All About Hamstrings

hamstringsHamstring soreness or muscle injuries (aka “pulled hamstring”) are both common and painful. A pulled hamstring or strain is an injury to one or more of the muscles at the back of the thigh. The muscle name “hamstring” is descriptive, with “ham-” referring to the fat and muscle behind the knee. “String” refers to supporting tendons–all located on either side of the back of the knee. Your hamstrings are actually three muscles in your posterior thigh (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, biceps femoris). Those muscles flex (bend) the knee and extend (straighten) the hip.

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You Are Probably Not Moving Enough

movemoreThe average man burns about 2,800 calories a day and a woman burns approximately 2,200 calories in a day. But these numbers are for fairly active people. Men who are pretty sedentary use 2,200 calories and a woman uses about 1,600.

A recent meta-analysis of 18 studies found that those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease, compared to those who sat the least.

“Even for people who are otherwise active, sitting for long stretches seems to be an independent risk factor for conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease.” Lead researcher Thomas Yates, MD 

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Five Ways to “Ground”

groundedladyAre you grounded?  “Grounding” is an individual process.  For some it means taking a moment to breathe, to others it is a more active process.  Staying grounded helps you control your emotions, mellow your mood and brings focus and purpose to the task at hand.  In massage, therapists use grounding to help them shut out and protect themselves from the negative energy and noise around them so that they can focus on the bodywork.

Here are a few ways we ground.  Continue reading “Five Ways to “Ground””

Do Your Muscles Need Heat or Cold?

coldorwarmblogIf you’re suffering from aching muscles and muscle soreness, should you try heat or cold?  Turns out the answer may be both.

The best way to treat sore muscles is to apply a cold compress.  The cold reduces blood flow and lessens swelling and slows down the pain messages to the brain. Immediately after the muscle strain or injury, try a cold compress (a bag of frozen peas works, too) for about 20 minutes, every 4-6 hours. Continue reading “Do Your Muscles Need Heat or Cold?”

The Mighty Trapezius Muscle

trapsguyblogYou might not know exactly where it is, but you most likely have experienced pain and strain in your Trapezius muscle.  The Trapezius has three areas: upper, middle and lower. The muscle stretches from the top of your neck, out to your shoulders and a little more than half way down the center of your back.

This huge muscle performs many different functions, including moving shoulder blades in toward the spine, rotating and moving shoulder blades up and down, bringing the head and neck backward, and rotating and side bending the neck.  It also assists in breathing, opening up the small amount of breathing room in the upper chest area.

For people who work at desks and computers, Continue reading “The Mighty Trapezius Muscle”

Six Recent Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Massage Therapy

Neck_Back_and_Shoulder_MassageMassage therapy is becoming much more common.  There are more than 1200 approved massage training programs in the US and the number of people getting a massage for stress relief, relaxation or recovery is skyrocketing. Here are a few more facts about the popularity of massage therapy.

  1. More people than ever are scheduling sessions. Almost one in five US adults visited a massage therapist in 2012 and 2013 statistics will show another jump. As massage becomes an integral part of wellness and healing for many people, more people are discovering the benefits. Continue reading “Six Recent Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Massage Therapy”

The End of S.A.D.

endofsadblogladypicWe’re California lucky.  We’re used to sunny days and wonderful weather.  But what about those few days when the clouds roll in and we can’t get our dose of sunshine?  Nearly 10 million Americans who have normal mental health through the year experience mood and behavioral changes during periods of reduced sunlight- symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.).  Those who suffer with SAD can be depressed, feel overly tired, withdraw socially, or overeat. SAD sufferers may also be irritable and highly anxious as a result of their mood. Continue reading “The End of S.A.D.”

It’s About How You SIT

howtositHow you sit when you’re working is something 100% in your control.  Poor sitting posture can result in lower back injuries and contribute to the poor positioning of other parts of the body, such as the arms, wrists, and legs.  You can make some small changes that can have a big impact on your posture and in turn reduce chronic pain in your arms, fingers, lower back and legs.

There are three main factors that influence your sitting posture: vision, reach, and postural support.

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Five Massage Therapy Snapshots: Is This You?

runnerMassage therapy is one of the best investments you can make for your personal well-being. All kinds of people seek massage therapy for all kinds of different reasons.  The end result is almost always pain relief and relaxation.


Here’s a snapshot of some of the client types who already benefit from regular massage.

  1. Betty Back Pain. Back pain comes from joints, muscles, joints in the spine, bones, and nerves around the back. The pain could be in one area or could have a wider spread effect on an individual. A massage helps Betty feel and function better compared to her friends who don’t receive any massage treatment. Studies show it improves her range of motion and decreases discomfort, too. Continue reading “Five Massage Therapy Snapshots: Is This You?”

Your Massage May Be Covered

health-insuranceMost physical-therapy and chiropractic treatments are reimbursed by health insurance, while more than 90% of massage therapy sessions are paid out of the client’s pocket.  Turns out that some clients are missing an opporutnity.  Medical massage therapy, in many cases, is covered by health insurance when prescribed by a physician, registered physical therapists, chiropractor or osteopath. If you’ve been in a car accident, insurance can cover 85-100% of therapy. Continue reading “Your Massage May Be Covered”

Are You in Control?

backyourselfThe cold season is almost over and you made it through. Lots of energy goes into holiday and cold weather preparation and the actual festivities and plans flash by.  Feeling restless, frustrated, disenchanted, tired and stressed is common after the holiday rush and a wintertime indoors subsides. Many of us break our daily routines, including diet and exercise, during the season and then feel a little “off” by the time Spring comes around.

It turns out nobody is more in control  of your renewal, rebirth and recovery than YOU are and the new year can be a great time to contemplate and resolve to get in touch with yourself again and reach out to seek your passions, your purpose, your dreams, work on your relationships, and think about your wellness.

Here are a few things you can do to help rebalance and regain control after the “cold and hectic times” subside: Continue reading “Are You in Control?”