Uncovering the Benefits of Massage

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Help me pick a paint color and win a free massage!

I think it’s time to paint my office. I’m tired of looking at builder “white” and I’m sure you are too. I have a series of paintings on the wall that I love and would like the paint to coordinate with them. I was thinking lilac or light purple.

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So here’s where the winning comes in! I am TERRIBLE (not just with a captial T all caps) at making decisions. I over analyze, stress myself out, change my mind 1000 times before I finally decide and then I 2nd guess myself for about a week.

I’m going to post my top 2 choices and let you vote by posting a comment. I will pick a comment at random to win a 30 Minute Foot Treatment! This treatment will include hot towels, scrub and a luxurious massage. All you need to do is post your choice of paint color! Be sure to include your name and email so I can notify you if you’re the winner.

And now the choices……

Purple Surf

Purple Surf

Frosted Lilac

Frosted Lilac

~This is an in office service. My office is located in Charlottesville, VA. Winner will be chosen Friday February 13th by email. Appointment must take place by March 13th. ~

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Valentine’s Day Gift Certificates

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and massage gift certificates make a wonderful gift for that special someone!

valentines2I’ve put together a fabulous chocolate package for Valentine’s Day and made it available for the entire month of February. For only $75  you can purchase a gift certificate for my Valentine’s Day Chocolate Package! Gift certificates can be printed immediately or sent directly to your loved one!

This package includes a 60 minute massage using chocolate massage oil and a 30 minute foot treatment including a foot scrub using chocolate peppermint sugar scrub, a hot towel wrap and luxurious foot massage.

This package is also available to schedule online, no gift certificate necessary.  Treat yourself this Valentine’s Day!

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Massage And Pregnancy: Benefits Of Prenatal Massage

I am happy to announce that I will begin offering prenatal massage in mid February. 

Massage And Pregnancy: Benefits Of Prenatal Massage

Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.

Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques, one of which is called Swedish Massage, which aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body. Swedish Massage is the recommended prenatal massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.

Hormone regulation

Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered, leading to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health, when massage therapy was introduced to women’s prenatal care. In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression). These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence points strongly to maternal and newborn health benefits when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.

Reduction of swelling

Edema, or swelling of the joints during pregnancy, is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints, which also improves the removal of tissue waste, carried by the body’s lymph system.

Improvement of nerve pain

Sciatic nerve pain is experienced by many women in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through regular massage.

Other potential benefits of prenatal massage:

  • Reduced back pain
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced edema
  • Reduced muscle tension and headaches
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
  • Better sleep

Massage And Pregnancy: Precautions For Prenatal Massage?

As with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness, women should discuss massage with their prenatal care provider. The best way to address the risks of prenatal massage is to be informed and to work together with knowledgeable professionals.

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Yes I Touch Feet

FootMassage_lgOne of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received since becoming a massage therapist is “Do you touch feet?” And my answer has always been “ABSOLUTELY!!”

Your feet work hard for you. We shove them into shoes that don’t fit properly, we’re on them all day – there’s no shortage of time spent on one’s feet. Just like your neck, back, and shoulders, your feet can also benefit from a regular massage. Today we will take a look at some of the benefits of foot massage.

Improves Circulation
Due to a mostly sedentary lifestyle we have become unaccustomed to using our muscles on a regular basis. The muscles in the feet get hardly any exercise and circulation is often impaired by tight and uncomfortable shoes. A 10–20 minute massage session can greatly improve circulation in the lower extremities, which is particularly important for people suffering from diabetes.

Helps Prevent Foot & Ankle Injuries
Massaging the feet can help with joint pain and aid recovery after an injury, as well as reduce muscle soreness. However, when massage is combined with foot and ankle strengthening exercises and stretching it can prevent future injuries, as well as speed up recovery of existing injuries. A short session three to five times a week will ensure that you minimize the risk of injury. We all have our moments of clumsiness, but a strengthened and flexible ankle and foot ensures that we can avoid unpleasant injuries.

Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has become fairly common in modern men and women. It can be caused by a number of things such as stress and an unhealthy diet, but in most cases it has no particular cause and is believed to be a result of environmental factors and genetics. A study conducted on healthcare staff working with elderly people suffering from dementia – a job that is highly stressful and both physically and mentally taxing – showed that a 10-minute foot massage session up to three times a week resulted in improved mood, less anxiety and lower blood pressure.

Helps With Flat Feet & Plantar Fasciitis
People with flat feet do not have a normal foot arch due to ligament laxity, which causes the arch to collapse. It can have no major effect on a person, but some people experience foot pain after even mild physical activity due to flat feet. Chronic heel pain can be caused by inflammation or deterioration of the plantar fascia (the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot). Regular foot exercise coupled with deep massage, where you apply strong pressure on the arch, can help significantly lessen the pain and even cure these conditions.

Reduces Effects of Edema in Pregnant Women
Edema ~ swelling due to fluid retention in the feet and ankles ~ is very common in pregnant women, mostly in the last trimester. This condition can be combated by massaging the feet on a daily basis, coupled with plenty of rest and the right diet.

As you can see, foot massage is a lot more beneficial than many people realize. Don’t neglect your feet and they’ll keep you moving.

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Massage Therapy to Relieve Tired Eyes

Do you work at a computer? Are your eyes tired at the end of the day? “This one is great for tired eyes from staring at the computer — it brings circulation to the area and relieves sinus pressure, eye strain, and headaches,”  says Dale Grust, President of the New York Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association and a licensed massage therapist in New Paltz, N.Y., for 23 years.

  • Close your eyes. Place your thumbs under your eyebrows, starting at the inside corner of each eye socket. Press and gently move the thumbs in tiny circles, working slowly towards the outsides of your eyebrows and continuing this movement all around your eyes, ending back at the bridge of your nose.
  • Repeat this several times, spending a little extra time at the indentation of the inner eye socket, where the bridge of the nose meets the ridge of the eyebrows – an especially tender point on many people.
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5 Great Reasons To Have A Regular Full Body Massage

Many people believe that going to a massage therapist is just a way to pamper or indulge yourself. This is why so many of us wait to have one.

We treat it as a way to reward ourselves for special occasions, like birthdays or vacations. The truth is, the benefits of receiving a therapeutic massage run much deeper than the superficial feeling good.

The art of massage for healing and relaxation dates back many thousands of years. The Chinese, Indians, Ancient Greeks, and Romans all practiced it extensively as a vital component to their healing and health regimes.

There are endless positive benefits to receiving a massage, but here are just a few:

1. Receiving a massage can alleviate chronic pain.
This may seem obvious, but there are many people out there who live with chronic back, shoulder and neck issues. Massages can reduce the causes of this pain, which can be a healthier and more holistic approach than reaching for synthetic drugs or other forms of pain relief.

2. Massages promote better sleep.
Many people struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep. When we get a massage, it not only reduces tension in the muscles, but it can also change our hormone levels in such a way that allows for more profound relaxation to arise. Massage therapy has been linked to increased delta waves in the brain, which are connected to deeper, more restful sleep.

3. Massage therapy may relieve mild depression.
Massage therapy has been touted for releasing the tension, stress and anxiety that is often accompanied with mild depression. It’s believed that receiving physical touch can change our bio-chemisty and lower our cortisol levels, our bodies stress hormone. If our cortisol levels are too high on a regular basis it can lead to all kinds of imbalance in our system, including feelings of depression. Massage therapy can be a beautiful, natural way to regulate these hormones levels thus creating a more relaxed, improved state in our overall mental and physical wellbeing.

4. Getting a massage is a great way to boost your immunity.
When we’re stressed and anxious all the time, it’s harder for our bodies to fight off and defend against the pathogens we’re exposed to every single day. Even a light, gentle touch can allow the lymphatic system to drain and release waste like bacteria and viruses from the body more efficiently, increasing our chances to fight off the germs we come in contact with as a part of our everyday lives.

5. Massages improves your digestion.
The major benefit of massage on the digestive system is the way it stimulates the movement of food through the digestive tract. However, it can also be used to help relieve bloating, constipation and even conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

You can even learn to self-massage so you can provide yourself with instant relief. When performed properly, self-massage is simple and incredibly effective.

So the next time you’re thinking about getting a massage, remember that the experience runs much deeper than just pampering yourself. Having a massage can be seen as a great tool for improving your overall health, and it’s a step in the direction for increasing your own capability to enhance and practice exceptional self care.

Reprinted with permission from Organic Health
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