Some Yoga a Day to Keep the Back Pain Away!

Back pain is one of the number one complaints in the US , and wouldn't it be great if there was a simple daily activity you could do to stay pain free,*cough*yoga*cough cough*? More than just a physical practice that will reduce pain but a mental practice that can reduce stress and therefor stress related tension. 

The asana, or pastures/poses, of yoga are active stretches and mobilizations of the muscles and connective tissues in our body. This helps loosen and lengthen tense parts of our bodies that may be cause structural imbalances cause discomfort or even pain. Think of your muscles at ropes tied to an accordion tube, if some of the rope are pulling more than other it would change the Curve of the tube, changing it''s alignment, just like tight muscle in you back could do to your spine. Regularly moving your muscles in there fullest range of motion can keep them loose and balanced. 

The stretching aspect of the asanas can also increase circulation to the body, and better circulation mean healthier tissue, and that means all kind of wonderful things, better mobility, betterfunction, less pain...

As well at stretching, yoga postures also strengthen the body.  When your muscles are stronger the can stabilize your structure (your bones) better, preventing injury and reducing pain. 

Another gift yoga gives is a better awareness of breathing. Helping you focus on breathing into your stomach rather than chest so you use fewer accessory muscles that are inducing unnecessary tension. This is very beneficial for those with upper middle back discomfort. 

And as many know already yoga can be very relaxing for the mind as well. Reducing mental stress can also induce relaxation in muscle because you are now no longer clenching on contracting from a mental discomfort such as worry or anger. 

All of these together in your daily yoga practice will help reduce and maybe even elimination your back pain. 

Don't Be Fooled!! "Dry Needling" Is Really Acupuncture!!!

       Of course, for my first blog topic, I have to choose one that's controversial. There has been, and is still, a lot of controversy around whether or not "Dry Needling" is really Acupuncture. Some, like Physical Therapists and Chiropractors, are claiming that it isn't. While others, namely Acupuncturists, say that it is. I, personally, believe that it IS Acupuncture.

       I know my opinion seems biased, what with me being an Acupuncturist and all, but hear me out! Please...I've done my research. 

       Those that practice "Dry Needling" will tell you that it differs from the techniques of Acupuncture. They will say that it's not Acupuncture because it's based on Western scientific anatomical theory, and focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Whereas Acupuncture is based on "meridian theory". They may also say that "Dry Needling" is not Acupuncture because the primary focus is to release Trigger Points (...we'll get to that later). Another argument is that "Dry Needling" was only discovered fairly recently. It was pioneered by Janet Travell in the 1940's, and has slowly gained traction since. Acupuncture, on the other hand, has been around for thousands of years (why that wouldn't be the ultimate argument in the favor of acupuncture is beyond me).

       Personally, I think the fact that there is a lot of mysticism tied to Acupuncture is the reason why so many would lean more towards "Dry Needling". It's easy to explain, it uses Western scientific words that most people have heard of, and it doesn't sound like scary Chinese Voodoo (no offence to the Chinese, or to Voodoo). It uses words and ideas that aren't familiar; talking about "meridians" and "points", and telling people something is wrong with their "Qi" (or Chi)...meanwhile you, the patient, is sitting there going: "My what? What is qi? What do you mean it's 'vital energy'? Are you sure what you practice is medicine?"

That's not how you do Acupuncture. I'm not even sure that's how you do Voodoo...

That's not how you do Acupuncture. I'm not even sure that's how you do Voodoo...

       Now, as lovely as it would be to answer all of those questions, that's not the purpose today...So, let's get down to business.

       The definition of Acupuncture is: “a method of relieving pain or curing illness by placing needles into a person's skin at particular points on the body”*. So, therefore, the simple act of inserting an acupuncture/”acupuncture style” needle (as quoted by “Dry Needle” practitioners) into the body, for any purpose, is the practice of acupuncture.

*Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

       Secondly, anyone practicing “Dry Needling” is actually practicing a somewhat rudimentary style of Acupuncture. The technique of directly needling an area that is painful to the touch was outlined in the foundation text of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine called the Huang Di Nei Jing (this was written around the 4th Century BCE). The areas of the muscle that are tender to the touch are referred to as “Ashi” points. They were given their own name because they usually did not correspond to any of the points on the meridians, but were clearly areas that needed to be identified and treated. Even more impressive, a 1977 study conducted by Melzack, Stillwell and Fox, that was published in Pain (the official journal of the International Association of the Study of Pain) established that “every trigger point [reported in the Western medical literature] has a corresponding Acupuncture point.”* Also, a number of subsequent studies that have been published in Western medical literature have reached the same conclusion.

*Source: Melzack R, Stillwell DM, Fox EJ. Trigger points and acupuncture points for pain: correlations and implications. Pain. 1977 Feb;3(1):3–23.

       There are also needle techniques in Chinese Medicine that deal specifically with pain from a muscular origin. These techniques are called Tendino-Muscular Techniques (or Gen-Luo). Tendino-Muscle Meridians are meridians that “pass through depressions and planes between the muscles and tendons. They control the movement of extremities, flexing and extending the joints, they hold the body erect, and protect the body from trauma.”* There are 2 of the Gen-Luo techniques that very strongly correspond to the release of Trigger Points. One is called Ju. This technique requires that the patient be put into whatever position is causing the muscle pain, and then having those tissues strongly released by an Acupuncture needle. The second technique is called Luo. This technique is only to be used if a non-meridian point of pain (“Ashi” point) is painful to the touch and the pain refers to another location. Hmm....that sounds a LOT like a trigger point to me...let's investigate the definition of a Trigger Point just to be sure: “a localized usually tender or painful area of the body and especially of a muscle that when stimulated gives rise to pain elsewhere in the body”.* Well, my mind is blown...How about yours?

*Source: The Twelve Tendino-Muscular Meridians. Part 1 July 3, 2015 Martin Eisen [Scientific Qi Exploration 气的科学探讨] The Twelve Tendino-Muscular Meridians. Part 1 Marty Eisen Ph.D.
*Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
Is it an Ashi point or a Trigger Point? We'll never know.

Is it an Ashi point or a Trigger Point? We'll never know.

       If you take anything from this long-winded almost rant of mine, I hope, above all, that it's education. Don't let the mask of “Dry Needling” fool you, or steer you away from trying Acupuncture...especially now that you know they're the same medicine.

  • Melanie Murphy L.M.T., L.Ac., MS

Your Heart Beats For Massage: Benefits of Massage on the Cardiovascular System!

Providing the cells in the body with oxygen and nutrients is one of the main functions of our cardiovascular system. We eat right, exercise and do what we can to keep it in tip top shape. But could you be doing more? Could something as pleasant as massage really be the missing link in our cardiovascular health? Maybe!

Massage is one of the best ways to aid venous return.  As our arteries have the heart to keep blood flowing smoothly, by the time the current reaches veins it's a bit dull... Daily muscular contraction help pump the fluid back to the heart but  unfortunately more often then not we have a stagnant lifestyle:sitting at desk, commuting in cars or on trains and this is when massage can pick up the slack and aid the return of blood thru your circulatory system. 

The warming of muscles, connective tissue and our integumentary (skin) system leads to the dilation of our blood vessels. Basically widening the road for more blood to flow thru, like adding an extra lain on the highway. There for increasing circulation! Also, with vascular dilation( the diameter of our blood vessels widening) blood pressure also reduced. And a massage might just be the most pleasant way to lower your blood pressure. 

Massage can also stimulate the spleen to bring more red blood cell(RBC) into the body. RBCs are responsible fore bringing oxygen from the lungs to the cells, so the increase of RBC increases the amount of oxygen thru out the body. 

So help your heart do it's job and get MASSSAGE!

Love the Skin You're In: Massage Therapy Benefits for the Integumentary System !

Be tall, short, fat or skinny we are all wrapped up in skin. Our largest organ with a team of glands, hairs, and nails to create our integumantary system. And though we all know how massage loosens muscles and breaks up scar tissue, did you realize how it helps you skin too! 

Most people might think its the application of oils or creams that richens their skin after a massage. And though it does help, what really if benefiting is the stimulation of the sebaceous or oil glands to produce the secretion of sebum better know as oil. Therefore reducing dryness and giving you moist, healthy skin! 

The condition, texture and tone of skin also is improved. When circulation is improved nutrients is increased to the cells of the organs therefore improving the health of the entire organ system!

Also, by massaging the skin warmth is created which reduces stress thru out the body. 

So try massage today and not just feel but look great!

Cast Your Pain Away! Why Fishermen Should get Massage!

Few things are better than either sitting in a boat, standing by the shore or on a rock and just casting your line out, some may say. Some of us find peace and tranquility by the water or joy and excitement. But sometimes the catch of the day is a stiff back and sore shoulders rather than a record breaking base. So, maybe it's time to get a massage and cast that pain away!

Though some may think the constant casting  motion is to blame. But any fisher would say it's the standing ridged for hours is what gets them stiff. Which is true. Standing upright in a single, steady position is more stressful on muscles then most would think. The fibers are in a fixed contraction making them rigid and "stiff" feeling". By holding the body in the same position you create a tension pattern. And if you don't  loosen these now contracted muscle it can lead to pain, decreased circulation or even numbness and tingling. 

Stretching before and after every time you fish is the most ideal. You want to move your shoulders and spine in their full range of motion in every direction. 

For example:

  • Spine
  1. gently flex the  spine by laying on your back and bringing your knees into your chest
  2. from here slowly twist you spine by bringing your knees to one side and looking to the opposite (do this to both sides)
  3. laterally flex or "side bend" by sitting upright and placing one palm on the floor and reaching the other up and over (do on both sides)
  • Shoulder
  1. reach your arm across the front of you body
  2. reach you arm up and bend the elbow reaching the palm between your shoulder blades 
  3. reach your arm down then bend the elbow and reach the palm up between the shoulder blades 

 

When stretching isn't enough or if you are being honest and you just forget or don;t want to a massage is another great option. A massage therapist can manually work out tension from stiff, sore muscles. As well as work out deeper trigger points stretching is unable to resolve. 

  • Recommended Techniques
  1. Swedish Massage : improves circulation and soothes sore muscles
  2. Deep Tissue: breaks up trigger points "knots" deep in muscle bellies 
  3. Thai Massage: a massage or stretching and compressive massage
  4. Gua Sha: deep muscle stripping with a tool ideal for bound up connective tissue and stubborn knots 

 

Into The Swing of Things:How Massage can Help your Golf Game!

Over 12 million Americans enjoy at least 8 games of golf a year(according to an article from massagetherapy.com) And whether you are the occasional player or weekly wonder, you just want to get into the swing or things and get your perfect swing. On top of practice,stretching and exercise, have you considered how massage can help improve your game?

Therapeutic massage  is ideal for all kinds of athletes, so why not golfers? Honestly, especially  golfers! A sport that requires flexibility and a full range of motion in the back, hips,neck,  shoulder..the list can go on. 

Everyone probably knows how massage can sooth aching muscles and help speed healing time for injured muscles. That massage helps with circulation and stress relief but do you realize with all of this it lengthens the muscles? Therefor, increasing the ranges of motion of the joints they connect to. Massage can break up restricting connective tissue. Improve circulation to joins giving them a more fluid movement. All of this together can bring you that much closer to your perfect swing. 

 Different techniques recommended for golfers:

  • Swedish Massage- ideal for increasing circulation and relaxing muscles
  • Deep tissue- great for loosening tight muscles 
  • Myofascial massage-perfect for releasing connective tissue
  • Neuromuscular Therapy- best for breaking up trigger points or "knots" in muscle bellies 
  • Thai/yoga massage-a perfect blend of compresive trigger point work with stretches, passive movement that will increase your range of motion instantly 

 

 

http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/1223/Massage-Helping-Move-Golfers-%93Fore%94ward

Welcome to Massage, Now What?

Welcome to the wonderful world of massage. now what? Whether you have stress, pain, injurer, were in an accident, recovering from surgery and any number of the great reasons to receive a massage, you have finally decided to take the plunge and join the thousands of massage loving people in the world. Great! But now what?

Finding a place. A nice, reputable place. One with licensed massage therapist, insured, clean, relaxing,  and, as always, with good reviews! So, naturally you found yourself here(maybe our yelp page helped with that) But now, what kind of massage!? There are just so many mind boggling choices! Have you seen the service page! You wanted to do this to relive stress nor receive it!  

Step one, deep breath in. Second step, ask yourself what you want and need from your massage? Then, you can either read thru the long services page  or this great paralleling article on WebMD http://www.webmd.com/balance/massage-therapy-styles-and-health-benefits 

or just give us a call and ask to speak with a massage therapist  that can explain what would benefit you best. And sometime that is a casserole of styles to fit your snowflake of needs. Every body and history is different so sometimes even though you and your besties aches are the same you massage is not. But the right massage and massage therapist is out there for you. And when you find it let the healing begin. So try us or anywhere but enjoy! 

 http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-wellness-nook-smithtown

Source: www.webmd.com/balance/massage-therapy-stre...

New Web Site

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