Breathing…

Breathing… Even though it keeps you alive for 5 more minutes there is so much more to it! 

As a massage therapist, I was trained to scan a clients’ torso to see if they are breathing (or not) for a couple of reasons. 

One is, that if the pressure is too hard, they are flinching, which is counter-productive to easing muscle tension.  Two, the act of breathing (or not) is a reflection of whether the “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system is still on high alert with stressors, or whether they are starting to relax and gear down. 

If I notice that someone is not breathing, I ask about the pressure.  And if the answer is “fine”, I might move into a little guided imagery for body awareness.  One that I suggest is relaxing in a certain area, like the front of the throat, the “belly”, the lap, the armpits, the face, the feet. Sometimes we slowly walk awareness through the body together from feet to head, “turning out the lights”. 

Then I will move on to asking them to breathe in spots that seem constricted, even if they are not directly related to the diaphragm.  You can breathe in your face, lap or feet, didn’t you know?

I like to give the analogy of breathing from the lap to the chin.  Think about your torso as an air mattress.  Before you start to fill an air mattress, it is flat and folded.  As air is pumped in, it starts to expand, filling out the shape of the rectangle and push out the corners.  By the time it is filled up, the air pressure has made the mattress firm.

Our hips and shoulders are “the corners” of this internal air mattress of our lungs.  Without sufficient pressure the whole torso is weak, just like an air mattress that goes flat by the morning.  No wonder our shoulders and legs bother us!  We don’t have sufficient air pressure to keep us afloat! 

Breathe!  –  Because you get to!”  (You are still living, right?)

Fill up your air mattress!

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The Consequences of Stress

Experts estimate that 80 percent to 90 percent of disease is stress-related. Massage and bodywork is there to combat that frightening number by helping us remember what it means to relax. The physical changes massage brings to your body can have a positive effect in many areas of your life. Besides increasing relaxation and decreasing anxiety, massage lowers your blood pressure, increases circulation, improves recovery from injury, helps you to sleep better and can increase your concentration. It reduces fatigue and gives you more energy to handle stressful situations.

Massage is a perfect elixir for good health, but it can also provide an integration of body and mind. By producing a meditative state or heightened awareness of living in the present moment, massage can provide emotional and spiritual balance, bringing with it true relaxation and peace.

 

The Physical Benefits of Massage

~~Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.~~Stimulates the flow of lymph, the body’s natural defense system, against toxic invaders. For example, in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown to increase the cells that fight cancer.

~~Increased circulation of blood and lymph systems improves the condition of the body’s largest organ – the skin.

~~Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles

~~Reduces spasms and cramping

~~Increases joint flexibility

~~Reduces recovery time, helps prepare for strenuous workouts and eliminates subsequent pains of the athlete at any level.

~~Releases endorphins — the body’s natural painkiller — and is being used in chronic illness, injury and recovery from surgery to control and relieve pain

~~Reduces post-surgery adhesions and edema and can be used to reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred.

~~Improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain.

~~Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need for medication

~~Assists with shorter labor for expectant mothers, as well as less need for medication, less depression and anxiety, and shorter hospital stays.

Source: http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php?article_id=468

 

Massage helps with these conditions: 

~~Headaches/ Migraines

~~Back Pain

~~Neck & shoulder issues

~~Carpal Tunnel issues

~~Edema- fluid retention and swelling

~~Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

~~Sciatica

~~Plantar fasciitis

~~Scoliosis

~~Arthritis

~~Premenstrual Syndrome

~~Asthma

~~Insomnia, Anxiety, and Depression

~~High Blood Pressure

~~Pregnancy Discomforts and Recovery

~~Athletic Event Warm Up, Cool Down and Recovery

~~Muscle Injury Rehabilitation

~~Scarring

~~Detoxification…

~~And there are many more reasons to get a massage!

 

Call and schedule a massage today and see how good you can feel!