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Tapestry Life Resources & Body Balance II NewsletterResources for Body,
Heart, Mind, & Spirit
Jan/Feb 2012

All articles written by Suzanne H. Eller unless otherwise indicated.                                                           Suzanne H. Eller, 2012

in this issue
:: Treating Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs
:: Essential Oil of the Month...Tsuga or Hemlock Spruce
:: Fun Facts about Feet...Sole Insights
:: Best Time to Buy
valentine Greetings!
It is hard to believe that the first month of the new year is more than half over. There is something about the winter months that makes us want to curl up with a good book or movie and a cup of cocoa.
 
If you are like me and determined to improve your physical fitness, you may be working out this winter. I bought the Zumba program for my Wii. It's really fun, though I haven't racked up many points for "perfection" yet. I've had to get a couple of massages and see the chiropractor since I started because I am using muscles I haven't used in way too long. If you are like me and staring Zumba or any other new aerobics program, call for an appointment. I'll try to help you get the kinks out and empathize with your struggle to dance the pounds away.
 
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. We want to wish you many blessings and much love on this special day. Remember to book early if you want a massage for Valentine's Day. Those appointments get taken quickly.
 
This year our newsletters will try to focus on connective tissue injury and other causes of chronic pain. We are starting with plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the plantar tendon that causes heel pain. There are also some fun facts about feet, our regular essential oil of the month column, and some tips for shopping throughout the year.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter.
 
Halting Heel Pain
Treating Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs

plantar fasciitisIf you've found yourself barely able to walk upon arising from bed or after sitting for a time because of pain in the heel that feels like walking on sharp stones, you may have plantar fasciitis or its more serious cousin, heel spurs.
 
Plantar fasciitis is the most common form of heel pain and affects almost two million people in the United States per year. It occurs when the connective tissue of the plantar ligament stretches irregularly and then tears. The result is inflammation in the long plantar ligament that transverses the bottom of the foot from toes to heel. The burning, stabbing or aching pain usually occurs at the attachment to the heel bone or calcaneous and gets worse with both disuse or prolonged use as the ligament either relaxes or becomes overly stressed. You can reproduce the pain by dorsiflexing (pulling up) the toes.
 
The good news is that plantar fasciitis rarely requires surgery to correct. The bad news is that ligament tears heal slowly and the situation that caused the initial tear, if continued or repeated, can slow down the healing process.
 
Improper gait and genetic foot problems like flat feet very high arches, pronation and supination can cause plantar fasciitis as can certain repetitive activities. Athletes and folks taking up a new physical activity are particularly prone to plantar ligament tears. Proper exercise shoes and good form are a must to prevent injury. In fact, good shoes that support your feet are your number one defense. See previous article, Wear Better Footwear to Prevent Injury.
 
Age and age-related illness are also a factor in developing plantar fasciitis. Arthritis sufferers are prone to heel pain, and those with diabetes not only get plantar fasciitis more frequently but may not heal as quickly from micro-tears in the ligaments. Being overweight can also damage the plantar ligament, no matter what your age, and pregnant women are prone to the ailment both because of the weight-gain and because hormones during pregnancy cause the connective tissue to relax.
 
The first treatment for heel pain is rest, ice, and elevation. Many folks say rolling the foot across a plastic bottle filled with frozen water is a great relief. OTC pain relievers can also help. If you think your foot gear may be the cause, buy new, better supporting shoes.
 
Massage can help stretch the plantar ligament, and your massage therapist has been trained to gently stretch the ligament without tearing it further. Many chiropractors can perform adjustments to the feet that relieve the pressure. Obviously, if first-aid treatments and manipulation by your massage therapist and chiropractor do not work, you need to see a doctor or podiatrist who may prescribe orthotics to take the pressure off the ligament. Failing that, they may prescribe corticosteroid injections or a new sonar treatment called extracorporeal shock wave therapy. They most extreme treatment is surgery.
 
Heel spurs are bony fragments that extend fromt he calcaneus into the soft tissue of the heel. They often occur when plantar fasciitis is untreated, causing prolonged pulling of the inflammed ligament on the bone. However, bone spurs can occur on their own also. Early treatment is the same as for plantar fasciitis, but surgery is soemtimes the only option.
 
Preventing plantar fasciitis in the first place should be a part of your self-care practice. First, keep your weight down to reduce tension on the plantar fascia. Second, wear shoes that cushion and support the heel, ball, and arch of your foot, and replace old-worn-out shoes that have lost their support as they may actually be the cause of the irregular plantar stretching and tears. You should wear shoes on hard surfaces rather than going barefoot. Watch repetitive activities and build up your endurance in new sports. Finally, stretch the calf muscles, your Achilles tendons and your feet regularly and before any exercise to keep them flexible and pain-free. Have your massage therapist work your feet an calves more fully if you feel a problem developing.

Essential Oil of the Month
Tsuga or Hemlock Spruce

body balance logo
Canadian Hemlock Spruce
Tsuga essential oil comes from the Canadian hemlock spruce tree (or white spruce) and should not be confused with the poisonous hemlock herb (Conium Maculatum) that contains toxic alkaloids and is not a source of essential oil. Rather, this spruce tree is in the pine family and is found primarily in Canada and Idaho. Its properties are similar to pine.
 
Tsuga is a wonderful oil for the winter months. Its antimicrobial, antiseptic, and expectorant properties make is a great choice for inhalation when you have coughs, colds, or the flu because it opens the respiratory pathways for better oxygen exchange and breaks up mucus.

You can use a few drops in a cup of boiling water for a quick steam inhalation or dilute a single drop in a teaspoon of honey for a cough remedy. Just be sure you are using pure, therapeutic grade oils that are not already diluted by a carrier oil. Tsuga should also be steam-distilled and not extracted by solvents to be safe for consumption.

Tsuga is also good for digestive disorders and diseases of the mouth, including cold sores and gingivitis. It is also helpful in kidney and bladder infections and is a mild diuretic when taken internally. Use it as an antiseptic for wounds like blisters. It will sting but helps heal the wound quickly. You may find it in OTC treatments for sore muscles, or you can use the essential oil neat or diluted as a muscle rub for rheumatism, arthritis, or over-exertion.

RECIPES
  • Spastic Cough: Mix 10 drops Tsuga, 3 drops Roman Chamomile, and 4 drops Bergamot into 1 ounce carrier oil. Massage into the chest several times daily.
     
  • Pain/Anti-Inflammatory Liniment: Mix 6 drops Helichrysum, 2 drops Tsuga, 2 drops Hyssop, 2 drops Peppermint, 2 drops Juniper, 1 ounce carrier oil. Gently massage into sore tissues and joints.
We can order Tsuga Essential Oil for you from our supplier, Rocky Mountain Oils for $14.50 plus tax  for a 15 ml bottle. Rocky Mountain oils are pure, therapeutic grade oils that are not tied to a pyramid marketing model, and so they are high quality (comparable to Young Living) but less expensive.

If you would like to order from us, please call Suzanne at 828-310-0161. You can also order directly from Rocky Mountain Oils. Please let them know we referred you.
 
Fun Facts about Feet
Sole Insights

toesNothing gets us down quite so much as foot trouble. Yet we often ignore our feet until there is a problem. Here are some interesting, fun facts about feet that may make you think about them just a bit more.
  1. Shoe sizes began in 1324 in England when King Edward I declared that the diameter of one barleycorn (about 1/3 inch) would represent one full shoe size. This method of sizing is still used today.
     
  2. The ancient Romans were the first to use different shoes for the right and left feet. Until then, shoes were uniform and worn on either foot.
     
  3. A pair of feet have about 250,00 sweat glands between them and excrete nearly a half pint of moisture each day.
     
  4. The human foot contains, 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments 19 muscles with tendons to hold it all together. This amazing structure allows the foot to move in myriad of ways.
  5. The 52 bones in the two human feet make up 25% of the bones of the human body.
     
  6. Nine out of ten women wear shoes that are too small for them. Not surprisingly, women have four times more foot problems than men.
     
  7. There are times when your are walking that the pressure on your feet is greather than your body weight. When you are running, that pressure can be as much as four times your body weight. (Good walking and/or running shoes are a must!)
     
  8. Foot health can be an indicator of general health. Diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, circulatory and nerve disorders can show up in the feet first. Paying attention to your feet can alert you to more serious medical problems.
     
  9. Like other warts, plantar warts are caused by a virus. The nasty little culprit is often picked up from walking barefoot on dirty pavement or littered ground through tiny breaks in the skin.
     
  10. Back pain can be caused by the feet. An estimated 80% of back problems can be traced to the feet through biomechanical imbalances, structural problems and abnormal gait.
     
  11. The world's record for the largest feet is held by Matthew McGrory who wears US size 28 1/2. The average size is 10 1/2.
     
  12. The world's record for the most feet sniffed us held by Madeline Albrecht who has smelled 5,600 feet.
Best Time to Buy
Saving money all year long

calendar and moneyIf one of your New Year's resolutions is to stay within your budget, knowing when certain items are placed on sale can save you big bucks.
Most items are discounted in an annual cycle. Additionally, seasonal items like air conditioners and grills can sometimes be found during the winter months at substantial savings. Use store coupons for additional discounts.

The following are some annual sales that may yield savings for your family.
  • January: January white sales can help you save on sheets and towels. Find values in rugs and carpets. You can find digital picture frames and home theater equipment on sale, too.
     
  • February: Winter clothing will start going on sale. Look especially for deals on sweaters, coats and boots. Jewelry and perfume are discounted. February is also the best month to buy a boat on sale.
     
  • March: Older models of electronics like digital cameras may take a price cut as space is needed for newer models. The same is true for golf clubs and luggage. The Japanese fiscal year ends in March, so TVs may also take a price dip.
     
  • April: This is the best month to find deals on cookware and other kitchen items. Vacuum cleaners go on sale in April in advance of newer June models. Laptops are lower in April than any other month, for no apparent reason.
     
  • May: May is a great month for buying a new mattress or a refrigerator. Party and picnic supplies are discounted. Yard sales are starting to gear up, too; if you are willing to search them, you can find some great stuff.
     
  • June: People have by now forgotten their resolutions to lose weight, so gyms are scrambling to find new members. You can get some great deals on memberships. Dishware is on sale to capitalize on new brides and grooms (or anybody).
     
  • July: Paint stores offer discounts in July as inducements to people who don't want to paint because of the heat. Summer clothes go on sale, and just about everything is discounted in after-the-Fourth sales.
     
  • August: School supplies start going on sale as does kids clothing. Camping equipment and other outdoor items are discounted to make room for fall stock.
     
  • September: Computers, dorm-room items, and school supplies are still on sale. Holiday airfare is cheapest now. Cars prices on this year's models come down in anticipation of next year's automobiles. Shrubs, bushes and bulbs are often cheaper.
     
  • October: Home appliances like washers and dryers come down in October. Oddly, Monday is the best day of the week to buy home appliances any time of the year. Last year's toys and video games can be found at bargain prices. Crystal, glassware and silver are on sale.
     
  • November: Holiday sales usually mean lower prices on just about everything, but this is especially true for electronics like TVs and mobile phones. Aluminum foil and plastic wrap are also cheaper. Save on candy by buying Halloween surpluses. Blankets and quilts are bargain-priced.
     
  • December: Besides just about everything being on sale for Christmas, champagne and wine are great buys during December. Dealers are trying to get rid of off-color cars before inventory and can be great bargains. Power tools are cheaper, and wedding dresses go down in November and December to make room for spring arrivals.

 Valentine's Day Gift Certificates Available

berry heart
Image: Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
Give the gift of massage this Valentine's Day and make your special someone happy. Regular clients love the gift, and loved ones who have never had a massage will thank you for remembering them with such a special gift.

We have two ways to buy a gift certificate. The first is to stop by the office and pick it up from Suzanne Eller, Laura Queen, or Susan Smith. We'll even take a phone order and mail them to you. Just let us know how many you need. Remember to call first so that someone will be available when you come by for your gift certificate as we work by appointment only.

Online gift certificates are available from Suzanne Eller and Susan Smith. Order from a secure site where your credit card information is safe. Let online gift certificates take the hassle out of Valentine shopping.

You can choose the background for your gift certificate and personalize it with a special message. Print it on card stock or photo paper to make it look extra nice. Then email it, snail mail it, or deliver it in person.
 
To order online gift certificates from Suzanne Eller, click here.
 
To order online gift certificates from Susan Smith, click here.
.
30 Minute Massage $35
60 Minute Massage $60
Packages also available.
 
new years pennantsWe appreciate your patronage and want to wish you a happy 2012.
We look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Note about inclement weather: In general, we follow the Catawba County Schools closing policy. That is, if the Catawba County Schools are closed, so are we. If we have to reschedule your massage appointment, we'll call you or you can call us. Also, if the steps to the office are icy, you can use the Classic Properties front entrance. Ring the bell if it's locked.

Sincerely,
 
Suzanne Eller, LMBT 7619

828-315-9900; 310-0161

 

Laura Queen, LMBT 3224

828-638-3426

 

and Susan Smith, LMBT 6579

828-320-6933


Body Balance II

318 2nd Ave. NW

Hickory, NC 28601 

Mother Earth Pillows Make Wonderful Valentine Gifts

 

 

mother earth pillow logo 

We have all Mother Earth herbal flaxseed and buckwheat pillows for sale. These pillows can be heated or cooled and used for a variety of therapeutic conditions. They make great Valentine gifts for that special someone.
 
The small bolster pillow is our most popular pillow. It retails for $25 and can be used under the neck to relieve stiffness and pain. The little heartbeat pillow makes a great gift for children or adults. It is $19. 
 
sleeping  child and pillow
Little Heartbeat Pillow $19
 
man on neck pillow
Small Bolster $25
Order early so that we can have it in time for Valentines.