What are the benefits of massage therapy?Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, massage can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
- Relieve headaches and migraine pain.
There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen.
Experts estimate that upwards of 90% of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress. This translates into:
- Enhanced sleep quality
- Greater energy
- Improved concentration
- Increased circulation
- Reduced fatigue
- Decreased anxiety
Furthermore, clients often report a sense of perspective and clarity after receiving a massage. The emotional balance bodywork provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits.
How often should I get a massage?
Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.
What is Integrative Reflexology, and how is it different from traditional Reflexology?
Integrative Reflexology is a foot and hand reflexology training designed by Clair Marie Miller specifically for massage therapists and bodyworkers. It is a "whole hand technique" using strokes and methods that are relaxing and enjoyable for both client and practitioner. In traditional Reflexology, the practitioner uses specific pressure using only the thumbs or fingers. The concept is the same for both; pressure and stimulation is applied to reflex points on the hands and feet that correspond to the different organs and structures of the body.
What is the deal with Cupping Therapy?
If you watched the 2016 Olympics, you probably saw the curious round marks on swimmer Michael Phelps' shoulders. These are cupping marks.
Simply put, a glass or plastic cup is placed on an area and the skin is drawn into the cup using suction by creating a vacuum in the
cup over the targeted area. The vacuum can be created
either by the heating and subsequent cooling of the air in the cup, or
via a mechanical pump.
The cup is usually left in place for somewhere between five and fifteen
minutes. It is believed to help treat pain, deep scar tissues
in the muscles and connective tissue, muscle knots, and reduce swelling.
What kind of cups will be used in my session?
In my practice, I use plastic cups with a handheld pump.
Does cupping therapy hurt? What does it feel like?
NO! Cupping should never hurt. You may experience a warm, pulling or stretching sensation on the skin, but not pain.
What about the marks? Are they bruises? How long do they last?
Cupping marks are not bruises. Because the marks are created by suction and not contusion to the skin, they are more close to a hickey than a bruise. The clinical term for the mark is ecchymosis.
Depending on a variety of factors, the marks can last anywhere from a few days to 10 days on average.
Is cupping therapy for me?
I encourage anyone interested in this ancient, powerful form of bodywork to give it a try!
If you need a testimony, here I am having the left side of my back cupped: