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Archive for the ‘massage therapy’ Category

The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Tension Headaches

Posted on: July 11th, 2024 by TouchStone Health

by Maggie Seegmiller, RMT

Massage therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches, which are often caused by tight muscles in the neck, shoulders, and head. This non-invasive approach can provide significant relief by addressing underlying muscle tension and promoting improved blood flow to the affected areas. The subsequent increased circulation helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to muscles, thus reducing pain and discomfort. Additionally, regular massage therapy can address long standing postural imbalance which can help to reduce or eliminate the muscle strain that often leads to headaches.

One of the key benefits of massage therapy for tension headaches is the marked reduction of stress, which is often a trigger for this common condition. The soothing nature and focused application of massage can promote the body’s relaxation response, which not only alleviates the immediate symptoms of a tension headache but also helps to prevent future occurrences. 

Overall, massage therapy provides a holistic approach to managing tension headaches by addressing both physical and psychological strain. Its ability to relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and enhance natural pain relief mechanisms makes it a valuable treatment option for those suffering from this condition. By incorporating regular massage treatments into their routine, individuals can experience a reduction in symptoms and improved quality of life.

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The Benefits of Massage for Nervous System Regulation

Posted on: June 17th, 2024 by TouchStone Health

by Maggie Seegmiller, RMT

Massage therapy has been shown to be beneficial for nervous system regulation through various mechanisms that reduce stress and promote relaxation. One of the primary ways massage achieves this is by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s rest-and-digest response. Research indicates that massage therapy can significantly lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress, and increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters that contribute to a sense of well-being and relaxation .

Additionally, massage therapy has been found to activate the body’s pressure receptors, which send signals to the brain to reduce the production of stress hormones and stimulate the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve plays a crucial role in controlling the parasympathetic nervous system and helps in lowering heart rate and promoting a state of calmness. Studies have shown that regular massage therapy can enhance vagal activity, leading to improved mood and a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms.

Furthermore, massage therapy can improve blood circulation and ease muscle tension. Enhanced blood flow ensures that oxygen and nutrients are more efficiently delivered to tissues, which can help in healing and reducing pain. The relaxation of tense muscles and the alleviation of pain through massage can also reduce the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response, which is often overactive in individuals with chronic stress and anxiety .

Overall, the benefits of massage therapy for nervous system regulation are well-supported by scientific research. By promoting relaxation, reducing stress hormones, stimulating the vagus nerve, and improving circulation, massage therapy can effectively help maintain a balanced nervous system and contribute to improved mental and physical health.


References:

  1. Field, T. (2014). Massage therapy research review. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 20(4), 224-229.
  2. Moraska, A., Pollini, R. A., Boulanger, K., Brooks, M. Z., & Tepe, R. (2010). Physiological adjustments to stress measures following massage therapy: a review of the literature. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 7(4), 409-418.
  3. Diego, M. A., & Field, T. (2009). Vagal activity, early growth and emotional development. Infant Behavior and Development, 32(3), 355-362.
  4. Moyer, C. A., Rounds, J., & Hannum, J. W. (2004). A meta-analysis of massage therapy research. Psychological Bulletin, 130(1), 3-18.
  5. Delaney, J. P., Leong, K. S., Watkins, A., & Brodie, D. (2002). The short-term effects of myofascial trigger point massage therapy on cardiac autonomic tone in healthy subjects. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 37(4), 364-371.

The Many Benefits of Prenatal Massage

Posted on: June 7th, 2024 by TouchStone Health

By Maggie Seegmiller, RMT

Massage therapy during pregnancy, often referred to as prenatal massage, offers a multitude of benefits for expectant parents. One of the primary advantages is a significant reduction in stress and anxiety. Pregnancy is a time of considerable physical and emotional change. The soothing nature of massage can help alleviate feelings of uncertainty and overwhelm that may accompany these changes. This is achieved through the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and mood enhancers, which can help to improve overall emotional well-being.

Another crucial benefit of prenatal massage is the relief of common discomforts associated with pregnancy. As the body adapts to accommodate a growing baby, aches and pains are often a side effect. Massage therapy can alleviate these discomforts by improving circulation, reducing muscle tension, and enhancing flexibility. This not only makes pregnancy more comfortable but can also improve posture and reduce strain on muscles and joints.

Additionally, massage therapy can improve sleep quality. Many pregnant people struggle with sleep disturbances due to hormonal changes, physical soreness, and increased stress levels. Regular massage sessions can promote deeper and more restful sleep by reducing tension and encouraging relaxation. Improved sleep quality is essential for the overall health and well-being of both parent and baby. Adequate rest helps to optimize body function and leaves one better equipped to handle the physical demands of pregnancy.

Moreover, prenatal massage can play a role in preparing the body for labor. By enhancing circulation and flexibility, massage therapy helps maintain muscle tone and elasticity, which may facilitate a smoother delivery. It can also help in managing pain and discomfort experienced during labor, through the practice of relaxation techniques during treatments.

In summary, massage therapy during pregnancy offers significant benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, relief from physical discomforts, improved sleep quality, and preparation for labor and delivery. By integrating massage into prenatal care, expectant parents can experience a more comfortable and positive pregnancy journey.

BOOK IN FOR A PRENATAL MASSAGE or other Massage Treatments

Maggie Seegmiller is not only a Registered Massage Therapist but also a trained Midwife

Ayurvedic Massage- Deep insights

Posted on: August 14th, 2023 by TouchStone Health

By Senthil Krishnasamy, Ayurvedic and Natural Medicine Practitioner

Massage therapy has been shown to have beneficial effects on varying conditions including prenatal depression, preterm infants, full-term infants, autism, skin conditions, pain syndromes including arthritis and fibromyalgia, hypertension, autoimmune conditions including asthma and multiple sclerosis, immune conditions including HIV and breast cancer and aging problems including Parkinson’s and dementia.

In Ayurvedic massage, pressure is given in different ways to the pressure points which help to stimulate different energy centers. It helps in getting rid of deep-seated toxins and improves blood circulation of the body.

Oils are fundamental in Ayurveda:
They are used internally and externally to prevent, as well as treat, disease. Used on the skin, or in the body’s orifices like the mouth, nostrils and ears, oil protects our bodies from outside stimulus, impurities and antigens.

For maximum benefits when using base Ayurvedic oils, we often recommend certain oils, or oil combinations to help balance each dosha:

  • Vata dosha with dry skin—> Heavier oils are used including sesame and almond
  • Pita dosha with sensitive or overheated skin—->Cooling or neutral oils are used including olive, sunflower, coconut, or castor
  • Kabha dosha with oily skin—>light oils are used including flaxseed, corn or mustard oil

Foot massage intensively stimulates blood flow in the foot area to increase blood circulation throughout the body, while also providing physical and psychological relaxation, thereby improving sleep and sleep patterns.  

Primary uses of massage are to promote relaxation, treat painful muscular conditions, and reduce anxiety.

Book an Appointment with Senthil

Bonnie’s Favourite Breakfast Bake:

Posted on: April 6th, 2023 by TouchStone Health

Pineapple, Banana Bake with Oats and Quinoa

Bonnie Snyder, Registered Massage Therapist

This recipe works as a hardy breakfast that keeps me massaging all morning until lunch. I have modified the original from berries to pineapple because it goes well with the toasted coconut and I try to get them when they are on sale. Enjoy…

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, uncooked

1 cup steel cut oats, uncooked

3 medium very ripe bananas, sliced

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted (optional)

2 cups milk of choice (I used oat milk)

4 large eggs

2 1/2 cups fresh chopped pineapple

1 – 2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Dash of salt

Directions

1. Rinse quinoa and oats with cold running water until water runs clear, about 3 times. Drain well and set aside. Get your fruits ready: slice bananas and chop pineapple. Set aside. Toast coconut in a small skillet on low – medium or in the oven at 375 degrees F until golden brown. (Be careful not to burn). I like big coconut flakes but the shredded works fine. Set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk milk, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and coat 9 x 13 inch baking pain with coconut oil. Lay half of bananas and pineapple in an even layer on a bottom. Using a spoon or spatula, spread rinsed quinoa and steel cut oats on top. Top with remaining banana and berries. Slowly pour liquid mixture in the corner of the baking dish without disturbing the set up.If you pour the liquid abruptly in the middle of the dish, all fruit might float on top. We arelooking for evenly distributed fruits and sweetness in every slice.

Sprinkle with toasted coconutflakes, if using, and bake for 60 minutes uncovered and make sure the middle is set when you take it out. 

4. Remove from the oven and let cool for 45 – 60 minutes. Cut into slices and serve hot, warm or cold with a dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt if desired or oat milk.

Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 5 – 6 days.

Notes

I make a large batch and freeze portions in my freezer to use during the week. You could half the ingredients for a smaller batch. 

*** Can substitute pineapple with 2 cup blueberries and 1 cup raspberries or any other fruit. Can also substitute coconut with sliced almonds or other nuts.

Recipe inspired/adapted from Berry Banana quinoa steel cut oats.

The Top Best Benefits of Getting a Prenatal Massage

Posted on: May 5th, 2022 by TouchStone Health

Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years. It is a common activity among pregnant women and also during labour. You might already be familiar with its regular benefits; however, this blog post will showcase some of the top benefits of getting a massage during pregnancy.

The Top Best Benefits of Getting a Prenatal Massage

1 – Get the Better of Back Pain

Lower back pain is very common during pregnancy. A prenatal massage helps alleviate pain and discomfort caused by the weight of your growing baby bump on the muscles and tissues along your back. You can also ask your therapist to focus specifically on your lower back.

2 – Relaxation

Massage is a great way to relax your body and mind, which is especially important when pregnant. Massage will help you relax and unwind. It will set your mind at ease and give you a chance to take a break from every day.

3 – Improved Circulation

Pregnancy causes an increase in your blood flow – this means more blood is pumping through your body, which can leave you feeling warmer, especially in your hands and feet. Increased blood flow can also cause a little bit of swelling in your extremities. Both of these can be alleviated with a good massage.

4 – Better Sleep

Massage helps your body relax, which can aid in sleep. Massage can also help your body use the oxygen in your blood more effectively – massaging your feet is a great way to get oxygen to your blood and to your heart.

5 – Decrease in Braxton Hicks Contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are your body’s way of preparing for birth. These contractions can be uncomfortable and often cause you to feel a little bit of pain. A prenatal massage can relieve the pain and discomfort of Braxton Hicks contractions.

6 – Feel More Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Gain a sense of comfort and confidence in your body with a professional massage. Massage will help you feel confident and relaxed, which can decrease feelings of being embarrassed or uncomfortable.

7 – Get Prepared For Labor

Massage during pregnancy helps contribute to easier childbirth. Women that receive a prenatal massage during their pregnancy report having more relaxed and painless labour and an easier recovery period.

8 – Decrease Risk of Complications

Women that receive a prenatal massage during their pregnancy are less likely to experience pregnancy complications. These complications include anemia, gestational diabetes, and pre-eclampsia.

9 – Decrease Risk of Premature Birth

It is recommended for all pregnant women to receive prenatal massage, especially women with a history of premature birth.

10 – Prevent Constipation

Massaging your gut will increase the movement of your bowels and prevent you from feeling constipated. Massage also helps release endorphins, which can make you feel happier and more relaxed.

Conclusion

Massage can be a very relaxing experience, but it can also be incredibly beneficial for your health and the development of your baby. It is recommended for all pregnant women to receive at least one massage during their pregnancy. You can relax, relieve tension and stress, and ultimately improve your health and your baby’s health.

If you are looking to get a pregnancy massage, come to Touchstone Health. We offer licensed Naturopathic, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy and Counselling Services to the Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) and surrounding areas.

Essential Facts You Need to Know About Massage Therapy

Posted on: April 26th, 2022 by TouchStone Health

If you’re anxious and sore, you may believe that the only thing you can do is take some over-the-counter pain medicines and get through the day. We’d gladly say it shouldn’t be so.

Massage is an excellent technique for relaxation, pain alleviation, and muscular tension release, among other things. Learn about the benefits of massage and how often you should get one. Read on!

What is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is a hands-on treatment that manipulates the body’s soft tissues, including muscles and ligaments. Massage therapists use a range of techniques, including press-and-pulse, kneading, tapping and stretching, to relieve pain, and promote relaxation and blood circulation.

Who Should Get a Massage

Massage therapy is appropriate for most people, although a few conditions—such as blood clots, skin infections and open wounds—require a doctor’s approval before receiving a massage.

If you have a health condition and are unsure if massage is safe for you, you can always ask your doctor.

The Benefits of Massage

Massage treatment may benefit everyone, but it has been shown to aid those with cancer, heart disease, stomach issues, and fibromyalgia. Before your first appointment, make sure to discuss any medical concerns with your therapist. Here are a few of the advantages of massage treatment.

Lowers Anxiety and Stress

According to one study, the sensation of calm that follows a massage might help reduce tension and anxiety. In stressful situations, the sympathetic nervous system drives your “fight or flight” reaction. In contrast, the parasympathetic nervous system concentrates on regular and day-to-day activities that lead to relaxation and slumber. A massage is supposed to boost your parasympathetic nervous system, which might help you feel less anxious.

Boosts Immune Function

Massage therapy has been shown to lower the stress hormone cortisol levels in the body, which is one of the factors that contribute to a weakened immune system.

Promotes circulation

Massage therapy can be a valuable treatment for people recovering from illness or injury. During a massage, the therapist’s touch can increase blood flow to the injured area, which helps increase healing.

Reduces Lymphatic System Swelling

Lymphatic system swelling occurs when the body’s lymph nodes swell and become enlarged. When this occurs, the lymph system cannot drain properly, resulting in infection. Massage therapy can help relieve pain and reduce swelling in the lymph nodes, helping to decrease your risk of infection.

Reduces muscle tension

Massage therapy has been shown to reduce muscle tension and soreness levels, which can be beneficial for people who exercise regularly. Massage may help you recover faster from hard workouts, ultimately leading to an improved sense of overall well-being.

Improves Sleep

A massage may help you sleep better. The soothing sensation of a massage may help reduce tension before bed and help you fall asleep sooner. Another study suggests massage can even relieve the symptoms of insomnia.

How Often Should I Get a Massage

Most people can benefit from massage therapy a few times a month. However, some people report reducing pain or stress levels even after just one session. You and your massage therapist can decide how often you’ll come in for appointments.

Conclusion

Massage therapy may be a great way to meet your health goals, whether you’re recovering from an illness, injury or surgery or looking to improve your stress level and sleep quality. When you schedule a massage, you’ll benefit from the hands-on touch of a trained therapist, who can provide the right amount of pressure to help relieve your stress and help you relax.

Touch Stone Offers licensed naturopathic, acupuncture, chiropractic, counselling services, and massage therapy in Waterloo and surrounding areas. Schedule an appointment today!

Welcome Registered Massage Therapist, Bonnie Snyder!

Posted on: February 20th, 2021 by TouchStone Health

Welcome Bonnie J. Snyder, RMT to TouchStone Health! Bonnie will available for Massage Therapy treatments starting March 1.

Bonnie enjoys working with people of all ages to promote movement, healing and relaxation. She works with a firm touch but likes to work with clients to find a comfortable depth of massage for each individual.

564-572 Weber Street North, Unit 3A
Waterloo, Ontario
N2L5C6