Posts for tag: massage
Come in and get a massage with Eddie Panales. He is the 4 time winner of the Modesto Bee's Reader Choice for best Massage Therapist in Modesto.
He is well versed in and able to incorporate a number of modalities and techniques to help your body relax, heal and find balance. Eddie uses the following techniques MyofascialRelease, CranioSacral Therapy, Swedish Massage, Shiatsu Massage, Cryo-therapy, Pre-natal Massage and has also developed his own technique that he calls Body Mechanix.
Yes, the happy holidays are upon us, and as discussed last newsletter, the glorious days of indulgence can lead to weight gain if not managed properly. But the holidays are dangerous to your health and wellness for another reason: stress. Whether it's the end-of-year deadlines at work, the mad rush to get your holiday shopping done (and the financial burden therein), the hectic one-party-after-another schedule or endless other factors, the holidays can increase your stress levels exponentially. Here's how to de-stress the holidays and allow you to enjoy the end of the year (and the beginning of the new one) without blowing a gasket.
Put it on the calendar:
As your days become busier and busier, the potential for stress overload increases. How can you manage all your errands and responsibilities? The same way you've (hopefully) done it throughout the year: by putting it on a calendar. The only way to survive the hectic holidays is to make not only a calendar of the entire holiday season and pencil in all important dates and deadlines, but also to create a daily To Do List – and make sure all your "to-do's" get done in an orderly fashion. You'll be amazed how great you feel when you've organized your hectic day onto a single sheet and then cross off one task after the next as you complete them.
Stress reduction goes way beyond the physical; it becomes an exercise in mental relaxation. This holiday season, continually remind yourself to "go to your happy place" whenever you're faced with a stressful situation. Drowning in a sea of mall shoppers? Find a bench and take a 5-minute break – or go outside and walk for a few minutes, breathing the fresh, crisp air. Can't take another critical conversation with your in-laws? Switch the conversation to something you know will elicit a positive reaction / interaction. Find your happy place amid the chaos and help keep your stress levels low.
Schedule some free time:
Back to that calendar / To Do List for a moment. If you're going to take control of holiday stress, you've got to schedule some free time for yourself while you're scheduling everything else. You can tell yourself you're going to do it, but if you don't put it on the calendar, you'll likely end up skipping it – and suffering the stress consequences. So schedule an end-of-day bath, a 20-minute midday walk or an early-morning read of whatever book you're working through – or schedule all three! After all, during the holiday season, there's plenty of stress potential in the air. Balance it with consistent, rewarding free time and give stress the boot.
Feed a little peace of mind:
Last issue, we talked about ways to avoid holiday weight gain with sensible eating / lifestyle habits. This advice works just as well when it comes to fighting stress. After all, if you can't fit into your holiday outfit, you're riddled with guilt because you've gained back all the weight you lost for the previous 11 months, and your stomach's in knots from that third piece of pie, it's hard to stop stress from overwhelming you. So while you're enjoying those holiday indulgences (sensibly and moderately), up your intake of stress-relieving foods such as avocado, salmon, green tea, oatmeal, blueberries, leafy green vegetables and a host of other healthy options.
Holiday stress can ruin what should be an amazing time of year for you, your family and loved ones. Make the holidays memorable by taking control of stress – before it takes control of you. Ask your doctor about these and other stress reducing strategies to help brighten your day.
Many people associate massage with vacations or spas and consider them something of a luxury. But research is beginning to suggest this ancient form of hands-on healing may be more than an indulgence—may help improve your health.
Massage therapists use their fingers, hands, forearms and elbows to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. Variations in focus and technique lead to different types of massage, including Swedish, Deep Tissue and Sports Massage.
In Swedish Massage, the focus is general and the therapist may use long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping. With a deep tissue massage, the focus is more targeted, as therapists work on specific areas of concern or pain. These areas may have muscle “knots” or places of tissue restriction.
Some common reasons for getting a massage are to relieve pain, heal sports injuries, reduce stress, relax, ease anxiety or depression, and aid general wellness. Unfortunately, scientific evidence on massage therapy is limited. Researchers are actively trying to understand exactly how massage works, how much is best, and how it might help with specific health conditions. Some positive benefits have been reported.
“Massage therapy has been noted to relax the nervous system by slowing heart rate and blood pressure. Stress and pain hormones are also decreased by massage, reducing pain and enhancing immune function,” says Dr. Tiffany Field, who heads a touch research institute at the University of Miami Medical School. Much of her NIH-funded research focuses on the importance of massage for pregnant women and infants. Some of her studies suggest that massage may improve weight gain and immune system function in preterm infants.
A study published earlier this year looked at how massage affects muscles at the molecular level. The findings suggest that kneading eases sore muscles after exercise by turning off genes associated with inflammationand turning on genes that help muscles heal.
A recent NIH-supported study found that an hour-long “dose” of Swedish massage therapy once a week was optimal for knee pain from osteoarthritis, especially when practical matters like time, labor and convenience were considered. Other research suggests that massage therapy is effective in reducing and managing chronic low-back pain, which affects millions of Americans.
If you’re considering massage therapy for a specific medical condition, talk with your health care provider. Never use massage to replace your regular medical care or as a reason to postpone seeing a health care professional.
Every therapist and every massage is unique. If you decide to try massage therapy, work with different therapists until you find one that meets your needs. One of the best ways to get a great massage is to communicate with your therapist. Most will check in with you during your session for feedback, but—if not—speak up!
A soothing massage can help you unwind, but that's not all. Explore the possible benefits of massage and what to expect.
Massage is no longer available only through luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today, massage therapy is offered in businesses, clinics, hospitals and even airports. If you've never tried massage, learn about its possible health benefits and what to expect during a massage therapy session.
What is massage?
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage, but may also use their forearms, elbows and even feet. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure.
There are many different types of massage, including these common types:
- Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
- Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
- Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it's geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
- Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
Benefits of Massage:
Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.
Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.
While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Paresthesias and nerve pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment and creating deep connections with their massage therapist.
Despite its benefits, massage isn't meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you're trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.
Risks of massage: Most people can benefit from massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have:
- Bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medication
- Burns, open or healing wounds
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Severe osteoporosis
- Severe thrombocytopenia
Discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or have cancer or unexplained pain.
Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn't ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn't feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.
In rare circumstances, massage can cause:
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Temporary paralysis
- Allergic reactions to massage oils or lotions
What you can expect during a massage
You don't need any special preparation for massage. Before a massage therapy session starts, your massage therapist should ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you're hoping to get out of massage. Your massage therapist should explain the kind of massage and techniques he or she will use.
In a typical massage therapy session, you undress or wear loose-fitting clothing. Undress only to the point that you're comfortable. You generally lie on a table and cover yourself with a sheet. You can also have a massage while sitting in a chair, fully clothed. Your massage therapist should perform an evaluation through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.
Depending on preference, your massage therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin. Tell your massage therapist if you might be allergic to any ingredients.
A massage session may last from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage and how much time you have. No matter what kind of massage you choose, you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage.
If a massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It's likely to be uncomfortable while your massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.
Finding a massage therapist
Massage can be performed by several types of health care professionals, such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist or massage therapist. Ask your doctor or someone else you trust for a recommendation. Most states regulate massage therapists through licensing, registration or certification requirements.
Don't be afraid to ask a potential massage therapist such questions as:
- Are you licensed, certified or registered?
- What is your training and experience?
- How many massage therapy sessions do you think I'll need?
- What's the cost, and is it covered by health insurance?
The take-home message about massage
Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever. You can even learn how to do self-massage or to engage in massage with a partner at home.
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The skeletal structure of the knee is formed from three different bones – the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone) and patella (knee cap). The lower end of the femur connects with the tibia and patella at the knee. Here, the femur expands into two protuberances known as the medial and lateral condyles, which meet with both the medial and lateral condyles of the tibia and two articular facets of the patella. As the femur inclines inward from the hip, the knee joints are closer to the midline of the body than the hips. This inclination tends to be greater in females because of their wider pelvis.
Unlike other joints in the body, which are mostly formed by the intersection of two bones, the knee comprises three different connections: two tibiofemoral hinge joints and the planar (sliding) patellofemoral joint. The tibiofemoral joints are formed where the lateral and medial condyles of the femur meet with the lateral and medial condyles of the tibia, respectively. Two articular menisci (fibrocartilage discs), one lateral and one medial, also form part of these joints. These act to fill the spaces between the bones and help with the circulation of synovial fluid. The patellofemoral joint is formed by the convergence of the patellar surface on the front of the femur with the back of the patella.
Movements permitted at the knee joint include flexion (bending), extension (straightening), a small amount of medial (inward) rotation and some lateral (outward) rotation of the bent leg. The joint is supported by a series of muscle tendons, ligaments and some capsular fibers.
Tendons from the quadriceps femoris muscle stretch across the front of the patella, forming both the lateral and medial patellar retinacula and then continue down to the tibia as the patellar ligament. These structures provide the front of the patellofemoral joint with a great deal of strength. Behind the patellar ligament a fatty cushion (the intrapatellar fat pad) separates the ligament from the synovial membrane.
Other important supporting ligaments at the knee include two popliteal ligaments (the oblique and arcuate, which strengthen the connections between the tibia and femur), two collateral ligaments (the tibial and fibular, which connect the femur to the tibia and fibula) and two cruciate ligaments (the anterior and posterior) that stretch across the inside of the knee joint, crossing as they do so (hence the name cruciate which means ‘cross-shaped‘). The cruciate ligaments are well-known to many sports fans, as both (especially the anterior) can become badly damaged by any strong twisting of the knee following a fall.
Three bursae (fluid-filled sacs) are found at the knee joint, which act to reduce friction where connected parts of the joint move against each other. These comprise the prepatellar bursa between the patella and skin of the knee, the intrapatellar bursa between the top of the tibia and patellar ligament and the suprapatellar bursa between the bottom of the femur and quadriceps femoris muscle.