Posts filed under Massage & Bodywork

What Self-Massage Can (And Can't) Do For You


Image courtesy of Go Moji

We've all experienced it - tight, achy muscles, tension in the neck or back areas, and painful cramps. Muscles that are over-worked, tense or even stretched can cause pain in so many areas of our body. A natural reaction to the pain is to massage the area. Self-massage helps to work out the cramp or tension, but there are many other benefits, too.

Destress

When the job becomes stressful, or kids are dancing on your last nerve, soothing strokes with your hands or self-massage tools can promote a feeling of calm and well-being. Try using your fingers to gently rake across the corded muscles of your neck while simultaneously moving the head from side-to-side. This relieves tension in the neck and helps you relax. Use some coconut oil mixed with a drop of lavender essential oil and rub onto your feet. With your thumbs, press into the arch of your foot, sliding your thumbs upward along the arch and over the bed of the toes for instant stress relief. You could also place a tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot over it for a great self-massage.

Energize

Instead of coffee or other caffeine in the morning, try an invigorating self-massage. Use coconut oil mixed with a drop or two of peppermint essential oil all over your body. Try quick, short strokes over your arms, down your legs and trunk. Be sure to use your knuckles to knead your lower back quickly. This type of massage will promote blood flow and oxygen. This helps you to shake off sleep and get ready for your busy day. The smell of the peppermint oil opens nasal passages and allows a cooling feeling to invigorate you.

Detoxify

Self-massage has another important health benefit - it helps you to detoxify. Think about it. Your skin covers your whole body, making it your largest organ. When you use self-massage daily, you are promoting blood and oxygen flow, which allows the built-up toxins in your body to be released. Your skin purges the body of these toxins, helping you to stay healthy and feel great.

 

While self-massage has many health and mental benefits, you can only do so much on your own. For a more relaxing and significant health-promoting experience, try a professional, full-body massage or similar spa treatment.

Posted on June 19, 2018 and filed under Massage & Bodywork, Healthy Living, Self-care.

Tips & Tricks for Healing After a Car Accident

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Car Accidents are scary and unsettling. Whether a fender bender or a major collision, car accidents can trigger a whole host of emotions. My son and I had what I have been calling a "medium car accident."  "Medium," because no one was critically injured. "Medium," because our car was totaled and smashed real good, and I sustained "Whiplash" (sprains and strains of the spine, rib attachments, and hip joints), smashed elbows, and my son and I were extremely shaken up.

I was in serious shock for 24 hrs, and still had pretty serious "brain fog" (difficulty focusing and reading) for about 2 weeks. I was very sensitive and worked up. My son was luckily O.K. He, too, had been shaken up and rattled by the crash. He was obsessed with wanting to look at the car and talk about the crash. He was irritable and extra sensitive (he is 3....lots of big feelings) for a week. This event left me sore and upset. It reminded me how little we can control.....Then, I felt really grateful!

Since the accident so many things have worked out well. I'm almost all healed up! We got another car and car seat. Good Reminder: A Car Seat That Has Been In A Car Accident Must Be Replaced! Many Insurance Companies Will Pay for a Replacement! And I feel increasingly grateful that we were not injured worse! Getting to this positive happy-puppy dogs-and-rainbows outlook did not happen over night, and has taken dedication to healing. Here are some important things you can do if by some unfortunate event you end up having an auto accident:

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1) Go to Urgent Care or see your doctor as soon as possible.                                      
If you are injured, even if it seems like just a little bit, a once-over by a doctor or nurse practitioner is not a bad idea. Many times someone can have a concussion and have no idea! Often we are not totally aware of what exactly happened to our body during a collision. We're a little preoccupied by trying to stay safe to notice if maybe we hit our head...or possibly have a minor break. Often, you can apply the cost of the visit to your claim, even if you go before you receive a claim number. Make sure the office knows it's due to an auto accident. They can help!

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2) Seek out a Chiropractor.                                                                           "Whiplash" A.K.A. Sprains and Strains of the neck, spine, hips, arms, legs, jaw, ect., are very common injuries after a car accident. At first I was in shock but as the day went on my hips and neck and ribs felt awful. You may not fully know how injured you are for a few days...possibly even up to 6 weeks. Having a good advocate who can help you is key! A chiro can directly help reset the body by aligning joints, which can lessen pain, help restore range of motion to the body and help reset the brain-body connection back to "normal." Chiropractors are also great resources because they can be a hub for referrals! Insurance likes you to be under a doctor's care and to have a doctor's referral to do most anything....and A Chiro Is A Doc! Yay!  Obviously keep in good contact with your insurance to be sure that all services will be covered. Dot those I's and cross those T's when it comes to insurance...Don't assume. Usually, insurance is good about helping. At your first Chiro appt, you can talk to them about a massage referral, and a physical therapy referral for down the road.

3) Seek out a Massage Therapist                                                                           

With referral and claim information in hand, you have what you need to find a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT). Up front, let whomever you're talking to know this treatment is related to an auto accident. Many LMT's, clinics, and even our Pearl Day Spa, can bill an auto claim for treatment. Massage is a wonderful and supportive way to heal form a motor vehicle accident, though I may be biased as I am an LMT of almost 13 years. I have personally aided many clients through auto accident injuries. Massage helps restore range of motion, reduce inflammation, soothe the autonomic nervous system, support joints staying aligned, and is a supportive place to feel safe and validated while you're healing and possibly feeling vulnerable. I have been receiving great care from a friend whom I work with at the spa. She has really helped my hip specifically. Over time she has helped all the muscles to calm down, loosen up, and helped my pelvis to remain aligned. If, as you heal, your notice you're still not quite getting over the hump, physical therapy may be in the cards.

4) Seeking out a Physical Therapist.                                                                       

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Once again, have that claim number and referral ready. And once again, make sure they know this is due to a motor vehicle accident. Then let the PT do their magic! I have yet to see my PT. I have an upcoming sequence of appointments set up and am looking forward to all of them! PT offers something really amazing. PT is another way to support the mind/body connection. Often after an accident, weakness or over firing (over compensating) can occur in certain muscle groups. This can in turn cause imbalance and pain throughout the body. A well-trained PT has the training to muscle test. This allows them to see what muscles are not doing their job, or which muscles are overworking themselves. After they take you through many muscle tests, stretches (such as having you flex your bicep with a little resistance or isolating the hamstrings to see how they are or are not working) then the real work begins. The PT gives you very special exercises and or stretches that continue to support joint stability, alignment, reduce pain (though, through PT you may have some soreness in the beginning), and increase strength.

5) Other Useful Tips                                                                                             

ICE! ICE! ICE! And Rest! It's easy to get impatient and feel like, "Hey! I'm busy! I don't have time to slow down and rest..." But let me say, Yes You Can! And your body will thank you for showing it a little grace while it's healing. In fact, proper rest from exercise and house work...for a few weeks...and a good icing routine can expedite healing and support the work you're seeking out. Allow those adjustments and massage time to do their job. I fully understand how difficult this can be. I'm a busy working mama...lyin' low is a challenge for me. But, I took 3 weeks off from the gym (Not easy for me!) and let some house work take a back seat while I let myself rest...and even squeezed in a few naps. Let me say, it Made A Huge Difference! 

I, of course, hope you are never in an auto accident, but if you or someone you know has the unfotunate luck of getting into one, I hope these tips can help you or your loved one heal faster, feel better, and help you to feel more informed and empowered with your care.

May you be well,

Lily

Raindrop Inspired Massage, Awaken the Senses

Whether the weather be cold, whether the weather be hot, we'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not.... I think I'll stick to my day job. 

The changing of seasons can bring spring showers or a winter downpour, but the beauty of either is the sweet and soothing sound of those raindrops. They awaken, inspire, and lull the senses. And, like our beautiful and invigorating friend, the rain, Raindrop Inspired Massage enlivens, invigorates, and soothes the mind and body.

Raindrop Inspired Massage is our own unique and tailored spin on Raindrop Therapy. It's called ''Raindrop" because the therapist drops essential oil directly onto your skin through a delicate and deliciously crafted recipe of specific essential oils. All delivered individually and rhythmically massaged into the body, the oils are coupled with hot towels and hot packs to draw the beneficial properties of the oils into the skin and muscles.

Raindrop Inspired Massage essential oils and their benefits are:

Valor Essential Oil- balances the energies of the mind, body, and spirit. 

Thyme-energizes the mind, and clarity in direction of energy flow, and clarity of the mind.

Basil-soothes tired and overworked muscles.

Oregano- cleansing and soothing

Cypress: beneficial for troubled skin, spiritually grounding, aids in feeling emotionally secure.

Wintergreen- soothes head tension and muscles after exercising. 

Marjoram-relaxes tense and fatigued muscles, nervous system support.

Peppermint- promotes clarity, stimulates the brain, soothes and aids digestion.

Aroma Siez- an essential oil blend, soothes tired muscles, helps reduce stress and discomfort, Especially lovely for head, neck, and tired feet. 

During the treatment, essential oils, hot towels, and hot packs are applied to the feet, back, legs, and neck. Layer upon layer of aromatic oils melt into the skin to relax the mind, release toxins, and reduce inflammation, thus creating a full-bodied bouquet of aromas.

It's said that the anti-inflammatory and healing benefits of the oils can aid in spinal alignment and support physical and emotional balance. Everyone I have given this treatment to has said they feel incredibly relaxed and over the moon with how heavenly they smell. Speaking for myself, the intoxicating and stimulating qualities of the oils leaves me feeling awakened, invigorated, and nurtured through the rest of the day. I often wake the next day with the sweet aromas still greeting me with the sun.

May You Be Well,

Lily

Images compliments of Creative Commons and are licensed for commercial reuse

Boost Your Immune System With Wellness Wraps

So, is it just me, or has everyone been perpetually sick lately?! Between working with the public, having a toddler in daycare ( can we say germ-fest?), and journeying to the grocery store and touching those delightfully contaminated carts, I can't seem to avoid the sickening.

If you're anything like me, you're in the same boat. So, when you're on the up and up and starting to feel better but need that little help over the hump, an herbal wrap can be a nourishing, new way to get your immune system back in commission. A step in the right direction toward your self-care journey, an herbal wrap warms you to the core and can boost your energy.

Though new to many people, herbal wraps are quite delightful and healing. At The Pearl, you start with an aromatherapy steam infused with your choice of essential oil  (Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lavender, Tangerine, Basil, or Lemongrass). Our quaint steam shower increases circulation, letting you flush out toxins and get an all over, head-to-toe warm-up. The steam also warms the body from the outside to the inside, allowing you to continue to stay warm, sometimes for hours after your treatment. Though we don't recommend a steam when you already have a fever, a steam creates an "artificial fever" in the body, which is said to bolster your immune response.

A tailored blend of herbs is steeped in a hot water bath, then cloth sheets are soaked in the warm "tea" in preparation for enveloping your body in a cocoon of herbs. 

We have options, depending on your individual needs, which include the following: 

The Herbal Wrap is relaxing, hydrating, balancing, and re-mineralizing. This treatment is great for boosting the immune system and speeding the metabolism. This wrap is our most detoxifying. 

Breathe Easy Herbal Wrap
A must during the seasonal changes in weather as this will boost your immune system and decongest your respiratory system. 

Mud Wrap
Beneficial for joint pain and inflammation as well as boosting metabolic activity. This wrap uses organic thermal mineral marine mud combined with the essential oils to create an uplifting, oxygenating and healing quality.

Mint Magic Herbal Wrap
This treatment is uplifting and energizing. This is a full body wrap in muslin sheets infused with spearmint, peppermint, savory and lavender.

Tummy Tamer Herbal Wrap
An herbal wrap treatment that is both detoxifying and supportive to the digestive system. All herbs and essential oils in this treatment aid in the digestion process and help to cleanse the digestive tract and tame excited stomachs.

Seaweed Wrap
Total body contour slimming treatment for individuals in need of detoxifying and re-mineralizing. This wrap is slimming, clarifying, and mineralizing.

You then enjoy aromatherapy. Eucalyptus, which can your respiratory system, helps aid in the clearing of nasal passageways. And Rosemary, which can aid in lowering cortisol. Managing our cortisol levels is a helpful tool, because when we are more rested and less stressed, we're more likely to heal faster and avoid illness. You then get a healing and stimulating head, face, shoulder, and décolleté massage. Massage of the face and base of head, especially, support opening and release of sinus discomfort due to their reflexive properties.

To end, you will take a cleansing shower followed by a head-to-toe application of Sacred Earth moisturizing cream, then hopefully retire to the relaxing lounge to enjoy one of our delicious antioxidant teas, which further aid in your relaxation.

When I have the pleasure of giving an Herbal Wrap to a client, it's so delightful and satisfying to see them so deeply relaxed and detoxified. Personally, when I receive an Herbal Wrap I feel the penetrating healing qualities for many days after my treatment. I feel less bloated, my skin is smoother, my energy feels improved, I usually sleep quite well that night, and I just feel very warm and nurtured.

May you be well,

Lily Lunnemann

* Images compliments of Creative Commons