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15/Aug/2018

While our main focus is on clinical and therapeutic massage we are not afraid of a little “woo.” At least, not woo that has some medical research behind it. Search “reiki” in PubMed (a trusted online database of medical research papers) and you will find a small number of studies that form a beginning of some positive research for reiki and other therapeutic touch  as a part of biofield therapy. The gist of the data so far indicates that reiki may have a positive influence on stress and pain relief.

Origins of Reiki

Reiki originated in Japan and it is essentially a laying on of hands. The history goes as follows, Dr. Mikao Usui went to the mountain, had a vision, and came back connected to the life force energy of the universe. He was able to heal people by touching them and tapping into this energy. He passed down this ability to other practitioners through an attunement process, which is how we still do it today.

In the original form of Reiki, the practitioner would place hands on the recipient wherever the energy felt out of balance. In the modern western version, the practitioner uses hand placements on the chakras which correspond to the rest of the body to facilitate healing. One science-based theory of how reiki works focuses on the possibility of one person’s electromagnetic field influencing the other’s. However, nothing has been proven through methodological study.

Traditionally, people have sought out reiki to heal and balance mind, body, and spirit. It  follows an integrated eastern philosophy of wellness in which any of these components alone or together may disturb overall well-being and lead to health problems. Each chakra corresponds not only to a physical part of the body, but to an emotional state, and a spiritual concept as well. Here is a quick and dirty list of the major chakras.

Chakras

1st/Root Chakra– At the base of the spine. Physically relates to the lower body and immune system– sciatica, low back pain, depression. Mental and emotional correlations include safety and security, basic physical needs, family, standing up for oneself.

2nd/Sacral Chakra– At the sacrum. Physically relates to the viscera, sexual organs, and hip area– urinary problems, problems related to the sexual organs, low back or hip pain. Mental and emotional correlations include blame and guilt, creativity, control, money issues, and ethics.

3rd/Solar Plexus Chakra– Above navel. Physically relates to the stomach, abdomen, and abdominal organs– ulcers, diabetes, GERD, liver problems, and adrenal fatigue. Mental and emotional correlations include trust, self-esteem, self-care, decision making, and honor.

4th/Heart Chakra– In the center of the chest near the heart. Physically relates to the heart, lungs, shoulders/arms, and chest– heart problems, asthma, allergies, upper back and shoulder pain. Mental and emotional correlations include love, resentment, grief, anger, forgiveness, loneliness, and self-centeredness.

5th/Throat Chakra– At the throat. Physically relates to the throat, neck, mouth, and glands– sore throat, TMD, scoliosis, and thyroid problems. Mental and emotional correlations include personal choice and expression, hopes and dreams, addiction, criticism, faith, and decision making.

6th/Third Eye Chakra– In the center of the forehead. Physically relates to the brain, nervous system, eyes, ears, nose, and glands– neurological or brain problems, learning difficulties, seizures, and hearing and vision problems. Mental and emotional correlations include intellectual ability, truth, wisdom, and emotional intelligence.

7th/Crown Chakra– At the crown of the head. Physically relates to the muscles, bones, and skin– chronic exhaustion, depression, and sensitivity to light and sound. Mental and emotional correlations include big picture thinking, spirituality, selflessness, values, courage, and trusting in life.

Experiencing

It can get complex and very in depth for those who appreciate the metaphysical. There can be levels, symbols, colors, crystals, sound, and smoke. There can be connecting of the worldly and ethereal. There can be inviting of enlightened beings.

People experience reiki in a variety of different ways. Some feel heat or vibration. Some see colors or visions. Some simply feel relaxed.  Some have emotional outpourings. Many specifically seek it out for this reason- it can bring up emotional or spiritual issues for processing. And for some, there is a profound connection that feels divine. The wisdom of reiki says that whatever the person experiences is exactly what they need for healing.

Another piece of the wisdom of reiki is that it “calls” to those who should try it…


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15/Aug/2018

The cast came off and the joint wasn’t what it used to be. The skin was tight and bound down around the scar, the tissue sticking together. The scar sent burning zingers and the bone felt like fire ants. The joint didn’t want to move. The therapist could feel tight bands and knots in the muscles around the area. The fascia felt tight, not wanting to move. And the joint itself felt stiff. Time for a post-injury massage!

If you are recovering from an injury a massage for pain relief may aid your healing as part of an integrative approach to care.

Fresh Injury

For a fresh injury, a short, light pressure lymphatic massage can help set the stage for healing. Lymphatic massage focuses on aiding the immune response in an area. It aims to bring healing cells and flush waste cells from the injured tissue. It does not address any muscle tissue. Indeed, at very early stages of an injury, the use of muscular massage is dubious.

Minor Injury

For minor injuries such as a pulled muscle, massage can help ease pain and relax tight muscle fibers. It may also improve circulation to the area to bolster the body’s natural healing process. Sometimes as little as one session can make a huge difference, and often a short series can get everything back to normal. When seeking a therapeutic massage to ease pain and improve function following a minor injury, the general rule of thumb is to wait 72 hours after the incident, or until any redness, swelling, or heat have dissipated.

Serious Injury

For a more serious incident, the post-injury massage shouldn’t come until after seeking medical attention and being cleared by the health practitioner to receive massage. Typically, people start getting massage while they are in physical therapy or when ending physical therapy. Massage can greatly complement the work done in a PT’s office to rehab after an injury, as it targets the same structures and goals using a slightly different approach.

People use post-injury massage to address pain, scar tissue, stiffness, weakness, and diminished flexibility. It can also help improve mood, ease stress, and give a sense of healing and connection to the body. Many people say that massage is that “extra something” that makes a difference in their recovery.

At Nimbus we have taken part in many people’s healing efforts. We have seen people recovering from broken bones, sprains, pulled muscles, falls, accidents, sporting injuries, workplace mishaps… the list goes on. We’d love to hear your story of how massage has made a difference in your recovery.

 


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15/Aug/2018

What is Trigger Point Therapy?

Trigger Point Therapy uses a firm sustained pressure to relieve painful knots called trigger points (TP’s). Unlike other tender knots, trigger points have four specific characteristics.

  1. TP’s are tender nodules found within a taut band of muscle.
  2. TP’s send a pain signal, called a referral, to a distant or surrounding area.
  3. When pressed, the muscle that has a trigger point twitches.
  4. The pain does not originate from apparent trauma, infection, or neurological problems.

Sometimes, when active, the TP causes constant referral pain. When latent, the referral area only feels painful when one presses on the TP.

Firm pressure treatment

To apply Trigger Point Therapy, your massage therapist locates the knot, presses on it with a firm pressure, and holds it for several seconds. They may repeat this if the initial pressure does not relieve the pain. Once the knot softens, and the pain lessens, your therapist may stretch the muscle to restore the proper length to the muscle fiber.

Your therapist may apply Trigger Point Therapy if you have a baffling muscular pain that doesn’t seem related to injury. Especially if you have tender knots and/or a feeling of weakness in the muscle. They may ask you to look at pain patterns with them to see if any look familiar prior to starting your session. Definitely if you have Myofascial Pain Syndrome, which involves multiple trigger points throughout the body.

A widely respected text in the massage industry written by a pair of doctors, maps all of the muscles in the body along with common trigger points and their referral patterns. Although therapists jokingly call the this manual “the Massage Bible,” controversy surrounds the soundness of the material. In practice however, this style of massage has helped many people find muscular pain relief.

At Nimbus Massage, your therapist may check for trigger points if you have headaches, neck pain, back pain, hip pain, TMJ Dysfunction, or pain in the extremities.  If you don’t like firm pressure, they can adjust the technique to make it more gentle. You may experience this technique during a Massage for Chronic Pain or a Massage for Aches and Pains.


We help people get back to the business of living their lives a little bit better through targeted therapeutic massage sessions and programs.

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