Sunday, 31 August 2008

Are You Looking For A Massage New Jersey

There are many benefits to a good massage. New Jersey has many places and types of massage therapists there that are willing to meet your needs and give you the type of massage that you really want. In most cases the massage therapists in New Jersey are certified in their field and know the proper techniques in order for you to receive the attention and stress relief that you deserve. Depending on what you need and want, you’ll want to choose a massage therapist that can provide it. You need to do research however when looking into getting a massage. You need to look into the type of establishment that you will be looking to go to in order to get the desired effect of the massage. You also need to look into the business practices of the establishment that you are going to visit to ensure that you will be receiving the attention and relief that you need.

There are various types of massage establishments in the New Jersey area. Some of them have different focuses and different goals for the massages that they provide. There are sports massage establishments which are designed to treat the athletes and the weekend warriors in the state in order to keep them up and running and ready for the next event. You can visit a spa which will give you the full treatment of tension massages as well as the pampering that you so desperately crave. There are also the establishments that simply set themselves up as massage parlors and offer simply that. These are the establishments where you can go in on your lunch and receive a quick massage to relieve the stress and tension of the day to keep you going.

Many of these establishments use licensed massage therapists to provide these massages. In some cases they do not. You need to look into the practices of the establishments and talk to people to find out their opinions and feelings about these places. Look into the Better Business Bureau to find out more and whether or not they have a good reputation in the community.

Just be careful when looking for a massage, New Jersey. Know what you are getting into as there are many out there that will work to deceive you and believe that you are getting something you are not. This is not the case however, most of the time. In most cases these places are reputable and looking to provide a service to you as a massage receiver. They are just looking to do their job and keep the clients happy so that they can build their business. So just look into the various offers that are out there and research to find the right product for your needs and stresses in your life. Massages can be very beneficial if they are done by the right person and done in the right way. So look into what you want and what you will be getting in order to get the most out of your money that you will be spending.

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Saturday, 30 August 2008

Massage Therapy For Improving Your Health and Wellbeing

Most people I know say that their health is one of their top priorities. Unfortunately, the reality is that is what they say not necessarily what they do. This is sad to me, because we all know that we have to take good care of ourselves. The reality is that we take our bodies and health for granted. Well that is until something happens. Then we kind just wake up and then maybe we take care of ourselves-at least for a while. We have to make health a priority. We need ways to counteract the affects of stress and find balance in our lives. One method that helps people decompress from stress is massage therapy and the most convenient way to receive it is from a massage chair.

The stress we encounter at home or at work causes a build up of chemical reactions in our body and we need a consistent method to counteract this affect. Massage therapy in general is very effective and massage chair specifically can give you consistent access to this health treatment. Massage chairs are very advanced and can provide full body massages. They are particularly effective in relieving aches, pains and discomfort which can result from the build up of stress in our bodies. The massage chairs of today offer a tremendous variety of comprehensive and effective massage treatments.

Many studies are showing the positive benefits of receiving regular massage treatments. There is a misperception that massage is somehow a luxury item. Sure there are spas that offer some tremendous and expensive treatments, but massage therapy is becoming a more mainstream treatment. It can help to increase the circulation of blood and lymph; reduce your stress levels; relax the muscles, improve your flexibility and range of motion. However, the studies also clearly point out that these benefits are achieved from regular massage treatment. Just like your diet. You cannot expect to lose weight by changing one meal.

The convenience of a massage chair cannot be understated. The biggest obstacle we hear for receiving regular massage therapy is the time involved with going to a massage therapist. We just simply do not have time in our busy schedules to do this on a consistent basis. This is precisely why having a massage chair can be very convenient. You can get a 10 minute warm up massage before you hop in the shower or just before you go to bed. No appointment need and you have access around the clock.

We will be the first to admit that getting a massage from human hands is definitely the best method. There is just something special about the touch of a human that has no comparison. But then again, getting this on a regular basis is where the real benefit is obtained. The other factor in saving time with a massage chair is that the operations can be performed in parallel. A masseuse works one area at a time, then moves on to the next. Overall, it takes about 50 minutes to effectively cover the body. A massage chair works in parallel. It can massage the full body all at once. Working in parallel cuts down the total time required to get a massage.

The second biggest obstacle to receiving regular massage therapy is the expense. Seeing a massage therapist on a regular basis is not cheap. In fact, in time it is expensive. A one hour session runs about $50 per hour plus tip. A massage chair on the other hand is much cheaper over time. A $3,000 massage chair has a minimum of 1,000 hours of life and many have 2,000 hours. If we use the 1,000 hours, then an hour of massage therapy is $3 per hour. No tip required. This is a huge economic advantage.

We all say that our health is a priority, but few take the necessary action required. How hard is it to sit for 10 minutes and relax your body and mind? For some impossible, but for most of us, it is very possible. Why not start to establish a routine that helps to reverse the effects of modern day stress. Your health is not a luxury, and neither is having a massage chair to help you bring back that critical balance in your life.

Looking to improve your health and wellbeing. Find the Best Massage Chair for your massage therapy needs. We offer an unprecedented variety brands, models features. Check out the top Massage Chair Recliners from Panasonic, Human Touch, Omega and Sanyo.

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Friday, 29 August 2008

The Four Levels of Touch in Massage Therapy

Touch is considered one of our most basic needs. Many times, we can tell the difference between a "good touch" and a "bad touch." Do not be misled into thinking that these kinds of touch are purely sexual in nature. When we go to a professional massage therapist or body worker, we can detect something special about his/her quality of touch. However, it can be difficult to explain what makes his/her type of touch so unique. For the massage therapy client, it is helpful to know the four levels of touch:

  • spiritual
  • mental
  • emotional
  • physical

On the spiritual level, our touch can be driven from our nature in ways that connect our spirit to something else and emphasizes our innate connection with our environment. When we pick up a baby, for instance, we can convey essential qualities like love, compassion, clarity, strength, and peace in the touch we give to that person. On the receiving end of touch, we can connect with our essential natures as well as with the Universal Intelligence, the Great Being that created the universe....God if you will. During or after bodywork, massage therapy clients can feel peace, connection, and rejuvenation. Obstructions to one's true being may be determined and changed during a massage therapy session.

On the mental level, touch can be fueled by our thoughts and beliefs. We can bring our textbook knowledge of myology (study of muscles) and neurology (study of the nervous system) to mind in such a way when we touch one another. When we touch one another during a handshake, for instance, we fire off neurons in ourselves as well as the other person and automatically determine if that touch was pleasurable or not. This helps us make preconceived notions about the person we first meet. Right away, emotions arise in response to receiving touch. We may make judgments about our bodies, rekindle old memories, or have sudden insight on an idea when we are touched a certain way.

Emotionally, our touch can convey feelings such as pleasure, surprise, anger, fear, and sadness. For the receiver of touch, certain emotions can surface when getting touched. For instance, many massage therapy clients have experienced deep emotional releases during or after a bodywork.

Physically, touch can include a plethora of experiences ranging from superficial to deep, smooth or abrupt, fast or slow, etc. There are various physical effects that can occur on the massage therapy client's body whenever they are touched. The massage therapist can scratch the skin; promote or remove bruising; dissipate scar tissue; distribute warm, soothing oils; and generate immune or nervous system responses in the client.

When you go to an expert massage therapist, make a mental note of what is going on in each of these levels. Having knowledge of these various qualities of touch can help you determine what feels "good" and "bad" to fully achieve your deepest needs in each of these four levels.

Micaela Romualdez is a freelance article writer for DFWChiroMassage. She enjoys writing on topics such as health and wellness, nutrition, rolfing, massage therapy benefits, homeopathy, Ayurvedic medicine, and other types of alternative health care.

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Cup Massage

Cup massages are a form of massage therapy that isn’t all that common. Most people when they think of a massage think of a typical massage of the muscles Perhaps a Swedish massage, a shiatsu massage, or even perhaps a hot lotion massage comes to mind. Even people with serious back disorders and injuries go only so far as having electronic stem massages, which involve attaching small electrodes to tight muscles so that electronic charges can be sent in to stimulate the muscle. Or perhaps they will get a deep massage followed by heat and ice. Cup massages are serious massages that use little rubber cups which are attached at various points to get a deep, deep massage going. Cup massages are reserved for people with serious or chronic joint or muscle disorder. They are not used unless there is a serious need for them. They are usually performed in half hour to hour long sessions. There are different types of cup massages for different ailments, and there are of course different ways to alleviate such severe chronic pain. Cup massages can help severely atrophied muscles and chronic joint ailments, this is true, however, many people who have these issues can’t use cup therapy because people with certain side effects have problems with cup therapy. It can be dangerous for them. In fact, many people with chronic disorders also suffer from varicose veins, and it is not healthy for these people to utilize cup therapy. Also people with heart problems should not use cup therapy. For these people, people who still need to alleviate sever pain that they must deal with constantly, there are other avenues such as acupuncture, blood letting, and they can alter diet and improve their nutrition as well. Acupuncture is the Chinese art of utilizing needles to alleviate pain and pressure and it can help some people that benefit from cupping, or cup massages. It uses many needles that locate pressure points and nerve endings to stimulate deep muscles. Cupping, like Acupuncture, is a Chinese form of massage therapy. Blood letting is a bit more complex of a procedure, where blood is actually drained from an area where there is swelling that has resulted from pooling blood. It is more serious than either cupping or acupuncture. Again, this procedure is not something that one should try of their own volition. All of these methods should be administered by experienced professionals, and should be carefully considered before they are undertaken with all health concerns considered.

While cup massages and cupping techniques are clearly not a first option when it comes to the alleviation of simple minor ache and pain, it is, in some cases of chronic disorders, one of the few ways to alleviate severe pain. Clearly it is not a procedure to be taken lightly or to be used to help a pain that comes and goes, but if one suffers from agonizing constant deep pain in muscle structure or a joint, then perhaps cup massages should be considered.

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Tui Na Massage

What is Tui Na Massage

Tui Na massage therapy is an ancient form of Chinese massage therapy that has its origins in the Shang Dynasty of China in 1700 BC. It is still taught in Chinese Medical Colleges as a traditional therapy.

Tui Na is based on the traditional Chinese medical principle of the flow of Qi, or the ‘life force’ through the energy meridians of the body. It seeks to promote a more effective flow of Qi throughout the body by using massage and manipulation techniques. Tui Na involves the use of hands to massage soft tissue and apply pressure on the pressure points. It also involves some manipulation techniques to realign the musculoskeletal system. These techniques may be supplemented by the use of herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves.

How does Tui Na Massage work

A typical session of Tui Na massage could last from anywhere between ten minutes to an hour. There may be more than one session of massage therapy depending on the severity of the ailment. This massage therapy is performed with the patient lying down on a table or floor mat. The patient is required to wear loose clothing and remain barefoot to facilitate the massage process. The therapist will initially examine the area to be treated and make some enquiries into the patient’s general health, history of allergies and other existing conditions. After this the practitioner will decide on the appropriate method of treatment to be followed.

The treatment is carried out by the manipulation and massage of acupressure points, energy trigger points, muscles and joints surrounding the affected area. Most of the treatment is carried out by hand and may include techniques such as pressing, tapping, and kneading with palms, fingertips, knuckles or implements designed for this purpose. Chinese herbs may also be applied to facilitate faster healing.

Benefits of Tui Na Massage

Tui Na massage therapy concentrates on the freeing the blocked energy meridians in the affected areas of the body to bring about prompt relief from pain and to allow the body to heal itself. It is used for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems. It is very useful in treating chronic problems such as shoulder pain, joint pain, back pain, and disorders in the lower leg and ankle.

Tui Na is an intensive form of massage therapy and focuses on curing specific ailments and is not suitable as form of general body massage therapy for aiding in relaxation. It should not be used in conditions involving fractures, phlebitis, infections, open wounds, and lesions. It should also be avoided during pregnancy and menstruation.

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Thursday, 28 August 2008

Omega Montage Elite Massage Chair Review

If you have been looking for a massage chair, then finding good information to make a decision is important. Even better, finding an unbiased review of a given massage chair can be helpful. Here are 5 important categories to evaluate the total massage chair experience. This system gives equal weight to each of the 5 categories with each category having from 0 to 20. A 100 point score means the chair and the company has achieved total excellence. The 5 categories are Warranty & Customer Service, Comfort/Ergonomics, Ease of Use, Features and Massage Therapy. The discipline of a systematic approach provides for balance help those seriously considering a massage chair. The Omega Montage Elite is the subject of this review. This luxury shiatsu massage chair is in the $4,000 to $5,000 range.

Warranty & Customer Service: It is important that the manufacturer stand behind its product. A good gage of the company's confidence is its warranty coverage and duration. Omega gives covers 5 years on the frame, 3 years on parts, 3 years labor, 1 year shipping and 90 days in-home service. Omega is well above other manufacturers in this category with its parts and labor. Omega is, however, lower for the in-home service which some have increased to 1 year in-home. Customer service is competent and turnaround time on service is good. Our Rating in this category is 18.

Comfort & Ergonomics: Comfort and ergonomics are important design characteristic with a shiatsu massage chair. Omega designed the Montage Elite for comfort and relaxation. This shiatsu lounger is wheel chair accessible accommodating those that may have trouble getting in and out of the chair. Omega included the first wireless remote control with a lanyard allowing users to not have to get up to change the controls. The Montage Elite can accommodate taller users up to 6' 6" allowing most Americans to fit in the chair. The comfort and fit of this shiatsu lounger is very good. Omega has accommodated many important ergonomics into this massage recliner. The Montage Elite is a 19 in Comfort & Ergonomics.

East of Use: Massage Chair manufacturers are building in more technology and features into their chairs. Users need to be able to quickly, easily and intuitively understand how to use of a product. The Montage Elite has many advanced features and many manual options. The main remote control has 5 auto programs and a wheel button for adjusting the footrest and chair back. This remote is fairly intuitive. The wireless remote is a distilled version of the main remote and is simple in design and allows for virtually all the controls of the massage. The only significant exception is the air pressure on the lower body can only be adjusted from the main remote. Like most main remotes, a side panel contains many manual controls including manual massages and adjustments to the lower body air system. The wireless remote is compact, convenient and now a must have. The Montage Elite is a 19 in Ease of Use.

Key Features: The most prominent features of the Omega Montage Elite are the Lower Body Traction and Footflex Reflexology foot massage. Omega built in a traction function to gently stretch out your lower back, hips, knees and ankles. The footrest is raised horizontally; the airside activates to hold your ankles and then lowers successively to 3 positions. As the footrest lowers your muscles and tendons are stretched throughout the lower body. The Footflex reflexology uses airbags to hold and gently squeeze your foot at the arch and the heel at your reflexology points. Omega has brought the lower body air massages up to par with the back massage technology. Omega has a thorough array of massage for the back, neck, shoulders and base of the skull. The Montage Elite is a 19 in Key Features.

Massage Therapy: The massage functions are included in the Montage Elite includes 5 full body automatic courses, 4 manual massage courses, and 4 massage speed settings for a total combination of 64 manual massage courses. The automatic massage functions include the following: ShiatsuKneading, Tapping, Finger Press, and Kneading & Tapping (Shiatsu). The Montage Elite comes loaded with great massage therapy tools. Choose from the lower body traction, full body heat, lower body compression massage and 64 combinations of back massage. Music is probably the most overlooked feature in most massage chairs. The reality is music takes you away from your environment. The Montage Elite has music-massage synchronization function. Not only do you drift off to your favority music, but the massage will actually be to the tempo of the music. Simply outstanding! Overall Rating for the Omega Montage Elite massage recliner for massage therapy is 20.

How does the Omega Massage Montage Elite rate? Overall, our rating of the Montage Elite is an 95/100. The technology, intuitiveness and simplicity of this massage chair recliner is what the luxury category is all about. With Omega, the . Montage Elite has the best manufacturer's warranty without the added expense of an extended warranty. The massage chair is easy to use, has advanced features, a wireless remote and thorough massage therapy. This shiatsu massage chair can accommodate both short and tall people alike. The Montage Elite was built for the American market. This is as good as it gets!

By: James Knolan

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Wednesday, 27 August 2008

The Effects of Massage on the Human Body

Most of us cannot deny that there is nothing better than taking timeout from our stressful day to day lives and having some "me" time. A perfect way to unwind and give you that very much needed "me" time, is to book an appointment with a well trusted and qualified massage therapist. A full body massage isn't just about winding down and relaxing, it really can have multiple benefits to your general health too. There has been many medical studies based around the full body massage procedure, and these studies have proven some of the positive effects that may come from having a full body massage.

A full body massage is a hands-on manipulation of the skin, muscle and joints. It's a therapeutic stroking and kneading of your body's muscles, which is done to relax muscle spasm, relieve all of that built up tension, help improve your body's circulation, and help to rid all of those built up toxins and wastes from your body.

In today's fast moving world that we all live in, it can become ever so easy to simply forget about our health and well being, but if you can afford to take timeout and keep having a full body massage on a regular basis, this really is an excellent way to fight off tensions and keep you feeling on top of the world.

Some of us are guilty of only ever taking this sort of timeout when it is a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary, which is still pleasant for you and leaves you feeling ever so relaxed, but if you can book yourself a course of massage treatments...well, this is where you will gain the maximum benefits which the full body massage procedure has to offer.

Did you know that stress and tension is one of the main causes of diseases and illnesses in people today? Quite shocking news really when you think of how stressful even your daily commute to work can be. It really is imperative to relieve all of this built up stress and tension if you wish to lead a long and healthy life.

The benefits from simply having a body massage truly seem to be endless, and depending on your current lifestyle and general health, the benefits will be different for you, than they will be for let's say your next door neighbour. Having a body massage can improve your body's blood circulation, which most of us know is vital for a healthy body. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking it will only benefit the external parts of their body, but this isn't the case at all. A body massage will also help to keep all of your internal organs healthy and keep them all working efficiently.

Having a body massage on a regular basis will help to fight depression, blood pressure, back problems, diabetes and even infertility. After reading this, it now seems body massage is the best thing going for you and your health, but it is not suitable for everyone and you must keep this in mind. If you suffer from heart problems, cancer, or skin problems, then you really should discuss this with your doctor before booking yourself in for your very first massage session.

You really can improve your well being and live a much healthier life by having a regular body massage. So stop putting off that all important "me" time and get yourself booked in for your first session.

Here's to a much healthier life for you and me!

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As holistic and complementary medicine is becoming more and more popular, there is a need for more therapists to undertake the necessary training and start working in the market to cover the demand. Patients who have tried the holistic approach are now finding that they are easing their aches and pains without having to resort to medication and long term pain killers. Because of this expansion in the market, the starting salaries for massage therapy practitioners is ever increasing.

If you are a fully qualified therapist who is just starting out as a professional, there are several different routes to take, each of which will vary your earning power considerably. The starting salaries for massage therapy carried out for an employer, such as a spa or health club, may be from as little as $9 per hour up to around $18 per hour. It really does depend on your employer. Some employers pay on a commission basis, which can really add up if you become popular. Also, you must never forget that you should be receiving quite a lot of tips.

Although this may not sound as high as you had thought when you initially considered the starting salaries for massage therapy, there are many ways in which you can vastly increase this figure. If you have the facilities, you can start your own, small scale therapy centre either at home, or possibly in small, suitable, rented accommodation. Being your own boss can be very rewarding, both personally and financially and it is very convenient to be able to choose your own working hours, especially if you have a family to consider. Admittedly you will need some capital for the property, equipment, advertising etc. but if you are able to put together an economic starting package for your business you will soon start to reap the rewards.

Starting your own small business does not necessarily involve the renting of premises. If you have access to a vehicle, you can start working as a mobile therapist. The starting salaries for massage therapy can easily be eaten into if you have to pay for a workplace. If, however, you opt for a mobile practice, you will get to keep a good deal more of your income. Once again, you will probably have to spend money on advertising and some equipment, but you will probably find that even these outgoings are less than if you were trying to start a spa style venture. You will have no water or fuel bills for example. One obvious expense you will have will be your vehicle and insurance. Domestic vehicle insurance will not cover you if you are using your car for work purposes.

These are just a few guidelines as to how you can try to increase the starting salaries for massage therapy. As you become more experienced and build up a client base, you will soon find that you have become a part of a very lucrative and highly respected profession. Your salary will keep going from strength to strength and you will, I am sure, be well rewarded for your expertise.

Gary Pearson is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

To learn more about massage therapy visit New Massage Therapy for current articles and discussions.

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Massage and Cancer - Myth Shattered by Science

There are a few misconceptions about massage and cancer patients. The main misconception is that massage can cause the cancer to spread. This is simply not true.

Some people believe that massaging a person with cancer could be harmful. A common fear is that massage will cause the cancer to spread by means of the lympathic system. It is a fact that cancer spreads via the lympth system. However, it spreads via changes to the cells' DNA and other

processes, NOT via movement or other mechanical means.

Comfort-oriented massage can safely be given to people at any stage of their cancer. This comfort-oriented massage, is understood to be any form of systematic touch. We need to get away from the idea that massage is only about working on tight muscles, detoxifying, or assisting with recovery from injury.

There will always be some form of massage (with the right modifications) that can be given to a cancer patient. It can be given even when the patient is receiving chemotherapy, or before or after radiation therapy.

Indeed, rather than being harmful, massage offers many benefits for the cancer patient.

Massage can help diminish the side effects of conventional cancer treatments, and improve quality of life. Scientific research shows that massage can reduce: fatigue pain anxiety depression nausea.

A nurturing massage can help the person feel whole again, re-establish a positive body image, and rebuild hope. A nurturing massage can be given by family or friends as well as by a professional therapist.

Health professionals in Australia are just now beginning to understand the important benefits that massage offers people with cancer. Major cancer centres in the USA and UK already provide massage as one of their services for cancer patients.

Tony Wilson, a professional massage therapist since 1999, runs a mobile massage practice in the Sydney Hills. He has a particular interest in working with cancer patients, and in encouraging everyone to be actively responsible for their wellbeing.

Visit his website at for practical hints and techniques for self-care.

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Monday, 25 August 2008

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome And Massage Therapy

Do you have foot pain or numbness? You could have a condition known as Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Massage Therapy and Bodywork are very effective in treating conditions arising from muscular and connective tissue abnormalities. In my San Antonio, Texas based Massage Therapy and Bodywork practice I often treat pain from various muscular and nerve entrapment syndromes including the supposedly rare Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Like many painful conditions Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome responds quite well to treatment by massage therapy and bodywork.

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is the name of a painful nerve entrapment condition, in which the posterior tibial nerve is placed under abnormal pressure by the connective tissue forming the tarsal tunnel at the inside of the ankle and the other structures in that space like tendons from lower leg muscles. When the muscle tendons passing through the tarsal tunnel become tight and enlarged, pain results from myofascial trigger points (knots) in the muscle, and pressure on the posterior tibial nerve which passes through the tarsal tunnel. Pain from Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is usually found in the ankle, heel, and sole of the foot. Additionally, there may be numbness or a pins and needles feeling in sole of the foot and sometimes the toes. Most of the time the symptoms are on one affected side, but may affect both sides at the same time.

What is the cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are a number of causes for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Some causes of this condition prevent massage therapy from being the best method of treatment. However, there are other causes of this painful syndrome that make massage therapy one of the best methods of treatment. These causes include direct blunt trauma to the inside of the ankle near the tarsal tunnel itself; ankle sprains of the inner ankle are a common cause of this syndrome; and, this syndrome may also be caused by overuse and/or repetitive stress of the flexor muscles of the lower leg especially when fallen arches and/or over pronation is present.

Massage Therapy and Bodywork for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

There are many ways that massage therapy and bodywork can be used to treat Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. The massage therapist will employ a number of techniques to relieve the condition. For example the massage therapist may use Neuromuscular Therapy or Trigger Point Therapy to eliminate myofascial trigger points and associated tension in the flexor muscles whose tendons pass through the tarsal tunnel. The massage therapist could also use Myofascial Release techniques or Deep Tissue Massage techniques to release adhesions between the flexor retinaculum forming the tarsal tunnel and the tissues passing through the tunnel while also using Muscle Energy Techniques to gently lengthen the same muscles to reduce tension in the tissues. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome also responds well to positional release therapies such as Ortho-Bionomy which work with the body's nervous system to release muscles and improve joint movement in the area - especially in the subtalar joint and arch of the foot. Comprehensive treatment with massage and bodywork, in conjunction with a home program of stretching and exercise, may help to completely resolve Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.

Other Treatments for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

While massage therapy and bodywork are an excellent treatment for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome there are other treatments you should discuss with your physician:

Corticosteroid Injections
Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS)
Functional Foot Orthotics
Dorsal Night Splint
Decompressive Surgery

Other Names for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Pinched Nerve

The information on this page has been provided for information purposes only. It is not meant to provide a medical diagnosis, only a licensed physician may diagnose Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. If you feel that you have the symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome please see your physician for a proper diagnosis and plan of treatment which may include massage therapy and bodywork. There are a number of serious conditions that are similar Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome that could require immediate medical attention.

If, after consulting your physician, you would like to pursue treatment of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome with Massage Therapy and Bodywork please contact me at my San Antonio Massage and Bodywork practice or contact a Massage Therapist near you.

By: Ben Crabtree, LMT, CNMT

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Sunday, 24 August 2008

Infrared Massage Bed To Take Care Of Your Health

Taking good care of our bodies and having good health are certainly higher priorities for everybody. There is so little time, as we are all so busy, that we seem to neglect taking care of ourselves. The day-to-day pressures build up stress in our bodies and we need to find time to release these pressures and find balance again.

Massage therapy has been around for centuries to reduce stress and promote health and wellness, but who has time to go to the day spa? one of the problems of getting a massage is the time involved. By the time an appointment is set, you drive to the spa, and get the massage, and then come back home may all take 2 hours or more. This is great if you always have the time, but most of us do not.

This is where a far infrared massage bed can give you assistance. It provides in-home convenience, 24/7 access and no appointment necessary. It is ready, willing and able to relieve your aches and pains.

Infrared massage beds have advanced with the pace of technology and include many therapeutic massage therapies. Massage therapy involves the manipulation of the skin and muscles to relieve and alleviate aches, pain and discomfort. Massage beds deliver full body massages from the base of the skull to your feet. They come with an arsenal of massage techniques and can also pinpoint certain problem areas.

Infrared massage beds provide effective treatment to increase blood flow and lymph flow, reduce stress, relax muscles, reduce heart rate, and improve range of motion. However, it needs to be part of your total health routine, not just something done a few times a year.

Relaxation and rejuvenation are well known effects of massage, but the benefits of far infrared massage bed go way beyond that. It creates actual physiological changes which affect the body both physically and emotionally. It is known to reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure. It calms the nervous system as it reduces feelings of anxiety and anger. It stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, the body's natural mood enhancers and pain suppressors. Stress hormones such as cortisol are reduced as "feel good" hormones such as serotonin are increased.

The Massage Bed has proven particularly helpful for: high blood pressure, circulation, vertigo feelings, exhaustion, knee problems, high sugar level, muscular pain, neck pain, cold feet/hands, allergies, back problems, insomnia, headaches etc.

We all deserve to spoil ourselves every now and then.

Copyright (c) 2008 James Carden


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Friday, 22 August 2008

Swedish Massage

Ever since the Swedish doctor Per Henrik Ling invented the concept of Swedish massage sometime in the 1700s, the world has never looked at relaxation the same way again. It is not as if various forms of massage did not exist up to that point – they did. However, nothing could come close to these techniques, which were specifically formulated to detoxify body tissues and boost the overall oxygen content in the blood. All the while the masseur’s subject has a real good time around the dinner table.

What does Swedish Massage involve?

Swedish massage addresses the deeper muscles, manipulating them against the underlying bones. The masseur’s strokes tend to follow the direction of the blood as it returns to the heart, thereby enhancing the flow. The heart does not have to work harder; in fact, Swedish massage assists it in its natural functions. The stimulated tissues absorb extra oxygen, enriching the blood. It is a revolutionary concept that helps patients to recover from debilitating muscular ailments in record time.

The body tends to build up deposits of extra waste products during the metabolic cycle. While it is also equipped with a pretty efficient waste disposal system, the stresses of a modern lifestyle tend to limit its proper functioning. Muscles tend to bunch up, trapping these wastes in a manner that prevents their proper release. Muscles also contract chronically because of inappropriate nervous responses. With regular Swedish massage, both the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system get a regular overhaul. This is why most stress management programs include Swedish massage in their repertoire.

A trained Swedish masseur employs various techniques while working on a client. For instance, he or she will use flowing, stroking motions in which the palms, fingertips and – where deeper penetration is required – thumbs come into play. This technique is called effleurage. Kneading motions known as petrissage, and circular motions to apply friction to affected parts then complement this. Body tissues are further stimulated with percussion, or soft drumming with the fingertips or sides of the hand. Along the way, various parts of the body are bent and stretched to make tendons and connective tissue more supple and conducive to blood flow.

The whole process is incredibly relaxing and extremely therapeutic, but amateurs should not attempt it. A trained Swedish masseur knows just how far to go, and such knowledge cannot be replaced by plain enthusiasm. It is advisable to contact a qualified and experienced Swedish masseur only through a professional referral.

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Thursday, 21 August 2008

Baby Massage

Have you been hearing about baby massage? It may be something you should be looking into. The benefits of baby massage are great. Not only does it give the mother or care giver time in which to bond with their baby, but it also aids in the baby’s development of muscle and in relaxation. In the West, people have only really become aware of the benefits of baby massage during the last thirty years.

In other parts of the world, such as places like Asia and Africa, baby massage has been used for centuries. The therapeutic benefits and effects of baby massage have been passed on from one generation to the next.

In the West these days, baby massage is available in hospitals and in clinics under the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK.

To a baby, another person’s touch is talk. By massaging their baby, parents and caregivers can gain more confidence in handling them. by watching and interpreting their baby's reaction to touch, they can better relate to the baby.

Parents can find out what their baby likes and dislikes. This helps a parent understand his or her baby better. Further, this helps to develop a positive relationship between baby and parents.

Massage is also known to strengthen babies' muscles and joints, and to help relieve the symptoms of some of the ailments common in the early years of life. According to studies carried out across various cultures, babies who have more body contact (being carried, breastfed, massaged, and gently handled) develop into adults who show empathy, compassion, and cooperation with others.

Baby massage's benefits to the Parent:


When massaging your baby, be aware of your baby's reaction to your touch, and particularly to the pressure you apply. Babies are unable to tell you if you are massaging them too hard! In learning to read your baby's body language, and by interpreting her reaction, you acquire key parenting skills.

In fact, studies have shown that mothers who had lots of early physical contact with their children could find their 3 - 8 year old child's pajamas from a pile of pajamas that were identical!


* Baby massage provides the mother and child with the opportunity for increased eye contact
* Baby massage causes increased prolactin levels (the mothering hormone) in breast milk
* It helps you to "fall in love" with your baby
* In cases of abuse and neglect, the use of baby massage can improve the situation.


* Massage greatly reduces the levels of stress hormones
* Parents benefit from giving massages to their children
* Studies have shown that those who use massage regularly benefit from reduced stress levels
* For working parents, giving your baby a massage as soon as you get home from work provides valuable quality time with your little one -- and helps you to relax and "reconnect" with them.

Give baby massage a try -- you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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Wednesday, 20 August 2008

On-site Massage

What is On-site massage

On-site massage is a relaxing massage therapy specifically designed for the work place. Though this therapy originated quite recently in the Silicone Valley, USA, it is based on the principles of an ancient Japanese massage technique called “Anma”. The popularity of on-site massage in the corporate sector has been steadily growing in the recent years. This invigorating massage therapy totally de-stresses the body and refreshes the mind with a minimum of fuss, and best of all, it achieves all of this while you are still at work.

How does On-site massage work

On-site massage is carried out with the client fully clothed and sitting in a specially designed chair. No oils or creams are used during this massage therapy. The massage therapist uses his or her hands and elbows to stimulate over a hundred specific pressure points on the head, neck, shoulders, arms, hands and back. This sequence of massage improves the flow of energy throughout the body and stimulates the functioning of the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems. It also reduces muscle tension in the upper body, especially the neck and shoulder regions. A typical massage session could last from anywhere between five to twenty minutes.

On-site massage works in two ways. First the gentle massage reduces the build-up of tension in muscles that are commonly used while sitting and working at a desk. The dissipation of all this tension which is accumulated in the neck, shoulders and back leaves the client feeling very relaxed. The therapist then stimulates the pressure points to improve the functioning of the various organ systems of the body. This has an invigorating effect on the body and the mind.

Benefits of On-site massage

On-site massage has a dual benefit. It not only benefits the person receiving the massage, but also benefits the employer that has arranged for this session of on-site massage at his or her workplace. Let us see how this happens.

Benefits to the employees

On-site massage addresses all the symptoms associated with spending long hours working at your desk. It provides relief from head, neck and back aches, relieves stress and muscular tension, improves concentration and mental alertness, relieves eyestrain, and reduces migraines. In addition to providing relief from these stress related symptoms, on-site massage also improves the functioning of the body by stimulating the vital pressure points. It has been proven to be especially useful in the treatment of conditions such as sciatica, lower back pain, whiplash injuries, arthritis, tennis elbow, pre-natal pains and menstrual disorders.

Benefits to the employers

You already pay your employees enough. So why should you invest some more money to give them massages, when they should be working? Well, the statistics speak for themselves. On-site massage benefits the organization and the employer by increasing the productivity of the employees. The equation is simple. If your employees are stress-free they will be able to work harder for you and thereby increase the profitability of your organization. On-site massage helps to boost the morale of your staff and results in greater creativity and input on their part. Most important of all, it shows your employees that you care about their well-being. This results in increased staff loyalty towards the organization and towards you.

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Massage Therapist

The delightful benefits of massage don’t appear out of nowhere. The immediate soothing effects of massage and the long term health benefits of massage occur not from occasional backrubs from friends, but from the trained arms of certified massage therapists. Trained arms would be an understatement, because massage therapists actually use their entire upper body trunk to apply correct pressure – if they merely used their hands and arms, they would quickly tire, and the necessary pressure would not be applied. When looking for a massage therapist, there are a few things that must be understood in the search. First of all, it is important to understand who exactly a massage therapist is, and how to find one suitable for your needs. The next step, of course, is to understand what massage therapists do – what their job encompasses and the actual art that they practice. With this knowledge in hand, a wise decision that will lead to less stress and better use of muscles will be much easier to make.

A massage therapist is a health professional who is certified and licensed to practice a range of massage therapies to improve the wellbeing of his or her patient. The completion of a massage school, which is accredited by the state that it is located in, is necessary to legally practice massage within a recognized location. Thus, a massage therapist can be found working in such varied locations as hospitals and clinics, their own private or group practices, health spas and resorts, and large sporting events. The general program of study required for a massage therapist includes courses in neurology, anatomy, pathology, first aid, physiology, combined with practice in western and eastern massage theories. It is important to note that a massage therapist does not replace medical treatment by a doctor, but can very well supplement a physician’s prescribed treatment. Physicians often recommend seeing a massage therapist, and can refer their patients to an appropriate therapist.

However, a massage therapist’s services are certainly not confined to doctor referrals. A massage therapist’s office can be a great place for the prevention of maladies. Seeing a massage therapist on a normal basis, even for the healthy person (although in today’s social climates, stress has become a factor in virtually everyone’s life, and negatively affects health), decreases stress on muscles, and thus decreases stress on the mind. Massage therapy also acts positively on circulation, immediately aiding the capillaries, so near to the surface of the skin, to circulate blood, as well as acting on the muscles aiding veins bring blood back to the heart. A massage therapist assesses his or her patient, and designs a massage therapy program specific to the needs of the client. Seeing a massage therapist regularly can also lead to disease prevention in referring patients to see doctors when a condition out of the scope of a massage therapist arises.

The massage techniques used have been both subjected to the test of time and scientific study. Many techniques are quite ancient, and with modern study shining more light on their secrets, we are learning that their effects certainly are positive on the body. Massage therapy affects both the muscles being manipulated, as well as certain internal organs, via the pressure points in our hands and feet that influence those specific organs. The techniques used by massage therapists are very varied, from the traditional Swedish massage, which is known to be especially beneficial for the lymphatic system and the circulation of the blood in the veins, to the less conventional reflexology massage, which is the massage affecting our organs through manipulation of points on our hands and feet. Many other types of massage therapy exist, and it is wisest to both research the type that will be most beneficial for your specific need, as well as consulting with your massage therapist which therapy will be right for you. While every massage therapist will be trained in a variety of techniques, no one massage therapist will be a specialist in all of the types.

The job of the massage therapist is to reduce the mental and physical effects of stress, to improve the general wellbeing of their client, to restore health and to prevent future sicknesses and disease. These desired effects are achieved via the various techniques of massage therapy, which are wide and varied. While a massage therapist is not a physician, and does not pretend to be one, the regular visiting of a certified massage therapist can be very beneficial for the health, as well as an important supplement to many medical treatments. As information about massage therapy becomes more widely available, the medical community has begun to incorporate massage therapy into modern medicine. Massage therapists, who study the ancient art of muscle manipulation through rubbing, are making their permanent appearance in the modern setting of the medical community.

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Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic massage is the use of massage to heal mental and bodily aches and strains. Also known as manipulative therapy, therapeutic massage provides physical and psychological benefits. Physically, the effects of massage include injury healing, pain management and circulation improvement. The psychological aspects, through muscle manipulation leading to tension relief achieved by manipulating the muscles, are known to relieve stress. Multiple types of therapeutic massage exist, utilizing various techniques and concentrating on various parts or problems of the body. Therapeutic massage has a long and vivid history, and can claim Hippocrates and Julius Caesar as proponents of its uses and benefits.

Therapeutic massage, through the application of manual and/or mechanical-aid pressure to the soft tissues of the body, eases much of the accumulated tension in the muscles. This tension relief is extremely helpful in situations when time is the best medicine. For example, strained and pulled muscles will only cure after time and through patience; massage can be extremely helpful in making the former go by faster and the keeping the latter with you. Muscle aches and pains, which accumulate as a result of stress, are greatly soothed by massage. A continuous regimen of massage therapy can reduce the aches and pains in the long term as well as the short term. Bad circulation, which can be the result of many factors, can be increased through massage. Of course, a healthy lifestyle consisting of a correct diet and sufficient exercise is needed to maintain healthy circulation, but massage does stimulate the blood vessels near the skin, thus improving circulation nearest to the skin.

It is a known fact that when we feel good physically, our psychology improves as well. Massage feels good physically as it lightly stirs our muscles and puts pressure on sensitive spots. This physical calm affects the mental state as well. While tension and pain are being released from our bodies, the mind is able to rest at ease, forgetting the pressures, both physical and emotional, of everyday life. Physical and mental health are cyclically related, as we are also apt to be physically more active in life when we feel good psychologically.

The range of therapeutic massage that exists is quite varied. For the athlete, there is the sport massage – the manipulation of muscles and tissues to keep them from tenseness and soreness – which reduces the risk of injury. For the injured athlete (or any injured person, for that matter), there exists the remedial massage, which concentrates on the injured area, and probably will include physical therapy to rebuild those muscles. Reflexology, derived from an Asian form, is massaging feet and/or hands to achieve relaxation throughout the body, as points in our hands and feet are connected to points throughout our body. Swedish massage focuses on deep massage of the muscles in the direction of blood flow to the heart. This type of massage is both beneficial for muscles and the circulation system. These above-listed types are a few of the various methods of therapeutic massage. Depending on personal needs and injuries, the specific therapeutic massage best for the specific need should be chosen.

Hippocrates is known to have said: “A physician must be experienced in many things but assuredly also in rubbing." Thus, the father of modern medicine confirmed his belief in the benefits of massage to medicine. Julius Caesar is known to have had regular massage treatments, for certainly, in between conquering empires, de-stressing his body was very important. Massage therapy has been used throughout the centuries, and is known to have been used as early as the Egyptian times – paintings depict the royalty receiving massage. Modern society is discovering the benefits, both physical and psychological, of massage. As knowledge of these ancient techniques increases, awareness of their benefits grows, and the popularity increases. It is becoming easier and more accessible to get virtually any type of therapeutic massage in most cities, and is quickly spreading to regions outside of metropolitan areas. Massage, as the millennium-old therapy shows, is not a temporary fad. It is a method of pain and stress a lleviation that is becoming accepted by the medical community as an important supplement to various treatments. Therapeutic massage, through muscle manipulation, can be extremely beneficial to living a healthy life. When the body feels free and easy, the mind follows suit, and the path is paved for a healthy life.

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Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Some Things You Should Know About Massage

Most Americans know that massage therapy can help relieve stress and pain, reduce blood pressure and boost the immune system. And, more people than ever are trying massage for the first time.

Perhaps you received a gift certificate for massage. Maybe work’s been stressful, and you’ve thought about getting a massage to unwind. Or maybe you’re already a fan of massage and want to try a different type of massage.

Whatever your reasons, there are some basic things you should know to get the most from your massage.

There are many terms for types of massage. The American Massage Therapy Association? (AMTA) designates the various methods as massage modalities. Ask your massage therapist what massage modality will give you the results you want.

The most popular include:

- Swedish massage: The most common type of massage, to relax and energize you.
- Deep tissue massage: For muscle damage from an injury, such as whiplash or back strain.
- Sports massage: To help prevent athletic injury, keep the body flexible and heal the body should injury occur.
- Chair massage: Massage of the upper body, while fully clothed and seated in a special portable chair.

Finding a qualified massage therapist is also important. Ask your massage therapist about his or her credentials. And remember, each massage and bodywork modality requires specialized training.

AMTA, which requires members meet education standards, recommends asking the following questions:

- Did you graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) or from an AMTA member school?
- Are you licensed or registered as a massage therapist in this state? Not all states license massage therapists.
- Are you a member of AMTA?
- Are you certified by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork?
- Do you have training in any specific massage modalities?

The web has become an excellent resource to help you find qualified, accredited massage therapists in your area.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Foot Massage

Foot massage or foot reflexology has a Chinese origin. It dates back to more than 3,000 years ago and is used in the prevention and cure of many health ailments.

Some in fact say, foot massage dates back to ancient Eygyptian times due to archaeological findings in cave drawings in Egypt.

The principle of foot massage rests in the premise that the meridian network connects all tissues, organs and cells in our body. Each organ in the body is connected to a specific reflex point on the foot through the intermediary of 300 nerves. A trained foot reflexologist can put pressure on different meridians or energy lines on the sole and side of the feet to determine the cause of illness.

By using pressure to these the reflex points, the foot massage is good for stimulating the activity internal organs, and to improve blood and lymph circulation. Thus, the top to bottom well being of a person can be made through the foot.

The principles of foot massage is not in congruence with western allopathic medicine. Western medicine merely sees the foot as a body part comprising of bones, ligaments and joints.

However, foot massage is fast gaining much popularity and acceptance as an alternative health treatment. Fans of foot massage believe it can cure not only colds and minor ailments, but more serious ailments as well. These ailments include liver dysfunction, constipation problems, chronic headaches, skin allergies, etc.

Like most Oriental medical techniques, foot reflexology is a “holistic” treatment. It concentrates on treating the whole person rather than just the symptoms of one particular ailment.

While Western medicine promises speedy recovery of all unpleasant symptoms, foot massage therapy can be slow and gradual. A series of visits is necessary to strengthen the body and to bring the body back to balance.

A session of foot reflexology in San Francisco, can set you back as much as US$40-100. Thus, foot massages over a period of time, can add up in terms of costs.

However, for practitioners and believers of foot massage, the cost for good health is well worth it. The alternative would have been money spent in clinics and western hospitals for prescription drugs and perhaps, invasive surgery.

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Self Help Massage

There are many benefits of massage therapy. It will help you to relax tensed muscles and increase your blood flow. This will help you with stress management and relieve tension. It can often help you to feel better and improve your health. It can also help to heal injuries and certain ailments.

You can have the luxury of getting a massage done professionally or you can do some basic self-massage yourself. There are several ways that this can help you. The two most common are, helping you relax and improving your circulation. When you do this, you can relieve yourself of tension and reduce swelling that is caused by injury. A short massage will also help you feel less tired and make you feel rejuvenated.

You can use a massage belt, glove, or just your hands to do this. There are several techniques you can use. The ones you use will depend on what your purpose is. You can either: stimulate, relax yourself, or help your body to heal and synchronize itself.

It only takes 20 minutes to relieve tension with massage. Either sit in a comfortable chair or lie down. Massage one area of your body, slowly and methodically. Here are some techniques you can use.

• Kneading: this is a technique in which you massage your muscles as if they were bread dough. Sometimes it helps to use warm vegetable oil or aromatic oil.

• Rubbing: use the palm of your hand and rub your muscles in a circular motion.

• Vibrating: This is when you use the back of your hand to lightly slap or knock rhythmically. This will relax your muscles and improve circulation.

• Final strokes: use gentle outward directed strokes at the end of each session. Always massage in an outward direction and be gentle. If you see any red or broken areas, do not massage them.

A good massage to do at the beginning of the day is to massage your legs. This massage should be done in an inward movement toward the heart, and moving from the bottom to the upper part of the leg.

Self-massage can be a very good therapeutic treatment for both your mind and body. It is important to make sure that you are comfortable and undisturbed in order to get the best effects of this treatment. When done correctly on a regular daily basis, you will not only feel rejuvenated, but you will free yourself both mentally and physically, of tension and stress.

So try to give yourself just 20 minutes a day, relax and enjoy a healthy and beneficial massage today. You will be glad you did and be able to reap the benefits for years to come.

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Sunday, 17 August 2008

Pregnancy Massage: The Many Benefits Of Pregnancy Massage

If you're pregnant or are looking to become pregnant, you might want to consider looking into getting a pregnancy massage. The benefits can be numerous if you find the right massage therapist, and it can be good to have some time to yourself. As everyone who has ever been pregnant can tell you, having a baby can be a very stressful situation. Pregnancy can be difficult, especially as you start to deal with the stresses that go along with it. From nursery painting to the changes your body is going through, sometimes feelings of anxiety and panic can overcome you like a tidal wave. Whenever you're feeling like you can't take another minute of stress, it can be good to get away from it for awhile.

Pregnancy massage can be a great escape, even if it's only for an hour. If all of your money is going towards the new baby, instead of getting a full hour long massage you can go for 30 minutes. Also, you can ask for massage gift certificates as presents during the baby shower. After all, your friends and family are celebrating you just as much as they are the baby you're about to give birth to. Additionally, depending on who you talk to, some people claim that massages are great for releasing the toxins that can build up in your body. I'm not sure about the science behind that, but you can probably look it up for yourself online or as your massage therapist.

When you're pregnant, you're supposed to be happy and glowing. But let's be honest: it's hard to be that way when you can't see your feet and you have to wear flip flops every day because your shoes don't fit any more. Pregnancy massage can help you work your frustrations out, and treating yourself to one is a good idea.

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Massage & Massage Rollers

When lower back pain hits you, a massage and massage rollers can be very effective in relaxing the tensed muscles. Massage is an ancient pain relieving technique and provides you relief from day-to-day stress, muscle cramps, while easing the back pain and headaches, by increasing blood circulation. A massage also flushes out toxins and wastes from your body, thus lending a healthy shine to the skin.

Effective Massage through Massage Rollers

These days, an alternative way to providing your body with the much needed massage is through massage rollers. If you don’t have the time to go to a massage parlor or if you are staying alone, you can use a massage roller to give yourself instant relief. There are various types of massage rollers available in the market today:

The Omni Massage roller –

It provides pressure and has the necessary mobility for a great massage. It has a directional massage ball, with an easy to grip handle. You can use it anywhere and carry it in your purse or bag. You can massage your lower back, neck or even forehead, if you have a headache.

You can begin by applying pressure on the roller and then gently roll the ball in circular motions around the lower back. While moving it in circular motion, you can apply the necessary pressure. Once you are able to identify the spot from where the pain is originating, you can continue to massage the affected area for 10-20 minutes. The massage roller will, thus, provide you relief as it soothes and loosens the muscle tissue or ligaments. It will also gradually increase your blood circulation, leading to the healing of the affected area and elimination of the back pain.

You can also find a Knuckle baller sports massager in markets. This massager fit into your hand near the knuckles and has four directional massage balls to provide you with four times the comfort. A Knuckle baller sports massager is small, so, you can carry it to a theater, park or your office. Massage anytime and feel relaxed!

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Saturday, 16 August 2008

Warm Up With Your Massage Stones Before a Massage

Can a massage with massage stones be a workout? Well, not in the sense that you get the same cardiovascular workout as running around on a sports field, or peddling for half an hour on an exercise bicycle. There is no heavy lifting. There is no heavy pushing or pulling. In fact, the most movement you will engage in during a massage, is moving from your back, to your stomach--and then vice-versa. So are warm-up and cool-down periods necessary before and after your massage? Conventional wisdom says that since a massage is not a typical cardiovascular workout, no need exists to prepare your body for it, or slowly return to your body’s normal mode. But is that correct?

More than muscles
Before determining whether a warm-up and cool-down period is needed after a massage with hot stones, we should examine some of the benefits of such massages. They include:

• Relaxed muscles
• Improved range of motion
• Lower heart rate
• Decreased blood pressure
• Better blood circulation
• Increased endorphins (improving medical treatment)

Can a therapeutic massage build muscle, as weightlifting does? No, but massages can excite muscles that have been weak and unused. This is beneficial for people who have been inactive for a while, after suffering from an injury, for example.

So while getting a massage with massage stones will not make you winded or exhausted per se, the kneading of the muscles and the use of hot stones, gives your body a “light workout.” In fact, you could think of it as a warm-up stretching exercise before a cardiovascular workout—without the cardiovascular workout.

The low-down on warm-ups (and cool-downs)

A warm-up exercise is used before a workout, to start stretching the muscles, and increasing your heart rate. It is a slow transition from normal mode to exercise mode. Similarly, a cool-down activity will shift you back to normal mode. Before performing strenuous exercising, warm-ups and cool-downs are vital for preparing the body for a workout, and can even be effective in preventing injuries.

Workout without motion

Is a warm-up and cool-down activity necessary before or after your massage with hot rocks? Yes, and no. Stretching before the massage is not necessary, as the massage itself serves as a type of stretching. Similarly, there is no need to jog around the building after your massage, to allow your heart rate to drop to its normal value.

However, before your massage with massage stones, it is important for you to gradually move your mind and body into a relaxing mode. Incense, peaceful music and soft lighting are some ways to prepare you well for the massage. These elements will help to make the massage experience with hot stones, a holistic one that involves senses other than the sense of touch involved in the massage itself.

Likewise, after the massage is over, your mind and body will need to gradually return to their pre-massage state. Again, this process will be less drastic than the ones needed before and after a cardiovascular workout. Nonetheless, you will still need to “recover” from the massage. Some of the most common methods are drinking a hot cup of green tea, or sleeping. With sleeping, you cool down into somewhat of a frozen state. But even if you do not catch a catnap, resting alone will serve as an excellent cool-down.

Like a computer that needs to be booted up and shut down, your body needs a gradual transition from normal mode to massage mode—and then back again. A “warm-up” and “cool-down” period will help to make this transition smoother whenever you enjoy a massage with hot stones. Make sure that the temperature range of your body coincides with the range of the massage stone. Warm-up while the stone does!

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