Gabriela Menyhart

Integrative Massage Health Blog

June 10th, 2013
June 10th, 2013

    Muscle Energy Technique

    Gentle, effective, and amazing for joint pain relief

    Back pain relief
    Back pain relief
    As a massage therapist I am often associated with just muscles but in fact massage therapists can work on any part of the body as long as our tools are our hands.  I strongly believe in striving to be the best massage therapist possible and that includes taking holistic approach to the body and including joint assessment/treatment as well.  There are many ways of treating joints, including chiropractic, and I want to share with you my passion for muscle energy technique as my favourite way of working on joints.

    What is muscle energy technique:

    • As implied by the name it is a technique that uses the strength of the muscles around the joint to release the restriction of the joint and bring the bones back into proper alignment.  

    • In muscle energy technique it is believed that the muscles around the joint are not working effectively and can't get the joint to work properly.  Some are too weak and some muscles are too strong.  

    • My job is to find which way the joint can not move and gently move you into a position to where we want the joint to move to release.  I then guide you to push in a specific direction with very little strength for a few seconds to balance the muscles around the joint.  This is repeated a couple times and then I reasses to make certain things are moving properly again.  Now the muscles are equally strong and the joint is moving as it should.

    When is it right for you:

    This technique is effective for many different conditions.  
    • Neck, back, pelvic injuries
    • Pre-post pregnancy
    • Muscle weakness
    • Maintenance
    • Prevent injuries during increased activity like house labour and sports
    • Uncomfortable or to sensitive for high-velocity adjustments

    Experience it for yourself:

    I already practice this technique in my daily work but if this is new to you and you'd like to experiencing muscle energy then I am glad to add a bonus 15min to your massage treatment for free.

    Just email or call Harmony to book your next massage treatment and experience the benefits of muscle energy technique!!

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    June 1st, 2013
    June 1st, 2013

      Special Happy Father's Day Blog

      PS: Massage Gift Certificate to The Rescue!

      A big happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!  Taking care of kids is a lot of work mentally and physically so this article is dedicated to tips on taking care of your body.  

      Massage Therapy Gift Certificate

      Perfect Solution for the Hard to Buy Dad

      Tired of your dad or husband complaining about wanting massages and your hands getting tired?

      Treat your dad to a great massage treatment for all his aches and tight muscles.  

      Contact me and I'll be glad to send you a massage therapy gift certificate by email, snail mail or picked up directly at Harmony Wellness Centre.

      Email me:  info@integrativemassagetreatments
      Or call
      Harmony Wellness: 604-737-7721

      Self-Care Tips for Dads Young and Old

      Whether you're in your twenties or in your eighties the basic of staying healthy are universal.  But with ever age there are gradually differences strains and injuries that are more likely then others.  Here are a few I hope will help the dad in every home.

      20's - 30's

      Minimise Injuries

      In youth the body recovers quickly and the impact of how the injury can affect your life isn't considered.  Here are tips to help decrease your injury at 25 from giving you grief at 45.

      • Get therapy: don't ignore that sprained ankle or whiplash pain.  Problems such as scar tissue can develop or increased chances to early osteoarthritis in your joints.  Seeing a therapist can help to clear inflammation, smoothen out scar tissue and release restrictions around joints that could lead to unnecessary wear and tear between two bones rubbing each other.

      • Down time: just because your mind wants to keep doing things doesn't mean your body can right away.  If you get a mild concussion your brain is very vulnerable to further bruising from more head impacts.  You may not feel the problems in the now but it's worth considering what your problems will be down the road.

      40's - 60's

      Keep the Body Moving

      As we get older the connective tissue that surrounds our entire body starts to tighten up, disks start to shrink and if you have a 9-5 desk job the lack of movement results in imbalances in your skeletal and visceral systems.

      • Happy Joints: moving your joints allows them to be mobile and lubricated.  Did you know being seated long hours is more pressure on your spine then standing?  Finding activities you like is the best way to keep your body moving.  Swimming is excellent because there is minimal pressure on your joints.  If you play sports like basketball/golf warm up your spine such as flexing/extending your spine so if you have a stiff joint you don't suddenly hurt yourself because the joint couldn't move when you needed it to.

      • Muscle Strengthening:   as most people know the moment you don't use your muscles they start to lose their tonicity.  Getting into the habit of having healthy muscle tone will help you keep up the lifestyle you enjoyed in your youth.  Kinesiologists and athletic therapists can help to assess what muscles need to strengthen and how most effectively.

      70's - 90's

      Enjoying Life

      Injuries at this age can be difficult to recover from and you deserve to enjoy life instead of spending lengthy periods of time trying to regain wellness.

      • Balance: avoiding injuries is the first step and keeping a strong sense of balance is the best way to do this.  Start simple and easy.  Stand on one foot with your hand leaning for support against a wall.  Slowly start to bend your knee and come towards the ground.  Watch that your knee doesn't move farther in front then your ankle.  Repeat this 10X and then do your other foot.  This is a general exercise so assess whether this is right for you and consult with a therapist to see how you can do this exercise best for your needs.

      Best Tip:
        most of the time we don't do exercises because they don't interest us.  Find something you like or something you've been meaning to try that can help keep you fit.  Whether it be joining an after hours soccer league to get keep up the cardio or road cycling to keep the leg joints loose.

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      May 20th, 2013
      May 20th, 2013

        Hikes, health and pain free fun!

        Snow is melting and going prepared for the outdoors is worth it.

        Enjoying the outdoors!

        The time to get out and put on our hiking shoes have arrived but do you know what you can do to avoid or minimize sore muscles, stiff joints and blistered feet?  A few little tips to help make sure the only thing you bring home are beautiful pictures and not sore shoulders.  

        Blister free feet!

        Right hiking shoes.
        This is the first and most important step you can make to avoid blisters.  First don't pick your boots based on the fanciest, most expensive model but instead pick the most comfortable shoes.  Wear them at home and on short walks to break the shoes in before long trips always.  Don't be surprised if it takes a couple hikes before they are really comfortable

        Avoid wearing cotton socks and instead use socks from natural fibers.  Some people also try wearing two pairs of socks with the inner sock being a liner.  You can also purchase moleskin to protect areas that are prone to friction.
        REI video on liner socks.

        Happy knees!

        If you have never used trekking poles you don't realise the amount of force they absorb and save from stressing your knee joints.  Apparently trekking poles can ake between 10 & 18 pounds off the lower body with each stride.  The slight extra strain on your upper body is worth it.

        Here is an article on Mountain Equipment Co-op that talks about trekking poles:

        MEC Knee article

        Knee pain can be caused by a variety of reasons.  Imbalance in weak/tight leg muscles, uneven gait and arthritis.  If you have arthritis it is hard to completely get knee pain relief but remember to put cold on your knees at the end of the hike to diminish swelling.  Here is a page on Livestrong that gives some great exercises to avoid knee pain from an imbalance in quadricep tightness.
        Knee exercise tips

        Happy Spine

        Yoga Moves
        Even if you are not a fan of yoga don't worry these are easy moves you can do without having to be in a studio to help keep your back loose and decrease muscle soreness.

        Cat/Cow:  like a cat you are on the ground on your knees and hands.  Breath in and lift your head up, arch your back down and your tail bone up in the air.  Reverse by breathing out, bring your head down, round your back up and curl your tail bone to the ground.  

        Pigeon pose:  this ia a difficult pose to describe.  This pose really helps with opening up tight hips and is beneficial to do before and after a hike.  If your hips are tight it can easily pull into your back and cause your back to go out.  Here is a link to see the pigeon pose.

        Moist Heat
        Sore muscles prefer heat (cold is for inflammation) but a lot of people don't realise there is a difference between dry and moist heat.  Dry heat from say a hot water bottle is emanates warmth but it doesn't go deep into the body of the muscle.  Warm baths, showers, moist heat packs will give you more pain relief.  

        Need more tips?  Email me any questions you have!

        Hope you have a happy, healthy outdoors experience!
        Gabriela Menyhart RMT

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        May 1st, 2013
        May 1st, 2013

          South Cambie Secret Health Mecca

          Massage Therapists, Acupuncture, Physiotherapy, Pilates, Yoga, Spa

          Harmony Wellness Centre
          Harmony Wellness Centre

          Every Therapy You Can Imagine

          I love my work as a massage therapist and with my years of experience I am quick to tell when massage therapy is what you need or whether a different approach would be more beneficial.  The most important thing is to receive the right treatment for you and I strongly believe in making that happen by referring you to the best.

          Amazingly along 16th and Heather there are tons of great health care therapies available.  Come and explore these great spots that offer both passive and more active forms of treatment!

          Harmony Wellness Centre:

            At Harmony Family Wellness Centre we take a special interest in nurturing and supporting the whole family. All our practitioners have training and experience working with a wide range of disorders whether acute or chronic. We also work closely with pregnant and postpartum women as well as children. We believe that given the right tools, everyone can empower themselves to have a positive, and vibrantly healthy life.

          Vancouver Pilates Centre:

          We are dedicated to providing exceptional movement education in our community, honoring both the tradition and the evolution of the Pilates method to promote whole body health. Our teaching team embraces a cooperative approach to physical learning, with consistent attention and creative exploration stimulating each individual's learning process. We strive to ensure that every student is a reflection of our success, creating a safe environment for transforming the body, informing the mind, and enlivening the spirit.

          Personal Best

          All of the therapists at Personal Best Exercise Therapy have a passion for helping people restore function and live a pain free life. We are integrative in nature, never hesitating to include other health care providers if the client is not responding to treatment. It is this point that makes us so effective. The process that we employ is holistic in nature in that we tend to address the body as a whole unit rather than distinct units.

          Chakra Wellness Centre:

            Chakra Wellness Studio is a unique and sacred space nestled in the heart of a vibrant Vancouver community. We are a holistic yoga company that specializes in private yoga, daily yoga classes, 200hr Teacher Training Certification, Thai yoga massage, chair massage, and Reiki. We offer fair trade and grassroots sustainable yoga products and are the first retailers of the We-Ar Yoga Clothing line in Canada. The teachers and practitioners at Chakra Wellness are welcoming, knowledgeable, and humble.

          A Touch Above:

            Welcome to A TOUCH ABOVE, a neighbourhood beauty oasis nestled between West 16th and West 17th on Heather Street in Vancouver. We believe that looking and feeling your best should not be restricted to an annual indulgence. You deserve more!

          There you go!!!  

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          April 18th, 2013
          April 18th, 2013

            Self-Care Massage Products

            Massage Balls

            These massage balls or those similar to them are ideal for keeping up with regular self-massage to keep tight muscles loose.  The larger white ball is perfect for larger parts of the body (gluts, back) as well as a larger person.  The smaller ball is better for smaller areas (feet, shoulder) and smaller people.  

            Here is a video to demonstrate how to use a massage ball.

            I don't sell these products but you can find them at various fitness stores as well as an RMT Randall Friedman sells them.  Visit his site!

            Foam Roll

            This roll is ideal for very large areas of the body.  Perfect for getting relief for tight IT Band, quads and even rolling you back along it (be careful with your neck).  There are various products like this from higher end to cheaper, plainer rolls.

            Here is a video on youtube.

            This can be found at most fitness stores as well as foam shops.

            More Images

            Massage balls
            Massage balls
            Foam roll
            Foam roll

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            April 7th, 2013
            April 7th, 2013

              Relaxation Massage Workshop: For All Levels of Experience

              Learn how to give a relaxing, safe full-body massage for friends and family.

              • Have you always wanted to be able to give a relaxing massage?
              • Concerned about not wanting to hurt your friend?
              • Curious about what products to use?

              These are common questions asked by many of my clients throughout my 7 years practicing as a registered massage therapist in Vancouver.

              The purpose of this workshop is to help anyone who desires to give a relaxing massage the basic skills including:

              • how to massage the different parts of the body for a full body massage
              • how to use the sheets properly when massaging
              • what products to use when massaging
              • tips on favourite places people like
              • when and where not to massage
              • how to avoid hurting yourself and how to use your body effectively
              • explanation of the different massage techniques and breathing techniques

              Important Information:

              This is my first workshop and it is designed as a trial workshop so participants are aware that this is a learning experience for myself.  As such this workshop is free and I encourage beneficial critical input from those participating.  

              Don't be concerned if you don't have a partner to join you.  If you are comfortable partnering up with someone else I encourage you to join.

              Date: May 19/13
              Time: Still to be decided
              Cost: Free
              Location: Still to be decided.  Most likely near Harmony Wellness Centre on 16th and Heather.
              Provided: You will be provided use of a massage table, sheets and holly oil.  
              Bring: Wear shorts and for the women sports bra (able to unclip in the back).  And ready to have fun and relax!

              Question: email me and I'll be glad to answer all questions you may have.

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              More Items...

              April 2nd, 2013

              Breathing: The Key to Relaxation

              How You're Breathing Wrong and How to Breath Right

              click to view detail
              People are told all the time they are breathing too shallow.  So what does that mean and how do you take a full breath?  Here is a simple summary of how to become aware of what is a shallow breath and how to change it so you can enjoy the benefits of calming your nervous system and relax your neck muscles with deep breathing.
              January 30th, 2013

              Valentines Day Massage Therapy Special

              click to view detail
              Do you want to surprise your partner with a loving massage but you don't know how?  Massages are an excellent gift you can give anytime (especially on Valentines day!).   All you need is a few simple tips.  Still not sure?  Then a massage therapy gift certificate is perfect and your partner can have a fabulous Vancouver valentines massage!
              January 19th, 2013

              Integrative Massage Therapy Blog

              Body, Mind and Spirit

              click to view detail
              Massage Therapy = Food for Your Whole Self
              Massage therapy and how it relates to our body, mind and spirit on an integrative level.  This health blog is designed to share my knowledge of massage therapy and holistic techniques.
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              Is fear keeping you from receiving the therapeutic support your body, mind and spirit can gain from an integrative massage treatment? Your health is worth making the time for massage therapy and your improved well-being is a financial benefit worth considering.
              Gabriela Menyhart, RMT