Information on plantar fasciitis

Information on plantar fasciitis Information on plantar fasciitis 2
Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced PLAN-tar fashee-EYE-tiss) is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is tissue that lies between the muscles in the mid-foot and the skin on the bottom of the foot and stretches from the calcaneus to the metatarsals. The function of the plantar fascia is to maintain the arch of the foot by attaching the ball of the foot to the heel and creating a bow like shape. 95% of all heel pain is diagnosed as plantar fasciitis, and it affects men and women equally. Adults are more susceptible than children because their plantar fascia have lost some elasticity with age. When plantar fascia is stressed by misalignment or overuse, its fibers fray, similar to a tendon or ligament tear.

Often, a bone spur develops at the calcaneal attachment. Plantar fasciitis pain occurs when the foot is used after several hours of immobility. It is very painful for the first steps taken after sleeping. The pain may then subside, but return with prolonged standing, walking, or running. There may be a bruised feeling just anterior to the calcaneus on the bottom of the foot or deep in the arch of the foot. During rest, the fascia fibers begin to knit together. Every time the foot goes into weight-bearing dorsiflexion, the fibers are retorn.

Causes of plantar fasciitis are a lack of arch and lateral support in shoes, increase in activity, lack of flexibility in calf muscles (especially in runners), being overweight, using unstable shoes on
hard ground, having flat or pronated feet, or spending too much time on your feet. It may also occur as a secondary complication of gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatments include:

‒ Use of orthotics for arch support, especially if you have flat feet or high arches;

‒ Use of a night splint that holds the foot in a slightly dorsiflexed position (allowing fibers to knit together in a way that will not be stressed and retorn easily);

‒ Rolling the foot gently on a rubber ball or tennis ball so that the plantar is massaged, which will loosen it up (a good activity while sitting at a desk);

‒ Anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, Aleve, or ibuprofen;

‒ Ice therapy after all activities;

‒ Stretching the calf muscles gently after period of inactivity (upon waking in the morning, after sitting for a long time, etc.);

‒ Stretching in bed with a towel, using a heating pad, and/or massaging with the thumbs on the bottom of the foot and the calf muscles before getting out of bed.

 

‒ The fascia can be stretched by bending the toes and foot back for ten seconds, ten times each day, especially before getting out of bed or after long periods of sitting. It may reduce pain and allows injured tissue fibers to align properly while healing.
‒ Tape (aka strapping) can help protect the fascia and allow time for healing to occur but it can also enable a patient with severe pain to walk again. The tape should tighten when standing to demonstrate that it is absorbing some of the tension that would have been in the fascia. It may not be beneficial if the pain is being caused by inflammation or nerve damage. Care must be taken to make sure the tape is being applied properly.

‒ Losing weight;

‒ Decreasing athletic activity or time spent on feet.

‒ Deep massage of the calf muscles, at the site of the tear, and of the fascia, as often as possible and especially in the morning. This increases fluid flow in the area, which may speed healing. Ice should be applied after deep massage. Once the scar tissue is broken up, stretching the fascia by bending the toes back for ten seconds, ten times each day, may allow the tissue to heal back stronger and more resilient. Vigorous massage to break up scar tissue before getting an injection has also been recommended, but apply ice afterwards.

‒ Strengthening toe and foot muscles. Strong foot muscles promote better overall functioning of the foot and thereby can help take some of the tension out of the fascia. Laying a towel on the floor and pulling it back using only the toes is often prescribed by physical therapy. Another technique is to place the feet flat on the floor while sitting in a chair and pushing the ball of the foot off the floor by pushing down with the toes. Another method is to pick up marbles or similar objects and place them in a cup. Pressing the toes on the ground while walking may noticeably reduce pain in the heel because it takes some of the tension out of the fascia and places it in the tendons that pull the toes down.

‒ Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation, but should be used sparingly as they may weaken the collagen fibers. They reduce inflammation but decrease the strength of the tissue. The benefits often last only from a few days to a month;

‒ Surgery is used as a last resort, and involves severing the plantar fascia. This option may eliminate pain, but creates more instability in the foot, which can lead to adverse affects in the rest of the body.
My strategies for working on a client with plantar fasciitis, after physician’s approval, would include the massage and stretching described above, and advising on the home-care (stretching, massage,
strengthening toe and foot muscles) described above to help the affected foot heal properly, and to prevent the other foot from developing plantar fasciitis.

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Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive Stress Injuries
Together, our temporary laboratory of massage therapists, participating in an intense life workshop with the bodies of the finest athletes in the world, perpetuated an embryonic idea. We felt that by working with the tendons and ligaments surrounding the joints involved in repetitive movement, we could encourage healing by breaking down fibrous adhesions. It appears we were right.

I would like you to hold up your index finger and take a good look at it. That finger is about the size of the hole in your wrist through which several flexor tendons, lymphatic vessels, arteries, and veins, along with the median nerve, pass. A rower activates the muscles in his back, chest, shoulders and arms which move those tendons in and out of that hole to allow the wrists to stroke the oars through water.

Last week I asked you to hold up your index finger and take a good look at it. Don’t put it down yet, I would like you to look at it again. That finger is about the size of your carpal tunnel, the hole in your wrist through which pass nine flexor tendons, your median nerve, and several lymphatic vessels, arteries, and veins. When you work on your computer, you activate the muscles in your back, chest, shoulders and arms which move these tendons in and out of the carpal tunnel to allow for the tapping of keys on your keyboard.

Recent works of a true pioneer in the sports massage field, Rich Phaigh. His excellent article on upper extremity repetitive stress injuries, published in the Spring 1994 issue of “Massage Therapy Journal,” forms the foundation of our discussion. Quotes from that article are being reprinted here with permission from the American Massage Therapy Association.
More and more we began receiving visits from athletes complaining of pain and numbness in their wrists and arms, along with a loss of grasping strength. These people were doing to their bodies in just days what it has taken ten years for office workers to do by using office computers.

What we had all noticed on these rowers was a swelling in the wrist area. Technically speaking, as Rich Phaigh puts it, in a condition like this, “The synovial sheaths surrounding the flexor tendons show varying signs of proliferation and thickening.” For these rowers, that was an understatement.

OK, lets get anatomical for a few minutes. Most people think that tendons attach to bones and extend out to join together into ligaments, which move on out into muscles, only to turn back into ligaments and tendons again, attaching to different bones at the other end. When you use a relaxed muscle, you cause it to shorten, which pulls on the ligaments and tendons attached to it, which brings your bones closer together. You experience movement.

Sounds good to me. Only one thing is missing. To keep the individual tendons separate from each other in tight quarters like the carpal tunnel in your wrist, millions of years of evolution have resulted in a sophisticated mechanical design. Our tendons are each covered with a smooth sheath which acts, in a way, like teflon does on a pan. When you move each of your fingers separately, the synovial sheathes surrounding the nine tendons passing through your carpal tunnel make sure your little finger doesn’t curl when you curl your index finger, that is, when your body is working the way it was designed.

Millions of years of evolution to perfect the human musculo-skeletal design. Ten years of repetitive computer use to break that design down. Reread Rich Phaigh’s description of the condition of these sheaths in carpal tunnel syndrome suffers. This is exactly what we found on Olympic rowers. Big difference, though: Office workers can take off sick. These athletes had one shot at glory, and only two more weeks of intense work ahead of them to achieve it.

Yugoslavia had a distinct advantage over all other athletes competing in the rowing events. They had been receiving what we called “cross fiber friction” therapy long before they reached America. Their synovial sheathes had been physically
Repetitive Stress Injuries ( contd. )

 

worked through tactile manipulation to reduce, if not eliminate, the proliferation and thickening seen in other athletes. Their grips were strong, their endurance high, and their Country proud as they won gold medals in four out of their five rowing events.

We are on a roll. For the past couple of weeks, we have been looking at high technology from another view, a more humanistic view. Whether you work on an old IBM PC, or just acquired the new Power PC, you work with a keyboard. Because of this, if you use your computer for extended periods of time, you are a potential candidate for repetitive stress injuries, the most notorious of which is carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you have succumbed to some form of repetitive stress injury, we want to help you understand it, and, before this series is over, give you some ideas for working with it. These rowers, because of the intense repetitive use of their hands and arms in their sport, exhibited an accelerated form of the same basic condition computer operators encounter after years of pecking away at computer keys. The techniques we used to alleviate this condition in rowing athletes, by analogy, may be applicable to anyone experiencing the characteristic symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome today.

Just what are those symptoms? According to Rich Phaigh in and article he wrote for the Spring, 1994 issue of the “Massage Therapy Journal,” and reprinted here with permission from the American Massage Therapy Association, he states that, “Functional testing shows a shortness in passive wrist extension accompanied by pain, weakness in resisted wrist extension, shortness in passive supination and weakness in resisted supination.” That is, it hurts to flex your hand, and you can’t open it as much as you used to.  He goes on by saying, “Advanced symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are an aching numbness in the wrist and fingers. The symptoms usually center on the middle and index finger and, to a lesser degree, the thumb. Gripping becomes difficult due to associated weakness of the flexor muscles.” Interestingly enough, the symptoms are worse after a night’s sleep, according to Mr. Phaigh.

It is time to recap. What we know today as carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury happening because of the proliferation and thickening of the synovial sheaths surrounding the nine flexor tendons which pass through an index finger sized hole in your wrist. This swelling within the closed tunnel leads to entrapment of the median nerve. The resulting manifestation of pain, usually in the form of an aching numbness, is a direct result of the compression of that nerve within the carpal tunnel.  The thickening of the synovial sheathes also constricts the ability of the flexor tendons to move independently and to their maximum extent. Sufferers notice that moving fingers independently becomes difficult, and full hand extension becomes painful as the moving tendons apply additional pressure to the already compressed median nerve.

So just what did Yugoslavia’s Petar Ciric teach us which sports massage therapists have been perfecting over the past ten years in treating this condition? Petar’s “cross fiber friction” has evolved to the more eloquent “transverse friction massage” technique, and the premise is this:

The flexor tendons of the hand run lengthwise through the carpal tunnel on their way from the middle of your arm to your hand. As Rich Phaigh explains with regard to the median nerve, “In cases of nerve entrapment, the blood-nerve barrier is disturbed with ischemia and resultant loss of nutrition to the nerve. Prolonged ischemia leads to infraction of the nerve, and is directly responsible for the formation of fibrous adhesions in the damaged area.”

Adhesive fibrous formations gum everything up. They cause the flexor tendons the stick to their synovial sheaths, and the separate sheaths to stick to each other. Everything starts moving together, and it hurts. These formations can be broken up, and here’s the gold medal winning technique for restoring flexor tendon movement:

Repetitive Stress Injuries ( contd. )

 

With the athlete’s hand relaxed and supported, Petar Ciric would apply deep pressure across the inner and outer aspects of the Olympiad’s forearm, just above the wrist. His hope was, by rubbing “across the grain,” so to speak, the adhesion points could be broken and the fibrous formations released. This would restore full longitudinal movement to the tendons again, relax the sheaths, and encourage the movement of fresh blood and nutrients to the median nerve, thereby reducing the numbness and restoring grip strength.

I had never seen anything like it. It all made sense. The normal therapeutic approach of immobilizing the wrist, applying ice to reduce the swelling, and encouraging rest was exactly what you would do if you wanted to grow adhesive fibrous formations. No wonder these athletes felt worse in the morning when left untreated, or treated with ice therapy.

Logic would predict that aggravating an already sensitive area with deep stimulation would worsen, not improve an already bad situation. Such was not the case. Petar’s cross fiber friction, applied only with his trained fingers and thumb, made the difference in Olympic success. It taught me a lesson, too. Always be open for alternative ideas, even new ideas within an already established and accepted method of practice.

Comfortably seated and relaxed, the first thing I do is raise my head and turn it from side to side. I tilt it back and forth a few times, and try and break up the crackling sounds in my neck. Then I fix my gaze at something far away. If I can I get up and walk away from the computer, I will, but usually I just stretch a bit and get back to work.

–I always take time to interlink my fingers and press my palms forward, flexing my hands and fingers back. I know this not only feels good for my hands, but it lengthens and extends the flexor tendons passing through the carpal tunnels in my wrists, my first step in the preventative health care of my hands and arms.

–I shake my hands out vigorously restoring blood to my fingers, and then every half hour or so, and I know I should do it more frequently, but sometimes I forget.  Before I leave my office at the end of the day, I try and make time to do a little something in private.

–I lay my left forearm down into my right hand with my palm facing up so my right index finger is even with my wrist. I make sure the back of my hand is supported and that I can see the creases in my wrist. Then I dig in.

–Using the first three fingers of my right hand, I rub gently across the inside of my forearm. I never rub lengthwise, only across. I do that for a half a minute or so, then I prepare myself for some deep work.

–Using my thumb, I dig deep into my forearm, about an inch or so back from the crease in my wrist. I feel around for one of those flexor tendons, and then I wiggle my thumb back and forth across it.

–It hurts a little, but for me, it’s a good kind of hurt. I don’t stay there long, just a few strokes with my thumb pad, then I move on and find another one. Each time I press deep and wiggle my thumb back and forth across the tendon. I try and visualize it as rubbing off a gummy buildup on the shaft of a pencil. It helps me think about what I am trying to do.

–I work all around an area in the inside of my forearm from just above my or tendons. As a final treat, I squeeze my forearm muscles from the middle of my forearm up to my elbow and back down to my wrist. Boy, that feels good.

–I do the same thing for my other arm, reversing the role of my hands. When I’m all done, I shake out my hands, interlock my fingers, and go for one more nice long stretch, palms out. Then I head home. Total elapsed time: about 5 minutes.
Repetitive Stress Injuries ( contd. )

 

That’s it. No big deal, just some applied deep pressure across the tendons in my forearm. Sometimes I throw in the back side of my forearm for good measure, but not always.

In the evenings I like to reach one hand around the other forearm just above my wrist and squeeze. Silly as it might seem, that simple squeeze helps move blood into and through the carpal tunnel, and that helps provide nourishment to the median nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most famous computer blamed repetitive stress injury, but it is not the only one. When you work at the same machine, month after month, you are bound to experience all sorts of problems. You’re feeling pain, tingling and numbness in your arms and hands. You’re loosing your grip — not your grip on life — your real grip. Picking up a carton of milk is an effort. You don’t know what to do. You don’t know what’s causing it, although you suspect it might be that one eyed monster at work, your office computer. Whatever it is, it is getting worse every day.

Repetitive stress injuries either are, or will, affect most of the 45 million US workers who use a computer in their jobs. Right now it is estimated that repetitive stress injuries account for nearly 200,000 workman’s compensation claims per year, and the number is
growing.

The cost, including lost productivity and medical expenses, is estimated at $7 billion (that’s billion with a B) per year.  You see how
your head is tilted back? You’re trying to look at you computer screen through the bottom of your bifocal glasses! You can’t read the words when looking through the top part because that glass gives you good vision at a distance, and the computer screen is right in front of you. Bifocals were a great invention when people used to read books held in their laps. They present a real physiological problem for computer users.

Wait, there’s more:
Your feet are flat on the floor, but your knees are higher than your hips. You’re slouching in your chair, there’s no lumbar support for your lower back, your hands are above your elbows because your keyboard is sitting on the top of a regular desk, not a computer desk. Why, you’re a complete wreck. I’ve got a good idea what you are suffering from. According to Rich Phaigh, in an article he wrote for the Spring, 1994 issue of the “Massage Therapy Journal,” and reprinted here with permission from the American Massage Therapy Association, you just might have “compression of the brachial plexus just inferior of the coracoid process of the scapula.”

Folks, bad computer workstation design can lead to symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, when in fact, the problem can be way up in your neck and not even in your arm at all. You can squeeze and rub and shake your hands and arms all you want, and the pain, tingling, and numbness won’t go away. At this point you need help beyond what you can do for yourself. You need the kind of help a trained therapist can provide.

What I just described, by the way, is known in the sports massage trade as the coracoid pressure syndrome. Rich Phaigh, in his article mentioned above adds, “This condition is generally the result of a hypertrophied (short) pectoralis minor muscle which depresses the bony process and closes the small gap through which the brachial plexus passes. Every nerve which innervates the arm may be compressed in this condition.” In layman terms, tight muscles up near your armpit are cutting off the main nerve running down your arm much like when you hang your arm over the back of a chair and it goes to sleep on you.

It hurts in the morning when I get up, in fact, recently the pain has been waking me up. Oh, I don’t know where it is. It’s in my arms, it’s in my hands, it just aches. And it’s getting worse.
Repetitive Stress Injuries ( contd. )

 

Welcome back. On first glance this could well be a description of carpal the “Massage Therapy Journal,” reprinted here with permission from the American Massage Therapy Association, this could be anterior scalene syndrome. According to Mr. Phaigh, “Common causes of anterior scalene syndrome are the forward head posture, forward shoulder posture, and compression of the cervical nerve roots near the spine.”

Remember the anterior scalene syndrome above? No problem. Proper chair height and monitor placement will remove the tendency to hunch over and compress the cervical nerve roots near the spine. Skilled manipulation of the soft tissues of the neck during a by-weekly visit to “the therapy chair” can release the constriction over time and restore warm blood flow and nourishment to the aching nerves. Problem solved.

Last week we woke up with an ache in our arms and hands, a non-specific pain, but one intense enough to wake us in the morning. We learned it was probably due to the anterior scalene syndrome because we hunch our head and shoulders forward when we are working at our office computers. Sorry to tell you, those same symptoms, along with potentially indicating carpal tunnel syndrome.

Jerry Turner, CMT, LMT
Insured, Certified/ Licensed Massage Therapist

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Massage oil Ingredients I use with massages

Massage oil Ingredients used with massages

Natural Treasures Massage Oil:
This oil is made with Coconut Oil.  Vitamin C and vitamin E are added to maintain freshness of the oil.  It is easily absorbed by the skin.   The Essential oil of Lavender is blended into the base oil which helps promote calming and relaxation effects.  This oil is stain resistant and washes off easily with soap and warm water.  Other essential oils may be added for other effects.

Natural Treasures Massage Oil is formulated exclusively with ingredients derived from plants, no animal by-products are used, and will enhance the pleasure of your massage and give a velvety smooth feel to the Natural Treasure of your skin. This product is color and fragrance free.

Bon Vital Massage Cream:
Bon Vital Multi Purpose Massage Creme – has a superior light whipped texture that applies like a creme and performs like an oil. The consistency and workability allows for a smooth and silky glide while being easily absorbed into the skin. Enriched with Jojoba Oil for excellent skin care benefits.  Key Ingredients: Vitamin A, Pro Vitamin B5, Sesame Seed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Adocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil and Purified Water.  This cream is stain resistant and washes off easily with soap and warm water.

Natural Treasures Massage Oil
Essential Oils:
100 % pure Lavender Essential Oil

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Muscle-Contraction Headaches

muscle contraction headache: The Everyday Menace

It’s 5:00 p.m. and your boss has just asked you to prepare a 20-page briefing paper. Due date: tomorrow. You’re angry and tired and the more you think about the assignment, the tenser you become. Your teeth clinch, your brow wrinkles, and soon you have a splitting Tension Headache.

Tension headache is named not only for the role of stress in triggering the pain, but also for the contraction of neck, face, and scalp muscles brought on by stressful events. Tension headache is a severe but temporary form of muscle-contraction headache. The pain is mild to moderate and feels like pressure is being applied to the head or neck.
The headache usually disappears after the period of stress is over.

Chronic muscle-contraction headaches can last for weeks, months, and sometimes years. The pain of these headaches is often described as a tight band around the head or a feeling that the head and neck are in a cast. “It feels like somebody is tightening a giant vise around my head,” says one patient. The pain is steady, and is usually felt on both sides of the head. Chronic muscle-contraction headaches can cause sore scalps – even combing one’s hair can be painful.

Many scientists believe that the primary cause of the pain of muscle-contraction headache is sustained muscle tension. Other studies suggest that restricted blood flow may cause or contribute to the pain.

Occasionally, muscle-contraction headaches will be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision, but there is no preheadache syndrome as with migraine. Muscle-contraction headaches have not been linked to hormones or foods, as has migraine, nor is there a strong hereditary connection.

Research has shown that for many people, chronic muscle-contraction headaches are caused by depression and anxiety. These people tend to get their headaches in the early morning or evening when conflicts in the office or home are anticipated.

Emotional factors are not the only triggers of muscle-contraction headaches. Certain physical postures – such as holding one’s chin down while reading – can lead to head and neck pain.  So can prolonged writing under poor light, or holding a phone between the
shoulder and ear or even gum-chewing.

More serious problems that can cause muscle-contraction headaches include degenerative arthritis of the neck and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJ.  TMJ is a disorder of the joint between the temporal bone (above the ear) and the mandible or lower jaw bone. The disorder results from poor bit and jaw clenching
Muscle-Contraction Headaches
Treatment for muscle-contraction headache varies. The first consideration is to treat any specific disorder or disease that may be causing the headache. For example, arthritis of the neck is treated

with anti-inflammatory medication and temporomandibular joint dysfunction may be helped by corrective devices for the mouth and jaw.

Acute tension headaches not associated with a disease are treated with muscle relaxants and analgesics like aspirin and acetaminophen. Stronger analgesics, such as propoxyphene and codeine, are sometimes prescribed. As prolonged use of these drugs can lead to dependence, patients taking them should have periodic medical checkups and follow their physician’s instructions carefully.

Non-drug therapy for chronic muscle-contraction headaches includes biofeedback, relaxation training, and counseling. A technique called Cognitive Restructuring teaches people to change their attitudes and responses to stress. Patients might be encouraged, for example, to imagine that they are coping successfully with a stressful situation. In Progressive Relaxation Therapy, patients are taught to first tense and then relax his or her whole body. Many people imagine a peaceful scene – such as lying on the beach or by a beautiful lake. Passive Relaxation Therapy does not involve tensing of muscles. Instead, patients are encouraged to focus on different muscles, suggesting that they relax.
Some people might think to themselves, Relax or My muscles feel warm.

People with chronic muscle-contraction headaches may also be helped by taking antidepressants or MAO inhibitors. Mixed muscle-contraction and migraine headaches are sometimes treated with barbiturate compounds, which slow down nerve function in the brain and spinal cord.  People who suffer infrequent muscle-contraction headaches may benefit from a hot shower or moist heat applied to the back of the neck. Cervical collars are sometimes recommended as an aid to good posture. Physical therapy, massage, and gentle exercise of the neck are also very helpful.
Jerry Turner, CMT, LMT
Insured, Certified/ Licensed Massage Therapist

 

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Addressing headaches, pain and stress

headache picAddressing headaches, pain and stress

Before we can intelligently discuss headaches, it is imperative that we understand what type of headache we are addressing. There are three types of headaches. First, there are tension headaches, which account for over fifty percent of all primary health care providers’ visits. Second, there are sinus headaches, which are attributed to allergies and the flu. Third, and the most serious of all headaches, migraine headaches.
There are as many reasons to experience tension headaches as there are personalities and lifestyles. Whether the cause is emotional or physical the result is the same, throbbing temples and mental discomfort. We are certainly not at our creative best when our head hurts. Massage addresses tension headaches by relaxing the neck and shoulders. As we relax, we soften our muscles and headaches disappear. These are the easiest headaches for us to address.
Sinus headaches are best addressed by face massage. As the sinus cavities become relaxed, the fluids that are trapped in these spaces release and begin to flow, allowing us to drain and cleanse the sinuses. This is a slow process and usually takes a few massage sessions. There are simple techniques that any experienced massage professional can teach you to allow you to release these cavities yourself. Between massages, you will find relief with a few minutes of self-massage done on a regular basis.
Migraine headaches can be caused by either impingement of the nerves in the neck or by chemical imbalances. Massage can address the impinged nerve problem by releasing the Levator Scapula Muscles. It is often necessary to address either the left or right Levator muscle for several hours to achieve complete relief. Be sure to ask your massage professional if they have had experience eliminating migraine headaches. You will probably need to shop around a bit to find a massage professional who is willing to work just one muscle for two hours at a time.
Headaches cripple our ability to function optimally and are probably the most common form of what could be called discomfort. Now is a good time to allow a massage professional the opportunity to rid you of your headache discomfort naturally.

Addressing pain
Pain is caused by lack of oxygen. Lack of oxygen can be caused by a myriad of possibilities. Some of the causes are a blow, a cut or a strain. One of the obvious causes of pain is the flu, as we go through this period of discomfort, we ache all over. As our body becomes hot with fever, our muscle fibers begin to stick together, inhibiting circulation, which causes lack of oxygen. When we recover from the flu it is necessary to address these muscle fibers or they will remain stuck together. Dehydration is the catalyst that accelerates the aging process.
When muscle fibers are stuck together, fluid is no longer able to pass between these fibers, causing lack of circulation. Lack of circulation causes lack of oxygen and in turn lack of oxygen causes pain. There is a secret to creating an environment within your body that makes pain less likely. This is a secret that you have probably had passed down to you by your grandparents and your parents too. This secret is to drink eight to ten 8 ounce glasses of water every day.
Our bodies are comprised of seventy percent water and when this level of liquid drops we enter a state of dehydration. Without water it is impossible to enjoy adequate circulation and we live in a constant state of pain. For those of you who have never experienced a professional massage, we would recommend that now is a good time for your first session. Drink lots of water, get lots of massage and live a pain free life.

The two most obvious benefits of massage are increased circulation and flexibility.
From a physiological or mechanical engineering point of view, massage increases the lubrication between muscle fibers and allows the muscle to move optimally. Muscle fibers are designed to work independently of each other. When muscles dry out, or dehydrate, the fibers stick together and the muscle becomes stiff or ridged. As fluid is reintroduced, the muscle softens and regains its flexibility. As circulation increases between the muscle fibers, nutrients reach the cells and toxins are carried off more efficiently.
Aging is largely a process of dehydration. The less water in the body, the more quickly we age. As we dehydrate, we begin to shrink and as our muscles become smaller, our skin begins to wrinkle. Drinking lots of water and having regular massage is a great way to get rid of wrinkles.
At post mortem, muscle dehydration is found at every area of disease. This would lead one to believe that good circulation could possibly keep one healthy. Degenerative diseases like cancer and muscular sclerosis are anaerobic and can not live in an oxygenated environment. Because blood carries oxygen to the cells, circulation is necessary for optimal health. The Bible teaches that life is in the blood. If this is true, we need the best circulation we can get. Massage increases circulation, hence, increases oxygen to the cells. It’s time to get a massage.
From a psychological point of view, massage creates a sense of being cared for, of being nurtured. Massage helps us become more aware of our bodies and the feelings we value. Human touch connects one person to another and the feelings shared are healing and energizing emotionally. Safe touch is an important part of life. Massage by a responsible professional is a relaxing way to enjoy safe touch.
Looking at massage from a physics point of view, we see that electromagnetic energy is transferred from the giver to the receiver and back. This energy transfer can not be duplicated by gadgets or machines. The oriental cultures call this energy Chi´ or life energy. The world renowned nuclear physicist, Professor Serge Sitko, of Vidguk in the Ukraine, has developed equipment that is able to record this energy in the millimeter range of radio waves. This human energy transfer is an important part of the healing process. Many believe that this is simply love being transferred from one person to another.
Massage gives one a feeling of comfort and relaxation like a mini vacation from the pressures of life. A clinical study at the University of Miami School of Medicine, shows that massage increases mental alertness and accuracy in mathematical calculations. A group was given mathematical problems both before and after a series of massages and accuracy increased some 20%. Massage also increases beta waves in this study which shows that one is more relaxed after a series of massages. This relaxed state lasts longer as the cumulative benefits of more massage at regular intervals are experienced.
Weekly massage will make you look and feel years younger. You owe it to yourself to give massage a try.
3 Kinds of massage

Massage has been divided into three categories.  We will address each one because the results will be very different.
We will begin with light massage which will include Reiki, Swedish, Energy Work and Spa massages. This style of massage can offer profound results or simply relax you.
We will then address medium which may leave light bruising after completion. Professionals who do medium massage are well trained and usually have a great deal of experience. You should never feel sharp pain during a massage. Discomfort is normal momentarily. You should surely feel younger and livelier after a day or two.
Deep massage is for athletes, people who do heavy work and those in acute pain. Again, sharp pain is contrary to healing. Bruising is normal after the first few massage sessions. You may be sore for a day or two like after a good work out. Your body will change dramatically after the third or fourth session. Be the time you have had six or seven sessions, you will be much more flexible and will understand the true value of regular massage.

Light Massage
Most Spa massage is fairly light and designed to relax you. For people new to massage, this is a good first step. Most light massage addresses the whole body at one session. It is the Spa industry that has been at the fore front of massage education. Until recently, only the elite knew the value of massage. Most royal families receive massage daily.

Medium Massage
You will find some medium massage in Spa settings, however, independant practitioners are more likely to practice medium massage. Between light and deep, medium massage still addresses the whole body in one session.

Deep Massage
Born in ancient China 6,000 years ago, massage was used as a form of healthcare. The ancient form of massage called “Tuina” is the foundation of many deep muscle techniques. “Canadian Deep Muscle Massage” was born in the late 1800’s. “Rolfing” was born in 1959 at Eslan in California. Each of these techniques addresses only one area of the body at any one time. These practitioners are usually very well trained. Again, sharp pain is not to be acceptable. Discomfort is certainly normal.  I am experienced in all 3 forms of these massages.
Addressing Stress
Stress has a way of changing posture. As stress begins to tighten one’s body, shoulders begin to roll forward, the chin lifts and the neck moves forward. This happens to all of us as the everyday pressures of life close in around us. In the world of psychology the term for this posture is armoring.

Think of a person sitting at a typing station. This person is not sitting erect, but leaning slightly forward. Her elbows are not hanging by her side but are just forward of her body. As her fingers dance across the keyboard she not only has to hold her forearms up, but has to hold her elbows forward. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the muscles of her upper back as well as her lower back.

There are two muscles that are punished the most by stress. We call these muscles the stress muscles. However, their medical name is Levator Scapula. These two muscles connect at the upper bones of the neck called the Cervical Vertebrae and connect to the shoulder blade, known as the Scapula. When we are stressed our shoulders lift putting pressure on our neck. This pressure creates headaches and neck and shoulder pain. The final result of this posturing is pressure on the Medial Nerve which eventually becomes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

This condition is easily addressed by massage and three or four visits usually alleviate this stress.  How often should you get a massage? Probably once a week, if you have never had a massage before.

As the shoulders lift, the vertebrae of the spine are pulled close together, which puts pressure on the disk between the vertebrae. As the disk is crushed by this pressure it widens and puts pressure on the nerves that exit the Central Nervous System at these openings. As the nerves are impinged, everything in the body begins to shut down and we enjoy a lower level of energy. Life becomes harder.

From our point of view, stress is the fundamental cause of most illness. The Ancient Chinese said that disease was caused by congestion and wellness was the result of circulation. This was written six thousand years ago and it seems they were correct.

For those of you who have never experienced a professional massage, perhaps now is the time to give one a try. All you have to lose is stress and discomfort.

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