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Tag Archives: muscle inflammation

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 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