massage

Dysfunctions responding to clinical massage

Occasionally referred to as an orthopedic massage, Clinical massage is an entire array of manipulation techniques designed to assess and then to minister to soft tissue injuries and these may include but are not limited to: massage therapy, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, muscle-energy techniques, craniosacral therapy, deep tissue massage and so on. The Clinical massage therapy is usually based on a physician’s prescription and directives as a series of treatment sessions to be performed over a set period of time and at specified frequency as related only to a specific need. In that regard, this therapy is most often performed with a particular and purposeful outcome in mind, and its first and foremost objectives are to relieve pain, to increase the range of motion and to help repair and restore soft tissues such as muscles, tendons and ligaments to their normal and healthy functions.

The first of the doctor-prescribed set of sessions is predominantly devoted to assessment or diagnostics of the client’s true condition and with all the data collected an action plan can be formulated:

* By using various levels of palpation or touching of the ailing body part, the massage therapist will pinpoint the exact location as well as determine the levels of pain.

* The range of motion and the strength of the muscles is tested through a sequence of movements such as a passive movement which involves the massage therapist moving the relevant muscle groups while the client is inert; an active movement which involves the client’s own movement of the muscles in questions; and the resisted movement which involves the clients’ movement against a resisting force.

* If clinical data related to previous soft tissue injuries and massage therapy is available, it will be reviewed for comparison to the current situation and the phase of healing will be determined.

* The findings are closely reviewed along with the doctor’s orders and a customized Clinical massage therapy is drawn up.

Most every condition of the soft tissues can benefit from Clinical massage to some extent, but the following list displays dysfunctions which respond most advantageously to its application:

Myofascial Pain. Pain and physiological dysfunctions are known to begin at specific points within muscles and their connective tissues which are also known as fascia. These are appropriately referred to as trigger points because they tend to set off or trigger reactions at remote locations.

Scientists and researchers have successful recorded comprehensive map systems of myofascial trigger points and they have been able to identify dozens of dysfunctions relating to them. The most common of these are: carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ dysfunction, PMS, headache, diarrhea, dizziness, cardiac arrhythmia, indigestion, tennis elbow, urinary frequency, sinusitis, deafness and blurred vision.

Fascial Plane Dysfunction. Fascia covers nearly the entire body in large endlessly connected sheets which can be distorted and bound to themselves and nearby tissues when inflicted with injury, misalignment or a chemical imbalance. To promote optimal health, the fascial sheets and the blood vessels and nerves which follow them must be in good conditions.

Neuromuscular Dysfunction. Even the simplest and the tiniest of movements of the body requires armies of nerve impulses to be sent to the muscle which is directly involved, as well as to the adjoining and opposing muscles. And it must all be accomplished with precision of timing and proportions. When the mechanics of any part of these functions break down, muscle fibers or entire muscles lock.

Tonus System Dysfunction. Overused muscles become hypertonic or lose their ability to relax. Consequently, they tighten and cause stress on opposing muscles and on the joints they cross.

Dermatomic Dysfunction. When nerves are pinched anywhere along their path, pain will be delivered to the area they serve.

Spondylogenic Dysfunction. When joints of the spine are impaired or compressed, pain will occur in that specific area.

Stated more simply, people suffering from muscle or joint pains or tightness, muscle fatigue or tension, shooting or spreading pains, allergies or asthma, anxiety or depression, irregularity of the digestive system, arthritis or circulatory problems, sleep disorders, headaches, immune function disorders or stress, they can be helped as their symptoms can be relieved through Clinical massage.

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Facial Massage

The oldest known Facial massage in human history dates back to the third century B.C. where it was written about in an ancient Chinese medical text. Scientists have discovered many subsequent ancient medical records in archeological digs conducted in Greece, Persia, Japan and India. All these early-day writings have one thing in common; their Facial massages were described in vivid details but always as part and parcel of total body massage therapies in which specific pressure points on areas of the face and neck were depressed sufficiently to loosen obstructions in the flow of the vital energy which is also known as gi. The standalone Facial massage of the recent Western world was popularized in the twentieth century Europe before it was inducted into the North American world of cosmetic and beauty treatments. As a result, Facial massage came to be regarded as the job for estheticians, cosmetologists and makeup artists rather than massage therapists.

In the cosmetic and beauty arena, the Facial massage is administered with the intent to slow down the natural aging process and to attain younger, healthier and more vibrant looking and feeling facial skin. However, Facial massage also has therapeutic benefits as it can relieve and mitigate stress, migraine headaches, premenstrual syndromes (PMS) as well as sinus congestion.

In spite of their growing demand as entire massage sessions of their own, Facial massages are not precluded from total body massage treatments. Needless to say, Facial massage treatments which are performed the entire session are much more comprehensive and include many elements which are not included in Facial massages that are part of full body treatments. In both instances, though, gentle yet stimulating upward strokes are used in circular or semi-circular gliding movements. A typical and basic Facial massage will include the following procedure and usually in that same specific order:

* With the client comfortably reclining on his or her back on a treatment table and the professional seated closely to the client’s head, the face is thoroughly cleanses and wiped dry.
* A lubricant such as a cream, a lotion or oil is applied to the entire face and neck area. The Facial massage will begin with repetitive rounded movements and will include every part of the face as well as the neck, ears and scalp. Crucial pressure points will also be stimulated in the process.
* The face, neck and ears are cleansed of the lubricant used for the massage and a facial moisturizer is applies.

Facial massages may also include the removal of facial hair as well as the removal of blackheads and whiteheads which will necessitate a moist steam treatment. These three elements will be included right after the massage session and before the application of the moisturizer. In addition, the entire process may be culminated with the application of full or partial makeup and sometimes even a hairdo.

The benefits of the Western style Facial massage are:

* Improvement of the facial skin and its muscle tone.
* Relaxation of the facial and eye muscles.
* Alleviation from tension headaches and general facial pain.
* Relief from stress and anxiety.
* The overall release of stress from the body and mind.

Facial massages are part of full body treatments in Eastern therapies where pressure is applied to points on the face which correspond to various internal organs such as the stomach, the liver and the gall bladder. With such different techniques, it is not surprising therefore, that the benefits of the Eastern Facial massages are very different from those of the West:

* The stimulation of meridian points on the face.
* Relief from eyestrain and neck tension.
* Correction of liver and fall bladder imbalances.
* Recovery from nervous disorders of the stomach.
* Release from premenstrual water retention.

Facial massages, Eastern or Western, are not recommended under the following circumstances:

* While clients are wearing contact lenses.
* Open sores, boils, cuts or recent scar tissues in the face or neck areas.
* Inflamed, infected or bruised skin of the face and neck.
* Acne, psoriases or eczema, all of which can be worsened by the treatment.

Facial massages are most often performed with bare hands that are lightly lubricated by oils or lotions to help them glide more smoothly over delicate facial skin. However, there are some mechanical devices that may also be used instead of the hands or in addition to them. Best of all, in my opinion, Facial massages can very easily and effectively be self administered just about any time and anywhere, and there are countless resources on the Internet that will instruct interested persons how to master the art.

 

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