HOSPITAL-BASED ONCOLOGY MASSAGE

The field of oncology massage has grown leaps and bounds over the past decade. With the increase in evidence-based, peer review research around the efficacy and effectiveness of oncology massage, more and more massage therapists are being trained in this needed and meaningful field. More importantly, more and more cancer patients are receiving the healing power of touch.

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LIVING WITH TMJD

Everyone has a temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It allows you to chew food, talk and open your jaw to sing. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD) manifests in many ways, such as pain in the face, ears, neck and shoulder; sinus pain; pain when chewing or talking; jaw clicking or popping; headaches; and locking jaw. Often people suffering with these symptoms develop social and emotional complications as well. Social anxiety can develop from the embarrassment of not being able to properly….

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BECOME A MASSAGE THERAPIST

Over the years many studies have shown a massage has amazing benefits to our overall wellness, such as reduced stress, improved range of motion and reduced pain. However, we rarely have a chance to discuss the benefits of giving a massage. Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) is an incredible journey, and often, an incredible career. Learning to become a massage therapist can benefit all age groups and walks of life; such as recent high-school graduates, single parents and even those....

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EXERCISE AND THE BENEFITS OF MASSAGE

It can be extremely difficult to find and make time for ourselves. Life gets in the way and sometimes other people become more of a priority to us than ourselves. Many people do find and make time for exercise, however. Each of us has our own motivation to stay healthy in our movement and we have our own reasons and desires to make exercise part of our lifestyle.


Get Moving!

Exercise and movement come in many different forms. Sometimes it can look like a stroll through your neighborhood or a hike on the weekends. Maybe it’s a quick walk on your lunch break. Perhaps it is going to the gym on your own, taking a class at the gym or even hiring your own personal trainer. According to a newsletter from the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Edward R. Laskowski says the average healthy adult should participate in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. This can be broken down to 30 minutes for five days. However you do it, you’ll find movement allows you to reap the many benefits of exercise. Some of these may include an overall decrease in mental stress, the increase of healthy hormones such as dopamine, the decreased risk in cardiovascular disease and many more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exercise can help:

  1. Control your weight.
  2. Strengthen muscles and bones.
  3. Improve your ability to perform daily activities, improve balance and prevent falls (in the older adult community).


Massage is for more than  just relaxation!

Although these are all positive benefits of exercise and movement, our bodies can develop tension in certain areas with physical impact. This tension may look like a sore muscle, achy joints, limited range of motion or stiffness and more. Massage therapy can assist in many ways to alleviate or improve those ailments caused by physical impact. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massage therapy can:

  1. Decrease muscle stiffness and fatigue prior to exercise;
  2. Increase range of motion and decrease muscle tension;
  3. Support in physiological recovery;
  4. Prevent exercise induced injuries; and
  5. Enhance athletic performance.


If finding time weekly for exercise and/or movement is something that is in your routine, you can see how massage therapy can only enhance this special time you make for yourself. There are massage facilities all over the city and in the surrounding counties. Each facility has a different price point and different hours, so finding a convenient location and comfortable cost is very possible.


Deep Tissue Only?

There are a few different massage modalities that may be appropriate post exercise. According to Elements Massage (www.elementsmassage.com), some of these modalities may be broken down to help explain the difference. The ever-so-popular deep tissue massage is an option. Deep tissue is a technique using the muscle- specific application of Swedish strokes, such as effleurage, petrissage and compression. These are a combination of long strokes, short and kneading-like strokes and deep and still on single part of a muscle. The therapist can work on specific muscles that may be sore or overworked and increase deeper pressure to access the muscle on a deeper level.


Sports massage is another popular type of massage often sought post exercise. Sports massage is very similar to deep tissue massage with a blend of specific muscles work and passive stretching to relieve tension in the muscle and joint. Whether you choose one of these modalities or something different, the preference is yours. Finding out how your body will respond to these different modalities is important. And finding the right therapist and modality is the key to your massage journey. Communication regarding pressure is also of extreme importance when receiving post-exercise massage. If the pressure seems painful, let your therapist know.


Finally, enjoy! Massage and fitness can add so much to your life. So have fun getting fit and feeling great!


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BRITTANY FATHERGILL

Brittany Fathergill has been a licensed massage therapist (LMT) since 2006. She is part of the administrative team of Lexington Healing Arts Academy. She has completed an associates degree in science and is close to completing her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. Brittany is also a certified Health and Wellness Coach.  

more articles by Brittany Fathergill