Frozen shoulder is technically called adhesive capsulitis. It causes stiffness, pain, and discomfort in your shoulder joint. It occurs when the range of motion of your shoulder joint is reduced to the point that it feels as though your shoulder is frozen.
Signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one to three years. Who wants to endure three years of shoulder pain and stiffness? Just to hope it goes away on its own?
Often it doesn’t seem to be caused by an injury or other event. However, it can be caused by underuse. For example, if you are recovering from a medical condition or procedure that prevents you from moving your arm like a stroke or a mastectomy.
Sometimes people just get it. It seems to affect people over the age of 40 and women more than men. More research remains to be done on the causes.
Regardless of what causes it, it hurts and you want the pain to go away.
Frozen shoulder typically develops slowly, and in three stages. Each stage can last a number of months.
Freezing stage. Any movement of your shoulder causes pain, and your shoulder’s range of motion starts to become limited.
Frozen stage. Pain may begin to diminish during this stage. However, your shoulder becomes stiffer, and using it becomes more difficult.
Thawing stage. The range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve.
For some people, the pain worsens at night, sometimes disrupting sleep.
What Can I do About Frozen Shoulder?
We feel it best to try non-invasive, non-drug approaches first to get relief. Massage for frozen shoulder includes focusing on myofascial trigger points in the muscles of the shoulder and surrounding areas.
Be sure to make an appointment with a licensed massage therapist who is knowledgeable about trigger points and frozen shoulders. All Body Kneads will take good care of you.
Again, according to the Mayo Clinic, “treatment for frozen shoulder involves range-of-motion exercises and, sometimes, corticosteroids and numbing medications injected into the joint capsule. In a small percentage of cases, arthroscopic surgery may be indicated to loosen the joint capsule so that it can move more freely.”
Are you suffering from a frozen shoulder?
We know the pain is annoying and is limiting your ability to do the things you love, even sleep. Let us help you with your frozen shoulder pain.
Whether you are getting your very first massage or have had them before, these tips will help to enhance your session, feel better after, and generally help you make the most out of the experience and get the best massage possible.
It’s important to identify what you want to get out of your massage. Are you looking for stress relief? To relax? To help with your headaches? To help with chronic pain? Let your massage therapist know that you want a custom experience. They will take into account any limitations or restrictions you have, like an injury from doing too much yard work over the weekend. They’ll craft your massage based on what will best suit your needs and goals.
Being paired with the right massage therapist is crucial. When you make your appointment, you will speak with someone regarding pressure levels and experience. Every massage therapist has different types of experience and areas of focus. When you book your appointment, let them know what type of pressure you like (light vs. heavy) so they can pair you with a massage therapist that has a similar pressure level. If you have a massage therapist with a heavy pressure level, they can always lighten up to make sure you are comfortable.
Before, during, and after your massage, communication is key. Let your therapist know before your session how you’re feeling, your medical history, and what you expect from the session. This will help her or him keep your session focused on your specific goals. During your massage, your massage therapist will check in to make sure the pressure level is what you like. Make sure you speak up if it’s too heavy or if you are uncomfortable. After your massage, your massage therapist will recommend a time to come back and also suggest any after-care tips you may find helpful.
To ensure that you are 100% prepared for your massage session, it is important to arrive 15 minutes early. This will give you time to prepare yourself and take care of any last-minute paperwork and instructions for your massage therapist.
Turn off Your Phone
Getting a massage is one of the few places where you can, and are encouraged, to leave distractions aside. Clear your mind by leaving your phone and electronic devices in your car or at home so you can literally unplug during your session. Be sure to let anyone who communicates with you regularly (kids, spouse, parent) that you will be unavailable during your appointment.
Remember to Breathe
Relaxing long breaths from your abdomen doesn’t just help you relax mentally during your session, but it also helps your muscles relax as your therapist works out your body’s stiffness and tightness. If you aren’t used to relaxing or are particularly stressed, you may find yourself holding your breath or find you are breathing irregularly. However, it’s important to make sure you focus on this for the best experience.
Make Sure You Are Comfortable
We are committed to making sure that every single one of our clients feels pampered and comfortable. Our goal is for you not only to have an amazing massage but also to be surprised by how much it helps relieve your aches! Do you prefer a heated table? Dim lights? A particular kind of music? A certain scented (or non-scented) massage oil? Everything about your massage should be focused on making you feel good and comfortable. Don’t forget to speak up if you are ever uncomfortable.
Consider Your Time After Your Massage
Schedule extra time after your massage to relax your body and your mind before you head back into the busyness of everyday life. Many people like to schedule their massage later in the day so they don’t have to go back to work or other commitments. Massage is a great way to promote quality sleep, so you may feel tired afterward.
Consider Massage Add-Ons
A massage is a therapeutic way to increase your health and reduce stress. Add an enhancement to your massage, such as hot stones, paraffin, aromatherapy, a sauna session, cupping, and more. Be sure to check out All Body Kneads monthly add-on specials.
Our add-on services include:
• Aromatherapy: Using a heat pack to help relax muscles. $15.00 • Cupping: Cupping will help with circulation and myofascial release. With Massage $25.00 Without Massage $35.00 • Heat Therapy: Using a heat pack to help relax muscles. $15.00 • Paraffin: Paraffin dip to soften, moisturize and help with pain. With Massage $25.00 Without Massage $35.00 • Target Hot Stones: Target specific areas/muscles of concern with hot stones. With Massage $15.00 Without Massage $20.00 • Target Cold Stones: Target specific areas/muscles of concern with cold stones. With Massage $15.00 Without Massage $20.00 • Contrast Therapy: Help with pain and swelling with hot and cold stones. $25.00, Without Massage $35.00 • Vibration Therapy: Used to stimulate and help with circulation and pain. With Massage $15.00 Without Massage $20.00
Do you suffer from tight, achy neck and shoulder muscles? When you’re stressed out or tense, your shoulders tend to hunch forward. This puts pressure on the back of your neck which can lead to pain and stiffness. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re just sore or actually dealing with an injury like whiplash. Here are some easy things that could help release tension in those areas so you can feel good again!
Tips for Tigh Neck and Shoulders
Heating pad. Place a small heating pad over the neck and shoulders for about 20 minutes.
Foam Roller. Apply pressure to tight muscles with your hands or use a foam roller.
Gentle Stretching. Stretch your neck by tilting your head to one side, then the other. Stretch regularly throughout the day – don’t wait until you’re tired to stretch!
Self- Massage. Massage sore areas with lotion or oil. Check out our article on self-massage tips for more information.
Good Sleep. Get plenty of sleep every night – you need at least 7 hours of sleep each night for healthy muscle function!
Take Breaks. Take breaks from sitting up straight all day long by resting in between tasks, stretching often, and taking walks during lunch break.
Hot Bath. Try a hot bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil
Light Exercise. Take some time out of your day to do neck rolls, shoulder shrugs, and arm circles
Good Posture. Practice good posture by sitting up straight in your chair at work or home.
Lighten Your Load. Don’t carry a heave a backpack, purse, or crossbody bag that is pulling on your neck and shoulders.
Reduce Phone Use. “Text neck” is a term that has been coined to describe the posture formed by leaning forward for prolonged periods, for example when viewing a cellphone while reading and texting. This can cause stress injuries and pain. This posture often results in neck and shoulder pain, and headaches.
If these tips aren’t helping or you are seeking more relief, it is time to call a professional massage therapist. All Body Kneads can provide full body massage or a concentration on your neck and shoulders.
School is starting back up for K-12 and college and universities. I am already seeing proud parents post about their student-athletes with pictures and accomplishments in games and tournaments.
For high school and beyond, student-athletes typically have access to school-appointed trainers and medical staff. But what can they do beyond the school to help with their athletic performance? What more can we do to give them a competitive edge without resorting to drugs are harmful practices?
Two things come quickly to mind. Massage therapy for student-athletes and manual manipulation therapy.
Here at All Body Kneads massage studio we offer many types of massage from relaxation to trigger point therapy, to supporting sore muscles, and promoting healthy sleep.
As parents, we want the best for our children at any age. When they become teenagers and college students, the competition becomes more intense. The commitment to their sport becomes more important. For high school, this could mean scholarships and opportunities they can’t get any other way. And yet, we want them to be safe, happy, and healthy while doing something they love.
I was talking with a friend the other day about her very stressful job. She had some really valid points about a situation at work that was complicated and unfair. Much of it was out of her control. I listened. I sympathized. I validated her frustrations. And then I asked her what she was doing to manage her stress. Her response: “Nothing.”
The conversation then took an unexpected turn. We started exploring the concept of stress management and self-care. We talked about the possibility that her work wouldn’t seem as stressful if she was doing more to counteract the stress. I made sure she understood that I wasn’t trying to put it back on her or blame her for stress. Her work situation was very stressful and not her fault. However, her stress related to it was spiraling out of control because she wasn’t managing it.
Too often we feel helpless or at the mercy of a stressful situation because the circumstances aren’t our fault or we can do very little to change it. It is easy to forget that we have 100% control over how we react to situations and how we manage our stress and frustrations.
When you manage your stress you can be a better employee, parent, friend, spouse, sibling, and general human being. And it’s not just you who benefits – everyone around you benefits. This is why self-care is not selfish. It’s necessary to get through life. Remember this every time you start to feel guilt or think you don’t have time to devote to yourself.
Self-Care Practices You Can Start Today
A lot of people will get one or two massages in their lifetime. Maybe it was on vacation or someone gave them a gift certificate. They think of it as a “treat.” In reality, massage can be one of your biggest weapons against fighting stress and promoting self-care. Regular massage – not just when you are really stressed and feel like you are going to lose your mind. Massage can help prevent you from ever getting that stressed out in the first place.
Massage therapy promotes blood flow, helps you sleep better, relaxes you, and gives you time to focus on yourself. The very definition of self-care.
Just like with regular massage, regular chiropractic care can help you maintain your body, stay in alignment, fight off allergies, colds, and other illnesses, and generally feel better. Don’t just go when your back hurts. Regular chiropractic adjustments keep your body tuned up and ready to face the world at your best.
According to the Mayo Clinic: “Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.”
There are a lot of apps and videos to help you get started. Start small with just a few minutes a day. Give it some time to see if it works for you.
Food is medicine or poison depending on what you put in your body. The better you eat the better you feel and the more equipped you will be to face obstacles.
Get your body moving and produce endorphins. Your body’s natural response to exercise is a great stress reliever. Exercise also helps you get out of your head and focus on your body. Start easy and work your way up. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard and unpleasant. It doesn’t even have to happen at a gym. Do something you like – walking, hiking, bike riding, swimming, find something you like to do and it won’t be “work” to get into shape.
Making time for your hobbies
If your main source of stress is your job you need to regularly get away from your job and focus on other things. You can’t be at work or thinking about work all the time. That is not living. Get back to your hobbies and the things you love to do, or start something new. Put time on your calendar for your hobbies. It’s important. Schedule “meetings” with yourself for proper self-care. Don’t break those meetings, you are your own most important client.
We have all experienced that feeling of life seeming way too hard when we are tired or completely exhausted. Everything is literally harder when you aren’t getting proper sleep. The best way to start getting better sleep is sticking to a schedule and routine – just like toddlers do. Go to bed and wake up at the same time – even on the weekends. Create a peaceful environment by hanging blackout curtains, having white noise or music, a comfortable bed, and whatever else makes you feel relaxed. Like I mentioned earlier, regular massage really helps promote good sleep.
Spending Time with Loved Ones
Your loved ones LOVE you. Spending time with them will help remind you who you are and what makes you special. We can lose sight of this when we are busy, working, and stressed out. Laugh with friends. Unwind with family. Do something fun together. It is so important to connect to other humans and have fun. You can even book a couples massage and really double up on your self-care.
Which Self-Care Strategy Will You Start With?
What are you going to do first? Do you have a suggestion that isn’t on our list? Let us know.
What can we do to help you with your self-care and stress management?
July is right around the corner and many people associate fireworks and celebrations with PTSD. While massage can help with stress and anxiety, it doesn’t make PTSD go away. It can make it easier to manage. If you, or someone you know, suffers from PTSD, a massage may be a great way to manage triggers and reduce anxiety.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological disorder that occurs in response to an overwhelming or traumatic event. It is commonly seen in veterans, but sadly, 1 out of 11 people experience these severe, life-changing occurrences.
According to Michigan Psychological care, trauma can occur in various ways, but a few common experiences are generally known to be traumatic. These can include:
Abuse or neglect
Sexual or physical assault
Family or parental abandonment
Witnessing a crime, accident, or death
Massage for PTSD: How Can it Help?
The relaxation effects of massage therapy can be very beneficial to many types of anxiety and stress, including PTSD.
According to Psychiatric Times, massage controls pain severity through its effects on both physical and psychological symptoms. A significant reduction of PTSD symptoms has been seen in veterans after massage therapy. Moreover, findings suggest a reduction of substance abuse, anxiety, stress, depression, and dissociation.
Massage techniques range from a very light touch to a deep touch. Some use only pressure points; others use oil, rocking, stretching, petrissage, and cross-fiber friction with the patient either clothed or unclothed and draped. At least moderate pressure is required to stimulate vagal activity and induce parasympathetic response.
Types of Massage for PTSD
As a trained and certified massage therapist, I offer a variety of services to suit different needs. The following types of massage could be helpful.
This is one of the most well-known types of massage. When people talk about massage therapy, they most likely mean a Swedish massage. It is sometimes called a “classic massage.” A Swedish massage is characterized by long gliding strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the body. Massage lotion or oil is applied to reduce friction on the skin during a session. This type of massage helps ease joint pain, muscle aches and stiffness. It also improves circulation, and facilitate healing after an injury. It is highly adaptable, and could be very gentle and relaxing.
Chair massages are also known as seated or on-site massages. The fully-clothed client sits on a specially-designed chair, which facilitates the session. The massage is concentrated mainly on the back, arms and hands of the client. The therapist may use a variety of techniques, such as Swedish and Deep Tissue massages. An advantage of this type of massage is its versatility and portability.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massages, as the name implies, go deeper into the muscles than a regular or Swedish massage. It can help with rehabilitation after an injury, chronic muscle pain, and conditions such as arthritis and tendonitis. It is often combined with other types of massage.
Infrared Sauna for PTSD
Infrared spa treatments are a great way to rid the body of unwanted toxins and can be very relaxing. Environmental chemicals and any heavy metals such as mercury or lead that have built up in the body are excreted through sweating, and the infrared sauna is a way to comfortably sweat, relax, and purify skin.
Infrared technology allows treatments to be available at different heat levels: near, middle, and far. These levels refer to different infrared wavelengths and heat intensity. Testing has shown that near-infrared levels are excellent for the healing of wounds and increasing the function of the immune system. Middle levels are better for improving circulation as well as enhancing the relaxation of muscles. And the far infrared levels? Those are ideal for detoxification. Often new users prefer to start their sauna time slowly, working up to thirty-minute sessions from an initial five minutes to start, but if you use a standard Swedish sauna frequently or have a high tolerance to heat, it’s fine to spend a longer period of time initially in an infrared sauna.
Do you have sore muscles most weekends? Are you a weekend warrior trying to pack in too much on Saturday and Sunday? Spring and Summer in Michigan are so short. There are so many things we want to do cram into the beautiful weather. But come Monday, our bodies are paying for it.
Start off your week with a relaxing massage to loosen up those muscles and keep your body going all week. Schedule a massage today.
If you want to do more on the weekends and feel better throughout the week, follow these tips.
Relieve Sore Muscles Throughout the Week
Massage Therapy – All Body Kneads therapeutic full-body massage caters to your wants and needs with a specialized focus on problem areas, tension, stress relief, and relaxation. Deepen benefits with add-ons such as hot stones, aromatherapy, paraffin wax, and more. Add-ons are also available to enhance the experience and healing. Learn More.
Bamboo Fusion Massage – The technique uses warm bamboo sticks for deep tissue massage work. The bamboo tool allows the massage therapist to use more strength and stamina for deeper pressure. The smooth sticks allowed for more penetrating maneuvers and make deep-tissue work easier. Learn more.
Infrared Sauna – Infrared spa treatments are a great way to rid the body of unwanted toxins. The dry heat assists with increasing circulation and healing injuries. Learn more.
Epson Salt Soak – Soaking in Epson salts may relieve sore muscles. The theory is that when you soak in an Epsom salt bath, these minerals get absorbed into your body through the skin. This may help relax muscles, reduce swelling and pain from arthritis, and relieve pain from fibromyalgia and various causes.
Drink Lots of Water – Dehydration can make the recovery period from sore muscles feel even worse. Drinking water is beneficial in speeding up that recovery time and eradicating feelings of soreness – removing toxins from your body and keeping your muscles in proper working order.
Steam Sauna Therapy – Add a steam sauna treatment to your massage. You don’t even have to leave the massage table. Stay comfortable and enjoy. During the treatment, your head remains outside allowing the lymphatic system and organs to heal themselves. Learn more.
What can we help you with today?
All Body Kneads massage therapy has many options to help with sore muscles due to over exertion. We get it – the weekend may be your only time to get things done and have fun. We are here to help.
Have you ever experienced a hot stone massage? We use heated river rocks and gently massage your body in key areas including:
along the sides of your spine
on your stomach
on your chest
on your face
on your palms
on your feet and toes
As you can imagine, the stones melt tension, ease stiff muscles, and increase metabolism and circulation.
A hot stone massage is typically an add-on service as part of a full-body massage. Typically, it is only used during parts of the massage, not the entire time.
6 Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
#1. Relieves muscle tension and pain
Heat is commonly used to to ease muscle tension and pain. In combination with massage therapy, it increase blood flow. It can also help to reduce muscle spasms and increase flexibility and range of motion.
#2. Reduces stress and anxiety
The Mayo Clinic reports a 60-minute massage can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, by up to 30 percent after just one session. Stress is a huge part of anxiety and lowering stress is the key to managing anxiety. Add a hot stone massage and feel your anxiety melt away.
#3. Increases peaceful sleep
The best way to achieve healthy sleep habits is by natural medication-free means. Studies have shown that regular massage therapy reduces fatigue, promotes relaxation, and contributes to high-quality sleep. The benefits of massage are both immediate and long-term.
People who receive massages experience a more restorative type of sleep, both immediately following the massage and even several hours afterward. Their bodies are more relaxed, with reduced aches and pains, and able to fall more quickly into a deep sleep.
Parents who have given their babies gentle massages can attest to similar results. Infants who have been massaged are more relaxed and undergo fewer disturbances of their sleep.
#4. May help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia
Hot stone massage may help to relieve the chronic pain of fibromyalgia. The symptoms of Fibromyalgia can vary from mild to severe. Some patients find massage helpful even during severe flare-ups. Others prefer to wait until their pain is at a lower level to receive massage. Your health care provider and massage therapist may be able to help you decide, but ultimately you know what is best for you!
Call me today to discuss your symptoms and how massage therapy can help! 517.898.2899
#5. May relieve symptoms of cancer treatment
Massage therapy can be a very good and beneficial factor in boosting your energy and mood while receiving cancer treatment. Often, cancer patients experience drops in their mood, energy, and physical dexterity. With massage as a supportive treatment, most of these debilitating ailments can be lessened for the patients.
Hot stone massage as part of massage treatment can help with:
The breaking up of scar tissue
Loosening of mucus in the lungs
And relief from pain, arthritis, constipation, colds, and fatigue
Are you a current cancer patient, survivor or caregiver to a loved one who is battling cancer? Did you know that there is a non-profit in Mid-Michigan that provides discounted or free massage therapy services to those in need? It is not just for cancer patients, but for many qualifying people who are experiencing a hardship and cannot regularly afford the healing benefits of massage therapy and other techniques.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a type of RSI (repetitive strain injury) that is more common now than ever before. RSIs are caused by overuse and repetition – such as typing, using a computer mouse, driving, video games, lifting heavy objects, and even sports and exercise if done incorrectly.
The pain from RSIs typically occurs in the upper part of the body. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome generally hurts in the wrists and forearms, but the problem actually originates from the shoulder area.
“Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. When the median nerve is compressed, the symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm.”
Signs of Repetitive Strain Injury
According to Moore Life Health and Healing Chiropractors: Evidence of RSIs typically begin gradually and become constant and more intense. Pain tends to start in the wrists and hands, forearms and elbows, or neck and shoulders. If you ignore early signs you may not notice or be slowed down by it until it becomes really bad or unbearable. But there is no need to get to that point. If left untreated symptoms may limit your ability to perform your usual activities.
pain, ranging from mild to severe
tingling or numbness
sensitivity to cold or heat
Massage Can Help With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Massage therapy is an effective way to help relieve carpal tunnel syndrome-related symptoms. It can also be used to prevent developing RSIs. If you work in one of the professions or industries listed below you should consider adding massage therapy to your regular self-care routine. It could save you a lot of pain, medication, and surgery in the future.
Massage therapy helps treat CTS by reducing inflammation, pain, and numbness in the carpal tunnel. This happens by lengthening the muscles and fascia in the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, and hand.
Deep tissue massage can be used to stimulate trigger points and reduce the tension in the soft tissues of the shoulder, arm, hand, and wrist. It can also help increase joint mobility in those areas.
Myofascial tissue massage is also a wonderful technique to help with this sort of pain. cupping on the hand, used in combination with massage therapy, is another effective way to reduce muscle tension that may be contributing to symptoms associated with CTS.
All Body Kneads provides several types of massage therapy including Deep Tissue, therapeutic, and myofascial massage.
We are deep into winter in the Mid-West and many people’s energy levels are waning. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), lower vitamin D levels, less exercise, and irregular sleep patterns can all contribute to lower energy. Oh, if we could all be like bears and hibernate through the winter.
However, life goes on through all seasons and even a global pandemic. Anxiety and depression can also make you feel tired and lethargic.
So, what are some natural and safe things we can do to boost our energy levels?
Massage therapy can help improve energy levels in several ways. First, it improves sleep, which is essential not just for physical health, but also for mental and emotional well-being. Anyone who’s had only 4-5 hours of sleep during the night can attest to the negative effect on an entire day. People who literally bounce out of bed in the morning, ready to take on anything that comes their way, are more likely to be those who have slept 8 hours or more.
Massage therapy also helps with anxiety and depression by helping to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Cortisol is often called “the stress hormone” because it is a naturally-occurring steroid hormone that plays a key role in the body’s stress response. If you lower your stress, you lower your cortisol levels which is a chemical byproduct of stress. Less stress = less cortisol = more energy.
Improved Sleep Routine
As mentioned above, good sleep habits are essential to maintaining energy levels throughout the day. We all know what it feels like to slog through the day on very little sleep. Everything seems harder. Are you aware of how much sleep you get on average? Ideally, we should be getting 8 hours of RESTFUL sleep. This does not mean that we can count eight hours from when our head hits the pillow to when our alarm goes off in the morning. If you toss and turn, wake up, get up to go the bathroom, etc. you are not getting eight hours. If this sounds like your sleep pattern you may need to go to be earlier or get up later in order to get a solid eight hours of restful sleep.
Maintaining the same sleep schedule throughout the week, including the weekends, can really help as well. Sleeping too much can also make you feel tired and lethargic during waking hours.
There are many apps and tools that can assist you in created the perfect sleep environment for your preferences.
Eating Healthy to Improve Energy Levels
Food is the fuel for our body so what you eat directly effects your energy. High sugar foods will give you a boost and then a crash. Too much caffeine could have the same effect. Many people feel really sluggish after eating a high-carb meal when the body starts processing the carbs into sugar. To figure out what your body needs to feel energized, start a food diary. Write down what you eat, the time of day, and how you feel afterward. After a few days or weeks of keeping track of this information you will see some patterns start to emerge. Also, getting some food allergy and sensitivity testing done will help you discover foods that are causing you problems.
Moving and exercise, even moderately, every day helps in so many ways. It keeps us active and our muscles moving so we don’t get stiff and sore. Typically, you will sleep better if you exercise regularly, and it reduces stress. These are all things that contribute to over all higher energy levels.