Why Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork?

The acceptance and popularity of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork continues to grow as our profession is finding itself upon a firmer scientific basis as the result of burgeoning academic research supporting the effectiveness of bodywork in the treatment of pain and relieving tension from stress. Harvard University Health Services used research to convince administrators at the university to add clinical massage therapy to their health practice. Just a few of the examples of pertinent research utilizing a combination of clinical observation, empirical testing and thoughtful trial and error include:
Treating Migraines, source: Annals of Behavioral Medicine and International Journal of Neuroscience
Relieving Back Pain, source: Annals of Internal Medicine
Lower Blood Pressure, source: Biological Research for Nursing
Ease Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel, source: Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine
Physiological Adjustments to Stress, source: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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Massage Therapy Consumer Trends: In its 11th annual survey of American consumers, The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), found that more people get massage therapy for medical purposes than for relaxation, with baby boomers leading the way. The goal of a better quality of life and overall wellness drove 24% of adult Americans to receive a massage in the past 12 months, with more than 34% receiving a massage in the past five years.
It’s no surprise that people are turning to massage therapy to improve their wellness. It’s a proven way to manage pain, recover from injury, and improve one’s quality of life, often reducing the need for medications and invasive treatments. AMTA President Dr. Leena S. Guptha
Maintaining their general health and wellness was a major reason many turned to massage therapy. Of those surveyed, 87% agreed with the statement that massage can be effective in reducing pain: 85% agreed that massage could be beneficial to health and wellness, and 59% would like to see their insurance plans cover therapeutic massage & Bodywork.
Guptha also said, Health care providers and consumers are finding out what professional massage therapists have always understood—that massage is not only relaxing, but also an important tool for pain management and overall wellness.

Tami Photos Dec 08025
Healthy Drinking Tip: This is for all you tea drinkers looking for a caffeine free tea that claims to have all the benefits of green tea and with more health promoting properties. It’s brimming with polypehenols and flavonoids. Cedarberg Organic Red Tea comes from the indigenous wonder herb, rooibos (roy-boss) of South Africa.
Aging Priorities – After a long day on the golf course, George stopped in at Hooters to see some friends and enjoy some hot wings and drinks. His buddy asks him, which waitress would you like to be stuck in an elevator with? The one who knows how to fix elevators. I’m old, tired, and pee a lot.


Joyful Aging

How can we slow down the aging process?

The first formal studies on successful aging—the physical, mental and social well-being in older age, appear to be those of Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Harawi in1582. His book discusses behavioral and lifestyle factors, including diet and environment, influencing aging.

Neurological research has demonstrated that brain growth and development continue into old age—the concept known as neuroplasticity of aging. It shows that even late in life, potential exists for physical, mental, and social growth and development.There are a growing number of older adults functioning at a high level and contributing to society.

Taking a Break

Taking a Break

On the other hand, some of my senior clients believe their pain is a natural result of old age, and their conditioned identification with the pain, I think, keeps them believing they have to live with it, and they can’t anticipate aging successfully.


According to most current research, successful aging consists of three components: Low probability of disease or disability, high cognitive and physical function capacity, and active engagement with life. What works best for me to enjoy life and to feel younger than my actual age, is maintaining a healthy weight (physical), having a positive attitude (mental), and not taking myself too seriously (spiritual).

Senior Fitness

Activities should be tailored to our own capabilities and interests, and the following are only a few possibilities for successful aging

Physical: Being physically active is important and includes: exercising regularly, stretching, walking, running, biking, hiking, dancing, swimming, yoga, tai-chi, yard work, a healthy diet, receiving consistent therapeutic massage & bodywork, and seeking professional help for medical conditions.

Mental: Keeping a positive attitude. Exercising the brain with crossword puzzles, scrabble, taking a class, learning a new skill—a foreign language, yoga, learning how to tap dance, meeting and developing friendships with younger people, being active and participating in life, getting professional help for depression, and mentoring a younger person.

Spiritual: Let’s take the load of the world off our shoulders and stop thinking we need to know everything and solve all our problems and everybody else’s. We can stop thinking of ourselves most of the time and spend some time seeking and giving social support to others through volunteering, practice taking the time to be still, enjoying being present. We can also stop taking ourselves so seriously and taking everything personally, quit making assumptions, and keep expectations reasonable.

These are only a few actions we can take to slow down the aging process and enjoy life more while doing it, but action is the key word. We need to take the action.




Breath Easier

Some complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners believe that deep breathing, also known as diaphragmatic, abdominal, or belly breathing can be used as a form of relaxation and treatment for health conditions such as high blood pressure, headaches, stomach conditions, depression, anxiety, and others, when practiced regularly.

Occasionally clients present with difficulty breathing deeply, which could be caused by a physical or emotional restriction, limiting them to a shallow breathing pattern. They usually have internally rotated shoulders, sunken chest, head forward posture, and restrictions in rib cage expansion or contraction.

Spreading Abdominal Fascia

For these cases, I use conservative bodywork techniques for restoring and maintaining optimal respiratory function consisting of opening up the diaphragmatic arch by releasing restrictions in the abdominal musculature, and along the arch. In addition to releasing the fascia and musculature that keep the shoulders in internal rotation. The superficial fascia over the rib heads and sternum is also released. After treatment, most Clients report a comfortable and  deeper breathing pattern, and in some cases extraordinary physical and emotional changes for the better.

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Healthy Drinking Tips:
Drink lots of water. One of the best tools of preventative health maintenance is drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. Water is involved in nearly every bodily function, including digestion, nutrient absorption, circulation, and waste excretion. Dehydration plays a major role in serious illnesses like high blood pressure, asthma, stomach ulcers, back pain, and arthritis. According to Elizabeth Somer, dietitian and author of Food and Mood, Most of us are walking around slightly dehydrated all the time which contributes to fatigue and general lack of well being.

Maintaining Pain-Free Status

After completing a bodywork session with a client, I assign a brief home self-care protocol based on their specific needs, usually a few specific stretches and exercises to support their new relaxed muscle length, and to maintain their pain-free and improved range of motion. I also suggest to most of my clients, that scheduling regular therapeutic massage sessions would be beneficial.

Warming Up Moves

Beyond that, in some cases, a new healthier lifestyle is necessary, which may include working out regularly with a good personal trainer who is experienced in body structure, kinesiology, and understands how muscle imbalance affects our active lifestyles.

Senior Balance

Those who are serious about taking responsibility for maintaining their new pain-free status, start a daily 5-10 minute stretch and movement routine in addition to their regular workouts, usually in the morning, for maintaining muscle balance and flexibility, and they do it every day wherever they are, without exception. The routine is tailored to their specific needs and addresses the muscles that need balancing, in addition to general movement of joints and soft tissue that are most vulnerable to tension during the day.

Abs Workout

You can also start taking advantage of many exercise opportunities in your everyday life with simple changes likes climbing stairs instead of using the elevator, parking your car in the grocery store lot at a nice walking distance, and washing your car instead of driving it through the car wash—only a few examples of how you can incorporate exercise into your daily life.

The benefits of therapeutic massage and bodywork are cumulative through repeated visits. Receiving regularly scheduled massage & bodywork sessions can play a large part in maintaining your wellness and staying fit. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health.


Bottom line: We need to take responsibility for our wellness.

Healthy Eating Tip: The Correct Way to Eat Fruit – Dr. Stephen Mak treats terminal ill cancer patients with natural healing. One of his strategies is teaching how to eat fruits correctly. He maintains that fruits should only be eaten on an empty stomach, and should not be eaten after meals. Dr. Mak claims that as soon as the fruit comes in contact with food and digestive juices in our stomach, it ferments and turns to acid, and the entire mass of food begins to spoil and produces gas and bloat.

Dr. Herbert Shelton, who did research on this subject, says all fruits become alkaline in our body when we eat them on an empty stomach. He claims that if we have mastered the correct way to eat fruits, we have the secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness, and normal weight.

Happy, Healthy Employees are Productive.

I would guess that most businesses are probably not aware how much job stress is adversely affecting their employees and costing their company.  It is estimated to cost American companies more than $300 billion a year in health costs, absenteeism and poor performance. — UMASS: Lowell’s Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace

Eighteen years ago when I graduated from Massage Therapy School and became certified as a deep tissue sports massage therapist, chair massage wasn’t too common. I used it as a means of promoting my business, to build my clientele, at various events and several businesses. Today corporate chair massage is commonly employed by large and small companies all around the country.

Boosting employee productivity, relieving stress, and preventing repetitive use injuries that can lead to extreme pain, muscle weakness, and absenteeism, are only a few of the benefits realized by companies utilizing corporate chair massage services. Bottom line: Happy, healthy employees are productive.

on site chair massage by Ken Youngberg

How does it work? I bring my comfortable portable chair to your workplace and give 10-15 minute sessions to help relieve muscle tension and pain it causes. A ten minute session calms your nervous system, lowers your blood pressure, increases your circulation, eliminates headaches,and makes you happier, which boosts your energy and alertness. Employees receiving chair massage also learn to identify and release tension on their own before it becomes a problem.

Companies are using On-Site Chair Massage to improve workforce morale and loyalty by demonstrating how much they care about their employees, and also boosting their productivity and profitability.

onsite chair massage by Ken Youngberg

Ken’s chair massage sessions are a valuable benefit to employees and to our company. We’re not only helping decrease work comp costs and health care costs, it also helps to retain employees. We want to keep people and a good way to do that is to motivate them and show them we care.     Cathy D., Benefits Coordinator

The Quick Release Technique

The Quick Release Technique (QRT), developed by Don McCann, founder of Structural Energetic Therapy, is an effective bodyworking system that initiates relaxation, releases restrictions and blockages by reestablishing normal energy flow throughout the head, neck and shoulders. Depending on the client’s condition and his or her reaction to the mobilization of blocked energy, The QRT session which normally takes about ten minutes, can develop into a full-length powerful healing session.
A series of 5-7 acupressure points are stimulated in a sequence of logical energy flow through the meridians of the head, neck, and shoulder, based on the theories found in acupressure, facilitating the re-opening of the pathways and flow of energy.

C1 - C2 Mobilization
It’s a great technique for reducing anxiety and tension, settling down a client who has just driven through rush hour traffic to get to their appointment, and also for introducing new clients to the relaxing benefits of therapeutic bodywork.

Healthy Eating Tip
Most of us have probably at one time or other used prune juice for its high-fiber based laxative effect. However, the deep purple elixir is a virtual cocktail of beneficial nutrients and vitamins according to many health experts. The juice distilled from dried plums is high in antioxidants called phenols, believed to be beneficial to body tissue. Studies suggest they are helpful in blocking oxygen-based free radicals from damaging the body’s fats.   P1040433

Because skin cell and brain cell membranes are composed mostly of fats, drinking prune juice may help protect against cell damage to these vital areas.

Another feature I like about prune juice is its 1% sodium to 15% potassium ratio, which is good for anyone trying to maintain healthy blood pressure.

Emotions and Pain

Stedmann’s Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing defines psychogenic pain, or psychalgia, as pain that is associated or correlated with a psychological, emotional, or behavioral stimulus.

Some of the most common types of psychogenic pain, that commonly accompanies or is induced by social rejection, unexpressed emotional conflicts, stress, grief, or psychosocial problems, are headache, back pain, and stomach pain.

Some medical professional and others don’t think psychogenic pain is real; however, the International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. Many people report pain in the absence of tissue damage or any likely cause; this usually happens for psychological reasons. There is usually no way to distinguish their experience from that due to tissue damage if we take the subjective report in the same way as pain caused by tissue damage; it should be accepted as pain. It remains controversial; however, that chronic pain might arise purely from emotional causes.

There is no sensation or emotion that is not translated into a muscular response of some kind; these feeling states are the primary bases of our habitual postures and our individual patterns of behavior.

Bodywork, by using tactile input, can actually re-educate and re-program the organism into becoming more coordinated, more flexible, and more appropriately responsive—literally more ‘intelligent’. A body/mind system that is integrated in this fashion will be more able to resist depression or disease, more able to attend to and repair itself in times of stress or injury.    A Handbook for Bodywork – Job’s Bodywork, Deane Juhan

Gentle Cervical Stretch

Gentle Cervical Stretch

Recent scientific research has begun to indicate that positive emotions such as gratitude, compassion, and love have beneficial effects on health. They do so by strengthening and enhancing the immune system, which enables the body to resist disease and recover more quickly from illness through the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, into the bloodstream.

Clinical massage and bodywork are among several options for effectively treating psychogenic pain. I treat it the same as chronic pain: After initial evaluation, I utilize a multi-modality approach based on soft-tissue and structural balancing, tailored to the client’s specific needs, using a system that helps me quickly identify the key areas of pain and dysfunction, addressing specific muscle imbalances and dysfunctional patterns that are usually the cause of their discomfort.

Lengthening the QL muscle, one of several possible contributors to low back pain.

Lengthening the QL muscle, one of several possible contributors to low back pain.

Integrating several treatment modalities gives me the opportunity to treat a more diverse range of clientele in an individualized manner, including chronic pain and psychalgia.

We Really Can Change

Do you know why some of us are unable to get rid of our chronic pain? Our conditioned negative thinking and identification with the pain doesn’t allow us to believe it’s possible to change–to become symptom free; it becomes part of who we are. Unfortunately, unless we change our thinking and start believing we can live pain-free, nothing changes.   kytbincc. com 3-7-06 Revise 118

If General Motors had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that get 1000 mpg.   Bills Gates
Stretching Plantar Fascia

Getting Rid of Body Tension:
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Focusing only on a physical solution is usually not always enough to eliminate the pain and accompanying body dysfunction. We also need to take the time to address the cause of the tension—slow down and become still, clear our minds of thought to become present, and yield to the flow of life rather than resist it. I know,  it’s easier said than done.

Energy Flow and Change:
Whenever we experience a traumatic event or difficulty requiring change, such as death of a loved one, a major health challenge, separation, divorce, or unemployment, it’s normal for us to be overtaken with fearful negativity that affects our energy flow.     IMG_0042

It’s difficult to surrender promptly to the reality of a bad situation. In addition to feeling powerless and unable to move forward, our bodies become hard and rigid, form resistance and tension from the stress, and our life energy flow is greatly reduced.

I experienced it firsthand fifteen years ago when my oldest son became a paraplegic as a result of a spinal cord injury. It was difficult and painful for me to accept the reality of his major life changing event. After the accident I couldn’t sleep through the night. My mind was swamped with fearful negative thoughts, reliving the accident over and over again, and worrying about how it would affect him and his family’s future.

Three weeks after his accident, I attended one of my final Zero Balancing (ZB) classes before certification. After receiving a ZB session that first day of our weekend training, I was amazed by the dramatic results of my energy being reorganized. I began sleeping soundly again through the whole night, and my fearful negative thoughts diminished significantly.

Eckert Tolle, in his book, The Power of Now, says, bodywork and certain forms of physical therapy can be helpful in restoring this flow [energy], but unless you practice surrender in your everyday life, those things can only give temporary symptom relief since the cause—the resistance pattern—has not been dissolved.

After working with chronic pain clients for over seventeen years, I know it usually takes more than treating the physical pain and dysfunction to become completely symptom free. It starts with a major change in our thinking—getting rid of identifying ourselves with the pain, and believing that we can get rid of our pain and live an active symptom-free life again.

Thanks again for allowing me to continue to practice my craft and passion—relieving pain and discomfort of body, mind, and spirit. Helping my clients become symptom free as quickly as possible has been my mission statement since starting my practice. I am grateful for all my clients who have referred their families and friends to me, and who have continued trusting and supporting me.



Home Self-Care Maintenance

After a productive session with a client where their pain is eliminated and full range of motion is restored, I assign them some self-care homework to do between sessions for maintaining their normal muscle resting lengths in the shortened or contracted muscle groups we just lengthened—including specific stretches for maintaining length, and exercises for strengthening the opposing weak muscles. I also warn them that if they don’t to the homework, their pain and dysfunctional pattern with limited range of motion will, in most cases, return within 48 hours.


.   Senior Balance

Why Stretch? Most of us have heard that stretching is good for us, for increasing our range of motion and for keeping the stiffness at bay, but we usually only give it lip service and don’t start doing it until it’s prescribed for our rehabilitation. It is an important part of our home self-care maintenance program, and should be complemented with strengthening the opposing weak inhibited muscles to re-establish muscle balance.

Plank on a ball  strengthens the core

Plank on a ball strengthens the core

Developing a strong core should also be part of our home maintenance program to stabilize the upper torso during movement and add overall balance for preventing low back pain and falls in older adults. A weak core is a fundamental problem that causes inefficient movement and leads to predictable patterns of injury from falls. Developing a strong core is important and can also assist in the management of chronic pain issues.

Core-Stabilization Training

Core Exercise For Pain Management

A good home self-care maintenance program doesn’t have to take more that 10-15 minutes every morning. I encourage my clients to experiment with a suggested routine designed specifically for them, one that suits their personal needs, decide on one that works best for maintaining an active pain-free lifestyle, and most important—start doing it regularly.

Why Bodywork? It’s common for individuals after surgery or serious injury not to recover their full range of motion or their normal pain free status. These soft tissue dysfunctions can also happen as a result of a wide array of overuse, disuse, spasm, injury, illness, fatigue, aging, poor habits, surgery, or innumerable physical strains from demanding occupations.

Cervical Stretch

Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork has been used for thousands of years to relax muscles, eliminate spasms, diminish fatigue, soften connective tissues to make it more supple, and so free up the joints, restoring a fuller range of painless movement.
A Handbook for Bodywork – Job’s Bodywork, Deane Juhan

Skilled in the latest knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology, today’s bodyworkers are professionally trained to help you maintain your health and support you in your healing process.                      

Lengthening Fascia over the Masseter Muscle

Lengthening Fascia over the Masseter Muscle


Espousing a noninvasive approach to health, they [therapeutic bodyworkers] offer you the luxury of uninterrupted attention to your body’s needs. As Dr. Tiffany Field reminds us, ‘Before drugs, there was massage therapy, massage therapists and bodyworkers are schooled to talk and listen with their hands. It is their mission, and their joy, to serve you with the gift of touch communication.’ I encourage you to experience this gift, often, for yourself.     Bodywork, Thomas Claire




Laugh, Eat, Drink, and Be Happy

18720793_s(1)Nowadays, most of us would agree that laughter is good medicine. In fact, research indicates that humor and laughter triggers healthy physiological changes in our bodies— strengthens our immune system, boosts our energy, diminishes pain, and protects us from the damaging effects of stress. Laughter, this powerful force for improving our health, actually changes our body chemistry to promote well being and positive good feelings. So how can we proactively make this powerful tool a part of our life.



Dale Anderson, MD, a family physician for over 40 years, says learning some simple method acting techniques will help us put on a happy face and improve our lives drastically. He is a board-certified surgeon, and emergency physician, certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Medicine, and currently practices as an urgent care doctor. As a keynote /seminar speaker, who teaches method acting techniques to more than 100 major audiences around the world annually, he shows people how to change their body chemistry and their lives by laughing, and experiencing the subsequent power of laughter.


What’s method acting and laughing have to do with being happy and healthy? Well, according to the doctor in one of his several books, Never Act Your Age, he says practicing laughing has everything to do with getting happy and staying that way. He prescribes method acting techniques to his patients and also teaches it to major audiences around the world, one of which I recently attended as part of a group of over 300, and was totally impressed with his presentation. It confirmed how much I enjoy laughing, how good it makes me feel, and how much I believe in its power.


By acting happy and laughing we turn on our internal chemistry that promotes well-being and good feelings. In fact, medical science can measure the chemistry of feelings qualitatively and quantitatively with a brain pet scan (Positron Emission Topography). Dr. Anderson calls Method Acting Techniques the holistic medicine of the 21st century.

Remember feelings are chemistry, and actions and thoughts change our chemistry. Yes, act happy–be happy, and the more one rehearses the part the more it becomes real.     Dr. Dale Anderson, Never Act Your Age


Method acting was created in the early 1900s by Constantin Stanislavski, who  taught the concepts to his actor students, and.earned recognition as being one of the most influential contributors to theater science,   Some well-known method actors are Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Marilyn Monroe, Suzanne Pleshette, and Shelly Winters, who through the techniques were able to create in themselves the thoughts and feelings of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances.

I discovered that it’s easier to initiate laughter than I once thought it was, and also worth the effort. It’s contagious too, just try not reacting with laughter when someone near you lets loose with a loud guffaw.  I’m convinced that a good belly laugh, that changes my body chemistry, does definitely bring more joy into my life.

Eat and Drink Healthy: If you’re looking for a tasty, nutritious snack to supplement your  diet, one  that helps fuel athletes through grueling long distance events, and also helps fight obesity and high blood pressure, try one of America’s oldest snack foods—nuts.

Almonds are considered one of the healthiest nuts containing the most calcium of any nut and a lot of vitamin E, in addition to heart-healthy fat.

Walnuts are high in omega-3 alpha-linoleic acid, which help curb inflammation and prevent coronary heart disease.

Macadamia nuts are highest in saturated fat, but only 80% is monounsaturated, which can lower triglycerides and have beneficial effects of LDL and HDL cholesterol. Also, contain fiber and protein.

Pistachios are loaded with protein and contain high amounts of carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin for maintaining good vision

Drink: Kombucha – A great tasting and energizing lightly sweetened, fermented tea that dates back to China’s Qin Dynasty, 250 BC, where it was called the Immortal health elixir. It’s low in calories and will do much more than quench your thirst. The fermentation process forms:  Enzymes – to aid digestion
Probiotics – the good bacteria that helps with immune function, nutrient absorption, and inflammation reduction
Polyphenol – antioxidants found in plants
B-Vitamins – helps support and increase metabolism, maintain healthy skin and muscle tone, enhance immune and nervous system function, and promotes cell growth.

Synergy is available at Whole Foods in several flavors including: Cranberry, Gingerberry, and Gingeraide