Hips / Glutes
Outer Thigh / IT Band
We offer a specialized treatment designed specifically for headache and migraine sufferers. Details of the treatment may be found under the Headache/Migraine Massage section on our Services Page.
Between sessions we recommend the following links to resources that can be employed to mitigate headaches and migraines.
Plantar Fasciitis/Foot Techniques
We offer a specialized treatment designed specifically for clients suffering from plantar faciitis and other foot related discomfort. Details of the treatment may be found under the Plantar Faciitis/Foot Massage section on our Services Page.
Between sessions we recommend the following links to resources for self care.
Tennis/Massage Ball Techniques
One of the easiest and most effective forms of relaxation and stress reduction includes the use of music, guided meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness techniques. There are a number of websites, apps, podcasts, and Youtube channels that provide a variety of helpful tools for taking a much needed stress break and indulging in some ME time.
Guided Meditation Videos
These are a variety of great guided meditations for mindfulness, gratitude, and manifesting
Yoga Nidra is a form of relaxation/guided meditation that is traditionally done lying down with eyes closed and most beneficial transitioning into sleep or naptime. It utilizes guided meditation that taps into the unconscious mind while sleeping to aid in clarity and cleansing of stress, negative energy, or decision making. It is quite relaxing and enjoyable. There are many artists and albums available for the practice of Yoga Nidra and can be found wherever you stream your music. We hightly recommend "Deep Relaxation" by Jennifer Reis
Listening to calming and relaxing music can be very beneficial for reducing stress. You may prefer piano, flute, guitar, beach or rain sounds, chanting, or new age music. Whatever your preference, this music can be listened to while relaxing, bathing, reading, driving, sleeping, or even gathering with friends. The peaceful feelings will multiply the more you listen. Here are some of my favorite artists and albums. I often play these albums in the treatment room. Look for them wherever you stream your music.
Thera Cane Massage Tool
A Theracane is a simple and effective self massage tool that can bring temporary relief from muscular tension, stiffness, tenderness and soreness. It can be used to apply pain relieving deep compression directly to hard “knots” or trigger points anywhere on the body, especially hard to reach areas. Shaped almost like a candy cane it has small knobs placed on areas along its length that are used to press into the knots to which you wish to bring relief. Depending on the model, the number of knobs may vary. You can apply as much or as little pressure as you like, whatever works for you. Pressure applied to the muscles by the Thera Cane helps to maximize the flow of oxygenated blood to the muscles which, in turn, aids in restoring muscle function by breaking up adhesions in muscle fibers and tendons. The increased circulation helps the muscle to work more efficiently.
Icing and Heating
The application of both ice and heat can be very helpful in relieving muscle pain, tightness, overuse, or injury. Knowing when to use ice vs heat or even combining both can be a bit confusing.
Icing is best for acute pain. Applying a cold compress or ice pack has a numbing effect that will help to dull the pain and reduce swelling and inflammation. The skin should be protected from direct contact with the cold pack by using a towel over the affected area. Cold therapy should be applied for 15-20 minutes per application.
Heating is best when pain experiencing mild muscular pain. Apply a warm moist towel or heat wrap around or over the affected area to relax the muscles. Heat therapy should be applied for 20 minutes and repeat every few hours until the discomfort subsides. If using a heat pack, wrap it in a towel to protect the skin if needed.
It can also be very helpful and often recommended to alternate icing and heating in several minute intervals. For those that aren't able to tolerate the cold of icing, this can be a good alternative.
For those recovering from injuries, medical professionals may suggest the RICE treatment method. This is a treatment employing the use of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This treatment can be a helpful self care addition to massage therapy during recovery from injuries. More information about the R.I.C.E treatment may be found at https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tw4354spec
Gel based packs are more affective then other types of cold packs because they will retain the cold for longer. You can also fill a paper cup with water, freezing it, then peeling a top layer of the cup away exposing the ice on the tip. The exposed ice can then can be rubbed over the affected area. Another option for areas such as the ITB Band, and bottoms of the feet is to use a frozen water bottle and roll it across the affected area. An alternative for hands, arms, and feet is to fill a shallow pan with water and ice and soak the area for ten to fifteen minutes several times a day.
Heating tools may be referred to as heat packs, heat wraps, or a bed buddy. These tools are typically filled with gels or beads either scented or unscented that can be warmed in the microwave and then applied to the affected area. The therapy in this case is referred to as moist heat. Moist heat is best as it penetrates to the deeper muscles for a more productive healing outcome. Avoid electrical heating pads if possible as they employ dry heat. Dry heat may feel good but only reaches the top surface and does not penetrate to the deeper muscles which will reduce the therapeutic benefit.
An excellent selection of products is the Elasto-Gel line from Southwest Technologies Inc. These can be both cooled in the freezer or heated in the microwave, making them a good value because you can use them for either cold or heat therapy. Their full product line is available at https://www.elastogel.com/ and select products can be found on Amazon.
Hot baths are a terrific option for heat therapy. The moist heat from the bath water will warm and relax sore and tired muscles in addition to providing a peaceful rest to relieve stress. Fill the bath as hot as desired, add any products you wish to enhance the therapeutic experience, and simply jump in and enjoy! Try using an exfoliation brush both before and in the bath for added skin care.
Topical ointments, creams, and gels can provide some relief from muscular pain.
The BioFreeze company makes an excellent line of products. We use BioFreeze Gel at the studio. The gel is applied and massaged into the affected area and provides a cooling affect to the muscles. A full line of products can be found at https://www.biofreeze.com/ and some items are available at retail outlets and on Amazon.com
Prossage Heat is a heating emollient that we also use at the studio. A small amount is dispensed into the palm and the hands rubbed together to activate the heating element. The affected area is then gently rubbed or massaged for deep muscle relief. Prossage Heat is available from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Prossage-Therapuetic-Massages-Aromatherapy-Mobilization/dp/B07DW414N6
Another terrific pain relieving element is the use of Arnica. Arnica is an herb well known for its healing properties. It is especially helpful for relief from soreness, swelling, and pain around joints that may lead to arthritis, osteoarthritis, and bursitis. Arnica is added to a product such as oil, cream, gel, or lotion that can then be applied to the affected area. Simply decide what type of carrier product you prefer best and look for one that contains Arnica. There are countless products available both in stores and online.
Epsom Salts can be added generously to the bath for
relief from muscle soreness. Basic Epsom Salts can be purchased just
sometimes being shelved in areas where first aid items are sold. It
in plain or scented varieties. Bubble Bath or Milk Bath products are
nice additions. Various product lines make higher end versions of bath
products. Calgon Scented Epsom Salts comes in a terrific Lavender and
version and is available at https://www.amazon.com/Calgon-Rejuvenating-Epsom-Lavender-48-Ounce/dp/B00O2CPVII/ref=sr_1_2?.
Dr. Teal’s product line makes accompanying Foaming Bath and Epsom Salt
combinations in a variety of scents. These products are available at
Pregnancy Self Care
Self care during and post pregnancy is vital for the best comfort and security of both mom and the baby. Self care during the first trimester should include calming and restorative techniques to prepare your body for the weeks and months ahead of carrying your little one. As you reach the second trimester you may want to focus on techniques that will support areas that may feel weakened or sore due to the body’s changes and adaptations required for pregnancy. These areas typically include mid and lower back, hips, glutes, and legs. These areas may become strained from carrying extra weight and subsequent forward leaning. As you reach the third and final trimester your body begins to prepare itself for the actual birthing process. This can result in increased pain and tension in all the previous mentioned areas as well as in the abdomen due to the baby taking up more space, the legs and feet due to decreased circulation and even decreased lung capacity. As joints loosen later in the pregnancy, overextension in the extremities and the pelvic region can result in increased pain and tension. Post pregnancy it is important to support those areas that have experienced built up tension throughout the pregnancy and avoiding repetitive positioning and habits that can build up new tension. Your body will be undergoing so many changes it is very important to practice some self care for optimal health and wellness.
Regular and frequent exercise is very important during pregnancy. Exercise can help strengthen the muscles most affected by pregnancy and childbirth including those in the pelvic floor, abdomen, and lower back. It can help maintain good respiration, circulation, and posture. Exercise can also ease common discomforts such as constipation, heartburn, shortness of breath, leg cramps, fatigue, swollen ankles, and insomnia. In addition to all of these physical benefits regular exercise can also help decrease mental stress and fatigue. The best exercise during pregnancy should include low-impact aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling, low-impact aerobics, dance, elliptical machines, exercise bikes, and swimming.
Proper stretching is very important for relief of pain and tension as well as a way to prepare the body for both labor and birth. Refer to our Stretching section for techniques and videos broken down by areas of the body.
There are many forms of non-aerobic exercise that can also be very beneficial during pregnancy including Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi. Yoga classes have become a very popular form of exercise and care during pregnancy and can be a wonderful addition to your self care regimen. Most yoga studios, fitness centers, and online platforms can be resources for specific pregnancy yoga classes. Yoga during pregnancy can provide some much needed mental relief and stress reduction in addition to strengthening the core muscles in the abdomen, pelvic floor, back, and the postural muscles. It may also improve flexibility, balance, breathing, and mental focus. Please reference our Yoga section for some yoga routine ideas.
Icing and Heating
The application of ice and heat can be very helpful for pain and tension during pregnancy. The only important things to remember is that heat should always be moist heat and not dry heat such as a heating pad, and heat should never be applied directly to the abdomen as it could be dangerous for the baby. Refer to our Icing and Heating Section for more detailed information.
Headaches & Migraines
You may often experience frequent headaches and migraines during pregnancy due to hormonal changes, physical and emotional stress, or simply from tight and painful upper back, shoulder, and neck muscles. You may experience these even if you normally did not experience them pre-pregnancy. Refer to our Headache/Migraine section for a full list of techniques, tips, and suggestions.
Foot Pain and Tension
You may experience pain, tension, or swelling in the legs and feet, especially later in the pregnancy due to decreased circulation. Various leg and foot techniques can help to reduce tension and bring some much needed relief and comfort. Refer to our Plantar Fasciitis/Foot Techniques section for a full list of techniques, tips, and suggestions for care to these areas.
Arms & Hands
Arms and hands can carry a lot of extra tension during pregnancy. This can stem from tight muscles in the shoulders, upper back, and neck. Some also experience pregnancy induced carpal tunnel symptoms which can be alleviated with stretching and self care techniques. Refer to our Arm/Hand Techniques section for a full list of techniques, tips, and suggestions for care to these areas.
Taking time for YOU and escaping from the constant stress, mental exhaustion, and lack of sleep during pregnancy can be tough but taking the time to do so has countless benefits for both you and the precious cargo you are carrying. Meditation, deep breathing techniques, and listening to relaxing music can be great places to start. Refer to our Meditation section for a full list of techniques, tips, and suggestions for meditative care.