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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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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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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Why Lymphatic Massage Is So Gentle

The other day, I ran into an excellent question. “Why does a lymphatic massage require a soft touch? Wouldn't deep massage work as well?” This is a style of massage about which many people are confused and about which, sadly, some therapists don’t have a good answer to give. The simple fact is that the pressure of the massage has to do with the lymph vessels themselves.

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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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Organic or Non-Organic?

When it comes to essential oils, there can be fierce debate over which brands of oils are the best. One thing that is commonly put forth as a clear characteristic of superiority is the fact that some brands bottle organically grown oils, whereas others do not. But is all the hype about organic oils really something to stand behind when defending your favorite brand, and should you purchase oils solely by merit of the fact that they are organic? Let's take a look at the facts and find out.

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