When will you be back?

A friend who lives in Germany laughed at me this past week when I explained to him that the recommendation for Massage Therapists, to protect themselves and clients, is to wear full PPE. His comment was “that is like having to eat through a tube, the whole experience is missing.” I agree with him 100%. The experience itself becomes crinkly PPE gowns, face masks, difficulty breathing (for both of us), and attempting to drown out the awkwardness with music, since we shouldn’t talk.

I have been asked many times, “When will you reopen?” and I just have to say “I don’t know.” The image above, although of a doctor or nurse, is an image I cannot get out of my head as I struggle to decide when I will be back to work.

For me massage is the giving of Compassionate Touch. What I struggle with is the idea of being recommended to not give skin on skin TOUCH, the thing that defines my massage in so many ways. When I was in massage school I had the opportunity to write an essay on “why I want to be a massage therapist.” I enrolled in massage school overnight after listening to advertisements on Pandora for Cortiva Massage School. After a few weeks of being in school it became very evident to me that it was a calling. Pandora may have gotten me through the door, but I was meant to be there. I was there to become a servant. To serve those in need of compassionate touch. To help heal those who need healing, and to give touch to those who need intentional touch. The joy I receive from giving myself wholly and caring for one person completely is profound. You give me the gift of being able to do it throughout my day. The idea of wearing full PPE stands in the way of that gift.

I have seen many news reports and Facebook posts about our need for a hug and the struggle medical professionals are having working through full PPE. Here is my favorite so far. Although this is a great solution to getting a hug, it won’t work very well for giving and receiving a massage.

As I navigate the next few weeks, my goal is to find a way to be safe, for both you and me, and to navigate the necessary changes while maintaining the integrity of compassionate touch I give each one of you.

Low Back Pain is such a Pain

I’ve been thinking about all the changes so many of you have gone through over the past two months. Besides missing out on your time with me, your at home desk is likely not as ergonomic as your office desk. Many of you have jobs that keep you moving during the day, and now you are working at home and spending more time sitting than you normally would. I know I am! I think there is a “Covid-15” in my future, much like the “Freshman-15.”

And then the gardening. On my walk around my neighborhood I have noticed how many lawns and yards have been improved over the last few weeks. It is just beautiful seeing all the fresh looks. My own yard is getting some much needed improvements, it is always last on my to do list. All of that bending over and pulling on weeds or planting of plants and hauling dirt around can cause low back pain. I know many of you have expressed to me in the past the post-gardening pain you have experienced.

And what can we do at home to relieve the pain?

Just as I find myself treating the front side of your body to relieve back pain, these exercises will focus on strengthening your abdominal muscles. Weak, tight, or injured abdominal muscles and tight gluteal and quad muscles are primary causes of low back pain.

Here are some general guidelines to follow when stretching:

  • If your muscles are tight, take a warm shower or bath before doing the exercises.
  • Exercise on a rug or mat.
  • Wear loose clothing.
  • Stop doing any exercise that causes pain until you have talked with your provider.
  • These exercises are intended only as suggestions. Please consult your Medical Doctor before starting any exercise routine if you have any preexisting conditions that warrant it.
  • Caution: If you have a herniated disk or other disk problem, check with your healthcare provider before doing these exercises.
  • Standing hamstring stretch: Place the heel of your injured leg on a stool about 15 inches high. Keep your knee straight. Lean forward, bending at the hips until you feel a mild stretch in the back of your thigh. Make sure you do not roll your shoulders and bend at the waist when doing this or you will stretch your lower back instead of your leg. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  • Cat and camel: Get down on your hands and knees. Let your stomach sag, allowing your back to curve downward. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Then arch your back and hold for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 10.
  • Quadruped arm/leg raise: Get down on your hands and knees. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stiffen your spine. While keeping your abdominals tight, raise one arm and the opposite leg away from you. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Lower your arm and leg slowly and alternate sides. Do this 10 times on each side.
  • Pelvic tilt: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back into the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then relax. Do 3 sets of 10.
  • Partial curl: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your stomach muscles. Tuck your chin to your chest. With your hands stretched out in front of you, curl your upper body forward until your shoulders clear the floor. Hold this position for 3 seconds. Don’t hold your breath. It helps to breathe out as you lift your shoulders up. Relax. Repeat 10 times. Build to 3 sets of 10. To challenge yourself, clasp your hands behind your head and keep your elbows out to the side.
  • Gluteal stretch: Lying on your back with both knees bent, rest the ankle of one leg over the knee of your other leg. Grasp the thigh of the bottom leg and pull that knee toward your chest. You will feel a stretch along the buttocks and possibly along the outside of your hip on the top leg. Hold this for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  • Extension exercise: Lie face down on the floor for 5 minutes. If this hurts too much, lie face down with a pillow under your stomach. This should relieve your leg or back pain. When you can lie on your stomach for 5 minutes without a pillow, then you can continue with the rest of this exercise.After lying on your stomach for 5 minutes, prop yourself up on your elbows for another 5 minutes. Lie flat again for 1 minute, then press down on your hands and extend your elbows while keeping your hips flat on the floor. Hold for 1 second and lower yourself to the floor. Repeat 10 times. Do 4 sets. Rest for 2 minutes between sets. You should have no pain in your legs when you do this, but it is normal to feel pain in your lower back. Do this several times a day.
  • Side Plank: Lie on your side with your legs, hips, and shoulders in a straight line. Prop yourself up onto your forearm so your elbow is directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips off the floor and balance on your forearm and the outside of your foot. Try to hold this position for 15 seconds, then slowly lower your hip to the ground. Switch sides and repeat. Work up to holding for 1 minute or longer. This exercise can be made easier by starting with your knees and hips flexed to 45 degree angles.

Developed by RelayHealth Published by RelayHealth © 2009 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday!

I think the month of May crept up on all of us. My April Calendar, like many of yours, was empty. Not full of weekend outings, meetings, choir, kids activities. Just empty. And now it is May. No choir concerts, no end of year events, no prepping for Summer Vacations. And by the way, Mother’s Day is on Sunday. Yes, this Sunday! It came out of no where for most of us. Now, most of the time, I would be encouraging you to purchase massage gift certificates, because who doesn’t benefit from Mom getting in for a massage? But right now, that massage won’t come for a very undetermined amount of time.

No Massage? So what now? It’s time to think outside the box, or I should say, to look inside a box, for hours and hours of relaxation for Mom. I have partnered with 3, yes THREE local, women owned businesses to bring Mom, or maybe you, the best at home Spa box possible! Packed into this box are 6 hand made products made just for hours of relaxation!

All Moms need to be spoiled, and how better to take care of someone than offer them a gift that will do some real good. Moms are busy, almost all of the time. You see her doing her very best to keep everyone happy – take notice of the things she says about her mood, her body and how she’s feeling and try to find her the right type of massage.

Maybe Mom does everything for everyone and you think it’s about time that she was treated to a little relaxation time? Here is a gift set of pampering spa products to gift her a little spa and massage related self-care in the comfort of her own bathroom. Just being a little bit thoughtful will get you a long way.

So what’s in this great Spa box?

Each of these companies are Seattle-Local women owned businesses!

2 Beautiful bath bombs from Fizzy Fairy Apothecary

Artisan Soap Bar and 12oz of Bath Salts from The Bath House Co.

Coca-Loco Shea Nut Spa Lotion and Pink Himalayan Salt Body Scrub from MiCreationsByShawn

Purchase a box for local pick up or USPS Flat Rate Shipping right on our website at Revive Therapeutics

Self Care Tips and Tricks

I continue to look for ways to maintain some easy self-care. I’m looking for self care for myself that is inexpensive with a small time commitment and has great results! In one of my continuing education classes we talked about dry brushing. Although I haven’t implemented it in my massage practice, I have added it to my self-care routine.

Body Brushing

Dry body brushing, this is something quick and easy you can do for your skin, circulation and lymph system. Dry brushing should always be done toward the heart and you can vary the pressure but it doesn’t need to be hard or rough to be effective.

You can dry brush any time of day, but the morning is good because it really wakes you up. It’s great to dry brush before a shower, bath or applying a natural moisturizer.

More benefits of body brushing:

  • Exfoliates dry, rough skin, enabling moisturizing products to absorb into the skin and opens pores to help with eliminating toxins from the skin.
  • Assists with stimulation of sweat and oil glands, contributing to the restoration of moist, supple skin.
  • Gentle stretching of connective tissues from brushing helps to regenerate production of collagen and elastin fibers.
  • Alleviates vein and lymph congestion to reduce the appearance or cellulite.

Here’s a video to help you get started! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoTBP_WJy9E

For sharing options, click YouTube icon at bottom of video to view in YouTube, click Share below video title, and choose your option. To embed video in your blog post, choose the Embed tab in the Share options, copy the iframe code and paste into your blog editor.

Great Ways to Start Your Day!

Today we are talking about starting the day. How you start the day can set the tone for the whole day and leave you feeling frazzled or calm and ready to tackle your day.

Morning routine ideas:

  1. Wake up 20-30 minutes early to fit in some “me time” with a good book, journal, or meditation (and coffee!!).
  2. Start your day with no news or internet for 30 minutes (exception: your morning meditation).
  3. Write three things you are grateful for in a gratitude journal each morning. For a challenge try to write three different things each day, and by the end of one year you will have over 1000 things to be grateful for!
  4. Drink some water to hydrate your cells and brain.
  5. Visualize your day and how you would like it to go to start a positive intention for the day.
  6. Listen to uplifting music as you get ready.
  7. Stretch even if just for a minute.
  8. Have a green smoothie!
  9. Have your clothes picked out the night before, to make getting ready easy.
  10. Put a list of these on your bedside table, with a pen, journal and water bottle.

Daily Quick Stretching!

It has been hard to figure out how to balance home, work, kids, relaxation, the list can go on and on! I am realizing that setting up some daily routines that fall back on things I do typically, even without thinking about it, is important. For my kids and myself I have added time for prayer, baking, and movement. This week, we are going to make sure to do a yoga routine every day. If you want to find your inner child or have a young one at home, I recommend Cosmic Kids Yoga!

If you need to add some easy stretching to your day, here are a few ideas for you to start doing. Remember, a good stretch once or twice a day feels good and can help prevent injuries (flexible muscles can do more), improve your posture (and as a result help with back pain), increase blood and nutrients to your muscles, and help you to feel less stressed.

Here’s what I do:
Spinal Stretch – lie on your back, bring your knee to your chest and then across your body. So your right knee will go over to the left side of your body. Hold this for at least 30 seconds. Then stretch the other side.

Forward bend – Sit with your legs straight out in front of you stretch your arms up to the sky and then bend forward as far as you can.

Spinal Twist- still sitting with your legs in front of you, bend one knee to your chest then twist your body and hug your bent leg.

Other quick stretches (you can do these at your desk)

Clasp your hands behind you and pull back to stretch your chest.

Hold your arm in front of your body and stretch it into your chest

Stretch your neck from side to side or do neck rolls

I bet you are feeling better already!

Also check out You Tube for some quick stretching routines:

5 office stretches

5 minute yoga

Finding the Positives in Negative Times

It has been hard to get back into the habit of posting these past few weeks. My heart is heavy for so many reasons. My 9 year olds are devastated that they will not finish 3rd grade. 7 of us are cooped up in the house full time. I haven’t massaged in 2 weeks and I don’t know when I will again. (o.k. the kids might convince me to set my table up at home!) I realized today that the best way for me to overcome how down this could bring me is to post to all of you. I am so lucky to have such a vibrant massage practice! I will focus on the return to you, not the distance from you during this time. Here are a few ideas for you to consider on how to find the positives in these crazy times!

The news is overwhelmingly negative at the moment, people are
frightened, worried about what’s going to happen to themselves,
their families and jobs. It can seem as if there is no gap in the clouds
at all…but when you’re having one of those days cooped up indoors
and wondering when all this will end, there are a few ways you can
try to re-frame what’s going on to make it, if not entirely positive, a
slightly more positive experience.
This Too Will Pass…
Yes, it’s an old line, but it’s true. While we’re stuck in what seems like
a never-ending quarantine it might seem that it’s never going to get
better, but it will. Remind yourself that although this is horrible,
scary and makes life difficult for us all, it’s temporary. While we don’t
know how long it will last, normal life will resume at some point and
this will all be a memory.
Find the Lesson
There will be something we can learn from the current situation,
even if we’re feeling a bit lost at the moment. Psychologists who deal
with trauma believe that an important way of helping someone work
through it is to help them see that they have some agency, and an
ability to do something to find their meaning. Think about whether
there are any lessons you can learn from this crisis, things you may
have found in yourself, your home, your job that can be changed in
the future? Look at the bigger picture too – has the crisis fired you up
to join a political party, a charity, volunteer for something? Then it
hasn’t been totally in vain.
Move Left and Right
That sounds odd but stay with us…Research has shown that doing
repetitive movements like knitting, coloring and painting – even
jumping rope, are helpful at self-soothing because of the way they
engage your brain in the activity and need you to concentrate. Even
better are activities that engage the left side of your brain: running,
drumming, skating, or hopping. These simple things can be
surprisingly calming…Probably why adult coloring books and running
are so popular?
Express Yourself Artistically
Many people seem to be indulging their creativity at the moment,
and there’s a good reason to encourage this. The part of the brain
that deals with emotions is very receptive to creativity, and this
makes creative pursuits a great way to express your feelings. Stick
with something you know or try a new pastime – but make it
creative: drawing, dancing, music, singing, learning a musical
instrument. It doesn’t matter if you’re technically accomplished, it’s
about releasing emotions and engaging your creative brain.
Start A Long-Term Project
So, you’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, there’s
a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle or expert LEGO set you’ve been meaning
to tackle, and you’ve never completed a Rubik’s cube. What better
time to make a start? Your choice of project doesn’t have to be
anything challenging or highbrow either – perhaps you’ve always
wanted to read the Harry Potter books or watch Game of Thrones
but never got around to it? Start now, give yourself something to
distract you from the things you have no say or control over.
Keep calm and stay safe…

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.