How massage therapy can help your health

The benefits of massage should be seen in the context of the whole of the person; physical, emotional, mental, psychological.

The Physical benefits of massage

The Respiratory System:

The respiratory system will benefit as the lungs will be encouraged to work in a slower and deeper way as the body relaxes, more oxygen will therefore be taken into bloodstream and circulates around the body.

The Muscular System:

Muscle tone can be improved through regular massage and muscular atrophy can be reduced. Muscles receive increased blood, oxygen and nutrient supplies and are their functioning is therefore improved. Cramps, spasms, muscular knots, aches and pains can be released. By working on the shoulders, back and neck muscles acheter viagra headaches and backaches can be relieved.

The Circulatory System:

Massage improves and stimulates the blood supply to and from the heart. Improved circulation to the joints through massage can also be beneficial to arthritis sufferers as this helps to reduce inflammation and increase the elimination of toxins and waste products kept in the muscles and blood supply around the joints.

Improved circulation also helps the body to heal injures e.g. sprains, cuts, bruises by enabling the natural healing processes to go into action quicker and more effectively. The health and quality of the skin can also be improved by regular massage because nutrient supply delivered to the skin by a blood will be increased and toxins will be eliminated quicker.

The Lymphatic System:

The lymphatic system is made up of the network of lymphatic vessels running throughout the body. The main function of the lymphatic system is the body’s defense mechanism. Infectious materials and foreign bodies are filtered through the lymph nodes to prevent them returning into blood supply. Massage is very important in stimulating the body’s immune system. Massage strokes can be directed towards the lumps nodes to encourage the toxins to be eliminated out of the body. See here for more information on Manual Lymphatic Drainage as this is a service we provide.

The Urinary System:

Massage stimulates the urinary system by enabling the waste products in the body to be eliminated more effectively. Water retention and edema can be helped by regular massage as the function of the kidneys is increased.

The Digestive System:

Massage is an excellent for stimulating the digestive system. Constipation and stress related digestive problems can be eased by regular massage.

The Reproductive System:

Painful periods can be relieved by regular massage as massage promotes muscular and emotional relaxation, stimulates the circulation and endocrine system.

The Endocrine System:

The endocrine system is the hormonal system of the body and plays an important part in regulating body functions. Endocrine glands secrete hormones which are carried in the blood stream to the various parts of the body. During massage pace of blood circulation increase and hormones can be delivered faster to its destination.

The Nervous System:

By just massaging the back the whole of central system can be stimulated and a full body massage will stimulate and clear the pathways of nervous system to all the parts of the body.

The Psychological benefits of massage:

The massage can enable a person to feel cared for and nurtured. By receiving the attention of the therapist during massage, a person can gain personal confidence and self-esteem. Challenging behavior and anxiety can be reduced. Massage promotes good sleep patterns enabling the body to enter a state to heal itself. Good sleep is very healing and important for person’s wellbeing.

The Emotional benefits of a massage:

A person can hold feelings and emotions trapped deep inside the body. It is possible that during a massage these feelings and emotions may be released. Emotional stress can be reflected in the body by a physical pain and tension. Massage can enable a person to enter a positive state of mind though gaining new energy to face emotional problems.

The Mental benefits of massage:

Massage can enable a person to enter a deep state of relaxation in which any mental stress and fatigue can be released. Massage can enable a person to progress into a positive state of mind though gaining new energy to face problems with clarity and focus.

So what are you waiting for? You have no excuses now. Book your massage session TODAY!

Heat vs Cold

Using Heat & Cold to Reduce Pain

Both heat and cold can help reduce pain. However, it can be confusing to decide which is more suitable at any given time. These basic rules may help:

Use cold for acute pain (first 72 hours) or a new swollen/inflamed injury.

Use heat for chronic pain or an injury that is a 3 or more days old.

Ultimately, you need to choose what works best for you. If icing feels unpleasant, then heat may provide more comfort.

However, it is important to take the type of injury into account. Different types of injury need different treatments to heal properly. Ice and heat are not substitutes for medical evaluation and treatment.


Thermotherapy for Pain Relief

Heat is relaxing. That’s why overworked muscles respond best to heat. Heat stimulates blood flow, relaxes spasms, and soothes sore muscles.

Heat therapy is also known as thermotherapy.

How It Works

Overworked muscles become sore because of a chemical called lactic acid. Lactic acid accumulates when the muscles are put under stress and deprived of oxygen. When there is decreased blood flow to a damaged area, the lactic acid gets stuck. This build-up creates painful muscle ache. Heat therapy can help to restore blood flow and speed the removal of lactic acid from muscles.

When to Use Heat Therapy

Heat is best for treating chronic pain. Chronic pain is persistent or recurrent pain.

Heat increases blood supply. It stimulates the elimination of toxins. It also relaxes soreness and stiffness to bring relief.

If you suffer from an ongoing injury, apply heat before exercising. Applying heat after exercise can aggravate existing pain.

Types of Heat Therapy

There are two types of heat therapy.

Local heat is applied to a specific area with a:

  • hot water bottle
  • heating pad
  • heat pack
  • heat wraps

Systemic heat raises your body temperature with a:

  • hot bath
  • sauna
  • steam bath
  • hot shower

Tips for Applying Heat

  • Protect yourself from direct contact with heating devices.
  • Wrap heat sources within a folded towel to prevent burns.
  • Stay hydrated during systemic heat therapy.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to systemic heat therapy


Cryotherapy for Pain Relief

Cold therapy is also called cryotherapy. Generally, ice is used to help fresh injuries. When your body is injured, the damaged tissue becomes inflamed. This can cause pain, swelling, or redness.

Swelling is your body’s natural response to injury. Unfortunately, local swelling tends to compress nearby tissue leading to pain.

Evidence for using ice to treat pain isn’t as strong as evidence for using heat.

How it Works

Ice numbs the injury. The cold narrows blood vessels and slows down blood flow. This can reduce fluid build-up in the affected area.

Ice is believed to aid in control of inflammation and swelling. It relieves pain, but does not treat

the underlying cause.

When to Use Cold Therapy

Cold is best for acute pain caused by recent tissue damage (acute inflammation). Ice is used when the injury is recent, red, inflamed, or sensitive.

Cold therapy can also help relieve any inflammation or pain that occurs after exercise; this is a form of acute inflammation. However, unlike heat, you should apply ice after going for a run. Cold treatment can reduce post-exercise inflammation.

Cold therapy can sometimes also help relieve pain in chronic injuries.

Types of Cold Therapy

Cold should only be applied locally. It should never be used for more than 20 minutes at a time. You can apply cold using:

  • an ice pack
  • an ice towel—a damp towel that has been sealed in plastic and placed in the freezer for about 15 minutes
  • a bag of frozen vegetables

Tips for Applying Cold

  • Apply cold immediately after injury or intense, high-impact exercise.
  • Always wrap ice packs in a towel before applying to an affected area.
  • It’s alright to repeatedly ice painful or swollen tissues. However, you should give your body a break between sessions.
  • Do not use ice in areas where you have circulation problems.
  • Never use ice for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Note: Excessive use of cold can cause tissue damage.

“Myo- what?” What is Myotherapy?

If I had a dollar for every person that asked me what is a Myotherapy, I’d have a lot of dollars.

Myotherapy is a form of physical therapy used to treat or prevent soft tissue pain and restricted joint movement caused by muscle or myofascia dysfunction. Myofascia are the thin, fibrous sheets of tissue that surround and separate muscles. Ligaments and tendons are comprised of bundled myofascia.

The philosophy of myotherapy is founded on Western medical principles including anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. You don’t need a referral from a doctor to make an appointment with a myotherapist.

Symptoms of soft tissue pain
Pain that is caused by muscle tissue or muscle fascia (myofascia) is called myofascial pain. Symptoms can include:

  • deep and constant aching
  • muscle tightness
  • sore spots in the muscle (myofascial trigger points)
  • reduced joint mobility
  • stiff joints
  • numbness
  • recurrent tingling, prickling or ‘pins and needles’ sensation
  • unexplained tiredness.

Myotherapy can treat a range of disorders
Myotherapy can be used to treat a wide range of disorders including:

  • overuse injury such as tennis elbow or shin splints
  • some sports injuries
  • tension headache
  • pain caused by poor posture
  • some types of chronic back pain
  • some types of joint pain, such as shoulder impingement syndrome
  • muscle sprains.

What to expect at your first myotheray appointment
For your first appointment, take any medical test results (such as x-ray films) that relate to your condition. The myotherapist will ask many questions about your symptoms. Tell them about your medical history, including prior illness and surgery. Give them a list of all the medicines you are currently taking. This information is kept in strictest confidence and is used by the therapist to help pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.

The myotherapist will examine and manipulate the affected joints and associated muscles, and test your reflexes. This initial examination is thorough and helps the myotherapist to find out if the symptoms are myofascial. The myotherapist may refer you to other healthcare professionals for further diagnosis or treatment, depending on your medical condition.

Myotherapy techniques
Treatment depends on the diagnosis. Myotherapy uses a range of techniques including:

  • massage, including sports and remedial techniques
  • gently moving the patient’s affected body part through its range of motion (passive stretching)
  • hot or cold therapy
  • transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy
  • trigger point therapy (acupressure)
  • myofascial dry needling.

Most people with myofascial dysfunction will have pain relief within one to three sessions. Each session typically lasts one hour.

Self-help suggestions
The myotherapist will explain your condition in detail. Dietary changes could be recommended. The myotherapist may advise treatments to use at home including:

  • exercises and stretches specific to your condition
  • self-administered massage
  • heat packs
  • ice packs
  • relaxation techniques including meditation.

Ongoing management with myotherapy

The myotherapist will work with you to identify factors that may be making your condition worse (such as poor posture, scoliosis or overtraining) and help you find ways to avoid or reduce these aggravating factors.

If something cannot be changed (for example, arthritis or age-related changes to spinal discs), the myotherapist will develop a pain management program. This may involve referral to other healthcare professionals.

For acute or persistent joint pain, always see your doctor.

Things to remember

Myotherapy is a form of physical therapy used to treat or prevent soft tissue pain and restricted joint movement.

The philosophy of myotherapy is founded on Western medical principles including anatomy, physiology and biomechanics.

You don’t need a referral from a doctor to make an appointment with a myotherapist.

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