Why You Should Consider Lymphatic Drainage Massage

One of the benefits of massage therapy we often talk about is how regular massage helps to detoxify the body. But how does it do this exactly?

Movement equals life. And massage therapy encourages movement of blood, fluid, and oxygen throughout the body. One of the major ways we do this is by focusing on the lymphatic system.

What Is The Lymphatic System?  

The lymphatic system has three major functions: maintaining the balance of fluid in the body, aiding in the digestive system, and supporting our immune system.

According to MedicalNewsToday.com, the lymphatic or lymph system involves an extensive network of vessels that passes through our tissues to allow for the movement of a fluid called lymph. Every day, around two liters of fluid from our cardiovascular system enters into our tissue. The lymph system collects this fluid, sending it to our lymph nodes where it’s filtered. Here it becomes activated to fight off infection and defend our body.

What Is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Lymphatic drainage massage is a form of massage that encourages fluid to flow freely throughout the lymph nodes or drain built up fluid in these areas. It involves gentle, non-invasive movements on various areas of the body, practiced in a rhythmic motion. The continuous, light-pressure motion forces stagnant fluid to release, restoring proper function in your tissues.

Certain essential oils can be used to support the lymph nodes during your treatment. Frankincense is known for boosting overall wellness but when applied topically, it can increase the production of cytokines which can stimulate immune cells to fight off pathogens. Peppermint may also be used to reduce inflammation. If you have swollen nodes, peppermint can be applied topically to soothe this discomfort. Diffusing citrus based oils are also great for boosting the immune system, purifying the air, and promoting your body’s ability to heal. *Remember, do your research and educate yourself on oils if using at home to avoid injury.

Who Is A Candidate For Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Fluid retention can happen for many reasons. It is very common after surgery or injury, but illness, lack of physical activity, or stress can cause your body to become stagnant as well. Anyone who has a job where they sit or stand long hours during the day or other physically inactive individuals are great candidates.

As part of the immune system, this type of therapy is a wonderful way to avoid sickness. While there can benefits year-round, practicing regular lymph drainage massage during the winter months can help maintain your health while warding off illness.

The hands of time can sometimes be our worst enemy as skin begins to thin and wrinkle. Lymph drainage can actually help slow the aging process and boost collagen production. Especially when practiced on the face, lymph drainage can reduce puffiness and help promote more supple skin overtime. Read more about our exclusive anti-aging facial massage here.

Wondering if lymphatic drainage massage therapy is right for you? Our team of experienced massage therapists are here to answer your questions. As always, it’s best to consult your doctor before receiving a massage if you have a serious medical condition.

Experience the amazing benefits of lymphatic drainage massage! Click here or call 330-721-9357 to schedule your appointment.

Why Moms Should Take A Field Trip Too

By now, your back-to-school schedule is in full swing. You’re probably already used to the standard head-spinning schedule of sports practices, extra-curriculars, and playdates. But while planning for your kids next school activity, why not schedule one of your own?

Here at Nature’s Touch, we’re encouraging all moms (and dads too!) to take an hour break from the busy school season and take a “field trip” to our office. While a regular massage is always divine, we also have many other treatments that require about the same amount of time and provide a deeper level of  relaxation.

Check out these treatments to pamper yourself:

Bamboo Infusion Massage

Bamboo Infusion Massage is a unique method of deep tissue massage. Using heated bamboo to roll and knead tissue, this treatment creates an extreme sensation of relaxation. The smooth edges of the bamboo sticks allow for more penetrating maneuvers to work through all angles of your aches and pains. Many clients report that the benefits of this type of treatment last even longer than regular deep tissue massage. How wonderful does that sound!

Hot Stone Massage

This treatment is performed with the application of smooth basalt lava stones that have been heated to just the right temperature needed to melt your tension away. Stones are placed in areas that generally hold tension such as the back, and then oiled stones are used in flowing strokes to relax the body. This type of treatment is warm and cozy and great for warming up as the seasons begin to change.

Steam Tent Therapy

As the weather starts to cool down, you may be finding yourself more prone to catching colds and getting sick. And as a busy parent, there is no time for that. The perfect way to give your immune system a boost and warm up from the chilly weather is with a session in our steam tent. The steam tent is like a relaxing sauna that helps the body to sweat out toxins. As it heats the body, it acts as an artificial fever that kills off unwanted invaders and puts your body into healing-mode. Many people who incorporate regular steam tent sessions into their life notice significant improvement in congestion, headaches and difficulty sleeping.

Rain Bath Ceremony

This hundreds-of-years-old sacred ceremony bathes you in warm stones, cool stones and essential oils. This ancient healing treatment is a very gentle method of alleviating stress and anxiety, helping to restore balance to the body’s chemistry. Warm stones relax and calm. Essential oils are dripped onto the body to ground, re-balance and soothe. Cool stones revitalize the body, mind and spirit to reawaken to a new self.

Facial Toning Massage

Face Toning Massage is a stimulating, vigorous, luxurious, safe and effective method of treating the problem of sluggish, aging and environmentally damaged skin. This method will retrain your facial muscles by firming and lifting them, thereby tightening and toning the skin, especially around the eyes and mouth to create a youth flow. Facial massage is also relaxing, which promotes stress reduction. Clients experience enhanced muscle tone and noticeable improvements to their skin, face and neck with the very first treatment. You’ll absolutely love how your skin and muscles look after a series. Many clients look like they lost five to 10 years off their faces, and are ecstatic.

What are you waiting for? Schedule your “field trip” to Nature’s Touch today! 

Cupping: Alternative Medicine for Pain and Chronic Conditions

Cupping TherapyMassage therapy and body work can help a number of physical conditions. However, old injuries or repetitive, strenuous movements can hinder the body’s ability to heal through normal massage practices. Cupping, or sometimes referred to as manual vacuum therapy, is a natural, holistic, and effective technique that takes pressure off the injured site and promotes healing in the body.

What Is Cupping?

When a muscle is injured, the body’s natural response mechanism is to create inflammation to protect the area. For example, if you were to cut your finger, the inflammatory process can help block infection or bacteria from entering your skin while the area heals. On the flip side, chronic inflammation can be damaging to your health. Inflammation around an injured muscle can produce free radicals or toxins overtime and create an acidic pH in the body.

Cupping can change this acidic state and release the toxins in an injured area. The process can almost be thought of as the opposite of a massage. Rather than applying pressure to work through the injury, cupping creates a suction to take the pressure off the area to allow the stagnant blood to release and oxygen to move through.

How Does It Work?

Cupping uses small glass cups that are placed on the skin to create a suction. The cups are typically in place for several minutes depending on the level of severity of your symptoms. Another form of cupping using a small flexible, silicone cup that can be moved around the area by the therapist to create a massage-like effect. Both forms force blood to move from the area, pushing toxins out, and flushing oxygen and nutrients in to stimulate healing.

Is Cupping Right For Me?

Cupping is a safe therapy that can be incorporated into your regular massage routine. At Nature’s Touch, we have four certified cupping therapists highly skilled in practicing this technique.

Conditions cupping can treat:

  • Chronic pain
  • Joint pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Skin conditions
  • High blood pressure
  • Cellulite
  • And more…

Click here to schedule your appointment or call us at 330-721-9357 to see if cupping is right for you.

Massage Therapy For Children

Whenever we talk about massage, we generally associate it with adults only. But the healing and relaxing benefits don’t only apply to the older generation. People of all ages can benefit from massage therapy, including children.

Why It Works

It’s no mistake that infant or child massage routines have been practiced since ancient times. The power of touch and sensory stimulation is the first sense felt by humans and has shown to help children reach developmental milestones. Sadly, there have been studies revealing babies suffer from “failure to thrive” because they were deprived of the loving touch they desperately need.

You may not realize it, but children of all ages experience different kinds of stress. Stress in children can range from separation anxiety, various fears, or emotional strain within the family. These heightened levels of cortisol so early on hinders healthy development. Massage therapy can help children manage these feelings of stress in a controlled and positive setting.

In addition to helping children manage stress, massage therapy early in life supports a positive sense of self. Children who learn a healthy understanding of touch early on are more likely to grow to be adults with a healthy self-esteem, a sense of appropriate boundary’s, and long-lasting intimate relationships.[1]

The Power of Touch

I once worked with a family that adopted three children who hadn’t come from a positive environment. I visited them at their new home once a week, same day, same time so that they’d get used to having a “friend” that would always came back and who wasn’t going to leave them. I would bring with me creams and oils and for them to make up their own aromatherapy potions and then massage their new parent’s feet or hands. It was an emotionally charged time and the little boy told his new mom that he loved her for the first time during one of our sessions.

We also asked another one of our young friends (age four) how it felt when her mom gave her a massage. She said every night before bed, her mom rubs her back and sometimes uses lotion. “It makes me feel comfy and snuggly! I like it when mommy tickles my arms too.” And coming from mom, she says it’s the best way to help her little one fall soundly asleep.

Daily massage with your kiddo does not have to complicated. A quick 10 to 15 session with your child’s favorite scented lotion or oil is just enough to have lasting benefits. This step by step guide can help you master the perfect technique for you and your little one.

What We Do

We offer private sessions designed to teach parents or caregivers how to massage their medically stable newborn and are available  to answer questions regarding the best ways to massage older children. As always, we strive to be a resource to support you in anyway we can.

If you are interested in learning more about Nature’s Touch Massage & Wellness Center or ready to book your session, click here or call our office at 330-721-9357 and schedule your appointment today.

 

 

[1]https://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/children-and-massage

Healthy Prenatal and Postpartum Techniques

Throughout my many years as a Birthing Doula, Reiki Master, and massage therapist, I’ve seen how natural body-work techniques promote a healthy pregnancy, safe labor and delivery, and easy transition into the postpartum phase. Simple treatments like massage therapy or special chiropractic adjustments can have exceptional benefits for both the mother and the child.

Massage Therapy

With so many major changes happening to the body, massage can help relieve the physical and emotional discomforts that take place.

Some of the physical benefits include:

  • Reduced muscle cramps and painful trigger points
  • Pain relief in muscles and joints and legs, low back, and upper back
  • Increased flexibility, making it easier for the body to adjust to its changing shape
  • Eases constipation, gas, and heartburn
  • Improved circulation and reduces excess fluid retention
  • Slowed progression of varicose veins
  • Relief of headaches

According to a study from the Touch Research Institute at The University of Miami, massage greatly reduces anxiety and negative feelings and can have a positive impact on an expectant mother’s mental-state. The study found that pregnant women who received one massage per week had lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine (the feel-good hormones). These positive hormonal changes have been linked to few complications and healthier pregnancies overall.

For more information on how massage therapy can benefit you during pregnancy, read my article here.

Chiropractic Care

Regular chiropractic care during pregnancy can help ensure your body is structurally prepared for labor and delivery. When the pelvis is out of alignment, it can reduce the amount of room the baby needs to develop in the womb or lead to complications during delivery. Adjustments also support optimal nervous system function, ensuring your cells are receiving adequate nutrients and oxygen for the growing baby.

Other benefits of regular chiropractic care during pregnancy include:

  • Relief from back and neck pain
  • Reduced swelling
  • Controlled symptoms of nausea
  • Reduced labor and delivery time

No matter how great your prenatal care may be, sometimes the baby doesn’t want to cooperate.

Breech or posterior positions can also interfere with labor and delivery and could lead to alternative interventions such as c-sections. The Webster technique is a specific type of chiropractic care that focuses on taking un-needed stress off the uterus and supporting muscles to create optimal balance in the pelvis. Chiropractors are highly trained in these techniques to provide gentle and safe adjustments to encourage the baby to move into the right position.

Once a mother has her child, changes in the body don’t stop there. Postpartum discomfort can be just as intense. Combined with massage therapy, chiropractic care can help shorten recovery time and address all the components of one’s pain to help your body back to normal.

Work With A Doula

A Doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.

The term comes from a Greek word meaning “to serve.” Birth doulas serve and support expectant women and their partners and families with the emotional and physical aspects of childbirth. A doula’s role fits perfectly into the modern childbirth scheme where health care providers cannot be 100% present to care for a woman’s emotional and physical needs during childbirth.  Postpartum doulas serve and support after childbirth. Both birth and postpartum doulas can assist women and their families in getting information to make the very best health care decisions for themselves and their families.

According to DONA International, the following are benefits of having a Doula:

  • Mother’s are less likely to need Pitocin
  • Less likely to have a cesarean birth
  • Less likely to use pain medication
  • More likely to have a positive childbirth experience

Interested in using a doula for your pregnancy? Click here to find one near you.

Are These Techniques Right For Me?

We always encourage our clients to inform their caregivers that they are receiving treatments outside of their primary care. In our office, our massage therapists at are specifically trained in providing the most comfortable and effective massage sessions during normal, healthy pregnancy.  Because massage is not appropriate for certain conditions, we encourage our clients to keep us updated about their health. We want to take the best possible care of our clients during this special time in their life.

Nature’s Touch Massage & Wellness Center is an oasis for expectant mothers or new mothers to relieve the aches and pains of physical stress but to de­stress their minds as well. Click here to schedule your appointment or call our office at 330­721­9357 to learn more.

Massage & Breast Cancer

Often we find our lives so busy we forget about taking care of ourselves. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, it’s the perfect time to remind ourselves that monthly breast checks are a critical component to women’s health.

In the United States, about 1 in 8 women develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. According to the Susan G. Komen, most breast cancers grow slowly and by the time women finally notice a lump, the cancer is very aggressive.

No one wants to look for cancer, but incorporating the thought process of checking yourself routinely could save your life. In fact, a recent study found that 40% of breast cancers are diagnosed after a woman has felt a lump in her breast on her own, without having a mammogram. To help get in this mindset, don’t think of this as an exam—think of it as a massage instead.

Breast self-massage offers a way to let go of tension and get the lymph fluids flowing. It can be done simply by lying down on your back. The breast tissue will then spread out evenly along the chest wall.

Place a pillow under your right shoulder so it can relax, and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light to firm pressure. Work around the outside starting at the armpit, under part, and then inner part of your breast, around the nipple, and back toward the armpit. Now repeat the self-massage on your left breast in the same manner. Using a bit of oil such as coconut oil will help your fingers glide better.

This self-massage technique can be done anytime. During certain times of the month our breast may become more lumpy than others, so know that it may take more time to get to know ourselves and the changes that our breast go through at different times during the month. If there’s something that catches your attention, give your healthcare provider a call and make an appointment. Have a yearly mammogram done in addition to your self-massage sessions. Take action and take care of your-self. Exercise, eat right, de-stress, be in nature, and enjoy your life!

Fall In Love With These Fall Treatments

At Nature’s Touch, we offer relaxing massage therapy services all year-round, but as the season’s change, so do our clients preferences. And as we enter into autumn, warm, cozy treatments begin to sound as irresistible as a pumpkin spice latte. Help us embrace the season with these fall spa favorites:

Hot Stone Massage

What doesn’t sound more relaxing than hot stones designed to melt your tension away? This treatment is performed with the application of smooth basalt lava stones that have been heated to just the right temperature and placed on the areas of your body that are tight or sore. Once your muscles are nice and relaxed, the same stones are oiled and used in flowing strokes by your therapist to complete your massage.

Bamboo Infusion Massage

Bamboo Infusion Massage is a unique and innovative method of performing a deep tissue massage. Using heated bamboo to roll and knead tissue, this treatment creates an extreme sensation of relaxation. The smooth edges of the bamboo sticks allow for more penetrating maneuvers to work through all angles of your aches and pains. Many clients report that the benefits of this type of treatment last even longer than regular deep tissue massage. How wonderful does that sound!

Steam Tent Therapy

As the weather starts to cool down, you may be finding yourself more prone to catching colds and getting sick. The perfect way to give your immune system a boost and warm up from the chilly weather is with a session in our steam tent. The steam tent is like a relaxing sauna that helps the body to sweat out toxins. As it heats the body, it acts as an artificial fever that kills off unwanted invaders and puts your body into healing-mode. Many people who incorporate regular steam tent sessions into their life notice significant improvement in congestion, headaches and difficulty sleeping.

Facial Toning

Face Toning Massage is a stimulating and vigorous method of treating the problem of aging skin. But what many people do not know is that it’s just as relaxing as any other massage. Using hot towels at various points of the session, it feels like a luxurious and cozy facial.

Reflexology

Reflexology is a non-invasive treatment performed on the feet and hands to promote movement of energy along pathways. We combine this treatment with various essential oils to stimulate your senses, uplift your spirit, balance, and re-energize you. Especially during fall, we use scents of the season to give you the full autumn-time experience.

To book your fall massage therapy session, contact Nature’s Touch Massage & Wellness Center today!

The Surprising Benefits of Foot Care

During my studies as a massage therapist, I’ve done extensive research on all areas of the body to understand how every inch of the human frame is connected. And at the base of it all are the feet.

The feet are the foundation of the entire body. There are located at the bottom of the skeletal system, so if the bones, muscles, or tendons become injured in some way, the rest of the body must compensate and adjust for the imbalance.

So it should come to no surprise that wearing non-supportive shoes, like flip flops during the summer months, or having a labor intensive job, can put a strain on the feet, leading to overuse of the muscles and potentially trigger more serious problems like tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, or chronic pain.

So what can you do to protect your feet but still enjoy wearing those summer sandals or work your job? Give them the care and attention they need with these simple practices:

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is not only for your upper body. It’s for your feet too. Massage therapy on your feet helps increase circulation, pushing toxins out, and allowing fresh blood to easily flow into the injured or tense areas. Kneading and stretching muscles can reduce inflammation to allow vital nutrients to flow back through the area and promote healing to the tissue.

Reflexology

Similar to regular massage, Reflexology is a specialized, non-invasive treatment performed on the feet or hands. This holistic therapy uses thumb and finger pressure of varying degrees, focusing on areas that correspond with all body parts. The pressure applied during Reflexology stimulates the movement of energy along the pathways. Its benefits range far and wide from emotional release to physical relief. It can ease pain, reduce stress, improve circulation, stimulate the nervous system, uplift your spirit, balance and energize you.

The MELT Method

When you wear flip flops or other shoes that don’t offer much support, your toes are forced to squeeze and grip the shoe. And without padding, your heel and arches are exposed to pressure and force from the weight of your body. The MELT Method is an exceptionally easy yet highly effective therapy to help reduce pain, inflammation, and tenderness. Using a small, soft ball (about the size of a tennis ball) you simply roll the ball under your feet and massage the tender areas. This massaging motion helps re-hydrate connective tissue and tendons promoting flexibility and proper nerve flow.

Kick Your Feet Up

Simply elevating your feet at the end of the day for short periods of time can help remove pressure and reduce swelling after a hard day’s work. Before bed, prop your feet up on a few pillows or on the side of the couch and let them rest for 15-20 minutes. This will help keep inflammation at bay and give your feet the break they need.

Go Barefoot

Have you ever heard of “earthing” or “grounding?” Earthing is the practice of putting your body in direct contact with the Earth. Because your feet are at the base of your body and in closest contact with Mother Nature, one of the easiest ways to “earth” is to simply walk barefoot on soil or sand. The Earth has a mild negative charge, sending positive energy throughout the body and soil. While scientific researching is still being done on all the benefits, people who regularly practice this often experience less pain, reduced inflammation, better sleep, increased immunity, and an overall more positive outlook on life.

Practicing these simple techniques everyday will not only do wonders for your feet but for your entire body as well. During your next massage appointment, ask your therapist to show your feet a little TLC. 

Prenatal Massage: How Massage Therapy Can Help Support A Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of major change in the body as it adapts to growing a new
life from within. Massage is an excellent way to relax, increase energy and relieve the discomforts of pregnancy. The caring touch of our massage therapists can help expectant mothers accept these changes in a positive way.

What Can I Expect During My Session?

During your session, you and your growing belly will be comfortably supported with pillows or cushions. Your massage therapist will talk with you and listen to where you are feeling tension in your body. Careful and thoughtful techniques will be performed for relieve the stress you are feeling, increase circulation, and allow you to unwind and relax.

Essential Oils & Pregnancy

Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils is becoming a popular component in prenatal care. The main benefits of Aromatherapy use during pregnancy are relief of tension and stress, relaxation, relief from minor ailments and may be used in breathing practice for labor. Essential oils and a supportive massage therapist can also offer emotional support to the client and her family. Essential oils can be applied through massage, diffusion, compress and used after your session in a bath.

While there are many benefits of essential oils, certain precautions should be taken before you begin use. Make sure the essential oils you are considering are of a high quality. True therapeutic essential oils present very little hazard compared to synthetic blends. Make sure the chemical composition is not too strong for use during pregnancy because skin is more delicate at this time and some oils may cause irritation. Use of a carrier oil such as coconut oil is advised. Oils containing phenos are an example of a group that is NOT suitable for use during pregnancy so it’s best to stay away from: Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Cinnamon, Cumin, Aniseed, Fennel, Anise, Sweet Birch and Wintergreen.

While most pregnant clients will prefer the citrus-smelling oils, some safe options that can be used are: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Chamomile German, Chamomile Roman, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram Sweet, Neroli, Petitgrain, Rose Otto, Sandalwood, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree and Ylang Ylang.

Your therapist will always check with you before using any oils. When in doubt, always with your main prenatal care provider. Safe use of essential oils and your comfort are number one!

What Are The Benefits of Prenatal Massage?

While there are many benefits of receiving massage therapy during your pregnancy, a few of the top and most important ones are:

  • Reduces muscle cramps and painful trigger points
  • Relieves pain in the muscles and joints and legs, low back, and upper back
  • Increases flexibility, making it easier for the body to adjust to its changing shape
  • Eases constipation, gas, and heartburn
  • Improves circulation and reduces excess fluid retention
  • Slows the progress of varicose veins
  • Relieves headaches
  • Relieves stress and promotes relaxation

Additionally, massage greatly reduces anxiety and negative feelings. In recent studies from the Touch Research Institute at The University of Miami, they found that pregnant women who received one massage per week had lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine (the feel-good hormones). Researchers have also linked these positive hormonal changes to fewer complications and healthier pregnancies overall.

Therapeutic massage is also great for the expectant Dad. A combination of deep muscle manipulation and tension relieving strokes will relax and calm the tension Dad feels during this time of emotional and physical change.

Is Prenatal Massage Right for Everyone?

Our massage therapists at Nature’s Touch are specifically trained in providing the most comfortable and effective prenatal massage sessions during normal, healthy pregnancy. We always encourage our prenatal clients to inform their caregivers that they are receiving pre or postnatal massages. Because massage is not appropriate for certain conditions, we encourage our clients to keep us updated about their health. We want to take the best possible care of our clients during this special time in their life.

Nature’s Touch Massage & Wellness Center is an oasis for expectant mothers or new mothers to relieve the aches and pains of physical stress but to de­stress their minds as well. Click here to schedule your appointment or call our office at 330­721­9357 to learn more.