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New Logos

Last month, I had decided to get a new logo for Breit Touch.  Something that was unique to the business and created by a professional instead of something I had put together.  I had reached out to some contacts and decided to have Brenna Cogle create my new logo.

Brenna was able to create amazing sample logos with just the small amount of information I had given her.  One in particular kept drawing me back to it, and within a couple of weeks from my first contact with her, I had an updated and personalized logo.

Brenna had been a breath of fresh air to work with: She is very knowledgeable and professional in her craft, wonderful to work with, and completed the work in a very timely fashion!  I highly recommend her to anyone looking to create or re-vamp their business logo and branding concept.  Check out her work at www.sugarmoxie.com!

And without further ado… here are the brand new logos for Breit Touch Massage & Bodywork:

 

general logo

product logo

While the look is brand new, the service that I give is still the same: Caring, professional, and geared towards you!

 

~Ashley~

SMRT

About 6 months have passed since my last post (yikes, where has the time gone?!)!  I do apologize for so much of a lapse between posts, but as you’ll remember from my first blog, writing has never been one of my strong points.

I’m writing today because I’ve recently taken a continuing education (CE) class whole (which has been on my “To Take” list for a few years) and it was so awesome, I just had to share it with all of you!  The 3-day class was for Full Circle’s Spontaneous Muscle Release Technique (SMRT; read “smart”): Shoulder, Axilla (armpit), Ribcage, & Upper Back.  SMRT as a whole is a positional release technique that focuses on prompting the client’s body to regain its natural balance.  This technique is so gentle (only causing minimal discomfort on a couple of positions), but yet so effective at getting into the deeper layers of tissue without the therapist having to push their way through it using their strength (and causing discomfort in the client).   It may not feel like much is being done but trust me, it is doing wonders and allows your therapist to access the deeper tissues.

I had chosen to take this section of SMRT vs. others for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, the majority of the clients I Spiral R Humerussee have restriction and/or injury to these areas.  The other reason is that I wanted to see/feel personally how well SMRT worked on older restrictions/injuries.  To explain: I spiral fractured my right humerus (upper arm bone) in a car accident about 10 years ago (see picture).  The break had caused part of the Deltoid Tuberosity (DT; roughly where the arrow is) to break off and reattach itself,which created all kinds of scar tissue.  Thankfully it healed properly on its own and they didn’t need to put a plate in (Whew!), but I was in a hanging cast for 6 weeks.  This caused quite a bit of range of motion (ROM) issues.  Most of that went away after time, but I still had issues with raising my arm completely overhead… I could do it, but I had to force it to be completely straight.

We had worked on the shoulder and axilla the first day.  Even though it used much lighter pressure (which is completely opposite of what I’m used to using), I was able to get the hang of it right away.  When it was my partners turn to work on me, I explained all of the issues I had going on in my shoulder due to the fracture.   I really wish I had gotten a “before and after” picture because with all of the releases he was able to get in just my shoulder, I was able to raise my arm completely over my head with no effort and there was no discomfort or pain for me while he did it!!  Some of the scar tissue near where the DT broke off had also gone down (Bonus!).  With the axilla work, I was able to get some beautiful releases in one of the hard to get to muscles (subscapularis), which is also where I hold a lot of my stress/tension.

An A-MA-ZING first day, right??  It passed my “personal test” with flying colors that first day… but wait, it gets better!

On day 2 we worked on the entire ribcage (all 12 ribs and the collarbone), and day 3 we worked on the upper back.  After the ribcage work (which was really neat to do), I noticed that I could breathe easier, take deeper breathes, hold my breath longer, and that night I slept like a rock.  It had been the most restful sleep I had had in a very long time.  After working on the ribs, we moved to the collarbone (which included the AC joint strain I mentioned in a previous blog, and yes it is the same arm/shoulder that I had broken 12 years ago).  Having the shoulder work the previous day definitely helped this area out, but I still noticed some slight discomfort.  As soon as my partner started the release for that joint, I had instant relief. The upper back work was just as amazing as the rest.  The other area I hold stress/tension is in my upper back (upper/middle traps & underlying tissue) and after the work we did, the area was the most relaxed I can ever remember.

So far, 3 weeks later, I am still able to raise my arm above my head without much effort, I’m still breathing and sleeping better than I had before, and I still don’t notice the AC strain any longer.  I’ve been using a few SMRT moves in my sessions since finishing the class and so far my clients have had excellent results.  I definitely plan on taking all of the courses for SMRT because of how effective, yet gentle it is.  With this technique, we can steer away from the old “no pain, no gain” mentality; it doesn’t have to hurt in order to get results!  If you ever have the chance to receive a massage from a therapist who is trained in SMRT, do it.  Your body with thank you!

If you’d like to learn more about this wonderful technique, feel free to contact me or you can check out Full Circle’s website or Facebook page.

~Ashley~

Injuries & Massage

This month’s topic is  something that I have been working with since becoming a massage therapist, as well as something that I am currently experiencing myself:  massage for those rehabilitating from an injury (or what I call Injury Massage).  Before I dive into the topic, however, I do need to say that massage is NOT a substitute for medical care.  Whether it is a medical doctor or chiropractor (or even both), you should still seek out medical care initially for an injury!

Here are my experiences with injury massage, both as a massage therapist and as a client:

As a massage therapist:

Each client is different, and so are their injuries.  What takes only a few sessions for one client, could take many for another.  I provide these massages to help and guide your body to be able to do its job in healing itself, not force it to heal.  It is important to stay positive and to communicate with both your doctor and massage therapist about how you are doing/feeling, and things will release and get better as your body is ready to do so.

I believe that positive thinking can be HUGE factor in recovery.  I have helped clients that had a positive or negative mindset (and a couple that had both), and the best outcomes have been in those who were positive.  As an example: I once had a client who was fairly positive for the first few sessions where we saw some great progress (fewer headaches, improved mobility, relaxed muscles, etc.).  Then for some reason, during the next session, their mindset was completely negative (asking why they weren’t better yet, that they would never get better, and so on). Their progress went backwards, which only fueled that negativity.  Thankfully we did see a little forward progress in the last few approved sessions that we had, but it was never back to where it was during the first few sessions.

Communication with your doctor and massage therapist is another important factor in the recovery process.  This communication is how we know what is (and isn’t) working, as well as what to focus on during the appointment.  For example, you might have had a new headache, the headaches have gotten worse, or perhaps you started a new activity (or one that you picked up again after not doing it for a while) and are experiencing aches/soreness again.  It is important for both your doctor and massage therapist to know about these changes in activity/soreness so they can use their respective education to best help you continue in your recovery.

As a client receiving injury massage:

The injury massage I am currently receiving isn’t from the work injury I incurred from doing hair that I mentioned in a previous blog, but from an auto accident a few months ago (before winter hit and thankfully nothing severe).  After the accident, I experienced a few headaches, some tightness/soreness along the length of my spine, and I wasn’t able to sit for more that 10-15 minutes at a time.  I started seeing my chiropractor right away, and after about a month or so, I was feeling much better.  Unfortunately I still had a couple of reoccurring headaches as well as continued tightness/soreness.  Because of this, they prescribed massage to help.   Even though I knew it would help me, I did not request the massage myself.  I let them make the call because they are the medical professional and know more about how well the injury is healing and what would be the best treatment to help it continue to do so.  Though, had I not received a prescription, I would have asked if it would be safe to get one and sought out a trusted colleague for a few sessions if they thought it safe where I was currently at with my healing.

There have been a couple of times where I went backwards a step or two due to general stress as well as tense driving conditions (icy roads anyone?), but I was able to get back on track by continuing to see my chiropractor and massage therapist.  Today I am feeling almost as I did before the accident, and have hopes that I will be there within the next couple of months.

 

As a side note:  I have been in a couple of auto accidents prior to this last one; one where I broke my arm, and another just shaken up and in a little bit of shock.  Knowing what I know today, I really wish I would’ve had the option to receive massage with both of them.  My recoveries, I believe, would have been much shorter if I had.

So again, please remember that massage isn’t a substitute for medical care.  It can, however, be a wonderful addition to it!

~Ashley~

Happy New Year

Wow, this year sure has flown by, especially these last couple of months…   It seems that one minute it was a week or so before Thanksgiving, and now, BAM, it’s New Year’s Eve tomorrow!  No matter the holiday that you celebrated, I hope that it was filled with happiness and joy for you and your loved ones!

As a new year knocks on the door, we think about resolutions.  If you’re having trouble coming up with a New Year’s resolution, as I usually do, think about adding Massage Therapy to your wellness regimen if you haven’t already.  It has many more benefits than just relaxation! Check out my Massage Benefits & Service Menu pages to read about the benefits & the different types of massage I offer.

Speaking of resolutions, I thought I would share my resolutions for 2014…

My resolution for Breit Touch is to take the steps to become an approved provider for health insurance plans that currently cover (or reimburse) massage therapy.  While it has a long way to go yet, slowly, but surely, the healthcare industry is starting to accept massage as an alternative therapy.  As the therapist for Breit Touch, my resolution is to take more continued education (CE) courses that further help my clients with their injury rehabilitation and/or chronic pain.

My personal resolutions are to continue growing as an individual and professional in the Massage Industry as well as to get back into my own wellness regimen (making sure I exercise at least once a week, eating healthier, making sure I get regular massages as well, etc) so that I can stay healthy and continue to give the gift of massage (that I love to do) for many years to come.

I hope that your 2013 was filled with wonderful things as well, and I wish you a fantastic and prosperous 2014!

I’ll see you next year!

~Ashley~

Check out previous blogs here!

After-Effects

We all know that there are some amazing benefits to massage and the chances that you will feel much more relaxed after a massage than you did before receiving one are fairly high.  However, you may experience an after-effect, or two, such as muscle soreness, dizziness, or an emotional release from that massage.  This month I want to talk about some of the more common after-effects of receiving a massage, what they are, and even some things that my clients and I have found to be helpful.

 

Muscle soreness & tenderness

The easiest way for me to explain this after-effect is to think of a massage as a type of “workout” for your body.  A low-intensity workout would be like getting a Swedish or CranioSacral massage.  It gets you warmed up, works some of the kinks out and, in general, relaxes you.  A high-intensity workout would be like Deep Tissue, Trigger Point Therapy, and similar massages.  Your routine got kicked up a notch (or two, or three… depending on how deep the massage and/or the number of restrictions needing to be released).  It really gets your juices flowing and works out some of the deeper kinks.  If you experience this after-effect, both my clients and I have found that doing one or a combination of these things to be helpful: Staying properly hydrated, stretching, and using either ice or heat on the area.

Emotional Releases

While you may have moved forward from any trauma, stress, or other similar situations that you had been through during your lifetime (childhood, accidents, loss of loved ones, etc.), your body could still be holding onto some of those emotions.  During a massage, your body could have a release of those emotions, but it can also happen outside of massage with something as simple as a touch from a friend, a kind word, or even a fragrance. These releases can be experienced in a wide array of different ways:  A sense of something lifting off of your shoulders, crying, shivering, sorrow/distress, and many other sensations, both emotional and physical.  Everyone’s release is different and is not the same across the board.   When you experience one of these releases, know that it is a natural occurrence and it is a sign that your body is completely ready to let go of whatever it was holding onto.  The most helpful thing for this after-effect is to let your body complete its release so that your body can finish moving forward from whatever it was holding onto.

Dizziness

Just as you can become slightly dizzy or light-headed when you stand up a little too quickly after sitting or laying down for a while, a massage can have that same effect.  Through massage, no matter the modality, your body’s parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) system is activated and goes into a relaxation mode.  Therefore, it needs just a little bit of time to “wake up” before you get up and start moving around again.  For this reason we recommend that you take your time getting up from the table after a session.

Others

There are other after-effects that you could experience after receiving a massage.  These include increased hunger and/or thirst, increased need to use the restroom, and nausea/flu-like symptoms.  The first four in this category can be due to the increased digestion and metabolic function that massage can promote.  The nausea and flu-like symptoms can be due to not eating enough prior to your massage, being improperly hydrated pre and post massage, or a large release of trigger points and/or adhesions in your muscles/fascia during your massage.  The things my clients and I have found helpful for these after-effects include: Eating properly throughout the day, staying properly hydrated, and using the restroom prior to the start of the session.

 

It’s key to remember that not everyone experiences after-effects, and any that you may experience could be the same or different from the last one.  Best thing that you can do is to communicate with your therapist with what you are feeling before, during, and after your massage.  This will help them to know if they should adjust their pressure, what techniques to use or avoid, and also be able to give you proper recommendations for you to try in-between your massage sessions.

~Ashley~

Check out other blogs here