Many fitness instructors still teach the importance of stretching extensively before and after any sort of exercise, and if you’re a member of a gym, you’ll undoubtedly see this being done often. But what if I told you that many of us have been stretching all wrong? While it’s hard to change old habits, this change is imperative if you want to get the most out of your workouts, and prevent injuries along the way.
Massage therapists have worked and struggled for years to educate the public on the reality of the profession; not just about the benefits of the therapy, but also to disassociate the industry from those who use the legitimacy of the profession to hide illicit activities. Television and movies haven’t helped over the years, often acting to perpetuate this unfortunate association. In an effort to combat this, there are certain terms we use as massage therapists, to maintain professionalism and separate ourselves from those not-so-professional individuals and businesses.
While we don’t expect the general public to always use the correct terminology, it’s important that we, as professionals do, so keep an ear out for these things when you’re looking for a legitimate massage professional.
When we’re deep in the cold, wet clutches of winter, all we can think of is the lazy, hazy summer days. Picnics, barbecues, days out and sunshine are all we remember from the last summer.
Then, when we reach summer time, we remember why summer has stresses of its own. Who hasn’t day dreamed about the last summer vacation but forgotten the fact that driving hours to get there left the entire family hot, cranky and dehydrated? Or that on the second day of the break, one of the kids had an allergic reaction to a bug sting and spent the entire week whining about it itching?
With the kids at home, the planned fun and games can also turn into fighting and complaining about being bored. Some days you just wish it was winter again after all! That’s why, whether you have kids or not, and wherever you are planning to spend time this summer, you
need to schedule in some down time. Summer can really stress you out, so making sure that you’re well prepared with pre-vacation treatments and a massage or two will give you that extra relaxation top up and also helps you make your summer holiday about you as well as everybody else.
If you ever experience pain, tingling, or numbness in your hand and fingers, specifically the thumb, index, and middle fingers, then you may want to get checked for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. CTS is a fairly common problem resulting from pressure on the median nerve by the transverse carpal ligament, a broad band of tissue that wraps around the wrist. This compression is most often the result of repetitive movements of the wrist and fingers such as typing, assembly line work, sewing, etc. It also seems to show up alongside other conditions such as hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and is even a common side effect of pregnancy.
Pain is something everyone is well acquainted with. It doesn’t discriminate. No matter who you are, what your ethnicity, or the amount of money you have in your bank account; at some point in your life you will experience pain. The problem is when you experience pain more frequently than normal, and it gets in the way of your daily activities or your quality of life.
You hear terms such as chronic pain and acute pain, but what do they really mean, and when should you be concerned?
Communication seems like an easy thing to master, but for most of us, proves to be a very difficult concept to implement at times. Everyone has different backgrounds, experiences, and lifestyles that affect the way we speak and how we interpret the words of others. This is why it’s so important to make sure you’re communicating properly with your massage therapist. Without proper communication, we often don’t know your real wants and needs for each session, as well as your overall goals for treatment.
The key to a healthy lifestyle is making healthy food choices and staying active, right? While that seems like an easy goal to achieve, we all know that life gets in the way. If you work at a job that doesn’t allow you to get enough movement or your schedule doesn’t make time for working out, living an active lifestyle can be difficult. You may have heard that sitting is the new smoking, but just how does sitting affect your health?
There are a few issues that immediately come to mind and, if you keep up with any health news, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, such as a decrease in metabolism and increased risk of obesity; but there are other health issues associated with prolonged inactivity that you need to be aware of as well.
Most of us enjoy a massage to help us ease our tension and soothe away aches and pains. Elderly people can really benefit from regular massage, as it’s such an enjoyable and relaxing, non-invasive way to help manage the inevitable symptoms that go hand in hand with getting older.
There’s no doubt that a regular massage has the potential to help improve your quality of life, and this applies to elderly people too.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles whose job is to keep the head of your upper-arm bone (humerus) in your shoulder socket. It also aids in the raising, lowering, and rotating of your arm, keeping the shoulder stable and safe throughout these movements. There are 4 muscles that make up your rotator cuff; supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis…
Neuropathy refers to any condition that causes a dysfunction of the nerves, typically caused by some sort of damage, such as that associated with decreased circulation, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, or localized trauma. Most often, the area affected will have sensations of tingling, numbness, shooting pains, weakness, and/or a heavy feeling. While neuropathy can happen anywhere, you’ll usually hear this term interchanged with one that is actually a bit more specific; peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy refers specifically to neuropathy that affects the hands and feet, which may or may not move its way up toward the trunk.
You’ve probably heard the terms bulging disc or herniated disc at some point, whether it involved you or someone you knew. While those words can strike fear in a lot of people, it’s important to understand what they really mean, and remove the scary presumptions we have about them, as well know what’s “normal” and what’s not when it comes to our discs.
Within the spine you have numerous structures, but the two we’re focusing on here are your vertebrae (the individual bones of the spine), and the discs (the cartilage ‘cushion’ in between each of those vertebrae). These discs act as shock absorbers that allow your spine to move in different directions and deal with regular impact without damaging the other spinal structures.
So, what is a bulging disc and what is a herniated disc?
Even if you’re not someone well-versed in anatomy, you’ve probably heard the term glutes, or heard of your gluteal muscles. These are the muscles that make up the majority of your buttock; and while it may seem odd to think much about this area other than how it looks in your favorite jeans, there is actually an important connection from these muscles to many other aspects of the body. They can correlate to a number of pain and movement issues that can arise through the back, hips, and legs, so taking care of this area is crucial.
If you’ve ever done any activity out of the ordinary, you know what it’s like to be sore after. If you’ve done squats, you know walking up and down steps is like torture the day after. Or have your arms shaking after an intense workout. Whether you’re still working toward that New Year’s resolution of getting into shape, or just pushing yourself a bit past your normal, it’s important to be aware that there are many misconceptions about muscle soreness.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the result of microscopic tears in the muscles and surrounding connective tissues, causing inflammation. This term is used frequently when it comes to both cardio workouts as well as strength training, but knowing the facts about it is important when deciding what is true and what isn’t. Let’s disperse some myths associated with DOMS so you can know what to expect after your gym session.
At some point in our lives, we all experience a headache. There are some people who get headaches quite frequently, and others who very rarely experience one. If you find that you’re getting headaches on a regular basis, it’s definitely worth your time to find out why and what you can do about it. Did you know there are different types of headaches, and different causes and treatments for each? Let’s look at each.
We all wear many hats in our busy lives. Whether you work or stay home, have children or don’t, own a business or work for someone else, if you’re human, you have stress. Period. It’s an unavoidable part of life. And while you may feel the emotional weight of all that stress, the anxiety, depression, and negative thoughts most often associated with it, stress can also take a huge toll on your body.
Spring is here! The flowers are blooming and life is springing forth all around us. It’s beautiful, but it also means it’s a terrible time of year for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. The constant sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion…it’s no fun! The FDA estimates that up to 36 million people in the US suffer from seasonal allergies.
Allergies are basically just an over-reaction of your immune system to an otherwise harmless substance – like pollen. Did you know that massage can help combat seasonal allergies?
During the winter months, it’s easy to neglect our bodies. We stay in
to avoid the bad weather whenever we don’t absolutely have to go
outside. The yard is neglected – nothing needs doing in the garden
and anything that does can wait until better weather, right?
And don’t even get us started on fitness regimes. Who wants to go
for a run in the snow, wind or rain?
It’s fair to say that it’s out of sight out of mind until…one day…the sun peeps out and it begins to feel a little warmer. It’s at this point, before we decide to attack the weeds in the garden, cut the trees in the yard, or sign up for the marathon we always promised we’d do, that we should do some prep work on our bodies to make sure that our attempts at getting more active don’t lead to back pain, sprained joints or worse.
Did you know that one in three adults in America have high blood pressure, or hypertension? While the majority of those diagnosed with high blood pressure are 65 years or older, those under 65 are not immune. There are certain behaviors that increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, including smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, and being overweight. While blood pressure normally increases in stressful situations, chronic stress seems to be even more of a contributing factor to developing high blood pressure. Depending on the severity of your hypertension, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and/or prescribe medication to lower it. Even if you’re prescribed medication, lifestyle changes are still recommended to get the most benefit and get your body in control of your blood pressure instead of solely relying on the medication to do so.
When seeking answers for low back, hip, and leg pain, you may have heard the term Sciatica. This condition occurs when the sciatic nerve (the largest nerve in the body) is irritated or inflamed, causing pain, tingling, and/or numbness felt along part or all of the nerve path; most often starting in the low back or the buttock and traveling down the outer leg, even all the way down to the foot in some cases.
This irritation of the Sciatic nerve is actually quite common, and is often attributed to one of two causes, Piriformis Syndrome or a spinal abnormality in the low back; with a pretty even 50/50 split between the two.
Cupping is a traditional Chinese therapy that’s been used for thousands of years, but it gained even more popularity in 2016 when everyone noticed that Michael Phelps had large perfectly round discolorations on his back while competing in the Olympics. Many people before that had never heard, or never been exposed to this type of bodywork.
To learn more, continue reading!