13 Things You Didn't Know About Massage
Only 32% of adult Americans got a massage in the past 5 years. And only even fewer get massage regularly. So it's not surprising that most people don't know much about massage. 
Here are some fun facts to build your knowledge:
Massage can help you sleep better. (Even if you don't nap during the actual massage.) 
When your back hurts, that might not be the only area that needs massage. Sometimes back pain comes from the hip, legs or even the abdomen.
Likewise, sometimes hand and arm pain is caused by dysfunction in the neck and shoulder. The body is so crazy and weird and neat-o!
You can stop a massage session at any time. You never cede control of your body. At any time during a massage you can say "no", "stop", or even "can you just work on my neck for the rest of the time and skip everything else?" If you are uncomfortable or feel like the therapist isn't hearing your feedback, or if you just feel like the table is too hard and you have to pee and gosh, this is awful. You can end it.
Massage can help your mood. It's been shown to be helpful in treating both anxiety and depression.  
Even small therapists can provide deeeeep pressure. It's not about size, it's about the techniques we use!
Massage doesn't 'detoxify' your body. That whole thing is a silly myth. It was taught in many schools and you may have heard me say it, back before I knew better. But we know now that it's just not true.
Massage is safe in the first trimester of pregnancy (unless there are unusual health issues).  Some practitioners choose to not do it, but that's a liability choice. 
Deep tissue massage, or any massage, doesn't need to be painful to be effective. For reals. Run screaming from any practitioner who insists there needs to be pain in a treatment.
Scars are living tissue that can be transformed with massage and other manual therapies, no matter how old they are. And they can be affecting you in places farther away from the visible scar than you'd ever suspect. 
It's OK to focus on certain areas of discomfort and not always get a full body session. If you only want your arms massaged, that's fine, too.
Your massage therapist loves feedback. We like to know if you hate having your feet touched, and if you looove having your ears massaged. We like knowing your musical preference and if you prefer to start face down or face up.
We're also cool if you just want to chill and let us use our judgement to design the treatment.

7 Ways to Indulge in Procrastination

In many ways “procrastination” is a naughty word. To some it implies laziness, being unmotivated, distracted, unfocused and countless other trigger words. It means that we aren’t getting the things done and we are failing as contributing adults. Now maybe that’s an exaggeration, but maybe it’s not. The point is we heap a bunch of responsibilities and pressure on ourselves. There is always a deadline and there is always the next thing to complete. But where is the real procrastination? More often than not we are procrastinating on our self-care and the things that really matter. This National Procrastination Week (March 5-11) we are all about the holiday that is devoted to putting things off and delaying those oh-so-important tasks. The focus for this holiday isn’t inactivity, but in being active in getting a mental and emotional break which will lead to decreased stress and anxiety. And as massage therapists, we are all about that. Here are a few ways you can indulge in procrastination. (Don’t worry, all that other stuff will still be there when you’re done.) Read: Ahhh, a good book - there’s nothing like it. No matter the genre, reading is the quickest escape route into another land. Once you pass through that portal there’s no turning back. And if business or finance books are more your speed, there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes the escape is in learning something new. Grab your library card or pay your local athenaeum a visit. Many great reads await you. Create: Is there a hobby or enjoyable activity you’ve been putting off? Now is a good time to pick it up. Bake your favorite cookies. Cook a meal that reminds you of someone special. Knit a scarf. Write in a journal. Paint a canvas, an end table, or a masterpiece. Whatever your “thing” is lose yourself in it. Clean: Raise your hand if you procrastinate on doing dishes and laundry. (*raises hand*) While some find household chores relaxing, others can’t stand them or just never seem to have the time for them. Cleaning has become a “hurry up and get it over with” activity. Slow down a little and do the dishes by hand. Even if you don’t find it relaxing, you’ll walk away with a little more gratitude for the modern-day luxuries. Exercise: In some instances, exercise has become another chore. We do it because we know we need to and it will keep us fit and healthy. Sometimes we don’t see the benefit until it’s over and working out becomes another task we must complete. Try approaching exercise in a new way. Find something you enjoy doing. Something you can look forward to. Try yoga or meditation (for those with busy minds, keep a notebook nearby to jot down fleeting thoughts) or go for a walk on a new trail or in a different neighborhood. Just get out there and move. Drink: Drink coffee. Drink tea. Drink margaritas. Get dressed up for a night on the town or dress down for a night in. Fly solo or invite a friend. For some, socializing recharges their batteries while others find energy in solitude. Do what suits you and I promise you’ll feel refreshed. Nap: Find the nearest hammock, couch or shade. Sleep is essential and we don’t get nearly enough. The benefits of sleep range from improved memory, sparked creativity, improved athletic performance and weight loss to lower anxiety and depression levels. Granted getting a good night’s sleep won’t prevent you from all disease, but quality sleep is a key factor in a healthy lifestyle. Massage: It’s no surprise that our favorite way to indulge in procrastination is through massage. We would start and finish our day with a massage if we could. The mental and physical break in a treatment room cannot be beat. And if you’re still feeling the need to be productive, multitask by scheduling a massage and nap while you are there! In case you didn’t pick up on it, procrastination week is also about changing habits. It’s about incorporating enjoyable activities in our busy, stressed out lives. It’s about finding some peace while being productive and keeping things in balance. Being riddled with daily stress and anxiety serves no one. Especially you.

Massage and Anxiety

Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults in a given year. Anxiety is described as a feeling of dread, fear, or apprehension often with no clear justification. Most people experience symptoms of anxiety at one time or another, but for those with a disorder, normal daily life is often interrupted and limited. A few common anxiety disorders are panic disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social phobia (Social Anxiety), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While there are varying symptoms with each, many physiological responses overlap with the different disorders. Many people are able to function with symptoms while others are unable cope with them. Some disorders manifest with physical symptoms like sleeping problems, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, nausea, sweating or dry mouth. Others are purely emotional, denoted by excessive, unrealistic worry, feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness. Usually, there’s a combination of physical and emotional symptoms.
Massage may help anxiety 
The American Massage Therapy Association has adopted a position statement based on research findings asserting that “massage therapy can assist in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.” It goes on to say that massage may reduce symptoms of anxiety in women in labor, psychiatric patients, cancer patients, patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, children with illnesses, and many more types of clients. The effects of massage therapy include reduced blood pressure, slowed/regulated breathing, and a slower pulse rate. If increased heart rate and rapid breathing are symptoms of anxiety massage therapy may have a positive effect. Simply taking time to relax and removing yourself from the busy-ness of daily life can be helpful in handling some kinds of anxiety. Those with more complicated anxiety issues may benefit from regular massage in conjunction with talk therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.
Ask questions
 If you are unsure about trying massage to help your anxiety, ask questions. Call me and we can talk about your experience with massage and how it may help you. Check in with your health care provider and your therapist or counselor. (Be sure to let me know if they would like more information about massage and anxiety, I can provide that!) When you’re ready, we’ll schedule an appointment and you can see firsthand how massage may help you
Four ways to keep stress at bay

As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and warmer weather of Aprilthere can be a bit of a dark cloudhanging in the spring skyOften the first few weeks of the month are a rush of receipts and 1040s as theApril 15 Tax deadline loomsand a rush of new schedules as the kids sports seasons fire upMaybe thatswhy April is Stress Awareness Monthto remind us to take care of ourselvesand not let stress gounchecked.

Meditation
Meditation does not have to be about pretzeled legschantingand reaching enlightenmentIt can simply beabout creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxedJust one minute60seconds of meditationcan dramatically improve your moodyour productivity and the quality of your day.

Exercise
It can be tough to make time for exercise when the schedule gets tight and tensions get highBut that's whenit becomes even more importantExercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatiguepainandmoodinessIf you can't make time for daily workouttry to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part ofyour dayA little goes a long way when you need it.

Giggle and hum
Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressureIn factthis study in 2011 showed that 3 months oflaughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-saltdietlosing 10 poundsor taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication
So cue up the "Who's on first?" or dance around with your kids while making dinner and work some gigglingand humming into your day.

Massage
Regular massage can improve sleeprelieve headachesreduce muscle painand improve moodsPlus,massage feels goodWhen you feel goodyou play morework more efficientlyand take better care of thepeople you loveSchedule a massage now to prepare for a busy (and funspring!

Commit to taking care of yourself this springYou may be surprised with the results.