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Yard Work, Muscles Strains and Raindrops

Back pain from too much yard workBirds are chirping, the sun is brighter and yard work is waiting for you. Working your hands through the soil is reinvigorating. Transplanting small trees and annuals gives you a sense of accomplishment. Reconnecting to Mother Earth is rewarding, until you reach, lift or bend one too many times.

During strenuous exercise, you are creating tiny tears in your muscle fibers. As your body tries to repair the damaged cells, you are left with painful inflammation. Icing your muscles may bring down the inflammation, but your muscles still need to be repaired by your body.

Massage therapy has been found to promote cell recovery and lessen inflammation – shortening the time it takes for your muscles to repair. *According to a study published in Science Transitional Medicine, researchers found that when the damaged muscle was massaged after strenuous activity, there was a reduction of inflammation and promotion of mitochondrial biogenesis (cell repair). "… massage can suppress inflammation and actually enhance cell recovery," said the study's co-author, Mark Tarnopolsky, MD.

Raindrop Therapy

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$55 per session.

Regular price $70

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Your massage can be enhanced by Raindrop Therapy, provided by Main Street Massage Therapy, in Ann Arbor. Raindrop Therapy combines three forms of bodywork to bring your body balance: aromatherapy, vita flex and back and foot massage.

Starting with the drop of an essential oil, just inches above your back, your body will begin its journey to swiftly repairing itself. As the oil is worked along your spine and into your back muscles, it is absorbed into your bloodstream. This allows for deep penetration into the tissues – offering you almost immediate results. Depending on your unique needs, you may choose essential oils to provide your muscles with: relaxation, pain relief, warmth, cooling, reduced inflammation and reduced bruising.

The healing essential oils are worked into your muscles through vita flex, a safe, pressure-point reflexive massage technique. This technique uses rolling motions to activate energy within your body, allowing your body to balance and repair itself.

The last part of Raindrop Therapy is a back and foot massage using a feather stroke technique.

Turning to Pills (Pharmaceuticals)

After strenuous exercise, taking a pill may temporarily alleviate pain and inflammation for you, but it won't enhance your body's recovery. Massage therapy, especially combined with essential oils, is a safe and healthy alternative to pharmaceuticals.

According to Dr. Tarnopolsky, massage works differently from Nsaids and other anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce inflammation and pain but may actually slow healing. "There's some theoretical concern that there is a maladaptive response in the long run if you're constantly suppressing inflammation with drugs," he said. "With massage, you can have your cake and eat it too — massage can suppress inflammation and actually enhance cell recovery."

This Spring, reconnect with Mother Nature by digging in your yard and relaxing your muscles with Raindrop Therapy from Mainstreet Massage Therapy.

*Sci Transl Med 1 February 2012: Vol. 4, Issue 119, p. 119ra13, Sci. Transl. Med. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002882