Active Sport and Health

Osteopath Melbourne

Does Massage Therapy Help Against Back Pain?

I originally thought that massage therapy would be a gentle, soothing massage that would lessen the ever present tightness in my shoulders and lower back. Boy was I wrong.

I made an appointment at the insistence of my boss because the neck pain I had experienced since adolescence was becoming more intense from the way I sat at my computer.

I was led into a pastel room with soft lighting and asked to strip to my underwear and lay face down on the table. My head went into a donut shaped holder and there was a place to rest my arms. The massage therapist came in and asked me some questions about the location of my pain and then went to work.

It was the most excruciating pain I had ever felt.

Deep tissue massage is used for breaking up the tightness in the muscle tissue and retraining the muscles. Although the first few sessions seemed to hurt more than they helped, I stuck with it, coming three times a week for a month. By the end of the second month I had begun to look forward to each session and noticed that I wasn’t clenching my jaw as much. I also noticed that my lower back didn’t hurt as much at the end of the day.

The therapist had given me several back stretching exercises to do at night and the results were amazing. I now refer all of my friends with muscle pain for massage therapy.

Massage works the soft tissue-muscles, ligaments and tendons-to stimulate circulation and improve muscle tone. It is a system of kneading and pressing on specific muscle bundles just underneath the skin, but a good massage therapist can reach deeper muscles. Massage is and ancient and simple form of therapy.

Another benefit is improved breathing and circulation. Because the lymphatic system runs parallel to the circulatory system, there is improved elimination of waste through out the body, and in order to experience the full benefits the client is taught how to breathe deeply and slowly. While the few initial visits were quite uncomfortable, the full result was entirely relaxing.

An occasional soft massage is so relaxing that many people fall asleep during the treatment.

However, if you have pain like mine a course of several treatments will result in the full benefit, such as along with increased circulation and improved breathing, a relaxed muscle is a good way to prevent sprains and torn ligaments, especially if you are an athlete. ( I am far from being an athlete, but am just as prone to injury from excess tension and structural weakness.)

For example, when the structure in my lower back is compromised due to inactivity, I am much more likely to strain my back when I lift heavy objects, even though I am aware of how to properly lift a box-with your knees, not with your back- but because my legs and lower back are weak, massage can greatly improve the position of the muscles and makes them more pliable, thus resulting in less chance of sprain or strain.

Massage is also used to relieve fatigue, which can be caused from the muscles in the body being so tight that you use extra energy to function. Because massage relaxes the muscles, the entire body doesn’t have to work so hard and what was once fatigue can now be energy directed elsewhere.

One last note on the benefits of massage-the use of massage oils help lessen the friction of massage on dry skin, and are often used as an aromatherapy along with the massage process. A good, clean essential oil such as rosemary can leave the client feeling relaxed and calm, so don’t hesitate to ask your therapist to use scented oil.

Feel Like a Goddess with Pilates Moves

Let us accept the fact that many of us wanted to change our body to look better. In fact many of us did simple exercises at home and even undergo some fitness programs to achieve that particular goal. You don’t need to feel guilty about it either because we all know that these things happen.

For those who love to experience the great feeling that most Pilates clients experienced, you rather prefer Pilates moves and other methods because the Pilates moves is noted to tone, sculpt and firm you fast. With the Pilates moves, in days you will feel like your abs is smaller and you will walk with a new confidence.

To introduce the Pilates moves, Mari devised videos that show the Pilates moves. The first tape of the Pilates moves is considered to be simple because it focuses mainly on the seven main Pilates moves. The Pilates moves presented in the first tape is a low-intensity 24 minutes instruction video with a bigger priority on the Pilates moves for sculpting and reshaping the body speedily so you can cherish the long and thin look you might covet.

The seven Pilates moves that are shown in the first tape are explained by Mari herself with tips and 3-D Training. The Pilates moves include the Pilates 100, roll up, single leg circles, rolling like a ball, single leg stretch, double leg stretch, and spine stretch forward. Each Pilates move has its own distinctions.

The Pilates move “Pilates 100” is a Pilates move to increaser circulation. In this certain Pilates move, you needed to start with just breathing and slowly associate arms and legs. In this kind of Pilates moves, the deep breathing helps you work your way into fitness. Soon you will find out that you are the doing the entire set of the Pilates move “Pilates 100” and feeling great.

The next Pilates move, which is the Roll Up is said to be the most challenging Pilates move because you normally just begin from a wholly flat position on your back and then tried to swathe yourself in half and buzz beyond your toes. Accordingly, this Pilates move is an awesome healing Pilates move that lengthens the body.

The Single Leg Circles is a Pilates move that is so easy to perform because while on your back you make circles with one leg at a time.

The Rolling Like a Ball is a Pilates move that is considered as the most fun of all the Pilates moves. This particular Pilates move gives massage to the entire back.

With the Pilates move “Single Leg Stretch”, you will feel like you are biking upside down. This is contrasted with the Double Leg Stretch Pilates move in which you will fell like a ballerina while still flat on your back. And the seventh Pilates move which is Spine Stretch Forward is said to be performed by a gentle stretch.

With such Pilates moves, many clients commented that after they experienced executing those Pilates moves, they feel like goddesses, and they adore that great feeling and up to now they still love it.

Proven Way to Relieve Back Pain: Back Massage

Back pain is a common ailment; however, people may get better within a few weeks through massages. Massage is known to improve blood flow and eases tension, thus providing relaxation to muscles. While gentle massages are pleasurable, it does not necessarily offer relief to sufferers of acute low back pain. Combining massage with other treatments, such as physical therapy and chiropractic, is likely to produce best results. In addition, back massages, in combination with non-medical treatments, back exercises and good diet, ensures gradual pain relief.

Benefits of Back Massage Therapy

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, research proves that massage therapy provides many important health benefits, including:

Improvement in blood circulation in the body, which aids in the recovery of muscle soreness due to physical activity.

Relaxation of muscles for an improved range of motion. Muscle relaxation also helps in the treatment of insomnia.

Increased endorphin levels. The increase in endorphin levels is actually one of the greatest benefits of the massage therapy. Endorphins are body chemicals that lend a feel-good feeling, which is very effective in managing chronic pain.

It is important to ensure that precautions are exercised while receiving massage therapy. Your muscle should relax in response to the pressure applied by a massage therapist, in the absence of which, it is possible that muscles are inflamed. In such cases, you should not opt for back massages as a treatment option and consult his/her doctor for the treatment. Most muscle spasms require four massage treatments, usually spread over a six weeks period, to achieve best results. If muscle spasms do not respond to the neuromuscular therapy within two massages, try using another therapy.

If you have severe lower back pain, it is advisable that you undergo thorough medical checkup before commencing the massage therapy.