NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

Reasons for Chair Massage in the Office

 

Although many offices do have some type of Wellness Sessions occurring at the office, many don’t see it as a true benefit to the workplace. Here are 3 quick reasons to have Chair Massage as a part of the workday-

1. It takes the excuse of “I don’t have time” out of the equation. The chair is already there, and you have a few minutes in your day to take care of yourself. It is a matter of priority. Where are you on your Priority List?

Your ears and shoulders should be like exes; they should be aware of each other, but nowhere near each other.

Your ears and shoulders should be like exes; they should be aware of each other, but nowhere near each other.

2. It reduces pain in tension areas of the body that tend to be overused – the head, neck and shoulders. Leaning into your computer screen, peering into your cell phone, poring over paperwork, or even cradling the phone between your neck and shoulders all contribute to sore muscles that can create headaches, eyestrain and afternoon lethargy.
3. It creates a refreshing afternoon break in the day. It’s after lunch, and 5 PM seems like a LONG way away. What do you have to look forward to- Going home? With that last break of the day, getting a quick massage can give you a calorie free quick burst of energy and a well needed (and well-kneaded) stress break! Adding peppermint (essential oil or even candy) to the session can help increase concentration on tasks.

Of course, there are many more reasons – what is your reason to have Chair Massage at your office?

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How Deep is TOO Deep? NiaMassage FAQ #1


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Many times, when I talk to potential clients and they ask what types of massage that I do, one of the modalities I mention is ‘Deep Tissue Massage’. I can already see a wince of pain crawl across their faces. They are visualizing steamrollers running over little marshmallow Peeps, wondering if that is how they’ll feel after getting the same massage. I’ve even read articles that people have written, alluding the same feeling after getting a deep tissue massage.

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Some people LOVE feeling like a lump of clay after getting a Deep Tissue Massage. It doesn’t have to be painful to feel that way.

What I try to explain to them is that everyone’s pressure tolerance is different. Some clients may LOVE feeling like a lump of clay after getting a deep tissue massage, and that’s absolutely perfect, for them. Bruises don’t look cute on anyone. I encourage everyone, that if you are not comfortable with the pressure, definitely speak up – This is YOUR session. There are different ways to address your goals for your session.

Now, in some cases, it is going to be painful – gluteal work is literally a pain in the butt, and axillary massage is uncomfortable because, well, how often have you gotten a massage where the therapist worked in your armpit? In these cases, I’m going to let you know so that you are prepared, and that we can work together. This way,you still get your best massage session. There are coping mechanisms as well as techniques that I can show you, so that you are able to still enjoy the massage, and get what you need done.

So next time you’re getting a Deep Tissue Massage, and you’re not getting the pressure you need, let the therapist know! They’ll do their best to accommodate as well as they can.

 

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Are your feet holding your whole body hostage?

I walked a 5K this past weekend for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. Now normally, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I’ve had breathing issues most of this year, so walking even at a brisk pace was a challenge.

I walked it, in better time than I had the last time (I came in with the truck that picked up the cones at my last 5K). I was so happy that I went shopping to treat myself for a job well done, and was out for hours.

When I got home, hours later, I was tired, but wasn’t as tired as I had been in the past walks. My feet felt fine, but apparently were beginning to throw a serious hissy fit. As I slept, my feet held a meeting with the muscles in my calves.

If you've been on your feet for most of the day, and you haven't taken care of them, be prepared to be taken hostage by them.

If you’ve been on your feet for most of the day, and you haven’t taken care of them, be prepared to be taken hostage by them.

They regaled my calves with stories of abuse and mistreatment, and after all the stories, the calves believed my feet! In solidarity with my feet, my calves began to twitch, ever so slightly, my brain didn’t even notice. My feet were really upset that the brain still didn’t tell me to get up, that they gave an ultimatum – move that leg one more time, and SEE what happens next!

Again, as far as the brain was concerned, it was off the clock. ‘Time for maintenance, please come back later,’ the message replied. As I fell back to sleep, my legs shifted into a more comfortable position, and the feet seized the opportunity to wake me up.

The foot began to curl, as the calf muscles contracted. Just before it fully seized up, I bolted out of bed, and almost stood up on my foot, like I used to when I would get a Charlie horse. Once I calmed down, I took deep breaths, massaged the muscles, and got in that knot before any of the other muscles tried to gang up on me.

Now, as a massage therapist, I should know better. Yes, I see you shaking your head as you read the post. Everyone has a slip now and again.

Here’s how you can do better than I did. If you don’t take care of your feet, no matter how long your to-do list is, your feet will take your whole body hostage.

– After doing an activity, such as a 5K or a run, have a banana. The magnesium in the banana will help feed the muscles the nutrients they need to regulate and repair. Don’t like bananas? Here is a link of magnesium rich foods.

– A cool water bottle rolled under foot will help soothe sore soles. A golf ball will help address knots, but don’t press so hard, the cramp in your foot may just get worse. Apply pressure to your level of comfort only.

– Self massage always helps when you just want to take care of that knot that’s been bothering you. Again, digging into a knot may not be the best idea; bruises look cute on noone.

– Warm ups before and gentle stretching afterwards helps the muscles prepare for and recover from an activity. This is a hotly contested idea, and opinions vary widely. I’d rather let my muscles know that they’re getting ready to work, than to cramp up in the middle of an activity. Check out the last post – Leg Cramps – for some great stretches that you can do for your legs.

– A pre-event massage helps warm the muscles up and prepare them for your upcoming activity, as a post-event massage will help the muscles calm down and recover. If your event has therapists on site, go and check them out. They are there to help you!

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Are you a Hipster for the wrong reason?

As you go through your day, some things you do just out of routine, some just to cope with getting through the day, and others just out of bad habit. If you stand with one knee locked, you just may be a Hipster for all the wrong reasons.

If you are standing to one side, you are having half your body doing all the work of holding you up.

If you are standing to one side, you are having half your body doing all the work of holding you up.

For the most part, your hips are there to help balance the body. (Could you imagine just having one hip?) When the pelvis is tilted to one side or the other, muscles on the opposite side are compressed into a smaller space. It’s the same as you doing the job of everyone on your team, while they are doing nothing at all. You see your team mates, and you are ticked off. That’s what it’s like when you rest your weight to one side of the body, and the other side is just there. Over time, the lower back begins to ache, stiffen, then become a real pain in the butt.

Well, how would you feel? Half of your body is doing all the work of holding you up,  and the other muscles are not doing their job; you’d get irritated, too! Your lower back will all of a sudden look like a pouty 4-year old, arms crossed.  “I’m not gonna work for you anymore!”, It is saying to you. Your backside doesn’t know what to do, so it just clenches to contribute to the job of holding you up. You begin to feel an ache in your backside that doesn’t want to seem to go away.

One great way to help get rid of a knot is to take a tennis ball and put it in a trouser sock (a clean one, preferably), place it near the knot, then massage the ball over the knot. The sock will help you place it where it’s needed, since it won’t just stay on the wall. Foam rollers work great over wide areas of muscle. You can sit on it, and apply pressure to your preference over the roller.

If you slightly bend your knees, not a full bend (you don’t want to look like the last kid picked for dodgeball), and hold your core stomach muscles, then all your muscles will help you hold you up. Now they are going to pitch a fit; they haven’t worked in a while, so they have to get back in the habit of doing their job. Don’t let them off the hook, get in the habit of standing straight. It takes 21 days to create a habit, so just be aware of how you are carrying yourself. Once you get into the habit, you will definitely feel a difference.

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You Really Don’t Have Time?

I hear more often than not “I don’t have time to get a massage, even if you came to my office.” So from what I understand, you are OK with dealing with pain and stiffnness in your:
Neck and Head – Leaning forward toward computer desktop monitors, laptop and smartphone screens contribute to a stiff neck and eyestrain. Taking frequent breaks to have your eyes focus on more 3-D objects approximately 20 feet away can help your eye muscles relax, and not be contracted to focus on flat, 2-D objects closer to your face.

Shoulders– Your ears and your shoulders should be like exes; Aware of each other, but nowhere near one another. Your shoulders should be relaxed, and not rolled forward

Good Door Stretch

Excellent Shoulder Stretch (Image Credit- http://www.Abbotcenter.com)

(slouching posture). If you lean against a wall, your shoulder blades shouldn’t be the only things touching the wall. Stretch your pecs in the doorway, doing a forward lean, to help release the tension in your shoulder blades.

Lower Back – Locking your knees does nothing good for the lower back. It tightens and compresses all the lower back muscles in to one small area. Remember when you sat in the back seat of the car as a child on long road trips, all stuffed and cramped back there? Well, now you know how your lower back feels! Bending your knees slightly, not so bent that you are slouching, will help all muscles responsible work together to help you stand better, be more agile on your feet, and tilt your pelvis to give your lower back muscles more room to move.

High Heels– I know, your legs look GREAT in your favorite pair of stilettos, but being in

High heels look great, but is it worth all the pain in your feet? (Image Credit - webmd.com)

those shoes does more harm than good. You already know about your Achilles tendon shortening, heel pain, hammer toes, and your toes crammed into too small of a toe box contributes to bunions with prolonged use of high heels. What about your overall posture, hip displacement and muscle pain, especially your calves, shins because you’re walking on your tiptoes? Massage would be great to help your muscles in your lower back, thighs and calves feel better and help articulate your ankle to improve mobility.

Backs of Legs/ Sitting all Day – We spend WAY too much time sitting down. Whether it is at the computer, behind the wheel, on the couch, et cetera, we weren’t designed to be sitting all day long. Even if we work out after sitting all day, the detriment will outweigh the benefits. Take breaks and walk around throughout the day if at all possible. Stand when you can, and make sure you slightly bend those knees!

Taking care of yourself, a few minutes each day will do WONDERS for your overall health, stress levels, and your personal well-being. If no one has told you, you are definitely worth all the effort that it takes to take care of yourself. If you don’t, how will you do what you love to do?

If you want to feel better at work, talk with your massage therapist to come up with a
customized stretching regimen so that you feel better throughout the day. If I happen to be YOUR massage therapist, why haven’t you called me yet?

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