Can Massage Improve Mental Health?

Can Massage Improve Mental Health?

In the midst of the Covid-19 Summer of 2020, as many people are adjusting to wearing face masks, working from home, and social distancing, there has been a lot (a really lot) of information on how to keep ourselves and our environments clean and safe. However, there has not been enough discussion on the topic of how all of this is affecting our mental health. Sure, we know this is hard. But are we taking a good, long hard look at what these extreme changes are doing to our mental health? And then, what are we doing about it?

We watch the news and ingest stories of people raging at each other and pulling knives and guns out over masks or other seemingly minor issues. “People are losing their minds.” “It’s so hard to know how to feel about all of this.”

We say these things about other people, but are you checking in with yourself? Sleeping normally? Eating normally? Crying more? Fatigued? Sad?

This article addresses three things you can do today to help you feel relaxed and more balanced. If you have been experiencing prolonged depression or suicidal thoughts, please contact a doctor or therapist for additional help.

How is your mental health?

It is ok, and perfectly normal, to feel these things. What isn’t ok is not addressing this added stress to our mental health and not doing something to help with it. It is also really important that we are checking in with our family members and friends. Kids are particularly susceptible to depression as school districts and colleges and universities are still so up in the air about what they are going to be offering.

Things you can do right now to boost your mental health

Are you the type of person who recognizes stress first in your emotions (state of mind) or your physical body? For some, the shoulders get tight, headache sets in, and then fatigue creeps in quietly and steals our peace. For others, we get weepy, emotional, or mad.

Related: Can Massage Help With Fatigue?

Regardless of how you first recognize stress , the key is to know your warning signs and attend to them as soon as they happen. Recognizing them in others, especially those close to you, is important too. Sometimes it is easier for others to see it for us. “You have been looking really tired.” “Are you ok, you seemed really down.”

One of the first things to manage when addressing mental issues is stress. Stress makes everything harder so managing your stress will help you better be able to handle what life throws at you. Here are some things that can really help:

Massage Therapy

A professional massage from a licensed Massage therapist or self-massage techniques at home can provide immediate relief from stress and mental health anxiety. Massage minimizes anxiety and restlessness, improves sleep quality and creates an overall feeling of well-being.

Click here to schedule a massage with All Body Kneads or click here to buy a gift certificate for a loved one who could really use it.

Social Distancing with Massage Therapy. Picture of man with dark hair getting a massage

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy and diffusing certain smells can also instantly calm the mind and improve your mood. This works really will with children and teenagers. If your kids have been emotional, stressed, overtired, or sad, running a diffuser in either their bedroom or a centrally located spot in the can help the whole family. Some essential oils and blends that are good for improving mental health and reducing stress and anxiety include:

  • Lavender
  • Cedarwood
  • Frankincense
  • Chamomile
  • Grapefruit
  • Bergamot
  • Yuzu
  • rose otto
  • Sage
  • Jasmine
  • Rosemary

There are a lot of synthetic and impure essential oils on the market. Since you inhale them, it is important to read the labels and make sure there a no harmful chemicals and additives in the essential oils that you use. Young Living and Doterra are two brand that are trusted and used by many massage therapists and aromatherapy experts.

mental health wooden diffuser with blue light misting into the air

Meditation and Deep Breathing

In a world that is in constant turmoil and throwing 24-hour news cycles at us constantly, it is important to find time regularly to calm our minds and bodies. Guided meditation and deep breathing are two ways to still our minds and reconnect with our bodies. It is like a reset button for ourselves. A daily meditation practice, even if done for only 5 minutes, can really help our mood and reduce tension.

Some people find meditation intimidating at first or aren’t sure exactly how to do it. While there are lots of ways meditate, you can apps and audio recordings to help you get started. However, simply sitting quietly for a few minutes and concentrating on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth can reset your mood too. Sometimes the simple things are what work the best.

No matter what you do to support you mental health and check in with yourself and your loved ones, please remember that our mental well-being is just as important as our physical health. Even if we are wearing a mask, sanitizing our hands, practicing social distancing, and boosting our immune system, if you are ignoring your mental health, it will affect you physically as well. You need both physical and mental health for a happy, balanced life.

All Body Kneads is here to help. We offer many healthy services and even have discounts for qualifying clients through our non-profit Mid-Michigan Massage Therapy Institute. Click here to see if you qualify.

Be well. Stay Safe.

mental health meditation. Young boy in red shirt and sunglasses sits cross lemeditatinggged

Unwind from Social Distancing with Massage Therapy

Unwind from Social Distancing with Massage Therapy

As Michigan businesses open back up and life resumes some normalcy, we have been getting a lot of questions about social distancing with massage therapy.

Massage therapists all over the state have been virtually meeting, chatting, and discussing going back to work and conducting safe practices. We have been given specific guidelines and recommendations from joint efforts by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Agency (MIOSHA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Rest assured, All Body Kneads will be adhering to this guidelines and providing a safe, clean, and relaxing atmosphere for you to resume your massage therapy appointments. The even bigger news is that we have moved locations!

Our new location is 6910 South Cedar, Suite #4, Lansing, MI 48911. We are across the street from Lowe’s and in the buildling right next to Cause Way Bay Hotel to the south.

This move was in the works before the stay-at-home order was given, and the prolonged directive has given us time to move in, get settled, and make the space perfect to re-open. Stay tuned for specific open dates (tenatively Monday, June 15) and a Grand Opening celebration.

Related: A Guide to Self-Massage

Has this entire pandemic stressed you out?

I don’t think anyone has escaped this world-wide situation and experience without some level of stress and anxiety. It varies for each individaul, of course, but stress can sneak up on you and appear in subtle or unlikely ways. If you switched to working from home, your new “office” may not be ideal or all that comfortable. Your shoulders and upper back could be paying the price.

Are you experiencing any of the following hidden signs of stress and anxiety?

Frequent headaches. The cause of this can be from clenching your jaw, tensing muscles in your neck, shoulders or even your face, and possibly grinding your teeth (sometimes in your sleep – so you don’t even realize it.)

Body Aches. Stress activates the body’s fight-or-flight response and blood rushes to major muscle groups with the anticipation of some action. However, most of us don’t react by taking of in a sprint to escape a lumbering predator. Your body still reacts like you ran a marathon – hence the muscle soreness.

Restlessness. Are you finding yourself tapping your foot (or hand), shaking your leg, or possibly experiencing restless leg syndrome while trying ot sleep?

Upset Stomach. It is really common for us to feel emotional stress in our stomach in the form or pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or a mild upset stomach.

Skin issues. Stress can also cause acne an eczema flare ups. When you are stressed your body produces cortisol (a stress hormone) which can increase acne. Stress can also increase inflammation of the skin which can trigger (or worsen) exzema.

Increased sweating. As if you didn’t have enough to worry about, adrenaline is a by-product of stress and can cause you to sweat more.

Sleep issues. If you are experiencing stress and/or anxiety, it is common to suffer from insomnia, nightmares, sleepwalking, or other sleep disturbances. Chronic stress increases rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and decreases slow-wave or deep sleep. This throws off the body and disrupts cell and body maintenance and repair, resulting in sleep issues. When you are overly stressed, anxious, AND tired, life can become quite difficult

Immune deficiency. Besides producing more cortisol, stress also causes the body to overproduce hormones that regulate the immune system and affects your ability to produce white blood cells that fight infection. This weakens our immunity – the exact opposite of what we need during a pandemic.

Sexual problems including fertility. When we are stressed, anxious, or overly tired we often don’t feel in the mood for sex. We also may not be able to get aroused even if we try. There is a scientific reason for this. While stress causes the body to overproduce some hormones, it also causes the body to underproduce the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the body’s main sex hormone. This can lead to reduced sperm count, ovulation, and sexual activity.

Anxiety and panic attacks. We can only handle so much. Sometimes, when people are under too much stress they can experiene a panic or axiety attack. These can be very scary and sometimes feel like a heart attack or other physical issues.

Massage therapy can definitely help reduce stress. It may not fix or completely eliminate all the things in the above list, but it can definitely help.

Everyone in Michigan has been experiencing a heightened level of stress these past few months. When you feel ready we are here to help you unwind, relax, achieve better sleep, and practice self-care.

Please call (517) 898-2899 to schedule an appointment or book online.

Missing your massages? A guide to home self-massage techniques

Missing your massages? A guide to home self-massage techniques

The quarantine has disrupted so many things in our lives. Now that a few weeks have gone by, you might be really feeling the effects of missing your regular massages. People get massages for a variety of reasons, including relaxation and stress relief, improved sleep quality, injuries and healing, chronic pain and more.

Regardless of why you get massage or how often, you are probably feeling the absence of your regular massage treatments. We’ve created this guide to help you get through this time until you can visit your massage therapist again. We miss our clients too and can’t wait to see you again!

If you have any questions or want more ideas, please email us and we will get back to you quickly! [email protected]

Before you try out any of these suggestions, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Even though your regular massage appointment may be an hour or more, you only need to massage yourself for a few minutes on each area.
  • For best results, massage each problem area at least 2x a day
  • Isolate the general area where you feel pain and gently explore until you find the specific spot that is especially painful.
  • Start by applying light pressure and build up to more pressure. Don’t applying too much pressure so that it is extremely painful. Gradually work your way up.
  • After massage, gently stretch out the area
  • Drink lots of water throughout the day
self massage techniques

Can Massage Help With Fatigue?

Can Massage Help With Fatigue?

Fatigue is something that most of us have experienced at one time or another. It is usually due to over exertion or an unusual amount of stress and will go away with rest and relaxation. However, some people suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). People who suffer from CFS frequently complain of extended periods of extreme fatigue with seemingly no perceivable cause or reason. 

Note: During this time of social-distancing and isolation, most massage therapists have suspended providing massage therapy. This can be very hard on clients who receive regular massage to manage a variety of issues. On top of that, because of the current pandemic, almost everyone is experiencing a heightened level of anxiety and worry. While this article outlines the benefits of massage for fatigue, we have also created a guide on how to perform some self-massage techniques to help ease your pain, tension, and worry until you can visit your massage therapist again. Please feel free to email us at All Body Kneads to discuss exercises, stretches and things you can do at home for your specific issues. We will get back to you just as soon as we can. [email protected]

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome include:

  • prolonged and unexplained feelings of tiredness
  • muscle and joint pain
  • headaches
  • sore throat
  • insomnia
  • painful lymph nodes
  • forgetfulness
  • impaired mental functions

There is an estimated one million (or more) people who have this disorder in the U.S. alone.  Both men and women can experience it but it is most common among women aged 40 to 50. Unfortunately, there is no cure, although you can manage the symptoms in a variety of ways.

Massage Therapy is one of the best ways to treat fatigue

Massage is one of the most recommended types of alternative therapies to treat the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Here is what it can help with:

If you are experiencing fatigue of any kind or suffer from CFS, massage therapy may be able to help you managed your symptoms and find some relief. We’d love to help you. Please email us to discuss your symptoms and concerns and to schedule an appointment.

[email protected]

Can Massage Help with Detox?

Can Massage Help with Detox?

Detox is a popular word these days. Our lives are polluted by toxins as we go about our normal activity. The processed foods we eat, the cleaning chemicals we use, makeup and lotions, the air we breath, etc. It can be really overwhelming if you do a deep-dive into all the ways we can come across toxins.

Schedule a Massage today!

The good news is that our bodies are remarkably resilient. There are many things you can to do reduce the amount of toxins your body has to process. A detox also helps boost your immune system.

There is also a lot of contradicting information about whether or not massage therapy helps to detox the body.

Adding Massage to Your Detox Program Will Help

As a massage therapist my belief is that, no, massage itself does not remove toxins from the body. However, it can assist the body in eliminated them and alleviate some symptoms. Here’s how:

  • Massage increases blood flow to all parts of a body, which can promote healing to injured areas
  • Lymphatic massage helps reduce the build up of fluids in the lymphatic system which helps the body eliminate toxins
  • Temporary muscle aches can accompany a detox protocol and massage can help alleviate some of the discomfort
  • Massage also promotes sleep which is great for your immune system and an important part of any detox program
  • Infrared mats and saunas. One of the most powerful benefits of infrared spa treatments is detoxification of the body. It is a way to comfortably sweat, relax, and purify skin.

For a full list of all the benefits of therapeutic massage, please read What is Therapeutic Massage?

Recovering from Addictions and Drug Use Disorders

If you or a loved one is in recovery and healing from a drug use disorder, massage therapy can be a big help in this area for all the same reasons as listed above. Drugs and medications (prescription based or recreational) also introduce chemicals and toxins into our body. As the physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal set in, massage therapy can help reduce them to a more manageable level. Massage is a great alternative to pain management when painkillers are not an option.

The Detox Wrap Up

Regardless of the reason for your detox program, massage therapy can help with some of the symptoms that come with your body eliminating toxins. Despite the contradiction in the medical information available, I believe that the incorporating massage therapy into your detox protocol will help you manage the process. I’d love to talk to you about your health journey and all the steps you are taking to improve your healthy. Give us a call at 517-898-2899 

Gift Certificates Available!

What is a Therapeutic Massage?

What is a Therapeutic Massage?

There are differences between a therapeutic massage and a spa massage. Sometimes a therapeutic massage is also called a clinical or medical massage . The main goal of a spa massage is typically relaxation, stress relief, and promoting good sleep.

However, a therapeutic massage treatment is planned out with a specicial goal in mind. Typically, to relieve pain or tension on a specific part of the body. Often patients are referred by a doctor and insurance may even cover all or some of the treatments. With therapeutic treatment, the intention is to improve a specific ailment or condition.  A common reason for therapeutic massage is often injury resulting from a car accident.

These types of massage are often covered by insurance and All Body Kneads also accepts Health Savings Accounts and Health Flex spending accounts.

Types of Therapeutic Massage

There are many different types of massage and therapeutic massage uses techniques that target specific areas or issues. The two most common types are:

Myofascial Release

Myofascial tissue is a type of thin, strong, fibrous connective tissue that extends throughout your body to provide support and protection to your muscles and bones. When this tissue gets damaged, tightened, or “bunched up” it can cause pain. In severe cases a patient can develop Myofascial Pain Syndrome.

During a myofascial release massage the therapist gently massages the myofascia and feels for stiff or tightened areas. Normal myofascia should feel pliable and elastic. The therapist will begin massaging and stretching the areas that feel rigid with light manual pressure. This allows the tissue to release pressure and tightness. The process is repeated multiple times on the same area (and any other ares) until the the tension is fully released.

Conditions that are treated by myofascial release include:

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point massage is designed to relieve pain in particular areas of the body by applying pressure or vibration into trigger points. Trigger points are points in the muscles where knots may form, and the pinpointed pressure is designed to relax those knots and ease pain.  

It can be a safe self-treatment with the potential to help with many common pain problems that don’t respond well (or at all) to anything else.

Treatment is very similar to myofascial release. Muscle pain is big deal and aches and pains are an extremely common medical complaint. Trigger points seem to be a factor in many of them.

Common conditions treated by trigger point therapy include:

  • sciatica
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic jaw pain
  • toothaches
  • earaches
  • sinusitis
  • ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • dizziness
  • A sore throat or a lump in the throat 
  • fibromyalgia 
  • unexplained pain

Therapeutic Message Results

While a spa massage may successfully relax you or temporarily relieve some stress, therapeutic massage will produce tangible results. It is based around your health needs and goals. All Body Kneads provides therapeutic massage and Bilky is experienced in both Myofascial Release and Trigger Point Therapy.

Please call 517-898-2899 or visit our website to book an appointment online.

How Does a Couples Massage Work?

How Does a Couples Massage Work?

Curious about exactly what happens during a couples massage? There are many benefits to a couples massage and we are here to explain it so you can tell you sweetie and book one today!

Note: Couples massages are not just booked by intimate partners.They can also be enjoyed by mothers and daughters, friends. etc.

What to expect during a couples massage

During a couples massage two people are massaged in the same room at the same time. However, you are each laying on your own massage table positioned side by side. There are two massage therapists; one working on you, and one working on your partner.

The massage therapists will lead you to the massage room, show you where to put clothes and then will leave for a few minutes while you get undressed (to your comfort level) and you slide under the sheet on the table. During a couple’s massage you can undress together in the room or take turns if that feels more comfortable.

Either way, the massage therapists re-enter the room when both of you are situated comfortably under the sheets. The two therapists coordinate their work so they begin and end at the same time.

During the massage, the therapist will pull back the sheet to expose the part of your body being worked on. At no time with you be lying fully exposed on the table.

When the massages are over the therapists leave the room and you and your partner have time to get dressed.

Couples massage is a great way to share something together. It saves time and eliminates the argument of “who gets to get massaged first?”

couples massage

Benefits of a Couples Massage

There are many benefits to massage in general which can be found in our article The Benefits of Massage.

In addition to being relaxing, improving sleep, and reducing stress, couples massage can provide a space for you and your partner to bond and relax together. It can be a unique experience to share and you will both feel connected and closer.

During a massage your body releases oxytocin which creates a sense of well-being. Oxytocin is often called the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone,” because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially. During a couples massage, love is literally in the air.

A Great Introduction to Massage

Couples massage is also a great way for one person to introduce the benefits of massage to another. If your partner or spouse has never had a massage and is reluctant to try one, he or she may feel much more comfortable experiencing it with you. This way you can guide him or her and let them know what to expect.

A Healthy Celebration

Often people will book a couples massage as a way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or other significant milestone. This is a fantastic and healthy alternative to a big meal, dessert, or alcohol. You can enjoy and celebrate your special day without railroading your health goals or by getting hung over. A couples massage is a perfect evening for two. 

Couples Massage Ettiquette

Talking. It is perfectly appropriate to talk to one another during a couples massage. You can even talk to the massage therapists if you prefer. Some people prefer no talking during a massage so they can concentrate on connecting with their body and focus on the work being done. Others prefer light conversation. We suggest talking as a couple before the massage to determine what you prefer so you both know what to expect.

Sleeping. It is not uncommon to fall asleep during a massage. Do not be alarmed or annoyed if your partner falls asleep. The massage is working and providing relaxation.

Massage Pressure. Let your massage therapist know if you would like more or less pressure. Also, if you have any areas you would like them to concentrate on or be aware of.

Intimacy. While couples massage can provide the precursor for an intimate evening, it is not appropriate to engage in intimacy in the massage room during or after the massage. Please be conscientious of the massage therapists’ time and schedule. Many couples will book a couples massage at home so they can be fully relaxed and enjoy their time together in privacy after the massage.

Are you ready for a couples massage?

All Body Kneads has a beautiful and relaxing couples massage room. You can choose a 60 Minute Couples Massage ($75.00 per person) or a 90 Minute Couples Massage ($90.00 per person).

There are 3 ways you can book:

  1. Book a couples massage on our website. BOOK NOW!
  2. Call our massage studio at 517-898-2899. CALL NOW!
  3. Email [email protected] and we will get back to you soon.

We hope to hear from you soon for your couples massage!

Can you get massage during chemotherapy?

Can you get massage during chemotherapy?

Is massage therapy safe during chemotherapy treatments?

Some people worry that massage can spread cancer cells throughout the body via the lymphatic system. However, researchers have shown that cancer develops and spreads because of changes to a cell’s DNA (genetic mutations) and other processes in the body–not through massage.

Studies have also shown that massage seems to offer both physical and emotional benefits for people with cancer, including:

  • Makes them feel whole again
  • Helps them share feelings in an informal setting
  • Makes them feel more positive about their body
  • Rebuilds hope
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Helps to manage pain
  • Reduces Fatigue
  • Increases immune function
  • Increased mobility
  • Increases circulation
  • Breaks up scar tissue
  • Loosens mucus in the lungs
  • Promotes Sinus drainage
  • Provides relief of pain, arthritis, constipation, and colds

Related: The Benefits of Massage for Cancer Patients

Things to consider before getting massage during chemotherapy

Any person experiencing a compromised immune system, pre or post surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy should consider the following before having a massage:

Talk to Your Doctor and Massage Therapist

It is important to consult with your doctor and oncologist before undergoing massage therapy. Your doctor may be able to recommend a massage therapist skilled in working with cancer patients. It is also important to let your massage therapist know about your diagnosis, treatment, and any symptoms you may have. 

Note: Bilky Joda-Miller is a trained and skilled massage therapist and a breast cancer survivor as well. She is so passionate about helping cancer patients that she started the non-profit Mid-Michigan Massage Therapy Institute, in part, to offer free or reduced rate massage to cancer patients and survivors.

Light Massage to Avoid Bruising

People undergoing chemotherapy may have a decrease in red and white blood cells which can make the body more susceptible to bruising. Therefore, light massage is recommended for people currently in treatment.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can add to the general relaxing properties of a massage and help to create a soothing and healing atmosphere.

Post Surgery

If you have recently had surgery, such as for breast cancer, you should only lay on your back, until your doctor decides it is safe for you to lay on your stomach. If you have different (or additional) surgery sites, the appropriate accommodations will be made. Hand and feet massage (reflexology) is also a great way to experience the benefits of massage without undergoing a full-body massage if that is not possible at this time.

Radiation

For patients currently undergoing radiation, the massage therapist should avoid touching any sensitive skin in the treatment area. Massage and massage oils and creams may further irritate skin. If you aren’t experiencing any skin irritation, any massage to this area should be extremely light and conducted through a soft towel or cloth.

Lymph Nodes and Lymphedema

If you have had any lymph nodes removed, these sites should only receive very light touch on the affected arm and the area around the underarm.

With lymphedema, the affected arm and underarm areas should not be recieve traditional light massage. It might make the condition worse. However, manual lymphatic drainage massage is used instead. It is important that you work with a massage therapist familiar with this technique.

Finding the Right Massage Therapist

If you are in the Lansing, Michigan area, you need to look no further. Bilky Joda-Miller is a skilled massage therapist in working with cancer patients, survivors, and their caretakers. As a breast cancer survivor herself, she has a unique and personal perspective on the healing nature of massage. Call today to talk with Bilky and schedule your appointment. 517-898-2899 


The Research

Several clinical studies show that massage can reduce symptoms such as stress, nausea, pain, fatigue and depression.

  • A systematic review (1)  of studies on aromatherapy and massage for relieving symptoms in people with cancer looked at 10 studies including eight randomised controlled trials. It found that massage consistently reduced anxiety and depression. Massage also helped lower nausea and pain, but not as consistently.
  • A large American study (2) published in 2004 looked at the effects of massage therapy on almost 1300 people with cancer over three years. People in hospital had a 20-minute massage, and people treated as outpatients had a 60-minute session. The study found that overall, massage therapy reduced pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and depression. The benefits lasted longer in the patients who had the 60-minute session.
  • Another American study (3) of 39 people looked at the safety and effectiveness of massage in reducing stress hormone levels in patients with blood cancer. It randomised people to receive aromatherapy, massage or rest. The study concluded  that massage significantly reduced the stress hormone.

Fellowes D, Barnes K, Wilkinson SSM. Aromatherapy and massage for symptoms relief in patients with cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Iss 4.

Cassileth BR, Vickers AJ. Massage therapy for symptom control: outcome study at a major cancer centre. J Pain Symptom Manage 2004 Sep; 28 (3): 244–9.

Stringer J et al. Massage in patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy reduces serum cortisol and prolactin. Psycho-Oncology 2008 Oct; 17 (10): 1024–31.

Chronic Pain: Can Massage Therapy Help?

Chronic Pain: Can Massage Therapy Help?

Chronic pain is debilitating. It makes your tired. It is harder to cope with normal everyday activities and obligations. It affects you mentally as well as physically.

If you are living with chronic pain than you have likely tried many ways to get some relief. Are they working?

What is chronic pain?

The Institute for Chronic Pain defines chronic pain as pain that lasts longer than 6 months. It does not differentiate from how the pain started or where the pain is located. Pain is pain and it HURTS!

One minute or one hour in pain is awful. Six months of pain is way too long. However, we know that many people deal with pain for a lot longer than that. For years even. One day is too long. Six months or longer can feel like torture.

How can massage help with chronic pain?

If massage therapy can help relieve pain for even a few minutes, it’s worth it. Just ask someone who suffers from chronic pain. More often it provides longer lasting relief as well. Massage therapy is often prescribed as a regular, non-evasive, non-addictive pain management tool.

Besides the pain itself, as if that wasn’t enough, chronic pain can cause other symptoms like loss of sleep, elevated levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. These issues, coupled with the pain, create a vicious cycle of pain for those who suffer with the problem.

People who are dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome and/or fibromyalgia also experience levels of chronic pain.

Here are some key ways massage therapy can help:

  • eases tension in sore muscles
  • loosens key muscle groups that may be overworked or compensating for injuries
  • reduces scar tissue
  • increases blood flow to injured areas, promoting faster healing
  • speeds recovery time after surgery
  • promotes healthy sleep
  • reduces depression and anxiety
  • relaxes the mind as well as the body

Are you suffering from chronic pain?

You have dealt with it long enough. Talk to your primary care doctor or pain management specialist about massage therapy. As professional massage therapists we will consult with you thoroughly before your massage about your symptoms. We will work to alleviate pain while avoiding aggravating any issues. We want to understand your unique pain situation before we provide massage therapy.

We will tailor approach to your specific condition. We will ask if you have had any recent flare-ups, what triggers them (if known), surgeries and history of illness and injury.

We will communication with you often during treatment to insure the techniques and amount of pressure is suitable.

Are you ready to feel better?

Of course you are! We cannot guarantee that you will be pain free as a result of massage therapy. However, our expert knowledge of anatomy and vast array of massage techniques will hopefully offer you relief and help on your continued journey to a pain free life.

Please call All Body Kneads today and schedule your appointment for a Massage. Feel better soon!

517-898-2899  or schedule online.

Avoid Surgery: Massage Can Help with Back Pain

Avoid Surgery: Massage Can Help with Back Pain

Are you experiencing back pain? You aren’t alone. Eighty percent of adults experience back pain sometime in their life. Not sure if that makes you feel better, but it certainly doesn’t make the back pain go away. The good news is that massage can really help.

If you are thinking about surgery to ease your back pain, often massage therapy and chiropractic care can help you avoid surgery. But not always. Regardless, massage can absolutely help with the symptoms before, after or as an alternative to surgery.

There are several reasons, or causes, that contribute to back pain and most of them are mechanical. This means that there is something physically wrong with your spine, discs, muscles or nerves.

Main Causes of Back Pain

The following are common and mechanical reasons that your back hurts:

Sprains and strains (overworked muscles). Weekend warriors, athletes, and let’s be honest, adults in general, often injure their backs in a mild way that can cause a lot of pain. This can happen from twisting or lifting something the wrong way, lifting something too heavy, or overstretching. This may also trigger muscle spasms which can be really painful.

Sciatica. This is a burning pain in the lower back that usually also radiates down one leg. The technical cause for this is compression of the large nerve (sciatic nerve) that travels through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg.  Yikes!

Intervertebral disc degeneration. This is one of the most common mechanical causes of low back pain. It is caused by the normal process of aging where the discs in your back lose their rubbery flexibility and start to deteriorate.

Herniated or ruptured discs. This happens when intervertebral discs are compressed and bulge outward (herniation) or rupture, causing low back pain.

Spinal stenosis. This occurs when the spinal column narrows, which puts puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This often results in pain or numbness when walking and can lead to weakness of the legs and even loss of sensation.

Radiculopathy. This condition is caused when a spinal nerve root becomes compressed, inflamed and/or injured. Pressure on the nerve root can cause numbness (or a tingling sensation) that can travel to other areas of the body that are served by that nerve. This is sometimes a result of spinal stenosis or herniated/ruptured disc.

Skeletal Misalignments or Irregularities. Congenital anomalies of the spine can cause back pain over time. Sometimes the pain doesn’t show up until adulthood. This can include scoliosis (a curvature of the spine) and lordosis (an abnormally accentuated arch in the lower back.)

Non-Mechanical Causes of Back Pain

In addition to structural issues with the back, there are other causes of back pain that require additional medical attention due to the nature of the cause. This can include:

Kidney stones. These can cause sharp pain in the lower back, usually on one side.

Inflammation. This can include arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoporosis. Reduced bone density over time.  

Endometriosis. The buildup of uterine tissue in places outside the uterus.

Fibromyalgia. A chronic pain syndrome involving widespread muscle pain and fatigue.

How Does Massage Help with Back Pain?

Massage is a gentle, non-invasive way to help ease back pain. It also helps to relax the mind and promote good sleep. Chronic, or long last pain, can be very emotionally stressful as well as physically daunting. Here are some the main ways massage can help with back pain:

Increased blood flow and circulation. This is like feeding injured and sore muscles and tissues. It decreases muscle soreness from physical activity or soft tissue injury (such as muscle strain). When muscles are more relaxed they are more flexible.

Increased endorphin levels. This is the body’s natural pain medicine. The “feel good” chemicals in the brain are release with enhances moods and can decrease depression and anxiety. This helps reduce pain and speeds up recovery. If you have chronic back and/or neck pain you understand how much joy can be had from a few hours of relief.

Improves Sleep Quality. Sleep is very important, especially when recovering from and injury or dealing with pain. Quality sleep is crucial. Massage facilitates physical and mental relaxation that aids with better sleep.

The Best Types of Massage for Back Pain

There are three main types of massage that are helpful in easing back pain:

If you would like to talk more about massage and back pain or would like to book an appointment for yourself or someone you know please call Bilky at 517-898-2899  or you can email at [email protected].