Monthly Archives: September 2011

Little-known Benefits of Clinical Massage

Massage modifications the chemical production in your brain. These changes help to bring down both stress and pain in your entire body. This is important as it means that you do not have to physically massage the right part that is causing you problems. This means that if you don’t want another person touching, for instance, your lower back, you should ask them to massage somewhere you do feel comfortable instead. The pressure on those muscular tissues will activate the chemical reactions in your brain. After a little bit, the muscles in your lower back will loosen up also.

 

 

I trust that what you’ve read so far about massage therapy has been informative. The other parts of this article should go a long way toward clearing up any uncertainty that may remain about the subject.

Some experts say that regular massages help your body stay inn good health. Studies have been conducted that demonstrate massage offers a boost to your immune system and that makes it easier to fight off diseases. This occurs due to the fact that massage increases your body’s de-stressors. For example, studies have shown that massage can bring down your body’s levels of cortisol. Cortisol is induced by stress and it assaults your body’s immune system so reducing your stress levels can only help you stay healthy.

Are you aware that massage can help reduce your blood pressure? It brings down your hypertension as well. This is because massage triggers the vagus nerve and this nerve is responsible for regulating your blood pressure as well as several other vital functions in the body. A study conducted in 2005 discovered that individuals who have high blood pressure showed a noticeable improvement in their condition after getting ten ten-minute massages over the course of a few weeks.

You can massage yourself as well. Lots of people assume that they must be massaged by someone else but this isn’t true. You don’t have to even massage the precise part that is in pain so long as you get close to the area. One example of this is a person suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome can help himself by massaging his own arms several times a week.

There are all sorts of benefits to getting massaged regularly. Lots of individuals are aware that massage can be relaxing but it can help to treat many health conditions too. The honest truth is that there isn’t any one form of massage that is better or worse than any other. A great massage requires putting enough pressure to make indentations on the skin and nothing more. So why don’t you try it out for yourself and experience its benefits?

— Ron, CMT

Let’s Pull The Trigger and Kill The Pain!

Collage of varius Gray's muscle pictures by Mi...

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Ever wonder what can be done to help headaches, neck stiffness, carpal tunnel like symptoms, tennis elbow, bursitis, frozen shoulder, back pain, low back stiffness, sciatica, and even shin splints or that nagging sports injury?  If you have trigger points in your muscles, you cannot stretch that muscle nor can you strengthen it until the trigger is erased.  So if you are lifting weights, be very aware of tightness and pain.  You could easily suffer an injuriy.

Pain in your muscles or tendons or ligaments can make you less active, more tense or fatigued. Everyday pressures and stresses, overused injuries in athletes, whiplash trauma and conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis can produce muscular or “soft tissue” pain often characterized by what many complimentary therapists call “trigger points.”

 

Trigger points are small nodules of tissue that create patterns of sensation such as sharp pain, dull ache, tingling, pins and needles, hot or cold, as well as can create symptoms such as nausea, ear ache, equilibrium disturbance, or blurred vision. These small, hyperirritable sites in the muscle tissue sometimes refer pain to other locations as in headaches or sciatica.

 

Trigger points usually occur up and down your body along the length of the muscle.    Trigger points generally occur in more than one location. Trigger points cause referred pain in specific areas called pain reference zones.  These areas have been charted and I am experienced in locating specific triggers that may be causing your problem.

Before you agree to surgery or pain medications or other forms of therapy, check in with OPRC.  We may be able to avoid all those expensive and sometimes lengthy treatments.  If we can’t find the trigger…then I will help you find a professional in another field to help you.


How can massage therapy help you heal?

Massage in Frankfurt, Germany

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Traditional medicine is based on sound, empirical research. Nothing – no treatment or a medication or a protocol– is provided to a patient without absolute certainty that the treatment or medication or protocol will be effective in treating a specific condition. While this is the way it should be, there is a downside to this reliance on such proof. No matter what complaint you present, it must fit into a protocol or procedure or medication that has been proven to work. However, there are many conditions and specific complaints that may not fit in perfectly to these proven methods, especially for athletes.Here is where clinical massage therapy fits in to help.  Massage therapy is a practice within the field of Complimentary Therapies.  Traditional medicine, for the most part, focuses on the site of your actual pain.  The treatment goal is to get rid of the pain with medication, physical therapy, surgery or other means.  Many repetitive stress injuries and conditions do not respond well to these traditional treatments.

 

As a Clinical Massage therapist I view the pain as a language your body is using to tell you something is wrong.

My job is to search for the source of the pain and to use my manual skills to eliminate that source of pain which is often caused by trigger points in a muscle, tendon or ligament.  Trigger points account for approximately 75% of all soft tissue injuries and conditions! .  

 

Calf Lengthening Exercises

 

The main function of the calf muscles is to flex the feet downward. This is known as “plantar flexion,” and you see this movement when you run or walk. After repetitive use of the calf muscles, they have a tendency to become tight. This can not only compromise your sport performance, but it can also increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis–a condition that causes extreme heel pin. To help lengthen your calf muscles, there are several exercises you can do.

Wall Stretch

A wall stretch is done with one foot at a time. Place your right foot on the wall at an angle with your heel on the floor. Your left foot should be about 2 feet away from the wall. Bend both knees slightly, lean forward and place your hands on the wall. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and switch your feet.

Staggered Stance

A staggered stance stretch focuses more on the soleus which is the bottom part of your calf muscle. Stand facing a wall with your left foot forward and your right foot behind you. Bend both knees slightly, lean forward as you place your hands on the wall at chest height. Feel the stretch in the lower calf muscle of your right leg. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and switch sides. To focus more on your upper calf area, keep your back leg straight while executing this stretch.

Step Stretch

A step stretch can be done with an actual stair step or a solid stationary object. Stand on the step with your heels hanging over the edge. Shift your weight to your right side and lower your right heel downward. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and switch sides. Grab on to a stationary object for balance if you need to.

Towel Stretch

A towel stretch can be executed from a seated position on the floor. Sit with your back straight and your legs out straight in front of you. Wrap the towel around the balls of your right foot and pull back until you feel a nice stretch on your calf muscle. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and switch feet.

Downward Dog

A downward facing dog is a yoga pose that can stretch your calves and hamstrings at the same time. Lie on your stomach with your hands directly under your shoulders. Lift your hips up in the air and walk your hands backward as you push your weight onto your heels. Straighten your legs and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Your body should be bent in a 90-degree angle when you are in the correct position. Try to get your feet flat on the floor when you push back. If you cannot, then just go as far as it is comfortable.

 

Osteopathy in Singapore

It was pretty common when my colleague worked in UK  that people would ask him to explain the difference between an Osteopath and a Physio/Chiro, but it’s a whole other level here in Singapore. Most people here have never even heard of an Osteopath, so I thought I’d write a quick spiel for all the new patients curious to find out more about what he do.

Osteopathy originated in the US in the late 19th century. The first school teaching Osteopathy opened in 1891. Originally it was a genuine alternative to medicine and people consulted Osteopaths for everyday medical problems – ‘osteo’ meaning bone and ‘pathy’ meaning disease, the term implied the connection between the structure of the body and it’s impact on your health. These days it is much more of a specialty, and it’s primary concern in the musculoskeletal system.

Osteopaths are manual practitioners, that is to say, he use his hands. The kinds of conditions he  commonly treated for include back pain, neck pain, headaches, sports injuries, nerve impingements, RSI, pregnancy related pain, and postural assessments. People also find improvement after treatment for things like sleeping disturbances and digestion, and thus people often bring their newborns and children in to be treated as well and find that very effective.

Osteopaths are trained to perform a full orthopaedic and neurological examination and can screen for serious conditions. The treatment involves a combination of techniques, from soft tissue massage and myofascial release, to lymphatic drainage, joint mobilisation and manipulation, depending on the presenting condition. Advice on posture, ergonomics, and exercise may be given, as well as a stretching and strengthening/rehabilitation program.

It’s this combinatin that differentiates Osteopaths from other practitioners who commonly do either focus on joint mobilisation/manipulation without much soft tissue work or rehab, or are rehab specialists. Osteopaths look at the body as a whole and it’s this acknowledgement of the interrelationship of different body parts that makes it unique and effective.

If you have any questions by all means email us at info@oprc.com or have a look around our website www.oprc.com.sg  for more information.

Low Back Strength After Treatment

The human rectus abdominis muscle of the human...

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You’ve all probably heard a million times about how you need to strengthen your “core” to support your lower back. And it’s true. The “core” abdominal muscles, such as transverse abdominus, or multifidus, play an active role in the strength and stability of your lower back, and there have been countless studies to support the idea that improving their strength helps your lower back.

Which makes me slightly loathe to write this, because this article might give one or two of you an excuse to slacken off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say you should stop doing your core stabilising exercises, I myself do them several times a week.

What I’m trying to do is highlight the results of a recent study on the effects of spinal manipulation. The results of the study, published in The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy (sounds impressive to me) found that after receiving spinal manipulation, the thickness of the multifidus in the lower back increased. This was in the absence of any specific strengthening exercises or rehabilitation. Patients had two treatments in one week and straight away recorded significant increases in the thickness of the muscle and it’s function during functional tasks.

So what does this mean for you? Well, I’d say it shows that the best time to work on your core strength is straight after a treatment, as your muscles are primed to work. Combined with recent studies showing massage may be better than medication for low back pain, we’re starting to see how the combination of different modalities in an Osteopathic treatment complement each other – soft tissue massage and joint mobilisation for pain relief, and manipulation and exercise prescription to improve functionality.

 

Understanding Pain and what to do about it in less than five minutes

A short educational video resource explaining new developments in approaches to chronic pain management.

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