Sliding Scale

After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to implement a sliding scale.

The bottom line is that I want to make it affordable for people to get the treatment they need. If you are like me at all, you probably would rather just not make any appointments than to have to discuss money, so I’m hoping this will help.

I will not be asking you about your financial circumstances. I will just post this chart in my office for you to refer to and you can use your own judgement about what you can afford and what is fair payment.

Please note: There will be a minimum payment required. It is on the bottom line of the chart.  *The minimum price for the 80 minute Neck Treatment will be $50.*

I am implementing this on a trial basis. Please feel free to let me know how it’s working for you.

Sliding Scale Corrected

Sleeping, snoring and other “embarrassments”

During my time as a massage therapist, I have had many people sheepishly say to me, “I might fall asleep during the massage”, or with some embarrassment say to me, “I’m sorry if I was snoring”.

Although I have heard of the occasional therapist who is somehow offended by a sleeping client, I just want to give you my personal opinion. I personally take it as a great compliment that you feel so comfortable and relaxed with me that you  can drift off to sleep. I think that it is a great honor to have my clients trust me enough to relax to that degree! Snoring during a massage lets me know that I am doing my job of helping you to relax. So, snore away!! It’s music to my ears :) !

 

While I am on the subject of possibly embarrassing situations, let me try to put your mind at ease about a few other things…

Shaving legs

I’m not just trying to be nice when I tell you that it’s okay that you didn’t shave your legs for this appointment…It REALLY is okay! IN FACT, it’s probably BETTER if you don’t shave, simply because stubble that has grown for a day or two is much sharper and actually can cut into my hands. Trust me, I am not offended by hairy legs.

Bodily noises

There are all sorts of sounds that the body makes when it is relaxing. Remember in Science class when your teacher talked about the “Fight or Flight” response? It is activated by your Sympathetic System. Well, your body also has a Parasympathetic System which triggers the “Rest and Digest” response. When you are getting a massage, this system is activated. A number of digestive functions are taking place, some of them more audible than others. So, if these noises occur when you are in a massage with me, and you feel embarrassed, you can do one of two things: Ignore it, and I will too. Or say “oops” and we will both laugh about it.  

Other body reactions

Occasionally, your body may react to massage in other unexpected ways. Again, it’s all part of the relaxation response, and it is fine as long as there are no inappropriate behaviors accompanying the response. Ignore it, and I will too.

Dirty feet

If it really bothers you that your feet have accumulated some dirt or odor before you come in for a massage, I keep wipies and washcloths available in the room. Feel free to use them. 

 

Above all, if you feel embarrassed by anything, please don’t just leave and never come back! Talk to me! You won’t be the first person to have felt worried about these things and I want to take that worry off your mind.

 

 

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Special!

Happy Spring! (Be strong…it’s almost here!)

 

Time to start sending out hints to your kids and grandkids that what you’d LOVE for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day is a Gift Certificate for a massage :)

 

And to help you all celebrate…

 

All gift certificates (of $68 or more) purchased from now through Father’s Day, will have 15 minutes added to the certificate for free!  *There is no limit on the number you may purchase to give as gifts to others. However, each person may only redeem 2 of these special gift certificates.

 

As an extra “Thank You” to my regulars, check your email.

 

*All you have to do is mention the offer when you buy the gift certificate.

 

*The free 15 minutes is not a stand alone service and must be added on to a massage of 60 minutes or more.

Feel free to pass it on! Thank you!

 

Be Well!

 

Joybelle Allen

Licensed Massage Therapist
Juniper Therapeutic Massage
7275 State Fair Blvd.
Baldwinsville, NY 13027
315-464-0809

Thank You All!

It is hard to believe
that it has already been a year
since I opened Juniper!
I would just like to say
to each and every one of you
that have supported this business…
Thank you so very much!
It has truly been a pleasure
to meet and work with each of you
and I’m excited
to continue to do more!
Cheers!

Neck Pain Management

It would be great if just getting massage would keep your neck pain away, but I’m not going to pretend that massage alone is some kind of magical cure.  Managing chronic pain of any kind takes diligence. As a sufferer of chronic neck pain, I’d like to tell you some of the things that I do to manage the pain. These are not prescriptions, just some ideas of things that you might try to help yourself at home between massage appointments (and I don’t get any compensation for any products I recommend).

Move EVERY day. If you’ve been following my blog at all, you’ve heard it before. If you missed it, click here.

Stretch. Especially the chest muscles. If you’ve been to my office for neck pain, chances are good that I’ve shown you the doorway stretch. If not, give me a call, and we’ll arrange something! One of these years I will get some pictures or videos of some good stretches posted.

For those of you who might like to venture into yoga, but don’t want to take a class, I highly recommend DVDs by Sara Ivanhoe. Her technique is very gentle and she usually has modifications for all different levels.

Along with the stretches, consider doing some strengthening exercises for the upper back and neck. Ask your favorite personal trainer for specific suggestions.

Create a goal to REALLY focus on better posture. Find ways to remind yourself. Put a note by your computer! Ask a buddy to give you a little nudge when they see you slouching. And be patient with yourself…bad habits are hard to break, but you can do it!

Heat packs. Or alternating hot and cold packs. Great for circulation!

Press on the knots. Your body instictively knows where to press. There are tools for the hard to reach places.

Try various shapes and densities of balls…tennis, bouncy rubber balls, lacrosse balls. I recommend sticking the ball in a long sock and draping the sock over the shoulder to reach spots on the upper back. Then stand against a wall to apply the pressure.

You might like a Backnobber or a Theracane, if a ball is not your cup of tea.  If you’d like to see how it works, just ask next time you are at my office!

Remember: don’t press so hard that it’s a “bad” kind of hurt. Don’t bruise yourself. Be gentle. Whenever you have a kink in your shoulder, be sure to work gently on the spot a few times a day for about a minute at a time.

TENS machines. I don’t even think you need a prescription for these any more, and I believe the over-the-counter ones are reasonably priced. Be sure to ask your doctor or physical therapist how to use these units.

Traction machines. I think you probably have to go to a physical therapist to get one of these. All I know is that my physical therapist made it possible for me to get one paid for by my insurance company, so it never hurts to ask.

Last, but certainly not least…get yourself on a regular (at least monthly) massage schedule. You knew that was coming…it wouldn’t be a proper massage therapy site without a plug for regular massage, now would it?

Therapeutic Massage as a Preventative

     I don’t want to sound like I’m just trying to get you to buy more massage, but it may come off sounding that way, because, after all, what is good for you, is good for me too.  However, I have another sincere goal here. And that is to help people understand what an amazing thing they will be doing for themselves if they use consistently scheduled therapeutic massage as a preventative technique to help them manage pain.

     When you get massage on a regular schedule, the beneficial effects that you gain will build with each session. It will have a cumulative effect. You all probably have experienced how pain builds on itself and continues to get worse if not treated. Well, if you consistently treat pain, the positive effects of that treatment can also build.

     In your everyday life, you experience a variety of different stresses. Stress causes your muscles to tighten (contract). Too much stress can cause too much contracting. Too much contracting has multiple detrimental effects, among them high blood pressure and stress on the joints. When muscles are tight, they are placing a lot of force on other structures of the body, such as joints, blood vessels and nerves. That force not only causes pain, but it can wear down protective structures such as the discs in your spine. That force can raise your blood pressure and lead to heart disease. That force can cause inflammation in your joints. The body tries to protect itself from too much force in any way that it can, which often leads to imbalance.  If you have a chronic illness caused by stress, you KNOW what it does to your quality of life.

     Now, think about what your quality of life would be like if you had less pain. I can’t take away all the stress in your life, but I can help you to experience the benefits of relaxation. Massage can help by loosening tight muscles and toning lax muscles, thereby helping to create balance in the body. Balanced muscles will not exert excessive force on other structures in your body. Believe me when I say that balanced muscles feel so much better than unbalanced muscles!

Studies have shown that massage reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body.

 It also increases white blood cells, which play a major role in your immune system and fighting off illness.

It also increases oxytocin, endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, all of which make you feel good. 

Studies have also shown that there is a cumulative effect of the benefits, when you continue with regularly scheduled sessions.

      And you might keep this in mind too…massage is a NON-invasive method of dealing with pain.

     Just a note here about what I’m talking about when I say “consistent” massage. This can vary from person to person and from situation to situation. At the least, a monthly massage would be very good for you, but if you can manage bi-weekly or even weekly, I’m sure you will not regret the investment of time and money. People ask me how often I receive massage. Since opening my private office, I have been able to be fairly consistent in getting a massage every other week, and I can honestly say that I feel like I can function so much better than when I was not consistent.  I would love for all of you to be able to experience the benefits of regular massage appointments. I hope you will give it some serious consideration.

     *I know that affordability is an issue for many people, so please check out my plan (HERE) to help make regular appointment affordable.

Oxytocin instead of Oxycontin!

Oxytocin instead of  OxyContin!

Did you know?

Oxytocin is a hormone released by your own body that helps you feel good.

OxyContin is an opiate painkiller that can be highly addictive.

So, maybe you’d like to try a little Oxytocin before you resort to OxyContin. How?

I bet you can guess what I’m going to say.

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Oxytocin is released during massage!

And as a bonus, a rise in Oxytocin levels can relieve pain!

There are studies going on that are showing the part that Oxytocin may be playing in reducing stress and anxiety levels.  Be sure to go do a little research about it if I’ve sparked your interest. It’s actually pretty fascinating!

Oxycontin

Oxytocin

 

 

**********************************************************************

Come in to Juniper Therapeutic Massage and try out the Integrated Massage  or the Orthopedic Neck Treatment that I offer…

*Integrated Massage :

Integrated Massage takes into account what your needs are based on discussion between you and your therapist. A few of the techniques that may be used in your session include: the traditional relaxation massage, deep tissue techniques, stretching, hot or cold therapy, trigger point therapy, deep breathing, and energy work.

 

*Orthopedic Neck Treatment (80 minute minimum)

This treatment focuses the whole session on the neck, upper back, and chest using special orthopedic techniques. Hot stones and ice massage may be included. It is recommended that this treatment be done for several weeks in a row, with a treatment at least once a week, followed by a maintenance schedule of once a month.

Massage can help arthritis pain!

Arthritis is a PAIN! Massage can help to manage the pain!

Research supports the idea that regular massage helps manage arthritis pain and stiffness, and helps to improve functioning of the joints. If you are interested in reading about some of the research in this area just head on over to the website for the Touch Research Institute.

I think the most interesting aspect of this idea is that massage can help to break the pain cycle. Pain makes it harder to sleep and harder to move. When you don’t get enough good sleep and/or you don’t move enough, that leads to more pain. Pain makes it harder to sleep and harder to move. And on and on and on and on! If you live with pain, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about! 

You’ve probably heard of the “fight or flight” response. That is the sympathetic nervous system kicking in. BUT, there is also the parasympathetic nervous system which is otherwise known as the “rest and digest” system. When you get a massage, your parasympathetic nervous system kicks into gear.

Increased parasympathetic nervous system activity=Your body relaxes

Your body relaxes=Better sleep and Easier movement

Better sleep and Easier movement=Less pain

Less pain=Your body relaxes

Your body relaxes=Better sleep and Easier movement

Better sleep and Easier movement=Less pain

Less pain!

Also, when you get a massage your body produces more of a hormone called Oxytocin, that makes you feel good. (Massage also decreases certain stress hormones).

Increase of good hormones=Your body relaxes

Your body relaxes=Better sleep and Easier movement

Better sleep and Easier movement=Less pain

Less pain=Your body relaxes

Your body relaxes=Better sleep and Easier movement

Better sleep and Easier movement=Less pain

Less pain!

 

 

So, the only thing left to say is:

Give massage a try!

 

 

Pain and Movement

Fascia. It seems to be a pretty hot topic lately. Books, articles and papers abound on the topic. I’m not here to give you all of the expert nitty gritty on the subject, but I would like to tell you why I think it is important to you.

What is fascia? Simply put, fascia is a thin layer of tissue that covers and connects absolutely EVERYTHING inside of your body.

Why is fascia important to you? Because healthy fascia greatly helps with the management of pain.  

Movement contributes to healthy fascia. From my perspective, since one of the main functions of muscles is heat production, when you move your muscles, you are heating up the fascia. When fascia is heated up it turns into a gel-like state that makes it much easier to move. (That’s called “Thixotropy” for all you word nerds out there).

When your body does not move enough, the fascia thickens and becomes more restrictive. Have you ever worn an item of clothing that is too restrictive? At first, it may be just a little bit uncomfortable, but eventually it actually starts to hurt, right? That’s the way with unhealthy fascia. It can lead to pain in much the same way. Imagine tight fascia squeeeeeezing all your muscles, bones, organs, nerves, etc., etc.

Fascia is like a web that connects everything throughout your entire body.  So, if fascia is a little tight in one area of the body, it will be pulling on fascia in other parts of the body, causing increasingly more pain.

So, what’s the main point here? You guessed it! Keep moving everyone!

 

Another almost shameless plug for massage:

Massage can also help to heat up and stretch the fascia.  So get massage frequently and move daily!  (Just be sure there is a variety of movement, because repetitive movement can also do damage).

Of course, movement and massage are not the only factors in maintaining healthy fascia, but that is a topic for another day.