A Healthy Lifestyle Starts With Sleep

Lack of sleep is never good, but did you know that it increases your risk for serious health concerns?

If you’ve ever spent a night staring at your ceiling or checking the clock every 5 minutes, you know how you feel the next day: tired, cranky, and generally out of sorts. But missing out on the recommended 7 to 8 hours of slumber nightly does more than make you feel grumpy. The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real. It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk.

Scientific studies show that a lack of sleep causes significant changes in the body, affects long-term memory and increases your risk for obesity, disease, and even early death.

Why Sleep is Important

Sleep is an important function for many reasons. When you sleep, your brain signals your body to release hormones and compounds that help:  

  • decrease risk for health conditions
  • manage your hunger levels
  • maintain your immune system
  • retain memory

Sleep Helps Your Memory

Besides helping you focus, sleep helps protect and strengthen your memory. Research shows that sleeping after learning can help with memory retention. It also reduces interference from external events.

People who are sleep-deprived:

  • have a harder time receiving information due to the brain’s overworked neurons
  • may interpret events differently
  • tend to have impaired judgment
  • lose their ability to access previous information

Harvard Research suggests that sleep helps learning and memory in two distinct ways. First, a sleep-deprived person cannot focus attention optimally and therefore cannot learn efficiently. Second, sleep itself has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information.

It’s important to get seven to eight hours of sleep so that you can experience all the sleep stages. No one stage is responsible for memory and learning. Two stages (rapid eye movement and slow wave sleep) contribute to:

  • creative thinking
  • procedural memory
  • long-term memories
  • memory processing

Sleep loss and sleep disorders are among the most common yet frequently overlooked and readily treatable health problems in the United States.

After decades of research, the case can be confidently made that sleep loss and sleep disorders have profound and widespread effects on human health.

7  to 8 Hours for Longevity

Again, the healthy amount of sleep for the average adult is around seven to eight hours each night.

Researchers in the United Kingdom and Italy analyzed data from 16 separate studies conducted over 25 years, covering more than 1.3 million people and more than 100,000 deaths. They published their findings in the journal Sleep. Those who generally slept for less than six hours a night were 12 percent more likely to experience a premature death. People who slept more than eight to nine hours per night had an even higher risk, at 30 percent.

Researchers also found that people who reduced their sleep time from seven hours to five hours or less had 1.7 times the risk of death from all causes.

When we are sleep deprived, our focus, attention, and vigilance drift, making it more difficult to receive information. Without adequate sleep and rest, over-worked neurons can no longer function to coordinate information properly, and we lose our ability to access previously learned information.

In addition, our interpretation of events may be affected. We lose our ability to make sound decisions because we can no longer accurately assess the situation, plan accordingly, and choose the correct behavior. So our overall judgment becomes impaired.

Although chronic sleep deprivation affects different individuals in a variety of ways (and the effects are not entirely known), it is clear that a good night’s rest has a strong impact on learning and memory.

 

For more information about sleep see these articles:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep

https://www.howsleepworks.com/need_debt.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body

Https://www.healthline.com/health/science-sleep-why-you-need-7-8-hours-night#Overview1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768102/

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory

 

Repetitive Strain Injuries and Massage Therapy

For those suffering with a Repetitive Strain Injury, there is no question that, conservative therapy is the best option.

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) can also be called tenosynovitis or chronic tendinopathy by your doctor. Tendinitis happens when you repeat a motion frequently on tight tissues and when the rate of damage exceeds your body’s natural rate of repair. From Trigger Finger to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, conservative therapy produces the best results, quicker results, and long-lasting relief.

There are many types of conservative treatments with a variety of positive benefits. Massage Therapy is a wonderful conservative treatment providing good results by itself, and even greater results when combined with a stretch and exercise routine.

Massage helps relax and lengthen tight, restricted muscles. It helps break down scar tissue in injured muscles, reduce adhesions (an abnormal union of membranous surfaces due to inflammation or injury) on affected tendons at their point of attachment to the muscle or to the bone. Massage helps remove toxins from muscles and increase overall circulation and nutrient delivery to the associated tissues. All of these wonderful benefits help overworked muscles to relax and injured muscles begin to heal.

Massage Therapy, even with all of its benefits, sadly, does not correct the muscle imbalances causing the Repetitive Strain Injury. Although Massage Therapy can greatly assist the rehabilitation process, once a muscle has been injured and has atrophied to any significant degree, other therapeutic elements must be added to the treatment schedule in order to completely eliminate the Repetitive Strain Injury.

An essential part of treating any Repetitive Strain Injury is a stretch and exercise routine. One that is specifically designed to create structural integrity and muscle balance at the injury site. By creating strong flexible muscles surrounding the specific joint, that joint will no longer be as susceptible to Repetitive Strain Injuries.

According to Mr. Anliker (Therapist and Inventor of Therapeutic Exercise Products for the prevention and rehabilitation of repetitive strain injuries) the integration of Massage Therapy, stretches, exercises and hydrotherapy is a highly effective treatment protocol for many types of injuries. An example of a treatment sequence for a ‘chronic injury’ should follow along these lines:

. Hydrotherapy Heat – Heat to increase circulation to the area, making the soft tissues relaxed and pliable.

. Massage Phase-I – Specific massage treatment utilizing Trigger Point Release techniques to release muscle spasm and Transverse Friction Massage to break down adhesions.

. Stretch – Stretch overly restrictive tissues to increase their length and reduce their compression of underlying tissues.

. Exercise – Perform strengthening exercises for the affected tissues in order to reduce tensile strain on the injured area, heal micro-tears and increase healing nutrients to the injured area. Strong muscles create stability and prevent future reoccurrence of micro-tears to a previously affected area.

. Massage Phase-II – Perform light Petrissage and Effleurage towards the heart to remove the toxins created from undergoing Trigger Point Release, Transverse Friction Massage, stretches, and exercises.

. Hydrotherapy Cold – Cool the injured tissues in an elongated position as to not lose range-of-motion (ROM) of the affected tissues and to further remove toxins from the area.

Massage Therapy along with the techniques above are very effective in eliminating chronic Repetitive Strain Injuries. Any one element by itself is useful, but by implementing several conservative techniques, the success rate of the treatment increases dramatically.

Offering Effective Conservative Massage Therapy @ Zen Massage in Salt Lake City.

References 

Benefits Of Chinese Cupping Therapy

Chinese Cupping Therapy

Traditional Chinese medicine brings to mind acupuncture, acupressure and the use of natural healing remedies. Cupping is a lesser-known treatment of Oriental medicine, one that can provide an especially pleasant experience.

One of the earliest documentation of cupping can be found in “A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies”, written by a Taoist herbalist named Ge Hong, which dates all the way back to 300 AD. An old Chinese saying states, “Acupuncture and cupping, more than half of the ills cured.”

Cupping was officially established as a therapeutic practice in the 1950s across hospitals in China.  Prior to the 1950s, cupping had been practiced as an auxiliary method in traditional Chinese surgery. Since then Cupping has been growing in popularity, with celebrities drawing public attention to the traditional Chinese therapy technique. Recent studies have shown cupping’s effectiveness in reducing pain intensity and providing positive short-term benefits.

What Is Chinese Cupping?

Cupping is a technique that uses small glass cups or jars as suction devices placed on the skin to disperse and break up stagnation and congestion by drawing congested blood, energy or other humors to the surface.

In dry cupping, your therapist will simply heat and place the suction cups on the skin.

In wet cupping, the practitioner will make a small incision on the skin and then apply the suction cup to draw out small amounts of blood.

There are several ways a trained practitioner can create the suction in the cups. One method involves swabbing rubbing alcohol onto the bottom of the cup, then lighting it and putting the cup immediately against the skin. Flames are never used near the skin but simply as a means to create the heat that causes the suction within the small cups.

Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin, which is called “gliding cupping”. Medical massage oils can be applied to improve movement of the glass cups along the skin. The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes. Bruising should be expected as a side effect of cupping, but skin should return to normal within 10 days.

Cupping With Acupuncture

Acupuncture and cupping are generally combined in one treatment, but it can also be used alone. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure).

Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite. For weight loss and cellulite treatments, oil is first applied to the skin, and then the cups are moved up and down the surrounding area.

Like acupuncture, cupping follows the lines of the meridians. There are five meridian lines on the back, these are where the cups are usually placed. Using these points, cupping can help to align and relax qi, as well as target more specific maladies. By targeting the meridian channels, cupping strives to ‘open’ these channels – the paths through which life energy flows freely throughout the body, through all tissues and organs, thus providing a smoother and more free-flowing qi (life force).

Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed within these four inches of affected materials. Even hands, wrists, legs, and ankles can be ‘cupped,’ thus applying the healing to specific organs that correlate with these points.

More Benefits Of Chinese Cupping

Cupping therapy treatment is also valuable for the lungs and can clear congestion from a common cold or to help control asthma. Respiratory conditions are one of the most common ailments relieved with cupping.

Cupping has a significant detoxifying effect on skin and the circulatory system, with visible improvement in skin color after only three to five treatments. It removes toxins and improves blood flow through the veins and arteries. Cupping also affects the digestive system. A few benefits include an improved metabolism, relief from constipation, a healthy appetite, and stronger digestion.

A 2015 report published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine noted cupping as an effective alternative method of treating acne, pain, facial paralysis, cervical spondylosis, and herpes zoster.

As health practitioners and researchers continue studying the benefits of cupping, this traditional alternative care technique is gaining further acceptance, and wider practice across holistic healthcare centers in the U.S., as an effective treatment for a wide variety of ailments.

 

Chinese Cupping Therapy in Salt Lake @ ZenMassage.net  

801-467-3529

Source of Information 

Relax with Zen Massage This Fall

Do your joints hurt when a storm is coming?

You can thank changes in barometric pressure for that. Though our joints aren’t the only part of our bodies affected by the weather. Changes in weather cause physiological changes in our bodies. This is one of the several reasons why you should consider getting a massage @ZenMassage this fall.

Support Your Immune System

Feeling a bit under the weather? Many of us experience a weakened immune system when the seasons turn from summer to fall. This is because the drop in temperature makes our bodies rebalance faster than usual. Massage supports a healthy immune system, which helps protect us from seasonal illnesses. According to a study, massage therapy increases the number of killer cells that your body naturally produces and uses as its first line of defense against sickness. It does this by stimulating your lymph nodes to remove harmful bacteria, toxins, and waste. Massage may even help get you over a cold.

Promote Healing

Summer fun can take its toll on your body. Hiking, running and swimming all give you the exercise you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even going on vacation with the family can be exercise. Although too much exercise can cause dehydration over time. After all the activities you participated in during the summer, it’s important to allow your body to recover. Massage helps this healing process along.

Feel More Energetic

Cold temperatures and short days come with the changing of leaves, making us less inclined to spend time outdoors or be active. But by continuing to exercise and participate in sports, we can reduce the toll that winter takes on our levels of energy. Similarly, getting a massage increases the flow of blood and oxygen through our bodies. Making it easier for our circulatory systems to deliver nutrients where they’re needed, giving us an energy boost.

Improve Sleep

Cranky when you don’t sleep well? Poor sleep can lead to chronic conditions such as depression and cardiovascular disease. We know, it’s not always easy to get eight hours of sleep every night, particularly when our bodies are going through physiological transitions at the beginning of fall. Studies show that getting a massage increases serotonin levels, which helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Massage Seasonal Stress Away

With the physiological transitions, come the fall stresses of modern living: returning to school, extra lawn maintenance, preparation for the holidays. The rush and stress of fall can leave you vulnerable to illnesses that only a healthy immune system can fight. Massage therapy helps melt the stress away so that you can relax.

Massage helps relax tight painful muscles, improves range of motion in the joints, enhances circulation and lowers stress levels. Stress is considered a risk factor for many chronic diseases and can make symptoms worse. Feelings of stress that continue for long periods have a detrimental effect on the body. Massage helps you relax, calming the mind and body and relieving your stress.

The significant benefits of massage therapy on your body and mind are too great to ignore. Allow your body to recover and relax with a massage from Zen Massage Salt Lake City.

Renew your commitment to taking care of yourself with a massage @ZenMassageSaltLakeCity.

 

Why Get A Sports Massage?

Sports Massage

Why Get A Sports Massage?

Sports massage is a good choice if you have a specific problem, such as tennis elbow or sore knees from running or biking.

Sports massage has developed over the years to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, to function well during training, and/or recover after a big event. Emphasizing prevention and healing of injuries.

 

Sports Massage is wonderful for athletes, though you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from sports massage. It is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. Massage therapists generally concentrate on a specific problem area you have requested, most likely associated with sports activity of some kind, such as running, tennis, or golf.  The therapist generally focuses in on the problem area—a frozen shoulder or a pulled hamstring, for instance—rather than giving you a full-body massage.

The most important thing with sports massage is that you find a specially trained massage therapist. One who has mastery of a wide range of techniques and knows when to use them. Sometimes men who are new to massage are more comfortable getting a sports massage because it sounds more masculine. That’s fine, even if they don’t have an injury. No matter what type of massage you choose, the therapist should check in with you about what your needs and expectations are for the massage. Many spas used to put sports massage on their menu as a way to appeal to men. As spas have become more sophisticated, however, they realize they don’t list sports massage unless they have therapists with specialized training. If sports massage isn’t listed, an alternative is to explain your objective and ask for a therapist who can achieve that.

What Happens During A Sports Massage?

Sports massage therapists will use a variety of techniques to achieve the desired goal.

There are four types of sports massages:

  • Pre-event sports massage: a short, stimulating massage 15-45 minutes before the event. It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion.
  • Post-event sports massage: given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body’s tissues.
  • Restorative sports massage: given during training to allow the athlete to train harder and with less injury.
  • Rehabilitative sports massage: aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.

The therapist may use Swedish massage to stimulate circulation of blood and lymph fluids, and trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles), and stretching to increase the range of motion. The therapist should also have a good foundation in hydrotherapy modalities including cryotherapy and thermotherapy, which can help with recovery, repair and healing processes. It may also be a good idea to see a movement therapist, who can help you identify and correct the movement pattern that might be causing your injury in the first place.

Sports massage can be an interesting career choice for therapists who want to do it full time. Professional sports teams often have massage therapists on staff to keep athletes’ bodies working at their very best. It helps to have a keen interest in anatomy and physiology, advanced training and experience in sports massage, an interest in sports, and a desire to work with athletes.

Book your Sports Massage with Zen Massage @ http://zenmassage.net/ 

 

Benefits of Sports Massage

Benefits of Sports Massage

Sore muscles and tendons can hold anyone back from their peak physical ability, athlete or not. Our specialized sports massage is designed to reduce the pain and speed the recovery process by focusing on the key muscle groups in the affected areas. Our sports massage has many potential applications on the body and mind by stretching muscles that don’t often get stretched and increasing blood flow to sore muscles, joints and tendons.

Sports Injury Rehab

Sports MassageRepeated motions put a lot of stress on muscle tissues which over time can cause immense chronic pain as well as restrict your range of motion. By stimulating blood flow in the afflicted areas, our massage therapists can reduce this pain and help speed the recovery process and help you get back to maximum efficiency quickly.

Previous injuries are one of the main causes of chronic muscle pain. We target these areas in our sports massage by stretching the muscles in the injured area to help break down scar tissue and help restore flexibility and elasticity to the affected muscle groups.

This deep massage can also open up the pores in your muscle membrane. This aids the recovery process by enabling the Slow oxygen and nutrients to the injured or sore area which promotes faster muscle recovery.

Injury Prevention

Our sports massage is not just meant for reducing sore muscle groups and aiding the recovery process but also to help prevent future injury. If you are expecting to put an extreme amount of strain on a particular muscle group our sports massage can help increase blood flow to those regions to prepare those areas and ensure you have your full range of motion.Sports Massage

After your event we recommend you receive another sports massage to rest the sore muscle areas and promote muscle recovery by normalizing the body’s muscle tissues which will also help restore your flexibility faster.


Exercise stretches muscle groups and increases blood flow. A post-event sports massage will help the blood circulation to muscle tissues by dilating the blood vessels and allowing increased oxygen in the target area to speed the recovery process after an event or competition.

Psychological Benefits

In addition to sore muscle groups and potential injuries, these types of repeated motions and competition can cause a great deal of stress on the mind as well. Reducing tension in sore muscle groups through sports massage can release serotonin and endorphins and reduce your stress levels and increase your mood. Stretching the muscle groups and increasing blood circulation causes the muscles to warm up which create a relaxation reflex in the muscle tissue as well.

Regular sports massages can also increase your confidence by reducing your stress levels. Because of this, pre-event sports massages can lead to stronger performances in upcoming  competition by giving you an added competitive edge.

If you are in need of a sports massage to get you back in peak physical form contact us to set up an appointment with Zen Massage in Salt Lake City.