Massage to Help Anxiety, from a First Hand Perspective


As someone who’s dealt with Anxiety Disorder for most of my life, I wanted to discuss this topic from a first hand perspective, and especially to use my personal experience and insights on this disorder in hopes of offering assistance to others who suffer from this often debilitating condition. Anxiety and Panic Disorder, like a lot of mental health conditions, can often be stigmatised by those who have never experienced these symptoms and therefore cannot relate to what we go through. Uninformed individuals can be dismissive of anxiety sufferers, with statements such as “Calm down, don’t worry about it, let it go, it’ll be fine,” etc. etc.

If only it were that simple, right? If only, when in the grips of a panic attack, we could just decide to “let it go” and then suddenly be 100% better. But no, it’s definitely not that simple. Severe episodes of panic or anxiety can stop you in your tracks, affecting you mentally, emotionally, and physically. You can feel disturbing sensations like reality is distorted, or like you’re losing touch with reality or losing yourself. It can be impossible to hold on to a rational thought during these times, as you deal with this inner struggle, trying to tell yourself “Hold on, it’ll be fine, I’ll be fine, this will pass”, whilst the irrational anxiety brain keeps interjecting with fear thoughts such as “No it’s not, no you won’t, you’re losing your mind, you’ll never feel normal again, something terrible is about to happen, you’re going to die..etc.”

These high stress response feelings also wreck havoc on us physically, with symptoms such as racing heart and heart arrhythmias, gastrointestinal distress, dizziness, shaking, and eventually extreme fatigue as the body exhausts itself from dealing with these highly draining and damaging sensations.

There’s no doubt about the benefits of massage therapy for stress and anxiety; we begin learning about this in school and further study shows a vast amount of research on the topic. Massage therapy has been shown to affect the body’s biochemistry, in ways such as lowering blood pressure, reducing cortisol levels, and increasing the levels of serotonin and dopamine – the neurotransmitters that reduce stress and promote feelings of peace, calm, and happiness. Regular massage has been shown to lead to a reduction in anxiety episodes and symptoms.

In addition, combining massage therapy with energy work such as Reiki can reach even deeper to assist with healing not only on the physical level, but also the mental and spiritual levels, clearing and balancing the Chakras and clearing away negative energy patterns that may be contributing to our anxious feelings.

But, what about when our anxiety itself prevents us from participating in these healing therapies? From my own experience, I know that several factors of anxiety that can make us reluctant to seek treatment. First, many of us experience anxiety at the prospect of going somewhere new and unfamiliar, and outside of our “comfort spaces”. Then there’s also the worry that comes with meeting a new person and working with someone we’re not familiar with. We worry about all the unknowns and irrational fear thoughts can then come in and make us worry that “something bad” might happen. And even during the treatment, something as relaxing as a massage can also invoke anxiety thoughts; for some of just the act of lying still and what can feel like surrendering control to another person can make us anxious. Or we start to worry, “Omg what if I have a panic attack during the session? What will they think of me? I’ll be so embarrassed.” Some of us also find that our anxiety is often triggered by physical sensations, and become hyper-aware of our bodily sensations, to where something like an increase in heart rate due to the increased circulation that can come as a result of massage can turn into a thought of “Omg, what if I’m having a heart attack”.

I experienced all of this when I first started receiving massage. And if I had the choice, I may have just given up and decided I didn’t want to do it again. But, I didn’t have a choice. I was in school, and part of our training obviously included giving and receiving massages to each other. So I persevered. And after awhile, I noticed that I no longer experienced the anxiety symptoms during the massage. I also noticed that I was experiencing less anxiety symptoms in general day to day life.

After finishing school, I’ve continued to make time regularly to schedule massages for myself. And I was thinking about all these things during my last massage, and how I wanted to use my experience to help others. I would like to use my experiences with anxiety to provide a safe space for others who deal with this condition to still be able to enjoy the healing benefits of massage and energy work.

If you currently suffer from anxiety or panic disorders, don’t let it stop you from coming in. I am completely empathetic to everything you may be feeling, and therefore will not be in any way judgemental of any related issues that may come up during the treatment. I will work with you to change or adjust any aspect of the treatment to your comfort level, and welcome and encourage your communication.

I respectfully invite you to take this step, to help me to help you to move in the direction towards a more peaceful life.


The Akashic Records

Several years ago in the beginnings of my spiritual awakening, I attended a couple of classes on the Akashic Records. One was a basic intro class, where we learned the Pathway Prayer Process to open our own Records and the Records of others, and the second one was called Healing Through the Akashic Records, in which we delved much deeper into our own Records for the purpose of personal transformation and healing.

This was one of the most profound experiences I have had, and was one of the primary catalysts in accelerating my spiritual awakening, so I just wanted to share a bit of information about this for those who may not be familiar with this topic.

The Akashic Records are an energetic database of everything a soul has experienced and will experience in all lifetimes for ones entire existence. The Pathway Prayer Process is one method that allows you to access these Records. When you enter the Hall of Records, you immediately feel a deep sense of peace and pure unconditional love. You are met by different guides, primarily a group of beings referred to as “Loved Ones”. Your Loved Ones are people you knew in your life who have passed on. They could be friends or family, but could also someone who was only a short term or casual acquaintance in this life, but could have been close family or friends in previous lives. For example, on two occasions now I have opened my Records and been met by someone who I knew only for a brief time in this life, only to discover they have been part of my soul group for hundreds of lifetimes. A soul group is a large group of souls who continuously reincarnate around the same time and will interact in each other’s lives in different ways. The person who is your sister in this life may have been your child in a past life, and in the next life maybe could just be the guy that serves you your coffee at the corner diner each morning.

The other beings you will interact with in the Hall of Records are referred to as “Teachers”. These are highly evolved souls, mostly who have lived previously in physical form, and have evolved spiritually to a high enough level through hundreds and hundreds of lives and experiences, who now exist only in the higher dimensional realms for the purpose of helping guide other souls through their journey. A Teacher work with many different souls, and you may have Teachers that are with you for only a part of one life, or over the course of several lives. Your Teachers will stay with you until you’ve learned everything you need to from them.

Once you learn to access your Records, you can then do this anytime you wish. It is a deeply healing experience, and a great aide to humanity in raising our conscious vibration and bringing spiritual insight into our lives. My class teacher often referred to our Teachers and Loved Ones as our “Spiritual Cheerleaders”, as they are there to guide us and support us in our life, and so joyfully and lovingly greet us whenever we open our Records. It is a true comfort in this life to be able consult with these beings of unconditional love.

I took my classes with Christina Cross at Equilibrium here in Chicago. She is a magnificent teacher, and I would highly recommend taking one of her courses if you can. Their website is:

Also, Linda Howe, creator of the Pathway Prayer Process, has numerous amazing books on the topic and also offers classes both online and in person here in Chicago and various other locations. Her website is

Regardless of where or how you learn, I would recommend everyone to learn how to access their Akashic Records. It will be a beautiful experience that will better your life in many ways.


Bodhisattva: A person with an awakened nature who vows to help awaken every being in the Universe, realizing that they there is only one Consciousness. To awaken one’s true self, one must awaken all beings.

” There are innumerable sentient beings in the Universe; I vow to help them all awaken. My imperfections are inexhaustible; I vow to overcome them. The Dharma is unknowable; I vow to know it. The way of awakening is unattainable; I vow to attain it. “

How To Deal With Negative Encounters


As Lightworkers and those on the path of Light, it can be quite upsetting or even shocking when we encounter outwardly hostile or hateful individuals. Those of us who are empathic, and especially sensitive to energies can often find such experiences emotionally traumatic, creating intense feelings of pain and anxiety. We may even be triggered to a more primal response to want to lash out in return or retaliate in some way. However, this type of reaction will undoubtedly end up prolonging or inflating the situation, thus causing us more pain and trauma.

Instead, it’s important to listen to your intuition and Higher Self; once you are aware you are dealing with a dark energy type, disengage from any further interaction in this third dimensional realm, and instead transmute the negative energy on a spiritual level.

It’s easy to let ourselves feel frustrated, anxious about, or even shocked and angry at the behaviour of other humans at times. But we must remember, we all have our own path to follow and experiences to have in each life we live, and no matter what we are all elements of the Divine. We are all one, connected energetically. Those who are spewing out maliciousness have their own work to do, and the best thing we can do is send them love and compassion on a spiritual level. By living unconditional love for all beings, we help to anchor the Light to this planet, and thereby, like a ripple effect, will touch everyone else on this energetic grid, raising the vibration of the collective consciousness as a whole.

I know, one of the most difficult challenges we face is the need to show compassion and unconditional love to those we feel have wronged us, but it truly is the only way to heal and work towards a higher 5th dimensional existence. We will truly evolve when we can feel compassion even for humans behaving in cruel and hateful ways. Compassion to understand that they too have some deep seated trauma, either from this life or another, that is causing them to behave this way. By sending them unconditional love, we can help their healing process. Love will always conquer hate, for only love exists in the higher dimensional realms.

But, what do you do if you’ve had an unpleasant encounter and now find yourself preoccupied with negative thoughts and energies lingering?

1. Ask, What Should I Learn From This?  

First and foremost, every experience we have, good or bad, is a lesson we need to learn in order to evolve on our spiritual path. So ask, the Universe/ your Higher Self/ God, “what I am supposed to learn from this experience?” Before we can move out of the negative energy, we must first address and accept the reasons we had the experience to begin with. Perhaps it was just to remind us the importance of living in unconditional love. Perhaps it was to protect us from entering into a dangerous situation, or to teach us a coping mechanism or mental skill for future encounters of the same sort. Or, maybe it was just a lesson we needed to learn to better ourselves and/or be able to help others who may be dealing with the same situation. Whatever the reason, sit quietly and acknowledge the reason, accept the truth you are given, and thank the Universe for giving you this experience.

2. Meditate

One of the best ways to clear negative thoughts and energies from your mind is through meditation. One example can be Mantra meditation. Chanting Mantras bring energy into the physical and ethereal bodies, channeling not only the vibration of the meanings of the words themselves, but the collective energy of all who have used these Mantras for thousands of years. One of the most beneficial Mantras and personal favourite if mine is:

Om Mani Padme Hum

The six syllables purify the six realms of existence in suffering, as follows:

Om – It is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the practice of generosity

Ma- helps perfect the practice of pure ethics

Ni- helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and patience

Pad- helps to achieve perfection of perseverance

Me- helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration

Hum- helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom

Repeat this Mantra over and over until you feel the unwanted thoughts dissipating, and again any time they start to resurface.

Another type of meditation that is excellent for strengthening your energy field and protecting you from dark energy is the MerKaBa meditation. Author Maureen J. St. Germain has several excellent books, audios, and a DVD that details how to do this meditation. Of course any type of meditation you prefer and that helps you relax and connect to the Light will be beneficial.

3. Archangel Michael

The Angels, Archangels, Ascended Masters, and many other multi dimensional beings are here to assist humanity at this time. They are here to assist all of humanity, regardless of religion, spiritual beliefs or even lack there of. All you have to do is ask; they won’t interfere in your life against your free will, but will gladly offer their assistance if you ask for it.

Archangel Michael is especially helpful to call on for protection and to conquer negative energies. He is recognised as a Champion of the Light in opposition to darkness.

You can simply say “Archangel Michael please come to me now, I need your help!” Then, mentally describe the situation you need help with, and when you feel a warm energy around you, you will know he is with you. You can also visualise the sapphire blue light of his protection around your physical body, your heart, your etheric body, chakras, and forming a blue sphere of protective energy in your heart centre. You can extend this blue shield of protection around your home, car, place of business, or anywhere else you want his protection.

A helpful decree you can say to bring in his protection at any time, in everything you do is:

Lord Michael before, Lord Michael behind

Lord Michael to the right, Lord Michael to the left.

Lord Micheal above, Lord Michael below

Lord Michael, Lord Michael wherever I go!

I AM his love protecting here!

I AM his love protecting here!

I AM his love protecting here!


4. Smudging

Negative emotions can become entities that linger around our auric field and in our living spaces. They can then attract outside negative entities that feed on these dark energies. Therefore it is essential to remove these energies with smudging. White sage is one of the best choices for this. Start by lighting the sage and fanning the smoke all around your body. Sit down and smudge under your feet. Then, move about your living space from room to room, letting the smoke waft about the room. It can be helpful to use a feather to fan the smoke in the direction you want it to go. Be sure to direct some into the upper corners of all rooms, as this is a place where dark energies can collect.

5. Visualisation

If you find yourself being continually “haunted” by troubling thoughts of the disturbing event, visualise it as a shape, or object. Give it a colour, and a name if you’d like. Then, every time the thoughts come in, visualise them in this form, and then visualise a beam of pure white Light dissolving it and dispersing it into the Universe to be transmuted.

6. Reiki

Reiki and other forms of energy healing are excellent ways of dealing with difficult situations. This can heal our physical and mental hurts, and restore us to a higher state of being. We can also send Reiki to the situation itself, to resolve it to the highest and greatest good of all involved and humanity as a whole.

7. Crystals

There are many crystals that are excellent for transmuting negative energy. One of my personal favourites is Black Tourmaline. You can wear one as jewellery, keep one on your desk or night table, or hold one in your hand whilst meditating. Hold the stone in your hand, visualise and feel it pulling all the dark thoughts/energies into it, where it dissolves and transmutes them.

8. Sound Healing

Solfeggio frequencies, which can be accessed in iTunes, Amazon music, YouTube, and probably every other music service, have specific physical and spiritual healing properties. They create positive shifts to those who listen to them by interacting with the vibrational energies of the human body.  Especially helpful for this type of situation is the 528 Hz tone. Known as the miracle tone, it can have great positive effects on the body mind and spirit. You can play it in the background whilst you work, sleep, read, or even watch TV.  Just let it play continuously until you feel at peace.

9. Make Something Good of It!

Last but not least, allow yourself to let something good come of the situation. Take that negative energy and channel it into something positive. Create art, or a song, or a poem. Write about it in a blog! For me it was a negative interaction with a hostile individual that ultimately brought me the inspiration for this article. I directly took that negativity and channeled it into this, in hopes that this can be helpful to others who may deal with similar situations. Perhaps this can help someone, and perhaps that person takes this on to then help someone else, and so on. Perhaps you just take a bad situation as an opportunity to step back, remind yourself to see all humans as the Light of God, and send the negative energies away, helping to anchor more light to this planet and bring us all closer to our Ascension!

Whatever the situation is, know that it only has as much power as you give it, and once you take that power away and send it into the Light, then peace and Light will come upon you.

Blessing & Love

The Importance of Communication in Receiving a Great Massage

Communication seems like an easy thing to master, but for most of us, proves to be a very difficult concept to implement at times. Everyone has different backgrounds, experiences, and lifestyles that affect the way we speak and how we interpret the words of others. This is why it’s so important to make sure you’re communicating properly with your massage therapist. Without proper communication, we often don’t know your real wants and needs for each session, as well as your overall goals for treatment. 

While massage therapists may not be doctors, we are licensed professionals who are passionate about the field. Our goal isn’t only your satisfaction with the experience, but also your wellbeing, during and after treatment. Your first visit for a massage, you’ll be asked to fill out an intake form which will ask a series of questions about your health history, current complaints, and goals for treatment. Make sure you are 100% honest on this form, because your answers may affect your visit. If you are on certain medications or have been diagnosed with some medical conditions, I may need to adjust the pressure or techniques to best suit your body. Don’t worry, what you write on the intake form isn’t set in stone. If anything changes from the information you originally filled out, let me know so we can adjust each and every session after to be the best for you.  

Life is always changing. There may be times you walk into the office in pain and other days you have no complaints at all. There may be times you’re stressed to the max and others where life is going pretty smoothly. You don’t have to divulge every part of your personal life, but it is important to let me know if you have any changes in your stress levels, or in your body and overall health that may affect the treatment plan for you. If you aren’t sure if something falls under that category, don’t hesitate to ask. You owe it to yourself to make sure you are maintaining an honest conversation to ensure you aren’t putting your body into any potential danger. 

The communication shouldn’t end after the intake. It’s imperative that you communicate throughout your entire visit. If you have questions about how far to undress, how you’ll be covered during the massage, if you need the room or table to be a bit warmer or cooler, prefer a change in music, or anything else, speak up. If you like to talk throughout or prefer some peace and quiet, want to just relax or need some more focused, deeper work, let me know. You’re spending your time and money and my goal is to make sure you enjoy your experience. Communicate your wants and needs and give me the chance to adjust anything in the session to your liking.  

One thing people struggle with is whether it is okay to ask questions about what their therapist is doing. The answer is yes. If you are wondering the purpose of a technique being performed, ask away. It’s important to know and understand the potential effects and benefits. If you don’t like the pressure or a particular technique, it’s important that you speak up as well. I can’t read your mind. The only way I’ll know if I need to change something is if you tell me. 

The key to a great client/therapist relationship begins with an open line of communication and trust. If you haven’t been open and honest so far, it’s not too late to open that conversation up. Just remember to listen to suggestions as well. My goal is to keep you happy, healthy, and coming back. Help me help you!

How Your Lower Back Pain & Hip Pain May Be Connected

The body is intricately designed with nerve endings and connective tissues that intertwine to form a beautiful structure capable of everything from minute movements, to birthing a child, to surviving in some of the harshest conditions on earth. But with these capabilities comes vulnerability, so it’s no surprise that we experience pain from time to time at the very least. What you may not realize is that sometimes the pain you feel isn’t necessarily caused by something in the area you feel it. For example, when you have an injury to your hips or pelvis, it can often cause back pain. Due to the proximity of the complex joints of the pelvis to your spine, your body can also interpret your hip/pelvis problem as back pain and your back problem as hip/pelvic pain.  

The lumbar region of the spine (lower back) houses all of the nerves that supply feeling and motor control to the entire lower body; from the low back itself to the hips, knees, and down to the tips of your toes. While this area can sustain a lot of abuse, due to the immense amount of movement it is capable of and the stress that our daily lives can put on it, it is also the most susceptible to injury. Here’s a few reasons you may have this hip/back pain connection. 

A pinched nerve root at the lumbar spine due to a bulging or herniated disc may result in significant sharp pain along a nerve like the sciatic nerve which runs from the middle of the low back all the way down the back and side of the leg to the foot. Sometimes this pain stops at the buttock and at other times it may shoot all the way down to the toes.  

Your posture may also have an effect. This isn’t to say that you need to immediately “fix” your posture as that may not be necessary. What I’m referencing is more so when you begin to exhibit an abnormal-to-you posture, like suddenly sitting all day when you’re used to walking, or crossing your legs a lot when you haven’t before. These seemingly subtle changes may actually result in some significant shifts in the joints of the pelvis and spine, causing pain. If you haven’t had a major shift in how you sit, stand, or walk throughout your day, it may be that your posture has changed due to your pain rather than the other way around. The new posture you’ve adapted may be your body’s way of compensating for an injury or otherwise protecting itself from further damage. 

While there is much to this connection between the low back and hips, far more than I can include in this single post, just know that there is an intricate balance between the many structures of this area. Depending on the real problem, you may need massage, exercise, rest, stretching, or it may be best to see your physician. To help you determine what’s really going on and how to move forward, make an appointment and let’s figure it out together so you can get back to doing what you enjoy.

Cupping: What it is and why you should try it

Cupping is a traditional Chinese therapy that’s been used for thousands of years, but it gained even more popularity in 2016 when everyone noticed that Michael Phelps had large perfectly round discolorations on his back while competing in the Olympics. Many people before that had never heard, or never been exposed to this type of bodywork. During a cupping session, the therapist may use cups made of glass, silicone, or plastic. The vacuum pressure is created with either a manual pump, electronic pump, or even fire. Every therapist is different in how they approach cupping and will adjust treatment to the needs of their client. Some prefer stationary cupping which means leaving each cup in place for several minutes. Others prefer to keep the cups moving to get a broader effect and reduce the likelihood of marks being left on the skin. And still others prefer a combination of both stationary and moving cupping. 

Cupping can be used to decrease swelling by stimulating lymphatic flow and increasing superficial blood circulation. It creates negative pressure instead of positive pressure; so instead of pushing into those tight tissues in an attempt to separate and realign fibers, those tissues are being pulled apart. This offers a far less intense feeling of pressure and discomfort than a typical “deep” massage, but with similar effects. There are also many health claims in the world of cupping that say cupping can help get rid of cellulite, cleanse your body of toxins, help with fertility, and even help with wrinkles when used on the face. It is hard to confirm these claims as there hasn’t been much reliable research on the subject. Cupping is also difficult to run an experiment on, because it would be difficult to have a true control group. This would help to see the effects on those who have received treatment versus those who think they have received the treatment. When something has gained such popularity it’s hard to get down to the root of what it really does or can achieve.  

Now that we’ve gotten the history of cupping and the claims made, let’s get down to why you should try it. Cupping is great for several reasons: 

  • It gets the blood flowing. 
  • It can help target a specific area of need. 
  • Those who struggle with the pressure of a normal massage may like the alternative of cupping because although it’s still pressure, it’s felt in a different way.  
  • Countless individuals (including me!) swear to the benefits of this therapy because we’ve seen the results over and over in ourselves and others. 

Whether you are wanting to try cupping for the health benefits you feel it will bring you, or because you just want to see what all the hype is about, let’s talk about your goals and what you’re comfortable with when you book your next session. You may be pleasantly surprised with how much you enjoy it!

First Massage? What to Expect

For many, massage therapy isn’t really on the radar as part of routine healthcare. It may have just been something that was part of a spa gift certificate the family got mom for Mother’s Day or a splurge before a big event, like a wedding. But the massage industry has only grown over the last several years, and with it, a new public acceptance of massage therapy as part of a healthcare and self-care protocol. While it may seem a little intimidating to get your first massage, let me put you at ease by filling you in on all the details of what to expect.

            Upon scheduling your appointment your massage therapist should ask you several questions that will help them understand your needs, and plan your session. This will allow them to gauge the pressure you might want, the areas of focus, the areas to avoid, and any medical issues that may affect your experience.

            For your first visit, you’ll be asked to arrive to your session 10-15 minutes early to fill out some paperwork, including an intake form that covers your medical history, any pain or injury you may be experiencing chronically or just that day, and goals for your massage session. You’ll also need to sign some policy agreements so everyone is on the same page about professional conduct, booking requirements, and things like that. Your therapist will go over all of this with you and answer any questions you have before your session starts.

            Once it’s time to start the massage, you’ll be informed of how to get ready to receive the most benefit from the specific type of treatment you’ve booked. To put it plainly, you’ll be told how much of your clothing to remove, but don’t worry, your therapist will leave the room and allow you plenty of time to get ready. I know it can be intimidating to think that only a sheet and blanket will be separating you from a stranger, but we’re professionals. Your modesty and comfort are extremely important to us. You will remain as covered as you’d like. Each area will be uncovered only to receive the massage and then recovered to keep you warm. Your groin and, in the case of women the breasts, will remain covered at all times. If for any reason, you feel uncomfortable at all, don’t be afraid to communicate your concerns. This is your time and your service, so your comfort level is of utmost important.  

            Along with your comfort comes the discussion of pressure. If at any point in the massage you need more or less pressure, please let your therapist know! We can’t read your mind, so it’s important for you to speak up if you need anything changed at all. This also goes for anything with the technique. The important thing to remember is that this is your time and it needs to be what you want. Whether that’s concerning the pressure, the music, the feel of the lotion or oil being used, the conversation or lack thereof, or anything else; let us know how we can make the experience great for you.

            It’s normal in the beginning, especially during your first massage, to be a little tense, but try to allow yourself to truly be present and enjoy. Once your session is over, your therapist will step out of the room to let you come back to your senses and re-dress. Before you jump up off the table though, take a moment to breathe and soak in the feelings you’re experiencing; the looseness in your muscles, your calmed mind, and just the peace and quiet. You deserve it.

Massage Therapy for PTSD

Life is such a peculiar thing. We experience moments of joy, beauty, happiness, strength, sadness, pain, and fear just to name a few. We never know when our lives can change whether it be for the better or for the worse. Within that there are people who have survived some of the most traumatizing situations, some on a literal battlefield some on a very different kind of battlefield. Years ago, PTSD wasn’t recognized or really understood. People went about their days putting on a brave face while dealing with something internally on their own, because that is what they were taught to do. Showing that you were struggling was considered a sign of weakness. What we didn’t know then was that being open and honest about your struggles is the complete opposite. Being able to open up to another about an experience that you have went through, that caused you harm, pain, or fear is one of the hardest things a person can do. Opening yourself up to show your vulnerabilities and fears takes a lot of guts and shouldn’t be looked upon lightly. According to the National Center for PTSD, 7.7 million people in the United States alone suffer from PTSD, and that is just the cases that are reported. PTSD can impact one’s life causing them anxiety, depression, and negative thoughts. It’s almost like being in a jail where the worst moments of your life continue to be replayed repeatedly and you have no control over the television.  

There have been many recent studies that show how massage therapy can help those diagnosed with PTSD tremendously. The stress relieving factors involved with massage therapy can help to decrease anxiety and depression as well as helping to improve personal mood and decrease irritability. Another benefit of massage therapy when helping to treat PTSD is the reduction in physical pain, and tension. Many of those dealing with PTSD who report dissociation may experience a better sense of self. It is still very early in the studying stage due to the small sample groups involved which make it difficult to foresee the impact on a larger scale, but results so far are very promising. 

The process in which the massage therapist handles their session sometimes has the most powerful impact on one dealing with PTSD. The massage therapist not only asks consent for the therapy session but also goes into detail with their client about the specific wants and needs of the client, giving the client a deeper self-awareness and sense of control over their body than they may have had in a while. This is the part where communication is key to ensure a positive session for both the massage therapist as well as the client dealing with PTSD.  

While these benefits are wonderful, it is always important to talk to your health provider before seeking treatment. If you, or anyone you know is dealing with symptoms of PTSD it is always best to seek help. You aren’t alone, and you shouldn’t go through this alone.

Trigger Points and Muscle Knots

If you’re a regular to massage, the concept of a muscle knot is probably something you’re well aware of, but what are they exactly? And what’s the relationship between a muscle knot and a trigger point?

What’s a trigger point?

Trigger points are simply tender spots on your body that ‘trigger’ or cause discomfort. These tender spots are common and many of us have them, but for some people they can become really troublesome. They are common in hot-spots like shoulders and neck, but they can crop up just about anywhere and in some people, they can cause a lot of pain.

A trigger point is like a ‘knot’ in your muscle, or the fascia (the thin wrapping around each muscle) which is why they are often referred to as a muscle knot. To a massage therapist it feels like a hard contraction on the on the muscle fibers connected to it, like a tight band around the muscle. Trigger points in muscles are ‘myofascial trigger points’ – and there are other types of trigger point that can occur around the body, on your skin, ligaments and tendons, and on scar tissue.

How can you tell if you have a muscle knot or trigger point?

You’ll be able to tell where your own trigger points are; if you touch them with any kind of pressure you’ll notice they start to hurt, or hurt more. They are often situated close to problem areas for you as well, so if you have back issues, your trigger points are likely to be around your back, neck and shoulders, although this isn’t always the case. The range of sensations you might feel from a trigger point can be quite wide, too; anything from intense pain to a dull, throbbing ache. Some people feel ‘pins and needles’ or numbness.

So, what causes trigger points to flare up?

One theory is that they are down to some sort of muscular overload – if you’ve been working out too hard or overdoing it, or just not been taking care of your posture.

How are Trigger Points treated?

If you notice a sore spot and want to see a massage therapist for advice, we’d advise having a word with your medical adviser first just to make sure that any swelling or soreness is just down to muscular stress and nothing more serious.

Once you’ve been checked over, we can start to look at the problem and help you to heal it with massage.

A good massage therapist will be able to work on your trigger points and muscle knots, gently but firmly releasing them. They can also help you with in-between treatment massage techniques to try at home that will ease any discomfort and help to prevent the muscle knots building up again.

Trigger points and tender spots can cause a huge amount of pain and discomfort, often restricting your movement and your ability to do the activities you want to. You don’t have to put up with this pain though, with some action on your part you can be pain free!

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