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Massage and Modern Medicine — Ask Dr. Scott



  • Dr. Scott Cuthbert is a chiropractor at Chiropractic Health Center in Pueblo, Colorado, as well as the author of two textbooks and over 50 peer-reviewed research articles.

Q: Dr. Scott, Does therapeutic massage has a place in modern medicine? 

A: Given that most health problems are exacerbated by stress and massage therapy measurably alleviates stress, therapeutic massage should probably be high on the health priority list, along with diet and daily exercise.

The role of massage for modern health improvement is expanding at an accelerated rate. Massage now has enough validation to justify its use by the public, as well as healthcare professionals. Many insurance plans and managed care systems are looking for ways to include massage therapy among their covered services. 

Sports massage for amateur and professional athletes is becoming the norm, with massage therapists working side by side with athletic trainers and coaches. Before I moved to Pueblo I was the chiropractor for a professional rugby team in Ireland (the Galway Tribesman), and sports massage therapists were always working with me in the rehabilitation and treatment of those injured athletes.

Day spas are bringing the art of pampering to the general public. No longer does a person have to travel to some far off place and spend thousands of dollars to experience the pleasure of a day of luxury. The spa industry is one of the fastest growing employers of massage professionals, as are massage professionals in the corporate setting. 

There is a number of excellent fitness and beauty spas in Pueblo and you should contact them for more information about the detailed and professional services they provide. Pueblo spas now provide Swedish massage; stone therapy massage; Shiatsu (acupressure); Reflexology (zone therapy); neuromuscular therapy (deep muscle/connective tissue massage), and sports massage among many others.

Q: But is massage therapy really good for me? 

A: Studies done at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine have shown that massage produces very beneficial effects upon the nervous system, the endocrine system, the immune system, and neurotransmitter levels. In fact across decades of studies, decreases have been noted in anxiety, depression, and stress hormones with increased alertness and better performance of cognitive tasks at the same time (making us more creative and think more clearly). The pressure stimulation associated with massage increases vagus nerve activity, which in turn lowers physiological arousal and stress hormones such as cortisol. Decreased cortisol levels in turn lead to enhanced immune function. (Fritz & Chaitow, 2009)

Therapeutic massage also facilitates growth in children, alleviates pain in everyone when done correctly, improves immune function (massage increases the number of natural killer cells, which has implications for those with immune system weaknesses). Massage reduces stress and promotes the healing of psychiatric problems, improves sleep, helps your digestion and premenstrual symptoms, lowers blood pressure, increases job performance, reduces headaches, improves self-esteem and body image, and massage also reduces stress for the therapist as well! (Fritz, 2012)

Scientific study and technology have enabled us to describe some of the physiological responses to touch, such as changes in the concentration of hormones, alterations in the activity of the central and peripheral nervous systems, and regulation of body rhythms. We simply must be touched to survive. Touch is a fundamental, multilayered, and powerful form of communication. It is the most personalized form of communication we know. (Montagu, 1986)

The skin is the largest sensory organ of your body. Many internal soft tissue structures, (e.g. muscles, connective tissue, and visceral structures, the lungs, the heart, the digestive organs) project sensation to the skin. The autonomic nervous system, which regulates the visceral and chemical homeostasis of the body, is highly responsive to skin stimulation that supports your well-being. 

Two forms of massage service have become standardized in Colorado today; wellness massage outside the healthcare system and medical massage within the healthcare system. These trends will allow easy access to both types of services. Several colleges in Pueblo offer excellent massage therapy programs (500-1000 hour) that insure licensed massage therapists have the scientific background to serve patients in spas, private practices, hotels, mountain resorts, hospitals and health centers.

Recognition that chronic diseases are resistant to surgical or drug treatment has increased around the world. Neither the acute care concept nor a single solution approach seems to work with chronic diseases. A more complex way of envisioning and treating these diseases has been developed, and massage is one approach that has proven effective over time. 

Massage has always been one of the most natural and instinctive means of relieving pain and discomfort. When a person has sore, aching muscles, abdominal pains, or a bruise or wound, the instinctive impulse is to touch and rub that part of the body to obtain relief. The fastest growing segment of our population is those over 80 years of age. Many elderly people are alone and their spouses have passed away and their families are busy with their own lives. I have seen profound improvements in both physical and emotional health for the elderly in their interactions with massage therapists.

Massage professionals are the experts in this kind of healing touch, and their work is highly beneficial and recommended. 

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Denver’s Wes Watkins dynamic new future-funk EP is from another planet




Future-Funk Party Starter | Wes Watkins

Dreams Out from Denver’s best kept secret Wes Watkins wears so many musical hats it needs a rack; downtempo G-Funk homage and sweltering nee-Soul / Rn’B are all over this release, all covered with a thicc pop glaze and a penchant for electronic-sonic experimentation that keep every song fascinatingly adventurous while maintaining a danceability and groove that easily, easily warrants multiple listens. Don’t sleep on this one.

Lo-Fuzz Folkie | Hoi Ann

The beauty of Hoi Ann’s Tangenier lies in both what you can hear and what it may want you to not hear. Lo-fi folk and bedroom-pop are easily tangible on its surface, but the buzzy electronic tones that sparingly flourish the 5 songs of this release lie low and create a unique aural atmosphere for listeners, like hidden secrets for your ears only.

Indie-Punk Sweeties | Gestalt

The pop-punk shred-bois in Gestalt are back at it again; The irresistible combo of the Get Up Kids earnest midwestern-emo and smart pop-punk wit of the Wonder Years is strong on the tracks that encompass LongBoix, as is an acute fondness and growing appreciation for the finer indie rock of yesteryear. Well I guess this is growing up.

Psych-Rock Screamcore | Gone Full Heathen

On their criminally good self titled EP, Fort Collins heavies Gone Full Heathen friggin dare you to try and trap them in a single genre. Nice try, but they’ll just chew right through your puny ropes using a gnashing blend of crushing stoner-rock laced hardcore punk and overdriven psych-rock / post-metal induced bite like the righteous rock and roll wolves that they are.

All releases available for purchase now thru Bandcamp. Go Local!

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The Haze Craze for Lazy Days



There are many different styles of beer. Ranging from light lagers (think Bud Light) and ales to sours, stouts, and IPAs.

Within those styles, however, are varying styles.

For example, one would think a sour beer is a sour beer, right? Wrong. According to the Beer Judge Certification Program, which defines every style of beer, there are six recognized European sour styles.

For IPAs, there are seven. American beers have four; stouts have three… You get the point.

Even with viewing the list of recognized styles, it’s not a complete list.

Take New England IPAs (NE IPA), as a prime example. Many breweries are currently mass producing this style of beer, and it’s selling like crazy.

You may have heard one of your annoying beer loving friends talk about drinking a “juice bomb,” or a requesting a “hazy IPA” at the pub, and shrugged it off. It turns out, they (sometimes) know what they are talking about.

What makes NE IPAs so popular when compared to a more traditional, West Coast IPA? NE IPAs have all of the hop flavors, without an overabundance of bitterness.

Instead of constantly adding hops throughout the boil to achieve a fruity flavor balanced by bitterness, the NE IPA has a small hop addition at the begging, and then nothing else until after the boil has finished.

That translates into a beer with very little bitterness, and plenty of hop aroma and flavor. Hops like Citra, Mosaic, Mosaic, Galaxy, and El Dorado are most common in NE IPAs, according to the Homebrewers Association. Those hops tend to impart a fruity, and dare I say, juicy flavor profile.

Between the juicy flavor and the seemingly natural haziness to NE IPAs, it’s not far fetched for an NE IPA to look like a tall glass of orange or grapefruit juice, only carbonated and full of alcohol.

NE IPAs are starting to gain momentum here in Colorado, with breweries turning their focus to the haze craze. Specifically, Odd13, WeldWerks, and Epic Brewing coming to mind.

Odd13 is based in Lafayette, Colo. and has a long list of NE-inspired IPAs constantly rotating through the tap room and distributed throughout the state. Codename: Super fan and Noob are two beers that are found in cans, and both offer a different approach to the haze craze.

WeldWerks is based in Greeley, Colo. and has accumulated a cult-like following in just a few short years for its Juicy Bits NE IPA. The brewery just started self-distributing locally, so you’ll have to make the trip to the brewery and pick up a crowler or four. Be sure to check the WeldWerks Facebook page for availability and limits. Yes, they have to place per person limits on how much you can purchase.

Epic Brewing recently announced its NE IPA, which will rotate between four different flavor profiles throughout the year. The cans will look the same but will be different colors as a quick way to tell identify which version you have.

So the next time you walk into a brewery or liquor store, it’s OK to ask for a hazy or juicy IPA. It’s a thing, and, frankly, they are damn good.

On Tap: By the time this hits newsstands, ThunderZone Pizza & Taphouse will have opened on the CSU-P campus. Located at 2270 Rawlings Blvd., the ThunderZone features 32 taps, a carefully curated tap list, and is locally owned.

At the opening, the tap list includes tasty brews from the likes of Florence Brewing and Lost Highway.

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Senators upend GOP health care bill in true Trump style… Twitter



WASHINGTON — When Sens. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran decided they were in ready to disrupt the GOP rewrite of the health care law, they chose President Donald Trump’s favorite medium.

They could not support Senate Republicans’ plan, the somewhat unlikely pair of conservatives tweeted at 8:30 p.m. Monday night, giving no heads up to the White House or Senate leaders before pressing send.

The story behind the statement reveals two senators willing to be branded as bill killers and seemingly unconcerned with trying to soften the blow with party leaders.

The announcement, coming after some 10 days of conversations between the men, stunned official Washington and left Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at least two votes short in the closely divided Senate from being able to move forward with the GOP bill, effectively sinking the measure. It landed shortly after Trump dined with a group of senators to discuss strategy – unwittingly plotting a plan that would immediately become outdated.

Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican leader, found out about Lee’s defection after the White House dinner of rosemary-grilled rib eye and summer vegetable succotash. He “had no idea it was coming,” Cornyn said.

Another Republican, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, found out from TV news.

Moran, a second-term lawmaker from Kansas who isn’t known for making waves, and Lee, a two-term senator from Utah who has clashed with Trump, have been talking over the past 10 days about the health care legislation and agreed the GOP bill did not go far enough to repeal Obamacare or address rising health-care costs. They decided to announce their position to make the bill’s fate clear and allow senators to move on, Moran said.

“It could have been prolonged for days or weeks while no one said anything,” Moran said in an interview.

Moran, who oversaw the Senate Republicans’ 2014 election campaigns, concluded last week he wouldn’t vote for the latest version of the bill but “gave myself a weekend in Kansas to think about it,” he said.

Lee had helped draft an amendment, along with fellow conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would allow insurers to sell skimpy plans alongside more robust ones to lower costs. Cruz agreed to some changes in wording by GOP leaders, but Lee thought the new language allowed too many Obama-era regulations to remain in place.

After talking again, Moran and Lee agreed Monday night on a statement drafted earlier in the day. They issued their statement shortly after a White House dinner attended by seven GOP senators – all likely yes votes on the health care bill. Neither Lee nor Moran attended.

A Lee spokesman said the statement – and its timing – “had nothing to do with the White House dinner. It was not a reaction in any way.”

The statement was made public as soon as it was ready, the spokesman said.

Neither Trump nor McConnell received advance warning about the statement, although it’s likely that neither the president nor the Senate leader was completely surprised.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spent the weekend calling lawmakers, including Lee and at least seven other GOP senators, according to the administration. Trump talked politics, while Pence discussed policy.

Trump called Lee on Saturday, and Lee told the president he was leaning against the bill, for the reasons he later made public.

Lee told Utah’s KSL Newsradio that he had a great conversation with Trump, when he told the president his “consumer freedom” amendment had been weakened and that he wasn’t sure that he could support the bill.

“He was encouraging to me and said, you know, ‘Just see what changes you can make to it,’ ” Lee said.

Lee and McConnell did not talk over the weekend, but Lee spoke twice to Cornyn, R-Texas, the majority whip.

Trump, who frequently takes to Twitter to announce proposals or denounce opponents, was blindsided by, of all things, a tweet.

He told reporters Tuesday he was “very surprised when the two folks came out last night, because we thought they were in fairly good shape. But they did. And, you know, everybody has their own reason.”

Moran said while he remained committed to repealing the health care law, Congress needs to make a “fresh start” on writing a replacement bill in an “open legislative process.”

“We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” he said, in a statement that followed the tweet.

In his own statement, Lee said the GOP bill does not repeal all the Obamacare tax increases and “doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”

Both explanations were issued on social media.

“Twitter is a nice medium to get your message out,” Lee’s spokesman said.

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