Monday, January 16, 2017

Let's talk about head and neck ache

Do you have a tension neck or migraine? I certainly hope that you don't but if you do, let me explain my way of helping you.

In case of a migraine, I will not quarantine any results, since the migraine can be caused by so many different factors that are beyond my knowledge (like hormonal imbalance), but if there's any muscle tension involved, I might be able to ease your situation a bit. So, what I will explain next, is more how to deal with a tension neck or tension head ache.

First of all: there is no easy or fast fix! For some people, massaging can actually make the headache worse and some cliets always get a headache after a neck massage. Is that normal? Yes. Is that necessary? NO. From my point of view, there should NEVER be headache after my treatment, because it means that we have done something to aggravate your body.

If you tend to get headaches after the treatment, the first thing to do, is to drink more water before and after the treatment. The second thing is: tell me about it, and we'll make a treatment plan so careful that you won't get your ache again!

How is that done? In Kata's Way I will treat you each session only as long as needed, and I will first make sure that your lymphatic drainage is working the best possible way (this is pretty much opening the chest and arms). After that I will work on your mid and low back, that is to make room for upper back muscles to relax. Think about a room full of people (upper back muscles) and you need to get in (without a headache). It will definitely happen easier, if some of the people get out of the room (opening mid back muscles) before you squeeze in! In my way, this is preferably done in a seated position, because that is the best way to release tension on rotatores and deep erector muscles.

Only after that, if we decide that it's comfortable for both me and my client, we will work on upper back and shoulder muscles. Most probably, in the first session, I hardly touch your neck or head more than opening a lymphatic drainage in a very gentle way. And that's simply because your body isn't ready for it yet!  No matter how much you want, you can not force your body to open or relax faster than it's able to do in a given moment!

So, it might take one 90 minutes session (in an ideal world) to get rid of a headache, but most probably it's going to take 5-10 sessions of 30-45 minutes. In this time we will have enough time to discover if the underlying cause for your headache is truly in your neck, in upper back muscles or maybe one of the nerves down to your hands are impinging so that we need to release muscles, tendons and other blockages in arms and forearms before the neck gets any release. Sometimes the neck ache can be caused by tendinitis in forearms or wrist issues.

My pricing is by a minute and I could be selling you a package deal of 5X45 minutes to begin with, but if we are only using 30 minutes, the remaining 15 minutes will be put to your bank. I am willing to deal with a fact that your body is unpredictable in it's current state of accepting therapeutic treatment! If you want some relaxation for the remaining 15 minutes, that's another thing, in which case we can maybe add a truly relaxing foot massage at the end of a session.

Kata's Way is best in practice when we are resolving some therapeutic goals, not in relaxation. To get the best possible outcome for your money, come open minded and communicate with me towards our goal in each and every session. If the goal for the session is relaxation, I'm happy to put you to sleep, but in therapeutic work I might need to keep you awake to get truly important feedback during our session!

I hope to see you soon in my office. This is Kata's Way which is Balanced, because only Balanced is Painless!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Why I don't call myself a massage therapist?

Happy and peaceful 2017 to all my clients, friends and colleagues!

It is a snowy (about one fifth of an inch in my back yard) and cold (as least relatively) day in Charlotte and I am sitting on my couch by the fire to keep my toes warm. I have managed to do my bookkeeping for 2016 and some planning for 2017, and now I am trying to think something new to tell you. Like, it's new beginning, new year and everything is fresh and time to turn the next page.

But I don' think so. I am really excited to start a new year and all, but there will be no significant changes is my business this year. I have set my pricing, I have a very comfortable office (and by the way, we might stay at this office after all, so no panicing about that either) and my name is now out there. I have a wonderful, full calendar year working for Kata's Way, LLC behind me, so I have some material to make more detailed planning and keep going forward. So, it's time to look back before rushing forward.

Looking back brought me to one specific question, kind of in the beginning of my (second) career: what am I supposed to call myself when massage therapist really doesn't cover what I do?

I AM a massage therapist, but I am also specialized and majority of my skills (although it's hard to know anymore how much I have learned while living and learning here in US) are from a different learning paradigm and can not be compared in North Carolina's system. I can not just tell people that I am functional massage therapist because I have not done a specific studies about functional massage in NC. Or can I?

How important is it to have a specific title? The titles are for everybody to recognize my style, but that's the question: my style is not recognizable here in NC. So I will keep up doing my work to make it a bit more recognizable! I am specialized massage therapist and structural bodyworker. I also do some functional bodywork, but I don't know anything about functional medicine (well, I am a patient in functional medicine, so I do know something, but I have no professional knowledge in this matter). I have a holistic view to a human body specially in it's motion and mobility: how left side's restriction affects to right side's function and vice versa.

I think that this year is time to keep talking more about Kata's Way and less about specific terms which really do not give us enough information. But if you have a fresh new term in mind, that describes what I do (you really need to be my client to do that), please, share it! Until that, I am going to keep Balancing my Clients because Balanced is Painless and that, my friends, is Kata's Way!

Keep following me, this is going to be the best year so far. I will have visitors from home and I will travel home (after 2 years) in June. I will be telling a bit about my new exercise program and developing even more individual stretching/exercising program for my clients and much more. I have also returned to my roots and I am teaching some Finnish again, Isn't that great or what? I really wish to see you soon!