Celebrate Sleep Awareness Week ~ March 6-13

Sometimes getting a full night’s sleep seems impossible to achieve. No matter the cause – stress, pain, your work schedule or another reason – if you are not receiving regular quality sleep it can interfere with your health. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says, “Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions – such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression – which threaten our nation’s health.”

 

Sleep Awareness Week (March 6-13) gives us an opportunity to leave insufficient sleep behind and get back to the quality sleep that is so vital to our health and wellness. Here are a few ways you can start getting on track to better sleep habits.

 

Say adios to technology – well before bedtime.

Smartphones are everywhere and it’s not uncommon to find them creeping into your bedroom. Turn them off. Better than that. Turn them off and keep them in another room. Nix the TV, ipad, laptop and whatever else has found it’s way into your resting space. Break the habit and allow yourself to relax on a deep level.

 

Establish a routine that is calming and relaxing.

Humans are habitual creatures. How you wrap up your day can greatly impact the quality of sleep you receive. Finish the day with warm bath or shower, a cup of tea, cool the temperature in your room, and shut out the lights. Establishing a routine can triggers a natural response that tells the body, “it’s time for bed.”

 

Massage. Massage. Massage.

There I said it. Massage is HUGE when it comes to improving your sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have found massage to be beneficial for insomnia-related stress, as well as:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Paresthesias and nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)

Massage can not only increase relaxation and lower your fatigue, but it can reduce pain and improve your quality of sleep. Which can also help restore your sleep pattern. Our need for sleep has dramatically increased with the more technology available and the busier our schedules get. Massage is a great way to fulfill that need. In effort to celebrate Sleep Awareness Week, schedule a massage and be on your way to a better night’s sleep.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Give the Gift of Massage

Holiday Season Gift Certificate

Are you still looking for a gift for that hard to shop for friend or family member? Give the gift of massage this holiday season. Instant gift certificates are available here – http://ow.ly/VS7jP and they can be printed or emailed directly. I also have gift cards available by email or text (540-208-1727)

Here is some great gift ideas:

12 One Hour Massages
Price: $550
This is the deepest discount I offer! Save $230 on 12 one hour massage sessions.

60 Minute Prenatal Massage
Price: $65.00
Pamper Mommy with a wonderful Prenatal Massage. Can help relieve tension, low back pain, anxiety, stress, insomnia and aches and pains. Come let you or your loved one have the relaxation they so deserve!

30 Minute Foot Treatment
Price: $45.00
Clamped in shoes & socks every day, with little or no air contact, it’s no wonder the feet are sometimes considered to be the forgotten territory. You need a good massage to get that circulation going again. Includes scrub & hot towels.

Mom To Be Package
Price: $145.00
Purchase 3 one hour prenatal massages and receive a 25% discount.

One 60 Minute Massage
Price: $65.00
One Hour Relaxation Massage

One 90-Minute Massage
Price: $95.00
One 90-minute massage. Includes hot towels for the back and feet.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions! Happy Holidays!

~Jennifer

Posted in Massage, Massage Gift Certificates, Prenatal Massage, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Tip or Not To Tip….

That certainly is the question.

I’m frequently asked by my clients things like “Is this tip enough?” or “How much should I tip you?” Starting out as a new therapist I was a little flustered on how to answer this question. But eventually I came up with the response I was looking for.

“While a cash tip is always appreciated, it is never expected. I work for myself and set my rates accordingly. The best way to show your appreciation is to tell your friends, family, co-workers, etc about me. Word of mouth is my best form of advertising and nothing makes me feel better than when a client recommends me to someone else.”

Please don’t get me wrong, I truly do appreciate any cash tips that I receive. But I will most likely just spend it on coffee or sweet tea 🙂 A referral allows me to grow my business and pay you back at the same time! Did you know that I offer a referral program? Anyone referred by a current client receives $10 off their first massage and you receive $10 off your next appointment! All you need to do is ask me for a couple of referral cards at your next appointment.

I appreciate each and every one of you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

National Relaxation Day is August 15th

Busy-ness is the trend these days. People carry over-packed schedules like winning trophies. “I’m SO busy at work!” “How do you have time to do that? I’m too busy to read/watch TV/exercise/do anything fun.” “I can’t get monthly massages I have too much to DO!”

Too much “busy” could be making you tired, sick, and probably cranky.

When do you relax? RELAX. “Relaxation” is a word we hear often, but don’t know always know what it means. Here, I’ve compiled some options for you.

re·lax  verb \ri-ˈlaks\

1: the state of being free from tension or anxiety.

2: a way to rest and enjoy yourself

3: recreation or rest, especially after a period of work.

4: the loss of tension in a part of the body, especially in a muscle when it ceases to contract.

5: something that you do to stop feeling nervous, worried, etc.

More importantly, what does relaxation mean to you?

If you’re not a “hot bath and good book” kind of person, you probably cringe at Calgon commercials and spa photos of people with stones piled on their backs. But here’s the beauty: You can make your own definition of relaxation

It’s your job to figure out what you enjoy doing, what makes you smile, and what makes you feel like you are a hundred miles from work or home jobs?

Then, make time for that.

You have a schedule. Write in special time for a hobby, a nap, massage, your favorite show, a weekend getaway, a new class, ANY thing you enjoy can be relaxing.

Need someone to give you a reason? Want permission?

August 15 is National Day of Relaxation. Yes, it’s a thing! And it’s just begging for celebration. Here are some ideas:

  • Spend part of the day alone.
  • Spend part of the day with your family, doing ONLY fun stuff.
  • Meditate
  • Devote time to your hobby.
  • Sleep in. Or get up extra early. Whichever excites you!
  • Arrange for take-out or pre-cooked meals all day.
  • Schedule a massage
  • If you’ve always wanted a day to “not leave the house” today’s the day! Wake when you wish, eat when you’re hungry, stay in your jammies and read a book.

Taking care of you is important. And, self-care puts you in a better frame of mind to take care of the people who depend on you. So find the thing that mellows you out, and make it happen!

sydneyjharris152325

Posted in Massage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Massage And Pregnancy: Benefits Of Prenatal Massage

Massage And Pregnancy: Benefits Of Prenatal Massage

Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.

Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques, one of which is called Swedish Massage, which aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body. Swedish Massage is the recommended prenatal massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.

Hormone regulation

Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered, leading to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health, when massage therapy was introduced to women’s prenatal care. In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression). These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence points strongly to maternal and newborn health benefits when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.

Reduction of swelling

Edema, or swelling of the joints during pregnancy, is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints, which also improves the removal of tissue waste, carried by the body’s lymph system.

Improvement of nerve pain

Sciatic nerve pain is experienced by many women in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through regular massage.

Other potential benefits of prenatal massage:

  • Reduced back pain
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced edema
  • Reduced muscle tension and headaches
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
  • Better sleep

Massage And Pregnancy: Precautions For Prenatal Massage?

As with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness, women should discuss massage with their prenatal care provider. The best way to address the risks of prenatal massage is to be informed and to work together with knowledgeable professionals.

Posted in Massage, Prenatal Massage | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Massage for Women

Massage For Women

As a woman, you are likely to be under pressure, with your talents in demand at work, at home, or both. You offer a lot of yourself. But you aren’t made to give unendingly and never replenish. The stream of giving must become a circle, completed by receiving.

Massage therapy helps you cope with the stress and provides a way to relax and move through life’s challenges and transitions more gracefully. Massage can reduce the discomfort and pain caused by illness, activity, or hormonal fluctuations. By committing to care for yourself with massage, you boost the emotional and physical resources that support you in doing all the things you want and need to do.

The Need for Touch

Research demonstrates that touch is necessary for normal infant development. The need for touch continues throughout our lives. The caring touch of massage can help restore your energy and sense of well-being.

If you are living alone due to the loss of a partner, by choice, or for any other reason, you may miss the physical affection or feel isolated at times. While massage is not a replacement for a partner or family, it can help satisfy the need for touch and in this way support your feelings of self-worth and sense of connectedness to others.

Massage and Stress

Massage can help you cope with what may be your number one complaint – STRESS. Because massage relaxes the nervous system and alleviates muscle tightness, it can help relieve stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and headaches. When you feel renewed and restored after a massage, daily aggravations seem less important and are easier to cope with. A tension relieving massage can also support you during emotionally stressful times or if you are in psychological counseling.

Help For Specific Conditions

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition associated with chronic pain and specific tender areas in the neck, trunk and hips that primarily affects women. Specific massage techniques can relieve trigger points and release endorphins,  the body’s natural painkiller. Massage also helps by restoring blood flow to painfully tight muscles. As a result you may experience diminished stiffness and fatigue, decreased insomnia, and a reduced need for pain medication. Finally, receiving massage can provide a time and place to nurture yourself when you must adjust your activities to a slower-paced lifestyle.

Arthritis

Massage therapy can help you cope with both the physical pain and the mental stress of arthritis. Massage boosts circulation, which enhances natural joint lubrication. Gentle stretching and kneading of tight muscles around the affected joints helps them relax and improves movement. You may find that a nurturing massage can improve sleep, provide a break from anxiety, and act as an antidote to the isolation sometimes associated with arthritis.

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome

Massage helps calm your emotions, eases low back tension, and can decrease the pain of menstrual cramps.

Support Through Life’s Stages

In adolescence, the safe and soothing touch of massage can help a girl become more accepting of her physical and emotional changes and teach her to release tension in a healthy way.

During pregnancy, massage can reduce discomfort in the muscles of the back, hips, and legs caused by increased and redistributed weight. Gentle stroking reduces excess fluid retention by assisting the effective circulation and elimination of these fluids. Postpartum, the nurturing touch of massage can provide a needed comfort if you feel depressed, overwhelmed, or just need a relaxing break from the demands of caring for a newborn.

Because massage promotes relaxation and a sense of well-being, it can ease the menopausal discomforts of hot flashes, headaches, insomnia, achy muscles, and emotional ups and downs. During menopause you may at times feel invisible, or doubt your usefulness as you transition away from childbearing years and society’s idealized body type. Massage therapy offers you reassurance, balancing, and a positive association with your body so that you may experience the enhanced vitality that is also a part of this powerful transition.

Beauty Care

Facial massage has long been used to promote a vibrant complexion and to combat the effects of stress and aging. Because massage increases circulation, it can help improve your skin tone. Massage oils and lotions also moisturize and soften your skin.

You May Be Wondering….

How much clothing do I need to remove? Most commonly, people remove most or all of their clothing for a full body massage and are draped with a sheet throughout the session. Undress as much as is comfortable for you. For chair massage or some other types of massage, undressing is not necessary. If you’re uncomfortable about receiving a massage for this or any reason, be sure to discuss your concerns with your massage therapist.

Will I feel embarrassed about the massage therapist seeing my body? Massage therapists are there to help you feel better, not to judge you. They see a wide variety of body shapes and sizes and work with each client as an individual. Since massage is an affirming experience, it can even help you come to appreciate your own body more.

Will a massage hurt? A massage should feel relaxing and enjoyable. If your massage therapist is working in an area of chronic pain there may be some initial discomfort which should quickly ease. If you do experience pain during a massage always let your therapist know so that they can adapt to your comfort level.

How frequently should I get a massage? The more often you receive a massage, the more benefits you will notice. Your therapist will help you decide the best frequency for your appointments to meet your specific needs.

Isn’t Massage a Luxury? Can I Afford It?

Even if a massage were just an enjoyable experience, you deserve it. If you are concerned about affordability, I have options available, including varying lengths and discounted packages.

But massage is more than a luxury. It promotes health by relieving stress, reducing muscle tension, and enhancing your overall energy and vitality. Receiving massage is an investment in yourself. It pays off by improving your capacity to take care of others, to fulfill your responsibilities and to lead a more satisfying life.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get in touch with the many benefits of massage

Massage is no longer available only at luxury spas and health clubs. Today, massage therapy is offered at businesses, hospitals, clinics, even airports. If you’ve never had a massage (what are you waiting for,) learn about the benefits and what to expect during a massage session.

What is massage?

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage, but may also use their forearms, elbows and even feet. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure.

There are many types of massage, including these common types:

  • Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
  • Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
  • Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.

Benefits of Massage

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.

While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Paresthesias and nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment and creating deep connections with their massage therapist.

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn’t ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn’t feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.

What you can expect during a massage

You don’t need any special preparation for massage. Before a massage session starts, your massage therapist should ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you’re hoping to get out of massage. Your massage therapist should explain the kind of massage and techniques he or she will use.

In a typical massage therapy session, you undress or wear loosefitting clothing. Undress only to the point that you’re comfortable. You generally lie on a table and cover yourself with a sheet. You can also have a massage while sitting in a chair, fully clothed. Your massage therapist should perform an evaluation through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.

Depending on preference, your massage therapist will use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin. Tell your massage therapist if you might be allergic to any ingredients.

A massage session may last from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage and how much time you have. No matter what kind of massage you choose, you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage.

If a massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It’s likely to be uncomfortable while your massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.

The take-home message about massage

Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever.

Posted in Massage, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment