Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: October 2018

Finally, a relaxing break for parents

I'm featured in an article on Parents.com! Writer Deanna Pai interviewed me for her piece entitled "How to Give Your Partner a Spa-Worthy Massage at Home." Pai writes:

When you think of a massage, you probably imagine receiving one (and inevitably falling asleep). That makes sense, in part because there are few things better than having the knots in your back worked out. And it doesn't just feel good; a meta-analysis of research on massage therapy found that just one session can lower your anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate.

But when you're a parent, time is at a minimum, and a spa day probably isn't in the cards. So instead, offer your partner a stress-melting massage right in your own house - and then trade places. Even just 10 minutes can make a big difference. Not sure how to get started? Follow these easy steps from an expert:

Click here to read the full article!

And for even more tools, tips, and techniques for giving your loved one a wonderful, soothing massage, read on:

How to give a great massage

Most people only engage their arms and hands to give a massage. They grip in the shoulders and recruit the muscles of their arms and hands to exert pressure. This creates tension, fatigue and eventually, pain. Concentrate instead on using the bigger, stronger muscles in your legs and hips to initiate the movement. Keeping your hands, arms and shoulders relaxed, slowly pour your body weight into your partner's tissue. Feel the weight move from your legs and thighs, up through your torso, and out through your hands. Your knees should be bent, spine erect, and pelvis in a neutral position. Now allow the weight to pour back into your body. Play with this idea of pouring the weight back and forth until you create a comfortable rhythm. You can use this movement to simply compress and release your partner's tissue, or you can allow your body weight to rock your partner as you move back and forth. Either way, this should feel relaxing for both of you.

To create gliding strokes, add some oil or lotion, making sure to warm it in your hands before applying it to your partner. Now when you pour your weight into your partner, shift the weight in your hips and legs and allow your hands to naturally follow the movement of your body. With your neck, shoulders, and arms relaxed, use this movement to create soothing strokes up and down your partner's back. (The same technique applies when you're working on your partner's arms and legs.) Allow your whole body to rock naturally with the strokes.

You want your partner close enough so that your arms remain a comfortable distance in front of your body, rather than having to reach forward. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed at all times - not rounded forward or raised to your ears. Try to keep your wrists and fingers - especially your thumbs -in a straight line with your forearm. The more relaxed your hands, the more sensitive you'll be to your partner's tissue, perhaps feeling areas that are tighter or colder in temperature - both indicators of an area that could use extra attention. Relaxed hands also feel better on your partner. If you are tense, your partner receives that tension.

Remember that you have many massage "tools" other than just your hands. To keep your hands from tiring, use your fingers, fists, palms, forearms and elbows. This will prevent you from getting worn out and will give you and your partner more variety in the massage session. Always check in with your partner regularly to make sure that the pressure is comfortable - not too deep and not too light.

Last but certainly not least, remember to breathe! Deep, regular breathing will help you stay centered and relaxed. It also helps to remind your partner to take some deep, generous breaths. The better you feel while giving a massage, the better it will be received. Most importantly, the massage should feel good to both the giver and the receiver!

Source: Lauriann Greene, Save Your Hands!

How to relieve sinus pain and sinus pressure with self massage

As we enter into cold and flu season, many of us are hit with sinus problems. Follow along with this quick and easy self-massage as we alleviate sinus pain and pressure, and release tension from our facial muscles.

What's new with me ...

Sienna is liking some parts of kindergarten, but there is a small problem. She prefers to be the teacher. She has (not so nicely) asked her teachers to leave so that she can take charge.

I'm doing a book promotion this month. Hungry for Life will be free to download on Kindle from 10/13 to 10/17. So if you haven't read my Amazon best-seller, now's your chance to get it free!

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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