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Three quick foam roller tips:

Posted by on Jan 16, 2017 in Recovery, Self-Care, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three quick foam roller tips:

Three quick foam roller tips:

It’s foam roller clinic season and here are a few pointers we like to throw out to participants to answer some FAQ’s…. 1) If you are pressed for time, foam rolling post-activity is a more economical use of your time. 10 minutes to roll glutes, hamstrings, quads and low back are usually a great and semi-easy routine to commit to. 2) DO NOT waste your time rolling your IT bands. The muscle that regulates the tightness of your IT band is actually between the ASIS (top bump on your pelvis) and the greater trochanter (head of your hip), it’s name is the Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) A more efficient use of your time and energy is to get a lacrosse ball, stand near a wall and put the ball on the wall at the correct height for the TFL and lean your leg/hip/TFL into the ball–with your weight off the leg being worked. We have a video here on the the website showing how to do this…or check out our YouTube channel. Here’s the link to our channel & video: 3) Foam rollers are not all created the same. The white foam (in our estimation) can break down and become too squishy very quickly. Which negates their effectiveness. They are great for beginners who are new to rolling, but be aware you will need to graduate to the more firm rollers about 3-4 months after purchasing. Our fave rollers are the 36-inch, black polystyrene rollers. Fave retailer is Amazon, here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/LuxFit-Premium-Density-Roller-Round/dp/B00KAEJ3UE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484591353&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=foam+roller&psc=1&smid=AY3M3JM02VPZV Here’s why. The black rollers are made of a firmer/dense foam roller that lasts quite a long time, even with dedicated usage. The size that we chose is due to the fact that you can do more things with the longer version. Our favorite move that demonstrates this best is, when lying with the foam roller parallel to the spine, with one end resting where your skull and spine meet (occipital ridge) and the other end resting at your sacrum (base of the spine) A very small movement (2-3 inches) back and forth (left to right) to each side of the spine is the most awesome feeling and release after a long day on your feet, after a run, long drive, etc. We like to stretch our arms out to each side to stabilize ourselves and open the chest a bit. Throw in some deep breaths and stay here for as long as you like, but at least 2 minutes to give the muscles a chance to “let go.” Try it and let us know what you think next time you are in....

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I don’t wanna do my homework!!

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Massage, Recovery, Self-Care | Comments Off on I don’t wanna do my homework!!

I don’t wanna do my homework!!

After you have had a good massage, the last thing you want is to worry about what you should do after. But if you really want to continue to feel good and let the massage really “soak in”, there are a few do’s and don’ts that we can suggest.   1) PUSH THE FLUIDS. Water is optimal, but other liquids will do. Alcohol and caffeine are not optimal fluid sources. We want to get all those nasty metabolic wastes out of you tissues instead of allowing them to hang out, so hence the flush of fluids. I tell clients to act as though you have a cold and need to flush yourself with good stuff to get those germs out.   2) EAT SOMETHING. I have yet to have anyone have a negative reaction when I give this piece of advice post-session. In my experience of almost 13 years of massage, there seems to be a “magic window” of time-about 60 or 90 minutes after you are off the table-that you have before all those metabolic wastes (see #1) re-circulate through your system and reach your stomach. If, when they get to your stomach, there is not much or nothing in there and you are in any way dehydrated, you stand a healthy chance of feeling pretty crappy really soon. Nausea, body aches, headache and general malaise are on their way! Now I have had a few clients in the past who have had little or no issues after a massage and no meal–but I have had more clients who HAVE had symptoms and really didn’t like it. Do you really want to risk it?   3) HEAT PLEASE. I am a big proponent of heat. If after your massage you feel bruise-y or sore I suggest grabbing your heating pad or getting in a nice, hot shower or bathtub of Epsom Salts. I also use a homeopathic topical cream called Traumeel. It is a little pricey, but you don’t need much for it to work well. A small tube lasts me several months usually. Any kind of soreness or bruise-y spots MOST OFTEN resolve after the first 24-36 hours. If it lasts longer, this is definitely a topic to bring up with you massage therapist.   Also, if after your massage you have questions about what was done during your session or need more information on what you can do to help yourself–don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call the office and just ask–we are here to help....

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What’s the big deal about the foam roller?

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Massage, Recovery, Self-Care | Comments Off on What’s the big deal about the foam roller?

What’s the big deal about the foam roller?

Okay, okay. I know my clients, friends and loved ones are probably pretty sick of hearing me sing the praises of foam rollers. What the heck IS a foam roller you say? And why/how do they help? Let me try to chip away at all your questions and misconceptions. No-they are not a cure-all for all your muscular aches and pains. No-they wont help decrease cellulite. No-they cannot combat varicose veins or spider veins. No-they are not as good as getting a session with a massage therapist. That being said though, they CAN be a huge help for those who have chronic systemic tension issues, standing on their feet all day issues, “no time to get a massage” issues, people who “like feeling good on a regular basis” issues and finally those who “like knowing how to help themselves feel better” issues. Does that clear that up? Now that you are interested, I will continue…. Now there is no substitute for getting a great massage therapist to work out your aches, pains and injuries. But the foam roller can help space out those visits to a manageable time frame for both you and your wallet. Foam rollers perform a type of self-massage that can be compared with myofascial release. Using your bodyweight and gravity, foam rollers “stretch” the fascia out and can help it become more pliable and “un-stick” it to itself and the underlying tissues (muscle). This gain of movement between the layers of tissue can help improve tightness, range of motion and gain some flexibility. Two important factors in using a foam roller best are breath and taking time/slowing down while on the roller. It is going hurt when you use the roller on a tight band of muscles. For sure. If there is no discomfort/pain, there’s nothing going on here–keep moving! Once you get past the initial OMG of it, you will see that when you breathe thru the tightness, the pain can and will subside. I would say you should roll on each muscle group for at LEAST one minute–at least. A huge thing that makes the foam roller so awesome is that it can be a completely passive event. You just lie on it and it does most of the work for you–depending on the muscles you are trying to work. You can watch TV (if you are so inclined), listen to the radio, hold a conversation, play with your kids and pets (not to mention they will love that you are on the floor with them) and all sorts of other fun things while you roll. Did I mention breathing? You need to BREATH slowly and steadily while you are doing all this rolling. Hold your breath and you will see how quick your muscles can tighten up or simply refuse to let go of the tension–it won’t be good, let me tell you from experience! You should roll the foam roller slowly while taking deep breaths and you will find that soon, you won’t be feeling the pain much anymore. And it may not hurt so much when you go to reach over and pick up those groceries any more either. You may not know right now what a foam roller is or what it feels like to use one, but soon...

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Why an Epsom Salt Bath? How does it work?

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Recovery, Self-Care | Comments Off on Why an Epsom Salt Bath? How does it work?

Why an Epsom Salt Bath? How does it work?

I commonly see clients after a big race or event or even a training block and they complain of their legs feeling “like lead” or “full and tight”. This is usually due to a buildup of metabolic wastes and toxins that your muscles produce that, quite literally, gets “stuck” in the tissue because (*there are a number of potential reasons) but most likely is that the tissues are unable to “push” it out due to over-work. When these wastes accumulate, they cause your legs, arms, or glutes to feel heavy and lethargic, which makes doing much in the way of moving very difficult. Also, if you have been lifting and not-so-committed-to-stretching-after, you may get this buildup over time, as well. I catch myself continuously asking these same clients if they have taken an Epsom Salt bath, and more commonly than not–they have not. Most think that something as simple or silly as a bath cannot be helpful for THEM. Or my other favorite is “I don’t like baths”. Well, get over yourself. If you want a good way to help yourself in a passive way–try this bath. Here’s all the scientific mumbo-jumbo for what and why it can work for you that I found on the Epsom Salt Council website:   Studies show these benefits from the major components of Epsom Salts baths:   Magnesium: *Ease stress and improves sleep and concentration *Help muscles and nerves function properly *Regulate activity of 325+ enzymes *Help prevent artery hardening and blood clots *Make insulin more effective *Reduce inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps *Improve oxygen use Sulfates: *Flush toxins *Improve absorption of nutrients *Help form joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins *Help prevent or ease migraine headaches tell clients to try an Epsom salt bath I will add that taking an Epsom Salt Bath does cost you some down time in the tub, but you will feel so much better when you go to move around later!There are a few notes that I would like to add to heighten your enjoyment and knowledge of this awesome event.  *Make sure you HYDRATE–this means water–before, during and after. The metabolic waste and toxins will be pulled out of the tissue, but so will valuable water that you need to replace to get the full effect and benefit. *Epsom Salts usually come in 3 sizes at any drug, grocery or health store. Small milk carton, large milk carton and 6 pound bag. If you are a fairly active person and don’t really like running to the store every time you may need to take a bath, do yourself a favor and buy the 6 pounder. I think the last time I checked it cost about $6. *Use twice to three times what you think the instructions are telling you. I believe it reads something like “2 cups per gallon of bath water”–how many gallons is YOUR tub? Unless you are bathing in a Pyrex bathtub and know the exact amounts to use, let me help you out. For most tubs and baths so that the water covers up to your waistline–use most if not all of the small milk carton size of salts. This does mean that you use roughly half of the large milk carton size of salts if you bought...

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It’s not cheating!

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Massage, Uncategorized | Comments Off on It’s not cheating!

It’s not cheating!

I just finished a session with a regular client who began our time with a sheepish, “I have a confession. I cheated on you last week.” To which I replied (after long dramatic pause for effect) my standard, “It’s okay! You needed to get work done, and my schedule was packed. I’m glad you contacted another massage therapist and that she could fit you in! PLEASE don’t waste another thought about it!” Now I have a confession: this scenario happens quite a bit. I won’t lie that it inflates my ego a little when clients worry that my feelings will be hurt that they saw another massage therapist. However, the ego boost quickly dwindles, and then I tell them my thoughts on ‘cheating on your therapist.’ As a massage therapist, my concern is first and foremost for my clients and their well-being. Part of that is realizing that they might want and need more than I can do for them. With that in mind, I whole-heartedly encourage my clients to try other therapists. It is important for them to see who and what is out there so they either find someone who IS better suited for their needs OR to be able to fully appreciate the work we do together. Either way, my feelings are not hurt. If they come back, I will continue my high quality treatment. If they find someone else, I am truly glad they have found someone who is able to meet their needs. And you never know, they may come back in the future. At Boulder Bodyworker, we think of ourselves as a team of therapists. We have worked hard to assemble a high-quality, high-functioning team, who are complementary in skills but are varied in personality and specialties. We each have different skills and focus. As therapists, we see different therapists for different issues, and we “click” with them for different reasons. I am not at all threatened when one of my clients books with another therapist in our clinic or at another office. There are many reasons a client has for booking with another therapist. Scheduling conflicts, availability and different massage techniques are just a few. I like to know the strengths of other therapists in our area so that when a client calls, and we don’t have an available slot, I can refer them to someone I think will be a good fit. Asking for a referral is never a bad thing. You never know when you’re going to need to get in to see someone ASAP and having that backup therapist can be a lifesaver. If you happen to be traveling, we have a database of high-quality therapists scattered throughout the nation. You never know when you might need a massage in Denver, Boston, Austin or LA (just to name a few). Don’t hesitate to ask! So don’t be surprised if we suggest another therapist in our clinic or give you another therapist’s number if our schedule is booked. It’s because we love you and want you to feel better ASAP. We...

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Pillow Talk

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Recovery, Self-Care | Comments Off on Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk

“How old is the pillow you’re currently sleeping on?” I ask most clients as we are completing their initial intake form. Most pause for a moment and then either shrug and say half-heartedly, “I don’t know,” or “not that old”. I usually smile and follow up with “How old IS ‘not that old’?” Commonly the answer to that is one or two years or they really can’t remember. Yikes. In most situations, for the majority of our clients, anything more than 8 months is really “too old” to be working well and being useful for you. There are always exceptions–medical conditions and issues that make what I am saying null and void. And I know that I run the risk that some statements will provoke some feelings of frustration and possibly anger. But I am speaking from experience, both my own and a decade of being a watchful massage therapist. For the record, I am NOT in cahoots with the pillow manufacturers. However, I have tossed around the idea of taking my “pillow talk” on the road since this information has helped many of my clients get a handle on chronic shoulder, neck, and jaw pain. A few other things that get a lot of clients riled up about is that I am not a fan of down or buckwheat pillows and I don’t care for expensive pillows. $15 to $20 is all you should need to spend on a quality pillow that will last you 6-8 months. Now I am a woman who appreciates a good bargain, and I am very comfortable with the “cost-per-use” formula (thank you expensive designer jeans) however, in my experience, I have not come to find any great difference in lifespan between a $50-$150 pillow or my favorite $15-$20 pillow. Really I promise. Let’s talk pillows for a moment. Pillows are there to help support the spinal cord, neck and head. When you lay on your side, your pillow should help keep your spinal column in a fairly straight alignment and help your head be as perpendicular to your shoulders as possible. They should also support your neck and head so that weight of your head is “off” your neck for the hopefully 8-10 hours you’re lying down sleeping. If you are a side sleeper, think of a plus sign “+”. If you’re lying on your side and your head is leans more parallel to your shoulders, that’s not a good sign nor is it good for your neck or shoulders. Basically, it means your neck muscles (and consequently quite a few of your deeper shoulder muscles) are “firing” (aka working) all night long to support and control your 8 to 10 pound head. They are getting no recovery or down time to repair and rest. Now, if this situation happens for one night, it is really not a huge deal. However, if this posture becomes a pattern over multiple nights over multiple YEARS, you can end up with chronic neck, jaw and shoulder pain and dysfunction. I have noticed back sleepers think they are immune to this because they sleep on their backs “the way nature intended.” Some don’t like any pillow at all or the others like a little, squishy pillow they can “mold” into a roll behind their head that...

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