For thousands of years, massage has been used to alleviate physical pain and discomfort, mental, and emotional distress. Its techniques have evolved to effectively address different kinds of illnesses and conditions. Doctors recommend massage therapy to alleviate the effects of arthritis, stroke, sports-related injuries, accidents, and chronic pain. There are different types of massage therapy. One of the most popular forms is deep tissue massage. While associated with athletes, anyone can benefit from receiving deep tissue massage.
Deep tissue massage techniques involve manipulating the deep layers of tissue in the body. These tissues include the tough fascia and other tissues that comprise your joints and muscles.
If you’ve had Swedish massage before, you will notice that deep tissue massage techniques are done slower and more deliberately. If Swedish massage is soft, deep tissue massage is hard and firm.
Deep tissue massage therapy has been identified with athletes because they are the most frequent recipients. Many of the best athletes in the world include deep tissue massage as part of their recovery program. It helps them heal and recover faster from the effects of a hard training session or competition.
After training, the athlete’s muscles become tight and tense. This is the result of physical and emotional stress plus the gradual build-up of lactic acid. Muscle fibres also get damaged after exercise. For an athlete to be able to perform at a high level for the next session, the muscle fibres must heal as fast as possible.
When you undergo deep tissue massage, the muscles tend to lengthen which helps relieve tension. By going deep inside your tissues, the massage therapist’s hands are able to improve blood circulation. Thus, your muscles are able to receive water, oxygen, and vital nutrients to enhance repair and recovery.
If it’s good enough for an athlete, you can be assured that deep tissue massage will be beneficial for everyone.
Some people go into a spa thinking of getting a back massage. They go to the receptionist and sign up for a Sports Massage therapy session. A few hours later, they leave the spa getting more than they bargained for. In truth, what they should have signed up for was a Deep Tissue Massage therapy session.
Sports massage and deep tissue massage are often interchanged. While both types of massage share common techniques and functions, they are quite different.
We defined deep tissue massage as a technique that manipulates deep layers of tissue including the fascia and other tissues that comprise your joints and muscles.
Although the technique is called “deep tissue” massage it does not go as deep as sports massage. In deep tissue massage, the massage therapist’s hands manipulate the layers of tissue. In sports massage, the massage therapist’s hands dig deeper into the soft muscle tissue.
A sports massage therapist has a wider and broader knowledge of the medical benefits of massage. He/she has to be familiar with an athlete’s condition. If there is an injury, the massage therapist must know the right techniques to help with recovery.
Before signing up for a massage therapy session, talk to the massage therapist and explain your purpose. The massage therapist will gladly advise you on the best type of massage to fit your needs.
If you’re thinking of getting a back massage, should you opt for deep tissue massage therapy? Read on and find out!
A study published in Studies in Health Technology and Informatics showed that deep tissue massage was able to improve the condition of people who suffered from chronic lower back pain after 10 days of treatment.
The sessions lasted for 30 minutes and included techniques such as oblique pressure, lengthening, and cross-fibre strokes. The participants in the study had better results compared to those who received basic therapeutic massage.
A separate study published in the Scientific World Journal showed that deep tissue massage worked better in alleviating pain symptoms than painkillers.
If you have a history of having high blood pressure, you should consider getting a few sessions of deep tissue massage.
A study that was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that deep tissue massage can positively impact your levels of diastolic, mean arterial, and systolic blood pressure.
Participants in the study involved 263 adults who were suffering from high blood pressure symptoms. They were subjected to deep tissue massage sessions lasting 45 to 60 minutes in duration.
After the deep tissue massage session, the participations were evaluated to have reduced their systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure readings. Likewise, their average heart rate was slowed down to 10.8 beats per minute after the session.
Stress has been linked with many diseases, illnesses, and other life-threatening conditions. It has been constantly studied to be a leading cause of certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Another factor that can cause stress is inflammation. When you exercise, your body builds up inflammation and this can likewise increase the amount of tension in your muscles.
Studies have shown that deep tissue massage can greatly alleviate the symptoms of stress as well as significantly relieve muscle tension.
For one, deep tissue massage will induce the body to release a mood-enhancing, “feel good” hormone called oxytocin which helps you relax. It can also regulate the activity of the body’s limbic system and control the release of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Injuries will often lead to the build-up of scar tissues which can hamper the recovery process. When you are injured, inflammation will occur and this will prevent the damaged tissue to receive enough blood flow. The longer blood flow is delayed, the greater the probability of scar tissue build-up.
Deep tissue massage is a wonderful option to remove inflammation and lower the incidence of muscle spasms. Massage does this by restoring blood flow, relaxing the muscles, and decreasing tension.
Improved blood flow as mentioned earlier, will make it easier for damaged tissues to receive water, oxygen, and vital nutrients that can speed up the healing process.
People who suffer from arthritis experience chronic joint pain, limited mobility, and general stiffness which can often be debilitating and affect work and basic everyday activities such as sleeping.
The Arthritis Foundation has been studying the positive effects of deep tissue massage on arthritis. Their studies reveal that deep tissue massage can help alleviate these common symptoms and give a sense of normalcy to arthritis-sufferers.
It is also shown that harder or firmer massage techniques can lead to better results compared to lighter massage techniques.
A sports massage may be more ideal for competitive athletes. However, a report published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness disclosed findings that deep tissue massage therapy can lead to improved athletic performance.
The study revealed that deep tissue massage sessions can remove lactic acid and reduce the level of DOMS or Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. By managing the lingering effects of lactic acid and DOMS, an athlete will be able to recover faster and perform at a high level.
Another interesting finding of the study was that deep tissue massage had psychological benefits as well. Athletes who underwent massage therapy were able to focus more and maintain confidence.
There are many different types of massage therapy for you to consider. In general, any kind of massage therapy will give you the benefits we discussed in this article.
However, if you set aside time for regular exercise or if you participate as a competitor in a sport, deep tissue massage therapy will offer you the added benefit of faster recovery.
Massage therapy has withstood the test of time and remains an effective way of addressing certain illnesses, conditions, and symptoms of chronic pain. However, it takes experience and years of formal training to be good at executing its various techniques.
Before engaging the services of a massage therapist, make sure the person carries a valid massage therapist license. You should also find out if the massage therapist is certified to provide the kind of service you are looking for.
If you want to lose weight, diet and exercise are the usual recommendations. Lately, there have been claims that getting massages regularly can also help you shed off unwanted pounds. Is there really such a thing as weight loss massage? If so, can the technique massage fat away?
The health benefits of massage are well- documented. Massage therapy maintains proper function of internal organs by improving blood circulation. If you are suffering from chronic aches and pains, massage can help relieve discomfort by removing tightness or “knots” from the affected areas.
Massage is also effective for relieving stress. Diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, type2 diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks have been linked to excessive stress. Massage has been proven to help relieve stress through a number of ways.
Massage helps the body produce mood-enhancing hormones called endorphins which make you feel better. When you are stressed out, muscles around your neck, shoulders, upper back, and lower back areas become tight thereby preventing smooth blood circulation. Techniques such as Shiatsu and Swedish massage are effective in loosening up tight muscles.
This is why people who are stressed out at work often book an appointment with a licensed, professional massage therapist when they get their paycheck. It is worth the money because they feel much better after one massage session.
However, are there benefits of massage for weight loss? Can massage help you lose weight?
You may have come across ads that promote weight loss massage therapy. The proprietor claims they have discovered a technique that can “break down fat tissue” and consequently be removed through sweat or the excretory system.
Others claim they have invented and patented a machine or piece of equipment that can massage fat away. You may have seen these unbelievable but entertaining campaigns on the shopping network.
The truth is there are benefits of massage for weight loss. However, these are “indirect” meaning the benefits can help support a weight loss program but not directly result in a decrease in body weight.
Therefore, just like diet and exercise, massage should be part of your weight loss program.
There are 5 ways in which regular massage can help you lose weight:
In order to lose weight, you must enter into a calorie deficit. If you used to total 5,000 calories, your diet and exercise program should result in a lower amount of calories at the end of the day.
Combining regular physical activity with a calorie-restrictive diet composed of healthy meals is a proven way of achieving a calorie deficit.
For the reason that massage improves the level of blood circulation, you can be assured that your muscles, internal organs, and the various systems of the body receive all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from the healthy foods that you eat.
How does having an improved delivery system help you lose weight?
With the right nutrition, your circulatory and excretory systems are able to function properly. They work effectively to help your body get rid of dangerous toxins and substances that can lead to illnesses, various disorders, including cancer.
You will be able to efficiently dispose of waste products that if accumulated can further compromise your health, affect your metabolism, and lead to weight gain.
When you are stressed, your adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol. The purpose of cortisol is to support the level of performance needed to overcome the stressor.
For example, if you are faced with tight deadlines, cortisol will help increase your focus and concentration so you can finish the task on time. A boxer who is behind on the scorecards leading to the final round of the fight will need cortisol to help him improve reaction time and overcome fatigue.
However, prolonged levels of cortisol in the body are not healthy. It has been proven to have the following negative side effects:
Collectively, these negative side effects can result in unwanted weight gain. If you are perennially stressed out, you may be influenced to adopt unhealthy habits such as assuming a sedentary lifestyle and consumption of “junk” foods.
Over time, your metabolism will slow down. You will notice that it becomes easier to put on weight than taking it off.
As mentioned earlier, massage helps produce mood-enhancing hormones called endorphins which make you feel good. They can lower stress levels and keep the adrenal glands from releasing cortisol.
It is a better idea for stressed-out people to spend their hard-earned money on a massage therapy session than on bars and restaurants that serve alcohol and unhealthy food.
You don’t have to be a smoker to be at risk of developing free radicals inside your body. Second-hand smoke and other pollutants in the air, water, and the food you eat bring in toxic substances that can become free radicals and affect your health at the cellular level.
Exercise can help you remove these toxic substances from your body through sweat. Massage can likewise remove these toxins by promoting more efficient functioning of your circulatory system.
The circulatory system works by removing toxins from your kidneys and urinary tract. You will be able to dispose of these dangerous substances through sweat and urine.
If these substances remain in your body, it will encourage the accumulation of fat or adipose tissue in highly-susceptible areas such as the lower abdomen, arms, lower back, thighs, and gluteus.
There is a reason why many world-class and high-performance athletes include massage therapy in their training programs. Regular massage can enhance the recovery process so that the athlete can continue to train at optimum levels.
If regular massage is good enough for a top-level athlete, it will certainly produce great weight loss results for you!
The muscle soreness you feel after every workout is a result of lactic acid build- up. Whenever you strain, the body releases a combination of water and protein to the area which is under stress. The water and protein produce inflammation which functions to keep the area from being injured.
Let’s say you can perform 6 reps with 50 pounds on the Barbell Curl. If you decide to do more than 6 reps, that becomes a workload that the arms are not used to. By the eighth repetition, inflammation starts to form on your biceps which make it more difficult for you to complete another rep.
One of the best ways to remove lactic acid from the muscle is massage. It improves circulation and removes tightness. In combination with the right anti-inflammatory foods and vitamins, you will be able to recover faster and train again at potentially higher levels.
Although there is no type of massage that can directly lead to weight loss, there are specific techniques that can improve physical performance.
Lymphatic Drainage is a massage technique that helps reduce the level of swelling due to water accumulation. Women are more susceptible to swelling due to water accumulation, especially in the ankles, legs, and waist areas.
While it does not lead to weight loss, Lymphatic Drainage sessions can lessen the size of the circumference around the swollen areas, reduce pain, and improve mobility and flexibility.
Body Insight Method is another massage technique that can potentially improve physical performance. This massage procedure helps reactivate muscle groups that have remained dormant due to lack of activity.
For example, in our daily activities, we may be engaging the muscles of the front thighs more than the hamstrings which are located in the back of the leg.
Body Insight Method will focus on activating the hamstring muscles so that there will be no strength imbalance when you perform movements such as squats or lunges in the gym.
While massage does not directly contribute to weight loss, it will give much- needed support to your weight loss program.
First, by ensuring the efficient delivery of nutrients, regular massage treatments will help your organs and internal systems perform better and keep you healthy.
Second, massage will remove cortisol and toxic substances from your body which can slow down metabolism, encourage weight gain, and increase the accumulation of fat around the abdominal area.
Third, by incorporating massage techniques such as Shiatsu, deep-tissue, Lymphatic Drainage, and the Body Insight Method, you can speed up the body’s recovery from exercise so you can continue to train at optimal levels.
Weight loss is not easy but it is also not impossible. A weight loss strategy that includes diet, exercise, and massage will not only assure you of results but also long-term health and overall wellness.
Your feet are your hardest working body part. Think about it. They support your body weight. They take you wherever you go. Through it all, your ankles, heels and foot soles are absorbing the impact of every stride. In some cases, you might find yourself standing up for extended periods of time. Standing inside a bus may seem like a simple task but your feet are taking the brunt of every shift in bodyweight. You may not be aware of it, but you are wearing your feet out. Pamper them by getting a gentle foot massage.
Why does it feel great to have your feet massaged after a long day? According to practitioners of traditional or alternative medicine, your feet have reflex points that work “in harmony” with how your organs and glands function. This is the guiding principle in the art of reflexology.
Reflexology has its origins in 2330 BC and is widely recognized as one of China’s traditional healing practices. It believes that pressure points on the feet can be found on the ankles, toes, soles and the upper area.
Practitioners of reflexology have been trained to apply pressure on these reflex points with special hand and finger techniques. Proper application of pressure will give you a pleasant and reinvigorating feeling.
What is formally referred to as reflexology is popularly known as foot massage. Those who spend a great deal of their day on their feet, as well as runners, will always look forward to a gentle foot massage session.
The truth is regular foot massage will be good for everyone. It will not only make you feel good but there are other benefits of foot massage reflexology for your overall health and well-being.
If you want better results, hire the services of an experienced reflexologist or a Massage Therapist who has been trained in reflexology. You can just lie back and have your feet under the care of trained hands. The experience is very relaxing. Many people fall asleep during the session!
However, if you are tired and decide to head home instead of the foot spa you can get good results by performing foot massage on yourself!
By carefully following the instructions described below, you can reap the health benefits of foot massage reflexology using the magic of your own hands and fingers:
Are you having problems falling off to sleep? Do you often wake up tired because you had restless sleep? Getting good quality sleep every night is crucial for our health because sleep is how our body recovers and recharges for the following day.
Having a foot massage before you hit the bed can help improve the quality of your sleep. All you need to do is apply the correct motions and appropriate pressure on the reflex points of your feet.
In addition to being overworked, feet can get worn out easily due to lack of regular exercise, improper walking technique and wearing ill-fitting shoes. Some people will buy shoes out of fashion instead of function. It doesn’t matter if the shoes are tight as long as they look good. Well, tight shoes impede proper circulation.
Regular foot massage will improve circulation. All you need is to spend at least 10 minutes of massage to get circulation in your feet moving. When blood circulation is efficient, it will likewise improve how blood is transported to your cells. Remember, blood carries oxygen:
Sales people, your friendly neighbourhood mailman, doctors and nurses are just a few of the people who will look forward to an end-of-the-day great foot massage. They are always on their feet; moving around or standing still for several hours at a time.
When your feet are constantly bearing your weight, it will eventually swell up. The feeling of having swollen feet and ankles can be quite uncomfortable.
A foot massage can help release blockages that prevent you from feeling more energized. Once you get circulation back to your feet, you will start to feel better.
Use the warm oil concoction we suggested earlier or any available massage oil for the matter. Rub an amount of massage on your feet and apply gentle pressure on your ankles, sole and individual toes. Continue the massage for at least 5 minutes per foot.
Did you know that a foot massage can help prevent or reduce the risk of depression?
A study published by the Journal of Clinical Nursing in 2010 revealed that applying foot massages to someone who had just lost a loved one can alleviate emotional distress and manage the level of depression.
Reflexologists believe the area in the middle of your big toe and the area at the middle of the ball of the foot are somehow correlated with emotional health and mental stability.
If you are feeling a bit down, try applying apply light massage pressure on these areas for 5 minutes at least twice a day.
Chronic pain affects many people around the world. For example, in Australia, paid advocacy group Pain Australia reported that one in five Australians suffer from chronic pain. Common afflictions include back aches, neck and thigh pain.
If you have lower back pain, reflexologists recommend gently massaging the side of your big toe, moving toward the ankle while using small circular strokes. Include the soles and the top area of your feet.
If you are suffering from headaches and migraines, massage the ankles to get immediate relief.
Finally, for thigh pain, massage the outer ankle and your Achilles tendon with your thumb for 5 minutes.
Fitness enthusiasts who run long distances at one to two times a week will experience foot pain even if they use good technique and the right pair of running shoes. Those who walk for a prolonged period of time during the day will also suffer a similar condition.
Having painful feet will make your life very difficult. The good news is treatment can be very simple in the form of regular foot massage. As we’ve discussed earlier, massage will improve blood circulation. It can also reduce stiffness and alleviate swelling in your ankles and heels.
Massage will speed up the recovery of your feet. The faster your feet heals from pain and discomfort, the more resilient it becomes. You might be surprised that you can run longer distances more frequently without experiencing pain on your feet.
Restless leg disorder is caused by problems in the nervous system which causes the legs to move or twitch. This usually happens at night when the person is trying to sleep. Sufferers of restless leg disorder have serious problems getting good quality of sleep every night.
You can give yourself a foot massage every night. Regular massage therapy using basic foot massage techniques will help them recover faster and prevent unwanted pain or discomfort. It does not require much time. In some of the benefits, we recommended 10 minutes per foot. However, you can get good results with as little as 5 minutes.
You should also consider treating yourself and pampering your hardworking feet with a few hours at the foot spa at least once a week. Experience better health with foot reflexology.
Regular exercise is a great way to stay healthy and fit. These are some of the advantages of fitness. But whether you are an athlete training for competition or someone tracking his/her steps on a fitness wearable, eventually you will get aches and pains. A sports massage can help you recover faster so you exercise more frequently, improve performance and get positive results from your efforts. Recovery is just one of the many health benefits of a sports massage.
Sports massage is a type of therapy that is designed to specifically meet the needs of competitive athletes. Unlike people who exercise to stay active and healthy, athletes train to become the best in their sport. They put in longer hours and train more frequently in a week compared to regular people.
As an example, professional fighters training for a fight would schedule a camp that would last 10 to 16 weeks. Fight camp usually involves two training sessions per day, six days a week. A training session could include distance runs, sprints, sparring, bag work, resistance training and combination drills. A typical training day would last eight hours.
In order to maintain consistent performance in every training day, a fighter has to recover fast. Eating healthy meals and sleep may not be enough. This is where sport massage therapy comes in to save the day. Massage and fitness go hand-in-hand.
Here are the 8 benefits of sports massage:
During exercise, muscle fibres are constantly broken down. Proper recovery means these damaged tissues heal faster; produce thicker and stronger fibres so you can perform better.
Getting the right ratio of macronutrients, vitamins and minerals as well as high quality sleep are important. But the strategic inclusion of sports massage will speed up the healing process.
Sports massage must only be performed by a licensed massage therapist or physical therapist. They are trained to apply the right techniques on your muscles to get the best results.
Generally, a massage is the process of applying pressure on your muscle tissues. When it comes to sports massage, the pressure applied is harder, heavier and harsher because muscles get more damaged, become tighter and accumulate waste products called lactic acid.
Sports massage aims to improve blood circulation so that nutrients coming from food and supplements can reach the damaged tissues much faster. This is one of the most important benefits of sports massage if the athlete is suffering from a sprain, tendinitis, arthritis, muscle spasms and cramps.
Sports massage also helps relieve tension and flush out lactic acid build up. Lactic acid is a by-product of glycogen and is produced by the body as a source of energy if there are insufficient levels of oxygen. This happens during anaerobic exercises like weight training. Its purpose is to send a signal to the body that “enough is enough”.
Too much lactic acid build up can be painful. Your muscles become very tight and feel numb. If your muscles remain tight after exercise, it could expose you to greater risk of getting injured. Excess lactic acid leads to post workout pain in your muscles.
While exercising with lactic acid is not risky, it can be uncomfortable. If the pain becomes intolerable, it can shift focus away from proper form and technique and toward pain management. Executing skill specific exercises with improper form can lead to injury.
But these health benefits of sports massage aren’t exclusive only to competitive athletes. People who put in time in the week to exercise can likewise reap the benefits from getting a sports massage.
Remember, if you are trying to meet the Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendation of 10,000 steps a day, you will eventually deal with aches and pains on your knees, ankles and feet.
Most people try to accomplish 10,000 steps by walking around in leather shoes or heels which are not suitable for regular physical activity.
Those who participate in even more intense exercises like running, basketball, functional training, Powerlifting, soccer, tennis and martial arts would definitely benefit from getting a sports massage once in a while.
Sports massage is often interchangeably referred to as deep tissue massage. Both types of massage utilize the same techniques of kneading, following circular movements, tapping and the use of vibrations. However there are differences in application.
Here are three areas where the application of each type of massage is different:
1. Injury Prevention/ Rehabilitation – Sports massage focuses on sports-related injuries. A trained sports massage therapist can pinpoint which areas in your body need more stimulation and work by assessing its level of tightness and by detecting imbalances in strength, mobility and flexibility. Massage therapists who perform deep tissue massage will not focus on sports- specific conditions but will simply apply techniques that will give health benefits and overall wellness results.
2. Goals – Both types of massage can reduce stress, remove toxins, improve circulation and alleviate pain points. However, sports massage is intended to improve performance by enhancing recovery and addressing sports specific injuries and conditions.
3. Clientele – Perhaps because of its terminology, athletes typically comprise the clientele of sports massage specialists. Regular people may prefer to seek out deep tissue trained massage therapists. Although it is not uncommon for athletes to undergo deep tissue massage.
One quality sports massage and deep tissue massage share in common is that the recipient will feel pain during the sessions.
Massage therapists who work on exceptionally large or muscular athletes such as football players use tools that help them reach muscle tissues at deeper levels. Oftentimes, the client leaves the massage therapy session with black and blue marks on his/her body and a feeling of soreness.
Even though the health benefits of a sports massage are undeniable, it will be difficult to exercise if you feel sore after sports massage. You will have to schedule your sport massage therapy session so that its results will not affect your next day training.
The most ideal schedule would be to have your sports massage three to five days before or after the competition or hardest training day. Do not schedule it the day before the competition as it will surely affect performance.
Professional massage therapists recommend having a sports massage at least twice a week. For high level competitive athletes should have sports massage therapy pencilled once a week in their training program.
If you don’t exercise intensely or spend fewer than three days a week on physical activity, you can have a sports massage every time you feel tightness, sluggishness, nagging aches and pains and lack of general mobility.
The key takeaway is that if you want to improve performance or achieve overall health, fitness and wellness take some time to get a sports massage. Embrace the advantages of fitness and massage. Your body will thank you for it.
You’ve heard people say that after a particularly hard day, a massage is the best way to help you relax. But is there science-backed truth behind the effectiveness of massage to induce relaxation? Or is this just a matter of opinion?
Surely there are other ways to relax. When people are stressed out, they want to “unwind” or look for activities that will make them feel better, happier or “looser”. Body language is a good indicator of stress.
In the office you see people who have been working for hours trying to meet deadlines rotating their necks. Sometimes they will stand up, stretch or walk around. The purpose is to get circulation going because they feel “tight” after sitting for extended periods of time.
That feeling of tightness is actually the body’s natural reaction to a situation it perceives as stressful. Your body releases stress hormones called cortisol which heightens reaction time and increases focus. It will put you in the best condition to finish deadlines, hit the game winning free throw or ace that job interview.
However if there is no stress relief and cortisol levels remain elevated, the condition turns into “distress” which will expose you to a variety of health risks.
How do you know that you are under stress? Here are a few symptoms to look out for:
Here are the top 5 facts about stress that you may not have known about:
To summarize, stress is your body’s natural defense mechanism to risky situations. But prolonged stress will lead to chronic conditions which will affect your health in the long-term.
Therefore you must find ways to relax and decrease stress levels.
People find different ways to alleviate stress. Some feel like a night on the town with friends, knocking back a few tall, cool ales is the most effective way to find relief from stress. Then you have those who find comfort and relaxation behind a good book. Others will simply find a confidante to unburden his/her problems.
But the best activities to fight stress are those that help you relax as well as provide a host of health benefits.
Doctors have long recommended exercise as one of the best activities to alleviate stress. Physical activity helps improve blood circulation which strengthens your immune system and assist organ function.
Regular exercise also enhances the performance of your Central Nervous System (CNS) which controls your breathing, emotions, bodily functions, the release of hormones and body temperature.
But exercise especially when done intensely can become additional stressors to the body. You become fatigued, tired and experience physical symptoms such as muscle pain, frequent headaches, lack of sleep and appetite.
Why is massage beneficial? Because it does more than help you relax; it offers other wonderful benefits for your overall health and wellness.
Massage is the process of using various techniques of applying pressure on muscle tissue. The professionals who perform massage are called therapists. The usual form of massage involves the use of the therapist’s hands. But some techniques call for greater pressure on muscle tissue by applying elbows, forearms, feet and special tools.
If you want a massage, you no longer have to go to the nearby spa. Massages are offered at fitness centres, the airport and hospitals.
In Australia, there are agencies that bring massage therapists to your work place. Companies in Australia believe that massages reduce stress; keeps employees from getting sick, enhances performance through improved blood circulation and encourages a positive disposition.
There are also agencies that offer home-based massage services. You can also buy massage chairs so you can get treatment at home. Massage chairs have features that replicate the sensation of a massage session on your entire back area.
Massage therapy is a great way to relieve stress and offers you the following benefits:
Collectively, these seven benefits help you alleviate stress by decreasing the amount of cortisol in your body and guide its transition to recovery mode. You feel better after a massage. Your muscles no longer feel tight; you breathe easier and any symptom such as headaches or migraines will be gone.
Even though the conditions or problems that led to the stressful situation are still there, massage will give you a greater sense of clarity plus an improved level of focus. You feel more confident that you can address the situation more effectively. In some cases, people are able to find solutions after getting a massage.
The environment in a massage therapy session also helps you relax. In some spas, the therapist may play music designed for relaxation or use scents that you give you an overall feeling of peace, serenity and well-being. It is not uncommon for people to fall asleep during a session with the therapist.
Athletes regularly seek massage treatments after an intense workout session or a tough match. For them, massages reduce stress and helps release tension from tight muscles to aid in regaining mobility and flexibility. Improved blood flow will improve the uptake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from food and supplements. Many athletes also believe getting a massage helps with the quality of sleep.
Rather than painting the town red with your friends after a stressful week at the office, consider getting a massage to help you relax. Massage is an effective activity to reduce stress levels naturally.
A good approach would be to maintain regular exercise with a massage session at least once a week. This combination will give you a holistic approach that will greatly help you manage stress levels while improving overall health, fitness and wellness.
While massages are generally safe, if you have blood clots, bruises, wounds, a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinning medications, it would be a good idea to secure medical clearance from your doctor before signing up for a therapy session.
Lastly, only contract the services of licensed massage therapists or reputable spas. When it comes to massage, always make sure you are in good hands.
Is your lifestyle so hectic that have a lot of stress and tension in your daily life? If so, this could be the cause of your back pain. You now find yourself in a Catch 22 situation. The pain is caused by stress and tension and then the pain causes further stress and tension. Where will it end – what can you do to alleviate it? Of course, you have the choice of taking medicine or of a course of injections. But these often cause other side effects. The alternative is to book acupuncture or a course of physiotherapy. But where do you fit that in to your busy life style.
Forget about these alternatives – take things into your own hands. How can you do this? It’s simple you just have to find a treatment that can be done in the comfort of your own home. First you need to find out about upper back pain causes and home remedies for lower back pain so read on.
You suddenly feel severe pain in your back after a certain movement. It could be that you just bent down to pick up something, turned awkwardly or you were lifting weights. This means that you have probably caused damage to the muscles or ligaments in your back. Pain in the lower regions of your back, also known as lumbago, in the upper back or in the middle can happen to you at any time at any age.
You experience muscle spasms that are so painful you possibly have difficulty in moving. It is important that you seek medical help if you become completely immobilized, the pain becomes unbearable or there is a feeling of numbness at the back of your legs. For less severe cases there are many lower back pain remedies that you can try out yourself at home.
You can keep a cold compress in the refrigerator or just make sure that you keep ice cubes in the deep freezer. If you’re using ice cubes you should place them in a polythene bag and apply the cold compress to the painful area. Another alternative to ice cubes is a bag of frozen peas. Whichever you use it should be removed after 20 minutes but repeated at least once preferably twice daily.
At the same time as soothing the pain the coolness shuts down capillaries to the area thus reducing the flow of blood. This in turn eases the swelling and helps prevent any blood clotting. As it provides an anti-inflammatory effect, pain is reduced considerably. Furthermore, the nerves are no longer able to send pain signals to the brain after being chilled.
This therapy is most successful when used within 48 hours of an injury by reducing any pain or swelling that has occurred. After the 48 hours, it is recommended that you change to heat therapy for relaxing the muscles.
At least once a day you should spend between 25 to 30 minutes with a heating pad against your back. Heat is known to loosen those tight muscles and thus increase circulation. This in turn brings extra oxygen and nutrients to the painful area helping to heal it. Heat therapy is known to be pain relieving and can reduce stiffness as it has an analgesic effect on the muscles. Another alternative is to take a warm shower or a hot bath that will provide the same effect as the heating pad. The heat provides an analgesic effect. This combined with the healing effect of the water has proven to be successful in combating pain and any inflammation caused. It is especially recommended for tightness and muscle spasms in the lower back. If you’re looking for something that is non-invasive, inexpensive and easy to apply then this is the treatment for you.
Whatever your job you probably spend a good part of the day bending or slumping forward. This could be just because you have to lift things or you are sitting in front of a computer. This is one of the main upper back pain causes. Instead of slumping in your chair for hours on end, you should take a break every 20 minutes to exercise your muscles.
Consider doing an exercise that stretches your upper and lower back muscles. By exercising the lower back muscles regularly, you can avoid further pain as these muscles support your back. Exercising also gives you a better posture ensuring that your spine is aligned correctly. You need to check out with your doctor or physiotherapist which exercises are right for you.
You need exercises to help stretch your shoulder, back and stomach muscles as these are the muscles needed to support your spine. Should your back be hurting, you need to take a break but be sure to start moving again as soon as possible otherwise the pain will get worse.
One movement you need to avoid if possible is the lifting of heavy objects. If it’s not possible to avoid lifting anything then follow this advice: when lifting something you should keep your back straight while bending your knees. Keep the object as close to your body as possible and try not to twist around.
Surely that’s not too hard to follow!
Stretching routines, such as yoga will also give relief. When you consider that ancient cultures successfully used this as a pain cure over 5,000 years ago it is definitely worth considering. As yoga consists of over 100 different forms from fast-paced to intense, gentle to relaxing, you need to find the right form that suits your needs.
You could try the Marjaryasana to stretch the muscles and nerves, the Bakasana, Setu Bandhana Asana or the Dhanur Asana. These are otherwise known as the cat pose, the crow pose, the bridge pose or the bow pose. Yoga not only tones your muscles and burns calories, but it is also a great way to meditate and relax. An advantage is that you can do it anywhere, inside or outside, it will only cost you the price of a yoga mat and your age doesn’t need to be taken into consideration.
One important factor – you should learn the yoga poses from a qualified instructor or from a tutorial that is known to be reliable before you start it.
Have you ever considered that the way you sleep could aggravate the pain in your back? Maybe your mattress in not the correct one for you and that is the cause of your pain. If you suffer from lower back pain, a mattress that is medium-firm is more suitable than a firm mattress.
Also, you should consider changing your mattress if it is more than 8 years old or if it is sagging. Sleeping on your right side or left side instead of on your back or your stomach should also help. To relieve any strain on your back you should position a pillow between your knees. By doing this the strain on you back will be relieved as it helps to keep your spine in a neutral position. Nothing could be simpler!
A healthy eating habit with foods containing calcium such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, and vitamin D is a must if you want to prevent osteoporosis. This is one of the biggest causes of back pain for the older generation.
As a child, your mother probably got on your nerves telling you to eat your vegetables. But she was right. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beets, spinach, broccoli and carrots are full of the nutrition needed to alleviate back pain. The greener the vegetable the more effective it is as an anti-inflammatory that includes properties that help fight back pain.
Fruits like cherries, berries, grapes and watermelon and herbs such as ginger, garlic and onions are also important. You could even consider drinking herbal teas, eating lean proteins like turkey and chicken and snack on walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts and almonds. In other words, why not try to eat that pain away.
An easy and efficient way to ease that back pain is to drink a glass of warm milk once or twice a day. It contains the much-needed calcium for your muscles to work properly. Without it the muscles will start to cramp. Drinking warm milk will give you instant relief as it immediately moves across the walls of the cells.
It’s anti-inflammatory properties not only treat the pain directly but also provide your bones with much needed calcium. Calcium is important to prevent degeneration of the spinal disks. Back pain is often caused as a result of degeneration of the spinal disks that have caused the bones to weaken.
Ayurvedic oils or St John’s wort oil applied to the painful area and massaged in for between 10 to 15 minutes can be exceptionally pain relieving. This should be repeated for around 3 to 4 days.
Another oil treatment that is recommended is garlic oil massage. One teaspoonful of this anti-inflammatory oil massaged into the painful area for circa 10 minutes works on the tissue and the muscle for relief of pain. You need to be careful here if you have sensitive skin as garlic oil could be too harsh for you and thus cause a burning sensation. If this the case you need to consult your medical doctor immediately.
All these oils contain pain killing and anti-inflammatory properties that will give you practically instant relief. Just be sure that the person who massages you is experienced in giving massages. You could end up with further complications if the massage is not given correctly. You certainly don’t want to exchange one pain for another!
One positive aspect to any discomfort you feel is that you now have a legit excuse to have a massage. The benefit of a massage is that it helps your circulation by increasing your blood flow. Your blood is now able to flow freely so it can distribute the much-needed nutrition to your muscles. By relaxing the muscle, it becomes flexible again thus reducing pain. Should you be suffering with chronic back pain as a result of stress, anxiety or depression then massage is a must. Massage helps increase the level of endorphins you brain produces. These endorphins stop the brain from registering pain signals.
The trigger point massage is most recommendable. It is a neuromuscular therapy where pressure is applied for between 10 to 30 seconds to the area that is affected. This therapy should be applied four times over a period of six weeks. After 2 weeks at the most you will feel the results. You should be sure to book these sessions with an experienced therapist who will treat you in the comfort of your own home.
Should you not be flexible with time but like the idea of a regular massage then a massage chair is an excellent alternative. As with any massage therapy, your muscles will be relaxed and circulation will be increased. This will result in the necessary pain relieving nutrition reaching those aching muscles.
Your brain will receive stimulation resulting in an increase of production of those all-important endorphins. The endorphins act as a natural drug and help the brain reduce the perception of pain. This is one of the best lower back pain remedies that will have a lasting effect.
The biggest advantage of a massage chair is that you can have a massage without booking an appointment. Also, you don’t need to go to a therapist or have a therapist visit your home for treatment. You can have a massage in comfort at any time that you feel like.
As there are various home remedies for back pain, it’s now up to you to decide which ones to try out. For some of the massage therapies you need an experienced person to apply the massage. An alternative to this is a massage chair. But this is rather costly and you need to have space in your home for it.
But one word of advice, if you are suffering from severe pain it is important to consult a medical doctor immediately. There could be an underlying cause for the pain that really does need medical treatment. Also, if the back pain symptoms continue despite trying out different home remedies for lower back pain you need to consult your doctor.
We all suffer pain at some time throughout our lives. Some pains just go away without medication, whereas taking medication can cure more severe pains. But is medication always the best alternative?
Ancient cultures cured pain by using natural sources. They also used massage techniques to alleviate pain. It’s time that we learned something from these ancient cultures and tried massage techniques out for ourselves. I promise you won’t regret it!
The important thing is that you chose a reliable medical massage therapy, where the therapists are medically trained. Always check their licensed registration as well.
Maybe you just need a relax massage therapy or a full body massage therapy. Should your pain be caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve then you should consider having sciatic nerve therapy. But, for most kinds of pain, trigger point massage therapy is the most recommendable.
You’re probably wondering whether or not massage therapy will help alleviate the problem. In most cases the answer is ‘yes’. This is because there is little risk involved as it is a non-invasive treatment.
If you are looking for a way to alleviate pain, should it be pain in your neck, shoulder or lower back, then we can help you make a decision. We can also advise you if you suffer from chronic headaches or arthritis.
Read further to find out how.
Neck pain can be caused by inflammation or injury to your neck. It can also be caused by poor posture and heavy lifting that strains the spine.
Maybe you work in an office and sit at your desk without changing your position for longer periods of time. Or you do a lot of exercise and jerk your neck while you are exercising. Possibly your neck is not in a good position while you are asleep.
Of course, there are many more serious possibilities for which you would need to consult your doctor if you have symptoms that persist for longer than a week. Don’t underestimate your pain!
But, whatever the pain, there are many different therapies available to alleviate it. Massage therapy is one that is extremely popular for relieving muscle tension, muscle spasms, fluid retention and inflammation. Also any aches or stiffness and most importantly, pain!
Massaging, stroking and rubbing the affected area help to stimulate circulation. Muscles need the flow of blood that is circulated as blood delivers nutrients and oxygen. Nutrients and oxygen are needed to remove lactic acid, a waste product that collects in the muscles and causes the pain and spasms.
Trigger point massage is a great help in increasing circulation that reduce muscle spasms as pressure is applied momentarily to the trigger point to ease the pain.
One of the main causes of lower back pain is muscle tension or muscle strain. This is often the result of lifting something heavy. Or maybe a sudden movement caused it or could be you had a fall.
Whatever the cause, the severe, debilitating pain you experience is the result of the muscles becoming strained or even torn. The area around the muscle becoming inflamed causes the spasm you feel.
When this occurs the muscle doesn’t get enough blood, which leads to lack of oxygen. Without oxygen the muscle produces lactic acid. It is this lactic acid that is responsible for pain that hinders movement.
There is the possibility of the pain clearing after a couple of hours or days, but in extreme cases it could last for many weeks.
Should you suffer with back pain then sciatic nerve treatment would definitely benefit you.
Massage is known to increase your blood flow and help with your circulation. This helps the muscle to recover as your blood distributes nutrition to all vital parts of your body, muscles included.
Massage also relaxes your muscles, thus tension decreases. The muscle becomes more flexible and thereby pain is reduced.
It can even increase your level of endorphins. That is the chemical produced by the brain to make you feel good.
The American Academy of Pain Management recommends neuromuscular therapy. This is also known as trigger point massage therapy.
Applying pressure to the affected areas alternating from 10 to 30 seconds helps alleviate the pain. You will experience some discomfort or maybe even a little pain at first. But this will disappear within 1 to 3 days. Within one or two weeks the muscles will become more relaxed. This trigger point therapy should be repeated in four sessions over a period of six weeks.
A pain in the shoulder is normally associated with frozen shoulder or tendinitis. Whichever you suffer, you need treatment to relieve the pain.
Naturally, the first symptom is pain and stiffness. Then you suddenly begin to realize that the pain is restricting your movements. A natural reaction is that you move your shoulder less.
Frozen shoulder means that there is a limit to how much movement you can make with your shoulder. This is caused by the shoulder joints becoming tighter and thicker. Over a period of time, scar tissue develops and, as a result, there is not enough room for your shoulder joint to rotate properly.
It is a condition that affects women more than men and normally affects women between 40 and 60. It can be caused by a hormonal imbalance, possibly by diabetes or maybe your immune system is low.
People suffering from tendinitis often complain of a dull ache in the shoulder. Often the shoulder is tender or maybe even slight swelling is noticeable. Possible causes of this are a sudden injury or particular repeated movements.
Do you have a job or a hobby where you repeat one particular movement continuously? Are you a sports person? If so, you could be suffering from tendinitis.
But, saying this, it is a condition that you could suffer because you sleep awkwardly on your shoulder at night or have a job that requires you to lift things above your head every day causing an overload on the tendon.
As tendinitis affects the muscles and tendons that are necessary for moving your shoulder joint, they become irritated or inflamed.
One of the benefits of massage is that it increases your blood flow and increases your circulation. This, in turn, distributes the much-needed nutrition to your muscles.
Trigger point massage therapy is recommended. This manages chronic pain naturally and reduction of pain will be noticed after one session.
So to answer this question, yes, massage therapy will help cure the problem.
Everyone has suffered headaches at some time in their life, so everyone knows that it’s not a pleasant experience. But each headache is different. When we talk about chronic headaches, we are talking more about migraines.
If you are a sufferer of migraine headaches, you will know the sensation of throbbing in your head, a feeling of nausea and of being sensitive to light.
In severe cases, they can be accompanied by flashing lights in front of your eyes, or of a tingling sensation in your arms or your legs.
This happens either when your intracranial pressure is too high or when it is too low.
There are various therapies that can help the individual sufferer. But massage is definitely one to consider. Ancient cultures already used this form of relief for migraines.
As massage can increase your blood flow and circulation, it relieves tension. By doing so it can relieve any muscle spasm.
Massage also helps to increase the serotonin level in people who suffer.
Serotonin deficiency has been proved to play a crucial role in migraine headaches. And that can only have a positive impact.
The answer to this is ‘no’. There are many conditions and diseases that you could also be a sufferer from which would make you unsuitable. Therefore it is important that you consult your medical doctor for advice before you decide on this treatment.
Pregnant women should only seek out a therapist who is specially trained in treating pregnant women. But, if you are pregnant, make sure that your ask your doctor’s permission beforehand.
Although arthritis is common, most people do not realize that there are 100 different types of arthritis. The term just refers to a disease of the joint or to a joint pain. It can happen to anybody, male or female, of any age. Saying this, it is more common in women and more so as they get older.
The symptoms of arthritis may come and go. General symptoms are pain, swelling and stiffness of joints that could inhibit movement. Some people only suffer mildly, while others suffer moderately or even severely.
Degenerative arthritis is the most common found among sufferers. This is caused by the cartilage wearing away and causing bone to rub against bone. Naturally, this causes stiffness and swelling, which in turn causes pain.
No matter what type of arthritis you suffer, massage can help in many ways. It can help to reduce any pain or stiffness in the joints, ease anxiety and improve the motion of the joints.
Should you be considering massage, then trigger point therapy is recommended. It helps to relieve pain by applying pressure to the myofascial trigger points. This stimulates the pressure receptors that can be found under the skin.
These pressure receptors are important as they signal the brain that it needs to release stress-reducing serotonin that reduces pain. A serotonin deficiency can make the pain more intense.
Should you be a sufferer of arthritis, consult your doctor before deciding on any kind of treatment. When considering massage therapy, make sure the therapist is medically trained.
Medical massage therapy is definitely worth thinking about. But not everyone has a lifestyle where they have time to keep appointments. An excellent alternative to this is a massage chair for home use.
Actually, the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society recommend massage chairs as a way to relieving any kind of pain.
Massage chairs are great for relaxing your muscles and they also help you to achieve a good posture. They do this by reducing pressure on your spine thus helping to align it. Your circulation is maximized, which means that the necessary nutrients for relieving pain are distributed to the muscles. It also helps stimulate your brain into producing the all-important endorphins needed for your feeling of well being. Endorphins are vital as they act as a natural drug that helps reduce your perception of pain.
Massage chairs can do much the same to relieve your pain as relax massage therapy can. But the advantage is that you can use them in the comfort of your own home. At a time, most suitable to yourself.
But are they as good as body massage treatment? Yes, they can be for the following reasons:
There are various therapies that will help you get rid of your pain – you can try a medical massage therapy, a relaxing massage therapy, trigger point massage, body massage rehabilitation or sciatic nerve therapy. Only you, or your doctor, will know which is best for you.
An excellent alternative if you have a busy life style is a massage chair for home use.
But one word of caution before you consider any form of massage, consult your medical doctor to ensure that there is no underlying cause for your symptoms.