Massage for Pregnancy: What Is It and How Can It Help You?

Unless you're familiar with a range of massage techniques, the term “massage for pregnancy” may seem a little unclear. What exactly is it and how is it different from “regular” massage? The short answer is, pregnancy massage is a program of therapeutic treatment including both prenatal massage and postpartum massage that is designed to support, promote, and improve the health and well-being of mother and baby. The specifics of the treatment will vary from client to client, but the overall benefits – reduction of pain, stress, and discomfort – are shared by all.

In light of all the changes that a mother's body undergoes during pregnancy, pregnancy and massage are a natural combination. Pregnancy puts a whole new set of physical demands on your body and fundamentally changes the way you move. Even in the most physically aware and active people, these demands can cause a fair amount of strain, stress, and discomfort. Particularly trained massage professionals can help alleviate these symptoms through a safe and non-intrusive program of massage. These experts know how to property position and support the expectant mother's body for optimum relaxation and safety during massage treatment and can focus on the specific areas of distress described by the client. Many pregnancy massage clients report finding relief from back pain, joint discomfort, and even sore feet and swollen ankles.

In terms of what benefits can be gained from a massage pregnancy program, the physical relief already described is a major component. However, the mental and emotional rest and relaxation achieved through massage is equally important. Numerous research studies testify to the connection between mind and body, and to the importance of cultivating health and balance both mentally and physically. This balance is especially important during pregnancy, when one's emotional and psychological state is changed so much by both hormonal and situational factors. Massage treatment provides a structured time and place for an expectant or new mother to relax and let go of both mental and emotional stressors in a safe and supported environment. With prenatal and postpartum pregnancy massage, many women described lowered anxiety levels, decreased stress, and an all-around improved feeling of well-being following their treatment sessions.

Massage and pregnancy are a natural combination. When practiced by a knowledgeable professional, pregnancy massage is a safe and effective way to alleviate the physical and emotional stress of pregnancy in a way that benefits both mother and baby. Offering a natural solution for relieving the discomforts of pregnancy and facilitating reduced stress and increased relaxation, pregnancy massage therapy provides a non-invasive route to a healthier, happier pregnancy and even into the postpartum period.

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How Can Sports Massage Help Improve Health and Athletic Performance?

Whether you are a weekend sports enthusiast or a career athlete, massage can be wonderful – and sometimes essential – addition to your training and physical care routine. All massage techniques provide benefits, but for sports players, therapists specifically trained in sports massage can provide targeted care that has a specific impact on athletic performance. This care takes two main forms: maintenance and injury recovery. Whether you want to maintain or improve your current performance, or need help recovering from an injury, sports therapy massage can have a huge impact.

On a maintenance level, massage therapists trained in treating athletes and sports-related conditions can be a huge help in keeping your body running smoothly. Massage improves circulation, reduces muscle tension, and can help improve flexibility in your body. From an athletic perspective, these are benefits essential to maintaining your level of performance. In some cases, massage might even help you access a higher level of performance than you had previously. Depending on your body's condition, you might find it helpful to seek massage treatment before, after, or even during a sporting event. You may also want regular treatment, or you might benefit from one-time or sporadic sessions. Your sport massage professional will be able to advise you on the best treatment plan for your body and goals.

Beyond this maintenance level, massage therapy in a sports context can also be instrumental in helping you both avoid and recover from injury. When you are an athlete, you use your body constantly, often putting repeated strain or impact on a particular part. While this strain may not always be indicative of an injury, it can still can still be uncomfortable. If left unrelieved, repeated strain, wear, and tear can also lead or contribute to an injury in the long run. Massage can help on both of these fronts, as well as assisting your recovery from injuries incurred outside of this context. By working specific muscle groups and joints, a sports massage expert can ease strain or injury-related discomfort in a non-intrusive way that puts your body at the center of the healing. Best of all, extensive knowledge of physiology and sports-related movement patterns means that they'll know exactly how to help your body get back to normal as quickly as it can.

Seeing a sports massage therapist is an excellent addition to your athletic routine. These experts can help you maintain your physical condition and heal from sports-related injuries so that you can focus on being active.

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Chiropractic Manipulation Helps Osteoarthritis of the Hip

Osteoarthritis of the hip is a common joint disorder, which can cause pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Age is a top contributing factor for the disorder. Other factors include family history, obesity, overuse, or a previous fraction or injury. Hip pain caused by osteoarthritis is often combined with stiffness, waving, limited range of motion, and difficulty walking or sitting for extended periods of time.

Positive lifestyle changes can help reduce the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight, getting ample rest, getting your alignment checked and exercising regularly can help limit your pain and stiffness. Exercise helps with strength and movement of the joints. Swimming is particularly beneficial since it can help improve strength and mobility of the joints but is non-weight bearing.

Chiropractic care for osteoarthritis of the hip has been studied and has been recommended as an effective treatment. In a major study, “Comparison of manual therapy and exercise therapy in osteoarthritis of the hip: a randomized clinical trial,” researchers compared the effectiveness of chiropractic mobilizations and manipulations of the hip joint with an exercise only program (no manipulations or mobilizations). 1 The study followed more than one hundred patients with osteoarthritis of the hip in a single-blind, randomized clinical trial. Half of the participants received the chiropractic manual therapy and the other half received the exercise program. Success rates for the manual therapy group were 81% compared to only 50% for the exercise group. “The manual therapy group had significantly better outcomes on pain, stiffness, hip function, and range of motion.” 1

The research shown that while exercise can be beneficial for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip, that manual therapy provided by a chiropractor is superior to exercise alone and can greatly improve a patient's quality of life.

Chiropractic is a natural form of healing that uses manual therapies (commonly adjustments) and other physiotherapy modalities. A chiropractic adjustment is one of the most common forms of manual therapy used by chiropractors. In this study, adjustments were made to the hip and spinal (manipulation or mobilization). A manipulation is a high velocity action performed with specific, directed force, which helps to move the joint beyond the patient's passive (or resting) range of motion to achieve its full range of movement. Mobilization is a low velocity action applied within the patient's normal (active) range of motion.

Chiropractic adjustments are intended to restore proper body alignment, range, and quality of motion. The patients in this study who received the adjustments have experienced a better outcome in managing their hip pain. Further, more than six months after the adjustments, the patients were still experiencing the positive benefits of the manual therapy, suggesting the long- term effects of the therapy.

Chiropractic care is a safe and cost effective alternative to surgery. While some patients with osteoarthritis of the hip will inevitably need surgery, it is well worth the effort to a visit to a chiropractor first. Hip adjustments by a chiropractor may help you avoid or at least delay the need for surgery.

1. Hoeksma HL, Dekker J, Ronday HK, et al. Comparison of manual therapy and exercise therapy in osteoarthritis of the hip: a randomized clinical trial. Arthritis Rheum. Oct 15 2004; 51 (5): 722-729.

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The Story Behind Zero Gravity Massage Chairs

I do not know the exact history of zero gravity massage chairs (also known as “anti-gravity”), but I will take a stab at it based on my own experience with massage chairs over the last 8-9 years, mingled with a little therapeutic angle based on my 19 years in the chiropractic profession.

Zero-gravity has become a fairly loose term in the massage chair industry as of late. Everyone sees to think that their chairs are zero gravity . When I look at the chairs that claim this feature, I am a little surprised at what is considered zero gravity and wonder if it is nothing but false advertising to get the zero gravity “crowd” to buy into a particular model since it has become such a catch phrase among shoppers.

History of Zero Gravity Massage Chairs
The whole concept of zero gravity was introduced by NASA for their space program. Human Touch, which is the largest US manufacturer of massage chairs, adapted the zero-gravity concept to household chair design, first displayed in their Perfect Chair line of chairs. According to Human Touch's website …

Inspired by the Neutral Body Posture studied by NASA during the Skylab program, the [Perfect Chair] zero gravity recliner places the body in a naturally weightless position to provide relaxation and minimum muscle tension. In this therapist-recommended position, the spine, hips, and knee joints are on or close to the balanced midpoint of the muscles.

The idea behind the zero gravity position is to take pressure off the joints of the body where strain tend to occur as a result of the gravitational pull, ie low back, hips, upper back, neck, knees, etc. I do not know if you are aware of this, but gravity is one of the most punishing forces of nature on the human body. If your body is not exactly aligned and balanced, gravity will make your body pay.

For example, if you have a forward head carriage and slouched shoulder posture, gravity is having a hay-day on your spell. You will feel more fatigued because your body is fighting the effects of the gravitational “pull”, not to mention the fact that your joints will wear out prematurely, leading to degenerative arthritis and other fun musculo-skeletal conditions.

If you have ever sat in a zero gravity chair, you fully understand the concept of “weightlessness” as it relates to the seated position. Many people have told me that they can sleep more comfortably in a zero gravity chair than they can in their regular bed. It is very comfortable, particularly for low back pain sufferers, as the chair positioning takes pressure off of the low back area.

So, What IS Zero Gravity?
Simply put, zero gravity, as it relates to the seated position, is having the seat of the chair tilt up at a 30 degree angle. That's it! That 30 degree tilt has been established to be, by engineers much smarter than I, the optimal position for simulated weightlessness of the human frame. Human Touch took that concept and applied it to the Perfect Chair model.

Then Human Touch took that model and applied it to a more bulky massage chair model, the HT-7450. Now, for the first time, a massage chair had the zero gravity feature. This, combined with the massage function, would provide a level of therapy heretofore unheard of in the massage chair industry.

Around this same time, Sanyo came out with the very popular Sanyo 7700 massage chair. The same 30 degree tilt of the seat, combined with massage therapy made this another of the zero gravity massage chairs. Both the Sanyo 7700 and the HT-7450 are very popular chairs for both manufacturers. I think the tilted seat makes them that popular.

Zero Gravity Massage Chairs – False Advertising?
So, why are all these other models claiming to be zero gravity chairs when their seats do not tilt up at 30 degrees? I have no idea. Again, I think it is just a marketing ploy to exploit the zero gravity “craze” that is current in the industry. Do not be fooled by claims of zero-gravity. Of course, any massage chair, whether it has true zero-gravity or not, is going to be fabulous for you in your home or office and you're going to love every minute of it. But, if you are determined to get one of the true zero gravity chairs, buyer beware!

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How to Find the Best Foot Massager for Your Money

Chronic foot soreness plagues millions of individuals throughout the world, so it is no wonder that there are foot massage contraptions of every conceivable shape and size out on the market today. With so many devices to choose from, it is hard to know how to choose the right massager for you. In this article, I will help you find the best foot massager for your money.

Pricey Hi-Tech Massage Machines

There are many high-tech foot and leg massagers out there, but with the high technology coming a high price tag. One such massager is the Ottoman Human Touch machine. This contraption looks kind of like, as the name suggests, an ottoman. You stick your feet into the slots, and a remote controlled roller massages the bottom of your feet.

This and similar massagers will doubtlessly give you a soothing massage, but the question you'll need to ask yourself is whether you really want or actually need to spend $ 300 and upwards in order to massage your feet?

Mid-priced Massage Tools

If you are not quite ready to splurge on the priciest foot gadget money can buy, consider instead a mid-priced foot therapy tool. The Multi Mode Warming Luxury Tapping Foot Massager is one such device. Priced at around $ 50, this device not only gives your feet a nice patting and vibrating massage, it also has a warm function to heat the soles of your feet.

This and similar devices are good alternatives if you are not crazy about paying top dollar, and can provide a pleasant massage. One drawback to be aware of is that they are mechanical machines, and may be subject to breakage, and so consider the cost of repair and replacement when making your choice.

Low-tech, Low-Cost Effective Foot Massagers

You may be surprised that some of the most inexpensive, low-tech foot therapy devices can actually give you the best foot massage without breaking the bank. My favorite such foot device, and in my opinion the best foot massager for your money, is the traditional Japanese bamboo foot massager.

This simple massage tool, which has been used as the go-to foot massage tool in Japan for centuries, is simply a half-cut of bamboo that is naturally arched in such a way that it gives the bottoms of your feet a soothing, stimulating and surprisingly effective massage, just by stepping on it.

In contrast to the pricier models described above, this type of low-tech massage tool can be for under $ 20, and since it is made of hard, natural bamboo and has no moving parts, it is durable and you can expect it to last a lifetime. It is also small, lightweight, portable, and very simple to use, so you're more likely to keep using it instead of stashing it away unused in your garage, closet or attic.

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Chiropractic Is the Best Option for Work-Related Low Back Pain

Thousand of workers every year experience the sunset of work-related low back (LB) pain. While many people are able to rehabilitate without missing work, for many others the pain progresses and becomes debilitating, disabling them from their job duties.

Work-related LB pain is often the result of poor lifting techniques, muscle fatigue, tension, chronic poor posture, or repetitive stressors which cause misalignments of the spinal Symptoms may present as sharp, shooting pains in the lower back, back aches, stiffness, numbness, or tingling. Sometimes the pain is a direct result of a specific work-related injury and other times the pain may be the result of a long-term process of overuse or stress on the low back muscles.

Sufferers of low back pain typically find relief through their family physician, physical therapist, or chiropractor. Those suffering with low back pain may be surprised to find that a recent study found that chiropractic was the most effective option for work-related low back pain, compared to physical therapy and medical physician services.

An April 2011 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine concluded that chiropractic services were more beneficial than physical therapy or medical physician services for patients suffering from work-related LB pain.1 The study followed nearly 900 patients for one year. Not only did those who received chiropractic care have fewer medical expenses during their rehabilitation, but they also experienced shorter periods of disability and fewer reoccurrences than those receiving physical therapy or medical physician care.

Chiropractors commonly treat LB pain with spinal manipulations, physiotherapy modalities and rehabilitative exercises to help relieve the pain and improve function. They focus on the biomechanics of the body as a whole and work to restore balance, alignment, and proper range of motion. They may use any combination of physiotherapy treatments including, heat and ice therapy, electric stimulation, ultrasound, kinesiotape, spidertech tape, massage, and rehabilitative exercises. Pain relief is the first phase, but working on the root cause of the injury and not merely addressing the symptoms is the concentration of chiropractic healing, to correct the problem.

As a holistic practitioner, a chiropractor is trained to provide integrative programs of care as well as preventative care. Chiropractors work within the body's natural healing abilities and view healing as a whole body process. Chiropractors are advocates of preventive care and regularly provide plans for both rehabilitation and preventive care for their patients. They include counseling, education, and exercises focused on health maintenance.

The holistic and preventive aspects of chiropractic may well play an important role in the fact that chiropractic was found to be the best option for low back pain recovery and continued health in the study.

The study is valuable for patients recovering from low back pain, their employers, and their insurers. Patients recover quicker, reduce the likelihood of recurrence, and have fewer medical expenses.

1. Cifuentes M, Willetts J, Wasiak R. Health maintenance care in work-related low back pain and its association with disability recurrence. J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Apr; 53 (4): 396-404.

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Fascial Layers

The layers we are concerned about in the bodywork sense are the privileged and deep layers of fascia. For comprehension purposes, it is easier to perceive and study these layers as separated within the body, but remember they are all interconnected, and anatomically, the layers are difficult to distinguish from one another. There is no space between the layers and filled with fascia.

Superficial Layer (The Sleeve) The superficial layer is right underneath the skin. To get a feel for this layer, just pinch at the skin on the back of your hand. The functions are mostly for protective and supportive purposes. It is protective in a sense that it provides a physical barrier against foreign substances from the body, results spread of infection, etc. As for its supportive purpose, it offers structural support to organs and tissues of the body. It serves as a passageway mainly for nerve and blood vessels. It is free of any attachments and looks like honeycombed chain-links that inserts in the deeper layers of fascia.

Deep Layer (The Core) The deep fascia individuates and also keeps muscle groups together within the body. The deeper fascia invests into every muscle group, every individual muscle, and every individual muscle fiber. It is important to keep in mind that muscles are used as landmarks to refer to locations throughout the body. A better term would be myofascial ('myo' = muscle, 'fascia' = band or bandage) structure because every structure is embedded in fascia.

These deer layers blend into and form many specializations of connective tissue such as aponeuroses, ligaments, tendons, interosseus membranes, intermuscular septa, retinaculae, joint capsules, synovial sheaths, bursae, adipose tissue, fibrocartilage, hyaline cartilage, periosteum, and bone.

As a break from anatomy and medical terms, an orange serves as a perfect analogy for the fascial layers reorganized and balanced through the Structural Integration 10-series. Next time you peel an orange, take a look at the white pith, the white stuff underneath the peel. You can think of this as the privileged layer of our bodies. Interestingly enough, the similarities between pith in plants and fascia in humans are uncanny. Pith functions as nutrient storage and transport through plants and one of the vital functions of fascia is its role supplying vital nutrients by means of the vascular system and helping to remove metabolic waste products.

After you've peeled the entire orange, the fuzzy white pith keeps every individual slice together and keeps the entire fruit whole all at once. The deeper fascia acts in a similar way, differentiating each muscle group by its function, but also connecting the structures to each other.

For more educational blog entries on Structural Integration therapy, preventative / postural awareness tips, etc., please click here .

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What Does The Research Show On Massage Effectiveness for Health Conditions?

There is no doubt massages in this country are very popular. For instance, almost 30% of Americans receive a massage annually according to the American Massage Therapy Association. Of those receiving massages, over 30% report receiving one for health conditions like pain management, migraines, injury rehab, or general wellness. Over 80% agree with the comment that massage may be beneficial for health and wellness improvement.

What health conditions has massage therapy shown usefulness? Here is a list of what current research has shown effectiveness from massage:

· Cancer related fatigue

· Reducing pain in cancer patients

· Low Back Pain

· Knee arthritis

· Decreasing pain after surgery

· Increasing the human body immune system effectiveness

· Decreasing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

· Lowering blood pressure

· Decreasing frequency of headaches

· Relieving alcohol withdrawal symptoms

It has been shown in many studies that massage therapy is very helpful for chronic low back pain. In numerous studies, results have shown effectiveness for up to a year. It has shown superior to acupuncture, education, and relaxation, with equivalency to bracing and exercises. Interestingly, massage was inferior to spinal manipulation and TENS unit treatment. For neck pain, the literature has not provided significant conclusions, so it is unknown for sure if in fact massage is really effective for improving neck pain and function.

For carpal tunnel syndrome, patients routinely demonstrated improvements in pain, grip strength, anxiety, and depression when compared with controls. So there is some preliminary data for the utilization of massage in patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Perhaps surgery could be avoided with its treatment inclusion.

With regards to massage treatment for fibromyalgia, the results are mixed. Some studies have shown that massage is beneficial for the pain from the disease, whereas others have shown only short term relief or none at all. More studies are needed in this field. Fibromyalgia has significant differences in how it affects patients. Some may not receive receiving massage at all, whereas others love it.

Research into massage for headaches exists, but it is routinely either low quality or limited into how much of a conclusion can be drawn from it. There are some findings showing massage to be superior to acupuncture for migraine headaches. In one study patients had a reduced number of overall monthly migraines along with severity. There is also one study in the literature showing that craniosacral massage may be beneficial for tension type headaches.

Shoulder pain has been evaluated in numerous studies, most of which varied tremendously with the types of patients treated. Most have shown improvements for functional disability, range of motion, and pain despite numerous different conditions leading to the actual shoulder pain. So massage is recommended for shoulder pain.

Massage should not typically be pondered as first line treatment for health conditions that are chronic and non-malignant. It should be implemented as a complement to other conventional first line treatments such as physical therapy and medications.

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Review of the New Inada Yume Massage Chair (PART II)

In the first article I discussed my first impressions of the new Inada Yume massage chair from Family Inada of Japan. In this article I want to talk about the two primary features which really set this chair apart from any other chair in the massage chair market.

1. Rotary Rocking Technology

The Inada Yume is first massage chair to actually rock back and forth, mimicking the motion of a rocking chair. We had a client in our showroom and he said that the rocking motion reminded him of a fond memories of his grandmother rocking him as a child. It created a great sense of peace as he went through a massage session on this chair.

When the rocking motion is activated it will rock at a speed of about 5-7 rocks per minute. The rocking will also move the chair to a 142 degree angle up to a 157 degree angle. To be completely honest, when I first sat on the chair and closed my eyes, I felt a little nausea from the rocking motion. After a time or two on the chair the pleasant feeling was gone gone. All-in-all a very nifty feature that many folks will love.

2. Thera-Elliptical-Kneading (TEK)

This the elliptical calf massage I alluded to in Part I of this Inada Yume review. Every other massage chair employs airbags in the ottoman to compress the calves from the outside in. Now, this new TEK actually does that, but while the airbags are compressing the sides of the ottoman move in an elliptical motion up and down along both sides of each calf facilitating an entirely different calf massage experience. It is really quite amazing … and innovative.

Folks who struggle with circulation problems in the legs or altered leg sensation may find this feature to be worth the cost of the chair. It is fabulous. After my sessions on the chair, I had to say that the calves were the part of my body that was tingling the most.
Here are a few other things to know about the Inada Yume that I did not cover in Part I:

a.) The Inada Yume is manufactured in Japan. It is believed that the Japanese workmanship is better than the Chinese workmanship. The cost of a chair manufactured in Japan will be greater than that of a chair made in China.

b.) The upholstery is a faux leather material. It comes in black and bright red.

c.) The back rollers go down into the top of the buttock area, which I find is absolutely necessary if you have any low back pain or SI joint pain. The lower roller distance may also serve some sciatica patients.

d.) The remote control is VERY simple and easy to use. Gone, on this model, are the complicated program readings and function buttons. It is a very user-friendly remote that anyone will find easy to use. By the way, the remote is not a pedestal remote … it just tucks into a side pocket when not in use.

e.) Based on a once / day usage, the chair is designed to last about 24 years!

f.) Inada has the best standard factory warranty in the business. It is a 3 year warranty covering parts and labor. An additional 2 years can be purchased (extended warranty) for a fee.

g.) Inada's weight limit policy has always been “if you can fit, you can sit.” I'm not sure if that applies to this chair. The specs on the chair say that the weight range is up to 300 lbs.

h.) The Inada Yume boasts a zero gravity seat feature, wherein the seat will tilt up a certain number of degrees from horizontal. Zero-gravity function is designed to create a “weightless” feeling when using the chair. Great for low back sufferers.

The Inada Yume massage chair retails for $ 5499 and is available at , where you can also learn more about the chair.

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Benefits of Indian Head Massage

Indian Head Massage works on both a physical and psychological level, the techniques used represent a de-stressing program for the whole body. By massaging the head and shoulders, energies will become re-balanced and a general feeling of relaxation will be achieved. Indian Head Massage can improve blood flow to the head and neck, which increases the distribution of nutrients to encourage healing through the body.

Clients come away with a deep feeling of comfort and relaxation. Indian Head Massage works on areas affected by mental and emotional stress. We spend much of our trying to sort things out in our head which leads to severe stress. Stress accumulates and one day leads to the next with no break from the tension that is building up in our neck and shoulders. The massage can really help to calm the mind and is deeply relaxing. We work with a firm and gentle rhythm to help relieve muscular discomfort and tension. People feel the tension release which calms the spirit and aids relaxation. The treatment also improves circulation in the head, enhances the senses and promotes clear thinking.

The massage usually begins with the upper back, where a combination of deep massage and pressure points help to relax the muscles and to loose up tight knots. We can use our electrical massager at this point which will help alleviate the deep-seated muscles and reduce trigger points. Moving through the shoulders and upper arms further releases the common spots for holding stress and tension.

We continue deeply into the neck where headaches and tension are reduced. Moving up to the scalp, techniques are used that stimulate, relax and revive the whole of the head, increasing circulation and promoting healthy hair. Finally the treatment may include a gentle face massage with techniques that help circulation, skin tone, and sinus problems.

Due to the fact that the positive benefits of the treatment are achievable in a relatively short space of time it is ideally suited to busy schedules. However, it can be of equal interest to anyone seeking an introduction to “hands on” therapy, or to those searching for an alternative to body massage.

The therapy is received in a separated position, which is especially beneficial for those who find lying on a couch uncomfortable. IHM can also serve as a comfortable aid to tension relief during pregnancy. Indian Head Massage is a complementary treatment which should not be viewed as an alternative to conventional medicine. IHM does not diagnose or cure, but promotes the mental and physical conditions necessary to foster positive good health and prevent ill-health.

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Electric Foot Massagers Save the Day!

Regardless of the reason behind the aching feet, it is time to get rid of the discomfort or even pain. An electric foot massager can provide anyone with feet that feel great and are ready to get going instead of slowing a person down. Reflexology massage is a system of massaging specific areas of the foot to promote healing, relieve stress, and stimulate circulation. Does not everyone want that? Reflexology is one of many forms of massage and is based on the notification that every nerve ending in our feet corresponds to organs of the body including the liver, kidney, and spleen (just to mention a few). Everyone wants a body which keeps moving and helps achieve dreams. Foot massagers stimulate and detoxify the organs and improve circulation through gentle and repeated massage. Massage has many other proven benefits such as the reduction of many ailments including general tiredness, stiffness, muscular fatigue, and nervous tension. Massage even increments blood circulation and stimulates the body's immune system.

There are many types of electric foot massagers varying from the simple to the extravagant and from the affordable to the exorbitant. Some units use steady vibration, rolling and kneading while other use heat, hydro-therapy and bubbles. A very popular massager is the NEW P-Reflection Twin-Kneading Roller Massager which can be used to massage feet, calves and more. This high quality multi-functional massager includes unique features such as three sets of kneading rollers, eight speed settings, forward-reverse options, manual-automatic controls and easy portability, to name a few.

Buying an electric foot massager or foot spa for home use provides many benefits including the convenience of use when it is needed and where it is needed. There is no inconvenience of trying to schedule an appointment with a favorite massage therapist only to find the therapist is not available for several weeks. The at home spa experience can be created to an individual's personal taste and enhancement of the foot massage by including aromatherapy candles, oils, soft light, relaxing music and even a nice fluffy cotton robe. An individual can even complete the foot massage with a beautiful manicure so the feet look as good as they feel. Releasing the stresses of the day can be an ultimate joyful experience.

Discover the world of electric foot massagers and how their benefits can improve overall health and wellness. When chasing for optimal health, let today's technology show how easy and achievable it can be – just with the press of a button. Find great electric foot massagers now.

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Learning About the Art of Massage

Many people find that hardship draws them toward the desire to relax (or be relaxed). Economic crisis, political unrest, or social hardship could all be the cause of stress and tension. That's why now, more than ever, massages at professional massage therapy parlors are becoming extremely popular. Additionally, the variety and uniqueness of the types of massages which are available really tend to draw in a crowd nowdays. So what kinds of massages are there?

Before I tell you, let me clarify one thing – many people believe that they can go into massage parlor and get a “sensual massage” or some such thing. That does not happen. You want a sensual massage, you do it at home with your spouse or whatever. Public massage therapy shops CAN NOT give you such a massage, as doing so would get them in trouble for sexual harassment and other crimes. Do not believe me? I'm serious.

Now, onto the good stuff – types of massages. I'm sure you're familiar with the basic, strong hands massage. This is when someone kneads your muscles with their hands to relieve pressure.

Additionally, there is a type of massage that is becoming increasingly popular – aromatherapy. At first, that does not seem like a “massage,” but it still fits in that category. Trained aromatherapists combine the most fragrant smells into something that can relax, energize, or serve whatever purpose the aroma therapist originally started. It's almost like an alchemical art, and it brings a state of renovated existence to the body.

While it's true that massages are apparently intended for the relief of pain, stress, and tension in the body, receiving massage therapy in a spa can do so much more good than that.

Giving energy to the body, refreshing and awakening the mind, and healing damaged muscles are all a part of a massage therapy treatment, and I'll bet you did not even realize it!

As you can see, massage therapy is a pretty cool profession. Are you interested in learning to be a massage therapist but can not afford to go back to school? Not to worry! For more information on the full benefits of spa treatment massage therapy, or to look into becoming a massage therapist or aromatherapist from the comfort of your own home, please refer to the articles found in the resource box. Becoming a massage therapist with a knock-out salary has never been this easy!

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Get a Job As a Massage Therapist: Learn Massage Therapy

If you are like many people who have been to a massage therapy spa, you're probably wondering what it's like to be a masseuse (massage therapist). Most likely, you're also receiving treatment from a massage therapist who enrolled in college to be just that – a massage therapist.

That's too bad for us, right? We do not have the money, time, or whatever else to dedicate to getting a degree in massage therapy or something similar. Thankfully, there seems to be a new way to fulfill your dream of becoming a massage therapist after all – learning from home!

With this new program to learn massage therapy from home, you can –

  • Go to “school” in your pajamas
  • Learn how to be a real massage therapist
  • Learn marketing techniques that can make you money
  • Learn how to open your own parlor
  • Discover how to get certified with the knowledge you now possess!

Sounds too good to be true, right? I know it. And that's precisely why a lot of people do not go down this route – they feel it's “scammy” and so they go the more traditional (and expensive) route of going back to college. Or, even worse, they give up on their dreams of becoming a masseuse all together!

So what can you gain from becoming a massage therapist?

  • Satisfaction
  • A nice salary
  • Being your own boss if you open your own parlor
  • Happy customers
  • An expanding client base
  • Experience
  • Recommendations
  • A track record that could get you into the massage therapy “big league”
  • Strength

Seems worth it, does not it? It is. Massage therapy is becoming increasingly popular in America, most likely due to the rise in economic crisis and other political and social factors that make people feel tense and uneasy. We all know that a good massage can get rid of tension!

Regardless of why it is that you choose to be a masseuse, you'll find a good home in a parlor where people are relying on you to make their day. It's a very interactive job, and it can really make you feel good to talk to a stranger and, by the end of the appointment, feel like they're a friend. Then again, there are some parlors where you do not talk at all – the choice is yours!

Now that you know you really do want to be a massage therapist, check out the resource box for more information on how to do it from home!

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Massage Therapy Shown To Be the Best Choice of Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Massage therapists often gush about the therapeutic properties of massage therapy, saying it can lower levels of anxiety and stress, improve wellness, and even reduce pain. And for the most part, they're right.

Indeed, many academic studies have demonstrated the therapeutic properties of massage, but these studies are usually small in their number of participants, and often massage is indicated as a complementary treatment, for example, as a non-invasive pain reliever for cancer patients. A study in the July 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine is there before a breakthrough for massage therapists as it concludes that massage is not just a good complementary therapy, rather, it is the best choice for treating lower back pain.

The study, titled A Comparison of the Effects of 2 Types of Massage and Usual Care on Chronic Low Back Pain, is so newsworthy because it concludes that general massage therapy is more effective than standard medical treatment when dealing with back pain. This means that a weekly massage can do more to relieve chronic back pain than painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs (think Advil) and physical therapy.

According to The USA Today (1), the study monitored 410 women with chronic lower back pain. The women were randomly assigned to three groups, with one group receiving standard medical care as outlined above, one receiving an hour-long, weekly structural massage therapy session, and the final group receiving a standard, hour-long Swedish massage.

The results showed that women who received either form of massage were two times as likely to have spent less time in bed due to pain, used less pain medication, and generally were more active than the women who did not receive massage therapy. Stunningly, more than one-third of the women who received massage reported their back pain as much improved or completely gone, while only four percent of women who received standard medical care could say the same thing.

What does this mean for massage therapy and its practitioners? First and foremost, it is thorough proof that massage can do what therapists have been saying it can do all along: Provide effective pain management and improve people's quality of life. Second, this claim can be made by all massage therapists – from the highest trained to the recently graduated – as almost all therapists are well versed in Swedish massage. Finally, this should motivate therapists to continue to promote massage as an effective, non-invasive therapy to people in areas where lower back pain is common, providing therapists with another reason to market, for example, chair massage therapy to office employees.

(1) The USA Today, Study: Massage beats meds for lower back pain, Updated 07/06/2011 12:29 PM

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Chiropractic Intervention Helps Female Athletes Avoid Injuries

Professional ball players have traditionally used chiropractic intervention to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. Studies are prevalent showing the positive effects of chiropractic intervention in male athletes.

Now female athletes are receiving the same attention by researchers. A 2011 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported on the results of a chiropractic intervention used with professional football cheerleaders during the 2010 season. The study focused on hamstring injury prevention, a common injury among cheerleaders, gymnasts, and other female athletes.

Doctors of Chiropractic provided the study participants with a “closed-chain, eccentric hamstring exercise protocol” for the season. Hamstring injury was estimated before and after the season. The protocol consist of two specific exercises performed with an elastic band, two to five times per week. The results showed a statistically significant difference in successfully reducing hamstring injuries and related pain in the participants.1

The study is good news for female athletes across the board, including dancers, skaters, gymnasts, runners, and others who are prone to overuse and hamstring injuries. Now, traditional, best practice methods for preventing a hamstring injury – proper strength training of the hamstring muscles to ensure that they are equally balanced with the quadriceps muscles, and ample warm-up and stretching of the muscles before beginning exercise and training– can be combined with a specific intervention protocol designed to reduce hamstring injuries in females.

Chiropractors naturally advocate taking a proactive stance. Injury prevention is much preferred to injury rehabilitation. Proactive chiropractic care not only helps reduce the risk of injuries in athletes but can also help improve strength, balance, speed, agility, and flexibility.

Chiropractors are whole body practitioners and while they may provide a site-specific training program focused on a certain area of ​​the body, generally this is only a piece of the puzzle. Chiropractors are doctors trained to look at the biomechanics of the body as a whole. Further, Certified Chiropractic Sports Physicians (CCSP) are doctors of Chiropractic with a special certification in treating sports injuries and optimizing physical fitness. They regularly provide integrated whole body training programs for the athletes they treat, using protocols to help minimize the risk of injury and enhance sports performance.

Athletes under the care of a chiropractor or a CCSP are typically less less to painful, frustrating injuries and recover more quickly when they do experience an injury. And because chiropractors are natural, hands-on healers, athletes under their care are often able to avoid surgery. Heat and ice therapy, electric stimulation, ultrasound, massage, rehabilitation exercises, and mobilizations or manipulations (adjustments) can often restore balance, alignment, and proper range of motion following an injury, without the need for more invasive treatment such as surgery.

Ultimately, prevention is the best medicine.

1. Greenstein JS, Bishop B, Edward J, Topp R. The Effects of a Closed-Chain, Eccentric Training Program on Hamstring Injuries of a Professional Football Cheerleading Team. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2011 Mar-Apr; 34 (3): 195-200.

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