Happy Monday! Today I bring to you some piriformis stretches to help relieve sciatic pain due to a tight piriformis muscle.. ⠀ The piriformis muscle is located in the buttocks region, and when it’s tight and cranky it can aggravate the sciatic nerve that runs right underneath it- causing pain and discomfort…
A tight (or in spasm) piriformis muscle, also known as Piriformis Syndrome, can occur for a variety of reasons… such as prolonged sitting, direct trauma, and/or overuse usually due to athletic activities.
Not sure if you have sciatic pain? Symptoms can include pain, tingling or numbness in the buttocks and down the leg. This may may worsen after sitting for a long time, running, climbing stairs or even walking. (I even have the pain sometimes running down to my ankle.. ⠀ Head to here for the full video on some simple stretches to help relieve sciatic pain 🙌🏽
Its Monday! (although do weekends even exist anymore?) Its the second week of “Massage Monday” and today we are talking about the face! There are 43 muscles in just the face alone-and they can use some love too when it comes time for your massage.
I always ask clients if they want their face worked on during their massage- and I’ve had more than a few tell me they never even had anyone ask if they wanted their face included! Whaaat?! Face massage has so many benefits that go above just feeling delightful.
Some benefits of face massage include:
TMJ Disorder relief
Relieves Sinus Pressure
Eases tension in the face (sometimes that we don’t even realize we are holding) that can lead to TMJ pain
Aids in Lymphatic Drainage
Natural Face Lift!
So maybe next time your Massage Therapist asks if you want your face massaged, say YES! Until then, try this face massage tutorial below that you can do yourself- you’ll just need your hands and a plant based oil (I recommend Rose Hip Seed Oil, you can find that here ). I recommend doing this every night before bed or in the morning to start your day!
Today is the first of (hopefully🤞🏽) many videos I’m sharing to talk about a specific muscle or group of muscles – what each muscle does, why it becomes tight and how we can self massage it at home to help ease some tension. Let’s call it “Muscle Monday” or “Massage Monday” !? Still working on it.. ⠀ So dun dun dunnnn ⠀ Today is the suboccipital muscles 🎉 ⠀ These smaller guys are located right at the base of the skull, and are responsible for extending and rotating your head. 👀 ⠀ They can get tight and cranky due to bad posture (looking down at phone 📱, computer 👩💻, reading 📖 etc) ⠀ Tightness can lead to tension headaches that typically comes up and around the back of your head to the forehead- also pain around temple and jaw. ⠀ There is a nerve on each side of the spine called the occipital nerves, and when the fascia and muscles entrap it- that can cause the headaches. ⠀ They are one of my FAVORITE muscles to give and get massaged. I always find so many trigger points that need to be released and it feels SOOO GOOD! ⠀ So all you’ll need is 2 tennis balls 🎾🎾 and sock 🧦! Head over to YouTube to watch the full video- link below ❤️
Cellulite, the ever so annoying dimpling of the skin. It usually doesn’t discriminate with women (with men it does, but ill explain that in a bit). Women of all different shapes and sizes get this “cottage cheese” on their skin and typically as we get older, it seems to get worse. So why is that? Why does it seem like men don’t get to experience this “orange peel” skin like women do?
So what is Cellulite?
Cellulite is what happens when fat becomes herniated between fibrous connective tissue called Septae. Septae is what connects the fat to the skin, and over time as we age the Septae becomes rigid, thus allowing fat cells to bulge and create the look of cellulite. Unfortunately, it worsens with age as the Septae becomes more rigid and our fat cells store extra toxins that our body hasn’t flushed out through sweating and various bodily systems. Take a look at the diagram to get a better visual
Where does Cellulite occur?
Cellulite typically occurs in thighs of women, although some women see it in their arms as well as lower abdomen.
Why do men never seem worried about cellulite?
Great question! With women, not only do we have less supportive connective tissue than men, but the Septae fibers actually run straight up and down to the skin, so when it becomes rigid, it creates the pulling therefore creating the look of cellulite. With men however their Septae fibers run more in an X pattern, so they have very minimal pulling of the skin and therefore, no dimpling.
Does a poor lifestyle contribute to cellulite?
Well, yes..sort of. While eating all the right things, getting enough exercise, drinking enough water, etc. might not make your skin perfectly smooth, eating nothing but a poor diet with no exercise, smoking and or drinking too much will only make cellulite worse (not to mention its just unhealthy). You definitely want to keep an exercise routine to tone and firm the muscles which will then tighten the skin. Also-those super tight underwear and bras? You might want to rethink those also. Tight fitting elastic bands can cut off circulation and limit blood flow.. ditch your underwire bras and tight underwear for something less restrictive.
Am I stuck with the dimples forever?
While cellulite does typically get worse with age, thanks to our bodies producing less estrogen, which means poorer circulation.. there are still things that can be done to lessen the appearance! Here at Body Alchemy we offer Cellulite Massage Treatments which loosens and softens the connective tissue so it isn’t as rigid as well as softens the fat tissue. We also offer Cavi Lipo, a treatment that breaks up fat cells using Ultrasound Cavitation. Lastly we offer FasciaBlaster treatments, which is similar to the cellulite massage in that it breaks up fascial adhesions. All of these treatments are meant as a compliment to an already healthy diet and exercise routine. Depending on what your goals are, we can discuss the various options and what works best for you! Give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation today! 732-693-6815
I get this question often from clients after their massage session, especially if their reason for coming in for a massage was injury or stress related. “When should I come back?” And the answer to that really varies person to person.
So often, I treat someone for some type of pain they are dealing with…they come in for multiple treatments, start to feel better, and then I don’t see them again for months until the pain returns with a vengeance and we start the whole process over again. It becomes a cycle and can easily be broken with getting on a massage routine of at least once a month, typically.
In an ideal world, we all would be getting massages once a day…if it wasn’t for the minor details like time, money and other responsibilities that get in the way. We live in a time where we are non-stop, and our bodies are needing massage more than ever. So what is the answer? How often should one be coming in for treatment? Check out video below:
This really depends on your lifestyle and goals. Are you stressed to the max where you find yourself cursing the little old lady crossing the street for taking too long with her walker? Are you not sleeping well at night? Are you a triathlete? Competing in the next Ironman? Or is your biggest feat of the weekend getting off the couch to make popcorn?
Any athletes who are heavily training, the ideal frequency of massage would be once or twice a week. Many professional sports teams (including college) have incorporated massage therapy full time to ensure their athletes optimal performance and quicker recovery times.
For those who don’t have any major complaints, once or twice a month is a great way to keep the body AND mind, feeling great.
If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, headaches, shoulder pain etc, its really most beneficial to start off with at least once a week until symptoms start improving. The trick to this is once the pain is gone, it is still crucial to get on a regular massage routine of at least once a month to keep the pain from returning.
Stress or Insomnia
Again, this depends on what exactly is going on. Are you stressed from a big project at work, major life change? If so you may want to increase your massages to once a week until things settle down a bit or that project comes to an end.
While massage is AMAZING, it certainly isn’t the end all for feeling your best. In-between your massages, incorporate some yoga and stretching into your daily routine. Eat your veggies. Start a meditation practice. Get out in nature. Start a gratitude journal.. All of these things put us in a more chill space, and will make your massage that much more beneficial and enjoyable!
I’m sure many of you have heard the term “CBD” at some point over the last year, and maybe you haven’t even the slightest clue what it actually means.. “Is it a drug?” “Is it going to make me paranoid?” “Is it the same as cupping?” (I did get that question recently). OK, so first. What the heck is CBD?! For a much more scientific answer, Zakah Life does a great job at explaining it here. This is the company I trust for my clients as well as myself.
Basically, CBD is often used as an umbrella term for cannabinoids (there’s more than 113 different cannabinoids in agricultural hemp). This still does not mean all “CBD” you see on the market is created equal, and with so many different brands and info out there I know that it can get really confusing, really fast. So I will break it down for you to get a better understanding of what it all means. On the market today, there are 3 types of CBD. There is Full Spectrum Hemp, Broad Spectrum Hemp and CBD Isolate.
FULL SPECTRUM HEMP
Okay so, Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Extract does contain Cannabidiol, CBD for short, BUT it also includes the full spectrum of other components in the plant, which the human body needs to attain optimal levels of wellness. Other components included in Full Spectrum Hemp Oil include trace amounts (less than 0.3%) of tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, as well as other cannabinoids such as CBG and CBC as well as Terpenes. Now, you’re probably thinking this is all really confusing and you’re off to binge watch Netflix. But I promise this is all coming together so sit tight and put the remote down! (or take a look at the video above)
What exactly are all of these abbreviations I’m throwing around? Well, THC is the component in marijuana that produces a “high”, and marijuana typically contains 15-20% of THC. See where I’m going with this? The amounts of THC are so low in Full Spectrum Hemp Oil, it won’t produce a “high”. CBG and CBC are non-psychoactive cannabinoids. CBG works to fight inflammation, pain and nausea while CBC has been shown to encourage the human brain to grow by increasing the viability of developing brain cells. And lastly, Terpenes are aromatic molecules and are the last puzzle piece in creating the “Entourage Effect” (a phenomenon that results from the many components of the hemp plant interaction with the human body to produce a stronger influence than any one of the components or cannabinoid alone).
CBD isolate is just that, it is made of the CBD molecule and nothing else..which means its lacking all of those other great things I just talked about.
BROAD SPECTRUM HEMP
Broad Spectrum Hemp Contains everything that Full Spectrum Hemp contains, minus the THC. Broad spectrum hemp producers remove the THC through a CO2 extraction process. Because this is missing the very small amount of THC, it is not as effective in creating the “Entourage Effect”.
Basically, Full Spectrum Hemps purpose is to heal our bodies and bring us back to a state of well being. I started offering Zakah Lifes Massage Cream infused with Full Spectrum Hemp Oil and Magnesium (Muscles LOVE magnesium) a few months back and my clients can’t get enough of it. Some say it helps them relax more during the massage itself, while others reach out the next day to tell me how great they slept the night of their massage. Others report less to no pain in areas they had discomfort in before their massage. The benefits are plenty. Now that you know more about CBD and Full Spectrum Hemp Oil, consider to enhance your next massage and request a “CBD Massage” when booking!
Ahhh..Dry Brushing..it has become a staple to my morning routine, and I have become somewhat addicted it. My 8 year old son has also taken a liking to it, asking me to brush him at various times throughout the day. With so many benefits, there’s no reason not to give it a try, and it can take as little as 5 minutes. I start out each Cavi-Lipo session with a quick dry brushing over the treated area. So far, not one client has ever even heard of it. So here is a quick breakdown…
Some Benefits of Dry Brushing:
Exfoliates the skin, leaving the skin brighter and smoother
Helps reduce the appearance of cellulite by breaking down trapped toxins (cellulite)
Stimulates the lymphatic system (which removes toxins from the body)
Increases blood circulation
Helps improve digestion
First, you need to purchase an all natural bristle brush, (one with a long handle is ideal to get harder to reach areas) Ok, you have your brush, now let’s start brushing!
HOW TO DRY BRUSH
1. The best place to dry brush is to stand in the shower, but not while the water is running. This allows the falling dead skin to go right into the drain, and it is best to shower after dry brushing to wash away all that dead skin you just brushed off.
2. Start at the feet and always brush your way towards your heart. I like to start in circular motions and then switch to long strokes. Do this 10-15 times on each area.
3. When you get to chest/neck area, be careful not to brush too hard as that is a more sensitive area.
4. When all finished, turn the water on and take your normal shower. I sometimes alternate between hot and cold to stimulate blood circulation. (I also hear that’s great for the hair, so its a win-win.)
Try to add this to your daily routine, twice a day is best for a healthier you-from the inside out!
Just 10 minutes on the whole body vibration machine can burn up to 250 calories, and gives you an intense calorie and cellulite burning experience which is equivalent to a 1 hour regular workout! While I certainly do not think this machine should replace regular exercise, it is a great addition to help lose the stubborn areas that we will be working on during your Cavi-Lipo treatment. Below, Kristen shows her pure utter enjoyment trying out the whole body vibration machine after her treatment!
Promotes lymphatic drainage
Increases blood circulation and oxygenation
Increases bone mass and density
Increases collagen production
Reduces the appearance of cellulite
Tones and tightens
Increases muscle strength
….And its never hurts to jiggle every now and then 😉
With the upcoming (today!!) launch of my new business, in Red Bank, New Jersey, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to get my forever racing thoughts out of my head and on to a blog! I’ve spent the day (more like past week) raking my mind with the perfect first entry, and it was under my nose the whole time!
It has come to my attention that many people are completely unaware about the health benefits associated with massage therapy. I’ve been told by many that they are just too uncomfortable, some even “grossed out” by the thought of a stranger touching their bare skin (my own mother included). Being a massage therapist in New Jersey for 8 years now, I am still perplexed when I hear “ugh, I could never have a stranger touch me”. I don’t recommend just having any random Joe Schmo in the grocery store touch you, but a trained licensed massage therapist is a different story.
I always love when I have a client on the table who has never had a massage before..they are generally very chatty at first, not knowing what to expect, and halfway through they are fast asleep and I catch myself slipping on puddle of drool. (Okay, maybe that never happened, but you get the idea). Some of these are the same people who very convincingly, swore they would never get a massage, let alone pass out during one.
Besides being completely relaxing, massage therapy has so many great benefits, some of which include:
Reduction of headaches
Aids in the healing of sports injuries
Reduces pain and muscle tension
Can reduce the appearance of cellulite
Helpful in relieving joint and nerve pain
Increases self awareness
Improve range of motion
Increases peace of mine (which we all can use)
… and the list goes on! If those aren’t good enough reasons to get a massage, I’m not sure what is. With so many different massage techniques available, there is one for everybody. You can just relax and de-stress from the day with a Swedish or hot stone massage, or you’re looking to release chronic muscle tension with a deep tissue massage. I recommend starting with a Swedish massage if you’ve never had a massage before.
I have yet to have someone get off my massage table and leave unhappy, and as for the ones who swore they would never get a massage, are usually the ones questioning why it took them so long to get one in the first place.