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When was the last time you had a headache? What did you do about it? Did you just think it would go away? Maybe you just thought it would get better and go away if you waited long enough. Pain is real, and it does exist. There are lots of people who will tell you about their pain, even, when you didn’t want to know.
For as long as people have been around, there have been people helping other people chase pain away. Centuries ago, pain-chasers were called things like, medicine man, holy man, shaman, or healer. Within the last 50 years we have begun to have new names for these people. Now we call them, doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist. Now, there are so many different names for pain chasers, and they all have their own “technique(s)”, for chasing your pain away.
The sun and moon chase each other day after day. This is a cycle that will continue for an eternity, and that’s ok. Actively chasing pain has become a normal part of some people’s lives. Pain itself, is a normal thing to have, because it is our alert system that tells us internally that a problem is happening. Problems happen when people are not able to chase their own pain away. Let’s get back to headaches. When you figured out you had one, what did you do? Lots of people take pills from the local pharmacy, others don’t. So does that mean headaches are a deficiency in pain medication?
With a variety of pain-chasers to choose from, how do you pick one? I would not suggest seeing a general practice physician if you had heart problems – you would see a cardiologist. One general issue people regularly face is the active advice/ prescription. Are they giving you good or bad advice? Many people follow the advice because the other person is supposed to know more. They are supposed to have the answer you are looking for. Why would these people want to give bad advice? If they know more than you do, isn’t that a good enough reason to listen and do what they say?
There may come a point when you will follow their advice not knowing if it truly is the best advice you can take, because it is their job to know. This advice may only be the best they can offer, based on their training and experience. When you decide not to follow their advice, the circumstance is still the same. Are they offering you advice because they do not see any other way to help you, or will they only help you if you follow their advice?
I used to chase people’s pain without the concrete knowledge that I might actually catch it. Not every technique will work for every single person. I am still in the process of learning new and more advanced techniques. The reason why all techniques do not work will every single person, is simple: everyone is different. I choose to treat people with a variety of techniques. No one has the same time table for healing. Some people have structural imbalances that require me to think differently. I treat people with autoimmune issues different from people who have tired hands from yard work.
Years ago, when I primarily treated muscle pain with trigger point therapy, I found myself being limited by people tolerance to pressure. People always came back with the same issues. I eventually figured out that I was not doing enough to help them. So I started learning different techniques because what I was using was not getting the results I thought my clients deserved. I was chasing the sun and moon.
Is your practitioner simply chasing pain, or are they actively trying to eliminate the source of that pain? The variety of techniques I use now all have their uses. It is my job to figure out when to intentionally utilize each one for maximum effectiveness. A pain-chaser will never fully understand why you have the pain, and they are not willing to do what is necessary to help. Pain-chasers do not get to the source of your pain, help you to understand it, or help you to resolve it. I chased pain for the better part of a decade. Worst of all, I didn’t even know it.
Matt Williamson, ART Certified CMT
7 Questions to ask yourself before getting a massage:
- Have you ever had any massage?
- How long was the longest massage you have had?
- Do you know what kind of massage(s) you have had?
- How long has it been since your last massage?
- Do you know what kind of techniques the practitioner used?
- What kind of pressure do you like? If you are unsure that’s ok too.
- Are you currently in pain?
*People who generally do not pay attention to how they feel are far more likely to wait too long to seek treatment of any kind.
Is there more than 1 kind of massage?
- Massage is like food. You will feel different depending on the type of massage an pressure being applied.
What happens before a massage?
- First timers please be 10-15 minutes early. You will have to fill out an intake form before the massage begins. This is similar to a doctor’s visit. Pertinent medical information needs to be written down so the therapist can make sure to NOT hurt you. Some medications and medical conditions are direction contraindications for massage.
- If you have been doing yard work and your body hurts everywhere, this is the time to speak up. Remember most people cannot read your mind, so asking questions and giving information is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your massage.
What happens when the massage is over?
- Your therapist will leave the room and you may now get up and put your clothes back on.
- IMPORTANT: do not get up quickly. While laying down your body has adapted to this position. Before moving, take a few breaths, role to your side and slowly sit at the side of the table and take a few more breaths.
- The therapist may give you stretches to try or inform you of nutritional concepts or any number of things.
- Your therapist will meet you in the hallway or outside the room. Usually you will be given water.
- It is really important that you drink water for the rest of the day/night to flush out the toxins that have been removed from your muscles. Even very relaxing massages can have a great effect on how much toxin release there may be. The type of massage sometimes is not important because everyone detoxifies differently.
- Some therapists have the ability to do a massage with the intention of your body recovering in a very specific way (i.e. you will continue to feel looser over the next few days, etc). It is important to listen to your therapist for their professional opinions about your body care and massage, because in many cases (not all), they will have a better understanding of how you should feel or what will keep you pain free. But good advice falls on deaf ears a lot.
How often should a person get massage?
- The actual frequency of sessions should diminish over time. This means your body is feeling better for longer. “Maintenance” massage is a tricky term. Does maintenance mean every week for the rest of your life? Therapist who do not possess the ability to reduce session frequency either do not have the ability to do so (for a variety of reasons), or do not have the desire to do so.
- A relaxing massage doesn’t always mean pain free. Many people really enjoy knowing they will be receiving deeper pressure while others do not. The therapist should be communicating throughout the massage to make sure you are ok with the pressure that is being applied.
- For a first time massage (if its only Swedish technique), think of a 1-10 scale *10 being unbearable pain). Do not go over 5-6. IF you are feeling a 7-8, say out loud “that’s too much pressure”, or “that’s too hard”. Remember mind readers are few and far between in this profession.
- If a 7-8 feels good then it can be ok to receive, but if you do not know how your body recovers from massage, then its best for the first time to just relax or receive less pressure.
- For deeper massages, a 7-8 is the target pressure you should be feeling. Endorphins (Enkephalin’s) are released in the body. Endorphins are the bodies natural pain killers.
**You have the power to end any massage if you feel the therapist isn’t listening, or taking your needs into account, or being unprofessional.
**Therapist are trained to immediately end a massage if the client is inappropriate in any way.The truth: clients are thought of like meat or shapes. Our basic job is to tenderize you. To always keep things professional. A therapist will look at the body also in sections. Each shape and section of the body needs to function correctly so that other parts do not have to compensate for the lack of mobility in any particular area.
I approach people with information I believe will be pertinent to you at any given time.
Prenatal massage is very important to help the health of the mother and baby.
Other potential benefits of prenatal massage:
Reduced back pain
Reduced joint pain
Reduced muscle tension
Reduced stress and anxiety
Improved oxygenation of soft tissue and muscles
I became certified in prenatal massage 7 years ago from Northwestern Health Sciences University. Since then I have done hundreds of prenatal massages.
If you’re interested in prenatal massage come in to Zen Healing Center and book a session with Tony. Sessions start at only $55 with a massage package. Please call at 952-500-8733 to ask me any questions or discuss concerns you have about prenatal massage. And start sleeping better today!
Pregnancy massage addresses common problems such as headaches, lower back, and sciatica pain. I utilize stretching techniques to pinpoint problem areas and release muscles through isolation and active hold. This treatment is performed side-lying on a pregnancy body cushion.
If we have less water in our body the muscles can’t rub over each other and move with ease! We are burning up the water so fast and hence the reason we feel achy in the winter months. Remember our bodies are about 70 percent water no matter what time of the year is it. We should all increase how much water we intake by about 2-3 glasses per day.
Snacking on water- fruits and vegetable
Watermelon and strawberries contain about 92 percent water. Other fruits with high water content include ,cantaloupe with 90 percent, grapefruit with 91 percent and peaches with 88 percent water. Some fruits containing 87 percent water by weight include pineapple, cranberries, orange and raspberries. Apricots hold 86 percent water, while blueberries and plums contain 85 percent water. The water content for apples and pears is 84 percent. Cherries and grapes contain an average of 81 percent water. Also banana’s composition includes 74 percent water.
On top of the vegetables list are cucumber and lettuce, consisting of 96 percent water. Zucchini, radish and celery are comprised of 95 percent water. Ninety-four percent of tomato’s weight is water, and green cabbage is 93 percent water. Vegetables that contain 92 percent water include sweet peppers, cauliflower, eggplant, red cabbage and spinach. Broccoli is 91 percent water by weight. Additional healthy hydrating foods include carrots with 87 percent water and green peas and white potatoes with 79 percent water.
In the end of it all we need water to stay healthy and to help flush our bodies toxins of every day life!
Happy Monday! As the Acupuncturist at Zen Healing Center, I focus a lot on stress and how it impacts lives. Stress is a large cause of many of the emotional and physical symptoms that we experience daily and is something that can be worked on! Not sure if stress is affecting your health or well being? Ask yourself this…
Ever feel like you are slightly critical of yourself, or others? How many times a day do you find yourself being easily irritated? How many times a day do you praise yourself, or praise others? Praise is not something that must be spoken out loud, it can be something you say internally or write down in your journal. We grow up being taught that others are affected by our words and actions, but it is good to be reminded that you are just as affected by your own words. With this said, it is good (and easy!) to practice praising. Just say 3 nice things to yourself (and others!) every day.
1. Good job at work today, you were very productive and made a difference.
2. Good job today for taking deep breaths and letting your body relax, you really do deserve it!
3. Good job today for being a wonderful person and noticing the wonders in others around you!
The first few times you do this, it may feel silly, but if you keep it up you will find yourself feeling more positive about yourself and the world around you. Praising can help you to relax, slow down, and not be bothered by the little things. This practice is not about enhancing your ego, it is about becoming a positive being. With that said, remember to stay humble as you walk though this wonderful path!