Aches and Pains
Aches and Pains occur for many different reasons. The most common causes are:
- 1. Injury or trauma to a specific area or muscle group
- 2. Overusing a muscle too often or too much
- 3. Tension or stress in the body, including suppressed emotions
Because massage therapy helps to pump metabolic wastes through the body, this will assist in eliminating aches and pains caused from working out. A massage session also helps to eliminate aches and pains in the body that are caused by not moving enough i.e. sitting at your desk for 8 hours a day. For the more serious aches and pains caused by an injury or trauma, including the overuse of certain muscles, massage therapy will lengthen the shortened muscles in the body that are causing the pain.
Regular sessions of massage therapy will help to keep your body in balance and eliminate the constant aches and pains you are going through on a regular basis. Whether itís weekly or monthly massage sessions, itís important to invest in your health and wellness on a regular basis so that you are able to live life to the fullest!
Anxiety and Depression
While many suffer with issues related to anxiety and depression, medication alone may not be the most effective form of treatment. Many are starting to realize the importance of receiving regular massage sessions to treat anxiety and depression and it is a wonderful form of treatment in and of itself. One of the oldest forms of treating mood disorders, massage therapy has always existed and is one of the oldest forms of medicine and therapy.
In todays medical community, massage therapy is seen as an increasingly valid method of stress reduction, leading to more stable mood regulation in clients.
Because many issues related to depression and anxiety come from unexplored emotions and sometimes unresolved traumatic events, a massage session provides a safe, nurturing environment for you to connect with your body and step away from the stress of the outside world.
Our skin contains millions of nerve endings that link directly to our nervous system. During a massage the skin is stimulated and releases chemicals in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine which helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. This is where the ďnaturalĒ mood stabilization comes into play, resulting in a feeling of general well being and total relaxation.
Incorporating regular massage sessions into your healthcare routine is a way to balance out the mind-body connection and address issues of anxiety and depression you may suffer from.
Vehicle Accident Injuries
Vehicle accidents affect millions of Americans each and every year. Even minor accidents can leave you with injuries that can take weeks or months to heal. The importance of soft tissue massage therapy following a car accident can be an important part of recovery. Receiving rehabilitation therapy following a car accident could mean the difference between being pain free or being forced to manage chronic pain issues, many years from now. Addressing the injury when it occurs is the best thing you can do following a car accident.
Injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident can often leave you with whiplash, nerve damage, alignment issues, muscle spasms and chronic pain. Itís also not uncommon to have injuries in different areas on the body. Below is a list of common injuries that occur due to a car accident:
- 1. Headaches
- 2. Cervical Sprains/Strains
- 3. Thoracic Sprains/Strains
- 4. Lumbar Sprains/Strains
- 5. IT Band Syndrome
- 6. Sciatica
- 7. Low Back Pain
- 8. Miofascial Restrictions/Pain
- 9. Shoulder Sprains/Strains
In the early stages of injury, often only a few areas will be the source of pain. As time goes on new areas in the body can present with pain. This is not necessarily because new injuries have occurred, but because the body works as a complete system. Compensation occurs when injury is present and restrictions begin to take shape as the rest of the body fights to stay in balance. This can result in a complex relationship between injuries and healing.
The first and most important element of receiving massage following a car accident is that it helps to reduce stress in the body, which leads to less tension in the injured tissues. Massage therapy for car accident injuries works by:
- 1. Increasing blood flow to the injured tissue which promotes healing
- 2. Improving range of motion
- 3. Reducing swelling and pain in the soft tissues
- 4. Reducing stress
Massage therapy for car accident injuries is a process that takes commitment. Both by the healthcare team, as well as by the patient. Itís very common to go through feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness and fear as you undergo treatment. It is common for people to become discouraged and emotional during the healing process. Our physical body as well as our emotional body are in balance with each other and because of this when pain is present, sometimes so are negative emotions. We hold emotions in our tissues and during the healing process many different emotions may rise to the surface. You are encouraged to feel what you are feeling in the moment and always offered a safe environment in the process.
It is important to remember that car accident injuries are serious and take time to heal properly. Itís not uncommon to receive treatment for car accident injuries for 6 months to over a year. Itís important to know this going into treatment so you know what to expect.
Treatment tends to be more aggressive in the beginning and typically requires more frequent sessions. Itís important to receive 1-3 sessions per week in the beginning (based on physician prescription) to insure that the injuries are receiving on-going care in order to heal properly. As time goes on and injuries subside, sessions become more infrequent and are scheduled further apart.
As you go through the healing process be patient with your body, and remember that healing is a journey unique to each person. Recovering from car accident injuries is serious and should not be taken lightly. The quality of your life depends on it.
Studies suggest that of all therapies, massage is one of the most beneficial in treating Fibromyalgia. During a massage session, the central nervous system enhances the production of certain pain blockers such as endorphins, serotonin and norepinephrine. Because of this the pain caused by Fibromyalgia is greatly reduced.
It is imperative for the therapist and client to work together in finding a level of pressure that is both relaxing and pain free. Because people that suffer from Fibromyalgia have many areas in the body that are very tender, it is vital that you work with an experienced massage therapist.
While there are many overlapping benefits when receiving massage, one thing remains constantÖmassage therapy is good for you even if you already feel good! Massage therapy is considered to have both restorative and preventative qualities and helps to keep the body balanced in many ways. And while many people still see massage therapy as a form of luxury, the truth really is that it is a necessity.
So how does massage therapy work to prevent future health problems and keep the body in a healthy state? First and foremost you are responsible for keeping your body healthy and thriving. Each choice you make directly affects your health. Reducing tension, increasing fluids to circulate and cleanse the body and removing restrictions within the fascia and connective tissues are just a few of the health benefits guaranteed when you receive a massage.
Below is a list of proven benefits that accompany massage therapy.
- 1. Reduction in anxiety and mental stress; increases feelings of well being and calm
- 2. Enhances and supports the immune system
- 3. Decreases sleep disturbances and improves sleep patterns
- 4. Improves and maintains proper posture
- 5. Improves athletic performance and helps body recover faster
- 6. Allows time/space to connect with your self and clear your mind i.e. be in the moment
Receiving regular massage therapy is just as important as brushing your teeth or getting the oil changed in your car. The benefits are endless and long lasting. Whether itís 1 time per week or 4 times per year, one thing is for certain, the more massages you receive the better life will be!
The cause of headaches is often unknown and varies from person to person, as well as headache to headache. While migraines may be brought on by tense, short muscles in the head and neck it can also be brought on by the constriction of blood vessels caused by stress tension. Current research demonstrates that there are many chemical changes occurring in the brain that can cause headaches.
Massage therapy relaxes tense muscles, improves blood flow, reduces muscle spasms, and increases relaxation within the body thereby reducing pain from tension and vascular headaches. A massage session can help alleviate the symptoms from any type of headache. The best results are seen from those seeking massage therapy on a very regular basis versus occasional massage therapy.
There are 2 types of stress within the body. The first is called ďnon-specific responsesĒ or those that keep us alive such as our heart beating or our food digesting. The second is referred to as ďdistressĒ such as driving in traffic, financial anxiety, unhealthy relationships and pressure from the job you hate. Itís important to know that without stress in the body we would die however, too much stress can also cause us to die.
Finding the right balance in life is the key to living and sustaining health and wellness.
While many things happen to the body while under levels of high stress one thing is for certain, stress can make you sick. Stress increases blood pressure and heart rate which in time can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Stress also affects the immune system and itís ability to function properly. This is often the reason you will get a cold or flu during or after a stressful period in your life.
Stress often contributes to unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, smoking, alcohol and drug use and eating unhealthy foods. These behaviors alone will place further stress on the body thus increasing your chances of becoming ill.
Developing coping strategies may be the wisest thing you can do for yourself. Since stress is inevitable, itís important to learn how to manage and cope.
One simple thing you can do on a regular basis is to learn how to breath properly. Most of us breath very shallowly on a regular basis without even realizing it. Daily time-outs or meditation for ten-twenty minutes where you focus specifically on your breathing pattern is a great way to diminish stress and focus on releasing and letting go of the things you canít control.
In addition to a regular, focused breathing practice, massage therapy for stress is a wonderful method for managing high stress levels. Massage works by decreasing levels of cortisol in the body, lowering blood pressure and provides a safe place for you to focus on yourself. Furthermore, serotonin and dopamine are released in the brain during a massage offering feelings of well being and bringing you into a state of total relaxation.
Regular massage therapy sessions for stress will help you to achieve a healthier lifestyle by helping you to cope with and manage your stress levels. While we canít eliminate stress from our lives completely, we can manage its impact on our lives.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and it's muscle disorders are a group of painful conditions that affect the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movements. Injury plays a role in some TMJ problems, but for many people, symptoms seem to start without obvious reason.
The good news is that for most people, pain in this area is not a signal of a serious problem. Often, discomfort is occasional and temporary and will go away with little or no treatment. In the majority of cases, doctors suspect stress as the underlying factor.
Your jaw muscles work every day, and yet, are rarely treated to a soothing massage. This treatment combines soothing neck and scalp massage with targeted pressure to the muscles of the jaw to leave you feeling great.
This massage includes extensive work to the neck, shoulders and back. You will also be taught a self-massage protocol to do at home.
Injury and Rehabilitation
As the age of healthcare matures, modern medicine has begun to take on a new image. An increased number of medical doctors are seeing massage therapy as a beneficial adjunct to their own practice. Hospitals throughout the United States have begun to initiate their own massage therapy and bodywork programs.
With this increased demand on the field of massage, it has become crucial that bodywork professionals seek higher education in order to maintain credibility in the field of healthcare. Bodywork professionals are now working hand in hand with a variety of healthcare professional ranging from Chiropractors and General Practitioners to Surgeons and Physical Therapists. This integration of healthcare is going to help us press onward into the next millennium.
The union of eastern and western medicine brings us one step closer to understanding the human body and all of its intricacies.