Being pregnant is not easy. Talk to anyone who has been through the process and they’ll fill you in that along with the joy of coaxing a new life into the world, you will likely experience backaches, stiff neck, headaches, swelling, and cramps–and all this leads to increases stress. Increased stress means you can be irritable and have trouble sleeping. So, along with the healthy glow, you’re secretly dealing with a lot of physical and emotional issues. That’s why prenatal massage is so important.
A skilled prenatal massage therapist knows how to help. From the moment you arrive, you’ll feel better. Your therapist will conduct an interview to find out how things are going and how you’re feeling, and chat about your goals for the session. Then, he or she will take extra care to ensure your safety and comfort. They’ll help you onto the table if you need help, adjust your position (frequently on your side) and then carefully place pillows and cushions to reduce strain on lower back and pelvic areas and help you relax.
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The piriformis is a busy muscle. It is involved in almost every motion of the hips and legs.
The piriformis muscle is a flat, band-like muscle located in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint. This muscle is important in lower body movement because it stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. The piriformis enables us to walk, shift our weight from one foot to another, and maintain balance. It is also used in sports that involve lifting and rotating the thighs.
Specifically, the piriformis muscle is part of the lateral rotators of the hip, along with the quadratus femoris, gemellus inferior, gemellus superior, obturator externus, and obturator internus. The piriformis laterally rotates the femur with hip extension and abducts the femur with hip flexion. Abduction of the flexed thigh is important in the action of walking because it shifts the body weight to the opposite side of the foot being lifted, which keeps us from falling. The action of the lateral rotators can be understood by crossing your legs to rest an ankle on the knee of the other leg. This causes the femur to rotate and point the knee laterally. The lateral rotators also oppose medial rotation by the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. When the hip is flexed to 90 degrees, piriformis abducts the femur at the hip (Netter’s Clinical Anatomy, 2010)
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Touch is the very first sense humans acquire. It develops in simple form in the womb, well before birth. Newborns are born with sight, but initially focus at 8-12 inches from their face. Newborns can hear, even in the womb, and initially respond mostly to high-pitched exaggerated sounds and voices. Newborns can taste and smell at birth, with a preference toward sweetness and pleasant smells.
Newborns love skin-to-skin contact. Newborns who share bare-chested snuggles with their moms (sometimes called “kangaroo care”) may breathe better, cry less, and breastfeed longer.
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, 2012
As it is with newborns, our sense of touch remains very important as we grow. We learn about our surroundings and learn to associate touch with sense memory–things like the warmth of a blanket, a cool breeze, comforting hugs, and loving caresses. With almost every touch you learn more about life.
Western cultures, sadly, are pretty touch-deprived and this is especially true of the US. Psychologist Sidney Jourard (1960s) studied conversations between friends in a cafe in different parts of the world. He watched conversations for an hour and noted touch interactions. In England, the two friends touched zero times. In the US, twice–mostly associated with an emphatic or enthusiastic moment in the conversation. But in France, the number dramatically increased to 110 times per hour. In Puerto Rico, friends touched each other 180 times. Cultural norms dictate public touch behavior along with each individual’s sense of personal space. In general, though, people feel more connected (“closer”) when nonverbal communication, like touch, is involved in a conversation.
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All massage therapists are NOT equal. Know what questions to ask to ensure you get the best client care.
You ask questions about the competency and training of your doctor, your car mechanic, your children’s teachers–shouldn’t you ask questions about the qualifications of your Massage Therapist (MT)? One of the easiest ways to determine if they’re qualified is to ask about their education and their certification.
Like any profession, you’ll have those who take the fast-track to practice and others who take the time to attend a quality education program and become truly prepared. For the truly qualified, professional MT, preparation includes: Continue reading “Is Your Massage Therapist Really Qualified?”
Not seeing the results you want? Check out this list and see if you can put yourself back on course.
Many people have discovered that proper hydration with sports drinks helps them run faster, have better motor skills, and stay mentally sharper–and the research bears that out. But sometimes plain old water does the trick.
1 – You are working out too much. In general, your body needs 72 hours to go through one metabolic cycle, which promotes healing of tissue torn during active workouts. Try focusing on upper body one day, lower the next and taking every third day off.
Continue reading “Six Reasons Your Workouts Aren’t Working”
The four muscles that make up your rotator cuff are responsible for shoulder movements and maintaining shoulder joint stability. And they can hurt like crazy when you mess them up.
The rotator cuff (RC) describes a group of muscles in the shoulder that connects your upper arm (humerus bone) to your shoulder blade (scapula) and the supporting tendons that act to stabilize the shoulder. The four muscles of the rotator cuff are the Teres minor, Infraspinatus, Supraspinatus, and Subscapularis.
The set of muscles gets its name from the shape formed by the muscles as they attach to the humerus–it looks like a cuff on your shirtsleeve.
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ANMT is an acronym for Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy. To learn ANMT, certified massage therapists complete an additional 450 hours of continuing education and learn to evaluate and differentiate between myofascial pain and disfunction, as opposed to injury, and to employe effective techniques to address these issues with great results.
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Adult acne affects 1 in 4 men and about half of all women some time in their adult lives. About 1/3 of those with facial acne also experience acne on their back and body. Adult acne can cause depression and social anxiety in adults the same way it can a teen.
Most men experience adult acne because they had adolescent acne and it comes back now and then. Women can experience acne that’s stuck around from their adolescence too, but, unlike men, they can experience adult onset acne–new flare-ups–in their adult life.
Continue reading “The Truth About Adult Acne”