Where are you at 9:30 on Monday mornings?

If you’re an NFL player, you’re either getting a massage or wishing you were.

As you may know, I do not follow football at all. I consider it a violent, barbaric, overpaid activity. Had to get that off my chest. However I know lots of folks who love watching the games and who follow it closely, so I did a little research about massage therapy and football that you may be interested in.

Here are a few fun facts:

  • NFL players (this is play?) spend every Monday trying to put their broken bodies back together. They call it ‘get right’ day.
  • James Harrison, linebacker (don’t ask me which team he plays for) spends a half million dollars on bodywork which includes hefty doses of massage.
  • For these guys, massage is far from an indulgence, they appreciate bodywork as a fundamental tool in prolonging their careers. Regular massage helps them both prepare for game day and repair the damage afterwards.
  • In an article by Greg Bishop entitled ‘You Think Your Mondays Suck?’ he found that Mike Mitchell (Steelers) gets daily massages along with other types of natural healing.
  • For many NFL players massage is a business expense because it helps them do what they get paid for.
  • Massage prevents the football players from getting even more injuries and that’s important when their #1 advantage is being well enough to play again. Soon. 
  • Harrison says massage also helps reduce stress and prepares him for better and longer sleep. Nothing to yawn at.
  • Russell Wilson (Seahawks) takes five two-hour massage sessions each week. “… A big part of being a professional … athlete, is taking care of yourself,” Wilson said. It’s kind of a major part, so it’s not like finding time. It’s really just in the schedule”.

While we are not NFL kamikazes nor even close, life has probably dealt us our share of hard knocks and we are still active (or hoping to be soon) and shouldn’t we also take care of our bodies in all the best ways we can? My answer is a resounding and unequivocal yes!

Therapeutic massage can do for us exactly what it does for these elite athletes:
Gets us ready to do what we have to do, prevent injuries and helps us recover more quickly when we need it. Regular massage reduces stress and gives us a better nights sleep and is at the most basic level a healthy way to take care of ourselves and to feel good.

As much as I don’t agree with football as a sport, if nothing else, I agree with the players approach to massage – as a necessary, preventative and planned part of taking care of themselves each and every week. Even if you aren’t a professional athlete, regular massage does wonders, even for someone who sits on the couch every Sunday watching the games throughout football season.

Call me when you’re ready to try regular massage as a way to feel better and stay well. Effective, affordable, consistent care that will make you smile.

Feel Better, Stay Well. Body Dialog Massage.

Navigating the Path to Wellness with Massage Therapy

The following are excerpts from an article by Donna Shryer which appeared in Massage Therapy Journal dated August 22, 2017.

(My comments are in parentheses.)

Consider this: 20 years ago, massage for cancer patients was categorically judged unwise for fear that it accelerated the spread of the cancer. However, recent studies reverse this opinion, highlighting specific instances where massage is both indicated and highly beneficial for cancer patients. Similarly, researchers now feel that patients with any of the following five chronic medical conditions—or pathologies—can benefit from massage therapy.
 

Osteoarthritis 

The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic disease of the joints that affects more than 30 million Americans. Most people over age 60 have OA to some degree, which occurs as the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down. Bones most often affected are in the hands, spine, and knee and hip joints, with symptoms including pain, stiffness, swelling and decreased range of motion. (**Study results showed that massage therapy enabled significant improvements in pain, function and stiffness.)
 

Type 2 Diabetes 

Affecting 29.1 million Americans, Type 2 diabetes (T2D) accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases diagnosed. A common T2D complication is peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve damage caused by chronically high blood sugar. Symptoms include numbness; loss of sensation; pain in the feet, legs or hands; and, specific to diabetic peripheral neuropathy in the feet, impaired balance. (**Study results showed improvement in balance, foot sensation and mobility.)

**In a study presented at the 2016 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium, massage was shown to greatly decrease CIPN (chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy) -associated symptoms, increase skin temperature in fingers and toes, and generally improve quality of life in persons affected by chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
 

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia 

Dementia is a group of signs and symptoms, an umbrella term that covers multiple progressive neurodegenerative diseases with similar clinical profiles. Alzheimer’s is under that umbrella. Here’s a brief list of dementia symptoms that apply to Alzheimer’s:

  • Trouble focusing
  • Difficulty performing ordinary activities
  • Feeling confused or frustrated, especially at night
  • Dramatic mood swings—outbursts of anger, anxiety and depression
  • Feeling disoriented and getting lost easily
  • Physical problems, such as an odd walk or poor coordination
  • Trouble communicating

(**Several small studies showed decreased aggressiveness, improved relaxation and decreased stress levels.)
 

Cancer

Cancer defies a simple, singular definition due to hugely positive advancements in the study and treatment of tumors. However, the disease as a category continues to bring with it some degree of pain, anxiety and depression. In these areas, numerous research reviews and clinical studies suggest that at least for the short term, massage therapy can help reduce discomfort, promote relaxation and boost mood.
 

Mood Disorders 

Mood disorders, as defined by Salvo, “are emotional disturbances consisting of prolonged periods of excessive sadness or excessive elation, or both, that significantly impair the person’s capacity to function.”

What is clear is that studies large and small have shown that massage therapy can help soothe stand-alone and symptomatic mood disorders. “Research suggests and clients report that massage therapy can reduce pain and improve quality of life,” Salvo says. In addition, Salvo writes in her textbook Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists / Edition 3, “Although massage does not eliminate stress, it often helps us cope with it better and alleviates some symptoms.”

Feel Better, Stay Well. Body Dialog Massage.