Massage therapy is a great way to restore flexibility, aid in injury recovery and provide instant muscle relaxation. But how can you be sure to attain these goals at the end of your session making certain you aren’t left disappointed? Here are four tips on what to do during your massage therapy treatmentensuring you receive the most out of the experience.
It is important to communicate with your therapist before and during the massage. For instance, if you have a specific physical injury or have a health issue then relay this information to your therapist before the session begins. This way he/she responds properly during your session to accommodate these concerns. Also, if your therapist is pressing too hard or light, then inform your therapist during the massage. An experienced, knowledgeable massage therapist is able to adjust pressure to meet the client’s needs.
This may sound like a trivial tip, but don’t forget to breathe. Some people tend to hold their breath when a painful area is being massaged or a sensitive area is worked on. Breathe through it. It helps facilitate muscle relaxation easing the moments when the most difficult areas are pressured.
After the massage is over, take your time getting off the table. If you get up too quickly you might feel dizzy or light-headed.
After the session is over, drink water. The muscle manipulation occurring during a massage exhausts your body of water. By drinking water, you keep your muscles hydrated and reduce the risk of feeling pain or soreness for the days following a massage. It is the same concept as drinking plenty of water after strenuous exercises. When muscles are exerted, the body loses water and electrolytes. Water replenishes these necessities.
Massage therapists knead muscles and soft tissue of the body to provide treatment for injuries and to promote general wellness.
Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients.
Massage therapists typically do the following:
Talk with clients about symptoms, medical history, and desired results Evaluate clients to locate painful or tense areas of the body Manipulate muscles or other soft tissues of the body Provide clients with guidance on how to improve posture, stretching, strengthening, and overall relaxation
Massage therapists use their hands, fingers, forearms, elbows, and sometimes feet to knead muscles and soft tissue of the body to treat injuries and to promote general wellness. A massage can be as short as 5–10 minutes or could last more than an hour.
Therapists also may use lotions and oils, massage tables or chairs, and medical heat lamps when treating a client. Massage therapists may offer clients information about additional relaxation techniques to practice between sessions.
Massage therapists can specialize in many different types of massage, called modalities. Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, and sports massage are just a few of the many modalities of massage therapy. Most massage therapists specialize in several modalities, which require different techniques.
Usually, the type of massage given depends on the client’s needs and physical condition. For example, therapists may use a special technique for elderly clients that they would not use for athletes. Some forms of massage are given solely to one type of client; for example, prenatal massage is given to pregnant women.
Now, a study in the July 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that massage is an effective treatment for lower back pain. In some cases, researchers report, the benefits of massage lasted for six months or longer.
Practising Massage into his 80′s! Wow - Most Massage Therapist’s would be happy to last half that long!
Today, Aug. 27, my father turns 80.
A full decade beyond his biblical allotment of three score and ten, this afternoon he’ll be ushered to a reception with photos and memories and sharing in a kind of This is Your Life. There will be warm smiles and best wishes and gracious blessings.
Now, if you’re a city, old age can look good on you. Take North America’s two oldest capitals — Quebec City, that charming bridge from New World to Old; and Santa Fe, N.M., vibrant home of the artisans, sitting at the Sangre de Cristo, that is the Blood of Christ mountain range at the Rockies’ south tip. Both cities, which I’ve visited this summer, are more than 400 years old.
But let’s face it. If you’re a human walking the earth, getting old is a mixed bag. Writer-theologian Frederick Buechner said it’s like living in a house needing more and more repairs: The plumbing needs work; bats are in the attic; windows are cracked and dusty and hard to see through. Then in bad weather, there’s that creaking and groaning.
No, old age is not for wimps. We approach it, even from a distance, with trepidation. At least I do.
It’s like your second childhood. That’s what they say. Maybe. Perhaps any 80-year-old, not just my father, can practice being a young eight-year-old. I don’t mean this pejoratively.
Our eldest turned eight this summer. She’d like to do all kinds of things. But her body isn’t there yet. So, instead, she plays games. Funny games.
You need a hearing aid? Have memory loss? Sore knees? No, that’s not fun. But maybe some elderly get on with it fine because they see past the frustration and consider it, well, a little funny.
Certainly children are good at being themselves. They have nothing to prove. Nor do the elderly.
And while children may be afraid of what’s ahead, they’re often in touch with something the rest of us have lost, that inner goodness that sees them through.
Maybe it’s for these reasons that the very old and the very young often get along so well.
I don’t need to tell my father any of this. He knows it. Recently he humbly told me that he hasn’t done a good job facing his own mortality. He’s assumed one day will always lead to the next. Like we all assume.
Still, my father, a war survivor and immigrant who has always carried a rich accent, has crammed much living into life.
For 50 years, he’s practised as a registered massage therapist in the Niagara Region. First trained in Germany, he’s been recognized as a guru in a vocation that he’s always considered, above all, one of healing.
Years ago the Ontario Massage Association formally awarded him for longevity. He just kept at it, keeping longer hours than therapists half his age. Now, with a bad back himself, he treats clients by sitting and moving his chair around the therapy table. And still, he wants more work.
This, in an old 1870s’ estate home. With one renovation or another over the decades, Dad Froese has also put his hands on it, a building he ran as a nursing home in the 1970s and 1980s, a big old manor that somehow seems as attached to him as he is to it.
And this all after a hard marital breakup that had my father travel from Canada to Cold War Berlin to lay claim to his kids. One summer day in 1968, the drama landed on the front page of the Toronto Telegram, headlined One Man’s Fight for his Two Children.
Dad and I met for the first time in Germany, the day before I turned three. Soon after, back in Canada with his kids, my father became a widower. He remarried more than two decades later. I was his best man.
Mere touchstones. That’s what these are. Much more has happened over these years. Like with any family, characters and situations, good times and hard times, have come and gone. Like with any family, there’s just too much to write.
But remember is what any of us must do. So we can forget — and then remember again.
Thomas Froese is a Hamilton author and journalist. He can be reached through thomasfroese.com
August 9, 2011Printer-friendly version
Statins and Massage Therapy
As one of the most frequently prescribed medications, make certain you know what side effects statins cause and how to address them in a massage therapy practice.
by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.
A seven-year-old U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report claims that over half of all insured Americans are taking prescribed medicine regularly for a chronic health problem. Although this information has likely been surpassed in 2011, it still highlights the need for massage therapists to be familiar with how drugs impact massage. Nowhere is this need more apparent than for clients taking statins, one of the most frequently prescribed medications today.
Designed to reduce the impact of heart disease, statins lower cholesterol. A quarter of Americans aged 45 and older are currently taking a statin drug, up from just two percent about 20 years ago. Statins are known scientifically as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. In short, they suppress the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol naturally.
Statins block the enzyme in the liver that is responsible for making cholesterol: hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMG-CoA reductase). In addition to blocking this enzyme, statins help the body reabsorb cholesterol that has built up in plaques along artery walls. This re-absorption action prevents further blockage in the blood vessels, thus reducing the occurrence of strokes and heart attacks. The three most commonly prescribed statins are:
• Lipitor (atorvastatin)
• Zocor (simvastatin)
• Crestor (rosuvastatin)
Statin Side Effects + Massage Considerations
Any effective pharmaceutical medication is likely to have an accompanying list of side effects, and statins are certainly no exception to this rule. Some of the more common side effects of statins – and how that would impact massage – include:
• Muscle Pain, Joint Pain and Muscle Weakness – While this is one of the most frequently reported statin side effects, mild or infrequent bouts with these discomforts are not reasons to modify massage. However, severe or frequent weakness or pain should be cleared by a physician prior to massage.
• Severe Muscle Damage (rhabdomyolysis) – Although rare, suspected rhabdomyolysis should be referred to a physician and massage withheld until medical clearance is granted. This referral and precaution is imperative to protect the kidneys from potential damage. The risk of muscle damage is magnified in those who combine statins with niacin (Vitamin B3) – a supplement commonly used to lower cholesterol.
• Heartburn and Nausea – With either of these symptoms, therapists should utilize a semi-reclining position, and avoid pressure and speed that rocks the client. In addition, shiatsu on the point Pericardium 6 is known to help ease both heartburn and nausea.
• Cramping – Avoid the abdominal area in clients with abdominal cramping or if the pressure causes pain. For a muscular cramp, consider reciprocal inhibition for relief. By activating the opposing muscle group, reciprocal inhibition forces the contracted muscle to relax. For example, a cramp in the posterior, lower leg can be relieved by applying resisted tension to the anterior, lower leg muscles.
• Constipation – To help constipation, position the client supine with flexed knees and apply gliding strokes, kneading and vibration in a clockwise direction on the abdominal area. In addition, applying shiatsu massage techniques to the Stomach and Large Intestine meridians can facilitate movement in the bowels.
Since so many Americans take statins, massage therapists are best prepared by reviewing this drug category and its associated side effects. The information presented here is intended to be a starting point for discovering the impact statins can have. Armed with a deeper understanding of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, practitioners will be confident in knowing what red flags to look out for and devising a plan to best address their clients’ complaints.
Walking distance from:
* College Subway
* Queen's Park Subway