Unveiling the Healing Touch: Traditional Massage vs. Shiatsu Massage

In a fast-paced world filled with stress and tension, the pursuit of relaxation and wellness has led to the development of various massage techniques. Two such practices that stand out are traditional massage and Shiatsu massage. While both aim to promote physical and mental well-being, they differ in terms of origin, techniques, principles, and effects. In this blog post, we'll delve into the fascinating world of massage therapies and explore the key differences between traditional massage and Shiatsu massage.

Traditional Massage: A Global Tapestry of Techniques

Traditional massage, often referred to as Western massage, encompasses a wide range of massage techniques that have developed over centuries across different cultures. From Swedish massage to deep tissue massage, Thai massage to aromatherapy massage, traditional massage draws on various principles and approaches.

Origin and Techniques

Traditional massages have their roots in cultures from around the world,...

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Unlocking Relaxation and Healing: The Remarkable Benefits of Shiatsu Massage

Unlocking Relaxation and Healing: The Remarkable Benefits of Shiatsu Massage

In today's fast-paced and stressful world, finding moments of peace and relaxation is becoming increasingly challenging. Amidst hectic schedules and mounting pressures, it's essential to prioritize self-care and well-being. One such method that has gained popularity for its ability to alleviate stress and promote holistic healing is Shiatsu massage. Rooted in ancient Japanese tradition, this therapeutic practice offers an array of benefits that cater to both the body and mind. In this blog post, we will delve into the remarkable advantages of Shiatsu massage and why it has become a favored choice for relaxation and healing.

What is Shiatsu Massage?

Shiatsu, which translates to "finger pressure" in Japanese, is a form of massage therapy that originated in Japan. It is based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, channeling the body's vital energy, or "qi," through...

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Muscle of the Month: Pec Major & Minor

When people want to start exercising more, one of the first muscles they want to work on is their chest. Most people have heard of large muscle pectoralis major but seem to forget about pectoralis minor. Both need to work together in order to function at their highest capacity.

The pectoralis major muscle is a large muscle in the upper chest, fanning across the chest from the shoulder to the breastbone. The two pectoralis major muscles, commonly referred to as the “pecs,” are the muscles that create the bulk of the chest. The pectorals are predominantly used to control the movement of the arm and also play a part in deep inhalation, pulling the ribcage to create room for the lungs to expand. Six separate sets of muscle fibers are identified within the pectoralis major muscle. This enables each portion of the pectoralis major muscle to be moved separately by the nervous system.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, flat muscle found...

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Did You Know...

By: Leah Quinn

Massage therapy is one of the oldest health care practices known. References to massage are found in Chinese medical texts dating back more than 4,000 years. Massage therapy has a number of documented clinical benefits such as reducing symptoms associated with

  • allergies
  • anxiety, depression and stress
  • arthritis
  • asthma and bronchitis
  • carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries
  • chronic and temporary pain
  • circulatory problems
  • digestive disorders
  • tension headaches
  • insomnia
  • temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)

No pain, No gain….a vicious rumor!

While problem areas can be tender during a massage the discomfort should not be unbearable. Using too much pressure may cause the body to tense up, while using too little may not have enough effect.  Varying levels of pressure allow the massage therapist to receive useful information via his or her hands, such as locating areas of muscle tension and other soft tissue problems. In practice, many...

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Massage Contraindications

Massage therapy is therapeutic in many ways. Massage increases blood and lymph flow which aids in healing and decreases the stress hormone called cortisol. In most circumstances massage can help to improve your health. However, there are times that massage is not recommended.  Below is a list of reasons massage may be contraindicated. If anything on this list pertains to you, please talk to your massage therapist before booking a massage.

  • Fever
  • Contagious illness or disease (including a cold or flu)
  • If you are taking any pain medication
  • Recent operations or acute injuries
  • Skin diseases
  • First trimester of pregnancy

Only when cleared by your physician:

  • High blood pressure or cardio-vascular conditions
  • Edema
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Bell’s palsy

For more questions on anything on or not on this list, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist if scheduling a massage is appropriate for you.

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Why You Should Foam Roll

Why Should You Use a Foam Roller?

This is one of the many questions we get asked during our rehab time with patients. Many people do not know what a foam roller is and how it will even help them. They think it is just another one of our torture devices we use on people.

Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This is something you can do at home without having to come into the office. This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

This can have a wide range of benefits for the everyday gym-goer or someone who who works out at home. Benefits of using the foam roller will be increased blood flow throughout the body,...

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What is a Trigger Point?

What are these knots in my back and neck?? Are these normal? How do I get rid of them? This is a very popular question that we get asked here in the office at North Shore Pro-Active Health. Before we answer the question above let us talk about how muscle fibers work. Within skeletal muscle there are three types of fiber. Type one (I), type two A (IIa) and type two B (IIb). Each fiber types has different qualities in the way they perform and how quickly they fatigue.

Types of Trigger Points

Type I fibers are also known as slow twitch fibers. They are red in color due to the presence of large volumes of myoglobin (iron-oxygen binding protein) and high numbers of Mitochondria (power house of the cell). They are very resistant to fatigue and are capable of producing repeated low-level contractions by producing large amounts of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) through an aerobic metabolic cycle. The muscles containing mainly type I fibers are often postural muscles such as...

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What are Trigger Points

Have you heard of TRIGGER POINTS?

Trigger points are what people commonly refer to as muscle “knots”.  Trigger points are contracted muscle fibers within a muscle.  When muscle fibers are contracted, they are shortened. When the muscle is shortened, it affects the muscles strength and also the range of motion of that muscle.  These shortened fibers can also cause the muscle bundle to pull on its attachments which can cause pain in the joints they are attached to. Trigger points can be treated and eliminated with massage therapy as well as other soft tissue techniques like graston.

Trigger points can also cause referral pain in other areas of the body. It is possible to have trigger points in your back causing pain in your shoulder or vice versa. It is important to get your condition reviewed and examined by your chiropractor to determine what course of treatment would be best for you.

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What Is Cupping Therapy and What Can It Do For You?

Cupping is a unique treatment that uses suction to lift tissue as a cup is moved by the therapist to decompress the underlying tissue. It combines various massage and stretching techniques with the application of a slightly pressurized cup. This helps to lift and separate the soft tissue, allowing for greater fluid movement and nutrient supply throughout the soft tissues. This nourishes, detoxifies, stimulates and increases range of motion. The cups come in various sizes depending on the treatment area needed.

Though it was recently made famous during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics when the cupping marks (circular bruises) were visible all over swimmer Michael Phelps, cupping has actually been around for a very long time. Cupping is an ancient medical treatment; its Chinese roots date back to 300 or 400 A.D. Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures also have ancient records of the practice. Cupping is still regularly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Chinese hospitals and...

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