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Medical Massage vs…

Those who don’t know, don’t know what they don’t know. As a Massage Therapist, I can tell you, I don’t know everything. I know about a lot of modalities, but there are some that I haven’t even heard of.  There are Massage Therapists who heard the term Medical Massage and they think to themselves, well, all massage is medical in nature.

This is true to a point, but it isn’t all the way true.  It’s true that there is power in touch and intention. It’s true that the benefits of standard massage include, increased circulation, decreased stress, people tend to sleep better, there’s a reduction in anxiety, helps with headaches, fibromyalgia, and much more! With this small list alone you can see where the idea that all massage is medical comes from. Then there’s the therapist who says well, medical massage is targeted therapy. In a sense this is true as well. Then we have to ask, what specific techniques are you using for your targeted treatment? Are you using a series of specific techniques designed for the area you are focusing on? More often than not these particular therapists are just using the standard 5 swedish strokes and hoping it releases the problem area temporarily.

It is human nature to be skeptic of those things we haven’t done the research or gotten the training to do. I had a  young man tell me to stay away from wordpress. since then he went on to learn more about wordpress and now loves it and suggests I use it also. We tend to not just shy away from things we don’t understand, but we tend to become antagonistic towards them. One might even say Judgemental.

Some may even say, well deep tissue does the same thing. To this I would say more information is needed for that assumption.

Deep tissue massage is very similar to swedish in nature except that there is more focus on a particular area. Some of my clients have told me that they have had deep tissue so aggressive that they wondered if the therapist would rub a hole into their tissue. 😉 of course nothing like that would really happen it may feel like at times though.

Deep Tissue is geared towards stripping the muscle,  and fascia to break up adhesions, and when you break up adhesions you do regain better range of motion. I have to wonder, however, when you strip a muscle such as they do in bodybuilding it creates more scar tissue, so it stands to reason to me that while you may be breaking up adhesions are there more being created? Some may agree, some may not, and some of it also depends on the needs of the client how aggressive the treatment needs to be.

So, what really is Medical Massage? I know I didn’t invest a lot of time and money, just so I could make glamorous claims in my profession and still only do what a new graduate does.  Medical Massage has a few different purposes. the first is that we work with a doctor’s prescription in certain cases such as a car accidents, slip and fall, physical therapy and in some states where Massage Therapists can bill regular insurance, care associated with their doctor or physical therapy visits.

Medical Massage involves specialized techniques to effect rehabilitation to the injured or problem site. These techniques are critical to decreasing pain and dysfunction. my mentor always says you have to prepare the structure for function which is why the massage integration is so crucial.

The outcome of the work we do as Medical Massage Therapists is really and truly outcome based rehabilitation therapy. No it won’t take only one session, but we formulate a series of treatments based on the problem area and work to restore range of motion, stability, and function of the problem area associated with the condition as prescribed by a doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist.

Unlike the standard massage we work very closely with other health professionals to create the right balance of care to get the patient functioning at an optimum level according to their abilities.

All in all to me Medical Massage isn’t deep tissue although it goes deep, It isn’t a fu fu massage, although it can be very relaxing, it resonates with sports massage in that there is stretching that can occur. For me and my practice it is the effective massage. There may be some discomfort, but more often than not it is very relaxing. Unlike the light swedish, there may be some client participation required such as resisting against applied pressure in a stretch.

As Medical Massage Therapists we take what we do very seriously and we see amazing results from our clients. We take invest a significant amount of money and many additional hours and years of education beyond Massage school to learn these specialized techniques to be able to give the most effective treatment for our clientele.

Massage Facials

Did you know that your massage therapist can do facials? While we don’t get deep into the skin conditions and extractions, and prescribing a skin care regimen like our fabulous estheticians; Massage facials deal mostly with relaxing the facial muscles, allowing the TMJ to rest and restore. We also do particular techniques that allow the face to rejuvenate and decrease fine lines and wrinkles. All as a manual therapy.

It’s not uncommon for a Massage Therapist to use a highly effective cream during the facial to allow the skin to absorb the nutrients. In our Massage Spa we have a specialized unit called a facial rejuvenator mask. Once the Facial Massage is finished we  put our favorite Joyome Facial cream on the skin and place our Facial Rejuvenator mask over the face to allow the red and infrared light to reach deep into the dermis for ultimate relaxation and allow for the body to heal on a very deep level.

Detoxify to better health

Summer is upon us and for some the idea of swimsuit season isn’t quite appealing; There is good news! There are things available to help you keep going and improving each day all year long! One of those items is a detoxifying  Body Wrap. I remember back in the day when I wasn’t so well-versed with Massage Modalities, I believed that wraps were something only rich people did at a highly expensive spa in highly sought after resort.  Yes I really did believe that those things were only available at exclusive places.

The good news is that I was wrong!!! Body Wraps are one of the most effective types of hydrotherapy out there. Hydro therapy simply meaning done with water. So how does this work and why is it a good idea?

Body Wraps are done either in a wet room or a regular Massage room. The biggest difference is how clean up is done. We will get to that part in a minute.

When you walk into my massage room there is a table and on it layers of sheets, plastic, blankets, etc.. topped off with a bath sheet towel. I instruct you to undress and cover with the Bath sheet. This is an unusually large towel and has a nice thickness to keep you modest at all times.

I offer several different types of Body Wraps but for this example I will explain the process of the detox wrap.

I begin with Salt. This isn’t ordinary table salt. It is Salt derived from the dead sea filled with minerals this is spread on the arms, decolletes, legs, neck and pecks, then I drape and we also do the tummy, all the while keeping you covered and modest.  Next I use a special type of Mud carefully applying as before with the salt.

After you are all ready then we wrap you up like a mummy cover with an electric blanket and let you rest and sweat for about 20 -30 min.

So how does it all come off? the mud and the salt? If you are in a wet room the therapist would come in and after removing the plastic sheets sprays it all off, all the while keeping you covered and modest.

In a dry room, such as the type I use, I use warm wet towels to clean off the mud and salt. After all is said and done, keeping you draped, we remove the muddy salty towels and sheets and put you under clean sheets for a nice Massage, lymphatic drainage session or Lypossage Session, normally done with essential oils and all natural olive oil or coconut oil.

Why is this a good idea when you are detoxing? In and of itself water and warmth releases toxins in the body to be taken out by the lymphatic system. adding salt and mud these two items draw out the toxins and allow the body to sweat in a healthy and natural way.

In addition to releasing toxins we see some great benefits one of which is the skin. The exfoliation of a Body Wraps leave the skin wonderfully smooth and silky. while allowing the moisture to penetrate deep into the epidermis for an excellent moisturizing effect.  Body wraps are also great to reduce cellulite and improve weight reduction. Body Wraps are amazing for ultimate relaxation. While your body detoxifies and soaks up all the goodness it is very relaxing. Relaxation is key to healing and allowing the body to re-set.

Be sure to put Body Wrap on your list of To-Do’s when visiting your Massage Therapist.

The Deep Tissue Conspiracy

What exactly is deep tissue? When I was in Massage school, someone would come in and want “deep tissue”. The individual overseeing us would tell us, just press harder. Hmmm….

After taking my first continuing education class I found many effective ways to solve problems without hurting myself or my client by “pressing harder”. As I became more and more enlightened, I also found that there were a lot of old ideas out there about what “deep tissue” should look like. Some involved words like no pain no gain, (to a point can be true but these were extreme things I was finding) tearing, stripping, ripping, the deeper the better, goodness! Can we say possible tissue damage? Plus why do we want to use these types of words in connection with our body? why do we want to tear and rip our body?

I then learned what really happens when you do heavy body building. The muscle is actually torn creating scar tissue build up which makes the muscle bigger. when you stop doing extreme things the muscle looses the toning. Then I wondered, what happens to the scar tissue, is is possible there could be more scar tissue than muscle in extreme cases? Food for thought. I know I could be raising some from  questions body builders, and I’m not saying there isn’t value in building your body, but could there be something else happening when it goes too far?

Personally, I work on people with scar tissue all the time, Cannot say I have ever seen it be of benefit after the initial reason for it being created in the first place.  Here’s what happens; when you have an injury blood and tissue rush to the area to create like a built in cast, which is great and it does wonderful to support the injured area while healing happens. But, it doesn’t actually dissolve by itself and that’s when you find your massage therapist to help get rid of the problem because then it’s causing other issues like adhesions, loss of range of motion, even can cause pinching of nerves, fascia restriction, Lymphatic restriction…

In addition to these things I had learned, I found that everyone had a different view of deep tissue and for some I seriously could not go deep enough. I also began noticing that while my massages were effective, I was wearing out and became worried about how long I would be able to effectively treat clients. I began seeing that many Massage therapists only had a life-span of about 7 years. If they were massaging longer it was because they weren’t doing this thing called deep tissue or they were not being effective as a therapist, or they were maybe doing 2-3 massages a week.  It was then, I made the decision, I took deep tissue off my menu.

By the time I made the decision to remove deep tissue I had learned a few methods that were much more effective and took much less out of my personal physical strength and didn’t cause my clients such stress on their bodies as well. I decided it was better to work with the body instead of against it and the results were incredible.

I began incorporating techniques such as structural alignment therapy, Craniosacral, Medical massage, lymph drainage, hot stones, among others that I began developing myself, to create the Custom Massage. I found that muscles that don’t release well had a few other things going on. It could be an energetic block, or a lymphatic block, perhaps a muscle needed unwinding. So some of my clients began noticing that they didn’t have to brace so much for the massage and could relax which in turn relaxed the muscles, tendons, and fascia. There was still some discomfort in the process, but the overall result was much more effective.

Instead of ripping, tearing, and stripping the muscles, tendons and fascia, I learned that “deep” is all relative, Craniosacral is a very very light modality but it goes very deep. Cupping, uses negative pressure but the effects for very deep, Lymphatic drainage, also a light pressure, addresses the superficial lymphatic system but affects muscles tendons and fascia.

I’m not saying that a massage won’t be without discomfort when done effectively, but like I tell my clients, there’s a difference between a good pain and an ouch. If you want a fu fu definitely ask for that but for everything else, try on an effective massage versus just “deep”

Experience, Education= Integrative whole body wellness therapy

You may have noticed that we tend to add more to our sessions than most therapists. We believe in giving our best work into every session and utilizing the tools we have without reservation. Recently we adjusted our prices to reflect the many hours of education, experience and work we do without having financial surprises at the end of your session while still remaining competitive. Most places offer a massage, and it leaves many wondering what happened lol, we have had clients call it the fu fu massage.

When I was in Massage School we would have people want deep tissue and they would tell us to go “deeper than normal”… I learned that deep tissue wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and not only was what they taught us hard on our clients, but also hard on ourselves. After school I learned more effective ways to get into the tissue without all the stress to the body. I have a belief that it’s better to work with the body instead of against it. I also was uncomfortable in asking the client if they wanted to pay more for better work, the use of essential oils, perhaps a stone or 2, I have found that most places will charge more for even a hot towel. I have also seen some places charge what looks like a competitive rate, but when you look closer you get shorted on the length of the session compared to other competitors.

When we have people come into our Spa we want you to know the cost up front, we want to offer the tools and techniques we have learned without charging you extra for it. Oh we still have some great add-ons you can choose to add onto your massage during your time, like a Natural lift Cupping Facial or a Full body Hot Stone Massage. We even have some treatments you can add on before your Massage like a focused Harmonic Light Session or a Mud Wrap or Exfoliation treatment at a great discount.

One of the great things we offer that is exclusive to Color Country Massage is our Harmonic Light Therapy. Many of our clients love to schedule a focused Light Session before their Massage at a great discount, and in addition to that we continue with providing spot treatments of Light Therapy to improve and enhance every Massage you receive at Color Country Massage.  As we add to integrate better health care to our services be assured that while new choices may be made available there will always be communication instead of surprises.

If you are looking for expert, integrative care look no further than Color Country Massage and our team of experts

Light up your life

We are beings of Light and as such we also heal amazingly with light. If you’ve ever heard of S.A.D a seasonal Affective Disorder that creates depression, or have seen a new baby put under lights because of jaundice, or even looked into photo rejuvenation you have already seen Light Therapy at work.

Everything on the planet vibrates. If it did not it would not exist. This is something I learned a long time ago in my high school science class. Today scientists are proving this more and more and teaching that not only does everything vibrate, but it does so at different rhythms. As Human beings we are designed to interact with light energy directly and easily. We actually emit more than 100,000 light impulses or photons per second!

Our Pineal gland in the back side of the 3rd ventricle is what synchronizes us with our natural world. This is one of the master glands controlling our sleep cycles, mood, hormones, intuition, memory and creativity.

The problem comes in with all the aggressive types of energy we are bombarded with everyday. These can include electronics, such as cell phones, X-rays, WiFi, Etc… it also includes toxins we get exposed to, low vibrational light, music and even our thinking. UV exposure, pollution, and even our disconnect with nature and natural light affects our ability to raise our light and vibration levels.

So how does putting lights on the body help bring the body back into balance? Light energy creates an optimal environment to support the body’s natural ability to heal, regenerate and thrive! The wavelengths of red, blue and near infrared light have been  researched for safety and for your overall health. They have also been used for over 40 years effectively in medicine.

Light enhances energy, oxygen, PH, circulation, inflammation, and pain, it also aids in regeneration. Light Therapy is great for enhancing Nitric Oxide in the body which is so important in the body and aids with keeping blood vessels healthy and flowing properly it helps increase lymphatic activity, kills bacteria, stimulates collagen, decreases pain, increases oxygen, protects against GI ulcers, alzheimers, early stages of atherosclerosis, prevents vascular complications of diabetes, improves heart function, stimulates HGH, improves immune system function, improves cardiovascular activity. This Nitric Oxide does so much more! I could list on for a while!

“I have come to see Nitric Oxide as the physical expression of Prana – your life force. It is the “Wow” molecule that continually resets our ability to connect body, mind, heart, and spirit. To activate this, we need to care for ourselves with plenty of sleep, exercise, life-giving foods, letting go of resentment, and opening up to affirmation and love.”

{Christiane Northrup, M.D.}

With how much this is responsible for it’s easy to see how important it is to have in healthy amounts in the body, which is all helped to produce by Light therapy.

We have seen some amazing results from Light therapy including, a reduction in pain, brain injuries reversed, ADD/ADHD helped, collagen stimulated, even inches decreased in body fat as a result of Light Therapy. Light energizes cell membranes so that nutrients can better nourish cells and help them thrive and toxins can be eliminated

One of the first people I used my Light Therapy Unit on was my 19 year old Son. We went to a 3 day class and at the end of the first day he was wheezing and coughing. Partly from his asthma and partly from the air quality and germs we had been exposed to that day. We put him on the lights and the coughing and wheezing immediately stopped. After his session he had a small amount of wheezing, but the coughing was gone. He reported that he slept really well that night and the rest of the weekend I never heard him wheeze or cough again.

Another success story I have is my Brother-in-law. He crushed his heal several months ago and had to have it pieced back together. only about 2 weeks about I had my Light Therapy at my Sister’s house and we thought well, we have nothing to lose, so I put the lights on him. After the first session he said the pain had decreased quite a bit. The next day we did another treatment and he reported that he had to push quite deep to feel the pain in his heel. Later he told me that for the next 4 nights he slept better than he had in the previous months since he had the accident. He told me usually he wakes up in a lot of pain, but his pain levels were down so low that he could sleep deeply and manage during the day, the little bit of pain he had.

I am an absolute believer!  If you are looking to have these in your home comment below and I will get you information on how to get your hands on them. I love having these Medical Grade Light Therapy Units in my Massage office to help my clients on a deeper level than with Massage Therapy alone.

What is Medical Massage?

Those who don’t know, don’t know what they don’t know. As a Massage Therapist, I can tell you, I don’t know everything. I know about a lot of modalities, but there are some that I haven’t even heard of.  There are Massage Therapists who heard the term Medical Massage and they think to themselves, well, all massage is medical in nature.

This is true to a point, but it isn’t all the way true.  It’s true that there is power in touch and intention. It’s true that the benefits of standard massage include, increased circulation, decreased stress, people tend to sleep better, there’s a reduction in anxiety, helps with headaches, fibromyalgia, and much more! With this small list alone you can see where the idea that all massage is medical comes from. Then there’s the therapist who says well, medical massage is targeted therapy. In a sense this is true as well. Then we have to ask, what specific techniques are you using for your targeted treatment? Are you using a series of specific techniques designed for the area you are focusing on? More often than not these particular therapists are just using the standard 5 swedish strokes and hoping it releases the problem area temporarily.

It is human nature to be skeptic of those things we haven’t done the research or gotten the training to do. I had a  young man tell me to stay away from wordpress. since then he went on to learn more about wordpress and now loves it and suggests I use it also. We tend to not just shy away from things we don’t understand, but we tend to become antagonistic towards them. One might even say Judgemental.

Some may even say, well deep tissue does the same thing. To this I would say more information is needed for that assumption.

Deep tissue massage is very similar to swedish in nature except that there is more focus on a particular area. Some of my clients have told me that they have had deep tissue so aggressive that they wondered if the therapist would rub a hole into their tissue. 😉 of course nothing like that would really happen it may feel like at times though.

Deep Tissue is geared towards stripping the muscle,  and fascia to break up adhesions, and when you break up adhesions you do regain better range of motion. I have to wonder, however, when you strip a muscle such as they do in bodybuilding it creates more scar tissue, so it stands to reason to me that while you may be breaking up adhesions are there more being created? Some may agree, some may not, and some of it also depends on the needs of the client how aggressive the treatment needs to be.

So, what really is Medical Massage? I know I didn’t invest a lot of time and money, just so I could make glamorous claims in my profession and still only do what a new graduate does.  Medical Massage has a few different purposes. the first is that we work with a doctor’s prescription in certain cases such as a car accidents, slip and fall, physical therapy and in some states where Massage Therapists can bill regular insurance, care associated with their doctor or physical therapy visits.

Medical Massage involves specialized techniques to effect rehabilitation to the injured or problem site. These techniques are critical to decreasing pain and dysfunction. my mentor always says you have to prepare the structure for function which is why the massage integration is so crucial.

The outcome of the work we do as Medical Massage Therapists is really and truly outcome based rehabilitation therapy. No it won’t take only one session, but we formulate a series of treatments based on the problem area and work to restore range of motion, stability, and function of the problem area associated with the condition as prescribed by a doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist.

Unlike the standard massage we work very closely with other health professionals to create the right balance of care to get the patient functioning at an optimum level according to their abilities.

All in all to me Medical Massage isn’t deep tissue although it goes deep, It isn’t a fu fu massage, although it can be very relaxing, it resonates with sports massage in that there is stretching that can occur. For me and my practice it is the effective massage. There may be some discomfort, but more often than not it is very relaxing. Unlike the light swedish, there may be some client participation required such as resisting against applied pressure in a stretch.

As Medical Massage Therapists we take what we do very seriously and we see amazing results from our clients. We take invest a significant amount of money and many additional hours and years of education beyond Massage school to learn these specialized techniques to be able to give the most effective treatment for our clientele.

How often should I get a massage?

This is a question many people ask me and the answer sometimes isn’t so simple. There could be physical issues that have been ongoing for a while that need to be addressed more often. There could also be limits on time for the client that would be a concern for moving forward.

Recently I told a client that I would rather work 20 min on a client on a weekly basis than 1 hour every 6 months. The reason? well, first off, 20 min of work isn’t much and is usually done fully clothed so the time constraint is easier for the client. This allotted time however is just enough to work out some of the localized kinks in the body. It’s also great to rejuvenate and refresh the body for another week. A 20 min massage is not, however, going to address ongoing problems, or extra tightness that comes up. This is when you really need to look at what is going to be reasonable for you to do. A 90  min massage followed by weekly 20 min massages could be a solution cycling with a once a month 90 min massage.

Ideally, when a client begins to come in I would like to see them once a week for 3 weeks. Unless it’s a recent injury situation like a car accident, then I would like to see them twice a week for 3 weeks, then backing off to once a week depending on how well they are recovering and the muscles are holding.

For others it’s best to start out once a week for 3 weeks. Then the therapist has an opportunity to make headway on the points of concern. By letting it go and coming back in even after a month has gone by the muscles have already begun to go back to their normal routine of tightness and pain.

After the initial 3 weeks, make a plan that fits your budget and your schedule. Ideally every 2 to 3 weeks is perfect to maintain muscle balance and also get and stay on top of any problems that arise during that time. Once the problems start to surface and too much time has gone by, realize that the therapist is now starting over. I always recommend that clients don’t go more than a month without a massage for this very reason.

Once a month may be great if you have a pretty low key lifestyle, but if you are out there being very active and pushing those muscles, you may want to consider visiting your massage therapist a bit more often. For those clients who are older we often see issues creep up more often as well.

One thing to note: Massage therapy is not going to undo your workout, but save your workout for after your massage. A pre-workout massage can be a very wise thing to do as it can relieve pressure in the muscles and even act as a preventative for injury.

Another question I get is how long of a session do I need? While this also varies from person to person, I find that more often than not a 90 min massage is ideal. I have been told that at about 60 min it’s as if the muscles just get warmed up only to have the session over with. 90 min gives a little more time for focus on those tough areas as well as making sure to allow the client a more relaxing session.

Whatever you choose, check in with 3 things to make sure it is in harmony with your lifestyle and your higher self:

1. Time: Making the appointment while you are at the office is the best way to ensure not only that the time slot you want will be available, but you can put it in your calendar ahead of time so you don’t run into scheduling conflicts or emergency situations.

2. What does your body need? Are you in need of an hour of relaxation on a regular basis? Or do you have issues that need several sessions to address? Or is there an injury, new or old that needs specific work. Take these things into consideration when formulating a plan with your therapist for regular sessions.

3. Money. Definitely check in and decide your budget. What are your priorities? If Massage Therapy is a priority I can assure you that it will fit. Many times Massage Therapists offer discounts if massages are purchased in advance or you make a commitment to come in on a regular basis. Check with your therapist to see what types of plans they offer.

Making the time, setting aside the money and checking in with your body will lead you to discover how great you can feel once you decide to have regular Massage Therapy in your life.