7 Moves To Be Ready for Ski Season

Be Ready for Ski Season with these 7 Moves

Get your legs back in skiing shape from the comfort of your living room with these seven easy moves.

Winter is just around the corner, and if you want to get in ski-season shape by the time snow begins to fall, you need to start training now.  These do-at-home exercises will help you avoid a case of noodle legs on your first run this winter.

1. Leg Blasters

This four-part set combines lunges and squats to gain more power and control while skiing downhill. The moves are intended to lengthen and strengthen your muscles through negative contractions. Perform a full set—squats, alternating lunges, jump lunges, and jump squats—then rest for 15 seconds. Repeat six times.

Squats: Standing with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart, lower into a seated position until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your heels grounded and your knees behind your toes. Maintain a strong core and hold your arms by your hips for alignment. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

Alternating Lunges: Set your feet shoulder-width apart and step forward with your left foot into a lunge. Keep your left leg bent at 90 degrees, and your right knee almost touching the ground behind you. Pushing off your front heel, return to the starting position with your feet apart. Repeat on the right leg. Do 10 to 20 reps for each leg.

Jump Lunges: Perform a lunge with your left leg forward. Then jump up and switch legs in the air, landing with your right foot in front of you and your left foot back. Repeat 10 to 20 reps for each leg.

Jump Squats: Squat and then shift weight from your heels to the balls of your feet to explode upward before landing softly on the ground. Do five to ten reps.

2. Russian Twists

This core-specific exercise is great for building those oblique muscles that you’ll need every time you go through turns on the mountain.

Sit on the ground and lean up slightly with your knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle. Grab a dumbbell or weight plate and hold it with bent arms away from your chest. With your feet off the floor, engage your core and rotate your upper body as far as you can to the right, touching the weight to the ground. Return to the center and then twist to the other side. One repetition is a twist to each side. Do three rounds of 10 to 20 reps.

3. Lateral Hops with Tuck Hold

This exercise, which combines isometric and dynamic movements, is designed to improve stamina on the hill. While performing a lateral hop, keep in mind that the goal is not to jump as high as you can, but instead to improve strength and quickness. 

Keep a wide stance and jump laterally back and forth over a sandbag or foam roller. Concentrate on jumping softly and quickly. Continue for 30 seconds, then sink down into a squat position and hold for another 30 seconds, keeping a flat back and open chest. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat four to eight times or as many as you can do with good form.

4. Front Squats

This low-rep, high-weight move is meant to improve your core and lower body strength.

Standing with a barbell or kettlebell held up near your jaw, lower your butt to the ground. Take a deep breath as you squat down and exhale as you stand back up. Keep your core engaged and your back straight as you slowly return to a starting position. Do six rounds of four to six reps. 

5. Low Back Complex

This three-part circuit is intended to combat lower back pain by strengthening muscles through isometric positions. 

First, stand with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and keep your spine arched and contract your lower back muscles. Starting with your arms at your side, raise them upward and over your head. Hold that position for 20 seconds. Next, perform a lunge with your left leg forward. Hold the lunge position and raise your arms upward and keep them elevated for 20 seconds. Third, kneel on the ground with your legs about six inches apart. Keep an arched lower back and open chest while raising your arms upward and hold that fully extended position for 20 seconds. Repeat the series three to four times. 

6. Single-Leg Deadlifts

This body-stabilizing exercise works your glutes, hamstring, and core, and enhances balance while also building ankle stability. 

Standing upright, extend your hands and slowly lean forward, leading with your chest. Slowly lift one leg out behind you, and keep your base leg slightly bent to maintain balance. While slowly leaning over, keep your back leg straight and in-line with your torso. Remember to take a deep breath in as you go forward and exhale as you return to a standing position. Do six reps. Then repeat on the opposite leg.

7. Jane Fonda

This four-part exercise activates your gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius to improve your balance. Perform the series for two rounds of 30 seconds each on the ground. Then switch sides to work the other leg. 

First, lie down on your right side with your right arm tucked beneath your head. Raise your left leg and lower it on the floor behind your right leg. Next, bring your left knee to your chest, while focusing on contracting your core. Then, starting from a straight-legged position, kick your left leg behind you to your rear. Finally, make clockwise circles with your left leg. After 15 seconds, switch to a counter-clockwise direction. Switch sides and repeat the circuit.

With these 7 moves in your daily routine, you’ll be standing strong and avoiding noodle legs on the slopes this winter.

Sports injuries

Sports massage is for the rehabilitation of a previous injury. Nothing slows you down like chronic pain from an old injury. Our massage therapists work on the injury location as well as on the muscle groups associated with the injury that may be causing additional pain from over-compensation due to the injury. The massage therapists at ZEN Massage are ready to get you back in form. Contact us about our Sports Massage Therapy in Salt Lake City.

Sports / Injury Therapy — 45 minutes for $65

Zen Massage in Salt Lake City

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

 

Source

 

How to Begin a Workout Routine

Begin a Workout Routine Again

Have you been planted in the couch cushions too long?  Here are some tips we’ve found on how to start exercising and establish a fitness routine you’ll actually stick with.

Stop beating yourself up for your lack of effort, it’s time to move on and forgive yourself.

Here’s how to start:

1 Take Some Selfies

In order to accurately track your progress, it’s helpful to identify your starting point and then define your goal. If you do this every two to four weeks you can track your progress. Another option is to use a tape measure and track measurements in your biceps, waist, hips, bust, and thigh areas so you can see you’re losing inches, even on weeks when it seems the scale hasn’t budged.

2 Start Small

So you haven’t lifted a weight since who knows when? That’s OK. The first week you’re easing back into exercising, start small. Know that any movement is good movement. Commit to doing 10 minutes of an exercise video or walking for exercise three days this week. This will help you establish behaviors and create the habits your body will thank you for.

3 Make One Change at a Time

The first week you intend to exercise, look ahead at your schedule and establish modest changes to your routine. Write down five ways you are going to be healthy today. Your daily success list could include things like not drinking soda, eating more vegetables, doing 30 minutes of walking today, taking the stairs in your office once a day, and drinking more water. Keep them small and achievable so you’ll be motivated by your daily victories.

4 Plan Out Your Mornings

Starting a morning workout routine is just like establishing any other new habit: It requires some planning and dedication. Prep your coffeemaker to go off when you wake up, pack your lunch the night before. Look at each week ahead of time and plan exercise accordingly. Advance prepping and planning can eliminate decisions about your workout, clothes, or what you’re eating that day—freeing up time to actually exercise.

5 Expect to Fall

Here’s the reality of any journey, whether it’s business, relationships, diet, or fitness—you’re going to make mistakes and stumble along the way. Just remember, like you would if you were faced with an issue in the workplace, identify the problem and take action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

6 Look Beyond Weight Loss

Exercise for the health benefits that aren’t related to weight loss, like feeling more energized, happier, calmer, and experiencing better sleep. When you don’t feel like exercising, remind yourself of how good you’ll feel during or after exercise. If you can begin to associate being active with pleasure and how good you feel as a result of it, you’ll be more inclined to stick to your exercise routine.

7 Find Something You Can Stick With

Fitness experts and doctors alike often say the “best exercise” is the one you enjoy and will keep doing. If you hate boot camp workouts or can’t see yourself making a weekly commitment to yoga, move on to something you’ll look forward to showing up for. Maybe a dance class, Spinning, ballet-inspired barre workouts, or walking with friends. You want to make this experience as pleasant as possible. 

8 Make New Habits

If you can nail down a few fitness habits—whether that’s getting up a few mornings a week or even showing up to the gym when you don’t feel like it—you’re more likely to be successful. Once your mental game is on point and established, the physical aspect of following through with your intentions will be easier.

9 Do It for Yourself

When you make a promise to anyone else in your life—your husband, child, boss, or friend—you stick to it, but because it’s you, you might not stick to your commitment. You must treat the fitness and health commitments you make for yourself like you would your job, family, and friendships. You wouldn’t let important people in your life who are counting on you down, so why do it to yourself? 

In the end it’s all about taking care of you.

Zen Massage in Salt Lake City 

ZenMassage.net

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

Recurring Pain | Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage in Murray, UT.

When recurring pain is an issue for you, one of the best treatment methods for many, is deep tissue massage. At Zen Massage Salt Lake, our goal is to give every patient relief and relaxation from their busy, tense life to slow down and address the issues that have built up in their body and mind. We are confident that you will walk away from every treatment feeling relaxed and restored.

 

What Is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage is one of our most popular forms of massage – it focuses on firm pressure and includes many of the same strokes as Swedish massage. Deep tissue massages usually consist of firm pressure being applied slowly, over time, with the goal of fascial and myofascial release.

There are many myths that circle the practice of deep massage, one of them being that the pressure is very intense. While it is true that deep tissue massage utilizes firm pressure, we at Zen Massage understand that everyone is unique and has varying degrees of comfort regarding what is enjoyable. We understand that the key to your enjoyment of any massage is going at a pace that suits you. We gently apply pressure in a slow, consistent manner and encourage your feedback throughout the process, which allows us to fine tune every single massage to your particular comfort level.

 

Deep Tissue Massage Offers Pain Relief

If you suffer from pain or discomfort in your shoulders, neck, or back, deep tissue massage is a fantastic way to treat you. While the areas above of the body are what most people associate with the practice of deep tissue massage the reality is that we can treat many issues in most regions of the body using this technique. Because we are well-versed in a variety of massage techniques, we can utilize many different methods during a single session to resolve any pain issues you may be experiencing.

 

Pain Caused By Outdoor Activities Can Easily Be Treated With Deep Tissue Massage

At Zen Massage Salt Lake, we are all about the mountains. We love to get outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us in this wonderful corner of the world! Whether it be an ache or pain caused by playing sports with friends, or a twisted ankle sustained on a lofty mountain trail, we get it! Let us know what you do, and we will let you know how we can help to get you back in perfect condition for every season.

Deep Tissue Massage in Salt Lake City –  Zen Massage

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

Massage Therapy for Sports Injuries: Knee Pain

Massage therapy methods used to release tension around the knee and how acute or insidious knee injuries are treated. 

Knee pain is frustrating, especially when it starts to compromise your form and hinder you from performing at your best. If you have a sports related knee injury, I suggest you treat it now. Don’t wait. Your body needs knees to function properly.

As the age-old song implies, your knees are indeed connected to the rest of your body. And the longer you try to push through the knee pain, the more likely you’ll be to find yourself seeking treatment later on for compensatory pain in your neck, shoulder, back, hip, arch, foot or toe.

Massage therapy is a great way to treat and better understand the root of your knee pain.

Is the Injury Acute or Insidious?

Acute Problem

Was the pain sudden? Did pain occur following a quick movement, forceful fall, knee twist, kick to the side of the knee, etc? This is an acute injury and you should see a medical professional immediately, as there might be a diagnosis of torn meniscus, muscle strain or ligament injury. In the meantime, RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) is the way to go. Massage Therapy at this phase should only be gentle and light with a goal to promote lymphatic circulation and minimize swelling.

Insidious Problem

Or maybe your knee pain started as a niggling vague annoyance? Perhaps the trigger was an old ankle injury, minor knee sprain in high school, a bad fall some years ago (that you thought healed just fine), or even poor posture? This type of knee injury is considered to be chronic or insidious. Micro-trauma accumulates over time. If left untreated, the condition fueled by progressive muscle imbalance and chronic inflammation around the knee can turn into a full-blown acute injury.

Assessment & Treatment

Massage therapists try to unravel and release structures around your knee that are likely to exacerbate pain. Techniques like effleurage, petrissage, muscle stripping, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, cross-fiber friction, and ischemic compression are used to restore integrity and balance to the knee joint.

There are lots of contributing factors making every person’s knee injury unique. An orthopedic-trained Massage Therapist should first do a simple assessment, and then make a plan of action to work and build from.

The assessment gathers info about your injury history, pain patterns, joint movement and postural alignment. We also assess the length, strength and quality/feel/composition of the muscles and structures around your injured knee, and beyond into your hips, spine and ankles.

Therapists use clues like pain location, simple movements that recreate symptoms, and palpation as a starting point for relieving knee pain.

Conclusion

Massage Therapy for sports-related knee pain 1-2 times per week with the same therapist for at least 3 weeks to determine its effectiveness for your injury is recommended.

Massage Therapy for knee pain is ideal in conjunction with a corrective exercise plan designed by a chiropractor with a sports injury specialty or a physical therapist.

You’ll be a happier person and perhaps a better athlete if you aim to understand what’s causing your knee pain and treat it properly.

 

For professional Sports Massage in Salt Lake City Contact Zen Massage

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

Sports Massage “Hurts So Good”

Sports Massage Really Does Hurt So Good

According to Johnson Memorial Health’s blog, Sports Massage Really Does Hurt So Good.

 “It’s a good kind of hurt.” Sports Massage Therapy may not have the same ambiance or effects of a luxurious spa treatment, but the benefits will improve your athletic performance and help injury recovery. 

There’s no need to suffer with tight or sore muscles for weeks on end when regular therapy can help expedite recovery. The deep tissue rubdown can be painful at first but the effects on conditioning and improvement on performance is well worth the initial discomfort.

Many professional, collegiate and high school athletic programs integrate Sports Massage into their training programs, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. Massages take place before or after competition. And, while Sports Massage is more physically intense than a spa massage, you’ll still walk away with less stress and tension.

The specific technique used in Sports Massage Therapy gives your muscles more oxygen and nutrients necessary for quick recovery and to prepare them for competition. To give you a better idea of how exactly this happens, we broke down the benefits for you.

Pacing

Often fast-paced, Sports Massage Therapy can be administered before or after competition or a workout. It is designed to increase flexibility and reduce soreness – and can be customized by the sport or athlete’s body type. Typically pre-event massages are performed at a faster pace to prepare the muscles for competition; stimulating them to increase speed and flexibility.

Technique

The Certified Sports Massage Therapist administering the massage uses specific techniques that apply heavier pressure on layers of muscles and deep tissues. This helps to:

  • Get blood flowing back to the heart
  • Deliver fresh oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and tissue

The goal is to remove knots and tension within the muscles. The tissue movement also removes waste products and toxins from your tissues and muscles through the blood and lymphatic system. Drinking plenty of water after a massage helps to move these out of your body.  — with the help of lots of water following the massage.

Physical Benefits

While a Sports Massage can leave you sore for about a day or two, the therapy directly benefits the muscles and integrated cardiovascular system. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine said the increased and enhanced blood circulation and relaxed muscles helps to:

  • Relieve muscle tension
  • Reduce soreness
  • Make for faster recovery
  • Increase range of motion and flexibility

Sports Massage Therapy can also prevent or relieve Delayed Onset Muscle soreness by encouraging blood and lymph flow throughout the body and preventing muscle fatigue.

Psychological Benefits

Besides helping the body recover physically, Sports Massage Therapy also gets you into competition mod and mentally prepares you for your next workout. During the release of tight muscles, the body increases dopamine and serotonin levels. This reduces stress, tension and anxiety by activating your parasympathetic nervous system.

Therapist Qualifications

A therapist’s credentials help give you a clearer idea of a therapist’s capabilities and competency surrounding different massage therapies. In general, according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), credentials include:

  • Licensing
  • Board Certification
  • Education and Training with an accredited school
  • Membership with a professional association like AMTA, NCBTMB or ABMP.

To ensure that your therapist is understanding of sports-related injuries or prevention, it’s recommended that you look for a therapist with certification in particular modalities used in sports therapy, for example, myofascial techniques

Make sure to ask them about any questions or concerns you have about Sports Massage Therapy.

Originally Posted by Johnson Memorial Health

 

For professional Sports Massage in Salt Lake City Contact Zen Massage (801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

YOUR FIRST MASSAGE SESSION, WHAT TO EXPECT

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR FIRST MASSAGE SESSION

by Eric Stephenson

If you’re anything like me, the anticipation of receiving a massage can feel a lot like the build up to going on a great vacation.

But instead of a long weekend, you’re in for an afternoon of relaxation with significant health benefits, ranging from decreased back pain to improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety.

It’s a welcome break from the world.

But it does require the all-important first step: booking the appointment.

As obvious as the benefits are, both physically and mentally, booking your first appointment can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Will the massage therapist be a man or a woman? What should you do if you feel uncomfortable?

A common misconception is that massage is a one-size-fits-all therapy. Many people don’t understand that it’s supposed to be an extremely customizable and personalized experience, based on individual needs and comfort level.

So, what should you expect during your first massage session—and how can you make sure the experience is as enjoyable as possible?

Communicate Before, During & After the Session

Before your appointment begins, your massage therapist should take a few minutes to get to know your health history, determine how your body is feeling to you, and discuss what you’d like to get out of the session.

During this discussion, it’s your opportunity to communicate your needs, concerns, and any areas you prefer to have specifically worked with and conversely, the areas you would like the therapist to avoid.

If you’ve never had a massage before, you may discover you like, dislike or need to adjust something during your session. Always be sure to speak up and let the massage therapist know what you need.

Whether it’s more pressure, less music or additional draping, there should always be an open line of communication between you and your therapist to make you as comfortable as possible, at all times.

Understand the Power Differential

It’s important to be aware of the power differential that can take place once you’re on the table.

Many times, people don’t speak their needs as clearly when they are on a massage table, and a clothed professional is standing over them. It can inhibit a lot of people from communicating their needs on pressure, table temperature, or if the draping doesn’t feel comfortable.

The good news is, massage therapists are trained to use leading questions to help you feel at ease.

For example, in terms of asking about pressure, rather than the therapist asking how the pressure is on the table, they should ask you whether you’d like more, less or the same amount of pressure, so you can articulate what you want. This feedback is important for you and for them throughout the massage session.

Like communication in any new relationship, it’s normal to feel a bit awkward communicating with your massage therapist at first. Rest assured that for the therapist, this feedback and information is a normal part of their service, so that may take some of the apprehension out of asking for what you need.

With time and experience, you should find yourself becoming more and more at ease.

Know What you Like.

There are several different approaches to massage. Swedish massage, sometimes also referred to as sports massage, tends to be more of a gliding massage that uses oil-based lubricants, so the therapist is actually gliding and kneading the tissue.

Other types of massage, such as myofascial massage, might include static holding of the skin and a light stretch that would include little or no lotion on the hands, so it’s actually engaging the tissue in a more direct way without the glide.

Then you have various forms of bodywork like shiatsu, where there is digital compression being applied from the thumbs without any lotion or oil, as well as Thai massage, where you’re fully clothed during the massage.

There are many approaches and modalities of massage. So, it depends on you and what type of touch you personally find meaningful and helpful as well as gives you the results you are seeking.

Face Up or Face Down?

Whether you are face up or down, you can expect to always be as comfortable as possible. There are many ways that a massage therapist can adjust, using pillows or bolsters, to make you more comfortable, depending on your body size and range of motion in your neck and shoulders.

When you’re face up, it’s the facial and head massage, and kneading of the arms, feet and legs. When you’re face down, it’s more of a full-back experience.

Something to look out for when you are face down is that your sinuses may act up after approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

It’s certainly okay to turn your head to the side or come down on the table to be in a traditional belly position, with the pillow at your head. If you’re uncomfortable, or if you’re feeling pressure on your sinus cavity or forehead from the cradle, just communicate with your therapist and they will adjust you.

More often than not, they will notice you moving around before you even realize you’re uncomfortable and can adjust your position.

Draping Keeps You Safe & Secure

Ultimately, there are some main reasons why you are draped with a sheet at all times during a massage. The first is for protecting your modesty, the second is for warmth and comfort and finally, the drape provides a physical boundary between client and therapist, defining where the therapist’s hands may touch and where they can’t.

Dressing down to your personal comfort level should be the instruction from any professional massage therapist and that will look different for every person.

Regardless of how much clothing you choose to take off or keep on, the drape should only uncover the area being worked with and should always cover the genitals and breast tissue.

Ultimately, proper draping should make you feel safe and comfortable, and you should never question if you are being exposed. This is typically the biggest fear for clients, but a safe drape will leave no question in your mind that the parts of yourself that you want covered are covered, and the only part of your body that isn’t covered is the part that they are working on at that moment.

What to Do After the Massage

Your massage therapist should give you a professional recommendation at the conclusion of your massage session. These recommendations could include how often you should get a massage, benefits of regular massage as well as a piece of self-care you can take away from the session to increase the cumulative effects of your massage.

Examples of this might include rolling a golf ball under your foot, a particular stretch for a muscle group or paying attention to how you use your arms while driving.

Massage usually isn’t a one-and-done therapy, and it’s important to know what you should do between sessions to enhance the positive effects.

Overall, while the massage therapist is the expert on massage, you’re in control of what happens during the session.

A good massage should be enjoyable, meaningful and helpful. It’s important you feel empowered to ask for what you need, from the amount of clothing you leave on, to the pressure you want, to the types of oil and lotion you prefer or the temperature on the table.

You know your body better than anyone, and by communicating that with your therapist, you will have the most beneficial experience possible.

Hopefully, that experience is one you will want to repeat over and over again.

 

Original Article by Eric Stephenson found here: massagemag.com 

Book Your Massage In Salt Lake City @ Zen Massage

4 Reasons To Give the Gift of Massage

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be tricky holidays to maneuver. In one day we try to sum up our feelings of gratitude, appreciation & Love.

Newsday once posted an ebates.com survey reporting on what moms actually want for Mother’s Day. While 31% would NOT like perfume, and 40% would NOT like a cookbook, a full 60% have “quality family time” as their list topper. Not far behind, 44% put “spa day” on their short list. Combining these two top gift wishes with mother-daughter massages at Zen Massage is a win-win idea, and here’s why:

  • Whether Mom is as healthy as she was decades ago, or has started experiencing some health problems, massage is a therapeutic, soothing, immunity-boosting experience for all. Everyone can benefit from having increased circulation and muscle relaxation yes even Dad.

  • If your mom or dad does not regularly receive massage, this is a great way to introduce her to the many life-enhancing benefits it offers.

  • Start or end your day together with an invigorating experience that raises your “feel-good” hormones will enhance your experience all the more.  

  • Mom deserves a little pampering and Dad could use some downtime. Treating them while also improving her health?  Doesn’t get much better!

By giving your mother or father a massage at Zen Massage (and getting one yourself at the same time), you’re setting a powerful example of health. By prioritizing your own wellness, and allowing them to enjoy the benefits as well, you’re starting a truly wonderful family tradition. An entire legacy of wellness can be born with one or two smart choices. Start yours this year by introducing this very important aspect of good health. Start a Mom and daughter tradition enjoying a Mother’s Day massage together or a father-daughter tradition for Father’s day. You’ll be so glad you did.

Book Your ZEN Massage in SLC today!

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

 

Value of Massage Therapy for Surgical Pain

Massage Therapy for Surgical Pain

Massage therapy can be effective for reducing pain intensity/severity and anxiety in patients undergoing surgical procedures.

That was the conclusion of a collaborative meta-analysis of research on massage therapy for pain conducted by Samueli Institute, commissioned by the Massage Therapy Foundation, with support from the American Massage Therapy Association.

The review and analysis was published in the September issue of the journal Pain Medicine.

The study concludes that patients should consider massage therapy as a therapeutic option to help manage their pain and anxiety from surgical procedures.

About the Study

This systematic review and meta-analysis was the first to rigorously assess the quality of massage therapy research and evidence for its efficacy and effectiveness in treating pain, function-related and health-related quality of life outcomes for people with various types of surgical pain and anxiety.

Source

Book Your ZEN Massage in SLC today!

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

 

How Our Bodies Register the Power of Touch

The Surprising Science Behind the Healing Power of Touch

By Anne Mullens with additional research by Jennifer Krissilas, Reader’s Digest Canada

It’s the sense that we most often take for granted—and one cannot live without. Check out the surprising science behind the healing power of touch.

How Our Bodies Register the Power of Touch

Of our five senses, touch is often the one we take for granted. Science has only begun to understand the highly complex system of nerves, sensors and receptors that link our skin and brain to our environment and the people around us.

“There’s still so much we don’t know about touch sensations,” says David J. Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and the author of 2015’s Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind. What we do know, he says, is that there are separate sensors for texture, vibration, pressure and itch.

One of the leading touch researchers in the world is Dr. Håkan Olausson, professor of clinical neuroscience at Linköping University in Sweden. He was part of a team that found special touch fibres, called C-tactile afferent fibres, which are responsible for regis­tering and transmitting to the brain the emotional meaning of gentle strokes and caresses. These nerves respond optimally when touched at around 32 C—the temperature of a human hand. “They are particularly sensitive to caresses but also respond to many other types of touch, such as pressing on the skin,” Olausson says.

When the CT fibres aren’t working properly, a gentle touch instead feels aversive and can undermine attempts to form emotional connections to others, says Francis McGlone, a neuroscientist at Liverpool John Moores University in England. CT stimulation, when delivered through nurturing touch, impacts the neural networks in our brains that allow us to see ourselves as separate beings with needs that are different from others. Without this ability, individ­uals may be unable to read emotional cues, making it difficult for them to empathize. Research last year, led by McGlone, found that children on the autism spectrum may have a difference in the functioning of their CT fibres that causes them to find soft touch from others unpleasant.

For individuals whose CT fibres function normally, however, touch can bring a great amount of bene­fit, McGlone says. Gentle contact can reinforce social relationships, communicate positive feelings, and even make us more capable of dealing with stress.

 

Continue Reading the Original Article Here

Men, Women & Massage

Everybody needs a massage, but men and women tend to get massages for different reasons.

Massage is a truly natural form of therapy that can address and relieve symptoms of all sorts of health complications.

While self-care is the main reason for massage, there are many other benefits that come along for men and women.  

Men often don’t get massages as frequently as they should. Here are some reasons men should be getting a massage on a regular basis.

  • Workout recovery
  • Mood Boost
  • Fewer gray hairs
  • Cure desk stiffness
  • Be comfortable in your own skin
  • Improved flexibility
  • Better sleep
  • Cardiovascular wellness
  • Manage back pain

Gentlemen, what are you waiting for? Book your Zen Massage today.

Women tend to think about getting a massage as pampering – like it’s some kind of indulgent luxury. Massage is a service that focuses on you. It gives you time to relax and let the stress melt away. You and your masseur work together to identify the areas where your stress hides, relieving you of physical pain and clearing your mind so you can tackle any task.

More than anything, women report feeling revitalized after a massage. If that’s not enough, here are the top reasons women should be getting massages regularly. 

  • Manage Stress
  • Make You Look Younger
  • Reduced Use of Painkillers
  • After Pregnancy Massage
  • Increased Energy Levels
  • Boost Your Immune System
  • Relieve Anxiety and Depression

Think about what your body does when you are down in the dumps. You might feel achy and weak, your shoulders droop, you drag your feet and you slump over. Massage experts call this a “structural collapse” that happens when we feel depressed.

Massage tends to address many symptoms that are a result of anxiety or depression. It may help to lower blood pressure levels, alleviate tough headaches, improve breathing, settle your nerves and more.

Makeup artist Gucci Westman told the Wall Street Journal that she often gives fashion models facial massages before they walk down the runway. “For early morning shows when everyone’s puffy and not quite awake, facial massage is like coffee for the skin. Everything comes to life.” 

Ladies, what are you waiting for? Book your Zen Massage today.

 

These benefits are only the beginning of what massage can do for your body and your life.

What benefits do you know about?

What have you experienced as a result of massage?

 

Book Your ZEN Massage in SLC today!

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117