Friday, September 30, 2011

TMJ, TMD and massage

“Click.  Click.  Click.”  Is that the sound your jaw makes as you chew, or even talk?  Is it uncomfortable?  Do you clench your jaw when asleep, or in times of stress?  Do you have headaches frequently?  It’s possible that you are suffering some degree of temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD). It’s suspected that a great percentage of us have some degree of dysfunction in our temporomandibular joint (TMJ), but that it’s only severe enough in a handful of people that treatment is necessary. Personally, I suffer some degree of TMD, and I know that it is tied into my headaches (even migraines), and general neck and shoulder tension.  The temporomandibular joint is a unique (and uniquely complicated) joint, connecting our lower jawbone (mandible) to our skull (at the temporal bone). Technically, it’s a pair of joints, as there’s one on each side of the jaw, but we will refer to them as “a” joint.  

Often, TMD is a combination of issues in the TMJ, and a result of muscular imbalances.  In such a

Friday, September 16, 2011

After your workout: A 3-part plan (plus a bonus step).

I was at the gym Monday, and after our workout, one of my colleagues asked "so, what should I be doing now?"
What a simple question.  What a tremendously important question.  I have a 3-part plan for you, beginning from just after your workout through the rest of the day.  This plan will address clearing metabolic waste, and addressing the resting length (or tension) of muscles.
In my last post, I addressed the importance of removing metabolic waste from muscles. If a muscle is holding too much tension, it is like holding a squeezed sponge-you can't get any more old stuff out, or any fresh new stuff in.  So, we need to get the muscles to stop holding on to their tension to allow for better circulation (muscle tension holding patterns create countless other postural and systemic problems, but I'm solely focusing on recovery right now).  Your 3-part plan, post workout:

1. Cool Down - Do a little cool down...jog a little, do some air squats, go through some lift movements with a PVC pipe.  Don't work hard...just keep the muscles lightly working for, say 5-7

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Benefits of massage for athletes: The Basics.

Let's start at the start with this blog...what are the benefits of massage? Since most of you (my clients) are athletes, or at least weekend warriors, I'll address this in a way that speaks to the athlete in us. That is, I'll address how it can assist your recovery (and ultimately your performance).

When muscles are used in a workout, chemical reactions result in lactic acid, which eventually builds up faster than it can be removed from the muscle. Additionally, microtears occur in the muscle. So after a workout, it's easy to see that there's waste in the muscles which needs to be cleared away to make room for nutrients to heal the microtears. How does massage help?