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!!!