Runners, Remember to Take Time for Massage

runnerAny seasoned runner knows that the sport is about more than hitting the pavement. It’s about making sure you have the right shoes for your gait. It’s about warming up and cooling down to prevent injury. It’s about hitting the gym a few days a week to strengthen your muscles.

And, most importantly, it’s about listening to your body. Your aching hips and tight calves are begging for a massage.

Before you balk at the idea of a day at the spa, know that there are health benefits beyond the immense relaxation that follows a good full-body rubdown. Whether you’re in UB Solution Financing or a regular blue-collar kind of guy, massage is worth the investment for your workout.

The Many Benefits of Massage

Massage has been found to relieve anxiety and depression, manage pain, help you get a better night’s sleep, beat headaches and increase immunity. A study released last year found that a 10-minute massage following an intense workout significantly reduced muscle inflammation, which helps you recover and get back out on the road faster.

Massage helps speed along the body’s normal processes in the lymphatic and circulatory systems to get rid of lactic acid that builds up when you’re working out. It also manipulates scar tissue from old injuries and will dull the ache in any lingering injuries.

Hung Up on Price?

If you’re worried about dropping more than you would on a new pair of sneakers for an hour-long rubdown, think again. We’re not saying you need to hit up a five-star rated spa. Many gyms and yoga studios now offer massage services that will be significantly cheaper.

If you’re already attending a chiropractor or physical therapist, ask if they offer massage as part of a long-term treatment plan. Depending on your health insurance plan, a portion of the cost might even be covered. Submit your deal to your doctor to see if you qualify.

Sign up for email alerts from Groupon, Living Social and the like.  Health and beauty deals might include massages for a fraction of the cost, especially if you’re willing to buy a few at a time. And don’t forget about local massage therapy schools. Those students in training are eager for bodies to practice on and offer steep discounts for the general public.

DIY Massage

Massage is most valuable right before a workout — to make your muscles more limber — or right after to get rid of any gunk in your muscle tissue. Depending on your schedule, a professional massage might not be available.

One option that mimics many of the benefits of a full-body massage is a foam roller. Available in a number of densities and ridge sizes, foam rollers help you limit soreness and any muscle tightness while promoting good blood flow in targeted areas.

Foam rollers, when used correctly, are proven to help runners avoid many sports-related injuries. A number of online videos and tutorials are available to show how to properly use them to stretch, massage and manipulate key areas on your legs and back.

Why Massage Therapy Is Great for Musicians

700-00530334If you’re not a musician, you may not realize how much of a toll playing an instrument or singing can have on your body. You may think making music does not involve much physical effort, or many different muscle groups. In reality, though, music-making uses your entire body. Even if you’re playing the piano, which mainly involves the hands, wrists and arms, your torso and entire back help make the sound. To be a great musician, you also need to practice and rehearse for hours each day — that means over time, your muscles take a lot of wear and tear.

If you want to be a good musician, you have to learn to relax your muscles. Not only will you feel better, but the quality of your playing will also improve. Here’s how massage therapy can help you relax and allow you to practice and perform at your peak ability.

It Reduces Injury

If you often watch professional sports, you may find the idea of musicians being out of commission due to injury to be a bit odd. However, musculoskeletal injuries such as tendonitis or tennis elbow are actually very common among musicians. As mentioned above, musicians use their muscles for long periods of time each day. Often, their bodies are contorted into unnatural-looking positions for hours. Just look at violinists when they play in an orchestra — that position looks like it would get old pretty quickly, right?

It Cuts Tension

Even if musicians don’t necessarily have injuries, they still may be suffering from tension problems. Everyone gets tense from time to time, whether you work for an office in CA, or even a massage therapy clinic. With musicians, however, this tension is often magnified. Not only are their bodies in unusual or unnatural positions when they play, but they’re also under pressure to play well. That pressure isn’t limited to the parts of a musician’s body used to play, either. Tension creeps into the shoulders and joints, so you feel pain and discomfort everywhere. Massage therapy can help musicians cut this tension and enable them to be much more comfortable and play with more ease.

It Allows You to Play Longer

When you’re relaxed you can play or sing much longer and with less effort. While it’s important to take breaks from time to time during practice, you’re wasting a lot of time if you have to stop every five minutes. During performance, taking breaks also isn’t an option. You have to get through the piece or you won’t be a successful performer. By helping you relax your muscles, massage therapy allows you to get the most of your practice time and performance.

It Allows You to Play Better

You can’t do anything very well when you’re tense or in pain. By relieving tension, massage therapy allows musicians to perform at their peak ability. Musicians also physically can’t produce a good sound if their muscles are too tight. When you sing or play a note, the sound waves travel throughout your body, and into the air. The looser your muscles are, the better the sound will travel. With tight muscles you won’t be able to project your sound throughout the room, which is necessary if you have any hope of performing for a large crowd.

Staying Healthy for Massage Therapists

bigstockphoto_Sun_Sky_329330While it’s your job to make other people feel better, you have to remember to keep yourself healthy too! Here are some tips to remember during work that will help you today and in the long run!

Stretches
It’s a good idea to stretch daily! Since you are working with your hands and body it’s important for you to stretch every day so those muscles are relaxed. Since you spend most of the day leaning over a table, try to use an exercise ball to stretch out your back muscles. Stretching can increase your energy level and make you more alert. It also increases your flexibility which can come in handy on the job and prevent injuries.

Massages of your own
You should be getting a massage once a week if you work in the field. This is good for your own muscles and helps you get rid of any tension you may have. It’s also good for you to be reminded of how good your work can make a person feel. It helps you recognize the benefits of the therapy and may give you new ideas to bring back to clients. Work it out with a coworker to trade massages so you both benefit!

Drink water

Sometimes it become habit to remind your clients that they should stay hydrated and you forget about the advice yourself. While you are working their muscles, you are working your own as well! Be sure to drink water before and after each client. This will also help with your immune system, which should be in tip-top shape so you don’t catch anything from your clients. According to 12 Palms Recovery Center, water also helps boost your energy and can help your perform better.  It’s also really good for your body and liver functions. You should also be eating regular meals during the day so your body’s health is maintained.

Remember Mechanics and Ergonomics
Getting hurt could be really bad for you and your career. It’s important to protect yourself against injuries in any way you know how. Body mechanics is the idea that you position your body and use movement patterns that are the most efficient and effective for your job. Depending on the type of massages you give and the area you have, be sure to practice the right mechanics for you, it could prevent injuries and keep you healthy!

Ergonomics is the study of the interactions of people and their work, including their work space and equipment. A height adjustable massage table is something you should make sure fits you!  Ensuring all of your equipment is fit for you and your work is a good way to practice good ergonomics. This is the foundation for good body mechanics and can prevent you from a number of injuries. It’s a demanding job physically, it’s important you are practicing the best and safest way you can to ensure your career is lifelong.

With any job it’s important to eat well, rest and exercise, so remember to be doing all of those as well! Not maintaining yourself in a healthy way can result in a burnout. Keep up with all of these simple tasks and you’ll feel great! You will continue to enjoy your job and helping people.

Fascial Re-Alignment of the Anatomy Trains via Low Load Muscle Exercise Part 1

By guest author: Paula Nutting BHSc MST, Musculoskeletal Specialist

Tom Myers went to exhaustive lengths to establish the links or lines of the fascial system and how they are so important in functional mobility of the musculo-skeletal system. Stripping cadavers of all but their unique fascial systems he has hypothesized that there are 7 major lines or anatomy trains as he has coined them.

The smooth and fluid movement of the body is founded upon these lines working both dependently and interdependently with each other; both as single units but as a shared fascial web which propels us forward, backward, twisting turning in all planes. It has become evident that when the fascial tensegrity of the body becomes imbalanced then the musculo-skeletal system, nervous system, and in fact our homoeostasis is compromised. Joints altered in normal arthrokinematics leading to denegation at their articulating surfaces, tendinosis through added strain to the attachment points, ligamentous micro-stress leading to predisposition to sprains and tears. The altered body alignment though minute still alters the normal positions of the vertebral column and the normal afferent and efferent signaling of the nerve roots upon entrance of sensory and exit of motor information. This leads to altered signals to the muscle, joints, skin and to the viscera on a global scale.

At the 1st International Fascia Research Congress, 2007, held at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, fascia was discussed at length in the forms of abstracts, expanded abstracts, plenary’s and original papers. Fascia and its involvement in force transmission from one tissue to another, having major implications in explaining how the body functions, and how manual methods can be used to influence distant tissues (Stecco et al., 2008); mechanical forces, including those associated with manual treatment, influence cells and molecules via mechano-transduction, producing changes in intracellular biochemistry and gene expression (Ingber, 2008; Wipff and Hinz, 2008) were some of the many profound realizations discovered.

Josef DellaGrotte put forth a paper on postural involvement using core integration to lengthen myofascia. “Summary. Postural organization is controlled by the central nervous system in conjunction with the skeletal, muscular, and fascial systems”. This paper explores the effects on static and dynamic postural misalignment and treatment via neuromotor re-education intervention. DellaGrotte hypothesizes six core-integration pathways or vectors of force which use the principles of functional movement used by pioneers such as Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais and Tom Myers. The six pathways are based on common planes of movement (up-down, Sagittal, rotational and lateral movement), these pathways are defined by the following criteria:

  • It contains a vector of force, direction, and myofascial tensegrity.
  • It passes through the centre of gravity and represents the most efficient expenditure of energy.
  • It has specific anatomical features, and can be ‘tracked’ through specific joint angles, actions of levers, muscle chains, and fascial tensile spread.
  • It requires lengthening by virtue of mechanical levering and the physiology of myofascial actions.
  • Muscles in the sequential contracting-lengthening phase stimulate tensile fascial spread.”

DellaGrotte states that the core movement pathways are instinctive as well as a learned neuro-program grounded in the CNS response to gravitational forces in order to carry out intentional action effectively. “The brain and CNS have been described by several neurologists as a ‘mapping’ system, constantly tracking itself, reading all sensory-afferent information and responding appropriately (Berthos, 1997)”. DellaGrotte has designed a map of how the CNS can track and facilitate every movement through the 6 primary core pathways, secondary pathways and their sectional body components. These can also align with Myers 7 trains and as they both allude, it is the identification of the path, assessing movement and posture, tracking how movement is transmitted and determining through client response whether CNS takes on and adopts the data. “The application is, in clinical context, an educative-therapeutic improvement” (DellaGrotte).

Both Myers and DellaGrotte conclude that each line has a specific role within the body and when in correct function minimizes stresses and damage which include secondary pain syndromes associated with stresses and strains on bones, joints, muscles and fascia. The interaction of neuromotor myofascial pathways sustains the body in the configurations of posture and functional movement tensegrity. The fascia attaches and continues along its continuous train via the body stations (somatic markers), when looking at these markers it is easy to understand how complaints of pain are noted at any of these attachment sites.

The lateral line or basic lateral path can and often does cause stress and pain of the neck with headaches, lateral rib and lumbar discomfort, lateral leg and medial knee conditions created from the medial distraction. DellaGrotte describes this path as the earliest evolutionary developmental movement and imbalance leads to stiffening of the myofascia, log-jamming myofascial tissues and compression of the discs. Compression of the Lumbar facets has been noted to cause both Sciatic and Pseudo sciatic pain and in conjunction susceptibility of instability and falls. Myers also suggests that this line begins in the middle of the medial and lateral arches of the foot so it is understandable that the plantar fascia can become compromised creating plantar-fascitis. W Hammer discusses at length in his paper “The effects of mechanical load on degenerated soft tissue” (2008), the related kinetic chain must be addressed when dealing with the plantar fascia and there is often restricted dorsiflexion and fascial restrictions all along the kinetic line.

The functional back line, superficial back line or back path (from a biomechanical and CNS perspective) provides one of the body’s main pillars of support and uplift of the Sagittal plane. These pathways of movement produce flow strengthen the core and all related structures along the back. The vertebral column takes much of the strain through the multifidii and rotatores and therefore pain will often present in the sacrum, lower back, thoracic region and neck. When the pelvic innominants misalign then the cross syndromes will produce cervicogenic headaches, cervical, suboccipital and back pain, shoulder pain and potential rotator cuff imbalances. Shortening of the hamstrings and calves is also noted in these cross syndromes. (Chaitow 2003). The evidence of anterior or posterior ilial rotations, sacral torsions and subsequent leg length changes are a common phenomenon with the functional back line or back path when unilateral cross syndrome is present.

Part 2 coming soon

Musculoskeletal and Remedial massage Therapist Paula Nutting lectures both Nationally in Australia and overseas in Canada. Specialising in musculoskeletal conditions of the body that require remedial massage techniques including neural activation, muscle length and strength and fascial rebalancing. Owning her Brisbane based practice PN Hands On focusing on both acute and chronic conditions. Looking for a Remedial Massage or Musculoskeletal Therapist, expert Paula Nutting specialises in head aches, lower back pain, shoulder or neck issue on a daily basis. For more advise check out her website http://www.yourmusculoskeletalspecialist.com

Balanceboard Techniques and Bodywork

Many therapists struggle with maintaining proper body mechanics, but some have discovered a simple exercise tool that dramatically enhances their therapeutic skills. I have found that training five to ten minutes a day on a rocker board considerably improves my balance, core stability, strength, and endurance. Since balance is the critical building block necessary for making movement possible, any exercise to improve balance will surface in the quality of your touch.

Patients consciously or unconsciously sense if a therapist is centered and balanced. In the absence of dynamic body balance, therapist motions often are awkward and jerky, known as the “jiggling hands” syndrome. On the other hand, a body worker with a firm and steady touch exudes confidence as body weight travels evenly through the hands, torso, pelvis, and into the legs and feet to form a stable working foundation. Many of these principals are demonstrated in my Myoskeletal Alignment home study courses.

How Do Balance Boards Work?

When the body detects a change of surface, it self-corrects to achieve appropriate positions for that particular movement. These rapid adjustments rely on proprioceptors embedded in muscles, ligaments and joints to detect speed and degree of stretch. The proprioceptors in the body are very refined motion sensors, and balance boards help train these sensors. While the square rocker board allows for one plane of instability, the round wobble board provides multiple planes for the most stimulating workout. Rocker and wobble boards are fun and safe, but be sure to purchase one with a tactile surface on top and nonskid surface below, such as those depicted in the photos.

Figure 2: Round Rocker Board
Technique Tips

• Always stay within your functional threshold of balance – hold on to a wall or doorway as needed.
• Strive to preserve balance in order to train the body to move efficiently.
• Pull your navel to your back without flattening lumbar curve to activate dynamic core stabilizers.
• Contract your gluteus maximus muscles with more mass shifted to your heels and slowly rock back and forth to improve posture and restore proper hip-extensor firing order.

Regardless of age or ability, daily use of a balance board boosts overall fitness, core strength, and therapeutic performance. By improving body and spatial awareness through dynamic balance board exercises, the therapist burns less energy, which promotes greater core stability, mobility, agility and touch.

Erik Dalton, Ph.D., Certified Advanced Rolfer, founded the Freedom From Pain Institute and created Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques to share his passion for massage, Rolfing, and manipulative osteopathy. Go to the Erik Dalton website for information on workshops, conferences, and CE home study courses.

Read More ~
http://erikdalton.com/media/published-articles/bodywork-mechanics/

Blogging: Ask questions.

Many people try to encourage comments by saying things like, “Please leave your comments.” Sometimes that works (and yes, sometimes I do that in places like Twitter), but if you really want to get them talking, ask SPECIFIC questions. Use your question in your subject lines and then ask them again in the blog post.

For example, if you’re writing about a massage technique that you think could be effective ask something like, “Would You Do This? Controversial Massage Technique” in your subject line and then at the end of your blog entry ask, “Would you ever do this?” or something similar.

Here’s something you may find interesting: BodyworkBiz provides massage business resources for massage therapists and bodyworkers. Sign up for the free Massage Marketing Tips newsletter at http://www.bodyworkbiz.com

Massage Business Tips: Telling Stories

Readers act when they can relate to the copy they’re reading or when they feel like they’re being spoken too personally.

Often, one of the best ways to make sales copy personal is to share a little bit about yourself as it related to the product benefits.

For example, if you’re writing about a massage remedy you’ve been using for years, talk about it. Or if you came to a sudden realization one day that compelled you to create/sell your product, tell them about that.

If you don’t have a personal story, share case studies of others who have had similar experiences or results using your product.

Another massage website of interest: Massage Business Ideas that work. Join the discussion.

Massage Business Tips : Low Price Offers

This is a solid tactic for new massage business marketers to use in their sales funnel – but again, use your best judgment. There is no “rulebook” that says you have to follow the traditional route in placing your offerings throughout your sales funnel. Starting with a high end massage product is actually a good tactic – in some cases.

A more effective way to decide what to offer consists of evaluating what your specific niche market will bear – and what you want to “say” about yourself to your market (I.E. how you want them to perceive you.)

In other words, you don’t have to walk around for a prescribed number of months shouting “I’m a newbie”. If you have the chops – if you have the expertise your market needs (even if that’s just being a few steps ahead of the people who you want as your subscribers) – go ahead! Position yourself as that expert.

And if there’s a big enough demand for your product, you may find it surprisingly easy to command a higher price.  (Just keep in mind the actual budget of your target group.) In general, however, low priced initial offerings are a tried-and-true way to go.

The best way to create your first low priced offer? Present it as an exclusive, limited-time Special Offer in an appropriate niche forum – there’s usually a “Special Offers” section for members.  (Just make sure you observe any rules before posting your offer, and make sure you’ve actually contributed helpful posts to that community, first.)

A forum Special Offer is a valuable tactic for two reasons:
1.  It gives you feedback – and hopefully testimonials – from your ideal target group, so you can tweak anything that needs to be tweaked, or correct any mistakes people have pointed out.
2.  It provides you with that highly-prized “word of mouth” – and potential affiliates or JV (joint venture) partners.

When you release your Special Offer to the world at its “regular” price, you can be sure that the small adjustments you’ve made, the affiliates you’ve picked up and the word of mouth “buzz” you’ve started will give it that extra boost.

Help with your massage business: Get free massage marketing tips in your inbox. Subscribe to the BodyworkBiz Massage Marketing Tips newsletter.

Massage Business Tips: Client Attraction Plan

Always have a client attraction plan, even when you’re busy. This video will discuss about how to create your business client attraction system.

It is essential that you possess this plan to your business in order to attract your new clients even if your into massage business. You must have your own client attraction plan, it’s the best way into connecting to your potential clients. Grow your business now and make more money even if you’re busy!

Don’t wait until you NEED clients to start trying to attract them…but it can be too late by then. You constantly want new potential clients coming your way.

If you’re plate is full, you can put them on a waiting list (and ironically, a waiting list can make you seem more attractive to your prospect)…or, if applicable, you can put together a group session where you can serve a number of clients together.

If you liked this article, you may also find this of interest: BodyworkBiz provides massage business resources for massage therapists and bodyworkers. Sign up for the free Massage Marketing Tips newsletter at http://www.bodyworkbiz.com

Hypnosis Demonstration

Hypnosis or hypnotherapy utilizes guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to obtain a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes known as a trance. The individuals attention is so focused while in this state that anything happening around the person is temporarily blocked out or ignored. In this naturally occurring state, chances are you’ll focus your attention with the help of a trained therapist on specific thoughts or tasks.

Hypnosis is usually regarded as an aid to psychotherapy, because the hypnotic state allows people to explore painful thoughts, feelings, and memories they might have hidden from their conscious minds. In addition, hypnosis enables people to perceive some things differently, such as blocking an awareness of pain.

A useful massage site: Why pay full price for massage DVDs? Check out http://www.discountmassagevideos.com