5 Things Not to Do As a Massage Therapist

The life of a massage therapist can be ironically … stressful. If you do not know how to succeed you'll definitely fail. For your own health pay heed to the instructions in this article. Go and see if your state has any additional license you need to practice your business first of all and I'll tell you the 5 things you absolutely should not do.

1) Do not under any circumstance practice massage therapy unless you are licensed to do so. This is illegal.

2) Do not arrive late to any meeting with a client. Be on time and in fact, be 15 minutes ahead of time. It is better to arrive early than to arrive late.

3) Do not be rude to you clients. It makes them extremely mad and they will not want to be your client again. Remember you're trying to keep clients not lose them. The last thing you need is an angry client spreading nasty rumors about you.

4) Do not practice massage therapy unless you actually know what you're doing. Bad reviews will be the undoing of your business. You need to build relationships with your customers and for that you need to be good at what you do. Take extra classes if you need to, but just do not go into business unprepared and uneducated.

5) Do not forget to advertise. You'll never get business if you do not advertise. It's the only way to get clients.

Do whatever you have to do to spread the message that you're open for business.

There you go. Now it's time to give a very brief overview of what you should do. First of all get a portable massage chair . It is essential to your business. Your clients will not always come to you so get a portable massage chair so you can go to them. A portable massage chair is light so it is easy to carry and it is also very comfortable. Your clients will thank you. A Massage therapist without a portable massage chair is the sixth fail to the additional five above. Make smart decisions by planning how you'll organize your business.

Ask yourself questions like Do you plan to do it all solo or will you hire other employees? How much will you pay your employees? How much will advertising cost? Is there a specific type of client you're advertising to? Which is the best way to go about your business? Do you want to go in business alone or with the help of someone else?

There are a lot of ways to succeed and a lot of ways to fail. Be confident in your decisions and if there is room for improvement accept that, instead of being paranoid. Make changes in your business by paying attention to them economy, the weather, and all other factors that just might affect your business.

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Bamboo Foot Massage

Legend has it that centuries ago, the wandering samurai, the Japanese warriors, would soothe their tired feet with TakeFumi. TakeFumi was not a practice requiring a particular piece of armor or something that had to be carried with them on their travels. Rather it was a piece of the ever-plentiful bamboo cut from the roadside that might be stepped back and forth on to tie tired feet.

But, in reality, it did much more than just massage the feet. Using the smooth shape and access to trigger points on the soles of feet, TakeFumi offers a do-it-yourself reflexology treatment.

The practice of reflexology originated in China and has been practiced in both China and Japan for centuries. Known as Zoku Shin Do in Japan, foot reflexology is actually a holistic therapy that engages the body's own healing powers by way of gentle massage. It is based on the principle that the foot is basically a mirror of the body divided into ten reflex zones. These zones all correspond to a part of the body and specific manipulation and pressure of the reflex point points will stimulate nerve endings (there are close to 300!) And blood circulation to reduce and get rid of blocks in the corresponding organs.

The truth is, in the United States it became known as “Zone Therapy” (a term coated by medical journalist Dr. Edwin Bowers) when American surgeon William Fitzgerald revived this ancient practice and became the man responsible for discovering that the application of pressure on the zones not simply relieved and cured pain but in the mass of cases also relieved the original cause as well.

Benefits of reflexology include (but are not limited to):

Increased blood circulation and lymphatic drainage which can alleviate (among other things) varicose vein discomfort and high blood pressure.

Much more efficient elimination of toxins in the body helping the skin, liver and kidneys.

Relief of an upset digestive system alleviating (among other issues) ulcers, colitis and stomach bloating.

Stimulates the nervous system helping fight the effects of depression and sleep disorders.

You do not have to be a wandering samurai to seek out this treatment especially if you are one of the many that cope with high levels of stress. Our body instinctively reacts to tension by channeling resources away from less critical functions to the area of ​​the body experiencing their “fight or flight” response. This leaves the immune system struggling and makes an individual vulnerable to illness. In fact medical research shows that far more than 75% of all health difficulties can be linked directly to tension.

What makes TakeFumi a perfect treatment for your aches, pains and stress relief is that it demands no appointments and no bulky plastic self-massagers. You are able to fit this remedy into your everyday schedule no matter whether you're at work, home or on the road and because it is made from the wonderfully sustainable bamboo plant, this is an eco-friendly therapy treatment for you too!

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Parasympathetic Stimulation and Massage Therapy – A Frank Discussion of The “Involuntary Response”

I begin this discussion by addressing the male guests first, as they appear to have, in my opinion, a more obvious reaction fitting the summary. To them I suggest pretending that the spa visit / massage is like a first date that you do not want to go through “uncomfortably”. To prevent your gun from discharging, try arriving with a properly unloaded gun and an open, clean mind. Men already know that this is no “guarantee” but it helps prevent an unintended situation. You can not really relax with a “loaded gun” can you? It does not matter whether you think your therapist is attractive or not, while you have a same-sex therapist and you are completely heterosexual or not, either you have the opposite scenario, or whether there are any obvious indication of the therapist's sexual orientation. The parasympathetic brain will respond however it does in that moment and without your or your therapist's fault.

The parasympathetic or involuntary response you have to your therapist's touch can be scary, exciting, embarrassing, or frightening dependent on you, your therapist, your view and understanding of massage, its benefits and the intent, skills and qualifications of the therapist. If your therapist is a professional, he / she is well aware of this involuntary stimulation when you are being massaged. Most of us do not “freak out” when our client gets a hard on, although that was not the intent of our massage technique. I often say (when asked, and yes I have been asked countless times … LOL) that I expect it to happen. Why? Well, we are alive, sexual beings who respond to touch and external stimuli. You are being touched, hopefully lovingly, even if we're working on a knot, and even if sex is not on your or our minds, which hopefully is the case in your legal and professional setting. An erection, in the “involuntary brain” is the same as digestion. You can not control the stomach noises when you are hungry nor when your therapist works on some “trigger areas”. So, we are gonna hear “stomach noises” even if you ate and / or already went to the bathroom; and equally, you are gonna feel stimulated possibly leading to an erection, sometimes even if “the gun was / is empty”. Here, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT. DO NOT FREAK OUT. DO NOT TRY TO HIDE (which you can not without you are sooner or you took precautions when you turned over (supine), to position this muscle where your therapist is less likely to see it), AND MOST OF ALL, PLEASE, DO NOT REACH FOR IT OR REQUEST THAT WE REACH FOR IT.

At least in my practice, it's not that kind of place; and actually, that is illegal in so many ways! Do not draw our attention to it, whether you are being “funny” or not. I make note here also, that there may be the urge to grab at the therapist. You may need to prey it's stripper at the club dancing on your lap but you can not touch, or you get thrown out and still have to pay! Whoa, what an analogy! (giggles) Yes, please resist this urge, unless your therapist is your lover, etc., outside of the establishment. Sometimes, even if that is the case, please resist and do not compromise the establishment of business and change the flow of energy in your massage session. Someone will know! In this case, please “be selfish” and feel grateful that things inside you still work the way they should and mentally thank the therapist for reminding you of this. The work has been great and honorable in “unblocking” that channel for blood flow.

What is my wish for my honored client on my table? Do you have a choice if something happens in session that disturbs you? What else can you do to improve the relationship with your therapist and the establishment at which you receive service?

My direction at the beginning of every session is that: “If at any time anything feels uncomfortable, please let me know.” This could be any “uncomfortable” feeling. Maybe I need to stop moving my hands that way or go work somewhere else for a bit then return if I sense my “mission in that area was not completed or was delayed”. Please speak up! I do not know what you are feeling when I do what I do. I just know that my hands convey love, my intuition indicated there was a need in that area and my energy went there in response to yours, so as to provide therapy. Sometimes your body requests for more pressure when you can not handle it. Sometimes you have “emotional breaks” causing my hands to work fast or slow or go directly to that spot that has been bugging you. This is “energy movement”, which I usually usually very connected to and which is not always understood. This type of “intuition” can not be taught. You nor I Do not always know why I went directly to that spot, but it brings relief you have been begging for all week and that's all that really matters. PLEASE KNOW THAT IF MY TREATMENT CAUSED YOU TO BE AROUSED, THAT THIS WAS NOT MY INTENTION AND HONESTLY, I WOULD BE MORTIFIED IF I KNEW YOU TOOK IT THAT WAY.

Sometimes clients do not want to go back to that therapist, although, other than the “arousal embarrassment”, everything was great and they felt relief from the massage. Maybe the massage triggered feelings that were strong and overwhelming for you … Sometimes so for the therapist too, who must maintain professionalism and deal with this “self-care” later. If you understand parasympathetic stimulation in massage, you will understand the difference between when you are being touched for sexual pleasure and when you are not. If when you involuntarily moan, your therapist responded and started to coach you to give more, then it's time to stop the session. The lines have been crossed into a different direction, as your therapist did not need to respond while in session and feed that channel.

I have massed people who transferred so much “energy” during the session, that at the end, I wanted to cry (in sadness, joy, or for no known reason), was confused, light and loving like a child, light and empty (as if sucked by an energy vampire), angry without knowing why, motherly, godlike or “queenly”, sometimes very shy (my natural nature, which you would not believe if you met me) like a little girl with her eyes affixed to her shoes as we part ways. All of this happen, even though I am very in tune with my own body and its needs during the session and have openly breathed my way through, so allowing for the “exit of all energies” through to the universe. Some things will still get stuck to “the conduit,” much as some of my energy will get stuck to you too. When you part from your sessions, do you feel a healthy, peaceful, loving, grateful connection to your therapist, for the work, how do feel and how your therapist respectfully handled you? If it was almost like a spiritual dance, then you are connected to the true self of that person even with the universal overtones. Much the same, a client or two may have come in with a headache or a cold and by the end of my day, it manifests in me. It is my responsibility to do self-care at the end of each day and while away from my work so as to be fresh, grounded and stronger for the next day of massaging and attending to clients' needs.

Some female clients prefer having a female therapist, and likewise, some male therapists prefer female therapists. This is a personal choice. Personally, I am very reluctant to accept massages from male therapists, based on my own experiences with some. However in either scenario, parasympathetic stimulation must happen unless you are dead. I know, and as long as I am not expected “to perform” at any point before or after the massage session, I am ok with being aroused … as long as it was involuntary and not the intent of the therapist. If you do not know the difference and something sounds weird, ask your therapist why they touched you there, and listen for a therapeutical answer. Do not absorb anything. Sometimes we know what we are doing feels good. We equally like our feet or our backs rubbed that way. We also know the anatomy and what channels are being stimulated and what therapeutically is happening with the body when we touch that spot. So, we might linger there for a bit, sometimes not enough for some, sometimes too much. However, we are going (well at least I am) from my intuition and focus on what “your energy” (your body) says it needs, and not with purposeful sexual stimulation in mind.

Maybe you are not stimulated sexually! Maybe you are in pain! SPEAK UP! Sometimes, I can tell that the pressure is too much because the client is holding their breath or the body “twitches” or some other. It's again the scenario where the muscle is asking for more and you, the person, can not handle it. I will ask, “how's the pressure here?”; are you OK with this pressure ?, etc., and 8 out of 10 times the client says “yes” everything is ok I know, from what I feel, that you are “saving face”, but I also know that maybe you can handle a little bit more to accomplish what I am trying to accomplish, which is relief and enough blood circulation in that area so that you'll feel the relief later. Knots are sometimes tricky. I am a very strong woman and I do work very hard for you, but I do not want to hurt you. Pain does not equate relaxation for a majority, in which case you should have gone to that other place with the whips, chains and bone-fragmented staff.

If I aroused you as a result of my techniques, please address it with me, especially if you felt anything was inappropriate. Sometimes, based upon our history, we tend to respond to things differently. I do not know you are a rape survivor. I do not know you have molestation issues. I do not know you equate being touched with sexual performance requirement. I only know what you have told me and that you have employed me to relieve stress, attend to an injury, give you relaxation and rejuvenation and help you be a healthier person. I know my job and work hard to do this for and with you. Maybe my massages, for you, need to be tailor differently. Do not write me off, jump to conclusions (male or female), and stop coming because what you are thinking might not be truth. Please know that your indicated purpose for coming in for service is at the forefront of my mind and thoughts and application of therapy at every instance. Going home with a little “loving” feeling is natural as my work in stimulating movement inside your tissues and channels take effect. I have a clean mind and clean body and no sexual thoughts as I work on you. It's strictly professional – Made me think of that “stripper on the pole” analogy again.

Honor me (and your other care-givers) with your payment for services, your gratuities, referrals and your returns. These are the biggest compliments to me, my craft and chosen career, and I am privileged and grateful for being that conduit you trust for your universal rejuvenation. I'm kinda like “mamma's love” to a “child” …. nothing more. Trust that and enjoy your parasympathetic brain.

Clients honor both their own bodies and their attending therapists, when they work as a professional team with the same objective in mind. Why did you come in for service today? Never forget your purpose. If you do, then you hardly will realize whether or not the therapist is meeting this demand. That other stuff is just a distraction from the intention. Now, I address the male clients first, as in my experience, they seem to be the most challenging. Female clients are not exempt, however, as some will need to receive the same “warnings” given to the men. We live in an age where massage therapists and clients can easily and freely cross the line and it is becoming harder and harder for the real therapists to distinguish themselves. Same for the client who gets the unprofessional service when they expected something else and / or vice versa. For good reason, we are now required to register with the JD and FBI and our licensing is only for specific, therapeutic services, nothing more. Let's keep your massage session dignified and honorable for both parties. There will be several other postings dealing with this issue so stay tuned for more of my therapeutic logic!

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Things Involved in a Shiatsu Massage

Are you familiar with the term “Shiatsu?” Have you experienced having a massage in a spa or a massage center? Do you know the benefits of massage to our body? To learn more about it, read the article below.

For centuries, massage has been used not only to relax our body after doing stressful and frantic works, but it was also one form of beauty regimen to beautify and to detoxify the skin.

Massage is the manipulation of the wonderful or deep layers of your muscles to promote healing process, to boost relaxation and to enhance function. Along with the advances of technology, massage transitioned along with it because masseurs use different essences, oils and formulas to make your massage regimen productive and worthwhile. At present, you can witness the introduction of various forms of massage devices ranging from small equipment to huge machines. Moreover, we can now avail different types and types of massage in spas and massage centers such as chocolate massage, gold massage, oatmeal massage, stone, myomassology and many more. Each of this type has its corresponding purpose and technique.

What is Shiatsu massage and how does it differ from other forms of massage therapy?

If other forms of massage techniques use essences, creams, oils and formulas as a base during the massage therapy, in shiatsu, it uses acupressure.

Shiatsu massage is one type of massage that uses finger pressure in massaging different areas of our body to enhance positive mental and emotional condition. It dates back from the traditional Chinese alternative medicine which used the combination of acupressure and acupuncture techniques.

It is popular not only in China but in other countries as well due to its natural healing ability. Japanese and Chinese people believed that imbalanced chi is the primary cause of illnesses and diseases, so shiatsu is done to balance the chi by unblocking and unclogging the meridian points in our bodies.

How is shiatsu massage done?

When you have a shiatsu massage, the masseur or massage therapist utilizes different shiatsu acupressure techniques by targeting the 12 meridian points of our body. It is somewhat painful because the masseur applies pressure on different portions of our body. Like the other types of massage, you are required to lie facing down. The massage therapist will also ask you to change position to let him / her have full control or access to the entire pressure points of your body.

Another aspect that makes shiatsu different from other forms of massage is the use of acupuncture. Some masseurs insert needle in some portions of our body to remove the blockage of energy and to enhance the flow of positive chi in our body.

Common body ailments removed by shiatsu massage include:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach ache
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Muscular tension
  • Menstrual problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Back pain
  • Stiffness of some portions of our body

Since the benefits of shiatsu massage on our body, you are advised to consult your physician first before undergoing shiatsu massage to avoid illegally and negative events from happening.

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The Benefits of a Chocolate Massage

Have you tried going to spas and massage centers? Have you tried giving different parts of your body a chocolate massage? Massage is one way of alleviating pain, relaxing and rejuvenating ourselves after long hours of work at the office and at school. To know more about the benefits of chocolate massage, read the article below.

For years, men and women go to sauna and massage parlors to have massage treatment using oils, lotions, powder and other essences. Throughout the years, dermatologists and scientists have discovered new ingredients and formulas for use in massage parlors and spas like mud, gold, honey and oatmeal. Are you aware of the latest hype in sauna parlors and massage centers nowdays? Did you know that chocolate is not only used as comfort food but in massage parlors as well.

We already know that chocolate is one food that dieters should hinder from eating to prevent gaining additional pounds. We also know that chocolates have the ability to remove menstrual pain and to prevent drowsiness. Aside from preventing heart diseases, it is also a rich source of antioxidants needed in preventing chronic fatigue, cancer and hardening of the arteries.

Apart from these advantages to your health, dermatologists also discovered that chocolate is advantageous to use in massaging our body because of its high antioxidant levels, tryptophan, minerals and vitamins which are good to the skin. Studies show that the chemical substances found in chocolate lets you relax and feel good, comparable to eating chocolates.

Benefits of using chocolate on the skin include:

  • Did you know that the theobromine content of chocolate helps burn fat and eliminate unwanted cellulite.
  • Its polyphenol contains anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties.
  • It contains glycerides which contain lipids and fats used to moisturize, to plump and to firm your skin.
  • It contains calcium, potassium and magnesium needed for cell renewal and growth.
  • It has a calming effect that reduces stress and makes your muscles feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
  • It reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and stretch marks.
  • It improves the texture of your skin.
  • It removes harmful radicals caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun, dust, wind and other harmful substances found in the air.
  • It leaves your skin glowing, fresh and younger looking.

How is chocolate massage done?

The first thing that masseurs do is they warm the chocolate before using it during the massage. Massage therapists sometimes incorporated warm massage oil to thin the chocolate.

In massage parlors or spas, customers are given the option to choose which procedure they want to have, like chocolate facials, body wrap or complete chocolate massage package.

In the chocolate facials, masseurs place thin coat of chocolate on the face before massaging. This procedure is known to plump the skin, to erase lines in the skin and to make the skin look younger.

In chocolate body wrap, massage therapists use dark chocolate oil in massaging the body. They wrap the body with foil to allow the properties of chocolate to see into the skin.

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Massage Therapy and Chiropractic Care

Massage therapy complements the therapeutic effects of spinal adjustments performed by a Chiropractor by relieving habitual patterns of tension in the soft tissue surrounding and supporting the skeleton. These patterns of tension are sometimes referred to as “muscle memory.” To achieve more lasting results from a chiropractic adjustment, it is helpful to address symptoms of stress and injury found through the body that may be contributing to the problem. Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) are trained to identify problem areas and relieve symptoms with a variety of massage techniques.

Soft tissue is composed of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and a thin sheath of connective tissue called fascia. Techniques employed by an LMT to address soft tissue tension or injury may range from gentle relaxation massage to more deep tissue work designed to break up scarring and adhesions. The benefits massage can include include the following:

  • alleviate pain caused by tension
  • soften and relax injured, tired, and overused muscles
  • reduce muscle spasms
  • increase joint flexibility
  • improve range of motion
  • improve circulation and the body's natural cleansing mechanisms
  • enhancement immune response by stimulating the lymph system
  • provides pain relief from the physical stress of pregnancy, labor and birth
  • loosen tissue adhesions caused by surgery or trauma to the body
  • help the body recover from strenuous exercise
  • relie migraine headaches
  • release endorphins and create a sense of well being.

The following describes some of the most common therapeutic massage techniques:

Swedish Massage – This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.

Deep-Tissue Massage – This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deer layers of muscle and connective tissue. It is commonly used to help with muscle damage from injuries and chronic patterns of tension.

Sports Massage – This is similar to Swedish massage but is geared towards people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.

Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy – The word myofascial means muscle tissue (myo) and the connective tissue in and around it (fascia). When stressed or injured, muscles form trigger points, like contracted knots, that cause pain and tightness. This massage focuses on releasing tension held in these sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers that often cause radiating or referred pain.

Rolfing® Structural Integration – Dr. Ida P. Rolf, a biochemist and Rockefeller University fellow, developed a system of soft tissue mobilization and movement education designed to organize the whole body to function optimally. A series of 10 sessions is typically recommended to achieve changing changes in posture and structure by manipulating the body's myofascial system.

Active Release Techniques ® – ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system / movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART.

Thai Massage – This type of massage involves stretching and deep massage. This form of bodywork is usually performed on the floor, and the client wears comfortable clothes that allow for movement. No oils are used in Thai massage.

Receiving massage therapy before or after a chiropractic manipulation helps the body release soft tissue tension that can either be caused by skeletal misalignment or may, by contracting and pulling on the skeletal system, be the cause of it. While caution must be taken to avoid overstimulating areas of inflammation, another benefit of massage is to encourage lymphatic drainage, which asserts the body's own efforts to heal itself.

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Getting Coverage For Massage Therapy

In the American medical system, doctors and insurance companies decide what kind of treatment most of us are allowed to receive. This is unfortunate for civilians who are interested in complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) who are not able to pay out-of-pocket, since many insurance companies and doctors do not take these forms of treatment seriously despite their evidentiary and anecdotal efficiency. Massage therapy is often subjected to the disdain of western medical professionals and denied patients with back pain who could benefit from it.

When trying to get coverage for massage therapy, it is important to articulate the reasons that you want this type of treatment to your doctor. This serves two purposes: first, your doctor will realize that you have educated yourself about your condition, and that you are now a partner in your treatment rather than a malleable patient; second, your explanation may open your doctor's eyes to pain management techniques that do not involve drugs.

Muscle imbalances, overuse injuries, damaged spinal discs, tissue damage in the back and misplaced vertebrae are all conditions that lead to back pain and can be helped by massage therapy. To get coverage, you should explain why massage will assist in the treatment of your specific issue – not only as something that feels good, but as something that attacks the root of your problem.

Massage increases blood flow to your muscles, allowing them to flush out toxins and take in fresh oxygen and nutrients with which they will be able to perform work. Massage therapy can also target myofascia, the connective tissue that surround muscles. When a muscle is damaged, this tissue can become tight and inflamed. Knots called trigger points may form in myofascia that has been chronically tight. Trigger point massage technique involves applying direct, sustained pressure to these knots until they disperse, relieving tension of the myofascia and muscle.

Damaged discs and improper spinal alignment can cause and be caused by chronic muscle tension in the back. Relieving tension from these muscles is a crucial step in recovering from these conditions, since tight muscles exert a pull on the spinal structures near them.

There are many types of massage therapy, and you should know which type might benefit you. Read the descriptions at http://www.unitedmassagetherapists.com/orange-county-massage-types.html to learn more about different techniques massage therapists use.

It is always a good idea to arrive at your doctor's appointment with resources for your doctor to review. The ability to verbally express your treatment desires can then be supplemented by printed information, such as details about the treatment plan you want to pursue and research supporting its utility. PubMed is a database of research; simply go to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ and search for studies on your condition and treatment you want. Being informed yourself will help you inform your doctor and receive the treatment you desire.

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Understanding Trigger Point Therapy

When it comes to structural health care, the average person is a little bit clueless, but maintaining a healthy musculoskeletal system is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Sustaining a healthy frame with good posture and balanced muscle tone not only helps alleviate aches and pains, but it will help maintain a better quality of life as the body ages and succumbs to inevitable wear and tear. There are a number of options for structural health care available, such as chiropractic or various massage and soft tissue techniques. One type of soft technique is Trigger Point Therapy (TPT), which is easily learned, and can be performed on others or even yourself. To better understand how you may benefit from TPT, it is important to first understand what a trigger point is, and how TPT works.

Simply put, a trigger point is a localized area in a muscle where the muscle is contracting or gone in to spasm on a small scale, creating a tight “knot” or “nodule” in the muscle. It is theorized that these small areas of spasm are the result of a chronically stressed muscle trying to conserve energy by shortening muscle fibers in bundles through the muscle. Trigger points can refer pain to other areas, and different muscles have different pain referral patterns for trigger points.

In Trigger Point Therapy, the goal is to break up these nodular areas of muscular tightness. TPT can be performed by hand or with the assistance of specialized tools. The basic concept is to apply steady pressure to the trigger point for a short period of time and then release and repeat.

When pressure is applied to the trigger point several processes are occurring. The pressure helps to break up adhesion between the muscle and surrounding connective tissue called fascia, and cause the muscle fibers to relax, much the same as how a typical massage works. But, the more important process seems to be that the pressure pushes all the blood and interstitial fluid (the fluid that surrounds all the tissue cells in our bodies) out of the area. When the pressure is released, the tissue in the area is flooded with fresh blood.

The press and release process of TPT is basically flushing built-up toxins and metabolic by-products in the interstitial fluid away from the muscle cells and allowing nutrient rich blood to rush in and support tissue repair and healing. It also begins to break up adhesion between tissues. The ultimate result of TPT is relief from tight tender muscles.

TPT is most easily performed on another person, but you can perform it on yourself on many areas of your body. Unfortunately, there will always be some areas you just can not reach yourself, especially on your back! Luckily, there are perfectly designed tools for “do it yourself” Trigger Point Therapy which are readily available.

TPT is an excellent way to begin to take better care of your body. To learn more about TPT, go to The Natural Health Resource. The Natural Health Resource provides a free Lesson on Trigger Point Therapy which is easily understood. They provide resources for TPT tools and educational material as well. Let The Natural Health Resource assist you in your first step toward structural health.

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Inada Sogno Massage Chair Airbags – Why So Many?

Until the Inada Sogno Dreamwave Plus massage chair came along, the chair that had the highest square inch coverage of the body was the Panasonic 30007. That chair boasts approx. 450 square inch body massage coverage. Not bad.

Well, along comes the Inada Sogno and this chair has over 1200 square inches of body massage coverage!

When we talk about square inch body coverage, we speak of roller coverage, but primarily air bag coverage. Whatever your opinion is of airbag massage (if you even have an opinion on the subject), almost all massage chairs have airbag massage as a primary feature. The Inada Sogno has taken airbag massage coverage to a whole new level.

Here is a list of areas where the Inada Sogno exhibits airbag massage:

1. Full arm airbags – includes upper arm, forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers. I've never seen a massage chair with such a thorough arm massage.

2. Cervical headpiece airbags – the Inada Sogno is the first name-brand massage chair, that I am aware of, that has airbags in working on the neck muscles. Of course, you can lift the headpiece up and over the back of the chair to get roller massage on your neck, but the airbag feature for the neck is fascinating. The airbags feel like fingers kneading your neck muscles. Very enjoyable.

The cervical headpiece also has airbags on either side of the neck that push down on the top of your shoulders (the trapezia muscles for those of you in the know!). This feature is amazing as it mimics the elbows of a licensed massage therapist digging into your shoulder muscles. If you work on a computer all day long, you know how those muscles at the top of your shoulders can get sore and achy. Well, Inada is the first company that we've seen who actually has airbags to massage those muscles. It is a great feature.

3. Seat airbags – also known as Dreamwave technology, the airbags in the seat is another very unique feature that I have never seen before in another massage chair. The airbags move the seat of the chair from side to side in a figure 8-like motion as well as up and down. Now, for acute low back pain there is nothing like it in the market. To have a chair with a seat that passively goes up and down and side to side is a dream come true for someone with a terrible low back pain flare-up.

4. ITB airbags – another feature very unique to the Inada Sogno. If you've ever had back, knee, or hip problems, I can almost insure you that Iliotibial Band muscles at the outside of each thigh are very tender. These airbags massage the outside of your thighs while you are in the seated position and it can be pretty dang sore. A must, though, if you've got lower quadrant pain as I mentioned above.

5. Calf and foot airbags – most chairs, nowdays, have some sort of foot and calf massager. The airbags found on the Inada Sogno are good, but nothing out of the ordinary. Although the chair is head and shoulders above other chairs as far as functionality goes, the HT-9500 massage chairs by Human Touch still have the best calf and foot massage mechanism, in my opinion.

6. Lower lumbar airbags – although airbags in the waist area is not new, the way that Inada has employed them is unique. They have them inflate one side and then the other to simulate the rotation motion of a chiropractic adjustment. It lifts one side of your low back forward and then the other side so that rotation is induced in the lower lumbar discs … and area that is late to lack of motion. Great feature that I think is fabulous, again, for low back pain sufferers.

The remote control has the ability to adjust the airbag intensity from low, to medium, to high. In my clinical and retail experience, the airbag massage can be a little intense for some folks, so an intensity adjustment is very important.

Well, that about sums it up for airbags in this very unique and popular Inada Sogno massage chair.

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Your First Professional Massage – What Should You Expect When You Go?

At every spa or massage facility, guests should expect a professional staff, clean and comfortable appearance, and great manners. Manners, especially so lacking today, are essential in a massage space since it is “a therapeutic escape,” so do not tolerated being mistreated and do not mistreat the staff. Always confirm your appointment and arrive at least 10 minutes early. This way, you have time to park, catch your breath, fill out any paperwork required by the establishment, drink water, and use bathroom, etc.

Usually, appointments are booked 15 minutes apart. If you are late, the therapist is late for the next client, as she'll need to clean up after you, prepare for next client and take care of any personal necessities in that 15 minutes. We want you to be relaxed and we have to be relaxed to get you there, so if we're rushing to get set up and doing the “pp dance” … expect some therapists to watch the clock while doing your massage and not be absolutely “connected / committed”. Sometimes this happens even if you were on time and may be based on the skills / training of the therapist, so please speak up to your therapist first, and ask for what you want, whether it's more pressure, etc. We try to please everyone. If you are late and we accommodate you, feel blessed and bless us in the process with your tips!

If it's your first time and there's a receptionist, do not be shy about asking what's the norm. Some people are fine taking all their clothes off for their massage, some people are not. Your therapist and / or your receptionist will help you decide. Much of this has to do with the factors: how comfortable you are with your body, a stranger, albeit draping you professionally, what issue you want to have addressed, and your overall personal comfort and circumstance. You may also want to factor in whether your therapist is same-sex or not and whether you are cool with that regardless of the professional draping.

You should be offered the use of the bathroom upon check-in and after your massage, if not ask for it. You may also drink tea or water, before or after. Do not drink more than 8 oz of fluids prior to a session lasting more than 1 hour. You can not relax altogether, if your bladder is overflowing and you are on the clock as soon as you enter the room so give yourself enough consideration.

Feel free to ask your therapist any questions relative to your session with him / her and the establishment. He / she is a professional at their work and in customer relations and should address you accordingly. You may do this before and / or after your massage, but do not forget that after your massage, your therapist has to clean up and get ready for the next person.

Now, focus on your breathing (ask each therapist what that means) and relax. Let your therapist smooth away your stress and rejuvenate your body. If anything feels uncomfortable, painful, or you simply just do not like it, please speak up kindly. Something like, “I do not like that” is very good; Egypt “that hurts unbearably”. Addressing your therapist like this gives you control, mutual respect and does not threaten or impute motive to the therapist's action. It's also clear direction for how much pressure may be adjusted lovingly.

Saying things like “OW”, “you're hurting me” (as if the therapist is purposefully hurting you and knows what you are feeling) are usually “angry tones” putting off rude and angry emotions and indicate that you somehow imagined your therapist is acting on purpose, which is far from honest. Accidents do happen, so clarify and maintain the dignity of this especially vulnerable situation. Your therapist needs to be centered and grounded in peace for he / she to deliver the best service.

Sometimes, especially if your therapist is a “therapeutic based practitioner”, there may be more to your massage and a purpose behind a little pain. He / she may explain that “this might hurt for a second” as they trigger some “channels” in your body. Sometimes 'your body requests' for deeper pressure but “you” can not handle it. If your therapist is committed and following your body's energy signals, this might be why the pressure is strong as it requests for it. So, speaking up and saying “that is too much” or “can you go a little softer, or” I do not like that “is very good communication with positive energy. screaming “OW” or some other “similar tone” changes the energy in the room and the spirit / intent of the work being done.

Your therapeutic-based therapist may also indicate to you that there may be some “stagnation” or blockage in certain channels in your body. This could mean that there would be some pain in triggering or “moving” this stagnation towards the exits. Keep this in mind, especially when we explain. The SI channel, for example is often clogged and so working specifically in these areas may require you to breathe deeply. I will usually give this direction, as well as indicate how long I will be working in that area to accomplish my objective, so that you can look forward to the benefits and go back to relaxing more comfortably. Your “therapeutic-based” therapist is one that's not simply there to lotion and caress you, but to give your whole body and spirit a “reset”.

You should feel the effects of my massage starting immediately and lasting for a week or more, whereas most massages at the spa, etc may last only a few hours. When you leave, you should have after-care directions, and already notice a huge difference with your body (stomach reactions, thirst, hunger, need more relaxation, randy, ready for some fun stuff, and from my work, “especially Zen” , balanced, spiritually connected in universal love and “open”, strong enough to take on whatever the rest of the day and week brings). Now that's myitting your “reset” button, if you asked me ….

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Chair Massage Techniques – How to Massage Effectively Part 1

Chair Massage specialist, Eric Brown, has developed 8 principles for effective body use that he encourages you use to reduce the stress on your muscles and joints. This is the first part of a four part series:

Principle 1: Keep your spine in a straight alignment

The back needs to be kept in a neutral position. The curves of the spineought not to be exaggerated or eliminated. By preserving this alignment, there is little strain to the vertebral discs or the ligaments that support your spine. Because we normally have sedentary lifestyles, we tend to lack the strength and body awareness that we need to stabilize the torso in this position.

As a result you have to be positively aware of keeping the back in this neutral alignment. This stabilization is critically important and lets you as the practitioner to transfer your body mass solidly into the customer's body.

You really want to lunge when doing many of the chair massage techniques. If our torso is straight in a lunge position, you will note that you are looking downward at the floor. This is an unusual position. We instinctively have an orienting reflex that causes us to want to align our gaze to the horizon. So your normal inclining will be to lift up your gaze and extend your torso into a very upright position to look straight ahead. This pulls your back out of a neutral position and causes hyperlordosis (excessive curving) in the low back. This makes it a lot more strenuous to stabilize the lower back and causes undue stress to the joints and discs in the back.

It's essential to fight this reflex and to retain a very neutral alignment of the low back. At first it will feel very unnatural. However, as you bring your conscious awareness to your back you'll begin to be aware in a kinesthetic way why this makes sense. At first it will take great effort to maintain this neutral positioning. But with time you'll start to become increasingly comfortable with the sensation and it will always feel very natural for you to maintain.

Below you'll find a easy exercise you can do to get the feeling for stability in your spine in this neutral position.

Exercise for an neutrally aligned back …

Coming from a background in ballet, I've been exposed to alternate ways of thinking about the human body and how it moves through space. Most dancers do not know much about the body's anatomy so they regularly communicate movement behaviors in the form of imagery. One image they constantly use, whether standing still on stage or jumping into the air, is the image of pushing your feet into the ground. It's like Newton's third law of motion: “Every action has an opposite and equal reaction. ” The more they press into the ground, the more their spin rises and lengthens.

For this first exercise, simply stand still in one spot with your feet slightly apart. As you remain quiet for a second, be aware of the sensations through your body. Scan your body with your mind's eyes. While you are standing there in a relaxed way, think of pushing into the ground with your feet. Think about trying to push the floor away from you. As you do this, be aware of what happens in your body. Recognize how your legs feel as though they become more stable while remaining relaxed. Feel your pelvis rotate into an upright alignment so that it feels like a bowl that softly supports your abdomen. Notice how your spine sees to straighten without any work and how your body looks to lengthen and get taller around a central axis.

Repeat this a number of times letting your body relax and then engaging your feet into the ground to really recognize that lengthening feeling in your back.

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Reduce Stretch Marks Naturally By Using Massage Techniques

Do you have stretch marks in some portions of your body? Are you having difficulty removing them or eliminating them over time? Are you aware of the causes of stretch marks? To learn more about it, read the article below.

For years, women kept themselves beautiful by using different natural, organic and chemical based cosmetics. They successfully treated pimples, skin discolorations and scars, but there is one skin problem that they have difficulty in removing, stretch marks. It is usually found in the stomach, around the breast, in your arms or in your thighs. Stretch marks not only affect women, but also men.

Have you wondered why these marks occur? What are the causes and how can you eliminate or reduce this unwanted skin problem? Before you opt for any solutions, it is best to know how they emerge and what are their causes, right?

What are stretch marks?

Stretch mark, which is also known as striae, is the scarring of our skin giving an off-hue color. According to studies, glucocorticoid hormones are the ones responsible for the occurrence and development of these marks because it follows the fibroblasts from developing elastin fibers and collagen needed to keep our skin growing taut. Because it lacks these supporting materials, our skin is stretched and results to epidermal and dermal tearing.

Instances and scenarios where you can expect to have stretch marks

  • Pregnancy – Because of the stretching and gaining of weight among pregnant women, it is a common sight to see the marks after they wave birth. It is usually found in the stomach and underneath the breast.
  • Weight gain – Because of the sudden change of weight, it is expected to have marks in the legs, stomach or upper arms.
  • Puberty – Because of the rapid change in hormones and spurt of growth among teenagers, stretching of the skin and are commonly experienced by teenagers.

With the advancement of technology, numerous techniques are innovated to address and to deal with these marks such as laser, derma techniques, abdominaplasty and many more. However, not everyone can afford to undergo these expensive techniques.

At present, you can buy lotions and creams specifically made for removing stretch marks. These cosmetics are fortified with vitamins, A, E and C which are known to be effective in eliminating and reducing the appearance of stretch marks because they balance and provide moisture to the skin.

Another natural and inexpensive method of removing these skin problems is to use cocoa butter and shea butter in massaging the affected area. According to studies, massaging the affected area at least once a day using these natural ingredients will stimulate blood flow and collagen, then skin elasticity and strength will be even distributed on the problem areas.

Before choosing a particular method, be sure to do your share of research to assess its advantages and disadvantages first. No matter what measures and methods you choose, be sure that it has no side-effects. It is better to be safe than sorry.

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The Best Way to Massage a Hurt Knee

Depending on the cause of the pain, you can remedy a hurt knee by applying cold compress in the area, applying pain relievers, or by massaging. When you are going to use massage, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to make sure that you are doing it correctly.

A painful knee can be due to osteoarthritis. And it has been known that massage can help ease the pain that people experience due to this degenerative disease.

However, knee massages are more commonly used for sports injuries. There are two famous methods. One is with the use of circular frictions and the other focusing on the patellar tendon.

Begin with removing any clothing that is on your legs or on your affected knee. This will allow you to apply the right pressure without tiring your hands too much. The extra layer or the texture of the clothing can give you extra work.

Gliding your hands slowly around the knee with soft circular motions will “warm up” the area. Muscles that are tense can relax a bit and be prepared for more vascular therapy.

Small circular massages are applied to the hurt knee. Begin with the motion from the side of the knee. Apply moderate pressure. Pressing the area too hard or too soft may not work as well as when you apply the right amount of pressure. From the side of the knee, you work your way towards the front of the patella.

Be careful to move at a leisurely pace based on what is most suitable for you. Work around the knee while repeating the action.

This massage technique is used when knee injuries cause the knee joints to swell. There may be significant effects achieved when the injury is just new. However, for chronic knee pains, several treatment sessions may be required before relief can be achieved.

When massaging the patellar tendon, you will use your thumb. This finger is focused on that tendon while rubbing the area with circular motions. Bend your knees so that your fingers can reach the tendon well.

A simple squeezing motion on the front part of the knee can be considered massage. Make sure that you pay attention to massaging the muscles and not the bone. You can use a single hand and cup the knee.

Using small movements with your fingers to massage the surrounding muscles in the knee can also help. Include the muscles below the knee as well as the quad muscles above it. Your finger pads will apply pressure to the muscles to relieve them of the tension and hopefully, treat the area of ​​the pain.

Another stroke is to use the palms to massage the sides of the knees. Small circular motions are also used for this method. Go up and down at the lateral part of the knee. However, you may extend until you reach the top of the knee and massage the muscles there. Do this with your feet resting on the floor or with your ankles resting on top of your other leg.

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Massage – The Health Benefits

If you're thinking of taking a spa break then chances are you'll be thinking of having at least one massage while you're there. Massages offer a whole range of benefits, beyond the relaxation aspect that's most obvious to many and this article takes a quick look at the most obvious of these.

Topping our list is massages ability to relate anxiety. Like many other mental issues stress is one of the largest contributing factors to anxiety. Massages are one of a few obvious treatments to help relax the body and relieve this stress, having regular massages can even permanently reduce stress levels in day to day life.

Relieving sleep issues. With the hectic lifestyles many of us lead developing a problem sleeping is quite common. Taking a moment out of your hectic life to relax with a good massage can provide the escape you need to re-tune your sleeping, affording you a sound nights sleep and refresh your energy levels.

Improving circulation and relieving heart conditions. Receiving regular massages can help improve blood circulation around the body, and so help increase the flow of oxygen to vital organs and muscles. This can lead to a renewed energy and in some cases can even relieve excess stress on the heart. Used in combination with traditional medical treatments it can help speed treatment of heart related health issues.

Reducing muscular pain and sore joints. A traditional massage is a great way to tie knotted muscles and release built up tension. The release will quite often stop niggling muscular pains that may have been causing you problems for months. Back pains, migraines, and general joint pains can all be reduced through massage.

Improving skin condition. Through the use of essential oils and massage techniques general skin health can be improved. The relaxing of the skin and the conditioning effect of the oils can reduce occurrence of dry skin and give you a healthy glow. Regular massage treatment like this can also reduce the appearance of wrinkle and ward off the signs of early aging.

These are just a few of the fantastic benefits you can get from a massage and a trip out on a spa break has many other fantastic treatments on offer too. If this sounds like a great idea to you why not joining all the other spa seekers out there, hunt down your local spa and treat yourself to a day of pampering.

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How To Create a Great Massage Logo

Almost all massage therapists can not wait to print up their new business cards. As they start to put the design together the first things they come up against is designing a massage logo for their business card.

However, is it really necessary that they have a massage logo?

Logos are used in conventional advertising to develop a certain amount of comfort with a product. Logos are also used to anchor and reproduce a certain feeling or emotion that the logo is associated with. Because of this logos (and branding in general) are way more important for commodity products, that is products where there is very little perceived advantage in the consumer's mind.

Faced with a rack of candy bars at a convenience store checkout for example, an advertiser wants a consumer to get an instant sense of familiarity and comfort with choosing their product. They do this by and through through logo design (there's not enough room to place much more than a logo on a candy bar wrapping) which has been related with a specific message or certain feeling through considering brand advertising on the boob tube and in print. If that candy bar does not get picked right away from the vast selection of comparable candies, then that business is out of luck.

Most small businesses, massage practices included, do not have the same same need to brand as the candy bar manufacturer. Massage is not a “commodity” item. It's what sellers call a “high involvement” product. The ordinary buyer does not see a dozen offices lined up down the street and on a whim select one. They research, get suggestions about, seek referrals to, converse about, and take time making up their mind before they pick up the phone to reserve a massage. The need for instant visual recognition is really not that vital.

So for massage therapists, massage logos tend to serve more as artistic components in the design of business cards than any kind of branding tool.

Basic principles of massage therapy logo creation …

Here are some basic rules and principles for creating your personal massage therapy logo.

1. Keep it simple

Avoid a lot of details. Prospects are only going to look at it momentarily and leave with a feeling. Keeping the design elementary makes your massage logo easier to remember and easy to reproduce.

2. Do not get overly literal

Your massage logo does not have to convey what you do. Think of some of the greatest logos: Golden arches (nothing to do with hamburgers), a swoosh (nothing to do with running shoes) or an apple (nothing to do with computers). So you can breathe a sigh of relief recognizing that you honestly do not have to have hands in your logo … seriously, you do not.

3. Make it memorable

To be unforgettable your logo should be bold, graphic and unusual. Avoid cliches. There are so many massage therapy logos that have illustrations of hands and the low back curves that they are now indistinguishable from one another.

4. It should look good without color

You never know how your logo will be reproduced, so it should be recognizable in black and white.

5. Can be resize

Your logo will need to look good no matter if its large or tiny. You had better be able to shrink your logo down to an inch and have it still be readable. It should look good blown up on a storefront sign as well.

6. Make it a rectangle

Our eyes roll easier across images that are wider than they are tall. Design a wide logo instead of a tall one.

7. Utilize your company name

If it makes sense, use your name in your logo design. This is known as a logotype or wordmark. It does double duty making your name as part of the design rather than an afterthought.

In summary, do not worry about your logo too much. A massage logo is not going to determine the success of your massage practice.

If you are just starting out, you can generate interesting sales materials without a massage logo by using simple typefaces and decent quality graphics.

If your logo is not remarkable then think about doing away with it. It's better to have a simple layout in your website and contractual materials rather than stick with an awful and impractical massage logo just for the sake of having one.

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