How to get the BEST out of your massage.


Stay Warm. Photo by Rachel Gardner. www.flickr.com/photos/rachelruskinski/64064118

 

Five key things to do after your massage:

  • Have a very warm shower as soon as possible after the massage.  Not only does this get the oil off, but it feels good for the muscles to be bathed in heat.  The warm water helps sooth, stretch and relax your muscles.

Feel the heat. Photo by Steve James. www.flickr.com/photos/steeljam/3263010690

  • Look at the boy above- it’s enough to make anyone realise how muscles tighten up when they are cold.  Keep your body warm.  This is important when the weather is cold.
  • Drink water.  It is not unusual to go through a detox  effect if you haven’t had remedial massage work done for a while.
  • After a remedial massage avoid doing anything too physical on the same day.  Give your muscles some well deserved down time.  At least take it easy.
  • Remember to smile.  Enjoy the suppleness that       you feel.  Stay relaxed for as long as possible- your muscles will thank you.


Judy and Trevor are Deep Muscle  Massage Specialists.

 

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Feeling AGRO?

If you live in Queensland in someway you have been affected by the astounding amount of water that has flooded our Sunshine State.

You might be or have been directly affected by flood waters, had problems managing the water run off even if you are high and dry, had your Christmas-New Year plans disrupted, know friends or family who have been directly affected,  seen or heard all about it on TV or the Radio, or been one of the many many people involved doing their best to provide a service to people affected by the disaster.

No doubt lots of emotions have rippled or rampaged thru you during the past weeks, be that feeling agro, feeling helpless, feeling frustrated, feeling sad, or tired and exhausted.

Some of that emotion can get caught up in the body, leaving you feeling tired, or highly strung, or grumpy.

Massage Therapy is a really healthy addition to self care during these trying times.  After a good massage  your body will be feel freer and more relaxed.

Another nice side effect is feeling better in yourself as some of the weight of the world has been lifted off  your shoulders.

Jude and Trevor are Massage Therapists at Deep Muscle Massage Specialists.

Photo  by Jesse Moore.
www. flickr.com/photos/flyboy211/4269763121
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How could watching TV make your muscles tight?

I don’t watch much TV.  Gave it up years ago.

I don’t keep track of the latest movies either.  I do get little clips of this and that over the internet. Stuff that I am interested in, not what is fed to me by some TV station.  I want to choose what I see.

Photo by Adrian Eden. www.flickr.com/photos/adrianeden/4549792270/

However I did turn on the box to watch a favourite DVD- I love the Matrix series.  If you have ever seen it, it has amazing fight scenes.

And I was amazed at how my body was reacting to some of the suspense and action scenes.  My shoulders were up near my ears, my back highly strung.  Anybody would have thought I was doing the fighting.

Reminds me of when I am sitting in the Dentists Chair- I have to keep telling myself to relax.  Before I know it my hands are gripping the dental chair arms, my legs stiff, and  body rigid.

Maybe you too can relate to the visit to the Dentist.

Probably I was aware of my body’s reactions since I hadn’t watched TV for so long.  I figure most of us aren’t even aware of what our bodies are doing when we are engrossed with the flickering images.

Add a few hours a day of political news, sports, drama shows, on top of  the usual daily work stresses, and you can begin to understand why your bod may not get relief even when you are so- called relaxing in front of the TV.

My prescription to help relieve some of the stress if you love your TV is a regular dose of some comedy, good belly laugh stuff, that puts a smile on your dial, warmth in your heart and eases the day’s stresses.

Just imagine what sitting for hours in front of the TV or computer playing those games might do. Are we crazy when we then ask our bodies to go into restful slumber within an hour of all that adrenalin flowing thru our bodies.

Perhaps back in our caveman days we would have caught our beast long before bed, have feast in front of the open fire, laughed and joked, or had a good sing-a-long going and contentedly snuggled up near the dying embers of that warm fire for a good nights sleep.

Trevor and Jude are Deep Muscle Massage Specialists.

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Repetitive movements can make us sore.

In my Blog called ‘3 Reasons for Muscle tightness” I spoke about how our habitual movements can lead to muscle tightness.

Noticing how you move through-out the day,  AND making some changes WILL make a difference in tightness you feel in your muscles.

If you are old enough you were probably nagged about sitting up straight, holding those shoulders back, sucking the belly in.  Nagging doesn’t often result on long term changes, as many wives know who try to nag their husbands into behavioural changes.

If you see benefit to changing something that contributes to discomfort, accept that you have some control and responsibility, you can then decide to exercise some discipline to make a consistent effort to embrace a new habit.

Getting someone else to change so you feel better is usually a journey into unhappiness, frustration and anger.

Photo by Woodleywonderworks. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/2281262906/

Consider if the following might be leading to some of your muscle pain:

  • Long car/truck journeys,
  • Work-Station set up, phone use,
  • Slouching in your favourite arm chair for hours that leaves you stiff and struggling to walk when you get up,
  • Climbing ladders works the leg and back muscles hard,
  • Climbing stairs – we usually always lead with one leg,
  • Walking around with your shoulders glued to your ears and you don’t even realise it,
  • Standing on one leg when doing something, eg working in the kitchen,
  • Incorrect lifting techniques

Here is an example of what I mean.  Say your job entails some office work and driving.  Get the OH&S people to help you get your desk and chair right, have a look at how your paperwork and filing is arranged and do what you can so that you minimise twisting all in the same direction, avoid cradling the phone on your shoulders.  Me more aware when you get off your chair to balance your weight evenly.  Get up off your backside regularly to get those legs moving.  Drink water.  Get someone to show you how to set up the car seat so you are comfortable (this is amazingly technical these days).  Will a cushion help you sit up straighter in the car.

Sounds like a lot to do, and the relief will we well worth it.

These days we can tell ourselves a story that we are too busy to do things like this.

Are you really too busy to give yourself relief.  If you have children you ask them to take good care of their shoes, put their toys away, do their home work.

Are you setting a good example of self care?

Trevor and Jude are Deep Muscle Massage Specialists.

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3 More reasons for Muscle Tightness.

Three factors mentioned in my last post were Repetitive movements, Food and Stress.

Another three common reasons for muscular discomfort include:

1. Structural imbalances in the body.

2.  Medication and Drugs.

3.  Deficiencies within the body.

Let me be clear, I am not a medical expert.  I have worked with many bodies and see patterns that make sense, and will share what I see.

1.  Structural imbalances. Spinal curvature, misalignment, hips that are higher one side than the other, tilted forward or backward, one leg longer than the other, and other structural imbalances, have a significant impact on the muscle system which attempts to compensate and keeps us moving. Most people who come for massage are aware of their misalignments (if they have them) and have sort other care like chiropractic, to align the skeletal system.

Some clients are not aware of their misalignments.

Photo by Geoff Stearns. Http://www.flickr.com/photos/tensafefrogs/3043247632/

Somewhat a vicious circle can occur when the skeletal system is aligned but muscles are very tight, either it doesn’t work or doesn’t stick for very long.  Muscles and bones work together and when muscles are tight they put the skeletal system under more stress.  This helps explain why knees start to ache.  When the muscles in the upper and lower leg are extremely tight they place much stress on the knee-joint.  This is also why people with arthritis can find some relief after muscle therapy, looser muscles equals less strain on the joint.

We always recommend that if you have massage therapy and chiropractic work done in the same week, get the massage therapy done first.  This loosens the muscles so that the chiropractic work is easier, and the results last longer.

Understanding that skeletal misalignment may be contributing to your muscle tightness is one step towards being able to take effective action.

2.  Medication and Drugs.

The ABC TV show Catalyst had an episode on 12/08/2010 about ‘polypharmacy’.  This is where people take 5 or more drugs.  Many people are on multiple prescribed medications, as well as a cocktail of vitamins, herbs and minerals, they self prescribe or hear from some source is ‘good’ for them.  Often this  ‘bubble and squeak’ combination does not go down well, nor does it feel good all the way thru the body.

Photo by Michelle Lanter. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dadadreams/2401249610/

Many drugs have multiple side effects, which can include muscle tightness.

What can you do? To start with become aware of the side effects of medications you are taking, if they work in combination and make sure you really really need them.  A good starting place is a chat with your GP or chemist.

3.  Deficiencies within the chemistry of the body.  With our fast food habits, depleted agricultural soils more experts are telling us we are not getting optimal nutrition to support our high stress modern lives.

The most common situation we see is where people suffer from muscle cramping.  Some already take magnesium tablets, but are not finding them very effective.  Often this is because they are not getting an optimal dose.  Taking Magnesium citrate in the powdered form will give a high enough dose to get relief.

I will talk more in later posts about Magnesium.

Trevor and Jude are Deep Muscle Massage Specialists.

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Why do I get tight muscles? 3 Reasons.

Trevor would say if you were a bludger and sitting in front of the TV all day you wouldn’t get tight muscles.  Most of us can’t do that.  Not only that we would not feel very fulfilled, and be broke.

So why are you tight?  And why does your massage results stick for a while and things go back to the same?

Here are just 3 possible reasons, there are many more.

1.  Tony Robbins, as well-known Entrepeneur, Author and Peak Performance Strategist said in a recent video clip I saw ” We are defined by our rituals”. I’m taking his comment a little out of context here, but I want you to think about what you ask your body to do day in and day out.  Whether it is climbing stairs (with the same leg always taking the first step), climbing in and out of cars, sitting in front of the TV or computer with shoulders up near the ears, or slouched forward, doing your job which requires mousing, twisting one way more than the other, climbing ladders, whatever…..

Maybe you get my point.

It is the little day-to-day movements, repetitive movements that strain and tighten up the shoulders or lower back, contribute to headaches etc.

Photo by Peter Crackenberg. http://www.flickr.com/people/90552719@N00/

2.  Stress

An often used word today, but stress and worry equals tension and when not released gets locked in the body, often in the muscles.  So this can look like headaches, tummy aches, tightness in the shoulders, tiredness, just to mention a few.

3. Diet

Yep, something you not might want to know about, or be preached too about.  My own personal experience is that some foods make me energetic and others seem to zap me of energy, cause me to pig out on them, and feel YUK after and often cause digestive upsets.

Maybe it is the Iced Coffee I’ve been craving for in my stressed state – feels good going down, but usually leaves me feeling heavy with mucous in the throat a short time after.  Each of us are individuals and if we listen to our bodies we would hear more clearly what gives us energy v what depletes us.

My real point here is that many of us are eating less real food and more processed, chemically enhanced foods.  Our bodies are more likely to be flexible and recover quicker if they are fed real live food, that has been not processed.

Photo by helgabj. http://www.flickr.com/photos/helgabj/2201929507/

Too much processed food  gives our bodies a load of toxins that can tighten our muscles.

So what can you do about any of these factors…..

The first step is AWARENESS .

Be aware of how you hold your body, what repetitive movements you make day in and day out.

What aggravates your tightness?  Ask the question, listen to your body whispering back to you. Probably you have ignored the whispers until your body is yelling at you.

How much of your time are you thinking stressful thoughts, worrying?   START to notice how YOUR body is reacting when you are thinking something that FEELS BAD.  Does the shoulders go up near the ears, do you reach for………

That favourite piece of junk food that feels good going down at the time but gives you wind, constipation, a sugar drop a few hours later, more junk food cravings.  START to notice what foods you feel terrific on and what you don’t.

I’ll talk a little more about this is future Blogs.  In the meantime, think happy thoughts.

Jude and Trevor are Deep Muscle Massage Specialists.

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Does Deep Muscle Massage hurt?

If you came to us with no muscle tightness or soreness you would almost float thru the massage.  Unfortunately this is not usually the case for people coming for a massage.  Usually something is giving them aggravation.

People who love deep muscle massage believe -‘ no pain no gain’.  Deep stretching of already sore, tight muscles will have some discomfort.

Don’t like pain, do read on………………

http://www.flickr.com/photos/w00kie/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/w00kie/

This is a good pain, that feeling of “arh that is so good to have that tightness worked out”, and “Oh that was so sore when you started working that spot and it now feels much easier”.

No one likes pain, and most people who love deeper massage know the relief they feel after the work is done and feel it is well worth the ‘ouch’  times.

We find laughter, confidence in your therapist, and knowing you can say ‘lighten up’ has the  massage client leaving with a positive experience.

Still not sure, just tell us and we will work with what you are comfortable with.

Trevor and Jude are Deep Muscle Massage Specialists.

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Misty bridges and tight muscles…

Pretty picture with the Misty bridge,  BUT what has that got to do with massage therapy or tight muscles.

Well nothing and everything.

After a massage you want to feel loose, at ease,  able to breathe easily.  This is what the image conjures.

People come for a massage with tight sore muscles, and often it is the only 30 or 60 minutes they lie still, with little mental stimulation.

Whether a young person, elderly, middle aged, busy mum or professional, they tune into the body, feel the body as a whole, laugh when the tightness is released, and feel very different at the end of the treatment.

Alive, relaxed, free.

Just like a walk in the misty landscape.

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