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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


Why do I need a full body massage instead of just a regular back massage?

full body massageWhile a basic back massage might feel satisfying at the moment, the reality is that a back massage only targets a fraction of the issues that are addressable with a full body massage. Sometimes, we’re not even aware of the areas of our body that carry tension as much as our backs do.

Reduced anxiety and depression

The benefits of a full body massage offer multiple benefits, both physically and psychologically. Full body massage reduces stress levels. Massage also reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Pain relief

Full body massages relieve pain and stiffness in the body according to Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. The full body massage may release endorphins, which act as a pain reliever. Massage sometimes helps relieve migraine pain. Muscles that are tired, overused or otherwise sore  caton relax and soften through the massage. A massage may help an athlete's sore muscles after a hard workout or benefit a sports injury.

Increased Circulation

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals states that massage can increase circulation by assisting oxygen and nutrients to reach tissues and organs. A massage may help control blood pressure. While these benefits may offer positive medical benefits, you should continue regular medical care with your health care professional, particularly if you have a medical condition.

Immune System Function

A full body massage may increase your immune system's functionality according to Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. The massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which assists the immune system to protect the body.

Skin Benefits

A full body massage helps remove dead skin cells over the entire body for improved skin tone. The stimulated blood flow benefits the appearance and health of the skin. The massage can also encourage tissue regeneration, which may help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks according to Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. Depending on the kind being used, the massage oil may provide moisturizing and other benefits to the skin.



Here is why you should drink water after every massage

water massage floridaYour massage therapist has finished and left you to get dressed. As you meet her outside the little room, she hands you a bottle of water and encourages you to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Are there real advantages in doing so? According to Michele Naumann Carlstrom, licensed massage therapist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, there are a couple. During the massage, your muscles are kneaded and worked, which releases fluids from the tissues into the circulatory system. From there it hits the kidneys, and you must flush it from your system. How many of you have to urinate shortly after a massage?

Your muscles produce metabolic wasted daily. The second reason to drink water after a massage is to get rid of that. When conditions that cause you to be on a massage table, to begin with, are present, such as knots and tight muscles, the body is somewhat inhibited from flushing metabolic waste. Massage releases those knots, relieves the tightness and improves circulation, allowing your body to purge the waste.

The American Massage Therapy Association backs these facts and recommends drinking water after a massage for similar reasons.

Drinking water is a good idea in general. According to, water is used for a variety of functions in the body, such as moistening tissues and protecting internal organs, dissolving nutrients to be absorbed by the body, lubricating joints and regulating body temperature. Water makes up about 60 percent of your body. In addition to the functions listed above, water helps the kidneys flush out waste products as well as help in oxygen transport to the cells of the body. Without enough hydration, you can become lethargic, have memory and focus problems, dry skin, dry eyes, dry mouth, constipated, bloat, muscle cramps and more.

Daily water recommendations vary from different sources and from person to person. says three strategies are common: replacing the amount of water lost based on urine output, drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day, or consuming a specified amount--roughly 0.75 gallons for men and a little more than a half-gallon for women.

And finally, as if we didn’t give you enough reasons to drink up, one of the best ways to boost your odds for not being sore after a massage the next day is increase your water intake after your appointment. If you want to feel better and be healthy, be sure to take that water your masseuse offers when you leave!


Is massage therapy good for fibromyalgia?

fibromyalgia massageFibromyalgia comes with a myriad of debilitating symptoms for which, so far the medical community has found no cure. The main symptom of fibromyalgia is mild to severe pain that may be characterized as burning, deep, shooting or an unrelenting ache. For some, pain improves during the day and worsens at night, and for others, the pain remains at all times.

Sufferers of this disease often experience accompanying symptoms such as fatigue, cognitive issues, unrefreshing sleep, headaches, depression, and anxiety. While improvement can be found through prescription pain medicine, the accompanying side-effects of such chemicals often cause more suffering to the fibromyalgia patient.

Massage therapy has been shown to benefits fibromyalgia sufferers in many ways over and above what traditional medicine can do. A few of these ways include:

  • Improved sleep through relaxation - Evening massage therapy sessions provide the patient with better sleep quality, which helps the body utilize its natural resources to repair and rejuvenate more efficiently.
  • Improved muscle tone - Massage helps aid and tone lethargic muscles and restores strength and vitality to your body.
  • Improved mental clarity - Relaxation through regular massage therapy sessions raises healthy awareness and relieves mental stress. Cognitive issues begin to improve in the very first session.
  • Headache relief - by increasing healthy blood flow to your brain, massage therapy relieves the physical source of your headaches and helps your mind stay in a healthier space.
  • Diminished anxiety and depression - anxiety and depression can be contributed to many factors including fluctuations in hormones, interference in appetite and constant fight or flight mode. Massage restores homeostasis in your body, thereby helping diminish the effects of anxiety and depression.
  • Empathy and massage - fibromyalgia patients often discover that real compassion and support are difficult to find from practitioners and even friends and family who do not take the condition seriously. A good massage therapist treats each client with empathy and respect, holding the client’s feelings in high regard and without judgment, empathy alone offers the greatest impact and produces the most favorable treatment results.

Five ways a massage cures the blues

massage bluesThe power of human touch is a power that cannot be overstated. We all know that touch through massage therapy heals by soothing sore muscles and improving blood circulation, but did you know there are a few ways massage also cures the blues? Here are 5 of them:

  • Massage reduces stress - cortisol (known as “the stress hormone”) builds up in your body when you are anxious, leading to depression, higher blood pressure, and a lower immune system. Massage therapy combats cortisol by increasing the flow of good hormones like serotonin and dopamine to your brain, causing instant relief from symptoms of depression and sadness.
  • Massage remedies structural collapse” - structural collapse involves a shortening of the abdominal muscles and a tightening of the diaphragmatic arch which pulls the chest down and forward, limiting its ability to expand during breathing. 

There is an additional medial rotation of the shoulders and internal rotation of the arms resulting in a kyphosis that further restricts breathing. Without the support of the thoracic region, the head and neck will move forward and down and further into collapse.

All this distortion of the upper body will lead to further distortion in the lower body and give the structure an image of being fully collapsed. The degree of structural collapse will depend upon the severity of depression and its duration.

Applying massage with the goal of releasing the structural collapse associated with depression will bring the client from a hopeless, helpless collapsed structure to one that is supported and erect. This sense of support will give the client feelings of being stronger and more capable of dealing with the issues of their depression. [source]

  • Massage encourages relaxation - When we are stressed, anxious, sad or depressed, our bodies naturally tense up. This impedes our brain’s ability to think clearly, make rational decisions and to feel happy. As we relax, blood flow is increased to our brain, and our emotions improve. 
  • Massage connects us with the human touch - skin to skin contact is a fundamental physical act that bonds us to another human being. Many believe the sense of touch is a way of communicating through the skin. While receiving a massage, the body responds to the relaxing of the muscles and tendons. Toxins stored in the muscles have been massaged out of the muscles and are flushed out of the body. Natural endorphins course through the body, easing minor aches and pains. Psychologically, the body responds to the gentle touch of another human being. With a massage, you feel pampered and cared for. [source]
  • Massage increases success in the workplace - Workplace stress and low productivity play a significant role in how we feel every day. Massage takes the blues way brought on by feeling drained and overworked. 

Consider this: In a study performed by the International Journal of Neuroscience, Twenty-six adults were given a chair massage, and 24 control group adults were asked to relax in the massage chair for 15 minutes, two times per week for five weeks. 

On the first and last days of the study, they were monitored for EEG, before, during and after the sessions. Also, before and after the sessions they performed math computations, they completed POMS Depression and State Anxiety Scales, and they provided a saliva sample for Cortisol. At the beginning of the sessions, they completed Life Events, Job Stress, and Chronic POMS Depression Scales.

The findings were remarkable: the massage group showed decreased frontal alpha and beta power (suggesting enhanced alertness); the massage group showed increased speed and accuracy on math computations, anxiety levels were lower following the massage but not the control sessions, and salivary Cortisol levels were lower following the massage but not the control sessions. At the end of the five-week period, depression scores were lower for both groups, but job stress scores were lower only for those who had a massage!

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