Ask the Massage Therapist

AMTA Calls on The View to Treat Massage Therapists With Respect

On June 24, 2010, commentators on ABC TV's program The View turned a discussion about recent allegations against former Vice-President Al Gore into a general discussion about massage therapy and massage therapists. The conversation quickly degenerated into a smear of massage therapists and slandered an entire population of licensed professionals.

In response, the American Massage Therapy Association sent a statement from President Kathleen Miller-Read to the producers of the show. You can read the AMTA's response in full:
AMTA Calls on The View to Treat Massage Therapists With Respect

You can watch the segment of The View and leave your own comments. If you have benefitted from massage therapy and agree that their remarks regarding massage therapists are inaccurate and insulting, please let them know.


Support The Folk School & Support Your Health!

Are you a "friend" of the Folk School of St. Louis? During the next month you can help to support the Folk School and support your health at the same time!

Book an appointment with me for a massage between June 15, 2010, and July 15, 2010, and mention that you are a "friend of the Folk School." A portion of each appointment will be donated to the Folk School - $10 for each one hour appointment, $5 for each half hour appointment.

This offer includes gift certificates (good for 6 months) and there is no limit to the number of appointments or gift certificates. To book an appointment, leave a message at 314-670-0650 or send an email to:

Sign up on my Facebook page, Massage St. Louis, and stay informed of other promotions, classes, and events.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Massage?

Swedish massage. Deep tissue massage. Sports massage. Russian massage. Trigger point therapy. What are they and how are they different? If you are a client looking for a massage, how do you know what to ask for?

You don't necessarily need to know the name of a specific technique but you do want to be clear about your goal. When a new client walks into my office, I ask them what brought them in and what do they want to get out of their session? Some want to relax. Others have some sort of pain that they'd like to get rid of. Still others want to improve their performance. By understanding the client's goal, I can tailor the session to their specific needs. However, people do frequently ask the question, "What is the difference between these different kinds of massages?"

What Is The Right Kind Of Massage?

Massage is an ancient healing art that has been practiced in every culture. Captain Cook once described how his back pain was successfully treated with massage by the native people of Hawaii during his stay in the islands.

Massage has evolved and taken many paths and continues to evolve during these modern times. With so many names and philosophies, how does a client know which is the right kind of massage for them? And how does the therapist know what is the right kind of massage for the client? Sports massage, Swedish massage, Russian massage, acupressure, deep tissue massage . . . there are so many different kinds of massage. I'll discuss some general categories in another article but for now I want to talk specifically about what I mean when I say that the right kind of massage can be very effective, while the wrong kind of massage will, at the very least, be ineffective and, at worst, cause symptoms to worsen.

Benefits of Massage Therapy

If you've ever had a massage, you know that you can start to feel better within minutes. We are biologically wired to respond to welcome human touch. The massage therapist begins to spread oil over your back. Skilled hands begin to massage tight muscles. Right away, you feel better and begin to slip into a state of relaxation. That alone is worth the price of admission. But there's more!

People come to massage for a variety of reasons. Many come primarily for relaxation and wellness. Experts estimate that at least 80% of doctor office visits are for health problems that are caused or aggravated by stress. Headaches, backaches, and many other of life's most common complaints are aggravated by stress. Anything we can do to counteract and alleviate the effect of stress is going to have a beneficial effect on our health. In The End of Stress As We Know It, author Bruce McEwen describes the effects that chronic exposure to stress hormones have on the body. Among other things, continued elevated levels of these hormones lead to higher cholesterol, a higher incidence of Type II diabetes, and increased accumulation of belly fat.

Massage For Couples Class: 6/12/10 & 7/10/10

Have you ever wanted to do massage at home with your partner but didn't know where to start? Do you try doing massage but get tired quickly? Are you wondering how to please your partner, who keeps asking for “harder,” without hurting yourself? If so, you need to take one of the Massage for Couples classes I'll be teaching at Forest Park Community College on June 12 and July 10.

This one day, 5 1/2 hour class is meant to give nonprofessionals the basic skills to do massage for relaxation at home. While we can't teach you to be a massage therapist in one day, you should leave the class feeling confident that you and your partner can begin to enjoy sharing massage with each other at home. "Couples" can be any two individuals, not just spouses, but you must register for the class in pairs. Friends, roommates, teammates, and family members are welcome to participate.

Check Out My New Web Site:!

Yes, this semi-Luddite has finally been dragged into the 21st century. Check out my new Web site at Make sure you include the dash and skip the period in stlouis or you'll get directed somewhere else.

More and more people are turning to the internet to find goods and services and my clients are no exception. Many new people find me through the internet and it's important to have at least a minimum of Web presence. I finally turned to Jean Probert, illustrator-designer, to help create a Web site for my business.

Jean has been the creative force behind those beautiful business cards, magnets, and postcards that many of you have admired during the last ten years. She is highly skilled, creative, and knows me well enough that the end results are a good reflection of who I am and what I want to convey. She patiently walked me through the steps of creating a Web site, kept me on task, and contributed helpful suggestions along the way. She was not only Web designer but editor and proof reader, too.

“That Was Awesome!”

“That was awesome!” This was the comment most frequently heard during the two hours I was doing minimassages on a constant stream of girls ranging in age from 5 years to around 12 years old. A couple of adults and teens snuck unto the line, too.

The event was called Girls In The Know and, in its first year, had 500 little girls and their moms sign up in advance. Several St. Louis massage therapists, including myself, were asked to volunteer at the event.

I’ve worked many events over the years: the Working Women’s Survival Show, Earth Day, the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, and numerous health fairs, to name a few. When I walked into this event, though, and saw a sea of little girls, I thought, “Oh my goodness, this is going to be different!” To be honest, I was a little intimidated at first. I’m accustomed to working with adults at these events; what was it going to be like having scores of very young girls line up at my table? Well, I’m always up for an adventure.

Musicians – Small Muscle Athletes

I once read an article about musculoskeletal pain among professional musicians. A survey of several thousand symphony musicians revealed that approximately 80% of them suffered from either chronic or intermittent pain directly related to their profession. The highest incidence was reported among the violinists. This was not surprising since they not only hold their instrument in a position that is challenging to the muscles, but they spend more time playing than any other instrument in an orchestra. Other instruments often get breaks or play only intermittently but in most orchestral pieces, the violins play most of the time.

Musicians are small muscle athletes. Their profession requires endurance, strength, and precision. The right kind of massage can help them play with less pain and more agility.

When muscles are tight, movement is inhibited. When muscles are in pain, they become tense and there is less control. Maintaining maximum range of motion and eliminating pain allows a musician to play in comfort and can improve performance.