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Anatomy Selfcare Uncategorized

Trigger Point Therapy Resources

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. In this condition, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in the muscle and sometimes in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referred pain.

This syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. This can be caused by repetitive motions used in jobs or hobbies or by stress-related muscle tension.

While nearly everyone has experienced muscle tension pain, the discomfort associated with myofascial pain syndrome persists or worsens. Treatment options include physical therapy and trigger point injections. Pain medications and relaxation techniques also can help.

~ MayoClinic

Links:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/myofascial-pain-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20375444
  2. https://www.painscience.com/tutorials/trigger-points.php
  3. http://www.triggerpoints.net/
  4. https://triggerpointcharts.com/
  5. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0215/p653.html
  6. https://www.physio-pedia.com/Trigger_Points
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3683329/
  8. https://www.healthline.com/health/fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia-tender-points#massage-therapy
  9. https://qmagnets.com/trigger-point-locator-2/
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myofascial_trigger_point
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Anatomy Stuff Uncategorized

Transversospinales

Transversospinales consists of a group of muscles in the back (“across the spine”). The muscles include:

 

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AC Catalog Front Etsy The ApothecaryCo Catalog

Organic Argan Oil with Lavender, 1 fl. oz / 30 mL

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A versatile oil for healthy, clean, youthful skin without greasy residue. Also great for hair, nails, and beards!

[/fusion_text][fusion_tabs design=”classic” layout=”horizontal” justified=”yes” backgroundcolor=”” inactivecolor=”” bordercolor=”” icon=”” icon_position=”” icon_size=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=””][fusion_tab title=”Details” icon=””]

Did you know not all organic Argan oil is the same?

When choosing Argan oil, look for oil that is organic, cold-pressed, unrefined, internationally certified for quality, and socially responsible. Like ours! We believe our Argan oil is the highest quality available worldwide.

**For younger, healthier skin, hair, and nails.**

ABOUT MOROCCAN ARGAN OIL:
Extracted from the Argan nut, Argan oil is naturally rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and antioxidants.

Touted for its superior ability to boost cell production for younger, healthier skin as well as promoting healthy hair. Its ability to absorb quickly into the skin, leaving no oily/greasy residue (just silky skin), makes this versatile moisturizer appropriate for all skin types.

INGREDIENTS:
Cold-pressed, unrefined, organic Argan oil and organic lavender essential oil

SIZE:
30 mL / 1 fl. oz.

WHAT MAKES OUR LAVENDER ORGANIC ARGAN OIL UNIQUE:
• Sustainably sourced, unadulterated, and supports a women’s cooperative in Morocco. Producing this oil is labor intensive and “cheap” Argan oil comes at a price…
• Lavender essential oil is highly regarded for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It is also known to help speed healing for wounds, burns, and cuts, yet gentle enough to use around eyes to address those pesky fine lines. Our organic lavender essential oil hails from Provence, France.
• We pack our oil in a functional (not to mention beautiful) violet glass bottle. The violet glass bottle protects the delicate oils within from the ravages of light, which degrades oil over time (you can see oils “fade” in regular bottles). Thus, maintaining the integrity of the precious compounds.
• A treatment pump easily dispenses and protects the oil. Next to light, oxygen is oil’s greatest ‘nemesis’. The treatment pump prevents continuous exposure to oxygen, thereby preserving the delicate compounds of this luxurious oil.

[/fusion_tab][fusion_tab title=”Usage” icon=””]DIRECTIONS FOR USE (A little goes a long way):
• Massage a few drops of oil on face and neck.
• Massage a few drops of oil on wet or dry hair.
• Massage a few drops of oil around cuticles and nails.
• Massage a few drops of oil into beard.
• Apply to damp skin after bathing or showering.
• As an eye makeup remover, add a few drops of oil to damp cotton pad and gently sweep across eyes and brows.
• As a cleansing oil, use 2-3 pumps and slowly massage the oil into your skin. Gently wipe the oil off and rinse your face with warm water (and soap, if necessary,) followed by cold water.
• As a massage oil, a 30 mL (1 fl. oz.) bottle is perfect for one whole, luxurious, skin-nourishing body massage.

Cautions: Avoid contact with eyes. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid if pregnant.

[/fusion_tab][fusion_tab title=”Ingredients” icon=””]

Organic Argan oil, organic lavender essential oil

[/fusion_tab][/fusion_tabs][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

$ 21

[/fusion_text][fusion_button link=”https://www.etsy.com/listing/484561901/” target=”_blank” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” color=”default” size=”large” stretch=”default” shape=”square” icon=”fa-shopping-cart” icon_position=”left” icon_divider=”no” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″]Buy on Etsy[/fusion_button][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Peppermint Mist, Organic Breath Spray

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For no muss, no fuss fresh breath without alcohol or sugar!

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For no muss, no fuss fresh breath without alcohol or sugar.

Finally, a safe, plant-based, organic breath spray!

NO: alcohol, sugar, soy, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. Vegan. Non-GMO. No animal testing.

Peppermint Mist is perfect if you’re: meeting clients, going on a big date, interviewing, acting, teaching, or if fresh breath is part of your job description in any way shape or form. No chewing, no spitting, no mess—just fresh breath on demand!

Bad breath can be embarrassing, especially if you’re with a client or on a date. The average bad breath remedy (i.e., breath spray/breath freshener) is either inconvenient, contains sugar (which feeds the odor-causing bacteria), contains alcohol (which dries out your mouth and exacerbates the situation), or uses questionable ingredients. Peppermint Mist, organic breath spray, delivers fresh breath without any harmful side effects.

Dentists recommend breath fresheners that are sugar-free and alcohol-free. Professionals want an organic breath spray that is convenient, effective, and safe (since it’s meant to be used frequently). Peppermint Mist is made with sustainable, organic, and plant-based ingredients.

Hooray—an organic breath spray that you can trust! Peppermint Mist is the breath spray of choice by professionals in the know.

Packaged in premium violet glass to preserve and protect the delicate contents within without preservatives.

Size: 1 fl. oz / 30 mL

[/fusion_tab][fusion_tab title=”Usage”]

Spritz on the tongue as needed.

Store in a cool, dry place. Keep out of reach of children. Do not use if pregnant.

[/fusion_tab][fusion_tab title=”Ingredients”]

Deionized water, organic vegetable glycerin, organic peppermint oil

[/fusion_tab][/fusion_tabs][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

$ 15

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ApothecaryCo Blog The Business

One Lip Balm to Rule Them All…

There are lip balms, and then there are lip balms (as in the bomb, lip balm bomb). Spoiler alert: our all natural lip balm is the bomb of lip balms.

Before moving to the desert, I lived in cold climates—New England, Shanghai, the midwest, Colorado. Inevitably, every winter, I suffered from chapped and cracked lips. Sometimes, my lips would get so dry and cracked that it hurt to smile.

Here, in the desert, where it’s dry and sunny year round, and where wind can be brutal (they have wind farms here if that gives you an idea), lip balm is the first line of defense! The first time we went on a hike, I felt like my lips had been dragged through the desert. They were completely chapped from the harsh elements. And, go figure, I had no lip balm.

We never intended to add an all natural lip balm to our apothecary and spa line because EVERYONE makes lip balm (especially all natural lip balms). And yet, I had not found one that I loved. So, like with everything else, we set out to make our own.

What makes a GREAT all natural lip balm?

The first thing we did was create our criteria list—what we wanted in an all natural lip balm based upon our personal preferences and our surrounding environment (i.e., the desert). It had to:

  • Stay on, so you don’t have to reapply every 30 minutes
  • Protect your lips from getting chapped as well as soothe and moisturize your lips if they were already chapped
  • Have great slip (where it glides easily across your lips when you apply)
  • Be edible, containing only food grade ingredients
  • Contain a mild sunscreen
  • Smell and taste nice

Of course, as with any ApothecaryCo product, our all natural lip balm had to contain natural ingredients that are organic, sustainably and ethically sourced, and cruelty-free. That goes without saying!

Lip Balm R&D

As with most products, we start with research. Most all natural lip balms contain similar ingredients: oils, solid oils, butters, and waxes. The key is the ratio. Too much oil or butters and you end up with a greasier lip balm. Too much wax and you’ll be dragging the lip balm over your lips. Thus, it’s important to have worked out your ratio (as much as possible) before attempting to make it.

After R&D comes testing. Once we whipped up our first batch and were happy with the results, we gave a sample to our friend. Our friend is an avid hiker whose job takes her out in the field (which is a lot of desert wilderness). After the first day, she wrote and said she loved our lip balm. She said she was really picky about lip balms and liked that ours didn’t feel greasy, or too waxy, or too pepperminty. We did our own field testing and it worked like a charm! (Imho, I concur with our friend and think it’s the best lip balm ever!)

After testing, we made some tweaks to the original formula. We started with grapeseed oil, but since we carry Argan oil, it was a no-brainer to switch to Argan oil. And Argan oil is edible (though the toasted variety is what Moroccan’s use for cooking). We also increased the amount of candelilla wax because, well, most things melt in the desert heat!

All Natural Lip Balm Ingredient List

Here are the ingredients for our all natural lip balm and why we chose them:

Organic Argania Spinsosa (Argan) Oil A deeply moisturizing oil that absorbs easily and is non-greasy. High in vitamin E and fatty acids, Argan oil soothes and repairs skin.
Organic Cocos Nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil Naturally antimicrobial (thanks to a high lauric acid content), coconut oil deeply hydrates skin as well as reduces water loss, and it helps to exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells. (I don’t know how it does that…that will require further investigation!)
Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax) Beeswax is a humectant that helps skin attract moisture and it helps the skin form a protective barrier (similar to petroleum jelly) to lock in moisture. Our organic beeswax comes straight from the beekeeper!
Organic Theobroma Cacao (Unrefined Cocoa) Seed Butter Cocoa butter is a rich emollient high in fatty acids allowing it to penetrate deeply, thus hydrating the skin. It helps skin to retain moisture keeping it soft and supple. Plus, it feels and tastes great!
Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax Candelilla wax is a hard, plant-based wax. On skin, it helps to lock in moisture and protect skin from the elements. It also creates a smooth texture in formulations giving our all natural lip balm a nice glide.
Lanolin USP The molecular structure of lanolin is similar to the lipids in human skin. It also serves as a moisture reservoir, thus keeping skin hydrated. USP means pharmaceutical grade, i.e., hypoallergenic. Imho, there’s nothing better at healing cracked skin.
Zinc Oxide Zinc oxide is a mineral. As a sunscreen, it sits on the surface of your skin where it scatters, absorbs, and reflects ultraviolet radiation. We only use a little and the non-nano particle kind at that.
Organic Peppermint Essential Oil What’s not to love about peppermint? Not only does it taste great, but it leaves a cool and tingling sensation on your lips. If it promotes circulation and stimulates blood flow to your scalp, wouldn’t it do the same to your lips?

Other Uses

Because we like our products to pull double duty, this all natural lip balm can also be used on cuticles, hair ends, to smooth out eyebrows or moustaches & beards! It also works great as a lipstick base.

Available on Etsy!

Our fantastic, fabulous-o, peppermint all natural lip balm is available in our Etsy shop in two sizes: mini (at 0.05 oz, it’s great for hikers) and regular (0.15 oz).

 

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Hojo undō Selfcare

Self Care: Hand Exercise 002

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Hojo undō Selfcare

Self Care: Hand Exercise 001

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Selfcare

DIY Contrast Bathing: Hot…cold, hot, cold—got it!

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_dropcap]Wow,[/fusion_dropcap] we’ve been gathering dandelions, raking hay, and gardening all day. Our: hands, feet, backs, fronts, and sides, hurt. Ow. What to do when nobody’s around to massage sore muscles or everybody’s too beat to move said muscles? DIY contrast bathing!

Springtime gardening means lots of DIY contrast bathing
Karla, the intrepid gardener. So Stylish!

Contrast bathing (alternating hot and cold water baths) is very easy therapy for springtime, and anytime really. Kneeling in the earth, harvesting first blooms, and other warm weather activities are testing ligaments and joints that may not have been so active in winter months; and, when rakes, hoes, magna grecias, scythes, and shovels are bandied about the garden and yard.

Contrast bathing addresses the issue of muscular soreness by expanding and contracting vascular tissue (via vasodilation and vasoconstriction). Thus, giving some relief to the effects of metabolic waste buildup. The changes in temperature also affect some avascular tissue as well, like the epidermis. I like to think of it as a massage on a deeper, possibly molecular, level. It’s also a therapy where everyone can sit around and chat, because the water’s doing the work…

Listed below is a sample setup for a DIY contrast bathing footbath. It’s not the Cadillac, but it’s definitely built for comfort, not speed. Some bits are optional and some other possibilities not even mentioned! It’s always fun to add something new to the anti-ache brigade.

DIY contrast bathing setup with two 5-gallon bucketsA simple DIY contrast bathing setup for hands & feet:

  • 2 five gallon buckets
  • hot water
  • cold water
  • more hot water (optional)
  • some ice cubes (optional)
  • a place to sit for 20 minutes or so
  • something to sit on
  • achy feet and hands (optional)
  • a timer, for switching (optional)
  • a towel

DIY contrast bathing setup with 5-gallon bucketsStart with hot, end with cold. That seems to be rattling around as a good thing to do. That’s how we do it. Make the hot water as hot as tolerable, the same with the cold.

Adding hot or cold water to either bucket, to adjust temperatures, is always an option during the treatment. There are some contraindications, of course. Common sense contraindications are always the best way to start—hot water will scald so lift feet or hands out of the bath when adding hot water to the bucket.

Maybe less likely, falling asleep in an ice bath is probably not a good idea. But, be sure to be informed about any self-care routine. There is a great amount of information available on the net about contraindications. For example:

For any injury presenting with palpable swelling and heat, and visible redness – such as a strain/sprain – contrast baths are contraindicated during the acute inflammation stage. Acute inflammation begins at the time of injury and lasts for approximately 72 hours.

via Contrast bath therapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

DIY contrast bathing setup with 5-gallon buckets: one hot, one coldSo, Ladies & Germs, without further ado. Do get ready for, the wonderful, the fantabulous, the incredibly inexpensive and effective:

DIY contrast bathing treatment—step by step

DIY contrast bathing—Step One: The Setup…

  1. Clear an area for the treatment
  2. If the tap water can get hot enough, use that. If not, heat some water beforehand
  3. Rinse / clean the buckets
  4. Get a nice sturdy chair to sit on
  5. Grab a towel for wet feet
  6. Get some ice cubes in a bowl close by
  7. Fill the buckets—one with hot water, the other with cold water
  8. Put the buckets in front of the chair, then…

DIY contrast bathing—Step Two: The Nice Nice…

  1. Sit down… get ready
  2. Test the waters, hot and cold, no scalded or frozen tootsies!
  3. Place feet slowly in the hot water
  4. Swish (or not) the hands and feet around for 1-4 minutes
  5. Take feet out and of the hot water and place (gently!) into the cold water for 1-4 minutes
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 as frequently as desired, up to 20 minutes or so
  7. Change the timing of hot / cold depending on preference, and desired result
  8. If the water gets tepid, add more hot water or ice cubes
  9. End the session with the cold bucket

DIY contrast bathing—Step Three: The Getaway…

  1. Dry feet and keep them wrapped up for a while
  2. Relax, ease into moving again
  3. When absolutely cooked, get up and…
  4. Empty the buckets, rinse them out, put them somewhere to dry
  5. Put away the chair
  6. Clean up the general therapy area, like water on the floor, and whatnot
  7. Possibly continue with a foot / hand massage…
  8. Definitely enjoy tingly non-achyness…

 

 

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Gathering dandelions first, then DIY contrast bathing second
The bountiful dandelion harvest…followed by contrast bathing

Last updated: August 3, 2016

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Selfcare

Snug as a bug in a rug.

Yep, more snow… and probably going to snow for the next couple of days. Our woodstove (a.k.a. Big Bertha), a large benevolent beast kept well stoked throughout the day, produces plenty of heat. Within ten feet of the stove is quite toasty, but with stiff winds whipping around through all the little cracks of our lovely yet drafty old farmhouse, certain corners of the house are downright nippy.

These conditions make me think about the difference between introducing heat and saving heat. As we’ve seen from the windy winter weather here, wind can be a powerful factor in heat loss. It’s all well and good to have the heat, but what if it’s lost immediately? Even temperatures in single digits, if there is no wind, feel warmer than significantly higher temperatures with wind-chill. This loss of heat from wind is known as thermal convection.

Active heat from a hot water bottle or woodstove is thermal radiation. The technical term for insulation (in this case) is thermal insulation. No doubt, a clever massage therapist would take the opportunity to apply both thermal radiation and insulation for a chilly-free massage.

Use a hot water bottle for cozy, delightful, thermal radiation, but what to use for thermal insulation? Just tuck the client into a big comfy blanket and watch them melt (aaah…). Most people would assume that putting a heavy blanket or quilt on a client would interfere with the ability to stretch and do other ROM’s (range of motions)… But it is surprisingly not so. With some guidance from Swedish massage draping techniques, using a quilt / blanket / duvet can be a pleasant and unobtrusive add-on to any Thai massage in colder than normal locales.

Quilts actually solve two problems: keeping the client warm while preventing the massage therapist from overheating! During warm weather, using a quilt means the therapist can be a little more liberal with the A/C, so as not to perspire too much during the massage. During cold weather, the therapist doesn’t have to worry about keeping the whole room warm, just the client. This may also be useful in temperate or tropical regions, where a hotel or spa environment has the A/C whacked down to stun…

To use covers during the massage, simply undrape the part of the body to be manipulated. Or, to save the client from the sudden onrush of convection, wrap said limb in the cover beforehand. If the cover is large enough, it should prevent cold air from sneaking in. Using thermal insulation is a natural way for all hardiness zone fivers and below to customize their particular bodywork modality… Do Shiatsu practitioners in northern Japan have any traditional methods for solving this problem?

In a race, who is faster: hot or cold? Hot, of course; everyone catches cold.

Using hot water bottles and quilts can be the perfect left-right heating combo. Actually, a two quilt system helps out with ROM’s, the bottom quilt (covering the legs) can be moved around while the top quilt (covering the torso and arms) stays relatively stationary. This can be used in all positions of Thai massage, even sitting. Of course, one quilt is just fine. Two quilts (or even three, with as many hot water bottles) would be representing, as we call it, “the Cadillac.” At TLB, our massage is built for comfort, not for speed.

Using a quilt is good practice for a massage therapist. Originally, it might be disconcerting not being able to see the client. But with practice, confidence in touch becomes more intuitive… On the flip side, being able to see an arm or leg with a bruise or other contraindication means avoiding possible pain for the client. Always have the client communicate any acute conditions, or any condition where touch, pressure, or traction would be contraindicated.

Something else to watch out for while using quilts or blankets is static electricity. Polar fleece and other synthetic fabrics are very insulating, however, zapping the client every time you move them is probably not as relaxing as not zapping them. Natural fibers such as wool and silk are also a 100% wholesome and organic source of the dreaded zappy (a.k.a. the triboelectric effect).

For those with a curious nature, below are some links to Wikipedia about heat and other deliciously boggling scientific topics. Scientific terms or definitions in casual discussions may or may not be helpful, as a technically concise explanation may be ambiguous if written in technical language. But it is certainly a good practice to attempt correct usage, if only to alleviate confusion brought on by colloquialisms and hearsay.

There are numerous creative DIY solutions to thermal radiation and insulation. In looking for answers, be warned, snuggle-bugs may abound.

 

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Selfcare

There’s no business like snow business

A winter vacation paradise in Thailand in February…aaah.

[fusion_dropcap boxed=”no” boxed_radius=”” class=”” id=”” color=””]W[/fusion_dropcap]hat can living in Maine teach a massage therapist about Thai Massage? Thai people will readily admit that the only two seasons they have are “hot and hotter” and most Thai spas will have copious air conditioning to keep the clients cool. No shortage of that here. So Maine teaches the massage therapy community how to work with clients in cold weather, or as some put it “nine months of winter and three months of bad sledding.”

Maine has a wide palette of seasonal meteorology. If the three days in summer over 90ºF are an easy fit for someone who learned Thai Massage in Thailand, what about the rest?

Being cold during a massage can really ruin the experience.

Anyone who has been cold during a massage can attest to how unpleasant it is. This unhappiness may go unnoticed by the massage therapist because he/she is moving, and clients may not know they can ask to change something, or they may just say nothing to be polite. However, the effect on the client may extend beyond simple discomfort. The decreased volume of the vascular system caused by widespread vasoconstriction (one of the body’s reactions to cold) usually results in a rise of systemic blood pressure. And for a client with already high blood pressure, this may aggravate their already extant condition. There are also a range of conditions that make dealing with cold especially pertinent (e.g., Raynauds, asthma, heart conditions, and arthritis).

A winter vacation paradise in Maine in February…brrrr…aaah.

Always consider the client’s comfort and satisfaction. It’s much easier to have a positive effect on the lymphatic and vascular systems, reach deeper muscular groups, and lead the client through a series of range of motion (ROM) exercises when they are relaxed. Most people can relax when the environment is not too hot, not too cold, but just right. In “There’s no business like snow business,” we’ll be examining just how a northern massage therapist can aid their client’s ability to relax using some simple cold-client remedies.

The number one solution, and one of my favorites: the HOT WATER BOTTLE (pause for effect)… So low key that you probably missed it, but there it is!

There are two ways to apply heat from the hot water bottle—directly or indirectly. Why choose? Use both! Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Indirect use of the hot water bottle is super easy. Just use it (or them) to heat the massage area (i.e., mat, table, sheets, etc.) before the client lies down. The problem with the indirect method of heating is that the heat dissipates pretty quickly. This method of pre-heating an area is also a super-nice thing to do as self-care before going to bed.

The meek and inexpensive hot water bottle… Found in drugstores and forgotten in attics everywhere!

Direct use of the hot water bottle can be the train ticket to blissville… However direct contact, even with a towel wrap, can be uncomfortably hot, especially after a few minutes. Direct contact also needs constant supervision to prevent burning. This is a major consideration with clients that have reduced sensitivity. Furthermore, the nature of most hot water bottles can lead to leakage. This might not be a huge, massage-stopping problem if the hot water bottle, resting on their abdomen, springs a leak. A little dampness and the realization that “hey, I think this water bottle has a leak” won’t stop anything. However, a bottle filled with scaldingly hot water under the neck, lumbar region, knees, or under any pressure for that matter, might cause a situation that, at the very least, can be labeled as ‘rousing’…

How to prepare a hot water bottle treatment? Fill it with hot water from a tea kettle or from the tap. Only fill it 3/4 full and press the extra air out of it, so the bottle has some give. For some reason, it seems that the bottle stays hotter when there’s no air in it. When filling up the bottle, be careful of the hot water, but be even more careful of the steam because steam is hot!

For an indirect application, fill the bottles ten minutes before the client arrives, and place them under the top sheet of the table or the mat. Remove them when escorting the client into the massage room or leave them in until the massage has started. Or just leave them in.

Another source of heat…

For a direct application, have a few bottles, filled and covered in a cozy or towel, for the client. Change them out as needed during the massage. When the client changes their orientation (supine, prone, side, etc.) take an opportunity to replace or refill a bottle. Of course this means having a source of hot water in the room… or even better, an assistant, or loving significant other, who will bring them to you.

In the event that you are out of hot water bottles, or hot water, there is another direct heat source that is acceptable (and sometimes unavoidable). But like the hot water solution, this solution comes with its own distinct set of pros and cons…