Why Relaxation Massage Is Being Left Behind and Left Out -- Part 1

In the next two posts, I would like to address an issue that I’ve been seeing in the massage and bodywork community. That is, the trend of emphasizing medically oriented massage techniques almost to the exclusion of relaxation massage. The next post will talk more about this trend and how it presents in the industry as a whole. In this first post, though, I’ll begin by telling a story of my own to illustrate how it can affect the lives and practices of individual therapists. It has taken a lot of time and consideration to thoughtfully develop these posts, and I hope that others may benefit from reading my story and my insights.

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Tips for Keeping Seasonal Depression at Bay

Today’s guest post about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was written by Kimberly Hayes of PublicHealthAlert.info. Read on to find out what this disorder is, whether you might have it, and what steps you can take to help alleviate its symptoms.

“Most of us feel less energetic and upbeat during the winter, when the days are short and the weather is inhospitable. However, for some people, the winter blues are more than a fleeting phase. If you find yourself crippled by low energy and sadness throughout the winter, you may be experiencing a type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder.

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Tips for Using a Foam Roller

To be frankly honest, I don’t really like foam rollers. Too often, I find that clients or friends will injure themselves by either too aggressively using this tool or simply using it incorrectly. (I mean, honestly, who thought it would be a great idea to put foam spikes on a roller?) I would much prefer that they go see a trained massage therapist or bodyworker who can work with their body to gently encourage it to let go of its adhesions rather than forcing it to do something it may not be ready to do. However, some people have to use their foam roller, whether because they cannot go see a massage therapist regularly or because they consider it a necessary part of their self-care routine, and I respect that. With that in mind, then, here are my tips for using a foam roller effectively and safely.

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Massage Is Preventive Medicine

Imagine, if you will, a scenario. Two women, both of the same age, similar physical characteristics, and similar lifestyles. They both have rather intense careers in similar fields and find that stress builds up in their lives on a daily basis to the extent that it begins to impact their health. One woman simply grits her teeth and muscles her way through each day. She won’t let anything slow her down, and as a result, she starts to notice that little health concerns tend to grow into much larger ones.

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The Therapist's Touch

What separates an amazing therapist from a good therapist, or even from a bad therapist? Undoubtedly, certain characteristics come to mind. Someone who really cares. Someone who shows you the kind of respect that you deserve as a human being. Someone with the energy level and professionalism that helps keep you calm and relaxed. Someone with the intuition that helps them pinpoint and treat your problem effectively. Someone who takes the time to really listen to you and attend to your needs.

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Wasting a Major?

Within the past two weeks, I had two separate conversations, both of which happened to involve my college major as well as my career choice. In both cases, once the other person realized that I had gotten a biology major and then proceeded into massage therapy after graduation, they remarked, "Oh, so you're not using your biology major, then?" Having heard similar comments in the past, it did not strike me as too odd to hear something like that, but by the second instance in as many weeks I realized that there was a general perception about massage therapy in which very little biology was involved. So did I waste my major by choosing to go into massage therapy? As a matter of fact, the biology major was an important step in preparation for this career which deals so closely with the human body.

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Outside Perspective: A post from milk + honey spa

My first post on this blog was titled "Tell Me How to Do My Job," and it was designed to try and encourage my clients to communicate with me about their needs and desires for their massage session. In this post from milk + honey spa, located in and around Austin, Texas, one of their therapists goes into more detail on why communication with your therapist is vitally important to your massage session. Enjoy!


Don't Be Ashamed of Your Body!

Rumble. Groan. Glub glub glub. Snort. Do any of these noises sound like something your body decides to let loose when you are relaxing right in the middle of a massage? I would be willing to bet that, at least once in your history of receiving bodywork, you've probably had this happen to you. What did you feel at the time? Embarrassed? Ashamed that your body was interrupting the session with its uncouth racket? Worried that your therapist thought you were disgusting? It's true that these are sounds massage therapists hear every day, sometimes multiple times a day. But you would be hard pressed to find one who is offended or disgusted by any of it. Why? Because these noises just signal natural bodily processes at work!

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