Berkana BodyWorks LLC News http://www.berkanabodyworks.com Tue, 02 Mar 2021 01:16:48 +0100 FeedCreator 1.7.2 Stress and Your Body http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>12/10/2019</strong></p> <p>Stress is something that most people experience from time to time and it's a normal part of life. A small amount of stress is usually nothing to worry about; in fact, in some situations, stress is helpful. It can spur you on to achieve things or push you to meet that deadline. But constant or long-term stress can have detrimental effects on your body, wearing you down and making you mentally physically sick.</p> <p>Recognizing your own stress symptoms can be tricky - there are many of them and they can be hard to pin down. You might not even recognize the symptoms or notice how stress is affecting your body until you get to the breaking point.</p> <h2>&#8203;WHAT DOES STRESS DO TO YOUR BODY?</h2> <p>Our bodies are pretty resilient. We are designed to be able to experience stress and react to it. There are even different names for the differing types of stress - positive, helpful stress is called eustress. According to Licensed Professional Counselor Casey Lee, "eustress produces positive feelings of excitement, fulfillment,&nbsp; meaning, satisfaction, and well-being." He explains that eustress is good because you feel confident, adequate and stimulated by the challenge you experience from the stressor, like completing a challenging workout or achieving a goal.</p> <p>Negative, unhealthy stress - the type that you feel when you're permanently overwhelmed and suffering constant challenges is called distress. This type of stress needs to be recognized and dealt with before it builds up and distress-related tension develops.</p> <h2>THE STATISTICS</h2> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>Forty-three percent of adults are thought to experience negative health effects from distress.</li> <li>Seventy-five to ninety percent of visits to the doctor's office are about stress-related complaints.</li> <li>The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has even declared stress to be a workplace hazard. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion per year.</li> </ul> <h2>A BODY IN DISTRESS</h2> <p>Distress is unhealthy and can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms, including headaches, stomach problems (like IBS), raised blood pressure, pains in your chest, and problems with sleep. It's possible that high levels of stress may also make existing medical conditions worse. Another problem that can arise from being over-stressed is that as human beings, we are programmed to look for the fastest and most effective ways to quickly reduce stress levels, and those ways aren't always healthy. Smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs may provide temporary relief, but in the long term, rather than relaxing you, these substances tend to keep the body in a high-stressed state. This can lead to even more problems, like addiction and substance-abuse related health conditions.</p> <h2>BETTER WAYS TO COPE WITH STRESS</h2> <p>You'll know the ways that being stressed out affects you personally. Maybe it causes your skin to flare up or break out. Maybe you get an IBS attack. Or you get a debilitating migraine. Don't ignore these symptoms! They are your body's way of warning you that it's all getting a bit too much and you need to calm yourself down. Don't reach for the junk food or the wine bottle when you're stressed. You'll appreciate little treats more when you're relaxed. Relying on unhealthy crutches to get you through can lead to long term issues on top of the underlying stress.</p> <p>Massage is a well-known stress reliever. Physically, it will un-knot the tense muscles that are causing headaches and neck/shoulder pain. Emotionally, massage therapy stimulates production of the feel-good, critical coping hormones - serotonin and dopamine - so you don't need the chemical relaxants or substitutes. Reach for your massage therapist's number (801.592.5300) the next time the stress builds up and do yourself AND your body a very big favor!</p> Why You Can't Afford NOT To Get A Massage http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>11/25/2019</strong></p> <p>It's a myth that you can't afford massage - the truth is that if you want to stay happy, healthy, and full of vitality for longer, you can't afford NOT to fit regular massage therapy sessions into your schedule.</p> <p>Massage might have a reputation for being something that's a treat, like a fluffy afternoon in a spa with aromatherapy candles and whale music, but that's not what it's all about. Massage is about healing, reviving, and relaxing your mind and body. In fact, it can save you a whole lot more money than it costs you.</p> <p>Massage therapy has been proven to treat the symptoms of conditions as diverse as depression, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and MS. This is according to the Touch Research Institute, who has carried out over one hundred separate studies into massage and its many benefits.</p> <p>Even if you're not managing a particular health condition, you still need massage in your life. It can help you if you're an athlete or just enjoy a workout. Massage can help keep your joints and muscles supple so that you're less prone to injury. It's great for dealing with stress (and there's an overload of that in our lives), even if you're not actually depressed. It can improve immunity and sleep quality, making you more present and productive at work.</p> <h2>HOW EXPENSIVE IS MASSAGE, REALLY?</h2> <p>According to recent figures, the average massage session costs about $50 for 45 minutes [1]. At Berkana BodyWorks, the cost is $49 for 60 minutes - a stellar value when compared with national averages. Depending on your vehicle, a tank of gas and an oil change are similarly priced, erring on the cheaper side. The average price for a trip to the doctor to spend approximately 10 minutes with the doctor (after a typically long wait to be seen), is about $68 without insurance [2]. Although most insurance companies aren't enlightened enough to cover massage therapy, there's no arguing that massage DOES play a big part in injury and disease prevention. Experts know that a regular massage session will help to keep your body healthy.</p> <h2>WORST CASE SCENARIO?</h2> <p>What's the worst that can happen if you neglect your massage routine? Plenty of people struggle through life with sore backs, a bit a repetitive strain, or hurt themselves while running - so what's the big deal? Did you know that back injuries are the second most common reason for worker's compensation claims? That's everything from muscle spasms, to problems with discs and injuries leading to disability. THIRTY-ONE MILLION Americans are thought to experience low-back pain at any given time.</p> <p>Most of these injuries could be prevented with better posture, rest, and massage. Many back problems can be directly attributed to over-use and fatigue, and most problems are mechanical - meaning they're not caused by serious conditions such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture, or cancer.</p> <p>On average, managing back pain costs Americans over $50 BILLION a year. Still think you can't afford that massage?</p> <h3>REFERENCES</h3> [1] <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br />[2] <a href="" target="_blank"></a> Massage Therapy vs. Chiropractic - Do They Work Together? http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>9/11/2019</strong></p> <p>Although they are two separate disciplines, both requiring specialized training in their respective fields, there are many similarities between aspects of chiropractic treatment and massage, and they work really well when you use them in combination.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re feeling pain or discomfort, you could have an underlying problem with your spinal alignment, or tension in your muscles that has an impact on your nerve function. Chiropractic is really helpful for dealing with functional issues like these, but if you&rsquo;ve been experiencing the symptoms for a while, you can sometimes find that your body stubbornly resists the adjustments a chiropractor makes, which can result in frustration and even pain.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re finding chiropractic hard going, you could benefit from massage to help relieve some of the tension and tightness your body is holding onto, allowing the chiropractor to do their work much more effectively.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re experiencing problems with stiffness in your spine and there&rsquo;s a build-up of tension in the muscles supporting and surrounding it, trying to adjust the spine without working on the muscle tightness can pull on the spinal joints. This can make them even stiffer and means that it&rsquo;s quite likely your pain will return, even if the chiropractor relieves it initially.</p> <h2>&#8203;MORE THAN ONE KIND OF STRESS RELIEF</h2> <p>If you feel like you&rsquo;re under physical and/or mental stress on a regular basis, massage can be really helpful to you. It&rsquo;s great for maintenance, getting rid of a build-up of tension in your body before it causes any damage that needs help from another professional.</p> <p>Physically, there are signs you can look out for that might mean you&rsquo;re under spinal stress, and if you notice any of them, you probably need to book in with the chiropractor too. Spinal stiffness will be painful, but can also lead to pain in your arm, tingling or numbness in your shoulders and even sciatica. If these symptoms are troubling you, see a chiropractor before they get any worse.</p> <p>Chiropractic and massage therapy work really well together when you have soft tissue tightness and spinal dysfunction at the same time. They don&rsquo;t just correct the functional problem that&rsquo;s causing the pain or symptoms, but also help to relax the muscles and soft tissues so that any work carried out by the chiropractor is more effective and the effects last for longer.</p> <h2>MASSAGE AND CHIROPRACTIC FOR INJURIES</h2> <p>Using the two together is really helpful after an accident or sporting injury, even the aches and pains that you might get from DIY projects or gardening. Injuries treated with massage and chiropractic can often heal faster because the two treatments help to stimulate blood flow, boosting your body&rsquo;s natural energy to heal.</p> <p>Another important consideration is that chiropractic and massage therapy are natural, drug-free, hands-on therapies and they don&rsquo;t have to be restricted just to after injury or when you&rsquo;re in pain. It can be beneficial to have a session of chiropractic or a regular massage just to maintain your muscular and spinal health and stop problems from occurring in the first place. We highly recommend regular sessions of both services for optimal health and wellness!</p> Should Massage Hurt? http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>4/3/2019</strong></p> <p>Have you been wondering if a massage has to hurt to be effective? If so, you are not alone. Many people believe that a massage has to hurt in order to be effective. Well it doesn&rsquo;t! You&rsquo;ll be happy to hear that the saying, &ldquo;No pain, no gain&rdquo; doesn&rsquo;t apply to massage therapy. Sometimes, the most effective massages are the ones that don&rsquo;t cause you any pain. Something that feels marvelous, and it&rsquo;s good for you too? It doesn&rsquo;t get much better than that!</p> <h2>DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE MIGHT CAUSE SOME DISCOMFORT...</h2> <p>A deep tissue massage is when the massage therapist manipulates the deeper layers of your soft tissue. Soft tissue includes your muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons (it&rsquo;s pretty much everything that isn&rsquo;t bones or organs). Usually your massage therapist will use lotions or oil, and will work lighter at first, this is important, it helps relax the top layer of tissue and muscle, meaning less pain for you. Then the deeper layers of muscle can be worked on more easily and with less pain. This will feel much better and you will get better results!</p> <p>Typically, deep tissue massage is recommended for those with chronic pain caused by tight muscles or injuries. Deep tissue massage can be very therapeutic because it helps with relieving patterns of tension that have developed over time and helping with muscle injuries. With a good deep tissue session, you will feel more relaxed after the massage if no pain was endured during it. It&rsquo;s hard (nearly impossible) to relax if you are in pain, and muscle tension will release in a state of relaxation.</p> <p>Deep tissue massage is not for everyone! You are not a wimp if you don&rsquo;t like it. It is one of the more involved and intense massage techniques. Some people simply like the feeling of more pressure, and a firm massage isn&rsquo;t always deep tissue. Just be sure to communicate with your therapist about what you prefer and need. Speak up - your therapist will appreciate your feedback. Happy clients are regular clients, and we want you to love your massage!</p> <h2>PAIN VERSUS DISCOMFORT</h2> <p>Muscles naturally react to any sort of pain. When your muscles feel that your body is about to be injured the reflex to deflect the pain is stimulated. If your massage therapist is ever applying too much pressure, your muscles tighten together to naturally counterattack the force, and that is not a great way to relax. A massage is meant to relieve the tension of your muscles, so if you feel as though the massage therapist is applying too much pressure for comfort, just ask them to use less pressure. Seriously, they want you to.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t go into the massage thinking there won&rsquo;t be any discomfort at all though. Pain and discomfort are two different things. People usually describe discomfort as a &ldquo;good hurt&rdquo; - especially in reference to getting a massage. When you experience pain during a massage, it is more than discomfort and could even cause bruising or injury.</p> <p>Everybody has different tolerances for pain, so a massage that is painful for one person may not be painful for you. If you find that your massage therapist isn&rsquo;t working between your tolerance levels for pain, then it&rsquo;s important that you say something. Massages should almost never cause you physical pain and very rarely is it okay for you to be left with marks on your body afterward. If you are booking your first massage, you probably don&rsquo;t want to start out with a deep tissue session. Ease your way into massage therapy and start with something less specific, like Swedish Massage. At Berkana BodyWorks, we will combine various massage techniques to give you the best massage for YOU.</p> How Often Should You Get A Massage? http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>3/17/2019</strong></p> <p>How often should you get a massage? Every day! Well - even though that would be nice, it's not practical for most of us. Frequency is one of the most common questions clients ask about massage therapy, and it really all depends on WHY you get massages. Do you get massages for health benefits? Or, to help you relax and handle the stress of everyday life? Most likely it&rsquo;s a combination of the two, so let&rsquo;s look at some of the most common reasons to get regular massages.</p> <h2>RELAXATION AND STRESS RELIEF</h2> <p>&#8203;One of the very best reasons to get a massage is for relaxation. Relaxation massage helps to support your body, including blood circulation and flexibility of joints. Regular massage can help prevent pain, muscle tension, and stress points from building up and causing problems. Why wait until you have a problem to get a massage? Massage is perfect for preventing issues with your tissues. Relaxation massage is usually recommended at least once per month, or as often as you want!</p> <p>There may be times in your life where you experience higher levels of stress and more muscle tension than normal. It is especially important to practice good self-care during these times. When we &ldquo;don&rsquo;t have time&rdquo; for a massage, is usually when we need one the most. Make yourself a priority, even during stressful times - your health is worth it. If you are in a high-stress job or you work in an environment where you stay in a certain position for a long period of time (at a computer, for example), you may begin to develop tight or &ldquo;knotted&rdquo; muscles. This will frequently occur in your shoulders, arms, and back.</p> <p>All of this increased muscle tension will make movement harder and can cause a great deal of pain. Regular massage can help to keep you loosened up and will help to prevent pain and stiffness. Living with high levels of stress for a prolonged amount of time increases the risk of contracting heart disease and other diseases. It has been estimated that 75 &ndash; 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. The good news is, massage can help!</p> <p><strong>Just knowing your massage is coming up in a few days can help to relieve stress, and a massage every 2-4 weeks will help with stress-related tension.</strong></p> <br /> <h2>SPORTS RECOVERY</h2> <p>Are you a weekend warrior, or do you just like to stay in shape? Either way, massage can help with sports performance and recovery. Many athletes and physically active people receive sports massage because it enhances their performance, prevents injury, and speeds up their muscles' recovery. Competitive sports can put a lot of stress on a person's muscles! Research conducted at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging at McMaster University in Ontario shows that massage reduces inflammation and stimulates the growth of new mitochondria, the energy-producing units in the cells, after strenuous exercise. This means that massage can help relieve pain, build muscles and help with muscle recovery too!</p> <p><strong>For these benefits, it is recommended that you get a massage up to three times a week or at least three times a month.</strong></p> <h2>CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS</h2> <p>People with ongoing health issues often find massage very helpful to alleviate symptoms. Chronic health problems that greatly benefit from massage therapy include back pain, joint pain, and localized inflammation. If you get therapy for specific issues, the frequency of getting massage therapy varies with the type of condition you have and how severe it is.</p> <p>Relief from pain can usually be achieved with 2-4 massage sessions per month. Your massage therapist will work with you to help you get on the best schedule for your body.</p> <h2>PREGNANCY</h2> <p>Pregnant women can greatly benefit from massage therapy! Prenatal massage is popular among expectant mothers who often experience a lot of aches and pains as their pregnancy progresses. Many women suffer from back pain, hip &amp; sciatic pain, headaches, and tired legs &amp; feet. But you don&rsquo;t have to suffer - a certified massage therapist can help to relieve those discomforts. Going to your massage therapist once or twice a month can help with the symptoms caused by pregnancy, and it can even help you sleep better. Of course, it&rsquo;s always a good idea to check with your doctor and your massage therapist to ensure that you don&rsquo;t have any pregnancy-related conditions that would contraindicate massage therapy for you.</p> <p><strong>Most women experiencing a healthy pregnancy can and should enjoy regular massage sessions.</strong></p> Why Massage Makes The Very Best Gift http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>11/19/2018</strong></p> <p>Massage might be something that&rsquo;s always on your to-do list, but there are some people who just never seem to get around to me-time, and they could benefit from the restorative powers of a good massage session.</p> <h2>If you&rsquo;re looking for a gift for someone who seems to have it all, or even just someone close to you that needs spoiling, here&rsquo;s why a massage is the best choice for a gift!</h2> <h3>It shows that you&rsquo;ve put a little thought into the gift</h3> <p>You could wander around the gift selections in stores or just order something online, but if you treat a friend or a loved one to a blissful massage, it says &ldquo;I really thought about you, and I thought you needed a massage.&rdquo;</p> <p>Flowers and chocolates can be uninspiring, even if we all enjoy them, but for a truly unique gift, search for a massage treatment that your recipient will adore. If they have had a massage before, why not give them a type they&rsquo;ve not experienced; a Hot Stone, BodyBLISS, or CranioSacral?</p> <h3>Everyone needs a little time out</h3> <p>Some people never seem to make time for themselves. Everyone is too busy. Treat someone special to the gift of paid-for me time, and give them a massage gift certificate so that they can have an hour, at least, where they don&rsquo;t have to put everyone else first.</p> <p>One of the best gifts that you can give anyone is time. Why not give someone who&rsquo;s eternally busy the gift of time out. Some space to breathe and disconnect from everyday stresses? An hour or so of blissful quiet and relaxation could be the best present anyone gets this year!</p> <h3>It shows you care for their health</h3> <p>Massage is the gift that keeps on giving - the gift that says you really do care for someone&rsquo;s health and wellbeing. It gives the recipient a healthy dose of happy hormones, promotes movement and increased flexibility, and eases aches, pains and stress. What better way to treat someone?</p> <h3>It might be the nudge somebody needs towards trying massage for themselves</h3> <p>Some people have never had a massage, and it's people like that who need one the most. So why not think of their wellbeing and give them a soothing, relaxing massage at Berkana BodyWorks? After all, we are the productive pampering specialists! They may have thought that massage wasn't for them or that it's something that people treat themselves to on spa trips or cruises. However, once you've introduced them to the joy of massage, they'll be hooked. Everyone loves massage - some people just need to try it.</p> <p>Remember, the ideal gift shows that you really care - well enough to want to make someone happy, rather than handing over something expensive and overpriced that you saw in the store and took a fancy to. A gift certificate to book a massage will result in a big smile and it ticks all the boxes. And there&rsquo;s one more thing we haven&rsquo;t mentioned&hellip; You get to go along if you book one for yourself at the same time!</p> <p>Don't Miss Out - Our annual Gift Certificate Sale starts on Friday, Nov. 23rd. Details will be posted on Facebook, Instagram, and our newsletter.</p> DIY Hand & Forearm Massage http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>7/16/2018</strong></p> <p>Too much texting? On the laptop for hours? Don't worry - try this soothing hand/forearm massage to help relax your muscles:</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>Relax one arm, palm up, on the top of your thigh or a desk or other stable, flat surface.</li> <li>Push the heel of your hand slowly along the forearm in the direction of your wrist.</li> <li>Use enough pressure to feel some heat, but not enough to give yourself a brush burn or irritate the skin.</li> <li>Do the same thing across your open palm, all the way down towards your fingertips, and again over the mound of your thumb.</li> <li>Repeat a few times.</li> <li>Switch hands and repeat the sequence.</li> </ul> <p>Adding a tennis ball to the massage is a helpful tool. Gripping a tennis ball while performing the above exercise down to the wrist, gives added pressure, and affects forearm muscles while in motion. You can also place the tennis ball on the table or desk and roll your arm over the ball for more muscle tension release.</p> Singing The Desk-Bound Blues http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>7/9/2018</strong></p> <p>If you are stuck behind a desk all day, there are a number of things you can do to keep your body healthy.</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>Make sure you're using the chair to support your body. For example, most people never use the backrest properly to support their low back. As they sit down, they aim their bottom at the middle of the seat. Then, to reach the backrest, they slouch backwards. Are you guilty of this? If you are, start aiming your sitting bones towards the BACK edge of the chair as you sit down.</li> <li>It's very important to take frequent breaks. Consider this study: Researchers had subjects sit in chairs as they measured tension in their back muscles. After about twenty minutes of sitting, their back muscles started spontaneously tensing up even though the chairs were adjusted to completely support their backs. Taking breaks will keep your muscles from tightening up.</li> <li>Use the 20/20 rule. Take a twenty second break at least every twenty minutes. Use these "micro-breaks" to stand up, stretch out and take a couple of deep breaths.</li> <li>If possible, vary the tasks you do throughout the day so that you don't work at one single activity for too long. For example, if your job involves typing and filing, alternate the tasks every half-hour.</li> <li>Get a regular massage to help you get rid of accumulated tension, stretch out overworked and tight muscles and get your circulation going.</li> <li>Lastly, be sure to exercise regularly. It is vitally important that you balance your inactivity with activity. Try some form of gently aerobics like walking or biking.</li> </ul> Put Your Head On My Shoulder - Part 2 http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>7/2/2018</strong></p> <br /> <h2>SHOULDER CARE CHECK LIST</h2> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>To prevent shoulder problems from occurring, always practice healthy shoulder habits:</li> <li>Maintain good posture</li> <li>Avoid excessive and repetitive use of your shoulders</li> <li>If you sit at work, take frequent breaks (20/20 rule...)</li> <li>Don't put undue stress on the shoulders with heavy backpacks or purses</li> <li>Consult your massage therapist or doctor if you injure or develop pain in your shoulder, even if it seems minor</li> <li>Do any maintenance exercises prescribed by your massage therapist</li> </ul> <h2>MASSAGE CAN HELP</h2> <p>Massage therapists can help when shoulder problems occur. More importantly, they can help prevent these kinds of problems from happening in the first place. Your massage therapist will evaluate your shoulder through range of motion tests and other assessment procedures. They can then give you recommendations on the best course of treatment.</p> <p>The first priority is to make you feel more comfortable by getting rid of your pain. This can be done with specialized massage techniques. Heat or hydrotherapy are additional options. To help the process along and to help prevent further problems, your massage therapist can also give you exercises to help strengthen your should and help maintain your mobility.</p> <p>We are trained to treat trigger points. As mentioned previously, these knots mimic other common shoulder conditions and are often an overlooked source of pain. We can tell you if trigger points may be playing a role in your shoulder problem.</p> <p>If you've injured your shoulder, we will likely prescribe some exercises, like the ones illustrated below, to help you regain the strength, flexibility, and range of motion in your shoulder. Below are examples of typical exercises given to people with shoulder injuries.</p> <h3>SHOULDER EXERCISE #1 - THE WAND</h3> <p>You can stand, sit, or even lie down for this exercise. Hold a cane or stick straight out in front of you. Slowly raise the "wand" as high as you can overhead. Hold the wand at the highest possible point for a couple of seconds. Lower the arms and repeat the exercise several times. By using a wand, the "good" arm helps assist the movement of the injured one. Your massage therapist may have you move the wand in other directions, such as side to side.</p> <h3>&#8203;SHOULDER EXERCISE #2 - WALL WALKING</h3> <p>Stand about 12 to 18 inches away from a wall. Slowly walk your fingers up the wall to the point where you start to feel some discomfort. Note how high you were able to go. Try the exercise again and try to go a little higher. Repeat several times. Your massage therapist may have you face the wall and use both hands or have you standing sideways to the wall and use just the injured arm.</p> Put Your Head On My Shoulder - Part 1 http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <h2>THE SHOULDER GUIDE</h2> <p>Your shoulders are incredibly flexible joints that allow your arms to move through a large range of motion. They are used in almost every activity and they take a lot of punishment on a daily basis. Think for a moment of all the activities you do that utilize your shoulders - even things you do without thinking about it like lifting toddlers, opening doors, reaching for an item off the top shelf, playing golf, throwing a ball, weed whacking, etc. You get the idea. As a result, shoulders are prone to a wide range of injuries. It's important to take good care of your shoulders because even small problems can quickly become debilitating if not taken care of immediately.</p> <h2>SHOULDER PROBLEMS</h2> <p>The shoulder is prone to a variety of problems that can give you pain and limit your range of motion. Many of these are caused simply by wear and tear. For example, a common injury is tendinitis of one of the rotator cuff muscles called the supraspinatus. Through poor posture or overuse, the tendon becomes inflamed and painful. When the bursa (a fluid sac that cushions the joint) becomes inflamed, you develop what is known as bursitis. This can be extremely painful (ask Sharyl).</p> <p>Trigger points, small knots in the muscles, are very common around the shoulder and can refer pain and tenderness into the muscles or joints. The referred pain cam mimic other shoulder problems like tendinitis and frozen shoulder.</p> <p>Sprains and dislocations typically result from falls. It's natural to reach your arm out to catch yourself when falling, but the impact can strain or tear the shoulder ligaments. If the impact is severe enough, the humerus may be knocked right out of the socket and the shoulder becomes dislocated. OUCH!</p> <p>With severe trauma, the bones may actually fracture or break. The collarbone is most likely to break, although the humerus can sometimes break as well. When this happens, the arm needs to be immobilized. Fractures can take up to three months to heal.</p> <p>Whenever you have a shoulder problem, you tend to limit your movement to minimize the pain. This can lead to a frozen shoulder. Your shoulder becomes stiff and you quickly lose mobility. It can soon become extremely painful to lift your arm. If you develop a frozen shoulder, it will take a long time and lots of therapy to regain your normal movement. Sometimes surgery is the only option. The best medicine in this case is prevention. As soon as you develop any pain or discomfort in your shoulder, see your massage therapist immediately for assessment and treatment. Don't risk getting this serious and debilitating shoulder condition.</p> <h2>A QUICK ANATOMY LESSON</h2> <p>The shoulder is made up of three bones. The humerus is the big bone in your upper arm. The clavicle (collar bone) attaches to your rib cage at one end and helps keep your shoulders out to the side of your body. The scapula (shoulder blade) is the third bone. Part of the scapula, the acromion, juts out and forms a roof over the top of the joint. Another part of the scapula forms a socket into which the round head of the humerus fits.</p> <p>The upper arm is held in its socket by loose ligaments and four small rotator cuff muscles that cover the joint like a sleeve. Other back, chest, and upper arm muscles help support and move the shoulder.</p> <p>There is also a fluid-filled sac in the shoulder called a bursa. This bursa is like a cushion that helps prevent the tendons from rubbing against the bones. The shoulder design is a true masterpiece!</p> Heading Off Headaches http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>6/22/2018</strong></p> <p>In our previous post, we talked about ways to treat headaches naturally. In this post, we will discuss the causes of headaches and why massage therapy, in particular, is so effective for long-term headache relief.</p> <p>Except for the head colds, headaches are the most common human ailment. In fact, headaches beat out backaches as the number-one cause of time lost from work. Approximately three out of every four people will have at least one major headache within the year.</p> <p>Some headaches, like migraines, are caused by a disturbance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. However, according to Dr. Janet Travell and Dr. David Simons, specialists in musculoskeletal pain, "It is now becoming clear that tension headache is usually due to trigger points."</p> <p>Trigger points are small knots that develop in muscles. These knots or mini-spasms make pain travel to different areas of the body, often nowhere near the knot itself. For example, trigger points at the top of your neck can send pain directly into your eye. The name trigger point comes from the fact that these knots can sit in your muscles for ages without causing any pain until something "triggers" them to become active. Common triggers include fatigue, stress, poor posture, repetitive movements at work, and cold drafts.</p> <p>Massage therapy is a proven way of treating trigger points for long-term headache relief. In one study, researchers found that chronic headache sufferers had dramatic relief after ten massages that focused on the treatment of trigger points.</p> <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 1.2em;"><strong>"Massage has a clear long-term effect on chronic tension headache, lasting up to six months."</strong></span></div> <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 1.2em;"><em>-- Dr. Puustijarni, Researcher&#8203;</em></span></div> <p>Although you may get some relief with general relaxation massage, long-term relief depends on correctly identifying and treating specific trigger points which are responsible for your pain. Single muscle trigger points can often be eliminated quickly and easily, sometimes within one or two treatments. We like to add Trigger Point techniques to a session in order to address these single muscle issues.</p> <p>In more complicated cases, however, it may take significant time and your active participation to get lasting results.</p> <p>Trigger points (small muscle knots) in the shoulder muscles (X's) cause pain to radiate into the areas shown in this illustration: the base of the skull, the temple and sometimes the jaw.</p> Headache Head Games http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>6/18/2018</strong></p> <h2>YOUR HEADACHE TREATMENT GUIDE</h2> <p>Many people use painkillers to get rid of their headaches. Don't take painkillers for extended periods without consulting with your doctor. Some medications, even over the counter drugs (OTC) have unpleasant and sometimes dangerous side effects. It's always best to rely on non-drug treatments when possible. Here are a few suggestions:</p> <p>Relaxation Training: Relaxation has been shown to be extremely effective in the management of headaches. For example, one study published in the journal Headache in 1989 found that migraine sufferers who were taught relaxation exercises had 30% to 40% fewer attacks over the course of three years. The subjects were also better able to cope with the attacks when they occurred and required less medication.</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li><strong>Essential Oils:</strong> Essential oils are a more effective and safer alternative treatment for headaches than painkillers. Essential oils provide pain relief, aid circulation, and reduce stress. They have many other health benefits and they boost your immune system instead of causing problems on your organs and nerves. Headaches caused by hormonal imbalances are particularly helped by the use of essential oils. Lavender and Rosemary oils are soothing oils that relieve pain and ease tension. Both help with hormonal imbalances. Lavender and Peppermint can help to reduce headaches caused by stress. Lavender also works as a mild sedative that helps people suffering from headaches caused by insomnia or lack of sleep. Headaches that are caused by allergies can also be minimized and in some cases eliminated by using essential oils. Our top headache oils include Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Frankincense and Cypress.</li> <li><strong>Cold:</strong> Reusable gel packs are an inexpensive and simple solution that can be used in place of or as an adjunct to medication. Keep the gel pack in the freezer. At the first sign of a headache, put the pack in a hand towel and wrap it around your next. About 70% of headache sufferers will experience some relief with the use of gel packs. If your headache gets worse after applying the pack, it is possible that the cold pack may be aggravating a trigger point.</li> <li><strong>Heat:</strong> Some people find that heat is better than cold at relieving headaches. Most gel packs can also be heated. They are generally safer and more effective than a heating pad because they mold nicely to the shape of our neck and are less likely to cause burns. A hot bath or hot shower are also very helpful in reducing headache pain. Headaches caused by trigger points generally respond well to heat, whereas migraine headaches may be aggravated.</li> <li><strong>Exercise:</strong> Regular exercise helps relieve stress and tension and thus can be an excellent way to prevent headaches. Neck, back and shoulder stretches also help relieve tension and are essential for trigger point headaches. Ask your massage therapist for stretches that are appropriate for you.</li> <li><strong>Improved Posture:</strong> Sitting improperly, at a computer, for instance, can create tension in the muscles and trigger a headache. Slouching is particularly problematic as it prevents you from breathing normally and shortens the muscles in the back of your neck. Taking a periodic break to stretch and breathe is very helpful to head off headaches. Remember the 20/20 rule - take a 20-second break every 20 minutes.</li> <li><strong>Get To The Cause:</strong> A headache may be your body's way of telling you that there is some underlying stressful problem in your life: a troubled relationship, an unfulfilling job or an upcoming exam, etc. Your headaches may go away only after these stressful situations are resolved.</li> <li><strong>MASSAGE:</strong> This is one of our favorites simply because we know it works so well. Many people think that massage provides only short term relief. However, research shows that not only is massage effective at eliminating headaches, but the relief can last for months. Part of the effectiveness lies in the elimination of trigger points. As well, regular massage can actually retrain your nervous system to decrease the tension in your muscles on a more permanent basis.</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 1.2em;"><strong>"Massage has a clear long-term effect on chronic tension headaches lasting up to six months."</strong><br /><em>-- Dr. Puustijarni, Researcher</em></span></p> <p>To reduce tension and eliminate trigger points in your shoulders and neck, try this stretch:</p> <p>Put one hand over your head and gently bring your ear to your shoulder until you feel a comfortable stretching sensation in the side of your neck. Avoid poking your chin forward or rotating your head. Keep your other shoulder down by reaching to the floor with your fingers or by grabbing the seat of your chair. Hold this position for 15 seconds and then repeat on the other side.</p> Frank Talk About Frankincense http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>6/15/2018</strong></p> <p>This ancient oil has proven itself over thousands of years of extensive use to be both effective and reliable. Frankincense was at one time used for trading and valued more highly than gold. While Frankincense has many uses, it is most renowned for its pronounced improvement of the immune system response. Because of that, it is included in the new Aroma Rain Massage. Frankincense is also highly prized for its effect on all kinds of skin issues and its effectiveness on most emotional issues. It's extremely useful in wound healing and also great for aging skin and scars.</p> <p>Pure Frankincense essential oil also supports healthy brain function and offers many restorative properties. It has been used for millennia for various folk medicine and religious purposes. Frankincense is steam distilled from the resin of the Frankincense tree. It has a spicy, ancient, mid-eastern aroma with a beautiful citrus note. The higher citrus note is desirable in a superb quality Frankincense oil.</p> <p>Frankincense is regularly mentioned in the Bible and was given as one of the three wise men's gifts to the Baby Jesus. It's been a hugely important oil throughout ancient and modern history. It was used anciently to clear the mind and support brain function and it still is used for this today.</p> <p>BENEFITS OF FRANKINCENSE OIL INCLUDE:</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>Helps reduce stress reactions and negative emotions</li> <li>Helps boost immune system function and prevents illness</li> <li>May help fight cancer or deal with chemotherapy side effects</li> <li>It's astringent and can kill harmful germs and bacteria</li> <li>Heals skin and prevents signs of aging</li> <li>Improves memory</li> <li>May help balance hormones and improve fertility</li> <li>Eases digestion</li> <li>Acts as a sleep aid</li> <li>Helps decrease inflammation and pain</li> </ul> Sciatica is a Pain in the Butt! http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>6/11/2018</strong></p> <p>The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that begins at the base of the spine and passes through the buttocks and continues down the back of the thigh and into the lower leg. This nerve can become compressed or inflamed. If this occurs, pain begins to travel down the back of your leg.</p> <p>This pain is referred to as "sciatica." Sciatica can be caused by a bulging disc, arthritis of the spine, a tight piriformis muscle in your butt, and even by trigger points in your muscles. Depending on the cause and the severity, you could experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg.</p> <p>Strengthening the muscles of the lower back helps to reduce the symptoms of lower back and leg pain. While we may prefer bed rest to exercise when in pain, active sciatica exercise is a great mechanism for healing sciatic pain. Doctors may advise rest for just a day or two after a bout with sciatica, but inactivity only makes it worse. This is because the lack of movement causes the lower back muscles and spine to become even more cramped and unable to fully support the back, leading to further back injury and strain - which means more lower back and body pain. It's a vicious cycle.</p> <p>Exercising keeps the fluids between the discs healthy and well lubricated and strengthens the muscles of the abdomen and back. Exercises for sciatica relief are varied, depending on the cause of the pain and the specific muscles involved. Engaging in regular exercise helps to keep these muscles flexible and strong. This helps to speed up the recovery process as well as preventing further recurrence.</p> <p>Our FAVORITE tool for managing sciatica is massage therapy. Massage helps alleviate sciatic nerve pain in two ways:</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>Tight lower back muscles can place stress on your nerve roots. Massage therapy loosens these muscles and helps to prevent pinching or irritation.</li> <li>A massage encourages the release of pain-fighting endorphins. This can provide temporary relief from symptoms like the throbbing pain in your foot, the burning sensation in your leg or the pain in your butt.</li> </ul> The Gist About Discs - Part 3 (Back Exercises) http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <strong>6/8/2018</strong><br /> <p>Here is a series of extension exercises you can do to recover from low back pain, specifically acute episodes of back pain - when your back "goes out." The exercises put the vertebrae in a position that pushes the soft center of the disc forward so it stops pushing on the ligaments or nerves in the low back.</p> <p>Before beginning the exercises, consult with your massage therapist to be sure that the exercises are appropriate for you. Do them in the order outlined. When doing these exercises, you should move until you just start to feel discomfort and then return to the starting position. If you do these exercises every two hours, about six to eight times per day, you should notice a significant change in pain within one to two days.</p> <p>Closely observe the location and intensity of your pain. If your pain becomes less diffuse and localizes to your back, you'll know these exercises are working. if the pain intensifies or starts to spread further from your spine, stop exercising and get advise from your massage therapist.&#8203;</p> <p><strong>EXERCISE 1:</strong> Lie face down with your head turned to the side. If your neck is uncomfortable in this position, roll up a towel and place it under your shoulders. Take deep breaths and consciously try to relax the muscles in your lower back. Stay in this position for about five minutes.</p> <p><strong>EXERCISE 2:</strong> Remain face down. Place your elbows directly under your shoulders so that you are leaning on your forearms. Take deep breaths and allow your back to relax completely. Hold this position for about five minutes. This exercise should be done only once per session after Exercise 1.</p> <p><strong>EXERCISE 3:</strong> Place your hands under your shoulders. Straighten your arms and push your body upwards. Let your pelvis sag and rest on the floor. Relax the muscles around your low back and hips completely. It is important that you hold this extended position for one to two seconds before you lower yourself to the starting position. If you feel that the pain is decreasing or localizing, you may hold the position for a little longer. Repeat this exercise 10 times after having completed Exercises 1 and 2.</p> We Will, We Will Rock You... http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>6/2/2018</strong></p> <h2>...With Our Swedish Massage!</h2> <p>&#8203;Swedish Massage is the most common type of massage modality performed by massage therapists around the country. It is often referred to as Spa Massage, Therapeutic Massage, or Relaxation Massage. This is because one of the common strokes used in Swedish Massage is a long, gliding movement directing blood towards the heart. The gliding motion is soothing and calming to the muscles and the mind.</p> <p>&#8203;However, there is much more to a Swedish Massage than simple relaxation. Utilizing the techniques of effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, vibration (rocking), and friction, Swedish Massage is very beneficial for promoting elevated amounts of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle tension, and toxin levels, increasing range of motion, as well as minimizing the symptoms of pain. Additionally, a study commissioned by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and published in the New York Times, found that volunteers who received a 45-minute Swedish Massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as arginine vasopressin - a hormone that can lead to cortisol production. Volunteers also had an increase in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system, and a boost in the immune cells that may help fight colds and flu. Swedish Massage really is a tremendous health tool for mind and body wellness. Literally.</p> <p>&#8203;At&#8203; Berkana BodyWorks, we like to incorporate other modalities into our Swedish sessions. Having learned many styles and methods through the years, utilizing additional techniques with our Swedish Massage, such as Trigger Point Therapy, Sports Massage, Massage Cupping, CranioSacral Therapy, and others helps to get the most benefit in a session for our clients. That's why communication is vitally important. Keeping us updated on your current health status helps us to help you be at your physical best. Knowing what's going on with your body enables us to customize your sessions for optimal value and efficacy. Together, we can work towards achieving your personal health and wellness goals.</p> The Gist About Discs - Part 2 http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>5/29/2018</strong></p> <p>In part one of our DISCussion on discs, we talked about the causes of disc pain. In part two, we will address how to minimize the potential for damage and ways to maintain spinal lordosis - the natural inward curve of the low back.</p> <h2>&#8203;Prevention is Best!</h2> <p>&#8203;Ideally, you want to stop back pain from developing by taking some simple steps to reduce strain to your back.</p> <p>&#8203;Many chairs don't offer sufficient support for your lower back. Even well-designed chairs can be used improperly. For example, most people sit in the middle of the seat and then slouch backward against the back support. It is important to maintain the natural lordosis in your lower back while sitting.</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>You can use a specially designed lumbar support that can be attached to your chair or simply roll up a medium-sized towel and place it between your lower back and the backrest of your seat.</li> <li>You can also stand up regularly, put your hands on the back of your hips, and bend forward five or six times. Remember the 20/20 rule - take a twenty-second break at least every twenty minutes to stand up, stretch out, and take a couple of deep breaths.</li> </ul> <p>&#8203;Many activities around the home like gardening, making the bed, and vacuuming cause you to stoop forward.</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>Make sure that you stand upright occasionally and bend backward to relieve the strain on the back ligaments.</li> <li>If you are doing any lifting, make sure to keep your back straight and bend from your hips and knees.</li> </ul> <p>In the event that your back starts hurting, stop what you're doing if possible, and be sure to see us right away. We should be able to help you out or refer you to a qualified medical professional based on our assessment.</p> The Gist About Discs - Part 1 http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>5/23/2018</strong></p> <p>Your back consists of stacked bones called vertebrae. There are discs between the vertebrae that act as shock absorbers, allow the spine to bend and help protect the spinal cord. Each disc consist of a soft sermi-fluid center (nucleus) that is surrounded and held together by strong ligaments.</p> <p>&#8203;The discs in your back can be the source of a great deal of pain. This pain can range from a nagging ache and sciatic discomfort to excruciating pain that incapacitates you. There are simple measures you can take to reduce the risk of disc problems occurring and to reduce your pain once problems do occur.</p> <p>&#8203;To understand how disc pain happens, it is important to understand normal posture. When standing upright, there is a natural inward curve in the lower back called a lumbar lordosis. With natural lordosis, your body weight is distributed evenly over the discs. This lordosis is lost whenever you slouch or bend forward. Back problems develop if you find yourself in these positions for long periods of time. This occurs because the vertebrae are placed in a position that pushes the nucleus backwards and stresses the ligaments at the back of the disc.</p> <p>&#8203;If pressure on the ligaments is severe enough, they may become weak and allow the soft inside part of the disc to bulge outward (prolapse) and press on the spinal nerves. This can cause sciatic nerve pain in the buttocks or down the leg.</p> <p>The disc, which sits between two vertebrae, acts like a shock absorber for the spine. Nerves come out of spinal cord and pass through small holes behind the disc.</p> New Aroma Rain Massage Replaces Rain Drop http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>&nbsp;5/14/2018</strong></p> <p>After 16 years, Rain Drop Massage has been discontinued. In its place, is my own exclusive aromatherapy service that I have named "Aroma Rain Massage."</p> <p>Some clients have asked why I have discontinued Rain Drop Massage. It has been a favorite of many for a very long time - including myself. The short answer is simply "for you."</p> <p>Several weeks ago, I had the privilege to meet with Holly Draper, a certified aromatherapist and essential oil expert. She is the owner/developer of Purify Skin Therapy essential oils. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the differences between oil companies, oil quality, and delivery methods with her. Our discussions prompted me to research which essential oils were most often recommended industry-wide for immune support and overall health and wellness - which was the purpose of Rain Drop Massage. I also focused on 10 of the 11 major body systems - Circulatory, Digestive, Endocrine, Integumentary, Lymphatic, Muscular, Nervous, Respiratory, Skeletal, and Urinary.</p> <p>For many years, I have used Rain Drop Massage to promote overall wellness and provide helpful health benefits for clients. While I still believe there are positive benefits with Rain Drop as I have done it, I have also discovered less desirable aspects as well. Consequently, my research and testing, combined with Holly's input, directed me to design a new oil therapy that would have increased value, efficacy, safety, and benefits for clients. For YOU. A therapy that would truly provide immune system support, minimize back discomfort, and actually enhance overall good health and vitality.</p> <p>I LOVE THIS NEW THERAPY. It consists of our own unique combination of Purify Skin Therapy single oils and blends that are applied along the spine, tops of the hips and on the feet. The oils are powerful without harming the body or irritating the skin. The application method provides more massage work on the back and the entire therapy flows seamlessly from one segment to the next. It is inspired body work!</p> <p>I invite you to try the new Aroma Rain Massage. I hope you love it as much as I do!</p> Ice, Ice, Ice Baby http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>5/11/2018</strong></p> <p>The weather is getting warmer and we are starting to spend more time outdoors. Yard work, hiking, biking (see previous post) and more physical activities beckon for our attention. Be careful and don't overdo. If possible, ease into all the outside things you want to do. If you find yourself with any muscle strains or pulls, remember:</p> <h2>&#8203;HEAT can hurt!</h2> <p>&#8203;When your body is hurting, it feels comforting to put a hot water bottle or a heating pad on the sore areas. But it may not always be a great idea. Heat can aggravate your injuries and prolong your pain. When should you use heat and when should you use ice? If you're ever in doubt, use ice. Here are some general guidelines:</p> <p>Use Ice if:</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>Your injury is recent (within 48 hours from the injury)</li> <li>Your muscles are in spasm</li> </ul> <p>&#8203;Why ice? Ice will reduce inflammation and decrease the time it takes the injury to heal. It also has an anesthetic effect that will lessen your pain and relax muscle spasms.</p> <p>Use Heat if:</p> <ul style="list-style-type: disc;"> <li>Your injury is chronic (more than 48 hours old)</li> <li>Your muscles are tense</li> <li>You have pain that is the result of muscle knots or trigger points</li> </ul> <p>&#8203;Why heat? In these cases, there's no danger of aggravating inflammation. The heat will relax your muscles and help improve your circulation.</p> May Is National Bike Month http://www.berkanabodyworks.com <p><strong>5/8/2018</strong></p> <p>With more and more bike trails and lanes popping up in our cities around the country, cycling has been regaining popularity as a healthy and environmentally-conscious activity that any skill level can participate in. May is National Bike Month and there are some great reasons to add this exercise to your repertoire.</p> <p>&#8203;Cycling is an easy sport to get into. It's low impact and uses all of the major muscle groups to pedal. As more trails and pathways are made available, the amount of bike commuters has grown. Starting your day outdoors in the fresh air over sitting in traffic is a great endorphin boost. Plus, riding around town on a bike puts gas money back in your pocket.</p> <p>&#8203;All the pedaling improves your heart, lungs, and circulation, thus reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Cycling actually strengthens your heart muscle and cyclists have two to three times less exposure to pollution, improving their lung function.</p> <p>&#8203;As you build your cycling skills, take your bike off-road, and try mountain biking. There are some great trails in our canyons nearby. Mountain biking has the same heart-healthy and decreased disease benefits as regular cycling, but taking your bike into the woods has some magical mental benefits as well. Mastering techniques like going over your first log or taking on your first rock garden will boost your self-confidence. The scenery is breathtaking which decreases anxiety and stress.</p> <p>&#8203;Bicycling is a great exercise for the body and the brain. It's easy to pick up and it's great for all ages and levels. Celebrate National Bike Month and go for a ride! Be sure to wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road for safe riding.</p> <p>&#8203;You may feel some soreness if you aren't used to riding. If you do, give us a call and we'll help soothe those aches and pains and get you back on your bike again!</p>