Are You Easily Distracted?

distractedLife today is far from simple and sometimes it’s difficult to focus. But guess what? There’s something you can do about that.

According to recent research, our ability to concentrate is decreasing. We’re becoming more scattered, more distractible. There are quite a few reasons why you might find it difficult to concentrate. It could be a habit that’s retraining your brain to scatter it’s focus–like too much texting or not paying attention to environmental factors, like light and noise, when you’re trying to focus. Lack of concentration can also be due to medical or psychological issues, which are often excellent reasons to regularly visit your massage therapist.

“Concentration is the secret of strength.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803)

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So Goes the Psoas

psoas muscleThe Psoas (“so-az”) muscle helps flex the hip and stabilize the spine and is involved in everyday activities like walking and running. One of the iliopsoas group of muscles (along with the iliacus muscles), it is also is one of the most targeted muscles in discussions of lower back pain.

Your psoas major (so-az) muscles (you have one on each side of your spine) connect the lower portion of your back to the top of your thighs. Its major function is to stabilize the back and it’s the strongest and biggest player in a group of muscles called hip flexors that help flex your hips. Lay down and bring your knees to your chest and you’ll experience the psoas in action.

The psoas originates from the lumbar vertebrae and forms a strip of muscle about as big as your wrist along each side of the spine. It proceeds down and forward, crossing the outer edge of each pubis, then moves back again to attach on a bony prominence of the inner upper posterior femur (thigh bone) called the lesser trochanter. Continue reading “So Goes the Psoas”

Why Your Physician Likes Massage

In 2007, just 5% of physicians recommended massage as part of wellness and recovery, in 2013 that number climbed to 59% and it’s still growing.

It’s no secret that many physicians recommend massage, and that many are massage clients themselves. According to the results of a 2011 survey conducted by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum, the use of massage is on the rise.

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Isotonic vs Isometric, Huh?

Look at your upper arms as you flex (bend your arm at the elbow). You’ll see the top-of-the-arm muscle push up the skin (or “bulge” for those with python upper arms). What you’re observing is the contraction of your bicep. Contractions are the action that happened when muscles shorten. Lengthen or shortening of muscles are involved in most every movement we make.

In the case of contractions, there are two major types: isotonic and isometric. And you can tell the difference by what happens to the length of the muscle (shorten, lengthen, or no change).

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Relax With Music, Really?

Researchers at Stanford University (2006) concluded that “listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.”  That’s right, music is officially a “therapeutic modality” – a proven way of changing how you feel.

Most of us know that uptempo (faster) music can get you fired up and make you feel more alert.That same music also helps many concentrate better. Want to relax? Try a down-tempo (slower) track that will help quiet your mind and relax your muscles.

Now medical science has jumped on board and are using music to calm the nerves of patients in dentist and doctor offices, relaxing patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, and calming down kids nervous about their visit to their pediatrician.

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Why Foot Massage Feels So Good

Feet are complex, with 1/4 of the bones in your body located there (26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons & ligaments). Women tend to have 4 times more foot problems (thanks, largely, from walking in high heeled shoes).

Speaking of walking, it is the best exercise for your feet, and we walk a lot. The average person will walk around 115,000 miles in a lifetime. That’s about 8-10,000 steps a day. It’s no wonder that 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at least once in their life.

The wonders and benefits of foot massage

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The Parenthood Challenge

parenthoodIt’s not as easy as everyone thinks to be SUPERMOM or AWESOMEDAD. You carry all the weight of your family–and that can take it’s toll over time.

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.

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If You Play Soccer, You NEED Massage

Soccer is the third most played team sport in the US (13 million Americans), behind basketball and baseball. Soccer players get great exercise and training and play increase agility, better coordination, and build team skills. As the sport’s popularity soars, so do the injuries. With a little planning, however, serious soccer players can use massage to help them reduce injuries and increase their flexibility and range of motion on the field.

Common injuries

Most injuries in soccer are limited to the lower extremes. Sprains and strains are common, as are injuries from a knee twist, or a not-too-well placed kick from another play. Overuse injuries also occur.

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Acne Got Your Back?

Almost everyone knows that the feeling when you’re staring at the giant pimple on your face and you’re already late for your date. And, as if that’s not enough, people with facial acne are far more likely to develop body acne. For some, body acne comes in the teens and twenties, others find sudden acne flareups well into adulthood.  Luckily there’s something you can do about it.

Body acne is extremely common with blemishes appearing and disappearing on your back, arms, chest and bottom. Most people just don’t want to talk about it. As with acne on your face, body acne forms when pores become clogged with excess oil or dead skin. Body acne is a little trickier to control, too, because the skin on the rest of your body has larger pores than those on your face, meaning it’s easier to stop them up. And clothes that tend to trap oil on your skin and prevent evaporation.

So what do you do about body acne?

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Top 5 Reasons Massage is a Great Gift

Whether it’s Mother’s Day, a birthday, or just a “really wanted to show you I care” opportunity, massage makes a great gift. Here are the top five reasons you might want to consider offering mom (or any other significant person in your life) a wonderful massage experience.

  1. An hour of “me time”: In today’s hectic world of gym, work, eat, sleep, repeat it’s hard to take a moment and just “be”. Did you know almost HALF of the working population doesn’t take vacation? One of the most welcomed gifts you can give someone is time. Time to rest. Time to disconnect. Time to breathe. Massage presents an opportunity for an hour (or more) of blissful quiet.
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