Consider alternative treatments

By Marie Gress, LMSW – Lead Resource Advocate at Milan Seniors for Healthy Living

When you see your doctor, they frequently have advice to improve your health: “Try these exercises,” “Let’s adjust your medication,” or “This is information on dieting.”  Always take your doctor’s advice on making healthy lifestyle choices or medication adjustments.  Also consider using complementary or alternative treatments in tandem with what is prescribed by your doctor.  At MSHL, we currently offer four of alternative wellness treatments on a weekly basis at a low cost:  Acupuncture, Aroma Massage Therapy, Massage Therapy, and Reflexology.
Acupuncture is a treatment that uses hair-thin needles to promote natural healing and improve your overall body function.  Older adults commonly seek acupuncture for unpleasant side effects from medications, sinus problems, the common cold, asthma, allergies, chronic pain, headaches and migraines, sciatica, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, diarrhea, constipation, and more.  Ron Hough from Ronald Hough, LLC is our highly qualified acupuncturist who travels to many senior centers in the surrounding area.
Massage therapy is most commonly used to relieve tension in your body.  By increasing circulation and relaxing muscles, massages are proven to help older adults with headaches and migraines, depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, hypertension, arthritis, improve balance, stimulate the nervous system, improve recovery after strokes, increase flexibility, improve sleep, increase immune responses, and more.  Glory Harris from Morning Glory Massage is our massage therapist and has been dedicated to seniors in Milan seniors many years. 
Aroma Massage Therapy has many of the same health benefits as massage therapy, but with its use of essential oils, studies note how the aromas provide stress relief, stimulate the immune system, promote healing, reduce symptoms like nausea and pain, and even have some behavior modification benefits in dementia care.  Pam Lear from DoTerra Essential Oils provides our aroma massages and brings her extensive knowledge of essential oil health benefits to MSHL.
Reflexology focuses on pressure points in your feet that correspond to various areas of your body to help alleviate general aches and pains, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, migraines and headaches, manage symptoms due to strokes, encourage healing, and release tension. Susan Eliker provides reflexology at MSHL.  While I’m not a senior, I did a reflexology treatment with her last year when I was pregnant and not only did the treatment feel amazing to my swollen feet, but the next day I went into labor!
If you are 50+, we’d encourage you to do some “self-care” and check these services out.  For information on the days and times these therapists are at the center, please look at our website (, email us at mshl [at] milanseniors [dot] org, or call us at 734.508.6229.

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