Massage Therapy dates as far back as 5000 years to the Ancient Egyptians and Asian cultures. In this first episode of our series on manual therapies for healing, we discuss the many benefits of this particular method. Learn how it can reduce pain, improve circulation, and even enhance your mood. They also touch on the history of massage and its different types that you can try. Don't miss out on the incredible benefits massage can provide – so sit back, relax, and get ready to live forever young.
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The Benefits Of Massage Therapy
Manual Therapies For Healing EP. 1
Massage Therapy dates as far back as 5,000 years to the ancient Egyptians and Asian cultures. In episode one of our series on manual therapies for healing, we discuss the benefits of massage therapy. We talk about the history of massage and identify several different types of massages and what benefits they have for your health. Sit back, relax, and get ready to live forever young.
I am here with Rollie Culp. Rollie, how are you doing? How is the lightning doing this 2023?
We’re doing good man. The lighting is doing well, but more importantly, we’re in a whole new outfit. Not only is my shirt awesome, but we put this whole new studio together so I hope everybody is liking it. If you want to be part of the show, you can follow Bob on TikTok and you can come and join in. If you have something you want to share, have a question, or something that relates to what topic, you can share in. It’s @RobertGilpatrick on TikTok. We’ll also be doing some Facebook Lives, but we’re starting with TikTok. If you don’t have a TikTok, go check it out.
Our topic is massage therapy. Most people have either had a massage or they know what it is. They know people that have gone. You don’t have to drive very far in any town or city to see a sign that says massage. Now it’s become big business. You have companies that have branches all over the country and around the world. It’s become very popular and common and had been extremely helpful to people in general to have access to this, whereas going back many years ago, you might get a shoulder rub from someone in your family but there was no massage therapist to go to.
It’s somebody who’s specifically trained to do this. Now, it’s some guy with some hot rocks from the spring and he’s trying to rub your back.
Nowadays, people have to become licensed in massage therapy. It’s a state-by-state thing. They get their license by going to school, going through training, taking tests, studying the different aspects of the type of massage they’re getting licensed in, and then begun practicing. They begin developing a clientele either through a corporate massage center or a lot of people start their own massage centers. This is where it’s come from for many years and we want to start talking about why would somebody want to go and get a massage or what’s the reason.
There are lots of reasons. I know there are some guys who say, “I’m not going to go get a massage,” but going to get a massage was probably one of the nicest things you could get done for your muscles, especially if you get injured. The one thing I can think of that massage helps me is if my back is hurting. Specifically, I have a little thing with my L4 and L5. I went into the hospital for something else and they took a CT and my doctor told me I had a little L4 and L5 issues. Sometimes that starts acting up. If I get a massage, it helps it.
Also, people have poor posture if they’re sitting too much. You also have athletes that are not necessarily getting injured, but there’s a whole aspect of massage for athletes called sports massage.
You got to keep the muscles long is what they say long.
It’s not contracted or bunched up. One of the other reasons is people can have emotional issues, fear, and anxiety and that alone can create contraction. If you’re feeling fear or anxious, your muscles are going to tense. The whole idea of massage is if your muscles are getting contracted and they’re not releasing. Now, your muscles are causing a lot of problems and it impedes your blood flow and lymph flow. You’re going to have less oxygenation to your brain and periphery, and it’s going to hurt your immune system and all like that.
Lymph is important. It’s something that people don’t realize a lot. There’s almost as much lymph in your body as there is blood.
There is. There’s a special type of massage for lymph, which we’ll do a whole show on. That one deserves its whole separate episode.
When you talk about lowering oxygen levels, that’s simply because you’re not getting as good of blood flow, right?
Yes. When you get constrictions in your vessels, it can restrict innervation to different parts of your body too. Your nervous system then becomes a little hyper and it starts to fire a little bit too much. Now, this is going to cause tension as well. These are the reasons why people need to think about getting massages.
You’re saying that anything that is going to tighten the muscles can also impede the blood flow. We are also talking about nutrient levels. If you don’t get nutrients through the blood, you’re going to have issues as well. There are a lot of people who have diabetes and have bad blood flow which causes nerve issues.
If you have problems with your circulation, your nerves need to have nutrients that come from the blood to the nerve to support them and make them healthy. At the same time, the nerves firing helps to stimulate blood flow. If one or the other is off, both are going to be off. There are a lot of different types of massage therapy. You would think you’d be like, “I’m going to the massage therapist. They’re going to rub my back and my shoulders and all is good.”
It’s funny because I went to Massage Envy not too long ago. They sit you down and say, “What parts of your body are sore? What is the thing you want to work on?” More often than not, I’m talking about my shoulders and my lower back.
When you go to a place like a corporate massage company like that, they quite often have therapists that are trained in different types of massages. They’ll ask you, “Do you want deep tissue massage or more like a Swedish massage?” Massage therapy has been around for a long time. It goes all the way back to almost 3000 BC. They have found drawings in Egypt and Greece of people receiving massages. It’s got a long history.
Shiatsu massage is also an ancient type of massage in Japan. The Shiatsu massage is based on some ancient Chinese medicine teachings regarding the meridians. Shiatsu is paying attention to your acupuncture meridians and facilitating not just the relaxation of the muscles, but the flow of the chi or the life force energy in your body.
The life force of energy through shiatsu. Does Shiatsu include acupuncture?
A lot of times, when you go to a center and there’ll be people that are trained in numerous things. I remember going to an acupuncturist once several years ago and he also practiced Thai massage. Thai massage is different. Most massage therapies involve a massage table where the therapist moves around the table. Thai massage is done on a mat on the floor. There’s a lot more range of motion going on with moving your leg up here, putting pressure here, getting flexibility going, helping with your circulation, as well as massage. They also will walk on your back.
Massage Therapy: Thai massage is different. Instead of using massage tables, this is done on a mat on the floor, and involves a lot more range of motion, pressure, and flexibility.
That’s the ones where they walk. You’ve probably seen it in the movies where they’re like dancing on the back and the guy is screaming. That’s not a good massage therapist if you’re screaming, isn’t it?
It depends. This particular person I went to did acupuncture for me. He had needles in my ears, my feet, and everywhere. He was also like, “I’m going to walk on your back.” I was up on a table when he was doing the acupuncture and then he is like, “Lie down on your stomach.” He had these trapezes up above that he would hold onto, and then he massaged my back with his feet. That’s a Thai massage. There are also medical doctors that specialize in massage. There are Medical Degrees or MDs, and also a medical degree called DO, Doctor of Osteopathy. They’re called osteopaths. There are lots of them around here.
Larry, the Co-Owner of Boomers, has his own osteopath right down the street. He’s a Greek osteopath. A lot of the techniques came from ancient Greek medicine. Its development of it happened back before the 1900s began. There was a medical doctor who was practicing Civil War type of medicine which was very brutal. He had this idea that a lot of the people that were sick, were sick because their body was out of balance. Their muscles were contracted, bones were being pulled, and internal organs were being moved around. There was a lot of tension and anxiety and this was leading to other problems.
He created the whole discipline of osteopathic medicine that included using herbs, medicines, and traditional diagnostics from the medical field, but he said, “We have to add on these other techniques.” He began teaching other doctors how to do this and that was the birth of this type of medicine, but a lot of it involves massage, craniosacral therapy, and visceral manipulation.
Did you say Civil War?
Yes, this was in the late 1800s when he created this and they were still doing surgery with no anesthesia and doing bloodletting.
That does not sound awesome. That sounds horrible.
I traveled to Russia in the 1990s and worked on medical projects over there. They still had a lot of that going on in Russia back then. They would freeze people in ice baths and then do surgery, and then slowly warm them back up again because they didn’t always have access to anesthesia. In other countries, other than ours here and some third-world countries, they still have medicine that’s very ancient like that.
Osteopathy came about and became very successful. They would specialize and take extra training in things like visceral manipulation, craniosacral therapy, and the like. All of these different types of massage go on and on and then they have specialties like a special type of massage for women who are pregnant to help them because things change a lot during pregnancy.
There is a lot of pain involved and hormonal changes. There are therapists that are specially trained to help women who are pregnant. There are therapists that are trained for helping people that have cancer. There are more advanced forms of massage therapy like Rolfing. Ida Rolf was the one who created it in Boulder, Colorado.
Her partner in this endeavor was a woman named Judith Aston. After Ida’s death, Judith created a more gentle form of Rolfing. It’s Rolfing without the physical pain that you’re talking about. It was more energetic but it was also based on the structure of your body. Where are your muscles contracted? How is it twisting you? Why is your back going over this way?
It’s like a furthering of the Civil War guy’s idea.
Much farther. It became extremely popular and effective. It helped a lot with emotional release too. That was something that went along with the pain of Rolfing because they would massage you hard and you would break out crying and have emotional releases. They were trying to make you better. I got to study with Judith Aston and learned Aston massage. They call it Aston Therapeutics.
Massage Therapy: Rolfing Massage helps a lot with emotional release because they would really massage you hard. You would break out crying to make you feel better.
It was an old technique for helping people align their bodies with a specific type of massage, energy, and measurement. There’s also another type of massage that was developed locally in Pinellas County. They call it Neuromuscular Therapy. The St. John-Clark Pain Center, where Paul St. John and his business associate’s last name is Clark along with their staff, developed this great therapeutic technique.
Paul was a man who was in extreme pain himself from a helicopter accident in Vietnam. Everything he tried wouldn’t get him out of pain so he started doing lots of study of all the different types of physical therapy, osteopathy, and massage. He created a unique combination at the St. John-Clark Center, which people now travel from all over the world to come there when their pain won’t go away in any other type of practice.
It’s neuromuscular massage or neuromuscular therapy. Other people have developed similar techniques. Paul St. John was able to get out of pain by teaching other people how to do what he discovered than to practice on him. He got rid of his pain and was able to walk straight up. He’s very healthy now.
That’s a local guy you said. That’s cool.
Paul’s a major influence in the world of PEMF technology as well. He’s a very good person.
Now we’re going to talk about some of the benefits.
The main point is to try to relax your contracted muscles. In the case of St. John’s technique and Judith Aston’s technique, it also gets your body aligned properly. It’s very important that the natural alignment of your body where your knee joint is over the top of your ankle joint. If something gets out of whack, it affects your entire kinetic chain. Sometimes people have pain in their shoulders and it’s caused by their left foot.
It’s funny you said that. I was listening to The Foot People or The Foot Joy, I don’t remember, but they were talking about insoles. One of the ladies goes, “I was talking to this guy and he didn’t know that it could be his foot that’s causing his back pain.” He gets on and he gives this testimony. He’s like, “I swear I couldn’t believe but it was my foot. As soon as I did this, it was a million times better.”
I had that myself several years ago. I started getting severe pain in my right hip and had my interior cruciate ligament removed when I was seventeen due to an accident. I had a friend that said, “That right hip thing is probably from your feet.” He looked at my feet and he was like, “Your feet got flat,” which I’m not surprised. I played basketball barefoot for about ten years on concrete and hardwood floors. He said, “That’s affecting your knee, which is affecting your hip.” He gave me these special symmetry orthotics. I put them in and they reshape your feet to the shape they were in before. I have them in now too.
Those are the ones you got my dad.
That worked for me. The next day, the pain in my hip went away.
I believe that but you told me that because your foot is not used to it. You have to use them a little bit at a time, and then stop and take them out, and the next day, do a little more. If not, it causes too much of a correction too quickly, which can happen with massage too. You can massage too quickly and you can release something too quickly.
Some of the benefits of these different types of massage are increased flexibility and range of motion. When I went from my massage, one of the things they did was stretch out my hips because I told you my lower back was tight so she could feel that. She took my hip and pulled my leg backwards and bend it to the left like a figure four leg lock, but in reverse. It felt like Rick Flair got me.
It also helps with backaches but also headaches and impinged shoulders. A lot of people these days are working hunched over with their arms out and their necks bent over. You end up with your head forward. What happens is the muscles underneath your trachea get contracted. Quite often, an effective massage for the back of your neck or your shoulders is to move your trachea aside by pushing on it, and then they’ll massage those muscles that are underneath, which the therapist at St. John Center can do. They’ll move it from side to side. It’s a little disconcerting but very effective.
That’s how you know it’s a real massage.
Another big thing is sleep. People tend to sleep better when they get good massages.
The day I got it, I have to admit I had some intense REM dreams.
We know that from the sleep episode that we’ve done and all the benefits of good sleep and what that means for a person. That wasn’t the only thing it did. It helps enhance your immune system because your lymph is going to be moving better. It helps with your elimination and circulation.
I was talking to the person at the massage place about that because sometimes if I’m having a hard time going to the bathroom, I rub this place right on my back and it releases almost everything in my body. I’m like, “I can go to the bathroom now.” She said, “That’s real. There’s a spot right on there. It’s like a trigger point.”
Elimination is a combination of involuntary and voluntary muscles. An involuntary muscle can get impinged or it can have too much or too little nerve supply. The touch in the right place can reestablish the release with a little bit of tension.
We’re talking about pooping people. It’s okay. Everyone Poops was my favorite book as a kid. I read it to my daughter every night.
Sometimes, massage helps you do it better. The other thing is, in this day and age, you can go into any type of big box retail store or certain stores at the mall and you can buy massage therapy technology.
I got one of these guns.
Those work well. You also can get a special massage thing that you can wrap around your neck.
Chrissy got an electric stim one. It’s got these two little gold pads. I thought it was a headset when it came. I put it on my head and turned it on. It zapped my head and I was like, “What the heck is that?” He’s like, “No, it’s supposed to go right here,” and it releases all the tension in the muscles. It was cool.
I did get the ones that go around your back with a belt. You can buy a whole chair to lie in and get a massage.
My Aunt Jean survived throat cancer. One of the things they told her to help with her circulation was to get a massage chair. Aunt Jean’s got a little bit of money. I went there and in the corner of her house, it looked like she had one of those big black chairs in the mall or the one you go to when you get your nails done, a manicure or a pedicure, or whatever. She was like, “Go ahead and check it out.” I was like, “Yes, please.” There was no hot tub at the bottom but everything else was there.
Massage, massage therapy, and the like are now a part of our culture. If people need assistance with figuring out where to go to get a massage therapist, if you give us a call at Boomers Forever Young, we can say, “If you’re going to go for a regular massage, great, but what’s going on with you? Is this the thing where you might need a special massage center like the Upledger Institute or The St. John Center? What have you tried so far? Did you know you could go online and search by your zip code for this?” We’ll be happy to guide you along. We’re connected with some of the best types of massage therapy that you can go for.
For Paul St. John, we know Paul.
We can do that. We know the people from Upledger Institute. There’s even one other thing we missed talking about, it’s reflexology. It is basically a therapist that’s strained to massage certain parts of your hands and your feet. They say that if you’re lying on your back and your feet are pointed up, the soul of your foot mirrors the parts of your body. The top part of your toes relay to your sinuses and to your brain, or your eyes.
As you come down, your throat, your heart, and all the way down to the bottom, there are parts that you can massage that will have a benefit on the corresponding part of your body. If you’re going to try to work on your heart, it’s hard to massage your heart because inside your chest. The heart center is on the sole of your foot which can benefit your heart when you massage it. It’s another whole field of massage.
Massage Therapy: It’s hard to massage your chest if you are trying to work on your heart. Instead, you can massage the sole of your foot where the heart center is located.
That’s reflexology. There’s other stuff we’re going to go over because we’re going to make this a series if you guys are reading this. We’re doing one on manual therapies. The first one we’re doing is the benefits of massage therapy. Check out more. I wanted to tell anybody who’s reading this, if you want to take part in any of these conversations, you can join and follow Bob at @RobertGilpatrick on TikTok. If you guys want to know more about our show, go to BoomerBoost.com and look for the Live Forever Young Radio or LFYR section. We have over 70 shows now.
We also have a lot of other videos and blog posts.
We have self-care episodes, blogs, and recipes that use some of our products. One of our products is Heirloom Barley. If you haven’t used this one, it’s very similar to Gladiator, but with a little less protein. It’s good to mix with high-protein things. Take this with collagen so you don’t get too much. This is a good show.
For people reading this, we want to say thank you for reading. We’ll see you in the next episode.