How often should I get a massage?

When a client comes for their first appointment, they often ask this question. The best answer is: regularly.  Just like with any other good habit, there is great value in committing yourself  to it.

How often you come depends on  your situation. How many challenges is your body dealing with? Some of my weekly clients are dealing with high stress such as caring for a ill loved one. Others might have a highly demanding job with intense computer work.

Recovering from an injury or surgery  is enhanced with a regular massage session.  Athletes, whether serious or casual, get a lot of benefit from massage.  Your goal may be  a competition, losing weight , gaining strength, healthy aging, improving your mental outlook or maybe all of these.  A  massage therapist on your team can help you stay on track and improve your chances of success with fewer injuries and setbacks along the way.

Your therapist can help you evaluate your needs and also decide which technique or type of bodywork would be best.  (See my blog post on which modality is good for you here.)

Massage is a motivator, a reward, in short a great way to take care of yourself.  Whatever interval you decide is right for you, the fact of having one regularly is key.  So see you soon!

Arnica for muscle, tendon, and ligament soreness and injuries.

While gracefully turning to look for the volleyball, my food went in an independent direction. Ack!  I do not intend to give up on the sport but I will be off for a few weeks and perhaps wear a brace in the future.

My recovery has been aided by Arnica, both topical and oral – a homeopathic remedy that assists your natural healing process. The evening of the incident, any weight bearing was painful. By the next day I could walk and by three days almost without a limp. I still need to limit my activities that would involve squatting or lots of changing of direction, but I feel confident I will be able to enjoy hiking in the Rockies in an upcoming trip with the safeguard of a simple wrap.arnica

Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the ability of the body to heal itself. Arnica is not an analgesic. You may want and need to use some analgesics and anti-inflammatories as well when you have an injury. And of course, you may want to consult a medical professional in case of injury.

Homeopathic remedies are not as well known or understood in the United States as they are in Europe, but Arnica is by far the most popular and supported by anecdotal evidence.

I use Arnica for bumps, bruises, strains, sprains, and over-exertion  soreness. It can be found at the East End Food Co-op and a few other retail outlets that well natural remedies.


Tablet and phone use injury

Little aches and pains

Do you pay attention to little pains and take care of them before they become big pains?

All of us are prone to ignoring warning signs, including me!  For months I’ve had a recurring pain in my forearm, right along the radius bone.  I thought, bone bruise, stress fracture?  But could recall no injury.

Finally it dawned on me – gripping my phone and iPad. The thumb has many long muscles, giving it great mobility. They extend down the forearm. Overuse = tendinitis or tendinosis – inflammation and/or tiny tears in the muscle and tendon fibers. I am now much more conscious of how and for how long I am holding my devices.

We’ve probably all heard of “phone neck” from leaning over your phone. But phone thumb is also a risk, especially for you text-addicts!flexor-pollicis

I mention this as a cautionary tale.  Pay attention to little pains so you can adjust your activities and save yourself from chronic pain and disability!

And consult your massage therapist for care and prevention!  She can often help you pinpoint the source and cause of your pain, as well as suggest therapy and self care.

The Body Tells the Truth

I have been reading a fascinating book “What Every Body is Saying” by Joe Navarro

While people vary somewhat due to temperament and cultural differences, the limbic brain expresses some very basic emotions in universal ways.

Everyone instinctively reacts to stressors in remarkably similar ways. When a surprise or threat pops up, we all freeze.  When we are in an unpleasant situation, we attempt to either distance ourselves  by changing our posture  and/or soothe ourselves with gestures such as touching the neck or face, rubbing the forehead, or smoothing our legs with our palms.

We can also use posture intentionally to try to change our mood. Play act different moods by assuming the posture associated with it, and you will be amazed at how your feeling changes.  I’m not suggesting this as a cure for depression, but as a mood lifter and attitude changer.

On a related thought, we can also pay attention to what we say to ourselves about our body.  I encourage clients to identify with the progress they are making rather than the tension.  A human being is always growing and changing, and while we may not always appreciate those changes, a kindly attitude towards our body goes a long way towards having a more contented life.

Taking the time to pay attention to your body mechanics and posture while working is a way of telling yourself that you matter and are worth taking care of.  It is powerful to think of the implications of our actions and take charge of the situation accordingly – and don’t beat yourself up when you forget!