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Tag Archives: Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic

How Regular Massages are Better than Peanut Butter and Jelly!

It seems too good to be true, but getting regular massages can actually improve your health! Below we’ll look at the many benefits of massages and the science behind them. Reduce Anxiety By stimulating the nervous system, massages have been shown to reduce cortisol levels, a hormone that is released in response to stress, by up to 50%. Massages also increase the levels of neurotransmitters that reduce depression. Relieve Digestive Disorders Massage therapists are trained to feel tightness and abnormalities in your muscles throughout the body. By massaging the abdominal area, they can also feel firmness and tightness due to congestion in the digestive tract. By massaging these areas, massage therapists can relax muscles to let the material flow naturally through the system. These massages can reduce symptoms such as: gas, bloating, cramping, and constipation. Headaches Proactive massages can help prevent migraines and tension headaches by relaxing muscle spasms in the head, face, shoulders, and neck. These are common trigger points for headaches. For those who are suffering from severe headaches and need immediate relief, massages can help reduce the existing pain and make the headache easier to cope with. Reduces Blood Pressure Studies show that a program of regular massages over an extended period of time helps reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure. By reducing cortisol levels in the blood, massages help people reduce stress, which is a leading cause of high blood pressure. Nerve Pain A pinched or damaged nerve can cause a lot of pain. Though massages don’t treat the nerve itself, they can be used to relax the areas surrounding the nerve to reduce muscle spasms that may cause the pain to flare up. Soft Tissue Strains Muscle strains are caused by too much tension on a muscle, resulting in a tear. During the period of inactivity that is required for the muscle to heal, scar tissue forms and may cause adverse effects on the muscle, reducing its range of motion or decreasing its physical capabilities. Massage therapy can help keep the surrounding tissue stretched and active during this recuperation period so that your body heals correctly. Sports Injuries Massages greatly improve blood circulation. For those who suffer a sports related injury, massages of the effected region can help increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the recovering organs and tissue, assisting in a more rapid recovery. Strengthens the Immune System Stress and anxiety can take a heavier toll on your body than many realize. Stress tends to affect the sleep quality and dietary well-being of those plagued with it, which reduces the immune system’s ability to combat bacteria and infection. Getting regular massages provides more benefits than just immediate relaxation, it increases your white blood cells and reduces the number of T-cells in your system. In other words, massage helps increase the activity of your body’s fighting cells and improve your immunity overall. There are many physical and mental benefits to receiving massages. They can be one-time massages to help you through isolated incidents, or a series of massages to work through stress and anxiety related problems. One thing is clear though, this alternative medicine is tried and true and is a risk-free alternative to drugs and other, more permanent, procedures.
Article Author: Shelly Jackson is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC. On a daily basis we deal with: resolving muscle and movement stiffness and pain; injuries from vehicles or sports; post breast cancer rehab; pregnancy related discomfort; repetitive strain and overuse injuries. We work with clients to reduce their anxiety and stress, improve joint movement, sleep and quality of life. Working with qualified massage therapists is necessary for your continued health. Contact us at 604-538-7166 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have. Photo Source: courtesy of Ambro / Free Digital Photos

How Massage Therapy is a Weight Off Your Shoulders

Have you ever seen a line of dominoes fall? It only takes one domino to fall out of place in order for the whole line to follow in a downward tumble. One change in the system affects the rest and continues to create more change. In a human body, there are many triggers that may cause one problem that will create a series of other negative issues for the body. Stress is one trigger that can negatively affect mental, emotional, and physical health. Stress Effects According to knowledge from PositiveMed, the head, stomach, skin, pancreas, heart, and many more organs of the body are victims of mental stress. Stress also creates aches, pains, and tension in joints and muscles. When muscles are sore or damaged in any way, this can create serious problems for the body and mobility, in other words, creating a domino effect. Learning to manage stress mentally is key to releasing a lot of stress, but it is not always so easy to accomplish. So how can you help yourself physically when the weight on your shoulders is too much? How Massage Helps with Stress Medical research shows us that, in fact, getting massage therapy is one of the best ways to improve not just physical health, but mental and emotional as well. Research completed in the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles shows that when massage therapy relaxes muscles, many chemical changes occur. When muscles relax, levels of the main stress hormone cortisol are reduced. Even more fundamentally, there is a decrease of arginine vasopressin, which controls the release of cortisol, as well as adrenal corticotropin, which is the actual stimulant of cortisol. The number of lymphocytes, or white blood cells in the immune system, increase as well as the hormone oxytocin, which is related with happiness and contentment. Essentially, massages will literally eliminate stress and make you happy person! The physical healing will bring mental and emotional healing, which simplifies the burden of stress management. In the study at the David Geffen School of Medicine, the Swedish technique in massage therapy was used on the clients. This is not the only technique used and certainly not the first. In fact, techniques vary and change between different massage therapists. Still, there are methods widely known and used. Massage is one of the earliest known forms of psychical therapy with the use of massage as a healing technique dating back centuries. Because massage therapy has been in practice for so long all around the world, it should come as no surprise that it has the power to provide physical, emotional, and mental healing. Through studies performed with modern science on massage therapy, it has been proven that our ancestors were right and massage therapy has extremely beneficial uses with regard to stress and overall health. Don’t let stress affect your health, take a load off your shoulders and experience massage therapy.
Article Author: Shelly Jackson is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC. On a daily basis we deal with: resolving muscle and movement stiffness and pain; injuries from vehicles or sports; post breast cancer rehab; pregnancy related discomfort; repetitive strain and overuse injuries. We work with clients to reduce their anxiety and stress, improve joint movement, sleep and quality of life. Working with qualified massage therapists is necessary for your continued health. Contact us at 604-538-7166 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have. Photo Source: courtesy of Ohmega1982 / Free Digital Photos

Why Drinking Water is Essential to Avoiding Health Risks after a Massage

Drinking water is not only important to your daily health, but is extremely important to maintain your health before and after a massage. During a massage, your massage therapist manipulates toxin filled muscles and tension that constricts blood flow, which could have negative risks if you don’t take the proper precautions. Drinking Water before Your Massage People typically get massages to alleviate some level of tightness in their muscles. Tight, tough muscles act as a barrier for healthy blood flow and lymphatic drainage. Consider the following example of how your blood flow interacts with your muscle. A hose of flowing water (your blood stream) approaches a kink in the hose (your tight muscle), which makes it more difficult for the water to move through the system. In other words, as your blood flows to a muscle plagued with tension, it has a hard time flowing through the muscle. Your massage therapist is loosening your muscles and surrounding connective tissue, making it easier for the blood to deliver essential fluids and oxygen to the neglected parts of your muscles. However, this transition of water from the blood stream to the muscle can leave you feeling dehydrated and rather unpleasant. To prevent dehydration, it is recommended that you drink one to two glasses pf water before beginning your massage. You are essentially storing water for your blood to use once it sends fluid to your muscles. Drinking Water after Your Massage Once your muscles have been sufficiently poked, prodded, and stretched, you will be feeling relaxed and will likely not think of the effects the newly loosened muscles are having on your health. To understand the danger, it’s important to understand the science behind tight muscles. As tension builds in your muscle from bad posture, injuries, or stress, the muscle becomes tough, preventing good blood flow to the muscle. With this decrease in blood flow, your muscle will begin to suffer from metabolic waste buildup, creating adhesions in your muscle over time. You will begin to feel pain and lose mobility in these muscles, which is when most people turn to massage therapy. Your massage therapist can work your muscles, breaking up these adhesions and increasing blood flow to your muscles, but it creates two risks. First, as described above, the fluid supply will leave the blood stream to go to the muscle, causing you to feel dehydrated. Second, when the tight spots in your muscle are relieved, the toxins, which built up from poor blood, flow will be released and your blood stream will be flooded with more toxins than normal, which could cause illness. To prevent sickness due to toxins and dehydration, simply drink one to two glasses of water after your massage to flush the toxins out and clean up your blood stream. There’s no need to be worried about the risks mentioned above as long as you hydrate yourself before and after your massage session. Every massage therapy center will have access to plenty of water and the therapists will tell you exactly how to avoid massage-related risks.
Article Author: Shelly Jackson is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC. On a daily basis we deal with: resolving muscle and movement stiffness and pain; injuries from vehicles or sports; post breast cancer rehab; pregnancy related discomfort; repetitive strain and overuse injuries. We work with clients to reduce their anxiety and stress, improve joint movement, sleep and quality of life. Working with qualified massage therapists is necessary for your continued health. Contact us at 604-538-7166 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have. Photo Source: courtesy of Theeradech Sanin / Free Digital Photos

5 Beneficial Massage Options to Fit Your Needs

Massage therapy has been around for as long as we can remember and is an amazing option to treat physical ailments. People are beginning to understand just how beneficial massage therapy is. In order to begin reaping these benefits, it is important that you first understand the types of massages available and what they are used for, so you can choose the most suitable option for your needs.  It is always recommended to work with a registered massage therapist. Swedish Massage Therapy As the most common type of massage, Swedish massage therapy is great for those who have never had a massage before. It is gentle and relaxing. Massage therapists use lotion or oil to massage the superficial layers of your skin using long strokes, small circles, tapping and kneading motions. This type of massage is ideal for relaxation and stress relief. Deep Tissue Massage Deep tissue massages are great for chronic muscle pain or posture problems. Massage therapists target the deeper layers of connective tissue and muscle using slow, deep strokes across the grain of the muscle. Constant pain in muscles is typically caused by bands of painful tissue that forms over time. Deep tissue massages target these adhesions of tissue, relaxing the target muscle and breaking down the adhesions, restoring the muscle to its normal movement. Due to the amount of focused pressure that must be used to successfully rid the muscles of this deeper level of tension, deep tissue massages can sometimes be uncomfortable or painful, and those who receive it may be in a bit of pain for a few days after the massage. Shiatsu Shiatsu is a Japanese technique that uses isolated finger pressure on the acupuncture points. Its lack of needles has made this technique popular among those who want to balance their flow of energy. Shiatsu calms the nervous system by applying pressure to specified points (depending on the ailments or purpose for visit). Shiatsu is wonderful for those people who may be uncomfortable with removing their clothes; since no massage oils or lotions are needed, clothing is kept on. There is also no pain associated with Shiatsu, if you feel any pain during the massage, simply ask the massage therapist to use a little less pressure, you will not sacrifice any of the benefits. Thai Massage The Thai massage technique has similarities to the Shiatsu technique in that it applies pressure to specific points of the body, but it also includes a stretching component. The massage therapist moves your body into various positions to stretch your muscles. It is similar to the stretching aspect of yoga, but you are not doing the work. It is more rigorous than the other forms of massage, but it is more energizing as well. Like the Shiatsu massage, you remain fully dressed for the duration of the massage. Due to the nature of the full body stretching and handling, there are more restrictions regarding who should receive Thai massages. Check with your doctor before receiving one of these massages as it is not recommended for those who are pregnant, have open sores, are prone to blood clots, and several other conditions. Pregnancy Massage Pregnancy massages are a great way for mothers-to-be to relieve aches, swelling, stress, etc. Certified pregnancy massage therapists have received extensive training on the proper way to support a pregnant woman’s body using padding and pillows to protect the mother and child. They also have received training on the types of massages suitable for pregnant women. There are many different types of massage, each suited to different applications, health benefits, comfort level, and comfort threshold. This alternative medicine technique has helped many people reduce stress, improve mobility, and can be customized to help you with your specific ailments.
Article Author: Shelly Jackson is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC. On a daily basis we deal with: resolving muscle and movement stiffness and pain; injuries from vehicles or sports; post breast cancer rehab; pregnancy related discomfort; repetitive strain and overuse injuries. We work with clients to reduce their anxiety and stress, improve joint movement, sleep and quality of life. Working with qualified massage therapists is necessary for your continued health. Contact us at 604-538-7166 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have. Photo Source: courtesy of Praisaeng / Free Digital Photos

Risks & Benefits of Receiving a Massage During Pregnancy

The goal of prenatal massage is very comparable to regular massage. It is used to reduce stress, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle tension and joint pain, improve labor outcomes, and develop both your newborn’s health as well as your overall health. Although this is known, many women still question the safety of massage during pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association (APA) stated “Modern investigation and research is proving that prenatal massage therapy can be a very instrumental ingredient in women’s prenatal care.” Effects of Massage During Pregnancy The University Of Miami School Of Medicine compiled a list of possible positive effects of prenatal massage, which include: lowered anxiety, decreased back and leg pain, improved sleep, and decreased stress levels. In an article released to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the National Institute of Health Public Access (NIHPA) stated “In many studies massage therapy has been known for reducing anxiety.” In the study they conducted, pregnant women’s partners massaged them from a side-lying positions during the first 15 minutes of every hour of labor. The women experienced less pain and, on average, their labors were three hours shorter and they had less need for medicine. The APA refers to a study they did on hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress. In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, stress hormones were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression). These changes in hormone levels led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications. They came to the conclusion that incorporating therapeutic massage into regular prenatal care extremely benefits both maternal and newborn health. Types of Massage There are more than 80 types of massage taught in roughly 1,300 massage therapy programs in the U.S. Examples include:
  • Deep Tissue Massage- firm strokes pressing deep into your muscles
  • Swedish Massage- long strokes to muscles and attention to joint mobility
  • Shiatsu Massage- pressure and tapping on acupressure points to stimulate the body’s natural energy
Swedish massage is the recommended prenatal massage method because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy. Other types of massage can be harmful if used during pregnancy, because they use too much pressure. Although most training institutes teach massage therapy for women who are pregnant, it is recommended to find a massage therapist who is certified in prenatal massage. According to the baby center a trained prenatal massage therapist knows where a pregnant woman's sore spots are likely to be and may be able to provide some relief. (She'll also know which areas and techniques to avoid.) Still, it's very important to communicate with her and tell her where you need more attention. Let her know right away if anything during the massage – including your positioning – is causing you any discomfort.” Communication is key during a prenatal massage to make sure you are comfortable at all times. A pregnancy massage expert will adapt their techniques to address the changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy. To be safe, pregnancy massage experts avoid deep massage and strong pressure on the legs and other areas. Using strong pressure could dislodge a blood clot. Instead, they use very light, slow strokes on the legs.” Very light pressure is recommended on the abdomen if the stomach is massaged at all. Not all massage therapists will massage the stomach some will avoid it all together. Risks Although there are plenty of reasons to get prenatal massage it can be risky in some situations. For example:
  • Avoid being massaged in an area where you have a blood clot or a bone fracture
  • Avoid massage on any are where you have a skin injury or condition that could be aggravated by rubbing
  • Burns, open wounds, skin infections, or eczema.
  • Avoid massage all together or tell your massage therapist if you are allergic to any oils that could be used during your massage.
  • Under all circumstances stay away from hot tubs, saunas, and treatments such as hot wraps that can make you overheat, which can cause serious problems for you and your baby
  • Women in high risk pregnancies should consult their doctor or midwife before beginning a massage therapy program
Massage therapy is a tried and true way to get relief from physical ailments, especially those related to pregnancy. Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take part in massage therapy to reduce any discomfort you may be in, and always communicate with your massage therapist if anything doesn’t feel right.
Article Author: Shelly Jackson is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC. On a daily basis we deal with: resolving muscle and movement stiffness and pain; injuries from vehicles or sports; post breast cancer rehab; pregnancy related discomfort; repetitive strain and overuse injuries. We work with clients to reduce their anxiety and stress, improve joint movement, sleep and quality of life. Working with qualified massage therapists is necessary for your continued health. Contact us at 604-538-7166 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have. Photo Source: courtesy of Stuart Miles / Free Digital Photos