues to the condition of […]

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Don’t Let Bursitis Pain Slow You Down…

April 26, 2018

When you experience joint pain, it’s common to first think about arthritis, tendonitis, or some kind of structural damage. What most folks won’t think about is bursitis. However, bursitis is a condition that can affect anyone, can be very painful, and is frequently underdiagnosed. Here are some important things to know about bursitis and how […]

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The Answers To What Your Food Cravings Are Telling You…

April 9, 2018

Did you ever wonder why you crave certain foods? Have you ever stopped to think why you go crazy for sugar while your co-worker only wants salty snacks? While the idea of food cravings may seem random, Chinese medicine actually has some explanations as to why you crave certain foods and not others. According to […]

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Alleviate The Symptoms Of Autoimmune Diseases With Chinese Medicine

March 2, 2018

What Are Autoimmune Diseases? Question: What do Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Multiple sclerosis, Ulcerative Colitis, and Addison’s disease all have in common? If your answer was that they are all serious health conditions that you never want to have, you would be on the right track. However, a better answer in this instance is that they […]

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Having Trouble Breathing Because Of Asthma? Here Are 6 Natural Remedies That Will Help!

January 22, 2018

Asthma is a lung condition that can be a mixed bag. It can be chronic and fairly-well controlled, or it can produce serious, life-threatening attacks that result in over two million visits to emergency rooms each year across the country. Asthma involves the narrowing of your airways caused by irritation, inflammation, and overreaction to triggers. […]

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Want To Know The Secret To Healthy Aging? These 9 Simple Steps Will Show You How!

January 4, 2018

Healthy Aging with Chinese Medicine When it comes to aging, it seems that everyone does it differently. We all know people in their 80s and 90s who are much more active and energetic than their years would suggest.  At the same time, there are many people who seem elderly and tired out who are decades […]

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Good News! Chinese Medicine Can Overcome The Symptoms Of Severe Vertigo

December 14, 2017

Imagine yourself being so dizzy that you have to crawl on the floor to get to the next room. Picture being so unbalanced on your feet that you can hardly move. Imagine that every time you turn your head, you feel so woozy that you might be sick to your stomach. This is the nightmare […]

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Your Own Personal Diet: Chinese Food Therapy

November 5, 2017

In your attempt to be as healthy as possible, one of the most confusing dilemmas you may face is what to eat. There is so much information and so many choices, diets, miracle foods, and even foods to avoid at all costs, that it’s difficult to know whether or not you’re eating the right stuff […]

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Eastern Healing Solutions, LLC
10875 Grandview Dr #2250, Overland Park, KS 66210
Phone: (913) 549-4322
 

 

Serving Overland Park, KS and Kansas City, MO.

Zip Codes: 66061, 66062, 66137, 66204, 66208, 66209, 66210,
66211, 66213, 66215, 66219, 66220, 66221
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