Massage Therapy and Walking

Part of the essential Home Exercises that I give my clients is the simple act of walking. I think that it is one of the best exercises a person can do as it does so many things. This is a chance for the body to move as a whole in a relaxed state. This has a much gentler effect that jogging as the impact is so much less. As you walk your arms and legs swing opposite to each other and the whole spine gently rotates to compliment the arm and leg movements. Generally this is a great post massage activity, along with swimming, and a good rest after. Walking is a great way to rejuvinate your body, mind and spirit. Gives you a chance to enjoy the view, listen to music, get a chance to appreciate your surroundings, and most importantly oxygenate your body. Oxygen in the blood helps to rid the body of excess CO2, especially muscles. It is a chance to be social and walk with a friend or a group. It is a fantastic way to get around whether it be for a coffee, shopping, to work or any other close-by place you need to be. Personally, I find it to be a great way to do something for your body. To help to bring yourself back into the picture as a priority. With so much like work, family, the house and other things like that, you, the individual get pushed back and you ignore your body’s pleads for help and can manifest in fatigue, pain and disease. I find that people need to re-establish themselves as the priority to give reason and purpose to properly taking care of themselves by all means of self-care whether it be treating themselves to something nice, diet or exercise or anything like that. So take a walk everyday and smell the flowers, it’s really good for you in many ways.

Massage Therapy and Joint Play

One of the many tools that Massage Therapists in B.C. are given is joint play. Very often this is used in dysfunction in later stages when immobility of a body part is involved and the respective joints proper function is affected. An example is Frozen Shoulder when the joint at the arm bone to the shoulder blade function is reduced in a predictable pattern.
What the Therapist is involved in is a technique to encourage movement within the joint that emulates the actual joint movement that is lacking. This treatment is usually grouped with treatment to the surrounding musculature and connective tissue in the area that may be involved with the dysfunction. Joint play is graded from 1 – 5 in intensity. A chiropractor generally adjusted at a grade 5 level and a massage therapist can apply a grade 1 – 4 with a sudden movement of the joint or a sustained stretch of the joint and the joint capsule. This can be applied to many joints from the small joints of the fingers and toes to the knees, hip, elbow, shoulder complex, vertebrae of the spine or jaw.
Joint play in an oscillating movement or traction to a joint is a great way to bring nutrition into a joint and help to relax the surrounding muscles.
Joint play is an important treatment modality as if there is an immobile joint, there will generally be a joint with extra movement in the area putting stress on that surrounding musclulature causing pain and spasm.
Joint play is all about helping to gain movement in the area, followed by strengthening of the surrounding muscles to help to support the joint and all the movements it is involved in.
Lack of function of a joint can affect the Kinetic Chain involved in a movement. Bringing your arm to the side of your body involves many muscles and 4 separate joints generally. the Kinetic chain is the sequence which certain muscles must fire to move the joints in a peticular sequence during the movement.
Any questions? Email me anytime at jazzician@shaw.ca

Practicing my Recording

I have put up a post at the Music Conservatory in my home town of Victoria, B.C., as I have begun to do more recording of musicians and their music. I would eventually like to record all different types of classical musicians whether it be piano, voice, violin, guitar or anything that presents and put it on a cd. If there is a musician(s) in the area that would like a recording done of their music and allow me to practice my skills of recording, you can call or email me at any time.

Massage Therapy and Whiplash

Massage for Whiplash Injuries

One of the most common, non-critical injuries sustained in a car crash is whiplash. Unfortunately, although not life threatening, whiplash can end up creating a lot of pain and stress in a sufferer’s life.

Whiplash is a kind of ‘catch all’ phrase that is used to describe an injury to the neck area that happened in a car accident (rear-end collisions are a common culprit). The whiplash happens when a person’s head is ‘whipped’ forward on impact and then whips back. This injury can affect either the muscles in the neck and upper back, or the vertebra, but most often, both. The pain usually starts immediately and if left untreated, can last a lifetime.

Because a whiplash injury can involve both muscle and bone, massage therapy and chiropractic adjustments are often complementary. While Massage can help injured muscles to heal, and eliminate Trigger Points caused, Chiropractic adjustments can re-align any vertebrae that may have slipped during the injury.

After an injury to muscle, any tearing that has occurred needs to heal. In general, massage helps the body to heal by increasing the amount of oxygen getting to the muscles. However, massage should not be applied until 72 hours post injury. Once treatments begin, helping the muscles to relax and loosen will allow more blood and oxygen into the affected area and assist in the healing. Massage also reduces stress associated with physical trauma.

Another aspect of whiplash that massage can address is the development of Trigger Points after an injury. Once TrPs have developed in a muscle, they can only be eliminated when addressed specifically. Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is effective in identifying TrPs and treating them. Headaches and neck pain are the most common result of TrPs developed due to whiplash. Some common spots when pain may be experienced are: the base of the neck; the base of the skull; top of the head; just above the eye. These are just a few of the areas that TrPs can refer pain to.

If you are suffering from a whiplash injury, massage therapy can help you recover, and get back to normal.