Reviews: Massage Tools for Pain Relief

The reviews are in! While getting hands-on work is always best, when your therapist isn't available, turn to these massage tools:

#1 Choice for Neck Pain: Massage Blocks 

These are serious tools for deep trigger point relief. I'm especially fond of the soft textured yet firm round shape of the Neck Kit for tension headaches and suboccipital pain. I've also used the larger block in the kit for releasing my glutes and piriformis, and the smaller massage block for my lower back. This is a must have for self-care tools.

#1  Choice for Shoulder Pain: Trigger Point Cane

LiBa Back and Neck Massager Tool is more advanced than the Thera Cane, and at a nicer price point. This is the perfect tool to reach the Levator Scapulae muscle and hit that hard to reach sore spot between the shoulder blade and spine. We keep this tool at our massage studio to demonstrate to clients how to use it. Excellent for in-home self massage.

#1 Choice for Knee and Hip Pain: Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller

We love the TriggerPoint Grid foam roller for working on tight hamstrings, IT Bands, tense quads, and tight glutes. This foam roller is an amazing tool in preventing knee pain in runners when used regularly. It also provides a deep and firm stretch for piriformis, which is the muscle in your hip which can often cause pain and sciatica. Try to relax while rolling over it - tensing up against it won't benefit as much.

#1 Choice for Tension Headaches and TMJ Relief: T-Spheres

T-Spheres are an intensely satisfying combination between aromatherapy and massager spheres that can be cooled or heated to your comfort. I am especially fond of the lavender T-Spheres to soothe headaches and ease TMJ discomfort. They come in a portable bag, and the spheres are infused with aromatherapy oils. They also provide a refiller oil.

 

#1 Choice for Forearm and Wrist Pain: Roleo Massager

The Roleo Massager gives deep work to tired forearms and sore wrists. It's an excellent addition to your work desk - we have several at my massage studio for the therapists to use between clients. Excellent for people suffering from carpal tunnel or wrist pain from desk work and computer work. The amount of pressure can be changed easily to adjust to what you need, and the two soft ridges at the top create just the right about of pressure - like a deep tissue massage would.

The Heroes of the NYC Subway

Our friends over at Expectful do more than empower parents and parents-to-be through meditation aimed at giving a new life the BEST start in life. They remind us, in a time when most other sensory input seems to highlight the opposite, that love is, and will always remain the most powerful instrument of our emotional ensemble. This story of theirs will warm your heart and is a great reminder that a small gesture of kindness and humanity ripples through time, perhaps down generations to come. Thanks Anna, for reminding us the glass is half full! 

Article by Anna Gannon

I’ve sat on this post for quite sometime wondering when, if ever, I would share it with the world. But, in the wake of the political events these last few weeks and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’ve realized that now more than ever, we need to be reminded of the things that unite us as human beings.  

This story is about 15 strangers of different genders, ethnicities, and cultures who literally stood up for kindness so I could sit down while I was pregnant.

If you have ever rode the New York City subway, you have most likely seen a lot of the good and bad that humanity has to offer. Over the past six years riding the train, I have seen my fair share of love, aggression, joy, and frustration. I have witnessed fist fights, crazy dance routines and standing ovations. But, it wasn’t until I became pregnant last year that I saw a new category of humans that ride the subway:

The heroes.

When I was pregnant, I read numerous articles written by other expecting women about their disgust for all the times people didn’t stand up for them on public transit. When I read these posts, there was a part of me that understood their anger. After all, it’s not exactly a cakewalk being pregnant… and when you sit down there’s a giant sense of relief.

And if I’m being completely honest, for a while during my pregnancy, I too started to feel resentment towards the people who weren’t standing up for me. At five months pregnant, I had a belly that to me could no longer be mistaken for a burrito baby and I hadn’t once had someone offer me their seat.

Until one day, when someone did…

Brandon from Astoria, NY

Brandon from Astoria, NY

In the middle of rush hour, on a crowded train, a young man (pictured above) sprung up, apologized for not seeing me sooner and offered me his seat with a giant smile. He didn’t even ask if I wanted to sit, he just got up and insisted that I did.

When I sat down, I looked at him with complete amazement. Here was this man who was kind to me just for the sake of being kind. Suddenly, I didn’t see all the people that didn’t stand up, I just saw him.

It was that moment that I decided I wanted to rewrite what it’s like to be a pregnant woman riding the NYC subway. Not to dismiss or disregard what other woman have went through, but instead to shed light on the people who are standing up instead of the people who aren’t. In short, I wanted to shift our focus off of the negative and onto the positive.

So, that day at five months pregnant, starting with that young man, I asked to take a picture of everyone that stoodup for me. This was a way for me to document the faces of the heroes of the subway, of the people who are putting others before themselves and for the people that did something compassionate for my baby before she was even born.

In sharing this with all of you, I hope to bring awareness around not only standing up to  offer pregnant women or elderly people a seat, but for standing up for anyone that you think could use a seat more than you. Maybe it’s the construction worker who has been working outside all day in the blazing sun or the tired waitress who has been on her feet since 5am. It doesn’t have to be a big belly or a cane that makes you jump from your seat. It can just be that your human instinct tells you that person could need it more than you.

Simple acts of kindness create ripple effects and the more we can focus on the good things we can do for each other, the more compassion and love we can spread into the world.

Majda

Majda

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

Jascimta Edwards

Jascimta Edwards

Cynthia, Astoria

Cynthia, Astoria

Dan, Astoria

Dan, Astoria

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

DK, Astoria

DK, Astoria

Nick Paolucci

Nick Paolucci

Alyssa, Astoria

Alyssa, Astoria

Lisa, Brooklyn

Lisa, Brooklyn

Katia & Leilani

Katia & Leilani

Sacroiliac Joint Correction - A Different Model

 
 

By Marc Heller, DC

So many of our patients have chronic sacroiliac dysfunction. I have written several times about this problem, from several perspectives. This article will describe the work of Richard DonTigny, a physical therapist from Havre, Mont.

DonTigny has developed a home program, a set a basic exercises to reset the patient's sacroiliac (SI) joint, as well as a simplified form of mobilization for the SI joint. DonTigny's work all goes in one direction, taking the anteriorly [forward] rotated ilium in a posterior [backward] direction. DonTigny does this bilaterally on every SI patient. When I was introduced to this work, I was quite skeptical; it seemed too simple. I am still not sure if DonTigny's biomechanics are correct. He tends to see nearly all lower back pain as a result of this pattern of SI dysfunction, while I tend to look more broadly. What I do know is that his procedures (both those the practitioner does and those the patients do for themselves) are very helpful for selected patients.

Many of our low back pain patients return to the office with a recurrence of posterior or anterior innominate [hip] pattern: iliums [the uppermost and largest region of the coxal bone] rotated in the sagittal [left/right] plane. Especially when this malalignment is associated with sacroiliac joint tenderness and other indicators of sacroiliac dysfunction, it tells us the joint is not functioning properly.

DonTigny's basic indicator is tenderness. He checks the medial aspect of the upper PSIS [posterior superior iliac spine - the upper backside ridge of the hip bone], the medial aspect of the ilium at the S3 level, and the PIIS [posterior inferior iliac spine - bony protrusion below the PSIS]. When one or more of these are tender, he feels the SI is involved. He also notes leg length, and tests whether his procedures shorten the leg after correction.

...

[To help stabilize this joint, there are several things both patient and practitioner can do: One basic tool is enhancing abdominal tone, particularly of the transverse abs, pelvic floor, and multifidi (which run vertically alongside the spine). Another is the application of massage techniques such as the cross-frictional massage or the Graston Technique which break up adhesions and initiate first-stage healing in the ligaments and tendons surrounding the joint.] [But] what can patients do themselves? DonTigny has developed a series of simple exercises that reset the joint. If the unstable patient will correct their own SI alignment daily, or (better yet) several times a day, they will tend to "hold the adjustment" much better.

Sacroiliac Self-Correction Exercises

What are the basic exercises that reset the SI? The first one will look familiar to those of you familiar with post-isometric relaxation or muscle energy technique. I have reproduced a whole series of pictures, showing different positions in which to do the same basic exercise. The basic routine is to have the patient bring the leg up to the chest, grasp the leg with both arms, and push outward with the leg against resistance. DonTigny recommends pushing outward hard for five to 10 seconds, then alternating legs, doing each side three to five times. Note that this can be done supine, sitting, standing using a chair, or in a doorway.

The second type of exercise is performed supine, with one knee bent, pushing the knee directly along the line of the femur. As you do this, the pelvis will lift on that side, slightly off the surface. You can get a little better motion into the pelvis by wrapping a long belt or strap around the knee, and pushing the knee into the strap (not pictured). Note the sagittal plane torque this is trying to produce in the pelvis. Do this three times on each side, holding for five to 10 seconds at the top. I find that on the involved side, it will feel much stiffer, and it is harder to lift the pelvis freely.

The third set of exercises involves flexing the hip as far as you can, simultaneously pulling it out to the side of the body. A second variation of this is done using a chair or bench and bending forward on the bent- leg side. I would have patients who have possible disc issues, especially those sensitive to flexion, be careful with these by keeping the spine in neutral, or avoiding these exercises altogether.

...

I recognize this is a different model of the SI than most of us use. I recommend you read DonTingny's articles for a deeper understanding of his view of the biomechanics and pathomechanics of the SI joint.

...

Keep an open mind - this is probably nothing like what you usually do to correct the SI joint. I have found these procedures quite effective for selected patients. These techniques seem to work best for the patient with an anterior rotated ilium, found usually on the right, when the right SI also is fixated.

Link to Original Article: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=50535

Anti-Slouch Yoga Strap Trick

Do you sit at a desk for long periods of time? Long drives or commutes putting you back in a chair? These situations can cause a myriad of effects on the body including neck and back pain, overused muscles, and even inefficient breathing. 

The mind, body, and emotions are all affected by our posture. There are numerous studies that show how our posture affects our lives in the professional and personal space of being. It can even be narrowed down to the friends, jobs, and relationships you may be experiencing. 

We seek support with holistic practices like yoga and massage to help alleviate these ailments and create our most efficient breath and enhance the experience of being in our bodies. This is a simple trick with the assistance of a Yoga Strap that will help you fit right into your perfect posture.

By Andrew Abel

 

Step A:

Take a long cloth yoga strap and wrap it around your bra line (gents, this is roughly at the base tip of your shoulder blades) and pull the extra length evenly in front of you.

Step B:

Throw the ends of the straps over each shoulder like overalls. The excess strap will dangle behind you like hair falling down your back.

Step C:

Grab the straps and criss-cross them to create an X shape on your back. Reach back and gently tug both sides of the strap down and away from each other until you feel your shoulder heads roll back and your lower trapezius release.

Step D:

Bring the excess length back around to the front where you can buckle it at your breastbone (or under your pecs). Tighten until it feels comfortable and open. Make sure you don’t tighten it so much to create discomfort!

A special thanks to Yoga Journal's Kathryn Budig for her informative short article and complementary photo.

Source: http://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/kathry...

News: Massage Williamsburg is Expanding to Greenpoint

Huge thank you to Andy Smith at Greenpointers for writing about the scoop!:

Rachel Beider, LMT and Proud Owner of Massage Williamsburg, and soon Massage Greenpoint

Rachel Beider, LMT and Proud Owner of Massage Williamsburg, and soon Massage Greenpoint

"The owner of Massage Williamsburg, Rachel Beider, 32, takes a therapeutic approach to massage, specializing in pain relief and prenatal care. “New York City is stressful,” she says. “There’s an energy and you can thrive on that, but it can be exhausting as well. We aim to be a sanctuary where people can relax.”

Eight years after opening Massage Williamsburg, having served over 14,000 unique customers and clients, Rachel Beider will be expanding her business and opening a second location on Greenpoint Avenue aptly titled Massage Greenpoint.

Massage Greenpoint will open next month!

Massage Greenpoint will open next month!

“The medical side of massage therapy can feel cold and less approachable,” says Beider. “And spas seem to be pushing products, and playing corporate music… I want to do something different.”

Having moved to NYC from Detroit 15 years ago to study photography at SVA, Rachel Beider initially worked as a photo assistant, though “photo work is inconsistent,” says Beider who has also worked as a dog walker, nanny, retail, associate, a bevvy of “NYC jobs.”

One day, as a young graduate, Beider posted a missed connection on Craigslist for a boy she made eyes with on the L train. Luckily enough, Rachel and the boy reunited and shortly thereafter took an extensive trip through Southeast Asia where they studied and practiced Thai massage.

It was on that trip when Rachel Beider, who has scoliosis, discovered her love for massage as therapy and subsequently applied to and attended the Swedish Massage Institute in NYC. And while the relationship with the boy didn’t quite work out, Beider graduated from the Institute and opened a single treatment room in a studio on Wythe Avenue: Massage Williamsburg.

“WilliamsburgMassage.com was taken, “ says Beider. “And I was teaching myself all these SEO tactics, ya know, to have your key words in the domain, and I saw that MassageWilliamsburg(.com) and MassageGreenpoint(.com) were both available so I bought them.”

Beginning with just the one private room and treating all the clients herself, Beider’s business grew quickly: within five months she added another three rooms and now has nine treatment rooms. Massage Greenpoint will include another eight treatment rooms in a suite at 37 Greenpoint Ave between Franklin and West.

Reception at Massage Williamsburg

Reception at Massage Williamsburg

 

“When you’re booked solid, there’s only a couple things you can do,” says Rachel Beider. “You can raise your prices, or you can expand.”

Beider, who lives in Greenpoint with her boyfriend and her dog, Winston, secured a five-year lease for the Greenpoint Avenue location.

“Greenpoint Avenue has a lot of cool stuff right there,” Rachel says. “Yoga, pilates… but perhaps it’s underserved by massage therapy.”

Currently employing four front desk staff and 30 massage therapists, mixing fulltime positions and contractors, Beider anticipates doubling her staff with Massage Greenpoint.

Construction underway for the new location

Construction underway for the new location

 

Demolition and build out at the Greenpoint location began last month and Beider expects to be open in August. “Mid or late August,” she says. “We’ll have to let the paint dry.”

Our Clients LOVE US! Latest Reviews:

"Well...that was the best massage I've ever had. Richard is basically magical. Great staff. Great talent. Highly recommend."

"Total game changer.  Ask for Tommy - he was amazing.  I would go back as much as I can afford to!"

"Aaron A was great! I don't find many LMTs that I feel really take the time to listen to me and my body but I felt Aaron really tailored the massage to my needs. He even took a few minutes after to discuss some stretches for my tighter areas."

"I have been going to Massage Williamsburg for just over a year. I cannot recommend Tanya highly enough. (If fact I introduced my incredibly particular mother to Tanya and we've been sharing her as a masseuse ever since.) Tanya's massages are equal parts amazing stretches and "just deep enough" kneading. She genuinely cares about your concerns and will not do anything that isn't safe--like massage your feet if you've had a baby recently. Plus: she shares stretches with you after the massage that you can do at home. Not only to I enjoy the before and after, the anticipation of a luxurious massage makes the whole week fly by!"

"I was treated by a friend to a massage at Massage Williamsburg this week, my second massage EVER, and now, probably not my last. My first massage was relaxing, but that is about it. I'm a pretty tough cookie, and when I walked out of my first experience a few years ago, I decided that it wasn't worth the money. It was nice, but I didn't see the benefits lasting past that afternoon. Now I know I just didn't have the right masseuse! I saw Jali when I went in, let him know that I would rather have some deep work, and he listened! The massage was much more of an experience, I felt like something was actually being DONE to my muscles instead of just someone rubbing my back until i fell asleep. And the next day I was even sore! Not terribly sore, but satisfyingly sore. Totally recommend Massage Williamsburg (the vibe is awesome and relaxing, and the location is great) and especially recommend Jali! Thanks!"

"Visited NYC for Thanksgiving.  Had tweaked my lower back the week before, and then sat on a cross-country plane, which resulted in stiffness and pain.  Called Massage Williamsburg and asked for a 90-min massage the day before Thanksgiving.  It was the highlight of my trip -- Miles is clearly a professional and worked on my kinks and sore spots.  I rarely indulge myself with a massage, but this was the best I've ever experienced.  If I lived in New York, I would be a regular.  That said, when I come back to visit again, I am booking an appointment.  The ambiance is soothing -- highly recommend."