Pulse of UTMC

Importance of Self-Care

Being an oncology massage therapist, I see so many wonderful programs offered to help cancer patients pay attention to their body and what it is trying to tell them. Many activities and therapies are offered to help them cope with the anxiety, fear and side effects of the medications they are taking to fight their disease.
There is massage therapy, of course, :0), yoga, energy healing, guided imagery, dancing, art therapy and belly dancing, just to name a few. The patients find that these therapies help them to feel better, look better, sleep better, and recover quicker.
Why do we wait until we are ill to start paying attention to our need for these activities or therapies? Why not do it now, while we are healthy, to maintain our health and ward off disease. All of these therapies help you to cope with stress, and don’t forget, the American Medical Association states that over 75% of all illness is stress related.
Let’s look at what is available to take advantage of these therapies without spending a fortune.
Massage Therapy: available at The University of Toledo, of course! $60 for an hour and $30 for a half hour, including aromatherapy at no extra cost, and no tipping, is the best bargain around. I am a Reiki Master, if you are interested in energy healing. Same prices apply.
Guided Imagery: There are lots of options available for little or no cost. Google it, and you will find many offerings. www.fragrantheart.com is one I have used. They have fee guided meditations or, you can download guided mediations for a couple of dollars.
Yoga: Harmony in Life, Sylvania, OH, www.harmonyinlifecenter.com offers pay per class, and my friend, Rhonda Oertli, has a lovely little studio in Waterville and offers yoga for a very reasonable price.  Her website is www.greenspirityoga.com. There are also books, DVD’s and You-Tube instructional videos available.
Art Therapy: check out www.nursingschools.net. They have a blog that entitled “100 Excellent Art Therapy Exercises for Your Body, Mind and Soul.
Belly Dancing: Buy yourself the sash with the bells and just move. Or, you could call Belly Dance Toledo at 419-280-3674 and take some lessons. Again, if you Google belly dancing, you find many options to learning this form of dance. Just turn on your favorite music and dance. It doesn’t have to be formal, just fun!
And don’t forget that  there is nothing like enjoying nature to help let go of stress and find some peace. Walking is great exercise and this is a great time of year to take advantage of all our beautiful parks.
Do a little self care now, and it will help you to stay healthy and cope with stress much more efficiently.

is Licensed in massage therapy,certified since 1979. Worked through the years in a small private practice in Toledo while raising a family and working full time. In 2007 Vicki had an epiphany that led her to enrolling in a local massage school, and obtaining her license with the Ohio State Medical Board. She is certified in oncology massage therapy, and is clinically certified in aromatherapy. In April, 2011, UT Physicians hired her as a massage therapist. She was thrilled to land this position. Vicki has always had a passion for customer service, and this is the ultimate service-to help people feel better through touch applied with intelligence, control & purpose.
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A journal about how the people at UT Medical Center are improving the human condition. UTMC provides compassionate, university-caliber patient care while supporting and enhancing the health education of The University of Toledo.

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