Ask Chuck: Conquer yourself with massage therapy

By Charles Colson
May 16, 2013 at 12:16 a.m.

Charles, I don't know how I did it, but I must have sprained my ankle two or three days ago, and it started swelling. Can you believe it? It is quite painful now, and I wish I knew how to fix it. Do you have any good solutions?

That exact thing happened to me recently, and I know how painful it can be, especially when swelling is involved. Many times, we are not aware of how it even happens.

We can hyperextend our feet easily by tripping, running and in sports events. Believe it or not, you can overextend ligaments by stretching muscles without really trying. This is how it happened with me.

Of course, you can ease the pain somewhat by applying ice to the area for at least 30 minutes at a time. This will bring the swelling down somewhat unless it is a chronic situation that requires a doctor's assistance. You can also use an elastic bandage that will allow more comfort to walk.

When applying the elastic bandage, start wrapping above the ankle around the lower part of the leg and after about the third wrap, put it around the base of the foot where it will lock the bandage in place and finish with wrapping it then more around the ankle for support.

Be sure and wear the elastic bandage just during the day and remove it while you sleep. Another good tip to relieve some swelling and pain is to elevate your foot way above your heart level. Do this at least twice a day for 20 minutes each session. If the pain and swelling still persists, see a doctor immediately for assistance.

My doctor prescribed an excellent steroid. I began seeing great results in two to three days. He advised me to continue using the elastic bandage for another two weeks because of the severity of my swelling. So, if you first don't succeed, call your favorite physician, and that will be your best call ever.

Lately, I have been having terrible sinus headaches - I'm sure because the weather is changing so often. Can massage therapy treatments help this condition?

More than you will ever expect. During a massage session, the therapist should include cranial massage, which gives great relief for sinus pain, headaches and neck aches, etc. Most people do not realize that our sinuses go all the way to the crown of our heads.

The cranial massage gets the blood flowing properly, which in turn carries healthy, oxygenated blood to veins, capillaries, arteries and especially to our heart. Often times after a good massage, we awaken to not only feeling better but also begin thinking better also.

When this great euphoria experience happens, the medicine we were taking for our sinus condition actually begins working better. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

My husband dislocated his shoulder in an accident. He has completed the surgery needed. It has made him feel still quite uncomfortable to even sleep at night. Can massages help him relax and begin to feel normal again?

Many massage therapists, including myself, have faced this condition with both men and women. You are right. I bet he feels quite uncomfortable, and that is where massages come into play. We are taught to create relaxing and balancing conditions for the entire body, especially Swedish techniques.

Relaxation comes when you finally decided to take action for yourself and be determined that things need to get better where you have better control of how you feel.

You don't even have to have had any part dislocated to realize how important it is to get centered and balanced to finally know that you are going to be OK.

This is why physiology is taught in all massage schools. To top it off, massages simply bring our bodies to a higher energy level. Conquer yourself and you can be you again.

My 17-year-old son has about had it with trauma to his body with sports, as he puts it. Does massage therapy help even this young of a person?

Oh, yes, and would you believe even at younger ages? Many therapists are trained in sports massages and can help your son come back to life, so to speak. Trauma conditions are quite normal but sometimes are taken for granted. Young people need to feel they are going to be OK, too.

Massages are simply a gift to their bodies and are considered a perfect preventive medical treatment. Have your kids ever been depressed and couldn't figure out why? Would you believe massage therapists are trained to help young people stay under control?

Yes, your massage therapist can be a great psychiatrist for the entire family. They do it through love and caring and teaching that each member is a gift to one another. So, check it out and see if you can get a family rate, just might talk your therapist into it.

Charles Colson is an area hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to or call 361-575-5331.



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