Sunday, April 29, 2012

Massage and Asthma

Could These Non-Traditional Treatments Relieve Your
Asthma Symptoms?

by Beth W. Orenstein and medically reviewed by

Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Here's something I read online today. Remember, before you choose any alternative method to aid in asthma relief, please check with your doctor first.

"Massage therapy, another mind-body technique, brings relief to some people with asthma. Your massage therapist will work on your neck and ribcage to release tension in the muscles that facilitate breathing. “Studies have shown massage therapy can help some asthma sufferers in terms of balancing muscles and improving lung function,” says Amanda Lien, ND, a naturopathic physician in Oakland, Calif., although more studies are needed to confirm this. Additionally, massage therapy may alleviate some of the anxiety you feel about having breathing problems."

"Herbs, vitamins, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics, massage therapy" ... "these are just a few of the complementary medicine and alternative therapies people use to relieve asthma symptoms."

Every day we read about new treatments, techniques and information about our bodies and how they work. It's always fascinating to read that something as old as massage therapy can be so beneficial to so many people. I know it makes me breathe easier!

Let's talk. Maybe massage would be helpful for you and your asthma symptoms.

Massage Among The Guardians
Nancy Pezdek, Holistic Massage Therapist, LMBT# 11024

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I read an article from Duke Medicine 'connect' this week entitled "Don't let stress break your Heart". You may have read it too. If not, here are some excerpts from it:

"The human body's reaction to stress is a wonderful thing. Often called the fight-or-flight response, it uses hormones to kick your body into overdrive briefly and intensely to deal with potentially life-threatening situations."

"When a person is under life stresses frequently or chronically, the fight-or-flight response stays turned on constantly."


"Perhaps the most important skill to learn is recognizing what causes you stress, and nipping it in the bud immediately."

But please don't quit your job unless you have another one handy!

"What can we do to reduce chronic stress and its heartbreaking consequences? Coping skills and relaxation/meditation techniques are the keys to managing stress. The fight-or-flight response is a function of the sympathetic nervous system. Practicing meditation or relaxation techniques engages the parasympathetic nervous system and allows the body to begin to shut down the sympathetic nervous stress response."

In other words, you'll go from frantic to calm/calmer. Especially if you take slow, deep breaths.

"Simply removing yourself from the situation, even for just a few minutes, practicing deep breathing (hmmm...mentioned that one already), going for a brief walk or enjoying a short/long chat with a friend, colleague, or loved one" can help.

I would like to add getting a massage to deal with stress! Yes, a massage can also engage your parasympathetic nervous system to begin the relaxation process. In fact, you can become so relaxed that you may even fall asleep during your massage. And that's a good sign! When your body is relaxed it can rejuvenate, heal and recharge. In fact I fell asleep yesterday during a massage ... no I wasn't giving one but receiving one!

So add 'massage' to your 'reduction of stress plan' and call me at Massage Among The Guardians for an hour or an hour and a half session.

Can you say, "Ahhhhhhh ... "

Massage Among The Guardians
Nancy Pezdek, Holistic Massage Therapist, LMBT# 11024

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lymphatic Massage

For those of you who have never experienced a Lymphatic Massage let me tell you what you are missing!

First of all, it is very soothing and rythmic. You will leave, after an hour, feeling light as air. You may even fall asleep during your massage. I encourage you to try it.

A Lymphatic Massage obviously targets the lymph in your body. It's interesting to note that your Lymphatic System is part of your Circulatory System (this includes your veins and arteries). But unlike your Circulatory System which has a pump (your heart), your Lymphatic System does not have one! Does that sound sluggish?

So, how does your lymph move in your body if it doesn't have a pump? One way is through exercise which makes your muscles contract which help your lymph move to where it needs to go in order for your body to then release it (and its' toxins). Another way is via a massage therapist who is trained in the technique of giving a Lymphatic Massage.

The reason a Lymphatic Massage is rhythmic is because it is very deliberate and slow. The therapist uses a softer, pumping stroke following a certain upward pattern from your toes to your shoulders bringing the lymph to targeted areas in your body along the way where it is then able to be released.

I'm getting relaxed just thinking about it!

It is one of my favorite massages to give clients. I have witnessed first hand, after an hour's massage, the swelling in a client's ankles remarkably reduced. The client had experienced swelling for over three weeks before coming to me.  I encouraged my client to put their feet up for another hour once they got home in order to increase the results. They were very relieved. They also saw improvement in their sinuses over the next few days.

So, if you have never experienced a Lymphatic Massage, it's about time you tried it! It's soothing, relaxing and you'll be on your way to better health in 2012. Let's work together to get rid of the toxins in your body that are weighing you down and keeping you from being tip top. Give me a call at 919.413.5245. Remember, if you take care of yourself, you can take care of the ones you love.


Massage Among The Guardians
Nancy Pezdek, Holistic Massage Therapist, LMBT# 11024

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Neck is Killing Me !

Do you wake up every morning with neck pain? Or do you feel great until you've bent over a keyboard or squinted into a monitor for eight hours and your neck feels like it is as tight as the stretched rubber band you took off your daily newspaper 9 hours ago?

Ouch! Constant neck pain IS a pain. I should know, I had it for years and the knots in and between my shoulders seemed to get bumpier too as a result. Sometimes I would think that if someone would be so kind as to stand on the knots and grind their heels into them that maybe they would get pulverized and smush into submission, leaving my shoulders pliant and my neck free of aggravation. Now don't even consider that approach to relief ! I am just using exaggeration to make a point.

What did I do? First I wanted to see if it was a structural problem and went to a chiropractor for years and got some relief. Then I began adding massage and you know the rest if you have read some prior blog entrees. But if not, then the result was that I realized, as I began a regular massage schedule, that the chiropractic visits began to decrease to the point where I felt I did not need to go anymore. My structural issues had been resolved and were kept at bay through regular massage. It was amazing to wake up in the morning and go through a day without any pain. Then it went to weeks on end and now I am happy to admit that I am virtually pain free. Am I suggesting to decrease your chiropractic visits? No. If you need them then please go as often as you can. But I am suggesting adding massage and seeing what happens to you.

To get the results I want to maintain I make it a priority to get a massage once a week if it can be fit into my busy schedule. And that's exactly what we all do, don't we? We make room in our busy schedules for the things that matter most. Does a pain free neck and shoulder seem to be something you would like to consider as a priority? If you can't believe that you would be able to achieve a pain free neck and shoulder area, then would a decrease in your pain still sound like a good idea?

If so, please let yourself consider YOU for 2012 and let's get you motivated towards a life that could be improved through massage. Let's work together to soothe the aches and pains and stress of your time on this beautiful blue planet!

Remember to check out the massage menu on my website: and call me at 919.413.5245 to make your appointment.


Massage Among The Guardians
Nancy Pezdek, Holistic Massage Therapist, LMBT# 11024

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Massage ... I Can't Afford It !

I know what you mean!!! Getting regular massages can be an expense but I look at it as an investment.


Yes. An investment ... in my well being, mental joy, stress reducer, my quality of life and peace keeper. I feel I need its' benefits more than I need to get my nails done (I've been taking care of them since I could file a nail), pay someone to mow the lawn (I've mowed my own lawn and found it to be very satisfying and Zen), get my hair dyed monthly (I'm lucky ... my hair color is hanging in there), etc. You get the picture. So I do all that or not do that in order to get a regular massage and I see the continued benefits on a daily basis.

No more migraines, less regular headaches, no aches in my neck and shoulders, rarely sick, peace-full, and so on. But you didn't come here to read about how I am doing. You came here to find relief for you and what you can do to acheive it!

Can I guarantee a miracle when you begin to treat yourself to massage? Maybe not, but I can hope for the same relief from pain for you as I have received through regular massage. And that's the key ... regular. You have not gotten in the situation you have gotten into overnight, unless you were in an accident or had surgery, so it may take a little time. It's well worth it. That you can believe. And you can believe that we will work together to find a solution for you.

Also, YOU'RE WORTH IT. You put everyone and everything else above yourself, but 2012 is the year to think a bit about yourself. Sound selfish? No. If you take care of yourself you can take care of the ones you love.

Make your appointment at Massage Among The Guardians and let's get you started on taking care of yourself. It's a good investment!


Massage Among The Guardians
Nancy Pezdek, Holistic Massage Therapist, LMBT# 11024

Friday, January 20, 2012

Massage and YOU

Massage should be all about YOU. That's right. After all, only you know what is bothering you, so speak up when you go for your massage appointment! Let the therapist know where it hurts, how long you have been in pain and what action you did which may have caused the strain. Yes, we therapists like to think we can take one look at you and "poof" ... know exactly what you need. But to understand your problem and begin to realize how to ease your pain we may need to ask you a few questions first.

For example ...
A friend of mine called me the other day and asked if I had time to give her a massage. She had a pain in her neck and shoulder for days and she was supposed to get on an airplane in a few more days. We set up a time for her and when she arrived I asked her a few questions first.

"When did you first feel this pain?"

"A few days ago when I lifted some groceries out of the trunk of the car, carried them to the kitchen counter, and then lifted them up onto the counter  ... bam ... I felt it immediately".

Ouch! But she only had the pain on one side. Hmmm. Interesting.

At this point a massage therapist is going to have things pop up in his/her head when conversations like this one takes place. Muscles up and down the back and the neck as well as how they connect and work together will present themselves. I told my friend that it may have started in her lower back (she bent over) where she actually is not feeling anything but that it affected her upper back and neck (she held her neck and shoulder muscles in a tense position all the way from the car to the counter).

Check out the image above of the muscles in your back!!! They go here and there, lay underneath one another or on top, connect to the front or run vertically up and down on either side of your spine. It's pretty amazing! So, where does one go from here?

Usually the next step is touch. Once your session begins your therapist will begin feeling your back, neck and shoulders to assess tight areas, etc. If they touch a spot and you feel pain or discomfort, speak up and let them know, "That's the spot".

With my friend, I suggested working on her feet first as I know that it can begin the relaxing process. By the time I reached her back, she was relaxed enough for me to work the problem areas. Asking every now and then, "Is this too hard?", or "How are you doing?" helped us work together as a team to facilitate a positive result.

An hour later when the session was over I suggested for her to lay there for a minute before sitting up slowly, using her arms to push herself up, not her neck. I suggested she sit for a moment on the table and take a few deep breaths before standing on the floor. Once she was dressed we sat on the couch and talked for a few minutes. At one point she looked at me and said, "I don't feel any pain." She seemed to be puzzled and amazed at the same time. How could she be out of pain with just a one hour massage when she had been in pain and even on muscle relaxers for days without relief?

I don't presume to know everything but I do know that massage can do amazing things if we give ourselves the time to enjoy one. You don't even have to be in pain to make an appointment! In fact, regular massages can keep you free of pain. It's done that for me.

Take care of yourself so you can take care of the ones you love. Call me and let's get you started towards a pain free 2012.


Massage Among The Guardians
Nancy Pezdek, Holistic Massage Therapist, LMBT# 11024

Monday, January 2, 2012

Learn More About Massage and the Benefits for You

Hello! I'm glad you made it back to my blog about Massage Among The Guardians which is a home based massage practice in Raleigh, N.C.

I promised you that this blog would contain information that would be helpful to you and be fun as well. I know that this entry may look a little long, but I thought that learning about the benefits of massage may inspire you to call me and make an appointment. You really deserve to receive the benefits that regular massage can bring to your well being. I speak from experience!

If you read about migraines in an earlier blog entry, you'll note that I suffered terribly from them and that I found relief with regular massages. It's the truth! So enjoy this caption taken from, a public educational site put out by the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals.

The Benefits Of Massage
What exactly are the benefits of receiving massage or bodywork treatments? Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, massage can:
  • Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
  • Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
  • Ease medication dependence.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
  • Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Lessen depression and anxiety.
  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
  • Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
  • Relieve migraine pain.

Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress. This translates into:
  • Decreased anxiety.
  • Enhanced sleep quality.
  • Greater energy.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Increased circulation.
  • Reduced fatigue.

Increase the Benefits with Frequent Visits
Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.

Congratulations! You hung in there and read all the way to the end of this article which I shortened for you. Now all you have to do is tell me you read it and give me the one benefit, or two, that you are seeking from massage and you will receive ten dollars off your next session! That's right. This treat is good through the month of January 2012. Call now to make an appointment.


Massage Among The Guardians
Nancy Pezdek, Holistic Massage Therapist, LMBT# 11024

Happy New Year!!!