Articles in Category: Massage

The Benefits of Stretching

on Wednesday, 06 March 2019. Posted in Massage, Newsletters, General Health, Sporting Injuries, Training and Performance

Stretching

There are many benefits to regular stretching, not only can stretching help increase your flexibility; it may also improve posture and body aches.

Increases Flexibility:

Regular stretching may help to increase your flexibility. Improved flexibility can help you perform daily activities with ease and may also help delay reduced mobility that can come with aging.

Increases Range of Motion:

The ability to move a joint through its full range of motion gives you more freedom of movement. Regular stretching may help increase your range of motion. A study found that both static and dynamic stretching are effective for increasing range of motion, although proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching may be more effective for immediate benefit.

Improves Performance in Physical Activities:

Dynamic stretching prior to physical activity has been shown to help your muscles prepare for the activity.

Increases Blood Flow to Muscles:

Regular stretching may improve your circulation which increases blood flow to your muscles. This may shorten your recovery time and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.

The most common types of stretching are dynamic and static.

Dynamic Stretching:

Dynamic stretching involves the movement of joints through their full range of motion in a slow and controlled manner. They are often used as a warm-up prior to physical activity and there are no extended holds. Generally, the type of movement, or dynamic stretch used will be similar to the activity about to be performed. “High knees” or ‘butt kicks” are examples of dynamic stretching that may be performed before running.

Static Stretching:

Static stretching involves moving the body into a stretch and holding for an extended period of time. Timing of the extended stretch varies though they are commonly prescribed for 15-30 seconds at a time for 3-5 times. Static stretching can be performed actively by using your own muscles to hold the positions, or passively, using an external force such as a strap, a wall or another person. Bending down and touching your toes or letting the heels drop down off the edge of a step are examples of static stretching.

Dynamic and static stretching can be effective for increasing flexibility

Pre-activity dynamic stretching may improve performance

Post-activity static stretching may prevent delayed onset muscle soreness

Stretching is generally a safe activity that can be included as part of your daily activity

Written by Maharlia Kennedy

Dip. Remedial Massage

Shockwave Therapy

on Tuesday, 05 March 2019. Posted in Massage, Newsletters, General Health, Sporting Injuries, Training and Performance

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy

Shock wave therapy is a low frequency shock wave focused treatment that targets a specific acute or chronic condition. It is classified as a non-invasive treatment that generates acoustic shock waves, via a hand held device. Shock wave is a multidisciplinary device that can be utilised by chiropractors, physiotherapists, remedial massage therapists, sports medicine, urology and veterinary medicine. This hand held device helps kick start the body’s natural healing ability within the tissue, this is done by stimulating the metabolism, and increasing blood circulation. Its main assets are fast pain relief and mobility restoration.

Some of the conditions that can be treated from shock wave therapy are:

-          Plantar fasciitis

-          Heel Spurs

-          Tennis elbow/Golfer’s elbow

-          Chronic Tendinopathy

-          Shin Splints

-          Calcifications

-          Hip pain

-          Hamstring injuries

-          Shoulder pain

-          Muscle, Myofascia & Trigger Points

Shock wave therapy has been said to be an ideal therapy for injuries/conditions that have been unresolved by medications, rest and other therapies, but with the combination of shock wave and other therapies it can be utilised to help speed up injury recovery times. The treatment of shock wave can be a little painful, but depending on the patient and the type of condition being treated the intensity can be changed throughout the session.

Written By Luke Attkins

Dip Remedial Massage, Certificate IV of Massage Therapy

Upper Cross Syndrome

on Thursday, 14 February 2019. Posted in Massage, Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics

Upper Cross Syndrome

Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS) refers to a particular configuration of muscles that are underactive and overactive in the back, neck, shoulders and chest. Muscles of the upper back and into the neck become overactive and strained and the muscles of the chest become shortened and tight. UCS gets its name from the “X” shape that develops as a result of the underactive and overactive muscles overlapping, along with the surrounding muscles that consequently become weak. 

 

 

How Does This Happen?

UCS is typically a result of inappropriate posture, specifically sitting or standing with the head forward for prolonged periods. Activities that may promote a head forward position include:

  • Computer and laptop use

  • Browsing, texting, apps and gaming on mobile devices

  • Reading

  • Watching TV

  • Driving

How Can This Affect You?

Tension headaches and migrainesthe head forward position increases the stress placed on the upper back and the muscles at the back of the neck, increasing your risk of headaches.

 

General neck, shoulder and upper back pain – can be experienced due to the impacted muscles of UCS. Trigger points or tender areas can develop due to the constant stress being placed on these muscles.

 

Impaired respiratory function – rounded shoulders and a forward head position typically cause tightness and shortening of muscles as seen in those with UCS. These overactive and underactive muscles as well as the position of the rib cage can result in impaired respiratory function.

 

You may also experience:

  • Jaw pain

  • Tiredness

  • Difficulty sitting, reading, watching TV or driving too long

  • Restricted range of motion in the neck or shoulders

  • Discomfort, pain, tingling or numbness in the upper arm

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Lower back pain

 

What Can I Do? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Prevention is better than a cure as they say and the best way to prevent UCS is to avoid activities that require a head forward position for extended periods of time, this may be:

  • Limiting time spent using computers and laptops or mobile devices

  • Take regular breaks while sitting or engaged in problematic activities

  • Being mindful of movements or activities that may worsen symptoms and avoid these when possible

  • Stretch and strengthen muscles of the back, neck, shoulders and chest

  • Maintain a good posture

Can Massage Help With My Symptoms? YES!

Massage can reduce the pain and discomfort associated with UCS. Massage Therapists use soft tissue and active release techniques in combination with stretching and helpful suggestions for strengthening exercises.

 

As a former office worker of almost 20 years, having spent more than 40 hours a week in front of a computer; I understand the impact that this type of work or activity has on our body. I appreciate that it is not always simple to limit time on the computer or mobile device; or taking regular breaks are not always easy or practical; or even maintaining a good posture throughout the day, “I got tired, I slouched in my chair” – I hear you. Any step towards a healthier you, is a step in the right direction.

 

 

Written by Maharlia Kennedy

Remedial Massage Therapist (Dip. Remedial Massage)

 

 

Refernce for Image: https://www.healthandexercise.com.au/exercise-physiology/exercise-physiologyposture-correction-exercises-upper-crossed-syndrome/

 

Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS) refers to a particular configuration of muscles that are underactive and overactive in the back, neck, shoulders and chest. Muscles of the upper back and into the neck become overactive and strained and the muscles of the chest become shortened and tight. UCS gets its name from the “X” shape that develops as a result of the underactive and overactive muscles overlapping, along with the surrounding muscles that consequently become weak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Does This Happen?

UCS is typically a result of inappropriate posture, specifically sitting or standing with the head forward for prolonged periods. Activities that may promote a head forward position include:

  • Computer and laptop use

  • Browsing, texting, apps and gaming on mobile devices

  • Reading

  • Watching TV

  • Driving

 

How Can This Affect You?

Tension headaches and migrainesthe head forward position increases the stress placed on the upper back and the muscles at the back of the neck, increasing your risk of headaches.

 

General neck, shoulder and upper back pain – can be experienced due to the impacted muscles of UCS. Trigger points or tender areas can develop due to the constant stress being placed on these muscles.

 

Impaired respiratory function – rounded shoulders and a forward head position typically cause tightness and shortening of muscles as seen in those with UCS. These overactive and underactive muscles as well as the position of the rib cage can result in impaired respiratory function.

 

You may also experience:

  • Jaw pain

  • Tiredness

  • Difficulty sitting, reading, watching TV or driving too long

  • Restricted range of motion in the neck or shoulders

  • Discomfort, pain, tingling or numbness in the upper arm

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Lower back pain

 

What Can I Do? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Prevention is better than a cure as they say and the best way to prevent UCS is to avoid activities that require a head forward position for extended periods of time, this may be:

  • Limiting time spent using computers and laptops or mobile devices

  • Take regular breaks while sitting or engaged in problematic activities

  • Being mindful of movements or activities that may worsen symptoms and avoid these when possible

  • Stretch and strengthen muscles of the back, neck, shoulders and chest

  • Maintain a good posture

 

Can Massage Help With My Symptoms? YES!

Massage can reduce the pain and discomfort associated with UCS. Massage Therapists use soft tissue and active release techniques in combination with stretching and helpful suggestions for strengthening exercises.

 

As a former office worker of almost 20 years, having spent more than 40 hours a week in front of a computer; I understand the impact that this type of work or activity has on our body. I appreciate that it is not always simple to limit time on the computer or mobile device; or taking regular breaks are not always easy or practical; or even maintaining a good posture throughout the day, “I got tired, I slouched in my chair” – I hear you. Any step towards a healthier you, is a step in the right direction.

 

 

Written by Maharlia Kennedy

Remedial Massage Therapist (Dip. Remedial Massage)

 

 

Image: https://www.healthandexercise.com.au/exercise-physiology/exercise-physiologyposture-correction-exercises-upper-crossed-syndrome/