Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: June 2017

It pays to stay engaged during your massage

A new study compared traditional massage to what researchers termed "a new massage approach" in treating chronic low back pain - a condition 70%-80% of adults experience at some point in their lives.

The study involved 51 patients with chronic low back pain. The patients were randomly assigned to the traditional massage group or the experimental massage group. The traditional massage consisted of a specific protocol of traditional massage techniques applied to the low back.

The experimental massage group involved a protocol identical to that of the traditional massage, with the addition of language. There was a preparatory phase at the beginning of every session, in which the patient was asked to memorize the pleasant sensation of the therapist's touch, and then "bind" that feeling to the painful low back area. The therapist then touched the painful area, and the session proceeded with traditional massage.

Communication between the patient and therapist was used throughout the experimental massage sessions. The study states, "During the massage session, the patient had an active role, providing continuous feedback through dialog with the PT. The patient was actively involved in the treatment with regard to emotional and cognitive perception."

Although both massage groups experienced a decrease in chronic low back pain, the results for the experimental group were significantly greater and remained so even at a 3-month follow up. The experimental group also showed a significant improvement in both physical and mental quality of life whereas the traditional massage group had no notable changes.

At your next massage, I urge you to remain aware of sensations in your body. Notice the temperature of the therapists hands, the sensation of pressure, your tension melting, your muscles softening, your breath deepening. Communicate your observations with your therapist, ask questions and offer feedback. Take an active role and be surprised by how much better you feel!

Release a stiff, achy neck in less than 2 minutes!

Does your neck feel stiff or achy? Do you find that it's difficult to turn your head to one side? You're not alone. Many people complain of neck tightness. If you spend hours in front of a computer or sleep on your stomach, you know what I'm talking about.

Watch my video for a quick and simple way to alleviate neck stiffness, reduce aches, and increase your range of motion.


What's new with me ...

I was invited to speak at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)! The event is on June 14th in Staten Island. I will be discussing my book, Hungry for Life, reading an excerpt, and signing copies. I'd love to see you there!

My husband and I had our 8th wedding anniversary on May 31st. To celebrate, Sienna spent the day with her grandparents while Jesse and I explored the upper west side and ate lunch at a cool restaurant we discovered under the West Side Highway. One of the greatest things about New York City is that there are always hidden treasures to uncover, no matter how long you've lived here.

We took Sienna to Family Fun Day on Governor's Island during Memorial Day weekend. She was ecstatic about her first boat ride! We had a great time despite the crowds and (insanely) long lines.

As always, click here to see the latest photos of our silly 4-year-old!

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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