Many clients have commented on the music I play during our sessions together and how they enjoy that it’s not “the usual” massage/spa music of soft harps and whales talking to each other.
For me, the music I play is an extension of the experience I’m trying to provide for my clients. One that’s not “the usual”, but rather unique, restorative and meaningful.
Music can help set a mood, shift our mindset and bring back pleasant memories and reminders of enjoyable and fun experiences we’ve had. Music can help us tap into our emotions and ourselves.
If you’d like to bring some of the relaxing & rejuvenating mood of the treatment room into your life, I’ve shared some links to my favorite artists, just click on the images. (I’m sure you’ll hear a familiar track or three)
Cupping is an ancient therapy used for pain reduction, boosting the body’s immune system, and releasing rigid soft tissue. Cupping therapy has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for centuries, and the results that this simple treatment produces are impressive.
I offer both Air Cupping (done with a hand-held pneumatic pump) and traditional Fire Cupping (done with 🔥FIRE). Both techniques are painless, yet highly effective.
Did you know that this week, Valentine’s Day week, is also International Kindness week? It is and right now the world needs more kindness, so let’s spread the love!
Random Acts of Kindness
This week make the conscious decision to do at least 1 Random Act of Kindness. Who knows, you may feel so good afterwards that you’ll do another one. And then another!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
❤️ Facebook message a genuine compliment to three people right now.
❤️ Let the person behind you at the checkout with one or two items go ahead of you.
❤️ If you spill creamer or sugar on the counter at the coffee shop, wipe it up.
❤️ Hold the elevator.
❤️ Give someone a hug.
Be Kind to Yourself
The most important person to be kind to is YOU. We’re all so hard on ourselves and often time engage in negative self-talk or self-sabotage.
While you’re doing your Random Acts of Kindness be sure to include yourself!
How often should I get a massage?
Every day! Well, maybe that’s not practical, even though it would be nice. This is one of the most common questions clients ask me about and it really all depends on WHY you get massages. Do you get massages for the health benefits? Or, to help you relax and handle the stress of everyday life? Most likely it’s a combination of the two, so let’s look at a couple of the most common reasons to get regular bodywork:
Relaxation & Stress Relief
One of the very best reasons to get a massage is for relaxation. Relaxation massage helps to support your body, including blood circulation and flexibility of joints. Regular massage can help prevent pain, muscle tension, and stress points from building up and causing problems.
If you’re in a high-stress job or work in an environment where you stay in a certain position for a long period of time (at a computer for example), you may begin to develop tight or “knotted” muscles. This will frequently occur in your shoulders, arms, and back. All of this increased muscle tension will make movement harder and can cause a great deal of pain. Regular massage can help to keep you loosened up and will help to prevent pain and stiffness.
Living with high levels of stress for a prolonged amount of time increases the risk of contracting heart disease and other diseases. It’s been estimated that 75 – 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. The good news is, massage can help! Just knowing your massage is coming up in a few days can help to relieve stress, and a massage every 2-4 weeks will help with stress related tension.
Why wait until you have a problem to get a massage? Massage is perfect for preventing issues with your tissues. Relaxation massage is usually recommended at least once per month, or as often as you want!
Chronic Health Conditions
People with ongoing health issues often find massage very helpful to alleviate symptoms. Chronic health problems that greatly benefit from massage therapy include back pain, joint pain, and localized inflammation. If you get therapy for specific issues, the frequency of getting massage therapy varies with the type of condition you have and how severe it is.
Relief from pain caused by a chronic condition can usually be achieved with 2-4 massage sessions per month and once the condition is being managed a maintenance schedule can be established.
As many of you know, I’ve been a certified reflexologist in the Ingham method since 2011. I love reflexology and end all my Swedish and Integrated sessions with some footwork. (I also offer reflexology as a stand-alone service.)
So, I am excited to announce that I beginning in May I will be offering
Thai foot massage as a new service!
Thai foot massage is a generalized treatment working all the reflexes in the foot, as well as the sen lines* of the foot and lower leg.
Benefits of Thai foot massage:
👉 increases overall health and vitality
👉 invokes deep parasympathetic relaxation
👉 full body benefit while only working feet and lower legs
👉 reduced tension and fatigue in feet and lower legs
👉 FEELS GREAT!
Get ready for Summer with Facial Rejuvenation Cupping Tired eyes? Dull complexion? Puffy face?
Facial Rejuvenation Cupping is a safe, non-invasive solution for helping to diminish the appearance of fine lines, puffiness and broken capillaries as well as improving overall skin tone. No needles, lasers or surgery required!
What to expect during your session After a relaxing hot towel treatment and light facial massage, a super emollient anti-aging lotion is applied. Then small, soft, medical grade silicone cups are moved over the face and neck area in a specific pattern which encourages excess cellular debris and lymph fluid to drain into the lymphatic system to be eliminated.
The result is an instant decrease in puffiness, increase in skin suppleness, and a glowing complexion.
– Improved lymph drainage
– Improved sinus drainage
– Reduction in tension headaches
– Reduction in TMJ pain
Put your best face forward this Spring and Summer with Facial Rejuvenation Cupping – BOOK NOW!
As with all techniques of this nature, results may vary depending on a client’s genetics, skin health, age and lifestyle.
I’ll be attending a friend’s wedding in New Orleans and then taking a couple days to explore and relax through Wednesday night.
Upon my return to Chicago I’ll be attending the American Massage Therapist Association’s annual conference. While there, I’ll be learning some great new techniques that I’m already looking forward to sharing with you.
In the meantime, book your session with me for the week on April 17th before they’re all gone! 👉BOOK NOW
A few days ago I did something that cause my left upper trapezius muscle to completely spazzed out which caused all kinds of pain. Eventually, the pain crept up into the side of my neck, down into my shoulder and down in my arm. Worst of all, it was interfering with me getting a good night’s sleep. No matter how much I tossed and turned I just couldn’t find a comfortable position.
As a massage therapist, I thought I’d be able to handle the problem. I deployed all of my best techniques; massage, Chinese cupping therapy, a heating pad, I even put on various Chinese liniments and popped ibuprofen – all to no avail.
Finally, after another night of terrible sleep I turned to the almighty Google to see if I could find an answer to my problem. I stumbled onto an osteopathic doctors blog, and in this blog post the doctor discussed how one
of the things that’s often overlooked when there’s a trapezius spasm is the acromioclavicular joint. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try his DIY technique
to mobilize and release the AC joint.
So, I tried the technique and lo and behold – it worked! I could literally feel the pain evaporating out of my shoulder joint, upper trap and neck. The muscle is still a bit tight, sore and tender due to being locked up and tense for a few days however I feel that I have discovered the source of the problem. I’m going to see my chiropractor in a couple days and she will do a proper exam and diagnosis as well as prescribe an appropriate treatment plan for the problem. However, in the meantime I am very grateful that I will be able to focus on doing my job of taking care of my clients and not focus on how much pain I’m in.
Outlined below is a step-by-step guide to the AC joint Release Technique as described by Dr. Daniel Lopez, DO: Check the trapezius: Grab onto your trapezius between your neck and shoulder joint and give it a squeeze. Tenderness here may be indicative of an AC joint dysfunction. Also, it gives you a starting point to know how things have changed afterwards.
Find your collar bone and trace it outward until you feel the end of it. There may be a digit there or a bump. That is your AC joint. Another way of finding it, is simply to on the top of your shoulder and look for a bump.
Grip your AC joint with your thumb and index finger and slowly wiggle it back and forth. You may notice that at first it is not tender, but as you do this an underlying tenderness will show up. Do this until you feel that the bump can move a little more freely.
Recheck your trapezius and see if it feels different.
Do this once a day until it stops feeling tender and is freely moveable. You should notice your trapezius will likely feel less knotted and less sensitive.
This post is for informational purposes only and in no way is intended to be a substitute for proper medical attention. Please visit your licensed health-care professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Davana is an essential oil from India with a potent fruity aroma. The plant is leafy green, growing to about 16 inches tall and has tiny, puffy yellow flowers. The flowers are revered by the local peoples and used in religious and ceremonial offerings.
Ayurvedic healers have traditionally used Davana for women’s reproductive health from helping to normalize the menstrual cycle to easing menopausal symptoms.
Davan also does really well with calming the mind and easing anxiety when life rattles your cage. A few deep breaths of the diffuse oil will help soothe nerves, quiet your mind and calm strong emotions.
Davana is the featured EO for the months of April and May! Every client will receive a portable aromatherapy inhaler infused with this luscious oil.
Massage shouldn’t hurt!
Many people believe that a massage has to hurt in order to be effective. Well, it doesn’t! You’ll be happy to hear that the saying, “No pain, no gain” doesn’t apply to massage therapy – I tell my clients that my moto is “No pain, no pain”.
Often times the most effective massages are the ones that don’t cause you any pain. Something that feels marvelous, and it’s good for you too? It doesn’t get much better than that!
Deep Tissue Massage (not deep pressure) A deep tissue massage (this does NOT mean deep pressure) is when the massage therapist manipulates the deeper layers of your soft tissue. Soft tissue includes your muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons (it’s pretty much everything that isn’t bones or organs).
When doing deep tissue, it begins with lighter work, this is important, it helps relax the top layer of tissue and muscle, meaning less pain for you. Then the deeper layers of muscle can be worked on more easily and with less pain. This will feel much better and you will get better results!
Typically, deep tissue massage is recommended for those with chronic pain caused by tight muscles or injuries. Deep tissue massage can be very therapeutic because it helps with relieving patterns of tension that have developed over time and helps muscle injuries heal.
With a good deep tissue session massage you will feel more relaxed after the massage even if no pain was endured during it. It’s nearly impossible to relax if you are in pain, and muscle tension will only release in a state of relaxation.
Deep tissue massage is not for everyone! You are not a wimp if you don’t like it. It is one of the more involved and intense massage techniques. Some people simply like the feeling of more pressure, and a firm massage isn’t always deep tissue. Just be sure to communicate about what you prefer and need. Speak up, your session is your time and I appreciate your feedback, happy clients are regular clients, and I want you to love your time with me.
Pain VS Discomfort Muscles naturally react to any sort of pain. When your muscles feel that your body is about to be injured the reflex to deflect the pain is stimulated. If I am applying too much pressure, your muscles tighten together to naturally counterattack the force, and that is not a great way to relax.
A massage is meant to relieve the tension of your muscles so if you feel as though I’m applying too much pressure for comfort, just ask me to use less pressure.
However, don’t go into the massage thinking there won’t be any discomfort at all. Pain and discomfort are two different things. People usually describe discomfort as a “good hurt” – especially in reference to getting a massage. I always tell my clients that “comfortably uncomfortable” is as far as we want to go.
When you experience true pain during a massage, more than discomfort, it may cause bruising or injury – which is the last outcome either of us wants for our session.
Everybody has different tolerances for pain, so a massage that is painful for one person may not be painful for you. If you find that I’m not working within your tolerance levels for pain, then it’s important that you say something. I won’t be upset, I will truly appreciate the feedback.=
Remember: massage should almost never cause you physical pain and very rarely is it okay for you to be left with marks on your body afterwards (except with cupping & gua sha).