therapeutic massage therapy

Healing Hands for Arthritis- Massage Envy

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It’s that time of the year again; Massage Envy and The Arthritis Foundation are partnering up to help lead the fight for arthritis. Some of us may understand the devastating affects of living with arthritis and the pain one can encounter almost every day. For those who don’t know what arthritis is, it is the inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain and stiffness that can worsen by age. More than 50 million Americans live with arthritis and are trying to find ways to cope with their anxiety and pain to live the best life possible.

Although there is no cure yet, the key approach to care focuses on diet, exercise, natural and medical therapies. One of the greatest therapies that help people cope with arthritis are massages. Massages help them control their symptoms and feel a sense of relief.

Join us on September 28 for our 6th annual Healing Hands for Arthritis event of the year! When you schedule a 60 minute massage at your local clinic, $10 dollars is donated to the Arthritis Foundation to help find a cure for America’s leading cause of disability. This is a one day event so don’t miss out on making a difference in the arthritis community.

Learn more about our one day event on September 28 and about arthritis here.

Get the most of your next session by adding a scent

Roses. Fresh-cut grass. Your mother’s perfume. Mint. An orange being peeled.

These are smells many of us can imagine. Whether good or bad in our minds, smells can take us back to an event in time and provoke emotion. They can wake us up – or relax us. And that’s what’s at work behind aromatherapy.

“Fragrance is processed in an area of the brain that also processes memory and emotion,” says Mindy Green, co-author of Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art and owner of botanicals consulting company Green Scentsations.

“It’s a lock-and-key system,” adds Kathy Padecky, certified massage therapist and instructor at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. “You can smell a scent and immediately feel an emotion.”

Aromatherapy and Its History

It’s important to note that aromatherapy isn’t just about any smell, Green says. A number of perfumed products on the market, she says, have diluted the reputation of aromatherapy – and given consumers the wrong impression.

“True aromatherapy is only gained by essential oils derived from nature,” she says. “You might find a fragrance that smells nice and even evokes a memory, but you don’t get the same therapeutic effect from a synthetic.”

So, what are essential oils? They’re complex mixtures of chemical compounds found in aromatic plants, writes Anne Williams, author of Spa Bodywork: A Guide for Massage Therapists. Specialized structures that store essential oils are found in leaves, needles, twigs, bark, heartwood, flowers, fruits, stems, roots, flowering tops, zests and peels.

While plants have been used as medicine since early civilizations, modern aromatherapy owes its beginning to French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé. Already familiar with chemicals because of his exposure to his family’s perfumery business, he began experimenting with oils to heal wounds, later coining the term aromatherapy.

The Benefits and Caveats

Essential oils have various uses. “For example, some essential oils are topical analgesics,” Williams writes. “When they are applied to soft tissue they decrease sensations of pain. Oils like lavender, Roman or German chamomile, and sweet marjoram sedate the body and decrease stress because they stimulate an area of the brain which causes the release of serotonin.”

During a massage, an oil like lavender can help you relax in order to maximize the effects of your massage. And at the end of a massage, a stimulating oil might be used to help you wake up.

But, Green warns, not all scents are for everyone.

“Everybody has different scent perceptions,” she says. So, if you favor a certain scent over another, go with your preference. Something you dislike may not relax you just because it relaxes someone else.

And, Padecky notes, pregnant women are advised not to use aromatherapy, particularly during the first trimester. In addition, people with allergies or asthma may find triggers in certain oils and should be cautious. Plus, some oils, such as citrus oils, can make skin particularly sensitive to the sun.

For most people, however, aromatherapy has tremendous therapeutic benefits especially when
combined with a massage therapy session. “The whole premise of taking a deep breath and slowing down is part of meditation,” Green says. “Then, you add that to inhaling something you find pleasant, and stress just melts away.”

Massage the Pain Away

One of the reasons many of us turn to massage therapy is to heal and help manage pain, including chronic pain such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), the effectiveness of massage lies in a simple and direct strategy: working from the external, outer mechanisms of pain to the primary, root cause.

From backaches and shoulder pain to leg cramps and muscle spasms, massage can help. We turned to our own C.G. Funk, Licensed Massage Therapist and Vice President of Industry Relations and Product Development for Massage Envy, to give us the scoop.

Proper Posture

Many aches and pains are due to poor posture. With a consistent program of massage therapy, the painful points in muscles are loosened and relaxed, joints have greater freedom, and pressure points are relieved. This allows the body to position itself in a healthy and natural posture, therefore avoiding the movements and positions developed over time as a reaction to the pain.

Tense Muscles

Massage therapy flushes lactic acid from the muscles and improves the circulation of the lymph fluid that carries metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs, resulting in lower blood pressure and improved body function.

Flexibility

By working on muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints, massage can stimulate the production and retention of our bodies’ natural lubricants between the connective tissue fibers, making stretching and movement easier, and keeping the body flexible.

Pain Management

Especially when nursing an injury back to full strength, increasing circulation and relaxing muscles helps the body pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs. This allows the rehabilitating areas to become more flexible and heal at an accelerated rate.

Visit Massage Envy’s Touch of Wellness Blog or http://www.massageenvy.com/ to learn more.

Schedule Your Massage Today At One Of Our 11 Locations!

Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy doesn’t just smell good, it can also benefit you in many ways. Some common aromatherapy benefits include:

  • Relaxation and stress relief
  • Mood enhancement, balance and well being
  • Boosting the immune, respiratory and circulatory systems
  • Relief of minor discomforts

Aromatherapy is a great, natural compliment or alternative to other health treatment options such as certain prescribed medications. However, aromatherapy doesn’t “cure” major illnesses but it is effective at alleviating many of the discomforts associated with them. Essential oilsare the heart of aromatherapy. They have been used to:

  • Heal wounds
  • Improve skin tone
  • Regulate hormones
  • Relieve menstrual cramps
  • Decrease congestion
  • Relieve tension headaches
  • Energize
  • Relax muscles
  • Improve sleep
  • Kill fungal & bacterial infections

Check Out Our New Spa Location In Clermont!

GRAND OPENING JUNE 15TH!

Our newest spa location is opening just in time for Father’s Day! Located at in Clermont! For more information, directions and phone numbers visit us online at: http://www.massageenvy.com/

Reduced Stress = Reduced Weight

A recent study has found another reason why regular massages are a good idea: weight loss. According to the study, reduced stress levels may also reduce one’s waistline.

A new Kaiser Permanente study found that those trying to lose 10 pounds or more were actually more likely to reach that goal if they had lower stress levels and slept on average 6-8 hours a night.

A number of other studies have shown many massage therapy benefits including: increased relaxation, reduced pain and stress, and improved sleep patterns.

According to Charles Elder, an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, “This study suggests that when people are trying to lose weight, they should try to get the right amount of sleep and reduce their stress.”

So how can a routine massage help? Massage therapy helps decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol. It can also lower heart rate and blood pressure. Massages help to get rid of muscle tension, ease depression and boost the immune system.

Besides all the ways massage can help ease the physical symptoms of stress, it can also give you some quiet time to relax. Massages are given in relaxing environments and can easily help you to forgot your stresses, and in turn lead to weight loss.

For more information or to book an appointment visit our Web site at http://www.massageenvy.com

Next free massage drawing held at the end of May!

Every month, we’re going to select one of our Facebook fans to win a free customized introductory massage! So don’t for get to tell your friends… our next drawing will be held at the end of May!

Massage Envy Careers

Did you know that Massage Envy offers careers in massage therapy and assistance to guide aspiring therapists on their way?

Get in touch with Massage Envy’s extensive resources by visiting their Massage Envy Careers website and explore opportunities for schools, students and instructors. Also, listen to testimonials and read about what a career at massage envy has to offer you– The potential options are boundless.

Better Posture by Massage

Allowing the body to reinforce healthy and natural movements can be one of the most beneficial aspects of massage therapy. Many aches and pains are due to poor posture. Whether we are driving, working at a desk, or even just standing still, poor posture can contribute to a number of physical aches and pains. Over time, these habits can cause increased body stress and breakdown.

With a consistent program of massage therapy, the painful points in muscles are loosened and relaxed, joints have greater freedom, and pressure points are relieved. This allows the body to position itself in a healthy and natural posture, therefore avoiding the movements and positions developed over time as a reaction to the pain.

Benefits:

  • Muscles are loosened and relaxed
  • Joints enjoy greater freedom
  • Pressure points are relieved