Tag Archives: Massage

How Can Massage Therapy Calm Your Mind and Improve Your Mood

Powerful Effects Of Massage Therapy On The Nervous System Your Mood And Improve Your MoodA massage session can have way more benefits than relieving back pain after a hard day at work! However, nowadays, things have been taken to a whole new level, as more and more people are trying massage therapy, a concept with some exceptional benefits. Let’s find out exactly how it works and why it’s actually so good for you!

What is massage therapy?

During a therapy session, a specialist manipulates your muscles, as well as other soft tissues, in order to enhance their function, but also induces relaxation. It’s not a new practice, though, as it has been used in China for more than 3,000 years, a lot of people revealing that it even help them get rid of depression, in a certain extent.

The truth is that a great massage has beneficial effects on our bodies, releasing hormones which create a sense of an emotional connection, thus calming your mind and improve your mood significantly.

How can massage therapy help relieve depression?

Let’s put things straight: if you’re suffering from depression, massage therapy probably won’t help you get rid of it completely. However, it can have a major impact on helping you relieve some of the physical symptoms associated with it.

To be more specific, we’re referring to sluggishness, back pain, joint pain, as well as muscle aches. Besides this, it’s also great against fatigue and other sleep problems.
What does massage therapy involve?

Now that we are aware of its benefits, let’s take some time and see what massage therapy actually involves. After all, it’s far from being just your average back rub.

During the therapy, your therapist will perform various moves, like rubbing, stretching, and applying pressure to the muscles in your body. However, there are various styles of massage, some of them including over-the-clothes touching, while others involve direct contact with the skin. Usually, the latter is made using scented oils, acupuncture needles, warm stones, or even some complex twisting poses.

Currently, these are the styles which can be encountered the most across the United States:

Swedish massage: By far the most common form. The therapist applies smooth and circular actions to your muscles, helping them relax.

Chair massage: Unlike most styles, this one doesn’t require sitting on a massage bed, but on a special chair, then leaning forward into a headrest. It consists of short sessions and you don’t need to remove any clothing.

Deep tissue massage: Preferred among athletes and not only, this type of massage therapy focuses on the muscles that are the closest to your bones, but their connective tissues as well.

Shiatsu: Expect some firm pressure during a therapy session including this massage, as it’s very similar to acupuncture. Compared to other types of massage though, Shiatsu massage implies more pressure, but it doesn’t produce any stiffness shortly after.

Reflexology: The therapist applies pressure to specific areas of your body, believed to correspond with the most important systems and organs in your body.

Aromatherapy: The main ‘attraction’ of this type of massage therapy is that it also implies scented oils, these being great for reducing stress and boosting your energy.

Hot stone massage: Your therapist places warm flat stones on your body, in an attempt to relax your muscles and relieve tension.

Benefits of massage therapy

Obviously, if performed by a professional, massage therapy is safe and provides immediate gratification, helping you feel relaxed and calm. As for its ability to combat depression, combined with a more conventional treatment, like medication or psychotherapy, it can deliver some great results.

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Want To Improve Your Running? This Is How Massage Can Help You!

Want To Improve Your RunningA top runner is never alone, as he or she is constantly surrounded by an entire team who makes sure that everything is going well. And you know who plays one of the most important roles? The professional massage therapist.

Runners say that massages help them to get through muscle tension with ease, but also improves their range of motion and make them feel relaxed after putting a lot of effort into a training session.

Overall, everything sounds great, but is there any scientific evidence supporting the idea that sport massage can improve performances?  According to practitioners, these moves relieve muscle soreness, promote circulation, flush toxins and lactic acid from the body, but also ease joint strain. And these claims are actually supported by evidence from several countries. But unfortunately, nothing had been confirmed by science until just recently.
Therapists reveal that sport massage can’t actually push toxins out of the muscles and into the bloodstream. Science also says that there’s no actual physiological way for this to happen. Also, it can’t flush lactic acid from muscles either. Basically, the pain after an intensive training session remains there, no matter how much massage you’re getting.
On the other side, sport massage applies a moving pressure to muscle, as well as other tissues, like ligaments, tendons, and fascia. Simply put, the energy applied to the body softens fascia tissue and helps muscles relax It also removes adhesions between fascia and muscles, which is great, especially for those who are new to running. Since they put a lot of pressure on limber joints and muscles, this surely comes in handy.

But to answer our initial question, if massage can actually help you improve your running, let’s talk about another science-backed fact. A series of studies discovered that massage after exercise – running, in our case – can reduce the intensity of delayed onset muscle soreness. Or, if you prefer, that peg-legged feeling you get a few days after running for a long distance.

Moving on, another research found less inflammation in massaged limbs, while the recovery in muscle function was up to 60 percent faster. Considering all these, we can say that the answer is ‘yes’. All runners, including beginners, can benefit from sport massage. Getting rid of that soreness that comes immediately after starting a new sport makes people likely to stick with it for a long period.

The good part is that you don’t need a specialized person for this, as you can opt for special foam rollers, allowing you to massage yourself with ease. On the other side, if you prefer specialized massage sessions, Maria’s Professional Massage can offer you the services you need.

Combining the knowledge of professional massage training with customs and practices of her Asian heritage, Maria can help you recover from an intense workout. Schedule an appointment today and get rid of that soreness in your muscles instantly!

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Top 8 Benefits Of Deep Tissue Massage

Benefits Of Deep Tissue MassageA good massage therapy can always perform a miracle on your body. Reduced pain, stress relief or a general feeling of happiness are just a few benefits of a deep tissue massage. For you to know more and be informed, we’ve prepared a list of advantages this treatment can have for you and your body.

1. Helps in lowering high blood pressure

A deep tissue massage is ideal for people who have to deal with high blood pressure. 45-60 minutes of such threat and you’ve got yourself a viable solution to treat hypertension.

2. Prevents scar tissue

It’s always hard to recover after an accident, both physically and mentally. And the fact that a scar tissue may develop, causing stiffness and uneasiness followed by pain doesn’t help you get back on track. Fortunately, we know a type of massage which can speed up the recovery by reducing inflammation in the affected area.

3. Reduces arthritis symptoms

Arthritis is something that eats you piece by piece, causing chronic joint pains and stiffness. To remove the pain, a firm massage is highly recommended.

4. Treats back pain

In the modern era, where people often spend up to 10 hours sitting at a desk, back pain has become something very common. But with deep tissue massage significantly reducing chronic lower back pain, there’s always a solution. A pleasant one, we would add.

5. Handles labor pain

We don’t need to tell how much pain pregnant women experience, especially if you are or have been in this category. Depression, anxiety, and leg, back pain, you name it. But a deep tissue massage comes like Tom Brady to save the day. Just like the superstar, it can’t always perform a miracle, yet it has enough super powers to make things better.

6. Diminishes fibromyalgia symptoms

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common disorder that feels like a widespread pain. On short-term, deep tissue massages can ease the pain, but if the symptoms are getting worse, you should consult a specialist.

7. Aids recovery in athletes

Deep tissue massages can do wonders for the body, such as increased blood flow, reduced muscle tension, and an increased sense of well-being. Therefore, it becomes a veritable Fountain of Youth for athletes, with positive effects on recovery and on the severity of muscle soreness.

8. Reduces stress

Starting with our job, friends or even family, everyone and everything can become a stress factor. A deep tissue massage can represent the perfect solution for you to increase the production of a hormone called oxytocin. Why? Because it creates positive emotions, and your social interactions will change for the better.

Our lives have become more stressful and it’s essential for our well-being to find solutions to relieve the pressure that comes with such feelings. Combining professional massage training with Asian heritage, Maria can provide a unique massage experience, one that can help you obtain a healthier body and a fresh mind. Regular massage therapy sessions with her can even change your life in a lot of good ways!

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Cupping Your Cold Away

Cupping back of the Neck for a cold virusMany people are unfamiliar with the concept behind a cupping massage today. However, this concept has been around for quite some time. It’s an ancient Chinese way of detoxifying your body, which is why it’s great for anyone who’s suffering from a cold or otherwise has aches and pains in their body. Once you’ve received this non-invasive, truly relaxing massage you’ll actually feel more energized. Oftentimes it’s done right alongside of acupuncture so your body is fully restored to wellness. This is why practitioners really recommend it when you have a cold.

How a Cupping Massage Works

During this massage modality, a practitioner uses several glass or rubber cups. They suction seal these cups in place on your skin. This causes such a strong vacuum that your blood is forced to flow strongly in these affected areas where the cups were applied. At the same time, the cups force your tissue to release any toxins it has. These flow up and out of your body where they’re disposed of in a similar fashion as how acupuncture works. In fact, there’s an old Chinese saying that supports the use of traditional Chinese medicine, “Acupuncture and cupping, more than half of the ills cured,”

Scientific research backs this massage modality, linking it back to the ancient Chinese practice of Chi (energy). The idea here is that your body has thousands of small energy flows. These enrich our lives and keep us healthy. However, when they’re interrupted, we get sick.

The Chinese believe that with cupping you can get the blood flowing and the energy moving again. When this happens your body can start healing its wounds, reducing its infections, and detoxing its tissue. In comparison to many of the detox diets and herbal pill remedies in existence today, cupping is much safer. This is because these diets typically force you to starve yourself to remove the toxins from your body. With this in mind, you can also understand why a cupping massage is also much more relaxing.

Using Cupping Massage for Colds

When your blood flow is strong and you have good energy flowing through your body, it’s easier for your body to respond to invasive bacteria and viruses, such as the common cold. Cupping promotes this type of well-being in your body by removing any toxins in your body. Typically, these toxins would keep your immune system so busy that it couldn’t fight off any foreign invaders. Once they’re removed from your body you start feeling better. You’re also able to ward off any colds.

If you already have a cold when you go for a cupping massage, a strengthened immune system will help shorten the length of your cold. It will also help break up any mucus so it’s easier for you to dislodge. Overall, you’ll feel more comfortable.

Getting Your Massage

This really is a pain-free massage modality. While some people say they felt like a bug bit them sometimes, this isn’t unbearable but it may take you some time to get used to it. After your first few massages you’ll also have some round bruises on your body. However, as your body has less toxins in it, you’ll have less bruises – eventually you’ll have none at all.

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New to Running: Is a Massage Right for You?

New to Running: Is a Massage Right for You?For many athletes, but especially runners and those that do long distance jogging alike, such strenuous exercise can have a serious toll on the body, from physical weakness to soreness, and even strains, sprains – or worse breakage. However, have no fear, as most if not all of these injuries can be prevented!

In fact, that’s exactly why a massage for runners can be so valuable. And, while it might sound silly or unusual, even the most professional, successful athletes can tell you and attest to regular messages being key to both performance and recovery. Getting a deep tissue or ‘sports massage’ regularly when physically active in sports can be very beneficial to both your physical and mental health.

One of the greatest benefits of a massage for runners is the positive impact it has on the overall cardiovascular and circular system. You see, how and when blood – with oxygen – and other nutrients is delivered throughout your body, into your muscles, will heavily dictate likelihood of performance, recovery time, and ability to do better the next time you go out there. Muscle tightness and range of motion will also be greatly improved over time with regular sports massages, but consistency is key.

A connected benefit to regular massages is that it can also help to motivate your body to more rapidly expel unwanted metabolic waste – and other unneeded acids. In fact, many pains, aches, and other soreness frequently associated with such waste can be eliminated, providing you with a smoother, and faster recovery. For athletes, especially bodybuilders, a message is likewise extremely variable. Similarly, that is, for its same muscle-restoring, strengthening, and injury-preventative properties.

Just know, and try to keep in mind that there are various types of massages – and masseuses- therefore it’s critical you ensure you are going to the right, licensed, and experienced sports masseuse or physical therapist that’s going to give you the right kind of deep tissue massage. When done correctly, it can also promote muscle repair and growth which means bigger, faster gains and performance.

Lastly, and this is often overlooked, but a regular massage for runners helps to ensure they are properly prepared or are ‘stretched out’ prior to any major race or competition. So, don’t ever underestimate the preventative value of a sports massage. Ideally, if possible, try to go with a licensed masseuse that is recommended by your physician or another massage specialist.

Remember, getting a massage doesn’t have to be every week – or even every two weeks for that matter. Depending on you and your current physical activity levels, it’s never too late to start getting regular sports massages.

NOTE: If you think you may already have an injury, have recently hurt yourself running, or during another physical sport or activity it is recommended that you first seek medical attention and care before getting a massage for runners.

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Massages Can Relieve Stress

Massages Can Relieve StressStress is a natural reaction to situations which our mind perceives to be dangerous or that require a level of high alert. It is a protection mechanism that is necessary at times but sometimes gets overplayed in the modern world due to excessive stress alerts. This makes it necessary to ensure we get adequate stress relief to mitigate the effects of too much stress- namely cardiac or mental health issues. Amongst these include a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, substance abuse issues, anxiety, sadness or anger, or physical changes to the body including changes in sex drive, sleep, and even body composition with increased fat being linked to high levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone. It is important to manage your life and your stress so that these risks are mitigated as best as possible because no one wants to deal with these comorbidities and conditions. Thankfully, there are many different forms of stress relief out there- everything from meditation to exercising to getting massages and it is really a matter of trying different things out to see what works best for you.

The latter, getting a massage, is especially growing in popularity right now. Many people seem to find that it just helps their worries seep away as they almost travel to another world for that half hour or hour session. Looking at the specific downstream effects of excessive stress, there are many case studies which suggest that massages can help alleviate those issues, making it a logical option at combatting stress given the fantastic safety profile. There have also been scientific studies which have shown associations with massages and reduced heart rates and blood pressure. Some studies have even shown increased endorphin levels after massages, which may be causing the positive feeling people get after receiving one. Massages are certainly on the upward trend right now, but they should not be your only form of stress management.

It should be noted that the best thing for stress is likely a combination of many things. It is important to eat right, exercise, and take care of your body in order for it to function properly and for stress to be minimized. Massages may be an add-on to those other activities as may meditation too. Stress relief has great potency in improving your life beyond just your health, though. It can help increase vitality and improve your state of mind.

If you think you are interested in trying out massages, the next question is where do you go to get a quality one? There are now many retail outlets at which you can get professional massage services including Massage Envy, which is one of the most popular chains. There are also many local masseuses who can offer custom services to their clients including home visits, etc. Just be sure to do your research on the massage service to make sure that they are a legitimate business with certified professionals. Once you find someone you like you can stick with them and continue to fight back the never-ending onslaught of stress!

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Therapeutic Massage and Blood Circulation

Therapeutic Massage and Blood CirculationA new study by a group at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) shows that massages can help increase blood flow and reduce muscle soreness after exercising. The study, printed in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, also showed improvements in people who had not exercised in terms of blood flow. These two findings continue to support a hypothesis on the value of massages for people of all activity levels and vascular health.

Advocates of massages have long touted the circulate and muscle benefits of getting massages. Many professional athletes buy into these claims and get regular massages, especially after big games or events. At the same time, no major randomized controlled trial has been conducted due to the high costs associated with that type of gold-standard study. Instead, we have a growing body of cheaper and smaller studies including this one by UIC. Over time, it is possible the evidence level builds up to really support more interventional massages as part of routine care.

This new study helps validate that potential message by using patient-centric outcomes. Study participants were asked to do leg presses until they felt sore. One cohort received massages after this, while the other cohort did not. Soreness was rated on a scale of 1 to 10 both right after the exercise and after 24 hours. The massage cohort reported no continuing soreness even 90 minutes after the massage, whereas the other group still had soreness 24 hours after the exercise. Brachial artery flow mediated dilation (FMD) was also measured in the upper arm at 90 minutes after exercise as well as 1, 2, and 3 days afterward. FMD improved for both groups over time, as expected, but the exercise-only group lagged in return to normalcy, suggesting that there is a physiological mechanism behind the results and not only a placebo effect. The FMD results also suggest a systemic effect since the readings were from the arm and the exercise was in the legs.

While more robust and larger randomized clinical trials will be needed to further quantify the effects of massage, the early data certainly suggest that there is a benefit. And either way, we know there are not any major safety issues with getting massages for most people, so that makes it an okay thing to try for those who may believe it could help so long as the cost justifies the potential upside. Specific studies on cost effectiveness may be able to further delineate this latter point and could eventually increase access to massages if insurance companies and other payers start to see the value in them and are willing to pay for them. Provider referrals would likely be required in these cases, so the medical body of evidence also needs to grow, but as of now, there is not much holding that back other than the issues of cost when it comes to running large studies to confirm physiological and medical effects. It will be interesting to see how the impact of a massage on blood circulation develops over time.

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Varieties of Body Massages

Picture Credit : healthxwellness.com

Picture Credit : healthxwellness.com

There are more than one hundred unique massage types available. Massages help in relaxation and reduction of stress which can only be performed by trained professionals. Here is a list of the most popular massage types:

Swedish massage Therapy

Among several massage types, this is most prevalent also known as massage therapy or Swedish massage. The massage therapists make use of kneading, smooth strokes and circular movements on muscle layers using massage oil or lotion.

Aromatherapy Massage

This is one extremely relaxing procedure where the massage therapists use essential oils from different plants that offer various advantages. These oils are balancing, stress-reducing, energizing and relaxing. It helps the person to feel absolute calmness by creating a soothing and charming atmosphere.

Hot Stone Massage

Smooth heated stones are kept on specific parts to warm the muscles and loosen them up. It might also happen that the person offering the massage might apply minute pressure with the stones. This is light massage and perfect for people suffering from muscle tension.

Shiatsu

This is a Japanese body work form where finger pressure is enforced on acupuncture meridians in rhythmic sequence. The points are held for 2 to 8 seconds which help in regaining balance and increase energy flow. Most people get surprised as the procedure is extremely relaxing yet involves application of firm pressure.

Apart from these forms there are a number of other types that can benefit people to an extent that is not even imaginable.

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Massage Therapy of Different Types

Massages are preferred by many people on a daily basis but most regard it as a luxury for the rich ones. However, massage therapy has some unique health benefits perfect for treating different health related conditions.

Massages of different kinds are available which can be effective in treating muscle soreness. But sometimes, choosing the right massage technique for different conditions can prove to be difficult for a person. With so many types of massages available, some people might think that a few of them are just for showing. This is not at all true as every massage comes with some unique benefits. Therapies of different types are offered by these massages. Some massages make use of long strokes whereas others make use of short strokes. There are massages that employ light touch techniques while others are based on applying extreme pressure. (more…)

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A Massage in Need is A Massage Indeed

Picture Credit : groupon.com

Picture Credit : groupon.com

Holidays are meant to be celebrated and not slept through. However, the reality is not as perfect as people would want it to be. Holiday relaxations become strange to body and mind as they their familiarity with fast paced daily-life continues during holidays too. The best treatment to prepare for holidays or stay fit during holidays is massage, which has multifarious benefits on humans’ bodies and minds.

Physical issues trouble people the most as they become hurdles in enjoyment of free time with loved ones. It is a definite fact that anyone would be more pleased during holidays if he/she does not have to suffer from body-aches. Hence a massage is the perfect option in order to get relieved off physical pains and aches. However, massages do not only work on the body like contemporary medicines, they also release mind of the tension that it might be in. Thus, while muscles and joints remain fit for highly spirited activities, mind remains ready to enjoy them. (more…)

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