Three surprising benefits of massage therapy

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In ancient and medieval times, massage has a long been used in different cultures around the world to promote relaxation and improve overall well-being. Today, however, massage has progressed as a form of therapy for a variety of health-related purposes.

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Often used in sports clinics and rehabilitation centers, a growing number of healthcare professionals are adopting massage therapy as an alternative form of medicine. Below are three of its surprising benefits:

Improves general blood flow. A study conducted at the University of Illinois in Chicago suggests that massage therapy improves general blood flow and alleviates muscle soreness after exercise. The study also suggests that massage therapy improves vascular function in people who are not physically active.

Pain relief. Massage therapy can help alleviate various forms body pain such as chronic neck pain, back pain, and aches due to osteoarthritis of the knee. Clinical trials on the effects of massage for headaches are also showing promising results.

Sleep induction. According to studies, massage therapy can be beneficial in treating sleeping problems that stem from stress, migraine, pain, and muscle and joint stiffness. Due to its relaxing effects, massage can be a helpful aid in restoring restful sleep.

Although it can offer you physical and physiological benefits, it is not advisable to use massage therapy as a replacement for conventional care about a medical problem.

Young and old can experience the benefits of massage therapy through the affordable services offered by Massage Envy Spa. Follow this
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A fight for wellness: Massage Envy and Arthritis Foundation team up to battle arthritis

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Any form of pain can hurt the quality of life. From work productivity to leisure time, a person in pain cannot think with clarity, act properly, or even speak clearly.

Unfortunately, for millions of Americans with arthritis, this is the reality. Characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, and redness, arthritis negatively affects not only person’s physical health but also one’s mental well-being.

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With the aim to help people conquer their everyday battles with arthritis, Massage Envy and the Arthritis Foundation have recently intensified their campaign against rheumatic pain through the joint hosting of the fifth annual Healing Hands for Arthritis (HHFA).

Held last September, the one-day event took place at over 1,000 Massage Envy locations in the country. The spa, which has long been a supporter of the cause, donated some of its profits to the Arthritis Foundation to support initiatives for scientific discoveries and to create a faster path to a cure and provide valuable resources to help people suffering from the disease.

Sharing her thoughts on the success of the event, Debbie Gonzalez, chief brand officer at Massage Envy explains: “Through our collaborative partnership with the Arthritis Foundation, we’ve been able to bring awareness to the therapeutic benefits of regular massage for those with arthritis.”

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Since the partnership’s inception in 2012, the spa has been able to raise more than $3 million for the Arthritis Foundation. Massage Envy and Arthritis Foundation hope that through this effort, they would be able to raise awareness and find a cure for the chronic disease, which is known to affect more 50 million people in the United States.

Am advocate of health and wellness, Massage Envy Spa is the pioneer and national leader of affordable massage and spa services. Visit this website for more about the company.

Trigger point therapy: Muscle pain relief through cycles of isolated pressure

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Trigger points, also known as trigger knots, are hypersensitive sheets of tissues found between the muscles and the skin that can easily feel pain or stiffness. They cause what doctors call “referred pain,” which is pain in one area of the muscle that causes another pain in another region. Trigger points can affect the performance of the whole muscle, spread pain to a larger area, and even affect other trigger points. This concept provides a framework to address certain musculoskeletal soreness.

A trigger point at the top of the shoulder, for example, will refer pain up the side of the neck and head, causing headache. Active trigger knots in the muscles of the shoulder, neck, and face are the most common sources of headaches. Managing sore muscles through cycles of isolated pressure can soothe tight areas where trigger points are located. In therapies involving trigger points, the recipient is required to practice deep breathing—among other procedures—to easily identify the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.

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While trigger points can sometimes be weird and recurrent, most are simply painful spots in muscles that are usually fairly easy to find and get rid of with a just little rubbing. However, being hypersensitive tissues, these knots are best handled by professional physical therapists.

Massage Envy is a spa and wellness center offering a wide range of massage services to relieve sore muscles and relax the body in general. Locate the nearest center near you by visiting this website.

For the little angel: The therapeutic benefits of infant massage

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Massage is not only for the athlete or the workaholic adult. Even the home’s little angels also need soothing caress and tender touches to improve their health.

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Infants find gentle massage very relaxing. According to health experts, it can even be therapeutic. At birth, touch is the most developed of the five major senses, and there have been studies that suggest that infant massage offers vast benefits for helping babies grow and thrive.

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Massage helps relieve babies’ tummy troubles and teething pains, improve their muscle development, calm them when they are a little irate, and soothe them to dreamland. However, the good things it does expand way beyond this list. A gentle baby rub is also useful in creating stronger bonds between parents and their children. All the stroking and touching make it easier for the newborn to give his or her “trust” to the one doing the massage. Additionally, giving the baby a massage can help the parent find his or her own inner Zen.

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While massaging the baby right after birth is not encouraged, parents can start doing so once they get home from the maternity hospital. Both parents can do the massage as long as only the right amount of pressure is applied. Watching how-to videos in the Web or reading books about infant massage will help a lot. For a more professional assistance, visiting a massage center will not hurt.

Massage Envy Spa offers a wide variety of therapeutic massage options customized to meet every customer’s need. For inquiries, visit this website.

Vitamin C: Skincare’s fountain of youth

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One of the most potent skincare ingredients in the world is hiding in plain sight.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, such as citrus fruits like lemons and oranges and vegetables like cauliflower and kale. It’s also commonly available in supplement form, with many people taking it daily to ward off colds and other illnesses.

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What some people don’t know is that vitamin C is a very potent antioxidant. Antioxidants fight off free radicals that cause cellular damage like wrinkles, age spots, and skin dryness. Free radical sources an average person comes in contact with every day are mostly environmental, such as sun exposure and cigarette smoke.

Vitamin C is also used by the body to make collagen, a protein used to make skin, blood vessels, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Vitamin C applied topically in creams, serums, and moisturizers provides the following skincare benefits:

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Prevents and reduces the appearance of wrinkles

As previously mentioned, vitamin C boosts collagen production. As a person ages, he or she no longer produces as much collagen, and skin loses some of its elasticity, resulting in wrinkles. Applying skincare products with vitamin C stimulates collagen production, minimizing fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet.

Prevents and reduces the appearance of age spots, freckles, and acne marks

Age spots and freckles are pigmentations of the skin caused by UV damage. Vitamin C speeds up their repair and prevents further damage. In additional, topical vitamin C is acidic and has a gentle exfoliant effect, which helps remove surface blemishes.

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Provides sun protection

Vitamin C has been shown to boost the effectiveness of sunscreen, helping protect the skin from sun damage. Many skincare and beauty companies have recognized vitamin C’s potential in promoting healthy skin and have incorporated it into their products. When choosing a vitamin C-infused skincare product, pick one that comes in an opaque bottle with a hygienic pump, as exposure to sunlight and air can cause its vitamin C to destabilize and lose its effectivity.

Massage Envy Spa provides massage and Murad facial services in multiple locations across the country. For more articles about skincare and beauty, subscribe to this blog.

Healing touch: How cancer patients can benefit from massage therapy

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A recent survey shows that more people choose to get their muscles kneaded and rubbed for medicinal purposes than they do for leisure or relaxation. Though some complementary and alternative therapies have not been clinically proven to be safe or effective in the treatment of many diseases, including cancer, the bulk of scientific literature ascertains massage as a natural way to help patients deal with stress, anxiety, headaches, and specific types of pain associated with their condition. The current thought on massage therapy points to its effectiveness to provide benefits in terms of psychological well-being and symptom management among cancer patients that can result in an improved quality of life.

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As with any medical intervention, therapeutic massages come with precautions as cancer and its treatments can put people at risk for complications arising from the massage treatment. Aside from choosing professional massage therapists who meet all state and local licensing requirements and who are well-educated in the field of oncology massage, proper initial consultation and clinical assessments for someone experiencing cancer or with a history of cancer treatment is pivotal to providing a safe, individualized massage session that fulfills patients’ goals and expectations. Some of the types of massage offered to cancer patients include:

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• Aromatherapy massage
• Reflexology
• Shiatsu
• Neuromuscular massage
• Swedish massage
• Acupressure
• Trigger point therapy

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The clinical relevance of therapeutic massage hinges on its mechanisms for pain reduction that may include localized effects on muscle and on the specific parts of the brain that control the experience of pain and emotions. As part of cancer care, massage therapies may be used to address patients’ need for human touch—that kind of connection that turns into something as valuable as comfort and healing.

Massage Envy completes your wellness ritual with customized massage therapies that aid in dealing with day-to-day stresses and the effects of cancer treatment such as pain, nausea, and fatigue. Click here to learn more about the effects of massage to your physical and emotional being.

Massage time: How often people should get massages

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The all-important question is: when was the last time you got a massage?

If you can easily remember the last time (be it yesterday, last week, or a month ago), then you’re on the right track. Otherwise, you may be wondering how often you should go see your massage therapist. The frequency of massages depends on your personal needs. Below is a quick guide to figure out how often you should get a massage:

For general health and relaxation

It’s ideal to get a massage about once or twice a month to improve one’s general health. Massage is good for people with low to moderate stress levels due to work or people who don’t get to exercise regularly.

For stress management

For people facing a lot of stress and tension at work on at home, it is advisable to visit your massage therapist at least once a week or bi-weekly. This is because the effects of massages are cumulative; which means that the results of the second session are compounded with the results of the first.

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For physical therapy and pain management

For people with acute or chronic body pain, the required amount of massages is of diminishing frequency for a particular period. They can get massages once or twice a week for the first few weeks, and the frequency lessens in the succeeding weeks.

For athletes

It will depend on the sport one’s playing and whether or not one is training for a competition. Some athletes who are undergoing intense training may need to visit the massage therapist more often.

Ultimately, the frequency of getting a massage will depend on one’s personal choice, the condition of one’s body, and the budget. If one is unsure, it is best to consult a doctor or talk to a massage therapist about it.

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REPOST: How To Give A Totally Amazing Head Massage

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Getting a head massage is one of the best ways to release every day stress and anxiety. Read on to know some easy massage tips from the best in the beauty industry.

How To Give A Totally Amazing Head Massage

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A good scalp massage can truly change your day. Real talk: My freshman year of college, I was getting a routine trim at an on-campus salon where I let the hairdresser talk me into dyeing my hair a horrible orange-pink hybrid that he later charitably referred to as “strawberry blonde.” Why? Because I got the most epic head massage of my life at this salon, which I won’t do the disservice of naming (just kidding, it was called Pepe Leyva Salon, and it’s no longer in operation — SURPRISE).

Hair-dye horrors aside, a simple head-and-neck rub can go a long way to relieve tension, and it’s easier than you think to give one, whether the recipient is yourself or your significant other as a little date-night service. We scored some easy massage tips from the best in the beauty business.

First Things First
Kerry Wall, U.S. brand manager at The Organic Pharmacy, recommends starting with a hot bath. If you want to get especially “romantical,” scoop in a bit of the brand’s Cleopatra’s Milk Bath, which includes rose petals and exfoliating lactic acid. “The warmth of the water will help to relax your muscles and brings an ease to everything,” she says.

If a bath isn’t in the cards (tiny New York City apartments, anyone?), celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson recommends heating a towel in the microwave and wrapping your head in it for a few minutes. “This will open up the pores and provide some initial relaxation,” he says. He suggests adding a bit of scented oil, such as jasmine or eucalyptus, to the towel for an aromatherapy boost.

Oil Up
For a scalp massage, Wall says to take an oil, like The Organic Pharmacy’s Virgin Cold Pressed Rosehip Oil, and rub it between your hands before using your fingertips to make circular movements along the scalp and neck. You can even get mildly S&M about it: “Little hair tugs are good, as long as it’s a nice, steady pressure,” she says.

Face Time
Face massages may sound odd, but we’d posit they’ll be well-received. The key to these, Wall says, is large, circular movements. “Use heavier pressure when making upward motions, and use lighter [movements] when you’re making downward ones,” she says. Concentrate around the cheeks, below the brows, and on the temples. “It sounds odd, but ear massages are quite special,” she adds. She recommends massaging the lobes and behind the ears, as we carry a lot of tension there.

My Neck, My Back
Who could forget Ray Boyd in Jerry Maguire breathlessly reporting that the human head weighs eight pounds? Your neck is working hard, so the back of it, where the skull meets the neck muscles, carries a lot of tension. Says Matt Fugate, a hairstylist at Sally Hershberger: “Once the neck is relaxed, have the head fall into your hands.” Light, steady pressure is key, he notes. “Use your palms around the hairline when giving a scalp massage,” he says. “Fingers are weird to use around the face.” He recommends holding the head at the top to help your recipient feel secure, while massaging with the other hand.

Get Comfortable
But, what about the hair, as Uncle Jesse would surely have reminded us? “Instead of using a scented massage oil on the hair, which can mess up a ‘do, try simply an oil like Tata Harper’s Aromatic Stress Treatment on your own wrist, so that your beloved still experiences the benefits,” says Fugate. Alternatively, you can wear your Valentine’s favorite scent.

Be careful, though. “Know your strength,” advises hairstylist and makeup artist Abraham Sprinkle. “The amount of pressure plays a role in the end result. Heavy hands may feel satisfying to some and leave others with a throbbing headache.” The easiest way to find out is to ask your lucky recipient for a little feedback a couple minutes into your massage.

And, if your V-Day date is you this year, why not invest in one of these cute head massagersand DIY your massage while you Netflix-binge?

Massage Envy Spa provides therapeutic massage options for every life stage. Visit this Facebook page to know more about what the clinic has to offer.

Massage it: Treating chronic back pain

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Can a massage really be the cure to alleviating back pain? Many Americans are suffering from acute back problem or chronic back pain, and a lot of them have already exhausted all efforts to relieve the bothersome ache. Can chronic back pain really go away by just massaging the sore spot?

A survey conducted by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) in 2001 revealed that more and more adults are turning to therapeutic massage to treat their aching backs. New studies have also been done to measure the effectiveness of massages to people with back pain. According to this WebMD article, around 40 percent of the participants of a massage group in a study reported a significant improvement in their condition.

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AMTA also says that massage therapy provides several scientifically proven health benefits such as the following:

• It improves blood circulation, helping the body recover from muscle soreness more quickly.
• It relaxes muscles so you can sleep better.
• It increases endorphin levels, which puts you in a better disposition, improves your mood, and eases depression and anxiety.

The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami also conducted a study in 2001 about the correlation between massages and back pain. The study found that massage was able to reduce back pain and improve sleep along with treating depression and anxiety.

Overall, patients who are experiencing chronic back pain are encouraged to try massage therapy. However, it is recommended that you see a medical specialist first so that he can suggest the right type of therapeutic massage that will best help your condition.

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Alleviating ADHD symptoms in children through touch therapy

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, is a disorder that usually affects children and adolescents, but can continue into adulthood as well. Despite the relatively low incidence of the disease (roughly only three to five percent of children are affected), ADHD is a highly stressful event for both the sufferer and for the family. Children with ADHD usually have difficulty paying attention or concentrating. This often leads to feelings of frustration (since they become easily distracted), and can manifest in temper tantrums or disruptive behaviour.

Treatments for this disorder usually consist of both medication and psychotherapy. However, many mental health practitioners are suggesting alternative treatment methods. This is because of the growing number of cases of children being overmedicated or not responding well to current mainstream treatments. One such alternative is massage therapy.

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Studies suggest that touch therapy effectively alleviates symptoms of certain illnesses, though further research to back this claim is needed. Massages involve triggering certain pressure points in the body to soothe pain in the muscles. They have a relaxing effect and are also known for encouraging the production of particular “feel good” hormones. These effects combined with standard therapy plans could lead to a more positive and dramatic outcome.

Researches are being conducted on the specific effects of massage therapy on ADHD patients. Initial data are encouraging, showing that children who receive regular massages are better tempered and able to focus. However, authors of these studies stress that massage or touch therapy should not be considered the sole treatment for illnesses. A mental health professional must be consulted prior to the application of the therapy as supplement to ongoing treatment.

Massage Envy Spa is a leader in different types of massage therapies. Follow this Twitter account to learn more about the benefits of touch therapy.