Archive for February, 2015

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

– Dr. Seuss

Some experts claim that stretching is a bad idea and they aren’t wrong! If you stretch too much or attempt to stretch without the right goals or proper instruction, it could lead to disastrous outcomes. Most people are unaware of the components of good stretching. Determining goals and learning what type of stretching that works best for you are most important to avoid pain and injury.

Stretching can not only prevent injury but help to promote health and wellness.

Stretching can not only prevent injury but help to promote health and wellness.

The 2 main goals to consider when stretching are whether you want to just prep the muscles for strenuous activity or whether you would like to lengthen the muscles to increase range of motion and improve movement? If you are getting ready for a work out or about to do strenuous activity the type of stretching that would be better suited for you would be Ballistic, which involves bouncing , or a short duration static stretches, which involves holding a stretch for a short period of time. You also want to make sure that you are stretching target muscles that you will be utilizing. If you are looking to improve your range of motion and optimize movement while recorrecting your posture, then you would be more suited to visit a specialist that can help teach you Static, Active Isolated, and/or PNF stretching that would include the proper movements, adequate amounts of pressure and durations, and tips to avoid overstretching.
The idea behind stretching, either for activity prep or for increasing range of motion, is to avoid injury. Stretching increases blood flow to the area which increases localized temperature making the muscle fibers more pliable and easier to reduce muscular tension. The increase in blood flow also brings nutrients to the area that assists in the recovery of muscle tissue from activity and injury. With benefits like that, it should be an easy choice that stretching is a good move, but remember to stretch smart and stretch well. Always remember to seek professional advice on stretching from professionals such as chiropractors, massage therapist, personal trainers, and rehab specialists!

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“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.” – Thomas Carlyle

This time of year, with Valentine’s day around the corner, we start thinking about hearts a little more. We express love and other joyful feelings that “come from the heart,” but how often do we really consider our heart’s health and what a healthy heart can do for your body? Due to the stress of everyday life, poor nutrition, and many other factors, our heart can reduce it’s natural ability to properly pump blood throughout the body effectively. Why is this so important? Blood contains Oxygen and many other essential nutrients that assist our body in carrying out functions to survive and perform actions. How can we prevent and maintain our heart’s health easily and effectively ?

Keep your heart strong and healthy with massage!

Keep your heart strong and healthy with massage!

Massage therapy assists in relaxing the nervous system which allows the body to reduce the amount of Cortisol, a stress hormone, that the body produces. Following the reduction of the hormone, the body is calm which allows heart rate to slow down decreasing the amount of stress and muscular fatigue on the heart muscle it self. Another great way that massage helps to reduce the stress and fatigue on the heart is by reducing tension in the muscle fibers. How would this effect the heart you may ask? When tension is taken off of the muscles blood flow increases naturally, this process takes any additional strain off of the heart. The heart regulates it’s effort to pump blood depending on the demand for nutrients throughout the body and since the blood carries nutrients, if there is any interference, the heart feels that it has to pump hard to compensate when in actuality, if we take away the interference, in this case tight muscles, blood can flow effortlessly and efficiently with less strain on the heart. Proper nutrition, exercise, and stress management all play an important role in keeping your heart healthy, add massage therapy in the mix and not only will you feel better, but you amplify the results of those efforts!