Monday, December 31, 2018


We've successfully survived 2018! 

We said "Goodbye" to familiar faces and "Hello" to new ones, expanded our little family and had loads of fun in the process. With every year we gain new experiences, learning and growing to better our futures. This year was no exception, and we had so much fun sharing it with you! 

This year we watched as Chloe, the office assistant, and Aimee, a long time massage therapist left our clinic to pursue other adventures. With their leaving we got to welcome lots of new faces, many of them being new clients, along with the new office assistant, Ashlan. We also welcomed Elisa, the newest massage therapist here at Massage La Mesa. Both have been great additions to the office, and we're so happy to have them here!

The Winter Holidays were so much fun and we went all-out decorating this year. If you came into the office, you could see and feel the amount of Holiday Spirit we had in this place! 

It was a very fun time for all of us here and we're so happy we got to share it with you!
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We were also out and about in 2018, exploring La Mesa and having fun! Earlier in the year we attended a La Mesa Business Expo, where we met great people and enjoyed a great learning experience. Later in the year, we explored our Village neighborhood, branching out and trying new restaurants for our monthly meetings (let's just say Surf Rider Pizza Co. might be a new favorite in this office!).

While we're sad to see another year go by, we couldn't be more excited about what 2019 has in store for us! 

Happy New Year from Massage La Mesa, and may this year be filled with positivity, perseverance, and success!

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Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Thursday, December 20, 2018


Our Holiday Packages give you exclusive access to fun and beneficial add-ons! Each one is designed to provide you with an invigorating experience that benefits your body in different ways. Let's take a look at what we're offering this year:

Spiced Cider Back Scrub

Exfoliating is one of the most underrated things you can do for your skin. It allows skin to breathe by removing dead skin cells that can build up over time, causing skin to itch, look splotchy and/or dull, and trap toxins in the body. Since your body uses your skin as a way of excreting toxins and waste through your pores, dead skin buildup causes this process to become inefficient and may cause other problems, such as acne. By exfoliating, you're effectively removing that layer of dead skin that's blocking your pores, which allows skin to breathe, work efficiently, and can even make you look "glowy." If you have tattoos, exfoliating can also bring them "back to life" by making colors more vibrant once dead skin cells are removed, revealing a fresh layer of skin underneath.

The exfoliating body butter we use in session does a double duty: it exfoliates and moisturizes your skin. We use Himalayan Pink Salt ground down to a fine powder to exfoliate your skin while Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and Vitamin E work together to moisturize and create a protective barrier on the skin, trapping moisture in while keeping everything else out. The Himalayan Pink Salt also provides essential nutrients and minerals that your body needs but may not get in your average diet; calcium, magnesium and potassium are just a few. 

We also use a Spiced Cider scent to help invigorate the body and provide warmth and comfort while in session. Since this scent contains cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, it creates a very comforting environment that matches so perfectly with the season!

How is it used in session?

During your session, your therapist will apply the exfoliating body butter to your back using slow, smooth strokes. Your entire back up to your shoulders and neck will receive the exfoliating treatment. Once your back has been thoroughly exfoliated, your therapist will take off the remaining salt crystals left over using a warm, damp towel, and your session will continue as normal. 


Q: Does this treatment hurt or feel uncomfortable?
A: The Himalayan Pink Salt is ground down so fine that it should not hurt or feel too abrasive. If you feel like the pressure may be too much or would prefer slower strokes, just let your therapist know. This may help with most feelings of discomfort.

Q: Why use Himalayan Pink Salt instead of something else, like sugar?
A: Himalayan Pink Salt is more beneficial for your body than sugar.

Q: What is a body butter?
A: A body butter is a type of cream or lotion that is a thicker consistency and uses cocoa butter or shea butter. Since body butter tends to be much richer than lotion, it moisturizes better and doesn't feel as greasy. 

Q: Why use Vitamin E?
A: Vitamin E is essential for your body to reduce redness, scarring and give your skin some protection. It also helps with conditions like eczema and psoriasis. 

Q: Why exfoliate?
A: Exfoliating is a great way to revitalize the skin and allow its toxin-excreting process to work more efficiently. If you suffer from acne, itchy skin, or a dull complexion, usually exfoliating is one of the best and easiest ways to improve the look and feel of your skin. 

What if I don't want this add-on?

That's okay! We have two other great add-ons that are available with our Holiday Packages. Please read our blog posts to get an in-depth look at each one!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Monday, December 17, 2018


Our Holiday Packages give you exclusive access to fun and beneficial add-ons! Each one is designed to provide you with an invigorating experience that benefits your body in different ways. Let's take a look at what we're offering this year:

CBD Cream Treatment

CBD Oil has become a real hot button issue, spurring debates and controversy regarding its effectiveness and legality. While CBD Oil is not FDA approved, there are certain CBD medications that have been approved to treat specific diseases, whose common symptom is frequent seizures. However, many studies have been done that show just how effective CBD can be, whether it's in pill, oil, or a cream form. 

CBD can be taken internally or used externally. An internal usage of CBD would be most effective for things related to your mental health, while an external usage is best for pain, inflammation and soreness. Most CBD creams contain menthol and camphor in order to help the CBD penetrate more deeply, allowing for a stronger effect. 

The CBD cream we use comes from the same company we use to purchase our massage cream, where quality is of the utmost importance, so there should be no concern regarding the quality of the product we are using for your treatment. 


CBD Oil does NOT contain THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient of the genetically altered "marijuana" plant. CBD is typically harvested from the most pure, genetically unaltered form of the plant, the hemp plant, which contains low traces of THC to begin with. Choosing the CBD Cream Treatment as your add-on will not result in any psychoactive effects, meaning you won't feel "high" after your session. If you do feel light-headed or woozy, this is most likely due to the change in your blood pressure from getting off the table and moving around too fast. 

CBD also does not show up on most drug tests since they are typically designed to detect THC. If you have more questions or concerns, here's a great article concerning CBD and drug testing.  

How is it used in session?

Before your massage, your therapist will most likely ask if you've been experiencing any pain or discomfort, ask about location, and if there's any spots to avoid during your session. Typically, the CBD will be applied where you request it or where you and your therapist agree needs the most attention. Since the CBD cream we use also contains menthol and camphor, application may feel cool and "tingly" then slowly warm as it penetrates the skin to have a greater effect on your body. The effects can last for a few hours or longer, depending on the area and how your body reacts to the cream. For example, when I was experiencing jaw pain and swelling I applied a pea-sized drop to the entire area and the effects lasted for about 5 hours before I started to feel pain again. 

What if I don't want this add-on?

That's okay! We have two other great add-ons that are available with our Holiday Packages. Please read our blog posts to get an in-depth look at each one!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Our Holiday Packages give you exclusive access to fun and beneficial add-ons! Each one is designed to provide you with an invigorating experience that benefits your body in different ways. Let's take a look at what we're offering this year:

Herbal Poultice Therapy

Perhaps not very well-known, herbal poultices have a number of benefits that range from reducing tension and stress to helping relieve symptoms of the cold and flu. The benefits change depending on what types of herbs and essential oils are used in the poultice. Very similar to tea, an herbal poultice is usually a muslin bag packed tight with dried or fresh herbs along with essential oils. They're easy to make and to use! All you need to do is apply it
warm to a part of your body, such as your chest, back, hands or feet, and let it sit there for a while until it cools. You can also place it under running water while taking a bath or on the floor of your shower, letting the steam carry all the benefits of the herbs and essential oils up into the air (kind of like a giant diffuser). The herbal poultices we created for this add-on include rosemary, thyme, cinnamon bark, turmeric, ginger and green tea, along with lemongrass, clove and cinnamon leaf essential oils. This blend will help with symptoms of the cold and flu, prevent the cold and help reduce stress and tension. 

How is it used in session?

During your session, your therapist will apply the herbal poultice (warm) to the back or chest wrapped in a warm, damp towel. The poultice will remain in the area while your therapist continues your massage to increase the lymphatic flow and carry the benefits of the poultice through your body. Once the massage is over, your therapist will give you the poultice to take home so you can reuse it in the bath, shower, or place in a pot of hot water on the stove to diffuse throughout your home. 

What if I don't want this add-on?

That's okay! We have two other great add-ons that are available with our Holiday Packages. Please read our upcoming blog posts to get an in-depth look at each one!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Monday, December 3, 2018


Massage La Mesa has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland, filled with snowflakes, red garland, wreaths and ornaments galore! 

The Holiday Season is probably our favorite, filled with lots of excitement and anticipation knowing old Saint Nick will be making his rounds soon. 

It's also the time of year where we announce our classic Holiday Specials, which are exclusive deals only available during the month of December, giving you access to fun, limited edition add-ons that we do not normally offer. Don't forget, these all include fun Gift with Purchase items that we hand-picked and put together especially for you! Here's a sneak-peek at our Gift with Purchase items: 

We had a lot of fun creating our Gift with Purchase items this year! The photo on the right shows our fun little Mason Jars, each one containing an exfoliating body glove, tea and a handmade exfoliating body butter, all wrapped up with a cinnamon stick on the front that you can later use with your tea or cider! The photo on the left shows off our cute display for you to choose your gift from, which include our Mason Jars, the Hot/Cold Rice Pack Pail, and the fun "Bath Boat," containing chocolates, a candle and an ornament filled with Himalayan Pink Salt that you can use in the bath or to decorate your tree. These gifts are great to keep for yourself or to give to a loved one! 

We had so much fun with our add-ons this year as well! After a lot of brainstorming, we came up with 3 unique choices that we're sure you'll love! 

The larger the package you purchase, the more chances you have to try each of our Holiday Add-Ons! Which one will you try first?

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Friday, November 30, 2018


Stretching is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body, besides eating right and getting enough sleep. It can improve your posture, maintain your flexibility and even help to relieve tension and stress! While it can be difficult to find even 10, 15 minutes of time to just stretch, there are many you can do just sitting at your desk at work or while watching TV. 

Having a desk job usually means you're sitting at that desk... a lot. This can cause back and neck pain, carpel tunnel, poor posture and poor circulation. It also means that when you are more active, you tend to wear out more easily, get more muscle soreness and may not have a good range of flexibility. Stretching can help to reduce the amount of pain you feel sitting at your desk and can improve your life overall. 

What are some of the other benefits of stretching?

Stretching has many benefits. These include: improved posture, decreased risk of injury, improved blood supply to muscles, reduced fatigue and joint pain, release tension and stress and gives your body and mind a small break from the day-to-day routine. Stretching can also maintain or improve flexibility by elongating the connective tissues and muscle fibers, allowing you to have an increased range of motion. 

Are there stretches I can do in the office?

Yes! In fact, most healthcare professionals recommend getting up to stretch about once an hour during the business day to keep the blood flowing and give yourself a small break. It can also help to refresh your mind, improve your memory and keep you feeling alert at your desk.  Here's a few that I like to do every day while sitting at my desk:

Holding one arm in front of you, point your fingers down and grab them with your other hand. Gently pull the fingers back towards you, creating a nice stretch in your arm. Do this for 10-15 seconds on one side, then do the other. This helps relieve muscle aches and pains associated with typing/using a keyboard.

The cross-body stretch: Take one arm and fold it across your body towards the opposite shoulder. Taking the free hand, grab your elbow and gently pull your crossing arm closer to your body. This helps to open up the shoulder and improve circulation to your arms.

 The back twist: Planting both feet on the ground while sitting on the edge of your seat, slowly reach around and grab the back of your chair until you feel a nice stretch in your spine. From there, see how far you can look around to help extend the stretch to your shoulders and neck. Slowly release and come back to the middle, facing forward, before repeating the stretch on the other side. 

Chest-opening stretch: Lean back in your chair and look at the ceiling. Take your arms and interlock your fingers, then "press" them, palms up, to the ceiling until you feel a pull in your wrists, chest and back. This helps prevent that "hunched shoulder" look you can get from sitting staring at a computer screen for too long!

Another simple one: Get up from your desk and stretch your legs! Do this about once an hour to keep your blood circulating and reduce stiffness in your legs and back. This also helps keep you alert and can even help you with things like writer's block or getting stuck on a problem. When going for lunch or a quick break, take a walk outside instead of sitting at your desk. You'll get fresh air, a bit of exercise, and if you happen to be speaking with a colleague there's a chance you'll remember the conversation better!

You can also use a standing desk or an exercise ball instead of the traditional chair. This helps to improve your balance, keep you alert and engage your muscles. Just be sure not to annoy your coworkers with it! 

Do you have something you'd like us to discuss in an upcoming blog post? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


A lot of people that come in for a massage aren't regular clients, meaning they only pop in once in a while when they're in too much pain or too stressed to handle it on their own. On the other side of that is the regular client, the one who comes in consistently as part of an ongoing treatment plan set up to act more as a general upkeep. We've had people ask about the pros and cons of coming in for massage regularly, so here's a general list of what regular massage treatment can do for you along with why it's more beneficial versus coming in whenever you feel pain:


- As part of an ongoing treatment plan, regular massage clients build a better rapport with their therapist and a better working relationship. This allows the therapist to be more "in-tune" with the client's body and gives them a better idea of what's needed. 

- Having a regularly scheduled massage gives you something to look forward to! Imagine sitting at your desk on a Friday, working tirelessly, to see the sticky-note you left yourself reminding you of your massage appointment later that evening. All of a sudden your day just gets a little brighter knowing you'll be jump-starting your weekend in just a few hours!

- Massage clients that suffer from chronic pain can actually improve over time when seeing a massage therapist regularly due to an ongoing treatment plan put together by the therapist and client. If a client were to suffer from chronic pain in their back/shoulders, for example, the massage therapist can work on that area and slowly reduce the tension, muscle aches and pain felt in the area while also working on the rest of the body. 

- Regular massage helps with depression, anxiety, insomnia/sleeplessness, stress and many others. This is something we have covered several times across multiple blog posts! 


- Finding money to get massages regularly can be difficult, especially with how crazy the world is sometimes. Financially, "splurging" on yourself for a massage seems like too much, or you don't deserve it. Let's leave it at this: it's not spoiling yourself to make sure you feel good, just like you're not spoiling yourself by visiting your doctor for your annual checkup!

- Everyone's schedules in this day and age are various and inconstant. That can make scheduling regular appointments difficult, especially if you're visiting a clinic where your therapist has several other clients. In an ideal world, coming in every week at the same time would be the best, but sometimes life just gets in the way. However, as long as you're coming in fairly regularly, you're doing your body justice!

Time and money are the two biggest factors when it comes to people not coming in for a massage. Many clinics, including our own, will offer discounts to people who purchase a massage package (multiple massage sessions) ahead of time, allowing them to pay once, save some money, and not worry about having to pay after every single session. Time is a completely different factor though. That's something that needs to be worked out with your life style, schedule and your therapist's schedule. 

Sometimes people are discouraged at first by the "lack of results" after a few sessions, and still have chronic pain. However, 10+ years of pain will not be resolved in only a few sessions as it takes time and hard work to get through the worst of it before you can get better. Coming in only when the pain becomes unbearable is simply not ideal because you're not doing much to help reduce future occurrences of a "flare-up." 

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Coming in regularly for massage is more beneficial when compared to only coming in when you're in pain simply because having consistent work done on your body will further your improvement and you can get a lot more resolved by coming in often. If you were to think of massage along the same lines as working out, and decided to only work out once in a few months, you wouldn't see any improvement in muscle definition and would be discouraged by the results. If you were to work out consistently, however, you would see much more improvement in your strength, flexibility and muscle tone. Massage is the same way. In order to get better results, it's important to come in frequently enough to actually allow those results to show. 

Do you have something you'd like us to discuss in an upcoming blog post? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Monday, October 29, 2018


A popular topic as of late, massage after trauma can often be just what the doctor ordered- literally! Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other trauma-related illnesses affect around 3.5% of U.S. adults with 1 in 11 people being diagnosed in their lifetime, according to the American Psychiatry Association. We often hear of war veterans coming home and experiencing PTSD, calling it "shell shock" or "combat fatigue," but in reality it can effect many others, with women having twice the risk of developing PTSD in their lifetimes compared to men. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other trauma-related illnesses can be caused when the "fight or flight" instinct kicks into gear but gets overruled as part of your brain trying is to rationalize a situation, such as a minor car accident. When a situation like this happens, most people will try to tell themselves "it's fine, it's not that bad, I'm not hurt" and ignore the surge of adrenaline they're experiencing after the initial crash. Afterwards you may feel shaken up and jumpy, but continue to go about your business like nothing happened. This can lead to unresolved issues, causing PTSD or other similar symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disturbances, flash backs, chronic pain and fatigue. Even these symptoms could lead to PTSD if left un-diagnosed and untreated. This is where massage comes in!

How Can Massage Help with Trauma?

Multiple studies have shown us the benefits of massage, from increased flexibility to sleep improvement. Many doctors now prescribe massage along with physical therapy after minor accidents and injuries to speed recovery time and help those affected work through their injuries. Since a lot of what happens after an accident can have a mental effect, massage is a perfect adjunct treatment.  Massage can help reduce cortisol levels, improve sleep, and decrease tension. This can lead to a better outlook on life along with a reduction in pain and inflammation. Who wouldn't want that?

The American Massage Therapy Association  has an interesting way of putting it. After putting together a study, they came to understand that 6.5% of those subjects studied had a "lifetime prevalence" of PTSD while another 2.8% had a "30-day prevalence" of PTSD.  Those that suffered from PTSD were also at an increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders. Their thinking is that many people who come in (approximately 75% of them women) that are looking for therapeutic massage are doing so due to stress, so the percentage of clients suffering from PTSD and other trauma-related issues would be much higher than the overall total of 9.3% (as stated above) since it's pulling from a smaller pool of subjects in total. 

Living with PTSD and other trauma-related issues isn't easy.  When your body goes through trauma, it's important to pay attention and listen to its needs as ignoring signals and symptoms can lead to something worse down the road. At Massage La Mesa, our therapists are trained to help those coming out of minor accidents or injuries to help speed their recovery time and work through their traumatic events. If you're interested in learning more about how massage can help after trauma, please contact our office before booking your session so we can discuss your needs and the best way to help you.

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Do you have something you'd like us to discuss in an upcoming blog post? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Monday, October 22, 2018


It's finally here, the season you've been dreading: Cold and Flu Season! According to WebMD, approximately 1 BILLION people contract the common cold in the span of 1 year in the US, with children contracting colds between 6-12 times a year. Before you start spraying down your house with Lysol, however, let's talk about the Common Cold, Flu and ways to prevent both...naturally!

There are over 200 strains of viruses that cause the Common Cold, according to Wikipedia, and while there's two more common types of the Flu, Influenza A and B, each one has subtypes that can vary (read more about it here). This all sounds incredibly scary, but luckily there's a lot of ways to help prevent and even help treat Cold and Flu naturally, including a change in habits, diet and exercise. 

Let's talk about a change in habits first: 

One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of Cold and Flu viruses is by covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze since the virus can travel through the air and infect others. Don't use your hands though! Always use the inside of your elbow so you don't accidentally spread the virus like if you were to use your hands. 

Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently using antibacterial soap. The ingredients in this type of soap will "kill" the viruses and help prevent infection in others. By thoroughly we mean using warm water, for at least 20 seconds, and get up past your wrists. Teach your kids to do the same by having them sing the "ABCs" or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." If you can't get to a sink, use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands. 

Get enough sleep! We cannot stress this enough. When you get sick, your body needs time to rest and recover in order to fight off any infection. Not allowing yourself a good night's rest suppresses your immune system since sleep is your body's way of recovering and keeps everything in working order. By consistently getting enough sleep, you keep your immune system in top shape which allows you to stave off infections more effectively. 

Eating garlic and ginger have also been proven to help reduce symptoms of the cold and flu. One of my favorite ways to ingest this growing up was when we made a soup using bone broth, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, a pinch of cayenne and fresh lime juice. It sounds gross but it helped ease my symptoms and sped up recovery time. 

If you're doing all of the above and still get sick, another good way to prevent cold and flu is to reduce stress in your life. Some do that by exercising (which is another great way in itself for preventing infection!) or by other means. One of our favorite ways is through massage. Across many previous blog posts, we talk about how massage can help reduce stress, improve sleep, and relax the recipient. Reducing stress allows for better sleep and is a great way for keeping your body's immune system running smoothly. 

Think of it this way: say you're on a treadmill and the speed just keeps increasing, you're unable to slow it down or hop off so you just have to keep running, running, running. As you're accelerating it gets harder to keep up, so you start losing your balance and eventually fall off the treadmill and crash. The treadmill accelerating is your stress level, your body represents your immune system; as stress levels increase, your immune system has to fight harder to keep up until eventually it crashes. 

Since it's so important to try to de-stress in order to have a well-functioning immune system, we at Massage La Mesa combined massage and immune boosting to give you the upper hand when it comes to preventing cold and flu symptoms. Available until November 2nd, we created the Immune Booster Session, designed to invigorate the lymphatic system, boost circulation and give you an extra hand in staving off the cold and flu. We use our own blend of essential oils that are proven to work as anti-inflammatories and reduce the risk of infection, allowing you to rest easy knowing you gave your body the kindness it deserves! 

If you would like to learn more about the Immune Booster Session or other ways to prevent cold and flu, contact us at (619) 917-4675 or

Book your Immune Booster session today! Click here!

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Do you have something you'd like us to discuss in an upcoming blog post? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Friday, October 12, 2018


We've all been there, lying on a massage table doing everything possible to not cry out in pain at the excessive pressure being used on our soft tissue. We think to ourselves, "it's supposed to hurt! How is it going to get better if I don't tackle it head-on? No Pain, No Gain!"

Well, that's not necessarily true. Most people believe that in order to feel better, you have to feel worse, such as how muscle soreness after working out means your body is getting stronger. While it's true in that sense, muscle tension and muscle soreness are two different things. Muscle tension is caused by changes in the Nervous System, meaning that it's your brain sending signals to parts of your body to tighten and stay tight. Muscle soreness is caused by injury, overuse, underuse, or a lack of oxygen or blood flow to the area.

Here's a good example:

Someone who sits at a desk all day (like me) may experience muscle tension in their arms, neck and shoulders; this is caused by sitting in the same position using poor posture for an extended period of time without taking a minute to get up and stretch. This is what most people experience, if not in the same places. Muscle tension tends to make the area feel tight, uncomfortable and stiff.

An example of muscle soreness would be an athlete; someone who works out several times a week and plays a high-contact sport (say, football) may experience pain in their muscles from overuse and injury. Soreness tends to take a few days to go away and can often be helped by staying well hydrated and allowing the body time to recover after injury. Muscle soreness makes the area feel, well, sore and maybe even stiff or swollen if there's bruising in the area as well.

So why wouldn't excessive deep pressure help with muscle soreness or muscle tension?

According to Massage Magazine, excessive pressure isn't always the answer simply because it's creating the falsehood that other styles, such as Swedish massage, aren't effective. It's also creating the falsehood that using excessive pressure is the only way to get muscles to relax. That just isn't true.
Think about it this way: if you're receiving really deep pressure during a massage, more than maybe you can handle, are you going to enjoy it or cringe at the amount of pressure? If you're in so much pain you can't even relax during the massage, it's a good indicator that maybe you're not doing what's best for your muscles.

While some pain is okay, and even expected, there are two different kinds of pain. According to an article by Portland Monthly, there's "good pain" and "bad pain" when it comes to muscle relief and massage. "Good pain" is considered to be pain that's felt during a massage that's uncomfortable but you tend to feel immediate relief. "Bad pain" is excessive pain felt during a massage that can aggravate the issue, lead to bruising and there's little to no relief. In fact, excessive pressure and/or force could even lead to nerve damage.

We're not saying Deep Tissue massage is bad.  In fact, Deep Tissue can help with a number of ailments and many people prefer deeper work. The problem is when so much pressure is being used that instead of helping ease muscle tension only more is caused or even worse issues arise, such as nerve damage, bruising, or muscle aggravation.

Relaxing massage has it's place too.  These kinds of massages, while having a lighter touch, can help to reduce stress, stimulate the blood flow, lower blood pressure, ease muscle pain and help the body to recover. Excessive force isn't always needed to really correct what's going on with your body, so it's important to have open and honest communication with your massage therapist about your health history, your aches and pains, and even your moods or stuff that's going on that could lead to stress and anxiety.

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In order to really achieve pain alleviation and improvement, your body needs to recover first before building back its strength, especially as an athlete. A good mixture of Deep Tissue and Relaxing massages can be utilized to achieve this, but it's important to not overdo the pressure as this can be counter-productive and lead to more pain and lengthen your recovery time.

Always be open and honest with your massage therapist about your needs and remember that massage isn't supposed to hurt, it's supposed to make you feel good!

Do you have something you'd like us to discuss in an upcoming blog post? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Friday, October 5, 2018


What is Pain?

A simple enough question, but somehow still difficult to answer. The best way to explain what pain is is to think of it as an alarm system that will alert us to physical emergencies or issues that need attending to in our bodies. When the nerves in our hand are alerted to the presence of fire, for example, those nerves will send signals back to the brain warning us of a possible painful scenario, then send signals back to our hand telling us to draw it back. It's a process that takes microseconds and keeps us out of immediate danger. It's also your body's way of communicating that something is wrong and needs to be looked at, such as with broken bones or internal bleeding. Since these warning signals are sent from the brain, they're thought of as "output of the brain," but should not be thought of as something that's all in your head. However your body's sensitivity can be altered, alerting you to issues that wouldn't normally require a high level of response. That's where Pain Science comes in!

So, what is Pain Science?

According to Massage & Bodywork, pain science is "science that seeks to understand and explain the process of pain perception." Part of pain science is looking at the different factors that influence pain and how it's felt along with how those individual factors are influenced or altered.

Here's the scientific breakdown:
Nociceptors are sensory receptors in the body. They are responsible for sending chemical, mechanical and thermal stimuli to the brain. This is known as nociception. When a strong signal is registered, the nociceptors may skip the brain entirely and go straight to the motor fibers leaving the spinal cord (i.e., brushing up against a hot object).

Here's an example of Nociception at work!
When a person has extreme tissue damage, their nociceptors will receive fewer pain signals, or none at all. This happens where tissue and nerve damage have occurred so greatly that a person's skin may have little to no feeling.

On the other end of the spectrum is allodynia, or pain felt from stimulus that would normally not be painful. This is caused by an increased sensitivity of the Central Nervous System to the stimulus, or "central sensitization." Something as simple as rubbing your arm could be considered painful.

There are multiple factors to pain response, which is why not everyone will react the same way in similar situations or even feel pain the same way. They include sensory processing, memory, biochemical stress, tissue chemistry, psychological and social factors and other physiological issues.

The Biopsychosocial Model (Venn Diagram)
These findings are relatively recent, with credit going to George L. Engel for creating the Biopsychosocial Model, or "BPS" Model back in 1977. The BPS Model came around due to the lack of science surrounding psychiatry and other aspects of patient care, leading to an inadequate treatment of patients and illnesses. His findings showed us that illnesses were often more than just their physical elements and other factors, such as those mentioned above, could impact a person's health as well. It became a more inclusive way of treating patients, allowing for better care.

How can massage help with Pain?

The BPS Model is often used in massage since we now know that mental factors can often lead to an output of pain. As we've discussed in previous blog posts, during a massage your body releases endorphins and oxytocin, helping you to relax and feel happy. There is also a decrease in cortisol, which causes stress. Massage is not just about "getting the knots out," it's about looking at the body and mind as one and helping to heal on all levels by treating the body as a whole. 

Multiple studies have shown that massage can help reduce stress, tension, improve sleep, help with depression, decrease inflammation and increase flexibility. We already know that stress and tension can present themselves as physical illness (stiff shoulders and neck, headaches, upset stomach), which is why the BPS Model comes in so handy. By looking at the body as a whole and learning someone's experiences, attitude and culture, we can begin to understand why that person is feeling pain and what we can do to resolve it. 

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Massage is recommended for a number of reasons as it's beneficial for those suffering from mental and physical illness. If these two are so often intertwined, why not treat them both?

We always recommend speaking to your primary care physician first before starting any  treatment to ensure that massage is the best option for you.

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