I receive the calls regularly. "I just pulled a muscle. Do you have any availability today?" Here's the thing; I know you are in pain and want the pain relieved, but it just isn't a good idea to massage an injury while it is in the acute stage (right after it happens). When we injure ourselves, our body's immune system kicks into gear rushing to start the healing process as soon as possible. Many of the things that we register as symptoms of the injury (inflammation) are just our body doing its job. What are the signs of inflammation? Just remember the acronym SHARP which stands for Swelling, Heat, Altered function, Redness, and Pain. Each of these symptoms has a purpose and in most cases should be left to do their work unhindered. Let's take a quick look at why these symptoms occur.
COVID-19 has been stressful to say the least. We are not experiencing life the way that we did before, and that much change takes a toll. There are so many mixed emotions regarding what is going on, and for many people there is an underlying fear or tension regarding the thought of getting sick themselves, or seeing someone they love suffer. We are also not interacting with others in the same way, and many people are finding that they are craving interactions they never realized they would miss. As a species, we need positive touch, some more than others, but even the most introverted among us needs some interaction. This has led to a bit of a conundrum for many people. Massage can be more beneficial now than ever before for a lot of people, but how does one go about seeking out massage in an age of social distancing?
This question has led to an increasing number of people requesting in home massage. I can understand this line of thinking. You feel safe in your home, and you figure that if you aren't sick, this is the safest place you can be, so it makes sense that you would try to bring things to you when needed. I would actually argue that it is much less safe for me to come to your home to administer a massage than it would be for you to come to my office. Let me explain. First of all, it is important to remember, that if I am willing to come to your home, I am willing to go to other homes, and will likely book as many massages for the day as I am able to get to. Similarly, I have my booking completely open and will take as many clients as will fit in my schedule for a day in my office. So, let's break this down into two scenarios.
Hello lovelies! About a month ago, I posted a blog about my decision to undergo breast reduction surgery. As I write this today, I am 2 weeks out from having had the surgery and as my return to work is looming ever close, I decided to post a quick update about how everything went and what my recovery has been like thus far.
To begin with, my recovery is going much more smoothly than I had anticipated. I am a bit of an over thinker and over preparer, and was expecting to have a rough few weeks. I am actually glad that I prepared myself for something worse, because it has made my recovery seem that much more smooth. Especially in the first week, I was surprised that I was able to do more and more every day, and I think that taking the last couple of weeks to just heal and not do much else has been a much needed break. At this point, I am still a bit swollen and sore, but no more than is expected. What follows is a relatively detailed account of my recovery and some tips for those who may seek out breast reduction surgery, so that other may know a bit of what they may expect.
Over the past few weeks, I have been having conversations with clients about having breast reduction surgery because it is going to affect booking for the next couple of months. In the course of these conversations I have discovered that 1) a lot of people are close to someone who has already had the procedure and 2) a lot of people are interested in having the procedure done themselves. That combined with the fact that I have been reading other peoples accounts in preparation for my own surgery led to my decision to chronicle the journey for you. Over the coming months, I will write posts about my decision to have breast reduction surgery, what the day of and immediate recovery look like, and how my recovery is continuing afterward. I hope that you find this helpful whether you are considering having breast reduction surgery, or are just curious about it. Have you already had the procedure or are in the process of seeking it out? Let us know in the comments!
It is that time of year again… time to think about gifts. One thing I am trying to encourage in my family is to give fewer things and focus more on experiences. How many of you have random things stuffed into closets and on shelves that were gifts that you will probably never use? Not only is this a bit annoying for the person who has to try to find a place to put the stuff, but I always wind up feeling really bad that the gift giver has spent money, sometimes a lot, on something that is not useful to me. An experience is something that you do, like tickets to an event, a membership at a museum or zoo, treating them to a meal, or gifting them with a service. For those who worry about finding gifts for people, this is a great option because once you find an experience they like, you can give them that experience every year. You can make a recurring gift of renewing a membership or getting them a gift card for a service. While there are some who have been doing this sort of thing for a long time, it is becoming more popular, and more people are beginning to share in this practice. That brings me to the topic of this post; how to navigate gifting a massage. After being in the massage industry for more than 10 years, I have picked up on some of the things that just don’t work well. Good intentions that didn’t play out as well as you thought they might. So here are my 5 tips for giving the gift of massage.
*Note: This post is not intended to shame anyone who may have done any of the things listed. I understand that these situations honestly come with the best of intentions, but the best of intentions does not always lead to the best execution of an idea. If you have fallen into some of these traps before, this post is intended to help you do better next time.
So you're pregnant and have been researching ways to facilitate a healthy pregnancy and potentially lead to an easier birth experience? If you are reading this post, you have likely come across a lot of the information about how beneficial prenatal massage is, but if you haven't here is the link to my post about it. Unfortunately, what many of those posts don't tell you is that not all massage therapists doing prenatal massage are actually qualified to offer it. Many establishments that offer prenatal massage are so worried about letting your money walk out the door, that they will assign you to a therapist who is not qualified rather than having you wait for someone who is. It happened to me all the time when I was working in day spas fresh out of massage school and had very little instruction in working with pregnant people. So, before you schedule that prenatal massage there are some questions that you may want to ask your massage therapist to find out if they are actually qualified to perform your massage. Here are my 5 signs that your massage therapist should not be performing prenatal massage:
Whenever I prepare to go on-call for my doula clients, I like to go through my birth bag to make sure that everything is there and see if there is anything that needs to be replenished. As I gear up for a couple of upcoming births, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to shoot a video of what I bring in my birth bag!
Today we are going to talk about douching. The word "douche" is the French verb for "to clean". In the United States and many other parts of the world, douching is the act of flushing out the vagina with water, vinegar, "feminine washes", or other liquids. Douching is still relatively common with 1 in 4 women between the ages of 15 and 44 regularly practicing it in the US. Women of color are more likely to douche than their Caucasian counterparts, and teenagers of all races commonly do it1. With so many people engaging in the practice of douching, it is important to take a look at the impact that douching can have on your health and wellness, and the reasons why people started doing it in the first place.
There are a lot of names out there that people use to describe their reproductive organs. I have heard women talk about their "lady bits", "hooha", "cookie", "vajayjay", "vajean", "bajingo", "beaver", "fanny", "bathing suit area", "private parts", "box", "snatch", "junk" and more. The closest we usually come to hearing correct terminology is the use of the word "vagina", but interestingly enough, it is most commonly misused. I have posted a few blogs about menstruation that explain a little bit about the our reproductive organs, but as I was working on another post today, I realized that with so much uncertainty about what is going on in our reproductive systems, some terms may be a bit confusing. So today, we are going to look at the female reproductive system, learn the names for each organ and structure, and what they do. We will start from the outside and work our way in.
At last, I am back with a new aromatherapy post! This month, our focus will be on geranium. Many of you are probably familiar with this sweet smelling flower, and several of you may have it growing in your own gardens or flower beds. There are actually about 422 species of this flowering plant which are found all over the world, but they primarily grow in tropical climates and in the mediterranean. They come in a variety of colors and have a strong aroma similar to rose which makes them popular for people growing aromatic flower gardens. The use of geranium oil goes as far back as ancient Egypt where the oil from these flowers was used to make the skin brighter and more radiant, and it is still used as an ingredient in many skin care products today. In addition to treating skin conditions, geranium is also used to boost mood, alleviate anxiety, ease menstrual cramps, and much more. It is safe to use aromatically, topically, or to take internally (make sure that you are using food or therapeutic grade oils before ingesting). Geranium oil is generally believed to be safe to use with pregnancy, but it is best to exercise caution if you are pregnant. Let's look at some more benefits of geranium oil.
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to using a combination of bodywork and education to help people live a better quality of life.