Body Care

Suck The Pain Out

Come along with me on a journey that will show that hickies in high school were not a bad thing your mother always said they were.   Massage Cupping has become all the rage since it was on national TV with those nice perfectly round red circles on the athletes. In this blog, I want to introduce you to why you should have massage cupping as a part of your massage routine.  We will also touch on how it will change your life as far as pain during and after the massage.   Let’s get our suck on!

Cupping has been around since ancient time, it either started with Egyptian or Chinese.  As years passed it has evolved into what we know today as Massage Cupping or MediCupping that uses hand pump tool, bulb suction or a machine.  Not many therapists still use fire cupping since if not trained correctly you can burn a client and it is not as easy as modern-day equipment.  The tools come in glass, plastic, and silicone.

There are many techniques that can be used during a massage cupping session on a client.  They can be used on the face to tighten the skin and reduce fluid; this method doesn’t leave marks on your face if done correctly.  You can op to have lymphatic drainage that is done with light suction and leave very faint to no marks on your skin.  You can have a massage done with the silicone cups that are moved in different motions to lift the skin, tissues, and muscle to release the muscle, this method also leaves very few marks on the skin.  When a therapist parks the cupping tool in one location for up to 15 mins it will leave a reddish circle.  This can last up to two weeks before fading.  It is not considered a bruise since they are not caused by a blunt force trauma to the skin and tissue.  Parking a cup over your pain area can help release the muscle reduce pain from the straight massage. 

The benefits of massage cupping can last 1-4 days or even longer.  Warning massage cupping is very addictive and can only be done with at least 4 days between each treatment.  Book your massage cupping session today to bet your own perfect round circles that bring pain relief. 

Massage Info

Valuable Authentic Feet Are Made For Walking Magic!

Our feet are the magic carpet ride we take every day without really truly appreciating them. We occasionally treat them to a pedicure if we have a time we need our feet to look amazing such as sandal weather, the beach or a romantic encounter. Yes, this applies to both sexes. Ladies: painting your toenails is not care! Men and ladies keeping your toe nails clipped nicely is also not the total care our feet beg for.

Feet are the foundation of our body and were most muscle issues start. It can start with bad shoes or just over use of the feet. For those of us born with feet issues, we know how much our body can suffer from foot issues. So shall we look at a few feet facts and how to make our feet happy feet?

Health Communities lays it out nice, explaining how our foot and ankle is built:

“Anatomy of the Foot and Ankle
The human foot combines mechanical complexity and structural strength. The ankle serves as foundation, shock absorber and propulsion engine. The foot can sustain enormous pressure (several tons over the course of a one-mile run) and provides flexibility and resiliency.
The foot and ankle contain:
26 bones (One-quarter of the bones in the human body are in the feet.);
33 joints;
more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments (Tendons are fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones and ligaments are fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones.); and
a network of blood vessels, nerves, skin, and soft tissue.
These components work together to provide the body with support, balance, and mobility. A structural flaw or malfunction in any one part can result in the development of problems elsewhere in the body (such as back pain). Abnormalities in other parts of the body can lead to problems in the feet.”

They also explain well how your muscles and tendons work inside your foot:

“There are 20 muscles in the foot that give the foot its shape by holding the bones in position and expand and contract to impart movement. The main muscles of the foot are:
the anterior tibial, which enables the foot to move upward;
the posterior tibial, which supports the arch;
the peroneal tibial, which controls movement on the outside of the ankle;
the extensors, which help the ankle raise the toes to initiate the act of stepping forward; and
the flexors, which help stabilize the toes against the ground.
Smaller muscles enable the toes to lift and curl.
There are elastic tissues (tendons) in the foot that connect the muscles to the bones and joints. The largest and strongest tendon of the foot is the Achilles tendon, which extends from the calf muscle to the heel. Its strength and joint function facilitate running, jumping, walking up stairs, and raising the body onto the toes.
Ligaments hold the tendons in place and stabilize the joints. The longest of these, the plantar fascia, forms the arch on the sole of the foot from the heel to the toes. By stretching and contracting, it allows the arch to curve or flatten, providing balance and giving the foot strength to initiate the act of walking. Medial ligaments on the inside and lateral ligaments on outside of the foot provide stability and enable the foot to move up and down.
Skin, blood vessels, and nerves give the foot its shape and durability, provide cell regeneration and essential muscular nourishment, and control its varied movements.”

So what does this mean to our feet if we get them massaged regularly? What are the benefits of massage to the feet? Regular massage promotes better sleep, increase circulation, relaxation, fights depression, helps with pain, promotes healthy feet and a good foundation for your body. I can say from experience that I have always hated my feet being touched. I dislike shoes and go bare foot or wear flip flops as much as possible. I met a reflexologist and he changed my mind about foot massage. I promise after a good foot massage you will feel like you are walking on air. Don’t wait, book your massage today to start your magic carpet ride.

Body Care

Confessions of a Darling and Superior Arms & Hands

Over the years of working as a massage therapist, many of my clients turn down an arm and hand massage. Reasons vary from they don’t feel any benefits from the massage to they don’t like their arms and hands touched. After this last weekend of helping my daughter and I repainting the master bedroom, I can see why arm and hand massages are important.

E-hand.com has some great facts about your hands:

“Each hand contains (plus or minus… everyone is different, and everyone counts these things differently…)
29 major and minor bones (many people have a few more).
29 major joints.
At least 123 named ligaments.
34 muscles which move the fingers and thumb:
17 in the palm of the hand, and
18 in the forearm.
48 named nerves:
3 major nerves.
24 named sensory branches.
21 named muscular branches.
30 named arteries and nearly as many smaller named branches.
The thumb is controlled by 9 individual muscles, which are controlled by all 3 major hand nerves
And moves in such a complex fashion that there are 6 separate descriptive terms just for particular directions of movement of one thumb joint – the basal joint, at the base of the thumb.”

Even reading Wikipedia you can discover some cool fact about arms:

“Muscles
The arm is divided by a fascial layer (known as lateral and medial intermuscular septa) separating the muscles into two osteofascial compartments: the anterior and the posterior compartments of the arm. The fascia merges with the periosteum (outer bone layer) of the humerus. The compartments contain muscles which are innervated by the same nerve and perform the same action.

Two other muscles are considered to be partially in the arm: The large deltoid muscle is considered to have part of its body in the anterior compartment. This muscle is the main abductor muscle of the upper limb and extends over the shoulder. The brachioradialis muscle originates in the arm but inserts into the forearm. This muscle is responsible for rotating the hand so its palm faces forward (supination).”

Our arms and hands contain many muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and nerves. These can be damaged in accidents or just from normal wear and tear of our lives. Massage can help keep them healthy and functioning as well oiled machines.

So, what does massage really do for your arm and hand? From experience of having my hand massaged and giving clients massages I know that it improves circulation, relieves pain, and helps with range of motion. All that and it feels amazing to have your hand relaxed. Our arm can also benefit by the same things improves circulation, relieves pain and numbness and helps with range of motion. Remember, our arms are attached to our body with 4 rotator cuff muscles and a clavicle bone, not much holding it on for how much abuse we give our arms daily.

In conclusion, remember to treat your arms and hand to a massage when you get a full body massage. They will thank you by feeling amazing.

Massage Etiquette

Is Your Penis a Muscle, Tissue, Blood or Organ?

The penis is an organ made up of smooth muscle tissue, blood vessels, nerve fibers and skin basically the same as your heart. Since it is made up of smooth muscles you cannot move it at will, just as you cannot make your heart beat or not beat. The penis has a certain function, therefore, it is an organ. What is smooth muscle tissue? The Free Dictionary describes it as “Muscle tissue that contracts without conscious control, having the form of thin layers or sheets made up of spindle-shaped, unstriated cells with single nuclei and found in the walls of the internal organs, such as the stomach, intestine, bladder, and blood vessels, excluding the heart.” I would say this is very lucky for the women out there since men would be working out at the gym doing dumb bell lifts with their penis to increase its size and strength.
This is a common mistake when clients read, that we massage all their muscles. They believe their penis is involved. Thanks for asking, but no it is not, it is made up of organ muscle tissue. It is in fact made up of 3 kinds of tissue and made erect by blood flow that builds up in two chambers. The reason it can stay erect is the swelling blocks off the veins that fill the penis. When the swelling is reduced the blood drains out allowing the penis to return to its normal state. Therefore, blood pressure, diabetic and mental health medications effect the penis. To answer any further scientific questions about how your penis works check out Teach Me Anatomy to answer those questions in detail.
This gives some merit to the fact that men believe the penis has a mind of its own. Not really, just like to be a blood hog for a period of time that last for different lengths of time.
As a massage therapist, I understand when a client gets an erection. The erection is often caused by two different things from the therapist massaging the client’s glutes or pushing blood up the legs to the groin area. We are not trying to make the massage sensual. We just want to make sure your muscles are loose and ready for daily activity.

Massage Info

To Ice Or Not To Ice Is The Blissful…

There is a time and place to ice your muscles that will make your muscles feel blissfully happy. As I always tell my massage clients Ice, Ice Baby, is your friend after a massage, exercise or after a muscle injury. I know heat feels so awesome and amazing on your aches and pains, however, it is not making your muscles better. You can do more harm at times with heat than good.

So what does ice really do for my muscles? Ice will decrease the flow of blood to your muscles this, in turn, decreases swelling, inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms.

Ice is used by all professional athletes after a workout or injury. Yes, they first soak in a hot water bath of Epson salt and then move to a bath of ice. They have more will power than I do. I suggest soaking in a tub with as hot as water as you can stand without burning any essential body part with Epson salt that has eucalyptus and peppermint oils. These two oil work as a natural pain reliever as they soak into your muscles. You should soak until cool about 20 minutes. Epson salt draws out lactic acid that makes your muscles hurt. The hot bath soak should be followed by 15 mins of ice pack on the affected area. 15 mins off the area and then another 15 mins of ice on the affected area.

In conclusion, ice is always your friend if you use it in a controlled setting and not for extended periods of time. The use of massage, Epson bath soaks and ice will make your right as rain. So book your massage today.