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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

How to Recover Faster After an Intense Run

You know that feeling you get after a nice, hard run or other workout. You feel great! You’ve accomplished something, you’re on the road to a better you. You lay down for a well-deserved night’s sleep, and the following morning…you can’t get up. Your body is screaming at you and you can barely make it down the stairs, let alone go on another run! There’s good news for you, there is a way you can reduce these effects and the time it takes to recover and get back to normal. Massages are one of the oldest forms of popular alternative medicine and are used to treat everything from anxiety to digestive problems. It is also a great way to reduce your recovery time between intense runs. In a study performed by Simon Melov, PhD to discover the molecular benefits of massage therapy, several people were asked to partake in an intense cycling workout. Samples were taken of the muscle tissue before and after the workout. Each of the study participants were then given a 10 minute Swedish massage on only one of their legs following the workout. Their muscle tissue was then tested after the massage and compared to the other samples that were taken. The study revealed that the legs that had received the massage had less of the protein NF-kB, which is the protein responsible for muscle inflammation after exercising. After intense exercise, the muscle fibers undergo small tears, activating this protein and causing inflammation. The massaged tissue also had more PGC-1alpha protein, which is responsible for triggering the production of mitochondria, which helps energize muscles and assists in conditioning muscles to endure different and more strenuous types of exercise. Mitochondria is what converts glucose into energy to power your muscles and assist in repair. This boost helps muscles recover quicker! Why not just take an inflammatory reducing pill, then? It’s certainly easier to pop an aspirin after every run than to get a massage, but you won’t get the benefits that a massage offers. The aspirin will reduce inflammation, but has actually been proven to slow the recovery of the muscle, extending the time it takes your muscle to repair itself. If you are an avid runner or are new to self-improvement, it is important that you understand the science behind your muscle recovery. Massages help reduce muscle inflammation and the pain associated with it by reducing the protein that is triggered by the small tissue tears caused by vigorous exercise. Not only does it help reduce pain, but it also helps you recover quicker by increasing the levels of the protein that triggers production of mitochondria, the little builders of your muscles. Don’t settle for popping a pill that may actually keep you down longer. When you work a regular massage into your health regime, you will enjoy quicker recoveries and achieve your goals sooner!
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 tiverylucky / Free Digital Photos

Why Seated Massages are Needed After or During Work

Whether a work occupation requires sitting at a desk all day, lifting heavy objects, or bussing tables, overworking will cause stress to the mind and body. The consequences of accumulating stress include sore muscles, low energy and built up tension. This can lead to illnesses and exhaustion if not treated. It is therefore important to balance work, with rest and rejuvenation. Many factors are involved in a healthy balance, and the most fundamental are exercise, healthy eating, regular sleep habits and having fun; but have you heard of seated massages? These massages are growing in popularity as a convenient way to relieve muscle tension and stress during the day. Seated Massage Defined A seated, or chair massage, is a type of oil less massage performed on a person who is seated and fully clothed. The massage is typically performed by insured or certified practitioners. Ergonomic chairs are used which offer support to lean on and rest face down, leaving the back easily accessible. They provide support so the head, torso, legs and arms are properly aligned. These chair massages can be commonly seen in public places such as malls, airports and office buildings, as they are a convenient way to relieve stress and muscle tension without dismantling one’s appearance. What to Expect? When you go to get a seated massage, you will be asked to sit in the ergonomically designed chair, which will hold your body in the proper semi-upright and relaxed position. The therapist will then apply pressure on your shoulders, arms, back and neck. They will often ask you what pressure you would prefer. The goal is to relieve tension and muscle soreness, so a little pain is okay, but you shouldn’t be cringing. Your chosen therapist will generally apply Swedish and deep tissue massage techniques such as compression and kneading. One major advantage of this massage is the convenience; you can reap the benefits in as little as ten minutes. Expect to feel very relaxed when the massage is finished, and possibly want to stay for another one! The Benefits Seated massages have numerous benefits beyond relieving muscle tension and stress. Additionally, they help prevent circulatory problems as the massage can boost blood circulation and facilitate the flow of nutrients throughout the different parts of the body. This can help increase alertness and lower the risk of cardiovascular problems. Another benefit is the effect a massage can have on mood. When working all day, sometimes employees can get stuck in a rut. By relaxing with 10-30 minutes of relief, the body is given a chance to rest. It is like a mini nap which recharges the body’s batteries. Often, this is just what is needed to approach the rest of a to-do list with a fresh attitude. This rejuvenation can also help to strengthen work relationships with colleagues. When running on low during a long work day, seated massages can reduce stress levels, improve mood, reduce muscle pain and improve circulatory problems. This can be a very useful service to help maintain a good work-health balance. We live in an extremely fast-paced world, and it is important to take time-outs to give back to ourselves. Seated massage are a great way to do that.
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 Master isolated images / Free Digital Photos