TBW is now an In (Your) Home Massage Therapy Business!….

As always, I hope this finds you doing well and staying safe.

As of Oct. 1st of 2020, I decided to change from an office based  massage therapy business to an in (your) home based business. All of the Covid 19 safe-guards that were in place in my office remain in place. I continue to be tested every two weeks. I do day before screening calls and call backs at one then two weeks post appointments to be sure that you have remained free of any Covid symptoms. I wear mask and goggles. You wear a mask as well. All equipment comes in clean and is cleaned before I leave. For you, there is no more travel, no weather or traffic issues to contend with, all the benefits of massage in the comfort of your own home!

This new approach for my business has been well received so far. Should you have any questions or concerns about In-Home massage therapy, never hesitate to give me a call (518-573-5059). I will do my best to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Until then…Be Well. I hope to see you soon!  🙂

~Claire

What are those knots I’m feeling?

Depositphotos_40039989_mThe knots that you feel, that so often bring you to a massage therapist are actually muscles that have gone into spasm. Muscle spasms may also be called a cramp or Charley Horse. (Hmmm, not sure who Charley was or how a horse got involved – but I digress…)

These spasms can occur in all types of muscle, but in this case I am referring to skeletal (voluntary) muscles. Those that we use for movement and / or stability. Muscles contain both fast and slow twitch fibers. Muscles responsible for movement tend to contain more fast twitch fibers. (Think of a sprinter or the Rabbit of that well known race.)  Muscles responsible for our posture / stability tend to contain more slow twitch fibers. (Think long distance runner or the Turtle of same said race.) They tire less quickly.

Muscle spasms can have a sudden onset, such as when someone “throws their back out” from an overly strenuous activity. This type of pain can be severe, stabbing and incapacitating in nature.

When an injury such as this occurs, muscles that were intended to be the “movers” of our body are called upon to become the “stabilizers” that keep us upright. This is the body’s attempt to splint a vulnerable area and prevent further injury.
A sprinter does not a good long distance runner make and so those muscles quickly tire, creating a cascading effect as more muscles are called upon to “get in on the act” of movement, stabilization and prevention of further injury. Ouch!!

Another example of muscle spasm occurs with sustained, lower level effort that can produce a duller, aching type pain that may also include a burning sensation (as surrounding nerves are impinged upon). It is not as incapacitating in nature as a sudden onset muscle spasm but gets our attention as everyday activities are accomplished with less range of motion and some degree of discomfort that we manage to tolerate.

So What can Contribute to the Development of Muscle Spasms?

  • Injury to the muscle. (Some blunt force trauma)
  • Overuse of a toned muscle. (A Wt. lifter lifting too much wt.)
  • Overuse of a weakened muscle. (A weekend warrior over doing it.)
  • Posture during use of the muscle. (Twisting or bending with lifting)
  • Sustained poor posture. (with walking or sitting.)
  • Dehydration.(This can cause individual muscle fibers or muscle groups to stick together. Think of a clump of spaghetti that’s tough to separate).
  • Electrolyte Imbalances secondary to dehydration. (Electrolytes are substances within our blood necessary for proper muscle contraction).
  • Repetitive movement / Cumulative trauma (names given to activities of daily living like long hours of computer work, or driving).
  • Gravitational Stress (this one is not going away and takes on more significance if our posture is challenged as well).
  • Emotional Stress can be a contributor as well.

So What can I Do once I have a Muscle Spasm?

If the spasm is sudden onset / activity related :
Ice packs can block the pain sensations. Later, heat can help the relaxation process.
(Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use to avoid further tissue damage.)
Massage can work out these knots / spasms (also the lower intensity, sustained spasms described above) and get you back on track.
Plan to incorporate pre and post activity stretching and sufficient hydration through out the day.
For more persistent muscular issues a visit to your physician may be needed to explore the cause and perhaps treat with other pain relievers or muscle relaxants.
If your being troubled with sudden onset muscular pain or dull aching muscles: schedule your appointment TODAY and Get Back to Your Life!
(See Medical Disclaimer Blog post.)
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Snow Shoveling 101: Seven Suggestions to Prevent Backpain

Blackman pressing an ice bag on his aching back

Blackman pressing an ice bag on his aching back

Since many people are engaging in the necessary task of snow shoveling and hurting their backs in the process, I wanted to post a checklist of things to consider before heading out in the cold. I’ve scoured the internet and come up with a compilation of suggestions that seem to make the most sense.

Here goes:

  1. Many posts remarked that shoveling snow is like an athletic event. One estimated that the average shovel of snow can weigh around 16 lbs, in wet snow conditions, and if a quick pace was maintained that in 10 mins. you could have lifted 2,000 lbs. of wt.!! Sooo…Consider your present state of health. If you have heart trouble, high blood pressure, breathing issues, back issues or just don’t physically feel up to the task, it may be best to wait and/or enlist the help of family, friends or neighbors.
  2. Layer up your clothing. If you’ve got a big job ahead, you’re going to perspire. Taking layers off keeps your clothes from getting damp which can lead to lowering your core temperature and hypothermia.
  3. Hydrate before and after to replace fluids lost through perspiration. Avoid caffeinated drinks that may raise your heart rate and blood pressure.
  4. Most posts seemed to favor the ergonomically curved shovel as it requires less bending of the back to use. These shovels are well suited for pushing the snow aside vs lifting and throwing the snow. Supporting the shovel at about belt height can lessen the strain on back muscles as you push.
  5. When using either type of shovel: Keep your feet shoulder width apart. Take a wide grip on the shovel and if you lift the load of snow, hold it close to your body. As you lift with your legs (and not your back), lift your chin up as well. This keeps your spine in better alignment during the effort. When you throw the snow: step into it. Have your nose follow your toes! No twisting of your back when throwing the snow.
  6. For wet sticky snow, spray the shovel with Pam to prevent it from sticking to the shovel.
  7. Rather than taking on the whole pile of snow at once, consider smaller shovels full. Maybe 3″ at a time. It will take longer, but when your done, you’re done. Your less likely to have to then start nursing an aching back!

Should all of your best efforts still result in a sore back, give me a call to make an appointment. 🙂

(See Medical Disclaimer Blog Post)