<![CDATA[lethbridgemassagehero.ca - Blog]]>Tue, 06 Apr 2021 05:55:47 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[What NOT to do during a massage]]>Tue, 15 Dec 2020 08:00:00 GMThttp://lethbridgemassagehero.ca/blog/what-not-to-do-during-a-massage

What NOT to do during a massage

We all know that getting a massage, whether it’s a therapeutic or relaxation massage, is a great way to enhance your body’s wellbeing. What you may not know is that there are things you can do to optimize your massage experience - that includes what NOT to do before, during and after a massage.
Relaxing massage
Things to avoid before your massage
Sunbathe - Getting sunburned and then going for a massage will be very unpleasant for you as your skin is rubbed during the therapy. Best to avoid sunbathing before your massage appointment. If you do happen to get a sunburn, think about rescheduling your appointment to a later date when your skin has had some time to heal

Take a hot shower - a hot shower isn’t recommended as it can increase your chances of sweating through the session. You can, however, take a warm shower a few hours before your appointment if you so choose

Show up late - a massage should be a relaxing experience. If you’re rushing to your appointment and show up late, it might take a while to unwind and get into a relaxed state of mind

Smoke - if you’re a smoker, refrain from having a cigarette prior to your appointment. The smell can linger on your body and since there are toxins in the cigarettes, your body’s way of getting rid of it is usually through the skin, which will be passed onto the massage therapist as they massage you

Spray or apply perfume/lotions - some clients are allergic to fragrances, so if you spray or apply lotions with fragrances on your body prior to your appointment, it could seep into the massage table and leave a lingering scent, which could cause a negative reaction for the next client

Take medications - medications that thin your blood should be avoided before your massage because of the increase in blood circulation during your massage. Also, some medications could interfere with your ability to communicate with your massage therapist

Drink lots of water or have a heavy meal - nothing is more uncomfortable than pressure on a full bladder during your massage. If you need to get up to go to the bathroom during your massage, it’s fine, but it does break up your relaxation groove and it could take a while for you to get back into a deeply relaxed state
massage therapy
Things to avoid during your massage
Make inappropriate comments to your massage therapist - don’t make jokes with sexual innuendos or comment on the massage therapists looks. It’s also inappropriate to ask your therapist out while they are massaging you.

Checking your phone - during your massage, you should focus on relaxing your whole body and mind. If you’re checking your phone and sending messages, that will be both disruptive to your massage therapist as well as yourself. So keep the phone on silent and focus just on yourself and your experience during your massage

Things to avoid after your massage
Getting off the table immediately after your treatment - massages promote blood circulation, so if you get up immediately, or too quickly, you could feel light headed or dizzy. It’s best to give yourself a couple of minutes while you lie down, to ground yourself, then roll onto your side and slowly lift yourself up and off the massage table

Do anything strenuous - it’s not advisable to go and run a marathon or do any other sort of strenuous physical activity after a massage because your muscles need to be stretched out to reduce soreness after your massage. So, doing some stretching immediately after your massage would be best.

Shower immediately -wait at least an hour after your treatment before taking a warm shower. This will allow the oils to seep into your skin

Take a hot shower - because a massage often increases blood circulation, if you take a hot shower immediately after, the hot temperatures would also increase blood flow and the combination of the 2 could make you faint or dizzy.

Drink Alcohol - The impairing effects of alcohol are intensified immediately after a massage treatment

Drink coffee - Caffeine acts as a stimulant and can actually make you anxious immediately after a massage. So just wait a few hours before you consume your favorite caffeinated beverage

Things to DO
Drink water - it’s important to keep yourself hydrated. Even though it’s not ideal to drink a lot of water immediately before a massage (because you may need to use the bathroom during your treatment), it IS a good idea to drink plenty of water a few hours before your massage and immediately after your massage

Stay home if you’re sick - if you’re feeling under the weather, you should reschedule your appointment to another day when you’re feeling better

Turn off your cell phone - it’s important to turn off all distractions so you can focus on achieving optimal relaxation and get the most of out of your massage

Communicate with your therapist - communicating your likes and dislikes, like pressure and areas you want to avoid, are key to making your experience the best one catered to your unique needs

Massages have so many benefits, not only for your physical wellbeing, but also your mental health too!  Regular massages are an excellent addition to your healthy living repertoire, so give your local massage clinic a call and book your appointment today!  We at Lethbridge Massage Heroes are always taking on new clients and would welcome your call today!
<![CDATA[What causes Neck & Shoulder pain & how to relieve it?]]>Tue, 17 Nov 2020 08:00:00 GMThttp://lethbridgemassagehero.ca/blog/what-causes-neck-shoulder-pain-how-to-relieve-it

What causes neck & shoulder pain?

Shoulder ache
We’ve all experienced pains in our neck at some point, and we’re not talking about people! You know the feeling, you’re sitting for a while at your desk and you’re under a lot of stress, your shoulders start to bunch up and before you know it, your neck and shoulders start to ache and you feel the onset of a killer headache coming on.

So what can you do to help alleviate this tension? Luckily there are some tips and prevention methods you can try to relieve the pain if it’s mild. Read on to find out how!
Strains or sprains are the leading cause of neck and shoulder pain. In some cases, it could be a sign of a heart attack or stroke, though for the most part, it’s usually due to incorrect posture, sports or overexertion.

Pain usually comes in the form of stiffness or soreness. You could experience tingling or shooting pain and spasms or even headaches and numbness. Tension headaches are a common result of tension in the neck area.

Before we get into the treatment of neck and shoulder pain, let’s talk about some of the causes first.

Types of injuries to cause neck and shoulder pain:

Posture or sleeping position - This is probably the most common cause of neck and shoulder pain. When you hold your neck in an awkward position for a prolonged amount of time, it will lead to strains in the muscles of your neck and shoulders. This can happen if you sleep at an awkward angle, sit at a desk too long and not in the correct posture, or during exercise if you suddenly jerk your neck into a new position.

Pinched Nerve - can show itself in tingling or numbness of the hand or fingers. It can also show up as weakness in the muscles of your arm or shoulder area. Most of the time, it’s caused by changes in your spine due to an injury or aging. If you have a pinched nerve in your neck, the pain could radiate towards your shoulder.

Frozen shoulder - people with diabetes, between the ages of 40-60 years old are at greatest risk for this condition. It’s where your shoulder becomes increasingly difficult or painful to move. You should check with your doctor to verify if you’re suffering from this condition.

Shoulder tendinitis - inflammation of the tendons are common causes for pain and can occur anywhere in your body. The tendons around your rotator cuff are especially prone to this and would be a cause for the pain you’re experiencing in your shoulder area.
Painful shoulder
Rotator cuff tear - Tears in your rotator cuff area, which are the tendons that hold your upper arm to your shoulder blade, can be caused from repetitive overuse of those muscles or by a single injury, such as a fall.  These kinds of injuries are common in athletes who engage in sports that use a lot of arm and muscle movements. Rotator cuff tears can cause shoulder pain and weakness in arms.

Broken collarbone or shoulder blade - this should be pretty intuitive that if you break anything near your neck or shoulders, you’re bound to experience some pain and numbness in those areas.

Whiplash - this type of injury typically happens in an auto vehicle accident and involves the tearing of muscles and ligaments in your neck from sudden movements. Whiplash can also happen in contact sports, falls or blows to the head. It often results in headaches, dizziness, blurred vision or neck pain and stiffness.

Cervical Osteoarthritis (Cervical Spondylosis) - symptoms of this age-related condition typically present themselves in neck pain or stiffness. It commonly happens in people over the age of 60 and is a form of arthritis that affects the spinal discs of your neck. 

Herniated disc - results when one or more of the cervical discs in your vertebrae shrink or get damaged. If this happens, you’ll often feel pain, numbness, and aches around your neck and shoulder area.

Heart attack - while we all associate a heart attack with chest pains or a sudden pain in your arm, pain and numbness in the neck and back can also be symptoms of a heart attack. Call the emergency number and get help if you feel sudden pain in your neck, back or jaw that’s not caused from some other injury.

Stroke - Just like a heart attack, pain in the neck can be one of the symptoms of an oncoming stroke. Though you should look for other signs as well which include drooping of the face, difficulty speaking or walking and arm numbness.

Cancer - in extreme severe cases, persistent neck pain could be a symptom of cancer around the head or neck area. Contributing factors to cancer could be excessive use of tobacco or alcohol. Please consult your doctor if you’re experiencing any unusual persistent pain in your neck area.

Now that we’ve identified some of the causes of neck and shoulder pain, let’s explore how we can relieve it!

Treatments of neck and shoulder pain:

For mild pain, a gentlemassage around the neck and shoulder area can do wonders to relieve any pain in those areas. Going for regular massage treatments are optimal for maintaining the health of your tissues, not to mention your mental state as well! 

You can try applying a heat pad around the area, or an ice pack to reduce swelling. Also, take note of your posture when you’re working and try to adjust yourself so that you’re not sitting at weird angles. Taking regular breaks to walk around and stretch your muscles also helps.

There are 3 basic stretches you can do:
Neck stretches:
  • Move your chin towards your chest to tilt your head forward. Hold this position for several seconds until you feel a nice relaxing stretch
  • Then move your ear towards your shoulder to tilt your head to one side. Hold for a few seconds and then tilt your head to the other side
  • Slowly turn your head to look over your shoulder on one side, then move to look over to the other side

Shoulder stretch:
  • Lean your hands on either side of a doorway. Bend your elbows at right angles.
  • You should feel a stretch under your collarbone as you slowly lean forward. Hold this position for a few seconds until you feel a nice relaxing stretch

Wing span stretch:
  • With palm forward, reach your right arm straight up along the side your head. With your left arm down by your hip, bend both elbows and reach your fingers towards the centre of your back, towards each other. Don’t worry if you can’t touch your fingertips, over time you’ll gain the flexibility to be able to do this.
Repetitive movements can add extra stress to your tense muscles as well. So if you’re on the phone a lot and holding a handset, consider getting a hands-free headset so that you can maintain proper posture.

Another way to help lesson neck and shoulder pain is to strengthen your neck and shoulder muscles. Engage in exercises that target these muscle areas. You can try some shoulder shrugs to help strengthen your upper back muscles which in turn, places less stress on your neck and shoulders.

To do this exercise, sit or kneel on the floor. Keep your head straight and your arms resting at your sides. Inhale, and lift your shoulders towards your ears. Lower your shoulders as you exhale and feel your shoulder blades settle back in place. Try doing this 10 times.

We hope these tips and stretching exercises will help you and that you live a life free from pain!
<![CDATA[5 ways massages improve your mental health]]>Thu, 01 Oct 2020 07:00:00 GMThttp://lethbridgemassagehero.ca/blog/5-ways-massages-improve-your-mental-health
October is Mental Health Awareness month in Canada. Every Canadian will, at some point in their life, be affected either directly or indirectly by mental illness. The Canadian Mental Health Association estimates that one in five Canadians will personally suffer from some sort of mental health issue.
This year, with the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s even more critical to take care of both our mental and physical health as people experience a rise in stress, uncertainty and fear surrounding the pandemic.

Did you know that one of the ways to alleviate mental health symptoms is with regular massages? It doesn’t matter what style of massage you go for, it’s all personal preference, but it’s been shown to have very good benefits not just for relaxing your body, but for your mind as well!

Here 5 mental health benefits you may not have known massages can do for you:
Happy couple
  • Stimulates “Feel Good” hormones to alleviate depression - oxytocin is released when people snuggle or touch. It’s also released through non-sexual touch including massage.

relaxation massage
  • Soothe stress and anxiety - massages have been shown to reduce your stress hormones (levels of cortisol) that builds up in your body and can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. Anxiety can present itself as tension, fear and insomnia. Regular massages can help alleviate all of these symptoms of anxiety.

office concentration
  • Improves concentration - when your muscles are tense, it’s actually diverting the flow of blood to that part of your body instead of your brain. Once that tension is released through massage, the flow of blood to your brain will improve which in turn, helps you to focus better.

energetic runner
  • Increases energy - massages help improve circulation in the body because the pressure applied through massage can boost your lymphatic system and help your body get rid of waste build up and toxins.

  • Helps insomnia - serotonin levels increase when you get a massage, making it possible for you to feel more relaxed and able to fall asleep

So for the sake of your mind, contact us at Lethbridge Massage Heroes and book an appointment with us today!

Massages are a great boost to your mental health, but it’s also important to incorporate other things into your daily life to help keep you in optimal condition. Click here to read about 10 things you can do to help your mental health.
<![CDATA[10 Ways to improve your mental health]]>Wed, 09 Sep 2020 07:00:00 GMThttp://lethbridgemassagehero.ca/blog/10-ways-to-improve-your-mental-health
The science of mental health is emerging with new studies everyday. We all know that we need to eat well and drink plenty of water to maintain a healthy body. But it’s important to note that taking care of our mental health is equally as important for our overall well-being.

​Here are 10 tips for maintaining your optimal mental health:
  • Love yourself - make time for your hobbies and treat yourself with kindness. Going for regular massages can do wonders for your mental health as well!
  • Take care of your body - drink lots of water, exercise, sleep, eat nutritious meals, avoid smoking
  • Get rid of toxic people - surround yourself with a good network of people. Strong family connections and friends are important to keeping you accountable and uplifted
  • Help someone else - volunteer your energy and time to help someone else, it’ll make you feel good to be doing something for someone in need.
  • Learn how to deal with stress - coping skills like journal writing, finding humour in life, or going for a walk are all healthy ways of dealing with stress.
  • Quiet your mind - meditation, prayer or mindfulness will help keep you calm when things get chaotic
  • Set realistic goals - Know what you want to achieve and be realistic about your goals. Don’t over-schedule or over-extend yourself and celebrate your successes.
  • Break up the monotony - plan a trip, try a new restaurant, alter your workout routine. Small changes in your normal routines can help perk up an otherwise tedious schedule.
  • Avoid self-medicating yourself - don’t turn to alcohol or drugs as a means of escape. These crutches usually only serve to aggravate your problems
  • Seek help when you need it - know when you need to ask for help and don’t be afraid to look for it. People who get appropriate care/treatments can recover from mental illness and live full rewarding lives.