Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: March 2020

Why should I get a massage if I have no pain?

What comes to mind when you think of relaxation massage? My immediate thought is, "Yes, please!" But more and more, relaxation massage is getting a bad rap amongst therapists and clients alike. It's associated with pampering, fluff and buff treatment, and an indulgent splurge. This saddens me.

Clinical massage therapy has become top dog. Many therapists, including myself, have taken certification courses in modalities like sports and medical massage. We achieve credibility from clients for our abilities to "fix" problems, and from the medical community for practicing techniques like myofascial release, myoskeletal alignment, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. (Say that five times fast!)

Don't get me wrong - I love this work! I enjoy using my clinical assessment and treatment skills to alleviate pain and restore function and mobility. But I also don't underestimate the value of a massage "just" for relaxation. Therapists that specialize in relaxation massage have the ability to make a profound difference in people's lives.

Believe it or not, we are all stressed out. Sure, you may not be as stressed out as the person next to you, but you can't argue that you live with some degree of chronic stress. In today's world, it's impossible not to.

Stress has been shown time and again to be linked to a plethora of physical and mental medical conditions. We are in dire need of effective ways to reduce our stress. I can't overemphasize how important getting massage regularly not only helps to alleviate ailments, but also serves as preventative care, lowering your risk of falling victim to stress' detrimental effects on the body.

My favorite type of massage is a perfect blend of clinical and relaxation modalities. Especially since pain and tightness (the symptoms typically treated by massage) are intricately linked to stress. You can't address one without the other. That's the beauty of the unique holistic nature of massage therapy. This truth is supported repeatedly by the smiles and gratitude I receive from my clients every day.

Remember, relaxation massage is not a luxury, it is much-needed therapy with profound benefits. Make it a regular practice, and it could benefit your health for years to come.

Calm your anxiety in 2 minutes!

Adults are not the only ones who need stress relief. Children and adolescents also deal with stress on a daily basis. In this 2-minute video intended for children, adolescents, and adults, I teach a fun little trick for calming your body and mind in a matter of minutes. It's so simple, yet so effective. "Take 5 breathing" helps you slow down, deepen your breath, and redirect your focus. Give it a try!


What's new with me ...

I'm in Massage Therapy Journal! I was interviewed for an article on post-surgery pain relief in the American Massage Therapy Association's quarterly journal. Check it out!

Jesse and I enjoyed the Netflix series "Locke and Key," based on one of our favorite graphic novels. If you enjoy creepy, twisted, suspenseful stories like I do, I would highly recommend reading the book, and then checking out the show.

March 19th is the vernal equinox, and the start to my favorite season. Happy spring everyone!

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

Available now!

Available now!

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