Many of my clients ask about different modalities, so the next few blogs are going to be on some of those modalities. Todays is Trigger Point Therapy.
This massage therapy treatment works on treating muscles and layers of muscle attachments. This treatment is also responsible for dealing with surface muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues. This massage therapy is similar to acupressure. The majority of the methods used in Trigger Point Therapy are also used in acupressure.
Trigger points can be found up and down the client’s body near the muscle area. For the most part, they can be found in the axial muscles. These muscles are responsible for side to side body movement. Trigger points can also be found in one than more location of the body.
With these points, pain is found in certain areas. These areas are referred to as reference zones. The pain in these areas is usually deep and it can be continuous or it will come around for a while, leave, and then come back again. If a trigger point is worked, it can be inflicted with pain. There are two types of trigger points, active and latent. Active points consist of nagging pain. Latent points don’t experience pain until the affected area is pressed. Trigger point therapy is one of the most popular massage therapy treatments that is being used.
In a treatment session, there is an examination that is conducted. This examination includes focusing on the pain area and where discomfort is being felt. The massage therapist main focus is to look for poor posture, and straining of the muscles. The client has to be relaxed in order for the treatment to be successful. The therapist can recognize the trigger points because they will be tender, hard or knotty. After the therapist has found the trigger points, the area will feel pressure and what is called skin twitching. Trigger point therapy is also used to get rid of muscle spasms and cramps.
Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage for trigger point therapy, the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.
The results and benefits of trigger point massage are releasing constricted areas in the muscles thus alleviating pain. You can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment. Receiving massage with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help naturally manage pain and stress from chronic injuries.
Why run? There are innumerable reasons. But the number one reason you should consider is the many running health benefits you can obtain every time you run. Now that busy and cramped lifestyles are pushing people to become more sedentary, running provides an easy and fuss-free avenue to getting fit and healthier. But although running proves to be tedious and rigorous, all the sweat is worth the following physical benefits:
1. Healthier Heart
Your heart is responsible for pumping blood to carry oxygen to the body. When you run, you cause your heart to work harder, pumping more blood. Over time, running makes your heart more efficient so that even if you are at rest, your heart is pumping more blood with each heart beat. The arteries also benefits from running. As you run, the arteries become more elastic and more able to flush out the fatty deposits that may have developed in you the walls of the arteries and that could potentially obstruct the delivery of blood to the heart. If not addressed, these obstructions in the blood’s pathway can cause heart attack.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
As a result of elastic arteries, blood pressure among runners is usually low. In fact, a study involving an observation of long distance runners showed that these runners recorded almost a 50% decrease in the blood pressure. Their use of medications to lower blood pressure was also reported to have over 50% reduction.
3. Lower Cholesterol
Also according to a study, runners generally have lower cholesterol. When running, HDL cholesterol (the good fat) level increases, while the bad fat and triglyceride levels decrease. This results in reduced risk of heart diseases.
4. Stronger Lungs
Running makes your body more in need of oxygen, prompting your lungs to work harder by using 50% of otherwise unused lung potential. Running also increases the number of your capillaries, the tiny blood vessels through which blood passes to the lungs, and carries out respiratory functions more efficiently. The lungs then, when exposed to regular running, improve and eventually get used to working harder. The result is efficient breathing whether you are running or idle.
5. Firmer Muscles
The most obvious benefit of running is toner and firmer muscles. This is because when running, you expose them to constant and rigorous activity and leave them fit and stronger. Regular running also improves muscular strength and endurance, making you more adept at handling activities that require a great deal of physical efforts.
6. Stronger Bones
Although widely associated with age, osteoporosis, a condition characterized by hollow and brittle bones, is pointed to be the result of lack of exercise. Running can decrease your chances of suffering from osteoporosis and other bone problems. By keeping them always at work, joints and bones develop flexibility, endurance, and strength.
7. Better Bowel Movement
Among the running health benefits, improved bowel movement is perhaps the least known. By increasing breathing, running helps in the wavelike movement of the bowels, making them easy to release. This prevents constipation and hemorrhoids.
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Running in the good old days used to be uncomplicated and simple. Some people remember runners before going out running with nothing with them. After a time, they come back and drink their water. Drinking (or hydration) was not such a big deal before. Today, there are some runners who carry their own water and enough gadgets to monitor their exact intake during a run or a race.
HYDRATION AND DEHYDRATION
Of course, we all now know how important water is when it comes to strenuous exercises like running. One thing about water is that it is not ideal either to get very little or too much of the fluid. Severe dehydration (loss of water) and over-hydration both cause serious consequences on the body, including death. Knowing the difference is sometimes hard because the symptoms are the same.
In dehydration,the symptoms include weight loss, lethargy, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion and dry mouth or lips. Over-hydration includes weight gain or swelling, headache, nausea, lethargy and confusion or disorientation. What is terrible is that nobody knows about the problem until the symptoms are already in the advanced state. Even medical personnel can be hard put in figuring out what exactly is happening. (This usually happens after a hard race.)
Knowing how much fluid you need can prevent either dehydration or overhydration. One way of knowing is that your performance will decrease significantly if you are dehydrated by as little as 1%. Your running slows down by about 2% if you are dehydrated by only 1%. Another point to consider is that hydration is important not just for your performance but also for your health. As a runner, you need to know how much you need to hydrate yourself daily, and in the critical times of before, during and after running or a race. One formula given by experts to calculate your daily fluid needs is as follows: multiply your weight (in pounds) by 0.55 to know how many ounces of fluid you need every day.
The hydrating beverages include water , sports drinks, tea, decaf coffee, low fat milk, yogurt drinks, juices, soda and soups or other foods with water.Water, of course, is the best source for body hydration. Intake of beverages with sugar and other additives should be limited, especially if you are trying to lose body fat. Alcohol is one drink that significantly dehydrates the body. It is a total no-no to drink before races, or even the night before any race.
After your daily fluid intake, you need to know how much you need before, during and after exercise (like running) to achieve optimum performance. Most people need 8 to 16 ounces of fluid one or two hours before any exercise. During exercise, your fluid needs depend on the rate you perspire which is different from person to person or the weather. The best estimate is to take 4 to 8 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes and weighing yourself before and after exercise. This is to check if you are losing or gaining weight, and adjusting your intake the next time. Depending on its intensity, running is considered strenuous enough for your body to need more fluid than ordinary. Listen to what it says.
As one ignorant non-runner said, running is boring, exhausting, and sometimes painful. Yet today, running is one of the most popular individual sports in the world, counting millions and millions of followers. This number does not even include yet those who are engaged into serious competitive running. How do they keep themselves motivated and stay at that?
Loss of motivation
Because it is a solitary performance at most, running sometimes CAN be boring, exhausting and painful. Some runners (newcomers and veterans alike) declare that it can be difficult sometimes to stay motivated on a regular basis. Loss of motivation is triggered by many things, including boredom, muscle pains, and most of all, lack of time. Some other times in your running years you were probably attacked by lack of motivation. It starts out slow (skipping a run or two) and without your knowing it, gradually moves to a point where you notice you are not running regularly anymore.
One of the better ways to fight loss of motivation is to set realistic goals. One of the more common goals to stay motivated is simply to complete a race.
Choosing your race, training for it, and finally competing in it is another good source of motivation. Your selection should depend on your personal goals. If motivation is your only goal, perhaps choosing to compete in those periodic short races is the best option. Setting realistic goals is the easiest way for a runner’s motivation to stay up and intense enough.
Of course, you can always choose your favorite distance (5K or 10K or a marathon). The choice itself, the thought, and the actual preparations and the competition proper are enough factors to keep you busy (training) and motivated (prestige and awards) enough. Other runners are motivated by setting bigger goals to their training (if competing) or in just plain running. They set up faster times, or longer distances as their next goals. Naturally, they will not get it right the first time. The attempts of bettering them are very good motivators.
Runners can also stay motivated by adding some variety into their program. They can vary the courses (and terrain) they are running (jogging across the woods or the tracks), distance, speed and intensity (doing sprints in straight tracks and jogging in curves) among other things. Running with a friend (in twos or threes) can sometimes perk up an otherwise monotonous activity. Thinking of someone going with you on a run can sometimes be a very good motivation to do it. Working alone makes staying in bed in a cold morning seems extremely tempting.
Occasionally, runners have to take some time off from running. This may look counter-intuitive but it is effective. One way is doing some cross-training which can also help you stay in shape other than running. (This is aside from the fact that you DID take some time off from running.) Add to your workout schedule a week for every two months perhaps of not running at all but doing another physical activity of your choice. The break from running makes you feel recharged and raring to go back running.