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23/Jun/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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23/Jun/2018

Recurring Pain Doesn’t Need To Be Unmanageable

Recurring pain can be managed through massage and many people seek massage for help dealing with consistent problem areas.  Repeating an action over and over stresses the muscle and leads to tension. Continuing the same repetitive motion disallows the muscle to heal properly.  Over time, the body reacts by tightening everything up in that area in an attempt to give it needed support. Which often leads to recurring, and sometimes chronic, pain and tension– sometimes referred to as a repetitive stress or repetitive motion injury.


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23/Jun/2018

Trauma Survivors Can Be Aided By Massage.

The team at Nimbus Massage recently hired Hannah Bohn, MSW, a local mental wellness professional, to teach the staff a clinically-oriented class on PTSD and Trauma. By expanding our knowledge base, we can better attune our sessions to our clients who have experienced either of these. The root of helping people with their massage goals comes from understanding what people experience. We believe that massage can help survivors of trauma and people who live with Post Traumatic Stress.


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23/Jun/2018

Living with fibromyalgia can be disheartening, depressing, and, while in the depths of the worst days, downright bleak. No one wants to lose the ability to conduct a normal, pain-free, easy-functioning life. To worry whether they will have enough energy each day to get dressed and go downstairs. To have to routinely say “no” to a lot of life’s little pleasures (and routines!). Although not an easy process, most people, with physician-guided trial and error, can find a set of management strategies that help them minimize the chronic widespread pain, fatigue, and other symptoms that go along this syndrome.

While not a magic bullet, to be sure, routine massage has emerged as one management tool that seems to really help people who suffer from fibromyalgia get back to fuller, more pain-free living. Partnered with the right diet, pharmaceutical, and exercise program- a well-tailored massage program can aid people in reclaiming some of what is lost to fibro. However, no two people are alike, so part of finding the right massage for fibromyalgia is creating a partnership with a massage therapist who understands fibro and working together to discover what works best for your body.

Generally speaking, myofascial techniques, stretching, and the feather-light lymph massage have gotten some good press for helping alleviate the tight muscle feeling and fatigue associated with fibro. Massage also appears to improve pain, depression, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and overall quality of life. One review, interestingly, found that the only style of massage (that has been studied, many haven’t) that appeared to have little clinical effect on fibromyalgia was the most common, Swedish. One study found that longer-term programs seemed to optimize the effects of massage. Unfortunately, the study of massage for fibromyalgia is still in its infancy. The gist of the data is that massage can help, but how or to what extent and in which exact applications is still unclear.

Since over-stimulation can cause flare-ups, people who receive massage for fibromyalgia often have to start “easy” and habituate to the work. If you have never had massage for fibromyalgia before, or had one that caused a flare-up, a 30 minute lighter pressure massage is a good place to start. Most find that they become less sensitized to massage over time and that the pressure and style of massage that works for them becomes slightly more aggressive. Some even ultimately do well with very deep pressure trigger point work. Keep in mind that sometimes you need to go back to a lighter pressure if you have a set back or if you begin reacting differently to deeper pressure work.

Some key things you may encounter during a massage for fibromyalgia include:

  1. Lighter pressure (at least to begin with).
  2. Slow work, often with long holds on areas of taut tissue, that gently work into the layers of muscle.
  3. Gentle stretching with long(er) holds that wait for the muscles to relax.
  4. Some focused work on tender points and knots as you become used to massage, or if you already know that deeper pressure works well for you. (Slow often still works better.)

Make sure you have an in-depth intake conversation with your therapist discussing how you experience fibro and your goals. Let your therapist know if you have sensitivity to cold, skin reactions, fibro fog, insomnia, IBS, etc… Also discuss your general wellness, other health concerns, and past history with massage. Once you get into the session, expect to give some feedback so that the therapist can adjust to what you feel. Finally, pay attention to how your body responds to the work in the days following the session. Did you flare up? How much? What type(s) of relief did you notice? How long did the relief last?  Give that feedback to the therapist who will use it to tailor your next session.

If you have received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and have not yet tried massage as a complementary therapy, it is worth seeking out a qualified provider to try a few sessions. If you have tried once or twice and had a flare up, it may still be worth finding a therapist who has specific experience working successfully with people who have fibromyalgia– interest, training, and experience on the part of the therapist can make a big difference.

And remember, you can do it!

 

 


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23/Jun/2018

Targeted Therapeutic Massage for TMJ Disoders can help reduce common symptoms including pain and stiffness.

Nimbus Massage now offers massage for TMJ Disorders. Our program is designed to relieve the pain and stiffness associated with the Temporomandibular Joint. The protocol, designed by a Massage Therapist who also worked for nearly two decades as a dental hygienist, addresses the muscles in the head, neck, and shoulders that contribute to TMJ pain and dysfunction.

Try the program to:

  • Reduce pain in the head, jaw, neck, and shoulders.
  • Be able to chew or yawn more easily.
  • Restore full opening and closing of the jaw.
  • Eliminate some types of headaches related to TMJ dysfunction.
  • Relieve tinnitus (ringing in the ears) related to TMJ dysfunction.

 

This joint in the jaw – in front of the ear where the jaw hinges – may develop a number of problems including arthritis, degeneration, trauma, postural problems, or repetitive stress. Any of these, or other, root causes may lead to muscular pain and tension in the immediate or surrounding muscles. People who grind their teeth, clench their jaw, sit with their head forward, or who have an uneven bite often develop symptoms of TMJ (TMD).

In addition to muscular pain in and around the jaw, people also commonly experience headaches; grinding, clicking, or popping in the jaw; the inability to fully open the mouth; tinnitus; dizziness; or sometimes pain and tension in the neck and shoulders.

Many people report that massage complements their medically-guided protocol to relieve pain and restore proper movement to the jaws. In fact, a recent research review concluded that conservative treatment, including massage, is an optimal treatment option for TMJ (TMD).

Your therapist will methodically work though the muscles (including inside the cheek) commonly involved in TMJ (TMD). Then she or he will apply soothing heat to relax the jaw, relieve tension, and get you back to pain-free living. Typically, this protocol requires between three and six one hour sessions with follow up visits as needed.

Medical Research on Massage for TMJ Disorders

2015 Systematic Review– Abstract.  “In conclusion, there is widely varying evidence that MT improves pain, MMO and PPT in subjects with TMD signs and symptoms, depending on the technique. Further studies should consider using standardised evaluations and better study designs to strengthen clinical relevance. ”

2014 Randomized Controlled Trial– Abstract.  “Massage therapy and the use of an occlusal splint had no significant influence on electromyographic activity of the masseter or anterior temporal muscles. However, the combination of therapies led to a reduction in the intensity of signs and symptoms among individuals with severe TMD and sleep bruxism.”

2012 Review Article– Abstract with free full text available.  “Massage is an effective method in treating temporomandibular disorders. Due to the (sic) manual therapy significant improvement may be seen in the subjective and objective health status of the patient.”

2011 Case Study– Abstract with free full text available. “Results include an increase in maximal opening from 3.1 cm to 3.8 cm, an overall increase in neck range of motion, a decrease in muscle hypertonicity using the Wendy Nickel’s Scale, a decrease in pain from 7/10 to 3/10 on a numerical pain scale, and a decline in stress… more extensive studies are needed….”

 

 


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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