Infant Massage

infant-massage-picInfant massage is an ancient practice  — an Eastern Indian grandmother massaged all her children. More popular than ever, now, it encourages bonding with your baby, relaxes your baby’s muscles, helps to increase circulation, and reduces stress. Research says that newborns who receive a daily massage grow more (in both height and weight) during the first few weeks of life. A plus is, a 15-minute massage at  bedtime helps your baby fall asleep faster and sleep better.

How to do it – Rub a drop of oil between your palms and start with baby’s feet, so baby can see what’s happening. Hold your baby’s foot with one hand, while using your other hand to stroke the length of baby’s leg in a gentle, squeezing motion. Use the same stroke on baby’s arms. Once you get to baby’s back and tummy, begin with both hands at the center, then push out lightly as if you were smoothing a crumpled piece of paper.

The Tools of the Trade:

  • Stay away from perfumed oils. Use something edible, like coconut or almond oil.
  • Keep your baby warm. Cover baby’s tummy with a blanket while massaging other parts, and make sure the room temperature is comfortable.
  • Don’t force it. If your baby doesn’t like it, review your technique and try again later.
  • Pick the right time. Make sure baby’s not hungry, tired, or ill  — and that you’re not in a hurry.

If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Pregnancy Massage

prenatal_massagePregnancy Massage: Stress Relief for Mothers-To-Be

Massage therapy has long been recognized as an effective means of stress relief. During pregnancy, that benefit does double duty, relaxing the mother and reducing the flow of stress hormones to the baby. Most women find that they sleep much better after a massage. They feel more spacious and fluid in their bodies, able to move with greater ease and comfort.

A pregnant woman’s blood volume increases as much as 40% (even more with twins or triplets). Massage therapy supports the work of the heart, aiding circulation of blood as well as other body fluids. Especially for women who must sit for long periods of time during the day, leg and pelvic massage help reduce the likelihood of varicose veins and swollen ankles.

Research has shown that women who receive massage during pregnancy engage in more nurturing touch with their infants. The experience of being touched with respect and empathy taps into deep capacities for connection and healthy interdependence. Massage therapy honors the personhood and the modesty of the pregnant woman, which is a rare experience in prenatal care for many women.

When making an appointment for massage therapy, it is important for a pregnant woman to inform the therapist of her stage of pregnancy as well as any special concerns or complications that have arisen during the pregnancy. Not all massage therapists have received training in pregnancy massage, and not all are comfortable working with pregnant women. It is not unreasonable to ask about experience and/or credentials to ensure that the therapist is knowledgeable about the unique precautions and adaptations that are necessary for pregnant clients.

Pregnancy massage is usually done in a sidelying position with plenty of pillows or cushions for support. (Special massage tables exist that enable a pregnant woman to lie on her stomach, but leading experts in the profession do not recommend such prone positioning because of the stress it places on vulnerable circulation areas, on the uterine ligaments, and on the uterus itself.) The massage usually addresses the neck, the arms/hands, the back, the pelvis, and the legs/feet. The woman’s body is carefully draped with a sheet and/or towel so that private areas are never exposed during the massage. Most therapists are also willing to adapt their routine to accommodate any special discomfort with nudity or sensitive areas of the body.

Prenatal massage is much more than a “treat” that women deserve once or twice during their pregnancies. It is a form of health care that impacts both the temporary challenges of pregnancy and the lifelong experience of healthy parenting.

If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Sciatica and Low Back Pain

Low-Back-PainThe longest nerve in the body is the sciatic nerve. It runs from the lower back down the leg into the toes. When irritated or inflamed you will hear people refer to the term sciatica. This means that the sciatic nerve has become inflamed and irritated causing excruciating pain in the back of their leg. Some people note problems in the buttock, some the knee area, others near the foot and some just feel it throughout the entire leg and foot. Also, people may notice a deep ache of the leg and cramping-like sensations of the muscles, pins and needles, burning sensations, numbness and tenderness.

Therapeutic Massage can be a great tool for alleviating the symptoms of sciatica, mainly through the use of passive and active lumbar stretching, and deep tissue massage to the adjacent lumbar and gluteal muscles. Although these treatments can immensely help the condition, chiropractic treatments are also one of the best ways to relieve the cause of the pain (nerve impingement).

Most sciatic patients receive tremendous relief from chiropractic superior to traction and pain injections, often saving them from having spinal surgery.

A prolapsed disc may cause sciatica but there are other conditions, such as misalignments of the spine, that can cause irritation of the sciatic nerve. The pain in the leg is caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest and longest nerve of the body. This nerve is made up by a number of nerves branching off of each side of the spinal cord and runs down the back of each leg.

There are several causes for sciatic-like pain, another common condition is known as piriformis syndrome, which is caused by an inflammation, irritation or tear to the piriformis muscle in the gluteal area producing nerve impingement to the sciatic nerve, a condition greatly alleviated by deep tissue massage and PNF stretching to the affected area.

The second most common condition producing low back pain is the s. i. joint misalignment, S.I. stands for sacro-iliac joint, or the joint formed between the sacrum of your spine and the iliac crest of your hip, when it becomes misaligned it can also cause excruciating pain, this condition is quickly and greatly alleviate by a chiropractor.

How can massage help? Massage can bring welcome relief to affected areas such as kneading of the muscles of your lower back that have stiffened up from any muscles spasms, although massage does not manipulate the spine, more often therapeutic passive muscle stretching can bring welcome relief for most of the symptoms for sciatica, again massage coupled with chiropractic adjustments can treat not only the symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling but also get to the root of your problem by re-aligning your spine to remove any interference with your sciatic nerve.

If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Neck Pain

neck_painCHRONIC neck pain is one area where massage may help you manage your pain if it is due to stress or postural problems (bad posture, sleeping or at work). If the discomfort is due to trauma (an accident or fall). I would encourage you to seek advice from a chiropractor for x-rays to rule out any fracture or serious misalignment in your spine. X-rays are also beneficial to diagnose arthritic conditions and disc degeneration all of which allow the therapist to provide a more thorough and effective treatment.

Neck pain and symptoms caused by a cervical (neck) spine disorder are a very common problem for many adults. The cervical spine is composed of many different anatomic structures, including muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints. Each of these structures has nerve endings that can detect painful problems when they occur. The different parts of the cervical spine are normally well balanced and able to handle all of the movements, stresses, and strains of the body gracefully. However, when the different parts of the cervical spine are injured or start to wear out, your neck can be a significant source of pain and discomfort.

Studies show that approximately fifty percent of the population has evidence of degenerative changes in their cervical spine by the age of fifty. These changes happen because the discs that act as shock absorbers between the vertebral bodies of the cervical spine wear out as we grow older. As the intervertebral discs wear out, they begin to collapse, or herniate, and become less flexible. The common causes of neck pain and cervical disorders include arthritis, injuries, and trauma. In some situations neck pain can also be a warning sign of something more serious such as spinal cord compression, a tumor or spinal infection.

Any patient suffering from CHRONIC neck, shoulder, head or arm pain should be examined by a doctor in order to determine where the pain originates and what is causing the pain. The tissues involved in producing the pain must also be identified, and how they are being irritated must also be understood. The history of the pain and any activities that may have triggered it are also important factors in diagnosis and treatment. Impairment of movement in any part of the cervical spine can be responsible for pain, discomfort, and disability.

Although therapeutic massage can greatly help pain from muscular conditions such as a crick in your neck or any muscular neck strain, but when there is trauma involved I strongly suggested to have it checked with x-rays by a physician to accurately evaluate the extent of your condition.

If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Massage for the Mature Adult

geriatric-massageYour body repairs itself throughout your lifetime, but with each year the process becomes a little less efficient. The body gradually loses some of its ability to spring back from the wear and tear of daily living. Even healthy individuals who remain vigorous into their nineties may accumulate an assortment of annoying problems.

Though aging is unavoidable, you can take steps to maintain or improve your strength, flexibility, coordination: and energy no matter how old you are. Exercise and good nutrition can help. Regular therapeutic massage can also improve physical and mental well-being throughout your life.

Geriatric Massage differs by utilizing modifications of standard techniques that are especially suitable to the physical conditions in the older population. Athletes benefit from massage therapy for physical problems resulting from overexertion, injury and general wear and tear they incur in relatively short periods of time. Geriatrics benefit from massage therapy for the very same reasons, however they acquire their symptoms over a full lifetime of work and activities.

The benefits of massage and nurturing touch are becoming more accepted and recognized throughout the Medical and Health Communities. The benefits can appear on a physical level as well as emotional, psychological and social levels. Here is basic list of benefits Geriatric Massage may offer.

  • Stress Relief and Relaxation
  • Increased Circulation
  • Improvement in Bodily Functions
  • Skin Care
  • Alleviating Depression
  • Increased Self-Esteem
  • Increased Mobility
  • Pain Relief
  • Memory Stimulation
  • Increased Vitality

Many health problems common to the mature adult or geriatric client respond to appropriate massage techniques often better than to medication. In fact it is not uncommon that hands-on techniques are effective when the body no longer responds to medication.

Conditions that are most often responsive to massage therapy are as follows:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Lymphedema
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral Circulatory Disease
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Emphysema
  • Pre/Post Op
  • Joint Replacement
  • Amputation
  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis

Practical considerations

Communicating your needs. Tell your massage therapist why you are getting a massage. For example, you may want relief for sore feet or tight shoulders, or you may just want to relax.

Dress. Your massage therapist will normally leave the room while you undress. You will be covered warmly at all times except for the area being massaged. Tell your massage therapist if you prefer to leave some or all of your clothes on.

Getting on the table. If you wish, your massage therapist will help you get onto the table. Pillows or cushions may be used to help support you. If lying down is uncomfortable for you, most massage therapists can work with you seated in a chair.

Special concerns. Always tell your massage therapist whether the pressure being used is comfortable. Indicate if you do not want oil or lotion, or if you dislike scented lotion. Let your massage therapist know if you are hard of hearing. If you are too cold or hot, your therapist can adjust the heat or your covers.

After the massage

Before getting up from the table, give yourself a few minutes to reorient from a state of deep relaxation. If you wish, your massage therapist can stay and help you.

How long? The length of your sessions will depend on your general health and your reason for getting massage. For your first massage a half-hour or less may. be enough. With experience, you and your massage therapist can determine the best length for each visit.

How often? Frequency is usually more important than the length of each massage. With regular sessions you may begin to notice positive changes in how you feel between massages, and in how many aches and pains you do (or don’t) experience. Your massage therapist will help you set an appropriate schedule.

If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Types Of Massage

Hot-Stone-MassageIn traditional massage, different levels of pressure and movement are applied to the body’s soft tissue — skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia (membrane which surrounds the muscles). Though there are many specialized massage techniques being used today, the most widely practiced is Swedish massage. Swedish massage is built around five basic strokes – effleurage (gliding stroke), petrissage (kneading stroke), friction (steady pressure), tapotement (drumming), and vibration and jostling.

Some types of bodywork, such as Cranio-Sacral Therapy is more refined and works on an energetic level; it is an alternative to the more physical Swedish massage. But many other specialized techniques are easily blended into a Swedish massage. Most practitioners are cross trained in several techniques and will use them together with Swedish during a common treatment session.

To assist you in choosing the type of bodywork best appropriate for you, the most widely practiced massage modalities are defined below. It is not required, whereas it may be useful, for you to carefully understand the difference between all the massage modalities. What is most important is to be knowledgeable of your own goals in receiving massage. You can then interview many practitioners, asking them what approach they would use to address your specific goals. If you have a condition such as whiplash or tendinitis, ask directly if the practitioner is skilled working on this condition and how they would go about it. This is the best way to ensure you will get the right type of bodywork for you.

Swedish Massage – best known and most widely practiced approach to massage. It focuses on improving blood flow to the skin and muscle and removing muscle tension. Swedish provides generalized relaxation, improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and enhances one’s overall state of health.

Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Therapy – uses slow friction and deep finger pressure on body areas suffering from chronic muscle tension or areas that simply ache or feel contracted. This type of massage is useful for areas of hypertension, such as a stiff neck or sore shoulders. Deep tissue work works well in combination with traditional Swedish therapy.

Myofascial Release – All muscle is covered by a thin layer of tissue (fascia) that helps maintain body posture and provides support and strength for the muscles. Fascia can tighten or become stuck in places, constricting muscle and not allowing it to fully relax. With Myofascial Release, the practitioner gently stretched fascia along the direction of the muscle until the tissue releases and is fully elongated. The result of myofascial work is postural improvements and noticeable relaxation of cramped muscle groups.

Sports massage – Sports massage, geared at athletes and fitness enthusiasts, is more vigorous than other forms of massage. Sports massage is used to warm up muscle tissue, assist training, prevent injury, and aid healing in case of soreness or injury. It is used both before and after exercise, as well as in the treatment of sports injuries such as sprains, strains, or tendonitis.

Lymphatic Massage – A very light, gentle, repetitive stroke is used to stimulate the the activity of the lymphatic system where there is edema. Lymphatic massage is used to reduce swelling resulting from injury or post-surgery.

Hot Stone Massage – For these treatments, the therapist uses heated basalt mineral stones and/or semi-precious stones that represent the chakras. Muscle tension is released as the smooth stones move over the muscle. Heated Stone Massage is also thought to align subtle energies within the body for greater attunement and harmony.

Craniosacral Therapy [CST] – Craniosacral Therapy monitors the rhythm fluid that is continuously draining and refilling around our brain and spinal cord. By monitoring the craniosacral rhythm, the therapist discovers where healing is needed and corrects the sources of pain using extremely subtle manipulative techniques. CST is an extremely gentle hands-on technique that causes deep relaxation for the client.

There are as many types of massage as their are people. Massage as we use it in the USA is adapted from different parts of the world and applied to what we use today.

If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Benefits Of Massage Therapy

peaceful-hands-picMost of us have some stress in our lives, either due to work, family or general environment. For some the stress may cause sleeplessness, anxiety, hypertension, or depression. For many the stress leads to muscle soreness somewhere in the body – the shoulders, neck, legs, back, etc… Whatever form the stress reveals in, when untreated, it becomes an constant low or medium-grade condition that puts a discourages our every day lives and feeling of food health. Some people use exercise to relieve stress but many unfortunately do nothing. They just live with the aches and pain, blocking out the discomfort they feel. The problem with this approach is that with time our aches and pain only increase, rob us of good health and energy.

Massage, also referred to as ‘bodywork,’ is a therapy that can be used to treat most common conditions related to stress and muscle tension. Massage has both psychological and physiological effects. It can be used to treat specific conditions or injuries and is also used for common relaxation and inner peace. Massage is beneficial for those experiencing headaches, arthritis, insomnia, asthma, digestive disorders, constipation, carpal tunnel syndrome, sinusitis, and minor aches and pains. Those taking prescriptions for the above and related conditions, will find that massage can be a great benefit or even an alternate for the medication. The long-term advantages of receiving regular massage is an experience of improved health.

Below are the known effects of massage on the body:

  • Relieves muscle tension and stiffness
  • Reduces muscle spasms
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases stress and anxiety
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Improves joint flexibility and range of motion
  • Speeds recovery from pulled muscles or sprained ligaments
  • Treats tension headaches and effects of eye-strain
  • Improves blood circulation and movement of lymph fluids
  • Improves posture
  • Relieves repetitive motion injuries
  • Enhances the health and nourishment of skin
  • Helps removal of metabolic wastes

Source: American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)

If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Chronic Low Back Pain Research

A growing body of evidence shows that massage therapy can be effective for a variety of health conditions. Massage is rapidly becoming recognized as an important part of health and wellness, and research is indicating some of what takes place in the body during massage therapy.


Massage Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain

Research released in July 2011 expanded on previous studies demonstrating the effectiveness of massage therapy for chronic low back pain. Researchers found that “patients receiving massage were twice as likely as those receiving usual care to report significant improvements in both their pain and function”. The study was conducted over 10 weeks through Group Health Research Institute.

  • Participants had a 60-minute massage once a week for 10 weeks.
  • Massage patients also said they reduced the amount of over the counter anti-inflammatory medications they took.
  • The study compared both relaxation massage and “structural massage” therapy and found no difference in the results from the type of massage given.

Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Kahn J, Wellman R, Cook AJ, Johnson E, Erro J, Delaney K, Deyo RA. A comparison of the effects of 2 types of massage and usual care on chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial.
Ann Intern Med. 2011 Jul 5;155(1):1-9.

If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Simple Self-massage for Arthritis

As part of the Study “Rheumatoid arthritis in upper limbs benefits from moderate pressure massage therapy,” conducted by Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine,participants were taught a self-massage protocol that proved helpful in reducing the pain associated with their arthritis.

The following self-massage is specific to the arm and shoulder:

  • Stroking. Stroking from the wrist to the shoulder with moderate pressure, then from the shoulder back to the wrist three times. On the top of the hand, stroke from the wrist to the tips of the fingers and back to the wrist. Repeat on the underside of the arm.
  • Milking. On the top of the arm, cup fingers with thumb on the underside, pulling the flesh between them and gradually moving down to wrist and back up to shoulder from the wrist. Again, use moderate pressure. Repeat on bottom of the arm.
  • Friction. Make circular movements with four fingers on top of the arm, moving across the shoulder and down the arm and top of hand. Repeat same on underside of arm.
  • Skin rolling. Similar to the milking, squeeze the arm between the fingers and the thumb, then crawl fingers across skin with moderate pressure, first on top of arm and then underside of the arm and top of shoulder.

It’s beneficial to get regular massages for arthritis pain management. Massage also helps one have better sleep. “Sleep disturbances are a real contributor to pain syndrome,” notes Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.“It’s sort of like a vicious cycle because you have sleep disturbance, then you have pain syndrome, and when you have pain syndrome, you can’t sleep.”

If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic pain and would like to attain a better quality of life, those in the Inland Empire region, please contact me today to book a session.

Personal Habits


We all have habits. As you can read in the image, the definition of habit. Today I’m referring to b. in that image. An established disposition of the mind or character. Characteristics. What are characteristics? It is an identifying attribute, or feature.

Our habit can be shaped by the environment and habits of others. We build our attitudes from what we hear and see from others we are influenced by. That is not always a good thing. For example, if we are influenced by a criminal we’ll build our mental habit from what we’ve seen and heard them do. Not realizing that it is not the best choice. As I’ve posted about before, we make choices everyday. Even no choice is a choice. If you do not choose for yourself, someone else will choose for you. You may find that it was not the choice you wanted. Where does that leave you?

As a Christian, I work hard and focus on being Christ like. That means I need to have Christ like characteristics. Reading through God’s Word we can find many scriptures that speak of HIS character. For me, it’s highly important to build those characteristics in me because in doing so it will help me to build my personal habits. Two main scripture are: Ephesians 5 & Galatians 5.

Positive personal habits will afford you to be more successful in your journey.

“Habits like blogging often and regularly, writing down the way you think, being clear about what you think are effective tactics, ignoring the burbling crowd and not eating bacon. All of these are useful habits.” -Seth Godin

Here’s a few tips to building good personal habits:

  1. Turn off all electronics for at least two nights a week.
  2. Make a list of your dreams and passions in life.
  3. Find positive people or a group(s) to participate in that exude good habits.
  4. Read positive material.

My challenge to you is:

  • This week, start applying these tips. Come back here and comment on how you’re doing. Also, feel free to ask questions.

“You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, ‘I release the need for this in my life’.” -Wayne Dyer

If you’re feeling stuck and need help getting unstuck, contact me for some life coaching sessions. It’s OK to ask for help. The bad part is knowing you need help and never asking for it. Please ask!