Summer is here, finally! I hope you all get to enjoy the longer days, some vacation, perhaps, and time outside when there is a cool breeze or cold water to dip your toes, or your entire body into! Come and visit to take a minivacation, or to relieve aches or pains or stress. Or just to feel better in general.
I have a facebook page for massage that you may be interested in. If you use facebook at all, check it out. Therapeutic Massage by Susan Chalker. I have recently posted articles about types and ways to stretch, about massage helping addictions, reducing inflammation after exercise, or helping fibromyalgia (in the Roundup Research article.) Hope you Like it.
Massage for Seasonal AllergiesI (Article excerpted from Massage Therapy Journal, cited below)
For some, the winter of 2014 (and 2015) has had a lingering effect: a longer and more intense allergy season. Massage therapy has been shown to help with the symptoms that acccompany seasonal allergies.
How Massage Helps Relieve the Symptoms
David Lies, a massage therapist in Wichita, Kansas, remembers his honeymoon well: The lush, nascent flowers and trees of early May in Eureka Springs, Arkansas; time relaxing with his new wife, Linda; the rustic honeymoon cottage—and his allergies, triggered by the colorful blooms around him. “I used to say that I was allergic to everything under the sun,” Lies says.
Lies discovered an unexpected ally in his allergy battle: The honeymoon cottage’s landlord, who was also a massage therapist. “He offered to give my wife and me massages,” says Lies, who finally said yes when his swollen eyes, nonstop sneezing and coughing fits started to put a damper on his honeymoon.
Lies remembers the horrible pain as the therapist dug his elbow into his back along the muscles and trigger points long contracted from coughing, sneezing and related stress. Just as he was about to cry uncle, the therapist removed his elbow—or so Lies thought as he thanked him. His wife, who was watching the session, laughed. “He hasn’t moved his elbow at all,” she told Lies. The muscles had simply finally relaxed.
After the massage, Lies made it through the week with just a few sniffles, his first nondrug-induced relief in years. He returned to Wichita inspired, enrolling in massage school and eventually opening A Servant’s Hands, a full-service massage therapy clinic with a special interest in allergies.
Relaxing the Symptoms
Many Americans rely primarily on conventional treatments, including antihistamines and steroids, both of which can have some adverse side effects. Massage therapists, however, can help relieve some allergy symptoms by reducing stress, increasing circulation, releasing muscle tension and reprogramming the body’s panic reaction, which can exacerbate symptoms.
"It’s not to take away from the biological, inflammatory component of the disorder,” says Rosalind Wright, MD, a pulmonist on staff at the Harvard Medical School. “But if you use complementary modalities, including massage therapy, you could optimize the results.”
Few studies researching massage therapy and allergy relief exist, but we do know massage helps with stress, as shown in the 1992 Touch Research Institute study where 30-minute body massages on depressed adolescents decreased saliva cortisol levels. And stress definitely impacts allergies. A 2008 Harvard Medical School study co-authored by Wright showed that mothers-to-be who expose their unborn children to stress may increase these kids’ vulnerability to allergies and asthma. (Susan's note: "Now what mother or any person isn't exposed to stress?! )
So, just getting clients to relax may help their allergies. “Most experienced massage therapists know the immediate relief from sinus congestion that can result from just lying face down,” Lies says. This position gives you a chance to work on the upper back and shoulders, where many sinus trigger points are located.
Source: Parts of this article were excerpted from Clare La Plante's piece in mtj® (Massage Therapy Journal®) Summer 2009. Subscribe to read the entire article.
Susan's note: I love the BioAller's Homeopathic products. They help me a lot. And reducing contact with anything irritating to us (even mildly toxic food or chemicals) helps reduce our body's work load and makes it easier to handle the natural outdoor irritants. I have heard friends and clients reduce their allergies through exercise, diet, and acupuncture.
Hot Stones are wonderful for deep muscle work and relaxation without soreness, as well as deeper relaxation. And the amethyst biomat is soooooo wonderful in deep warming of the body with the far infrared waves that can penetrate 5-7 inches into the body. It feels to me like the warmth from sitting in the beautiful sunshine. And the far infrared heat combined with the negative ions have been medically proven to speed healing and reduce inflammation, through promoting circulation, cell communication, release of toxins and uptake of nutrients. Having the biomat during massage is a big bonus! I have more info below about it.
Move and Stretch class is on hiatus for the summer. Let me know if you are interested for the fall.
I have taken 2 courses that were so very different but both great. One was another style of lomi lomi Hawaiian massage (Aunty Margaret style!) that gave me more tools and techniques to use in my general massage. I just love how thorough the lomi lomi styles are, really warming up the tissue and going deeper in a more rhythmic, relaxed way. Aunty Margaret's style uses more compression of the forearm vs. the rhythmic knuckle motion of the temple style I have been doing the last few years. I look forward to taking a more in depth followup of Aunty Margaret's lomi lomi next spring.
The class I just took this past weekend is another Craniosacral therapy class. And that work just amazes me! It is much more subtle and energetic, but can have such profound results. My learning is ongoing the more I get to practice it, so please come in if you would like to give it a try. (See services page for more info about it.) I can easily add a bit to a regular massage session if you would like to experience just a taste. It's not the same as the full meal, but still great! :)
And I would still love to barter massage for seasoned firewood and venison. Please contact me if you are interested or have any leads!
Remember: Massage is good for just about everything! (circulation, digestion, hormone regulation, sleep, immune system, pain, stress... Don't postpone feeling good!)
- Improves Circulation & Cardiovascular Function
- Improves Immune System Function
- Relieves Pain
- Burns Calories and Controls Weight
- Eases Joint Pain and Stiffness
- Reduces Stress and Fatigue
- Improves Skin
- Removes Bodily Toxins and Assists in Detoxification
For more information about the Biomat and above benefits, here is a website I found very informative, citing research done in China, the biomat technology that NASA patented, and explaining how some of the Biomat technology works. http://biomatamethyst.com There are different settings, for increased heat, but the negative ions are still emitted without heat. So I can turn the far infrared rays off for any reason. And if anyone is interested in the sauna effects of the mat, without massage, I can arrange that, also.
Come in and enjoy the benefits of massage and the Biomat. Let the far infrared heat and the hot stones warm your core and soften any sore or stressed muscles.