Massage Therapy found effective for treating chronic low back pain…AGAIN

This was a study that was just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on the use of massage therapy for chronic low back pain.  It follows several other studies done on massage therapy and low back pain and finds the same results.

Massage is one of the most popular complementary and alternative medical therapies for neck and back pain (1), conditions that account for more than one third (2) of the more than 100 million annual visits to massage therapists in the United States (3). Almost all massage therapists in the United States use Swedish massage techniques aimed at relaxation, but only a minority take courses in such techniques as structural massage for treatment of chronic low back pain. Recent reviews have found limited evidence that massage is an effective treatment of chronic back pain (4, 5), and no studies have compared relaxation massage with structural massage, which focuses on correcting soft-tissue abnormalities. We therefore conducted a trial to determine whether relaxation massage reduces pain and improves function in patients with chronic low back pain and compared relaxation and structural massage for treating this condition.

The conclusion was that massage therapy may be effective for treatment of chronic back pain, with benefits lasting at least 6 months. No clinically meaningful difference between relaxation and structural massage was observed in terms of relieving disability or symptoms.

Click  HERE to read the entire study…


Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

Standing on the sidelines at the Superbowl, sitting courtside at the finals of the US Open, watching the World Series from the dugout; these are the situations that lead many massage therapists into the field of sports massage.  The possibility of living something we may only have watched on television since we were young is a powerful motivator and being part of a team or working with the top athletes in their field can be a very appealing aspect to the profession. For those who have experienced that, there is something to be said for sharing in such a memorable experience and feeling like you helped contribute to the success of the athlete or team.

To many of those looking in from the outside, being a sports massage therapist may seem like a glamorous job.  Don’t get me wrong, being involved in a professional sport is a fantastic job and I appreciate every day I get to do it.  I travel to fantastic places in countries I would never have gone to were it not for my job.  I get to see and learn about other cultures, experience amazing things, and best of all meet wonderful people from around the world.
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The Forgotten Edge

When it comes to running, there is plenty of equipment out there— and gimmicks to match—designed to help you train, keep you healthy, and improve your performance. Yet with all the hype over these tools, there is one piece of equipment that seems to get lost in the shuffle—your body.
Taking care of yourself can give you the edge you need to help get you where you need to be. Consider how much faster you could be if you could focus on training, and not on recovering from an injury.

Click  HERE to read more…


“Home in the Marsh” Update

Well my time here in Brussels is quickly coming to an end.  It has been a great tournament in a beautiful city.  Yesterday we had a bit of time to take in some of the shops and to buy some souvenirs.  This is definately a city that I would return to for a bit of rest and relaxation.  The hotel we were at was right in the middle of the city so all we had to do was walk out the back door and we were right in the middle of everything.

Here is a short video of some of the sights.

Beer, Waffles, and Chocolate…Oh My!

Well I made it to Brussels and have settled in.  Play has begun and matches are going well.  We are staying at the Royal Windsor Hotel right downtown and the city is amazing.  Right out our back door are numerous restaurants and bars so of course I had to try the large variety of beer that Belgium is famous for.  I think we are going for another famous dish here called Moules and Frites (Mussels and chips) tonight for dinner since there are no night matches here.

Here are some pictures from the main city square from behind our hotel where we ate dinner in an outside café.


For some of the history of Belgium, click HERE.

Another interesting bit of history is the story of a famous statue of a little boy peeing into a fountain.  There are several legends behind this statue, but the most famous is the one about Duke Godfrey III of Leuven. In 1142, the troops of this two-year-old lord were battling against the troops of the Berthouts, the lords of Grimbergen, in Ransbeke (now Neder-over-Heembeek). The troops put the infant lord in a basket and hung the basket in a tree to encourage them. From there, the boy urinated on the troops of the Berthouts, who eventually lost the battle.

Check out the full story …Manneken Pis

Check back later for more from the “Home in the Marsh”…

Check the diaphragm

If you have a client to seems to have limited thoracic rotation one way or the other, a very effective fix is to release the diaphragm.  Since the diaphragm attaches along the inside of the ribcage, restrictions in the muscle can lead to decrease mobility in the thoracic spine.

More Water Please

With the summer rapidly approaching, keeping yourself hydrated becomes especially important.  Here is an article discussing why keeping yourself hydrated is important, how much water you need, and whether you should use a sports drink or just plain waterMore Water Please

Keeping Your Resolutions on Track

Every January 1st millions of Americans wake up after a long night of celebrating and swear that the upcoming year will be full of changes, better known as “resolutions”.  The recurrent underlying theme is that people want to take better care of themselves.  Two of the most common resolutions year after year are “I am going to get in shape” and “I am going to lose weight”.  Despite the noble intent, these promises to ourselves soon fall by the wayside and we revert back into our usual routines.  Read more