"During one of the ['Dancing with the Stars'] shows, I turned my head and it started to feel tight and it got tighter and tighter, almost to the point I couldn't move," Carrie Ann Inaba revealed about the first time she noticed something was very wrong with her body.
It turns out the longtime dancer and "Dancing with the Stars" judge was suffering from spinal stenosis, a painful arthritic condition. She underwent surgery to help relieve the pressure and stiffness in her neck.
That was over six years ago, and today Carrie reveals to Healthy Hollywood, she's learned to cope with her condition. "I have found ways to manage it. And the way I manage it is with massage, acupuncture and I make sure I eat well - lots of anti-inflammatory foods."
Carrie also wants other folks to know arthritis is not an older person's condition. Of the 50 million Americans who suffer with it, two-thirds are under the age of 65. She's joined the third annual Healing Hands for Arthritis campaign, which is a money-raising effort between Massage Envy spas and the Arthritis foundation.
On September 18, Massage Envy will donate $10 from every one-hour massage or facial to the foundation. Carrie Ann says they hope to raise over a million dollars in a day.
"It's a great way to give back and take care of you at the same time," she adds.
Besides being busy on behalf of the Healing Hands campaign, Carrie Ann is getting ready for the season premiere of "DWTS" on Monday night. "My schedule gets a little insane. It's like going back to school for 10 weeks, then I have winter vacation. And, then go back to in March for 10 weeks and then I have summer vacation."
Carrie is excited about this season and the show's competitors, like Valerie Harper, Jack Osbourne and Amber Riley.
And, she's rested up for premiere night. For the first time, she took an extended summer vacation, adding, "I took the whole summer off and spent time re-decorating my house, getting massages and eating healthy.
And, the 45-year-old confesses she also spent the summer being single. "I just wanted to relax. I've never been single, have always been in relationships. So, it was interesting being in a new house - single and getting to know myself all over again."
To find a Massage Envy spa, head to www.massageenvy.com.
-- Terri MacLeod
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