Archive for February, 2011

Calgon 2.0: 5 Minute Hand Spa at your Desk

Need a “Calgon, take me away!” moment? Try this 5 minute hand massage and let your hands relax the rest of you.

I created this video as a way to give daily relief to clients who spend their days on the computer, or who, like me, use their hands all their day at work. I use a lot of these techniques between clients, in fact, to keep up good blood flow in the hands and to counter any stiffness I feel when I wake up in the morning.

At the end of the video, I demonstrate two acupressure points to use to destress and calm the mind. For the point on the pinky finger, I mistakenly describe the point as being on the outside of the pinky nail, when really it is just beyond the inner (thumb side) of the base of the pinky nail. But, if you squeeze the nail as I demonstrate in the video, you’ll be hitting both sides at once.

Enjoy!

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The Nag Speaks: Stretch More – Stretch AFTER

Horse Head

Now, you may not know this about me, but I am a professional nag. Not only do I massage people, but I also nag them, gently, about self-care they know they should be doing.  Here are some examples: “Did you do those stretches we talked about during your last session?”  or “How many times were you able to fit self-massage in since your came in last?”

A large portion of my “suggestions” to people includes stretching. Stretching is a tremendous positive force on the body. It opens up muscles, increases blood flow, keeps tissues moving independently of one another, and allows for more natural posture.

But one of the biggest myths of stretching is that you should be stretching before you exercise.  This article breaks it down: Stretching: When and How to Effectively Stretch | TweakFit.

If you’re stretching when you exercise, make sure you stretch after your workout, not before.  When you exercise, you contract your muscles, and contracting a muscle puts it into a shortened state.  Once you’re done, your target muscles have been contracted and shortened by the workout, and you want to remind your muscles that the short, tight state is not their new homebase.

Stretching lengthens the muscles after a workout, putting them into a more flexible state, and prevents them from resetting their default length to a short state.

Did you catch that?  Stretch AFTER, not before exercise.  (Just a little friend advice from your friendly, neighborhood massage nag.)

Photo from Flickr CCL: jurvetson

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Louisville Massage Appointments AVAILABLE This Week

Man lying on massage table

I’m in Louisville doing massage this week, taking appointments from Tuesday, Feb 22 – Saturday Feb 26. I’m booked full on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I do have openings for Thursday (at 1, 4 and 5:30 PM) and Friday (at 11:30, 3:30 and 5/5:30 PM), and one massage appointment still available on Saturday in the afternoon.

I’ve got a local number now (courtesy of Google Voice): 502-265-6710 that you can call to schedule an appointment.  Or, you can use my Nashville number 615-294-6672.  Don’t forget you can email me at heather@massagebyheather.com for your Louisville massage or schedule online at http://massagebyheather.clickbook.net.

Schedule now to find out how massage helps!  I’ll be back in Louisville again in March taking appointments March 22 – 26, so if you can’t get in to see me in February, go ahead and schedule in March.

Photo from Flickr CCL: o5com

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Do’s and Don’ts for Couples Massage

I’d add a couple more Do’s and Don’ts to the suggestions I found here Some Do’s and Don’ts for Couples Massage « Massage Therapy Center.

Do:

  • Do turn off your phone, computer and television
  • Do keep your partner warm with blanket and heating pads.  A heating pad on the feet can melt some people completely.
  • Do start lighter and then go deeper

Don’t:

  • Don’t have a serious discussion about anything
  • Don’t worry about trying to duplicate any fancy techniques, just the same stroke or two repeated slowly many times can be extremely relaxing.
  • Don’t skip the scalp – 90% of my clients list the scalp as their favorite part of the massage

I offer couples massage classes in Louisville and Nashville if you’d like to learn more tricks and tips to working on your partner.

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“The Sedator” – Bonus Sedative Foot Video

Last fall I introduced a technique I call “The Sedator” to my practice. It was based on an anti-anxiety foot massage, but really, it’s just a way to melt someone right on down into REM. All my clients who enjoy foot work save 10-15 minutes of their massage for just this one technique. It’s slow, very soft, and rhythmic.

It’s not “hard” per se, but is tricky. The person who developed it was thinking about using binaural beat technology that uses tones in the ears to alter the consciousness state of the listener. In this case, a dissonance in timing between the two hands creates a similar (and very relaxing) state. Simply put, one hand is about a beat behind the timing of the dominant or starting hand.

If you haven’t had me try this out on you, take a peek and see if it looks interesting. It doesn’t look like much, but my foot people are in LOVE with it and can’t say enough wonderful things about it. This is a simplified version of what I use on clients, so you should be able to pick it up with a little practice.

And if you want to try it out in your next Louisville massage, just mention it and I’ll set you up!

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Final Fabulous Foot Massage Video: Face-down Toe Work

Ready to finish out the feet? We’ve done some excellent work on the foot with your partner face-down.  This lets you use your body and hands to apply more pressure to the sole of the foot and feels wonderful to fans of deep tissue work.  Let’s finish out the last bit with toe stretches and techniques.

If you haven’t gotten a gift for your Valentine, consider giving your partner a 20-30 min foot massage with these techniques.  Couple that with some soft music, fine chocolate, a glass wine and you have the perfect Valentine’s gift!

To feel this first-hand, contact me for a massage in Louisville or for a session in Nashville.

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FABULOUS Face-down Foot Massage Techniques

Got a partner who wants deeper pressure on his/her feet? Working on the feet while your partner is face-down is a wonderful way to use deeper pressure on the feet while keeping your own hands safe.

A lot of these techniques are the same or similar to what we used on the Fabulous Face-up Foot Massage, and the Fabulous Face-Up Toe Massage so don’t be surprised if it looks familiar. Remember to use a pillow under the ankles to keep the feet elevated a little and make foot massage more comfy. If you don’t have a pillow, roll up a towel or a blanket to give the foot a little cushion.

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Massage Therapy in Louisville in February

Louisville at Night

February appointments are filling up for massage therapy in Louisville. I’m in town giving massage Tuesday, Feb. 22 – Saturday, Feb. 26. I have a Louisville local number now, 502.265-6710 if you want to book an appointment via phone. If you’d rather shoot me an email, heather@massagebyheather.com is the email to use.

You can also schedule 60 or 90 minute sessions online at MassageByHeather.com Online Booking.

Red petals and white ribbon

Valentine’s is just around the corner, and massage is a great gift for Valentines, especially if you add in a little chocolate and chauffeur service to and from the appointment.  Available online:  Massage Gift Certificates

Free Massage is the Best!
If you have a gift certificate, contact me or schedule online to get that massage.  Nothing’s better than a free massage!  (Except two free massages)

Sweet Deals Available:

  • If you’ve joined my Louisville Openings Mailing list you’ll get $10 off your first appointment (please let me know you’ve joined it when you book the appointment).  Join here: Louisville Openings List
  • If you’re a Vanderbilt or Transylvania University graduate, you’ll get $20 off your first appointment with me – just for going to one of my schools.

See you on my table later in February!

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More FABULOUS Foot Massage Techniques: Toes!

The toes are an often forgotten part of the body. Until they start to cause issues, that is. Issues with the toes can eventually make their way up the body in compensation patterns and cause problems in the ankle, knee, hips, back and even the neck/shoulders. With that in mind, I’ll give you a great way to work on a friend or partner’s toes.

I use many of these techniques every day – and the toe stretches at the end of the video are wonderful. I’ve had clients report reduction in plantar fasciitis and tendonitis on the foot from these stretches. For people with flat feet it can really open up the tissue and get good blood flow going.

One caution – the toe stretches can be very intense. Move slowly and do very small stretches at first. Have your partner tell you as soon as it starts to feel uncomfortable. You can move the toes a lot further than the body is comfortable with them stretching, so you’ll be asked to stop the stretch before you feel the end of the range of motion with these stretches.

Enjoy! And as always, contact me for massage therapy in Louisville.

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FABULOUS Foot Massage Techniques

For Valentine’s Day, why not do something more wonderful than chocolate and flowers? Something they’ll love more than dinner out. Something they’ll tell all their friends.

That’s right: foot massage. I’ve got a four video series coming out over the next week or so just in time to teach you how to give a fabulous, wonderful, relaxing, invigorating, heavenly, spectacular foot massage. In fact, just offering to practice on them in advance might make this their favorite Valentine in years.

Now I know not everyone is a big foot fan, but here’s the thing: massage the foot is really easy, and there’s lots of ways to do it that feel very good. You don’t have to use deep pressure on the foot to make it feel good. In fact, I’m planning a BONUS video to show off a light-pressure technique I use called “The Sedator” so that you can try it on your partner.

So get your partner on the table and follow along. There are lots of techniques in the first video, so pick a few that look easy and try them out.

This first video is for working on a partner face-up and covers the top of the foot and the sole, but not the toes – that’s the next video.
(Shout out to AM for being my stunt foot in these videos). And if you’re looking for a good massage in Louisville, just give me a buzz.

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