Monthly Archives: October 2012


Bodywork Doesn’t Have to Hurt to be Effective

Some people believe massage must be painful to be effective. While some modalities may be intense, this doesn’t necessarily translate to a knuckle-biting experience. In fact, painful bodywork can be counterproductive. If you can’t breathe comfortably, want to tighten up, make a face, or curl your toes, the technique is too much for you. Your body will go into a protective mode and actually block any positive change.

“No pain, no gain” just doesn’t have to apply when it comes to bodywork. Be sure to provide feedback to your practitioner so that you’re on the same page. Think of it as a “scale of intensity.” On my scale, zero is not touching you and ten is pain–not the worst pain you’ve ever felt but the place where you want to hold your breath, tighten up, make a face, leave your body. That’s a ten.

You shouldn’t ever have to be in a pain range to get results, and be sure to let your practitioner know if you’re in an eight or nine range. They may stay at that level if that’s where the therapeutic value will be attained, but again, only if it’s manageable and you’re not tightening up.

And every single client is different. Not only do invdividuals all start in different places, but their bodies respond differently, and their pain thresholds are extremely varied. What one person finds heavenly, another calls torture.

If it does feel too painful, be sure to tell your therapist. Usually, a practitioner can simply slow down to ease the intensity without losing therapeutic value. Sometimes, if you are nervous or stressed, just remembering to breathe will make your body more open, and you’ll remain comfortable.

Bodywork needn’t be a test of how tough you are. By giving your therapist appropriate feedback and understanding that painful techniques aren’t really helping your body heal, you’ll have a great experience in the session and feel better afterward.

Can Bodywork Sometimes Make You Sore?

Can Bodywork Sometimes Make You Sore?

You’ve just had a wonderful massage, and you go home feeling both relaxed and rejuvenated. But later that night you feel like you’re coming down with something. Or perhaps the next morning, you wake up with twinges of muscle soreness, maybe some fatigue, and you just don’t feel yourself. What happened? Chances are it’s the massage, and it’s perfectly OK.

Keith Grant, head of the Sports and Deep Tissue Massage Department at McKinnon Institute in Oakland, Calif., says, “It’s very much like doing a workout. If the muscles aren’t used to it, they often respond with some soreness.” Grant notes this should last for no more than a day or two. If it lasts longer, the massage may have been too intense, and the therapist should adjust for this in the next session. However, just as with exercise, when your body adjusts to having this type of workout, your physical response will also be less intense.

A professional massage is more than an ordinary backrub. Your massage therapist can find all the kinks that have built up from daily stress and too little or too much exercise. The whole point of a therapeutic massage is to release that tension, work out the kinks, and help your body relax so it can function at an optimal level. All of this work stretches muscles, pushes blood into them, and gets things working again.

A Closer Look

There are several theories, in addition to muscle function, as to why people sometimes experience after-effects from massage.

Massage can stimulate the lymph system, which is comprised of several organs (thymus, tonsils, spleen, adenoids), hundreds of lymph nodes, and a multitude of vessels that run throughout the body. These lymphatic vessels carry a clear fluid, known as lymph, that circulates around the body’s tissues, absorbing fluid, waste products, dead cells, bacteria, viruses, fats, and proteins from the tissue as it goes, while also giving passage to immune cells as they’re needed. Massage can sometimes stimulate the lymph system, helping to eliminate toxins from the body. And if the body contains a high level of environmental or dietary toxins, you could feel some mild, flu-like symptoms. While most people come out of a typical massage feeling nothing but relaxed, some people do report feeling a bit nauseous. If this is the case, make sure to drink plenty of water and perhaps take a slow walk. Movement creates a greater lymphatic response and will hurry the process along.

Grant points to another theory being closely examined by experts. Neurological sensitivity, or “sensitization,” looks at the “whole response of what’s going on in a person.” As Grant explains, massage provides a significant amount of input to the central nervous system and the body responds to that increased information. Pain and other occasional after-effects may be the result of a system that has received more information than it can handle at that particular time. And because the amount of sensory input we receive during any day or week is always fluctuating, sometimes we may be overloaded and other times not. It depends on the total stress (emotional, spiritual and physical) being experienced by the body at that moment.

Minimizing Overload

So what can you do to minimize the sometimes uncomfortable side effects? It’s important to communicate with your massage therapist regarding your expectations, as well as your current state of health. Your therapist can then tailor the massage to your personal needs and desires, and make adjustments in intensity or technique as the session proceeds. “I’d look at what’s being done,” says Grant. In some cases, a shorter or more soothing session may be more appropriate. In others, the therapist may need to change the kind of technique used. Much of this can be judged by how the person is feeling and responding during the massage.

In addition to communicating clearly with your practitioner throughout the session, following a few simple steps will help ease tenderness and maximize benefits:

  • Understand that every body reacts differently.Your body is an organism made up of complex systems that react to a constantly changing influx of external factors.
  • Maintain good health practices. This means keeping your mind free of negative clutter.
  • Drink plenty of water immediately following your treatment. Continue to do so for the next day or two. This will rehydrate your tissues and ease the effects.
  • Take it easy after your massage. Go home, relax and just allow your body to find its balance naturally.

Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.

Like exercise, making bodywork a habitual practice is good for your health. And if you wake up the next morning a little sore, it’s probably because you had a really good massage.

Do you suffer from Fibromyalgia! Interesting read!


Fibromyalgia is a condition, described in medical physiology, as the presence of pain in the fibrous tissues and muscle (fibro- fibrous tissue; myo- muscle; algos- pain in Greek and Latin language) due to several reasons. This

 disease is primarily characterized by chronic pain and allodynia, which is characterized by extreme and heightened painful response to the tactile pressure. As per research it has been seen that about 2%-4% of the total population is get affected in this disease, whereas the incidence ratio of female to male is 9:1, i.e. women as in females are more affected by this disease than males.

It has been seen that there are several physiological, anatomical and functional anomalies of the brain, which causes several complications to the affected person than a healthier individual. But the proper reason is not discovered yet. According to some scientist, either these fibromyalgia symptoms are the product of those brain anomalies or there are some other underlying causes which are responsible for those symptoms.
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are pain, fatigue, muscle spasm, weakness in the limbs, nerve pain, muscle twitching, palpitations, chronic sleep disturbances and chronic bowel disturbances etc, other symptoms are cognitive dysfunction which include short and long term memory loss, impaired concentration, inability to do multitask, impaired speed during performance, lack of attention, anxiety, depression etc. other includes myofascial pain, paraesthesis, irritable bowel syndrome, headache, dermatological problems, localized pain in neck, shoulder, back and hips etc.

There are several factors which are responsible for the occurrence of the disease. These includes genetic factors, stress, catecholamine neurotransmitter dopamine dysfunction or hypodopaminergia, abnormality in the serotonin metabolism, deficiency in the secretion of growth hormone, psychological factors like depression, poor sleep, physical trauma etc. there are no such medications are found for this disease, but it can be cured by psychological therapies, anti depressant etc.

Connective Tissue: The Very Basics


Connective Tissue: The Very Basics

As the name implies, connective tissue serves a “connecting” function. It supports and binds other tissues. Unlike epithelial tissue, connective tissue typically has cells scattered throughout an extracellular matrix.

Loose Connective Tissue:

In vertebrates, the most common type of connective tissue is loose connective tissue. It holds organs in place and attaches epithelial tissue to other underlying tissues.

Loose connective tissue is named based on the “weave” and type of its constituent fibers. There are three main types:

Collagenous Fibers:
Collagenous fibers are made of collagen and consist of bundles of fibrils that are coils of collagen molecules.

Elastic Fibers:
Elastic fibers are made of elastin and are stretchable.

Reticular Fibers:
Reticular fibers join connective tissues to other tissues.

Fibrous Connective Tissue
Another type of connective tissue is fibrous connective tissue which is found in tendons and ligaments. Fibrous connective tissue is composed of large amounts of closely packed collagenous fibers.

Specialized Connective Tissues

Adipose tissue is a form of loose connective tissue that stores fat.

Cartilage is a form of fibrous connective tissue that is composed of closely packed collagenous fibers in a rubbery gelatinous substance called chondrin. The skeletons of sharks and human embryos are composed of cartilage. Cartilage also provides flexible support for certain structures in adult humans including the nose, trachea and ears.

Bone is a type of mineralized connective tissue that contains collagen and calcium phosphate, a mineral crystal. Calcium phosphate gives bone its firmness.

Interestingly enough, blood is considered to be a type of connective tissue. Even though it has a different function in comparison to other connective tissues it does have an extracellular matrix. The matrix is the plasma and erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets are suspended in the plasma.

The lymphatic system


The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. It helps the body fight infections. It is made of a series of thin tubes, called lymphatic vessels. These vessels collect fluid, called lymph, from different parts of the body. Similar to blood vessels, these vessels then carry the lymph back to the bloodstream. Lymph is a colorless, watery fluid that is rich in white blood cells, called lymphocyt

es. These cells play an important role in the immune system by protecting your body against infection. They also help protect you from the growth of tumors. Lymphocytes form and are stored in lymph nodes. And nodes are located throughout the body, such as the armpit, groin, and neck area.

Some organs are also part of the lymphatic system. These include the spleen, thymus gland, adenoids, and tonsils, as well as the bone marrow.

The spleen is under the lower-left side of your rib cage. It produces lymphocytes, stores healthy blood cells, and filters out damaged blood cells and bacteria.

The thymus gland is in the front of the chest at the base of the neck. It is central in development of one type of lymphocyte.

Adenoids and tonsils are areas of lymphoid tissue at the back of the throat. They’re one of the first lines of defense against germs that you breathe in or swallow.

Bone marrow is the inner part of bones. It produces red blood cells, blood platelets, and white blood cells.


Prunes are dried plums. They are rich in fiber and phytochemicals and cholesterol-free. Prunes also give important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals,

including retinol, iron and potassium. When you eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you will lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The soluble fiber in prunes binds to “bad” LDL cholesterol particles in the intestine, preventing them from entering the bloodstream and carrying them out of the body as waste. Excess LDL cholesterol may clog your coronary arteries, which can put you at risk for heart attack and stroke. The cholesterol-lowering effects of prunes reduce the risk of cardiac events.

The consumption of low-glycemic index foods, such as prunes, appears to improve overall blood glucose control in people with diabetes. Soluble fiber in prunes pulls in water to form a gel in the intestine. This gel-like substance slows digestion and absorption so the glucose in food enters the bloodstream more slowly. This causes a slow and steady rise in blood sugar, explains M. Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, a professor of human nutrition and dietetics at the University of Illinois.

Potassium may protect you against developing hypertension, according to the American Dietetic Association. It maintains normal blood pressure by regulating fluid and electrolyte balance. Doctors often advise people trying to control hypertension to consume foods high in potassium. Prunes are rich in potassium, thought to have blood pressure lowering properties. They offer approximately 637 mg of potassium per half cup.

Constipation is infrequent or uncomfortable bowel movements. Prunes contain high amounts of soluble fiber. They act as natural laxatives that soften the stool and promote its movement through the intestines. Drink plenty of liquids to reap the benefits of fiber.



Because we do not bend backward very often, we are unaware of just how tight and gripped they really are. Unlike the hamstring muscles, you bend forward and you can feel their tightness.

The quadriceps give you no warning about just how gripped they can become.

As you age they can actually calcify to the thigh bone and their attachments at the knee can often feel like bone.

They can use all kinds of knee problems and can actually prevent the front of the body from lengthening upwards. Along with the hip flexors and adductors, they can prevent you from standing up straight and long when rising from a seated position to standing.

You often see older people who can no longer straighten themselves up from seated to standing. They are also a place of stored emotions stuck in the body. You do not know how strongly they are gripped until you begin to roll through them using your own body weight.

I highly recommend freeing the quadriceps grip once every couple months because it sneaks up and accumulates and you never feel it until it gets so tight or you press into them your self and get a reality chek!



Neck and Shoulder Stretches


Spinal Stretches

Upper Leg/Pelvis Stretches

Lower Leg Stretches

Wrist/Forearm Stretches



Quiet Moments!

Quiet Moments
You arrive for your massage session, eager to relax, to quiet your mind and allow the tension that binds the tight muscles in your neck and shoulders to be released. For the next 60 or 90 minutes you are vaguely aware of the therapist’s hands, the scented oil and the serene background music, but you are not focused on any of it. Here are a few ways to maximize your massage:

1. Schedule your appointment on a day and time that allows you to just go home and relax. Don’t leave your appointment with plans to grocery shop, clean the house or do laundry. Relax, relax and relax some more.
2. Book your next appointment before you leave. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to on your calendar and many clients say that even if they are having a stressful day, they just have to see they have a massage appointment after work and they begin to relax just from that knowledge.
3. Try to limit exposure to people and situations that trigger stress for you, at least for the remainder of the day or evening.
4. Breathe, Breathe, and Breathe! Enjoy your massage sessions and continue to enjoy the relaxed feeling between appointments.

Schedule your appointment and feel wonderful again!


Apprehensive about Massage Therapy

More and more people are utilizing the awesome benefits of Massage & Bodywork; however, for those who are a little apprehensive about massage therapy, we have provided some really nice information for you.

1. Will the practitioner be present when I disrobe?
The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a massage gown.

2. Will I be covered during the session?
You will be PROPERLY draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

3. What parts of my body will be massaged?
A typical full-body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders.

4. Should I speak up? – We will ask you what your goals are for your session and keep you informed as to the degree of pressure, the temperature of the room, etc. Because newbie’s might be shy in conveying their needs, periodically we will ask you how you are feeling.

5. Should I chit-chat? – A common question first-time massage recipients have is whether or not they should talk to their therapist during a massage. At the onset of a massage, directing clients to close their eyes and relax helps put many people at ease. While most people enjoy meditating or forgetting about their worries during a massage, some will chit-chat to mask insecurities and nervousness. We will help you focus on your breathing. This is a great tool to help you relax and forget about conversation concerns.

6. What will the massage or bodywork feel like?
A relaxing Swedish massage is often a baseline for clients. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.

7. How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Hopefully, we have eased some of those first time jitters. Once someone relaxes into receiving a treatment, massage benefits can really take effect – and chances are you will get HOOKED.

Let us help you create a healthy client-therapist relationship.

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