Massage & Health

Customizing Massage: Questions to Ask to Improve Client Comfort

2019-02-28T16:41:52-05:00

When dreaming of how to become a massage therapist, a person might think of all the incredible healing techniques they’ll learn at massage therapy school. However, a high-quality school of massage must also teach therapists how to communicate with clients before, during, and after the massage. Asking the right questions can help create a customized healing experience that clients won’t soon forget. Here are a few questions students at our school of massage are trained to ask to optimize each client’s massage session: 1. Do you prefer lotion or oil? Each emollient provides a different viscosity for delivering massage strokes. However, [...]

Customizing Massage: Questions to Ask to Improve Client Comfort2019-02-28T16:41:52-05:00

Touch and Human Development

2019-02-28T16:43:19-05:00

Touch may seem simple, but is actually quite complex. The human brain is capable of differentiating sensations (a pin prick vs. an itch), temperature, pressure, and even emotional intention. Touch is critical in that it allows us to navigate worlds both physical and social. Affective, culture-based information is conveyed through touch. Today we’re considering how pleasant, non-sexual affective touch affects learning and development across the human lifespan. First, let’s define social, affective touch. According to a recent article in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, This type of touch is distinguished by special nerve fibers, called C fibers, C-touch fibers, or CT fibers. These [...]

Touch and Human Development2019-02-28T16:43:19-05:00

Creating a Safe Place for Healing: Scar Tissue Massage

2019-02-28T16:43:55-05:00

Following an accident or surgery, patients need a safe place to heal. A massage therapist can create an atmosphere of trust and safe touch, to allow for deep healing. Massage therapy can help heal scar tissue on physical as well as emotional levels. From minor cuts to surgery scars, massage therapy can benefit all types of scar tissue. Scar Tissue Issues There’s a common misconception that scar tissue is inevitable—that it’s impossible to change or heal. In truth, scar tissue is part of the living matrix. All tissues are made up of the same elements, such as collagen and elastin. Cells [...]

Creating a Safe Place for Healing: Scar Tissue Massage2019-02-28T16:43:55-05:00

The Science of Human Touch: Haptics, Technology, and Healing

2019-02-28T16:49:46-05:00

Can you imagine a virtual environment that relays touch through tech-smart fabric? Or a personalized massage therapy session delivered remotely, through wearable technology? If so, you might be ready for haptics, the field pushing the envelope on touch technology. Let’s examine haptics, what it says about the physiological benefits of receiving touch, and whether haptics can compare to the benefits of hands-on massage therapy. What is Haptics? Haptics, the technology of touch, examines how we can enhance technological interactions through touch. Haptics researchers study the two main aspects of touch--first, tactile components, including contact location, pressure, shear, slip, vibration, and temperature. [...]

The Science of Human Touch: Haptics, Technology, and Healing2019-02-28T16:49:46-05:00

Senior Massage: Why and How

2019-02-28T16:49:17-05:00

Massage careers come many shapes and sizes, but all massage therapists have one thing in common: compassion. Therapists are healers first and foremost, and an empathetic heart is a prerequisite for this kind of work. In our youth-centric culture it is easy to overlook seniors, a population that definitely needs massage. After a lifetime of work, many seniors are better able to afford massage. Portland therapists who choose to work with seniors will find this work to be enriching personally and professionally. Let’s take a look at the many benefits of massage for seniors. Later, we’ll look at a couple things [...]

Senior Massage: Why and How2019-02-28T16:49:17-05:00

Top 5 Benefits of Regular Massage & How to Make Massages Happen

2019-02-28T16:50:15-05:00

Many people schedule a massage only when something is wrong—they’ve tweaked a muscle, a certain body part won’t relax, or they’re feeling especially stressed. However, science is discovering more and more benefits to regularly receiving massage—even when nothing’s really “wrong.” According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), 87% of people see massage as beneficial for overall health and wellness. Research supports this belief. Let’s examine health benefits of regularly receiving massages. Top 5 Benefits of Regular Massage 1. Massage Boosts Immunity. By stimulating the lymphatic system, a good massage can increase the presence of white blood cells throughout the body. [...]

Top 5 Benefits of Regular Massage & How to Make Massages Happen2019-02-28T16:50:15-05:00

Spring Allergies: How Massage Can Help

2019-02-28T16:51:28-05:00

Springtime: It brings beautiful flowers, sunny days, and, for many, allergies. If you experience itchiness, stuffiness, and general brain-fogginess this time of year, consider adding massage to your allergy-fighting game plan. Read on to learn how regular massage helps offset allergic inflammation. We’ll also touch on how four types of massage (facial massage, craniosacral massage, acupressure, and reflexology) can help reduce allergy symptoms. Finally, we’ll list massage resources for fighting allergic reactions. How Allergies Work: Overactive Inflammation Whatever your allergy symptoms, one thing’s certain: They are all related to inflammation. Think of the immune system as the body’s defensive army. Some [...]

Spring Allergies: How Massage Can Help2019-02-28T16:51:28-05:00

Massage Modalities: Neuromuscular Therapy

2019-02-28T16:53:27-05:00

Neuromuscular Therapy: A Basic Definition NMT practitioners use deep tissue massage techniques such as digital pressure and friction to release muscular trigger points. Trigger points are pea-sized restrictions in muscular tissue. Repetitive motion, injury, stress, and poor posture are some causes of trigger points. In these areas, circulation is restricted, meaning that nutrient delivery and cellular waste are limited. Through Neuromuscular Therapy and other massage modalities, Portland massage therapists can often alleviate lingering pain, weakness, and fatigue. Neuromuscular therapy doesn’t just consider issues in soft tissue, but rather examines multiple levels of the problem—not just where it manifests as a sensation, [...]

Massage Modalities: Neuromuscular Therapy2019-02-28T16:53:27-05:00

Improved Sleep & Massage: Portland Massage School on Catching more ZZZs

2019-02-28T16:55:34-05:00

Getting more sleep is a perennially popular resolution—and one that scientists recommend, as getting more sleep can help you achieve your other resolutions. Regularly receiving massage is an excellent habit for those looking to increase their shut-eye. Read on to discover research on massage and sleep. We also offer a few general tips on how to improve your sleep in 2018 (including making an appointment at our Portland massage school’s clinic). How Good Sleep Boosts Motivation Did you know that self-care (including getting more sleep) is the 4th most popular resolution among women in 2018? Research suggests prioritizing sleep is a [...]

Improved Sleep & Massage: Portland Massage School on Catching more ZZZs2019-02-28T16:55:34-05:00

Massage as a Treatment Tool for Opioid Dependence

2016-11-17T10:00:30-05:00

Last month we introduced how massage therapy can help individuals who are drug dependent stay present in their bodies, rather than disassociating to the negative body outcomes of their substance of choice. We also discussed how massage therapy can break the cycle of stress and sleeplessness so common among the substance dependent, by encouraging deep relaxation and releasing serotonin, dopamine, and other feel-good hormones throughout the body. Those who abuse substances often rely on drugs to experience pleasure; massage, in contrast, helps people experience their bodies’ natural pleasure pathways. Today we’re continuing the conversation by taking a special look at how [...]

Massage as a Treatment Tool for Opioid Dependence2016-11-17T10:00:30-05:00