Posted on October 7, 2012 by Mark
Posted on September 21, 2012 by Mark
According to my Dave Barry calendar, today, Sept. 21, is UN International Day of Peace.
So not that it hasn’t already for the past few weeks, but because of this happy coincidence we can be certain that this will be the day the spit will hit the fan all over the globe, because that’s how these things work.
That is all.
Posted on September 3, 2012 by Mark
I know I promised to air no political rants here, and hopefully I can keep that promise … as in, no rants. But massage therapy can be very tiresome if that’s all one does, and today I’m really tired of it, so here is a short bit that I hope falls far short of a rant.
Anyhow, someone asked me if Senator Al, one of the funniest guys to ever appear on Saturday Night Live when the show was still funny, still remembers the ancientest of political jibes –
How can you tell a politician is lying? See if his lips are moving.
My advice to Senator Al is to keep your mouth shut at all times. You have become the people our parents warned us against, and we’re watching you, buddy.
However and but, Al is a Strict Constructionist as far as Petitioning the Government for Redress of Grievances. He has a whole shopping list of petitions out there, for all sorts of worthy, absolutely Blue State causes. Just Google his name and ‘petition.’
And here is a corker of a petition, so click the following link.
Okay, that’s not what it’s called but that’s my read on the ability of multi-gazillionaires to inundate the airwaves and press outlets with mega-million-dollars’ worth of advertising intended to swing elections their own way. And the Extreme Court says that’s quite all right.
And in this case “right” is the pivotal word in the court’s decision. These are not ‘citizens united,’ these are fabulously well to do megalomaniacs united to make sure sensibility and fair play never prevail in our elections, national or otherwise.
Squelch the jerks. Sign the petition.
That is all.
Posted on September 1, 2012 by Mark
Posted on April 4, 2012 by Mark
Spring is early this year. Well, in fact there has not been much of a winter in North America, especially around here. Even in Kansas the lilacs bloomed a month early, so I am told, and last week the temperature in Flint, Michigan was warmer than Pensacola.
Which means that my clients have been extra industrious not only with spring cleaning, but with yard work, and I lost count of the strained low backs, sore shoulders, achy thighs, and stiff necks I have dealt with over the past couple of weeks as folks get back into the swing of caring for lawns and gardens.
I used to do that ages ago, care for a lawn, in southern California, and I did use different muscles to do that, or at least used muscles in different ways, than for anything else I ever did. So I can empathize with hedge-clipper wrist syndrome, and weed-pulling crouch thigh complaint, and reaching too high to saw down that tree limb hyperextension of the shoulder ouchiness.
Only now I know what to do about these issues in my clients because they resemble so many other muscular situations I treat routinely, and I saw a multitude of them over the past couple of weeks.
Of course Epsom salts baths and massage therapy work wonders on underused muscles that suddenly become overused muscles, but another great thing for those yard work aches and pains is to treat your gardening chores as a workout, which is really what they amount to.
Stretch before AND after you weed, and seed, and mow, and mulch, and schlep around that 15-pound edge trimmer, the leaf blower, and the electric hedge clippers that you haven’t picked up since last September.
Stretching will help move the lactic acid out of overworked muscles. That’s the stuff that builds up in the muscle tissue and causes the delayed aches and even cramps that often don’t manifest until the next day. Frequent rest breaks, and of course constant rehydration will help as well – get a big water bottle and keep drinking from it. Don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink, because by then you are already dehydrated.
And one last thing, all you weekend garden warriors – cover up! If it’s too hot for long trousers and long sleeves, at least use a good sunblock, SPF30 or better, everywhere your skin is exposed. And wear a hat, one that shades your neck. If you don’t have one, get one.
What you never want to do is come see me with sunburnt skin where I need to work on you, because I won’t do it.
But do come see me when you can, and I will sort out your muscle issues, and get you ready to go do it again next weekend.
That is all.
salt baths, self massage, all that stuff
Posted on March 16, 2012 by Mark
What’s the first thing you do when you get hurt? When you twist your ankle, bonk your head, pick up a big box the wrong way and wrench your back? I mean, what’s the first thing you do after you say a whole bunch of words you really hope Mom didn’t hear?
You assess the damage, of course, usually by touching the injured area, tentatively at first, and then gently rubbing it. That helps, first in making sure nothing is broken besides your dignity, and then also to assist the movement of blood and lymph into the area by impromptu massage.
After that you will want to do something that really helps, and that’s to ice the injury. Unless there is blood flowing from the site like the Trevi fountain, the most effective first aid for any injury is to seriously chill it out.
Prolonged application of subfreezing cold to human tissue immediately causes vasoconstriction, the shrinking of blood vessels, which means less blood flowing to the site. After 9 to 16 minutes, that effect is reversed, and there follows 4 to 6 minutes of vasodilation, bringing new blood to the site and pushing the cold blood out, in the body’s attempt to warm the affected area. After that, if the cold persists, vasoconstriction occurs once more, followed by another episode of vasodilation. This slow but strong pumping action, called the hunting response, not only brings needed oxygen, platelets, and other reconstructive materials to the injury site, but carries away damaged cells and other waste and toxins caused by the trauma. In addition, the cold will shut down nerves, desensitizing the area and reducing pain signals to the brain.
However, you don’t want to overdo it, because ice will also freeze tissues with prolonged exposure, so no more than 20 minutes continuous use is ever recommended.
You don’t need a massage therapist to put an ice pack on you, though I have put ice on clients who came in with recent injuries, or simply with spasmodic twitch that I could not reduce any other way, and there is something called ice massage that looks quite interesting but that I never have done.
On the other hand, I could be the cause of your needing ice, if for instance you come to see me with your back so jacked up that I have to jam my elbow an inch deep in your lower erector just beneath the last rib in order to quell a particularly stubborn trigger point, which is something I had to inflict on a guy last night.
What I do never is intended to hurt or harm, but sometimes I have to break a few muscle spindles in order to make a smooth, non-clenching-like-a-fist muscle omelet. So if I do have to go deep, I will always tell a client to use ice on the area later if it hurts.
And of course trauma and that mean old massage therapist aren’t the only causes of injury that can use cold therapy. If you overdo it at the gym, not necessarily pulling or spraining anything, but just an ache down to the bones from overuse, I would treat that as an injury and ice it as well.
Sometimes I go overboard myself, working too deep for too long on someone, and wind up with aching fingers, so you might see me in the break room, ice cubes wrapped in a washcloth clutched in both hands.
Try not to laugh, okay?
That is all.
Posted on March 5, 2012 by Mark