Massage Basics

Massage Basics

Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. There are several types of massage that focus on different parts of the body or healing approaches. Keep reading and decide which type of massage might be right for you.

Swedish massage

Swedish massage is a gentle full-body massage that’s ideal for people who:

  • are new to massage
  • have a lot of tension
  • are sensitive to touch

It can help release muscle knots, and it’s also a good choice for when you want to fully relax during a massage.

For this massage, you’ll remove your clothes, though you may choose to keep your underwear on. You’ll be covered with a sheet while lying on the massage table. The massage therapist will move the sheet to uncover areas that they are actively working on.

The massage therapist will use a combination of:

  • kneading
  • long, flowing strokes in the direction of the heart
  • deep circular motions
  • vibration and tapping
  • passive joint movement techniques

Usually, a Swedish massage will last for 60–90 minutes.

Hot stone massage

Hot stone massage is best for people who have muscle pain and tension or who simply want to relax. This type of therapeutic massage is similar to a Swedish massage, only the massage therapist uses heated stones in lieu of or in addition to their hands. It eases muscle tension, improves blood flow, and relieves pain by using heated stones. Hot stone massage may help:

  • ease muscle tension
  • improve blood flow
  • alleviate pain
  • promote relaxation
  • relieve stress

During a hot stone massage, heated stones are placed on different areas around your whole body. Your therapist may hold a stone as they massage different parts of your body using Swedish massage techniques using gentle pressure. Sometimes cold stones are also used.

You don’t wear clothes for hot stone massage unless you’ll feel more comfortable wearing your underwear. You will be covered with a sheet. Usually, the massage is 90 minutes long.

Aromatherapy massage

Aromatherapy massages are best for people who want to have an emotional healing component to their massage. This type of massage can help:

  • boost your mood
  • reduce stress and anxiety
  • reduce symptoms of depression
  • relieve muscle tension
  • relieve pain

Aromatherapy massages combine soft, gentle pressure with the use of essential oils. Your massage therapist will usually decide which essential oils to use, but you can let them know if you have a preference. Essential oils are diluted before being applied to the skin.

During the massage, you’ll be given a full-body massage while inhaling essential oils through a diffuser and absorbing them through your skin. Sometimes an aromatherapy massage will only focus on your back, shoulders, and head. You won’t wear any clothing other than underwear, which is optional.

An aromatherapy massage is 60–90 minutes.

Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. It’s a good option if you have chronic muscle problems, such as soreness, injury, or imbalance. It can help relieve tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.

During a deep tissue massage, your massage therapist will use slow strokes and deep finger pressure to relieve tension from the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissues. You can be naked during this massage or wear your underwear.

The massage will last for 60–90 minutes.

While deep tissue may be more intense, you shouldn’t feel any pain or soreness.

Sports massage

Sports massage is a good option if you have a repetitive use injury to a muscle, such as what you may get from playing a sport. It’s also a good option if you’re prone to injuries because it can be used to help prevent sports injuries. You may also use sports massage to increase flexibility and performance. Additionally, sports massage can be used to relieve pain, anxiety, and muscle tension.

A sports massage can be done as a full-body massage or the massage therapist may focus on the parts of the body that need the most attention. Deep pressure may be alternated with soothing strokes depending on your needs.

You can have a sports massage while clothed or naked. If you prefer to wear clothing, make sure it’s thin, loose, and allows the therapist access to your muscles. Loose shorts and a tank top are options.

The massage will last for 60–90 minutes.

Trigger point massage

Trigger point massages are best suited for people who have injuries, chronic pain, or a specific issue or condition. Sometimes areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, can cause pain in other parts of the body. By focusing on relieving trigger points, this type of massage can reduce pain.

Trigger point massage uses broad, flowing strokes that are gentle and relaxing combined with stronger, deeper pressure. The massage will include work on your entire body, though your therapist will focus on specific areas of your body that need to be released. You can wear lightweight clothing for the massage or be fully or partially undressed.

This type of massage will usually last for 60–90 minutes.

Reflexology

Reflexology is best for people who are looking to relax or restore their natural energy levels. It’s also a good option if you aren’t comfortable being touched on your entire body. Reflexology uses gentle to firm pressure on different pressure points of the feet, hands, and ears. You can wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows access to your legs.

A reflexology massage lasts for 30–60 minutes.

Shiatsu massage

Shiatsu massage is best for people who want to feel relaxed and relieve stress, pain, and tension. It’s a Japanese type of massage that:

  • promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation
  • helps to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression
  • may relieve headache
  • reduces muscle tension

Shiatsu massage works the whole body, but your therapist may focus on areas of your body that need extra attention. During the massage, your therapist will use their hands, palms, and thumbs to massage certain points of your body. Pulsing or rhythmic pressure is used. You can be fully clothed during this massage.

Shiatsu massages typically last for 60–90 minutes.

Couple’s massage

A couple’s massage is a massage that you do with your partner, friend or family member in the same room. It brings all the benefits of a regular massage and sometimes provides you with access to the spa’s hot tubs, saunas, and other facilities. Other treatments such as pedicures, facials, and body scrubs are sometimes offered as part of a package.

You can usually choose which type of massage you’d like to receive, and you and your partner can each get a different type of massage depending on your preference and the offerings at the spa. Your partner and you will be on tables side-by-side, and you’ll each have your own massage therapist working on your body. You can talk during the massage if you wish.

Chair massage

A chair massage is best for people who want a quick massage that focuses on your neck, shoulders, and back. A chair massage can also be a way to introduce you to massage if you’ve never had one before. Chair massage also helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation. This type of massage uses light to medium pressure.

During the massage, you’ll remain fully clothed and sit in a specially designed chair. You’ll straddle the chair so that your chest pushes into the back of the chair, allowing the massage therapist to have access to your back.

These massages are usually 10–30 minutes.

Communication 

Always communicate your expectations and intentions with your massage therapist and speak up if there is something with which you aren’t comfortable. Talk to your doctor before getting any type of massage if you have any health concerns or conditions.

Massage may be a way for you to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. Experiment with different types of massage and with different massage therapists to find the type and provider that is most ideal for you.

Zen Massage Therapists, Salt Lake City

When it comes to massage therapy, no amount of exotic marble, fountains, lights, and monograms on fancy terrycloth robes and slippers can equal the skilled, experienced hands of a master massage therapist. A luxurious interior can make a great impression, but when you’re back in your clothes again walking out the door, the only thing that matters is how you feel in the real world. The quality of any spa experience is quite literally in the hands of the therapist. Nobody understands this better than ZEN Massage of Salt Lake City. Our partner-therapists make ZEN Massage what it is. We partner with only the best therapists who share a sincere passion for the craft of healing and the art of massage. But most of all, our partner-therapists are approachable. They know how to listen and to understand. They want to make you feel great. They enjoy what they do because they do it exceptionally well.  

Book My Zen Massage

Zen Massage in Salt Lake City

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

(801) 467-3529

 

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What is Asian Massage?

Ever wonder what they mean by an Asian Massage? 

Well, as the name suggests, an Asian Massage is bodywork that follows the principles of traditional Asian medicine, which usually means touch-based therapy with very specific purposes. Although all the many kinds of Asian massages aim to rejuvenate the body and promote some degree of physical and mental relief, each comes with its own different effects on the body.

Different Kinds of Asian Massage

Most Asian massages employ techniques that work with the body’s energy flow or chi. Basically, the goal is to create balance within one’s inner elements or chakras so that the body is reset. In contrast, western massage techniques are mostly meant for relaxation. The other difference is that Asian massages can be performed while the person is fully clothed. As opposed to its Western massage that applies the techniques on the bare skin.

Acupressure Massage

Developed by Chinese medicine over 5,000 years, this is a type of massage that uses pinpoint pressure on parts of the body. By specifically targeting these specific parts, tensions that normally build up within these areas are released, giving the person significant relief. The acupressure massage uses the same principles as acupuncture treatment in that they target the same acupoints. However, they don’t use needles to “puncture” these spots. Instead, they apply pressure, which is where the massage got its name.

What’s interesting about this massage is that it can be done on yourself if you know how. When done properly, it can provide immediate relief for certain sicknesses and conditions.

Amma or Anma

Amma uses a technique that combines application of pressure on acupoints with deep-tissue massage. It aims to cure the imbalances in one’s system, refreshing the entire body after. 

This therapy is based on traditional Japanese massage techniques introduced by Gan Jon Osho, a Buddhist Priest who practiced the Chinese anmo back in the 6th century. It was further developed in the 17th century by Waichi Sugiyama, who established schools for the blind. Being blind himself, Sugiyama taught the blind the ways of amma and they became quite common in the 20th century.

Ayurveda Massage

The Ayurveda Massage gets its roots from India. It’s a technique that focuses on the body’s chakras and marmas, which are similar to the acupoints in Chinese medicine. According to tradition, the body is filled with countless marmas. The massage, however, will focus on 107 major marmas that are all found at the junctions where the joints, bones, arteries, tendons, flesh, and veins meet. This is also where most body pains meet.

The massage also uses oils in order to employ techniques that aim to open and cleanse energy channels that could be blocked over time. The technique also stimulates all the senses, which also contributes to the healing process.

Shiatsu

The word means “finger pressure” in Japanese, but the massage actually uses a wide variety of techniques such as soothing, pressing, kneading, tapping, and even stretching in order to induce relaxation of the mind and body. Although a kind of Asian massage in itself, Shiatsu further branches out into different styles, with all having some association with one of the three massage systems that originated in Japan back in the 1900s. This kind of massage is actually commonly known even in the west. Unlike other well-known treatments, however, this kind of massage does not use any oil at all, and can be done while the client is fully clothed.

Jin Shin Jyutsu

Jin Shin Jyutsu is an incredibly simple version of acupressure massage. It follows the same principles of acupressure, except that it only focuses on 26 points, which are few compared to the 300 points that acupressurists work with. The 26 points are called SELs, which stand for Safety Energy Locks and are located along the body’s energy pathways. Using his hands, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner will hold on to a combination of these SELs and gently massage through them, allowing the client to experience the flow of energy, which can be as relaxing as it is healing.

Chi Nei Tsang

This Chinese detoxifying massage is said to treat the emotional conditions that have been associated with diseases. It targets the body’s organs, specifically the ones affected by any illness, in order to help with healing and recovery.

Chi Nei Tsang uses old Taoist techniques where the organs are gently but deeply massaged, which results in physical, spiritual, and emotional relief. When translated, the phrase “Chi Nei Tsang” means to work the internal organs. The abdomen is normally oiled up so it feels warm before it is subjected to massage strokes with the palm. Sometimes the person would feel some pain because the organs are indeed being targeted, but feels relaxed after.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is a full body contact massage that uses a combination of Indian Ayurvedic principles, acupressure massages, and yoga poses. It generally does not use oil and can be applied with the client fully-clothed. During the massage, the therapist follows identified lines along the body, and the client will be positioned in a way that they follow these lines. Hence, the client can expect being put into different positions on top of his fingers and extremities of the body being pulled and some knuckles being cracked. Of course, much like actual yoga, the client would feel relieved after the session, which normally lasts for up to two hours.

Asian massages have really come a long way since they were developed by ancient Asian tradition. But no matter how different they are, they all have the aim of promoting health and wellness to those who experience it. 

If you haven’t yet, make it a point to try them all and see which one suits your needs and preferences best. Don’t hesitate to ask your therapist if you want to know more about the treatment you’re looking to get so you can make the most of the experience.

 

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Zen Massage in Salt Lake City 

http://zenmassage.net/

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

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

 

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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

Back to School Specials for Mom’s – Spa Massage in Utah

Back to School Specials for Mom’s – Spa Massage in Utah

Back to School Specials for Mom’s – Spa Massage in Utah

Over the school holidays, if you had a dollar for every harassed mom who said she REALLY needed a massage you would probably be able to close your massage and spa business for a week and fly out to the Bahamas.

When the summer vacation is all over and life has returned to near normal, there are stressed parents everywhere looking for some respite, and a little treat after the weeks of ‘Mom, I’m bored’ from their little darlings. So why not come up with a few back to school specials that will soothe and restore them again?

  1. Most Moms will have spent a lot of the school holidays on their feet. Whether they’ve been on a vacation with the kids, on day trips or just running around after them constantly, the first part of their body (well, other than their nerves) that needs to recuperate is probably their feet. Promote overall stress relief, well-being and foot care with a package that will give real results; a ‘Take the Weight Off’ pamper package offering a reflexology session with all the extras!
  2. Cover all bases with an aromatic foot soak with essential oils, sugar or salt scrub, relaxing massage and reflexology, followed by a moisturizing foot mask or paraffin wax treatment. You’re your mom is relaxed, you can complete the treatment with a choice of polish and she’ll feel just like new!
  3. Another area that busy moms neglect when the kids are home is their own personal grooming. Let’s be honest, who has the time for a wax, a facial or manicure when they have a houseful of little ones to keep entertained? Taking them to the salon is a no-no so after a few weeks, unless they’ve managed to sneak off for an afternoon of me-time, they’ll be in need of some upkeep. A pick and mix package for all the bits they’ve missed, with discounts for the more treatments they book at one time, could be a winner.
  4. So, if they are coming in for their wax, you could offer 10 per cent off a regular facial booked at the same time, and if two treatments are booked, offer a further discount on a manicure or an eyebrow/lash treatment. They don’t have to have all the treatments at the same time, but they must be booked at the same time. Promote it as ‘Back to school and back to YOU’ to encourage moms to book the deals, and get them feeling more like themselves after a frazzled few weeks.
  5. Finally, a massage package is always a winner with moms who have been feeling stressed from all the extra demands of their kids. Offer a Back to School Massage deal – all full body, aromatherapy or shoulder, neck and back massages are 10 per cent off if booked for the first two weeks after the holidays – and add in a 15 minute foot massage as a free upgrade.

The main thing to remember is that for weeks, moms everywhere have been focusing on everyone but themselves – so you’re going to put the focus right back onto them and make them feel special.

Book your Back to School Massage today at Zen Massage – (801) 467-3529

Benefits of Corporate Massage

Benefits of Corporate Massage

Benefits of Corporate Massage

When the majority of people report that 70% of their stress is work related, it’s clear that most businesses are operating with stressed out workers.

Research on workplace stress found that physically, stress causes headaches, backaches, eye strain, neck pain, lowered resistance to infections, high blood pressure, ulcers and heart disease. Emotionally, stress causes depression, anxiety, listlessness, poor concentration, irritability and anger.

Book with Zen Massage today for all of your corporate Massage Needs in Salt Lake City, UT – (801) 467-3529

This is a recipe for a poor work environment, suffering financial statements, and a high turnover rate.

Think about it in this perspective – It’s been a long work week. Your employees have been working long hours, under a great amount of stress and pressure trying to complete several projects before their deadlines. They are exhausted and frustrated by the amount of hours they have been putting in at the office.

By offering a corporate massage to your employees you are proving to them that you care, that they are valued and appreciated. They start their weekend off by thinking: “I worked extremely hard this week, my company noticed and I was rewarded. I love where I work!”  The following work week they feel energized, refocused and productive.

Other benefits include the following:

  1. Increased employee morale
  2. Decreased overuse injuries
  3. Lowered stress
  4. Fewer sick days taken
  5. Unique perk employees can brag about

The American Massage Therapy Association reports that companies using corporate massage saw increased energy in their employees, as well as decreased job-related injuries, improved office environment, and a better ability to deal with the workload.

A massage therapist brought in once a week or once a month can upgrade the the work experience for everyone involved. Providing this benefit for employees is a sound investment. Happy and healthy employees make productive employees and the employer loses fewer days of sick time.

Written by Amelia Wilcox

The Benefits of Prenatal Massage

The Benefits of Prenatal Massage

FOR MOTHER AND BABIES TOGETHER

Both mother and baby

First and foremost, prenatal massage makes you feel good. It nurtures and pampers the body at a time when it needs it most. Book your appointment at Zen Massage in Salt Lake City, UT today. (801) 467-3529

In addition to soothing the body and dissolving stress, a trained touch delivers a wide range of physiological, psychological and emotional benefits.

It’s a safe and relaxing way to relieve pregnancy’s common discomforts like backaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, leg cramps and shakes, headaches, heartburn, fatigue, hemorrhoids, nasal congestion, sciatica and shortness of breath.

Prenatal massage does more than benefit the mother. Everything a pregnant woman does — from her diet and fitness to her relaxation and relative state of contentment – also directly affects the child she is carrying.

Study after study has proven that calmness in the mother leads to healthier in-utero development.

Regular prenatal massage can help prepare you for labor by making the pelvis more supple.

Just like a regular massage, prenatal massage:

  • improves circulation
  • aids lymphatic flow
  • removes toxins
  • promotes relaxation
  • raises endorphin levels
  • eases neck, back, and joint pain
  • relieves muscle spasms and cramps

Book your appointment at Zen Massage in Salt Lake City, UT today. (801) 467-3529

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.

 

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Stealing a Little Time for Yourself, Guilt Free

Making Time for Yourself Can Greatly Improve Your Relationships

Whether you’re single, married, or in a relationship, the demands of life and the expectations of those nearest and dearest to your heart can make finding time for yourself a huge challenge. Between dedicating time to parents, children, partners, siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends, colleagues, and work, it’s hard to even dream of stealing a little time for yourself.

Couple that with the guilt that many people, especially women, experience when they manage to find a few moments of time for themselves, and it becomes clear why so many people feel that finding time for themselves isn’t worth the effort. But worth the effort it is, and not only because of the personal benefits you’ll reap. Alone time has interpersonal benefits as well.

Personal Benefits of Solitude

Taking time for yourself gives your brain a chance to reboot, improves concentration, increases productivity, helps you discover (or rediscover) your own voice, gives you a chance to think deeply, and helps you problem solve more effectively. It also gives you a better sense of balance and self-awareness that can lead to a better understanding of yourself–what drives you, what inspires you, what excites you. This, in turn, can have a positive effect not only on the quality of your relationship with yourself, but also on the quality of your relationships with others.

But in today’s world, how do you find the time to give to yourself? And equally important, how do you deal with the guilt when you somehow manage to find it?

“Finding” Time

As overscheduled as our lives are these days, it can be quite a challenge to find time for yourself. There are a few things you can do, such as using your lunch hour, waking up a little earlier than everyone else, and temporarily disconnecting from your gadgets. If you’ve tried these tricks and still can’t seem to find any time to schedule for yourself, then you may need to take a hard look at your schedule and your priorities.

What are some things you’re doing now that can be consolidated or eliminated? Is there anything that can be postponed? What can be delegated? Maybe it’s true that you can do things better than everyone else, but in most schedules, there are some things that don’t need to be done better; they just need to be done. By delegating those tasks, you can free up some time for yourself, which may be much more productive in the long run than doing everything yourself.

Another important point to remember is that you don’t have to come up with hours and hours of alone time. Just start off small and see what happens. Hopefully, the little bit of time you steal for yourself will become so reinforcing that you’ll find more and more ways to get more of it.

Overcoming the Guilt

Some people, particularly women, feel guilty about taking time for themselves. They see themselves as the one who should be taking care of everyone else, and their needs often fall by the wayside. However, taking care of yourself is something that you should never feel guilty about. It not only models healthy behavior for the ones you love, but it also keeps you happy, healthy, and strong so that you can continue doing what fulfills you; and if that’s taking care of others, then you’re in an even better position to do that.

Guilt is counterproductive to reaping the full benefits of solitude. If you spend all or even some of your “found” time feeling guilty that you found it, then doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

If you need even more justification to lose the guilt, consider these points:

♦ Spending time with yourself is time well spent because it makes you a happier person to be around.

♦ Spending time with yourself benefits everyone because by having a happier and healthier mindset, you’re in a better frame of mind to take care of the people who are important to you.

♦ Spending time with yourself is preventative medicine to combat burnout. What good will you be to anyone if you eventually burnout? (And you will if you don’t take care of yourself.)

Overcoming Resistance

Once you begin making time for yourself, dont be surprised if you don’t run into a little resistance from those in your life who are used to you always being available. There are many reasons why this resistance might happen–insecurity, overdependence, feeling slighted or rejected, or simply because they have become accustomed to always having you around. Don’t let their resistance stop you. Reassure these people that you’re still there for them, but in order to be there for them over the long haul, you also have to also take care of yourself. Then, do it! Just as they’ve grown accustomed to you always being there for them, they’ll get accustomed to you taking time for yourself.

Hopefully, the ideas here will leave you inspired and motivated to find ways to make time for yourself.

“When we take some time to solely think about ourselves, and not have to consider our impact on others, we begin the process of true self-awareness. It can be a little daunting at first, but the result of this awareness is that you learn what drives you, what excites you, and what motivates you. This new-found self-awareness is a beautiful thing and it can have a dramatically positive effect on your life and relationships.” – Marty Herald’s Personal Growth and the Art of Inspired Living blog.

So give yourself a gift that will keep on giving … time for yourself.

Booking a Massage @ ZenMassage.net is a great way to get your free time in.

Take time for yourself and feel great!

Book your Massage online @ ZenMassage.net

Or call  (801) 467-3529

Zen Massage | Luxury Massage in Salt Lake City, Utah

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

 

Source:  Psychology Today

Massage for Skiers | Knee Injuries Utah

This area of the body has garnered some skiing notoriety, for good reason: the knee.

How Can Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Massage Help Rehabilitate Knee Injuries for Skiers?

Knee injuries account for 30-40% of all reported skiing injuries. Because of the amount of landing and cutting, with sudden changes of direction, skiing puts a lot of pressure on your muscles and joints, particularly the hips and knees. And when muscle imbalances exist, injury can occur. For example, uncontrolled landings play a large role in skiing injury; if your hip abductors and muscles of the pelvis have a propensity towards tightness, they are unable to fully stabilize your body in a landing or a fall. This leaves the lion’s share of responsibility for stabilization to your knees. And that’s not what they are built for. At high speed, a sudden twist or turn to attempt to avoid a crash or soften a landing will impact the most vulnerable body part involved in such movement, often resulting in knee ligament tears or strains.

This is one of the reasons why a strength-training regimen is so important for creating muscular balance for skiers. Building up strength in the larger muscles in the inner and outer thighs provides a better network of support for the smaller, more volatile ligaments surrounding and supporting your knee, and helps ensure stability and endurance in skiing. Pre-season exercises are key to developing muscle strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles.

Most knee injuries that are incurred while skiing are ligament strains or tears. Symptoms often include pain, swelling, and a restricted range of motion around the injured ligament. Injuries are graded in severity; less severe strains may be treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory measures, while more serious ruptures may require immobilization and even surgery.


How can Massage Therapy Help with Knee Injuries?


The Massage Therapy approach I best like taking is to nip knee injuries incurred through skiing right in the bud, before you even put on your goggles. Pre-season Sports Massage Therapy for skiers is pointed towards identifying and addressing any muscle imbalances. We will attempt to decrease hypertonicity in your hip abductors. We will keep your hamstrings flushed out and encourage strengthening exercises. We will release any tightness in your quadriceps. All of these measures help ensure that you are working with a proper, balanced body mechanism that will support healthy knee function.

But what about receiving Massage Therapy treatment after a knee injury for the purpose of rehabilitation?

When dealing with a strained or torn ligament, there’s not a lot that we can do directly to the acute injury source. However, we can employ Deep Tissue Massage to focus our work on creating change in the structure around it, by improving circulation to the outlying areas. We promote the healing process by keeping the soft tissue as healthy as possible.

In addition, many people recovering from an injury feel generally uncomfortable; the pain and sudden state of immobilization can throw your nervous system into a state of chaos and frustration. Massage Therapy sedates the nervous system, promotes a healthy balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and helps your reaction to the injury not be so devastating.

And of course, if you’re hobbling around on crutches, you may find yourself overworking previously underused upper body muscles! Your traps, lats, muscles of the shoulder, forearms, and wrists may suffer secondary consequences. So we can take care of those as well, in your Massage Therapy session.

Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Massage can help keep you off those pesky crutches and on the slopes.

Book your Sports Massage @ ZenMassage.net

(801) 467-3529
5520 South Van Winkle Expy
Salt Lake City, UT 84117