Body Talk: Tears

For some, massage therapy is a way to get in touch with the body of emotions that life has heaped upon you. The physical body when injured locks away the experience in scar tissue. As these scars are released during a massage session, the emotional energy of the situation that has been trapped inside a scar releases along with the gentle stretch or pressure.

Here is an article from a massage client who found tears welling up during a session:

When you do have emotions coming up on the massage table, please feel free to let them go. The release of emotional energy as the body unwinds brings a deeper, more lasting effect.

Many Blessings and Happy Holidays!

Reiki Reduces Anxiety

Hurricane Sandy had brought great shifting to the Earth all along the Eastern Seaboard. Our bodies are braced against the shifting sands of change. Darkened morning sky gives rise to noticeably shorter days here in Concord, NH. Shifts in the weather and short bouts of sunshine can lead to depression and anxiety issues.

“Up now, my foot, upon another year of snow,” wrote Robert Frost. But some of us are less enthusiastic about the turning of the season from fall to winter.

Even people who are normally high-energy go-getters experience anxiety and depression, especially during winter months. Research has found that those who suffer from anxiety and depression benefit significantly from the dual effects of massage and Reiki.

Reiki is a term heard often in healing circles. Reiki is Universal Life force energy, a healing modality that is believed to have the capacity to heal the body, mind and spirit. Reiki is said to be the healing touch that Jesus used to cure invalids and sick people of his time. Experienced massage therapists apply the healing energy of Reiki, for massages that relieve depression and anxiety, and bring warmth and calm to your entire well being. Reiki helps lift your spirit.

Scientific research has shown Reiki reduces depression and anxiety. In a controlled blind study, 30 college students, all presenting with moderate-acute depression and anxiety, were divided into two groups: one group received Reiki treatments, the others did not. Those in the first group gained significant benefits, including the releases of deep muscle pains, after only six weeks of 30-minute treatments. See this article for more:

“Results of the research showed that the students with high levels of anxiety, depression or both demonstrated a greater overall improvement in mood and stress levels, with no similar benefits found in the “high-mood” control group. These significant improvements were still in effect five weeks after the final Reiki session.”

With every session of therapeutic massage on my table you will receive Reiki.  When you are ready to release the physical tension brought on by depression and/or anxiety, call to schedule an appointment. You will arise centered, relaxed and ready to step into your life once more.

Contact me today to schedule an appointment.

Many Blessings to you in these days of Autumn Crisp,

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:

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.

Contact me today for a consultation or to schedule a session.

Many Blessings,

Massage in the News: Hands

In today’s networked world, many people spend long hours typing. Despite taking breaks, stretching arms and hands, and paying attention to ergonomics, many adults and teens will experience aching, throbbing, and pain by the end of the day. If left unchecked, these symptoms can evolve into more serious conditions such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and ulnar (elbow) neuropathy. Anyone who uses their hands on a daily basis, including construction workers, potters, weavers and quilters, archery enthusiasts, and weight lifters, are all at risk for hand pain and swelling wrists.

Hand massage can nip these early warning signs in the bud before they become more serious. A recent study conducted by the University of Miami’s School of Medicine found that not only was hand and wrist pain significantly reduced through massage techniques, but also associated anxiety and depression due to increasing dis-ease and worries about work performance, were reduced through healing touch. See a summary of these findings from the University of Miami’s clinical trial at:

My experience treating hands and wrist over the years has shown hand massage is effective to reduce pain in both hands and shoulders for my clients. Hands that are constantly moving invite shoulder tension to build in the body, creating the potential for neck discomfort as well. Releasing the tension and discomfort in the hands often releases the shoulders and allows the entire body and mind to relax. Gentle massage of the hands and the stretch of tendons through the wrists releases shoulder tension and benefits the whole person.

Paying attention to pain in our hands is often a first step in caring for ourselves, and a trained professional can help pave the way for recovery. My practice is both spiritual and medicinal. If I can help you in any way, please contact me at the link below.

Many Blessings,

Body Talk: Are You Ticklish?

One recent client shared with me she was uncomfortable receiving massage due to being highly ticklish. She said, “I don’t like being touched because my knees, back and calf muscles are so ticklish!” Sensations that keep individuals from the massage table may be sensations that are telling you the body is holding tension.

Over the years, I have come to know that physical sensations are related to tension held in the body. Pressure, ticklishness, tenderness, and pain are all related to muscles holding tension in the body. In particular, ticklish sensations can be reduced as the body relaxes. Because the sensation causes laughter and sometimes contractions throughout the body, I begin by gently stretching the ticklish muscles. This invites the body to release tension on the joints above and below the muscle, for example the quads release the knee, hip and even the low back area. One the muscles are relaxed, firm pressure on the muscle tissue invites increase in circulation, often the sensation of ticklishness is reduced or gone after stretching. Then pressure on the muscle brings deeper relaxation to the body.

This methodical series of techniques allows a ticklish person to receive massage without bringing more tension to the body. I’ve worked with individuals who have high degree of ticklishness in the leg muscles with success. These clients depart relaxed and happy to be rid of the ticklish feelings.

If you have a highly ticklish body and other issues of carrying tension in your body that keep you from the massage table, consider asking that your body be stretched before your muscles are touched and tickled. If I can be of service, please contact me at the link below.

Peace to All,

Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT

Body Talk: Heart Hugs

The body is just amazing, beautiful and intricate! Each part is woven into the fabric of the next part, interconnected to serve the whole of our being in some special way. Lately I’ve been working with the breath, noticing how the breath is connected to my body, through the lungs movement and the heart’s beat. Each breath is moved by the contraction of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. While the lungs expand outward, they are also pressing in wards towards the heart, giving the heart a gentle hug!

In invite you to stop for a moment, to notice your breath. Notice the movement of the ribs outwards, the chest rising and falling. Pause a moment between breaths to notice the hug at the heart center. You can actually feel the gentle hug each breath brings the heart. Breathe into your lungs, giving your heart a hug and notice your heart beat. As you exhale, notice the release of pressure on the heart.

I have come to believe that this is part of why our breath is so important to life. It is well known that breath is one of the signs of life – at birth a baby’s first breath brings physiological changes to the body as oxygen is breathed directly into the lungs, offering the blood it’s first charge of atmospheric oxygen. These breath bring the first knowing of life as separate from the mother. From then on, the body gives the heart a hug with each breath of air. The hug of the heart with each breath brings the opportunity for us to be reminded of the preciousness of life.

So, I invite you to BREATH DEEP and give a BIG HUG to your HEART! Nothing can stop you from being aware of this each day, each moment. There is an opportunity to discover the preciousness that is YOU! So, go ahead give yourself a hug!

Breath deeply, Deep Peace, Much Love,

Body Loving: The Whole Physical Being

How does one love the body? Let me count the ways.
Through feeding and thinking,
Moving and resting,
Seeing and believing,
The whole being comes alive!

I love my body at the dining table,
Serving up a beautiful helping of green, red and blues,
Followed by a glass of cool, clear water
Or a cup of tea, filling my belly with warmth
A bit of sweet to round out the meal.

I love my mind in quiet meditation
Moments of longing to do nothing pass away
Far from comparison
Moments of being in the depths of the depths
Watch and be is all there is “to do.”

I love the freedom of movement
As I run across the meadow
Well worn path slips beneath my feet
Setting my heart pumping, lungs opening to breath
Life courses through my veins.

I love my sight through gentle eyes
The colors of all seasons arrive and
Pass along to the next moment
Being in the flow of changes
Casting love throughout (the boundaries of this or than.)

I love to believe the connection, the between
As foot releases, leg releases, hip releases, shoulder releases neck
Undulations of energy pulse through the body
Open to the possibility of each perfect moment
Unfolding in love, peace and oneness.

How does one love the body?
Listen, the body loves itself into being.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Inspiration struck today with this poem. Enjoy!

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? Tickle? 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 contact me at the link below.

In Peace and Gratitude,
Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT

Body Talk: Water

Summer is here! The heat is on!

With the hot weather settling in it is time to remember to drink water more often. 2 cups of water in the morning on waking helps the body flush toxins and rehydrates the body. It is recommended to add lemon to your morning water for the vitamin content and to bring the pH of the body into balance. Most doctors recommend 8 cups of water per day.  In the summertime this needs to increase as our bodies sweat to keep cool in the heat.

Have you noticed headaches coming more regularly in the summer heat? Could be your body is in need of extra water. When the head aches the body is likely to be 2 cups behind in our intake of water for the day. Water is a first line of defense for headaches. When the body looses water, the blood can no longer bring enough water to the central nervous system and the brain becomes dehydrated. Without enough fluid, the brain hurts.

So try to drink 16 ounces of water before you take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Take a few minutes to relax  and breathe. It takes 10 – 15 minutes for the water to absorb and make it’s way from the stomach to the blood and into the brain. You may be surprised to find your pain has disappeared!

Are you taking early morning walks? Mid-day runs? Late afternoon bike rides? Plan on taking your body to the water fountain before you head out for an extra cup of water. When you return from your journey drink a cup of water, too. The extra water on either end of the workout will keep your body fluid filled and cooler.

So, this summer stay hydrated and be cool!