Massage is more than Pampering Yourself

I had a first-time client who during his consultation informed me that as a high school teacher in a public school setting he found it hard to decompress when he got off of work.  Given that his wife, who is also middle school teacher; it is hard for both of them to leave the work at work.  He was getting massages once a month with another therapist and found that to be his only “escape”.  Upon further conversation during the massage; he made reference to how he believed massage to just be about pampering oneself. My face scrunched up a little bit.  I was confused at his statement.  Did he not realize that his method to “escape” was more than just “pampering? That it was in fact therapeutic?

The fact that he found massage therapy to help him cope with the daily stresses that life always gives us is wonderful.  It was my job as a therapist to educate him on how wonderful and unique this type of therapy is.  Just by entering the therapy room and inhaling the aromatherapy; the process is already starting to take place.  Activating the body’s nervous systems in preparation for the decompression and escape is only the beginning.  With each massage stroke that is eloquently performed; massage therapy serves to increase the dopamine and serotonin found in the sympathetic nervous system.  These two chemicals are responsible for your mood. Reducing stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue are the main culprits clients seek for massage.

Massage therapy is therapeutic if performed correctly and at a minimal of once a month.  It can serve as preventative maintenance for the body.  Just like you have to take your car to get an oil change every three or five thousand miles; your body requires monthly maintenance to continue to perform at optimal levels.  Massage therapy is one of the best ways to increase the body’s circulation.  Certain techniques performed like petrissage; which is the squeezing and pulling of muscles; helps to flush lactic acid from the muscles.  It improves the circulation of the lymph fluid, which in turn carries metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs. This  results in lowering the blood pressure and improving bodily functions.  When your body is performing at its best; you are more likely to detect and not allow stress to take over you.

Another therapeutic benefit of massage is the effects on your respiratory system.   Sometimes when stress and anxiety kicks in, your breathing may become constricted. Massage plays an important role in training the body how to relax and help improve breathing. By using strategic techniques,  massage can help to lengthen the accessory respiratory muscles around the front and back rib cage; allowing for optimal lung function.

So, while you  may schedule an  appointment thinking that you are going for relaxation and  to be pampered.  Just know it is more therapeutic than you think.

Speak-Up!

Several times I have had new clients tell me of bad experiences they have had with other therapists. It would range from them saying that they would grit and bear the pain because they thought it would be more effective or the complete opposite; the pressure was so light they didn’t even feel like they were getting a massage. As I would sit and attentively listen to each story; I would ask the question; “well did you say anything?”

This is your time you have chosen to allocate for yourself first and foremost. So, if at any point the massage is not up to your expectations then you owe it to yourself to Speak Up! I had a client today. I started her face down. So after massaging her for 25 minutes, I noticed she was moving her head in the face cradle a few times. So, I asked her, “Would you like me to adjust your face cradle?” Her response was, “yes please, a little higher.” I made the adjustments in less than 30 seconds.

Sometimes that is all it takes. Nonverbal communication will speak just as high as verbal; If you have a good therapist. But, let’s be honest there are times when you will have a not so good massage even if you do speak up. That is the way the cookie will crumble. But the least you can do is inform the therapist so that they will not finish the massage thinking they did a good job.

I have performed a few couples massage where the other therapist did not perform as well as myself. Prior to the clients checking out, I would ask how was their massage? If, it was not satisfactory or plain out “the worst massage” they have ever had then their massage would either be discounted or given for free. It still does not erase the experience that happened, but at that point of time; it was a show of good business. Never did we want the money; we wanted to establish a good rapport so that clientele will return and spread the word. By the clients speaking up, the therapist was able to gain insight; make adjustments and have the opportunity to get better.

At the end of the day; it’s your time and your money. Don’t walk away disappointed and left with the impression that massages are not beneficial! You have a voice so please

 

Benefits of In-Home Massages

in home massage

 

The perks of in-home massage vs Day Spas.

 

No Driving Afterwards

Having the therapist travel to you allots you the opportunity to stay in your moment of bliss a little while longer.  To be able to alleviate the possibility of getting stuck in traffic due to rush hour, construction or even a car accident. If presented with the option why not stay in the comfort of your home?

Some may say because of the ambiance the day spa affords.  Well with my service, I bring everything a day spa has.  I turn any area in your home, into your own private massage room.  From the aromatherapy, to the music to the hot stones and towels you will walk in to a transfixed atmosphere you may not have thought possible.

Prolong the Relaxation Benefits

 So many clients in the past will say after the massage is finished, "do I have to get up" or " I just want to lay here."  Which is very common.  When traveling to a day spa, their appointment times typically allow for 15 minutes between each appointment.  So even though the therapist might say, take your time getting dressed, there have been occasions where a knock on the door is warranted because the room has to be get ready for the next client.  If you were to receive a massage at your home, you could easily go from the massage table to the bed, or to your couch and continue to be at peace.  Have a glass of wine, or soak in a nice hot bath. You will not have to be rushed to do anything.

Experience Deeper Relaxation & Revitalization

Relaxation requires focusing your attention within and withdrawing it from your five senses and the external world. When you travel to another location to receive massage, your senses are usually on high alert because of the sensory input of the new space. When you’re at home, you’re so accustomed to your surroundings that you’re better able to relax more quickly. This helps you move deeper into relaxation during the session. So, if you’re receiving a massage for stress relief, then in-home massages can deliver more stress relief in one session

 

You get more value for your money

Most day spas today only offer 50 or 80 minute massages instead of your full hour or 90 minute massage.  That is because they are deducting the time it takes for you to get undressed and dressed on the table.  Why? Because they have to make sure the therapist stays on schedule for the next client.  When dealing with an independent therapist, such as myself.  I have complete control over scheduling and prices.  I believe in giving the clients their full time scheduled without having to increase prices to cover overhead expenses.  In today's economy people want their money's worth and I do my best at honoring that.

What Are the Benefits of Chair Massage in the Workplace?

What Are the Benefits of Chair Massage in the Workplace?

Chair massage is a fully clothed massage performed by a therapist in a chair specifically designed for massage. As the benefits of massage are realized, more businesses are offering chair massage in the workplace as an employee incentive and health maintenance resource. According to Pete Reinwald of American Massage Therapy Association, companies such as Boeing and Google offer massage to their employees as part of their wellness programs. Workplace massage can help reduce employee stress while improving overall job satisfaction.
Anxiety Reduction

Margaret Hodge, Ed.D., R.N. and colleagues note that stress at work can “result in low morale, increased anxiety and depression, as well as other health-related concerns.” A 1996 study conducted by Shulman and Jones of the Touch Research Institute in Miami, Florida, found that massage in the workplace helped reduce anxiety. The study indicated that 15 minutes of chair massage was more effective than a 15-minute break to reduce anxiety.

Increase in Overall Feelings of Wellbeing

Massage at work can help improve general feelings of contentment and health. A study conducted by Margaret Hodge, Ed.D. R.N. and colleagues in 2000, found that accupressure performed at the job site improved overall feelings of well-being among workers. Those receiving the massage reported feeling an increase in general well-being, less depression and anxiety symptoms, an increased ability to control their emotions and an increase in sleep. The general finding of the study was that the employees receiving massage maintained their job satisfaction whereas those not receiving massage had a decrease in job satisfaction.
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Improved Job Performance

Chair massage can improve job performance. A 1996 study by Tiffany Field and colleagues of the Touch Research Institute, showed 15 minutes of chair massage twice a week improved brain performance. Those receiving chair massage had an increase in speed and accuracy in completing math equations. The brain's ability to function more effectively combined with a decrease in anxiety and increase in feelings of contentment and well-being can result in improved job performance.

Therapeutic Massage and Diabetes

Massage-Specific Benefits

There are many benefits of massage therapy for people with diabetes. Most of these would be similar to the benefits of massage for the general population, but I want to emphasize the following advantages, which are of particular interest for diabetics.
Relaxation: The value of basic relaxation cannot be overemphasized. Living with diabetes is inherently a stressful condition. Fluctuating blood sugar levels put tremendous strain on the body's systems. The practical demands of balancing intake of insulin or oral medications, blood glucose monitoring, nutrition and exercise can seem like a daunting task for many. Worry about complications of the disease, or anxiety relating to work or interpersonal relationships, can add to the picture of stress. By calming the nervous system, massage can bring a much-needed rest and an assuring sense of well-being to the body. Skillfully applied touch can have a profound effect on body chemistry, decreasing the production of stress hormones, with resulting beneficial effects to blood sugar levels.
Circulation: Massage increases the circulation of blood and lymph, facilitating the transport of oxygen and other nutrients into the body's tissues. Improved circulation allows for more efficient uptake of insulin by the cells. Circulation is often impaired in diabetics due to the damaging effects of elevated blood sugar levels on the cells of the body. Massage of the hands and feet can be particularly beneficial.
Myofascial Effects: Massage works directly with the muscles (myo) and connective tissues (fascia), helping to facilitate greater mobility in the body. This is especially important for the diabetic because elevated blood sugars cause a thickening of connective tissue, which in turn affects mobility and elasticity of the myofascial system. This can be noted in general levels of stiffness in muscles, tendons and ligaments, as well as decreased range of motion in the joints. Stress hormones also contribute to chemical changes in the connective tissue, causing a stickiness between the layers of fascia. Massage therapy can significantly counter this effect. Range of motion, stretching and regular exercise are also important to help encourage flexibility and health of the myofascial system. Author Mary Kathleen Rose massages one of her many diabetic clients.

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