I frequently get asked if I do deep tissue massage. The answer that I generally give is that I do deep tissue massage, but it may feel different than other deep tissue they have experienced. I don't believe that massage should hurt. Sometimes there are sore or tender spots, but there is a difference between tenderness and pain. Many people have that "no pain, no gain" mentality and believe that the more pain they are in after a massage, the better the massage was. This simply isn't true.
When I first started working as a massage therapist, I was working in spas. It wasn't long before I started getting assigned deep tissue massages. Not knowing much about deep tissue, I asked my colleagues, who told me that it is the same thing, you just press harder, so that is what I did. Unfortunately, therapists who do this kind of deep pressure massage, knowingly or not, only perpetuate the idea that massage should be painful. In this blog post, we will take a look at what a deep tissue massage is and what a deep pressure massage is and how they differ.
For the next installment in the Benefits of Massage Therapy series, I am going to talk a little bit about massage therapy for people who have been placed on bed rest.
There are many reasons that a person may be placed on bed rest. Usually it is for a medical condition which may be exacerbated by activity, an injury that shouldn't be moved too much at first, or when someone is under observation for a possible condition. Some people are put on full bed rest and aren't allowed to get up, while others are placed on a less strict bed rest where they are to restrict their movements and not get up too much. Some people are required to stay in a hospital or medical facility, while others may remain at home. Regardless of the reason for and amount of bed rest, or where it takes place, some form of touch therapy is a good idea for anyone who has to restrict their movement.
Self care is an important part of wellness that most of us tend to forget about, or just not make the time for. I am as guilty of this as anyone. Some of us eat healthy, and perhaps exercise, but there is a lot more to self care than diet and fitness. Massage is a great form of self care. It helps you to relax, release tension, and feel better overall. Receiving regular massage has been proven to decrease stress, prevent some disease, make people happier, improve flexibility, and much more.
As a massage therapist, I like to encourage people to get regular massage to increase their overall health and wellness, however, I am also aware that regular massage isn't in everyone's time frame or budget. So how do you get massage when you can't get a massage? You can try self-massage techniques. Today I am going to talk about self-massage with a tennis ball.
One of the most common questions I get when I have tables at events is "What is Reiki?" Many people have heard of it, or know someone who gets Reiki treatments, but they don't really know anything about it. Today, I want to share a little bit more about what Reiki is and what it can do.
Basically, Reiki is a form of energy therapy. The Reiki practitioner helps to facilitate your healing by affecting you energy and energy centers rather than manipulating muscles and tissue like in a massage therapy session. Reiki originated in Japan, and has since spread all over the world. Reiki is pronounced like "ray-kee", and comes from the Japanese Rei- meaning spiritual and Ki- meaning energy. The kanji pictured at left are how the Japanese write the word Reiki.
Today I am starting a new blog series about aromatherapy and the use of essential oils. I will be highlighting a new essential oil with each post in the series. Don't worry, I'm not trying to sell you on a brand, and I won't do any posts regarding a blend that is only carried by a specific brand. My intention is to outline the benefits and uses of many of the essential oils that you are probably familiar with, and introduce you to others which may be quite useful.
I would like to start off this series with one of the most popular essential oils: lavender. Most of us are familiar with the smell of lavender and have probably used it or smelled it at some point. Lavender is a great oil, not just for its aroma which many find to be pleasing and relaxing, but for its practical uses.
There are a great many people who believe that massage is something you get as a treat now and then to pamper yourself. I would like to challenge those of you who feel this way to look at it as something that can be so much more.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog series about the benefits of massage therapy. I focused on benefits for the body and mind, as well as on benefits of prenatal massage, postpartum massage, and infant massage. In the series I mention several times that the benefits are more prevalent in those who receive regular massage. This means coming in more than just once, and developing a schedule of massages. If you want to read more about some of the specific benefits of receiving regular massage, please refer to one of the above posts, as I won't really be talking about specific benefits in this post. Today I want to talk a little bit more about developing a good treatment plan to incorporate massage therapy into your routine in order to reap more of those benefits.
If you have ever received a massage, the massage therapist probably offered you water afterward, or at least instructed you to drink extra water that day. But why is it so important that you drink water after a massage?
Sometimes the therapist will give you a short explanation about flushing toxins that were released. I even heard one therapist say that it will cause your body to feel the benefits of the massage for longer. That made me wonder how many massage therapists are telling people to drink water without knowing why. The explanation about the toxins is the closest to correct, but still not quite accurate. What are all of these toxins that are being flushed out? Many MTs can't tell you. No need to worry. Your body isn't suddenly releasing a whole bunch of toxins into your system when you get a massage. If that were the case, massage therapy wouldn't really be all that good for you. So let’s break down exactly what is happening and why it is a good idea to drink water.
For the next installment in my Benefits of Massage Therapy series, I want to talk a little bit about infant massage.
As an infant massage instructor, I teach parents and caregivers how to massage their babies. Infant massage has many benefits, not only for the babies, but for the person doing the massage.
It seems like I have been seeing an increasing number of posts talking about not being allowed to do things as a patient in a hospital, or the idea that hospital staff may place certain restrictions on you. I wanted to take some time this week to talk about informed consent, it's definition, and what it means.
Writing as a doula, a lot of my experience comes from working with laboring mamas, but informed consent is something that applies to everyone. Anyone who is having any medical or alternative treatment done should know about informed consent.
Part 4 of the Benefits of Massage Therapy Series is about the benefits of receiving postpartum massage. Earlier posts have been about how regular massage therapy can benefit your body, mind, and pregnancy, but let's look at why you should receive massage after baby.
I find that while prenatal massage is becoming more popular, many moms stop coming in after they give birth. While I understand that there are the stresses of recovering from birth while taking care of a new baby which makes it hard to find time for yourself, it is important to remember that those things make it all the more important that you DO take care of yourself.
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.