Massage for Pain Relief

Leg Pain and Swelling? Blame Gravity!

feet up for leg pain

Blame Gravity. Sitting or standing in one place for a while an make things difficult for your second heart. Wait! What?! Second heart? Yup! Not the ticker in your chest, but ticker number 2, in your calves. In massage school we learned that the lower leg muscles in your calves are referred to as your second heart because they pump blood back up to your real heart in your chest. When these muscles can’t do their job that well, fluid can build up in your ankles. But gravity can ALSO be the solution. To help combat leg pain and swelling, put your feet up!

There are a few other things that can cause leg pain and swelling in your ankles, such as too much salt in your diet, or a day at the beach. Heat makes things swell – imagine taking off your rings when your hands are hot vs when they’re cold! Also, let’s face it, age plays a roll in this as well. We see times effects on our faces and the outside of our bodies, but age happens on the inside as well. Bummer, right? Ah well, sure beats the alternative!

Massage can also be a great way to beat leg pain. A targeted pain relief massage can help heal sore muscles and increase circulation – which helps with any pain or swelling that can be caused by pesky things like gravity! Give me a call if you want to schedule an appointment.

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Sensitive Senses! Can Sensory Overload Cause Pain?

sensory overload senses

Our senses are, well, sensitive. They are directly connected to our nervous system and brain, and through them we gather the perceptions that create our thoughts and emotions.

If we regularly expose ourselves to harsh sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures, our nervous system will begin to withdraw our sensitivities. Too much sensory exposure causes a deadening of our senses as we subconsciously disconnect a bit from life to protect our inner experience. A cycle then begins where it takes more for us to feel something, so we seek even more extreme sensory experiences. The trouble with this continual numbing is it takes us out of connection with ourselves.

How does this relate to massage? Most of the people who come to see me are in some pain. Most are in that nagging, annoying, it won’t go away phase that most of us can relate to. And usually I hear phrases like “ I don’t know what I did…”. This cycle of requiring more of our senses to get a rise out of them is part of the cause.

Whether the sensory overload is aimed at our sights and sounds- for instance, binge watching the latest netflix sensation while lounging with horrible posture that creates a pain cycle in your low back, or the creators of Candy Crush have just released their latest addictive game, and you just can’t stop playing whenever you get the chance, and now all of a sudden your thumbs and wrists hurt. Or whether its aimed at smells, tastes, and textures, for example, junk food, my friends is everywhere, and in our fast paced more more more society the marketing companies have masted just how to lure us in….And all this junk food with its taste and smell included plays a roll in our pain level!

So pay attention to what you’re exposing yourself to!

If sensory overload has you in pain, schedule an appointment today! Massage is an excellent way to deal with those aches and pains and give your other senses a break.

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Laughter: The Best Medicine for Pain and Stress

laughter

We’ve all experienced it…a moment shared where we laugh so hard our stomach muscles ache. And we’ve all missed it if its been a long time since we’ve had a good gut busting session. The ability to see humor indicates an optimistic outlook, which is so much more…well….fun….than a pessimistic outlook. But is “fun” it? Or is there some science behind humor?

In a 1996 paper “Humor in Medicine,” RC Wender asserts that “Humor helps individuals narrow interpersonal and cultural gaps, communicate difficult messages, express frustration and anger, and cope with anxiety.” But did you know that humor eases pain and relieves stress? Oxford researchers conducted a series of experiments to better understand the effect of laughter on people’s ability to withstand pain. They discovered that authentic, heartfelt laughter causes endorphins to be released, and endorphins, of course are the chemicals that cause us to feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.

We’ve talked before about all the ways that stress can be harmful to you. So find a way to find the humor in stressful situations, you just might find they’re a little less painful.

Don’t forget that I also offer massage services to help with stress, chronic pain and more! Give me a call at (518) 744-2315 to schedule an appointment.

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Muscle Cramps: Easy Tips to Stop the Pain

muscle cramps pain

Muscle cramps! We’ve all had them. They pretty much make you sit up and take notice, don’t they? But what are they? Muscle cramps occur when skeletal muscles (those that move bone and that are normally under your control) start contracting on their own. The pain, which can last from a few seconds to 15 minutes or longer (No thank you!), can be intense, but most of the time, cramps don’t indicate a serious medical problem. They often develop when muscles are stressed from overdoing exercise or when you hold your body in a position that keeps muscles tightened for a long time.

While cramps can strike any skeletal muscle, some common spots are in the legs (calves, hamstrings, and quads). 95% of adults report having had cramps at one time or another. If they are a problem for you, here are some things you can do to minimize them:

  1. Exercise. “Muscles accustomed to exercise have less chance of fatigue, which is a main factor in cramping.”
  2. Water. Dehydration is a factor because muscles need water to contract properly. Nighttime cramps, the ones that send you hopping out of bed, might be due to dehydration that occurs while you’re sleeping.
  3. Electrolytes. Potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium regulate electrical signals that trigger muscle contractions. “Deficiency or losses through sweat may lead to muscles seizing up”.

If you’ve got a bad case of muscle cramps that some exercise and hydration aren’t fixing, then please give me a call at (518) 744-2315! Massage for muscle strain and pain is one of the many highly-effective services that I offer in my downtown Glens Falls office.

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Reiki for Pain Management

reiki for pain

More info on energy work. People still ask me about Reiki (probably the most popular form of energy work), and I still have a tough time explaining it, but I came across a study done recently that I’m going to share with you: It was published in the November/December 2016 issue of Holistic Nursing Practice, and was conducted to determine the effects of Reiki for pain and vital signs when Reiki was applied for 15 minutes to the incision area of the post-cesarean patient. In a single blinded, randomized, double controlled study, 45 patients were randomly assigned to Reiki, sham Reiki (placebo), and control groups.

Reiki was applied for 15 minutes to the incision area of the body in the first 24-48 hours after the operation and within 4-8 hours of the application of standard analgesics. A reduction in pain was determined in the Reiki group. Patients were also observed to use fewer analgesics throughout the study and not need them as soon after the Reiki for pain treatment as did the sham Reiki and control groups! Cool! I may not be able to exactly explain Reiki, but here’s a concrete study to show that it works!

Definitely something to consider! We don’t always need to know how things work in order for them to be effective.

Massage therapy is another excellent form of treatment for pain. If you find yourself in need of some pain relief, contact me to schedule an appointment at my downtown Glens Falls office. Please remember I’ve never had a week where someone didn’t have to shift their appointment, so give me a call at 744-2315 if you’d like me to contact you in the event of a cancellation!

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Severe Back Pain? You’re Not Alone!

massage for back pain

Back pain. I deal with it every day at work- Wait!? You thought I was talking about other people?! Hahaha. Damn I’m funny. Actually your friendly neighborhood Massage therapist was talking about herself. But, yes, my clients too. In my instance, resting my back overnight takes care of the issue. However, since I’m not getting any younger, I also get a regular massage for back pain, and see my chiropractor as a maintenance practice. I also try to keep my body in good posture while I am working.

But then I have clients looking to me for advice on severe back pain. Should I get an MRI? Cortisone shots? Though massage for back pain can be a very effective treatment, I can’t answer those questions – they are literally outside my scope of practice. You’ve really got to have your Doctor answer them.

Of course, the best therapy for back pain is preventing altogether. Maintaining ideal body weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding prolonged sitting can help. As many as 80% of people with experience back pain in their lifetimes, but luckily it often responds well to rest, heat or ice, stretching and, ahem, massage.

If you suffer from back pain, give me a call at (518) 744-2315 to schedule a massage or find out more about our massage services and packages.

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Exploring the Body with Pain Relief Massage

pain relief massage

Communication continued. Remember last week? It was all about location location location. And easily solved with a pain relief massage – just point to where it hurts. Now let’s talk about how people describe the nature of their pain.

Dull achy. Deep ache. Like a tooth ache. And then there is…Sharp shooting. It gives me zingers. Stabbing like needles. Burning. Tingling. Numb. Tight. It catches when I move it.

Just to name a few. No quick answer about how to get to the root of the problem here.

Some of these descriptions are definitely more alarming to a massage therapist than others. Faced with the descriptions numb, tingling or burning I must tread with caution as those words might indicate nerve impingement or loss of sensation (which can come from structural issues or muscular issues).

In any case, every pain relief massage I give to people is very much an exploration of their body. I like to think of it as if I’m giving them a guided tour – like someone with a flashlight walking them through their house, exploring empty rooms that have been forgotten. Some rooms have a sense of immediacy and relevance, while their nervous system senses that other areas are old and while they were once problematic are now relegated to the background.

Hopefully this guided tour gets them to answer as to how they should proceed with their particular pain. Is a pain relief massage the thing that is going to help most, or should they explore acupuncture and/or chiropractic. Or do they need an imaging study and an orthopedic or a neurologist? Only they truly know, and my guided tour should help them figure it out.

Wow. Those are some pretty fancy words to describe a massage from my end… Did I communicate it well enough? 😉

Remember folks! My schedule pretty much changes every week, so if you’re looking for a pain relief massage, it never hurts to ask! Here are my next soonest upcoming openings barring cancellations:

  • 8:30am Tuesday October 4
  • 2:30pm Friday October 14
  • 10am Tuesday October 25

Let me know if I can hook you up with a guided tour of your own body! Give me a call at (518) 744-2315 or contact me online to book an appointment.

Have a great week!

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Massages for Pain Relief: Show Me Where It Hurts!

pain relief massage

Communication is hard. No doubt about that. Many times people will come in for a pain relief massage with a specific complaint. How hard can it be to sort them out? Well, sometimes it is a bit difficult.

For instance, a client might tell me that their left shoulder hurts. Simple, right? Nope. Shoulder pain can easily translate into anywhere from between the shoulder blades on the back side of the body, to on the shoulder blade itself, to the top of the shoulders, to the front of the shoulder, or even to the top part of their arm. Or maybe they’re looking for a pain relief massage that helps with lower back pain. That translates into anything from the last rib down to the top of the pelvis, the sacro-iliac joint, or even the hips.

Good thing I have generated a fool proof way to get to the exact area of complaint….I simply say, “Point to where it hurts.” Cuts right to the chase, doesn’t it?

Could you use a targeted massage for your aches and pains? Come in and show me where it hurts! Give me a call at (518) 744-2315 to book an appointment at my downtown Glens Falls location.

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What is Fascia and Why is it So Important?

fascia massage

Fascia is a web-like system of connective tissue that spans throughout your entire body. It wraps around and compartmentalizes each of your individual internal body parts…muscles, organs, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and even cells. It provides support, protection, and is involved in every movement you make and every injury you have ever had. So obviously maintaining a healthy fascia is of vital importance!

When fascia is healthy, it is smooth and slides freely, which allows for easy, unrestricted movement. Unfortunately, just like your muscles, fascia can get tight! Many things can lead to this tightness including a lack of activity of an area of your body that can ‘lock down’ and become almost cement-like. A good example of this would be after arm surgery. Most often post-op, the arm must be held in a sling and cannot move for an extended period of time. Fibers of fascia are continuously laid down in this area of injury and once the area has healed enough so that movement can occur, it is sometimes too tight and painful for the person to move it. This means the fascia has become restricted. This particular condition is called “frozen shoulder,” but it can happen anywhere in the body if we restrict movement.

A massage therapist can reduce these restrictions by stretching the fascia, allowing the tissues and joints to move better.

Overuse, repetitive motions, and chronic stress can also cause tightness in fascia, which can be painful and tough to get rid of. Trauma, such as a car accident injury, causes these fibrous tissues to increase in order to protect the area. It can take awhile for these restrictions to be worked through with treatment because it is the bodies job to protect our vital structures. In a traumatic event, the body will do whatever it can in order to prevent the injury to happen again.

Through daily life – and injuries – we are going to develop these restrictions in our fascia; it’s inevitable. Try these Tips on Maintaining a Healthy Fascia:

  • MOVE! Sitting or standing for prolonged periods can allow adhesions to form. When you wake up in the morning, roll around a little in bed and really stretching your body out. If you sit at work, walk around and stretch regularly.
  • Stay hydrated. Just like everything else in our body, fascia moves and works better when it is wet (okay, this is really oversimplifying, but you get the point), so drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Stretch…pretty self explanatory, this one.
  • Get a massage! An experienced massage therapist can help stretch you fascia back into a more fluid state.

If you are experiencing chronic tightness due to a sedentary lifestyle, stress, or injury, call Jennifer Madison Massage Therapy online or call (518) 744-2315. I am a Glens Falls NY massage therapist serving Saratoga, Lake George, and Hudson Falls areas. I treat numerous clients suffering from chronic conditions and temporary ailments. Read my testimonials!

Please feel free to ask me about the benefits of massage therapy! You can also order gift certificates for massages in Glens Falls.

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Happy Birthday To Me and… Massage For Joint Pain!

Massage for joint pain Queensbury Saratoga NYHappy Birthday To Me!

I am realistically officially past middle age. 49. Yes! REALLY 49. I mean really, who’d PRETEND to be 49? But it does get one to thinking about the physical changes that the last decade has brought.

Lets talk about, you guessed it….joint pain! Somewhere in the last ten years doctors – and my chiropractor – have stopped being surprised at seeing arthritis in various joints. No more of them saying..”Why, you’re too young for arthritis.” Arthritis is common, it can be painful, but it can also be confused with muscle and ligament pain.

Massage for Joint Pain

Case in point: about five years ago, when I was a mere 44 years old, I can remember coming downstairs with a basket of laundry when suddenly a horrible ice pick stabbing sensation happened on the inside of my left knee. I actually had to lean against the wall to make it the rest of the way down. I thought to myself, “Oh here we go! I’m finally starting to fall apart, it was bound to happen sooner or later.” Wah, wah, wah.

But: being a massage therapist, I found myself wondering if it hurt that bad going downstairs, why didn’t it hurt to move it, or going upstairs? So, I did some gentle stretching and discovered I had some very, very, very tight leg muscles. The muscles that have their tendons attach to the inside of my knee. Who’d have thought it?

Significant, sudden joint pain cause by just a plain old tight muscle. And massage can help with that, and has helped many of my massage clients.

If you’re experiencing joint pain, consider massage for joint pain. Queensbury, Saratoga, Glens Falls, Hudson Falls and Lake George is just a short drive. Contact me at (518) 744-2315 to book your appointment, or do something really nice and purchase a gift ceritificate for someone’s BIRTHDAY! (Click here to purchase online)

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