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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How Essential Oils Actually Work

Lately, I’ve had several people ask me what the big deal is about essential oils, whether they actually work, and (if they do actually work) how exactly they work. Some people hear about essential oils from friends or family, but may be skeptical because their doctor doesn’t recommend using them and says they are a “quack” remedy. Others may see the benefits of essential oils but want to know how to tell their friends and family about the benefits without seeming like they are snake oil salesmen.

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Muscle Spotlight: Erector Spinae

In a previous blog post, I highlighted the quadratus lumborum, its function in the body, and why it is a frequent culprit for low back pain. In this post, I’ll be discussing its cousins, the erector spinae. The erectors are actually a group of three muscles which extend from several attachment points along the pelvic girdle to the cervical vertebrae, and even to the occipital bone at the base of the skull.

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Wasting a Major?

Within the past two weeks, I had two separate conversations, both of which happened to involve my college major as well as my career choice. In both cases, once the other person realized that I had gotten a biology major and then proceeded into massage therapy after graduation, they remarked, "Oh, so you're not using your biology major, then?" Having heard similar comments in the past, it did not strike me as too odd to hear something like that, but by the second instance in as many weeks I realized that there was a general perception about massage therapy in which very little biology was involved. So did I waste my major by choosing to go into massage therapy? As a matter of fact, the biology major was an important step in preparation for this career which deals so closely with the human body.

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What is a Muscle Knot?

In almost every massage session, I am called upon to work out knots in peoples' muscles. The shoulders are the most common culprit when it comes to places in the body that store tension, so most knots tend to be found in that area, but knots can be found all over the body wherever there are muscles. So what exactly are knots, and why do they tend to form in certain places? More importantly, perhaps, what can you do to prevent them from forming?

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