Posts Tagged ‘Charleston’

“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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“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

-Arthur Ashe

One tradition around this time of year that people have been following less and less over the years is setting and more importantly achieving New Year’s Resolutions. In a study from December 2012 conducted by the University of Scranton, less than half of Americans regularly set resolutions any more and of those only about 8% successfully achieve their goals! Why is it that resolutions seem to be fading away from us? Most likely it is because we usually set resolutions based upon our past disappointments such as quit smoking, loose weight, & be less cluttered. When we look at these resolutions, they may have a tendency to remind us how we have let ourselves down in the past and it is often times this reminder that just allows us to give up on our resolutions. So what would be a good solution to this issue? Think about setting a New Life Resolution.

Albert Einstein once said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This quote could not be closer to the truth. Humans are creatures of habit and seem to fall back into routines that we are comfortable with, but when those routines don’t work something needs to be adjusted. Setting 1 or 2 resolutions to achieve may not really impact your life enough to notice a change and that is why you may consider that New Life Resolution. Changing several aspects of your everyday by taking “baby steps” and shifting the way you live will have a bigger impact than forcefully and aggressively changing only 1 or 2. Think about it, most people look to exercise more, so they purchase a gym membership and start going to the gym five to seven days a week and push it to the point that they hurt or get exhausted within a month, then they stop and usually never look back. A better option is to just start walking 2 to 3 times a week and when you feel comfortable with that, move on to bigger better things. Appreciate the little accomplishments first because they are the foundation to larger and longer lasting accomplishments that will help you live a better life.

As a massage therapist I have noticed over the years that regular massage has helped stimulate the production of “feel good” endorphins which in turn helps maintain a positive attitude. A more positive attitude makes it easier to reach previously set resolutions and goals. Perhaps you can look into what many consider an “unconventional” approach in achieving this year’s resolutions and add regular therapeutic massage to your New Year’s routine!

Have a very safe, healthy, and happy 2015!

“We don’t need sugar to live and we don’t need it as a society”
-Dr. OZ

With Autumn upon us we begin to embrace the holiday season and that means sweet treats. From Halloween candy, to Thanksgiving desserts, and Christmas cookies, the sweets are everywhere. Surprisingly enough, sugar is almost everywhere all the time. We find added refined sugars in breakfast cereals, snacks, sports and energy drinks, as well as even fruit juices. According to Dr. Lustig, professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California San Fransico, “sugar in all forms… is a key contributor to many of our diet related diseases and conditions, including obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease,  high blood pressure, and cancer. ”

Our bodies can’t utilize refined sugars and when it attempts to, sugar strips the body of essential vitamins and minerals due to the excess demand needed to digest, detoxify, and eliminate the sugar. This process goes on to produce “toxic metabolites” that accumulate in the brain and nervous system and  interfere with cellular respiration which is very damaging to our bodies.

Our sweet tooth can get the best of us, but beware or it can be damaging to your health.

Our sweet tooth can get the best of us, but beware or it can be damaging to your health.

The trauma from sugar can be repaired by the body when sugar intake isn’t excessive. It is recommended  by the American Heart Association that daily sugar intake should not exceed 25g for women and 38g for men. Seems like a lot until you realize that a single can of soda contains about 35g of sugar alone! You don’t necessarily have to cut sugar out of your life completely, but if you can become more aware of what contains sugar and moderate your consumption then you can become a healthier YOU!

 

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”

Helen Keller

Do you suffer from chronic neck and upper shoulder pain on a regular basis and can’t figure out why? Perhaps you are one of the 66-90% of the population that suffers from a very common condition know as Forward Head Posture (FHP).42lbhead_free

FHP can be recognized when, from a profile or side view, a person’s ear is positioned in front of the shoulder rather than directly over it – in proper posture. This condition caused by poor posture causes the head to lean forward and for every inch that the head falls forward the head gains 10lbs worth of weight on the muscles of the neck and shoulders. The addition strain causes these muscles to work much harder to hold the head from flopping forward. When this type of stress is put on muscles for a long period of time, the body reacts by laying down scar tissue in the muscle fibers for stability. The strain on the muscles and the addition of scar tissue limits flexibility and causes additional pressure on the nerves in the neck which increases pain and fatigue. If left untreated and FHP becomes severe enough, it will not only cause long duration tension headaches, but can also increase blood pressure, cause disc herniations, arthritis, pinched nerves, and even distortions in the eyes and ears that could lead to mental disorders.

Over a period of time, forward head posture can lead to a “hunchback” like Igor!

Over a period of time, forward head posture can lead to a “hunchback” like Igor!

There is hope in correcting FHP: starting by identifying the incorrect posture through postural analysis, the following step would be to stretch out the muscles the have become tightened then strengthen the weak muscles so that you are able to hold your head up in proper posture. It’s always good to seek the advice of a professional, such as a chiropractor, to ensure there aren’t any major skeletal problems as well as a massage therapist to help ease the tension in the muscles. The same professionals can show you the proper stretches and exercises to prevent the havoc of FHP!

 

“Just when you think you know the answers, I change the questions!”

-Rowdy Roddy Piper

The profession of massage therapy is evolving everyday to expand and branch out into many different realms proving that it is a value part of healthcare. In the same manner, the art of professional wrestling is evolving to produce better action, healthier athletes, and longer careers for said professionals. I personally have reached outside the box for the typical demographic of massage therapy and entered the ring with treating professional wrestlers as part of my extended clientele.

This past Sunday, I was lucky enough to have the legendary Mike Mooneyham document the work that I have done with professional wrestling and how massage therapy has made and impact on the profession. Click the link below to read the article. Enjoy!

 

READ THE ARTICLE

Jarrod C. Fritz LMT and The Post & Courier's Mike Mooneyham. Mike is the longest reigning pro wrestling editor ever!

Jarrod C. Fritz LMT and The Post & Courier’s Mike Mooneyham. Mike is the longest reigning pro wrestling editor ever!

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

Leonardo Da Vinci

It seems these days that the good name of massage therapy has been severely tarnished. The media has a tendency to sexualize massage and the emergence of  many  non-licensed “Massage Parlors” don’t help to justify the legitimacy of massage as proper healthcare. I can’t tell you how many times my profession gets mocked in a social setting by using the terms “rubdown”, “masseuse”, & “happy ending.”

The concept that massage therapy can be easily misconstrued is not difficult to see. Many clients are asked to disrobe in a private room and have someone touch them in a soothing way. History hasn’t helped this misconception either. Many times throughout history, brothels have been masked by the facade of a massage therapy studio. The truth is there is that Massage THERAPY is nothing like the misconception people may have of the profession.

Truth to the matter is that licensed massage therapists go through extensive schooling as well as testing the therapists knowledge on anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, as well as moral code. It truly is a slap in the face of the profession and those who have invested their time, money, and passion into the business of helping people. Understand that there is nothing wrong with your significant other giving you a massage at the end of a hard workday, but when you need more specific help you can rest assured that massage therapist out there trained in understanding the complex relationships of muscles and movement associated with the human body.

In the field of massage therapy there are many different modalities that show how diverse the profession can be utilize to the benefit of  the public. Continuing education that is required for massage therapist to retain their license allows the therapist to excel and keep them at the forefront of their specific specialties.   It is this reason you are seeing the Allied healthcare community become more supportive of the profession and why you see massage therapists in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and chiropractors. The medical professionals understand and trust the importance and many benefits of therapeutic massage.

 

“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!