The warm summer weather is great for ditching your shoes and wearing sandals everywhere. I find flip flop style sandals are very popular with my massage clients, but they may be the primary cause of their foot, knee, hip, and even back pain. Research has shown flip flops alter normal walking gait by forcing the ankle to flex more on heel strike in order to keep the sandal on. There is also a lack of stability through the arch with a flip flop and the small muscles in the foot instinctively contract and tighten. As a result the deep calf muscles engage and sometimes cramp up. With the altered movement pattern the knee, hip and low back take on extra pressure. To combat this flip flop conundrum, I would recommend wearing them only for short periods of time and seeing an RMT for help. Massage is a very effective treatment that helps to release the tight muscles that can become adhered and cause pain. The calves are sensitive areas to massage, but I use myofascial release techniques that are not painful and yet release the trigger points and adhesions. Massage helps restore pain free movement patterns so you can get back out there to run around in the sunshine!
What a fantastic way to take a holiday! I recently travelled to Bucerias in Mexico to take Natale Rao’s Myofascial Release Workshop. From Latin origins myo means muscle, and fascia means covering or band. I spent a week with a small group of RMT’s learning and practicing hands on techniques to facilitate glide between muscular fascia. Basically adhesions can form in between layers of muscles and cause dysfunction and pain, such as IT band syndrome or plantar fascitis. We went over specific techniques for common injuries, all without massage oil or super deep pressure. It was an interesting perspective and I can now incorporate the things we learned into my massage treatments for clients with headaches, low back pain, rotator cuff issues, pelvic/hip misalignment etc. Another bonus of spending a holiday for continuing education was a week of receiving massages!