Posts Tagged ‘therapy’

“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 ?

Keep your heart strong and healthy with massage!

Keep your heart strong and healthy with massage!

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 calm 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!

 

“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!

 

“Diligence is the mother of good luck ”

-Benjamin Franklin

 

It’s no surprise to anyone that athlete’s will do just about anything to optimize their performance. Athlete’s will do extended training, extreme workouts, and learn new techniques to take them to the top. Another  element that many may not consider is the use of therapeutic massage to achieve better results. The utilization of massage for athletes is not a new idea, massage has been used by athletes for many years to produce better outcome in their respective sports. In fact, “in the first Olympic games of 776 BC, athletes received massage before an event. Afterwards, the competitors would take a dip in a hot bath, receive massage and then dip in a cold bath to prepare their muscles for the next event.” There are many benefits of massage therapy that can promote an athlete’s recovery and
optimize their performance.

Whether you are enjoying a recreational adventure race...

Whether you are enjoying a recreational adventure race…

Massage is a form of passive stretching so the application will help to keep the athlete’s muscles flexible and prepared for intense work. The amount of stress and damage done to an athlete’s muscles during their activities produces waste and pain in the body. Providing massage will help increase circulation which brings fresh blood that is full of nutrients to the areas needed, which reduces recovery time. Increased circulation also helps with the removal of the harmful wastes in the body as well as decreases pain that may limit performance. Relaxation is one of the simplest and best benefits of massage this will help the athlete to calm the nervous system which reduces anxiety, improves focus, and makes it easier to sleep which helps in the recovery process. Recently, researchers at McMaster University reported that deep massage after an intense workout actually causes muscles to enlarge and grow new mitochondria! Mitochondira, the powerhouses of our cells, are responsible for converting nutrients into useful energy. This research makes it easy to see why the addition of
massage to an athlete’s routine would help them on their road to gold!

...or you are training at an elite level, massage can  help you get the gold!

…or you are training at an elite level, massage can help you get the gold!

“Once you start replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, you will start having positive results”

-Willie Nelson

Happy New Year 2014 DTMIt’s that time of year again, in fact it’s the beginning of the year and that means many will be creating resolutions to help them become a better person or accomplish goals. Most of the time these resolutions include losing weight, getting and staying fit, as well as becoming a better person overall. These resolutions can not always be the easiest to maintain and achieve the larger goal of becoming a better you. Massage may not
always be the first thing that you think of for support, but it is a great
option in creating a new you for the new year!
As you may know massage therapy has many benefits for your mind
and body, but how can massage help your resolutions make a better
you? Massage helps to relieve muscular tension and reduce pain in the
muscles and joints, this makes it easier for you to keep to your workouts. When you are able to workout more often, not only do you feel accomplished and healthier but you can be well on your way to losing weight. Another great way that regular massage can help to sustain your resolutions and assist in making a better you is through the regulation and balancing of hormones. Hormones play an important role in body functions and mood stabilization. When our hormones get out of proper balance due to stress, your body responds by weight gain, depression, and a negative attitude. Regular massage therapy stimulates the production and balance of good hormones in the body that promote metabolism, regulate mood, and boosts a positive attitude.
Resolutions are important to those who set them, so that they can become a better and even a newer version of themselves. If you have set some resolutions this year and feel like you could use some help achieving
them, give massage a chance to be a helping hand in the New Year.

“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