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.

Massage Therapy: How to Cope with Transference

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

The best way to handle transference in massage therapy is to avoid it. Don’t blame the client, transference is unconscious on their part and is normal behavior for a professional healing relationship. Maintaining proper boundaries with your client minimizes the incidences of transference and perhaps eliminates them altogether.

To prevent transference in massage therapy, decline when asked to provide details about your personal life. Massage clients frequently ask you personal questions, but you are not obligated to answer them. Set a boundary that communicates to clients that your relationship with them is professional and not personal. Politely change the topic of conversation to focus on the massage. If the client is on the table, the easiest way to keep her quiet is asking her to focus on their breath. Clients will be encouraged to probe for details of your personal life if you ask them questions about theirs. Only ask the client questions that pertain to the information you need to perform the massage correctly.

Maintain business hours to deflect transference in massage therapy. Do not answer your phone at unreasonable hours. Unless you provide an “on-call” service, reasonable hours for clients to call are anywhere between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. It is tempting to answer all your calls, so you can book appointments. However, when a client calls at an unreasonable hour he is testing your boundaries. He will leave a message, you can call him back and book the appointment later.

Do not accept gifts from clients. If you want to avoid transference in massage therapy, you should not accept presents, especially any gift that makes you uncomfortable. When a client gives you a gift she is trying to personalize your professional relationship with her. An expensive gift may indicate the client wants something in return. Refusing a gift is difficult. If you must accept the gift, keep it in the reception area for everyone to enjoy.

Set your price, and stick to it. When a client tries to bargain with you, she wants to see how easy it is to manipulate you. To avert transference in massage therapy, do not lower your price at the request of your client. Instead, offer package deals or a referral program.

If you enjoyed this informative article on Transference please click on the “thumbs up” icon at the beginning of this article. For more useful articles on a variety of subjects by click on my name “Tesl Goddess” at the top of the page.

Massage and Naturopathy

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Massage

Massage is not a complete therapy in itself, but forms part of several other therapies, notably physiotherapy, chiropractic and reflexology. The massage used in acupuncture is called Shiatsu and is slightly different. Massage consists of rubbing, kneading, pummeling or pressing on the muscles and soft tissues of the body.

The main aim of massage is to relax tense muscled and tones up the body generally, and it is often used by professional sports people and musicians, whose occupations involve them in continual muscular stress. It is a useful complementary treatment to homeopathy, reducing harmful levels of tension in both mind and body.

Naturopathy

Naturopathy is not so much a system of healing as a way of healthy living. A naturopath believes that many of the illnesses we suffer form are due to the accumulation of poisonous waste materials in the body. They maintain that the body’s natural force will do its own job of healing if the patient detoxifies the system. Ridding the body of poisonous wastes is accomplished by a combination of closely supervised fasting, colonic irrigation and enemas, supported by careful dieting. Naturopaths believe that the body will cure itself once the waste substances are eliminated, and that signs and symptoms are indications that the body is trying to rid itself of the cause of disease.

Once the period of fasting is over the patient is recommended to follow a diet designed to prevent any recurrence of the previous illness. The exact diet varies from patient to patient, and from naturopath to naturopath, but probably includes the avoidance of stimulants such as tea, coffee and alcohol, and such foods as white sugar and sweets. Naturopaths often recommend vitamin and mineral supplements to the diet to counteract imbalances that may have occurred over the years through bad eating habits, or by consuming over-processed and artificial food that is lacking in natural goodness.

The homeopathic view of dietary supplements is that they may sometimes by needed when a person has been unable to assimilate vitamins and minerals from their normal food intake, or has been following a deficient diet But and it is a big but-homeopaths consider that even if such supplements are needed as a temporary measure, they should not be continued indefinitely.

If they are, the body may become dependent on them and fail to do its proper job of absorbing the substances from a Norma’s well-balanced diet. In such a case homeopathic medication can help the food. Some homeopathic practitioners also practice naturopathy. Often they do not prescribe any homeopathic medicines until their patients have first followed a detoxifying diet.

Practitioners are the able to observe how many signs and symptoms have improved, and to what extent, simply as a result of the change of diet. At that point they reconsider the patient’s condition to see what kind of homeopathic treatment is now needed, and what remedy is indicated.

Massage – Not Just Another Luxury! Fitness Beneifts of Massage

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Most of you have heard this – and many probably believe it – massage is just a luxury reserved for special times like vacations or birthdays. In truth massage is not just an indulgence! In fact it can give you current fitness routine a much needed boost!

Massage is not just soothing to the body and soul. Sure, it’s a great stress reliever but it also can benefit physical conditioning goals – just ask a professional athlete!

Take for example those tight muscles from that tough workout. Massage can release spasms which impede blood flow and can cause inflammation, pain and dysfunction. And it can help prevent and assist in the healing of muscular injuries by decreasing the amount of adhesions (fibrous bands holding together muscle tissue that is normally apart commonly seen during the healing process). It can aid in the prevention of overtraining by relaxing the tension and sedating the nervous system so muscles can work more efficiently. And while massage will not directly build muscles, it is a key factor in the rebuilding of tissues and influencing muscle growth.

Massage can decrease the recovery time necessary between workouts by aiding in the elimination of toxins, such as lactic acid which is the culprit of delayed muscle soreness. By increasing circulation through massage – and drinking adequate amounts of water, these toxins can be cleared out while allowing for an increased blood flow which maximizes the general nutrition (oxygen and essential nutrients) of muscles essential for optimal function.

Power and performance is influenced by massage by increasing the body’s efficiency and facilitating the muscle-building response while enhancing range of motion and flexibility. Muscles that are sufficiently elongated increase proficiency while aiding in the reduction of injury risks.

Massage can also help you attain your weight loss goals through assisting the subcutaneous tissue to exude fat to become absorbed – not stored.

Massage won’t help you increase muscle bulk, nor will it directly increase muscle strength. But it will help you body work more efficiently while assisting in the recovery after strenuous workouts. It gives your body an overall boost by increasing circulation, decreasing pain and spasms, increasing your immune system and decreasing stress so workouts can be performed with more regularity and intensity. Plus it boosts self esteem and overall wellbeing.

So when and how often should you book a massage – and with whom? First you should check a massage therapists credentials to make sure they are a qualified bodywork practitioner. Many states do not have licensing regulations but a professional massage therapist should have been trained through a certified school. Ask for credentials, professional training information and referrals. When in doubt check the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Many qualified professionals work in wellness centers, physician or chiropractic offices and gyms or health spas.

During your first visit, your massage therapist should take a history including any relevant medical history and your specific problem areas and goals. Then together you and your therapist should decide on the best schedule to optimize your goals.

Some key points to remember:
Massage effects are cumulative – you will not be “healed” after just one session! Many times it takes several sessions to release spasms and tightness, then regular follow-up sessions to avoid recurrences.

Regular fitness routines consistently place demands on your muscles, so while sessions should focus on problem areas, do not neglect the rest of the body to avoid future difficulties.

Consult with your massage therapist regarding any medications you are taking, as some, especially muscle relaxants and pain killers can mask pain. If you take a pain killer and get a massage, especially deep tissue work, you increase your chances of tissue injuries.

Massage sessions should never cause “pain”. A certain amount of discomfort should be expected, especially if the muscles are tight. But holding your silence through an agonizing pain may just cause more problems. If it hurts, speak up!

To avoid post-massage discomfort, drink plenty of water before and after the session. Massage aids in moving stagnant toxins while water flushes them out of the body. If you don’t drink enough water, you may loosen toxins in one area only to have them settle in another.

So when your fitness routine needs a boost, why not try a little piece of heaven and treat yourself to a massage? It just may revitalize your whole perspective on physical fitness!

Massage: Levels and Techniques

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Massage is all about comfort, but it’s also all about necessity. Massage is a natural response to pain. It is the first action we do to ourselves when we hurt in our bodies. We rub our hands after a long day of typing, our feet after a long day of standing. You get the point. Massage is natural and beneficial and feels oh so good.

Light massage can be done on ourselves for quick manipulation of the muscles: neck, legs, knees and so on. Spas will often offer light, whole body massages. This is a good place to start if you have never had a massage. They are designed to help relax and heal the body, loosen up tired and stressed out muscles, and introduce you to a variety of techniques.

Some massage techniques are very light, such as hot stone massage. This developed in Midwestern spas where hot stones were moved gently around the body with light pressure applied. It is a very relaxing form of massage with the combination of heat and light pressure. Aromatherapy is also a type of light massage. Essentials oils are used to stimulate the limbic area of the brain for a calming affect. Oils are also rubbed into the skin for a physical and psychological reaction in the whole body. Light pressure may be applied along with scented oils to help relieve the maximum amount of stress.

Medium massage will most likely be found in an independent massage therapist’s office. This is a whole body massage, but at a deeper layer than a light spa massage. Massage is designed to help heal the body as well as make it feel more comfortable. Pain should not be included in a massage, although some discomfort may come with the territory–especially if you are very tense. A medium massage is good for those who have already experienced the benefits of a light massage and want a deeper level of treatment.

Swedish massage is considered a “traditional” form of massage and is rated medium. By effectively massaging the skin, the rest of the body benefits in reaction to being stimulated. This type of massage uses long strokes with tapping and kneading motions that helps the nervous and circulatory systems, glands and of course muscles. It is a wholeness technique which incorporates Mediterranean and Far Eastern techniques into its structure.

Deep massage is usually reserved for athletes or those who need special healing services. This works the second and third layers of muscle for a deep relaxation that is geared toward whole health and healing in a more intense technique.

Muscle layers can stick together at deeper layers and can hold in toxins that the body produces. Deep massage uses friction against the layers to “unstick” them and release the poisons held together in the body. A trained professional must perform a deep massage to work the muscles properly and without causing damage. Canadian Deep Muscle Massage is a good example of this. The techniques used by massage therapists help to re-hydrate the muscles at the second and third layers and target specific problems within the body. This is why athletes will use this type of healing. Results can be measured quickly as pain and stress is relieved during actual sessions.

Overall, massage is a wonderful way to loose toxins from the body and reduce illness and stress. Whether you chose light, medium or deep will depend on previous experience you have had with massage and what your reasons are for seeking out massage as a way of healing. Many techniques are available and licensed massage therapists are usually easy to come by as their popularity grows.

Make Your Own Herbal Massage Oil

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

A good massage can be a wonderful , relaxing experience. It can relieve tension, or soothe sore muscles after a long day at work. A massage can also stimulate your blood flow and restore energy to your body. A nice, scented oil can enhance your experience.

T o prepare for a massage, make sure your surroundings are relaxing.Dim the lights, make sure the temperature is comfortable-warm but not too warm. Provide relaxing music if you like. Warm your oil for the massage. Run the bottle or container under hot water, or gently rub a small amount between your hands. Never use hot oil for a massage!

The best oil to use is massage oil you create yourself, using quality ingredients that can be found in your own kitchen. Start with a half cup of your favorite light oil. Almond, canola, safflower, corn, or olive oils can be used. Other more interesting oils can be used as well. Apricot kernal oil,coconut, sunflower, hazelnut, peach kernal, and walnut oils add pleasant aromas to your massage oil.

The herbs you add to the oil can be based on their effects if you like. Some are relaxing, while others or more stimulating and energizing. Of the more stimulating herbs, you can choose oregano, which boosts circulation. Mint can help raise your metabolism and is energizing. Rosemary is good for your memory, and can help with apathy.

Other herbs have more relaxing properties. Chamomile is a relaxing herb, and can also help you sleep better. Basil can help with your concentration and decision making, can calm you when youre nervous or stressed. Lavender helps you sleep, and is extremely calming and soothing.

Mix your chosen herb or combination of herbs together with your oil, about a tablespoon to each half cup of oil. Heat the mixture, but do not boil. This can be done on your stove in a pan, or using the microwave. Let your oil mixture sit for half an hour, and then strain through a coffee filter or a piece of cheesecloth.

Pour your massage oil into a clean bottle or container. You can decorate your bottle by placing a sprig or two of the fresh herb in the bottle with the oil. This oil can be used as a bath oil as well.

You can create different moods and experiences by the scents you choose to put in your massage oil , whether it be relaxing or stimulating. You can experiment with different oils and herbs for different aromas. Treat someone you love with a nice and relaxing massage today, and make it extra special by using your own homemade massage oil.