Posts Tagged ‘therapeutic’

 

“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!

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.

A NeuroMuscular Junction is where the nerve meets and muscle. This is where the brain tells the muscle when and how to move.

A NeuroMuscular Junction is where the nerve meets and muscle. This is where the brain tells the muscle when and how to move.

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 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!

“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!

 

“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?

“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

“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!