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Honor Your Body

Honor Your Body
Some people have a hard time even considering massage because they are so unh.....
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Pain, Pain, go away: Strokes for Folks Therapeutic Massage has been relieving aches, pains for five years

Lynette M. Stauffer founded Strokes for Folks Therapeutic Massage, LLC in June 2004 in Rosemount. It was a landmark move for Stauffer, who worked with.....
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benefits of massage

benefits of massage


The subject addressed below is one that we all hope to spend little time having to think about - Pain. The good news is that massage and bodywork are such effective tools in helping to lessen or eliminate pain from our lives. But since we all are likely to experience some painful periods from time to time, it's good to know that massage is a viable natural remedy to help us to feel better. According to the Pain Management Research Institute of America, chronic pain is a condition that afflicts some 86 million Americans. A Nuprin Pain Report indicated that 4 billion workdays are lost each year to pain, resulting in a financial loss to the economy of $79 billion per year.

The accompanying article explains how new research is bringing a clearer understanding on the mechanics of pain and how massage helps to counter its effects. Of course, since pain usually indicates that your body has a problem that needs attention, taking steps to remain healthy can help to prevent the onset of pain. And what better way to contribute to feeling your best than through regular massage sessions? Call today to schedule your appointment!

Massage And Pain Relief

Wouldn't life be great if you could eliminate unnecessary chronic pain? A fascinating article written by James N. Dillard, M.D., that appeared in a recent issue of Body & Soul magazine discusses new scientific discoveries that are changing our understanding of pain - and the way we can deal with it. (One of the reported effective tools for managing pain is massage, so read on!

Imagine you stub your toe. We've all been taught that nerve signals travel from the injured area (your toe) to your brain where the message is received and processed. This theory seems to make sense, but it doesn't account for many situations - such as an athlete or performer who injures a muscle but doesn't feel the pain until much later. The injury occurred, but the pain message is delayed. What about fibromyalgia sufferers who experience severe pain with no apparent cause for it?

Scientists discovered a structure in the spinal cord (called a dorsal horn) that acts as a gateway for the messages en route to the brain. Sometimes this "gate" opens, allowing the messages to pass through, sometimes it doesn't.

One factor that comes into play with this system is the speed of the message being sent. Dull pain - for instance, a tension headache - travels relatively slowly, from about half a mile to two miles per second. A sharper pain (a toothache or a torn muscle) travels between 5 and 30 miles per second. You may be surprised to learn that non painful touch sensations, including pressure and massage, travel much faster at 35 to 75 miles per second. If you have two types of sensation entering this dorsal horn area simultaneously, the faster of the two will be sent on, blocking the transmission of the slower one. This offers an explanation of why you would instinctively apply pressure to your stubbed toe; this sensation will get to the gate faster than the pain sensation. In his article, Dr. Dillard states, "Massage therapy can ease muscular pain . . ."

Pain messages are sent from nerve cell to nerve cell, actually having to jump across a gap from one nerve cell to the next. This transmission is assisted by chemicals called neurotransmitters. Two of these neurotransmitters that you may recognize by name are dopamine and serotonin, both of which seem to serve as pain reducers. Other neurotransmitters are thought to promote pain. "When these neurotransmitters are thrown off balance and the body produces too little or too much of them, they can prevent normal, short-term pain from fading away," says Dr. Dillard. Again, massage can help your body balance the neurotransmitter levels.

Here is another factor: Upon receiving a pain signal, an area of your brain triggers the release of hormones that can bring about an increase in blood pressure and heart beat rate, as well as tensing your muscles and diverting blood away from your digestive system. Sometimes these hormonal responses continue on, contributing to chronic pain conditions. Again, massage has been shown to be an effective means of helping your body return to a more normal function.

You were probably aware that massage could help you feel better and reduce painful conditions. Isn't it good to understand a little more about why it works!

Massage Decreases Chronic Pain

Far too many of us face our daily lives with chronic pain due to injuries or illness. Not only does massage therapy help to correct the conditions that cause chronic pain, but it also decreases chronic pain two other ways. The first is by the trained touch of a massage therapist activating nerve receptor signals along myelinated nerve fibers to temporarily block chronic pain signals from reaching the brain.  The second is by the stimulated release of endorphins (the body's natural painkiller) into the brain and nervous system to reduce your feelings of pain and discomfort without the use of unnatural drugs.

Massage Relaxes Tense Muscles

Muscles can become tight and ineffective for many reasons.  Stress, injury, poor circulation, overuse, and misuse, can all cause you pain and discomfort as well as restrict your normal range of motion.  When left unattended, these conditions can become habitual and hamper the quality of your everyday life. Massage therapy stretches and loosens tight muscles, and connective tissue, breaking down and preventing further formation of adhesions, freeing your range of motion and reducing the dangers of fibrosis.