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Balance Point Massage Tips and Articles

Relaxation and the Breath

The body does not understand when we tell it to "relax". However, the body uses the breath as a relaxation response. We have all heard the expression "Relax, take a deep breath". By breathing we allow our body the opportunity to relax. Another time to breath deeply is when the massage technique is very deep and intense. By breathing into the area that "hurts good" we open up the tissue by expanding and allowing oxygen flow to the area with an increased blood flow. This helps nourish the tissues and allows them to release stress and tension.

Breathing opportunities also arise when a particular massage technique is being used on you and it feels really good. This would be a good time to breath deeply in enjoyment. You would take a nice breath in and exhale deeply letting go as your intention.

By breathing you will automatically feel a difference and we begin to train our body to continue the rewarding behavior of the breath. We can control the level of pain the we feel by utilizing the breath. The power of this is incredible in that, not only
can we get more out of our massage by working with our therapist to get the best results but also to learn ways of breathing that will enhance our other activities in life. We know that if we are more relaxed we reduce pain, let go of tension and if we are into sports, leads to better performance. This exercise can also help us to be more productive and focused in general to accomplish more with less effort.

Written by David Rice, HHP
Balance Point Massage
Copyright 2007

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue is recommended if you have areas of your body that need special attention. You know those "knots" in your back between the shoulder blades or upper shoulders and neck. Or if you have any type of sport injury like ITBS Syndrome, Shin Splits etc. Deep Tissue work incorporates specific massage techniques to break up those knots and scar tissue related to injury. These techniques allow increased oxygen and blood flow to the targeted areas to open up and release the tension built up due to increased levels of stress (physical, mental and emotional), as well as provide the tissues with the necessary nutrients for proper healing and restoration. Deeper work has a higher level of intensity and usually entails more breathing by you the client. The breathing is an essential component to facilitate the process of breaking up tight areas and the release of tension and stress. In addition, Deep work is best when it is performed in your personal threshold of a "hurts so good" level of pain.That is to say that the therapist is not "grinding on you" so you bite your lips, clench your jaw and hold your breath, but rather you may tighten a little in response to the level of pressure but then you are able to breathe through it so as to elicit the release. Deep tissue worked combined with other relaxing massage techniques ensures that you will receive both a therapeutic and relaxing massage. The kind of massage that gets results.

Written by David Rice, HHP
Balance Point Massage
Copyright 2007



San Diego Balance Point Massage Deep Tissue Massage


San Diego Massage Balance Point Massage Therapy Clinic Deep Tissue Tips


Heat and Ice

The elements of heat and ice for therapy are very effective. Most people are aware that ice is used for reducing inflammation typically in joints where there has been an injury. There is no doubt that ice is the most effective for reducing inflammation in this instance.

Ice is also extremely effective for relieving low back pain. If your back hurts after activity of any kind it is best to put ice on right
as soon as possible to reduce the pain. Leave the ice on for about 10-15 minutes. No longer than 20 minutes.

Most of us have used a heating pad to reduce the pain and this works to stimulate the nervous system and as a result feel better temporarily. You may have experienced this and soon after you remove the heat the pain comes back. The ice therapy following heat therapy helps move the pain out of the area.

Why does this occur?

Energetically Heat is attractive in nature. Think of a hug in which we are attracted to find comfort. Ice on the other hand is not usually welcomed and we often work to stay away from the cold. It is detractive in nature and pushes things away. Therefore, by combining the two we create a pumping action for your blood flow, energy and pain.

THis effect is created by applying a heat element (activity, massage, heating pad, hot tub or jacuzzi) then follow this with ice
on the painful area. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and then apply heat or leave alone to warm up naturally and then reapply the ice once again for 10-15 minutes. When the area is nice and cold remove the ice and your done. You should feel a significant difference immediately.

In summary:

So for ongoing therapy in which the tissue is not inflammed by injury, apply heat, then ice. Heat again and then end with ice.

Remember that it is not best to add heat to heat, which means after activity (heat) do not use a hot tub or heating pad. Use the ice right away.

This tip is most useful for general therapy and every person is different and responds to therapy in different ways. Use this as
a guideline but find out what works best for you and stick to it. Trust your intuition and follow through with the therapy to get
the best results.

Written by David Rice, HHP
Balance Point Massage
Copyright 2007



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