Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: June 2015

Backbreaking Labor

According to the United States Department of Labor statistics from 2013, 109 in every 10,000 full-time employees lost days of work due to occupational injury or illness. Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 33% of those cases, requiring employees to be away from work an average of 11 days. Tiffany Fields, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute, blames sitting. For so many of us, our jobs require sitting in chairs for hours on end, often resulting in pain and injury to areas like the neck, shoulders, back, and wrists. Unfortunately, conventional medicine like medications and surgery can have negative side effects, and fail to address the emotional, physical, and social consequences the patient might suffer. Unable to perform at one's job due to pain or injury can cause a person to feel incompetent, frustrated, lonely, anxious, afraid, or even depressed. Physically, conventional medicine only focuses on the specific location of the patient's pain, rather than approaching the patient's complaints from a fully integrated standpoint.

Massage therapy is unique in addressing the multitude of complex issues that arise from pain and injury in the work place. For example, when someone comes to me with low back pain, I don't just treat the low back. I'm also addressing the ribcage, abdominals, spine, hips, legs, and feet. Usually, there are compounded factors contributing to the pain symptoms. In fact, where someone feels pain is often not where the problem is.

Numerous studies have found that massage therapy decreases pain and inflammation. On an emotional level, repeated studies have found massage to relieve depression and anxiety, and improve sleep quality. But wait, there's more. A good massage therapist teaches you proper work ergonomics, good body mechanics, and self-care exercises that help you recover more quickly and decrease the risk of future injury. Of course, if you don't have an injury, receiving massage therapy regularly can significantly reduce the likelihood of getting hurt and missing days of work, especially if your job requires sitting at a desk or doing repetitive movements.

In other words, massage therapy can get to the bottom of your pain issues, relieve anxiety and depression, improve your ergonomics and body mechanics, teach you proper and effective self-care techniques, and get you back to working with confidence and ease. So be sure to regain and maintain control over your body and your job by getting massage therapy regularly and incorporating self-care into your daily schedule. Enjoy a long career and a healthy life!

Source: Massage Therapy Journal, Summer 2015

Relieve neck pain and tension with self-massage

The neck self-massage shown in this video is one example of a brief self-care routine that you can practice in between your massage therapy sessions in order to prolong the benefits.

Follow along with this simple self-massage routine for the neck that will ease neck pain and melt away tension.

What's new with me ...

I have gotten a good dose of art and culture this month! For our anniversary, Jesse got me tickets to see "Sleep No More," a unique theatre experience that has the audience actively exploring a spooky 1930s hotel and discovering actors performing various scenes based on Shakespeare's Macbeth, all throughout a painstakingly detailed set with around 100 rooms including a lunatic asylum, taxidermist's office, and an apothecary.

On my birthday, Jesse and I went to Central Park to see "Drifting in Daylight," which included a multitude of artistic creations celebrating the beautiful park. We came across a brass band on a boat, a solar-powered ice cream truck, perceptual art, dancers who weaved through the trees, and actors scattered throughout the park reenacting scenes from well-known movies shot in those very locations.

Sienna is enjoying the playgrounds and sprinklers. Her imagination seems to have expanded exponentially in the past few weeks. She's also obsessed with baby animals and demands that people address her as the current animal of her choice. Among her favorites are Sienna Piglet, Tiger Cub, Zebra Foal, Wolf Pup, Duckling, and Dingo Baby. Click here for lots of new photos!

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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