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Stress, Anxiety, and Massage

February 2, 2019

 

Why get a massage? According to a survey conducted by the American Massage Therapy Association, 28% of Americans who get a massage do so for relaxation and stress reduction. That’s a lot of people in the US who feel strongly enough about their own experiences with massage for stress reduction to put their money on it. But aside from individual feelings, what exactly do we know about massage and how it relates to stress and anxiety? And what does the research have to say about that?

What is stress? What is anxiety?

Stress is your body’s response to demanding circumstances. Working late hours? You’ll experience stress. Prepping for a big competition? Definitely stressful. Toddler throwing a tantrum? That’s no doubt stressful for both of you. When you’re stressed, your blood pressure goes up, your breathing and heart rate quicken, and you feel jittery and distracted. All this is useful if your stress is a result the big race you’re running, when you can put that energy to good use. It’s less helpful if your stressor is a friend in need of patience and comfort.

 

People who regularly put themselves into stressful circumstances on purpose (public speakers, for example)...

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Tags: anxiety, management, massage, stress, vitalkneads


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Reasons to Hate Your Massage

October 8, 2018

I’ve gotten a lot of massage in the last 17 years. From students, new practitioners, well-seasoned therapists and instructors. I’ve gotten massage in spas, clinics, school, trade show floors and home offices. I’ve been worked on by practitioners who knew I was also an MT and by those who had no idea.

Of them, there are just a handful that I remember as truly spectacular. Yeah, I’m a persnickety client. When I’m slapping down my money, I am super picky and highly critical. Check out this list of massage complaints I’ve wracked up in my years as a massage consumer.  (The complaints are mostly in my head, I haven’t always expressed them to the therapist or establishment. More on that later.)

  • The therapist didn’t me instruction on what to wear/not wear or how to place myself on the table.
  • There was no knee or ankle bolster.
  • The room was too warm.
  • The room was too cold.
  • The music was too loud.
  • The music was too soft.
  • There was no music.
  • The music made me want to dance.
  • The massage table was hard.
  • The face cradle didn’t adjust.
  • There were no tissues in the massage room.
  • It was noisy, I...
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Tags: arizona, az, corey, hate massage, love massage, massage, massage in surprise, surprise, vital kneads, vitalkneads


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Caring for the Skin You’re In: Staying Sun Safe

July 11, 2018

Massage therapists see a lot of skin. All colors, all textures. Freckles, scars, stretch marks, moles. Skin with lots of hair and skin with none. Skin doesn’t surprise us.

 

Except when it does. That brown spot on your shoulder blade? It wasn’t quite that big when you came in a month ago. And it looks less like an oval and a little more like a blob. Maybe you should have that checked out?

 

Skin we love. Skin cancer? Not so much. Which is why you’re here on your massage therapist’s website, reading about sun exposure. Because even though I’m not a dermatologist and you’re not going to burn while getting a massage, your skin is a friend I see regularly. And I want to be able to keep working with it for many healthy years to come.

What happens when you get a sunburn?

You’re exposed to the sun and then your skin turns red and itchy, right? Well, yes. But there’s more to it as well.

 

When you step out into the sunlight, you’re immediately bombarded by UV radiation. This radiation causes mismatches in the curlicue of your DNA in the nucleus of your skin cells,...

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Tags: burn, massage, skin, sun, sunburn, uv, vital kneads, vitalkneads


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3 Things Massage Can Help You With Right Now

April 16, 2017

We know massage will make us move better and feel happier, but not everyone can make time for regular appointments. Luckily massage is great preventive care and it can have some instantly-gratifying results. Check out these 3 things massage can help you with right now.

Headaches  

Tension headaches (often called stress headaches) are the most common type of headaches among adults.

 

Pain or pressure in your forehead or on the top or sides of your head? Could be a tension headache. It's especially likely if you've been hunching over a desk or some knitting, spent a ton of time in a car, or if you're still shivering and huddling to keep warm as spring slowly creeps in.

 

Massage can help get rid of that headache and regular massage may well keep it from coming back. (If you want to geek out about tension headaches and try a few self-massage techniques, check out this article.)

 

Low Back Pain

A major research study was published in 2011 showing that massage therapy was better than drugs and usual care for general lower back pain. Better than drugs. I just had to say that twice.

 

Just about everyone...

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Tags: back pain, headaches, irritibility, massage, vital kneads, vitalkneads


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5 Ways to Celebrate National Women’s Health and Fitness Day

September 12, 2015

September 30th is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day. Hundreds of organizations countrywide will be hosting a variety of noncompetitive events covering everything from group walks to health seminars.

 

In the spirit of this holiday, we’ve put together a list of 5 ways you can celebrate women’s health and fitness - regardless if there’s an organization participating near you.

 

Go inward

Good health starts within. Too often our lives are so busy that we forget to remember ourselves. Spend a little time thinking about what you want for yourself and what fits your wellness goals. Practicing yoga, meditation, and even a daily drawing habit can help push you toward a more healthful and balanced life.

 

Go outward

If working on the inner stuff is important, it’s just as vital to do things in an outward fashion too. Take a long walk, go for a hike, play a sport, go out dancing or even meeting up with friends can have a major impact on your emotional well being.

 

Learn something new

There is nothing like stepping out of your comfort zone. It might be stretch and sometimes a little uncomfortable, but those growing pains can pay off....

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Tags: fitness, health, massage, message, phoenix, surprise, therapy, vital kneads, vitalkneads, west valley, wittman, women


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