Types of Athletic, Fitness Event Sports Massage

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What is Pro Massage’s Professional Fitness Massage for Santa Barbara and Goleta Athlete’s?


It’s  combination of Deep Tissue Massage, various Sports Massage techniques, Swedish Massage, Trigger Point, Neuromuscular and Myofascial Massage. I recommend at least an 1 1/2 hour session to get you tuned back up. Depending on your specific issues you may need more massage sessions.

What are the Benefits of  a Fitness Massage?

  • Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
  • Flush out the lactic acid in your legs and body.
  • Ease medication dependence.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts or hikes.
  • Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Lessen depression and anxiety.
  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
  • Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
  • Relieve migraine pain.

What is Sports Massage?

Sports Massage – Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which sports massage can be useful to an athlete: pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment. It’s more vigorous than a Swedish Massage.

The purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. Above all, it can help prevent those bothersome injuries that so often get in the way of performance and your athletic goals, whether one is an athlete,  or a once a week jogger.

This treatment is not just for the sports person: anyone can benefit from sports massage, including people in physically demanding jobs and those not quite so obvious (occupational, emotional and postural stress may produce many similar characteristics to sports injuries).

Sports massage tends to be deeper and more intense. It is based on the various elements of Swedish massage and often incorporates a combination of other techniques involving stretching, compression, friction, toning, and trigger point response techniques similar to Acupressure and Shiatsu. A skilled therapist brings together this blend of techniques, knowledge and advice during treatment, to work effectively with the client to bring about optimum performance and to provide injury-free training and minimize post event injuries.

Sport Massage is best administered 1 /1/2 hours before your event or 1 1/2 hours after your event.


What is Deep Tissue Massage and what to expect?

Deep tissue massage is massage that is designed to get into the connective tissue of the body, rather than just the surface muscles. As a massage therapist when I perform deep tissue I use a variety of techniques to deeply penetrate the muscles and fascia, loosening them and releasing tension. Most clients have a more intense experience with a deep tissue massage, but also feel that it is more beneficial, because it addresses deep-seated muscle pains. Deep tissue is beneficial when undertaken on a regular basis, so that I can work together with the client to correct long term problems, relax the body, and prevent injury.

To get a truly good deep tissue massage you need to find someone who specializes in deep tissue, like Nicola.  Most spas have several massage therapists who can offer a basic deep tissue massage integrating a number of techniques and styles customized for your body for maximum impact. Experiment by trying several deep tissue massage therapists to find the one that is right fit for you and your body.

One of the defining differences between deep tissue and regular massage is the use of tools. A standard massage usually only involves the hands and lower arms of the therapist. During a deep tissue, however,  I use elbows and fingers for deep, penetrating work in the muscle. A deep tissue massage also tends to be very slow, and I will use long, flowing strokes to ease in and out of the muscle. Going in too quickly can cause the muscle to tense up, which is not a desired reaction. I also maintain firm pressure at trouble spots for several minutes to achieve muscle release before moving on to the next area of the body.

When you go to get a deep tissue massage, they should talk with the therapist about any  issues you might have and like to see addressed during your massage. I am happy   to concentrate on a single body part for an entire massage to achieve lasting results and in fact half of my clients want just that! It is also important to communicate with me about pain; The massage may be intense, but if a client starts to feel pain, he or she should communicate that immediately. I work on a scale of 1 – 10, where 7 is on the edge and 10 is very painful. A lot of my clients take the deep tissue pain or even like the pain in order to get the quickest results for their body type.  At the end of the session, lots of water should be consumed to help the body express the toxins released during the massage. You will probably be sore for a few days after the intense deep tissue treatment but that’s normal. Remember that ice is your friend.

Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is also not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly. What one calls deep tissue another will call light. When receiving deep tissue work it is important to communicate what you are feeling.

Nicola at SB Marathon



At Riktr Pro Massage Therapy, specialize in therapeutic massage, which for many people is synonymous with deep tissue massage. That makes sense because deep tissue massage is the most common of the therapeutic massage modalities—and if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.

Therapeutic Massage vs Deep Tissue

Therapeutic massage is a general term that describes any type of massage modality that helps relieve pain, reduce stress, and work on a specific problem—such as a frozen shoulder. People tend to assume therapeutic massage means deep tissue massage, and that they will get a very strong massage. But this is not always the case. Deep tissue massage is great at breaking down scar tissue and getting your blood circulating, but it may not be what you need on a particular day. A good therapist will apply the specific techniques and the right amount of pressure to address your need, and sometimes that’s a lighter touch.

Types of Therapeutic Massage

There are several different types of therapeutic massage in addition to deep tissue massage, such as:

  • neuromuscular massage
  • myofascial massage
  • trigger point therapy
  • sports massage

Many therapists will use a combination of techniques depending on what your body needs. In addition, therapists will often take additional classes in different techniques.

Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage

Most of my clients are interested in deep tissue massage, and that makes sense because it is a great way to manage pain. Deep tissue massage—as well as the other therapeutic massage methods—can give you a lot of relief from chronic pain. Many of my clients come in for frozen shoulder treatment and neck pain—two side effects of working on computers all day.

Deep Tissue Side Effects

Many people want to know what the side effects of deep tissue massage are. That’s a great question, and it varies from person to person—and it can even vary for you depending on what’s going on in your body the day you get a massage. Typically, people may feel more muscle soreness for a day or two after the massage, especially if the therapist gives you a strong massage. A deep tissue massage shouldn’t cause horrible pain—and if it does you need to tell your therapist you need less pressure. However, if they’ve been working your muscles, you will probably feel it as the toxins leave your body.

Another side effect is a feeling of disorientation when the massage is over (we call it massage drunk). You may be a little light headed and out of it. That’s very normal. Just sit in the lobby and drink some water until the feeling passes! You’ll usually be fine in 10 to 15 minutes.

Finally, a deep tissue massage will leave you dehydrated. That’s why your therapist gives you water when it’s over. It is very important to drink plenty of water after a therapeutic massage.

Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits

Massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being. See if it’s right for you.

Massage is no longer available only through luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today, massage therapy is offered in businesses, clinics, hospitals and even airports. If you’ve never tried massage, learn about its possible health benefits and what to expect during a massage therapy session.

What is massage?

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:

  • Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
  • Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
  • Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.


Benefits of massage

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.

While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Risks of massage

Most people can benefit from massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have:

  • Bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medication
  • Burns or healing wounds
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Fractures
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Severe thrombocytopenia

Discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or you have cancer or unexplained pain.

Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn’t ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn’t feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.


What is a Sports Flush, Sports Flushing Massage?

Can Sports Flush Massage Really Flush Out Lactic Acid?



It was long believed that lactic acid build up was the main reason your muscles got sore and tired shortly after a heavy workout (delayed onset muscle soreness- DOMS).  It was also thought that sports massage was the magic bullet for flushing out that lactic acid.

As it turns out, lactic acid (or blood lactate) is a natural by-product of any muscular activity, such as running or cycling.  It provides an energy source for working muscles and helps in the process of wound repair and regeneration.

By the time the athlete is lying on the massage table, the lactic acid has already left the muscles.  So how does one explain all that post-exercise muscle soreness?  According to Sport Medicine specialist, Dr. Gabe Mirkin, “next day muscle soreness is caused by damage to the muscle fibers themselves.”  He suggests that one should stop exercising before their muscles start to hurt. That burning sensation is the nervous system’s way of alerting you that your muscles are running out of energy, and if you push them any more, you will inevitably experience DOMS.

However, if you do experience the muscle fatigue and soreness, there’s good news! Current research supports that massage can be effective in reducing DOMS.

Can Sports Massage Really Flush Out Lactic Acid?

It was long believed that lactic acid build up was the main reason your muscles got sore and tired shortly after a heavy workout (delayed onset muscle soreness- DOMS).  It was also thought that sports massage was the magic bullet for flushing out that lactic acid.

As it turns out, lactic acid (or blood lactate) is a natural by-product of any muscular activity, such as running or cycling.  It provides an energy source for working muscles and helps in the process of wound repair and regeneration.

By the time the athlete is lying on the massage table, the lactic acid has already left the muscles.  So how does one explain all that post-exercise muscle soreness?  According to Sport Medicine specialist, Dr. Gabe Mirkin, “next day muscle soreness is caused by damage to the muscle fibers themselves.”  He suggests that one should stop exercising before their muscles start to hurt. That burning sensation is the nervous system’s way of alerting you that your muscles are running out of energy, and if you push them any more, you will inevitably experience DOMS.

However, if you do experience the muscle fatigue and soreness, there’s good news! Current research supports that massage can be effective in reducing DOMS.


Sports Massage Doesn’t Flush Toxins, but May Help You Recover

Should you spring for a stint in the post-marathon massage tent? Get a regular rubdown to help your recovery as you train? Research shows that sports massage doesn’t always do what you think it does—but it may still help you recover from a tough workout.

Most importantly: Sports massage doesn’t flush lactic acid, or other “toxins,” from your muscles. Lactic acid is produced during exercise, and you might associate it with a burning feeling during hard work, but it’s not a problem, isn’t responsible for next-day soreness, and doesn’t need help to be removed from the muscles.

Go to this link for:

10 Stubborn Exercise Myths that Won’t Die, Debunked by Science

Massage does help to relax muscles, though, which can help to relieve tight muscles. The same action can break up adhesions, a type of scar tissue that sometimes forms in muscle.

Where massage shines, though, is in promoting recovery. Studies testing massage as a recovery technique are inconsistent. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t, and the differences may come from the different types and timing of massage that the studies use. Still, recent studies have shown that massage, in humans and in rabbits, improves the ability of muscles to repair themselves after a workout. If you can’t afford regular sports massage from a professional, a good strategy may be self-massage with tennis balls and foam rollers.

Nicola working on cyclist at Criterium in Goleta, Ca

Flushing Out Myths

Great article from Massage Today
December, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 12

By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB

“The tragedy of science is a beautiful hypothesis slain by an ugly fact.”

-Thomas Huxley

There’s a statement, seemingly pervasive throughout massage education and massage books, that unspecified toxins accumulate in the body, and that these toxins can be flushed out by massage.

A more significant issue is whether metabolic wastes and cellular debris can significantly accumulate and be flushed out by massage. To elucidate a negative response to this, I turn to consideration of the circulation of blood and lymph. If the tissue is to accumulate wastes in a static manner, i.e. not as an instantaneous balance between production and removal, the tissue must be isolated. If we assume that the tissue is isolated from blood circulation, then necrosis (cellular death) is the rapid consequence. Such gangrene is, for example, one of the results of the vascular pathology of diabetes. We have to conclude that non-gangrenous tissue must be receiving oxygen and nutrients via circulation and that, for this to continue, venous return flow must also be occurring. If the toxins are accumulating, they cannot be doing so within the reach of the circulatory system. Perhaps we should look instead in the interstitial spaces served by the lymphatic system.As noted by Bruno Chikly, the lymphatic system is a second pathway back to the heart, parallel to the blood system [2, pg. 27]. Chikly further notes that “about 1.5 to 3.5 liters of lymph per day circulate through the thoracic duct, although the total volume of the flow of lymph has yet to be precisely measured” [2, pg. 51] and expands on the process of lymphatic circulation.

“Part of the constituents of the blood will filter out of the blood capillaries. This blood capillary filtrate will join the surrounding tissues, passing through the interstitial environment (interstitium) – the interstices between each cell, to be further reabsorbed in the lymphatic capillaries. The lymphatic system fine tunes the drainage of the interstitium (connective tissue) and thus constitutes a sort of “overflow” for the water and excess substances in the interstitial environment. In fact, if the lymphatic system did not recover the protein-rich liquid (a large part of which the venous system cannot recover), the body would probably develop major systemic edemas (protein loss), auto-intoxication and die in 24 to 48 hours [2, pg. 27]… About 75 to 100 g. proteins per day can escape from the blood circulation; this is about 50% of the protein circulating in the blood plasma per day. These proteins are transported in the lymphatic vessels. Proteins which have escaped into the interstitium are recovered by the lymph circulation [2, pg. 29].”

What arises is a picture of tissue far from being in static isolation. If neither necrosis nor severe edema is to result, the tissue environment must be continually bathed in the fluid circulations of blood and lymph, ruling out the accumulation of free toxins. Where there are restrictions, such as adhesions between fascial planes, they must be of a more macroscopic nature, still allowing for the microscopic flow of circulation, just as water can flow through cheesecloth.Based on the above considerations, I can only conclude that the flushing of toxins is yet another persistent myth. However, this does not imply that massage is powerless to benefit the body. While massage does not appear to directly increase overall blood flow [4], it can be used to relax muscle hypertonicity. Lowering the level of muscle activity will locally reduce the need for energy and oxygen and the rate of production of metabolic wastes. It will also reduce the muscular pressure on surrounding tissues, effectively improving circulation and recovery from use. This, however, is not massage moving out toxins, but massage facilitating a better homeostasis. It is just this improvement in homeostasis by which, I believe, massage facilitates recovery from exercise and allows a higher level of training to occur.In cases of excess lymphatic fluid production (overloading a normally functioning lymphatic system), or partial lymphatic system compromise, lymphatic drainage massage may be helpful in promoting the process of lymphatic filtering. The key sign here is the existence of edema. Normally, local muscle contractions promote sufficient lymph drainage. A notable exception exists with breast tissue. Since there is no contractile tissue within the breast to assist lymphatic drainage, overall tissue movement becomes important [3, pg. 101].There remains a consideration that some clients respond to a massage with reactions of flu-like aches and malaise. Such symptoms have often been attributed to the toxins released. Dispelling with the concept of toxins means that we must seek other explanations for such post-massage malaise. Chaitow notes that fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are the distant end of spectrums of dysfunction that can include aches, malaise, and flu-like symptoms [1, pg. 6]. He believes that a great many people are somewhere on those spectrums. Some of the models of dysfunction that Chaitow presents include a sort of systemic allergic reaction characterized by a great deal of pain, either muscular and/or joint-related [1, pg. 33]. Chaitow also notes the hypothesis that the inability to produce an adequate cortisol response to a stress can result in symptoms: “Deficiency in cortisol is characterised by fatigue, weakness, muscle and joint pain, bowel symptoms, nausea, increased allergic reactions, mood disturbance” [1, pg. 68]. I tend to think of a body’s neurochemical system on the edge of its ability to adapt being pushed temporarily beyond the edge by accommodating to the work being done. This reaction may be exacerbated by effects of athletic overtraining or by a genetic metabolic predisposition [5,6].

“When people are very ill, as in FMS/CFS, where adaptive functions have been stretched to their limits, ANY treatment (however gentle) represents and additional demand for adaptation (i.e. it is yet another stressor). It is therefore essential that treatments and therapeutic interventions are carefully selected and modulated to the patient’s current ability to respond, as best as this can be judged. – Leon Chaitow [1, pg. 240]”

To explain the effects of massage, think not of flushing out toxins, but flushing out tensions – not just in the sense of emotional holding, but in the basic sense of muscles “idling” with the throttle open. As with good mechanics, we’re simply readjusting the throttle to a reasonable idle rate. Underlying this way of looking at things, however, is a fundamental shift in orientation from mechanically moving something that accumulates to changing a dynamic balance within the living human body. It is, I believe, an important shift away from mythology and toward better understanding of our work.


  1. Chaitow, Leon, 2000: Fibromyalgia Syndrome — A Practitioner’s Guide to Treatment, Churchill Livingstone, ISBN 0-443-06227-7.
  2. Chikly, Bruno, 2001: Silent Waves – Theory and Practice of Lymph Drainage Therapy. I.H.H. Publishing, Scottsdale, AZ, ISBN 0-970-05305-3.
  3. Curties, Debra, 1999: Breast Massage. Curties-Overzet Publications, ISBN 0-968-52561-X, (www.sutherland-chan.com/copi/breast.htm).
  4. Shoemaker, JK, PM Tiidus, and R.Mader, 1997: Failure of manual massage to alter limb blood flow: measures by Doppler ultrasound. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 29(5), 610-614.
  5. Tarnopolsky, Mark A., 2002: Metabolic myopathies and physical activity. The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 30 (6), (www.physsportsmed.com/issues/2002/06_02/tarno.htm).
  6. Uusitalo, Arja L.T., 2001: Overtraining – making a difficult diagnosis and implementing targeted treatment. The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 29 (5), (www.physsportsmed.com/issues/2001/05_01/uusitalo.htm).
  7. Walsh, William J., 1996: Metal-Metabolism and Human Functioning. Pfeiffer Treatment Center, (www.hriptc.org/metal_metabolism.html).
  8. World Bank Group, 2001: What Are Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)? (http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/ESSD/essdext.nsf/50ByDocName/WhatArePOPs).

Does Massage Release Toxins that Must Be Flushed out with Lots of Water?

Benefits of Sports Massage & Recovery Time




Sometimes a “truth” is not what it seems. Take lactic acid. For years, many massage therapists have been taught that lactic acid can and should be flushed from the muscles of athletes after intense activity. This truism has been passed on to clients who have also accepted it as fact. Both therapist and client thus have established and perpetuated a mutual belief system that purging of lactic acid is not only necessary, but also efficiently accomplished with the assistance of massage. Some beliefs die hard. This one and others related to lactic acid have been holding their own, not only in some massage schools and practices, but also in the community at large, despite emerging research to the contrary. Pass the word. There’s no need to mess with Mother Nature.

Lactate accumulated from intense exercise actually fuels the body, according to Dr. Owen Anderson, exercise physiologist and editor of Running Research News. In a recent interview from his office in Michigan, Anderson explained the facts.

Lactic acid levels will return to homeostasis quickly post-exercise without any “hands-on” assistance. “Muscles don’t need help from massage in removing lactate,” said Anderson. “Massage will probably have the biggest effect on venous blood,” and by the time massage is administered, lactate has already left the muscle. This is not to say massage isn’t beneficial to the athlete. “Massage is good for relaxing,” said Anderson, “and provides help increasing flexibility of muscles.”

Whitney Lowe, owner and director of Orthopedic Massage Education and Research Institute and author of Functional Assessment in Massage Therapy concurs with Anderson’s statements.

“Lactic acid is a natural by-product of any muscular activity. There are elevated levels of lactic acid in muscle tissues after exercise, but that is going to subside either with time or with any type of movement activity, even just walking around the room.”

In addition, lactic acid does not cause muscle soreness, fatigue or the “burn” of intensive exercise, noted Anderson. His comments and those of Lowe are backed by valid scientific research. Several studies conducted in the 1980s by exercise physiologist Dr. George A. Brooks ushered in a new perspective on this supposed “demon.” Brooks noted that lactic acid is a key substance for providing energy, disposing dietary carbohydrate, producing blood glucose and liver glycogen and promoting survival in stress situations.1

Nature’s Magic Tricks
Just as the body’s intelligence keeps our hearts pumping and our intestines digesting without any intervention on our part, in like manner it maintains the chemical process of glycolysis to provide energy on a 24-hour basis. In Anderson’s book, Lactate Lift-off, he writes, “Glycolysis is actually a series of 10 different chemical reactions…that break down glucose, the simple six-carbon sugar which is your body’s most important source of carbohydrate fuel, into something called pyruvic acid.”2 From pyruvic acid, with the help of the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase, we get lactic acid. But it’s not quite that simple.

The process of glycolysis converts each glucose molecule into two pyruvic acid molecules, releasing energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). From there, pyruvic acid enters the mitochondria, where more ATP is produced through the Krebs cycle.3 “In addition to ‘handling’ the pyruvic acid produced from glucose,” states Anderson, “the Krebs cycle also metabolizes fats, over all, it furnishes more than 90 percent of the energy you need to exercise in a sustained manner.”4

As exercise intensity increases, glycolysis speeds up and pyruvic acid is produced at an increasing rate. When it can no longer be processed through the Krebs cycle as quickly as it is generated, some of the pyruvic acid is converted to lactic acid, which rapidly dissociates into a lactate anion and a free hydrogen ion (H+). Lactate can then be quickly transported from the muscle into the blood, where it is circulated throughout the body. If an excessive amount of pyruvic acid were allowed to build up, glycolysis would come to a halt, thus blocking energy production. The conversion to lactic acid allows the body to continue its exertion of energy. Once the lactate enters other tissues, it can be converted to pyruvate, which is processed by the Krebs cycle into ATP for even more energy. Lactate can also be converted by the liver and other tissues into glucose, boosting depleted stores of glycogen needed for future activity.5,6,7

Although the focus here is to examine excessive lactic acid accumulation during intensive activity, it’s important to clarify that lactic acid production is a normal and continuous part of the body’s energy cycle. According to Anderson, lactate is produced even at rest and “…its concentrations can rise rather dramatically whenever you take in a carbohydrate-containing meal.” Lactate plays an important role in processing carbohydrate and facilitating its availability to the liver and muscles.8

Lactic acid reaches excessive levels when the body can no longer clear it as quickly as it is being produced. “When you begin a moderate to difficult workout,” states Anderson, “lactate levels in your blood initially rise, simply because glycolysis is working away to provide quite a bit of the energy you require.” At this point, there is minimal blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. This limits the breakdown of pyruvate in the Krebs cycle and increases its conversion to lactate. With continued activity, heart rate increases and oxygen becomes more readily available to the muscle cells, allowing pyruvate and lactate to be oxidized for energy. The entry and exit rates of lactate then become stabilized and will remain so even with gradually intensified activity.9

“However,” states Anderson, “once you get up to a point (actually a speed) at which glycolysis is tearing along so fast that your leg muscles have problems converting most of the pyruvate and lactate being formed to carbon dioxide and water, the lactate-spilling process may accelerate so much that lactate levels in the blood may really begin to lift off.” This can be a result of oxygen debt inside the muscle cell, inadequate concentrations of enzymes necessary for oxidation at high rates or a lack of sufficient cell-mitochondria, where the Krebs cycle takes place. The point at which this occurs is referred to as the lactate threshold (LT). According to Anderson, the LT is simply an indicator of how effectively your tissues utilize lactate as an energy source. For athletes, a high LT means increased endurance – the longer the athlete can perform before reaching this point, the longer lactate production and extraction is kept in balance and energy is maintained.10

At the completion of exercise, lactate levels will return to normal within 30-60 minutes, being quickly converted back to pyruvate or glucose.11 Research supports the claim that active recovery (light exercise) is the most effective approach to speed up this process,12,13 and that massage is no more effective than passive rest.14 This does not discount other potential benefits of massage in sports recovery. A study by Monedero and Donne showed while active recovery proved best in removing lactic acid, a combined approach (active recovery and massage) did increase recovery rate during short intervals between maximal efforts and was most efficient for maintaining maximal performance time in subsequent performance. Recovery rate was determined by blood lactate levels and heart rate during recovery, and performance times in tests of maximal efforts.15

For post-exercise recovery, Anderson recommends a cool-down of about 10 minutes or running a few miles followed by stretching and strengthening exercises, nutrition (carbohydrates) to restock energy and a good night’s sleep. Improving the body’s ability to break down pyruvate, use oxygen and extract lactate from the muscle during activity will raise the LT and increase an athlete’s endurance. This can be accomplished with proper training, such as methods recommended in Lactate Lift-off.16 An effective training approach can increase the supply of mitochondria, enzymes and capillaries needed to enhance the body’s ability to rapidly use lactate as an energy source.17

Soreness, Fatigue and the ‘Burn’
Is lactic acid to blame? “There has been a strong suggestion,” said Lowe, “that delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurring 12-24 hours after exercise is caused by excess levels of lactic acid, but the onset of soreness does not at all coincide with the levels of lactic acid. This is still a very rampant misconception.”

Anderson indicates there are two likely causes of muscle soreness: tears in the muscle associated with the stress of exercise and free radical attack on the muscle membranes. According to physician Dr. Gabe Mirkin,”Next-day muscle soreness is caused by damage to the muscle fibers themselves. Muscle biopsies taken on the day after exercising show bleeding and disruption of the z-band filaments that hold the fibers together as they slide over each other during a contraction.” Mirkin suggests ceasing exercise when muscles start to burn and hurt as this is likely an indication that DOMS will occur.18

The free hydrogen ions produced in dissociation of lactic acid can present a problem. Biscarbonate buffers H+ to maintain homeostasis in pH, but an increase of H+ during intensive exercise can overwhelm the buffering system, resulting in acidity (low pH) of muscle and blood. If the pH goes below 7.00, the athlete may experience nausea, headache, dizziness and pain in the muscles. But with cessation of exercise the pH, like lactate, returns to normal.19 “The muscle will slow down if there is a great enough lowering of pH,” said Anderson, “and this may cause fatigue.” He noted there can be a lowering of pH in muscles even while sedentary. “We don’t know if it can cause burn,” he added, “but burn is the nervous system’s way of telling you you’re exercising at too high intensity and you need to cut back. There is nothing wrong. It’s just a message.”

Heavy legs or fatigue can occur in an all-out sprint, said Anderson, but if it occurs at the 20-mile point in a marathon, it’s a sign the muscles are running out of energy. To combat these problems, Anderson emphasizes the importance of training. “If you are really strong,” he said, “you have less stress and damage.”

So What About Massage?
Although the effectiveness of massage to flush out lactic acid after exercise has been disproven, there are benefits to validate its use in sports. “In my own experience,” said Keith Grant, head of Sports and Deep Tissue Massage Department at McKinnon Institute, “I’ve seen that massage is effective. How our body reacts to things depends on both the state our body is in (state of memory), as well as the input.” Grant combines his knowledge as a scientist with personal experience as a massage instructor and runner to support his conclusions.

Pointing to a study by Tiitus and Shoemaker (1995) in which effleurage did not increase local blood flow, Grant said, “This is a mechanistic way of looking at what’s going on.” The difficulty, he noted, in interpreting research results comes from looking for direct, mechanical effects. “Clinically, we see a different story,” he said. “Through our techniques we work with the nervous system to relax muscles, but that’s not a direct mechanical effect. “I believe the effects of massage also involve the neurological and emotional. My reason for that is the neurological side controls the current (base) state of the muscle activation. The emotional controls the chemical messengers that affect the immune system. What seems likely is massage acts as a new input to a system with a memory. Massage stimulates the mechanoreceptors and can gate off pain receptors. It floods the body with new sensory input. We are using the nervous system to reset the muscle to greater relaxation.

“In my observation, fatigued muscles tend to remain hypertonic and shortened. When we cajole specific muscles to relax and lengthen via mechanical and neurological input, we reduce their metabolic activity. When the muscle relaxes, it’s not using energy as much, not metabolizing as fast, not producing waste products and because it’s more relaxed, it’s not compressed and not exerting pressure on surrounding tissues. This means circulation is better. It’s not because we’re pushing fluid around. It’s because we’ve put the body in a more optimum state, so the body naturally increases circulation on it’s own. By massaging muscles and adding input to the nervous system, we are facilitating the body in recovering faster from exercise. It’s not the massage that’s doing the healing, it’s the person’s body.”

In a British study of boxers, massage was reported to have a significantly positive effect on perception of recovery, giving scientific credence of its benefits as a recovery strategy. According to the authors, their results support arguments by some researchers that “the benefits of massage (in sports recovery) are more psychological than physiological.”20 Grant takes that a step farther. “As a trained scientist, I use what I observe and what I know about physiology to come with a hypothesis. From my own experience in running, when you exert to the point of substantial fatigue, you come back feeling more fragile, in an emotionally vulnerable spot. To have the sense that someone is nurturing, in a sense taking care of you, is a very psychologically emotional thing. In supporting the person, we improve their immune function and their ability to heal, by influencing the chemical environment of their body. It has to do with psychoneuroimmunology, the whole chemical homeostasis of their body — neurochemicals and the relationship between mood, or feelings, and the immune system.

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, October/November 2001.
Copyright 2003. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.

“There is some evidence that following heavy exercise, both L-glutamine (an amino acid manufactured by the body) and the immune system take a dip. I look at the healing effect of massage as, in some way, counteracting that dip. When you provide support it has a positive effect on immune function. If the person doesn’t feel supported and nurtured, it will have a negative effect on the chemical environment, opening them more to catching colds, not healing as fast and decreasing their ability to train. It ties into the whole emotional state of a person. The athlete has to stay healthy in order to continue training. With massage, they can train harder because they are able to recover faster.”

Facts vs. Myths
Remember the old theory about the earth being flat? The more we learn, the more we realize how much we don’t know. That’s why research in massage is so important. “These concepts and ideas are firmly entrenched in our early training, and in the medical profession, said Lowe. “Things that have been disproved continue to persist. It takes a long time to trickle down. If we say there is no research that supports massage works for inflammation, there may not be research – or it may not be true. We don’t really know yet and we need to investigate that further. This lactic acid concept illustrates the perpetuation of misinformation that can happen if we don’t have the research base. When we are looking for credibility with others in health care, they want to know on what we base our opinions. A lot is passed along on hearsay, not on scientific information. What we need to keep our eyes on is how to reduce that as much as possible so we do have accurate information.”


What is a Trigger Point?

Trigger points, also known as trigger sites or muscle knots, are described as hyperirritable spots inskeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers.[1]

The trigger point model states that unexplained pain frequently radiates from these points of local tenderness to broader areas, sometimes distant from the trigger point itself. Practitioners claim to have identified reliable referred pain patterns which associate pain in one location with trigger points elsewhere. There is variation in the methodology for diagnosis of trigger points and a dearth of theory to explain how they arise and why they produce specific patterns of referred pain.[2]

Compression of a trigger point may elicit local tenderness, referred pain, or local twitch response. The local twitch response is not the same as a muscle spasm. This is because a muscle spasm refers to the entire muscle contracting whereas the local twitch response also refers to the entire muscle but only involves a small twitch, no contraction.

Among MDs, many specialists are well versed in trigger point diagnosis and therapy. These includephysiatrists (physicians specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation), family medicine, and orthopedics. Osteopathic as well as chiropractic schools also include trigger points in their training.[3]Other health professionals, such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, massage therapists and structural integrators are also aware of these ideas and many of them make use of trigger points in their clinical work as well.

Please visit this link for more information.

From Wikipedia


Trigger Points





What is Neuromuscular therapy (NMT)

Neromuscular massage is a form of soft tissue manual therapy. It is distinguished from other types of massage in that a quasi-static pressure is applied to the skin with the aim of stimulating specific areas of skeletal muscle. Often these areas of muscle are myofascial trigger points. NMT is a comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation techniques that balance the central nervous system (brain, spinal column and nerves) with the structure and form of the musculoskeletal system. NMT is based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system maintains homeostatic balance.

The application of NMT is dependent on several key factors:

This kind of bodywork gets the job done but can be very uncomfortable!

What is Neuromuscular Therapy?




Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) is a precise, thorough examination and treatment of the body’s soft tissues using regionally oriented protocols that are taught in a step-by-step process. These time-tested, hands-on techniques are built upon a science-based foundation and guided by clinical evidence. NMT can integrate well into any practice setting and is frequently included in mainstream medicine, integrative medicine, chiropractic care, and multidisciplinary clinics worldwide.

In addition, NMT considers perpetuating factors that may be associated with the client’s complaints. For example, when a client presents with shoulder pain, the upper extremity protocol will be used as the primary examination. In addition to the muscles directly crossing the shoulder joint, muscles that attach the shoulder girdle to the torso would be included along with steps to help insure mobility of the scapula. Dysfunctions within the arm, forearm and hand often produce compensation patterns in shoulder movement, so examination of those regions should be included. Since innervation to the shoulder exits the spine at the cervical region, mobility and muscles of the neck will be considered; compression or entrapment of the nerves serving the shoulder should be ruled out.

Perpetuating factors can also include shoulder joint pathologies, postural positioning, habits of use, nutritional components, emotional wellbeing, allergies, neuroexcitants, neurotoxins, and other core elements that can masquerade as myofascial pain and dysfunction. Due to the diverse nature of perpetuating factors, astute NMT practitioners build a broad network of healthcare providers for referral of those clients whose symptoms suggest “red flag” warnings or underlying pathologies.

Most factors that cause pain and dysfunction can be easily grouped under three general headings of biomechanical, biochemical, and psychosocial factors, with the interface between these being profoundly related. Most practitioners apply strategies from only one of these categories, often resulting in improvement that plateaus before full recovery. However, a synergistic effect – often with significant relief – is obtained when all three categories are addressed.  This may required a multidisciplinary approach.

NMT assessments and examinations primarily address

  • ischemia (tight tissue with reduced blood flow)
  • myofascial trigger points (hypersensitive points within muscles that give rise to referred phenomena, including pain)
  • neural entrapment (pressure on nerves by muscles and other soft tissues), andnerve compression (pressure on nerves by osseous and other bonelike tissues, such as cartilage or  discs).
  • postural assessment (assessment of the position of the body as a whole)
  • and dysfunctional gait patterns (manner of movement when walking)
  • with constant consideration for many other perpetuating factors, such as hydration, nutrition, breathing patterns, and psychologic stress.

NMT is highly effective for clients who present with chronic pain and is often successful in reducing or eliminating even longstanding painful conditions. Some of the techniques can also be applied to acute injuries and for post-surgical care; many help to improve performance in sport or dance and to prevent injuries due to these activities.

Neuromuscular Re-education Massage

The American Medical Association defines neuromuscular reeducation as the use of therapeutic techniques for the purpose of improving impaired movement, balance, coordination, decreased kinesthetic sense, and impaired proprioception. Although neuromuscular reeducation therapy includes several modalities, the procedures used at Strictly Therapeutic involve proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) and muscle energy techniques (MET).

PNF reprograms the nervous system by: 1) stimulating proprioceptors, which are the receptors in the joint that communicate information about body position to the brain by way of the motor nervous system via sensory nerves, and 2) employing a series of diagonal contract-relax stretching patterns to assist increase of movement. Often clients with pain can be unaware of the postural adaptation their body makes to enable them to continue with their activities. For example unconsciously holding one shoulder higher than the other over time can introduce neck pain. By stretching groups of muscles in a variety of diagonal movement patterns and by making use of light resistance at various points in the range of motion, PNF can help promote a new awareness of unconscious holding patterns and weaknesses, as well as assisting the client toward improving their strength and flexibility.

MET is a method of active resistance performed by the client against a gentle force applied by the therapist. The theory behind this treatment is that the voluntary action by the client to contract muscles against resistance requires higher brain function. Restoring normal muscle function by way of higher brain function empowers the client and can dramatically change chronic pain patterns. In addition, the client is a participating member in the process and therefore is no longer a passive recipient of therapy. MET has been known to stimulate the synthesis of new cells to repair injured tissue, help realign and strengthen connective tissue fibers, lengthen shortened tissue, increase the range of motion of the joints, and balance the strength of muscles crossing the joints to help evenly distribute the pressures moving through the joints.

How Does Neuromuscular Reeducation (NMR) Work?

Any part of the body can get injured such as muscle, fascia, connective tissue, tendon etc. When there is any injury to the tissues, the body deals with it by swelling in that particular tissue. After this, fibrous healing occurs where the scar tissue builds up rapidly in order to protect the injured regions. These adhesions of the scar tissue may persist or remain in the tissues for many years after the actual injury and this hinders the muscle strength as well as its range of motion resulting in impaired movements and pain. Here is where NMR comes in by benefiting in various aches and pains including back, neck and joint pain, stiff joints and any regions which have limited motion like old injuries and sports injuries which have not completely recovered. NMR does not comprise of a pain free or relaxing massage. Very firm pressure is used in this deep manual therapy or massage in order to reach the adhesions and scar tissue in the muscle fibres and break them down. Slow and controlled strokes are used. Patients may feel tenderness and pain after this treatment, but it should be tolerable and not to the extent that it becomes very painful or unbearable. If it does become very painful, then patient should tell the therapist to use less pressure during the treatment. The Neuromuscular Reeducation technique concentrates on detecting and breaking up the cross-fiber adhesions in the injured soft tissues. A skilled chiropractor feels for the location and direction of the adhesions and starts to manipulate and massage the soft tissues so that they are restored to their normal tension, texture and length.

Benefits of Neuromuscular Reeducation (NMR)?

The Aim Of Neuromuscular Reeducation Technique Is:

  • Breaking down the soft tissue adhesions, restrictions.
  • Releasing the entrapped nerves.
  • Restoring the flexibility, strength and function of the muscles and tendons.
  • Restoring normal texture, tension and movement of the tissue.

Post Treatment Care for Neuromuscular Reeducation (NMR)

Many patients have remarkable improvement in their degree of pain and range of motion immediately post treatment. The regions where treatment was done will feel tender for a day or two and then the tenderness subsides along with increase in mobility and strength. Patient should take care to maintain a balance of activity and rest. After the treatment, patient should make the best of his enhanced strength, reduced pain and improved range of motion in order to get the brain and body used to the enhanced function, as getting rid of adhesions is only a part of the treatment, but with pain and limited range of motion, a patient gets used to the limited mobility and continues to move in a limited fashion even after the injury has resolved. So, in order to completely heal an injured area, patient has to re-train himself/herself to actively and consciously (or unconsciously) move the injured region through its full range of motion, otherwise, the limited and inappropriate movements will cause re-injury to the tissues.


Understanding Deep Tissue and Swedish Massage Benefits in Santa Barbara, Goleta, CA

Deep Tissue Massage targets the deep tissue structure of the fascia and muscles, referred to as connective tissue. Of the many types of massage, deep tissue focuses on the release of muscle tension and chronic knots (aka adhesions).

Deep tissue massage can break up and eliminate scar tissue from previous injuries. A common problem is that stressed muscles can block nutrients and oxygen from getting to where they need to go, and this will cause inflammation that allows toxins to build up in your muscle tissue. The inflammation and toxins contribute to pain and stress. Deep Tissue Massage breaks up and releases the built-up toxins by loosening the muscles. With the toxins released, blood and oxygen can circulate as they should through one’s body. Being properly hydrated before you go to your massage appointment and drinking plenty of water after one of these massages is highly recommended.

The strokes used in Deep Tissue Massage are similar to those used in a Swedish Massage except more pressure is used and it uses cross grain strokes (strokes that go across the gain of the muscles instead of with the grain). As with a classic Swedish massage, you will be lying on a massage table and partially covered with a sheet or towel.

During Swedish massage, usually the therapist will only use their hand and forearm, however with a Deep Tissue Massage, elbows, fingers, and ceramic, wooden, or glass tools may be used for optimal penetration of the muscle. The speed of the strokes will be slower than a classic massage as well, which means they are longer in duration (about an hour and a half, depending on the therapist and how much you pay). If you tell the therapist where your trouble spots are (everyone has one or two) before the massage starts, during the massage the therapist will apply pressure and hold it for a few minutes before moving on, for extra relief.

Many massage therapists have some basic deep tissue training, so they can do some of the techniques during a classic massage. However, for a good Deep Tissue Massage you should find a massage therapist that specializes in deep tissue massaging. There may be some soreness after a deep tissue massage; however, the soreness should go away within a day or two. The massage should not hurt but will be a little more uncomfortable than a classic massage. If you feel the pressure is too hard, tell the masseur. Do not act tough if the massage causes severe pain or the pressure is too hard, as it may do more damage than restoration.

A good way to recover from a Deep Tissue Massage is by soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salt. This soaking is recommended because it will help get more of the toxins out of your body (Epsom salt draws the toxins out into the water). Your muscles need some rest after one of these massages, even if you feel no soreness. So do not plan any activities within a day of a Deep Tissue Massage.

Some people think that if you just push hard enough, a knot could be worked out in one session, but this is not the case. For built-up tension and chronic knots (adhesions) deep tissue massage is just one part of the treatment. If you do not exercise, correct your posture, and/or employ relaxation techniques along with Deep Tissue Massage you may not get the full benefits from your massage.

One of the most important things to remember to do when getting a Deep Tissue Massage is to breathe deeply during the session and while relaxing afterwards. Oxygenating the muscles will help the massage do its work and ease discomfort.

If you can’t afford a deep tissue massage, you might consider some self massage options.

Get into the ZONE…the PARASYMPATHETIC Zone

My style of Deep Tissue Massage releases the body’s natural painkillers whereby it stimulates the release of endorphins, the morphine-like substances that the body manufactures into the brain andnervous system. Once that happens (your now in a parasympathetic state  (“rest and digest”) I then go to work on your sore or injured areas to break up the damaged fibrous adhesion’s which are spread randomly though out a muscle’s tissue thus increasing blood flow, oxygen, strength, flexibility and tissue re-building. I use a variety of modalities to accomplish this: Swedish: This is your basic massage modality which incorporates long gentle strokes to increase blood flow to and from the muscles. Myofascial Release: This technique involves slower and deeper pressure into the muscle tissue to assist in breaking up adhesions and scar tissue in the muscle. Neuromuscular Release,NMT, Neuromuscular Re-Education, Body Pattern Synchronization (Call it what you want…everybody gives it their own name but we are all trying to do the same thing): This technique is “point-specific” work which targets muscle adhesion’s, muscle spindles in the belly of the muscle, trigger points that restrict normal flow of the nervous system to the muscles. Once the adhesion’s are broken up the client usually experiences an increase in range of motion, strength, and speed. ActiveRangeof Motion: This technique is a stretching modality which takes the client through his or her normal range of motion to assist motor control and aids in the reduction of scar tissue and muscle adhesions.Active Isolated Stretching: This technique involves stretching which incorporates a process calledreciprocal inhibition  (RI) to stretch the muscle as well as increase kinesthetic awareness of the body.

The key to “My STYLE” is an aggressive approach combined with sustained pressure ( increasing Ischemic blood supply) over time and a spiritual component.

(This diagram link explains this process)

What does Riktr mean?

Derived from “Off the Richter Scale” meaning that something is excellent, very good, over the top, on the edge, awesome, fantastic or amazing.

Nice Quotes:

The strongest of all warriors are these two: Time and Patience.– Leo Tolstoi Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.- Napolean Hill If only we arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. – Rilke (Rilke on love an other difficulties-translations and considerations of Rainer Maria Rilke by John J. L. Mood) I tell you that I have a long way to go before I am –where one begins… – Rilke Resolve to be always beginning—to be a beginner. -Rilke ” The harder you work, the luckier you get.” – Gary Player, golfer “Nothing happens until something moves.” Albert Einstein As Dr. Rolf said, “Put the tissue where it should be and then ask for movement.” Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion. – Buddha Once you label me you negate me.  -Søren Kierkegaard I must find a truth that is true for me. Søren Kierkegaard   Click here for: other nice quotes

FYI: Where does Riktr’s healing energy come from: These pictures say it all.

God’s Universal Energy or Chi, Ki, Ka, Xi, Netter, Ihund, Life Force, Prana, Holy Spirit, Ruhuh, Biomagnetic Energy or Innate Intelligence starts here. Click these links for more on Universal Energy.

The Earth is part of  universal energy.

Check out this video called “Healing the Hearts of Humanity”   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aKcvgTvIMQ&feature=related

The earth captures Universal magnetic energy in many different ways and stores it.

Check out this video called “The Awakening of The Cosmic Heart (The Core Rainbow)”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es-YbHlBKtU&NR=1

Magnetic universal energy is stored in the earth’s core and then is released.

The earth unleashes it’s energy in different ways.

Keeping your third eye open lets all the magnetic energy flow in and out of your body.

Human beings collect, store and release the magnetic energy.

Human beings collect, store and release magnetic energy some more than others.


Check out these links for Healing Sounds!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URFnBeW423E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73J05gjmMgwhttp://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=HEALING+SOUNDS&aq=f


M—Message of caring A—Aesthetics for the body S—Sacred touch S—Soothing of tension A—Anthology for the body G—General healing E—Energy balanced Massage Is a … Healing time for regeneration. Special time for individuation. Quiet time for imagination. Restful time for gratification. Sacred time for reflection. Sensational time with an exclamation!

Hip Massage, Leg Massage, Massage for Tight IT Band, Tight Hip Flexors, Tight Adductors, Tight Illiacus, Tight Psosas and Piriformis, Tight Pectineus, Tight Calfs, Tight Gastrocnemius, Tight Hamstrings, Tight Achilles, Foot Rubs, Reflexology, Elbow Massages


LA Times Articles About Health, Massage, Fitness and Diet

Is organic food worth the higher price? Many experts say no.


USDA crtes new government certification for GMO-free


A look at why stress may be good for you


What is Rheumatoid Arthritis ? Massage for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sports Body Flush,Therapeutic Pain Relief


What is rheumatoid arthritis ?

rheu·ma·toid ar·thri·tis
noun: rheumatoid arthritis
  1. a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles.

    What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system – which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses – mistakenly attacks the joints. This creates inflammation that causes the tissue that lines the inside of joints (the synovium) to thicken, resulting in swelling and pain in and around the joints. The synovium makes a fluid that lubricates joints and helps them move smoothly.

    If inflammation goes unchecked, it can damage cartilage, the elastic tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint, as well as the bones themselves. Over time, there is loss of cartilage, and the joint spacing between bones can become smaller. Joints can become loose, unstable, painful and lose their mobility. Joint deformity also can occur. Joint damage cannot be reversed, and because it can occur early, doctors recommend early diagnosis and aggressive treatment to control RA.

    Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. The joint effect is usually symmetrical. That means if one knee or hand if affected, usually the other one is, too. Because RA also can affect body systems, such as the cardiovascular or respiratory systems, it is called a systemic disease. Systemic means “entire body.”

    Who’s Affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    About 1.5 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Nearly three times as many women have the disease as men. In women, RA most commonly begins between ages 30 and 60. In men, it often occurs later in life. Having a family member with RA increases the odds of having RA; however, the majority of people with RA have no family history of the disease.

What is EMDR?

Thanks to:      http://www.emdr.com/general-information/what-is-emdr/what-is-emdr.html


For Clinicians:


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b). Shapiro’s (2001) Adaptive Information Processing model posits that EMDR facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and other adverse life experience to bring these to an adaptive resolution. After successful treatment with EMDR, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced. During EMDR therapy the client attends to emotionally disturbing material in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Therapist directed lateral eye movements are the most commonly used external stimulus but a variety of other stimuli including hand-tapping and audio stimulation are often used (Shapiro, 1991). Shapiro (1995, 2001) hypothesizes that EMDR facilitates the accessing of the traumatic memory network, so that information processing is enhanced, with new associations forged between the traumatic memory and more adaptive memories or information. These new associations are thought to result in complete information processing, new learning, elimination of emotional distress, and development of cognitive insights. EMDR therapy uses a three pronged protocol: (1) the past events that have laid the groundwork for dysfunction are processed, forging new associative links with adaptive information; (2) the current circumstances that elicit distress are targeted, and internal and external triggers are desensitized; (3) imaginal templates of future events are incorporated, to assist the client in acquiring the skills needed for adaptive functioning.

For Laypeople:

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

Twenty positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR.  Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions.  Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions. There has been so much research on EMDR that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy.  Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.

EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment.  Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session.  After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, he asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision.  As this happens, for reasons believed by a Harvard researcher to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level.  For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust to holding the firm belief that, “I survived it and I am strong.”  Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes.  The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them.  Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed. As a natural outcome of the EMDR therapeutic process, the clients’ thoughts, feelings and behavior are all robust indicators of emotional health and resolution—all without speaking in detail or doing homework used in other therapies.

Treatment Description:

EMDR therapy combines different elements to maximize treatment effects.  A full description of the theory, sequence of treatment, and research on protocols and active mechanisms can be found in F. Shapiro (2001) Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing:  Basic principles, protocols and procedures (2nd edition) New York: Guilford Press.

EMDR involves attention to three time periods:  the past, present, and future.  Focus is given to past disturbing memories and related events.  Also, it is given to current situations that cause distress, and to developing the skills and attitudes needed for positive future actions.  With EMDR therapy, these items are addressed using an eight-phase treatment approach.


Phase 1:  The first phase is a history-taking session(s).  The therapist assesses the client’s readiness and develops a treatment plan.  Client and therapist identify possible targets for EMDR processing.  These include distressing memories and current situations that cause emotional distress.  Other targets may include related incidents in the past.  Emphasis is placed on the development of specific skills and behaviors that will be needed by the client in future situations.

Initial EMDR processing may be directed to childhood events rather than to adult onset stressors or the identified critical incident if the client had a problematic childhood.  Clients generally gain insight on their situations, the emotional distress resolves and they start to change their behaviors.  The length of treatment depends upon the number of traumas and the age of PTSD onset.  Generally, those with single event adult onset trauma can be successfully treated in under 5 hours.  Multiple trauma victims may require a longer treatment time.

Phase 2:  During the second phase of treatment, the therapist ensures that the client has several different ways of handling emotional distress.  The therapist may teach the client a variety of imagery and stress reduction techniques the client can use during and between sessions. A goal of EMDR is to produce rapid and effective change while the client maintains equilibrium during and between sessions.

Phases 3-6:  In phases three to six, a target is identified and processed using EMDR procedures.  These involve the client identifying three things:
1.  The vivid visual image related to the memory
2.  A negative belief about self
3.  Related emotions and body sensations.

In addition, the client identifies a positive belief.  The therapist helps the client rate the positive belief as well as the intensity of the negative emotions.  After this, the client is instructed to focus on the image, negative thought, and body sensations while simultaneously engaging in EMDR processing using sets of bilateral stimulation.  These sets may include eye movements, taps, or tones.  The type and length of these sets is different for each client.  At this point, the EMDR client is instructed to just notice whatever spontaneouly happens.

After each set of stimulation, the clinician instructs the client to let his/her mind go blank and to notice whatever thought, feeling, image, memory, or sensation comes to mind.  Depending upon the client’s report, the clinician will choose the next focus of attention.  These repeated sets with directed focused attention occur numerous times throughout the session.  If the client becomes distressed or has difficulty in progressing, the therapist follows established procedures to help the client get back on track.

When the client reports no distress related to the targeted memory, (s)he is asked to think of the preferred positive belief that was identified at the beginning of the session.  At this time, the client may adjust the positive belief if necessary, and then focus on it during the next set of distressing events.

Phase 7:  In phase seven, closure, the therapist asks the client to keep a log during the week.  The log should document any related material that may arise.  It serves to remind the client of the self-calming activities that were mastered in phase two.

Phase 8:  The next session begins with phase eight.  Phase eight consists of examining the progress made thus far.  The EMDR treatment processes all related historical events, current incidents that elicit distress, and future events that will require different responses.




Great article by Lawrence Wilson, MD

Revised © Revised June 2008, The Center For Development


The human nervous system has two major divisions, the voluntary and the autonomic systems.  Thevoluntary system is concerned mainly with movement and sensation.  It consists of motor and sensory nerves, among many others.

The autonomic system mainly controls functions over which we have less conscious control.  These include the digestion of food, the blood pressure and the heart rate.  Its nerves leave the spine and connect to all the major organs and glands, either inhibiting or stimulating their activity.




The autonomic system has two branches.  These are called the sympathetic and the parasympathetic branches.


* The sympathetic branch activates the glands and organs that defend the body against attack. It is called the fight-or-flight system.  Its nerves direct more blood to the muscles and the brain.  The heart rate and blood pressure increase, while it decreases the blood flow to the digestive and eliminative organs.

It also activates the thyroid and adrenal glands to provide extra energy for fighting or running away.  Nervousness, stress or feelings of panic are what one feels when in a sympathetic state of readiness.

        The sympathetic system is catabolic, which means it tears down the body.  Energy is used to prepare for defense, rather than for nourishment or for elimination of wastes.  An excellent analogy is to imagine placing all of the nation’s resources in its military defense.  While helpful in an emergency, if continued too long, the nation becomes much poorer for lack of productive commercial activity. The feeling of an ‘adrenalin rush’ is a product of the sympathetic system.  It may feel good at first, but is always followed by a feeling of fatigue, as this system uses up energy and depletes the body.


*    The parasympathetic system of nerves is concerned with nourishing, healing and regeneration of the body.  It is anabolic, or concerned with rebuilding the body.  Its nerves stimulate digestion, and the immune and eliminative organs.  These organs include the liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines.  The parasympathetic nervous system, when activated by rest, relaxation and happy thoughts, is essential for balanced living and for all healing.  Moving yourself into a healthy parasympathetic state, and staying there as much of the time as possible, helps heal all health conditions, both physical and emotional ones as well.

The feeling often associated with the parasympathetic state can be one of lethargy or fatigue, as you are so relaxed.  Do not, however, believe this is unhealthy.  Rather, it indicates a state of repair and rebuilding in progress.


The sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are antagonistic.  Either one or the other is activated most all of the time.  The sympathetic system, however, always takes precedence, because it is concerned with one’s survival.

To promote balance and healing, the goal is to keep the sympathetic system turned off as much as possible.  This allows the maximum healing to occur.  Simple ways to do this are to rest, relax and think happy thoughts.  As soon as you think fearful or angry thoughts, or become too physically active, the body shifts into a sympathetic stance.

The sympathetic nervous system may be roughly likened to the gas pedal of a car.  The parasympathetic is more like the brake.  Unlike a car, however,  when the ‘brake’ is applied to the body, it begins to heal itself.




Relatively few people today have a strong and balanced autonomic system.  Most people favor the sympathetic branch.  Learning which metabolic type you are can be very helpful for designing diets and nutritional supplementation to balance the body.


       The Balanced Individual.  When the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are working as they should, the tendency is to rest often and easily.  One can, however, perform at “top speed” with equal ease. When challenged by stress, the balanced person is able to respond with vigor and fortitude.

The parasympathetic system reduces the activity of the brain, the muscles, and the adrenal and thyroid glands.  When no situation is pressing, the balanced person can comfortably choose to rest and can sleep deeply.


The Sympathetic Metabolic Type.  Some people’s bodies remain in a more sympathetic state most of the time.  These people tend to be more outgoing, aggressive, belligerent at times, and often sweat more, have higher blood sugar and blood pressure levels and have more frequent bowel movements.  They are more prone to anxiety, irritability and nervousness in general.  They have more active or overactive thyroid and adrenal glands, as these are activated by the sympathetic nervous system.
We can roughly identify the state of the nervous system with a properly performed hair tissue mineral analysis.  The proper testing procedures absolutely requires that the hair must not be washed at the laboratory.  Only two labs in America follow this protocol.

A sympathetic state of the autonomic nervous system correlates most closely with a condition calledfast oxidation  on the hair mineral test.  It is present when the calcium/potassium ratio is less than 4:1 and the sodium/magnesium ratio is greater than 4.17:1.


The Parasympathetic Metabolic Type.  These individuals tend to be more fatigued and prone to depression, low blood sugar, metal toxicity and many other conditions.  Their adrenal and thyroid glands tend to be underactive.
On a properly performed hair mineral analysis this condition is generally associated with slow oxidation.  This occurs when the hair calcium/potassium ratio is greater than about 4:1 and the hair sodium/magnesium ratio is less than 4.17:1.


Mixed Symptom Pictures. It is important to note that one can have fast oxidizer mineral ratios and yet not be what is called a true fast oxidizer.  Often, the fast oxidation is a temporary state, induced by the presence of toxic metals or other stressors.  When these are eliminated, the person’s metabolic type switches to slow oxidation or a parasympathetic state.
Thus, many people show a mixture of sympathetic and parasympathetic characteristics that can present a confusing symptom picture.  The great value of the hair mineral analysis is that it can guide a practitioner in correcting layers of autonomic nervous system imbalances.




       In addition to the sympathetic and parasympathetic body types, many people who are parasympathetic types overuse their sympathetic nervous system.  This is a mental or lifestyle tendency more than anything else.  The sympathetic system is exhausted, but they continue to use it or stimulate it anyway.

As a result, they do not spend enough time in a parasympathetic state to fully rebuild their bodies.  Their bodies eventually become nutritionally depleted and they become quite literally ‘burned out’.

Today, even children are often burned out, in this sense, due to stress, poor diets and nutritional deficiencies they are born with.

Sympathetic dominance is revealed on a hair mineral analysis as a slow oxidation rate, along with a hair potassium level less than about 5 mg%.  A secondary indicator is a sodium/potassium ratio is greater than about 4:1.


Causes of Sympathetic Dominance.  The causes for sympathetic dominance are several.  As stated above, it is mainly a lifestyle pattern.  Some people take on too much work.  Others analyze too much or worry excessively.

Others live in fear, anger or resentment too much of the time.  A person in this condition may also talk, think, eat or work at a rapid pace, faster than the optimum for that person. They become toxic and nutritionally depleted, which makes the condition much worse.


A Vicious Cycle Often Occurs.  A person can become so used to being tired that if, by chance, they get a lot of rest one day, they use up their energy the next day, instead of continuing to rest.  Such people do not allow their bodies to use the energy they accumulated for healing and rebuilding.  As a result, they tend to stay depleted and out of balance.

The early signs of staying in a sympathetic dominant state too much of the time are fatigue or even feelings of exhaustion.  As the condition progresses, one may feel depressed, apathetic or moody.  Other physical symptoms include aches and pains, weakness, disturbed digestion or insomnia.  If this continues, the stage is set for more serious illness.




This is a much less important and less common situation.  It can be of two types, healthy and unhealthy.  Healthy parasympathetic dominance occurs very rarely.  It occurs only in the spiritually developed people.  They live most of their lives in the present moment.  They are almost always relaxed, do not react to stress, and live in a state of peace and contentment.  Their hair mineral analyses would tend to show fairly balanced oxidation rates.


Unhealthy Parasympathetic Dominance.  Today, fearful thinking, electromagnetic pollution, toxic metals and toxic chemicals in the food, air and water disturb the functioning of the autonomic system.

The end stage of sympathetic dominance is that one essentially gives up hope of fighting back at all.  These people are essentially in a state of give-up or hopelessness about their situation or health condition.

The hair analyses of these individuals may reveal a low ratio of sodium to potassium, usually less than 1:1.  They may also slip into another pattern called four low electrolytes.  In this pattern, the hair calcium level is less than 40 mg%, magnesium is less than 6 mg%, sodium is less than 25 mg% and potassium is less than 10 mg%.

The causes of the healthy and unhealthy parasympathetic states are quite opposite. Healthy parasympathetic dominance is due to what may be called spiritual development.  This is the discipline to think and live differently.  One reduces stress and strain on the body by resting and nourishing it so that it can rebuild.  Unhealthy parasympathetic dominance is just a late stage of excessive sympathetic activity due to the vicious cycle spoken of in the section above.

Symptoms of the unhealthy state often include feeling depressed and cynical.  Some are paralyzed by their fear or anger about their situation.  This, coupled with nutritional imbalances, sets the stage for serious illness.




       There is much you can do to keep your autonomic system functioning well.


  • Keep your thoughts and your emotions as uplifted and positive as you possibly can, all of the time.


  • Do your very best to stay in gratitude. This will help keep you in a positive, uplifted state.


  • Practice forgiveness. This places you in a position of power and compassion.  It is much better than allowing yourself to feel like a victim, which  always leads to a fight-or-flight response.


  • Cultivate contentment. This is different from feeling you need to be happy all the time.  Happiness, as most people know it, is often short-lived.  It is often an attempt to overcome feelings of unhappiness.  Contentment is a state in which you are at peace with yourself and the world, even if the world around you is not to your liking.  You can learn to let the world go and choose contentment rather than attempting always to control the world.


  • Do not to compare yourself with others. This causes fear, and often anger and resentment.  The world never seems fair from our limited perspectives.  There is much that is hidden.  If you knew more about others’ lives, you would be less anxious to trade places with them.


  • Train your mind to stay out of negative emotions. These include worry, fear, anger and guilt.  These emotions turn on the sympathetic system and keep it active. Meditation, affirmations, counseling and other natural therapies all can help.  Also, surround yourself only with uplifting books, tapes and other forms of media. Pick your friends and relationships carefully.  Work, school and all your activities either contribute to your contentment or detract from it.


  • Become aware of who and what truly give you energy, versus who and what mainly use up your energy.


  • Rest often.  Nap often, and sleep at least 8 hours or more each night.  The hours before midnight are by far the best for sleeping.  Avoid excessive activity of any kind.  Even exercise is often overdone.  Exercise is a powerful sympathetic stimulant.  Avoid getting exhausted by any activity you engage in.  Be careful when using exercise to “run away” from stress, for example.  More rest is often what is really required.


  • Practice breathing deeply. This is one way to control the autonomic system with a voluntary action.  Slow, deep breathing by itself turns off the sympathetic system.


  • Eat well. The nervous system must be properly nourished to function correctly.  Animal protein is particularly helpful for the brain and nervous system as it contains fats and proteins essential for the nerves.  These include the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.  Excellent foods for the nervous system are eggs, meats, nuts, root vegetables and oily fish such as sardines and salmon.

Supplemental nutrients that calm the sympathetic system are calcium, magnesium, and zinc in particular.  Most everyone should take these supplements today, as their dietary intake is often low.  B-complex vitamins are also most important, and are primarily obtained from nutritional yeast, meats and eggs.  High doses, however, are rarely needed.  Other calming nutrients are GABA, L-taurine and L-carnitine.  Herbs that calm the nervous system are valerian, passionflower, skullcap and hops, among others.


  • Reduce your stress level as much as possible. Stress is the main activator of the sympathetic nervous system.  It can arise from within the body due to fatigue, muscle tension, spinal misalignment or nutritional deficiencies, among other reasons.  Stress can also come from outside, such as financial, work or family stress.  Other types of stress to minimize or avoid are living in a noisy environment, or in one with contaminated air and water.

         Electromagnetic stress is also very real, although it cannot be seen.  Reduce your use of computers if possible, and do not keep televisions, computers and other electrical devices on when not in use.  Be sure to turn them all off when you sleep, and keep even clocks and radios away from your head in the location where you sleep.  Activities like city driving and using cell phones are also stress-producing, even if you are not aware of it at the time.  A simple lifestyle is much preferred.


  • Follow A Nutritional Balancing Program. This requires a properly performed and interpreted hair tissue mineral analysis that is used to recommend diet, supplements and perhaps other detoxification procedures such as the use of an infrared sauna.  The sauna is excellent for reducing excessive activity of the sympathetic nervous system and resting the adrenal and thyroid glands.




The health of the autonomic nervous system is a important key to healing that is often overlooked.  Most people today have some degree of sympathetic nervous exhaustion.  It is, in fact, a major cause of  disease that should receive more attention.  On a brighter note, nervous exhaustion can also cause a person to begin searching for answers deep inside.  This can lead to changing your lifestyle and eating habits, and developing your inner potential. As more people become willing to change their thought patterns and lifestyles, they will experience a state of contentment and bliss that comes with having a balanced autonomic system.


The Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems


Sympathetic System Parasympathetic System
Function To defend the body against attack Healing, regeneration and nourishing the body
Overall Effect Catabolic (breaks down the body) Anabolic (builds up the body)
Organs and Glands It Activates The brain, muscles, the insulin pancreas, and the thyroid and adrenal glands The liver, kidneys, enzyme pancreas, spleen, stomach, small intestines and colon
Hormones and Substances It Increases Insulin, cortisol and the thyroid hormones Parathyroid hormone, pancreatic enzymes, bile and other digestive enzymes
Body Functions It Activates Raises blood pressure and blood sugar, and increases heat production Activates digestion, elimination and the immune system
Psychological Qualities Fear, guilt, sadness, anger, willfulness, and aggressiveness. Calmness, contentment and relaxation
Factors That Activate This System Stress, fears, anger, worry, excessive thinking and too much exercise Rest, sleep, meditation, relaxation therapies and feelings of being loved

This article was originally copyrighted by the Arizona Networking News, 2005.


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Deep Friction Massage Therapy for Tendonitis

A guide to a simple self-massage technique sometimes helpful in treating common tendonitis injuries like tennis elbow or Achilles tendonitis.

If you have tendonitis, or a closely related problem, you may be able to accelerate healing with a self-massage technique called “frictioning” or “deep friction massage.”1 The technique may be appropriate to use in cases of:

  • supraspinatus tendonitis, on the “tip” of the shoulder
  • tennis elbow or tendonitis of the common flexor or extensor tendons of the forearms, just below the elbow on the outside
  • Achilles tendonitis, on the back of the heel and in the Achilles tendon
  • DeQuervain’s tenovaginitis, along the thumb-side of the wrist

Friction massage “scrubs” the fibres of the tendon, theoretically aiding recovery, and it doesn’t really have to be particularly “deep” (intense). If it works, the mechanism is probably just mild stimulation of natural tissue repair mechanisms. Friction massage is well worth trying, because it’s quite safe, basically free to experiment with, and makes a fair bit of sense even though it’s far from scientifically proven.2

How to do friction massage

Friction massage is distinctive — it’s has quite a different goal and feel than the more typical squeezing and steam-rolling of muscles, as you might do with some tennis ball massage. But the action of friction massage is simple and well-suited to self-treatment, as long as you can reach the problem (and most tendonitis is reachable). Just rub gently back and forth over the inflamed tendon at the point of greatest tenderness. Your strokes should be perpendicular to the fibres of the tendon — like strumming a guitar string.

Use gentle to moderate pressure with the pads of your fingers or a thumb. Strong pressure is not required or wise, particularly for self-treatment. I’ll explain more about intensity as we go.

Even gentle friction massage will cause discomfort — you are rubbing an active case of tendonitis, after all! The pain should be clear and a bit burning or sharp — however, the discomfort should be easily bearable.

If the frictioning is painless, or the pain is dull, you are probably in the wrong place, or you don’t have tendonitis. If it is too painful, either you are pressing too hard, or the tendonitis is simply too serious to easily treat in this fashion.

The discomfort will subside significantly after one or two minutes. If it doesn’t, stop the treatment and try again later. If the tenderness does subside, increase the intensity until it returns. Wait for it to subside again. And increase it a third time, and wait a third time for the tenderness to ease. Like this:

  1. Friction for 1–2 minutes until sensitivity subsides.
  2. Increase intensity slightly. Friction for 1–2 minutes until sensitivity subsides.
  3. Increase intensity slightly. Friction for 1–2 minutes until sensitivity subsides.

Finish by icing the massage site, ideally with bare ice (for safety, ice only for a maximum of about two minutes, or until the spot is numb, whichever comes first). For more information about therapeutic icing and ice massage,

The complete treatment should take about 3-6 minutes, and should be done at least once per day, and a maximum of three times per day. If it’s going to work, you should feel immediate improvement in symptoms following each treatment. It may not work for you! This is no miracle cure. It is worth trying, but it fails in many cases for all kinds of reasons.


Friction massage treatments should be wrapped up by cooling the area down with an application of raw ice.


How friction massage works — if it works

Friction massage is basically a highly specific way to “use it or lose it.”

One of the basic principles of healing is that tissue must not be disturbed while healing, and this is particularly true of tendonitis, where stress has already exceeded the capacity of the body to adapt. And yet some stimulation is still a vital component of tissue health and healing, and it’s important to avoid tissue stagnancy. A sick tendon needs at least some moderate stimulation in order to move tissue fluids and to induce connective tissue repair.

In the case of tendonitis, excessive pulling on the tendon is precisely what caused the problem in the first place. If we “stimulate” the tendon with more pulling — more normal activity — this simply constitutes continued irritation to tissue that has already told us it “canna take it any more, cap’n!”

Thus, the friction massage technique provides a method of stimulating the tissue in a new and different way. In theory.


You could also describe frictioning as a form of provocation therapy, and certainly some professionals perform it that way.

There are two “laws” of tissue adaptation, one each for hard and soft tissue: Wolff’s law covers bone, but Davis’ law for soft tissue — muscles, tendons, and ligaments, fascia — is relatively obscure and imprecise. Many treatments are based on the idea of forcing adaptation or “toughening up” tissues. It has always been a reasonable idea, but what’s the “right” amount and kind of stress? Results vary widely. More provocative provocation therapies include the injecting of an actual irritant (prolotherapy), or scraping with edged massage tools (Graston Technique). See Tissue Provocation Therapies.

Friction massage can certainly be delivered with the more dramatic intent of affecting the structure of the tendon, regardless of how painful the treatment is. While it is possible that this could work, it’s obviously riskier, and I don’t recommend it — and the next section offers a particularly interesting reason.

Chronic tendonitis pain and neurology

The reductions in pain that occur at the time of applying the technique are easy enough to explain with “simple” neurology: almost anything that hurts will hurt less as you rub it and adapt to the stimulus. However, those pain-killing effects are also quite temporary. There is a way that neurology might actually account for a much more profound and lasting healing effect: by tinkering with sensitivity.

Chronic pain tends to be self-perpetuating. That is, pain can actually make you more sensitive to pain. In a lot of chronic pain cases, the problem is no longer in the tissue, but in nerves that have become oversensitive.

Friction massage may interrupt this vicious cycle, by systematically “teaching” the nervous system to be less concerned about stimuli of the irritated tendon. Virtually any stimulation has the potential to do this, but the standard protocol for friction massage might just be particularly good: precisely manageable doses of sensation, repeated over and over again.

(And excessively painful doses of sensation might very well just make things worse! This is why I don’t recommend that “deep” friction massage should be particularly deep. Stick to the Goldilocks zone and you’ve got a chance of working on the problem in two different ways.)

It’s only another theory, but quite a nice one. If true, virtually any stimulation might do the trick — all that would matter is repeated doses of mild to moderate intensity.

Is friction massage based on evidence?

Unfortunately, no — there is almost no persuasive scientific research about friction massage, just a few slightly encouraging scraps.6 The absence of evidence is cause for concern — surely if the technique worked well it could have been proven by now? — but mostly it’s just a lack of research. The technique remains mostly based only on interesting and reasonable speculation about biology. It simply “seems like a good idea” to some smart people. Regarding the conventional rationale, Hertling and Kessler write:

Although highly conjectural, the effects of friction massage are based on sound physiologic and pathologic concepts …. Until there is more concrete evidence of the value of friction massage, its use must be justified on the [basis of clinical evidence] combined with ‘educated empiricism.’

And that remains the case today, despite the important “paradigm shift away from an active inflammatory model since the popularization of the deep friction massage technique by Cyriax” (Joseph et al).

The neurological perspective is my own take on it, which I’ve never seen anywhere else (but it is inspired by pioneers in pain research like Dr. Lorimer Moseley).

I often saw good results from the application of friction massage when I worked as a massage therapist, but that doesn’t really mean all that much. Many patients respond well to virtually any treatment — because virtually any kind of stimulation seems to have the potential to “reboot” a chronically painful situation in the body. In general, I prefer not to take credit for most of my “success stories.”

Are there any risks to friction massage?

Yes … but only if you are a bit reckless with it.

If you ignore excessive pain, you might accidentally attempt to friction massage something that isn’t tendonitis, and perhaps something that’s more vulnerable than tendonitis. For instance, if you try to friction massage a bursitis, you are probably going to really regret it for a few hours!

However, pain is an excellent guide. As long as you don’t persist when friction massage is too painful or showing no signs of working, you’re extremely unlikely to cause any harm.

If you ignore excessive pain, you might accidentally attempt to friction massage something that isn’t tendonitis

Otherwise, the worst case scenario is that you’ll waste a few minutes of your time. This is actually fairly likely. Although friction massage does seem to help many cases of tendonitis, unfortunately there are many conditions that get mistaken for tendonitis, and will therefore not be helped by friction massage.

Tendonitis-like conditions that may not respond as well to friction massage

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), a.k.a. runner’s knee, is a common condition causing strong pain on the lateral surface of the knee. And it is almost certainly not a tendonitis, per se. Recent scientific evidence has clearly shown that ITBS is much more likely to be caused by irritation of tissueunderneath the tendon, and not by the tendon itself. Friction massage is less likely to provide the right kind of stimulation for this condition, and that’s what evidence shows.7

Iliotibial band syndrome is not a tendonitis, and probably cannot be helped by friction massage. In fact, ITBS is a greatly misunderstood condition in general. For more information,

Tennis elbow may or may not be a “true” tendonitis, despite appearances. Myofascial pain syndrome (muscle knots) in the forearm is much more common than true tendonitis, and yet causes extremely similar symptoms. The main difference is a subtle difference in location and “hotness” and “sharpness” of the pain. Tendonitis will be a nastier, sharper, more burning pain with greater sensitivity to pressure—and felt primarily in the tendon. Myofascial pain syndrome will involve duller, more aching pain, with the greatest sensitivity just a little further “south” in the muscles. Since the two conditions routinely co-exist, aggravating each other, you’re unlikely to have a clear sense of the problem being one or the other. This also means that your mileage with friction massage will vary — it may work well, or it may not work at all.

Plantar fasciitis, a common kind of pain in the arch of the foot, is another complex condition that is sort of like a tendonitis, but not really. Certainly it involves irritation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot, which is sort of like a tendon. However, plantar fasciitis is often more complex, and friction massage is more of a hail Mary treatment here — and meanwhile, there are some more evidence-based treatment methods for it. However, feel free to try a little friction massage!

A little more about muscle knots

Muscle knots — myofascial “trigger points” — are a factor in most of the world’s aches and pains. Their biology is still mostly mysterious: conventional wisdom says they are tiny spasms, but they might also be a more pure neurological problem. Regardless, they can cause strong pain that often spreads in confusing patterns, and they grow like weeds around other painful problems and injuries, making them quite interesting and tricky. Although they are well known to many specialists and researchers, most doctors and therapists know little about them, so misdiagnosis is epidemic.

Triggers points fairly routinely fool people into thinking that they have tendonitis. Don’t be fooled! Surprisingly intense muscle pain is a much more common phenomenon than tendonitis (and tendonitis isn’t exactly rare). At their worst, muscle knots can be extremely painful and seem very, very much like a tendonitis. However, most muscle knots can’t hold a candle to the hot, burning intensity and extreme sensitivity of a tendonitis.

A true, acute tendonitis has the sensitivity of an infected hang nail — you can barely brush it or move the muscle without jumping in pain. Muscle knots usually involve duller, more aching pain that rarely seems to be “in” a tendon.

Trigger points can often be treated easily by a wide variety of massage techniques. Ironically, sometimes friction massage might seem to be successfully treating a tendonitis, when in fact it might be successfully treating a muscle knot.



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What is the uncertainty principle, also known as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle? Therapeutic Pain Relief Santa Barbara Goleta Massage, Trigger Point, Riktr Pro Deep Tissue Swedish Massage, Nicola, LMT, 805-637-7482



What is the uncertainty principle, also known as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle, also known as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle known as complementaryvariables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known simultaneously. Introduced first in 1927, by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg, it states that the more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be known, and vice versa.[1] The formal inequality relating the standard deviation of position σx and the standard deviation of momentum σpwas derived by Earle Hesse Kennard[2] later that year and by Hermann Weyl[3] in 1928:

 \sigma_{x}\sigma_{p} \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} ~~

What is the uncertainty principle, also known as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Historically, the uncertainty principle has been confused[4][5] with a somewhat similar effect inphysics, called the observer effect, which notes that measurements of certain systems cannot be made without affecting the systems. Heisenberg offered such an observer effect at the quantum level (see below) as a physical “explanation” of quantum uncertainty.[6] It has since become clear, however, that the uncertainty principle is inherent in the properties of all wave-like systems,[7] and that it arises in quantum mechanics simply due to the matter wave nature of all quantum objects. Thus, the uncertainty principle actually states a fundamental property of quantum systems, and is not a statement about the observational success of current technology.[8] It must be emphasized thatmeasurement does not mean only a process in which a physicist-observer takes part, but rather any interaction between classical and quantum objects regardless of any observer.[9]

Since the uncertainty principle is such a basic result in quantum mechanics, typical experiments in quantum mechanics routinely observe aspects of it. Certain experiments, however, may deliberately test a particular form of the uncertainty principle as part of their main research program. These include, for example, tests of number–phase uncertainty relations in superconducting[10] or quantum optics[11] systems. Applications dependent on the uncertainty principle for their operation include extremely low noise technology such as that required in gravitational-wave interferometers.[12]


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*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.

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