Monday, March 31, 2014

Hot Stone Massage - A Great Massage Technique

Hot Stone Massage Therapy, once thought of as a spa treatment, is becoming more and more popular in a clinical, therapeutic settings. The basics of the treatment remain the same. Lava stones are heated to a comfortable temperature and used throughout the massage to provide heat and relaxation to further loosen up tight muscles. The difference I find, lies in the techniques used. In most spa treatments I have experienced, the stones are placed on the body to heat up specific areas and then removed when the massage begins. Very rarely have I noticed the stones being used in correlation with the massage techniques themselves.

Massage Therapists are trained to use the heated stones along with massage techniques, alternating between the stone and their hands. Using the heat along with massage loosens the muscles quicker and provides a sense of fluidity in the treatment. Although hot stone massage can be beneficial all year-round, I personally enjoy it most during the cooler months.

Just like regular massage, each individual has a preferred pressure as well as temperature. Even though the stones are quickly dipped in water to cool them off, they can still be a little too hot. Make sure you communicate with your therapist if you are uncomfortable in any way. Communication is key in any treatment you are receiving. I also find that with the heat, clients can be a little more tender a day or two after. I always advise them to have a nice soak in the tub after any massage and make sure you drink lots of water, especially after a hot stone massage.

There are some contraindications to hot stone massage:

* Hot stones are not indicated in any trimester of pregnancy and especially within the first. Increasing the moms temperature will also increase the baby's and this could be dangerous to both.

* Anyone with a heart condition, increased blood pressure or heart disease. The heat increases blood pressure and can cause further damage in those with heart conditions

* Any acute injury that has indication of swelling. Heat increases swelling which in turn causes pain.

If you are unsure whether hot stone massage is right for you please check with you doctor first

Most benefits that cover Registered Massage Therapy will also cover Hot Stone Massage Therapy because it falls under the same categories in your personal insurance. If you are unsure please talk to your provider before booking.This is just one of many therapeutic treatment we do at Essence of Heath. For more information on our other services please see out website:
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Afternoon or Evening For Two

Nap in a hammock ~ Read a book in our charming Bear Room ~ or You might enjoy the log swing and watch the squirrels playing in the trees ~ Allow your worries to float away...

Afternoon or Evening For Two 
  • A four hour stay 
  • One hour massage for each of you 
  • Fruit and cheese plate 
  • Robes and slippers provided 
  • With catered dinner 

For more information call us at 707-447-8037 or visit us at

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Deep Tissue Massage Provides Real Health Benefits

In the past, when the subject of massage would come up a person would automatically think about a day relaxing at a spa. This would be located in some fancy resort or maybe a health club. Today, all that has changed as deep tissue massage has now become a viable therapy.

There are various types of massage. The basic term means the rubbing and manipulation of the tendons, ligaments, skin and muscles. Therapists typically use their fingers and hands to perform the massage, but some do add their forearms and elbows to create an effective outcome.

Deep tissue massage is employs more pressure than other approaches. This powerful, slow technique hones in on the deeper layers of your muscles and connective tissues. This method is typically used for relieving areas that are traumatized by injuries. The deep muscle massage concentrates on realigning the various layers deep within the muscles. Some of the techniques uses are similar to ones used in other types of massage, except the strokes are deeper and slower.

Even though massage has been used for healing for many years, there is an increased interest in it today especially with the professionals for relieving many bodily problems and conditions. The individuals who have had the deep muscle massage performed on them will tell you of the many benefits they received from it.

Deep tissue massage focuses on adhesions that occur with scars, which restores natural movement, along with relieving pain. During the process of massage, a client could experience a bit of discomfort because of the pressured that is applied. When this happens, the person should inform the therapist if the discomfort or pain is too much to bear.

Typically, the issues that are addressed with deep tissue massage include:

1. Mobility limited from either a disease or injury

2. Pain that is chronic

3. Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome that come on because of repetitive actions

4. Forms of arthritis

5. Falls, injuries from sports, or whiplash

6. Fibromyalgia and other similar conditions

7. Muscle spasms

The therapist may ask you to take deep breaths during specific points in the massage process. This is to release the metabolic waste products from your muscles. After a massage, you should drink a lot of water. This helps to flush the waste and toxins from your body.

With deep tissue massage, the therapist targets specific parts of your body. This type of massage can cause soreness at times either during or after the session because the muscles release their toxins and tension. However, in just a day or so you will feel much better. Since the muscles release so many toxins, it is vital that you drink enough water after a massage session to flush out these toxins out of your body.

You should eat light before going for a deep tissue massage. In addition, arrive about 5 minutes before your appointment, so you can relax and rest prior to the therapist performing the massage for you.

Fran Kehoe is a fully qualified and insured sports and remedial massage therapist with ITEC Diplomas in Sports Massage, Reflexology, Anatomy & Physiology, Holistic Massage and a FHT Certificate at The Massage Centre, Chiswick. visit The Massage Centre's website: Or call Fran for an initial chat, with no obligation: 020 8166 8958
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Try Our Relaxation Massage Package

  • A four hour stay
  • One hour massage followed by steamy towels and application of a regenerative skin cream to protect your face.
  • Fruit and cheese plate
  • Nice tea selection 
To make an appointment for the Relaxation Massage Package, please call 707-447-8037

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pregnancy Massage Benefits - The Physical and the Mental

Massages are perhaps one of the most relaxing things one can take advantage of. In the long scheme of things a massage will go a long way in the physical and mental health of the individual - and the mental stability of others. Everyone should be able to take advantage of a massage - even pregnant soon-to-be mothers. It is especially important for them because during the pregnancy process there are situations of aches and pains that occur during the pregnancy. A pregnancy massage works extremely well regardless of the trimester these soon-to-be mothers are in.

Expectant mothers have a different center of gravity and because of this, parts of the body will surely ache. Having aching body parts throughout the pregnancy is not a good thing because it can become bearable. But outside the aches and pains that are alleviated due to a pregnancy massage, pregnant women can enjoy feeling good physically throughout the duration of their pregnancy. There are several types of massages that are available for a prenatal massage.

With pregnancy massages, it is important to take advantage of a massage that will help take advantage of the lower center of gravity. Deep tissue massages are beneficial especially in the third trimester.

One common misconception is that a massage during pregnancy is dangerous for the baby, but in reality it is harmless and it helps the mother through her last parts of the pregnancy. Trained massage therapists do work around the baby. Being pregnant you do deserve to treat yourself once in a while. Treating yourself does not come that often when being pregnant. Changes in the body during pregnancy can sometimes be drastic or it can change over time.

Regardless of how those changes occur, a pregnancy massage treatment works wonders. Having a looser body will go a long way. Anything from a deep tissue massage to working on particular parts of the body, a good massage is great to have.

Husbands, it is good gift to give your wife as a gift for any occasion. After the baby arrives, the benefits of the massage will also be felt. Ladies, feel free to pamper yourself and get a massage at any time you see fit.

During the massage you should feel any type of pain. Opening up about pain is a must before getting a massage. This will help the professional massage therapist know how to approach the body.

But where pregnancy massages really come into play is that a good massage relieves stress. Relieving stress during a pregnancy will help not only the baby, but the mother and father, too.

Take advantage of it and you will quickly see the benefits of a massage very quickly. Not every spa knows how to appropriately handle a pregnancy massage. There is a reason they are not strongly advertised. Finding a place that does offer this service will have highly trained professionals that are on the cutting edge of massage techniques. Have yourself feeling like new with a massage - your family will love it too.

With Pregnancy Massage, pregnant women can enjoy feeling good physically throughout the duration of their pregnancy. Pregnancy Massage Therapy is very helpful to relieve stress during pregnancy.
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spoil Yourself with the Serenity Package


Serenity Package
  • A four hour stay
  • Full one hour massage
  • Herbal facial massage
  • Body polish (an exfoliation treatment)
  • Decadent tub soak in oversized claw foot tub
  • Fruit and cheese plate
For One:  $215.00
For Two: $415.00

Available at 36 Oaks Country Retreat! It is nestled in a grove of majestic oak trees on Gibson Canyon Road. It is an oasis of relaxation and natural beauty in the Vacaville countryside. A lovely country cottage setting on two and a half acres, with wild ferns growing in the shade. It is not uncommon to see deer wandering through, an occasional raccoon or even a fox.
Call today to schedule your appointment!
(707) 447-8037 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Benefits Of Deep Tissue Massage

In the world of massage there exists a variety of styles - everything from Swedish massage to Lymphatic massage, all tailored to produce very specific results. One such massage technique, deep tissue massage, has continued to increase in popularity, due in part to its ability to release an enormous amount of tension in a world where tension reigns on every corner.

Deep tissue massage is effective because of its technique - consisting of slower, stronger massage that stimulates deep into muscles. This can be especially helpful for athletes who expose their muscles to daily, intensive conditioning. Deep tissue massage will noticeably loosen muscles, elevate pain, and increase mobility - all significant benefits for an athlete. However, you don't have to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of deep tissue massage.

In many cases, a deep tissue massage has replaced the classic Swedish massage in terms of frequency of use. Whereas visitors to any spa around the country may have traditionally sought out a massage that simply relaxed, now they are seeking a massage that also stimulates, conditions, and heals.
Those suffering from certain conditions may also find deep tissue massage to be quite therapeutic. Sufferers of chronic pain, fibromyalgia, edema, muscle cramping, and even carpal tunnel syndrome may find significant relief from deep tissue massage. The pressure exerted on different groups of muscle tissue stimulates circulation in areas of pain.

Deep tissue massage, however, is not for everyone. There can be mild to moderate discomfort during the massage as tight muscles are worked. And there can be a day or two of soreness following the deep tissue massage - similar to after you complete a particularly rigorous workout.

But if you are comfortable with a stronger, more focused massage as well as the soreness that may accompany it, then a deep tissue massage may be for you. Contact your nearest spa to find a professional who is experienced in deep tissue massage.

For easy to understand, in depth information about massage visit our ezGuide 2 Massage.
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Pregnancy Massage - The Benefits

Pregnancy massage or prenatal massage is a therapeutic bodywork that focuses on the physiological, structural and emotional well being of mother and baby.

It may include Swedish, deep tissue or neuromuscular, and after the first trimester, pregnancy massage can be safely enjoyed by most pregnant women.

The human touch conveys love and comfort. Throughout pregnancy and during labour, pregnancy massage can be especially beneficial to alleviate aches and pains reduce stress and help you to relax.
How Pregnancy Massage Differs From Regular Massage

The major difference between pregnancy massage and regular massage is that the person receiving the massage is pregnant. An obvious point to state perhaps, but nevertheless very important.

When massage a pregnant woman it is very important that the practitioner have knowledge of pregnancy and the anatomy, as positioning during a massage is a critical factor to the safety of both mother and baby.

The second difference is that certain parts of the body should not be massaged.

Pregnancy Massage - What are The Benefits?

The experience of pregnancy can have a profound physiological and emotional effect on a woman. Coming to terms with the changes in her body, and the impending lifestyle changes can be quite stressful.

Pregnancy massage has been used for many years in many cultures to provide a nurturing touch and emotional support to expectant mothers, other benefits include:

o increased relaxation

o decreased insomnia

o lessened sciatic pain

o reduced swelling in hands and feet

o headache and sinus congestion relief

o neck and back pain relief

o stress relief on weight-bearing joints

o assistance in maintaining proper posture

o relief from muscle cramps, spasms, and myofascial pain, especially in the lower back, neck, hips, and legs.

o increase in blood and lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling

o preparing the muscles used during childbirth

Pregnancy Massage - Is It Safe?

Pregnancy massage is not recommended during the first trimester because of the hormonal changes occurring in the body during this period.

During the second and third trimester, and even during labour, massage is considered safe and even beneficial. However, while massage is considered safe during these periods, there are certain parts of the body that should not be massaged.

o The area between the ankle bone and the heel is considered by reflexologists to relate to the vagina and uterus. Direct pressure should not be applied here as it is thought this could induce early labour.

o Only superficial pressure should be applied to the inner leg and massage of the leg should be avoided completely if on bed rest for any complications as this can put you at a higher risk for blood clots forming in the legs.

o A flat gentle hand should be touched only superficially to the abdomen.

o Massage should be avoided if you have vaginal bleeding, diarrhoea or abdominal pain.

It is not recommended that pregnant women lie on the abdomen as this can place unnecessary strain on the lower back. Some therapists may provide a couch or table with a hole cut out for the abdomen but this is still ill advised.

It is advisable that you consult your health care provider before receiving massage during pregnancy and ensure you choose a suitably qualified practitioner with whom you can discuss your health conditions beforehand, in order for treatment to be modified to meet your individual needs.

Pregnancy Massage - Booking a Treatment

When booking a pregnancy massage ensure that the practitioner has been trained specifically in pregnancy massage and doesn't just cite this on their information leaflet.

Once you have found a suitable therapist you can begin to enjoy the benefits of pregnancy massage for the duration of your pregnancy and beyond. The benefits of massage at any time are great - so go on, what are you waiting for?

FOR MORE FREE INFO On all forms of massage and the benefits including more on pregnancy massage visit our website at []
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Friday, March 7, 2014

How To Choose Between Swedish And Deep Tissue Massage Therapy

There is a common misconception when it comes to massage which leads many people to believe that one technique is much the same as another. This means that when you book a massage you are often left feeling confused when they ask which type of massage you are looking for. Choosing the type of massage that is right for you can be perplexing as each type of massage therapy has its own benefits so it is important not to get confused. Two style of massage therapy which are commonly mistaken for each other are Swedish massage and Deep Tissue massage.

What Is Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage is one of the most popular types of massage therapy and it consists of a combination of strokes which use kneading, percussion, gliding, friction and vibration. The movements are usually used in a pattern which alternates between quick and slow strokes and varying levels of pressure. One of the key benefits of Swedish massage is that the strokes are designed to compliment the body's natural blood flow to the heart and is useful for stimulating the lymphatic system.

Some of the benefits which come with regular Swedish massage treatment include and improved level of blood circulation, easing of muscle tension, increased levels of relaxation and the removal of metabolic waste. It is not uncommon for people to feel an emotional release following this type of massage therapy as well. Swedish massage is particularly popular among people suffering from osteoarthritis or any sort of muscle pain or restricted movement caused by old injuries.

What Is Deep Tissue Massage?

In comparison, Deep Tissue massage therapy is designed to work on the connective tissues in the body. Unlike Swedish massage, the strokes in this style of massage are always performed slowly, although the level of pressure applied can vary. If the strokes are carried out to quickly, then the connective tissue, also known as the fascia, is not manipulated appropriately and the benefits are lost. Deep Tissue massage, when used on a regular basis, can help to break down old scar tissue and also promote oxygenation in the body. For this reason, Deep Tissue massage is often promoted as being beneficial to the skin.

The strokes that are used in a Deep Tissue massage treatment are very similar to those used in Swedish massage, which is where the confusion comes from, but the main difference is that when performing a Deep Tissue massage, the therapist will work against the grain of the muscles. It is also common for tools to be implemented during a Deep Tissue treatment. These tend to be made from either glass or smooth wood and are used alongside hands, elbows and fingers to maximize the effects of the therapy.

Thanks for reading! If you happen to live in the Boca Raton, FL area and need a quality deep tissue massage, look no further than the spa services offered by one of my favorite spots - Balanced Skin & Body Therapy!
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bridal Retreat Package

A perfect place for a bridal group day of pampering. Bring your own picnic, or we can cater it for you.

Cost is: Each of you choose your package from retreat packages or choose A La Carte and add $20.00 day fee.

Or... the Bride and Groom might enjoy an evening of pampering before the big day!
*call for pricing

36 Oaks Country Retreat, nestled in a grove of majestic oak trees on Gibson Canyon Road, is an oasis of relaxation and natural beauty in the Vacaville countryside. A lovely country cottage setting on two and a half acres with wild ferns growing in the shade, deer wandering through, and even an occasional fox or raccoon.

For more information, please visit

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Is Pregnancy Massage Truly Safe?

Women have aches, tension and pain when they are pregnant just like they do when they are not carrying a baby. Pregnant massage is effective in relieving their discomfort. However, is pregnancy massage truly safe for an expectant mother?

Benefits from Massage for an Expectant Mother

Research backs up the fact that expectant mother receive benefits from massage such as a lift in mood, reduction of stress, and relief of aches and pains. It can even improve the birth process lessening the strain on the new-born. Massage even helps reduce stress hormones and elevate serotonin and dopamine levels, which improve mood.

Another benefit of massage during pregnancy is that swelling or edema is reduced. The massaging action helps the fluids move from the soft tissues they have settled in, this typically makes the joints less swollen. The fluids then are flushed out of the body with the other waste.

Types of Massage Approved for Pregnant Women

Shiatsu is one form of massage recommended for pregnant women, because it uses various points on the body to stimulate the body's qi or natural energy. Pressure is applied on these points to release the body's own natural healing powers. At times, a tapping motion also is used.

Another one that is safe for pregnant women is Swedish massage. This type using long strokes on the muscles to relax them and it also works to improve the mobility of joints. This massage also addresses certain problems that occur in the body, because of the changes in circulation during pregnancy.


The expectant mother needs to make sure that the massage therapist is experienced with performing massage on pregnant women. Certain precautions do have to be taken such as the woman not lying on her back too long or flat on her stomach should be taken for one thing. There are special massage tables that are available at some places that allow room for the expanding belly. Other times the therapist will have the woman lie on her side.

In the first trimester, massage should not be performed over the lower part of the pelvic area where the uterus is located. The first trimester is tricky for some women to get past without having a miscarriage, so caution is warranted during this time. An expectant mother going through a high-risk pregnancy should avoid getting a massage. The chance is too great for problems under these circumstances.

As long as these precautions are followed, pregnancy massage is safe for the woman and foetus. The expectant mother needs to be as relaxed and happy as possible during her pregnancy. Otherwise, she could become depressed. This will make the pregnancy harder to get through and could harm the health of both mother and the foetus. Pregnancy massage can offer such relief for many of the discomfort that happens during this time. It is well worth using it to improve the mood and health of the expectant mother. Remember, a doctor should be consulted before the massage is performed just to make sure it will not cause a problem.

Fran Kehoe is a fully qualified and insured Sports and remedial massage therapist with ITEC Diplomas in Sports Massage, Reflexology, Anatomy & Physiology, Holistic Massage and a FHT Certificate at The Massage Centre, Chiswick. Click here for more information on Pregnancy Massage and its health benefits. Or call Fran for a no-obligation chat: 020 8166 8958
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