Massage Oil and Cream
There have been a few questions lately about the kind of oil and cream that I use during treatment and I am so happy that clients are thinking about that, inquiring, and are monitoring what goes on their skin. I use two different products during sessions based on what the skin needs and what I need as a therapist to accomplish the session goals.
The first product I use is a 100% pesticide-free jojoba oil. I purchase this from The Jojoba Company and have been using it now for several years. Technically jojoba is not an oil but rather a wax that comes from a berry. Pure and pesticide-free is a top of the line product and does not cut corners in quality which is why I choose it for my clients.
The second product I use is a coconut, castor, and mustard oil based cream. I buy this directly from Soothing Touch and have been using this for about 9 months. I replaced the carrot and avocado lotion that I used for many years for two reasons: 1) the ingredient list is much shorter and 100% paraben-free 2) I was interested in a coconut based application for the many benefits that coconut has to the skin. This cream is a little thicker than the other lotion and again is a top of the line product just like the jojoba.
If you haven’t seen the remodeling I have time on my calendar just for you! (hint, hint)
The Pelvis Region
The pelvis balances the torso and legs. It is the ‘container,’ support, and protector for abdominal and pelvic organs. It is of principle importance in posture and body alignment.
Within this region one finds the ever popular “core.” Another muscle group located here is the ‘pelvic floor’ muscles, also called the pelvic hammock. This is the opening to the rectum, vagina, and urethra as well as sphincters. Holding tension in this area, as you can gather, can and does impact digestion and elimination. The third muscle group in the region is the gluteal muscles/piriformis – the powerful climbing, abducting (moving leg out from midline, stabilizing muscles – and go to for low back pain, should that pain be from muscular tension. The deep lateral rotators also are found in this region.
As trends seem to come and go, ’strengthening the core’ seems to have moved in over the past few years. What we tend to forget, however, is that LENGTHENING is just as important and strengthening. And the lengthening part is accomplished chiefly through massage, especially if region muscles have been injured or constricted for a prolonged time.
The Thigh Region
The powerful thing is divided into front, back, outside (lateral), and medial. Principle contributors to knee pain due to their primary job of stabilizing the knee joint. Anterior one finds the quadriceps, posterior the hamstrings, lateral the tensor fasciae late (TFL)…though the ITBand seems to steal all the thunder!…, and medial the adductors. The quads all attach directly onto the kneecap. The adductor group lays claim to having the longest muscle in the leg, sartorial, which crosses both the hip and knee joint. Twitches or catches in gait could’ve their origin in the adductors. The hamstrings also cross hip and knee joints and very important in stabilization. The TFL is a short hip muscle that connects to the knee via the ITBand and together they flex, abduct, and rotate the hip.
Trend continues and if I have heard it once I have heard it 1,000 times…”My ITBand is tight.” I want to help us understand that the ITBand is fibrous reinforcement of the TFL and we don’t want it to ever be loose!! If our ITBands were loose our femurs would fall out of our hip sockets! Of course there is a point when things become hypertonic but often thigh tightness is due to the many other things I have listed but inadvertently blamed on the ITBand!
The Leg, Ankle, Foot Region
The foundation of the body and pivot point of locomotion is here. If there is one neglected place, it is the feet. Massive weight-bearing requirements causes vulnerability to injury. Even standing a long time is stressful to the legs, ankles, and feet as many of you know! The ankles contain retinaculums, wide ligament bands that hold tendons in place over the joint. On the bottom of the foot, though there are many muscles but they all seem to lay in the shadow of the all-mighty Plantar muscle which few know by name but only in terms of its dysfunction, plantar fasciatis. Posterior we find the Gastrocnemius, a powerful calf muscle that crosses the knee and ankle joint (easily seen in the picture above).
Rounding out trend, many complain of plantar fasciitis, as I mentioned but we must remember that there are so many other muscles in our feet that it is wise to consider the fact that there may be others there that are also not behaving!
There is much going on below the waist. It is easy to neglect the lower body because the pain often screams from the neck and shoulders. But remember the foundation for the entire body is below the waist and needs TLC too!
You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.
– Paul Walker