Q. Being fairly new to massage, I’m always unsure about whether to tip or not? Is there some sort of tipping protocol like in dining, or is tipping my massage therapist like tipping my doctor?
In massage and bodywork, there is an elephant on your tables and chairs, in your spa rooms, and, in fact, everywhere you take the profession. Not the trunk and peanuts kind. No, this animal is metaphorical in nature, yet an animal, nonetheless. Strangely paradoxical, this elephant is the backbone of many modalities and to many of our lives, yet is often avoided in the name of privacy, sacredness, and because we just don’t know how to talk about it. The subject of which I speak is none other than spirituality.
Most of us take water for granted. It’s in our oceans, rivers, lakes and swimming pools. It falls from the sky and flows from our faucets. We swim, bathe, wash and soak in it. When we need it, or want it, we have it. Our supply of water is not the problem today, (more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by it) the problem is the purity of the water.
All water is not the same. There are differences equating to different healing properties and, as you can imagine, its uses in hydrotherapy vary greatly.
For thousands of years, the Chinese have known the power of its healing properties, incorporating its use in their traditional tea ceremonies. Now green tea has found its way into the heart of Western medicine as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent capable of blocking the cancer-causing effects of free radicals in the body.
Santosh Katiyar, Ph.D., who has figured prominently in investigating the relationship between green tea and skin, says the tea has an “antioxidant activity superior to that of any other naturally occurring antioxidant known.”
Too much on your plate? Millions of Americans know how you feel.
Stress has become a “given” in our modern world, and a primary cause of physical and mental illness for millions of us. Small amounts of stress can be a good thing, keeping us alert and on-task. But unrelenting stress, whether from overbooked schedules, financial strain, too little sleep or too much bad news, can lead to a breakdown of body, mind and spirit. When an overextended life puts you on a collision course with disaster, there are simple steps you can take to recover a sense of balance.
Someone may tell you it’s all in your head. Yet you know it’s not, because you’re feeling it, in excruciating detail, in your body. Movement education pioneers F. Matthias Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais and Milton Trager agree that it may have started in your mind — way back when your body and your brain were learning together how to crawl, stand and walk — but it didn’t end there. Movement education theorizes that when the body establishes responses to its emotional or physical environment, those responses are carried forward long after the original stimulus is gone.
Jonathan Clark teaches children with developmental and communication disorders. He is also a certified massage therapist with a dream. “There are so many different things that massage helps adults with,” said Clark recently from his office at The Matthew Reardon Advanced Academy in Savannah, Ga. “I know it relaxes me to the point I can focus. I thought maybe it could help a child focus.”
Q. It’s hard to miss the fact my cat loves a good belly rub. It makes me wonder if animals benefit from massage the same as we do?
Q. My therapist told me that massage and bodywork can be helpful for eating disorders. How can this be?
A. The truth is, millions of American men and women suffer from some sort of eating disorder. Bodywork, however, can help lessen the chasm between body and mind that helps “feed” these disorders. According to author Merrill DeVito, who went on her first diet in the fifth grade, the self-loathing that accompanies eating disorders gets trapped in the entire body, but bodywork helps release it.
Q. Is there any way for me to get my massage expenditures reimbursed by insurance?