This showed up on my table twice last week, so I thought it must be time to talk about psoas (Pronounced so-as) and iliacus! (The combo often referred to as iliopsoas.)
These 2 muscles lift the knee in taking a step, so you can imagine how much they're used. They can also shorten if you sit for long periods of time. The psoas attaches along the lumbar spine, which is often where you'll feel pain if this muscle is tight, shortened, and needing some attention!
If I've ever worked on these muscles on you, you're probably wondered why I'm working within your belly area for your low back pain. But once you feel those specific muscles, you can probably tell how they relate to that pesky pain in your low back or hip.
I found this quick video that shows a few ways to stretch this area:
If you do yoga, there's several poses that target this area that can be helpful like half boat, low lunge, side angle, and more. If you're interested in some yoga classes, I highly recommend Centering Yoga on Columbia Ave. The studio is peaceful and beautiful, and the instructors are knowledgeable and welcoming!
Do you have some nagging low back pain that we haven't addressed in your massage sessions? Let me know and we can explore these muscles and see if there is a connection there for you.
So last week, I'm sitting down in the evening trying to relax after a long day... and I get the dreaded hiccups. There goes my relaxing night! 😂
I looked up how to treat hiccups using essential oils - thinking "this is so not going to work, but I'll give it a shot". The suggestion I found was to put some peppermint oil on the 5th cervical vertebra on the back of the neck, and to take a drop internally.
I have a bottle of the Peppermint Touch (already diluted with fractionated coconut oil and in a roller bottle for easy application). So I put that on the back of my neck, and then ingested a Peppermint Beadlet. DoTERRA has these bottles of peppermint beadlets that are a 1/4 drop of oil in a little gel beadlet. Pop one in your mouth and bite down for an easy way to ingest peppermint. (also a great breath freshener.)
Within less than a minute, my hiccups were GONE. I can't get over the fact that this worked! I know oils are awesome but I was still super skeptical because, com'n... hiccups?!
Peppermint also helps alleviate occasional stomach upset and promotes healthy respiratory function. I've had success with taking the beadlets for heartburn as well.
Interesting fact: You would have to drink 28 cups of peppermint tea to get the amount of peppermint in one drop of essential oil!
I'm having 3 intro to essential oil classes next week at my studio. I would love for you to come and experience some of the oils for yourself! Let me know if you can make it, or if you have a friend you think would be interested - you can pass this along as the classes are open to everyone.
I haven't had been sick in a few years, but last week I got a terrible cold that reminded me I haven't been taking very good care of myself lately 😐
So I thought we should talk about a few ways we can support our immune systems naturally every day!
*Thank you for supporting my small business. Profits made from retail sales / affiliate links are reinvested in education so I can continue to provide you with the best services possible.
Did you know? I love honest feedback!
Please don't worry about hurting my feelings... if there is something I can do to make your session better, please let me know.
Table too warm?
Don't like scalp massage?
Want more foot work?
Just tell me! We can work together to make your massage the best it can be.
The essential oil class this past weekend had a great turnout, thank you to those of you who attended! We learned a lot :) I plan to have more classes in the future, so no worries if you couldn't make this one and you want to learn how you can use essential oils for your health at home. If you are interested in a class, please shoot me a quick email back letting me know so I can be sure you know about the next one on the schedule.
You've probably experienced some essential oils during your massage at my studio. I've been using DoTERRA essential oils for the past year and often use breathe, peppermint, balance, serenity, and deep blue in our sessions depending on your needs. I use other oils, too - but those are the ones I've found myself most often using with massage.
I'm excited to be offering a class this weekend on how to use oils to keep your family healthy naturally and incorporating the oils into your life outside of the massage room. I mentioned before that I've had great success with using digestzen and the peppermint beadlets for heartburn. Since then, I've had many more experiences with the oils and I'm convinced they improve my life. :)
My friend Allisa is more knowledgable than myself with the oils and will be joining us this Saturday to share information on the oils. She will also have many oils that I don't have in my own collection for you to experience first hand.
Class will be about an hour long from 4:30-5:30 pm on Saturday, Feb 4th at my massage studio. Please let me know if you're able to make it so I can make sure we have the space ready!
I'd also like to extend a message at this time to any of my clients who were affected by the cuts at Kellogg last week: If you were one of the 250, I'd like to offer you a complimentary session. You can schedule online or call me at 269-569-1311.
If you haven't tried the steam treatment add-on before your massage, January is the perfect time to give it a shot!
For a steam session, you lay face down under a large towel. I place a steam tent (specifically designed for the massage table) over you, leaving your head out of the tent. This makes it more comfortable than a steam room or sauna because you're still breathing room temperature air. The tent is hooked up to a steam pot that fills the tent with steam between 110-120 degrees. (The temperature can be controlled, so feel free to let me know if it's not comfortable!)
Most clients don't realize how warm it is inside the tent until they feel their body and realize they're sweating. It's really quite comfortable and relaxing. Herbs can also be added to the steam for aromatherapy. After several minutes of relaxing in the steam, we slowly cool down the tempurature before removing the tent. You're then wiped down with hot towels before we begin the massage. (You stay right there, no need to get up in between steam and massage, we go right into the massage to continue the relaxation!)
The benefits of steaming include:
And most noticable is that after a steam treatment, your muscles are like melted butter - allowing me to work deeper and more effectively without resistance. Clients seem to relax at a deeper level more quickly when we start with the steam.
You can add a steam treatment to your massage session for $30. January and February in Michigan is the perfect time to experience the to-the-bone heat and hydrate your skin. If you want to add this to your next session, just shoot me a message and let me know beforehand - and I'll have it ready for you when you come in!
Here's to good health in 2017,
Remember my last post about my favorite acupuncturist? Paul is now taking appointments at Inspiring Hands on Westnedge in Kalamazoo and you can schedule online! :)
You can also still contact him at (269) 539-0145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as well.
I may have told you about my favorite acupuncturist in Kalamazoo who hasn't been practicing for the last few years. Good news! He's starting back up and is now available for in-home sessions.
Paul Janson earned his Masters degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine at Bastyr University in 2004 and owned and operated Kalamazoo Acupuncture for more than 10 years. His interest in modalities such as shiatsu and the Feldenkrais Method led to the development of a unique, hands-on approach that utilizes movement and breathing to uncover and release longstanding patterns of embodied stress and tension. Paul’s areas of specialty include chronic pain and discomfort in the neck and shoulders, headaches, TMJ disorder, back pain, tendonitis, women’s health issues, IBS, generalized anxiety disorder, and any condition that is exacerbated by stress and emotional upset.
I highly recommend Paul if you're interested in adding acupuncture or shiatsu to your self-care routine.
Did you know that you can make music requests for during your massage session? You don't have to listen to whatever new-agey relaxing music I may have playing ;)
I've had requests from AC/DC to Christmas music and everything in between, so feel free to let me know if there is something in particular you'd like to relax to. Or if you prefer typical massage music, but would like something particular (like relaxing piano, a certain artist, Native American flute, etc.) we can arrange that as well.
I can even create a special playlist of your favorite music to be saved for when you come in!
Just a reminder that I will be working through the holidays this year, and do have some openings yet in the week between Christmas and New Year's. Want to get in? Schedule now!
As you know, massage makes a great gift. I have physical gift cards in the studio if you want to arrange a time to pick one up, or they are available online 24/7.
I hope you're having a wonderful holiday season! Here's a great article from Mayo Clinic with some tips on how to reduce your holiday stress.
I appreciate you so much, and am thankful every day that I get to do this work that I love for a living.
Have you wondered what those warm packs are I place on your back and hips during your massage? They're called Mother Earth Pillows, and they are a little piece of heaven.
These flax seed and herb filled pillows are heated up in my hot towel cabinet and used to warm up your tissues for deeper work and also to keep you cozy during your massage. The herbs are extra fragrant when heated up, and smell amazing.
I have a fresh batch of Mother Earth Pillows at my studio available for purchase so now you can enjoy the benefits of these at home! Pop in the microwave for soothing heat to sore muscles, or keep in the freezer if you're prone to migraines.
I have several eye pillows, shoulder triggerpoint pillows (for over the shoulders), and large flax pillows that are great to cover the entire back, abdomen, or put over your feet on a cold night.
Pair a Mother Earth Pillow with a gift certificate for a massage and you've got a perfect gift. One size fits all. :)
As always, your sessions here at the studio include a warm Mother Earth Pillow (or many!) to keep you comfortable and relaxed during your massage. This past Spring, I took a workshop with the founder of Mother Earth Pillows (who also happens to be a massage therapist and registered nurse). I learned massage techniques using the heated pillows over draping or clothes and have been incorporating that more into my sessions this year. The work with the heated pillows help with many issues ranging from arthritis to anxiety, and I love that I'm able to offer this added comfort to my clients.
As we approach the new year, I'd like to give you a head's up that there will be a rate increase of $5 for all services beginning in 2017. My last rate increase was in 2012.
Gift certificates are available now and through the end of the year at the current rates. I have physical gift cards available in the studio, or instant gift certificates available online 24/7. (Be sure to click "select by package/service".)
I'm thrilled to continue to help you with your stress management needs with unique and customized massages. See you on the table soon!