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How To Give A Back Massage

With fast paced lives and the continuous chase to meet deadlines, the tired mind and body tends to seek out for a stress buster. People bogged down by stress find it affecting not only their minds but their bodies as well.

Massage helps you eliminate stress to bring about a relaxed you. It is a relaxing experience by artistic hand strokes on the body to rejuvenate the mind and body and eliminate stress scientifically.

To give a back massage, follow these steps.

- A...

Massage Therapy, Massage oils, Back Massage

With fast paced lives and the continuous chase to meet deadlines, the tired mind and body tends to seek out for a stress buster. People bogged down by stress find it affecting not only their minds but their bodies as well.

Massage helps you eliminate stress to bring about a relaxed you. It is a relaxing experience by artistic hand strokes on the body to rejuvenate the mind and body and eliminate stress scientifically.

To give a back massage, follow these steps.

- Ask the person to lie face & belly down on flat surface with his/her head turned to one side. Avoid straining your back when you giving a massage. Stand or kneel beside the lying person

- Start off gently by spreading oil over the entire back, so that your hands dont' stick to the massage receiver’s back.

- Begin with light strokes at the base of the neck. Move your hands on the either side of the spine, applying gentle pressure. Rub up and down the length and sides of the back. Repeating this several times starts the relaxation process.

- Apply the fleshy part of your thumbs to the shoulder blades on either side of the spine at mid back. Move up to the base of the neck by applying small outward strokes. Apply pressure away from the spine.

- After the warm up, move to the spots that feel tight or hard under your hand. Again with the fleshy part of your thumb, work in small circles. Adjust the pressure accordingly to serving the purpose of relaxation. This will loosen up the tight spots.

- Next pay full attention to the shoulder area. Place your palm on one of the shoulder blades, shaking it gently by moving your palm back and forth. This will create a nice loose movement of the shoulder blade and arm. Repeat on the other side.

- Next move to the bottom of the shoulder blade, near the spine. With your thumb, push all the way across the shoulder blade from the spine applying pressure suitably. Cover the entire shoulder area with the horizontal stroke. Switch to other side and repeat.

- Knead gently in small circular motions with the fleshy part of your fingers the tender spots along the top of the shoulder and collar bone.

- Use the heel of the hands to apply pressure down the sides of the spine, starting from upper shoulder and moving down to the lower back.

- Apply soothing finishing strokes by gently rubbing your hands up the center of the back on either side of the spine and down the sides of the back.

 

How To Find A Qualified Massage Therapist

It's essential that you trust the person who will be touching you. You should feel confident and comfortable with your massage therapist.

The place to start is with credentials. Regarding state regulation, 33 states and the District of Columbia now regulate massage therapists. If you are in one of these states you will want to find out if your prospective massage therapist is licensed, though in some states it is referred to as state certification or registration. Some loc...

massage, relaxation, relax, therapy, therapists, tips, help, self-help, wellness

It's essential that you trust the person who will be touching you. You should feel confident and comfortable with your massage therapist.

The place to start is with credentials. Regarding state regulation, 33 states and the District of Columbia now regulate massage therapists. If you are in one of these states you will want to find out if your prospective massage therapist is licensed, though in some states it is referred to as state certification or registration. Some local governments may also have some form of regulation.

The primary national credential is the designation Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, which is designated by the initials NCTMB. Professional certification differs from governmental regulation because it is private (i.e., non-governmental) and not compulsory. The designation NCTMB is awarded by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), which is a non-profit corporation. The Board is elected by the people who are nationally certified.

People earn the designation NCTMB by meeting certain requirements, generally involving education and experience, to take an exam. If they pass it, they become nationally certified for 4 years.

They must then complete certain requirements to re-certify every 4 years. What is especially significant for the consumer is the national certification program has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), located in Washington, D.C. This means the national certification program has been thoroughly evaluated by an outside agency according to very rigorous standards. AMTA is proud to have been a primary contributor to the creation of the national certification program.

Another criteria is education. The minimum number of hours of training AMTA recommends looking for is 500 hours, which is the standard followed by most of the states regulating massage therapists, though the required number of hours is increasing in some places. AMTA recommends you look for a graduate of a training program that has been accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) or an agency with equivalent standards. Why? To become accredited by COMTA a training program must offer a curriculum that meets certain requirements, submit an extensive self-evaluation, undergo a site visit inspection by a team of experts, and be evaluated by an independent accreditation board. This means a training program accredited by COMTA has qualified faculty to teach, proper equipment and classrooms, required teaching subjects, and other features needed to adequately train students in massage therapy. In turn, you the consumer can have some assurance about a massage therapist’s training if your prospective massage therapist graduated from an accredited training program.

Another factor to consider is whether a prospective massage therapist belongs to a credible professional association, such as AMTA. Of course, this being AMTA’s Website, we’re partial to AMTA .... and for reasons that are also good for consumers and the public. To belong to AMTA, a massage therapist must either pass the national certification exam, graduate from a training program accredited or approved by COMTA, or have a current AMTA accepted state, provincial, or city license. AMTA has practice standards that promote the highest standards in the profession. AMTA members must also follow a strict Code of Ethics, to which AMTA members are held accountable. Violations are subject to grievance procedures. AMTA is a non-profit organization whose leaders are democratically elected by its members, so its dedication to high standards and advancing the profession remains strong.

Next, you might want to ask about your prospective massage therapist’s approach to massage therapy. While some massage therapists may only use one or two types of massage, most massage therapists employ a variety of techniques in their practice. What you want to find out is if what the massage therapist offers is compatible with what you need. You can find out more about the various types of massage by looking at the glossary of definitions. The more specific your needs, the more important the massage therapist’s approach and specific skills may be. You could also ask about how many years experience the massage therapist has. By the way, some massage therapists with many years experience may have started out in an era when there weren’t as many training programs around and many of the profession’s standards were not yet in place. You can, if you wish, take their experience into account when considering their credentials.

Finally, you may find just the "right" massage therapist for you the first time you try. However, you may also need to try several massage therapists to find the "right fit" for you, because, besides credentials, there is also a personal element to massage. Personality fit is important too, so is trust. You should feel confident and comfortable with your massage therapist. Communication is an important element in massage therapy. Don’t be afraid to discuss any apprehensions or concerns.

We have a way to make finding a massage therapist a little easier .... AMTA's Find A Massage Therapist® national locator service! By using the this service, you can receive the names of several qualified massage therapists near you. If you or someone you know needs to find a massage therapist, AMTA's Find A Massage Therapist® national locator service is available on this Website to assist you.

Questions to Ask When Looking for a Massage Therapist

- Are you currently licensed as a massage therapist in this state? (If you are in one of the 33 states or the District of Columbia which regulates massage therapy)
- Are you a graduate of a training program accredited or approved by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA), OR
- Are you certified by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork?
- Where did you receive your massage therapy training? How many hours of training did you complete?
- Do you have advanced training in any specific massage techniques?
- Are you a member of AMTA?

 

How to improve your flexibility safely in to the splits.

Dancers are constantly striving for perfection and are as a result always trying to improve their flexibility. To improve flexibility stretching should be effective, efficient and safe. Lisa Howell offers some helpful hints and her own stretch programme to improve flexibility into the splits.

Flexibility, Stretches, Stretch programme, Dance, Ballet, Lisa Howell, Exercises, Splits, Flexible,

There are a few common mistakes people make while trying to improve their flexibility. Number one is the trying too hard with their stretches. Far too many people push their stretches too far and risk tearing muscle fibres in the process. When you stretch a muscle too much it has a protective response called the 'stretch reflex' that actually makes the muscle contract. This means that you not only risk injuring yourself, but that you don’t get as much improvement as if you go a little more gently.
Secondly, if you are contracting lots of other muscles to pull your leg up (this is common when trying to stretch the hamstring muscles), all the tension in the rest of your body does nothing to help the muscle you are trying to stretch relax. It important to stay relaxed throughout the programme
Most people try to improve their flexibility into the splits by simply doing the splits. This will get you a certain distance but is certainly not the whole picture. The process that I find works the best is to slowly work through all the other muscles in your legs and around your pelvis that influences the nerve down the back of the leg, as especially when you are growing, this is what is usually tight.
Put some groovy music on, and spread out a mat to enjoy this little routine! I find it much nicer to work with the music than specifically count out the exercises, just make sure you don’t rush!! Make sure you are nice and warm before starting... After a class, a brisk walk or a shower is nice.

• Lie on your back, with both knees bent and feet on the floor.
• Slowly rotate your low back from side to side (at least 8 times).
• Then gently work your hips through their full range (knees bent) by pulling them into your chest then rotating them to the sides (4 times each direction each leg).
• Stretch the deep bottom muscles in several positions, by bringing one knee slightly across your body and pulling the lower part of the leg around (Piriformis Stretch)
• Then roll over and bring your foot to your bottom to stretch the front of the thigh.
• Come up onto one knee, in a lunge position to stretch the front of the hip, making sure that you don’t arch the back, but gently tuck your tail under to feel the stretch.
• Turn the hips slowly to face one side wall, and then the other, feeling for points of restriction.
• Sink lower into the lunge, breathing slowly.
• Come up into standing and stretch the calves, making sure you do a bent knee calf stretch as well as the common straight leg one (2 x each).
• Circle your ankles several times in both directions then slowly massage the sole of each foot with your knuckles (go gently!).
• Take your legs wide in standing, then bend one knee and take the hands to the floor to stretch the inside thigh of one leg. Transfer the weight over to the other leg to stretch the second side.
• Sit on the floor with your legs out towards a side split position. Lean forward very gently by tilting the pelvis forward and keeping your spine straight.
• Slowly lean to one side, and lift the opposite arm to stretch out your side, and breathe deeply into your lowest ribs, then repeat to the other side (2 x).
• Come back to centre and lean forward again gently (you should be able to go a little further).
• Roll back onto your back, knees bent and feet together, and then lower the knees into a 'froggy stretch'.
• Finally, hold behind the back of one knee and gently extend the knee to stretch the back of the thigh. It should already feel looser than normal, so just hold a gentle stretch, and make sure that your shoulders and arms are relaxed! Spine straight!
• Finish off with a gentle stretch into the splits to check your range. Do NOT push this!!!
A unique program is being developed especially for dancers to improve mobility in this area. Keep updated on the progress of this fantastic resource by signing on to the FREE dancer’s newsletter at www.theballetblog.com.

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