Russian Massage

At The Russian Baths With Zhenya Kurashova Wine or "Alice In BaniaLand"

My Russian Massage teacher, Zhenya Kurashova Wine, passed away recently. She'd been ill for awhile and so the news was expected. Still, I felt very sad. Another time, I will write more about her. For now, I find myself thinking about all the good times we had together. Zhenya was a remarkable woman, both professionally and personally, and she loved having a good time. She was fun to be with.

In 1997 she took a group of massage therapists to Moscow to see how massage is used in hospitals and clinics there. Although the time spent there was not long, it had a great impact on me. We spent the mornings and early afternoons at an orthopedic/sports medicine clinic. In the later afternoon and evenings, we did all sorts of fun things.

One of my friends publishes a small magazine and asked me to write up one of my experiences. It originally ran under the title "Alice In Banialand" and was accompanied by a lovely illustration of Alice in Wonderland and a character, a woman with a push broom, who appears in the story. I later published the story on a small website I had for a few years.

A Reader Asks About Swelling After Massage

Update on 4/5/13: Oddly, this has been one of my most popular articles. Apparently a significant number of people are looking up swelling and inflammation after massage therapy on google. Maybe massage therapists need to ease up a bit.

I might need to revise the language of this just a little, but my answer is still essentially the same. My clients don't seem to complain of this and while the reader insists the pressure was not too hard, I suspect it was either more than the body tolerated well or it was treated for too long. I'm not sure what else to say.

A reader asks:

I received a great massage about a week ago but the next day my lower back was swollen. Why would this happen? The massage was perfect pressure and she never hurt me at all. Can you please help me understand this?

Painless Deep Tissue Massage

An Oxymoron?

Painless deep tissue massage. Some people think it's an oxymoron. Many clients and therapists alike believe that in order for a massage to be therapeutic is has to be painful, that harder means deeper and better and more effective. They believe that the only way to affect deeper muscle tissue is to use a lot of pressure. I once thought this myself.

I am here to deliver some good news: massage does not have to be hard and painful to be effective and one does not have to inflict pain on the client in order to effect the deeper muscle tissues. In fact, the opposite is true. Too hard of pressure creates resistance in the body and pain only causes a stress response. I thank my Russian Massage teacher Zhenya Kurashova Wine for teaching me how to work effectively without causing discomfort to the client and how to do painless deep tissue massage.

Skilled Therapist!

Alice is a great therapist. She is knowledgeable, experienced and is very skilled in many different modalities, from sports massage to deep tissue and Russian technique. After suffering strained neck/back for 2 weeks with no improvement, I made an appointment with Alice following reading reviews of other clients regarding her skill and professionalism.

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.

Russian Massage Protocol for Fibromyalgia

Russian Massage is unique in that it is a system of massage entirely based on physiology. Developed in the former Soviet Union as a medical massage, sports massage, and part of their physical therapy, it is supported by over 150 years of serious scientific research. What this means is that they have investigated the various strokes and examined exactly what physiological changes each of these strokes, when done in various ways, produces in the body.

Natural Relief for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a poorly understood chronic pain condition that primarily afflicts women. Patients with fibromyalgia complain that they feel fatigued and ache all over as if they have the flu. They are generally otherwise healthy women and there seems no obvious reason for their pain. Many were very productive before they became afflicted. Symptoms can range from mild to severe but will persist for years. There is no known cause and there is no known cure.