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.

Does Pain Mean Gain?

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

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

Deep Tissue Massage might cause some discomfort….

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

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

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

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

Pain versus Discomfort

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

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

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

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

Massage v Stretching: What does what?

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

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

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

Massage

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

What’s massage good for?

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

Massage can:

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

Stretching

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

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

What’s stretching good for?

Stretching properly can:

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

How can massage and a stretching routine work together?

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

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

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

Growing a Baby is a Pain in the Back!! Here’s why massage helps.

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.

Backache

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.

Heartburn

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.

Sciatica

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
  • Diabetes
  • 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!

Make a Commitment to Your Back!

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.

Clench? Grind? PAIN!! Get some TMJ relief

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
  • Earache
  • 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.

Common Health Problems: What can Massage do for YOU?

Massages are often sold as an indulgence that you get when you visit a spa or go on vacation, but there’s so much more to massage than just a feel good treat. Many health problems can be reduced and even eliminated with regular massage! Discuss any issues with one of our massage therapists and we’ll cater your service to fit your health needs.

Here are a few conditions that can really benefit from massage; a few you might already know and some may surprise you!

Lower Back Pain

This is such a common problem, often caused by bad posture at work, so no wonder many employers bring in massage therapists to help their employees! Poor posture and sitting for too long can cause a lot of lower back problems, as can crouching while gardening, moving boxes around during seasonal clean-up, and simply getting older. Get one of our massage therapist on the case and you can hopefully wave goodbye to a sore back.

Sports Injuries

Fitness and sport are great for your health but they can sometimes lead to injuries and overworked muscles. A regular massage can help to heal any wear and tear on your muscles and tendons, and can also help you manage the pain from a chronic or acute sports injury. Having well looked-after muscles may also help prevent future injuries – one more reason to book those regular sessions.

Joint Stiffness

Massage can be a blessed relief for people dealing with the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis and other joint problems. Research published in 2013 in the Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice journal said that people with rheumatoid arthritis reported some relief from pain and stiffness after four once-a-week moderate-pressure massages, topped up with self-massage at home in between treatments. Massage can also help with your range of motion and flexibility, which can relieve pain in your shoulders, knees, and hips. Revive also offers paraffin dips, which can add additional healing benefits to your sore hands and feet.

Circulation

There are a whole range of health problems that can be caused by bad circulation, so it figures that boosting your circulation will be a bonus for your whole body. Regular massage helps to get the blood moving, getting essential nutrients to where they are needed in your tissues and vital organs much faster. The squeezing and pulling actions involved in a good massage help to flush lactic acid out of your muscles and improve the circulation of lymph – the fluid that carries metabolic waste away from your muscles and internal organs.

Migraine symptoms

Nobody really knows what causes migraines, and there isn’t a cure, but if you’re a migraine sufferer know that your massage therapist can help! Studies have shown that massage can help reduce the frequency of attacks, and lessen the severity of the symptoms. Some migraines, especially those triggered by stress, are especially receptive to massage treatment.

Allergies

A massage helps to stimulate lymph flow around your body, which boosts your immune system and can help to reduce the severity of allergic reactions.  Sometimes a therapist might be able to tell just from your lymph nodes if you are an allergy sufferer as they can feel tender or swollen.

Did any of those surprise you? Of course, you don’t need to make an excuse for wanting a massage, but if you are dealing with any of these health issues, it’s good to know that your regular massage habit is helping. Talk to your therapist and we can make a treatment plan catered to any health issues you’re experiencing!

Want a Spa Scrub Exfoliation? Here’s a few reasons to go for it + PROMO CODE!

When it comes to our skin, we’re lucky that Seattle weather is far from dry. Even though our weather isn’t taking a dehydrating toll on our skin, the sun in the summer (along with the sunblocks and bug sprays!) and the cold of fall and winter do a number on our skin. Have no fear! We can revitalize your dry knees and elbows, hands and feet with a delicious body scrub!

We offer spa style services right here in the neighborhood and at neighborhood prices! Our most requested body treatment is our body scrub. After all the hours in the garden and out in the sun this summer, September is a great time to add a body scrub or back scrub to your massage schedule. Dry, flaky skin can be eliminated with this incredibly relaxing treatment!

But why choose to upgrade your massage to a spa treatment, or even possibly add a back scrub to your massage? Here are a few reasons to indulge in a back or whole body scrub.

First, body scrubs remove dead skin cells. A body scrub doesn’t just treat the surface of your skin. It removes dead skin through exfoliation, removing the dry, dead, rough layer to bring out the soft skin below. You’ll never feel more refreshed skin than after a deep scrub.

Second, body scrubs promote skin hydration. Although as your massage therapist my number one focus isn’t skin hydration, it is a benefit to a body scrub that should not be overlooked! After a scrub, your skin will be able to better absorb moisturizers, and I finish each scrub with a body butter massage application! 

Third, exfoliating the skin removes dead skin that can build up and clog pores. This can help reduce the appearance of blemishes on the surface of your skin. Best of all, a calming body scrub can promote and increase your relaxation and stress reduction. So, book a back scrub with your massage or, even better!, treat yourself to a full body scrub, mud and body butter application because a massage is included!

Ready to indulge and benefit from the experience? Enjoy 30% off any one body treatment with BODY30 at booking.

Here’s a Way to Treat Yo’self!

It will surprise no one that essential oils are available with massage. But, the benefits of essential oils might! Essential oils are derived from plants, flowers, and fruits typically either by distillation or using a press. This means that the oils from these plants will offer us benefits without any chemicals.

One misunderstanding people have about essential oils is their name. No, they aren’t essential to our existence! Instead, they’re called essential oils because they give us the essence of whatever they are derived from. I use the Bon Vital’ Essential Oils in my clinic and enjoy their clean fragrances and unique blends. Experience the aromatherapeutic benefits of essential oils with your next treatment!

I have two excellent blends that I use with my therapies. The first is great for anyone who would like to enhance the calming, anti-anxiety benefits of massage. The blend combines lavender, bitter orange, grapefruit, and ylang-ylang. The second blend is for relaxation and benefits you physically through helping your mind wind down during your treatment. This blend is more forward with ylang-ylang, and also has lavender, myrrh, rosewood, tangerine, and bergamot. Both of these blends share qualities since they are designed for aromatherapy in conjunction with massage.

Aromatherapy is something that you can also add to your everyday life for bursts of beneficial essential oils. A little bit of peppermint oil on your wrists can offer rejuvenation throughout your day. Burning a sandalwood candle can provide a focusing quality to your workspace. And, as we head into cooler temperatures this fall, consider reaching for a warm cup of chamomile tea to calm your body and warm up your digestive track!

I am excited to continue sharing the awesome benefits of essential oils with my clients, which is why I’m offering a promotion for the month of September. Anyone who’d like to add aromatherapy on to their visit will get $5 off the normally $13 service! I always give you the remainder of the 2 oz bottle of oils, and this promotional rate is no different! So, use the promo code ESSENTIAL5 and I’ll see you all soon!

4 stories: Doula care is Essential care

Rachel with a client’s baby minutes after birth!

When my oldest sister’s first baby was born it was my first experience of labor and delivery. She chose to labor at home for a significant portion of her birth, and I was lucky enough to support her during that experience. Her birth experience ended up not unfolding at all the way she planned because babies have their own plan for coming into this world. As I watched her path to motherhood unfold, I was amazed by how many people it took to support a woman in labor and I felt drawn to the web of love and knowledge that surrounded her.

Fast forward a dozen short months and I learned even more about pregnancy, labor, and delivery with my own first baby. As part of my web of support, I was blessed to have a Doula help me through Jack’s birth. Having her with me allowed me to labor comfortably at home for my entire labor. She supported me with massage, moving labor positions, and relaxation techniques, all while being excellent moral support during the 10 hours she was with me at home. At the hospital she stayed beside me, keeping me on track with all of these things as I was transferred into the care of the doctors and nurses on duty.

My beautiful nephew, moments after birth

My doula and my labor partner (the same sister who inadvertently introduced me to the birth process!) were my voice at the hospital. While I was deeply focused on processing my contractions, keeping my breathing steady, and finding my inner strength, I was not able to communicate any of my needs or wants, let alone answer any questions that came my way. Instead, it was Sarah and Jennifer who listened to all the medical information, relayed it to me in ways I could process, and helped steer my birth experience as close to my birth plan as possible.

Even though I knew what to expect from birthing babies by my third pregnancy, I still chose to have a Doula with me. As someone who really doesn’t like needles or medical procedures, I really wanted to have a natural delivery of my second set of twins, just as I had done with the first. But, as I said before, babies have their own plans for coming into this world. These babies were no different and one of my twins was breech, so it was medically necessary that I have a c-section. It was my Doula who offered me calming techniques and reassurance as I went into a surgery I was not emotionally prepared for. My husband and I also asked her to be with us during that experience in case there was an emergency with me or with one of the babies. Because she was present, it would have given me continued support regardless of what my husband needed to do for our new babies. It was the continual support that really made me feel as though I had a rich birth experience with my last babies, even though their birth was so different from my others.

A few years ago, my sister-in-law asked me to be with her during her labor as a support person. Being part of her birth story by supporting her through labor and delivery was both humbling and so fulfilling! My deep appreciation of the birth support web grew, even more, when I was so central to it. It was at this point that I knew I wanted to train as a Doula and support more women through their journeys. In April 2018, I completed the BigBelly DONA training and am now a certified Doula. I am working towards completing my hours needed for full certification so that I can incorporate birth experiences into my practice. I’ve already supported mothers beyond my family and I’ve loved every moment of it! If you or someone you love is on a birth journey, I’d be honored to offer them Doula support!

I guarantee CBD is right for you. Here’s why.

It is impossible that you’ve missed the explosion of companies advertising CBD in one form or another. The interest in CBD took off in 2017 when the State of Washington legalized the use of cannabis as a health and beauty aid. Maybe you’ve already tried out CBD and realized its benefits! But, if you haven’t, I want you to know three great reasons I’m adding CBD oil as an option with massage.

First, CBD has antidepressant-like effects. Used topically and not ingested, CBD oil is non-intoxicating. But, even though it doesn’t make you high, it does activate your serotonin receptors. This means that regular CBD therapy can positively impact your mental health.

Second, CBD has a positive impact on your immune system. From its ability to alleviate autoimmune disorder symptoms to evidence that it promotes white blood cell counts, it is clear that our bodies benefit from including CBD in the care we give to ourselves.

Third, and most importantly, CBD interacts with a system in your body with the primary job of maintaining balance on a cellular level. The endocannabinoid system does many things, but one of its jobs is to help stabilize you while you’re sleeping. CBD has the positive effect of encouraging alertness, while also helping stabilize non-rapid eye movement sleep (also known as dreamless sleep). I can’t think of anything more important to physical and mental health than good, productive sleep. Adding CBD to your regular self-care regimen can benefit your days and nights!

These three reasons and many more are why I’m now offering CBD topicals with massage. I want to make sure my clients have access to the proven wide-ranging benefits. These benefits include pain reduction, anti-inflammatory capabilities, reduced wound healing time, reduction of scars and bruises, and deep muscle relaxation. Even the overall benefits of massage seem to last longer when your therapist uses CBD oil.

I am slowly introducing CBD into my massage business, and as a preliminary step, I’d like to offer you a promotion to try out CBD oil risk-free! If you mention this blog post with the phrase “I’d like to try CBD for me!,” I’ll add a complimentary area-focused CBD oil treatment to any massage. Come in and see the benefits of CBD oil today!