Massage For Old Injuries

September 15th, 2010

Chronic back pain, trick knees and sticky shoulders caused by an injury are not necessarily something you just have to live with. Massage techniques may be able to unlock the old pain. I have been asked “How will massage help?” The benefits of massage will depend on the extent of the injury, how long ago it occurred etc.

Chronic and old injuries often require deeper and more precise treatments with less time being emphasized on general relaxation. Massage works best for soft tissue injuries to muscles and tendons and is most effective in releasing adhesions (scar tissue) and lengthening muscles that have shortened due to compensatory  reactions to the injury. Tight and fibrous muscles not only hurt at the muscle or its tendon, but can also interfere with proper joint movement and cause pain far away from the original injury.

If that nagging original injury persists, see your doctor and consider booking a massage. Be sure to discuss the injury with the therapist – How did you injured it? What exactly are your symptoms? Often the body compensates in one area to protect another that has been traumatized and this can create new problems.

Heat or Ice For Injuries, “Which Is Best For You?”

September 9th, 2010

The first thing that comes to mind when treating an injury immediately after it has happened is which is better to minimize the pain and damage as well as facilitate recovery. Whether it be from working in the yard or to being a weekend warrior. Your lower back has been bothering you more than usual. The question is should you ice it to try to control inflammation, or would heat be better to promote circulation?

While it’s difficult to establish a fail-safe rule for when to apply ice or heat, the general directive is to use the ice for the first 48 hours after an acute injury and then switch to heat. It depends whether it is a recurrent injury, which is by far the most common: in these cases, consistent and frequent applications of ice may prove very helpful over long period of time. On the other hand, your back or other muscle spasms caused by overexertion rather than injury may benefit greatly from heat immediately upon the onset of symptoms or immediately after exercise in order to relax the muscles and increase circulation.

Muscle belly pain, not resulting from acute and serious trauma, generally responds well to that which can break the spasms and release the strain. Nerve and tendon pain, regardless of the duration of symptoms, even if you have been experiencing them for months, benefit from ice. The bottom line – different individuals vary greatly in their reaction. Some people are more prone to the types of inflammation exacerbated by ice, while others find their bodies contracting and tightening at the mere mention of ice.

Try each option and pay close attention to how your body and mind reasons and let your “gut instinct” be your guide.

Understanding Neck Pain

June 14th, 2010

neck painUpper back and neck pain are the most frequent complaint, the pain my be a result from a variety of factors. Ranging from acute or chronic. Cervical injuries are listed second to the lumbar (lower back region.)  In fact, it is rare to not find anyone who has not suffered from neck or upper-back pain at some point in their life.

The cervical area can become injured and painful without suffering a trauma. From tears, over-strength ligaments and stress. As your body tries to repair the area by causing an involuntary muscle spasm, which will cause the area to limit your range of motion. Thus causing the stiff neck and upper shoulder movement. Slowly the surrendering area is affected by the pull of the ligament causing headaches and weakens in the upper-body area.

By working the area and gently peeling away the superficial to deep layers of muscles, this allows better movement to the neck region and releases the trigger points in the neck and shoulders. Allow Caring Hands Massage to release the tension that has been building up or from an old injured.

Open Communication With Your Massage Therapist

June 14th, 2010

People get massages for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you are seeking stress relief from the weekly work commute or you want to cleanse your body of toxins. Alternatively, maybe massage is helping you recover from a sore back from shoveling snow all winter. Whatever your reasons it is important that you explicitly communicate to your therapist the reason you made the appointment, otherwise, you run the risk of not getting what you expect from the massage. The most important thing to remember is that this is your time. Above all, be comfortable with your therapist. It is all about your comfort-whether it’s the music, the temperature, the stroke or pressure applied, keeping an open dialog and letting your therapist know what feels good and what does not will create a relationship of lasting trust.

By having an open dialog allows me to know how you are doing and if there have been any changes due to circumstances in the way our bodies are always changing.  Because you shoveled that driveway this winter your lower back has still been bothering you more than usual. On the other hand maybe you started to work-out and your muscles are sore from the new routine. It is important that I know about your massage preferences in order to make your massage more enjoyable – I need to know if you prefer that I end with footwork or with a face massage to open your breathing passage.

“Be an active participant, ask questions about things you do not understand, make your wishes known and let it be known if you are uncomfortable at any time. Above all, be comfortable with the massage therapist – feel respected, pampered, safe and comfortable at all times”.

Benefits of Massage

June 14th, 2010

Therapeutic massage is an age-old remedy and health practice.  The healing systems of many cultures, including our own, use hands-on therapy to sooth aches and pains and facilitate the body’s own healing powers.  Many people are taking back the responsibility for their health and well being.  As a result, massage is becoming even more popular as a way of maintaining ones’ health.  Massage has the ability to affect every system of your body- general muscular tension, headaches,  muscular back pain, poor circulation, stress and anxiety are just a few.

Therapeutic massage can also help balance the effects of stress in our lives by triggering the “relaxation response” – relaxing these muscles, reducing anxiety levels, normalizing blocked energy  flow, improving immune system functioning and resorting a calm mind and feeling of well being.

During these economic times you may need to cut back on massage; but more than a luxury, a massage is a vital part of self-care that has a positive ripple effect on your body.  Arriving five (5) minutes before your scheduled time, allows us to tailor your session.   My intention is to resolve the pain or problem in as few sessions as possible.  My clients commonly experience significant improvement in the very first session. However, it is important to have realistic expectations when initiating any type of therapy.  Although, I have many times helped people find relief in one session. Every person is an individual and depending on the severity and complexity of the condition, more sessions may be needed accordingly.

Whether looking for relaxing massage to recover from an old or new injury, allow Caring Hands Massage Therapy to choose from a combination of modalities offered, i.e. hot stones, bamboo, deep tissue, etc.  Each one offers a different technique.  After a brief conversation concerning your specific needs, work with your therapist to compose a treatment plan. Allow each session to be individually tailored to your needs, providing you with the result you desire.