How to maximize the benefits of massage

Getting a massage is undoubtedly one of the best options of making the body more rejuvenated and stress free. Massage therapy has been around for centuries and it now forms as an important adjunct therapy for the treatment of chronic diseases. There are many benefits derived from a professional massage service and it is a proven way of improving one’s general well-being. While massage used to be popular only for being a form of a relaxation and leisure, it has currently developed to become a norm of treatment in relieving stress on the muscles, joints, ligaments and soft tissues.

Massaging the body enhances the blood flow throughout the body while it helps to remove the metabolic wastes that are the common cause of pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints. It also helps to enhance your mood and it promotes a relaxed mind as well. If you want to maximize your massage experience and to enjoy the optimized benefits from a massage, you can do the following in order to ensure that you spend some quality time for a better mind and body rejuvenation experience.

Determine your health goals

By defining your health goals you will be able to choose the specific type of massage that will best address your health needs. Because there are many emerging massage types with distinct styles and therapeutic approaches, you should narrow your choices when selecting for the best option by first understanding why you need a massage. This will help you accomplish making the right choice on which type of massage therapy will help you attain your purpose.

Understand the different massage therapy types

As you define your health goals, your next step is to understand the various types of massage to help you in selecting the one that will meet your preferences. A Swedish massage for instance will consist mostly of gliding and gentle strokes that aim to promote general wellness and relaxation to the body. This type of massage is best suited for someone who wants to experience a soothing effect on a sore muscle. For chronic pain in the body, a deep tissue massage is perfect as it targets to relieve deeper tissues that are strained and tensed.

Drink plenty of water after a massage

During the massage, the body usually perspires and it needs more water in order to help it eliminate the toxins that were released from the body caused by the increased circulation as a result of the therapeutic response of the body to a massage. Water helps the kidney to become more effective in flushing out the body toxins and other waste products too. By drinking water after a massage, you replenish the liquid lost from the body and it further complements in making the body more effective in eliminating toxins.

Hire a professional massage therapist

You can maximize the benefits of enjoying a great and pleasurable experience of a massage treatment when it is performed by a professional massage therapist. Professional therapists are skilled because they receive the proper training and education in massage therapy. You will feel more confident and safe when the massage therapy is performed by someone with the proper training and can perform accurately the proper strokes and manipulations for more efficient therapeutic effects of a massage.

Take a nap

A nap is the perfect way of complementing the therapeutic effects of a massage to your body. While the massage brings your body and energy in harmony, a nap will further re-enforce its effect of recharging your body to make it more rejuvenated. Some experts recommend that a thirty minute nap will suffice. However, giving your body a longer time to sleep is the best way of maximizing your massage experience.

Keep away your gadgets and avoid other distractions

You don’t get to receive a massage every day and you might as well maximize that relaxing moment you have for the day. Avoid distractions that can keep you away from a relaxing mood and stress free condition such as your laptops, smartphones and other gadgets that can keep your mind and body off from a relaxed mode. It is best to free your day from appointments and activities and devote the day for getting a therapeutic massage while allowing your body to completely recuperate better after the long days of stressful work and activities.

If you want to pamper yourself with a relaxing massage treatment, it is best to do it now! Give us a call at 205-394-5900 or visit our website at fill out a contact form and we will call you!

Benefits of Massage

First time massage is often motivated by a stressful or painful condition, but the benefits of massage go much deeper and offer you far more than you may have ever suspected. Regular massage can greatly benefit your overall health and well-being.

The most obvious benefit is that a massage makes you feel great! The stress-relieving, soothing results alone are enough for many to include massage as a regular part of their lives. What of the less obvious benefits?

The first sense to develop is your sense of touch. It’s not surprising when you consider that each square inch of your skin contains roughly 50 nerve endings. With as many as five million touch receptors in your skin relaying messages to your brain, your body’s initial response to massage is to relax, lower blood pressure and reduce the heart rate. Massage also signals the brain to produce endorphins, your body’s natural pain suppressors.

Going deeper, massage helps restore suppleness and strength to your muscles, improving their overall function. Massage is the ideal treatment for releasing tension or muscles in spasm and helps to release the toxins produced by muscle tissue during exercise.

Proper circulation is vital to continued health. Your blood and lymph carry nourishment to the trillions of cells throughout your body and then carry away the waste. Massage encourages a better exchange of nutrients at the cellular level.

The nervous system is your internal communication network, sending messages constantly that determine proper functioning throughout your body. Stress affects the ability of the nervous system to do its job. The many nerve endings found in the skin and muscles are soothed by massage.

Massage also aids in maintaining flexibility in your joints, such as the knee, hip, spine, shoulder, and neck. These joints are thoroughfares for nerves, veins and arteries, so their freedom of movement allows energy and blood to flow unimpeded.

All forms of massage therapy and bodywork can be therapeutic when applied by a skillful and knowledgeable therapist.

Some of the more common massage techniques include, but are not limited to: Swedish Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial Release, Positional Release, Trigger Point Therapy and Rehabilitative Stretching Procedures.

It is common for some to play down the effects of so called Relaxation Massage and to even call it “Fluff,” however, as we learn more about the stress response and it’s role in creating disease, we see a definite need for this type of service.

The capacity to combine intuitive and scientifically proven principles defines the art and science of massage therapy.

What are the benefits of massage therapy?

• Releases tight and sore muscles which can cause ischemia, a lack of blood supply to soft tissues, which causes hypersensitivity to the touch and allows for further injury to the tissues.

• Helps relieve nerve compression or entrapment. (Pressure on a nerve by soft tissue, cartilage or bone, which can contribute to muscle atrophy and referred pain.)

• Deactivates myofascial trigger points. These are areas of high neurological activity, which refer pain to other parts of the body. Research has shown, trigger points may be responsible for as much as 74 percent of everyday pain.

• Decreases pain and inflammation. Massage can restore suppleness and strength to your muscles, improving their overall function. It’s the ideal treatment for releasing tension or muscles in spasm.

• Alleviates stress and improves circulation. Proper circulation is vital to continued health. Your blood and lymph carry nourishment to the trillions of cells throughout your body and then carry away the waste to be eliminated from the cells. Remember, the future “you” is determined by how well your army of cells regenerate themselves, so this is indeed a critical part of remaining healthy. Massage has been practiced for thousands of years and is one of the earliest health treatments known to man. That is why it remains one of the best ways of dealing with everyday stress.

• Aids in Digestion. Massage can improve digestive motility.

• Increases flexibility and range of motion. By reducing hypertonicity and hypotonicity the muscles allow for normal ranges of motion to be restored. This also reduces the forces being applied to the joint capsule and diminishes the potential for joint and disk degeneration.

• Calms the nervous system. Stress can affect the ability of the nervous system to do its job. The many nerve endings found in the skin and muscles are soothed by massage, and this contributes to keeping your internal lines of communication open and operational.

• Alleviate headaches. Frequent headaches are not normal and, with a little proactive planning, there is something that can be done to manage and even prevent them. Headaches come in many varieties. Following is a short list of the most common types.

Migraine headaches occur when the blood vessels in the brain become dilated, usually due to a chemical reaction, such as food allergies or a stress response. They often start with visual disturbances and quickly develop into severe head pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light. They’re usually felt on one side of the head, but can be on both sides. Migraines are often managed with medications and avoidance of foods known to trigger them. However, some bodywork techniques can also be effective in easing migraines or decreasing the frequency.

Tension Headaches, exaggerated by stress, are related to poor posture, jaw problems, and neck pain. Tension headaches are most often caused or exacerbated by poor posture, work station positions, and body mechanics, creating undue stress on the upper neck muscles.

Mixed Headaches is used to describe a tension headache that leads to a migraine. Typically, the tension headache starts first and the chemicals produced from the pain of it create conditions for a migraine to develop. In people with patterns of mixed headaches, the best way to avoid the onset of a migraine is to treat the tension headache.

• Improves posture and coordination

Massage is cost effective. By assisting the client towards a quicker recovery from acute headaches, neck and back pain, skeletal muscular strains, sprains, etc. he or she is able to return to a normal productive life more quickly. Massage can also help to prevent future chronic pain conditions by effectively dealing with the cause of the problem and eliminating it. It is shown in scientific literature that over 80 percent of the pain comes from soft tissue injuries, and over 74 percent is directly attributed to trigger points.

A massage does not have to be painful to be beneficial. On the other hand, you may enjoy a really hard massage. And you can continue having massages even after your muscles have totally released the memory of injury.

There is something particularly satisfying when your massage therapist locates the exact place where your pain is, and you can really feel that part of you being released. After a while, your muscles and joints feel so much better.  A good massage is just amazing – You walk in, lie down, and walk out feeling so much better.

Defeat Depression with Massage

Taking time for massage is as important for people dealing with depression as it is for people dealing with arthritis, sports injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome. WebMD reviewed more than a dozen studies that revealed how massage can fight depression by lowering cortisol levels.

Cortisol is the body’s response to stress, and massage therapy lowers it by as much as 50%. At the same time, massage also can increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are both neurotransmitters that help stabilize your mood.

Results of Massage

The International Journal of Neuroscience studied a group of people with spinal cord injuries who were also suffering from depression. Twice a week for five weeks, half the patients received two 40-minute sessions of motion exercises while the other half received two 40-minute massages.

Both groups improved their physical abilities during that time, but the people who received massage therapy also became less depressed. So even while exercise has long been accepted as a means of combating depression, massage not only provides additional benefits but can also relieve stiffness and soreness resulting from physical exercise.

Commitment to Well-Being

Sometimes it can be difficult to make time for taking care of yourself, but scheduling appointments allows you to find an effective way to budget your time, your money, and focus on the attention to your wellness. Ongoing massage therapy promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness, which reinforces a positive attitude.

Reserving some specific time for a professional massage, customized to address your personal needs, makes it easier to remember that you deserve to feel good and that you’re taking important steps to make it happen.

Widdoss Therapeutic Massage is here to help!  Give us a call today at 205-394-5900 to schedule your appointment with one of our professional therapists.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Some recognizable symptoms of fibromyalgia can include irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, migraines, numbness in the upper and lower body, and joint stiff ness that is distributed around several areas of the body. This condition is usually diagnosed when a minimum of 11 out of 18 tender points are active with pain to the touch. The areas where pain is most common amongst patients include the neck and lower back. Additional symptoms include recurrent feelings of exhaustion, musculoskeletal pain and a tingling or prickling feeling known as parathesia, which is similar to that of pins and needles and mainly caused by pressure or damage to the peripheral nerves. Generally speaking, too, fibromyalgia suff erers often have acute, superficial tender points.

According to the National Fibromyalgia Research Association, more than 6 million Americans, 90 percent of whom are women, suff er from fibromyalgia, with symptoms typically showing up between the ages of 20 and 55. Additionally, somewhere between 25 percent and 65 percent of the time, fibromyalgia presents along with other pain syndromes—most commonly rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and spinal arthritis.

Massage can help!  Give Widdoss Therapeutic Massage a call 205-394-5900 – we are conveniently located in Birmingham AL near Hoover, Pelham, Helena area – 5 minutes or less off of Interstate 65 near the intersection of Valleydale and 31.

Massage and Adjustments

While massage may have developed a reputation as a decadent treat for people who love pampering, studies continue to show the wide variety of tangible health benefits.

Ask the client who came in yesterday because his back was tight and he was having difficulty bending over, getting in and out of the car and was preparing for a long flight – oh the misery in his eyes and movement showed it all. He had a muscle spasm earlier in the week, went to the chiropractor who adjusted him, and was basically told there wasn’t anything else the chiropractor could do and maybe he should go get a massage.

Did you know that a chiropractor can put your bones back where they belong, but a massage will help keep those bones in place? The two professions work very well together, but many time people think they need an adjustment or a massage – if you can coordinate the two, you can make the best of both worlds.

When muscles are tight, they tug on the bones they are attached to causing the bones to pull out of alignment. A massage will ease and release the tightness of the muscles and the adjustment realigns the body.

Which you receive first – a massage or an adjustment? There are different schools of thought – get a massage to help you relax and then the adjustment. Get the adjustment so that your bones are where they belong and get the massage to relax the muscles to help the adjustment last longer. I’ve done both, it’s really a matter of preference.

I read a post the other day that made me laugh – “I get freaked out every time I think about the fact that a skeleton is living inside of me.” Yes, there is a skeleton living inside of you, but there are muscles attached to that skeleton that allows you to move.

Anyway, when we finished our massage session the client opened the door and said he was amazed – he could actual bend over! I was confident I could fix him, but there is definitely an art in finding the balance of giving a therapeutic massage, relaxing a first client enough to trust that statement, and fixing them!

At Widdoss Therapeutic Massage we believe in our massage, and as our client base continues building, we have success story after success story. Massage is not only for the rich and famous. Research the health benefits of massage and give us a call the next time you are in the Birmingham AL area and we will set you up for an amazing massage experience – we care about your overall well-being and our hands knead your body!


Massage Pressure – does it matter?

Nothing can be worse for a client than the therapist not using enough pressure or too much. The therapist can have the best techniques in the world, and if their pressure is not applied correctly, then their techniques are worthless.

Every technique requires some level of pressure and there are also different levels of pressure for those too.

A professional massage therapist should begin with lighter strokes and moderate pressure before moving into a heavy pressure. Starting light allows a massage therapist to see how the client is tolerating the pressure. Then as they get used to the areas being massaged and the initial pressure, then a therapist can increase pressure.

When the client feels the therapist’s hands on their skin, their body registers that there are sensations of touch and pressure on that area of their body. With each pass over the area that the therapist makes, they increase the amount of pressure they use. This way the client’s body recognizes that the therapist is gradually warming up the muscle tissue to work deeper. If the therapist had begun with deep pressure, the client may have reacted by jerking their arm closer toward the body in a defensive motion. Working with pressure going from light to deep also builds trust with the client.

Below are some definitions of the different types of pressure.

Light pressure – Using light pressure requires very little strength on the part of the therapist. This type of pressure is applied using just the weight of the hand, or a pressure slightly above that. This introductory level of pressure informs the client’s body that you are preparing to go deeper.

Intermediate pressure – After you have made a pass or two using light pressure, the body is prepared to receive intermediate pressure. Most massage techniques are performed using this level of pressure. The hands firmly compress the skin so that the muscles get adequately squeezed and manipulated. The pressure is strong enough to push blood and lymph throughout the body.

Deep pressure – This level of pressure require the most endurance from the therapist. This should be reserved for those who could benefit from deep work such as athletes or individuals who frequently get massage. This should certainly not be used for someone who’s never had a massage before. The therapist usually leans into the person with their body using their hands, wrists and sometimes elbows while employing hand position and proper body mechanics to avoid strain.

At Widdoss Therapeutic Massage we ask the client about the pressure, but we also watch for visual cues and do not only rely on verbal communication. Call us today at 205-394-5900 and we can discuss your therapeutic massage needs and available appointments.

Relaxation Massage in Birmingham

Busy-ness is the trend these days. People keep taking on more and more, forgetting to say no, I can’t, or I won’t and then we hear:

“I’m SO busy at work!”

“How do you have time to do that? I’m too busy to read/watch TV/exercise/do anything fun.”

“I can’t get monthly massages I have too much to DO!”

Wow! Why are we proud of this? When did we get this way? What on earth are we so busy doing?

Too much “busy” could be making you tired, sick, and probably cranky.

When I talk to clients, friends or family that are this busy I think – what happened to the simple life? Sitting down with friends? But then I think about my personal schedule and think when do I really relax? When do I find time to wind down and shut down? I doesn’t happen very much!

“Relaxation” is a word we hear often, but don’t always know what it means. I’m guilty of this, too. So here, I’ve compiled some options for us.

re·lax  verb \ri-ˈlaks\

  1. the state of being free from tension or anxiety.
  2. a way to rest and enjoy yourself
  3. recreation or rest, especially after a period of work.
  4. the loss of tension in a part of the body, especially in a muscle when it ceases to contract.
  5. something that you do to stop feeling nervous, worried, etc.

Wow. Don’t those sound nice?

Now you’re thinking…great – this sounds appealing but HOW do I get that?

Make time for that!

You have a schedule. Write in special time for a hobby, a nap, massage, your favorite show, a weekend getaway, a new class, ANY thing you enjoy can be relaxing.

I have found that a Sunday quick nap helps me feel like I’m creating a sense of balance. It’s only a 20 minute quick power nap, but if I don’t “schedule” it. It doesn’t happen.

The same thing with getting regular massages – if you don’t schedule them and find time to make them happen, you won’t call until it’s too late. By then, your hamstrings are so tight that you can’t walk, your head is ready to explore because your muscles are so tight they are fighting against each other – don’t wait!

At Widdoss Therapeutic Massage we care and focus on your entire well-being. Our hands knead your body and help you find that relaxation, focus and healing that your body is craving.

The next time you are in our area, call us for your Massage in Birmingham – 205-394-5900

Birmingham AL Swedish Massage

Stiff, strained muscles?

If you’re suffering from muscular strain or have stiff muscles and are looking for a massage therapist in Birmingham AL, a Swedish massage may be just what you need and we can help your body’s lymph system flush metabolic wastes such as lactic acid and uric acid from your muscles.

This type of massage shortens recovery time and ultimately helps you feel better faster. Regular massage sessions help increase flexibility, enhances tissue elasticity and reduce pain. Many of our clients benefit from a greater range of joint motion and movement thanks to Swedish massage therapy.

A Swedish massage from Widdoss Therapeutic Massage is certainly a wonderful way to pamper yourself, but it is also an important and effective type of therapy for many people who rely on Swedish massage therapy to support good health and to manage a variety of health conditions.

If you suffer from any of the following conditions we can discuss these during your first consultation and as well as the benefits of Swedish massage:

  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Joint pain, sprains or stiffness
  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle tension and strains
  • Postural imbalance
  • Scoliosis
  • Skin conditions
  • Sports injuries
  • Stress
  • Sciatica
  • Water retention

At Widdoss Therapeutic Massage we care about your overall health and well-being. You are not treated like a number, but rather cared for by licensed professional massage therapist.

Start Planning for Christmas Massage in Birmingham AL

Widdoss Therapeutic Massage
Christmas Massage List

Have you started planning out your Christmas list?  It’s not too early to start hinting that you want a massage from Widdoss Therapeutic Massage.

During the holiday season sometimes we forget to treat our bodies when we are running around thinking of others.  A massage in Birmingham is just a few miles away.  With a centrally located office in Pelham, Alabama a relaxing moment to yourself is just down  the street.

So we compiled a list of some of the mileage’s to your next massage getaway.

3.47 miles from Hoover, Alabama

7.85 miles from Vestavia Hills, Alabama

9.49 miles from Alabaster, Alabama.

10.04 miles from Cahaba Heights, Alabama

10.46 miles from Homewood, Alabama

12.95 miles from Besemmer, Alabama

15.24 miles from Mountain Brook, Alabama

21.62 miles from Fultondale, Alabama

These are just a few places in and around Birmingham you can make it to treat yourself during the busy season. Remember If you really want to yourself or others a massage in Birmingham is the best treat of all.