Friday, September 21, 2018


The Many Benefits of Postpartum Massage

You may have heard that prenatal massage is good for mom and baby, but did you know that the benefits grow postpartum? The American Pregnancy Association did! According to them, postpartum massage is a great holistic approach to help with the adjustment into motherhood. Not only has massage proven to help with stress, anxiety and sore muscles, it's been proven to help with the many woes a new mom experiences, such as hormone imbalance, depression, soreness, discomfort, frustration and a lack of sleep. It even speeds up the healing process (especially with c-sections), restoring the body to it's pre-pregnancy condition and helping mom and baby adjust to this new stage of life. 

The Science Behind It

During pregnancy, a woman's body goes through a multitude of changes such as weight gain, increased fluids (by up to 50%) and hormonal changes to help the body cope. Estrogen and progesterone decrease, and while in labor prolactin and oxytocin increase. There may also be a decrease in dopamine and seratonin after labor, which is responsible for the postpartum blues most women feel after labor, or even postpartum depression, which is more severe and requires treatment in order to protect mom and baby's health. There may also be a change in the levels of norepinephrine, which is responsible for cardiovascular health. 

There are numerous studies surrounding the benefits of massage in general and these benefits hold true for new moms, along with additional benefits that can be seen during postpartum sessions. These include hormone regulation, swelling reduction, improved sleep, improved breastfeeding, body recovery (especially in c-sections) and body restoration. 

Here's how it works:

During a massage, circulation and lymphatic drainage increases, allowing the body to heal quickly and remove excess fluids more efficiently. This is why it's so important to stay hydrated before and after a massage! You'll also find that during a massage, the body releases oxytocin and endorphins which battle depression, anxiety and stress. This allows the new mom to fully relax, maybe even fall asleep on the table! There have also been studies that prove that massage helps to increase Delta waves, which leads to better sleep therefore leading to a quicker healing time. This is why doctors recommend resting while you're not feeling well and sleeping whenever Baby does; it allows the body time to regenerate and restore. 

Certain techniques may also help moms with breast discomfort or difficulty nursing. Since massage increases circulation, this can lead to a decrease in sodium and an increase in prolactin levels, allowing the body to produce more milk. Massage can also relieve pain by helping "congested" areas release, allowing milk ducts to loosen and milk to flow more freely. Breast massage is such a great way to improve circulation and help milk flow, but it's important to check that it's legal in your state as not everyone will offer it. However, general postpartum massage will still help with breast discomfort. 

Aromatherapy and Postpartum Massage

Aromatherapy can also be used during postpartum massage as the essential oils can be beneficial for mom and baby, speeding up recovery time and allowing for better sleep. It's important to note that if you are breastfeeding, your range of essential oils may be limited in order to protect your baby's health. 

When Postpartum Massage Should Start

You can start getting postpartum massages from a certified pre and peri-natal massage therapist whenever you feel most comfortable. For some women, that may take longer depending on other factors such as having gotten a c-section or breastfeeding. However, most therapists will be able to accommodate those experiencing discomfort by working in the side-lying position, back, or stomach (if you can)! 

If you experienced any complications during pregnancy or labor, it's important to check with your doctor first to get the green light!

Bringing Baby In

Some moms may savor the little time alone they may have when getting a massage, but for others, an important question is raised: can I bring my newborn with me?

The answer is, almost always, YES! Some massage therapists even encourage bringing your baby with you to help strengthen the bond between mother and child. However, it's still important to check with the therapist to make sure they are comfortable having your baby there, and they have extra time set aside in case an extra feeding or diapering needs to take place. 

Postpartum massage is an essential step on the road to recovery after going through pregnancy and labor. These both take a heavy toll on the body, and needs all the help it can get to go back to its pre-pregnancy state. Here at Massage La Mesa, all our therapists are trained in prenatal and perinatal massage, allowing you to fully round out your healing and letting you enjoy all the benefits massage has! 

For resources and a community built around pregnancy, labor and postpartum life, visit

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Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
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Friday, September 14, 2018


Raindrop Therapy: you've probably heard of it, but you're still not sure exactly what it is. The technique is quite simple; it involves aromatherapy, vita-flex (vitality through reflexes) on the feet, and "Feather Stroking," a technique where light pressure is applied to the spine using the tips of the fingers and is meant to feel relaxing and calming. Raindrop therapy can be done on adults, children, and even dogs (with just a slight difference in technique). 

Where does the name come from?

Raindrop therapy is called this simply because during the session, the massage therapist will use a set of essential oils on the spine by allowing the drops to fall directly onto the skin from 6 inches above. This not only simulates raindrops, but creates a calming, relaxing experience. 

Which Essential Oils are used?

According to Experience Essential Oils, Raindrop Therapy uses 9 essential oils and 1 carrier oil, with the intent to boost immunity, promote relaxation, reduce tension and stress and improve overall well-being: 
The essential oil blends listed above are from Young Living. If you would like to know more about what's in the Valor Blend, click here. If you would like to know more about what's in the Aroma-Siez Blend, click here

How does Raindrop Therapy work?

The controversy surrounding Raindrop Therapy

The reason behind Raindrop Therapy is it's said to affect the body more so since it applies essential oil drops "neat" (undiluted) to the spine, which is like the super-highway of nerves in the body. The combination of oils, light strokes and vita-flex is said to improve ailments such as stress, anxiety, tension, and sore muscles. However, there's controversy surrounding the validity and safety of Raindrop Therapy. The English Aromatherapist, a highly qualified and fully trained Aromatherapist for over 10 years, explains that using essential oils directly on the skin, undiluted, is hazardous and potentially toxic, especially for children.  There's also a lack of physical evidence that Raindrop Therapy truly works.  One claim is that it may make people up to 1/2" taller by the end of session explained by NASA as merely an effect of laying down for an extended period of time (technically, you're about 1/2" taller when you wake up in the morning, too!) which is basic science. 

Raindrop Therapy vs. AromaTouch

What's the difference?

There really isn't much of a difference between Raindrop Therapy and AromaTouch, except for a difference in essential oil brands. Raindrop Therapy was created by Young Living's D. Gary Young, while AromaTouch was developed by Dr. David K. Hill of doTERRA, which is often heralded for its certified pure therapeutic grade (CPTG) oils. 

AromaTouch focuses more on a "clinical" approach of using 8 essential oils or blends on the body by placing them along its meridians and energy centers while emotionally connecting the person performing the technique with the person receiving it; this is thought to create a bond of trust that allows the receiver to fully relax and enjoy the many benefits of essential oils. 

AromaTouch is considered a safer technique than Raindrop Therapy, but still uses essential oils applied "neat" to bare skin, which is thought to be highly controversial by aromatherapists due to the risk of having a negative reaction to the undiluted oil.

The bottom line.

Essential oils are one of nature's most amazing creations, and when used correctly, can yield fantastic results for your emotional and physical well-being. Techniques such as Raindrop Therapy and AromaTouch are found helpful by some so it's up to you to decide.  Massage La Mesa does not offer either of these techniques but has experience using both Young Living and doTerra oils.  We are a fan of essential oils and want you to be aware of the different ways they can be used.  
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Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
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Friday, September 7, 2018


Insomnia, Chronic Insomnia, and other sleep-related issues affect a whopping 50-70 million Americans, according to Sleep Review.  That's a pretty scary number! While this is an overwhelming amount of people dealing with sleep issues, you can rest easy (irony intended) knowing that you're not alone and there are ways to help! 

First off, let's talk about WHY sleep is important:

Sleep is an essential part of our existence; it's how we recover from the bombardment on our senses every day and it helps our bodies recover after injury. Without sleep, our body and mind cannot function properly which can lead to low work performance, obesity, extreme fatigue, trouble concentrating, altered mood and slower recovery time. It can lead to depression, higher anxiety levels, and make it difficult to connect with those around you. A lack of sleep could also mean your immune system won't work as well, leading to constant illness. So as you can see, sleep is a necessity for your health!

How your sleep is affected everyday

There are many reasons as to why your circadian rhythm, or sleep/wake cycle, may be affected. Some of those reasons may include extra stress, illness, or a new environment. One of the more prominent reasons that has become a growing concern is technology. According to Sleep, the blue light that emanates from phone screens and TVs can suppress the production of melatonin, which is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for controlling your body's circadian rhythm. Having a bright screen on in the bedroom can also trick your brain into thinking you need to be alert and engaged, making it harder to fall asleep. According to Harvard Health, blue wavelengths have been shown to boost attention, reaction times and mood, which is the exact opposite of what you need at night. 

Most people don't see a problem with bringing their phone into the bedroom before heading off to bed. Whether it's scrolling through social media or checking your email, it's common for people to check their phones before setting it down on their nightstands before
attempting to fall asleep. However, engaging in social media or emailing back and forth with your boss right before bed can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety, causing your "fight-or-flight" instinct to kick in. Even if you're not checking your phone
before heading in for the night, having your phone by your bedside at night means your sleep is more likely to be interrupted by the text messages and alerts you may receive. This can also mess with your circadian rhythm, making you feel groggy and disoriented when you get up in the morning.

How to help end the sleeplessness cycle

While there's no one cure-all for sleeplessness and insomnia, there are things you can do to help:

 -Start by having quiet time an hour or two before bed. Turn off any unnecessary lights, the tv, and put your phone down in another room. Spend some time reading using warm light, which is less likely to contain blue wavelengths and the reading will make you feel tired.
-At night, use the "Do Not Disturb" feature on your iPhone. This will minimize the amount of disruptions you may get at night, and only when it's really important will people be able to get through to you.

-Take a warm bath or shower before going to bed, but don't get your hair wet. The warm water will help relax your body and when you move into the cooler air it will make you feel sleepy, which means you'll be more likely to fall asleep quicker. You can also add essential oils like lavender and chamomile along with Epsom Salts to help induce sleep!
-If you need a light in your room at night, make sure it's red! This will minimize the amount of blue wavelengths you experience at night and you'll be able to sleep better.
-MASSAGE! Let's go into this one in detail:

How massage helps with sleeplessness

Massage has been shown to help with a multitude of problems, as we've talked about in past blog posts. One thing that always seems to recur in all our research is the fact that massage helps with stress and anxiety. It's been proven time and time again in multiple studies that the benefits of massage are numerous. Massage can also help with: depression, chronic stress, headaches and migraines, sports injuries, postpartum depression, poor posture, sleeplessness, chronic insomnia and many more. 

We've talked about how massage actually affects your body's hormones as well. When receiving a massage, your body emits oxytocin and seratonin (an essential neurotransmitter to create melatonin and is thought to help you feel calm), decreases cortisol and tension, and relieves pain and inflammation. It increases blood flow, which helps injuries heal quicker, and allows the body to loosen up which can relieve pain you didn't even know you had! Massage can also help with sleeplessness (we've even had clients fall asleep on the table!) by getting your body back to its original intended circadian rhythm. Getting a massage doesn't just feel good, it's good for you!

People who get frequent massages report having less pain, lower stress levels and better sleep. Those who suffer from depression can easily benefit from massage as well, since it releases endorphins and decreases anxiety. All in all, massage helps to break the stress cycle that plagues so many and is the cause of sleepless nights. 

If you are suffering from sleeplessness or insomnia, massage could work for 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.