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Welcome to Our Blog!

ATM- front yard signTherapeutic Massage plays a vital role in healing and maintaining overall health. At Advanced Therapeutic Massage, we are grateful for our role in wellness and find it crucial to spread the word about quality bodywork and its effects on the human body and spirit. In our blog, we share some of our beliefs and experiences about massage, research articles, and general information about health and wellness. We hope you find it informative and useful!

Massage and Detox

Massage and DetoxWelcoming a New Year or simply welcoming a new perspective on health brings important questions. How can I improve my overall health? What steps can I take to implement an effective wellness plan? Reducing toxicity in the body is a necessary component of improved health – and massage therapy can play a positive role! Massage often reduces toxicity through enhancing lymphatic flow, improving liver and kidney function and eliminating toxins through the skin.

Read about detox and massage therapy in the following article from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine: www.pacificcollege.edu/acupuncture-massage-news/articles/558-massage-for-detoxification.html.

What Causes Leg Cramps?

ATM bananas - blog postRecently, one of our clients asked the question “What causes my leg cramps at night?”

There are several possibilities; the most likely cause is dehydration (especially in hot weather), followed by potassium deficiency, and finally, prescription drugs.

So, what can you do?

To eliminate the cramping at the time of occurrence, massage your calves, and then stretch them by lifting your toes (avoid pointing them) while in a standing position. Lean forward over your toes, and then walk around until the cramps subside.

Monitor your water intake and drink at least half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces of water per day.

Add at least two or more healthy servings of potassium-rich foods per day. Ideally, choosing one protein source and two or more servings of fruits and vegetables everyday should successfully reduce leg cramps.

If drinking more water and increasing your potassium doesn’t eliminate your leg cramps, review any medications you are taking. Be sure to read the side effects of all prescription drugs; there are some that have been known to cause nocturnal leg cramping.

Following is a list of potassium-rich foods:

Fruits: bananas, grapefruit, oranges, nectarines, apricots, tomatoes, dates, grapes, raisins, and their juices

Vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, beans, potatoes, and corn

Proteins: saltwater fish, pork and lamb

Therapeutic massage in combination with the above regimen is also likely to enhance the elimination of nocturnal cramps. Additionally, stretching your calves along with daily exercise can rid the body of excess lactic acid produced by cramping of the muscle tissue.

Pain Management: Heat or Ice?

hot vs cold bonesBoth ice and heat are common treatments used to reduce pain due to injuries and soreness in the body. The decision to treat with heat or ice is generally based on two factors: 1) the length of time since injury or onset of pain and 2) the type of pain you’re experiencing.

Ice reduces swelling and spasm in muscle tissue–moderating the influx of blood to the affected area. Therefore, ice therapy is appropriate if:
-an injury is recent (from 0-72 hours)
-swelling and redness is present

Heat increases circulation. The application of heat, whether by a hot shower, a heat pack or a hot tub, has the ability to increase blood flow to the area experiencing pain. As a result, heat therapy is appropriate if:
-stiffness and loss of motion are present

In some cases, a combination of ice and heat therapies may be appropriate. For instance, if:
-an injury or onset of pain has been present longer than 72 hours
-the injury or pain is chronic and/or resistant to healing

If you are unsure of which therapy to use or have a combination of symptoms, ice is the safest choice.

Please note: heat is NOT used on an acute injury. While heat increases blood (circulation) to the area, it can also cause inflammation, potentially increasing pain. If the use of heat increases pain, stop using heat and begin using ice.

Massage Therapy’s Roll in Wellness

serenityMuscle and fascial restriction in the neck, back and hips is the MOST common cause of pain in the body. Since muscle tension causes misalignment of the physical structure, addressing muscular imbalance should often be our first line of defense.Still, many people believe that the common headache is a result of something other than muscle tension. Medication for a headache may be helpful and/or needed as a temporary measure; however, true pain relief is often achieved only with manual therapy.

In some cases, other forms of manual therapy may also be helpful; chiropractic care, physical therapy and acupuncture are highly complementary to massage work. Combining these modalities has been known to be highly beneficial.

Why Massage Therapy?

Research indicates a direct correlation between between high stress levels and serious disease. Studies also show significant benefits of healing through touch, ranging from treating chronic illness or injury-related pain to reducing stress from day-to-day living. Whether utilized as treatment for serious illness or part of a wellness regimen, massage therapy is often a powerful ally in a healthcare program.

 

ATM- front yard signMassage Therapy:
* relieves pain
* reduces stress
* improves circulation
* lowers blood pressure
* strengthens the immune system
* increases flexibility
* increases range of motion
* manages chronic pain conditions
* improves rehabilitation after surgery
* eases medication dependence
* increases range of motion

The Importance of Water

Water Being Poured Into GlassThe importance of water consumption is a hot topic in health-oriented environments. Next to air, it is the MOST important element we consume. Why then, is it so hard for us to get enough water?My theory is twofold: First, we are distracted by “waterlike” products designed to cover up the taste of water. Second, other beverages containing caffeine, sugar, and/or sugar substitute tend to become habit (coffee and sodas are extremely habit-forming).Two-thirds of our body weight is water. As a result, consuming enough water for our bodies to operate efficiently is crucial! It is commonly recommended to drink a minimum of half of your body weight in ounces per day. Fuel your body with pure water! I raise my glass of water and cheer “To Our Health!”

What is Fascia?

ATM Slider - Body Charts 5 - cropThe American Heritage Medical Dictionary defines fascia as a sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body. Fascial restriction (sometimes referred to as Myofascial Pain Syndrome) is as COMMON in those who are active as it is in those who are sedentary. Pain that is difficult to pinpoint typically has a muscle as well as a fascial component. In treating this syndrome, we use a technique called myofascial release to reduce pain and inflammation in the body. Those who have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Polymyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Chronic Pain Syndrome often find this treatment extremely beneficial.