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Massage Therapy and Healthy Sleep

sleeping-woman-300pxWhat do massage therapy and healthy sleep have in common? Massage therapy helps promote a healthy lifestyle, through relaxation and stress relief. It is often viewed as a luxury activity. However, it can be a powerful tool in addressing a common problem that people have these days: lack of sleep. Although we all know that we need 8 hours of sleep every night, many people still try to get by with 6-7 hours, and often even less. At the same time, we’ve seen an increase in health problems like obesity, heart issues due to stress, and chronic fatigue. We trudge through our days, and drink quantities of caffeine in an effort to just function at minimum levels.

Benefits of Sleep Adequate, restful sleep is essential not just for physical health, but also for mental and emotional well-being. When we spend sufficient time in the different stages of non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and REM sleep, we reap the following benefits: 1. Physical energy Anyone who’s had only 4-5 hours of sleep during the night can attest to the fact to its negative effect on the entire day. It’s as if our body is reminding us that it needs more sleep that we’d given it. We are sluggish, and feel as though a nap is in good order even in the middle of the day. People who literally bounce out of bed in the morning, ready to take on anything that comes their way, are more likely to be those who have slept 8 hours or more. 2. Mental alertness Lack of sleep results in reduced alertness and short-term memory loss. These, in turn, affect our capacity to perform and stay with complicated mental tasks. This is why students are often reminded to get a good night’s sleep before an important exam. No matter what the industry, sleep deprivation negatively affects job performance. 3. Appetite control Research has shown that a chemical associated with hunger signals are released in large quantities during sleep deprivation. At the same time, lack of sleep suppresses another chemical that signals when we’ve had enough to eat. This double chemical whammy, plus the fatigue brought on by sleep deprivation, wreaks havoc on people who want to lose weight. No matter what diet they are on, people who are sleep deprived night after night find themselves struggling to control their appetite. Any weight-loss strategy must be coupled with adequate sleep in order to succeed. 4. Healthy immune system Simply put, the body needs adequate rest in order to fight infections. Even though, we may compensate for the decreased alertness by imbibing caffeine, there is no substitute for the regeneration that our cells undergo during sleep. Healthy cells mean higher chances of beating germs that bring sickness. 5. Ability to combat stress High-quality sleep contributes to the body’s ability to fight stress. When we are sleep-deprived, our stress responses tend to go to extremes and/or last longer than necessary. This is why chronically-sleep deprived individuals are more short-tempered and irritable than those who make their 8-hour sleep a priority. In addition to these benefits, healthy and adequate sleep has also been shown to decrease the risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and other ailments.

Massage Therapy and Healthy Sleep The best way to achieve healthy sleep habits is by natural medication-free means. Studies have shown that regular massage therapy reduces fatigue, promotes relaxation and contributes to high-quality sleep. The benefits of massage are both immediate and long-term. People who receive massages experience a more restorative type of sleep, both immediately following the massage and even several hours afterward. Their bodies are more relaxed, with reduced aches and pains, and able to fall more quickly into deep sleep. Parents who have given their babies gentle massages can attest to similar results. Infants who have been massaged are more relaxed, and undergo fewer disturbances of their sleep. In addition to regular massage, we can encourage healthy sleep by: – establishing a set bedtime – avoiding caffeine a few hours before bedtime – ensuring that the sleeping area (bedroom) is quiet, dark and comfortable – turning off electronics such as TVs, video games and smartphones at least an hour before bedtime Sleep is one of the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. Regular massage therapy is one of the things you could do to help you achieve better sleep and stress-free days and nights.

How Often Should You Get a Massage?

MassageOne of the most common questions about massage therapy is how often one should get a massage. The right answer differs from client to client. How often you get a massage depends on many factors. These include your general health, the reason for getting a massage, how you felt after your last session, your time, and of course, your budget. Today I”ll focus on the purpose of your massage as a factor in deciding how often to schedule your appointments.

Why Are You Getting a Massage? Before you and your massage therapist decide on a schedule, you need to talk about why you”re coming in for treatment and the specific modalities that will be used.

General Relaxation Some people get massages for health maintenance and general relaxation. The purpose of these sessions is to support proper body functions, including blood circulation and joint flexibility. Regular sessions like these prevent pain, stress points, and muscle tension from building up. Massage therapy for relaxation may be scheduled every three or four months.

Stress Relief In spite of regular massages for relaxation, there may be times when you will experience periods of higher stress and greater muscle tension. If you are in a high-stress job or work in an environment that requires you to be in one position for a prolonged period of time, you may develop tightly-knotted muscles in your back, arms and shoulders. These may result in reduced movement and significant pain. In addition, constant stress increases your risk of heart disease. To help you cope with high-stress situations, get a massage once or twice a month.

Sports Performance and Recovery Athletes and other individuals who engage in intense physical activity require specialized massage therapy to enhance performance, prevent injury, and speed up their muscles” recovery. Competitive sports, for example, puts a lot of stress on the body. Massage therapy helps to strengthen muscles before the activity, and to heal afterward. The frequency of sessions may range from one to three times a week to three times a month.

Treatment of Chronic Issues If massage therapy is performed as part of treatment for specific issues, the frequency varies according to the type of illness or injury, as well as overall health. Relief from chronic pain may only be achieved after a program of therapy that includes up to three sessions a week, and additional sessions at diminishing frequency over a few months. Chronic issues that may benefit from massage therapy include back pain, joint pain and localized inflammation.

Pregnancy Massage Expectant moms experience a range of aches and pains as their pregnancies progress. These include back pain and swelling of the ankles. Regular massage sessions, performed by a certified pregnancy massage therapist, may help ease these discomforts particularly toward the end of the pregnancy. A once- or twice-a-month massage will go a long way towards helping you feel great. As always though, check with your doctor to make sure a massage is appropriate for you during pregnancy. ** There are many other reasons people come in for massage therapy. Likewise, there are additional considerations to take when you think about how often to get a massage. These include the following:

  • Your General Health

If you are a fairly healthy person, with no injuries or chronic conditions, you can pretty much get a massage as often as you want. If you”re suffering from an injury or chronic illness that could benefit from massage, you might come in for regular treatment with a focus on your specific condition.

  • How You Felt After Your Last Session

Every time you get a massage, you should evaluate whether you are getting the maximum benefits that you want. If your chronic pain is getting better through massage, you and your therapist might change your schedule accordingly.

  • Your Resources

Your time and finances are important factors to consider when scheduling your appointments. Make the most out of your resources by going to an excellent therapist and by using coupons and special offers. If you want to know more about how often to get massage therapy that would work for your situation and resources, contact me today.

The Science and Art of Massage Therapy

MassageDid you know that massage therapy is both a science and an art? Far from being just a luxurious way to spend one”s time, there are sound scientific principles behind the practice and benefits of massage. First of all, the process of becoming a certified massage therapist requires study and training. At the same time, a successful client-therapist relationship is nurtured through an approach that is closer to art than science.

The Science of Massage Therapy Not everyone can become a professional massage therapist. Many states require licensing before one can practice massage therapy as a business. Massage therapists need to complete hundreds of hours of classroom instruction using an approved curriculum. In addition to massage theory and application, massage therapy classes cover human anatomy, physiology, kinesiology (study of human movement), and pathology. Massage therapists are expected to know how muscles, nerves, tendons, bones and joints work together in the human body. They study the effects of injury, stress and pain on physical and emotional well-being, as well as overall health. They are familiar with medical terminology and use this knowledge to help patients with chronic or temporary medical conditions. Massage therapists also receive instruction in injury prevention and practices to aid in physical rehabilitation and the relief of specific conditions. Some may even take specialized classes in skin health and nutrition. In addition to formal classroom instruction, massage therapists are licensed only after they accumulate hours of practical experience in a supervised environment. Many accredited schools have their own clinics where students get hands-on training, under the watchful eye of qualified instructors.

The Art of Massage Therapy Massage therapy doesn’t simply involve manipulation of muscles to achieve relaxation and pain relief. It also requires that the therapist essentially listen with their hands and offer an environment that provides compassionate care to their client. The massage therapist thus blends science and art toward the goal of providing a total experience. Several elements go into a successful massage. Among these are the layout and appearance of the therapy room, sensory details such as the touch of the sheets, the scents of aromatherapy oils, and the sound of soothing music in the background. During a massage session, the therapist uses her hands to find areas that need specific attention and adapts her techniques to meet those needs. As with art, the experience is different for each client and even for each session. Each massage therapist blends science and art by using her knowledge, skills and ability to relate with her client to provide the best benefits every time. The result is an overall encounter that soothes both the body and mind.

The Benefits of Hiring a Birth Doula

Throughout history, women have been giving birth with the support of female family members and friends. Drawings and illustrations of this milestone event often show a midwife assisting with the birth, and one or more women giving comfort and attending to the needs of the mother. Childbirth in modern times has become a more clinical affair, with the result of increased safety for both the mother and child during this once-dangerous experience. Babies are delivered in hospitals, with doctors and nurses attending to the birth. One person, often the father of the baby, is usually present to provide the mother with encouragement and other non-medical support. In recent years, however, there has been a trend toward returning in part to traditional ways. Awareness of the need for strong emotional support, in addition to medical expertise, has surged among expectant parents. While the baby”s father is an important part of the event, he is often faced with the daunting task of dealing with his own apprehensions, in addition to providing support to the mother. This is when the presence of a birth doula is highly beneficial. The word “doula” comes from the Greek word for “woman who serves.” Birth doulas are trained to be supportive partners of the parents during the childbirth experience. Their goal is to “comfort and support the mother and to enhance communication between the mother and medical professionals” (DONA International). A birth doula serves to enhance the positive experience of childbirth by providing the following:

Physical Comfort Studies have found that the presence of doulas during a birth often leads to shorter labors with fewer complications. Doulas provide physical comfort measures such as lower back massages, and encourage breathing techniques that ease pain and discomfort throughout the process. In the end, the laboring mother is less stressed and fearful of the experience.

Emotional Support During the intense experience of childbirth, a woman”s emotional needs may fluctuate drastically. A trained doula understands that this is a normal part of labor, and will offer support as needed. She is there to encourage and reassure, all while respecting and following the mother”s wishes. The mother thus becomes more focused and confident of herself as she delivers her child.

Stress Relief for the Partner Most traditional birth experiences rely on the male partner to perform a variety of tasks during an intense situation. The result is that he becomes stressed and sometimes unable to appreciate the happy event until after it is over. The presence of a doula lifts many responsibilities off his shoulders, and allows him to become involved according to his comfort level.

Enhanced Communication between Expectant Parents and Medical Staff The birth doula may serve as a go-between for the expectant parents and the medical staff. She doesn”t make decisions regarding the medical care of the mother or child. Instead, she ensures that information is relayed both ways, and may also provide objective feedback when requested.

A Positive Birth Experience A mother in labor is more relaxed when she knows that she has someone who is knowledgeable and whose goal is to support and care for her as she brings her child into the world. A doula”s work is to ensure a positive birth experience as much as possible. These benefits are just some of the advantages of using the services of a birth doula. Many studies have shown that the outcomes of childbirth often improve when a doula is present. These include less physical discomfort, a more relaxed and happier mother, better parent-child bonding, and enhanced breastfeeding, which in itself leads to healthier newborns and mothers. Here at All Body Kneads, I will begin providing birth doula services for mothers-to-be in Charlotte and the greater Lansing area. These services are in addition to the excellent spa and massage services that are already available to you. Contact me today for more information.

A Short Primer on Five Different Types of Massages

As a trained and certified massage therapist, I offer a variety of services to suit different needs. Some of these services may be familiar to you, but some may be new. So, here”s short primer on some of the massages I offer, with descriptions and how each can help you live a more relaxed and energized lifestyle:

Swedish Massage This is one of the most well-known types of massage. When people talk about massage therapy, they most likely mean a Swedish massage. It is sometimes called a “classic massage.” A Swedish massage is characterized by long gliding strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the body. Massage lotion or oil is applied to reduce friction on the skin during a session. This type of massage helps ease joint pain, muscle aches and stiffness. It also improves circulation, and facilitate healing after an injury. It is highly adaptable, and could be very gentle and relaxing. As such, it’s a great massage for new clients, or people who have never received a massage before.

Sports Massage Sports massages are intended for athletes as a way to enhance their performance, prevent injury, and recover after an event or competition. Before an athletic event, a sports massage can be employed to warm up the muscles and increase blood flow. Afterward, the goal is to help the body deal with toxins released during physical exertion. A sports massage is also helpful for athletes who are healing from an injury. The therapist can focus on a specific problem area instead of the whole body.

Chair Massage Chair massages are also known as seated or on-site massages. The fully-clothed client sits on a specially-designed chair, which facilitates the session. The massage is concentrated mainly on the back, arms and hands of the client. The therapist may use a variety of techniques, such as Swedish and Deep Tissue massages. An advantage of this type of massage is its versatility and portability. You can get a chair massage at public settings such as airports and malls. You can even host one at your place of business.

Prenatal Massage Prenatal (or pregnancy) massages are given to expectant mothers to help reduce stress and anxiety, and alleviate aches associated with a changing body. It”s a great therapy for back pain and swelling in the legs and arms. Proper positioning is needed to support the client”s body during a session. There are also techniques and areas of the body that must be avoided during a prenatal massage. Thus, it is very important than an expectant mother receive services only from a therapist who is certified in pregnancy massage.

Deep Tissue Massage Deep tissue massages, as the name implies, go deeper into the muscles than a regular or Swedish massage. A massage therapist who is certified in this technique has received advanced training and understands the structure and workings of the human body. A Deep Tissue Massage can help with rehabilitation after an injury, chronic muscle pain, and conditions such as arthritis and tendonitis. It is often combined with other types of massage. These are only five of the various types of massages that I offer. As you can see, there is a massage technique for practically every need. You can contact me to learn more about these or any other services. You can also ask me questions before we begin your session.

Join a Massage Club and Receive Additional Discounts

Here at All Body Kneads, I treat my repeat customers like friends. In addition to giving discounts on massage services for cancer survivors and caregivers, I offer many ways to save on my services, such as the various clubs you can join to take advantage of special pricing options.

Birthday Club You deserve to relax and pamper yourself on your special days. What”s better than a massage, complete with your favorite aromatherapy scent? Members of the All Body Kneads Birthday Club receive VIP pricing on birthdays, anniversaries and other special days. The club is open to individuals and families with the same last name.

Rub Club The Rub Club is for those who want to take advantage of package pricing, without having to pay the full amount upfront. For example, the regular price of a 60-Minute Full Body Massage is $55.00. You can save by purchasing a package of Ten 60-minute massages at $450. By joining the Rub Club, you won”t have to pay the full $450 upfront for the package. Instead, as a member, you”ll pay $45 for each of the 10 massages, as you come in. So you”ll get the package price, without the upfront cost. In addition, you”ll get a free add-on service. The Rub Club is open to both individuals and families.

Knead Club This is the ultimate club for my regular customers. Knead Club members lock in current prices for as long as they want. I want you to be relaxed, and come in knowing you”ll get the same excellent service at the same affordable price, forever! Plus, you get to choose a free add-on service with each massage. You can join the club as an individual or with your family. In addition to these clubs, I also offer discounts on massage services for students, and members of the military and their families. To find out more about my special pricing options, see my discounts and clubs page, or contact me. I”d love to hear from you!

Lansing Cancer Survivors and Caregivers Receive Massage Discounts

All Body Kneads Massage in Lansing believes in giving back to the community and supporting repeat customers by offering opportunities to enjoy massage services at discounted rates. As a cancer survivor, I have deep compassion for those who have lived with and won the cancer fight. For women who have experienced and survived breast cancer, a 25% discount is applied for every massage and service purchased. All cancer patients and survivors benefit from massage, not just breast cancer survivors, so a 20% discount is given to anyone who is fighting or has fought any type of cancer. Special gratitude is shared with those hardworking caregivers too! Each caregiver receives 10% off their first time visit plus receives an add-on service for free. Future appointments will garner caregivers $5.00 each massage and a choice of a free add on to their massage. Learn more about our unique Massage Clubs in the next post. Please contact me with any questions. Peace

A Good Belly Rub Can Bolster Fertility

Husband and pregnant wifeYes, really! Fertility Massage has garnered a tremendous success rate, even with clients who have been told that they’d never conceive. This news is heartwarming and the research I have done increased my desire to become certified through Claire Marie Miller Training. I learned Claire Marie was blessed with a pregnancy after just one cycle following her fertility massage treatments and has tracked success rates of her students and patients consistently.

How Does Fertility Massage Work? So many women have fertility concerns and often experience financial burdens, emotional stress and devastating disappointment while seeking solutions. Through noninvasive techniques, fertility massage enhances relaxation and gently manipulates the muscles and tendons that hold the belly organs in place and return them to alignment to promote proper functioning. I felt a strong desire to bring fertility massage in Lansing and I am happy to offer Fertility Massage services to All Body Kneads clients.

The Benefits you can experience from a Fertility Massage What I feel is the most beneficial in this massage protocol is balancing cranial-sacral alignment. I will administer cranial holds until I can feel the true release desired. Because each body is different we schedule a 70 −90 minute session so that you can relax fully and achieve cranial-sacral alignment. I will also administer shiatsu and reflexology techniques. These modalities assist in increasing the body energy (chi), balance hormones, plus stimulate reproductive areas and endocrine glands. The additional benefits of deep relaxation, stress reduction and increased circulation throughout the pelvis increases the effectiveness of the fertility massage protocol.

What to expect in a Fertility Massage Session • A relaxing oil pack and instructions for at home cleansing of the digestive system and dissolving adhesions, cysts. • Calming and centering cranial-sacral holds for balancing and centering • Integrative Reflexology® for fertility, stimulating reproductive areas, endocrine glands and the digestive system • Deep pelvic work to break up adhesions and increase blood to all pelvic organs • Shiatsu points to increase the chi (energy) through the reproductive areas • Fertility wisdom – includes knowledge about timing and awareness for potential conception • Specific aromatherapy for optimal hormonal functioning • Visualization techniques for tuning in and opening up the conception channel It is best not to receive Fertility Massage work when menstruating or possibly pregnant. Let’s talk about the best time for you to schedule a fertility massage at All Body Kneads, I will make sure timing is optimum for best results. Bilky Joda-Miller CMT All Body Kneads 517-898-2899

Massage Party – You’re Invited Aug. 18th

All Body Kneads welcomes you to a Massage Party August 18, 2012 1:00pm – 4:00pm When was the last time you took a little time for yourself? Well it’s time to take a little bit of time for you. Come relax with us and by the time you leave we promise you’ll be rejuvenated. Cost is $25.00 per person Refreshments will be served Advanced Tickets Required Only 20 tickets will be sold. Some of the services offered and included in the ticket price are: • Paraffin • Massage • Vibration Therapy • Foot Baths • Target Hot & Cold Stones Additional

Services offered for a fee are:

$25.00

“It Works” body wraps with Celicia Tuller – Lose inches in just an hour

$20.00

Auricular Acupuncture with Jim Bertrau Contact: Bilky Joda-Miller 517.256.6596 or at allbodykneads@massagetherapy.com

Welcome to All Body Kneads NEW Blog

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