December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

To my friends, family, fellows, clients, readers & all people who have shared this year:

May you be happy, healthy & full of love and laughter in the new year!

Thank you for making 2010 a wonderful year for Mending Hands (and me :-) I promise to keep up the good work in 2011!

December 27, 2010

Stretching: Focus on Flexibility

Mending Hands offers a passive stretching session - after reading the following benefits from the Mayo Clinic - add some Stretchability to your next session!

Stretching: Focus on Flexibility

You pound out a few miles on the treadmill. You work your way through a series of strength training exercises. You even add some time on the stationary bike for good measure — and you smile with satisfaction that you made it through your workout. Nothing to do now but hit the shower.

Not so fast. Did you consider stretching those muscles that pulled you through your invigorating workout? Understand why stretching matters — and how to stretch correctly.

Benefits of stretching:

Most aerobic and strength training programs inherently cause your muscles to contract and flex. That's why regular stretching is a powerful part of any exercise program. Consider this:
  • Stretching increases flexibility. Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring.
  • Stretching improves range of motion of your joints. Good range of motion keeps you in better balance, which will help keep you mobile and less prone to falls — and the related injuries — especially as you age.
  • Stretching improves circulation. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Improved circulation can speed recovery after muscle injuries.
  • Stretching can relieve stress. Stretching relaxes the tense muscles that often accompany stress.
Some studies indicate that stretching helps prevent athletic injuries as well. However, this finding remains controversial. Other studies don't support stretching as a way to prevent injury.

Stretching essentials: Ready, set, stretch!

  • Target major muscle groups. When you're stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play.
  • Warm up first. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favorite exercise at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Better yet, stretch after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and more receptive to stretching.
  • Pace yourself. It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Do each stretch three or four times.
  • Don't bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. These tears leave scar tissue as the muscle heals, which tightens the muscle even further — making you less flexible and more prone to pain.
  • Focus on a pain-free stretch. Expect to feel tension while you're stretching. If it hurts, you've gone too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Relax and breathe freely. Don't hold your breath while you're stretching.
How often to stretch is up to you. As a general rule, stretch whenever you exercise. If you don't exercise regularly, you might want to stretch at least three times a week to maintain flexibility. If you have a problem area, such as tightness in the back of your leg, you might want to stretch more often.

Know when to exercise caution:

You can stretch anytime, anywhere — in your home, at work or when you're traveling. If you have a chronic condition or an injury, however, you may need to alter your approach to stretching. For example, if you have a strained muscle, stretching it like usual may cause further harm. Discuss with your doctor or physical therapist the best way to stretch.
First Seen HERE:

December 19, 2010

12 Simple Sore Throat Remedies

Here are a dozen home remedies to help soothe and get rid of sore throats, these are simple to whip up and treat yourself with–nothing too fancy for ingredients and you likely have many of these items in stock at home.
Sore Throat Home Remedies

  • Cayenne Pepper Gargle: Mix 1/8th of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper with 1/2 cup warm water, gargle with this frequently throughout the day.
  • Salt Water Gargle: Add 1 teaspoon of table salt to a cupful of warm water, gargle with this every other hour or so.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Gargle: Mix 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with a cup of warm water, gargle every hour.
  • Ginger Tea: Make a strong tea with freshly grated ginger (about 3 teaspoons per cup of boiling water), steep for about 5 minutes then stir in a spoonful of honey and sip.
  • Thyme Tea Gargle: Sooth a sore throat with thyme tea. Brew 1 tablespoon dried thyme in 1 cup boiling water. Strain then gargle. From 23 Home Remedies From The Spice Rack [1].
  • Honey & Lemon Tea: Mix two teaspoons honey and 1 teaspoon lemon juice with one cup of boiling hot water. Allow to cool a bit then drink to soothe throat.
  • Licorice Root Tea: Brew a tea made with licorice roots (one or two pieces per cup) and sip. You can also brew licorice tea bags or chew on a piece of licorice root to help relieve the pain. Licorice root can affect blood pressure if too much is consumed, not recommended for those who are pregnant or have high blood pressure.
  • Cloves: To relieve a sore throat, slowly chew on a few cloves.
  • Green Tea: Sipping a cuppa green tea can help soothe a sore throat, but gargling with it is also recommended since it naturally fights infections. See Tipnut’s Guide To Green Tea [2] for more info on the health benefits of green tea.
  • Baking Soda & Salt Gargle: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of each baking soda and salt with a 1/2 cup of warm water and gargle a few times each day.
  • Chamomile Tea: Drink chamomile tea to soothe sore throats, best to start as soon as you feel one coming on.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Gargle 3% hydrogen peroxide to fight the throat infection. If the taste is too much for you, dilute with some water first (about 50/50).

December 14, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve Special!

Why not make your Christmas Eve Eve a little merrier...

Book a 60 minute massage for Thursday, December 23rd and get 90 minutes of bliss!*

Availability is limited for this one day offer - so contact me soon at to give yourself some holiday cheer!

*Offer good for 12/23/2010 only. Receive 90 minutes of massage for the full cost of a 60 minute session. May not be combined with any other discounts.

December 11, 2010

Best Careers 2011: Massage Therapist

The rundown:
Massage therapists may be good with their hands, but most also have a knack for business. You're likely to work for yourself, and your success depends largely on how many clients you bring in, so you'll need to market yourself well and develop a rapport with repeat customers. Many massage therapists work part time in several locations, including spas, hospitals, cruise ships, and sports centers.
Click here to find out more!

Massage therapy uses touch to treat injuries, sooth tired or overworked muscles, reduce stress, and promote general health. Treatment comes in many varieties, including Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, reflexology, and sports massage, and most therapists specialize in one or more. In most states, massage therapists need a license to practice.

December 06, 2010

The Massage Therapy-Immune System Relationship

The Massage Therapy-Immune System Relationship is Studied

Any massage client will confirm that massage therapy promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Research has also shown that massage boosts immune functioning. New research looked at salivary biomarkers in relationship to the psychosocial benefits of massage.

December 02, 2010

Why Massage's Reduction of Anxiety Is So Important

Anchored in strong beliefs about the significance of their work, most professional massage therapists are familiar with some of the emotional and physical benefits of bodywork. Massage's ability to foster relaxation and relieve anxiety seems obvious. However, the universally accepted consequences of intentional touch have been underestimated for far too long. Based on facts compiled by academics at Harvard University, an ability to reduce anxiety translates to a capacity for improving some of our culture's most widespread physiological ailments.

November 29, 2010

Top 6 Reasons to Join us on Friday, December 10th!

Mending Hands and Park Slope Eye want to invite you to our event on Friday, December 10!

Here are the Top 6 reasons it's going to be awesome!

1. FREE Chair & Hand Massage

2. Enter the Raffle to win a  FREE Comprehensive Park Slope Eye Exam or Mending Hands Massage

3. Kumquat Cupcakery is providing their amazing mini-cupcakes

4. Try on some of Park Slope Eye's  huge selection of glasses  and see how cute you are in some new frames

5. Get tips on how to take care of yourself while sitting at your desk

6. Take home some swag (Yeah, more free stuff!) 

Massage, food and drink will be ready for you at 7pm.  Presentation of tips on how to just feel better sitting at your own desk will start around 8pm!  

Address: 682 Union Street @ 5th Ave in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Look for the Facebook Invite here. Please, RSVP & invite some friends! 

November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving and More!

Mending Hands wants to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

November 16, 2010

Can Massage Therapy Help Smokers Put Down the Cigarettes?

A massage session room might smell lightly of rose or lavender, as an aromatherapy blend or candle wafts its fragrance through the room. But if a client is a smoker, that sweet scent could be usurped by the smell of nicotine. The good news is massage therapy can lessen the anxiety that could be driving the client to smoke.

November 11, 2010

When and Why to Get a Massage During Pregnancy

This weekend I am taking a certification course in bodywork for the childbearing cycle. I'm very excited to be getting certified in pre-natal massage and found this great article to give readers more of an insight on this wonderful modality!

More women are becoming interested in prenatal massage to help make a pregnancy easier. It's important to know the benefits and risks of prenatal massage.

November 08, 2010

The Benefits of Ear Massage

Auriculotherapy is reflexology of the ear. The auricle of the ear (the external, protruding portion), can be viewed as a microsystem representing the entire body. Microsystems are valuable in many disciplines, including neuroanatomy, foot and hand reflexology, face and scalp acupuncture, and iridology.

November 02, 2010

Save the Date!

Park Slope Eye and Mending Hands Massage Therapy are jointly inviting you to our event on the evening of Thursday, December 9th!

There will be food & drink!

FREE Chair & Hand Massages!

Freebies & Discounts from both Park Slope Eye & Mending Hands!

Plus a free raffle to win 30 min & 60 min massages!

We will also be presenting tips on improving your aches, pains & eye strains while sitting at your desk!

We're pretty excited & hope you will join us.

Watch this blog or sign up for our mailing list for upcoming details. Park Slope Eye will also be having a massage give-a-way via their social media awesomeness soon!
So "Like" us both and stay tuned!

Park Slope Eye on Facebook
Mending Hands Massage Therapy on Facebook

November 01, 2010

Monthly Essentials: November

Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments for centuries. Now, science is catching up and researchers around the world are finding that ginger works wonders in the treatment of everything from cancer to migraines. Here are ten health benefits of this powerful herb:

October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween from Mending Hands

May you have more Treats than Tricks!

October 28, 2010

A Little Soak of Epsom

And now... another moment for taking care of yourself!

Like most of you out there - I'm pretty busy. Working. Cleaning. Exercising. Cooking. Walking here. Walking there. Seeing friends and business partners.  Marketing Mending Hands Massage Therapy. Budgeting time and money and well...just trying to get a balance in life. 

Today, I'm having a take care day. (Yes, I know it's Thursday - but when you work on both weekend days, its better to take the time when you can!)

I slept in. I've eaten oatmeal for breakfast. I'm sipping some seltzer water. I'm going to book myself a massage in the next week. We have plans for a walk in the park and a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for some fall photo taking. Best of all I took an Epsom salt bath! Epsom salt is a combination of magnesium and sulfates. Soaking in a bath of Epsom salts can relax your muscles, reduce inflammation, minimize pain, fade bruising, aid digestion, relieve stress and tension, and detoxify your body.

Below are some simple (yet awesome) ways you can use Epsom salts to get yourself back to good! 

October 24, 2010

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week is here!

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week  is October 24-30 this year!

The Mending Hands blog invites you to peruse over a year's worth of massage info collected and celebrated in the name of love for massage therapy! Check out loads of info here at The Rub Down.

Mending Hands Massage Therapy is also celebrating your massage this week by offering clients $10 off their session when they mention this offer. Some appointments are still available - so e-mail for your Massage Therapy Week Massage!

(Massage Week offer good for Oct. 24-30, 2010) 

October 21, 2010

A Good Cry

Massage therapy has been known to be a great release of adhesions, trigger points, muscle cramps, tensions and contractions. This week I was witness (many times in fact) to another kind of human release that can be just as healthful.

A good cry.

I use this blog to share facts, research and scientific support for the amazing ways that massage therapy can help a person. This post is coming from my journey as a therapist.
I have had times in my life where I needed the physical and emotional release that comes with a good cry. I have walked into a massage therapist's office and said "I'm really stressed out right now, so I might cry." and during the massage, as my body was eased into relaxation - the cry that needed to happen  - happened.

October 18, 2010


Have you joined the Mending Hands newsletter mailing list yet?

Click HERE and submit your preferred e-mail address!

Joining gives you sneak peeks, deals and discounts! For an example of the latest Mending Hands newsletter; click HERE and learn about the Autumn Aromatherapy you can choose from when you enjoy a Mending Hands massage!

October 11, 2010

Stretching Exercises at Your Desk: 12 Simple Tips

Try these stretching exercises at your desk -- or anywhere else -- to ease back pain and boost energy.

1. Just stand up and sit down -- no hands:
* "If you stand up and sit down (over and over) -- without using your hands -- it can be a challenge," says Angela Smith, MD, orthopedic surgeon. "Do it while you're on the phone; no one will know."
2. Substitute exercise for sitting -- while you work:
* Get rid of your desk chair and substitute an exercise ball, suggests Smith. "I used it for a while when I was having low-back problems; it was great," Smith says. "All day you are engaging all the muscles in the back, legs, butt, everything, to stay balanced."

3. Shrug your shoulders -- to release the neck and shoulders:
* Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lifting them high up to your ears. Hold. Release and drop. Repeat three times.
* Shake your head slowly, yes and no. You might as well amuse yourself while you do it to relax even further. Ask yourself silly questions: "Is your boss an idiot?" Move your head up and down, "Yes, yes, yes." Side to side: "No. No. No." (Shedding tension is as much mental as physical.)

October 05, 2010

Monthly Essentials: October

10 Health Benefits of Apples

We're told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what exactly are the health benefits of apples? Here are ten reasons to heed the advice of that old proverb.

September 30, 2010

Six Massage Techniques to Remove Scar Tissue

Scars develop on the skin’s surface as the result of burns, deep lacerations or a variety of other injuries that penetrate or interrupt the skin’s integrity. Possessing an amazing capacity to heal and regenerate, the skin forms a scab over a wound within three to four days following an injury. By day ten the scab typically shrinks and sloughs off as the body focuses on laying down collagen fibers to strengthen the former site of injury. The damaged tissue can be in recovery between three months to over a year before it returns to full strength. Additionally, some diseases or skin disorders (such as acne) may also result in scar tissue formation. While scars can result from a variety of traumatic events to the skin, they share some common characteristics. As a general rule, the earlier and more consistently scar tissue is exercised, massaged and warmed, the less possibility of developing any long-term concerns.

September 26, 2010

The Feisty Redhead

The second Brooklyn business that is contributing to the Mending Hands client gifts celebrating your first massage with us is The Feisty Redhead! Some of you may remember how cool this company is from their generous involvement with our Housing Work Raffle  during the holiday season last year.

September 22, 2010

The Great Change Over

In the next few days we (meaning the art/web/marketing genius of a company - Mografi) will be launching a test version of my services site - a "soft launch" if you will. I wanted to give Mending Hands readers a heads up about this exciting change! Also to let all of you awesome supporters know a few things before the great change over begins.

September 20, 2010

Even Just One Massage

Even One Massage Session Produces Measurable Benefits, Research Shows

Most massage clients will attest that the more massage they receive, the better they feel and function. New research shows that even one massage-therapy session "produces measurable biologic effects" and may have implications for managing autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.

September 17, 2010

Very Personal Training

As we get closer to the official launch of the Mending Hands Massage Therapy Practice - like a busy little bee I am getting some ideas together. One the most exciting projects I have been working on is the Mending Hands Client Gifts! That's right - the First 100 Clients will be guaranteed a pretty sweet care package after their original session with Mending Hands!

I love my neighborhood of Park Slope. Even more, I love supporting individual businesses in Brooklyn.

Mending Hands is more than proud to feature some local businesses as they offer some amazing goods and services to Mending Hands clients!

Very Personal Training  and owner Dani Tsukerman has a refreshing way of thinking about fitness. Her generosity gets passed on to Mending Hand clients by offering them 2 FREE sessions! Mending Hands prides itself on being unique and custom tailored, so a partnership with Very Personal Training - a individualistic company that takes all of your strengths, weaknesses, goals, fears and joys into account when helping you get to a healthier you - just makes sense!

Free Sessions with Very Personal Training as a Thank You from Mending Hands?


Oh yeah, there are more surprises to come!

September 15, 2010

Acupressure Improves Insomnia

Acupressure improved insomnia in participants in a recent study, and its benefits lasted for up to two weeks after treatment.

Researchers from the department of Nursing, Yuanpei University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, set out to determine if acupressure benefits people with insomnia living in long-term care facilities.

September 04, 2010

First Week in the Real World of Massage

We here at Mending Hands are taking a break. Not for too long, just long enough!

But before I go, I thought I would leave a List!

A List of "First Week in the Real World of Massage Things"

1. Massaged a beautifully strong cancer survivor

2. Worked on an amazing LMT for her birthday

3. Gave a full hour sinus specialty massage

4. Had my first couples massage (in fact - 3 in one day!)

5. Experienced my first "no show"

6. Attended a TMJ workshop and got to practice inter-oral massage

7. Gave the most massages I have given in one day thus far

8. Worked on a body builder

9. Received my first Massage Therapist Paycheck :-)

Looking forward to many more adventures when I get back!

September 01, 2010

Monthly Essentials: September

Black Raspberries contain an extremely dark pigment which allows them to be used as a colorant and gives black raspberries one of the highest antioxidant ratings in common fruits and berries. Rich in ellagic acid, anthocyanins and antioxidants, black raspberries have been called the “king of berries” for their superior health benefits.

August 30, 2010

The Amazing Power of Touch

A mom in Australia says a doctor declared her newborn son "dead," but she helped bring him back to life by holding the premature baby against her body using a method known as "kangaroo care."

"I thought, 'Oh my God, what's going on?' " Kate Ogg said on the Australian television show, Today Tonight.

The child, named Jamie, was born after only 27 weeks with his twin sister, Emily, at a hospital in Sydney. Her birth went well, but his was a different story. The doctor struggled for 20 minutes to save him before declaring him dead.

"His little arms and legs were just falling down away from his body," Ogg said. "I took my gown off and arranged him on my chest with his head over my arm and just held him."

She and her husband, David, spoke to the child as she continued to embrace him for nearly two hours. During that time, she said, the two-pound infant showed signs of life.

August 25, 2010

Things people say...

"The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson."
Tom Bodett

August 22, 2010

Massage Techniques for Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a very common disorder of the lateral proximal forearm. While it has an athletic sounding name, tennis elbow can affect anybody participating in an activity that places excessive and repetitive stress on the wrist extensors, flexors, supinators or pronators.

Tennis elbow can cause severe tenderness on the lateral side of the elbow. The affected area becomes painful during extension, flexion, supination or pronation of the wrist, or finger extension. The pain becomes more obvious if resistance is offered against one of these movements.

Massage therapists are often recruited to help during recovery from tennis elbow. Below are summarized lists of massage therapy protocols for this disorder by three prominent practitioners. Incorporating the methods used by others with your personal experience can be an excellent combination to create your own effective therapeutic routine.

August 11, 2010

Sleep Like a Baby!

Insomnia is associated with a lack of serotonin. Massage increases serotonin levels. Read about the neurochemistry of sleep and the logical connection indicating bodywork for the sleep deprived.

Insomnia means trouble either falling asleep or staying asleep. The prevalence of insomnia is staggering, with more than 30 percent of American adults suffering from occasional bouts of insomnia and 10 percent of Americans experiencing chronic insomnia. While insomnia may be a symptom on its own, it also can be connected to a long list of healthcare problems.

August 08, 2010

Bodywork for Releasing Grief

Complaints commonly encountered in massage therapy may be due to unresolved grief. By understanding and working with two popular systems of bodywork, massage therapists can help their clients release this stuck emotion.

It is prevalent in our daily lives, yet many people struggle with grief. Usually beginning as an emotion, extended periods of grief typically manifest physically, a phenomena that clearly demonstrates the interconnectedness each human body possesses. By accessing the energetic manifestation of grief, bodywork can unlock this commonly repressed emotion. Upon associating physical complaints with barricaded grief, therapists who have the skills to prompt its release can help their clients achieve a major breakthrough in reaching their health goals.

About Grief

August 01, 2010

Monthly Essentials: August

Hibiscus or rosemallow is a flowering plants in the family Malvaceae (the mallow family, along with members like cocoa, cotton, okra, baobab and durian), hibiscus is native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical region around the world. Hibiscus flower are large, trumphet-shaped, with five or more petals, and colors ranges from white, to pink, red, purple or yellow, and from 4-15cm broad. The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule, containing several seeds in each lobe, which are released when the capsule splits open at maturity.

Hibiscus plant is not only famous as an ornamental plant but is it also important as an ingredient in food preparation and in making healthy delicious herbal teas. The Hibiscus sabdariffa or roselle is the preferred species used to make hibiscus tea.

Health benefits of Hisbiscus:

July 29, 2010

Massage for Sunburn Healing

Whether you live along the Sunbelt or practice massage therapy in the northern states, clients may come in at almost any time of the year with sunburn. In the summer, it might be after spending too much time at the beach or in the backyard. In the winter months, it could be from skiing or from a holiday spent in a sunny climate. Learn how to help your clients cope with the effects of too much sun exposure.

If you have a private practice, a sunburned client might return from vacation for his or her regular, weekly massage. If you work at a resort or on a cruise ship, your client may have a one-time visit and want a massage as part of the amenities the ship has to offer. In either case, the same precautions apply. Find out how to offer relief from the pain and discomfort of sunburn, as well as some natural remedies you can safely recommend.

July 22, 2010

Depression Nearly Doubles Risk of Dementia; Can Massage Help?

Numerous studies have shown that massage therapy, especially when combined with aromatherapy, lessens depression. A new study shows that having depression may nearly double a person's risk of developing dementia later in life.

For the new study, researchers examined data on 949 people with an average age of 79 from the Framingham Heart Study. At the start of the study, participants were free of dementia and were tested for depressive symptoms based on questions about general depression, sleep complaints, social relationships and other factors. A total of 125 people, or 13 percent, were classified as having depression at the start of the study, according to a press release from the American Academy of Neurology.

July 16, 2010

What is Tui Na?

Tui Na (tuina) - Chinese Bodywork Massage Therapy

Tuina (Tui Na) is an Oriental Bodywork Therapy that has been used in China for 2,000 years. Tuina (Tui Na) uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tuina (Tui Na) seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body the naturally heal itself.

July 15, 2010

Research on Knee Surgery Suggests Massage Therapy Could Be Valid Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis

Whether massage clients have had knee surgery or not, receiving massage could help reduce the effects of osteoarthritis.

Knee osteoarthritis is a common public health problem affecting more than nine million Americans, according to a press release from the Radiological Society of North America, and it typically develops gradually over several years. Knee osteoarthritis symptoms can include pain, stiffness, swelling and reduction in knee mobility.

Massage therapy has been shown, in research reported by MASSAGE Magazine in 2007, to reduce pain and stiffness in people with knee osteoarthritis, while also improving range of motion and functionality.

New research show...

July 07, 2010

Things people say...

"The more you massage your thinking the more capable I believe you are of expanding how you go about things and learning."
~ Siobhan Davies

July 02, 2010

Monthly Essentials: July

The health benefits of Geranium Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like astringent, haemostatic, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, diuretic, deodorant, styptic, tonic, vermifuge and vulnerary etc.

The Essential Oil of Geranium is extracted through steam distillation of stem and leaves of Geranium plant, bearing scientific name Pelargonium Odorantissimum. The main components of this oil are Alpha Pinene, Myrcene, Limonene, Menthone, Linalool, Geranyl Acetate, Citronellol, Geraniol and Geranyl Butyrate.
The Essential Oil of Geranium has a lot to offer in terms of health. We can benefit from the following properties of Geranium Oil.

June 27, 2010

Massage Therapy Found to Reduce Pain During Labor

Researchers recently compared massage and music therapy to relieve the severity of labor pain. One hundred and one women who were hospitalized for vaginal delivery were recruited and randomly stratified into two groups of either massage (n = 51) or music (n = 50) therapies, according to a report published on

"Painkillers have previously been used for childbearing women, but nowadays, owing to some well-known limitations and serious side effects, nonpharmacologic methods such as massage and music therapies are being broadly recommended," the report noted. "The present clinical trial was conducted to compare the effects of massage and music therapies on the severity of labor …"

June 14, 2010

What are the benefits of Medical Massage Therapy?

Releases tight and sore muscles which can cause Ischemia: (Ischemia: A lack of blood supply to soft tissues, which causes hypersensitivity to the touch and allows for further injury to the tissues)

Helps relieve nerve compression or entrapment: (Pressure on a nerve by soft tissue, cartilage or bone, which can contribute to muscle atrophy, referred pain, paresthesia, and conditions such as pseudo sciatica, piriformis syndrome, pseudo angina, and others.)

Deactivates myofascial Trigger Points: (Trigger Points: Areas of high neurological activity, which refer pain to other parts of the body. Research has shown, trigger points may be responsible for as much as 74% of everyday pain.)

Decreases Pain And Inflammation: Massage can restore suppleness and strength to your muscles, improving their overall function. It's the ideal treatment for releasing tension or muscles in spasm and helps to release toxins such as lactic acid (produced by muscle tissue during exercise).

Alleviates Stress and Improves Circulation: Proper circulation is vital to continued health. Your blood and lymph carry nourishment to the trillions of cells throughout your body and then carry away the waste to be eliminated from the cells. Massage encourages a better exchange of nutrients at the cellular level and more thorough detoxification. Remember, the future "you" is determined by how well your army of cells regenerate themselves, so this is indeed a critical part of remaining healthy.  Massage has been practiced for thousands of years and is one of the earliest health treatments known to man.  That is why it remains one of the best ways of dealing with everyday stress.
Aids in Digestion: Massage can improve digestive motility.

Increases Flexibility And Range Of Motion: By reducing hypertonicity and hypotonicity the muscles allow for normal ranges of motion to be restored. This also reduces the forces being applied to the joint capsule and diminishes the potential for joint and disk degeneration.

Calms The Nervous System: The first sense to develop is your sense of touch. It's not surprising when you consider that each square inch of your skin contains roughly 50 nerve endings. With as many as five million total touch receptors in your skin relaying messages on to your brain, your body's initial response to massage is to relax and de-stimulate. Even a simple touch has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the heart rate. Touch can also signal the brain to produce endorphins, your body's natural pain suppressors. The nervous system is your communication network, sending messages constantly that determine proper functioning throughout your body. Stress can affect the ability of the nervous system to do its job. The many nerve endings found in the skin and muscles are soothed by massage, and this contributes to keeping your internal lines of communication open and operational.

Improves Posture And Coordination

Medical Massage is cost effective: By assisting the client towards a quicker recovery from acute headaches, neck and back pain, skeletal muscular strains, sprains, etc. he or she is able to return to a normal productive life.

Medical Massage also helps to prevent future chronic pain conditions by effectively dealing with the cause of the problem and eliminating it. 
More info HERE:

June 13, 2010

A list of Great Weekend Happenings!

It's been a whiles since I've blogged a little about what is going on in my massage world! I've had a great couple of days - so why not share them on a rainy Sunday afternoon?

June 07, 2010

Self Myofascial Release Techniques

Inspired my my new self care tool that arrived this week!

By performing Self-Myofascial Release techniques on a simple piece of foam, you can improve flexibility, function, performance, and reduce injuries. Your own body weight is used to roll on the round foam roll, massaging away restrictions to normal soft-tissue extensibility.

For the health and fitness professional to understand how this “magical” foam roll does all that, a basic understanding of the kinetic chain must be acknowledged.  The kinetic chain is made up of the soft tissue system (muscle, tendon, ligament, and fascia), neural system (nerves and CNS), and articular system (joints)6.  The kinetic chain works as an integrated functional unit.  All components of the kinetic chain exist interdependently.  If one segment is not functioning efficiently, then the other components must compensate, leading to tissue overload, fatigue, faulty movement patterns. For example, muscle tightness restricts the range of motion that a joint may be moved.  Because of muscle restriction (tightness, soft tissue adhesions, and neural-hyperactivity), joint motion is altered, thus changing normal neural feedback to the CNS (central nervous system).  Ultimately, neuromuscular efficiency is compromised , which leads to poor movement patterns, inducing remature fatigue and causing injury.  The SMFR (Self-Myofascial Release) Program helps your clients improve muscular balance and performance.


    * Correct muscle imbalances
    * ↑ Joint range of motion
    * ↓ Muscle soreness & relieve joint stress
    * ↓ Neuromuscular hypertonicity
    * ↑ Extensibility of musculotendinous junction
    * ↑ Neuromuscular efficiency
    * Maintain normal functional muscular length


June 01, 2010

Monthly Essentials: June

Honeysuckle is one of the oldest medicinal herbs in known history. Sometimes referred to as woodbine, European honeysuckle was once used widely to treat urinary complaints, asthma, and during childbirth. However, in traditional Chinese medicine, honeysuckle has been used medicinally for thousands of years. The first known reference to the honeysuckle plant as a medicinal plant is in the Tan Ben Cao that was written in A.D. 659. In traditional Chinese medicine, honeysuckle is considered one of the most important herbs for releasing poisons from the body and clearing heat from the body.

There are three main parts of the honeysuckle plant that are used medicinally:

May 31, 2010

Massage in the Military

Injured soldiers find relief through massage and other "alternative therapies."

Wars have been fought since time immemorial. From simple sticks and rocks to guided missiles and uranium-tipped artillery shells, the methods civilized nations have used to annihilate one another have changed dramatically over the centuries. Despite the advances in modern warfare, the types and degrees of injury suffered in combat have remained frighteningly constant. Surprisingly, research suggests a major cause of attrition (a reduction in number or strength) among military personnel in recent wars has resulted not from injuries incurred on the battlefield, but, rather to more typical conditions such as accidents and musculoskeletal complaints.

To determine what types of painful conditions affect soldiers during wartime, researchers in the United States and Germany examined 162 soldiers engaged in Operation Iraqi Freedom who were evacuated to pain treatment centers outside the theater of combat. Results of the study, published in the journal of Anesthesia & Analgesia, show that many of the injuries suffered by military personnel during conflict are indeed similar to those sustained by people in the civilian sector. Even more important, the use of alternative therapies in the treatment of pain among injured soldiers appears to be growing, with massage the most common alternative therapy used for pain relief.

May 27, 2010

Clinical Massage Therapy

Understanding, Assessing and Treating Over 70 Conditions 

It's expensive but worth it! This book outlines pathologies, injuries, expectations and complications -  plus how a massage therapist can help. One of the best additions are the guided treatment plans and self care tips! 

The Table of Contents can been reviewed HERE:

May 22, 2010

Invest in You

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about self awarenss. Self care. Self nurturing.

Massage therapists live a life where we try to help. We try to give people the space, expertise and support to be more aware about their bodies. To give them ways to heal, lengthen, breathe, ease pain, build stregnth, find new flexibility and renew themselves in ways that science is just now beginning to understand.

Often times people who place such value on helping others, forget to prioritize their own need to self nurture.

Mending Hands will be adding some posts to help keep us all thinking about creative, effective and even fun ways to Invest in You. Look for those posts coming soon!

As always - if you have an idea you want to share through Mending Hands e-mail us at