There are many factors that go into making a great massage therapist. The best massage therapists are dedicated to helping and healing their clients through the power of touch. Through their training they are able to help their clients achieve optimum health and wellness. Besides dedication and training, there are a few habits that the best massage therapists have that help them to rise above all others.
1. Cleanliness. Licensed Massage Therapists should pride themselves on cleanliness. The bed sheets should be clean. The room itself should be clean, dust free, and without excess clutter. Most importantly, the therapist should wash their hands before and after a massage.
2. Listen. A top-notch massage therapist must have the ability to listen to what the client is saying and to accurately use that information to determine what their needs and wants are. Why did the client make the appointment? If it is for relaxation purposes, then the therapist would inquire what, if any, music would help them to relax. The therapist would also make sure the environment is as relaxing as possible. If the client came in specifically for pain relief, the best therapist will ask the client where their pain is, have them describe the pain, and ask the client what makes the pain worse, and what makes it better. The treatment would then be specific to helping that client seek pain relief and begin the healing process.
3. Continuing Education. The best licensed massage therapists are always seeking to learn more and enhance their skills. It is recommended that the therapist obtain at least 10 to 12 continuing education credits per year so their knowledge base continues to grow. At Meridian Healing Center, our therapists keep up-to-date on their CEU requirements. Best of all, we are always learning from one another. We share our techniques and our knowledge here so our clients receive the ultimate care. The more a therapist knows, the more tools they have to deal with each clients unique needs.
Lower back pain is something that has plagued most of us at one point or another at some time in our lives. If it is something that plagues you constantly, relief can be hard to find. Lower back pain can be hard to treat because it can have so many causes and can involve so many muscles. Our lower back is comprised of a complex network of muscles, tendons, bones, and connective tissues that are all supposed to fit and work together in a specific way. When one of those things goes haywire, the whole system can go haywire!
Lower back pain can come from poor posture, improper alignment, injury, weak muscles, imbalanced muscles or repetitive motion (just to name a few causes). The good news is that whatever the cause, the problem can most often be fixed. For example, the position you put your body into will determine your posture which will determine your ability to move and function. If you slouch, you're not using your muscles as they should be used which can lead it injury and pain. Slouching causes you to round your upper back , elevate your shoulder blades and rotate them out of position. Your muscles are then too "stretched out" to contract properly and support your frame - hence the pain and stiffness! Therefore, fix the slouch - fix the pain! At Meridian Healing Center, we understand how your entire body works together and we can show you how to live pain free.
To read the complete in-depth article on exactly how you can fix your lower back pain, click here. Otherwise, contact Meridian today to schedule an appointment to see how your posture is affecting your muscle and joint health.
9/30/2015 0 Comments
On the Fence Over 50
Over 55 and finding your currant healthy life style is not addressing the pain in your joints and muscles. Are you finding you just don't recover like you used to. Old injuries coming back to haunt you. I am convinced there is a population of us out there that are " orthopedically" challenged as described above. I have found if I don't seek regular massage and manual therapies I end up regretting it.
I have a new client that is 57. Fit, hard working her whole life. Never took the time to care for herself. She always felt massages (body work) were a luxury. Currently she had a small event that threw her off the fence. She is coming for massages now to help with the constant numbness and pain in her hands, extreme tightness in her shoulder and back muscles. Massage is helping, as she discovers much of her problem in her hands are the tight tight shoulder and arm muscles. She is starting to be able to do more without pain. This entire event could have been avoided with regular massage and body work. I am talking about 1 massage a month at least. As a massage therapist over 55, I am constantly reminded by my clients to book myself an appointment with a qualified massage therapist. Keeps the aches and pains at bay, and injuries away.
8/7/2015 0 Comments
Natalie Martin Massage Therapist, Manual Therapist, RN....a day doing what I love:
An early appointment with perhaps my favorite client. A 93 year old man who is sharp as a whip. He has lots of aches and pains, which I try to stretch, heat, and massage away. This day his shoulder pain is up and interfering with his sleep.
What to do....So with great palpating (touch) skills I looked closely at all the muscles that were involved with the shoulder. So many very tender points. A student of muscular skeletal acupuncture I decided before massage I would acupuncture the "ashi" ouch points. So he agreed with my plan with hesitance in his eyes, which melted away as soon as he found out it was painless. After the massage he said he felt good. However the next day he called me and said he had no pain all day and night . With joy he exclaimed we can do that again.
Have you ever had a massage that left you slightly disappointed because the area you felt you needed the most focus on received very little attention? Or have you ever found yourself on the table silently urging the massage therapist to linger on a certain spot a bit longer? If so, have you ever wondered why you didn't just speak up? Don't worry, you're not alone. Many people are afraid to speak up during a massage for fear of offending their therapist.
Guess what? The secret truth is that your massage therapist would LOVE for you to speak up and give him/her feedback during your massage. After all, it is YOUR massage. Your therapist may be the best in the world, but a little feedback from you will help them to do an even better job.
Here are three ways to get the most out of your massage:
1. Will you stop talking please? A big part of an effective massage is the ability to allow both your mind and body to relax and open up. If your massage therapist is a bit too talkative, you are not likely allowing your mind to fully relax. A good way to address this is before your massage. Before you go in, mention to your therapist that you need quiet time to relax and unwind. If you fill out a client intake form prior to the session, be sure to mention this on there as well.
2. Will you please work the area I came here for? If you went to your massage therapist with a sore lower back, then you probably want your lower back worked on right? Sounds reasonable enough doesn't it? Well sometimes massage therapists have their set routines and they tend to do the same massage regardless of the problem area you want worked. If this happens to you, don't be afraid to speak up. All you have to say is, "You know, my lower back is still pretty sore, do you think you could work that more?" Now is NOT the time to be shy!
3. Going, going, gone.... Admit it, this has happened to you. You're laying on the table and the therapist finds an area that feels great and you know is "THE SPOT". Just as you start to think, "Yes, stay there....", the therapist moves on. Again, this is the time to speak up. Contrary to what you might think, your therapist would LOVE it if you exclaimed, "There, that feels so good. Can you stay there longer?" A little feedback from you will improve your overall results in a big way.
If I could sum up this entire article in one word, I would say, "feedback". Your massage therapist wants your feedback both before, during, and after your massage so that they can do the best job possible for you.
As a culture, we are pretty good at routine maintenance. We change the oil on our car, clean the gutters on our house, and get our teeth cleaned on a regular basis. We do all of this work because we know if we don’t, it will lead to major problems down the road. The same holds true with our bodies. When we feel good, we should strive to keep feeling good, and routine massage is the perfect way to do so.
This list below shows some of the problems that can be alleviated or prevented when massage therapy is done on a routine basis as part of a well-balanced lifestyle:
- Stress related muscle tightness and injury
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Muscle and pain due to poor posture
- Recurring migraines
- Relieving stress
The bottom line is that massage should be a routine part of a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle. Contact your local massage therapist today to see if regular massage therapy will benefit you.
As a 38 week pregnant woman myself (I am the receptionist here at the Meridian), I can tell you that prenatal massage has been the best part of my pregnancy—well, aside from feeling my baby move and knowing I will soon be a mama to her. I haven’t had a particularly “awful” or challenging pregnancy, but I am certainly ready to be done, have struggled with trying to sleep and stay comfortable and have dealt with other common pregnancy issues… If you are also a soon-to-be-mama to a new little one, get a prenatal massage. I loved feeling comfortable and relaxed while receiving my massages—two states that are often hard to fully reach while pregnant.
If you are reading up on prenatal massage, you will see that some potential benefits include less stress and anxiety, better sleep, less pain in your legs and back, and an overall better mood. Make sure to let your massage therapist know if you are pregnant and how far along you are. All throughout your pregnancy, there are certain points on the body that your therapist will avoid. I had my first prenatal massage in my second trimester, which was the perfect time for a pick me up and relaxation session. Massage when you are full term can also help relax you and put you in a good place for your impending labor and delivery. You’ll need all the energy and concentration you can muster for your baby’s birthday. My last massage while pregnant will be next week, unless I go past my due date and demand another one! Post-partum massage is on my to-do list after baby is here as well.
You may be wondering what to expect during a prenatal massage, as you are obviously not lying on your stomach (too big!) or your back (not recommended during pregnancy). During my prenatal massages, I have been propped on my sides with plenty of pillows in the appropriate places. Aside from positioning, expect a massage much like you would experience while not pregnant—the amount of pressure used is adjusted individually to your liking, you can ask for certain problem areas to be addressed (lower back bothering you?), the atmosphere is serene, etc. As with any massage, be sure to drink lots of water post-enjoyment.
Our wonderful therapist, Jill, is the one here at the Meridian who specializes in prenatal massage. Her phone number is (906) 370-2323. Consider calling her up and scheduling a massage! You will be thanking yourself that you did.
7/22/2014 0 Comments
Massage with Essential Oils
Massage has been used for centuries to relax or heal the body. Essential oils have been around as long, considering they are directly from the natural world, and their benefits to us are many. Now consider combining two senses which are very important in the healing process—touch and smell—in the form of a massage with the addition of essential oils rubbed into your skin to be absorbed.
Essential oils can do many things for a person. There are essential oils that can help you relax, soothe a headache, relieve anxiety and stress, or even improve your skin. Another wonderful thing about them is that they work in “small doses”—you don’t need a whole lot of oil to have a big effect.
Ask your massage therapist about the essential oils she recommends for you at your next massage, or do a little research yourself; most are available here at the Meridian. Consider what ails you personally. Do you suffer from depression, or do you have a hard time keeping your stress at bay? Are your muscles always achy?
Some of our favorites here at the Meridian are rosemary, lavender, lime, peppermint, and bergamot. Here is just some of what they can do:
Rosemary is a good choice for someone who suffers from depression and anxiety. Rosemary can help to relieve headaches. It is also helpful for people with oily and acne-prone skin.
Lavender is another of our favorites and its soothing effects are wonderful. It will help a person relax, and can aid in the loosening and relaxing of achy muscles and joints. On a side note, some parents swear that lavender diffused in a room helps their young children to sleep, which makes sense.
Lime is an essential oil which can soothe the pains of arthritis. It is also a mood lifter, along with other citrus oils we have here at the Meridian.
Peppermint helps with irritated skin, depression, and mental fatigue. Many essential oils have a wide variety of effects like this one does, and thankfully, no negative side effects if used appropriately!
Bergamot is another essential oil used to help ease depression, stress and fear.
A wonderful thing about so many essential oils is that they can also be combined together for a person who can benefit from more than one of them—which, honestly, is probably all of us. Massage works wonders. Massage with essential oils added to it is just another step up in your healing and wellness process.
6/24/2014 0 Comments
How to get Toxins OUT of your Body
Toxins in our bodies limit us in many ways. We feel more tired and weary, we have less brain power and we are generally less healthy… but how do we get rid of the toxins in our systems? Here are a few simple ways to limit and eliminate harmful toxins in our bodies.
10/23/2013 0 Comments
Five great reasons to get a massage in the winter months for a healthier you!!!!
We all hate it. It’s cold, it’s tiring, it sucks. We can help make it suck
less! Our Traditional Swedish, and Deep Tissue massages decrease inflammation
and aid in muscle repair. Getting a massage after shoveling is exactly
what your lower back, quads, shoulders, and forearms are screaming for!
Feeling like a piece of vintage furniture? Cracked, dry, “distressed”?
Massage therapy is proven to improve skin hydration during these dry winter
months. Oils and lotions used in massage contain healthy amounts of
vitamin E and other vitamins. Massage therapy improves circulation,
allowing your skin to absorb these essential vitamins, leaving you feeling
nourished and hydrated! Not only will you glow on the inside, you will exert
radiance from the outside!
Cold and Flu season is the WORST!!! Did you know that massage therapy is a
proven immune booster? It is! GOOGLE IT! Massage therapy increases lymph flow
which is packed with white blood cells or “killer cells”. These “killer cells”
fight off infections and bacteria, boosting your immune system
during the SICK SEASON! Just think of it as relaxing Lymphatic NINJA
Hands and feet Cold & Clammy? Joints and muscles not moving easily?
That’s because they are COLD yo! Massage therapy increases circulation to
muscles, joints, and organs, warming up the body. Cold weather can bring on many
discomforts, aches, pains and arthritis. Regular massage enhances blood
flow, naturally lowering blood pressure and improving body function! Your head
might say no, but what does your HEART say???
WINTER BLUES (S.A.D.)
Are you sad and angry that you can’t bike, golf, swim, skateboard, get a
tan??? Yea, us too. Winter months decrease our opportunities to do our favorite
activities, and increase depression. It’s cold, and most of us don’t like it.
Though, we cannot clinically say that massage therapy is a “cure” for
depression, what we can say, is that getting regular massages enhances warmth
and an overall state of well being. It makes you feel better! Massage therapy
releases serotonin and endorphins, relieving stress and making you feel frick’n
fantastic… about everything.
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