Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

Avoid on the Job Muscle Aches and Pains with These Ergonomic Tips

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

You may already be aware that the way you sit or stand while at work can affect the way your muscles and joints feel hours or even days later.  Factors such as the height of your chair or the way you lift a box can have physical consequences, too. Even the way you carry a backpack or sit at your desk can impact the strength and resiliency of your musculoskeletal system.

Ergonomics and You

Evaluating just how your body is affected by your work environment is part of what ergonomic professionals do. An ergonomist can not only identify furniture or other items in your environment that are bad for your body, but also motions and tasks that may eventually cause you pain. By taking a few pointers from these professionals, you can learn to identify ergonomic risks in your work environment and reduce the chances of suffering from work related aches and pains.

What is the musculoskeletal system?

Just as the name implies, your musculoskeletal system is made up of your body’s muscles and bones. But there’s more to it than that. Your joints, connective tissue, nerves and even your blood vessels are also part of your musculoskeletal system. Each part of your musculoskeletal system must work smoothly with the others for you to enjoy pain free mobility. When any of these body parts are overused, cramped, pinched, or bruised by an activity or position, the results can be painful.

What are some on the job ergonomic risks factors?

Having proper equipment is important to ensuring your body’s health. Understanding ergonomics can help you choose the items that are right for you. If you work in an office, you should be able to sit at your desk comfortably.

Keep tools within reachYour keyboard and other equipment should be placed within easy reach. If you work in an industrial setting, these same rules apply. Tools, levers, and seating should be properly positioned so that you don’t have to frequently bend or stretch to reach them.

Most importantly, you should be able to use whatever equipment necessary for you job without assuming what is called an awkward posture. Awkward postures can cause nerves to be pinched and joints strained.

One of the leading causes of on the job musculoskeletal injuries are repetitive motions. It is very common for most of us to engage in the same activities over and over again, particularly at work.

Repetitive motion typingSomeone who uses a keyboard or power tool for several hours a day may find their wrist begins to hurt and their fingers tingle from carpel tunnel syndrome. A job that requires you to use your full arm to reach or twist tools or equipment may trigger a rotator cuff injury. Once a strain or stress injury occurs, repeated motions can make the condition worse.


How can you protect yourself from injury?

Of course, you may not be able to avoid all the risks of a poorly designed workspace or job without your employer’s participation, but there are some steps you can take to be proactive about injury prevention. First, evaluate your work space. Make adjustments so that the items you use most often are within easy reach. Also, check your body positioning as you work. Are you twisting or tightly bending your elbows? Over time, these positions can wear on your joints. Finally, choose a chair that allows you to

Awkward postureAlso, check your body positioning as you work. Are you twisting or tightly bending your elbows? Over time, these positions can wear on your joints. Finally, choose a chair that allows you to sit at a comfortable height in relation to your desk or work area. If you must stand at your job, install a shock-absorbing floor mat if possible.

Next, analyze the movement requirements of your job. To keep your body in top shape, try to avoid repeating the same motion or holding the same static position for extended periods of time.

If your job does require lots of repetition, take frequent micro-breaks. Use these breaks to reposition your body and stretch your muscles.

Of course, these are just a few of the ways that you can protect your musculoskeletal health. You can find more information and resources at the Government of Canada’s public website.


Loosen Up Your Sore Muscles with a Massage

If your muscles are feeling tight or you feeling worn down after a long day at work, come see us! Our foot reflexology massage includes a relaxing foot bath and shoulder rub that can take the tired right out of you. Not sure if you can get an appointment? You can check our schedule online or just walk-in and ask. We can usually find a seat for you and we’ll serve you some tea while you wait.

The Many Benefits of a Great Massage

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

If you’ve ever had a massage, then you know just how good it can make you feel. A great massage can make you feel both relaxed and invigorated. But did you know that there are many health benefits to massages as well? From improving your mental health to boosting your athletic performance, massages make life better. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of our favorite reasons to get a massage.

Benefits of a Great Massage

Improved Circulation— A study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation reports that massage therapy restores “peripheral vascular function.” For us non-physicians that means a good massage can get your blood flowing. In this particular study, the researchers were examining improvements to blood flow after exercise. But the applications extend beyond just post-exercise massage. Participating researcher Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin stated that she believes the findings demonstrate “massage therapy improves overall circulation in a very beneficial way.

Stretch it out to relaxLoosen Stiff Joints—Quoting Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute, the Arthritis Foundation reports that regular massage is an effective way to reduce the joint pain caused by arthritis. The foundation cites research indicating that massage reduces the production of a specific pain neurotransmitter substance (called P) and the IL-4 and IL-10 inflammatory cytokines.

Untie those Knots—Sometimes referred to as myofascial trigger points, muscles knots can be painful and limit your mobility. They can also be in hard to reach places making them tough to eliminate. The good news is that a massage can help. A talented massage technician can target just the right trigger points and help work those tight muscles loose.

Relax and De-stress—We know that a massage can be very relaxing. But more than just giving you a break, researchers believe that regular massages can help lower your body’s stress levels. A massage can help you lower your heart rate and blood pressure. A study of individuals who received chair massages demonstrated a slight lowering of cortisol (the stress hormone), too.

Still More Benefits—Massage Magazine has compiled a list of articles that detail some of the other benefits of massage. Researchers have found that massages can reduce anxiety and help patients manage pain. Additionally, massage of myofascial trigger points in the neck and head can help relieve the pain of tension headaches.

Have We Convinced You Yet

If you aren’t convinced of the benefits of massage yet, just check out the American Massage Therapy Association’s list of 25 wonderful reasons to get a massage! Best Health magazine is a believer in the benefits of massage as well. Katherine Watts lists 6 Surprising Health Benefits of Massage Therapy on the Best website.

Welcome to your escape Barefoot Oasis Foot Massage and SpaIf you need to see it to believe it, just stop by Barefoot Oasis Foot Massage and Spa here at Keefer Place. Our team of massage technicians will be happy to answer your questions. Then, you can book an appointment right in the shop or online. We’d love to show you how much better you’ll feel after a great massage.

“Do I Want a Deep Tissue Massage?” Here’s How to Decide

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

One of the first decisions you have to make after booking your massage is what type of massage you want. Each type of massage has different signature characteristics. However, there is a lot of overlap of techniques between the various types. Sometimes this can lead to confusion.  For instance, some people believe that a deep tissue massage is the same as a Swedish massage but with greater pressure applied. In fact, the two types of massage are very different.

Of course, our massage technicians will always speak with you before you massage begins to make sure that you know just what you’re getting. In the meantime, here’s some information to help you decide if a deep tissue massage is right for you.


What is deep tissue massage?

A classic or “Swedish” massage employs several different techniques or strokes to stimulate the outer layers of muscle tissue. Sometimes tapping or shaking motions will be used to loosen muscles as well. But a Swedish massage is not intended to “dig deep” or affect the innermost layer of muscle tissue. This is where a deep tissue massage differs. The purpose of a deep tissue massage is to reach all your muscle layers.


deep tissue massageDuring a deep tissue massage, your massage technician may use several different techniques, including stripping. This firm, gliding stroke is usually performed after lighter methods have been used to loosen and warm up your muscles. Your massage technician will press deep along the length of your muscles.

This stroke should reach your deepest muscle layers and connective tissues. A second technique, friction, is also common in deep tissue massage. Friction is a stroke that applies firm pressure across the grain of your muscle.


Why choose a deep tissue massage?

Using the two techniques described above and other methods, a deep tissue massage will help relax stiff muscles and release adhesions. Deep tissue massage is often used following recovery from an injury to reduce scar tissue.

athlete muscles

Athletes also use deep tissue massage to help them quickly recover from intense workouts.

During a deep tissue massage, your technician will work to loosen rigid muscle tissue, restoring circulation and motility. If you are recovering from an injury, it may take several sessions to treat the recovering muscle.


In addition to reducing pain and increasing motility, deep tissue massage has many other benefits. This massage method is used to improve posture, treat repetitive strain injuries, and relieve sciatica. A deep tissue massage may also help lower your blood pressure and lower your stress levels by releasing serotonin and dopamine.


It’s Your Massage; You’re in Control

When you visit Barefoot Oasis Foot Massage and Spa for your massage, your comfort is our priority. Deep tissue massage is sometimes considered tough or painful because the targeted muscle knots themselves can cause pain. However, your massage should never cause injury.

Relaxing massage at Barefoot Oasis Foot Massage and Spa

Because each person’s needs differ, it is important to communicate before and during your massage to ensure that you receive the best care possible.


Never hesitate to speak up if you feel uncomfortable. At your request, your massage technician can lighten the pressure or offer you a completely different type of massage.


Our staff is also available to answer any questions you might have before your massage begins. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call. The best massage is the one that suits you.



Prepare for Spring Activities and Sports with These Injury Prevention Tips

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Prepare for Spring Activities and Sports with These Injury Prevention Tips

Finally! Spring has arrived. The arrival of spring means the arrival of the outdoor sports and festival season. While many of us maintain a winter workout routine to stay in shape, springtime offers many more opportunities for people to get active. From 5K fun runs to soccer and softball, everyone is ready to get outdoors and get moving. Beyond just sports, spring and summer means time spent at festivals, concerts, parks and outdoor markets, too.


Are you ready? More importantly, are your muscles ready?


Injury prevention tips to keep you moving this spring and summer:

Before you head out the door to throw that first pitch or spend the day on your feet at a music festival, take steps to prepare your body for the change in season. By taking a few preventive measures, you can avoid some common spring injuries.stretch your muscles

 Don’t over do it.

Before you can run that 5K, you’ll need to condition your body for the stress. To build up your endurance, increase the intensity of your runs slowly over time. The writers at recommend that you up the intensity and duration of your run by no more than 10% per week. Pushing too far, too fast can lead to overreaching, a condition that can really slow you down!


Watch that shoulder.

pitching baseballIf you play tennis, baseball, softball or golf, then you know a shoulder injury can put you out of the game fast. Just as with running, you’ll need to build up to your summer performance level over time.

One thing to remember when you jump back into your favorite sport is to actively avoid repetitive strain injuries. Tennis and golfer’s elbow and rotator cuff injuries are some of the most common sports-related repetitive strain injuries.

Repetitive stress and overuse injuries occur when you perform the same motion over and over again. Even if each individual action isn’t harmful, the constant repetitions are. You can help reduce the chances of getting a repetitive strain injury by mixing up your activities and taking breaks.

Rather than performing the same throwing, hitting or swinging motion repeatedly, make sure that you use different muscle groups throughout your activity.


leg stretchesGo easy on your legs.

As you prepare to spend time this spring walking, hiking or participating in running events, don’t forget to take care of your feet and legs. Nothing spoils a good time like shin splints or a pulled hamstring.

This fabulous article written by Lucy Fry in The Telegraph details the steps to make sure your body is ready to run. Ms. Fry notes that strength training and stretching are both important to keep your leg muscles strong and flexible.

athletic shoesAdditionally, you should make sure you select shoes that fit properly and allow room for the natural swelling of your feet that takes place throughout the day. 
Ms. Fry also advises purchasing more than one pair of your favorite shoes.

Break in both pairs so that you aren’t suddenly switching from old to new in the midst of training.

Don’t forget the fuel.

Healthy foodsProper nutrition and hydration are important for everyone. But making sure your body has the water and energy it needs is particularly important when you suddenly increase your activity levels.

In this article about MLB spring training, Chef Andy Williams writes about how he takes care of the pros.

Chef Andy tells his athlete clients to be mindful of their diets when training. He advises them to eat anti-inflammatory foods that will help their muscles and joints perform at their best.hydration during workouts

Along with a healthy diet, you should also remember to drink plenty of fluids. Make sure to drink water or other liquids throughout the day. This will help you avoid muscle cramps and dehydration.

Visit Us at Barefoot Oasis

After reading all these tips, are you ready to get out there and enjoy the warm weather? We hope so. And don’t forget, the staff at Barefoot Oasis Foot Massage and Spa is here to help you work out any knots and muscle cramps that show up after your workout.

#LuvMyBarefeet  #Vancouver  #Springtime

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