Massage Articles & Information

After 30+ years of being in the Hand & Body Lotion, Massage Oils & Lotions, and the Cosmetic Industry. I realized that there wasn't a good place for people to get the proper information, news, and articles about the massage industry. Whether it be making massage products, proper techniques of massage, which oils go with what essential oils, etc... After navigating the internet for the last 10 years I noticed a small amount of websites trying to do this with little effect.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Parents urged to massage babies to promote sleep quality.

Parents of newborns can help their children sleep through the night and cry less by giving them a gentle massage, according to new research from Warwick Medical School and the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick.

The researchers, led by Dr. Angela Underdown, examined nine previous studies on baby massage that included 598 infants younger than a year old. In the studies, health workers had trained the parents in baby massage.

"There are indications that infants who were massaged were more relaxed, probably due to lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, compared to infants who did not receive massage," Underdown said.

Infant Massage -- long practiced in Africa and Asia -- has been shown to be as effective as rocking in helping babies cry less and sleep through the night. Typically, the massage involves touching the baby with light pressure from head to toe, gently moving the muscles beneath the skin, while looking into the baby's eyes.

"As there are indications that infant massage may have an effect on sleep and crying, this would seem a useful technique that parents can use with their babies to help them relax and promote sleep," Underdown said.

The researchers found no negative effects of infant massage, and noted that mothers suffering from postnatal depression who massaged their infants built better relationships with their babies.

Underdown urged parents interested in learning the technique to seek advice from midwives or health workers.

According to natural health advocate Mike Adams, modern-day medicine has caused people to forget "the healing power of therapeutic touch," and its positive health effects.

"All humans need loving physical contact, including babies," Adams said. "Parents can literally boost their baby's immune function, accelerate healing and speed recovery from physical stress by giving their babies the gift of human touch. It's powerful medicine."

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The positives of Coconut Oils

Now let’s talk a little bit about coconut oil.
Coconut oil is one of the most stable oils you can buy. It does not turn rancid easily. It does not attack your arteries. In fact, coconut oil was one of the foods Weston Price studied in his journeys. He discovered that the coconut was considered, by the local populations, a medicine food. He found that those civilizations that consumed coconut regularly had no knowledge of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
Let’s take a look at the healing properties of coconut oil:
Coconut oil is antiviral, antifungal (kills yeast too) and antibacterial. It attacks and kills viruses that have a lipid (fatty) coating, such as herpes, HIV, hepatitis C, the flu, and mononucleosis. It kills the bacteria that cause pneumonia, sore throats, dental cavities, urinary tract infections, meningitis, gonorrhea, food poisoning, pneumonia, and many, many more bacterial infections. It kills the fungus/yeast infections that cause Candida, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, jock itch, diaper rash and more.
Coconut oil is called the "low fat" fat. It actually acts like a carbohydrate in that it is quickly broken down in the liver and used as quick energy. It is NOT stored like other fats. It boosts one’s energy and endurance. Many athletes use it blended into their drinks. It also supports thyroid function and increases your metabolism (great if you want to lose weight).
Coconut oil improves digestion and absorption of fat soluble vitamins, minerals (especially calcium and magnesium), and amino acids. It improves the body’s use of blood glucose and improves insulin secretion and absorption (great for type II diabetes). In fact, many diabetics (type I and type II) use it to reduce their symptoms. One’s risk of diabetes decreases with regular use of coconuts and coconut oil. And as we already mentioned, cooking with coconut oil does not create any harmful byproducts.
Coconut oil helps the body heal and repair faster. It aids and supports immune function, protecting us from a variety of cancers.
Coconut oil, contrary to much hubbub, is good for your heart. It keeps our blood platelets from sticking together (and causing dangerous clots). Regular users of coconut oils have a much lower chance of atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries), arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and strokes. Coconut oil can lower your blood pressure.
Coconut oil is a natural antioxidant. It protects the body from free radical damage and prevents premature aging and degenerative diseases.
• Finally, coconut oil is the best massage oil on the planet. What it does to your skin, you simply have to witness. It forms a barrier against infections, softens and moisturizes your skin, and prevents wrinkling, sagging, and age spots. It promotes healthy hair and complexion, protects from any damaging UV rays. (It is used in Ron Salley’s products.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Massage May Help Dementia Patients With Agitation

Massage could offer a drug-free way to treat agitation and depression among dementia patients, but there are still too few studies about the practice to know for sure, according to a review of recent research.

In two studies, hand massage and gentle touching during conversation helped ease agitation and restore appetite in dementia patients over short periods of about an hour.

"Although the available reliable evidence supports the use of massage and touch, it is so limited in scope that it is not possible to draw general conclusions about benefits in dementia," say lead authors Dr. Niels Viggo Hansen and colleagues.

"However, even if touch therapy aims only to reintroduce something which has been lost in the professionalization and institutionalization of care, it may still turn out to be a relatively effective, inexpensive and low-risk intervention," said Viggo Hansen, of the Knowledge and Research Center for Alternative Medicine, part of Denmark's Ministry of Health.

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

The Cochrane reviewers could only find two small studies, involving a total of 110 participants, of high enough quality to include in the review. Although the effect on behavior in the two studies was short-lived, some researchers and caregivers suggest that massage might also improve memory and cognition in those with dementia.

Cynthia Bologna, a Petaluma, Calif., massage therapist who works extensively with people with dementia, said she often works with patients to bring about short-term effects such as relaxation.

However, Bologna has noticed some long-term effects and said her clients "respond with recognition to the quality of my touch" even when they don't remember her name or recognize her from visit to visit. "So whereas I'm not sure about long-term cognitive memory, it seems as though their sensory memory is being enhanced," she said.

Viggo Hansen N, Jorgensen T, Ortenblad L. Massage and touch for dementia The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 4.

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international nonprofit, independent organization that produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health care interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions. Visit for more information.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Massage for childbirth prep may reduce episiotomy rate

Low-tech, at-home preparation in the last month before childbirth could help pregnant mothers avoid one of the more common surgeries performed on women in the United States, a new review suggests.

The review looked at studies in which women used a massage technique in the last four or five weeks of pregnancy to train the lower genital tract for childbirth. During perineal massage a women kneads the tissue below the vagina to prepare the tissue to expand more easily during birth.

There was a 15 percent reduction in episiotomies among the women who practiced perineal massage the review found, based on results from three trials, including data from 2,434 women.

The findings appear in the most recent issue of The Cochrane Library, publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Lead reviewer Dr. Michael Beckmann and his colleagues also discovered an added benefit: Three months after birth, women who had practiced massage were less likely to report perineal pain -- whether or not they had an episiotomy.

Those positive results were most clear for mothers having their first vaginal birth. But Beckmann said the statistical trend of the research suggests that the benefits would also hold true for the other, smaller sub-groups of women in the study -- given larger sample sizes, more time and research.

An episiotomy is performed in up to 35 percent of vaginal births in the United States each year, affecting as many as 1 million women. But Beckmann said the number of episiotomies performed around the world is dropping following a general shift toward reserving the surgical procedure for emergencies.

A May 2005 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association cast doubt on many of the rationales offered for routine episiotomy. That evidence review found episiotomy does not reduce pain or improve healing in the short term, or prevent incontinence or impaired sexual function in the long term – when compared with natural tears.

Many expectant mothers have heard about Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic-floor muscles before birth, but perineal massage isn't as well-known or recommended as often.

"It's not standard in obstetrics, but there is interest in this area," said Beckmann, an obstetrician with the QE2 Jubilee Hospital in Queensland, Australia.

"It's amazing the number of women who are fearful about cuts and tears and afraid of an episiotomy," said Sally Avenson, a certified nurse midwife in western Washington state.

As more women demand greater control and involvement in their childbirth plan, Avenson said, preventing an episiotomy -- or the spontaneous tears that can occur at childbirth -- has gained mainstream attention, and become a goal for all providers who care for pregnant women.

Perineal massage is now common in some corners of maternal health care, Beckmann said, so "it's nice to see there's some evidence behind it." He now says expecting women should be provided information on perineal massage and its likely benefits.

In the three reviewed studies, women practiced perineal massage for as little a four minutes three to four times a week, and as much as 10 minutes daily, beginning in week 34 of their pregnancy.

Pregnant women may not hear about perineal massage from their obstetrician, but midwives have recommended the practice for years. Avenson, a lecturer with the University of Washington's department of Family and Child Nursing, said it is difficult to separate the effect of perineal massage alone. But she includes the technique in her discussions about "perineal management."

"It goes along with a plan for exercise and nutrition. You can't isolate the perineum from health," she said.

"It's not anything where I guarantee you won't tear, but it is something you have power to do," said Avenson, who's led her own midwifery practice for 25 years.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Mechanism for Weight Gain Among Massaged Preterm Babies

Following up on a groundbreaking study showing that premature newborns who are massaged gain more weight than non-massaged preemies, the researchers at Touch Research Institutes (TRI) at the University of Miami Medical School now have a good idea why.
In the study "Vagal activity, gastric motility, and weight gain in massaged preterm neonates," published in July in The Journal of Pediatrics, the TRI team revisited a 1986 study that first revealed that massage therapy facilitates weight gain among preterm infants. Additional studies have yielded the same result. This time, researchers wanted to find out why. They set out to test whether moderate-pressure massage stimulates vagal activity, leading to more efficient food absorption through increased gastric motility and the release of food-absorption hormones, such as insulin.
In the study, which was conducted through the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, 48 hospitalized preterm infants were randomly placed into a control group, a massage-therapy group, or a sham massage-therapy group. The massage-therapy group received three 15-minute periods of massage per day for five days. First the infant lay prone, and was stroked with moderate pressure for five one-minute segments: from the top of head to the neck and then back again; from the neck across the shoulders; from the upper back to the waist and back again; from the thigh to the foot and back on both legs; and from the shoulder to the hand and back again on both arms. In a supine position, both of the infant’s legs and arms were extended and flexed.
The sham group received the same protocol, except light pressure was used during the massage strokes.
Measurements taken during the study included mean weight gain and calories consumed per day, heart rate, automatic nervous system function and gastric motility. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to assess equivalence across groups and for group differences in weight gain, calorie consumption and days until discharge. Group (control vs. massage vs. sham) by time (pre/during/post) ANOVAs were conducted on vagal and sympathetic activity and gastric motility measures. Pearson’s correlation analysis was used to assess the relationships between weight gain, vagal activity and gastric motility.
Data analysis revealed that weight gain was significantly related to changes in vagal tone during the massage, and changes in gastric motility after the massage. The massaged preterm infants gained 27-percent more weight than infants in the control group, even though they did not consume more calories. Their vagal activity peaked during the massage and remained higher than baseline through the 15-minute post-stimulation period.
The moderate-massage-therapy group also exhibited 21-percent greater weight gain than the sham massage group. This latter group did not exhibit a significant change in vagal activity or gastric motility during the treatment or post-treatment phases of the study. "These moderate- versus light-pressure massage therapy findings suggest the involvement of pressure receptors and/or baroreceptors," the study authors noted.
"The change in vagal activity elicited by massage therapy was significantly related to weight gain during the 5-day treatment period. This suggests that neonates who demonstrated increased vagal activity during massage are more likely to benefit from massage therapy," they concluded.
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Saturday, October 14, 2006

About Prenatal Massage

I personally feel a wonderful positive energy as a massage therapist when working with pregnant women. I have several children myself and I just love the whole process! When I’m massaging an expecting mom, it’s almost like giving a massage simultaneously to two people – I just can’t describe the joy I feel.When a woman is pregnant, she is often uncomfortable, with low back and other pains. Her obstetrician will tell her this is normal. However, a good pre-natal massage can alleviate the pain she is feeling, improve her mood and mental attitude, and thus help the baby by having a happier mom.
An expectant mom will feel lighter, with increased capability to maintain good posture after a massage, which is essential in pregnancy. Prenatal massage is especially beneficial for improved circulation and removal of toxins from the body, which is especially helpful for expectant moms. Of course, I tell everyone to drink lots of water after a massage to help remove the toxins dislodged from the body during the massage.
As massage therapists, we have special ways to treat pregnant women. In the second trimester, we might bolster her and have her lay on her tummy comfortably. Later in the pregnancy, we might utilize a position where she lays on her side. We can easily provide soothing massage strokes to her back using this position. An expecting mom needs lots of attention on her back, especially her lower back. During a pre-natal massage, I spend a lot of time in this area. Her neck and shoulders are also a focus, as stress is commonly found there. I focus on her legs, using centripetal strokes toward the heart to reduce blood pooling common in the legs of pregnant women. I do a full body massage for expecting moms, which includes the head/scalp, feet, hands, and face. Gentleness is key while in areas like the shoulders and lower back, I am able to provide a deep enough stroke to address the pain the patient might be feeling due to temporary additional weight during pregnancy.I normally don’t massage women in their first trimester of pregnancy without the permission of their obstetrician. After the first trimester, and after the baby is born, massage is extremely beneficial.
After the baby is born, every new mom is under all kinds of stress – sleep deprivation, a complete change in her life, and physical stress due to caring for the newborn. New moms need special pampering and comfort. I really enjoy working with new moms to help them adjust to the physical and emotional demands of their babies with all the love they can give. By comforting them and making them feel physically better, I feel that I am doing a wonderful service for the whole family.
A lactating new mom once asked me after the massage, because of released toxins, if her breast milk was safe for the baby. Good question, but yes, no new toxins were introduced that were not already there.
It’s not an easy task, bringing this new generation into this world. Anything we can do as massage therapists to enhance the pregnancy and post-partum to alleviate discomforts is an honor!
About the author:Denise Conlon, one of the licensed massage therapists at Aegean Skin and Massage Therapies in Boca Raton. Denise worked as a Doula for five years, and is certified in infant massage. The word "doula," comes from the Greek word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing. The word has come to refer to "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth." (Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, Mothering the Mother)
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Take your time choosing the right massage school

The holistic application of physical touch to affect the systems of the circulatory, body-the muscular, skeletal, elimination, endocrine, respiratory, lymphatic, emotional, mental digestive, and nervous systems is called Body massage.An expert?s massage with aromatic massage oil does much more than create a pleasant sensation on the skin. The massage oil penetrates into the skin working on the soft tissues (the muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to improve muscle tone. The massage oils reach beneath the deep layers of the skin and possibly stimulate the affected organs for instant relief. Massage oils thus stimulate blood circulation and assist the lymphatic system (which runs parallel to the circulatory system) thereby improving the elimination of waste throughout the body.Massage oils like Grapeseed oil, Jojoba oil and Sweet Almond oil are very light on the skin as they soak quickly leaving the skin soft, nourished and moisturized with out any greasy feeling. Massage oils can be categorized as the following to serve four different purposes: ENERGIZINGEnergizing Massage Oils boost your spirits and energy as well as relax your muscles. Most Energizing Massage Oil contains peppermint, lemon, rosemary, spearmint and tangerine as essential oils. RELAXINGRelaxation Massage Oils is beneficial at the time of stress, muscle cramps and tension. They make your body muscles relaxed and releases tension. The Relaxing Massage Oil blend generally contains ylang, clary sage, bergamot essential oils, and lavender. SPORTSSports massage oils relieve you from spasms, muscle cramps, tension and reactivate your muscles to face the challenge once again. Sports Massage Oil mostly contains lavender, rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, and ginger essential oils. SENUSOUSThe Sensuous Massage Oils are for those intimate moments; to make your partner go wild for you. These types of massage oils contain sandalwood, patchouli and rose essential oils. Massage oils thus in general help us to:
1. Relaxing.2. Soothing.3. Healing.4. Releasing tension, stiffness, cramps and pain.6. Improving breathing.7. Improving circulation.8. Enhancing well-being.
Tip: It is important that you do not go out in the sun for at least 8 hours after using any of the massage oils as you may get skin irritation if exposed to sun. Body massage is not prescribed for pregnant women or children under the age of 3. It is always advisable that you undergo allergy test prior to using body massage oil for safety purposes.
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