Posts Tagged ‘Benefits’

“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!

“Memory…is the diary that we all carry about with us.”

-Oscar Wilde

Have you ever wondered how it can be so easy for some people to do certain motions such as holding proper posture, swinging a golf club, or speaking a different language, when it seems so difficult for you? Maybe you are curious about how workouts become easier after a short period of time? The body has a process called Muscle Memory. Does this mean that each muscle has it’s own memory?

Muscle memory refers to brains ability to learn how do a movement, then recall those actions and send the correct nerve impulse down the spinal cord  to the neuromuscular junctions where the nerve meets the muscle telling it how to move. Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at Quincy College in Massachusetts explains that “your brain creates pathways through your central nervous system, and movements become automatic.”
Nerve impulses follow the path of least resistance and this is why it can be difficult and even painful to learn new movements. As muscles weaken, become injured, or are put in compromised positions such as bad posture, they become bound by toxins and scar tissues that limit movement. The fewer resistance in the muscles the easier it becomes to retrain muscle memory and less painful the process will be.

The brain sends signals down the spinal cord to tell the muscles what to do...don't let poor posture and toxins get in the way!!

The brain sends signals down the spinal cord to tell the muscles what to do…don’t let poor posture and toxins get in the way!!

Most people suggest working through the pain and difficulty, but you don’t necessarily have to take that route. Therapeutic massage and proper flexibility training helps to break down scar tissue and assists in removal of metabolic waste build up in the muscles. This allows for easier training of the muscle memory, so if you are starting a new workout, wanting to optimize your performance, or more importantly improve your posture try adding regular massage therapy and a good stretching routine into your regiment to improve your memory!

 

“The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely”

-William Osler

As our civilization develops, so do the ways we learn and interpret things. Just years ago you could go into a doctor’s office and see people in the waiting room reading magazines or talking to one another, but these days you are seeing more people in the same setting enthralled in their smartphones. Whether it’s texting, browsing social media, or watching videos, people like the convenience of watching rather than reading.watch

It’s easy to see how this theory can translate over into marketing. As an entrepreneur, most people are use to doing the traditional style of marketing such as flyers, media commercials, and even door to door, but the reality is that most of that is not working anymore. People like getting their information easily and quickly. The simple solution…express your information in visuals! According to several researches, “90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.”

I personally am passionate about getting the amazing information about the benefits of massage out to the masses and I have been struggling for several years about figuring out what would be the best way.  After researching and investigating from other entrepreneurs, I have learned that video is the best route to go.

Several months ago I created a YouTube channel and have found that many of my clients and potential clients have been pleased with the posts, so in 2014 I will be creating a series of videos that will be short informative about massage therapy as well as answering any questions that you may have about massage an how it can help YOU!  Be sure to tune in and subscribe to DEFINED: Therapeutic Massage’s YouTube channel to learn more and submit your questions!youtube

“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

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able
to keep our mind strong and clear.”
– Buddha

It seems like everywhere you go these days, someone is talking about “Detoxing”, it’s all over the internet, TV, and even in our supermarkets. What is it about Detoxification that get’s everyone so energized? The truth is that there are so many pollutants in the air we breathe, the foods we eat, and even the water that we drink and bathe in, that absorb into our bodies and cause distortions in our proper bodily functions. These distortions can lead to severe medical and health problems. Detoxification is a way to purge the body of as
many of these impurities as possible so that our bodies can function better with less stress.

 

How exactly does one go about “Detoxing”, you may ask? There are many pills and drinks out on the market that promote detoxification, but most of them are only a temporary fix and don’t have lasting effects. Sweating is your body’s natural way of detoxing,so any activity that would promote sweating, such as exercise or even time in an infrared sauna, would be great at cleaning out your system. Altering your diet to eat more foods that are less processed, organically grown, and contain healthy probiotics and enzymes.

Another natural way to help with the detoxification process is with massage therapy. Massage therapy is usually a combination of strokes and movement that create a flushing action. The flushing helps to clear the muscles of any excess wastes that have accumulated and moves it to the blood stream. From the blood stream the toxins and wastes are moved to the lymphatic system, the body’s filtering system, where it is on it’s way to final removal. With the combination of regular massage, a proper diet, and the right activities, you can be on your way to detoxification for a better life and a better YOU!

“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 ?hands heart

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 calmed 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!