Tag Archives: massage at balancediet

Reflexology: I’ve never tried it – what can I expect?

There’s nothing to be nervous about when you have your first reflexology session; it’s a gentle, safe therapy that’s designed to relax and rebalance your body. You don’t need to undress for a reflexology session – you will only need to remove your shoes and socks so that the therapist can get to work on the soles of your feet.

It’s best not to eat a heavy meal before a treatment, and it’s not advised that you drink alcohol before your visit either. Other than that, just turn up as you are, in loose, comfortable clothes, and get ready to relax.

Getting to know you

As this is your first session, before you get started your therapist will ask you some questions about your health, lifestyle and any health problems you might have had in the past. This is just so that they can build up an overall picture of your health. Like all holistic treatments, reflexology is designed to work on the whole body and not just one area, so it’s important that you tell the practitioner as much as you can. You’ll also be asked about your reasons for trying reflexology – whether it’s to address a specific health concern or for your overall health and wellbeing.

Your reflexology session

Now the treatment begins! The therapist should give you a quick explanation about what she’ll be doing and how reflexology woks, then will get to work. Often, the feet are cleansed with hot towels and essential oil for proper hygiene. The use of a castor oil and shea butter foot cream also provides anti microbial, anti bacterial, anti fungal, and anti viral properties. If you prefer not to have either of these, don’t be afraid to say so.

They will look at your feet to see if there are any obvious issues that need addressing, and then start to gently press around different areas on the soles of your feet, toes, heels and ankle areas. They usually work on one foot at a time, and will cover both feet during the course of a full treatment. Sometimes, they may go back to an area more than once if they feel more work is needed there. If you feel any discomfort from the pressure, you should tell the therapist. The sensation should be firm and you might feel a little discomfort in areas that are being worked on but it should never be painful.

A reflexology treatment usually lasts anything from 30 – 60 minutes and should leave you feeling relaxed and with a renewed feeling of energy. Afterwards, drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and stick to light meals for 24 hours if you can.

Alex Stenger is a licensed Massage Therapist practicing inside BalanceDiet Billings.

Websitebillingsmassage.amtamembers.com 

Contact: Email: mthealingart@gmail.com   Office (406) 652.9142 Cell (406) 780.0535

Facebookfacebook.com/billingsmassage/

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Identifying Pain with the Comparative Pain Scale

What is pain to you? How do you experience pain? What does pain feel like? Where is your pain on a scale of 1-10. Almost every patient in the ER has been asked this, and questions like these can be very difficult for massage clients to answer during an interview.

Let’s face it, pain is subjective. Have you ever heard someone say ‘I have a high pain tolerance’? I hear it all the time in the treatment room and this can make it very difficult to gauge the client based on what level of pain they are experiencing.
Thankfully, there are pain scale’s out there to help client and therapist better communicate pain.

Some of my favorites are the funny meme pain scales with the Lego faces or the funny looking stick figures. They make me laugh, but when it comes to my client’s pain I’m not laughing and neither are they.

lego pain scale

The most effective pain scale I like to use is one an instructor in massage school gave to me, and was very useful when working with my Case Study client called the  Comparative Pain Scale. The scale is broken down so the client has context to which they can relate the experience they are having. For example: minor, moderate or severe pain if 1-10 is too broad. If numbers are easy for you then the descriptive word associated with a number is helpful ex. 3=tolerable, 6=intense or 9=unbearable. Further the scale lists descriptions you can compare you’re current experience to.

Understanding the client’s pain isn’t the only reason why therapists use a pain scale. As I was working with my case study client in research class, the number the client gave to me before and after the treatment was used as measurable data. Something that is very difficult to gather in massage therapy because so much is subjective. This information is very valuable down the road when I look back at your SOAP charts (a post about SOAP charting and why massage therapists chart will be linked here). It’s one of the ways we can track a client’s progress over time. So if I seem real pushy about where you are on the pain scale and insist a number, please remember it’s because achieving measurable results really matters to me.

The comparative pain scale is printed and laminated in my office for clients to use as a tool together in understanding pain, for specific techniques and has been proven useful in gaining results in my massage practice.

 

Alex Stenger is a licensed Massage Therapist practicing inside BalanceDiet Billings.

Websitebillingsmassage.amtamembers.com 

Contact: Office (406) 652-9142 Cell (406) 780-0535

Facebookfacebook.com/billingsmassage/

 

Lower Back Pain, Repetitive Motion and Massage Therapy: A Case Study

This is a retrospective case study of a client who came in for low back pain. I prefer to present the data in a story format without the SOAP charting jargon for those of you who are not familiar with charting terms. If you would like more information on the objective findings and exact treatment please contact me.

The study is a 57 year old female who works full time at UPS in shipment/package processing. She complained of low back, upper shoulder and neck pain. She described a feeling of her breath ‘taken away’ when laying on her back.  Her job at the time was very stressful as it was the beginning of November and the busiest season for shipping.  She describes to me what her job consists of daily. Lifting boxes with both hands and twisting to the left to place them elsewhere. Over and over again.

The postural assessment revealed a short leg of about 1 inch difference.  The left side of the back was severely elevated in comparison to the right (see photo below). She also presented very limited neck, shoulder and hip ROM.

benson_1
Severe L side elevation causing low back pain and tension in the shoulders and neck.

Over the next 5 months the client received a 30 minute treatment once a week. During the first month we were able to decrease pain symptoms in the low back, shoulders and neck with Swedish Massage and Trigger Point Therapy allowing her to lie flat on her back without the sensation of not being able to breath. We then addressed the leg length discrepancy and balanced the hips with Myofascial Release. Around month 2 the short leg length began to decrease and stay consistent of 1/2 inch. The following months consisted of maintenance massage over the entire back, shoulders, neck and hips.

At month 5 we were able to increase the time between massage to 2-3 weeks. The client began yoga at home, and exercised regularly. She was no longer feeling the neck and shoulder tension, some low back pain on occasion and commented that she was finally able to enjoy the massage without the presence of therapeutic pain.

benson_2
Change in elevation treated with Swedish Massage, Trigger Point Therapy and Myofascial Release.

This case study was 100% dedicated to finding relief through massage therapy.  With patience and persistence she is now taking control of life with out the pain.

 

Alex Stenger is a licensed Massage Therapist practicing inside BalanceDiet Billings.

Website: billingsmassage.amtamembers.com 

Contact: Office (406) 652-9142 Cell (406) 780-0535

Facebook: facebook.com/billingsmassage/