Archive for January, 2013

Do you know what you put on your skin everyday? Do you read the ingredients on the back of the product? Do you know what those long, exasperated words mean?

The road to becoming a informed consumer is becoming a knowledgeable one.

I’ve been using a few massage products, creams and gel for
years unaware there was soy bean oil (many people are allergic to soy not included most of the supply is contaminated with gmo’s) and other chemicals that interfere with hormone production in both men and women. My hormone levels were off due to the possibility of using these products for so long. My hormone levels are nearly back to normal because I stopped using these products.

Below is a complied list of chemicals that are used in everyday items such as shampoos, lotions, eye creams and skin cares. Check to see if you have any of these toxins in the items you use in your daily skin care regiment.

This list is from http://www.naturesparadiseorganics.com/dangersofchemicals.html

Propylene Glycol – Very powerful chemical, when handling must wear full body gear because it absorbs quickly into the skin and causes damage to the brain, liver and kidneys. So strong it is used to remove barnacles from boats. Recent tests have shown mutation in vitro test. Tests have proving it to be a strong skin irritant causing allergies of the skin.

Glycerol Monostearate – Strong evidence of skin irritant, broad toxicity systemic effects on organs. Its a skin penetration enhancer, which can cause this or other chemicals to reach deep into the skin.

Mineral Oil – Contrary to belief, this ingredient is not healthy. It coats the skin like plastic, clogging pores and interfering with the skin releasing toxins. Causing premature aging and skin irritation. Some tests have shown it may be cancer causing.

BHT- Strong evidence of skin toxicity, evidence of causing carcinogenicity cancer system toxicity. Endocrine system disruption, animal tests found brain and nervous system deffects as well as reproductive deffects. Recognized as a skin irritant.

Butylparaben – Strong evidence of skin toxicity, reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity and interferes with gene expression.

Proplyparaben – Evidence of skin, reproductive and developmental toxicity. Is toxic to wildlife and the environment.

Methylparaben – Strong evidence of skin toxicity causing irritation and sensitivity. Test have shown mutation in vitro test. Respiratory, brain and nervous system effects and interferes with gene expression.

Benzyl Alcohol – Nervous system, skin, organ intoxicant, hazardous to handle. Test have shown mutation in vitro tests and endocrine system disruption.

Oleic Acid – Cancer causing, respiratory effects and skin irritant.

Talc (Baby Powder) – Routine application to genitals increase development of ovarian cancer.

Sorbitan Laurate – Skin toxin, causes cancer, endocrine system disruption, gastrointestinal effects and a known skin irritant.

Distearate 150-PEG – Causes cancer and broad systemic effects through out body.

Quaternium – Skin toxin, organ system toxicity. Test shown evidence of mutation of vitro tests and negative effects on the endocrine system, brain and nervous system.

Tocopheryl Acetate – Causes allergies and skin sensitivity.

Fragrance – Could be any 4,000 ingredients that effect many different parts of the body that cause skin irritation and sensitivity.

Sodium Polyacrylate – Multiple additive exposure, endocrine system disruption and contamination concerns if not handled properly.

Zinc Oxide – System toxicity, persistent bio accumulative in wildlife, test have shown mutation in vitro test. Animal testing has shown brain and nervous system effects. Skin irritant.

Retinyl Palmitate – Restricted in cosmetics, developmental and reproductive toxicity.

I decided back in December to go back to using organic oils such as grape-seed, olive oil and coconut. This is what I put on my skin each day and use up to nearly five times daily with clients. If it affects me then it will likely affect you. Only the best for my clients!

As always, you’re more than welcomed to bring your own lotion or oil. Please look on the back of the label before bringing to the office to ensure that it does not have any of these ingredients.

Thank you.

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Drink plenty of water before and after a massage.

Epsom salt baths can assist in reduction of soreness in the muscles and joints. One cup of Epsom salts to a tub of hot water. Soak for 20 minutes.

When possible, use hot or cold packs. Leave on the body no longer than 20 minutes. Remember if muscles are inflamed or injury occurred within 24 hours, you will need to use cold packs.

Refrain from drinking large amounts of alcohol after your massage.

Rest is necessary in repairing the body so make sure you get plenty of it.

Stretch once in the morning and in the evening. Stretching throughout the day helps too. Make sure to take mini stretch breaks if you have a sedentary occupation. Partnering up with a “stretching buddy” will assist in deeper stretching and motivation to keep on stretching! A foam roller is excellent way to stretch your muscles too.

Use a massage tool such as a Thera Cane, The Knobble or a rubber ball to work out trigger points. You can purchase these items at any sports equipment center or online.

Use a analgesic such as “Relief Cream” to reduce discomfort. Arnica gel to reduce bruising, swelling and stiffness. Ibuprofen is suggested to decrease inflammation and tenderness.
Relief cream, arnica gel or apple cider vinegar are alternatives for those that want to avoid medications or aspirin for pain.

Apple cider vinegar has been known to reduce possible symptoms of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after a massage or workout. Apple cider aides in reduction of water retention, reduces inflammation, removes metabolic waste and eliminates uric acid deposits in the body. Recommendation: Mix 1 to 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar to 8 oz of water. Optional: 1 tsp of organic honey to taste. Drink once in the morning and in the evening.

Make regular massage appointments to reduce trigger points and negative muscle memory formations.


Place the rubber ball in a tube sock (prevents slipping when working out trigger point). You will need to lean against a wall or lie down on the ball while pressing firmly on the trigger point. You will hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds. To loosen up the muscles you may rotate the ball. You may repeat these steps several times without injuring yourself.

This may take a several attempts to alleviate the trigger point. Just keep trying and it will eventually work itself out. Each time that your press on the trigger point or knot, the body will release natural pain relievers called endorphin’s. When you press in the area, the pain and tenderness should decrease.

Trigger points will be reduced by performing these simple self care steps.

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Muscle StrainClient question: What do you do for muscle spams?

Got a muscle spasm?

A quick solution is to apply pressure with your fist or a rubber ball to the affected muscle by holding pressure to the area for 10 to 15 seconds then repeating several times. The spasm should decrease. You can repeat this step several times until the muscle relaxes. Then apply heat. This is a great solution when you are unable to get to a therapist.

Your muscles could be in spasm due to injury. If the muscles are not inflamed you can apply a warm compress or heating pad to the area. The moist heat will warm up the fascia by releasing the muscle. The heat will sooth the muscle by giving you some relief.

If you are having cramps or a spasm in the feet you could be deficient in magnesium, calcium and potassium. It is another sign your body is dehydrated. Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water to hydrate your muscles and using a supplement to replenish your electrolytes.

These are just some simple solutions you can do for self care.

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After careful consideration and multiple problems with calls after 9 pm, I decided to end the 24-hour/emergency service as of last year.

My hours of operation are Monday thru Friday, 10 am to 7 pm and Saturday, 10 am. to 4 pm. These are ideal hours for most people. If you would like a later appointment, you must call in advance during business hours. If you are calling after my regular hours of operation, I do screen calls and listen to voice mail. If it is truly an emergency, leave me a message and I will return your call.

All out call sessions must be secured by credit card. Please keep in mind I do not schedule massages past 10 pm. Want to know why? Keep on reading.

I am always honest with my clients as to why I no longer perform late night out calls. I need to take extra precautions for my own safety and well being. One of the reasons is that Yellow Pages has placed every massage therapists in the DFW under keywords “erotic, tantra, sexual and hand jobs.” This places massage therapists in possible danger.

The massage profession is completely different than what it when I first started my out call business nearly six years ago. From personal experience I have had a few very close calls during several late night out calls. I’ve had calls from male clients asking for deep tissue or sports massage. Some claiming that they were in severe pain. Upon arriving, they changed their request to sensual/sexual massage. The client called me to their location under false pretenses. I won’t go into details of what has happened in a few occurrences. I will tell you no amount of money is worth going through the emotional trauma or sexual harassment of some predator getting his jollies off. I love the work I do. I am willing to help anyone that is in pain yet I will not place myself in unsafe circumstances nor tolerate this sort of behavior. Like anyone I do have limits. Anyone that does not understand my reasoning on this issues I prefer not to have you as a client.

This is simply not a rare occurrence. I network with other therapists experiencing similar occupancies. Unfortunately, several LMT’s I know left the massage profession due to the sexual harassment.

Whether you are seeking a professional massage or something sensual, you need to review the web site before calling. This ensures that if you are calling a LMT or a prostitute. There is a difference and it is not appreciated when a LMT receives solicitation for sex. It’s offensive. A LMT is not part of your fantasy. A LMT went to school to study massage therapy, the anatomy and physiology of the human body. We’ve spent hundred if not thousands of hours perfecting our craft. Many of us have spent thousands of dollars each year for specialization course work, CEU’s, licensing, liability insurance and rent each year. A LMT would never jeopardize their license nor their credibility to provide you with sexual services. If they do, they are not a LMT.

Thank you for understanding.

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This is a topic I feel that needs to be addressed with potential clients. Every so often I book a client that makes this statement:

“Please don’t hurt me.”

We have all had bad experiences in life. You should know what you want and do not want out of a massage session. We’ve all had unpleasant experiences but do not allow one bad massage experience ruin it for you for the rest of your life. Never allow fear to deter you from a massage.

If that thought crosses your mind about any therapy or massage therapist please do not book a appointment. If you worried about the massage therapist may harm you please do not book a appointment at all. You have it already in your mind that that sort of therapy or therapist may hurt you, you will tense up during the session and will focus on the negative aspect of someone harming you. Worrying about a therapist harming you is a negative thought form and can ruin any massage experience. Once that thought form is in most people’s heads there is nothing that can deter them from believing otherwise.

If you have concerns please address them with the therapist before scheduling your appointment. This is important for all involved in your therapy. Communication is vital and you need to tell the therapist what you like and no not like in a massage session, the pressure, etc.

A informed client is a knowledgeable client. Please research and ask questions about a certain massage technique.

As a massage therapist my intention is never to harm or hurt you. The definition of hurt is as follows:

1. To cause physical damage or pain to; injure.
2. To cause mental or emotional suffering to; distress.
3. To cause physical damage to; harm:
4. To be detrimental to; hinder or impair:
a. To cause distress or damage:

Hurting a person is to cause and inflict emotional and physical pain intentionally. No therapist that I have ever worked with or that I know of has ever intentionally inflicted pain or harm on a person.

Depending on the technique you such as deep tissue you maybe sore the next day. There is no guarantee that you may not be sore the next day after such a session. I always ask for feed back and I make sure the pressure is to your liking. There are many techniques that do not require going deep into the muscle under belly and I am more than accommodating to use those techniques for your session.

I am trained in traditional TMC medicine, deep tissue, connective tissue integration (SOMA) and sports massage. Those are the main modalities I work with on a day to day basis. (I provide a pretty good Swedish and Esalen massage, too.) Some of these techniques can be uncomfortable especially when the work requires breaking up negative muscle patterns, scar tissue and adhesion. There are periods in the session when one will be uncomfortable. I always tell my clients if the uncomfortableness gets to be too much tell me to back off. Never allow me to continue when you are in pain. I can always water the technique down and apply lighter pressure. I can also do a therapeutic massage which uses a combination of techniques. Every client is different and the massage can and will be catered to your needs.

I will not schedule a appointment with you if you feel that I may harm you. That is not the image I wish to project to you about massage therapy. Your massage session should be a positive experience and that begins with you.

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Thank you all for viewing my new blog. Let me know if I can assist you with any massage questions you may have. This blog is for those that enjoy massage therapy. Sit back, have a cup of java and enjoy the blog.

Suzan Walker, LMT

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