In the past 2 years I’ve really gotten into listening to podcasts. It seems to have coincided with being pregnant, having a baby, and being home more. Stuff To Blow Your Mind is a science podcast that I listen to sometimes and this episode on napping is all the validation you need to grab some zs.
After having my daughter I pretty much ran on 2-4 hours of sleep until she turned a year this May. I felt like a zombie. People told me that as a new mom I should sleep when the baby sleeps but I could rarely discipline myself to do that, maybe it was all the podcasts I wanted to catch up on. Had I heeded the advice to nap, maybe I would have been in less of a haze for the first year. These podcast hosts are entertaining and cite a lot of research into the power of the nap. I’ll let you listen to get the details but some of the benefits from a 20-30 minute nap are: reduction in the fight or flight response if you have had a poor night of sleep the night before, reduced blood pressure, improved memory, and improved response times. All of these benefits come from a short nap! Combine it with a little caffeine and you’re in top shape! If you have 30 minutes and are the podcasting type, give this Stuff To Blow Your Mind episode a listen. Then take a nap.
As my interest in Gua Sha has increased, I have sought resources to educate myself and others about the technique. This video gives a wonderful demonstration of Gua Sha, it’s benefits, and how it is effective for pain management and bolstering health.
Now that I have been practicing massage for 10 years, I find myself revisiting techniques that I was introduced to in school but let fall to the wayside.
Gua Sha is one of them. We were instructed in Gua Sha in massage school and I pretty much forgot about it until earlier this year when I had a client on my table and thought she would be a good candidate for this treatment. I have really grown to appreciate this technique over the last few months and feel that it is beneficial when it is incorporated into a deep tissue massage when necessary.
Gua Sha is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves “scraping” of the skin. Lotion is applied then tools are used to scrape the skin to produce small red “bruises” or petechiae. These bruises indicate areas of stagnant blood that need to be moved along. I especially like using Gua Sha on scar tissue, places where the skin feels cold, if someone has a cold or upper respiratory issue, and for pain relief. Don’t be scared by pictures on the web, those have been taken immediately after a session and the redness subsides a few hours later. The petechiae, however, will last 3-5 days so be prepared.
I have some great new oils from Ananda Apothecary that I have just added to my collection. Aromatherapy is always free to add to your massage at Trillium Bodywork, just ask. Sweet Orange is a wonderfully uplifting scent, Breathe Easy is great to add to the diffuser or apply to your chest if you have the sniffles, Purify is more of a diffuser blend but can also be applied to the bottoms of the feet to keep germs at bay, and I just love the smell of Ylang Ylang but it is also calming and relaxing. I am excited about using the oils from Ananda Apothecary because they are therapeutic grade and they go out of their way to source the highest quality oils seek out small farmers and distilleries from around the world.
I have been loving the Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT) techniques! I took this class in 2007 but I never stayed with practicing the therapy. I retook the same class this May and I have been impressed with the results on myself and clients in this short period of time. I’ve had reports of reduced sinus drainage, tightening and toning of the skin, improved gastrointestinal function, and reduced swelling.
Why the heck would you want your Lymph Drainage Therapy?
Our lymphatic system is the waste removal system for our bodies. Lymph is present everywhere in our bodies, moving along cellular waste to eventually be eliminated from the body. LDT speeds up the movement and in turn can promote healing. Areas where the lymph has become stagnant can be stimulated and improve the flow. If this treatment “speaks” to you, I encourage you to book an appointment. This is a very powerful treatment so I am unable to work on you wit LDT if you have the following: active cancer, lymph nodes removed or biopsied, are in your first trimester of pregnancy, major cardiac or circulatory problems, or acute infection.
Here is a link from the Chikly Institute with a more expansive list of indications and benefits.
One year ago at this time, I was in the second trimester of my first pregnancy. As pregnancies go, I didn’t have it too bad. I was still able to work, work out, walk the dog, and still be a fairly emotionally stable member of society. Throughout my pregnancy I continued to receive regular massage from several local massage therapists and this was a piece of the puzzle to hold myself together.
A happy mother is a happy baby. Fetuses are able to sense stress levels of the mother and the nervous system of the mother is imprinted on the growing baby. Prenatal massage is one way to keep mama relaxed and feeling good. Additionally, prenatal massage can help with the increasing discomforts of pregnancy such as sciatic pain, edema, back pain, and neck pain.
As I have returned from maternity leave, I have had an increased interest in pregnancy and post-natal healing which has lead me to pursue a certification in prenatal massage. Combining my 8 years of massage therapy practice, my own pregnancy, birth, and post-natal experience, and my recent certification in prenatal massage, I am happy to work with pregnant women in the Bloomington community. I look forward to hearing from you!
Since April is the Upledger Institute’s CranioSacral Therapy (CST) Awareness month, I thought I would write a little bit about my experiences with CST. CST is a light touch therapy, developed by Dr. John Upledger, D.O., that releases restrictions throughout the body to relieve pain and dysfunction. CST also works with the mind body connection and can aid the body in processing both physical and emotional traumas. This is called SomatoEmotional Release.
My first exposure to CST was a short afternoon section during my massage school training. My instructor took us briefly through various holds but at the time I was unable to palpate the CranioSacral rhythm. She did, however, tell us stories about moving around cranial bones and stopping and starting this mysterious rhythm in our body. I knew I had to find out more so 2 years later I enrolled in my first CST class at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. Wow! What a wonderful place to learn about and receive CST. After 6 hours of instruction and practicing CST on each other, I got to sit in natural hot springs that perched above the Pacific Ocean. For 5 days! Incredible! After that week I had never been so relaxed in my life! I noticed a lightness in my chest that I had never experienced before. I have since taken 2 more CST classes in Cincinnati and each time I leave feeling utterly blissed out. Last summer I was having problems with my digestion and I was positive it was related to an issue I was having some anxiety about. I received one session of CST and several days later I realized my “issue” had been resolved and my digestion was back to normal!
Most importantly, I wanted to share how I use CST in my bodywork. Most commonly, I will incorporate CST into a massage if the client comes in and reports that they have been suffering from headaches, anxiety, high stress levels, or TMJ syndrome. I also do only CST sessions. These sessions can address deeper structural issues such as low back or hip pain, grief and loss, restricted breathing, neck pain, trauma, and more. Our bodies are holding so many secrets we’re unaware of but can heal from. CST gently nudges the body to heal itself. Thank you for taking the time to read this post about CranioSacral Therapy. Come in this April to experience it for yourself!
Refer a new client to Trillium Bodywork and receive 15% off of your next massage therapy session.
Now offering CranioSacral Therapy packages:
3-1 hour sessions $220, save $20
5-1 hour sessions $350, save $50
These packages apply to only CST sessions and not any other type of bodywork I offer. You may allow a friend or family member to use your CST package as well. While there will not be a price increase in the near future, any sessions redeemed after a price increase will be required to pay the difference.
I take appointments Monday 1-5, Wednesday 9-5, Thursday 9-4, Friday 9-6, and every other Saturday 9-2 at my office conveniently located in downtown Bloomington, Indiana.
New clients booking online are required to enter a credit card number to hold the appointment. Your card will not be charged at this time and you may pay with any method I accept at the time of your appointment.
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Call 812-219-4304 to book your Deep tissue massage, Prenatal massage, CranioSacral, or Pfrimmer appointment.