Archive for the ‘Special Modalities’ Category

“Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement.”
― Aldous HuxleyThe Art of Seeing

 

As you have read before in past BLOGS,  low back pain is among one of the most frequent injuries suffered by most in the world. One of the main reasons for low back pain is because of Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Dysfunction. The SI Joint can be anatomically defined as the articulation where the Ilium of the Hip bones meet the Sacrum. The joint itself is protected and surrounded by many ligaments and muscles. Now why is this information so important to you?SIJOINT

The SI Joint is responsible in acting like a shock absorber to disperse energy from the upper body to the lower body and vice-versa. Each SI Joint is supposed to move independently as you bend, twist, squat, and take steps. It’s easy to understand that if the SI Joints aren’t moving properly
it would cause pain and difficulty in movement in our body just the same as if the shock absorbers on a car were to malfunction, it would be a pretty rough ride.

Sudden trauma such as falls, sports injuries, and car accidents can top the list of reasons for SI Joint dysfunctions, but poor posture can also contribute as well. Whether it is an accident or just poor posture, the body will respond by tightening the muscles that surround the joints as well
as laying down scar tissue in the ligaments and tendons. This is the body’s response to protect it from additional injury, but if proper recovery and treatment isn’t followed, the scar tissue and tight muscles remain, causing limited motion in the joints which eventually leads to more problems.

The best way to keep fluid motion in the joints and avoid future
problems is to stay loose and retain great posture. Seek help and advice from professionals such as chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists. They will be able to provide you additional information, assessments, treatments, and advice to optimize your SI Joint health and keeping you moving!

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“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship”

-Buddha

    One of the most difficult things during the holiday season is trying to find that perfect gift for people. Most of the time people just purchase gifts to get something even if the recipient may not like the gift. In fact, according to a 2011 survey from the National Retail Federation, an estimated $46
billion in merchandise was returned after the holidays. Wouldn’t it be nice to get gifts for your loved ones that not only they would like, but that would help them become healthier?

    If you are use to gifting sweet treats, you can look into getting gift cards to health food stores, or even get gift baskets that cater to healthier options. For those loved ones who have complained about being in pain or that might want to look and feel better, you may want to look into getting them gift cards for massages, skin care, hair treatments, and something as simple as a manicure. Perhaps you have a fitness enthusiast on your list? Find some training equipment or gear that they have been wanting to help with their workouts. Most gyms also offer gift cards for memberships and group fitness classes. Some other great gift ideas to help your loved ones become healthier are special diet cookbooks (Gluten-free, Paleo, etc), supplements, yoga dvds and equipment. There are also many places online that can give you many great ideas with direct links to options for health and wellness gift ideas.holidaymassage

So this holiday season when you are on the quest to find the perfect gift, look to a different and unique option that will not only have a long lasting effect but will also help your loved ones achieve health and wellness in the new year!Dtmholiday

“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.”
– Bobby Jones

The weather is cooling off and the Summer is coming to an end and here in Charleston, that gets those who golf quite excited. The cooler weather makes it more appealing for golfers to get their game on!images (1)

Golf has become the most popular sport worldwide and according to the National Golf Association there are approximately 26.2 million Americans 18 years of age or older playing at least 1 game per year. Whether one is playing a weekend game for recreation or participating in regular tournaments for competition, the golf game has become more than just a mental game and has become a very physical game. Golf is a whole body activity with a focus targeted at the core muscles. Without proper conditioning, training, and preventative maintenance a golfer could find themselves in chronic pain and frustrated with a game that is not quite up to “par.”

There are many factors that can lead to injury and an unsatisfying game including minor trauma, lack of warm up, overuse of muscles, and the most common a poor posture. These factors can cause pain in many areas throughout the body seeing as body is completely connected, but the main areas that seem to be affected most include the shoulder complex, hips, and the low back. Golfers should be fully aware that the body is made to heal itself and should be educated of how to listen to the body for proper care and preventative maintenance. Therapeutic massage therapists are a great tool for any golfer looking to recover, reduce pain, and gain a better game.
Therapeutic massage therapists can start by simply assessing posture to figure out what muscles are overstretched and what muscles are too tight. Following the assessment, the golfer will soon be educated on anatomy and physiology and how it relates to their golf game. Through communication between the golfer and the therapist, goals and
expectations should be set followed by stretching, sports massage, and even
strengthening exercises. Stretching and massage are key elements to increase blood flow and range of motion. By increasing blood flow the body is able to deliver nutrients and remove wastes more efficiently allowing a quicker recovery. Increasing range of motion will assist in returning the body to a neutral posture and allow the body to move easier which in return, will reduce pain, injury and will have the potential to improving swing techniques producing a better game.

Sean Fister, 3 x World Long Drive Champion and advocate of Massage Therapy

Sean Fister, 3 x World Long Drive Champion and advocate of Massage Therapy

Focused treatment to affected areas including proper core strengthen, stretching, adequate hydration, and therapeutic massage has been proven to improve ball striking, drop game scores, and reduce injury, slicing, anger and frustration. Changing the “bad habits” of old postures can prove to be a bit daunting, but the rewards of better health and an optimized golf game are well worth the time and effort. Since most golfers out there are willing to do just about anything to be as pain free as possible, why not give therapeutic massage a try?

“Practice, and all is coming”

– Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

I have so many clients, especially male clients,  that come to in search of the best way to stay pain free and the simple response is to stretch more. The usual response that I get is “I don’t like to stretch, it’s boring” or “I don’t know how to do it right.” There is an easy solution to this, Yoga. I don’t practice nearly as much as I should, however; I am a huge advocate of utilizing the technique to optimize flexibility and health. To help explain the many benefits of Yoga and how it can positively effect an man’s health, I will put the following entry in the hands of Ken Immer. Ken is one of my clients and friends who hosts weekly yoga sessions catered to men specifically.

Men &Yoga

By: Ken Immerken1

 

I have been teaching yoga for over 10 years, and to this day, it surprises me that more men are not practicing yoga. When new men show up for their first class with me, I always ask them how they feel after my class, and the answer 99% of the time is “It’s not what I thought it was… at all.” This response can sometimes be a surprise because I may have actually talked to the guy before hand and convinced him to come check it out. Clearly, the invitation was understood and taken, but the message about what a yoga class IS often was not. The guys always say that “It was a lot harder than I expected” or “That was an amazing workout.” or “I can’t believe how relaxed I feel.” These are the messages that I want to convey: yes, it is a tough workout, you will sweat, and yes, you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated after practicing. All yoga classes, however, are not created equal when it comes to the first two, and that’s where some of the confusion comes in, but every class will always give you the last one. Which is one of the biggest reason to do it. We all could use a little less stress. The difference with the first two is your own current fitness level and attitude, and there is a yoga for everyone out there.

 yogaken
Most men believe that yoga is something soft and feminine, and it can be. But a key attribute of yoga practice is balance, so along with a feminine side, there is a stronger, harder, masculine side. Yoga was originally designed BY men FOR men’s bodies. We have a natural tendency to be stronger, and many yoga practices develop and rely on this strength, but are often omitted from yoga classes that are mostly attended by women. So, yeah, what you may have heard is sometimes true, but not always, and it depends on the style of yoga and the individual teacher. Sounds confusing, right? Well how do you get to the right class? The answer is just going to your first class and giving it a try.  However, at first it’s important to understand a little about a yoga practice. It’s a lot like any other exercise or sport. When you first start lifting weights, you don’t just go right for the 400 lb. bench press. A good trainer will first use lighter weights to help you learn good form first, and then start to add more weight gradually once you have the fundamentals. Yoga is the same. Your first beginner’s class, for most, will not be the hardest workout of your life, although if you are starting very out of shape, it will likely take some wind out of you and make you sweat, but a seasoned athlete will likely not consider it incredibly challenging. This is completely normal. Your first class is simply learning form and function. Getting used to being barefoot (did they tell you we don’t wear shoes in class?), understanding the format of the class (which often begins with a meditative ‘centering’ and some basic breathing practices, and ends with a complete, on-your-back-with-eyes-closed resting period called “corpse pose” or “savasana” (that’s the technical term, but we won’t get into that here.). Your second class, you might actually start to hear some of the more subtle cues that a good instructor will give instead of just trying to figure out how to get your foot up to the top of the mat, or sit still for as long as the teacher might ask you to. The fact is, it’s an alien world for your first several classes, but believe me when I tell you that it’s worth the investment, and if you give it the chance, you actually start to get the benefits from day 1. So what are these benefits, you ask? Greater flexibility, greater lung capacity, better balance, a truly stronger core that you can feel all the way out to your arms, and of course, there is the benefits of increased sex drive and performance, just to name a few. Once you learn some basic fundamentals, a whole new world of body awareness seems to blossom in front of your eyes. Muscles that you never knew you had start to get stronger, and at the same time, your flexibility will INCREASE, which is quite the opposite that happens with dedicated weight training. Your body becomes more efficient because the breathing exercises help to draw more oxygen into your bloodstream and your breathing becomes deeper. All of these benefits add up to a more relaxed and vital you! This is why the practice is so amazing: it will improve your overall performance in all physical areas of your life. You will sleep better, you will feel better, you will have better balance, and you will feel stronger at the core of your being. And best of all, you can advance at your own rate, attending more and more challenging classes as you feel ready.
 yogaman1
Some men do well using nothing but yoga as an exercise, others will find that regular yoga practice (even only once per week) will benefit all other exercise routines and sports. So if you’re interested in achieving top performance and seeing breakthrough results in your life, yoga is the key. So the elusive, “right class for you” becomes the $64k question. How do I find a studio/teacher that is right for me? You have to ask around! Call the local studios and ask them about how their style of yoga might be for you. One of the fundamental teachings of yoga is that everyone is an individual, and there is no “one right way” to practice. This is why there are so many styles and types of yoga. Living in Charleston, we have an amazing array of styles, teachers, and methods to choose from so it may take some looking and experimenting, but remember, each class is delivering on that long list of benefits, even when you don’t feel like the particular class was “for you”. So it’s never a waste of time. There is an incredible online resource www.yogaformen.comand it’s brother facebook page that I would recommend you check out if you are ready to start exploring the yoga path. It can help you sort through the variety, and actually connect you with other men who are seeking and who have found their yoga practice. There are currently two specific “Men’s only” yoga classes in North Charleston that are offered weekly on Mondays and Thursdays, which can be great for guys who might be apprehensive to a room full of super-flexible women. Every studio in town also has a “beginner’s series” that they will offer at least monthly, and there are always at least a FEW guys in each beginner series, so you won’t be the only one.
The biggest piece of advice I can ever give a man who is giving yoga a try is to do it for at LEAST 6 weeks (1 or 2 times per week) before your make any decisions about its results. It can take this long just to get acclimated because it is so different from anything you have ever done. The reason you are considering it is because you are still looking to increase performance, right? Or maybe it’s because you simply need a form of exercise that is less dangerous and impactful than your current choice. Whatever the reason, yoga IS different, and it can be for you. All you have to do is be open minded to the possibility that it is for you.
Yoga4Menyogaman2
Thursdays, 6:30pm – 7:45pm
Armory Park
5000 Lackawana Blvd.
North Charleston, SC 29405
$5-10 (donation class)
Men’s Yoga
Mondays, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Barefoot Yoga Studio
1050 E. Montague Ave.
North Charleston, SC 29405
$15 drop in, ($12 with membership)

“Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body. ”
Arnold Schwarzenegger

How many times have you caught yourself avoiding working out because you are too sore or are not getting the results that you are looking for with weight training due to the lack of that extra push? What if there was a way to get around those obstacles? Thereis a way – Therapeutic Massage!
Lactic acids build up in the muscles due to exercise leads to DOMS or delayed
onset muscle soreness, poor muscle fiber and joint movement, and difficulty in the healing of the muscles. Studies have shown that massage flushes the muscles of built up toxins, including lactic acid. Massage also loosens the muscle fibers increasing the joints’ range of motions; therefore, allowing the muscles to repair and increase in size and strength at an accelerated rate. Receiving regular therapeutic massage in conjunction with your normal workout routines will not only help the muscles heal faster, but also
significantly reduces pain and soreness. By having the ability for your muscles to recover and build strength faster, you are able to get back to training sooner and gain more of your desired results.
Studies have also shown that massage is also a great way to decrease blood
pressure and increase energy giving you a euphoric effect that will make working out more fun and more desirable. The best part of it all is that therapeutic massage is not targeted at one specific group. The benefits of therapeutic massage can be appreciated by everyone from the competing body builder to the semi-pro athlete to the everyday person trying to get back in shape and stay fit.

“The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.”

-Lao Tzu

the new primal games

Two weeks ago, I participated in the 3rd annual Primal Games which is an event that tests your strength, endurance, skill, and drive.  It’s commonly referred to as “The Caveman Olympics” because it is full of events that we as human beings should be able to accomplish because they stem from functional primal patterns. However due to evolution and modernization such as office jobs, computer interaction, texting, and much more,  many people have forgot how to facilitate these innate patterns. Participating in the games got me thinking about 2 things:

1. Do people realize how primal massage therapy is?

2. Why wouldn’t people be more apt to utilize massage therapy to help and restore these primal patterns?

Interesting thoughts I know, but let me explain my thought process here. Anyone who knows me knows that movement patterns and fitness are always on my mind and in one way or another lead to how massage could influence everyday matters such as these ideas.

Plain and simple, massage is as primal it gets! Think about it, when you hurt yourself what is the first thing you do? You rub the area to ease the pain…massage! When a child or even young animal is upset what do the parents do? They console them and pat their back or rub their head….both essence of massage. And if you want to go as far as to ask what is one of the first things we experience when we are brought into this world? The muscle contractions utilized to deliver young are a form of massage! Massage has been used all over the world dating back thousands and thousands of years because it is innate and instinctive. Touch, when applied correctly and in a positive nature, helps to heal and optimize the functions of the body. Now due to certain stigmas and taboos, massage gets a bad rep and many people avoid it like the plague not understanding that it is primal and can benefit us greatly.

Now that we understand that massage is primal lets understand how it can help return us to our primal patterns more efficiently. Posture and movement are everything in the human body. When looking at movement there is nothing more true than the old phrase, “use it or lose it.” If you do not actively move your body in the primal patterns then over time the brain will forget to maintain them as well as letting proper posture slide into a decline. Once your posture is compromise the body starts tightening up muscles and laying down scar tissue to protect itself from getting any worse, but yet if nothing is done to prevent it or reset it it will get worse. We are seeing this situation more and more everyday as people invest more time playing video games, watching TV, or stuck in an office all day and less time being active and addressing their over all physical fitness not to mention an abundance of stress coming from all aspects of life.  Enter massage! Massage at it’s simplest form acts to calm the muscular and nervous system to release tension. Massage is also utilized to break down scar tissue and align muscle fibers to promote healing, optimize posture, and restore function in the body. Seems a little to easy and to good to be true, but it’s not. As I stated before civilizations around the world have been administering massage therapy techniques to recover warriors, prepare athletes, and nurture their fellow man for centuries.

primal movement

It seems very difficult to believe that people would be be so timid and reluctant to utilize massage therapy when it is so primal and can help us get back to our functional nature. It’s easy, fairly painless, and best of all it’s drug free!

To learn more or if you have any questions, just comment below…

#liveprimal

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

With Spring upon us and Summer right around the corner the temperatures are getting more desirable and the days are longer which prompts so many of us to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Some of us enjoy laying on the beach or being out on a boat, while others of us enjoy more intense recreation such as hiking, biking, kayaking, surfing, kiteboarding, and rock climbing to name a few. What ever way that we choose to enjoy the outdoors there is a chance of injury. If we choose to layout on the beach or boat we run the risk of sunburn and if we choose the more intense activities we run a higher risk for injuries including strains, sprains, and other muscle related mishaps. Preventative maintenance is our best option to avoid any pain and discomfort. For possible sunburns it’s easy, sunscreen. For possible injuries, let’s look towards therapeutic massage.
The main causes of most injuries related to outdoor activities are minor traumas, lack of preparation, lack of flexibility, and overused muscles. All of these causes can be easily limited through therapeutic massage whether it is for recovery or preventative maintenance. Therapeutic massage offers a combination of stretching, sports massage, and even strengthening exercises. Stretching and massage offers a way to increase our blood flow and our range of motion. Increasing our blood flow is a great way to not only warm up our muscles and make them pliable, but also to efficiently deliver nutrients and
remove wastes allowing for a quicker recovery. A quicker recovery means that we get back to the fun in the sun sooner! Strengthening exercises are great ways to keep us in a good posture and at a higher level of fitness to enjoy our outdoor activities. All three parts to therapeutic massage add up to a perfect way to avoid possible injuries.
Whether you are paddling out surfing, reaching far rock climbing, peddling faster biking, flying high kite boarding, or going the distance hiking keep in mind that the best way to avoid injuries and have the optimum enjoyment of the great outdoors is by being prepared through preventative maintenance. It may seem like a little much just to keep up with your activities but the rewards of being able to participate more often in better health and fitness are well worth your time and efforts.