Why Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork?

The acceptance and popularity of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork continues to grow as our profession is finding itself upon a firmer scientific basis as the result of burgeoning academic research supporting the effectiveness of bodywork in the treatment of pain and relieving tension from stress. Harvard University Health Services used research to convince administrators at the university to add clinical massage therapy to their health practice. Just a few of the examples of pertinent research utilizing a combination of clinical observation, empirical testing and thoughtful trial and error include:
Treating Migraines, source: Annals of Behavioral Medicine and International Journal of Neuroscience
Relieving Back Pain, source: Annals of Internal Medicine
Lower Blood Pressure, source: Biological Research for Nursing
Ease Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel, source: Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine
Physiological Adjustments to Stress, source: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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Massage Therapy Consumer Trends: In its 11th annual survey of American consumers, The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), found that more people get massage therapy for medical purposes than for relaxation, with baby boomers leading the way. The goal of a better quality of life and overall wellness drove 24% of adult Americans to receive a massage in the past 12 months, with more than 34% receiving a massage in the past five years.
It’s no surprise that people are turning to massage therapy to improve their wellness. It’s a proven way to manage pain, recover from injury, and improve one’s quality of life, often reducing the need for medications and invasive treatments. AMTA President Dr. Leena S. Guptha
Maintaining their general health and wellness was a major reason many turned to massage therapy. Of those surveyed, 87% agreed with the statement that massage can be effective in reducing pain: 85% agreed that massage could be beneficial to health and wellness, and 59% would like to see their insurance plans cover therapeutic massage & Bodywork.
Guptha also said, Health care providers and consumers are finding out what professional massage therapists have always understood—that massage is not only relaxing, but also an important tool for pain management and overall wellness.

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Healthy Drinking Tip: This is for all you tea drinkers looking for a caffeine free tea that claims to have all the benefits of green tea and with more health promoting properties. It’s brimming with polypehenols and flavonoids. Cedarberg Organic Red Tea comes from the indigenous wonder herb, rooibos (roy-boss) of South Africa.
Aging Priorities – After a long day on the golf course, George stopped in at Hooters to see some friends and enjoy some hot wings and drinks. His buddy asks him, which waitress would you like to be stuck in an elevator with? The one who knows how to fix elevators. I’m old, tired, and pee a lot.

 

Joyful Aging

How can we slow down the aging process?

The first formal studies on successful aging—the physical, mental and social well-being in older age, appear to be those of Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Harawi in1582. His book discusses behavioral and lifestyle factors, including diet and environment, influencing aging.

Neurological research has demonstrated that brain growth and development continue into old age—the concept known as neuroplasticity of aging. It shows that even late in life, potential exists for physical, mental, and social growth and development.There are a growing number of older adults functioning at a high level and contributing to society.

Taking a Break

Taking a Break

On the other hand, some of my senior clients believe their pain is a natural result of old age, and their conditioned identification with the pain, I think, keeps them believing they have to live with it, and they can’t anticipate aging successfully.

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According to most current research, successful aging consists of three components: Low probability of disease or disability, high cognitive and physical function capacity, and active engagement with life. What works best for me to enjoy life and to feel younger than my actual age, is maintaining a healthy weight (physical), having a positive attitude (mental), and not taking myself too seriously (spiritual).

Senior Fitness

Activities should be tailored to our own capabilities and interests, and the following are only a few possibilities for successful aging

Physical: Being physically active is important and includes: exercising regularly, stretching, walking, running, biking, hiking, dancing, swimming, yoga, tai-chi, yard work, a healthy diet, receiving consistent therapeutic massage & bodywork, and seeking professional help for medical conditions.

Mental: Keeping a positive attitude. Exercising the brain with crossword puzzles, scrabble, taking a class, learning a new skill—a foreign language, yoga, learning how to tap dance, meeting and developing friendships with younger people, being active and participating in life, getting professional help for depression, and mentoring a younger person.

Spiritual: Let’s take the load of the world off our shoulders and stop thinking we need to know everything and solve all our problems and everybody else’s. We can stop thinking of ourselves most of the time and spend some time seeking and giving social support to others through volunteering, practice taking the time to be still, enjoying being present. We can also stop taking ourselves so seriously and taking everything personally, quit making assumptions, and keep expectations reasonable.

These are only a few actions we can take to slow down the aging process and enjoy life more while doing it, but action is the key word. We need to take the action.

 

 

 

Breath Easier

Some complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners believe that deep breathing, also known as diaphragmatic, abdominal, or belly breathing can be used as a form of relaxation and treatment for health conditions such as high blood pressure, headaches, stomach conditions, depression, anxiety, and others, when practiced regularly.

Occasionally clients present with difficulty breathing deeply, which could be caused by a physical or emotional restriction, limiting them to a shallow breathing pattern. They usually have internally rotated shoulders, sunken chest, head forward posture, and restrictions in rib cage expansion or contraction.

Spreading Abdominal Fascia

For these cases, I use conservative bodywork techniques for restoring and maintaining optimal respiratory function consisting of opening up the diaphragmatic arch by releasing restrictions in the abdominal musculature, and along the arch. In addition to releasing the fascia and musculature that keep the shoulders in internal rotation. The superficial fascia over the rib heads and sternum is also released. After treatment, most Clients report a comfortable and  deeper breathing pattern, and in some cases extraordinary physical and emotional changes for the better.

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Healthy Drinking Tips:
Drink lots of water. One of the best tools of preventative health maintenance is drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. Water is involved in nearly every bodily function, including digestion, nutrient absorption, circulation, and waste excretion. Dehydration plays a major role in serious illnesses like high blood pressure, asthma, stomach ulcers, back pain, and arthritis. According to Elizabeth Somer, dietitian and author of Food and Mood, Most of us are walking around slightly dehydrated all the time which contributes to fatigue and general lack of well being.

Maintaining Pain-Free Status

After completing a bodywork session with a client, I assign a brief home self-care protocol based on their specific needs, usually a few specific stretches and exercises to support their new relaxed muscle length, and to maintain their pain-free and improved range of motion. I also suggest to most of my clients, that scheduling regular therapeutic massage sessions would be beneficial.

Warming Up Moves

Beyond that, in some cases, a new healthier lifestyle is necessary, which may include working out regularly with a good personal trainer who is experienced in body structure, kinesiology, and understands how muscle imbalance affects our active lifestyles.

Senior Balance

Those who are serious about taking responsibility for maintaining their new pain-free status, start a daily 5-10 minute stretch and movement routine in addition to their regular workouts, usually in the morning, for maintaining muscle balance and flexibility, and they do it every day wherever they are, without exception. The routine is tailored to their specific needs and addresses the muscles that need balancing, in addition to general movement of joints and soft tissue that are most vulnerable to tension during the day.

Abs Workout

You can also start taking advantage of many exercise opportunities in your everyday life with simple changes likes climbing stairs instead of using the elevator, parking your car in the grocery store lot at a nice walking distance, and washing your car instead of driving it through the car wash—only a few examples of how you can incorporate exercise into your daily life.

The benefits of therapeutic massage and bodywork are cumulative through repeated visits. Receiving regularly scheduled massage & bodywork sessions can play a large part in maintaining your wellness and staying fit. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health.

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Bottom line: We need to take responsibility for our wellness.

Healthy Eating Tip: The Correct Way to Eat Fruit – Dr. Stephen Mak treats terminal ill cancer patients with natural healing. One of his strategies is teaching how to eat fruits correctly. He maintains that fruits should only be eaten on an empty stomach, and should not be eaten after meals. Dr. Mak claims that as soon as the fruit comes in contact with food and digestive juices in our stomach, it ferments and turns to acid, and the entire mass of food begins to spoil and produces gas and bloat.

Dr. Herbert Shelton, who did research on this subject, says all fruits become alkaline in our body when we eat them on an empty stomach. He claims that if we have mastered the correct way to eat fruits, we have the secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness, and normal weight.

Happy, Healthy Employees are Productive.

I would guess that most businesses are probably not aware how much job stress is adversely affecting their employees and costing their company.  It is estimated to cost American companies more than $300 billion a year in health costs, absenteeism and poor performance. — UMASS: Lowell’s Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace

Eighteen years ago when I graduated from Massage Therapy School and became certified as a deep tissue sports massage therapist, chair massage wasn’t too common. I used it as a means of promoting my business, to build my clientele, at various events and several businesses. Today corporate chair massage is commonly employed by large and small companies all around the country.

Boosting employee productivity, relieving stress, and preventing repetitive use injuries that can lead to extreme pain, muscle weakness, and absenteeism, are only a few of the benefits realized by companies utilizing corporate chair massage services. Bottom line: Happy, healthy employees are productive.

on site chair massage by Ken Youngberg

How does it work? I bring my comfortable portable chair to your workplace and give 10-15 minute sessions to help relieve muscle tension and pain it causes. A ten minute session calms your nervous system, lowers your blood pressure, increases your circulation, eliminates headaches,and makes you happier, which boosts your energy and alertness. Employees receiving chair massage also learn to identify and release tension on their own before it becomes a problem.

Companies are using On-Site Chair Massage to improve workforce morale and loyalty by demonstrating how much they care about their employees, and also boosting their productivity and profitability.

onsite chair massage by Ken Youngberg

Ken’s chair massage sessions are a valuable benefit to employees and to our company. We’re not only helping decrease work comp costs and health care costs, it also helps to retain employees. We want to keep people and a good way to do that is to motivate them and show them we care.     Cathy D., Benefits Coordinator