Category Archives for "Massage"

Top Health Benefits of Massage for Back Pain

If you are located in Vista or San Marcos California, contact us for a massage to help ease your back pain.

If you have back pain and want to feel better, a massage is a good first step. Not only can it alleviate some or all of the pain, but you’ll feel happier and more relaxed. Massage helps the body to release the “feel good” endorphins that the body produces, so you’ll feel happier and more at peace with your surroundings.

Your skin contains approximately 5 million touch receptors. Of these, approximately 3,000 are in each fingertip. Science has proven that a positive touch can generate health benefits, such as reduced blood pressure and heart rate. When you’re getting a massage, you’re receiving approximately 30,000 positive touch responses from your massage therapist. No wonder you feel better!

Massage also stimulates the functioning of the lymphatic system, which is the system responsible for removing metabolic waste and toxins from our bodies. When back muscles become stiff and sore, they may also become inflamed. Inflammation is part of the body’s immune system and acts to kill off pathogens that it perceives as harmful to the body or in response to damage. The lymphatic system removes the waste generated by the immune system, which helps maintain overall health. When your immune system and/or your lymphatic system aren’t functioning properly, you’ll feel sluggish and tired, similar to when you’re coming down with the flu.

Eliminating your back pain may improve your posture. Sometimes, your lower back pain is actually from your gluteal muscles, or it can be from your posture, your pelvic tilt, or several other areas. If you tell your massage therapist about your lower back pain, don’t be surprised if he or she starts elsewhere, and don’t be concerned if it’s your gluteal muscles. He or she won’t care if you think your butt is too big, too small, too fat, or too bony. To your therapist, it’s just a group of three muscles that may be causing your back pain.

Your back pain may also come from your pelvic area or your shoulders, so don’t be surprised if your therapist starts working on your back pain from the front of your body. The result of your massage should be that your back pain is reduced or eliminated, and your posture has improved. Maintaining good posture is conducive to lessening the recurrence of back pain.

Getting a massage when you have back pain will improve your sleep. If you regularly put sleep in last place on your to-do list, you’ll be happy to know that an hour-long massage will provide benefits to your body that are similar to getting six to eight hours of sleep.

Since massage stimulates the body to release endorphins, getting a massage for back pain may help alleviate pain in other areas of your body. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers so you’ll feel better overall when you get a massage for back pain. If you have back pain and suffer from migraines, a massage might help you. Studies have shown that those with chronic migraines experienced fewer of them when they received regular massages.

Getting a massage for back pain may help you quit smoking or at least lessen the number of cigarettes that you smoke. It can also help alleviate smoking related anxiety. Typically, clients request Swedish massage for back pain, but one of the other approximately 75 forms of massage currently used may also be beneficial. Thai massage and shiatsu are very popular modalities; shiatsu is particularly effective for smoking because it uses the acupuncture points.

Depending on the underlying causes for your back pain, you might want to consult your medical professional before getting a massage. Even though massage is considered safe, those individuals who have osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia might experience discomfort.

Although massage has been shown to lower blood pressure, those with uncontrolled high blood pressure should also consult their medical professional before receiving a massage. Massage encourages the blood flow, which might be contraindicated for those with uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Massage has been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians, around 2700 B.C., which is documented by hieroglyphics found in the ancient Egyptian tombs. Bob Hope included massage as part of his daily health regimen and lived to be 100 years old.

Your massage therapist can work wonders on eliminating your back pain, so if you have an aching back, schedule an appointment with your therapist and start reaping the additional benefits of massage for back pain.

Pregnancy, Massage, and Lower Back Pain in Vista California

If you suffer from lower back pain and think massage therapy may help, contact us. We are located in San Marcos, CA and have several clients from nearby Vista.

Pregnancy, Massage, and Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is perhaps one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. The center of gravity for the body is completely different, and this often leads to spinal misalignment. Although massage is generally considered safe during pregnancy, experts recommend waiting until after the first trimester.

Back pain will likely be worse later in the pregnancy and the client may be more comfortable with her body in the later trimesters. Pregnancy massages are conducted in a side-lying position with support for the stomach and Swedish is the massage type recommended for pregnancy.

Low Back Pain and Time Constraints
If you’re experiencing low back pain but absolutely can’t get to your massage therapist, there are exercises you can do on your own that will temporarily alleviate your discomfort.

Ancillary Benefits
In addition to the direct benefits that massage provides in alleviating lower back pain, there are ancillary benefits. Massage stimulates the blood flow to the area, it also stimulates the lymphatic system. When the blood flow increases, the injured area receives more nutrients and oxygen, so it heals faster. Increasing the efficacy of the lymphatic system means that metabolic waste that is generated by the healing process will be removed faster, which will also expedite the healing process.

Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in American, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. It is the opinion of the American Massage Therapy Association, or AMTA, that massage therapy is effective in alleviating lower back pain and this has been substantiated by numerous studies.

If You’re Suffering From Low Back Pain….

Don’t continue to suffer. Make an appointment with your massage therapist and let him or her work out your kinks, knots, and crinkles so that you’re back to your energetic and pain-free self.

The Best Massage for Bicyclists

Massage help bicyclists. We detail why here in our last article about how massage therapy helps cyclists recover significantly faster.

But what is the best type of massage?

The Best Massage for Bicyclists

The best massage for a cyclist will depend on the type of cycling that’s done, the individual goals and preferences, and each individual’s body. Each individual is unique, and the massage protocol that works for one cyclist may be ineffective for another. The massage needs for a recreational cyclist are completely different than the massage needs of a professional cyclist.

Cycling uses almost every muscle group in the body, but each body has different strengths and weaknesses so the massage needs will vary for any two people, even though they may be of a similar size and build. The best gauge for getting a massage is to listen to your body. If an area is tender or sore, or if you’re feeling stiff and achy, then you may need to schedule an appointment with your massage therapist.

Cyclists typically have issues with their hips and legs in addition to their upper body issues. Increasing the range of motion in the hip flexors can reduce pain and inflammation there, while exercising the various neck and upper back muscles may strengthen them and reduce the risk of future inflammation and tenderness.

Myofascial release is excellent for cyclists because it works on the fascia, which is the connective tissue between the skin and the musculature. The fascia covers the entire body: skeleton, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and so forth. It can become sticky and stiff for several reasons, such as lack of proper hydration, age, and dietary habits. When the myofascia becomes pliable, as it does during massage, movement is easier and significantly less painful; massage is the best method for increasing the pliability of the myofascial tissue.

If you’re unsure of the type of massage that would be best for you, ask your massage therapist. He or she has been trained in how to determine the best massage for a body, so input from your therapist can be invaluable. If you provide your massage therapist with your goals, your routine, and your mobility issues, if any, he or she can work with you to formulate a massage routine that will help enable you to achieve your cycling goals.

Whatever your level of cycling, massage can help you, both before and after your cycling. Your massage therapist is specially trained to alleviate the sore muscles and pain that accompany this very strenuous sport. If you haven’t had a massage in a while, now’s a good time to schedule one.If you’re in Vista, Escondido or San Marcos California, contact us today.

Massage Therapy for Bicyclists in Vista CA

Whether you’re a weekend cyclist or an cyclo-cross champion, cycling takes a toll on your body. Since cycling uses most of the muscles in your body, you’ll probably feel the effects from your head to your toes. The more strenuous your routine, the more you’ll need a massage to reverse its deleterious effects on your body.

Related: Best type of massage for cyclists.

Do massages really help cyclists?

A study conducted in Chicago tested 25 volunteers to determine the efficacy of a post-workout massage. Some received a massage after their workout, some didn’t. Those who received the massage reported that they were free of discomfort within 90 minutes. Those who didn’t receive a massage reported that they were stiff and sore the following day.

This is especially true for cyclists. The timing of your massage is as important as the massage itself, and there are three stages to the massage routine for cyclists.

Which massages are best before and after an event?

Three To Five Days Before An Event
A deep tissue massage a few days before an event will help your body eliminate any adhesions and will enable your muscles to move more smoothly. You’ll also be able to eliminate any trigger points or sore spots that exist so that your muscles will be in top form for the event.

One To Two Days Before An Event
This is an ideal time to get a lymphatic massage or a modified Swedish massage. You don’t want to be overly relaxed for your meet, but you want your muscles to be in excellent form. The lymphatic massage will help your body eliminate any toxins that remain and the Swedish massage will encourage blood flow, which will provide additional nutrients to your muscles.

Within 48 Hours After An Event
Within two days after an event, ideally you should schedule a Swedish massage and another lymphatic massage to help your muscles rejuvenate, and help your lymphatic system rid them of the metabolic toxins that will probably be there. Since your muscles will be sore and strained, don’t schedule a deep tissue massage for three to five days after the event.

Regular Maintenance Massages

Just as cyclists keep their cycles well maintained, they need to keep their bodies well maintained. Beginning cyclists may need maintenance massages only once a month, but professionals or very active cyclists will probably need more than that. Getting more massages than you need will not hurt you; not getting a massage when you need one can have detrimental effects on your tissues.

Cyclists who ride often during the week and in competition should maintain a regular massage schedule of twice a month, and you may need more than that if you are in intensive training or in competition. Deep tissue massage is the best for maintenance as it keeps the adhesions broken up and eliminates the sore spots that can be deep in the tissues.

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.
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