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  • Too Cold to Venture Outside? Try These Indoor Workout Tips

    Posted on January 24, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    cold-exerciseIf you tend to get your exercise outdoors, winter’s cold weather and slippery conditions may range from unpleasant to downright hazardous. Winter conditions can tempt you to skip your workout entirely and avoid snow, ice, wind-chill and freezing temperatures.

    Not so fast. There are plenty of ways you can work up a sweat indoors and avoid the cold. Here are a few ideas to keep you active while you await warmer days.

    Hit Workout Machines at Home or at the Gym

    If you have the space, a workout machine at home can help you burn calories without having to step out your front door. At home, you can watch TV or turn your choice of music as loud as you like. If you don’t have the space, of course, gyms have you covered. Here are a few great workout machines:

    • Rowing machine: rowing machines have increased in popularity in recent years, as they provide a low impact cardio workout that exercises the entire body.
    • Stationary bike: stationary bikes come in all shapes and sizes these days, including recumbent, upright and adjustable.
    • Treadmill: the cornerstone of the indoor cardio workout, treadmills can support simple runs and custom workout programming.

    You also don’t have to spend a lot on high-tech workout equipment or strap in to complicated machines at the gym. There are plenty of low-tech options as well, including:

    • Weights: whether you prefer free weights or lifting machines, there’s an option to target the muscle group you want. You can go as heavy or light as you need.
    • Medicine balls: medicine balls can be used in a number of workouts that target all body areas, especially your core.
    • Resistance bands: basically giant rubber bands, resistance bands come in different sizes and resistance levels and can be used on their own or to help scale the difficulty of common exercises.
    • Jump rope: jump ropes are fantastic workout options as they can get you into a rhythm and breaking a sweat very quickly.

    Go for a Swim

    If there’s a local indoor community center or member-based pool, it might be the right time to sign up and swim all winter long. Swimming is a fantastic low-impact exercise that helps you exercise without straining or hurting joints and muscles. And, that heated pool area is going to feel blissful when contrasted with the cold temperatures outside.

    Join an Exercise Class

    Belonging to a gym has many benefits during the winter months, including exercise classes. Cycling, kickboxing, and boot camp classes all offer opportunities to get an intense workout in a community setting. Working out with others also promotes a sense of accountability and can keep you coming back for the community support.

    If high intensity group workouts aren’t your thing, you can always find classes on yoga, Pilates, or even dance.

    Bring Personal Training Home

    There is a wide variety of indoor workout programs available now, from popular DVD programs like P90X to free programs available on TV or the Internet. Finding the right one for you might take some research, but usually you’ll just need a TV screen or computer monitor, some basic equipment and enough space to work out. That’s what we call a low barrier to entry.

    In Closing

    For outdoor enthusiasts, it can be difficult to stay active when it’s too cold to venture outside. But by finding the right indoor exercise opportunities, motivating yourself to start them and then maintaining a consistent schedule, you can stay healthy and active in the winter months. You may even find something you want to work into your routine year round.


    This post was posted in Education

  • Retail Tips for Massage Therapists

    Posted on January 19, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    retail-tips-for-massage-therapistsMost massage therapists didn’t get into their career to become salespeople: they were simply following their passion for massage. As a result, massage therapists sometimes lack the necessary experience or feel morally conflicted when it comes to selling retail products at their practice.

    But selling products to your clients doesn't need to be difficult or shady. You can actually help your clients by connecting them with products they love and increase the profitability of your practice in the process. If you’re wondering how to get started, here are a few tips for achieving retail success at your massage practice.

    Stock the Right Products

    First things first, you need to stock the right products. Stick to products that you believe in - products you’ve used and can testify to their quality.

    If you’re just starting out, start simple with a small range of brands or product types. Products could include massage oils, exfoliating treatments, salt or sugar scrubs, and other related items. If your clients share common problems, you should offer real solutions. For instance, if your clients frequently suffer from sprains or headaches, you could stock CorPak hot and cold therapy packs.

    Passively Sell Your Products

    You can start marketing your retail products without having to give a long sales pitch. If you use the products you sell on your clients, you can describe the product and its benefits as you use it during treatment. In this way, you can demonstrate a product’s value firsthand. Your client’s visit is also an ideal time to talk about their pain points, muscle tension and other issues and gently explain the benefits that a product can bestow.

    You can even offer free samples!

    Create an Attractive Display

    If you’re limited to displaying your wares in the massage room, it may be helpful to keep the display small and simple – displaying just one of each item you sell.

    Ideally, you can keep your retail display in a waiting room or entrance. If you have a space like this, you can think a bit bigger use professional shelving, lighting and even scents to create an attractive aura around your products.

    Charge the Right Amount

    If your prices are too low, you might not make enough profit. If your prices are too high, your clients may not bite. Try to find a happy medium – it may take some adjusting. Buying wholesale from suppliers will help you keep your list price down. If you’re truly at a loss, keystone pricing - charging double what you paid for the product - is a good rule of thumb.

    Expand Your Offerings Naturally

    Lastly, you should expand your product offerings as you grow. Don’t buy an entire storage unit full of products before you’ve sold one. Instead, reorder products as they sell, and expand your product offerings based on what’s popular and what your clients are asking for. This way, you won’t end up with a bunch of unwanted inventory on your hands.

    In Closing

    If you sell products you believe in that meet your client’s needs, you can naturally expand into retail without becoming a pushy salesman. Plus, you can help your clients solve problems, diversify the revenue sources for your business, and become a better entrepreneur. Happy selling!


    This post was posted in Education

  • Five Ways to Wake Up Without Caffeine

    Posted on January 14, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    wake-up-without-caffieneWhen Americans need to wake up, they overwhelmingly turn to caffeine. Around 83% of U.S. adults drink caffeine, and for many of us there’s no better pick-me-up. But if caffeine’s not your thing - or you’re considering cutting back - there are other ways to jumpstart your morning and provide you with the energy to tackle your day.

    Here are a few ways you can wake up without resorting to caffeinated assistance.

    Workout

    It can be hard to muster the motivation to get moving in the morning. But exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good and help you stay alert and focused. If you’re strapped for time, even short workouts can make a big difference. If morning workouts aren’t your thing, lunchtime exercise can help you combat afternoon lethargy. Plus, when the day’s over, the knowledge that you already got in your day’s workout is icing on the cake.

    Eat an Apple

    Apples contain no caffeine, but they do supply natural sugars that provide a quick jolt of energy in the morning. In addition, the fructose contained in apples takes longer to digest and can provide a sustained energy boost longer than a cup of coffee. Highly caffeinated beverages can also lead to a caffeine crash that you don’t get with apples. And apples are arguably healthier than coffee if you add sugar, syrups or creamers to your morning joe.

    Cold Showers

    You might think a cold shower is akin to torture first thing in the morning. But cold showers can wake you up and get your blood pumping, much more so than hot showers. If you need to ease into the cold shower, you can turn the water cold for the last minute before hopping out to towel off. If you really want to start slow, you can even splash cold water on your face in the morning.

    Optimize Your Wakeup Time

    If you constantly hit the snooze button or sleep to the last possible second, you may not be giving your body enough time to naturally wake itself up. Sleeping as late as possible could keep you in a lethargic funk when you need full brainpower - like at an early morning meeting.

    Also, it can help to wake up at a set time every day. Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm - basically, your body’s internal clock - that follows the 24-hour cycle of a day. If you wake at different times each day, your body will be less able to control internal processes that help you naturally wake up. But if you wake up at the same time every single day (including weekends) you can potentially get better sleep and wake up naturally in the morning.

    Challenge Your Mind

    Brainteasers such as puzzles, crosswords, or Sudoku can help your mind shake off sleep and focus. Performing low-pressure mental activities can help you become alert before your day kicks into high gear.

    In Closing

    While caffeine is a viable shortcut, following these tips instead could make your life easier in the long run by breaking your reliance on caffeine. If you’re feeling extra motivated, you can even try to amplify the effect by combining a few of these methods. You may surprise yourself and learn that you don’t need caffeine as much as you think you do!


    This post was posted in Education

  • Three New Year’s Resolutions for Better Joint Health

    Posted on January 9, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    joint-health-blogA new year is both a time to reflect on the year that has passed and an opportunity to plan your next priorities for self-improvement. One goal worth striving for is better joint health, and if this has been on your mind, you may be planning to make joint health a focus for next year.

    But to improve your joint health, you’ll need an action plan. To develop one, you’ll have to break down your focus on joint health into specific priorities with actionable to-do lists. Luckily, we have a few resolutions you can make to improve your joint health, along with suggestions on how you can get there.

    Start an Exercise Routine

    If you want to promote joint strength and mobility, one of your first priorities should be establishing a regular exercise schedule. Exercise promotes joint stability, flexibility and even pain reduction among people with osteoarthritis. There are many ways you can get started:

    • Daily walks: Simple, accessible and easy to schedule.
    • Exercise classes: Exercise classes can be a fun way to engage in a social activity while breaking a sweat. Plus, putting yourself on the calendar for a class can your likelihood of committing to the workout.
    • Low Impact Exercise: If your joints are frequently painful during common movements, low impact exercise like swimming is easier on the joints.

    Establish a Joint-Friendly Diet

    Losing weight can increase your joint function and reduce joint pain. Combined with the exercise we mentioned above, a healthier diet can help you shed pounds and make a major positive difference for your points. Of course, this includes common sense adjustments like cutting back on sugar and eating more vegetables. But there are also specific foods you can eat that are good for your joints.

    • Calcium Rich Foods: Calcium-heavy foods such as dairy, white beans, broccoli and canned fish are good for bones and joint health.
    • Vitamin D: Vitamin D keeps your bones strong and can help. While sunshine is one of the primary providers of Vitamin D, we can also get it form fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel.

    Get a Good Night’s Sleep

    A good night’s sleep is important to so many factors related to both our physical and mental well-being. Joint health is one of those factors. For instance, a lack of good sleep has been shown to increase vulnerability and sensitivity to joint pain. Getting a good night’s sleep can also help you stick to your diet and exercise routine. Here are a few ways you can promote good sleep:

    • Follow the Above Resolutions: Eating right and exercising can help you get a good night’s sleep.
    • Avoid Sleep Inhibitors: Before bed, certain things can hurt our chances for a good night’s sleep. Avoid cell phones, caffeine, fatty meals and other sleep inhibitors before bed.
    • Establish a Schedule: Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This helps your body establish a predictable rhythm for sleep.

    In Closing

    Healthier joints are a worthwhile focus for next year, but you’ll only be able to attain them by setting achievable goals and then coming up with a plan to meet those goals. By setting your goals, establishing your plan and staying consistent, you’ll can make real progress toward healthier joints in 2017!


    This post was posted in Education

  • Tips for Creating the Right Massage Environment

    Posted on January 3, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    massage-environmentIf you’re a qualified massage therapist, you have the training and experience necessary to deliver impeccable service that positively impacts the lives of your clients. But attracting and retaining clients is more than just delivering a great massage. You should keep your clients’ entire experience in mind, and that includes their physical surroundings when they come visit you.

    The right environment can help to put your clients at ease, make them feel comfortable and relaxed, and create positive impressions as soon as they enter your business. Whether you work at home or in an office building, you can use these tips to create a relaxing, positive massage environment.

    Choose a Décor Theme

    Instead of buying random items for your wall and office, you’ll want to start with a theme. Think hard about who your clients are, as well as the message you wish to send. Is your client base primarily made up of young professionals or retired people? Is your practice focused on helping with injuries or promoting relaxation? You’ll want to pick your décor with an eye for both the experience you wish to provide and the preferences of your client base.

    Lighting

    Lighting is important. Fluorescent lighting is prominent in offices and retail stores, and doesn’t have a reputation for positively influencing our health. Natural lighting, on the other hand, is a fantastic alternative to fluorescent lights or glaring light bulbs. Skylights and windows let in natural light that you can control using curtains. Of course, many massage clients prefer a dim room to help them relax, so lamps with dimmer switches are great for creating a low lighting effect.

    Artwork

    You want your clients to feel relaxed and comfortable, and your artwork should reflect that. Choosing images of nature with some depth - such as rolling meadows, forests, or other landscapes - can help to promote this feeling. You’ll want to avoid busy or abstract artwork or images of buildings or traffic, which can remind us of stress.

    Nature

    Speaking of nature, incorporating some natural elements into your massage space is a great way to bring beauty indoors. Rocks, plants, crystals, or a burbling decorative water fountain can help your clients envision a calm outdoor space. Even a nice bouquet of fresh flowers in your waiting room can add a nice visual and aromatic effect.

    Spacing

    You and your clients should be able to move freely about your workspace and massage room. You need to be able to navigate your workspace to do your job, and you want your clients to feel comfortable in a free-flowing environment. Make sure there are no obstacles - shelving, boxes, etc. - blocking your client’s path to the massage table.

    Random Tips

    Let’s close out with a few miscellaneous tips, shall we?

    • Keep it Clean: whether your office is at home or in a commercial building, your space should be kept clean and clutter-free. Having a dirty or cluttered workspace can damage your credibility.
    • Sell Yourself: Have your certifications and credentials up on display in a prominent place. Your clients will appreciate knowing you’re a licensed professional.
    • Temperature: Your clients will be in some form of undress – make sure the temperature in your office isn’t too cold.

    Get Feedback: Your clients are all individuals with different preferences. Feel free to solicit opinions from any clients that are comfortable sharing feedback. By learning what makes your individual clients tick, you can better create a customized experience for them, increasing the probability of repeat business.


    This post was posted in Education

  • How to Travel for the Holidays with Arthritis

    Posted on December 27, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    arthritis-travelMillions of Americans travel for the holidays every year, using every combination of transportation available to get to their friends and family. The Automobile Association of America is estimating more than 103 million Americans will travel in the year-end holiday season. And while traveling can be a stressful experience for anyone, arthritis presents a very specific set of challenges.

    Joint pain and discomfort caused by arthritis can easily flare up due to travel triggers. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some common sense tips to help make your holiday trip more comfortable and less vulnerable to arthritis pain.

    Prepare Your Medication

    Do you take medication to manage your arthritis? If so, your logical first step is to make sure you have enough medication to last through your trip. But during a trip, your medication can easily be left behind in a hotel or lost with your luggage. If that happens, you may need to refill your prescriptions in an unfamiliar place. You can keep a list of your medications and doses to prepare yourself in case of emergency.

    One last point: if you’re flying to your destination, you may want to bring a doctor’s note or prescription along with you. This can help if TSA staff has questions or concerns about your medication as you move through airport security.

    Bring the Right Gear

    If you ever use a cane, splint, knee brace, walker, or any other device to help you get around, make sure you bring it with you. It might be tempting to leave aids behind to lighten your load, but it’s better to have it and not need it than vice versa. Travel pillows are another essential for comfortable. If your gear is heavy or unwieldy, try finding smaller or lighter travel versions.

    Use the Right Luggage

    If you’re going to be walking around with your luggage, you may want to try fitting everything into a lightweight, rolling suitcase. Not only will this help you pack only the essentials, it will make the chore of lugging your possessions around more bearable (and easier on your joints). There’s also no shame in asking for help: for instance, don’t be shy to ask your hotel for help getting your luggage to and from your room.

    Be Sure to Get Up and Move

    Whether you’re driving, flying, or riding, sitting for too long without moving and stretching can result in stiff and painful joints. If you’re on a plane or train, try to get an aisle seat so you can stretch out a little and get up to walk occasionally. If driving, try to stop for some exercise along the way. Long sedentary periods can make arthritis symptoms worse, so you’ll want to get up and move to keep them at bay!

    …But Set Your Boundaries

    While we just extolled the benefits of activity, we don’t want you to overextend yourself. Don’t risk injury or flare-ups by trying to go too fast or too far. This applies both to the time you spend travelling and the time you spend at your destination. It might mean you have to skip that nature walk or ask someone else to carry heavy gifts in from the car. Try to get exercise, but not the wrong kind that could leave you in pain.

    In Closing

    There’s no reason your holiday trip with arthritis can’t be happy and carefree. But you’ll increase your chances of a great holiday if you prepare now to reduce the chance of debilitating joint pain. The key is careful planning, preparation and vigilance. Happy travels!


    This post was posted in Education

  • Best Pillows for Neck Pain: Seven Core Products Pillows, Home Tested

    Posted on November 18, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Neck pain can be a complicated condition, with a great variety of potential contributing factors. As a result, there’s no one-size-fits all solution.

    Because the way we sleep can be a major contributor to our spinal health, Core Products carries many types of pillows designed to promote proper sleeping posture. That variety can cause some confusion about which pillow may be right for you.

    With that in mind, I spent a few months home testing seven of Core Product’s most popular pillows to provide my impressions on their shape, size, material and overall comfort. The goal is to help you choose the pillow most likely to give you a good night’s sleep and help maintain proper sleeping posture. Let’s get started!

    Side note: I do experience neck pain, but I can’t accurately predict which pillow is best for your specific neck pain – for that reason I’m providing my own impressions, but not recommendations. Your mileage may vary.

    Many support pillows are initially uncomfortable and require time for you to adjust when switching from a traditional pillow.

    econowave

    1. The Econo Wave Cervical Pillow

    Overview: The Econo Wave is a foam pillow designed to provide support to your neck and promote proper spinal alignment as you sleep.

    Shape/Size: Typical of many Core Products pillows, there are raised sections along the long sides of the pillow (known as “lobes”) to support your neck as you sleep. The center of the pillow sits at a lower altitude than the lobe, creating a valley effect for your head.

    Impressions: The first night I tried this pillow, I was very uncomfortable. I felt as if the pillow was too flat to provide any reasonable support to my head or neck. My head also felt too close to the mattress.

    The next night, I turned the pillow around. Turns out, each lobe is a different size, and what I needed was the thinner lobe to support my neck. Lesson learned: you may need to test options before you land on the right configuration.

    After a few nights of adjusting to this pillow’s configuration, I grew to find the positioning comforting. It begins to provide a lulling sense as you drift to sleep.

    The Verdict: This is a good option if you prefer foam pillows. As you expect with foam, the memory is great and bounces right back to its original shape, and contours nicely as you move around. Also typical of foam, it tends to retain heat. It’s great for sleeping on your back, but I found it somewhat lacking in the side-sleeping department. The Econo Wave is also very affordable – one of the more budget-friendly options on the list.

    therapeutica

    2. Therapeutica Sleeping Pillow

     Overview: The Therapeutica Sleeping Pillow is a foam pillow designed by an Ergonomic Designer and Doctor of Chiropractic for back or side sleeping. The goal is a stable, comfortable sleep experience with no neck stiffness or soreness in the morning.

    Shape/Size: The Therapeutica is the most uniquely shaped product on this list. It’s smaller than a typical pillow and has a cavity in the middle that cradles your head as you sleep on your back. A lift that resembles a ramp supports your neck as your head lies in the cradle. There are also raised sides for side sleeping.

    Impressions: Size is very important. The pillow comes in five different sizes based on your shoulder length – there’s a sizing guide on the product page. The first night I tried this pillow, I used a smaller size and was extremely uncomfortable – so much so that I had difficulty falling and staying asleep.

    The next night, I switched to the larger size, and the difference was dramatic. In fact, this pillow immediately felt right for back sleeping. The “ramp” that supports your neck feels natural, and your head’s downward angle is very hypnotic. I fell asleep immediately and, throughout my testing, didn’t feel the need to shift around throughout the night, which I typically do.

    However, the raised sides for side sleeping were too high for my comfort.

    The Verdict: This is fantastic pillow for back sleeping. The shape is unusual but the pillow is obviously well made. I found it very comfortable and woke up every morning with a full range of motion in my neck. The foam material feels very dense and has a great memory. As I mentioned, size is crucial for this pillow – picking the wrong size could ruin the experience, so pay attention when you order.

    I found the side-sleeping experience lacking. I’d stick with this pillow primarily for back sleeping. The largest sizes of the Therapeutica are some of the more expensive options on this list.

    cpap-pillow

    3. CPAP Pillow

    Overview: The CPAP Side Sleeping Pillow is intended for people who use a CPAP machine for their sleep apnea. The pillow is intended to make side sleeping easier.
    This pillow is made for CPAP machine users, but Core Products does list neck pain as one condition it can help. Since it’s an extremely popular product for Core Products customers (and I have used a CPAP machine in the past) I included it for my analysis.

    Shape/Size: The CPAP pillow is smaller than a traditional pillow, and has a basic rectangular shape with two side panels extending from each side. It comes in varying heights– from 3” to 5” – to accommodate how much lift you want.

    Impressions: I no longer use a CPAP machine, but still have the facemask equipment still, so I was able to accurately test the pillow. I put on my CPAP mask as normal and got into a side sleeping position. The placement of the pillow’s side panels allowed me to sleep on my side with the facemask and tube hanging off, as pictured above.

    The “hanging” effect works as advertised. It keeps the facemask from pressing into your face and causing discomfort. The material was a nice transition from a traditional memory foam pillow.

    For the pillow to work correctly, you have to be in the correct position. I tend to shift and move around in my sleep, and so end up having to readjust to the right position to maintain the pillow’s desired effect. This could cause frequent sleep interruptions.

    The Verdict: The comfort factor and material is nice – this is a well-made product. It’s also great for those who prefer firm pillows. The pillow works as intended – allowing for comfortable side sleeping with a CPAP facemask – but does require frequent readjustment for restless sleepers.

    The pillow comes in 3”, 4”, and 5” thickness. That 2” can make a huge difference in your experience, so try and anticipate the right thickness for you. The pillow is also reasonably priced for a specialty product.

    double-core

    4. Double Core Pillow

    Overview: The Double Core Pillow is a foam pillow that lets you choose – and adjust on the fly – the level of neck support you need.

    Shape/Size: The Double Core is similar to the first pillow on this list, the Econo Wave, in shape, size, and material. It's the size and shape of a traditional pillow, but with two lobes that support the neck. The twist is the interchangeable “core” system: foam cylinders fit into the lobes via a clever latching system. You can swap cores for varying levels of neck support. The pillow comes with four, ranging from gentle to extra-firm support.

    Impressions: Of this list, the Double Core Pillow has the most customizable options. The cores allow you to choose your level of neck support, but can also be used as part of a neck support program, in which you move through different configurations and support levels over time as you adjust to the pillow (instructions are included).

    I tested each of the four cores to varying degrees of success. I found that I preferred the firmer cores that fully supported my neck. But no matter your preference, you’ll have an option. If you wish to work through the program, which takes you from the softest to firmest core, you can do that as well.

    The Verdict: If you want the flexibility to choose your level of neck support on the fly, this is the pillow for you. The system that lets you switch out the core is clever but very easy to use, and the instructions for working through the support program are easy to understand.

    Those who prefer soft pillows may have difficulty adjusting to neck support pillows. This pillow lets you gradually adjust. I personally found the firmest level of support the most comfortable. The price is pretty affordable for all the moving parts that are included.

    tri-core

    5. Tri-Core Cervical Pillow

    Overview: Core Products most popular fiber support pillow, the Tri-Core Cervical Pillow “provides better support and lasts longer than traditional pillows.”

    Shape/Size: The Tri-Core pillow comes in a few different sizes and firmness levels (standard or gentle). Two rolls on top and bottom support differently sizes of people, and lobes on the side support side sleeping. A trapezoid-shaped depression in the center is designed to cradle the head as the neck roll supports the neck.

    Impressions: This is my favorite pillow on the list. It’s easy to see why it’s Core Products’ most popular pillow. This pillow immediately felt comfortable. The divot in the center of the pillow was perfectly shaped to cradle my head as I slept on my back, which created a very relaxing effect.

    The side panels felt a bit odd when trying to sleep on my side, but this is a common issue I had across all pillows.

    The Verdict: The Tri-Core is made using top grade virgin polyester fiber, and is designed to stay resilient over long periods of usage. It shows. The most comfortable option on the list, the easiest to adjust to, and the closest to the pillow types I like (thick and supportive). It still provided great neck support and I woke up feeling refreshed after sleeping on this pillow.

    d-core

    6. The D-Core Cervical Support Pillow

    Overview: The D-Core Cervical Pillow is similar to the Tri-Core. It’s a fiber pillow the size of a traditional pillow, designed to relieve headaches, neck spasms, arthritis, and snoring.

    Shape/Size: The center depression for the head is D-shaped. Bottom lobes support the neck, and raised edges surround each side of the pillow.

    Impressions: Much like the Tri-Core, I easily adjusted to the D-Core. It felt like a normal pillow, but left my neck supported and relaxed in the morning. The D-shaped divot creates a soothing effect.

    Also like the Tri-Core, I did not find the side panels quite as comfortable for side sleeping. The material is slightly less comfortable (but not dramatically so) than the Tri-Core, especially for someone who appreciates firm pillows.

    The Verdict: Another great option that is comfortable, similar to a traditional pillow, and easy to adjust to. This pillow is among the firmest I’ve tested, and feels denser. The price is quite economical and is a great alternative to the Tri-Core.

    cervalign

    7. The CervAlign Pillow

    Overview: Last on our list is the CervAlign Cervical Pillow, a softer fiber pillow that works as a neck support pillow and also functions as a conventional pillow.

    Shape/Size: The Cerv-Align is available in multiple sizes depending on the level of support needed for your neck. Its bottom curve shape is suited for both back and side sleeping, and it’s divot for the head is not as well defined as the Tri-Core or D-Core. The pillow’s sides both have raised sections for side sleeping.

    Impressions: This pillow has much more give to it than some of the other foam or fiber options. It’s very breathable and cool, and the material has more of a “downy” effect. This pillow has more give to it, and is definitely a good choice for those who prefer a softer pillow experience.

    Even though I prefer firmer pillows, I have to say the lightness of this pillow feels great against the skin. This pillow is my favorite option for side sleeping. The firmer pillows tended to raise my head too high when sleeping on my side. With the CervAlign, I feel comfortable sleeping on my side and my neck is still well supported.

    The Verdict: This is a light and breathable neck support pillow best suited for people who like a softer sleeping experience. It’s also the most comfortable pillow I’ve found for sleeping on my side. Though I’d likely choose a firmer pillow, this was pretty comfortable and gave me a decent night’s sleep.


    This post was posted in Education

  • The Role of Massage in Healthcare and Medical Centers

    Posted on November 10, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    medical-massage

     
    Massage can be much more than a way to de-stress or relax. While it certainly fulfills that function, massage therapy is increasingly viewed as a very beneficial complement to traditional healthcare. In fact, massage therapists now play a role in high-profile medical centers across the country and serve as official employees at many hospitals.

    It’s important to note that we don’t recommend massage as an alternative to traditional healthcare or as a cure for any illnesses, but rather as one part of an overall treatment program. So what is medical massage?

    Medical Massage

    There’s no one official method of massage known as medical massage. Rather, medical massage is broadly defined as massage therapy prescribed or recommended by a medical doctor with a health-based outcome in mind.
    Of course, this could mean many different things, but it’s important to understand because massage wasn’t always a widely accepted or prescribed aspect of health care. While massage has been around as an aspect of medical practice for centuries, Western medicine has not always embraced it.

    Nowadays, many health insurance plans cover massage therapy if recommended and referred by doctors. Medical massage can be used to help assist in treatment and recovery for disease, injury, and pain resulting from chronic conditions.

    Here are a few specific ways massage can be incorporated into medical treatments at hospitals and other medical centers:

    Hospital Massage

    Massage therapists can play a strong role in many types of recovery onsite at hospitals. In the past, nurses often provided massages to their patients to ease muscle tension, promote relaxation, and undo knotted muscles caused by lying in bed. Now, hospitals often keep full time massage therapists on staff to help when massage is an important part of patient treatment. Hospital massage therapists are often on call during their shift and travel throughout the hospital to wherever they’re needed.

    The conditions massage therapists treat in hospitals are varied, but they can help medical professionals with concentrations in cardiology, sports medicine, and surgery.

    Oncology Massage

    Oncology massage uses traditional massage therapy techniques that are modified to work safely with patients who are undergoing (or have undergone) cancer treatment.

    There are trainings and certifications devoted solely to oncology massage, as oncology massage therapists need to understand how cancer and its treatment affect the body. Oncology massage therapists must be able to adjust their massage techniques to adapt to the symptoms and side effects of cancer and treatment, and they must be proficient enough to make these adjustments from patient-to-patient if necessary.

    For instance, deep-tissue massage may be ruled out for many oncology patients, but gentle massage could help patients relax, sleep, and relieve pain or anxiety.

    Hospice Massage

    For patients in hospice care, the focus of massage therapists is usually to provide comfort during the patients’ final days. Usually, this does not come in the form of a traditional table massage. Instead it could include very light massage and gentle touch, with patients clothed and remaining in bed or a chair.

    For hospice patients, massage therapy can be a pain reliever, promote healthy sleep and bodily functions, reduce swelling, and relieve anxiety. While this can be a very difficult and emotional function for massage therapists, it can also be very rewarding and meaningful to help someone pass away in the most comfortable way possible.

    Conclusion

    In the past few decades, massage therapy’s legitimacy among medical professionals has grown by leaps and bounds. Massage therapists could conceivably work in the medical field their entire careers, and the medical field is quickly growing so the industry should continue to see many opportunities. No matter the type of medical massage practiced, massage therapy is now integrated with our understanding of healthcare.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.hospicare.org/massage-therapy-program/

    http://www.s4om.org/faq/item/what-is-oncology-massage-2

    https://www.amtamassage.org/uploads/cms/documents/hospitalsembracemassage.pdf

    http://www.massagetoday.com/digital/index.php?i=638&r=t#1


    This post was posted in Education

  • October is Chiropractic Health Month – Here are Five Conditions Chiropractors can Treat

    Posted on October 15, 2016 by Core Products

    By: Brian Acton

    October is Chiropractic Health Month, and during this time, the American Chiropractic Association and chiropractic doctors around the nation will focus on raising public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic. Chiropractors focus on neuromuscular health, and treat their patients primarily through spinal manipulation and adjustments. This treatment is often viewed as alternative or complementary to more mainstream treatment, but many believe the practice is a natural alternative to addictive pain medication or invasive surgery.

    To do our part for the month, we’re listing five common conditions or disorders that chiropractic care can help to treat.

    Sports Injuries

    Sports medicine and chiropractic don’t always go hand in hand, but for many athletes they’re a natural fit. Chiropractic sports medicine is a specialty of chiropractic treatment, and focuses on pain management and rehabilitation of neuromuscular and skeletal health for both pro athletes and athletic people of all levels. As of 2015, every NFL team and many MLB teams have an official chiropractor. These chiropractors focus on spinal manipulation for injuries sustained during athletics and focus on joint manipulations that help to improve strength and flexibility.

    Headaches

    According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic care can help with a condition commonly experienced by most people from time to time: headaches. Many factors can cause headaches, but one of the primary causes is overly tense muscles in the neck, which is a frequent condition in the era of the desk job. Chiropractors can assist with spinal manipulations or adjustments to relieve tense muscles and spinal pressure in the neck. They can also advise on posture, stretches, and exercises that will help to prevent headaches from developing in the neck and upper back.

    Lower Back Pain

    Lower back pain is one of the most well known reasons to visit a chiropractor. For many, lower back pain goes away after a brief time. But for those with chronic lower back pain, the condition is recurring and can last for months or even years. Chiropractors treat lower back pain through spinal manipulation, using their hands or tools to apply force to spinal joints with the goal of pain relief. Studies have shown that this treatment is fairly low-risk and is one of the most popular “alternative” treatments to back pain.

    Spinal Disc Conditions

    There are a number of conditions that can befall the discs in your spine and cause severe back pain, leg pain, and other symptoms. Usually, these conditions come down to either a pinched nerve (material is leading from inside the disc and pinching a nerve) or disc pain (the disc itself is in pain). Chiropractors may take passive approach to treatment – for instance, exercise and stretches. Depending on the condition, they may also suggest spinal manipulations as well. In the case of a herniated disc, it’s important to note that they can only treat pain relief and not the underlying cause.

    Whiplash

    Whiplash is a neck injury caused by sudden forward and backward movement of the neck (a common cause is a car accident). This can cause severe pain and restricted mobility in the neck. Chiropractors treat whiplash by evaluating the entire spine and identifying areas of joint, disc, muscle or ligament injury. Treatment involves a mix of spinal manipulation, inflammation treatment (if the injury is very recent) and stretching.

    In Closing

    Chiropractic medicine is a respected and legitimate option for treatment of many spine-related injuries and conditions. It’s commonly popular as an alternative to medication-based pain relief. While in all cases we recommend consulting your primary care doctor or other specialists in the case of injury or illness, a chiropractor can potentially help you with your pain in many instances. If you’ve been considering chiropractic treatment, Chiropractic Health Month is the perfect occasion to research your options!

     

    Sources

    http://www.acatoday.org/Patients/Health-Wellness-Information/Headaches-and-Chiropractic

    http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/chiropractic-pain-relief

    http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/whats-a-herniated-disc-pinched-nerve-bulging-disc

    http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/chiropractic-treatments-lower-back-pain

    http://advancedhoustonchiropractor.com/herniated-disc/


    This post was posted in Education

  • Basic Essentials for Building a Home Gym

    Posted on August 8, 2016 by Core Products

    home-gymBy Brian Acton

    Building a home gym comes with a number of fantastic benefits. Gym memberships can be expensive, and in the long run home gyms can save you a lot of money. Just getting to the gym can be a pain. It’s much easier to motivate yourself to work out when you don’t have to leave the house, and it’s less time-consuming as well.

    Finally, one of the biggest advantages is that you don’t have to share your home gym with the general public. That means your favorite machines are always open, you only listen to the music you like, and strangers aren’t sweating all over your equipment. Sounds pretty nice, right?

    If you have the space and the money for the upfront cost, a home gym is a great option to stay in shape. We know everyone’s fitness goals are different, but there are a few gym staples that will help anyone build a great home gym. Here are a few of the best starter choices for gym equipment that will have you working out in the comfort of your own home in no time:

    Cardio Equipment

    A good cardio workout is the best way to work up a sweat and burn calories. While there are a number of ways to get your heart rate up – including low-cost or no-cost exercises like burpees, jumping jacks or jump rope – for a long cardio workout you’re probably going to need a decent machine. Here are a few great options:

    • Treadmills: for the walkers, joggers, and runners, nothing beats a treadmill. Treadmills let you run to your heart’s content without having to suffer through extreme weather or temperatures. And to switch it up, many modern treadmills have different programming pre-sets to adjust your workout – for instance, interval training or various inclines. As for price, treadmills can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands – so know what you’re looking for and research your options before you buy.

    Another bonus of treadmills: they’re easier on the knees than running on the road.

    • Rowing Machines: Rowing machines let you sit down, but that doesn’t mean this is an easy workout. Rowing burns calories fast, has great cardiovascular benefits, and works almost all the muscles in your body. Rowers are generally much cheaper than your average treadmill as well.
    • Exercise Bikes: Just like treadmills, exercise bikes give you the benefit of the exercise without having to experience the weather. Most are programmable or come with pre-set workouts with different difficulty and training levels. Exercise bikes are fairly inexpensive, but do your research on quality – you don’t want something that breaks down quickly.

     

    Weightlifting

    Weightlifting is the best way to build strength and muscle. The advantage of a gym membership is that you get access to all the weights and weight machines you can dream up – but those aren’t strictly necessary. Weights are very affordable and budget-friendly compared to complicated machines. Here’s all you need to get started:

    • Dumbbells: For a beginner’s home gym, the best way to start with lifting is a set of dumbbells of varying weight. They’re inexpensive, don’t take up much space, and can be used in dozens of ways to build muscle. Or, consider adjustable dumbbells which you can easily set to the weight needed for your set of lifts.
    • Barbell and Weight Set: All you need to perform many of the exercises that gym machines provide is a barbell, a set of weight plates to put on that barbell, and a weightlifting bench. If you’re starting out, there’s no need to be intimidated – you can put on any weight you desire, and so barbells lifting can be challenging or relatively easy.

     

    …Additional Essentials

    • Medicine balls: Medicine balls can be used in a number of great workouts that target all body parts, especially your core. If you want a strong core, a medicine ball gives you many great exercise options.
    • Resistance bands: Resistance bands look like giant rubber bands, and come in many different sizes and resistance levels. You can use them to target your arms, legs, and even make common exercises more challenging.
    • Foam rollers: For recovery after a hard workout, foam rollers are essential. They work out tough spots in tight muscles and speed up the recovery process. And yes, this process hurts sometimes – the same way a massage does. That’s because it’s breaking up tension in tight, sore muscles. Check out our blog on some of the best foam rolling exercises to learn more.
    • Entertainment: Do you know what can make a long workout unnecessarily difficult? Thinking too hard about the workout while you’re doing it. Music, television, and even audiobooks can help you concentrate on something other than the hard work while your body takes over.

     

    There you have it – a list of some of the best equipment for building a home gym. Everyone’s needs are different – if building muscle isn’t important to you, weights may not be an essential need. But these basics can help you get a home gym up and running so you can cancel that expensive membership. If you have the space, the initial money needed, and the motivation, you can make a home gym that serves you just as well as a multimillion dollar sports complex with the latest technology.


    This post was posted in Education

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