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Posts Tagged ‘deep tissue massage’

Relaxing massage at Whole Foods Market's new Wellness Club in Lincoln Park

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

For the past ten years, Working Well Massage has provided quality massage services to Chicago area companies, schools, residents and shoppers at Whole Foods Markets. Now we are bringing our highly skilled massage therapists to Whole Foods Market’s new Wellness Club inside the Lincoln Park location!

Starting in September, 2011, Working Well Massage will offer hour-long massages (Deep tissue, Swedish and Sports massages) on a massage table verses on a massage chair. We have assembled some of the best massage therapists in the city of Chicago to offer our clients a relaxing therapeutic experience…in a Whole Foods Market Wellness Club!  Clients will be able to receive a great table massage–either at our chair massage station or in the Massage Room at the new Wellness Club–and then grocery shop. And since the Wellness Club will also be offering yoga and fitness classes our clients can get a massage before or after they workout!

More info to come about the Wellness Club, the massage services offered at Whole Foods Market and details on scheduling your table massage with Working Well Massage soon!

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I recently had a fantastic massage from Mysti Cobb at our Working Well Massage station inside Whole Foods Lincoln Park. One of the reason I like getting massage from Mysti is that she knows her anatomy and kineseology. When I told her I was having pain in my wrist and my pecs were tight, she knew exactly where to work and how to position me on the massage chair to get maximum exposure of my pectoral muscles. (She sat me facing away from the chair as opposed to how you would normally sit, facing the chair.) I have had experience both receiving and giving massage for chronic tension and injury rehab, and Mysti has had similar experiences as both a patient and a massage therapist.

Mysti Cobb-smiling and providng pain relief at Working Well Massage. Image by Sue Shekut

A personal trainer and Pilates instructor as well as a massage therapists, I think Mysti brings more to the massage session than your average massage therapist. (Or course, we don’t have any average massage therapists in our booths!) Since Mysti is female and has a fantastic smile,  some people think Mysti is a lightweight massage therapist. Those people would be sadly incorrect! Mysti is STRONG and can give super deep tissue massages or she can back off the pressure and give a more gentle relaxation massage. For me, I go to Mysti for deep work though!

Mysti hard at work, concentrating on releasing muscle tension. Image by Sue Shekut

Mysti Cobb’s Bio

Tall and lean, it’s no surprise that Mysti’s passion for movement began in her ballet classes at age 4.  Her years of practice and love of dance led  to a full dance scholarship with the Joseph Holmes Dance Company in 1993. Unfortunately for Mystia, she later tore her ACL while studying at Millikin University and that put an end to a full-time dance career. After six months of physical therapy and rehabilitation, Mysti realized strength training was a new way for her to incorporate movement into her daily life and career.  In 2003, Mysti began studying at the Personal Training Institute in Chicago. In 2004, Mysti completed her personal training (NSCA) certification. Between her dance injury and experience as a personal train, Mysti decided to  add a therapeutic and healing dimension to her work by becoming a licensed massage therapist in 2005 through the Soma Institute of Clinical Massage Therapy.

While rehabbing, dancing and strength training,  Pilates had been an core element of Mysti’s personal fitness routine. In2009, Mysti became certified through the Body Arts and Science program as a comprehensively certified Pilates Instructor. For Mysti, the Pilates certification has added analytical and intuitive tools to help her clients gain strength, eliminate pain, and fine tune body alignment, finding focus in their sessions which carries over into their daily lives.

You can try out a massage session with Mysti at Whole Foods Lincoln Park every Tuesday from 4pm to 8pm. But come in soon because with skills like these, Mysti tends to book up fast!

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by Sue Shekut, Licensed Massage Therapist, ACSM Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

Through the years I’ve had a number of massage therapy clients say things like, “I know it has to hurt to be effective,” and “no pain no gain, right?” Actually, massage does not, and should not ,“hurt” to be effective. In fact, if the massage you are receiving is so painful you have to grit your teeth or hold your breath, it likely isn’t going to be very effective.

The idea that we have to experience pain in order to heal is a holdover from the 1980’s when people were “going for the burn” and many bodywork modalities were just starting to take root. Some massage therapy schools of thought held that people were experiencing deep emotional breakthroughs if they cried out or had an emotional “release” during a particularly intense bodywork session. This led to the idea that you HAD to have a deep emotional outburst or had to feel pain to have a really “good” bodywork experience.

Since then, somatic psychology and bodywork has matured. As have bodywork practitioners. Many realize that, especially for people that have already had a physical trauma such as a car accident or injury, the body has already been through deep trauma. Working too deep, giving too much pressure, or expecting clients to have radical transformation from a single session can be retraumatizing.

Some massage therapists still hold to the belief that trigger points need intense compression to release the knot. Sometimes this is true. But holding a trigger point for too long, or pressing too deeply into a sore muscle area can cause more pain and damage than healing. (Trigger points are areas of the muscles that have a cluster of muscular adhesions or “knots” that refer pain elsewhere when compressed.)

Good Pain Versus Bad Pain
Does that mean that massage should be painless? Well herein lies the rub (pun intended). Massage is not painless any more than working out is painless. There can be muscle soreness. When we first press on a sore or extremely tight muscle area, there may be tenderness or soreness. We call this “good pain” similar to the soreness you may experience when you lift weights or do a prolonged cardio session. However, if you are working out and you “pull” a muscle or sprain your ankle, that would be “bad pain.” That type of pain indicates an injury to the tissue and requires medical attention. Muscle soreness during an exercise or massage session is not abnormal and can indicate that healing is occurring.

What About Soreness?
When a tight muscle is massaged, at first you may notice the sensation of soreness or tenderness. Initially you become more aware of that muscle area and that may include an awareness of just how very tight and sore the muscle is. Then as the massage therapist continues to work with the muscle tissue, fresh blood flows into the muscle area as the therapist presses down (as in compressions or gliding strokes). This fresh blood helps “loosen” the muscle tissue and also helps bring nutrients and oxygen into the muscle. At this point, especially in a deep tissue massage, you will likely notice less soreness in the area. If the muscle gets more and more sore, the massage therapist may be overworking the area and it’s best if you tell him or her to stop massaging that area and to move elsewhere!

That all said, after a deep tissue massage, you may feel some muscle soreness a day or two afterwards, just as you may feel sore after a workout. In essence, a deep tissue massage is like having someone else give your body a workout. Soreness or bruising lasting longer than a day or so may indicate the massage was too intense. Let your massage therapist know if this happens so he or she knows to work with less pressure for your next massage. (If you go back to him or her at all!)

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