Nobody has to tell you that parenthood is both the best job in the world, and the hardest. If you are a parent, you know it’s a roller-coaster ride of priceless moments countered by emotional challenges too intense even for today’s reality shows. But somehow, you do it.
Whether you’re new to massage or just exploring the benefits, you’ve probably heard lots of terms used by therapists and in advertisements for services. Like any profession, massage therapy has it’s own vocabulary (jargon). Here’s a quick dictionary of ten common terms to help you understand some of them. “
- Deep Tissue. Releases the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the grain of muscles, tendons and fascia. It is called deep tissue, because it also focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue, not because the therapist necessarily uses firmer pressure.
Continue reading “Common Massage Therapy Terms Demystified”
Your hands are amazing, hardworking body parts. They suffer more stress and strain than you may know. From arthritis, to carpal tunnel to tendonitis, it’s pretty much inevitable that at some time you’ll feel some pain in your fingers. In fact, one fourth of athletic injuries involve the hand and wrist and one third of all acute injuries in emergency rooms involve arms and hands.
Luckily, massage can help. Finding a great massage therapist and letting them know of your discomfort will likely go a long way to pain relief. They are well-versed in anatomy and kinesiology of the arm, wrist and fingers and know how to help. If you’re between appointments, though, here’s a five minute finger massage that’s a tried-and-true self-care hand treatment that’s easy to do and will bring welcomed relief.
Most modern day computers and mobile devices have a limit. You’ll know when you’ve hit it when things start running slowly, battery life drains fast, things just don’t work the way they should. You try everything, then pick up the phone and call for tech support–they always recommend a restart.
A mental restart sets things back to normal. It clears extra memory baggage and dismisses extraneous code that causes things to bog down. It returns important settings that balance your machine to default status. POOF! The restarted device seems to have a new lease on life. It just works better.
Silicon Valley offers endless opportunity for bright, motivated people. Whether it’s building the next best thing from an idea written on a napkin, to landing a dream job at a tech giant, the benefits are incredible. Every day you’re immersed in excitement fueled by caffeine and good old nose-to-the grindstone brainwork. It’s 10 hours a day of nonstop adrenalin. The work is exciting, challenging, and occasionally frustrating.
It also slowly turns you into one angry ball of stress.
All that multitasking, deadline-sweating, and de-prioritization of family and leisure time can take a toll. In your high-tech world you’re giving your all for the job and giving up a lot in return. You’re trading hard work for your company for hard work on your health and relationships. Welcome to “more than a job, less than a life.”
You can just deal with it, of course, or you can take control of this one part of your life and do something positive to help reduce the stress associated with your work.
Three Steps to the Good News
Tech companies know that the work environments they’re maintaining are high-stress. They really do care about helping you be successful and helping you manage stress. They offer opportunities to control diet with health-concious corporate café choices, gyms for exercise and volunteer opportunities in community service to help you get out of your cube. But lots of employees are so stressed, they forget to seek out these alternatives. They see themselves as so busy, they don’t see how it’s possible to relax.
R.I.C.E. is an acronym referring to a method for handling sprains, strains, or other soft tissue injuries. The elements of RICE – Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate – are mostly common sense, but there are some specific tips that help make each of these more effective. We commonly recommend RICE treatments along with a massage therapy treatment for aftercare, preventative therapy, and to speed healing and recovery after an injury. Here’s the scoop…
R (Rest): Chill out, especially the first 24-48 hours after an injury. Rest the body part and give the muscle tissues a chance to begin healing. You might think that “walking it off” makes sense, but it doesn’t. Many injuries result from micro or macro tears in muscle and fascial tissues, or inflammation of joints, tendons, and ligaments. ALL of those body parts benefit from a little time to recover before they’re put to use again.
Balance. It’s being able to stand steadily on one foot or walk without stumbling – or it’s the leveling of activity between your work life and home life. Regardless of how you think of balance, most of us, at some time in our life are out of balance.
You’ve let circumstances and choices drive you to accept increased responsibility at work, for example, at the expense of family time. Or you’ve over-committed to activities that take you away from paying attention to our own self-care. Being out of balance causes stress that can affect your physical and emotional wellbeing. Over time this can have serious and mostly negative consequences on your health, your relationships and your work life.
Endorphins are natural chemicals in the brain that have pain-relieving properties similar to morphine. Besides behaving as a pain regulator, endorphins are also thought to be connected to physiological processes including euphoria, appetite modulation, and the release of sex hormones.
Endorphin research suggests that there is a link between emotions and a healthy immune system. So pleasant memories, exercise, sexual activity, laughter, and even pursuing dangerous activity are all ways we can increase our levels of endorphins and benefit from our own natural chemicals. Continue reading “Massage and Endorphins”
Your body is constructed around a bony skeleton composed of roughly 206 bones, which are jointed to one another. Skeletal muscles attach to two or more bones that are joined through one or more joints. Contraction of these muscles crossing their respective joints powers the movement of the bones, pivoting at their joints. Muscles tend to work in pairs, across joints, each muscle of the pair pulling opposite to its partner.
When muscles become tense due to stressors of any kind, both muscles of a pair partially contract and shorten, putting pressure across the joint(s) the muscles cross. This tension reduces the potential range of motion (ROM) at the joint(s), because part of the dynamic range of the muscles is already reached. Continue reading “Massage Can Improve Range of Motion”