Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fitness Trends to Watch for This Coming Year

Fitness Trends to Watch for This Coming Year - Academy Massage - Winnipeg Massage
2017 is going to ring in the next round of New Year’s resolutions, which inevitably will bring about some people’s desires to get healthier. If you plan on making the resolution to get in better shape and take better care of your body, it is important to know what options you have. Here are some of the trends you should be expecting to be huge during 2017. Which do you think is going to be the most fun?

Boxing is Huge

One of the biggest fitness trends to reemerge recently is boxing. There are studios popping up all around the world. It’s a great cardio workout, and gets your whole body fitter. If you haven’t tried it before, 2017 is the perfect time!

Dancing Cardio is Great for Your Body

If you want to get your entire body active, and have fun at the same time, try dance cardio. You can have fun, look silly, and learn how to move, all in one workout. Plus, you will be doing it with others who want to get fit, just like you, so you can feel empowered as a group!

Live Streaming Fitness Classes

With the advent of live-streaming everything, in comes the newest trend of fitness classes. This means that no matter where you are located, and no matter what type of fitness routine you want to try, you can be a part of a class that is going on live. Plus, you can do it from the comfort of your own home!

For more information on keeping your body healthy, come in and speak with the experienced professionals here at Academy Massage. We can help you get healthy, and not suffer the normal aches and pains that go along with starting a new exercise routine!

Friday, December 9, 2016

How to Protect Your Spine from Injury

Your spine is a tender part of your body. It can easily become damaged or injured, even while doing regular, mundane activities. If you are worried that you may injure yourself, it is best to protect yourself from getting those injuries.

Here are a few ways that you can protect your spine and keep your body safer. 

Keep Your Core Muscles Strong

One of the best ways to protect your spine is to keep the core muscles of your body strong, especially as people age because these muscles naturally begin to weaken. Exercising them regularly helps keep your spine covered with a thick layer of muscle to protect it. You need the deep muscles of the back and abdominals to keep your back safe from pain and sprains, and need to focus on these muscles to give them a workout on a regular basis.

Use Your Back Properly

This is one tip that encompasses a lot of things that people do to injure their spine. Make sure you lift with your legs, not by bending over and potentially hurting your spine. Also, make sure you sit straight when you are seated to help protect your back from an injury that comes from a bad posture.

Stretch Daily Before Activity and Exercise

You want to make sure that you do not injure your back by trying to do too much with it. Make sure when you get up each morning, you stretch out. You should also fully stretch before you do any type of exercise. Your back is prone to injury if you try and move without it being warmed up and stretched out, so be careful!

When you feel back pain, it is often due to strained or torn muscles, and the inflammation can lead to back spasms. These can make moving difficult, and result in a lot of pain. When you get a lower back strain, it is typically one of these two types. First, it could be a muscle strain, which results from tearing or overstretching a muscle, damaging the muscle fibers. Second, it could be a lumbar sprain, which results from stretching or tearing a ligament in the back, causing the connection between the tissues and bones to become painfully inflamed.

If you notice that your back hurts, you should go in to Academy Massage and get a massage to help relax the muscles. They see many clients that suffer from both isolated and chronic back pain, who see relief over the course of a few weeks with regular visits. They will assist you in the healing process by increasing the proteins and blood nutrients that go to the afflicted area, allowing for the tissues to heal more quickly. For more information on keeping your spine protected, contact Academy Massage today!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Which Type of Massage Provides the Most Benefit?

Benefits of Getting a Deep Tissue Massage - Academy Massage - Massage Therapist WinnipegThere are many different types of massages. Some are used for specific ailments, such as migraines and asthma, and others are used for specific health conditions, such as a prenatal massage or one to help an athlete who is sore. Overall, however, there is one type of massage that tends to do the most good when used regularly, and that is a deep tissue massage.

Benefits of Getting a Deep Tissue Massage

When you get a deep tissue massage, it is meant to relieve tension within the muscles. The tension can come from overuse, from an injury or illness, or any number of other causes. A deep tissue massage pushes down below the top layer of muscle, and gets into the deeper layers, which is where the name came from.

Deep tissue massage helps the body on numerous levels. It can help break up scar tissue from injuries, decrease the pain and inflammation of arthritis, and it can help alleviate chronic pain from the patient. It has been shown to decrease high blood pressure, and to reduce stress and anxiety. Deep tissue massage also commonly helps increase an athlete’s overall performance, letting them stay at the top of their game even longer.

If you want to start adding a deep tissue massage to your routine, then find an experienced massage therapist in your area. At Academy Massage, you can get a deep tissue massage that can bring you relief from pain, as well as leave you more capable of performing your daily tasks. Give us a call today!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Using Massage Therapy to Boost Your Immunity

Using Massage Therapy to Boost Your Immunity - Academy Massage Winnipeg
Massages are not often thought of right away when you are trying to boost your immune system, but maybe they should be. They can help strengthen your body in a number of different ways. Before the cold and flu season is here in full force, you should consider going out to start a regular pattern of massages. This can help you fight off more that you may be exposed to, and get sick less this winter!

Massages Lower Stress Which Boosts Your Immune System

The connection between massages and your immune system have long been known, but not often been identified. Think about this. If you are under tons of stress, you are far more likely to get sick. Your immune system is required to work overtime to try and keep up when you are stressed, and is often stretched too thin to fight off normal viruses that would otherwise be easy to stay healthy from. If you go and start getting regular, routine massages, you can reduce your stress, and thus, reduce the workload your immune system is currently trying to manage.

Your White Blood Cells Are Also Affected During Massages

When you get sick, your body sends white blood cells to help. When you are stressed out, not exercising enough, or otherwise too busy to take care of your body, your white blood cells can become lethargic. By getting a massage, you can energize these cells and get them working harder to keep you healthy. They will more freely move around your body, which allows them to be more effective when any type of intruder gets introduced to your blood stream.
Your body also creates more cells that are known as killer cells when you get massages, and those cells seek out and kill the intruders that are not mean to be in your body. Plus, research has shown that when massage therapy is regularly sought out, even those with immune deficiencies are able to be healthier. This has proven to be effective at increasing serotonin levels, which directly impacts how responsive white blood cells are within the body.

Chronic Pain Goes Down with Massages, Too

On top of having a more effective immune system from getting regular massages, many types of chronic pain can also be decreased or eliminated. This can leave you feeling better overall, and allow your body to be more responsive when you are first exposed to any type of a virus or infection. If your pain is decreased, you are more readily able to notice new pain you feel, and you are going to be able to more effectively get treated for anything that you do come into contact with.

To get these benefits on top of the immediate benefits that massage is so well known for, consider calling a local massage therapist today. Academy Massage can help you start your sessions of massage therapy soon, and help you keep them regularly scheduled so you can get the long-term benefits, too.

Friday, October 28, 2016

What Makes for a Really Good Massage?

Massage Therapy Treatment - Academy Massage - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
When you want to get a massage, you want a really good massage that leaves you feeling relaxed and better off for having gone. The last thing you want is to go for a massage and come home in pain. So how are you supposed to know if you are going to get an excellent massage, especially if you are going somewhere for the first time? The best way to know if you are going to get a massage you are going to want to go back for seconds on is to check off this simple checklist.

When You Called to Schedule the Appointment, Did You Like the Person You Spoke With?
When you call to schedule an appointment, you need to be impressed. It doesn’t make sense to think that if you have a poor experience over the phone that your massage is going to be so amazing it will balance out any poor customer service. Take the time to find a place that talks with you and makes you feel impressed before you even show up.

Did They Speak With You About Injuries and What Hurts Before Starting?
You need to find someplace that is not only going to ask you what is wrong now but also ask about things that happened to your body in the past. Having a goal that resolves specific problems in a massage session is ideal for the person giving, and the person receiving the massage.

Does Your Massage Therapist Have the Experience to Know the Right Pressure Points and How Much to Use?
This is a big thing. Obviously, they need to know how to help you feel better by using the right pressure points. However, they also need to know where to push to release the tension being held on to by the muscles in question. They need to apply the right pressure to the right areas in order to help you. This takes the perfect combination of skill, practice, and experience.

Were You Instructed on How to Continue Feeling Better After Your Massage Was Over?
Helping to keep your body feeling great after a massage is part of a really good massage experience. You need to know what to do, and what to avoid, to help your body feel good for as long as possible. If these instructions were missing, then the potential of a really good massage is going to get knocked down a notch. You shouldn’t be worried about being told that an ice pack may feel good or prolong your relief after a massage. That is a standard part of the aftercare.

To find out more about how to get a massage experience that is going to last, then call Academy Massage. They will communicate with you from the very first encounter, and help work with you to find a deep level of relief. Come in and be impressed with everything that Academy Massage has to offer.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Keep Arthritis from Ruining Your Day By Doing This

Keep Arthritis from Ruining Your Day By Doing This - Academy Massage - Massage Therapist in Winnipeg
When arthritis starts before you even roll out of bed in the morning, it can make your entire day bad. Your pain can limit what you are able to get accomplished, and how much you can even enjoy your day. Instead of facing limitations, consider these helpful hints to reduce your pain and get on with your day.

Get a Massage

Massages help decrease inflammation and boost your endorphins. That allows you to feel less pain and get more done throughout the day. You can ask a loved one to massage whatever joint hurts, or for more effective relief, you can get regular massages 2-3 times each week.

Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is when your body heals. If you have inflammation from arthritis around your body, sleep will help it go down naturally. Do your best to cater to your sleep at night, so it can help you have good days. Get a comfortable mattress, sleep in a position that doesn’t hurt, and make sure you are in bed long enough each night to get a solid eight hours of actual sleep.

Take Time Each Day to Stretch

Staying active may be the last thing you want to do when arthritis is rearing its ugly head, but it should be the first thing you turn to most days. The more active you stay, the better your body is able to handle pain and keep joints loosened up. Stretching and low-impact exercises can keep your body feeling better.

If you want more tips on keeping arthritis at bay, call on Academy Massage today!

Friday, September 23, 2016

6 Questions About Acupuncture You're Afraid to Ask

6 Questions About Acupuncture You're Afraid to Ask - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
Knowing what to expect prior to getting your first acupuncture session can make it easier to go into without worry or fear. Sometimes people have questions that they want to ask, but feel silly asking. In an attempt to help you feel less worried about going in for acupuncture, here are some questions and answers that may have been floating around in your mind that you did not feel comfortable asking.

  1. What Exactly Is Acupuncture?

    Acupuncture is an ancient science of medicine, first known to be used in China. It is a series of incredibly thin needles placed into certain pressure points around the body to help improve the overall flow of chi, or a person’s life force. When people experience pain, illness, or other health issues, it can be due to this life force being blocked, so these needles are placed in the body to open those pathways up and give a person better health opportunities.

  2. Is Acupuncture Going to Hurt?

    The needles used in acupuncture are about as wide as a thin human hair. They are much thinner than anything used for an injection, and most people experience very little or no discomfort at all when the needles are placed. Even people with a strong phobia of needles are typically fine once they see that the first needle did not hurt.

  3. What Can Acupuncture Help With?

    Acupuncture can help with a very wide variety of medical ailments. You can turn to acupuncture for issues like whiplash and migraines, pain in any area of the body, dental issues to asthma, women’s and men’s health issues, and more. There is virtually no ailment that cannot be benefitted by some sessions of acupuncture.

  4. Will You Need Many Sessions of Acupuncture? 

    The number of sessions you will require will depend on what you are coming in to get fixed, but you should expect at least five sessions of acupuncture. You may need more like ten or fifteen sessions to get past whatever it is that ails you, but each session will provide you with an increased measure of relief until you get to the final session.

  5. What Risks Are Associated with Acupuncture? 

    Every single medical procedure out there carries with it some inherent risk, but acupuncture is considered to be one of the safest medical procedures done anywhere in the world. The two main things you are likely to feel when you are done with acupuncture are some tiredness and possible grumpiness. These are both because your body is working to heal whatever was wrong. Anything beyond these responses is incredibly rare.

  6. Will Acupuncture Really Help You?

    Every person’s response to acupuncture is different, but most people find incredible amounts of relief when they turn to acupuncture. If it did not bring people the relief they were looking for, chances are this ancient medical treatment would have died out over 1,000 years ago. If you really need help with something that is upsetting your life, consider the benefits of acupuncture. Millions of people around the world swear by it.

Friday, September 9, 2016

What is DOMS and How Is It Affecting Your Recovery?

What is DOMS and How Is It Affecting Your Recovery - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
Have you ever woken up a day or two after a workout and realized your muscles went from being fine to cramped up and painfully sore? This is DOMS, also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It happens because when you work out, there are microscopic tears within each muscle group that you use. Then, anywhere from 6-48 hours after your workout has stopped, those tears get inflamed as your body is trying to heal them.

When DOMS is Present, Your Recovery May Change

So, what does this mean in terms of your recovery? First, it means that you have done a bit of damage to those muscles and you need to take some time to try and correct the damage you have done by allowing it to heal. If you try and push through, you could struggle with being able to keep up with your normal intensity during the healing process, and potentially do more damage.

Second, it can mean that for some, it may be a little harder to stay motivated to continue your workouts because you may worry about continuing the damage or increasing it by other exercise in the same area.

Finally, it can also mean that you need a bit of help with the recovery process. In order to boost your recovery, you should consider options like massage therapy, as this increases blood flow and oxygen to the area, speeding up your muscle recovery anywhere that DOMS is present.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Pressure Points for Helping Yourself Feel Better

Did you know that your body is full of pressure points that can elicit responses from your body from a simple touch or bit of pressure? It’s true, and they are all over your body. Here are a few of them that could help you feel better today!


The v shape between your pointer finger and thumb base is a pressure point. Apply gentle pressure until slightly sore for about two minutes per side and notice your headache improve. This is the same pressure point you should use if you have an earache or a minor toothache!


If you are going through morning sickness or chemo, then you want to apply gentle pressure to your inner arm by your wrist. They even sell wristbands that can do this for you. Apply gentle pressure for 1-2 minutes to start, and increase time as necessary for best results.

Abdominal Pain

If you notice your stomach hurting, you have a few options. You can do the same as you did for a headache, or you can go to your leg and press there. Just below the kneecap and to the outside of the prominent bone, press gently to help reduce your stomach pain. You can also alleviate stomach pain by pressing one thumb’s width above the bellybutton very gently.

If you are in pain and these are not doing the trick, or you want a few more tips, give us a call and schedule an appointment at Academy Massage. We can work with you to help figure out the problem!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Pressure Points That Are Focused on with Massages

Pressure Points in the Hand - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
Obtaining a massage can be one of the most comfortable, relaxing and unwinding things you can do for yourself. Not only can the professional provide you with a way to release any tension or anxiety that you’re carrying, but they can also relieve a lot of other symptoms you may be experiencing. This is done through pressure points located on the body. When these points are massaged, they relieve this extra tension, reducing the symptoms you’re experiencing and allowing you to get back on track with life once again.

 A pressure point is simply a part of your body, that when pressure is applied, you get a therapeutic response within your body. Some examples of these responses can include less pain, increased energy, decreased nausea, or increased circulation. Knowing many of these pressure points, as well as symptoms that can be relieved during a massage can put you in a better position to have one performed.

The Hands

Believe it or not, there are a couple of pressure points located in the hand. When pressed and massaged just right, these pressure points are able to relieve stress and anxiety in the person. They have to be found through the use of massage, but once they are; your worries will melt away. 

The Neck

One of the places where the most tension is held is the neck. When massaged, knots that are built up inside the muscles of the neck that are released. When released, the tension in the person’s shoulders and back is reduced. This allows the person to become more relaxed and less overwhelmed with the days ahead.

Along the Spine

There are numerous pressure points along the spine. Each of these points has a different result when massaged. Depending on the ailment that you’re suffering from, you can reduce pain, nausea, pinched nerves and even stress. The back is one of the largest places that can be massaged, so the professional tends to focus a lot of their energy into the pressure points located along the spinal columns.


The shoulders are where everyone carries the weight of the world. When you go to see a masseuse, you can specially ask them to focus on the tension and pressure points located in this area. The shoulders have a few points closer to the neck and then some closer to the spine. When you have a massage in these two areas, it reduces the tension and stress, but it can also make the person feel lighter and more energized. 

The Feet 

One of the less known places where pressure points are located are the feet. This is why foot massages feel so good. When the pressure points are massaged, it reduces the weight on a person, while also relieving a lot of the tension that they feel from walking or standing on a daily basis. Additionally, you can reduce cramping and other pain associated with the lower to mid part of the body through the feet. 

Massages are a great way to relieve stress and can also be a great gift to give. Speaking with a professional about the problems you’re having and ways to reduce them by using these various pressure points can allow you to relax and conquer the world each and every time you have them performed.

Friday, July 22, 2016

When Should You Not Get A Massage?

Ankle Pain - Academy Massage Therapy - Winnipeg Massage Therapist
While massage therapy provides many holistic health benefits ranging from relieving pain caused by injury or the strain and overuse of joints and muscles (or simply the nagging effects of growing older, which few of us choose to acknowledge) to improving circulation and detoxification, to alleviating stress and tension and providing body and soul relaxation, there are times when massage may not be the right choice and might, in fact, cause adverse effects.

Any pain or condition that you are unsure of is a massage contraindication. In short, this is when you are not able to receive massage, or the massage therapy may be limited to specific areas of your body. There are two types of contraindications: local contraindications and absolute contraindications. Local contraindications mean that caution must be exercised during treatment and the massage must be correctly adapted to the condition, with modification, moderation, special restrictions and even approval from a doctor. This is to ensure the protection of both the client and the massage practitioner, as it is not only your own health that is a consideration, but also that of your therapist who might be exposed to your illness if symptoms are contagious, which could also be passed on to other clients.

Absolute (or total) contraindications, on the other hand, are conditions where you cannot receive a massage as it, too, can result in potentially serious health risks for the client and/or the therapist. The good news is that not all absolute contraindications are permanent; you may have a condition that, once it clears, allows you to benefit from massage. However, some conditions are permanent and in those instances massage is not a recommended treatment.

Suffering from an acute injury may be another time when massage is not advised. While one might seek the immediate relief a massage can provide, if there is existing damage to the area, massage may actually interfere with the healing process. Again, in such instances it is best to first consult with a physician. As well, if you are dealing with an infection, massage increases overall circulation and can stimulate your body's natural defenses, placing demands on your physical self when your best remedy is simply to rest.

Another time when one should refrain from massage is if you have ingested alcohol prior to your treatment. Liquor desensitizes the body and makes it difficult for the therapist to accurately determine the correct amount of pressure to apply to address your concern. Even prescription medications may alter the effectiveness of massage.

There are a number of other conditions and situations where massage is not recommended or when it should best be administered only under the advice of your physician. If you have questions whether massage is the right technique for your specific need, we invite you to speak with one of our qualified massage therapists to determine your most effective treatment protocol and whether a medical opinion might first be necessary.

At Academy Massage the health and well-being of our clients remains our number one priority.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Combining Yoga and Massage

Thai Massage - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
Thai Massage (or Thai Yoga Massage) is believed to have been developed over 2,500 years ago in India by the physician to Buddha. The therapy was later adopted by Thailand where it was influenced by traditional Chinese medicine, incorporating over time the holistic principles of other cultures.

Thai Massage has benefits beyond those experienced in traditional massage treatment. It is a more energizing and rigorous massage, with a consistent body contact between the therapist and client, although instead of massaging and kneading muscles, the technique involves a series of manipulations such as muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure. People have claimed that undergoing Thai Massage is like practicing Yoga - without exerting the effort. The result is both stimulating and relaxing. Other benefits include stress reduction, improved circulation, increased flexibility and range of motion, and the centering of mind and body.

No oils are applied so the procedure can be done with the client fully dressed, though it is advised that the clothing be loose and comfortable.

However, Thai Massage is not recommended for certain individuals. It should not be administered to anyone who has just undergone surgery. Also if you have undergone chemotherapy or radiation, you should first check with your doctor; as well a physician should be consulted if you are as if you are a pregnant woman considering Thai Massage. The procedure should also not be performed if you have an infectious skin disease, rash or any open wound.

Be sure when you book your appointment with Academy Massage that your therapist is made aware of your medical history.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Ankylosing Spondylitis: Managing Muscle Pain with Massage Therapy

Ankylosing spondylitis - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis. It is a chronic and progressive inflammatory disease of the joints and cartilages of the spine. Where AS differs from spinal arthritis is that it typically targets the tissues between the vertebrae in the spine, and the joints where the pelvis meets the spine. The condition is characterized by pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips, which is most noticeable in the morning or following periods of inactivity. Inflammation can also occur in other parts of the body, including the shoulders and pelvic region, and affecting joints, tendons and ligaments. AS can even affect the eyes, resulting in pain, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. AS can also cause problems with the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body. The inflamed aorta can enlarge to where its function may become compromised.

AS affects men more often than women. Signs and symptoms of AS (including tiredness and fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss) typically begin in early adulthood, between the ages of 20 and 30 years. While AS has no known specific cause, there is a strong genetic or family link.

Medications may be prescribed that can relieve the pain and stiffness. However, drugs can also run the risk of causing gastrointestinal bleeding. Surgery is rarely a treatment option unless there is severe pain or advanced joint damage that may require hip or knee replacement.

For AS sufferers seeking a natural alternative treatment, massage has proven effective in relieving muscle pain and stiffness, reducing neck and back aches caused by the disease. Massage increases blood flow, reduces muscle and bone tension, and increases endorphin levels that help in reducing pain. Massage is also effective in eliminating the stress that may be associated with the disease. Most people have reported the best results from soft tissue massages. However, it is important to note that some people with AS may not tolerate massages well as not everyone experiences the same severity of symptoms, and for some even the lightest touch can be painful. It is important for a person with AS to pay close attention to their body and keep aware of any negative effects. If experiencing any sort of pain or discomfort during the treatment, this should be discussed with the massage therapist.

The benefits of massage vary from person to person - even at times for the same person. Some will experience less pain and improved mobility after one massage treatment. Others, however, may need several treatments before noticing a difference. This may also depend on how long one has had AS and how far it has progressed. If the condition has progressed to the later stages, the pain may decrease but stiffness and immobility might increase.

Academy Massage offers therapies to assist in reducing the painful and even debilitating symptoms of AS, administered by a trained and qualified massage therapist. While as yet there is no cure for AS, the proper treatment program can help one lead a more normal and productive life.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Celebrate Grad 2016 with a Massage!

Congratulations 2016 Grads! - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
With high school or college graduation fast approaching, you might be scratching your head trying to decide what would make the ideal gift for your son, daughter, niece or nephew, grandchild,  or simply that special student who has successfully "made the grade."

Academy Massage would like to suggest a gift sure to be valued and appreciated by the student who has worked long and hard to achieve this moment of educational fulfillment: An Academy Massage Gift Card.

With the stress of cramming for finals finally over, a relaxing and invigorating massage provides the perfect remedy for releasing tension and easing muscle strain brought on by poor posture from hours sitting focused at the computer, hunched over text books or writing last-minute papers, as well as likely causing many a restless or sleepless night.  At Academy Massage our registered massage specialists are trained and skilled in providing the proper technique to make each visit to our center both a satisfying and memorable experience. We offer a variety of therapies and can customize the massage to suit each individual need. As well, we offer products that also make great personal gifts to show you care, including our lotions and oils, aroma therapy, hot/cold pads and bath soaks.

Gift cards are easy to obtain and are affordable, available both in $50 and $100 denominations and can be paid online through debit, credit card or PayPal.

And to all the 2016 graduates we offer hearty congratulations!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Massage and Positive Body Image

Massage and Positive Body Image - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
The sad truth today is that many people possess a poor self image. Striving toward perfection seems to be the norm, inspired by the media and its fascination with celebrity and today's "in" look. Quick weight reduction techniques and radical plastic surgery seems to be favored methods for achieving one's ideal appearance goals. Yet not only are these costly procedures, often they still do not achieve one's desires and can even result in irreparable damage, both physically and psychologically. While most everyone wants to look his or her best, there is a deeper component that must be addressed.

Body image is our psychological representation of our physical self. Poor self image is one of a number of symptoms associated with mental health issues. This can lead to a variety of problems such as anxiety, depression, anorexia and bulimia. Negative thoughts can grow to a point where one chooses isolation over social interaction, resulting in a pattern of self-harming behavior - and even thoughts of suicide.

Massage has been recognized as a therapeutic tool to help people become more relaxed and feel better about themselves. Massage therapy by a skilled therapist can help one become relaxed into accepting and being aware of our body shape, releasing whatever negative feelings we may have toward it. As well, massage can build a nurturing and supportive connection with our body. Massage increases circulation, helping to improve skin condition, as well as toning and strengthening muscles. The relaxation of massage will help ease tensions from your body and gradually your self-esteem will improve, releasing a healthy new perception and appreciation of who you are.

Academy Massage invites you to visit our office and discover all that there is to feel good about - yourself.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Massage and Respiratory Issues

Massage for Respiratory Problems - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
You likely have discovered through our monthly blog postings the many positive benefits one can receive through regular massage treatments. Massage has been proven effective in relieving both physical and emotional discomforts, ranging from soothing aching and injured muscles to alleviating stress and tension. But another benefit of therapeutic massage is how it can work to de-stress the respiratory system. This is particularly important at this time of year as many people are prone to develop springtime allergies. But other more serious existing conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema might be further aggravated by allergens, pollutants and, of course, smoking. The symptoms range from shortness of breath to chest pains and often can be disabling. Massage can help lessen the severity of these problems by deepening and stabilizing your breathing patterns. Massage therapy also helps relieve the buildup of congestion in your lungs; helps to increase your heart action, which stimulates the blood flow both to and from your heart, thereby encouraging the flushing of waste. Massage fosters the absorption of oxygen. In this regard, with regular massage treatments, people have reported a decrease in their asthma symptoms, as well as overall less difficulty breathing.

To achieve the proper benefits that massage can have on your respiratory system, the therapist will focus on the muscles around your torso, including the diaphragm (which is your primary respiratory muscle) and the intercostal muscles (between the ribs). This therapy impacts the respiratory system by increasing pulmonary functions, permitting an ease of breathing through the loosening of tight respiratory muscles. This freedom from constriction allows the lungs to expand and contract without inhibition. The ability to inhale and exhale will not be restricted, thus enabling the intake of oxygen to enter without distress and likewise permit the easier removal of carbon dioxide.

A relaxed respiratory system slows the number of breaths you take per minute. If your respiratory muscles aren't constricted, your lung capacity will increase, allowing you to inhale longer and deeper breaths rather than the shallow breaths associated with various respiratory ailments. As well, as more oxygen is introduced into the bloodstream, your body's circulation is improved. For those who complain of non-allergy shortness of breath (known as dyspnea), regular massage can help increase the intake of oxygen and help to prevent further episodes from occurring.

Today many people suffer from asthma or other respiratory ailments (which has become especially prevalent in children). Regular massage offers a therapy that lessens the dependency on inhalers and asthma medications.  Specific massage techniques increase fluid discharge by loosening the congestion of mucus and phlegm from the lungs and bronchial tubes when particular tapping or tapotement techniques are performed on the back. However, such a procedure should be recommended by a physician and performed by a trained therapist who has knowledge of your medical history.

At Academy Massage, our licensed therapists will work with you to complete a detailed evaluation that ensures the treatment prescribed is what is best suited for you.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Get Ready to Spring into Spring!

Spring Time Sky - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
Another Winnipeg winter has come and gone and we've finally moved into our anticipated Spring season. Once again we can enjoy the outdoors and reacquaint ourselves with activities no longer restricted by snow and frigid temperatures.

With many people, physical activity slows or even becomes dormant during the winter months. Eager to get the jump into Spring, we often move too quickly into an outdoor exercise regime and, ultimately, suffer the consequences, with sprained muscles and aching joints. While it is important to make physical activity a part of our everyday routine, it is prudent to start off slow and work up toward our exercise goal gradually. Simple, non-strenuous exercises are the best bet, such as maybe getting started with a brisk walk. If a more active exercise is your preference, biking is a good way to strengthen muscle tone as is swimming and even water aerobics. Even household chores such as gardening or puttering around the yard provide physical advantages, as does simply climbing the stairs.

Exercise and physical activity benefit every area of your life. Besides improving strength and fitness, it can help manage and prevent diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and even various cancers. It has also been shown to combat stress and feelings of depression and, in fact, heighten your feeling of well-being.

Academy Massage invites you to book an appointment with one of our qualified and licensed therapists to tone up and re-invigorate your muscles so that you can start getting fit for the fun days of Spring.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Beating the Blues with Massage Therapy

Beating the Blues with Massage Therapy - Academy Massage Therapy - Winnipeg Massage Therapist
Massage therapy can have a positive effect on enhancing one's mood. It can help you manage stress, anxiety and even depression. In short, massage provides many additional benefits besides aiding in the relief of sore joints and muscles relevant to back and neck pain and discomfort resulting from athletic injuries. A form of depression that affects people is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). While generally a condition most relevant to the long winter months ("the winter blues"), SAD is a type of depression that can have an effect on people in all seasons. Symptoms generally start in the fall and continue into the winter months. People who normally are physically and psychologically healthy may feel tired and lethargic and might even suffer from muscle soreness and stiffness. Other symptoms can include irritability, overeating, oversleeping, loss of libido and a weakened immune system. While it is not clear what causes SAD, it is thought that it results from a lack of sunlight, which is why people can be affected even in spring and summer if the days are gloomy and overcast. It is estimated that 2 to 3% of Canadians will experience SAD in their lifetime while another 15% will suffer from a milder form of seasonal depression that still enables them to function in their daily routine.

Massage helps to alleviate SAD symptoms in a number of ways. Psychologically, massage therapy stimulates nerve receptors in your body, releasing mood-enhancing chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. The release of these chemicals is important as they relate to one's mood, appetite, sleep and memory, along with benefiting sexual function and even social behaviour. Massage therapy can also reduce the levels of cortisol in your body, which is a hormone released in response to stress and, if not properly regulated, can result in elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels, as well as suppressing the immune system. These factors can ultimately lead to depression. Massage lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, stimulates the nerve endings, removes toxins and improves energy and concentration. Massage has also been shown to heighten alpha brain activity, allowing you to function more efficiently both at work or in handling stressful situations.
Massage also aids in boosting your immune system, heightening the body's resistance to bugs and viruses and making it easier to ward off the many communicable diseases that exist in our daily environment, regardless of the season.

Through regular massage sessions, anyone suffering from SAD will experience less severe symptoms and regain a more positive and healthy perspective on life.

Academy Massage offers therapies that are effective in helping clients deal with both the psychological and physiological effects of SAD. Our therapists are trained to provide a relaxing treatment session in a comfortable environment that will both calm you and improve your mood as it focuses on healing the mind-body connection.

Academy Massage reminds our valued clients that now is the perfect time to get your body and your brain re-charged with a spring tune-up.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hospice care for patient, family and care givers

Hospice Care - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
While not a subject people generally wish to discuss or consider, death comes to us all as it is a natural process of life. It goes without saying that facing the end of one's life is difficult not only for the patient but for their loved ones. No one wants to see that person suffer and be in pain. We want to ensure that he or she is made as comfortable as possible. However, that can be a difficult task in those final days. And the emotional strain on the caregiver can be enormous.  

For many seriously ill patients, hospice care is the preferred option. Hospice is a care program that focuses on the quality of one's life instead of continuing with treatment to prolong life. Hospice provides an alternative for people whose life expectancy is six months or less, and involves palliative care rather than ongoing curative measures, enabling a terminally ill patient to live their last days with purpose, dignity, and support. This is achieved through the compassionate efforts of a dedicated team of health care professionals and volunteers who provide medical, psychological, and spiritual support. The caregivers also try to control pain and other symptoms so a person can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice programs also provide services to support the needs of the patient's family, including helping the family manage the practical details and emotional challenges of caring for a dying loved one. To that end, hospice care does not cease once the patient has passed on. The survivors may also need support as they grieve and struggle with their bereavement.

It is a difficult decision to know when the time is right for a loved one to enter  hospice care. Some families choose to prolong personal care for as long as possible and may decide upon hospice care for the last few days of life. For the patient, it is important that the family understands their wishes and are educated about hospice care so that they are prepared once the time arrives for hospice care to be administered. When loved ones are clear about a patient's preferences for treatment, they’re able to devote themselves more fully to providing care and compassion.

In most cases hospice is provided in the patient’s own home. This allows the patient to spend their final days in a familiar, comfortable environment, surrounded by loved ones who can provide personal care with the support of hospice staff. With an emphasis on holistic care, hospice programs frequently provide benefits that are not available in traditional health-care settings such as hospitals or nursing facility and may include various therapies such as music, art, pet and massage. Massage has proven to be extremely helpful for many hospice patients in managing stress and alleviating pain. 

Working with the dying is a difficult task and requires commitment and compassion. But by providing peace and comfort to the terminally ill during their final days, it also helps to show us how to live more fully. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Valentine's Gift That Shows You Care

Valentine's Day is when the cold and frosty days of winter warm a little as we embrace the love we feel toward that special someone. Flowers, gifts, chocolates and other expressions of sentiments are presented, intimate romantic dinners are shared, and quite often even wedding proposals are made.

Traditions prevail, but perhaps this year you might be looking for another way to show your loved one how much you care, an alternative that is unique and personal, yet practical, with benefits geared toward maintaining health and restoring relaxation.

If that is the case, consider the gift of massage.

Massage therapy offers a variety of physical and emotional advantages beyond soothing stressed and overworked muscles and joints. Massage has been proven to enhance one's mood (which is important given the winter doldrums many people experience at this time of year) through the release of the feel good or "love hormones" called oxytocin. As February has been designated at Heart Month, what better way to take care of your most vital organ than a massage treatment that helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure and keep your heart beating smoothly, reducing stress and anxiety.

To create a special memory, you might choose to share the experience with your partner and indulge in a couple's massage, complete with soothing scented oils.

Massage allows for self-connection, which is important for individuals without partners who feel the need to give care and a little pampering to themselves.

Whatever your preference, Academy Massage invites you to discover the pleasure of our healing touch.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Vodder Technique in Advanced Lymphatic Drainage Techniques

Vodder Technique in Advanced Lymphatic Drainage Techniques - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
The lymphatic system is a vital part of the immune system and is comprised of a network of lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called "lymph" directionally toward the heart. As such, it is also an important component of the circulatory system.

During the 1930s, Dr. Emil Vodder pioneered the specialty of medicine called "lymphology." The technique he developed:  Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) has become the most recognized manual method to assist lymph flow and aid in the drainage of tissues.

Dr. Vodder's MLD technique is a gentle, non-invasive procedure that has a profound yet subtle effect on the body.  This method is a safer option for clients who have undergone post-radiation treatment and those suffering from a traumatic injury. In addition, it also has a relaxing and calming effect on the nervous system. The gentle massage movements follow the direction of lymph flow and produce swift results. MLD has been proven effective both as a stand-alone treatment and in combination with other therapies. Conditions such as lymphedema and certain types of venuous edema, non-infected inflammatory conditions (such as sprains and strains), ulcerations, dermatological conditions, circulatory disturbances, sports injuries, among others, have all benefitted from MLD.

Manual Lymph Drainage may also benefit the immune system. By assisting lymph flow, MLD is thought to bring pathogens more rapidly to the lymph nodes where they can be neutralized.

At Academy Massage we employ the Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage. Our therapists are trained and certified. It is another service we provide our valued clients to aid you in maintaining optimum health.  If you are interested in receiving treatment using the Vodder technique, please contact our office to speak to our staff specialist.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Projected Fitness Trends for the New Year

Projected Fitness Trends for the New Year - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
The new year has begun and perhaps one of your resolutions for 2016 is to start a fitness program, either to wear off the Holiday Season excesses or just to improve your overall health and get into better shape. The question you may be asking yourself, however, is: What is the best form of exercise and what are the fitness trends for 2016?

Trends vary from year to year but perhaps it is not surprising to learn that listed as one of the top trends for 2016 is: Wearable Technology. These technological wonders are designed to help monitor your exercise activities and progress and include such tools as fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices.

As for the various training programs, the highlights for the year include the following:

Bodyweight Training
  • These exercises are among the simplest to perform as they require minimal equipment and as such are convenient and affordable and can be done virtually anywhere from home to office. Exercises include push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups among others.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • This exercise is characterized by short bursts of activity followed by a short break or even complete rest. These workouts can be performed in 30 minutes or less. Examples of a HIIT workout include squats and push-ups.
Strength Training 
  • This exercise not only helps to develop muscle but aids in burning calories and also protects bone health and muscle mass. Strength training combines body weight training with aerobic exercise and is a necessary component for any workout program to keep one fit and healthy in body and mind.
Educated and Experiences Fitness Professionals 
  • Many people are choosing to avoid the gym and work instead with a fitness professional. The benefits are many as he/she provides guidance in exercise, nutrition, and healthy eating habits that connect the mind and body for total lifestyle changes.
Personal Training
  • A personal trainer allows for the necessary one-on-one time that will provide maximum effectiveness of your gym or private workout experience.
Functional Fitness
  • A simple workout that includes everyday activities as part of your exercise program, including bending down and walking up the stairs.
Fitness Programs for Older Adults
  • As muscle mass decreases with age, this program is important and designed for those over 40 to help keep older adults healthy and active.
Exercise and Weight Loss 
  • A program that combines exercise with proper nutrition, a key component to weight-loss programs.
  • Yoga remains a popular fitness trend as it not only blends together mind, body and spirit, but provides the physical benefit of greater balance, strength, and flexibility through the application of varying postures.
Your friends at Academy Massage want to remind you that whatever fitness trend you decide to follow for 2016, we recommend regular visits with our trained and experienced therapists for massage treatments that will both strengthen and relieve muscles that may be put to strenuous use so that you can enjoy maximum benefit from your exercise program.