Posts Tagged ‘Health & Wellness’

“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

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“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!

 

“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

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”
– Charles Dickens

Whether it’s  from my students, my clients, or my friends and family, I often get asked  how do I know how much pressure is the right amount of pressure to use when applying massage therapy? The easy answer to the  question is an understanding of Tactile Sense.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word Tactile as “perceptible by touch”. What this means to us  is the ability to identify the smallest changes in the underlying muscle tissue by simply using our touch receptors. This concept is important for both therapist and client. Always remember that the client controls the depth or distance into the muscle fiber that is allowed during a massage session. The therapist is responsible for the amount of pressure used during the session. If too much pressure is used by the therapist, the client’s nerves respond in pain and cause a recoil  causing the muscle to tense. A tensing muscle and causing pain is the exact opposite of the goals we are trying to achieve through massage.

Developing Tactile sense isn’t always the easiest task, but it is very important to have a successful massage treatment. In my 9 years of treatment, I have noticed that certain therapists have the “knack” and some don’t. For the ones that can’t get a grasp of the sense, there  are a couple tips I always suggest. The first is to close your eyes then continue the massage at a slow rate really paying attention to the composition of the muscle texture and making note of even the slightest changes. The other tip is to pay  attention to the body language of the client to notice if they are holding their breath or tensing up other parts of the body. These actions will limit the “change” in muscle texture making it much more difficult for the muscles to shift from a tense state to a relaxed state, if any shift at all.

When developing the sense it is also very important to keep your client included. Any changes that are noticed should be legitimized on both ends. If a client seems to be too tense, then the pressure by the therapist may need to be reduced or the client may need to take several deep breaths and focus on relaxing the muscles by letting the “fall” away from the body. When the client is able to identify muscular changes then the treatment will become more effective and longer lasting because they are noticing and allowing the change rather than resisting. Whatever position you may be in, be sure to pay attention the the muscular changes. I like to compare the texture changes in muscle fibers to subtle changes in pressure when you opening a bottle of soda slowly. You notice how as the built up pressure is released slightly as you carefully open the top, the bottle itself becomes more pliable and easy to move just  like muscle tissue during a massage.

Whether you are a therapist or a client, the fine tuning of Tactile Sense is a key part of achieving the  desired results in a therapeutic massage session. If you are a client, don’t be afraid to discuss this concept with your therapist to better your treatment. If you are a therapist and are having troubles with the sense, I suggest asking other therapists for tips, or trying the tips I listed above so that you can provide the best result for your clientele. Feel free to leave any other tips you may have in understanding tactile sense. Questions are always welcomed as well!

“You are precisely as big as what you love and precisely as small as what you allow to annoy you.”
– Robert Anton Wilson

I was recently asked, “why would  my muscles be tender to touch and achy even if I haven’t injured myself ?” The truth is that there is more than one reason. Poor posture and unhealthy diet top the list and are the two more important reasons that I would like to briefly discuss today.

The muscles in the human body are designed to move fluidly through a designated range of motion where they will hold the body in proper posture. Due to our jobs and lifestyles, our posture deviates from the “proper” form and causes our muscles to overcompensate to regain the posture. When the posture can’t be achieved because the muscles aren’t strong enough, the body lays down scar tissue and causes the muscles to stay in spasm and act as a “cast” to avoid from deviating any further from the norm.  Muscles that are in constant spasm become over worked and fatigued which annoy the nerves that innervate with the muscles. Irritated nerves become highly sensitive to touch, in fact too much aggravation to the nerves will cause the muscle to increase spasm and start the cycle over again. If this cycle continues over and over again, it will soon effect more of the body’s function that just the muscle.

Unhealthy diet can also contribute to nerve annoyances in the muscles, causing them to be overly tender to the touch.  In today’s world, most foods that are purchased are filled with synthetic additives, preservatives, and harmful chemicals. Consumption of these foods effect our bodies from the cellular level in our digestive tract and has a domino effect to our brain and muscle fibers. Think of  the internal body as an open cut in the skin and now think of the foods of an unhealthy diet as dirt. When a wound in the skin is kept clean it heals quickly with little scarring but on the other hand if the wound is dirty then there is a high risk for pain and infection. When you eat poorly the internal pain associated with that diet can even cause you to deviate from your proper posture as well. It’s easy to see that the better you eat, the better you feel overall.

Sensitive muscles that are tender to the touch can quickly become annoying to the point of effecting your everyday life. The goal to avoid this is to remove the root cause. You can easily alter your diet to keep your insides healthy. As far as posture goes, it would be best to start with professional analysis to identify the postural defects. The next step would be to help realign posture. Stretching, Strength Training, and Therapeutic Massage are great ways to  achieve these goals. Stretching the appropriate muscles that have been tightened and shortened due to poor posture, as well as strengthening core muscles – as well as all other stabilizing muscles in the body will help to keep the body in it’s proper posture. These tasks alone can be daunting and troublesome and this is where therapeutic massage can make a difference. Many know that massage can help to reduce tension in the muscles and stretch muscle fibers, but what most don’t understand is that massage can stimulate weak muscles to activate and help flush unwanted toxins from the body. With this combination, you can live a life with minimal pain and discomfort.

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons  of preaching”

Mahatma Gandhi

 

This day in age the benefits of massage have been proven more and more to help people to reduce stress, recover from injury, and overall just feel better. These simple facts help to promote myself as well as other massage therapists out there as “healthcare providers.”

Many people will come into our offices or spas to seek relief, achieve better overall well-being, and even ask for our advice on health care topics and other related subjects.  Now it’s not in our Scope of Practice to  diagnose problems,  write prescriptions, design fitness routines and so forth; we leave that to the other healthcare professionals. We are here to treat the discomfort in muscles, reduce stress, improve overall wellness and we do that by treatments, education, and leading by example.

As therapists, it is important for us to educate ourselves on the latest healthcare topics and how they can impact us all. This education will assist us,  the therapists,  in providing the best treatments for you  as well as give us knowledgeable information that you  can utilize as advice in creating the best healthcare plan for yourself.

It is in my opinion, as well as many other’s, that the best way to promote health and wellness it to exude health and wellness. How do we exude it you  may ask? Following the old adage of “Practice What You  Preach!” I don’t know about you but it’s always been difficult for me to listen to a healthcare professional talk to me about being healthy when they are overweight,  have poor eating habits, drink often, smoke, and the list could go on. This is like getting pulled over by a police officer for speeding then being issued a ticket right before he speeds off for not particular reason. There are so many other metaphors out there that we could use, but  for time we will limit it. Feel free to leave your best examples in the comment spaces below. Sorry, I digress, but to me these situations just don’t make sense and almost seem hypocritical.

I love to write about health and wellness as well as suggest simple tips to achieve these goals as well as promote my profession and skills. You can rest assured that all of these things I have at least tried and experienced or still practice on a regular basis.  Back in 2005 I decided to lead a StraightEdge lifestyle which simply means that I don’t drink, smoke, or use an unnecessary drugs. This decision was based upon the fact that if I was going to talk about and urge others to be of a healthier lifestyle, I needed to follow it myself. I stretch daily, use dynamic warm-ups before activities, get massage at least once a month, and workout at least 3 times a week. These activities help me stay at the top of my game so that I can provide the best treatment for my clients. I have been vegetarian, vegan, tried many different workouts including P90X, practiced yoga,  meditations, and so much more all in the desire to see what works best for me as well as understand them more to see what may work best for YOU!

Call it leading by example, inspiration, or whatever you will; I feel that in order to help others you have to be the best you can be first. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
– William Arthur Ward

In the massage therapy profession, as with many other professions, continuing education plays an important role in technique development and improved results. A massage therapist usually chooses their continuing education based on their interests, the skills they would like to enhance, and the goals that they would most like to achieve with their clients.

My greatest interests in developing my skills are movement patterns, biomechanics, weight training, nutrition, and most importantly how to efficiently treat conditions that limit the function and healing. This weekend I had the privilege and honor to take a Comprehensive Sports Massage CEU(continuing education unit) class by my mentor and renowned therapist Steve Jurch. With almost 20 years experience in the field, Steve is an athletic trainer and massage therapist who taught me in college and helped to develop me into the therapist I am today.
The course that I took this weekend taught me many things that will definitely produce better results, as well as help prove the legitimacy of this profession as a vital part of the health care field. If you are a therapist, I highly recommend expanding your knowledge on how to treat conditions that are more commonly seen in the sports field but can be applied to people in everyday situations. If you are a client and you are looking for results in treating conditions that have been debilitating and negatively effecting your everyday functions, then I highly recommend seeking a therapist with a background in this training or training that is similar.
Some of the interesting concepts that were taught in this weekends course that may be of interest to you:
  • Studies have show that static stretching before activity reduces power and output, instead consider dynamic warm-ups and stretching at the end.
  • Ways to prepare the body for activity and recovery after activity through massage therapy.
  • Understanding of how Scapular motion is important in prevention of shoulder and neck conditions.
  • More effectively treating low back dysfunctions, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff injuries and so much more…
  • For more information, please visit www.jurchperformanceeducation.com