Why Adhesions Cause Pain And What To Do About It

Ad-whatnow?
Adhesions. You may hear your massage therapist use this word. It sounds medical, and usually comes out during your massage as an explanation for why this or that stroke hurts like crazy.

As in, “It feels like you have some adhesions in there!”

What are adhesions?
Adhesions are scar tissue that forms between muscle fibers and organs. They’re a natural result of stress on muscles or organs. They’re one of the reasons you feel stiff and sore after a heavy workout or after surgery.

Usually, however, adhesions have no symptoms at all. This is why you may come out of a massage saying “I’m feeling places I didn’t even know I had!” The adhesions were pulling on your muscle tissue, causing a stinging pain.

Most adhesions are fairly innocuous, and result as a part of normal muscle function and exertion. Most have the consistency of wet tissue paper. With repetitive stress and motion, however, they can get strong, firm, and can begin to adhere tightly to muscle fibers.

Abdominal adhesions
Abdominal adhesions are a special case, and can cause major health problems and chronic pain. Adhesions in the uterus, also called endometriosis, can even cause infertility and painful periods.

Solutions
There’s really very little that can be done for adhesions. There’s no miracle drug, and adhesions won’t even appear on x-rays, CT scans, or any kind of imaging. There’s not even a test to confirm their presence definitively, and Doctors won’t even diagnose endometriosis without surgery.

For severe cases of abdominal adhesions, laproscopic or open surgery is the primary method of diagnosis and treatment.

But there is hope outside of surgery.

Massage to the rescue!
The biggest benefit of massage for adhesions is prevention. Regular massage helps prevent adhesions from becoming so strong that they cause pain and affect your posture. The more they’re broken down with regular massage, they less likely they are to become a problem.

Keep in mind that breaking down adhesions in muscle tissue isn’t for the faint of heart or those who only want massage for relaxation and not treatment. When your massage therapist encounters adhesions in your muscle tissue, you’ll know it. Massaging adhesions causes a distinct, stinging pain you’ll feel on contact.

As the massage therapist continues the strokes, the pain will decrease. This is a good kind of pain! Still, if you want your therapist to ease into it or back off the pressure, please say so. Don’t suffer in silence.

To help manage the pain of having adhesions worked in a massage, remember to relax. Easier said than done. Relaxation takes a real conscious effort in this case, but it’s well worth it.

Breathing is also key here. Focus on your breath, and by no means should you hold your breath through the pain. Slow, deep breaths help decrease the pain and takes your focus off how much it hurts. You’re also sending more oxygen to the area in pain, which can only do it good.

Abdominal massage
The Good Life Massage offers a distinctive abdominal treatment designed specifically to ease the suffering of those who have a large number of abdominal adhesions. It consists of a series of half-hour treatments focused wholly on the abdomen. It was devised by our own Amy Gunn, LMP and is based on scientific research indicating the benefits of massage for treating endometriosis. This treatment is ideal for anyone experiencing abdominal pain that might be a result of adhesions.

Need pain relief? Book a massage now!
For general work on muscles throughout your body, any massage session will work.

For a specialized session for abdominal adhesions, be sure to select Visceral Manipulation when booking.

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage.

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5 Reasons to Make Couples Massage Part of Your Next Night Out

When was the last time you went on a date? Dating, especially when you’re in a well-established relationship, can be tough to manage. You’ve heard so many of the other person’s stories. You’ve fallen into familiar patterns that, while reliable and maybe even enjoyable, have made your dating life a little repetitive and boring. What’s more, if you share a household with the other person, it’s all too easy for every-day hassles and worries to intrude on your time together.

If you’re dating someone new, the pressure is on to impress, to help the relationship progress.

These two common dating scenarios have one thing in common: STRESS.

And science has shown that stress generally isn’t fun. Not only that, but it can get in the way of intimate time with your partner.

That’s why we’d like to humbly recommend a modification to your dating routine that could make a huge difference.

Couples massage

To define our terms here, a couples massage is when two people come in for a massage together at the same time in the same room. Each of you get a custom massage from your own massage therapist in a relaxing setting.

There are several benefits to recommend this, beyond just stress relief. These are just a few:

Great value
Couples massage is a great value! Our couples session is significantly less than if you booked two separate sessions. To add even more to the value, every massage includes a free select session enhancement of your choice and a chocolate to enjoy on your way to whatever else the evening holds.

Not spontaneous
Trust us, this is a feature, not a bug. Our couples sessions require some advance planning. This shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider the sheer logistics involved: two therapists with different schedules need to both be available at the same time on the same day. This is one reason we’re one of the few massage clinics in the Seattle area that offer couples massage, and we may be the only one the area that has more than one room devoted to that kind of session.

For this reason, you’ll need to plan your session at least a day or two in advance. Even if you could do a couples massage on a whim, keep in mind that a couples massage as a surprise is not a great idea unless you’re very clear on how well your surprise will be received. People sometimes get anxious about disrobing, bodily functions, or have hang-ups about being touched in this kind of setting. Be sensitive to these possible concerns!

Note: if you wish to book a couples massage with us, we recommend calling us at

425-243-7705

Couples massages can be requested through our online booking, but the booking isn’t complete until you’ve had a phone conversation with us, so you may as well just call.

In the mood
If you’re both game, a couples massage can melt the stress out of date night right away. You’ll both be more able to relax and enjoy whatever your evening holds, and stay resilient if things do go quite to plan.

The ultimate appetizer
We recommend making the massage the first item on your itinerary for several reasons. First, you’ll both be in the same relaxed frame of mind at the beginning of the date. You’ll already be on the same page! Also, since massage increases your mind-body awareness, you’ll be able to fully enjoy whatever sensual experiences lie ahead, whether they be intimate or culinary.

Note: do not come for your massage after drinking alcohol, so you may want to save dinner or drinks for after.

So, consider making a couples massage your new date night tradition! You won’t regret it.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage.

Essential Gear for a Good Nights’ Sleep

 

As we struggle to take care of ourselves and not drown in stress, sleep is your life jacket. It lengthens your life long-term while improving creativity and brain function in the short term. On the flip side, doing without can have serious consequences and can’t be “caught up” on. We can’t always control our circumstances, but your bedroom is personal–yours–and with rare exception, entirely within your power to change. A few simple tools could make a big difference in the quality of your sleep.

Before your fill your bedroom with new gear, we strongly recommend getting rid of the junk. Relocate that TV, get that junk out from under your bed and either get rid of it or store it somewhere else. Chuck that practically-unused fitness equipment, fold your laundry and switch to body-weight exercises or join a gym. That room is made for two things: sleep, and … the other one (eh-hem). The more you focus the space to those purposes, the more it will serve you instead of the other way around.

Once you’ve cleared out the junk that’s holding you back from getting a good nights’ sleep, it’s time to select a few important things that can help you embrace a peaceful night of sleep, every night.

An alarm clock
No, your phone really isn’t good for this. Charge it somewhere else at night. The blue-white lights of the phone screen will activate chemicals in your brain that will actually stimulate you and keep you up. It’s also best to stick to clocks that have red or amber displays. Green and blue displays can have the same effect as your phone.

A white noise machine
White noise can help drown out drippy faucets, ticking clocks, creaking boards, a siren down the street, or other little sounds that might disrupt your sleep. We recommend a fan or a white noise machine that doesn’t generate the noise electronically, but electronic ones do have more options if you prefer to listen to rain or ocean wave noises as you drift off.

A medium firm pillow
Most of us think that the softer the pillow is, the better. Not so, according to sleep studies conducted in Germany. Pillows with medium firmness give you comfort along with adequate support. Sinking into a fluffy cloud every night may sound nice, but in practice it destabilizes your neck and disrupts your sleep.

An air conditioner
Did you know that there’s an optimal temperature for sleep? In the Pacific Northwest many find AC to be indispensable during the summer months, and it turns out that those people are on to something. Most experts agree that the ideal bedroom temperature is around 68 degrees–slightly cooler than usual room temperature. Keeping your room comfortable helps prevent you from waking, and makes it easier for you to go back to sleep if you do wake up.

A face mask
We offer face masks to our clients as a courtesy whenever sensory deprivation is desirable, but there’s no reason you can’t benefit from one at home. They’re inexpensive, comfortable, and prevent light from waking you up or decreasing the quality of your sleep. If you can’t handle having something on your face, at least invest in some opaque window shades so you have the option of shutting out light completely.

Experiment with these! Have fun with your new toys as you see how well they work.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage.

5 Green Ways to Beat the Heat

5 Green Ways To Beat The Heat

It’s so easy to flip a switch and get comfortable. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that to take care of our planet, convenience shouldn’t always come first. When the heat gets to be too much, where can you turn without turning on the AC?

Get out of the house
A great way to conserve electricity during the day is to get out of the house! Find a shady spot in a park or a place with a nice breeze. Come get a nice massage with free ice treatment or treat yourself to cold stone spot treatment as an enhancement to your session. Our clinic is already air conditioned, and it will be running whether you’re here or not. All that’s missing is you!

In fact, the same logic goes for coffee shops, movie theaters, stores, malls, public libraries, and other public places that don’t mind if you come in and cool off for a minute. So don’t let that electricity go to waste!

Sleep outside
It’s amazing how much your home can retain the heat of the day long after the sun has gone down. Whether or not camping is your cup of tea, it’s a great time to spread out a pad or an air mattress on the back lawn, unroll a sleeping bag, and slumber under the stars.

Stay hydrated
Your body simply can’t cool itself unless you’re drinking plenty of water. It will help you think more clearly, stabilize your mood, and make it easier for you to stay comfortable throughout the day. Cool water is best, as it will help lower your body temperature slightly. Water is best, but there are other choices that will help you hydrate as well. It’s a misconception that caffeinated drinks dehydrate you. It’s true that caffeine is a diuretic, but the water in caffeinated drinks more than compensates for this effect. The main caution in flavored drinks or coffee is sugar. Try to opt for drinks sweetened with honey or agave nectar so not to spike your blood sugar.

Get wet
You’d be surprised what a little cold water in the right spots will do to help you feel cooler. Apply ice packs or a wet wash cloth to key spots on your body, including:

  • forehead
  • behind the knees
  • on the wrists
  • on the ankles

This is particularly useful if you’re hot at night and can’t get comfortable enough to sleep.

Plant trees
Besides being beautiful, trees are the best possible way to shade your home from summer heat. They also help consume the carbon you might be releasing into the atmosphere to run the AC. This is no quick-fix, but it could save you a fortune in the long run, not to mention add value to your property.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can reach him to help develop your brand with logos and content marketing by contacting him at tomgunn@gmail.com.

The Nominees Are In! May the Best Man Win!

The Nominees Are In!

We put out the call, and you answered! We wanted to give away a special 60 minute 4-Hand massage with aromatherapy and host stone spot treatment enhancements to a very special man chosen by you, our clients and friends. We wish we could have put more men up for a vote on this. Whomever is the lucky guy to win this prize, we’re grateful for all the great guys in our lives who quietly hold the world together without a boast, without asking for a word of thanks, and who’d blush to be recognized. We see you. We appreciate you.

Read the nominations below carefully! They’re in the words of loved ones who know them best. Think it over. But don’t think about it too long. Cast your vote on the poll on our Facebook page before June 14, 2018.
May the best man win!

Steven
I would like to nominate my husband, Steven Haase, to win the Fathers Day massage. He is so supportive and such a hard worker, he deserves it!

We met five years ago through a mutual friend. We fell in love quickly and I was sure he was The One only weeks into our relationship!

Let me tell you, chivalry is not dead with him. To this day, he still holds doors open for me, opens the car door for me, tells me how much he loves me and says how beautiful I am every day. He makes me feel so special!
We recently had our first baby in February. While I was pregnant, I had morning sickness for seven months! He always would hold my hair back and say something soothing. I would nap on the couch, falling asleep to Harry Potter DVDs and he would change out the DVDs once one movie ended while I was still sleeping. He helped with the chores and always made sure I was as comfortable as possible. He cooks dinner and makes sure that I get something healthy (meat protein and veggies. I don’t cook). Once having our baby, his continued support is still strong! He was able to take paternity leave with me for two months. He is such a good father, I as a mommy, look to him because he is a natural.

He deserves this massage and I hope he wins! I can’t say enough good things about my best friend, husband, and partner in crime for the rest of my life.

Robert
My husband Robert is so selfless. He married into a remodel of my 111 year old home. His honey-do list has been unending, and he tackles every project with enthusiasm and craftsmanship. He suffers with back problems, yet endured the pain to achieve our dream home. He is always readily available for our blended family, and has embraced my children as his own. Robert truly deserves the incredible massages you provide.

Best of luck to both these good men!

Choose the good life.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can reach him via email at tomgunn@gmail.com

 

Take Some Stress Off His Shoulders

Nominate Him - Facebook Graphic

Every time Father’s Day comes around, it’s nice, to say the least, to say thank you to the men in your life that have had the biggest impact. In spite of everything we see in headlines about bad men, you can still find good men everywhere, quietly holding the world on their strong shoulders. These good men are mentors, teachers, nurturers, and builders. Day-in and day-out, they do thankless, even dangerous tasks without even dreaming of asking to be recognized or celebrated.

Not every man is perfect. Life is difficult, and everyone makes mistakes. But without these men in our lives, our challenges would feel overwhelming, and our lives less stable and managable.

We encourage you to join us this Father’s Day in celebrating the amazing men in our lives with a little something extra.
We want to honor one very special father or father-figure this year with a 60 minute four-hand massage treatment, complete with our aromatherapy and hot stone spot treatment enhancements. We wish we could offer this to every deserving man, but we need your help in finding one special man to honor this year.

Do you know a good man who deserves this? Now is your chance to let the world know about his influence, to make sure these unsung heroes finally have their stories told.

Email your story to us, including the first and last name of your nominee (you can’t nominate yourself), and a few short paragraphs telling us about what makes him so deserving by June 7, 2018. Tell their story! We’ll select three finalists and announce them on June 9, 2018. Then we’ll let you, our clients and friends on social media, vote for their favorite. The final winner will be announce on June 14, 2018.

Send your nominations to support@goodliferenton.com.

We’re as excited to read your stories as we are to treat the winner, so get on it! Remember the deadline for nominations is June 7, 2018.

Before You Set Your Goals, Set Your Fears

Before You Set Your Goals

“We suffer more in imagination than in reality.” -Seneca

So many gurus and life coaches these days will tell you that the best thing you can do to help you reach your goals or turn your life around is to think positive. “Set big, specific goals!” “Go after the life you really want!” And, truly, this is good advice. It’s good to be specific and to think positive about what you want out of life.

With that said, maybe too much attention is paid to what we want and thinking positive. What about the negative things? What about those worries and fears that keep you up at night? Should you just put on a happy face and push down those nasty thoughts with fantasies about your future?

That really isn’t the best strategy.

It’s a bit like when you were a little kid and were afraid of the dark. Everything that seemed familiar and friendly in the daytime suddenly takes on a sinister cast in the dark. The familiar, harmless creaks in the floorboards become a monster approaching. The coat hanging on the door becomes a looming apparition. Remember what happened when you turned on the lights, or the sun rose? Suddenly those sinister things seemed utterly harmless and manageable.

This is the right approach to the things you fear. Look them in the eye. Unlike those innocent days of childhood, you have legitimate things to fear from the world. Terrible things can happen to the best of us, and there are things even worse than death that can happen to us. And yet, not everything is as scary as it seems.

So what do you do with this fear?

Most of us try not to think about it. And that might be the whole problem.

I recently ran across a method for facing the fears that might be holding us back that I’ve found to be highly effective. It’s called fear setting. Entrepreneur Tim Ferriss developed this system based on the teachings of the ancient Greek philosophers known as stoics, and I highly recommend his TED talk on the subject. The link is below.

How it works
The idea is that what’s really keeping you from doing what you really want to do with your life is unspoken fears that may be consciously or subconsciously holding you hostage. What do these fears demand? Your attention. Fear setting is about giving the hostage takers what they want, and that’s all you have to do to liberate yourself.

But fear is a tricky beast to outwit. Since fear helps you survive, it has a way of pulling all your biological strings. It causes your heart to race, your palms to sweat, and tenses your muscles–all without your consent or awareness.

To get around this, you have to attack it systematically.

Fear setting consists of three pages of notes, and shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes to an hour of your time, usually much less.

Page one
At the top of the page, write the thing you’re thinking of doing that gives you some level of anxiety, for example, asking that person out on a date, applying for that job, signing the papers (divorce, house, marriage license, car, whatever), making that investment, taking that trip–anything that carries risk which fear might be holding you back from doing. Next, you’re going to make a simple table in the middle of the page with three columns. The first column is every worst-case-scenario thing that could go wrong if you pull the trigger on whatever it is, everything you fear the most.

In the next column, for each worst-case-scenario, you’re going to list all the ways you might be able to prevent that terrible thing from happening.

In the third column, for each worst-case-scneario, you’re going to list all the ways you might be able to fix it if that terrible thing happens, or the names of people who might be able to help you through it.

That’s page one.

Page two
This is where things get fun. List all the good things that might happen if you go through with the thing. Simple, but exhilarating and energizing.

Page three
Just in case you need that little extra push, it’s time to contemplate what might happen if you do nothing and just maintain the status quo. You’ll need another three-column table for this one because you’re going to contemplate what your life will be life if you do nothing for three time periods: 6 months, 1 year, and 3 years. Be sure to take into account any applicable aspect of your life: finances, relationships, occupation, etc. This is where you’ll take a good, hard look at the hell you don’t want, but which might be coming your way if you do nothing.

That’s it!

So what
Is this just a way to talk yourself into doing literally anything? No. This is about being honest with yourself in every possible way. In fact, you’re almost as likely to talk yourself out of something.

Ferriss puts it this way: “It’s not a panacea. You’ll find that some of your fears are very well founded. But you shouldn’t conclude that without first putting them under a microscope.”

What I did
I’ve been working on a creative project off and on for some time. I had put it on hold for a while to focus on some other priorities. After the storm passed, there was the project staring at me with an expectant look. I knew I had to begin again, but I felt some reluctance. What was holding me back? I saw an opportunity to put Ferriss’ method to the test.

I actually forgot to do the other two pages! All I did was page one, and yet … It got me going! It didn’t take long at all, and I jumped right into a highly detailed planning session for the remainder of the project, setting incremental deadlines with clear deliverables.

And I did it with zero hesitation, because I had a clear answer to the question “what’s the worst that could happen?”. We’ll see how the project goes, but I met my first incremental deadlines, and I’m well on my well to meeting the next one. For me, Fear Setting was powerful, and has easily sold me on this method for contemplating other things I might be feeling anxious about.

Ferriss says he does this exercise at least once a quarter. I’ve since used a similar technique just in my head for smaller hassles and sources of anxiety in my life. For instance, I might ask myself “what’s the worst that can happen if I don’t get this done?” or “what would I do if this thing I’m afraid of happens?” If I can answer this uncomfortable questions, suddenly I feel empowered to move forward. And maybe that very discomfort is where the opportunity lies. Joseph Campbell said “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

The cave you fear to enter ...

Tim Ferriss puts it this way:

“The hard choices–what we most fear, doing, asking, saying–these are very often what we most need to do. And the biggest challenges and problems we face will never be solved with comfortable conversations, whether it’s in your own head or with other people.”

Choose the good life.

Tim Ferriss’ TED Talk:

https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_ferriss_why_you_should_define_your_fears_instead_of_your_goals

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. Visit our website for more information or to book a massage online. You can contact Tom Gunn to help you build your brand with branding design and content marketing by contacting him at tomgunn@gmail.com.