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How Often Should I Get a Massage?

How Often Should I Get a Massage?

Meghan Krupka, LMT at Bodyworks DW, writes about how often to get a massage at Bodyworks DW!

Meghan Krupka Licensed Massage Therapist at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

In the often hectic & stressful environment that is NYC, having a self-care plan or routine in place is key. A good self care plan can greatly aid in reducing the physical and mental effects of this stress. Deciding to integrate massage therapy into your self-care routine often begs the question: how often should I come in for a massage? There is no one-size fits all answer, but here are some general guidelines depending on your lifestyle and health. Hopefully, these will help you determine an effective frequency to keep you pain free!

General Recommendations: How Often Should I Get a Massage?

First rule: Don't wait for a crisis! Start adding massage therapy to your routine before you get injured. You'll need to come far less often and also vastly improve your ability to prevent future injury.

For any actual pain symptoms we recommend a series of massage therapy sessions with no more than 2 weeks between sessions. Depending on the severity of your pain and the causes the series will be anywhere from 3-8 sessions.

Once you are no longer experiencing pain, you can switch to a maintenance cycle of massage sessions. This is important to keep the pain from coming back. For people who work highly stressful jobs or work out hard regularly, we recommend a maintenance massage every 2-4 weeks. For the rest of you, a maintenance massage every 6-12 weeks usually does the trick of keeping you pain free!

When my job has me sitting at a desk for long hours

With a desk job over time your body starts accepting your sitting postures as your go to posture. Your body adjusts your muscles, nervous system, and fascia to make sitting easier to hold. This can be problematic when you go to do something more active. Like a run or yoga class. Or even something simple such as carrying groceries home. Or getting a heavy object down from a shelf. The long term build up of desk tension in the sitting position often leads to injuries.

Combatting the postural habits caused by sitting at a desk can be effectively managed with a series of weekly or biweekly massage therapy sessions.

A series of 3-8 massages with less than 2 weeks between them is usually enough. It will make a huge difference in your posture. And get you out of the chronic pain cycle. After you are pain free look at the general guidelines above for how often to get a maintenance massage.

A good massage therapist near you should also be able to provide you with corrective cues, exercises, other self-care practices. By practicing these you can lower the number of massage sessions you’ll need overall in the series. And you’ll be able to maintain your pain free life with fewer maintenance massage sessions too!

Getting massage therapy to help recover from surgery

Depending on the severity of your surgery, we recommend massage therapy once every few weeks. This assumes that you are also working with a physical therapist 1-3 times a week. Massage therapy sessions for these cases will help to reduce pain and hopefully reduce the need for pain medication. It will also improve overall circulation, minimize the effects of scar tissue and promote lymph drainage if there is swelling.

Asking your doctor about whether massage therapy is a good treatment option for your particular surgery recovery is also recommended. While massage can help with recovery from many types of surgeries, it can be contraindicated for certain ones. Or particular massage modalities may be better suited for your specific case. Having all health professionals involved and on-board will result in a more effective, comprehensive and seamless transition back to normal activity. Once you are able to return to your favorite and daily activities, massage session frequency can be reduced to a maintenance cycle.

However, sometimes insurance will stop covering physical therapy sessions despite the fact that you are still experiencing pain. If this happens, we recommend continuing massage therapy sessions once a week or at most every other week until you are pain free.

For chronic pain or stress due to autoimmune disorders?

Chronic autoimmune symptoms can range from disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, migraines, depression and insomnia…and many, many more. These conditions often cause debilitating effects that can disrupt your lifestyle. To manage these and work through them, it is recommended to work with a massage therapist every 2-4 weeks. Some conditions that are more serious or are still new for the client may even benefit from weekly or twice weekly massage sessions.

Massage therapy can help support you and keep your chronic symptoms under control. In conjunction with eating an anti-inflammatory diet, regular light exercise, it may also help lower dosages of any medications you are taking.

Have you been experiencing one or more of these conditions, or have been diagnosed with one? it is important to keep an open and ongoing dialogue with your therapist as well as all other involved health care professionals. Figuring out what works and what does not is critical to getting you to a point with fewer episodes and/or flare-ups.

When I have an active lifestyle

For the more casual athlete, gym-goer and workout warrior, sports massage session frequency can range from once a week to once a month. It is largely dependent on how often you are working out and playing sports. And the intensity at which you do these activities. For the average person trying to stay active and in good shape and health, once a month is usually a solid rule of thumb. If you compete in an activity or have periods of higher intensity training, increasing sessions to twice a month is always an option. On the more extreme end of the spectrum, professional athletes may require massage therapy multiple times a week. This helps to maintain their performance and to reduce their risk of injury.

Keep your training schedule in mind when you come in for a session. If you have a big event or intense training session within 24 hours, getting a focused deep tissue massage might not be the best option. Great massage therapists will instead craft a lighter session to complement your training and get you ready and primed for your big event.

Massage Therapy is cumulative...consistency is key!

Having consistently spaced massage therapy sessions at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy will allow you to get the most mileage out of your body. So you can minimize stress and pain and maximize recovery. The effects of massage therapy are cumulative. Your body thrives with consistency when it comes to taking care of it and each session builds upon the last. This is one of the reasons why we encourage booking your next appointment or two after you’ve finished a current one. This helps keep you accountable to yourself when it comes to taking your self care time seriously.

Bodyworks DW therapists want to get you to the point of “maintenance” massage. This means that our therapists have gotten you to a stable point with minimal to no current injuries, and no major pain. We ultimately want your massage sessions to be relaxing and therapeutic tune-ups that will keep your body injury and pain free for the long run.

We offer both pain management massage therapy and maintenance massage therapy in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a professional massage with one of our highly trained massage therapists? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our massage Midtown or massage Fidi studios!

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Top 5 Reasons to get a Medical Massage in Midtown

Top 5 Reasons to get a Medical Massage in Midtown

Evana Class, Senior LMT at Bodyworks DW, writes about why you should receive a medical massage in Midtown with Bodyworks DW!

Evana Class

Bodyworks DW has always focused on the effectiveness medical massage for pain relief. We look for the root causes of your pain, taking care to learn why the pain/discomfort is there. This helps both us and you work together to your continuing a healthy lifestyle. Medical massage in Midtown and Fidi is not just for those of you who are injured or reviving form surgery. It can be a great tool for preventing pain and for preparing for a big event. That 100 meter race, marathon, or that redeye 10 hour flight!

Reason #1: We have the same fantastic qualified massage therapists in Midtown as in Fidi

Each massage therapist in midtown also works in our Financial District Location. Every massage therapist takes part in regular advanced trainings with owner David Weintraub. And combined these trainings with their own talents and skills to create unforgettable medical massage experiences.

Each therapist is dedicated to improving their knowledge to meet the needs of many different kinds of clients. Our large team gives you the flexibility to find the therapist that feels like the best fit for you.

There is also great communication among the team. If you have to change therapists due to a schedule conflict, you’ll be well taken care of by anyone on our team. Our massage therapists share notes with each other, do regular research, and ask advice when they feel like they have hit a roadblock. The entire team is dedicated to finding what treatments will work best for your pain. We work collaboratively to be the most helpful to you.

This has lead to a substantial growth, since our happy clients send us their friends and family to work with. Our FiDi location is often fully booked on any given day. Especially during the popular post-work and weekend times. Which is the main reason we chose to create Bodyworks DW Midtown, so we can help more of you 🙂  

Reason #2: Our Midtown Studio is Super Accessible!  

Whether you live or work nearby or take public transportation, Midtown is very convenient. Grand Central Station is a mere 2 short blocks away. There are many subway lines through this major hub. The 4, 5, 6 green line trains running along the East side of Manhattan stops here. The 7 trains from Time Square to Queens stops here. And the S shuttle to Times Square stops here.

Coming from Westchester or Connecticut? You can leave the car and take Metro North, also at Grand Central station. Lots of our clients make a stop here after work before heading back North. It’s great place to take a break from the office or after work before the long commute home!  

For those of you working or living in midtown or anywhere North of 14th street, Bodyworks DW Midtown is available for your best medical massage in New York!

Reason #3: Sometimes plans change and you can’t keep your Fidi appointment

Things don’t always go according to schedule. You may get called into a meeting the day before your fidi appointment and just can’t get out of it. If your therapist works in midtown as well, check their schedule there. It’s likely they will have an opening sooner in Midtown than in Fidi to reschedule. And despite the fact that they seem far apart, midtown is only 12 minutes away from Fidi on the 4 train.

Sometimes plans change the other way around and you find yourself with a free afternoon or evening. That’s a great time to come in for a session! Midtown has more same day and last minute appointments available than midtown so don’t forget to check those.

Reason #4: Good Eats!

How about great food?  

While summer is still stumbling in you can take advantage of some of the unique qualities of midtown area.  Inside our building, in the basement is the highly recommended Sakagura know for it’s small plates and deep sake list. What a wonderful welcoming aroma as you make your way to the elevator bank 🙂

Next door are Soba Totto with homemade soba noodles and Luke’s Lobster, famous for its incredible lobster rolls!

And right across the street are the super upscale Sushi Yasuda which flies in amazing fish from Japan and Pietros, and old-school Italian eatery that opened in 1932.

After a great medical massage in midtown treat yourself to some fine food!

Reason #5: Local attractions (if you are visiting from out of town or simply never bothered)

Have some free time to explore? There are some big local sights within blocks of our studio.

Midtown has some wonderful places to explore starting with Grand Central Terminal. This is much more than a train station. Built in 1913 Grand Central has a lot to do, from guided tours, an amazing local food market, Iconic restaurants, and even tennis!

Visit the Melting pot of the World, The United Nations, learn about keeping nations at Peace, promoting human rights and bettering the development of other countries. It’s a block east from our studio 🙂

The Chrysler Building, an amazing art deco skyscraper built in 1930 was once the world’s tallest. Check out the art deco detailing throughout and get your inner Great Gatsby on! It’s just a block away and on the way to Grand Central.

We offer medical massage in Midtown from 12 pm to 9:30 pm. Would you like to schedule a professional medical massage with one of our highly trained massage therapists? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our medical massage Midtown studio!

Therapeutic Deep Tissue Massage Techniques for Back Pain

Best Therapeutic Deep Tissue Massage Techniques for Back Pain in New York

Meghan Krupka, LMT, staff massage therapist at Bodyworks DW, writes about the most effective kinds of therapeutic techniques for back pain.

Meghan Krupka

One of the most common requests of massage therapy clients is back pain massage. Deep tissue massage techniques can be life savers! Our spine protects and houses a large part of our central nervous system. When trauma or dysfunction happens to your body, it is going to want to protect this region first. One way that your body does this is by sending pain signals to the area. The pain is meant as a signal to rest and heal. Unfortunately, with our busy lives, we tend to ignore this signal. 

The other way that your body protects itself is by “splinting” (contracting) the muscles surrounding your spine. While this can help with an immediate injury, it can exacerbate chronic back pain and tightness.  Back pain massage is a holistic approach to rectify this dysfunction. Therapists communicate to the nervous and muscular systems that the original injury has healed. When the brain processes that it doesn't need to protect anymore it lets your back muscles go. The splinting is no longer necessary.  

Great massage therapists employ many different deep tissue massage techniques. Back pain can be the result of a wide variety of neuromuscular issues and responses to trauma. Therefore, the approach for each client case is unique. Crafting an effective massage requires an understanding of how each technique is going to affect your specific body. Each technique has a specific intention and also produces a different sensation and result. Massage therapists frequently combine techniques to achieve an overall result that includes reduction in pain, tightness, and restriction!

Check out these products that can help relieve your back pain between massages:

Deep tissue massage techniques are most effective for long term back pain relief

Deep tissue massage is a higher intensity group of techniques. To be clear, deep tissue massage techniques should not be used to beat up your body and cause you unbearable pain! The name deep tissue massage indicates that the techniques are going to produce more intense feelings for you. This is due to the higher applied pressure and greater specificity of this pressure. The sensations should always be bearable to be effective. You should be able to breath through the intensity and not flinch or tighten other muscles. The techniques discussed below all fall under the larger umbrella of deep tissue massage.

Here are some of the main effective deep tissue massage techniques for back pain:

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release techniques involve slow strokes aimed at impacting the body’s “fascial layer.” This is a layer of connective tissues that lie between your visible skin layer and your muscles. It connects and weaves throughout our entire muscular system, including tendons and ligaments. Furthermore, at a microscopic level, fascia is the “glue” that connects all of your body’s cells together.

This deep tissue massage technique uses slow and sustained pressure to open up the fascia. For most of you, this will reduce your pain and feelings of restrictions. Fascial release has the ability to restore lost range of motion. Myofascial release is performed either without lubricant or with much smaller amounts than Swedish massage. As a result, your therapist to be able to move very slowly, stretching the tissues apart. 

The most commonly targeted muscles in the back for this technique are the spinal erectors and the quadratus lumborum. Gluteal and posterior upper leg muscles can also contribute to back pain. In addition, anterior muscles such as abdominals, psoas, diaphragm, and pectorals are major players in back pain. They can all be massaged very effectively with myofascial release.

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger Point Therapy is the most specific deep tissue massage technique. It uses only the area of a finger or thumb tip to apply pressure. Trigger points are considered tender areas in your soft tissue. They cause referred pain to other areas of the body. They are colloquially called “knots.” In reality there aren’t actual knots in muscles. Rather trigger points are highly contracted areas—sort of like a tiny cramp. These points can generate very unpleasant sensations.

With trigger point therapy, the points are pressed and held for a sustained time. Pressure on the trigger point can often increase the referred pain for a short period. Then the knots release and the pain goes away. Properly addressing trigger points can result in reduced pain and restriction. Trigger points in your sacral area, thoracolumbar fascia, gluteal muscles and posterior upper leg muscles contribute to back pain. By “calming these down” immense relief can be obtained.

Cross-Fiber Friction

Cross-fiber friction is a technique of rubbing a muscles perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers. Issues such as tears, breaks, sprains, strains and other types of damage can affect muscles fibers, tendons and ligaments. When something like this happens, scar tissue forms. Scar tissue, unlike normal, healthy tissue, has collagen fibers that are not neatly arranged and aligned. The aim of this deep tissue massage technique is to help make this jumble of collagen fibers a little less messy. Additionally, it promotes circulation and reduces hypertonicity (the feeling of tightness). Cross-fiber friction can also reduce muscle spasms that occur. It helps tell the central nervous system it no longer needs to relay sensations of pain to the area.

This technique is frequently employed for targeting the spinal erector muscles running right along your vertebrae. These muscles are relatively thin, taut bands so cross-fiber friction works well because of the narrow perpendicular distance.

Muscle Stripping

Muscle stripping is a deep tissue massage technique which is applied along the length of a muscle. We move in the direction that the muscle fibers are oriented. Sometimes, this technique is also called longitudinal friction. Muscle stripping is ideal when the primary intention is to elongate muscle fibers. Particularly within a more concentrated area. Pressure can be adjusted by using forearm, fingers, thumb or elbow.

Similarly to cross-fiber friction, the spinal erectors are a commonly chosen area of the back to apply muscle stripping to. It is also easily applied to wider back muscles since the direction of pressure is with grain of the muscle fibers,. A good example would be the quadratus lumborum. Or other potentially involved muscles like the glutes or quads.

Pin and Stretch  

The pin and stretch technique involves “pinning” down a portion of a muscle while simultaneously moving the rest of the muscle away from the pinned area. The intention of this deep tissue massage technique is to provide a deep stretch to the portion of muscle belly that lies between the pinned point and the attachment that is being moved. It allows a therapist to apply a more intense stretching sensation to a particular region of a muscle. 

This technique can be either active or passive. When active, you will be contracting the targeted muscle and moving the attachment point. You will follow the therapist’s direction while moving a part of your body. When passive, the therapist will move your body for you. The main difference will be that the active approach requires you to engage their own muscles. This will be more intense and less relaxing. However, it will also have a greater effect on reprogramming your nervous system. The passive approach is less intense and more relaxing.  

How Bodyworks DW uses all of these deep tissue massage techniques in back pain massage in Midtown and Fidi

A great massage therapist needs to have a solid arsenal of techniques and tools to be able to create an effective and thorough treatment plan. At Bodyworks DW, we have regular advanced trainings for all of our massage therapists. These trainings are designed to improve each therapist’s skills in assessing the primary sources/reasons for your pain. Our therapists come prepared with a toolbox full of the best deep tissue massage techniques. 

Back pain is a prevalent issue addressed by massage therapists for many of you. Each of your massage needs and cases are unique. Therefore, each of our treatments are uniquely customized to you. Your Bodyworks DW massage therapist will carefully consider your symptoms, history, routine and movement patterns. Then they determine how to provide the most effective treatment. We are dedicated to finding what will work best for you. So that you can get back to moving more freely and without pain or discomfort. We offer back pain massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a professional massage with one of our highly trained massage therapists? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our back pain massage Midtown or back pain massage Fidi studios!

Abdominal Restrictions causing disconnects in your body?

LMT, Ruth Anselm talks about Fascial Restrictions in your Abdominals

Ruth Anselm, Senior LMT at Bodyworks DW, is our therapist of the month for June!

Read her interview below where she explains how fascial restrictions in the abdominals cause disconnects in your body & her reasons for becoming a medical massage therapist. 

Ruth Anselm

Most common pain issue you see?

Neck into shoulders + upper back, for sure. Although, you'd be surprised how many people need work done on their abdominals. 

How do you work to correct this issue in the abdominals?

Asking questions helps me determine what area needs addressing first. Also, knowing the quality of your pain is important in understanding the likely causes of your pattern. It helps me decide how best to help! For many of you with shoulder and neck pain, the areas that need work are in the front of the body. Working on areas such as the pectorals/chest, abdominals + diaphragm, muscles of the front of the neck, jaw, and the scalp can help immensely. However, the actual area of your pain will always get some needed direct attention too 🙂

The "homework" I give depends on the individual. Some folks need to DO LESS! For those clients, I'll offer a restorative yoga pose to open the chest. I'll also ask them to incorporate more things into their week that make them feel relaxed. This includes taking walks in nature, baths, etcetera.  Other clients need to actively stretch areas after warming up or add a little more blood flowing throughout the week. Taking more frequent breaks from desk work to roll shoulders, glance upward and breathe also go a long way!

Why are the abdominals one of your favorite areas to work?

Fascial restrictions in abdominals often disconnect upper body from lower body. For those who don't know, fascia is a sheet of connective tissue covering or binding together body structures (such as muscles). Most clients are surprised with the effectiveness of this work and will comment that they haven’t ever had it done... and didn’t realize they needed it.

Working the abdominal muscles and fascia can clue someone into how the upper & lower half of the body are connected. For many clients, they are often thought of as two separate areas that don’t affect one another. For instance, when abdominals are worked in relation to the front of the hips, it can lead to a fresher understanding of their body as a whole. To deepen this understanding, a therapist can work the abdominals and the front of the hips at the same time. The client can actually feel how one is pulling the other. For many who experience a “slouchy posture” the disconnect is from rib cage to abdominals. By opening up that relationship the client is able to feel more room for breath and ease in the chest. It's amazing how everything is interconnected.

What inspired you to become a Medical Massage Therapist?

A few things inspired me to become a medical massage therapist. One of them being my own pain from injuries sustained from years of being an athlete/dancer. Another being the developing of pain management techniques learned through years of studying yoga. I also experimented quite a bit with rolling on balls and rollers to get relief. The criteria I had for selecting massage therapy as my next move were taking all my knowledge of the body and experience and directing it in one place. The desire being to impact others in a positive way and make it a career versus a job.

Want to experiment with rolling on balls and foam rollers? Here's our suggestions on what to get:

Favorite massage therapy success story?

I had a client who experienced chronic pain since childhood. She had discomfort breathing, intense jaw pain, and an inability to sit or stand comfortably. Thankfully, we made incredible progress after a major shift in our first session! The intense jaw pain disappeared entirely, and the client gained the ability to sit cross legged as well as stand feeling even. The oldest of issues has taken repeated, regular sessions to help release the holding patterns that have crept in. This client's pain is under control & the work we've done has allowed great relief in activities of daily living.

The awareness and attention about the body that the client has gained is the most helpful and sustainable aspect of treatment. It helps them keep track and check in, noticing and changing patterns that contribute to the pain.

Book an Appointment with Ruth!

Medical Massage in New York by Alexon Santos LMT staff massage therapist at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

Medical Massage in New York at Bodyworks DW

Alexon Santos, LMT, staff massage therapist at Bodyworks DW, writes about the benefits of medical massage at Bodyworks DW

Alexon Santos LMT - staff massage therapist at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

Medical massage therapy is massage offered for the purpose of a therapeutic benefit

All professional massage therapies have some therapeutic value. Medical massage is different because its ultimate goal is providing a therapeutic treatment, not just relaxation. This treatment takes different forms. Goals can vary considerably between different clients. Having a massage therapist with strong training in medical massage in New York is something you can count on. It's part of every licensed massage therapists' 1000+ hours of training during school. 

Medical massage is often recommended by another health professional. And is performed as part of a larger treatment plan. For example, your physical therapist may refer you for massage therapy. Medical massage can loosen your muscles, improve muscle tone, increase flexibility, and increase range of motion.

Qualified and licensed professionals are required for the best treatment

Licensed massage therapists use their extensive knowledge of physiology and anatomy to design sessions to be effective. Most professionally licensed massage therapists will tailor the sessions to the needs of each patient.

First you and your massage therapist will first sit down for a brief intake interview. During the interview you will get to discuss your affected areas and symptoms. In addition they will ask about your medical history. Then they will perform a general postural assessment. The first session will be structured to meet your needs and be part of a plan for future sessions. The goal is to find the fastest and least resource (time and money) consuming way to relieve your symptoms.

If you are looking for medical massage in New York, our massage therapists have more training than most other states. The average massage therapist in the United States has about 600 hours of training. In New York, massage therapists are required to have 1,000+ hours of training in order to be licensed. This includes many hours of medical massage training. Medical massage in New York can be done well by any practitioner with a New York State license.

In other states, you’ll want to research whether your massage therapist has post school training in medical massage to be sure they are qualified to work on your specific condition.  

There are many issues that medical massage can be effective in treating

Injury Treatment and Prevention

Medical massage accelerates the healing process of freshly injured tissues by stimulating blood circulation to the area. This decreases swelling and helps to relieve the pain from new injuries. It also allow you to heal more quickly. This is true for Injuries caused by impact, overuse during sports or work, bad posture and body imbalances. Or simply by poor physical conditioning.

When it comes to injuries, massage therapy helps with all of the following:

  • Loosening muscles
  • Improving muscle tone
  • Increasing flexibility (range of motion)
  • Reducing adhesions
  • Preventing the formation of new scar tissue
  • Stretching old scar tissue to reduce its impact

Massage is important to accelerate the recovery process. Most common injuries can be treated in a medical massage studio. Including low back pain, neck pain, sprained ankles, sciatic symptoms, shin splints, tennis and golfer elbow, rotator cuff tears, and many others.

Pre Surgery Preparation & Post Surgery Recovery

Medical massage in the pre- and post-surgical period contributes to the success of the surgical intervention. It also shortens how much time recovery takes. Medical massage in the preoperative period helps prepare the body to better handle surgery. Massage stimulates lymphatic and blood circulation. This improves tissue oxygenation and decongests lymphatic pathways. Both outcomes will help you heal, lessen edema, and lessen pain after surgery.  

Medical massage helps in the tonicity of muscles and elimination of toxic waste to the body. Massage can also help break up any scar tissue and keep the muscles flexible so less scar tissue will develop at the surgical site. The increased range of motion and movement allows more blood to flow to the surgical site which allows for faster healing.

Treatment of Chronic Conditions

Medical massage can be very helpful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. When combined with traditional medical treatments, medical massage can improve quality of life for patients.  Massage assists in relieving pains, lowering anxiety and depression, improving blood pressure, lessening stiffness in joints, and many other benefits.

Massage is certainly not a cure for these conditions. In fact, for most autoimmune conditions there is no traditional medical cure. Medical treatment usually consists of immunosuppressive medications that help to lower symptoms. These need to be taken regularly for maintenance. Regular massage therapy along with these medications can help you feel even better.

For any autoimmune disease, you should consult with your healthcare provider to see if massage is recommended.  Among cases of autoimmune diseases, medical massage has achieved great results in treatments of arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus and many others.

Prenatal Massage

Medical massage can be a good option for anyone who’s preparing to be a mother. Massage during pregnancy is a therapeutic type of bodywork focusing on the needs of the mother-to-be. It helps to prepare your body to go through the changes of gestation.

Massage during gestation, has remarkable effects. It causes the endocrine system to inhibit production of stress hormones. It also promotes the release of calming hormones. During gestation many women experience lower back pain, sciatica, sore feet, and labored breathing. In late pregnancy the uterus rests on the muscles of the pelvic floor and the lower back. Massage therapy can help release muscle tension and reducing inflammation on the nerves. It is especially helpful in lessening aches and pains during the 2nd and 3rd trimester.

Doctors used to advise not getting massage therapy during the 1st trimester. Studies have shown that this older advice was not warranted. There is a large body of science showing that massage during the 1st trimester is perfectly safe in most cases. If you are having abnormal medical conditions during the 1st trimester that are requiring bed rest, then avoid massage. Otherwise, there is no reason not to enjoy the benefits of medical massage during your entire term!

Medical Massage in Midtown and Fidi At Bodyworks DW

At Bodyworks DW, our medical massage therapists create programs of sessions that extend outside our studio. Our treatment plans include stretches and exercises for you that can help lessen the number of sessions you’ll need. And prevent pain from returning later.

Our team is highly prepared to offer diverse types of techniques that will help you in different ways. Including prevention of injury, maintenance of your wellness, and relieving more complex situations and problems.

We offer medical massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a professional medical massage with one of our highly trained massage therapists? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our medical massage midtown or medical massage fidi studios!

 

Neck Pain Massage Therapy_ Designing Effective Lasting Treatments @ Bodyworks DW with David Weintraub LMT

Neck Pain Massage Therapy: Designing Effective Lasting Treatments

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about neck pain and the positive effects of massage therapy to overcome it.

Why effective neck pain massage therapy shouldn't focus exclusively on your neck

Neck pain is a very common issue. Our phones and devices are constantly pulling our attention. Our head follows our eyes putting us in a "head forward" position. This pulls the muscles in the back of your neck into a constant stretch. And makes them work extra hard to fight the weight of your head. Muscles hate being stretched and working hard. So they yell at you with achy pain. Thankfully, neck pain massage in New York and can be an effective and lasting treatment...when done properly.

Does this sound like you?

a) Sitting at a desk staring at your screen for 40+ hours a week
b) Looking down at your phone multiple times a day
c) Reading your tablet in bed while propping your head up on a pillow

All of these habits tighten your anterior neck muscles (the ones in front). While simultaneously pulling on the posterior neck muscles (the ones in back).

My massage therapist should work mostly where the pain is, right?

Actually, no. That might feel good at the time. But it won't last more that a few hours to a few days if you are lucky.

The next day you may even feel worse. Like you were hit with a bag of hammers. Working only on what hurts won't do anything to relieve pain for the long term. Truly effective neck pain massage has to address what's causing your head to move forward in the first place. And the cause is usually not your neck!

For most common neck pain, the following three areas need to be released together at the same time. This will move your head into a more balanced position on top of the ribcage. When the head is balanced in gravity the muscles in the back of your neck and upper back get to relax. And stop yelling at you with achy pain.

The Three Main Areas to work on in a first session

1) Hip Flexor Muscles (any muscle that helps bring your knee towards your chest...there are more than 12!)

Your hip flexor muscles are tight from sitting all day. This pulls the top of your pelvis forward into an anterior tilt (forward tilt). Basically you can think of it as a small but significant fold forward in your hips. This forward fold pulls you entire upper body forward. If nothing else changed, you would feel stooped over.

2) The Ribcage Position

The position of your ribcage in relation to your pelvis is vitally important to relieving both back and neck pain. With an anteriorly tilted pelvis, the ribcage tilts backwards to compensate. The muscles in the mid back will work extra hard. Basically you will be doing a backbend all day long. You'll have to in order to keep the ribs balanced on top of your forward tilted pelvis. In addition to putting your head and neck in a poor position, this also puts a lot of strain on the low back.

3) The Pectoral & Anterior Neck Muscles

With the ribcage doing a backbend to balance the pelvis, your head needs to move forward to compensate. If it didn't, you'd be looking at the ceiling. As you head pulls forward it overstretches your posterior neck and upper shoulder muscles. Yes, we know that's where it hurts 🙂 However, working back there is not going to make a long term impact. The back of your neck is already over stretched. Releasing it into length even more (which is what massage does to muscles) is not going to help any. To really provide relief, the front side anterior neck muscles need to be released in order to give the back ones some slack.

If your massage therapist only releases the front neck muscles and not the mid back muscles, your neck will feel a lot better. But you'll be stuck looking up at the ceiling. And if they open up the angle of your neck and your ribcage, but not the hip angle, you'll be left stooping over! So, to really release your neck muscles in a way that sticks, we need to make sure all three areas are in better balance. This will allow your head position to float back on top of your pelvis and ribs naturally, without effort. Finally your neck muscles get to rest!

For most neck pain and upper back pain clients, we sequence all three areas in a neck pain massage session. We work on releasing hip flexor muscles, then mid back muscles, then front of neck muscles. By the time we work on those back of the neck muscles, they are already super relaxed and ready for deeper work. You'll leave feeling your neck light and moveable in ways that you had forgotten exist 🙂

What Next? That felt great and lasted weeks! But now that familiar ache is starting to come back...

The above 3 step session is a basic outline of what would happen in a first session. It's going to provide a lot more relief than a standard massage session and it's going to last a lot longer than you are used to. In order to get that relief to last long term we recommend a series of sessions to address some or all of the following (depending on the client):

  • Any old ankle injuries your have that change the angle and shape of the foot: these usually cause hip flexor tightness
  • Your adductor muscles on the inner thigh that may be stuck together due to sports injuries: these also cause hip flexor tightness
  • The position of your shoulder blades on your ribcage: these are often "rolled forward" pulling on the muscles in the back of your neck in a similar way to the front neck muscles
  • Your side body fascia: if the ribcage isn't inflating and deflating while breathing, both the shoulder and neck muscles get "stuck"
  • Your jaw muscles - tension from trips to the dentist or daily unrelieved stress tightens these causing headaches and also neck and shoulder pain

As each of these related causes for neck pain is worked on, it will become easier and easier to balance your head on top of your ribcage. Eventually, usually after 4-7 sessions of neck pain massage, pain becomes a thing of the past.

Effective neck pain massage therapy addresses all of the forces pulling on your head

We've developed truly effective neck pain massage therapy that provides long term relief at Bodyworks DW.

First, we'll address your neck pain effectively by releasing each of the three main contributing factors in the same session. You will feel immediate relief at the end of the first session. And you won't feel sore or beat up the next day.

Next, to have a long term impact, we will follow up the first session with 3-6 custom designed sessions. These sessions will work on more detailed areas in cumulative layers. Each massage allows us to go deeper into the stuck front neck muscles and bring your head into better balance. With your head balanced on top of your spine all of the muscles work less. Less work = less pain!

We offer neck pain massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a fantastic neck pain massage with one of the best massage therapists this city has to offer? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our neck pain massage midtown or neck pain massage fidi studios!

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Poor Posture at work & it's Long Term Effects

LMT, Germain Phanord discusses Poor Posture at Work & it’s Long Term Effects

Germain Phanord, staff LMT at Bodyworks DW, is our therapist of the month for May!

Read his interview below where he discusses how continuous poor posture at work has long term effects that can keep you seated in the future and the reasons that brought him to massage therapy.

Germain Phanord

What is the most common pain issue you see with your clients?

I would say in the upper extremities (neck, shoulders). This is such a common problem, often caused by poor posture at work while repeating the same movement pattern for hours. Sitting for a while with the add-on of poor posture can lead to serious pain in different areas of the upper body.

A large portion of my clientele work at sedentary desk jobs for long hours. I'd say about 80% of the time I'm working on their neck, shoulders, or upper-back. Awkward postures like bent wrists, leaning to one side or another, looking too closely at the computer or not keeping your head and neck in neutral position can cause a variety of injuries that could sideline you for a while.

How do you work on this issue to correct poor posture?

I correct this issue first by having an intake assessment to identify muscular imbalances. I'll then come up with a plan to address and decrease the pain they're experiencing. Usually it takes a few sessions to deal with issues regarding poor posture. When the muscles of the upper extremity will not release it is usually due to an imbalance in the lower body. It can also be something emotional that the client is holding on to. Each treatment is based on the specific issues of the client. The session must be tailored to each individual client so the work can be effective. 

Do you have a favorite area to work on? What do you like about it?

I'm very curious about the psoas. It can be quit a challenge to access on people! The psoas is a deep core muscle that connects the lumbar vertebrae to the femur. We all have a psoas major and some people even have an extra psoas minor muscle (about 40% of the global population). The psoas major is the biggest and strongest player in a group of muscles called the hip flexors.

The psoas contracts to pull the thigh and the torso toward each other. The psoas also allows for stability in the back and lumbar spine so that the leg can move as needed. As a runner, for instance, if you have a properly firing psoas, you'll have the support to have longer strides and a faster time. A good massage therapist can release the muscle which helps a lot with lower back issues. 

What inspired you to start a career in massage therapy?

Massage Therapy is one of the few professions that allows you to make a difference in someone's life. A stranger's life, most often. When I first thought about applying for the LMT program it was because as a personal trainer, I knew I would gain more skills and knowledge to benefit both the client and myself. Then I began involving myself in the field I started to realize all of the incredible things that come out of being a therapist.

Massage Therapy has a way of creating certain kinds of environments. A massage therapy studio provides a quiet and relaxed energy for everyone in the space. This, to me, is absolutely priceless. Especially living in the city. As a therapist there's flexibility to pursue other passions or endeavors such as parenthood, continuing education, or part-time careers. You can choose the number of days you work or the number of massages you would like to perform every week to create a schedule that works with your life.

Working long 9am to 5pm jobs was not the right kind of work for me. It hurt my body to stay still for so long. I prefer a position that allows me to move around and as a massage therapist, you can stand or sit as you provide treatment, which is be much healthier than a sedentary position. It helps me stay away from poor posture.

Book an Appointment with Germain!

How to Find the Right Massage Therapist

How to Find the Massage Therapist for You

Michael Bruffee, Senior LMT at Bodyworks DW, gives tips on how to choose the right medical massage therapist for you! Check it out below.

Michael Bruffee

Massage Therapy is gaining in popularity and recognition as a legitimate and powerful tool. It heal injuries, relieves stress, and improves overall health. However, to the uninitiated looking for high-quality care, the search can be confusing. There's a dizzying array of different treatment styles all under the umbrella of massage. Here is our guide to finding a great massage therapist in New York and everywhere else!

1. Find a State Licensed Massage Therapist.

If you’re not sure, ask if they’re licensed and registered with your state.

To us in the industry, this is obvious. But there are many people out there offering massage who are not state licensed, and not state registered. Licensing is important because it means there's a baseline of safety protocols that the therapist follows. These include proper privacy draping, extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and required knowledge of scope of practice.

Massage Therapy licensure in New York State requires a minimum of 1000 hours of schooling and clinical practice. There's also a comprehensive written exam that must be passed.

Many unlicensed establishments offering massage are fronts for unseemly practices. Therefore, if you want a legitimate, professional massage therapist, make sure you’re booking appointments with state licensed practitioners. An LMT has specific training in communicating effectively with you about your needs. They'll make your safety and comfort while receiving massage therapy a priority.

This includes proper draping practices to make sure private areas on your body are always covered. Also, the ability to talk you through the therapeutic reasons for working close to these areas. And the professionalism of always allowing you, the client, to make your own choices on what work you are willing to receive.

For New York State, you can verify a therapist’s license, at the NYS Office of Professions verification service.

2. Do research about which modalities of massage are right for you.

Not everyone will need the same approach. Not all therapists use the same techniques.

There are seemingly a million and one types of massage therapy and bodywork out there. Such as, swedish, shiatsu, sports massage, deep-tissue, Rolfing, Feldenkrais, tui-na, thai massage, craniosacral, orthobionomy, reiki, zero balancing, ashiatsu, polarity therapy. As a result, if you’re not sure what something is, do some research beforehand! Clarity is important.

Make sure you’re getting information from reputable sources, such as the American Massage Therapy Association website.

The Difference Between Deeper Tissue Styles & Energy Work Modalities

Most therapy modalities are physical (meaning the therapist applies touch to your body), such as Swedish massage. Swedish is most well-known and featured in many spa settings as relaxing massage. This is a legitimate form of healing that can reduce stress-related pain and other issues.

In addition, other physical modalities include sports massage and deep tissue. Both of which involve deeper, more intense tissue manipulation. Sports massage is more related to athletics. Deep tissue is more related to everyday orthopedic injuries.

Some other therapy modalities are more energetic in nature. Polarity, reiki, and other energy healing therapies may be helpful for people who can’t handle anything more than light touch. Energetic work over time can help bring you out of sympathetic (or fight/flight) nervous system reactions. In turn, it can bring you back into parasympathetic (relaxed) nervous system states.

Many practitioners are fluent in multiple modalities to allow them to support a wide population of clients. Most important is that you know your own body. Know what you’re looking for. Ask questions. Be willing to create a set of boundaries with your therapist. Get a massage that you will be happy about!

3. Make sure your therapist conducts a thorough intake before you start.

Spending several minutes talking about your body and the stress and/or pain you feel will make a huge difference. As a result, your therapist can tailor the session to your needs.

Spending time on a thorough intake ensures that your therapist knows the main issue you’re coming in for. It also lets you know that they're listening and paying attention with their ears. This usually translates to a therapist who also pays attention and listens with their hands. A good therapist practices professional due-diligence. They'll make sure they won’t use any techniques that could exacerbate an injury.

A Great Massage Starts with an Agreement Between You & Your Therapist

The intake is also the time for you and your therapist to come to an agreement about what you need. Remember, your therapist is a professional (assuming you checked off #1 above) who knows anatomy. They're trained in the therapeutic process. However, there's often a desire to simply let the therapist run the show and take whatever you get. Keep in mind that you know your own body.

You can always let a good therapist know the pressure is too light or too deep. In fact, we really want to hear that feedback from you. Then, we know we are giving you the session you want.

Make sure your therapist listens to you and treats you with kindness and respect. For instance, if there are parts of your body, like your face, or your abdomen, or your feet that you really, really don’t want to be touched please let us know.

Thorough Assessment is the Key to a Great Massage

A sign that you’ve found a great therapist is that they'll conduct a postural assessment as part of intake. Pain in your neck may be related to postural shifting due to an old ankle sprain or hip injury. Working only on the area that hurts may feel good at the time... But it won’t necessarily allow the pain to go away for more than a day or two.

Your therapist should take the time to assess your whole body posture. Then, they are more likely to see the root causes of your pain and plan the session accordingly.

4. Come up with a multi-session plan to address the issue you came up with.

Massage therapy is a cumulative treatment process.

The best massage therapists will work on addressing the “chief complaint” you bring in that day, but also put the pain in a larger context. They will ask questions.

How do you exercise? What do you do for work? What are your sleeping habits? Any other ways in which you go about your day? All of these questions and observations of your posture help them determine the roots of your pain and make an effective plan to address them.

Working with a therapist over a series of sessions will allow them to get into the root of your pain. Over the course of the series your pain will decrease noticeably and eventually disappear. And you’ll learn self care methods to keep it from coming back later.

The number of sessions will depend on the issue itself. 3-5 for a lesser issue, 5-8 for a moderate issue, 8-12 for a client with multiple acute pains. Committing to a massage therapy series will make sure that your problem doesn’t just get a band-aid. We want your pain solved in a substantial and lasting way.

5. Do your homework.

Great massage therapists will give homework to their clients.

The beneficial nature of massage will depend on how diligently you stick to your homework. You get out of it what you put into it between sessions.

Examples of homework include:

  • Awareness practices, e.g. paying attention to how often you slouch or grit your teeth at your desk, or the position of your neck as you look at your computer
  • Stretches for muscles that are locked short, such as those in the front of the neck, or the front of the thighs.
  • Introducing a habit of movement or breathing in the morning before you go to work for the day

Even if you manage only to do your homework once or twice before your next scheduled session. That is often enough to break out of habitual patterns of movement and jumpstart your trajectory towards improvement. As you start feeling better, the motivation to make a habit of the homework increases until they become routine. You’ll feel more in control of your issues. And you'll feel less reliant on your massage sessions to “get you through.”

At Bodyworks DW, we’ve already done all of the work of finding a great massage therapist in New York for you

Massage therapy in New York is different. We have some of the strictest licensing laws in the country. Each of our massage therapists has been hand-picked and trained by owner David Weintraub. We practice at the highest levels of professional massage therapy available. To keep the staff up to date, David holds mandatory trainings on technical bodywork, treatment protocols, and improving client interactions.

All of our therapists meet all of the above requirements for a great massage therapist in midtown and the financial district:

  1. NYS licenced
  2. Trained in a wide variety of massage modalities
  3. Conduct friendly and thorough intakes for each massage session
  4. Able to create multi-session treatment plans for a wide variety of pain issues
  5. Crafts homework practices for every client that helps them conquer their pain faster and with less time and money

We offer massage therapy in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a fantastic massage with one of the best massage therapists this city has to offer? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our massage therapy midtown or massage therapy fidi studios!

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Mental Health, Loneliness & Medical Massage in New York

Mental Health, Loneliness and Medical Massage in New York

Jess Loewer, LMT at Bodyworks DW, addresses how medical massage in New York can help with your mental health and loneliness. Read below for more information!

Jess Loewer

We live in a fast paced, grind, hustle, burn the midnight oil from both ends of the candle kind of city. We make our bodies go until they can’t, and then we limp through mile markers. Then we bad-mouth our bodies for not being able to handle the life-long marathon we thought we were winning. Most of us don’t even think about the impact this has on our mental health unless things start to feel really bad.

Because it’s the cultural norm, it can be hard to identify when we’ve gone too far, until loneliness and burnout make regular appearances. While we might have company in this misery, I’m happy to reveal the not-so-secret news that there are tools at our disposal to achieve better mental health and self-value. In plain English, you can feel better than you do, without a lot of effort!

Caring for our Mental Health is Physical Health is Mental Health

I’d like to build a case around our mental wellness being physical. If you run a quick search on mental and physical health, you’ll find many ways they’re linked, or that they affect one another. For one example, we now know that the body’s lymphatic system exists within the brain - linking our immune system health directly to our brain health.

Our immune system (ie our body’s waste filtration system) was not thought to cross over the blood/brain barrier before this study’s findings.

We already know that the nutritional content (or lack thereof) of whatever we digest makes its way to our small intestine. This is where we absorb what’s useful into our bloodstream. Our circulatory system transports those nutrients where we need them and deposits plasma, lipids, and debris into our lymphatic system.

Sometimes our digestive system can’t completely eliminate harmful things and they make their way to our bloodstream. Our lymphocytes (white blood cells) kill what we don’t need. The leftover waste is passed back to our bloodstream to be filtered out and eliminated.

A Case for Diet Affecting Mental Health

What this means is that our diet physically affects our brain function on a cellular, nutrient-exchange level. This also might mean that healthy lymphatic drainage (achieved primarily by exercise and movement but also massage and skin brushing) may have real impacts on our mental wellbeing!

This is a big deal. How our brains function on a cellular level is physiological, not just mental. And it is inseparable from the rest of our body’s systems. Our thoughts are affected what we eat, who we spend time with, and how our bodies are moving. And not simply by how well we process our emotions past and present.

Our Bodies Store Our Emotional Memory of Stress Responses and Traumas

How? We’re still getting a better understanding of this process through research and integrative, functional medicine. So far, a lot has been done in the fields of neuroscience, biology, and psychosomatics.

Here’s what we know: When our bodies have a stress response, our endocrine system jumps to sympathetic nervous system mode (freeze, flight or fight). We start pumping stress hormones (mainly adrenaline and cortisol) into the bloodstream. These hit our muscles fast for the purpose of hiding, running away, or fighting.

In the way our bodies were designed to survive, your boss yelling at you would elicit three potential responses: hiding in the corner, running out of the meeting, or punching them in the face. None of these are an option in modern day society, right?!

Our Modern Restraint Takes a Physical Toll

What happens when we don’t let our bodies use that burst of power to get out of the confronting situation? What happens when the stress trigger doesn’t stop? While our adrenal glands stop pumping eventually, those hormones wind up in our muscles. Since you can’t run or fight at the office, your body chooses the “freeze” response (you know how a cockroach just freezes there on the wall…). If you continually engage in a freeze response your muscles and fascia will get stiffer and stiffer.

If the muscles are not restored to resting length, they’ll remember that contracted state as your “new normal.” This is where medical massage therapy can help with not just muscles but also mental health. There’s often an emotional origin to our trigger points, fascial restrictions, and movement patterns. Acknowledging that can help us resolve problematic patterns faster, for true healing and better body mechanics.

So let’s talk about the power of touch!

Our bodies respond with more than just stress responses to keep us safe. We also have restorative hormones produced when we rest and when we’re touched in a compassionate way. Massage increases oxytocin and reduces adrenocorticotropin hormone in humans. It also decreases cortisol production and increases serotonin and dopamine. While we’re not positive how long that increase lasts, simply getting that physiological change is vital. Medical massage tells our brain it’s both possible and repeatable to relax and be at peace. What the mind can conceive the body can achieve 🙂

What about loneliness? Self care and mental health is really much more nuanced than body chemistry before and after shots can show. Right? It is so much more personal. And generally socially inappropriate to talk about in our culture. Unless we find avenues to communicate our feelings safely, we tend to keep things to ourselves.

It isn’t news to try our hardest to limit chronic stressors, yet here we are...

We may have heard this over and over as general doctor’s advice: keep your stress low! However, we rarely hear about how physical a stress response is. And we rarely hear about what the physiological consequences of chronic stress are. There’s something about New York City that makes us a special breed of compromise-makers.

We compromise our health for our career or lifestyle so easily. We really blast past the health advice. We roll our eyes and put ourselves into adrenal fatigue easily. And call it normal because there’s pride in a NY hustle! And then add in more exercise as if that’s going to counteract all the stress. Or take away things and go on a juice cleanse. Sadly, while these measures can help, they are helping in much smaller amounts than we hope for.

In the tug of war between the stress and the healthy things we do, team “stress” is like an Australian Rugby team and team “health” is like a kindergarten class at nap time.

So what are the actionable steps you can take towards a solid mental health?

1) Behold, my mental wellness toolkit (not an exhaustive list)

2) Practice healthier eating and hydrating

  • Has it been a while since you’ve had dark leafy greens? Get ‘em.
  • Had too much caffeine & traveled this weekend? Drink up on water!
  • Snacking while stressed? Try some healthier snacks such as nuts and fruits

3) Schedule Time With Uplifting People

  • You are the five people you spend the most time with...are those people restoring your or stressing you out?
  • Prioritize people that build you up.
  • Bonus if you get to work alongside these people. (If not, can you find the folks at your office that seem to radiate relaxation? Go have coffee with them!)

4) Joyful Exercise

  • If you don’t have an exercise routine, try something low key but invigorating like the NYT 7 minute workout
  • If you do exercise but aren’t really loving what you are up to anymore, try something new that also engages your learning brain (martial arts, circus arts, ballroom dancing, the Ido Portal method, etc.)
  • Small additions really matter such as just taking the stairs a few times a week rather than the elevator
  • If you’re not enjoying what your body can do for you, welcome to 2019, where we can make new rules for our workouts 🙂

5) Add in some simple Meditation and mindfulness, play and creativity

6) Get out and spend some time in nature! (Nature deficit disorder can be a real thing here in the city!)

7) For those of you as bookish as I am, if you haven’t read Dr John Sarno’s books or The Body Keeps The Score. Pick them up!

8) Massage Therapy!

How Medical Massage in New York Can Make a Big Impact on Your Mental Health

Are you trying to maintain healthy mental wellbeing and/or in a lonely season of your life? I encourage you to make massage a dependable part of your life. It is more versatile medicine than you might have ever known. I have seen truly empowering results with our clients when we acknowledge the other parts of their life that impact their physical wellbeing.

The emotional support and understanding of having a medical massage session dedicated entirely to your wellbeing can have a huge impact. And it is often enough to get our systems to chill out and relearn how to relax. Having time to be present with your body instead of dissociating is a powerful thing, my friend 🙂

I’m human too. Even though I live and breathe massage and self care, life has a way of shaking us up every so often to see where our values lie. I have to keep committing to my own mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health, right alongside you.

And I can say without a doubt that we at Bodyworks DW are all here to support you to set and meet your physical and mental health goals. And to take glorious steps to living the life you choose. Our team’s therapeutic focus means we treat the whole person not just a torn shoulder and or an aching back (though we excel at treating those!).

We offer medical massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City.

If you are are working on your mental health, medical massage can help you experience what your body could feel like to truly rest.

If you would like to schedule a fantastic medical massage and experience the benefits above, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our medical massage midtown or massage therapy fidi studios!

Book an Appointment

See you on the table, Jess

The Power in Psoas Release, by Logan Medrano

LMT, Logan Medrano Talks about the Power of Psoas Release

Logan Medrano, staff massage therapist at Bodyworks DW, is our therapist of the month for April!

Read his interview where he talks about the effectiveness of Psoas Release Techniques on lower back pain, and why he decided to be an LMT.

Logan Medrano

Most common pain issue you see with your clients?

Definitely, lower back pain. It's one of the reasons I started wanting more training on psoas release techniques! 

How do you work to correct this issue?

  • First, I do an assessment to figure out where the lower back pain is stemming from. Is there a tilt in the pelvis? Maybe a rotation forward or backward? An elevation between the left or right side?
  • Then I work with the hip flexors - release of the psoas and quads, adductors, abductors, hamstrings and QL (quadratus lumborum). 
  • I often give a passive psoas stretch as a "homework" assignment where the client lays flat on their back with both of their legs elevated up on a chair or a couch. It's just a really easy, relaxing stretch that also provides a good psoas release for an often neglected muscle.  

What makes psoas release one of your favorite areas to work on?

The psoas is a very large deep-seated core muscle. It connects the all of the lumbar vertebrae to the femur (your thigh bone)! It's a muscle that's often contracted especially for people who work a desk job. I like that when it's released most people feel a HUGE difference right away.

Psoas release is great for lower back pain but it's also great for neck pain. The pelvis and the neck also have a strong correlation with each other. And I've had psoas work release neck and jaw tension too!

What inspired you to start a career in massage therapy?

Back in 2006 my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer. She was receiving really incredible care at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and they had a licensed massage therapist on staff that would come around and give bedside oncology massages. I asked the therapist one day if she could teach me a few techniques to help ease my mom's post-chemo pain and she did.

I went on to study music and audio production at first but kept with me a fond appreciation for massage. Then several years ago I had an injury that required surgery and afterward I started to get regular massages to help with my recovery.

I was amazed at the results.

 

I always believed in the validity of massage therapy but it was in my own recovery that I realized I wanted to give back to other people and help them be pain-free in their own bodies.

Book an Appointment with Logan!

Low Back Pain Massage Therapy Treatment by David Weintraub

Lower Back Pain Treatment with Massage Therapy in New York

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about the benefits of massage therapy for lower back pain. And how massage therapy rather than using the traditional approach of surgery or medication can produce better results at a lower cost.

David Weintraub

Why medication or surgery is only masking the root cause of your pain

Massage therapy for lower back pain is an effective alternative treatment to surgery and medications. Additionally, in most cases the results are noticeably better than either of those traditional approaches. This is according to the newest research. (Excerpt from Vox article "A comprehensive guide to the new science of treating lower back pain").

Lower back pain from bulging or herniated discs often seems to come out of nowhere. In reality there are usually other root causes. An older ankle or knee injury can create an imbalance in the body leading to lower back pain. Compensation patterns from older injuries put asymmetrical pressure on the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is the part of your spine located in your lower back. Eventually this pressure can cause one or more lumbar discs to bulge. If the bulge presses on nerve pathways, light to extreme pain can result.

How Traditional Approaches can Fail

The most common surgical approach is called a laminectomy. This surgery tries to correct pressure on the nerves by shaving down part of the bulging discs. However, the root cause older injury is still affecting your body. The pressure is still there on the lumbar spine. A laminectomy can eliminate the pain symptoms for a short period. However, in many cases a new bulge pops out in another disc later. This usually makes the problem even worse later on.

Medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatories mask symptoms. This feels good and sometimes can help you move through the issue by allowing you to stretch into the stuck area again.

However, the root cause is still not being addressed. Pain will likely come back to plague you in the future. Opioids are especially worrisome as they are highly addictive. This can lead to reliance on them to even function. In an increasing number of cases the addiction spirals out of control creating a far worse issue than the pain itself.

How Low Back Pain Massage in New York works differently

With back pain massage in New York, we work to discover why the disc is bulging in the first place. Meaning you'll get a more holistic approach. And of course we'll spend some time massaging the muscles in your low back.

In addition, we'll work to identify and address any older injuries that caused the low back tightness to begin with. Once the older injured joints are moving better, your low back will have less work to do. Pressure lessens on the lumbar spine. This allows pain to decrease naturally without medications or surgery.

This pathway might be slower than popping a pill. But you'll know that your pain is being reduced in a healthy way. And you'll gain the tools to keep it from coming back in the future.

[T]here are perceptions that opioid therapy for chronic pain is less expensive than more time-intensive nonpharmacologic management approaches. [However,] many pain treatments, including acetaminophen, NSAIDs, tricyclic antidepressants, and massage therapy, are associated with lower mean and median annual costs. [As] compared with opioid therapy. (excerpt from CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016)

We offer back pain massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City

If you are in acute or chronic low back pain we recommend booking as soon as you can make an appointment.

Are you suffering from lower back pain? There are many advantages to working with our team of trained medical massage therapists.

At Bodyworks DW, we evaluate how the rest of your body and posture is affecting your low back pain. Together we'll make a plan for a series of back pain massage sessions. This will help to unwind any seemingly unrelated issues. As your whole body opens up, pressure on the low back is relieved. This allows the discs to return to their normal shape over time. With less and less pressure on the nerves, pain slowly but surely goes away.

If you would like to schedule a fantastic back pain massage and experience the benefits above, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online for back pain massage in midtown or fidi!

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Benefits of Massage Therapy

5 Reasons to Make Massage Your Monthly Routine

Germain Phanord, massage therapist at Bodyworks DW & David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW write about the benefits of incorporating medical massage therapy in new york into your monthly routine.

Germain Phanord
Shoulder Pain Massage, David Weintraub

There are a lot of great reasons to make massage therapy in New York a regular part of your self-care routine. Massage has tons of benefits!

Here are our top 5...

Alleviate Pain

Working late nights while sitting in front of the computer for hours is a surefire recipe for muscle imbalance. When the body is overworked it aches all over. Left untreated, this will lead to chronic pain. There is almost nothing worse than feeling pain, stiffness and achiness. Especially on a cold day!!!

Many of us live with pain in today's high demanding society, especially in busy cities like New York. Eventually your body maxes out your pain threshold. For most, that's when you’ll break down and visit a professional, such as a massage therapist in New York, acupuncturist, physical therapist, or chiropractor.

By making massage therapy part of a regular routine, you can help get ahead of the curve and prevent chronic pain from building up. Try switching your mindset. Instead of only getting massage therapy in New York when you have a major acute issue, schedule preventative monthly massage. You’ve been pushing so hard at work...don’t you deserve a nice massage?

Relieve stress and anxiety  

In today’s modern world there are more stressors than ever. We are getting less sleep and staying up longer due to work deadlines, children, school, family issues, environmental issues.

Massage can be a great to decrease stress and anxiety. Bonus...this will help your body’s other systems like digestion and immunity function better. Massage therapy can help engage the parasympathetic nervous system (your “rest and digest” system) which your body needs to go to to restore.

Your parasympathetic nervous system is the opposite of your sympathetic nervous system (your “fight or flight” system). The sympathetic nervous system prepares your body for stressful situations. It pumps you with adrenaline and increases your heart rate and breathing. This is very useful and necessary if you are being chased by a lion. Less so when you are stressing over that report that’s due on Friday.

As New Yorkers, we tend to stay stuck in our sympathetic nervous systems...all the time.

Which is really not good for the body in the long run. Your body doesn’t get the rest it needs to heal. Having regular massage therapy in New York restores your ability to switch back to rest mode more easily. It can help you sleep better and handle stressful situations more calmly.

Decrease Tension Headaches and Migraines

Quick fact (According to the Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology): "Tension headaches, by far the most common type of headache people experience (90-92%), these are triggered by muscular tension, bony misalignment, postural patterns, eyestrain, temporomandibular joint disorders.”

Tension headaches build up due to stress caused by intense work, missed meals, depression, anxiety or lack of sleep.

Did you know that there is a big jaw muscle called Temporalis at your temples? Jaw clenching is a primal fight or flight response that you probably don’t even realize you are doing when you are stressed.

Migraines have different triggers and causes. Some people react to light, smells, foods, stress, or hormone changes. It’s different for each person. And while massage isn’t a cure for the tigger itself, it can change the threshold for when the trigger activates. Also, migraines lead to tension headaches which lead to more migraines in a cycle. Relieving the tension headache component of the cycle helps prevent future migraines.

Massage when you are in the midst of a headache or migraine can undo clenched shoulder, neck, and jaw muscles and help you relax.

Regular monthly massage can help ease jaw clenching and shoulder raising. It can also put you at ease and lower your stress levels (see above) which helps prevent future headaches and migraines.

Boost your immunity

Getting a massage not only helps you relax, it also helps boost the immune system. Receiving a massage decreases levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and vasopressin, a hormone believed to play a role in aggressive behavior.  

Check out the research on massage therapy and immunity from the AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association). It says that massage therapy increases the activity level of the body’s white blood cells that work to combat viruses. According to massage research from Cedars-Sinai, participants in a Swedish massage group experienced significant changes in lymphocytes. These play a large role in defending the body from disease. A lymphocyte is one of the three subtypes of white blood cells in the immune system.

Monthly massage therapy in New York helps keep your immune system primed and ready to keep you healthy.

Improve Range of Motion and Ease of Movement

Injuries and repetitive stress patterns can tighten muscles and the fascia that glues muscles together. Over time, this restricts range of motion in your joints. This affects all of your daily activities. And makes your muscles have to work harder to move you around.

Deep tissue massage focuses on aligning deeper layers of muscle tissue. It also helps with chronic conditions such as a stiff neck, back pain, shoulder pain and leg muscle tightness.

You’ll find that everything gets easier and lighter as your muscles learn to let go of chronic tightness. Regular massage reminds your body of how much better it is possible to feel.

This helps your brain adjust the nervous system to want to feel that way more often. You’ll be more motivated to include small but meaningful regular self care actions in your day.

You can think of getting regular monthly massage like getting an oil change for your car. Sure you might not need it exactly right now. Your engine will be fine…..until it isn’t. And then instead of a $20 oil change a few times a year you’ve got a major mechanic bill on your hands and a car out of service for a few weeks.

You might not feel like you absolutely need a massage this month, but you’ll feel better faster if you make it part of your routine. And be able to keep up with your regular activities without a major breakdown such as a herniated disc or a torn rotator cuff.

How Massage Therapy in New York is Different

New Yorkers are in luck. Our massage therapists have the highest and most extensive training requirements of any state in the country. And given how hard we push ourselves, we really need it!

At Bodyworks DW we focus on therapeutic massage, with each session tailored to your individual needs. First we work through any acute pain issue you may be having with a series of massage sessions over a shorter amount of time. Usually once a week or bi-weekly for 4-8 weeks depending on the severity of the issue.

Once the acute issues are treated, we recommend a regular monthly massage to keep you running smoothly. And to prevent future injuries.

We offer massage therapy in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. If you are in acute or chronic pain we recommend booking as soon as you can make an appointment.

If you aren’t in pain, think about what days and times would work for you. Not just for your “next” massage, but for a regular monthly massage in New York. For instance, how about every first Tuesday evening of the month at 6 pm? Ask your therapist if you can create a standing appointment in our system so that you’ll get email reminders when your next appointment is about to come up. And don’t forget to block it off in your calendar 🙂

If you would like to schedule a fantastic massage and experience the benefits above, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our massage therapy midtown or massage therapy fidi studios!

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Omer Unluata Takes on Text Neck

Senior LMT, Omer Unluata talks about “Text Neck”

Omer Unluata, senior massage therapist at Bodyworks DW, is our March therapist of the month! Read his interview below where he takes on "Text Neck" massage, why he decided to be an LMT, and one of his great success stories in this field. 

Omer Unluata

What is the most common pain issue you see with your clients?

Forward head posture aka “text neck”, “reading neck” and related discomfort/pain, by far, is the most common issue that presents itself amongst clients. It is the forward positioning of the cervical spine, resulting in lot of physical problems. This is due to the extra pressure on the neck from altered or weak posture. When you take the subway, you may observe pretty much all commuters in some form of a forward head posture looking down their phones. Text neck is so common that it can be considered normal these days. Text neck massage should be just as common to combat it 🙂

Usually accompanied by kyphosis (hunchback) and rounded shoulders, this is one of the most typical causes of tension and pain in the neck, head, shoulders, and jaw. It can cause tingling and numbness in the arms, headaches and migraines.

How do you work to correct this issue with text neck massage?

With forward head posture, your head shifts forward, closer to your chest. As you still need to look forward, you compensate by lifting your chin up, shortening the sub occipitals, the muscles at the backside of the base of your skull. As well as your scalenes and SCM, the muscles at the front and side of your neck. Accordingly, the treatment involves myofascial release of suboccipitals, scalenes and SCM. This enables the retraction of the cervical spine and brings it back to its neutral alignment.

Non local work includes, but isn't limited to, release of chest, arms, ear, jaw and scalp fascia. It's reinforced by postural work of deep abdominals, hamstrings calves and feet. This will really help clients combat their text neck.

This truly is a case that needs to be addressed head to toes.

One of my favorite parts of the treatment is how most clients state that they feel taller even after the initial session. I end each treatment showing clients easy self care methods that actually resemble the bodywork that was performed to create new & healthier patterns that will prohibit text neck. These are mostly fascia stretches that aim for more functional results compared to local stretches.

For a quick way to help calm your muscles, check out these aromatherapy hot/cold pads:

What inspired you to start a career in massage therapy?

After I moved to New York 17 years ago, I had a restaurant/bar business which was extremely stressful. I had been longing for a stress free environment for a long time. I listened to my instincts and followed the signs. Having studied Civil engineering in college, I’ve always had an appreciation for physics. My athletic background and education in personal training helped me understand the human body mechanics. Samantha, my spouse, who is also a licensed massage therapist/personal trainer introduced me to massage therapy. It all finally made sense to me. I was able to put all 3 careers in one. It helped me advance pretty quickly while giving me the peace I’ve been looking for.

Do you have a favorite area to work on? What do you like about it?

More than any part in particular I have a favorite technique that I like to perform on different fascia lines. Stretching tissue between two different body parts giving it a sheer feeling. Like a simultaneous release on erectors and hamstrings or hamstrings hip attachment and the heel bone. This technique really compliments any local bodywork. It connects the parts making it functional similar to how the body executes a movement.

Do you have a favorite massage therapy success story?

I have a client who takes their marathons very seriously. This person suffered from a knee issue which disabled him pretty badly. He was no longer able to run more than a few miles without any discomfort.

He had never had any serious injuries prior to this which is usually the case for repetitive stress injuries.

You don’t feel any discomfort and all of a sudden you're in trouble. At first, we had minor success but the issue kept coming back. It took us a few sessions to be able to figure out the correct approach. We both were very patient. Finally, we were able to bring him to the desired pain free state. What makes the story special for me is that when he finished the race, he texted me with photos immediately to let me know how grateful he was. I was on vacation in Turkey at the time being. That caught me by surprise. The happiness on his face was priceless. That was a great day!

In my experience, when you're in a healer practice these success stories, no matter how simple they may sound, bring so much happiness to both the healer and the client.

Book an Appointment with Omer!

Shoulder Pain Massage at Bodyworks DW in New York City

Shoulder Pain: What’s Causing Yours and How Massage Therapy can Help

David Weintraub, LMT is the owner of Bodyworks DW. In this blog, he writes about shoulder pain massage in New York City. What causes shoulder pain and how can massage help?

Shoulder Pain Massage, David Weintraub

Shoulder pain is one of the most common issues people face today. The shoulder is a very complex set of muscles and bones designed for a large variety of movements. In order to gain that freedom of movement, evolution had to sacrifice some stability. This makes shoulders especially vulnerable to injury. Both impact injuries such as a torn rotator cuff, and overuse injuries such as a pinched nerve. Thankfully, shoulder pain massage can work wonders on many types of shoulder pain.

How Your Shoulders Work - Two Joints, Not Just One!

The shoulder actually consists of two distinct joints, the shoulder joint and the shoulder girdle.

The Shoulder Joint

The arm bone (humerus) connected to socket of the shoulder blade makes up the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint allows for movement of the arm in many directions. All while keeping the shoulder blade locked in place. Your shoulder joint can move your arm forwards, backwards, sideways. As well as rotating your arm in the socket.

There are many different muscles that attached to the humerus and allow for these movements. The pectoral major, latissimus, and deltoid create forwards, backwards, and sideways movements of the arm. The rotator cuff set of muscles creates rotational movements. Contrary to popular belief there is no “rotator cuff muscle.” The rotator cuff actually refers to a set of 4 different muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres major, and subscapularis.

The Shoulder Girdle

The shoulder girdle is made up of the shoulder blade and clavicle (collarbone) and their relation to the ribcage. The shoulder girdle allow for movement of the shoulder around the ribcage without having to move the arm. When you roll your shoulders without lifting your arms you are moving your shoulder girdle joints.

There are a lot of different muscles that move the shoulder girdle. These include trapezius, rhomboids, levator scapula, serratus anterior, and pectoralis minor. Interestingly, the shoulder girdle bones are basically free floating on top of the rib cage. The clavicle is attached to the sternum by ligaments in the way we think of most joints working. With the bones close together and separated by cartilage. There is a ligament that attaches the shoulder blade to the ribs. However, it is long and allows for a lot of movement. Making it unlike other ligaments in the body. This ligament's basic function is to keep the shoulder girdle from shifting too far in any direction.

Common Shoulder Pain Inducing Injuries and How Shoulder Pain Massage Can Help

Rotator Cuff Tear/Tendonitis

Of all the types of shoulder injuries, we hear about rotator cuff tears most often. The four rotator cuff muscles are especially vulnerable to small, medium, and large tears. Usually due to impact injuries. Slipping on the ice or stairs and catching your fall with your arm is a common way to rip one of these muscles.

Pain usually shows up with certain arm movements and not others and can range from mild aches, to sharp debilitating pain.

I once worked on a mountain climber whose rigging failed and he started falling. Luckily he caught himself with one hand. Unluckily, he managed to tear all four of his rotator cuff muscles. And his labrum (the ligaments holding the humerus or “armbone” to the scapula or “shoulder blade”). The pure adrenaline flood that his body pumped him with allowed him to still pull himself up to safety and finish the climb. Later after he was safe on the ground and the adrenaline wore off, he stopped being able to lift his arm!   

Rotator cuff tears can also happen slowly over time with repetitive motions

Tennis players, baseball pitchers, and football quarterbacks run into this injury a lot. Throwing something over and over can eventually stress out the muscles. And lead to small tears in the tendons. Usually after a few years of this, they push too hard in a game and a big tear opens up.

Shoulder pain massage therapy can help a lot with all kinds of rotator cuff injuries. By working directly on the four muscles, as well as the other shoulder joint muscles, a well trained massage therapist can restore range of motion. With most clients a series of sessions can bring back most to all of the original function.

In addition, massage therapy is amazing for athletes who use their rotator cuff who haven’t had the big blow out yet. We’ve worked on pro tennis players and pitchers and seen immediate increases in top serve and fastball speeds!

Bursitis & Frozen Shoulder

Both of these conditions can cause a total immobilization of the shoulder joint making it very difficult and painful to lift the arm in any direction. While technically different, the two terms are often used interchangeably. Pain is usually severe and the loss of movement has a big impact on daily life.

Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae. These are tiny fluid filled sacs that basically act as ball bearings for your tendons. They allow tendons to slide over bones at places where the bone might grind the tendon down.

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is inflammation of the joint capsule itself. Like the name implies, it’s a “sticky” inflammation that prevents tissues from sliding across each other.

In both conditions, any movement of the shoulder joint causes inflamed tissues to rub against other tissues causing intense and immobilizing pain

Treating either condition may require medication, either a localized cortisone shot, oral muscle relaxants, and/or anti-inflammatories. In addition, physical therapy is needed to build strength back and slowly but surely unstick the tissues from each other. Shoulder pain massage therapy can help a great deal to speed this process along. Massage Therapy and physical therapy compliment each other very well. Done concurrently clients restore movement much faster than with either modality alone.

Nerve Impingement in either the Neck or the Shoulder & TOS (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome)

Another very common cause of shoulder pain is a pinched nerve. This can happen due to repetitive stress conditions that pull the head and shoulders forward. It can also happen due to an impact injury such as whiplash.

The nerves for the entire arm originate in the spine between the 4th and 7th cervical vertebrae. This set of nerves is called the Brachial Plexus. Brachial means “arm” in Latin. These nerves travel down through the upper shoulder underneath the levator scapula muscles. Then they pass under the scalene muscles of the front of your neck.

Next, under the pectoralis minor muscles, then between the subscapularis and serratus anterior muscles. There is opportunity for a nerve impingement by the bones or muscles of the spine, as well as any of the muscles the nerves pass between. Nerves that get impinged in between muscles of the armpit are often called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Overly tight muscles on one side can be a culprit as well as scar tissue sticking to the nerves due to injury

Impinged nerves can cause dull achy pain that travels throughout the shoulder, to sharp pain, weakness, or muscle cramping. It can also involve tingling, numbness, or burning pain. The pain can be constant or only occur with particular movements.

If the impingement is caused by a structural issue, such as a malformed bone due to a break, surgery may be the only recourse. However, if the impingement is caused due to muscle imbalances shoulder pain massage can do a lot to relieve you. Myofascial release work can unstick scar tissue from nerves as well as create space between the muscles for nerves. Physical therapy to strengthen weaker muscles can help retain the relief.

Treatment With Shoulder Pain Massage in New York at Bodyworks DW

Shoulder pain can range from slightly annoying to truly awful. We forget how often we use our shoulder until simply putting on a coat becomes a painful time consuming affair.

Thankfully, most shoulder pain is treatable and  shoulder pain massage in New York at our studio is here to help. At Bodyworks DW each session is custom tailored to a client’s individual needs. We give you a thorough intake so that we can determine exactly what the cause of your shoulder pain is and how best to treat it.

The number of sessions depends on the type of pain and cause

In addition, we may recommend fewer massage therapy session if you are also seeing a physical therapist. Work usually involves local deep tissue work on all of the muscles of the shoulder joint and girdle, as well as the deeper neck muscles. Follow up sessions will likely also focus on improving overall posture to help the shoulders sit comfortably balanced on the ribcage. This will allow all of the shoulder muscles to relax and heal. And the relief will last much longer with future episodes less likely.

It’s never too late to be pain-free and feel comfortable in daily life again. We offer shoulder pain massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City.

If you would like to schedule an amazing shoulder pain massage experience, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click the button to book online at our massage therapy midtown or massage therapy fidi studios.

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Back Pain Massage @ Bodyworks DW by Logan Medrano LMT - back pain massage midtown - back pain massage new york

Back Pain – What Is It and How can Massage Therapy in New York Help?

Logan Medrano, LMT is a staff massage therapist at Bodyworks DW. In this blog, he writes about back pain massage in new york city. What is it, and how can you benefit from it?

Logan Medrano LMT @ Bodyworks DW - back pain massage new york back pain massage midtown

Back pain is one of the most common issues we experience. The human body as a whole is complex, especially the structures around the spine. Our backs have a veritable maze of muscles, ligaments, tendons, disks, and bones. How those structures move (or don’t move…) is a huge piece of the back pain puzzle. A healthy balanced back supports the body and enables us to move. A stiff and immobile back makes everything else have to work much harder to move us. Thankfully, most types of back pain respond very well to back pain massage. 

Back pain can range from dull aches or throbbing to sharp and shooting. Or even involve neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling. If you have severe symptoms that do not go away with a few days rest plus light movement, consult your doctor. 

Invest in an aromatherapy hot/cold pad for a quick way to calm your back muscles:

There are various potential causes for back pain and here are several of the most common…

Muscle Strain/Sprain

A strain refers to the tearing of a muscle or tendon. And a sprain refers to the tearing of a ligament. Activities such as lifting something improperly, or lifting something too heavy can lead to strains or sprains. Also impact injuries (think getting tackled or slipping on the ice) may lead to a strain or sprain. Inflammation follows as your body tries to heal the tear. Often there will be muscle spasms as well.

A well trained massage therapist can help a lot with muscle strains and sprains.

Chronic Poor Movement and Posture

Back pain can also result from everyday asymmetrical activities that contribute to poor posture. Examples of this include:

  • sitting or standing for extended periods of time
  • repetitive movements that overuse one side or the other
  • straining the neck and head forward to read
  • long commutes involving tense sitting or driving
  • an old mattress that no longer supports

Your body has to tighten some muscles in order to hold unbalanced postures for any length of time. Eventually it learns to just keep those muscles tight and firing all the time. A great massage therapist can help by first unwinding those tight muscles. Then they can point out which postural habits might be causing pain. And give practices and exercises to help the client improve their posture between massage sessions. 

Structurally Induced Back Pain

More severe causes of back pain may stem from changes to the spine such as ruptured or bulging discs. Each vertebra bone in the spine is cushioned by a disc. Discs are sort of like jelly donuts. The outside is tough made of layers of ligamentous material. The inside is a fluid for cushioning.

If a disc begins to bulge outwards due to asymmetrical muscle pressure it can push outwards into surrounding nerves inducing pain. Left untreated, the disc material may deteriorate and rupture, causing the cushioning fluid to seep out. A bulging disc can be treated by back pain massage therapy that loosens the muscles putting pressure on it. A ruptured disc may require surgery.

Another example of a structural cause is osteoarthritis. This occurs when the cartilage located between the spine's joints deteriorates due to “wear and tear.” As the cartilage wears away a dull, aching, or throbbing pain that worsens with movement may develop. See Massage for Arthritis: Everything You Need To Know About the Benefits article for how massage therapy can alleviate arthritic symptoms. Another degenerative condition called osteoporosis can create compression fractures on your spine’s vertebrae. As bones weaken they often become porous and brittle which can make them prone to breaking.

Treatment With Back Pain Massage in New York at Bodyworks DW

Back pain can be frustrating and at times debilitating. Luckily, most back pain is treatable and back pain massage in New York at our studio is a wonderful way to tackle it. At Bodyworks DW each session is custom tailored to a client’s individual needs. Each massage therapist performs a thorough intake where the client and therapist discuss the symptoms that are present, the pain patterns, an individual’s medical history and everyday activities.

We treat most conditions with a series of 3-8 sessions. The number of sessions depends on the condition’s severity and how long the pain has been present. Each session builds on the last and works on different areas of your body. For instance, you may not realize how much an old ankle sprain can contribute to your lower back pain or upper back pain. Or how much tension in your jaw from teeth clinching will increase your upper back pain and neck pain.

By working on relieving tension in these seemingly unrelated areas, the work done directly on your back pain will be far more effective. And the relief will last much longer for truly long term results. 

It’s never too late to be pain-free and take control your body and in turn your life. We offer back pain massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City.

If you would like to schedule an amazing back pain massage experience, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click the button to book online at our massage therapy midtown or massage therapy fidi studios.

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Medical Massage in New York @ Bodyworks DW by owner David Weintraub - offering medical massage in midtown and fidi

Could You Benefit From a Medical Massage in New York?

Germain Phanord, LMT at Bodyworks DW & personal trainer, writes about medical massage in new york city. What is it, and how can you benefit from it?

Germain Phanord

It's likely you will lose mobility as you age

One of the main benefits to medical massage is increased range of motion in our joints, ie regained mobility. So, we can't really highlight the benefits of medical massage in new york without talking about the reasons we lose mobility in the first place.

As most of us age we slowly lose our mobility. We assume it’s aging, but often it’s simply sitting around too much. Office desks, driving, and sitting on the couch binge watching shows are all culprits. No matter what we do at the gym, all this sitting takes a toll. Check out this Mayo Clinic article on sitting risks.

When you sit for long periods your posture becomes misaligned. This results in poor biomechanics and mobility. Other repetitive postures such as leaning to one side while standing or carrying a bag on the same shoulder every day can also decrease mobility.

These unnatural habits limit our range of motion, speed, and power in our walking, running, and sports. Or even worse, they develop into nagging injuries preventing us from enjoying our activities.  

What is the difference between Medical Massage and a Spa Massage?

The ultimate difference is what the massage therapist chooses to focus on during the session.

In a typical spa massage, the therapist will give a full body massage rather than focusing on injuries or specifics. The goal is to provide a relaxing experience, increase blood flow, and provide general maintenance to the muscles.

In a medical massage, the focus is on functional outcomes and medical needs. These may include releasing scar tissue, increasing range of motion in joints, and helping the client learn better body mechanics.

How Does Massage Increase Mobility?

Fascia is a substance in your body which glues all of your muscles together. It can become harder due to inactivity. Or fascia can get filled with inelastic scar tissue due to injury. This often results in poor posture and limited movement. Over time you end up on a downward spiral where movement becomes more and more difficult.

Medical massage improves the elasticity of your fascia. It uses targeted deep tissue techniques to increase blood flow to stuck areas and to lengthen and stretch the fascia. By choosing which areas to work on wisely, a great medical massage therapist can rebalance your posture. And increase range of motion in your joints. You’ll find ease in your movement patterns again and feel much better, especially with a series of 5-8 massage sessions.

How does Medical Massage in New York, NY Compare to other places?

New York State is a special case for massage therapy. Massage therapists must train for a minimum of 1,000 hours. And pass a difficult board examination to practice medical massage in New York State. Most other states in the US require only 500-700 hours. And do not include specific training in medical massage.

In general, you can expect medical massage in New York, NY to include the following training within the 1,000 hour requirements:

  • Medical massage techniques such as myofascial release & trigger point therapy
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Clinical massage therapy principles and modalities
  • Kinesiology
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Pathology
  • Professional ethics
  • Business practices for medical massage therapists
  • 150+ Hours of Supervised clinical practice sessions

New York City makes a really special case for massage therapy. Our citizens tend to have more stressful office jobs, sit for longer hours, and conversely, work out super hard after all that. New York City dwellers have come to expect quality sports and medical massage. If a massage therapist doesn’t seem confident dealing with injuries and pain management, there are plenty more to choose from.

How Does Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy take this the Next Level?

At Bodyworks DW, our owner David Weintraub is a first call massage therapist for several orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists. Including top notch doctors at the renowned Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY. He works together with them to increase mobility on difficult cases where a patient has severely restricted motion. HSS doctors routinely send patients to David that are recovering from surgeries or to prevent the need for surgeries. He's worked with clients to recover from knee replacements, torn rotator cuff repairs, hip replacements, spinal fusions, nerve relocations, and other major surgeries. Working together with their team of physical therapists, David uses medical massage in midtown and the financial district to vastly speed up recovery times for their patients.

David has created Bodyworks DW as an advanced training ground for talented massage therapists. He keeps his staff current and growing by offering regular trainings, coaching, and discussion groups. Each of our therapists has been hand picked by David. And then trained to become a top notch medical massage therapist.

We offer advanced medical massage in midtown and the financial district in New York City.  

If you would like to schedule an amazing medical massage experience, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click the button to book online at our massage therapy midtown or massage therapy fidi studios.

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Post Race Recovery Post Marathon Recovery Blogpost by Germain Phanord Licenced Massage Therapist @ Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

Post Race Recovery: Sports Massage for New York City Athletes

Germain Phanord, LMT at Bodyworks DW & personal trainer, writes about building better habits for post race recovery and post workout recovery.

Germain Phanord

Every racing athlete needs a routine for post race recovery: Are you are missing a vital component to your race goals?

My experience with injuries has had its ups and downs. When I do not stay committed to post race recovery, I began to experience pain. Running becomes more difficult and much more uncomfortable. I can feel myself losing range of motion in my stride, due to untreated tightness and overuse.

When we neglect to practice regular post race recovery our bodies pay a price. I have learned this lesson the hard way from experience. It’s a big reason why I became a massage therapist in addition to a personal trainer!

When I began running and increasing my mileage, the repetitive stress built up. Due to asymmetries in my running form, I started to feel pain in my right achilles tendon. This made running for me painful and very difficult.

In massage school I discovered that my hip flexors and glute muscles were overly tight. Also my glutes were not working efficiently due to a facially stuck Sartorius muscle. (Sartorius is a long balancing muscle on the front of your thigh that stabilizes the knee.) These muscle imbalances restricted my stride, creating a feedback loop where each run got tighter and tighter, producing more and more pain.

Luckily, by working with my fellow sports massage therapists, I’ve been able to recover and run pain free again. Now, when I train for a race I’ve learned what I need to do. I have a plan for training, for self care before and after workouts. And for post race recovery to reach my fitness goals.

How Sports Massage Therapy in New York can Benefit your Post Race Recovery

Massage therapy (MAS) and cold water immersion (CWI) had better results than other methods, according to a recent study on the effects of various post race recovery methods on half marathon runners:

"Both CWI and MAS have beneficial effects on the subjective measures of fatigue (i.e. muscle soreness and perceived recovery/stress). And may increase well-being and the perception of better preparedness for subsequent exercise. This feel-better phenomenon may be critical for the restoration of exercise performance. Because performance has been shown to be impaired in the presence of muscle pain regardless of the extent of exercise-induced muscle damage."

One of the the best remedies for post race and post workout recovery is to work with an advanced sports massage therapist in New York. Especially when combined with a great physical therapist or personal trainer who can prescribe corrective exercise. These modalities work together to relieve the pain, and to correct any small to medium injuries that may follow your race. It is important to understand the source of your post race pain to avoid creating chronic conditions. Committing to regular massage therapy will help identify the underlying causes of your pain. Repeated sessions will repair your body so that you can return to a pain-free day to day performance.

A great home remedy to supplement your massage sessions are epsom salt baths. Here are some of our favs:

At Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy, we help New York City area athletes of all types including pro athletes, weekend warriors, cyclists, runners, and desk jockeys. We give top quality sports massage near you in midtown and the financial district.

For every client we see we always do the following:

  • a thorough assessment to find the source of your pain and discomfort
  • design a custom massage therapy session for you to relieve the pain and increase mobility
  • give you the best massage session for your individual needs
  • a thorough outtake to create a plan that works within your schedule and budget to get you pain free in the least number of sessions possible
  • give you simple helpful exercises for home and work to help you take charge of your own recovery and prevent future instances of pain

Thinking about running the NYC marathon this year? Getting ready for your first Ironman triathlon or Tough Mudder? Are you a seasoned pro athlete wondering why your times are slowing down? Let our team support your recovery and make a plan to keep you in top shape!

If you would like to schedule an amazing deep tissue massage experience, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click the button to book online.

Book Your Appointment!

 

Massage therapy for arthritis in new york city midtown and the financial district

Massage for Arthritis: Everything You Need To Know About the Benefits

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about the benefits of massage therapy for arthritis.

David Weintraub

Arthritis is a scary word for most folks. It sounds like some kind of point of no return as we get older. Once we have it, the thinking goes, we just have to suffer with it. However, the reality is a lot more complex than that. The good news is that there are many ways to relieve the pain. Both at home, and with integrative medicine such as licensed massage therapy for arthritis. Getting massage therapy in New York for arthritis can be especially helpful. New York State has the highest education requirements for licensed massage therapy of any state. This includes hundreds of hours of training in medical massage.

What is Arthritis and how can Massage for Arthritis Help?

Any time that you see “itis” attached to a medical term it means “inflammation of.” Arth is short for arthron which is Latin for “joint.” Arthritis is simply a catch-all phrase referring to inflammation of a joint or joints.

There are several main types of arthritis...

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of the structures inside of the joint: bones and cartilage. It is usually due to overusing a joint, ie a wear and tear injury. It develops over time, first with the larger cartilage between the bones breaking down. Eventually the cartilage that encases the bone wears down as well. Then the bones start grinding together. Symptoms range depending on the severity of the degeneration. This can include stiffness and achiness, all the way to sharp debilitating pain.

New Yorkers are especially prone to this type of arthritis. We are constantly pushing ourselves to work harder, exercise harder. New Yorkers spend most of our time walking around on concrete. We designed our advanced massage therapy in New York for you. We pound the pavement too...so we get you 🙂

According to arthritis.org, osteoarthritis responds especially well to medical massage therapy. Achiness and pain cause the body to “splint” (ie contract) the muscles around the joint. Splinting protects the joint. This reaction to pain is exactly what should happen with a bone break or sprained ankle. By keeping the injury from moving, splinting helps prevent further damage.

Sadly, this splinting reaction has the opposite effect with arthritis. The muscle contraction puts further pressure on the joints. And increases the grinding effect. Without treatment, your body goes into a downward spiral that gets worse over time. Pain causes more contraction, which causes more grinding, which causes more pain.

How Massage Therapy in New York Can Relieve Osteoarthritis Symptoms

An experienced New York City licensed massage therapist can use deep tissue medical massage to treat osteoarthritis. Deep massage opens up stiff muscles and interrupts the nervous system to stop the splinting. This helps take pressure off the arthritic joint. Decreasing pain allows the client to use the joint without triggering the splinting. Repeated massage sessions break the feedback loop. In many cases the joint stabilizes and avoids further degeneration. In other cases, the massage work can prolong the life of a joint before requiring surgery.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own joints. Your own body mistakes your joint tissues for foreign invaders. Doctors use bloodwork to test for RA. They treat rheumatoid arthritis with medication. RA does not generally respond well to deep tissue massage, unlike osteoarthritis. Deep tissue massage can often make the symptoms worse. And provide little to no relief.

However, lighter massage can be very effective in lowering symptoms. RA also responds well to energy work such as craniosacral therapy. In addition, movement work such as Tragger or Alexander techniques can be helpful. Our team of advanced massage therapists are trained in a wide range of modalities including these. We can customize all of your sessions to fit your exact needs.

Gout

Gout is a build up of uric acid crystals in a joint. This often shows up in the big toes and/or feet. Symptoms will show up as intense pain in the affected joint, then by discomfort after. In addition, the joint may show swelling, stiffness, and/or redness.

A gout attack occurs when your body starts making more uric acid than your kidneys can process. It can be brought on by eating foods high in uric acid. And also by consuming too much alcohol. The initial attack can last from 3 to 10 days. Subsequent attacks may take months but eventually get closer and closer together. If left untreated it can cause permanent damage to joints and kidneys.

How Massage Therapy for Gout Can Relieve Arthritis Symptoms

Treatment of the underlying issue (too much uric acid) is accomplished through medication and diet changes. However, the symptoms in the joints respond very well to massage therapy for arthritis. This includes deep tissue work, movement training, and stretching. Getting the joints to move again helps to break up the uric acid build up and lower the arthritis inflammation. Once the underlying issue is treated, massage can keep the joints mobile and help prevent any future gout attacks.

Arthritis of All Types Responds to Complementary Therapies

In general, most types of arthritis will respond to a combination of lifestyle changes including switching to an anti-inflammatory diet, exercise that keeps the joints moving but does not overdo their use, daily stretching, hydrotherapy (heat or cold), and of course, massage therapy. If you are in New York City, our team of advanced massage therapists have helped hundreds of clients find relief from all types of arthritis. We offer massage therapy in midtown and in the financial district. Come in and see how our customized massage therapy can set you on the road to less arthritis pain!

Eucalyptus essential oil is a great, natural way to ease your inflammation. Are you feeling pain in your knees specifically? A brace may be helpful! See our suggestions below:


Chronic Wrist Pain & carpal tunnel syndrome

Chronic Wrist Pain & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Evana Class, senior massage therapist at Bodyworks DW, discusses wrist pain & carpal tunnel syndrome!

evana class lmt senior massage therapist wrist pain carpal tunnel syndrome

In our modern device driven world, wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome have gone from rare to ubiquitous. Between typing, holding up our phones all day, carrying bags everywhere, etc. our high paced way of life takes a toll on our vulnerable wrists. Luckily, wrist pain and/or a carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis does not mean you'll wind up in surgery. With a few lifestyle adjustments, more breaks in your routine, and a series of advanced massage therapy sessions, wrist pain can be a thing of the past for anyone.

Elizabeth Dashiell interviews Senior Massage Therapist Evana Class on Wrist Pain & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Elizabeth: What kind of pain do you address in your clientele at Bodyworks DW that you're very successful at treating? 

Evana: I have been really successful at working with clients that have chronic wrist pain and/or a diagnosis for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Elizabeth: How do you tend to address this kind of wrist pain?

Evana: I begin with a range of motion assessment. Is the client able of open and close the hand? Can they move each finger independently, flex and extend at the wrist?

Doing this will tell me which muscles in the forearm and hand are “tight” or restricted. The massage will start at the palm of the hand and moves through towards the elbow on both sides of the arm.

What's different about how Bodyworks DW works on wrist pain?

Elizabeth: Aside from local work, what do you work on when a client lets you know they have this issue? Does that nonlocal work seem to be effective? 

Evana: Yes, definitely! I will address the upper arm, shoulders and neck. In some instances there is usually an unresolved issue in the listed areas that feels better when work is done to alleviate it the original issue.

Elizabeth: Generally, how many sessions would someone need to fully address the chronic wrist pain?

Evana: Each client is different. It depends on how early or late they choose to address the issue. Sessions can rage from 3-5 or 6-8 sessions. 

Elizabeth: Why is this your favorite kind of thing to work through with a client?

Evana: Along with teaching the client self-care tips; this work will help clients have much improved use of hands. Also not being in pain is a plus... Life is stressful enough, if I can help manage or take away some of a client's physical pain it will allow them to be able to focus on other areas of their life that may need attention.

Get yourself some support for those wrists! Here are the braces we recommend:


Book a session with Evana!

Jaw Tension

Jaw Pain or Tension? Here’s how we combat it.

Laura Sniper, senior massage therapist at Bodyworks DW, speaks on jaw pain and how we can help!

Laura Sniper

Jaw pain, teeth grinding, and teeth clenching are becoming normal parts of our modern existence. With the 24/7 onslaught of new information, notifications, marketing messages, etc. we rarely get much of a break from the stress of the outside world. When problems we are dealing with or just aware of go unresolved, we "chew" on these issues...all night long. It's a primal fight or flight reaction to stress. Basically we are baring our teeth to it. Prolonged teeth clenching can lead to headaches, neck pain, and shoulder pain.

Unfortunately, while this outdated nervous system programming was probably very useful for fending off bears and other predators, it doesn't do a lick of good against the stress of your Facebook news feed. However, with advanced massage therapy, you can break the cycle of tension and let go of the pain and tension.

Elizabeth Dashiell interviews Senior Massage Therapist Laura Sniper on Jaw Pain & TMJ

Elizabeth: - What kind of pain do you most commonly address in our clientele at Bodyworks DW?

Laura Sniper: One of the most common things we address that I really enjoy treating is jaw pain. A lot of people don’t realize how much jaw tension they hold! In my experience, the work can be very transformative for the client. 

We also see a lot of people who experience neck pain. Most people can say they’ve had neck tension at some point in their lives... And when we carry a lot of neck tension, often times that will spread into jaw tension. Over time, we end up teeth clenching throughout the day and in our sleep. When we ignore jaw pain or tension long-term it can potentially contribute to the development of TMJ disorder.

E: What is TMJ Disorder?

LS: - It’s a disorder in the joint of the jaw (TemporoMandibular Joint). The point of this joint is to help us move and open our mouths. It's located in very close proximity to the first vertebrae of our neck so tension in one almost always means tension in the other.

Here’s what I do when someone comes in expressing this kind of discomfort. First, I look at the client’s posture. I see how much of it seems to be coming from a forward head (commonly known as “text neck”). Is the pain one-sided? Is the client leaning one way more than the other? How much of it is from one jaw joint working harder than the other? I start by correcting those imbalances.

Of course, I’ll always do local work. Often, I work the most immediate muscle of the jaw called the masseter. You can feel this muscle if you place your hand below your cheekbone.

Did you know that there are jaw muscles that can only be worked on from inside your mouth?

LS: A lot of people benefit from an LMT working on the inside of the mouth.

Not everyone is comfortable with that kind of work at first, but...everyone that I work on feels amazing afterwards!

E: What exactly are you doing when you do inner-mouth work?

LS: Well, first, we always wear medical gloves. We make sure we have consent and communicate with the client what’s going on. Second, we work on the pterygoid muscles. They are located in sides of the mouth and are used primarily for chewing. In fact, it’s the muscle we use when we clench. Anyone who clenches their jaw regularly, has had lock-jaw, or has had whiplash or a concussion is prone to holding tension here.

E: Is that muscle sensitive?

LS: The work can feel intense but afterwards people feel transformed. I’ve heard pretty much all my clients talk about feeling more range of motion in the jaw and an open neck. People who suffer from chronic headaches will claim to have less headaches or no headaches at all. Of course, this is only the case when the headache was caused by jaw tension.

In my opinion inner mouth work to relieve jaw tension is really important and often overlooked! It’s most definitely worth the time to get addressed.

E: I agree! I think I need it!!

Looking for some temporary relief? Try using a Gua Sha Tool to relax your jaw and neck muscles in between massage treatments:


Book an Appointment with Laura!