Back Massage Techniques – Give A Great Back Massage With Your Hands

Growing pains are not just for kids making their way to adulthood. Long work days will leave anyone's back aching and throbbing. Since going to a massage clinic every night is out of the question, here are some back massage techniques that every worker who has once cringed upon bending should know.

Effleurage, effleurage, effleurage – no need to pronounce it, just perform it

Effleurage is one of the most basic back massage techniques there is. It is simple yet satisfying. With the many methods right at your fingertips, literally and figuratively, soothing that aching pain will not be a problem.

Whole hand effleurage

Using the whole surface of both hands, perform strong yet smooth rhythmic strokes. Make your way from the lower back up to the shoulders with just the right amount of pressure. Then simply circle back down after.

Heel of the palm effleurage

Unlike the first of the back massage techniques mentioned, this requires only part of the hand. When massaging, the rule goes as follows- the smaller the area of ​​contact, the greater the pressure. Making circles with just the heels of the palm start from the bottom slowly moving up to the shoulders and then back again.

Reinforced fingers effleurage

This is one of the back massage techniques that requires you to stand at the right hand side of the lucky person getting the massage. Simply place one hand over the other. With palms flat on the back, use fingers to add pressure while gliding to and fro the spine. Just like the standard, start from the lower back making your way up.

Strip it down … with your thumb

This is great to relieve some of that muscle pain. By using the deep pressure applied by the thumbs, circle slowly searching for all those tender places and aching knots. Release some of the pressure while near the neck. Even with added strength, keep it gentle and glide from the lower back to the top and down again.

Add a little friction to the mix

The middle finger is a powerful one. Not just because of the implications it has. This is one of the techniques that uses reinforcement to add deeper pressure. Create friction using the middle finger's power on sore spots that have much needed relief.

Time to pull the trigger

By using sustained pressure from the reinforced thumb, you can perform the trigger point release. This is the perfect follow up after finding those naughty nodes and sore spots using the reinforced middle finger. Using the thumb, press on the points increasing the pressure gradually as you go deeper. This should inflict pain to about a 7 on a scale from 1 to 10. After the initial shock, hold till the pain reduces then release and repeat.

The final effleurage

Finish up by repeating the first three effleurage back massage techniques.

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Clarifying Massage Coverage and Insurance Benefits

It has come to my attention the need for more education about massage therapy benefits and there coverage under insurance.

First, providership is essential for the practitioner, which is qualified by credentialing and training.

Second, is the need to look at the individual (patient's) plan, provision and policy of the insured, whether it be an individual or group plan. Just because a provider is listed as preferred on your insurance plan does not mean you have benefits covering the provider's service. I have seen this provision be overlooked by the patient not knowing they have a deductible, co pay or co insurance. In most cases the deductible has to be meet prior to the insurance company paying out any claims. Co pays are typically a set amount per visit but can change under different provisions such as listing visit under rehabilitation and not under an office visit. Co insurance is the percentage that patients pays in addition or instead of a co pay. For example the insurance may only pay a portion say, 80 percent of the allowed amount, making 20 percent unpaid balance for the patient to be responsible for. To avoid confusion in benefits, eligibility needs to be authorized prior to starting care either by the patient, provider or both.

Third, is the requirement of seeking out care. Most massage therapy coverage is under the rehabilitation out patient services, which combines with other services such as physical, speech and occupational therapy. This again is a combined benefit restricted to a dollar amount or sometimes an actual set number of treatments typically per calender year. A patient can seek out combined care as long as a treatment plan is in place. Deductibles, co insurance and co pays need to be satisfied prior to the insurance paying for therapy. A treatment plan (a prescription) needs to be in place to create medical need; hence a diagnosis and frequency of care.

Massage Therapy benefits are not to be used for stress, maintenance or chronic pain management unless specifically indicated otherwise under a plan. Never is a full body relaxation massage recognized as medical treatment.

I agree, that the standard of practice in the medical field is focused on what is not functioning versa maintaining and preventing health as a holistic model. But this as of current, is the model the insurance company follows. Rehabilitation is defined as the recovery from an injury, trauma or disease processes to restore what was once normal to a returned state of functionality. Anything short of these provisions, unless stated otherwise is not covered benefit.

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The Basics of Getting a Medical Massage Degree

Medical massage degree programs are slightly different from traditional massage therapy school programs, although many of the same techniques and methods will likely be included in either type of program. This massage is designed to treat specific medical conditions that have been diagnosed by a qualified physician, while traditional massage is more medical and does not require medical supervision. While relaxation may come about as the result of this massage, it is not the main intention. The degree programs that prepare massage therapists for work alongside medical professionals as part of a treatment team reflect these differences in their coursework.

Getting a Massage Degree or Certificate

Before you can work as a medical massage therapist, you must complete a degree or certificate program, and depending on which state you live in, you may also be required to become professionally registered through the passage of a controlled exam. Most medical massage therapists complete an additional certificate in medical massage in addition to the coursework that already take for a traditional massage therapy degree, while others complete a graduate degree in medical massage after completing their undergraduate degree in massage or physical therapy. Whiche route you take, it is important to choose an accredited program; otherwise, your degree or certificate may not be viewed as legitimate proof of your skills in the professional world.

Treating Specific Conditions

All medical massage degree programs and certificate programs are different, but students can expect their education to be introduced in a more systematic approach than with traditional massage therapy programs. When focused on a specific part of the body, students will learn about the anatomy first and then focus on stimulating common conditions associated with that region. Most programs stress the following four important massage procedures for treating any condition:

– Decreasing inflammatory joints or muscles
– Restoring soft tissues to their normal balance
– Helping the patient regain normal ranges of motion
– Following up treatment with additional work as needed

The pathology of each disease or condition will vary, but the associated massage techniques will typically follow these steps in any case.

During the course of a medical massage degree or certificate program, students will learn about anatomy, massage technique, pathology, physiology and treatment approaches. In addition to western medicine, students may learn about herbal medicines, hot and cold packs, infrared lamps, vibration devices and other alternative healing techniques. Graduates of these programs find work in chiropractic offices, health care clinics, hospitals and, sometimes, their own private practices.

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The Healing Benefits Of Foot Massage Therapy

Getting foot massage therapy will not perform medical miracles. It does, however, have healing benefits to certain ailments and diseases.


Aside from helping people relax, a massage of ten minutes, five on each foot, is believed to relieve cancer patients from nausea and pain. According to the Indian Journal of Palliative Care, these ten minute massages were given to eighty seven people struggling with this disease. The result was astounding. All of them, one hundred percent of participants, had a reduction of pain almost instantly. They felt much more relaxed and their nausea dropped heavily.

A good old rub on the foot may not cure cancer, but it sure can make under the treatment much more bearable.

Post Op Pain

After being cut open, no matter what part of the body, experiencing pain is a given. Just because the surgery is finished does not mean that the pain will stop too. It is a good thing there are certain ways to alleviate the pain, such as foot massage therapy. The National Institute of Health conducted a study where foot massages were given to eighteen patients after they had come from the operating room. The ten minute rub did not lower their blood pressure or help their heart rate in anyway. It did however give a significant reduction of pain.

Foot Ulcers

This is probably where this type of massage therapy is the most effective because it is done directly on the problem area. The massage will help increase the blood flowing around any type of ulcer which will be good for circulation. This will not only keep the blood flowing to the tissue but the oxygen as well. So, even some of the worst kind of ulcers, like the diabetic kind, will benefit from a simple foot rub.

Cardiac Surgery

Not only do foot massages relive post op pain but can also generate a greater feeling of well being. After having cardiac surgery, getting a massage to the feet will help the patient relax and overcome any anxiety he or she may be facing. Based on a study done by the US National Library of Medicine, twenty five patients proved that they were in a better place psychologically because of this kind of therapy.

Foot massage therapy is certainly not a cure for any of the diseases or ailments mentioned above. It will, however, ease the pain and suffering that those illnesses or problems may bring.

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Massage Therapy: Five Things You Should Know Before You Indulge

Massages are a popular form of pampering, but there are things you should know before you indulge. Here are five simple tips to make the experience worthwhile. Massage therapy is offered at many spas, salons and other outlets in their list of services, but not all are the same. Finding the right type for you requires research and your input. These tips will help you ready yourself for the experience.

Since massage is probably the oldest form of therapy practiced on the human body, there are many different techniques offered: strong, soft, stretching, oil, hot stone and rocking to name a few. Massage is primarily a method of relaxing the muscles and tissues of the body, increasing oxygen and flood flow. Done correctly it affects both mind and body and helps alleviate the stress and tension of everyday living. To make the most of your experience make sure you do these things.

First, get a referral from a person you know and trust. Massage can be very intimidating because you are putting your body (to a certain extent) at the mercy of someone else. Reputable massage therapists are licensed practitioners and have studied massage techniques. This enables them to be creative, intuitive, and flowing; never mechanical. They have also studied ethics provided increased levels of confidence for their clients.

Second, make an appointment and arrive 15 – 20 minutes early. This allows you to take care of the business, communicate your desires regarding the service and settle into the atmosphere and environment. Once you are there you can enjoy the amenities to the fullest and make mental notes regarding the things for future reference. Some facilities offer additional amenities like steam baths and saunas that you can enjoy while there.

Third, participate to your own level of comfort. Do not be afraid to speak up and tell your therapist what you need. You may undress to your comfort level during your service. Professional drying will provide and ensure comfort and privacy. Feel comfortable addressing the temperature, music level, or lighting. All can be made to meet your expectations. There are no reasonable questions or requests that can not be addressed. And once done, your heart rate to slow down, the outside noise surrounding you to take a time out and you will be prepared for the full benefit of the massage.

Fourth, be clear about your needs. Massage can focus on all parts of your body, head, foot, abdominal etc. Do not hesitate to speak directly with your technician regarding your personal needs and / or expectations. As a guest, it is your responsibility to tell them your preferences and concerns. Feel free to talk to the therapist about the amount of pressure you are comfortable with and if it needs to be adjusted during the massage, speak up.

Share any particular point of concern or anything else relative to the service they are to perform. It is your responsibility to be open and honest about your health information so that they are mindful and can make the appropriate adjustment in their service. It may be that you just need the holistic benefit of touch and therefore no specific comments are necessary. In any event, communicate your reason for your visit. They prefer to know because they want your experience to bring you back.

Finally, always treat staff and other guests with courtesy and respect. The purpose of massage therapy is relaxation and stress relief. Experience the persistence and quiet offered, silence your cell phones, limit even polite chatter, and use quiet voices.

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Massage Therapy: All You Need To Know Analyzed

Massage therapy plays an important role in health care in this day in time. It also has a lot of benefits that is why over the years it has been becoming more and more popular. No one is quite sure how far it goes back in history but from finding researches guess is it goes back into the biblical days.

Massage therapy is a technique that is usually done with the hands. This technique manipulates the muscles and tissues of the body to heal and relax. About twenty years ago this technique was not very popular at all. A lot of people did not even know anything about it. But oh how things have changed now.

Studies are now showing that they offer a lot of great benefits to people who are experiencing health problems. They are also good for people who end a lot of stress. Typically, their goal is to reduce stress, improve the circulation throughout the body, relax all the tight and tense muscles, and relieve and reduce pain.

When you are preparing for your session basically the only thing you will need to do is make sure that you are in a comfortable position. If the way that you are laying is inconvenient for the therapists they will ask you to readjust yourself but you will still be able to lay in a way that you are comfortable. Usually a session lasts at least an hour but it can continue for a longer time frame. Each session will feel different because there are many different types of techniques that can be used but all of them in the end leave a person feeling relaxed.

Deep tissue is one of the more common types. It is used to relieve tension that is severe. This technique also focuses on the deeper muscles instead of just the top layer muscles. Deep tissue and deep pressure are often confused. The term deep tissue does not mean that it will be deep pressure it simply just means that the deer muscles will be worked as well. Individuals such as athletics or people who experience pain on daily basics typically prefer to go with this method.

Another popular technique is Swedish massage. This technique is especially good in reducing pain, losing up the joints and getting circulation flow through the body. It is also done with five basic strokes. It is more of a relaxation type of massage as well.

Shiatsu is a type of massage that is becoming more popular in the United States in this date of time. It originated from the Japanese. Shiatsu is different from all of the other types because therapists may use their feet to administrator it to the back, legs, and sometimes even the feet.

Currently, there are roughly three hundred thousand license massage therapists in the United States. For one to obtain a license they must attend schooling first. Usually they will only have to put in around five hundred to one thousand hours to get their certificate. Then from there they will take their state test and be on their way to new career in massage therapy.

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Partner With A Registered Massage Therapist For Your Health And Wellness

Learning about a registered massage therapist is becoming more important as people look for ways to control health care costs. Wellness and preventive care are recognized as more affordable in comparison to expensive diagnostic testing and hospital stays. Massage is widely accepted as therapeutic and the benefits can go beyond the simple relief of muscular aches and pains.

Massage therapy is a recognized profession and as such has its own standards of education and certification. Various professional organizations set guidelines for professional practice and ethics and act as trade organizations consulting with government on legislation to protect the interests of consumers and practitioners alike.

Massage practitioners complete rigorous courses of study in anatomy and physiology, assessment, bodywork techniques, pathology, and patient care. Education covers modalities such as Swedish, deep tissue, myofascial, neuromuscular, and hydrotherapy, to name only a few. Sub-specialties include sports massage, pre-and post-natal massage, and trauma recovery. Coursework hours for certification vary by institution, and practitioners typically continue their education by doing advanced work in various specialties.

Increasingly, massage therapists are required to be examined by government boards for the purpose of licensing and registration. Examinations typically include both practical and written or oral assessment. Licensing boards may also require continuing education as a condition of license renewal, and massage schools offer a wide variety of courses that have been accepted for continuing education credit.

Massage can be an important part of alternative and complementary medical programs. Surgical recovery patients can benefit from various types of massage, as can long-term care residents, stroke patients, and others whose recovery depends on maintaining both physical and mental well-being in the hospital setting.

The stress-reducing benefits of therapeutic massage are well-documented, and since many today's ills can be traced to excess stress there can be no doubt that massage is a valuable tool in the prevention of illness. Workplace wellness initiatives often include access to an on-staff or visiting massage therapist so that workers may get help coping with work-induced stress.

Many couples today delay starting a family while they pursue their education and career objectives. As a result, women are having children later in life, and many find massage of significant value before, during, and after childbirth. Skilled therapists now specialize in pre-natal and post-natal massage of mothers, and it's not uncommon for obstetricians to recommend massage to help alleviate discomfort due to nausea, sleeplessness, and other symptoms of pregnancy.

As people live longer and maintain more active lifestyles, the need for sports and orthopedic massage increases. Running, bicycling, tennis, and working out at the gym all take a toll on joints and muscles. Massage therapists who specialize in preventing or treating sports-related injuries are in high demand.

Finally, while older people today may not be as comfortable with the concept of massage for cultural reasons, as populations who are accredited to massage grow older there is expected to be an increase in the need for massage practitioners with specific training in care for geriatric patients .

These are just some of the ways a registered massage therapist plays an important role in recovery, wellness, and preventive care. The search for affordable models for health care continues to expand our acceptance of rediscovered and revitalized treatment modalities with long and honored histories in world culture.

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Massage Therapy – What Are the Different Types?

There are so many different types of massages and choosing the right one can tend to be a little difficult if you are not well informed. It is important to understand your body and what it needs before deciding on the kind of massage to gain maximum benefits and advantages.

Here are some of the most popular types of massages;

A very popular therapy is the Swedish massage which has become quite a favorite among most Westerners. In this form, the masseur uses long and smooth strokes along with kneading and circular movements by the fingers and hands to apply pressure on the superficial layers of the muscle. Typically, this is done using oils or massage lotions created from exotic natural extracts and ingredients. This technique is best for those who are getting a massage for the first time and is a great way to refresh, relax and rejuvenate your body and senses.

Aromatherapy has become a branch of medicine itself and since a massage using aroma oils or essential oils is highly recommended. Oils are selected by the therapist according to the needs of the person and are massaged into the body for a relaxing, soothing and calming experience. An aromatherapy massage is the best way to de-stress and fight fatigue and also helps you achieve an inner sense of balance and harmony. It is also highly recommended for those who have dry skin as the oils help to nourish and soften the skin and keep it glowing.

Deep tissue massages are for those who are looking for something more than a relaxing experience. Here strokes and friction is used on the muscles so that the pressure reaches the deer layers of the muscle and connective tissue. This is specifically recommended for people recovering after injuries, accidents and for those who suffer from tight muscles, cramps and postural problems. A deep tissue massage can leave you feeling sore and bruised but this only lasts for one or two days after which the positive results begin to show through.

A hot stone massage is also a popular type of therapy where smooth stones are selected and then heated to the right temperature. This is then placed on certain areas of the body warm up and loosen the tightly knotted muscles and also for proper energy flow in the body. The masseur also uses these hot stones to apply gentle pressure at various points and areas. This is an extremely comfortable technique and is great for relaxation.

Everyone would have heard of a Thai massage especially a Thai foot massage or reflexology which has become so very popular these days. In a Thai session, the therapist will guide you through a series of movements which includes compressions and stretches to re-align and make your body more flexible. This is more or less like an exercise regimen and makes your body supple and toned after the session.

So go ahead and get the massage of your choice to refresh and calm your tired body and mind.

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Massage Therapy – A Multitude of Benefits and Advantages

Massage is an age old therapeutic technique that has been practiced by the Chinese and Indians for centuries. This has become extremely popular in the West too and is a great way to beat the stress and fatigue associated with the modern day lifestyle.

A massage can be used as a therapeutic tool to get relief from various disorders; it is extremely beneficial in alleviating back pain and also helps the body to become more flexible and supple. Prenatal massages are recommended for pregnant women as it helps to shorten labor and eases contractions. Massages can also improve the flow and circulation of lymph in the body and thus boost the immune status which helps to ward off and keep diseases at bay.

If you have tired and weak muscles which have become tight or atrophied, this healing technique is the best way to loosen up the muscles and make them firm and toned once again. An Ayurvedic massage with traditional oils is highly recommended for this purpose and is often thought after sportspersons as well as those recovering from injuries and accidents.

Massages are an awesome way to soften and nourish the skin which is constantly exposed to the pollution and harmful radiations of the sun. Get a trained masseur to give you a massage for your entire body from head to toe for a refreshing and rejuvenating experience. The therapist usually employs natural extracts, creams or aroma oils to nourish and soften the skin which will leave you glowing for days afterwards. A foot massage, commonly known as reflexology, is a wonderful way to de-stress after a tiring day; the therapist simply kneads the various pressure points on the feet to give you a complete relaxing experience and is also beneficial for good health.

Studies have now proven that a massage can also help to get relief from depression and anxiety as it is soothing and calming for the soul. This is the reason why we have many spas and wellness centers located in exotic and beautiful locales; most spas are also designed to provide a peaceful ambience where one can de-stress and get relaxed completely.

Massages are also helpful to reduce stretch marks and since they are recommended for women post delivery and also for people who lose weight rapidly. It also helps to reduce the scar tissue that is left behind after injuries and surgeries helping the skin to get back its elasticity and suppleness. If you suffer from migraine and chronic headaches, this therapy is highly recommended especially by Ayurvedic practitioners for quick relief and comfort. Athletes and sportspersons make use of massages to relive the spasms and cramps that affect the muscles and also to relax and soften tired and overused muscles. Increased energy levels and improved concentration are the other benefits that a good massage can offer you.

In short, a massage offers multiple benefits and advantages; it works in different ways in different people and can be customized according to one's needs and wants.

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Back Massage Therapy – The Top 5 Treatments For Back Pain Relief

As if an aching back is not bad enough, choosing what back massage therapy to utilize can add to the commotion. To relate both the physical pains and the mental ordinal of deciding which is best, listed below are the top five types.

Americans Going Swedish?

The massage therapy for the back that is most commonly used in the US is none other than the Swedish massage, aka, massage therapy. Having the choice of lotion or oil to lather up in, this technique mainly consists of long soft strokes and pressurized yet gentle kneading all performed in a circular motion. This truly is the perfect solution for those aching muscles and nasty nodules.

The Sensational Sense Of Smell

Aromatherapy is not only a treat for the back but for the nose as well. Having a wide array of essential oils to choose from, this therapy will leave anyone stress free and smelling mighty fine as well. Each scent has a corresponding effect. Chamomile is believed to be calming, rose uplifting, rosemary both energizing and cleansing, eucalyptus de-congesting, just to name a few.

Put two and two together, a massage and the essential oil to do it with, aromatherapy is by far the sweetest way to tie back pain, reduce stress, revitalize and re-energize as well.

It Does not Get Any Hotter Than This

Placing smooth and flat basalt stones heated to about 125 ° F on key points on the back help relax those stiff muscles that need precise pressure. Hot stone therapy is perfect for those who want to rid their backs of pain without having to exceed more of it to begin with. It is fair to say that this is the lightest back massage therapy there is.

The Greater The Pain, The Deeper The Massage

Deep tissue massage is targeted to those suffering from more severe and chronic back pain than just the regular throb. This approach touches more on the connective tissues and the deer layers of the muscles. Because the concentration point is on stiff areas of tension and pain, this is not one treatment to be taken lightly.

Known to cause discomfort, basically this massage's theory is to fight fire with fire- or literally fight pain with pain.

Turning Japanese

Based on acupuncture points, Shiatsu is a deep tissue massage that does not involve any needles. Using fingers to apply pressure where traditionally needles would go is a great back massage therapy to soothe soreness and tenderize tense muscles.

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How to Find a Good Thai Massage – 5 Simple Ways

Never tried a thai massage, but meant to give it a go? For sure, if you want a deep relaxation therapy, a traditional thai massage can help soothe your aches and stress, and more importantly, help you escape from your daily grind at home and from work. Below are 5 simple ways to help you find a good thai massage business:

1. Visit a few Thai Massage places – Let's face it, if it is your first time, you want your thai massage to be great. Here, visit a few of the businesses and see if it suits your expectation or requirements. Whilst you are there, ask questions and see if the place are clean. This is an opportunity to monitor the customer service level and find out about the range of services that are available. As well, make sure the business is fully licensed.

2. Aside from asking the obvious question like fees, one of the big question you should ask is – are their therapists or masseurs qualified and trained to provide a traditional thai massage. If they are not qualified, then this is not the company for you, and if they flirt with their answer, think twice. You want your experience to be great, not stressful.

3. Do not stick to one business. Instead shop around for the best value and the best service that will suit your liking. If one business happens to be more expensive or cheaper, inquire about it. You might discover that they are offering more value or simply under quoted their offer. If they do offer more value, then it is worth paying slightly more for a great experience. But always stick to your budget!

4. Switch on your computer and start your research. With resources like Google places, Yelp and other local directories, it is easy to find more details about the company, and find candid feed backs about the service. The customer reviews are a leading indicator of how the business service their clients. So take note of those comments carefully.

5. Ask your friends, relatives and people you know who may have tried the service before. Their experience is a good source of information, and tips. Nothing beats references from people you trust.

The above tips are just some of the ways you can find a good Thai massage service. All you need to do – research, research and research. It is only through researching that you can find a professional massage therapy, and one that can help you really relax and de-stress from your busy work.

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Secrets Of Pregnancy Massage

For many women being pregnant can be one of the happiest moments in life but for others it can be a daunting process, even though it is the most natural process a women can go through. That said it still carries a large number of nasty side affects, the most common ones being nausea, back pain, swollen ankles, and muscular tension particularly as the uterus prepares to carry baby. Luckily there is a little utilized form of massage that can offer relief for most of the aforementioned symptoms, as well as bringing relaxation and the feeling of wellbeing to the mother

It has been demonstrated that massage during pregnancy can bring relief to weight barring joints, reduce swelling, ease the labor pain, stress and headaches and other pregnancy related problems. It supports physiologic, structural and emotional wellbeing of mother and the baby.

What Does Prenatal / Pregnancy Massage Entail?

The treatment focuses on providing the expectant mother with as much relaxation as possible. The technique uses very gentle massage techniques such as effleurage and kneading, which can relieve a lot of muscular tension and pain. Back pain is synonymous with pregnancy and often continues through the entire pregnancy, sometimes massage can be the only treatment that can give relief for the nagging back pain. The massage it self is performed while the client is comfortably rested on the side whilst holding a pillow between her legs and under the woman's stomach.

The pregnancy massage treatment typically last for around an hour and focuses on comfortable, slow and deep relaxing movements over the lower back, hips and neck. The long strokes over the legs help to reduce any swapping in the legs and ankles.

It should be noted that there is evidence that shows pregnant women can benefit from massage on many different levels: physiological, functional, emotional and lifestyle. Carrying too much stress can negatively affect mother's health as well as the infant's.

Profound physiologic, functional, emotional, relational, and lifestyle changes during gestation and labor, often creating high stress levels. Too much stress can negatively affect maternal and infant health, resulting in reduced uterine blood supply and higher incidence of miscarriage, prematurity, and other complications. Massage therapy can help a woman approach her due date with less anxiety as well as less physical discomfort. Even apart from easing specific aches, massage can act as an overall tonic and increase the expectant mother's body awareness.

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Back Pain and Massage Therapy

Back pain has many possible causes, ranging from chronic muscle tension to disc problems to tumor or infection. Although some conditions are serious, requiring prompt medical treatment, a lot back pain results from stress, tension, and strain that can be helped by massage therapy.

Anatomy of the Spine

To understand some of the conditions that can lead to back pain, take a look at the anatomy of the spell. Bones called vertebrae make up the bony spinal column. The vertebrae stack on top of each other, separated by jelly-like cushions called intervertebral discs. Adjacent vertebrae are connected by ligaments at the facet joints. Plus, many muscles surround, support, and move the spine.

Holes in the vertebrae, called vertebral foramen, create the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a large bundle of nerves that controls the entire body. Individual nerves leave the spinal cord to travel to other parts of the body through openings in the vertebrae called intervertebral foramen.

Just a few of the more common things that can happen in the spine that can cause pain and other back problems include:

  • Arthritis in the facet joints.
  • Abnormal curves in the spine, such as scoliosis, kyphosis (too much outward curve in the upper back), or too much or too little curve in the lower back.
  • Bulging or herniated discs that press on a nerve.
  • Strained ligaments.
  • Sprained or folded muscles.
  • Stress and muscle tension.

Massage for Back Pain

Although massage is not appropriate in some circumstances, such as tumor, infection, or stress fracture, a lot of back pain is due to stress, tension, strain, sprain, and other factors that massage therapy can help.

Muscle tension is a part of most back pain. Even with other factors involved, relieving muscle tension and balancing the muscles around the spine can help relieve pain. Massage can also improve blood circulation, which helps the body in self-healing, and increase the level of endorphins, natural pain-relieving chemicals produced by the body.

The type of massage that works best for pain depends on the undering cause and the skill of the massage therapist. If stress and muscle tension are the main problems, basic Swedish massage can help release tension. Adding essential oils for an aromatherapy massage can provide even more relaxing benefits.

However, often more specific massage techniques are needed. For example, deep tissue massage targets problems in the deeper muscles around the spine. Another type of deep massage, which uses negative pressure rather than deep pressure, is cupping massage, a technique adapted from Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Cupping massage uses cups that create suction and lift muscle tissue rather than compressing it. Some massage therapists use fire-cupping, removing the air from a cup using a flame and then placing the cup on a person's body. Other therapists use a manual vacuum set, placing a cup on the body and removing the air from with an attached pump. The therapist then moves the cups to perform massage strokes.

Another massage technique for back pain is myofascial release. Fascia is connective tissue that covers muscles and most other internal bodily structures. Myofascia refers to the combination of muscle and fascia. Myofascial release applies gentle sustained pressure to restrictions in the myofascia to eliminate pain and restore motion.

Trigger Points in Back Pain

Sometimes the location of the pain is not the source of the pain. Trigger points are small, irritable spots in the muscles that cause pain in other areas. For example, trigger points in the abdominal muscles can cause low back pain, and trigger points in one part of the back can cause pain in another part of the back.

Two common massage approaches to get rid of trigger points are neuromuscular therapy and trigger point therapy. Each therapy has its specific methods, but the basic technique is either to apply direct pressure to the trigger points for as long as 30 to 60 seconds or to use short, deep “stripping” strokes over the trigger points.


As long as you are sure that the cause of your pain is not a condition, such as tumor, infection, or stress fracture, that makes massage inadviable, working with a skilled massage therapist can help bring relief. Ask about the massage therapist's experience and approach in working with back pain.

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Massage Away The Cellulite?

Massage is fantastic for reducing cellulite – done correctly and combined with a healthy diet and exercise – will help us not only reduce cellulite but improve the look and health of our skin generally.

This form of massage to reduce cellulite is done with the combination of skin rubbing, kneading and pinching. We are aiming to achieve lymphatic drainage, and increase circulation.

We must be careful and not be too rough other wise we will damage the skin and cause bruising. (Think of kneading dough!) Always use a massage oil, or my favorite way is to do it while taking a shower. Visualise smoothing and ironing out the skin.

We are reducing the excess fluid that builds up and contributes to cellulite. Fluid retention is a result of poor lymphatic circulation. Most spas and therapy center's offer anti cellulite massage and it can be a fantastic treat, but rather expensive, so save that just before your holiday. Once you get used to doing it yourself and into the habit, you will be pleased with the result.

There are many prepared massage products on the market, most are very good, but they do not have to cost a fortune. The ingredients in these preparations activate fat cells and help the process of breaking up the cellulite. They may contain herbs and natural products such as seaweed, which is proven to be effective in the battle against cellulite.

My recommendation would be an essential oil mix. A good aroma therapist will make an oil up for you with specific oils to suit you personally. Maybe have a treatment, that will give you an idea of ​​the methods and the pressure that is needed. If you do not know an aroma therapist, check the list of qualified therapists in your area.

Do the massage after exercise for maximum benefit.

How To Do The Massage.

1 – First apply the massage oil to the area that you want to treat. I prefer to do this in the shower.

2. Start at the lowest part of the body and then work your way upwards.

3 – You can perform a kneading motion. This is done the same way as if you were kneading dough. You hold the skin with your thumb and fingers and move them in a circular motion. Pressure needs to be quite firm but not to hurt.

4 – Next using the palm of your hands, use circular movements clockwise and upwards varying the pressure.

5 – The pinching and plucking – this is best done when you have washed off after your shower, you wont be able to do it effectively with oiled or wet skin. Not too much pressure here, you are just stimulating the skin – take the skin between the thumb and fingers pinch and pluck as if pulling away from the body, repeat all over the area.

6 – Lastly, massage with some nice body lotion. Check in the mirror, the areas you have appreciated should be a little red, this is good, you have brought good circulation to the area.

Drink lots of water to help the lymphatic system to do it's job.

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The Best Massage For People With Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is a disorder affecting the different muscles of the body parts. This disorder is characterized by the weakening and wasting of muscles with prolonged contractions and unable to relax muscles of the body. As such, this condition prevails or makes it hard for the person with muscular dystrophy to control one's muscles for specific actions even those muscular movements necessary for living such as breathing and eating. Moreover, it also affects other movements and actions of the person such as speaking and walking. Thus, some patients suffer being bed-ridden or under the vegetative state while others struggle to express themselves through speech.

In addition to these difficulties in leg and arm movements as well as slurs in speaking, the person under this condition also experiences sudden attacks such as difficulty of releasing or holding certain objects. Illustratively, once one holds your arm and the person sufferers muscular dystrophy attack, it might be that he or she would not be able to release your arm immediately even if the person wants to simply because the control over the muscles of the arm is already damaged or impaired taking it away from him or her. The symptoms of this disorder can become apparent at birth since this condition is commonly congenial in character. It can also be passed through genes.

Despite the continued research for a cure to this disorder, scientists, medical practitioners and researchers have only come up with the best so far to less the agony and difficulty of people with this type of congenial and genetic disorder. They can only recommend at best specific types of massage. Although there are also drugs that help the patient, these are still not curative but surely providing for a relief. Here, in most cases, massage is the commonly restored therapy by the families of patients suffering from muscular dystrophy.

The best massage that relieves pain and suffering from this disorder is one that sustains as long as possible the capacity of the patient to be mobile. Among the important features of such massage is that it should be able to tie muscle pain. Since this disorder is primarily in the form of muscle deformities, the process of which is certainly painful to the patient because a massage that eases such tensions would be very best. It should also relax the tight and contracted muscular areas of the body. By way of relaxing the affected body parts, the higher is the chance that the said area will sustain its mobility and movements. The massage should increase the blood circulation within the affected area since it is reduced of such flow of blood and nourishments.

Finally and most importantly, the best massage for someone suffering from muscular dystrophy is one that helps them restore at least some range of motion and movement of the person's body. These features of massage effectively alleviate the sufferings of the patient and slow down the process of further deforming and damaging the muscles of the body of the patient. In short, the best massage does not really cure the muscular dystrophy disorder but it significantly lengthens the period of life of the person having such disorder.

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