Ask the Massage Therapist

Using Accurate Language, Thinking Accurate Thoughts: Why Words Matter

Posted on: Fri, 05/17/2013 - 11:31pm By: Alice

Massage is older than humans. Monkeys will often groom another monkey when it becomes agitated. Nit-picking among primates is not just a matter of hygiene, it's a manner of soothing and bonding. All mammals engage in some sort of stroking of one another. Tigers lick their cubs, rats lick their pups. We are biologically wired to respond to touch, to stroking. Massage has been with us since we humans became human, since before we had language. It comes naturally to us.

We take its benefit for granted. We know, from direct experience, that it feels good. 

Interview with Massage Talk Radio

Posted on: Wed, 05/08/2013 - 10:36pm By: Alice

On Monday, May 6, Kathryn Merrow interviewed me for 30 minutes for Massage Talk Radio. We had a lot of fun. She asked about how I got into massage, about my training and experience, and how I've evolved to incorporate the various things I've learned over the years into my practice. We talked about how my understanding of trigger points has changed and I was particularly happy to speak about what I've learned about pain science in recent years. I appreciated the opportunity to tell my fellow massage therapists that even though learning something new that contradicts what we've believed to be true can be uncomfortable at first, it does not have to be threatening and, in fact, when we embrace understanding how the body actually works, it's exciting and liberating.

Book Review: Explain Pain by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley

Posted on: Tue, 05/07/2013 - 1:58am By: Alice

If I could make only one recommendation to individuals living with chronic pain, it would be to read the book Explain Pain by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley.

Directed at both clinicians who work with chronic pain patients and patients who live with chronic pain, Explain Pain shows how the discoveries of modern pain science can be put to practical use. Written in understandable language with a touch of lighthearted humor, Butler and Moseley take a complex subject and make it possible for the average person to understand and use. One client remarked that she thought it would be hard to read and was delighted that she did not find it difficult at all. 

True Runner Wins With Massage!

Posted on: Tue, 04/02/2013 - 12:53pm By: Alice

 The new True Runner store in Brentwood Plaza recently hosted an after-hours Ladies' Night and Massage St. Louis was there! It was a great event, with about 80 women of all ages in attendance. The atmosphere was friendly and festive, with tasty and healthy drinks and snacks available, attendance prizes, goodie bags for participants, and discounts on purchases made at the event. A representative from Moving Comfort gave a presentation on proper bra fitting and was available for private fittings. Massage St. Louis was there providing brief table massages and speaking with participants about self-help techniques and how massage can help them as runners. Participants loved the table massages and were often heard to exclaim, "Wow! That was great! I feel so much better!"

A drawing for a 30 minute massage was held at the end of the evening and Alex Roth was the lucky winner. Congratulations, Alex!

Of course, all the wonderful women in attendance were obviously winners! It was a great, friendly, enthusiastic group. Gotta love those runners! 

Taking Time with Clients

Posted on: Fri, 02/15/2013 - 4:48pm By: Alice

One of the things I particularly enjoy about having my own independent practice is that I'm able to take time with my clients. Most of the time I have to stay within the bounds of a schedule or my day would be unmanageable. However, I'm able to control my schedule so that I don't have to feel rushed. If something comes up near the end of a session, I can take a few extra minutes if that seems necessary. 

Not long ago a new client came with a difficult pain problem. She had a complicated history. I wanted to be able to listen to it carefully, to be able to ask pertinent questions, and not be rushed. I had a break after the appointment so I asked the client if she was in a hurry. Even if I had the time, perhaps she didn't. However, she had no appointments to keep and so we were both able to relax and discuss her history in detail. 

During the past couple of years I've learned a lot about how pain works and have become convinced that pain education can make a valuable contribution to managing chronic pain. I thought this particular client might find this information helpful, so we discusses how pain works and how she might make use of that. 

Got Back Pain? Call Us!

Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2013 - 11:49am By: Alice

Got back pain? Call us!

Low back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. Everyone knows someone who suffers from back pain and most Americans will suffer from it some time in their life.  In spite of its prevalence, successful treatment of low back pain remains elusive. No one has consistently good statistics in the treatment of low back pain.

 

What can we offer you?

We cannot promise results. However, we can promise this:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Addiction, and Gay Men

Posted on: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 11:05am By: Alice

Until now, I have not published guest articles nor have I published articles unrelated to massage therapy. However, I recently read a paper on gay men, addiction, and post traumatic stress disorder that presented an idea so important that I strongly felt it should be more widely read. As massage therapists, we encounter clients who may seek massage to relieve anxiety and depression and this information could be directly relevant to us.

The author is my long time friend Jeffrey Schneider, volunteer and outreach coordinator for the San Francisco Zen Center. Jeffrey wrote the paper as part of his training to be a drug and alcohol abuse counselor. The paper puts forth the idea that post traumatic stress disorder, caused by growing up in a world where young gay men live in constant fear, may be an unrecognized factor in drug and alcohol addiction in gay men.

Massage For Couples Classes

Posted on: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 7:25pm By: Alice

Have you ever wanted to do massage at home with your partner but didn't know where to start? Do you try doing massage but tire quickly? Are you wondering how to please your partner, who keeps asking for "harder," without hurting yourself? If so, you may want to take the Massage for Couples class at Forest Park Community College offered twice a semester. An alternative is arranging for private instruction with your partner.

The class is ideal for couples, athletes, dancers, performing artists, or anyone who would like to learn simple, basic massage techniques.

What is Science?

Posted on: Sat, 12/29/2012 - 2:08am By: Alice

What is Science?

 

It seems like an easy enough question, yet many massage therapists seem to misunderstand exactly what is meant by the term. Why do I say that? Well, consider a common comment from massage therapists who are not particularly science-minded:

"Science doesn't know everything!"