March 2021

DEAR HEIKE

My name is Heike Schemmel-Cruz, and I have been a Licensed Massage Therapist for nine years, practicing in Texarkana. I want to create an open discussion about massage therapy, which I hope will include your questions, my recommendations and some funny stories. Please contact me by email or text with all your questions and concerns at wellness.studio6@yahoo.com or 903-277-7046. KH asked me: Is a deep tissue massage for everyone? Deep tissue massage must be customized to the individual, as it involves the physical breakdown of muscle tissue or “knots.” On its own, the idea of breaking down stiff muscle tissue sounds painful, unrelaxing, and makes us question, “is it really for me?” A deep tissue massage treatment results in an instant change to a person’s stiff neck, shoulders, back, glutes, calves or arms. It enhances mobility and blood circulation, potentially increasing a person’s energy and improving sleep. The most important benefit is pain relief, often within the first session. Anyone seeking a deep tissue massage for the first time should assess their own health status. Considerations prior to this treatment are: recent surgeries and/or ongoing bacterial infections (i.e. urinary tract infection), skin conditions (fungus, rashes, etc.), cancer treatments, blood clotting or open wounds. Individuals with these health conditions should reconsider a deep tissue massage treatment. For expectant mothers, you may ask, “Is a deep tissue massage treatment safe while I am pregnant?” A deep tissue massage treatment specifically focused on the neck, shoulders, back, and calves is safe if the expectant mother and the baby are healthy, and the pregnancy has reached the third trimester. A good, deep tissue massage focuses on tight muscles and their surrounding areas. Usually, an hour-long treatment works perfectly. The most common treatment technique involves a slow, deep gliding pressure applied along the length of the muscle, using the elbow, forearms and hands. I often remind my clients to breathe deep during their treatment, and they often remark, “It hurts, in a good way.” After your first deep tissue massage, you may feel exhausted and sore and some individuals may exhibit bruises. It is recommended to avoid exercise right after the massage and to drink plenty of water to flush out metabolic waste. Finally, rest. Your second deep tissue massage will go much better. Most often, to achieve full relief from your “knots,” it is recommended to schedule second, and maybe third massages shortly following the first treatment. I perform 1 hour, 90 min or 2 hour deep tissue massages. Sincerely, Heike

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