Massage | 6 Vital Body Parts Often Overlooked

6 Often Overlooked Body Parts & Massage

For most of us, we tend to feel most tense or in need of massage in our shoulders, back, and neck. Working on these areas feels great and can help you feel much better, but what you may not realize is that there are parts of your body, not commonly thought of, that when massaged, can help create a whole body state of calm and relaxation. 

These 6 often overlooked hotspots on our body, can help you find a new meaning to feeling amazing. You can even massage some of these areas yourself.

1 – Ears

Ears weren’t just made for hearing. They have reflex points that we can massage to counteract whole body and mental stress as well.

One of the most famous anxiety-releasing spots is called Shen Men, or “The Gate of Heaven”.

The Chinese believe pressing near the top of our ears, just inside the rim can immediately bring us into a state of calm, relieve headaches and reduce stress.

Joseph Feuerstein, MD, director of Integrative Medicine at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut reveals how you can self-massage this point:

“Press or massage Shen Men firmly on one ear for a minute as you breathe deeply. Do each ear. Tilt the head from side to side to release the neck, between pressings.”

2 – Thumb

We spend a lot of time using our hands. Our thumbs are a vital part of what makes our hands so versatile and useful. Without our thumbs, we can’t grip, throw, punch, or even get dressed.

There are 8 muscles in our thumb alone!

Fingers have a gazillion nerve receptors connected to our body, which is why our fingers provide a window into our health.

Massaging fingers can release tension throughout the rest of the body. Try it for yourself and feel the difference.

If your thumb is really sore or stiff, to the point that you can’t open a jar, try massaging your hand and thumb to bring relief to tight, painful areas of your hands.

3 – Wrist

Our wrists and fingers tend to be neglected despite their importance and constant use.

Below the wrist is another vital acupressure point known as the “Inner gate” or the Pericardium 6.

According to Mind Body Green, massaging this point helps calm a racing heart. The “wristband technique” is also popular among those who suffer anxiety. Wearing and snapping the rubber bands whenever we’re anxious can calm us down.

If you want a more soothing experience then opt for a wrist massage, or do it yourself. by using your thumb to press on your wrist for four seconds then massaging it in a circular motion.

Clasping your hands as if you’re praying and to open and stretch the wrists relaxes the surrounding muscles and helps relieve wrist tension.

4 – Diaphragm

The average person at rest takes about 23,040 breaths per day.

And the diaphragm is the primary muscle of breathing.

But did you know the diaphragm is also the neglected superstar for core and spinal stability?

Meaning, if your diaphragm isn’t in top shape, you’re more prone to pain and injury. Hence the importance to maintain “core strength”.

5 – Gut

There’s always been a scientific link between gut health and digestion.

Recently there’s a buzz around how massaging our stomachs can be helpful to good digestion.

Dr Iona Bramati of IBC Care, who is a specialist in Visceral Osteopathic Treatment (VOT) believes massage is all about increasing the mobility of our guts.

“Visceral osteopathy is used to optimize blood and lymphatic supply to the internal organs aiming to restore its function.”

Walking, running and exercising are the usual ways that movement of food through the digestive tract is promoted, but as many of us will admit, we don’t move our bodies as much as we should, often sitting at our desks or couches for long periods of time.

The benefits of a simple belly rub are also numerous such as promoting a good nights sleep and relieving abdominal and hip flexor tension.

 

6 – Buttocks or Gluteus Maximus

We often skip massage on our buttocks, even though the gluteus muscles are some of the largest and most used in our bodies.

A variety of techniques include compression, friction, and deep strokes. Getting a butt massage can help counteract long hours of sitting.

It can also help with acute pain, tight muscles and soreness from overuse by relaxing these strong muscles and encouraging proper blood flow to return to the deep tissues of the glutes.

What Does Massage do to Improve the quality of our lives?

Massage has always had a reputation for being the “ultimate pamper treatment”. It just feels good, no matter any related benefits.

 

Unfortunately, stress is the norm for many of us and massage is no longer a luxury.

It is preventive health care that our bodies need to help stay physically and emotionally balanced.

Different massage techniques serve different purposes and help relieve pain, anxiety, depression, improve blood circulation – all leading us to enjoy a happier, healthier life.

We hope you’ve learned a few new tricks to help you manage your health and well-being. We also encourage you to seek out the assistance of a massage professional near you to help keep you on the right track to personal wellness.

Make massage part of your health routine. 

Get in touch with one of our Zen Massage Therapists in Salt Lake City.

Source

Alignment, SI Joint Pain & Massage Therapy

Each body tells a personal story.  The different ways we use our bodies daily is not always a conscious decision. Let’s be honest our alignment and posture are not always optimal. We have to work, read, hunched over 8 hours at the desk, drive and then we wonder where’s our pain coming from?

​Repetitive motion creates patterns that build our posture. The fascia that lies underneath, throughout your body gets pulled in different directions and creates patches and areas with condensed tissue that need to be smoothed out.​

Massage therapy can provide significant improvement for pain and for works best as part of an integrated approach with your doctor and/or physical therapist.

Physical therapy will alleviate pain through guided and supervised stretching and exercises that increase the stability of the joint. Massage therapy can also help reduce the pain associated with SI joint dysfunction by addressing the muscles and ligaments that support it.

For example, cranial-sacral therapy (balancing the rhythm of the cerebral-spinal pulse) will realign the body and reduce the stress on the SI joint. Using Swedish massage techniques, your massage therapist can relax the muscles and improve circulation in the area.

Massage can relieve the pain and discomfort of SIJ dysfunction by correcting imbalances of the musculoskeletal system. This is the connection between your muscles and your joints and bones. Some practitioners use a therapeutic strategy involving piriformis techniques that address the stability of the pelvis in order to alleviate the SI joint pain.

Corrective massage is designed to counteract harmful muscle imbalances that result in poor body posture. With the repetitiveness of occupation and daily activities, pain occurs due to imbalances created by overuse of certain muscles and under use of others. Our body posture provides a window into musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.

Muscle imbalances affect the whole body, causing stress and fatigue that tighten the muscles and limit oxygen to the cells. Poor posture can limit our body’s potential range of motion creating stress on the musculoskeletal system. The result is chronic pain caused by the weak underused muscles being pushed to their limit. Muscle pain is a strong signal of body misalignment.

Chronic conditions develop over time, and will often require multiple sessions to change the patterns and posture of your body.  As your massage therapist, we listen to the pain and make the healthy alignment changes that are needed using massage. The goal is for you to be pain free and capable of  living an active lifestyle.

It’s important to try the least invasive routes before leaping to potentially addictive prescription painkillers and costly surgeries with lengthy recovery times. In addition to your doctor, seek advice from massage therapists, physical therapists, and holistic health practitioners who can offer alternative approaches to your sacroiliac joint pain management.

The tools offered by doctors to treat pain (pills and surgery) mask the issue and do not get to the root problem, muscular skeletal imbalance. With corrective massage, sessions are interactive requiring you to flex and release certain muscles during the massage to accelerate the results and to re-educate the body so that stretched muscles are contracted and shortened muscles are lengthened. This creates balance in the body. When the body is in balance, it is pain free and strong.

Good communication with your massage therapist is key to getting the best treatment for your body.

Personalized Massage Therapy in Salt Lake City @ http://zenmassage.net/

Sources:

Low Back, Piriformis and SI Joint Pain

Impact of Massage Therapy on Pain

SI Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief Through Massage

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 

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.

 

6 Health Benefits of Massage

6 Health Benefits of Massage

Relaxing is great, but massage therapy can do much more than just help you relax. 6 healthy reasons to book a massage appointment.

It counteracts all that sitting you do

“Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress,” says Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist, kinesiologist, and owner at Paleolife Massage Therapy in Toronto. “More often than not [that stress] tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck.”

Desk workers, beware. More advanced forms of postural stress “show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting.”

Luckily, massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting, which means you can keep your desk job as long as you schedule a regular massage.

 

It eases muscle pain

Got sore muscles? Massage therapy can help. “Massage increases and improves circulation, in much the same way rubbing your elbow when you knock it on a table helps to relieve the pain,” says Tanason.

A 2011 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that massage therapy is as effective as other methods of treatment for chronic back pain.

It soothes anxiety and depression

“Human touch, in a context that is safe, friendly and professional, can be incredibly therapeutic and relaxing,” says Tanason.

Women diagnosed with breast cancer who received massage therapy three times a week reported being less depressed and less angry, according to a 2005 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience.

And, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy, and had reduced stress levels after a massage.

It improves sleep

Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest.

“Massage promotes relaxation and sleep in those undergoing chemo or radiation therapy,” says Lisa Marie de Miranda, registered massage therapist and kinesiologist at Paleolife Massage Therapy.

Also, if you’re a new parent, you’ll be happy to know it can help infants sleep more, cry less and be less stressed, according to research from the University of Warwick.

“Most RMTs can do an infant massage,” says de Miranda.  And if parents want to do it themselves, it comes naturally. “There’s not really a particular technique. Whatever parents normally do to soothe their baby will be effective.”

It boosts immunity

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage boosts patients’ white blood cell count (which plays a large role in defending the body from disease).

It also “improves immune function for individuals with HIV,” says de Miranda.

It relieves headaches

Next time a headache hits, try booking a last-minute massage. “Massage decreases frequency and severity of tension headaches,” says de Miranda.

Research from Granada University in Spain found that a single session of massage therapy has an immediate effect on perceived pain in patients with chronic tension headaches.

 

Original article by KATHARINE WATTS

Found here:  http://bit.ly/1RR6L4O