Showing posts from 2018

Foods That Help With Anxiety

Anxiety is the worst! Everyone suffers from occasional anxiety, but anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America according to the ADDA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America). The sad thing is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable, but less than 40% of sufferers seek help. Don't contribute to that statistical fact!

Therapy and medications can be incredibly helpful, but don't discount the alternative treatments that are available. Most people know that massage is know to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and generally give the mind and body an overall sense of wellness, but there are also some specific foods that are surprising helpful as well. Anxiety is caused in part by an imbalance of neurotransmitters. These are chemical messengers that play a role in mood regulation. Eating anxiety fighting foods can help lower the severity of anxious feelings by balancing the chemistry in your body.
Red Wine - No more than 2 glasses a day! Dark Chocola…

Play Tennis? Release Hips for Better Performance and Less Injuries

The dynamic and forceful twists and turns of tennis unfortunately can lead to many risks of injury. Knees, lower back and shoulders are most prone to muscle strains for tennis players. Keeping an eye on proper form can greatly reduce problems in these areas. Understanding the causes of this can help develop strategies to improve functional movements that help reduce painful injuries and keep you on the court!

Know the Source
If you're having pain in your shoulders, the problem might actually originate with your hips. The legs pivot in the hip sockets, allowing the spine and shoulders to rotate and the arms to swing during the back-swing and the follow-through.  For a more powerful hit, tennis players often jump during the swing, which intensifies the stress on the body.  Ample ability to rotate the hips is fundamental to proper form for many tennis moves. If the hips are overly tight and not freely moving in full range of motion, other areas of the body compensate in ways that wer…

Knock! Knock! Who's There? Knees!

The alignment of your knees greatly affects your gait and your gait greatly affects the way your body feels. If you have genu valgum, known as knocked knees, or the opposite problem, valgus angulation, your body is going to eventually let you know that it is not happy with the situation. When that happens, it's time to act quickly to find a remedy!

Just like the vehicles that we drive, when the alignment is off, the tires (or in our case feet) start to wear improperly. If your knees bend in, it puts more weight on the inner foot. For knees that point outward the opposite is true. The negative chain of events can unfortunately spread upward to hips, back and eventually the neck area when the foundation of our structure is compromised. To make matters worse, for every pound over your ideal weight that your knees are carrying around, the problem intensifies.

Our bodies are amazing at adapting to less than perfect dynamics, but after a bit of time of being forced to comprise it will e…

Got Shoulder Pain? Don't be surprised if your massage therapist starts working on your neck.

When pain is felt between the shoulder blades, it would be assumed that there is a problem somewhere in that area, but it could actually be coming from your neck area. Knowing where the pain originates from can help in formulating a treatment plan to alleviate discomfort. Better yet, knowing how the problem started, can help the pain from developing to begin with.

Nerves: The Struggle is Real
Pain is caused by the nerves becoming entrapped within tight muscles. The area around the neck and shoulders is especially prone to entrapment due to the crowded nerves that run from the neck area down into the scapular (shoulder) area. They twist and turn in tight spaces around and through muscles that run along your spine from the base of your skull down into your shoulder area.  When the muscles become tight and inflamed they further compress and crowd the nerves. That causes the nerves to become grumpy. The grumpiness runs all the way down to the muscles between your shoulder blades. As the pa…

Self Massage Tools - Do They Help or Hurt?

So many tools, so little time! 

We are in an era where tools for myofascial release abound. There are so many choices, that it can become confusing as to what tool to use for what issue and how often, how much and....  The confusion can go on and on. Let's try to unpack some of this to make it easier to understand.
First of all it is important to understand what the purpose of these tools are for. Muscles build up tension from such stressors as exercise, poor posture, work and lifestyle habits and even from emotional stress. Have you ever been in terrible traffic for a long amount of time and found yourself reaching for your neck to give it a rub because it feels tight? Tightness that stress has caused initiates the body to respond by sending more fascia to the muscles in the area that is feeling stressed. Fascia is a thin sheath of fibrous tissue that encloses muscles and organs in the body. When extra is needed, it is produced with a stickiness to it, so that it will adhere to t…

Facial Contouring, Lymphatic Drainage & Lomilomi Massage... Meet Jessica!

We are super excited to introduce Jessica to our team. She has been practicing massage therapy since 1996. Her career began after graduating from Pacific Beach School of Healing Arts in San Diego. Her travels took her to New York City where she was trained in Shiatsu, Lymphatic Drainage and advanced Swedish techniques. She was awarded an associates from the Swedish Institute in 2004. Career highlights have ranged from working at Colombia Presbyterian Hospital as a massage therapist where she helped the most in need to working at 5 star spas such as the Four Seasons and Silk Day Spa in Manhattan.

As with all our therapists at Massage Extraordinaire she specializes in Sports Massage and Deep Tissue techniques, but in addition brings some new therapies such as Lomilomi Massage, Lymphatic Drainage Massage and she is certified as a Facial Contouring Massage Therapist.
Lomilomi is a Hawaiian massage technique that is considered one of the oldest and most powerful forms of healing with a ric…

Arnica... Not just another pretty flower!

Arnica is an amazing little flower!
 This flower is a part of the Daisy family and can be used to reduce inflammation, decrease pain and help bruises heal quicker. A tube of Arnica cream can be purchased at many health and drug stores and is also found in several different muscle-rub products that athletes like to use when they are having pain. By itself, Arnica cream doesn't have a scent, but often it is added to products that do.  Menthol, peppermint and other helpful ingredients that are considered to have strong scent by some, are often added to pain relieving gels and creams because they are very helpful in reducing pain.
If you are sensitive to strong menthol type scents, be aware.

Here are a couple products that we like to use and few key ingredients that they contain:
Biofreeze Menthol - Cold therapy to numb painBoswellia - A plant product that also helps fight inflammationArnica - Helps with inflammation & pain Biofreeze use to be challenging to find, but now it is almo…

Fascia's Role in Stiffness, Tightness & Pain

What is Fascia?
Fascia is the connective tissue that literally holds the entire body together. Imagine a whole roasting chicken that you would find at your grocery store. If you were to pull up on the skin of the chicken, you would see a substance that is attached underneath the skin and also to the muscle beneath it. It is clear, thin and sticky. This is the fascia.
How the fascia becomes damaged  and what happens when the fascia is damaged

Plantar fasciitis: Plantar, being the bottom of the foot and fasciitis (any word with "itis" at the end of it, means that something is inflamed and irritated). Put those two together and you have a recipe for very uncomfortable pain that can often takes weeks or months to rehabilitate. If you have ever experienced plantar fasciitis, you have unfortunately become acquainted with damaged fascia. This is just one common example of how the fascia can play a role in contributing to our various aches and pains. 
What to do?
There are many differen…

Be aware of what your body is telling you and listen to it!

There is no such thing as too many massages to be had but, considering that most of us don't have an endless supply of time or money, figuring out a massage plan is important. First of all focus in on what your desired result is. Are you recovering from a surgery or an injury? Have you been having chronic pain from a possible pinched nerve or have you been just completely stressed out and need to relax? Maybe none of the above applies and you are simply wanting to know often you should get a massage to help prevent any of these problems from happening in the first place. Read on to explore various reasons for getting massages and how often it is reasonable that you should find yourself on a massage table to obtain your desired results.
Injury/Surgery: Injury rehab is one of our specialties!  What happens when you are injured or have surgery is that scar tissue will develop in that area. More scar tissue develops than is necessary for the injured area. This impedes movement and can…