Back In The Saddle Again …

I have played this tune before.

b405c5_d25c28fedd4204b28a65abd3f70da728.gif_srz_450_388_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_gif_srz

 

I’m going back to work with Emerald Coast Massage Specialists. Teddy Andreadis, one of the owners there and my best business friend, if not best friend full stop, called me the other day to say they have relocated.

Their new facilities are larger and much more convenient, as far as getting in and out of the parking lot, and really, as far as just finding the place. They are a bit farther from the beach now, at 3076 Gulf Breeze Parkway, in the Breeze Shopping Plaza, and not in Gulf Breeze proper. So far that seems to have made little difference. When people need a massage, they are willing to drive an extra five minutes to get it.

Massage is by appointment only. Just call 850-934-4440 and tell Teddy, or me, or whoever answers the phone who you are, what sort of massage you would like, and when you want to come in. 

Or you can always call me – 850-292-1440 – and I’ll help you get an appointment at the office. Of course, I can also make arrangements to come to your place, if you prefer, set up my table, and sort out your muscles in the privacy of your home or office.

So whether you live in the Pensacola area or are just here for the sun, fun, and sugar white sand, give me a call. You’ll be glad you did.

That is all.

Mark out.

Advertisements

Massage Therapy Finder – A New Link To The World


top 

The hardest part about being a massage therapist isn’t the therapy, it’s finding someone to work on. Until a therapist has a solid base of repeat clientele, a great deal of his time is spent looking for clients or simply not having any. Today I signed on with Massage Therapy Finder, listed at the very top of the sidebar to your right. I have no idea whether this will generate any calls, but it can’t hurt to get out there.

I also looked into listing myself on Craig’s List, but it’s kind of pricey to do that. I might try it later on though.

Right now I’m doing fill-in work at a chiropractor’s office. I’ll talk more about that next week.

Enough for now.  

Mark out.  

New Portraits

DSCF0076-1I said there weren’t enough pictures of me here, so I did something about it. There were no really good pictures of me, full stop, so I took care of that at the same time. Stephanie at Captured Moments Art Photography did just a bang-up job making me look good in a picture, which is a lot harder than it used to be, for various reasons. Have a look at her web site. It’s in the Blog Roll.

DSCF0085-1

Stephanie’s studio is right down the street from me. I pass it every time I go to the grocery. I’m glad I finally got to stop in.

Do you like my shirt? It’s my favorite. Somebody I like very much gave that to me, so I’d like to thank her. Thank you.

That is all.

Mark out.

Thanks, AMTA!

logo

The American Massage Therapy Association is a national group that I joined before I even graduated massage school. I get my professional insurance through them, and they also offer other services, such as a listing in their data base of therapists, and a free website. I just set mine up, and here it is.

I was also very pleased yesterday, when I received a call from someone who had found my name and number on the AMTA web site. Nothing came of it, unfortunately, because he was calling from Fort Walton Beach, which is at least an hour and a half drive from here, too far to go and do a one-hour massage. Still, the fact that people are looking for and finding me is quite encouraging.

On a related note, my new car door signs are ready at Fast Signs, so I will go and pick those up now.

That is all.

Mark out.

PS – I decided that there aren’t nearly enough pictures of me on the web, so here is another one. I’m standing in front of Yorkminster Cathedral a few Christmastimes back. Yes, it’s a white Christmas. How neat is that?

York Cathedral, England, 2009

York Cathedral, England, 2009

 

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Nothing To Bring You An Aromatherapy Report

A while ago, as reported on this very blog, I bought a bunch of single note essential oils to mix with lotions, put in baths, and do other aromatherapy-ish sorts of things with, and tonight I found a wonderful combination of oils that actually does feel therapeutic.

I put six drops each of clary sage and bergamot into a warm Epsom salt bath after three particularly grueling days at work, and the result was amazing.

Clary sage is rather medicinal smelling, sort of like tea tree only not as sweet, and bergamot is citrusy and strong, but doesn’t smell at all like any other citrus, and is not as overpowering as orange or lime, or as cliché, come to that.

So the bergamot remained beneath the clary sage, though it was not flattened by it, but rather the citrus note buoyed and magnified the sage while distracting from the sage’s medicine-y texture, and the result truly was quite therapeutic – most refreshing and invigorating, while giving a sense of overall well being.

It was like going to the doctor and getting good news, or at least not getting any of the other sort, and at the same time noticing that the doctor is kind of cute, and don’t those scrubs hug her fulsome curves nicely? Why yes, I believe they do, and I wonder if she has a regular massage therapist. I should ask. 

That is all.

Mark out. 

Yard Work Blues

Spring is early this year. Well, in fact there has not been much of a winter in North America, especially around here. Even in Kansas the lilacs bloomed a month early, so I am told, and last week the temperature in Flint, Michigan was warmer than Pensacola.

Which means that my clients have been extra industrious not only with spring cleaning, but with yard work, and I lost count of the strained low backs, sore shoulders, achy thighs, and stiff necks I have dealt with over the past couple of weeks as folks get back into the swing of caring for lawns and gardens.

I used to do that ages ago, care for a lawn, in southern California, and I did use different muscles to do that, or at least used muscles in different ways, than for anything else I ever did. So I can empathize with hedge-clipper wrist syndrome, and weed-pulling crouch thigh complaint, and reaching too high to saw down that tree limb hyperextension of the shoulder ouchiness.

Only now I know what to do about these issues in my clients because they resemble so many other muscular situations I treat routinely, and I saw a multitude of them over the past couple of weeks.

Of course Epsom salts baths and massage therapy work wonders on underused muscles that suddenly become overused muscles, but another great thing for those yard work aches and pains is to treat your gardening chores as a workout, which is really what they amount to.

Stretch before AND after you weed, and seed, and mow, and mulch, and schlep around that 15-pound edge trimmer, the leaf blower, and the electric hedge clippers that you haven’t picked up since last September.

Stretching will help move the lactic acid out of overworked muscles. That’s the stuff that builds up in the muscle tissue and causes the delayed aches and even cramps that often don’t manifest until the next day. Frequent rest breaks, and of course constant rehydration will help as well – get a big water bottle and keep drinking from it. Don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink, because by then you are already dehydrated.

And one last thing, all you weekend garden warriors – cover up! If it’s too hot for long trousers and long sleeves, at least use a good sunblock, SPF30 or better, everywhere your skin is exposed. And wear a hat, one that shades your neck. If you don’t have one, get one.

What you never want to do is come see me with sunburnt skin where I need to work on you, because I won’t do it.

But do come see me when you can, and I will sort out your muscle issues, and get you ready to go do it again next weekend.

That is all.

Mark out. 


salt baths, self massage, all that stuff

A Trigger Point Is Not Where Roy Rogers’ Horse Stands

I frequently mention trigger points in these ramblings, as in, who has them, and where they are located, and the treatment thereof, though always in passing, as if I assume everyone knows what a trigger point is.

Every good massage therapist knows this, of course, but I should say a few words about trigger points for everyone else, so I will.

You have them, and by you I mean anyone reading this. Trigger points are merely places in everyone’s musculature that get wrapped up too tightly from time to time, and grab hold of nerves and squeeze them so that the nerves think they are supposed to do something, so they clench any other muscles they might be attached to.

So then what happens is, you’ve got a whole bunch of muscles clenched for no good reason, which, even if it isn’t actually painful, makes a person feel unnecessarily tight and stressed.

All these trigger points are located in about the same places on everybody’s body. But the good news is that not all your trigger points are clenched at any given time, and in fact most of them are not clenched at all on most people, and then too, there are degrees of clenchiness.

For instance, if I push on a trigger point and the client whimpers, I can be pretty sure that that trigger point (and let’s call it a TPT from now on, like I do in my client notes) is wrapped up pretty tightly and will need some serious sorting out in order to let go, assuming the client can stand the discomfort.

Because the way I sort out a TPT is to mash the dickens out of it, with a thumb, finger, elbow, or possibly knee, though I have never had to go that far.

Mashing the TPT further stimulates already overstimulated nerves within the TPT, eventually to the point that the nerve is so overstimulated it literally cannot take anymore and gives up, releasing not only the muscle it innervates, but also the muscles that are innervated by nerves that THAT muscle was squeezing and causing to clench.

These other muscles that the TPT is making clench could be several inches or even farther away. If the TPT is squeezing the nerves that go to this distant muscle hard enough to cause discomfort, we call that ‘referred pain.’

Even if the client doesn’t feel the pain in that distant location in the normal course of things, very often he or she will feel it keenly when I squeeze the TPT. There is a TPT, a cluster of them in fact, right at the top of the shoulder, where the trapezius attaches, which, when pressured, the client will feel up the neck to the ear and scalp, or down the shoulder and arm to the fingers, or both.

In fact, most of the active TPTs I find are in the shoulders and upper back, and that is not surprising since that’s where all of us keep our tension.

Another really likely spot, especially for folks with low back pain and stiffness, is in the QL, the quadratus lumborum. This is the most posterior, that is, farthest back, abdominal muscle. In fact it’s so far back it’s right up against the very lowest bunch of muscles that border both sides of the spine.

And so quite often I find really strong, nasty TPTs underneath the lower spinal muscles, between the top of the sacrum and the lowest ribs. These TPTs really hurt when I have to mash them, and I usually warn the client that I’m going in after them.

But when I do get those suckers to let go, the whole back relaxes, bottom to top, sacrum to cranium.

Of course I do have clients who can’t take that kind of pain, or prefer not to, and for them I will coddle the nastier TPTs, stroke and caress rather than pin down and maul into submission. Usually I can get the TPT to let go somewhat if  I give it a lot of time and patience, but the release is never as complete as if I slammed it full force.

Still, if that’s what the client wants, that’s what I will do. 

Another place I find a lot of active TPTs is in the gluteal muscles, as in the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and so on. These are wide, strong, thick muscles at the center of the body. Everyone’s big bits pivot around the gluteals – both of the legs, as well as the whole torso, so of course this area is going to be stressed, even if you do nothing but sit down and stand up all day.

When the glutes are strained, tense, hypertonic, they feel tough and crinkly beneath the skin, like old leather that has got wet and then dried. If I feel that, I know there are active TPTs in the gluteal.  These are not hard to find because they feel like little clumps of weeds, or like half a small grape.

And fortunately, most gluteal TPTs are quick to release, though not always.

But when released, whether it’s one or two, or eight or nine (yes, unfortunately I have seen this) the TPTs let go of the entire rest of the muscle, and then the entire cheek, to use the vernacular, can rest easy. The difference in texture that I feel in the overall muscle tone, once the TPTs are silent, is quite literally that between stiff leather and silk.

Now most people don’t even know they have the stress they do, or at least to the extent they do. I often hear people say they had no idea they hurt so much until I touched them in those spots.

Which is quite all right. Because when it quits hurting, even if you didn’t realize it was hurting until it wasn’t anymore, it feels ever so much better.

Doesn’t it?

That is all.

Mark out.