Archives for category: Bodywork

dreamstime_m_1934443.jpgOne of the most common questions asked about massage therapy is how often you should get a massage. The answer is that it all depends on why you get massages. My advice is at least monthly, but to listen to YOUR body. If it tells you to get massage more often, then maybe once a week is better for you even if it is temporarily. Do you get massages for health benefits? Do you get massages to help you relax? Are you in immediate pain? I also suggest that you get in before you are all stove up. Because I book out three to four weeks in advance, last minute appointments are not usually available. It is best to allow me to work out the knots and malfunctions before they become a problem rather than wait until you can not move your head or stand up straight.

Included is a list of reasons why people get massages and the recommended number of times you go get a massage for that reason. This should help guide you in determining how often you should get your massages.

Relaxation

The first reason to get a massage is for complete relaxation. These massages will provide people with support of their body functions, which includes better blood circulation and flexibility of joints. Regular visits will prevent pain, muscle tension, and stress points from building up. It is recommended that massage therapy for relaxation is scheduled for every one to three months.

Stress Relief

Another common reason to get a massage is for stress relief. There may be times in your life where you experience higher levels of stress and more muscle tension than normal. If you are in a high-stress job or you work in an environment where you stay in a certain position for a long period of time, you may begin to develop tightly-knotted muscles. This will usually occur in your shoulders, arms, and back. Having tightly-knotted muscles will make movement harder and cause a great deal of pain.

Not only that, but having high levels of stress for a prolonged amount of time increases the risk of contracting heart diseases. To help cope with your high stress levels caused by work or by everyday life, it is recommended that you get a massage once or twice a month.

Sports Recovery

Massages help with sports performances and recovery. A lot of athletes and physically active people often get these types of massages because it enhances their performance, prevents injury, and speeds up their muscles’ recovery. Competitive sports puts a lot of stress on a person’s muscles, so massage therapy is used to strengthen their muscles before the activity. This therapy is also used to heal their muscles afterward.

It’s recommended that if you get this type of therapy, you get a massage up to three times a week or at least three times a month.

Post Operative Recovery

Massage helps with recovery from all kinds of surgical procedures. Depending on the type of surgery, this type of massage assists the body to reduce swelling, improve range of motion, promote cell regeneration, and reduce scarring. The trained massage therapist will begin with gentle lymphatic techniques to avoid further damage to the area and progress to deeper myofascial type work as the body heals.

It’s recommended that if you get this type of therapy, you get a massage up to three times a week or at least once a week.

Chronic Complaints

People with chronic issues often go to get massages for treatment. Chronic issues that would greatly benefit from getting massage therapy include issues with your back, joint pain, and localized inflammation. If you get therapy for specific issues, the frequency of getting massage therapy varies with the type of chronic illness you have and how severe it is.

Scar Tissue Issues would be included in this category and frequency of Scar Tissue Release therapy varies depending on the age of the scar, how it was obtained, and even sometimes the mental and emotional associations with that particular scar.

Cellulite Massage helps to minimize the appearance of cellulite and it is probably one of the most intense types of massage that I offer. With this type you would schedule three sessions a week for nine weeks.

Relief from your chronic illness can be achieved by going for at least three sessions a week.

Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant will often get massages. This type of massage is called prenatal massage and is popular among expectant mothers, who often experience a lot of aches and pains as their pregnancy progresses. A lot of women get aches in their backs and will experience swollen ankles. As a certified pregnancy massage therapist and certified doula, I can help to relieve those discomforts.

Going to your massage therapist once or twice a month will do the trick on relieving some of these symptoms caused by pregnancy.

Fertility Massage

Despite it’s name, fertility massage is about more than just helping someone get pregnant. Post baby, fertility massage, helps the body prepare for baby by realigning internal organs putting them back where they are supposed to be as opposed to where they were pushed by baby’s presence. Post baby fertility massage, helps the body heal and go back to it’s pre-baby state quicker and more efficiently. Pre-baby, it helps to reduce scarring from previous surgeries, endometriosis and poly-cystic ovarian syndrome allowing the body to become pregnant easier. If you are not even interested in getting pregnant, fertility massage can help with such issues as chronic constipation, prolapsed uterus, prolapsed bladder and other issues of the abdominal area. Frequency of fertility massage is dependent upon the reasons you are receiving it. If you are indeed wanting to get pregnant fertility massage needs to be scheduled within your cycle with the first session being after the last day of your period and the last session before you ovulate; a tiny window. Ideally, at least 3 sessions during that time period are suggested. If pregnancy is not a goal, monthly is fine.

There are always other considerations to take before scheduling massage. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor and your massage therapist to ensure that it’s a healthy idea to get massages on a regular basis. To book your massage login to JenAdamsLMT.com

 

 

 

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A few weeks ago, I was watching the show Outlander and Claire was explaining how she used compartmentalizing to disassociate herself from her patients.

Elias asks Claire her secret for remaining calm in the face of so much death. She responds that she’s learned to compartmentalize — separate certain areas of her life so she can do her work. She explains that if she let herself be affected by every death, she’d never save a life.

During the show, I realized in that moment that even though I do not have to deal with life and death, I do the same thing during my massage sessions. It is really rather fascinating and I suppose we are either taught this at some point or we do it instinctively. Either way, I thought it would be something interesting to share and explain since I have been dwelling on the deepness of it since watching that show.

I try to do most of my intake in my waiting room so that I can focus on the massage and the individual in my session room. Once I pass through the threshold of where the massage will be held, it is my intent to leave the outside world behind. This is my first little compartment. When within the room, my client and I exist in our own little world. Nothing else matters in that moment. All of my focus is on that individual and their needs for the time being.

fibonacci sea shell

The next compartment is the individual, and then the body, and then the section of the body, and then the individual muscles and finally, especially with detail work, I might go so far as each individual knot, muscle fiber, scar etc. After I have addressed the issues in the tiniest necessary section, I back out gradually connecting everything back to the whole and finishing with the whole person, thanking them for the privilege of working on them and finally ending by asking them to get up slowly, taking their time before we meet again “on the other side” of the door in the waiting room. The last little space before we are bombarded by the real world again.

In my practice I often refer to the fact that I recognize the Fibonacci Sequence or the Golden Ratio frequently. This is another of those prime examples. The point being each compartment gets more and more detailed, more and more finite, more and more miniscule. I can not treat the whole body without treating parts, but at the same time I need to recognize that I have to treat the whole body not just individual parts for a holistic approach.

Someone challenged me recently with a statement that I could not, just not think of something important during a session and at that time I did not have the explanation of how in fact I could. I do it all the time. Through the practice of compartmentalization, we can actually set aside issues that do not pertain to the immediate situation. Yes, it takes practice. Truthfully, I believe it is key to the practice of living in the “now”, or being present, or being zen. It is an art that I suppose not everyone is adept in. Yeah, even I fail on occasion. I am human, after all. But having a word for it … I guess that just makes me happy.

 

stop-sexual-harassmentIn the past few days it has become very public the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in the massage industry, especially the large chains. As a licensed massage therapist, I have seen and participated in discussions about it and how to handle situations appropriately as they arise but as is the case in most industries, these discussions are usually kept behind closed doors.

Here’s the thing. So long as it is discussed behind closed doors, there will always be problems. It has to stop now. We have to discuss it. We have to change the way we accept or fight against things. We have to start calling people out who do it without thinking. You know those sexual slurs made about happy endings when they aren’t really meant? Guess what? That is adding to the problem. Some people don’t know that those are jokes and others take offense anyway. There is a fine line between political correctness and common curtesy to be sure. But if you just check yourself before saying it then the problem is nixed before it becomes real. If you see someone talking about inappropriateness in relation to massage therapy, STOP THEM.

There are always two sides to the sexual harassment issues in massage therapy, therapists get harassed and clients get harassed. Neither is OK!

NO MORE Therapists getting harassed and assaulted

As a professional and licensed massage therapist, I have it plastered everywhere, on intakes, on my website etc that I will absolutely not tolerate any sexual misconduct in my office pertaining to massage. My policy is as soon as misconduct is insinuated, session is immediately terminated, payment is due in full, and the miscreant is blacklisted from all future appointments. ZERO TOLERANCE – NO SECOND CHANCES There is also a contingency plan for escalation if that is necessary. Self Defense is not taken for granted. My most powerful weapon of course is my extremely jealous and PTSD suffering Prior Service Combat Tested Marine of a Husband. Fortunately, up to this point, I have not had to call on the use of that weapon. 😉

NO MORE Clients getting harassed and assaulted

Ok so where does that leave clients? Well, my office is a sanctuary, a safe place and it is strictly enforced. Every person who enters my office is treated with respect and will never be harassed sexually or otherwise. Should a client be receiving abuse or harassment otherwise, my space is a safe place to disclose this and together we will find a way to make it stop. It doesn’t matter if it is helping find a place to stay, a counselor, a lawyer, self-defense classes, law enforcement involvement or just an ear to listen. I will help where-ever I can.

Every client of mine is informed that if something needs to be adjusted during their time, to please speak up. I do not believe in no pain no gain. I will make the chances necessary for your comfort whether it is depth of pressure, change of technique, more or less heat. State of Alabama dictates draping laws, and I abide by those fully. I also cover which areas I will be addressing during intake and ask if there are any areas to be avoided. If you tell me you don’t want your feet, nose, ears, belly whatever touched then I am bound by your request and will honor it! Bottom line here is … if you are uncomfortable for ANY reason … STOP the therapist and have adjustments made, if adjustments can’t be made to your satisfaction it is OK to end the session immediately. Do NOT suffer through a service you are paying for if you are not happy with the service you are receiving.

There are creeps in every field. But I make this promise … there are no creeps in my office!

If you would like to book an appointment in a guaranteed safe place, please do so online 24/7 at jenadamslmt.com

  1. ABMP Statement
  2. AMTA Statement
  3. CNN Article
  4. ABC Article
  5. Allure Article
  6. Harvest Moon Article – Client Bill of Rights

 

OMG, if I could count on one hand how many people’s primary complaint is neck and shoulder pain, I wouldn’t have a job! Seriously, I can just about guarantee anyone walking into my office is going to have a complaint of EITHER Neck & Shoulder pain or Low Back Pain if not both.

People with neck and shoulder issues often have their pain return before their next massage appointment. Work, play and children all make demands on the body. A dull ache can quickly turn into a burning pain especially while folding laundry, doing yard work, playing on the computer or any of the other million things you do.

What can you do between professional massage appointments to take the edge off neck and shoulder pain? Here are some ideas.

Take a Break

Take short breaks as often as you can if you sit at a computer all day. Move your shoulders around and s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Ideally you can get up and move around a bit. But even if you’re chained to the desk, you can rock out a little Deskercise to stay loose.

Get the kids into it

Have a short yoga break together! There are plenty of videos made especially for kids, and the moves are just as beneficial for adults. Bonus: got a little one averse to naptime? Try the lying-down postures here and maybe you’ll get a short break.

Heat it

Just 10-15 minutes of heat on your shoulders can make a huge difference in how your tissue moves and feels. You don’t need a fancy heating pad, you can make one at home pretty easily. Check out this DIY tutorial.

Self-massage

Try it, you might be surprised how much it helps! It’s not complicated, just grab a tennis ball, a lacrosse ball, or even a red rubber ball and check out these techniques.

Choose the right pillow

superb_new_PILLOW_SILO_775_jjYou spend about one third of your time in bed, be sure it’s cozy for your neck. Side-sleepers have different needs than belly-sleepers. The right pillow at night can help you all day. I have a limited supply (FOUR) of Bed Boss Superb Pillows at the office. I like them because they are #1 shredded memory foam, so they keep their shape, but offer support too. #2 have a cooling gel insert so my head doesn’t sweat at night. #3 It’s just right for shaping it myself regardless of how I’m sleeping. They retail for $70 but the ones I have I’m selling for only $40. But once they are gone, they are gone. 

A few minutes of self care every day, little changes, can make a huge difference in how you feel. See you at your next appointment! Book your appointment online today! 

I tell my clients time after time to listen to their body. One way to listen to your body is through Bodywork and Exercise. What does that mean? How do you listen to your body?
screaming back large.png
It means you have to be aware of what your body is telling you. Do you need to stretch a little more? Do you need more water? Did you overdo it? Are you imbalanced on one side of your body? Regular Exercise and Bodywork both can keep you in tune with your body. Ever ask … “How’d you know I was hurting there?” or “I didn’t even know I was hurting there until you worked on it!” This is because of that disconnect between what is happening in the body and what the brain accepts as reality. My working on that area helps to bring that area to the forefront that your brain can know what’s going on there.
The following was written by by Ruth Werner
You have to give us credit: as a culture, Americans are incredibly interested in getting fit. We invest every year in new diets, exercise programs, and supplements for weight loss and improved energy. Low-range estimates suggest that Americans spend about $2.6 billion each year on gym memberships alone.
We also tend to pitch full speed into any given commitment. If we’re going to get fit, by golly, we’re going to do it now, regardless of how long it took us to get into our current state. We don’t do things by half measures, and moderation is not in our nature. So how do we keep ourselves injury-free while honoring our commitment to exercise and get healthy?

Does It Have to Be All or Nothing?
We all know that starting an exercise program doesn’t actually mean we’ll finish it. When we throw ourselves into an ambitious new routine, we are likely to overdo it and get hurt. Then, we get discouraged, and may give up entirely, only to start the cycle over in another year or so.
Overdoing things in the gym or on the sports field seems to appeal to our competitive spirit–especially when we’re surrounded by others who all seem to be doing better than we are. Combine this kind of human drive with poorly trained athletic trainers who give bad advice about form, pacing, and effort, and we have a recipe for potential problems.
Exercise is only effective when it occurs without injury. Any new exercise program requires some caution, even if it is comparatively easygoing. And more challenging programs are safest and most successful when new participants build up their activity levels carefully and receive excellent guidance about form.

When It Goes Wrong
We accrue musculoskeletal and fascial injuries throughout our entire lifespans. In the best circumstances, they heal well, with a minimum of internal scar tissue, and function returns to practically normal levels. When things are ideal, that sprained ankle you got playing soccer at age 12 doesn’t affect your ability to walk in your 30s. The lumbar strain you got from picking up the heavy laundry basket 15 years ago resolved well, so at 62, it won’t hinder your golf game. We are able to adapt to minor injuries, and we learn how not to exacerbate them.
But when we introduce a new exercise program, especially if that exercise program is more demanding, or demanding in different ways than we have experienced before, we risk the flaring up of old injuries. Scar tissue does not have the weight-bearing capacity of healthy muscle or connective tissue. This is when that old sprained ankle may make itself known, and that weakness in your back will definitely have opinions about your new routine. Sometimes you might feel like your new commitment to fitness was not the best idea.

Injuries Can Happen Any Time
CrossFit is one program that gets a lot of attention because of its reputation for being especially demanding. But any type of exercise can lead to injury if correct form is not observed. Zumba, Jazzercise, and other dance-like programs bring a risk of foot and leg injuries, including sprained ankles, plantar fasciitis, and stress fractures, because the risk for twisting at the knee is so high.
If you aren’t paying close attention to your own limits, even yoga can be a source of soft-tissue injury: delayed soreness, problems at the neck and sacroiliac joints, or other injuries. One massage therapist reported seeing several injuries related to a prolonged yoga headstand, probably in a student who was not ready for this challenge.

How Can Massage Help?
Massage can help you deal with pain or soreness from your exercise regimen and can also help shorten recovery periods so you can train more efficiently. Although massage therapists are not primary care providers, and cannot diagnose conditions or prescribe specific treatments, your therapist may be able to offer excellent advice for dealing with a fitness-related injury. He or she may also have suggestions about warm-ups, cool-downs, and postexercise stretching, or be able to point you to an appropriate coach or other professional for specific exercise needs and to help prevent future injury.
The incidence of exercise-related injury has a lot to do with people not paying attention to their own needs. One of the many things massage therapy offers to people who want to become healthier and more fit is the chance to become more aware of your own body in a powerfully positive way. Increased body awareness and self-appreciation may be the best tools for helping you increase activity levels without hurting yourself. In this way, you can reach your goals with power and joy, rather than with pain and injury.

Ruth Werner is a former massage therapist, a writer, and a continuing education provider. She wrote A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology(Lippincott Williams + Wilkins, 2013).