We Don’t Need No Education

We don’t necessarily agree with those sentiments.

Client education is huge at Under Pressure Therapeutics. We strive to help you better your lifestyle as much as we can. If you walk in carrying a 50 pound purse on one shoulder and you’re complaining of neck tension, headaches, tired eyes, and numbness in your hand, it doesn’t take much for us to recognize the problem. If you have a desk job and you’re complaining of lower back pain, we critically think of what your regular activities are and feel different muscles to figure out what will help you the most. We not only try to release tension in your muscles, we want to educate you on what you can do to prevent that tension from coming back.

Now, I can’t tell you everything you can do, because that list is long, and it varies from person to person. But I can give you a few tips on how to decrease your own pain.

  1. Drink water! Water is what helps your tissues heal and your blood move through them, allowing them to be healthy. Water decreases tension simply because your muscles will have more fluid to work with and allows your tissues to be more buoyant. This allows them to deal with tension, exertion, and trauma more easily and will help prevent you from causing more issues down the road.
  2. Stretch your hamstrings! With sitting down all day long, the hamstrings specifically get really tight. We also tend to want to be in more of a fetal position, which shortens our hamstring muscles. These muscles, when too tight, can pull on your lower back which can cause or exacerbate lower back pains.
  3. Stretch your pecs! Much like the hamstrings, your pecs are muscles that like to be shortened with our everyday activities. Stretching them out will help shoulder pain. Stretching your pecs can also prevent a myriad of painful situations, like Upper Crossed Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, shoulder pain, and more.
  4. Look at what you carry! Do you carry a 50 pound purse or a 75 pound diaper bag? Do you carry a 30 pound briefcase? Do you put your wallet that’s the size of a young adult novel in your back pocket? Do you carry children or books on a regular basis? Do you think you can carry the 13 cans of food, 4 bottles of beverage, and 10 bags of vegetables at the store to prevent yourself from grabbing a cart? STOP IT! Carrying anything for extended periods of time really causes a TON of problems in your body. Depending on what you’re carrying for how long will determine how it’s affecting your body, but your massage therapist can give you stretches or tips to do specifically for you. However, if you don’t lose the “extra weight,” those exercises won’t yield lasting results.
  5. Size your clothes correctly! If your pants, bra, or dresses are too tight, your muscles fight against them. Those muscles then have to work twice as hard just to function. So many people come in complaining of mid-back pain, and I see how tight their bras are. I tell them to get sized. Their pain goes away. It’s amazing. It’s a quick, easy fix. It helps tremendously. Make sure you’re wearing clothes that are your size and that fit you. It’s something small that can make a world of difference.

Depending on what you specifically have going on in your body, your massage therapist can give you stretches, tips, and suggestions to help you move into a healthier lifestyle.

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

June is the official Bike Month. So get out and ride your bike! Cycling is a great way to enjoy the sun and get exercise, and you can ride your bike to work, so you don’t have to set aside a ton of extra time to do it.


One of the main reasons cycling is great is because it targets some of the largest muscles in your body–quad muscles, hamstrings, and glutes, just to name a few. This cardio exercise also targets different muscles during each pedal stroke. Each portion of the pedal stroke engages a different muscle or set of muscles to complete.


With how much your legs are worked, it leaves you open to stiffness, soreness, and strains. Massage helps reduce the effects of all three by pushing lactic acid out of your muscles, allowing your tissues to function better. The position your body is in for extended periods of time for cycling can also cause neck and back pain. We’ve talked about neck pain and disc issues in your back before. Massage again reduces the effects of strained muscles in your neck and back from holding your body in that specific position. The American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine talks about how important it is to have your bicycle fit your body correctly to prevent neck, shoulder, back, and other pains that can easily be avoided.


Cycling, as with any sport, also comes with its own set of injuries. Some of the obvious ones are knee pain or foot and ankle numbness. However, one of the most common is head injury. This can vary from a small bruise on the cheek to a serious brain injury.  In that same article, the AOSSM talks about quite a few possible injuries and they talk about when to seek the help of a physician, which you should with any major injury. However serious or minor an ache, pain, or injury is, your Licensed Massage Therapist can help.


After a long bike ride, it’s important to get massaged. It helps to push that built up lactic acid out of your muscles and allows your tissues to be more hydrated and oxygenated. It allows those muscle fibers to recover quicker. It prevents tensions from building up, which can also prevent sprains, strains, and other injuries. CyclingTips.com even wrote an article about When to Get a Massage, and the first sentence is, “Massage is as integral to a professional cyclist’s daily routine as riding the bike is.” It goes on to say, “The massage is actually pushing out the muscle’s carbon dioxide rich blood to the lungs and heart which is then filtered to come out as oxygen rich blood that goes back into the muscles.  The body will do this naturally but massage drastically speeds up the process.  In addition to this, massage prevents injury with the help of stretching.” (emphasis added)


If you’ve been in an accident on your bicycle, whether it’s falling off your bike because you just switched to clipless pedals and forgot your feet were attached to your bike, or you were hit by a car and had to get surgery to fix broken bones, massage reduces recovery time. After a serious injury, please consult your physician before you come see your Licensed Massage Therapist–we DO NOT replace your general practitioner, and it’s important to know that you don’t have any complications that would be worsened by massage. However, once you’ve received the clear from your doctor, receiving massage to help your body recover is necessary to ensure your body is functioning and performing without compensating for your injury. If you just fell off and hurt your wrist, again, come see us. We can make sure your wrist and the muscles in your forearm are functioning better to ensure you can break properly. A Personal Injury Lawyer office in Oregon posted a whole article about the benefits of massage after any accident. If it’s important after a car accident, it’s even more important after a cycling accident.

5 Ways Massage Will Make a Healthy 2015

Massage is great to be added into any health care regiment. Yes, I said ANY. Whether you are looking to relax, decrease migraines, improve athletic performance, deal with anxiety, or a multitude of other conditions you may have in your life right now, massage therapy can help.

Are you stressed? Feeling sluggish? Getting sick often? Can’t seem to get enough or great sleep? How about your workouts: are you achieving your exercise goals, or have you hit a plateau? Have you thought about adding massage to help you with any of these?


If you haven’t, here are 5 reasons to make 2015 a healthier year for you!


  1. Massage Improves Sleep. If you have suffered from insomnia or just wake up a million times during the night, you know how awful that is. You always feel tired but you can’t get enough sleep–you feel like an unraveled sweater! A study the AMTA conducted showed that massage improves sleep in adolescents, children, those with psychiatric disorders, insomnia, pain, fibromyalgia, cerebral palsy, cancer, or hand pain, caretakers of hospital patients, adults, infants, and many more.
  2. Massage Increases Flexibility. When muscles get tight, their elasticity decreases. We’ve talked about this before in an article called Stretch Yourself, but it really important to keep your muscles flexible. Movement is life, and if you can’t move, your body will degenerate much quicker. Through massage manipulating and eliminating knots and tension, Range of Motion increases, and you can be a more flexible person.
  3. Massage Decreases Pain. Another topic we touch on frequently, pun intended, decreasing pain is often the most common reason people come to see us at Under Pressure Therapeutics. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. It’s not a secret that massage can decrease pain. You just have to find the right type of massage therapist. Sometimes, pain is decreased through lighter touch, breaking up sensitive scar tissue, and other times, the Massage Therapist really has to beat you up. Either way, we know how to help your pain. And if we don’t we will suggest other options for you to manage your pain or get rid of it!
  4. Massage can Decrease Headaches and Migraines. A study performed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information stated that “The muscle-specific massage therapy technique used in this study has the potential to be a functional, nonpharmacological intervention for reducing the incidence of chronic tension headache” Now headaches and migraines can be tricky, such as if there is a chemical imbalance, previous trauma to the actual brain or brain area, eye strain, or other possible causes of headaches. Massage is amazing for tension headaches and migraines caused by stress. Most of the time with stress migraines, it’s because you’re wearing your shoulders as earrings! That’s tension related, and massage can help.
  5. Massage Increases Relaxation. Many scholarly journals and articles have been published about the relaxing benefits ofregular massage therapy. The International Journal of Neuroscience talks about how massage decreases cortisol and increases dopamine. The Journal of Clinical Nursingtalks about how great light massage on the back and hands of the elderly can really benefit their health. And even if you don’t care about the studies, it gives you some You Time, which none of us get enough of in this day and age, with everything at our fingertips. Going for a walk, most of us feel obligated to take our phones with us and quickly answer any correspondence during what’s supposed to be our “relaxing” walk.

I know, I talk about how great massage is all of the time. But it’s the best! With the new year, we are geared up and ready to serve you as best we can.

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.

Better Your Massage Experience

Massage therapy isn’t just a service that you get when you come in for a massage. The benefits, effects, and sometimes the side-effects last much longer than that hour or hour and a half. Sometimes, I will get people asking me if what they have been feeling is normal. Most of the time, it is.
After a massage, you can feel relaxed, clear headed, rejuvenated, or energized. Sometimes, you just feel the pain you’ve been feeling before you got there. It does not mean that the massage did not benefit you. In the article below, it states many of the benefits of getting massages. I’m here to tell you some of the feelings you may get that aren’t mentioned.
Soreness is very common after a massage, especially if you are receiving a deep tissue massage or a massage to reach a specific goal

like increasing range of motion or decreasing pain. This happens because the therapist is squeezing out built up lactic acid, which is what makes muscles sore in the first place. By releasing this build up, it can easily go back into your blood and dissipate itself through that muscle. Lactic acid is a toxin and can leave you feeling nauseated or even cause vomiting. These are less common, but can happen. With deep tissue massages, your therapist can also bruise you. It is not the goal of the massage, nor the intention of the therapist. But it is important to know that bruising can happen on occasion. I have bruised 4 people in my 3 years, and one of them neglected to inform me that she was an a major pain killer, which is why the bruising happened.
A few things you can do to better your experience:
  • Drink water before AND after your massage
  • Stretch
  • Ice sore muscles (you can do this before and after as well)
  • Be present for your treatment–leave your troubles behind
  • Try not to drink alcohol after your massage
  • Eat wholesome foods
  • Take what your therapist suggests to heart
  • Take off as much jewelry you can
  • Silence your cellphone
  • Most importantly: communicate
It is important to communicate with your massage therapist. If you need or want more or less pressure, SPEAK UP! It is YOUR massage experience, not the therapist’s. The therapist has gone to school and knows a good track of what to do to help you the most, but you need to let him or her know if pressure is too much or too little. If you’re too cold, each table at Under Pressure Therapeutics has a table warmer. If you’re too hot, we can take the blanket off. Your therapist wants your experience to be a memorable one, but your therapist is not always a mind reader.