What is Motion Sickness?

My husband and I are headed on our very first cruise this week. In preparation, I have researched motion sickness. Motion sickness is brought about by motion, whether it is from riding in a car, train or rollercoaster, on a boat, or in a plane. It is sometimes referred to as seasickness, airsickness, or car sickness. But it all describes the same thing. Symptoms generally include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and headache. “Nausea” is actually Greek for seasickness, as “naus” means ship. If the unlucky person is nauseous, the person may vomit. And unfortunately, vomiting doesn’t relieve the nausea and the person will continue to vomit until the nausea is treated. Fun times--who is ready for a cruise?

Pi Day! Today’s Special: The Human Body

Happy Pi Day! Pi Day is definitely one of my favorite holidays, right up there with Halloween and 4th of July. But, what is Pi day? Pi day is celebrated on March 14, which can be shortened to 3-14 which is very similar to 3.14, the rounded off number for pi. Ta da! Pi day! Sometimes abbreviated with the Greek letter, π, pi is mathematically equivalent to the ratio of the circumference of a circle divided by the diameter. It has been calculated to over a trillion places beyond the decimal point, and doesn’t have a pattern. While the human body doesn’t have any mathematically exact ratios like pi, it does have some other interesting, approximate ratios, both internally and externally.

Are you always tired?

Some people may experience a profound fatigue, which is all encompassing, affecting daily routines, and not alleviated with rest. This tiredness is called “chronic fatigue syndrome,” commonly abbreviated to CFS. Coping with CFS can lead to feelings of anger, guilt, anxiety, isolation and abandonment. The feelings can lead to an increased stress level and exacerbated symptoms, which can make management and recovery more difficult. One treatment that can be beneficial to sufferers of CFS is massage, which can greatly improve the quality of life.

Tinnitus

Are your ears ringing? Many say it’s because someone is talking about you. Or, it could be because something is actually wrong with you. Sorry. It’s called tinnitus (pronounced TINN-a-tus or ti-NIGHT-us). The word tinnitus has a Latin origin that means “to ring or tinkle” [1]. Tinnitus is relatively common, affecting 50 million Americans. Most people describe it as a constant ringing in the ears, but it is defined medically as a perception of sound when there is no actual sound present. Tinnitus can occur occasionally or constantly and the volume of the sounds can fluctuate. Tinnitus can be a frustrating diagnosis to live with. I encourage sufferers to seek multiple and varied ways to help manage the symptoms.

Anatomical Considerations of Sword Swallowing

Many people, including Harry Houdini, think that sword swallowing is just a gimmick and that the performers use a collapsible sword. Sword swallowing is very real. The swords are dull, but still pointed and must be a minimum of 38 cm (just over a foot) in length. Sword swallowing is inherently dangerous because of the important organs the sword passes by during the swallow.

Muscles: The Sternocleidomastoid

The sternocleidomastoid muscle, commonly referred to as the SCM for short, is a muscle on the front of your neck. While it is quite prominent, many people do not realize it is there or how important it is to your daily life. The SCM is one of the muscles commonly affected in a whiplash injury. Additionally, chronically tight SCMs can cause a variety of problems. You may be experiencing some of these problems yourself and not know it. It can cause headaches, earaches, toothaches, twitchy eyes, and nausea.

Body Vs. Weather

Weather plays an important role in our lives. It affects our daily activities, what we wear, the crops we can grow and eat, and our travel plans. Weather also affects our bodies. Some obvious examples would be heatstroke and frostbite as a result of extreme temperatures. Interestingly, there are a variety of other effects that our body experiences due to subtle changes in season, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. Scientists have found weather effects on headaches, moods, strokes, trauma, kidney stones, and arthritis. These effects represent just a few of many, as investigating weather effects on the human body is an ongoing research subject.

Active vs. Passive Range of Motion and Why it Matters to You

Active and passive range of motion assessments are commonly used in physical therapist-like settings. Active range of motion, sometimes called AROM (pronounced A-rahm) is the range of motion that a person demonstrates on their own body. You are doing AROM when you move your own leg. Passive range of motion, sometimes called PROM (pronounced pee-rahm), is when somebody else moves that person’s body for them. For example, if you need a PROM assessment in the above example, somebody else will move your leg for you. I use these assessments frequently during massages to help guide me into a more effective massage. And recently, I used these assessments on my husband. Active and passive range of motion can be useful in your day to day life, helping you figure out what might be wrong with your body.

High Heels, Flip Flops, and Foot Binding. Oh my!

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Many people wear terrible shoes in the name of fashion or a mandated dress code. Poor shoes can lead to a litany of short term and long term health issues. If you commonly wear heels, flip flops, pointy toed shoes, or just uncomfortable shoes in general, I urge you to reconsider your shoe choices--it just isn’t worth it. Men are not immune to injuries and pain from shoe choices either. Besides flip flops, which are commonplace among almost everybody, dress shoes designed for men are not always designed with comfort and function in mind.