How often should I get massage?

I get a lot 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.  The best way to decide is to have a discussion with your massage therapist. They will be able to give you recommendations based on your lifestyle, injuries and health care goals.  The way you incorporate massage into your wellness plan is a personal choice and in the end you know what is best for you!

  • 1 massage per week or more depending on your injury and other types of therapies you have included in your health care plan if you are recovering from a recent injury.

  • 2 massages per month or more depending on how much lasting relief you get from each massage if you have a chronic issue that is causing you pain.

  • 1 massage per month or more depending on your situation for maintenance and injury prevention.

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 often should I get a massage

 

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.

 

 

 

 


When should I see a Physical Therapist?

Please enjoy a guest post written by the latest addition to Thrive Massage and Bodyworks (the space that Written on the Body resides in).

I have been seeing Dr. Alex de la Paz for the past couple of months to address chronic jaw and neck pain and I have been impressed with his intuitive and gentle style as well as the lasting results we have achieved over just a few visits.  This is what inspired me to ask him to write a post for us.  Our goal at Written on the Body is to help each of you find freedom from pain and stress and I believe that Alex may be able to help accelerate this process in addition to your regular massage and acupuncture treatments.  Bonus that he is a genuinely lovely person AND is located in the same building so you can easily have your health care team all in one place!

When Should I see a Physical Therapist?

Should I stretch before I exercise?
Is it OK to be sore after I exercise?
How do I know if I am developing an injury?

Have you ask yourself one of these questions? Do you exercise and wonder if that “tightness” or “soreness” is a problem? You may be experiencing normal and expected exercise-induced muscle soreness. However, you may be experiencing symptoms associated with an over-use injury, either due to a heightened activity level or a dysfunctional movement pattern. This article provided by Root & Branch Physical Therapy will help identify and differentiate between normal and abnormal responses to exercise, with the intent of informing and empowering the community on the importance of injury prevention and management throughout a lifespan.

“Normal” and “Expected” Soreness

During and after exercise it is expected for muscles to fatigue and feel either “tight,”
“sore” or “achy;” especially if the goal of the exercise is to improve muscle strength and/
or size. This phenomenon is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and could
last 1-3 days after you exercise. Delayed muscle soreness should be expected in the body
part or region of the body that was producing movement or force. For example, if
someone perform exercises involving pushing or pulling motions with their arms, it
would be expected to have muscle soreness in the shoulders, chest and arm regions.
During full-body movement patterns, such as running or playing basketball, global
DOMS is to be expected in areas throughout the entire body, especially after performing
a newly-introduced activity.

“Abnormal” and “Unexpected” Soreness

Even though soreness is an expected outcome of exercising, there are times where
soreness could be a clue to whether or not you are producing a poor movement pattern
and/or developing an injury. Below are some subjective reports that would suggest that
someone is at risk for developing an injury:

Soreness only on one side of the body
o Potential cause: asymmetrical positioning or muscle function
o Example: only one calf muscle feeling sore or tight after a run
o Our approach: identify why and when the sore muscle may be stressed
during your running pattern

On-going muscle tightness or joint stiffness
o Potential cause: over- or under-active muscle activity
o Example: sensation of hamstring tension despite stretching and/or foamrolling
constantly
o Our approach: identify if the tension felt is due to soft tissues that are
over-active and short or under-active and long

Head, face, jaw, neck or spine soreness or stiffness
o Cause: dysfunction of the core, breathing or jaw muscles
o Example: low back pain or headaches during or after specific activities
o Our solution: identify why tension and strain is being distributed at
specific locations during certain activities

Common Regions Involved in Compensation
• Calves and feet, fronts and sides of thighs, front of the hips (hip flexors), low
back area, accessory breathing muscles of the neck, wrists and elbows, face and
jaw muscles and the diaphragm (holding your breath).

If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms from the “Abnormal” and
“Unexpected” Soreness category listed mentioned above, then you would benefit from an
injury and movement screen to identify your current risk for developing an injury. Also, if
your commonly experience tension, soreness or pain in the “Common Regions Involved
in Compensation” list above, then you as well should benefit from screening to identify
your injury risk.
Root & Branch Physical Therapy provides FREE 30-minute movement and injury
screens for all individuals. If you indeed are identified as being at risk for injury, you may
benefit from a 90-minute comprehensive Physical Therapy evaluation with a Doctor of
Physical Therapy. Please contact Alex today if you have further questions about how
Physical Therapy might help your specific situation. You may also schedule via phone,
text, email, our website or the MINDBODY app.

should i see a physical therapist

Dr. Alex de la Paz, PT, DPT
Owner & Physical Therapist
Root & Branch Physical Therapy
2808 NE MLK Jr Blvd, Ste C
Portland, OR 97212
Cell: (503) 577-0318
Fax: (503) 710-9221
Email: rootandbranchPT@gmail.com
Website: www.rootandbranchPT.com


Should I get a massage when I am sick?

Should I get a massage when I am sick?

Bummer, you woke up with a sore throat and the sniffles on the day of your monthly massage appointment and you aren’t sure what to do.  Your body is cold and achy and part of you thinks the massage will make you feel better, the other half of you is screaming to put the blankets over your head and sleep it all away.

Should I get a massage when I am sick

The truth is that it is best to stay home when you feel an illness coming on, have a full blown issue or could in any way be contagious.  How massage will effect your body when you are sick will vary for each person.  For some it shortens the life span of the sickness while making it worse for a time, for others it has no effect at all.  Instead of venturing out and possibly sharing your illness with your therapist and other clients, stay home and allow your immune system to be the boss and do what it needs to do to make sure you get well as quickly as possible and this means resting and drinking plenty of fluids.  Your body, your therapist and all of those that could be exposed will thank you, even if it means you have to cancel last minute.

Tis the season for many things and unfortunately virus’s are one of them.  Here are a few tips for prevention:

  • Get plenty of rest

  • Wash your hands often

  • Eat a variety of fruits, veggies and whole grains

  • Exercise regularly

  • Get acupuncture to support your immune system

  • Keep stress to a minimum! (massage helps reduce stress so get massage while you are healthy!)

Thank you for reading and have a great day:)

 


Two tips for a great life: eat healthy and get massage

Just sayin….

            Making the commitment to eat healthy and get massage regularly might just make your life great:)  Who can argue with that?

We just updated our menu to make it easier for our clients to get the most out of their massage and acupuncture treatments by highlighting the unique training and skills of each therapist versus the generic deep tissue or relaxation massage.  The truth is that each of us come with our own set of issues that need a combination of techniques and focused attention in order to be resolved.  We wanted to give our therapists the freedom to help shape each clients experience without the confines of upgrades and appointment types.  So now here we are offering personalized sessions where your appointment is defined by the therapist you have chosen and their specific talents as well as the many facets of you:  your stress levels, pain levels, needs, desires and more at each session.

To book with us please:

  • go to our website and read about each therapists offerings and skill set
  • Choose the “book” link
  • Choose the therapist and  length of the personalized session you would like to book ie.  if you want to focus on one area of the body or you would just like an all over relaxation massage an hour might work great but if you need to address a couple of area’s you might want to choose a 75 or 90 minute session
  • Choose the day and time for your session and you are all set!

Need help? Have questions? Text us at   email us at  or give us a call at 503-473-8515 and we will be happy to help! Interested in more regular treatments or prefer a more standardized massage type?  Go to our packages page to find out about memberships and packages.  Want to learn more about how often you should get a massage?  Read our blog post on that very topic:)  No matter what we are pretty certain that choosing to eat healthy and get massage will improve your overall quality of life and that is why we are continuing with our fall series on healthy recipes for “the dark time” of fall and winter.  Enjoy!

in the mean time Eat healthy with this Caribbean style stew pigeon pea recipe!

eat healthy and get massage

Stewed Pigeon Peas

*originally posted on the amazing website for all things Caribbean please visit this site to see amazing pics of this dish:   http://caribbeanpot.com 

Ingredients:

1 Can Pigeon peas (I used 2 cans, you can find these near the Hispanic foods section in any grocery store)
2 scallions
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used 2 tablespoons of coconut oil)
1 med tomato (chopped)
1 cup diced bell pepper (I used 2 red bell peppers)
1 scotch bonnet pepper (keep whole) (Habanero pepper is a great substitute, I like a lot of spice so I broke mine open half way through cooking)
1 med onion diced
2 cloves garlic
3 sprigs thyme (I like a lot of flavor so I used about 8 sprigs of dried thyme)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon parsley (I substituted cilantro because that is what I had on hand)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut milk (You can use low fat here if you prefer, I used one whole can of full fat coconut milk)
1/2 cup water

optional – grated ginger – diced carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato

I made this with brown rice, jerk tofu and roasted sweet potatoes

The process

  • In a large shallow pan or wok heat the oil add the celery, garlic, tomato, parsley, thyme, onion, black pepper and scallions. Turn the heat down to low and let it gently cook for about 3-5 mins.
  • Drain and rinse the peas and add them to the pan, turn the heat back up to medium
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and bring it up to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer (remember to add the scotch bonnet whole and try to NOT break it open) and let it cook for about 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I did let mine simmer for a while because I was cooking other things but you can let yours cook to desired consistency. 
  • Serve with rice, tofu and/or sweet potatoes and enjoy!

I am having so much fun sharing my favorite recipes with you and it is defintinitley helping me stay on track:)  Thanks so much for reading and as my good friend from Dominica used to say “Good times always!”.


How often should I get a massage?

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.

Deep tissue massage

 

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.


Get the most from your massage

Get the most from your massage

A practical guide to helping yourself get a great massage

Swedishget the most from your massage massage at Written on the Body

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 wonthebody@gmail.com or give us a call at 503-473-8515

Be timely

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.

Speak up

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.

Relax

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 wotbmanager@gmail.com, I am always happy to make recommendations!

Thanks so much for reading and have a fabulous week:)

 

 


Sports massage is not just for athletes

Sports massage is designed to help optimize the body for whatever it needs to accomplish.  The techniques used in a sports massage session such as deep tissue work and stretching help prevent injury and promote a quick recovery after long hours of competing or training.

You don’t have to be an athlete or even a weekend warrior to find benefit in sports massage!  Do you spend long hours in your day doing specific actions such as sitting in front of a computer typing?  If so then you can consider yourself an office athlete and it is important to keep your body in shape so that you can continue to perform well at your job for as long as you need to.

sports massage

What happens during a sports massage session:

Your therapist will focus on a specific issue or area depending on what your needs are at the time of the session and will use a combination of techniques that may include myofacial release, trigger point therapy, stretching and deep tissue massage (they may also use pain relief creams, tools and other techniques not listed here depending on their training).  Their goals will also depend on your particular issues but many times they will be focusing on increasing range of motion, releasing and balancing muscles to prevent muscle tears and pulls and of course decreasing pain.

When is sports massage the right choice for you?

When you have a particular issue that you need focus work on such as an injury or a chronic issue such as wrist pain from typing for long hours or knee pain when running.  Also if you feel that tight or unbalanced muscles are holding you back from performing optimally.  You can always check in with your massage therapist to see if a sports massage session might be right for you.

Interested in booking a sports massage session?  Email Julie at wonthebody@gmail.com and book today!


Natural cures for insomnia

Tossing and turning all night, sleeping so light that every creek and cricket chirp wakes you up, your brain won’t stop no matter how exhausted you become…..Sound familiar?  If so this post is for you!

“Insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating, or maintaining sleep at least 3 nights per week, in addition to complaints of sleep-related daytime impairment.”-University of Maryland Medical Center

We need sleep to function properly, in fact most adults need at least 8 hours of sleep per night but hardly any of us are actually achieving this goal consistently.  There are many adverse side effects to not sleeping well including; memory loss, irritability, impaired abilities, physical ailments and more.  Causes for insomnia vary and may include; hormonal imbalances, health issues, stress, medication side effects and/or external circumstances such as noise1.  Getting to the bottom of the cause of your insomnia is an important first step in addressing the issue.  Take a hard look at your days, are there things that you could change that are causing you to lose sleep at night?  Your health is more important than anything and you may have to make major changes to create an environment that promotes optimal health.   Just remember that you will thank yourself later:)  You may also want to consult with your health care providers to make sure your medications, herbs, hormones and any underlying issues are thoroughly investigate as a source for your sleepless nights.

In addition to lifestyle and medication adjustments you might try some or all of the following natural cures for insomnia:

  • Massage-The National Institute of Health has stated that Massage Therapy can improve sleep2.  Massage decreases the stress hormone cortisol and norepinephrine, which causes vasoconstriction and increased heart rate by safely relaxing the autonomic nervous system3.  Massage is a great way to relax and find freedom from pain so if stress or injuries are keeping you up at night this is an excellent option!  Feel free to book your appointment online today with us at https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=158494 or give us a call if you have questions:  503.473.8515 also check out these great self massage techniques to find relief now:  http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/lifestyles/tcmrole_sleep_message.html

  • Acupuncture-“Some reports suggest that certain acupuncture procedures have a nearly 90% success rate for the treatment of insomnia. Through a complex series of signals to the brain, acupuncture increases the amount of certain substances in the brain, such as serotonin, which promote relaxation and sleep” University of Maryland Medical Center.  Acupuncture addresses each person as a whole which means it is working toward balance of the entire system.  This can be extremely important when working to cure something as complex as insomnia.  Acupuncturists also have many tools at their disposal such as herbs, lineaments, nutritional guidelines, traditional Chinese Massage techniques and more.  Feel free to book your appointment online today with us at https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=158494 or give us a call if you have questions:  503.473.8515

natural cures for insomnia

  • Melatonin-Melatonin supplements help induce sleep, particularly in people who have disrupted circadian rhythms (such as from jet lag or shift work), or those with low levels of melatonin (such as some people with schizophrenia). In fact, a review of scientific studies found that melatonin supplements help prevent jet lag, particularly in people who cross five or more time zones.  Speak to your health care provider to find out if melatonin is the right choice for you.

  • Diet and exercise-It is no secret that we are greatly effected by what we put into and how we use our bodies.  Our motto is everything in moderation unless it really doesn’t make you feel good and then maybe it is time to cut it out.  A foundation of healthy food is key to this idea, food is our fuel and it is so important that each meal has a good serving of a healthy protein and vegetables.  We are not saying that you should never eat potato chips again, just do your best to make the majority of your choices healthy ones so that when your body is processing the not so good stuff it doesn’t have to work as hard.  This goes for exercise too!  Our bodies were made to move in a variety of ways, make sure you are getting exercise most days and switch it up.  Walk one day, bike the next or find classes that you love such as yoga and weight lifting or boot camp and swimming.  Your body and mind will thank you and we guarantee you will sleep better at night!

The moral of the story is you have to put YOU first and choose a lifestyle that promotes optimal health.  This may require a good spring cleaning of you routines, especially when it comes to food, exercise, medications and stress factors.  We are here to help and can offer an objective insight on what might be contributing to your brand of insomnia!  If you have questions about this article or have found other natural remedies for those long sleepless nights please share, we are always open to ideas!  Thanks for reading and feel free to share.

References

1.University of Maryland Medical Center; Insomnia; January 2012; http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/insomnia

2. AMTA; Massage Therapy Can Help Improve Sleep; October 2012; www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Therapy-Can-Help-Improve-Sleep.html

3.  Massage Magazine;  Research shows massage therapy relaxes the autonomic nervous system; November 2011; http://www.massagemag.com/research-shows-massage-therapy-relaxes-the-autonomic-nervous-system-10098/


You are important: the necessity of putting yourself first

“For those of you who struggle with guilt regarding self-care, answer this question: What greater gift can you give to those you love than your own wholeness?”
Shannon Tanner, Worthy: The POWER of Wholeness

This post is to remind you that you are important…

It’s hard for some of us, remembering to prioritize ourselves among many things we give our time and energy to.  We have so much to give to the world and sometimes it feels like even when we give it all, we should be able to give more.  It is true that this may not apply to everyone but I know it will at least speak to a few of you.  It is time for you to spend a little of that beautiful energy bubbling inside of you on the most important being in your life-YOU.  That’s right you are important, as or more important than any other thing in your life.  What would your day look like if you spent an hour each morning just doing you?

We had our team meeting last night at Written on the Body and one of the topics of discussion was strategies for getting clients to rebook.  You may not know us that well yet and so I will tell you now, this team of ours is incredibly smart, talented and compassionate which always makes for an enlightening discussion, no matter what the topic.  When it comes to our clients we are each bursting with passion, when we talk about asking you to rebook with us what we mean is how can we convince you to prioritize yourself.  We KNOW that we can help you.  It may just be helping you find balance in a busy schedule by taking an hour a month to give back to yourself or it could be in finding freedom from a long time injury or pain, whatever the case we get excited about the opportunity to improve your life.

In our discussions on this I am always reminded of how easy it is to put ourselves last, giving all of our efforts to work, family and to do lists and leaving nothing or not enough for ourselves.  Now, you may be thinking about how being selfless, hard working and generous are all virtues, I don’t disagree.  But I do think that this should also include giving the same grace and generosity to ourselves.  You will be a better person if you are taken care of!

Do you have pain?  Trouble sleeping?  Anxiety? Stress?

If so then it is probably time to improve on or incorporate a self care routine, make yourself an “A” item on your to do list so that you can continue being the loving and generous person you are for a long time to come.  You are as important as your job, your tasks, your friends, your partner, your family members and it is time to treat yourself with kindness by setting aside time to rejuvenate, heal and relax.

Here are a few simple ideas on where to start, but whatever you do, make sure you love it, that it serves you and it makes you feel good:

  • Start your day off right:  Get up earlier, use your time more wisely or start work later and then use that time to give back to yourself with meditation, a quiet cup of coffee outdoors, a gentle stretching routine or a couple chapters of a good book.

  • Turn your phone/computer/tablet off for one hour a day and do only things that make you happier during that time:  Technology can be such a time sucking black hole.  Don’t get me wrong-I love it, but I know I have wasted hours looking at things I really did not care about.  Choose yourself instead.

  • Start an exercise routine that you enjoy:  If you have an exercise routine that is monotonous or that you dread then it is seriously time to reassess.  There are way too many options out there to exercise unhappily.  Sign up for something new, like Zumba or aerial yoga, or make a date with a friend to go for a nice long hike instead.  We have a precious few moments on this planet, use them wisely.

  • Let go of things that no longer serve you/practice self examination:  What patterns are you perpetuating in your life that are harming you more than helping you?  What situations keep coming up over and over again that bring you down?  It isn’t easy, I know, but it’s time to begin the journey of changing these things and making space for things that fill you up and make you feel great.

  • Spend time with people who make you laugh and won’t let you work:  I need friends and family that build me up and for me this means going with it when my sisters want to have an impromptu breakfast or committing to a weekly date with my BFF.  These guys take my mind away from it all and remind me to put my phone down and enjoy the moment at hand.  Having people in your world who are as committed to giving back to you as much as you give to them can be a major replenishing force!

  • Of course you already know that I believe establishing a routine of massage and/or acupuncture care can make a huge difference in your overall health and well being-why live with pain and stress when you don’t have to?  You are important to us! Book with us online today:  https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=158494  We hope to see  you soon!

I really could go on and on but I think you get the point, YOU ARE IMPORTANT!

Thank you for reading and if you have wisdom to share on this topic please do so in the comments, I would love to hear from you.

I leave you with some wise words to live by:

“You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
Eleanor Brownn


What the heck is a crick in the neck?

Did you wake up with a crick in your neck?

What the heck is a “crick in the neck” anyway? You wake up with limited (and painful!) neck movement, usually on one side. Sometimes it just feels stiff, but other times it feels like bone-on-bone contact. Ouch.

Is it a pinched nerve? A slipped disc? While these things are possible (see your doctor if you have recurrent neck pain, or neck pain that includes other symptoms such as fever or shooting pain down the arm), neck cricks are usually due to an unassuming little muscle that runs from the side of your neck to the top of your shoulder blade. It’s called levator scapulae, and it’s responsible for raising your shoulder toward your ear.

crick in the neck

This muscle gets irritable when it’s expected to hold heavy purses and backpacks, when you tilt your head to one side a lot (ever use your shoulder to hold your phone?), and when your posture is slouched. When this muscle gets ticked off, it can act like a brick wall that no amount of stretching will fix.

What to do? Ice and heat can help. Start with heat (a heating pad or sock full of uncooked rice, heated in the microwave) for 20 minutes, then switch to an ice pack for 10 minutes. Repeat this a couple of times through your day. You may be tempted to try to stretch it out yourself, but remember that levator scapulae is angry! Anything other than rest and gentle movement might further aggravate the area, increasing the minor crisis that your pain receptors are telling you about.

What else can you do? You guessed it: massage and/or acupuncture. While stretching and pressing on your neck might result in worse pain if you do it yourself, our skilled team at Written on the Body have a few tricks up their sleeves. We can focus on  your neck and the surrounding muscles, gently and methodically to help your neck realize it can stop holding so tightly.  In some instances adding hot stones or having an infrared sauna session prior to your treatment can facilitate even further healing.  If you aren’t sure what approach is right for you, give us a call at 503-473-8515 or email us at wonthebody@gmail.com and we will be happy to help you choose the appropriate treatment path.

Follow this up your appointment with us with some more of that ice and heat, and you should be feeling pretty good by the next day. If you get cricks frequently, come see us regularly and we may be able to prevent them entirely!

Know someone with neck pain? Share this post and let’s get them feeling better!” Need help yourself?  Book online now!

*This post is an adaptation of an article written by Massage Sloth