We got a call from a competition surfer from Huntington Beach earlier this week, looking for sports massage therapy. He was practicing down at the Wedge in Newport Beach and managed to tweak a muscle in his lower back. After seeing some of the maneuvers these guys pull off, it’s easy to see how. Surfing is a demanding sport, with unique extremes. Calm, tranquil, and ‘laid-back’ one minute; rough, unpredictable, and physically demanding the next – often with little warning in between.
In addition, Surfers will spend long periods of time partially submerged in water that is substantially cooler than body temperature, which can lead to decreased blood circulation when there’s a crucial need for it – such as dropping in on a good wave. Another counter-intuitive factor is dehydration. It’s hard to think of an ocean as a desert, but that’s exactly what it is – an ocean of SALT water. With the blazing sun beating down and difficult access to drinkable water (AND the fact surfers are dripping wet which masks sweat), it’s way too easy for dehydration to go unnoticed.
Surfers know the importance of warm-ups and stretching, but are also famous for toughing-out their injuries. In this surfer’s case, a bad drop-in ended up in a strain of the quadratus lumborum (an important muscle in the lower back that helps twist the upper torso). The strain luckily wasn’t severe, but it was definitely tight. Sports massage therapy is generally not appropriate for application where a soft tissue injury is recent, Accordingly, he received a sports massage to help condition his non-injured muscles for future surfing, with a deep tissue/Swedish massage therapy modification to that quadratus lumborum to help reduce the swelling and restore range of motion.
One thing that amazes many of our clients is a massage therapist’s ability to ‘read’ the muscles of the body and find exactly where the strain is without much guidance from the client. Often times the massage therapist can see what areas of the body need careful attention merely by observing the way a client is standing, sitting, or lying. It’s also important to note that the therapist will only apply therapies that are comfortable for the client and appropriate for the condition.
Tranquility Massage started years ago as a chair massage therapy provider to businesses in Orange County, CA. Our expectations for that facet of the business were quickly eclipsed by requests for our massage therapy at the homes of our clients, and with little fanfare Tranquility Massage was born.
While our focus has been developing a client-centered approach to delivering high-quality massage therapy to the home, our office chair massage clients have remained an important part of the Tranquility Massage charter.
Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to be able to provide chair massage therapy to more and more offices. What struck me recently is that, with few exceptions and despite the economy, all of our original office chair massage therapy clients are still with us! Some have reduced the frequency of the service, others have increased it, but they’re still there. But why? (Imaging me scratching my head here…)
I had a chance recently to speak with several of our chair massage therapy clients at a few of the offices we serve. What amazed me wasn’t that I couldn’t find a single criticism of the service (somewhat frustrating when you’re looking for ways to improve!). Rather, it was how people PHYSICALLY TRANSFORMED when they talked about it!
One simple stress-test is to stand in front of a mirror and check how you’re holding your shoulders. If your shoulders are drawn up, it’s usually a good indicator you’re suffering from stress and you need to relax a bit. When the clients would talk about their love of the chair massage, I could ACTUALLY SEE their shoulders drop as they talked about it!
That amazing reaction demonstrated two things to me. First, people in general are under more stress these days than I’ve seen in recent years. Second, the chair massage was not only having a PHYSICAL benefit, but a PSYCHOLOGICAL benefit as well. These were people that were (unconsciously) able to relax and shed stress just by THINKING about our chair massage therapy service!
I’m personally not a massage therapist, but seeing the way our office chair massage therapy service is helping people deal with the challenges and changes of the current business environment makes me proud to be working with them!
So, if you’re reading this from your office with your shoulders drawn up and want to know more about how our office chair massage therapy can help you and YOUR staff, give us a call. Toll Free 888-777-7567. We do a free in-office demonstration we’re confident you’ll love!