Our video is now available to view. The topic is senior massage and what is important to know about the subject. We who live in California really need to know more so our seniors are not at risk.
May 8, 2013 in Uncategorized
October 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
I have recently become certified as an oncology massage therapist. With the huge amount of people diagnosed with some form of cancer each year, the oncology therapist is needed to bring peace, acceptance, and pain relief to those who need our skills.
These skills combined with a deeper understanding of cancer, of the drugs and the side effects, of radiation and what it does, and of the psychological/spiritual issues faced by cancer patients, give us an even greater gift to offer. Clients may feel relieved by the efforts we make to assure their comfort, by time away from having to deal with treatments, or by our acceptance of who they are right now no matter their condition.
Can you imagine how you might feel losing your hair? with one or both breasts removed? with the devastating effects of the toxic drugs used to treat cancer? Wouldn’t you be happy to be offered a time of respite? Offer them a time of gentle thoughts and compassionate touch. With just a simple twist of fate, you could be the person facing cancer. How would you wish to be treated?
I took this certification course after being asked to do so by a local non profit, UCAAN. I am happy they chose me to be their referral therapist as they grow to serve more and more survivors. I am hoping not only to serve their needs, but to encourage more therapists to take this course or other specialties that can bring more to the table than basic training can offer. There are lots of people out in the world that could benefit from our getting more education and training. I hope you are up to the challenge.
I will be teaching a class on senior massage very soon. Contact me if interested.
June 16, 2012 in Uncategorized
California seems to lag behind in this area of massage regulation. In just the past few years we have finally gotten a California Massage Therapy Council, a voluntary certification organization.
Until this agency came about, each city could have us undergo sexually transmitted disease testing or other disgraceful procedures because we were not given the benefit of the doubt, but assumed to be prostitutes. We were also licensed under the police vice deptartment.
When the Council came into being, all those requirements went out the window. Now the requirements are up to each city, but they are the same as for other businesses….a business license in order to pracitce in that city.
What has concerned me recently is the misunderstood changes. As I interview local therapists, I am finding that at least a quarter of them do not understand that they still need a business license in each city. When I inquire as to where they are licensed to practice, I am told something like “Oh, I have the California license so I can go anywhere”. Not true.
I am finding people working with no licenses, out of their homes, or under the table. When I first moved here 7 or so years ago, there were no cities here that allowed massage or any business that had foot or car traffic to it to be carried out from the home. That may have changed, but I doubt it because of the reasons the law was made in the first place.
When it comes to the law, igonorance is no excuse. Your cities massage laws are usually posted on their website and therapists should read them. If you choose to ignore them, do so at your own peril and do it consciously.
And energy work practitioners are usually held to these same laws, but do they know that? Have they spoken to their city? Can you touch clients or not in your city if you just have energy work training? Do you know? It is often just massage therapists who can touch, but you might want to check that out where you are.
I encourage empowerment through knowledge. All it will take is one angry client to complain to the city and your occupation could be in danger. Especially in this economy, is it worth that to work in the shadows of the law?
June 16, 2012 in Uncategorized
If the condition is unequal or unilateral, the body will lean to one side. If the lean is slight, it may easily go unnoticed. That side will experience compression. Muscles and fascia will become habitually shortened and tight. Organ function may eventually be compromised. Blood and nerve supply is impaired. Joints of the compressed side can lose their range of motion.
On the other side, the bony structures are drawn toward the compressed side while the muscles are stretched tight trying to right the body. With this torquing of the body, a functional scoliosis is created. One shoulder is tugged downward with the short side, bringing with it the neck and head.
This chain of events can cause foot, ankle, knee, hip, sacroiliac, back and neck pain. Several disorders of the foot itself will emerge over time. And as ever so far away it may seem, jaw dysfunction can occur.
Imagine a semi flexible, multi -segmented length of plastic. Attached to each segment on either side are an equal number of equal strength rubber bands that attach to other structures. As long as all remain equal, the length of plastic stays blissfully upright. This plastic is your spine.
Now imagine that a structure attached on one end somehow becomes lower than the other identical structure on the other side. On the lower side the rubber bands are suddenly pulling more, tightening their grip. And on the opposing side, those rubber bands are stretching more while simultaneously tightening. Can you see what is happening?
And what has become of the plastic strip? The segments are being tugged on, twisted, and bent. All I am showing you with the spine is happening throughout the body causing pain.
Pain can be from inflammation where stresses on the framework cause dysfunction such as joint misalignment, muscle fatigue, spasms, restricted blood flow and disturbed enervation to the muscles. Myofascial trigger points in leg muscles can disrupt the proper function of the foot. Over time, these issues wear down the joints.
The foot itself can develop callus build up, bunions, neuromas, etc. which can all be signals of alignment problems. Where do you find calluses on your foot, if any? This tells you where there is pressure on the foot. Are the toes straight or turned in or out? Does your arch flatten when you stand? Are there toes turning under others? Do the toe joints bend easily or are they stiff and claw-like?
Surgery is often the chosen solution for many of these problems that can often be avoided or minimized. Surgery also often has its own set of problems once it is done. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves. It is our responsibility to be as informed as possible on our choices. Surgery should be a last option, not a first reaction.
Our feet were not designed to be cooped up in shoes or to walk on mostly hard, flat surfaces. By imprisoning these ingenious tools we have robbed them of their strength. No longer do the muscles of the legs and feet have to constantly adapt to changes in the surfaces upon which they travel. Adaptation is what made them and our core strong.
On uneven surfaces bare feet adjust with each step. When the arch is pressured, it’s reflex is to withdraw by contraction. Each contraction strengthens the arch and its support system. Modern life has weakened both the arch and the several leg muscles that assist in arch functioning. Shoes made more for fashion than for functionality have also increased foot disorders.
March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
I am in my 60′s. In my lifetime I have had several bad injuries that effect my physical being today. And let’s not forget flat feet that effect every joint up the body just as high arches do, but in the opposing direction.
The most painful is a disc herniation at L4, L5. But I was lucky enough to have found a naturopathic dentist when we lived in Hawaii who got me interested in systemic enzymes. For a decade now I have taken them daily to deal with the inflammation and pain so I could lead a ‘normal’ life and work.
We lose systemic enzymes as we grow older. They are the construction crew of the body. They build, they tear down, and they rebuild what the body needs built, torn down, or rebuilt. They eat away excess scar tissue in joints, muscles, and the vascular system. This leaves your blood flowing freely and your muscles and joints less restricted by scar tissue.
Systemic enzymes also reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system, bringing it up if it needs that or bringing it down if it is too high such as in autoimmune disorders. And autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia and conditions such as scleroderma that have a scar tissue component, can be helped by adding systemic enzymes to the body.
Almost daily most massage therapists see clients with scar tissue from past surgeries or injuries that could use the enzymes. Some of us grow scar tissue so well that it can grow around our internal organs, choking them.
For me, systemic enzymes have proven invaluable in my life and my career. I encourage you to try them for a minimum of two months. I felt the difference in about an hour, but it will depend on what you are addressing and how pervasive it is, so you may have to be patient.
January 28, 2012 in Uncategorized
Our massage for care givers may have a donor to help spur its growth. This business also serves the seniors and their families so we are a fit in that sense. But they may engage our services to promote their business to the retirement homes and care giving agencies. I had never thought about promoting massage as an endorsement, of sorts, for another business.
So they are offering to pay for care giver massage for a few agencies as a trial run. I have gathered up a few agencies who are eager to have massage for their staff and I have sent off the requested proposal to our donor.
Now we wait to hear back. The donor was quite excited about the prospect of doing this for the care givers, just as I was excited to have the opportunity to do this for the staff that work so hard caring for our elderly and ill.
If you are reading this, keep your fingers crossed that this will blossom and spread. Care givers need care too. And they usually work hard at work and then go home and work some more. A bit of respite with massage can take away the aches and relieve some stress from these overworked, wonderful people.