Want to tackle your bad posture? Massage can help.

Driving, working on the computer, staring at your cell phone screen. It feels like now more than ever, so many common daily activities all have our bodies hunching over in the same position.

This kind of bad posture can cause back and neck pain, it can negatively affect your digestion and circulation, as well as affect your self esteem. A study from researchers at Columbia and Harvard Universities showed when people stand in so-called “power positions,” basically standing up straight, they felt more powerful and in control. continue reading »

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Lymphatic Drainage Massage

There are many different types of massage, and each type has a specific purpose and unique benefits. While every massage can be relaxing and relieve pain and tension in the body, some forms of massage go even deeper than that. One such form of massage is lymphatic drainage massage. continue reading »

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All About Reflexology

Most people associate the word reflexology with a form of foot massage, but it is so much more than that. Reflexology is defined as the application of appropriate pressure to specific points and areas on the feet, hands and ears. The theory behind this technique is that these areas correspond to organs and systems in the body. When pressure is applied to these areas, it is thought to affect the organs and benefit a person’s health. continue reading »

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All About Trigger Point Therapy

Ever had pain when you press on a specific area of your body?

It could just be a bruise, or it could be a trigger point. A trigger point is defined as a sensitive area in the muscle or connective tissue (fascia) that becomes painful when subjected to continuing compression, and thereby “triggers” an adverse reaction in other areas of the body. Chronic pressure on the associated nerves causes the muscle fibers to shorten, and often leads to pain. continue reading »

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The Many Benefits of Acupressure

Acupressure is a form of healing that applies gentle pressure to specific points on the body. This healing therapy was developed over 3,000 years ago as an aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The technique uses precise finger placement and pressure on the specific healing points to stimulate the body to heal itself.

According to Asian medical philosophy, acupressure helps activate the pressure points to improve blood flow, relieve tension and improve energy. Acupressure is an effective form of stimulation that helps relax muscles, especially when done regularly. Daily use of acupressure can not only improve ailments, but it can minimize the recurrence of the symptoms. continue reading »

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More about Fascia & Your Health

Fascia is the connective tissue that forms a matrix of support around the body and within every layer of the body from our muscles and bones to our muscle cells.

“Fascia surrounds every muscle, every bundle within muscles, groups of muscles, it surrounds every nerve, every artery, every vein, all the lymph vessels. These are all embedded in envelopes of fascial tissue. Fascia also forms large envelopes around the whole body,” says Til Luchau, author of Advanced Myofascial Techniques.

Magnified under a microscope, fascia looks like spider webs. It has six times more sensory nerve endings than muscle. Like many other systems of the body, fascia is adaptive and responds to stress both externally (environment) and internally (within the body).

Years ago, fascia was regarded as packing material within the body and thrown out by anatomists during cadaver dissections. The more accepted belief today is fascia is its own system. Medical research and tests are lagging behind, evident in that fascia does not show up on MRI scans, CT scans or X-Rays. Many experts believe that fascia is the missing piece of the puzzle to chronic pain and illness. Source: Aiyana Fraley at www.massagemag.com

 

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FASCIA: Here, There, & Everywhere!

By Rachel Damiani and Ted Spiker

Americans, who spend about $8 billion a year in massage and chiropractic treatments to relieve pain, may have no idea that they’re all probably experiencing the same thing—a manipulation of their fascia, a three-tiered layer of tissue that encases tissues and organs.

Although some people may have a vague notion that fascia exists, they probably don’t know much about their fascia—or understand why it even matters.

Fascia is the only tissue that modifies its consistency when under stress. It’s everywhere in the body, so it could affect just about everything. That leaves researchers wrestling with an intriguing dilemma: If fascia is everywhere, then how do you isolate its impact on the body?

Early research suggests it may have relevance in areas one wouldn’t normally think of fascia playing a role, such as digestive conditions and cancer.

“Fascia is what holds us together. There are very few diseases that don’t have a fascia component,” said Frederick Grinnell, a professor of cell biology at the UT Southwestern Medical School.

In an article in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, researchers make the point that this web throughout our body has the potential to influence everything.

“Fascia is involved almost everywhere in the body,” said Andreas Haas, the founder of the Manus Training Center and the Manus Fascia Center in Austria who has been a manual therapist for 30 years and looking at fascia for two decades. “Each organ, each muscle, each artery, each vein, each nerve—there is not one single structure in the whole body that is not connected with fascia or not enveloped by fascia.”

What is fascia?

There’s fascia that appears all over and acts like a casing—a biological Spanx of sorts. This fascia throughout the body holds muscles and organs in place to make sure they don’t jostle around.

The characteristic of fascia that is at the forefront of discussion in terms of health implications is its elasticity—that is, higher elasticity of the fascia allows organs and tissues to function better, while stiffer fascia decreases performance.

Long thought of as just the support structure, fascia may have more influence on health than as a passive container.

Why does it matter?

Fascia’s main functions are helping coordinate the body’s movements, position in space, and fluid flow throughout the body.

Beyond movement conditions, fascia may also be involved in a variety of unexpected health conditions and diseases, including cancer, lymphedema, and gastrointestinal distress.

By releasing fascia through bodywork, it could be possible that fascia becomes more pliable, lymphatic fluid flow increases and swelling goes down. Similarly, releasing fascia could help reduce gastrointestinal distress, including constipation, bloating and acid reflux.  Source: www.washingtonpost.com

 

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Massage Therapy for Sports Injuries

In the United States, massage therapy is generally considered a luxury. But the truth is, massage can be used for much more than just relaxation, its health benefits are numerous. Massage therapy can relieve pain, increase energy, improve sleep, encourage healthy digestion and more. continue reading »

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Massage Therapy for Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are common, not only in athletes, but also in the everyday person.  A sprain is defined as a stretch or tear of a ligament. A strain, on the other hand, is defined as an injury to a muscle or tendon. Sprains can result from a fall, a sudden twist or a blow to the body that forces a joint out of place, while a strain can happen from twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon.        continue reading »

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5 Surprising Benefits of Massage for Athletes

It is probably not surprising that massage can be beneficial for athletes. Those of us that ask a lot from our physical bodies on a regular basis can benefit from practices like massage therapy that support our bodies in staying healthy and performing at their highest level. In this post, we dug a little deeper and came up with five reasons massage is beneficial for athletes that you might not think of or expect. continue reading »

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