How Relaxation Affects Your Body – The Relaxation Response

feel alive with massage

We are bombarded with messages all the time telling us that we need to relax – but at the same time, it seems as if we are also bombarded with reasons not to! The truth is that if you take care of your body and mind, it pays dividends and can help you to deal with some of the unwelcome things in life that give stress us out in the first place. The first things to tackle are getting your share of rest and relaxation. Here’s why.

Your Body Needs to Rest

Getting enough sleep, and good quality sleep at that, is absolutely essential for functioning optimally. Whether you’re working, learning or just living, sleep is key. Sleep is also vital for  is essential for restoring your body’s energy, repairing muscles and promoting good appetite. Quality of sleep matters as much as the amount of shut eye you cram in. The more time you spend in the REM stage of sleep, the better, as  REM (dream) sleep is the most restorative – ideally you should spend about 25% of time in this type of sleep (if you have a fitness tracker, the sleep tracking function can be a real eye opener).  Lack of good sleep can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, headaches and depression. Of course, sleep isn’t the only way to rest, relaxation while you’re awake is very important, too.

You may have heard of the fight-or-flight response? Well, it has an opposite – the relaxation response. This happens naturally when your body no longer thinks it is in any perceived danger, and when the autonomic nervous system returns to normal after a stressful situation. The relaxation response is like an off switch, where the body moves from a stressed state (physiological arousal) to one of calm. You can bring this response on deliberately by using techniques that are designed to relax both body and mind. Some of the most effective ways to do this include:

  • Meditation
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Yoga
  • Massage therapy
  • Facials
  • Spa Treatments

How to Relax

Making time to unwind and enjoy life is really important – and often undervalued. Relaxation has many physical benefits; it can decrease your blood pressure, help to relieve pain, and also improve your immune and cardiovascular systems. Did you know that a good belly laugh is one amazingly effective way to de-stress, too? Get the funny films out, a big laugh can potentially help your heart and lung health as well as promoting muscle relaxation. We all know that a good giggle can help our mental health too; as well as flooding our body with feel-good chemicals, it helps to reduce anxiety.

If you aren’t getting enough time to relax, you may find yourself feeling tense and stressed out. Next time you feel the fight-or-flight feelings getting on top of you, or you notice tell-tale effects of stress like break outs or constant headaches, stop it in its track with a massage session, yoga class or some deep breathing exercises and feel that relaxation kick back in…

The Stress/Pain Connection

Stress seems to be almost unavoidable in our busy lives. It’s easy for people to suggest that you might feel better if you’re less stressed, but if you’re already stressed, that’s just going to stress you out even more! Adding to the problem, stress can cause a lot of unwanted symptoms in your body, including pain. In some cases, stress causes pain to develop, like headaches. In others, it makes existing pain worse.

Think about it; if you’re tensing your body up and putting stress quite literally onto your muscles, you are going to feel the effects of that in a sore back, shoulders and head. If you suffer with chronic pain anyway, stress can exacerbate it.

At one point or another, most of us have to deal with a certain amount of stress. Without it, some of us just wouldn’t get anything done! It’s when the stress builds up that it can start to cause issues in your body and make you hurt. One study found that 33 per cent of adults said they were dealing with high levels of perceived stress  – you’re not alone if one of them is you.

Stress affects more than just your mind –  if you hold on to too much tension, it will most likely lead to muscle stiffness and pain. Too much stress is also linked to headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, and insomnia;  one study of people who suffered with chronic headaches found that 45 per cent said they’d been through a stressful event before they started to get the headaches. Other aches and pains can also be blamed on stress – it’s thought that the stress hormone cortisol could be to blame for chronic pain. A study compared 16 people with chronic back pain to a control group and found that the people with chronic pain had higher levels of cortisol.

It pays not to let the stress build up, and one good way to physically disperse stress before it causes too much trouble is a good massage.  Massage is the perfect way to relax you and improve your mood. Whatever effect stress has on your body and mood, treating yourself to a massage is one of the most relaxing ways to deal with a build-up of toxic stress or anxiety.

Almost every symptom of stress that’s been listed by the American Psychological Association can benefit from massage therapy. Research has even shown that massage therapy can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, (which can be raised when you are stressed) as well as soothing stress-related pain by relaxing your muscles and increasing the production of endorphins, which are your body’s natural feel-good chemicals. A massage can also boost your body’s production of serotonin and dopamine, giving you a feeling of well-being that releases the stress, calms your mind and gives you the physical and mental break your body needs from all the stressful things that are making you hunch your shoulders.

Next time you feel the stress start to build up, don’t wait until you get the tell take sore head or tight shoulders. Call Revive Therapeutics and get it out of your system…

Coronavirus Precautions

The news is full of information about the Coronavirus. It is important for us to all understand precautions we can each take. Most of these ideas are not new, many are things both Angela and I do each and every day and between each and every client session, but it is important for you to know that we are doing them. It is also important for you to know what things you can do to help us and yourself regarding massage. This is the information we sent out in an email last week, but we would like to share more about the precautions we are taking in the office.

WHAT WE ARE DOING:

  • 100% of linens cleaned and changed between every client: All linens are washed after each use in hot water with unscented laundry detergent and a powdered bleach substitute. You enjoy a fresh set of sheets for each and every massage!
  • Washing hands: We both wash our hands and arms with soap and water and dry with paper towels before and after each and every client. If needed, we will wash again during a session.
  • Disinfecting surfaces between clients and at the beginning and end of every shift: We use Clorox disinfecting wipes on all surfaces between each and every client. We disinfect everything that gets touched by clients and/or us, including but not limited to the massage table (face cradle and support cradle, table top, knobs, table warmer controller, etc.), table tops, door knobs, cabinet handles, light switches/controllers, emollient bottles and our stool seat and lift handle. Our table top has a vinyl cover on it to ensure that we can properly disinfect the surface between each client. We are adding to our list toilet handle and lid/seat, soap dispensers, sink and other bathroom fixtures, phone, pens, and keyboard/tablet screen.
  • Client chair: I have taken the cushion off the client chair so that the surface can be disinfected. Unlike the fabric of the cushion, the surface of the chair can be treated with disinfectant between clients.
  • Ask you to wash hands: You can expect us to ask you to set down your belongings and go wash your hands before getting settled in for a session. Since we massage your hands and forearms, and they are #1 areas that could be carrying germs, we ask that you use soap and water to remove any germs off them before we start. This will prevent us from picking them up in the emollient and carrying them to other parts of your body, likely to your face, an area where the germs can easily enter your fluid system.
  • Waiving late-cancellation fee for illness: You must communicate with us prior to your appointment time to get this waiver. If we don’t hear from you (no-show) or if you have to cancel at the last minute because of a reason other than illness, the late-cancellation fee still applies. Our goal is to make you feel comfortable canceling because your health requires it.
  • Supporting you in making your own health decisions: We understand and accept without judgement any decisions you make regarding self-quarantine or opting out of bodywork at this time. Please take the steps you feel are necessary to take care of your mental and physical health. We will look forward to when we see you in the clinic again. If you are opting out but are not ill, our 24 hour cancellation policy will remain in effect. Please use the links in your confirmation email to cancel if you need to.
  • Awareness about our health: As some of you know, Rachel suffers from seasonal allergies in the Fall and Spring. So far, that has manifested as congestion and a cough this Spring. If she ever have symptoms of illness, such as a fever, or symptoms beyond the allergies, we will cancel your appointment.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Cancel your appointment if you feel sick or if you think you might be getting sick: If you have generalized fatigue, sniffling/sneezing, fever, or other sensations and symptoms of illness, please cancel your appointment. The best time to do a self check is 36-24 hours prior to your appointment. If you have any question about your wellness, cancel your appointment with at least 24-hours notice. If symptoms develop at the last minute, you may still cancel your appointment, but any advance notice is much appreciated.
  • Wash your hands upon arrival at the clinic: We respectfully ask you to wash your hands before getting settled in the treatment room for your massage.
  • Take care of your health and know you are doing the best you can. This is an unpredictable time for all of us. You are not alone in not knowing how worried to be or how best to react to what is happening.

Stave Off the Winter Blues with Massage Therapy

There’s no escaping the truth; winter has arrived! The Seattle rain has taken its toll on many of us in various ways. Between sniffles and full blown colds, to simply longing for Summer. It’s not unusual for people to get the ‘winter blues’ – which is a condition many people in the northern hemisphere are afflicted with due to lack of sunlight during the colder and darker winter months.

The good news for everyone is that massage therapy can help increase health happiness for everyone during the cooler months of the year. Here a few reasons why…

Rain, Rain, go away!

Massage May Help to Banish Seasonal Affective Disorder

As we’ve mentioned, Seasonal Affective Disorder – sometimes known as the winter blues – is a problem for many people when there’s less natural sunlight. This is because sunlight causes the brain to release a feel-good chemical called serotonin that improves our mood. When there’s less sunlight, less serotonin is produced, which can lead to low mood, lethargy and difficulties in  getting out of bed in the morning. In some people it can even cause serious depression enough to warrant visiting a doctor. It’s not a happy place to be, but the good news is that booking in a regular massage can help to lift a low mood. A regular massage session will help to relax stressed minds and bodies, as well as releasing the serotonin and endorphins, the same chemicals produced by the body when you’re happy.

It Can Give Your Circulation A Boost

Massage therapy may also help boost circulation during a time of the year when nobody wants to get up and go outside for a run. Everybody knows that getting regular exercise helps keep circulation running smoothly, and also gets the oxygenated blood pumped around our bodies faster. This is all very well, but a lack of movement in the winter months can result in feeling sluggish, while poor circulation can lead to lethargy, aches and pains. Here’s where a massage has extra benefits; it can help blood to pass through any congested areas and boosts overall flow, which also helps the lymphatic system to remove waste that builds up. At the same time, massage is well known to help decrease blood pressure.

It May Help Your Body to Fight Off Minor Infections

For anybody that’s prone to suffering from colds and infections during the winter season, massage might be the way forward. It’s been found that massage sessions can help to boost the effectiveness of the immune system, helping  to fight off the bugs and viruses that circulate in offices, shops and schools at this time of year. A gentle massage of the area around the lymph nodes also encourages white blood cells to circulate, and as this increases blood flow it also stimulates the white blood cells to start fighting any infection in your body.

These are just a few of the many benefits that massage therapy can bring during winter. Of course, there’s also the feel-good aspect of a warming hot stone massage, delicious aromatic massage oils and even just the act of taking time out to look after yourself when you need it.

Massage – Don’t Wait Until You Need It!

Are you the type of person who puts off getting a massage? You think that because nothing actually hurts, you don’t need to worry about it? Many people think the same way and then end up at the massage clinic feeling sorry for themselves with a painful back or an injury.

Massage is wonderful if you do have an injury or are already in pain, but why wait until there’s something wrong before you take action? Massage can be part of your preventative therapy, a way to stop aches and pains from developing into anything more serious.

Keep On Keeping On…

If you, like most of us, have to work for a living, looking after your back and your musculoskeletal system will save you and your employer a lot of stress and money in the future. It’s frightening, but did you know that according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010, a staggering thirty-one million Americans say that they are dealing with the symptoms of low back pain at any one time, costing over $50 million dollars in conventional medical treatments, worker’s compensation, and absence from work?

Why risk it when a study that was carried out in 2011 proved that having regular lower back massages helped to relieve the pain before it got to the stage where it needed medication or taking time off from work?

Stress-Busting Massage

Another cause of time off work is stress and/or anxiety, so you’ll be pleased to hear that a regular massage session can help you beat the build-up of stress and keep you calmer for longer. It’s well known that many conditions are either brought on or made worse by stress.  Booking time out for regular massage therapy helps to lower your body’s cortisol levels and increase happy hormones serotonin and dopamine. It really puts you in a better mood. On top of this, it’s also thought that because a deep tissue or Swedish massage in particular help to get your lymph fluid moving, this type of massage can help boost your immunity. This means less coughs, colds and illnesses, which is all good.

Beat the Pain of Inactivity

I know, most of us can’t help it, but the average American sits still for eight or nine hours every single day. If your job means that you have no choice but to sit at a wheel or desk, it will pull your shoulders forward and cause them to become rounded. This has the effect of weakening your upper and lower back muscles, which is why you’ll be feeling that pain in your upper body.

If you can manage to get up and about regularly to do some exercise, and team this with a regular massage, your posture will thank you for it and you should reduce any pain you feel from sitting still for so long during working hours.

Have we convinced you to make a massage part of your regular routine? Of course, it’s not all about preventing illness or relieving pain, having a massage is a deliciously comforting and beneficial therapy in itself, and many people book their regular massage therapy sessions just because they know they will spring off the massage couch with a smile on their face, feeling amazing.

Make This Valentine’s Day Special with Massage Therapy

It’s come around again, and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your partner, spouse or significant other, Valentine’s Day is the day that you get to spoil them just a little bit more, just for the sake of it.

If you want to go a little further than the standard roses, candies or chocolates, why not spoil your lover with a treat that will serve them well long after the Valentine’s displays have been taken down in the mall? 

It doesn’t matter if you’re spoiling a male or female partner, massage is the gift that anybody appreciates. Valentine’s Day isn’t the time for a sports massage, even if they are sporty – you want to relax them and give them a massage or body treatment that gets those warm and fuzzy feelings flowing.It’s been proved by study after study that a massage is a great way to boost feel-good feelings by increasing the release of a hormone called oxytocin. Helpfully, increased levels of this hormone have been shown to increase feelings of social bonding, just what you need when you’re feeling romantic.

Massage also helps to increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, two more feel-good chemicals that are responsible for feelings of wellbeing. You could opt for a couples’ massage, or just treat your partner to a session on their own where they can fully relax – a delicious, scented aromatherapy massage perhaps, with an oil blend created specially to relax – or uplift.  The options are endless.

If you’re looking for another reason to treat someone special to a massage, think of their heart health! Massage is great for hearts – it can help to reduce heart rate and is good for blood pressure too. Massage has even helped people following cardiac surgery – it’s known to reduce pain, muscular tension and anxiety.

If you are free and single, why not give yourself the gift of touch on Valentine’s Day too? It’s all about the self-care; a massage session is the perfect way to honor your body and give yourself some relaxation time. Massage therapy gives you a change to get properly blissed-out and let yourself feel nurtured and cared for by the therapist. It’s also a fabulous way to beat everyday stress and take care of yourself the way you deserve to be taken care of.

This Valentine’s Day give someone a gift they’ll really appreciate; a massage session. Use code VBLOG2020 for a special Gift Certificate special this Valentines Day. And if you want to get yourself a special massage for Valentine Day, use VBLOG20 when you book for a special discount on your next appointment.

20 Self-Care Ideas for 2020

January got away from us at Revive Therapeutics, and I realize I missed sharing with you this last month. My new schedule is up and running and booking like crazy! Everyone who has experienced the full chest massage has come back with such positive feedback, I am so happy to be offering the work to you. Let’s get back to a little “New Year” and kick of our 2020 blogs with self-care ideas for you to jump on!

take as many moments as you can for yourself this year

First of all, Welcome to the new decade!  It’s time to make the twenties an upgrade on the teenies (is that what we’re calling them??) and start putting ourselves first with a self-care routine that gives us the inner strength to deal with whatever the new decade brings.

It’s no secret that people who don’t give themselves the care that they give to others will usually end up stressed and burned out. To stop this happening to you, develop an attitude of nurturing –  take care of your mind, body and soul every day, in small ways and occasionally (but regularly) bigger ways too. Self -are is non-negotiable these days, but you have to make an effort to make space for it. Here are a few ideas for things to do that rebalance, reenergise and replenish.

Do something physically energizing

Whatever floats your boat, make time for it if it makes you feel good. This could be a series of stretches, Pilates or yoga, a run, a swim or a walk in the park. Just get that activity up.

Stretch it out

Hunched over a desk or in a car? Bodies aren’t meant to be cooped up so stretch it out. Find a set of effective stretches that stops your body feeing like it’s ten years older than it really is. Your muscles will thank you for it. If you want to do even more for yourself, get a professional involved; book a massage!

Take a bath

It’s a self-care cliché but for a good reason. If you have the time, shut the door, put some music on, and take a magazine or book in with you. Lie back and let the stresses of the day dissolve away into warm, sweet-smelling water.

Try a mini-meditation

Begin or end your day with just one minute of deep breathing, while focusing your  awareness onto your body, inner thoughts, and feelings. This is an exercise that’s also useful to do during the day when you feel stressed and need to take time out.

Be still

Find a quiet place outside, find somewhere comfortable to sit and be still. Pretend there’s nobody else around and focus on the quiet and stillness.

Unplug just for a day

We always used to manage without social media and instant messaging, so just for a day, switch them all off and embrace a notification-free existence. It’s very freeing and you may end up wanting to do it for even longer.

Write a Gratitude List

Focusing on all of the things that you’re thankful for will put a happy spring in your step. Try to think of three things every morning or evening. Or when you feel down, refocus with three things to be happy about.

Dance like nobody’s looking

They aren’t! Dancing is incredibly freeing, so stick on a few dance anthems or whatever makes you want to move and shake your booty.

Take a walk

Have you really taken the time to explore the area you live in/ Walk around, slowly, and really notice the details. Be curious about your neighborhood.

Make an appointment with a counselor

Find someone non-judgemental to talk to about your innermost thoughts; It doesn’t have to be a therapist or psychologist; it could also be a spiritual mentor.

Sleep

Are you getting enough? We suspect not. Why not take a quick nap if you feel tired, or try an earlier bedtime give your body a bit more downtime?

Do something new

That thing you’ve always wanted to try? Do it.

Journal your thoughts

It only has to take you 10 minutes – get whatever is on your mind down in writing and out of your head.

Spend  quality time with people you love

Hanging out with the people you love most in the world is good for your soul. If they’re far away, give them a phone call.

Take a full day of rest every week

You deserve it and your mind and body will thank you for it.

Do an activity mindfully and slowly

Pick an everyday activity, like laundry, and focus on it while you’re doing it. Savor the moment, it makes dull things much more absorbing if you’re prone to zoning out.

De-clutter your life

You don’t have to do it all at once, but decluttering is very therapeutic.  Start with an email inbox, work up to your desk or a closet, feel the benefits of less clutter.

Make a personal mission statement

If you don’t have a personal mission statement, create one. Think about this year and what you want to do with it. Who do you want to be?

Enjoy a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine

Even better, have both…while writing your mission statement. In the bath!

Book a massage or a spa treatment!

We may have mentioned this before but taking the time to invest in yourself is a supreme act of self-care, and we think you should indulge in it as often as you can.

Have a great 2020.

a *HUGE* 2019 Thank You!!

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, and Happy New Year!

To accurately express how grateful I am for each and every one of you who allowed me and Angela to treat you in 2019, I’d need you all to line up so I could hug you, get a little weepy, and blubber on and on about how thrilled and relieved and I am that you’ve been my career this year. But, since the holidays are usually pretty busy for everyone, I’m probably not going to get to do that and instead I’ll have to settle with just saying, “Thank you!”

Me, basking in my 2019 happiness!

I’m wishing the best for you in 2020! New years bring new hope, new possibilities, and a new appreciation for all that we had in the years before.
At Revive, we are really looking forward to 2020 with anticipation and excitement! In case you missed all our news: we are now offering Hot Stone and Full Chest/Breast work massage. We’re also accepting new Prenatal Massage and Doula Clients for 2020! We welcome every opportunity to participate in your wellbeing by offering you our skill and care.

Rachel and Angela both have scheduled opportunities for continuing education in 2020. This year we’re expanding our knowledge and skills by learning Massage for the Medically Complex, Advanced Geriatric Massage, Cranio Sacral 2, Advanced Pre and Perinatal Care, Mammossage for Lactation, and Somatic Breast Scar Recovery. There’s so much to learn and so much to add to our services for you that is a new year blessing to anticipate the time to do this kind of learning. We can’t wait to share it all with you in 2020!

Again, thank you for being part of our small business this year! Your contribution has meant so much to us personally. We look forward to continuing to work with you and your whole body wellness goals for 2020!

PROMO CELEBRATION! 2020 BRINGS YOU HOT STONE MASSAGE!

Thanks to Rachel’s hard work and commitment to continuing her massage training, we are thrilled to add 90- and 120-minute hot stone massages to our 2020 service menu! 2020!

What is a hot stone?

Hot stone massage therapy involves warmed stones that are positioned on parts of your body to maximize the massage’s therapeutic benefits. The stones used are either river rock or very smooth-surfaced basalt rocks. The high iron content in basalt helps the stones retain heat during the massage.

These stones are heated in sanitizing water and then placed directly on muscles in need of deeper relaxation. Hot stone massages are beneficial on both physical and psychological levels. Always check with your doctor before getting a hot stone massage; individuals with certain conditions–including pregnant women and people with high blood pressure–are advised to avoid this type of therapy.

Why is hot stone worth trying?

If you’ve heard of hot stone massage therapy but never had one yourself, you’re probably wondering about the advantages to having someone using smooth, warmed rocks during a massage. There are a wide variety of mental and physical benefits to receiving this kind of massage. These include relief from pain, reduced stress, increased circulation and improved mental well being.

Here re some of the reasons why hot stones offer these benefits:

  • The hot stones allow you to get more out of your massage. Heat promotes muscle relaxation. By placing hot stones at key points on your body before your massage begins, muscle tension is alleviated before Rachel evan places her hands on you, making it easier to give you a soothing deep-tissue massage.
     
  • The heat improves your circulation. Any type of therapeutic massage is good for your circulation, but a hot stone massage is especially beneficial because heat makes your blood vessels expand, allowing more oxygen to get to your muscles and increasing the exchanges of blood particulates. When your muscles receive more oxygen, you’ll experience less pain, and you can also heal faster if you’re suffering from any kind of muscle injury.
     
  • A hot stone massage can help treat chronic pain. Any type of professional massage helps manage chronic pain and poor circulation, but many people find that hot stone massages are particularly effective. The heat allows Rachel to manipulate deeper muscle tissue, which leads to greater muscle relaxation, decreased muscle spasms, increased range of motion and—most importantly—reduced pain.
     
  • A hot stone massage can elevate your mood and combat stress. The stones are placed at specific pressure points in order to relieve tension from those areas, and this physical reduction of pressure actually helps reduce mental stress. When the body is relaxed, the mind is able to relax, and you can leave your hot stone massage feeling rejuvenated.

Whether you’re trying to manage the chronic pain of a condition like arthritis or you’re just hoping to treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon, a hot stone massage may be just what you need.

Book now with promo code HOTSTONE20 and enjoy 20% off your first hot stone massage!

New Year, New Treatment Approach!

A great word came out of my continuing education class a few weeks ago. YUMMY. Have you experienced an absolutely “yummy” massage? Have you experienced a massage where your whole body melted away into the table and you lost track of everything? Have you experienced the feeling of complete and total wholeness of body? Or an overwhelming sense of beauty in yourself and your body during a massage? I have, and it was the first time I received a Full Body massage that included chest/breast work. 

Full Chest/Breast massage is not a new idea in massage therapy. In fact, if you ever visit Europe and even Mexico or the Caribbean and receive a massage, it is likely that your full chest/breast area will be massaged. 

Why not provide our chest and breasts with the same benefits that we give the rest of the body? Massage of the full chest supports easy breathing by relieving chest tightness and reducing tension in the ribcage, neck and throat. Easy breathing leads to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual stress relief. Massage of the chest is also useful in treating shoulder and neck injuries. Massage of the breast tissue itself can help relieve congestion and discomfort related to menstrual periods, fibrocystic conditions, and lactation. After open wounds have healed, massage also helps relieve restrictions and scar tissues post surgery, including open heart surgery mastectomy, breast reconstruction, breast reductions and breast augmentations. 

I have long had a desire to incorporate this work into my practice. I have had many clients on my table who I know would benefit from having the work done on their chest wall and I am very happy to now be able to incorporate that work into my treatments. But this work isn’t just for a specific condition, or diagnosis. The experience of receiving a massage that includes the chest/breast area is very holistic. I am very excited to now be offering this amazing, yummy, work to all my clients, beginning in January. Every client will have the opportunity to receive massage without a chest drape as well as the opportunity to receive full chest/breast work during their sessions.

Does breast massage prevent, treat or cure breast cancer?

Breast massage does not cure cancer, and it does not diagnose cancer. It can, however, relieve swelling and support circulation of both blood and lymph in breast tissues which is useful in keeping our breasts healthy. Wearing brassieres applies pressure to breast tissue and restricts lymph flow. Free flowing lymph is important for our immune system, and a healthy immune system helps prevent and fight cancer. Massage of breast tissue helps keep the lymph freely flowing. Soothing touch to traumatized areas of the chest provides emotional support for people living with breast cancer and for breast cancer survivors and thrivers.

What you can expect

By Specific Request Only:

I will ask you on my intake form if you want any part of your chest included in your massage. If you decide yes, I will make sure that we are both very clear on what parts of your chest you want included and what kind of massage you want in this area. Written and verbal consent is required prior to each massage session regarding the work as well as draping.

Not Always About the Breasts:

That is why I refer to this work as full chest massage because by being able to work freely in this area primarily allows me to do some amazing work on the upper thorax, pectoral muscles, ribs and shoulders.

Non-Erotic:

I work with the full chest and breasts in a way that normalizes this area as another wonderful, but normal, part of your body. I want the work on your chest/breast area to feel like an integrated part of your entire massage. I do not offer this work to eroticize or sexualize you, your body or your massage experience.

As Modest Or As Free You Want:

You can wear any clothing that you want or nothing at all. You can have your chest undraped or I can work on your chest over over the sheet or towel. My personal preference is to work directly on the skin like the rest of the massage but only if my client is very comfortable with me doing so. However, I do not need to undrape the chest to work directly on your skin. I can work under a sheet or towel and still effectively integrate my massage between the stomach, chest, shoulders and neck.

What will happen:

The chest/breast massage is done toward the end of the session. Immediately before working in this area I will ask, “Would you like full chest massage today, or do you prefer I work through the drape?” 

How do you do draped chest/breast massage?

I will apply gentle compressive strokes along the edge of the sternum, aka the breast bone, and also on the lower ribcage. I will massage the upper chest between the neck and the upper edge of the sheet directly on the skin and body. I will not touch the main part of the breasts which remain under the drape at all times 

How do you do full, undraped chest/breast massage?

After you have told me you would like full chest and breast massage, I will undrape your chest. I massage directly on the full chest and breast, with my focus primarily being to access the ribcage deep to the soft breast tissue. I gently yet firmly press through the fatty tissue, sometimes sliding the softer breast tissue to the side. While I never specifically target the nipples and areola, I also don’t avoid them. My flat palms and forearms pass over the full chest and breast.

Giving Gratitude and Sharing Savings! MEGA SAVINGS!!!

10 Moments of Thanks from 2019

  1. My CLEAN PET SCAN! confirming I am still cancer-free!
  2. My husband who supports me, who spent a recent weekend with our 5 kids so I could learn more about massage and my own goals and practice
  3. My small business that provides me opportunities to learn, grow, and add to my community
  4. My career that provides me opportunities to serve others
  5. My house, which had seemed impossible in our crazy Seattle market!
  6. My community of friends, which has made this place feel much more like home in the past few years
  7. My family of siblings, parents, in-laws, and nieces and nephews who offer their support, love, guidance and fun to me, my husband and kids
  8. My group of doula clients who bring me into the most important moments of their lives with trust and open arms
  9. My opportunities for growth, both personal and profession
  10. and finally, My massage clients because it brings me great joy to come to work knowing I get to help you heal, encourage you to relax, and walk with you in a small way in your journey through life

Doing something with my gratitude

The more I think about this past year and all it has brought me, the more I want to thank every one of you who has come for treatment. Choosing me as your massage therapist is such a wonderful gift! And so, I want to give you all a gift in return.

In the spirit of the season of savings we all have come to know as Black Friday, I’m offering the very best promotions I can! Starting tomorrow morning, I’ll be sending out emails throughout the day letting you in on amazing savings opportunities!

There are a very limited quantity of discounts available, so snag up how ever many you want when you have the chance. Each savings code has only 10 uses!

  1. 50% off any service/gift certificate
  2. … 40% off any service/gift certificate
  3. … … 30% off hot stone/gift certificate

Let’s not forget about SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY! You can also save on your treatments while supporting me as a small business in your community!

All of the promotional emails will give you the details on discounts and how and when they can be used. Here’s a brief overview:

  • $60 for three 60-minute or one 180-minute massage package
  • $100 off three 90-minute or one 270-minute massage package

Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting my business!

The Beauty of a Body Scrub + PROMO CODE!!

Who doesn’t deserve pampering this time of the year? You probably have holiday parties and family gatherings on the horizon and even the most enjoyable of these events can leave a person feeling haggard. Before you step into the bustle and rush of the holidays, indulge yourself with a citrus body scrub!

Salt and sugar scrubs are fabulous for brightening up dull skin, and a good scrub will help give your skin a zing while giving you all the benefits of a body massage too. Our Citrus Body Scrub refreshes your senses, too, with its orange, lemon, and lime scent.

Our citrus scrub is a sugar scrub, which, combined with massage removes dead skin cells—the cells that if left where they are, can leave skin looking grey and tired. Get them exfoliated away with good quality products and a fantastic massage, and the all of that flaky skin will disappear! It will leave you with gorgeously supple soft skin underneath, and the sort of glow that you can usually only achieve with a week in the sun.

One of my favorite parts of giving a Citrus Body Polish is the amazing smell!

A good scrub leaves pores cleaned and unclogged from the build-up of dirt and bacteria. A nourishing scrub deeply conditions and gives your skin back its radiant glow. Special massage techniques help the essential oils and conditioning ingredients contained in the scrub to penetrate your skin and get to work. The friction between sugar and skin encourages the circulation of blood which gives your skin an attractive rosy post-scrub glow.

A sugar scrub also has healing properties if you’re prone to skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis – although we don’t recommend it during a breakout as it can certainly sting if you have any active rashes! Removing all the dead skin cells during a scrub also encourages regeneration of new skin cells which in turn has a tightening effect on your skin, which leaves it looking younger and fresher.

So, next time you book your usual massage, why not book a citrus body polish at the same time and really spoil yourself? For 15% off a Citrus Body Polish, use PROMO CODE SCRUB15.

Use Massage for your Best End-of-Year

End-of-year demands can take a physical toll

The end of the year is a particularly rough time for our bodies. We hold our stress in various parts of our bodies as we prep for holiday festivities with friends and families. There are also the other kinds of end-of-year responsibilities we balance at the same time, with work responsibilities and school responsibilities demanding our attention. Whether you’re studying for exams or finishing year-end paperwork, much of our time is spent sitting at a desk, hunched over paperwork, or even leaning awkwardly over the steering wheel as we drive around town completing errands. This time of the year asks a lot of us, and we feel in in our bodies.

Don’t tear your hair out OR throw your back out! Instead, get a massage!

This is when we start prodding at our neck and shoulders and wishing for much needed relief! Massage is so good for overall wellbeing – giving your body a relaxing once over on a massage couch will physically de-stress and relax you, so that the calming hormones that you need for mental clarity and wellbeing come flooding in to help you prepare for the stressful times ahead.

While it is tempting to overlook yourself this time of the year as you give so much attention to people and things beyond you, it is so important to take the time to correct the tension and stress held in your muscles. At Revive, a trained professional massage therapist will know how to identify the source of aches and pains, which can sometimes come as a surprise. You might think you have a knot in your shoulder from hunching in your chair at work, but it might turn out you clench your jaw and a therapist can feel the knots that creates down your neck into your back. We will treat your stress related stiffness and aches and pains and know exactly what to do to relax you before any issues prevent you for accomplishing what you need during the coming month.

Massage will help you be as chill as this cat this holiday season!

You should put your physical and emotional health first when you’re studying for exams, meeting the demands of family and friends, or putting final touches on year-end reports so that you can accomplish all that and more with ease! Try and ensure that you give yourself a break from demands, whether it’s for a massage or just to get out for a walk and sit in the sunshine (if we get some) or spend time with friends. Meet your year-end goals as your best self by granting yourself time to take care of your body.

Does Pain Mean Gain?

Have you wondered if a painful massage is a better massage?

Many people believe that a massage has to hurt in order to be effective. It’s comes from the idea that if there’s pain, then that’s the sign that the massage is really working in the places that need it most. You’ll be happy to hear that the saying, “No pain, no gain” doesn’t apply to massage therapy. Sometimes the most effective massages are the ones that don’t cause you any pain. Something that feels marvelous, and it’s good for you too? It doesn’t get much better than that!

Deep Tissue Massage might cause some discomfort….

A deep tissue massage is when the massage therapist manipulates the deeper layers of your soft tissue. Soft tissue includes your muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons — it’s pretty much everything that isn’t bones or organs. Usually your massage therapist will use lotions or oil and will work lighter at first, then move on to deeper muscle work. This movement from light to deep this is important because it helps relax the top layer of tissue and muscle, meaning less pain for you. Then the deeper layers of muscle can be worked on more easily and with less pain. This will feel much better and you will get better results!

An homage to the world’s strongest massage therapist hands (j/k!)

Typically, deep tissue massage is recommended for those with chronic pain caused by tight muscles or injuries. Deep tissue massage can be very therapeutic because it helps with relieving patterns of tension that have developed over time and helping with muscle injuries. With a good deep tissue session, muscles will feel more relaxed after the massage if no pain was endured during it. It’s hard (nearly impossible) to relax if you are in pain, and muscle tension will release in a state of relaxation.

Deep tissue massage is not for everyone! You are not a wimp if you don’t like it. It is one of the more involved and intense massage techniques. Some people simply like the feeling of more pressure, and a firm massage isn’t always deep tissue. Just be sure to communicate with your therapist about what you prefer and need. Speak up your therapist will appreciate your feedback, happy clients are regular clients, and your therapist wants you to love your massage.

Pain versus Discomfort

Muscles naturally react to any sort of pain. When your muscles feel that your body is about to be injured the reflex to deflect the pain is stimulated. If your massage therapist is ever applying too much pressure, your muscles tighten together to naturally counterattack the force, and that is not a great way to relax. A massage is meant to relieve the tension of your muscles so if you feel as though the massage therapist is applying too much pressure for comfort, just ask them to use less pressure.

Don’t go into the massage thinking there won’t be any discomfort at all, though. Pain and discomfort are two different things. People usually describe discomfort as a “good hurt,” especially in reference to getting a massage. But make sure you also are aware that if you experience pain during a massage that you feel is more than discomfort, you should let your therapist know because it could cause bruising or injury.

Everybody has different tolerances for pain, so a massage that is painful for one person may not be painful for you. If you find that your massage therapist isn’t working between your tolerance levels for pain, then it’s important that you say something. Massages should almost never cause you physical pain and very rarely is it okay for you to be left with marks on your body afterwards. But, if you want the massage to move deeper into your muscles than your therapist realizes, say so! We want to make sure you leave your massage having gotten exactly the experience you wanted.

If you are booking your first massage, you probably don’t want to start out with a deep tissue session. Ease your way into massage therapy and start with something less specific, like Swedish or integrative massage. Most therapists combine massage techniques and will try to give you the best massage for you. Talk to your therapist and together you can decide the best way for your muscles to receive the treatment they need!

Massage v Stretching: What does what?

Massage and stretching are both really helpful ways to keep your muscles relaxed, reduce tension and help recovery after an injury. Stretching helps to get the blood flowing to your muscles, which is great if you’ve injured yourself or if your muscled are stiff because they’ve contracted due to inactivity. Giving your muscles a really good stretch can stop your muscles from going into painful spasms or cramps, as well as stop the knots forming in them that take so much work to get rid of.

Regular massage boosts the impact of stretching by improving your flexibility and range of motion, therefore keeping your joints more fluid and making them less injury prone in the first place.

What are the differences between massage and stretches – and how do they work together to promote muscle and joint health?

Massage

Stripped down, massage is simply a word that’s used to describe the manipulation of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue. Of course there are lots of different types of massage, and techniques that are suitable for different things, but when you go for a massage, this is what your therapist will be doing.

What’s massage good for?

We love a massage for general wellbeing, but medically massage is recognized for more than just making you feel good.

Massage can:

  • Help strained muscles to heal faster
  • Reduce swelling and scar tissue in injured muscles
  • Relieve stiffness and tension in your muscles
  • Reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and fatigue

Stretching

Stretching does have a lot of similarities to massage, but its main benefit is to relieve the tightness and tension that’s built up in your muscles when you’ve used (and over-used) them.

Having a really good, effective stretch can increase the blood flow to your muscles, and this leads to a better range of motion that helps your joints to stay in alignment

What’s stretching good for?

Stretching properly can:

  • Improve your circulation
  • Boost your nerve health – a contracted muscle around a nerve can create pressure that can constrict the blood supply to the nerve.
  • Make movement easier
  • Improve flexibility

How can massage and a stretching routine work together?

Daily stretching – to a point where you can just feel it pulling on your muscles – can really help to increase your flexibility, and you can feel the effects in a matter of a few weeks.

Enjoying a regular massage helps to keep your body relaxed and flexible. Massage can release trigger points and muscles in spasm, making your stretching routine even more effective.

You could even opt for a Thai massage which uses stretches and massage all in one session to give your muscles and tendons a really thorough workout. You can also ask your massage therapist for advice if you have any injuries or are experiencing stiffness in your muscles.

I’ve got a knot in my back!!: What is a knot anyway?

All of us have been known to put our hands on our back or shoulders and complain about a knot. Maybe we were lifting and carrying heavy things, maybe we’ve gone through bouts of stress, or maybe we are physiologically prone to them. Whatever the case, the concept of a muscle knot is probably something you’re well aware of, but what are they exactly?

Where do knots begin?

Knots in our muscles begin with something called a trigger point. Trigger points are simply tender spots on your body that ‘trigger’ or cause discomfort. These tender spots are common and many of us have them, but for some people they can become really troublesome. They are common in hot-spots like shoulders and neck, but they can crop up just about anywhere and cause a lot of pain.

A trigger point is like a ‘knot’ in your muscle, or the fascia (the thin wrapping around each muscle), which is why they are often referred to as a muscle knot. To a massage therapist it feels like a hard contraction on the on the muscle fibers connected to it, like a tight band around the muscle. Trigger points in muscles are ‘myofascial trigger points’ – and there are other types of trigger point that can occur around the body, on your skin, ligaments and tendons, and on scar tissue.

Do you have knots?

You’ll be able to tell where your own trigger points are. If you touch them with any kind of pressure, you’ll notice they start to hurt or hurt more. They are often situated close to problem areas for you as well, so if you have back issues, your trigger points are likely to be around your back, neck and shoulders, although this isn’t always the case. The range of sensations you might feel from a trigger point can be quite wide, too; anything from intense pain to a dull, throbbing ache. Some people feel ‘pins and needles’ or numbness.

So, what causes trigger points to flare up? One theory is that they are down to some sort of muscular overload – if you’ve been working out too hard or overdoing it, or just not been taking care of your posture.

How are Trigger Points treated?

If you notice a sore spot and want to see a massage therapist for advice, we’d advise having a word with your medical adviser first just to make sure that any swelling or soreness is just down to muscular stress and nothing more serious.

Once you’ve been checked over, we can start to look at the problem and help you to heal it with massage. During your massage, your therapist will work on your trigger points and muscle knots, gently but firmly releasing them. We can also help you with in-between treatment massage techniques to try at home that will ease any discomfort and help to prevent the muscle knots building up again.

Trigger points and tender spots can cause a huge amount of pain and discomfort, often restricting your movement and your ability to do the activities you want to. You don’t have to put up with this pain though, with massage you can be pain free!