Category Archives: Flagstaff therapeutic massage

Fire on the Rim 2014

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We recently spoke to the race director and some locals about the upcoming 2014 Fire on the Rim mountain bike race.  Sounds like it’s going to be good!  The trails are dry, but not too dry, the tacky sort, perfect for a race!  The race has some great sponsors this year, plenty of good food and beer for all!  Flagstaff Sports Massage will be down again this year to provide sport specific massage therapy.

Get a massage before the race to prepare the tissue, yes, it works like that.  Pre event massage (bodywork let’s call it) is designed to get you ready to rip.  A few light range of motion movements through the hips, knees, low back, neck, shoulders, and some muscle stimulating soft tissue manipulations, like the fast paced stuff, will get you ready to roll.  Missy and Geoffrey Bishop, owner/operator team of FSM, have been doing it for years.  Again, this is not your unexperienced sports massage team from the local school (which is good experience for upcoming therapists) no, this is the real deal.  When you come into the FSM tent, we will have a little appointment book, so you can plan things.  You might be able to get on the table right away, you might need to go drink HALF a beer first (if that’s your thing).  We will be set up Friday afternoon and into the evening.  We will be in the massage tent early on Saturday morning, get it warmed up!  Do a little spin, get a quick shake down on the table, and get to the start line. During the race you know you can push it just a bit harder!  Guess who’s at the finish?  We are!  Don’t be a pansy.  After the race, you’re all good, treat yourself to a recovery session.  Drink some recovery drink of your choice and eat some food, wipe off some sweat and dirt, shower perhaps, and get to your massage session.  At that point the session may look a little deeper, a little slower.  We’ll put you through some more range of motion, we’ll mix it up a bit after the repetitive motion that is cycling and flush the big mover muscles.  We still won’t work too deep, unless you’re into that sort of thing.  We will be working in 15 minute to hour sessions.  I’d suggest at least a half hour for maximum benefit, you won’t be sorry.  We will be accepting cash and credit cards.  (or trades for vintage JC Higgins lanterns and cook stoves, or a Perfection kerosene heater, the kind with the big glass section to provide heat and light)  🙂

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As a side note: Why we do it.  

Because we love it.  We bike.  We support the race community and the fundraising.  We take our kids out to the events so they experience the culture; they ride, they race, although they are young and still doing the kid races, they have a blast in the community!  We make a little money, we hope to pay our vendor fee.  We roll out one of our vintage camp trailer, and maybe an old VW split bus.  This year I think we will bake some cookies.  We like the music, the food and the great outdoors.  Over the years we have built many awesome relationships with you.  We always love coming out to the races, you understand.  See you in the tall pines!

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Filed under Fire on the Rim, Flagstaff Arizona massage, Flagstaff massage therapy, flagstaff sports massage, Flagstaff therapeutic massage, High Altitude massage, massage therapy, Mountain Bike Massage, pain management, Sport massage

Upper Ribs, Shoulder Pain and Breathing Pt1

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Filed under body mechanics, Breathing, Flagstaff massage therapy, Flagstaff therapeutic massage, Myoskeletal Alignment, neck pain, pain management, shoulder pain

Winter Aches and Pains, Pt.1

Winter is upon us.  With the changing of the seasons there come change in the body.  A variety of muscles, that may have been in some state of hibernation, are called upon to get us through the new conditions, when the air gets cold, the snow falls and the stressors of the holidays build.  Without proper preparation and awareness, it may be easy to become fatigued and possibly injured.  Let’s discuss a few of the common concerns we see at Stay Tuned Therapeutics.

Leg, Groin and Pubic Bone pain.

Weakness or tightness in the adductor muscle group of the thigh may play a major role in the development of groin “pulls”, SI joint dysfunction, pubic bone pain, medial knee pain, etc.  Stabilizing the legs under our body in the slick conditions after a new snow fall is one of the responsibilities of the adductors.

The attachments (origin) coming from the periosteum of the pubic and ischium bones of the pelvis are common locations of strain.  Commonly noted in athletics where there is a forceful abduction during an internal rotation and adduction movement, such as soccer, we can imagine the reverse to be true as well when slipping on unstable surface such as ice. Hip adductor injuries occur most commonly when there is a forced push-off (side-to-side motion). High forces occur in the adductor tendons when the athlete must shift direction suddenly in the opposite direction. As a result, the adductor muscles contract to generate opposing forces.  We have all taken a bit of a slip, during running, walking to the car, lift line etc., leg shoots out, and we suddenly contract our adductors forcefully to bring the leg back under us.  This opposing action is a major cause for injury.

In the next entry we will look at, strength, flexibility and balance, in an attempt to prevent hip/groin injury in the winter season.  Also, we will also look at other common injuries and stressors as the holidays grow near.  Stay Tuned.

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Filed under Flagstaff Arizona massage, Flagstaff massage therapy, Flagstaff therapeutic massage, pain management, Uncategorized

Maintenance Techniques for twitter-finger.

Having been a massage therapist for 13 years now I have never had an injury to my arms, wrists or hands.  You can use these simple exercises to ensure a long life in whatever job you have that requires extensive use of the hands and forearms.

Take computing for instance, there is no other way you found this information, how many hours a day do you spend on the keyboard, the mouse, or just hunched over in that nice chair?  Now, how many minutes a day do you spend providing regeneration to the injured/over used tissue.  Now, what is your plan for pain free longevity in this position you so love?

You may be the type of person who just prefers having a massage to treat aches and pains, great, I’ll take your money.  However, do you realize that hard earned money you invest in therapy will go so much further if you take some responsibility?

Take 5 minutes and follow me through on these exercises, if you need a band contact me and you can stop by, or I will ship one.

Stay Tuned…

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Filed under Flagstaff deep tissue massage, Flagstaff pain relief, Flagstaff therapeutic massage, Myoskeletal Alignment, pain management

Elbow, Forearm and Wrist Pain Exercises

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Benefits of Steam Offered at Stay Tuned

Steamy Wonder Canopy available at Stay Tuned Therapeutics

Steamy Wonder Canopy available at Stay Tuned Therapeutics

Why steam is better than wrapping

Dr. John Welbes, Director the college of Massage Therapy in Omaha, Nebraska recommends steam baths in the treatment of cellulite, finding it superior to body wraps in raising tissue temperature. “Body wraps are very slow,” says Dr. Welbes, “it may take an hour to achieve the same temperature increase that you can get in about 10 minutes in a steam bath.” According to Dr. Welbes, the heat helps loosen the fatty tissue so that it is less solid and can more easily be broken down.

Potential Dangers to Wrapping:

The wraps and electric blankets that are commonly used to heat clients during a body wrap are often made of plastic. Plastic releases toxins when heated, which can then absorbed by the body, creating more toxicity. The blankets also create an electrical field effect which many people believe is not healthy.

Weight and Cellulite Loss Benefits and Steamy Wonder™

A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams of sweat in a sauna-the equivalent of running three to four miles or 475 to 600 calories. While the weight of the water loss is regained by re-hydration, the calories burned are not.

How steam and treatment packages help you lose weight and reduce cellulite

As you relax in the Steamy Wonder™, your body is actually working hard to eliminate toxins and burn fat. Weight loss becomes possible because body fat becomes water soluble at 110 degrees and the body can sweat out fats, toxins, and heavy metals. During a heat treatment your heart works harder pumping blood at a greater rate to boost circulation, supplying the conditioning benefits of continuous exercise. Heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate increase. Because the metabolism rate increases during the Steamy Wonder™ treatment you are burning calories, not just water!

Scientific Research

As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate. Blood flow during whole-body hyperthermia is reported to rise from a normal 5 to 7 quarts per minute to as much as 13 quarts per minute.

This benefit was recognized in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association as long ago as August 1981: “Many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of a sauna imparts a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories as regular exercise.”

“Clients come for stress reduction treatments weekly and the side benefit is that their clothing size is reducing as well as their stress level. They haven’t changed anything in their routine for weight loss beside regular Steamy Wonder™ treatments.”
B. Carol, Lic. Esthetician, LMT & Ayurvedic Practitioner, Fairfield, Iowa

According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, sauna bathing is well tolerated, safe and has therapeutic value for most healthy people, as well as for most patients with stable coronary heart disease.

Researchers examined the benefits and risks of sauna bathing for healthy adults and children, as well as for patients with coronary heart disease, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. This comprehensive review of the world’s biomedical literature (1966 to the present) was carried out by investigators from the Department of Internal Medicine and University of Oulu, Finland, and the Division of Cardiology, Washington Hospital Center, Washington D.C.

Relief from Joint Pain

Steam therapy has been used for hundreds of years by many cultures in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, joint stiffness and muscle spasms.

How does it work?

The deep heat of the Steamy Wonder™ helps to relieve pain by causing the blood vessels to dilate. This causes increased blood circulation and allows more oxygen to get to soft tissue injuries and sore muscles. This helps to reduce pain and speeds up the healing process. Increased blood circulation carries of metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscles, so they recover faster. Muscles relax most readily when tissues are warm.

Scientific Research:

Sauna bathing has been used as a thermal therapy to treat pain and other symptoms of rheumatic disease. In studies based on interviews of 0ver 200 patients, 40% to 70% of participants reported that sauna bathing alleviated pain and improved joint mobility.
(Source: The American Journal of Medicine February 1, 2001, Volume 110)

Muscle Pain Relief

Steam therapy using the Steamy Wonder™ has been found to significantly reduce muscular pain and spasms. Pain is found to be alleviated in just one session and the benefit can last for several days after the treatment. Regular steam treatments 2 to 3 times per weeks have shown to have profound relief for those having muscle pain due to injury, menstruation pain, headaches, fibromyalgia and low back pain.

How steam works

As heat penetrates the muscles, capillaries dilate and there is an increased flow of oxygen to sore muscles. Muscles and tissues become more pliable and relaxed helping to increase mobility and reduce stiffness.

Scientific Research:

Sauna bathing has been used as a thermal therapy to treat pain and other symptoms of rheumatic disease. In studies based on interviews of over 200 patients, 40 to 70 percent of the participants reported that sauna bathing alleviated pain and improved joint mobility. (Source: The American Journal of Medicine, February 1, 2001, Volume 110.)

In addition, a New Jersey Medical School Researcher found that heat therapy was more effective than analgesics for low back pain. Several different types of pain including the lower and upper back and menstrual pain can be treated with low-level heat therapies.

The results showed that the low level heat therapy provided significantly more pain relief beginning on the first day of treatment than the oral analgesics and the effects lasted more than 28 hours after the treatment was completed.

Contact Missy or Geoffrey today for a consultation or to book your session!

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What is Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques?

From Erik Dalton, PhD, founder of Freedom From Pain Institute, creator of Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques.

What makes MAT Special?

Well-documented theories explain how joints become fixated from myofascial stressors; yet relatively unknown in the massage therapy community is how joint dysfunction creates protective muscle spasm and dysfunctional strain patterns, such as forward head postures, slumped shoulders and scoliosis. This reflexogenic relationship between muscles and joints is the foundation of the Myoskeletal Alignment Technique and is considered not only uniquely different from traditional thinking, but possibly an important next step in addressing abnormal strain patterns caused by muscle/joint imbalances.

Massage therapists can now safely address all soft tissues, including ligaments, nerve dura, fasciae, discs and joint capsules, responsible for much of the pain previously blamed on muscles alone. Osteopathic methods, such as muscle energy, strain-counter strain and mechanical link, are also designed to relieve muscle/joint dysfunctions, but the MAT method complements today’s bodywork practices as it was specifically designed to fit a massage-therapy format.

One distinguishing goal that establishes the MAT method apart from other techniques is its dependence on identification and correction of joint fixations. This is accomplished by systematically releasing deep spinal muscles, ligaments and fibrotic joint capsules that torsion and compress spinal joints. In some cases, a bodyworker may apply direct pressure to bones to release fibrotic muscles that create joint blockages, but the intent is always soft-tissue work.

Posture’s Roll

Most manual therapists today agree that no therapeutic approach to neck/back pain is complete unless body posture is generally improved. Whatever the root of the client’s condition, special attention must be dedicated to posture-especially the correct positioning of the pelvis. Many therapists complain that postural assessments are often too complex, too time-consuming, too clumsy-in a typical massage setting with the client draped.

The MAT method lessens assessment anxiety with an efficient five-minute hands-on evaluation that quickly identifies gross body asymmetries, such as pelvic tilts, short legs, sacroiliac dysfunctions, scoliosis, facet restrictions and hip-capsule adhesions. MAT also incorporates Vladimir Janda, M.D.’s upper-and-lower crossed visual assessment method for easy recognition of muscle-imbalance patterns that cause neck and low-back pain. Combining these hands-on and visual assessment techniques allows the therapist to immediately tell which muscles are tight and pulling unevenly on the body’s bony framework, and which weak muscles are permitting the asymmetry. Janda’s muscle-imbalance research has gifted bodywork practitioners with a remarkably useful model for explaining how predictable muscle imbalances cause predictable faulty postural patterns, such as slumped shoulders, forward heads, swaybacks and dowager’s hump. (Hands on procedures using Janda’s formula are detailed in Part II of this series.)

Ultimately, for long-lasting relief of chronic neck/back pain, the MAT system works to achieve these goals:

balancing the head on the neck

balancing the neck on the shoulders

balancing the shoulder girdle on the rib cage

balancing the pelvis on the femurs

restoring pain-free movement

Recent studies have confirmed a noticeable reduction in noxious neural input entering the spinal cord and brain when the postural goals listed above are met. In 1979, biomechanical researcher J. Gordon Zink, D.O., coined the term “common compensatory patterns” to describe routinely found postural patterns in the neuromyofascial-skeletal system. His studies were the first to validate how structure and function play a dual role in posturally initiated pain syndromes. Eventually, he concluded that postural muscle stress leads to chronic, recurrent central nervous system irritation initiated by sensory receptors, such as mechanoreceptors, nociceptors and chemoreceptors.

Postural muscles are structurally designed to resist fatigue and function in the presence of prolonged gravitational exposure. If their capacity to resist stress is lost, the postural muscles become irritable, tight and shortened. Fortunately, as balance and function are re-established in distorted myofascial structures, hyperactivity in agitated joint and muscle receptors rapidly dissipates. Zink’s conclusion leads to the underpinnings of the client’s outcome: less sympathetic muscle spasm, less limbic system activation, less stress-and less pain.

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Filed under Arizona Massage CEU, Flagstaff Arizona massage, Flagstaff deep tissue massage, Flagstaff pain relief, flagstaff sports massage, Flagstaff therapeutic massage, High Altitude massage, Massage CEU Arizona, massage education, Myoskeletal Alignment, Myoskeletal Alignment CEU, pain management