chiropractor leland nc

Chiropractor Leland NC: Stretching

Short on Time During Your Workout? Don’t Skip the Stretching!

Why is stretching the part of our workout regimen that so many of us tend to skip? We might tell ourselves it’s because we’re sort on time, that we’re impatient or that (deep down) we believe stretching is really pointless. But however we rationalize it, skipping the stretching is a BAD idea! Our chiropractor Leland NC explains more.

It’s probably obvious that our joints were designed to be able to move in various directions with a certain degree of freedom. But as our bodies age, we become stiffer and lose the flexibility we had when we were young. In fact, chances are (unless you happen to be a dancer or gymnast), that process will start even before you reach your 20th birthday. However, it’s never too late to regain some of that youthful flexibility by becoming more serious about stretching. Combined with strength training, proper stretching can help prolong our mobility and independence-allowing us to perform basic day-to-day tasks well into our senior years. Reaching that high shelf, bending to pick up a dropped object, and accessing that hidden switch behind an awkward kitchen cabinet are all great examples.
One reason it’s really important to stretch before working out is that we are likely to use muscles and connective tissues that are normally inactive. Without flexibility, the risk of getting hurt goes up. However, stretching can help prevent (or even treat) some common types of musculoskeletal injuries if it’s done correctly. Plus, it can feel good! Stretching can be a great way to start the day or to wind down after work.

Preparing the body for exercise by warming up the muscles (increasing blood flow) and stretching is easy and need not take up much of your time. Simply begin moving the various muscle groups in a deliberate way, with slow stretches of the joints towards the end of their range of motion. As you do this, you should notice a gentle “pulling” sensation and hold the position for up to half a minute. Then stretch the alternate side or move on to other muscle groups. Not only does stretching prevent injury, but it also improves the mechanical efficiency of your body. Stretching prior to exercise means muscles and joints are able to move through their full range of motion with less effort when exercising , improving performance.

Other benefits of stretching include improved circulation, less pain and faster recoveries following workouts, and better posture. If you find yourself arriving home stiff and achy from sitting at a desk all day and then commuting-try stretching. You might find that you’ll feel better almost instantly!
Remember-good health is the result of lots of little day-to-day things, including your nutrition, exercise and sleep habits, as well as your healthcare choices. As chiropractic physicians, we’re experts in diagnosing and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. We’re also experts in prevention and performance. If you’re interested in any of these things, we encourage you to call or visit our office today and schedule an appointment with our chiropractor Leland NC!


back pain wilmington nc

Back Pain Wilmington NC: History of Back Walking

A new and increasingly popular form of massage therapy called “Ashiatsu” is actually anything but new. This type of massage—in which the therapist manipulates the patient’s back by walking on it—has its roots in the East. Although stories of exactly where and when this form of “back walking” massage began vary, its origins can safely be traced back to ancient India, China, Japan, and other Asian countries. our back pain specialist in Wilmington NC explains more about ashiatsu.

One of the first historical citations of this practice comes from the Kerala region of India, where a practice known as Chavutti Thirumal was developed among practitioners of martial arts and classical dance. In the local language, the word “Chavutti” means foot or leg, and the word “Thirumal” means massage. Students of these martial arts and dance methods used foot massage techniques to help their bodies heal from injury and remain supple and flexible.

The practice soon spread to other areas of Asia. In Japan it became combined with the study of pressure points and meridians. Just as the word “Shiatsu” means “finger pressure” (“shi” translates to “finger” and “atsu” translates to pressure), “Ashiatsu” means “foot pressure” (“ashi” translates to “foot”). At around the same time in Thailand, other forms of barefoot Thai massage were being developed based on the principles of Chavutti Thirumal.

How has Ashiatsu evolved over time?

In the late 1990s, a form of Ashiatsu was developed by Ruthie Piper and trademarked as Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy™, or AOBT. Although she was not the first practitioner of barefoot massage in the United States, Piper’s work training and certifying practitioners of the technique helped to make it more popular in this country.

The “Bar Therapy” aspect of AOBT and newer forms of Ashiatsu massage refers to the fact that the patient is positioned on a modern massage table rather than on a mat on the floor, and the Ashiatsu practitioner supports himself or herself above the patient using a set of bars installed on the ceiling. This enables practitioners not only to more easily maintain their balance, but to use the bars to control the amount of pressure being applied to patients’ back muscles.

Ashiatsu massage is considered to be less stressful for the patient’s body than many other massage techniques because pressure from the feet is spread out over a wider area than it would be if applied by the fingers, heel of the hand, or elbow. It is thus ideal for massaging large muscles such as the thigh or trapezius muscles of the back. Ashiatsu massage is certainly less stressful for the bodies of practitioners since they can use gravity to assist them in their work, rather than having to rely entirely on their own muscle power to apply directed pressure.

If you are interested in Ashiatsu massage, speak to our back pain specialist in Wilmington NC chiropractor or massage therapist. He or she will be able to answer your questions and to refer you to trained practitioners of the technique. Remember– improper use of the technique can cause injury, and it is not advisable to allow someone without the correct training to perform back walking massage.