Hydrotherapy is the use of water (ice, steam, cold,or heat) to relieve pain and promote well being.
Ancient civilizations used hydrotherapy widely for relief from illness and to maintain their good health.
You may have experienced hydrotherapy by sitting in the steam room or sauna at the gym, or by taking your nightly bath.
In my massage practice, I make good use of hydrotherapy techniques by incorporating heat to soothe and relax all my clients. My favorite ways to do this are using hot packs and hot towels during the sessions.
Also, I offer a style of massage called Hot Stone Massage. This native american tradition uses heated basalt stones to massage away tension and stress.
Here's a few easy hydrotherapy recipes that you can try at home.
What you'll need:
5-10 drops of essential oil, herbs from the garden, or flower petals (anything you find pleasant will work.
one heat safe bowl
Tea kettle for boiling water
one bath towel
Boil the water and pour it in to the bowl. add your herbs, flowers, and/or essential oils ( I like lavender or eucalyptus)
Position your face over the bowl and cover your head and bowl with the towel.
Steam for 10 minutes.
Milk and Honey bath (from crunchybetty.com)
How to take a milk and honey bath: Pour 1-2 cups of milk (or 1/2 c. full-fat powdered milk) and 1/2 c. honey under running, warm water. Swish around to mix, and hop in.
For full effect, brush your skin lightly and in circular motions with a dry brush or a washcloth before getting in the bathtub.
Oatmeal bath (from crunchybetty.com):
How to take an oatmeal bath: Fill a knee-high nylon or thin sock without holes with 1/2 to 1 c. of oatmeal (not quick cooking or instant). Tie tightly at the top. Place it in your warm bath, with you, and squeeze it softly every so often to release the oatmeal “water.” Before leaving the bathtub, scrub your entire body lightly with the sock. To clean: Over a trash can, turn the sock inside out and scrape all of the oatmeal off the outside, then rinse well with warm water. Wash as normal.
Do you have any homemade recipes for baths or other hydrotherapy treatments?
Post them in the comments section!
I'd love to read them.
One of my favorite massages to give is most definitely Ashiatsu.
"Ashi-what? " is the response I get most of the time from clients and friends when I talk about this extremely effective style of massage that I learned a few summers ago.
Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy was developed by a massage therapist, Ruthie Piper Hardee, about 20 years ago, as a way to offer the deep tissue massage everyone loves with out causing pain and damage to her own body.
Self preservation is a must for people like massage therapists, as our work is very physical and can take a toll on our joints and muscles. Needless to say, I was excited about learning ashi for the sake of extending my career but I also experienced the effectiveness of deep compression early on in my first job as a massage therapist.
The woman who owned the massage establishment that I worked at would train us in an shiatsu technique that I now describe as more of a deep compression with feet which is the literal translation of ashiatsu.
Ashi= foot and Atsu= Pressure.
We would stand on the table and compress our clients with our feet holding on to a light fixture on the ceiling which is nothing like Shiatsu oriental bar therapy. Sometimes it was dangerous but it sparked my interest. The deep compression seemed to melt away the tension better than any compression technique I could do with my hands. I knew I had to learn more about barefoot massage techniques.
A few Summers ago, I decided to make it happen and signed up to take Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy from Jeni Spring of Heeling Sole Barefoot Massage in San Antonio. Jeni is one of ten AOBT instructors, including Ruthie Hardee, the founder of this specific technique.
I went down to Jeni's studio for an intense three day training to learn the art of barefoot basics. I was so in love with it from the beginning, even though it was exhausting and difficult, I knew I had found my new niche. It was going to revive my massage practice and after almost 10 years of massaging people, I needed NEW more than anything!
I practiced my new technique for several months on my husband (he loves it!) and friends before offering it as an option to my clients and continued to take trainings. This past summer I traveled to Houston to learn Ashi-Thai, which is an awesome blend of ashiatsu and thai massage. My next training will happen this coming year, where I'll learn advanced ashiatsu.
I'm so happy to be able to offer this unique style of massage and would love to work on you! Periodically, I hold open houses at my office, where I do live demonstrations of Ashiatsu. If you like deep tissue massage and are interested in booking an ashi session, send me an email or book your massage online under the appointments tab.
Ashiatsu is not for everyone. Because of the depth of this bodywork, people with recent injuries or surgeries should refrain from booking anything until they are fully healed (6 Months for surgeries.)
If you have any questions, please contact me before booking your session.
Have you ever wanted to extend the blissed out feeling that you have after a massage or thought about ways to make your massage experience better?
Here's a few tips on how to get the most out of your massage sessions.
1. Book your sessions when you know you can have time to recover a bit afterwards. Being stressed during the session about where you have to be afterwards is NO FUN. Make sure to schedule some time after the massage to recover so you're not flying off the massage table to make it to another appointment or obligation.
2. Come in at least once a month. People usually ask me how often they should be getting massage and my advice is this: If you are trying to resolve pain, I say come in once a week until the pain has subsided and then tapper off to every other week and then once a month for maintenance.
If you are just looking for relaxation and rest, then I suggest at least once a month. The benefits of massage are best felt if you get them regularly. If you wait months in between, you'll most likely feel great afterwards but that feeling won't extend in the long term.
3. Turn off your mind ( and your cell phone). Take that hour or hour and a half to turn off and check out. Talking during a session or thinking about your "To Do" list or a ringing phone is hardly relaxing.
4. Speak up. If you're ever uncomfortable during a massage, make sure to let your therapist know so that they can make the correct adjustments to the table, bolstering, temperature of the room, or pressure so that you can have a great experience.
5. Take it off. If you are wearing clothing during your massage it will block the therapists ability to work on problem areas. You will always be covered and your modesty will be protected with a full sheet (and I also use a light weight blanket). I usually suggest that my clients completely undress for my Ashiatsu styled massage to get the full flow of the technique.
6. Relax your muscles. There's no need to assist the therapist in moving (unless requested) or massaging. If you find that it's hard to let go, try taking a few deep breaths and consciously relaxing the area that is being worked on.
7. Come in with a clean body. Taking a warm shower before the session can be a great way to relax that stubborn tension, allowing the therapist to work deeper and get more done in the sessions time. Also washing away dirt from the skin before a massage is a good idea, so that it is not massaged back in to the pores.
8. Take care of your health. Massage is a great way to take care of yourself but having other self care rituals or routines such as regular exercise, healthy diet, and sleep will make all the difference. Massage therapy can inspire us to take better care of ourselves- by tuning in to our physical body, we can be more aware of how to take care of it better.
So, What are your tips on how to get the most from a massage session?
I'd love to hear from you!
Leave me a comment, if you'd like.
Thanks for reading!
Around 7 or 8 years ago, I began taking yoga classes to help heal the repetitive strain injuries and tension in my wrists and shoulders from doing massage. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to reverse my wrist pain and *Bonus* re-focus and mellow out my over-active, worry wort of a mind :)
I've Been Studying Yoga Nidra or "Yogic Sleep" for the last Few Years. I think that I'm so drawn to it because the effects are very similar to the effects a good, relaxing massage. My mission is to bring my clients relaxation and peace & Yoga Nidra is the perfect style of Yoga to fulfill that mission!
There are several parts to a Yoga Nidra Practice.
It seems that yoga nidra is an active practice with all these steps, but during the hour and a half class, you slip in to a wonderful meditation that feels like a deep sleep that you are completely aware of. Unlike a normal nights sleep, Yogic sleep is done when you are completely conscious and aware of whats going on.
Why try a Yoga Nidra Class you ask???
Here's a list of benefits of a regular Yoga Nidra practice:
Would you be interested in coming to a Yoga Nidra Class at Gaia Bodywork PLLC?
Check out my Class Offerings