The medical field's greatest achievement of the last 20 years occurred in neuroscience: by learning to identify, understand, and affect the brain's neurotransmitters, the science of medicine came a long way from the lobotomies, tranquilizers, and electro-shock treatments it had promoted for most of the 19th century. Research on serotonin gave rise to a new class of highly effective, immensely lucrative antidepressants; studies on GABA produced new treatments for epilepsy and neuropathy; glutamate research may lead to treatments for schizophrenia and Alzheimer's.
What if there was one special neurotransmitter that connected them all? What if there was a single chemical that could be found all over and inside the human body, and too much or too little of this vital compound could affect nearly all the functions and systems necessary to sustain a healthy, happy life?
The Missing Link: Substance P
There is an important neurotransmitter that, while critical to a multitude of bodily processes and functions, remains--for questionable reasons--quite obscure. In fact, no one's even bothered to give it a proper name! Called simply "Substance P" or "SP," this important neuropeptide plays a critical role in dozens of diseases and disorders, like:
Moreover, Substance P is thought to play a role in every variety of pain, whether due to inflammation, neuropathy, or injury. So, why, then, isn't it being discussed openly and loudly? Why aren't the drug companies shoving out piles of pills that, by inhibiting or releasing Substance P, cure all manner of afflictions?
Massage Therapy Techniques: The Answer to the 'P'roblem
One glaring reason why the medical community isn't proclaiming the power of SP--and the pharmaceutical industry isn't interested in researching and developing related therapies for it--is that this particular neurotransmitter has validated massage therapy as a scientifically credible treatment. In fact, research on Substance P has opened up many doors for massage therapy techniques, which have now demonstrated the biological ability to:
Of course, massage therapy comes in many varieties--from Swedish and Thai, to deep tissue and shiatsu. One particular type of massage technique has been linked to Substance P. Reflexology, which is a localized massage technique that focuses primarily on the feet, may have its scientific basis in SP concentration of the lower extremities. Now touted as a painkiller stronger than morphine and the infertility treatment of the future, reflexology has certainly seen its stock and credibility rise due to its Substance P connection,
Unfortunately, despite the mounting scientific evidence, the medical community--and its powerful lobby--refuses to embrace alternative treatments such as massage therapy. That probably explains why you've never heard of Substance P...and why it still hasn't been named! Now, massage therapy is more than just an alternative, spiritual treatment--it is also emerging as a professional healthcare field. Massage schools in areas all over the country are now teaching students about reflexology and its valuable applications for massage therapy.
During my first pregnancy, I spent a lot of time pushing pillows behind my back trying to find comfort. As the size of the baby grew, so did my discomfort. By the time she was born, I was more than ready to give birth. When I found out I was pregnant again, I was determined that I would not suffer through the same discomforts. I started researching ways to ease the symptoms of pregnancy, including back pain. I created this blog to help other expectant moms find remedies to deal with those symptoms that can be emotionally and physically draining.