- You can look exquisitely in shape with soft supple muscles. The description “Hard Body” is exactly what you want to avoid. When muscles are hard it compresses the blood and water passageways, blocking circulation, that sets you up for pain and injury. Hard muscles can’t properly process the blood and water that deliver nutrients and oxygen. It would be like taking the oil out of your car’s engine; soon it seizes up. How to avoid “Hard Body syndrome”? We call it Muscular Therapy, AKA, sports massage therapy. A multi-method clinical approach to massage that aims to increase circulation of water and blood (the healing agents of the body) to the muscles.
- Understand Fascia Tissue. Fascia is fishnet like material that is in and around the muscle tissue, holding the muscles together. But it does a lot more than that. Under a microscope we can see that fascia is really hollow tubes filled with water and light. These water passageways feed the muscles and act like fiber optics, sending light messages to the muscles from the brain, even faster than our neuromuscular system does. Pretty amazing. When muscles are tight, they compress this system, making it hard for the muscles to repair itself after exertion.
- So often people suffer needlessly. Joint and muscle pain can be relieved through exercise and proper massage therapy. If you x-ray 20 people, you might find that most of them have some joint dysfunction, but only half have any pain, and some have chronic pain. . A doctor’s prescription may be to medicate or to use surgery to solve the problem. Sometimes this is unnecessary. If you commit yourself to an insightful coach (thinking of the excellent Gareth) and a knowledgeable massage therapist (think us, Michael & Nancy) you’ll be surprised how chronic pain, sports injuries, and stress symptoms can be relieved and even vanished from your life. We have seen this and time again in our practice.
- Stress is the main killer. Most chronic muscle problems are not from impact, accident or inherited from your parents, they are cause by stress. Our muscles, especially the neck, shoulder, lower back and hips are what we like to refer to as the flight or fight muscles. As we come across a stressful situation, the ancient part of our brains, the hunter gatherer brain, reacts tensing up these muscles, preparing them for either fighting or running away. These options are seldom available in our world today, never-the-less our bodies are responding to stress, maybe more stress than our ancient relatives ever experienced in their life times. Over a period of time the muscles become trained to be tight, cutting off healthy blood and water flow. The muscles become toxic without fresh blood and water. Pressure is put on the skeletal system, pulling the joints and setting up imbalances in the body. Injury and pain ensue. This is why massage can be so beneficial for everyone. It not only releases the pressure that our poor muscles are going through, it also lowers the telltale signs of stress: high cortisol levels, which are bad for our vascular system and heart. (Studies show that significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol resulted from massage done in a clinical study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.)
- Last but not least. The facts are in: You can extend your athletic and health longevity with both exercise and massage therapy. But it has to be with folks who know their stuff. The cheap massage may be cheap, but can these people really knowledgeable enough to help you, or are you wasting your time and money? Find someone who knows their stuff and the money you pay will be worth far more in the results you gain.
by Michael McDonough, CMT
Michael & Nancy McDonough CMT
Certified Massage Therapist
10466 Cumpston St.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Office 818 -761-7511
Cell 818 – 468 – 1740