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Massage Therapy Heart Health Benefits

Massage Therapy Heart Health Benefits
Many people already view massage as an important approach to relieving muscle pain or as a means to relax. However, working with a qualified massage therapist can also play a significant role in improving cardiovascular health as evidenced by a growing body of research, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. Massage therapists share the goal of all healthcare team members – providing customizable, personalized care to help clients or patients reach and maintain their best health. Incorporating regular visits to a massage therapist into an individualized care plan can relieve stress (a major contributor to heart problems), lower blood pressure, and lead to a decrease in recovery time following a cardiovascular procedure. A multitude of recent research shows a direct correlation between massage therapy and improved cardiovascular health. In a 2013 study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers concluded massage therapy could serve as an effective intervention in controlling...
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Massage Keeps Dartmouth College Athletes In the Game

Massage Keeps Dartmouth College Athletes
Anna Terry’s journey of becoming a sports massage therapist was intertwined with her athletic career. She became involved in sports at a very young age, participating in field hockey, softball, canoeing and gymnastics, ultimately dedicating her energy to kayaking. After graduating from Southwest School of Massage in Durango, Colorado, in 2002, the New Hampshire native attended the 2002 Slalom World Championships as both an alternate on the Team USA Canoe/Kayak  and the team’s massage therapist. She made the team and competed the following year, after which she retired from kayaking and focused on her sports massage career full time. She knew, having been an athlete who received guidance from trainers, that she wanted to serve a clientele of athletes, make them feel better and get them back in the game. Now, Terry, 34, splits her time between her practice—bodyKinesis LLC—and her position as a sports massage therapist and yoga instructor at...
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Pregnancy Massage, Hawaiian Style

Pregnancy Massage, Hawaiian Style
If one of your specialty massage techniques is Hawaiian healing, you have the perfect client in a mom-to-be. While this type of massage addresses many of same issues as other modalities, Hawaiian massage (also known as Lomi Lomi) not only offers physical benefits, but mental and spiritual benefits, as well. Carrie Rowell, owner of Hamoea Healing Arts in Hawaii, internationally known Hawaiian pregnancy massage practitioner and instructor and doula, begins every session with prayer (Pule) and conversation with the client to get a sense of her mental state and any fears or anxieties she might like to release or intentions on which she’d like to focus her energy during the session. This information makes the therapist aware of areas on which to concentrate. For the most part, Hawaiian pregnancy massage uses the same strokes you would use for a non-pregnant client. Long, flowing strokes with the forearm weave around the body to...
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Swedish Massage Therapy Improves Endothelial Function

Swedish Massage Therapy Improves Endothelial Function
To complement the Research Reports in the October 2014 issue of MASSAGE Magazine. Summary: After exertion-induced muscle injury exercises, it showed sedentary adults who received 30 minutes of Swedish massage therapy improves endothelial function. Sedentary participants exhibit improved endothelial function after receiving interventions incorporating massage therapy for exertion-induced muscle injury exercises. The study, “Massage Therapy Restores Peripheral Vascular Function Following Exertion,” involved 36 sedentary adults, ages 18 to 40. The study’s authors explained, “exertion-induced muscle injury (EMI) is associated with muscle pain, soreness, swelling, decreased range of motion (ROM) and reduced muscle strength” and “can lead to systemic inflammation and altered endothelial function.” There is no predominant treatment for EMI, but massage therapy has been recommended for reducing symptoms and post-injury inflammation. Researchers aimed to determine if EMI reduces vascular endothelial function, and if massage therapy helps improve peripheral vascular function after EMI. Prior to the study, participants spent less than 150...
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Many Benefits of a Foot Massage During Pregnancy

Many Benefits of a Foot Massage During Pregnancy
You could say the foot is the foundation upon which we stand — literally. When your feet hurt, the rest of the body can be out of sorts. It’s important to take good care of the feet, particularly during pregnancy. The foot has 7,200 nerve endings. During pregnancy every one of those nerve endings are affected by elevated hormone levels and extra weight. As your client approaches her third trimester, swelling from fluid retention is common due to relaxin, a hormone that prepares the pelvic ligaments for childbirth. Foot massage not only helps to reduce edema, but can also increase flexibility and muscle tone and enhance your pregnant client’s sense of well being. Moreover, like many other types of massage, working on the feet can induce relaxation, stress relief and result in more restful sleep. Studies of the Many Benefits of a Foot Massage During Pregnancy International Journal of Nursing PracticeA 2010 study,...
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Subdue Sciatica Pain with Massage

Subdue Sciatica Pain with Massage
Some lucky women breeze through pregnancy with hardly any physical discomfort. But for others, unexpected aches and pains become a constant part of the nine-month journey. One of the most common complaints massage therapists hear relates to sciatica pain. Fortunately, you can subdue sciatica pain with massage therapy. The sciatic nerve runs from the neck through the midsection of the back of the body and into the leg. As a woman’s pregnancy advances, this nerve bears the brunt of the growing fetus and expanding uterus. Additionally, swelling from water retention can increase pressure on this nerve, contributing to inflammation. Pregnant women who drive long distances or have jobs that require sitting for long periods of time may have a higher risk of developing sciatica. And, of course, the position of the fetus significantly affects sciatic-related pain. Sciatic pain typically affects only one side of the lower body and may extend from...
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