Health

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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7 Ways to Improve Energy Using Massage

Massage therapy has been around for centuries. The ancient texts of many languages, including Chinese, Indian, Greek and Egyptian mention it. While the exact roots of massage therapy are unknown, it is known that getting regular massages is beneficial for the recipients. Massage can treat everything from aches and pains, digestive issues, insomnia and more. continue reading »

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Why You Need to Get Massage Therapy this Fall

As summer unwinds and fall begins, it’s time for us to allow our bodies to do the same.

Typically, summer is the most active of all seasons. The kids are out of school, vacations are aplenty, the weather is consistently nice and we participate in a many outdoor activities we may not normally do throughout the rest of the year. With all this going on at once, we expend a lot of energy. It isn’t surprising that some of us tend to feel tired by summer’s end. continue reading »

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Massage Therapy for Back Pain

It’s a fact – almost everyone experiences back pain at some point. Back pain is a nuisance, it can prevent you from doing the things you want to do, and living the way you want to live. continue reading »

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8 Reasons Why Massages Are So Popular

by Colin Steinway

Who doesn’t like getting a massage? Over the last decade or so, there has been a
steady increase in the number of massage practices and spas in and around Sydney,
thanks to the increasing popularity of massages.

Here are eight reasons why massages have become so popular in recent years.

• Stress Buster—Massages are the ultimate stress buster. When life gets to be a little
too stressful, both your physical and mental well being suffer.

A nice, relaxing massage is a great way to relieve stress. Of course there’s evidence that

an hour or two in the gym can also help relieve stress.  In addition to sweating it out in the gym, try getting a relaxing massage to  complement and reward yourself for your hard work.

• Regroup and Re-energize—More and more corporate professionals are using massages as a way to recuperate and recharge.  A popular trend in the corporate world
is to go for a massage during the lunch break.

Taking that time for yourself to get away from your hectic work environment helps to calm your mind, melting away all the built-up tension and helping you get back to work on top of your game. …

• Health Benefits—Scientific studies have proven that receiving
massage is indeed beneficial to your health, in a number of ways.  From boosting your immunity to encouraging better blood circulation and helping you get rid of
toxins in your body, massage can do wonders for your body when done on a regular basis.

Massage also relieve pain and promote healing of sore muscles, which is why many professional athletes and sports enthusiasts choose therapeutic massages to keep their body performing at the optimum level.

• Promotes Better Sleep—If you have trouble falling asleep at night, a good massage
might be the answer to your problem. Lack of sleep can lead to a host of other complications
such as weakened immunity, depression, higher risk of heart disease and weight
gain. Massages have been proven to help you rest and sleep by increasing delta waves
(linked to deep sleep) in the brain.

• Better Posture—If your job requires you to sit down in front of a computer for long
hours, chances are your posture is being affected. You can tackle this problem by
getting regular massages. Research has shown that massages can help undo the
damage of bad posture by loosening your muscles and joints. This in turn helps you
reclaim your natural posture. A poor posture can lead to hunchback, neck and back
problems. So, if you find yourself slouching at your desk, it’s time to make a massage
appointment.

• Flexibility—As we age, we are more likely to notice that our joints ache and our body is just not able to move as it used to. Massages can combat these troublesome signs of aging by making our joints fluid, which in turn makes us more flexible and less prone to joint ache.

• Keeps Headaches Away—If you are prone to headaches, then making massage a weekly affair can do wonders for you. Regular massages will help reduce the severity of the headaches in the short run, and will help reduce the frequency of the headaches in the long run.

• Instant Mood Booster—According to a study, massage increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin (neurotransmitters linked to happiness) in the brain significantly. This means that a massage has the power to boost your mood.

And last but not the least, massage is so popular because it feels so good. Who wouldn’t love to spend an hour getting a massage, helping you loosen up and relax? Do we really need any more reason than that to love massage?

So, go ahead and make massage a part of your lifestyle. A weekly, biweekly, or even monthly, massage routine can work wonders in so many aspects of your life. Whether you’re a working professional, an entrepreneur or a stay-at-home parent, we all need a little extra attention to our bodies every now and then to keep up with our busy lives.   Source: www.theglobaldispatch.com

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Massage Therapy Complements Cancer Therapy

National Cancer Institute-Designated Health Systems Increasingly Utilize Massage Therapy  by Karen Menehan

A cancer patient might face such medical procedures as surgery, medication and chemotherapy,
as well as ongoing treatment post-recovery.

Increasingly, therapies such as massage are used to mitigate pain and anxiety.

A new analysis of U.S. cancer centers’ websites indicates massage, along with acupuncture,
consultations about nutrition and dietary supplements are the integrative therapies most
commonly offered in National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated health systems. …

MASSAGE Magazine spoke with a leading oncology massage educator to help determine the
reasons behind this growth.

Johnnette du Rand Kelly is a massage therapist who practices oncology massage. She is also
founding director of Greet The Day, an organization that provides therapies for cancer patients.

MM: The authors of the analysis mentioned that conventional cancer treatments can produce
challenging effects like hot flashes, nausea and fatigue. How does massage therapy benefit
cancer patients?

JK: Research shows that massage reduces pain and anxiety.

When a cancer patient or family member asks me about the benefits of massage, I often like to
also add that it is touch that feels good at a time when touch often does not, and that massage is
a reminder for the patient that they can feel better, possibly even good, at a time when their body hurts.

Being able to meet the basic human need of safe and comforting touch is in and of itself
therapeutic.

MM: In your experience, what has the response been by cancer patients to massage therapy?
Are they aware of it, do they feel better after receiving it, do they request it?

JK: In both in- and out-patient settings, patients’ response to massage is, unsurprisingly, very
welcoming and overwhelmingly receptive. In the two academic cancer centers that Greet The Day works in, the patients who are aware of massage as an available service regularly request it. For others, it’s a pleasant surprise to be offered massage as a part of their care. … Source: www.massagemag.com

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5 Reasons to Get Massage for Sports Injury

1. Promotes Increased Circulation

Massage increases and promotes healthy circulation throughout the body. Increased circulation can benefit the heart, muscles and arteries. Healthy blood circulation is important for a fast and quick recovery from sports injury.

2. Relaxes Your Muscles

Massage allows both your body and mind to relax. Reap the benefits of massage therapy and allow your muscles to relax as you recover from debilitating sports injury.

3. Can Prevent Future Injury

Using massage for rehabilitation can also help prevent the affected area from becoming injured again. With massage therapy your muscles and surrounding tissues become more supple and pliable, less stiff, and the process of healing is sped up so you can return to your normal athletic activities sooner.

4. Warms Your Muscles

The pressure supplied by your massage therapist’s hands not only increases the circulation throughout the body, but warms your muscles too. This is important for a faster and more complete recovery process.

5. Effective Pain Management tool

Massage is a natural and effective form of  pain management.  Receiving massage does a world of good for your body. You are helping manage the pain you are experiencing and can avoid use of potentially dangerous pain medications. Consider getting massage today for its rejuvenating and relaxing benefits and to support healing from various sports injuries.

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5 Things to Know Before You Get a Massage

Before you go in for a massage therapy appointment you should be aware of a couple tips and tricks that could greatly improve your overall experience. Some of these tips may seem self-explanatory, but it always helps to re-state and remind clients of these guidelines. Check out the five things you need to know before you go in for a massage therapy appointment.

1. Be On Time

Being late for an appointment can greatly change your day – usually causing undue stress for you and others affected. Your massage therapist has reserved their time exclusively for you and relies on you to be on time. So, do everyone a favor, and arrive on time for your appointment!

2. Be courteous with cancellations

A good rule of thumb for cancelling or changing appointments is that 24 hours advance notice is expected. Each massage therapist may have their own particular policies – so be sure to check with them so you are aware of these policies.

continue reading »

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Massage Is An “Invaluable Resource” For Hospitals

The general public understands that massage is good medicine, and this is reflected in the growing use of massage therapy and energy work in U.S. hospitals.

According to research conducted in January 2017, 82 percent of hospital patients claimed massage therapy was the most helpful form of hospital therapy. The patients in this survey were between the ages of 19-95 years old, according to the report.

“On a daily basis, the acute pain service sees firsthand the benefits that massage provides our patients, with improved mood, function and overall comfort,” said Lynn Anson, R.N., B.C., a pain management nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri.

Massage therapy alleviates the anxiety associated with painful medical procedures, and is sometimes offered during such procedures, said Gayle MacDonald, L.M.T., an oncology massage educator and author of books, including Massage for the Hospital Patient and Medically Frail Client, who teaches massage at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.

The tension relieved often leads to patients sleeping better, which helps them heal faster.                        

Source: massagemag.com

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