Balance Blog

Aug 3rd

AMTA Announces Educational Tour

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Recently the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) announced a renewed commitment to public education on the importance of massage therapy for. Its proactive education efforts are combined with consumer and health care media, along with a social media presence for consumers. A direct consumer tour will be launched in July. For continuing public outreach, it will combine with successful, yearly education awareness of massage therapy therapy in October.

In late May, many online, television and print about massage therapy for health were created. More than 250 news sources ran the story about the four most significant therapies. Clinical studies conducted in the previous year were distributed to news media outlets.

On July 12, the national massage therapy consumer experience education tour starts a nationwide educational tour. Information about massage therapy will be available to educate the public on the benefits. Traveling the country, the tour will stop at key public events, and talk with interested people. A van will serve as a traveling billboard, promotion for health. Interested people are encouraged to seek an ATMA member for their next massage.

Massage clients, therapists, students and schools can follow the tour on the AMTA website and through the social media site. Videos and other information about tour stops will be posted to help educate the public. Clients at tour stops will be encouraged to share experiences instantly by internet access from the tour location. This education promotion continues throughout the summer.

The American Massage Therapy Association is a leading non-profit, specialized association serving therapists, students and schools. It is lead by volunteers and promotes continuing, direct involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA strives to develop the profession with standards and ethics. It promotes fair and dependable licensing of therapists in every state, along with open education of benefits of massage therapy.

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Jul 31st

What Massage Can Do For Your Insomnia

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Insomnia occurs when a person is either unable to get to sleep or unable to remain asleep. People require at least 8 hours of good sleep per night for optimum health, and chronic insomnia can lead to long-term health problems, so seeking relief is important.

Some causes of insomnia are stress, depression, anxiety, certain medications, trauma, health problems, and even inadequate sunlight during the day. In addition to or instead of medication, people who suffer from insomnia can often find relief through alternative means. Deep breathing, meditation and yoga are just a few ways people with insomnia get their sleep. Many doctors recommend massage therapy as a first step in treating insomnia, before trying medication. Many sleep medications can cause psychological and physical dependence.

A massage from Balance Therapeutic or other licensed massage therapist can:

* Help your heart work easier
* Relax your respiratory passageways so that you can breathe better
* Provide an overall calming sensation
* Calm your mind
* Loosen your tense muscles, thus reducing the amount of pressure on your joints
* Increase your body’s production of serotonin, which is something that people who suffer from insomnia don’t produce enough of
* Relieve the stress that your mind and body are feeling

Massage for insomnia will activate the part of your autonomic nervous system that helps you to relax. It will also turn off your sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the stressful feeling you may sometimes experience. When this happens your sleep patterns can improve dramatically.

Doctor Linda Sykes, founder of Meditation For Health in Toronto, is one of many doctors recommending massage and other natural practices to complement and support conventional medical care:

If you or someone you care about suffers from insomnia, consider massage as a tool to help get some sleep.

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Apr 6th

Balance Babies and Massage

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Do you have a new baby in your life, or perhaps know someone who does? There are so many new things to learn! Diapers, feeding, sleep, how to introduce a new baby to siblings and pets … have you ever considered adult/infant communication as part of this new skill set?

Infant massage has been in practice for centuries. It’s something that new parents and caregivers have instinctively turned to for nurturing their new little ones. What most people are less aware of is that touch is a form of communication – for a newborn, a very important form of communication. Touch is the first sense to develop, and the skin is the body’s largest sensory organ. Without words, with little understanding of facial expressions and body language, touch is the lifeline between an infant and the world around her.

Massage has many benefits for a newborn. The calming effect of massage can help the newborn get more restful sleep. The immune system, circulation, brain functioning, muscle tone and coordination all benefit from massage. A gentle caress can help to ease a distressed infant. It can also serve to increase the bond the caregivers feel with their baby, by giving them an additional means to soothe and calm the baby. Parents who give their infants massage report feeling better able to cope with caring for their child. Massage aids digestion, which may help prevent colic, help the baby gain weight easier and grow more quickly. Some studies have shown that premature infants, who were given massage while in the hospital, actually grew up to 47% faster and were released from the hospital as many as 6 days earlier than babies not given massage.

Massage helps to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. This can be helpful when the newborn is recovering from birth trauma. In some cases, however, babies should not be given massage – if your baby has a fever, s/he should not receive massage. In cases of premature birth, fracture or incision, talk to a massage therapist certified in infant massage to find out how to proceed. In cases of hemophilia or malignancy, caregivers should consult a doctor or nurse before proceeding. Consider taking a class with a massage therapist certified in infant massage. You’ll receive hands-on training in just the right strokes and pressure to use for your baby, and you’ll learn the safest and most effective means of providing the right massage care for your baby.

Most importantly, look for a massage therapist who can help you learn a baby’s language – time-out cues like gaze avoidance, splayed fingers and different types of cries. Babies, like anyone else, feel the need to be heard. The language of gentle touch will help build the foundation for a lifetime of positive communication between you and your baby.

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