Pain relief

Smoking, Depression, and Chronic Pain

If you need one more reason to quit smoking, add this to your list: smokers are more likely to have both acute and chronic pain. In fact, even after they quit, former smokers tend to have more pain than those who have never smoked.

Researchers have long known about the association between smoking and chronic pain. However, there is an important question to consider: is smoking the cause of the pain or do those who are in pain turn to smoking to self-medicate?

How Massage Therapists Can Work Smarter Instead of Harder

It's no secret that being a massage therapist is physically demanding. Many therapists leave the field prematurely while others work in pain, leading to job dissatisfaction, resentment, and possible injury. Beginning therapists often ask what they can do about work-related pain and how to avoid it. They are often told to "work smarter, not harder," but are seldom told exactly what that means. There are many ways in which a therapist might "work smarter" and probably many suggestions that seasoned therapists could give newer colleagues. These are some of my own ideas, given in no particular order.

Show up ready for the job

Why Massage With Warm Flax Pillows?

Whether you call it thermal therapy, Hot DNM, or Pillossage, using warm flax pillows for massage is absolutely delicious!

Those who know me will know that I don't go for fads or gimmicks, but when I recently got to spend a week giving and receiving massage with warm flax pillows in a Hot DNM class, my reaction was, "Oh my goodness, this is amazing!" It feels really, really good and it is great for places where you feel tight and achy.

Pillossage is the brainchild of Karen Kowal, a registered nurse who became a massage therapist. A number of years ago she began to make flax seed filled eye pillows and larger flax seed pillows to be used for hot or cold packs. She called her pillow making business Mother Earth Pillows. Somewhere along the way, she got the idea of using the pillows for massage and Pillossage was born.

Easy Online Purchase of Massage Gift Certificates!

Online purchase of gift certificates is easy! It only takes a few minutes, a laptop, and a credit card. Print it out yourself or have it emailed directly to the recipient. You can send a gift certificate for massage from anywhere in the world!

The simplest instruction is to go to our home page and click on "Buy a Gift Certificate Online Now" located at the top right corner. During the month of December you'll also see a red bow there. Follow the prompts on the following pages.

If you get lost or confused anywhere along the way, easy step by step instructions are given below.

We really thank you for your business and we'll take very good care of your recipient!

~ Alice Sanvito, Licensed Massage Therapist

To purchase gift certificates online:

Go to the home page and click on "Buy a Gift Certificate Online Now" in the upper right hand corner and follow the instructions. (During December, you'll also see a red bow.)

Basic Russian Massage Strokes: Continuous Vibration on the Back

This is part II of a two-part video giving a brief demonstration of continuous flat effleurage and vibration on the back. Part I showed the effleurage; Part II demonstrates continuous vibration on the back.

Although vibration exists in Swedish massage, it seems to be seldom used. This is a shame because it is such a useful stroke. In Russian massage, we have very specific ways of doing the strokes. This video will give you an idea of exactly how we do it in Russian massage.

Self-Help for the Hand, Wrist, Elbow, Forearm, Through Novel Movements

Musicians. Computer users. Massage therapists.  What do they have in common? They all use their hands and arms a lot in very repetitive ways. Anyone suffering from tight forearms, carpal tunnel syndrome, elbow pain, or wants to avoid those problems should take note.

We have habits and tend to move in limited ways. Our muscles develop habits. We use muscles in certain ways and neglect other muscles by not using them. Those unused muscles can end up going "dormant." If you've ever been in physical therapy, you may have had the experience of your PT giving you deceptively "easy" exercises that are impossible to do! That's because some of your muscles have become inactive. Those exercises are designed to wake them back up, to neurologically program them to start functioning again.

Our muscles are controlled by the nervous system. Every movement we make, every muscle fiber that is fired, is caused by the nervous system instructing it to contract or relax. Ultimately, the brain controls everything.