From: Donna and Pete (
Thu Jun 24 20:50:52 1999

First, our prayers and sympathy, Ruth, hope you're feeling better by the time this gets posted.

Just thought we'd add a little information from another source regarding massage. This is from Dr. Christiane Northrup's HEALTH WISDOM for WOMEN (May 1999), "Why Massage is an Essential Part of Creating Health". She says, "As many of you know, I advocate massage as a powerful way to create health. Touch has been shown to be important for growth, learning, immune system functioning, mental health, pain control, and stress reduction in dozens of medical studies. But, while much research shows that babies must be touched to survive and thrive, we often don't realize that older children and adults need regular touch too. Massage is a very well-studied and healthful way to get the touch we need." A couple of points that she brings out from research by Dr. Tiffany Field about the effects:

1. Decrease the stress hormones cortisol and nor-epinephrine, thus calming down the sympathetic nervous system overdrive we are all at risk for.

2. Decrease substance P, a neurotransmitter that is increased when one is in pain. As a result, it increases pain tolerance. Research has shown that when burn victims are massaged prior to their dressing changes and skin care, they need less pain medication and tolerate these extreme-ly painful procedures more comfortably.

3. Increase vagal tone, the part of the parasympathetic nervous system that helps us rest and repair.

4. Increase deep sleep in those individuals who are sleep deprived.

Donna likes the analogy in this paragragh: "The healing power of massage may seem too good to be true. But Deane Juhan, an expert on massage and bodywork, eloquently explains why massage is so powerful as a healing modality. He writes, "The skin is no more separate from the brain than the surface of a lake is separate from its depths: The two are different locations in a continuous medium. The skin is an extension of the brain. The brain is a single functional unit from cortex to fingertips to toes. To touch the surface is to stir the depths:'"

If anyone would like a copy of the complete article, I would be happy to forward it to you. As stated in a prior post, massage therapy is NOT a cure - but it may help you feel a little better - it has given Donna some relief, and isn't that what all of you want?

Sorry about the soap box, but after reading of all your pain, and witnessing Donna's suffering, don't you want to try alternatives if the tradional isn't working? Truth has been stated in another previous post I read that sometimes traditional doctors can't see beyond the text book they learned from. We'll keep you informed on our progress, (or lack of it).

God Bless.

Pete and Donna

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