It hasn’t happened very often in my career, but once in a while someone asks me if I do house calls. Many times, upon hearing that I do not, I’ve been met with surprised responses: “Really? I’m sure lots of people would love to have a massage in the comfort and privacy of their own home.” “It seems like you could make a lot of money just doing house calls.” Both valid points. And there are certainly some massage therapists who do make a very good living traveling to people’s homes to give them bodywork treatments. I, however, have chosen not to, for a few, equally valid, reasons. Continue reading “Why I don’t Do House Calls”
I first learned about alternate-nostril breathing, or Nadi Shodhan pranayama, in an ayurvedic massage class years ago. My teacher used it as a way to relax and prepare us for learning the techniques in a specific massage routine called garshana-abhyanga. I found it to be a very simple and effective method for calming and centering my mind and my breath, and the result was that I was much more focused and relaxed. Since that time, various yoga teachers have led me through a few cycles of alternate-nostril breathing during classes, and I find that practicing this on my own helps greatly when I need to clear the cobwebs from my head, relax, bring more oxygen to the blood to recover from a headache or de-stress.
Medical science tells us that we don’t breathe evenly through both nostrils – that at any given time, one nostril is able to take in more air than the other, and throughout the day this will shift from one side to the other in a process called the nasal cycle. Our nostrils also correlate to the left and right hemispheres of the brain, so this means that during the nasal cycle, one hemisphere is getting more oxygen than the other. By practicing alternate-nostril breathing, one is able to balance both hemispheres of the brain, which calms the mind and the nervous system. This can result in reduced anxiety, relief from headache, reduction of stress and sleeplessness, lowering of blood pressure, and increased respiratory endurance.
The technique is simple, and can be practiced anytime, anywhere. Five minutes is all you need. With a little practice, you may find this to be a very useful tool in your self-care toolbox.
Like many massage therapists, my two most often requested services are Relaxation Massage, and Deep Tissue Massage. These are offerings that can be found on just about any massage service menu, anywhere in the country. And in my years working on people, I still sometimes have trouble summing up the difference between the two, when discussing which massage a client should choose. However, it’s good to know the basic differences between the two, so that if you’ve never had a massage before, or even if you are accustomed to having them, you can make an informed decision as to which massage will suit your needs. So, here is my (lengthy) explanation of how my massages differ from one another. Continue reading “What’s the Difference Between a Relaxation and a Deep Tissue Massage?”