Over the last couple of years I have changed my approach to therapeutic massage. No pain no gain right?!! That's what I used to think too. Deep pressure massage into the muscle was the way to release pain and restriction. My clients wanted this type of massage and I believed in the approach. What I found though was clients would walk away with soreness and short term gain in pain relief and functionality. I was frustrated in the feeling that I was somehow hurting my clients and that they had to keep coming back as the symptoms returned.
Rewind a couple of years to my very first John Barnes MFR1 course and the weekend that changed who I was as a massage therapist. That weekend I learned about a spider web in the body called fascia. I learned how fascia is a component that is present everywhere in the body AND it's all connected together from the very top of the head to the very tips of the toes. Awesomeness I tell you. I learned that over time and through trauma that this fascia gets stuck, and through its "stuckness" it impacts range of motion and causes pain. Whoa! Not only that...I learned that restricted fascia in one area of the body can actually cause pain and limited function in a completely different area of the body. A tight area in the calf might actually be causing that neck pain you are experiencing!!! I know...it's amazing...but true.
Who would guess that putting gentle pressure in different areas would facilitate the body's own ability to heal itself?? Through myofascial release techniques releases occur deep in the fascia. The body tells it's own story of restriction by presenting heat, tingling, pain and redness. It's like a roadmap to restrictions in the body!
I have had to put my ego in check and realize that it is not I, but rather the client doing the healing. I am only the facilitator in helping the body along. It's pretty incredible to witness a body "unwind" itself from it's restrictions.
I have seen the positive results in clients coming in after motor vehicle accidents, following surgical procedures, from repetitive use injuries and clients who present with scars, both physical and emotional.
Throughout this journey I have learned a great deal about tuning in to the human body and trusting the healing. I have been touched by the stories of what brought people in and how they have changed from the work. Most of all I have learned about ME and how to help myself, thank you MFR.
I have always been a skincare enthusiast. I learned very early on how important and beneficial a good skincare routine can be, and even spent a couple of years selling a wonderful brand that I still use regularly. So it’s no small wonder that I jumped at the chance to take the Bellanina Facelift Massage seminar. I was excited and intrigued to find out what this facelift massage entailed and how it worked. Not to mention if it actually worked. The Bellanina Facelift Massage is now my favorite service that I offer, and the response I get from my clients always makes me
What is it exactly? It is a facial massage mixing massage strokes, acupressure, lymph drainage, and luxurious oils. Along with that are the Honeylift treatment, warm towels, hot stones, and a head, hand and foot massage. It is truly the most pampering and relaxing treatment I offer.
How does it work? Consider that an hour of massage produces results equal to two hours of exercise. It is basically exercise for your face. Muscles, skin, and facial bones get a circulation boost providing them with much needed oxygen and nutrition. This increases the skin’s natural functions like cell renewal and healing. The muscles get toned which naturally boosts your facial structure and the fine facial contours. Lymph drainage helps to take puffiness from the eyes and under the chin. Acupressure points are stimulated to reduce circulation and energy flow blockages throughout the face. It also helps to reduce holding patterns in muscles. I always think of someone who seems to have a permanently furrowed brow. The muscles responsible for that look relax and lengthen to bring back the more natural, relaxed quality to the brow. The Honeylift treatment targets lines and wrinkles, clears pores, and stimulates collagen production.
What results does it give? It depends on what you’re looking for. A single relaxation treatment tends to bring a vibrance and youthful radiance that lasts for several days. If you are looking for dramatic results that replace going under the knife you would have to consider a series of 12 to 18 treatments. Remember that this mimics exercise and is a completely natural process. If a series of treatments is chosen you receive skin care counseling, and what to look for in a skin care routine that would most benefit your concerns. On the 6th treatment you are given an at-home routine of 10 steps to do once a day that only takes a few minutes. It’s like treating yourself to a mini massage that maintains and increases the effectiveness of the 90 minute
I always try to practice what I preach, so I follow the 10 step daily maintenance. I would love to get the full treatment, but it’s about an hour drive to a practitioner I know. However, just doing the at-home routine I have noticed quite a difference. Considering that I am only 28, I’m pretty impressed. When I smile I can see more muscle tone and structure in my cheeks. My skin is very
soft with a healthy glow. The red splotches that have always been on my cheeks have faded noticeably. It should be very interesting to see the long-term effects of such an easy treatment!
Bellanina offers a variety of cleansers, toners, moisturizers, exfoliants, and serums for all skin types and concerns. They even offer a completely organic line! Don’t worry, if you already love the products you use, the Bellanina treatments complement and boost any skin care routine.
As one year comes to an end and another gets ready to begin so does my list of becoming a "better version of myself". We all do it every year and it plays out year after year like the movie GroundHog Day. Each new year we make resolutions to improve our lives, and most often by the end of that year, we have taken steps back from where our original intentions started in January. So this year I decided to make small incremental changes to change my world instead of trying to rock it all at once. I'm still narrowing the list but here are some things that I believe should fall under consideration for just about everyone.
First and foremost- take steps this year to take care of your health because without good health you've got nothing. Our health is something we take for granted until something goes haywire . How will you take care of your body this year? Will you resolve to eat a healthier diet? Exercise more to increase cardiovascular health and muscle and joint heath? Deploy relaxation techniques to reduce the effects of stress on your body? Challenge your mind to keep your brain sharp? Whatever you decide...do something...change one thing at a time...small steps add up to big impact.
What about a vow to simplify life...just a little? How will you do it? Will you allow yourself to unplug from technology for a short time each day? Will you allow yourself to turn off the TV and just sit and clear your mind? Maybe you can prepare your meals each Sunday for the coming week to simplify weekly meal planning. Whatever it is that causes you stress, try to find small ways to simplify and I guarantee along with simplification comes less chaos.
A sure way to positively impact your life is to be of service to others. When you give a little of yourself you get so much back in return. Maybe this is the year you will increase your charitable giving or take time to work in a local food pantry. Find your passion and you will surely be rewarded tenfold. I guarantee you there is no greater feeling of inner peace than seeing the results of unselfish giving to another person.
One of my favorite inspirational quotes is "change your attitude - change your life". Imagine the possibilities in 2014 a little change in "attitude" can bring. Good luck with creating the better version of yourself - go out and change your world!
You’ve been feeling it for days, that rising tension in your body. Your sleep is interrupted; you toss and turn
and wake up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep. You are feeling jittery and on edge; your patience is thin and you are just not yourself. You are distracted and it’s hard to concentrate. You find yourself
forgetting things and feeling overwhelmed. Those are just some of the signs that YOU recognize as signs of stress in your body.
Within your body there are other things going on that you don’t even know about. The stress hormone cortisol is rising causing your body to be in “fight or flight” mode. And fighting it is!! Your heart rate and blood pressure are rising making your heart work harder. Your digestive process is changing and you might notice stomach issues that you didn’t have before. Your glucose levels are affected. Your blood vessels are dilating. Whew! All this because of stress.
We all know it’s important to control the stress in our lives but when you stop to think about what is happening to the body….the only body we get on this earth….it makes you take pause and think about steps you might
take to settle down that constant “fight or flight” response so that your body gets a chance to recover.
My body kicks into “fight or flight” overdrive with perceived stress. I’m talking heart racing, binge eating, stomach gurgling, bite your head off kind of reactions when it gets to be too much. That’s when I have to step back and find ways to get things under control again. I usually start with some music to calm my soul and get the heart notched down a beat or two combined with some deep breathing. A good yoga class with a nice shavasana ending then sets the mood for a good night’s sleep. Getting a massage quickly rises to the top of my list as the ultimate hour of taking care of me time.
Everybody tames the stress beast differently…..whatever you do….however you do….just do it…take care of YOU!!
Some of my most peaceful massages are my prenatal massages. There is something about being in the presence of an unborn child and the stillness of their nurturing mother that I find very peaceful and relaxing. I love to uncover the story of how far along the pregnancy is and get to know the unborn child as we progress through the massage. Sometimes, and it’s such an honor, when I am massaging the abdomen I get to feel the baby move….and that is one of the most amazing treats in this world.
We all know that massage is good for us….true??
But did you know that prenatal massage helps with stress and anxiety, shoulder pain, low back pain, sciatic nerve pain, swelling and trouble sleeping? The stress on the body of the expectant mother starts at conception and just increases as the baby grows and puts added stress on her body.
There are some cases where massage is not indicated for the expectant mother; preterm labor, preeclampsia, high blood pressure, high risk pregnancy and severe swelling are
contraindications for massage. Of course, anytime the mother-to-be questions whether or not massage is indicated it’s always advisable to check with her physician.
A prenatal massage is much like a regular Swedish massage with a few modifications. Once the
expectant mother is past her first trimester the massage will be performed in side lying position with pillows used for support between the knees, under the head and under the abdomen. Strokes will be long and slow to induce relaxation and special focus will be on the neck, back, hips and legs to reduce the pain and discomfort from the added stress on the body. Certain reflexology points will be avoided until the pregnancy is full term.
Consideration should be given to include regular massage into the prenatal care of the expectant woman to help maintain the emotional and physical well being as she progresses through pregnancy.
Human touch is a powerful tool for calming the body.
Sometimes all you need to do is lay your hands on someones shoulders and you can feel the calm set in. I learned that if I remain calm on the inside so do those around me. Just watch a fussy baby respond to a calming gentle touch and you understand the power.
The human body is AMAZING!
I learned that our bodies function like well oiled machines. All of the bones, nerves, organs, hormones and fluids have to be in tip top shape and working together for optimal performance. What better reason do you need to take care of this body of yours that God created. He was a genius!!
You can do anything you put your mind to no matter what your age.
I was stretched to think completely different in massage school than in my previous career in the business world. I had to learn to slow life down and enjoy the journey. All of the months of memorization of muscles and body systems was challenging to this aging brain but oh the joy when the lightbulb finally went off and I began to understand how this well oiled machine works together.
Follow your dream and don't be afraid. The rewards are huge!
What greater gift can you give yourself than the opportunity to do something you love. Because I followed the dream I get to work in an "office" that is peaceful and serene while meeting the most wonderful people. Daily I am humbled by the caring giving spirits of the people that grace my office.
So...what can you learn from this? Stretch yourself to live your dream no matter your age! You can make a difference to people through gentle caring touch. (How about that elderly neighbor or the stranger you meet that is going through hard times). Take care of that body that you've been trusted with, you only get to do this earthly life one time!