Hot Stone Massage

In January 2017, Body Heal Thyself Massage Therapy is introducing a few new, fun, HEAT offerings, including Hot Stone Massage, just in time for the cold weather!

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At the LoHi location –

– 90 or 120 minute Hot Stone Massages

– Paraffin Wax add ons for hands and feet (available in the Add On menu on Schedulicity)

At the Cross Fit DeCo location – (Usually reserved for DeCo members only, because it can be loud during class times)

– 90 or 120 minute massages, including a 20 minute steam sauna, pre-massage. (Available in the Add On menu on Schedulicity)

Are you wondering what the benefits of these heat related offerings before or during a massage are? The biggest benefit is that heat opens up the blood vessels, allowing for better circulation. With better circulation muscles are less fatigued, and therefore less tense, allowing me to do even better work when your muscles are loosened up from the heat. Better circulation also brings more oxygen to the muscles which aids in easing aches and pains.

Hot Stone Massage –

When doing hot stone massage, the warm stones not only ease the muscles with the heat, but we open up the energy meridians, and feel more grounded and connected to the earth.

Steam Sauna –

Most of you have probably experienced the relaxation provided by heat in a hot tub or steam bath. The benefits probably don’t need too much explanation. The steam offering at BHT uses the Steamy Wonder Portable Sauna to circulate heat and steam to sooth your tense muscles, while you lay on the table, relax and soak it all in. If you’re like me, and don’t do well with breathing in hot air, this is a great way to get the benefits of a steam bath without having your head in the heat.

Paraffin Wax –

Paraffin wax may seem like a simple spa add on to soften hands, but in reality, the heat from the wax can actually be a huge benefit to people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis. It can also help with muscle, tendon and ligament injuries or soreness, again, by bringing blood and oxygen to the site. In addition to being a great skin softener/moisturizer, it can help those cracked and dry hands and feet.
I’m really excited to have you all come in and try these new massages! I think you’ll love them! Please look online here to schedule your next appointment.

Online Massage Gift Certificates are here

You can get your online massage gift certificates now!

There are exciting new things coming to Body Heal Thyself Massage Therapy, which I’ll be talking about soon. But first! For the holidays… You can now buy Body Heal Thyself online massage gift certificates, and have them emailed to you, ready to print and give. It’s that easy! Just click this link and you’re on your way to making your special someones Christmas! http://carriebmassage.com/gift-certificates/

 

Another awesome way to give a gift everyone will love is to give a gift basket of relaxation.

 

Your basket will include the following:

Your choice of a 60, 90, or 120 minute massage with Aromatherapy add on,
Your choice of Aromatherapy Bath Salts – (Either Stress Away or Panaway, to help those sore muscles),
Aromatherapy Soap*,
An Aromatherapy Necklace,

Peace & Calming Essential Oil,
Sample of Thieves products (awesome immune system support) and,
Tea Bags to calm the mind.
All items perfect for a day or night of self care, relaxation and rejuvenation.

*Young Living essential oils are used for all Aromatherapy products except the soap, which is made, with love, by one of my clients, and available for separate purchase, as well, at my office.

 

Please contact Carrie directly for gift baskets. They are not available online. Let me help you make the holiday special for the ones you love. 303-249-1712  Stay tuned for more new things to come!

Untangling the Web of Fascia

So many people lately are talking about fascia.

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It’s kind of the “in” thing in massage therapy right now.  Why is it so popular? If you understand what fascia is and how it works in your body you’ll see why people want Myofascial Release techniques in their massage.

Fascia is connective tissue beneath the skin that attaches, supports, and stabilizes the muscles and organs in the body. Fascia also encloses each individual muscle and organ. The collagen fibers are oriented in the same direction as the muscle fibers they cover, allowing for proper, uninhibited stretching and movement.

The entire body is covered with fasica from head to toe without interruption. When fascia loses stiffness, becomes too stiff, becomes inflamed, or when trauma has caused adhesions or scar tissue, the fascia ceases to move smoothly, and effectively; Range of Motion (ROM) becomes limited and pain and restrictions occur.

Picture a spider web.

When you pull on one thread at the top corner, the entire structure shifts, right? So, if there is a restriction in one of those spider web threads (say it doesn’t go back to neutral) the whole web is out of alignment. When you apply this web picture to the fascia in your body, you can see why when it is restricted it causes pain and loss of ROM.
Myofascial release is a form of massage therapy I offer. It works to release these fascial restrictions. I will slowly apply sustained, gentle pressure to the fascia, allowing the “threads of the web” to release. Pain will ease, and allow mobility to come back into the body.

This is just another way I can help you to feel better, and be more productive in your life. Please, let me know how else I can help you, and book your appointment for your next body tune up now!

Post Concussion Syndrome? How CranioSacral Therapy Can Help

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It’s football season again: are you excited? Who’s your favorite team? While football is one of America’s favorite pastimes to watch, (and play), the stress that it puts on the players’ bodies can lead to a lifetime of health problems.

 

Have you noticed how retired football players move their bodies? You can usually see that they are in some amount of pain, not moving as smoothly or easily as they should be for people their age, right? Even though they have all the resources available to them as athletes, their bodies take a toll from participating in such a rough contact sport.

One of the problems football players encounter that can cause serious, lasting damage is concussions from the number of head shots, bangs on the ground, or quick, violent movements without even hitting the head. When the head sustains this kind of trauma, internal bleeding occurs, and neurons, neuronal centers and glial tissues (which support various brain structures) are damaged.

What occurs from these damages are various issues: behaviorally, athletes with concussions experience irritability, aggression, anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunctions like concentration and memory problems. Physically, they may experience headaches, neck pain, dizziness, fatigue, sleep disorders, double vision and more. Other problems that may seem unrelated, like decreased endocrine functions, also may occur.

Sometimes these symptoms don’t show up for a year or more after the concussions, making people wonder why all of a sudden, they are experiencing these things. And with repeated head injuries, these symptoms only become worse.

*Anatomically, the craniosacral system is the deepest layer of the fascial system, a continuous network surrounding every structure of the body. There is even evidence that strands of fascia pierce the cellular membrane and connect to the nucleus of the cell. Tensile strength of the fascial network has been measured up to 7,000 pounds per square inch. These forces, combined with the continuity of the fascia, helps to explain the myriad of symptoms that an individual may experience after an injury should have healed. Post concussion syndrome is one example among many illustrating the effects of a tight fascial system on the other systems of the body. *The Upledger Institute *

So why does the light touch and gentle holds of CranioSacral Therapy work? When working with the craniosacral system at this deepest level of the body, we are be able to release restrictions at a level that physical manipulations can not. The anatomical attachments points of the craniosacral system at the head and various membranes, exiting into the neck and all the way down into the base of the spine, along the spinal column, show the continuity of the fascia and why CranioSacral Therapy has such far reaching effects.

CranioSacral Therapy helps with mobilization of the bones in the head, thus affecting the membranes and the glial network that is attached to the nervous system. Post concussion symptoms have proven to respond well to CranioSacral Therapy, reducing emotional, physical and behavioral symptoms, improving functions and decreasing pain.

Do you know of anyone struggling with Post Concussion Syndrome? Are you? Contact me for a CranioSacral appointment today to help relieve your pain and get you moving and functioning better!

Your Bracelet Says You’re Not Sleeping Well…Now What?

These are my tried and true methods, not only for sleep but to quiet my mind, which I believe is a huge part of most people's sleep struggles.

I consider myself lucky and very grateful: I don’t have many problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too much. I don’t have a Fitbit or a Garmin bracelet to track how I sleep, so who knows what those devices would say, but I know a lot of my clients do wear them and tell me they don’t sleep so well.
When I ask them what they do with that information, they don’t really have any answers for that, so today I have some suggestions on how to fall asleep easier and sleep deeper. These are my tried and true methods, not only for sleep but to quiet my mind, which I believe is a huge part of most people’s sleep struggles.

Carrie’s 7 Tips to Help You Sleep Better

  1. Cut caffeine in the early afternoon and watch what you eat. Heavy, hard to digest meals keep your body functions working rather than going into rest mode, so eat lighter and earlier if you can. Avoid caffeine after early afternoon, since the caffeine buzz stays with you longer than you would expect.
  2. Exercise daily, whether an after dinner walk or a full-on workout. Reports indicate that regular, vigorous exercisers sleep better than those who don’t exercise at all or those who lightly exercise. Even if you can’t get the sleep benefits from vigorous exercise, walking is better than nothing at all! I personally find walking very meditative and therapeutic; maybe you’ll experience that too, in lieu of a workout. Whatever you do, just make sure your exercise routine is completed about 2 hours before you go to sleep.
  3. Take a warm bath 90 minutes to two hours before bedtime. Popular belief says that your body’s temperature drops when you sleep to conserve energy for other functions, so taking a bath before bed raises your body temperature, which then subsequently lowers it, just in time for bedtime.
  4. Turn off screen time an hour before falling asleep. With all transparency, I don’t actually do this with the TV, but I make every effort to do it with the computer/tablet and phone. The screens are so bright and since light is one of the things that triggers the brain that we should be awake, we need not be looking at bright screens before trying to fall asleep.
  5. Write down your thoughts to clear your head. I like to use this when talking to people new to meditation. Sometimes our heads are so full of thoughts, worries and ideas that we have a hard time getting quiet. Before bed (or meditation), write each thought that goes through your mind down in a notebook. Let them roll out of your head on to the paper, where you are welcome to pick them up in the morning if you wish.
  6. Spray your pillow with Lavender, Cedarwood or Frankincense. These essential oils help promote a peaceful, relaxing environment and calm the jitters. You could also use an eye mask with essential oils. When I use my eye mask, I sleep so deeply! It’s a wonder I forget to use it every night. As a Young Living Independent Distributor, I can get you some amazing, highest quality, 100% essential oils, if you’d like.
  7. Practice progressive muscle relaxation techniques. I like to pay attention to my body and see where there is energy moving around. I will let those areas shake it out, twitch and kick, if needed, to expel the energy from that space. I will breathe into any area that feels full of tension and breathe out visualizing it relaxing. I will also visualize literally sweeping out my brain and letting the thoughts fall out of my ears. It may seem a little strange but it works to calm the body, mind, and get rid of pent up energy!

Massage is also known to help people sleep better, so come see me as often as you can, and in the mean time, practice these at-home, self-care sleep tips. Sleep well and let’s see if we can change those results on that bracelet!

When do you need a sports massage?

Contrary to the name, sports massage is not only for athletes.

Sports Massage is Not Only for Athletes

In the wake of the Olympics, I’ve been thinking about the athletes and their endurance, commitment, and perseverance. It’s quite amazing how they can do what they do! I’ve also been thinking of how they must need to take care of their bodies on a regular basis, such as how many massages they must need and what kind of treatments they use. How it would be so cool to work with them!

I’ve actually got quite a few amazing athletes as my own clients: ultra marathoners, bicycle racers who ride hundreds of miles per week, and of course all my strong Cross Fitters. Thinking of them got me thinking of all the various types of massage that I use for them at different times, and how people may think sports massage is only for athletes and that it has to be a very deep tissue, vigorous massage. That’s actually not true!

Athletes use “sports” massage four different ways and different methods are used for each one:

  • The short massage right before the event, to get the muscles warmed up, stimulated and ready to go. This type of massage is good if you want to feel invigorated after your massage, rather than ready for a nap. This would be good for a bride on her wedding day.
  • The massage about an hour after the event, to flush the muscles out and normalize the tissues. Maybe you played a random game of volleyball at the work picnic, or walked a 5k on a whim because your friends were doing it. This massage would work well for you to smooth you out and give some love to your shocked muscles.
  • The massage that’s used to aid in injury rehabilitation, if needed. Everyone gets hurt at some point, whether from a slip and fall or stepping off the curb wrong. This type of massage usually uses a little deeper pressure and works at getting the adhesions to lessen. I’ll always check in with you on pressure to make sure it’s not too deep for comfort.
  • The massage that’s used in between all of these, on a regular basis to keep the body working well in training, with less injury. Everyone needs this massage. This is the “I love my body and want to keep it in amazing shape” massage! It gets the blood and the lymph flowing.

So, whether you’re an Olympian, a weekend warrior, or a once in a while player, there’s a type of sports massage that can help your body.

I always love to help you to feel better and make a difference in your life, so please let me know what you need. Also, please tell your friends about me: if you refer 3 friends who book a massage, you get one free! You can book your next massage here.

Have a great week!

Carrie

 

Treat your body like an Olympian: Alternative Therapies and the Olympics

Olympians are using many alternative therapies to keep their bodies in top athletic shape.

The Olympics are back: are you watching? I’ve been able to catch a few events here and there. Don’t you get the chills when the gymnasts land a hard trick? I love it!

Another thing I love seeing are the marks from Cupping Therapy on some of the athletes’ bodies. As you know, I am a fan of many different kinds of alternative therapies, and I’ve tried this one as well.

Cupping originated in China thousands of years ago and is used to move the energy/Qi/Chi in the body. Its purpose is to bring blood flow to the specific areas where the cups are applied, improving circulation and loosening up muscles and joints. It makes sense if you think about it:

The more blood flow you have to an area of the body, the more effective that area can work.

That area of the body receives more oxygen, not only to fuel the muscles, but to promote healing.

There’s no hard and fast evidence that cupping works, but it’s been around and used for a loooong time, and I’m a proponent of anything that doesn’t involve medication, surgery or additional trauma to the body. Cupping may leave bruise-like circles, but it actually doesn’t hurt.

Some of the other alternative therapies Olympians use are Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Relaxation Therapies, Mindfulness Techniques, and, of course, Massage Therapy.

I’ve read some Olympians get massages at least once per week.

There may be a lot of questions on whether all of these therapies have any kind of positive effects, but I know we definitely can rely on Massage Therapy to help. Massage Therapy is not just for relaxation, (though it’s good for that, too): it helps with injury rehab, relaxing those overworked, fatigued muscles, promoting faster healing, eases the stress and nervousness of competition, and helps these athletes sleep better.

You may not be an Olympian, but your body deserves to be treated as if it is. Take care of your body. It is precious. I will help you with that. Click here to book your next massage. You’re all winners to me!

Healing Naturally with Essential Oils: How Can Oils Help with Your Daily Routine?

I hope your summer is off to a great start! I seem to be struggling a little with allergies this year, which I don’t usually have problems with. As I am not a drug taker–prescription or otherwise–I’ve always used homeopathy to help with my problems. This year I’ve started using essential oils in my life and business, so now I’ve got a few extra tools in my belt to help me out. I wanted to share some essential oil recommendations that can help you naturally with different things you may be experiencing.

Aromatherapy has many healing properties. This post provides a few recommendations for you to sample.

As I’ve explained before, the essential oil is the volatile liquid of the plant, so when we inhale, or absorb these molecules into our bodies, the natural healing this volatile liquid produces starts working.

I’ve been using Young Living’s R.C. blend to help with my sniffles, itchy eyes and to give my clients a comforting aroma when they are face down on the massage table. I find the R.C. blend seems to works better then Eucalyptus.

Here are more essential oils that you may be able to add to your tool belt:

  • Frankincense – (My favorite oil) Helps with anxiety, depression, healthier looking skin, and an open mind for meditation.
  • Purification – Keep this oil around to deter pests and to eliminate stale odors (gym bags and dogs beds!)
  • Thieves – Use as a part of your daily wellness regiment.
  • Lavender – Great for cuts, scrapes and skin conditions, relaxation, and mental acuity. (great for classrooms) I use lavender on my pupper when he’s scared of the thunder.
  • Peppermint – Helps support healthy digestion and an energy boost.
  • Stress Away – For relaxation and slowing down (who DOESN’T need this?!)
  • Copaiba – I use this on my injured wrist when its feeling sore, and when my thumb hurts from overwork.
  • Panaway – My favorite in my massage cream! For stiff, achy muscles, and joints.

I trust Young Living’s oils as they all contain a “Seed to Seal” guarantee so that we know that everything in the YL oils are 100% essential oil, which is not true of all Essential Oil available for purchase. Technically, Essential Oils only need to contain 5% of the volatile liquid to be called an Essential Oil. So that means you don’t really know what else is added to make up the difference.

I’ve become a Young Living distributor so I can add the oils to my practice on a more cost effective basis, and so I can provide you with more ways to heal naturally.

I like being able to offer you alternatives for your health, whether it be essential oils, different ideas, or referrals to other healers.

I’m not in the Young Living program to do a hard sell.

If you are interested in trying out some oils, or just have questions, give me a call. 303-249-1712. Click here if you’d like to experience the oils in your next massage ($5 add on). If you want to browse, research or purchase you can click here to look online at the oils, or to explore YL’s website through my distributor number.

What’s that burning in your muscles mean?

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Do you know how much I love my job? I love helping you all feel better and making a difference in your lives. I also love the one-on-one time I get to spend with each one of you, talking, or just being present with you while you sink into relaxation.

Many of the things I write about in my emails and blog posts come from our conversations during the week. Lately, I’ve had a lot of people ask about the burning muscle sensations that they experience after working out.

It’s been a common misconception that the reason massage helps lessen these burning feelings is because it’s helping to flush out lactic acid that’s sitting in the muscles after exercise. This is actually false.

While lactic acid is produced during workouts because the muscles aren’t getting enough oxygen to turn food into energy, the lactic acid is quickly cleared from the system.

What’s really causing the burning is the tiny tears that occur in the muscles.

This is a normal thing and is how your muscles grow.

When you lift weights, run, do push-ups, etc., your muscles tear a little bit, and then during recovery the body fuses the muscle fibers together to form mybrofils, which increase in thickness and number, and viola! Muscle growth!

The real reason massage helps with the healing process is because it’s bringing fresh blood, and therefore oxygen, to the muscles that is needed to facilitate healing, by increasing the circulation in the damaged area.

Along with massage, here are some self help tips for you to use:

  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Move! Take a walk, stretch, do some range of motion exercises.
  • Avoid inflammatory foods like sugar, coffee and white bread.

 

As always, thank you for reading this, for being my clients and for making my day! If you’re ready to schedule your next appointment, you can do so here.

Getting Hot Out Here: Drink More Water

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It’s finally warming up! Yes! My favorite time of year, but this is also the time I struggle the most with dehydration.

It seems I can’t drink anything other than water in the summer or I start feeling dehydrated: I get headaches, I feel tired, and my muscles don’t heal as quickly from my workouts, or function as well.

A good rule of thumb for staying hydrated is to drink at least 1/2 of your body weight in ounces, per day.

So if a person is 160 pounds, you want to drink 80 ounces of water per day. If you work out that day, drink even more!

Water is important for circulating nutrients throughout our body; when we are dehydrated, things get stuck and settle rather than transport properly. Water is also a major ingredient in the synovial fluid, which helps lubricate the joints and keep them moving with ease.

Another important thing we need to make sure we are doing is replenishing our body’s supply of electrolytes. Since fluids are found both inside and outside of our cells at about 40% and 20% respectively, when we work out or play hard and sweat, get sick and vomit, or have diarrhea, high fevers, et. al., the fluid balance gets disrupted. Electrolytes are what helps get those fluids back into balance.

Some great ways to replace electrolytes are:

  • eat bananas for potassium
  • eat pumpkin seeds, almonds, and cashews for magnesium
  • drink a glass of milk for calcium
  • add a pinch of salt to water
  • drink vegetable juice or broth for chloride and sodium

You can buy a premade electrolyte replacement drink, but beware that most of these have a lot of added sugar, which we should really try to stay away from.

My favorite way to replace electrolytes is with coconut water. I have been adding it to my smoothie every day for about the past year, and it makes a huge difference in the way I feel on a daily basis.

Have a lot of fun this summer, but stay hydrated, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

After you play hard and enjoy the lovely Colorado weather, come see me to work out all those sore muscles!