Most everyone knows that receiving regular massage is very beneficial for both mind and body. The results from even just one visit can be amazing and alleviate years of chronic pain and suffering. Stress melts away and one can go through daily activities feeling like a new person.
But what about when it comes to choosing a massage therapist. First I highly recommend using someone who is licensed or certified and who is continuously learning new techniques and skills on a regular basis. Most states require continuing education for license renewal. Some people find it convenient to use medium to large spa and massage centers and just use what ever therapist that is available at the time of their appointment. Then there are those who want the same therapist every time so they know exactly what the massage will feel like and there will be little chance of disappointment.
When selecting a massage therapist you have a choice of choosing a male massage therapist or a female one. There are varying reasons people prefer one over the other, but I will focus on why I feel you should investigate the positive reasons of choosing a male therapist. In general, men have stronger arms and hands and they weigh more allowing them to lean into the clients body applying more even pressure and longer strokes.
Men generally choose a male massage therapist because they feel more comfortable lying on a massage table without clothing, with little to no draping at all. It is similar to dressing and undressing in a gym locker room; there is just a natural ease and comfort being nude in the presence of another man. There is also the ability to use or have locker room chatter with a male to male massage without any concern of speaking inappropriately about one's spouse or just the opposite sex in general. Sometimes it's a good place to just vent one's frustrations to another human being while they are decompressing into a relaxed state.
Another thing is erections....yes they are going to happen. It is very normal and to be expected when a man receives a massage. The very process of manipulated muscle tissue stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which is what causes arousal to occur. It's perfectly normal but less chance of embarrassment when it happens while with a male massage therapist than with a female.
But what about women? Many of them would like to experience the benefits of a male massage therapist but lack trust being in a room alone with a strange man when they are in such a vulnerable position. This is where I recommend finding a gay male massage therapist. This is a perfect way to have a massage by a strong masculine man without the worry of being inappropriately touched or having any sexual advancements made toward her.
There are also instances where both men and women prefer their therapist is a gay man. Many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons believe in supporting gay owned businesses. They also feel more comfortable with their sexual identity if they are using a gay professional who they know will not judge them for being who they are.
Most everyone at some point in their life has had or will experience some sort of shoulder pain and massage is a perfect solution to deal with this discomfort. Sometimes the pain comes from sports related or overuse injuries, but often it is simply from normal everyday use or non-use in some cases that causes our shoulders to ache and be painful. For some, the painful shoulder starts from bein slumped over a computer all day. Another reason is that many of us are always holding our tablets and smart phones in such a way that we are always looking down with our necks bent and shoulders rounded foward while our arms are somewhat raised holding our electronic devices. My General Wellness Massage and/or my massage with added trigger point therapy is just what you need to relieve this type of pain and discomfort.
The shoulder is the most versatile and flexible joint in the body and offers a wider range of motion than any other joint. The main reason for this is it is mainly held together by a network of muscles, tendons and ligaments rather than being connected by bones. It is actually a complex group of four joints to include the ball-and-socket joint.
The major bones of the shoulder complex are the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus. The entire shoulder complex is connected to the skeletal trunk and supported by the sternum and thorax.
The scapula is the most complex of these bones and it attaches to the rib cage only by muscles. It is a flat bone and its main function is to provide a place for muscle attachment for the shoulder. There are a total of 15 major muscles that attach to the scapula and there is a spine on the back of this bone which divides it into two different sections where muscles attach. The muscle that attaches above the spine of the scapula is the supraspinatus and the muscles that attach below the spine are the teres major, teres minor and the infraspinatus muscles. Another muscle that attaches to the inside of the scapula is the subscapularis. All of these muscles except the teres major make up the group known as the rotator cuff muscles and they insert at the scapula and have tendons that attach to the humerus. These muscles and tendons are the most important ones for controlling the shoulder and are subject to common injuries.
The muscles of the shoulder complex can be separated into three different groups. Extrinsic muscles which are superficial or close to the skin, Intrinsic muscles which are deep muscles and shoulder/arm muscles.
The extrinsic muscles include the pectoralis major which is an anterior or front muscle, the posterior or back muscles which include the trapezius muscle and the latissimus dorsi muscle. The lateral or side muscles is the deltoid muscle which originates in three portions, the anterior, middle and posterior of the arm and it is the largest and strongest of the shoulder muscles. Each portion of the deltoid muscle is responsible for a different movement. The intrinsic muscles are situated closer to the bone and a deep tissue massage is needed to relieve pain from these muscles. The anterior or front muscles are the pectoralis minor and the subclavious muscle. The posterior or back muscles are the levator scapulae, rhomboids (major and minor) and the teres major muscle. The lateral or side muscle is the serratus anterior and during my full body massage I cover all these muscles that not only alleviate shoulder pain but help release upper back and neck pain. The shoulder/arm muscles include the biceps brachii muscle, the coracobrachialis muscle and the triceps brachii muscle.
There are many other joints and ligaments that make up the shoulder complex but the focus of this article is to touch on the areas that can be easily manipulated by massage to bring you often immediate results of pain relief and comfort. Check back for a related article when I go over the definition of "Frozen Shoulder" and what I can do to help you treat it.
Some of the massage modalities that are recommended for those suffering from depression and anxiety are:
• Hot stone Massage
• Swedish Massage
• Aromatherapy Massage
• General light touch therapy
These clients need to be comforted through touch so it is important not to use real deep pressure. Gentle massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) which releases serotonin and other feel good hormones while deep pressure stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight).
There are cases where the client may be suffering from chronic pain which may be the cause for their depression. It is here where I feel that a blended massage of light touch, stretching (Thai) and Swedish style strokes along with hot stone and the use of medium pressure can help alleviate some trigger points causing their pain while keeping them in a calm and relaxed state.
This is why I offer what I call a General Wellness Massage where the main intention is to trigger a relaxation response, promote muscular relaxation, and to enhance the circulation of body fluids and aid in the digestion and elimination process.
In the state of Florida all Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) must renew their license every 2 years. This has to be completed by August 31, in uneven years. This being 2015, we all have to renew by this date to keep our license active.
Keep in mind that it is not just a matter of filling out a form and paying the renewal fee. Each massage therapist must complete 24 or less Continuing Education Units (CEUs) depending on if it will be their first renewal and from what date the initial license was issued. Some of the CEUs are mandatory that every massage therapist has to complete and some we get to pick and choose from programs that interest us or usually something that can better aid our massage therapy skills or enhance our scope of practice and/or business.
Lower back pain is very common and is second only to the common cold as a reason for going to see a doctor. Sometimes pain is felt only in the lower back, but often time symptoms go beyond the lower back down through the leg and as far down as the foot. These symptoms are usually felt in only one leg. The most common symptom is pain that is described as shooting and burning as far down as the toes. Alternately, there can be numbness or loss of sensation. There may even be muscle weakness. When this occurs, the client may be presenting with a condition known as sciatica or a related pain syndrome.
Sports massage is generally work done on athletes who have specific problem areas that need to be addressed and are looking for immediate results. Detailed knowledge of anatomy and body mechanics are required to be able to perform a good sports massage.
Analysis of Shoulder Complex Mechanics shows that it is mostly supported by muscles which allow the shoulder to move in the proper manner. The rotator cuff muscles and their tendons are the most important ones for controlling the shoulder and are often the ones that become injured. Frozen shoulder complex is also something that can cause serious mobility issues and can last for long periods of time.
Massage for Anxiety & Depression is usually done with a lighter touch as it is best to only stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which curbs cortisol and other stress hormones. Furthermore, it encourages the release of serotonin and other "feel good" hormones. It is very important to not use deep pressure when working with a client suffering from depression, anxiety, or both.
Chris O'Brien, LMT, a male massage therapist in florida and a former graphic/web designer, social media specialist and webmaster/content manager