Archive for May, 2014

“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence”

David Hume

I know that I write and post a lot about the benefits of massage and how it is great for general health and well-being. It’s easy to assume that when reading this it’s biased and swayed because it’s my business and I am a massage therapist, but the real truth is that I never believed that massage was anything more than just a luxury. That statement right there is blasphemous to my fellow therapists I’m sure, but I have to be honest so that you understand that Massage Therapy has truly changed my life!

Like many of people who only understand massage from what they see in the media, I really thought that massage was all about relaxing with candlelight, incense, and ambient music. It wasn’t until I applied for the Physical Therapist’s Assistant program at my local community college and was denied due to a lack of volunteer hours, that I was introduced to the clinical side of massage. I decided it would be worth my while to at least give it a shot, so I applied and was required to take several medical pre requisites. Pre requisites for a massage class? I knew at this point massage therapy had to be more serious than what I interpreted.

After getting accepted into the program, I was introduced to the program director and future mentor Steve Jurch. From day one Steve took a very scientific and clinical approach to how massage, or soft tissue treatment, can really make a difference in overall health and wellness. Throughout the program, which was almost 2 years long total, I learned more about biomechnical movement, muscular anatomy, and kinesiology than I had ever thought I would. I was also able to see and experience first hand how different the therapeutic approach really was and how immediately the results could be. It changed the way I felt, moved, and even perceived my environment.

My belief in massage therapy became greater and greater over the years, but in the early stages of my career I was still reluctant and somewhat skeptical. I had to ask many questions and do significant continuing education before I started seeing my treatments really effect people in a positive way. There have been many clients that I have worked with since then that have avoided surgery, regained range of motion, reduced painful and stressful symptoms, and so much more! Massage therapy has been around for many years and has been used to treat people for all kinds of aches, pains, disorders, and illness with great results. How can I not believe in this after seeing first hand many different times!?

It may have taken me some time to convert my skepticism, but I have been a massage therapist for over 10 years and let me tell you…if it can change my mind, I’m sure that it can change yours as well!

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“The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

Voltaire

This morning on a commercial break while watching the news I watched 3 back to back ads for over-the-counter pain medications. First off, I was baffled as to why they would play 3 different ads for the same product and secondly I was taken away by the fact that there are people out there take take OTC pain meds multiple times on a daily basis!

As soon as I could, I had to get to a computer and do some research and what I found was quite mind-blowing. Pain killers are the number one purchased OTC drug and many that are taking these pain killers are misusing them. In a study done by WebMD, it showed that ” nearly half of the 175 million adults who take over-the-counter pain relievers admit to exceeding the recommended dose, and few are aware of the potential risks.” The same research informs that “16,500 people die and 103,000 are hospitalized each year because of NSAID-related problems.”

over-the-counter pain killers can help manage but over time they do more bad than good.

over-the-counter pain killers can help manage but over time they do more bad than good.

Just like almost all medications that are ingested in pill form, they have to be processed by the liver and after time of continual use of the drugs, the liver can start having problems of it’s own. In addition, after repetitive use of drugs, the body adapts to the medication and more is require to achieve the same result. You can easily see how this is very unsafe and can potentially be fatal.

Low Back pain is at the top of the list for the needs of pain medications

Low Back pain is at the top of the list for the needs of pain medications

Now I’m not knocking pain medication all together, but there should be no real reason that you have to take it on a daily basis. After all, the medication only treats the symptoms not the cause. To really be effective you need to try and figure out the cause and then treat appropriately. In my experience as a massage therapist, I have found that many people are taking pain medications due to low back pain and severe headaches. In many of these cases these conditions are accompanied by poor posture. Without getting to in depth (I will save that for another BLOG), when the body starts loosing it’s correct posture, structures start to shift. Muscles on one side of the body become tight and on the other side of the body become overstretched. This in itself can cause significant and noticeable pain, but add to that when the muscular imbalance occurs that joints that were meant to move smoothly become compressed and dysfunctional. Blood vessels and nerves can become compressed if the postural alignment is to far from the norm.

Overuse and Misuse of OTC pain killers can cause serious Liver damage.

Overuse and Misuse of OTC pain killers can cause serious Liver damage.

You will read many articles that dispute the fact that there is no scientific research or proof that pain has anything to do with improper posture, but I say find out for yourself. Massage Therapy has been proven to relieve pain in the muscle fibers as well as alleviate headaches and help to restore posture, all with no real negative side effects. Ask any person who has received a massage if they felt better afterwards and if their pain was reduced and that should be proof enough that therapeutic massage is a better option than consistently over using OTC pain killers. It’s natural, it has been used for thousands of years, and it gets results!

“Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present”

Roger Babson

It is with my greatest pleasure to announce that today, May 1, 2014, marks the 3 year anniversary of DEFINED: Therapeutic Massage! I must begin by thanking my wonderful loyal clients, my amazing associates here in the Charleston area, as well as my amazing family in continually supporting me in this endeavor, my dream.third-anniversary-273x300

If you would have told me 10 and a half years ago when I started doing massage therapy that not only would I have still been doing massage therapy but also have a well respected and successful business of my own, I’m pretty sure it would have been hard for me to believe. Almost 4 years ago now, my dream started to develop to create a facility that would offer a unique treatment specially designed for each individual that walked through the door. Three years ago when I opened those doors I was very reluctant as to how to manage the business as well as how accepting the community would be to a type of massage treatment that is not very common from what we see these days.  With a passion and with a dream you continue to move forward, sometimes even blindly, until you have accomplished your goals. I did just that and I can safely say that I will not stop now.

Charleston's Live Professional Wrestling Federation

Charleston’s Live Professional Wrestling Federation

In the past 3 years DEFINED: Therapeutic Massage’s clientele has done a little more than doubled from opening day, as well as had the privilege to sponsor several great athletes in the Charleston, SC area. D:tm is the proud sponsor of Old School Championship Wrestling and all participating wrestlers as well as the official massage therapist to an up and coming triathlete named Jen Kryzanowski. I am also pleased to announce that we are in discussions to sponsor UFC veteran and MMA fighter Rafaello “The Tractor” Oliveira! 

Triathlete and Ironman finisher, Jen Kryzankowski

Triathlete and Ironman finisher, Jen Kryzankowski

 

Three years has also given me the time to become a certified Personal Trainer to help teach corrective exercises that would help restore posture. I have also taken several other classes including Erik Dalton’s Myoskeletal Alignment which has helped the efficiency and lasting effects of my treatments. I continue to be an adjunct instructor in Trident Technical College’s Massage Program where not only do I get the opportunity to help develop some great therapists into the community, but I myself get to stay sharp on my education and knowledge of the ever growing profession that is Massage Therapy.

 

The ride has been amazing and I am very excited to see what the future holds for DEFINED: Therapeutic Massage. Thank you again to everyone for your continued support…here’s to many more awesome years to come!

Many Thanks!  Sincerely,  Jarrod C. Fritz, NCLMT

Many Thanks!
Sincerely,
Jarrod C. Fritz, NCLMT