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Proprioceptors: Boost Your Massage Therapy Business With Cutting Edge Knowledge

Feb 8, 2008
As a massage therapist there are certain things that you need to know about the human body that enable you to effectively do your job. Other things that you can learn about anatomy and physiology will take your massage practice to the next level. Taking the time to educate yourself about the body and learning the intricate functions of the body will help you be a better massage therapist and you will show your clients that you are indeed an expert in the massage therapy industry and you have taken the time to further your education and be the best massage therapist that you can be for them.

Traditional Massage Therapy Schools do not teach these advanced massage therapy techniques.

Proprioceptors

Proprioceptors are sensory nerve endings that send information to the brain about the angle of joints, length of muscles and muscle tension. All of this information is brought together to tell the body about the position of a limb so that even with the eyes closed the body knows just where that limb is and what it is doing. Muscle spindles and Golgi tendon organs are both proprioceptors. Muscle spindles send information on the changes of the length of the muscle while Golgi tendon organs send information on the changes of the tension of the muscle.

Stretch Reflex

The stretch reflex is a protective measure that the body takes to prevent a muscle from stretching too much. It is an involuntary reaction by the nerves that make the muscle contract when it has been overextended or stretched too far. If you stretch your muscles too far, neural impulses are sent through your body to the muscle that is being overstretched and that muscle automatically contracts. In the stretch reflex, the muscle actually tightens which creates a situation where your muscles are doing the opposite of what you are trying to get them to do.

Proprioceptors and Stretch Reflex as a System

Proprioceptors and the stretch reflex actually work together as a system to protect the body. The stretch reflex is the result of a proprioceptor. One set monitors the length of the muscle and the other monitors the tension of the muscle. They work together to keep the body from becoming injured. This intricate system works to make the human body a highly functional machine. There is a sort of push and pull mechanism at work, but the push protects against the pull and vice versa.

What do these mean to your Massage Therapy Training?

When you have a deep understanding of how the human body works, you can begin to use that knowledge to reach your clients in a manner that many other massage therapists can not. Understanding how the proprioceptors work and when they will work will help you in the stretching stage of a massage. You will understand that when you work a muscle and stretch it, when it reaches its maximum stretch it will automatically contract. That is why when you lie on your back and stretch your hamstrings, once you reach your maximum stretch your leg is no longer straight, it involuntarily contracts and bends. When you have mastered this concept, you will be much more effective and your massage therapy education will show.
About the Author
Robert C. Vignoli has been a massage therapist for over 10 years and is an expert in cutting edge massage therapy techniques. He currently co-owns Roman Paradigm Massage, but now he is helping to improve the massage industry by building a "hands off" massage business model. MassageSpace.net is the new MySpace for Massage Therapist, learn more @ http://www.think-diagonal.com
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