- You have been waiting for this all year, and it’s FINALLY time. Golf season is here! You have prepared by cleaning your golf shoes, wiping down your clubs, and restocking your bag with a fresh supply of balls. You’ve gathered a few pals and are ready to OWN your tee time. However, have you made sure your body is primed and ready golf season? If you haven’t given thought to preparing your back, knees, and arms for handling your power swing, now’s the time.Over 80% of professional golfers and 60% amateur golfers sustain an injury at one point in their career (bruised egos aside). Here’s the kicker: these injuries caused wanna-be-players to be out of commission for an average of 5 weeks. Yikes – that’s a huge chunk of golf season to be kept off the green.Luckily for you, there are a few things you can do to help prepare your body for golf season, lower your risk for injury, and enjoy as much time as possible on the course.
- Make an appointment at Elements Massage® now, and then schedule a few more sessions throughout the summer. If you haven’t put massage on your short list of things to do before golfing, you definitely should. One study found that of golfers who sustained an injury while golfing, over a third reported a hurt lower back, and another third reported a hurt elbow. Getting regular massages can increase the range of motion and improve the flexibility of your muscles. Massage also promotes healthy circulation, which can improve the fluidity of your muscles. And, if you’ve got an injury from last year’s golf season, it’s especially important to get any residual knots and kinks worked out. When strained, muscles tend to bunch up to “protect” an injured area. Making sure your back and joints are in their best possible form before you hit the greens will lower your chances for injury.
- Prepare with planks. In golf, you rely so much on core strength. It’s the twisting and power from your core that can make or break your swing. As long as your doctor agrees, we recommend training for golf season with front and side planks. Aside from working the stomach, oblique, and back muscles of your core, planks also strengthen your glutes, quads and shoulders. For a front plank, rest your body weight on your elbows and toes, each being shoulder-width apart. Your body should be in a straight line, with no peaked or sagging bottom. For a side plank, you’ll prop up on one elbow on your side, and rest your weight on the side of your foot and one elbow, your body again in a straight line. Aim for a couple sessions of 30-second planks to start, and then build your time to holding each plank for a minute or more.
- Warm up and stretch. Arrive 20 minutes early, and take a lap or two around the parking lot or neighborhood. Add in a few minutes of swinging and circling your arms, and then stretch. Make sure you stretch your back, neck, shoulders, and hamstrings. Hold each stretch gently for a count of 10-15 seconds. Not only will limbering up lower your risk for game time injury, but it may give you an edge over your buddies.
- A new study looked at the use of Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM)—specifically, acupuncture, aromatherapy, art therapy, guided imagery, healthy food, humor therapy, massage therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, reiki and stress management—among U.S. hospital inpatients.The study of attitudes toward CAM therapies took place in the University of California, San Diego, Healthcare System, with 100 patients participating. Both male and female subjects were enrolled in the study, with ages ranging from 19 to 95.Most Helpful CAM Therapies“Inpatients were asked which CAM therapies they perceived as being potentially the most helpful, their willingness to pay for those therapies, and their perceived beliefs regarding the use of those therapies,” stated an article titled “Inpatients’ Preferences, Beliefs, and Stated Willingness to Pay for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments,” published in January in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.Results showed that hospital inpatients view healthy food (85 percent), massage therapy (82 percent) and humor therapy (70 percent) to be the most helpful. The therapies the patients said they are most willing to pay for, according to the article, are healthy food (71 percent), massage therapy (70 percent) and stress management (48 percent).When asked about the benefits they thought they would receive from CAM treatments and therapies, subjects identified relaxation (88 percent), increased well-being (86 percent) and increased overall satisfaction with their stay in the hospital (85 percent).“This study suggests that CAM services may be a beneficial addition to hospitals, as demonstrated by inpatients’ interest and stated willingness to pay for these services,” the authors noted.“These findings may help organizational leaders when making choices regarding the development of CAM services within hospitals, particularly since a significant percentage of inpatients reported that CAM services would increase their overall satisfaction with the hospitalization.”Source: Montross-Thomas, Lori P.; Meier, Emily A.; Reynolds-Norolahi, Kimberly; Raskin, Erin E.; Slater, Daniel; Mills, Paul J.; MacElhern, Lauray; and Kallenberg, Gene. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. January 2017. doi:10.1089/acm.2016.0288.VIA: Karen Menehan is MASSAGE Magazine’s editor in chief.
- The word sauna is of Finnish origin. It is a mode of sweat bathing which requires frequent cooling off. The Finnish, however, did not invent this pleasant form of bathing. Sweat bathing has been popular in cultures around the world for centuries due, among other reasons, to the fact that far less water is required, compared to a traditional bath.In the 20th century, the sauna gained wider notoriety from the success of Finnish athletes in the 1924 Summer Olympic Games. Despite the great heat during those games, Finnish athletes incorporated sauna bathing as part of their training regimen and did remarkably well in the distance running events.Initially a source of fascination for athletes, the sauna has quickly gained a foothold in public and private gyms, fitness studios, wellness centers, and even clinics and spa centers.Athletes saw sauna bathing as a way to recover and promote regeneration, but everyone can benefit from the stabilizing effects on their health. Sauna bathing is characterized by dry heat, followed by cooling off, and repeated in this cycle two or three times during a session.The dry air and high temperatures in a sauna cabin distinguish the sauna remarkably from other forms of warm air bathing, such as steam rooms. A hybrid of the sauna that has developed with modern technology is a form of bathing known as the Sanarium™, also referred to as the soft sauna or bio sauna. The Sanarium™ offers many forms of bathing to suit personal taste. The Sanarium™ transforms one sauna into 5 different types of sauna bath by offering climates such as a: classical traditional sauna, warm air bath, tropical bath, aroma bath, or soft steam bath.The Sanarium™ automatically adjusts the humidity and temperature for each of these different forms of bathing through a preset menu in the sauna control.Many people find the mild heat or humid environments more pleasant than a dry hot sauna. For people with dry skin or membrane problems in particular, the climate options of the Sanarium™ programs are often more beneficial.Whether you are an athlete or not, sweat bathing, or the gentler Sanarium™ programs, can be a pleasant and therapeutic experience for any wellness area. Courtesy of: Matt Williamson, Design for Leisure
- When built using modern methods and technology as discussed in our recent article, Hydrothermal areas in wet spa facilities can involve a significant investment. This investment can provide equally significant returns; however, there are barriers to overcome with owners and operators who traditionally view these facilities as a free-use amenity type of model.We would like to offer an alternative approach to how wet spa areas can become revenue generating centers using an example based on a destination type of hydrothermal spa facility, with male and female gender segregated areas that include: Sauna, Steam room, Laconium, Igloo or ice chamber, Foot spa, Cool-down showers, Hydrotherapy pool or Relaxation lounge.This type of facility size allows 2,500 square feet per gender, 5,000 square feet total, including circulation space, but excluding locker rooms or treatment areas.How much would a facility like this cost?Using a model of 5,000 square feet, designed and installed, with all technology and the hydrothermal features built, ready to receive finishes, consider the following sums:◾5,000 sq ft @ $400/sq ft = $2,000,000.00 ◾18,500 sq ft of finishes @ $50/sq ft = $1,000,000.00 ◾Grand Total = $3,000,000These figures exclude any building services or infrastructure which would be necessary to support a space, whatever it is used for.How is this investment returned?2,500 square feet of gender-segregated space will easily support 60 guests at any one time. Assume that 20 men and 20 women would be visiting the hydrothermal areas of the spa every 4 hours of a 12 hour operating day. The average charge for using such facilities at a luxury property could be $55, but for the purpose of this exercise we are going to work on a lesser model with a $40 facility fee.◾20 men + 20 women = 40 guests x $40 = $1,600 ◾Guest turnover @ 3 times a day x $1,600 = $4,800 a day ◾Allowing 360 days a year in operation = $1,728,000 income per year ◾Payback period of 21 months!What about overheads?Staffing levels for hydrothermal facilities are very low. There are no expensive therapists to staff, just attendants keeping the facility clean. At 35% of income, overheads would reduce the payback period to 32 months. A higher overhead at 50% of income would reduce the payback period to 42 months or 3.5 years. Given an average life expectancy of at least 12 years for a well-maintained facility, a hydrothermal facility will show a significant return on the initial investment over its lifetime, even while charging a modest facility usage fee of $40 per guest.The facility usage fee will more often than not be the lowest cost item on the spa menu. This entrance fee also serves as a unique way to get new guests into the spa, providing a captive opportunity to up sell guests on other treatments, services and products.Courtesy of: Matt Williamson, Design for Leisure