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Kristin Churchill, LMT is Conveniently Located at:
Bay Street Wellness
2430 South Bay St • Eustis, FL 32726


Can a massage help chronic pain sufferers?

chronic pain reliefWhile chronic pain comes from many sources, the two most common conditions behind chronic pain are arthritis and fibromyalgia. Thankfully, massage therapy positively impacts both. 

Massage therapy improves the quality of life for chronic pain sufferers by improving mood and providing pain management. A toolbox of strategies for pain relief is essential to sufferers and massage is a powerful tool for both mind and body relaxation. For Fibromyalgia, massage reduces stiffness and improves physical function and range of motion. For those with arthritis, pain is lessoned, and functionality is improved. 

There are some of benefits to massage for the management of chronic pain, including:

  • Increased serotonin - the body’s natural pain reliever
  • Naturally deepened sleep - resulting in less pain
  • Increased range of motion
  • Lowered anxiety and improved mood

Massage Therapist and Chiropractor

Nicole Stevens

chiropractor eustisFinding a perfect match can be hard, but sometimes all you need is an adjustment, which is why I decided to move my office to a chiropractor’s office! (Get it…adjustment…chiropractor, ah you’ll laugh later.) Making this move seemed like an ideal situation that would provide my clients with even more accessibility to relief from body aches and pains.

During the massage, the therapist goes from insertion to origin. What this means is that the muscles are being massaged from the outside in, stopping at the origin which is the skeletal structure underneath the muscle. As a massage therapist, I am only trained to get right to that origin point, and that’s it. Here’s where the new move comes to my client’s advantage!

Chiropractors work with the skeletal structure, past the point of origin for a massage therapist. After the massageconstructed, a client could  needfor more intense therapy. At this point, the chiropractor can step in and adjust the client’s skeletal system into more comfortable condition.

Think of it as a one-stop-shop for your body’s everyday aches and pains. Keeping up with routine massage therapy as well as a chiropractic visit can result in many health benefits alongside relaxation of the muscles and bones.


Performing a Visual Assessment During Massage

posture Did you know that as massage therapists, we learn a lot about a client’s muscular structure just by looking at them? We perform a quick visual and postural analysis that gives us a good idea which muscles are shortened and therefore tight, as well as muscles that are lengthened and weak.

Massage Assessment

An assessment is when your massage therapist evaluates what he or she will do during the massage session.  This is the time when the therapist is thoroughly evaluating the client and becoming familiar with the conditions of their skin and muscles.

Visual assessments are broken down into three areas:

  1. Skin inspection
    This is done when the client is in the massage room, and the therapist is performing an intake and is repeated if there have been changes since the last massage.
    The therapist looks at the skin on the arms for color, moisture level, temperature level, texture, and any skin lesions. Gathering this information assists the therapist in determining whether follow-up questions are needed.
  2. Gait Analysis
    A gait analysis assesses how a person walks,  and the pattern of walking.
    Even a small injury affects the way you walk and causes mild pain, stiffness, or weakness.  Improper walking is both inefficient and causes other pain and stiffness in other areas of the body.
  3. Postural Assessment
    When assessing posture, we view your body from each side. We check to see if your shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees are level and whether your head is sitting nicely on your shoulders or if there is an issue causing it to jut forward.

Using all of these assessments before your massage, we can determine which areas in your body need to be focused on during your session to improve your overall condition.


Does music make a massage better?

massage floridaMusic, like massage, is a healing art. However, experts say that the wrong music can ruin an otherwise good massage experience. This article (originally published in Massage Bodywork magazine) explains how music can linger in the subconscious mind for days or weeks following a massage, and the importance of knowing your massage therapist’s level of expertise with relation to both music and massage.

“Music is to massage what aroma is to a bakery: It may not be the primary draw, but it certainly does add to the enjoyment of the experience. And it can stay around in the subconscious for days or weeks afterward. However, the wrong choice of music can ruin an otherwise good massage experience, experts say.

"If I were a therapist, I'd never use music on a client until I've listened to it from end to end, sat in a chair with my eyes closed, and meditated with it, so I'd really have a feel for what my client will experience," suggests Jim Moeller, owner and founder of Serenity, a company in Maria Stein, Ohio, that specializes in music for the healing arts.

The genre known as ambient music has mushroomed in recent years, and massage therapists have hundreds of new titles to choose from.”

Ambient music works to calm your mind, body, and spirit - reminding you to inhale slowly and telling your muscles to relax, without using words. If you’ve never meditated or even just relaxed for a few minutes listening to ambient music, I highly recommend it. Once you have felt the physical and mental benefits of the music alone, you’ll want to add on the healing touch of massage to bring you back to center, in a way only massage can.


Medical Marijuana and Massage

by Nicole Stevens

medical marijuana massageA massage can be one of the most relaxing things a person can treat themselves with. It can also be a necessary aid for people recovering from various muscles strains and body aches, or those going through physical therapy. Few things make a massage even better; a relaxing atmosphere, light tempo music softly playing in the background, dimmed lights, and maybe even some calming marijuana. Now you won’t be subjected to inhaling a room full of smoke while you relax, there are many other ways cannabis can be introduced into a professional massage.

As most know, where legal, cannabis comes in all shapes and sizes, liquids to solids, and this is no different in the world of massage therapy. The most popular products are topicals such as body lotions and oils which are rich with THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Though because these products aren’t coming into contact with the blood stream, it does not give the typical “high” associated with inhaling marijuana smoke. It does however, penetrate cannabinoid receptors in the skin, resulting in pain relief for the client being massaged.

So there’s zero chance of getting high/stoned from the products used?

Yes! The cannabinoid-enriched products are topical creams, rubbed into problem areas of the body during the massage. If there are traces of THC in it, it acts as a pain reliever and targets tired, over­-worked muscles and works as a natural calmer. Think of it as using essential oils, such as lavender, to help a person relax and unwind. These products work the same way.

Is it even legal in Florida?

Florida has recently passed a medical marijuana law, but of course, it comes with stipulations. While the active CBD in the products is a non-psychoactive, “the DEA’s position that all cannabis extracts, including CBD oil, are federally illegal Schedule 1 substance” (Mikesell) according to an article by the Florida Spa Association/American Spa Magazine. Technically, the DEA as stated that only certain parts of the plant are considered to be marijuana, and that includes the leaves, the seeds, and the flower itself. Other parts of the plant, such as the stems, stalks, and sterilized seeds, are hemp. In Florida, pure CBD oil falls under hemp products and is not considered to be a narcotic. THC derived products are a bit different, and can only be sold if it is legal in that area.

Besides the ultimate relaxation, what are some specific health benefits one can expect from a cannabinoid enriched massage?

CBD oil has many great effects on the body, and being applied to the outer part is no different. It has been shown to help with various skin issues such as acne, mild irritation (soothes and calm sensitive skin), and even bigger issues such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. It doesn’t cure these ailments, but it does make having them easier to cope with. It can even be beneficial for the outdoorsy type – CBD oil eliminates the irritation of bug bites and scratches, reducing swelling of the skin as a result.

Are all plants created equal?

Not. It is essential to know what product you are using and what ingredients it contains. Just because a product states it contains CBD (or in some cases, THC), it does not mean it is the right choice. The ingredients added in make a huge difference in theend result for the client receiving the service. As an example, the company Crave Skincare has done extensive research to figure out what fits best with their products, resulting in many positive reviews and return customers. The CEO, Janet Schriever, had this to say; “The formula the CBD is in makes a big difference to the effect of the ingredient and using CBD with other botanicals, and phytonutrients are vital. If you are going to use a product with CBD, it should be in a clean, botanical-rich formula.”

So the next time you’re setting up an appointment for a professional massage, ask your masseuse about their line of CBD-oil massage products, figure out the right kind for you, relax, and enjoy!

Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 56

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