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 practice of applying cups to the skin. The cups create a vacuum, and 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’!

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!


It’s been a ‘lil while…hasn’t it? ;)

Greetings all!! It’s been quite some time since I’ve had the chance to update my doings and goings on about my practice. ¬†I’ve been steadily busy and this spring has also brought about moving my family into Geneva. ¬†Being a part of the community that has supported me the last 5.5 years is a wonderful feeling and I’m excited to see where the possibilities take us!

Over this past winter I have focused on my CranioSacral Therapy training and am now practicing this modality on a regular basis.  I have been working with The Upledger Institute and greatly look forward to my continued studies.  I will be writing a full description of this work in the near future, so please keep a look out!

As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me and come by the office!

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!

I’ve Got That Lotion Notion…

One subject not always brought up in my office is what kind of products I use while giving a massage. ¬†This is a very legitimate question for a few reasons. ¬†It’s important to know what’s being used on our skin! ¬†It’s the biggest sensing organ of the body and first signs of dis-ease or illness are often seen and felt here, especially if you happen to have sensitive skin!¬† So some key questions to always ask are; what’s in it? ¬†Where did it come from? ¬†Is it petroleum based? ¬†Just how natural is it??? ¬†You get the idea…

What this all boils down to is the INGREDIENTS. ¬† My rule of thumb has always been, if I can’t pronounce it, forget it. ¬†I’ve gone a step beyond this rule however, and now: ¬†If I can’t make it, forget it.

I have always loved learning how to make things for myself. ¬†It’s a large part of who I am. ¬†And when it comes to my Massage Practice, there are no exceptions. ¬†So this fall I started making my own lotion and let me tell you, ¬†I AM IN LOVE!! ¬†ūüôā ¬† I’ve been making my own oil blends since I started working in this field. ¬†I have always used cold pressed Grapeseed oil with essential oil blends. ¬†This summer I turned to Jojoba Oil as it enriches the skin while protecting it. ¬†I wanted to take this a step further and so started looking for lotion recipes. ¬† While making my salves (for dry skin conditions), I used organic beeswax to seal in the shea butter and Jojoba oil’s wonderful moisturizing¬†qualities. ¬†Sure enough beeswax is the most natural¬†emollient¬†you can use, and so my experimenting began.

My lotion is made of; Aloe Vera (inner fillet), Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Beeswax and Apricot¬†Kernel¬†Oil. ¬†It is rich in texture and soaks into the skin leaving it feeling smooth and refreshed. ¬†I LOVE using it for massages as it does not soak into the skin immediately, but allows the oils to penetrate the skin slowly and is then sealed in by the beeswax. ¬†I have made a number of essential oil blends to compliment certain skin needs. ¬†Such as Calendula¬†¬†& Arnica to help heal broken and chapped skin and Carrot Seed & Jasmine to promote elasticity. ¬†I’ll be making more specific blends as I am presented with more of my client’s needs, besides making blends purely for aromatherapy uses.

I have made this available to my clients!! ¬†I will be keeping a small supply at the office for sale, and should you like to preorder I am more than happy to oblige. ūüôā ¬†I am very excited to see how the future develops!

If any of you fine folks are interested, I am wanting to find out how many would be interested in taking a class to learn how to make this lotion on your own.  The process is very easy, and all ingredients are easy to obtain.  Please contact me with any questions, if I receive enough of a response, I do hope to hold the first class in the beginning of the new year!  WOOHOO LOTION!!

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

The Day of Love ~ EVERYDAY! <3

All right, we’re gonna get a little mushy now…..¬† ūüôā

This time of year brings out the best in many people.¬† Roses and sweets are all typical reminders of this lovely day known as Valentine’s Day.¬† We are bombarded with ideas of how to show our love and affection, so that no one will ever be able to forget how we feel about them.

How is it that we only have so much focus on love just once a year?  What about the other 364 days of the year?  How often are we reminded that to show love outward, we must show love inward first?  Our own hearts and how we look at ourselves is a true reflection of the love we are able to give and show others.  If we demand so much of ourselves, how then do the people around us feel about what we are reflecting to them?  Do we demand love?  Do we love on the condition of demands being met first?   How do people see your love everyday?

When we cease to take the time to care for ourselves, and allow our hearts to become heavy with worry, we are no longer able to see clearly, both inside and out.  It can be heard in our voices and seen on our face.  Remembering to be patient with ourselves first,  gives us a better opportunity to be patient with others later on.  I am constantly being reminded of my need to slow down, remember that I am a simple human being, and that I can take time to show myself love and care just as much as I show and give it freely to my friends and family.

When I remember to be patient, calm in heart and mind, the effect is felt where ever I go!¬† My children even slow down, and we can take our time to communicate and hear one another clearly.¬† It’s amazing the changes you will see, when you slow down first, show yourself love and patience (as no one has it all together every minute of the day!) and then in turn interact with the people around you!¬† Speaking calmly with that Sales Rep on the phone just might go a bit smoother, when you remember to be calm and keep your voice light and sing song like.¬† You might think I’m crazy, but I’m tellin’ ya it works!!

Take time this Valentine’s Day to remind yourself of the many ways love is shown to all.¬† Through the small gestures and little sweetly said words that hang to the heart and keep it afloat later on when times get a little rough.¬† When we take time to care for ourselves, we are better able to take care of the others we love around us.

Take some time to show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day and EVERYDAY!!¬† Call the office for an appointment, or send me an email at shawnmarielmt(at) !¬† Gift Certificates are always available both at my office and at Mother Earth Natural Foods, 440 Exchange St., Geneva NY.¬†¬† I can now also send an online billing invoice via¬† Google Checkout and give you the option of your choice of payment!¬† Share the love!!

New Year Evolutions….


Did you hear that? That was the sound of my month of December flying “buh bye” and here I am in the foundling days of January without a clue as to where the rest of my last year went off to.¬† I’m sure this is a typical sentiment for many of us, as the build up for the last days of the year are so big that the first waking mornings of the new year are met with a bit of confusion (or at least a bit of that feeling of “where did the time go?!”).

So it’s a new year,¬† which brings us to that lovely notion of Resolutions for our Year Anew.¬† I have recently been reminded that this may be one of the silliest things that we do to our selves, depending on how we approach our goals.¬† I’m going to include an email I received from a wonderful friend, so that you too may enjoy the blessing of evolution in your new year.

May we all re-learn to go easy on ourselves, and treat one another with the same care we all deserve.¬† Persevere with the knowledge that you DO make a difference, and every little bit counts…¬† And remember to treat yourself right and come in to the office for a healing massage!¬† ūüôā


John La Valle

I WROTE MOST OF this a few years ago at this time and have decided to rewrite it, add a little here and there because of its popularity.

WHAT IS IT THAT has people “make” New Year Resolutions and then “break” them? We have a local pub here that has a “Break Your New Year’s Resolutions Early – Why Wait?” party on December 30 each year. It kind of adds something to the ritual.

THE WORD *RESOLUTION* itself is a nominalization, a verb formed into a noun. It comes from the word “resolve”, which means to solve, again!! And so many people get into a pattern of re-solving old problems and then not re-solving them because they then turn the process into an event, a static event. How about EVOLUTIONS?!! Evolving continuously, doing new things, get a new look, a new walk, a new talk, a new anything!!

INSTEAD OF MAKING “Resolutions”, how about setting up new directions in which you want to be going this coming year, both personally and professionally? Take some goals, activities, behaviors that you want to be doing, and see yourself doing those in your future, just starting in the next few moments. If you’re going to put those pictures into your future, be sure they’re of behaviors – YOURS – that’s you doing them, dissociate so you can see yourself doing them, then associate so you’ll know what you’ll be seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting. Then dissociate, see yourself doing them!! It’s in your language, too.

REMEMBER, IT’S ONE THING to have goals that are outside of yourself, like that red *Testosterosa*, but without the behaviors, you may not know how to go about getting one, or even earning the money to get one. Remember to keep YOUR goals behavior-driven. That material thing is just the outcome of the outcome, it’s the reward for doing certain behaviors!!