Archives for category: Biology

A couple of days ago, I awoke in a panic with this on my mind and have been simmering on it trying to figure out a way to share this very important information with my clients and colleagues.

How many times have my clients forgotten to tell me what medicines they are taking? OMG a million times over! And this is so very important not only for their health but for mine! Some medicines are contraindicated for massage because while taking it, harm can come to the individual who is on those drugs. Some medicines are contraindicated because while taking it, the massage can be negated rather quickly. Some medicines are contraindicated because they are topical and can cross over to the therapist. Yes, I said that!

I have on my intake form What medicines are you taking for a reason. I have to be able to determine how and where I can work on you. I don’t just rub bodies.

Additionally, I have on my intake the direct question of Are you taking any topical medicines? This is doubly important!

I’m not sure why, but many people feel that if it is a cream or gel, it isn’t really a medicine. That is so not true! Just because it fades into your skin almost immediately does not mean it is not still working, or able to be transmitted to someone who touches that area. ESPECIALLY if that person is doing a bit more than just rubbing it and is actually reactivating the agent using oils and creams and friction!

A few years ago a colleague was having medical issues. She found out that she was overdosing on female hormones because a client she was seeing multiple times a week was using a topical version of the same thing she was taking. When my colleague found out she was ODing somehow I asked her if any of her clients were on hormones and taking them topically. We surveyed and got our answer.

I immediately changed my intake forms to include that.

Fast forward.

How many of you know a man with low testosterone? How much more prevalent is the advertisement of drugs for low T? How many people believe that talking about anything in that region is taboo and should be avoided at all costs? How many people are embarrassed about why they might have to take any kind of drug? If they are hiding it from their spouse or significant other, do you think maybe they might “forget” to put that on their intake massage when they are “just going for a bit of relaxation in a massage?” Absolutely!

Testosterone gel is rubbed onto the body (the insert I saw suggested the pectoral muscles, shoulders or belly) daily. How many male shoulders and pecs do you think I work on? Um every client male or female that comes in to see me gets worked on there! Female hormones are generally rubbed onto the hips or belly, and I work on just about every hip that comes into my office too .. male or female. Bellies I do work on, but not as often.

It clearly says on the package that females are NOT to touch treated areas. In fact some say women are not to touch the treated areas for at least 6 hours. And if so to wash hands thoroughly with alcohol. Others say it is never safe for a female to touch  a treated area and that a shirt should be worn during intercourse. Massage isn’t intercourse, but I’m doing quite a bit of touching.

I would say that massage is much more intense than mere touch.

OK … that’s just the hormones….

I’ve heard stories of clients coming in with pain patches who thought they were not working only to have the therapist have to stop the session because her tongue went numb from all the pain meds on the person’s body. That’s from patches not even creams! Who would have thought? Needless to say, because of this, I will not work on anyone who has a pain patch. Sorry, I don’t need a dose of pain meds. I need to be able to feel what I am doing to work on my clients.

OK … so what about other topicals?

Many people take topical steroids for different issues. Those are also able to be transferred to others. I don’t need steroids either, but thanks!

How many people out there forget that supplements are drugs? How many people forget that topical are drugs? How many people out there think that massage therapist just don’t need to know the medicines they are taking and don’t fill out the intake completely?

Please, I’m begging you. Be honest with your therapists! It’s not just about being able to take care of you the way we need to. It is about being able to take care of all of our clients and also ourselves. Please fill out your intake forms completely. Please be honest. We aren’t asking just to be nosy.

If you are coming in to get a massage and you are taking topicals, IF IT IS POSSIBLE … please apply in an area that I will not be working on. If your low back is hurting, I’ll need to work on your hips. If your neck and upper back are hurting, I’ll need to work on your shoulders and pecs. Bellies are generally safe unless I’m doing abdominal work of course. If it is not possible to put in a different area, maybe try to apply AFTER your appointment instead of before. If that is not possible, we therapists, understand! But we, as therapists will need to work around that area. And if you choose to deliberately withhold that information from us just so you can get an awesome massage, please know OUR health is quite literally at stake in that decision.

In the United States Body Shaming is so prevalent we are almost oblivious to it. It starts in school elementary school and doesn’t seem to stop. This year, EveryBODY deserves a massage week is this week and I felt it necessary to relay the importance of EveryBODY getting a massage despite what they may look like! bodyshaming

I have a daughter who already complains of being FAT! And She’s not … she has a nice little figure for her age. Healthy in all ways!

So I plead with you, regardless if it is your child, your parent, your sibling, your spouse, your friend or even yourself. Just SAY NO to Body Shaming.

In the massage industry, we therapists see all kinds of bodies. Fat, Skinny, Tall, Short, Hairy, Bald, Scarred, Pristine, Tattooed and any number of other differences! As a massage therapist (at least for me), we see muscle and fascia, adhesions, and the way bodies move. Honestly more often than not, as I work my eyes are closed and my fingers are doing the seeing.

Please don’t be afraid of being too big to get a massage. I’m not going to look at your fat. My table holds a LOT of weight, and I actually have extensions on my table to make it wider. I have yet to have a client book that was too large for my table. muscle fascia

Please don’t be afraid of being too skinny to get a massage. Despite being “skin and bones” skinny people really do have muscle too and it needs attention just like anyone else.

Please don’t be afraid of being too tall. It’s ok if your feet hang off the table for a bit, and I can make some adjustments to ensure your comfort.

Please don’t be afraid of being too short. If I can work on an infant, I can work on you!

Please don’t be afraid of being too frail and weak to get a massage. I have techniques that are less invasive and are of the lightest of touch so that you too can enjoy a nice hour of relaxation.

Don’t want to get undressed? That’s ok too! I can work around clothing and still work to relieve your stress.

Forget to shave? Let me just say that the woman who didn’t shave all winter has NOTHING on the hairiest of men I’ve worked on, and not shaving doesn’t bother me.

Too hairy? Bah! I can work with that. I have plenty of hairy men who leave feeling like they are floating on a cloud after having their knots reigned in.

Embarrassed by a bad tattoo? Chances are I won’t notice it and if I do, I won’t mention it unless you do.

Have a bad scar? Not a problem! Did you know I’m if not the only, then at the very least one of the first Scar Release Therapists in Alabama? I may not be able to make it go away, but if you want me to work on it, I can at least try to help it be more functional, less painful, less annoying and less obvious. If you don’t want me to work on it, I’m not going to judge you over it.

As a massage therapist it is my intent to ensure that every BODY on my table is treated like the King or Queen they are. That my hands show compassion, empathy and love the only way they can by doing the best they can with the massage.

When I say that my office is a judgement free zone, I mean it on every level! Every body tells a story of the life it has lived long past and recently. Every BODY is perfect for the soul that owns it. Love your Body It’s the only one you will have!

Years ago, I had a chair massage gig in one of those Alphabet Soup Buildings. You know where there are offices for CIA, DEA, FBI, VA and who knows what other combinations of lettered organizations.

At one point, a pair of DEA Officers came up to get a chair massage. They waited patiently for their turn, but after the first guy stumbles up off of the chair, his partner laughs at him and loudly exclaims, “Dude! You look Drunk!” …
massage drunk
To which I quickly reply, please remember this when my clients leave my office, Massage Drunk is a thing!

Yes, Massage Drunk really is a thing! Actually, it is more like being Massage Stoned.

Here is the science behind it.

Massage improves our well being by stimulating the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain killers and mood elevators that engage the morphine receptors in our brain. Think Morphine and Xanax here …

Endorphins are hormones or brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which transmit electrical signals within the nervous system. There are at least 20 types of endorphins in humans, and Massage stimulates the release of the ones that reduce stress, relieve pain and elevate mood.

On a side note, massage is excellent for people who are addicted to morphine like substances because it engages the morphine receptors without the need for chemicals and there is no risk of overdose.

So, yes, you really are Massage Drunk, or Massage High, or Massage Stoned. THIS is the reason I encourage all my clients to drink a glass of water before leaving. Drinking water physically pulls you back into awareness of your body and alleviates some of that Massage Drunk feeling.

Please drink the water, and if you do not have a friend to drive you home after a really good massage, drive safely! In this instance it is better to Drink and Drive, than to Drive Massage Drunk!

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this, or even every once in a while …

“I think I fell asleep, I heard myself snoring, but I was completely aware of everything thatbrain.jpeg was going on around me!”

How does that work?

Cue Biology lesson. 😀

Our brains operate on many different frequencies. Most people are aware of:

  • Alpha – Deep Relaxation
  • Beta – Wakeful Thinking
  • Delta – Deep Sleep

Two additional brain wave frequencies are Gamma – High Insightfulness and Theta – Creativity

Theta brain waves include REM and can happen during deep meditation or light sleep. It is only experienced momentarily in the shift between Alpha and Delta.

During this frequency, your mind is most in sync with it’s spiritual connection and this is where vivid visualizations, great inspiration, exceptional creativity and profound insights can be found. This is also the ONLY frequency in which the body can actually heal itself! At this frequency, you are conscious and fully aware of your surroundings, however your body is in a deep state of relaxation.

So for you to comment that you have achieved that state of mind during one of our sessions is a complement of highest regards. It means that, together we have assisted you into a total state of healing. (That does not mean poof you are healed!) It means that your body is at it’s optimum for repairing damage on its own.

Wanna see if you can get into that Theta Brain Wave Frequency? Book an appointment today! 

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