June 27, 2010

Massage Therapy Found to Reduce Pain During Labor

Researchers recently compared massage and music therapy to relieve the severity of labor pain. One hundred and one women who were hospitalized for vaginal delivery were recruited and randomly stratified into two groups of either massage (n = 51) or music (n = 50) therapies, according to a report published on www.pubmed.gov.

"Painkillers have previously been used for childbearing women, but nowadays, owing to some well-known limitations and serious side effects, nonpharmacologic methods such as massage and music therapies are being broadly recommended," the report noted. "The present clinical trial was conducted to compare the effects of massage and music therapies on the severity of labor …"

June 14, 2010

What are the benefits of Medical Massage Therapy?

Releases tight and sore muscles which can cause Ischemia: (Ischemia: A lack of blood supply to soft tissues, which causes hypersensitivity to the touch and allows for further injury to the tissues)

Helps relieve nerve compression or entrapment: (Pressure on a nerve by soft tissue, cartilage or bone, which can contribute to muscle atrophy, referred pain, paresthesia, and conditions such as pseudo sciatica, piriformis syndrome, pseudo angina, and others.)

Deactivates myofascial Trigger Points: (Trigger Points: Areas of high neurological activity, which refer pain to other parts of the body. Research has shown, trigger points may be responsible for as much as 74% of everyday pain.)

Decreases Pain And Inflammation: Massage can restore suppleness and strength to your muscles, improving their overall function. It's the ideal treatment for releasing tension or muscles in spasm and helps to release toxins such as lactic acid (produced by muscle tissue during exercise).

Alleviates Stress and Improves Circulation: Proper circulation is vital to continued health. Your blood and lymph carry nourishment to the trillions of cells throughout your body and then carry away the waste to be eliminated from the cells. Massage encourages a better exchange of nutrients at the cellular level and more thorough detoxification. Remember, the future "you" is determined by how well your army of cells regenerate themselves, so this is indeed a critical part of remaining healthy.  Massage has been practiced for thousands of years and is one of the earliest health treatments known to man.  That is why it remains one of the best ways of dealing with everyday stress.
Aids in Digestion: Massage can improve digestive motility.

Increases Flexibility And Range Of Motion: By reducing hypertonicity and hypotonicity the muscles allow for normal ranges of motion to be restored. This also reduces the forces being applied to the joint capsule and diminishes the potential for joint and disk degeneration.

Calms The Nervous System: The first sense to develop is your sense of touch. It's not surprising when you consider that each square inch of your skin contains roughly 50 nerve endings. With as many as five million total touch receptors in your skin relaying messages on to your brain, your body's initial response to massage is to relax and de-stimulate. Even a simple touch has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the heart rate. Touch can also signal the brain to produce endorphins, your body's natural pain suppressors. The nervous system is your communication network, sending messages constantly that determine proper functioning throughout your body. Stress can affect the ability of the nervous system to do its job. The many nerve endings found in the skin and muscles are soothed by massage, and this contributes to keeping your internal lines of communication open and operational.

Improves Posture And Coordination

Medical Massage is cost effective: By assisting the client towards a quicker recovery from acute headaches, neck and back pain, skeletal muscular strains, sprains, etc. he or she is able to return to a normal productive life.

Medical Massage also helps to prevent future chronic pain conditions by effectively dealing with the cause of the problem and eliminating it. 
More info HERE:

June 13, 2010

A list of Great Weekend Happenings!

It's been a whiles since I've blogged a little about what is going on in my massage world! I've had a great couple of days - so why not share them on a rainy Sunday afternoon?

June 07, 2010

Self Myofascial Release Techniques

Inspired my my new self care tool that arrived this week!

By performing Self-Myofascial Release techniques on a simple piece of foam, you can improve flexibility, function, performance, and reduce injuries. Your own body weight is used to roll on the round foam roll, massaging away restrictions to normal soft-tissue extensibility.

For the health and fitness professional to understand how this “magical” foam roll does all that, a basic understanding of the kinetic chain must be acknowledged.  The kinetic chain is made up of the soft tissue system (muscle, tendon, ligament, and fascia), neural system (nerves and CNS), and articular system (joints)6.  The kinetic chain works as an integrated functional unit.  All components of the kinetic chain exist interdependently.  If one segment is not functioning efficiently, then the other components must compensate, leading to tissue overload, fatigue, faulty movement patterns. For example, muscle tightness restricts the range of motion that a joint may be moved.  Because of muscle restriction (tightness, soft tissue adhesions, and neural-hyperactivity), joint motion is altered, thus changing normal neural feedback to the CNS (central nervous system).  Ultimately, neuromuscular efficiency is compromised , which leads to poor movement patterns, inducing remature fatigue and causing injury.  The SMFR (Self-Myofascial Release) Program helps your clients improve muscular balance and performance.


    * Correct muscle imbalances
    * ↑ Joint range of motion
    * ↓ Muscle soreness & relieve joint stress
    * ↓ Neuromuscular hypertonicity
    * ↑ Extensibility of musculotendinous junction
    * ↑ Neuromuscular efficiency
    * Maintain normal functional muscular length


June 01, 2010

Monthly Essentials: June

Honeysuckle is one of the oldest medicinal herbs in known history. Sometimes referred to as woodbine, European honeysuckle was once used widely to treat urinary complaints, asthma, and during childbirth. However, in traditional Chinese medicine, honeysuckle has been used medicinally for thousands of years. The first known reference to the honeysuckle plant as a medicinal plant is in the Tan Ben Cao that was written in A.D. 659. In traditional Chinese medicine, honeysuckle is considered one of the most important herbs for releasing poisons from the body and clearing heat from the body.

There are three main parts of the honeysuckle plant that are used medicinally: