Massage for Treating Stress

dreamclinic massageMost of us have stress in our lives, whether due to work, family or general environment. For some the stress may cause sleeplessness, anxiety, hypertension or depression. For many the stress leads to muscle soreness somewhere in the body – the shoulders, neck, legs, or back.

Whatever form the stress manifests in, can become an incessant low or medium-grade condition that puts a damper on our every day lives and sense of well-being.  At its extreme, chronic stress wears down our immune system and adrenal function, causing onset of illness and serious medical conditions. Some individuals use exercise to relieve stress but many do nothing. They just live with the aches and pain, blocking out the discomfort they feel. The problem with this approach is that with time our aches and pain only increase, depriving us of health and vitality.

Massage therapy can be used to treat most common conditions related to stress and muscle tension. Massage has both psychological and physiological effects. It can be used to treat specific ailments or injuries and is also used for general relaxation and emotional calm. Massage is beneficial for those experiencing headaches, arthritis, insomnia, asthma, digestive disorders, constipation, carpal tunnel syndrome, sinusitis, and minor aches and pains. Those taking prescriptions for the above and related conditions will find that massage can be a great compliment to or even an alternative for the medication. The long-term benefit of receiving regular massage is lower stress, greater energy levels, and an experience of overall greater health.

Below are the known effects of massage on the body: 

    • Relieves muscle tension and stiffness


    • Reduces muscle spasms


    • Lowers blood pressure


    • Decreases stress and anxiety


    • Strengthens the immune system


    • Improves joint flexibility and range of motion


    • Speeds recovery from pulled muscles or sprained ligaments


    • Treats tension headaches and effects of eye-strain


    • Improves blood circulation and movement of lymph fluids


    • Improves posture


    • Relieves repetitive motion injuries


    • Enhances the health and nourishment of skin


  • Helps removal of metabolic wastes

By Larisa Goldin, MBA, LMP

Getting the Most From Massage

Massage Client Therapist Communication Dreamclinic Redmond Dreamclinic Seattle

It is not uncommon for folks to behave in a massage clinic similarly to how they might in a doctor’s office. In a doctor’s office the doctor holds most of the authority and chooses for the patient what course of treatment should be followed.

Such folks may not think to communicate with the practitioner about what they want from the massage session. They are more likely to start the session exchanging few words and expecting the practitioner to perform some sort of predetermined routine. The problem with this approach is the individual misses out on the opportunity to get maximum benefit from the massage treatment. A more fitting relationship between the client and the practitioner is one where clients communicate freely about their preferences pertaining to the bodywork, both before and during the massage session.

Given the more interactive relationship, clients can ask the practitioner to work exactly on the body areas they want. Say you have an aching back — you can request that the practitioner spend the full massage session working on your back. Or you may experience tension headaches — you can ask for focus mostly on head and neck areas. You can request only upper body massage, or conversely ask for an overall relaxation massage with equal attention given to all body areas. As yet another example, you can even request abdominal massage. All qualified massage practitioners are trained to provide it and it can be beneficial for lower back pain and digestive problems.

As the client, you are in charge of your massage therapy sessions. These sessions should work for you. Being aware of your body, its likes and dislikes, and then communicating with your massage therapist will make a tremendous difference in the quality of the bodywork you receive.

By Larisa Goldin, MBA, LMP

Pain Relief for Musicians

by Diana Khoury

Professional and aspiring musicians are athletes of their own kind. They practice often and prepare extensively for performances, exerting a physical toll on their bodies. Pain and repetitive stress injuries are common. Since musicians lack the built-in support system that sports athletes have (coaches, trainers, medical staff), most are on their own when it comes to caring for their primary instrument – their bodies. This, and the stigma of injury, keeps many musicians from dealing with the problem until they are physically unable to play.

Musculoskeletal pain in musicians results from a combination of poor body mechanics, lack of stretching, muscle overuse, repetitive movement, or reactivation of old injuries.

The most common issues encountered among musicians are: tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle spasm/ cramping, repetitive stress injury, nerve entrapment, and neck, shoulder and back pain. Each of these conditions may involve inflammation, hypertonic (overly tense) muscles, and pain. Pain occurs when a muscle ‘locks up’ and no longer has the ability to expand or contract naturally. Medication is often prescribed to alleviate symptoms, but it does not address the underlying cause(s) of pain and often has unwanted side effects.

musican massage

After many years in the business, musicians become accustomed to playing through their pain rather than seeking help. Or, they might not know what they can do about it. Massage can be a beneficial course of treatment. A therapeutic massage helps ‘unlock’ and release the offending muscle group(s), thus reducing pain, increasing circulation and oxygenation, removing toxins and improving range of motion.

“The good news is that muscle pain is treatable. As doctors Janet G. Travell and David G. Simons say in Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, ‘When patients mistakenly believe that they must “live with”…pain because they think it is due to arthritis or a pinched nerve that is inoperable, they restrict activity in order to avoid pain. Such patients must learn that the pain comes from muscles, not from nerve damage, and not from permanent arthritic changes in the bones. Most important, they must know it is responsive to treatment. This gives the pain a new meaning. When these patients realize the twin facts that their pain is myofascial and is treatable, their lives take on new meaning and they are started on the road to recovery of function.’”1

The most important aspect of a musician’s injury recovery is self-care. A comprehensive wellness plan may include exercise, body awareness, improved ergonomics, regular stretching and rest breaks from practice. In addition, partnering with a massage therapist to receive ongoing treatment is preventive care against further injury.

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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