Which of These Fitness Trends are Here to Stay?
Massage and fitness go hand in hand. Although you absolutely do not need to be a workout maniac to benefit from massage therapy, often times, those who are fitness oriented also are predisposed to recognize the benefits of massage. And massage therapy may be one of the oldest physical health arts tracing its origins back to India and China. However, as we all know there are the health fads of the day. Let’s take a look at some of the devices and hot areas in fitness that have come and gone and those that have stayed
This particular device began in 1986 as one of the first all in one gym devices. The original design focused on traditional resistance training with a bow like structure to simulate bench press, lat pulls and other common gym machines. They were also one of the first to advertise heavily through infomercials and were highly successful. Although they may not be the only option on the block anymore, they are still going strong in 2017. Here is one of their older videos:
I am a calling trend that has come and gone on this one. This device was popularized by Suzanne Somers who played the iconic role on 70s/80s sitcom Three’s Company. This device promised women to have shapely thighs if they sat down and squeezed this thing for long enough.
8 Minute Abs, 7 Minute Abs, 6 Minute Abs?
This series of videos or “genre” of workout became popular in the 90s and has come and gone somewhat. Unlike the Thighmaster, there have been multiple variations of the ultimate crunch workout videos that are supposed to give anyone a 6-pack…and in just a few minuted a day. Diet is just as important so the jury is still out on this one as possibly a fad that has taken on other names.
This cardio machine has stood the test of time. It is actually a great way to simulate cross-country skiing, giving the lower and upper body a thorough workout. They are also somewhat portable, at least the newer versions, and you will find many of these in gyms across the world.
Like massage, this is an ancient art. Its roots can be found in India and is supposed to encompass medidative states as well as working out the body. This one is definitely not a trend and has only become more popular in the last 10 years. Even apparel companies like Lulu Lemon have literally grown out of the popularity of yoga.
Cardio classes based on the action of drumming have grown in popularity in the last couple years. Inevitably, people have noticed how sweaty drummers get during a concert. So, one or more clever people thought, hey, why not make a program based around that activity and combine it with high energy music. It is a bit early to tell but this one seems like it has some legs and will be here for a while.
This was definitely a trend that has come and gone like the 80s. In this particular video you may get a good chuckle at the seemingly out of date music, outfits and even speaking. (hey, at least they were staying fit).
These athletic straps can be seen in home gyms and large gyms across the world. This is definitely not a trend and more of a staple of many different workouts that are here to stay. The story is fascinating. The founder was a navy seal and was stationed in an area for months where him and his team needed a way to stay in shape. By accident, he saw his karate belt hanging out of his gym bag and started to adjust it on the door in a way to generate resistance. He was absolutely determined to improve the process as well as promote the benefits of these versatile straps. The rest is history.
This one is here to stay. It combines segments of circuit training, cardio and heavy lifting all in one. And the popularity of social media and fitness apps have actually made this one competitive on social networks. There are plenty of crossfit classs that have members automatically posting their results on Facebook for bragging rights.
Electric Shock Muscle Stimulation
In this movie clip about Bruce Lee in “Dragon” he is portrayed using shock therapy electrodes on his torso to build muscle strength. He claims in 3 minutes it was like doing 200 pushups. There is a new community called “biohackers” that are always looking for new ways to improve their health with the use of measurement and unusual supplements and training techniques. They have revived this type of treatment so we will see where this one goes.
No matter what your workout of choice may be, if you are breaking a sweat without hurting your body, it is likely better than sitting around!
10 Studies and Lectures With Evidence That Reducing Cortisol is a Key For Improved Health
This plays into a bigger theme that has been given more scientific attention lately. The mind + body connection is undeniable and doctors like Dr. Perlmutter who is a western trained neurologist discuss this connection regularly in their works. Cortisol is the famous stress chemical that increases in the blood stream often as a result of anxiety. It causes inflammation and a myriad of physical problems throughout the body. Combatting cortisol is key in health management according to many, and massage therapy has been proven or cited numerous times as one of the top ways to manage the release of cortisol and its reduction in the body.
1. Cortisol Decreases and Serotonin and Dopamine Increase Following Massage Therapy:
2. Presentation originally given at the May 2010 Highlighting Massage Therapy in CIM Research Conference in Seattle.
3. Massage Tilts the Brain’s balance Away From Stress and Towards Relaxation andHhealing Dov Michaeli, MD, PhD link here
4. Regimens: Massage Benefits Are More Than Skin Deep – New York Times link
5. Massage Away Depression and Anxiety – Prevention Magazine link
So often we approach medicine and even physical therapy and massage from the vantage point of “Ok I have a problem, please fix it professional person.” However, the mind often forgets that preventing a problem before it happens is the ultimate strategy for health management. And to quote Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid “Remember, best block, no be there.” Think about a successful manager who stops problems before they begin and how rarely he or she gets the credit for being awesome? The above publication often describes that strategy.
6. Book by Shawn M. Talbott The Cortisol Connection link
This is an entire book about how cortisol ruins your health. And specifically, in regards to weight management, many of us struggle. Our ancestors had to forage for food and burn calories in the process, but since the agricultural revolution, calorie rich foods are abundant and inexpensive. So add high cortisol levels to the mix and we are in for quite a challenge. One that can be overcome with discipline.
7. Deepak Chopra and Harvard MD Rudy Tanzi, Co-Authors of the Book Super Brain Mention Cortisol in this interview on the Huffington Post:
“If somebody says to me, ‘I love you,’ and I’m in love with them, I suddenly feel great, and I make things like oxytocin and dopamine, serotonin, opiates. And if someone says to me, ‘I love you,’ and I’m really thinking they’re manipulating me, I don’t make the same thing. I make cortisol and adrenaline.”
Even Rudy Tanzi mentions at the time of this interview, had someone asked him some of these questions 5 years prior regarding epigenetics, the concept of altering genes with mind and experience, he would have said it was science fiction.
8. Cortisol and Antidepressant Effects of Yoga study citation
This is very supportive of the mind body connection that has been indirectly or directly referenced on this list. It does not mean that everyone has to do yoga. However, when considering the health vantage point that mental and physical activities and therapies once again are shown to reduce the chemical cortisol, it adds to the evidence that it needs to be given attention.
9. UCSF Study on Stress-Induced Cortisol and Eating Behavior study citation
Here is a summary after this extensive study:
“In summary, the current results suggest that stress reactivity may increase consumption of food after an acute stressor, although this may hold only for a laboratory situation. These relationships were not moderated by level of obesity or dietary restraint. It is possible that women more vulnerable to stress, in their mood responses and cortisol reactivity, may be at particular risk of stress-induced eating and weight gain. Relationships between psychological stress, hormones, and eating deserve further exploration, and this study is merely a first step in that direction.”
Their study concludes that it warrants further exploration as a topic of health interest. And the UCSF has one of the finest medical research departments in the world.
10. Cortisol and Human Physiology With Diagrams – Video by Dr. Heather Ketchum
The purpose of this list of research studies, interviews and videos from medical professionals was to paint a strong picture illustrating the mind + body connection. Until the last few years, this type of thinking was more on the fringe. However, with the proliferation of the internet and examining scientific evidence, it is hard to ignore the connection. And taking cortisol, one of the simplest to observe regarding this phenomenon, can be greatly reduced with certain activities. One should consider therapeutic massage even if they do not have an accute ailment. The potential to reduce cortisol levels with a skilled massage therapist could have multiple medical benefits according to the studies listed here.
Olympic Athletes Have Blazed the Path and Put Sports Massage in the Spotlight
Those who are massage professionals or regular clients and athletes using massge therapy are aware of the extreme benefits of the practice. However, the recent popularity of the 2016 Olympics in Rio have brought awareness to the world once again. It doesn’t just stop at cupping which was made super famous by legendary swimmer Michael Phelps. There is another and lesser known technique called the “Emotional Freedom Technique” or “Tapping” which was used by a famous 400 meter runnerm in the Rio games.
This does not mean that cupping or “Tapping” activites are appropriate for every athlete or person. However, what they did wa serve as a reminder of the natural healing art of massage. The proof is in the pudding. No one can say for sure that these athletes excelled only because of massage. However, their results, and in some cases gold medal wins are compelling indicators that they are doing something right. Here is some commentary on the practice from a world renowned sports massage therapist as cited in this Massage Magazinearticle:
“What follows here is a first-person account of providing soft tissue work to athletes, and how that work has evolved in the world of professional sports, from soft-tissue therapist Richard Lomeli, C.M.T., whose clientele consists of professional athletes.
Lomeli was a massage therapist on the Los Angeles Kings professional hockey team’s training staff for the 2014-2015 season, and has worked with NFL and track-and-field athletes, and professional triathletes competing around the world.
“Advancements in the approach to training, conditioning and nutrition [have] definitely played a heavy role in the increase of athletic performance over the years,” Lomeli said. “It almost seems like we can expect to see new records made during the Olympics.
“With consistent advancements in training to increase performance and the need of accelerated recovery, it has been necessary for soft-tissue therapy to go through a consistent evolution to effectively keep up with that demand.””
Whether an athlete or normal hard working person going about your daily routine, it may be time to explore a relationship with a licensed massage therapist.
Have You Ever Heard of a Virtual Reality Massage?
And in other news virtual reality is becoming stranger and more fascinating by the day. yes you read the headline correctly. So what does this mean for example? Isn’t virtual reality or “VR” just about gaming? Apparently there is a German company that is combining technology from the Oculus Rift headset and a massage like chair to give the user an almost realistic experience. The keyword here is almost and that is a far stretch. The founder does admit it is a prototype and not ready for the market. And replacing the blood flow, muscle relaxation and other benefits of a professional, licensed massage therapist will not be replaced anytime soon. However, this is so bizarre we thought we’d report on it.
Do you think as this platform gets more advanced, they might combine it with real massage?
Top 5 Celebrities Who Have Done Cupping Therapy
Even before the recent popularizing of the cupping technique by Michael Phelps, there were some celebrities engaging in this tpye of therapy. Some celebrities get a bad rap in that they do things because they are trendy. That discussion has definitely taken place in regards to some of their cupping appreciation. However, many of them also have access to some very sophisticated and talented massage and health professionals who think it is a very beneficial practice.
Here is a pic of someone with a lot of cups:
thanks to Avery for the pic
1. Gwyneth Paltrow
2. Jennifer Aniston
3. Victoria Beckham
4. David Arquette
5. Jessica Simpson
What is This Cupping Thing All About?
Many of us may have heard about the therapeutic techique called “cupping”. If not if you have watched Olympic swimming or come across some news stories there are pictures of Michael Phelps with unusual marks on his body. Those are indeed from this somewhat controversial technique. Believe it or not there are doctors and therapists on both sides of the coin. The majority of medical professionals seem to feel it is either beneficial or harmless although there are some that are against it. Here is a pic on what it looks like after and marks can last for over a week:
thanks to Amy Selleck for the pic
You also may or may not remember the academy awards about 8-10 years ago where many famous actresses showed off their cupping marks. That was probably the first time the practice had gotten a lot of attention in the media. It was used as part of a massage therapy regiment that these actresses swore was an effective technique in releasing stress and even releasing toxins from their tissues. It is somewhat ironic however that it was more of a fashion statement at the time. It wasn’t until Michael Phelps was seen to have similar marks that the technique got a lot of attention as a health technique.
In this quote and study referenced in Time Magazine some experts weigh in:
“A 2010 review of 550 clinical studies, including 73 randomized controlled trials—which are considered the gold-standard study in the science community— concluded that the “majority of studies show potential benefit on pain conditions, herpes zoster and other diseases.” None of the studies reported serious bad health outcomes from the practice. Another 2014 review of 16 studies with 921 people reported short-term pain reduction from cupping. “I think you have to step back and say, if this has been part of an organized medical system for three thousand to five thousand years, we probably shouldn’t be too quick or too arrogant to dismiss it out of hand as Western scientists sometimes do,” says Bauer. “On the other hand, just because something has been around for that long doesn’t mean we should embrace it willy nilly.”””
We would advise discussing with your team of medical professionals and massage therapist to see if it is right for you. As mentioned some of the reported benefits include increased blood flow to the area. Also, for those who suffer from muscle spasms this technique is reported to loosen up those areas and increase the speed of healing time. The history of it has remained somewhat elusive and debated. It spacs thousands of years in its history. Some people say it absolutely came from China and others say it is Egyptian. The jury is still out on this one but it definitely warrants further investigation as a potentially beneficial practice.
Watch LeBron James Use “Flexibility Training” in Sports Recovery
Whether you are a LeBron James fan or Steph Curry it makes no difference. Just about all top athletes engage in massage and flexibility training. Have you ever wondered how they can ground and pound for so many years? A lot of it has to do with the blood flow and therapeutic properties that happen with such activities. Although pro teams have millions of dollars to spend on licensed therapists and trainers, you don’t have to break the bank to get involved in a similar regiment. There are top shelf professionals who you can book hourly which costs less than most doctor’s visits as well as other types of treatments. And, preventive activities have health and cost savings that are tough to measure if they fended off a would be injury before it happened.
And if you didn’t watch game 7 it was a nail biter. The intensity that both teams played with was insane. And LeBron even took one painful dive near the end. It looked as if he hyper-extended his wrist. Fortunately he was ok and that likely was due to his conditioning and stretching routine. Whether a professional athlete or not, stretching and keeping your muscles flexible will help prevent injury of all kinds. Here is a pic of someone who had cramps likely from dehydration:
thanks to Randy Lemoine for the pic
MassageNow Platform Acquired by Zeel as Massage Industry Keeps Growing
It is no secret that massages have been used for centuries due to their healing effects. And this practice has gone from being widespread to extreme gloabl adoption by healthcare professionals worldwide. And as technology advances, the massage industry is no exception and booking a massage professional is seamless. Even payment can be done very easily as some of the best professionals and facilities enable such convenience. And here is a pr release from this big industry acquisition from pr newswire:
“MassageNow’s customers will be introduced to Zeel’s core offering: on-demand, five-star massages, delivered 365 days a year by licensed, vetted massage therapists to homes, hotels, workplaces, and events, in as little as an hour. Instead of searching for last-minute spa appointments at brick-and-mortar establishments, MassageNow customers will be able to have the spa come to them, as early as 8am or as late as 10:30pm, seven days a week. Zeel Massage On Demand is available in 32 cities and their surrounding areas in the United States, with more to come.”
It is very exciting to see the mass adoption of this industry. And as mentioned in a preevious post, doing your research on the right relationship with a professional is important. Feel free to reach out by phone or email and don’t be afraid to ask some questions. This is the best way to get a feel for the person you select to work with.
Yet Another Physical Benefit of Massage That May Surprise You
When we think of the benefits of massage therapy we think of athletes, rehabilating the bodt from sports injury, office injury or other ailments. However, we rarely think of the immeasurable benefits that transcend the immediate accute benefit to an afflicted area. Apparently, there is one giant epidemic that you never thought of which may benefit greatly by massage. We all know that narcotic addiction is a worldwide challenge. And in this latest informative post by Massage Magazine, they explain these unthought of benefits:
“News about problems related to opioid use confronts us every day. Those problems include opioid overprescribing, addiction, overdose and death. Although medical experts say opioids can be effective tools when used properly, evidence shows they are being used improperly. The release of three new reviews on the benefits of massage therapy for pain relief could raise massage therapy’s profile, leaders in the massage field say—for it is pain that drives many Americans to an opioid prescription, and sometimes on to opioid or heroin abuse; addiction; and, too often, overdose.
Several massage educators co-wrote the article “Massage Therapy for Pain—Call to Action,” published May 8 in Pain Medicine. Among the authors are MTF President Jerrilyn Cambron, D.C., Ph.D., and former MTF President Ruth Werner, B.C.T.M.B.
“It is our incomplete understanding of opioids and their appropriate role in pain management, as well as a health care workforce unprepared by their training to manage pain effectively, that often results in the exclusion of all other options, and has led our patients and us into this predicament … massage therapy is the evidence-based new thinking that will, with other integrative, non-pharmacologic approaches, help pain medicine overcome the current opioid-focused old thinking that has devastated so many lives.”
(thanks to MartaZ for the pic)
Although we are looking forward to viewing more evidence, this sounds promising. Anytime a form of treatment like massage which has no side effects can benefit someone suffering from addiction, that is a win. Also, the costs of many prescription drugs can be overwhelming so the potential cost benefit may be worth noting as well. Check back for updates into this positive development regarding the industry.
This Statistic About The Wellness Industry Will Blow You Away
The global wellness industry is a $3.4 trillion market, or 3.4 times larger than the worldwide pharmaceutical industry. You read that correctly and it is almost impossible to get one’s mind around that statistic. At the beginning of every wellness journey, we are ultimately our own medical managers. We consult with experts in different fields and it is up to us to follow through and discern what is the best information and who are the best people to work with. In the information age there is more information coming at us than ever so it is important to conduct your research, ask for referrals and listen. We may remember hearing about the days of castor oil and other “prehistoric” medical treatments and we have come a long way 😉
(thanks to Dennis Carr for the pic)
Now we have access to so many schools of health. And of course, maintenance of one’s heath does not need to be rooted in only one segment.
- Beauty & Anti-Aging ($1.025 tril.)
- Healthy Eating/Nutrition/Weight Loss ($574.2 bil.)
- Wellness Tourism ($494 bil.)
- Fitness & Mind/Body ($446.4 bil.)
- Preventative/Personalized Health ($432.7 bil.)
- Complementary/Alternative Medicine ($186.7 bil.)
- Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate ($100 bil.)
- Spa Industry ($94 bil.)
- Thermal/Mineral Springs ($50 bil.)
- Workplace wellness ($40.7 bil.)
Many of these wellness categories have synergistic benefits for different people. And within this giant industry, massage therapy has reached beyond critical mass. It has proven itself to be a vital part of many people’s continuing health in addition for those who need rehabilitation. In terms of categorization, it overlaps with at least four of these categories. The purpose of these statistics are not just for intellectual curiosity. It is to demonstrate just how widespread and important massage can be within this industry.
cited from the globalwellnessinstitute.org
Can Sports Massage Promote Muscle Growth and/or Range of Motion?
In a very fascinating instance, NFL draft hopeful Brandon Allen from the University of Arkansas reported that he experienced an increase in hand size after receiving a series of sports massage sessions. His hand size measured at 8 1/2 inches and increased to 8 7/8 in the course of about one year. To be reasonable this sounds more like an improvement in range of motion or a loosening up due to the stretching benefits of massage. This is so interesting we thought it was worth noting. For quarterbacks in particular, this can be important for their grip on the football. Now what does this mean for non football players? We are archiving some potential indicators that sports massage may improve range of motion which can be important for athletes and non athletes as well as other types of medical rehabilitation. Let’s take a look at some other related examples.
(thanks to KOMUNewsa> for the pic)
Scientific Study if Massage Therapy Increases ROM in the Treatment of Sciatica
Here is the abstract and results from a recent study in this area of affliction:
“The client presented with an insidious onset of LBP and pain that radiated into the right lower extremity (sciatica). The client had been experiencing this pain daily for the past 9 months. Frequency, duration, and intensity of symptoms were recorded in a daily diary beginning the day after the client’s first visit with the massage therapist. Manual therapy was administered once a week; each session lasted 45 min and consisted of a structured protocol directed mainly toward muscles of the lumbar spine, pelvis, thigh, and leg regions.
The results of this study suggest that massage therapy was effective at reducing LBP intensity and increasing ROM for this particular client. LBP intensity was assessed at level one the first three assessment periods. The reduction in post-massage LBP intensity was maintained from week six until week 10 with the exception of week six (no change) and week seven (pain increase due to intense trigger point treatment). The client’s activities of daily living (ADLs) steadily increased throughout the 10-week study.”
thanks to JBMT for the study information
From Around the Web in Regards to the Muscle Growth Question
We surveyed about 100 sites and other, question threads and forums including mega sites quora and bodybuilding.comw with discussions and answers in regards to the effect of sports massage on muscle growth in particular. The consensus seems to be pretty universal in the following cases:
- Body Building
- Sports Injury
- Various Diseases and Physical Conditions
The increase in blood flow and any dissipation of lactic acid could likely speed up your muscle recovery hence enabling you get back to training, lifting and further physical therapy sooner.
In conclusion there seems to be an overwhelimg amount of evidence that sports massage improves range of motion as well as speed of muscle recovery. In terms of verifying other instances such as in the case of quarterback Brandon Allen, where a body part seemed to have grown as a direct result, stay tuned. We will be scouring archives of medical studies and report on the latest findings in the next post.
Top 10 Things In 2016 That Your Massage Therapists Hopes You Understand
1. We Have Seen Just About Everything Including Your Situation
That is a good thing. Embrace the experience that we have attained and don’t worry if you feel like your condition sounds unusual or different. We will work through anything.
2. Although We Are Massage Therapists, Not Therapists You Are Important To Us And We Listen
Every person specializes in something. With us of course it is the physical improvement and maintenance of your body. That being said we care about all of our clients and always want to connect and know how you are doing. And we are interested in sharing things in our life as well.
3. Remember To Stay Hydrated Before Sessions
Although somewhat cliche, this is a must in rehabilitation and maintenance of health. When it comes to sports massage especially, the body releases a lot of toxing and does a lot of healing. This requires lots of H2O.
thanks to da Binsi for the pic
4. Give Us Feedback During The Session As Communication Is Important
If you have a question on any technique, how something feels and week to week improvment please tell us. Guaging progress as expectations is a key component.
5. Always Be Sure To Stretch If We Instruct You To Before And After Sessions
Sometimes it is the little things that make the most difference. And these little things take time. Staying flexible and limber can be critical in many aspects of massage therapy depending on the area. Let’s make sure you stay disciplined here.
thanks to Rob for the pic
6. Don’t Ever Be Shy About Your Body We Are All Different And Beautiful
In today’s day and age we see images of athletes in Sports Illustrated, actors and actresses in the magazines at the checkout lines and on the big screen. This can be confusing for many as the “image of perfection” may be somewhat of an illusion. Be comfortable with your body around us.
7. Please Don’t Call Me A Masseusse 🙂
Although there is a time and place for that type of massage and it can be wonderful, we as massage therapists go through a lot of education and training to perform at a certain level. It is a totally different discipline and we take pride in the type of healing and maintenance that we do.
8. Athletes Can Also Get Carpal Tunnel And “Office Injuries” Even Without Working In An Office
Even tough guys and girls who lay it all out on the field and hit the gym a lot still get some of these modern office injuries. Just about everyone has a computer and smart phone and probably spends too much time on one or both. Stay alert for these even as an athlete.
9. Ask Us About The Latest Trends And Breakthroughs In Massage
We take pride in what we do and the best professionals will stay up to date, attent seminars and keep current with training. Feel free to ask us about what we learn through our yearly research and what we are seeing day to day.
10. Trust Is The Cornerstone Of Proper Massage Therapy
Trusting your massage therapist is so important. It is a very up close and personal experience and it is important to communicate and work with someone not only who is experienced, but who you feel comfortable around. And if you are new and selecting a professional, reach out by phone and get to know them better to see if it is a strong fit.
Top 5 Massage Trends and Breakthroughs In 2015 – 2016
1. Massage Therapy May Strengthen Your Immune System
More professionals and studies are coming to conclusion about the mind body connection. There are also many famous podcasts that discuss this topic. Two examples are the reduction of cortisol that can be achieved through massage and increased blood flow. Many professionals feel achieving both of these will improve immune function and reduce stress in the process so it can be a win win.
thanks to sportEX journals for the pic
2. Social Media Referrals
With the advent of social media it is easier to get a referral for a qualified therapist in your local area. Prior to the advent of smartphones and Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like, this still was possible but likely involved picking up the phone and emailing random contacts from your list hoping to get lucky on a reference. Now, all it takes is a post to the Facebook wall asking for a strong sports massage therapist for example or Tweeting your contacts or @ certain people in the know. The exponential reach of referrals through social media is mind boggling. You will likely get a lot of replies from friends and friends of friends with a strong prequalified reference.
3. Mobile Massage Therapy
More apps and even mobile sites with online booking systems are making it easier than ever for a massage therapist to come to you. In office and facility appointments are great but the option is becoming more flexible. Apps like Soothe and other niche directories are making tyhe search for a professional who will travel to you seamless.
4. Online Reviews, Reputation and Certification
This trend is only gaining momentum after being around for a few years and going to continue for years to come. A recent survey as cited by Marketing Land and sponsored by ZenDesk found that:
“90% Of Customers Say Buying Decisions Are Influenced By Online Reviews” So, 9 out of 10 of your customers are searching directories such as Yelp and other portals to conduct research. This included tphysical therapy and massage professionals.
thanks to MarketingLand.com for the survey data
5. Taylored Massage For Each Client Body Type and Medical History
At first glance this may sound like an obvious statement. However, with improvements in information sharing and taylored meds to our DNA and other biological factors, this will likely spread to the massage industry as well. We have barely scratched the surface and this could influence the frequency and technique of your maggage sessions sooner than you might think.
Injuiries In The Digital Era and How Massage Can Help
It is no secret that people are using tech devices in record numbers and there are now over 1 billion people with smart phones. Some employees are using multiple monitors at their desks now so tech related injuries are on the rise. The injuries are now spanning from sore arms, to sore necks and thumbs. Manual therapy specialist Rick Bates, L.M.T., B.C.T.M.B., C.F.T. had this to say to massage magazine:
“Anyone who has spent much time on a computer, cellphone, tablet or other advanced electronic device has surely experienced the discomfort of poor body mechanics and repetitive straining,”
“These problems are not limited to the neck, as more and more people seek relief from shoulder, arms, wrists, hands, low-back and hip pain,” added Bates, who is an elite trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association and also holds credentials in exercise therapy and nutrition.
Here is a picture of someone with carpal tunnel who is recovering from surgery:
Before things get to this stage, you should always consult with medical professionals. In addition, many believe that massage can help alleviate these tech-related injuries before they happen or during the initial onset.
Some of the benefits of massage in these cases may be:
-decreases stress and aids in relaxation
-reduces muscle tension and stiffness
-increases range of motion
–fosters the healing of strained muscles and ligaments
reduces the pain and swelling of overused muscles and tissues
-promotes blood and lymph circulation
The Benefits of Frequent Massage
In the year 2015, more and more people are exploring other options besides prescription meds in keeping the body healthy. Aside from the many specific benefits of massage in the roles of physical therapy, such as back pain, shoulder discomfort and sports injuries, frequent massage can be looked at as preventive. In a study conducted by Emory University, which has a world renowned medical program, they concluded the following:
Massage is purported to have an array of benefits, including alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety, back pain, asthma, fatigue, and even HIV. A new study shows there are sustained, cumulative beneficial effects of repeated massage therapy. The effects persist for several days to a week, and differ depending on the frequency of sessions. (source)
Back Pain From Sitting Too Long and How Massage Can Help
As the U.S. and many other nations around the world have transformed into a service based economy, that means more adults are sitting for longer periods of time in front of a computer. In the 1920s a good portion of the population grew their own food which got them away from the chair. Currently in the U.S. less than 2% of the population farms. This can be economically beneficial in that there is more time for logistics, design, planning, research and other desk-based productivity. However, our bodies are being left behind in this information society and it is hurting our backs.
And to top it off we are bombarded with entertainment on demand and food delivery with services such as Netflix, Hulu and GrubHub. So the combination of extensive office sitting and couch potato habits for many is creating somewhat of an epidemic. Gavin Bradley, director of Active Working is a group focused on reducing excessive sitting. “I’m standing right now while I’m talking on the phone,” he said. While the group endorses the use of sit/stand desks, Bradley said there are other activities that can get people to move for two hours during the work day. “Taking your calls standing. Walking around. Pacing. Holding standing meetings. Walking meetings. Walking over to a colleague’s desk instead of sending an e-mail. Using the stairs instead of the elevator. Taking a lunch break. Simple stuff.”
It is definitely wise to break up the sitting and incorporate some activity as per Bradley’s advice. However that may not be enough, and if you have an existing back problem from this modern day environment massage can be an extreme help. Releases “Feel Good” Chemicals A back massage stimulates the production of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that make the body feel good, according to Beth Mueller, RMT, in her article “Massage Therapy for Lower Back Pain” on the Spine Health website. This helps manage pain and may allow you to r educe the amount of painkillers you take. A back massage can help decrease pain in the lower back, which may help prevent anxiety and depression.
If you are in the greater Los Angeles + San Fernando Valley + Southern California area and are having any back pain we’d recommend contacting us or booking an appointment. Our massage therapists are certified, we can come to you and are highly rated on social media. And in many cases, check your insurance to see if it covers the sessions. It may be one of the best moves for your body 🙂
Physical Therapy May be as Effective for Certain Back Issues as Surgery
We definitely live in a society where a lot of the doctrine is to medicate and administer surgery first and foremost for any ailment. Medicines and surgeries definitely have their place and have revolutionized the health industry. However, in certain areas of injury sports massage and physical therapy may be as effective as surgery with a fraction of the cost and discomfort.
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a compression of open spaces in the lower spinal column, and it can lead to pinched nerves, tingling, weakness and numbness in the back and the lower extremities. Up to 2.4 million Americans may end up suffering from this condition by 2021 according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Dr. Anthony Delitto is the chairman of physical therapy at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. He and some colleagues sought to prove that physical therapy could be as effective in treating this ailment as actual surgery. They came to this encouraging conclusion:
Surgical decompression yielded similar effects to a PT regimen among patients with LSS who were surgical candidates. Patients and health care providers should engage in shared decision-making conversations that include full disclosure of evidence involving surgical and nonsurgical treatments for LSS.”
thanks to Annals of Internal Medicine for administering this study
The Massage Industry is Definitely Getting More Technical With New Apps
Zesty and Soothe are two massage booking platforms that are starting to take hold in 2015. As the benefits of all types of massage are becoming more well known and accepted, technology companies are helping to bridge the gap between clients and professionals.
Zesty raised $7.2 million dollars and has started in Europe as a general wellness booking system. One of the main button choices on the fisst screen on their app is Sports Massage as it is becoming recognized as a pillar of general health as well as rehabilitation and preventive medicine for athletes and non athletes.
Soothe.com is a more general massage focused platform where you can choose from any type of massage whether it be sports, swedish, deep tissue, thai and more. It also features the ratings and pricing as well as skill sets of different professionals so you can better select the right individual.
Prior to these apps there were yellowpages.com, thumbtack, yelp and the like which are more general systems for finding professionals in any industry. They are great sites but the health and wellness industry keeps expanding, it makes sense to have focused massage centric systems.
The Basics of Sports Massage
Sports massage is a form of massage that utilizes specific strokes to help athletes obtain maximum performance and physical conditioning by increasing power, endurance, and mobility—both before and after an event or exercise.
Who Can Benefit?
Sports massage is particularly beneficial when an athlete is in training for an event. It’s also helpful for anyone who routinely stretches physical limits through movement. Swimmers, weight lifters, runners, golfers, ball players, skaters, dancers, tennis players, musicians, and boxers, as well as weekend warriors and those who practice strength training or aerobics, have benefited from sports massage.
How Is Sports Massage Administered?
Sports massage should be a regular part of every athlete’s training program. Athletes have different massage needs at different times. There are three basic categories: Pre-Event. A quick treatment (rhythmic pumping) is a supplement to warm-up. It boosts circulation and increases flexibility and range of motion, thereby reducing muscle pain and soreness, leaving muscles relaxed and ready for action. Pre-event massage can help prevent muscle and tendon injuries and reduce the strain and discomfort of training. It also can be a great psychological advantage in competition. Post-Event. Recovery after a competition involves not only the normalization and repair of tissue, but also general relaxation and mental calming. Post-event sports massage increases circulation to quicken the removal of fatigue toxins, relieve muscle spasms, and prevent soreness. It is used to assist athletes in recovery and in regaining their pre-event condition by relaxing tight, fatigued muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Media Coverage + Statistics for Types of Massage Therapy
The benefits go beyond feelings of relaxation and wellness that people may recognize after a massage. The American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society now include massage as one of their recommendations for treating low back pain, according to guidelines published in 2007.
“There is emerging evidence that [massage] can make contributions in treating things like pain, where conventional medicine doesn’t have all the answers,” said Jack Killen, NCCAM’s deputy director.
-Wall Street Journal full article here
The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that deep-tissue massage is more effective and affordable for relieving chronic pain than conventional medical remedies. Because deep-tissue massage increases the flow of blood through through the body, it helps reduce the inflammation that causes pain. Deep-tissue massage can also help alleviate muscle tension that is often a side effect of chronic pain by loosening the tight tissue clusters.
-Live Strong Lance Armstrong Blog full article here
Infographic on Health Benefits
Throughout training and rigorous regular athletic activity, massage helps prevent injuries. Areas of muscular stress can result from repetitive or stressful motion and are typically precursors to injury. Sports massage assists in relieving muscular stress and preventing injuries, enabling harder and more consistent training. Adequate recovery is also a major factor in avoiding nagging minor injuries that inhibit maximum performance.
What Are The Common Causes of Sports Injuries?
Injuries are commonly experienced when an individual has overtrained, fails to sufficiently warm up, receives trauma, or has muscular imbalances, poor flexibility, mineral deficiencies, inadequate endurance, or simply does too much too soon. Insufficient muscle strength and poor muscle tone may also lead to injury or a muscle tear.
How Can Sports Massage Help In Rehabilitation?
Sports massage can accelerate the healing process, increase range of motion, reduce adhesions, and reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. Areas of stress in other muscles, created through compensating for an injury, can be eased with a regular sports massage regimen. Sports massage can partially compensate for lack of exercise during inactivity while recovering from injury. Sports massage is also used to relieve muscular spasms and fatigue-related injuries.
Why Is Sports Massage Recommended?
Sports massage is more than just a reward at the end of a workout. It is a vital tool for keeping athletes primed for top performance and even lengthening their careers. Recognized as an important part of a regular maintenance program, sports massage is widely used by individuals, teams, and Olympic and professional athletes. What Areas Will Be Massaged? Sports massage may focus on specific muscles used in your sport or fitness activity. For example, areas of greater stress for runners and cyclists are the legs and lower back; for swimmers, the upper body.