Fibromyalgia & Massage
The thought of touch can cause anxiety to someone with fibromyalgia. However, studies are showing that fibromyalgia & massage can be more closely connected than you thought. How can massage benefit those who suffer with this syndrome? Is there a certain type of massage that is more beneficial to reduce the chronic pain? We know you have questions, and we have the answers!
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points. These symptoms can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes, and stress management. This condition brings chronic pain that can’t be cured, only managed.
How can massage help?
Massage therapists trained in managing fibromyalgia, can be a person’s greatest ally. Light massage is typically used, and increased gradually over time. This reduces the inflammation around trigger points. This in turn, reduces pain throughout the body. It is recommended, that people who suffer with fibromyalgia, receive regular massages to maintain the progress. Since this condition has no cure, maintenance is key to reducing pain. One key point in helping those with fibromyalgia, is getting nightly deep sleep. This can be difficult as discomfort can prevent this from happening, and waking up tired is common. The goal is to keep the body comfortable and relaxed enough to sleep restfully at night. This can help with other symptoms during the day.
Trigger Point Therapy
When a massage therapist is trained in trigger point therapy, they have knowledge and understanding of the trigger points in the body. These painful trigger points can be deactivated using finger pressure. Once the points are found, and appropriate pressure is added, often discomfort is reduced and good outcomes are found.
Remember the key to success in ANY massage is communication. You know best what your body needs. By talking to your massage therapist about your symptoms and pain, they can more easily bring relief and help to manage the discomfort. Make your first step on the road to living with less pain, schedule a massage today!
Why Drink Water…
Isn’t It Obvious…?
Why drink water? We all know that we should drink a lot of water. It is something we are taught from a very young age as we need water to live. It helps keep our organs functioning and our muscles hydrated. Sometimes we need to take water in more than normal. When you exercise or when it’s hot outside are two of the largest reasons that your body needs more water. Not many people know that after having a massage your body also needs extra water.
Water After Massage
When a massage therapist starts going deep into those muscles they start releasing bad toxins from your muscles that end up in the blood stream. This is great for the muscles as it helps them heal faster to get these toxins out. But, then where do those toxins go after they are in the blood stream? They go into the organs like the kidneys, liver, pancreas etc. If you drink a lot of water after having a massage it helps those toxins flush from the body and organs faster, leading to a quicker recovery and a better result from your massage.
We learn that it is important to listen to our doctor on important matters when it comes to our body, we should also make sure we are listening to our massage therapist when they tell us to drink a lot of water. They have learned how it benefits from your massage and how it helps your body to recover. Most clinics or spas will offer you complimentary water at the end of your massage to help ensure that those toxins are being flushed out. So, listen to your therapist and be sure to drink a lot of water after you have a massage.
You Are Only Hurting Yourself…
Take it From Someone Who Does it too..
I am someone who every day does things to my muscles that make my therapist co-workers cringe. My muscles are stretched too far. I stretch them in ways that are not normal to the body. I do a lot of hanging from various apparatuses from the ceiling whether it be silks, hoops, or hammocks. Plus, I also do some contortion work. Now you may not do these things, but you can still be doing things during the day that are hurting your body or muscles. Let’s talk about how you could be hurting yourself, and things that can help.
How are we Hurting Ourselves Each Day?
I’m so glad you asked! The number one thing I’ve noticed is bad posture. This trains the muscles to sit in a way that they were not made to sit. It causes more tension on other muscles because they are overcompensating for your chosen posture. So, make sure that when you are sitting in a long meeting or at the computer studying; to sit up straight and roll those shoulders back.
Another way is just normal gym work out. The stuff I mentioned above is extreme. But, you can take your body to those extremes at the gym as well, by lifting weights or running on a treadmill. You need to make sure your form is proper and that you are doing only what your body can handle. The causes of soreness are from your muscles being pushed to their limits (sometimes even being damaged by going past your body’s limit). By starting slow, your body and muscles will rebuild themselves to be stronger and adapt to the new limits you are setting for them.
Again, these are only a couple of the more major ways people are hurting their muscles every day. Any activity we do each day will affect our body and muscles. We need to take special care on our part so that it does not effect our body’s in a negative way.
Stop the Hurt with Massage
When you massage a muscle, it is going to release lactic acid build up that is there and one of the reasons for your sore muscles. By massaging the muscles, it is going to release that lactic acid and help the stiffness and soreness. It also helps bring blood flow to the muscles which will help them heal from the minor tears and rips that they have experienced from either bad posture, working out, etc.
Depression & Massage
What is Depression?
In one of our last blogs we talked about anxiety, and how it felt. Now, let’s do the same with depression. It’s important to be able to identify the signs in yourself if you are worried about it. The range varies from person to person. But, it is a sadness so deep that you feel like you are in a hole. You don’t have an appetite, you can’t get out of bed, not that you don’t want to, but physically your body and mind won’t let you. It has been described as not feeling like yourself, or as you WANT to feel. You want to isolate yourself and feel like no one cares. There are many medical treatments that can help this and one great way, may surprise you…therapeutic massage. Let’s get into how these are related…depression & massage.
How it Works
It goes back to the body chemicals, same as we discussed with anxiety. Massaging the body muscles help release serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals help stabilize the body and mind. By releasing these chemicals, they can work together to help boost your mood, and drain those toxic chemicals from your system. Studies have shown that massage also helps depression by reducing pain. If you are not at your full potential because of any kind of pain, especially chronic pain, this can also cause depression. So, by getting a massage and starting the healing process is a great way to start getting back to normal; and can give a person a sense of self worth again. Massage therapists are also great listeners. Sometimes just talking to a willing ear helps as well.
Don’t Suffer Alone
If you are suffering from depression, whether it is clinical, situational, or seasonal depression, don’t go through it alone. Do some good to your body and a massage. Get those muscles and your body feeling better. Talk your therapist’ s ear off, even cry, if you need to. Just please don’t go through it alone. Find the healing for your body & mind, inside and out.
Pregnancy & Massage
Whether you are 6 weeks, 4 months, or past due on your pregnancy, I know how it is to “feel” pregnant. I have 3 kids, and know all about the roller coaster of pregnancy. Pregnancy comes with back pain, sleepless nights, sickness, and changes to your body that chances are… you weren’t warned about or prepared for. My first 2 pregnancies were quite similar, however, my third was different…here’s why…
All Because of Headaches
During my 2-3 month of pregnancy with my 3rd child, I started having terrible headaches. They woke me up at night, I felt like I had them all the time. I saw doctors, took medicine, and even visited the ER. I was desperate for relief. An x-ray showed the my bones in my c-spine (neck) were straightening. So, I started coming in to get therapeutic massages for my neck and head. It was AMAZING! After a few visits, my head started to feel SO much better! My massage therapist recommended I continue to come in during my pregnancy as there were several benefits. I can’t argue with that, so I kept coming each week during the remainder of my pregnancy. That was the best decision EVER!
Results Before & After
When I got massages each week it was wonderful. It was a chance for me to step away from my other 2 young children. It was a chance to relax, to heal the parts of me that felt like they were breaking, and to do something good for me. Plus, after each massage, I felt better! But, even more amazing than the results I received during each massage, were the results I experienced during labor & postpartum. My labor was significantly shorter and baby got here faster. Plus, I was riding a bike 4 weeks after having a baby! I healed so much faster and felt SO much better, than after my first 2 babies. I could not believe the difference.
I am a believer!
I cannot recommend it more, for every pregnant mom to get regular pregnancy massages. It is worth the time, the money, and the effort. It will pay off, and your body with thank you!
Anxiety & Massage
What Is Anxiety?
Have you ever had a panic attack? You feel as though you can’t breathe, your heart is racing, and you may have chest pains. Or you may feel that people are talking bad about you, or are out to get you. You may experience sudden bouts of anger or sadness. You’re too scared to do anything in fear of doing it wrong. This is a generalized overview, and it varies from person to person. Some may experience anxiety much worse and others less. I know this first hand. If has made my life difficult in jobs, in keeping friends etc. I along with many others have been put on medications that act as a tranquilizer to help calm you down and focus. The problem here is many times these can put you to sleep for several hours. As a working person this can’t happen.
How can Massage help?
When I got hired on here at Nature’s Whisper Massage I talked to our therapist Karlee about my anxiety and she convinced me to try massage for it and here are my findings. I almost immediately was able to calm down and relax. The aromatherapy helped to bring that immediate feeling. Then Karlee started massaging. The calm feeling was overwhelming. I realized how much my anxiety had caused my muscles to tense up and by having these released was helping pain and pain is a going to cause you anxiety because you are uncomfortable. It’s a whole chain of effects.
Massage has also been scientifically proven to reduce the levels of cortisol which lead to stress and feeling anxious. It also gets in the way of healing wounds and injuries so by reducing yet more pain it is helping to alleviate your anxiety. It also reduces the chemicals that cause the fight or flight reaction in your body.
Want to Stop Worrying?
It doesn’t have to be clinically diagnosed anxiety for massage to help. It can be a situation at home or at school that is causing you to have anxiety. So do yourself a favor, and come on in and try massage to help relax your mind and body.
What Makes Us So Special?
We are a very unique clinic. We use a lot of different techniques in our massages to effectively help our clients. But its not just massage techniques we use, we go the extra mile. Now included in every massage: hot and cold therapy, essential oils, and our Massage Therapists are trained in teaching client personal care as well as taking continuing education. We use all of these together to give the clients the best treatment we possibly can.
Why Use Hot and Cold Therapy?
Using ice and heat is a well-known treatment used commonly for muscular pain. Using hot stones during a massage is not just relaxing and stress reducing, it has many other benefits as well. Studies show that it helps relieve chronic muscular pain, may help relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as Fibromyalgia, and even boost the immune system. Why ice? This technique is less common but super effective. We use ice as a way to help decrease inflammation in injured tissues and decrease pain. A perfect example of a chronic condition that would need this technique is Arthritis. Another example is, we had a client come in after knee surgery. Even after waiting six weeks, the clients knee was still inflamed. Our Massage Therapist used ice massage to help bring down the swelling and lessen the clients pain. If you have any questions or want this technique applied to your next massage, just ask your Massage Therapist. They will be more than happy to help.
We all love Essential Oils (EO) and they have so many different benefits, that’s why they are called essential, right? There are many ways that EO’s could be used. They could be used for anxiety and depression, when you’re sick or trying to prevent getting sick, or for pain. At Nature’s Whisper Massage we commonly use them for pain and for clients who are sick. There is such a wide variety of EO’s that our Massage Therapists use. One of our many favorites is peppermint. This helps decrease inflammation and allows them to not overwork a strained muscle. Our Massage Therapists use their best judgement of what EO to use that best fits the client’s needs.
Continuing Education. It’s Important!
We at Nature’s Whisper Massage believe in the power of continuing education. We want only the best for our clients. In order to give our clients the best, we have to know as much as we can. We require our Massage Therapist’s to take courses of their choice. Our Massage Therapist, Karlee, is taking her specialized Prenatal course. Our 3rd Massage Therapist, Anne, is taking her specialized Fibromyalgia course. Both of these courses will benefit our clients. Our Goal Our main goal is to help our clients to the best of our abilities and help them heal. That is why we use all of the therapies we do. No matter what it is you need, we can help.
Karlee is back to show us some great stretching tips! Stretching can help you work out problem areas in your muscles, and help prevent cramps, discomfort, and more. Check out this 1 minute video to learn more!
The Importance of Touch
What is touch?
Touch, it’s a great thing isn’t it? From a hug, a good firm handshake or a nice massage. Touch is a huge part of our lives. Moms give kisses to their children when they get hurt, your boss gives you a pat on the back after a successful review. Out of all 5 of our senses, physical touch is probably the least appreciated. Sometimes next to sight, hearing, tasting, and smelling…one might put touch at the bottom of stack. This is a mistake. Where would we be without physical touch? WHAT is the importance of touch? Let’s talk about it…
How can touch help?
Massage increases your sense of touch, this has been proven to help the body be healthier. Not only does a massage therapist help get out those nasty knots that have been bothering you for days. Massage also releases endorphin’s to help you be happy. Have you ever been sad and thought “I could use a hug” this scientifically can work because the brain responds positively and releases those endorphin’s making us feel better. This is only the tip of the ice berg.
Types of Touch
You may ask yourself what some ways to gain touch are? I mentioned a few above, the handshake, the pat on the back or a mother’s kiss. Touch can be summarized into two basic forms. One is discriminative touch. This is our bodies system of communicating the location, strength, and movement of touch. Next is emotional touch, this is feeling you get from touch such as hugs from a dear friend, the touch of a caring mother, and intimate touch. Therapeutic massage is a great way increase benefits of touch. By working through problem areas, and focusing on restoring the body to healing…our clients can FEEL better. They can more easily feel the joy of touch, and less of cringes of pain. Our therapists are trained in just that, touch; they’ve been trained to know the body and its specific needs.
Wrap it Up
Now if you are feeling like you need a hug don’t be afraid to hug the next person you see. Hold your significant other close for 30 seconds or longer (as rule of thumb from my mother in law) pat someone on the back to tell them good job. Listen to your body. Don’t ignore the communication your body is trying to send through your sense of touch, after all you don’t want to live without it!
Massage & Music
When you come in to receive a massage at Nature’s Whisper Massage, one of the 1st things you may notice is the calming nature music that can be heard in the background. Why is this? You may say that this type of music is relaxing, so naturally it goes well in a massage environment. You would be right in saying this, however, there are more benefits that you may not know…let’s explore Massage & Music.
Therapy in Nature
Nature is therapeutic for the body. It helps us to feel grounded, to feel whole, to heal. There have been many studies done on the benefits of nature for humans of all ages. We practice therapeutic massage, so we bring in the extra therapy that nature brings into our massages. As our therapists work to heal and help your muscles, you can focus on the sounds of a waterfall, a trickling stream, a rainstorm, a wooded forest, a crackling fire…all set to beautiful instrumental music.
Music & Massage…Related?
What do massage and music have to do with each other? Can muscles FEEL music? Do muscles respond to music…? We know that our bodies respond to music. We feel emotions when we hear music. Music can make our bodies move as we feel the rhythm. And music can help us relax. When our muscles relax, they are much easier to work on. A therapist can then get to the root of pain, instead of just working on the surface. Music can also bring emotions to the surface. Massage therapist are trained to respond to the changes in emotions during massages. They can tailor each movement to each client’s needs.
Our Music Updated
After receiving some feedback from our clients, we have made some updates to our music. We encourage all to come and listen. Come feel relaxed as you are able to work through aches, pains, and work towards the body that you want to have. The Nature Sounds set with calming music is a great environment for healing.
How Does Music Affect You?
We want to know how music affects you? Are there genres that you prefer over others? Do you agree that music can be healing? Comment on this post and receive $5 off your next massage!