Hi there,

Welcome to my new blog page!

I would like to share my experience and knowledge about the Massage field in the six years I’ve been a Qualified Massage Therapist.

This page is a new direction, a new beginning and I’m looking forward to the challenges and the big steps I need to take.

I have some amazing people in my life, turn up out of the blue who have been so generous with their time, expertise and energy, and given it freely!!

To these incredible people I’d like to say a big THANK YOU, and I look forward to honoring you by working as hard and as smart as I can to build my business, simply by doing what I do, the rest seems to follow doesn’t it?

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What Can/Should I Do Between Treatments?

Recently a client asked what he could do between treatments to help himself return to full health again- ‘Can I stretch or do any specific exercises?’ he asked.

Stretches and exercises are great if you have fully functioning muscles, but as he was seeing me for treatments this was obviously not the case.

His muscles were already over stretched and over worked, further stretching and exercises would only make things worse.

First we had to get his muscles working correctly, free of knots and tightness, and only then could we talk about exercises and stretches.

The best thing to do is REST!

After such a deep remedial treatment the muscles need time to heal.

1. Heat pack or hot water bottle on the areas of concern

2. REST- no heavy physical activity while undergoing a course of treatments while the muscles heal and return to full function, then talk with your Therapist about when the best time is for you to return to exercising again.

3. Gentle walking may be fine, depending on the area of concern (eg; if legs or lower back are the areas being treated then walking would not be a good idea at this point)

Always talk to your Therapist if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for reading 🙂

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Self Care for Massage Therapists

A Massage Therapist gives a lot during a treatment; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually You must take care of your own well being so you can keep giving your best when treating clients.

It’s a hard, physically demanding job working as a Therapist. It can be physically exhausting; bending, and stretching, applying the pressure, standing over a massage table (even at the correct height, it still requires some bending), and the emotional and spiritual strain can drain you.

Some ways to look after you-

– keep table as the correct height for you. If you work with an electric table, even better.

– make sure your posture is correct- back straight as you bend,

– tummy muscle pulled in to support your lower back,

– use your legs too for support,

– shoulders back while working on a client

– head in the correct position too- we have a tendency to look up                                                               as we work on a client

-remember  ‘chin tuck’, keep your chin towards your chest, this way your neck doesn’t feel too much strain.

comfortable clothes and good shoes– these are appropriate for our professional appearance too

wash hands thoroughly after each client and before each client

– before beginning a treatment ‘seal’ yourself in white light ( I do this while I rub the oil between my hands before applying to the client; it only takes a fraction of a secound, the client won’t even notice)to protect yourself and your client from transfer of personal energy- remember you are a channel for the ‘universal’ energy, not the actual energy itself.

– drink plenty of water during your work day, before and after clients

eat well and regularly during your work day- small snacks, enough to keep your energy levels up and remain mentally alert

use ‘good’ oil– organic if possible, for the benefit of the client as well as for yourself- you have your hands in it all day so its important to have the good stuff.

Also

– a regular massage for you!!- to keep your back, neck and shoulders physically well and to keep the energy channels clear and moving freely (among other benefits of course)

– to balance the ‘giving’ with some ‘taking’- between clients, walk on the grass in bare feet, read a book, stare at the clouds, lay on the massage table and ‘let go’ for a few minutes (5 minutes is all it takes), to recharge the batteries.

– plenty of ‘me’ time – a balance of work and play

                                If you don’t look after you, you can’t look after your clients!!

Thanks for reading

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Remedial Massage Treatment Program

Its important to keep the healing momentum going, or it will slip backwards, or not heal quickly enough and the condition stays the same. As the number of  ‘good days’ between treatments  increases then time between treatments can be increased.

After the first Massage Treatment,  a client may feel a bit woozy and light headed, that’s perfectly normal, and the sign of a good, deep treatment.

Then weekly treatments are recommended-perhaps for the next 2-3 weeks, but can be up to and beyond 6-8, depending on the original injury/condition and rate of healing.

then fortnightly, then three weekly, before going onto a monthly maintenance program.

In more detail-

In the first few days you may –

-you may feel completely amazing, full of energy and on top of the world!!!

sometimes though you can

-feel a light tender, especially in those areas which showed up as tight and congested during the treatment; that’s okay, the body now needs time to do what it does best-heal

or

– you may feel a bit worse, like we’ve stirred things up a bit, that’s ok too. What we are looking for is ‘a difference’ in the discomfort of the original condition- you may be sore in places you weren’t originally,  so we know we have worked on the right areas

and

– you may feel a bit tired and/or weary. This is the body working, to eliminate the toxins release from tight muscle.

What to do

–  plenty of water in the next few hours,

–  if it is possible go home and rest.

– no heavy physical activity in the next few days, (that includes gym work and any physio exercises, housework, mowing lawns, etc)

 Allow the body time to heal.

 

Then, during the next few days-

– you feel an improvement in the original condition- more movement, flexibility, less pain/discomfort.

-this may last for a few days or it may last longer.

Next-

– you may feel the original pain/discomfort returning.

Muscle has memory so will return to the original position/tightness without follow up treatments- it’s how the body works/heals; it takes time for the healing process to kick in, to get up to speed, to work on those problem areas.

So-

– weekly treatments, for  2-3 weeks will increase the number of days you feel better to 4-5 days, and then 6-7, til you get to the point where your  weekly treatment is due and feel like you don’t need it.

This is the time to lengthen the treatment time to every two weeks, then as the days further increase, to three weeks and after that quickly onto monthly  maintenance program.

Always talk to your therapist about any concerns or questions, they are there to help you!

Thanks for reading!! 🙂

 

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Should a Remedial Massage Hurt?

This question has come a couple of times recently so, I thought I’d put this blog together.

The short answer is, it shouldn’t.

Any ‘manual’ therapy can hurt; a therapist is working, hands on, with your tight muscle/s, with the intention of loosening them, which means they will be working on areas that are already causing you discomfort, so it may hurt,  but it doesn’t have to hurt, and it shouldn’t.

You, as a client, MUST always have control of how much pressure is too much!!!!

The ‘no pain, no gain’ doesn’t not apply for Remedial Massage, if fact it can have the opposite effect.

As a Therapist, I explain to clients at the beginning of each and every treatment (no matter how many times the client returns) and also regularly throughout the treatment, about the ‘pain threshold’.

This is the point where you feel the pressure is getting too uncomfortable, you start tensing up, and the point where the client speaks up and say it’s too much- I then back the pressure off a little, returning to within the ‘comfort zone’, while knowing that this is also a key area which needs extra attention to loosen stubborn muscles, but we need to go a little more slowly and carefully here too.

I believe it is very important to work within a clients pain threshold. If the client tenses up under TOO much pressure, then

– we are working on contracted muscle, which will mean we will not be able to release the original tightness

– the client will only feel more uncomfortable, and feel ‘bruised’ the next day

-the client has already become physically and emotionally resistant to the treatment

Muscle only loosens when relaxed, in a passive state. The therapist works on the muscle, releasing the muscle fibres, which make up a muscle, allwoing blood to flow, bring the ‘good, healing’ cells to the area, stretching the muscle while in this passive state.

Muscle cannot be loosened when it is contracted, while the client is in pain and discomfort due to too much pressure during a treatment.

Client Has Control-

– you MUST always be in control of the amount of pressure

-as a therapist we can gauge about how much to use but not to the point where we can guess how much discomfort you are in.

-you as a client MUST speak up if it is hurting too much

– do not silently accept too much pressure, the therapist needs to know, even if they don’t ask you.

If You Don’t Have Control-

-you could feel worse than the original condition/discomfort- you could feel really awful over the next few days (little is normal but too much is not good for the body to heal, and you may feel very bruised and uncomfortable)

-you may feel really nauseous after the treatment (again, a little is normal, because toxins are released into the system)

-feel too light headed after the treatment (a little is also normal)

-this will not accelerate your healing- ‘no pain’ is not ‘no gain’

(see previous blog on this blog page called ‘How Healing Progresses’).

All of the above is normal at low levels, and are actually signs that you have had a good, deep treatment.

(drink plenty of water after a treatment, rest for the next few days, and make sure you continue the treatment program- see a previous blog ‘Remedial Massage Treatment Program) for further information)

An hour of Remedial Massage treatment with pressure above your comfort zone is not the way a Remedial Massage has to, or should be. 

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How Often Should I have a Massage Treatment

After the first Massage Treatment,  a client may feel a bit woozy and light headed, that’s perfectly normal, and the sign of a good, deep treatment.

Then weekly treatments are recommended-perhaps for the next 2-3 weeks, but can be up to and beyond 6-8, depending on the original injury/condition and rate of healing.

then fortnightly, then three weekly, before going onto a monthly maintenance program.

In more detail-

In the first few days you may –

-you may feel completely amazing, full of energy and on top of the world!!!

sometimes though you can

-feel a light tender, especially in those areas which showed up as tight and congested during the treatment; that’s okay, the body now needs time to do what it does best-heal

or

– you may feel a bit worse, like we’ve stirred things up a bit, that’s ok too. What we are looking for is ‘a difference’ in the discomfort of the original condition- you may be sore in places you weren’t originally,  so we know we have worked on the right areas

and

– you may feel a bit tired and/or weary. This is the body working, to eliminate the toxins release from tight muscle.

What to do

–  plenty of water in the next few hours,

–  if it is possible go home and rest.

– no heavy physical activity in the next few days, (that includes gym work and any physio exercises, housework, mowing lawns, etc)

 Allow the body time to heal.

 

Then, during the next few days-

– you feel an improvement in the original condition- more movement, flexibility, less pain/discomfort.

-this may last for a few days or it may last longer.

Next-

– you may feel the original pain/discomfort returning.

Muscle has memory so will return to the original position/tightness without follow up treatments- it’s how the body works/heals; it takes time for the healing process to kick in, to get up to speed, to work on those problem areas.

So-

– weekly treatments, for  2-3 weeks will increase the number of days you feel better to 4-5 days, and then 6-7, til you get to the point where your  weekly treatment is due and feel like you don’t need it.

This is the time to lengthen the treatment time to every two weeks, then as the days further increase, to three weeks and after that quickly onto monthly  maintenance program.

Always talk to your therapist about any concerns or questions, they are there to help you!

Thanks for reading!! 🙂

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Massage and Cancer

Alternative Massage Treatment for Cancer Patients
From the time of the initial diagnosis and continuing throughout treatment, cancer patients experience a gamut of emotions that include anxiety and fear. Whether diagnosed with breast or colon cancer or mesothelioma, patients then typically endure a barrage of treatments that often include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Treatments cause discomfort, fatigue and physical illness, which elevate anxiety and stress levels. Massage therapy offers multiple benefits that include relaxation and alleviation from anxiety, pain, and stress. Biological chemicals released during massage also help manage pain symptoms.

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Cancer patients receiving massage therapy state the activity reduces levels of overall anxiety and especially helps when performed before uncomfortable treatments. Studies suggest that massage also alleviates symptoms of depression. Patients also claim that massage also reduces the amount of cancer related pain, muscle tension pain, and pain from treatments. Various studies suggest that gentle massage also proves beneficial for reducing nausea in cancer patients. Cancer patients often experience fatigue and decreased energy levels. Discomfort and stress often disrupts sleep patterns preventing restful sleep. Reducing muscle tension and pain through massage promotes relaxation and the ability of achieving restful sleep.

Cancer patients also often experience lymphatic blockage from tumors, surgery, or cancer treatments. Any of these scenarios may inhibit lymph flow by impeding the normal lymph vessel paths. This condition causes redness, swelling and pain in various locations throughout the body but most often in the extremities. Manual lymph drainage through gentle rhythmic massage reverses these symptoms and stimulates the immune system by promoting normal flow.

Biology of Massage Therapy

Massaging muscles and connective tissue enhances blood flow and subsequently increases oxygen supplied to the area. Manipulating soft tissue and the nerves serving the area induce the release of chemicals that include adenosine triphosphate, lactic acid, and phosphocreatinine. These biochemicals play a role in regulating blood flow. Massaging and stretching muscle, triggers neural pathways and communication with the brain, which stimulates chemicals in the brain, causing pain sensation reduction and enhanced mood. Studies also indicate that patients anticipating the pleasant sensation of massage also exhibit brain stimulation.
Massage Techniques Required for Cancer Patients

Health care providers typically consider massage therapy administered by a licensed therapist beneficial for cancer patients. Oncology therapists modify massage treatments based on the needs of individual patients. Positioning, length, and intensity of treatment differ from patient to patient. Clients may experience bruising or swelling of tissue. Some might endure a reaction secondary to skin lubricants. There are various special considerations that accompany cancer patients, which include the location of the disease, prescription medications and overall skin condition. Therapists working with cancer patients should have advanced training and experience.

Patients having a low platelet count because of chemotherapy or patients taking anticoagulant medications require light touch only. These patients are more prone to bruising and possible internal hemorrhage. Patients having bone metastasis may experience fractures from deep tissue stimulation techniques. Some patients have dermatitis or open wounds secondary to radiation therapy, which not only intensify overall discomfort but also serve as portals for infection. Therapists should also avoid contact over areas containing a tumor.

By Melanie L Bowen of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

About the author- ‘I joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. You will often find me highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. I also assist in social media outreach in my efforts to spread awareness.’

Melanie is passionate about this subject and, given the debate around Massage Therapy for Cancer Patients, it is important reading.

To see more of Melanie L Bowen, go to the link below-

http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/melanie/

 

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Muscles and Exercise

We know exercise is important for us, mentally and physically. When muscles are in good condition (not tight and congested) this is how exercise is good for our ‘insides’ too.

Here is a post from one of my favourite ‘follows’- Anne Stucker- she can be found at this link. Please follow her too.

http://annesturetucker.com/2012/06/11/muscles-reward-exercise/

Muscles Reward Exercise

11June2012

I found this very interesting interview with Professor Dr. Med Bente Klarlund Pedersen in one of the Danish newspapers, Politiken (the Danish Article).

Professor (Dr. Med.) Bente Klarlund Pedersen is the director of Copenhagen Muscle Research Center and her focus is on inflammation and metabolism(CIM)

Her results are very interesting to us looking to improve health and balance our lives. For example, her early research has shown that there is a connection between physical activity and the immune system.

She shows that our muscles are not alone making us capable of moving around, but work similarly to other organs producing hormone-like compounds – important for our overall health. She has shown that muscles work like vital organs setting “turbo-on” conversion of sugar and fat during exercise.

Another really interesting point that Dr. Klarlund has found is that in people who are not physically active, not only do their muscles deteriorate, but lack of exercise also makes them more prone to diabetes, heart disease, dementia, cancer, osteoporosis and depression. She is focusing her research to find out how inactivity can be connected to so many different lifestyle diseases.

Her basis research shows that muscles not only get messages from the nerves, but also communicate through many hormone-like compounds. Thus, muscles work like organs. Some of their research experiments with people paralyzed from the neck and down showed that by stimulating their muscles, they could achieve the same positive effects as if they had been exercising! Their bodies burned sugar and fat and they could even experience “Runner’s high” even though they were paralyzed and not physical active in any way.

In another experiment, they asked a group of people to limit their activities to walk a maximum of 1.500 steps a day – where 10.000 steps would be the norm. The results showed that lots of things happened – for example, they lost 1.2 kg muscle mass. They became insulin resistant which is the stage before diabetes. When they consumed fat, the fat remained longer in the body and built up around the inner organs – in just 2 weeks!!!

Her own 2 sons were part of the study and she explains how they, during the research, became irritable and short-fused. This gave her the idea to the next study she did. She teamed up with Neorospychologists to research how peoples’ focus and ability to concentrate changed when they didn’t get exercise. They are still collecting data but preliminary results show, as they expected, that it is more difficult to concentrate and focus when we do not exercise.

Professor Dr. Bente Klarlund Pedersen recommends a minimum of 1/2 hr of exercise every day. Some of her new research also points out that exercising helps to keep muscles stay younger for longer.

I find her research interesting on so many levels –  when it comes to preventing disease, how exercise affects our levels of concentration and our performance. I  find it fascinating to read about research on how exercise affects our emotional health and well-being.

Dr. Pedersen is currently researching marathon runners – she says she is fascinated by the extremes – to find the difference in the people who exercise a lot – and the people who do little or no exercise.

It is exciting to see what comes of her research.

Thanks for reading Sunshine Coast Remedial  Massage blog followers, see you next post 🙂 Julie

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How Connecting has Helped Me Become a Better Therapist

While writing about my ‘connection’ theory recently (see previously blog), it struck me that not only have I been able to build stronger connections with my clients, it has also made me a better person, and in turn, I believe a better Therapist.

-by really connecting with a client you open yourself to new experiences and new people, this is a great way to learn, and keep learning; about work, and about life.

-you come out of College thinking you know all there is to know to go out into the world and heal everybody, one person at a time (or is that just me??). But of course this is not the case.

– I have found in fact that clients can ‘teach’ me, and have taught me more than I could ever learn through training.

-I have become more ‘aware’- a word that’s thrown about quite a bit, but by which I mean that I have had my eyes opened for me, by experience and time, treating a variety of conditions and pain/discomfort.

– I’ve become more compassionate- every client is so different, and learning that everybody heals, recovers at varying rates, and in fact that some don’t want to heal at all, that they have a vested interest in staying ‘sick’, and that this is no business of mine and I can only help them to a certain point, they need to help themselves.

-so learning to let go has been a lesson for me too. As a Therapist I ‘feel’ things more keenly (or is that just me again??), I guess because we are in a client’s personal space during a treatment.

-its ok to be ‘me’. If I am ‘me’ then clients have something tangible to connect with, something ‘real’. Its more comfortable for me to be ‘me’ and the client is more relaxed, especially being ‘under’ your hands, they can ‘feel’ what is right and what isn’t.

I’d love to hear what you think?

Thanks for reading :))

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What Am I Hiding Behind? Are You Hiding?

(this blog is also, like the ‘Connecting’ blog previously,  inspired by Krishna Everson’s ((https://www.facebook.com/HealthyMarketingBlueprint))  post on Facebook- ‘Come Out From Where You are  Hiding’ and be yourself)

Things have been happening lately -you know how the world synchronises to show you something!

Firstly, I read a post by Krishna Everson about ‘collaborating’ with other business people to help each other, which had me thinking about ‘connection’ and so the ‘Connection’ blog post was born.

Then I realised I didn’t really have a connection with my own blog page- it is all about work and theory which is okay, but there is no ‘me’ in it. Why?

After that I read Krishna’s post on Facebook (which I can’t seem to find now, weird!) asking us ‘What are we hiding behind, come out from behind there, and be you’ – (not a direct quote but the general jist.

I began thinking- Am I hiding ‘me’?

Since then my mind has been spinning- I realised that to be true to my ‘connection’ theory I would have to put more ‘me’ into my blog page; I would then feel more connected to it, and so would my readers.

But why am I hiding? Am I afraid that people might read the blog post, and they might be critical?

Well, I think if there are a few negative comments, then that can only be good, ‘it means I’ve stood up for something’ – a quote I read  recently.

If I can deal with critics as gracefully as Jeanne Treloar ( https://www.facebook.com/WitchWords ) did recently, then I am willing to stand up and be ‘me’.

I want to be counted as someone who believes passionately in the work she does and will speak up for it too.

I speak up when I’m face to face with clients everyday- my Code of Ethics says I must speak up.

So from now on ‘I am stepping out from behind’; putting ‘me’ forward, and, from a ‘heart’ place, speaking up for what I believe in!

Bring it on!!!!

Thanks for reading- I’d love to know how you feel about connecting, collaborating and steeping out from behind!

Subscribe and leave a comment!

You can also find me at  https://www.facebook.com/juliesremedialmassage

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