Get an Edge on Your Golf Game with Sports Massage

All athletes, including golf enthusiasts look for an edge that can help them train more effectively, perform better or overcome injuries quickly.  A competitive athlete will push his or her body to the limit to achieve greater speed, endurance or power.   All this pushing puts stress on the muscles and requires a great deal of recovery in order to avoid injury and overuse trauma.  Golfers are no exception to the risks of injury due to muscle overuse.  Sports Massage for Golf professionals and recreational golfers, can increase flexibility, speed recovery time after rigorous practice and decrease your chance of injury allowing you to achieve your true golf potential.

Sports Massage for golfThe main golf swing muscles and their role in the golf swing:

  • Shoulders support the golf club at the top of the swing and also add clubhead speed as an extension of the core
  • Upper Back maintains spine angle for ease of turning on back swing and follow- through
  • Lower Back is critical in maintaining golf posture during the swing and while putting
  • Glutes help maintain flexion in the hips and produce the ‘golf squat’ position for a powerful swing base
  • Quadriceps allow consistent knee flexion and golf posture for a repeatable swing
  • Hamstrings allow you to transfer your weight correctly on the backswing and downswing for maximum power
  • Core muscles produce maximum power from the pivot and store energy from torque created on the back swing

Sports massage for Golf players aids performance in the following ways:

  • Reduces chance of injury through assisted stretching and event preparation
  • Increases ange of motion and muscle flexibility resulting in improved power and performance
  • Shortens ecovery time between workouts by maximizing the supply of nutrients and oxygen to muscle tissue through increased blood flow
  • Enhances elimination of the metabolic by-products of exercise

How Posture Affects Your Health

posture and massage therapy dreamclinic seattleA common phrase heard throughout childhood is, “Sit up straight!” This postural reminder makes regular appearances in the classroom, at the dinner table and is a ubiquitous presence through middle and high school. The continual postural encouragement is dispensed to encourage healthy growth and function of the body, as well as a projection of self-confidence from the individual.

What exactly is good posture?
Good posture supports the performance of one’s daily activities with a functional range of motion and a positive flow of circulation. The bones are arranged properly in reference to one another, and the muscles that support the skeleton move freely within a normal range of motion and receive proper levels of circulation to help them do their jobs.

The American Chiropractic Association says, human beings “do not consciously maintain normal posture. Instead, certain muscles do it for us, and we don’t even have to think about it. Several muscle groups, including the hamstrings and large back muscles, are critically important in maintaining good posture. While the ligaments help to hold the skeleton together, these postural muscles, when functioning properly, prevent the forces of gravity from pushing us over forward. Postural muscles also maintain our posture and balance during movement.”

What causes poor posture?
Poor posture can be a product of many variables – weak muscles, injury, stress, improper footwear, lengthy sitting  and a growing use of technology such as laptops and tablets. In all of these instances, muscles in one or more areas of the body become shortened and less flexible than the opposing muscles that work together to keep the body upright. The tightness creates asymmetry, and posture becomes imbalanced.

For example, extended hours spent sitting in a car or at a desk, hunched forward over a steering wheel/ keyboard, shortens the muscles in the front of the shoulders. When these muscles tighten, circulation is limited and range of motion is restricted. The forward rounding of shoulders and associated muscle imbalance can lead to spinal misalignment, fatigue or pain.

As the body aims to protect itself and avoid pain, the imbalanced posture perpetuates itself. The neck is pulled forward and down, straining muscles in the upper back and shoulders, causing tension and often headaches. The rib cage is tilted forward, compressing the abdominal area, prompting digestive imbalance. Pain may emerge in the neck, shoulders or back.

How can bad posture be corrected?

Massage. Therapeutic massage lengthens muscles that have been shortened, improving circulation, reducing pain and allowing the body to resume a normal range of motion. Stress and tension are relieved, and internal organs are better able to perform their essential functions.

Exercise. Regular exercise helps lengthen and strengthen muscles and improve range of motion. It increases circulation and oxygenation, improving cognitive function and eliminating waste products from the body.

Stretch. Daily stretching helps lengthen shortened muscles and keep the muscles and joints supple. As we age, connective tissues become less flexible, so the old adage proves true: if you don’t move it, you lose it.

Yoga. Yoga stretches and strengthens the body, working muscles that counterbalance one another. It builds core strength and balance, encouraging and maintaining the habits of good posture.

Correcting poor posture requires undoing the hardening, or fibrosis, of the muscles that have been habitually contracted, allowing them to relax and the bones to move back into place. Perhaps a simple concept, but not an easy task.  Swedish massage can help increase circulation and release chronically held areas. Deep tissue massage helps wake up the body and reverse some of the fibrosis in the tissue.  And other bodywork techniques can further precipitate postural adjustments.

Massage as Anti-Aging Therapy

Dreamclinic Workplace MassageMassage can help reverse the aches and pains that set on with age, serving as an enjoyable and highly effective form of anti-aging therapy.

For most individuals, muscle aches and areas of chronic tension tend to set in around age 30, and for some at an even earlier age.  We have our own ways of dealing with this – a hot bath with Epsom salt, a glass of wine, an Advil or a muscle relaxant – but in the long-term then muscle aches persist.  O good days, with plenty of sleep and exercise, we feel ok, but on bad days, we really notice that the muscle tension is interfering with our quality of life.   Yet, many of us don’t have any sort of long-term regimen to address our muscle aches and knots. We regard them as the unfortunate inevitable side-effect of aging.

leg cramp(1)Most are unaware that the aches and pains we develop are not so much due to aging as they are due to the lack of maintenance of our musculoskeletal system.  They are the cumulative result of all the tumbles, dings and bruises and intense exercise that we have already put our body through in our life.  If we could undo the impact of all that muscle trauma that would indeed serve as anti-aging therapy! And we can.


Muscles are composed of a collection of muscle fibers and it is the individual fibers that do the work of movement as they expand or contract. The more power we need from a muscle, the more fibers in the muscle group get involved. What happens anytime we fall, have a sprain, overstretch, or even just work out super hard at the gym.  Some of the muscle fibers get torn or injured and must go through a repair process.  After the repair process, there are often remaining adhesions (also known as scar tissue) at the site of injury.  The adhesions prevent the impacted muscle from stretching and contracting as easily and freely as before the injury.

It is the growing accumulation of many of these small adhesions that causes us to become increasingly less flexible with age. This is also why we experience the soreness and stiffness we associate with getting older, because our muscles are literally stuck in spots.

In addition to the loss of flexibility, some muscle groups in our body that we use more than others, begin to dominate and impact our posture.  For example, slouching is the result of getting pulled forward by the Pectoralis muscles, our chest muscles which allow us to drive or use a computer keyboard for hours at a time.  Leaning forward at the waist reflects tight Iliopsoas muscles, the inner hip muscles important for standing, walking and running. Muscles that dominate and contract also cause other muscles to get overstretched and to ache.

In summary, dings and bruises cause adhesions, which cause muscle ache and a loss of elasticity (flexibility). The loss of elasticity and over-used muscles groups cause more aches, poor posture and a loss of mobility until, on our later years, we lose our ability to balance and can no longer walk unassisted.

All this can be prevented with massage!  A good deep tissue massage specifically targets areas of chronic tension and breaks up adhesions, helping restore full range of motion and flexibility.  Adhesions cause us to become increasingly less flexible with age. Massage as anti-aging tool restores elasticity.  The best way to use massage is to start off with a series of sessions, spaced more closely together, to treat long-term problem areas.  Muscles have a memory. A more frequent initial treatment plan resets muscle memory, allowing overly dominant muscles to relearn a more relaxed state.  Once there is improvement in the long-term problem areas, stick to a regular massage schedule to keep optimal muscle health.  This will not only help you be at your best in the present but will also significantly improve your quality of life and independence in the later years of your life.   Depending on your lifestyle and level of activity, muscle health maintenance can involve a massage from 4 times a year to monthly.

Skin care, the right diet and excercise, are typical components of an anti-aging lifestyle, and massage as anti-aging should be as well!

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This article is brought to you by Dreamclinic, Inc. Founded in Seattle in 2003, Dreamclinic is an award-winning massage business that specializes in deep tissue, sports, and injury treatment massage with locations in Seattle and Overlake serving Bellevue and Redmond.   Dreamclinic therapists have the hightest level of skill and knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology.  Each session is tailored to your individual needs.  When you visit us, we are happy to consult with you on the best way to incorporate massage into your health routine.   Appointments can be Scheduled Online or call 206-267-0863.

Athletes Discover Acupuncture Treats Injuries and Boosts Performance

Athletes of many stripes are turning to acupuncture for an effective method of injury treatment and prevention. Professional football players from the ranks of the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers and more have embraced acupuncture to manage pain, speed injury recovery, and achieve peak physical performance in their sport. A review of research studies on the use of acupuncture in sports confirms its efficacy at increasing muscle strength and power in athletes.1

Sports acupuncture is used for injury treatment, prevention and (in combination with Chinese herbs) to improve athletic performance.2 Acupuncture taps into the body’s natural ability to heal itself. It can work in conjunction with Western medical treatment, and in cases where rest is prescribed for an injury, acupuncture reduces pain and accelerates the healing process without side effects.

sports acup Tony+Richardson+1

New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson receives acupuncture regularly between practices and before games.

Matt Callison, a licensed acupuncturist and instructor at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, has been using sports acupuncture to treat athletes for 11 years and counting. Callison says, “traditional Chinese medicine [including acupuncture, herbs and exercises] has been an extremely helpful and growing trend in athletics for quite a while. Steve Young and Jerry Rice [of the San Francisco 49ers] have been treated with sports acupuncture, and Canadian speed skater Kevin Overland received sports acupuncture to help him earn a bronze medal in the 1998 Olympics.”3

Baltimore Ravens safety Will Demps credits acupuncture with boosting his performance on the field. “In my extensive off-season workouts, I have noticed a difference in my balance and agility since receiving [acupuncture] treatments…I feel my muscles have been ‘turned on’ and are firing on all cylinders.”3

In Major League Baseball, the Seattle Mariners were the first team  to utilize acupuncture, primarily due to the influence of Japanese players such as Ichiro Suzuki and Kazuhiro Sasaki. Players opt for acupuncture to help their muscles rebound more quickly after intense training, or to support rehabilitation and speed recovery from injuries.4

Proprioception, the body’s sense of where it is in space, is a process of the muscles communicating with the nervous system. Injury interferes with the body’s proprioceptive signals and creates imbalance. Acupuncture serves to relieve stress on the musculoskeletal system5 and “is one of the quickest ways to restore muscle balance,” says Callison. “When acupuncture is used at specific sites, the muscle spindles are reset, and then that balance is reawakened.”

The practice of acupuncture views pain as an imbalance or interruption of one’s qi (life force energy). The insertion of acupuncture needles triggers the release of pain- and inflammation-fighting chemicals in the body, and restores the cyclical flow of qi, allowing the body to function at more optimal levels. A qualified acupuncturist will first conduct a thorough intake and evaluation of symptoms, then create a targeted course of treatment for maximum results.

This is an original article from Dreamclinic, Inc. Dreamclinic is a Health and Wellness company committed to sharing information about commonly experienced health conditions and how they may be impacted through the use of bodywork and other natural approaches. Dreamclinic offers massage, acupuncture, and Reiki sessions at its Greenlake and Queen Anne clinics, as well as onsite massage at workplaces around Puget Sound. Contact us to learn more about how Dreamclinic can help you, your family or your workplace experience greater health.


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Effectively Manage Diabetes with Massage and Acupuncture

In the U.S., approximately 25.8 million people are diabetic, and this number continues to rise.1 Most of us know someone with diabetes who copes with managing the disease’s symptoms and side effects on a daily basis.

There are two types of diabetes. Type I makes up 10-15% of all cases, and is a chronic autoimmune condition which causes the pancreas to stop making insulin. Type II Diabetes accounts for 85% or more of all cases. With Type II, the pancreas still produces insulin, but the body’s cells have become insulin resistant. Some Type II Diabetics are able to control or reverse the disease through diet and lifestyle changes.

Despite their fundamental differences, both Type I and II Diabetics’ primary challenge is managing elevated blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugars can have detrimental effects on the body including poor circulation, weight gain, stiffening of muscles and connective tissues, gum disease, and peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain).

The mental and emotional stresses of dealing with a serious medical condition often trigger anxiety and depression, compounding the physical challenges brought on by diabetes. Scientific studies demonstrate that complementary treatments such as massage, acupuncture and yoga combined with Western medicine can effectively relieve the physical, mental and emotional stressors that result from diabetes.2

In addition to improving circulation, “Massage has been shown to decrease anxiety in a variety of patient populations, including people with diabetes. These stress-reducing benefits of massage have raised the possibility that massage may be of benefit to people with diabetes by inducing the relaxation response, thereby controlling the counter-regulatory stress hormones and permitting the body to use insulin more effectively.”3

According to an ancient Chinese medical book, the Nei Jing, acupuncture has been used to treat diabetes for over 2,500 years.1 Research has confirmed peripheral-neuropathyacupuncture’s ability to normalize blood sugar levels and to treat the pain associated with peripheral neuropathy.

Exercise is commonly prescribed as an important part of a diabetes management program. Yoga movement and breathing can improve circulation and oxygenation of the body, as well as increase mind-body awareness, giving diabetics a greater sense of self-control and empowerment in coping with their disease.

This is an original article from Dreamclinic, Inc. Dreamclinic is a Health and Wellness company committed to sharing information about commonly experienced health conditions and how they may be impacted through the use of bodywork and other natural approaches. Dreamclinic offers massage, acupuncture, and Reiki sessions at its Greenlake and Queen Anne clinics, as well as onsite massage at workplaces around Puget Sound. Contact us to learn more about how Dreamclinic can help you, your family or someone you love effectively manage the effects of diabetes.



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Simple Stretch for Tight Calves

by Wayne T., LMP

escalator_up jackodilecomDid you know escalators can also be an excellent (and sneaky!) opportunity for a deep and energizing calf stretch?

Holding the handrail for support, start by positioning your toes on the edge of a step. Make sure your clothing clears the escalator’s moving edge so it doesn’t get caught. Using your body weight, drop your heels slowly so they sink lower than your toes, like you’re trying to touch the step below. Stretch one foot first, and when you reach midway on the escalator, switch to the other side for the rest of the ride. This stretch works the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles, and if it’s an especially long escalator, the hamstrings as well.

The escalator calf stretch is pretty subtle, so rest assured you won’t look like you’re prepping for a marathon in public… Needless to say, this simple stretch will put a little extra “pep” in your step, and it works on any escalator, any time. Escalators will never be the same!

~This article was written by Wayne T. – a massage therapist at Dreamclinic’s Roosevelt location. He attributes a great deal of his knowledge of massage, and the injury recovery process, to the treatment he received after being hit by a car as a pedestrian while enrolled in massage school. When he is not with a client, Wayne loves to play guitar and juggle just about anything he can get his hands on.