Hey everyone! Tasha here. I want to share a little bit about a subject that means a lot to me, the power of the sense of touch.
Being touched and touching someone else are fundamental modes of human interaction.
"From a warm handshake or sympathetic hug to a congratulatory pat on the back, we have developed complex languages, cultures, and emotional expression through physical contact. But in a tech-saturated world, non-sexual human touch is in danger of becoming rare, if not obsolete. Despite the benefits of digital advancement, it is vital to preserve human touch in order for us truly to thrive. Physical touch is the foundational element of human development and culture. The growing preoccupation with digital media versus personal physical contact, combined with the social and legal restrictions over physical contact in our schools and workplaces, may unintentionally affect these factors negatively. To foster a safe social environment in a climate of mediated communication, we should intentionally hold on to physical touch."
"There is a biological need for touch, an actual hunger for touch that can be met only in contact with another human being. This was first discovered during the nineteenth century, when children who had been abandoned at birth and transferred to foundling homes died by the thousands. They literally wasted away, despite the fact that they were fed, kept clean, and protected from danger. The condition, known as marasmus (from the Greek, meaning "wasting away"), claimed the lives of nearly 100 percent of the infants under the age of one in U.S. foundling hospitals as late as 1920. What these children lacked was physical contact. Infants raised in their own homes are normally cradled and fed at their mothers' breasts, but these foundlings weren't.
When this connection between life and touch was realized, doctors and nurses in many institutions cooperated in a plan to supply "mothering touch" for these children. It consisted of holding, stroking, speaking to the infant, and allowing significant periods of cuddling the child, especially at mealtimes. The results were dramatic and immediate. Infant mortality rates dropped within one year of adopting these touching practices,
Despite the lessons we have learned about the necessity for touch, many child-rearing practices that discourage it endure today. The lack of sufficient touch has far-reaching effects on our development and shows itself in problematic ways when we reach maturity."
Some people are very sensitive or ticklish or you may know someone who just 'doesn't like to be touched.' I have had several clients come in with those concerns. Massage is safe touch with very clear boundaries so those same people who 'didn't want to be touched' respond very well and feel very comfortable with massage almost every time.
Out of all of our senses, touch is the only one we literally CAN'T LIVE without. Massage Therapy offers an environment to receive healthy, safe, healing touch. Everyone young or old, male or female can benefit from incorporating more touch into their lives.
Schedule a massage to make sure you are getting enough of the healing power of touch. Massage makes a big difference for me. I hope it can do the same for you.
Have a great day!
Tasha Ouderkirk, LMT
This is Paul and I wanted to write about a problem today that many people can have off and on throughout their life, namely, pain or numbness and tingling down one or both of the arms. Now this can happen for a couple different reasons but both of the reasons come down to muscles that have gotten too tight, inflexible, and most likely have knots or trigger points.
The first way that the muscles can cause pain or numbness down the arm is by getting tight and causing what we call Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome occurs when the muscles get tight enough to compress the blood vessels or nerves passing through the neck to the arm. This can happen in three different areas: 1) between a couple of the muscles of the neck that we call the scalenes; 2) between the clavicle and the first rib; and 3) by the muscle pectoralis minor which is located in the front of the upper chest.
The second way that muscles cause pain and numbness is by knots or trigger points in specific muscles causing pain down the arm and sometimes into the fingers. The big offenders are the Scalenes which cause pain down the outside of the arm and into the fingers and hand. Pectoralis Minor causes pain down the inside of the arm and into the pinky, ring, and middle fingers. Serratus Anterior can cause pain down the inside of the arm and into the pinky and ring fingers. The Latissimus Dorsi muscle, the "lats," also has a similar pain pattern along the inside of the arm and into the pinky and ring fingers. The pain from these muscles is coming directly from the muscles themselves and not because of a compression of the nerves or blood vessels. Because of this, working them directly can be very effective in reducing or eliminating pain.
Sometimes it can be a little difficult to tell if the pain is coming directly from the muscle or if the muscle is causing a compression of the nerves or blood vessels. This is why surgery is not the best way to deal with these types of problems. In fact, it is often misdiagnosed and symptoms persist after about 80% of surgeries performed for this type of problem.
Instead, Massage is a Much Better Option!
With Massage we would take a two step approach. First, we would have you come in for a massage to work through all of the muscles related to the problem. Second after getting massage we will teach you specific stretches that will help to keep the muscles a little more loose and not so tense. This may seem simple and basic but it actually works very well for most people.
If you have any questions leave a comment down below. If you are having trouble with these types of problems give us a call, send us a text, or just go ahead and make an appointment online and we will do what we can to get you feeling better!
Paul Ouderkirk LMT
Hey Guys! Tasha here. Lately I have been noticing that a lot of people I see have stiff jaws! Let's talk about why and what you can do about it.
The temporomandibular (tem-puh-roe-mun-DIB-u-lur) joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. These joints allow the jaw to open and close, chew, speak, and swallow. When this joint is injured or damaged, it can lead to a localized pain disorder called TMJD.
Research has shown that some of the attributing factors can be grinding and clenching of the teeth, postural imbalances, arthritis, excessive gum chewing, emotional trauma and stress, whiplash, prolonged dental procedures, and facial trauma or sports injuries.
Symptoms can include radiating pain in the face, jaw, neck, shoulders or ears, jaw muscle stiffness, limited movement or locking of the jaw, clicking, popping or grating in the jaw joint, headaches, abnormal bite/alignment, neck and shoulder pain, and swelling on the side of the face.
TMJD often responds to remedies including MASSAGE, gentle stretches of the jaw and neck, stress reduction and relaxation.
In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJD is temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care and nonsurgical treatments.
I have worked on several clients with tension and pain like this and almost every time it is gone by the end of the massage. I have used massage modalities such as trigger point therapy, cranial sacral therapy or structural body work on the muscles that can put pressure and tension in this area and had amazing results.
I LOVE MASSAGE! I feel so privileged to have been a part of the miracle of the healing process that massage can create for an individual. I have also been on the receiving end and it has changed my life. I hope it can do the same for you.
Have a great day!
Tasha Ouderkirk, LMT
Hey guys! Tasha here. Today I want to talk about my favorite technique to use to ERASE headaches: Trigger Point Therapy!
90% of headaches are muscle tension related! The muscles in the neck and shoulder area commonly contain trigger points. Referred pain from these trigger points bring clients in for massage more often than for any other problem!
Trigger Points are extremely common and become a painful part of nearly everyone's life at one time or another. Symptoms include but are not limited to:
Several muscles can be involved and all should be addressed during the session. Most clients experience headaches of one type or another and incorporating Trigger Point Therapy into the massage session will bring about more relief of symptoms and longer lasting results.
I have struggled with headaches almost all of my life and discovering massage therapy was like finding a miracle! Massage has given me longer lasting relief from headaches and migraines than anything else. Now, as long as I get regular massage, my headaches are almost non-existent! Massage helps me live a more pain free life. I hope it can do the same for you.
Have a great day!
Tasha Ouderkirk, LMT
Hey guys! Tasha here. I've been thinking about what topic to write about over the last few weeks and Somatic Emotional Releases (SER's) are what kept coming to my mind. So, here we go!
"Soul and body react sympathetically upon each other; a change in the state of the soul produces a change in the shape of the body and conversely, a change in the shape of the body produces a change in the state of the soul." -Aristotle
Have you ever noticed the difference between the way someone who is happy holds their body compared to someone who is sad? or angry? or scared? Emotions and trauma can literally change us. Research by Dr. John Upledger, who developed Cranial Sacral Therapy, discovered that "the body often holds on to emotional energy, triggered by physiological, psychological, emotional or spiritual trauma. Although a body can initially adapt to the presence of this 'energy cyst', eventually the body weakens or tires of this accommodation and can develop symptoms of pain, dysfunction or emotional stress in response."
"All negative emotional expressions are accompanied by a shortening of flexor muscles. The energy in a chronically flexed body has to work just to hold it up; the body continuously has to add energy to that body to keep it going. Such chronic flexion gives a feeling of tiredness and depression." -Moshe Feldenkrais
As the body changes through massage, it may trigger the body to release these emotions it has been holding onto. In the world of bodywork, we call that a Somatic Emotional Release. This process requires sensitivity and expertise on the part of the therapist and a positive attitude and trust from the client. The client may experience an SER in the form of crying, laughter, anger, sadness, grief, or any other emotion during or after the session.
I have been privileged enough to be able to help many of my clients let go of negative emotions and begin to heal. I am committed to creating a safe and comfortable environment in every massage that can allow for this change to happen if needed. Massage Therapy has helped me to be able to let go and heal from emotional pain I didn't even realize I had. It has lifted the stress I was carrying. I hope it can do the same for you.
Have a great day!
Tasha Ouderkirk, LMT
Hey guys! Tasha here. Welcome to our website! We are so excited to share our world of massage, health and wellness with you.
I thought we should start off with a little bit of information about the basics of the body and what happens to the muscles to make you feel discomfort or pain in the first place. That's right! It's not a mystery!
Ida Rolf, the creator of Rolfing, (the beginning and inspiration of one of my personal favorite styles of massage, structural bodywork) once said: "More movement is more life."
The muscles of your body are designed to move in specific directions and perform certain actions. When we have motions and activities that we do every day, or several times a day, we are constantly using the same muscles over and over. "That constant tensional force in a muscle pulls on bones and structures. As a result body segments get pulled out of correct posture. Poor posture and constant tension cause muscles to become 'loaded'. This means that they begin playing the structural role of bones, providing structure and support for the area and the rest of the body. Eventually these muscles become fatigued from overuse and other muscles become weak from disuse. The nervous system functions in overdrive and a cycle of pain occurs, leading to musculoskeletal dysfunction."-injury massage, Steiner Education Group.
As a massage therapist of about five years now, I have worked with hundreds of clients at various stages of muscle and bone dysfunction. Some from overuse, some from disuse. Using bodywork and information from the client I have identified specific muscles and structures involved in the dysfunction, and been able to eliminate pain. Typically, I apply specific deeper techniques at the site of the pain and the supporting areas. The tissues begin to soften and heal and the structures return to optimal form. Posture improves.
I have found over the years that as a client's posture and ability for movement is enhanced, pain decreases and often disappears. Massage has brought me joy as it has eased so much of the personal pain I have had with my own body and even more as I have been able to be a part of using these skills to help many others with this work.
Massage Therapy has helped me to understand my body better and gave me hope that life doesn't need to be so painful. I hope it can do the same for you.
Have a great day!
-Tasha Ouderkirk, LMT
Nothing on this blog is to substitute for proper medical advice from your doctor and is not intended to diagnose or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified medical physician if you have any questions about a specific diagnosis or disease