Muscle Spotlight: The "Deep Six"

So far, we’ve taken a look at the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus muscles and how important they are for the function of the hips, both in terms of stability and motion. There is one more set of muscles tucked away in the pelvis that is usually not addressed unless they start causing problems, though. If you’ve ever had the uncomfortable condition known as sciatica, you won’t want to miss this post!

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Muscle Spotlight: Gluteus Medius and Minimus

If you’ve been reading the blog for the past couple of weeks, you’ll have noticed a bit of a theme. Namely, we’re taking a look at the gluteal muscles, how they’re addressed in massage sessions, and how they have vastly important functions in your day-to-day movement. Last post, we focused on the gluteus maximus, the largest and most powerful of the gluteal muscles. In this post, we’ll see what its associates – the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus – accomplish in the body!

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Muscle Spotlight: Gluteus Maximus

Last week, I posted about gluteal massage being included in massage sessions. I personally believe, as a therapist, that it should be, but I always leave it up to my clients. As clients, you are in control of the session and it can be customized to your needs and desires (within reason, as always), and that means that gluteal massage can be excluded if you prefer that area not be touched. However, once you learn about all the hard work these muscles do for your body every day, you might just reconsider the next time you get a massage! Without further ado, let’s take a look at the gluteus maximus, the largest of the gluteal muscles.

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Being Able to Say "No"

For massage therapists especially, one very difficult challenge seems to be the ability to say “no” to a given situation if we need to. We are such giving people that it can be extremely difficult for us to tell anyone that we cannot accommodate their request. Many of us would almost rather not practice than have to do that, but the unfortunate reality is that we have to draw boundaries in and around various parts of our lives and keep those boundaries intact. Otherwise, we risk overextending ourselves and burning out. There are many situations that may call for a therapist to say “no.” The following are some common potential situations therapists may run into as well as ways to help therapists find out if they are in such situations and how best to say “no” while still being professional.

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Why Relaxation Massage Is Being Left Behind and Left Out -- Part 1

In the next two posts, I would like to address an issue that I’ve been seeing in the massage and bodywork community. That is, the trend of emphasizing medically oriented massage techniques almost to the exclusion of relaxation massage. The next post will talk more about this trend and how it presents in the industry as a whole. In this first post, though, I’ll begin by telling a story of my own to illustrate how it can affect the lives and practices of individual therapists. It has taken a lot of time and consideration to thoughtfully develop these posts, and I hope that others may benefit from reading my story and my insights.

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Why Don’t More Doctors Look Into Massage for Clients in Physical Pain?

I got asked an excellent question on Quora the other day regarding massage treatments as viable options for pain relief and why more doctors who treat physical pain don’t suggest massage to their patients. The question read, “Why don't more doctors who treat physical pain in patients look into trigger points or myofascial release as a solution?” Keep reading to find out what I replied.

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Tips for Using a Foam Roller

To be frankly honest, I don’t really like foam rollers. Too often, I find that clients or friends will injure themselves by either too aggressively using this tool or simply using it incorrectly. (I mean, honestly, who thought it would be a great idea to put foam spikes on a roller?) I would much prefer that they go see a trained massage therapist or bodyworker who can work with their body to gently encourage it to let go of its adhesions rather than forcing it to do something it may not be ready to do. However, some people have to use their foam roller, whether because they cannot go see a massage therapist regularly or because they consider it a necessary part of their self-care routine, and I respect that. With that in mind, then, here are my tips for using a foam roller effectively and safely.

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The Vocabulary of Massage Therapy

When I had to “fire” my first client, it was due to a unique set of circumstances, largely centered around the language used in text communications with me. He spoke of feeling the “love through my touch” and that he wanted me to “engulf and envelope” him with my “soft and sweet sexy hands.” To his credit, he had been a complete gentleman while in his very first session, and may, in fact, have meant nothing but honest and sincere, if awkward, compliments by the words. But the fact that I had been made uncomfortable, even if unintentionally, by that and other text messages he sent, was enough to cause me to refuse to rebook him. The brand new and still fragile relationship of trust and safety between us had been broken.

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A Response to “Worshiping the False Idols of Wellness”

The New York Times published an article on the first of August which struck quite the cord with me, in both a positive and a negative way. Dr. Jen Gunter, an obstetrician and gynecologist in California, was the author of the piece, which can be read here. She has very obviously had some negative experiences with those in the “wellness” community, as is evidenced by her comments about them and some of the practices with which she associates them. I was honestly torn reading this piece. I acknowledge that Dr. Gunter has some good points about people who take advantage of the uneducated looking for simple health and wellness solutions in their lives. However, she also clearly misunderstands the very meaning of wellness itself as well as the intentions of the vast majority of people in the wellness community.

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Trying to Avoid the Term “Toxin”

In recent years, the word “toxin” seems to have become a very handy buzzword for companies selling natural products and remedies. Their wares or techniques are guaranteed to “flush toxins out of the body” or even prevent such “toxins” from entering it in the first place. There are entire Facebook pages and groups dedicated to “detoxes” and “cleanses” and the methods by which they can be accomplished, with everything ranging from drinking nothing but lemon water with a pinch of cayenne pepper for a week, to eating activated charcoal once a month. But what is the real truth about “toxins” and their presence (or absence) in the body, and do you really need to be that concerned with “flushing them out”? More importantly for the content of this post, can massage actually eliminate so-called toxins from your body?

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