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massage can benefit your immune system

Does Massage Boost the Immune System?

By Health, Massage Therapy No Comments

Activate Your Immune System

A new study conducted by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, suggests that massage therapy can do more than just relax your muscles and help you feel better. It might also benefit your immune system since they found that people who get a massage show changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response.

According to the results of the study, massage may have caused a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and an increased number of lymphocytes, one of the three types of white blood cells. White blood cells are important in helping the body fight off infections and sickness. They play a large role in our immune system and keeping us healthy.

There has been more research on the effect of massage therapy on the immune system. Research shows that massage therapy may reduce anxiety, depressed mood, and anger as well. It may also increase dopamine and serotonin levels, based on a study conducted on breast cancer patients. These two hormones help with elevated moods and levels of happiness and satisfaction.

Lymphatic Drainage and its Benefits

Lymphatic drainage is a gentle, painless massage technique that stimulates the drainage of the lymph to the lymph nodes activating the body’s natural functions and is an essential part of your immune system. The lymph is a colorless fluid that bathes every cell in the body. The lymph is circulated by massage and physical exercise.  Many tissues depend on the lymph to provide nutrients and to carry off wastes. If the lymph does not circulate, the tissues suffocate while stewing in their own acidic waste products like uric acid and lactic acid. This can increase the chance of developing illnesses such as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a result of a toxic lymph system, which is now one of the most rapidly growing cancers in the United States.

Getting a lymphatic drainage helps:

·         Activate the immune system: by stimulating the flow of lymph through the lymphatic system, invasive toxins in the body are pushed towards the lymph nodes where they can be analyzed and destroyed.

·         Reduce levels of cortisol (the hormone of stress): cortisol is reduced when you receive a lymphatic drainage massage. As a result, you will feel immense relaxation as well.
·         Relieve pain: poor circulation can cause pain and swelling from excess fluid stored in wrong areas around the body. When the lymph nodes are activated and decongested the pain and swelling disappear.

These are benefits that affect not only the body, but also the mind. A lymphatic drainage treatment along with other healthy habits, helps you against seasonal viruses and allows you to feel more relaxed and healthier. That’s why it’s so important to keep your lymph system healthy.

Between 2017 and 2018, 19 percent of American adults received at least one massage according to the American Massage Therapy Association. The report states that most adults that went to get a massage got one because they wanted to relax or for health and wellness reasons. So, pampering yourself once in a while can also really help you build a stronger immune system.

Massage therapy is a growing industry with research on its benefits continuously being conducted. It’s a craft that people need to be trained in so they can help improve the lives of others.

If you are interested in learning more about massage therapy or becoming a massage therapist, click here to learn more about our programs and our massage school in San Diego.

References

American Massage Therapy Association. (2018) Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.amtamassage.org/infocenter/economic_industry-fact-sheet.html

Mark Hyman Rapaport, Pamela Schettler, and Catherine Bresee. (2010) The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1079-1088.

Hernandezreif, M. (2004). Breast Cancer Patients Have Improved Immune And Neuroendocrine Functions Following Massage Therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 45-52.
massage therapy program in san diego at ICOHS College to help relieve sciatica

The treatment of Sciatica using Massage Therapy

By Health, Massage Therapy No Comments

How Can Massage Therapy Help Relieve Back Pain From Sciatica?

Back pain is a common occurrence in many adults from young adults to those that are advanced in age. While there are many possible reasons for a person to develop back pain, Sciatica is one specific condition that causes pain for many. The effects of this are felt by people in many walks of life, from athletes to working men and women at desk jobs. Some of the methods used for treating this include physical therapy, pain medication and in severe cases, surgery may be used. My contention is that massage therapy possesses techniques that can be more than effective in treating this ailments pain as well as treating its causes.

What is Sciatica?

‘Sciatica’ gets its name from the part of the body that it primarily affects.Simply put, Sciatica occurs when a part of the Sciatic Nerve is compressed as a result of contracted muscles, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) or a bone spur in its vicinity. The Sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body. It begins at the Sacral Plexus and runs down through the Iliofemoral joint and down the lower leg. Sciatica symptoms include sharp pain or dull throbbing that can remain local or can be felt radiating down from the lower back, through the buttocks and down to the back of the thigh and calf. Some of the risk factors for developing sciatica include age, physical fitness, and occupation. With advancing age, bone spurs and herniated disks become more likely to develop and cause sciatica related pain.Obesity can trigger sciatica due to the increased weight and strain on the spine, thus possibly compressing the sciatic nerve. Occupations that include heavy lifting and twisting or jobs that involve sitting for long periods of time also increase one’s risk of developing Sciatica. Treating the situations that compresses the sciatic nerve and reducing the associated inflammation are effective strategies in treating this condition.

Deep Tissue Massage Therapy for Sciatica

Massage Therapy is a powerful method for treating this condition because it utilizes techniques aimed at releasing tension in associated muscles and reducing inflammation. Studies have shown that deep tissue massage is particularly effective at achieving this goal. Deep tissue work achieves this goal by applying deep and intense pressure to myofascial tissue over a series of extended compressions. It is a versatile tool which allows for a therapist to use any part of the body best suited to accurately apply pressure to a localized area. In the case of Sciatica, a session would be targeted primarily at tissue in the lower leg, particularly those in the gluteal region. Muscles to be addressed would include but are not limited to the Gluteus Maximus, Medius, and Minimus. It would also include the muscle attachments of the hamstring muscles, which attach at the Ischial tuberosity of the lower pelvis. The Piriformis muscle is another muscle which commonly contributes to irritation of the sciatic nerve and is adjacent to the sciatic nerve. This muscle originates from the anterior portion of the sacrum and the superior aspect of the greater sciatic notch, runs through the sciatic foramen and it inserts at the anterior portion of the Greater Trochanter.
Deep tissue massage can easily address this muscle if indeed it is confirmed to be the primary agitator of the sciatic nerve. In addition to all these benefits from the implementation of deep tissue massage, Circulatory massage can be integrated into treatment to further increase blood flow to the muscles mentioned and add to their relaxation which will compliment the actions of deep tissue work.

Final Thoughts

Based on the research and findings of medical professionals, Massage Therapy offers effective and non-invasive treatment options to the pain and discomforts of Sciatica. It accomplishes this by addressing the two primary causes of the syndrome: tension and inflammation. Massage techniques use prolonged pressure and circulatory manipulation to induce release of tension in muscle tissue and increase of healing blood flow to the affected areas. These techniques are proven to have a positive effect and I encourage those who suffer from Sciatica to consider massage therapy to treat and relieve themselves and regain function and quality of life.

For more information about how to help relieve people who suffer from sciatica of their pain, check out ICOHS College’s Professional Massage Therapy Program.
By: Quenton A. Perry
Be Your Own Boss

10 Steps to Open and Run a Spa Business

By Business, Health No Comments

Plan, create, and put into action!

Determined to run your own spa business? It can feel a little overwhelming to imagine everything that needs to be done so that you can finally open your doors to the public. As with many tasks that seem larger than life, planning is required. Often times, brilliant ideas begin with creation, a passion or purpose that desires fulfillment. As much as dreaming and developing ideas is an integral part of starting a business, it is just the beginning. Next, some more concrete plans need to be set into place. Once plans are generated, the final phase is putting those plans into action.

In this article, we will run you through ten steps that can help you open and run a spa business without feeling overwhelmed or unsure of where to begin. We take you from the initial process of creating ideas, all the way to the final steps of putting your plans into action and actually getting your company up and running.

These 10 Steps Can Help You Open and Run a Spa Business

As promised, here are the ten steps you can follow if you are in need of some guidance and direction or do not know where to begin. Don’t fret about a dream or idea is too large. Breaking the process down into easy-to-follow bits helps make the bigger picture more tangible.

Get clear on your vision and determine your ‘why’

Before you begin with the actual arrangements to get a spa going, it is important to get clear on your vision and determine your reason ‘why.’ By clearly defining why you are opening a business, you can enter into this new adventure with passion and interest, rather than merely opening a company to make money.

Clients can definitely tell when someone is in business for the wrong reasons. Additionally, by defining your ‘why,’ there is a great chance you will find making the necessary preparations to be even easier and procrastination might become less of weight dragging timelines down.

 

Decide on your services or specializations and create a menu

When opening a spa, it is important to keep in mind exactly the types of services you intend to provide, along with any specializations. If you choose services that are unique enough, you can also specifically use them to market your business.

Be sure to create a menu that makes it simple for clients to decide which services they would like to book, along with transparent, clearly defined pricing. Customers appreciate honesty and transparency, so the more this can be present, the better.

 

Seek out investment or arrange personal investment

Opening any business requires money. Once you know your reason for opening up a spa business and have decided upon which services to provide or even if you would like to fulfill a niche or offer specializations, it is time to really get the ball rolling by seeking out investment.

There are two primary ways to go about coming up with the money to open a company. Either you can search for outside or bank investment, or you can arrange personal investment, which is money you have saved up yourself. Regardless, speak with a financial advisor and be sure you are certain how much initial funding you will need in order to get your spa doors open to the public.

 

Scout out the competition and decide on a location accordingly

Once the investment has been secured, it is time to make everything even more concrete by deciding on a location for the storefront. It is ideal to choose a location that is well-situated but also does not exist within too close of a proximity to the neighboring competition.

Scout out the competition and research some business statistics on the area. Settle with deciding between two or three different possibilities. In the end, you will need to agree on just one. Once the location for the spa has been determined, sign a lease and get ready to set up shop.

 

Begin the interview process and employ qualified professionals

With all good businesses come outstanding, qualified employees. A proper, in-depth interview procedure is necessary to ensure the quality of your professionals, as well as their skill-sets and abilities. If you have settled upon any niche or specialized skills, you will need to also find qualified professionals to execute these services.

Research wages and salaries for such occupations and pay your employees fairly. Excellent treatment and proper compensation of staff leads to happier workers and in return satisfied customers. You want to make your spa is a place that not only clients enjoy showing up to, but your employees as well.

 

Complete any remodeling and design the aesthetic of the spa

Now that many of the vital details and elements of opening a spa are set into place, you will want to begin remodeling and designing the location. Decide upon an aesthetic, bearing in mind which energy you would like to emit when a client steps foot through the door.

In general, spas should present a relaxing, tranquil, and calming environment where clients can arrive to truly unwind and decompress. This peaceful vibe can be accomplished by selecting earth tone colors, a clean and sleek interior, and a warm and welcoming linens and accessories. Hire an interior design specialist if need be, which can help give your company achieve an even more professional look.

 

Buy all the needed equipment

Once everything has been designed, you will want to purchase all of the needed equipment for completing the services that are featured on the business menu. Create a list of which devices or machines are required for each room, along with keeping a steady stock of the spa essentials such as hygiene products, towels, robes, oil, and more.

 

Come up with a marketing plan or hire marketing experts

You have gotten everything together to get your spa doors open but you are unsure of how to get clients coming in. In this modern day-and-age, marketing is a massive aspect of running any successful business. Not only are the original marketing techniques essential, so are digital marketing tactics.

Upon opening your spa, you will also need to have social media pages and a website ready. Hiring a marketing expert for digital marketing, too, can assist in bringing through more customers. A solid digital marketing plan is most important at the very beginning of opening your business because if visiting clients are happy with the service provided, they will start spreading the news through word of mouth to their friends.

As the news of your excellent spa spreads, appointments will get booked up and you can place less emphasis upon a digital marketing plan. Additionally, be sure to have a strong, memorable logo, along with business cards and deals of the week to entice new patrons

 

Get all the final touches in order to begin operating

Any other aspects that have not yet been tackled? Now is the time to get all the final touches squared away so that you can begin operating the spa. Cross your t’s and dot your I’s; you will want to make certain that nothing got skipped over as to leave a lasting impression upon future clients.

Has a schedule for the employees been devised? Do you have enough individuals hired? Is your menu exactly as you want it or do some alterations need to be made? Do you have enough supplies to last you until the next shipment? Are your website and social media platforms up and running? Create a to-do checklist and run through it a few times just to be sure.

 

Launch an opening party and get ready to open your doors

Once all the final touches have been made, it is time to initiate the final, and possibly one of the most important steps of opening a spa; the launch party! A launch party, although it can cost some money, is one of the major ways to bring in an initial influx of clients to your location.

Inviting an entire room full of people to take a look at your spa and get a feel for it themselves, can be an immensely beneficial tactic. Furthermore, be sure to offer attendees and first-time customers an incentive to book an appointment. The best way to do this is to create limited-time offers for first-time clients only, where they either receive a free additional service or a discounted service.

 

Finals Thoughts on the 10 Steps to Open and Run a Spa

Although the entire process of opening a spa may appear daunting at first, once broken down into steps, there is a lot of work to be done but somehow the tasks appear more manageable. Running a business is never easy, but if you are passionate about the bodywork industry and are dedicated to running a spa, the accomplishment will be unbelievably rewarding.

Interested in studying Massage Therapy or continuing your education in Holistic Studies? Searching for massage schools or career colleges in San Diego? ICOHS is a non-profit vocational school offering programs to become a Professional Massage Therapist or a Holistic Health Practitioner, as well as providing a continuing education option for those involved in Holistic Studies already.

Ready to get on board and work alongside dedicated, passionate educators who are determined to support their students and watch them succeed? Reach out to us today and request more information.

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