Neck Pain- What can you do about it?

Are you having neck pain? Neck tension is one of the top reasons we treat clients at Blue Water Bodywork. The term we like to use around the studio is "Tech Neck". Most of us are sitting at a desk all day with our heads down and shoulders slumped forward staring at a monitor or a phone or some type of wireless device. This constant tilting forward of the head is called a chronic holding pattern. This particular holding pattern creates two problems. First, It causes the neck muscles in the anterior or front portion of the neck to become locked short. It’s kind of like the muscles are stuck in a shortened or contracted state. Next, the tight or short muscles in the front create elongated or overstretched muscles in the posterior or back of the neck. When ever a muscle or set up muscles in a contracted or shortened state, the antagonist or opposite muscle or set of muscles has no choice but to do the opposite. These overstretched muscles become rigid and weak and create tension on their attachments sights. The most common areas to feel pain are the base of the skull at the occipital ridge and the upper medial border of your scapula(shoulder blade). There are a few ways to try and correct this. As a preventative measure, spending less time looking down at your devices is a good start. Stretching would be another. Regular bodywork is also a great preventative measure to avoid future neck pain. Massage can be used as a way to correct imbalances that already exist. Getting work done on muscles like the sternocleidomastoid and scalene muscles can do wonders for your neck pain. If you are suffering from discomfort or tension in the neck area, please give us a call. Let us help. If you are spending a lot of time in a desk job type situation and are concerned this could become and issue for yo,u please give us a call. Either way we would love to help!

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage

Have you been experiencing chronic soreness from a stiff neck or shoulders? What about acute pain from a sprain or other recent injury? 

If so, your pain is likely due to misalignment of the layers of muscles or other tissues in the area, and can be treated with deep tissue massage therapy.

Luckily for you, deep tissue massage is one of our specialties here at Blue Water Bodywork. Unlike many other massage therapy businesses in Salt Lake City, we focus on finding the root cause of your pain or discomfort in order to prevent it from happening again.

While typical Swedish massage is relaxing and beneficial in many ways, we have found in most cases that it is merely a temporary solution — like taking a pain reliever. But why take a temporary pain reliever when you have the option of eliminating the cause of your pain altogether? 

With deep tissue massage, we can make that happen.

Who can benefit from deep tissue massage?

As mentioned above, those with chronic or acute pain in their muscle, tissues, or bones will find deep tissue massage the most beneficial. 

Chronic pain most commonly stems from what we call “chronic holding patterns.” One example is your posture. Those who sit at a desk in their office all day tend to have pain in their back, neck and shoulders because they are hunched over, with their arms extended forward. Over time, your muscles in those areas will become excessively contracted or stretched out — even when you’re away from your desk. This in turn causes misalignment as the rest of your body adapts to the misplacement of those muscles. The same goes for your standing and sleeping postures.

Others who can benefit from deep tissue massage are athletes. The “chronic holding patterns” concept applies here as well. Working out your muscles causes them to contract, and if you’re not keeping them stretched out and aligned, you’re at a greater risk for pain, or even injury.

What to expect

Deep tissue massage is characterized by slower, more deliberate strokes with more applied pressure. Using this technique, your therapist is able to reach those deeper layers of muscle, tendons, and other tissues that wouldn’t otherwise be affected by typical Swedish massage.

Because of the deep pressure, especially on the tender areas, many people find that deep tissue massage can be a bit painful. If that’s the case for you, be sure to tell your therapist, and he or she will adjust the pressure accordingly. 

After the massage, it is typical to feel a little sore as the deep layers of muscles have been realigned and are in the healing process. To speed things up, it’s advised to ice the areas that were worked on, and drink plenty of water. Depending on your individual needs, you may require a deep tissue massage once every two weeks to a month. 

At Blue Water Bodywork, your therapist will be happy to discuss this with you, answering any questions you may have, and adjusting your massage plan accordingly.

Exercise-Preventative Massage

We have all heard that exercise is an important component to our long term health. Things like running, swimming, and other types of cardio exercise are good for our cardiovascular system. What about our muscles? A lot of you have probably heard that muscle is your metabolic engine. The more muscle mass you have the more calories your body burns throughout the day. These days there are so many different theories on how to build muscle. Most of them depend on how much muscle you want and why you are doing it. Whatever the reason, it will require some or a lot of resistance on the muscle. How hard you train will determine how much recovery time your body will need. I say this to clients on a daily basis. It’s always better to weight train then not to. However, if you aren’t allowing your muscles, tendons, joints the proper time to recover and always keeping a preventative mindset, then it’s only a matter of time until something gives.

How do we keep a preventative mindset? Hydration, proper nutrition, and stretching are a good start. What about massage and bodywork?? Massage done right can help increase performance, speed up recovery time, and keep proper muscle balance and structural alignment throughout the body. Injury prevention will keep you on your feet for you next work helping your each your fitness goals more efficiently. Massage and Bodywork are a huge component to preventing unnecessary downtime due to overworked muscle or injuries.

Please hit us up with any questions you may have about how massage can help you.

Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy Massage

I was so happy to help one of our long time clients Amy Jeanene Beagley with some hip pain today. Congrats on your soon to be second daughter Amy!

Did you know Blue Water Bodywork offers prenatal massage? Although every woman’s experience is unique, most have some stressful and uncomfortable times. A few of the benefits of massage during pregnancy are reduced back and joint pain, reduced edema, reduced muscle tension reduced headaches, and reduced stress/anxiety. Massage will also increase circulation and improve oxygenation of soft tissue and muscles. Most of all, it can help you get a better nights sleep!

You deserve a massage and you deserve the best! Call today or schedule online at www.bluewaterbodywork.com today.

photo credit- Photo by Joey Thompson on Unsplash

What is Sports Massage?

   Many people have asked me what Sports Massage is.  I'll do my best to answer some of these questions in this blog.   Is it something that the elite athletes in the NBA or NFL receive after their games?  Is it just for Olympic Athletes?  Is Sports Massage it's own technique or modality?  My definition would be this:  Sports Massage is not a specific modality or technique.  It is applying certain massage techniques from a variety of  modalities to a specific clientele.  Athletes!  What type of athletes?  All of them!  I personally have worked on ballet dancers, MMA fighters, roller derby girls, speed skaters, runners, rock climbers, triathletes, football players, baseball players, soccer players, fitness competitors, and even desk jockeys!   You name the type of athlete and I've probably worked on them.  So, my point is it's for every athlete from the weekend jogger to the Professional athlete.

   Does everyone receive the same type of sports massage?  Not even close!  If a marathon runner who runs several miles a day for months before a race comes to see me, my main focus will most likely be the lower body.  If a baseball pitcher comes to see me it's more likely that I will be focusing around the upper body and hips.  If a fitness competitor/bodybuilder comes to see me, I could be spending all my time around one particular group of muscles due to injury or imbalance issues.  

When should you get a Sports Massage?  The answer is it depends.  Are you running a marathon tomorrow morning?  Yes?  Then you probably shouldn't be getting a massage with extensive work on your legs today.  A nice recovery massage the day after would probably be a good idea though.  Can you get a massage before a race?  Yes!  It would be more of a pre-event massage using different techniques to prepare the muscles for the event.  Other than pre and post event massage, I would say how much massage you receive depends on how hard you are training.  Some people see me twice a week and some people once a month.  The harder you train the more massage you should be receiving.

Something you see on our website and in many of our social media posts are the words PERFORMANCE, BALANCE, AND RECOVERY.  This applies to everyone.  Not just athletes.  However, for the sake of what I am writing, it definitely applies to athletes as well.  Sports massage can increase performance, help keep balance in the body and mind, and help speed up recovery time in-between workouts and after sporting events.

I'm sure there are still questions out there.  Feel free to call or shoot us a message with any other questions and I will do my best to answer.