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Stretch in the water this summer

Summertime and swimming go together!

Swimming for fun or for aerobics is a great summer beat the heat activity.  Even a swimming workout should be ended with some stretching exercises.

Water for Life (_DSC5996)I’m in a fun water aerobics class again this summer.  Early this week I was in a hurry and did not do my cool down stretches.  Boy, was I sorry.  Achy and stiff!  The next day I was anxious to stretch.

Some swimming stretching ideas:

Arm over head and lean opposite direction (sides).  Feet planted and lean back (groin area). One leg forward and place opposite leg behind – stretch to place heel on bottom (calf muscles). Hand placed @ 90 degree angle on side of pool, touch heel of hand and look the opposite direction (flexors). As you leave the pool, pause on the steps, drop your heels over the step and lean forward (hamstrings).  Just about any stretch you do on land can be adapted for the pool.

Have a fun and safe summer!

Dog Massage – Give your pet a massage

Pet Body work – dog massage can help your pet feel better

Besides giving your dog love and attention, another great gift that you can give is a soothing pet massage. A pet massage, just as the name suggests, is a type of physical therapy that is similar to acupressure or chiropractic care.

Pet bodywork – for the dogs

This type of pet bodywork gives your dog an instant gratification of comfort, relaxation, and the feeling of being loved. When given to your dog on a regular basis, a pet massage helps minimize his sensitivity to touch, either by you or a stranger. This makes him easier to groom, handle, and also makes it faster and easier for the vet to examine and treat him.

The growing popularity of pet massage makes it widely available all over the country, especially if you live in a major city. However, you can learn the basic technique of this type of bodywork and give it to your dog, making the experience more enjoyable for the both of you.

Dog Massage is fun for both of you

Treating your dog to a relaxing pet massage is an excellent way to bond with him. Not only will he love the way it feels, but he will appreciate the time and attention that you are giving him, a true treat that will make your dog’s heart melt with joy.

Below is a simple step-by-step procedure to giving your dog a relaxing massage, starting from the top of his head down to his muzzle.

6 steps to a FUN and beneficial dog massage

  1. Call your dog and tell him to sit.
  2. Ease your way into the massage. Start by giving him a light caress the way you would normally do. This way, he won’t think that you are about to do something different that might probably scare him away.
  3. Give him an overall petting, from head to toe. Apply firm but gentle long strokes. The stroking prepares his muscles for more intense work and makes your dog feel more relaxed. Do this for about two more minutes.
  4. Put your hands over his head, moving one hand gently underneath his muzzle while your other hand is stroking the top of his head.
  5. Next, massage his ears, one ear at a time. Your dog’s ears contain a lot of nerve endings and massaging them will feel very good to him. Do this for at least one minute per ear.
  6. Lightly massage his forehead for about 30 seconds, sliding down to his cheeks also for 30 seconds, and then to his muzzle for another 30 seconds.

Pet massage may have gone to the dogs – but you will love it too!

Back Massage–Relieve Back Pain without drugs

Do you suffer from chronic back pain?

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.

Neuromuscular massage therapy

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.

Lower back pain

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

Healing Effects of Touch and Massage

Clinical massage therapy: Healing Effects of Touch and Massage

Almost all human beings are born with a sense of touch, a basic human instinct that allows us to reach out and feel another person.  Touching is a universal action that conveys love and caring. Communicating with hands comes second nature to speaking with the use of our voice. Through certain gestures we can convey affirmative and healing messages. These simple hand gestures are blowing kisses, clapping our hands to show appreciation, giving someone a thumbs up, and so on.

Healing Touch is proven to help babies thrive

However, there are more to grasp about our hands. “Touch” is the primary means of learning about the world throughout infancy. Research shows that touch is critical in a baby’s growth and development. Previous study showed that premature infants who received a series of 15-minute massage gained 47% more weight, and became more socially responsive than non-massaged premature infants. They were discharged from the hospital an average of six days earlier than other premature babies.

Supporters of touch therapy claim it can treat and cure a wide variety of illnesses, including heart failure, diabetes and infections. According to the theory, people who are ill have disturbed “energy fields,” and that by moving trained hands over the patient’s body, a touch therapist can detect misalignments and re-pattern energy fields to create “energy balance.”

Massage bonds children to caregivers

Aside from touch, scientists have also recognized the benefits of massage in caring for infants and in promoting the unique bond between parent and child. There are innumerable medical facts that support the importance of touch and massage. Touch and massage therapy have a lot in common because they have a lot to do with motion of the hands over various parts of the infant’s or baby’s body. The technique involves a lot of touching, stroking, and massaging of body parts.

Ancient massage techniques – modern uses

Massage therapy has been around for many centuries. Today it is known mostly for types of relaxation and comfort. Many years ago it was used as a cure for many ailments. Most people looked to massage for comfort rather than medicine alone. Doctors incorporated many forms of manipulation of the body to help comfort the body through disease and pain.
For an infant or baby, massage therapy has a lot to do with skin-to-skin contact. This could be something as simple as holding a baby to a naked chest, or holding an infant’s or baby’s hand when the baby is in a cubicle. Some massage therapists offer services of providing massage therapy to infants or babies in a critical or unstable condition.

Massage benefits parents and children

The most wonderful thing about massage therapy is that it not only benefits the infant or baby, it also benefits the parents or caregivers. The baby sleeps better, grows faster, while the parents will get an extra few hours sleep each night. Not only will the baby or infant sleep better, massage therapy could eliminate colic, tummy aches, headaches, and even a stressful day at school or even fever. Seeing the benefits of massage therapy, it is no wonder that there are so many more parents who are open to the idea of using massage therapy for their infant or baby today, as compared to a decade ago.

Infant massage

While the benefits on infant health brought by mother’s massage are already firmly established, new research shows that a father’s touch is equally essential to a baby’s health and well-being. Health benefits for infants include fewer sleep problems, as well as strengthening and regulating the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems. Fathers also gain from the experience in performing infant massage.

Not the same as other massage techniques

It is important to note that this is not the same as manipulative treatments such as relaxation techniques. Massage and touch can reduce stress in some people and loving and caring another individual, not only babies can definitely have a calming effect.

SCALP MASSAGE – fast relaxation

Scalp massage is a great way to relax and stimulate your hair.

A SELF-ADMINSTERED SCALP MASSAGE is a great way to enhance hair health. Scalp massages not only feel good, they enhance hair health by improving circulation and allowing more blood to flow to the scalp area. This eventually leads to shinier, healthier hair.

The first step is to decide if you want to use scalp oil. The best oils for a  SCALP MASSAGE depend on your needs. First, choose an oil such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil to use as a base. Then, pick the appropriate essential oils.

Massage oils

For example, tea tree and lavender are often used for dandruff, rosemary and peppermint are sometimes used for hair loss, and chamomile and rose are often used if you are experiencing excess dryness. For each tablespoon of base oil you use, add two drops of essential oil. For each tablespoon of base oil you use, add two drops of essential oil.

The next step to a successful SELF-ADMINISTERED SCALP MASSAGE is to brush your hair. This helps detangle the hair, adds some shine, and loosens any flakes that are attached to the scalp. The best brush to use before your will depend on your hair type. Long, straight hair requires a different brush than short, curly hair. Bend from the waist and brush your hair upside-down. This improves scalp circulation and helps give the hair more body.

Start your scalp massage

To begin the SCALP MASSAGE. Place a small amount of the scalp oil on your fingers. Bend from the waist to allow MORE BLOOD FLOW TO SCALP. Touch the pads of your fingers firmly to the scalp area near your temples. Massage in a circular motion your hairline gradually working your way around the entire scalp. Add more oil to your fingers when necessary.

After you use all the oil, warm a dry towel for a few seconds in the microwave and place it on your head. Let the oil set for at least ten minutes. Try not to do anything during that time. Just lie down, close your eyes, and listen to relaxing music. This allows the oils to absorb into your hair and scalp to give it added moisture.

After 10 minutes

When ten minutes are up, you will need to shampoo and condition your hair to wash out the  SCALP MASSAGE oil. Gently brush your hair first to release any tangles. When you shampoo, keep in mind that you may need to lather up twice to get rid of all the oil.

Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner. If your hair and scalp are extremely dry, leave the oil in overnight and shampoo and condition your hair in the morning.

Try to perform a  SCALP MASSAGE once a week. If done regularly, you will notice that your hair is shinier and stronger and has a lot more body. You may want to vary the essential oils as your needs change. Just make sure to do your research.

Some essential oils may be harmful and/or cause allergic reactions. Also, certain oils are not to be used if pregnant or nursing.

Relax and enjoy a great scalp massage and you too will notice shinier and more luxurious hair.

Massage Decatur Ga – Stress Relief Massage

Treat Yourself to a Stress Relief Massage in Decatur Ga

You’ve tried dozens of techniques to relieve stress after a hard day’s work, from exercise to meditation, but the stress returns the minute you finish.  Maybe it’s time to consider the stress relief massage.  Stress doesn’t just affect you mentally; it can also lead to long-term physical problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Taking the time to indulge in the occasional stress relief massage can prove beneficial not only for short-term stress relief, but for long-term health care. A stress relief massage will relax the muscles, allowing oxygen and nutrients to flow to stressed areas, as well as releasing toxins.

Can’t Afford a Massage

It’s true that a stress relief massage doesn’t come cheap, and if you fail to do your research and go to an unlicensed masseuse, you might find yourself arrested in a bathhouse sting operation.  The American Massage Therapy Association can provide help in finding a qualified massage therapist in your area through their online locator.  But if you can’t afford to visit a licensed massage therapist, there are other avenues to consider.

There are numerous books and websites dedicated to teaching basic stress relief massage techniques, most of which are quick and easy to learn.  If you are married or in a relationship, perhaps you can convince your partner to join you in learning some stress relief massage techniques.  You both may find stress relief massage can quickly become a sensual massage and it can become a cheap and fun way to relieve stress and increase the romance in your relationship.

Give yourself a massage

There are even techniques you can learn to give yourself a massage.  One of the most common and effective areas that needs attention is the face and scalp.  Most people overlook the benefits and relaxation that can be attained by simply rubbing the scalp.

Walking Stress

One of the most satisfying forms of stress relief massage is the foot massage, because you tend to use your feet in some way in almost every activity you perform throughout your day.  This type of stress relief massage can be performed by a licensed massage therapist, or just as easily at home by your partner, or even by yourself.

A quick search online can provide easy and effective techniques. Better still; a foot spa for around $30 can help you soak away your troubles.

No matter what you do to relieve stress, a stress relief massage can provide numerous benefits.  It can be a fun and relaxing way to deal with the things in your life and work that cause you stress.

Enjoy and RELAX with massage

Massage Decatur Ga – Stress Relief Massage is as easy as making a phone call!

Runner’s Hamstrings Improve

IT WORKS!

The runner with the severely tight hamstrings is doing much better!

With each visit her pain drops and range of motion improves.  The hamstring is no longer interfering with her training.

Keep it up!

A continued sports massage regimen of stretching, long muscle stripping, cross fiber and trigger point work will allow her to meet her goal of running the half marathon.  I’ll let you know how she does!

Runner Presents With Hamstring Pull

Hamstring Pull

A new client presented with severe hamstring pain that had been getting worse for over a month.  She was training for a half marathon and had to discontinue training due to the pain.

First I checked the current range of motion – which was quite restricted.

Massage therapy included stretching, long muscle stripping, cross fiber, trigger point work, and origin/insertion massage on the hamstring muscles.  The tendons were addressed, as well as the muscle bodies with each technique.  The tendons around the knee were manipulated with trigger point techniques.

Range of Motion Improved

Range of motion was rechecked and had improved by at least 30 degrees!   At the end of the session the client was able to stand, walk and stretch with little to no discomfort.

I LOVE WHAT I DO!

It is fun to help people feel better so they can do what they need and want to do – whether it is to train for a half marathon, dance the night away or play on the floor with the kids.

Is Massage Different in Decatur?

Is massage different in Decatur?

You Bet!

Clinical Sports Massage Therapist Karla Crawford is there for you!

Whether you live in Decatur, Buckhead or Midtown, massage is an all natural way of providing your body with many of the tools it needs to reach Homeostasis.  Homeostasis is the goal of your body to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes.  If you provide your body with the “tools” it needs, it will do its best to give you optimal performance.  One of those tools is massage.

Regardless of who you are, you can benefit from massage.

Call center worker, CEO, doctor, nurse, patient, artist, landscaper, teacher, Mom or Dad.  Your body is working very hard to keep you going day after day.  You may find you are taking more pain relief medications than you used to for your sore muscles or your aching head.  Massage is an all natural way to address many of your physical pains AND mental discomforts.

The resulting mental break will allow your mind to “re-boot”.

The techniques used by a massage therapist will encourage your painful, tight shoulders to drop from around your ears, your back to release, your hamstrings to stretch, your calves to relax and your feet to say “Ahhhh”.  Within that deep relaxation state your mind will begin to slow down, your breathing will become deep and even.

Are you concerned about the effect medications may have on your body in the long term?

Not all of a medication is metabolized by your body.  What is not actually used will become waste.  And if that waste is not removed, your body will store it.  Massage is the manual manipulation of your muscles which will increase blood flow, flush out capillaries and release toxins into the lymph system.  The lymph system will carry the waste to the cleansing organs.

What about those toxins being released by massage?

Your lymph system is trying to flush out toxins by circulating waste through your  cleansing organs.  Your job will be to provide those organs with the fluids they need to do their job.  Pure water is the best flushing agent to assist that process.  The more pure the intake fluid, the easier it is for your body to maximize its cleansing process.  When you give your body the tools it needs, your body will work very hard to take care of you (homeostasis).  So be sure to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.  And especially after a workout – such as a massage

Karla Crawford is a Clinical Sports Massage Therapist practicing in Decatur, GA.

Back pain? Decatur – Get a Back Massage!

If you live in Decatur Ga – you need a massage!

What does living in Decatur have to do with needing a massage? EVERYBODY needs a massage! With the hustle and bustle of everyday life your body is working very hard to meet your demands. If you are overloaded, your body is overloaded.

Get a massage – Give yourself a break!

Cloud reflecting SunsetMassage is an all natural way to deal with many body aches and mental pains. Tender loving care to your body will spread to your mental state as well. When you are at peace in your mind and body, you will be better able to deal with the demands of family, work and the world at large.

As your stress level mounts, your body creates many chemical reactions and each chemical reaction creates a chemical waste by-product. We expel those waste products through perspiration, urine and even tears. The more chaos, the more tension, the more chemical reactions. Many people even begin to hold their bodies very still, which allows the waste chemicals to gather in low blood flow areas!

Those areas may become achy and stiff, causing even more discomfort.

A back or neck Massage can ease your pain!

Massage is a manual manipulation of the soft tissues in your body. The gentle movement of your muscles will increase blood flow, flush out those distant capillaries and release those chemical toxins.

The techniques used by a massage therapist will encourage your painful, tight shoulders to drop from around your ears, your hamstrings to stretch, your calves to relax and your feet to say “Ahhhh”. With that deep relaxation state your mind will begin to slow down, your breathing will become deeper and more even and the resulting mental break will allow your mind to “re-boot”.

Massage releases toxins

What about those toxins being released by massage? Well, they are being carried by your lymph system throughout your body and are presented as waste to your blood cleaning organs. Your job will be to provide those organs with the fluids they need to do their job. Water is the best product to assist your kidneys. Water with lemon is also an excellent choice. The more pure the intake fluid, the easier it is for your body to maximize its cleansing process.

When you give your body the tools it needs, your body will work very hard to take care of you.

Karla Crawford is a Clinical Sports Massage Therapist practicing in Decatur, GA.

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