Massage and Meditation

It has been a while since I have posted. The main reason for this is due to a hectic life, stress with sickness and a number of other personal things seemingly happening all at once in the month of February.
So, because of this, I want to remind, insight and talk about the benefits of massage on your state of mind – particularly anxiety.

I have attached two clinical trails below and a great article written by liveanddare.com to show that the effects of massage and the enhanced effects when combined with meditation (or mindfulness if you prefer).
In short, a simple touch or hug is enough to release the happy hormones into our blood stream. With the release of dopamine and serotonin in this short term, anxiety and its dangerous effects are controlled and decreased. This combined with the physiological effects of meditation (reduction of inflammation levels, dilation of blood vessels, regulated heart rate, increases the immune system response, along with many more) has been shown to dramaticly improve quality of life and maintain a longer term decrease in anxiety levels.

The combination of the two is a no brainer. When you are stressed with work, family, sickness or life in general, look at treating yourself at either one or two of these options before you begin anything else.
It works for me, it works for terminally ill people and those facing the most server anxiety (such as radiation therapy for cancer).

For the nerds out there, here are two articles to read up on.

Quality of Life in late stage AIDS patients
Anxiety facing radiation therapy
And another must read… a complete list of the scientific benefits found in over 3000 studies on meditation by Giovanni at liveanddare.com

Pec Minor! The Little Muscle Causing Big Problems!

If you work with a computer in an office environment, this is important for you. After spending a lot of time with office workers recently, I have been treating many issues, such as sore backs, a funny feeling in the arm and fingers, sore and tight necks, arms that won’t straighten above the head and many more.
The common factor in all of these are tight Pectorial Minors. This muscle goes from you first few ribs on top of your chest to a boney part of the shoulder blade at the from of the shoulder called the coracoid process. It also lies underneath the big chest muscle making it a little hard to find sometimes.

When the  muscle gets tight, it pulls the shoulder blade forward and brings a slight forward rotation also. This doesn’t allow the shoulder joint to perform correctly. The shoulder joint is extremely complex as it allows such amazing movement, in, out, up, down, and all around. So, when the joint cannot move correctly, then all sorts of other issues start to arise. This issues are all mentioned above, such as, a sore middle back, shoulder impingements, tingling down the arm and so on.

If you want to read more, check out this great article below, and if you work in an office, do the stretch below 3-4 times a day!

http://neurokinetictherapy.com/the-pectoralis-minor-king-of-compensation

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DOMS

Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness (DOMS) or träningsvärk på svenska. MASSAGE HELPS!

We know it as the painful feeling of walking down stairs the day after a heavy squat session or long run.
Ultimately, we are still unsure exactly what is the real reason for ‘DOMS’. What we do know is that MASSAGE creates extra blood flow on the local area through vessels and lymphatic system, thus, creating a healing environment for oedema, ischaemia, build up of by-products, directly or indirectly causing the pain.
The British Sports Medical Journal has stated that DOMS can be any one or more of the following;

  1. Accumulation of metabolic waste sensitising A delta and C fibres causing pain
  2. The exercise causing muscle ischemia causing the production of a pain substance. the pain causes a reflex spasm which induces a vicious cycle prolonging ischemia. 
  3. Exercise results in intramuscular oedema activating mechanoreceptors thus causing the pain.
  4. Eccentric exercise damages the connective tissue thus causing pain.
  5. Exercise leads to inflammatory by-products sensitising nerve endings
  6. The destruction of muscle finer liberates creatine kinase which causes pain. 

Reference; E.Ernest.
British Journal of Sports Medicine, 1998.

The SCM – Head Forward Posture

 

A simple and commonly occurring issue with so many people today is their Sternocleidomastoid or SCM for short.

This muscle goes from the boney part behind your ear-lobe to the middle of the collar bone and another section to the inner most part of the collar bone (basically on your throat).

This muscle pulls and twists your head forward and around to the sides. So, looking at your phone or a computer keyboard, you will be using this muscle.

Over time, this gets shorter and shorter. Stress and pressure build up in our shoulders and back of the neck to try and counteract this ‘head forward’ position.

The ultimate result is someone whose head sits forward, rounded shoulders, and possibly an arched back due to the rounded shoulders. More interestingly though, other symptoms can include a build up of tears in your eyes and a twitching of the eyelid as the SCM muscle when tight can affect the eye muscles through trigger points. Headaches are common as the deep neck muscles at the back become stressed from trying to pull the head back. Dizziness and imbalance can occur due to the head not sitting in line with the rest of the body (this will then affect your hamstrings as they will tighten so you don’t fall over!).

This muscle and syndrome is easily noticeable and treatable. If you know or this sounds familiar, getting massages regularly can pick up on this and prevent it and treat the symptoms.

Once every 4-6 weeks is recommended. Your body deserves it, you deserve it and you can live freer and happier.

Book on-line and look at treating yourself to a 6 treatment card to prevent your body holding you back!

Also, for the geeks out there, check out this article!
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1769463/

 

The Forgotten Muscle

A pain in the hip! The Gluteus Minimus

This little muscle boasts a powerful reputation as an Abductor (moving you leg sideways away from your body) and as a hip/pelvis stabilizer.

The muscle lies underneath the big glut max, and glut medius. The Minimus function differs from its 2 brothers, the max and med. More of a stabilizer for running, squatting, and sports with dynamic movements.

The pressure placed upon the muscle can easily lead to pain, tightness and a ‘just not right’ feeling when squatting or running. This pressure is commonly turned into an overuse injury or small tears in the muscle, so knots/adhesions are likely to form. From this, a ‘ball’ can be felt on the rear side of the hip bones. A typical ‘waddle gait’ is noticed when walking also. This is characterized from the person having more of a leg sideways movement when walking. Pain also usually will refer down the leg and the tightness will generally lead to the hip dysfunctioning and a second problem in the lower back can be felt.

Massage combined with active soft tissue release (when the muscle is held and movement is forced by yourself) is a great way to get extra blood flow and nerve recognition to the muscle allowing for a better healing and function processes.

To add to potential issues, especially for those seriously into their training, the nerve supply for the Glut Minimus is from the L4, L5 and S1 joints of the spine. Therefore, if you have or have had issues with your sacroiliac joint this has the possibility of impinging the nerve supply and altering the correct function of the gluteal minimus muscle.

For more info, book in and see me at webstermassage.se

The Modern Computer Neck

The muscles under the base of your skull (at the very top of your neck) are of immense importance to your over all health, flexibility and happiness.

The extensors (the muscles that make you look up) and the flexors (they make you tuck your chin into your neck to make the sexy ‘double’ chin) are becoming very imbalanced in all of us due to our so called ‘normal life’ habits of computers, driving, and phones.

However, help exists in the form of massage and simple exercises to correct the imbalances. If you or people you care about have any of the following;

  • Slumped shoulders,
  • Head reaching forward,
  • A tight chest
  • Trouble raising their hands above the head with straight elbows.

When corrected, benefits have been noticed in hamstring flexibility, clearer thinking, decrease of headaches and increased balance and posture.
For the nerd out there, have a read of the linked article, the best and simplest one I have found to express this information. Otherwise book a time now with Webster Massage

http://optimumsportsperformance.com/blog/suboccipitals-small-but-important/

Strengthening Neck Muscles for Balance

Balance comes from many different areas of the body. Stabilising muscles are found in all areas of the body and they link together to keep us from falling over. Since they are linked, when one becomes weak, another must tighten up to compensate.

I have been treating many tight hamstrings recently and doing some research has lead me to this article (link below) for all to read. Explained and clear the basic principles are to be conscious of how the neck sits and its important role in how it is the starting point of balance when standing, walking and bending.

It is easy to active and release strain of the neck muscles that can easily cause hamstring tightness which leads to back pain also.
Book now with webstermassage.se to bring a bit more balance to your life.

https://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/are-your-weak-neck-muscles-making-your-hamstrings-tight

HEADACHES

Have you had that headache that starts at the back of the head and goes down into your neck and across the top of your head to the eyes?
Generally coming from a muscle called the ‘Splinus Capitus’, the pain is a referral pattern from the overuse of the muscle.

  1. Looking at our phones or computers too long will lengthen and leave the muscle inactive.
  2. The tension and weakness will finally become too much and the muscle will spasm.
  3. The attachment point at the base of your skull will become inflamed and thus cause radiating pain through the neck and over the head.
  4. Easily fixed with trigger point techniques, deep massage and mainly corrective exercises and posture.
  5. Webster massage is able to relieve your headaches easily and keep them away for good with some simple changes.
    Book at webstermassage.se to rid yourself of the pain and frustration. For a more in-depth look at the serious cases of the syndrome, click here.

Stress in Your Hip Flexors

Psoas and Illiacus Muscles 
Stress (cortisol hormone), muscle tightness, digestion, energy levels are all linked to this muscle group.

  1. They are the main muscles that make your walk, run, sit and stand.
  2. High amounts of cortisol and adrenilin are released into the muscle group as a response to stresses.
  3. If kept short by sitting at a desk, have reduced blood flow (not exercising), these hormones ‘pool’ in the muscle.
  4. Massage and special stretching techniques at Webster Massage can help you maintain a balance.
  5. Don’t become hunched over, stiff in your walk or build up stress. Release it today, visit webstermassage.se to book a time.
    For more in-depth reading, see – www.bmtsc.com/psoas.php