When you have gone and gotten a massage, have you ever wanted to just sit or lay around in the massage bliss? But you were not able to because you had to leave and get back in your vehicle and drive back home. If you get a massage at home you do not have to worry about driving afterwards.
While talking to several of different people, I realized that many people did not know they could get a massage done in their own home or hotel that they are staying in. So they did not even think to look for a massage therapist that will come to them. However, there are professionally training and licensed massage therapists in almost every major (and a lot of the smaller ones) cities that will travel to a client to give them a massage. These licensed massage therapists understand that not everyone wants to go out to get a massage. For some traveling massage therapists, they only travel for specific customers. While for others, like me, their entire business is mobile massage.
Of the people that do know about and get a massage in their home, there are many varying reasons why they prefer it. However, the main reason seems to be that they do not want to have to deal with the hassle of driving somewhere and driving back home after getting a great massage. Nowadays we are so busy and don't have time to drive everywhere, and things like getting a massage seems to get pushed aside because it can be difficult to fit into an already busy schedule.
With getting a massage in your own home it saves you time and the hassle of going somewhere, which in turn saves you money. Most people say that it saves them 30-60 minutes of time, and sometimes more. This is great for many people, especially for people that want or need to make the most out of every day.
Also, people with hectic or unusual schedules (business travelers, athletes, musicians, business owners, etc.) like the flexibility of having a massage done around their schedule. And they do not have to worry about trying to get to a place or find a place. Also, some mobile massage therapists will work hours past the typical business hours, which is very helpful to people that have a difficult time getting a massage during normal business hours.
Other reasons that some people get in home massages is they have limited mobility, are in too much pain to drive, unable to drive, or just don't feel like driving. This can be anyone suffering from migraines, low back pain, injury, anxiety, pain in the neck, people that don’t drive or don't have a vehicle, etc.
For parents, especially ones with small children, it can be hard for both to get out of the house to get the very much needed massage. They either have to go separately or hire a babysitter, which just adds to the time and/or expense. When they get their massages done in their home, one parent can get a massage while the other one gets watches the children, saving them time and money.
So, if you are in Arizona and in the Phoenix area, you can call me and I will drive to you with all the supplies needed for a great massage. I drive all over the Metro Phoenix valley, so no matter where you live I can drive to you (if the distance is more than 30 miles I do charge an additional travel fee). When the massage is finished all you have to do is slowly get off the table, pay me of course, and then you can just relax in massage bliss or whatever you feel like doing.
A lot of people experience low back pain and/or sciatic nerve pain on a regular basis, however most people do not know what the cause is for their excruciating pain. Low back pain and sciatic nerve pain is not always the same thing, though many people experience them at the same time. All they know is that they ‘feel’ it in their low back or a shooting pain down their leg, so to them that is the spot that needs the work.
A majority of the time the muscles that need the work are in hip area (gluts or butt muscles) and inner thigh muscles, or essentially the hip flexor, extensor, and rotator muscles. These muscles are generally underneath the large gluteal muscle (gluteus maximus and gluteus medius), so they can be pretty deep in there. When these muscles get tight they pull on the sacrum and the hip crest which in turn pulls on the low back which where the person feels the pain. You can take a look at this link to Wikipedia to see what muscles are used by the hip: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_muscles.
One of the muscles that seem to cause a majority of the low back pain is the iliopsoas (which is the psoas and iliacus muscles grouped together). These are rather deep muscles and seeing they insert on the less trochanter (inner thigh/hip area), a lot of massage therapist do no and/or will not work in that area. Several massage therapists have never been trained on how to properly work that area to help release those muscles and not cause other undesirable results. Also, several massage therapists will not work more than half way up the thigh, so they will never be able to truly release the muscles that are causing the actual pain or discomfort.
Seeing these muscles are used by the hips, every time you sit, lay down and sit up, walk, bend over, twist, etc., you use these muscles. So they are used quite often and neglected so much as well. The reasons these muscles get tight or agitated and inflamed varies extensively, for example, lifting something incorrectly, sitting for extended periods of time, lying in bed for extended periods, injury, the way a person walks, etc. When a muscles gets over used or not used for a length of time (is stuck in one position) and then is suddenly used (moved in another position), it can cause it to tighten or become agitated and inflamed.
The other hip muscles (anterior and posterior) all play a part in low back pain as well. Sometimes the low back pain is a combination of tight and agitated muscles, which can make the pain worse and it more difficult to relieve.
As far as sciatic nerve pain goes, the general cause for that seems to be an inflamed or injured piriformis muscle which in turn presses on the sciatic nerve causing a shooting pain down the leg. So low back pain and sciatic nerve pain can either be exclusive of the other or they can both affect a person at the same time. And one can lead to the other if the tighten or inflamed muscles is not addressed and in turn starts to pull on other muscles causing them to become agitated and/or inflamed.
People feel pain in different areas of the body. Most people think that where they feel the pain is the location of the tight muscle, trigger point or knot in the muscle. This, however, is not always the case. On several occasions the place a person is feeling discomfort or pain is sometimes called the referral pain location and sometimes called the exhaust point. A lot of times the location that a person ‘feels’ pain in their body is not necessarily the location of the muscle or the spot in the muscle that needs to be released, but it is somewhere and somehow in line with the actual spot.
One way to be able to get a picture, or better understanding, of what I am talking about is to pinch a spot of your shirt and start to roll it over on itself. After you have rolled it over a few times take a look at where and how far from the pinched spot the wrinkles in your shirt are and where they go. The more you roll it and the tighter you roll it will affect how long and far the wrinkles go. Your muscles are very similar, the tighter and more congested a spot is in the muscle can affect how far away the referral pain is felt and some are connected in a way that they tend to pull on specific other muscles. So anywhere along the ‘wrinkle’ can be the referral pain location or exhaust point. So only working a spot along the ‘wrinkle’ where the pain is ‘felt’ will not necessarily relieve the over-all pain, it may help temporarily but generally not for any length of time.
Also, when one muscle is tight is generally pulls on other muscles up line or down line from it. This can have a domino effect which in turn can cause the referral pain spot to be even further away from the actual spot that needs to be released. It can also go from one side of the body to the other.
For example, I once worked on a gentleman (a professional drummer) that was experiencing pain in his neck, and seeing we were only doing 30 minutes of massage he wanted me to focus on his neck. While doing my normal warm up and prep, I found the opposite calf muscles to be very tight. When I started to work a little on the calf muscles (and he realized how tight his muscles were) the gentleman told me that when he had gone to an acupuncturist in the past for his neck pain that the acupuncturist had put the needles in the same calf that I was working. So I did some more work on his calf and then went back to his neck and did some work there as well (a wise teacher once told me you always work the boo-boo spot :-) ). When I was finished his neck pain was greatly diminished. Unfortunately, massage therapists are not miracle workers and we cannot always relieve all of the pain in one visit, especially a short one. And sometimes is takes a little while for the muscles to loosen up and the massage only helps get the process started
This is not to say that the referral point is always far away for the location that needs the actual work. And on many occasions the two spots are the same. However, if you tell a massage therapist that you are experiencing pain in one location but they seem to be focusing more on another location, they may really be working the spot that needs the work. If they never work the area of complaint and you do not feel any relief after the massage, I would suggest talking with the therapist to see what they were trying to achieve by focusing so much on the area that they focused on. Unfortunately, there are some massage therapists out there that are not that competent at what they are trying to do, so it never hurts to ask. However, a fully qualified and competent therapist will be able to explain why they are working the area that they are and what they are hoping to achieve by doing so, and hopefully bring you some relief in the process.
On several occasions I have had people compare my rates to those charged at membership massage places and by other therapist or places that charge less than I do. So yesterday I decided to go to one of the membership places to see what exactly their massage was like. Up to this point I have never stepped foot in a massage membership place as I don’t agree with how they treat and pay their therapists, which in turn is devaluing massage in general industry wide (to me they are basically the Walmart of massage). However, I decided that instead of basing my opinion of the quality of massage they give on feedback from other people that I would try it for myself. I can say that I was not very surprised with the massage. Overall it was very relaxing and I almost fell asleep, but that could have been just from being tired. Aside from that, it pretty much confirmed my 'you get what you pay for' with massage. It was worth about $40 and that is it. The length of time, the pressure used and the overall massage were pretty much exactly what I was expecting to get for that price.
Here is a breakdown of that massage:
- The massage itself was just shy of 50 minutes long; I looked at the clock when she knocked on the door and again as soon as she left and it was actually about 47 minutes long.
- The techniques the therapist used were very limited and she spent a fair amount of time doing the exact same stroke over and over (about 6 times or more) in areas that did not really need that much attention.
- The work itself was not detailed at all. She only worked about mid thigh and down (the quadriceps and hamstrings are 2 of the biggest groups of muscles that we use a lot of every day and could use massage on the entire muscle) and did very little work on my gluts. She also did no work on my head, face or feet.
- The overall pressure was medium to light, even though I had told her she could not use too much pressure. I did not saying anything about the pressure to her but she also never asked either. I am not opposed to the use of lighter pressure, as there are times when it is very useful, and if the right techniques are used then that is all the pressure you need, but this was not one of those times.
- I also heard the receptionist telling another person that they are raising their monthly membership rate (for new clients) to $69.99 (though I bet they have not increased the amount they pay their therapists). So unless you have had a membership for years you are really not saving that much money and in the long run you would most likely end up paying more per massage. Yes you can save the unused massages and use them another time or transfer them to someone else, but people have a tendency to forget about those things, especially if they were not overly happy with the place. And if you cancel your membership I am not sure how long they will keep the credit for massages owed on their books.
- If I was to go in again, and because I did not sign up for a membership, the rate they charge is pretty much double their introductory rate. So unless you want to be locked into a monthly charge whether you get a massage or not, the price is no different than mine, except you have to drive there to get the massage instead of them coming to you.
I do know that on occasion people have been able to find a massage therapist at places like those that provide an overall great massage, so it is possible to do. However, they are usually worked so much that they burn out or injure themselves and in general they do not stay there very long. There are exceptions to everything so I am sure there are a few that stay around for a while, but that is not the norm from what I have been told.
Also, a few years ago I went to another place that charges about the same rate as this place did because one of my neighbors kept telling me about how much cheaper it was. So I went there to see what it was like. That place I was completely disappointed with for the following reason: I had told the therapist that I wanted deep tissue work done especially on my upper back, which I don't think she even got to medium pressure, she used St Ives lotion (about as cheap as you can get and filled with all kinds of chemicals, including alcohol which caused a burning sensation on my legs), their prices board has all these prices on it that you never pay because they 'give' you a membership card (to me that is deceiving and they only list those prices to make you think you are getting a great deal and so you tip higher as most places say that you should tip of the 'original' cost not the discounted cost), and when I was finished I paid with a $100 bill and the therapist asked if I wanted change when the total was only $60 ('original price' was $80, so 20%, which that therapist did not deserve, would have only been $16 not $40).
So, all in all, if you are looking for just a relaxing massage, not interested in having the full body massaged (minus certain areas of course), or care more about the price than the quality, then those places might just be the place for you. However, if you want a massage that really works the areas that need it, with firm pressure (if that is what you like) and is a thorough massage, then trying to save a few dollars may leave you very disappointed and without the relief that you need or want. Every person is different when it comes to the type of massage they like and/or want, so those types of places may work for some people but not for all people.
In the Phoenix area we seem to have quite of few marathons, 1/2 marathons, 5k's, 10k's, triathlons and such. With these events there are a lot of people wanting to get a massage before or after their event, which can be great but for some it can also do more harm than good. After discussing with several runners and massage therapists about people getting a massage before or after an event I decided to write this article as it seems there is some confusion and at times lack of understanding of when to get a massage and what type of massage to get is best, before and after an event. After doing some additional research I came to the following conclusions, feel free to leave comments below with any feedback.
If you want to utilize massage to help you run better, faster or longer it is best to add it into your training regimen as opposed to only getting one before or after a marathon. This way your body can get used to receiving a massage and you will be less likely to have any adverse effects. Bodies respond differently to massage work, especially deep tissue, and it can sometimes have a very adverse effect such as making your sick or very sore. If you do not get regular massages a shorter (20 to 30 minutes) and lighter massage before or after the event may be much better and can also help with increasing circulation which will in turn help with eliminating lactic acid.
In general it seems that it is best to have a lighter more flushing massage (Swedish or lymphatic type massage) immediately before and/or after an event, rather than a deep tissue. A deep tissue massage can bruise the muscles, cause micro-tears and/or induce swelling, all of which can impede your running and increase your risk of injury. You may not notice any of this until it is too late, so better to be safe rather than sorry. If bruising, micro-tears and/or swelling does occur it can cause your body to go into a healing mode which in turn will take away energy that you need for running. Also, light stretching can be helpful, but anything too intense or vigorous as it can cause micro-tears and induce swelling or irritation which can in turn lead to injury.
The best time get a deep tissue massage before a marathon is a week or more, and the best time after a marathon is two days or more after (once the soreness is gone). If it is a few hours after the event you may be able to handle a slightly deeper massage but should still not receive a deep tissue massage. And of course, keep up with your fluid intake (water and electrolytes) after any massage, as this will not only help flush toxins out but may help with cramping as well.
Other advice to that may be helpful:
- Try not to over train especially right before a marathon, this may help reduce your risk of injury and help your muscles store up the energy they need.
- Take a cool shower immediately after the event to help minimize small tears in the muscles and to help with reduce swelling. If a cold shower is not tolerable, trying using ice packs on your muscles. It is possible that a hot shower can contribute to the pain and increase swelling.
- Make sure to stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes up
- Listen to your body
So here is my first blog post, but hopefully not my last one. Seeing I am new to the whole blogging thing is may take me a little bit to get the hang of it. But to start things off, and seeing Christmas is getting closer by the day, here are some reasons to buy a gitft certificate for an in home massage for Christmas.
Top 10 Reasons a Gift Certificate for an In Home Massage is the Best Present for Christmas (any other time)
1. Almost everyone can use a great in home massage
2. You get to support a local business, instead of a chain
3. No shipping costs to worry about, can be email or mailed directly to the person
4. No waiting in long lines to buy, no traffic to deal with either. You can purchase right here online
5. It can be purchased 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
6. It won’t be the wrong size or color
7. The person receiving the gift will not have to travel to redeem it, as long as they live in the Phoenix area
8. You can get a break the next time they ask for a massage
9. It will be easy to find a box for it, or you can just put it in an envelope
10. You will feel great knowing the person you care about is getting a great in home massage from a licensed professional massage therapist