Archive for the ‘Massage’ Category

What Massage Type is Right for You

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Massage therapy has been practiced for over a thousand of years. According to a poll conducted by the American Massage Association, at least a quarter of all American adults have had at least one professional massage during the year of 2007. That is a lot of pressing, and rubbing. A trained massage therapist can use multiple parts of their body to perform a massage. They are no long limited to hand movements, but elbows, forearms, and feet have been incorporated.

Many adults have been educated to the benefits of massage therapy not just simply for relaxation. Many conditions benefit from the skill of massage therapy for instance massages for back pain, can reduce the need for painkillers in many and works better than acupuncture. In regards to migraines and other headaches can be decreased in number, and sleep improved. Osteoarthritis knee suffers can experience a relief in the degree of mobility and lack of stiffness. These are only a sample of conditions that show improvement with regular massage therapy. It is always important to check with your physican before embarking on any type of treatment for illness.

What type of Massages are available?

There are over 80 different type of massage therapies to choose from. Some of the more common styles are Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Hot Stones, and Reflexology.

During a Swedish massage the work is geared toward relaxation and energy with kneading strokes, and light rhythmic movement on the top layers of muscle. A deep tissue massage is used normally when attention needs to be given to a specific area that one is experiencing pain in. Deep tissue massages can have very therapeutic results. If you were an athlete in school or have children in sports now, normally most high school programs and up have a trainer on site who assist in levels of massage therapy for the athletes to assist or prevent injury. In hot stone therapy, stones are placed on pressure points and either used as tools or left in place to help transmit deep heat down to injured or damaged parts of the body. Lastly in reflexology massage skill is applied to the feet to help promote health and well being in the overall body.

This just barely taps the surface of what an addition massage therapy can be to a person in various conditions. You owe it to yourself to try it, you will not regret it.

Tips for Giving a Foot Massage

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Not everybody loves a foot massage. For some people, the only thing that results from feeling another person’s hand on their feet is ticklishness. If you can manage to sneak past the tickle quotient, however, a foot massage can be a thing of beauty that makes your aching dogs feel ever so much better. Keep these tips in mind when performing a foot massage either on yourself or on another person.

Foot Massage Tip 1:

The deeper the pressure you apply, the more likely you are to release tension in the muscles of the foot. If you are looking to relieve the stresses of the day, your foot massage needs to knead deeply.

Foot Massage Tip 2:

Force yourself to get into habit of waking up ten to fifteen minutes earlier so that you carve out that time for yourself to start the day with a self-administered foot massage. This gets the blood pumping vigorously through your feet and can make your foot feel less of the stress that occurs from walking or standing on your feet all day.

Foot Massage Tip 3:

A slapping of the top of the foot with the back of the hands can help relieve pressure on that are that suffers much of the brunt when walking or standing for long periods. The muscles of that area control toe movement and the slapping sensation helps to increase circulation of blood to those muscular regions.

Foot Massage Tip 4:

To enjoy the full benefits of a foot massage, you should first soak both feet in a large bowl filled with warm water and foaming gel. Place your feet fully into the bowl and swish the water to create bubbling foam. When you take your feet out after about five minutes, place your feet into plastic bags over your feet before you start the massage. Massage about five minutes and then remove the bags. Sumptuous feelings of being like the rich and famous await.

Foot Massage Tip 5:

A good way to relieve stress is to bend your ankle over other leg’s knee and clasp your fingers together. Place your pinkies between your toes so that the clasped hand reaches all the way down to the foot between your toes. Just slide your interlocked fingers slowly up one toe and down between the others. After a few minutes of this, your toes will tingle with a vibrant feeling of excitement.

The Many Benefits of Massage

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

We all know that a shoulder massage can help relieve tension when we are stressed. But massage has a great many benefits for your physical and mental well-being that you may not know about. The American Massage Therapy Association indicates that nearly 25% of American adults have gotten a massage in the last year. What is it that they know?

Anxiety and stress

When we are anxious, our muscles become tense. This contraction is often what leads to accompanying problems like headaches, fatigue and inability to sleep. Constricted blood flow can bring on pain anywhere, but especially in the head. Keeping the muscles taut takes a lot of work for the body, so it becomes fatigued more easily. And restful sleep requires a relaxed state.

Massage therapy uses strokes to help the muscles relax. Some techniques cause the various layers of tissue to rub against each other, which causes an increase in blood flow through the tissues. This increase in blood flow can even help calm and prevent migraines.

Back and knee pain

These areas of the body seem to respond particularly well to massage. Think about what you know regarding physical therapy after an injury. Many of the benefits of the therapy come from the gentle manipulation of the joints and muscles. Massage can allow for the same kinds of benefits in other areas of the body.

Depression

A good massage not only relaxes the body but also creates a feeling of overall well-being. This positive emotional state can benefit those suffering from depression, be it post-partum or chronic. Physical pain is also one of the hallmarks of major depression, which can be lessened or relieved with massage therapy. Some practitioners believe that just the human touch can be healing for those with depression.

Cancer treatment

The side effects of cancer treatments like chemotherapy are often very difficult for cancer patients to cope with, and some studies show that massage can lessen those effects or even the symptoms themselves. Besides benefitting the body through the reduction of pain and depression, massage can also boost the immune system, helping the body fight the cancer.

Skin and beauty issues

Massage is also considered a beauty treatment, even for facial wrinkles. Skin benefits from massage because of the increased circulation. The movement also helps break up and release toxins from the muscles and skin, leaving a healthy glow. Of course, the release of tension also helps improve skin.

Great overall benefits

The health benefits from massage seem pretty amazing, but they are backed up by studies that pretty clearly indicate some improvement for physical and emotional problems. While getting a brief shoulder massage from a friend or loved one may feel good, getting a professional massage should leave you feeling amazingly refreshed, relaxed and healthy.

References

Jeanie Lerche Davis. “The Miracles of Massage Therapy.” Webmd.com.

“Facial Massage.” Massagetherapy101.com.

“Massage: Get in touch with its many health benefits.” Mayoclinic.com.

Romantic Aromatherapy Massage for Lovers

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Many aromatherapy oils, or essential oils, have aphrodisiac properties. Giving your lover a sensual aromatherapy massage, and receiving one in turn, is a wonderful way to spend a relaxing and romantic evening. Massage the mixture on the back of the neck, the shoulders, the back, the chest, and the abdomen, until all of the oil is absorbed by the skin. You can pat on a little cornstarch if necessary to dry up any remaining residue if necessary, or use a scented talcum powder instead. For best results, massage for 30 minutes.

You can try any of the combinations below, or try out your own variations. Just add 20 drops of essential oil to 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil, such as almond oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil, or sesame oil.

If you want to try out your own formulas, consider the following: Some oils known to have aphrodisiac properties include clary sage, patchouli, peppermint, rose, sandalwood, spearmint, vanilla, and ylang-ylang. You may want to consider adding some oils that sharpen the senses, such as bergamot, grapefruit, lime, and rosemary. Peppermint will also sharpen the sense. If it’s been a long day and you need to feel refreshed and revived, consider adding some eucalyptus or lemon. Both peppermint and rosemary will be useful here, as well. Be sure to use oils that you like- smell them before you buy them.

Here are our suggested combinations.

4 teaspoons almond oil, 6 drops patchouli essential oil, 5 drops spruce essential oil, 5 drops sandalwood essential oil, 4 drops vanilla essential oil

4 teaspoons almond oil, 6 drops sandalwood essential oil, 5 drops vanilla essential oil, 5 drops peppermint essential oil, 4 drops bay essential oil

4 teaspoons sunflower oil, 6 drops tangerine essential oil, 5 drops rosemary essential oil, 5 drops ylang-ylang essential oil, 4 drops ginger essential oil

4 teaspoons almond oil, 5 drops vanilla essential oil, 5 drops helichrysum essential oil, 5 drops clary sage essential oil, 5 drops peppermint essential oil

4 teaspoons hazelnut oil, 5 drops rose essential oil, 5 drops bergamot essential oil, 5 drops lime essential oil, 5 drops ylang-ylang essential oil

4 teaspoons hazelnut oil, 5 drops orange essential oil, 5 drops patchouli essential oil, 5 drops nutmeg essential oil, 5 drops ylang-ylang essential oil

4 teaspoons hazelnut oil, 5 drops sandalwood essential oil, 4 drops mandarin essential oil, 4 drops cinnamon essential oil, 4 drops vanilla essential oil, 3 drops cumin essential oil

Massage Therapy for Seniors

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Alternative therapies are gaining ground in the American medical system. In fact, a recent study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University indicated that about 70 percent of older adults use some form of alternative medicine. Massage therapy is one of the more popular of these treatments. However, many older people are still reluctant to incorporate massage into their lifestyles. This is unfortunate. More and more research is showing that massage can be particularly helpful for seniors. It can improve conditions ranging from chronic pain to a general sense of malaise, and for healthy individuals it can make it much easier to start or continue regular exercise. If you are among those who have toyed with the idea of exploring massage therapy, but have shied away, it’s worth it to take a closer look at what you can expect from massage and how you can go about taking the first steps toward integrating massage into your wellness routines.

First, let’s get the big issue out of the way: a lot of people are resistant to the idea of massage because they think that it is synonymous with being naked in front of a total stranger. For many people who didn’t grow up in the show-your-underwear generation (and even some of those who did), the prospect of being deprived of your clothes around someone you don’t know can be understandably disquieting, but rest assured. A good massage practitioner will not push you to do anything that you’re not comfortable with-and that includes undressing. You can leave as much clothing on as you want. If comfortable means you don’t want to take anything off at all, simply let the massage therapist know and he or she will adapt to your needs.

That being said, keep in mind that massage tends to be most effective when the person doing the massaging is able to directly manipulate the soft tissues of the body, and if you do decide to go “the full monty” you will not only be given privacy when you remove your clothing, you’ll be given a great big sheet to cover up with. Alternatively, a hand or foot massage can target areas that often need a boost in circulation. If you really can’t get used to the idea of someone else massaging you, learning some self-massage techniques can give you many of the benefits of massage without requiring you to expose as much as a sock to anyone else.

And massage has a lot of benefits, especially as we age and our circulatory system begins to lose some efficiency. Massage increases blood and lymph circulation, which can help nutrients get to muscle tissue and increase medication absorption rates. The mental and physical improvements resulting from regular massages can include increased flexibility, a sense of well-being, relief from aches and pains, better sleep, and even higher skin temperatures. Plus, adding massage to an exercise regime can make keeping active more comfortable by keeping muscle and connective tissue limber. It has also been reported that massage can help the body process and remove toxins in the bloodstream.

Some of the problems people often turn to massage for help with include arthritis, back pain, circulation problems (like Raynaud’s syndrome), and high blood pressure. Regular massage work can function as an effective supplement, or even alternative, to pricey medications, and may even be covered by medical insurance plans.

Massage treatments are offered in a wide variety of environments. Many licensed massage practitioners work in clinic-type settings, but you can also find therapists working in spas, hotels, and sports clubs. In addition, many massage therapists will make at-home visits. Massage in your home environment not only eliminates the need for travel, but can also increase the effectiveness of the treatment by making you feel more secure and relaxed.

Try to find a practitioner who has specific training in massage for elderly or geriatric patients. Most seniors will need a lighter touch and shorter sessions (around 30 minutes) than are used in a traditional massage session. A good massage therapist will ask you a lot of questions before beginning work on you. The therapist will want to know what prompted you to get a massage, what aches and pains you are experiencing, what sort of injuries you have or have had, whether you have any allergies, and what medications you are taking, among other things.