Massage Therapy and Professional Athletes

The main focus of a professional athlete should be on the condition of his or her body.  Why?  Because to be at the pinnacle of the sport, the athlete is often required to push the boundaries of human performance.  Their body generates, and is subjected to, forces and stress that the average person will likely never experience.  For the elite athlete, decreased muscle function and power during rigorous, high intensity events compound the chance for injury.

A proper analogy would be to liken the athlete to a formula one race car.  To be competitive, the man, as well as the machine, is ideally operating at or near peak levels.  In order for the car to reach that potential, it requires a savvy mechanic that understands the workings of the particular vehicle and how to tweak it for performance gains.  It would only make sense that the athlete would need a similar ‘mechanic’, but one that works on the human body. This person is the massage therapist and if integrated into an athletic training program, can help the professional stave off injuries, recover quickly from painful trauma, and prolong his or her athletic career.

In the realm of competitive sport, the licensed massage therapist (LMT) is part of the medical staff.  The role of the LMT covers preventive care, maintenance, and mild trauma/injury.  The therapist will also be involved in any regimen of pain management and rehabilitation.  But, the truth of the matter is that massage is not as integrated a part of the medical team as it should be.  There are still pro teams that do not staff an LMT.

Correctly utilized, massage therapy assists the professional athlete in three distinct ways:

  1. Preventive Care – If not taken care of, little aches and pains can compound and contribute to serious injury.  Muscular micro-tears, tendinopathies, radiculopathies, joint pain, minor bone subluxations, and soft tissue swelling and inflammation, can be addressed with massage therapy to prevent further, more severe complications.
  2. Functional Maintenance – When operating at or near 100%, massage can be used to keep the body balanced and healthy.
  3. Injury Rehabilitation – The body’s natural method of protection after injury, is to tense up the surrounding local muscles.  It is an innate safety mechanism that creates a shield against further external trauma, as well as forms a stable, less mobile structure.  The downside is that the tight, tense muscles slow blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.  Therapeutic massage can be an impressive assistant to relax the injured soft tissue and allow the fluids to circulate smoothly and speed the healing process.  For these reasons, every rehabilitation program should have some form of Massage therapy included.

One elite athlete that regularly uses massage therapy is James Harrison, a professional football linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals.  It is estimated that he spends upwards of a half-million dollars a year on total bodywork.  Is it necessary?  For Harrison, his salary literally pays for him to stay healthy and injury free.  Most of his compensation and bonuses depend on whether he is on the field.  Needless to say, Harrison understands that massage therapy is an asset to his football career and is a key component in keeping his body strong and free from injury.

The articles linked below are about James Harrison and the costs associated with his bodywork over the course of the year.  But what is really brought to light is that the idea of pro sports athletes using therapeutic massage for a performance edge is still a relatively new and surprising thing.  Though if Mr. Harrison continues his long and fruitful football career, a lot more players will agree and seek out the benefits of massage therapy for themselves.  And when enough pros are asking for massage, maybe then, more sports organizations will see the value of adding a few licensed massage therapists to the medical staff.

NOTE:  At August Point Wellness, we treat athletes from the novice to the professional.  We can assist and work with your training schedule to ensure that you get the care you need.

Related Articles

James Harrison Spends up to $600,000 a Year on Massages

Cincinnati Bengals Linebacker James Harrison is a ‘Massage Whore’

NFL.com – Bengals Linebacker James Harrison’s Expensive Body Maintenance Plan (video)

Forbes Article on If James Harrison Can Deduct Massage Therapy on his Tax Return

Brachialis, The Baby Carrying Muscle

In His Arms

In His Arms (Photo credit: Kate Dreyer)

One of the ways that adults carry their little one is by placing the child on a flexed forearm and pulling him or her close to the body. The bulk of the supported weight is over the lower arm.  This position stresses the muscles that work to maintain this position.  Many times, the parent doesn’t have the strength or stamina to keep the arm flexed for long periods of time.  But they try their best to hold their child, especially if baby cannot walk yet.  Thus, the weak and/or tired muscles can be injured to the point where the act becomes difficult or painful.  Although the biceps (as well as the brachioradialis) participate, the dominant muscle used to carry your baby is the lesser known brachialis.

The brachialis is a thick muscle that lies underneath the biceps on the lower half of the humerus.  Like the biceps brachii and brachioradialis, the brachialis assists in flexing the elbow.  Unlike the biceps and brachioradialis, the brachialis has only one function.  This single function causes the brachialis to be engaged during every elbow flexing motion.

Typical problems with the brachialis can be seen with weakness and/or discomfort in picking up a heavy baby, carrying groceries, or holding arms outstretched.  Some brachialis problems make straightening the arm difficult.  Pain is typically felt in one or more of the following locations:  anterior portion of the shoulder, outer portion of the upper arm, inner portion of elbow crease, and in the thumb.

Brachialis problems can exist as trigger points, or tender areas in the muscle.  The good news is that moms, dads, and relatives can work out these trigger points on themselves and bring significant relief in a short amount of time.  The brachialis muscle can be easily massaged with the thumb of the opposite hand.  The first place to treat is the outer portion of the arm between the biceps and triceps.  Located on the lower half of the humerus bone, the brachialis feels lumpy to the touch.  Massage this area, especially working the area near the outer edge of the biceps.  The next place to treat is inside the elbow crease. Because the brachialis attaches to the ulna just below the elbow crease, it’s possible to address brachialis tenderness from this spot.  Use the thumb to massage around the medial epicondyle, paying particular attention to the muscular area just toward the inside.

English: Location of UCL injury

English: Medial Epicondyle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other ways of treating the brachialis are by using a massage tool.  August Point Wellness offer a multipurpose trigger point massage tool called the Sciaticare Ball that can treat brachialis pain as well as many other muscular complaints.  Other useful hand tools assist in applying firm pressure to massage away trigger points.  A massage therapist or acupuncturist can professionally assess your pain and treat not only the brachialis, but the surrounding areas as well.  Most times, a few visit will be required to fully relieve the pain and discomfort.  Exercise and stretching should also recommended to help keep the brachialis muscle strong and allow you enjoy carrying your baby for longer periods, pain free.

Related Material:

Brachialis Muscle Trigger Point Therapy Using the Sciaticare Ball

Mountain Biking (Cycling) and Numbness in Hands

English: From Image:Gray411subclavius.png, for...

Subclavius

Gray's anatomy
Pectoralis Major

Riding a bike is great exercise.  There’s no doubt about that.  But, there are some parts of riding that aren’t so great.  Some of the common complaints from cyclists are low back pain, neck pain, and knee pain.  These complaints typically come from poor riding position, muscular imbalance, and/or extended amounts of time spent on the bike.  Other, less common bike injuries that I see in my clinic have to do with anterior shoulder pain and numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers.  As you will soon find out, these two issues tend to go hand-in-hand.

The bike position of the rider is dependent on a couple of variables: body shape, bike geometry, and bike setup.  For the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume that the rider is on a standard mountain bike.  Mountain bikes, in general, place the rider in a forward leaning position.  The rider’s body is sitting on a saddle and the torso of the man or woman is bent over the top tube, where the hands of the rider stabilize the torso by gripping the handlebar.  In this position, the upper body is performing a number of positional adjustments to provide comfort:  (lumbar and thoracic) spine is flexed, (cervical) spine is extended, shoulders are horizontally adducted, and arms are outstretched.  To keep the torso stabilized, your muscles grip the handlebar and apply force directed along your arms towards your shoulder joint.

The muscles that contribute to stabilizing your upper body on the bike are manyfold.  They all work synergistically to keep you fairly upright on the bicycle.  Since this article is about shoulder pain and numbness and tingling in the hands, we will narrow down the discussion to two common culprits of these problems.  Both of these muscles, pectoralis major and subclavius, are heavily involved in cycling and can be stressed to injury.

When riding a bike, the pectoralis muscles are in a shortened, flexed state.  They are large muscles that expend tremendous energy during cycling.  For most fit riders, the pectoralis muscles are strong enough to handle the load placed on them.  But, the problem arises when the pecs don’t get stretched between rides and remain in a shortened state, even when off the bike.  (Stand in the mirror and look for the shoulders to be rolled or hunched forward.  This could be a sign of tight pectoralis muscles.)

The same situation goes for the subclavius.  On the bike, the subclavius muscle is also in a shortened state.  Albeit a small muscle, the subclavius is within close proximity to some major nerves and vessels that traverse underneath the clavicle and down the arm.  When this muscle shortens, the clavicle gets pulled downward onto the subclavian artery and vein.

Tight, shortened pectoralis major and subclavius can contribute to thoracic outlet syndrome and impede lymphatic drainage of the breast.  Breast tenderness and edema are symptoms of muscle tension as well as numbness, tingling, and/or weakness in biceps, radial portion of the forearm and fingers.  Treat the pecs and subclavius by stretching.  Opposing muscles, or antagonists, such as the rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius should be strengthened through exercise.  This balancing of strength on the shoulder joint provides stability through the entire range of motion.

I highly recommend acupuncture and massage therapy as the first line of treatment for numbness and tingling in the arm and fingers from cycling.  These are natural, drug-free therapies that can assist you in your recovery process.  See your alternative health provider and learn more about what they can do for you.  Implementing a stretching routine to lengthen the pecs and subclavius muscles and offset extended periods of time on the bike.

An example treatment at my clinic would be:

 

Pain Trying to Undo Your Bra Strap? It Could Be This Pair of Muscles…

Infraspinatus - Muscles of the Upper Extremity...Infraspinatus Muscle

“It hurts when I try to undo my bra.” Or “Taking off my shirt is painful.” Or “Combing my hair hurts my shoulder.” Or “I have problems reaching behind my back.” These are common complaints for trigger points in the rotator cuff muscles, infraspinatus and subscapularis.

There are 4 rotator cuff (RC) muscles that assist in movement at the shoulder (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis). These muscles hold the head of the humerus in the glenoid cavity, as well as provide mobility. An imbalance in rotator cuff muscles can be painful, as well as severely limit the joint range of motion (ROM). That imbalance can also lead to trigger points that are painful when touched.

Two muscles that tend to get stress and overwork injuries are the infraspinatus and subscapularis. These are two of the four rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder. When there is difficulty raising the arm above the head or behind the back, doctors
typically diagnose frozen shoulder. Frequently enough, I hear other diagnoses such as bursitis, adhesive capsulitis, neuritis, etc. attached to the one for frozen shoulder. Muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory meds are sometimes prescribed without regard
for more effective, natural methods of relief.

The function of the infraspinatus is to externally rotate the humerus. (It’s the kind of motion that allows you to bring your arm back to throw a ball.) The function of the subscapularis is to internally rotate the humerus. (This is the forward and downward motion of throwing a ball.)  As you may know, these muscles are antagonists to one another. Each opposes the function of the other. This concept is important, because the health of one muscle will usually affect the health of the other. (It’s a yin-yang theory of balance.)  Therefore, treatment of both the infraspinatus and subscapularis are imperative in a complete healing plan.

The infraspinatus is located on the shoulder blade itself. The muscle above the spine of the scapula is called the supraspinatus (‘above the spine’), while the muscle below the scapula is called the infraspinatus (‘below the spine’). If one is flexible enough, he or she may be able to reach over their shoulder with the opposite hand and palpate the infraspinatus muscle.  One of the key causes for tight infraspinatus muscle is holding the arms out in front for extended periods of time.

Acupuncture and massage are two extremely effective methods for treating the infraspinatus trigger points. Stretching after each therapeutic treatment is important to help relax musculature and improve circulation.  To treat the infraspinatus at home, while you are between your physical therapy, acupuncture, or massage treatments, invest in a tool to help you work out trigger points in the infraspinatus.  August Point Wellness carries the Sciaticare Ball, an effective trigger point relieving tool for many different musculoskeletal trigger points.  Instructions on how to use the Sciaticare Ball for infraspinatus can also be found on our website here.

The subscapularis is a slightly more difficult muscle to address.  Located under the scapula, this muscle is the largest and strongest of the rotator cuff muscles.  Along with acupuncture and massage therapy treatments, the sufferer should also learn to stretch the subscapularis muscle.  (Sometimes stretching alone is NOT enough to release the muscle spasm.)  The most effective method that I have found to stretch the subscapularis is the broomstick stretch.  If you do not have a broomstick handy, you can try the subscapularis doorway stretch.  (For now, Google these stretches for images and videos on particular stretches.  I hope to add images to this post soon!)

With the way most people use their shoulder, a strength imbalance causes the subscapularis to be strong, while the other three RC muscles are weak.  Therefore, after the trigger points have been worked out of the RC group, one should begin strength training on these muscles.  Exercises that isolate the individual RC muscles are a great start.  Pair it up with exercises that stabilize the scapula and regain strength and flexibility in your shoulder!

A sample treatment that I may use in my clinic would be:

  • Acupuncture – SI9-SI12, GB21, Rhomboid Motor Points (MP), UB10, Subscapularis MP, LI16
  • Massage Therapy – Entire Rotator Cuff Set, Pectoralis Minor, Serratus Anterior, Upper Trapezius
  • External Liniment/Rub –  Sciaticare Penetrating Muscle Rub applied over  muscles for faster healing and improved blood flow.  Patient would apply Sciaticare PMR daily and massage into area to promote circulation and healing.  Application of Sciaticare PMR before any rehabilitation exercises would be recommended as well.

This type of frozen shoulder pain usually requires 4-6 treatments to really improve ROM and show results.  Obviously, your results may differ.  You may need to modify your posture, work ergonomics, and lifestyle as well.

Barefoot Running? Refresh Your Feet With the Sciaticare Ball!

English: Vibram FiveFingers Bikila shoes, top ...

Image via Wikipedia

There’s somewhat of a craze going on right now about barefoot running and how great it is for the feet.  Barefoot running is somewhat of a misnomer (thanks in part to the loose interpretation of the term by marketing and advertising execs) in that some of the so-called “barefoot runners” are not really barefoot.  The better terms used for barefoot running is minimalist running, or natural running.  The runner wears minimal cushion beneath the soles of their feet, but only to protect from road debris and small particles that can damage skin.  Some benefits of barefoot running show persons experiencing lower magnitude impact thus erasing back pain and knee pain after just a few months of exercise.

There is no doubt that running barefoot can build foot and lower leg strength.  But, it can also be hard on the feet for the first few weeks of adaptation.  To ease the transition from standard shoes to the minimalist style of footwear, we have some tools that are sure to help you maintain your foot health with any type of footwear.

The foot is a complex structure built to withstand enormous forces from impact on a multitude of surfaces.  The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that hold and support the dynamic shape of the foot allow for weight distribution, balance, and propulsion.  Since the plantar side of the foot is the part that strikes the ground in most activities, it  is important to keep this impact zone healthy and supple.  One excellent way to do this is to schedule regular foot treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, and/or foot reflexology.  (As you may already know, there are plenty of nerve endings in the foot that can be stimulated and balanced through these types of therapies.)

Benefits of having regular treatments to you feet are:

  • early detection of structural problems
  • stimulate nerve endings and “wake” them up
  • improve balance and proprioception
  • prevent/treat tendinitis
  • prevent/treat ligament strain
  • improve circulation
  • reduce edema and swelling

To help you make the transition from standard running shoes to minimalist shoes (or barefoot), August Point Wellness offers the Sciaticare Ball.  The Sciaticare Ball is our multipurpose therapy tool created by a massage therapist and acupuncturist.  It can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with your current health care.  Use the Sciaticare Ball to massage the plantar side of the foot.  Roll your feet over the Sciaticare Ball to firmly massage the deep musculature under the entire foot.  Use it every day after you run.  Spend just 5 minutes rolling the Ball under the three arches of the foot and enhance your foot health and recovery.  Feel your feet rejuvenate themselves.  

August Point Wellness also offers another great product, the Sciaticare Penetrating Muscle Rub.  The Sciaticare Penetrating Muscle Rub is a unique formula based on traditional herbal Chinese Medicine.  Great for muscle strains, tendon sprains, bone bruises, and fractures, this warming rub can work wonders for your feet as well as your entire body.  For those aching, sore feet and calves, rub the Sciaticare PMR into the skin and allow the natural herbs and oils to deeply penetrate into the skin without any harsh chemicals or artificial ingredients.  Another benefit of the Sciaticare Penetrating Muscle Rub is the herbal formula’s antifungal and antibacterial properties.

For more information about the Sciaticare brand, please visit the August Point Wellness website.

Treat Your Piriformis and Sciatic Pain Naturally

So, you go for a walk and your sciatic pain flares up.  You sit for a long period and your sciatic pain flares up.  You lay in bed a few minutes and your sciatic pain flares up.  What gives?  Chances are that your sciatic pain is caused by a deep hip rotator muscle called the piriformis.

The piriformis muscle is a pear-shaped muscle used in the external rotation of the hips.  It is one of six deep muscles that aid in turning the hips outward, or laterally.  Lying underneath the gluteus maximus muscle, it cannot be palpated without deep pressure from the hands.  The location of the piriformis in the hip and its proximity to the sciatic nerve is what makes this muscle a source of what we call muscle-induced sciatic pain.

The external rotator muscles are constantly working for us.  These muscles are used in activities such as walking, running, cycling, etc.  We are using the external rotators all the time.  Overuse, trauma, and lack of flexibility cause the piriformis to get tight.  Positioned close to the sciatic nerve, a tight piriformis muscle can rub the sciatic nerve, causing irritation and compression similar to the feeling of a lumbar disc problem.  It is this interaction of the piriformis muscle with the sciatic nerve that can cause sciatica.  Tingling and numbness, sharp shooting pain down the back of the leg, weakness in the lower limbs are all products of this type of sciatica, also known as piriformis syndrome.

You can check the tightness in your piriformis and external rotator group muscles by finding a flat surface and lying down on your back.  Look at your feet and see how far outwards your toes point.  With the neutral position being toes pointing straight upwards, the average position of the feet should be approximately 30-40 degrees externally rotated.  A larger angle could signify a tight piriformis muscle.  Therefore, a treatment plan should be made to relieve the sciatica possibly caused by the piriformis.  Natural treatment options for piriformis syndrome include massage therapy, acupuncture, stretching, and strength training.

The way I treat piriformis syndrome in my clinic is with a combination of acupuncture, massage therapy, stretching.  I also like to send the patient home with the Sciaticare Ball along with a list of instructions on how to use the Ball for piriformis syndrome.  Finally, a few stretches are given to the patient to help them get back on their feet quickly.

A typical piriformis treatment at the August Point Wellness Center would be:

  • AcupuncturePiriformis Motor Point (MP), Gluteus Medius MP, Gluteus Minimus MP, Tensor Fasciae Latae MP, Hua To Jia Ji L2-L5, GB30, GB21
  • Massage – Quadratus Lumborum, Gluteus Muscle Group, External Rotator Muscle Group
  • Stretching – Hip External Rotation, Hip Extension, Hip Flexion
  • Sciaticare Ball – Recommend 1-2 times daily Sciaticare Ball treatment using:  Piriformis, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, & Tensor Fasciae Latae Techniques

Choosing a Massage Therapist Wisely

Massage therapy is in what I would consider, a revival stage. Although its therapeutic value is undeniable, the general public is again realizing the value of massage as a potent, natural medicine. Massage had previously been associated with luxury and used by those with disposable income. Now, massage is being sought out by all for injury prevention, rehabilitation, pain management, stress relief, and more.

Though massage can be beneficial, the massage therapist must be skilled in order to provide an effective treatment.  Otherwise, the client may end up with nothing more than a rub down with oil and a one hour nap.  Therefore, choosing a massage therapist should be done carefully. A few things to be mindful of when choosing a massage practitioner or therapist:

1.  The client should be comfortable with the therapist. Many clients feel that a massage is just a massage, no matter who is on the giving end. This is not true.  A more effective treatment is possible, when both parties are comfortable. If the client feels uncomfortable during the massage session, the treatment is producing the opposite result. It is imperative that the client be able to relax while being massaged.

2.  The needs of the client and the therapy of the massage practitioner should match. The massage patient looking for pain management should be looking for a therapist that works with pain. An individual looking for massage for injury rehabilitation should identify a massage therapist that works with trauma and injuries. There are different specialties of massage therapy and matching the treatment desired to the massage therapist is important to achieving a successful massage session. Many massage therapists will list the styles of bodywork they specialize in along with their credentials. Checking the skills of the therapist before a visit will reduce the chance of undesired treatments.

3.  The knowledge and skills of the practitioner is very important. A massage therapist should be able to name most, if not all, of the aching muscles in the client’s body. Ideally, the therapist should know the origin and attachments of the major muscles to bones. Treating the human body correctly through massage requires an understanding of the structure and function of the anatomical parts. Along with the theoretical knowledge of the human body, a therapist should also have the massage techniques to apply a course of treatment. This is more important when dealing with injury, rehabilitation, or sports massage. Theory without proper application is as fruitless as application without understanding.

4.  Working with the same massage therapist can eventually lead to a more customized, effective treatment. When a massage therapist is working on a client, he/she is learning about that person’s body. After a couple of sessions with the same client, the massage practitioner begins to understand where the aches and pains are typically located on the client. This understanding through repetition allows the therapist to gain knowledge about the client’s body and what techniques are most effective for the particular person.

5.  The least expensive massage usually has the lowest quality. There’s an old saying that you get what you pay for. The same holds true for massage therapy. There are many massage offices providing cheap massages using less-skilled therapists. These offices provide a way to give treatment to those who cannot afford to pay higher prices. There are also massage offices providing expensive massages with all of the bells and whistles that come with pampered care. This spa-type establishment caters toward a more affluent clientele. This does not mean that the more expensive treatment is always better.  Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. The truth is that there is a market for both types of massage services. Though, one must pay closer attention to the massage therapists rather than the massage establishment. A suggestion would be to shop around and experience the different types of massage offices and spas available in the local area. That way, the client is more apt to separating the good from the bad, and more suited to finding the perfect massage therapist for them.

Why Massage Therapy Should Come First For Pain

Massage Therapy has been around for thousands of years. Every culture in the world has some form of massage, or bodywork, as a healing therapy. Today, massage therapy has become somewhat of a lost therapeutic art as new technology advances medicine with laboratory-created chemical compounds and the latest electronic diagnostic and treatment devices. Though wonderful, these modernizations have also removed the innate healing effects of human-to-human contact. The simple act of touch is so powerfully soothing, that it can reduce heart rate, release endorphins, and regulate breathing. There is no replacement for the healing power of touch.

One should think of massage therapy as natural medicine. It falls into the category of alternative medicine, but loses the spotlight to other more intriguing therapies, such as acupuncture and yoga. Although it’s not as glamorous, massage should be considered as the very first therapy when it comes to treating pain in the body. Here’s why.

The human body contains over 650 muscles. In the average person, muscle makes up about 40% of body weight. At any one point in time, specific muscles in the body are working to keep the body functioning properly. Therefore, muscles are continuously active in sustaining life. For this reason alone, one should make sure that their muscles are in the best shape possible. Massage addresses the muscular tissue and can help muscles regain suppleness and contract efficiently.

Skeletal muscles help lymphatic fluid flow from the tissues back to the heart. When muscles contract and relax, lymph is pushed throughout the lymphatic vessels. The muscular pumping action encourages systemic movement of lymph. The fluid circulation allows for proper immune system function, cellular waste removal, dead blood cell removal, and excess fluid removal for every area in the body. Consider that the effect of tight, constricted muscles will not only impede lymphatic drainage, but residual effects would be edema, poor trauma healing, and poor immune system function.

Muscles are innervated by nerves and supported by blood vessels.   Clearly, an unimpeded nerve conduction pathway will allow muscles to contract completely.  But, a blocked or pinched nerve may cause a muscle to feel weak, fatigued, or possibly painful.  Blood supplies fresh oxygen to muscles and removes lactic acid along with other byproducts of muscular contraction.  Without good blood flow, there will be lack of strength or cramping. Sometimes tight, knotted muscles can block or impede the flow of nerve signals and blood.  This blockage starves muscles and causes pain. Also, some muscles can pinch off the blood or nerve supply to other muscles, thereby creating a rippling effect downstream from a problem area.

A trip to the chiropractor often realigns the skeletal structure when a subluxation or dislocation occurs in a joint.  The bones may be getting adjusted, but the real offenders could be the attached muscles.  Strain and imbalance in muscle structures can disturb correct joint articulation.  When muscular forces have gone too far, the joints and bones will shift out of place.  The muscles that tighten and injure the joint may also be painful to touch.  They may reflexively trigger other nearby muscles to tighten up and protect the newly traumatized area.  Frequent subluxations in a particular joint could mean there is a bigger issue of muscular tightness and imbalance underlying.

Massage should be used for regular body maintenance. At the very least, a relatively non-active person should receive a massage once a month. This regular bodywork is a good way to keep up muscle function and stave off injury.  For more active people, muscles should be massaged more frequently. It is easily forgotten that the body is a machine that needs care for optimal performance. Consider that people will put more money into car maintenance than into body maintenance. It should be planned part of the personal financial budget, not a luxury when discretionary income is available. To run some numbers, take the average cost of a massage at $75. One massage a month amounts to a yearly expense of $900. That’s about $2.50 a day, less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee. There are many benefits, some of which include minimizing pain relieving medications, lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic aches and pain, and improving overall health. The benefits of massage greatly outweigh its costs, as good health and longevity is invaluable.

NOTE: There are many different forms of massage.  Ask your practitioner about their particular style of bodywork and how it can benefit you.