Hot Stone Massage – Luxury Spa Treatment Or ‘Serious’ Massage Therapy?

At this time of year I get really busy with my favorite treatment of all – hot stone massage therapy. If you've never experienced one of these treatments let me tell you – it ROCKS.

Bringing Warmth to the Soul

Much as I love living by the sea, the dark and windswept days can leave the best of us feeling a bit lacklustre. We can all benefit from the muscle-melting warmth and sheer indulgence of hot stones; a powerful treatment that should leave you feeling deeply relaxed and truly pampered.

But hot stone massage is not restricted to the 'fluff and buff' world of luxury spa treatments. Far from it, this treatment has a very important place on the more 'serious' massage therapist's couch too, used as a tool to alleviate both acute and chronic pain and effectively address injury rehabilitation.

The Healing Power of Hot and Cold

Hot and cold has been used surgically since time immemorial. Did your mum give you a hot water bottle for a sore tummy when you were child? Do you reach for a bag of frozen peas to help bring a braise down?

Heat decreases muscle tightness, increases circulation (helping tissue repair), and increases the elasticity of the connective tissue thereby improving the effectiveness of any stretching techniques (which any of my clients will know I am very keen on!). Cold applications relieve muscle soreness, calm inflammation and reduce muscle tightness. And as any sportsman or woman will tell you, alternating hot and cold is a wonderful technique to help aid the body's healing processes.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing full body massage, or a remedial treatment to address pain and speed recovery, there is a place for stones in your treatment. A good hot stone massage can successfully bridge that gap between spa and sports treatments, restoring balance while also providing a luxurious experience. Working smarter need not mean working harder!

When searching for a treatment make sure you find a professionally qualified therapist, and research reviews left by previous clients. Do not be swayed by the appearance of high end spas as in these places you often pay for appearance – and hot stones often come at a premium. One luxury spa in London, for example, charges £ 185 when the therapist has had only three hours' worth of training! Small, private practices often offer the best techniques – do not overlook the lady who works in a small private practice on the other side of town. You may well find her ability, experience and commitment far outshine and of the swanky spas!

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The Power Of Touch! It’s a Stress Reliever

A large majority of people think of massage as something optional or a treat for special occasions. Some people never consider it at all, thinking it's something only wealthy people indulge in. That is completely false. Albeit, massage is more broadly accepted and thought after than ever before with the advent of all of the massage schools out there … there are still lots of people who have not yet experienced a massage.

For those who have not tried massage because they think it's sexual in nature, let me put your mind at ease. That is not the case. Therapeutic massage is specifically tailor for your sore, tight and achy muscles, with the goal being to make you feel relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed. Also, the other most common worry is that you'll be naked on the table. While you will undress in privacy, you will be lying under the sheet and not be exposed, no touching of the genitalia will occur either. OK GREAT. Now that we've gotten rid of the fears, let's find out how massage can relieve your stress!

The power of touch can not be understated. Most people never think of it, but touch is an automatic response to pain. Think about it for a moment, if you bump your elbow what's the first thing you do? Rub it. If a baby wears what do you do? Pat the baby on the back, or rub their back. Why? Because it's soothing.

While there's both good stress and bad stress, I want to focus on bad stress for the purpose of this article. Did you know that stress related illnesses account for most of the non-productivity that occurs on the job, as well as for problems that affect people both personally and socially? Examples may be responding in an angry tone to a simple request, or having frequent outbursts.

Stress depletes the body's supply of vitamins and minerals, so it makes us crave unhealthy foods, which leads to other health problems. Unmanaged stress also leads to chronic health conditions such as ulcers, anxieties, high blood pressure, heart disease, insomnia and others. However, the good news is there is a simple thing that you can do to limit the effects of negative stress, and that is … Get a Massage!

Simple human contact in a serene, calming environment with peaceful music will allow the mind and body to release the buildup of negative stressors. Massage done properly will make it feel as though you've lost 10 pounds of stress off your shoulders immediately. You'll feel lighter and looser and you'll marvel at how amazing you feel. As a matter of fact you'll probably wonder what you took so long to try one.

Massage also helps improve mental clarity and focus. You know how sometimes you can read the same paragraph 10 times and still not know what it says or means? That's because you are having trouble focusing. You're tense, stressed and most likely obsessing over all of the other things that must get done, but after a massage your approach is different, your mind is clear. You're brain feels engaged and ready to take on new assignments. It's as though you feel “plugged in” again.

The funny thing about massage is you will not know how much stress you were under until AFTER the massage. This is why it's so difficult to get people to try it, because they do not “think” they need it. But the reality is just about everyone can benefit from a massage. I recommend at minimum one massage every month, but bi-weekly would be awesome. It will keep you able to handle all of the crazy situations that come your way on a daily basis in a more controlled and healthy manner.

Do yourself a favor, if you've never had a massage. Try one. If you've had one and had a bad experience, give someone else a try and tell the massage therapist what you did not like about your first experience. Massage is not meant to be painful, so if it hurts please let the therapist know. Do not just lay there and bear the pain while vowing secretly to never return. It's all about communication. Now of course depending on the type of massage you ask for certain manipulations may be painful, but again, please communicate with your therapist and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful, relaxing experience.

Now what are you waiting for? Find yourself a fabulous therapist and get rid of that stress starting today!

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Success Story With Rose’s Knocked Knees

Rose was in a 4-wheeler accident at their 4th of July outing. She went head over heels as she rolled her 4-wheeler. She had multiple injuries that affected her left shoulder, back, hips and legs. Four and a half months later she was knocked-kneed.

Rose received two massages with a local massage therapist who helped free up her shoulder. The massage therapist did not address her lower body. When I came to town Rose asked me if I would give her a massage. She did not ask me to work a specific part of her body.

I had Rose put on a pair of shorts and walk the hall for me. I observed:

1. Her feet everted inward. Her lower legs did not sit straight in the joint between her ankles but drooped inward. She was wearing down the inside of her house slippers.

2. She was knock-kneed. Her thighs and knees rubbed together.The lower half of her legs spanned out in an unnatural tripod shape.

3. I tested her pelvis to see if it was in its proper position. It was not. She had anterior pelvic tilt.

4. She labored to walk as her hips were very tight. She appeared to drag her legs from side to side as she took each step.

She later informed me that her knotted-knees interfered with her exercising routines, walking, running and sometimes when she slept.

To remedy her problems I used a few different techniques:

1. I only worked on her legs. I used light effleurage strokes to empty the lymph fluid in her legs beginning with the upper leg then the lower leg. Lymph drainage sites are in the upper and lower torso so it is important to move lymph towards the dumping site. Always move lymph closest to the dumping site first to make room for additional lymph flow. In this case, I moved lymph from her thigh first so the lymph from her lower leg had a place to go when it was emptied.

2. I then did medium to deep tissue manipulation on her Quadriceps, the front of her thigh, while she was lying on her back. I then had her roll over on her side and I worked the inside of her thigh and calf of the same leg with the same long deep strokes. I had her flex and extend her ankle while I loosed and lengthened out the tight tissues on the inside of her leg. I used tapotment which is a light tapping with my finger tips and cupped hands to further loosen up the leg muscles.

3. I then had her lay on her stomach and I worked the back of her leg beginning with lymph drainage in the same fashion as described above. I then went into a medium to deep tissue stroke and manipulation of these muscles as I did with the rest of the leg.

4. I repeated this whole process on the other leg. I spent 45 minutes on each leg.

5. I then had her get up and walk to observe our work. She was so much better.

6. I then had her lie on her back again. I then used a Cranial Sacral Therapy technique to adjust her pelvis. I cradled her sacrum in my hand with my finger tips on the top of her pelvis. I traced her her pelvis towards her feet while with the other arm tractioned each side of her pelvis inward towards the middle of her torso. She and I both felt her pelvis slowly slip back into place. The smile on her face told me that she could feel the relief. This took less than five minutes.

I had her slowly get up and walk again. She was giddy and giggly as she strutted around with the same mobility that she enjoyed not so long ago. She then began jumping up and down with joy clapping her hands and hugging me. She was amazed at how quickly we were able to relate the pain in her knee and restore her range of motion and mobility.

Injury massage is my favorite. My greatest satisfaction comes from restoring quality of life and assisting the body in its healing process.

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Carpal Tunnel

Everyone has 'Carpal Tunnel'. In fact, everyone has two Carpal Tunnels. However, not everyone has Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. We all have a fascia band around our wrists which holds in place the medial nerve, ligaments and bones. Most of our muscles begin and end with tendons which attach to bony landmarks on our skeletal system. When our flexor muscles of our forearm are overworked with repetitive movements then the muscle becomes agitated which inflames the tendons of our wrist. This swelling and inflammation squeezes the medial nerve against the ligament.

Common repetitive motions include typing, knitting, using a jack hammer, hammering nails such as building a house and rowing a boat for long distances. A fracture in the wrist creates inflammation and can trigger Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Car accidents, sporting accidents, catching ourselves from a fall can also contribute to inflammation of the Carpal Tunnel. Pregnancy can also lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as the body is altered from its non-pregnancy state. Arthritis, diabetes and hypothyroidism can create inflammation and swelling in the Carpal Tunnel.

Most Carpal Tunnel Syndrome cases are a direct result of lack of rest in between repetitive movements which tend to overwork these muscles leading to inflammation. Sometimes the pressure placed on the median nerve causes nerve pain which can travel up the arm and into the shoulder. Symptoms may include pain, numbness and tingling in the wrist, hand and especially the thumb, index and middle finger. Other signs of a swollen flexor tendon include visible swapping in the wrist, heat, pain when moving the wrist flexing and extending the wrist or when moving the wrist from side to side. As pain radiates up the arm one may lose the full use and range of motion they once enjoyed.

Trigger Points, knots, may also form along this path leading to increased pain in all the muscles up the arm and into the shoulder. Chronic pain becomes so debilitating that quality of life is affected. Some opt for surgery to clip the Carpal Tunnel. I have heard from several people that surgery left their hand weak and they still had some pain. Others had very good success with surgery only to have the Carpal Tunnel regrow and become a problem again due due to the repetitive motions of their job.

There are several options besides surgery to reduce inflammation in the wrist and reduce inflammation and extremely pain.

First of all it is important to get creative in finding other ways to accomplish the same task without the perpetual repetitive motion. Sometimes this is not an option specifically for writers and computer office staff. For those with these jobs it is just as important to set aside time to take regular rest breaks through each given task. Self-massage will do wonders to alleviate this problem.

Michael Stone is a massage therapist who teaches a technique that is easy for self-therapy. Simply relax your arm in front of you with your elbow bent and the palm of your hand facing your body. Place your opposition hand over the back of your wrist. Keep the hand you working on upright and level with your arm. Place a medium amount of pressure with your fingers on the back side of your hand and while you stroke down from the back of your hand over your wrist you simply flex your wrist towards your body in unison. The next stroke begins in the original position and you flex your wrist as you stroke down from the back of your hand over your wrist. Repeat this massage for at least five minutes. You can do this several times per day on both hands.

Massage sedates the nerve endings and eases pain and inflammation. More on hydrotherapy and trigger point massage in other upcoming articles and on my websites that will be regularly posted on my new website at . Feel free to leave comments and ask questions for specifics problem areas. Check in periodically and sign up for the newsletter for current postings.

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The Male Massage Therapist: The Sexuality Problem

Massage can be a nurturing field of work, and traditionally, service sectors in which caring is the target have been mainly employed by women. Nursing and teaching come to mind straight away, although the massage business has already been heavily populated with female practitioners. You might think that the gender of the psychologist is of small significance and for the most part, this can be true.

The Comfort of your Client

Fundamentally, its the comfort level of your client and their preconceived a few ideas of massage which could influence their choice of one gender of therapist over another. Women usually state they feel more comfortable with an other woman lest they feel judged about their body. Demonstrably, this arises more from self-judgment than the truth of the professional who works together many different figures every day. Many men worry a male therapist may be gay, and while this may be correct, it's unquestionably another projection onto a professional. The bottom line is that you're investing in a therapeutical experience based on the skills and talents of the practitioner. A sexual experience does not mean a sexualized experience, but this judgment continues to this day in the world of bodywork. Aside from any appearance of gender bias, a customer needs to feel comfortable with the individual with whatever they work.

Real Differences

Are there any variations in how male and female counselors work? To produce any comparison based exclusively on sex would be its prejudice and a gross generalization. Most counselers have a 'signature' design based in the methods they've examined, their personalities and their particular tastes in obtaining bodywork. It's vital that you locate a psychologist whose style and abilities are a good match for what you're looking for. Personally, I really like deep work. I like to feel as numerous sheets of fascia as you can including feel stretched, to their insertions things and flexed-so I have a tendency to work in this way. People who want deep-tissue massage will frequently seek out male therapists. I've had excellent deep work by female practitioners, while a therapist of peak, weight and power can assist in deeper work. Alternately, I have many clients who come to me solely for stress relief or insomnia and such force would not be enjoyable. An excellent therapist is an convenient therapist.

The Ability Behind the Fingers

Some practitioners approach the others as a specialist and body being an artist. For me, it's a mix of both. Familiarity with anatomy and physiology supplies a foundational road-map for that more rhythmic, intuitive expression or movement over the body. I love to consider it in terms of the old duality of yang / yin, left brain / right brain, and male / female. One is technical, another instinctive, but together they build the party that leaves one feeling theoretically revived. In lots of ways dance is really a very appropriate metaphor to describe the dynamic knowledge between some body and their massage therapist; no two experiences are precisely alike. Someone who is guarded physically or psychologically will not have the same experience as someone who rests immediately or falls sleep. A consumer who practices yoga or sports will most definitely have a different experience with a therapist than some one with fibromyalgia or body dysmorphia. As professional therapists we are train to approach your client appropriately and recognize these differences.

Make your decision based on the knowledge, when buying a massage therapist and how they promote themselves. Until you feel strongly about it avoid gender biases. Trying different experts to understand differences could have been gratifying in its own way. Do not hesitate to communicate your needs and goals. Above all, allow you to absolutely relax and take pleasure in the wonderful knowledge human touch could be and how it resonates on a lot of levels inside your being.

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Structural Realignment

Children are almost always getting injured. Falling off a bicycle, skateboard, childhood injuries, getting accidently bumped and the list can go on. As children we heal rather quickly and often do not think any more about those injuries. However, as I learned in massage therapy school the injuries to soft tissues and bones often have long-term effects as we age without we treat these tissues with therapeutic massage, heat, cold, heat and cold therapy and re-structuring type exercises within a short time of the injury.

For instance, when falling we realign our pelvis in an unnatural position as muscles pull and torque leading to low back pain and tight contracted muscle and fascia tissue. While healing the muscle fibers form undetected scar tissues in its attempt to heal itself. As children we heal and just go on playing not paying much attention to the tenderness.

Unfortunately as we grow this misalignment grows with us and the tension slowly pulls on the bony landmarks where tendons attach to the joints. As our body grows, scar tissue also enlarge. The scar tissue formed at the time of injury forms in a clump and does not follow the natural grain of the muscle fibers which creates tight and stiff muscles as we grow. Over time as the muscles and bones grow there is an unnatural pull and torque on joints and connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments and fascia.

As an adult we may notice unexplained tenderness or pain. We get use to the trendness, limited range of motion, or lump. More often than not this is a vulnerable area that is easily re-injured. These injuries may be subtle or major.

Staying active keeps our mind off of this area and soon it is “out of sight out of mind”. We are also busy working these muscles and keeping them warm up until we sit too long or wake up with unexplained stiffness or joint pain. Over time we realize that we do not have the same range of motion that we did when we were young. Maybe our knees do not bend the way they use to or our low back talks to us as we lift even light objects.

We tend to unconsciously compensate for the limited range of motion by obtaining assistance from an opposing muscle group or limb. We simply get use to not using a body part the way it is intended as we change our habits to compensate. This becomes our new normal.

What we do not realize is that the areas that are compensating are experiencing gradual trauma and damage as well as we over use or misuse other muscles and joints. This can and often leads to debilitating pain, limited use of both areas of the body and a trip to the doctor for pain pills or muscle relaxants.

Therapeutic massage especially deep tissue structural realignment techniques are the perfect answer to soft tissue damage. Releasing knots and loosing up fascia and muscle fibers alleviates the unnatural pull on joints and opposing muscle groups. Re-molding exercises continue the benefits of deep tissue massage and structural realignment.

It is important to retrain muscles that have been tight and contracted for months and years. Cranial Sacral Therapy is a gentle modality that works well with therapeutic massage. “Applied knowledge is power”. There are times that our body simply needs some therapeutic touch to regain normalcy.

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Shiatsu Massage – The Benefits and How It Works

Shiatsu is a form of manual therapy that originated as a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and developed into the practice that it is today in ancient Japan. In Japanese “shi” means thumbs and fingers, and “tos” means pressure. Shiatsu is characterized by a soothing and deep pressure, applied to various anatomical points on your body by the therapist's thumbs and palms.

Scientifically speaking, it is believed that shiatsu affects your sympathetic nervous system, improving circulatory function, relieving tension, and helping release endorphins (your brain's 'feel good' chemicals) into your bloodstream. Energetically, your therapist follows pathways, called 'meridians', in order to improve the flow of energy in your body, also known Qi.

In Shiatsu therapy there is no use of drugs, needles or mechanical devices. Essentially the therapist's aim is to relax and balance your nervous system and to improve your health by stimulating your body's natural powers of recuperation. It is especially effective in removing the fatigue and anxiety caused by the daily stresses and tension of life.

Other ways that shiatsu can help you include:

  • relaxation
  • back pain
  • headaches
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • PMS
  • neck pain
  • shoulder pain
  • fatigue
  • athletic injury
  • arthritis
  • digestive issues
  • constipation

Note that you should avoid shiatsu treatment in the following circumstances:

  • immediately after surgery
  • immediately after chemotherapy or radiation treatment
  • if you suffer from heart disease or are prone to blood clots, unless otherwise indicated by your doctor
  • if you suffer from an infectious skin disease, or have an open wound
  • if you have a fever
  • if you have heavy bruising, or a tumor, inflated skin, or any area that might have fractured bone below the tissue surface

In your treatment, because your therapist uses his / her thumbs a great deal, the treatment will feel very localized. The benefit of this is that points of pain can be isolated, enabling the pressure of the massage to penetrate into your muscles and move the blocked energy. Be sure, however, to indicate to your therapist the level of pressure at which you are comfortable.

You should also be aware that traditionally, shiatsu massage is not done on a table, but is actually performed on a mat on the floor. You will also not undress for your treatment, but will instead be asked to wear comfortable clothing, eg what you might wear while exercising. Try to arrive early to your appointment to fill out any necessary forms, and be sure to not eat a heavy meal before treatment.

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Massage Therapy for Improving Joint Mobility

Being more mobile is certain the number one way to improve your joint mobility, and so you should be exercising regularly, including engaging in activities such as walking and even more challenging stretching and strengthening exercise such as yoga. Unfortunately, sometimes your joint issues are accompanied by pain and getting active can be difficult. Or you may not know where to begin with activities! Either way, a Registered Massage Therapist can help you improve your joint mobility, and can even suggest the right exercises to get you moving again.

Sports injury is a common reason for limited joint mobility, and if you suspect this is the cause of your condition, be sure to have the proper tests done to rule out broken bones or anything more serious. When your injury is limited to your muscle tissue, massage can help a great deal by improving the blood flow to your muscles around your joints and encouraging the release of endorphins to help you feel better.

There are actually a number of issues that can affect your ability to move. One of the most common is arthritis, which is an inflammation of your joints. Osteoarthritis is a natural degeneration of the cartilage in your joints, while rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disorder that, over time, also causes damage to the cartilage in your joints. Once this cartilage is damaged, it becomes harder for your joints to be as mobile. Massage therapy can help with arthritis by relaxing the muscles around your joints, improving blood flow to your joints, decreasing pain and improving their mobility as well.

Diabetes can slow down your circulation and thicken the connective tissue around your joints, making it difficult to get the blood supply needed for proper joint mobility. This is one reason why diet and exercise are so important for diabetics, because clean eating and adequate exercise help keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Balanced blood sugar levels help ensure the health of the blood vessels in your joints, improving their mobility. Likewise, massage therapy can help to improve circulation to these blood vessels, and can also decrease the thickening of connective tissue around your joints.

Because of the muscle pain, muscle spasms and muscle tension associated with fibromyalgia, if you suffer from this condition you may also experience physical symptoms such as reduced joint mobility. Massage therapy can help reduce your pain and muscle tension, and get you more mobile. Likewise, massage is great if you're suffering from lupus, a painful auto-immune disease that can affect your joints among many other possible areas of your health. If you do suffer from lupus, however, avoid seeking massage during flare-ups.

Be sure to disclose as much information about your health to your registered Massage Therapist, taking the time to ask questions through your treatment as well. The more informed the therapist is about you, and the more you're informed about your treatment, the sooner you can get treated properly, and feel better!

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What Is Foam Rolling? How Do You Use It, And Is It Beneficial To You and Your Muscles?

Foam rolling is a technique used to 'massage' your muscles, which can become very tight and tense from exercising, by using your body weight to apply pressure to certain muscles.

The most common muscles associated with this 'tightness' are the hamstrings / glutes and the lower back.

This practice can be used to ease muscle tightness and knots, help with elongating your muscles and even aid in their recovery. It is quite a simple technique to use and all you need is a simple foam roller. Most gyms now have a few of them, but if you want your own they are not too difficult to find in most sports stores.

There is not too much research to support beneficial results of this practice in terms of increasing athletic performance and muscle lengthening. BUT, I still think it can be used as an aid to warm up your muscles, a form of therapeutic massage and an aid in increasing flexibility. At least that is what I have found with my own experience. So I would say it is worth a try, thereafter you can make up your own mind depending how it works for you.

Below, we first briefly look at some of the benefits that are commonly associated with it, and then we explain how exactly to use a foam roller effectively, to target a few different muscles.

Now if you have been training regularly and have never done this before or have never been for any kind of deep tissue massage, I suggest you ease into it and initially do not apply too much pressure. The reason being, sometimes certain muscles can be really tight and it can be a bit painful at the start. So just be aware of this as you begin.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased blood flow to muscles
  • Helps reduce muscle soreness
  • Aids in increasing flexibility
  • Helps 'loosen' muscles
  • A therapeutic de-stressing massage

How to use the foam roller:

For each method I would suggest holding each position on that 'tense spot' for anywhere between 20 to 60 seconds. (I find some spots are more painful than others so the less painful ones you can manage to hold for longer.) You can do this before or / and after a workout a few times per week depending on you.

1. Back
Place the Roller on the ground and place (with you perpendicular to it) your lower back on it. Bend your knees like you are about to do a sit up and then roll it back and forth along your back slowly. When you feel spots where it is slightly more tense or tight, hold that position (the 'tense spot') for a few seconds.

2. Quadriceps (Thighs)
Place the Foam Roller on the ground and lie on it belly down (your body perpendicular to it again), with your thighs in direct contact with it. Now roll it forwards and backwards along your thighs slowly. When you feel spots where it is slightly more tense or tight, hold that position (the 'tense spot') for a few seconds.

3. Calves
Place the Roller on the ground and place (with you perpendicular to it) one of your calves on top of it. Cross the other leg over the one in contact with it. Now proceed to roll the foam roller back and forth along your calf slowly. When you feel spots where it is slightly more tense or tight, hold that position (the 'tense spot') for a few seconds.

Repeat with your other calf.

4. Ham strings and Glutes
Place the Foam Roller on the ground. Proceed as you would if you were rolling out your calves but instead of placing the roller under your calf, place it under your hamstrings, with both legs in contact with it. Now roll it forwards and backs along your hamstrings, slowly. When you feel spots where it is slightly more tense or tight, hold that position (the 'tense spot') for a few seconds.

For your glutes, place the Foam Roller on the ground. Sit on it so your glutes are in contact with it and cross your one leg over the over placing the crossing leg's ankle on the opposite leg's knee. Now lean slowly to the side of the crossed leg and roll back and forth along your glutes, slowly. When you feel spots where it is slightly more tense or tight, hold that position (the 'tense spot') for a few seconds.

5. Sides, IT band. (Iliotibial Band)
Place the Roller on the ground and (with you perpendicular to it) get into a position like you would for number 2 above (for your thighs). Then roll onto one side, so the side of your one leg is in contact with it. Then cross over the opposite leg placing your foot on the floor and your opposition hand (or elbow) on the floor above the foam roller. Now proceed to roll the it back and forth along your side, slowly. When you feel spots where it is slightly more tense or tight, hold that position (the 'tense spot') for a few seconds.

Repeat with the opposition leg.

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Top Four Benefits Of Getting A Body Massage

A body massage is a special and comfortable way to have a masseuse work through the whole body. During a session, the client is at liberty to inform the masseuse where he or she thinks requires more attention. It is practiced worldwide across all cultures. Most spas or beauty parlours have very unique facilities that offer this service to various clients. Most of these features and facilities are designed to provide peace of mind to an individual. Some of them have the space, furnishings, and furniture such as massage tables to make the stay as comfortable as possible. The type of personnel employed also affects the uniqueness of the spa. Body massages are known to bring about a number of benefits to the human body. These include:

· Improved blood circulation

Through body massage, the blood circulation in the body is improved. This means that oxygen in the blood is well circulated and as a result, various toxins are removed from the body. Without a good flow of oxygen into the body, an individual becomes prone to pain such as headaches and also muscle tension.

· Improve skin tone and skin health

Different oils and creams are usually used during the body massage sessions. For instance the eucalyptus oils and other herbal oils which contain especially the vitamin E supplement. Through these oils, the skin is rejuvenated. This is because the oils aid the skin cells to be revitalized.

· Peace of mind

Another important benefit that body massages give to many people is the peace of mind. Everyone needs peace of mind at some point in their lives. Having peace of mind makes an individual feel good about themselves naturally. Important decisions can be made when you are at peace and in total serenity. Your mind is opened up to a number of things like increased awareness, creativity and development plans.

· Lower stress levels

It is important to reduce stress levels at whatever costs. This is due to the health conditions likely to arise as a result of stress are very severe. For instance High blood pressure which is also a very cost condition. Going through body massage sessions will help reduce stress levels and thus is an effective way of managing stress.

It also helps in improving the lifestyle and wellbeing of many people. You should do a lot of research on some of the best places that provide these services to receive this pleasurable experience that is available to all.

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When Massage Therapy Can Be a Tool for Pain Relief

With all of the therapies available today, it is important for you to make the right choices. Pain can be difficult to handle. If you struggle with it daily, then you might want to consider a massage therapist. This type of therapy could have been a cure for the source of your pain rather than just for the symptoms. Before choosing an expert in this field, you will want to look for a therapist that has experience, the right personality, and the right style / techniques.

If you are in a great deal of pain daily, then you might want to look into the experience of the various therapists in your area. There will likely be a number of different levels of expertise. You should do a little research into what therapists are more experienced in the field. Some might be more homeopathic in nature than others. It will really depend on your preference wherever you go to one or the other.

Another consideration as you research massage therapy is affordability. It is possible that your insurance would cover this therapy. Whether or not you will need to pay out of your own pocket will likely depend on your reason for getting treatments in the first place. Those that are medical in nature may be accepted and paid by your insurance company.

Personality comes into play in many fields of work. It will come into play when you hire a massage therapist as well. Some therapists may not make you feel comfortable about your situation. If you do not feel comfortable, then you will probably not relax enough to get the help that you need. It is important that the individual doing your treatment is kind, professional, and has the ability to make any person relax.

The style of therapy is another option. There are many ways that treatments can be done, so it is essential that you have the right type for your specific needs. Some people might be better off with deep tissue, while others probably appreciate a lighter touch. Different places offer different styles of treatment. On a cruise ship or in a spa, you will have similar options as in a medical office, but the treatments will be more for the purpose of relaxation rather than rehabilitation.

If you do choose to go with massage therapy, then you may want to have it in combination with other types. Other considerations might include chiropractic and physical therapy. Chiropractic treatment is a homeopathic option, and physical therapy is a more medical option. Aromatherapy is another option that can be used in addition to this treatment.

After considering these areas, you will hopefully have enough information to make the right decisions about your choice of a massage therapist. This type of therapy could mean the difference between constant pain and a life in which you can relax and enjoy your experiences.

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4 Rules For Making Your Massage Work For You

Rule # 1- Get a Good Massage Therapist that Cares

As a Licensed Massage Therapist, one of the greatest joys is helping each of my clients figure out what is right for them. Many therapists feel they “know” what is right for their clients without so much as asking them. Some therapists are so bound by a routine, they can not cater to a client's needs for optimum the results to occur. Before the session begins, be prepared to talk about problem areas and answer questions about your health history as disclosed on the intake form. If you've had good or bad experiences, let your massage therapist know. Your massage therapist will ask you before the session begins about what type of pressure you prefer. They will also ask you about the pressure during the massage. If the pressure is too much or not enough, please let them know. No feelings will be hurt.

Rule # 2- Always Ask Questions

Have you ever wanted to try a deep tissue massage? Are you curious about trigger point therapy? Does myofascial release sound magical?

Why not ask your therapist, and see if they work for your session. A knowledgeable massage therapist will discuss the pros and cons based off what the client wants!

Here are some basic facts to get started:

-Swedish Massage is the same as a relaxation or therapeutic massage. It's characteristics are long, flowing strokes. Benefits include: releasing muscle tension, increases circulation, increases serotonin levels, Promotes total mind and body relaxation. Some people think the pressure has to be non-existent, but the pressure level, once again, is up to the client. This technique is full body. “Full body” refers to these areas: Back, shoulders, neck, legs, calves, feet, arms, face, and scalp. Glute massage is also available but will be done through the sheet. All clients are draped in the state of Tennessee using the diaper draping method with a flat and fitted sheet. All private areas are always covered with the drape without exception. Pec massage refers to massage to the pectoralis muscles and breast tissue in makes and females are avoided. Pec massage is fine as long as the therapist is the same gender as the client. I always have a few male therapist friends who will accept any male clients who need pec massage. If you want us to skip an area, we will happily do so.

-Deep Tissue Massage is a deeper therapeutic massage that helps with muscle spasms, tense muscles, stress, and inflammation. The Releasing of Little Nodules in the Muscles, or myofascial trigger points, is the goal. There are more than one ways to do this for each client's comfort level. The biggest draw back from deep tissue is the fact that there is a chance the client could be a little sore the next day. There are ways to less this like taking a hot bath in Epsom salts right after the massage and / or using ice (or Biofreeze) on the area. Drinking water after a massage also helps by helping your body flush toxins out of your body. Some clients are never sore. Once again, the pressure should not be outside of your comfort zone. If your therapist goes to deep, please let them know. As compared with traditional Swedish massage, this technique is more so aimed at problem areas and less with the full body. If you have shoulders that have trigger points in them, and do not have fibromyalgia (it can be too intense for these clients), this may be for you.

-Myofascial Release is a method the muscle tension and pain are released by releasing the fascia. Fascia is literally the glue that hold us together. It holds each of your muscle fibers together, each of your fascicles together, each of your muscles together, and your muscle groups together. It also keeps your organs in place (hello, abdominal cavity). The technique is not necessarily deep but can be very uncomfortable and communication with your therapist is extremely important. No oil is used, and in some techniques, the clients are fully clothed. If the client disrobes, once again, he or she is fully draped.

-Hot Stone Massage is a fantastic way to relax tense muscles and sore joints. The basalt stones are heated and oil is used. Swedish massage techniques are incorporated for a deeply relaxing full body massage. “Full body” in hot stone massage includes: neck, back, shoulders, arms, legs, calves, feet, scalp and face. Once again, if you want us to skip an area, please let us know.

-Prenatal Massage is a gentle massage geared for relieving the muscle cramps, spasms, and pain often encountered in the lower back, neck, hips, and legs during pregnancy. Safe semi-reclined and side-to-side body positioning. The client typically disrobes to comfort level but is always draped. Pregnancy massage is recommended for the second and third trimester. First trimester and high risk prenatal massage clients only accepted with written physician's clearance.

Rule # 3- Relaxation starts before the session

This is your time to relax and escape. Please turn off your cell phone and any other electronic devices. During your session if you like chatting, we'll chat. If you prefer to relax in silence, we want you to feel completely comfortable doing so.

Rule # 4- Be consistent.

No one gets 6-pack abs from working out only one time. The same goes for massage therapy. Some people need massages a few times a year and some need them every week. Massage therapy is shown to decrease stress, increase circulation, help release muscle tightness, and release endorphins to help lift mood. Some people need more than others. Once a week is the most common form of rebooking, but whatever your budget allows is also fine.

Disclaimer: Massage Therapy does not replace the advice and / or care of a primary care physician. People with contagious diseases or illnesses, poorly managed diabetes, blood clots, embolisms, fevers, cirrhosis of the liver are to refrain from massage therapy. Patients who have just had surgery or are under a doctor's care are to get a physician's clearance or wait until they are discharged from a doctor's care before resuming or beginning massage therapy. Massage therapists can not and will not diagnose or treat any disease.

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The Real Costs of College Spa Therapy Programs

Most college students do not know what they really want to do in life. They just graduate and go through the motors, until they end up at the college advisor's office. With today's economy, what is the best move to make? Should someone focus on business? If so, what kind? How about a leisure occupation? Those kinds of occupations can be fun and exciting. Is there a way to mix those two together? Surprisingly, there are such occupations available. How about working and owning a day spa; or better yet, owning a day spa, while providing the therapeutic messages-there is such an endeavor.


First things first, you must go to an accredited school. Accredited is defined as: (of a person, organization, or course of study) officially recognized or authorized.

“an accredited spa therapist school”.

After that feat has been decided on, prospective students can move on towards figuring out the financial costs of the particular program. Additionally, there are Federal Grants available that can assist the student with the costs of this tuition. Moreover, a prospective student should have an idea of ​​what it is that they are actually investing in.

Massage Therapist Are Trained and Licensed

Let's talk about what they can do. According to sources, massage therapists talk with their client about symptoms; medical history; and the desired results that the client may be looking for. Additionally, sometimes stress can be detrimental to patients' health and that is where massage therapists come into play.

By evaluating the given information, therapists can locate the distinct parts of the body that are reported as painful and / or tense. Thereafter, the therapist will manipulate the muscles and tissues of the human anatomy. In addition to those affects, spa [massage] therapists are enabled to provide proper guidance on exactly how to improve the client's stretching, strengthening, posture, and relaxation methods overall.

What Type of Work Environment to Expect

As a spa massage therapist, expect to use lotions and oils; massage heat lamps; and a massage table or chairs. This kind of course will also prepare you with the knowledge to work in day spas, health spas, and spa resorts or salons.

What is the Projected Pay Scale?

The pay scale varies from less than $ 17,970; topping out at $ 69,000. However, entrepreneurs may earn very more; depending on population and demand.

Job Outlook for Licensed Massage Therapists

The spa industry has experienced mass success-in relation to relaxation and health-and there continues to be a growing demand for qualified spa professionals (specialists). Therefore, if you are seeking a lucrative income-the versatility to work in different areas of the spa / beauty industry-while you help improve patients' overall well-being; then, the Spa Therapy program is for you!

Spa Therapy includes occupations such as Skin Care Specialists, Spa Managers, Massage Therapists, First-Line Supervisor / Managers of Personal Service Workers, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapist Aides, and Vocational Educational Teachers / Postsecondary.


In brief, spa therapy college programs are developed in order to prepare students for successful completion of the Board of Massage Therapy Examination. Additionally, most college training prepares the student for taking a licensing exam in cosmetology [Facial Specialists] as well. Moreover, the training programs are not too lengthy to take.

For the most part, an accredited voluntary course, in spa therapy, will amount to approx. 1050 Clock Hours: 29 college credit hours. If taken full-time, a student should be able to successfully graduate within one year's time. Here's a description of this type of program:

Description: College Spa Therapy Program

Most Spa Therapy programs enable graduates to obtain multiple licenses. Ideally, by having these licenses you, -as a graduate-may become both a triumphant entrepreneur and a fortuna spa therapist; which are highly marketable. As an entrepreneur, you will be able to offer your clients an abundance of services that are provided in order to allure the clients' health, as well as enhancing their appearance.

In summary, Spa Therapists will receive the training to apply remedy treatments to both the face and the body. In turn, these particular products and performances will achieve the most relaxing experience available through this profession. Ultimately, pick your college program and be successful.

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Knowing The Benefits Of Going To A Chiropractor, Naturopath As Well As A Massage Expert

People these days, when they feel sick, are more inclined to seek help from naturopaths, chiropractors, and also massage experts instead of professional doctors. They believe that it would be better for them to stick to traditional healing methods rather than taking in synthetic medicines that could pose negative side effects.

But how do naturopaths, chiropractors as well as massage specialists actually help people resolve their health related issues?

Naturopathy, basically, takes on a different approach to well-being and health as it is considered to be non-invasive and holistic in nature. It aims to treat the real cause of the disease instead of just treating its symptoms. The usual treatments a naturopath offers are diets, herbal medicines, supplements, massage and chiropractic.

For a naturopath, the body has a special ability to heal itself from diseases such as stress, depression, anxiety, fatigue, obesity, and even fertility. Thus, expensive medical procedures and medicines are no longer needed.

Chiropractic, contrary to what most people believe in, is not only for individuals suffering from nervous and musculoskeletal system disorders. As a matter of fact, persons with shoulder, neck, hip and leg pain, sports and knee injuries, whiplash and back problems like scoliosis can obtain the services of a chiropractor. Unknown to many, chiropractors can likewise aid people experiencing headches, dizziness, migraines, poor flexibility as well as vertigo. Even pregnant women can seek the services of a chiropractor.

A skilled and professional chiropractor is one who has an extensive knowledge about the different chiropractic techniques: myofascial dry needling or more commonly known as acupuncture, active release technique, sacro-occipital technique, joint mobilization, Graston cranial therapy, rehabilitation, trigenics, and activator technique. He should be able to know what kind of approach is best suited to each patient's case.

Massage therapy, on the other hand, is not only for relaxation purposes. Yes, individuals who go for a massage therapy session come out relaxed and rejuvenated. But there are more benefits one can get from obtaining such kind of service. According to health experts, the manipulation of the ligaments, tendons and muscles promotes better blood circulation and when blood flows smoothly, one can experience positive psychological and also physical rewards. These gains are usually characterized in lesser muscle tension, sports injuries, insomnia, and depression.

Indeed, health is wealth. One has to take good care of his health for him not to squander all his hard-earned money on healing himself. Moreover, having and maintaining a good health allows you to spend more time with your loved ones.

Read additional info here .

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Massage Therapy: You’re Worth 1/168th

Time might be an illusion, as some say, but the fact is we all get the same amount: 168 hours each week. We find time to work, to sleep, to play, to pray, to shop, to exercise; some people work in extra time to worry or complain.

Then there's that question, 'What about me?'

In the context of a week, spending 1/16th of your time in a full body massage can produce multiple benefits for your health, extending way past spending an hour spent in a relaxed setting.

Despite thousands of years of practice, modern media is a bit slower on the uptake of the information about the clear values ​​of massage in personal well being and overall healthcare. Nonetheless, it is clear now – and growing more clear by the year – that tension and stress are major contributors to disease and illness. The mind body connection existed in drama in Greece, in Shakespeare, in O'Neil. It is discussed in the New Testament, the Torah, the Baghavad Gita and other sacred texts.

Our bodies are, according to some thinkers, the perfect and perpetual outcropping of our most internal thoughts: Angry mind, angry body; nervous mind, nervous body, etc …

One practicing MD, observing this continuum over most of his career, decided the time had come to step out of his practice and into holistic healing. 'Many of my patients I see,' he said, 'are actually draining illness into their bodies by what they carry around in their minds.'

The relief of stress is one of each person's most potent tools to use towards the end of likely prevention of health issues, or at least a valuable outlook that will benefit us by our keeping existing issues from worsening.

During full body massage the stimulation of the production of endorphins changes our blood chemistry in ways that promote relaxation and drowsiness and an overall sense of well-being.

Massage is an important part of treatment for individuals suffering persistent pain or fatigue. It Promotes improved circulation. And blood supplied amply supplied to areas of injured cells and tissue promotes recovery and regeneration occur more quickly and more readily.

Massage engages the whole system into other, improved states, giving your body's natural healing ability the opportunity to handle and address a range of dis-eases and discomforts like depression, eating disorder, low-back pain

Massage is non-invasive and works best in a thought-through healing setting combined with complementary treatments.

We all share the same number of hours in the week – 168. There's no way around that. Your decision to spend 1 / 168th of that on a positive, life-enhancing and healing neuromuscular massage will have benefits that extend across the other 167 and beyond.

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