Curious about Acupuncture? Here are a few fun facts for you to explore:
Acupuncturists feel your pulse and look at your tongue to gain information about your state of health and plan a course of treatment.
Originally acupuncture needles were not made of stainless steel but of stone, bamboo, and bone.
Studies have shown that acupuncture points have significantly more electrical conductivity than areas of skin without acupuncture points.
Acupuncture can increase the success rate of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) up to 65%.
Acupuncture gained attention in the U.S. after President Nixonʼs visit to China in 1972 when an accompanying reporter experienced significant post-operative pain relief after undergoing an emergency appendectomy and wrote about the benefits of acupuncture upon his return to the U.S.
Acupuncture is over 5,000 years old and is one of the oldest practicing forms of medicine known to date.
Licensed acupuncturists attend an in-depth four year program and obtain over 1,000+ clinical internship hours.
Acupuncture is just one part of a broad system of Traditional Chinese Medicine that also includes Chinese Herbal Medicine, Tui Na (massage), Tai Chi/Qi Gong (movement) and Chinese Dietary Therapy (Healthy.net).
I get all sorts of great questions from my clients about what their particular treatment plan should look like. It is a wonderful part of the job that I get to sit with an individual, look at their life, stresses, pains and goals and help them create a plan that will improve their overall well-being. One of the questions I get all the time is how often should I get a massage and what type of massage should I choose. The answer is very individualized but I do have some general guidelines that I work with when helping a client choose a treatment plan that will work best for them.
How often should I get massage
There are many factors that can effect how often you should get a massage so the best way to decide is to have a discussion about it with your massage therapist. They will be able to give you recommendations based on your current stress and pain levels, the length of time you have had any issues or injuries, the other types of therapies you receive, lifestyle, etc… The way you incorporate massage into your wellness plan is a personal choice and in the end you know what is best for you! With that said here is my general list of guidelines: If: You are recovering from a recent injury (just past the acute phase)- 1 massage per week or more depending on your injury and other types of therapies you have included in your health care plan. You have a chronic issue that is causing you pain-2 massages per month or more depending on how much lasting relief you get from each massage. Maintenance/Injury prevention- 1 massage per month or more depending on your situation. It is always important to remember that it may have been years of bad posture, habits or other repetitive actions that have lead to your current issue which means it most likely won’t be a simple fix. Regular body work and self care is essential for creating lasting change in your health!
What type of massage should I receive
The answer to this question also has many variables and is very dependent on each individuals needs. It is always good to discuss your desired goals with your therapist and to revisit them each time you have a massage appointment. Here is a short description of two common types of massage that you might choose from: Swedish/Relaxation massage– This is the most common type and uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to reduce stress and pain in the body. Swedish massage is great for nearly everything, including stress and pain relief, injury recovery, prevention and so much more! Deep Tissue massage-Deep tissue massage is a focus on the deeper layers of muscle as well as the connective tissue and is typically slow, deliberate and focused work. Deep tissue massage can be great for treating injuries, chronic pain, range of motion restrictions and many other issues. A common myth about deep tissue massage is that it must be painful in order to be effective. Deep tissue massage may be slightly painful on occasion as your therapist works through adhesion and resistant tissue but this is not always the case. In fact working too deeply too quickly and causing excessive pain can do way more damage than good by causing stress and trauma to your already tight muscles and fascia. You may even choose to begin your treatment plan with Swedish massage until the superficial tissue has relaxed enough to have effective results from deep tissue work. Keep in mind that your massage therapist is always trying to work with your body to promote healing.
How long should my massage be?
You can typically choose from 30/60/90 minutes of massage (and often more). A 30 minute focus massage might be great for you if you have one specific area that you are focusing on such as low back, neck, foot or wrist. You might consider several weeks of short sessions on one particular area to reach a desired goal. A 60 minute session is great for; full body relaxation, some focus work on a particular area combined with some relaxation work, or it can also be great for a combination of focus work on two different areas of the body. 90 minute massage treatments are wonderful for; extended relaxation work, focus on one area of the body combined with full body relaxation, or focus work on more than one area combined with light relaxation work. The combinations are endless! Just keep in mind that you should book enough time in your treatment to accomplish small goals (ie. you have slightly more range of motion in your bound up shoulder) and work toward your greater goal (ie. you have full range of motion in your shoulder).
Have more questions about massage? Add them to the comments and we will do our best to cover them in our weekly blog posts! Thank you for reading and have a great week.
Deep tissue massage
The definition of deep tissue massage according dictionary.com is that it is a type of massage which reaches structures far beneath the superficial fascia to attempt to relieve chronic muscle problems or injuries. To expand on this definition: deep tissue is typically performed very slowly and the therapist may use fingers, knuckles or elbows. It is normal to feel some pain during deep tissue but I always advise my clients that it should be a “good pain” and never reach above a 7 on a 0-10 pain scale. You should be able to keep your muscles relaxed and breath through the pain to work with your massage therapist to release muscle tension, scar tissue, tight fascia and bound muscle fibers. If you are tensing against the pressure the massage becomes counter productive.
When you should choose deep tissue massage
When you have an injury that is past the acute phase and is no longer sensitive to touch, you may also want to get permission from your doctor before getting deep work on a recent injury.
When scar tissue and/or muscle tension is causing restriction of movement.
Chronic pain may be crying out for deeper work, specifically if the affected area has an underlying deeper issue.
Other situations may be appropriate for deep tissue massage as well, if you think it is right for you discuss your options with your therapist.
How will I feel after a deep tissue massage?
You might feel a little sore, tired or even kinda grouchy after a deep tissue massage, especially if it has been a while since you got bodywork. I had a client tell me once that she went home after a 90 minute deep tissue treatment and got into an honest and heated discussion with her husband about some things that had been bothering her. I hope this doesn’t detour you, I tell you this because it is important to understand what is happening to our bodies. Massage, in general, releases things…what those things are can be debatable, but my personal belief is that the release happens on many levels. Keep in mind that every person is different and many people leave their deep tissue treatment feeling a profound sense of relaxation.
Here is a great idea: go get a deep tissue massage (if you feel it is right for you) and report back in the comments on how you feel afterwords! In the end some discomfort can be normal for the first couple of days and after that you should see improvement in the focus area of the treatment.
Thanks so much for reading:)
Have you enjoyed your experience with us?
If so we would love for you to share the good news with the world!
Here are a few ways you can share and win during the month of July:
Review us online and win massage and coupons
Review us online and you will be entered to win a free 30 minute Focus! massage and a Chinook Book mobile coupon book. We will draw and notify the lucky winner on August 1st. We will keep an eye on the reviews to make sure you get entered but if your profile doesn’t clearly show who you are you may need to drop us a line to let us know you shared.
Here are the links to review us:
Google + is always good:
If you are an active Yelp-er here is our Yelp link:
Follow us on Facebook and share our page
Like our page on Facebook by clicking here
and choosing “like” then share our page with your friends and you will get entered to win a free active lifestyle session featuring Tuina massage, cupping and Gua Sha. We can track it on Facebook but just to be safe you might drop us a quick line to let us know you shared so we get you entered into the drawing.
Refer a friend and win a free massage, an acupuncture session or gift certificate to Portland Fit Body Bootcamp.
Refer a friend and as always you get a free 30 minute massage but this month you will also get entered to win your choice of free 60 minute deep tissue massage, a 60 minute Acupuncture session or a gift certificate to get in shape with Portland Fit Body Bootcamp! Please tell those that you refer to make a note or let us know when booking that you referred them so that we can get your name entered into the raffle. You are also welcome to text or email us yourself to let us know.
Get the most from your massage
A practical guide to helping yourself get a great massage
Choose the right type and length of massage session
First things first you want to know if you are choosing the right type of massage along with the correct amount of time for the issues you are experiencing. Check out our blog post: “how often should I get a massage” to help determine what will best meet your needs. You can also contact your massage therapist to chat about your issues and decide on a treatment plan prior to booking. If your massage therapist is located at Written on the Body please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 503-473-8515
Show up a few minutes early to your appointment so that you have time to fill out paperwork, chat with your therapist about the day’s issues and get on the table. This will allow your massage session to begin on time and give you the full time allotted for your appointment.
Have realistic expectations
Massage is not a one time fix typically, especially if you have an issue that has been going on for some time. You will usually feel relief after one session but most times it takes regular work to resolve pain, scar tissue, tension and other issues. Talk with your therapist about a treatment plan that is right for you.
A good therapist wants to tailor the session to your needs but we aren’t mind readers and we need to your feedback to make sure we are helping make the most of your session. First and foremost communicate your expectations during the initial conversation with your therapist. During the session, if you are too hot or cold, the music or lighting is not to your liking, the pressure is too much or little, if your therapist is talking too much or not checking in enough, etc… you need to let us know. We can adjust for you most of the time, even if it is just something you think could be better we want to hear about it. As the old saying goes “closed mouths don’t get fed”, too shy to say something? Write an email after the session, believe me, talking to your therapist directly will be much more effective than leaving a negative review in cyberspace or telling all your friends. (with that said if the therapist doesn’t respond appropriately or try to adjust to meet your needs then you should definitely share the news publicly).
Find the right team of therapists for you
It never fails that if I am in a group of people telling stories about their massage experience that one person will say “I don’t really care for massage” and when I ask why they reply that the one massage they had didn’t meet their expectations (even though they didn’t speak up). Please keep in mind that different therapist are trained in different styles of massage and they have their own flow that they combine with those skills. This means that not every massage therapist will be the right fit for every person and you may even find that a therapist might be the right fit for you at one time and then not at another. I always recommend finding a trusted team of therapists including a Naturopathic Physician, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, Physical Therapist, Chiropractor, Medical Doctor or any other combination that you find works for you. This is so you can arrange for care when pain, injuries, accidents or other issues arise.
The hard work is over and now it’s time to let it all go, breathe deep and become a limp noodle!
To get the most from your massage it is really all about you, knowing what your options are and what you really want out of your session along with finding the right therapist(s) for you. Have questions about different types of massage or what might work best for your particular situation? Feel free to send me an email at email@example.com, I am always happy to make recommendations!
Thanks so much for reading and have a fabulous week:)
Is driving a stick shift causing you to have knee pain?
I am new to the world of manual driving, a late bloomer you might say. After my partner’s truck was declared totaled we needed something affordable, able to hold a lot of people and easy on the wallet when it comes to gas. That’s how we ended up with an old grocery getting manual transmission Toyota Camry, which meant I had no choice but to jump on the stick shift bandwagon. I am ashamed to admit that this was my third attempt at learning to drive a stick, I had never quite gotten the hang of it. Third time truly is a charm and I am now finally mastering shifting gears without killing the car.
I have had some unexpected side effects pop up since I began driving a manual transmission vehicle: Knee pain….and since I have become aware of it I remember to check in with my massage clients about the type of car they are driving when they complain of knee pain in their sessions. I have noticed a common thread over the past few months, that many of us in the stick shift club are suffering with the same left knee aches and pains.
Here are a couple of the reasons why:
Weakened over-stretched glut muscles and tight quads: Sitting for long periods in general causes the back of your body to soften while the muscles in the front of your body become tighter and shorter creating a muscle imbalance which can lead to the structure of your body to be pulled out of alignment. This can lead to all sorts of other issues including low back, hip and knee pain.
Muscular imbalance in the legs: When you drive a manual transmission your left leg and right arm end up doing a lot of work while the left arm and right leg tend to be more stationary with small repetitive movements. The left leg is often in an active position with the foot hyper flexed or extended to operate the clutch which creates tension all the way up through the hip. This can cause major imbalances in the muscles that attach to the knee such as a tight tibialis anterior as well as the outer edge of the gastrocnemius. We have a lot of muscles attaching at the knee and if they get tight it can pull everything out of alignment causing you to feel pain. For me it presents itself on both the inner and outer edges, the back of my left knee as well as the outer edge of my left foot.
What can you do?
Pay attention: Are you allowing your left knee to splay out to the side or holding it really tightly in toward your right leg? Try to relax and find a balance where your knee is straight and relaxed.
Are you using muscles unnecessarily? I tend to hold my foot flexed rather than relaxing it to keep it off the clutch when I am driving around town. This causes undue stress on the muscles in my leg and increases the pain in my knee.
Take care of yourself! Rest, exercise, drink plenty of water, stretch! and get bodywork:)
The moral of the story is, if you pay attention to your driving patterns you will start to find the movements that are causing your pain and then it will be easier to correct them. Knee pain can have all sorts of underlying causes and driving a manual transmission may just be a small part of the problem. If you find that making small changes in your driving posture helps, awesome and if not it may be time to consult a health care professional to make sure there aren’t more serious issues.
Have you noticed any other issues from driving a manual transmission? I would love to hear about your experience! Please feel free to share in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much for reading and have a great week!
Visit our website to learn more about bodywork: www.portlandmassagestudio.com