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How Massage Therapy Helps Boost Performance and Prevent Injury

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man riding bike on a path through the woods

As the warmer spring weather enters the forecast, Canadians are heading outside for some fresh air and outdoor activity.

Whether your activity of choice is gardening, golfing, running or biking, there’s a good chance you’ll fail to prepare your body properly for the additional exertion and need some form of rehabilitation. Before you reach for the pill bottle for a quick and temporary fix, consider how massage therapy can help you to stay active and healthy, while improving your athletic performance.

Used regularly by professional athletes, massage is one of the most effective forms of injury rehabilitation therapy for speeding up the healing process and preventing re-injury. Regular massage therapy treatments reduce the risk of soft-tissue injury and recovery time, helping you maintain flexibility and optimal range of motion.

Boost Your Body’s Own Healing Process

For the weekend athlete, regular massage therapy treatments help boost the body’s healing process, allowing it to break down adhesions and scar tissue. Massage also helps reintroduce blood flow for improved circulation, which brings cell nutrition and oxygen to those muscle cells to revitalize and renew. If you don’t allow your body to fully heal and recover before participating in your next exercise session or sports event, the odds of suffering an injury are higher.

Massage therapy helps to relax and relieve tension in the body with a combination of hand strokes and gentle oils, explains athlete and author Brad Walker at stretchcoach.com. Some massage treatments may not have immediate health effects. These deep tissue massages release fluids and tension within deep muscles. The effects are normally delayed, but the general overall feeling is vastly improved the next day.

Other benefits include:

Massage Therapy Ajax Pickering

Improved circulation and general nutrition of muscles.
This appears to be the most valuable fitness-related benefit. Massage is accompanied or followed by an increasing interchange of substances between the blood and the tissue cells, which increases tissue metabolism. Massage maximizes the supply of nutrients and oxygen through increased blood flow, which helps the body rebuild itself.

Improved range of motion and muscle flexibility.
This results in increased power and performance, which helps you work efficiently and with proper intensity to facilitate the body’s muscle-building response.

Shortens recovery time between workouts.
Waste products such as lactic and carbonic acid build up in muscles after exercise. Increased circulation to these muscles helps to eliminate toxic debris and shorten recovery time.

Prevention/healing of injuries.
By stretching connective tissue, massage improves circulation to help prevent or break down adhesions. Massage also influences the excretion of certain fluids (nitrogen, phosphorous, sulphur) necessary for tissue repair.

Exploring Massage Techniques

Each massage type serves a specific purpose.

  • Trigger Point Therapy: A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage for trigger point therapy, the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.
  • Swedish Massage: Swedish massage therapy is the modality that comes to mind when most people think about massage. As the best-known type of bodywork performed today, one of the primary goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage therapy goes beyond relaxation. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
  • Deep Tissue Massage: Deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage, but the deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints).
  • Sports Massage: Sports massage therapy is geared toward athletes. The particulars of sports massage techniques are specific to the athlete’s sport of choice. Focusing on areas of the body that are overused and stressed from repetitive and often aggressive movements.

Massage therapy offers a holistic approach to maintaining an active lifestyle and enhancing athletic performance. By incorporating regular treatments into your routine, you not only mitigate the risk of injury but also optimize your body’s healing potential, ensuring you stay at the top of your game.


At Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage, our registered massage therapists employ a variety of hands-on techniques to assess and treat the soft tissues and joints of the body. If you’re looking for massage therapy in Ajax or Pickering, call our clinic at 905-427-3202 to make an appointment with Ajax massage therapists Jessica Raedisch or Rolf Castanheiro.

With notes from stretchcoach.com.

10 Tips for Maintaining Your Good Health in 2023

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women sitting in yoga class

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the month? As we work our way through the often long and dreary month of January, we thought it would be a good time to review some goals for the year.

Here are our top 10 chiropractor-approved resolutions to help you stay healthy for the rest of the year:

1. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is important to overall health. Both body and mind rest and refresh while you sleep. If you have difficulty sleeping, consult your chiropractor for help and solutions. Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s rest.

2. Warm Up

Before jumping in the pool, hitting the field or picking up a golf club, take 20 minutes to warm up. Your warm-up should include deep-breathing exercises, gentle stretching and range of motion exercises to loosen and warm your muscles and joints.

3. Cool Down

Cooling down after a workout is just as important as warming up. Take 20 minutes for a brisk walk or slow jog and stretch out your muscles and joints before heading for the change room or the car.

4. Practice Perfect Posture

Good posture not only makes you look better, but it also delivers increased energy, better breathing, and improved circulation. Good posture is actually an investment in your appearance AND your health. The secret to good posture is maintaining the spine’s natural curves. If your spine is misaligned, it can result in strain and pain.

5. Choose a Good Office Chair

Do you sit most of the day? While sitting seems restful, staying in any one position for too long can cause strain and injury to your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments.

A good office chair helps a lot. The right chair should:

  • Adjust to suit your size or task
  • Adapt to support your spine in various working positions
  • Have a backrest that supports your lower back
  • Have a front edge that curves downward to promote proper posture

One last tip: Vary your sitting positions throughout the days to prevent injury and strain.

6. Prevent Neck Pain

Your neck is part of your spine, which runs from the base of your skull to the bottom of your back. Neck pain is a common problem with many possible causes. Poor posture, hunching over a computer, arthritis, whiplash, and muscle strain from simple things like reading in bed or grinding your teeth can all trigger neck pain.

Keeping your back safe and strong also protects your neck. Here are some tips to help you prevent neck pain.

7. Manage your Headaches

Tension headaches are common but they are not well understood. Most people describe having a band of pressure around their head that can last from 30 minutes to a week. Tension headaches can be related to muscles tightening in the back of the neck and improper alignment of the joints of the spine.

Record when your headaches occur and what you were doing before they started. Try to recognize the factors that cause or aggravate your headaches. Be sure to tell your chiropractor if you’ve noticed any changes in your usual headaches, such as frequency, duration or intensity, or if your headaches begin to worry you.

8. Prevent Falls

Anyone can fall, but the risk of slips and trips increases as you get older. Every year, one in three Canadians over 65 will fall – often with serious consequences.

Hip, wrist and pelvic fractures are common in this age group and can take a toll on independence and quality of life. Here’s a great list of tips to help you prevent falls.

9. Nourish Yourself

Meal timing is an important factor in maintaining energy levels. Skipping meals can cause blood sugar swings, often resulting in fatigue. People often skip meals and then wonder why they are tired in the afternoon.

To manage energy levels and prevent fatigue, you should eat at least three nutritious meals each day with the last meal well before bedtime.

10. Visit Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage for year-round wellness

Working with a chiropractor and registered massage therapist will help you stay on track with your goals and pamper your spine.

The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage provides patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association

Don’t “Fall Back” Into Bad Habits This Winter

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couple walking in winter

It’s the weekend we all dread! Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday morning at 2 a.m. ET.

As we fall back an hour and approach the winter solstice, with shorter days and colder temperatures, it’s tempting to stay indoors and do things that bring us comfort, like read books and watch movies. Unfortunately, these activities often leave us sedentary.

The importance of staying active

When we are not as active as we are in the summer, it affects the balance of chemicals produced in the body that impacts how we feel pain and pleasure: our endorphins.

Endorphins are produced by the body to respond to things like stress, fear, or discomfort. They interact with the parts of your brain responsible for your emotional responses and sensitivity to pain. Endorphins are responsible for your feelings of pleasure and are involved in your built-in reward system linked to eating, drinking, sexual activity, and maternal behaviour.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help boost the level of endorphins in your body. One of those things is exercise.

Exercise encourages the body to produce more endorphins.

For example, sometimes runners experience a “runner’s high” level of vitality after a workout. The same experience can be had for anyone after an extended period of physical exercise. There are other benefits to working your body physically: exercise can give you more energy throughout the day, allowing you to sleep better at night and feel more relaxed. It also helps the brain repair and recover, reduces inflammation in the body, and helps you feel calm and have an overall sense of well-being.

The good news is that you can replicate these positive sensations by taking steps to add a bit more exercise into your day. Any activity leaving you out of breath for bouts of 10 minutes or more throughout the week can help you fend off the winter blues.

Other ways to boost endorphins

It’s not just exercise that helps your body boost endorphins: regular meditation, yoga, and tai chi help to decrease stress hormones and increase endorphins. Not only that, simple pleasures such as love, laughter, sunshine, and chocolate all increase endorphins as well.

Take care of yourself during the cold-weather months.

There are lots of ways to make the short winter days a little brighter. The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage encourages you to make your physical and mental health a priority.

We provide our patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.