My rates for new clients have increased by $10 per hour of massage therapy. We now charge the same rates in the office. An hour massage therapy session is now $80. If you were a client of mine before 12/31/16, the old rates of $70 per hour session will apply until 12/31/17. Gift certificate holders will not be charged an extra fee.
Some people refer to massage as a "mini vacation". You feel more relaxed, less stressed, more at ease in your body, and happier to just be. And you wish you could stay there just a little while longer. Here are 12 tips to help you make the most of your next massage session and help those vacation-like benefits last a little longer.
Arrive 5 or 10 minutes early if you need to use the rest room, get a drink, or relax a few extra minutes before your session begins. Sometimes people come in straight from work feeling rushed and stressed. You’ll be able to relax better with a few extra minutes to settle in.
Be on time. If you’re late, your session might have to be cut short because the appointment following yours will need to begin on time.
Silence your cell phone. The best relief from muscle tension, pain, and stress happens when you can allow your nervous system to relax. Massage offices tend to be quiet oases set up with lower lighting, soft music and clean comfortable surroundings for this reason. This is your time, you don’t need any distractions. Then again, neither does the client in the adjacent room, so we’ll ask you to silence your phone anyway.
Tell your massage therapist about any new patterns of stress and tension in your body that you’ve become aware of, so that it can be addressed in your session. If you feel you’ll miss out by having a particular area focused on longer, then consider booking a longer session. Or, ask your therapist if they could touch on other areas briefly -- such as arms, face and feet, for example-- if you’re having most of the session time spent on your back.
Be clean. If you were to come to your appointment covered in perspiration right after a workout, or covered in dirt and grime after working in construction or your garden, this won’t work. It’s better to shower first since perspiration, dirt and grime will interfere with lotions used and the ability to apply any massage techniques effectively. You don’t want all that stuff rubbed back into your pores, and your massage therapist needs to be touching clean skin anyway. When in doubt, shower first. The shower facilities at the gym are only for gym members.
Add aromatherapy, or heat or an ocean stone facial massage to your session. The addition of an essential oil or blend is only $5. Scents such as rose, lavender, orange, mint add an extra measure of pleasantness and relaxation or upliftment to a session. Heated flax pillows warm and relax tense, sore muscles.
Exercise before a massage, rather than after. Unless you’re receiving a quick pre-event massage. Your muscles will be too relaxed for a workout, and you won’t feel the motivation.
Breathe deeply, slowly. You can do this during a massage to bring your mind back from distracting thoughts and to help your muscles relax. You can do this after your massage on the drive home or back to work to help release unnecessary mental, emotional and muscular stress and tension you are holding on to.
Drive the speed limit. You’ve probably noticed that most people seem to be driving too fast anywhere you go. Rather than rushing to get from your massage to “point b”, be aware of the speed limit (we all should be driving it!) and drive calmly. Take some deep breaths. Rushing in our cars from place to place causes more stress on our nervous systems and tension held in our bodies.
Skip the caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that causes nervousness and increased muscle contraction. That’s not what you need after a relaxing massage. Water or herbal tea would be better choices.
Between massages, stretch and move those tense tight areas of your body. Try using heat on tight muscles or a cold pack on painful sore areas. Tighten a tense area of your body for five seconds then release it abruptly. Notice tension held in your body and your posture. Do your head and neck lean far forward when working at your desk? Change your work area so that you can work in a more neutral position that doesn’t add any excessive strain on your body.
Schedule your next session before you leave. For the most part, the benefits of massage therapy are temporary. To relieve stress and muscle tension that accumulates from work, exercise, and life, you might find that coming in once or twice a month seems just right for you, as many other people do. Some people come in weekly when they can as massage helps people stay active, productive and less stressed. Often when people wait to schedule their next massage, they forget until they realize they should have done it weeks ago. If you are working to relieve pain and improve mobility such as with carpal tunnel syndrome or after an injury to the shoulder, several weekly sessions are recommended (or at least every two weeks) until adequate pain relief and the ability to be comfortably mobile and active are achieved.
Postural imbalances, neck and back pain... the undesirable effects of prolonged sitting at work, and how Massage can help
Read the article here:
For many people, chronic pain can lead to too many missed work days and detract from their overall quality of life. You may have sought relief from pain from doctors, medications, and various types of therapies, with little or short-lived relief. Self care, including educating ourselves on pain, is really just as important as seeking treatment for pain. For my clients and others who read this blog, this tutorial (below) will help you better understand your own pain and help you take control of your goal to heal and find relief.
Learn more, Go here now: http://www.retrainpain.org/
I'd like to share with you a self-care technique that I have found very helpful...
After clearing all that snow, you're probably sore, with painful, achy muscles. Besides coming in for a massage, there is a simple self-care technique that you can use to release muscle tension that causes pain and discomfort. It can also help you feel the benefits of a massage for a longer period of time between your sessions. It's called "Constructive Rest", inspired by the Alexander Technique.
It's really pretty simple. Here's the brief, but visit the link for more information. Lying on your back on the floor with knees bent, you relax for 15 minutes. You are noticing, but not analyzing, and you're not worried about whether you're doing this "correctly" in every moment. While allowing yourself to relax, you will start to notice where your body feels pain and holds tension. Notice that parts of your spine touch the floor while others don't. Try committing to doing this 15 minutes a day for one week to start. You will find that you can help yourself relax your nervous system and tight muscles, and relieve some pain by practicing this technique regularly. You will probably feel the benefits after the first time you try this. See the link for this practice at the end of this post, you can also find alternatives to lying on a firm hard floor if that is not possible for you.
It's a good idea to set a timer. Fifteen minutes can feel like a long time when you're sort of doing nothing. I began using this practice when I took on the 'Liberated Body 30 day Challenge' which is about getting more movement into your life, using your comfy furniture less, and finding relief for pain, chronic tension and mobility issues - ( here's the link if you're interested : https://www.liberatedbody.com/30-day-challenge/). If the idea of not doing much while lying on the floor for a stretch of time annoys you, don't give up already. It's only fifteen minutes. You will be surprised at how much discomfort and tension you feel lying on the floor after a day of work or a busy day of running errands, or something very strenuous like shoveling snow, or weight lifting. I was surprised to find that in 15 minutes, the pain I felt was greatly lessened and those areas that hold a lot of tension had softened. Another interesting thing you can be aware of is how your thoughts and emotions are linked to holding tension in your body. When practicing constructive rest, my thoughts will inevitably wander. I noticed, for example, that a thought about something that once stressed me out at work led to unconsciously holding a sustained level of tension in the muscles of my chest, arms and hands.
Awareness is key to making changes. We find ourselves taking on certain postures and movements for hours a day, whether it's working at a computer or spending hours clearing snow. A lack of varied movement in our lives can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, lack of balance, and even injury. I think that Constructive rest, practiced regulary, is a great way to help yourself counteract those effects.
Go to Alexander Technique, Constructive Rest: http://alexandertechnique.com/constructiverest/
Stay warm wherever you are.
Until Next Blog,
Myofascial Release Sessions to Relieve Pain, Discomfort and Tension, and Create more Ease in Your Body
(An exerpt from my latest newsletter. You can subscribe by filling out the submission form on the Home page.)
In 2014, I advanced my education and techniques with a 20 hour seminar, Foundations in Myofascial Release 1, with Walt Fritz, PT. I have aquired skills in myofascial release before, but since this workshop, my practice has been growing and evolving to use this form of bodywork much more often to address pain and tightness in the body. I have been finding it to be more effective in many cases than the traditional deep tissue techniques I've been practicing. This kind of myofascial release involves long, slow holds that apply pressure and stretch to areas of pain and tightness. This approach allows the body and nervous system time to let go of tension and hyper activity, and creates more ease and freedom in the body, reducing pain and tightness over nerve pathways and around joints. The approach is gentle, yet deep, and never exceeds the receiver's acceptance and tolerance for discomfort. When working over areas of pain, I ask for feedback from the receiver to ensure that we are working from a point of minimal discomfort, and as the body responds and releases tension, we are able to work more deeply. This is slow work, so sessions run anwhere from 60 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how much of the body is being addressed and your availability for length of sessions. Give me a call if you have any questions regarding these sessions, or schedule online via the Services page.
Did you start the new year off by making resolutions to improve yourself and your life? For many people, when they set out to achieve a goal or stick to a new resolution, the mindset is often one of strictness and harsh judgement of self. Although hard work and discipline may be required, without allowing a certain amount of ease into your life, success may not be as sweet as expected. "Ease" is not about slacking on effort or taking lots of naps, although a nap or a time-out is sometimes what we need. Ease is allowing gentleness, patience, humor in serious times, room for expansion, success to happen. Ease allows. It allows circulation to flow, muscles to soften, injuries to heal, joints to move more freely, bodies to be lithe, ideas to flow, intuitive insights to surface, negativity to leave, and life to grow. Allow yourself to take some time to consider more deeply the meaning behind your goals or resolutions, the real reasons you want to achieve them. Write them down and consider them along the way as you bring these meaningful changes into reality. I hope in this new year, you find the right amount of ease that you'll need to see your goals and resolutions bring growth and meaningful fulfillment into your life.
Happy New Year,
My first blog here begins with the season of fall almost upon us. Like spring, fall is a season that tends to inspire as well as necessitate change in our habits and in our homes. At these times, we are more likely to take notice of how well we are taking care of ourselves and make some changes for self improvement. So, in celebration of positive and healthy change, I'd like to offer this special to current and new clients alike.
I chose this style of therapeutic massage for the current special because I feel it has become underutilized as a therapy and perceived as simply a superficial luxury for feeling pampered and falling asleep. The benefits however make it a healthy way to treat yourself with care. Now through October 31st, a 60 minute session is $45, and a 90 minute session is $65.
Research in the field of massage therapy is at a youthful stage, but growing as massage is becoming more accepted in the field of medicine. There is recent research that suggests swedish massage improves blood flow for both active and sedentary people, and alleviates muscle soreness after exercise. Research has also shown that swedish massage has an affect on reducing cortisol levels, (cortisol aka a "stress hormone", at higher and prolonged levels such as with chronic stress, has multiple negative affects on the body); and massage gives a boost to the immune system with an increase in the activity level of white blood cells (killer T cells).
Some clients favor the classic swedish massage sessions that I offer because they relax both the body and mind. This session helps relieve the discomforts of muscle tension, and improves flexibility. It also helps to relieve mental and emotional stresses, and enhances feelings of well being. Regular swedish massage also helps improve digestion and sleep patterns. An oil or lotion is used to apply the strokes of the massage, and it moisturizes the skin. Smooth gliding strokes encourage relaxation. Kneading, rolling and friction of muscles and soft tissues increase circulation, reduce muscle tension, and improve flexibility and range of motion. Stretching, movement, and the use of heat or cold packs may also be incorporated into this session. In a usual classic swedish session, the areas of the body worked on include the back, neck and face, arms, abdomen, glutes, legs and feet. That may seem like a lot to cover in one session, and some people prefer a 90 minute session. Sometimes clients prefer to skip certain areas to focus more time on other areas of muscle tension that may be causing discomfort and stress. Also, just like any other massage session, you will undress to your own level of comfort, and are always covered modestly and comfortably with a sheet and blanket while only the area being worked on will be undraped.
Taking good care of yourself positively affects many aspects of your life. Make sure to put yourself right at the top of your to-do list this fall. You can schedule your session today, right here.