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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The healing power of RICE

A friend of mine recently suffered a knee injury. Let's just say it turned a few too many degrees. She was surprised when nothing showed up on the X-ray. "Something popped. It was so loud." she exclaimed. I don't doubt her. A sound whether snap, crackle, or pop is not necessarily something breaking, these commonly heard sounds are an amplified version of "cracking your knuckles" and most often gas releases (spicy food consumption is not a contributing factor).

Rest - Ice - Compression - Elevation is the best course of action.
Elizabeth Quinn author of Your Guide to Sports Medicine on writes:"After a day or two of R.I.C.E., many sprains, strains or other injuries will begin to heal. But if your pain or swelling does not decrease after 48 hours, make an appointment to see your PCP or go to the ER, depending upon the severity of your symptoms.

Once the healing process has begun, very light
massage may improve the function of forming scar tissue, cut healing time and reduce the possibility of injury recurrence." The muscles can also be affected by strain/sprain injuries. Stretching and contracting during compensation periods can be taxing on the surrounding muscles and tendons. Massage can help the muscles return to working together as they should - moving freely leads to better rest, less pain, and best of all your happiness.

-There are over 600 muscles in your body. Make them happy.-

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fun in the Sun

The Special Olympics was in town over the weekend. Actually, they were all over Western MA, events included bocce, baseball, cycling, fishing, and on and on. I had the great opportunity to provide sports massage to competitors in Easthampton at Nonotuck Park.
I had such a great time that I nearly wore myself out. I had forgotten the RE rules of summer; re-apply, re-hydrate, re-fuel.
A good rule of thumb for sunblock is to reapply at least every two hours and ultimately, if you have to think about how long it's been since you applied - re-apply.
Rules for re-hydration, nearly constant, drink water and more water, juice and -ades can be okay, iced coffee and alcohol don't count as hydration even worse - they can have the opposite effect which can be very dangerous.
Re-fuel - be sure to eat something. Have snacks throughout the day, PB&J is a great take-along - any combo of carbs, protein, and maybe a little sugar - the more sugar the more often you will feel the need to eat - think of sugar as filling your gas tank to just above empty while proteins get you closer to full, and carbs are most useful in the morning and better in moderation throughout the day.
Luckily, I did not get sun damage, dehydration, or any of the other summer dreads. This could have been partly because my station was arms length from the First Aid station - Thanks Jeanne :). As summer winds down we all start to relax about the rules - keep them in mind and have a good time.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Massage - OutSide?!

I love doing events, my portable table or chair can go just about anywhere, and I can see a number of people over the course of a few hours. This past weekend I had two gigs that were great. I was able to be outdoors, doing what I love- massage and meeting all kinds of people. I even had some well-deserved barbecue and corn on the cob.

How can you perform massage outdoors? You ask. Simple. All I need is a shady spot, music (portable Ipod docks are great), my portable table or chair, cleaning supplies (for me and my equipment), and of course me. Noone needs to get undressed, not one bit. Typically sessions will last 10-15 min. that way many can enjoy. It's a great retreat for event-goers, whether they're riders, runners, walkers, or just having fun. I use the table mainly for post-event massage, cycling, running, etc. It's a regular massage table, the same I use in my office, but no sheets, the face cradle covers are soft and best of all disposable. The massage chair is well, not your typical chair. There is a seat but it is made to cradle you in a position that leaves your back shoulders and neck exposed - like a supported fetal position. It's great.

This coming weekend I'll be at Nonotuck Park with Special Olympics, which I'm really looking forward to. I'm always looking for events - rides, walks, and get-togethers - that could use something a bit extra to make them memorable.

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Talking Massage?

Clients and massage therapists are sometimes hesitant to ask questions no matter how much they are encouraged to do so. The goal of massage should always be to best benefit the client. Maybe you have had occasion where a session felt more like you were "being worked on" rather than "worked with". I've heard bad experiences and they seem to have the same theme - Communication is key and assumption ... you know the rest.

I'd like to dispel the myths like

"to be effective it should hurt",

"I have to get naked, right?", etc.

I'd like to hear any questions or comments regarding massage. No need to name names or even locations. All will be kept confidential to encourage open communication.

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