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
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

Find Balance at the Warrior Flow Wellness Retreat


wellness retreat

Warrior Flow Wellness Retreat

Last year I had the great privilege of offering massage on a ladies wellness retreat hosted by Jennifer Oechsner of Warrior Flow.  I had never been on a retreat and really did not know what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised!  Even though I spent part of the time giving massage to the guests I left feeling rested, renewed,  more balanced and overall healthier.  I attribute this to all of the well planned and perfected details of the weekend.  The beautiful surroundings and views of the Pacific Ocean, the warm cozy environment of the house, the absolutely amazing farm to table meals provided by Yamhill River Farm, the after hours chats and wine in the hot tub and especially the daily yoga and meditation lead by Jennifer.  Every moment of the retreat was filled with the right amount of quiet, activity, camaraderie and relaxation.  Sometime’s we just don’t know just how much we need to be the receiver and to be taken care of.  I have discovered the reason for retreats now and that is taking the time to give back to the one that is most important and integral to keeping things in your world moving along smoothly: yourself.  To truly find peace and regenerate from all of the tasks set before us in life we occasionally need a good “time-out” where EVERYTHING we need is provided for us and the Warrior Flow Wellness Retreat offers this rare oasis.

wellness retreat

Yamhill River Farms

Have you been on a retreat?  If so I would love to hear about your experience!

Ready to find out for yourself?  Sign up for the next Warrior Flow Wellness Retreat in Cannon Beach, OR happening October 16th-18th by emailing Jennifer at warriorflow@gmail.com today!  *take 10%  off by mentioning this blog post

Looking forward to giving you a massage on the coast:)

Acupuncture for stress relief

acupuncture for stress relief

Acupuncture is an ancient healing practice that is good for more things than I can count.  Have you thought about getting Acupuncture for stress relief?  If not here are a few great reasons why you should:

  • Stress is really bad for your health and according to a recent study Acupuncture lowered stress hormones in participants after receiving treatments for 10 consecutive days.  The Huffington Post wrote an article on this study if you would like to learn more.

  • This isn’t to say that you have to commit to 10 days in a row, another study shows that you can begin to see results after only a few sessions.  In Chinese medicine Acupuncture is used to balance the flow of Qi in the body, in western medicine terms you can think of this like homeostasis.  Acupuncturists are helping to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities, keeping in mind that your body is always seeking its natural state of balance or homeostasis.

  • According to Dr. Daniel Hsu, DAOM (Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine):  Acupuncturists insert each needle half a millimeter away from a nerve, Dr. Hsu explains. Depending on where the needles go, acupuncture can cause the nervous system to produce painkilling chemicals, jump-start the body’s natural ability to heal itself, or stimulate the part of the brain that controls emotions, including anxiety. All of these results, Hsu adds, can help people feel more balanced and treat a variety of illnesses. -quoted directly from Everydayhealth.com’s article on Acupuncture and Anxiety read more here.

What else is Acupuncture good for?  It depends on the situation and the person but I can personally say that I have used it for everything from eczema to arm pain to good old fashion stress and it has been a very effective form of treatment!  Not to mention that I always feel so relaxed after a session.  If you haven’t tried it yet you should:) If a fear of needles is what is preventing you then try out these tips:  Take a friend with you, talk to your Acupuncturist-they usually have some tricks up their sleeve to keep things calm and gentle, close your eyes and remember these are pretty tiny needles.  Trust me, it will be worth facing your fears!

Book your acupuncture appointment online now!

Infrared Sauna Portland, OR

Infrared Sauna Portland, OR

infrared sauna portland, or











Written on the Body is now offering 30 or 60 minute Infrared Sauna sessions!  Here are the in’s and outs of using our infrared sauna:

What is an infrared sauna?

Far Infrared sauna: An infrared sauna uses infrared heaters to emit infrared light experienced as radiant heat which is absorbed by the surface of the skin. Traditional saunas heat the body primary by conduction and convection from the heated air and by radiation of the heated surfaces in the sauna room (Wikipedia).  An infrared sauna detoxifies, improves circulation, promotes healing and so much more!

Here is a great article on infrared sauna benefits from the wellness hour: click here to read

learn what the Mayo clinic has to about infrared sauna sessions here

Appointments in the infrared sauna at Written on the Body:

Our 1-2 person infrared sauna has been relocated to our larger treatment room which means you can book a sauna appointment along with a massage or acupuncture session and it can all take place in one treatment room!

What is included-

It is optional to bring a swim suit , slippers or flip flops and your favorite tunes or reading material. We provide a cool cloth to towel off with after the sauna session, handmade natural body products, towels to sit on, sweat towels and a speaker with an auxiliary plug.  You may bring someone to sauna with you for an extra $5.  Please make a note when booking the appointment that you are bringing a guest.  2 people max. *We do not offer a shower at this time

Session pricing-We offer 10 minutes free which can be added to any treatment but it must be booked in advance via email or phone.  Please contact us if you want to take advantage of this offer (availability is limited)

A 60 minute sauna session for one person is $25

Add a 30 minute sauna session to any massage or acupuncture appointment for only $20

Buy a 5 pack of sauna sessions for only $90 or a 10 pack for $150!

Sauna Schedule-other times may be available by appointment please call 503.473.8515 or email wonthebody@gmail.com with specific inquiries

Mondays:  10:30-2:30pm for all appointment types (stand alone 30/60 minute sessions and add-on 30 minute sessions)  2:30-9pm for add-on sessions with Julie

Tuesdays:  10:30-2:30pm for all appointment types including add-on sessions with Lise

Wednesdays:  10:30-2:30 for all appointment types

Thursday:  11-5 for all appointment types and 8:30am-3pm add-on sessions with Julie

Friday:  11am-2pm add-on sessions with Lise

Sunday:  1-3  for all appointment types and 3-9 for add-on sessions with Julie

Book your Infrared Sauna Session with us today!



Try our new Facial Rejuvenation Massage!

We have a brand spankin new service for you to enjoy so get ready to try our new Facial Rejuvenation Massage which was specially designed for you by our very own Bethany Carder!

facial rejuvenation massage

Bethany Carder, LMT OR#20159

Bethany Carder is a musician, massage therapist, and a botanist in the works. She truly enjoys having her hands in all aspects of her life. Bethany’s Unkept Secrets skin care line began in 2011 as a way for Bethany to save money on high end skin care products. She strives to use ingredients that are sustainable, yet affordable, so she can lead a healthy life with a clear conscience and so can you.   All the products can be used together to aid in the health of all skin types from oily to dry, young and mature. The products are made in small batches to ensure the highest quality.

The line includes a gentle cleanser, nourishing scrub, deep cleansing mask, refreshing toner, and deeply hydrating facial oil. The gentle cleanser is great for all skin types. The anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, properties of grape seed oil, rosewater, and vitamin E oil soothe the skin, while toning, and tightening the pores. Castile soap, lavender, and tea tree essential oil aid in regulating sebum and decreasing signs of scarring by removing excess oil and increasing the rate of new tissue and cellular growth. No need for roughness when sloughing off your old skin. This scrubs intense cleansing properties leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed without rubbing you the wrong way. Oregon oats, bentonite clay, calendula, and comfrey give your skin healing antioxidants, while removing impurities and increasing circulation. Leaving you with bright, beautifully nourished skin. A blend of bentonite clay, calendula petals, and sage leaves make this mask great for all skin types. Antibacterial, anti-oxidant properties help minimize scarring and protect skin from blemishes, while removing toxins and leaving your skin feeling deeply cleansed.This balance of rosewater and witch hazel soothes irritated skin while removing dirt, excess oil, and tightening pores. The addition of frankincense, lavender, marjoram, and rosemary essential oil increase circulation in the skin while promoting the regeneration of healthy skin cells giving your skin a refreshing glow. Jojoba oil has nearly all of the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy skin, while being mild enough for even the most sensitive skin types. Powerful antioxidants smooth out wrinkles, while improving skins texture, and overall health. The anti-inflammatory, emollient, moisture balancing properties of neroli, ylang-ylang, lavender and rose blended with jojoba oil give your skin all the tender loving care it deserves.

Receiving our rejuvenating facial massage monthly can increase the healthy glow of your skin and keep your face feeling nourished and hydrated throughout the seasons.  Book your appointment online or check out our package of four facial rejuvenation massage treatments today:

facial rejuvenation massage

Facial Rejuvenation Massage-

30 minutes added to your favorite treatment:  $40

45 minutes as a stand alone treatment:  $60

Our facial rejuvenation massage treatment begins with a soothing warm towel treatment opening up your pores. Then we use a gentle cleanser that tones and tightens the pores removing excess oil and increasing the rate of new tissue and cellular growth. Then a soft oat scrub is gently applied to your skin helping remove impurities and increases circulation. The cleansing clay mask helps minimize scarring and protect skin from blemishes, while removing toxins and leaving your skin feeling deeply cleansed. While the mask works its magic you will receive a soothing neck, shoulder, head and arm massage to further increase your relaxation. Once the mask is removed we will mist your face and neck with a refreshing toner that soothes irritated skin while removing dirt, excess oil, and tightening pores. For the final touch we apply a facial oil full of powerful antioxidants that smooth out wrinkles, while improving skins texture, and overall health.

You can also add our Of The Earth foot soak, Immune Enhancing foot treatment or Revitalizing hand therapy for an additional charge.  Ask us about your favorite combination idea and we will help you make it happen!

*Can be added to memberships just ask us how:)

We are looking forward to helping you feel your best! Until then have an awesome day!

What is cupping?

Cupping seems to be all the rage with athletes right now and for good reason, it works!  I have heard a lot of varying opinions since I first tried out cupping myself, some folks believe it’s a hoax and the benefit is just a placebo effect, others seem confused about it all together, some think it will be painful and others agree that it is absolutely fabulous.  In this post I hope to give you a clear and simple explanation of cupping so that you can go boldly forward to try it out for yourself!

Here we go….


The definition of cup·ping


noun: cupping

(in Chinese medicine) a therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy.

To add on to the dictionary definition cupping is used to stimulate blood flow, bring fresh blood to the area and increase healing. This means it is good for physical issues including injuries, muscle tension, pain, restricted movement and so much more!

Who can provide cupping treatments?

If you have a complimentary health care provider that you currently see my advice would be to check with them first for a recommendation.  If not you can visit us at Written on the Body!  Both Theresa and Richard offer cupping treatments in addition to Acupuncture to our clients.  Or you can seek out an acupuncturist, massage therapist or naturopathic physician who is trained in cupping.

What happens during a cupping treatment?

After a thorough intake with your practitioner they will have you disrobe the affected area.  Some practitioners might use a tiny amount of oil to prepare your skin for the cupping procedure.  There are different types of cupping, some use glass cups and fire to create suction and others use plastic cups that have tiny built in pumps to draw the air out.  Whichever type of cups used you will feel the flesh being sucked up into the cups, typically this is not painful but depending on your specific issue it can become a little more intense.  If it is too uncomfortable you can always let your practitioner know so that they can release some of the suction.  Some therapists will let the cups sit for a time (seconds to a few minutes) and others will move the cups around similar to a massaging motion.

What happens after a cupping treatment?

After your practitioner removes the cups you may feel some tenderness in the area but it typically fades within 24 hours, you may also feel more tired than usual as your body works hard to heal itself.  You will most likely have deep red or purple marks where the cups have been placed but they do not feel painful.  These marks are caused by stagnant blood and toxins coming to the surface and will fade within a week or so.  You will probably feel better!  You might notice more freedom and less pain in the areas that have been cupped.  If you get regular treatments and have a good self care routine you may even make a full recovery from injuries or other chronic issues.

Cupping in the news:

The Portland Trail Blazers added cupping into their injury prevention and recovery routines:


Floyd Mayweather recently got cupping:



Cupping is an ancient healing practice and this blog post is just a short adventure into what it is all about.  To really understand it you will need to experience it and learn about the philosophies surrounding traditional Chinese medicine.

Have more questions?  Leave them in the comments or email us at wonthebody@gmail.com.  Thanks for reading and we look forward to working with you soon!  Book online today.

Take a Staycation with Rooftop Massage and Acupuncture!

Summer won’t last forever

it’s time to make help yourself live a happier and more relaxed life by taking advantage of Written on the Body’s Rooftop Massage and Acupuncture treatments!

rooftop massage and acupuncture

Rooftop relaxation featuring:


Click here to Book online by August 31st and take $20 off of your visit.

*make a note in your appointment that you are using the summer rooftop offer or first timer special for indoor appointments.   You are also welcome to call 503.473.8515 or email wonthebody@gmail.com to book if you prefer

Affordable massage for Portland, OR!

Do you need a massage but can’t figure out how to fit it into your budget?

Check out our affordable massage opportunities for a sliding scale option to get the relief your body and mind are longing for.  These opportunities are limited and will be given on a qualified and first come/first served basis so don’t wait,  Apply today!

To qualify please use the following worksheet guidelines (you may email us for a copy of the worksheet to download if you prefer at wonthebody@gmail.com): sliding_scale_income_worksheet
once you have determined the category you qualify for you may be offered the following pricing options for sliding scale massage:

  • A.  $40 per one hour Peace Massage

  • B.  $45 per one hour Peace Massage

  • C.  $55 per one hour Peace Massage

  • D.  $60 per one hour Peace Massage

  • E.  Full Price

*These sliding scale massage appointments are limited and are given on a first come first serve basis.  Please send the completed sliding scale form and  supporting income documents to wonthebody@gmail.com.  We will notify you within 7 business days if you have been approved and the timeline/therapist available for you to book within.  We retain full rights to ask you for updated information and to alter your fee and booking/therapist schedule at any time.  If we choose to do so we will notify you via email.  Our regular cancellation policy applies to all sliding scale appointments.

If you don’t qualify for our sliding scale massage opportunities we have many other ways to get regular massage on a budget!  Check out our VIP Membership starting as low as $55 per month or our Buy 3 get 1 Free Packages Here.

Whichever way you go we hope to see you soon!  Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!