Body Care

Swimming Is Good For You But Hard On Your…

As I laid on the beach soaking up the sun rays I saw two competitive swimmers doing their daily work out in the ocean. While I watched them I had both interests in how their muscles were doing and was in awe that they had the drive to workout so much. Today’s blog will look at the muscles affected by competitive swimming verse casual swimming and how massage can help either group of people.

Competitive swimming is not for the weak at heart and takes many years of training, belonging to school teams and many competition to be allowed into the arena of competitive swimming that includes drug testing and telling you what kind of swimsuit to wear.  It is a life time of dedication to the sport. England is credited for the first competitive swim competitions in 1800’s and becoming an Olympic sport in 1904 that include certain strokes and distances.  When swimming they work out the whole body using a lot of calories. The major group of muscles worked are calf muscles, glutes, abdominal muscles group, obliques, lower back muscles, biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles. A competitive swimmer often needs to eat up to 10,000 calories a day to keep up with their work out.  They benefit from regular sports massage combined with trigger point and Swedish massage.   The message needs to be customized to workout times, pre-competition and post competition so as to keep the muscles working correctly and reduce possible muscle injury.  The major tender areas after a swim workout are between and under the shoulder blades and lower back area.  Keeping these areas will keep the swimmer’s range of motion greater.

Casual swimmers that just swim for fun or a form of exercise use the same muscles and burn a lower amount of calories but is still works out the entire body.  Swimming is used for people that can not work out on land but need to work out.  A work out in water has a lot more resistance and takes less time to work out all your muscles. So beware if you are just starting out water workout to not over do it. You will benefit from regular massage that is a combination of Swedish massage and trigger point release to keep your shoulders and lower back from being tight.

If you are a mermaid go enjoy the water swimming and getting a great work out combined with a regular massage every 2 weeks.

Body Care

How Does Sand, Salt & Seaweed Make A Mermaid…

Want to feel like a Mermaid? Just start adding a trip to the beach 2x’s a week to improve your body health. Come along as we explore the great things sand, sea salt, and seaweed can do for your skin to overall body health. I prefer to stay on the beach and soak up the beach benefits and watch for a shark fins.

There is sand everywhere when you arrive at the beach and even upon arriving home from the beach.  The annoying pesty stuff turns up days and weeks after in every nook and cranny.  So how can this annoying stuff really benefit me?  Sand has the super power of being a natural exfoliant that the finer the sand the better it is for your skin.  Sand can also reduce scar tissue. It is not recommended to be used on your face but excellent for the rest of your body by allowing your pores to breathe better. While you’re at the beach take this opportunity to take a walk on the sandy beach this will help you burn 50% more calories.  Sounds like a win-win situation with the relaxing waves and the sun to accompany you on your walk.

During your walk, you are introduced to salt water as it the waves comes in and out over your feet.  Salt waters have the super power of curing, clearing and cleansing what it comes in contact with.   Swimming or bathing in salt water help with heal acne, dandruff,  and sores.  While you’re in this nice liquid salt you can also reduce inflammation and reduce pain and stiffness of muscles and joints. If you decide to swim in the ocean please remember to stay safe by being aware of rip currents, tide changes, and sharks.

Seaweed is often littered along the beach looking slimy and smelling like dead seafood.  However, Seaweed does have a super power of purifying the ocean and our bodies. When seaweed is used in a bath or wrapped on the skin it can help with many things such as skin tone, eczema, psoriasis. It used internally by eating or tea it can be a great antioxidant, lower LDL cholesterol, increase memory, increase mental sharpness and help with sleep.  Check out Marlene Watson-Tara’s blog for more information on seaweed.

So after being a Mermaid for a day make sure to shower to remove excess salt, sand, and seaweed,  Apply lotion to moisturize your skin that does dry out from the benefits these three things do for your skin and muscles. From one Mermaid to another the ocean is my super power!

Shark Week

Pursuit Of The Almighty Copper Skin

Most of us enjoy laying on the beach or a deck of a boat worshiping the sun to obtain a coppery skin tone.  The pursuit of this often results in most of us getting a sunburn that hurts and skin peel. So what can we do for a sunburn?  How can we prevent a sunburn and still enjoy the sun?

Ways to prevent your skin from getting burned but still get your daily dose of vitamin D.  When the rays of the sun begin to warm the earth you need to limit the amount of time out in the midday sun to 20- 60 mins until your skin adjusts to the sun rays of summer.  A natural way to get UV protection is to consume foods rich in vitamin D to increase your sun tolerance.  Eat healthy saturated fats will make your skin have healthy strength. Eat foods rich in zinc and magnesium will also help keep you from getting a skin rash. Coconut oils rubbed into your skin has healing and some sun blocking abilities.  You can also eat krill oil found in seafood to help your body make internal sunscreen.

Well, you still managed to get a sunburn.  You are a lobster! What should you do now?  Upon arriving home draw a cool bath of water and baking soda, upon leaving the bath do not towel dry but air dry. You can take a cool bath in water with 1 cup of apple or white vinegar. You can also sponge apple or white cider onto the sunburned areas to relieve the burning and heat of a sunburn. After bathing makes sure to keep your skin moist by applying lotions containing vitamin E to prevent drying of the skin. If you want to further cool a sunburn you need to make sure you wrap your ice pack in a moist damp cloth before applying to the burn area, this will reduce swelling and bring healing blood to the area. Make sure to hydrate with plenty of water or foods rich in moisture. There are many other things out there to use on your skin such as aloe. The list goes one.  Just remember it takes 3-6 months for your skin to go back to like it was before you burned it enough to blister and peel.  So be very careful.

1 in 5 Americans get skin cancer but remember that a sunburn is only one danger that can cause skin cancer.  Our body does need vitamin D so we can not live under a rock. So make sure the next time you go out into the sun take into account the things you need to do to keep your skin healthy and if you do become a crispy critter take care of your skin back to health.  Remember you can not get a massage until your skin has healed completely.

Massage Info

Shark Bites & Amputations, Can Massage Help?

Shark bites have become more common over the last several years as man interferes with the balance of nature. When we protect one type of animal another will increase due to it being their food source.  This has been seen along the east coast as we protect the seals the amount of fish in the waters off the coast decrease and the number of sharks increase.  With an increased number of sharks, it increases the likelihood of shark sightings and bites.

What exactly attracts a shark to attack a human instead of a food source?

Discovery compiled information provided by the NOAA Fisheries Service:“

“1) Stay in groups and do not wander away from your companions, since sharks are more likely to attack individuals.

2) Avoid being in the water during early morning and late afternoon, since sharks actively feed at those times.

3) Never go into the water if you are bleeding, even if the cut or injury is minor. Sharks possess very keen senses, and blood could attract one from several feet away.

4) Don’t wear shiny jewelry when in the water. The glisten mimics fish-scale sheen and visually labels you as shark prey.

5) Stay away from sport or commercial fishermen when in the water, as their catches could attract sharks.

6) Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing in murky waters, since sharks easily perceive color contrasts.

7) Refrain from excessive splashing, which could mimic the movements of injured or disoriented prey fish and animals.

8) Sandbars, steep drop-offs and estuary inlets tend to be shark hangouts, so avoid swimming in these places.”

Sharks only kill about 10 people a year and on average about 84 unprovoked attacks a year from sharks.  The people that are attacked usually end up with a lot of scar tissue as a result of the tearing of shark’s teeth.  In a few cases the person losses a limb to the shark or infection.

Massage is excellent for people that are recovering from an accident that has resulted in scar tissue, loss of a limb or torn muscles. Circular massage over the scar area reduces the inflation, increases circulation to the scar area and helps improve healing.  By massaging the scar tissue it will keep it pliable and soft. It will also prevent it from attaching to muscle, tendons and ligaments that will prevent free movement by reducing collegens and adhesions. The lotions and oils used help keep the skin drying out.

Stay safe this summer while you enjoy swimming at the beach.

Shark Week

Shark Week Is Here! Let The Fun Facts Begin

After a fun-filled day at Rye Beach in New Hampshire and the start of Shark Week, I have decided to write a blog each day this week that will touch on different aspects of the ocean, our bodies, and Sharks.
I just love sharks and all the fun things that can be learned from sharks as long as you are not between their teeth.

Five years ago FiFi, my Maine Coon cat and I moved to Vermont after I remarried my high school sweetheart.  Having not had cable most of my life, we were introduced to Shark Week.  FiFi loves the show and will watch it all day long.  She becomes quite upset if you turn the channel or turn off the show.  She will also at times try to catch the sharks on the TV screen.  So this made me want to investigate the show further. I discovered that it airs each year the last week of July.

Shark week was created by Discovery Channel in July of 1988 and has aired yearly since then. Shark week has helped to double Discovery Channel’s following over the years.  They also offer a virtual reality app that viewers can use since 2016. The programming contains many different types of programs that enable the viewer to learn about everything from threats of shark, mating, eating habits, how they live, who studies sharks to how to react to a shark attack.

A few fun facts about sharks to help you prepare to watch shark week.  Sharks can be pregnant for 5 months to 2 years depending on the type of shark. Female sharks use sperm from multiple male sharks to reproduce.  Some sharks develop teeth while still an embryo and will eat all the other embryos until only one remains. Blue Sharks give birth to up to 135 live pups at a time.  A Great White Sharks bite has a force of 4000 PSI.  Sharks cycle through 35,000 teeth during their lifetime.  Sharks have very good hearing and can hear a low-frequency sound from a 1/4 a mile away.

So come along on a week of fun blogs that will touch on the great big ocean with FiFi and Coffee Mermaid.

Massage Info

Yes, Your Abdominal Muscles Need Massage Too!

Ever wonder why your dog rolls over to have a tummy rub?  By the end of this blog, you will be wanting your own belly, tummy, stomach or abdominal muscle massaged.

This area of our body muscles is often not massaged due to many therapists feel it is too sensual of an area to massage. Note this area is right above the hair of the pubic area to just below the rib cage. This is a huge disservice to our clients by skipping such an important group of muscles.

The abdominal muscles consist of 4 main muscles called transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, external oblique muscles and internal oblique muscles. Transversus abdominis is located deep in the abdominal cavity to keep internal pressure and support the body trunk, this enables you to sit upright.  Rectus abdominis is located from the ribs to the pubic bone on the front of the pelvis.  External oblique muscles are found on the outside of each end of the rectus abdominis muscle this muscles contracts when your turn your body.  Internal oblique muscles are found inside each hip bone and allow you to twist your body trunk.

Who should not consider getting an abdominal massage?

  • Pregnant Women
  • Person with gallstones.
  • Person with kidney stones
  • Person with calcium deposits in the bladder
  • Person with inflammation of internal reproductive organs
  • Person with hernias
  • Person with ulcers
  • Person with internal bleeding

Abdominal massage does have many benefits that vary from person to person.  Before getting an abdominal massage you should not eat and empty your bladder.  This type of massage has been around since ancient times and many of us have used various types of this massage on our children or selves when we are not feeling well or to soothe.

Benefits of abdominal massage

  1. Helps to reduce gas and digestive issues such as constipation and bloating to improve gastrointestinal health.  This is done by the circular massage motion with light pressure to increases the blood flow to the intestinal tract to improve digestion.
  2. Weight loss can be helped along with this massage by helping with the right metabolic digestive function.  This is not always the case in every person.  People also often feel thinner due to the massage putting the visceral organs back up under the rib cage and allowing the intestinal tract to spread out.
  3. Decrease menstrual symptoms such as pain and heavy bleeding when your abdominal area is massaged lightly with essential oils such as clove, cinnamon, lavender or rose (make sure these are used with a carrier oil so as not to burn your skin, make sure to discuss with your therapist if you are allergic to any of these oils).
  4. Can have an effect on your mental state of mind by relieving stress about bodily functions.
  5. Can improve abdominal muscle tone with daily massage.

I give an abdominal massage with every massage I give as long as the client has no issues to interfere with the massage.  All my clients love the massage and wonder why a lot of therapists don’t offer this service to their clients. Next time you book a massage make sure to ask if your therapist gives an abdominal massage.

Massage Info

You Road How Many Miles On That Little Seat?

Let’s discuss cycle riders muscles. Whether you are a weekend warrior or Tour de France level cycle rider you use the same muscles.  This means the same maintenance but at different levels.  Yesterday was a day of rest for the Tour de France riders and they spent the day getting massages, fueling the body and resting.  Being married to a guy that loves to mountain bike and rides his road bike on rollers in the winter, I can say that there are muscle issues and maintenance needed.

What muscles does a cyclist use when pedaling a bike?

Starting at the top of the leg you use quadriceps and hamstrings and in your calf, you use gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Your upper leg does most of the work while pedaling a cycle.  You also use your gluteus maximus and medius that is better know as your butt cheeks for pushing your pedal forward at the top of a stroke.  Cyclist usually experience very tight calf muscles if they do not stretch before and after cycling.  Muscles used during cycling for power riding is the biceps, support of body weight is the triceps and to stabilize you during riding is the back and abdominal muscles.  There tons of other muscles that are used to greater or lesser degrees but these are the ones that will scream bloody murder after a good workout on your cycle.  For a look at the exact muscles used check out this blog by BTWin.

What is a good massage schedule for a cyclist?

If you are a serious cyclist to Tour de France levels you should follow a massage schedule of 3-5 days before a race or long ride, get a deep tissue massage to break up the muscles adhesions and tissue. 1-2 days before the event get a light massage to increase blood flow and flush out waste.  After the event within 1-2 days get a light massage to once again flush the waste and increase blood flow to help heal the muscles. lastly, 3-5 days after event get a deep tissue massage to break up the adhesions before they become tight and painful.  At this point, you can return to your regular massage schedule.

A weekend warrior should get a massage as needed for their body when it feels tight or sore this would be every 4-6 weeks.  A cyclist that rides 2-4 times a week needs a monthly massage to maintain limber and knot free muscles.  Hard core training on a daily basis cyclist need to have massage every two weeks that includes deep tissue and trigger point release to keep from injuring their muscles.

So enjoy watching the Tour de France or riding your cycle just make sure you schedule a massage for your muscles to ensure your best time on your bike.  Ride on!