Body Talk: I’m talking to YOU!

Has your body  been “speaking”  to you lately about the stress in your life? When you stop to rest is there an ache in your shoulder or neck? Is bending over to pick up your child or pet sending pain through your spine? Are you or a loved one having difficulty finding a comfortable way to sleep at night? If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be a candidate for the pain relief and stress reduction of massage therapy with Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT.

The message of pain is your body saying: “stop and listen to me!” When the pain is overwhelming, you have a choice to listen and respond or to  live with the pain. Massage and CranioSacral Therapy with Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT is an opportunity to find relief from the everyday stress of living in a body. Massage reduces pain, decreases stress and allows the body to gain range of motion.

People who have come to my massage chair or table have said, “My headache is gone!” or “I can walk without the pain of my bursitis holding me back.”

Give the gift of massage to your self, your friend or your family member who is in need of relief. Give the gift of relaxation and pain reduction with a gift certificate for a one hour session with Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT.

Call today 603 365-0852 to make arrangements to give or receive a most wondrous gift!

In Peace,

Sarah-Elizabeth

Body Talk: Three Part Breath

Breath is the most important pulse in our body. Without breath, they say, there would be no life. A wide variety of meditation techniques use breath control as the way into quiet. The teacher reminds the class, “Return to the breath, when your mind wanders. Bring yourself back to the present moment.” When you watch your breath, what do you notice? Are you breathing deep or shallow? Which part of your body expands and contracts?  How well do you notice the feelings and sensations of breathing?

As you pause for a moment to notice your breath, right now, I invite you to notice the body welcoming and releasing breath. Begin to notice there is a flow into the belly, the ribs and the shoulders. For some, there will be only shoulder movement, others the ribs will expand and release. Still others a flow of breath into the belly, up through the shoulders and then release from the top down will be experienced. No way is “wrong,” we are noticing breath sensations.

As you watch the breath for a few more cycles, begin to notice it is possible to deepen each breath. First the belly begins to fill with each breath. The belly organs feel pressed on with this breath. Then notice the ribs expanding as the lungs fill a bit more. As the ribs fill with breath, you  then notice the shoulders filling up near the clavicle or collar bones. Hold and retain the breath for a few moments, noticing the expanded feeling in the body. Then slowly release the breath from the top down – move the collar bones in and down, expressing air from the top of the lungs. Then the ribs move inwards pushing even more breath out. Finally the breath is expelled from the belly, the largest opening in the lungs, as you life up on the diaphragm muscle beneath the ribcage.

This is process of breathing in this specific way is often referred to as “Three Part Breath.” 1) The belly takes in breath. 2) The rib cage takes in breath. 3) The clavicle area takes in breath.  Pausing throughout the day to take a series of three to eleven breaths in this way deepens our experience of being alive, connected with other beings and cultivates presence of mind.

During sessions on my massage table, I will often invite attention to the breath. One technique I use with every client brings in more oxygen to assist with release of muscles, joints and tendons.

In Peace,

Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT

603 365-0852 to schedule an appointment this week!

Body Talk: CranioSacral Therapy – Stillness

Years ago as a new massage therapist, I found pressing on an aching body created more discomfort, rather than less. A day or two would pass for my clients to begin feeling better following a session in my office. Over time I began to look for a modality which created less pain, deeper release and allowed my clients to let go of restrictions in order to become pain free and mobile again. Craniosacral Therapy practice came into my awareness and I began to take classes through the Upledger Institute, mentioned in this article about Craniosacral Therapy (CST):

The Mindset for Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy is practiced with a light pressure to the physical restrictions of the body felt by the hands to the tissues and inviting release. There is a sense of invitation that my hands feel, when a joint, muscle or tendon is ready to release. A quiet, stillness settles into the body as this invitation to let go spreads through the surrounding tissue. The nervous system calms down, the mind settles into stillness and the body drops into deep relaxation. For some people, there is little sensation of this release, yet on rising from the table, they are aware of how much more relaxed and pain free they feel after a CST session. For others, there is a moment by moment realization of the subtle letting go that unfolds during a Craniosacral Therapy session.

The stillness achieved by both the practitioner and the client during a CST session is deep, quiet and healing. Sometimes the hands will rest on a client for 3-5 minutes as the body deepens into relaxation and healing. Time stands still for those moments as the body finds it’s way into balance and quiet presence. The tissues of the body become fluid, under my hands, gently flowing into alignment. Relaxation deepens with each softening of the joint, muscle,  and tendon. Distant points in the body release as well. For example, the neck may release as the ankle is treated. Though I can tell you of my experience as a practitioner, your presences on the massage chair or table will offer you a first hand experience and benefit of CranioSacral Therapy.

Please call to schedule a CST session: 365-0852 cell

In Peace,

Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT

 

Body Talk: Personal Space

When you consider receiving a massage for the first time, what goes through your mind? Will I have to undress? Will it hurt? Can I trust someone to touch me?

Massage therapists are trained to honor your personal space during a session. The massage license requires us to appropriately draped your body during a massage session. On my massage table a sheet and a blanket are provided for warmth and privacy.

The massage therapist touches your skin and muscles for therapeutic purposes only. Muscles respond to this touch by relaxing, joints soften, and breath quiets and deepens. Sometimes there is slight pain in a trigger point, joint, tendon or muscle. These tight or tender places are released in gentle ways with a combination of vibration, pressure to the constricted area, and gentle stretching of muscles and joints. If  pain arises there is always another way to treat the area with minimal discomfort. Let your massage therapist know you are experiencing discomfort and s/he will back off and try another technique.

When someone comes to my table, I let them know to leave their underwear on, bra off for women. It is fine to have underwear off, if you are comfortable with this. During the massage session the part of the body being worked on will be exposed, while the sheet is tucked under and around the body for warmth and protection.  Massage oil or lotion will be rubbed on the exposed leg, arm, shoulder, feet hands or back. Sheets are useful to keep these oils and lotion off the table and blanket.

If at any time you are uncomfortable with what is happening during your massage session, please let your massage therapist know right away.  This goes for either physical pain or an uncomfortable level of exposed skin. Occasionally a client has asked for only a towel drape over the body. I will explain that it is my practice to cover the body with a sheet as I work, exposing only the part of the body which needs the attention of massage hands. If a client acts inappropriately during a session, the massage therapist may choose to leave the room indicating the session is over. The expectation is for payment for a full session.

The role of the massage therapist is to act with integrity as they apply hands on techniques to your body. Your personal space, that is the The space created between massage therapist and client is one of trust and comfort. Feel free to ask questions of your massage therapist about what they are doing, what they are doing to assist your body in it’s healing process. When you are comfortable and aware of what is unfolding, your body will be more able to relax deeply into the moment.

Peace,

Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT

Call for an appointment today: 603 365-0852

 

Body Talk: Epsom Salts Bath

When a client calls in pain and my schedule is booked, I often recommend a hot bath with Epsom salt. As we begin to get out of the house in spring to rake, weed, plant and sow seed, our bodies become achy with the new ways of moving. Taking time to rest and relax at the end of the day, allows the body time to recover. Soaking in a hot Epsom Salt bath can help relieve acute pain.

The benefits of a hot Epsom Salt bath include increased relaxation, relief from pain and cramps in muscles, inflammation reduction, and joint pain reduction. Epsom Salt, also called Magnesium Sulfate, has been used for generations as a home remedy. As an over the counter medication you can find Magnesium in antacids and laxatives. Soaking a splinter in Epsom salt bath reduces inflammation and allows the splinter to be removed more easily. In recent times doctors have used Magnesium Sulfate in IV drip to stop contractions during preterm labor, to treat heart disease and some neurological conditions. Taking in too much magnesium internally is not recommended, yet a good soak wil help the body, mind and soul.

A muscle is a muscle. Soaking the body in magnesium sulfate will release the skeletal muscles and reduce inflammation throughout the joints, reducing pain and improving range of motion in the body. When chronic pain plagues your joints and muscles, give an Epsom Salt bath a try. And before your next massage, try to set aside time for a hot bath with Epsom Salts. Even 15 minutes in the bath can work wonders towards relaxing the body/mind/spirit.

Many Blessings!

Sarah-Elizabeth

Body Talk: Relaxed muscle = Strong muscle

This may seem counter intuitive: a relaxed muscle is a strong muscle. A muscle that hold tension or tightness is often tired, lacks circulation and oxygen in the cells. Tired muscles can not move as easily, thus the body feels and acts weaker when it is tight. Muscles that are open, relaxed and flexible are ready to move and lift for the next task.

Try this: Notice where in your body there is tension: shoulders, neck, hips or legs. Move this part of your body, challenging the muscles for a moments. Take a breath in and out, releasing the movement back to neutral. Now, gently stretch the muscle. Repeat this two or three more times and observe the sensations in that muscle. Breath in oxygen, breath out tension. What do you notice happening?

Sports massage techniques are used to release muscle tension and holding patterns around joints in order to free the body for flowing movement. On my massage table, you are invited to release the bones of the shoulder, hip, neck or head into my hands. One the muscles release, the joint is moved towards a comfortable range of motion (ROM) into a gentle stretch. The body pauses to enjoy the stretch and then is invited to move the joint back to the neutral center of the body. Once relaxed, you are invited to breath deeply, bringing oxygen into the body and the muscle being worked on. As the body relaxes once more, the stretch is invited into the joint to bring further release to the muscle and joint.

Notice the improvement in strength as ROM and relaxation deepen.

Each movement increases the relaxation, improves ROM and brings relief to the pain in the joint and with movement. This is a lasting improvement as the body will begin to circulate blood, nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and joints more freely. Healing deepens as the muscles relax. Relaxed muscles are strong muscles.

Call today to schedule a sports massage session to release the tension you are holding throughout the body!

relax@sarah-elizabeth.org   or 603 365-0852 Many Blessings,

Sarah-Elizabeth

Body Talk: Pain

Pain. How is pain speaking with you today?

Pain catches our attention and asks for a response. NOW! Pain brings a present state of awareness into our lives. Pain may stop you in your tracks, keep you from activity or bring you to your knees.

Pain may be described as: a dull ache, sharp, hot, electrical, shooting, stabbing, creeping, restrictive, cutting, catching, breath taking, stinging, pointy, throbbing.

Put a focus on pain and give your body the chance it needs to soften the pain and regain mobility. With a skilled massage therapist, pain can be reduced and movement restored to the body in just an hour’s session. Over a series of sessions, pain can be reduced up to 100%. Gentle pressure to explore the area of pain, stretching, compression and movement brings increased blood flow to the body allowing the body to realign and heal from within.

Are you ready to release the pain you’ve carried for weeks, months or even years? Call to set up an appointment today for a one hour session to reduce your pain, learn more about the source of your pain and gain new freedom to move!

603 365-0852 cell or email me at: relax@sarah-elizabeth.org

Here’s to letting go and being free from pain!

Peace,

Sarah-Elizabeth

Body Talk: Put yourself first in 2013

As 2013 begins, it is time to reflect on the year past and make plans for the year ahead. What plans do you have to take care of yourself this year? Exercise, healthy eating and reducing stress are all at the top of most people’s list. Stress reduction often takes a back seat to the others, yet stress often impacts how we choose to eat and exercise. Taking time to retreat and relax is one key to reducing the stress on your body/mind/spirit. Change your body, change your mind.

Often we hear, “Make sure to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before attempting to help someone else put on theirs,” as we settle into an airplane flight. In 2013, it is time to put yourself first in your life. Take care of those aches and pains you are carrying, release the physical tension in your body and you will be ready to take care of the world!

Massage and CranioSacral Therapy sessions with Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT are an experience which will open the doorway to a new you. As your body releases tension, pain decreases from long held patterns and your body will be ready to stick to that exercise routine you plan to implement this year. Less pain to hold you back from hiking, skiing, swimming, walking, running, biking, yoga practice  and more.

Take advantage of Sarah-Elizabeth’s special packages for 2013:

2013 SELF-CARE PACKAGE:  12 sessions, on a month for the year. Commit to body/mind well-being with a monthly session. All year long, take time to check in with your body, release tension that creeps into your life. Listen to your body and let go under the healing touch of Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT.   12 one-hour sessions      $ 1111 or 12 one-and-a-half hour sessions $ 1555

TRANSFORMATION PACKAGE: 5 sessions, once a week for 5 weeks, followed by 5 one-hour sessions bi-weekly. This package is for you to release and heal from the long term injuries that continue to nag your body. Make the commitment to your own healing of injuries that hold you back from being the strong, vibrant self that you are meant to be!  5 one-hour sessions $ 444 or 5 one-and-a-half hour sessions $ 655

INJURY RECOVERY PACKAGE:  5 sessions spaced out at intervals determined at each session. First two sessions intended to be one week apart, next sessions two or three weeks apart. This invites the body to release tension, incorporate new changes and heal  gently over time. Best results are to follow-up with the Self-Care Package. 5 one-hour sessions $ 466 or 5 one-and-a-half hour sessions $ 677

TUNE-UP PACKAGE: 3 sessions spaced out over 4-6 weeks. Step into my office every 1-3 weeks to experience the reduction stress for a short period of time. Introduce your body/mind to the possibility of living with less tension, improved joint movement and reduced pain.  3 one-hour sessions $ 288 or 3 one-and-a-half hour sessions $ 399

PRENATAL MASSAGE PACKAGE: 6 sessions for the mother-to-be. Scheduled from the end of the first trimester through birth. Pregnancy is often difficult for both mother and child. Monthly prenatal massage sessions allow time for mother to relax and release stress that accompanies the body changes as the baby develops within her body. This is a great gift for both mother and child. Research shows reduction in postpartum depression for mothers receiving massage during pregnancy.  6 one-hour sessions $ 555.00

TRY-IT-OUT PACKAGE: 1 session. Experience the balance, health and well being that comes with a single session with Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT. Good for those who wish to experience massage or CranioSacral Therapy for the first time.  1 hour session $99,  1.5 hour session $ 144

Call 603 365-0852 or email relax@sarah-elizabeth.org  to set up your first appointment and begin the journey of self care today! Purchase a package before January 31, 2013 and receive an additional $25 off these prices.

Happy New Year!

Sarah-Elizabeth

 

Massage in the News: The Abdomen

Are you a woman who experiences monthly abdominal pain?

Cramping during your moon time may be just a way of your body telling you to slow down. Curling up in bed with a heating pad and a warm cup of tea may be just what you need. But for others, women with dysmenorrhea, the pain can be disabling. If you suffer from chronic or acute menstrual pain, massage should be your first choice, because it is often the most effective, remedy for relief.

Digestive pain and problems with constipation is one kind of pain pattern, cramping with your flow is quite different. Sarah-Elizabeth can help you understand the difference. Fortunately, both can be cured through massage. Regularly massaging on the lower abdomen coupled with gentle stimulation of the uterus and ovaries has been shown by researchers to significantly reduce pain with menses, even among those women who are affected by dysmenorrhea and endometriosis. Significant relief often occurs within six short weeks.

The results of a large research study attest to the healing power of massage for those who seek treatment for dysmenorrhea:

http://tinyurl.com/bq957pu

My gentle hands-on massage techniques can be easily learned so you can continue the healing process at home between sessions. Let a professional help you get started. With a few sessions in my office, pain relief can be achieved.

Call today to consult with me: 603 365-0852

Many Blessings,

Sarah-Elizabeth

Body Talk: Listening to the Body

Take a moment to sit, right now, in this moment. Invite yourself to take a breath… and another … and another breath…. Invite yourself to notice your body sitting in the chair. What sensations do you notice? Does some part of your body call your attention? As you notice this call, invite a breath to flow into that part of your body. Watch… witness… what is in this moment. Notice the sensations in this area of your being. What is happening as you breathe into that place? What shifts in your awareness? Allow yourself to notice, without judging, the sensation. Do you feel Pain? Flow? Release? Holding? Ticke? Tension? Be curious about what you find.

When we take a few moments to listen to our bodies from within, from the breath or with  attention on feeling sensation, an opening unfolds. To listen to the body may be a challenge. So often we miss the opportunity to respond to the signals sent from our body to our mind. When was the last time you stopped eating because you were full? When was the last time you got up for a walk because your legs felt like a stretch? How often do you respond to your bladder when it is full in the middle of an important meeting? All these sensations are felt because our bodies are making requests to fulfill their needs.

Invite yourself to sit and listen to your body for a few minutes each day. Listening is a practice, which allows you to unfold places of tension in the body. Listening is a practice which invites attention and response. Massage and bodywork brings support for the ability to listen more deeply to the messages being sent. In one massage session, you find the attention to breath can support all the body needs to accomplish. If I can be of service, please call me at 365-0852 or email: relax (at)  sarah-elizabeth.org

In Peace and Gratitude,

Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT