Workout After a Massage?

{For several years, Bill hosted "Massage Moment", a radio spot nestled within Lionville Natural Pharmacy owner Ben Briggs' Saturday morning radio show, Health Focus on WCOJ. These 3-to-4-minute gems covered topics ranging from stress to common bio-mechanical injuries, to answering questions such as 'should I get massage before or after chiropractic?'

Listen to the audio here, aired originally in 2007.}

Q: How long should I wait after a massage to work out or exercise?

A: Well, the answer to that question depends on what type of massage you've received.

For instance, if you've just received what I call a froo-froo massage ... you know, a massage that doesn't really get too far below the surface of the skin ... you're probably not going to experience any problems going from the massage table to the weight bench.

But, if you've received a deep-tissue massage, which means your therapist has been working on those layers of tissue located beneath the superficial muscles, then you'd be better off waiting at least four hours before throwing yourself into any strenuous activity.

The reason for this is because deep tissue work, in a way, re-injures the muscles. Or, maybe a better way to put it ... is that deep tissue re-opens old injuries in order to re-activate the healing process. This process of revisiting an old injury places the soft tissue in a particularly vulnerable state.

It would be similar to .. if you had an old kitchen chair that needed repairing. And let's say someone tried to repair it before, but didn't do a very good job, so now the wood-joint is starting to open again and the chair is becoming wobbly.

In order to fix the problem, first you have to clean out all the old glue and duct-tape. Then you re-glue the surface an refit the joint, clamping it until the glue dries.

But what would happen if you sat down on the chair before the glue is fully cured? It would break, and you would quickly find yourself sitting on the floor surrounded by chair parts! Simply put, the new repair was not ready yet to handle the work load.

The same principle applies to skeletal, muscle and other soft-tissues.

When I go into deep-massage-mode, I'm breaking up an old injury that maybe didn't heal quite properly. Then, with a series of techniques and stretches, I 're-assemble' the area. But that doesn't mean it's ready for a work-load yet! The area has to be given time to settle and heal. Sometimes, depending on the injury, a full day is required after the massage. And, it's important to allow the body the time to heal. (You may think of it as down-time, but the truth is, your body is busy finishing repairing itself.)

Again, not all massages have this effect.

In fact, some massage techniques are quite helpful just prior to an athletic event or workout. Light vigorous work with lots of tapotement and surface vibration brings blood to an area and loosens up the body, making for an improved cardio-vascular function.

As always, it's better to err on the side of caution. Ask your therapist questions, and after that, listen to what your body has to say.


{ For an appointment, please call 484.798.8029, or email: triscale@verizon.net }

Can Massage Help Chronic Fatigue?

{For several years, Bill hosted "Massage Moment", a radio spot nestled within Lionville Natural Pharmacy owner Ben Briggs' Saturday morning radio show, Health Focus on WCOJ. These 3-to-4-minute gems covered topics ranging from stress to common bio-mechanical injuries, to answering questions such as 'should I get massage before or after chiropractic?'

Listen to the audio: (originally aired 4/22/06)}

 

The other day I had a client call me on the phone and ask, "Can massage do anything to help Chronic Fatigue?"

I believe so ... and for several reasons:

First, understand that Chronic Fatigue is a syndrome, meaning there are probably several contributing factors. Poor diet, constant negative emotions like fear or anger, and lack of quality sleep - just to name a few - all add up and cause low energy levels, producing a general feeling of lethargy.

A lot of this is because the body is expending a tremendous amount of energy trying to maintain homeostasis in the face of all these stressors.

For instance, take the emotion we call 'FEAR'.

Fear can cause soft tissues like skeletal muscles and fascia to tighten up. They contract instinctively as a self-protection mechanism. And when they contract, they use up energy. Therefore, sustained contractions require a constant source of energy. Eventually, the body runs out of fuel, and 'voila!', chronic fatigue.

Massage can help you by manually releasing the tissues that are literally sucking the energy out of you. Through massage techniques like effleurage, petrissage and tapotement, muscles and fascia learn to relax, which means less drain on the body's energy reserves.

And since massage encourages the body to 'stand -down', it can play a significant role in improving the quality of your sleep. Often we go to bed so 'wound up' from the day's activities that when we want to turn off, we can't.

Our bodies fall into a pattern of constantly being geared up, and ready to go, to the point where we can't shut them off when the time comes! So, during times when your body needs the sleep most, it gets less and less. And even when you do finally fall asleep, it's not a restful one.

Well, no wonder!

You may be sleeping, but your body is still knotted up, maintaining tension. So, the alarm goes off, and you throw yourself into yet another day, ill-rested and stressed-out!

Again, massage can break this cycle by allowing the body to go to bed relaxed. Relaxed muscles make for better sleep, allowing the body to recharge by morning, meaning higher energy levels for the next day.

If you or someone you know is suffering from chronic fatigue, call me. I will be more than happy to discuss the problem, and make a few recommendations.

Although massage isn't a 'cure-all', it can be an important and powerful method for breaking the chronic fatigue cycle.


{ For an appointment, please call 484.798.8029, or email: triscale@verizon.net }

Can Massage Help Arthritis?

{For several years, Bill hosted "Massage Moment", a radio spot nestled within Lionville Natural Pharmacy owner Ben Briggs' Saturday morning radio show, Health Focus on WCOJ. These 3-to-4-minute gems covered topics ranging from stress to common bio-mechanical injuries, to answering questions such as 'should I get massage before or after chiropractic?'

Listen to the audio here, aired originally in 2007.}

Q: Can therapeutic massage help with arthritis?

A: Well, it depends...

First of all, let's define our terms. Arthritis is a name given to several different types of chronic disease states involving inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joints.

There are over 100 different types of arthritis. The three most common are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gouty arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic arthritis that destroys the synovial membranes of joints. Basically what happens is that the synovial membranes are replaced by fibrous tissues, which add to joint stiffness and decreases the range of motion. It is thought to be an autoimmune disease.

People with rheumatoid arthritis experience 'flare ups' and remission. Massage is not recommended for people with rheumatoid arthritis during a flare up! However, while in remission, massage can help reduce stress, and gentle range of motion techniques can help to increase joint mobility.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic, progressive erosion of the articular cartilage due to chronic inflammation. The most common sites are weight-bearing joints such as ankles or knees. Osteoarthritis is more common than rheumatoid arthritis, and is found most commonly in the elderly population.

Massage for someone with osteoarthritis is okay, provided the therapist does not use excessive pressure. Deep tissue and range of motion techniques are contraindicated due to the risk of injuring the client.

Gouty arthritis is characterized by an abnormal build-up of uric acid in the body. In most cases, uric acid is eliminated from the body through the urine. But some folks, usually males, either produce too much uric acid, or are, for one reason or another, unable to excrete the acid from their blood stream.

The end result is that the uric acid converts to sodium urate crystals, which end up settling in the soft tissue around the joints, typically the feel and toes, causing irritation, pain and swelling.

In cases of gouty arthritis, massage is strictly contraindicated!

Actually, there's a fourth common type of arthritis that is becoming more popular... and that's Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease, also called Lyme Arthritis, is a recurrent form of arthritis caused by a bacteria transmitted through a tick bit. (It got the name "Lyme" because the condition first showed up in Lyme, Connecticut.)

It affects large joints, such as the knee and the hip, with inflammation, along with headaches, fever, and a scaly red skin eruption.

Generally, a gentle full-body massage is indicated. Passive range of motion techniques can help maintain joint mobility. If, however, the client is experiencing wide-spread inflammation, then massage is contraindicated.

So, as you can see, when dealing with arthritis, there a lot of things to consider. As always, it's best to ask your doctor if they think massage is a good idea or not.

This is Bill Bryan, and you've been listening to a Massage Moment.


{ For an appointment, please call 484.798.8029, or email: triscale@verizon.net }

Can Massage Help Fibromylagia?

{For several years, Bill hosted "Massage Moment", a radio spot nestled within Lionville Natural Pharmacy owner Ben Briggs' Saturday morning radio show, Health Focus on WCOJ. These 3-to-4-minute gems covered topics ranging from stress to common bio-mechanical injuries, to answering questions such as 'should I get massage before or after chiropractic?'

Listen to the audio here, aired originally in 2006.}

Q: Can massage help fibromyalgia?

A: Yes! In fact, I have several clients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and all have been helped with massage.

First of all, it's important to understand that fibromyalgia is not a disease, but a 'condition'. More specifically, it's a 'syndrome' which means there are several causes, all working simultaneously. Poor diet, emotional stress, and lack of exercise are the key culprits.

Fibromyalgia sufferers usually experience chronic fatigue, along with 'tender points' along the sides of the legs, the thighs and in the arms. There are no real conventional treatments. In fact, it's only just recently been acknowledged by doctors as a real and legitimate diagnosis.

My take on the subject is this: Due to our sedentary lifestyle, our musculoskeletal system is not being used as it ought to be. Soft tissue not only goes into atrophy, but it's not clearing the toxins out of the body the way they were meant to.

Meanwhile, due to our poor diet, we continue to load up on foods with all sorts of toxins in them. Preservatives, artificial coloring, artificial sweeteners, and so on, continue to build up in our systems, little by little, until reaching critical mass.

And while all that is going on, add in the crazy 'run-here-run-there-no-time-for-ourselves' lifestyle, and you've got all the right ingredients for a body that is physically undernourished and emotionally overworked. Eventually, the body reacts and says, "No more! I quit!" But life won't let us, and so we plow forward, and things get worse.

So, how do you break the cycle?

My approach is this: isolate and eliminate the root causes, wherever they are found, and slowly bring the body 'back on line", so to speak.

First: Stop poisoning your body! Eat organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible. This will give your body something to work with during the restoration process, and it will work less to try to break down unnatural pollutants.

Second: Exercise! Get out and walk, Don't be afraid of the weather, it's good for you. Your body needs to feel the heat and the cold, the wind and the sunshine ... even the rain! If you have a sedentary job, you need to use your muscles. Weight training with a skilled trainer who can pay attention to your form while working out in an absolute plus!

Finally: Get regular full body massages from a therapist experienced with fibromyalgia symptoms. Thai massage techniques are particularly useful.

Initially, there will be some soreness, especially in the areas of the tender points. But after a while, you'll notice the sore areas becoming less and less! I've had several clients whose tender points disappeared completely.

As the body is cared for, it will begin to drop its guard. As this happens, the fibromyalgia cycle is broken, and the road to recovery lies just ahead.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, call me.

There's no need to continue suffering needlessly. With a few lifestyle changes, and a regular routine of therapeutic massage, you can have your life back!


{ For an appointment, please call 484.798.8029, or email: triscale@verizon.net }

Stressful Statistics

{For several years, Bill hosted "Massage Moment", a radio spot nestled within Lionville Natural Pharmacy owner Ben Briggs' Saturday morning radio show, Health Focus on WCOJ. These 3-to-4-minute gems covered topics ranging from stress to common bio-mechanical injuries, to answering questions such as 'should I get massage before or after chiropractic?'

Listen to the audio here, aired originally on June 4, 2008}

"Good morning, once again, my Saturday-Morning-Radio-Listening-Friends!

Here's a bit of trivia for you:

- Did you know that on average we sleep 2 1/2 hours less at night than we did 100 years ago?

- Or that, on average, we work longer hours than we did in 1960?

- Or that the average American usually has at least 36 hours of work piled on their desks at any given moment?

- We spend 8 months of our lives just opening Junk Mail!

- We spend 2 years playing phone tag, and 5 years waiting for people who are trying to do too much!

What does all this add up to? A society that sleeps less, works more, and is constantly running out of time! Let's face it, as a people, we are burning the candle at both ends! Many of us are beginning to feel like Job in the Old Testament, who said, "I have peace, I have no quiet. I have no rest and trouble keeps coming!"

I've mentioned before that 'STRESS' is a means of measuring our WORK LOAD. In construction, beams are rated for STRESS. In construction, beams are rated for STRESS. In other words, they are designed to handle a certain amount of load. If you exceed the LOAD LIMITS, the structure will collapse.

We, too, have been designed by our Creator to handle a certain amount of work load. Exceed those limits and injuries will occur.

Here's some more trivia for you:

- 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.

- 75-90% of all doctor office visits are for stress-related ailments.

- Stress is linked to 6 of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.

- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. In terms of lost hours due to absenteeism, reduced productivity and worker's compensation benefits, stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.

- Reactions to stress are creating long-term emotional disorders in roughly half our population!

I've come to the conclusion that we're killing ourselves trying to live 'the good life'!

So, what do we do about it?

Well, first, be content doing less! King David wrote: "Our time is limited. We have been given only so many months to live, and have limits we cannot go beyond!" WE need to stop pushing ourselves beyond our limits. It's been said that 'contentment makes a poor man rich'.

Secondly, allow time for yourself, for family and friends. Theses are the most important relationships in our life - take time to enjoy them!

And thirdly, make it a point to get regular massage and bodywork. A half hour or one hour (even a 20 minute) massage on a regular basis can do wonders to relieves the effects of our hectic lifestyle. By getting muscles and fascia to relax, the entire body benefits. This, in turn, will improve your mental outlook.

I would go so far as to say that receiving regular massage and bodywork is the most important thing you can do to break the stress cycle.. before it breaks you!

This is Bill Bryan, reminding you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made!


{ For an appointment, please call 484.798.8029, or email: triscale@verizon.net }