Every Body Needs a Trainer

We’ve talked about The Kettlebell Method and the importance of a trainer to make sure you’re training your body. Why do we care? WE don’t offer personal training–we massage.

 

Well, we also care a lot about your health! We know that a body in motion is much happier and even tends to have less pain for many reasons. While we are not Certified Personal Trainers, our focus is muscular health, and we notice how muscles respond differently based on their activity levels.

 

Typically, someone who works out regularly has more supple muscles. Their tissues are usually better hydrated. They often don’t have deep, deep, stubborn knots like someone who lives a more sedentary lifestyle. And a lot of that has to do with the 4 characteristics of muscular tissue: irritability, the ability to irritate the tissue to engage; extensibility, the ability to stretch; contractility, the ability to shorten and contract; and elasticity, the ability for the muscle tissue to return back to its normal status.

 

These 4 characteristics are necessary for muscular function, but if you’re not mindfully, intentionally contracting your muscles and working them the way they were made to be used,  it can cause a lot of dysfunction, pain, and unhappiness in the tissues. When you contract muscles and push them to their limits, it creates electricity in your body and mind to engage the muscles. It floods the muscles with blood, which help to keep your fluids moving and your muscles working better. You also push the muscles to extend for maximum contracting ability and you stretch your muscles to help them relax and return back to their normal status. Working out uses all of the characteristics of muscle tissue!

 

Our society has created a very sedentary lifestyle with all of the similar movements–sitting down with your head slightly forward, arms forward, rounded shoulders and back, and often even curling legs underneath. Frankly put, it’s the fetal position. Keeping our bodies in this chronic state overstretches our back muscles and glutes, and shortens our front neck muscles, pecs, and hamstrings. The overstretched muscles have to work 10 times harder just to return to a normal position, whereas the shortened muscles constantly are pulling on their attaching joints and have to work really hard just to stretch. That combination causes limited range of motion that can put a lot of pressure on joints and nerves, which causes pain and discomfort.

 

That’s just the muscular health of working out–that’s not mentioning the hormonal benefits, psychological benefits, or any other benefits that come from exercise. Taking care of your body is what we are about, and we want you to have all of the opportunities and tools that might help you take the best care of your body.

Every Body Need a Trainer – Personal Training

Now, we know that not everyone likes going to classes to get fit. Some people don’t even like to go to the gym by themselves, or need a gym buddy to even make them go. And a lot of people rely on Pinterest to give them good exercise ideas.

 

The reason why it’s important to have a trainer is because that person can tailor your training to you and your individual goals. It’s the difference between sitting in an expensive massage chair or coming to us for your specific needs. Whether it’s physical abilities, previous injuries, or seemingly unattainable goals, having a trainer helps you to stay focused and accountable to your commitment to be healthy.

Greg Bobby with Total Symmetry Personal Training is a fantastic Personal Trainer who loves his job and loves working with everyone! Regardless of what your goals are, he tailors workout regiments and meal plans to help you reach your goals in a healthy, safe, long lasting approach. He also will give you workout routines that will best suit your situation. For example: If you have some workout equipment at home and really want to use that, he can help you with that! His goal with any client is to help educate them on what interests them. Not everyone wants to train like they’re training to win a national physique body building competition. A lot of his clients just want to be healthy or run a marathon.

If you want to contact Greg and see how he can help you, give him a call at (970) 214-5142.

Every Body Needs a Trainer – The Kettlebell Method

Did you know that in addition to it being St. Patrick’s Day that it is also National Everybody needs a Trainer Day??? I know, probably not. Well let me just take a moment on this day to give a shout out to my own dear trainer, Sabra Epp and my gym family at The Kettlebell Method. If you’ve never heard of this locally owned, dynamic, strength and conditioning gym then listen up!

The Kettlebell Method is a class based gym, tailored to all levels of fitness! “Well aren’t kettlebells just a crossfit thing” Heck no! They are an awesome, functional tool used to get you strong and conditioned in no time at all. This Russian Kettlebell Style combines strength and cardio into a 60 min class that will leave you sweaty, pumped, and ready for our famous Tony’s Abs session! (you must attend a class to discover what Tony’s Abs are.) Luckily for you The KB Method offers a free first week, and if you are a guest of mine you can attend our Saturday morning session.

At The KB Method you will learn how to safely handle and use kettlebells, dumbbells and your own body weight to get strong, prevent injury and have fun!

 

Written by Eleanor Le Fevre

Neck Pain: What’s really happening?

Neck pain is quite complicated and extremely obnoxious when it’s happening to you. As a Massage Therapist, it’s been my experience that when you are unable to turn your head to a specific side and that side hurts, most of the tension is actually originating from the opposite side, but not always. The neck likes to play tricks on you and will give you headaches on one side from tension on the opposite. Symptoms of neck pain can include: tight neck muscles, headaches, migraines, fatigue, muscle tenderness, allergy flare up, stress and anxiety, or irregular sleep habits or non-restful sleep, among other, less common and somewhat eccentric symptoms.

When talking about the neck, it’s necessary to talk about the full spine. The spine, even though is many individual bones and muscles, works as a unit. This unit likes to keep everything balanced, based on your ears–your inner ears are what tells your brain if your head is on straight. This causes a zig-zag pattern to emerge from tension and dysfunction. If your left hip is off, then it zig-zags all of the way up to your neck to keep your head balanced. If you are in a car accident and get whiplash and have more tension at the base of your skull on the right side, your spine will do zig-zags all of the way down your spine to try and correct the imbalance.

 

This is a great compensation technique our bodies do without us being aware of it happening. Unfortunately, this causes all sorts of pain and dysfunction with our necks.

 

With talking about the full spine, I could focus on any part of it, but the neck is one of the most important areas of the spine. If your neck isn’t functioning correctly, it will trickle down your arms, spine, legs, and spread to dysfunction in your organs. It’s not good!

 

The neck has so many muscles, it’s difficult to say that this one or one group of muscles causes this amount or type of pain. It’s a learning curve. No massage therapist will know for sure what’s causing your neck pain until they have worked on you enough to weed out certain possibilities. The neck, alone, has over 24 muscles! If you want to include muscles that attach the neck more to the skull or to the body, that number increases.

 

Neck pain does not always come from trauma or an injury. With computers, smart phones, driving, and more, it’s easy for us to pull our heads into a forward-head posture. Even though we know it’s bad for our necks, we still try and hold our skinny smart phones between our ear and shoulders. We carry bags larger than five pounds and load them down until the straps break. These and many other repetitive motions can and will cause neck pain and dysfunction.

 

If you are having neck pain, headaches, or tingling in your arms, getting bodywork to help decrease and manage that can be extremely helpful and can prevent worse symptoms. The Mayo Clinic is a fan of massage for neck pain. Especially if you have been in a car accident or have had whiplash, recieving massage for your neck, specifically, can really help your every day functionality.

 

The neck is pivotal for optimum body functionality. A client a few years ago came in complaining of neck pain and limited range of motion. She could neither turn her head nor look up and down. She had a leg that was an inch and a half shorter than the other. I spent an hour on just her neck, she left my office with about 20% range of motion restored, and the next day–her hips evened out! She no longer had a leg that was an inch and a half shorter! We traced it back to a car accident she had been in that left her lower back really messed up and sever whiplash, and by working on relieving the neck tension, her spine allowed other tensions to release. How amazing is that?

Stress Kills; We Can Help

Many people might think that massage is too expensive or just a luxury, not a necessity. Some might say, “Only people with butlers and maids who send their clothes off to be dry cleaned and buttons sewn back on can afford it. Besides, it’s only good to relax, and I don’t have an hour to sit with cucumbers on my eyes!” Well, stress kills, and we can help.

With the every-day stresses that accompany our daily lives, stress can be a really silent, slow killer. The only way you can escape it is if you are a care-free three-year-old only playing and eating what you want! We, as a society, tend to over-stretch our glutes and back muscles while shortening our pecs and hamstrings, just to be very general. We have forward head posture, which causes Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which can cause headaches and does cause numbness in our hands. We spend hours at computers working and Facebooking and watching TV or YouTube in awful positions that end up causing us pain or muscle strain. We spend loads of time texting and on our phone and while we are talking about phones, we still try to hold our skinny smart phones between our ear and shoulder while we are talking on it. We get in car accidents, slip on ice, fall down stairs, stub our toes and run into things. And that’s not even getting into the psychological stresses: deadlines, weddings, divorces, kids, no kids, kids sports and activities, church or other volunteer opportunities, pets, significant others, roommates, parents, siblings, extended family, in-laws, job changes, job promotions, new managers, new co-workers, losing jobs, sleep deprivation, sickness, technology not working, phone contracts, internet installation, turning 50, pluming issues, car work, and the list goes on.

 

Stress of any kind raises cortisol levels, the stress hormone. Cortisol is good. It’s that feeling you get that lights a fire under you so you do what you need to do. It regulates your metabolism and blood sugar levels; it’s anti inflammatory and helps with memory storage in your brain; it regulates your blood pressure. So you can’t just remove it from your body and call it good. If you were to do that, you would have all sorts of other bad symptoms. Too much cortisol can lead to high blood pressure, osteoporosis, weight gain, mood swings, and muscle weakness.

 

You can regulate its production by one of many de-stressing ways:

  • Go for a walk
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Learn how to say no (especially when your plate is full)
  • Voice your feelings, in a healthy, respectful way
  • Do yoga
  • Accept things you cannot change
  • Write in a journal
  • Listen to music
  • Be less busy
and, of course….
  • Get a massage
Massage can lower cortisol levels. An old CNN article pointed out many benefits of massage, so this is not some new study you’ve never had access to. Massage works in helping with stress–physical, emotional, psychological, and sometimes even spiritual.
We also have some great essential oils that you can take with you everywhere you go. Check out our post about Stress Away.

Stretch Yourself

One of the best ways to prevent pain or limited range of motion is very simple. Stretch yourself! Muscles have four attributes that make a muscle a muscle: Contractility, the ability to shorten, or contract; elasticity, the ability to return to its normal state; irritability, the ability for the nervous system to tell it to do something; and extensibility, the ability to stretch. When you lose flexibility, you lose a very important aspect of that muscle.
LiveStrong says “Stretching is the unsung hero of exercise that keeps your muscles flexible, free from injury and feeling young.” They go on to say how massage and stretching are the best combination for workouts and muscle health for athletes. We have written two articles on how we love helping athletes, talking about Sports Massage and Meeting Your Fitness Goals.
The American Council on Exercise, or ACE, outlined their top 10 reasons to stretch. We agree with each of these reasons, but I wanted to outline a few of them:
  1. Helps to increase range of motion, which may also slow degeneration of joints.
  2. May reduce injury. Flexible muscles are less likely to experience an injury because you are working on one the the four attributes of muscles. Also, because it increases range of motion, your muscles have to extend farther to possibly injure itself.
  3. Improves posture. Because our society has us have a more rounded shoulder, forward head posture, stretching is the best thing you can do most consistently to help with your posture. We wrote an article that can give you more tips on improving your posture.
  4. Helps reduce stress. Well stretched muscles hold less tension and therefore, leave you feeling less stressed.
  5. Decreases pain. Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine which in turn reduces the risk of low-back pain.
Stretching isn’t just for athletes and gym rats. Whether you have a physically demanding job like construction or you sit at a computer all day, stretching is one of the most important things you can do for your body, especially between massages. Stretching will help repetitive motion injuries or soreness just as much as it will help someone who just bench pressed 300 pounds.
While stretching is extremely important, as we’ve outlined, stretching correctly is just as important. While we are not yoga instructors at Under Pressure Therapeutics, we do train people how to stretch for their problem areas. Many of the stretches that we teach are yoga poses or modified yoga poses. It’s important to stretch all of the fibers of your muscles. If you have questions, contact your massage therapist.
If you haven’t thought about adding Yoga to your health regimen, please give it a thought. If you think that you can’t do yoga, think again. Yoga is not about contorting your body into these impossible positions. It’s about getting a stretch. It’s about bettering yourself. It’s about moving into a healthier you.

Young Living with… Aroma Siez

I find myself using Aroma Siez a lot lately. It is amazing for muscle cramps and soreness! The mixture of basil, marjoram, cypress, lavender, and peppermint combines to create a nice almost sweet smell.
Basil is an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, which is great for muscle tension or head aches. Marjoram is another antispasmodic and it’s amazing for sore muscles, sprains, or headaches. Cypress relieves muscle cramps and improves overall circulation and may improve respiratory problems. Peppermint is the most commonly know topical analgesic, which helps alleviate pain and is amazing for headaches. Lavender is the balancing oil that brings this blend to a comforting, muscle balancing blend.
This combination helps to eliminate muscle spasms and tension. I’ve used it on acute injuries, chronic tension, and muscle soreness. It’s good for just after a work out in a bath or applying directly to your most sore muscles. It can also help with arthritis pain and most headaches.
 Order directly online or send an email.
You can also sign up to be a Young Living Distributor.
Marissa Orchard, LMT
Young Living Independent Distributor # 1582285

Sports Massage

We help a lot of athletes with maintaining muscle health so they can do what they do best with less worry of injury. The Mayo Clinic describes Sports massage as, “This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.”
Athletes always run the risk of injury, and massage has been proven to help prevent or help recover from injuries. Whether it is a sprained ankle that you need to just keep weight off of it for a little, or a rotator cuff tear, massage therapy helps recover quicker.
 
A great article published by Pacific College talks about all of the benefits of massage for sports, and one of the aspects I really want to focus on is DOMS. This is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This can be debilitating for anyone, and athletes are always at risk for getting DOMS.
Massage prevents injury and soreness because one of the biggest benefits is increasing range of motion. The AMTA has a great article that lists 17 benefits of receiving massage therapy for those who exercise from promoting relaxation to increasing your training abilities.
Athletes all over the world employ massage therapists. Olympians brought their massage therapists to Sochi this year to help them stay loose and ensure they would perform as best as they could during the Olympics. If you are in your season or just training, make sure you are taking care of your muscles!

Meet Your Fitness Goals

Massage Therapy can enhance your overall health. I think I’ve said this before, but what I haven’t said is how it can help you meet your fitness goals, whether it’s losing weight, or meeting a body lifting goal.
A lot of people hear about how massage therapy can boost your metabolism, which helps you lose weight. This is true. To an extent. You’re not going to shed 30 pounds by simply getting a massage twice a month. While it does boost your metabolism, it doesn’t boost it THAT much.
What massage DOES do is help supply your body with more oxygen and nutrients by increasing your circulation, which helps you recover quicker from strenuous exercise and helps your muscles recover and grow. This in and of itself can help you shed extra pounds.
When your circulation improves, your muscles are supplied with necessary nutrients in a much more efficient manner. Many weight loss experts will suggest and recommend receiving regular massage during your transformation with them simply because massage takes what they are teaching you and multiplies the results. Massage will help you burn your calories even at rest because well-maintained muscles work more efficiently. By receiving massage regularly, your range of motion will also increase, which will enable you to work out harder and work your muscles in ways you haven’t been able to in a long time.
Receiving regular massages can really help you meet your fitness goals. You will be able to relax better, sleep more soundly, and recover quicker from any workout you do. It will also help you detox your body more thoroughly, so you will get more out of your detoxing systems.
Staying healthy is more than just eating right and exercise. If your tissues are not functioning as best as they can, you won’t get the results you want very quickly. Don’t hesitate to schedule a massage, especially if you have fitness goals. Our very own Justin Hays is an amazing sports massage therapist. He really has a great knowledge of what the body goes through during exercise and knows how to tailor your massage to meet your needs, whether you are a runner, line backer, or just starting in your athletic health. Book a massage with Justin to help you start meeting your fitness goals quicker.

Are Hot Stones For You?

The summer is coming soon, which means warmer weather! Because it’s warmer outside, hot stones are usually the last thing on your mind when coming in for a massage. But there are so many amazing benefits from hot stones!
Heat relaxes muscles–we all know this. So why add it to your already relaxing (or a little painful) massage? Because it allows me to work more on the causes of issues.
Our bodies hold onto things quickly and easily, which creates layers of tension, knots, and pain. Initial massages work only the first few layers. As I work through layers of tension, I have the opportunity to work more of the deeper layers.
This is where hot stones are great!
Application of hot stones increases the immediate relaxation of a muscle or of muscle groups. This allows me to get to more of the underlying areas of your issues, which makes you get more out of your massage!
The application of hot stones is simple, yet variant. I can use the rocks as tools to go deeper, as gliding strokes, or I can place them on you (or under you) so your body can absorb more of the heat.
Next time you are sore from stress, working out, or whatever life throws at you, think about adding on some hot stones to your massage!
Be well!
Marissa Orchard, LMT
Written April 12, 2013