Camp Skate

Most of my clients know that I’m a obsessed keen roller derby player and next weekend I will be massaging and training at Camp Skate.

My treatment hours will be Friday 8-10pm, Saturday 1-4pm & 8-10pm, Sunday 9am-12pm, with all treatments $20 per 15 minutes. Cash & eftpos available.

Treatment recommendations;

  • 15 mins for targeted pain or injury,
  • 30 mins for full back & shoulders, or legs,
  • 45 mins for back and legs or massage + dry needling/cupping,
  • 60 mins full body massage.

Other soft tissue self care products will be for sale (eg. Heat bags, magnesium oil, spikey balls)

If you’d like to get a jump ahead on the schedule, put your name down next to the times that you’d like to come see me here. Otherwise the schedule will be up at camp.

Stretching; the when, what and how.

When should I stretch ?

In the first 24-72 hours of injury the best treatment is R.I.C.E.R. (rest, ice, compression, elevation, and referral). At this stage, stretching is not advised. It’s best to rest the injured area and apply ice for 10 minutes of every hour until the swelling goes down.

Head to the emergency department if you think you may have a bone fracture or to your health physician for further investigation.

After the initial 72 hours, with clearance from your health physician, you can start some rehabilitation techniques over the next 10-24 days.

Over the period of 2 to 5 weeks you should aim to regain your flexibility, strength, power, muscular endurance, balance and co-ordination.

Long term, once you have recovered from your injury, it’s time to regain fitness, strengthen the injured area and improve flexibility.

When we talk about injury, this doesn’t always mean a serious injury. It could be anything from also waking up with a stiff neck or straining a muscle while picking something up to tearing a muscle during sport or exercise.

What types of stretches are there?

Static Stretching

Static stretching is used to stretch muscles while the body is at rest. It is composed of various techniques that gradually lengthen a muscle to an elongated position (before the point of discomfort) and hold that position for 30 seconds.

Passive Stretching

Passive stretching is a form of static stretching in which an external force exerts upon the limb to move it into the new position. This is in contrast to active stretching. Passive stretching resistance is normally achieved through the force of gravity on the limb or on the body weighing down on it.

Active Stretching

Active stretching eliminates force and its adverse effects from stretching procedures. Active stretching stimulates and prepares muscles for use during exercise. … Agonist refers to actively contracting muscle or muscles while their opposing muscles are termed antagonists.

PNF Stretching

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is a more advanced form of flexibility training that involves both the stretching and contraction of the muscle group being targeted. PNF stretching is a very effective for rehabilitation.

Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching beneficial in sports utilizing momentum from form, and the momentum from static-active stretching strength, in an effort to propel the muscle into an extended range of motion not exceeding one’s static-passive stretching ability.

When should i use these stretches?

Static and passive stretching should be used in the early days after injuring.

PNF stretching can be used in the later weeks as the muscles are beginning to regain their strength. This type of stretch is often performed with a physical therapist.

Dynamic and active stretches should only be used when the muscles are healed and are strengthening. They should never be forced and always a controlled action.

What techniques do i use to stretch?

  • Focus on the muscles that are sore;
  • Ease into the stretch, do not over stretch or force the muscle into position or into pain;
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds;
  • Breathe! Oxygen helps the muscle release;
  • Stretch both sides. The other side is likely to be carrying the work of the sore muscle.

Stay tuned!

In the coming weeks I will be adding some fact sheets on stretching routines for each of the major muscles groups, such as the calves, quadriceps and hamstrings, lower back, neck and shoulders, rotator cuff, and forearms.

 

New Availability

Exciting news!

From Friday the 27th of January, 2017 I will be available at 404/434 St Kilda Road, Melbourne on Friday’s only.

I will be offering all my usual remedial massage, cupping and dry needling services and a range of relaxation and corporate massage services for local professionals.

Tell all your friends and please remember to like and share my Facebook page to keep up to date with offers.

New clients who register and book online will receive
a 10% discount.
Use the code: 1C56KN6 when booking. Click here to book

Muscle in Review: Sternocleidomstoid

Sternocleidomastoid muscle highlighted in red

Sternocleidomastoid, regularly abbreviated to SCM is located superficially, either side of the neck.

It originates at the sternum (sterno) and inserts at the clavicle (cleido) and mastoid process of the skull. It’s main function is head rotation and flexion of the neck.

How does SCM become injured?
SCM can be easily injured with sudden movement or jerks of the head, mostly commonly with whiplash.

 

Muscles in Upper Cross Syndrome

 

It is also often innervated in ‘upper cross syndrome’ where the upper neck and lower shoulder muscles are weak, while the upper shoulder and chest muscles are tight. This is largely due to poor posture as we hunch to use the mouse/keyboards or crane our necks over to look at our laptops or mobiles, or while driving.

What are the symptoms of an injured SCM?
A strained SCM can produce swelling and redness along the muscle, at the site of the injury. In severe cases, you also may see bruising along the path of the injury. If the strain results in a muscle spasm, you may notice a twitching or fluttering beneath the surface of the skin along the side of your neck. Stiffness, muscle fatigue and difficulty holding your head upright may occur, along with dull pain along the path of the injury, accompanied by sharp pain when turning or tilting your head.

Trigger points in SCM can cause headache pain in the back of the head, behind the ear, in the forehead but it can also cause a list of other symptoms that some may not normally attribute to muscles.

SCM trigger points

Primary Symptoms include;
Back of Head Pain
Cheek Pain (like Sinusitis)
Dizziness When Turning Head or Changing Field of View
Double/Blurry/Jumpy Print Vision
Dry Cough
Ear Pain
Earaches/Tinnitus (Ringing)/Itch
Feeling Continued Movement in Car After Stopping
Feeling Tilted When Cornering in Car
Front of Chest Pain
Frontal Headache
Headaches or Migraines
Post Nasal Drip
Runny Nose
Sore throat
Tearing/Reddening of Eye, Drooping of Eyelid
Temple and Eyebrow Pain
Temporal Headache (Temples)
Temporomandibular Joint (jaw) Pain
Throat & Front of Neck Pain
Travelling Nocturnal Sinus Stuffiness
Vertex Pain
Visual Perception Problems

How is SCM treated?
Applying ice for 10 minutes several times daily may relieve swelling and redness. Wearing a neck brace supports the weight of your head, temporarily relieving the stress on SCM although may only recommended temporarily and only in severe cases. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Neurofen) and naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve) and analgesic rubs can relieve some of the pain associated with the strain.

SCM is very responsive to massage and other soft tissue techniques such as gentle cupping, dry needling, and stretching.

  • Rotate your head to look over your shoulder, as far as is comfortable, not to strain.
  • Then gently tilt the head to the same side, as if trying to reach the ear to the shoulder.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds, rest and stretch the other side.

 

 

If you are a yogi, some basic yoga poses that can help lateral and anterior neck tension include;

Bitilasana (Cow Pose) and Marjariasana (Cat Pose)

Cow-Cat pose is a gentle up-and-down flowing posture that brings flexibility to the entire spine. It stretches and lengthens the back torso and neck. It’s a wonderful and easy movement to open and create space through the entire neck.
To begin with cow pose, kneel on your hands and knees in a neutral, tabletop position. Be sure to align the hands below the shoulders and knees directly beneath the hips. Looking straight ahead, inhale, and slowly extend through your spine as you look up and forward, softly arching through the back and neck. Take care to expand through your chest and lower your shoulders down and back.

Move into cat pose by reversing the movement as you exhale and bring your chin towards your chest while gently hunching and rounding your back. Repeat this sequence for 7 to 10 cycles, softly flowing with your breath.

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Twist Pose)

The seated twist is a wonderful pose to bring flexibility to the entire spinal column. It provides an inner massage to the abdominal organs and encourages side-to-side flexibility of the neck.

Begin seated on the floor with both legs extended in front of you and hands at your sides. Bend the right knee and draw the right foot to the outside of the outstretched left leg. Sit up tall, inhale, and extend your left arm out to your left. As you exhale, draw your left arm across your body so the elbow joint gently wraps around your right knee. Take your right hand and place it palm down on the floor near your tailbone, fingers pointing away from you. Draw your chin toward your right shoulder, making sure to keep your spine tall, and the crown of your head reaching toward the sky. Bend the right elbow slightly to allow the right shoulder to sink down.

Breathe deeply in this pose for 5 to 7 breaths, making sure to twist (not crank) your spine comfortably. Repeat on the left side to maintain the balance in your body and spinal column.

Ear to Shoulder Pose

This is an easy pose that can be done just about anywhere. The pose facilitates the lateral movement of the neck as well as stretches down into the shoulder and trapezius muscles. This pose can be performed standing or sitting, provided the spine is straight.

Begin by looking straight ahead with your arms down at your sides. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, bring your right ear down toward your right shoulder. Try to avoid leaning your head forward or back so that your head remains in the same plane as your shoulders. Inhale as you draw your head back to center and exhale as you repeat the movement to the left.

To deepen the stretch, place your right hand on the left side of your head as it drops over towards the right shoulder. Don’t pull your head over; just allow the weight of your hand to softly guide it down. Perform this cycle 7 to 10 times per side before returning to centre. (1)

Cupping: what is it and should I get it?

Ancient Chinese cupping

You may have seen the dark, bruise coloured circles on the backs of the Olympic athletes at the current games in Rio. Many of you may be wondering what they are or have heard from the commentators and media articles about this ‘new’ treatment the athletes are receiving called cupping.

What is cupping and where does it come from?
Cupping is not something new. Early records of cupping have existed since ancient Egypt around 1500 BC. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed cupping. The Chinese have been using cupping dating back to 281 AD. The British were using cupping by the 1800’s with observation of Hippocrates writings. However, with the rise of scientific medicine, the practice of cupping has declined in the West in the last century, until a recent resurgence from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners practicing here in the West and other physical therapists using it to aid in soft tissue therapies.

The method of cupping uses a cup with vacuum created by a flame, pump or suction applied to the skin. Animal horns, bamboo, hollowed out wood or clay, even shells have been used for cupping practices throughout history. The cups used nowadays are most commonly made from glass, plastic or silicone.

How does it work?
TCM practitioners use cupping to move energy and correct internal imbalances, as well as to clear the effects of external injury and climatic influences such as the cold.1 In myotherapy, remedial massage and other physical therapies the cups are used to stretch the underlying tissues such as muscle and fascia.

What is fascia?
Myers (2014) says that while everyone learns something about bones and muscles, the origin and disposition of the fascinating fascial net that unites them is less widely understood, although that is gradually changing.2

Pith acts like fascia

Connective tissue is an apt description of fascia as its web-like structure binds every cell in the body to it’s neighbour.3 Imagine the pith in a mandarin, how it sticks to each segment and holds the segments to each other, and the skin to the flesh of the fruit. In very basic terms, this is what fascia is like.

It is primarily made up of collagen and keeps our muscles and organs where they should be. It also helps transport proteins and nutrients around the body as well as supporting the circulatory and nervous systems.

‘In short muscle is elastic, fascia is plastic’

Fascia is different to muscle in that, when stretched it won’t easily ‘recoil’ to it’s original form. Stretched quickly, it will tear. Stretched slowly it will warp and deform. In short muscle is elastic, fascia is plastic.4 Over time fascia will however, lay new fibres to rebind. This is what western, or modern, cupping aims to facilitate This is called myofascial release. Myofascial release can be achieved manually, with a slow, deliberate massage technique, heat and compression but the suction of the cups lifts and separates the muscle fibres and surrounding connective tissue in a way that cannot be achieved manually. It also increases the blood flow around the restricted muscle to help restore its function.

Australian TCM practitioner and modern cupping pioneer, Bruce Bentley says “Judging from what we can see and feel, we can suppose that the various layers of the skin and the fat beneath are drawn inside the cup, together with a positive tension exerted on the underlying fascia”. He goes on to say “we can presume therefore that the suction effect and the drawing out and elevation of these tissues facilitates an increase of local blood supply to the immediate area, which in turn implies an enhanced metabolic uptake of oxygen and feed of nutrients to those parts. It therefore relaxes and reduces pain [caused by] congestion and contracture”.5

Cupping works fast, with minimal pain to re-knit the connective tissues with a ‘trickle down’ effect to underlying muscle tissues, circulatory and nervous systems and perhaps even organs.

But what are those ‘bruises’?
Bruce Bentley maintains that a cupping mark is not bruising but the physical outcome of pathogens, toxins, blockages and impurities (waste products) that are an undesirable presence in the body.6

MediNet defines a bruise as an injury of the soft tissues that results in breakage of the local capillaries and leakage of red blood cells. In the skin it can be seen as a reddish-purple discoloration that does not blanch when pressed. When a bruise fades, it becomes green and brown, as the body metabolizes the blood cells in the skin. It is best treated with local application of a cold pack immediately after injury.7

However, when tested, the composition of the dark pigmentation left from cupping was found to be ‘old blood’, stagnant blood in the tight muscle fibres.8 Blood that is not moving, the more it thickens, congeals and darkens. TCM also recognises the different colours, shape, temperature and texture of the marks as a diagnostic tool to signify varying pathogens or deficiencies within the body.

Rest assured the marks left by cups are painless, they do not feel like bruising and fade within a few days to a few weeks, depending on how dark they are. I also have observed that clients who have regular cupping tend to mark less and less.

What is the difference between the different types of cups?

L to R: plastic pump cups, silicone cups, glass cups with aspirator suction pump, plastic suction pump with magnets, glass

There are many and varied types of cups. Glass, plastic suction pump, rubber, silicone, glass with a vacuum pump, plastic with a vacuum pump and magnets. The most common used by physical therapists are the glass, plastic suction pump or the silicone cups.

The glass cups are considered the traditional cups, largely used by TCM practitioners. They are used by some physical therapists too. The vacuum is created by placing a fueled flame, usually a cotton wool ball doused in methylated spirits, into the cup for a second or two. The flame is removed and the cup is quickly placed on the oiled skin. The heated air in the cup then cools to create the suction, the oil on the skin acts as the seal to the vacuum.

Flame to create vacuum in cup

It does not feel hot on the skin. Often clients expect it to feel warm and are surprised that the glass is cool. The wide lips on the glass cups feel smooth on the skin. Depending on how much suction is created, the cup can be left where it’s placed, or moved around to massage with. The suction with the glass cups is often strong and tends to leave strong marks, like the ones you might have seen on Michael Phelps at the Olympics.

There is no exact way of measuring the suction on these cups and it takes some experience before a practitioner can judge the amount of suction the flame will create.

Plastic pump cups are often used by myotherapists and some massage therapists. They are fast and easy to use as there is no need for a flame and the amount of suction is easily controlled via the pump. They can be used static or moved to massage with also. They tend not to mark as much as the glass cups but can leave a slight pinkish circle where the cup is placed or a strip where the cup is moved.

Silicone cups are becoming more and more popular among massage therapists and other physical therapists due to their ease of use, durability and gentleness on the client. Suction is created by squeezing the cup and placed on the skin. Suction can be created without oil but seals better with a little bit of lubricant and the cups can be massaged with. This technique is especially good for myofascial release. These cups are not as strong as the glass or plastic pump cups, and therefore leave very little marking on the skin.

What are the contraindications of cupping?
The cupping contraindications are similar to that of massage. Cupping cannot be performed on skin that is broken, has acne, rash or other contagious skin disease. Cupping on pregnant women should be considered with caution, not to the soft tissue areas of the abdomen or lower back. Although I have seen good results on the sore hips of pregnant clients. Cupping shouldn’t be performed on existing bruising as it can be uncomfortable, although I have experimented on myself with the silicone cups to see if it move the bruising out quicker, which it did quite successfully I might say.

Are there other types of cupping?
Facial cupping for skin rejuvenation, headache, sinus and TMJ disorder relief; cupping to reduce stretch marks, scarring and cellulite all exist.

Wet cupping or Hijama, is an Arabic tradition. It is where an incision is made on the skin and the cup is placed over the incision to draw the blood out for therapeutic purposes. This practice is not used by physical therapists and has a risk of infection.

If you are considering myotherapy or massage for a chronic injury or muscular tension, consider trying some cupping with your physical therapy. It is a fast and effective way to mend soft tissue and alleviate muscular pain.

 


  1. Bently, B., Cupping, viewed 11th of August, 2016 <http://www.healthtraditions.com.au/course-details/cupping.htm>
  2. Myers, T 2014, Anatomy Trains – Myofascial Meridians for Manual & Movement Therapists, Elsevier Health Sciences, London
  3. Myers, T 2014, Anatomy Trains – Myofascial Meridians for Manual & Movement Therapists, Elsevier Health Sciences, London
  4. Myers, T 2014, Anatomy Trains – Myofascial Meridians for Manual & Movement Therapists, Elsevier Health Sciences, London
  5. Bentley, B., ‘Modern Cupping’, The Lantern Vol 10-3, pp.15
  6. Bentley, B., ‘A Cupping Mark is Not a Bruise’, The Lantern Vol 12-2, pp.16
  7.  Definition of a Bruise, viewed 11th of August, 2016 <http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2541>
  8. Bentley, B., ‘A Cupping Mark is Not a Bruise’, The Lantern Vol 12-2, pp.16

Lymphedema: What is it, and How Can Manual Lymphatic Drainage Help?

imageWhat is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is the pooling of lymph fluid, due to an obstruction or blockage of the lymphatic system. The lymph vessels drain the fluid from tissues throughout the body and allow immune cells to travel where they are needed. A blockage may occur due to illness, damage or removal of the vessels or nodes of the system.*

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom is chronic swelling, usually of the extremities, limb or area where the obstruction has occurred. Other symptoms include a feeling of heaviness or tightness in the area, restricted range of motion, increased occurrence of infection and hardening or thickening of the skin. Some may also see a change in texture in the tissues of the affected area, such as an ‘orange-peel’ like effect where the fluid pools.

What treatment can help lymphedema?

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a physical therapy technique that is aids the natural drainage of the lymph fluid. The technique includes gentle massage in the area of the healthy lymph nodes, followed by a technique that is a gentle, circular, stretching of the skin motion that aims to push fluid out of the area of swelling, across to the healthy lymph nodes. It is quite different to normal muscular massage and is a slow and gentle technique. Other treatments include compression, range of motion exercises and in some extreme cases, surgery.

What can I do to help reduce lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a chronic disease that usually requires lifelong management. In some cases, lymphedema improves with time however, some swelling is often permanent. Drinking lots of water can aid flushing of the fluids, wearing compression socks or sleeves and elevating the affected area above heart height will all help reduce swelling. Gentle exercise such as walking, breathing exercises, self-drainage techniques and specific corrective exercises to the affected area may be prescribed by your physical therapist.

*If vessels or nodes have been removed due to surgery it is recommended you consult a MLD Vodder Technique specialist.

We service Massage clients from Malvern East and the surrounding areas, including: Chadstone, Malvern, Ashwood, Glen Iris, Caulfield North

Condition in Review: Whiplash

Whiplash is a non-medical term describing a range of injuries to the neck caused by sudden distortion and extension. Injury may be to the cervical vertebrae or their associated ligaments and muscles.

Whiplash is often associated with vehicle accidents especially when hit from the rear. However, whiplash can also be caused by falls, sports accidents or being hit, kicked or shaken. It is the result of a violent back and forth movement of the head and neck, most commonly occurs in a rear end vehicle collision, damaging the cervical vertebrae and/or associated tissues. Whiplash is usually confined to the spine from the neck to the mid-back.

Symptoms can appear directly after injury but often are not felt until the days following. Pain and aching in the neck and back, referred pain to the shoulders, pins and needles in the arms, dizziness, headaches and occasionally nausea.

Victims of suspected whiplash should be referred to a GP for a medical imaging and examination to rule out any possible bone fractures and any other serious injury.

Whiplash should be treated as a sprain/strain injury therefore no heat should be applied to the area for the first 12 to 72 hours. During this timepiece can be applied to slow the spread of injury and inflammation. A cervical collar may be needed during the first 3 days while sleeping or for no more than 3 hours at a time during the day.

Massage can be applied after the first 72 hours and when more serious injury or fractures have been

Sternocleidomastoid trigger points & pain referral

ruled out. Massage will help increase blood and oxygen flow to the injured site, speeding up the healing process. Massage also reduces tension, eliminates trigger points and increases range of motion. Cupping therapy also helps release muscle and fascia tension and draws oxygen rich blood to the area.

Allied Health Care Professions: Shiatsu

Shiatsu or Japanese finger pressure therapy practitioners use touch and pressure to rebalance the energy of the body. The practitioners aim is to align the mind, body and spirit of their patients using their energetic system and their meridians.

The practitioner will take a diagnosis of their client using yin and yang, the five elements and their qi (energy). As a result of diagnosis the practitioner will then be able to determine what meridians will be best used in the treatment.

Shiatsu is performed on the ground or lying down on a table. The client is not required to remove their clothing as they are not using any massage oils or lotions. The practitioner will use elbows, knees, feet as well as finger and palms to apply pressure along the meridians they are working on.

The meridians are the energetic pathways through the body that were codified in Chinese Medicine. There are twelve major channels that we deal with, each one being given the name of an Organ (in the Eastern, not the Western medical sense). The twelve Organs are: Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Heart Protector, Triple Heater, Gall Bladder and Liver.1

According to Tokujiro Namikoshi, the founder of Shiatsu therapy, the underlying principal of shiatsu is that the body can fix itself if the qi is balanced.

The meridians

Modalities Used
The modalities used in shiatsu are; qi (energy), yin and yang; the 5 elements (metal, water, wood, fire, earth), meridians, acupuncture and acupressure points, exercise, stretching, pressing, touch, massage and diagnostics.

When would you seek this practitioner?
Shiatsu is good for treating headaches, back pain, aid relaxation, arthritis, muscle stiffness, sports injuries, digestive problems, menstrual problems, asthma, insomnia, anxiety, depression, sleeping disorders, and pregnancy problems.

 

 


1. http://shiatsudo.co.uk/about-shiatsu/meridians

 

New Adventures…

I just want to write this blog to let my clients know that, Wednesday 25th of May, will be my last day working here in Mildura. I’m heading off to new adventures, working in a mixed clinic in inner Melbourne, Body Align Myotherapy.

It has been a great pleasure to have worked with you all during my time here. I sincerely hope that you keep following my blog and Facebook page and that we might find future opportunities to work together.

I would like to recommend Andrea Furness at Orientalis and Deanna Adcock at Mildura Clinical Massage for your remedial massage needs. Alternatively please look at my links page to see other physical therapists I can recommend here in Mildura.

I wish you all great success in your own adventures!
Please look me up if you’re ever in need of a massage while in Melbourne! See you on Facebook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you ever wanted to know about massage but were afraid to ask…

What happens on my first visit?

You will be required you to fill out a form detailing your health history and personal details. We will then ascertain what you want to achieve in your massage, be it relaxation, some deep tissue work or a focused remedial work on a specific area. I will ask some general questions to establish if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Occasionally I may perform physical assessments and testing to evaluate your condition and to see if you have any presenting complaints.

It is important to list all health concerns and medications so I can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so I am aware if I need to use a different oil during the session.

6571789_origDo I have to get completely undressed?

You should undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full body massage, most get undressed to their briefs. However, if you will be more comfortable during the session you may leave your bra or shorts on. I will work around the clothes you left on as best as I can. If removing all your clothes makes you too nervous and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session.
I will give you privacy to undress and cover with a towel on the table.

If you prefer to stay fully clothed, then I recommend you explore the many other types of massage that are performed clothed.

Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?

This is known as draping and is required by my industry associations code of ethics. All qualified, association therapists should insist on draping. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape, I will only uncover the part of your body being worked on.
The genitals (women and men) and breasts (women) will not be massaged or uncovered. If I am going to work on a woman’s abdomen, a second towel or sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet or towel can be moved to expose the abdomen.

What do I do during a massage treatment?

Make yourself comfortable. If I need you to adjust your position, I will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, let me know if you need to change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable.
Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It’s up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.

Will the massage hurt?

This depends on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes. A light, relaxing massage that doesn’t go very deep into the muscles, shouldn’t hurt. With that being said, there is a ‘feels good’ hurt and an ‘ouch, stop it’ hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the ‘feels good’ hurt range.

Pain can be an indication that the muscle is possibly injured or inflamed and pressure should be adjusted. Also, pain can cause you to tighten up and negate the relaxing effects of the massage. The most effective and deepest massage always works with your body’s natural response, not against it.

I will always work within your own pain threshold, regardless of the type of massage you are having.

How often should I have massage?

“Some is better than none.”

What does that mean? Well, it varies from person to person. If you are just looking for some occasional relaxation, then a session every 3-6 weeks may be fine for you.
However, if you are looking to address a specific condition, then it is recommended to go more frequently at first and then slowly taper down to a maintenance schedule. I always discuss a treatment plan with you when you first come. If you have something specific to treat, I always recommend having a second to see the rate of your recovery and then recommend further treatment as may be required.

Can I talk during the massage?

Sure, if you’d like to talk go right ahead. The important thing to remember is that this treatment is all about you relaxing and enjoying the experience. I prefer to discourage talking hoping that you will relax, to aid the healing process, and help you feel better.

In many instances, people may feel more relaxed starting off talking, and as the massage progresses, enter quiet states of relaxation.

The important issue here is that there are times when you need to speak up. If you are ever uncomfortable; with the pressure of massage, position you are lying in, area i am massaging or temperature of the room, you should let me know immediately.  If something is not working for you – speak up! It’s your massage!

Do I have to listen to your music?

No. While many therapists play slower, quieter, ‘new age’ type music, you can choose to have different music or no music at all. Studies have shown that music at under 60 beats-per-minute has a calming, relaxing effect on the body and therefore can enhance your experience.
However, while this may be true, any music you like to listen to while you relax can be listened to while you get a massage. If it relaxes you and you enjoy it at home, why wouldn’t it do the same during your treatment? I use Spotify most of the time, so please just let me know.

How will I feel after my visit?

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience a significant decrease or freedom from long-term aches and pains. Many feel a little slowed down for a short period and then notice an increase of energy, heightened awareness and increased productivity which can last for days.
If you received a deep massage, you may be slightly sore the next day – much like a good workout at the gym. Sometimes a hot shower, or a soak in the tub can ease this soreness. Sometimes deep work around the head and neck muscles can make you feel light-headed and may induce a headache. This usually eases after an hour or so.
After your session you should increase your water intake a bit. Just a glass or two more than normal is usually fine. This helps keep your body’s tissues hydrated and healthy.

How many sessions will I need?

Honestly, its hard to say. Every person is unique and every condition is unique to each person. It may take one session or it may take several. We will be able to talk more specifically about this after your first session when I have had a chance to evaluate your body’s tissues.

When should I not get a massage?

In my opinion there are few conditions which would prevent you from enjoying massage. You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or contagious skin infection. That’s it.

There are many other conditions in which I will need to adapt my techniques (i.e. arthritis, osteoporosis, herniated disc) or avoid an area completely (i.e. cuts or burns). With some conditions it is a good idea to get an approval from your physician before you receive massage (cancer, certain heart conditions, pregnancy). This doesn’t mean you can’t get massage. But its always better to err on the side of caution. Please advise me when booking if you have any condition you’re not sure about.

What if I get an erection during my massage?

Sometimes it happens. Yet, most men avoid massage for fear this will happen to them. Or, they get a massage but are unable to relax because of this fear. But there is no reason to be embarrassed.

Sometimes men get an erection during a non-sexual, therapeutic, full body massage. Touch administered to any part of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can result in a partial or complete erection.

An educated, professional massage therapist understands this and it will not be an issue for them. If you are still concerned, I recommend wearing more fitted underwear (briefs or boxer briefs) which provide more support than traditional boxers.

Note: If the therapist feels that the session has turned sexual for the client, male or female, they may stop the session to clarify the client’s intent, and may decide to end the session immediately.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with a stranger touching me

It is not uncommon for first-time clients to be apprehensive with the personal nature of massage therapy. Most clients lose this apprehension within the first few minutes of treatment. Massage therapists are trained professionals who respect your feelings and go out of their way to allow you to feel comfortable.

Are you eligible for private health insurance rebates?

Yes. Most health care extras cover include remedial massage therapy and some even have online billing. I do not have HICAPS for on the spot rebates however.

Do you offer massage gift certificates?

Yes I do! A therapeutic massage is a great way to show someone how much you care. For details please ask.