Saying Goodnight to Insomnia

I think one of the biggest issues I see are problems with sleeping and insomnia. Day after day in my news feed on Facebook, I see people praying and wishing to find that ever elusive thing called sleep. The mind doesn’t shut down, the body is tired, but they will not fall asleep. So then the sleeping pills are reached for, and those little things have quite a bit of side effects that aren’t good at all. Melatonin stops working, larger and larger doses are required. The daily stress continues to build, with the added pressure of no sleep or compromised sleep. Alertness, productivity, and well-being are a thing of the past.

There have been moments from time to time when sleeping has been an issue for me. Stretching ( the prolonged and long held kind) before bedtime, yoga, and meditation have all been things that helped me drift off. Thankfully I never had serious insomnia. For those who persistently seek sleep, you may also want to consider massage. According to the Institute for Integrative Healthcare, Serotonin plays a large role in the bodies ability to sleep. A lack of this chemical in the body leads to an inability to sleep. Massage has been shown to increase levels of Serotonin in the body. The brain has also been shown to have the ability to convert Serotonin into Melatonin. I’m going to venture to say that this form of Melatonin would be the most natural to the body and the most easily recognized. While science may be able to duplicate the processes of the body, for the most part, those processes that are naturally derived are always much more superior.

Integrate massage as part of your weekly or monthly routine. Along with the many other benefits you will derive from it, a good nights sleep is always welcome. Start by scheduling an appointment! If frequent massage is something that helps with this, set up a package that will reduce the cost per massage to make it more affordable. I look forward to helping you along this path!

Faith Foster, CMT                                                                                                                                                          757-695-8505

Finding Calm in the Midst of Stress

The other day, I had a client in Virginia Beach who requested an in-home massage. It was the day before her vacation and she needed to unwind from the stressors of life and go into that period of downtime in a relaxed and pain free state. It had been quite some time since she had a massage and while she was looking forward to it, the weight of circumstances were blocking her ability to receive. I began working on her and noticed that she was slow to relax. Many people are like this. It simply takes the ability to go in with long sustained strokes and slight persistant pressure to get the body to relax. It also takes the ability to simply just be in the moment. Sometimes our mind doesn’t want to shut down. It wants to continue in it’s chatter, to think and speak about the concerns and stress we are trying to get away from. I find that by focusing on the breath and simply not allowing a verbalization of that chatter, you help to guide the mind to a place of relaxation. You have to be willing to break that pattern to get to a place of simply submitting to calm. Easier said than done sometimes. The mind is a powerful thing. Channeling that power and redirecting it’s pattern can have a profound effect on the body. I gave her a little extra time because I saw that she really needed it. We don’t always give ourselves what we need. It took very little from me to give her something that shifted and expanded her experience. To simply see the peace in her face afterwards was thanks enough. It is why I do this work.
So how does one maintain this calm after the massage has come and gone? Beginning a practice of yoga and meditation does wonders for the mind and the soul. After all we are essentially our soul and our mind. Our body is just a manifestation of that. When we take care of those elements, everything else starts to fall into place. It is a slow and disciplined practice to engage the mind is such a way, and the rewards are tremendous. And it is never too late to begin to engage in a daily practice. It is what keeps us sane.

Beautifully Flawed

Unique – (Adjective) “Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.”

We grow up hearing how unique we are, how we are unlike anyone else who has ever come before us. That as an individual we have so much to offer the world, that no one else can quite contribute. There is some truth to it, but it is not the whole truth. It is even misleading at times. It can even go so far as to create a sense of separation from others.

Yes, we all have experiences that we feel and believe are completely owned by us. We believe we go through things in a way that no one else goes through and our stories are so very different from everyone else. We will even place more value on our struggle, and diminish another person’s experience by stating that no one else could possibly feel what we feel or experience what we experience. While this philosophy may hold some truth, it takes away from what the real truth. That uniqueness, much like beauty, is really only skin deep.

This is not to negate what we contribute and the individualism that we possess. It simply means that in our uniqueness we are essentially all the same. We go through the same things, we feel the same emotion, and we are not as unique as we think. At least, not in a sense that should lead to separatism. In today’s culture, even with all of our connectedness we still seem to suffer from so much separatism.

This collective sameness held by the masses is best seen in the way that our body responds to stress and emotion. As a massage therapist, I get a front row seat to the simplicity of what is perceived as complexity. Our bodies all maintain the same holding patterns. Muscles hold emotions, and our muscles and problem areas give away more than what we would like, to the person who knows how to interpret such things.

The neck tells the story of someone who stays in their head and dwells too much of their stress. It tells of the person who may not be able to voice their truth either because of circumstances or just the simple state of not knowing how. The back tells of financial woes, overbearing people or situations that become just too much to take on. The legs can tell of the uncertainty of what the future holds and how to move forward into it. And then there are areas that are not so obvious, that are to be held between the person and what they deal with. It’s not to say that I can put hands on someone and tell them their life, it’s just that I recognize that we all experience the same things. We cry, we fear, we hold anger and resentment. We worry and become overwhelmed. We are in control until we realize that we aren’t. And we all just really want to let it go and sometimes we just don’t know how.

I am privileged and humbled to be the one that gets a up close view to see a person for who they really are sometimes. To know the feeling of working on someone who seeks out massage to get some relief from the stressors of life. I am humbled by the evidence in someone’s face, the exhale of letting go, the pause of reflection. Mostly I am humbled when I feel the rapport established from affecting change. I live to affect change. I hope to inspire. To bring something to a situation that brightens, lightens, and changes a person in a positive manner. I am not the one who creates change. I am merely the facilitator. And for that I am grateful.

9 Reasons to Get A Massage!

Huffington Post put together this slide show that demonstrates the many reasons to choose massage. If you suffer from anxiety and depression, aches and pains, PMS, lowered immunity, sleep issues, migraines and headaches then massage is for you. Many people have the belief that massage is about pampering, and while this is part of it, the health benefits of massage far outweigh just the idea of something that is a luxury used to pamper oneself. The idea is to see massage as complementary and alternative medicine. Medication may seem like an easy solution, and one that is widely accepted, but if you are like me, all of those side effects start to diminish the one benefit you’re trying to achieve. Massage offers all of the relief without those side effects.

It is important to keep in mind that all types of massage may not work for you. If you have issues with blood clotting, medical conditions that are contra-indicative to massage, deep vein thrombosis, and any other questionable circumstances is it best to first check with your doctor to see what your limitations may be. While some types may not work, other types that are more energetic based and limited to specific areas can be a viable option.


Mobile Massage Therapy

Understanding that there is a need for relaxation, calm, and tranquility in this chaotic world, I have designed a service of massage therapy that I bring directly to the client. There is nothing quite like the luxury of unwinding in the comfort of your own home.

I operate from a baseline of Swedish and Deep Tissue/Sports while incorporating the Eastern Modalities of Shiatsu, Thai, and Reflexology. Assisted and PNF stretching is also utilized to help bring the body into alignment. Energy work is also another arm of my practice, as the mind and body are intricately connected.

Aromatherapy and essential oils are also shown to have soothing, healing, and meditative effects on the body. Sessions can be tailored to meet those needs using a variety of essential oils in the process.

I make all my own products, ensuring that everything that touches your skin is natural with no preservatives or chemicals. It’s very important that we be mindful what goes on the skin, for those are the things that enter into our body.

I was trained in Los Angeles at the National Holistic Institute and am Nationally and State Certified. The school taught from a holistic and homeopathic place and my time on the West Coast taught me much about approaching the body in this way. It is something that I incorporate into every aspect of my services.

I look forward to working with you