Archive for Louisville Massage

12 Days of Facial Massage – General Face Massage

Ready to put a little lotion on your partner’s face? We’re finally going to get to the good stuff, although if you want to repeat the scalp part, you can go back to this one: 12 Days of Facial Massage – Scalp!

Now we’re going to do some general work all along the face, put a little lotion on for the rest of the work, and use a slow pace to continue to relax your partner on the table.  To see the video, just watch below:


 

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12 Days of Facial Massage – Scalp Heaven!

Today, day 4 of the 12 Days of Facial Massage video series we start actually working on the head. About time! For this video, I’ve put together some great general scalp work with some shiatsu pressure point techniques that release a lot of the tension we hold in the scalp. Even if you do nothing else other than this scalp work your partner will love you forever and ever.

If you want to start the series from the beginning, you can start with 12 Days of Facial Massage – Opening. If you’ve just missed the video from yesterday, you can see the second part of the neck work right here: 12 Days Facial Massage – Neck and Shoulders 2

You can thank me later.

 

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12 Days of Facial Massage – Neck and Shoulders Part 2

Hope you liked the last video in the 12 Days of Facial Massage series: we just covered some basic work on the neck and shoulders (you can get a replay here).  We spend one more short video work on the neck specifically, and then we get to scalp.

Now I know you can’t wait to get to the scalp – and it’s a fabulous scalp routine including some shiatsu and pressure point techniques – but here’s the thing: you have to spend some time on the neck if you’re going to work on the face and scalp. The area is too interconnected to leave the neck out. I use these neck techniques in almost every massage and they are personal favorites of mine.

Take a peek at the video and learn a few neck and shoulder techniques you can use at any time, even without adding the facial massage to it. Enjoy!
 

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12 Days of Facial Massage: Part 1

During the holiday season I like to put together a series of videos you can use to work on your friends and family. Last year, I did a series on basic partner massage (you start it here) and this year, I’ve put together a series of techniques to use for facial massage. We start off with traction on the arms and head, and a little work on the chest. When working on women, just work the upper part of the chest, close to the collar bone, just the first couple of inches below the clavicle.

Why start with the chest and shoulders if we’re doing a facial massage series? The body can’t really be separated out into components the same way a computer or an appliance can. Because of the way the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bone interact, work on the shoulders, neck and upper chest affects the face and the all the facial muscles that connect in along the jaw bone, the ears and the skull. To address that, we start the facial massage with work on the chest, shoulders and neck before working on the scalp and face. It’s worth the wait, I promise.

 

 

 

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Holiday Massage Gift Certificate Specials in Louisville

 

It’s that time of year again when you start the holiday shopping, hoping to get everyone on your list a little something they’ll love. This year, I’m offering three great deals for you to take advantage of to give friends and family the gift of massage. I can either mail the cards to you, or send them to you via email for you to print out.  And the best part is you can do it all online, if you need to!

I’ve got items for every budget – from stocking stuffers to “big” presents of multiple massage packages. If you’ve got a lot of people to shop for, it’s worth it to combine purchases into a package purchase to save big.

Holiday Shopping Ideas for December 2011

Deal #1: The Best Massage Deal!

Buy 4, Get 1 Free.
Available for 60 or 90 min sessions.

You can give up to 8 massages at regular price to receive a total of 10 gift cards. The gift cards may be redeemed by the same person or given out to different people and are redeemable through December 2012.
Let’s do the math: You get a 60 minute session – normally $75 – for only $60. Same thing with long, luxurious 90 minute sessions – normally $100 and with this limited time offer $80 per session.

DEAL #2: Stocking Stuffer Spectacular!

One 30 minute session for just $10
OR FIVE 30 minute sessions for $35

New clients only! This offer cannot be redeemed by clients who have seen me before. Each client can use exactly one 30-min gift certificate.

I’m offering this special because my 30 min gift certificates have been so popular in introducing friends and family to the benefits of massage. I usually only offer a few to each client after they see me the first time. Now I’ll make them available for you to share with up to 25 of your friends! At $7 a piece (when you buy them in groups of 5) it’s a phenomenal gift to use for businesses, groups, managers, HR departments and small business owners. Thank your clients, your teammates, your bosses or your employees for all their hard work.

You can purchase up to 25 gift certificates with this offer and they are redeemable through March 2012.

DEAL #3: The Turn-Me-To-Pudding Upgrade Special!

Upgrade a 60 min session to a 90 minute session for just $15. (Heaven!)

For just $15, give yourself (or a loved one) 30 extra minutes on the table. This upgrade is usually $25, but for the holidays, I’m sweetening the deal so take advantage of it now!
You can buy up to three of these 60-to-90 minute upgrades. A one-hour session is fantastic – now imagine an extra thirty minutes to focus on problem areas while still allowing for relaxation, resulting in a deeper massage experience.
And at $15 it’s an easy gift to give to yourself or an existing client. Each client can use three of these 60-to-90 minute upgrades.

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Black Friday Specials Extended through the Weekend

 

gift card sign

I had such a great response to my Black Friday specials that I’m extending them through to Sunday. I found out today is Small Business Saturday, and as a small business owner, I figured I’d let you guys have the great deals for a little while longer.  The link to the webpage with the description and the links to purchase are here: http://www.massagebyheather.com/black-friday-specials.html.

Take advantage of them. After Sunday, they won’t be available!

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Black Friday Massage Gift Certificate Specials

For the first time EVER I’m offering Black Friday specials on gift certificates for massage in Louisville. And it gets better: You can do it all online. These Black Friday Only specials start Friday morning, November 25th at 7am EST and Saturday November 26th at 7pm EST and are available ONLY online for 24 hours. Choose from three (or all) fantastic deals (remember, valid for Louisville massage only):

Deal #1:The Craziest Massage Deal. Ever!
Buy 2, Get 1 Free.
Available for 60 or 90 min sessions.

I’ve offered packages before, but never anything like this. You can give up to 6 massages at regular price to receive a total of 9 gift cards. The gift cards may be redeemed by the same person or given out to different people and are redeemable through December 2012.

Let’s do the math: You get a 60 minute session – normally $75 – for only $50. Same thing with long, luxurious 90 minute sessions – normally $100 and with this limited time offer $66 per session. Link available at http://www.massagebyheather.com/black-friday-specials.html starting at 7 AM on Black Friday, November 25th.

DEAL #2: Stocking Stuffer Spectacular!
One 30 minute session for just $10
OR FIVE 30 minute sessions for $30

New clients only! This offer cannot be redeemed by clients who have seen me before. Each client can use exactly one 30-min gift certificate. I’m offering this special because my 30 min gift certificates have been so popular in introducing friends and family to the benefits of massage. I usually only offer a few to each client after they see me the first time. Now I’ll make them available for you to share with up to 25 of your friends!

At $6 a piece (when you buy them in groups of 5) it’s a phenomenal gift to use for businesses, groups, managers, HR departments and small business owners. Thank your clients, your teammates, your bosses or your employees for all their hard work. This would be great for those of you weir ho have your own business and want to thank clients, patients or customers for their work with you through the year.

You can purchase up to 25 gift certificates with this offer and they are redeemable through March 2012. Link available at http://www.massagebyheather.com/black-friday-specials.html starting at 7 AM on Black Friday, November 25th.

DEAL #3: The Turn-Me-To-Pudding Upgrade Special!
Upgrade a 60 min session to a 90 minute session for just $10. (Heaven!)

For just $10, give yourself (or a loved one) 30 extra minutes on the table. This upgrade is usually $25, but for Black
Friday, I’m sweetening the deal. This will be the best upgrade deal for the rest of the season so take advantage of it now!

You can buy up to three of these 60-to-90 minute upgrades. A one-hour session is fantastic – now imagine how an extra thirty minutes to focus on problem areas while still allowing for relaxation, resulting in a deeper massage experience.

And at $10 it’s an easy gift to give to yourself or an existing client. Each client can use three of these 60-to-90 minute upgrades. Link available at http://www.massagebyheather.com/black-friday-specials.html starting at 7 AM on Black Friday, November 25th.

So kick back on Friday, log in to my website and get some holiday shopping done. I’ll contact you via email or phone to find out how you’d like delivery of your gift certificates. I can send them via mail (a snazzy certificate on nice card stock) or via email and you can print them out yourself. I’ll let you know the expiration date, the gift card number and you can finish your shopping quickly and give a present that they’ll love.

Photo credit: sxc.hu user Egilsay

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Test Driving a New Massage Therapist

steering wheel

I’ve recently started “test driving” some new massage therapists in the Louisville area in order to find a good match between what I need and the styles the massage therapists I try use. It’s rough trying out a new massage therapist. For those of you in Nashville trying out Andrea Mindigo or Margo Coppinger (or for those of you getting massage in Louisville trying ME out), here’s some advice on your first session or two with a new massage therapist.

Before I start, a note on semantics. You can only get a good massage if you’re ready to receive one. In fact, I thought about titling this post “How to Receive a Good Massage from a New Therapist.” You may be in the mourning process, in denial that your previous massage therapist is unavailable, or disappointed in other massage therapists you’ve tried because you’re looking for something very specific. You may know that you need a massage but not yet be ready to face facts that you’ve got to really commit to massage for a period of time in order to make a true difference in the physical issues you’re having.

Don’t Expect the Same Massage You’ve had from Other Massage Therapists

I admit I do this. I get on the table, and immediately have the tendency to compare the massage I’m receiving with the massage I got from other therapists. I try to let go and receive the massage that I’m being given. But that can be a challenge.

No two massage therapists are alike. And even going to the same massage therapist you may never receive the same massage twice. I couldn’t do two massages exactly the same if I tried. I depend too much upon feedback from the body and what I palpate while I’m working. I may start out thinking I know the issue, only to find while working that the problem is stemming from another location, or requires a different type of massage than I had planned.

Here’s what you should do: expect a different massage than you’ve had before. Be open to the differences in flow, technique and personality. Instead of thinking, “This isn’t how Heather does it,” try, “That’s different, let me see how this feels.” Instead of being quiet, communicate any immediate needs in pressure or comfort. Suggest things you know that help you when you’ve received other massages. A good massage therapist will welcome the feedback and input.

Expect a Different Level of Communication

The interaction I have with a new client is different than that of a client who has been coming to see me for years. The first time I see someone, s/he’s usually a stranger. I know the information on the intake form, and maybe some details from the initial intake interview, but I don’t know the details of the situation.

Oftentimes, what makes me comfortable with new massage therapists is the level of familiarity that comes from a few sessions and some sharing of personal information. I tell a few interesting stories, ask the therapists a little about themselves and their lives. By building that basic level of familiarity, I am more comfortable on the table.

And, if I’m the therapist, I’m more comfortable working with the client. Just remember, your last massage therapist was probably a stranger when you first met him/her, and it took time to develop a rapport.

Here’s what you should do: Share some basics about your personality, how you communicate, things important to you, hobbies, jobs, family, etc. to give the massage therapist a feel for you. Ask the massage therapist a few questions about her style, communication and background so you can become more comfortable with her.

Turn Off the Inner Dialogue

Here’s a little of the inner dialogue I have when I try a new therapist: “Margo doesn’t start me out face up. . . Oh, that’s way too light. . . No, no, too deep. . .  Andrea didn’t work my feet when I was face down. . . I like this music. . . Should I say something, that one spot is really tender? . . .  Waaaaay too much lotion. . . .  Oh, my god, that’s way to deep. Don’t hit the therapist. Don’t hit the therapist. . . What is s/he using? Thumbs, elbows, knuckles? . . . I wanted some stretching too, but s/he’s already moved on to the next body part.” You get the idea (If I’m honest there’s a little bit of, “I’m totally stealing that move. That rocks!”)

If I let myself, I have that running dialogue the whole massage. It’s not conducive to receiving a good massage. Instead of being in your body while you’re receiving the massage, you’re spending your massage caught up in your head, talking to yourself. One of the primary benefits of a massage is creating a fluid sense of embodied self. If you stay in your head, conversing with yourself about the massage, you’re not able to bring your focus to the work on the body. By moving your awareness to your body and quieting the mind, you are better able to receive the massage you’re being given. Which bring us to -

Be Aware During the Massage

The best compliment you can give a massage therapist is to bring your attention and focus to what you’re working on at the massage table. Put yourself in your skin and pointedly feel the sensation of the work you are receiving. Stop talking to yourself. Stop grading the therapist. Just be. Breathe.

In fact, an easy way to bring your focus back to the massage is to time your breath with the strokes of the therapist. For example, if the massage therapist is working along the spine, take a deep breath, and exhale during the long glide down your back. If the therapist is working the arm or the leg, focus your breath on the long, gliding motions often used during massage. If the therapist is doing still work, practice deep breathing once she settles in a place or while she’s holding a particular spot. Use your breath to focus on your massage rather than what’s distracting you in your mind. Remind yourself to do this each time the therapist starts work on a new part of the body.

And, if something feels fantastic, tell the therapist so s/he can keep doing it for a little longer! If something doesn’t feel good, let the therapist know right away. Once you bring your focus in to the sensation of receiving your massage, communication on things to make the massage better or make you more comfortable are excellent ways to build that rapport with your new therapist.

Expect and Embrace the Differences

No matter how much or how little experience this massage therapist has, chances are s/he’s bringing something unique to the table. Now, what s/he brings may or may not be what expected, but chances are, there will be a couple of things you enjoy and a few differences you might relish with a new massage therapist. At the end of the day, the massage therapist may not be a good match for you, but being open to a different type of massage or therapist may bring you an unexpected gift or moment. If the massage therapist isn’t a good match, be honest. Many times, a therapist will be able to help clients find a better match – either someone closer to their location or someone that has more experience in a particular style they want to receive.

Here’s what you should do: set your expectations before the massage. Here’s what I try to say to myself before receiving a massage from a new client (generally once I’m on the table, but before the therapist enters the room): “I know this massage will not be X’s massage, but if I communicate with him/her, and am open to something new, I will have a good experience.” And honestly, that really helps.

Conclusion

Maybe I’ve been able to give you a few pointers on how to test drive a new massage therapist. I hope so. The important thing to remember is that part of what makes a massage therapist a good match is not just the style of massage she performs, but also communication with her, and that takes time to build. It also has a lot to do with personality. Many people stay with massage therapists for years once they find one they like, so give yourself some time to find the right person. I like to give therapists a few sessions if they meet my basic needs to see if it’s going to be a good long term match.  And it may take some time to find the right match, but keep looking, and ask the massage therapists you know for recommendations.

photo credit: flickr.com CCL – user: paul posadas

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“Look Ma, No Hands” Massage

The unfortunate thing about self-massage is that you have to use your hands and fingers to work on yourself. When the problem area is your forearms or hands, it can be tricky to figure out a way to relieve the tension in the area without further compromising your hands and arms. But I recently started working on my own forearms in a way that minimizes the use of the hands and fingers and still feels fabulous.

I call it the “Look Ma, No Hands” Massage. I’ve been doing a lot of painting and home improvement projects lately, and use this technique to relieve pain and discomfort from the forearms. This is great for pain/tension/soreness from gardening, weeding, home improvement, painting – anything that requires fine motor movements of the hands. Because the primary muscles that move the hands and fingers reside in the forearm, work on the forearm is the easiest way to relieve pressure.

So take a peek at my latest YouTube video here and try it out. All you need is a flat surface and you can perform this technique on  yourself.

 

And if you still need more massage after working on yourself, come see me in Louisville for massage!

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Massage Practice Update: No, I’m Not a Slacker

packing boxes

Hi everyone! I just wanted to apologize for the lack of blog posts, videos and ezine updates in the last few weeks. We’re currently in the process of moving, (packers are in the kitchen as I type) and I haven’t been able to post or video as much as I would like. I will be back in the swing of things in about two weeks. Thank you for your patience (and wish me luck)!

Photo credit: flickr.com CCL user: Betsssssy

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