” I only get a massage once a year as a birthday splurge .” ~ Anonymous
” I don’t indulge in this type of luxury often” ~ Anonymous
” I can’t afford it, or I would get one every month” ~ Anonymous
I hear you loud and clear! But let’s consider this from another angle, shall we?
When I hear the term treat, I think of it as something that is a reward. When I hear the term splurge, I think of something that was not necessary. It was an impulsive purchase.
Yes, massage can feel like a pampering treat most of the time. However, those moments when you feel like you’re having a treatment fit for a queen or king with warm oils massaged into your skin or heated stones melting your stress away, consider that you are hitting the pause button on your stressors. It’s like freezing time and hitting the reset button. Don’t you believe you deserve that?
Yes, you deserve that one hour or ninety minutes to put all your worries on hold until your mind clears and your anxiety with it all dissolves. I’ve had clients who could gain some clarity with work or family stressors while getting a massage.
Yes, massage can seem like a treat, that does not mean it’s any less therapeutic. It also Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Conditions Can Massage Therapy Help?
- There is a multiple of physical and mental health benefits massage therapy provides.
- Anxiety and depression
- Carpel tunnel syndrome (repetitive strain injuries)
- Headaches and migraines
- Sports injuries
- Tendinitis and bursitis
- Cancer pain
- Sciatic nerve pain
- Muscle tension and spasms
- Insomnia or chronic fatigue
- Stress-related conditions
- Strains and sprains
Which Massage Is Best?
There are over twenty different types of massages from which you can choose. However, there are two main branches of massage.
1. Structural massage: this type is meant to address musculoskeletal pain through myofascial, neuromuscular, and various soft-tissue techniques.
2. Relaxation massage (similar to Swedish massage): is intended to assist with relaxation through techniques, such as long strokes, kneading, deep, circular movements, or vibration.
If you are getting a massage post-surgery or recovering from a significant injury, make sure to let the massage therapist know. Choose a more gentle or passive massage on recently strained or injured tissues.
If you still aren’t sure, my best advice is to call the therapist you intend to schedule with, and she/he will be happy to recommend what is best for you. Or refer you to a massage therapist specializing in the type of massage necessary for your body.
My suggestion to ALL of my clients is to schedule well care regimens massages weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. This will help keep muscles pliable, tension-free and go a long way in preventing postural problems that often result in neck pain, low back pain, headaches, and an overall feeling of tightness.
Ok, now let’s look at those statements again. If you only get a massage for your birthday, then try telling about three people you would like a massage gift certificate. Most likely will get 3 or more massages from your loved ones. If cost is a factor, consider getting a 30 minutes massage. This option costs less and works for people who like to maximize their time daily. Yes, it’s shorter, but it is still very effective and powerful.
Even though massage may seem like a treat for some, it is definitely a Complementary and Alternative Medicine TREATment for others.
Are you searching for a Licensed Massage Therapist who knows the ins and outs of stress and how to relieve it? Look no further! I’m Ellie Dukes, LMT -specializing in prenatal and oncology massage therapy for 12 years. However, I offer an array of massage services that can help combat stress. Visit me at Trinity Massage Haven in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Call to Schedule your appointment today at 267-584-3015 or Book online now.
Stress is an inescapable part of the human experience. It can range from mild annoyances to extreme psychological distress…and everywhere in between. While the body is resilient and capable of handling stressful situations in relatively mild doses, when the mind is overloaded with constant stress inducers, our health takes a toll.
What is Stress?
Let’s go ahead and define what stress actually is. Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize. In short, it’s what we feel when we think we’ve lost control of events. It is partially instinctual (i.e., running from a tiger, being late for work), and partly the way we think. These troublesome thought patterns can leave us feeling anxious, causes extreme worry about what may or may not occur, are distracted, disorganized, and in some cases, can lead to panic attacks. Stress has been shown to lead to or exacerbate certain diseases, including heart disease, asthma, obesity, headaches, major depressive disorders, skin rashes, insomnia, and anxiety.
Stress and the Nervous System
Stress affects the autonomic nervous system. This includes the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. They are responsible for two very different activities. The sympathetic nervous system involves stimulation of activities that prepare the body for action. This includes increasing the heart rate, increasing the blood to the limbs, and other actions generally considered as “fight-or-flight” responses. The parasympathetic nervous system does the opposite. It conserves energy by slowing the heart rate, relaxes muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, increases intestinal activity, and other “relax and digest” responses. Managing stress ultimately involves “resetting” the brain with new habits using our body’s natural relaxation response. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system to help override sympathetic nervous system responses to stress.
How Can Massage Therapy Help?
Massage therapy can help with a wide variety of conditions. It has been proven to help manage chronic and acute stress in people of all ages. A study conducted by the Touch Research Institute and Fielding Graduate University showed that “preterm infants receiving massage therapy showed fewer stress behaviors and less activity from the first to the last day of the study.” In teens and adults, massage therapy has been shown to improve sleep, calm the nervous system, and decrease muscle and joint pain associated with stress.
While stress is unavoidable, there are ways to help relieve it before it takes over your life and negatively impacts your relationships. Regular massage therapy helps with keeping stress at manageable levels and contributes to overall health and wellbeing.
Are you searching for a Licensed Massage Therapist who knows the ins and outs of stress and how to relieve it? Look no further! I’m Ellie Dukes, LMT -specializing in prenatal and oncology massage therapy for 15 years. I offer an array of massage services that can help combat stress. Visit me at Trinity Massage Haven Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Call to Schedule your appointment today at 267-584-3015 or Book online now.
Touch is the first sense to develop in humans. So, it is no surprise that when we are in pain, the first thing we do is touch, hold, and protect the area that hurts. It’s instinctive. We do this not only for ourselves but for other people. It is an entirely natural and accessible form of social support that can be employed by anyone anywhere. It can communicate love, value, care, and affection that provides a much-needed sense of connectedness with your fellow humans.
Experiencing positive and affirming touch is necessary for proper human development. It can help parent and child bond after childbirth. Skin-to-skin contact after delivery supports a physical and psychological connection between the newborn and the caregiver. In fact, infants deprived of touch often have a shorter lifespan than their counterparts. The lack of skin-to-skin contact at this early stage in development can slow their growth and interrupt neurochemical messages.
Our skin is in constant communication with our brain. It is one giant communication system. To give you an idea of how massively important it is regarding communicating information via the nervous system, a section of skin about the size of a quarter contains 12 feet of nerves, millions of cells, and 50 nerve endings. It is the gateway to how our brain perceives touch. Even if someone has mostly experienced negative touch throughout their lives, it is possible to retrain the brain to perceive touch as a positive and safe experience. Massage therapy can help with this.
Here are some ways massage therapy is beneficial:
- Massage has a sedative effect, which helps with insomnia.
- It can release positive hormones like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones help to combat depression.
- Massage therapy has been found to decrease anxiety after heart surgery.
- According to the American Massage Therapy Association, “Nurturing touch and regular sensory integration appear to reduce the social, communication, behavioral, learning, thinking and problem solving-challenges associated with [autism spectrum disorders] ASD. In particular, craniosacral therapy and deep pressure massage are receiving attention as a possible means to help manage ASD behavioral patterns” (Shryer 2017).
- Massage therapy also promotes circulation to injured parts of the body. This brings nutrients and blood to the area which helps to speed the healing process.
- Oncology centers throughout the United States use massage therapy with cancer patients to help with the side effects of chemotherapy.
As you can see, massage therapy has medicinal effects. Giving the gift of massage therapy is a great way to share its many benefits with your loved one.
Yours in Health,
Are looking for someone with massage therapy expertise, who also knows the ins and outs of therapeutic massage? look no further! I’m Ellie Dukes, Licensed Massage Therapist-specializing in prenatal and oncology massage therapy for 12 years. Visit me at Trinity Massage Haven in Blue Bell PA. Gift cards are available.
To Schedule your appointment today call 267-584-3015 or schedule online massagebluebell.com
Resources: Shryer, D. (2017). Breaking through: Autism + massage. Retrieved from https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/3/MTJ/detail/3642/breaking-through-massage-autism
Raise your hands if you love to get massages every week!
Therapeutic touch makes all of our worries float away once our massage therapist places his/her hands on your body and being still for a few moments. In fact, most of us get so comfortable that there have been times when we fell asleep during the foot massage or even the back massage. In reality, most of us don’t have the budget for weekly massage only once a month or a couple of times a year. If that’s the case and you have a spouse/significant other here are seven tips to create your very own couples spa night.
Couples Spa night is a great way to encourage therapeutic touch to connect, nurture and care for each other. Here are seven tips to create your very own couples spa night.
1. Candles: use a lot lightly scented candles. Keep in mind the heat from the flames will warm the room up. Make sure the room temperature does not get to warm.
2. Music: Play soft music (spa music is overrated get some slow jams)
3. Dry Brushing: to stimulate your lymphatic systems, improve elasticity, and smooth skin.
4. Food: Get her/his favorite drink and dessert. ( choose some aphrodisiac type foods)
5. Body Scrub in the Tub: Sugar Scrubs are amazing, and you can mix your own and have it ready to give your boo thang a light scrub. Or an aromatherapy bath bomb. If you don’t like baths or don’t have a tub that can hold you and you’re love-bug a long warm shower with a shower gel that can make lots of lather.
6. Give each other a massage: Use lightly scented massage oils or lotions. You can also try a warming candle. Once the candle melts enough, you can use it to massage your partner. Don’t forget the scalp massage. If your significant other is not into massages, he/she will most likely agree to a scalp massage.
7. Spa Night Coupons: Give your spouse/significant other a coupon
(as a reminder) for the next Spa Night. You can add an upgrade item on the card i.e., nail polish application, truffles from your favorite bakery, etc
Even if you can splurge on evenings out, I hope you will give this a try. Adding a spa night to your together time is kissing two birds with one stone. You get to take care of your skin, hair, and nails and spend quality time together. Happy reconnecting.
Yours in Health,
If you are looking for someone with massage therapy expertise, who can show you a few techniques to massage your spouse/significant other…look no further! I’m Ellie Dukes, Licensed Massage Therapist-specializing in prenatal and oncology massage therapy for 12 years.
Schedule your appointment today at 267-584-3015 or massagebluebell.com
As holistic health becomes more mainstream, the use of essential oils, which are oils extracted from plants and flowers, are growing in popularity. Aromatherapy is the art and science of using essential oils for health and well-being. Essential oils can be used for skincare, rashes, cleaning products, and to help with moods, including stress relief. Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed their resources. It’s what we feel when we think we’ve lost control of events. While some stress is necessary, unmanaged stress has been shown to lead to or exacerbate heart disease, asthma, obesity, and depression.
Essential oils work by stimulating olfactory (smell) receptor cells in the brain. Using aromatherapy to soothe the body after a stressful experience, can help to change how the brain responds at that moment.
Many essential oils help with stress relief. Here are my favorites:
This versatile oil is a favorite amongst many because of its pleasant, floral aroma. It induces relaxation and is excellent for insomnia. It is also beneficial for pain relief and has anti-inflammatory properties. This oil is ideal for people who are experiencing physical pain along with stress.
How to Use
- Aromatherapy candles
- Flameless electronic diffuser for home or office
- Lavender massage lotion
Lemongrass is used in both culinary and pain-relieving preparations in Southeast Asia. Lemongrass leaves are used in Thai herbal compresses. These compresses are used for both physical and emotional pain relief. Its pleasant scent helps relax the body, and useful for those with insomnia.
How to Use
- For insomnia: 2 Drops on a cotton ball and place under pillow
- Car diffuser: This connects the cigarette lighter in your car and disperses the scent you add.
- Add 1 drop per ounce of lotion and massage into skin
Peppermint is an excellent essential oil to use if you are experiencing mental fatigue and exhaustion due to stress. Its scent is uplifting and can help motivate you to get the job done!
How to Use
- Add a few drops to a piece of cloth. Carry it with you and breathe into the fabric when you need a little pick me up.
- Steam Inhalation: Boil 2 cups of water. Carefully, pour the water into a bowl. Gradually add the essential oil, one drop at a time. Around 3-7 drops should do but use your discretion. Inhale from about 12″ away from the bowl. Take a few breaths in at a time. Stop if you notice any irritation or discomfort.
- Add 1 drop per ounce of jojoba oil and massage into skin
Here are a few words of caution:
Just because essential oils are natural, does not mean that they are safe in every instance. They can be dangerous if not used correctly.
- Some essential oils may not be safe for those who have epilepsy, are currently pregnant, or breastfeeding. Check with your healthcare provider to see which essential oils are safe for you.
- If you plan on using essential oils on your skin, do not use without diluting in a carrier. A carrier medium is a base used to dilute the essential oil to make it safer to use. Common carriers are olive oil, unscented lotion, and shea butter. Even after diluting essential oils in a carrier, test on a small patch of skin to make sure you aren’t allergic.
- Phototoxicity, or photosensitization, is a reaction caused when essential oils on the skin are exposed to UV light – whether from the sun or a tanning bed. Reactions can be severe, and even permanent.
Yours in Health,
If you are looking for someone with massage therapy expertise, who also is familiar with which essential oils to use for stress reduction look no further! I’m Ellie Dukes, Licensed Massage Therapist-specializing in prenatal and oncology massage therapy for 12 years. Visit me at Trinity Massage Haven in Blue Bell PA. Schedule your appointment today at 267-584-3015 or click here to book.
Are you Pregnant and Hurting?
Wondering what do pregnant moms do to relieve their Lower Back Pains, Stiff Neck & Swollen Feet?
Eleanor Dukes, Solo-preneur of Trinity Massage Haven is a licensed Massage Therapist, providing relief to your pregnant belly, lower back pains and tired feet. Most Pregnant women use Massage as a natural pain reliever to ease aching backs, sore, swollen ankles, and annoying hip pains. Modern research is proving that prenatal massage therapy can be a very instrumental ingredient in women’s prenatal care and should be given careful consideration.
Pregnancy involves more preparation than one might initially imagine, my goal is to reduce the stress that accompanies 40 weeks of scheduled doctor visits, birth plan composition, nursery building and design, and even the picking of the baby’s name. The journey to the motherhood can be a difficult one, even for the best-prepared mother.
80% of pregnant women suffer from body aches and pains – a staggering figure. But, while 80% seems high, not all is lost; thanks to proven clinical research that shows how pregnant women benefit from massage therapy.
Pregnancy causes a woman to change dramatically – physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. Some of these changes are flat out uncomfortable. Prenatal Massage uses techniques designed specifically to address pregnancy’s challenges. Prenatal Massage can:
- Relieve nausea
- Increase circulation and flow of nutrients to the placenta
- Relax the baby-to-be-born with gentle massage
- Improve health of baby and mother by reducing negative impacts of stress on both
- Alleviate muscle pain and joint pain
- Enhance sleep quality and relaxation
- Reduce swelling in the feet and around the ankles
- Hormone Regulation
The bottom line is that expecting a baby is an exciting time, but it can be very stressful as well. Incorporating Pregnancy Massage as part of your Complementary Alternative Medical Care and your Traditional Prenatal Care you will be giving yourself and your baby the absolute best care possible.
5 Star Review
‘I’m 4 months pregnant and feeling all sorts of aches. Eleanor gave an excellent full body massage which relaxed and rejuvenated me! She made sure I was comfortable even when laying on my tummy. I recommend her services to anyone looking for a massage, pregnant or not!” ~ Veronica B
Call Ellie 267-584-3015 to schedule your massage today. Or use the online scheduling option.