Author: Darcy Doggett (page 1 of 3)

Research- A new muscle discovered!

quadriceps new muscle tensor vastus intermedius TVI

Researchers in Switzerland identify a new muscle called the tensor of vastus intermedius or TVI

A new muscle discovered? As a licensed massage therapist, I am a muscle specialist, but also an anatomy geek and a research nerd. Always combing the halls of the Massage Therapy Foundation and PubMed for the latest research studies, I am always surprised by how much we still have to learn about how the human body works. In the upcoming article to be published in the journal Clinical Anatomy, researchers in Switzerland have found a new muscle – tensor vastus intermedius- in the quadriceps! (This means we will have to change the name of the muscle group.- Quinticeps? )

The quadriceps femoris is traditionally described as a muscle group composed of the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and deep to rectus femoris, the vastus intermedius. The researchers have found a second tensor-like muscle between the vastus lateralis and the vastus intermedius, hereafter named the tensor vastus intermedius. (TVI)

How did they find it? During the dissection of twenty-six lower limbs, special attention was paid to the nerves and blood vessels attached in this area. All muscles were traced separately from their origin to their insertion. In all twenty-six, a TVI was found, supplied by its own nerve and artery branches and merging separately into the quadriceps tendon into the medial aspect of the the patella – inner side of the kneecap. There are variations between subjects. In fact, four different variations were found during the study. It begins at the upper part of the femur between the insertions of the vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius and continues down the leg mainly as a thin tendon before joining the quadriceps tendon and ultimately attaching via the patellar tendon below your kneecap onto the tibia.

What does this mean for your massage or your workout? Not a whole lot. It’s always been there. You’re not going to notice a difference as this new muscle is likely unable to be differentiated from the surrounding tissue with palpation, but I always find it fascinating when researchers discover something new in the body. Just like this previous blog post about the recently discovered lymphatic system in the brain.

For more information read the abstract on PubMed here:

Grob, K., Ackland, T., Kuster, M., Manestar, M., & Filgueira, L. (2016). A newly discovered muscle: The tensor of the vastus intermedius. Clin. Anat. Clinical Anatomy, 29(2), 256-263.

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Couple’s massage: A shared experience in relaxation.

A candlelit room with side by side massage tables for a shared experience in relaxation!

A candlelit room with side by side massage tables for a shared experience in relaxation!

What did you do last year for Valentine’s Day? Was it dinner and a movie again? Take-out and Netflix? That sounds to me like it could be any other day – which Valentine’s Day is not.

Valentine’s day is holiday that celebrates the love we feel for those closest to us – our significant others, our family members, our best friends, even ourselves.

From my experience, one of the best ways to really celebrate togetherness – to really get in touch with the love you feel for someone close to you – is to participate a couples massage together.

In fact, couples massage has been shown to provide these great benefits for any duo:

It can boost oxytocin levels, making you feel warmer emotions towards your massage partner. For romantic couples, this might mean a couples massage makes you feel more enamoured towards each other; for best friends, your platonic feelings of love might feel intensified by the end of your session.

Plenty of research has shown that people who do new things together have stronger, healthier relationships. If you’ve never tried massage or couples massage, this might be a great way to bring a spark into your relationship!

Getting a massage with someone you trust can make the entire massage experience feel more relaxing overall. By the end of the massage, you and your massage partner will both feel more calm and bonded because you’ve experienced the entire process together.

If you’ve always done the same thing for Valentine’s day, trying out couples massage might be a new great way to show appreciation to someone you love! Please give us a call at 973-744-1576 to schedule your couple’s massage.

 

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What is Sports Massage?

Sports and Massage Therapy go hand in hand. Long before the popularity of relaxation massage, athletes such as runners and football players incorporated sports massage as part of their training regimens. Most athletes and weekend warriors agree sports massage feels great after a race or workout, but scientists have been challenged to show why.

Debunking the myths… Massage does not remove toxins from your muscles nor does it remove lactic acid. There is no physiological system in the body for this to happen using sports massage techniques.  Today, this folklore stills pervades the industry.  Ask five massage therapists ” What is Sports Massage?” and you will likely get five different answers. At our office, we consider sports massage to fall into a few different areas. Pre- and Post-Event massage and well as possibly during an event or game is one category. Another area would be recovery sports massage. Perhaps a day or two after an event, a massage session can aid in your recovery. Rehabilitative sports massage is helping an athlete “recover” after an injury. So what does sports massage do for athletic recovery? Check out this article from Runner’s World magazine discussing  The Pros and Cons of Massage for Runners .

Let’s talk techniques… Are there specific sports massage techniques? Again the answer will vary with who you ask, but here’s what we think. Oftentimes, you will see Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Massage listed together on a brochure as if they are interchangeable. We consider sports massage not so much about specific techniques as it is knowing different sports and the kinesiology behind those sports. What muscles are used by a tennis player versus a swimmer versus a runner? What are the movements that the athlete does during the sport? Consider the different muscles a cyclist uses to propel their bike up a hill compared to a swimmer using the butterfly stroke.  Sports Massage is Massage Therapy for Athletes.  Deep tissue techniques could be used during a rehabilitative session, but pre- or post-event, a therapist will be using compression, jostling, stretching and other techniques to warm the tissue and loosen up the muscles so the athlete conserves their own energy for the competition.

Volunteering all weekend for post-event Sports Massage on the Walkers.

Volunteering all weekend for post-event Sports Massage on the Walkers at the NYC Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

With this beautiful summer weather that we’ve been having, we are seeing tons of sports injuries in our office. Runners can get stress fractures to the feet which will affect the entire body during injury recovery. If you are wearing a boot or using crutches, expect some compensation in other areas of your body. Having a customized therapeutic recovery sports massage can help work out those imbalances in your hips, low back and upper body. Patti Sklar and Darcy Doggett recently completed an another advanced training in releasing the psoas muscle– a key muscle for many sports including golf. Check out our previously post on the illiopsoas muscle here

Running with an injury and tight muscles can change your stride and eventually throw off your whole body – sidelining your running. Our therapists have extensive experience working with professional athletes, weekend warriors, committed CrossFit athletes, and those just trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. Committing to a regular sports massage routine as part of your training program can help keep you on track.

 Training for the New York Marathon? Ask about our discounted packages to keep you on the road.

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