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Thursday, November 26, 2020

 Black Friday Gift Certificate Sale

Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday

11/26/2020 - 11/30/2020

My annual online Black Friday Gift Certificate Sale is going on now! Give the gift of health and relaxation to your loved ones this year. As a part of Black Friday tradition, all gift certificates and packages are 50% discounted, NO LIMITS. You have until 11:59:59pm Cyber Monday, November 30th to get in on this wonderful deal.

To see the offerings, visit my online store at The Gift Card Cafe by clicking here.

Here are the RULES:
  •     Sale is online ONLY.
  •     You can choose to purchase a dollar amount or packages (you can flip between the pages).
  •     Credit/Debit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
  •     There are NO LIMITS on the amount of Gift Certificates you purchase.
  •     Print your purchases on your computer or email to your loved one.
  •     Don't worry, I get notifications of your purchases and print off copies to have on hand here at the office. So if you misplace the Gift Certificate, I have a copy to use!
  •     Gift Certificates are good for (5) FIVE years. And they can only be used by seeing me (Kimberly Rogers) at Soothing Sessions Bodywork.
  •     Have fun!

To reach my online storefront, you can click here. Or reach my Black Friday Sale by visiting my website: https://soothingsessionsbodywork.abmp.com and clicking on "Gift Certificates" in the content area to the left of my main page or on the "Gift Certificate" button on my homepage.

Thank you for supporting my small business! Have a wonderful holiday weekend. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Should You Get a Massage During Labor?

Should You Get a Massage During Labor?

When you think of the pain, stress, and struggle that women go through during labor and delivery, you may not exactly think of any association with massage in all of that. However, this is the perfect time to receive massage; whether from your partner or a professional massage therapist who is on call to be with you throughout your labor. Studies have shown time and again that massage before and during labor can help with the process in a variety of ways. 

Prenatal massage is fairly well-known along with the benefits that accompany itsuch as increased relaxation, decreased anxiety, stress, back and leg pain, and just all around feeling better through pregnancyRegular prenatal massages can also help assist in the birthing process as it keeps the body in a relaxed state on a regular basis, potentially leading to an easier labor. Many women leave prenatal massage where it’s at, before the big day comes, but there are many benefits of massage while you’re in the midst of labor. Tiffany Fieldthe director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Health System, has done several studies on the benefits of massage during labor. When conducting study of pregnancy and labor massage, the partners of the women were instructed to massage the areas that were most painful (generally the legs and lower back) while the women laid on their side for the first 15 minutes of every hour they were in labor. The women labored for an average of 3 hours shorter, needed less medication, and experienced less pain than normally reported. Who doesn’t want a shorter, less painful labor? 

One would think that the pain of labor would overpower the relaxation of massage, but there are few theories about how massage during labor affects the body. One of the most notable is the Gate Control Theory, which suggests that when receiving a non-painful massage during labor, the body will be flooded with pleasant sensations that will overpower many of the painful sensations.  

When receiving massage during labor you can work with a licensed massage therapist who is knowledgeable in the specific needs of pregnant women, or your partner can complete the massage. When your partner is massaging you during labor, it is important that they are taught some techniques by a professional massage therapist who will show them the areas to focus on, specific strokes and techniques, tips to keep from hurting or tiring their hands, as well as some positioning ideas. Receiving a massage during labor by a loved one may bring more comfort to the mother during labor due to the familiarity, and can be a special time to bond for mother and partner. This is also a wonderful way for your partner to feel like they’re contributing to a process that can leave many feeling helpless and on the sidelines. 

There are several different techniques that can be used to massage a mother during pregnancy and laborHere’s just a few… 

Kneading: slow meaningful kneading in the shoulders, low back, thighs, and hips can help reduce tension. Take your hand and leaving your palm accessible, fold your fingers down. Apply gentle pressure by grabbing the muscle between the heel of the hand and closed fingers. Squeeze the muscle slowly and firmly,  release, and repeat, moving across the entirety of the muscle. 

Stroking: Use a lotion, oil, or cream that allows a good glide, but has just a bit of tackiness to provide some grip. Applying firm pressure with the palm of your hand, stroke from shoulder to hip and thigh to knee. Use both hands, making sure one stroke begins before the other ends. Keeping constant contact is important. Let the mother guide you to the areas she is dealing with the most pain. 

Direct Pressure: Fold your fingers flat against the palm of your hand, keeping your wrist straight. Use the flat back of your fingers and knuckles to press into the mother’s painful area. You can use your body weight to lean deeper if more pressure is needed. You may also use the heel of your hand, however that may be uncomfortable on the wrist when used for longer periods of time. 

Reflexology: Using your hand to apply pressure in certain areas of the hands and feet may help relieve pain in other parts of the body. If you can’t get some lessons on which points to apply pressure to and how to do it effectively, a general foot massage can still help distract the nervous system, allowing those relaxing sensations to overpower some of the painful ones. 

Whether performed by a licensed massage therapist or a loved one, massage during labor has been shown to help a mother mentally and physically through one of the biggest moments of her life. If you’re preparing for your big day, or that of a loved one, talk to us about how we can help you integrate massage into the labor process. 

Information Courtesy of My Massage World. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

When you stretch is just as important as How you stretch


When You Stretch is Just as Important as How You Stretch

Many fitness instructors still teach the importance of stretching extensively before and after any sort of exercise, and if you’re a member of a gym, you’ll undoubtedly see this being done often. But what if I told you that many of us have been stretching all wrong? While it’s hard to change old habits, this change is imperative if you want to get the most out of your workouts, and prevent injuries along the way.

Many of us have always been told that before working out you should stretch and warm up right? But times change and research shows us just how wrong we are sometimes. While the warm up part is entirely true, let’s look at a scenario; you put a rubber band in the freezer and leave it for a day. The next morning you go and pull the rubber band out of the freezer and immediately stretch the rubber band. How far do you think the rubber band will stretch? Because it’s cold, not very far before it just snaps, right? So now imagine that your muscles are that rubber band. If you perform static stretching (a technique in which a significant stretched position is slowly reached, then held for some time) while your muscles are “cold”, they’re not going to stretch much, and you run the risk of pulling or straining a muscle.

In fact, static stretching before a workout reduces your strength and power output for up to an hour! While static stretching is out of the question before a workout, there is a way to warm your muscles up and stretch them without putting them in danger. Dynamic flexibility exercises are exercises where movement starts slow, and gradually builds to the full range of motion and speed. Have you ever seen athletes warming up by mimicking the movements they are about to make in their match? Those movements would be considered dynamic flexibility exercises. They start small and gradually increase range of motion, and therefore the muscle stretch, while warming up the muscles at the same time.

While static stretching before physical activity is not suggested, it can be helpful in aiding recovery after physical activity. It is important to note that anytime you’re stretching, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t force your body into it. While that may be common sense for many, we live in a time where many still abide by the mantra “no pain, no gain” and that just isn’t always the case, especially when it comes to stretching..

If you want to stretch your muscles before a workout, focus on stretches that include movement as opposed to stretches that are static, and save the static stretches for post workout to help your muscles recover. 

Information Courtesy of My Massage World. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Reflexology: What it is & Why you should try it


Reflexology: What it is & Why you should try it

You may have heard of Reflexology or seen some crazy looking charts with internal organs drawn all over the feet and hands, thinking “what’s that all about?” Well, let me explain…

Reflexology is a type of bodywork that involves applying different amounts of pressure to specific points on the feet and hands, and sometimes the ears. The theory basis for reflexology is that there are certain “reflex areas” on the feet, hands, and ears that are connected to specific organs and body parts energetically. The reasoning behind the treatment, is that applying pressure in these areas can promote the natural healing process of the associated organ or body area. For example, the tips of the toes reflect the head, around the ball of the foot – the heart and chest, the arch of the foot – the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and the heel – low back and intestines.

You may find a Registered Certified Reflexologist who only performs Reflexology sessions, or a massage therapist who is equally trained in the technique and combines it with their massage sessions.

Many people seek reflexology for stress related conditions, tension headaches, migraines, digestive issues, arthritis, insomnia, hormonal imbalances, menstrual disorders, and chronic pain. When attending a session with a reflexologist, you will be expected to fill out information about your health history that will help them customize your treatment. It is important to be honest when filling out any information pertaining to your health when having any service performed. Your reflexologist may use tools such as balls, rods, and dowels in addition to their hands. Always make sure to communicate with your reflexologist if there are any points in the service that you feel uncomfortable. Don’t worry if you’re ticklish, the amount of pressure that is applied during your session should be enough to prevent a giggle spell.

Reflexology can be a wonderful first step or addition to a care plan in addressing a slew of conditions. So, what are you waiting for? Book your Reflexology session now!

Information Courtesy of My Massage World. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Terms we Use in the Massage Industry & Why


Massage therapists have worked and struggled for years to educate the public on the reality of the profession; not just about the benefits of the therapy, but also to disassociate the industry from those who use the legitimacy of the profession to hide illicit activities. Television and movies haven’t helped over the years, often acting to perpetuate this unfortunate association. In an effort to combat this, there are certain terms we use as massage therapists, to maintain professionalism and separate ourselves from those not-so-professional individuals and businesses.

While we don’t expect the general public to always use the correct terminology, it’s important that we, as professionals do, so keep an ear out for these things when you’re looking for a legitimate massage professional.

Throughout much of Europe, the terms masseuse and masseur are most often used to refer to the person performing the massage, but in most other parts of the world, including the US and Canada, those terms may have a negative connotation, so the term massage therapist is most appropriate. Depending on the area you visit, different forms of this may be used to reflect the specific licensing or certification of the profession in that region. So, you may hear things like licensed massage therapist (LMT), certified massage practitioner (CMP), or registered massage therapist (RMT). All of these let you know that the individual holds that particular title with their local licensing/certification boards or associations due to their training and capabilities.

You may also notice that we call our ‘work surface’ a massage ‘table’ instead of a ‘bed’. This again, is to disassociate from any unprofessional activities. The same can be said for why we often use the term ‘linens’ instead of ‘sheets’, and call our massage businesses things like a massage ‘practice’, ‘office’, ‘spa’, or almost anything other than ‘parlor’.

Now, you may wonder if this really matters, but I’m here to tell you, absolutely! You see, the problem isn’t just that some people use this industry to hide illegal and unprofessional acts, making our profession look bad, but those types of facilities are very often a hub for human trafficking. The women involved are usually not willing participants, but rather have been trafficked, sold, and forced into the work. While we want to disassociate ourselves from the act itself, it’s even more important that we all fight this form of modern-day slavery.

Don’t worry if you didn’t know the meaning behind some of these terms before now. We know that many people outside the profession have no idea the connotation behind some of the terminology, nor the horrible things hiding behind the doors of those ‘parlors’. That’s why we work to educate our clients and the general public. For those of you who have never had a professional massage, there is more to a massage therapist than what you may have seen on TV. And for those who have been, thank you for supporting our industry.

Information courtesy of My Massage World. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Massage & Diabetes


Did you know that diabetes affects almost 10% of the population? It’s a frustrating condition for many people that can completely alter their day-to-day activities. Every bite of food and any physical activity has to be taken into account.

For a general overview, diabetes affects insulin in the body. Insulin is what regulates blood sugar levels so our cells function properly. There are two primary forms, simply called Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in childhood as the result of the body’s inability to produce insulin. These patients require supplemental insulin. Type 2 on the other hand, can develop at any age and is the result of the body not effectively using insulin. They don’t require supplemental insulin, but rather can control their blood sugar levels with proper diet and exercise. However, if not controlled, Type 2 can turn into Type 1. There are also many complications that are associated with diabetes, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, nerve damage, and depression to name a few.

While Diabetes can restrict a lot in life, getting a massage shouldn’t be one of those things. Generally speaking, it is perfectly safe to receive a massage as a diabetic. However, open communication is essential! It’s not only important to tell your massage therapist that you are diabetic, but also about how it’s being managed, and what your recent health is like. It’s also important to note that massage can alter your blood glucose level considerably, and it may take a few sessions to get a clear idea of how your body responds to the massage. This will help you moving forward with regular sessions, so you know when you should eat or take your insulin in relation to when you receive your massage.

If you’re dealing with diabetic neuropathy (damage to the small nerves of the hands and feet), you’ll want to be really clear with your massage therapist about exactly what your current symptoms are, as this varies from person to person. You’ll also want to keep communicating during the session so your therapist can adjust the pressure and techniques accordingly.

Massage therapy can do wonders to help with some of the symptoms and side effects of diabetes. Whether you’re dealing with neuropathy, circulation issues, depression, or just want to relax, massage may help. Just make sure you keep an open line of communication with your therapist and keep them updated with any changes that happen along the way. This will not only keep you safe, but it will make your experience as enjoyable as possible.

Information courtesy of My Massage World. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Should I Drink Water After My Massage?


Should I Drink Water After My Massage?

If you’ve had massages before, you’ve probably been told to drink a lot of water after. But why? And is it really necessary?

To get to the bottom of this we first have to discuss a common myth concerning massage that is still being taught and spread to this very day, despite research to the contrary. If you ask some therapists why they recommend drinking water after a massage, they will likely repeat what they’ve been erroneously taught; to flush out toxins that the massage stirred up. This is completely and utterly false. Massage education is lacking in many ways, and this is one of them; outdated theories that have no foundation in science. So, to set the record straight, massage DOES NOT release toxins from the muscles. That’s just not how it works. You also will not get sore after a massage because you didn’t drink “enough” water. That’s just another myth that coincides with the toxin myth.

But it may still be important to drink water after your massage. Why?

Massage does have a diuretic effect. As we push and pull on the tissues, we’re stimulating the lymph vessels just under the surface of the skin, manually pushing fluid through them and to the larger lymphatic vessels and to the kidneys to be excreted. We’re also stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the body and triggers the bladder to signal that it needs to release. This is the reason many people need to use the restroom right after a massage.

If you’re getting rid of fluid due to your massage, you need to replace it to stay hydrated. And let’s face it, many people don’t drink enough water, so an extra cup or two won’t hurt.

Is it absolutely necessary to drink water after your massage? No.

Is it still recommended? Yes!

The reasoning behind the push for clients to drink water should be based on science, but regardless, drinking a little extra water to stay hydrated is always a good thing, so keep it up.

Information Courtesy of My Massage World. Thank you!