Fibromyalgia Massage Therapy Is Not A Luxury – It’s A Necessity

September 24, 2010

Millions of Americans suffer from the debilitating condition called fibromyalgia.  This complex syndrome is difficult to understand, difficult to diagnose, and often difficult to treat.  Fortunately there is an increasingly popular treatment that takes ‘difficult’ right out of the equation.  Fibromyalgia massage therapy is gaining popularity for good reason – because it works.  It provides relief often when no other treatments can.

Understanding Fibromyalgia Massage Therapy

There was a time when many people believed that massages were only for the rich or privileged.  In fact, it was not that long ago that I was scoffed at for receiving regular massage treatments.  When I mentioned to an acquaintance how I was benefiting from my fibromyalgia massage therapy, she said (with a sneer) “I wish I could afford the luxury of getting regular massages.”  I simply told her that I do not consider my treatments as a luxury; I regard them as a necessity.

Fibromyalgia Massage Therapy is a hands-on treatment utilizing a variety of techniques to relieve sore muscles, decrease joint stiffness, and alleviate a number of other fibromyalgia symptoms.  John James recognizes the impact this painful condition has on your body, and he is eager to help you.  He will listen to your concerns and work with you to find an appropriate treatment plan.  With years of experience, John understands each individual’s needs are different.  Your fibromyalgia massage therapy is tailored to meet your unique needs, ensuring you get the most out of your treatments.

Benefiting from Fibromyalgia Massage Therapy

Fibromyalgia massage therapy not only helps treat your pain, but it also treats the underlying problems that cause fibromyalgia flare-ups.  Research has proven that massage therapy improves quality of sleep and decreases stress – both huge contributing factors for controlling fibromyalgia symptoms.  In other words, you will have short-term benefits from your massage as well as long-term.

What are some of the other benefits you’ll enjoy?  Fibromyalgia massage therapy facilitates good circulation because the pressure of the massage moves blood through congested areas in your body.  When blood moves more freely, it brings oxygen-rich nutrients to your tissues; resulting in faster muscle repair.  Massage also flushes out lactic acid (a harmful toxin that causes pain), and improves the circulation of lymph fluid which carries metabolic waste away from your muscles and internal organs.  As a result, you’ll experience improved body function and lower blood pressure.

Many patients of John James also report fewer migraines, decreased feelings of tension and stress, as well as an increase in energy levels.  Why not visit John James to see for yourself?

by Alaina M. Coyle, Freelance Writer

Understanding Myofascial Release

September 18, 2010

Myofascial Release is a specialized hands-on treatment for relieving pain and tension throughout the body.  To understand how the treatment works, you need to know what fascia is and what myofascial means.

Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of your body, including each muscle and the fiber within the muscle.  When you move, the fascia stretches along with your muscles, making up the myofascial unit.  When muscle fibers are injured or traumatized, the fascia surrounding the fibers becomes short and tight, transmitting pain and other unpleasant symptoms throughout your body.  Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in the injured fascia.

Your Myofascial Release Treatment

Your massage therapist will find the areas of tension and tightness caused by the injured fascia and apply gentle sustained pressure.  This pressure allows the fascia to elongate, or stretch.  John James is experienced in this specialized technique and knows how much force to use and how long to stretch based on each individual’s needs.  Your feedback will aid John James to treat you properly.

Many patients are unable to pinpoint certain sore spots, but John James will not only be able to locate these “trigger points,” but decrease their size and sensitivity.  He will accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the right amount of sustained pressure to facilitate the release of the fascia.  Myofascial Release eliminates pain and restores motion, even if alternative treatments youíve tried in the past have failed.

Benefits of Myofascial Release

When trauma occurs – physical, mental, or emotional, people respond with a flight or fight freeze response.  Myofascial Release therapists believe than an unresolved freeze response is ìrecorded,î so to speak, in the myofascial tissues, and that full recovery is not possible unless this “record” of trauma is released.  Myofascial Release is the treatment that allows your body to release its hold on the trauma that is still causing you pain.

Inflammatory responses, surgical procedures, and injuries all create myofascial restrictions that are capable of producing pressures of an estimated 2,000 pounds per square inch.  John James works with you to find these restrictions and release the pressure off pain-sensitive tissues like your nerves and blood vessels.  You will enjoy increased mobility in your joints and a dramatic reduction of nerve and muscle pain.

Other benefits of Myofascial Release include:

  • Improved circulation and nutrition for your tissues
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Decreased fascial tension beneath scar tissue
  • Restoration of motion and functional movement
  • Reduction of migraines and TMJ symptoms

Myofascial Release is highly recommended for anyone who suffers from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, neurological disorders, migraines or headaches, neck and back pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, sports injuries, scoliosis and postural dysfunctions, and other chronic pain syndromes.

by Alaina M. Coyle, Freelance Writer

Fibromyalgia Massage: Pain Relief Without Pills

September 16, 2010

If you suffer from fibromyalgia as I do, no doubt you are constantly looking for new ways to treat your symptoms.  The pain and aches you experience on a daily basis are as discouraging as they are debilitating.  Fibromyalgia massage has proven to help fibromyalgia patients in a variety of ways, and is becoming increasingly recognized as a valid treatment among medical professionals.

What is Fibromyalgia Massage?

For many of us who suffer from fibromyalgia, visiting an inexperienced massage therapist can make us question the value of massage therapy – or even leave us worse off than before.  A treatment with a therapist with extensive experience in fibromyalgia massage can make all the difference in the world.

Although it may appear to be a new treatment, massage therapy dates back thousands of years.  Hippocrates actually defined medicine as “the art of rubbing.”  John James takes this “art” very seriously and has dedicated himself to helping his patients find the relief they so desperately seek.

Fibromyalgia massage is a hands-on treatment that utilizes key techniques to draw negative energy away from the face and head, relieve tender trigger points, loosen fascia (the tissue that covers your muscles), and improve circulation – all important elements of treating fibromyalgia.  John James, who has eighteen years experience leading fibromyalgia support groups, understands fibromyalgia and its impact on the body. John has the knowledge and compassion necessary to treat you professionally – and successfully.

The Benefits of Fibromyalgia Massage

Although researchers are not certain exactly how massage therapy reduces pain, they do know that it does.  One theory suggests that massage boosts the body’s production of natural pain-blockers, such as endorphins and serotonin.  These “feel-good” hormones counteract pain signals the brain sends to different parts of the body, which explains why so many patients report relief from their fibromyalgia pain.  However, this is only the beginning of the long list of benefits you’ll enjoy from your fibromyalgia massage.

John James’ patients also experience improved blood circulation – blood flowing more freely through congested knots of muscle.  You will enjoy increased flexibility and range of motion, as well as a reduction of stiffness in your joints.  Because fibromyalgia massage focuses on bringing energy away from the head and neck, you may experience fewer migraines – a frequent complaint among many fibromyalgia sufferers.  John James will use massage strokes that move down your body to encourage release of negative energy out through your feet, leaving you feeling lighter and refreshed.

Many patients also enjoy a better quality of sleep after having a treatment with John James.  Since a lack of refreshing sleep is one of the leading culprits of fibromyalgia flare-ups, this may be the best benefit of all.

Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that fibromyalgia massage has been a complete life-saver for me.  My fibromyalgia is always worse when I am under stress, and there is simply no better stress-reliever than a good massage from an experienced therapist who really, deeply understands fibromyalgia massage. I know you will find similar relief when you visit John James Massage Plano.

by Alaina M. Coyle, Freelance Writer

Sports Massage Therapy Benefits Swimmers Pre and Post Event

May 21, 2010

Evelyn Davis Licensed Massage Therapist

Evelyn Davis Licensed Massage Therapist

Sports massage therapy for swimmers has both physical and psychological benefits. Serious competitors and recreational swimmers alike can improve their swimming performance with sports massage therapy designed specifically for the issues swimmers face.

Swim athletes worldwide now view regular massage as a necessary part of their training regimen. Sports massage therapy increases blood flow which reduces soreness and speeds recovery. Certain sports massage techniques, properly applied,  increase the range of motion of injured muscles and further accelerate the healing process. With a shorter time required for full recovery you can increase workouts and adapt your body to a higher level of physical stress.

For swimmers’ sports massages we prefer a combination of trigger point massage, myofascial release and Swedish massage methods aimed at the muscle groups and movements that swimmers use in order to swim fast.

swimmer sports massage therapy

Trigger point release of the infraspinatus muscle.

Most swimmers generally get tight in the areas underneath and behind the shoulder blades, with lots of tender trigger points. Swedish massage movements are best here to relieve the general tension in the muscles while the patient is lying on their side. Trigger points are released with careful pressure as they arise. In particular in swimmers, the infraspinatus muscle (see photo) often triggers and refers pain to the front of the shoulder, limiting the internal rotation which is needed for a good “catch”.

Another area of significant range-of-motion concern for swimmers is the myofascia located below the shoulder at the side and extending the length of the latissimus dorsai down to the lower back. Tightness in this long muscle and fascia group is a significant impediment for swimmers. For this area we use a myofascial release technique which stretches the muscle and fascia in a very targeted way.

Swimmers all seem to generate trigger points on the back between the spine and

top of shoulder trigger point release

Top of shoulder trigger point.

shoulder blade as well as on top of the shoulder closely adjacent to the neck. We find that relieving these irritations significantly improves relaxation, posture, and breathing.

Here are some thoughts about how massage could be incorporated into your swimming regimen:

Pre-swim meet: Use a sports massage to aid in warming up your muscles before training or an event. A sports massage can help stretch the muscles as well as stimulating blood flow and relaxation. By having the muscles well stretched and relaxed it can help prevent sports injuries. Massages can provide benefits even if performed up to two days before an event.  And it’ll relax you – a competitive edge!

Post-swim meet: Utilize a sports massage after the sporting event to help in muscle recovery. A post-event sports massage can also aid in reducing muscle spasm and soreness. Post-event massages are short and direct lasting usually only 30 minutes. The post-event focuses on the muscles used specifically for the sport. After striving hard a massage will increase your blood circulation to speed the removal of fatigue toxins, relieve your muscle spasms and prevent soreness.

Fine-tuning: For regular fine-tuning a massage will search out and relieve areas of bio-mechanical stress in your muscles before they become problems, enabling you to train harder and more consistently.

Injury Rehabilitation: Massage will speed healing of your injuries, increase your range of motion, and reduce scar tissue thus allowing your muscles to expand and contract fully. With less time spent recovering you’ll be training at your peak levels more often and become more competitive.

John James Massage Plano is a sponsor of the City Of Plano Swimmers (COPS)  and provides complimentary massage services to COPS members at their regular swim meets.

Reflexology: Addressing Pain and Putting Cancer Patients at Ease

May 18, 2010

Jack Bleeker
May 2010

With roots in ancient Egypt, China, and Japan, the art of reflexology is a healing and relaxation technique that has stood the test of time and is familiar to many today. Found on treatment menus in world-class spas and on the schedules of many hospital-based palliative care centers, reflexology is viewed by skeptics as just a foot massage, but those who have recognized the therapy’s benefits will loudly proclaim that it is much, much more.

For patients with cancer, such as those battling malignant mesothelioma, reflexology is said to have numerous benefits. Used as a complementary therapy along with conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, proponents of reflexology note that the treatment goes a long way in addressing such issues as pain, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting. Especially upon the mesothelioma prognosis, these individuals are in dire need of therapeutic relief from the side effects mentioned.

So how does a foot rub help eliminate the unpleasant effects of cancer? Simply put, reflexology involves applying pressure to and stretching the hands and feet in order to trigger responses in other parts of the body. Experts theorize that the pressure sends a calming message from the peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system, where it signals the body to adjust its tension level, therefore creating a feeling of overall relaxation, increasing blood supply, and bringing organs to an optimal level of functioning. Others say the success of reflexology relates to the “gate control” theory of pain relief, which theorizes that pain is a subjective experience created by an individual’s brain. The notion that factors like mood or stress can also affect the experience of pain enters into play here. Hence, reflexology can reduce pain by relieving stress and anxiety.

Though there is no steadfast scientific evidence that reflexology offers an cure for cancers like mesothelioma or any other disease, numerous studies have shown that this complementary therapy improves quality of life for many cancer patients, even if just for a short time, hence, its inclusion in many complementary and palliative care programs at cancer hospitals nationwide.

A 2000 study at the School of Nursing at East Carolina University, for example, involved 23 breast and lung cancer patients who noted “a significant decrease” in anxiety with the use of reflexology treatment. This, wrote the professionals that authored the study, “has important implications for nursing practice as both professionals and lay people can be taught reflexology.

“Reflexology is a simple technique for human touch which can be performed anywhere, requires no special equipment, is non-invasive and does not interfere with patients’ privacy,” the study continues.

Indeed, many medical professionals have suggested that caregivers for cancer patients take time to learn reflexology so that they can use it when necessary to help those for whom they are caring find relief from the pain and stress associated with the disease. Furthermore, noted study leader Dr. Nancy Stephenson, in the case of those caring for spouses or other family members, “the therapy provides a way for partners to get involved in their loved one’s care at a time when they may feel there is nothing they can do to help.”

Sources:
University of Minnesota, http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reflexology/how-does-reflexology-work

American Cancer Society, http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Reflexology.asp

Dosing, Cancer, and Reflexology (Kunz), http://www.reflexology-research.com/dosing.html

—-
Laura Norman Wellness
Comprehensive Reflexology training
courses using unique
Reflexology techniques
in NY and FL.

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