Give Comfort and Joy for the Holidays

Gift certificate packages are 15% off now through December 31.  Show your friends and loved ones that you care about their health and well-being with a gift of massage.  Get one for yourself as well, you deserve it!  Click here to purchase.

By shopping local for the holidays and always you help your neighbors like me, keep businesses diverse, get personalized and better customer service, and keep a lot more of your money in your local economy.

Taking a Vacation July 5-August 1

I will be out of the office from July 5th through August 1.  I hate to leave my beloved business for so long but sometimes life makes you an offer you can’t refuse!  If you’d like to get a massage before I leave please click the Schedule Now button to see what is available and save your spot.

New Location

moved

It’s official! I’m in my new office space in Stream Point Wellness at 2039 Regency Road #3. I’m excited to be in a newly renovated office and share space with other complimentary medicine professionals.  You can see my schedule by clicking the Schedule Now button on my page.

 

What Don’t You See? A Hidden Benefit of Regular Massage

When is the last time you took a really good look at your back?  Your legs?  The bottom of your feet?  Most of us probably don’t spend much time inspecting our skin for oddities, unusual spots, moles that change, or lumps and bumps that weren’t there before and even if we did we might not think much about it.  As a massage therapist who teaches budding therapists about diseases I’m always on the lookout for things that don’t look or feel right.  If something seems wrong I’ll recommend my client get it checked by their doctor if they haven’t already.

I bring this up because I ran into a client who I’d seen regularly for a bit but hadn’t had an appointment for several months.  The last few times he was in I’d mentioned an irregularly shaped and multi-colored blotch on the back of one of his calves.  When I saw him in public several weeks ago he pulled up his pant leg to show where just that week he had a sizable chunk of skin and tissue removed from the area.  He showed his doctor the unusual spot and it was diagnosed as malignant melanoma, an aggressive skin cancer that if not caught early enough can metastasize and spread to other areas of the body.  I was stunned.  In all the times I’d pointed things out to clients they had either already had them checked and were fine or I never got any kind of follow up.  I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to help someone catch what could have been a potentially fatal disease.

When I teach my students about skin pathologies I make sure they can recognize potential cancerous lesions.   We don’t diagnose diseases but can notice when something looks suspicious and let you know that it’s worth having a physician take a look.  Give yourself a good inspection every now and again as well.  If you notice new discolored areas, changes to older moles or spots, bumps that scab over but never heal, or things that seem to be changing rapidly please see your doctor and get it looked at.

Your chances of getting skin cancer increase with age and exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds.  Make sure you protect yourself with sunblock, clothing that covers exposed areas, hats, and sunglasses.  Don’t forget to protect your head, face, ears, and hands as well as they’re often overlooked.  These precautions not only protect you from skin cancer but also from premature aging.  Go outside and enjoy the sun but protect yourself, your skin will thank you!

New Research Supports Massage For Neck Pain

Neck-Pain-ReliefChronic neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck.  It makes doing everything from working at the computer, to driving your car, to sleeping uncomfortable and sometimes downright impossible. It can cause trigger points and compensation patterns that cause headaches, back, and shoulder pain.  Neck pain can be caused by repetitive postures or movements like computer work or reading, traumatic injuries such as a car or bike accident, or other issues like degenerative disc disease.

A new bit of clinical research demonstrates that a 60 minute massage 2-3 times per week can significantly reduce chronic neck pain.  The study ran for 4 weeks with a follow up at 5 weeks.  This is the first study that has allowed 60 minutes for the sessions and included work on compensation areas and integration of the entire body.  This approach along with the frequency of treatment was much more successful than previous trials with shorter duration and focus only on the neck.  You can read the study here.

I have had great success with moderate neck pain by doing 60 minute treatments once per week for 3-4 weeks then beginning to decrease the frequency of treatments.  This also includes having the client note when pain begins to return and adjusting our scheduling to treat before that happens.  This study will likely change my strategy for clients with more significant pain and those who have had pain for a longer duration.

The obvious sticking point here for most people is cost.  Finding a way to manage chronic pain is priceless.  It will improve your quality of life, period.   Work, play, sleep, and family time will all be better.  To help out on the financial end I also offer a package of 5 massages for the price of 4, a savings of 20%.

If you have questions about how massage can help with your chronic neck pain feel free to call or email.

I Have _______________… Can I Get Massage?

 

So many times I’ve heard people say “I have (insert disease or condition here) so I don’t think I can get bodywork.”  That hurts my heart because there are a lot of folks missing out on pain relief and relaxation as a result of assumptions, lack of information or misinformation. 

I have been teaching pathology, the study of diseases, to massage students for ten years and have seen a lot of changes in how we approach different conditions as more and more clinical research is done on manual therapies.  For example not too long before I began to learn my trade it was wrongly thought that massage should not be done on cancer patients because it might cause the cancer to spread.  That had already been disproven but we still weren’t sure what role if any massage could have for people with cancer.  Thirteen years later and not only are we teaching students how to safely work with cancer patients we have a 100 hour continuing education class for professionals in conjunction with Central Baptist Hospital on working with patients both in and out of the hospital.   

If people dealing with some of the most serious physical challenges one can face:  chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, radiation therapy, and cancer itself can get relief from pain, anxiety, and depression through massage what about those suffering from other things?

Because of amazing advances in medical science people are living successfully with a great variety of diseases and conditions.  For many people, even the very ill, bodywork can be modified to accommodate for most any physical limitation.  In fact because even gentle massage is such an enjoyable and positive experience it can improve the quality of life for most anyone.  In some cases massage may even be an important part of managing or healing a condition or injury.

Here is a sample of some conditions clients of mine have had:

Surgical repair of shoulders, knees, and spines                                     Cerebral Palsy

Lupus                                                                                                              Spina Bifida

Cancer (patients and survivors)                                                                Tendinitis/Tendinosis

Psoriasis                                                                                                        Migraines

Joint Replacements                                                                                     Diabetes

Osteoarthritis                                                                                               Cardiovascular Diseases

Rheumatoid Arthritis                                                                                  Depression/Anxiety/PTSD

Multiple Sclerosis                                                                                        Spondylolisthesis

Muscular Dystrophy                                                                                    Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Sprains/Strains                                                                                             Varicose Veins

When going to get a massage be honest about any injuries, illnesses, or surgeries you have had so that the therapist can work with you in the best way possible.  Experienced therapists will ask you about your condition and how it affects your life and will be able to treat you in a way that maximizes the benefits of massage and minimizes the possible problems that could arise. 

If you aren’t sure if you can get massage or are concerned about negative effects from bodywork please contact me, I would be happy to talk to you about it!

University of Kentucky Study on Massage Therapy for Low Back Pain

UK researchers and massage therapists teamed up to do a study that confirmed massage therapy can help alleviate pain and improve quality of life for those with complex chronic low back pain.  Using complementary therapies could reduce the need for dangerous and addictive opioid pain medications.

Watch a video on the study here.

Client Satisfaction Survey Results

To celebrate my two year business anniversary I sent a survey to all of my clients to discover where I can improve my business as well as what I’m doing right.  I’m very grateful to those who participated and gave me feedback about their experience.  Here I will share the results of my survey and address many of the critiques clients had about my services and office environment.

Here’s what I learned about my clientele:

  • 50%  get a massage at least once per month and 30% at least every couple of months
  • 83% get massage to manage pain, 48% use it to manage stress, and 55% to do something nice for themselves (this was a ‘choose all that apply’ for you math whizzes)
  • A whopping 87% say that quality of treatment is the number one reason for choosing a therapist

Weekend Warriors and Serious Athletes

Spring hasn’t quite made it here yet but I know it’s on everyone’s mind.  I definitely have cabin fever and am desperately awaiting the warm weather so I can ride my bike, take a hike, paddle, or just go outside and play!  What are you chomping at the bit to do outside?  Have you been keeping in shape this long winter or have you hibernated on the comfy couch waiting for the sun to recharge your batteries?

If you’ve been fairly inactive for a bit it’s easy to overdo it in your eagerness to get out, enjoy the weather and have some fun.  Your muscles aren’t yet conditioned for a lot activity making them fatigue more quickly, more prone to injury, and increasing your chances for delayed onset muscle soreness, that nasty ache you get a couple of days after strenuous activity.

“Don’t You Get Bored?”

 

“Don’t you get bored?”  “Doesn’t your mind wander when you’re doing massage?”  Every therapist gets these kinds of questions.  I’m kind of surprised that so many people think massage is such a mentally passive activity.  Doing bodywork is not just going through a set routine!  Even if the techniques or progression is similar each massage and every person is unique.  To be a good therapist and serve your clients well you have to constantly focus and adjust your work.  There’s plenty going on for me to pay attention to: