From my last edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, a systematic and meta-analysis published in Frontiers in Physiology found the following after analyzing 11 articles that involved 504 participants: Muscle soreness ratings decreased significantly when the participants received massage therapy compared to ratings when the participants did not receive massage therapy. The therapy also improved muscles’ maximal isometric force and peak torque. Researchers say that these findings suggest that massage therapy, after strenuous exercise, could be effective for alleviating delayed onset muscle soreness and improving muscle performance.
Whitney Lowe wrote another informative, enlightening, and chocked-full-of-reminders one still in the latest edition of ABMP’s Massage & Bodywork! His very first sentence, which reiterated that nerves do NOT react well to compression and/or irritation, set it all up for us therapists! He then talked of entrapment of the nerve by the middle scalene muscle and other muscles, scapular winging, and dysfunction feedback loop. Lastly, he described the 3 main causes of the nerve pathology and how massage treatment should probably be light pressure!
In one of last month’s newsletters, Greater Rochester Chiropractic’s article centered on, and stemmed from, its very first sentence, “healthy knees require continuous motion”. For any considerable length of time, left motionless throughout any given day, knee cartilage will break down, and knee ligaments will become lax. When these chronic changes happen, other degenerative alterations in knee joint architecture happen; naturally, pain usually results. A feedback loop of increased pain, lower level of activity, and increased pain will probably occur then. Paradoxically, the solution (for many of these problems!) is to begin a progressive, rehabilitative program, and it should incorporate repetitive knee motion. Mostly used a lot after surgery, the philosophy of “use it, or lose it” stands! Healthy knees need a continuous flow of synovial (referring to joints) fluid through them. Synovial fluid provides oxygen and other nutrients to the joint, aids in shock absorption, and decreases friction in the joint. As with every physiological process, activity creates a demand for nutrients. Biomechanically, increased motion increases blood flow, which thereby provides oxygen and nutritional building blocks that are required for bearing weight and for movement. Increased circulation also facilitates removal of metabolic waste, the byproducts of physical work. Specifically, when speaking of knee joints, increased workloads improve capacity of the knees to do work, creating a NEW, POSITIVE feedback loop; as the knee joints adapt to increased activity, the physiological momentum shifts, in a sense, from a trend toward painful arthritis to a trend toward improved function, a greater tolerance for physical loads, and diminished pain. Beginning a daily walking regimen will launch this entire process; start gradually, at a slow, comfortable pace, and walk for 10 minutes. After a few days, your body will begin to adapt, and you will be able to gradually add a minute or two every few days until you walk for 30 minutes. Then, gradually increase your pace, over a period of three or four weeks, until you’re able to walk BRISKLY for 30 minutes. Briskly walking for 30 minutes five times a week will provide a substantial baseline that will allow you to pursue additional forms of exercise. Ultimately, for most of us, physical activity is the best method for returning to good health!
In the January/February edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, Til Luchau reiterated to us therapists, and bodyworkers, that working with a relaxed patient is hardly as simple as saying, “relax”. Probably my favorite aspect of massage is the fact that it changes a person’s body awareness, and it does it by affecting the central nervous system, NOT simply telling a person to relax!
Ruth Werner’s article (the last in the latest edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork) was enlightening in an unfortunately scary way. Both conditions are autoimmune in nature and greatly understudied and undervalued. I hope she’s right when she says that research has found that inflammation levels seem to be a huge component because that’s a great starting point!
Christy Cael’s article in ABMP’s latest edition of Massage and Bodywork was simple and quite detailed at the same time! She explained, so well I thought, how the pubic symphysis and sacroiliac joint form the pelvic girdle and all the structures around it, including stretch, pain, and pressure receptors function. Then, she confirmed that, because it simply is the human body, the dysfunction that is easy to happen and gave pelvic tilts as homework (a person should press their low back into the floor while lying down with knees bent and feet flat on floor by tightening their abdominal muscles!).
Well, Whitney Lowe (in the Sept./Oct. edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork) explained and reiterated so well, as usual, something that most therapists would agree is very involved! He believes the pluralization of Syndromes is necessary and should be into the following four categories based on tissues involved: cervical rib compression, anterior scalene, costoclavicular, and pectoralis minor. I love his reiteration and openmindedness.