Thursday, 15 May 2014

Beautiful Madrugada

        For anyone affected by serious illness, it is essential for their well-being to have access to high quality, evidence based psychological, emotional and informational support.  Recent evidence based research proved that people have a much better rate of survival if they feel supported. Living with a life threatening illness can be terrifying; people often feel helpless and hopeless. Most medical professionals here in the Algarve recognise that additional help is needed to enable people to cope    with the psychological, social, spiritual and physical impact a serious illness is likely to cause. The professional and volunteer team at the Madrugada Centre in Praia da Luz, want to empower people to live life through and beyond their illness.
         As part of this, the centre have treatment rooms offering beauty and holistic treatments to people suffering from a life limiting illness and, where appropriate, their carers and families. They are able to offer Massage, Reflexology, Reiki and Bowen Therapy in their therapy room of which the most popular to date seems to be the Reiki and Reflexology treatments. 
         A little on the treatments offered.
       A little on Reflexology:
       We asked Kathy from Madrugada why Reflexology, specifically, was so popular:
        Reflexology has long been acknowledged as a deeply relaxing therapy with scientific results suggesting that the therapy may be as effective as painkillers, i.e., findings showed 40% less pain as well as being able to stand pain for around 45% longer when they used reflexology as a method of pain relief.
         All of us experience pain at times and appreciate the feeling of relief when it passes. Transitory pain, whilst unpleasant, can make us grateful for our generally pain free life. People who suffer from chronic pain (that lasts over months) have a difficult path. Chronic pain can impair many aspects of life including attention control, problem solving, mental agility and memory. It can also be associated with emotional imbalance including anxiety, anger and depression.  Living with pain, makes it more difficult to enjoy and take pleasure from life.
        At Madrugada they have found that Reflexology has an amazing ability to induce a state of deep relaxation. It is claimed that reflexology helps to restore balance and maintain homeostasis. Once a state of deep relaxation is achieved, the body’s own healing abilities start to take over. Clients frequently report improved sleep and experience beneficial effects from the treatment.  Although, it is not known as yet from a scientific perspective, how reflexology works, its´ benefits are becoming increasingly recognized by the NHS and the use of Reflexology is becoming further integrated into clinical practice in the UK. Nurses are also opting for training in reflexology to use as part of their toolkit. Reflexology is increasingly available in hospices and Day Centres across the UK where patients are referred by the clinical team.
       A little on the benefits of Massage as offered at Madrugada:
        Massage is has been accepted and recognised for numerous years in it’s promotion and maintenance of
good health. Developments come from different cultures the world over, where it has been individually and culturally developed, its benefits recognised.
        Massage is now found in many hospitals, health centres, clinics etc. offered by therapists, nurses and other health staff who have received training and is regularly offered to athletes, dancers, sports people and actors who use massage to aid recovery, promote relaxation and prevent or treat soft tissue injuries.
        As well as the physical benefits of massage which promotes the health of all of the systems of the body, psychologically it helps create a feeling of well-being and health,  promotes a feeling of being cared for which promotes relaxation and contentment, reduces mental stress and  promotes feelings of increased energy.
       Bowen Therapy and How it Works:
      As dictated by The International School of Bowen Therapy.
       There is a great deal of research currently being conducted into how and why Bowen moves promote healing. It is generally accepted however that they serve to generate an energy impulse, triggering the body’s healing mechanisms.
       In most instances, the basic Bowen move is a gentle cross fibre manipulation of the fascia or connective tissue. These specialised moves are applied to specific muscles, tendons and ligaments, initiating relaxation of the muscles and reduction of nerve pressure. This allows the body to make appropriate adjustments to re-align and balance for improved health and well-being.  The application of Bowen Therapy includes a number of waiting period’s in-between specific movements, which allows the patient’s body to respond to the stimulation the therapist is applying.
         It is used on a multitude of ailments, such as muscular and spinal complaints, to visceral conditions. Its use with debilitating and degenerative conditions can be profound.
        One of the many advantages of ISBT Bowen Therapy is that it is among the gentler of healing modalities. There are very few moves that require anything more than a gentle touch. However, that touch can produce excellent results.
         Bowen Therapy can be used almost all the time. It can be used on almost any injury any time, whether these are fresh injuries or old injuries. There are a few contraindications. Although at times of course the moves should be applied with extra care.
        Back to Madrugada Treatment Rooms
Not only does the Madrugada Treatment Rooms offer Reflexology and the like, but they also have a talk therapy room where they offer counselling, hypnotherapy, stress management and other talk therapies.
        All therapists provide treatments voluntarily. Some have contacted the centre independently and some have been recommended. Estetica para Profissionais have been very active and described as ‘wonderful’ by Kathy who works at the centre, in encouraging therapists to contact Madrugada to volunteer. All prospective volunteers are interviewed and their qualifications checked. References are taken and they are required to attend an Introduction to Palliative Care training workshop. Any therapists recommended by Estetica para Profissionais have been described to be “professional, caring and extremely committed to us [the Madrugada centre] and the people they are helping” whilst feedback from the therapists themselves has indicated that they also find it to be an uplifting experience.
        Madrugada offers complimentary therapies every Tuesday afternoon 2pm to 4pm. Appointments can be made for people suffering from a life-limiting illness, their carers and families by telephoning the Madrugada office on 282761375.  Please do get in touch if you or someone you know could benefit from this wonderful service or indeed if you would like to volunteer as a therapist.

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