The Healing Power of Touch – Touch is a fundamental aspect of human existence. From the gentle embrace of a loved one to the soothing sensation of a massage therapist’s skilled hands, touch plays a pivotal role in our lives. Beyond the emotional and sensory experiences, touch has a profound impact on our overall health and well-being. In this blog post, we will delve into the importance and effects of touch on our physical, mental, and emotional health.
The Science of Touch
To understand the significance of touch, it’s essential to explore the science behind it. Our skin is our body’s largest organ, densely populated with millions of sensory receptors that transmit information to the brain. These receptors come in various forms, each specializing in a specific type of touch sensation. For instance, there are receptors for pressure, temperature, pain, and gentle caresses.
When we experience touch, these receptors send signals to the brain, which processes them in the somatosensory cortex. This intricate network of nerve cells helps us interpret and respond to touch in various ways. This scientific foundation demonstrates that touch is not just a pleasurable experience but a critical element of our physiological and psychological health.
The Healing Power of Touch
One of the most well-documented effects of touch is its ability to reduce stress. When we are touched in a comforting or reassuring manner, our bodies release oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone” or “cuddle chemical.” Oxytocin promotes feelings of trust, bonding, and relaxation, counteracting the stress hormone cortisol.
Touch therapy, such as massage, acupuncture, and acupressure, has long been used to alleviate physical pain. These therapies stimulate the release of endorphins, natural painkillers produced by the body. Additionally, they improve blood circulation, which can reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Immune System Support
Research has shown that regular, positive touch can enhance the immune system’s functioning. The stress-reducing effects of touch, coupled with the release of immune-boosting hormones, can lead to improved resistance to illness.
Mental Health Benefits
The effects of touch extend to mental health as well. Touch has been linked to increased feelings of self-worth and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Physical touch can provide a sense of comfort and connection, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are common contributors to mental health issues.
For those struggling with sleep disorders, touch can be a natural remedy. Gentle, soothing touches release melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep patterns. This can lead to better sleep quality and an increased overall sense of well-being.
Enhanced Bonding and Relationships
Touch is a primary means of communication and bonding in human relationships. Whether it’s a hug, a handshake, or a loving pat on the back, physical touch fosters a sense of trust and connection between individuals. In romantic relationships, regular physical touch has been associated with increased relationship satisfaction and longevity.
When we are touched, especially in a loving and supportive manner, it has a remarkable effect on our emotional state. Touch can help calm heightened emotions, soothe anxiety, and offer a sense of security during times of distress.
Cultural and Individual Differences
It’s important to note that the significance of touch can vary across cultures and individuals. Cultural norms, personal boundaries, and past experiences all influence how people perceive and respond to touch. While some cultures may encourage more physical contact as a form of social bonding, others may have stricter boundaries around touch. It’s essential to respect these differences and always obtain consent when engaging in physical contact.
Practical Ways to Incorporate Healthy Touch
Hugging: Embrace loved ones with genuine hugs to release oxytocin and strengthen emotional bonds.
Massage Therapy: Consider regular massages to reduce stress, alleviate physical discomfort, and promote relaxation.
Cuddle Time: Spend quality time cuddling with your partner, children, or pets to foster connection and emotional well-being.
Self-Care: Don’t forget self-touch. Self-massage, taking relaxing baths, or practicing self-hugging can be comforting and beneficial.
Mindful Touch: Engage in mindfulness practices that involve touch, such as yoga or tai chi, to connect with your body and reduce stress.
Social Connections: Maintain strong social connections with friends and family to ensure regular opportunities for positive touch.
In a fast-paced, digitally connected world, the importance of touch on overall health cannot be overstated. It is a powerful tool for reducing stress, managing pain, supporting the immune system, and enhancing emotional well-being. From the cradle to the nursing home, humans have an innate need for physical touch, and acknowledging and prioritizing this need can lead to a happier, healthier life.
As we navigate the challenges of modern life, let us remember the profound effects of touch and make a conscious effort to incorporate it into our daily routines. By doing so, we can nurture our physical, mental, and emotional well-being and experience the healing power of touch to its fullest extent.
In today’s fast-paced work environments, employee well-being has become a top priority for organizations aiming to create a positive and productive workplace culture. One increasingly popular method to promote workplace wellness is through massage therapy. In this blog post, we will explore how incorporating massage into the workplace can lead to happier, healthier, and more engaged employees.
- The Impact of Workplace Stress: Workplace stress is a pervasive issue that can negatively affect employees’ mental and physical well-being. High stress levels lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and a higher risk of burnout. By offering massage as a workplace wellness program, employers can provide employees with a valuable stress management tool.
- Benefits of Workplace Massage: a. Stress Reduction: Massage helps to alleviate stress by reducing cortisol levels and promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones. Regular massage sessions can help employees manage stress more effectively and maintain a sense of calm and balance throughout the workday. b. Pain Relief: Many employees suffer from musculoskeletal issues and chronic pain due to prolonged sitting, repetitive tasks, or poor posture. Massage therapy can target these specific areas, relieving tension, improving circulation, and reducing pain. c. Improved Focus and Mental Clarity: Massage promotes relaxation and mental clarity, which can enhance cognitive function and concentration. Employees who receive regular massages are more likely to stay focused, make better decisions, and perform at their best. d. Enhanced Mood and Morale: Massage triggers the release of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters associated with happiness and positive mood. By incorporating massage into the workplace, employers can create an atmosphere of well-being, boosting employee morale and job satisfaction.
- Different Approaches to Workplace Massage: a. On-Site Chair Massage: Chair massage is a convenient and efficient option for the workplace. It involves a brief, seated massage that focuses on the neck, shoulders, back, arms, and hands. On-site chair massage sessions typically last between 10 to 30 minutes and can be scheduled during breaks or as part of wellness events. b. Wellness Rooms: Creating dedicated wellness rooms within the workplace provides employees with a quiet, comfortable space where they can receive longer massage sessions or engage in relaxation exercises. These rooms can be equipped with massage tables, relaxing music, and essential oils to enhance the overall experience. c. Wellness Programs and Subsidies: Employers can partner with local massage therapists or wellness centers to offer discounted or subsidized massage sessions for employees. By providing financial incentives or flexible schedules to accommodate massage appointments, employers demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being.
- Implementing a Workplace Massage Program: a. Management Buy-In: To successfully introduce a workplace massage program, it’s crucial to obtain support from management and stakeholders. Highlight the potential benefits, present case studies, and emphasize the positive impact on employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity. b. Partnering with Professionals: Collaborate with licensed and experienced massage therapists or wellness providers who specialize in workplace programs. Ensure they understand the unique needs of office environments and are capable of delivering quality services. c. Communication and Promotion: Proper communication is key to the success of any workplace wellness initiative. Use various channels, such as emails, newsletters, posters, and intranet platforms, to inform employees about the availability and benefits of the massage program. Highlight success stories and encourage employee feedback to create a buzz and generate interest. d. Evaluation and Feedback: Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the program through employee surveys, feedback sessions, and productivity metrics. Adjust the program as needed based on employee preferences and needs.
Massage therapy is a powerful tool for promoting workplace wellness and improving employee satisfaction and productivity. By addressing stress, reducing pain, enhancing focus, and boosting morale, workplace massage programs have the potential to transform the work environment into a healthier, happier, and more efficient space. Employers who invest in the well-being of their employees through massage initiatives demonstrate their commitment to fostering a positive work culture. By incorporating massage into the workplace, organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce and reap the long-term benefits of a more engaged and productive team.
In today’s fast-paced and stress-filled world, finding effective ways to support our mental health is crucial. While many of us are aware of traditional methods like therapy and meditation, there’s one often underrated practice that holds immense potential in improving mental well-being: massage therapy. Beyond its reputation as a mere luxury or relaxation technique, massage offers a myriad of benefits that can profoundly impact our mental health. In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the profound effects of massage on mental well-being, exploring specific conditions and mechanisms through which massage therapy can enhance our mental health and overall quality of life.
Alleviating Stress and Anxiety:
Stress and anxiety have become all too common in our modern lives, but massage therapy can serve as a powerful antidote. Through the skillful manipulation of soft tissues and application of various techniques, massage promotes deep relaxation, allowing the body and mind to unwind. This process triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing heart rate, blood pressure, and the production of stress hormones like cortisol. As a result, individuals experience a state of calm and tranquility, relieving the burdens of stress and anxiety.
Massage therapy has been the subject of numerous studies exploring its effects on stress and anxiety reduction. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology demonstrated that massage therapy significantly decreased symptoms of anxiety and stress in individuals with generalized anxiety disorder. Another study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that massage therapy decreased cortisol levels while increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters associated with feelings of well-being and happiness.
Easing Symptoms of Depression:
Depression is a complex mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Massage therapy can be a valuable complementary approach in managing and alleviating depressive symptoms. The nurturing touch and soothing movements of massage stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural mood-elevating chemicals in the brain. Moreover, massage enhances the circulation of blood and lymph, facilitating the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to tissues while removing waste products, thus supporting the body’s natural healing processes. Regular massage sessions can contribute to improved mood, increased self-esteem, and a sense of overall well-being.
Research has shown promising results regarding the effects of massage therapy on depression. A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reviewed multiple studies and concluded that massage therapy significantly reduced symptoms of depression across various populations. The studies indicated that massage therapy improved overall mood, reduced feelings of sadness and hopelessness, and increased the sense of relaxation and well-being in individuals with depression.
Enhancing Sleep Quality:
Sleep plays a vital role in mental health, and massage therapy can significantly improve sleep quality. By reducing muscle tension, promoting relaxation, and lowering stress levels, massage creates an ideal environment for a restful sleep. The manipulation of soft tissues triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with relaxation and sleep regulation. Additionally, massage stimulates the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. These combined effects lead to more profound and uninterrupted sleep, allowing individuals to wake up feeling refreshed and mentally rejuvenated.
Several studies have explored the relationship between massage therapy and sleep quality. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage therapy improved sleep quality in postmenopausal women by reducing symptoms of insomnia and increasing sleep efficiency. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology reported that massage therapy improved both sleep quality and duration in individuals with fibromyalgia, a condition often characterized by sleep disturbances.
Cultivating Self-awareness and Mindfulness:
In our increasingly disconnected and fast-paced world, massage provides a unique opportunity to cultivate self-awareness and mindfulness. As the massage therapist’s skilled hands move across the body, individuals are encouraged to focus on physical sensations and engage in deep introspection. The meditative nature of massage helps individuals become more attuned to their bodies, emotions, and thoughts, fostering a sense of present-moment awareness. Through this process, massage can serve as a gateway to practicing mindfulness, both during the session and in everyday life, empowering individuals to manage stress, reduce rumination, and enhance overall emotional well-being.
Numerous studies have highlighted the link between massage therapy and mindfulness. A study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that individuals who received massage therapy reported increased mindfulness and a greater ability to connect with their bodies. The researchers suggested that massage therapy helped individuals become more present, enhancing body awareness and promoting a sense of overall well-being.
Facilitating Emotional Release and Healing:
Unresolved emotions and trauma can manifest as physical tension and discomfort within the body. Massage therapy can act as a catalyst for emotional release and healing. By applying targeted pressure and working on specific areas of the body, massage can release stored tension and facilitate the release of trapped emotions. This process provides individuals with a safe and supportive environment to acknowledge, process, and release emotional blockages. The emotional release experienced during massage can be cathartic, leading to a greater sense of emotional well-being, improved self-expression, and an increased capacity for resilience.
Research on the emotional benefits of massage therapy is growing. A study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies explored the experiences of individuals receiving massage therapy and found that it helped them connect with and release emotions stored within their bodies. Participants reported feeling lighter, more relaxed, and emotionally balanced following their sessions. Additionally, massage therapy has been integrated into trauma-informed care approaches, demonstrating its effectiveness in supporting trauma survivors in their healing journey.
In a world where mental health concerns are increasingly prevalent, exploring holistic approaches to support our well-being is paramount. Massage therapy offers a transformative and natural method for improving mental health and enhancing overall quality of life. From alleviating stress and anxiety to easing symptoms of depression, enhancing sleep quality, cultivating self-awareness and mindfulness, and facilitating emotional release, the effects of massage extend far beyond relaxation. By incorporating massage into our self-care routines, we can unlock the transformative power it holds and take significant strides towards achieving optimal mental health.
Lupus, also known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, and lungs. The condition occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues in the body, causing inflammation and damage.
While the exact cause of Lupus is unknown, it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors. Women are more likely to develop the condition than men, and it often appears between the ages of 15 and 44.
The symptoms of Lupus can vary widely, depending on which part of the body is affected. Common symptoms include fatigue, joint pain and stiffness, skin rashes, fever, hair loss, and chest pain. In some cases, Lupus can lead to more serious complications, such as kidney failure, heart attacks, and stroke.
There is currently no cure for Lupus, but treatment options are available to manage symptoms and prevent complications. These may include medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressants, as well as lifestyle changes such as getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding triggers that can worsen symptoms.
Massage therapy is one complementary therapy that may help people with Lupus manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. Here are some of the ways that massage therapy can benefit patients with Lupus:
- Reducing Pain and Stiffness: Massage therapy can help reduce muscle and joint pain and stiffness, which are common symptoms of Lupus. Massage can help increase blood flow to the affected areas, promote the release of endorphins (natural painkillers), and reduce inflammation.
- Promoting Relaxation and Stress Relief: Stress can worsen symptoms of Lupus, and many people with Lupus experience anxiety and depression as a result of their condition. Massage therapy can help promote relaxation and reduce stress, which may help improve overall mental health.
- Improving Sleep: Many people with Lupus struggle with sleep disturbances, including insomnia and restless sleep. Massage therapy can help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, which may help reduce fatigue and improve overall well-being.
- Boosting the Immune System: Massage therapy has been shown to stimulate the immune system and increase the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections. This can be particularly beneficial for people with Lupus, whose immune systems are compromised.
- Providing a Safe and Nurturing Environment: Many people with chronic illnesses such as Lupus may feel isolated or disconnected from others. Massage therapy provides a safe and nurturing environment where patients can feel cared for and supported, which can have a positive impact on their overall mental and emotional well-being.
It is important to note that massage therapy should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment for Lupus. However, it can be a valuable complementary therapy that can help improve symptoms and overall quality of life for people with Lupus.
If you are considering massage therapy as a treatment option for Lupus, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider first. They can help you determine if massage therapy is a safe and appropriate option for you, and can also recommend qualified massage therapists who have experience working with patients with Lupus.
Being a massage therapist can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career. Not only do you get to help people feel better physically and emotionally, but you also have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their overall well-being. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the top 10 best things about being a massage therapist.
- Helping people feel better
One of the most obvious benefits of being a massage therapist is the ability to help people feel better physically. Whether your clients are dealing with chronic pain, injury, or just need to relax, your massage techniques can provide relief and promote healing.
- Building relationships with clients
As a massage therapist, you have the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with your clients. Many people see their massage therapist regularly, which means you have the chance to get to know them on a personal level and help them on their journey towards wellness.
- A flexible schedule
If you’re looking for a career with a flexible schedule, massage therapy is a great option. You can set your own hours and work as little or as much as you want. This can be especially helpful if you have other commitments, such as family or school.
- A variety of work settings
As a massage therapist, you can work in a variety of settings, from spas and resorts to hospitals and clinics. This can provide a lot of variety in your work and allow you to explore different aspects of the profession.
- Continuous learning and growth
There’s always something new to learn in the field of massage therapy. From new techniques and tools to advances in technology, there are plenty of opportunities for continuous learning and growth. This can help you stay engaged and excited about your work.
- A physically active job
If you’re someone who enjoys staying active, massage therapy can be a great career choice. You’ll be on your feet for most of the day and using your hands and arms to perform massage techniques, which can provide a good workout.
- A positive impact on mental health
Massage therapy isn’t just good for physical health; it can also have a positive impact on mental health. Massage has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and can promote relaxation and improve mood.
- A career that’s in demand
As more people become interested in natural and alternative forms of healthcare, the demand for massage therapists continues to grow. This means there are plenty of job opportunities available and a good outlook for the future of the profession.
- The ability to be self-employed
If you’re someone who values independence and autonomy, becoming a self-employed massage therapist may be a good fit. You can set your own rates and build your own business, which can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience.
- Making a difference in people’s lives
Perhaps the biggest benefit of being a massage therapist is the ability to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Whether you’re helping someone recover from an injury, manage chronic pain, or just relax and unwind, your work can have a profound impact on their well-being.
In conclusion, being a massage therapist can be a wonderful career choice for those who are passionate about helping others and promoting wellness. From the ability to make a positive impact on people’s lives to the flexibility and autonomy that comes with being a self-employed massage therapist, there are plenty of reasons to consider pursuing this rewarding profession.
For more information about being a massage therapist contact our massage school admissions team
Massage therapy is a growing industry that is becoming increasingly popular as people seek natural and holistic solutions to their health and wellness needs. However, with so many massage therapists out there, it can be difficult to stand out from the competition and attract new clients. Effective marketing techniques can help you to promote your massage therapy practice and grow your business. Here are some effective techniques to market a massage therapy practice.
- Define your target market: The first step in marketing your massage therapy practice is to define your target market. Who are your ideal clients? What are their needs, interests, and pain points? By understanding your target market, you can tailor your marketing messages and strategies to reach them more effectively.
- Build a professional website: A professional website is an essential tool for any massage therapist. Your website should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and provide all the necessary information about your services, pricing, and contact details. You can also use your website to showcase your expertise by including a blog, testimonials from satisfied clients, and before-and-after photos.
- Utilize social media: Social media is a powerful tool for marketing a massage therapy practice. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to connect with potential clients and promote your services. Share updates, special offers, and photos of your work to engage with your followers and attract new clients.
- Offer referral discounts: Encourage your current clients to refer their friends and family by offering them a discount on their next appointment. Referrals are one of the most effective ways to attract new clients, and offering a discount is a great way to incentivize your clients to refer others.
- Create a loyalty program: A loyalty program is a great way to encourage repeat business from your existing clients. Offer incentives for clients who book multiple appointments, such as a free massage after a certain number of appointments.
- Attend local events: Attending local events such as health fairs, community events, and expos can be a great way to promote your massage therapy practice. Set up a booth or table to showcase your services and offer discounts to attendees.
- Offer gift certificates: Gift certificates are a great way to attract new clients and encourage repeat business from existing clients. Offer gift certificates for special occasions like birthdays and holidays, and make it easy for clients to purchase them online.
- Write a blog: A blog is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and attract potential clients. Write about topics related to massage therapy, health, and wellness, and share your posts on social media and other platforms to reach a wider audience.
- Use email marketing: Collect email addresses from your clients and send them regular newsletters with updates, special offers, and information about your services. Email marketing can be a highly effective way to stay in touch with your clients and encourage repeat business.
- Network with other professionals: Networking with other professionals in the health and wellness industry, such as chiropractors and personal trainers, can be a great way to generate referrals and attract new clients.
- Host a workshop: Offer a workshop or class related to massage therapy or wellness. This can be a great way to attract new clients and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
- Offer free consultations: Offer free consultations to potential clients to help them understand your services and how they can benefit from them. This can be a great way to build trust and establish a relationship with new clients.
- Partner with local businesses: Partner with local businesses, such as gyms and health food stores, to offer discounts to their customers. This can be a great way to reach a wider audience and attract new clients.
- Use online directories: List your business on online directories, such as Yelp and Google My Business, to increase your online visibility. Make sure to include all the necessary information, such as your services, pricing, and contact details, and encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews.
- Offer mobile services: Offering mobile massage services can be a great way to attract clients who are unable to travel to your location. You can offer massages in clients’ homes or workplaces, providing convenience and flexibility.
- Create video content: Video content is becoming increasingly popular on social media, and can be a highly effective way to showcase your services and attract new clients. Consider creating short videos demonstrating different massage techniques or sharing information about the benefits of massage therapy.
- Participate in online forums: Participate in online forums and communities related to massage therapy and wellness. Offer helpful advice and information, and include a link to your website in your signature to attract potential clients.
- Create a referral network: Partner with other professionals in the health and wellness industry to create a referral network. This can be a great way to generate referrals and attract new clients who are interested in a holistic approach to health and wellness.
- Offer package deals: Offer package deals for clients who book multiple appointments or refer friends and family. This can be a great way to incentivize repeat business and generate new clients through referrals.
- Host a social media contest: Host a social media contest, such as a giveaway or photo contest, to engage with your followers and attract new clients. Encourage participants to share your contest with their friends and family for maximum exposure.
In conclusion, marketing a massage therapy practice requires a combination of traditional and digital marketing techniques. By defining your target market, building a professional website, utilizing social media, offering referral discounts and loyalty programs, attending local events, and partnering with other professionals in the industry, you can attract new clients and grow your business. It’s important to experiment with different marketing strategies and track your results to determine what works best for your massage therapy practice. With a solid marketing plan in place, you can build a successful and thriving massage therapy business.
For more information about beginning your massage therapy career contact our massage school admissions department.
Currently, there are around 12,000 massage therapists working throughout the state of Washington to help the more than 7 million residents of the state find relief from the pain or discomfort associated with injuries, anxiety, and stress. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for massage therapist in Washington is $62,520, making it one of the highest-paying states for massage therapists across the country. The cities with the highest demand for massage therapists in the Evergreen State include, in no particular order, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Olympia, and Kennewick. Read on to learn about the current career outlook for massage therapist in Seattle and Washington State.
Demand and Career Outlook for Massage Therapists in Washington
According to the BLS, the state of Washington has the fourth highest demand for massage therapists across the U.S, and consistently posts high employment figures for massage therapists. In fact, the BLS projects the demand for massage therapists in the Evergreen State to grow by more than 40% over the next decade, leading to a shortage of massage therapists throughout the Evergreen State. Additionally, it could cause wages for massage therapists to rise, making the state and its cities, including Seattle, even more attractive for massage therapists.
Career Opportunities in Seattle
As mentioned earlier, Seattle is one of the best cities for massage therapist, not only in Washington State, but also across the entire country. This is because of several reasons. For starters, Seattle is a great place to set up a freelance massage therapy operation. For example, you can set up a mobile massage therapy operation, allowing you to make home and office visits. Secondly, if you decide to join the ranks of employed massage therapists in Seattle, Seattle offers numerous job opportunities for massage therapists. Some of these opportunities include:
• in-home aid and other personal care services career opportunities
• being the massage therapist in a team of health practitioners
• recreation and amusement facilities including spas and high-end hotels
• health facilities including long-term rehabilitation care facilities and hospitals
• working as a massage therapists for a sports team, such as the Seattle Mariners or Seattle Seahawks
Washington Massage Therapy Licensure Requirements
To work legally as massage therapist in Washington and Seattle, you must be licensed by the state’s department of health. The licensure requirements include, among others, completing 500 hours or more from a state-approved massage therapy program as well as taking and passing a national massage licensing exam.
The state of Washington is a great place for massage therapists looking to start and grow their careers, with the BLS projecting the demand for massage therapist in the state to grow by more than 40% over the next decade, potentially translating to higher wages. Some of the highest-paying cities for massage therapist in the Evergreen State include Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and Kennewick.
To learn more about the career outlook as a massage therapist contact our Seattle Massage School Campus
Massage therapy is an effect treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by a pinched median nerve in the wrist. It’s associated with pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the hand and wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow canal in the wrist. The bottom and sides of the tunnel are formed by small bones called carpal bones. The top of the tunnel is a strong band of transverse carpal ligament, which holds the all components together.
Inside the tunnel are the median nerve and tendons. Tendons are rope-like structures that connect bones in the hand to muscles in the forearm. They also allow the thumb and fingers to bend. The median nerve runs down the arm and forearm and passes through the carpal tunnel into the palm of the hand. It provides sensation to the fingers (except the little finger). It also adds strength to some small muscles at the base of the thumb and index finger.
When the ligament thickens or tendons swell, the space in the tunnel decreases and the median nerve becomes compressed, exerting excessive pressure on the median nerve.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include:
- Tingling, burning, or itching in the palm and fingers, especially the thumb, middle, and index fingers
- Occasional shock-like sensation that moves up into the fingers
- Pain and tingling traveling up the forearm toward the shoulder
- A swollen feeling in the fingers
- Decreased feeling in the fingertips
- Occasional hand weakness and loss of coordination
- Weakness and clumsiness in the hand, which may make it difficult to use the hand for small tasks such as writing, or buttoning a shirt
- Dropping objects due to numbness, weakness, or loss of proprioception
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome begin suddenly or gradually- without a specific injury. In fact, many people find that symptoms come and go at first, and usually affected by excessive use of the hand. As the condition worsens and the pressure on the nerve becomes greater, symptoms may become more frequent or may persist for longer periods of time.
It’s common for people to experience nighttime symptoms because many sleep with their wrists bent. In the morning, a person may wake up with tingling or numbness in their hands. They may not notice the problem at all during the day, but symptoms often flare up when holding something with the wrist bent, such as when reading a book, using a phone, or driving. Many patients find that moving or shaking the hands can relieve the symptoms in the early stages of the condition.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by a combination of factors that irritate or squeeze the median nerve. Possible contributing factors include:
- Activities that involve highly repetitive wrist or finger motions, like typing, farming, or knitting. Repetitive motions may aggravate the tendons in the wrist, causing swelling that exerts pressure on the nerve. This usually happens when the hands are lower than the wrists
- Trauma or injury to the wrist, such as sprain or fracture. This may break one or more of the carpal bones, cause swelling, or deform the small bones in the wrist
- Arthritis-related diseases, especially if there is swelling of the wrist joint, tendons, and tissues in the carpal tunnel
- Work that involves heavy use of the wrist
- Mechanical problems in the wrist joint
- Hormonal changes and fluid retention caused by pregnancy or menopause
- Repeated use of vibrating hand tools or instruments that require forceful gripping and put pressure at the base of the palm
- Health conditions such as diabetes, amyloidosis, kidney failure, lymphedema, menopause, an underactive thyroid gland, or an overactive pituitary gland
Massage Therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Massage therapy is a non-invasive and effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. It helps relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome by reducing swelling in the muscles caused by damage or overextension in the work environment. It also works by breaking down scar tissue, and softening and lengthening muscles and fascia of the shoulder, neck, elbow, wrist, hand, forearm, and upper arm.
During a massage session, the therapist will use deep tissue work to stimulate trigger points, release adhesions, and reduce the tension in the soft tissues of the arm, shoulder, hand, and wrist. This involves bringing the arm and shoulder out of internal rotation or incorporating myofascial cupping to reduce muscle tension.
By massaging and stretching tendons in the arm and wrist, a massage therapist can help restore full flexibility of the arm and reduce the pressure the tendons are putting on the median nerve. This in turn reduces the inflammation, pain, and numbness associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
The number of massage sessions it takes for a patient with carpal tunnel syndrome to find relief will vary depending on how severe the problem is. Most clients experience some level of relief after the first session but for others, it may take three to five sessions or more to get long-term results.
Learn Advanced Massage Therapy Techniques from the Experts
While massage therapy is effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome, it must be done right to get the expected results. If you’d like to expand your knowledge and skills in massage therapy, enroll in one of Seattle’s best massage therapy schools to learn therapeutic massage therapy protocols. You’ll learn massage theories and practices, anatomy and physiology, pathology, kinesiology, and much more. This will equip you with the skills you’ll need to provide care for individuals who’ve been affected by carpal tunnel syndrome and other similar ailments.
Contact us today to speak with one of our enrollment specialists.
An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear is an injury impacting major ligaments in the knee. It is a key concern for many sports enthusiasts because such ACL tears occur mostly during sports activities that involve jumping, landing, sudden stops, or changes in direction.
Examples of such sports include football, basketball, soccer, or downhill skiing. Also, these ruptures are more common in women than in men because of the difference in anatomy.
Once you sustain an ACL injury, you might require surgery, but that depends on factors like your activity level and severity of damage. With advancements in the field of reconstruction surgery, athletes can benefit from hamstring grafts, patellar tendon graft along with allografts. These prove effective in restoring both function and strength to the injured knee.
Even so, the ability of an athlete to go back to an active lifestyle successfully/full recovery after ACL reconstruction depends on the absence of three prevalent complications.
- Quadriceps weakness
- Flexion contracture (of the muscle group)
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)
Many physicians will use the patellofemoral pain syndrome as a “catch-all” diagnosis for the myriad of symptoms associated with anterior knee pain, especially after ACL reconstruction.
Signs and Symptoms of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture
Once you sustain the injury, you will hear a popping sound from your knee. Other common symptoms include:
- Pain and swelling
- Loss of full range motion
- Discomfort when walking
- Joint tenderness
- Inability to bear leg weight even with minimal pain
- Feeling of instability
Several movements can cause an anterior cruciate ligament tear. These include:
- Slowing down during a run
- Incorrectly landing from a jump
- Rapidly changing direction
- Stopping suddenly
- Direct contact or collision like during a tackle
- When a knee is twisted or bent backward
While sport accidents are the most common causes of ACL injuries, you can sustain an ACL tear from missing a step in a staircase, falling off a ladder, or being in a car accident.
There are several risk factors for an ACL injury, and they include:
- Active involvement in sports like football, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, and downhill skiing
- Using defective sport equipment like ski bindings
- Wearing ill-fitting sportswear
- Having a history of an ACL tear
Outcome and treatment
When you experience an ACL injury, you might not be able to walk correctly. An ACL injury causes a partial or complete tear of tissue and is usually very painful. Once you visit a doctor, they will recommend treatment based on the severity of the injury. Treatment options include first aid, medications, physical therapy, or surgery.
Massage Therapy for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear
One aspect of physical therapy for ACL is massage. Therapeutic massage therapy has the following benefits:
- Reduce pain and swelling (inflammation)
- Increase blood circulation and joint mobility
- Accelerate the healing process
- Lower the aggregation of scar tissue forming around the site of the injury
During a therapeutic massage, therapists target surrounding muscles, joints, or other specific structures to reduce strain. And once you’ve achieved success in ensuring they’re relaxed, a physician can then start restoring them to their proper alignment and flexibility.
Massage therapy is considered a safe and effective complementary treatment for many muscle and joint problems—including ACL. The type of massage and the number of sessions you will require will depend on your injury. At the end of all of your sessions, you will have regained full range of motion without any pain.
While massage therapy is effective in treating ACL, it must be done correctly for maximum results. Ensure you get your massage therapy from a professional therapist. If you would like to learn more about massage therapy or attend massage school, call us today. Also contact the Northwest Academy admissions department for any massage related questions.
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a medical condition where one or more discs in the back lose strength. Despite the name, degenerative disc disease isn’t technically a disease but a progressive condition that worsens over time due to wear and tear, or injury.
The discs in your back are situated in between the vertebrae of the spine and act as cushions and shock absorbers. They help you stand up straight and move through everyday motions, such as bending over or twisting around. As people age, DDD can worsen and cause mild to extreme pain that can interfere with your everyday activities.
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
Some of the most common symptoms of degenerative disc disease include pain that:
- Primarily affects the lower back
- Could extend to legs and buttocks
- Stretches from neck to arms
- Can be worse from sitting
- Worsens after bending or twisting
- Comes and goes in a few days or extends to several months
People with DDD might exhibit less pain after walking or exercise. Additionally, DDD can cause weakened leg muscles and numbness in your arms or legs.
Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease
DDD is primarily caused by natural wear and tear of spinal discs. Over time, discs tend to dry out and lose their support and function, leading to pain and other symptoms. DDD can start developing in your 30s or 40s and progressively worsen as you age. However, the condition can also be caused by overuse from sports or repetitive activities, or injury. Once a disc is damaged, it can’t repair itself.
Age is the major risk factor for degenerative disc disease. The discs in between the vertebrae often shrink down and lose their cushiony support as people age. Almost every adult above the age of 60 has some form of disc degeneration. However, not all cases cause pain.
Long-term repetitive activities that place a lot of pressure on certain discs can also increase your risk. Other risk factors include car accidents, overweight or obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Diagnosis of DDD
An MRI can help detect degenerative disc disease. Your doctor may recommend this type of imaging test based on a physical exam or an investigation into your symptoms and health history. Imaging tests can reveal damaged discs and help rule out other triggers of pain. When you receive a diagnosis of DDD, it does not mean that you’re disabled or headed for a downward spiral of spinal degeneration. In fact, DDD is often a part of the natural aging process that we all go through at some point in life. And the good news is that you can mitigate the associated pain through a variety of treatment solutions, including massage therapy.
Massage Therapy Treatment for DDD
From a Massage Therapy point of view, the approach in treating DDD is to strike a balance between reducing muscle tension and enhancing traction (decompressing the targeted vertebral segments). Finding a “green zone” of treatment is critical since the spasms that occur through the neck or low back happen because the body is trying to protect that area. By applying slow, repetitive, methodical massage between soft tissue and joint mobilization (spinal decompression), massage therapy can help relieve pain and allow you to move easier and execute strengthening exercises efficiently.
Massage therapy generally helps in these three ways:
- Increasing Blood Flow and Circulation: Proper blood circulation ensures that critical nutrients flow back fully to the strained muscles and tissues. This makes the muscles/tissues stronger, helping relieve the strain coming from the degenerating discs.
- Decreasing Tension: The muscles can become tense as they struggle to compensate for the weakening discs. When these muscles are manipulated during the massage, they become relaxed, which improves the range of motion and flexibility.
- Increasing the “feel good” chemical: Massage therapy releases Endorphins, a mood-enhancing chemical that is released in the brain. This “feel good” chemical helps in reducing pain and enhancing recovery.
Without treatment or therapy, DDD can gradually progress and cause more adverse symptoms. While surgery is a treatment option, other less invasive treatments such as massage therapy have been found to be just as helpful yet less costly. A clinical study involving a 66-year-old female patient with cervical degenerative disc disease in her lateral left facet joint recorded impressive outcomes. The patient was experiencing symptoms of severe neck pain accompanied by restricted cervical range of motion. She also exhibited radicular left shoulder and arm pain. The objective of the study was to determine the effect of therapeutic massage on the patient’s symptoms and impairments of cervical DDD.
After multiple treatment sessions, the patient’s symptoms had decreased and cervical ROM had moderately improved. There was also a reduction in reported pain and an improvement in functional daily activities. This is an indication that massage therapy is a favorable treatment intervention for DDD symptoms.
Massage can help improve the symptoms associated with Degenerative Disc Disease for a prolonged duration of time as long as you continue to follow the maintenance schedule that your Massage Therapist lays out. Massage therapy typically reduces muscle strain, improves flexibility, and mitigates pain. However, you can achieve the best results by working in conjunction with other health care professionals. Keep open communication between your doctor and your massage therapist to ensure the best treatment.