Cupping was in the limelight with Olympian Michael Phelps last summer. And you, too, can benefit from it, often without the dark circular bruised decorations! I often use a softer cup that slides easily and doesn't leave noticeable circles. (vs the harder plastic or glass that is usually left in one place for 5-15 minutes.) The suction moves blood and lymph through the tissue, including tight tissue where it has been stuck, often causing buildup of toxins and soreness. This can be in areas of chronic tension/tightness or scar tissue or injury. Most clients feel a reduction in pain immediately after cupping, even the softer cupping. You can definitely feel an increase in circulation. Come in and give it a try, if you are curious. I usually recommend it when I notice areas of increased tension that do not relax very easily.
With everything going on in life, it can be hard to find a quiet moment for yourself.
Find some serenity this season with one of my signature massage services, complete with hot stones, amethyst biomat, aromatherapy, craniosacral work and maybe even some mild cupping! A perfect blend for you.
You’ll leave feeling relaxed and ready to take on the world. Schedule an appointment today. Email, text, or call me.
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 about tips for shoveling snow and avoiding muscle aches, types and ways to stretch, about massage helping addictions, reducing inflammation after exercise, or helping fibromyalgia (in the Roundup Research article.) I hope you find it informative and entertaining; and I hope you "Like it".
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.
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.
Another course was Craniosacral therapy. 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! :)
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.
Massage for Seasonal AllergiesI (Article excerpted from Massage Therapy Journal, cited below)
For some, the winter can have 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.
Massage for your shoulder Reduce pain and improve mobility
Massage is a safe treatment that can help relieve pain and restore your shoulder to normal movement — which will surely be your first priority. In conjunction with other medical treatments, massage can help relieve tension and pain whether it’s caused by myofascial trigger points, injury, tendinitis or frozen shoulder. Massage therapists can help dissolve these areas of pain using trigger point therapy, frictioning techniques, stretching and hydrotherapy.
Using a variety of massage techniques and gentle joint movements, the painful restrictions that have developed in your shoulder can be released. Your pain can gradually subside and normal movement can return. A treatment plan usually consists of frequent massage therapy sessions over several months, including an individualized program of stretches that you can do at home to help speed recovery.
Shoulder pain, Frozen shoulder and other conditions
You feel it most when you reach into your hip pocket. Combing your hair causes pain. In sleep, you roll over and then you are awakened by the discomfort. What is often called frozen shoulder is characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder that turns everyday tasks into pain-filled challenges. It limits your range of motion and affects your quality of life.
The shoulder joint:
The top of the upper arm bone, shoulder blade, collarbone, and various muscles and ligaments come together at the shoulder joint. The remarkable teamwork of these parts allows the shoulder to move in more ways than any other joint.
Imagine how inconvenient simple tasks would be without the use of this joint, or how limiting it would be if our arms only moved in one direction like an old-fashioned Barbie Doll’s. Aside from the hip, the shoulder is the only other “ball-and-socket” joint that can freely move in many directions. The down side is that its wide range of mobility makes it more susceptible to injury.
Causes of shoulder pain
Pain and limitation in the shoulder can be caused by muscle tension, repetitive strain injury, dislocation, osteo- or rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, pulmonary or cardiac disorders, myofascial trigger points, surgery or poor posture.
“Frozen shoulder” is often used to refer to various soft tissue problems in the area. True frozen shoulder is called adhesive capsulitis because the muscles and ligaments at the shoulder joint adhere to each other, becoming thickened and contracted. Symptoms include intense pain and restricted movement. If you are experiencing severe or persistent pain in your shoulder, consult your primary health practitioner before receiving massage.
Massage can help
The good news is that massage therapy can help reduce pain and restore mobility in your shoulder. Through the use of preventive maintenance, self-care exercises and frequent massage sessions, your pain can be greatly reduced and movement can gradually return. You’ll be able to scratch your back and put your coat on without grimacing in pain!
Self-care for the shoulders
Practice these tips to stay pain-free
1. Stretch the shoulders. Lie face down, propped up on both forearms and elbows. Shift the weight of your chest toward the floor. Then press back to neutral. Repeat 3–5 times a few times a day.
2. Sit up straight. Posture can be the root of many shoulder problems. Frequent sitting tends to round our shoulders forward, which stresses the neck and upper back muscles, and restricts arm movement. Develop more awareness of your posture. Stand or sit with your spine erect. Lift your shoulders toward your ears, and then let them fall gently back into position, feeling your shoulder blades drop down your back.
3. Stretch and strengthen your shoulders and upper back. Keeping your spine erect, repeat these movements 5 to 10 times several times a day to loosen tight muscles. 1) Stretch your arms forward, 2) Reach your arms wide behind you, 3) Reach over your head.
4. Apply heat or cold packs to stiff and painful shoulders. Heat relaxes your joints and muscles and helps relieve pain. Cold can reduce pain and swelling in specific areas.
5. Don’t exercise a painful, inflamed joint. Apply heat or cold and rest the joint until the pain goes away. Keep your circulation and the rest of your body moving with exercises that don’t strain the shoulder joints. Brisk walking, dancing to music and tai chi are some good ways to keep your whole body healthy.
The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest
force in getting well.