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Headaches and Massage

“This project is such a headache!”

They’re so common that the term has become synonymous with an annoyance, but what are headaches, really? And can massage therapy really help? That depends, based on the kind of headache. With the different types, there are different causes, which also means different treatment protocols.

Headaches and massage

 

The good:

Tension headaches, the type of headaches people are most likely to experience, seem to respond well to massage therapy. Not only does massage seem to reduce pain in the moment, but regular massage therapy also appears to increase the amount of time between headaches for those who experience them on a chronic basis. This could be a result of helping to manage stress or underlying mechanical issues that can result in headaches, but there’s no solid science yet on precisely why massage helps, only that it does.

 

More good news! It probably doesn’t surprise anyone that folks who experience regular headaches are also more likely to experience high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Studies have found that massage can help with these issues not just in the general population, but also specifically in people who live with chronic headaches.

 

Some people with secondary headaches can also benefit from massage. People with fibromyalgia, for example, who often experience headaches as part of their condition, can experience both pain and stress relief with regular massage therapy. While massage during a flare-up of symptoms may need to be modified to be more gentle, some people find that it can provide relief both for headache as well as for pain throughout the body.

 

The bad:

Massage therapy is wonderful and often helpful, but it’s not a cure for headaches. While some people just need a bit of rest or a drink of water (dehydration is a surprisingly common headache cause), other people continue to experience headaches all their lives. While people who experience headaches caused by stress or muscular tension can absolutely benefit from massage, migraines triggered by things like foods or hormonal changes probably won’t see an impact.

 

The ugly:

There are some times when getting a massage for headaches isn’t just unhelpful, it’s actually dangerous. Most often, this is related to secondary headaches. Fevers, as an example, often cause headaches as well as achy joints that could lead someone to want to receive massage, but this not only risks overly stressing a body that’s already fighting off an infection, it also has the possibility of spreading the illness to the massage therapist and anyone else they come into contact with. Headaches resulting from a recent head (such as a concussion), neck, or back injury could also be made worse by a well-meaning massage therapist.

 

When there is the possibility of pain being caused by an illness or injury, it’s always best to seek out a physician’s opinion first. They can provide or recommend appropriate care for the issue causing the headache in the first place, and at that point you can ask them about whether it would be a good idea to receive a massage. Safe is always better than sorry!

 

Headaches can be a real, well, headache. But there’s help.

 

Sometimes a little change of environment is all that’s needed. If you have a headache and have been hunched over a computer for hours, try a stretch. A quick walk outside or a brief nap can help with a headache caused by eye strain. If you haven’t eaten or drunk anything all day, do that. It’s easy to get caught up in the business of our lives and forget to take care of our own basic needs, and stopping a headache before it starts makes a huge difference.

 

For those who can take them, over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin can be helpful in treating a headache. Sometimes caffeine is recommended as well. For stronger headaches, medications prescribed by a physician can be a lifesaver to many people, enabling them to function at work and with their families when they might otherwise have been left incapacitated.

 

And then there’s massage therapy, of course. It’s not a magical cure-all, but for many people, it really does help manage the pain and stress of headaches. Are you one of them?

Schedule your next massage, and let’s find out together.

11 Massage Myths Debunked

By Jackie Fedyk

 

Massage therapy is the manipulation of skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments by an licensed therapist to promote wellness, range of motion and many other health benefits. However, there are many myths surrounding the science of applied massage therapy, so make sure to educate yourself and get to know this therapy better and how it can improve your lifestyle.

 

A massage is a massage no matter where you go.

No!  There are many different types of massage modalities; you and your therapist will decide what is best for you. Not only that, each LMT will deliver these modalities in different manners, which will also play a roll in how you

  • Swedish Massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you. Swedish is for those who wish to relax and relieve stress, it may also improve circulation and lower blood pressure.
  • Deep Tissue Massage. Using slower, deeper strokes to target the underlying layers of muscle and connective tissue commonly helps with muscle damage from injuries and improve range of motion.
  • Sports Massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries and can be used to prepare and invigorate the body before an event.
  • Trigger Point Massage. Focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
  • Neuromuscular Therapy. Deeper tissue massage that focuses on movement patterns.
  • Orthopedic Massage. Focuses on rehabilitating after an accident or injury.
  • Table Thai Yoga Massage. Wear loose clothing, because your Massage Therapist is going to help you stretch and increase your range of motion.
  • And many more. These just name a few types of massage we offer.

 

Massage is only for pampering yourself.

No! Massage therapy has many benefits.

  • Massage can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression and can even help relieve symptoms of insomnia.
  • Massage can help the body heal from injury, improve, or even speed up rehabilitation.
  • Massage is a great way to maintain wellness and fitness even when you are not in pain.
  • Some massage techniques can relieve headaches.
  • Studies have also proven that massage can help lower blood pressure through long term and consistent use.

 

A sign of a good massage is being sore the next day.

No! Although it is normal to feel tenderness the day after, especially if you receive a deep tissue massage, it is also normal to feel no pain. Being sore is not the only indication of a productive massage. You may experience some discomfort during a massage and some pain is productive. It’s best to keep the pain range around 7 in a 1-10 pain scale, 10 being too much pain to tolerate.

 

Massage therapy flushes toxins out of the body.

No. This is a very common misconception. There is actually no scientific evidence that having a massage can release toxins from your muscles. However, a long term effect of massage therapy can improve circulation, which will help with your body’s natural ability to dispose of waste.

 

Massage can get rid of cellulite.

No–if it did, we would be millionaires! However exercising and engaging in a fitness routine can reduce cellulite, and massage can help you recover from that pain in the arse.

 

You must drink water after a massage.

It’s not a must, however a hydrated body is a happy body, and nice hydrated muscles tend to be healthier. So go ahead and drink some water, it’s good for you! You did also just spend about an hour on the table, likely mouth breathing for a bit, if not the whole thing (it’s okay; we don’t judge). You probably need to replenish your water.

 

Do not interrupt the therapist with questions or comments during a massage.

You should always say what you need to to your therapist to make sure you are comfortable with your massage. Let them know if you need more or less pressure. Let them know if anything feels too uncomfortable for you. If you need to chat to feel more at ease that’s fine too. If you don’t want to look or speak to another person during your session, that’s fine too. The session is for your benefit and on your dime so make sure you are comfortable and have good communication with your therapist.

 

It is unsafe to get a massage while pregnant.

Not true. Massage is safe for pregnancy and can be very beneficial to both mother and baby. Some women prefer to avoid massage in the first trimester to feel more safe, and that is fine. Massage in second and third trimester is more common. It reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and many aches and pains experienced during pregnancy. 

 

Massage is only for muscles.

No. Massage can improve range of motion in joints and help break down scar tissue. It is also helpful in reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety, PTSD, and depression.

 

I don’t need to discuss my medical history with my therapists.

Wrong! Your therapist needs to know about any conditions that might be contraindicated with massage. This includes some forms of disease, medications, and surgeries. If you’re not sure if massage is right for you, check with your doctor. You can also ask one of the Massage Therapists here, but we aren’t going to be able to guarantee an answer.

 

Massage is too expensive.

Most sessions are 60 to 90 minutes long and can range in price from $60 to $100. This is less money than what most people spend per month of lattes. If you think massage can help you feel better, try making a massage budget for the month or ask your therapist about discounts or memberships to save money. And truly: what is your health worth to you?

While there are even more than these 11 myths about massage, these are some of the more common ones we run across.

3 Ways to Get Better Sleep

Insomnia. Stress. Work. School. Children. Pets. Friend outings. Family gatherings. Driving everywhere. Shopping. Appointment after appointment after appointment. With days full of a never-ending task list, how does anyone sleep a full 8 hours a night without interruption every single night??

 

Getting a full night’s sleep is sometimes  impossible, and that list doesn’t even mention if your body is in pain. If your sleep is of low quality or you’re not getting enough, it can interfere with your health. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says, “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.”

 

Sleep Awareness Week (March 11-17, 2018) this year is also Spring Break for the students in Fort Collins, which is perfect timing for you to get more sleep this week! This gives us an opportunity to leave insufficient sleep behind and get back to the quality sleep that is so vital to our health and wellness. Here are 3 ways you can start getting on track to better sleep habits.

 

Say goodbye to technology – well before bedtime.

Tablets, smartphones, TVs in the bedroom, laptops, and whole computer systems have crept into so many people’s bedrooms. Merely the presence of a device can affect a good nights’ rest. The Sleep Foundation has said, “Living in our 24/7 society, there is a loss of the evening reduction in light that has traditionally cued our brains to ‘wind down’ for sleep.” When there is less light around, usually cued by the sun going down and insufficient light, your pineal gland secretes melatonin, which helps your body relax and get ready for rest. 

 

If you’re having issues with sleep, and you have devices in your bedroom, here’s one piece of advice: Turn them off! Better yet–turn them off and keep them in another room. Nix the TV, tablet, laptop, and whatever else has found its way into your resting space. Break the habit and allow yourself to relax on a deep level.  

 

Establish a routine that is calming and relaxing.

Creating healthy habits goes a long way for humans, as we are habitual creatures. As children, we are conquered by our desires, and as adults, we are overpowered by our habits. Establishing an ending day routine can greatly impact the quality of your sleep. Finish the day with warm bath or shower, a cup of tea, cool the temperature in your room, and shut off the lights. Establishing a routine triggers a natural response that tells the body, “It’s time for bed.”

 

Massage. Massage. Massage.

There it is. Massage is HUGE when it comes to improving your sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have found massage to be beneficial for insomnia-related stress, as well as:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Paresthesias and nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)

Massage can not only increase relaxation and lower your fatigue, but it can reduce pain and improve your quality of sleep. Which can also help restore your sleep pattern. Our need for sleep has dramatically increased with more technology available and busier schedules. Massage is a great way to fulfill that need.

 

In effort to celebrate Sleep Awareness Week, schedule a massage, and be on your way to a better night’s sleep. With it being Spring Break, everyone can enjoy our Student Special, 

How Massage Helps with Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive Motion injuries are the most common injuries in the United States and make up 50% of all injuries among athletes. While these injuries do not seem as serious as breaking a leg, they cause the discomfort and issues that can lead to chronic pain. Limited range of motion can affect your ability to work or do other tasks.

 

The most common types of repetitive motion injuries:

While there are more than these, there are different names that some of them might go by, which is why they are listed together.

  • Tendonitis: Swimmer’s Shoulder, Runner’s Knee, Tennis Elbow, Trigger Finger
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bursititis
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Kyphosis

These are not the only Repetitive Motion Injuries, but they are the most common.

 

How does Massage help with RMIs?

Massage helps with repetitive motion injuries through a few different ways. First, addressing knots and tension helps relax muscles. Deep Tissue Massage addresses multiple layers of soft tissue that can be affected by these injuries. Neuromuscular Therapy can help muscles to work through bad movement patterns. Trigger Point Therapy can open muscular tissue up for better performance.

 

A knot is a condensed area of tension with a build up of lactic acid. When this buildup occurs, it puts pressure on the circulatory system and on muscle fibers, which prevents the fibers from functioning well. This can and does lead to muscles being too tense and prevents full range of motion.

 

Range of motion is important because movement is life. You should be able to raise your arms over your head, sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you, and turn your head to see you blind spot with no pain. If you can’t do one of those actions, you need to stretch and get a massage!

 

According to WebMD or Johns Hopkins, Physical Therapy or Pain Management strategies are listed as possible treatments for Repetitive Motion Injuries. While we are not Physical Therapists, we do offer deep tissue manipulation. We have many Physical Therapists who refer to us for the manual soft tissue techniques that they either don’t want to do or want to focus more on the strengthening portion of their care.

 

Massage is listed as an effective way of dealing with and managing chronic pain by multiple sources. This is because the direct work done to these soft tissues allows the tissues to heal. Massage and manipulation of the tissues helps the blood flow to that area, which helps to heal it. Whether you have tendonitis or carpal tunnel, we can help alleviate some of those pains.

Jackie’s Back!

Last year, Jackie Fedyk was an intern we had from IBMC while she was finishing up her hours as a student. She has been a Licensed Massage Therapist now for almost a year now, and she has gotten more experience and training to hone her craft.

 

We are very excited to have her join our team. Jackie has great aspirations and she is an eager learner. She enjoys working with injured individuals to help them recover as well as people who need more peace in their lives.

 

Jackie also hosts a fun art therapy group called Who Arted? at The Orchard.

 

For a limited time, book a massage with Jackie for 15% off. Call or text (970) 286-0033 or claim this promotion online.

Celebrate that Special Someone

Spending time with someone is a great way to show how much you care about them. So why would you get that person a certificate for a massage? When you aren’t with them while they enjoy it? When it’s a reason to be away from you?

 

Giving a specialized gift like a gift certificate for a massage shows that individual that you care so much about them that you want them to do things to take care of themselves. Self care is a necessity, especially in this day and age of always going everywhere and doing everything all of the time.

 

Here are some reasons why you should get your significant other a certificate for a massage:
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Even if it’s for just an hour of being apart, your beau will be thinking about how great it was that you gave that special gift the whole time. You are the reason they are feeling so good, so they will be extra grateful and happy you gave them such an awesome gift. Added bonus: while they’re getting their massage, do a chore or two that they usually take care of. Or you can swing by the store and grab their favorite treat. Use their hour out of the house to surprise them with something else.
  • You don’t have to massage their feet or back. Leave it to a professional! Every time you massage your love’s back or shoulders, it always feels great. A foot rub at the end of the day can really show you care. If your partner has some deep knots, you can also send them to a professional to get the real work done.
  • It’s an experience that helps them feel good. Massage relaxes the body and the mind. When a client comes in with a headache or having had a rough day (or couple of days), they leave with a new feeling of euphoria. Their mind is calm. Their body is relaxed. They just feel … good.
  • They will thank you for it. Trust us. Giving an hour for the one you love shows them you care about their health and well-being. They will be grateful for that hour of self-care.

 

From now until February 14, purchase a gift certificate for 15% off either online on in our store.

Call or text (970) 286-0033 for questions or to reserve a certificate.

Why get a Massage When You’re Grumpy

This might sound crazy, but I’ve actually ran into people who have said that they don’t want a massage because their mood isn’t great. Or that they don’t want to come in for their massage because they’re grumpy and don’t think they would be “good company” or something. Can you believe that people don’t realize how massage can stabilize their mood?

 

Guess what?! YOU SHOULD COME IN WHEN YOU’RE GRUMPY!!

 

First off, if you’re worried about being “bad company,” please don’t. We see people in all sorts of different levels of vulnerability. We have clients who talk the entire time–about their problems, life, exciting news, whatever–and we have clients who say almost nothing despite seeing them regularly. If you’re grumpy and don’t want to talk, don’t talk! If you want to make sure that your massage therapist doesn’t talk, just start off by saying “Look, you do amazing massages, and I enjoy you as a person, but today, I really need to just focus on me. I’d appreciate it if we only talked if necessary or when you’re checking in with how the session is going.” I guarantee you no massage therapist here will have a problem with that, nor will they be offended by it!

 

 

Massage also has a myriad of great benefits. In a Livestrong article from July, massage can help:

  • Reduce Anxiety
  • Improve Mood
  • Increased Relaxation
  • Promote Energy

 

With the improving mood part, it’s because massage can release endorphins which make you happy. So if you’re unhappy or grumpy, it would make sense to seek out something that is going to boost the endorphin levels in your body. Massage has more benefits than that, but we just want to focus on the mood stabilizing parts right now. There are also acupressure points that help stabilize moods, which can easily be incorporated into massage.

Introducing Bart

We are proud to introduce Sir Bartholomew Rufus Hopkins III, our lucky frog for raffles! Call him Bart for short.

 

Now until 2018, enter to win a free massage with aromatherapy by coming in for a session. Every 30 minutes of massage equals one raffle ticket, and Bart is filling up, so book your session.

 

Starting in 2018, we will also be hosting a monthly raffle for various prizes. To enter the raffle, same as above, you must book a session and every 30 minutes of massage is one ticket. The winner will be announced at the end of each month.

4 Ways to Celebrate Giving this Holiday Season

The leftover turkey has been refrigerated. The Black Friday madness is over. And maybe you’ve patronized the webs on Cyber Monday and even remembered Giving Tuesday.

 

Don’t limit the love to Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving; December 1st this year. It’s a chance for you, your family, community, company, and/or organization to give something more. But there’s no need to limit the giving to one day, we’re in a whole season of giving!

 

We’ve come up with a list of 4 ways to give – and they cost zero dollars.

 

  1. Give something you already have

Rummage through your cabinets and donate dry goods to a food bank. Ditto for your bookcases. Find some books and share them with a shelter, a school in need, or even a friend collecting stuff for a fundraising yard sale. Box up some old coats, hats and gloves and bring them to a homeless shelter or a local school (sometimes the school has to find hats/gloves so kids without them can play outside with their peers). Bring old blankets to an animal rescue, or donate blood.

  1. Make something

Bake some cookies and deliver to your neighbors or coworkers. If you are particularly gifted in couponing, gather up some free stuff and fill stockings. Donate them to a food bank or other program for holiday giving.

 

  1. Do something

Run an errand for someone. Smile at a stranger. Give a genuine compliment. Spread good news. Volunteer at a children’s hospital, nursing home, or anywhere you think another human being could use a smiling face.

 

  1. Write a letter/make a phone call

Leave a nice note on someone’s windshield. Even if you don’t know them. Call a friend or loved one you haven’t spoken to in a long time – especially if it’s someone you’re at odds with. Send an email to someone who has greatly impacted your life (and may not know it).

 

Bonus: And if you have a little money to throw around

Give a generous tip, whether you’re at the coffee shop, out to eat, or your often-unseen postal worker. Pay someone’s layaway anonymously. Sign up for a 5k that gives to a good cause. Bring some pet food or toys to a local animal shelter. Buy a gift certificate for massage for a person close to you and your family. There are so many ways to give that you might not realize.

 

Giving doesn’t have to be a huge, elaborate and grand event. Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest splash. As a massage therapists, we know that sometimes it’s not the hands-on work that is most helpful to a client. Often it’s just being seen and heard and cared for that makes all the difference in the world.

5 Reasons Jaw Massage is Right for You

By Marissa Orchard

 

TMJ is something we’ve talked about before, and really quite frequently (1, 2, 3). But why might you want a massage for your jaw if you have 1. Never had any injuries to your jaw, 2. Don’t clench / grind / etc. 3. Generally don’t get pain in your jaw?

 

Even if you don’t suffer from jaw pain or dysfunction on a daily basis, which is horrible, and no one should ever have to go through it, you might want to ask your Massage Therapist about jaw massage to help you with a few things.

 

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  1. Headaches. Some of your jaw muscles actually wrap around the back of the jaw and attach onto the vertebrae at the top of your neck. When these jaw muscles get tight, they pull on those vertebrae, which then irritates the neck muscles, which causes headaches. Not to mention that your temporalis, another one of your jaw muscles, covers the sides of your head! If you get headaches regularly and you want to try something new to help, try some TMJ work.
  2. Ear pain. Again, because of proximity and attachments of musculature, tension within your jaw can cause ear pain. That’s not to say that if you have an ear infection, a jaw massage is going to get rid of it. But if you struggle with pain in or around your ears, a jaw massage might loosen it up enough for you to cope with it better.
  3. Shoulder tension. This goes back to #1–if the jaw is tight and pulling on neck muscles, that can translate down into your shoulders. If you think of someone grinding their teeth, you also will likely see that person trying to wear their shoulders as earrings, which is not fashionable, nor is it good for your musculoskeletal health.
  4. Hip pain. Now, you might be thinking that this might be a little out there, but hear me out. If you clench your teeth, you clench your butt. It could have something to do with the same verb being used, but the way your body interprets signals from your brain when you’re stressed usually just sends out a generic “clench” whisper. You likely don’t even notice you’re clenching your glutes until your Massage Therapist puts an elbow in them. Even if the clench is minor, it’s still there, which exacerbates your jaw pain, which exacerbates your hip pain.
  5. Whiplash. Many people who have sustained whiplash injuries usually focus on the immediate pains and aches, which are usually neck, shoulders, and back. But after a while, it will creep up into the jaw. At least, it seems like the pain “moves” to the jaw. The problem is: it was always there. You just didn’t notice it until other pains subsided enough for you to notice something else. Think about it: whiplash literally whips your neck around. What did we learn from #1? That jaw muscles are attached to your neck. Which means your jaw muscles were also injured during your whiplash injury. That’s part of it! So get your jaw massaged!

 

If you’re familiar with the process, the best, most thorough way of receiving jaw massage includes the LMT putting on gloves and massaging the musculature along the inside of your jaw. Don’t worry–we will be on the outside of your teeth, we won’t choke you, and we won’t be putting anything sharp in your mouth. We don’t have to see inside your mouth either, so don’t feel like you’re in some kind of checkup. Like everything else, we are concerned with the muscles. It’s nothing to be afraid of, but it is something to try.