One of the hardships of being a massage therapist and receiving massages is the difficulty of finding a great therapist. There is a big difference between intentional touch and “just being rubbed”, as one of my massage friends likes to say.
I’m constantly trying to improve my touch awareness. And trying to feel how the muscle, the body and the energy responds to touch.
Practicing intentional touch in my own work, makes me acutely aware of how it feels to have someone not adjust pressure or just endlessly bump over a knot in a muscle.
I’ve received a good share of “being rubbed” in Asia, and in the US. Since Thai massage is very common, (there were literally rows of massage studios on every street we visited) it was not unusual to see a therapist giving a massage while chatting on her phone or talking to another therapist. When deciding on where to go, my trick is usually to selfishly send John first and get a review from him.
After receiving an awesome Thai massage (on John’s recommendation) from Sae at Friends Massage, in Chiang Mai, we decided to take a three day class. We did our research and found a reputable, well reviewed school called, Sabai De Ka.
Our teacher, Na, was delightful and abundant with both humor and knowledge about her craft. The first thing she did was apologize for her English, which I assured her was 99.9% better than my Thai.
Thai massage is performed over loose clothing and involves a lot more stretches and compressions rather than the long strokes of the Swedish technique. It has been used for centuries and was originally taught in the temples. There is no oil used other than the occasional salve for a tight muscle.
The course covered all the techniques for a full Thai Massage, but adapted for a table, since traditionally it is done on a mat on the floor. We wanted to be able to integrate it with our other types of massage, so we opted for the table course.
I really like how Thai massage encourages the therapist to use her whole body to improve stretches. It’s not unusual to use a foot for better leverage for a stretch. Since it uses a lot of stretches, a therapist needs to listen to the body and the client to make sure the stretch is just right. The wonderful massage I received from Sae, at Friends Massage, used experienced intuitive touch to not overstretch my wonky shoulders. Even with a huge language barrier, she was able to feel when a stretch was a little too intense and she easily adapted.
Our teacher, Na, also had to be intuitive about our techniques, constantly helping us to adapt and change for our clients. A phrase that I heard regularly was, “You no flexible. You go like this” and then she would teach us some adaptation to the technique.
Thai massage involves lots of repetition, so we were taught to use 10-30 repetitions of a particular move. Of course, we had limited time, so sometimes, when we worked on each other, we would shorten the repetitions considerably, which was typically accompanied with my favorite line of all time, “Mr. JOHN, your wife have great body, you no cheat her!” I can assure you that John will be hearing that phrase for a long time to come!
All together, we learned enough techniques to give a 4 hour Thai massage. We obviously have many hours of practice ahead to master these new techniques, but we are both excited about integrating lots of these techniques into our practice and offering our most authentic Thai Massage when we return home.
Keep an eye out at our website for this new offering. We hope to be ready to offer full Thai Massage sessions soon.
Tired of puffiness? Wondering what is going on when some days you wake up and your face is dull and puffy and other days you look great?
Lymph is what is going on. Our bodies use lymph to remove waste. Waste products are carried away from the tissues and back to the heart where they are then sent to the kidneys and liver for detoxification.
Lymph doesn’t move by itself. It depends on the movement and contractions of muscles to circulate through the body. That’s why the lymphatic drainage massage in the detoxifying Munjoyous facial is such a rich part of the treatment. This gentle pressure moves lymph toward the lymph nodes so that it can be balanced.
The Detoxifying Munjoyous Facial includes:
- A deep cleanse that includes a facial steam with detoxifying herbs including ginger root, rosemary, allspice, eucalyptus and cloves.
- A gentle enzyme peel.
- A lymphatic neck, shoulder and face massage using a lymphatic detoxifying seaweed gel.
- An acupressure point facial massage using detoxifying ayurvedic oils
- Finally a rich purified clay mask is applied while you receive a mini-reflexology foot massage.
This healing treatment will leave you glowing both inside and out!
Exfoliation. We are constantly building up dead skin cells. That build up leaves our skin looking dull and lifeless. So, exfoliation is your skin’s best friend.
Except….not all scrubs are created equal. Scrubs have tiny little particles that scrub away dead cells as you wash your face. Unfortunately, some scrubs are made by crushing up seed shells or other substances that can have rough edges. When you scrub your face with them, they create tiny microscopic tears in your skin which allow for bacteria to move in, making the problem your trying to fix even worse.
Some scrubs use tiny little plastic particles. These are not so bad for your skin, but they never dissolve and get into our water supplies. They have actually found the little particles in fish and other swimming creatures.
I love our new Rose Face Polish. A unique powdered exfoliant that turns any cleanser into a gentle scrub. It’s combination of fine sugar and rose kaolin clay detoxifies and works as a delicate polisher without tearing or irritating the skin. The sugar, galactoarabinan, a natural polysaccharide, is extracted from North American larch trees that have already been harvested. It offers exfoliating benefits and leaves the skin smooth and radiant. This really enhances any make-up application.
This face polish is a great, once a week exfoliation that doesn’t tear or scrape your skin. Just create a paste with equal halves of your cleanser and the rose powder and gently massage it into a slightly damp face. Organic essential oils of Bulgarian rose and Malagasy ylang ylang stimulate, soothe, and contribute an intoxicating scent. Rinse immediately or leave on as a mask for five minutes.
Munjoyous…Your Neighborhood Oasis has “Rose Face Polish” for $10 for a 4 ounce container. Ask for a sample during your next visit to us. Call 207-956-7780 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment today.
CranialSacral is quiet and deep work done fully clothed. The CranialSacral system encases the central nervous which affects our entire being. A session consists of a ten step protocol where we gently hold and invite your body to “reset” or heal itself. The body is constantly trying to return to its perfect healthy state of equilibrium and a CranialSacral session is an invitation to just that. For the techies out there, it is like rebooting your internal computer.
I just finished a course on CranialSacral and now I’m offering sessions along with John. He has been doing it for years and he lit up when I mentioned that there was a course in Portland. He said he uses it all the time in his practice and he loves it. He told me a few of his stories and then dug out John Upledger’s very readable book, “Your Inner Physician and You”. After reading the book, I knew I would love the work…and I was right.
CranialSacral is that place where massage and energy meet. It’s much gentler than massage, but more anatomically centered than energy work, which focuses on the energetic body and not the physical body. The cool part of it is that people can see huge shifts in their health as a result of the work. It’s great work for folks of all ages.
Some of the conditions CranialSacral can help include:
- Migraines and Headaches
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
- Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
- Motor-Coordination Impairments
- Infant and Childhood Disorders
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Post-Concussion Symptoms
- Chronic Fatigue
- TMJ Syndrome
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Orthopedic Problems
- And Many Other Conditions.
If you’re thinking about trying CranialSacral, We would love to work with you. Book at Munjoyous.com. We have online booking or you can email spa@munjoyous or call 207-956-7780 for an appointment. A 60 min session is $65.
I’m excited to add microdermabrasion to the collection of skin treatments available at Munjoyous. I use a device called a DermaDiscTM. This resurfacing tool uses gentle vibration and a convex diamond tip that gently files away dead skin cells leaving your skin feeling smooth, fresh and rejuvenated.
Depending on your skin type, I can use a fine, medium or coarse textured tip. Unlike other devices, DermaDisc doesn’t use suction, so it won’t cause broken capillaries.
After you receive this treatment, you will notice that your face feels smoother and softer. Make-up and creams slide on smoothly.
It’s very effective for treating sun damaged skin, scars, acne scarring, pigmentation, stretch marks and fine lines.
The stimulation to the skin surface triggers cell renewal that increases the production of collagen and elastin, which plump up skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and open pores.
This service can be added on to a Munjoyous Customized Facial or a Rejuvenating Facial for $30.
It’s a great way to activate your skin and get new cell renewal for the spring. Remember, old skin cells absorb light, while new skin cells reflect it. This is the source of that dewy glow enhanced by your customized Munjoyous mask. Book Now, Email or Call us.
Winter weather. Drying Heat. Dehydration. This time of year brings flakes in more ways than just snowflakes.
Is your skin itchy and dry? Are you feeling like you would give anything to just have someone scratch your back?
Whole body exfoliation using dry brushes or Indian Garshana gloves is a great way to exfoliate, warm up your body and invigorate your skin. The benefits of these techniques include:
Increased circulation: Increasing circulation is a great way to bring needed blood and warmth to those cold extremities like the hands and the feet.
Stimulation of the lymphatic system: Stimulating lymph helps to detoxify the body and prevent sickness by strengthening the immune system. Dry brushing or garshana gloves increase the static electricity which alkalizes the blood and detoxifies the body
Exfoliation of dry, dead skin cells: Removing that layer of dead skin will help to reduce itchiness and also improve penetration of massage oils and other products used on the skin.
Sensory invigoration: Senses become awakened by the stimulating strokes that characterize this treatment.
Your winter Munjoyous ritual can include this delicious add on feature. It can be added to any massage or the Ayurvedic Facial for $30, but this January we are offering this twenty minute exfoliation add-on for half price $15.
Returning from the warm waters of the Arabian Sea to the icy sidewalks of Munjoy Hill have been challenging for us, but we are also excited to return with some great new skills.
While we were in Kerala India we received several Ayurvedic Treatments, including Abhyanga Massage, an amazing Scalp Treatment and the powerful Shirodara Treatment. Over the next couple months we plan to practice, enhance and integrate these wonderful treatments into our practice.
Marcia also amped up her reflexology skills with a mini course at Amritapuri. She learned a few tricks that you will be able to take home with you after your own reflexology session.
We picked up a few new tools as well: wonderful oils like Sandalwood, Jasmine, Saffron and a few others. We got some garshana gloves, which offer a stimulating exfoliation before the Abhyanga massage. Some new crystals and minerals have also been added to our healing space.
But…. the big surprise will be in our backyard patio this summer. Let’s just say that he puts “Baby G” in his place!