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:)
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!
Have you ever wondered about massage for kids?
If you have kids in your life you are already in tune with how much more magic they bring to your days. Spending time with kids has always been something I love and let me tell y0u, most kids are ecstatic about massage! My niece and nephews are always asking me when it will be a good time for their next massage, it calms them and makes them feel good about their bodies. It gives them quiet time to explore sensations and ask questions about this amazing vehicle each of us are traveling in. Believe it or not kids get tight muscles and pain too and though they aren’t yet locked into unhealthy movement patterns, they are learning certain behaviors that they will carry with them throughout their lives. This is a great reason to begin addressing issues of tension in both mind and body beginning at a very young age.
Recently I have had many clients mention bringing their kids in for a massage and so I thought it would be a good time to share some ways that massage can benefit kids and what types of treatments it is appropriate to book them for.
The Benefits of massage for kids:
*there are so many that it would take forever to cover them here-I encourage you to research the benefits of massage for your child’s specific needs or ask us the next time you visit
“Massage reduces stress hormone levels and blood glucose levels. According to Maria Hernandez-Reif, a researcher at the Touch Research Institute, lower stress hormones not only reduce feelings of anxiety but contribute to a healthier immune system.” –Livestrong.com Obviously this is a benefit to all people who get massage!, Read more at
Massage reinforces positive feelings about self-worth and body image in kids (we might say adults as well). Touch is essential to a healthy life and we all thrive when our lives include regular positive touch-especially from those we care about. You might even enjoy giving your child a massage every day before bedtime to help them relax and create a time for positive reinforcement and bonding. Not sure how? You can always book a session and stay to observe, we are happy to give you some tips on the best ways to offer massage to your child.
“Preschoolers have shown better performance on tests of their intellectual and manual skills after a 15-minute massage. They also slept better during naps, were less likely to be overactive and had better behavior ratings. For teens struggling with the growing pains of adolescence, massage helps to balance unstable hormones and can relieve anxiety by producing a state of relaxation. A supportive relationship with a massage therapist who gives them safe, unconditional touch can also increase their feelings of self-acceptance and self-confidence during those trying years.”-Shirley Vanderbilt, Read more at massagetherapy.com
Massage can greatly benefit children with special needs including everything from weight gain for pre-term infants to hyperactivity to various sensory issues. Each of these requires and in depth review but a great place to start is with this article from ABMP titled Children and Massage.
What types and lengths of treatment are right for your child:
Infants-3 years old: We are not currently trained in infant to toddler massage here at Written on the Body but there are many places around Portland that offer infant massage, or classes on how to massage your baby at home: OHSU or Lopez Infant Massage are great examples
4 years old to 12 years old: We recommend starting with a 30 minute Focus! treatment here at Written on the Body and you are welcome to stay for any part or all of the treatments with your kids. You can also book your own treatment at the same time and make it a parent/child date! During this 30 minute focus massage your child could remain clothed and we would employ gentle massage techniques on the table such as rocking, compression and other aspects of Swedish massage. If appropriate we may use warm compresses or essential oils to enhance relaxation and keep your child’s attention. We always leave room for your child’s needs and will allow them to direct the session including the right for either of you to end it at any time.
13-17: At this age many kids are able to handle longer sessions and you might consider gradually increasing the length of their treatments until they are eventually able to handle a full hour. They may also be ready for other types of massage such as hot stone, deep tissue or sports massage and you can discuss these options with our team as you and your child feel it is appropriate.
Thai Massage: Thai massage is clothed and performed on a mat on the floor. During Thai massage your therapist will compress, rock and stretch your body in various ways with the goal of deep relaxation, improving movement patterns and lengthening muscles. Thai massage is an excellent option for ages 4 to adults (and sometimes even younger)! If you are interested in finding out more about booking a Thai massage for you or your child email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will happily help you book an appointment.
Whether you decide to start a home massage routine with your child or book an appointment with your favorite therapist we are excited for you to start this journey! Ready to book? Click here to view our schedule online (when booking for your child please make a note for your therapist of your child’s age so that we can be prepared for the visit). Have more questions? Leave them in the comments or email us at email@example.com.
Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful day!
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!
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-
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!
Have you ever gotten a great massage only to have pain the next day? Pain after a massage can be a normal part of healing.
If you haven’t had a massage in a while, are brand new to massage or have a new issue that you are working on the chances are fairly high that you might experience some level of pain in the day or two following a massage. There are many explanations for this and though the experience and specifics will be unique to each person there are a few standard reasons on why this phenomenon happens:
Everyone has muscular patterns that have been created and reinforced over time and sometimes these patterns aren’t healthy resulting in inefficient ways of moving. The result is an overall imbalance with some muscles being tight and shortened while others are weak and overstretched. Eventually this can cause pain and/or injury as well as a sort of numbness. When massage begins to help release these unbalanced muscle patterns, the body has to adjust to a new and unfamiliar way of being, which can feel uncomfortable or even painful for a time. This is also the reason that regular massage combined with a self care plan is so important. As you might imagine it will take quite some time and effort to undo something that took so long to create.
Your massage therapist may move your body in a way that it is not accustomed to and just like a new exercise routine it can cause fatigue or soreness the following day or two. Staying active, hot baths with Epsom salts, ice therapy or heat therapy can help ease this type of discomfort as your body adjusts to these new feelings.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding detoxification and massage, I don’t want to add fuel to this debate in any way. I will stick to this: massage increases circulation and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which can sometimes cause an overload to your mind and body. Especially when it hasn’t experienced these sensations before, recently or if your body’s resources are going toward healing another issue such as an injury at the time of your massage. Drinking water, resting and taking care of yourself in general following a massage is important to lessening the possibility of fatigue or pain response.
Not all pain is created equal and it is always important to communicate with your massage therapist during your treatment. You should ask your therapist to lighten up on the pressure if you are experiencing pain during your massage that is sharp, shooting, numbing, tingling or 7+ on a pain scale of 1-10 (1 being very little to no pain and 10 being severe pain). You should always be able to breathe during your massage and if all your muscles are tensed against the pressure it defeats the purpose of trying to get tense muscles to let go. Good pain is ok but beyond that pain is not beneficial to your health. If you are experiencing sensations during or after a massage that seem abnormal you should communicate them to your therapist and if you think something is wrong it may be a good idea to check in with your doctor. In general there is nothing abnormal about experiencing a little pain after massage and it will likely stop happening after you begin to get regular treatments.
We are looking forward to seeing you soon! Book online today:)
Yes! Massage can help improve your posture read on to find out how…
We are sitting more than ever before with long hours at the computer, commuting, watching TV and it is affecting the way our body is aligned. Our shoulders and neck are pulled forward due to tight, shortened pectorals (chest), scalene’s and my favorite named muscle the sternocleidomastoid (front of neck). Our pelvis’s are out of whack from weakened abdominal muscles, shortened hip flexors and more. While we are busy slumping and slouching from sitting waaayyyy more than our bodies were intended to we need our grandmother’s in our ears to nag us to take breaks, pull our shoulders back and down and stand up straight, for goodness sakes!
How can massage help you achieve your goal of beautiful straight posture? Here is the short list of what we can help you accomplish:
- Almost every Massage Therapist I know pays attention to posture all the time. We can’t help it! Even when I am out and about I am noticing other people’s posture and thinking of ways that I could help return them to a balanced frame. If you are working towards correcting your posture you should talk to your Massage Therapist about your goals, they will most likely have some insight on where they notice imbalances and what type of treatment plan could work for you.
- Massage therapy helps to ease the tension in tight muscles caused by postural imbalances, for instance I mentioned the forward body posture above often caused by long hours at the computer which can cause arm, hand, neck and upper back pain. Targeting specific muscle groups such as the pecs and the muscles on the front of the neck can help lengthen them allow the body to find the space to realign itself into the proper position. This applies to other areas as well such as releasing the hip flexors for the low back to help relieve pain in this area.
- Massage relaxes you, improves your circulation, helps eradicate stress and is one of the best pain relievers out there. Many of the unhealthy patterns our body creates are caused by stress tension and pain which means getting regular massage is a key ingredient to letting go of those things that are having ill effects on your posture.
I would never try to mislead you into believing that massage is a miracle cure, that you won’t have to work hard to return to a healthy posture or that massage will be the only tool you might need. However I do believe that regular massage is an important (and hopefully really lovely) piece of the amazing posture puzzle. Don’t take my word for it Book Your Massage Today!
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3 ways to live a healthier and happier life in 2014
I always slack a little on most of my routines (outside of hammock laying and beach going) through the Summer, we get such a short visit from the sun here in Portland that I feel justified in my laziness. But It’s back to school time here in Oregon and I know that, like myself, many of you parents out there are ready to get back to the grind. When the kids go back to school it becomes easier for us to get back on top of work, exercise, healthy eating habits and in general taking care of ourselves. If you want to make a huge positive impact on your health and happiness you should try adding regular massage into your self care routine, you won’t believe what a difference it will make! Still not sure? Check out these great facts about the many ways regular massage can improve your overall well-being:
Find Relief from pain:
Millions of Americans suffer from pain and back pain seems to be the leader of the pack, in fact, low back pain is one of the most common reasons for missing work. In fact, back pain is one of the most listed reasons for visits to the doctor’s office. Treat low back pain with a combination of stretching, exercises and getting regular massage, acupuncture and/or chiropractic care. It is important to remember that surgery or pharmaceuticals are not the only option for finding freedom from pain. Many times with a little energy and regular self care you can live a happier and healthier life without the extra side effects that come with invasive surgery or drugs.
Free yourself from Stress and Anxiety:
The world is always changing, moving more quickly, raising it’s expectations-heaping more and more onto our plates. It is no wonder that many Americans are frequently suffering from bouts of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Stress is a killer and if left unregulated it can cause all sorts of issues in the body. Dr. Sheldon Cohen discovered in a 2012 study that “When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well.” Help yourself regulate stress hormones with massage. Regular massage reduces the hormone cortisol in your body, and give the happiness inducing neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine a boost. Check out our buy 3 get 1 free massage packages and $55 monthly membership to get yourself on the path to freedom from stress today!
Look better, feel better and have more energy:
Speaking of stress, we all know it takes a toll on our energy levels as well as our appearance. Weight gain or loss, dark bags under our eyes, dull skin and exhaustion are all common side effects of stress. Massage can help these too by reducing stress levels and helping to boost your bodies natural healing abilities. Massage also improves circulation and skin tone to promote that beautiful healthy glow we are all striving to achieve. Learn more about the ways massage can help you feel and look better in this great article: The amazing ways massage can help you look prettier
Living a healthier and happier life is contingent on a healthy routine including exercise, diet and self care. Dedicate yourself to this cause-you are worth it!
Massage and Acupuncture are natural remedies for Neck pain
Neck pain is very common in our culture and there are many different reason’s a person can experience neck pain. Some of these include poor posture, unhealthy holding patterns created by repetitive motion or overuse, injuries, structural issues and changes are just a few. Neck pain can be very disruptive to a person’s everyday routine especially sleep patterns and regular work, when your body is chronically experiencing pain you are unable to function optimally. This in addition to the possibility of permanent disability and severe injury are important reasons to address neck pain as early and aggressively as possible. Here are some of the ways massage and acupuncture can help:
Acupuncture for neck pain:
Can reduce spasms and lesson pain
Acupuncture can reduce inflammation and even obliterate it with regular treatments
Acupuncture promotes better blood flow through treated areas which promotes healing
Releases endorphins changing the way the brain and spinal cord perceives pain
Acupuncture addresses underlying issues such as stagnant energy, holding patterns, stress and other problems that are at the root of your neck pain
Cupping helps relax and break up stuck fascia and scar tissue freeing your body to move more efficiently
Massage for neck pain:
Increases blood flow which promotes healing
Decreases tension in muscles
Calms the body releasing tension all over the body rather than just in the select concentrated areas
Regular massage can help lengthen muscles that are shortened allowing your posture to correct itself
Consider massage and acupuncture as part of your health care plan, you are important and taking good care of your body is essential to living a long, healthy and happy life. Check out our packages and memberships for affordable options in getting the treatment you need to become free of pain!
$45-$55 Happy Hour massage and acupuncture appointments for the week of August 15th-21st
-These appointments are first come first served and are subject to availability. Email to book at firstname.lastname@example.org and please email at least 2 hours in advance to book an appointment
Happy hour openings for today Friday August 15th:
3pm or 6:15pm with Bethany for $45/60 min Find Your Peace Massage
4pm or 7pm with Richard for $45/60 min Find Your Peace Massage or $55/60 min Acupuncture
Openings for Saturday August 16th:
11am or 12:30pm with Kathy for $45/60 min Find Your Peace Massage
9am, 10:30am or noon with Terry $55/60 min Acupuncture
3pm, 4:30pm or 6pm with Bethany or Richard for $45/60 min Find Your Peace Massage
Openings for Sunday August 17th:
3pm, 4:30pm or 6pm with Richard for a $45 Find Your Peace Massage or $55/60 min Acupuncture
Openings for Tuesday August 19th:
10am, 11:30am or 1pm with Alexandra for $45/60 min Find Your Peace Massage
3pm, 4:30pm or 6pm with Kathy for $45/60 min Find Your Peace Massage
Openings for Wednesday August 20th:
4:30pm or 5:30pm with Terry $55/60 min Acupuncture
Openings for Thursday August 21st:
4:30pm or 6pm with Kathy for $45/60 min Find Your Peace Massage
3pm or 5:30pm with Terry $55/60 min Acupuncture
*you can add hot stones for $10 or deep tissue for $20 email email@example.com to book a happy hour appointment today!
Have a wonderful week:)