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Home care and why it is important

Marisa Elliott, Registered Massage Therapist

Ever wonder why some therapists give you homecare and why some don’t?

At BodyTx we believe in providing our clients with the knowledge and skills to assist in their healing and help them maintain their day to day living with as little discomfort as possible.

Home care is assigned to compliment and assist a therapist’s treatment.

The majority of musculoskeletal pain conditions throughout the body are the result of muscle imbalances. These are due to poor posture or repetitive movement, such as using a keyboard and mouse all day.

In order to create pain free movement you need to create balance between muscle groups around a joint. A Registered Massage Therapist assists the tissues to their normal resting length during a treatment. In order to keep the tissues balanced and pain free we teach clients specific, isolated stretching and strengthening exercises to do between treatments.

These exercises are important in assisting and maintaining the results of your massage treatment, reduce frequency of treatments and help you live pain free.

Here are some examples of our therapists’ commonly recommended homecare:

1.Epsom salt bath

An Epsom salt bath has many benefits. The heat from a bath will help relax sore muscles and stiff joints, as well as expand the blood vessels to deliver nutrients to those areas in need. In water, Epsom salts break down into magnesium and sulfate. When soaking in an Epsom salt bath, you absorb these minerals through your skin. Magnesium is a crucial mineral that alleviates muscle cramps, restless legs, inflammation, fatigue, migraines, anxiety and insomnia. It also can regulate heart rhythm and build strong bones by aiding in calcium absorption.

2.Drink more water

Drinking water after a massage is recommended because it helps the kidneys and other organs process the various substances which move through the body on a regular basis. After a massage treatment, toxins have been released from specific areas into the rest of the body. The more water you drink after a massage, the easier it is for your body to flush out these toxins. Increased daily water intake helps improve overall muscle health by making sure they are well hydrated to perform optimally. Water is responsible for transporting oxygen, fat, glucose (energy) and other nutrients to muscle cells. Increased water intake alone can improve stiff/sore muscles, muscle cramps and muscle spasms. 

3. Pectoralis Minor Stretch

•Raise arm to 135 degrees keeping head in a neutral position

•Exhale, pull arm backwards, walk forward into door jamb.

•Hold 2-3 seconds

•DO NOT lean, keep shoulders square.

•Repeat 2-3 times each side

This is a common stretch our therapists recommend because our daily lives involve computers, phones and driving brings our shoulders into a position in which they are rolled forward. This stretch opens up the chest and allows for those shoulders to roll back into their natural relaxed position. 

4. Strengthen Rhomboids

•Sit on floor, Thera-Band looped around bottom of feet, held in hands

•With elbows bent and arms at side slowly draw elbows backwards

•Bring shoulder blades together and hold for 2 seconds

•Release slowly

•Repeat 8-12 times

This exercise is usually given to correspond with the pectoralis minor stretch. With the lifestyle of technology and our shoulders being rolled forward, our rhomboids become weak and inhibited causing pain between the shoulder blades. To get the rhomboids back to their natural resting length we need to strengthen. Rows are a good exercise therapists recommend to increase muscle endurance to create balance. 

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Unit 105, 8741 - 84 Street                          587-285-441                                Monday: 9 am - 8:30 pm

Fort Saskatchewan, AB T8L 3M0                                    Tuesday - Thursday: 8 am - 8:30 pm

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