Pain is a common condition that affects everyone from all walks of life. As we get older the occurrence of pain arises, with women experiencing pain more commonly than men.

There are two main types of pain:

  • acute pain – a normal response to an injury which occurs suddenly and is brief.
  • chronic pain – lingers beyond the time expected for healing, generally lasting longer than three months.

Pain may be anything from a dull muscle ache, throbbing sensation, to a sharp stab and can range from mild to extreme. You may feel pain in one part of your body or it may be widespread.

Our emotional wellbeing can impact our pain experience. Understanding the cause and learning effective ways to cope with your pain can improve your quality of life.

Some ways to manage pain include:

  • pain-relieving medication
  • psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques and meditation
  • mind and body techniques
  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapies, such as heat or cold packs, massage, hydrotherapy and exercise

 

Causes of pain

The most common causes of pain include:

  • physical injury
  • medical conditions (such as cancer, arthritis and back problems)
  • surgery

The most commonly reported types of pain are headache, neck, shoulder and back pain.

 

How pain affects the body

Pain is our body’s essential defensive mechanism, that protects our body from harm and danger.

We have pain receptors located everywhere in our body. Our nerves detect danger, relay that message to our brain, is processed by our brain and our muscles receive a message to remove that affected area from harm or danger. If an immediate action is needed our spinal cord sends an immediate response back to our muscle to instantly prevent further damage occurring. This happens before you even feel pain, which is known as a reflex reaction.

Our brain incorporates our previous experience, beliefs, expectations, culture and social norms surrounding pain. This explains why people have very different responses and perceptions of pain.

 

Managing pain without medication

Often in Western society we readily go for the quick and convenient solution – which is medications.

Have you ever considered a medication free treatment?

There are many non-medicinal treatments that are available to help you relieve your pain. A combination of treatments and therapies are often more effective than just one.

Some medication free options include:

  • heat or cold – use ice packs immediately after an injury to reduce swelling. Heat packs to relieve muscle or joint discomfort
  • physical therapies – such as walking, stretching, strengthening or aerobic exercises may help reduce pain, keeping active is the key!
  • relaxation and stress management techniques – including meditation and yoga
  • massage therapy (Remedial massage, Myotherapy, Shiatsu, Sports Massage are just some of the examples) – these aim to target soft tissue injuries/conditions and can treat acute or chronic pain

Yes, pain can be relieved through the use of pain medication, however, there are often long term side effects of pain medication which can be damaging to the body and our internal organs. Often over time the efficiency of medication becomes ineffective, as the body becomes more resistant to its effects, meaning people often require higher doses over prolonged periods of time resulting in people having to take more than one type of pain medication. So it is very important to consult your GP or health practitioner when using pain medication for long durations.

Many people are now turning to a more natural and drug free way to relieve their pain.

The next section will explore what remedial massage is and highlight some of the benefits.

 

What is Remedial massage?

Remedial massage focuses on treating soft tissue dysfunctions and injuries of the body. Each client is assessed thoroughly and a treatment plan is devised in collaboration with them to achieve their individual health goals.

Remedial massage can be used to treat various muscular and chronic ailments including:

  • Relief from chronic pain
  • Tension headaches and migraines
  • Chronic neck and shoulder pain
  • Sciatica and back pain
  • Carpal tunnel and other stress/over use injuries
  • Upper cross syndrome and forward head posture
  • Osteoporosis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Tennis and golfer’s elbow
  • Knee complications

 

Some of the techniques used in Remedial massage include deep tissue massage, cupping, myofascial tensioning, trigger point therapy and stretching. Depending on your existing condition and desired outcomes, one or more of these massage techniques may be used in order to achieve the best results and reach optimal health.

 

What are the benefits of Remedial massage?

Massage therapy can also promote deep relaxation, as with massage there is a release of endorphins – the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of wellbeing.

Levels of stress hormones in our body, such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine, are also immediately reduced. Studies indicate that high levels of stress hormones impair the immune system, which is present when we experience pain.

Some of the physical benefits of massage include:

  • reduced muscle tension
  • improved circulation
  • stimulation of the lymphatic system
  • reduction of stress hormones
  • relaxation
  • increased joint mobility and flexibility
  • improved skin tone
  • improved recovery of soft tissue injuries
  • heightened mental alertness
  • reduced anxiety and depression

 

Massage therapy is highly beneficial, however, it may not be effective or appropriate for some people due to complexities of their health conditions and other varying factors. Sometimes a combination of therapies (both western medicine and alternative health therapies) can be effective. It is very important to always consult a GP or health practitioner  to find the most suitable treatment to manage pain. When looking for a Remedial massage therapist, ensure that they have the appropriate qualifications – so please do your research. Everybody is different, so you need to find what works best for you.

Here at Mi.ko Massage Therapy, we are here to help you find the most suitable massage treatment for you. If you need a Remedial massage today click on ‘Book Now’ to check out our availabilities.

For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch by either calling 0481 277 707 or getting in touch via email through our ‘Contact Us’ page.

GroundingHave you been feeling overwhelmed, over stressed or distracted? Sometimes experiencing moments of strong emotions, such as anxiety, anger, helplessness or sadness can lead to these. A build up of these emotions can cause us to feel distressed and distracted both in our personal and work environment.

One technique that can be helpful in situations like these is grounding exercises.

Grounding exercises help bring us to the present moment. The main aim is to bring us awareness, to encourage our mind and our body to reconnect and work together.

There are various ways of grounding techniques and you need to find what works best and is the most comfortable for you. What may work the first time, may not work again the secone time round. So be patient and experiment with some of the techniques.

Here are some of the grounding techniques:

  •  Focus on breath

Tuning into to your breath is one of the simplest ways we can bring our awareness back into the present moment. There are different ways of focusing on your breathing. To simplify things take a slow deep breath in through your nose for 5 counts and exhale through your mouth for 5 counts. Do this in three sets and perform this whenever you need.

 

  •  Use your senses

Reconnect mind and body through your senses – sight, smell, tastes, touch and hear.

Sight – Find an interesting object around you. Slowly trace the object with your eyes, take note of the size, its colour and textures.

Smell – put on your favourite perfume or smell some flowers in your garden, whatever it maybe smell your favourite scent

Taste – Make yourself a cup of tea, breath it in, take small sips, drink it slowly and enjoy the flavour with each mouthful.

Touch – Take off your shoes, walk bare feet through the grass or on the beach. Feel the sensation of the earth between your toes.

Hear – Stop and listen. Take notice and name what sounds you can hear close by, and gradually move your awareness outwards. Try focusing on what you can hear in the distance.

 

  •  Create you safe space

Imagine your safe space, your place of calm and comfort. Whether its real or imaginary picture yourself in this relaxing place.

What does it look like? What’s surrounding you?

What can you smell?

What sounds are around you?

What is the temperature?

Take note of how completely calm and peaceful it is. Notice how your mind and body change when you imagine your safe space. Come back to it any time you need to.

 

  • Movement

Get up and take a slow walk through your neighbourhood. Tune into how your body is moving. Take note of how your legs feel when they hit the ground, notice how your arms move alongside your body, how big your steps are. What else can feel?

Put on some music and dance! Move in a way that feels the most natural and comfortable.

Try a yoga class, go for run or jump in the pool.

 

Give yourself some time to get the feel of these grounding techniques. Some will feel more naturally than others so try and see what works for you. So experiment and see what you are most comfortable with.

Remember to be patient and kind to yourself!

 

Hi there! My name is Michelle, I’m the founding director of Mi.ko Massage Therapy.

Welcome to my first blog! I hope to be able to share health facts, promote a healthy lifestyle, emphasize the benefits of massage therapy, provide stretching advise, inform you on practical ways to improve posture and anything else that supports you to work towards a healthier and balanced lifestyle!

Here is a brief introduction of myself and the reason I became a massage therapist.

I started with my certificate in massage therapy in 2016 and loved it so much that I went on to complete my Diploma in Remedial Massage in 2017 and later a certificate in pregnancy and post natal massage in 2018. I’ve been a Massage therapist for almost 2 years now and I own my own business and work part time, from a clinic room at Four Seasons Wellness Centre in Abbotsford.

I’ve actually been in the health care industry for over 8 years now, my other day job is working as a registered nurse. I’ve always been passionate about helping people and improving their health, which was one of the reasons why I became a nurse. I’ve worked in various areas of nursing both in the hospital and community settings. What really excites me is the promotion of good health, health education and disease prevention. Over the last few years I’ve shifted my focus and now aiming towards health education and promotion rather than treatment because I’ve found these to have a greater impact on people’s health and life, as they say, prevention is better than cure.

Three years ago I was in a state where I needed a bit of a career change. I needed to shake things up a bit, I wanted to be able to be in a position where I could greater influence people and support them to make better health decisions for themselves. But I needed something that would still allow me to continue working as nurse. As a nurse I was on the other end of the health spectrum, attending to patients with complex health conditions and because of this I felt like I was not in position where I had a greater impact on people’s health to prevent injury and disease from developing. I wanted to combine my nursing experience with a career that can be used to better improve peoples health, promote wellbeing and prevent injury and disease. That’s where my massage therapy journey began.

 

Michelle Reponia