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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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!
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!
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.
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.
10 Moments of Thanks from 2019
- My CLEAN PET SCAN! confirming I am still cancer-free!
- 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
- My small business that provides me opportunities to learn, grow, and add to my community
- My career that provides me opportunities to serve others
- My house, which had seemed impossible in our crazy Seattle market!
- My community of friends, which has made this place feel much more like home in the past few years
- 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
- My group of doula clients who bring me into the most important moments of their lives with trust and open arms
- My opportunities for growth, both personal and profession
- 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!
- 50% off any service/gift certificate
- … 40% off any service/gift certificate
- … … 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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?
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.
- 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 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.
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!
You know, before I became a massage therapist, I had no real idea how one massage differed from another. Obviously, deep tissue was going to hurt and Swedish massage sounded like something fancy that happened at a spa, right? No, I was so wrong. There are a number of different styles of massage, and they aren’t just marketing lingo to make your experience seem fancy. Instead, each kind of massage offers a specific kind of touch with different health benefits and outcomes.
May you’ve only tried the most common massage, a Swedish massage, and you’re curious about others but have no idea what to choose. That’s where your friendly massage therapist comes in – if you’re not sure, just call or drop in for a chat and we can help you find the perfect technique and style for your needs. If it’s your first massage, we can make sure you know exactly what to expect.
In the meantime, here’s the lowdown on some of the different types of massage and what they can do for you. We don’t offer every type of massage at Revive, but we are pleased to share our knowledge with you!
This is one of the most popular massages – it’s sometimes called the relaxation massage, which might clue you in to why people gravitate to it. It’s absolutely great for getting rid of stress and anxiety. It’s also a good one to try if you’re new to massage as it doesn’t work too deeply into your muscles and the techniques we use are all designed to relax and de-stress.
So what can you expect? Well, we use long, flowing strokes all over your body, combined with kneading, tapping and circular motions. We’ll also use oils or lotions to make the massage smoother. If you’ve got tight muscles and aches and pains, we can increase the pressure where you need it more, adjusting the massage as it unfolds. Swedish massage is helpful if you’re experiencing pain from conditions like sciatica and arthritis, and it can also give your circulation a boost as all the techniques are designed to help get blood pumping around your body.
Deep Tissue Massage
This is more of a remedial massage than a relaxing one and ideal for anyone who does a lot of sport or has very tight muscles. It can feel uncomfortable as your therapist will work deeply into your muscles and connective tissues to release any tension in them. It can feel slightly painful although people tend to describe it as a ‘good hurt’ – and you may feel a bit of soreness afterwards, especially if it’s your first deep tissue massage. Most people agree that it’s worth it as you’ll feel amazing afterwards!
Hot Stone Massage
This is a supremely relaxing massage where the therapist uses specially designed warmed stones to increase its effects. This one is designed for pure relaxation and is an indulgent treatment that’s also great for first-timers. While you’re enjoying your massage, we carefully place the smooth, heated stones on different areas of your body. Sometimes they are also used as part of the massage to help get deeper into any troublesome areas; the heat from the stones helps loosen the muscles even more. It is kind of like hot yoga for the massage table! This one will leave you feeling calm and relaxed.
Thai massages can be like a mini-workout so they are best for people who have had massages in the past but want to try something different. Thai massage is an incredibly effective, energizing treatment where your therapist will use techniques like deep stretching, acupressure and yoga style positions to give you a really intense massage. Thai massage is really good for you if you have a lot of muscle tension, posture problems, or headaches caused by bad posture. It can feel a little uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t hurt. Always tell your therapist if the pressure is too much, or if you’d like more.
Reflexology is so much more than just a foot massage. It’s based on a holistic therapy based on the idea that there are pressure points on your feet that correspond to different areas of your body. If there’s something out of balance in your body, working on the area of your foot that relates to it can help to relieve the symptoms. It’s also very calming. When you have a reflexology treatment, your therapist will work on these different pressure points, paying attention to any where she feels a blockage. Even if you normally squirm when your feet are touched, the specific techniques and pressure we use are really relaxing and most people say they find reflexology enjoyable.
Shiatsu is another type of massage that is carried out fully clothed, but using quite intense techniques designed to deeply relax you and improve your wellbeing. Your massage therapist will use her fingers and thumbs, and occasionally knees and feet, to apply pressure where it’s needed. You’ll usually lie on a mat on the floor or a specially designed bench. Although it’s quite an intense massage, you shouldn’t feel pain or soreness afterwards.
The benefits of prenatal massage
All of the changes your body goes through while you are pregnant can mean that (along with the obvious things like an ever-growing belly and some sleepless nights) you can suffer from unexplained and unusual aches and pains.
The last trimester in particular is well known for being uncomfortable as baby grows and your body must accommodate the rapid growth rate. Massage can be a great way of easing the discomfort that growing another human being can cause! Being pregnant is a unique journey for every mom, but massage has universal benefits. So, if you’re sitting down at night with swollen feet or walking around during the day holding your lower back, consider coming in for a beneficial treatment.
A growing baby changes your posture, which can lead to lower backache and sometimes upper backache, too. Massage helps to relax and loosen up tight muscles, which reduces tension in your back and prevents backache.
As pregnancy progresses, you may find that your digestion slows down and you end up with complaints like constipation and heartburn. If you are stressed, it makes things even worse. Massage will help calm you and your digestive system back down, which may help to ease symptoms.
SPD or PGP
These conditions are caused by the ligaments and joints being softened, due to a hormone called relaxin. This can lead to symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) and pelvic girdle pain (PGP), which can both be very debilitating, and massage helps the symptoms by releasing oxytocin and endorphins, to help relieve the discomfort.
Pregnancy can put pressure on your sciatic nerve which leads to pain down the back of the thigh, leg and sometimes the sole of the foot. Try a gentle massage if you’re suffering from sciatica, as it can sometimes help to release the pressure on the nerve that causes the pain.
Headache and Migraine
A common pregnancy complaint, headaches are often affected by hormones and made worse by stress or tension in the head, neck and shoulder area. Massage is well known for being excellent at headache relief, and can also be a Godsend if you can’t take any painkillers.
Massage in pregnancy – warning
You should always make sure that if you are booking a prenatal massage, because it allows your qualified therapist time to set up the massage space to properly accommodate your physical needs.
If you are suffering from any of the following, please see a healthcare professional rather than your massage therapist.:
- Morning sickness or extreme nausea
- Heavy, bloody or watery vaginal discharge
- High blood pressure or/and pre-eclampsia
- High temperature or fever
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Unusual or identified pains you have not had before
- Contagious illness
Massage is safe for anyone experiencing a healthy pregnancy and can help with common discomforts, as well as make you feel great! We are looking forward to providing comfort, support, and relaxation during your prenatal journey!
Massage for back-pain relief
Back pain is no joke! So many adults suffer from twinges, spasms, or slippery back discs. And the reasons for the back pain are across the board, from injuries to sneezes. (My dad threw out his back sneezing once!) My younger sister had a rib slip out of place because of bad posture while breastfeeding and now, three years later, still finds herself suddenly in pain. What’s really important to remember is that any back pain needs attention – don’t wait to get relief until you can’t move or can’t sleep! Not everybody realizes that massage is a powerful painkiller with long-term benefits.
Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain and if you’re one of the 31 million Americans who suffers with back pain at some point in their life, you’ll know how miserable it can be. If you are dealing with chronic back pain – which is pain that’s lasted more than three months and less than six – it can impact on your daily life, and stop you doing things you want to do. You could be reliant on drugs to keep you mobile or help you sleep.
The vicious pain cycle
If you can no longer exercise pain-free, you might end up in a vicious cycle of inactivity which makes your pain worse, which stops you being active. Or you could just increase your meds but that just masks the problem. Also, some strong pain meds contain painkillers opioids like codeine which can lose their power over time as you build up a tolerance to their effects. They can also have unwanted side effects.
What you need is a way to manage your back pain that is effective but doesn’t have the side effects. Wouldn’t you know it, research has shown that regular massage along with your prescribed medication and any other advice from your healthcare supplier can be so powerful that you might be able to decrease the number of painkillers you need to manage your back pain and start to live a more active life.
How massage can help beat back pain
A massage session doesn’t just relax you, it can help to promote tissue repair, improve the blood circulation and does wonders for your stress levels and mood. Recent research showed that regular massage therapy combined with exercise helped people suffering from chronic back pain to feel less anxious about their condition too. The study, which took place at a pain management clinic in Western New York, involved sixty chronic low back pain patients who were split into two groups. One group received regular massage therapy, twice a week for four weeks, along with their regular treatment, and one group only carried on with their prescribed treatments.
The participants all recorded their own pain levels before and after having massage therapy on a scale of one to ten. There was a significant difference between the pre-and post-treatment pain rating in the group that had regular massage, but the control group who carried on as normal reported no changes to their pain levels.
If you suffer with back pain and want to try something different – book that massage session now.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed, my jaw can go nuts! I definitely inherited any and all jaw pain issues from my dad. I can remember from a young age watching him work at stretching, strengthening, and massaging his face trying to counter the symptoms of an inflamed TMJ. Maybe you clench your jaw when you’re angry or stressed, maybe you grind your teeth in your sleep, or maybe you love to eat a cheeseburgers far larger than your mouth — whatever causes it, massage can seriously help relieve your pain!
If you’re experiencing pain, stiffness and clicking noises in your jaw, you might be one of the 15% of adults who are thought to have TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ affects more women than men, and tends to affect people from the ages of 20 to 40.
Do you have these problems?:
- Pain in one or both of your jaw joints, face or neck
- Pain when you chew
- Stiff jaw muscles
- Difficulty with fitting your teeth together
A clicking noise, while it can be a symptom, doesn’t necessarily mean you have TMD – many people experience popping and clicking noises with their jaws, and it’s only likely to be caused by TMD if you have one or more of the other symptoms also.
The good news is that most of the pain you get from TMD can be treated without needing surgery, and massage can help treat the cause of the problem, which relieves the symptoms. Sometimes the pain can come from something as simple as grinding or clenching your teeth, and if this case especially, regular massage therapy can really help to make a difference by counteracting the stress that’s making you grind your teeth.
Back in 1981, a dentistry study found that the teeth-clenching and grinding which often leads to TMD reduced when the masseter facial muscles were massaged.
Stress Relief Can Lead to TMD Relief.
We all know of the studies into massage as an effective stress reliever and its role in reducing anxiety, tension and stress has been reliably proven over the years. Massage leads to lower cortisol levels and increases in the amounts of feel good hormones such oxytocin and serotonin. The feeling of total relaxation that can be induced by regular massage is the key to reducing stress-related habits like teeth grinding.
Home Massage for TMD
Specific techniques can help the symptoms as they flare up, too. Try massaging your jaw with a kneading type pressure – use your fingers to make a constant, circular motion against the joints and muscles that are most affected.
Find the masseter muscles in your lower jaw – these are directly behind your molars and sitting just below your cheekbone.Start the massage by touching the corner of your mouth, then working your fingers all along your jaw until you feel a flat plane of bone. Massage the area by pressing gently with two or three fingers in a circular motion. Massaging like this helps to warm up the muscles and also stimulates the lymph function, flushing out toxins at the same time. Keep going with the jaw massage until you feel some relief from the pain.