A Micro-Blog of Massage Techniques
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Get Massage Smarts Micro-Blog on massage techniques is intended to offer a brief discussion and description of beneficial massage and bodywork related modalities and touch techniques. The posts may contain educational videos we have found to be informative.  Get Massage Smart offers these videos for their educational value and does not validate their accuracy.  The micro-blog posts will often link to related article by staff writers or guest authors.  If you are interested in offering a blog submission or guest article please contact us via our contact form.  We are happy to review any requests and will contact you within 48 to 72 hours.


Neuromuscular Massage the Assessment Therapy

staff post 11/27/17

The key to NMT's success in massage and treatment rooms around the globe is that it is based on physiological research and understanding of human anatomy.  Neuromuscular therapy emerged on the therapeutic scene as an extension of existing touch therapies in the early part of the 20h century. This soft tissue technique developed almost simultaneously both in Europe and America.

Its roots clearly stem from a core group of researchers within the medical community.  Its very first steps came out of Europe from a pair of cousins who were extensively trained as naturopath's and osteopaths.   Stanley Lief and Boris Chaitow studied existing soft tissue theory and integrated assessment techniques for identifying joint dysfunction.  As the century moved onward, many other naturopath's, osteopath's, chiropractor's and therapists from other fields such as, Brian Young, Peter Lief, Leon Chaitow, Terry Moule, and John Sharkey continued to research, develop and improve nueromuscular therapy.

Mean while over in America two doctors of chiropractic began to write about what they termed noxious nodes.  Dr. Raymond Nimmo and Dr. James Vannerson wrote multiple papers on their experience with noxious nodes and soft tissue treatment.  These noxious nodes are what Neuromuscular Therapists referrer to as trigger points today.  Their work, along with the work of Dr. Dudley J. Morton formed the initial inspiration which would motivate researchers Janet Travel and David Simmons to conduct study's into what would eventually be called the trigger point therapy model.  Dr Nimmo was clearly ahead of his time when it came to addressing myofascial adhesions and their connection to pain and dysfunction as a manual therapy method. 

It is also important to point out that Canadian Registered Massage Therapists are taught a program of techniques that relies heavily on Trigger Point Therapy.  It would not be an oversimplification to call trigger point therapy the foundation of what is termed remedial massage therapy in North America.  Trigger point therapy is a required curriculum for becoming a registered massage therapist. 

Here in the US, students of Dr. Nimmo began teaching what they had learned and the US Neuromuscular Therapy revolution had begun.  In the late 70's Paul St. John had perfected his own version of Dr, Nimmo's methods, offering workshops and seminars to adjunct health care providers such as massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, osteopath's and nurses. In the mid 80's a student of Paul St. John, Judith (Walker) DeLany became the first graduate of the Paul St. John Method of NMT to teach in addition to Paul himself. 

By 1989 Judith Walker now Judith (Walker) DeLany broke off from the Paul St. John Method of NMT and began to teach her own methodology.  In the late 90's Paul St. John sold his seminar practice to another of his committed instructors, who carried on through the early days of this century.  Although the Paul St. John Method of NMT is no longer taught as a live seminar, his home study courses are still available thru Health Quest Enterprises www.stjohnseminars.com.  In addition the St, John method's legacy lives on with the many practitioners that are still using Paul's method and passing it along as massage school instructors.  In addition, Judith (Walker) DeLany's creation of NMT North American Version founded and registered in the late 90's, Delany's NMT North American Version is currently being taught at many massage schools across the US.  

Who is Ida Rolf? What is Rolfing?

staff post 7/19/17

We have been busy with CEU Courses this year.  We thought is was time for a new post on a fantastic Massage Technique: Rolfing.  Do you know who Ida Rolf is?

The answer to who Dr. Ida Rolf is can offer us an interesting perspective on the development of manual therapy and massage.  Born in 1896 one hundred and 20 years after Per Henrik Ling the founder of Physical Therapy and Massage.  Who was Dr. Rolf?  A woman who earned a degree in biochemistry in the early 20th century.  Our understanding of biochemistry has changed significantly since 1920, yet we still suffer as a population from varying forms and intensities of pain.

Dr. Rolf is considered a leader and pioneer in movement education and soft tissue manipulation.  She wrote and published many papers and a book on the topic of structural integration and fascial manipulation.  Although her ideas are even more controversial today, her treatment protocols still provide some of the most effective therapies in 2017.

Rolfing is a structural manual therapy that focuses on the connective tissues of the body.  When the fascia is able to function freely, we are able to move about with ease and comfort.  Structural integration works to lengthen, stretch and soften this tissue, to restore postural balance within the body.

Is Craniosacrial Therapy a Massage Technique?

staff post 03/17/17

This modality was pioneered by the late Dr. John Upledger, while conducting research at Michigan State University. Dr. Upledger served at Michigan State University as a professor of Biomechanics and was licensed as an Osteopathic Physician. 

While assisting during neck surgery in 1970, he had his first experience with what would latter be called the craniosacral rhythm.  He was unable to find any references to what he observed in any medical text and found, not one medical doctor who could explain his discovery.  Finding nothing at all, he was directed to the research and work of Dr. William Sutherland.  Dr. Sutherland had pioneered research into what he called Cranial Osteopathy founded on the concept that there is movement between the sutures of the skull.  

Dr. Upledger postulated that if the sutures were structured to allow for movement, that this might explain the rhythm he had observed during surgery.  He organized an extensive team of academics and set out to prove that Dr. Sutherland was correct in his hypothesis that the sutures allowed for micro-motion between the cranial bones.  Dr. Upledger and his team were not only successful in establishing movement, they were able to clarify the mechanism behind the motion. 

Today Upledger's work has been consolidated into what we now call Craniosacral Therapy.  The use of subtle pressure of no more than the weight of a nickle helps classify this work as a touch therapy falling under the legal scope of practice of the Massage Therapist.  Many types of health care practitioners have become certified in craniosacral therapy.  By fare the Massage Therapist makes up the largest number of certified craniosacral therapists.


Sports Massage Techniques

staff post 12/21/16

Sports Massage the benefits of sports massage can not be over estimated for the athlete, but its not strictly for professional athletes.  Anyone who works in their garden or goes for long walks may occasionally be in need of a sports massage therapist.  Pickle Ball seems to be big with the recently retired set.  Its a game played on a tennis court.

Recreational activities even the simplest ones can lead to sore muscles. The goal of any massage is to release tension in soft tissues, reduce pain and improve range of motion within the joints.  Sports massage therapists take a broader view and have developed an understanding of the physical dynamics the athlete under goes while participating in their sport of choice.

Trager Massage Techniques

staff Post 8/4/16

Trager began his journey of self healing at the age of 18.  Hounded by the establishment he was prompted to go to medical school in order to continue his efforts to help others relieve their own body pains and emotional holding patterns.  Milton became a medical doctor at the age of 48 and began teaching his art at the age of 70. Trager believed that the mind held blocks that resulted in patterns within the body.  Milton Trager healed himself from a congenital spinal deformity at the age of 18 and went on to participate in gymnastics and boxing.  The Trager Approach incorporates both table work and movement re-education.  

The Benefits of Baby Massage Techniques

staff post 7/14/16

Thank you for Joining us at Get Massage Smart.   This video discusses the benefits of Baby and Infant Massage.  Get Massage Smart is on a Mission to Spread the Benefits of Touch Therapy  Through Smart Massage Education.  To learn how tummy time for babies can improve developmental skills go to several articles on the topic of Baby Massage

Aromatherapy Massage Techniques can Help Relieve Depression

Staff Post 6/22/16

The beauty of aromatherapy is that it is finally gaining an enormous amount of popularity in the US.  Many people are becoming aware of how powerful the essence of plants can actually be for the human body.  Essential oils can inspire us heart and soul. 

When many think of Jasmine they think of a wonderful hot tea.  It is no secret that essential oils and there amazing aromas can help uplift your mood or enhance a pleasant experience.  Many people recognize special seasons or holidays simply by the smells that become common during those periods.  The combination of touch which can help secret calming hormones within the body and essential oils can be just what the doctor ordered to help with stressful times in our lives. 

Jasmine is a mood busting essential oil.  Not only is Jasmine supportive to the mind it can help with digestion, boost immunity and support the nervous system.  The Asian world has known for centuries the benefits of Jasmine.

Meridian Massage Technique

Staff Post May 29,2016

Meridian Massage Technique is founded in Chinese medicine and combined by a native of the US Cindy Black with modern massage techniques including trigger point therapy.  Cindy has been a licensed massage therapist for over 20 years and co-founded a school of massage in Ithaca New York.  Cindy spent much of her career as a technical body-worker utilizing many advanced massage modalities.

She has earned a masters in Chinese medicine and has studied Maya abdominal massage, Qi Gong and Chi Nei Tsang.  Cindy's book On Meridian Massage helps integrate the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine with modern massage technique.  Cindy's book is directed towards massage therapists, but she writes so clearly that anyone interested in the topic of Traditional Chinese Medicine can gain a deeper understanding.  She provides guidance on abdominal massage and its benefits as well. 

Human Touch Massage Techniques Benefit Wellness

Staff Post 3/17/16

Touch stimulates the human bonding hormone Oxytocin, vital for the infant and still infinitely important throughout the course of our lives.  The exchange of tactile skin to skin contact cultivates a much needed sense of patience a critical benefit for maintaining healthy family relationships.  Most important of all the regular exchange of touch amongst family members and friends helps to prevent the development of disease.

Self-esteem within the individual and family unit is often underestimated.  The development of nonverbal communication has been just as crucial as learning to talk.  Hugs actually stimulate the thymus gland promoting hormonal control and boosting immunity.  The nervous system needs human touch to develop properly.  The end result of quality touch during infancy.

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Active Isolated Stretching and Active Isolated Stretching Assisted

Staff Post 2/19/16

The Aaron Mattes Technique "Active Isolated Stretching" conceived of by Aaron to use the antagonist muscle or muscle group to relax and lengthen the target muscle while avoiding the stretch reflex.  This is an active and dynamic form of muscle reset that utilizes the individuals intelligent physiology.  The movement is both able to lengthen and strengthen the agonist and antagonist complex.   The agonist is the target muscle that is to be relaxed or lengthened while the antagonist muscle is shortened and strengthened via dynamic mobilizations.

Aaron began his work with A.I.S. in the late 1970's and began teaching his method to the world in the 80's.  The work is gentle, active and effective.  Aaron has performed his method on professional athletes and the elderly with enormous benefits to both groups.  The method can be utilized by anyone and for those who are in recovery or rehab an assisted form of the method is often chosen.  Assisted Active Isolative Stretching is the foundation upon which the Enormously Popular (in the US), "Stretch Zone" retail chain has built its methodology.     

A.I.S is for everyone!  Aaron Mattes offers several books and DVD's as well as workshops for therapists to learn how to perform his method safely.  Get Massage Smart therapists have utilized his profoundly effective dynamic stretch and strengthening method for over 30 years.  We invite both active individuals and therapists to take advantage of our A.I.S. video series.

More About Active Release Technique

Staff Post 1/9/16

ART a muscle balancing massage modality known as Active Release Technique has been popular with professional athletes for the last 20 years.  Ask a world class swimmer, biker or runner how they stay injury free and their is a good change they will tell you how they use ART.  They will most likely excitedly tell you how it reduces soreness and tightness and for them they experience a speedy recovery.

The current research supports a slight reduction in pain perception and a release in tension but not increased recovery time.  Our human perception adds this adjective to the mix.  When it comes to a competitive edge perception sometimes is all that really matters for the athlete.  The Creator of ART Dr. P Michael Leahy followed upon the work of myofascial techniques that had come before.  He is not the first to combine pressure and movement or stretch.  Our latest article offers a unique look at how this modality is being used today as part of a self-care process.  Great for athletes, weekend end worriers and all of our clients who experience chronic calf, Achilles tendon, hamstrings or trapezius pain and discomfort.

Aston Patterning

Staff post 12/3/15

Aston Patterning more than a bodywork modality, postural assessment or ergonomic study..  It's a human body educational process developed by Judith Aston.  She has filled the pages of books, developed a practitioner certification, lead workshops and taught hundreds of practitioners how to help hundreds of clients across the United States and abroad. 

Trigger Point Massage Techniques for Shoulder Pain

Staff Post 10/29/15

The most frequently asked questions for those massage therapists that specialize in trigger point therapy is what causes trigger points?  The simplest answer is muscular overload.  Muscular overload can be caused by various factors that we as humans encounter every day.

The reasons for muscular overload are often misunderstood by the mass population of the world.  (this link goes to our article on back pain relief, scroll to the center of the page for a discussion on muscular overload)

  • Repetitive motion Overload
  • Extreme Exertion Overload
  • Biomechanical Overload
  • Postural Overload

Within the process of understanding the forms of muscular overload that the body can be exposed to, it's necessary to understand a few predisposing factors that contribute to muscular overload.  These factors can include everyday muscular and mental tension, structural inadequacies, nutritional imbalances, metabolic disorders, as well as bacterial and viral infections.

The primary focus of this post is to introduce those with shoulder pain to a series of effective self-treatment trigger point techniques. Several muscles that refer pain in and around the shoulder joint are the pectoralis major, subscapularis, trapezius, infraspinatus and teres minor.  This is not an all-inclusive list of muscles related to shoulder pain, rather ones that lend themselves to self-treatment.

Coconut Oil for Massage Techniques and much More

Staff Post 8/30/15

Coconut oil is finding its place back into the human food chain.  Organic virgin coconut oil is not only good for us to consume it has a long list of amazing benefits.  The return of coconut oil to the good for your list has been a long and arduous journey.  This oil has been found in beauty and topical products for decades and finally is being hailed for its benefits as a nutritious food source.

One of the best organic skin moisturizer coconut oil is known to absorb easily and does not require frequent applications.  Several research studies have shown its remarkable ability to clear acne breakouts and reduce their occurrence. It is recommended to purchase your own personal coconut oil and bring it with you to your massage session.  Organic coconut massage creams and lotions can also benefit the massage client. 

Can Massage & Yoga Improve Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?

Staff Post 8/18/15

One of the functions of the rotator cuff muscles and the long head of the biceps, is to pull the head of the humerus down from the acromion process, to prevent impingement. Strengthening the subscapularis, infraspinatus and teres minor can help with this function.  Dr. Fishman discovered a technique when doing yoga and experienced relief of his own rotator cuff pain.

The technique is based on a headstand in yoga and is called the Triangular Forearm Support.  Dr. James Mally speculates that the technique trains the subscapularis to take over for the injured supraspinatus. He has wondered if the main effect of the technique has been the result of the humerus pressing in an inferior direction in the joint capsule.  He believes that this creates more room in the subacromial space, thereby relieving any impingement symptoms (click this link to see a video on Norman Popovskys' simple yoga move).

Norman Popovsky from the blog "Successful Living Yoga with Norman Popovsky" demonstrates a simple yoga move that helps to strengthen the subscapularis, infraspinatus and teres minor.  His blog also provides an image of Dr. Fishmans' simple wall exercise that when performed for 30 seconds two to three times a day can help improve range of motion and reduce pain within the rotator cuff.

Does Massage Technique Benefit Cancer Patients?

Staff Post 6/29/15

For decades cancer was considered contraindicated for massage or only to be used with terminal patients to provide comfort and emotional support.  Today research has shown that massage therapy is a life affirming and beneficial treatment for individuals undergoing cancer treatment.  Oncology massage therapy is specially designed to provide the tactile and emotional support the human condition requires during recovery.  If you have not watched the amazing video on the power of touch on our home page, please take a moment and watch this power in action right before your very eyes.

Ongoing research continues to dispute any concerns that massage therapy will promote the spread of cancer cells within the body.  Oncology massage or massage for cancer patients is a non-invasive massage that utilizes various forms of massage technique much of which is very similar to geriatric massage or massage for the elderly.  Both types of massage & bodywork are focused on comfort, support and pain reduction. 

Watsu

staff post 5/11/15

Watsu which stands for Water/Shiatsu is the brainchild of Harold Dull a Zen Shiatsu master who decided one day to utilize his knowledge of Zen Shiatsu while working with individuals in warm water.  From his first days of floating and stretching individuals in Northern California's warm Harbin Springs back in the early 1980's, Watsu has grown to include certified practitioners in 40 countries around the world.  Harold's methods have evolved over the years since its beginning's to allow for an expanding connection between the giver, receiver & universe at large.

Watsu is experienced by both the skilled practitioner and the willing receiver.  A flow of movement and energy leads to deepening levels of relaxation and inner awareness. Being floated within the arms of the practitioner opens up avenues of communication between the two and the divine.  The best way to experience Watsu is to give it a try, take a look at Get Massage Smarts Watsu Video Series to see what it entails. 

Lymphatic Massage Techniques & DIY Practices to Improve Immunity

staff post 4/14/15

It is estimated that the lymph vessels return approximately 10% of the body fluids back to the heart via the subclavian vein.  The lymph nodes are an important element of the human immune system for multiple reasons.  One of the systems important functions is to assist the fluid between cells move from its present location as interstitial fluid into lymph vessels where it is called lymph and bring it back to the heart where it is called blood plasma.

In the following YouTube video Paul Andersen explains the importance and location of interstitial fluid. He describes both the hydrostatic and osmotic pressures that move fluid between the interstitial fluid and the capillary. He also explains the major function of the fluid for providing movement of material into and out of the cell.  He goes on to explain how the interstitial fluid enters the lymph capillaries and vessels to be returned to the heart. 

The blood exits the heart through large blood vessels called arteries and flows out via smaller and smaller arteries toward all of your body parts.  Your head and brain, your arms and legs, your abdomen and organs.  As it reaches its exchange locations within the body the vessels become even smaller and are called arterioles.  Between arterioles and venules we find capillaries which are referred to as capillary beds.  In addition to very small capillaries between the arteries (arterioles) and very small veins (venules), one finds very small lymph vessels (lymph capillaries).

Oxygen and CO2 exchange takes place here, as well as other important substances to the health and function of the cells and tissues.  The cardiovascular system is a closed system that moves blood from the heart out to the body cells, tissues and systems back to the heart again.  The Lymphatic system is an open ended system with vessels extending from the surface of the skin to the capillary beds, passing through lymph nodes on their way to their terminus at either the left or right subclavian vein.  The subclavian vein dumps the lymph back into the cardiovascular system where it is now known as plasma.

It is beneficial to stimulate our lymphatic systems to help this process along.  Stimulating the lymph is one way that we can facilitate and strengthen our immune systems.  Professional Lymphatic Massage is a luxurious way to achieve this goal.  Understanding the importance of the lymphatic system can aid our ability to improve its overall functions.

Stress Reduction Techniques for a Mobile World

staff post 3/16/15

The number one reason that an individual chooses massage therapy is to reduce stress.  They may decide to see a Reflexologist, Swedish practitioner, Medical massage practitioner, Hawaiian practitioner, Ayurvedic Massage practitioner or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.  These individuals may choose to see their desired therapist in a day spa, destination spa, salon, medical clinic, or massage clinic.  These professional businesses may be located anywhere around the world.  The one thing that they all have in common is an intimate knowledge that touch heals and releases tensions in the body.   For those looking for stress reducing home care we offer the following Stress Reduction Techniques.

Foot Reflexology Massage Technique

Original Staff Post 10/12/2014 Reposted on 1/25/2015

Reflexology is a practice without an ancient culture.  What is meant by this?  Although many believe that the roots of reflexology stem from the Chinese culture and is a predecessor to acupuncture and the development of the meridian system within Chinese medicine, China does not claim the development reflexology.  In Modern times China has studied the effects of Reflexology in detail and conducted over 300 research studies on its benefits.  Reflexology is widely practiced in China and Japan today.  

The government of China has only officially given approval for the practice of foot reflexology within the last decade.  In order to achieve acceptance an abundance of research studies were required in addition to a correlation drawn between ear acupuncture, ear acupressure and ear reflexology. The usefulness of stimulating points within the ear has had centuries of widespread cultural acceptance, although reflexology does not follow the points of the meridians and has its own unique nature.  In addition, China does not consider reflexology to be a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM.

Many internet sources point to the Ancient Egyptians as a source for the beginnings of Foot Reflexology.  They tend to give credit to the Roman Empire for spreading Foot Reflexology across Europe.  It is an interesting academic discussion to contemplate which cultures are older Egyptian or Greek and then again China or India and let's not forget our African roots which bring us back again to Egypt. 

Infant and Baby Massage Techniques

Staff post 1/23/15

Human touch and infant bounding has existed on the earth as long as we have.  It is an intimate part of our human experience and communications with each other.  The really exciting news is that the scientific community has offered us a growing understanding of how this touch is vital to an infant's growth and development. 

Touch promotes growth in humans after birth.  There are growth promoting bio chemical's that are stimulated in a newborn in the presence of human touch.  Scientific studies reaching as far back as the early 20th century have suggested and pointed to the crucial step of mother baby bonding.  There is a connecting between touching, grooming, massaging, holding, or interacting with newborn infants and their growth.

These activities have been shown to increase the production of growth hormones and enzyme activity in newborn infants.  An interesting discovery concerning human growth is not only that human babies who have been deprived of touch and interaction have low levels of growth hormone, but did not improve their growth rates with growth hormone injections.  It was not until these infants were exposed to supportive human touch and interaction did their growth rates improve.

A significant observation is that touch not only promotes brain growth but is vital for the development of a healthy human brain by promoting the development of myelin, the insulating connective tissue that surrounds nerves and speeds up nerve impulses.  Touch promotes healthy digestion, growth, self-esteem, and relaxation.  Baby massage can strengthen the bond between both parents' father and mother and their child.  This wonderful phenomenon takes place for care takers in general.  If an infant is being cared for by foster parents, adoptive parents, grandparents or other family members, they can improve the infants' wellbeing and connection to them by increasing touch play and massage on a daily or weekly schedule. 


Ayurveda More than a Massage Technique

Staff Post December 3, 2014

The wonderful is often overlooked in our world societies in favor of the most marketed.  That is not to say that there is zero value in products and services that are heavily promoted.  When a product or service is heavily promoted and of little real value it tends to fall away on its own.  Those ideas, techniques or modalities that have surpassed the conceptual test of time remain strong not only in digital media but within our very psyche.  Ayurveda is one such concept that can inspire wonder amongst us still 5000 plus years later. 

Our human bodies convert fuel sources supplied to it by what we eat and drink into energy.  Ayurveda a look into how humanity has viewed the human energetic systems over an expansive number of years.  Truth may be as much in the eye of the beholder as beauty has been said to be.  Touch as old as humanity, not exclusive to our species and yet still evolving.

Ayurveda the ancient medical & spiritual art of INDIA.  Philosophy prescribed by the exalted thinkers of their day.  In the US touch therapy in the form of massage therapy has not been given the license to treat disease.  As such, most spas and Ayurvedic Centers offer services that are based on elements adopted from Ayurveda, rather than an actual offering of medical intervention or assistance. 

The foundation much like Traditional Chinese Medicine is thousands of years of observation.  In India Ayurveda and its philosophy refer to primordial energies and describe these energies as the elements either, air, fire, water and earth as well as the three basic constitutions of the human condition vata, pitta and kapha.   The understanding and use of these guidelines and protocols allows the practitioner to specialize the selection of oil and herbs used to be in synch with and well suited to the clients' constitution according to Ayurvedic Medicine

Active Release Technique

Staff post November 27, 2014

ART is a soft tissue manual therapy based on biomechanically correct movement utilized to break up adhesions and facilitate release of fascial holdings within the human body.  Developed by a Chiropractic Physician in the late 80's, Active Release Technique is a therapeutic modality based on myofascial release massage modalities.  The fascia is figuratively the structural glue that organizes and holds the soft tissues of the body together. 

This soft tissue modality was developed by Dr. Leahy to break up scar tissue and adhesions in the muscle tissue of patients requiring more than a manual spinal or joint adjustment.  Dr. Leahy trade marked his work with over 500 movement protocols.  The Active Release Technique certificate training program is approved for CEU in the US.  Certified Practitioners and training can be found in other parts of the world as well, such as Europe, Canada, Norway, Japan and Australia. 


Lomi Lomi Massage Techniques

Staff Post 11/17/2014

Lomi Lomi massage is the spiritual and cultural bodywork of the Hawaiian people, and like many culturally significant massage technique it is best appreciated by receiving one.  This session is an energetic exchange between the receiver and giver.  The bodywork can easily be likened to a spiritual dance.

The session is usually initiated with a meditative stillness between the practitioner and client a linking of breath and energy is developed through intention.  The massage movements are broad and forearms as well as hands are used with fluid, rhythmic movements that have been described to feel like waves washing over the human form.  The focus of both the client and practitioner is to bring harmony and balance to both the physical and spiritual being.

The movement and flow of the massage are meant to be intuitive and deliver the experience best suited for the receiver so no two Lomi Lomi sessions will ever look exactly alike.  Hawaiians look at life as a flow of energy, a cultural connection has established that an idea or belief can block energy flow within the individual and within their life path.  A fundamental spiritual principle is that everything seeks harmony and everything seeks love.


Does Massage Technique Effect DOMS or Muscle Fever

Staff Post 11/14/14

Muscle fever also known as DOMS which is short for delayed onset muscle soreness can accompany unusual or unaccustomed increases in eccentric muscle contraction activity.  Eccentric muscle contractions take place when muscle tension is generated in order to control the rate at which a muscle lengthens.  Soreness begins within 6 to 8 hours and is the most intense about two days or 48 hours after the unusual exertion.  This increase in muscle loading can be from a scheduled exercise session or taking a hike, riding a bike, moving, gardening, or even a long day at the mall shopping.

Theodore Hough first described these symptoms in 1902 and he used the terminology muscle fever.  He concluded that this muscle soreness was the cause of ruptures in the muscle.   The good news is that after performing eccentric exercise that resulted in soreness, this experience will also result in adaptation that reduces muscle damage during subsequent workout sessions. 

The complete mechanism of muscle fever is not known.  This pain is associated with tenderness and can be associated with swelling.  This swelling produces micro-tearing within the structural components of the muscle cell, which initiates an inflammatory response.  This cascade of events happens most often during eccentric or lengthening contractions. 

Soreness resolves itself within 72 hours of onset.  Any action that increases blood flow to the involved tissue can reduce length and severity.  Low intensity workouts and massage techniques tops the list of activities that have been found to reduce the length of soreness.  It is important to point out that although a reduction in soreness and duration is often found these activities do not speed up muscle or strength recovery.

Back Pain Relief Self Care Techniques

Staff Post 10/30/14

At a point within the back pain experience, we all want to know, "what can I do to reduce the pain and get a few minutes of relief".  The image to the right shows one thing you can do for a ten minute time out from pain.  These positions can also be used to get a couple of hours of sleep.  Lack of sleep will increase pain perception.  The positions are intended to be used on a hard, flat surface such as the floor.  To increase the effectiveness of the supine chair posture, it can be helpful to have a chair seat high enough to allow you to lift your hips and pelvis off the floor and hang for 5 to 10 minutes.  If this increases the pain, then place your hips back on the floor and stay in this posture for a minimum of 10 minutes.

In addition to a supine posture that takes pressure off the low back region, one can learn some self-care acupressure points as well as trigger points.  Trigger points are a concept developed by Dr. Janet Travell, who coined the term in 1942. Dr. Travell and Simons published the first hypothesis on Trigger points in 1981.  Dr. Janet G. Travell was first introduced to the concept of myofascial pain syndrome that she would later publish over 100 research papers on, while working with Dr. Dudley J. Morton in the 1920's. 

Benefits of Massage Techniques

Staff Post 10/14/2014

The benefits of massage have been debated in great detail over the last 30 years.  The time has finally arrived to plant a firm image in the minds of health care professionals that massage has been shown to have positive effects on multiple health concerns.  It may just be time to schedule a massage as soon as conceivably possible.  Massage can help you fall and stay asleep, reduce mild exertion soreness, keep you mentally alert and reduce low back pain.

Acupressure Massage Technique

Staff Post 10/13/2014

Traditional Chinese Medicine evolved from thousands of years of empirical observation and the recording of these observations.  Today we consider these records to be from an ancient culture.  Do not let the conceptual authoring of an ancient cultural description to lead you to believe that these empirical records are of lesser value than modern day research. 

This excruciatingly detailed observation and learning was recorded over four thousand years ago by the Yellow Emperor.  The Yellow Emperor's "Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen" or commonly used English translation The Yellow Emperor's "Classic of Internal Medicine".  Even today this text is consulted by those who wish to be enlightened by the profound benefit of thousands of years of human research and focus on the wellness of humanity. 

The most simplistic way to describe how TCM views the very nature of an individual's health is as a reflection of a subtle yet potent Bioenergy that flows throughout the universe.  This Bioenergy is called Chi pronounced "chee" or "jee".   The essence of life flows through all things.  Get massage Smart presents an Acupressure point Video Series by Michael Reed Gach Ph.D.

Abdominal Massage Technique

Staff Post 10/10/2014

It seems that many have been overlooking the benefits of Abdominal Massage.  Some massage therapists often shy away from regularly adding this into a full body treatment.  It is true, it does not seem to hold the same appeal with all individuals who seek out the services of massage therapy.

If you have wondered about how good abdominal massage feels, we freely suggest that you give it a try.  We know it is not for everyone, but you may be missing out on what is often considered the best part of a Swedish massage.  Deep Diaphragmatic breathing can simulate these benefits by massaging your abdominal organs with your breath. Learn more about the benefits of Breath work and Abdominal massage by clicking the link above. 


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