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A Healthy Gut Leads to a Healthy Mind Overall, be sure you avoid nutritional deficiencies and mental or physical fatigue so you can keep the body balanced and ultimately, feeling your best. If you have a healthy relationship with your food, it will have a healthy relationship with you.
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Submit a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Here is the scope of practice for massage therapists within the province of Ontario, Canada, where I work. There is no mention of the words nutrition or diet, so one could safely say that this area therefore falls outside of our scope.
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The only way that we could directly advise in nutrition is if we possess certifications in nutrition. In this case we have to take off our figurative massage therapy hat, and put on our nutrition hat.
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For clients curious to learn more, we can suggest evidence-based resources, or we can refer to qualified professionals. However, to be able to do this we need to have a basic understanding of nutrition ourselves. If there were two reasons for gaining extra knowledge in nutrition, I would list atherosclerosis and inflammation as two major factors. For body tissue to remain healthy, oxygen, nutrients, and cellular building blocks all need to be delivered to our soft tissue.
This role is performed by our circulatory and lymphatic systems.
Nutrition for Body Therapists (Approved for 12 massage CEUs)
However, it might surprise you to learn that by age 10 nearly all children have fatty streaks in the arteries that deliver these nutrients to the body. These streaks are the first sign of atherosclerosis the leading cause of death in the United States, and the second leading cause in Canada. For people eating the standard North American diet, atherosclerotic plaques typically start forming in their 20s, and then become progressively worse with each successive decade.
The reason that nutrition is so important is that we now know, thanks to independent studies done by both Dean Ornish 4 and by Caldwell Esselstyn 5 , that atherosclerosis is largely a diet-related disease. Diet is so powerful that a healthful diet has been shown to actually reverse atherosclerosis.
To give you an idea of how profound these changes are, take a look at healthy vertebral arteries below a , and then vertebral arteries clogged with atherosclerotic plaques b. It does not take a PhD in nutrition to realize that these blockages will result in radically altered nutrition to the soft tissue surrounding the spine.
In the coronary arteries, atherosclerosis can manifest as angina or more seriously as coronary thrombosis , but these are not the only arteries affected. If blockage worsens, clients can experience intermittent claudication, an extremely debilitating condition. Atherosclerosis has also been implicated in other conditions that we treat such as degenerative disk disease 6 , disk herniation 7 , sciatica 8 , radiculopathy 9 , and idiopathic back pain This should make all massage therapists stand up and pay attention to the role of diet as it relates to soft tissue dysfunction.