Massage-Therapy

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Through our walk on Earth, our souls have mainly divided their experience into three different components: the physical human body, the mind, and the ethereal aspect of spirit. The mind is the resource we are using to channel our intelligence, not realizing that intelligence is truly an aspect of the soul. Our ethereal essence is always present, not only in our physical bodies and mind but also in what we understand as the aura field.

Did you know that through the use of conscious massage healing you can treat the three different bodies that make you who you are? This massage liberates energy blockages from the body—blockages that are manifested through both physical and emotional trauma. Conscious Healing Energy Massage allows the therapist to elevate the massage from merely a spa experience to a healing experience at the level of the soul, the eternal essence that never dies.

The energy healing that I perform impacts the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of the individual, initiating profound changes within not only themselves, but those around them as well. Energy work allows an individual to find peace through spiritual healing.

These sessions usually last around an hour, depending on the needs of the individual.

For more information, click here.

- Carolina Zacaria

Dear Clients,

Whether it’s your first massage or your 100th, there are some things you need to know:

  • Don’t call your therapist a masseuse. Just don’t.
  • Don’t start disrobing before your therapist leaves the room. You’ll probably make your therapist uncomfortable and it’s really best to just wait.
  • Stop trying to help your therapist by moving your arms or legs. Let them do the work, you’re there to relax. Pretend you’re a ragdoll.
  • (Plus, you’re not really “helping,” you’re just making it more difficult for the therapist)
  • Please, PLEASE let your therapist know if the pressure is too much or too little. We can’t read minds, and you should be enjoying yourself. Your therapist isn’t going to be offended if you ask them to lighten up or use more pressure.
  • DO NOT light up a cigarette right before your massage, unless you know your therapist is okay with it. It’s kind of hard to massage someone when you can’t breathe.
  • This goes for cologne and perfume, too. Please do not douse yourself with powerful scents.
  • It is also a good idea to have had a shower fairly recently, especially if you have a strenuous and sweat-producing job.
  • It is a good idea to tip your massage therapist. Depending on their situation, they can either pay rent for the room they use, get a percentage of the massage price (usually as low as 25% or as high as 75%), or they can have various massage-related expenses.
  • Me:Undress to you level of comfort. You can put your clothes on the chair or the hook on the back of the door.
  • Client:*puts clothes on floor*
  • Client:*puts clothes on therapist's stool*
  • Client:*puts clothes on table*
  • Client:*puts clothes on ceiling*
  • Client:*completely surrounds table with a moat of clothes*
  • Client:*puts clothes literally anywhere else other than the two spots mentioned*
  • Me:Why...?

We all have those few clients who have a hard time relaxing. Some are chatty, some are extra tense and stressed, and some just truly don’t know how to physically relax. You give their arm a gentle shake and their response is to raise it higher…you rock their leg gently and they start rocking it for you…none of your non-verbal cues seem to be working, so you resort to “Go ahead and relax your arm for me…” on some clients, that gentle reminder is all they need to remember to release the tension in their arm or hips and the session progresses as normal. For some though, the mention of the word “relax” can be confusing and even in some rare instances perceived as accusatory. I find this particularly common with women, especially women with a busy family life.

The word “Relax” comes with all sorts of connotation. Everyone knows they need to relax more and stress less, especially everyone who ends up on your table. We live in a culture with numerous technological advances that were supposed to free us up to have more leisure time and do less work…but often times have had the opposite effect. So many of us (myself included) try to cram so much more into our days than is humanly possible to achieve…simply because we can. We strive for growth and excellence and sometimes we lose our balance in it all. The list of tasks most of us have is so long…scheduling in a massage may be the only down time we have (and thank goodness for that, and our opportunity and honor to be a part of that.) It is SO easy for anyone to say: “I know I should relax, but I can’t.” Letting go is hard. Getting on the table is the first step.

So when you say “relax”, the client can hear so much more. They can start beating themselves up in an instant if you let them. I have found it important, for this subset of clients, to avoid the use of the word “relax” altogether.

These phrases help avoid:

The annoyed, “I am relaxed”, as his shoulders are 3 inches off the table and he’s holding his breath, pointing his toes towards the wall.

The helpless “I just can’t relax” as she holds her arm up for you.

Or my personal favorite, “That’s just how my body is” as her arms are folded neatly over her stomach and she is sticking out the goods and elongating her neck, trying to look pretty on the table.

If you have ever run into one of these problems, or notice clients becoming more tense when you use the word “relax”, try using one of these phrases instead:

  1. “Pretend you are a rag doll.”
  2. “Be a sack of potatoes.”
  3. “Don’t hold up the weight of your body, let me hold it for you.”
  4. “Let me hold that arm/leg for you.”
  5. “Let those joints go loose.” “Let that shoulder go loose.” etc
  6. “Let the weight of that arm/leg/shoulder fall to the floor.”
  7. “Allow those muscles to release” “Allow them to melt into the table.”
  8. “Give me a spaghetti arm/spaghetti leg.”
  9. “Allow that arm/leg to go slack.”
  10. “Let your full weight sink in to the table.”
  11. If you are stretching a leg and the client tries to stretch it for you try: “Release the tension in your lower back, now your hip, your leg, your knee, your calf and ankle, there we go.” Normally they will release about halfway through. You usually don’t have to repeat this sequence on the second leg…but sometimes you will. You can use this sequence for any body part, obviously, working proximal to distal in your recitation.

I find that avoiding possessive pronouns when possible (using this/that/those/a instead of you/your), as well as using verbs that reinforce their control (allow/let) is more empowering for them, allowing them to live in their physical bodies and disengage from their vision and mental embodiment of Self. Don’t allow them to think that they don’t have the ability to relax. Through your words, you give them the power and help them recognize that they can make the conscious choice to release (obviously, only if they are physically able to and with extra practice for some who are very resistant mentally).

These phrases should be used in conjunction with your non verbal cues. I have found them to be very effective for most clients. If after this, they are still resistant and say something like “I’m just not a relaxed person” then I change my approach and start using different techniques on the body part I am working on, while using my standard reply: “No worries, it takes some time but we will get you there. There’s my job security.” and a smile. The next time, I try out a different phrase or combination of phrases…but I will usually find the right one for a particular client in the first session.

They haven’t made a liar out of me yet 

I hope that this is helpful for some of you that might be struggling with this particular issue. If you have additional ideas/verbal cues to add please do so below in the comments!

(Author’s note: I just couldn’t resist the Dirty Dancing reference. Side note, I found this while googling for it. Hehe)

Which Style of Massage is Right For You? Tailor Your Massage to Your Health Concerns

Getting a massage is something that most of us enjoy, but seldom do. Part of the reason for this is that many people view massage as a luxury, and something that is easy to put off for special occasions. But did you know that massage is actually a powerful form of preventative medicine?

With consistent massage, you can drastically reduce your risk for serious stress-induced health conditions like heart disease, asthma, diabetes, depression, and even Alzheimer’s disease, among others. No one can deny that massage is enjoyable, but the point is that it is also much more than a simple leisure activity. In our fast-paced society, it’s easy to put your health on the back burner. Massage is an activity that can make a real, long-term difference in your health and is also a wonderful experience. There are many great reasons to book an appointment.

Are you ready to start seeing a massage therapist more regularly? Get the most out of your time on the table and target your visits to your specific needs. Check out our list below where you can determine which form of massage is best for what your personal health goals.

Symptom(s): Everyday Stress

Massage choice: Swedish massage

Swedish massage is great for patients who simply want to unwind. It uses a variety of techniques to relax muscles by applying light, moderate, or deep pressure to muscles and bones. This form of massage is known to increase the range of motion at joints and promote blood circulation to the heart.

Symptoms: Headaches, Insomnia, Injury Recovery, and More

Massage choice: Shiatsu

Shiatsu massage incorporates aspects of Japanese massage, traditional Chinese medicine, and Western anatomy. Shiatsu is generally performed on the floor and uses pressure that is applied through the fingers. The patient rests on a padded mat rather than a table.

Symptoms: Muscle Tension and Tightness

Massage choice: Thai massage

Thai massage is a great choice for athletes and dancers as this technique involves a significant amount of stretching. The bodywork is performed on the floor and involves a lot of yoga-like poses. Often called the ‘lazy man’s yoga’, Thai massage can loosen and stretch your body in the same way that a vigorous yoga class can, but in a much more restful manner!

Symptoms: Illness, Lower Back Pain, Built Up Tension

Massage choice: Tui Na

A form of Chinese manipulative therapy, Tui Na is often combined with other forms of Chinese medicine such as acupuncture and cupping. Tui Na is a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese Taoist and martial art principles to bring the body to balance. Do you love when a massage therapist digs in to those shoulder muscles at just the right spots? Tui Na is for you.

Massage Suggested for Cancer Patients: Reflexology

Reflexology involves the physical act of applying pressure to the feet and hands with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is based on a system of zones and reflex areas on the feet and hands that is thought to reflect a map of the body, with each part of the feet and hands in alignment with a specific organ. The premise of reflexology is that it is a targeted practice that can affect all areas of the body with reflex responses. This type of massage improves circulation throughout the body.

Lymphatic massage is another excellent form of massage for cancer patients. Massage therapists trained in lymphatic massage use techniques that gently palpate the lymphatic system to help healthy drainage of toxins in the body, and to promote healing and the immune system.

Curious about other massage modalities? Want to learn more about these ones? Don’t miss our article about all forms of massage!

Ready for your massage? Visit our website and click the “clinic” tab at the top of the page to schedule an appointment! We look forward to healing you.

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I don’t treat myself very often. Knowing this, for my birthday last year my parents gave me a gift voucher to a day spa located in the Perth foothills. The voucher was for a 2 hour “Stress Relief” package which was essentially a full body massage.

A year later, and today I finally got to use my voucher… and it was HEAVEN. I felt in a trance for the entire time, and it’s strange for me to say this, but when she was finished it felt like all the bad energy had left my body.

Afterwards I sat on the patio, I rehydrated and snacked on some fruit and nuts while enjoying the country air and view. The day was stormy and all I could hear was the wind rustling the autumn leaves. It’s only 30 minutes from the city but it felt like a completely different world…I know its corny, but I felt rejuvenated and I can’t wait to go back there.

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Manual self-lymph drainage for head and neck congestion. Neat.

Sleepytime Maunderings

(I’m barely half-conscious right now so this may or may not make any sense whatsoever. Apologies in advance.)

I was just emailing a pastor friend of mine who has been wonderful about reminding me (in the depths of my post-surgery defeat and despair) that I am important in this “crazy world we live in” and touch more lives than I realize, and I was explaining how I’d had vast, wonderful plans (for a hope and a future, a la Jeremiah) before this diagnosis when I thought…why do I have to abandon those plans? Why can’t I still have that future - or at least, try like the dickens for it?

Said future will sound weird to some of you and ridiculous to others, but here goes. I’ve been wondering for YEARS how to combine laying on of hands/the spiritual gift of healing (which I think I might possibly have…? *bites nails at the audacity of putting this in print*) with an actual paying career - I almost went to seminary at one point for this very reason - when I suddenly recalled the massage therapy institute in this town and little (celestial ;D) bells went off in my head. If I trained as a massage therapist, not only would I have a certification that qualifies me for quite a different income than I make now, but more (much more!) than that: I could open my own Christian practice, with the most beautiful sacred music playing during sessions (Anonymous 4, anyone? Paul Schwartz’s State of Grace series?? Jeff Johnson’s exquisite Standing Still???) -

- and there would be Michaelmas/Candlemas/Lady Day specials - to say nothing of Advent and Lent! - and I could offer free services as a ministry through my church or other community avenue! I could run my own little charitable drive through the practice (offering a discount on/coupon for service(s) for a donation of food, warm clothing, stuffed toys, blankets, whole cold roast chickens, etc. :D). And I could even slowly, sneakily begin offering certain uniquely delicious beverages to my patrons… ;)

Sidenote: I have mentioned before that I really should be a witch, right? :D (A Christian one, mind, like the fascinating Widow Arden in Patricia C. Wrede's Snow White and Rose Red.) I’m forever trying to fuse herbal medicines and healing oils and crystals with Scripture and sacred music and prayers. (And don’t even get me started on Caroline Myss's Anatomy of the Spirit, some of which I could throw off my roof and some of which I find startlingly true and relevant and powerful.)

And of course, with such a career/ministry occupying my working hours, my (renewed) heart and mind could be channeled into writing in my off-hours so I could “touch” and heal still more people through my written work! :D

There’s been a tidal wave of real-world setbacks since I arrived at this idea; indeed, all kinds of reasons why I should forget I’d ever thought of it and go back to my job once the doctor’s cleared me (or heck, find another, slightly less ick job) and stay there for the next five years………………….but on the other hand: maybe all of those “setbacks” were really obstacles thrown into my path (*cough cough* Satan *cough*) to prevent me from pursuing a unique sort of ministry that could positively impact countless hurting people. I’m not saying it’ll be easy or cheap (the program I was looking at is a 12-month one that runs around $16,000), but maybe, just maybe, it’s exactly what I’m supposed to be doing…

What do you think? Elisa(beth), the (very) Good Witch, with a tiny, tidy massage therapy center that smells like a cozy cottage, runs on the liturgical calendar, and has a little writing nook in the back with very good coffee? :D In one of my mother’s favorite anecdotes, an Episcopal deacon told me (after a group laying-on-of-hands) at a small healing service that, “You got the hands!”, so I’m thinking that’s precedent. ;)

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Want to be able to give that special someone a super relaxing back massage?

Follow along with licensed massage therapist Meera Hoffman as she explains 50 different massage therapy techniques for giving a super relaxing back massage!