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You’d probably do anything to help your sore muscles feel better. What you may not realize though is that there are some tools available that will help you get some relief. While a massage is great, these tools can help release any knots you have in your muscles.
Shopping for the Right Tools
When you go online to shop for these tools it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole since there are a lot of gadgets that don’t only look weird but are also available in a wide array of shapes and sizes. While you can find a lot of high-tech tools here (e.g. solar-powered, heated, diffusing social oils) the low-tech ones are surprisingly effective including things like:
- Foam rollers are a simple tube-shaped cylinder that’s made from dense foam. It helps relieve back pain, but you must choose the right foam density first. If you’re in great shape, a very hard roller may be just what you need. However, there are also softer rollers that have a little more give to them. Once you’ve made your choice you should place your roller under your trigger points then lie down on it so that your body weight can press the roller into these tight spots on your back. Try not to wiggle around to much. Instead, when the roller is properly placed, stay put so that the steady pressure that’s being placed on your back eases up. If this doesn’t work, you may want to move the roller slightly above or below your trigger point. A little discomfort is normal regardless of the roller’s placement, but when you’re done your muscles will feel more relaxed.
- Rubber lacrosse balls are better than a foam roller for any neck or shoulder discomfort you may be suffering from since you don’t need to be a contortionist to use them properly. Nevertheless, these lacrosse balls work in much the same way that a foam roller works on your back. You should try to reach the knots in your neck and shoulders while you’re lying on the floor, but if this doesn’t work you should try to stand by a wall then lean back against your lacrosse balls. You may need to be a bit creative here.
When to use Massage Tools
Once you’ve chosen a tool you should use it consistently – 5 or 6 times daily for 3 – 5 minutes each time. This will provide you with the best results. However, you should never use these tools right before you work out. Since they provide you with a trigger point massage, they relax your muscles so if you exercise immediately after using them you’ve raised your risk of injury. Instead, try using them before going to sleep at night. All it takes is 10 minutes and you may even sleep better because of it.
When you’ve tried these tools and found that they’re not working for you, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Maria’s Professional Massage. Maria will have you feeling better soon so contact her today.
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It’s not a secret at all that massage therapy has several benefits upon the human body, as it’s far from being just a method of relaxation.
For example, it was recently discovered that therapeutic massage can help to reduce the unnecessary use of anti-psychotics!
How? Human interaction is the secret!
According to a report from The Alzheimer’s Society, there is a small – but it exists – amount of evidence showing that massage can help in the management of several symptoms associated with dementia. To be more specific, we’re talking about depression, anxiety, or even agitation.
People living with dementia can easily and gladly accept a hand massage, as the touch of a hand is still a familiar sensation to them. A quick, five-minute session of therapeutic massage on the hands can trigger a psychological relaxation response!
But this is not everything, as it can also increase the level of serotonin, otherwise a monoamine neurotransmitter, known as a contributor to the feeling of happiness.
Hands aren’t the only areas where therapeutic massage moves can be applied. Foot massages, for example, are great for promoting sleep, but also transmitting a sensation of support and comfort, which leads to deep relaxation. Therefore, it can also reduce some of the behavioral symptoms of dementia.
Moving on, it was also revealed that massage can treat one of the most critical symptoms of dementia, agitation. For the past years, this side effect was treated with medication, but let’s not forget that this also involves side effects, like increasing a patient’s risk of falls and even fractures.
Even more, it was observed that therapeutic massage used with a specific control group will have great effects for those already suffering from dementia, not to mention they also have a useful adjunct to the current pain management plan.
As mentioned above, dementia patients can enjoy multiple benefits, even after a quick massage session. It helps getting rid of feelings like anxiety while increasing the body’s alertness. But, probably one of the most important benefits, is easing the feeling of loneliness and boredom, felt by a lot of patients. If you prefer, massage has what it takes to make dementia patients feel, once again, worthy of themselves.
To sum it up, it can easily be said that therapeutic massage can easily be considered an alternative in easing the behavioral symptoms, through the sensation of calmness it triggers. Therefore, it’s also a holistic approach to taking care of dementia.
Thanks to her extensive experience, but also knowledge and massage training, Maria’s Professional massage can be the place where you can see the benefits of therapeutic massage put into practice.
Everything begins with scheduling an appointment for a patient suffering from dementia and you can help them embark on a journey to obtaining a better mind and body, through gentle human interaction.
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Day by day, we keep seeing tons of ads for various products, promising to keep us looking as young as possible. Apparently, people are terrified by the idea of getting older and try to hide any signs age puts on their faces. Sure this can be done with make-up, intense training, a healthy lifestyle and, why not, some Botox.
But these do cost. A lot.
What if we told you that there are a few secrets of how can one stay young and have a great health, without using any of the above-mentioned things? Let’s take a few moments, relax, and see what can you do…
Take a break
If you’re reading this while on a comfortable chair, you’re on the right path, as one of the most important things you can do is to give yourself a break from time to time.
According to recent studies, stress causes physical changes in the body, thus accelerating the aging process. These days, there are stress factors all over, so the most effective way to break this destructive chain of events is to meditate. Even if it’s for as little as 10 minutes per day.
Pick a quiet place, close your eyes, fully relax and breathe deeply. Then thank us in a few years.
Besides helping you lose weight and being excellent for your health, regular exercise is also great for toning muscles, building healthier bones and – very important – boost your mood and help you think clearly.
Actually, there’s a connection between physical exercise and better brain power!
“Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent,” says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Center on Aging. “Physical conditioning reduces stress and anxiety, which wipe out your memory bank.”
A few short workouts per week are a great start. Running, biking, swimming, you name it. If it gets you off the couch, your health can improve and you will stay young!
Drink some wine
Believe it or not, a study showed that mice on a high-fat diet supplemented with a substance found in the skin of grapes had way longer average lifespans than those who weren’t given the substance.
Resveratrol, the substance we’re talking about, reduces the risk of diabetes and liver problem in mice, besides other benefits. So basically, if you’re drinking one glass of wine per day, you’re constantly helping it to maintain its health. Just make sure you keep it within the limits.
Consume more good fat
This can be a pretty surprising piece of advice, but we’re actually talking about fats that are good for your health, like Omega-3 fatty acids, like the ones found in salmon. These play an important role in stabilizing your mood, as well as maintaining bone structure and helping prevent visible signs of aging, something we’re all after.
“Omega-3s also boost the ability of the body’s enzymes to pull fat out of storage — from your hips, say — and use it as energy,” says Nicholas Perricone, MD, a leading anti-aging expert and author of 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity. “Omega-3s keep you healthy and your skin radiant.”
As mentioned above, the best way to start this journey is to relax from time to time. Meditation can be great, but sometimes, nothing compares to a good massage. And Maria knows exactly how to reduce your stress levels and improve your overall health and well-being.
Schedule an appointment today and embark on the road to obtaining a healthier body and mind.
Picture Credit: Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet
Due to their daily activities, which usually include sitting on a chair in front of a PC all day long, many people complain about pain and other related issues, seriously affecting their musculoskeletal system.
As previously, discussed, deep tissue bodywork is a great way of getting rid of such problems. Anatomically speaking, the body’s soft tissues include not just the muscles, but also the connective tissue and nerves that support the skeleton and enable movement. These tissues go layers-deep beneath the skin and sometimes can be relatively difficult to isolate. However, this is where deep tissue bodywork comes in.
This type of massage pinpoints exact soft tissues and treats them, eventually getting rid of pain and restoring all functions of the musculoskeletal system.
Over the past years, a few deep tissue methods have proven to be the best choices for various problems, becoming very popular. Let’s take a few moments and find out more about each of these methods.
Active Release Technique
This method of deep tissue bodywork is considered the gold standard for treatment of athletic injuries, but it has a wider spectrum of users. The technique addresses the whole ‘package’ surrounding an injury: muscle, tendon, ligament, nerve, and fascia.
Massagists use this method to promote smooth tissue movement, restricting the breakup of a scar tissue, as well as the restoration in function in the shortest time possible.
Moving on, we have another deep tissue bodywork technique which recognizes the musculoskeletal system as a seamless network of interactive tissues, instead of a collection of distinctive parts.
A rolfing technique mostly focuses on optimizing the connective tissues, in order to have them released and realigned, balancing the entire body. There are situations in which the fascia surrounding your musculoskeletal structures can become imbalanced, resulting in over-stretched or overly shortened tissue.
After applying this technique, the balance in your musculoskeletal system is restored, thus promoting a better posture, as well as coordinated movement and significantly less pain in the muscles.
Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapy
Developed by Therese C. Pfrimmerr, this method’s aim is to change the muscular structure – only at a cellular level – through cross-fiber strokes. Besides this, it’s designed to stimulate lymphatic and circulatory systems, in order to promote cellular repair, but also get rid of all the toxic waste from muscle cells.
Visceral Manipulation Therapy
Finally, we also have one more deep tissue bodywork method, directed at the body’s visceral organs, supposed to work in full harmony.
Back to the method, it claims that when one organ starts developing an abnormal tone, as well as adhesions or displacement, it may start working against other organs, soft tissues, and bones, resulting in abnormal points of tension and chronic irritation. This type of therapy wants to restore this lost harmony and it’s usually used in cases of pelvic and back pain, but also headaches caused by migraines and other health issues.
Image credit: Toa Heftiba
You’ve probably seen a lot of people walking barefoot on the street and wondered what is the actual reason why they’re doing this. Surprisingly or not, they’re part of a bigger community, all of them doing this for its benefits on their health!
Called “earthing” or “grounding”, walking barefoot has numerous benefits, but they are often overlooked by mainstream society, who actually promotes the importance of wearing shoes all the time.
Dr. Mercola claims that walking with nothing on your feet and touching directly the soil allows your body to absorb a number of negative electrons through the Earth. This plays an important role in stabilizing daily cortisol rhythm, but also creates a balanced internal bioelectrical environment.
Barefoot walking fans also say that this is a simple effort, which has way more benefits than one could actually think. Let’s go through a few of the most important and then decide if there’s actually worth it giving up shoes, at least from time to time.
It reduces pain and inflammation
According to a study, in which participants slept on a conductive mattress pad that reproduced the effects of sleeping directly on the ground for eight weeks, walking with no shoes can get you reduce cortisone levels. This automatically means less pain, stress and sleep troubles, as the participants declared.
It helps you sleep better
A different study revealed that earthing can induce relaxation, by influencing physiologic processes. People who tried this…procedure had a better night’s sleep, when compared with those who don’t walk barefoot at all. This happens because it stabilizes circadian rhythms.
It reduces the risk of heart diseases
Probably one of the most important benefits of walking barefoot on your health is the fact that it can increase the surface charge of red blood cells. This results in a reduction of clumping, therefore decreasing blood thickness. High viscosity has been directly linked to heart diseases, as one of the major issues causing them.
It boosts your energy levels
This is by far the most obvious benefit, but it still had to be mentioned here. It is believed that each time you immerse in the natural work, you somehow pick up on the higher frequencies emitted from nature. This allows you to increase your energy levels and forget about the exposure to modern society, which affects your vitality.
It makes menstrual cramps easier to support
One of the most surprising advantages of walking barefoot is its ability to ease menstrual cramps. Basically, all the pain we feel in our body starts in the mind and manifests as stress. This can have a big impact on menstrual cramps. Try going outdoors and let your bare feet touch the ground for a while, then see what this can do.
It helps loosen tense muscles
Yes, another study! It appears that earthing can prevent muscle soreness from occurring, especially after engaging in physical exercises. Obviously, it can be applied in various situations that cause tense muscles, especially very common ones, like working at a desk all day. Besides loosening tense muscles, it can also help you get rid of migraines, caused by exposure to radiation.
Speaking of tense muscles, another great way of getting rid of this problem is getting a massage. Combining the knowledge of professional massage training with the customs and practices of Asian heritage, Maria is always happy to offer a unique massage experience.
Available for clients in Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor Florida and Tampa Bay Area, she is always ready to help you get on the path to obtaining a healthier mind and body.
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A 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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Many 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.
There is a large body of articles and various forms of evidence which support the mental and physical benefits of getting massages. The vast majority of these focus on the benefits of receiving a massage, however, a new study suggests that for couples, massaging your partner can have a positive effect for the massager as well as the partner getting the massage. The study from Northumbria University in the UK studied couples over three weeks and found that both giving and receiving them led to reduced stress and increased feelings of wellbeing for both partners.
The popularity of massages continues to grow worldwide with almost one in five getting massages in 2016 in the United States. Of these, about half said it helped alleviate some sort of pain and improved wellness or helped with other issues. About a quarter said it reduced stress too. The majority of these respondents likely got their massages from professionals because that is the typical thing to do with almost 62% of massages getting done at spas, massage parlors, or a physical therapist’s office. This new finding offers perhaps a better way to get massages if both partners are willing. It can be financially beneficial compared to getting them from others and it may also improve intimacy. Learning to properly massage may be a good investment for couples interested in this sort of thing.
Further research should be conducted to verify the findings of this study, which looked at 38 people in 19 couples over 3 weeks. It will be interesting to see if this also extends to non-couples, or whether it is something about the relationship that might be driving the mutual benefits. This is plausible given that couples typically want their partner to be happy and feel good, so seeing them that way may, in turn, help them feel better and happier as well.
This study is the latest in a wide body of new studies which have looked at massages and their impacts in various scenarios from a scientific standpoint. Other studies have looked at things like recovering from athletic events, improvements in mental function, changes in blood flow, and injury recovery time after massages. Larger randomized controlled trials should be conducted in order to verify these results before prescribing them widely in medical practice, but the safety profile is good enough for most people that they can likely get massages (or now give them) and see if they notice a benefit in themselves. It is always optimal to talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you want to see whether massages can have a clinical impact on you if this is possible (although you probably do not need to schedule a special meeting for that unless you have some other condition that makes that a good idea). Massages are growing in popularity for a reason and the trend is likely to continue as research such as this one support the use and as a culture in general starts to better value wellbeing, relaxation, and meditation.
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There is hardly any doubt about the fact that people like massage as it offers them the perfect relaxation and rejuvenation. Massages are part of different cultures and considered as universal practice. Presently, there are several massage forms available each catering to the specific needs of people to help them relax and relieve the pain they suffer from. Here are a few of the most common massage forms that have earned huge popularity among people from all over the world:
- Californian – In this procedure, essential oil is first applied on the body and smooth long strokes offer the ultimate relaxation. Too much pressure is not involved and this massage is best for people who want to spend some relaxing time on their own.
- Esalen – Reflex points within the hand and feet are stimulated by targeting on specific points. With the assistance of this massage muscular function is increased along with flow of blood within the body.
- Watsu – This massage form uses warm water where the client is floated in it and acupressure is applied to certain points. Apart from relaxation, the respiration is controlled which helps in relaxation.
- Cranial Sacral Therapy – This massage is generally for the sacrum, spinal cord and head. Compression in these areas is released with the assistance of this massage. People who suffer from neck pain, headache, back pain and migraine are bound to benefit a lot is they undergo this therapy from some professional masseuse.