Month: March 2011

Military Discount Program

Attention all Military Personnel!

Join Massage Envy now and save $60 per year

Massage Envy is happy to announce our new Military Discount Program. All active military personnel can now join Massage Envy at a savings of up to $60 year! Give us a call today.

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For people with chronic pain, massage therapy can bring real relief

WE’VE ALL EXPERIENCED PAIN at one time or another. But unless you live with chronic pain, it’s tough to understand how severely it can infringe on your quality of life.

Massage therapy is one of the many treatments available for chronic pain. Diana L. Thompson, a licensed massage practitioner and president of the Massage Therapy Foundation, has seen firsthand how massage therapy can help people with chronic pain.

She participated in a study of various treatments for lower-back pain, including massage therapy. “With massage therapy, we were able to see positive results after as few as eight massage sessions,” Thompson says. “And the relief continued for up to a year after the participants stopped receiving the massages.”

Another benefit of massage therapy, Thompson points out, is the education massage therapists can provide during a series of sessions. “We can help people retrain their thinking so they can establish a better relationship with their own body,” she explains. “Then they can make decisions about how to take care of themselves, such as knowing when it’s time for a massage, or to use an ice pack, or to do some stretching exercises or just take a break.”

Lower-back pain and neck pain are among the most common types of chronic pain, but massage therapy can be beneficial for many other issues (see “Helping Hands”). If you suffer from chronic pain, be sure to tell your massage therapist about your condition. Share as much information as you can about how the pain is affecting your life, including specific activities you’re having trouble with or avoiding because of pain.

“Really think about the results of massage in terms of your ability to participate more in your own life,” Thompson says. “We might not be able to get rid of the pain completely, but we can help you be much more functional and comfortable in your daily life.”

—By Amy Lynn Smith

 

Hot Stone Envy

Discover the benefits of Hot Stone Therapy with Hot Stone Envy, one of Massage Envy’s new Signature Services.

Hot Stone Therapy melts away tension, eases muscle stiffness, and increases circulation and metabolism. Each 90 minute Hot Stone session features the placement of smooth, water-heated stones at key points on the body to allow for deeper relaxation of the muscles. Our professional massage therapists then incorporate a customized massage, with the use of hot stones, to create a healing and relaxing experience.

 

Hot Stone Therapy is ideal for:

  • Muscular aches
  • Back pain
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Poor circulation
  • Rheumatic and arthritic conditions
  • Fibromyalgia

Hot Stone Therapy is gaining popularity for its ability to provide deeper muscle and tissue relaxation, which in turn releases more toxins and improves circulation. The benefits of Hot Stone Therapy have even been used in the treatment of insomnia and depression.

Experience the calming, soothing benefits of Hot Stone Envy today, at Massage Envy.

Massage Therapy Benefits Include Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure has more misconceptions than nearly any other disease. According to the American Heart Association, some of the most common are:

Misconception: High blood pressure has many symptoms
Truth: High blood pressure has NO symptoms. That’s why it’s often called the silent killer.

Misconception: High blood pressure is a man’s problem.
Truth: High blood pressure can be anyone’s problem. In fact, women need to be aware of certain things that may put them at greater risk than men.

Misconception: You don’t need to have your high blood pressure checked until you reach middle age.
Truth: Children as young as 6 can have high blood pressure. It’s a good idea to start having your blood pressure checked at an early age.

One of the most effective ways to stave off high blood pressure is massage therapy. A number of long term studies have shown that a consistent massage program can decrease diastolic and systolic blood pressure; decrease salivary and urinary cortisol stress-hormone levels; and lower sources for depression, anxiety and hostility.
As is the intent with all massage programs, the ultimate goal lies in a pain free and relaxing lifestyle. Controlling blood pressure is just one of the added benefits of massage therapy.

Meditation On The Go

Is your mind a streaming dialogue? Does the mental chatter leave you exhausted and anxious? Maybe you need meditation to restore calm and balance.

Several research studies point to the benefits of meditation for physical and emotional well-being, including a 2007 Chinese study that suggested meditation reduces cortisol, a stress hormone, and improves mood. Meditation also has been recognized for helping some people cope with medical illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis, plus insomnia and depression.

Meditation strengthens your capacity to be aware of the present, says Klia Bassing, director of Visit Yourself at Work, which teaches meditation in the workplace. Bassing helps clients gain clarity by focusing on the breath. “When you pay attention on a deep, internal level, you bring awareness to the very center of things,” she says. “It allows you to know you have a choice about how to relate to something, and whether you’ll give it energy.”

Too busy to sit still? Here are some on-the-spot tips to practice mindfulness during the daily grind:

At the office. Before checking e-mails and voice messages in the morning, sit at your desk, close your eyes for a few minutes and “let yourself arrive,” advises Bassing. A daily meditation such as this helps break the cycle of constantly “leaning into the future” with thoughts like “Will I make my deadline?” or “What does my co-worker think of me?”

At the supermarket. When you get stuck in a slow checkout line and think, “Why does this always happen to me?,” breathe and notice the anxiety and self-judgment. “You’ll notice that the situation is happening, but not happening to you,” she says.

Washing dishes. Connect to the sensory elements of the water, soap and dishes to help reframe what might be a dull chore into a pleasant ritual, according to Bassing. “It also keeps the mind from drifting to other negative thoughts that occur while doing something boring.”

– By Sally J. Clasen

 

Some Q & A

Massage Envy experts answer your questions

Q: How does receiving massage help reduce stress?

A: We all know that certain types of constant stress in our lives are not healthy. But did you know that recent evidence indicates the physical changes associated with stress may contribute to the leading causes of death – heart disease and cancer. In addition, stress can create and/or exacerbate many physical and emotional conditions such as chronic fatigue, digestive upset, headaches, back pain, high blood pressure and risk of stroke.

A recent study conducted by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles recruited 53 healthy adults and assigned them to receive deep tissue, Swedish and light touch massage. Blood samples were taken immediately before the massage and up to an hour afterward. The researchers found that a single session of massage caused biological changes.

Volunteers showed significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol. They also had increases in white blood cells that are part of the immune system. Volunteers experienced greater increases in a hormone associated with contentment and bigger decreases in adrenal hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol. While cortisol is an important and helpful part of the body’s response to stress, higher and prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream, such as those associated with chronic stress, have been shown to have negative effects. What this study shows is that receiving massage actually activates the body on an internal level to respond and correct the physiological imbalance caused by our stressful lives.

– C.G. Funk, Licensed Massage Therapist and Vice President of Industry
Relations and Product Development for Massage Envy

ME Magazine: Ease your Headache

As if your day weren’t full enough, here it comes — the unwelcome intrusion of a headache. It might be the vise grip of a tension headache, the pressure and ache of sinus pain, or the throbbing pain and nausea of a migraine. But you want it gone.

Before you simply pop a pill, “Take a step back and ask, ‘Why am I getting this headache?’ ” says Tara C. Sharma, M.D., board member of the American Association of Integrative Medicine.

Create friendly Head Space

Headaches can be a wake-up call from your body, inviting you to pay more attention to taking care of yourself. “Making yourself a priority isn’t selfish,” Dr. Sharma says. “It’s an investment in your well-being.”

Arrange the rhythms of your day to make room for regular meals and adequate rest since hunger and tiredness trigger headaches. And keep your mind and body on speaking terms through enjoyable exercise and relaxing rituals. Practice yoga, take an evening bath or, like Dr. Sharma, get a weekly massage.

Even a single massage may boost your body’s immune response, suggests a 2010 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Fewer colds can mean fewer sinus infections and headaches.

Ease the Ache

When a headache does come calling, how do you chase it away? Since overuse of medication can trigger rebound headaches, consider these tips:

  1. Try a little do-it-yourself acupressure. Press your thumb into the web between your opposite thumb and index finger. Hold for 30 to 40 seconds to relieve headache pain. Repeat on the other side.
  2. Steam away sinus pain and pressure. Put a few drops of eucalyptus and tea tree oil in a bowl of boiling water and breathe in the steam to relieve congestion.
  3. Breathe. Slow, deep breaths short-circuit the fight-or-flight stress response and activate the calming effects of the parasympathetic nervous system, Dr. Sharma explains.

“The jungle out there is not going to change,” Dr. Sharma says. “It’s how you respond to stress that makes a difference.”

– By Teresa Caldwell Board

Massage and Exercising

Whether you’re just starting to exercise or you’ve been at it for years, you may be sore after hitting the gym. Massage can relieve muscle soreness and inflammation that can occur as the result of exercising.

Massage is also beneficial in improving flexibility and range of motion, which can actually help you perform better and make your body less prone to injury at the gym. Looser muscles, joints and tendons are less likely to snap under pressure. Massage helps stimulate the production of the body’s natural joint lubricants, making stretching and movement in general easier.