Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: October 2019

Practice makes perfect, but variety gets you there faster

Ever wonder if you forgot to brush your teeth in the morning? Have you ever shown up at work but didn't remember your commute? Such repetitive activities become automatic and unconscious. In my past life when I was an actor, I rehearsed dance routines over and over again until I could perform the movements without even thinking about them.

Our brains are malleable. The more we utilize certain neural connections, the stronger they become. When the brain receives the same input repeatedly, the information goes from explicit memory, which requires conscious thought, to implicit memory, which describes skills that can be remembered unconsciously.

This is valuable information because it tells us that we can deliberately repattern our brains. Perhaps you want to correct poor posture, or you're trying to eliminate your limp after knee surgery, or you want to start practicing yoga but you feel like a klutz. These goals can be accomplished with a little patience and a lot of practice. You'll need to create and strengthen new neural connections that eventually overpower the older, undesirable habitual patterns.

Not only do you have the power to change your brain, but you can speed up the process with multi-media learning. A new skill set is best practiced and achieved with learning methods that involve sight, sound, touch, etc. The brain loves new stimuli. The more variety, the better.

The person who wants to improve their posture, for example, might use multi-media learning by practicing in front of a mirror, watching and listening to YouTube videos that teach postural alignment, getting massage therapy, and doing corrective exercises. This process will yield much faster results than just trying to remember to sit up straight.

One of my favorite leaders in the massage industry, Erik Dalton, writes, "The manner in which information is communicated has more of a profound effect on the person receiving the information than the information itself."

So be creative and find ways to flood your brain with novel stimuli. Not only will you learn faster, but you'll also have more fun!

Source: https://erikdalton.com/blog/cant-teach-experience/

Relieve your frozen shoulder with self massage

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, causes pain, weakness, and little to no mobility in the shoulder joint. It is a daily struggle to do simple tasks like putting on a shirt, taking a shower, washing dishes, or even getting comfortable enough to sleep at night. It can also affect your ability to work, resulting in unwanted time off.

If you have frozen shoulder, hopefully you are working with a physical therapist and a massage therapist to decrease pain, get back your range of motion, and strengthen weakened muscles. If not, ask your doctor for referrals.

Be patient with yourself. Treating frozen shoulder takes months, if not years. This self massage video is intended as an adjunct to your regular therapies. Massaging your shoulder daily can help speed up the healing process, and offer you relief. So follow along with me as we gently work towards thawing your frozen shoulder.


What's new with me ...

Sienna is very happy at her new school, which thrills me. It's such a relief knowing that she's finally in an environment that celebrates and utilizes her strengths, as well as effectively supports her through her challenges.

Sienna has told me about some of the fun activities she has done at school: making paper airplanes and seeing how far they can fly, making ice cream (and tasting it!), playing numbers Bingo, dancing, playing the xylophone, writing and illustrating books, and learning about "the guy who invented weekends."

Happy Halloween to those who celebrate!

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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