CranioSacral Therapy is a light-touch approach that can facilitate dramatic improvements in your health and well-being. It was founded by Dr. John Upledger an Osteopathic Physician who did clinical trials and extensive scientific research at Michigan State University from 1975-1983 to prove the effects of CranioSacral Therapy on the body and how it works. It releases tension and restrictions in tissue, both superficial and deep in the body. It helps to relieve pain and dysfunction while improving whole-body health and performance. This therapy can be performed while you are fully clothed while lying down on a massage table or it may be integrated with a personalized massage session. This therapy is deeply relaxing stimulating the Parasympathetic Nervous System and producing a state of calmness. People sometimes fall asleep during their sessions. CranioSacral Therapy can help with a wide range of problems such as TMJD (jaw joint dysfunction), Scoliosis, Lordosis, Kyphosis (curvatures in spine), headaches, neck and back pain, chronic pain issues such as Fibromyalgia, and other connective tissue disorders, concussion or traumatic brain injuries, PSTD, immunity and stress relief.
A growing body of research indicates massage therapy can benefit the immune system, especially important during winter months.
People looking to fend off cold and flu as the winter months arrive should speak to a massage therapist about prevention strategies. Regular massages have been shown to make the immune system stronger, according to studies.
“Researchers working with patients with compromised immune systems have found massage therapy can improve how the immune system functions,” said Jeff Smoot, 2015 President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). “Those same benefits can translate to people seeking to fight off the common cold, flu and other seasonal illnesses.”
Massage therapy increases the activity level of the body’s white blood cells that work to combat viruses. According to research from Cedars-Sinai, participants in a Swedish massage group experienced significant changes in lymphocytes, which play a large role in defending the body from disease. A lymphocyte is one of the three subtypes of white blood cells in the immune system.
Remember, only receive massage therapy when you’re healthy.
What the Research Says
In a controlled study composed of HIV-positive adolescents, participants who received massage therapy showed enhanced immune function by the end of the 12-week study. The immune changes included increased white blood cells knowns as natural killer (NK) cells, which provide rapid responses to viral-infected cells.
An additional randomized study found women with stage 1 and 2 breast cancer may benefit from massage therapy for enhancing dopamine and serotonin while also increasing NK cell number and lymphocytes. Immediate massage benefits included reduced anxiety while the long-term impact increased serotonin values, natural killer cell numbers and lymphocytes, which work to strengthen the immune system and cognitive function during sickness.
1. Mark Hyman Rapaport, Pamela Schettler, and Catherine Bresee. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. October 2010, 16(10): 1079-1088. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0634.
2. Diego, M., Field, T., Hernandez-reif, M., Shaw, K., Friedman, L., & Ironson, G. (2001). Hiv Adolescents Show Improved Immune Function Following Massage Therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 35-45.
3. Hernandezreif, M. (2004). Breast Cancer Patients Have Improved Immune And Neuroendocrine Functions Following Massage Therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 45-52.
After hearing a lot about Cupping Therapy lately, I decided it was time to learn something about it. WebMD claims that supporters of cupping therapy believe the suction of the cups mobilizes blood flow to promote the healing of a broad range of medical ailments. Cupping therapy dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians were using cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
Now I was really curious so I decided to experience Cupping for myself. I’ve enjoyed my sessions very much, so much that I am participating in a Cupping Certification Course in July 2016.
I want to have a conversation with you about Cupping and see if there is interest in this service in the Ann Arbor area. I’d like to just get a feel for how other people view this kind of therapy. I understand that a lot of people have never seen nor heard of Cupping so this would be a good conversation to be a part of. Or maybe you have experienced cupping and would like to share that experience with us. This will help me know what to look for as I begin my certification course.
I should tell everyone now that I will NOT be doing “Wet” Cupping where the skin is punctured and you actually draw blood. I will be practicing “Dry” Cupping. Here is a helpful video that shows a “Dry” Cupping technique, you should also know that I will not be using the method that involves an open flame. After you watch the video come back and let me know what you think in a comment below.
Recent research into the negative health consequences of sitting all day has fueled the popularity of sit-stand desks, which allow employees to alternate between sitting and standing—and which might provide new challenges to massage therapists.
If office workers spend more time standing, will those aches and pains become a thing of the past? Not likely, said massage therapist Caylon Ellis, owner of Caylon Ellis Therapeutics in Carlsbad, California.
The idea that standing is a good way to counter the effects of sitting so much “is a fallacy in logic,” Ellis said. “I don’t think that is sound logic, to assume that the opposite of something that’s bad is good. It depends on a lot of factors.”
One such factor is the height of the desk while standing, as well as the positioning of the computer. Standing at a poorly adjusted desk, said Ellis, can put as much stress on the body as sitting all day. She recommends choosing a sit-stand desk that allows adjustments to the height of the computer monitor and keyboard separately, so office workers can find exactly the right position to avoid problems like carpal tunnel syndrome and forward head posture.
Office Workers and Back Pain
Another factor is a person’s back. Ellis explained that the lumbar spine has a natural curve, shaped like a backward C.
“A lot of people have too much of that curve, and … that puts a lot of pressure on your discs between the lumbar vertebrae,” she said.
Ellis cited as an example one client, an engineer, who switched to a sit-stand desk after seeking massage therapy for the pain she experienced from sitting too much. The new desk helped—but then a new problem arose.
“Part of the issue is her lumbar spine is excessively curved,” she said. After the switch to standing, “her low back started to bother her a little bit more.”
Even if a person’s lumbar spine curvature is normal, low-back pain can develop if the knees aren’t kept slightly bent and neutral when standing. Locking the knees throws the pelvis forward and increases the curvature, which can lead to pain.
Other spinal issues, such as degenerative disc disease or stenosis, can worsen if an office worker stands too much, Ellis added. So, office workers and back pain might show up in a massage therapist’s practice, even among clients who use a sit-stand desk.
Office Workers’ Posture
Bad ergonomics practiced for long periods of time, while sitting or standing, can lead to pain because, in order to relieve fatigue or create stability, the body compensates by activating muscles that would ideally remain at rest.
“I find that people who stand all day have a tendency to lean on one leg or hip,” said Eric Steibl, D.C., who practices in the Manhattan area of New York, New York, and sees many office workers. “[This] can cause a pelvic rotation and put more torque on the lumbar spine, causing compensations up the back and into the neck.”
Steibl, a massage therapist and chiropractor, specializes in Muscle Activation Techniques, Active Release Techniques and Neuromuscular Therapy, and is also a Certified Advanced Rolfer™; he has found Muscle Activation Techniques and Rolfing® to be most useful for addressing office-related pain and dysfunction.
One modality Ellis practices, Neurokinetic Therapy, focuses on identifying compensations that lead to pain, then correcting the underlying cause by retraining that area of the body so the compensation is no longer needed.
“If people sit too much or stand too much, their abdominal muscles have no activation and no ability to stabilize,” Ellis said. “So their low back is working, working, working all the time to help stabilize them.”
The result: low-back pain and problems with office workers’ posture.
Another potential problem that could arise from standing too much is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the toes to the heel. Ellis recommends standing on a cushioned foam mat for support while working at a standing desk.
Women who wear high-heeled shoes to the office may be better off reconsidering either the standing desk or their choice of footwear. “If [you’re] standing all day and wearing heels,” Ellis said, “that’s actually going to cause more stress and require more compensation than if [you’re] sitting in a really good, ergonomic position wearing heels.”
Movement Is Key
Whether workers sit or stand, being mindful of proper desk positioning and posture can help prevent pain. So can movement, said Steibl.
“Set a timer on [your] computer and move around every 15 minutes,” he said. “And take a few steps away from your desk.”
Is Standing Worth It?
While many office workers love their sit-stand desks, science has not yet borne out their potential health benefits. A 2016 systematic research review in Cochrane Review concluded that sit-stand desks did decrease sitting time, but that more research is needed to determine whether the desks have a major positive effect on health.
“At present, there is not enough high-quality evidence available to determine whether spending more time standing at work can repair the harms of a sedentary lifestyle,” said one of the study’s authors, Jos Verbeek, in a press release. “Standing instead of sitting hardly increases energy expenditure.”
About the Author
Allison Payne is online & associate editor of MASSAGE Magazine and managing editor of futureLMT.com, MASSAGE’s publication for student and beginning massage therapists. She wrote “Massage Therapists Play Starring Role in Disney Spa Magic” for massagemag.com.
– See more at: https://www.massagemag.com/sitting-standing-office-workers-need-massage-35224/#sthash.C5JbBUZR.dpuf
It’s easy to see why massage is commonly described as a luxury; it makes you feel amazing! I love a good massage as much as the next person. That feel-good emotion that we all love is due to the release of endorphins that produce a feeling of well being, whilst stress causing hormones such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine are reduced. Cortisol is a stress hormone and unfortunately, when you feel anxious, your body pumps out even more of it, fuelling your stress levels and causing them to rise. For people who suffer with depression, a massage can be hugely beneficial. Massage therapy helps the body relax by relieving muscle tension and therefore the mind can also relax. Whilst massage is not a long term or sole treatment for depression or anxiety, it can help to temporarily alleviate some of the symptoms, leaving sufferers feeling happier, energised and full of endorphins.
While many people may not be aware of how massage can help on an emotional level, most people are fairly aware of how good a massage can be for your body. Aches and pains in muscles and joints is one of the most common reasons people book in for a massage. These days we are much more ‘desk-bound’ than we used to be. Many careers require you to sit at a desk all day long, even as a therapist, we stand on our feet all day long and the most movement we get is walking between clients. It doesn’t matter what career you are in, a repetitive routine and minimal movement will always be taxing on our bodies. Sitting or standing in the same position all day means our muscles don’t get the blood flow they need, resulting in them being stiff, sore and achy. There are even studies that link sitting all day to cancer, and it’s more prevalent in woman. Luckily regular massages can somewhat counteract the imbalance and side effects.
A simple massage can alleviate neck, shoulders and back pain and improve blood flow. Improving the flow of the circulatory and lymphatic systems, allows the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to other areas of the body and remove toxins more efficiently, leaving our bodies feeling cleansed.
Having your body feeling relaxed and de-stressed is also very important when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. And when it comes to functioning properly, rest and quality sleep is vital to ones well-being! According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC): “Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression—which threaten our nation’s health.” It is quiet concerning, the effects sleep deprivation can have on our lives. Massage helps the production of serotonin, which is essential for the production of melatonin. What is melatonin you ask? Good question. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It basically helps control our body clock so we can function properly during the day and sleep properly at night. Most people’s melatonin level starts to go up about two hours before they go to sleep. Melatonin tablets can be purchased; they are typically used by people suffering from insomnia or people who travel internationally to help with jet lag. While these tablets are an option, there is a natural way to go about increasing your melatonin levels, and that is through massage therapy. It the perfect drug-free alternative for people who struggle with insomnia.
As you can see there is much more to massage than it just being a ‘yearly indulgence’. Massages are a necessity, not a luxury our clients should feel guilty about spending their pennies on. These are just a hand full of examples that demonstrate the power massage can have on our health and well-being, it is important to educate yourself and your clients further so they can maximize the health benefits and you can maximise your business!