Learn about the different areas of the body and how massage can help.
What in the world is TMJ? My doctor/dentist/physical therapist/etc. just told me that I have TMJ, now what? TMJ diagnosis can be confusing, isolating, and hard to find treatment to address the root problems. A lot of times, the muscles that close the jaw, and open the jaw are the culprits with the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ. In addition to the muscles that specifically open and close the jaw, the muscles of the neck and shoulders also impact the jaw. Working on relaxing these areas can be critical to addressing your TMJ issues.
Headaches and Migraines
“I have bi-monthly migraines that start around and behind my right eye. The base of where my head rests on my neck is also tight during my migraines.” Does this sound similar to your headaches/migraines? Well it is possible to reduce the severity and the frequency of your headaches/migraines, by massaging specific areas of your head, neck and shoulders. These chronically tight and usually over used areas, do really well with focused massage. (TMJ issues can also flare headaches/migraines.)
Shoulders & Neck
“My neck is tight and my shoulders are so stiff! It’s hard to turn my head and I feel pain… at the base of my neck when I turn my head, or I feel pain next to my skull/spine when I turn my head.” Does this sound familiar? This can be a regular occurrence, or a random event, either way its uncomfortable, painful and makes it hard to function during the day and to sleep well at night.
Rotator Cuff Issues
When I sleep, my hand, fingers, arm goes numb. Does this sound familiar? We have a nerve bundle, called the brachial plexus, that goes under the pectoralis muscle to the arm. Or, I have frozen shoulder… When this area gets tight, your shoulders are rounded forward, you have inflammation in this area, you can start having numbness starting to show up here. One of the things that you can do, is have a focused neuromuscular massage session. There are a lot of muscles that move your shoulder joint, and it’s these muscles that need to be massaged.
Forearms and Hands
“I rock climb on the weekends and my forearms and hands get really tight and sore.” OR “I’m a dental hygienist and the small hand and forearm movements that I use all day, to clean teeth, are tired/sore and it’s hard to keep working consistently year after year”. OR “I work on my computer all day, and my hands and forearms are causing me problems…” The muscles in the forearm move the hand, the extrinsic muscles of the hand. The muscles in your hand are the intrinsic muscles. These muscles get tight, sore, over used and need a break.
Mid and Low back
Have you ever had your back start hurting and you don’t know why this time bending over, or twisting has started your pain? “I’ve done these movements a hundred times…” Well back pain, depending on where it’s presenting, how you typically sit, stand, walk, sleep,etc., can suddenly present itself and go away without understanding why. There are typical pain patterns that help me to understand where to work. The muscles that work together and do the opposite of the movements that you are doing, need to be focused on.
Hips and Legs
“The outside of my hip aches all of the time. What am I doing?” One cause… crossing your ankles on a regular basis. A massage focused on these tight areas and the muscles surrounding, can help reduce and relieve this specific hip tightness and pain.
“My knee hurts inside the joint.” There are a lot of muscles in the leg and the calf that attach at the knee joint. You also have one specific muscle that specifically refers pain to the inside of the knee, the popliteus muscle. Massage focused on these areas can help to reduce and relieve knee pain. (Depending on the reason for the knee pain.)
Lower Leg and Feet
The feet have muscles inside the foot that move the foot and muscles outside the foot, in the shank (calf) that also move the foot. The foot is extremely complex and hosts 25% of your bones in your body. Your feet stabilize your body, help your body to sense your environment and help you move. So it’s critical to maintain healthy feet. This is where focused massage sessions can make a significant difference for you.
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