Relax, Unwind & De-Stress with Massage – By Colleen Nichols

Receiving a regular massage is no longer known to be just a luxury, reserved for holidays or only for the rich. It is now seen as a necessity and tool to help repair current muscle damage and prevent future muscle aches, pains & fatigue. Massages don’t always have to be painful and there are numerous benefits in getting a massage.

Whether it’s emotional or physical stress, massage therapy can be one of your best tools to help the body heal itselfI see clients with a variety of aches, pains and injuries and  some have left untreated for months – even years. If you have acute or chronic pain, you may need to book a weekly massage for maintenance. I recommend booking a regular massage every 3-4 weeks in order to keep muscles fit & healthy. Even if you don’t have any current issues that you can ‘feel’, there are always underlying postural challenges that can result in aches and pains later down the track. Massage will not only tackle these issues but also help you perform at your optimum.

Benefits of Massage
  • Increase in your circulation
  • Decrease your stress levels
  • Help decrease your blood pressure
  • Increasing body awareness
  • Improving joint mobility and function
  • Relax your muscles as well as your mind & body.

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Muscular fatigue, tightness, aches & pains can be an indication of bad posture at work, exercising at the gym or even a lack of movement during the day and of course the stresses and tensions of everyday life. If these short and long term challenges are untreated, in most cases, they end in larger more serious issues which require a lot more treatment.

bounceREHAB offer many different types of massage:
Trigger Point Therapy Massage Chart

trigger-points

Pregnancy Massage

I use a combination of swedish and remedial techniques, to assist with tensions and pains caused by the extra weight and the shift in the centre of gravity. There are many physical benefits to Pregnancy Massage:

  • Reduces stress hormones within a pregnant woman’s body
  • Increases the levels of hormones which tend to be low in women who are depressed
  • Improves mood & energy levels
  • Relieves nausea and heartburn
  • Relieves neck & back pain
  • Reduces heaviness in the pelvic bones
  • Eases leg cramps & swelling of the ankles and feet and oedema (fluid retention)
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Improves blood flow
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Helps to prevent insomnia

Care must be taken during the first trimester of pregnancy due to the formation and sensitivity of new life for mum & bub and there can be some risks if particular pressure points are stimulated. These are located within your wrists, hands, ankles and feet and massaging them can stimulate the uterus to start contracting. There also needs to be a level of sensitivity and gentleness extended by the therapist, which factors in the baby as well.

Pregnancy Massage is beneficial throughout the whole pregnancy to relieve the general discomfort of the pregnancy. Various techniques are used as the client progresses through the pregnancy and the massage is performed whilst side lying, seated, or on a special table or belly bag that allows her to lie on her stomach which maximises the effectiveness of the massage.

Below are two pictures of one of our lovely pregnant ladies using the belly bag prior to massage:

IMG_1397     Belly bag

The Dentons Pregnancy Pillow is wonderful to use when sleeping as it supports the weight of the belly and prevents the spine from twisting forward.

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Regular massage throughout the pregnancy is also said to shorten labour time and the return to optimal fitness after birth.

  Frequency Guidelines
  • GENERAL WELLNESS– If you are including massage in a general wellness plan to reduce stress and relax tight muscles, once a month is a good recommendation. If you’re going through an especially stressful time or have a high stress life, a massage every 1-2 weeks can help establish a pattern of relaxation.
  • ATHLETES– If you are training for an event with intense workouts, twice per week will keep your muscles healthy & maintain flexibility. During less intense training, massage frequency may drop down to every two weeks or once a month.
  • CHRONIC CONDITION- Clients working to relieve chronic muscle tension or long-term musculoskeletal problems (like headaches, shoulder and low back pain) 30 – 45 minutes per massage once a week is recommended for 4-6 weeks. This can help overcome a chronic problem and with self-care, clients can then ease back into a once a month maintenance schedule.
  • ACUTE CONDITION- When you have an acute condition such as a muscle strain or spasms, frequent visits (2-3 per week) of shorter duration (30-45 min) for 1-3 weeks often help resolve problems. You can then diminish frequency until you reach a maintenance schedule to help keep you pain-free.
  • MAINTAINING YOUR HEALTH- Once you’re feeling good, a monthly massage is probably the minimum for maintaining the health of your tissue. If you start stretching the massages out too far, then your muscles can revert to their old patterns and you’ll have to start all over again to restore their suppleness and pliancy.
  • PREGNANCY MASSAGE – The health benefits of massage are best experienced with regular treatments as the effects are cumulative. Every 2-4 week is ideal.

Massage is a necessity to help your body cope with its daily activities and give your body the best chance to perform at its peak.

For more information on massage or pregnancy Pilates please visit
http://www.bouncerehab.com.au/services/massage
http://www.bouncerehab.com.au/services/clinical-pilates

We usually put ourselves last and it’s time to make a change. Put yourself first for once and reap the benefits of feeling fantastic!

Wishing you all health & well-being!

Colleen Nichols
MASSAGE THERAPIST
Dip. Remedial Massage, Cert IV Small Business Mgt., Cert Women’s Empowerment/Life Facilitator

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