This post was inspired by a recent conversation in my clinic ...
What kids get out of massage is more than you ever imagined!
I periodically get to experience the joy of treating kids in my clinic ... it's not just because I love my career or because I love kids and their honest enthusiasm that brings be such joy, but the knowledge that what I am doing is helping them learn so many bigger things.
You may book a massage for you kids because it's a fun treat, or because they have asked you why you go for massage, or because they have maybe complained about some aches and pains ... but here is what you are actually teaching them by bringing them into my clinic ..
Aches & Pains
You are doing all the right things … eating to nourish your body, getting enough rest, moving your body every day, taking care of you. You even have your next massage (or 2 or 3) booked.
So what do you do when aches & pains pop up in between treatments?
Well first of all you can always call and try to get in earlier for you next massage treatment, nothing is ever set-in stone even if the appointment has been booked for months.
If this is not an option, here are some things to try once you determine what type of pain you are dealing with.
First … if the pain is related to an acute injury (sprains, strains, fall, contusion) pull the ice pack out of the freezer and RICE (rest ice compression elevate), particularly in the first couple of days after injury … this will help to minimize swelling, bruising, and inflammation.
If you don’t have an injury ice pack that lives in your freezer like I do, try a bag of frozen peas ... they work amazing because they easily contour around the injured area, just make sure you don’t accidentally cook them for dinner later lol.
Second … if the pain is related to muscle tension, then here are some options for you to try …
These all become your tools to manage aches and pains at home between regular massage treatments.
As you try each of these tools, you will probably find a couple that work well for you and some that don’t. Make sure to keep the ones that work handy so that they are available right when you need help.
Keep in mind that what works for the “knot” in your back may not work for your tight hamstrings … and what works for me might not work for you.
But more often than not when we are in pain, anything that helps is better than nothing.
Do you have a favourite way to manage aches and pains between regular massage treatments?
Share your favourites in the comments below.
My 10 Essential Essential Oils
Last post we looked at how I use essential oils and what my most used oils are … so now let’s take a look at why I use so much of the oils I do.
What are my most used essential oils & what are they great for?
So now that you know my most used oils, what is my favorite blend to use?
Well it happens to be a blend that my son and I created a number of years ago when I first started working with essential oils called Overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed is perfect in times of stress or when you are literally feeling overwhelmed and in need of a little grounding.
It is soothing and grounding; slows and deepens breath; great for stress, anxiety and nervous tension; wonderful for use in meditation as well.
How do I use this blend?
Roll blend on the palm of your hands, rub you hand together then cup them over your nose and mouth, take 5 deep breaths slowly inhaling and exhaling. This covers all the ways you can benefit from the oils and can quickly bring a sense of calm.
Or ... rolled this blend underneath jaw line and on pulse points behind ears and in the hollow at the base of the neck. The oil will warm on your skin and you will be able to enjoy the smell and experience the benefits for a longer time.
Do you have any essential Essential Oils in your collection?
*The essential oil information in this post is combined from my course notes from Alypsis's Intro to Essential Oils Course and from The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless
Understanding Epsom Salt Baths
I tell people all the time, at the clinic, to do an Epsom salt bath after a massage, heavy workout or physical activity. But I never really take the time to explain why it's a good idea, so here we go.
Why Epsom salts?
Epsom salts are made up of the minerals magnesium and sulfate, hence it’s chemical name magnesium sulfate.
Magnesium plays a very important role in the human body. It helps to regulate more than 300 enzymes that are responsible for everything from muscle control and electrical impulses to energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins.
More specifically magnesium eases stress and improves sleep and concentration; helps muscles and nerves function properly; helps prevent artery hardening and blood clots; helps body use insulin more effective; reduces inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps; and improves oxygen use.
Sulfate is also an important mineral in the body. It is necessary for many biological processes, to help flush toxins from the body and to help form proteins in brain tissue and joints.
How do Epsom salt baths work to ease muscle aches?
The theory is that the water breaks Epsom salts down into it's two chemical components, magnesium and sulfate, then both get absorbed through your skin.
The absorbed magnesium could help trigger your muscles to relax and aid in removal of toxins that can make you sore and stiff. Most people find they feel extra relaxed and sleep really well after an Epsom salt bath as well.
It is an excellent idea to have an Epsom salt bath in the evening after you have had a massage because it helps to further relax your muscles and clear out and toxins released as a result of your massage that could make you stiff or sore.
What is the best way to enjoy an Epsom salt bath?
Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salts to warm/hot water in a standard-sized bathtub (double the Epsom salt for an oversized tub), 3 times a week, soaking for at least 12 minutes.
Make sure to have a glass of cool water handy as well as a cool cloth in case you over heat.
After soaking, make sure to rinse off. This will remove any toxins from the surface of your skin that the Epsom salts may have pulled out. It is suggested, that turning the hot water down until you’re using primarily warm/cool water, rinsing legs first, then arms, then back, then chest, and lastly head, neck, shoulders and soles of the feet, will give the maximum benefits after your soak.
Also, make sure to drink plenty of water during and after an Epsom salt bath.
So lay back, relax and soak up the benefits!
Note: If you have a heart condition, are pregnant or preparing the bath for a child make sure to lower the temperature of the bath and use slightly less Epsom salts. It is also important to remember that an Epsom salt bath must be done without using soap, adding any bath solutions or oils, as these substances will alter the chemistry of the water and affect the beneficial properties of the Epsom salts.
Brien-anne RMT, CA
I am passionate not only about Massage Therapy & Aromatherapy, but also living a holistic lifestyle and empowering others to do the same!