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Healthful Habits
The Benefits of Frequent Massage

Massage therapy is increasingly regarded as a legitimate and important part of one's health maintenance plan. Massage therapy can alleviate stress, significantly reduce pain and muscular tension, and can help achieve better body awareness. In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, massage can help prevent common physical and muscular ailments caused by age, repetitive motions, and stress.

Since stress is estimated to be responsible for over 90 percent of all disease, one of the best preventive measures you can take is to reverse the effects of the stress cycle. "The benefits of massage are cumulative. This being the case, it only makes sense that those aches and pains you see your massage therapist for might disappear faster, stay away longer, or even go away altogether with more frequent visits. Stress might never reach those physiologically detrimental levels where the immune system is suppressed or the nervous system is sent into an alarm state." (Osborn, Karrie. "Massage Multiplied." Body Sense Autumn/Winter 2009: 11-12)

Benny Vaughn, sports massage expert and owner of Athletic Therapy Center in Fort Worth, TX, said that "consistent massage therapy can increase flexibility because structured touch stimulus enhances the nervous system's sensory and spatial processing capacity...That is, the person becomes more aware of their body's movement in space and of tightness or pain long before it reaches a critical point of mechanical dysfunction."

As with most things, massage therapy costs money. It seems in our society that we have trouble justifying expenses related to life’s intangibles; namely personal well-being and maintenance. However, for those clients that have already experienced the salubrious effects of massage, they will agree with me that the benefits of treatments far out weight the monetary cost. Remember: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

New Discount for 2011

In gratitude to you for your incredible support, I will be offering a $10 discount to any repeat client* for their 2011 birthday. At any time during your birthday month, treat yourself to one hour-long massage and receive $10 off! All you have to do is click here for a printable coupon that you can redeem with me during your 2011 birthday month. I will continue to offer a discount for first-time clients.
*A repeat client is someone who I have seen more than once before their 2011 birthday month.

Monthly Affirmation

Ahh, Wendell Berry—the poet of my soul. The following passage from Berry's "Sabbath Poems" reminds me of the importance of rest.

The mind that comes to rest is tended
In ways that it cannot intend:
Is borne, preserved, and comprehended
By what it cannot comprehend.

Know Your Muscles and
How to Keep Them Happy

Muscle: Psoas

Attachment Sites: T12-L5 vertebrae, TVPs*, corresponding intervertebral disks and lesser trochanter of femur 
(*Transverse processes (TVPs) - the little bones that stick out from the sides of the vertebrae)

Action: Flexes the hip and externally rotates the hip

(Ex. Helps you climb stairs.)
How to Stretch:

1. Stand up straight and place one foot in a straight line in front of the other, keeping feet a comfortable width apart.
2. Keep your front foot pointed forward and turn your back foot to a 45 degree angle.
3. Exhale and slowly bend your front knee to a 90 degree angle as you reach up with both your arms. Keep your tailbone tucked down and under to avoid arching the low back. Palms should be facing each other.
4. Take several deep breaths as you continue reaching up and lengthening the spine. Focus your stretch on the front of the hip.
5. Modify this stretch by kneeling on the back leg, tucking the tailbone, and reaching up with both arms.

(Cael, Christy. "The Psoas." Massage & Bodywork Nov./Dec. 2009: 95-96.)



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