Are you really looking after yourself?

January is often considered a month of renewal.  Many of us start the year off with resolutions to make healthier choices during the coming months.  Walk into any local gym right now and you will be greeted by a multitude of people keen to become more healthy and “turn over a new leaf”. While I fully support an active lifestyle and know the importance of it, too often I have found that sometimes people feel guilty about booking a massage therapy treatment for themselves. For some reason, it seems more acceptable to “better” oneself by sweating and working hard in the gym, than by taking one hour a month to have a preventative massage therapy treatment. This can be an effective way to de-stress and address any muscular issues before they have a chance to become bigger problems.

Winter is hard on your body!

In fact, daily life itself can be more taxing to our bodies during the winter months. As we shovel the driveway, clear off our vehicle, or wait for our car to warm up, we tend to tighten our muscles and scrunch up our shoulders in an attempt to stay warm.  Cold weather causes muscles to lose more heat and contract, causing tightness throughout the body. Muscles can lose their range of motion and nerves can more easily be pinched.  When left untreated shoulder and/or neck tension can become constant pain or headaches. Low back pain can often be ignored for quite some time-until suddenly, it can’t! Massage therapy decreases muscle tension, improves circulation, improves joint mobility and decreases pain.  Having monthly maintenance treatments are an excellent way to avoid acute pain and also are a great way to manage stress levels and improve sleep during these cold, dark winter days.

Massage therapy is an investment in your health

What better way to start the year off right than investing in your own health?  Massage therapy will help you get through the season with less stress, fewer injuries and also maximize your performance while working on “the new you” at the gym.

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Pain in your butt?

The gluteal muscles of your buttocks are among the largest and strongest in the body. They are responsible for moving your leg at the hip joint. More specifically, they extend your thigh, help with rotation, and help keep your pelvis stabilized and strong. For example, every time you climb the stairs, get out of your car, or get out of bed in the morning, your glutes kick into action. You rely on them every day.

When you do activities such as running, climbing, or squats, your glutes are loaded even more. These muscles can get tight and painful from overuse or strain and massage therapy can provide relief. Under the glutes lie the lateral rotators of the hip.

The most clinically notable of these is the piriformis muscle. It is really important to address when a person is experiencing sciatica type symptoms. The sciatic nerve can be compressed by the piriformis muscle and cause pain in the hip area and down the back of your leg, often making it painful to sit or to get up from sitting. Thankfully, massage therapy is very good at addressing this “piriformis syndrome“.

As you can see, the gluteal region of the body is an important one for day to day life as well as for more athletic pursuits. Keeping it strong is important to your overall health as it plays a big role in keeping you active and mobile. If you are experiencing discomfort or limited movement because of tightness in this area, it is wise to get it treated to prevent any further muscle or nerve involvement

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