Article Archive

Therapeutic Communication

Asking for What You Want is Key to a Great Massage

Receiving a massage is a time to rest and rejuvenate as you experience the deeply nourishing effects of skillful touch. As your muscles relax and your mind unwinds, do you ever wonder how to talk with your massage therapist or bodyworker? Here are some guidelines about what to expect regarding verbal communication before, during, and after a session.

Global Massage Outreach

Combining The Profession With Volunteerism

America’s massage therapists are well known for their dedication to volunteerism. This article illustrates the dynamic international outreach work provided by MTs who have successfully combined their love of their profession with their desire to travel around the globe.

Free Your Shoulders

fingertips for the client

Even with an ergonomically designed workstation, comfortable chair, and good posture, working at a computer is likely to result in strain, because it requires the body to alternate between repetitive motion and stillness, and that creates stiffness and strain.

Fortunately, the body is forgiving. You can counteract the effects of eight hours a day at a desk with just 15 minutes of movement. Of course, you’ll also need aerobic exercise and strength training to stay healthy in other ways. Here’s one exercise to help keep your shoulders loose.

The Table and the Mat

The Union of Bodywork with Yoga

Yogis need massage and massage therapists and bodyworkers need yoga. The two arts are sisters. Therapists’ knowledge of yoga informs their creativity as bodyworkers, while their knowledge of body mechanics enhances their own yoga practice and teaching. For their yoga-practicing clients, an MT can sweep away the tension remaining after a yoga session, thereby facilitating the transformative nature of yoga. This makes “tuned-in” bodywork not only complementary, but also the perfect partner to focused, transformative yoga.

Sneezing? Wheezing? Itching? Blame Atopy

pathology perspectives

Atopy translates to “out of the way, unusual.” In medical circles, this term is applied to the observation that a group of common hypersensitivity reactions occurs within the same family, or—unluckily—sometimes all in the same person. The trio is comprised of eczema (also called atopic dermatitis), hay fever (also called allergic sinusitis), and asthma.

Massage: For the Body or Mind?

talk about touch

Mary Ann Foster: A few years back, I fell down a flight of stairs and injured my neck and head, so I went to a massage therapist for relief from the pain and trauma. The therapist began with a warm-up massage on my back and then had me turn over. When she looked at my face, she exclaimed, “You have a lot of trauma!” to which I replied, “I know. I just had a serious accident.” She then clarified that she was referring to my childhood trauma, and she offered to help me work on it.

How Have You Benefited From Participating in Volunteer or Outreach Work?

’round the table: Go Ahead, Speak up

I volunteer at Kernan Hospital where I teach a multiple sclerosis day group for one hour twice a month. In the first part of the class, I teach seated t’ai chi chih, and for the second part of the class I open it up to anyone who would like to receive reiki/chakra energy healing. It is a joy for me to see how relaxed the members are after class (some actually fall asleep!). I also know I’m helping when I pull pain and/or open a shoulder chakra (which only takes minutes), and I hear, “I can’t believe it. The pain is gone!” The look of gratitude on their faces is priceless.

Deep, But Not Too Deep

Clients commonly request deep tissue massage for its lasting benefits—and it just plain feels good. But it’s important to let your therapist know just how deep you want your massage. Here are some ways to help you communicate with your therapist to increase or decrease the intensity.

Verbal Feedback

Your therapist really wants to know how you feel about your massage. Feedback early on in the session is important.