Massage Therapy: Why is it good for Stress and Pain?

Massage therapy provides a ton of health benefits, but possibly none more life-changing than the effect it has on stress and pain. This powerful tool is a great way to take control of your own health and avoid self-medicating with prescription drugs, alcohol, or other substances. There are tons of different types of massages and a wide variety of places that now offer this therapy as an alternative form of treatment, but all will provide similar health benefits – while reducing your stress and relieving your pain.

Stress relief

Stress is an important part of life – it keeps you motivated and on task, and keeps your reflexes sharp. The fight-or-flight response created by the adrenaline stimulating your heart rate and the boost to your blood sugar from increased cortisol plays an important role – but too much stress can cause your body to react in a very negative way. This can manifest through physical symptoms like upset stomach, chest pain, headaches, insomnia, and even elevated blood pressure. Increased stress can also worsen symptoms associated with certain conditions or diseases.

However, massage has the power to help your body deal with stress in a positive, healthy way. Just one session can be enough to make a significant impact on your heart rate, cortisol levels, and insulin levels – lowering them enough to take your body out of fight-or-flight mode and promote relaxation. While loosening your tense muscles, massage increases your body’s “feel good” chemicals – endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine – creating an all-over calming effect that can make any stress seem a much less pressing issue.
Pain relief

More than a quarter of Americans over the age of 20 have dealt with chronic pain that persists more than 24 hours – which has a huge impact on anyone’s quality of life and productivity at work. Unfortunately, most pain medications come with a host of unwanted and very unpleasant side effects, leading more and more people to turn to massage as a way to deal with ongoing pain issues.

Patients suffering from pain syndromes like arthritis and fibromyalgia have reported positive results from incorporating massage into their treatment program – noting that massage therapy resulted in an increased range of motion and quicker, easier movements. Grip strength and associated pain were diminished, and patients also showed lowered levels of anxiety and elevated moods. This makes sleep much easier, giving chronic pain sufferers more opportunity to heal and fight their pain in a more effective, efficient way.

Massage therapy, and the release of the “feel good” chemicals into the brain, can be a great way to treat pain and stress in a natural, healthy way. Living with chronic pain or ongoing stress is incredibly hard on sufferers, but by introducing the non-invasive, medication-free therapy of massage, patients can see benefits almost immediately.

However, keep in mind that massage is not a replacement for other types of medical care. If your stress or pain can’t be managed through medications or massage, you should see a health care professional to determine the specific cause of your condition and look at other alternative treatments.

Thank you to Jon Reyes who wrote this article. Jon is a guest author for Therapeutic Massage from and is a respected and expert voice in a plethora of health related subjects with over 10 years of writing under his belt.


Ancient Tools for Modern Health

Humans have been using plants for health and wellness for thousands of years. Cave paintings in France show medicinal plant use as far back as 18,000 B.C. While no one knows exactly when or where oils were originally extracted from plants, according to history, Egyptians were using oils derived from plants as early as 4500 B.C. Their uses included perfume, flavoring, incense, ceremonial tools and as medicine. They even played a role in embalming. When the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun (King Tut) was opened, among the luxurious contents found within were various beautifully crafted jars and containers. One particular jar was discovered to contain a perfumed balm, still radiantly fragrant after so many centuries.
Plant oils have been used extensively in China and India for a few thousand years. By the 3rd and 4th century B.C. their use had spread to the Mediterranean. Once the crusades began, they gained popularity in Europe and continued to spread from there. Oils from plants are mentioned throughout the Bible both for their healing properties and for the purpose of anointing. Not just a few mentions here and there but over 500 times. The most famous was comparable to gold, Frankincense & Myrrh given to the baby Jesus by the wise men.
So what are they and how can they benefit you? Essential oils are the “life force or blood” of the plant placed there by nature to maintain the health of the plant. They are microscopic aromatic compounds found in various parts of the plants each valued for its own purposes. Derived from citrus rinds, roots, stems, seeds, leaves, or bark. The plant matter is distilled or expressed, drawing oil and collecting a liquid “essence” of the plant.
While many people use essential oils for fragrance (with good reason!), quality essential oils can be used for so much more. They help maintain health and wellness, Lemon oil supports a healthy immune system, Lavender relieves occasional sleeplessness and promotes a sense of calming, Peppermint for head and neck tension, also nausea and motion sickness, Sandalwood calms emotions and relieves restlessness also irritability Sandalwood may aid in memory problems associated with aging. Way too many to list right here in this article and new uses are being discovered today.
Because everyone has their own unique chemistry, some oils work better than other on certain people just as modern medications. The best way to find what appeals to you is to inhale the aromatic compounds (smell the oil) if you are drawn to it then use it. Pay attention to the effect you just may just find a whole new way of empowering health and wellness.
Memory & Task Management Blend
½oz Grapeseed Oil
15 drops Sandalwood
12 drops Frankincense
10 drops Wild Orange
5 drops Clove
Learn more…To host a class in your home or join a class contact Therapeutic Massage @ 456-3585
** These statements have not been evaluated by the Federal Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Shirodhara Massage


Shirodhara is a luxuriant and easy way to achieve instant calm and rejuvenation. It derives from two Sanskrit words: shiro and dhara. Shiro means head and dhara means to flow. It involves the warm and consistent flow of aromatic oils on the forehead, specifically on the ‘third eye’. This is the chakra point just above and between the eyebrows. It is said to be the seat of human consciousness. The oils are allowed to flow over the scalp and through the hair, creating a blissful sensation.

Lying on your back, your body will be cocooned in warmed towels and your head will be positioned under the oil ‘fountain’ – a metal bottle with a slow-flowing spout from which the oils will stream gently onto the forehead. The soothing and fragrant oils flow in a continuous, rhythmic stream for approximately 30 minutes – you’re guaranteed to be transported to a calm place in no time! The herbal oils will flow back freely, also nourishing the hair and scalp before they are captured in a basin below.

All your mental demons – fear, anxiety, anger or irritability – dissolve into an ocean of calm as your mind is lulled into a state of serenity and expanded consciousness.

As the oil strokes the third eye, it has a balancing effect on the deepest recesses of the brain, stimulating the endocrine system, the pituitary and pineal glands (for hormonal upsets) and pleasure neurotransmitters (for depression or emotional insecurity). The procedure is also said to synchronise alpha brain waves, enhancing blood circulation to the brain, improving mental clarity and generally releasing deeply trapped ama, or toxins.

You are then left for a few minutes to relax and assimilate the experience. Best of all, you’ll emerge with a heightened state of awareness and a long-lasting sense of peace to equip you for any of life’s challenges. Shirodhara truly honours the body as a sacred temple and a vehicle for the divine spirit within.

Book your appointment here!

Essential Oil 101 Beginner’s Guide

Essential Oil 101 Beginner’s  Guide

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What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are volatile liquids that are distilled from plants (including their seeds, barks, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, etc.). One of the factors that determines the purity and the therapeutic value of an oils is it’s chemical constituents. These constituents can be affected by so many things: the soil condition, the fertilizer used, the geographical region, climate, harvest season and method, and the distillation process.

Thyme (thyme vulgaris) will be different in structure depending on the time it was harvested. High levels of thymol depend of the time of the year that it was distilled. If distilled during mid-summer or late fall, there can be higher levels of carvacrol, which can cause the oil to be more caustic and irritating to the skin. Low pressure and low temperature are the key to maintaining purity and the therapeutic value of the oil. It matters when and how all oils are harvested.

So you can see why it is so important to make sure that you comprehend the absolute necessity of obtaining pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. There is no substitute for pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils.

This is why I have chosen to use high quality essential oils. That sets the standard for the highest, purest essential oil on the market. With so many different essential oil brands on the market, it’s hard to know which brand is the best. Because I was seeing some results with other brands of essential oils when using them in my practice, I decided to learning more about pure therapeutic grade essential oils and their medicinal benefits on our health.

I researched more about them and discovered a few remarkable things about the special oils:

They test each and every bath of oils….not just once, but 5 different ways!
They follow strict and sustainable growing and harvesting processes.
They source their oils in their prime environment.
The oils are a step above organic, they are Pure Therapeutic Grade with no fillers, artificial ingredients, synthetic chemical substitutes or contaminants of any kind.
No matter what brand of essential oils you choose, it is imperative to choose the best quality! My goal and wish for giving you all this information, is so you will feel empowered, like I do! It is an amazing feeling to have the resources to heal your body and your family!

How Do I Apply Essential Oils?

There are 3 methods of applying essential oils to your body. Remember, when I talk about essential oils and their application techniques, I am ALWAYS referring to therapeutic-grade essential oils.

***Essential oils should not be used in the eyes, inside the ear canal, or in open wounds.***

essential oil massage

1) Topically
Topical application is the process of placing the essential oil on the skin, mouth, hair, nails, or teeth. When you apply the essential oil directly to your body WITHOUT any kind of dilution that is referred to as applying the oil “neat”. Since essential oils are potent, and because essential oils may irritate the skin, they are often diluted with a “carrier oil” such as fractionated coconut oil (this is coconut oil that is always a liquid and never solidifies), jojoba oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc. I always add a carrier oil when using topically. Essential oils are aromatic compounds they will float into the air if not weighted down with a heavier oil and will not be as effective.

Here are a few different ways that you can apply essential oils topically to your body: 

    1.    Direct Application – because essential oils are so potent, more is not always better. To achieve your desired results, 1-3 drops of oil is usually enough. Quick-absorbing areas on your body are the feet, wrists and behind the ears. Always dilute the oils by 15% to 30% when applying to a large area of body. When applying oils to infants and kids, use 1-3 drops of an essential oil to 1 tablespoon of a “carrier oil”.


 2.    Massage – this technique is done by using stimulation of the skin, muscles and connective tissues to promote healing and balance. Use only a light to medium massage stroke UNLESS you are a certified massage therapist. Extreme caution must be used when massaging pregnant women. To create a simple massage oil, combine 2-10 drops of your desired essential oil and blend with 1 tablespoon of a “carrier oil”.

3.    Reflexology – this method is used when applying oils to specific contact points (or nerve endings) on the feet and hands. The oils help remove blockage in the neuroelectrical pathways and/or travel the length of the pathway to get to the particular organ.

4.    Baths – this is one of my favorite ways to get the benefits of a specific essential oil into my system.

2) Aromatic 

Aromatic application involves inhaling the oil directly from the bottle or diffusing it into the air with a diffuser. Inhalation of the oil can be  powerful way to affect memory, hormones, and emotions through the olfactory system. It can also be a very quick and effective way to affect the respiratory system.


  1. Diffusion – this is the easiest way to put a fine mist of the oil into the air for inhalation. The oils will remain suspended for several hours to freshen and improve the quality of air. CAUTION: diffusers that use an intense heat source may alter the chemical makeup of the oil and is typically not recommended. My favorite way to diffuse is using a aromatherapy necklace you can buy one or  learn to make you own.
  2. Direct Inhalation – this is the simplest way to inhale the aroma of the essential oil. Simply hold the opened vial close to your face and inhale. You can also place 1-2 drops of oil on your hands, cup your hands over your mouth and nose, and inhale.

3) Internal 

Internal use is the process of consuming the essential oil into the body. ONLY pure, therapeutic grade essential oils should be used for internal consumption, as other oils on the market may be diluted or processed using harmful chemicals. With my favorite oils, you can be confident that you are using the purest of essential oils. A few essential oils, cannot be taken internally: Cypress, Eucalyptus, Helichrysum, Birch, White Fir and Wintergreen.

  1. Sublingual – this is one of the most effective ways to take an essential oil. You, simply, place a drop or two of an oil under your tongue. Because the blood capillaries are so close to the surface of the tissue under the tongue, many essential oils are able to pass directly into the bloodstream, where they can quickly travel to the different areas of the body where they are needed..
  2. Beverage and Cooking – this is an easy and fun way to take your oils internally. Add a drop or two to some hot tea, milk, or water and drink! Alternately, you can add oils to your recipes to spice them up and add some therapeutic benefits to them.
Stay tuned for more essential oil education!!

5 health benefits to getting a massage

We want you to know the 5 Health Benefits of getting a regular massage!


Massage therapy from a licensed practitioner can:

  • Lower stress
    The long-term effects of stress can take emotional and physical tolls. Massage therapy may relieve stress and conditions associated with it, such as tension headaches.
  • Increase immune function
    Medical research indicates that massage therapy can help boost immune system strength by increasing the activity level of the body’s natural “killer T cells,” which fight off viruses.
  • Boost mental health and wellness
    Research suggests that symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression (all associated with mental health) may be directly affected with massage therapy.
  • Manage pain
    Pain can negatively affect a person’s quality of life and impede recovery from illness or injury.Recent findings highlight the role of massage in pain management.
  • Improve physical fitness
    Elite and recreational athletes alike can benefit from massage therapy-massage can reduce muscle tension, improve exercise performance and prevent injuries.

(source – American Massage Therapy Association)

Are you in the Western North Carolina Region? Schedule your appointment With us today!

Essentials Oils are just for your Massage Therapist. What??

I had someone one tell me that a few weeks ago. So to make it clear Essential Oils are not just for doing massages, they have a lot of everyday uses as well. You can cook them, clean with them, helps  your body support homeostasis, and even use them to bathe with or use them with your cosmetics. They are great for many common health concerns …you name it, there is probably an essential oil that can help you with it. Here are some recipes for everyday uses for essential oils. Many more can be found online and on websites like Pinterest. So, get creative and make something that suits your needs or the needs of your loved ones.


Essential Oil Recipes for Everyday Use



10 drops Rosemary oil

5 drops Lavender oil

5 drops Thyme oil

10 drops Lemon oil

Dilute in 6 teaspoons of carrier oil (we recommend avocado oil or jojoba)

Use this oil as a conditioning treatment, massaging it into the beard and skin before taking a bath/shower.



15 drops Sandalwood oil

10 drops Black Pepper oil

10 drops Roman Chamomile oil

10 drops Lavender

about 15 drops of Fractionated Coconut Oil

Apply topically (Helps your body recover quickly!)



20 drops Peppermint or Ginger essential oil

10 drops Wild Orange essential oil

15 drops Lemon essential oil

Add to 4 oz. bottle, and top with water.  Mist when nausea strikes.

You can also try massaging your earlobes with Ginger.


3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

8 Drops of Essential Oils

Stand or Hand Mixer

A few great essential oils for your hair include: Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Geranium, and Clary Sage. You can use one or all five of the essential oils in your deep conditioner.



7 drops Wild Orange
2 drops Clove
2 drops Rosemary
1 drop Cinnamon essential oil

Mix in 2oz glass spray with distilled water. Sake well before use

Did you know if your body is fighting something, clove oil is very important? One drop of clove oil has just as much antioxidants as 400 lbs of carrots!



16 oz. Spray Bottle

1 1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup distilled water

8 drops of any citrus oil of your choice (could use Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, or a combination)

Add vinegar, water, and essential oil(s) to spray bottle and shake. You are ready to clean!


Lavendar Lemonade Calming Drink

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 12 cups pure water
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 6 lemons, peeled and juiced
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish

lavender tea


Mix all ingredients together and chill. Add more water or raw honey if needed.

***The statements and suggestions given here have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am simply sharing ideas and suggestions on how to use essential oils in everyday life. I assume no liability for the way you choose to use essential oils. Use your good judgment and act responsibly.

I would love to share my favorite brand of oils with you

Email Me.. I want to know more about Essential Oils.

Infant Massage

Infant Massage is an age-old tradition that has been passed down from mother to child since the beginning of time.

Benefits of Infant Massage for Baby

  • Infant-Parent attachment or “bonding”
  • Relaxation
  • Helps baby feel loved
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Facilitates body awareness
  • Boosts immune system
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Improves skin condition
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Helps digestion
  • Balances respiration
  • Relief for teething pains
  • Help waste elimination
  • Helps build parents’ and baby’s self-esteem
  • Helps you learn about your baby (their needs and desires)
  • Relaxes parents
  • Pleasurable experience
  • Stimulates production of oxytocin (Oxytocin is a hormone which can be produced by both male and female persons during massage. It is useful as a pain reliever and has a calming effect on the person.)

Benefits of Infant Massage for Parents

  • Caregivers report feeling more comfortable and confident in their ability to care for baby.
  • Parents learn to understand and respond to baby’s cues.
  • Parents learn techniques to comfort, calm and soothe their babies.
  • Provides an additional avenue for close and nurturing contact.
  • Infant Massage is one of the most natural and pleasant methods of providing this important early nurturing and an amazing tool for helping parents become closer to their babies.

Infant Massage provides these benefits in 4 distinct ways:


Stimulates all the systems of the body including the:

  • Nervous system
  • Circulatory system
  • Respiratory System
  • Elimination System
  • Immune System

Stimulates the release of oxytocin, known as the cuddle hormone (is released in both parent and child), prolactin (promoting milk production in the mother) and other endorphins.


  • Helps relieve tension built up from all the stimulation in the baby’s environment
  • Helps babies handle sensory stimulation and respond in a relaxed manner
  • Helps babies sleep better
  • Helps regulate sleep/wake cycle


  • Touch combined with vocalization helps reduce pain levels up to 80%
  • Helps tone digestive tract
  • Helps alleviate gas and promote elimination
  • Releases hormones for food absorption.
  • Releases endorphins, natural pain killers, to ease emotional distress

“Bonding is a unique relationship between two people. It is specific and endures through time.”M. Klaus

-Bonding and Attachment

  • Infant massage draws on all the elements of bonding and attachment
  • Eye-to-eye contact, skin-to-skin, body scent, vocalization, taste, responsiveness
  • Hormones stimulated by infant massage promote bonding and attachment between parent and baby