It’s no secret to most of my clients that I love giving massages. It’s something that just fills my cup! I feel deep spiritual and ancestral feelings when I am able to give my full attention to helping someone's body heal. Often when I am working with someone I’ll mention things like, “Oh, this is a tight area,” or “Man, this is a stubborn little knot.” Recently, it came to my attention that not all my clients know what knots are, what causes them, and most importantly how to release them. I happen to know a thing or two about this.
So first things first, what the heck is a knot? Well, it is pretty simple.A knot is a bundle of connective tissue usually in the myofascial layer of the skin. Myofascia is the layer of connective tissue between the skin and muscles. Knots can also be lying right on a muscle. If you ever get a chance, you should run your thumb along a large muscle in your leg or in your arm, if you feel a somewhat hardish spot, that could be a knot. There are a couple common types of knots that I deal with on a regular basis, knots that seem to be bundled around a nerve and knots caused by physical and emotional stress. I find it so interesting to learn more about each client's body and knot type. I love learning what type of knots my clients have because it helps me be able to massage their bodies with great efficiency.
How do our bodies even get knots? The knot type that bundles around a nerve forms by someone over using that muscle and the nerve continues to shoot small pulses on that muscle. With the continued nerve activity over time there is a build up of connective tissue and toxins. I can tell the difference because the knots that are bundled around a nerve usually send some referred pain to another area of the body. For example, I can be working on a neck or upper back muscle and all the sudden my client will say, “Oh I feel that up in my head,” or, “Man that is shooting down my arm.” The knots caused by stress however, usually constrict the range of motion in a muscle. Dehydration and bad posture can contribute to knots as well. There is an old saying about how we hold the weight of the world on our shoulders. Well, to an extent I think this is very true. When we experience stress, anxiety, or even anger, those emotions can sometimes get caught up in our bodies, literally! It's nuts! So when you are getting a massage, and as your massage therapist works out some of your knots, you may feel some of those emotions manifesting. I would encourage you to take as many deep breaths as it takes to let some of those things go. Let them melt away.
Though I may be a bit biased, I strongly suggest you JUST GET A MASSAGE… NOW….JUST BOOK IT. You deserve healing. I am not oblivious to the obstacles there are in our busy lives when it comes to taking an hour out of a day to do something just for yourself . It's not just the time either; it's the expense, it's trying to find a massage therapist who fits your needs, wants and personality, and having time afterwards to get that massage oil out of your hair, LOL. Luckily, there are some things you can do right now, or in the near future, to help manage those pesky knots. Drink water, when your body becomes more hydrated it helps all the parts of your body flow better, including all the layers of your skin and muscles. Apply heat. Whether it's an electric heating pad or a microwavable rice bag, the heat melts away the tightness in your muscle and increases your blood circulation which in turn promotes healing. Stretch I don’t care when you do it, just do it. Stretching throughout your day will help you be more aware of your posture and help keep movement in your muscles. Lastly, and my favorite, take a warm bath with your favorite essential oils. I prefer using lavender and eucalyptus oils in my baths, both are helpful in relieving hypertension, reducing pain and, they are stress and anxiety relievers.
I hope you have learned something new and that you are able to implement some new and mindful practices in your life. I strongly believe that as we work together we can and should help each other in all the ways we know how. Until next time.