Cupping Massage

I’m very happy to now be offering Cupping Massage as a part of my approach to myofascial release and deep tissue massage sessions! This technique is the ancient practice of applying glass cups to the skin. The inside of the cup is heated quickly and then applied to the skin creating a vacuum. As a result, the tissues lying underneath the cup are drawn up by the suction.

The goal is to help relieve tension and adhesions in the fascia and muscular tissue by the inverse process usually provided by massage. Instead of manually pushing the tissue down and stretching it, we pull the tissue up via the cup and stretch it. This gives us a unique approach to treating long standing tension, scar tissue and other issues that limit full function.

Cups can be left stationary and also glide on the skin. My technique is to combine the placement and movement of the cups to help assist in deep muscular release that myofascial release and other neuromuscular techniques provide within the same session.

Cupping does leave behind visible marks as a result of drawing blood and lymph fluid to the surface. These marks will vary depending on how taught the tissue underneath it is and how long the cup is left in place. These “cupping kisses” can last anywhere from 48 hours to 10 days.

Please contact me for more information about how cupping can help you regain range of motion and relieve tension!

Season’s Greetings!

The Sun is soon to return longer in each day! Time to celebrate!! And so, wanting to wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and much cheer and goodwill, I bring to you opportunities to bring the benefits of massage with you into the New Year for yourself and for your loved ones!

I am announcing another location you can buy Gift Certificates! At your convenience, please feel free to stop on down to Mother Earth Natural Foods here in Geneva, at 441 Exchange Street, anytime during operation hours (Monday-Thursday 9:30am-5:30pm, Friday 9:30am-6pm & Saturday 10 am-3pm). You’ll find upon asking that Gift Certificates are available behind the register counter and will be available to purchase by cash or check. I will only be able to charge debit or credit cards here in the office or over the phone.

Mother Earth Natural Foods is a wonderful health food & vitamin store that I have been working with since I’ve been working as an LMT here in Geneva starting in 2006. I have been a customer of theirs since I was a teen. Can’t say enough about how much I love them!

This Holiday Season I am also listing packages available through Dec 31st, 2014. Packages are perfect for those who need some concentrated amounts of TLC and/or are recovering from a particular strain/injury. Receiving the benefits of bodywork sessions scheduled closely together can make a big difference! There is a savings per package and it gradually increases per the quantity of sessions in each. **

3- One Hour Massage Sessions ~ $165
(a savings of $15!)

6- One Hour Massage Sessions ~ $315
(a savings of $45!)

9- One Hour Massage Sessions ~ $540
!! 10th Massage free !! (a savings of $60!)

Have a wonderful season of celebration, and many wishes of a happy and healthy New Year!!

** Please note:
The modality of techniques used in each package can be your choice, but the time frames and quantities stay the same. These packages are to be used by an individual or couple, and cannot be broken up into separate Gift Certificates for multiple people. All packages must be used within a year of purchase date.

I’m still kickin’!

Wow.
So I definitely need to get back on track on staying up to date here! I’ll be making some visual changes here over the summer. The usual updates, virtual tidying up and what not. I’m hoping that summer won’t totally take off and leave me wondering where all of my time went, but I make no guarantees. ūüėČ

In the mean time, please know that I am working in the same location and am as happy as ever! Please feel free to drop me a line or give a call as well… and soak up as much of that sunshine and fresh air as¬†you can while we have it!

Cheers!

New Spring, New Leaf…

There is something that must be said for the feeling that comes with the fresh wind, cool rain and even the smallest green poking through the yet still cold ground every Spring.  New life emerges, a new cycle has started.  Each year we see these signs but do we ever really take them to heart?  Just like a Crocus blooming first each year, we have our own small shoots reaching to emerge from their slumber and bask in the sun.  Are you reaching for that sunlight?

I have been reminded of the need to continuously reach, push forth into the sun and yearn for new growth. ¬†The need to reach is especially prevalent when we’ve become comfortable in our habits. ¬†Sometimes our habits are productive and supportive of the life we want to lead. Other times it seems we’ve become stagnant in our ways.

Spring is a wonderful time to reevaluate our goals and how we’re reaching for them. ¬†Do you need to brush off the cold winter dirt and get moving…?? ūüėČ ¬†Feel comfort that you are not alone and that we all need to refocus periodically.

With an unbiased and compassionate¬†look at our true condition, we can be truly humble and honest with ourselves. ¬†Limits of what we want and where we want to be are only¬†perceived if we allow them to cut off our vision. ¬†As the thinker thinks, the prover proves. ¬†What do you think and what do you really want to prove? ¬†This is a reminder to point out that if we only want to see our excuses for not reaching our goals yet, that is all we will see. ¬†Look for the ways that you can reach those goals. ¬†Envision yourself having already reached them, you’ll be surprised how the solution will flow easily when given the space to be manifested. ¬†The inspiration to get up and get going is catchy and it leaves it a beautiful grin on your face. ūüôā

So let’s get going!!

To a new Spring and another opportunity to change gracefully!

Summer is almost here and the insects are lying in wait…

These past 2 months have gone by faster than I would have thought possible, yet here we are! ¬†Spring has sprung, the flowers have bloomed and Summer is closer than we think.¬† In the Finger Lakes Region we’ve already experienced such extreme temperatures this Spring, that I know I’m not as prepared for the heat as much as I wish I was. ¬† No New Yorker likes to admit they prefer the cool, crisp air of Fall through the early Spring. ¬†It makes us sound even colder than our sarcasm usually does.¬† Haha! ūüėČ ¬†(Or maybe that’s just me…)

And with such wonderful warm weather, comes all of those little wonderful, not so warm & loving, critters. ¬†I’ve already started taking out the oils needed to avoid pesky insects for my family and thought you may like to make these simple solutions as well!

The easiest solution to make is a hydrosol spray; essential oils suspended in distilled water.  In this preparation you should have either a blue or brown glass bottle with an atomizer/spritz top.  I can find these in my local health food store, Mother Earth Natural Foods.  Or you can find bottles in bulk and make a supply for the whole family! Try looking here at Specialty Bottle.  4 Ounce bottles are the best in size, not too big and enough solution to last a while.

Now for your selection of oils.  Citronella is the first go-to essential oil for most folks.  This essential oil is the most commonly used oil in insect repellents.  Citronella has many properties, which includes being anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory,  just to name a few!

Other oils used when repelling insects are the following: Tea Tree Oil, Geranium, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Lavender, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Sage and Eucalyptus. ¬† You don’t have to use all of these oils, in fact only using 3 or 4 will be fine! ¬†It’s truly up to you, your tolerance and skin¬†sensitivities.

I personally like to use Citronella, Geranium, Cedarwood and Tea Tree Oils. ¬†These are all anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory¬†in nature. ¬†They blend well together and aren’t photosensitive so you can be secure in wearing these oils out in the sun. ¬†(Citrus oils derived from pure citrus plants/fruits are very photosensitive. They will aid in a lovely sunburn if the user is not careful!) ¬†Also, as these oils are all healing oils, should you get bitten or scratched while hiking around, these oils will already be available to start your skin’s healing process. ¬†Nothing like being prepared!

To make your so-long-insect spray you can follow these guidelines. ¬†There are no perfect measurements (I have never been one to level off that tablespoon while baking ūüėČ ), ¬†your nose is a wonderful tool in this process!!

  • First start with your base essential oil, Citronella, by dropping 20 drops into the bottle.¬†* DO NOT add any distilled water until the essential oils are mixed!!
  • Geranium 5 drops
  • Tea Tree 10 drops
  • Cedarwood 5 drops (or more, to ground your oils and blend nicely)

Now cover the bottle with the lid, shake it a bit to mix oils¬†throughly¬†and reopen to smell. ¬†It doesn’t have to smell like an amazing french perfume, however, if you don’t like it, then tweak it. ¬†In my experience a little Geranium goes a loooong way, and Cedarwood will tone down other oils very quickly. ¬†Feel free to add only one drop at a time, shake and smell again. ¬†It makes no sense to repel humans just to avoid getting bit by bugs. ¬†ūüėČ

Another version of the carrier medium is to use 1 table spoon of jojoba oil and 2 table spoons of vodka.  Add these to your essential oils once they are blended and shake, shake, shake your booty, or bottle. (haha)  I have yet to try this method, the theory is that it will last longer on the skin and will not need to be reapplied as often.  Do remember that when using only distilled water and essential oils, you will have to re-spray every hour or so.

Yet another solution is to add these essential oils to an fragrance-free lotion. ¬†This will be easy to apply to young children and will last longer on the skin than just using distilled water. ¬†However, you cannot apply it to clothes. ¬†So pick your method and let me know how it works for you!! ¬†Happy June!! ¬†ūüôā

The Courtship of Massage Therapy and Health Care

Sooo…¬† There is a very touchy subject we all have as a nation before us.¬† Politricks is not a subject that I normally bring up in the office.¬† It usually reverses that feeling of relaxation, so it’s a general no-no until it effects the very field I work in.¬† I read an excellent article earlier this week and have been letting it tumble around in my little head about how I would like to share this with you.¬† My goal today is to explain to you my own concerns of Massage Therapy “being included” in a “traditional” health care setting.¬† I would LOVE to hear some feedback on this!¬† I’ll also include a link to this article later on below.

That being said,¬† I’ll make my main point first.

True Therapeutic Massage (Medical/Clinical Massage) always approaches the client as a whole being.  Not as a symptom, not as a list of complaints that need to be subdued or have pills thrown at and certainly not as a small number of visits allowed in which you can only work in certain areas.  When using Medical Massage, the client is included in the whole process,  is shown what is causing injury/strain and given the tools to change themselves.  It is very much up to the client how much they want to recover and get back to functional living again.

When I have someone come into my office, we go over many aspects of the client’s activities, typical routine, range of motion, injuries and physical restrictions.¬† Why?¬† Because there you will typically find what causes many of the postural issues that cause common strains, aches & pains within the client.¬† As we work together more, it’s normal to find that session goals change, new information relating to past injuries may surface which gains a greater insight into present dis-function.¬† There is always a goal of rehabilitation and there is always a wide scope lens being used by the Therapist (me!) to get there.¬†¬† Your pulled neck could very well be from the fact that you carry your hip higher on the left than the right.¬† There is NO way to treat one¬† area of the body without treating the rest of it!¬† So we start treating and releasing it, and the client is given stretches and strengthening tips to help resolve this issue. ¬† For most folks, this is a normal experience with their Massage Therapist.

IF Massage Therapy were to be included in a “typical” health care system, how might this change? As is stands, the best experience I’ve gotten of this possibility thus far is when I’m working with No Fault Insurance claims.¬† Let me share with you some of my struggles.

This situation is always due to some type of automobile accident and the client receives a Prescription for massage.¬† Each Rx is usually for 4-8 sessions, depending on the severity of the accident and the length of time for each session.¬† As it stands, I have to advise the client to have the Rx written out for 1/2 hour sessions, as the insurance companies will not cover a full hour of massage.¬† They will only pay for 45 minutes within a 48 hour period.¬† This is part of our NY No fault Regulation (68) Law and¬† it hasn’t changed since 2002. ¬† Personally, I prefer to see clients at least 2x weekly when recovering from accidents.¬† Thus a Rx for eight 1/2 hour massages is a great solution. ¬† So far, not a big problem.

Insurance companies dictate to me what they will pay me, they do NOT ask what I charge.¬† In fact, they don’t care.¬† I was told at one point, that if¬† I had a problem with the way things were to take it up with my local legislature.¬† WOW, that blew me away! ¬† The fact that I would have to talk to my local congressman about getting paid fairly by an insurance company (i.e. forcing them with some kind of law change!!) and not talk directly to someone within the company itself should speak volumes to more people than just me!¬† I’m not looking to make a quick buck here, in fact I get paid less through No Fault Insurance than what my normal fees are in my office!¬†¬†¬† Rates typically change because the cost of operation goes up.¬† Insurance companies know that reasoning very well as they use it all the time.¬† However, they do not travel down a two way street and don’t use that same logic when it comes to having to pay an LMT for their work.¬† The cost of operation has certainly changed since 2002 for the typical Massage Therapist.

Now we come to my biggest issue.¬† While I am working with a client with such a Rx, I am not allowed to work on any other place of the body except for those given a code for in the Rx itself.¬† If your neck was injured, and I know that you would have a much better release if I were to able to work within the pelvis first, I wouldn’t be able to.¬† It’s not part of the neck, Therefore it’s not included in the “approved” areas that need massage.¬† This kind of rule is understandable to an extent, however it hinders true healing in the long run.¬† Many MD’s don’t look at the muscular body the same way a Massage Therapist does,¬† Insurance companies definitely do not at all.¬† Why am I wanting to focus on the opposite side of the body that received impact?¬† Because it contracted and reacted more to the physical trauma of the accident.¬† The client may feel sensitivity/pain in the¬† neck, however it could be from the pelvis that was thrown to one side introducing compensation in the center of balance within the client.¬† It could be a combination of the physical trauma of the accident and what the client does for a living.¬† I have to be able to treat the whole body to get the best results, not just the areas the Insurance company will “cover”.¬†¬† Try explaining that to an Insurance Rep, they don’t care.¬† No massaging any other areas during the session, they are not budging.

If Massage Therapy were to be included in a health care system that is already treating it like this, what would the ultimate impact be?¬† Would there ever be an understanding that the Medical Massage Therapist has very direct and specific techniques to help the elimination of pain and that no matter what they need the space to work and effect the whole body of the client?¬† Or would we continue to see a power struggle between Insurance companies, the regulation makers and the Therapist?¬† I’m worried that the benefits of massage, the client becoming aware of the whole self and treatment of the whole person would be lost.¬† We might loose the ability (or even worse, the right!!) to heal ourselves altogether.¬† That’s the scenario I want to avoid completely.¬† If that means that I don’t work within a system that doesn’t understand what it is that I do in the first place, then I know that my clients and I will be all the better for it.

What do you think? I want to know your concerns and how this might affect you and your families.¬† We’re all wanting the same goal, to have a system in which the client IS the center.¬† Where we the practitioners work TOGETHER to benefit the client and not coat pockets.¬† Can it be done?

The Corruptibility of Facts

By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB

Tofu isn’t Turkey (as my son told me this week)

With the upcoming Thanksgiving Day celebration comes the anticipation of heaping plates and the un-looping of belts.¬†¬† We gather together to show thanks for our bountiful lives no matter what the measure… until the next day when we can’t fit into our favorite pants because we’re still digesting our bounty-FULL¬† dinners.¬† We’re all a victim to the old standard “eyes bigger than stomachs” routine, and gladly so.

With this in mind, I thought it may be fun and a nice change of pace to offer some healthy breakfast alternatives for the morning of drooling-wait (in all manner of Thankfulness, of course!) and maybe even that morning after… unless I’m not the only one who loves to eat a piece of left over (and well hidden) apple pie for breakfast the next day.¬† ūüėÄ

I love this recipe, found at The O’Mama Report website, as it incorporates part of Thanksgiving dinner later….

Squash Pancakes with Fig Syrup

12 ounces butternut or hubbard squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 cup apple juice
2 large egg whites
1 to 2 teaspoons fig or maple syrup, plus more for serving
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1. Juice the squash (page 00), reserving the pulp.  You should have 1/4 cup pulp and 1/2 cup juice. Put the squash pulp in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with the flour. Using your fingertips, gently squeeze the pulp and cake flour together until they are just blended. Add the apple juice and 1/4 cup of the squash juice, and stir gently until blended.
2. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the 1 to 2 teaspoons syrup and beat until stiff glossy peaks form. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the squash batter. Season with salt and pepper. Gently fold the lightened batter into the egg whites. Be careful not to blend the mixture completely. The more gently you treat the egg whites, the higher the pancakes will rise.  You should have about 2 1/3 cups of batter.
3. Heat a large non stick sauté pan, skillet, or griddle over medium heat. Rub the oil over the surface of the hot pan with a paper towel. Ladle about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, or until just set. Using an oiled thin-bladed metal spatula, very gently turn the pancake over and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until done. The pancakes will be very soft and light.
4. As it sits, the batter will separate. Stir or fold it gently before cooking the rest of the pancakes. Serve the pancakes overlapped on heated plates and drizzled with syrup.

 

Want to keep it easy and fresh?¬† These are a few of the recipes found here at The Best of Raw Food website…

– Raw Food Breakfast –

Banana Pancakes

Serves 1

raw diet recipesIngredients

1 banana
2 tablespoons coconut meal or dried coconut
cinnamon

Directions

Mash the banana with a fork in a bowl until very smooth. Add the coconut meal and some cinnamon to taste. Mix well.

Flatten the banana/coconut dough and make small pancakes of them

Leaf out in direct sunlight for about 1 hour, flip over and leaf for another hour. You may also use the dehydrator or oven. But then it will take longer to dry them.

They don’t have to be dry, just on the outsides. They’re so good anyway that they’re usually gone before I want to serve them.

Tip

If you make them the night before, you can take them to go for breakfast in the morning.

Hemp & Berry Smoothie

Serves 2

raw diet recipesIngredients

1 banana
2 tablespoons hulled hemp seed
1 bag of frozen berries
1 cup pure water

Directions

Put all ingredients in a high speed blender. Add enough water so that all ingredients are covered. Blend well.

You may want to add a little more water if it’s too thick. You may blend longer if you find it too cold.

Tip

The hemp seeds provide good fats and super protein. Hemp seeds are the only seeds that have no enzyme inhibitor and therefore don’t have to be soaked in water before eating.

If the berries are sour, you may add a few drops of (liquid) stevia to sweeten.

Apple Avocado Mouse

Serves 2

raw diet recipesIngredients

1 avocado
2 apples
1/4 cup purified water

Directions

Peal the apples and take out the core. Take the avocado meat out of the avocado. Put the two ingredients in a bowl. Mix well with a hand mixer.

Tip

This is another very simple raw food recipe.

~~^~~

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!  For we all have truly wonderful blessings to be thankful for!

 

Massage your feet to help ward of those seasonal colds…

One thing most folks can’t say no to is a good foot massage.¬† Considering that there is a rough average of 15,000 nerve endings in each foot, it’s no wonder we turn into butter and melt.¬† This can be used to your advantage, in all seasons and for any particular reason, other than just wanting to relax and “take a load off”.¬†¬† The use of Essential Oils and Reflexology is a great example of this.

In Reflexology the feet and hands are used as maps to the rest of the body, each place and space responding to another part or organ.¬† When pairing your area of massage with certain essential oils, you can have a profound effect as your whole body responds.¬†¬†¬† I have also found this to be the best way to get any “grumpies” under control when tending to the sick.¬† (Can you tell I’ve recently been caring for sick children? ūüôā )

Here is a great reflexology map for the feet.   We had a seasonal cold sweep through our home which included runny noses, coughing and sore throats.   My favorite essential oil for these symptoms is Eucalyptus.  *Always properly dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, such as Grapeseed, Almond or Jojoba.  Unscented lotion will do very well here also.  You can mix them in your hand or better yet (for proportions sake) mix the oils in a small glass bowl or jar that can be sealed and used again later.  For a tablespoon of carrier oil you can add 2-4 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil.  Starting out with fewer drops makes it easier to add as you need to without over doing it right off the bat.  A little goes a long way!

Finding the middle of the upper sole, right amongst the meta-tarsals (those long bones extending from your toes towards your ankles) is where you’ll locate the Reflexology Point for lungs.¬†¬† Focusing on these points while massaging the feet will help direct the Eucalyptus to where it can help the most.

By nature, Eucalyptus is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.   It is a perfect oil for the symptoms of seasonal cold and flu.  You can also massage this oil into the back of the neck or on the chest for added relief from congestion and sinus pressure.  *Smaller children (6 and younger) should never have essential oils applied directly to the skin.  They should be ALWAYS diluted in a carrier oil and rubbed only into the feet.   If there is any concern of a skin reaction, apply only a small amount first and keep watch for any redness or other reactions.

If any of you question how quickly essential oils may work; penetrating the skin and affecting the body, I suggest cutting a garlic clove in half and rubbing it on the bottom of your foot.  (Garlic is also a great raw remedy for the symptoms of cold and flu!)  Within the next 15 minutes you will find that your breath will smell like garlic (and not from licking your fingers)!  Just as your body responds to massage, your body responds to everything it comes into contact with.  Your skin is a living organ!  Using essential oils in your daily life is a great way to help boost your own strengths and get over that cold or flu faster.

Here is a great link for more Eucalyptus essential oil information!  You can also check out my links to find the best essential oils for your needs!   Happy massaging!

Top Ten Reasons To Get A Massage

woman getting stone therapy

This article was found at the following link…¬† ūüôā

http://www.spabeautyed.com/career-center/top-massage-reasons/

Receiving a massage is a great way to pamper yourself. No trip to the spa would be complete without visiting a Massage Therapist . In addition, massage can be a pathway to improved health and well-being.

Did you know that Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was also a massage therapist? He used massage to treat sprains, dislocations and constipation, writing in 380 BC, “A physician must be experienced in many things but assuredly also in rubbing.” Today’s massage therapists are trained in a broad range of techniques to help clients overcome illness and injury while helping increase vigor and vitality.

Here are the top ten reasons people seek Massage Therapy.

10. Stimulate and detoxify the body.

The lymph system is the body’s natural defense system against toxins and impurities.¬† Massage Therapy stimulates the flow of toxic waste from muscles, organs and tissues for improved health and digestion.

9. Relax muscle tension and improve mobility and flexibility.

Massage stimulates blood circulation, increasing oxygen and nutrient flow to connective tissue and muscles, easing tension and muscle knots while soothing and lubricating overworked joints for increased flexibility.

8. Recover from injury more quickly.

Massage breaks up scar tissue, giving tissue and bones improved movement. The International Journal of Neuroscience points out that among other traumas improved by massage, research shows massage therapy improves functional abilities, range of motion and muscle strength in patients suffering from spinal cord injuries.

7. Improve posture.

Massage can improve body posture by helping train muscles to be in the right position, improving their ability to support the bone structure of the body.

6. Prevent injury and illness.

Tense muscles pull and tighten the body, restrict circulation and pull the body out of alignment. Unattended, this can lead to a host of problems. Regular massage relaxes the body and can prevent many chronic conditions from taking hold.

5. Enhance and maintain good health.

Massage is to the human body what a tune-up is to a car. The International Journal of Neuroscience mentions that massage helps reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure. In addition, massage helps boost the immune system by increasing the production of the body’s natural killer cells, especially for those with challenges such as HIV.

4. Increase attitude and alertness.

Massage improves attitude. It gets things flowing in the brain by stimulating brain-wave activity and helping increase alertness.

3. Relieve pain.

Massage helps block nervous system pain receptors and increase blood flow to the muscles. It can reduce the pain of arthritis as it relieves and increases joint mobility, taking pressure off painful joints. Trained massage therapists can help ease the pain of migraines, childbirth and cancer. The Journal of Clinical Rheumatology points out that a massage can also ease the pain of fibromyalgia.

2. Reduce stress.

Massage calms the body and helps relax the mind, in turn helping reduce stress by lowering the body’s cortisol levels, a prime ingredient in stress. Considering that stress is responsible for most illness, alleviating stress can make a major difference in overall health and attitude.

And the number one reason to get a massage?

1. It feels wonderful!

As anyone who has had a massage can attest, afterwards you feel wonderfully relaxed with a smile on your face. In addition to all of its other health benefits, massage stimulates the body to secrete endorphins, the hormones responsible for creating the elation often referred to as the “runner’s high.”

If you’ve never experienced a professional massage, now is the time to try it out ‚Äď it will only take one visit to discover why massage is so popular and massage therapists are in such high demand!