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gift certificate, holiday specials, massage, sauna

4 REASONS WHY MASSAGE IS THE BEST HOLIDAY GIFT EVER

A massage gift certificate tucked into a holiday card may seem unassuming, but the effects of this present will be powerful.

People turn to massage for stress relief, pain alleviation and relaxation, and massage is appropriate for just about anyone—from healthy adults to seniors and pregnant women to athletes. Massage therapy is also safe and beneficial for people living with conditions including cancer, fibromyalgia and arthritis.

This is why treating the people on your gift list to massage makes sense this holiday season. Regular massage clients will know what to look forward to, and for someone who has never had a massage, a gift certificate can make his or her first session more accessible.

Here are four reasons why massage should be at the top of your holiday gift list, along with suggestions for massage and bodywork specialties to present to friends, colleagues and family:

1. The Gift of Stress Relief

The holidays can be filled with family, friends, fun, food—and freneticism. Gift-buying, overeating and travel can leave any merrymaker feeling tired and stressed. Massage makes the best holiday gift because it calms the nervous system and provides an oasis of respite from the holiday frenzy.

Three types of massage to gift:

  • Swedish massage: The most well-known type of massage, which utilizes strokes including stroking, kneading, percussion, vibration and friction.

  • Ayurvedic massage: This vigorous massage uses large amounts of warm oil and is one part of the traditional Indian detoxification and rejuvenation program.

  • Stone massage: Heated or cooled stones are placed on the body for energy balancing and a pampering sensation that contributes to the relaxation response.

 

2. The Gift of Pain Removal

From hanging Christmas lights to digging the Hanukkah candles out of the basement, the holidays’ decorating activities can create strain, sprain and pain. Massage makes the best holiday gift because it addresses pain and stiffness by increasing circulation, improving flexibility, and releasing crinkles and tight spots from muscles.

Three types of massage to gift:

  • Acupressure: An Asian therapy that involves pressing points along the body’s meridians with fingers, thumbs or palms of the hand to stimulate chi and bring about balance and health.

  • Sports massage: This session will feature techniques such as myofascial release, which affects connective tissue by applying pressure in the direction of fascial resistance.

  • Reflexology: A system that entails pressing points on the feet, hands or ears that correspond to systems and organs throughout the body.

 

3. The Gift of Raised Spirits

The holidays aren’t jolly all the time; family conflict, feelings of grief and other mood-stressors can arise, even in the midst of a Kwanzaa celebration. Massage makes the best holiday gift because it can boost mood. The release of the feel-good hormone, oxytocin, is increased during massage, as is the release of serotonin and dopamine.

Three types of massage to gift:

  • Craniosacral therapy: This light-touch modality uses gentle, soft-tissue techniques to release restrictions in the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.

  • Reiki: An energetic healing system that utilizes off-the-body hand placements to transmit healing energy from the practitioner to the recipient.

  • Geriatric massage: This session will feature massage techniques modified for safe application to older people, who might arrive at a session with issues related to joint pain or fragile skin.

 

4. The Gift of Ease

Give yourself the gift of a super-simple present purchase. Massage makes the best holiday gift because professional massage therapists offer gift certificates for sale, via in-person sales, a website or a Facebook page. Whether you purchase now or at the last minute, your gift of massage will be the easiest gift you give this holiday season—and the most appreciated.

Three types of massage to gift:

  • Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy: The Ashiatsu practitioner uses body weight and foot compression, while supported by overhead wooden bars, on a client who is lying down.

  • Pregnancy massage: This session will feature massage techniques modified for safe application to pregnant clients.

  • Facelift massage: This session might entail lymphatic-drainage strokes to firm sagging facial and neck skin, ease away facial lines, stimulate blood and oxygen, and release toxins. The treatment can also involve hot towel wraps and oils.

Virtually anyone on your list will appreciate the gift of massage therapy this holiday season.

Written: December 2, 2015

by:

massage, sauna, gift certificate, holiday specials

Give the Gift Of Self Care This Season

MASSAGE IS THE BEST HOLIDAY GIFT! Everyone loves a good massage, and our massage therapists at Longevity Wellness are here to provide an outstanding massage experience to everyone! This holiday season, massage gift certificates are the go to gift. Longevity Wellness makes it easy to purchase the massage gift certificate of your choosing, with the option to chose whatever dollar amount you would like

Interview with Alana Long, Business Owner, Entrepreneur, & Mom

by Ryley Kennard

So, first of all, let me introduce myself. I'm Ryley Kennard, I'm the receptionist here at Longevity Wellness. I also run the social media pages. I got the chance to sit down with Longevity's owner, Alana Long, a few weeks back and got to know a little bit more about her history and experiences. It was a cool thing for me to do as an employee, to get to know my boss better and really understand what really drives her. It was really impressive to me how much she cares about the work that's she's doing. Wellness really is at the core of what Alana has created here at Longevity Wellness and she has worked really hard to provide tools and resources for others to incorporate a more balanced wellness routine in their life. See the full interview below:

Why did you decide to start your own business?

For a variety of reasons, really. But, when I became a massage therapist I was working for two other people. I did that for a couple years to get experience as a massage therapist and just to understand business and what not. I really felt like my goals and the vision that I had for what I wanted in a massage therapy business wasn’t really--there weren’t any out there. So I started my own business. I started just with myself and grew it into a larger practice. But what I really wanted to do when I did start Longevity, was create a business that was unique in the massage marketplace where it’s a team of therapists that are really, truly working together and they’re very skilled and professional. I wanted to create that environment where people were coming to us and knowing that no matter who they saw, they were getting the best experience possible, they were getting a highly trained staff, and that the staff worked really well together. So, if you saw one person or the next, that you would have an outstanding massage experience. And then another reason was, I just wanted to create flexibility--flexibility for myself. I’m a new mom so I’m able to work my schedule around what I need for childcare. Massage is a flexible industry anyways, but then having your own business is flexible too. So yeah, that’s kind of why I started it all.

How do you balance being a mom and owning a business?

Well, I’m still figuring it out. But, I do--I just take one day at a time. I try not to let things stress me out and if I’m having one bad day, I know that tomorrow it’s going to change and it’s going to be better. And obviously going home at the end of the day, even if it’s a very busy day, going home and seeing my baby’s smiling face definitely just, like, wipes away any negative feelings that I may have had throughout the day. But, I just take it one day at a time and I’ve learned through business and kind of like the way I approach life, is that everything is temporary, good or bad. So like, life is always changing and evolving and what not, too. So if I’m having a bad spell or whatever, I just know that, like, I just need to work hard, keep my head to it, and get through that. And at the same time, if things are really great or whatever, I don’t just sit and coast. I still continue to push on and work hard and do better because I know that also is temporary. So with anything, it’s just all temporary, don’t let things stress you out, and really just enjoy your baby or your kids, and that’s really the most important thing and then everything kind of fills around that.

When you look at prospective clients, who do you recommend comes to Longevity Wellness?

So I definitely would recommend somebody who’s looking for massage therapy to fix their issues. So if you want a skilled massage therapist, you want a professional massage therapist, you want to see somebody on a regular basis, then that’s who we are. I mean, we try to make it a relaxing environment in here and you know make it comfortable, but we’re not a spa. So if you’re looking for the spa experience, that’s not what we do here. We deal with people who have chronic pain or are really looking to fix what they have going on. So if you want somebody that's going to be more able to create a treatment plan for you, create--or like suggest--exercises or stretches, and give you like an entire experience and not just show up for one massage and go on your way then you would come here. Because we definitely address people’s issues and figure out what’s really going on with their body and then go from there.

How do you implement wellness in your daily life?

So I try to--I mean, the reason I got into massage therapy was because I was involved with sports and into wellness and even more so after I went into my massage career and then got my personal training certification, even more so. But I feel that I lead a pretty--I mean, always could have room for improvement--but an active and healthy lifestyle. Like, I’m always on the go. Me and my husband or the baby are always doing something active and I try to involve him in a lot of that kind of stuff. Eating right, I try to involve too. So I’m always doing a variety of things regardless of what it may be to help my wellness. So even if it’s just like a relaxation thing or an athletic thing or whatever I’m always trying to do something that’s like making me at peace.

What advice do you have for business owners?

So I definitely think that when--business is obviously difficult--but I feel that when people don’t succeed in business, it’s because they have quit before they figured out what works for them. And in everything in life too, I feel like you need to figure out the right way to do it. So if something’s not working for you, instead of giving up and saying ‘I can’t do this,’ you just have to figure out how to do things so that it does work for you. Cause I feel like a lot of times people, you know, even maybe for a period of years or just a few weeks or whatever, people quit before they figure it out the right way. So, I just think that if something's not working for you, don’t quit, continue to work and find what is the right path for you. Because if you are truly passionate about it, you will figure it out and you will make it work.
 

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How Can I Find the Right Massage Therapist?

It is important to find a massage therapist with the skills you need.  Below are some easy steps you can take.

1. Identify your goals and health status

The first thing you should do is set goals for the massage session(s).  Are you interested in:

  • Reducing stress?
  • Reducing muscle contractions or tightness?
  • Living without chronic or acute pain?
  • Improving your work performance?
  • Enhancing your general health and wellbeing? 
  • Improving your ability to participate in sports?

Secondly, think about why you want to see a massage therapist:

  • Did a licensed medical professional such as physical therapist, medical doctor, or chiropractor suggest you try massage?
  • Are you managing any conditions your doctor is not aware of but hope that massage might alleviate?
  • Do you know someone who has many of the same aches and pains as you and who has benefited from receiving massage therapy?

Your answers to these questions will help you determine what skills you are looking for in a massage therapist.

2. Get some names

Many people are most comfortable getting a personal referral from a friend. Sometimes your friend can answer questions about the massage therapist and explain how they benefited from visiting this therapist.  

Another great source for referrals is your primary healthcare provider or a medical specialist. They may have a list of massage therapists that have specialized training and experience in techniques that are effective in treating your condition or complaint.

Other sources are professional associations, such as the American Massage Therapy Association  and the Associated Bodywork Massage Professionals . These sites generally check the qualifications of therapists listed.

You can also check out massage schools, local fitness/health clubs, spas, wellness centers, and chiropractic offices. 

Consumer should be cautious about selecting a massage therapist based solely on websites, listings in the yellow pages, local magazines, or newspapers. Most advertising venues do not screen for therapists who are self taught, running business illegally, or providing escort and sexual services. It will be up to you to do some homework.

3. Consider your personal preferences

You may want to include or eliminate potential therapists or styles based on personal preferences. For example:

  • Would you be most comfortable with a male or female therapist? 
  • Is location important? (If you plan to go once or twice a week, you may want to find a therapist close to work or home.)

4. Make a phone call to find out more about the therapist

If you don't already have this information, call and ask about:

  • Style or techniques used
  • Philosophy of care
  • Years in practice 
  • Specialty areas, experience with particular conditions (diabetesheart diseasepregnancy)
  • Training, advanced certification 
  • If the therapist belongs to professional organizations, and if so, which ones

You should look for a massage therapist who has at least 500 hours of training from a reputable, accredited school. (You can find out if a school is accredited by contacting the school directly.) 

If a therapist is nationally certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), he or she has at least 500 hours of training from an accredited school and has passed a written exam. 

Another clue that the therapist is qualified is membership in a professional association that has established a certain level of professional preparation to join. These are the American Massage Therapy Association and the Associated Bodywork Massage Professionals .

If there is any doubt or apprehension on your part, it is always appropriate to clarify the style or techniques that the massage therapist uses and that the service you are booking is a non-sexual massage. 

5. Ask about costs and logistics

Ask about the fee. Specifically, ask:

  • What lengths of sessions are available and what is the fee for each. Typically, therapist will offer you a number of options, generally 30, 45, 60, 75 or 90 minutes. Ask if the rate is for hands-on time or if the intake is included in the time.
  • Are there different fees for different techniques?
  • Might your massage be covered by insurance?
  • Are there any additional fees or taxes?
  • Do they offer any special or discounted package rates?

Also ask about logistics:

  • How far in advance do you generally need to make an appointment?
  • What does the scheduled time mean-when you should arrive or when you should be ready to start the massage?
  • What is the cancellation policy? 
  • Do you need to bring clothes to better experience clinical therapies? For example, should you bring a bathing suit, gym shorts, or work out bra to wear during the massage? Should you bring clothes to change into afterward? 
  • Do they want to see a prescription from physician, exercise plan from physical therapy, or post surgical prescription?
  • What is the therapist's draping policy?
  • Finally, to arrive more relaxed, get clear directions and learn about parking options.

Expert Contributor: Beth Burgan, MA, MFA

Reviewed by: Dale Healey, DC

References

article link: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/massage-therapy/how-can-i-find-right-massage-therapist

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The Health Benefits of Massage

By: Anita Brown via TripSavvy

We tend to think of massage as a way to pamper ourselves, but it's much more than a momentary feel-good treatment.  Massage therapy and massage spas have many important health benefits. In fact, massage can help you maintain physical, mental and emotional well being, especially when it is part of your regular wellness routine.

The work your massage therapist does in each session builds on itself, helping your body maintain its relaxed state and your muscles to remain pliable even during times of physical and mental stress.

Here are some of the many benefits of massage: 

* Massage calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well being.

* Massage reduces tension and anxiety, and can help relive depression.

* Massage improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells.

* Massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body’s waste products.

* Massage prevents and relieve muscles cramps and spasms.

Massage therapy can help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms.

Remind yourself of these health benefits if you start to feel guilty about getting massage!

Massage is not a good idea if you have a fever, infections, inflammation, osteoporosis and other medical conditions.

If you have any questions about whether a massage would be right for you, ask to speak to a massage therapist before you make your appointment.

How often you should get a massage depends on several factors, including your physical and emotional needs; your stress levels; and your budget.  There's no question that you will experience the most health benefits from massage when you get massage regularly.

Massage therapy calms the nervous system, improves blood circulation and lymphatic circulation, relieves muscle pain, and helps with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms.  

If you get a massage once a year, it will be relaxing, but it can't undo a lifetime of muscle tension. Typically, once every week or two is ideal for keeping your muscle tissue pliable and in good shape.   If you are in chronic pain or have a special issue to address, you might need to come weekly (or even twice a week) until you feel better.  

Once you're feeling good, once a month is the recommended minimum for maintaining the health of your tissue. If you start stretching the massages out too far apart, then your muscles can revert to their old patterns, especially if you come under stress.  If you wait too long, you'll have to start all over again to restore their suppleness and pliancy. Listen to your body, but don't wait too long in an effort to save money.

If you wait too long, you'll have to start all over again to restore their suppleness and pliancy. Listen to your body, but don't wait too long in an effort to save money.