What is the difference between Massage and Bodywork?
I recently had a new client come to me while she was visiting San Francisco from New York City. She had some serious issues going on in her hips and low back due to slight scoliosis. She had been to many massage therapists in NYC and complained that they didn’t do much for lasting relief from her pain., nor did they even recognize that she had scoliosis…
I noticed her scoliosis very quickly and I worked specifically on the areas that were bothering her, as well as the areas I knew were contributing to the problem. I found the trigger points that were referring to other areas of her body and focused on them until they released. I knew she needed work in her psoas but sensed she had never had work done in that area before. The psoas is a very intimate and vulnerable area of the body that is not the most comfortable to have worked on…but once you do and once you feel the results of it’s affects, you only want more! She was all for it!
She felt amazing after our session and was concerned about going back to NYC and not finding someone who could help her in the same way. My advice? … Skip the search for massage therapists and search only for “bodyworkers”. Once you find a bodyworker that sounds compelling, ask them if they do psoas work…that’s how you will know if they are truely a “bodyworker”. True bodyworkers are very familiar, comfortable and experienced in working with the psoas as a gateway to so many other profound issues.
I’m not suggesting that the only attribute that makes someone a “bodyworker” is psoas work, nor am I suggesting that everyone needs psoas work, but I am suggesting that there is a significant difference between massage therapy and bodywork. If you are looking for resolve to an acute or chronic injury due to work or an exercise related problem, you don’t waste time and money on finding the right massage therapist. You will spend much less time and energy if you focus on finding a great bodyworker!
I hope this is helpful for those in search of alternative healing through massage therapy.
And to all of you who are worried about getting “addicted” to chiropractic. I say, “Do you do yoga?” “Yes,” you say. “You probably don’t stop with just one class, right?” Me again. “Doing it regularly makes you feel good. Same thing with adjustments.”
Here’s why. Each time I adjust you, I’m telling your body to stay that way. It’s like learning a new skill, similar to learning parallel parking (i.e., me: I needed extra lessons but now I am an excellent parallel parker).
We all have certain holding patterns that our bodies are used to being in. But sometimes, they just go out of alignment. My work is hands-on to relieve any discomfort and put you back in alignment. It might take one adjustment, or it might take more. Everyone is different.
Fact is, lots of people have misconceptions about how much chiropractic care they need. There are stages of treatment, i.e., urgent care – you’re in pain, maybe you need to come in today AND tomorrow; rehabilitative care – we’ve got the situation managed, now maybe a few times a month will keep it managed; and maintenance, where you come in regularly but less often.
Musicians aren’t addicted to practicing their instruments. They play regularly to stay in top form. Dancers aren’t addicted to dance class. They just need to stay mobile, strong and flexible. Both body and mind require regular attention, after all, and chiropractic is one form of attention. Want some? Why not set up regular appointments and see how you feel? To that, I say, “Let’s try it!”
Pilates is a great modality to regain muscular balance in the body. Muscular balance is crucial for injury recovery, prevention and optimal performance of the body.
At the Body Gallery all new clients receive a full postural assessment. This provides the client and trainer with highly useful information that will help us find a focus point and goal for our program design. Our trainers use Dr. Janda’s approach to muscle imbalance patterns when assessing our clients.
There are three patterns we look for.
1. Upper Crossed Syndrome: Symptoms seen are a forward head position, increased cervical lordosis, rounded shoulders and increased thoracic kyphosis (as seen in the picture below). This muscular imbalance can lead to weak cervical flexors, rhomboids and lower traps while causing the upper traps, levator scapula and suboccipitals to become hyperactive and tight.
2. Lower Crossed Syndrome Type A & B: Symptoms seen for Type A are an anterior pelvic tilt, increased lumbar lordosis and knee flexion. Symptoms seen for Type B are minimal lumbar lordosis, kyphosis, head protraction and hyperextension in the knees. In both types muscular imbalance is seen as weak abs and glutes with hyperactive and tight hip flexors and thoracumbular extensors.
3. Layer Syndrome: This imbalance is more complicated to see visually but is apparent as the body moves and we see how the muscles are functioning. Generally we will see weak mid/lower traps, deltoids, infraspinatus, teres major/minor and lats. In response the cervical erector spinae, upper traps, levator scapula, thoracumbular erector spinae and hamstrings are hyper active and tight.
English: Wine grapes. Español: Uvas de vino rojo. Русский: Грозди винограда. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Resveratrol belongs to a group of plant compounds called polyphenols which have powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals, oxidative stress and the resulting inflammation. They therefore target one of the major underlying causes of cardiovascular disease as well and many other chronic diseases.
A recent animal study showed that resveratrol (at high doses) reduced inflammation, improved blood vessel function, reduced blood pressure and prevented the thickening of heart muscle. Research also suggests that it can protect against abnormal weight gain and diabetes, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
The most popular source of resveratrol is red wine and moderate red wine consumption has promising heart-healthy benefits. Moderate consumption is defined as two 5-ounce servings for men and one serving for women daily of red wine. This would equate to 1-2mg of resveratrol depending on the type grapes used to make the wine.
Some researchers believe that resveratrol content in the relatively high amounts of red wine consumed by the French may explain the “French Paradox”. This is the term used to describe the low rates of cardiovascular disease in French people despite their high dietary content of saturated fats and cholesterol. Before you stock your cellar with the finest wines (for your heart’s sake, of course), here are some other great sources of dietary resveratrol:
- Red grapes and grape juice: Be sure to buy these organic to avoid high pesticide residues and leave the skins on since they contain the highest levels of resveratrol.
- Peanuts: 1 cup of boiled peanuts has comparable amounts of resveratrol as 1 cup red grapes (1.25-1.28mg). Raw peanuts and peanut butter include less resveratrol. Watch out for allergies!
- Dark berries – Blueberries, Bilberries and Cranberries: Exact resveratrol doses have not yet been established these berries are generally high in helpful antioxidants.
Read more here to learn about oxidation, free radicals and other major antioxidant nutrients and their dietary sources.
Here’s to your health,
Dr Adeola Mead, ND
Linus Pauling Institute
Photo credit: Healthlob.com