Tag Archives: massage therapist

The Benefits of Self-Massage Using the Stick

3 Aug

By Marcela De Vivo

What if you didn’t have to count on somebody else to give you a massage? When your muscles are sore, achy and tired, you won’t always have someone willing to do the work for you, unless, of course, you opt to pay for a professional massage. A self-massage doesn’t seem like a workable or practical solution, since we can’t even reach the areas of our body that need it the most.

However, if you feel like you would benefit from a regular self-massage, there is a way you can do it on your own with a product called The Stick.

Back Pain

The Stick is designed to mimic the work of a massage therapist and give you nearly all of the same benefits you would receive from actually going to one. It’s also crafted in such a way that enables you to administer the massage yourself, even when trying to reach your back.

Using it on a daily basis is similar to getting a massage with that same amount of regularity, and can benefit you in the following areas:

1. Muscle soreness and knots — If you’re an active person and spend a lot of time working out or enjoy engaging in some kind of physical activity, you’re guaranteed to experience sore and knotted muscles. The Stick can alleviate that pain and help you to regularly tend to these overworked areas.

2. Lower back pain — When your arms or shoulders are sore, you have at least some ability to reach them with your own hands if need be. Your lower back, on the other hand, is pretty much out of reach unless you have a tool like The Stick that can help you reach it.

Being able to self-massage your back can decrease lower back pain and actually improve your posture along with the muscles around your spinal column.

3. Circulation — Massaging any muscle in your body will increase circulation and encourage blood flow to and throughout that part of your body. This can be beneficial for injuries, migraines, tension headaches or just encouraging overall circulation. Again, the advantage here is that you can administer the massage with much greater regularity, thereby increasing the benefits and positive results.

4. Stress — A massage has long been known as one of the best ways to deal with both physical and mental stress. If you can make it a regular part of your relaxation routine every evening, than you should see a huge drop in your stress and tension levels. This happens on both a physical and psychological level, since a massage causes your body to release endorphins and can also lower your blood pressure.

5.  Sports and athletic performance — If you’re an athlete, or even just active in recreational sports, The Stick can benefit you both before and after a workout or an athletic event. Massaging the muscles you use the most is crucial for both a warm up and cool down phase, primarily because of the extra circulation and the amount of oxygen that it’s bringing to your muscles.

Overall Health

A regular massage is an effective way to improve your overall health and wellness, not just isolated areas of your body. Since The Stick allows you to do it yourself, you’ll see tremendous benefits in all these areas, which will lead to an improvement in your overall health and condition, if you use it regularly.

Marcela De Vivo is a health and beauty writer for a Miami salon, Bellezza Spa, yoga enthusiast and mother of three. Because she can’t count on her kids to give her a massage, she personally practices yoga on a daily basis and uses other products, like The Stick, to ease muscle tension and soreness. Follow her onTwitter today!

Swimmers Love The Stick

25 Apr

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Last weekend, I helped a local massage therapist (Monique Klein of Just What You Knead Massage Therapy)  offer support to the Alberta Masters Provincial Swim Meet.  The event was hosted in Okotoks, Alberta and showcased the top masters swimmers in the province.  In fact, I spent much of the day speaking with a past Olympian and swim coach.  I learned a lot about swimming and more about coaching!   

Basically, I set up on the side of the pool and offered people some soft tissue relief and advice.  I worked on some people, while I gave others tips on nutrition, hydration and most importantly recovery.  The Stick is an excellent tool for recovery because you can use it to roll out your muscles while stretching them at the same time.   

My set-up at the pool

 

 Many athletes came by to use The Stick as a warm-up and cool-down tool for their races.  Since most of the athletes had multiple races, The Stick was a great tool for them to stay warm and ready to race without expending a lot of energy in an extended warm-up.  They simply could roll out their muscles to maintain their preferred level of readiness.   

Needless to say most swimmers were after some advice and relief for shoulder related stresses and injuries.  Specifically, many had rotator cuff issues.  Sometimes the head of the biceps tendon can be bothersome to people who have shoulder problems.  That is where  the TriggerWheel came in.  I used the TriggerWheel to roll over the insertion point of the biceps tendon to help break down scar tissue, offer increased blood flow and consequently “made their shoulders feel better”.  The TriggerWheel offers pinpoint accuracy.   The best compliment I got was “now I can take care of this on my own”.  That is just it…..with this simple to use massage tool, people can manage their soft tissue issues on their own.  This is not to say that they should stop seeing a trained professional, it just means that they can get some relief by working on themselves.  

TriggerWheel

 

  Other swimmers were needing help with their upper back and shoulder area, so I showed them how to use The Stick on their backs.  First, I rolled them out, then I demonstrated on myself, then I let them roll out their own sore muscles.  Here are a few simple photos:  

  

  I know these pictures don’t look like they are taken on the side of a pool, but they represent how you can use The Stick on your upper back and trapezius areas.  

    

    

All and all, I had a great day hanging out with swimmers!!

How Speed Skaters Might Use “The Stick”

21 Sep

During the Edmonton Marathon, I met two high end speed skaters!  The first was a young up and comer who has been training at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Alberta.  Her family has been involved in speed skating for quite a number of years.  Her dad happens to be a coach as well.  They ended up picking up a Sprinter Stick.

This made sense to me because speed skaters have large, dense muscles.  The Sprinter Stick was the perfect stick for her because it is stiff and short enough to fit it into her training bag.

The other speed skater I met was Crystal Phillips.  If her name sounds familiar it is because she is competing against the very best in the world.  Crystal is a Canadian speed skater who is not only training for Canada, but she also has Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  I did not know that she was dealing with MS until I met her for coffee.  She is a remarkable young women.  Here is a little exert from an article written about her efforts with the MS Bike Tour a couple of years ago:

“After successfully organizing a team for the MS Bike Tour for the first time last year, Crystal Phillips is looking forward to making this year’s team an even bigger success. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis herself only a little over a year ago, the 21-year-old speed skater is determined to not let the disease get her down and hopes this Bike Tour, which is a two-day 180-km trip from Airdrie to Olds and back, will help build more awareness of MS and will help raise as much money as possible for MS research.”

To read the most up to date information on Crystal click the title – Canadian speed skaters support upcoming MS Bike Tour

Crystal is still team captain for her team called ‘Team Tazza’  for the MS Bike Tour. 

Interestingly enough, she stopped by my booth and said she uses The Stick all the time.  She told me she mainly uses it for warm-up.  Being that she is an amazing athlete, I assumed she would be using the Sprinter Stick as well.  I was wrong.

Crystal showed up the next day to compete in her race and she again stopped by my booth and showed her Travel Stick.  I was shocked to hear that she only uses the Travel Stick.  I though for sure she would be using a stiffer stick like the Sprinter Stick, Body Stick or even the Stiff Stick.  She explained to me that she and other speed skaters love to use the stick to warm-up and stimulate their muscles before they trained or raced.  So, the Travel Stick was perfect for the job.  She was not looking to do any deep soft tissue release because she would see a therapist for that. 

I think this makes a lot of sense for a person in her position.  She has access to physiotherapists and massage therapists, so she uses The Stick as a warm-up tool.  I suggested she she also use it as a cool-down tool and a tool for soft tissue work in between visits to her therapists.

Crystal is a great example of how speed skaters or other athletes can use The Stick

 Go Crystal Go.

 

I should also mention that Crystal is part of Clean Air Champions where their mission is to improve air quality by working with respected athletes to motivate and educate Canadians to adopt practices and lifestyles that enhance both environmental and personal health.

 

 

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