Article Archive

Why Does Touch Feel Good?

A Question of Basic Science

Humans and other animals use touch to communicate, explore their environment, heal, learn, sense danger, and more. On a molecular level, it is the least understood of all the senses. While there are several types of touch-sensor neurons, it is not known how these neurons respond to force.1 Our ability to sense gentle touch is known to develop early and remain ever-present in our lives, yet, until now, scientists have not known exactly how humans and other organisms perceive such sensations.2

The Heart Center

Infuse Yourself with Healing Energy

The heart center, located in the chest, is the most important energy center for healing work. The energy generated, amplified, and filtered by the heart center is intrinsically healing. When focused, the transpersonal love energy of the heart center can give clarity to a healing dynamic, a personal dynamic, or an event much more quickly than the energy of the other chakras can.

Sometimes Pain is the Sum of Many Factors

“I can’t believe how much my back hurts,” said Mr. M., an active young man in his mid-30s. “If I bend over—even a little—it really grabs. At its worst, it can take my breath away. My doctor said it is a muscle spasm, but man, this feels like a lot more than that.”

“I understand why you think that, but actually a spasm can be one of the worst pains you can experience,” I assured him.

“But this hurts so much,” Mr. M. asserted. “I’m afraid something is seriously wrong.”

Soothing Moms’ Aches and Pains

Soft-Tissue Strategies for New Mothers

Looking for a great Mother’s Day gift for a new mom? How about a massage? It may sound like some kind of advertisement, but there is no joking around with the serious level of musculoskeletal pain new moms endure. Having a child is a joyful time for many mothers, but it can be complicated by significant pain complaints.

Four-Legged Clients

... and the bodyworkers who care for them

Most bodywork clients appreciate the serenity of a darkened room, with soothing music playing quietly in the background and a touch of scented oil in the air. Then, there are Kathi Soukup’s clients.

Like a growing number of massage therapists and bodyworkers, Soukup has become a family practitioner in the broadest sense of the term. An avid endurance rider, she began her career working on horses and later learned to work on humans. Now, she’s just as comfortable providing massage and acupressure to four-legged family members as two-legged ones.

Peripheral Neuropathy

A Panoply of Problems

An impromptu poll of my Facebook friends suggests that massage therapists are seeing an increasing number of clients with a complicated group of conditions collectively called peripheral neuropathy (PN). This refers to damage in the peripheral nervous system, which can include both spinal and cranial nerves. Not surprisingly, pain—ranging from itching and tingling to severe burning sensations—is a leading feature of PN.

Learning to Ground Yourself

Do you think about the connection between you and the earth when you wake up, roll out of bed, and put your feet on the ground?

You are an electromagnetic being, grounding energy just like an appliance that is plugged into an electrical outlet, and this connection can be incredibly important in weathering daily challenges.

Grounding involves living inside your body and having a connection with the earth, which allows for an inflow of energy to feed your bodily systems and an outflow of energy to release any excessive charge in your body.

“Massage Can Do That?”

What You Might Not Know About the Benefits of Bodywork

You know all about the relaxation benefits of massage—there’s no better tonic for tired muscles or flagging spirits. But you may not know about some of the other amazing benefits of massage, especially when it’s a regular regimen. It has a lot of positive payoffs you may never have thought about.

Don’t Overload Kids’ Backpacks

Strategies to Eliminate Pain and Discomfort Associated with Overloaded Packs

As kids return to school this fall bearing heavy backpacks, don’t wait for them to complain about back pain. Instead, pay attention to their posture and keep a keen eye on all the items loaded into those packs each day.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 13,700 kids ages 5-18 years old were treated in hospitals and doctors’ offices last year for injuries related to backpacks. Experts recommend that kids carry no more than 10-15 percent of their body weight.