Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Physical and Mental Benefits of Massage

Physical Benefits:

-Helps relieve stress and aids in relaxation
-Helps relieve body aches; muscle tension and stiffness
-Fosters faster healing of strained muscle and sprained ligaments; reduces inflammation and muscle spasms
-Provides greater joint flexibility; range of motion
-Improves posture; treats musculoskeletal problems
-Opens sinus passages; promotes easier breathing
-Helps relieve headaches
-Improves circulation of blood and lymph fluids
-Reduces blood pressure and strengthens the immune system
-Nourishes skin; breaks adhesions; reduces the formation of scar tissue
-Enhances athletic performance; rehabilitates injuries
-Beneficial for overall health and well being

Mental Benefits:

-Fosters peace of mind; centers the soul
-Promotes serenity; calmness
-Brings forth clarity; logical thinking
-Enhances mental alertness, enthusiasm, creativity
-Helps relieve anxiety; stress, anger
-Eliminates depression; bad moods
-Promotes optimism; happiness; feeling better about yourself
-Satisfies the need for a caring nurturing touch; a genuine human connection
-Creates mind, body and soul awareness; spiritual awakenings; revelations

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tips for First Timers

Book an appointment as far in advance as possible. You'll have a better chance of getting the time you want instead of settling for what is only available on the same day. Ask the spa (or massage therapist) to explain what kind of services they offer. If you cannot decide, ask them to recommend one. In a nutshell, Swedish Massage is generally used for relaxation while Deep Tissue Massage aids in alleviating muscle pain. If you'd like to know more about the other types of massages I offer, please read my webpage.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

What To Expect During A Full Body Massage Session

Your massage therapist will confer with you before they begin your session. This may involve having you sign an intake form with questions about your medical history and/or health concerns. You’ll be invited to lie down on a massage table, usually face down to start. Most massages are done in the nude, but it is okay to leave your undergarments on if it makes you feel more secure. Professional spas advocate draping standards; you'll be covered with a sheet. You’ll have a choice of being massaged with oil or lotion. I prefer lightly scented oils that seep into the skin and moisturize it, rather than lotions that tend to leave sticky residue. (Please read more about aromatherapy in another one of my postings.) Soft lighting and soothing music will accompany your session which usually run 60 minutes or 90 minutes and are priced accordingly. Conversation with your therapist during your massage is your choice, although refraining from speaking and/or napping is acceptable too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Duration of The Session

Industry standards for complete massage sessions are 60 minutes and 90 minutes, which essentially means 50 minutes and 80 minutes. Often spa menu's do not explain this. The 10 minute break is necessary for the massage therapist to prepare for their next client - change sheets, wash hands, eat and go to the bathroom if necessary. Prime time appointments are usually scheduled on the weekends and between the times of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m during the week.  If you have a reservation during these times, please be aware that your massage therapist may be booked back to back, so arrive time otherwise you may not get a full session.  Also realize that you may not receive the quality work you'd expect from a fully booked massage therapist. Scheduling on weekdays during off hours is always a wiser choice.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Word on Gratuity

Should you tip your Massage Therapist? Absolutely. Gratuity for a service well done is always appreciated. Cash tips are preferred over credit card tips and 20% is sufficient. Massage therapists in a spa setting are usually paid by percentage of service. This runs anywhere between 20% and 50%. In most cases, this is the only income they receive. No scheduled massage appointments simply means no pay. Most spas have several therapists on staff who rotate shifts in order to avoid too much idle time. Appointments are generally given by seniority, but this is not written in stone. Personal requests are always encouraged by management who prefer to see their therapists maintain a repeat clientele.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Defining Sensual Massage: My Take On It

Sensuality is an integral part of every massage session. It validates who we are as sensual beings. Sensual Massage celebrates your sensuality whereas Therapeutic Massage is more clinical and for healing.

Sensual Massage is often confused with Erotic Massage which is about the expectation of receiving stimulation to sexually excite. Rather, the intent of a Sensual Massage is

to make the experience more sublime, soothing and pleasurable.

The person giving a Sensual Massage is a caring provider, a teacher, an educator. Touch is in one direction only, from practitioner to the client for the purpose of promoting euphoria and heightening sensual awareness. The movements are generally slower with longer fluid strokes that gently caress the body. There are fewer restrictions, sheet draping is optional, but personal boundaries are always respected. Sensual Massage isn't for everyone. It is a choice and it must be mutually consented by the therapist and the receiver. My goal is to create the ultimate blissful experience for you, awakening your sensual side and make you feel more relaxed and comfortable with it.

Rarely do we have someone teach us how to receive intimate touch in a non-sexual way. This beautiful work honors you as an extraordinary being capable of profound sensations, helping you discover what makes you feel good, thus enabling you to have a more meaningful relationship with a loved one. Sensual Massage can also ease the fear of intimacy. 

Everyone wants to feel loved, wanted and desired. They may receive a Sensual Massage as a form of affection; the kind they do not have in their lives. Sensual Massage comes without judgment or expectations. I've worked on many different types of clients with different needs - those have lost their partners, the elderly, the sick and even the dying. There is definitely a need for this emotionally fulfilling kind of work and the sacred space it creates while performing it. It deserves much respect and it shouldn't be misconstrued.    

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Does Deep Tissue Massage Hurt? The Truth Behind The Myth

Did you ever receive a Deep Tissue Massage that was so painful you could hardly stand it? Did you feel like your massage therapist was beating you up? Were you sore the next day and notice bruising? This is unacceptable. Receiving Deep Tissue Massage is not a contest to see how tough you are. It doesn’t have to hurt. In fact, it can be far more beneficial when it doesn’t hurt.

Most people believe Deep Tissue Massage is supposed to be painful. Not so. Massages are suppose to help you relax and release areas of muscle tension to allow your body to heal on its own. Sometimes, clients become impatient because they do not understand the process. Warming up your muscles first before sinking in deeply is crucial in order to be effective. Our muscles have a natural reflex to resist pain. When a muscle thinks it is about to be injured, this reflex is triggered. If too much pressure is applied right away, the muscle will resist force by tightening up making softening of the tissue more difficult to do. Everyone has a different tolerance to pain. An experienced massage therapist will work within the client’s comfort level and use the right amount of pressure for the right amount of time.

There are many techniques that fall under the category of deep tissue work. Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) and Myofascial release are just two of them. NMT focuses on creating a balance between the central nervous system (comprised of the brain, spine, and nerves) and the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints of the body through specific methods. Myofascial release works on stretching and lengthening the connective tissue coverings called fascia that surround every part of our internal structure, including our bones, muscles, and organs. Both involve the manipulation of the deeper layers of muscle in the body.

The bottom line is I don't want to hurt you. I want you to be satisfied with the results so you'll come back.