PhysioDNA Blog


Massage Therapy is an effective way to help soothe sore muscles and improve blood flow, but it also doubles as a dominant, natural stress reliever for many people. Today, there’s a wide range of massage techniques used by therapists to help people overcome common health conditions like fibromyalgia, anxiety and arthritis. Massage techniques like Swedish massage, sports massages and reflexology are now commonly being offered at such places as spas, yoga studios, hotels and chiropractic offices.

Quick Facts About Massages:

The popularity of massage therapy is proliferating; every year by about 20 per cent. Estimates show that there are between 30,000 to 35,000 trained massage therapists or massage therapy students in Canada. The Association of Bodywork & Massage Professionals indicates that There are currently more than 250 different types of massages available around the world. Body massages provide various benefits based on what the patient’s goal is, but majority have a similar underlying principles. The preferred places for massages to be performed are in certified massage therapist clinic, often associated with physiotherapy and athletic therapy. In 2015, 65% per cent of adult Canadians who had a massage received it for health reasons such as pain management, soreness/stiffness/spasms, injury rehabilitation or overall wellness. Canadian docors are increasingly recommending massage therapy as an effective way to treat the above symptoms. Studies show that up to 91 per cent of people agree that professional massages can be effective in reducing pain. Massages are also very common for reducing stress and fatigue. in 2016, the overwhelming majority of Canadians had massage for the relaxation and decrease stress.
But what is massage therapy? Massage therapy is defined as “the manual manipulation of muscular structure and soft body tissues of the human body (including muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments)." Now, medical studies show that massage therapy improves the the lymphatic system functions, regulate hormones and prevent many injuries.

A Brief History of Massages:Throughout history, massage has been employed to improve recovery time, restore energy, manage stress and ease body aches. The first records of massages date back over 3,000 years to Ancient China, and today massages are considered to be one of the longest-standing forms of “healing art.”
Many of the world’s most influential cultures have had their specific therapies and techniques related to body massages that have been handed down from generation to generation. This includes the Ancient Greeks, Hindus, Persians, Egyptians French, Swedish, Thai, Indian, Japanese and Chinese. Today their teachings continue to carry massage therapy forward into conventional medicine practices.

“Massage” can mean a lot of different things depending on who you ask. It’s believed that the French first termed the word “massage” to describe a healing practice of kneading the body. They believed that friction and pressure applied to specific areas on the body could provide benefits by breaking up scar tissue, even if at the time the massage didn’t feel so comfortable (the same idea as for how rolling foam works).
In the West, massage has been a favorite way to treat the body since about the 1930s naturally. The French are believed to have derived the word massage from the Ancient Greek word “masso,” which means to knead with the hands. Hippocrates was said to have written papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems.
Another major influencer in the field of massage therapy was the Ancient Chinese. Medical texts are dating back centuries to pre-dynasty China listed massage techniques, which could be used to alleviate joint aches and pains and improve the flow of energy. Throughout the history of Eastern healing practices, massage therapy has been prescribed in conjunction with holistic treatments like yoga, meditation, acupuncture and tai chi to improve overall well-being.

Physiotherapy is NOT Paramedical

World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Physiotherapy as an Independent Practice and out of Paramedical stream.
PHYSIOTHERAPISTS-(International Standard Classification of Occupations ISCO Code 2264)
"Physiotherapists assess, plan and implement rehabilitative programs that improve or restore human motor functions, maximize movement ability, relieve pain syndromes, and treat or prevent physical challenges associated with injuries, diseases and other impairments. They apply a broad range of physical therapies and techniques such as movement, ultrasound, heating, laser and other techniques. They may develop and implement programmes for screening and prevention of common physical ailments and disorders"

International Standard Classification of Occupations(ISCO) is a tool for organizing jobs into a clearly defined set of groups according to the tasks and duties undertaken in the job.According to this code Physiotherapy is classified into a seperate entity and not clubbed with Paramedical services. Its main aims are to provide:
-a basis for the international reporting, comparison and exchange of statistical and administrative data about occupations;
-a model for the development of national and regional classifications of occupations; and
-a system that can be used directly in countries that have not developed their own national classifications

Physiotherapists and related associate professionals treat disorders of bones, muscles and parts of the circulatory or the nervous system by manipulative methods, and ultrasound, heating, laser or similar techniques, or apply physiotherapy and related therapies as part of the treatment for the physically disabled, mentally ill or unbalanced.

Tasks Include:
(a) advising communities and individuals on correct body postures, for work or otherwise, to avoid injuries and strain and to strengthen muscles;
(b) conducting examinations to make diagnoses of disorders of bones, muscles and parts of the circulatory or the nervous system to determine proper treatment or refer to Medical doctors, if necessary;
(c) treating disorders of bones, muscles and parts of the circulatory or the nervous system by manipulative methods, and the use of ultrasound, heating, laser or similar techniques;
(d) massaging client or patient to improve circulation, soothe or stimulate nerves, facilitate elimination of waste matter, stretch contracted tendons and produce other therapeutic effects;
(e) examining body deformities and disorders to determine and write specifications for artificial limbs or other appliances, helping to fit them and explaining their use;
(f) applying physiotherapy and related techniques as part of the treatment of the mentally ill or unbalanced;
(h) supervising other workers.
(g) performing related tasks;

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. It is the only 'tripartite' United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting Decent Work for all.
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One of the worst things that can happen to a runner or any athlete/weekend warrior while in the middle of their weekly routine cardio program is an injury that sets them back for potentially days, weeks or even months! This is where the topic of stretching and a proper warming up is brought up to influence and change the terrible pattern of running with cold muscles and tight fascia. A proper 10min routine before running can prevent any muscle strains or joint related injuries to never occur while enjoying your 5k run or even a marathon. The unfortunate part is that most runners today are unaware of this or are just not placing enough importance on stretching before and after their run! Working in a rehab setting at a physiotherapy clinic for many years has allowed me to come to this conclusion as we have seen way too many runners come in from injuries that could have been avoided.

Running as sport cannot be taken very lightly as its very physically demanding on your body. The repetitive nature of the movements involved to keep the body moving forward require proper muscle recruitment for prolonged endurance without impacting the joints such as the ankle joint, knee and most importantly hips! In today’s world it’s very common to sit for up to 10 hours a day in the office or at home and then jump onto your local gyms treadmill or go for a run outside afterwards. When we observe the ratio of time spent moving and stretching during the day compared to time spent being inactive at the desk, it is very easy to predict that when you go for that 5k run in the evening your body won’t feel as free to move as it should. Running is a sport that requires a lot of attention and each athlete needs to be diligent and consistent with taking care of their body by properly stretching daily to avoid future injuries. Allowing your fascia and muscles to shorten and tighten up as days go by while sitting at your office without stretching will increase the chances of that happening drastically.

Target These Areas

One of the most important muscle groups in our body for running are the glutes! After being inactive and used as a cushion for your body while sitting for hours, this muscle group basically shuts down over time and becomes really tight and weak! A proper glute exercises routine and daily stretching is highly recommended in-order to become the best runner that you can be.
Most of the running work will be done by these guys as a high percentage of runners have fairly weak glutes, the quads take over most of the running load and unfortunately put the knees in a very vulnerable position over time. A proper warm up and dynamic stretch for the quads before running is really important.
These three muscle groups are one of the most common areas that become shortened and tight with prolonged sitting which puts them at risk of injury when making longer strides in your run. A proper dynamic stretch for your hamstrings, groin and calves before running will help prevent this from happening and give your legs more freedom to move without restrictions.
You probably didn’t think I would mentioned this one! The lower back is a really overlooked area for runners but the truth it absorbs a lot of the impact while running. The reason for this is because due to prolonged sitting and weak glutes, the low back muscles have to kick in to help in every stride due to lack of support from the core and glutes. As this happens the low back muscles become really tight over time and need to be stretched out to avoid injuries. Multi-directional movements for stretching the low back a recommended for having the best run. When stretching, we recommend that each stretch is performed by carefully and gently lengthening the muscles and fascia while taking deep breaths through light movements and holds in a pain free action. Tugging and aggressively pulling on each muscle can be very dangerous and useless to gaining more overall flexibility in the body and freedom in the each joint. Videos on how to perform some of these stretches are soon to come! Hope your next run feels better than the last after being STRETCHED!

Stand Up

One of the primary functions of the human skeleton, musculature and tissues is made with the objective of creating movement. The typical worker spends on average 8-9 hours a day not engaged in movement (this does not even include the amount of time we are sleeping). What are we doing with our bodies during this daytime immobility?

For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking” ~ Martha Grogan, cardiologist, Mayo Clinic
Today, our bodies are breaking down from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression, and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease.” ~ James Levine, MD, PhD
Prolonged sitting should be considered within occupational health and safety policies and practices just like other elements of posture.” ~ British Journal of Sports Medicine

Stand up

Our modern sedentary lifestyle, in all aspects of our life both at home and in the workplace are costly for ourselves and for businesses. As the average hours of sitting both in our home lives + work lives + in our commute = Way too much time seated/inactive.
In a professional environment we forget the benefits of movement. Focussed on the latest deadline, the report that needs to get completed, the constant barrage of emails that need answering. So do your health a favour and take a few minutes out of your day to just stand up... there will always be work to do, your health and wellbeing should be priority.

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