Tuesday, March 27, 2012

10 Reasons to Get a Massage Today!

Here are my top 10 reasons to get a massage:

  1. Reduce Fatigue – If you are really tired, a massage can give you a few moments to relax, even if it is just a few minutes out of your day. That can leave you feeling re-energized!
  2. Increase Mental Clarity – At some point I'm sure you have felt mentally exhausted either from a project you are working on, or from a personal problem that has taken all of your energy. You may feel like you have a foggy brain. The simple act of touch, as in a massage, will help you to focus your energy. All that tension you had been experiencing begins to dissipate. Once that mental stress is reduced, you will feel more alert and energized.

  3. Reduce Stress - Recent scientific research has found that massage affects the immune system in the following ways: it decreases arginine vasopressin, a hormone that contributes to aggressive behavior, and also decreases the amount of cortisol also known as the stress hormone.

  4. Relieve Muscle Tightness and Tension – This one is no secret. You make an appointment to get a massage because your body is sore from working out, gardening, or moving boxes, etc... and after the massage is over, you feel like you can climb Mt. Everest. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration there, but if you have ever had a really good massage, you know what I mean. And if you haven't, then make your appointment now.

  5. Increase your Range of Motion (ROM) – When a muscle is so tight that it begins to hinder your range of motion, say to raise your hands over your head, or behind your back, it can really start to affect your daily life. Getting regular massage will help you to regain and keep your full ROM.

  6. Reduce Muscle Cramping – Have you ever ran a race, and afterward you begin to cramp up? If there is a massage therapist on site, he/she can take care of the cramp right away. Being hydrated will help too!

  7. Boost Immune System – Massage increases the amount of lymphocytes in your body, cells that help the immune system defend the body from harmful substances. 

  8. Improve Posture – Ever really notice when you are slouching during the day? When you do, do you find your self automatically stretching your arms back behind you? Your body knows which muscles are feeling tight, and that is your automatic response to slouching. Now, getting a massage on those tightened muscles can help you improve your posture so much more. Ask me to assist you with a Snow Angel stretch for your pectoral muscles, and you will notice your upper back feeling less tense.

  9. Get Healthier Skin – Depending on the massage people are getting from me, I use different emollients. Most of the time it is pure jojoba that I use. Technically not an oil, it is a liquid wax ester from the jojoba plant. This emollient is the closest to our natural oils. It does not clog your pores and it soothes and conditions the skin. Jojoba is naturally full of Vitamin E.

  10. Improve your workout - Think of a cold rubber band. If you stretch it what will happen? Probably will snap and break off. Now think of your muscles. If you don't warm them up, stretching them can be harmful. They say to 'never stretch a cold muscle' for a reason. Getting a quick sports massage right before a 5k walk/run or marathon, or game, or even a workout can help to warm up your muscles so that you can have a longer endurance and work stronger.

So tell me, why do you get massage? Enter your comment below to let us know.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Deep Tissue vs. Deep Pressure Massage - Do you know the difference?

Have you ever become nauseous from a massage before? To my knowledge none of my clients ever have, but I had someone the other day ask me about that very thing. A friend of hers had a very “deep tissue” massage while on vacation and became very ill right after the massage. Notice I put “deep tissue” in quotes here. Here is why:

Myth: Deep tissue massage should hurt, and have a huge amount of pressure.

Truth: Deep tissue massage is not deep pressure massage!!! Rather, it is quite slow and not so painful, unless the therapist and client are working through some trigger points. Trigger points can be painful, but should never go above the 4-6 range on a pain scale. (0=no pain and 10=worst pain you have ever felt) Deep tissue massage is also not a full body massage. It is contained to only a couple of areas of the body.

There are a few possible reasons behind why this person became sick after her massage.

1. She was dehydrated. You definitely want to make sure you are drinking enough water each day, and especially before and after a massage. Not because it removes toxins from the body, but because keeping hydrated helps your body do what it needs to do on a cellular level. When you are dehydrated, your body has a difficult time coping with anything you put it through. If you don't like water, then read my post about how to give your water some excitement.

2. It wasn't a deep tissue massage, but a deep pressure one. Much too deep a pressure of one. When causing so much pain to someone through a full body deep pressure massage, the body can go into shock. This can cause the nausea that this person was feeling.

3. The face cradle was not positioned correctly. I stress to my clients of how important it is for them to tell me if they are ever uncomfortable before, during and after a massage. This is a key in point reason. If the face cradle was positioned so that it was hitting pressure points on the client, it can cause sinus pain, headaches, dizziness, and of course nausea. Please don't be afraid to speak up to your therapist if you are ever uncomfortable on the table, or in a massage chair for that matter. Even if you started out comfortable, but after a few minutes, or even halfway through the massage, let your therapist know. A skilled therapist will be able to work on your muscles in any position that you need to be in. I can work on your back, even if you are laying on your back.

So now you have a bit more information about why a massage could not make you feel so great afterward, and what do to to make sure that doesn't happen. Drink plenty of fluids, talk to your therapist about his/her pressure, and let your therapist know if you are ever uncomfortable during the massage. If you do become sick after a massage, please let your therapist know about it, so you can figure out why that happened, to prevent it from happening again.