The best part about what I do is preventive medicine.  I use the term ‘medicine’ lightly because I am conditioned to think of medicine as drugs.  Growing up in the United States, that’s how they want us to think. All the advertising and money making machines don’t want you to worry about what could harm you because there are drugs available to ‘fix’ it later. It is that philosophy that has me so very disheartened.

I’ve seen it most of my life having grown up with a mother who is a nurse.  You tell a diabetic to carefully monitor what they eat, and they don’t listen.  That doughnut, right now, will make me happy and so what if I suffer a little later.  It can’t really be that bad.  And maybe that one doughnut won’t be a major issue.  So you eat it.  You feel fine.  The next day you eat 2.  No big deal. Now you’re eating 1 or 2 doughnuts a day and in a week, then you’re in the hospital dealing with the side effects or your bodies inability to produce the right amount of insulin to break down the sugars.

So now you behave for a month or maybe three, but you are craving those doughnuts again and so the process starts all over landing you back in the hospital.

If you’re not a diabetic, you probably don’t understand.  You’re probably thinking, “That’s silly to do so much damage to yourself. Suck it up and give up the doughnuts!”  Well, that’s how I feel about the way people treat their health, like something they can worry about later.

If scientists could give you proof that dairy products like milk and cheese cause osteoporosis (weakened bones), would you be able to give it up?  If processed sugars are the leading cause of diabetes, why is it so hard for people to cut processed sugar laden foods and drinks out of their diets?

I can’t answer that question either. I found out that food allergies were making me sick and I cut those foods out, changing my entire lifestyle to improve my quality of life.

 

In Alternative healthcare, we are looking for the root cause of the given issue. As a massage therapist and as a cupping therapist, I ask many questions to help me better understand what is actually causing the clients discomfort, tension, or pain. This informs the techniques that I will employ as well as the treatment plan and recommendations that I might make. If a person presents with back pain, I’m not just going to tell them to get on the table. I’m going to ask when they started feeling the pain. Is it a sharp or a dull pain? Is this something that is constant, or does the pain come and go?

When I allow myself to dig deeply into the why, I know whether I’m sending them home with stretches after my massage, or if I’m forgoing the massage and recommending the client see a doctor. (Lower back pain can mean kidney issues). It’s a disservice to the client if I’m not on my game making sure that I help them to get better the right way and give them ways to avoid being in pain.

Regular monthly massage and cupping can help to prevent illness or injury. These treatments boost the immune system and help to reduce stress. They can even help alleviate stress induced insomnia. Yet, all too often I hear, I’m too busy, I don’t have time for massage.

This is when I ask, “Can you afford to miss a week of work while you are out sick?” Most of them will say, “No.”

One hour a month, is not a lot of your time. Even two hours is nothing when compared to a week out of work. So remember, it’s much more cost effective to take 1-2 hours each month instead of losing a week of pay every 2-3 months.

Somehow I ended up on an email list for The Sacred Science. I probably noticed an ad in my Facebook feed and clinked on it thinking it would be a good place to learn more about my industry. As it turns out, it was a good idea.

Last week they sent me a link to a video, The Energy Tourniquet: 4 Movements for Life Force Flow.

I never tell people to try anything that I haven’t already tried myself, so I followed the videos instructions from beginning to end. And I felt amazing!

Almost instantly I started to feel better circulation and blood flow. By the end, my aches and pains had faded. They didn’t go away completely, but became much more manageable.

What he offers in the video is a type of yoga.  For people who are just becoming acquainted with Holistic Health and Alternative therapies there are a lot of new terms (which he explains) and some of the verbiage can be a little off-putting. But stick with it.

I often like to remind people that we are energetic beings. Science has proven that everything in this world is made up of energy. Atoms are the very foundation of the world as we know it. The body is simply a very dense cloud of atoms that our brains comprehend to be solid masses.

So, once we can open up our minds to better understand how we are affected by the energy around us, how our breath plays an important role in our healing mechanisms, we can reach higher and higher levels of self healing abilities.

Every yoga class or meditation group I have attended has always talked about the importance of paying attention to the breath. Does it hitch when we move a certain way? How deeply are we breathing? So during your next massage, cupping, or acupuncture treatment, be mindful of your breath.

I have to admit, I’m kind of terrible at this blogging thing. I get distracted, writers block, or feel like somebody else could say it so much better that I might as well just let them do it. This is doubt. This is negativity creeping up into my life and taking over. And the best thing that I can do, it try to nip it in the bud! So, I’m going to try to do better from now on. Not just for me, but for you as well. Because we all deserve better.

You see, as an energetic practitioner, I realize that I’m only doing myself harm by not trying to be the best possible me that I can be. We all do this from time to time. We make excuses as to why we haven’t fixed that broken chair leg, or written that letter of recommendation, or made it to the post office to send out that birthday gift you purchased 2 years ago for your friend… Of course, if it’s 2 years late, it might not be relevant anymore which made it a waste of money.

And honestly, the thought doesn’t always count. It’s nice that you thought about picking up toilet paper, but now that you are out of it and dealing with a really bad stomach bug, you’re now in a bit of a pickle.

Life is crazy and hectic and gets in the way a lot of the time for everyone. But the truth is, only a handful of things are out of our control. Most of what stops us from getting things done, is ourselves. And once we realize how much we tend to stand in our own way, it makes it easier to get out of the way.

Here are 5 Tips to get back on track

 

1. The Daily ‘PAUSE’


A lot of the time procrastination and self-doubt enter into our lives because we need a break. It’s not uncommon for us to fall behind on chores and tasks because our body and mind is telling us we need to slow down.
This can be difficult for a lot of people, so if it’s a really tough thing for you to do, start small. Set up a daily alarm on your phone to remind you to breathe. Just that. At 2:00pm, the alarm goes off, you close your eyes and take 5 deep, slow breaths. Once you’ve got this routine down. Consider adding in a guided 30 minute meditation either first thing in the morning, or sometime in the evening after work. (There are great guided meditations on YouTube). Next, slowly work that meditation up to an hour everyday. (Or join a meditation group once a week in your area.) Once you’ve mastered the art of the daily ‘pause’ you might find that you are far more productive and a lot less overwhelmed.

 

2. Morning Exercise


Exercising boosts feel good endorphins and helps to stimulate circulation. This is highly beneficial, not just for your overall health, but for getting you ready to face your day. When you exercise in the morning, using an aerobic exercise, the flow of blood stimulates the brain to an active and ‘ready’ state. Of course, maintaining a healthy diet with your exercise is just as important. As my JuicePlus+ loving friend always reminds me, when you work out your body releases cellular waste into your system, so you need to add in anti-oxidants to flush out the waste in order to stop that cellular debris from becoming stagnant in your body. When you hear about the mid-day crash that people suffer from, it’s usually a lack of anti-oxidant activity in the body. So, exercise, but get in a healthy dose of fruits and veges to keep the brain healthy and active.

 

3. Detox the Sugar


I know what you are thinking. How can you give up pastries, and donuts, or that wonderful, heaping scoop of sugar in your coffee? The truth is all processed sugars are TERRIBLE for you. ALL OF THEM. No splenda, sweet and low, equal, throw it all out! That stuff is made to keep you addicted. So when that addiction and need for sugar kicks in, we become sluggish, tired, and unproductive. I suggest starting out slow by replacing the processed crap for unprocessed sugars like honey, coconut palm sugar, turbinado sugar, or pure organic cane sugar. At least until you can successfully wean yourself off added sugars completely. (Don’t worry, I’m right there with you. Still struggling with ridding my life of sugar, but on the plus side, just getting rid of the processed crap makes a huge difference!)

 

4. Snack


Yes, you read that right. Have snacks. But NOT JUNK FOOD. (Put down the chips, it’s not worth it!) Pack almonds or cashews or any other nut that you like. Raw is best. Nuts are great for healthy fats that boost your energy levels. Grab fresh berries, apples, oranges, or a banana. If you don’t have a grain issue, eat a Kashi bar. (I also like Larabars, but I’m partial to the ones free from peanuts.) The point is, when you eat healthy snacks, it boosts your metabolism and fights off hunger induced fatigue which helps to keep you on task!

 

5. Me Time


This is an expansion on the daily ‘Pause’ from tip #1. My favorite productivity booster is monthly massage. Sitting at a computer, doing a lot of driving, and frankly being a massage therapist, are really tough on my body. I get a lot of tension and discomfort in my lower back, neck and shoulders. Often, the pain and discomfort keep me from being productive. But, when I allow myself the time to have all that tension worked out, I feel much better and find I’m able to accomplish so much more. But, combine that with yoga, acupuncture, and/ or chiropractic and I find myself procrastinating or avoiding my responsibilities less and less.
Now, allow me to share with you a lesser known truth. Me Time does not automatically mean alone time. If you’re extroverted, you’ll probably benefit from a night out with the guys or gals. Hit up a sporting event, concert, movie, get drinks (or coffee/ tea) at a local haunt. Me Time is really about doing things that you enjoy. It’s about forgetting that long list of to do’s in favor of fun and relaxation.

I promise to work harder on taking care of myself and this blog. Will you promise to take better care of you? What other things would you add to my list of procrastination killers?

I decided to go for a walk to my local all natural store for a snack. On my way back, a man on a bicycle was heading the opposite way on the side walk that I was walking on. As the man moved closer I moved my bag of snacks across my body and away from the man and the bike. I also happened to make eye contact with the man.

This week I’ve been extra tired. I know it’s my fault I’ve been getting less sleep, and I also know it’s starting to show on my face when my guard is down. I’ve often been told that my tired face, is a mean face. And sadly, that is probably the look that the man saw.

His face showed anger and sadness. I may not know for sure what he was thinking, but my guess is that he thought I was worried he’d grab the bag out of my hand.

This was not the case. What makes it more likely for him to believe the worst of me is that I am a very young looking, white female. He was an older gentleman of Hispanic origins. And right now, the United States is in a ‘race’ war.

What he doesn’t know, is that I moved my bag out of concern. In my mind, I pictured him accidentally getting too close to me on the sidewalk and my bag accidentally getting into the spokes of his bicycle wheel making him lose control of the bike and even possibly winding up helpless in the road. I moved the bag because I’m paranoid about safety and I worry over things most people would not even consider.

So what is the point of this little story? Well, I doubt I really need to tell you, but I will anyway. Don’t assume the worst of people simply because they are different. We all have moments where we are unguarded and that is the easiest time to mistake a persons true intent.

It is healthier to believe the best of people in these small moments. It stops us from feeling hurt unnecessarily.

The journey is long and takes us down many paths. Often, it leads us to unexpected places. When we allow ourselves the chance to let go, and follow our intuition, it can take us further than we thought possible.

To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science. -Albert Einstein

My journey has lead me to The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest. And what an eye opening experience that was. Considering that I’m already a member of the Holistic way of thinking, it is not strange for me to look for natural ways of dealing with dysfunction in the body. And besides, I’ve always believed in the bodies ability to heal itself.

Although I grew up with a nurse for a mother, and a father who worked a short time as an EMT, I was lucky enough that my mother believed in ‘doing what works.’  She has never been the type to dismiss something purely because it isn’t conventional. (Yet, these days she’s more afraid that I may never trust Western Medicine again.) Therefore, I grew up with this sense that open-mindedness is the key to truly understanding the world around me.

I still laugh that although my mother and her family were very religious, my mother ended up with a spiritualist and an atheist for children.  My sibling and I are on completely different wave-lengths and often disagree. He believes that I’ve lost my mind, and I worry that his fears are stifling his ability to be open to possibility. Funny, that he’s the scientist/ mathematician and I’m the artist/ healer. Yes, I still consider myself an artist. It takes a sense of creativity to complement the knowledge needed to perform an awesome healing experience. Therapy, without heart, just doesn’t feel right. And so I use the artist in me, to create treatments that are more specific to the individual needs of each client, while relying on my knowledge of muscle structure and fiber direction to guide me. And, it is this balance of the artist and therapist that helps to keep me well-rounded.

Being centered really just means that you have found the place from which you can emanate wisdom. Wisdom, is the ability to weigh and measure the things that come your way, without bias, to see the truth in-between the threads of life’s tapestry.  Wisdom does not judge. Because with wisdom we do not feel the need to prove anything. We may feel compelled to educate others about the truths that we have found, and we may do so with vigor and passion, but without anger or contempt for those who are not yet ready to hear certain truths. Months ago, I was not ready to absorb the information presented to me via Ty Bollinger and the crew at cancertruth.net or the doctors with which they interviewed. But, 10 years ago, I also would not have believed I’d be owning a small business and hiring on an employee just prior to my 4th year business anniversary. And so this post is merely a journey itself. This post, is to allow you to decide for yourself if you are ready to walk this path to enlightenment, or decide I’m just another crazy blogger.

Keep in mind though, that Chiropractic was condemned as quackery not too long ago and now is covered by medical insurance providers and is the major treatment for injuries sustained by automobile accidents. Not to mention that massage has long been considered a luxury treatment, yet many are turning to Massage Therapy to break-up scar tissue created from surgical incisions or injuries. Massage is even quickly becoming the #1 treatment for plantar fasciitis.

And if we are to believe that stress is the major cause of dysfunction in the body.[1] [2] Then alleviation of stress on a daily basis can go a long way toward preventing bodily dysfunction.  As well as maintaining a healthy and strong immune system.

So how do we do it?

Graphic courtesy of: allgoodprovisions.com

Graphic courtesy of: allgoodprovisions.com

EAT REAL FOOD. Do away with processed, packaged goods completely. Stay away from processed sugars, or any sugar that isn’t naturally derived. What is naturally derived? Apples, oranges, strawberries all have natural sugars.  But these are also delivered along side a dose of healthy fiber from the fruit itself helping the body to absorb and process these sugars properly.

Eat lots of green vegetables. Green vegetables carry important vitamins and minerals that help to strengthen the immune system. Don’t forget about other vegetables though. In fact, your best bet is to “eat the rainbow.” No, not skittles. Carrots, red cabbage, yellow peppers, kale, beets, bananas, blueberries, etc. See the graphic to the left? There is your inspiration. With so many fruits and vegetables to choose from, you should never go hungry and rarely get bored. So go to your local farmstand or organic market and get yourself a smorgasbord of good, clean, real food!

Find a balance between activity and rest. Yes, exercise is very important. But so is down time. Stretch before any work-out and schedule in massages, saunas, float treatments, acupuncture, etc. to flush your system of the cellular debris that occurs from working out.

Hydrate. And make it safe hydration by avoiding BPA laden plastics.  Want to make your water even healthier? Consider MRET water systems, or magnetically charged water. [3] Actually, there are many systems out there worth researching that will make your water healthier for you. Bottom line: You are mostly made up of water and your body needs it to survive.

Consider Supplements. I’m no doctor, and I don’t know enough about supplements to really tell anyone what to take. But, if you are concerned that you might be deficient, talk to your primary care, chiropractor, or ND about the correct way to supplement to benefit your health.

Educate yourself. If you’ve read my blogs, then you know I’m really big on telling people not to believe what you are told. Always, always fact check. And, follow your gut instinct. And please, check out cancertruth.net and on Facebook at CancerTruth to learn more about living a healthier life.

[1] Chronic Stress Causes Pathology in Humans -University of Toronto Study

[2] How Stress Induces Intestinal Hypersensitivity -US National Library of Medicine

[3] Water: The single most important element for your health -Dr. J. Mercola/ Dr. G. Pollack

Let’s talk Cupping for a change. Over the past year or so in the USA there has been a debate about the dangers and benefits of Cupping Therapy. With big name stars like Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow sporting their cupping marks, it’s been difficult NOT to hear about cupping. Many of my clients have begun to inquire about the modality and how safe it is as well as why someone might choose to cup instead of massage or acupuncture.

The marks on Gwyneth are considered healthy marks. These marks occur due to the intensity of the suction of each cup on the body bringing blood and cellular waste to the surface. The marks can be light red, dark red, purple, white, or in some cases you can find petechia, blistering, or purpura.

Although cases of petechia, blistering and purpura are rare, they do happen occasionally. Usually, this is sign of a more serious ailment, and your Therapist would recommend paying a visit to your primary care physician as a precaution.

The most common marks are of the light red and dark red variety. This signify healthy blood flow and circulation. A dark purple mark signifies stagnation in the body. Most practitioners of alternative therapy will call this a build-up of toxins. This is waste being drawn out at the cellular level. The cups pull waste from the cells and then as the marks fade, the body is working to flush the waste out of your system.

The final type of mark is a bright white mark. If you’re pail like me, likely you won’t see anything. In Chinese medicine they consider this the most dangerous and unhealthy mark as it means the area is not receiving blood flow. Blood is life. Blood is what carries nutrients to your tissues and moves the waste out. Therefore, an area that is not receiving blood is dying.

I’m sure you asking yourself; why do Gwyneth’s marks look brownish if that’s not one of the color options? Part of the reason is simply the way they were photographed. The other part is that marks fade. Unlike bruises which change color as they heal (blackish blue to yellow), cupping marks aren’t doing damage that needs to be healed. The marks fade as circulation moves the blood and waste from the area. Because of the way blood is moved through circulation versus the coloring of your skin, occasionally the marks seem to take on a brownish hue.

So, I know this ended up a little short, but in the end I was simply trying to properly introduce cupping by dispelling the most popular myth; that cupping leaves bruises. As I explained, cupping leaves marks that fade. These marks are a product of the suction of the cups and blood flow (or lack thereof).

For more on cupping, visit my website at http://www.5points.massagetherapy.com/cupping-therapy

handsIt is believed that the first sense a human being develops is the sense of touch. This fact alone should tell us how important the sense of touch is in our lives. However, in most countries, especially the USA, we suffer from touch-deprivation, due to minimal physical interaction with others.

Don’t believe me?  Try this article from Berkeley: Hands on Research: The Science of Touch

Don’t worry Americans, Britain tested worse than us during observation from a 1960s study.  Friends in England never touched, not even a hug in greeting or departure.

Americans, however, only seemed to touch each other during bursts of excitement. I’m not sure much has changed since the 1960s. At least not in the Northeastern United States. We’ve grown up in a culture that creates a fear of physical interaction with others. Especially with members of the same gender. Not to mention the connotation of a phrase like “physical interaction” causing most Americans to think of intercourse or intimate touch as opposed the broader meaning of shaking hands, a pat on the back, or hugging someone.

I have a habit of moving around more quietly than most people. This has lead to people backing into me when I try to move around behind them without interrupting a current conversation. I tried saying “excuse me” and found people than expected I wanted to speak with someone in the conversation as opposed to simply wanting to get around them. AWKWARD. That’s how I felt. So one day, I simply placed my hand on the persons shoulder that I wanted to move behind.

At first, that person would turn and ask what I wanted. After a while, friends and relatives understood I was merely making my presence and movements known in order to avoid being stepped on, pushed, or interrupting a conversation. With strangers as soon as my hand hits a shoulder I quickly say excuse me and motion with my eyes to the part of the room they are blocking. However, in most cases these people are still startled and obviously upset by my brazenness at touching just a shoulder.

So what is the point of this story? We can communicate a lot with touch, but our culture has made even a simple hand on the shoulder a semi-jolting experience. We react poorly to strange people touching us unless we are expecting it.

spanish-cheek-kissing3-300x144

In France, the same 1960s study found that friends touched upwards of 110 times per hour. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is still true. I remember getting ready to go on an exchange trip to France and our Teacher took an entire class to go over the openness of the French Culture, preparing us for being kissed on our cheeks and having arms linked. Let me tell you, those were an amazing two weeks. I was 16 years of age at the time, and I’d never felt so wanted or appreciated by my peers. Leaving that trip was depressing on many levels, but it’s not until almost 17 years later that I realize what I missed the most was knowing that everyday I’d be hugged, kissed on the cheek, high-fived multiple times and randomly find a hand on my shoulder or around my waist.

The science behind this shows that our brain responds positively to positive physical interactions. This is why more nurses touch a patients arm or shoulder while talking to them. It is why an elderly person with a memory condition responds well to someone taking his or her hand in theirs.

As a massage therapist I get up to 6 or 7 of these positive physical interactions daily. The busier I am the calmer and happier I become. The slower my day, the more likely I am to feel lethargic or even depressed. But not everyone has the time or means to become a massage therapist or body worker. The best thing you can do is try to integrate more hugs, hand holding, couch cuddling and even hand shakes. Another thing you can do is seek out different forms of touch therapy. Swedish massage, Chair Massage, Hands-on Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and Thai Massage are all great examples of ways you can incorporate more positive touch into your life.

And if your courageous enough to attempt to start a trend of more positive touch with your friends, remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. People need time to adjust to changes such as these. Better to start with friends and family first.

This blog post is a take on the original “15 Things Your Massage Therapist Wants You to Know” by Kelly Boylen. Her blog is called Boylen Over which appeared on http://www.goodblogs.com.

1. I am not a Masseuse/ Masseur

New Jersey State law requires 600 credit hours to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. I spent those hours and more learning anatomy, physiology, myology (the study of muscles), kinesiology (the study of muscle movement), pathology (when something goes wrong in the body/ sickness), ethics and technique. I know my industry has a past which includes being a front for prostitution; but it is still an insult to ask me for a ‘happy ending’ or a ‘sensual’ massage. Yes, I can take a joke, but those aren’t jokes to me. Even jokingly insinuating I’d offer such services makes me feel like you look down on me.  I earned my right to be called a therapist.

2. Please be on Time

I really don’t like to cut your massage time. I even schedule your appointments so that you can get a full 60 minutes hands-on and not be rushed in or out. Part of that extra time is meant for me to be able to clean up and be ready for the next client when they arrive on time. I want to be give all of my clients the best possible experience from start to finish. When you’re on time, I’m on time!

3. Stubble is not an issue

I can’t tell you how many apologies I get from woman about not shaving. It’s not that I don’t appreciate that your worried it could be uncomfortable for my hands, but if you are worrying about stubble, you are not relaxing. Besides, it really is a non-issue. Most men are hairy and I treat them too. They don’t apologize for beard stubble, you don’t need to apologize for your legs. Besides, all I am thinking about are the muscles underneath the skins surface. And on a lateral thought, a lot of us have worked in spas and given sugar or salt scrubs. I promise you it feels exactly the same. I should be thanking you for the free exfoliation! But seriously, I’ve never met a Massage Therapist who cared about stubble. So please, don’t worry about it.

4. Don’t wear perfume/ cologne

I get that you like the scent. A lot of people are just like you and love the smell of fragrances. However, me and some of my clients are allergic to some of those perfumes and colognes. I’m working in really close proximity to your skin, and the last thing I want is to end up not giving my absolute best because I’ve ended up with a migraine because of my sensitivity to fragrance. Plus, it can be difficult to air out the room for the next client whom might also be allergic. So please be courteous and wait to spray your favorite fragrance until after you’ve left the office.

5. Chat/ Don’t Chat it’s up to you

We all relax in different ways. If part of your process means you’re more comfortable chatting with me, I don’t mind obliging.  But I’m also more than happy to keep it quiet and let you meditate or sleep. I tell all of my clients “It’s your session, not mine.” The only time I break this rule is for truly therapeutic work where I need you to be alert and aware of what’s going on.

6. We don’t see your body in the same way as you

I don’t notice your stretch marks, collagen build-up, cellulite etc. I see muscles. Period. You might think your butt is cute, but all I’m thinking about is the health of the glutes or rotators. The benefits of massage are only made better by the amount of the body that I work on. There are certain areas of the body that are legally deemed off limits. But I guarantee, most therapists can work your abdominals (stomach) and glutes (butt).  If you’re not comfortable having these areas massaged directly, I can do work over the sheets. Honestly, abdominal massage is great for digestive conditions and a lot of low back pain actually stems from the gluteal area. And as I already stated, all I see are muscles. There is no reason to feel self conscious around me.

7. I like my license. Please wait till I leave to start undressing.

I want to continue to help as many people as I can to live healthier lives. I can keep doing that as long as I continue to respect ethical boundaries. No, the naked human body does not make me uncomfortable. Maybe it does other therapists, but to me, it’s the canvas for my work. In order to maintain a proper, professional relationship I’ve been trained extensively on draping techniques that allow me access to the parts that I need without exposing you. I believe that boundaries are important. There are no questions about my work as a therapist when we both keep our exchanges professional. It is also against the law for me to be in the room while you are dressing or undressing. Plus, when you stay covered, I won’t terminate the session early due to a misunderstanding regarding what services are being offered here. Remember, I worked hard to become a professional Therapist, there is no reason for you to be exposed during a session.

8. I know a lot of medical terms

As mentioned before, I had a lot of class hours that provided me with proper terminology to converse with other health professionals. Sometimes I forget which muscles have become common knowledge and which ones you’ve never heard of. Please don’t be offended. Ask me to explain what I’m talking about. A little reminder won’t hurt my feelings and could be the difference in the progress of your treatment.  Also, there are some ‘short cuts’ in medical speak that can be confusing. Abbreviations such as ACL isn’t always helpful. The most common ACL is in the knee (anterior crutiate ligament), however, I once had a client who said he tore his ACL and meant acromial clavicular ligament, which is actually at the shoulder. So please understand, I do know these terms, but we might be thinking of two completely different things. I might ask you to clarify what you mean to make sure that we are on the same page.

9. Changes in Medical Condition are important. Tell me right away.

There are certain circumstances where your massage treatment might need to be modified or terminated. If you have a fever, you are not getting a massage. If you have a cold, please wait 72 hours after the onset of the cold before getting a massage so that I don’t get sick, my other clients don’t get sick, but most importantly you don’t get WORSE. Also, if you’ve started taking a blood thinner, and don’t tell me until half way through your usual heavy pressure massage, I’m now freaking out! The least of my worries is you end up with bruising, the worst is you end up with blood clots. Changes in your medical condition are so important. If you take nothing else away from this post, please remember this.

10. Keep me informed about your comfort.

I don’t mean you have to constantly say, “That feels great.” What I mean is to let me know if I need to adjust my pressure or move a towel or bolster.  Sometimes different areas of the body are more sensitive than others and I want to make sure that you enjoy every second of the massage. Or in a therapeutic setting, I want to make sure that we are in the correct threshold of discomfort for optimal results.  But sometimes it’s also as simple as that towel got cold and it’s annoying you, or the bolster moved and it’s poking the back of your leg. It’s important that you are able to relax so I’m more than happy to remove that towel or shift the bolster to a better position.

11. The room is cleaned after every client

Personally, I am all about cleaning surfaces that get touched during each session. From disinfecting door knobs to brand new sheets, there shouldn’t be a surface in my office that you touch that doesn’t get wiped often. Including some surfaces you never touch but I do regularly.

12. Just Relax. I’ve got this.

There are times I need to move an arm or a leg, let me do it. I’ve been trained in specific lifting techniques that not only allow me to drape more effectively, but also protect me from injuring myself or you while lifting. When you ‘help’ you tend to undo all of the nice work that I just did, or you create interesting draping issues that I need to take more time away from actual massage to fix. There is a reason I move you the way that I do. Trust me to do my job correctly, and honor me by letting me ask if I really can’t do it on my own.

13. Tell me if something made you unhappy

I can’t even begin to describe to you how badly I wish that I could read your mind. But sadly, I cannot. So if there was something that happened before, during, or after your session that displeased you I really want to know. Especially if it is something that I can correct. And when you go to multiple therapist offices, let the owner know. I always want to offer the best to my clients, but I can’t do that if there is something going on that I don’t know about.

14. Referrals are the best compliment

Massage is such a personal experience. We keep it professional, but let’s face it, I’m touching you. That’s really personal. So if you love the massage, let your friends and family know. Write a review on my Facebook page, or email me a testimonial that I can print for people to read in the waiting room. A lot of people are nervous about getting massage and a referral from a trusted source goes a long way. Plus, knowing that you trust us with your friends and family is the best compliment we can get.

I occasionally find myself looking for articles on Massage Therapy for inspiration when attending a networking meeting. Lately I’m surprised (although I really shouldn’t be) by the number of ‘medical’ article definitions of massage. Not to mention the terminology they use while writing.

What is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and consists of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body. 1 

That is currently my new favorite definition for massage. I’ve long tired of seeing descriptors such as ‘rubbing’ and ‘stroking’ when defining massage, not because they aren’t true but because of the connotation of the words. I don’t mind saying ‘stroke’ but let’s leave off that ‘ing’ please. As a professional dedicated to wellness, I don’t like the blurry line these terms create when dealing with persons looking for prostitution instead of therapeutic relief.  Let’s avoid the mixed signals and try to be more clinical shall we?

There are many different types of massage and bodywork available in the world today. This is a beautiful thing, however, it is best to properly define these modalities so there is little to no confusion.

Swedish Massage: The most basic form of massage therapy where the practitioner uses long, flowing strokes, kneading, circular movements and stretching to release the tension in the fascia (body tissues). These techniques may be done using hands, fingers, forearms and/ or elbows. This is best used for relaxation and as preventative medicine to keep you from getting sick. Swedish Massage is recommended on a monthly basis for the best results.

Sports Massage: This is the modality that is often the most misrepresented whether by the studio or the journalists. Although some strokes are similar to Swedish the application and use of these strokes (as in the actual technique) is very different. Technically speaking Sports Massage is a general term applied to the styles of massage used with athletes (and I mean real athletes) for Preparing for an event, getting through the event, and recovering from an event. Improper massage techniques for athletes won’t just ruin performance they can actually be damaging.  You don’t want to use recovery techniques during an event because doing so might lead to a pulled or torn muscle or ligament.

So how do we define Sports Massage? That’s tough, I haven’t seen a good definition in a while. A Therapist trained and certified in Sports Massage is taught the three principles I mentioned above: Preparatory, Event, and Recovery techniques. So, Sports Massage centers around knowledge of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system to determine the best techniques for optimal performance of an athlete prior to, during and after an athletic event.

The best advice I will give an athlete is to make sure you are seeing a certified Sports Massage Therapist for the best and safest results. My active clients only come to me for recovery massage. Any Licensed Massage Therapist can do recovery massage after the event.

Integrative Massage: Here’s a massage technique rarely mentioned or defined. An Integrative Massage utilizes techniques from multiple modalities to create a customized treatment plan.

Generally speaking, people receiving an Integrative Massage are looking for Pain Management, complementary therapy, or an alternative therapy.  A Therapist may use a combination of Swedish, Reiki, Shiatsu, Cupping, Trager etc. to help clients feel better.

If you came in for a massage because your lower back hurts but you are also experiencing sinus discomfort and anxiety I might use Swedish for the main part of the massage, Shiatsu Sinus Pressure points to relieve the sinus discomfort and Reiki to quiet your mind. By simply combining techniques to better suit your needs it become an Integrative Massage.

Reiki Therapy: This isn’t actually considered massage. Reiki or “Life Force” Therapy is an energetic healing therapy. Everything is made of energy, this is a basic principle in science. We are made up of cells which are made of atoms which are comprised of ions and then electrons, protons, and neutrons.  Reiki practitioners act as conduits to the universal energy helping the clients energetic body to clear itself of blockages caused by stress.

Neuromuscular Therapy: An advanced system of soft tissue manipulation, which specializes in working to alleviate Myofascial pain and pain syndromes. (A set of symptoms characterizing a certain disease or condition). It’s effectiveness is based on two conditions 1) The therapists’ assessment and treatment of muscle, tendon, and periosteal attachments, and 2) addressing and reducing the causal factors contributing to the chronicity.

A Modality created due to Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons. They identified specific pain syndromes correlative to specific micro-knotting or trigger points in muscular tissue. In basic terms, a majority of people had the same spot of tension causing the same or similar pain or discomfort in the body. Yes, it’s still confusing. And honestly this is difficult to explain with out graphics. So let’s try this:

splenius-cervicis-largeThe red area shows the area of discomfort. The ‘x’ is the place on the muscle that is what we call a trigger point. A very small part of muscular tissue that is constantly in a state of contraction. Without getting into too much of the science behind this phenomenon, it’s the contraction that causes malnutrition in the area of the muscle leading to the pain or discomfort as a sign from the body that something is wrong. As Medical Doctors Travell and Simons sought to treat these area with needles. However, thanks to the specific research in explaining the cause of trigger points and the bodies chemical reactions, the massage modality was born.  NMT’s, as we are usually called, use myofascial release, deep tissue release, and static pressure to release the area of contraction.

There are many more modalities out there to learn about and some I mentioned earlier in this article. Maybe someday I’ll feel the need to divulge into the meanings, but as of right now I’m going to leave those to the professionals who practice those techniques.

Adieu for now!

A colleague handed me an article from January 1999 written by a naturopathic doctor warning against vaccinations; specifically the Flu vaccine.  As it turns out, this Doctor is still handing out this particular article in 2014.

It wasn’t until I was about 1/4 through reading the article that I checked the date it was written.  Why? Because within the first 3 paragraphs I found information that I knew to be out-dated.  Once part of an article is proven false, it is very difficult to believe any part of the rest of it could possibly be true.  Another reason I discredited the article? It was more of a sales pitch for services that this Doctor offered.  There was no impartiality. However, I still feel that this subject does deserve attention.

syringe with fluid According to my 5th grade text book, the first vaccination was created using a dead virus and antibodies from someone who survived the illness. Even in cases of small pox, malaria, and plague virus’s, there were always people who survived the infection.  This is what brought about studying immunity. Doctors and scientists wanted to know why some people survived while others died. They found the answer.  The research showed that when a virus enters the body, the body begins to create more white blood cells to attack the foreign entity.  A healthy immune system is able to create enough white blood cells to successfully kill the virus.  As part of the bodies defenses to stop the same virus from attacking again, the body creates antibodies. These antibodies are specifically engineered to fight off that particular virus strain.  Thus, unless the virus mutates (such as the common cold which is anything but common) you are unlikely to ‘catch’ that virus ever again. Which is why the original vaccines given to the public contained the dead virus and antibodies of a survivor.

Economically speaking, waiting for someone to catch a virus and then survive it to create a vaccine isn’t profitable. Also, when a new virus is discovered, people want to be vaccinated as quickly as possible so that they don’t have to gamble with whether of not they would be strong enough to survive it. Especially when it comes to children (who are still building an immune system and are therefore a stronger risk) and the elderly (who’s immune system is loosing strength with age and fatigue). This is when the new science of vaccination was born.

The vaccines of the 80’s are marginally different from the vaccines of the new era. Scientists now capture the live virus, use multitudes of both lab created and naturally occurring chemicals to attempt to weaken the virus instead of kill it and then inject that weakened virus into your system as a vaccine.  This is why it has become more common to become ill after a vaccination.  So why don’t they use a dead virus? There are two main reasons. The first is that the body does not react to a dead virus.  The immune system won’t recognize it as a threat and won’t begin the process that leads to the production of antibodies. Secondly, there are no already created antibodies to rely on.

Now that you know the science behind vaccination let’s consider the question; are vaccinations safe?

The truth is, I don’t have an answer for you.  In the a fore mentioned article, the Naturopath stated the chemicals used in vaccines cause Autism, this has been proven as false.  He said to ask any parent of a child with Autism how soon after a vaccine there child presented symptoms of Autism. Now we can say, just ask all the parents who because of this false claim didn’t vaccinate their children and those children have been diagnosed with Autism if they believe it is the fault of a vaccine.  Leading scientific research suggests issues with the protective cover (the myelin sheaths) of the nerves in the brain cause Autism. What causes this issue with the myelin sheaths is still being researched.

The Naturopath also cited instances in 3rd world countries where vaccinating the people lead to a break-out of illness within that country. A conspiracy theorist could have a field day with this idea. Maybe our Medical association used the people of these countries as their lab rats from new vaccines before testing them on the American people. Maybe this was a small scale act of bio-terrorism on the part of the US government.  Honestly, I think if this is true, it probably had more to do with people from these countries having immune systems that are too depleted to even fight off a weakened version of the virus. Regardless, the first point is false, the rest can’t be credible either.

The one point I did agree with, as I know people who have not vaccinated that are living long healthy lives, is that if you bolster your immune system naturally, you don’t need to vaccinate. Your body will be strong enough to fight off pathogen’s and virus’s that attempt to wipe you out. However, this article was skimpy on how to bolster the immune system and spoke only of the services that this doctor offers.

Strike 3, you are out! At least in my book.

As for the rest, keep educating yourselves, be weary of information as it is all controlled, and use your best judgement.

Update:

Here are videos from medical Doctors about why vaccines are not as safe as you are being led to believe.

1. Dr. Nancy Banks – http://bit.ly/1Ip0aIm
2. Dr. Russell Blaylock – http://bit.ly/1BXxQZL
3. Dr. Shiv Chopra – http://bit.ly/1gdgh1s
4. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny – http://bit.ly/1MPVbjx
5. Dr. Suzanne Humphries – http://bit.ly/17sKDbf
6. Dr. Larry Palevsky – http://bit.ly/1LLEjf6
7. Dr. Toni Bark – http://bit.ly/1CYM9RB
8. Dr. Andrew Wakefield – http://bit.ly/1MuyNzo
9. Dr. Meryl Nass – http://bit.ly/1DGzJsc
10. Dr. Raymond Obomsawin – http://bit.ly/1G9ZXYl
11. Dr. Ghislaine Lanctot – http://bit.ly/1MrVeUL
12. Dr. Robert Rowen – http://bit.ly/1SIELeF
13. Dr. David Ayoub – http://bit.ly/1SIELve
14. Dr. Boyd Haley PhD – http://bit.ly/1KsdVby
15. Dr. Rashid Buttar – http://bit.ly/1gWOkL6
16. Dr. Roby Mitchell – http://bit.ly/1gdgEZU
17. Dr. Ken Stoller – http://bit.ly/1MPVqLI
18. Dr. Mayer Eisenstein – http://bit.ly/1LLEqHH
19. Dr. Frank Engley, PhD – http://bit.ly/1OHbLDI
20. Dr. David Davis – http://bit.ly/1gdgJwo
21. Dr Tetyana Obukhanych – http://bit.ly/16Z7k6J
22. Dr. Harold E Buttram – http://bit.ly/1Kru6Df
23. Dr. Kelly Brogan – http://bit.ly/1D31pfQ
24. Dr. RC Tent – http://bit.ly/1MPVwmu
25. Dr. Rebecca Carley – http://bit.ly/K49F4d
26. Dr. Andrew Moulden – http://bit.ly/1fwzKJu
27. Dr. Jack Wolfson – http://bit.ly/1wtPHRA
28. Dr. Michael Elice – http://bit.ly/1KsdpKA
29. Dr. Terry Wahls – http://bit.ly/1gWOBhd
30. Dr. Stephanie Seneff – http://bit.ly/1OtWxAY
31. Dr. Paul Thomas – http://bit.ly/1DpeXPf
32. Many doctors talking at once – http://bit.ly/1MPVHOv
33. Dr. Richard Moskowitz – http://bit.ly/1OtWG7D
34. Dr. Jane Orient – http://bit.ly/1MXX7pb
35. Dr. Richard Deth – http://bit.ly/1GQDL10
36. Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic – http://bit.ly/1eqiPr5
37. Dr Chris Shaw – http://bit.ly/1IlGiBp
38. Dr. Susan McCreadie – http://bit.ly/1CqqN83
39. Dr. Mary Ann Block – http://bit.ly/1OHcyUX
40. Dr. David Brownstein – http://bit.ly/1EaHl9A
41. Dr. Jayne Donegan – http://bit.ly/1wOk4Zz
42. Dr. Troy Ross – http://bit.ly/1IlGlNH
43. Dr. Philip Incao – http://bit.ly/1ghE7sS
44. Dr. Joseph Mercola – http://bit.ly/18dE38I
45. Dr. Jeff Bradstreet – http://bit.ly/1MaX0cC
46. Dr. Robert Mendelson – http://bit.ly/1JpAEQr
47. Dr. Garth Nicolson – http://bit.ly/1OQVJsF
48. Dr. Marc Girard – http://bit.ly/1iw0smT
49. Dr. Charles Richet – http://bit.ly/1G5GG7j
50. Dr. Zac Bush – http://bit.ly/1LS19OZ
51. Dr. Lawrence Wilson – http://bit.ly/1kcdirf
52. Dr. James Howenstine – http://bit.ly/1iNyFOy
53. Dr Burton A. Waisbren, Sr., M.D. – http://bit.ly/1Nj8LRe
54. Dr. Sam Eggertsen – http://bit.ly/1Mww9XV
55. Dr. Bonnie Dunbar – http://bit.ly/1N5DXNi
56. Dr. Judy Mikovits – http://bit.ly/1QIzmHU
57. Dr. John Bergan – http://bit.ly/1KYv1yY
58. Dr. Rima E. Laibow – bit.ly/1RmW73C
59. Dr. Lee Hieb – http://bit.ly/1VElDUv
60. Dr. Daniel Kalb – http://bit.ly/22FPmxv
61. Dr. Rachel Ross – http://bit.ly/1r7Doik
62. Dr. Kathryn H Hale – http://bit.ly/2erDoW9
Many more doctors testifying that vaccines aren’t safe or effective, in these documentaries….
1. Vaccination – The Silent Epidemic – http://bit.ly/1vvQJ2W
2. The Greater Good – http://bit.ly/1icxh8j
3. Shots In The Dark – http://bit.ly/1ObtC8h
4. Vaccination The Hidden Truth – http://bit.ly/KEYDUh
5. Vaccine Nation – http://bit.ly/1iKNvpU
6. Vaccination – The Truth About Vaccines – http://bit.ly/1vlpwvU
7. Lethal Injection – http://bit.ly/1URN7BJ
8. Bought – http://bit.ly/1M7YSlr
9. Deadly Immunity – http://bit.ly/1KUg64Z
10. Autism – Made in the USA – http://bit.ly/1J8WQN5
11. Beyond Treason – http://bit.ly/1B7kmvt
12. Trace Amounts – http://bit.ly/1vAH3Hv
13. Why We Don’t Vaccinate – http://bit.ly/1KbXhuf
14. Autism Yesterday – http://bit.ly/1URU2A7
15. Denmark Documentary on HPV Vaccine – http://bit.ly/1AJI0dx
16. Vaxxed – bit.ly/1qackPC
17. Man Made Epidemic – http://bit.ly/1XsOi0R
18. 50 Cents A Dose – http://bit.ly/2c0h07P
19. Direct Orders – http://bit.ly/1ivShHg
20. Dtap – Vaccine Roulette http://bit.ly/2dBnc3u
21. Truthstream News: About All Those Vaccines – http://bit.ly/2gCMa4o
22. Hear The Silence – http://bit.ly/2g7NYpd
23. Cervical Cancer Vaccine – Is It Safe? – http://bit.ly/2h3Dvsh
24. Vaccines Revealed – https://www.vaccinesrevealed.com/free/