What You Can't Get From A Massage Tool
April 8, 2019
There are plenty of tools that you can use to help yourself feel better in between massage appointments. There are foam rollers, therapy canes, electronic devices providing percussion or vibration, and balls of all kinds. You’ll see ways to use tennis, golf, racquet, and lacrosse balls for massage purposes. I encourage the use of such items. If you have any questions about how these or other tools can help you, I am always here.
These can be great to have at home, at work, or when you travel. They can help ease some pain when you can’t get in for a massage. Life events pop up and make it difficult to squeeze a massage into your schedule at times.
Massage is a great part of your plan for taking care of yourself, but of course it can’t be the only thing. It makes sense to have other activities and some tools to keep you feeling good regularly. For example rolling your sore and tired feet on a golf ball for a few minutes feels wonderful - and it helps get you up off the couch and moving again.
Before you ditch your massage therapist completely, there are...
corey, kneads, massage tools, muscles, richason, self care, self-care, surprise massage, vital, vitalkneads, wittman massage
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Massage for Knee Surgery Rehab
February 18, 2019
Ouch! What did I do to my knee?
If you’re experiencing knee pain, you’re not alone. Most Americans will have knee pain sometime in their life, whether from an accident, overuse, or general wear and tear as they age. Besides being uncomfortable, it’s often debilitating and holds you back from doing the activities you enjoy most. That’s why it’s important to seek prompt treatment.
There’s as many different types of treatment for knee pain as there are types of knee pain, and in many cases the best treatment is surgery. It’s ironic, however, that while surgery is meant to cure the cause of your knee pain, recovery from the procedure will itself be painful. So what do you do with the pain that comes from fixing your pain?
For many people the answer is massage therapy. This is an all-natural and proven method of pain management that more and more knee surgery patients are seeking. And when you see the benefits, it’s no wonder why.
Let’s look closer at why knee pain happens and how massage therapy can aid your recovery and help you get back on your knees, er, feet, and doing your normal activities...
corey, knee, knee pain, massage, massage az, massage near me, surgery, surprise, vital kneads
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Stress, Anxiety, and Massage
February 2, 2019
Why get a massage? According to a survey conducted by the American Massage Therapy Association, 28% of Americans who get a massage do so for relaxation and stress reduction. That’s a lot of people in the US who feel strongly enough about their own experiences with massage for stress reduction to put their money on it. But aside from individual feelings, what exactly do we know about massage and how it relates to stress and anxiety? And what does the research have to say about that?
What is stress? What is anxiety?
Stress is your body’s response to demanding circumstances. Working late hours? You’ll experience stress. Prepping for a big competition? Definitely stressful. Toddler throwing a tantrum? That’s no doubt stressful for both of you. When you’re stressed, your blood pressure goes up, your breathing and heart rate quicken, and you feel jittery and distracted. All this is useful if your stress is a result the big race you’re running, when you can put that energy to good use. It’s less helpful if your stressor is a friend in need of patience and comfort.
People who regularly put themselves into stressful circumstances on purpose (public speakers, for example)...
anxiety, management, massage, stress, vitalkneads
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Reasons to Hate Your Massage
October 8, 2018
I’ve gotten a lot of massage in the last 17 years. From students, new practitioners, well-seasoned therapists and instructors. I’ve gotten massage in spas, clinics, school, trade show floors and home offices. I’ve been worked on by practitioners who knew I was also an MT and by those who had no idea.
Of them, there are just a handful that I remember as truly spectacular. Yeah, I’m a persnickety client. When I’m slapping down my money, I am super picky and highly critical. Check out this list of massage complaints I’ve wracked up in my years as a massage consumer. (The complaints are mostly in my head, I haven’t always expressed them to the therapist or establishment. More on that later.)
- The therapist didn’t me instruction on what to wear/not wear or how to place myself on the table.
- There was no knee or ankle bolster.
- The room was too warm.
- The room was too cold.
- The music was too loud.
- The music was too soft.
- There was no music.
- The music made me want to dance.
- The massage table was hard.
- The face cradle didn’t adjust.
- There were no tissues in the massage room.
- It was noisy, I...
arizona, az, corey, hate massage, love massage, massage, massage in surprise, surprise, vital kneads, vitalkneads
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Caring for the Skin You’re In: Staying Sun Safe
July 11, 2018
Massage therapists see a lot of skin. All colors, all textures. Freckles, scars, stretch marks, moles. Skin with lots of hair and skin with none. Skin doesn’t surprise us.
Except when it does. That brown spot on your shoulder blade? It wasn’t quite that big when you came in a month ago. And it looks less like an oval and a little more like a blob. Maybe you should have that checked out?
Skin we love. Skin cancer? Not so much. Which is why you’re here on your massage therapist’s website, reading about sun exposure. Because even though I’m not a dermatologist and you’re not going to burn while getting a massage, your skin is a friend I see regularly. And I want to be able to keep working with it for many healthy years to come.
What happens when you get a sunburn?
You’re exposed to the sun and then your skin turns red and itchy, right? Well, yes. But there’s more to it as well.
When you step out into the sunlight, you’re immediately bombarded by UV radiation. This radiation causes mismatches in the curlicue of your DNA in the nucleus of your skin cells,...
burn, massage, skin, sun, sunburn, uv, vital kneads, vitalkneads
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Massage Myths-Contraindications Edition
April 23, 2018
Contraindication is a long word with a simple meaning: a reason you shouldn’t receive a particular treatment, such as a massage. There are local contraindications—things like a small wound—that shouldn’t be massaged directly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get a perfectly good massage on other parts of your body. Then there are general contraindications, or situations in which you shouldn’t get a massage at all. Contraindications can be an illness like the flu, a treatment or medication like a strong blood thinner, or even something environmental, like a bedbug infestation at home.
But there’s another kind of contraindication that also seems to make the rounds on a regular basis: the mythological kind. Despite all the scientific advancements we’ve made in studying massage therapy over the years, there are a few persistent misunderstandings that just won’t seem to die. And while tales of mermaids and unicorns can brighten an otherwise dull day, these massage myths unfortunately prevent too many people from getting the professional bodywork they deserve. Here are four you’ll want to
Myth #1: You can’t get a massage during the first trimester of pregnancy.
This myth is based around the idea that there is an acupressure...
blog, breastfeeding, massage, myths, painkillers, pregnancy, vital kneads, weight
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Tips for Neck and Shoulder Care Between Massage Appointments
June 25, 2017
People with neck and shoulder issues often have their pain return before their next massage appointment. Work, play and children all make demands on the body. A dull ache can quickly turn into a burning pain especially while folding laundry, doing yard work, playing on the computer or any of the other million things you do.
What can you do between professional massage appointments to take the edge off neck and shoulder pain? Here are some ideas.
Take a Break
Take short breaks as often as you can if you sit at a computer all day. Move your shoulders around and s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Ideally you can get up and move around a bit. But even if you're chained to the desk, you can rock out a little Deskercise to stay loose.
Get the kids into it
Have a short yoga break together! There are plenty of videos made especially for kids, and the moves are just as beneficial for adults. Bonus: got a little one averse to naptime? Try the lying-down postures here and maybe you'll get a short break.
Just 10-15 minutes of heat on your shoulders can make a huge difference in how your tissue moves and...
arizona massage, arizona message, az, between appointments, corey richardson, corey richason, cory richason, massage, neck pain, shoulder pain, surprise, vital kneads, vital needs
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3 Things Massage Can Help You With Right Now
April 16, 2017
We know massage will make us move better and feel happier, but not everyone can make time for regular appointments. Luckily massage is great preventive care and it can have some instantly-gratifying results. Check out these 3 things massage can help you with right now.
Tension headaches (often called stress headaches) are the most common type of headaches among adults.
Pain or pressure in your forehead or on the top or sides of your head? Could be a tension headache. It's especially likely if you've been hunching over a desk or some knitting, spent a ton of time in a car, or if you're still shivering and huddling to keep warm as spring slowly creeps in.
Massage can help get rid of that headache and regular massage may well keep it from coming back. (If you want to geek out about tension headaches and try a few self-massage techniques, check out this article.)
Low Back Pain
A major research study was published in 2011 showing that massage therapy was better than drugs and usual care for general lower back pain. Better than drugs. I just had to say that twice.
Just about everyone...
back pain, headaches, irritibility, massage, vital kneads, vitalkneads
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Massage and Anxiety
October 10, 2016
Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults in a given year. Anxiety is described as a feeling of dread, fear, or apprehension often with no clear justification. Most people experience symptoms of anxiety at one time or another, but for those with a disorder, normal daily life is often interrupted and limited.
A few common anxiety disorders are panic disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social phobia (Social Anxiety), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While there are varying symptoms with each, many physiological responses overlap with the different disorders. Many people are able to function with symptoms while others are unable to cope with them.
Some disorders manifest with physical symptoms like sleeping problems, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, nausea, sweating or dry mouth. Others are purely emotional, denoted by excessive, unrealistic worry, feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness. Usually, there’s a combination of physical and emotional symptoms.
Massage may help anxiety
The American Massage Therapy Association has adopted a position statement based on research findings asserting that “massage therapy can assist in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.” It goes on to say that massage may reduce symptoms of anxiety in women in labor, psychiatric patients, cancer patients, patients with...
anxiety, az, corey, massage, richardson, richason, surprise, therapy, vital kneads
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Body Image--Risk and Reward in Massage
August 14, 2016
Body image. Almost everybody has something about their body that they don’t like. For many people, it’s a minor issue, no big deal. But some people have a major issue with their body image. It affects how they live and their happiness.
When I tell some people that I’m a massage therapist it can cause a strong reaction. They tell me, whether verbally or through their reaction and body language, that massage is not for them. Their body image is such an issue that they don’t think anybody else can accept them.
The paradox here is that massage can really help with body image issues. In massage school, we were all nervous about taking off our clothes and letting somebody else touch us. It didn’t take long for us to discover that bodies are just bodies and become much more comfortable with our own. We also experienced how good receiving a massage made us feel. Something unexpected happened – when our bodies felt better we felt better about our bodies.
I think there are three options to consider. Let’s look at the risk versus reward for them.
1. Don’t get a massage.
This is the easiest because it involves...
15, august, body, care, image, kneads, massage, relaxation, vital
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