There’s no escaping the truth; winter is here. The days are shorter and the sweaters have come out of the wardrobe. It’s not unusual for people to get the ‘winter blues’ – which is a condition many people in the northern hemisphere are afflicted with due to lack of sunlight during the colder and darker winter months. The good news for everyone is that massage therapy can help increase health happiness for everyone during the cooler months of the year. Here a few reasons why…
Massage May Help to Banish Seasonal Affective Disorder
As we’ve mentioned, Seasonal Affective Disorder – sometimes known as the winter blues – is a problem for many people when there’s less natural sunlight. This is because sunlight causes the brain to release a feel-good chemical called serotonin that improves our mood. When there’s less sunlight, less serotonin is produced, which can lead to low mood, lethargy and feeling like it's difficult to get out of bed in the morning. In some people it can even cause depression serious enough to warrant visiting a doctor. It’s not a happy place to be, but the good news is that booking regular massage can help to lift a low mood. A regular massage session will help to relax stressed minds and bodies, as well as releasing the serotonin and endorphins, the same chemicals produced by the body when you’re happy.
It Can Give Your Circulation A Boost
Massage therapy may also help boost circulation during a time of the year when nobody wants to get up and go outside for a run. Everybody knows that getting regular exercise helps keep circulation running smoothly, and also gets the oxygenated blood pumped around our bodies faster. A lack of movement in the winter months can result in feeling sluggish, and poor circulation can lead to lethargy, aches and pains. Here’s where a massage has extra benefits; it can help blood to pass through any congested areas and boosts overall flow, which also helps the lymphatic system to remove waste that builds up. At the same time, massage is well known to help decrease blood pressure.
It May Help Your Body to Fight Off Minor Infections
For anybody that’s prone to suffering from colds during the winter season, massage might be useful for prevention. It’s been found that massage sessions can help to boost the effectiveness of the immune system, helping to fight off the normal bugs and viruses that circulate this time of year. A gentle massage of the area around the lymph nodes also encourages white blood cells to circulate, and as massage increases blood flow it also stimulates the white blood cells to start fighting any infection in your body.
These are just a few of the many benefits that massage therapy can bring during winter. Of course, there’s also the feel-good aspect of a warming hot stone massage, delicious aromatic massage oils, and even just the act of taking time out to look after yourself when you need it.
It might seem as if everywhere you go these days you’re asked to fill out another form; and your massage therapist is no exception. We do have some very good reasons for asking you to fill our intake form before we get started working with you, and they are essential for both of us to make sure that you get the very best from your massage experience.
Why Do We Need Information from You?
It gives us a background on you, your current health and any issues you might be experiencing that we need to consider. It also gives us an insight into what you want from your massage therapy. Different illnesses and conditions affect everybody in diverse ways. That sounds obvious but knowing exactly what you are dealing with, feeling and managing health-wise is a crucial factor in how we’ll proceed with your treatment, so we need to know any symptoms you might be experiencing and how they affect you. A client intake form should ask you all the right questions so that your therapist can come up with the perfect session or treatment plan for you.
In addition to giving us the lowdown on what you need from us, an intake form also helps us to decide what NOT to do. Some therapies and treatments and even some essential oils used in aromatherapy (for example) can be contraindicated for pregnancy and some other medical conditions. If we know this in advance we can tailor your treatment to avoid anything that could potentially cause you problems. It’s also helpful to know about allergies so that we avoid using products that could cause a reaction, or if you have any injuries that could be aggravated by massaging the area.
What to Expect in a Client Intake Form
A good intake form should ask you for a brief review of your medical history, including all of the above and any current medications. Remember to mention anything that could be relevant including pregnancy, accidents, injuries, surgeries you’ve had and medical conditions which could affect your treatment. Make sure that you tell the therapist about any issues you’re currently dealing with too – even if they are trivial. If you’re suffering from regular stress headaches, for example, your therapist will be able to feel for knots and tension in the muscles that could be causing the problem, and concentrate on those during a massage. We’ll need to take your contact details, too, and date of birth, for our records.
Once we have this basic document to work with we can ask you questions that will help us to get to the bottom of what you need from your massage or treatment. A good therapist should never rely just on the intake form for their information, they should set aside plenty of time before the initial treatment to talk through your answers and ask you about your health needs and what you want from your session. A client intake form is there to help you and your therapist, so fill it in as comprehensively as you can and we’ll make sure that you get a massage that really does the work.
When we’re deep in the cold, wet clutches of winter, all we can think of is the lazy, hazy summer days. Picnics, barbecues, days spent lounging outside, and sunshine are all we remember from the last summer.
Then, when we reach summer time, we remember that summer has stresses of its own. Who hasn’t day dreamed about the last summer vacation but forgotten the fact that driving hours to get there left the entire family hot, cranky and dehydrated? Or that on the second day of the break, one of the kids had an allergic reaction to a bug bite and spent the entire week whining about it itching?
With the kids at home, the planned fun and games can also turn into fighting and complaining about being bored. Some days you just wish it was fall already! That’s why, whether you have kids or not, and wherever you are planning to spend time this summer, you need to schedule in some down time. Summer can really stress you out, so making sure that you’re well prepared with pre-vacation treatments and a massage or two to give you some extra relaxation and also help you make your summer holiday about you as well as everybody else.
Remember that even if you are always planning things for the whole family, you deserve some time to yourself too. It might be a cliché that gets over used but there is a lot of truth to the statement ‘you cannot pour from an empty cup’ – get your fix of self-care up front and you’ll feel much more equipped to give to everyone else.
Top Tips for Stress-Free Summer Months:
Spend time in the sunshine – it really does improve your mood. Load up on sun screen and head out into the back yard with a book and a cool drink, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Get the kids out on a play date and make some time for you.
Sneak in a nap – sleep can be compromised over the summer when the temperatures rise, so if you have an opportunity in the day time for a nap, take it and stock up in advance on sleep.
Enjoy a yoga class – perfect for regular relaxation and you can take a few of your favorite moves away on vacation with you, too.
Turn off the iPads – and other gadgets. Give yourself a tech detox for an hour or so a day, or even an entire day/vacation if you think you can. Just escaping from the constant ping of notifications can be a great way to unplug stress and chill out.
Don’t neglect your down-time. Schedule in time for YOU in among the fun family days out and other activities.
Enjoy your summer!
Seeing as we're celebrating Pride Month, it seems like a great time to make the point that as far as we are
concerned, this is an all-welcome, judgement free zone. There has been too much in the news in recent times about setting people apart so we just want to make it very clear to all of our current and potential clients that we will treat every single body with respect at our establishment, and we welcome diversity in all its many faceted forms.
We are more than happy to accommodate transgender clients – you need not worry about being treated any differently by our staff. Everyone is trained here to be accepting and welcoming, and we are also well aware of some of the issues that can affect transgender men and women when they are enjoying a spa or massage treatment. No body judgement here. If you have any specific concerns about your treatment with us, or don’t know what to expect, just give us a call or send us a message and we’ll be happy to talk you through anything that’s concerning you.
Some people report that they’ve have had bad experiences with massage before; that could be being ‘mis-gendered’ by a therapist, or just feeling uncomfortable removing their clothes (or the pressure to remove more of their clothes than they feel comfortable with). We totally understand that you might feel a bit awkward – and that not everyone is confident in their body; that applies to cis-gender people too. You might not know whether a massage therapist is going to be accepting of you as a trans person – will they be they body-positive, and trans-friendly? We want to assure you that we will.
We are happy to work with all body types and needs, and don’t judge on age, body type and size or sexuality either. Naturally, we want to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for all of our clients; the whole point of a massage or spa treatment is that it’s supposed to make you feel great, and judgemental attitudes are not conducive to an atmosphere of relaxation. If there’s anything you may feel uncomfortable about, please just let us know beforehand.
We believe that well-being should be accessible to everybody. That also includes you if you have a medical condition or specific disability that you may think prevents you from having a session with us. Just ask! We aim to be as helpful as possible and communication is key in helping us get to know who we are working with. We will do our very best to make sure that you have any treatment that you want. Some services may need to be changed to suit your specific needs so please, if you do have any concerns call or speak to us in advance so that we can be ready to treat you and have everything in place for your visit.
We also understand that children enjoy getting massages and spa treatments too, and in most cases we can accommodate services for minors too. Just be aware that we may have to tailor some treatments to be suitable for younger skin or bodies, and that we need a parent present to give consent. Some treatments may be unsuitable for younger people, but if that’s the case we’ll explain why and suggest something else. We’re sure that you understand, after all, our goal is to treat your children with respect and care.
We hope that whatever your age, race, sexuality, gender or ability status, you’ll book a treatment with us soon – everyone deserves to feel good about themselves and anything we can do to help with that is a bonus!
A regular massage is often considered to be a treat, rather than a necessity. Most people believe that having a massage is good for aches and pains, or can help if they’ve overdone it with exercise. Not everybody realizes that massage therapy is also an effective intervention that can help people with chronic back problems reduce their discomfort and improve their quality of life.
Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain and if you’re one of the 31 million Americans who suffers with back pain at some point in their life, you’ll know how miserable it can be. If you are dealing with chronic back pain – which is pain that’s lasted more than three months and less than six - it can impact on your daily life, and stop you doing the things you want to do. You could be reliant on drugs to keep you mobile or help you sleep. Some issues don't get better, sometimes even after surgery, so the focus is often on mitigating the pain and maintaining the ability to perform activities of daily living.
The vicious pain cycle
If you can no longer exercise pain-free, you might end up in a vicious cycle of inactivity which makes your pain worse, which can stop you from being active. Taking more medication just masks the problem. Also, opioids like codeine can lose their power over time as you build up a tolerance to their effects. They can also have unwanted side effects.
What you need is a way to treat your back pain that is effective but doesn’t have the side effects. Luckily, research has shown that regular massage along with your prescribed medication and any other advice from your healthcare provider can help you manage your back pain and start to live a more active life.
How massage can help beat back pain
A massage session doesn’t just relax you, it can help to promote tissue repair, increase blood circulation and improve your stress levels and mood. Recent research showed that regular massage therapy combined with exercise helped people suffering from chronic back pain to feel less anxious about their condition too. The study, which took place at a pain management clinic in Western New York, involved sixty chronic low back pain patients who were split into two groups. One group received regular massage therapy, twice a week for four weeks, along with their regular treatment, and one group only carried on with their prescribed treatments.
The participants all recorded their own pain levels before and after having massage therapy on a scale of one to ten. There was a significant difference between the pre- and post-treatment pain rating in the group that had regular massage, but the control group who maintained their normal treatment plan reported no changes to their pain levels.
If you suffer with back pain and want to see what massage can do for you, book a session now and let us help you feel better!
You know that massage is good for you, whether you’ve had one in the past and enjoyed the positive effects or you’re just curious about whether a massage therapist’s healing touch could help sort out your aches and pains. So, what’s stopping you?
We have 10 reasons right here that will inspire you to visit your massage therapist today…
1. Massage helps to treat some health conditions
Massage therapy can help with several common health conditions, some that you might already know about and others that may come as a surprise to you. If you suffer with constant back, leg and neck pain; muscle tension and spasm, a good massage will send you on the route to feeing relief. Some musculoskeletal conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome can also be helped by massage, as can the symptoms of chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis and some digestive disorders.
2. Massage can help to improve circulation
Massage therapy is great for boosting blood circulation, which helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients around the body more efficiently.
3. Massage can increase lymphatic flow
Your lymphatic system is a system of vessels and lymph nodes running throughout your body which comprise an important part of the immune system. It helps to fight bacteria and other infections, and a healthy lymph flow also helps clear toxins from your body.
4. Massage can speed up post injury healing
If you’ve overdone it or hurt yourself accidentally you’ll be glad to know that massage doesn’t just help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness; it can also break up scar tissue, freeing up movement and enhancing your recovery.
5. Massage can help to increase your range of motion
Another thing that a great massage therapist can do is use techniques that stimulate the production of lubricants between connective tissues, which improves flexibility and balance.
6. Massage can help you to improve your posture
Massage helps to train your muscles, which improves the posture of your body as well as correcting any imbalances caused by sitting for long periods – which are common in people who sit at a desk all day.
7. Massage can give your immune system a boost
Massage is known to boost production of lymphocytes – the white blood cells which help fight off disease. Although a massage can’t guarantee you’ll never get another cold, there has been research that suggests it helps the body to fight infections and reduce the severity and duration of bugs and minor illnesses.
8. Massage can make you feel happier
The action of massaging the skin stimulates alpha brain waves, which are associated with relaxation, and promotes the release of endorphins – the body’s feel-good chemicals.
9. Massage can help you to de-stress
Massage is known to help reduce cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone, so elevated levels are not good for your body at all. At the same time, massage has been shown to boost serotonin and dopamine levels, making you feel more relaxed and happy.
10. Massage could give you a better night’s sleep
If insomnia is your bedfellow, try a massage. Massage can help to balance out your sleep pattern and overcome insomnia and the fatigue that goes with not getting enough sleep.
Have we convinced you to book that appointment yet?
Sometimes it can be confusing – you’re stressed and and your body is achy and everybody tells you that you need a good massage, but what type of massage should you get? There are so many options available, how do you know which one will suit you?
That’s where your massage therapist can help– if you’re not sure, just give us a call and we can help you find the perfect technique and style for your needs. If it’s your first massage, we can put you at ease and make sure you know exactly what to expect. You can also read through our FAQs for some more info. In the meantime, here’s the lowdown on some of the different types of massage we offer and what they can do for you.
This is one of the most popular massages – it’s absolutely great for getting rid of stress. It’s also a good one to try if you’re new to massage as it doesn’t work too deeply into your muscles and the techniques we use are all designed to relax. So what can you expect? Well, we use long, flowing strokes all over your body, combined with kneading, tapping and circular motions. We’ll also use oils or lotions to make the massage smoother, and feel great for you. If you’ve got tight muscles, aches and pains, we can increase the pressure a bit where you need it more.
Therapeutic massage is helpful if you’re experiencing muscle soreness, or issues like back pain or sciatica, and it can also give your circulation a boost as all the techniques are designed to help get blood pumping around your body. It's a deeper, more focused massage to address areas of chronic tension and pain. We will use more pressure, and might use our fists and forearms to lengthen your muscles, and release adhesions in your tissues. If you've got areas of concern that you need addressed, this is the massage for you.
Hot Stone Massage
This is a supremely relaxing massage where the therapist uses specially designed warmed stones to increase its effects. This one is an indulgent treatment that’s also great for first-timers. While you’re enjoying your massage, we carefully use the smooth, heated stones on different areas of your body. Unlike in all the pictures you see where the stones are just sitting on someone's back, we actually use them as part of the massage to help get deeper into any troublesome areas; the heat from the stones helps loosen the muscles even more. This one will leave you feeling calm and relaxed.
Deep Tissue Massage
This is more of a remedial massage than a relaxing one; ideal for anyone who is very active or has very tight muscles. It can feel uncomfortable as your therapist will work deeply into your muscles and connective tissues to release any tension in them. We will perform deep, slow strokes with our fists, forearms, and elbows. It can feel slightly painful although people tend to describe it as a ‘good hurt.' However, we pay close attention to your verbal and non-verbal signals. We will always adjust the pressure to your comfort! We want you to feel better, and if your muscles are clenching due to pain, that defeats the purpose of the treatment! You may feel a bit of soreness afterwards, especially if it’s your first deep tissue massage, but stretching and drinking plenty of water will help. Most people agree that it’s worth it as you’ll feel amazing afterwards!
It’s come around again, and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your partner, spouse or significant other, Valentine’s Day is the day that you get to spoil them just a little bit more, just for the sake of it.
If you want to go a little further than the standard roses, candies or chocolates, why not gift your partner with a treat that will serve them well long after the Valentine’s displays have been taken down in the
It doesn’t matter if you’re treating a male or female partner, a massage is a gift that anybody appreciates. Valentine’s Day isn’t the time for a sports massage, even if they are sporty – you want to relax them
and give them a massage or body treatment that gets those warm and fuzzy feelings flowing. It’s been proven by study after study that a massage is a great way to boost mood by increasing the release of a hormone called oxytocin. Helpfully, increased levels of this hormone have also been shown to increase feelings of social bonding, just what you need when you’re feeling romantic. Massage also helps to increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, two more feel-good chemicals. You could opt for a couples massage, or just treat your partner to a session on their own where they can fully relax – a delicious aromatherapy massage perhaps, with an oil blend created specially to calm – or uplift. The options are endless.
If you’re looking for another reason to treat someone special to a massage, think of their health! Massage can help to reduce heart rate and is good for blood pressure too. It’s also known to reduce pain, muscular tension and anxiety. What more could you ask for?
If you're single, why not treat yourself on Valentine’s Day too? It’s all about self-care; a massage session is the perfect way to honor your body and give yourself some relaxation time. Massage therapy gives you a chance to let go of stress and to let yourself feel nurtured. It’s also a fabulous way to beat everyday aches and pain. This Valentine’s Day give someone a gift you know they'll appreciate; a massage.
Bella Terra Organic Spa and Shoppe in Evansville, Indiana. Sharing stories regarding healthy living, holistic wellness, green beauty and therapeutic massage.