Ask Chuck: What does Swedish massage and Vitamin K have in common?

By Charles Colson
Oct. 31, 2013 at 5:31 a.m.

I know that you massage therapists are trained in several different methods of massage techniques. Would you mind explaining what Swedish massage actually entails? I am interested in just the most simplest of methods.

Excellent question. We are asked this quite often and find that most people are desiring a simple, relaxing technique. It is the most commonly used and the benefits are quite phenomenal for the well-being of our bodies.

In one of my favorite magazines, Massage Today, I have found the most educational article that brings it down to earth so we can easily comprehend it. It talks of the health effects of Swedish massage.

According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all adults with high blood pressure are women. A recent study found that Swedish massage significantly reduced blood pressure, heart rate and vascular endothelial adhesion in hypertensive women. Sorry, I did say down to earth, didn't I?

Swedish massage is defined as using five styles of long, flowing strokes. The first of the five basic strokes is effleurage, which is sliding and gliding movements.

Another stroke is petrissage, which is similar to kneading; then there is tapotement, known as rhythmic tapping, often used on the back of legs, shoulders and lightly on the lower back area. Last are cross fiber friction and vibration techniques.

The study showed great results, using Swedish massage with men and women who had hypertension. And just think, without taking any medication. The study consisted of having a Swedish massage once a week for four weeks.

Wouldn't that make terrific Christmas gifts for him or her? This, coupled with daily exercise, would certainly bring exuberance to anyone's body and think of how healthy we could become. During my massage treatments, I make sure that easy listening music is included.

Can you feel the benefits yet? I bet I don't even have to ask, right? Swedish massage is the therapy that is never supposed to hurt. So always remind your favorite therapist you only need a comfortable, relaxing and soothing massage.

And you can now prove how educated you are on the subject by mentioning the different strokes above. That might just blow them away.

Charles, I have heard rumblings for years about the benefits of vitamin K. Is there really anything to this?

Oh, definitely, yes. Again, from my favorite magazine mentioned above, there happened to be an extremely educational article on the power of vitamin K. It was written by Dr. James Meschino, who mentions how vitamin K helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease and is administered intravenously by some integrative medical doctors who combine it with high doses of vitamin C in cancer treatments.

He goes on to say how the original understanding of vitamin K involves its established role as a coenzyme in specific reactions required for the synthesis of several clotting factors. In fact, drugs, such as Warfarin, work by limiting the ability of vitamin K to synthesize clotting proteins. This happens because this type of drug acts as a blood thinner.

Now, if you are not confused enough, just think about this. There are then three types of vitamin K, such as K1, K2 and K3. At this point, I believe we need to consult our doctors for further advise on which type of vitamin K is essential for our conditions. These vitamins are quite powerful and offer powerful results for our good health.

So what do vitamin K and Swedish massages have in common? It appears that the two are quite essential for our bodies to retain a perfect check and balance system to maintain the best of health.

Don't forget to add this to your favorite list of vitamins. You'll be glad you did.

I was recently hurt in a car accident. Do massage therapists work with people under these conditions?

Most definitely. A massage therapist can be great help for you emotionally and with muscle pain. I have worked with attorneys and insurance companies for the client's behalf. This allows the client to receive massage therapy treatments without payment at the time of service.

Many insurance companies now have recognized the beneficial effects of this type of therapy. Massage therapy blends perfectly with physical therapy and chiropractic treatments.

As a last resort, a massage adds the finishing touch and has been deemed many times as the icing on the cake. Never rule this therapy out if your goal is to become healthier.

Charles Colson is a local hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to or call 361-575-5331.



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