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Tendon and Muscle Tears: Will Massage Help?

If you are in the Escondido or San Marcos California area and looking for massage therapy contact us today or visit our home page which details some of our offerings. Many of our local athletes benefit from sports massage at our Wellness Center.

Tendon and Muscle Tears: Will Massage Help?

One of the most common injuries among athletes, whether professional or amateur, is the chronic muscle tear. It’s also among the most common for those of us who try to keep in shape after work and on the weekends. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most misdiagnosed ailments.

Chronic muscle tears are often diagnosed as tendinitis, chronic tendinopathy, repetitive strain injury, tenosynovitis, and a host of other complex terms. Although a tendon can repair itself with the traditional diagnosis of rest, prescription medications, and traditional massage, a torn muscle won’t respond satisfactorily to these efforts. A misdiagnosed muscle tear often results in long-term pain and frustration on the part of the client and a delay in healing for the afflicted muscle.

Symptoms of Chronic Muscle Tears
Chronic muscle tears don’t respond to the traditional treatments of rest, drugs, and/or cortisone injections. If you’ve been treating the same muscle injury for an extended time and don’t see an improvement, you may have a chronic muscle tear.

A chronic muscle tear may not present during periods of normal exercise, when you’re not pushing yourself to excel, but will suddenly flare up if the muscle is taxed. This is a classic sign of a chronic muscle tear.

Causes of Chronic Muscle Tears
Although the reasons for chronic muscle tears aren’t always known, they seem to develop in areas of the body that are subjected to extreme stress, such as experienced in endurance sports, long distance running, and/or power training. The more stress the muscle is subjected to, the higher the likelihood of developing a chronic tear.

Diagnosing a Torn Muscle
A simple but effective method for diagnosing a chronic muscle tear is to have a physiotherapist plunge two fingers deep into the affected muscle. If the search yields a hard knot that’s also very sore, then you probably have a chronic muscle tear.

Treatment Protocol
When torn muscles don’t respond to other treatment protocols, a treatment developed by Dr. Timothy Noakes has proven to be very effective. Dr. Noakes uses cross-friction muscle massage. Cross-friction massage isn’t pleasant nor is it intended to be. Rather, its purpose is to encourage healing of the afflicted muscle and restore normal use of it.

Cross-friction massage seems to be more effective than static stretching or traditional techniques used for torn tendons. Usually, ten or fewer five-minute sessions are required to achieve positive results and the torn muscle is usually restored to normal function within a month or so. For chronic issues that have lasted for a substantial length of time, slightly more cross-friction sessions may be required. For more information on Dr. Noakes and his cross-friction technique, click here.

Post-Treatment Actions
In order to prevent a recurrence of the muscle tear, the athlete should be proactive in preventing future tears. Strength training and reapplication of cross-friction massage at the first sign of recurring injury will help prevent the pain, discomfort, and inconvenience of future muscle tears.

Cross-Friction Massage Technique
Cross-friction massage goes deep into the tissues and is applied across the tissues of the muscle rather than longitudinally, as happens in traditional massage. The purpose of this type of massage is to prevent adhesions and scars from forming on damaged tissue, and to maintain the pliability of the damaged tissues. Massaging transversely promotes the blood circulation and enhances the efficacy of the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing metabolic waste that accumulates during the healing process.

This type of massage should be performed by a trained professional who specializes in it. Performed improperly, the client can experience subcutaneous bruising or the formation of blisters. Although the client needs to be in a comfortable position for this treatment, he or she should be aware that there will be some extreme discomfort. It may not last long because the transverse friction treatment lasts only a few minutes, but there will be pain. If there isn’t pain, then the treatment will probably not be effective, according to Dr. Noakes.

Traditional massage techniques can be used after the muscle tear has healed, and will help eliminate scar tissue that may have formed and prevent its future formation.

Best Solution

The best solution for healing a chronic muscle tear is to prevent the occurrence. If you notice that a muscle isn’t performing properly and it doesn’t respond to treatment, then check for the presence of a chronic muscle tear. If you’ve had a tear and it has healed, then take the necessary precautions to prevent its recurrence.

Talk to your massage therapist about your symptoms. He or she is specially trained in helping muscles and tendons to heal, and may have insights that will help you regain the full use of your body. Click here for additional information on the different types of injuries that can occur to muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other parts of the body.

Massage and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you are in the Escondido or San Marcos California area and looking for massage therapy contact us today or visit our home page which details some of our offerings. We work with people who have carpal tunnel from using computers or making other repetitive motions.

Location and Definition

Your carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway located on the anterior wrist, is comprised of tendons, nerves, ligaments, and fine bones. The median nerve, one of the major nerves in the body, runs through this passageway. Repeated or excessive use of this nerve can cause inflammation, which results in carpal tunnel syndrome; this can be very painful to the point of debilitation.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel is usually the result of a repetitive motion which can be exacerbated by the presence of other diseases or by genetic factors. Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes can factor into the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome, as can a small bone structure or a genetic predisposition to the disease. Actions that involve excessive flexion and extension of the wrist contribute to this condition more so than other types of physical activity.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of carpal tunnel include pain in the hand and fingers, which can sometimes extend upwards through the arm to the elbow. Numbness and tingling of the hand, fingers, and lower arm are classic symptoms as is the inability to hold an object. Pain is sometimes worse in the evening and can interrupt sleep. This is not to say that these symptoms definitively indicate carpal tunnel syndrome, but they can be a good indicator. In order to be properly assessed, and before beginning treatment for this painful issue, the advice of a medical professional should be obtained.

Massage and Carpal Tunnel

Those who are afflicted with carpal tunnel syndrome, especially with a medical diagnosis of it, can benefit from massage therapy. At the initial session, frank answers to questions about health history and symptoms will enable the massage therapist to provide the best therapeutic session. Particularly for those who haven’t obtained a medical diagnosis of carpal tunnel, tests such as Tinel’s, which can indicate the presence of irritated nerves, or Phalen’s, which tests for carpal tunnel issues, can assist the therapist in determining whether carpal tunnel syndrome is present or whether it’s another issue, such as tendinitis.

In addition to these two tests for the presence of carpal tunnel syndrome, evaluations of nerve compression in other areas, such as the cervical and shoulder areas, can help determine both the presence and severity of this issue. Forthright answers to questions about daily tasks and habits, especially when they involve repetitive hand and wrist motions are invaluable in helping the massage therapist to ascertain the appropriate treatment protocol. Information that should also be provided is the history of previous onsets of carpal tunnel and the treatments, if any, that were provided.

Massage treatment protocol will most likely include several sessions before the issue is resolved. Carpal tunnel syndrome didn’t just suddenly appear in the wrist, it was the culmination of a long period of repetitive and unrelieved use. Therefore, complete relief will probably not be forthcoming in a single session. Rather, a series of sessions will be required and the massage therapist will need input on the progress that’s been made. Input can come in the form of the difference in pain level during the day and how it has affected the sleep cycle. Information on the ability to hold objects without dropping them, flexibility of the fingers and wrist, and changes in the condition of the neck and shoulder areas will also help the therapist to determine the efficacy of the treatment.

The more information the massage therapist receives about the condition, the better the treatment he or she will be able to provide. Treatment of carpal tunnel can include adjustments in treatment pressure, different types of stretches, post-treatment soreness or discomfort, preferences on types of oil, and any other issue directly related to the condition being treated. For a demonstration of some of the techniques used, click here.

Although the treatment regimen will be centered on the carpal tunnel issue, other areas of the body may be addressed as well. In all probability, if the median nerve has issues, other nerves and tissues in the body may be similarly out of balance. In order to obtain the most effective treatment for the carpal tunnel issue, all areas that are misaligned need to be treated. This can involve deep tissue work, myofascial release, stripping, compression, stretching, and rotation, among others.

Since each body is different, the treatment protocol for each individual will be different but overnight success is an unrealistic expectation. Those with carpal tunnel syndrome should expect to spend several sessions with the massage therapist in order to receive optimal success with this issue. The longer the issue has been present, the longer it may take to achieve resolution.

Resolution of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If your massage therapist has helped resolve your carpal tunnel issue, be sure to let others know; treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome requires patience, skill, and knowledge. It’s a painful condition that can be debilitating if left untreated so be sure not to ignore its presence. As with any health issue, ignoring it can cause issues with other areas of the body so prompt attention to the early signs will yield the best outcome in the least amount of time.

Pregnancy and Back Pain: Can Massage Help?

If you are in the Escondido or San Marcos California area and looking for massage therapy contact us today or visit our home page which details some of our offerings. We are commonly asked about, and provide several types of prenatal massage therapy.

Pregnancy and Back Pain: Can Massage Help?

The bliss of an anticipated new addition to the family can sometimes be tempered by the stresses of pregnancy. Carrying the additional weight of the baby, the amniotic fluid, and the other components of the uterus can tax the strongest of backs. Massage before and after a pregnancy can provide vital help to a woman, but many may wonder whether a massage is safe during pregnancy.

Massage is definitely safe during pregnancy and it can substantially alleviate some of the back pain caused by the pregnancy. However, there are caveats and precautions that should be taken.

Things You Should Know…

Use Only a Therapist Trained in Pregnancy Massage
One of the first admonitions if you’re going to get a massage while you’re pregnant is to schedule your session with a massage therapist who is specially trained in pregnancy massage and who has the proper support pillows.

Many therapeutic massage technicians are reluctant to perform massage during pregnancy because of complications that can occur. Many therapists prefer to wait until after the first trimester. By that time, the fetus has begun to develop and any back issues will be presenting themselves forcefully. Often, a pregnant woman doesn’t feel well during the first trimester, so postponing a massage may yield a better outcome.

Lower Back Pain
As the baby grows, so does the lower back pain and so does the frequency of disrupted sleep. Your center of gravity shifts during pregnancy, you’ll carry additional weight, you’ll be more stressed due to hormonal fluctuations, and your posture will probably be adversely affected. If you’ve had previous issues with low back pain, you’re significantly more likely to experience low back pain during pregnancy.

Massage can help alleviate the pain by increasing the circulation to the area, which will help reduce the inflammation and swelling that may be present. Your massage therapist may be able to provide you with exercises to perform at home that will help strengthen your lower back and ease the strain on your lower back muscles. For more information on the technical reasons that pregnancy can exacerbate low back pain, click here.

Balancing Your Hormones
Studies over the past decade have indicated that bi-weekly massages reduced stress hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine, and increased the levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are called “feel good” hormones. The adjustment in the hormone levels resulted in fewer complications during birth and better birth weights of the newborns, as well as a reduction in the reported overall discomfort of the mothers. The adjustment in the hormone levels also decreased the frequency of severe lower back pain and made the episodes of low back pain more tolerable.

Sciatic Pain
Many pregnant women experience sciatic pain, which is a nerve that runs from the hip down the back of the leg and is very painful. Massage can ease the inflammation that occurs when nerves are compressed by adjacent muscles; this significantly alleviates the sciatic pain.

Exercise caution when using aromatherapy while you’re pregnant. Some essential oils can adversely affect your pregnancy so be sure to check them out thoroughly beforehand.

Always Ask Your Health Professional

If you’re pregnant and considering a massage to help with your low back pain, be sure to consult with your medical professional first, particularly if you’re diabetic. This is important for two reasons: it protects you and your unborn baby in case there’s a health issue that you’re unaware of, and it protects the massage therapist because he or she is then assured that both you and your baby are healthy enough for massage.

If your health care professional clears you for massage, then schedule one. A pregnancy massage, however, is usually much shorter than a traditional massage because pregnancy often precludes lying in one spot for very long. If you experience nausea or become lightheaded or otherwise uncomfortable during your massage, you should immediately notify the massage therapist.

The Conclusion Is…..

Massage can definitely help alleviate low back pain during pregnancy but it should be performed by a qualified professional and precautions should be taken to ensure the comfort of the pregnant client. It should probably be avoided during the first trimester but can be resumed thereafter.

Be sure to advise your massage therapist of all of your health related issues, some of which may change during pregnancy, so that he or she can provide you with the most effective and pleasant massage possible.

Clinical Massage and Spa Massage: What’s the Difference?

If you’re in the Escondido or near us in San Marcos and looking for a massage therapist, spa or wellness center, contact us today or see our offerings on our home page: Massage Green Spa San Marcos.

Clinical Massage and Spa Massage: What’s the Difference?

Although clinical massage and spa massage use the same basic techniques, their objectives and methodologies are substantially different. In a clinical massage, the client has a health issue that needs to be addressed and the success of the treatment is determined by measurable objectives. The emphasis is on function rather than comfort and a clinical massage may lack the elegant amenities that a spa massage offers.

Clinical massage sessions are usually of shorter duration than spa massages because the focus is on repairing or rehabilitating a specific area of the body rather than relaxing the overall body. The effectiveness of the treatment regimen is determined by the increased usability of the targeted area rather than the client’s satisfaction. Since the bill for a clinical massage is generally paid by the insurance company or another third party payer who defines the rates, there’s usually no tipping.

Spa massages are usually in a luxe setting with high end linens, music, aromatherapy, warm tables, and so forth. In a spa massage, the emphasis is on client comfort and relaxation, and aside from eliminating trigger points or sore spots, a spa massage doesn’t focus on rehabilitation. Although both the clinical massage therapist and the spa massage therapist may use some of the same techniques, their outcomes will be totally different.

Training for a massage therapist in a spa, which varies by state but averages about 500 hours, will include classroom as well as practical instruction. However, the scope of the training for a spa massage therapist is less specialized than it is for a clinical massage therapist. Clinical therapists receive additional, specialized training that emphasizes the interactions between all of the muscles, tendons, and bones in the body, which enables the clinical therapist to achieve a medically motivated outcome rather than a relaxing one.

Clinical massage therapists usually have 700 hours or more of both classroom and practical training. Clinical training includes topics such as kinesiology, biology, anatomy and physiology, and so forth. Some states require additional licensure for clinical therapists since their work is more focused on rehabilitation than relaxation.

Clinical therapists often target their continuing education to specific areas of medical expertise, which enables them to work effectively with the medical profession. They are, therefore, held to a higher standard of credentialing than is a spa therapist. For more information on this, click here.

Spa therapists and clinical massage therapists may use many of the same modalities, such as Swedish massage, lymphatic massage, cranio sacral therapy, stretching and range of motion exercises, and many more. The type of modality used doesn’t determine the type of massage. Often, a physical therapist or a medical professional may refer an individual to a clinical massage therapist for treatment after an auto accident or other serious injury. The focus is on restoring quality of life, alleviating pain, or improving range of motion or posture. There may be other reasons for the referral depending on the individual and the advice of his or her medical professional.

Neither a clinical therapist nor a spa therapist may function as a chiropractor although most chiropractors are licensed to give massages. Massage therapists are licensed to manipulate the soft tissues only, in order to restore physical function; there should be no effort to manipulate the skeletal system. Chiropractors are licensed medical professionals who manipulate the spine and skeletal system in order to realign it and ease the pain of the client.

Both the clinical therapist and the spa therapist will complete an intake form on the client, and will ask questions about the client’s general health, specific health issues, medications taken, disabilities, and so forth. They’ll also complete a set of subjective, objective, assessment, and plan, or SOAP, notes after each session in order to document the treatment performed, the condition of the client before the massage, and the condition of the client afterwards. More information on the use of SOAP notes can be found here.

SOAP notes are essential in order to document the effectiveness of the session, especially for a clinical therapist. All information is held in strictest confidence subject to current HIPAA laws. HIPAA is an acronym for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and is governmental regulation that ensures the security and privacy of an individual’s health and medical information. Click here for additional information on HIPAA laws.

Both clinical and spa therapists are required to carry liability insurance, most states don’t require that they are bonded. Ethical requirements for both are the same and both types of massage therapists are held to the highest standards by the licensing state.

Massage therapists enter the field because of their desire to help others and they’re dedicated to improving their clients’ health and well-being. They’re happy to answer any questions you may have and do their best to ensure you have an enjoyable session, whether it’s for clinical purposes or for relaxation.

Can High School Football Players Benefit from a Sports Massage?

The state of California is home to some of the best high school football teams in the country. Concord De La Salle, Centennial, Mission Viejo, Long Beach Poly and Mater Dei all receive votes for the best high school football program in the country year in and year out. With over 1200 high schools in the state, it stands to reason that thousands of players could benefit from a weekly or monthly sports massage.
Unlike cross country, track & field and baseball, football is a full contact sport. No matter which position a high schooler plays, they are going to get hit. Offensive lineman, defensive linemen and running backs often get hit on every single play of the game. Whether they have some bruises or significant muscle soreness, a deep tissue, sports massage will be very helpful.
Years ago, high school football coaches tried to encourage their players to be tough. There was even a time in which the best college football coaches in the country didn’t allow their players to drink water during practice or during the game. It is safe to say that the times have changed. Now, high school football coaches are looking out for the well being of their players. Even when they are creating the yearly football schedule they strategically plan a bye week so players can recover from the tough regular season battles.
During the teenage years muscles are growing at a very rapid pace. Almost all high school football players are also involved in a weight and fitness training program. This means their biceps, triceps, hamstrings, quadriceps, pectorals and latissimus dorsi are all getting extensive work. Soreness is common for high school athletes looking to pack on muscle. After these intense workouts and football practices, a massage is a great way to relax and let the muscles recover.
We can help a high school football player recover quicker with a sports massage. We have packages that will assist them throughout the entire football season. During the playoffs, it is especially important that high school athletes are at their peak performance. You do not want to be playing with a tight hamstring or a muscle bruise on your calf when there is a chance to play for a state championship.

Is It Important to Have a Licensed Massage Therapist?

You wouldn’t make an appointment with a medical doctor who wasn’t licensed nor should you see a massage therapist who wasn’t licensed by the state in which he or she practices. Licensing is for the protection of the consumer and intended to ensure that the consumer won’t be physically, financially, or emotionally damaged as a result of his or her visit to the practitioner. Licensing requirements:

  • Protect the public by establishing industry standards
  • Protect the public by regulating practitioners and effecting disciplinary action if needed
  • Provide rights of practice to massage therapists
  • Fairly regulate therapists on a statewide basis

Most states require all massage therapists to be licensed, the exceptions being Alaska, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Wyoming. In these states, licensing is determined by the individual municipality. Insurance is required for licensed massage therapists, which protects both the client and the practitioner.

In 1916, Ohio became the first state to require licensing of massage therapists, followed by Florida, and then Hawaii. Currently, most states require licensing and there are several health reasons for this requirement.

Massage therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body in order to promote the overall health and well-being of the client. Since the soft tissues may be damaged, it’s vital that the therapist understand the correlation between the function and structure of the entire body. Unlicensed massage therapists who are not trained in the structural and functional aspects of the body can injure the client; there is then no recourse against an unlicensed practitioner.

Massage therapists are required to undergo extensive training in both academic and practical modes before they obtain their massage license. Although the hour requirements vary by state, the minimum is 500 hours. Many states have a 500-hour requirement, but some states are higher, such as New York, which requires a minimum of 1,000 hours of training before the license is issued. Those who practice without a license are subject to criminal penalties.

Included in the training are courses on ethics, boundaries, and proper draping techniques. You want to be comfortable with your massage therapist and not feel vulnerable. Knowing that your therapist will observe proper boundaries and that you’ll be properly draped is essential to an effective massage session. Your therapist will learn that only the area to be worked on is to be uncovered, and when the work is completed, the area will be covered again.

You also want to know that your therapist adheres to a standard of ethics so that your valuables will be safe during your session and your health issues will not be discussed with co-workers or others. Additional information on the ethics of massage therapy can be found here.

Background checks, physicals, and health tests are also required before the license is issued. The background checks ensure that your massage therapist doesn’t have a criminal background and has never engaged in prostitution, physical or sexual abuse, or crimes of violence, such as murder. For more information on this, click here.

Physicals and health tests ensure that your massage therapist has no communicable diseases and is physically able to perform the rigorous duties of a massage therapist. Although the client is relaxed and enjoying the massage, the therapist is working strenuously to ensure that the client’s needs are met. Massage therapy can be similar in physical demand to that of construction work.

Maintaining a license requires that your therapist fulfill continuing education, or CE, courses in order to renew the license, which typically occurs every two years. The number of CE hours varies by state but it’s usually four to six courses. This ensures that the therapist remains current on the latest techniques and keeps his or her skills honed. An ethics course is usually required also, which provides peace of mind to the client.

Massage therapy has developed as an important part of complementary alternative medicine, or CAM. As such, it’s now regulated by federal and state governmental laws and regulations. The U.S. government recognizes massage therapy as a legitimate form of healthcare and many insurance companies now include massage therapy in their healthcare coverages. Without licensing, this wouldn’t have been possible.

Licensing also necessitates a standard of care. For example, Swedish massage uses the same techniques in Ohio as it does in California. Myofascial release utilizes the same strokes in Utah as it does in Arizona. This way, you know when you request a specific type of massage from your practitioner, you’ll receive what you request.

Unlicensed massage practitioners will be less expensive initially. However, the long-term costs of a massage by an unlicensed massage therapist can far outweigh any cost savings. The ethical issue is that a massage therapist who is practicing without a license is breaking the law, which is a direct violation of his or her code of ethics. You wouldn’t want an unethical massage therapist, would you?

So the next time you make an appointment with your massage therapist, think about all the effort that was required to become a licensed therapist and give him or her a special thanks.

Beat Summer’s Heat With a Massage

If you are in the Escondido area or our beighbor in San Marcos CA, come on in for a massage. While San Marcos isn’t as hot as some other parts of Southern California it has been a humid summer in 2017.

Beat Summer’s Heat With a Massage

Summer’s long days provide the perfect venue for all of us to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Whether your favorite sport is hiking, rollerblading, relaxing on the beach, or hang gliding, it’s tempting to spend the majority of your day outdoors.

However pleasant this might be, heat can take a toll on your body. Sunbathing is very popular but the UV rays damage the body and a sunburn is a burn, just as if you burned your hand on a hot stove. Bad sunburns can be as harmful as a third-degree burn. How do you enjoy the outdoors while taking care of your body? Massage can help with that.

If you’ve received a mild sunburn, you’ll have to wait until the redness disappears before you can receive a massage. If you’ve received a severe sunburn, this may take a while, although areas that aren’t sunburned can be massaged. Since the healing process generates metabolic wastes, massage helps the body remove it more quickly because circulation of the lymphatic system is increased. The lymphatic system removes metabolic waste and other toxins from the body.

When you pull a muscle while engaging in a strenuous activity, a massage therapist can work the tissues and/or the surrounding tissues so that the pain is alleviated and the muscle heals. This encourages your body’s healing process because the circulation to the area is increased. If you’re not used to strenuous exercise, you may be sore if you’ve indulged in some outdoor activities, even gardening can make your muscles sore if you’re not used to it. If you’re a regular cyclist but decide to engage in a marathon or cycle more than usual, you can experience the same aches and pains as the weekend athlete.

Massage can eliminate the lactic acid build up that can cause knots in your muscles. Your massage therapist can work out the soreness and pain that overindulgence in exercise can precipitate. Not only will your muscles feel better, but your mood will improve as well. Massage releases endorphins, often referred to as the feel-good hormones, that increase your feelings of love and well-being.

Anyone who suffers from season affective disorder, or SAD, can find summer to be less enjoyable than others. The societal emphasis on appearance and vacations can be depressing to some people and they will stay indoors rather than face the beach crowd with their allegedly perfect bodies, or avoid a vacation due to financial constraints. A massage can alleviate the depression caused by SAD and elevate the level of dopamine and endorphins so that the depression dissipates.

Summer is the time for vacations and traveling, which can add stress to your body because of the stress of the activity and the stress of paying for it. Vacations can be expensive and if your finances are already marginal, paying for a vacation or a trip can dramatically increase your stress levels. Visits to or from relatives or friends can also elevate stress levels and thereby increase your blood pressure.

Stress is one of the most harmful emotions we experience and it can have serious and adverse effects on the body. Massage is a great stress reliever. According to the AMTA, or American Massage Therapy Association, massage has been repeatedly proven to lower stress levels and thereby lower blood pressure.

Elevated stress levels encourage production of cortisol, a hormone that conveniently helps us to gain weight. Especially in the summer when so much emphasis is placed on having a beach-ready body, extra weight can contribute to a poor self image. It’s a classic example of a vicious circle: You are stressed out about your weight, which causes you to gain weight, which stresses you out. Massage can help end the vicious circle of cortisol production and weight gain by relaxing you and improving your self-image.

Since massage lowers your stress level and your blood pressure, you’ll feel better about yourself because you’ve done something positive about your health by getting a massage.

Summer’s heat encourages edema, or swelling of the feet and ankles. Many people have impaired circulation so their feet and ankles may have a tendency to swell and summer’s heat can exacerbate the issue. This may be particularly problematic for someone who is self-conscious about their appearance. Summer’s foot-baring sandals and bare feet emphasize the feet and ankles, which may make some people feel self-conscious.

Reflexology or a foot massage can encourage both blood and lymphatic fluid to the lower extremities, thereby reducing swelling and enhancing the appearance of the feet.

Massage is therapeutic at any time of the year, but particularly in the summertime. It can help you enjoy your activities more and is a very pleasant way to help you maintain your good health.

Can Massage Benefit Soccer Players?

Escondido is home to many soccer clubs and soccer leagues from youth to adult. Soccer games are played at local parks and of course at the Escondido Sports Center. Even if you don’t play soccer, you’ve probably heard of Cal State Univerity’s Cougars whose home is right here in San Marcos, California.

Can Massage Benefit Soccer Players?

Here’s how massage can benefit soccer players.

Soccer ranks sixth in the list of the top ten most dangerous sports, football ranks third. The percentage of injuries incurred per game are similar but soccer injuries typically occur on the lower half of the body.

Lower body injuries such as shin splints and injuries to the knees are the most common, followed by tears to the cartilage and ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament; an ACL injury may necessitate surgery. Stress fractures, calf, groin, and thigh muscle strains are also common as are bruises, cuts, and abrasions in varying degrees of severity

Upper body injuries can include a dislocated shoulder and a sprain or fracture of the wrist, as well as traumatic head injury including a concussion. The necessity for bursts of speed coupled with sudden stops that can include a forceful impact with another body can generate injuries that are specific to soccer and can require special techniques to facilitate healing.

One technique that has proven effective in treating soccer injuries is a 20-minute ice bath of the afflicted area followed by a 20-minute massage of it. This technique works best when massaged with the palm of the hand rather than with the thumbs or elbows, which can generate additional pain. The ice bath and massage should be done as soon as possible after the injury, and should be combined with effleurage in order to encourage lymphatic drainage.

In this case, effleurage is more effective than lymphatic massage because the lymphatic massage stroke is extremely light and the additional pressure of effleurage is needed on the overworked tissues. This technique has been used successfully by professional soccer teams. Click here for more information from The Science of Massage.

Although damaged tissues need to be repaired, they also need to be relaxed. Sports massage is rigorous, so optimal results are achieved when sports massage is later followed by rehabilitative massage. This encourages the tissues to heal at a faster rate than does the application of either technique on its own. Ignoring injuries can result in chronic issues that may escalate and may eventually prohibit some types of activities in the future.

Although sports massage and rehabilitative massage are necessary for soccer players, other types of massage are also beneficial, such as the long, sweeping strokes of a Swedish massage. Swedish massage is relaxing and encourages the body to release endorphins, which will encourage the presence of positive feelings.

Stretching and proper hydration are essential to good body maintenance for a soccer player. Stretching keeps the tendons and muscles limber, which reduces the likelihood of a sprain or a pulled muscle. It also increases the range of motion. Proper hydration helps thin the blood and the lymphatic fluid, which is essential to good health.

Massage encourages circulation of both the blood and the lymphatic fluid in the body. Blood circulation speeds the healing process and the lymphatic fluid removes the metabolic wastes that are generated when the body is healing.

Regular massage is essential for both healing and maintenance, especially for soccer players whose bodies are routinely subjected to substantial amounts of blunt force trauma as well as incidental soft tissue injuries. Soccer players who receive regular massages can be less likely to incur career-ending injuries or an injury that will prohibit them from playing soccer in the future.

Massage shouldn’t be limited to adult soccer players though. Soccer is an extremely popular sport among teenagers and children. Since their bodies are still developing, the risk of substantial injury is even greater among the youth. According to Stanford Children’s Health, almost 88,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for soccer-related injuries in 2009; almost 3 million children were treated for soccer-related injuries in the years from 1990 to 2014, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Children and teenagers who play soccer should receive at least the same level of massage therapy as an adult. Proper massage therapy for soccer players of all ages will help ensure that they are able to healthily participate in a sport they love while maintaining a healthy body.

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