Fever = No Massage

#17 of 31 posts in 31 days

“I have a fever today and I feel horrible but I didn’t want to cancel my massage. Is that ok?” (Cough, cough, cough)

In a word? No. On the one hand I really appreciate everyone who keeps their massage appointments. I appreciate when someone calls to cancel an appointment a day or two in advance.

However, if you have a fever you shouldn’t get a massage. You feel awful, your head hurts, your body hurts and you *might* be contagious. You really aren’t going to enjoy your massage. ¬†In fact, the massage could actually make you feel worse! I won’t be mad if you cancel last-minute because you are sick.

If you are sick you should stay home and take care of YOU. Rest. Watch TV. Play computer games. Sleep. If you are contagious you risk spreading your illness to me, my family, and every one that gets a massage after you. You wouldn’t want that, would you?! Of course not, you’re an awesomely nice person!

I want you to see your smiling face. I want you to feel the awesomeness of a great massage. More importantly, I want you to get better. Please, if you’re sick stay home. What might feel great during a massage when you’re well could feel horrible while you are sick.

I repeat, I will not get mad if you cancel last-minute because you are sick! I will appreciate it. And I will encourage you to get better soon. ūüôā

If you’re worried I might be left with nothing to do here are a few things that might happen if you cancel because you are sick:

I will call someone who is trying to get in for a massage.

I might write a blog post.

I could organize receipts.

I will peruse Facebook.

I could eat a snack.

I will fold sheets and towels.

I will wish you “get well soon!”

 

Confessions

#16 of 31 posts in 31 days

Maybe they are not so much confessions but a way to answer some questions that I get asked. Sometimes there are comments or questions during the session. Maybe you don’t say it out loud, but you’re thinking it. ¬†So here it goes!

Confessions from a Massage Therapist:

I don’t really care if you forgot to shave your legs before your massage. ¬†Seriously, I don’t even notice until you bring it up. So stop stressing about it! ūüôā

I don’t think that you are rude if you don’t want to talk during your massage. I will follow your lead. If you don’t talk, I won’t talk. It’s your massage time you deserve silence if that’s what you want.

You can talk as much as you want during your massage. Some people relax more while talking. I will listen to you with open ears. I will try to keep my mouth shut. I will provide quiet support. Or we can laugh hysterically talking about reality TV and Soap Operas. ¬†ūüėČ

If you get massage from me right now and we tend to talk and you really wish it was more quiet, tell me. PLEASE tell me. ¬†You will NOT hurt my feelings, I am specially trained to work in near silence. We can talk later! ¬†ūüôā

If you don’t tell me the pressure is too light, I probably won’t know. ¬†Speak up! I want you to have the BEST massage experience every single time. If I need to apply more pressure let me know!

When I work on the muscles I really get into it.  My brain focuses so much and I become very focused on what my hands and the muscles are doing. Once my client even startled me because it was so quiet when she asked a question that I jumped!

Your feet are not ugly. I’ve seen bunions, crooked toes, missing toes and extra toes. And they aren’t ugly.

Your skin is fine. I’ve been a massage therapist for 9 years. I’ve seen psoriasis, eczema, moles of all shapes and sizes.

You are not too fat. I repeat: you are not too fat.

Sometimes I’m just as nervous as you might be. ¬†I strive to do the best job I can but each person and each session is different. ¬†I have to bring my A game every time.

I never get tired of hearing about how great someone feels after a massage. ¬†If your neck has stopped hurting, that’s awesome! ¬†I love it when someone tells me that the tingling in his hands has stopped. ¬†I love to hear about the headaches that don’t come back for weeks!

I love being a massage therapist. ¬†ūüôā

These confessions aren’t earth-shattering gossip, just honest thoughts from a massage therapist.

Q & A Running and Lower Back Pain

#15 of 31 posts in 31 days

Q- “Why do my hips and lower back hurt after I run?”

A- Running is a fantastic way to keep in shape. It engages the whole body, increases your heart rate and burns calories. (Yay!) My clients who run often tell me how great they feel after their regular runs.

They also tell me about their aches and pains. Running also puts strain on the body, especially the hips. Runners often complain of pain in the hip flexors. Hip flexors raise the thigh with every step you take. The most common cause for pain in these muscles is overuse.

So what are these muscles?

*Psoas Major
*Iliacus
*Rectus Femoris
*Sartorius

The Psoas and Iliacus are most commonly referred to as the Iliopsoas. They are located deep in the pelvic/abdominal area. They are strong muscles and get stronger with running. The Psoas originates in the lumbar region of the spine and attaches into the lesser trochanter of the femur. If these muscles are strained and pulling tight then it results  in lower back pain or pain in the pelvic area. The tighter the muscles, the harder the pull.

File:Anterior Hip Muscles 2.PNG

So what do we do?

First assess your training regimen. Are you running too much too soon? Consult a qualified trainer or running coach if you need help with this.

I work with this kind of hip pain with some massage techniques and some Active Isolated Stretching. Starting with compression, I begin by relaxing the body and the muscles. Compression is on the hips/glutes and down the back of the legs. Trigger points are next. I do address the area of and around the piriformis. I perform kneading  along the leg. I also apply friction to the IT band down the side of the leg.

Before you turn over we isolate the Iliopsoas with some AIS mentioned above. This means that you lift your leg against my resistance, hold for 3-5 seconds and relax. We do this several times with each leg. We also do this with other while face up.

Then I help you stretch your legs! This feels amazing! We talk about how you can do stretches at home. We talk about adjusting your run time. We plan your next massage session.

With a combined effort we can work to reduce the discomforts that develop from running ūüôā

www.thecomfortzonemassage.com

PS This is my first time to add an image to my blog! (woo hoo) I have no idea how to tell you how I got it. ¬†I found it on Wikipedia ūüôā

PSS If you know a way for me to properly include that on or under the picture please email me!

Sciatica is a Pain in the…

#14 of 31 posts in 31 days

Oh, my sciatica! What a pain in the…

What do we do about it? First, tell me your symptoms. Does the pain shoot down the side of your leg? Maybe your hip hurts a bit. Maybe your hip hurts so badly you limp. I see this all the time. Sciatica is a symptom of another problem. Different causes of sciatica are:

Slipped disk
Piriformis Syndrome
Pelvic injury or fracture

Basically you have pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in the leg. It may hurt in the calf and the bottom of the foot. Bottom line? It hurts!

So what DO we do? Just lie down and let me take care of it. ¬†ūüôā ¬† I’ll have you lay face down on the massage table under a nice sheet. We start with compression on your hip muscles. You see, the sciatic nerve is located deep in the pelvis. Sometimes the muscles will get really tight and aggravate the sciatic nerve. That’s when you’ll feel these symptoms.

So I push and knead one hip. The compression continues down the back of your leg in a slow, orderly rhythm. The knee gets rotated out and the knee bent. I push and pull the bent leg while pushing on the hip. While resting the leg I release three trigger points in the hip. This takes about 3-5 minutes. After the trigger points the whole leg, hip and foot gets a massage. Kneading, pushing and pulling on the larger muscles of the upper leg. I repeat the same steps on the other leg. All this takes about 30 minutes.

Kick that pain in the tush in about 30 minutes. Perfect pain relief in a short amount of time. Cost effective, time effective. I have had several people INSTANTLY feel better. Others feel relief in about 3 sessions.

What have we learned?

That pain in your leg could actually be caused by a pain in your tush.
Relief can be felt in as little as 30 minutes.

You can schedule your appointment at www.thecomfortzonemassage.com

PS ¬† I still need material to write about! Any questions? Topic ideas? email me Tracy <at> thecomfortzonemassage ¬†<dot>com or leave a comment. ¬†ūüôā

The Feel-Good Lottery

-Or a practical way to set up a maintenance massage schedule-

#13 of 31 posts in 31 days

I just saw a sign that the Powerball Lottery is around 300 million dollars. ¬†Great curse-words! ¬† That’s a pile of moo-lah! ¬† All my life I’ve heard people talk about what they would do if they won the lottery. ¬†Sometimes we will buy two tickets and spend a couple of days dreaming of having all the money in the world. ¬†ūüôā ¬† It’s a long shot, but it makes for great conversations! ¬†If I had a boat-load of money I would build a women’s health center, complete with Certified Nurse Midwives, a Cardiologist, Endocrinologist, Cancer Specialist, Dermatology, and a full service Therapy Spa. ¬†Maybe more, maybe less, but something to meet the needs of women in my rural area. And these services would be available to lower-income women, as well. ¬†Of course, a new house and some travelling with the family are given. ¬†ūüėČ

I hear from people all the time, “If I won the lottery I would get a massage every day!” ¬†Maybe you can’t get a massage every day, but it IS possible to plan for every 3 weeks, or even one every 5 weeks. ¬†The benefits you can get from regular massage can make your body feel like it has won the “Feel-good” lottery. ¬†Computer desk warriors have extremely tight shoulder muscles. ¬†I work with a few who tell me that since they get regular massages (about once a month) their shoulders actually hurt less. ¬†Instead of hurting every day all day, their shoulders may not hurt for a whole week and then gradually become sore and painful before their next appointment. ¬†The more regular the massage the less pain in the shoulders (usually). ¬†Lower back pain often gets better with frequent massage sessions.
Hurting less and sleeping better are two very good reasons to spend the money on regular massage.   A routine massage schedule is a fantastic way to relieve your aches and pains.  Maybe you even take fewer pain relievers.

Relaxation Massage

Massage costs money.  But money spent on improving your quality of life is like investing in yourself and your happiness.  You could even be increasing your earning potential if you are able to work  BETTER.  At The Comfort Zone Massage an hour session is$55. Setting back $10 a week yields you a massage every 5 weeks.  That is about once a month.  That is a great maintenance routine to set up for your mind and body!  Or try $10 a week for 3 weeks and get a half-hour massage every 3rd week.  Not too bad when you break it down by the week.

We can talk about your massage needs and work out  a treatment plan.  We can determine how often you want massage and how much you want to spend.

Tell me, what would you do with $300 million?

A Headache Named Muscle Tension

#12 of 31 posts in 31 days

Once upon a time there was a headache named Muscle Tension.

He is a nasty pain in the neck!

The headache, Muscle Tension, slowly takes over the shoulders and neck.   He holds on to the back of the neck and head like a VICE GRIP!  It hurts so badly the eyeballs feel like they might pop out.

Oh, it hurts, it hurts!  HELP!  Is there anything that can help this Muscle Tension Headache that is attacking?!

Look, there on the horizon! ¬†Who is that approaching? ¬†What is that scent she carries with her? ¬†The music she brings is so soothing…

Is she a crime-fighter? ¬†Is it she a super woman? ¬†(Gasp!) ¬†It’s a Licensed Massage Therapist! ¬†She brings capable hands, soothing aromatherapy, soft music and a plan to stop the pain.

She begins her attack on the Muscle Tension Headache by gently massaging the shoulder muscles.  She grips the muscles firmly while gently kneading in a slow rhythm.  The back of the neck gets squeezed a bit.

One shoulder at a time the Massage Therapist works on the muscle groups section by section, layer by layer.  Sometimes the pressure is moderate, sometimes the pressure is deep.  Once each shoulder has been thoroughly worked out the Massage Therapist massages the neck.  She works from the shoulder area up through the neck to the back of the skull.

A thorough scalp massage is the “finisher” weapon to fight this headache. ¬†Often the scalp is tight and the muscle tension headache could hold its grip for days.

The Licensed Massage Therapist fights this Tension Headache with her bare hands! ¬†Headache runs for his life! ¬†He tries to hold onto the shoulders but he’s no match for her. ¬†The Muscle Tension Headache is hurled into the great beyond told never to return again. ¬†(Insert screaming “noooooo” here.)

{triumphant music here}

And they lived happily ever after ūüôā

I fight those headaches every day at The Comfort Zone Massage.  Get in to see me and we can work together put an end to your Muscle Tension Headache story.

Massage Mouth

#11 of 31 posts in 31 days 

-Or the language of the massage coma-

One of the things I love about being a Massage Therapist is helping people to feel great. ¬†People say funny, nice and weird ¬†things when they’ve had a fantastic massage session. ¬†Here are some of my favorites in no particular order. ūüôā

*(Groan……) It’s not over yet, is it?!

*(Snore…….)

*Don’t ever move away!

*You are my new best friend!

*When you push on my shoulder like that I feel it in my toes!

*You make my muscles feel like mush.

*I don’t think I even remember my own name!

*You’re going to have to pry me off this table.

*I don’t want to get up!

*Sorry, I think I tooted just now.

*Whoa! I put my shirt on backwards!

*I slept through the night after my last massage. ¬†I haven’t done that in two months.

*My fingers don’t tingle at night anymore.

*I’m not sure, but I think you just rocked my world.

*(Snore…….)

*Can we start over?

*I wish I could get a massage every day!

*Who massages you?

*HOW do you know where push??

*How does a girl that small have  such strong hands?!

*Can I take you home?

*(Groan, sigh, smile….)

www.thecomfortzonemassage.com

Pregnant Pause

#10 of 31 posts in 31 days

The last two weeks I have had the honor of working with a few expectant mothers.  Two are somewhere in the middle of their terms and two are in the very last days of pregnancy.  Excitement overcomes me as I work on these women.  In a very short time each will get to meet her sweet baby.

I am truly honored to be able to work with ¬†them. ¬†Lower back pain, shoulder pain, and headaches seem to be their main issues. ¬†Sometimes we talk and sometimes I work in silence, but there always seems to be an essence in the room with us. ¬†It’s like there is a big ball of “something”, maybe it is the nervous energy? ¬†The anticipation? ¬†There are so many emotions sharing a body with the mother and baby. ¬† Excitement, joy, impatience, longing, happiness, worry, fear, exhaustion, and probably a million more feelings are experienced in any given moment. ¬† I try to make my place a safe place for all of these feelings. ¬†Sometimes we don’t want everyone to know that we might be worried about labor and delivery. ¬† We might not want everyone to think we look weak or small. ¬†After all, “women have been doing this since the beginning of time.” ¬†When I hear of someone telling one of my mothers this I like to comfort them, but sometimes I just don’t know what to say. ¬†I tell them that, yes, women have been having babies since the beginning of time. Yes, our body was made for this. ¬†But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t scary. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t feel worried about things.

In the Comfort Zone there is room for worry. ¬†I provide quiet support. ¬†In The Comfort Zone there are tissues for tears. ¬†I buy the good kind with lotion on them. ¬†I provide quiet support. ¬†In The Comfort Zone I get to hear the questions that you don’t want to ask anyone else. ¬†I listen intently and give down-to-Earth answers. ¬†More so there are conversations about after the baby is born. ¬†“I can’t wait to hold her!” ¬†“We have her crib in our room so she will be close to us!” ¬†“Our friends have given us so many diapers!” ¬†“Does the poop really stink that bad?” “I hope she sleeps well.”

You may be as happy as you can be, or as scared as you don’t want to be, I will lay my hands on your back and shoulders. ¬†I will comfort you. ¬†I will let you be ‘you’ for a little while. ¬†And we’ll laugh, I promise! ¬†You may even fall asleep for a little while!

Get to Know Me

Fantastic instructions on how to schedule an appointment.

#9 of 31 posts in 31 days 

Hi, I’m Tracy Bradley, Licensed Massage Therapist at The Comfort Zone Massage in Paris, Arkansas.

I want to make it easy for you to get an appointment. ¬†You may call, text, email me, send a ¬†Facebook message, or book online. ¬†That’s 5 easy ways to find the perfect time to get a massage. ¬†If you’ve never met me and want to talk, give me a ring, I love to chat! ¬†You can also visit my website to read about each service that I provide. ¬†There is a page to tell you about me and I include a picture. ¬†If you follow my business on Facebook you will see pictures, ideas, interesting articles and openings. ¬†You’ll get an idea of “who I am.”

Proud member of the ASMTA!
Proud member of the ASMTA!

Online Scheduling is new to my business. Let me tell you how easy it is!  I went through the process to see if scheduling a massage appointment was easy or difficult.   SIMPLE.  It was so easy!

Step 1: ¬†Go to my website or click this link –> www.thecomfortzonemassage.com

Step 2: ¬†Click “Schedule Appointment” at the top of the page.

Step 3:  Choose a Service

Step 4:  Choose the day/time perfect for you.

Step 5:  Enter your name, phone number and email.

Step 6: ¬†Click “Schedule Appointment”

That’s it. ¬†You will receive an email saying I have received your appointment request. ¬†I get a text and an email. ¬†In the email I get the option of accepting or declining the appointment. ¬†You then receive an email when I accept it. ¬†Easy. ¬†Quick.

I am easy to talk to. ¬†I call people back. ¬†I even call you back if you don’t leave a message. ¬†I return texts and emails. ¬†I want you to get to know me on my website, blog and Facebook. ¬†And I want to get to know you! ¬†Which is better for you? Phone calls, text, or online? ¬†Please, find me on Facebook and check out the website. ¬†Is my contact information easy for you to find? ¬†Is it easy for you to find me? Go ahead, book an appointment while you’re there!

Amazed

Have you been watching the Olympics?  We have been watching in the evenings.  I enjoy watching all of the athletes who represent the USA.  I must confess to shedding a  few tears during some of the performances of The National Anthem.  The pageantry, the pride, the structure, I love all of it!

But I get distracted. ¬†All. Those. ¬†MUSCLES! ¬† Muscles are everywhere! ¬† When I was a kid I would watch the gymnastics. ¬†I loved the outfits. ¬†I couldn’t tell you what color anyone’s uniforms are this year. ¬†But the muscles, my eyes have been glued to the muscles! ¬†I touch, rub, and knead muscles all day every day. ¬†But I’ve never seen muscles like these in real life.

During the diving and gymnastics the legs grab my attention.  It takes POWER to execute those moves.  Watching theses athletes is like watching anatomy truly in motion.  I am amazed every time I see a set of thighs and hamstrings catapult someone through the air. AMAZED.

The swimmers’ arms fascinate me. ¬†I work on a lot of shoulders. Shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, tight shoulders. ¬†I am not accustomed to seeing shoulders that move so freely! ¬†Did you see Michael Phelps flop his arms around waiting to start his race?! ¬†I think I would lose my hand if I tried to access his subscapularis! ¬†AMAZING.

These athletes are powerful, dedicated, beautiful specimens of the human body.    As they perform their different events, I imagine which muscles are moving and how they are moving.  I literally get lost in the muscles.  I even think about what treatment they might need after an event.  What could I do to help them?

When I ask you, “What do you do?” ¬†or “Where do you work?” ¬†it is because I try to imagine your actions all day. ¬†What do your muscles do to keep you moving? ¬†What muscles help you achieve your work? ¬†What actions do your muscles do day in and day out? ¬†How can I help them? ¬†How can I help YOU?

www.thecomfortzonemassage.com