Cyber Monday Massage Gift Cards

Elizabeth Dashiell, Assistant Manager of Bodyworks DW, writes about the life changing experience she had when she discovered massage therapy and why giving the gift of that experience with massage gift cards is a great idea!

Today until midnight, for Cyber Monday (12/02),
all gift cards are 18% off

Why your loved ones who haven't been to Bodyworks DW need a massage gift card

For most of my life, I've been in pain.

Like a lot of us, I've asked my body to keep up with me in ways it might not have expected. I've met what seems like every kind of doctor there is searching for answers. I wish my family had gotten me a massage gift card earlier!

Here's what I was told by traditional medicine

  1. Stop what you're doing, it's stupid. (I'm a modern/contemporary dancer)
  2. Surgery is the only way to fix this. (surgery, small or large scale, is invasive and generally the most expensive and time consuming route to healing)
  3. Wear a hard cast on both feet (???) for two months to reset them....

 

Basically, I was left living in pain with no ways out that worked for me. I accepted this as reality and continued onward. By letting my pain become the norm.

This experience was shared among my college peers. We ignored our pain. My friends and I didn't have the time to research our options or the finances to invest in our bodies. Money was tight and my shoulders were tighter. It didn't cross my mind once to ask for help (typical college student, right??).

So I trucked along silently. If someone had just validated my pain and set me in the right direction it might have been a completely different story.

Ahem....a massage gift card would have been nice...... 🙂

Here's when my life changed

About a year ago I was searching for a job and came across Bodyworks DW. I didn't know anything about medical massage therapy. I certainly wasn't willing to spend the money to try it out. However, I was hired to work the front desk. One of the perks of working here has been access to heavily discounted massage therapy.

This opportunity introduced me to healers with a different perspective on pain. These massage therapists were actually listening to what I was saying. They offer me solutions that feel considerate of my lifestyle and mental health. It has been a serious game changer.

Since I started my healing journey here, I've been able to revisit and restore old injuries. Ones that I once decided I'd have to live with. I've restored my faith in my body. And I've been able to work out the unending list of muscular kinks that pull my bones in ways they should not be pulled.

I'm not out of the woods yet, but because of this studio, I know that living pain free is possible. Heck, I even deserve it! AND I believe in the work!

Again, today until midnight for Cyber Monday (12/02),
all gift cards are 18% off

If the work our medical massage therapists have done for you has impacted you in great ways, buy your loved ones a gift card. TODAY ONLY all gift cards purchased online are 18% off! Be the introduction they may need especially if they don't know how to ask for help.

After all, a gentle nudge towards living pain free has never proven to be a bad gift!

Stay warm this winter, Elizabeth

Buy Gift Card 🙂
Benefits of Massage For Parents

Benefits Of Massage For Parents: A Guest Post by Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. This blog is about the importance of massage for new parents. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.

Life as a new parent can be a lot of fun… it can also be really overwhelming!

In fact, the personal life that you may have cherished before all but vanishes as you take on the responsibility of parenthood. Having said that, while you might find yourself spending the majority of your time taking care of your little one, it’s important to carve out some time for yourself as well. Not only will this make you happier, there are many other benefits as well. In this article, I dive into some of the benefits of massage for new parents.

Take Some Of The Stress Out Of Your Life

Massage has often been thought of as a great form of stress relief. After all, it’s hard to think of many things that leave you feeling as relaxed and refreshed as getting a great massage.

Massage for parents, particularly new parents, is very important since they tend to have loads of stress.

For starters, new parents have a brand new person to take care of every moment of the day. This takes a lot of effort, believe me. Beyond that, kids are pretty expensive. There are hospital bills, clothes, cribs, reversible strollers, diapers, and all sorts of other baby stuff. For that reason, it’s not uncommon for money to be a little tight after kids arrive. Any way that you can relieve the stress is a big help. (Click here to check out our blog post on how to take the benefits of massage therapy home with you).

Massages For Parents Can Facilitate Better Sleep

For new parents, sleep is at a premium. It’s no secret that infants wake up several times each night, and that means mom and dad wake up too. For that reason, you will want to do everything that you can to stack the odds so that you can get to sleep easily whenever you have the chance.

Massage has been proven to promote sleep. So, working massage into your routine can help keep you well rested. Getting some black out curtains doesn’t hurt either!

A Much Needed Boost For Your Immune System

Infants and toddlers have a knack for attracting germs. In part, this is because they spend so much time on the ground. But, it’s also because they tend to like putting all sorts of things into their little mouths without any concern for cleanliness. This is compounded if they go to daycare and interact with lots of other kids.

You can bet that once those little kids get sick, they aren’t shy about sharing their germs with mom and dad. So, if you don’t want to get sick yourself, you will want to do everything you can to boost your immune system. Getting a good night of sleep can help with this. But, so can getting a massage. That’s right, massages have been linked to improvements in immunity, yet another reason why massage for parents is vital for an improved quality of life.

Put A Smile On Your Face

Massage for parents will improve your quality of life and help you connect back to yourself.

One of the biggest benefits of getting a massage is that it tends to be a really enjoyable experience. So much so that you might just find yourself smiling as you walk out the door. When you’re caught up in the race of life, it’s easy to forget to stop and smell the roses once in a while. Taking the time to treat yourself to something that you enjoy on a regular basis is likely to have a long term positive effect on your happiness.

A happier parent is a better parent. Just remember that as you go through each day, and don’t forget to treat yourself to things that keep you feeling good.

How to Take the Benefits of Medical Massage Home with You

How to Take the Benefits of Medical Massage Home with You

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about how you can take the benefits of your medical massage home with you. Stay ahead of your pain!

David Weintraub Licensed Massage Therapist and Owner at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

Medical massage in New York with a NYC licensed massage therapist should be a regular and valuable part of your self care routine. Let’s face it...New Yorkers are not known for doing things gently. We work long hours, slam weights at the gym, and then maybe hit back to back yoga classes. And while this additive approach to health does have it’s benefits, it’s not restorative and our bodies need time to heal. Here are some of our best at home and at work practices for taking the benefits your medical massage home with you! 

A great medical massage helps to relax both your muscles and your nervous system. It gives your brain time to switch out of your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight!). And engages your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) in a way that has benefits for long after the massage. 

In a perfect world we would all get massages every other day and feel fantastic 🙂 Given the reality of time and money this is simply not going to happen. However, there are plenty of practices you can take on to extend the great results of your massage between sessions. These will assist you in feeling great, allow you to go longer between massages, and help keep you from getting injured. 

Restorative practices to take the benefits of medical massage home with you

Lying Down with Your Feet up on a Chair

This is the number 1 homework assignment we give to all of our stressed out massage clients! It’s super easy, and it’s a great excuse to chill out a bit every day. We spend so much time sitting, our muscles get locked up in a sitting position. Which helps us sit, but is terrible for just about everything else we try to do. 

Lying down with you lower legs on a chair puts us in the same position as sitting but without needing to hold ourselves up in gravity. It passively shortens our psoas muscle (main hip flexor), quads, hamstrings, and calves. When you shorten a muscle but don’t make it do any work it gets to completely relax. It usually takes 4-5 minutes for your nervous system to chill enough to truly let go of your muscles. We recommend doing this for 5-8 minutes every night before bed to help you get a really good night's sleep!

All of our clients who have taken this practice on notice really huge results in about 2-3 weeks. Decreased low back pain or tension, better sleep, easier mood. Check out this video to see what it looks like and give it a try!

Contrast Hydrotherapy

Contrast hydrotherapy is a great way to take the benefits of medical massage home with you. It involves alternating applications of heat and cold to an area (or your whole body). The heat opens up blood vessels and tissues and relaxes the nervous system. The cold constricts the blood vessels and tissues and excites the nervous system. Alternating back and forth between them creates a pumping system for the area. This draws out damages such as bruising and brings in new blood with nutrients. The contrast creates a greater therapeutic result than either heat or cold alone. 

Local contrast hydrotherapy for acute conditions anywhere on the body

  1. Apply a heat pack to the area for 5 minutes
  2. Apply an ice pack or rub an ice cube into the area for 1 minute
  3. Repeat this 3 times, ending on ice

Local contrast hydrotherapy for carpal tunnel syndrome or ankle sprains

  1. Get two washbasins large enough to be able to place your whole forearm or feet into
  2. Fill one with hot water (as hot as you can stand)
  3. Fill the other with cold water (as cold as you can stand)
  4. Dunk you whole forearms into the hot basin so that the water is above the elbow (or your whole foot so that the water is above the ankle)
  5. Hold for 5 minutes
  6. Dunk area into the cold basin for 1 minute
  7. Repeat 3 times, ending on cold

Whole body contrast hydrotherapy for general health

  1. At the end of a shower, turn down the hot water and make it as cold as you can stand it
  2. Hold under the cold water for 30-60 seconds
  3. Turn the hot back on and hold under the hot water for 2-3 minutes
  4. Repeat 3 times, ending on cold (unless you shower before bed in which case end on hot to help you sleep) 

Here are some great heat and ice packs to try:

 

Stretching

Incorporate a basic stretching routine when you first wake up into your daily practice. And also a post workout cool down stretching routine. Guess what? The old school stretch as much as possible as suffer the pain as long as you can method we all associate with stretching doesn’t actually help much. Newer methods such as activated-isolated stretching and PNF stretching are much more effective. 

We recommend you change your mindset about stretching. Most of us think of stretching as about how flexible you are. We think of it as a surefire way to get blood moving through your body and to areas that might be restricted. Blood carries with it all the things your body uses to heal itself. These are David's two favorite books on different types of stretching:

You can learn owner David Weintraub’s daily morning stretch routine, as well as a bunch of other stretches and self care tips here:

Working on Form and Posture

Getting a great medical massage in Midtown or our Financial District studios involves a bit more that just what happens on the table. Our therapists are trained to look at your posture and movements for imbalances. We craft a table session to help balance these out, but we also always give easy homework practices to work on in between massages. 

The more aware you are of how your body moves the easier moving will become. Practicing simple form corrections while you are walking, sitting, standing, or exercising will make a big impact on how you feel. Since each of our bodies are unique, these corrections need to be given with thought and care by someone who has experience. Listening to the wrong directions in a group class can lead to injury for someone who doesn’t need that particular correction. For instance, some people in a yoga class could benefit from the direction to tuck your tailbone. However, if you are someone who is already tucked, listening to this may lead to lower back pain. 

Due to this, we aren’t going to give any specifics here as they will just be wrong for some of you. If you are working with an experienced massage therapist, pilates instructor, or Alexander Technique practitioner on a one-to-one basis make sure they give you 1-3 simple corrections to work on until you next session. Then give yourself a reminder in your phone to check in with these daily. 

At Bodyworks DW we always give practices to extend the benefits of your medical massage

When you work with one of our trained massage therapists, we aren’t going to just stick you on the table and give you a routine massage. We analyze your posture, and listen to you history and symptoms during a thorough intake. Then we craft a customized medical massage for you. In addition, we create an overall plan including a series of massage sessions with specific homework practices to help you in between. Our goal is to help you to not need us anymore 🙂 

Of course once you are out of constant pain you can come in for maintenance massage therapy to keep you pain and injury free. 

We offer medical massage therapy in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a professional medical massage with one of our highly trained massage therapists? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our medical massage Midtown or medical massage Fidi studios!

Book an Appointment

How Often Should I Get a Massage?

How Often Should I Get a Massage?

Meghan Krupka, LMT at Bodyworks DW, writes about how often to get a massage at Bodyworks DW!

Meghan Krupka Licensed Massage Therapist at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

In the often hectic & stressful environment that is NYC, having a self-care plan or routine in place is key. A good self care plan can greatly aid in reducing the physical and mental effects of this stress. Deciding to integrate massage therapy into your self-care routine often begs the question: how often should I come in for a massage? There is no one-size fits all answer, but here are some general guidelines depending on your lifestyle and health. Hopefully, these will help you determine an effective frequency to keep you pain free!

General Recommendations: How Often Should I Get a Massage?

First rule: Don't wait for a crisis! Start adding massage therapy to your routine before you get injured. You'll need to come far less often and also vastly improve your ability to prevent future injury.

For any actual pain symptoms we recommend a series of massage therapy sessions with no more than 2 weeks between sessions. Depending on the severity of your pain and the causes the series will be anywhere from 3-8 sessions.

Once you are no longer experiencing pain, you can switch to a maintenance cycle of massage sessions. This is important to keep the pain from coming back. For people who work highly stressful jobs or work out hard regularly, we recommend a maintenance massage every 2-4 weeks. For the rest of you, a maintenance massage every 6-12 weeks usually does the trick of keeping you pain free!

When my job has me sitting at a desk for long hours

With a desk job over time your body starts accepting your sitting postures as your go to posture. Your body adjusts your muscles, nervous system, and fascia to make sitting easier to hold. This can be problematic when you go to do something more active. Like a run or yoga class. Or even something simple such as carrying groceries home. Or getting a heavy object down from a shelf. The long term build up of desk tension in the sitting position often leads to injuries.

Combatting the postural habits caused by sitting at a desk can be effectively managed with a series of weekly or biweekly massage therapy sessions.

A series of 3-8 massages with less than 2 weeks between them is usually enough. It will make a huge difference in your posture. And get you out of the chronic pain cycle. After you are pain free look at the general guidelines above for how often to get a maintenance massage.

A good massage therapist near you should also be able to provide you with corrective cues, exercises, other self-care practices. By practicing these you can lower the number of massage sessions you’ll need overall in the series. And you’ll be able to maintain your pain free life with fewer maintenance massage sessions too!

Getting massage therapy to help recover from surgery

Depending on the severity of your surgery, we recommend massage therapy once every few weeks. This assumes that you are also working with a physical therapist 1-3 times a week. Massage therapy sessions for these cases will help to reduce pain and hopefully reduce the need for pain medication. It will also improve overall circulation, minimize the effects of scar tissue and promote lymph drainage if there is swelling.

Asking your doctor about whether massage therapy is a good treatment option for your particular surgery recovery is also recommended. While massage can help with recovery from many types of surgeries, it can be contraindicated for certain ones. Or particular massage modalities may be better suited for your specific case. Having all health professionals involved and on-board will result in a more effective, comprehensive and seamless transition back to normal activity. Once you are able to return to your favorite and daily activities, massage session frequency can be reduced to a maintenance cycle.

However, sometimes insurance will stop covering physical therapy sessions despite the fact that you are still experiencing pain. If this happens, we recommend continuing massage therapy sessions once a week or at most every other week until you are pain free.

For chronic pain or stress due to autoimmune disorders?

Chronic autoimmune symptoms can range from disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, migraines, depression and insomnia…and many, many more. These conditions often cause debilitating effects that can disrupt your lifestyle. To manage these and work through them, it is recommended to work with a massage therapist every 2-4 weeks. Some conditions that are more serious or are still new for the client may even benefit from weekly or twice weekly massage sessions.

Massage therapy can help support you and keep your chronic symptoms under control. In conjunction with eating an anti-inflammatory diet, regular light exercise, it may also help lower dosages of any medications you are taking.

Have you been experiencing one or more of these conditions, or have been diagnosed with one? it is important to keep an open and ongoing dialogue with your therapist as well as all other involved health care professionals. Figuring out what works and what does not is critical to getting you to a point with fewer episodes and/or flare-ups.

When I have an active lifestyle

For the more casual athlete, gym-goer and workout warrior, sports massage session frequency can range from once a week to once a month. It is largely dependent on how often you are working out and playing sports. And the intensity at which you do these activities. For the average person trying to stay active and in good shape and health, once a month is usually a solid rule of thumb. If you compete in an activity or have periods of higher intensity training, increasing sessions to twice a month is always an option. On the more extreme end of the spectrum, professional athletes may require massage therapy multiple times a week. This helps to maintain their performance and to reduce their risk of injury.

Keep your training schedule in mind when you come in for a session. If you have a big event or intense training session within 24 hours, getting a focused deep tissue massage might not be the best option. Great massage therapists will instead craft a lighter session to complement your training and get you ready and primed for your big event.

Massage Therapy is cumulative...consistency is key!

Having consistently spaced massage therapy sessions at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy will allow you to get the most mileage out of your body. So you can minimize stress and pain and maximize recovery. The effects of massage therapy are cumulative. Your body thrives with consistency when it comes to taking care of it and each session builds upon the last. This is one of the reasons why we encourage booking your next appointment or two after you’ve finished a current one. This helps keep you accountable to yourself when it comes to taking your self care time seriously.

Bodyworks DW therapists want to get you to the point of “maintenance” massage. This means that our therapists have gotten you to a stable point with minimal to no current injuries, and no major pain. We ultimately want your massage sessions to be relaxing and therapeutic tune-ups that will keep your body injury and pain free for the long run.

We offer both pain management massage therapy and maintenance massage therapy in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a professional massage with one of our highly trained massage therapists? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our massage Midtown or massage Fidi studios!

Book an Appointment

Neck Pain Massage Therapy_ Designing Effective Lasting Treatments @ Bodyworks DW with David Weintraub LMT

Neck Pain Massage Therapy: Designing Effective Lasting Treatments

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about neck pain and the positive effects of massage therapy to overcome it.

David Weintraub Licensed Massage Therapist and Owner at Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

Why effective neck pain massage therapy shouldn't focus exclusively on your neck

Neck pain is a very common issue. Our phones and devices are constantly pulling our attention. Our head follows our eyes putting us in a "head forward" position. This pulls the muscles in the back of your neck into a constant stretch. And makes them work extra hard to fight the weight of your head. Muscles hate being stretched and working hard. So they yell at you with achy pain. Thankfully, neck pain massage in New York and can be an effective and lasting treatment...when done properly.

Does this sound like you?

a) Sitting at a desk staring at your screen for 40+ hours a week
b) Looking down at your phone multiple times a day
c) Reading your tablet in bed while propping your head up on a pillow

All of these habits tighten your anterior neck muscles (the ones in front). While simultaneously pulling on the posterior neck muscles (the ones in back).

My massage therapist should work mostly where the pain is, right?

Actually, no. That might feel good at the time. But it won't last more that a few hours to a few days if you are lucky.

The next day you may even feel worse. Like you were hit with a bag of hammers. Working only on what hurts won't do anything to relieve pain for the long term. Truly effective neck pain massage has to address what's causing your head to move forward in the first place. And the cause is usually not your neck!

For most common neck pain, the following three areas need to be released together at the same time. This will move your head into a more balanced position on top of the ribcage. When the head is balanced in gravity the muscles in the back of your neck and upper back get to relax. And stop yelling at you with achy pain.

The Three Main Areas to work on in a first session

1) Hip Flexor Muscles (any muscle that helps bring your knee towards your chest...there are more than 12!)

Your hip flexor muscles are tight from sitting all day. This pulls the top of your pelvis forward into an anterior tilt (forward tilt). Basically you can think of it as a small but significant fold forward in your hips. This forward fold pulls you entire upper body forward. If nothing else changed, you would feel stooped over.

2) The Ribcage Position

The position of your ribcage in relation to your pelvis is vitally important to relieving both back and neck pain. With an anteriorly tilted pelvis, the ribcage tilts backwards to compensate. The muscles in the mid back will work extra hard. Basically you will be doing a backbend all day long. You'll have to in order to keep the ribs balanced on top of your forward tilted pelvis. In addition to putting your head and neck in a poor position, this also puts a lot of strain on the low back.

3) The Pectoral & Anterior Neck Muscles

With the ribcage doing a backbend to balance the pelvis, your head needs to move forward to compensate. If it didn't, you'd be looking at the ceiling. As you head pulls forward it overstretches your posterior neck and upper shoulder muscles. Yes, we know that's where it hurts 🙂 However, working back there is not going to make a long term impact. The back of your neck is already over stretched. Releasing it into length even more (which is what massage does to muscles) is not going to help any. To really provide relief, the front side anterior neck muscles need to be released in order to give the back ones some slack.

If your massage therapist only releases the front neck muscles and not the mid back muscles, your neck will feel a lot better. But you'll be stuck looking up at the ceiling. And if they open up the angle of your neck and your ribcage, but not the hip angle, you'll be left stooping over! So, to really release your neck muscles in a way that sticks, we need to make sure all three areas are in better balance. This will allow your head position to float back on top of your pelvis and ribs naturally, without effort. Finally your neck muscles get to rest!

For most neck pain and upper back pain clients, we sequence all three areas in a neck pain massage session. We work on releasing hip flexor muscles, then mid back muscles, then front of neck muscles. By the time we work on those back of the neck muscles, they are already super relaxed and ready for deeper work. You'll leave feeling your neck light and moveable in ways that you had forgotten exist 🙂

What Next? That felt great and lasted weeks! But now that familiar ache is starting to come back...

The above 3 step session is a basic outline of what would happen in a first session. It's going to provide a lot more relief than a standard massage session and it's going to last a lot longer than you are used to. In order to get that relief to last long term we recommend a series of sessions to address some or all of the following (depending on the client):

  • Any old ankle injuries your have that change the angle and shape of the foot: these usually cause hip flexor tightness
  • Your adductor muscles on the inner thigh that may be stuck together due to sports injuries: these also cause hip flexor tightness
  • The position of your shoulder blades on your ribcage: these are often "rolled forward" pulling on the muscles in the back of your neck in a similar way to the front neck muscles
  • Your side body fascia: if the ribcage isn't inflating and deflating while breathing, both the shoulder and neck muscles get "stuck"
  • Your jaw muscles - tension from trips to the dentist or daily unrelieved stress tightens these causing headaches and also neck and shoulder pain

As each of these related causes for neck pain is worked on, it will become easier and easier to balance your head on top of your ribcage. Eventually, usually after 4-7 sessions of neck pain massage, pain becomes a thing of the past.

Effective neck pain massage therapy addresses all of the forces pulling on your head

We've developed truly effective neck pain massage therapy that provides long term relief at Bodyworks DW.

First, we'll address your neck pain effectively by releasing each of the three main contributing factors in the same session. You will feel immediate relief at the end of the first session. And you won't feel sore or beat up the next day.

Next, to have a long term impact, we will follow up the first session with 3-6 custom designed sessions. These sessions will work on more detailed areas in cumulative layers. Each massage allows us to go deeper into the stuck front neck muscles and bring your head into better balance. With your head balanced on top of your spine all of the muscles work less. Less work = less pain!

We offer neck pain massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a fantastic neck pain massage with one of the best massage therapists this city has to offer? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our neck pain massage midtown or neck pain massage fidi studios!

Book an Appointment

How to Find the Right Massage Therapist

How to Find the Massage Therapist for You

Michael Bruffee, Senior LMT at Bodyworks DW, gives tips on how to choose the right medical massage therapist for you! Check it out below.

Michael Bruffee

Massage Therapy is gaining in popularity and recognition as a legitimate and powerful tool. It heal injuries, relieves stress, and improves overall health. However, to the uninitiated looking for high-quality care, the search can be confusing. There's a dizzying array of different treatment styles all under the umbrella of massage. Here is our guide to finding a great massage therapist in New York and everywhere else!

1. Find a State Licensed Massage Therapist.

If you’re not sure, ask if they’re licensed and registered with your state.

To us in the industry, this is obvious. But there are many people out there offering massage who are not state licensed, and not state registered. Licensing is important because it means there's a baseline of safety protocols that the therapist follows. These include proper privacy draping, extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and required knowledge of scope of practice.

Massage Therapy licensure in New York State requires a minimum of 1000 hours of schooling and clinical practice. There's also a comprehensive written exam that must be passed.

Many unlicensed establishments offering massage are fronts for unseemly practices. Therefore, if you want a legitimate, professional massage therapist, make sure you’re booking appointments with state licensed practitioners. An LMT has specific training in communicating effectively with you about your needs. They'll make your safety and comfort while receiving massage therapy a priority.

This includes proper draping practices to make sure private areas on your body are always covered. Also, the ability to talk you through the therapeutic reasons for working close to these areas. And the professionalism of always allowing you, the client, to make your own choices on what work you are willing to receive.

For New York State, you can verify a therapist’s license, at the NYS Office of Professions verification service.

2. Do research about which modalities of massage are right for you.

Not everyone will need the same approach. Not all therapists use the same techniques.

There are seemingly a million and one types of massage therapy and bodywork out there. Such as, swedish, shiatsu, sports massage, deep-tissue, Rolfing, Feldenkrais, tui-na, thai massage, craniosacral, orthobionomy, reiki, zero balancing, ashiatsu, polarity therapy. As a result, if you’re not sure what something is, do some research beforehand! Clarity is important.

Make sure you’re getting information from reputable sources, such as the American Massage Therapy Association website.

The Difference Between Deeper Tissue Styles & Energy Work Modalities

Most therapy modalities are physical (meaning the therapist applies touch to your body), such as Swedish massage. Swedish is most well-known and featured in many spa settings as relaxing massage. This is a legitimate form of healing that can reduce stress-related pain and other issues.

In addition, other physical modalities include sports massage and deep tissue. Both of which involve deeper, more intense tissue manipulation. Sports massage is more related to athletics. Deep tissue is more related to everyday orthopedic injuries.

Some other therapy modalities are more energetic in nature. Polarity, reiki, and other energy healing therapies may be helpful for people who can’t handle anything more than light touch. Energetic work over time can help bring you out of sympathetic (or fight/flight) nervous system reactions. In turn, it can bring you back into parasympathetic (relaxed) nervous system states.

Many practitioners are fluent in multiple modalities to allow them to support a wide population of clients. Most important is that you know your own body. Know what you’re looking for. Ask questions. Be willing to create a set of boundaries with your therapist. Get a massage that you will be happy about!

3. Make sure your therapist conducts a thorough intake before you start.

Spending several minutes talking about your body and the stress and/or pain you feel will make a huge difference. As a result, your therapist can tailor the session to your needs.

Spending time on a thorough intake ensures that your therapist knows the main issue you’re coming in for. It also lets you know that they're listening and paying attention with their ears. This usually translates to a therapist who also pays attention and listens with their hands. A good therapist practices professional due-diligence. They'll make sure they won’t use any techniques that could exacerbate an injury.

A Great Massage Starts with an Agreement Between You & Your Therapist

The intake is also the time for you and your therapist to come to an agreement about what you need. Remember, your therapist is a professional (assuming you checked off #1 above) who knows anatomy. They're trained in the therapeutic process. However, there's often a desire to simply let the therapist run the show and take whatever you get. Keep in mind that you know your own body.

You can always let a good therapist know the pressure is too light or too deep. In fact, we really want to hear that feedback from you. Then, we know we are giving you the session you want.

Make sure your therapist listens to you and treats you with kindness and respect. For instance, if there are parts of your body, like your face, or your abdomen, or your feet that you really, really don’t want to be touched please let us know.

Thorough Assessment is the Key to a Great Massage

A sign that you’ve found a great therapist is that they'll conduct a postural assessment as part of intake. Pain in your neck may be related to postural shifting due to an old ankle sprain or hip injury. Working only on the area that hurts may feel good at the time... But it won’t necessarily allow the pain to go away for more than a day or two.

Your therapist should take the time to assess your whole body posture. Then, they are more likely to see the root causes of your pain and plan the session accordingly.

4. Come up with a multi-session plan to address the issue you came up with.

Massage therapy is a cumulative treatment process.

The best massage therapists will work on addressing the “chief complaint” you bring in that day, but also put the pain in a larger context. They will ask questions.

How do you exercise? What do you do for work? What are your sleeping habits? Any other ways in which you go about your day? All of these questions and observations of your posture help them determine the roots of your pain and make an effective plan to address them.

Working with a therapist over a series of sessions will allow them to get into the root of your pain. Over the course of the series your pain will decrease noticeably and eventually disappear. And you’ll learn self care methods to keep it from coming back later.

The number of sessions will depend on the issue itself. 3-5 for a lesser issue, 5-8 for a moderate issue, 8-12 for a client with multiple acute pains. Committing to a massage therapy series will make sure that your problem doesn’t just get a band-aid. We want your pain solved in a substantial and lasting way.

5. Do your homework.

Great massage therapists will give homework to their clients.

The beneficial nature of massage will depend on how diligently you stick to your homework. You get out of it what you put into it between sessions.

Examples of homework include:

  • Awareness practices, e.g. paying attention to how often you slouch or grit your teeth at your desk, or the position of your neck as you look at your computer
  • Stretches for muscles that are locked short, such as those in the front of the neck, or the front of the thighs.
  • Introducing a habit of movement or breathing in the morning before you go to work for the day

Even if you manage only to do your homework once or twice before your next scheduled session. That is often enough to break out of habitual patterns of movement and jumpstart your trajectory towards improvement. As you start feeling better, the motivation to make a habit of the homework increases until they become routine. You’ll feel more in control of your issues. And you'll feel less reliant on your massage sessions to “get you through.”

At Bodyworks DW, we’ve already done all of the work of finding a great massage therapist in New York for you

Massage therapy in New York is different. We have some of the strictest licensing laws in the country. Each of our massage therapists has been hand-picked and trained by owner David Weintraub. We practice at the highest levels of professional massage therapy available. To keep the staff up to date, David holds mandatory trainings on technical bodywork, treatment protocols, and improving client interactions.

All of our therapists meet all of the above requirements for a great massage therapist in midtown and the financial district:

  1. NYS licenced
  2. Trained in a wide variety of massage modalities
  3. Conduct friendly and thorough intakes for each massage session
  4. Able to create multi-session treatment plans for a wide variety of pain issues
  5. Crafts homework practices for every client that helps them conquer their pain faster and with less time and money

We offer massage therapy in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. Would you like to schedule a fantastic massage with one of the best massage therapists this city has to offer? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our massage therapy midtown or massage therapy fidi studios!

Book an Appointment

Mental Health, Loneliness & Medical Massage in New York

Mental Health, Loneliness and Medical Massage in New York

Jess Loewer, LMT at Bodyworks DW, addresses how medical massage in New York can help with your mental health and loneliness. Read below for more information!

Jess Loewer

We live in a fast paced, grind, hustle, burn the midnight oil from both ends of the candle kind of city. We make our bodies go until they can’t, and then we limp through mile markers. Then we bad-mouth our bodies for not being able to handle the life-long marathon we thought we were winning. Most of us don’t even think about the impact this has on our mental health unless things start to feel really bad.

Because it’s the cultural norm, it can be hard to identify when we’ve gone too far, until loneliness and burnout make regular appearances. While we might have company in this misery, I’m happy to reveal the not-so-secret news that there are tools at our disposal to achieve better mental health and self-value. In plain English, you can feel better than you do, without a lot of effort!

Caring for our Mental Health is Physical Health is Mental Health

I’d like to build a case around our mental wellness being physical. If you run a quick search on mental and physical health, you’ll find many ways they’re linked, or that they affect one another. For one example, we now know that the body’s lymphatic system exists within the brain - linking our immune system health directly to our brain health.

Our immune system (ie our body’s waste filtration system) was not thought to cross over the blood/brain barrier before this study’s findings.

We already know that the nutritional content (or lack thereof) of whatever we digest makes its way to our small intestine. This is where we absorb what’s useful into our bloodstream. Our circulatory system transports those nutrients where we need them and deposits plasma, lipids, and debris into our lymphatic system.

Sometimes our digestive system can’t completely eliminate harmful things and they make their way to our bloodstream. Our lymphocytes (white blood cells) kill what we don’t need. The leftover waste is passed back to our bloodstream to be filtered out and eliminated.

A Case for Diet Affecting Mental Health

What this means is that our diet physically affects our brain function on a cellular, nutrient-exchange level. This also might mean that healthy lymphatic drainage (achieved primarily by exercise and movement but also massage and skin brushing) may have real impacts on our mental wellbeing!

This is a big deal. How our brains function on a cellular level is physiological, not just mental. And it is inseparable from the rest of our body’s systems. Our thoughts are affected what we eat, who we spend time with, and how our bodies are moving. And not simply by how well we process our emotions past and present.

Our Bodies Store Our Emotional Memory of Stress Responses and Traumas

How? We’re still getting a better understanding of this process through research and integrative, functional medicine. So far, a lot has been done in the fields of neuroscience, biology, and psychosomatics.

Here’s what we know: When our bodies have a stress response, our endocrine system jumps to sympathetic nervous system mode (freeze, flight or fight). We start pumping stress hormones (mainly adrenaline and cortisol) into the bloodstream. These hit our muscles fast for the purpose of hiding, running away, or fighting.

In the way our bodies were designed to survive, your boss yelling at you would elicit three potential responses: hiding in the corner, running out of the meeting, or punching them in the face. None of these are an option in modern day society, right?!

Our Modern Restraint Takes a Physical Toll

What happens when we don’t let our bodies use that burst of power to get out of the confronting situation? What happens when the stress trigger doesn’t stop? While our adrenal glands stop pumping eventually, those hormones wind up in our muscles. Since you can’t run or fight at the office, your body chooses the “freeze” response (you know how a cockroach just freezes there on the wall…). If you continually engage in a freeze response your muscles and fascia will get stiffer and stiffer.

If the muscles are not restored to resting length, they’ll remember that contracted state as your “new normal.” This is where medical massage therapy can help with not just muscles but also mental health. There’s often an emotional origin to our trigger points, fascial restrictions, and movement patterns. Acknowledging that can help us resolve problematic patterns faster, for true healing and better body mechanics.

So let’s talk about the power of touch!

Our bodies respond with more than just stress responses to keep us safe. We also have restorative hormones produced when we rest and when we’re touched in a compassionate way. Massage increases oxytocin and reduces adrenocorticotropin hormone in humans. It also decreases cortisol production and increases serotonin and dopamine. While we’re not positive how long that increase lasts, simply getting that physiological change is vital. Medical massage tells our brain it’s both possible and repeatable to relax and be at peace. What the mind can conceive the body can achieve 🙂

What about loneliness? Self care and mental health is really much more nuanced than body chemistry before and after shots can show. Right? It is so much more personal. And generally socially inappropriate to talk about in our culture. Unless we find avenues to communicate our feelings safely, we tend to keep things to ourselves.

It isn’t news to try our hardest to limit chronic stressors, yet here we are...

We may have heard this over and over as general doctor’s advice: keep your stress low! However, we rarely hear about how physical a stress response is. And we rarely hear about what the physiological consequences of chronic stress are. There’s something about New York City that makes us a special breed of compromise-makers.

We compromise our health for our career or lifestyle so easily. We really blast past the health advice. We roll our eyes and put ourselves into adrenal fatigue easily. And call it normal because there’s pride in a NY hustle! And then add in more exercise as if that’s going to counteract all the stress. Or take away things and go on a juice cleanse. Sadly, while these measures can help, they are helping in much smaller amounts than we hope for.

In the tug of war between the stress and the healthy things we do, team “stress” is like an Australian Rugby team and team “health” is like a kindergarten class at nap time.

So what are the actionable steps you can take towards a solid mental health?

1) Behold, my mental wellness toolkit (not an exhaustive list)

2) Practice healthier eating and hydrating

  • Has it been a while since you’ve had dark leafy greens? Get ‘em.
  • Had too much caffeine & traveled this weekend? Drink up on water!
  • Snacking while stressed? Try some healthier snacks such as nuts and fruits

3) Schedule Time With Uplifting People

  • You are the five people you spend the most time with...are those people restoring your or stressing you out?
  • Prioritize people that build you up.
  • Bonus if you get to work alongside these people. (If not, can you find the folks at your office that seem to radiate relaxation? Go have coffee with them!)

4) Joyful Exercise

  • If you don’t have an exercise routine, try something low key but invigorating like the NYT 7 minute workout
  • If you do exercise but aren’t really loving what you are up to anymore, try something new that also engages your learning brain (martial arts, circus arts, ballroom dancing, the Ido Portal method, etc.)
  • Small additions really matter such as just taking the stairs a few times a week rather than the elevator
  • If you’re not enjoying what your body can do for you, welcome to 2019, where we can make new rules for our workouts 🙂

5) Add in some simple Meditation and mindfulness, play and creativity

6) Get out and spend some time in nature! (Nature deficit disorder can be a real thing here in the city!)

7) For those of you as bookish as I am, if you haven’t read Dr John Sarno’s books or The Body Keeps The Score. Pick them up!

8) Massage Therapy!

How Medical Massage in New York Can Make a Big Impact on Your Mental Health

Are you trying to maintain healthy mental wellbeing and/or in a lonely season of your life? I encourage you to make massage a dependable part of your life. It is more versatile medicine than you might have ever known. I have seen truly empowering results with our clients when we acknowledge the other parts of their life that impact their physical wellbeing.

The emotional support and understanding of having a medical massage session dedicated entirely to your wellbeing can have a huge impact. And it is often enough to get our systems to chill out and relearn how to relax. Having time to be present with your body instead of dissociating is a powerful thing, my friend 🙂

I’m human too. Even though I live and breathe massage and self care, life has a way of shaking us up every so often to see where our values lie. I have to keep committing to my own mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health, right alongside you.

And I can say without a doubt that we at Bodyworks DW are all here to support you to set and meet your physical and mental health goals. And to take glorious steps to living the life you choose. Our team’s therapeutic focus means we treat the whole person not just a torn shoulder and or an aching back (though we excel at treating those!).

We offer medical massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City.

If you are are working on your mental health, medical massage can help you experience what your body could feel like to truly rest.

If you would like to schedule a fantastic medical massage and experience the benefits above, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our medical massage midtown or massage therapy fidi studios!

Book an Appointment

See you on the table, Jess

Low Back Pain Massage Therapy Treatment by David Weintraub

Lower Back Pain Treatment with Massage Therapy in New York

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about the benefits of massage therapy for lower back pain. And how massage therapy rather than using the traditional approach of surgery or medication can produce better results at a lower cost.

David Weintraub

Why medication or surgery is only masking the root cause of your pain

Massage therapy for lower back pain is an effective alternative treatment to surgery and medications. Additionally, in most cases the results are noticeably better than either of those traditional approaches. This is according to the newest research. (Excerpt from Vox article "A comprehensive guide to the new science of treating lower back pain").

Lower back pain from bulging or herniated discs often seems to come out of nowhere. In reality there are usually other root causes. An older ankle or knee injury can create an imbalance in the body leading to lower back pain. Compensation patterns from older injuries put asymmetrical pressure on the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is the part of your spine located in your lower back. Eventually this pressure can cause one or more lumbar discs to bulge. If the bulge presses on nerve pathways, light to extreme pain can result.

How Traditional Approaches can Fail

The most common surgical approach is called a laminectomy. This surgery tries to correct pressure on the nerves by shaving down part of the bulging discs. However, the root cause older injury is still affecting your body. The pressure is still there on the lumbar spine. A laminectomy can eliminate the pain symptoms for a short period. However, in many cases a new bulge pops out in another disc later. This usually makes the problem even worse later on.

Medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatories mask symptoms. This feels good and sometimes can help you move through the issue by allowing you to stretch into the stuck area again.

However, the root cause is still not being addressed. Pain will likely come back to plague you in the future. Opioids are especially worrisome as they are highly addictive. This can lead to reliance on them to even function. In an increasing number of cases the addiction spirals out of control creating a far worse issue than the pain itself.

How Low Back Pain Massage in New York works differently

With back pain massage in New York, we work to discover why the disc is bulging in the first place. Meaning you'll get a more holistic approach. And of course we'll spend some time massaging the muscles in your low back.

In addition, we'll work to identify and address any older injuries that caused the low back tightness to begin with. Once the older injured joints are moving better, your low back will have less work to do. Pressure lessens on the lumbar spine. This allows pain to decrease naturally without medications or surgery.

This pathway might be slower than popping a pill. But you'll know that your pain is being reduced in a healthy way. And you'll gain the tools to keep it from coming back in the future.

[T]here are perceptions that opioid therapy for chronic pain is less expensive than more time-intensive nonpharmacologic management approaches. [However,] many pain treatments, including acetaminophen, NSAIDs, tricyclic antidepressants, and massage therapy, are associated with lower mean and median annual costs. [As] compared with opioid therapy. (excerpt from CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016)

We offer back pain massage in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City

If you are in acute or chronic low back pain we recommend booking as soon as you can make an appointment.

Are you suffering from lower back pain? There are many advantages to working with our team of trained medical massage therapists.

At Bodyworks DW, we evaluate how the rest of your body and posture is affecting your low back pain. Together we'll make a plan for a series of back pain massage sessions. This will help to unwind any seemingly unrelated issues. As your whole body opens up, pressure on the low back is relieved. This allows the discs to return to their normal shape over time. With less and less pressure on the nerves, pain slowly but surely goes away.

If you would like to schedule a fantastic back pain massage and experience the benefits above, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online for back pain massage in midtown or fidi!

Book Appointment

Benefits of Massage Therapy

5 Reasons to Make Massage Your Monthly Routine

Germain Phanord, massage therapist at Bodyworks DW & David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW write about the benefits of incorporating medical massage therapy in new york into your monthly routine.

Germain Phanord
Shoulder Pain Massage, David Weintraub

There are a lot of great reasons to make massage therapy in New York a regular part of your self-care routine. Massage has tons of benefits!

Here are our top 5...

Alleviate Pain

Working late nights while sitting in front of the computer for hours is a surefire recipe for muscle imbalance. When the body is overworked it aches all over. Left untreated, this will lead to chronic pain. There is almost nothing worse than feeling pain, stiffness and achiness. Especially on a cold day!!!

Many of us live with pain in today's high demanding society, especially in busy cities like New York. Eventually your body maxes out your pain threshold. For most, that's when you’ll break down and visit a professional, such as a massage therapist in New York, acupuncturist, physical therapist, or chiropractor.

By making massage therapy part of a regular routine, you can help get ahead of the curve and prevent chronic pain from building up. Try switching your mindset. Instead of only getting massage therapy in New York when you have a major acute issue, schedule preventative monthly massage. You’ve been pushing so hard at work...don’t you deserve a nice massage?

Relieve stress and anxiety

In today’s modern world there are more stressors than ever. We are getting less sleep and staying up longer due to work deadlines, children, school, family issues, environmental issues.

Massage can be a great to decrease stress and anxiety. Bonus...this will help your body’s other systems like digestion and immunity function better. Massage therapy can help engage the parasympathetic nervous system (your “rest and digest” system) which your body needs to go to to restore.

Your parasympathetic nervous system is the opposite of your sympathetic nervous system (your “fight or flight” system). The sympathetic nervous system prepares your body for stressful situations. It pumps you with adrenaline and increases your heart rate and breathing. This is very useful and necessary if you are being chased by a lion. Less so when you are stressing over that report that’s due on Friday.

As New Yorkers, we tend to stay stuck in our sympathetic nervous systems...all the time.

Which is really not good for the body in the long run. Your body doesn’t get the rest it needs to heal. Having regular massage therapy in New York restores your ability to switch back to rest mode more easily. It can help you sleep better and handle stressful situations more calmly.

Decrease Tension Headaches and Migraines

Quick fact (According to the Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology): "Tension headaches, by far the most common type of headache people experience (90-92%), these are triggered by muscular tension, bony misalignment, postural patterns, eyestrain, temporomandibular joint disorders.”

Tension headaches build up due to stress caused by intense work, missed meals, depression, anxiety or lack of sleep.

Did you know that there is a big jaw muscle called Temporalis at your temples? Jaw clenching is a primal fight or flight response that you probably don’t even realize you are doing when you are stressed.

Migraines have different triggers and causes. Some people react to light, smells, foods, stress, or hormone changes. It’s different for each person. And while massage isn’t a cure for the tigger itself, it can change the threshold for when the trigger activates. Also, migraines lead to tension headaches which lead to more migraines in a cycle. Relieving the tension headache component of the cycle helps prevent future migraines.

Massage when you are in the midst of a headache or migraine can undo clenched shoulder, neck, and jaw muscles and help you relax.

Regular monthly massage can help ease jaw clenching and shoulder raising. It can also put you at ease and lower your stress levels (see above) which helps prevent future headaches and migraines.

Boost your immunity

Getting a massage not only helps you relax, it also helps boost the immune system. Receiving a massage decreases levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and vasopressin, a hormone believed to play a role in aggressive behavior.

Check out the research on massage therapy and immunity from the AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association). It says that massage therapy increases the activity level of the body’s white blood cells that work to combat viruses. According to massage research from Cedars-Sinai, participants in a Swedish massage group experienced significant changes in lymphocytes. These play a large role in defending the body from disease. A lymphocyte is one of the three subtypes of white blood cells in the immune system.

Monthly massage therapy in New York helps keep your immune system primed and ready to keep you healthy.

Improve Range of Motion and Ease of Movement

Injuries and repetitive stress patterns can tighten muscles and the fascia that glues muscles together. Over time, this restricts range of motion in your joints. This affects all of your daily activities. And makes your muscles have to work harder to move you around.

Deep tissue massage focuses on aligning deeper layers of muscle tissue. It also helps with chronic conditions such as a stiff neck, back pain, shoulder pain and leg muscle tightness.

You’ll find that everything gets easier and lighter as your muscles learn to let go of chronic tightness. Regular massage reminds your body of how much better it is possible to feel.

This helps your brain adjust the nervous system to want to feel that way more often. You’ll be more motivated to include small but meaningful regular self care actions in your day.

You can think of getting regular monthly massage like getting an oil change for your car. Sure you might not need it exactly right now. Your engine will be fine…..until it isn’t. And then instead of a $20 oil change a few times a year you’ve got a major mechanic bill on your hands and a car out of service for a few weeks.

You might not feel like you absolutely need a massage this month, but you’ll feel better faster if you make it part of your routine. And be able to keep up with your regular activities without a major breakdown such as a herniated disc or a torn rotator cuff.

How Massage Therapy in New York is Different

New Yorkers are in luck. Our massage therapists have the highest and most extensive training requirements of any state in the country. And given how hard we push ourselves, we really need it!

At Bodyworks DW we focus on therapeutic massage, with each session tailored to your individual needs. First we work through any acute pain issue you may be having with a series of massage sessions over a shorter amount of time. Usually once a week or bi-weekly for 4-8 weeks depending on the severity of the issue.

Once the acute issues are treated, we recommend a regular monthly massage to keep you running smoothly. And to prevent future injuries.

We offer massage therapy in Midtown and the Financial District in New York City. If you are in acute or chronic pain we recommend booking as soon as you can make an appointment.

If you aren’t in pain, think about what days and times would work for you. Not just for your “next” massage, but for a regular monthly massage in New York. For instance, how about every first Tuesday evening of the month at 6 pm? Ask your therapist if you can create a standing appointment in our system so that you’ll get email reminders when your next appointment is about to come up. And don’t forget to block it off in your calendar 🙂

If you would like to schedule a fantastic massage and experience the benefits above, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at our massage therapy midtown or massage therapy fidi studios!

Book an Appointment

Medical Massage in New York @ Bodyworks DW by owner David Weintraub - offering medical massage in midtown and fidi

Could You Benefit From a Medical Massage in New York?

Germain Phanord, LMT at Bodyworks DW & personal trainer, writes about medical massage in new york city. What is it, and how can you benefit from it?

Germain Phanord

It's likely you will lose mobility as you age

One of the main benefits to medical massage is increased range of motion in our joints, ie regained mobility. So, we can't really highlight the benefits of medical massage in new york without talking about the reasons we lose mobility in the first place.

As most of us age we slowly lose our mobility. We assume it’s aging, but often it’s simply sitting around too much. Office desks, driving, and sitting on the couch binge watching shows are all culprits. No matter what we do at the gym, all this sitting takes a toll. Check out this Mayo Clinic article on sitting risks.

When you sit for long periods your posture becomes misaligned. This results in poor biomechanics and mobility. Other repetitive postures such as leaning to one side while standing or carrying a bag on the same shoulder every day can also decrease mobility.

These unnatural habits limit our range of motion, speed, and power in our walking, running, and sports. Or even worse, they develop into nagging injuries preventing us from enjoying our activities.

What is the difference between Medical Massage and a Spa Massage?

The ultimate difference is what the massage therapist chooses to focus on during the session.

In a typical spa massage, the therapist will give a full body massage rather than focusing on injuries or specifics. The goal is to provide a relaxing experience, increase blood flow, and provide general maintenance to the muscles.

In a medical massage, the focus is on functional outcomes and medical needs. These may include releasing scar tissue, increasing range of motion in joints, and helping the client learn better body mechanics.

How Does Massage Increase Mobility?

Fascia is a substance in your body which glues all of your muscles together. It can become harder due to inactivity. Or fascia can get filled with inelastic scar tissue due to injury. This often results in poor posture and limited movement. Over time you end up on a downward spiral where movement becomes more and more difficult.

Medical massage improves the elasticity of your fascia. It uses targeted deep tissue techniques to increase blood flow to stuck areas and to lengthen and stretch the fascia. By choosing which areas to work on wisely, a great medical massage therapist can rebalance your posture. And increase range of motion in your joints. You’ll find ease in your movement patterns again and feel much better, especially with a series of 5-8 massage sessions.

How does Medical Massage in New York, NY Compare to other places?

New York State is a special case for massage therapy. Massage therapists must train for a minimum of 1,000 hours. And pass a difficult board examination to practice medical massage in New York State. Most other states in the US require only 500-700 hours. And do not include specific training in medical massage.

In general, you can expect medical massage in New York, NY to include the following training within the 1,000 hour requirements:

  • Medical massage techniques such as myofascial release & trigger point therapy
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Clinical massage therapy principles and modalities
  • Kinesiology
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Pathology
  • Professional ethics
  • Business practices for medical massage therapists
  • 150+ Hours of Supervised clinical practice sessions

New York City makes a really special case for massage therapy. Our citizens tend to have more stressful office jobs, sit for longer hours, and conversely, work out super hard after all that. New York City dwellers have come to expect quality sports and medical massage. If a massage therapist doesn’t seem confident dealing with injuries and pain management, there are plenty more to choose from.

How Does Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy take this the Next Level?

At Bodyworks DW, our owner David Weintraub is a first call massage therapist for several orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists. Including top notch doctors at the renowned Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY. He works together with them to increase mobility on difficult cases where a patient has severely restricted motion. HSS doctors routinely send patients to David that are recovering from surgeries or to prevent the need for surgeries. He's worked with clients to recover from knee replacements, torn rotator cuff repairs, hip replacements, spinal fusions, nerve relocations, and other major surgeries. Working together with their team of physical therapists, David uses medical massage in midtown and the financial district to vastly speed up recovery times for their patients.

David has created Bodyworks DW as an advanced training ground for talented massage therapists. He keeps his staff current and growing by offering regular trainings, coaching, and discussion groups. Each of our therapists has been hand picked by David. And then trained to become a top notch medical massage therapist.

We offer advanced medical massage in midtown and the financial district in New York City.

If you would like to schedule an amazing medical massage experience, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click the button to book online at our massage therapy midtown or massage therapy fidi studios.

Book an Appointment

Post Race Recovery Post Marathon Recovery Blogpost by Germain Phanord Licenced Massage Therapist @ Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

Post Race Recovery: Sports Massage for New York City Athletes

Germain Phanord, LMT at Bodyworks DW & personal trainer, writes about building better habits for post race recovery and post workout recovery.

Germain Phanord

Every racing athlete needs a routine for post race recovery: Are you are missing a vital component to your race goals?

My experience with injuries has had its ups and downs. When I do not stay committed to post race recovery, I began to experience pain. Running becomes more difficult and much more uncomfortable. I can feel myself losing range of motion in my stride, due to untreated tightness and overuse.

When we neglect to practice regular post race recovery our bodies pay a price. I have learned this lesson the hard way from experience. It’s a big reason why I became a massage therapist in addition to a personal trainer!

When I began running and increasing my mileage, the repetitive stress built up. Due to asymmetries in my running form, I started to feel pain in my right achilles tendon. This made running for me painful and very difficult.

In massage school I discovered that my hip flexors and glute muscles were overly tight. Also my glutes were not working efficiently due to a facially stuck Sartorius muscle. (Sartorius is a long balancing muscle on the front of your thigh that stabilizes the knee.) These muscle imbalances restricted my stride, creating a feedback loop where each run got tighter and tighter, producing more and more pain.

Luckily, by working with my fellow sports massage therapists, I’ve been able to recover and run pain free again. Now, when I train for a race I’ve learned what I need to do. I have a plan for training, for self care before and after workouts. And for post race recovery to reach my fitness goals.

How Sports Massage Therapy in New York can Benefit your Post Race Recovery

Massage therapy (MAS) and cold water immersion (CWI) had better results than other methods, according to a recent study on the effects of various post race recovery methods on half marathon runners:

"Both CWI and MAS have beneficial effects on the subjective measures of fatigue (i.e. muscle soreness and perceived recovery/stress). And may increase well-being and the perception of better preparedness for subsequent exercise. This feel-better phenomenon may be critical for the restoration of exercise performance. Because performance has been shown to be impaired in the presence of muscle pain regardless of the extent of exercise-induced muscle damage."

One of the the best remedies for post race and post workout recovery is to work with an advanced sports massage therapist in New York. Especially when combined with a great physical therapist or personal trainer who can prescribe corrective exercise. These modalities work together to relieve the pain, and to correct any small to medium injuries that may follow your race. It is important to understand the source of your post race pain to avoid creating chronic conditions. Committing to regular massage therapy will help identify the underlying causes of your pain. Repeated sessions will repair your body so that you can return to a pain-free day to day performance.

A great home remedy to supplement your massage sessions are epsom salt baths. Here are some of our favs:

At Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy, we help New York City area athletes of all types including pro athletes, weekend warriors, cyclists, runners, and desk jockeys. We give top quality sports massage near you in midtown and the financial district.

For every client we see we always do the following:

  • a thorough assessment to find the source of your pain and discomfort
  • design a custom massage therapy session for you to relieve the pain and increase mobility
  • give you the best massage session for your individual needs
  • a thorough outtake to create a plan that works within your schedule and budget to get you pain free in the least number of sessions possible
  • give you simple helpful exercises for home and work to help you take charge of your own recovery and prevent future instances of pain

Thinking about running the NYC marathon this year? Getting ready for your first Ironman triathlon or Tough Mudder? Are you a seasoned pro athlete wondering why your times are slowing down? Let our team support your recovery and make a plan to keep you in top shape!

If you would like to schedule an amazing deep tissue massage experience, please contact Bodyworks DW today or click the button to book online.

Book Your Appointment!

 

holiday stress

Tips for Holiday Stress: How to survive the season

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about holiday stress and ways to keep calm during the season.

David Weintraub

 

It’s that time of year. And if you are like most NYC’ers, you’ll want these tips for holiday stress.

This year we are sharing our favorite tips for holiday stress to help you identify and plan for the things that usually send our clients into the land of back, shoulder, and neck pain. With so much more on your plate, it’s easy to rush, over do it, carry too much around, etc. Then one or two mornings on a bad pillow and suddenly you wake up to shooting pain. If you read and practice our tips, then maybe we can see you come in for a happy maintenance massage, rather than battlefield triage.

Here’s just a short list of that “stuff” that is adding to your stress levels:

  • Shopping while fighting through tourists
  • Traveling on crowded trains, planes, and buses
  • Crazy traffic if you are driving
  • Sleeping on less than awesome guest/hotel beds
  • Sitting down to a family dinner entirely made from things that you are trying not to eat
  • In fights with family over who’s giving to whom this year and how much you are “allowed” to spend

How can you DEAL??!!

Step 1: Let’s all just actually admit to ourselves that this time of year is stressful. If you are telling yourself that it’s just you and that everyone else seems to have it together…stop. Ask around. We see hundreds of clients who face holiday stress…trust us, it’s everyone.

Step 2: Identify what your stressors are and where/when they are likely to push your buttons. Make a list.

Step 3: Make a plan to lessen the impact for each of the things on your list and practice self-care. If you accept that it’s going to be stressful instead of trying to kid yourself, then you get to do something about it. Choose some ways to handle the stress from our tips list and schedule them in your calendar like you would an important meeting at work.

Top on the list of self-care practices that most people avoid: negotiating with family to create a better experience that everyone can enjoy…including you.

Step 4: Find ways to do more with less. What if we all chose to have the goal this year that everyone gets to have a good time, relax a bit, and enjoy each other’s company?

“My family usually gets into full throated political arguments when we get together….and we are all of the same party!? This year at Thanksgiving we have a new in-law who belongs to the ‘other’ party. So we decided to institute a ‘no politics allowed’ rule to avoid making him uncomfortable. It was fantastic. We had a great time.” – David

To help you make a plan, here’s some of our go to tips for holiday stress

General Tips for Holiday Stress:

  • bring your own pillow
  • pack a rubber ball to use for stress squeezing and for self-massage
  • plan ahead to make sure food is available that is on your diet
  • if you are staying multiple days, plan some “me” time to yourself
  • go with the flow rather than get caught up in arguments…then take that “me” time to de-stress

Check out our recommendations for travel size pillows and stress balls:

Tips for Holiday Travel

  • avoid driving if possible, driving is one of the worst activities for your lower back and neck, and you’ll do more of it than normal with heavy traffic
  • when flying, stick to a carry on bag and pack light…several of our clients always throw their backs out around the holidays trying to deal with a way heavier suitcase
  • pack your own snacks for longer waits at the airport or train station
  • download several episodes of that tv show you’ve been meaning to watch
  • learn a simple stretching routine to do while you are waiting or sitting on the plane/train
  • take vitamin C to boost your immune system
  • spend a little extra and take a car service to the station rather than leave your car in parking or taking the subway

Tips for Staying with Relatives

  • book a hotel or Air BnB instead of staying in the guest room on an old mattress
  • if the bedsprings are old at either the family guest room or a hotel, consider putting the mattress on the floor for better support
  • make a trip to the grocery store yourself and pick up food that you can eat on your diet, especially snacks in case food isn’t going to be served when you get hungry
  • decide ahead of time what time you’ll have breakfast, lunch, dinner and have a family agreement on it to avoid getting “hangry”
  • pack earplugs and an eyemask to help sleep in an unfamiliar room

Tips for Holiday Shopping

  • unless you are getting something that needs to be seen in person, shop online
  • pay to have it gift wrapped and shipped to the relatives house…it’s a small luxury you can probably afford that saves a lot of time/effort/back pain
  • buy small stuff that has meaning to avoid carting heavy packages around (yes, there is a theme here)
  • consider giving experiences over “stuff” (museum memberships, tickets to a show, a class on cooking, etc.)…again, it fits into a card, and is super memorable

Have a happy holiday season 🙂

We are sure some of the tips above caught your eye and went ding ding ding in your mind as something to take on this year for your holiday stress. Even practicing just a few new self-care tips this year can make all the difference.

Our favorite last tip. Book yourself a post holiday massage for the last week of December or the first week of January! 

Happy Holidays and we look forward to seeing you at the studio!

NYC Marathon tips 2018

NYC Marathon Tips: How to Heal an Injury That Makes You Want to Drop Out… and Finish Strong

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about marathon tips and gives detailed session notes about a client’s marathon recovery.

David Weintraub

Here we are again about 6 weeks before the NYC marathon. Our medical massage therapy practice is getting flooded with new clients who are in pain training for the marathon. Each year we get an influx of folks worried they’ll have to drop out and desperate to get back on the road. We can’t guarantee that our NYC marathon tips will get every single one of them through the race. That being said, we have a great track record of helping runners rehabilitate quickly from an injury. And get back up to stride even this close to race day. Having learned a few things over the years, we are happy to share our best NYC marathon tips so that you can have the best day ever on November 4th!

My First Marathon Client That Almost Dropped Out

I’ve been in practice for close to 12 years now. Each year I routinely work with a several dozen NYC marathon runners in all phases of their training. However, my first, was way back in 2009, just a couple years after graduating massage school. A friend of a friend was training for his first ever marathon as a first time runner. (He was not a runner before starting training in spring).

NYC Marathon Tips 1

Start training long before you think you need to: My current advice for folks who aren’t already runners is to start training for a marathon 18 months before race day. (Most people start 6-8 months beforehand). He had started in April, just 7 months before the race. And yes, lots of people start training for their first NYC marathon in the spring of the same year and do fine. However, some folks have older injuries lurking in your history. These will tend to come out and wreak havoc on your training somewhere around September/October.

My client, let’s call him Sven (not his real name), came to me with a golf ball sized knot of seized up muscle tissue in his left calf… 4 weeks before race day. It had been getting progressively worse over the prior 3 weeks. It had gotten to the point where he could no longer run a single mile without debilitating, cramping pain.

He was obviously distraught and unsure what to do. Sven was worried about letting all the people who donated to his race down (a common concern). But he thought that he was beyond help. He had been to a physical therapist 3 times with no relief. Sven was highly skeptical that I could do anything to help him but our mutual friend assured him I was “miracle worker.” (no pressure there or anything!)

Ethically, I’m not allowed to make a guarantee that I can help clients. There are always going to be some cases that are beyond what massage therapy can relieve. Sometimes, surgery and physical therapy are a client’s best recourse. And sometimes all of the best NYC marathon tips you can find won’t matter. So I want to get that out there lest folks think that I actually go around touting myself as a miracle worker (no faith healing here, just straight up science at work). I told him this, and that I’d try my best but I thought I might be able to help.

How we got the client through race day in 3 medical massage therapy sessions:

Session One

I spent most of that first massage on the back of his legs. This included some truly intense deep tissue work directly on the bunched up calf tissue (with his permission of course). We also worked to open up his right hip which was not moving well due to an older injury. I theorized that the hip injury resulted from an even older right ankle sprain. This was confirmed by the client, so I also worked to get the right ankle moving with better alignment.

At the end of the session he said the whole area felt better than it had in weeks and he hoped that this would get him back to race form. At which point I gave him some of the best injury recovery advice I’ve ever come up with…

NYC Marathon Tips 2

Start Over Again – When recovering from an injury DO NOT try to jump back into the same level of training you were at before the injury. That is a sure fire recipe for the injury popping right back again and keeping you down. For Sven, I told him to do the following:

  • Wait two days (agonizing for a runner) before running, spend time stretching
  • Run only 1 mile as long as you aren’t in sharp pain
  • Then stop and call it a day
  • If you are in sharp pain during that 1 mile stop
  • If that went fine with no pain, rest the following day
  • On fifth day, try running only 3 miles as long as there is no sharp pain
  • Rest the following day
  • Book a follow up session for the next week on the 7th day after our first session

I can hear your teeth grinding just reading that list. “But, but, but….it’s only 4 weeks to race day and you are saying I should only put in 4 total miles this week?! What about my big 18 mile long run coming up?!?!?!?!”

Trust me, Sven wasn’t going to make it on that long run in the condition he was in. Thankfully, he did trust me and followed the NYC marathon tips to the letter. He emailed me after each of the 1 mile and 3 mile runs. Sven let me know that there was no sharp pain, just a “bit of tightness that opened up during the run and stopped bothering me by the middle.”

Session Two

Sven came in a week later for session number two. His calf still had a ball of seized tissue but it had shrunk down from golf ball sized to marble sized. We worked on it again, then focused more on quads and hip flexors including the all important psoas muscle. We also worked on opening up his ribcage, and diaphragm. In order to bring his upper carriage into a better alignment with his legs, we worked on his neck.

So many runners come in and request that I work on their legs over and over again. What they don’t realize is that their upper carriage tension in the neck and shoulders is a huge factor for why their legs are always so tight.

After session 2, I gave him the following to do:

  • Wait two days (again, totally agonizing for a runner) before running, spend time stretching
  • Then run 6 miles as long as you aren’t in sharp pain
  • Then stop and call it a day
  • If you are in pain during that run stop
  • If that went fine with no sharp pain, rest the following day
  • On fifth day after session 2, try running 12 miles as long as there is no sharp pain
  • Rest the following day
  • Book a follow up session for the next week on the 7th day after our first session

Sven followed the NYC marathon tips we gave him, emailing me to let me know that his whole running form had opened up. This was likely due to the upper carriage work. He felt not just fine but even better than before on the 6 and 12 mile runs. He wondered whether he even needed the third session. I told him to keep it just in case and that we might be able to shave some time off his run by working on his external hip rotators. He kept it.

Session Three

He came in for session 3 feeling good but a bit worried that he was getting to his long run a bit close to the race. The calf knot was almost non-existent. We spent the session working on his side body, bringing the left and right sides into better symmetry. This session is great for getting the ball and socket joints of the hips and shoulders free again which allows the rest of the body to ease up and relax. The session was on a Thursday.

I gave him the following homework:

  • Wait two days before running, spend time stretching
  • Then run the 20 mile long run as long as you aren’t in sharp pain
  • If you are in sharp pain during that run stop
  • If that went fine with no sharp pain, rest the following day
  • After that take it easy in the lead up to the race doing no more than a few short runs just to keep limber

Sven did fine on his long run and took it easy. Race day went swimmingly and he actually shaved a bit of time off his intended pace! He then followed our NYC marathon tips for race recovery and booked a post race sports massage. He came in for a post race recovery massage a couple days after the race and felt 100% normal by day four.

NYC Marathon Tips 3

Book a post race recovery massage: Some experienced runners book a recovery massage for the evening of race day. Unless you have run several marathons and are sure you’ll react well to that, we don’t recommend it. You could wake up the next day feeling like you had been run over by a tank. However, any time between the day after race and 4 days after the race will be super beneficial. Especially if you have to work at the office and sit in a chair all day. For our studio, we tend to book out the week after the NYC marathon in advance, so book early.

In support of all you runners, we are offering 10% off all sessions from October 1 through November 11th for anyone who is an official participant in the NYC Marathon. Simply bring in your entry approval when you come in for a session and we’ll happily apply the discount 🙂

What we have learned since then:

In a way, Sven was lucky that he was so sidelined. He was willing to go against all instinct and take it easy for a few weeks, even with race day approaching. Had he been in slightly better shape than he was, he might have pushed too hard after the first session. And re-triggered the injury.

Most of these repetitive stress running injuries are due to two main factors. One, an older injury that creates an asymmetrical running form. And two, the slow steady pressure that builds up in the muscles compensating for the older injury. As you start piling on the miles, there comes a tipping point when the system can’t handle what you are asking it to do. It starts complaining loudly. Then boom, you are sidelined.

Correcting the form towards a more symmetrical alignment means less work for muscles to do to get you moving forward. Which in turn means an easier run and faster times.

If all of your muscles are working towards propelling you forward you’ll go faster. If some of them are pushing you sideways or up (or even backwards) instead, you’ll lose efficiency and slow down. Other muscles will have to work harder to fight that movement. You’ll also increase the impact with each stride creating the potential for stress fractures in your feet, shins, hips, or spine.

Ideally, we would work with you when you first start training so that you already have an improved running form. Before you pile on the miles. My NYC marathon tip for Sven after he completed his first successful NYC marathon was to cross train over the winter. Then come in for a few sessions next spring to work on his form. And to go celebrate his first completed NYC marathon  in style 🙂

However, as you can see from above, coming in for medical massage work at any point before race day is likely to improve your day. If you are injured, follow our NYC marathon tips and book a session. Also coming in for a post race recovery massage can get you back to normal quickly!

Good luck to everyone running this year!

physical therapy meets massage therapy

Doing Physical Therapy? Massage Therapy Can Improve Results!

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about the benefits of supplementing your physical therapy plan with massage therapy treatment.

David Weintraub

7 Reasons why this powerful combination works

Pain sucks. As a massage therapist, I would know. Almost everyone who comes to see me does so because they're in pain!

Most of the time, my clients have such a powerful response to massage therapy they don't need additional therapies. However, that isn't always the case. I always look for clues that indicate I need to refer a client to another practitioner, such as a physical therapist. 

Physical therapy and massage therapy are both powerful methods for treating pain. By focusing on correcting the underlying muscular imbalances that have caused it in the first place. When used together, they can help clients achieve faster and better results. 

There are several reasons why massage therapy is effective for anyone who is already receiving physical therapy.

Here are the top 7:

  1. Providing pain relief, often times after the first session
  2. Increasing range of motion so that the body can move better
  3. Decreasing local inflammation by working above and below the area
  4. Lessening the pain clients may be feeling during or after physical therapy exercises
  5. Decreasing the pain clients may feel post-surgery
  6. Bringing faster results than just physical therapy alone 
  7. Motivating clients to stick to their physical therapy treatment plan

That's the short version of why massage therapy and physical therapy are a powerful combination. If you're interested in a more detailed explanation, read below! 

The Breakdown: 

1) Massage therapy helps by treating short and overused muscles. 

The goal of many physical therapy exercises is to help strengthen any weak muscles that are causing pain symptoms. The goal is that by strengthening weak muscles, the body will move & feel healthier. But that's only half the picture. 

When it comes to muscles, imbalance happens when one muscle is weak and long while another muscle is overused and short. In order to correct this, BOTH of these problems need to be addressed. This means following the exercises provided by a physical therapist teaching clients how to engage and strengthen muscles that are weak. It also means using massage therapy to address the muscles that are chronically overused.

The right massage therapist will focus on releasing these tight muscles as well as lengthening them when they've gotten short. This can help effectively decrease pain while also improving range of motion and helping the nervous system learn how to move better! 

2) Massage therapy will help with physical therapy. 

Studies show that one major obstacle to physical therapy treatment is that many will stop coming in if the exercises are painful to do, or if their pain doesn't decrease right away. (Source: Read this article) Basically, if the work is too hard and painful, people are a lot less likely to do it. Massage therapy can decrease pain often with immediate results, which will help provide motivation to stick to the physical therapist's treatment plan. 

3) Massage therapy can help post-surgery.

Sometimes people will experience new aches and pains after their recovery from a surgery, even while doing physical therapy. This can happen due to a change in the body alignment and how the body moves after the procedure. If clients are already doing regular physical therapy and still experiencing pain post-surgery, I suggest asking a doctor if it’s medically safe to try massage therapy.

For more detailed information on how massage therapy can help post-surgery, please check out this in-depth article: Click Here!

 

In summary, we see that combining physical therapy and massage therapy help clients move better and feel better by working on correcting any muscular imbalances that can be causing or contributing to pain. 

Want to read more about how we work at Bodyworks DW? 

Click to Learn More about our Massage Therapy

Vacation Goals

Vacation: 7 Ways to Plan Your Way to Relaxation

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about ways to destress during your vacation and what to do when you get back.

David Weintraub

Sounds counterintuitive I know, planning to relax. Afterall, a vacation is supposed to be “time off” and a reset for our overworked brains and bodies. And yet…doesn’t if often seem like we come back more tired physically than when we left?!

Often mentally we are able to recharge and refocus. But, physically, our bodies can be just as beaten up from a vacation as when we left. If not more so.

So, what can we do? First, let’s define the goal of the vacation - is it to:

  • Recharge and relax?
  • Visit family?
  • Sightsee and learn about new culture?
  • To accomplish a bucket list goal... Mt. Kilimanjaro anyone?

Take note which of these ideas seem relaxing to you and which seem mentally or physically challenging (or both).

Challenges tend to add stress, not relieve it.

If you want to come back from vacation both mentally and physically rejuvenated, (and that’s not what you are currently getting out of your travels) you are going to have to plan differently.

To help and support you in planning an actual relaxing vacation, here are some of our top tips for what to take into account so that you’ll be able to relax, have a little adventure, and come back with a full tank of gas-in you!

Don’t workout.

To workout or not workout, that is the question. As long as you make a solid commitment with yourself to get back into your exercise routine when you are home, my advice is to skip the workouts. You are going to walk a lot more than normal on most vacations, or if you are just relaxing on the beach, you’ll swim a bit. If you really must workout, try something different than normal like a yoga class on the beach, or a bike / walking tour of the area. The point is to recharge from your routine life, not engage in it while away.

Take your pillow.

Pillows and mattresses in most places you stay are going to range from awful to just okay. Even if your hotel has a super fancy mattress the pillows will likely be huge and fluffy which is actually terrible for you neck. Although you can’t transport your bed from home, you can bring a pillow from home that you know is right for you, or a travel size Tempurpedic (my pick while away) which fits nicely in a carry on.

The right tools.

A sleep mask, earplugs, and/or white noise app to play through your phone might help sleep in a new place with uncertain noise and light. I like finding rain storm lists on Spotify.

Sleep in. Duh.

You totally deserve at least a few days to sleep in! Bracket rest days around adventure days so that you get the best of both. When I travel, I usually like to schedule 3-4 half day sight-seeing tours inside of an 8-9 day vacation. I don’t do them on consecutive days and keep other days to light sights. Some days, despite being someplace fantastic like Rome, I still take a 1/2 day to sit in bed and read a book. Again, this is a break from normal life!

Come back early.

After a long flight, schedule a staycation day to recover rather than try to eek out the longest vacation possible. Traveling is tough on the body and arriving home late in the evening only to wake up the next morning and truck off to work is asking a lot of it. Take a day to recuperate and collect your travel photos into a nice post. You’ll thank me on Monday.

Throw money at the travel headache.

How you get there sets the tone for the stay. Travel is usually a lot of headaches. Once you’re there and settle in it’s great, but the trip itself?! Packing, getting to the airport, getting through the airport, being stuck in an airplane seat for a long time, then getting through the other airport and to your lodgings all take a toll and create lots of stress. Give yourself any small favors that you can afford:  taking a taxi to the airport instead of the subway, spending an extra $25 on extra legroom seats if you are tall, arranging for a car to pick you up and take you directly to your hotel from the airport. You won’t be able to take away all of the stressors but every little bit counts!

Get a post trip blues massage.

Of course I’ll say this, but it really does help to book a massage for that staycation day at the end of the vacation to help recuperate and revive. Sure, most people go for the massage at the hotel while on vacation, and we wouldn’t say no to that. However, that one will be completely erased by the stress of the trip back home. Booking yourself a massage after you get back means that you can head into work the next day fully recharged, de-stressed, and ready for action!

text neck massage therapy neck pain shoulder pain

Save your text neck

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about "text neck," what it is and ways to prevent it.

David Weintraub

The perils of “always on” technology:

Okay, so your "text neck" probably won’t actually kill you (unless you are texting and driving). However, it’s becoming increasingly likely that at some point in the next 5-10 years of tech use, you’ll develop a repetitive stress disorder.

The phrase carpal tunnel syndrome (wrist pain) has been part of the collective conscious for several decades. It's so common as a disrupter of productivity that it has spawned an entire industry of ergonomics solutions. These range from special keyboards to Star Trek styled full desk/monitor set ups. All keep you at your desk longer making trades, typing contracts, writing legal memos.

And then the 2000’s came along. Most of us jumped all in with smartphones and laptops and tablets.

Suddenly we could be productive all the time.

Standing on the subway platform?

Let me check my email.

Taking the train in from CT?

Let me just go over those sales reports.

Date just went to the bathroom?

Let me text my assistant to make sure I’m set up for tomorrow’s board meeting.

Unfortunately, there are costs to constant device use that might change your mind about your phone and tablet.

Looking down at our phone, tablet, or laptop, pulls our head forward and down. This imbalances all the muscles holding up your head (ahem... text neck). These imbalances can cause any and all of the following:

  • neck pain
  • shoulder pain
  • TMJ
  • headaches
  • low back pain
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • anxiety
  • low energy
  • bone loss
  • depression
  • memory loss

Sound scary? Don’t believe it?

Check out this New York Times article: Keep Your Head Up: How Smartphone Addiction Kills Manners and Moods

Like many things that aren’t healthy for us, these costs are not going to suddenly show up tomorrow. They build up over time. In ways that make it hard to track what the changes are doing to your body. However, there is hope for us all!

What can I do about this?

I’m not some Luddite preaching that we should all return to farming. I happen to be a business owner with 20+ employees and have tech in so many screen sizes it’s getting ridiculous. I deal with text neck too. 

I’ve got a smartwatch, smartphone, an iPad for home and one for work, an airbook laptop, an iMac at my desk. Not to mention the 15 other devices I have at the office for the staff to be "productive" on. I’m just as tempted as you to go on my phone on the subway and read articles on Facebook or Twitter to pass the time. So I decided to try something out...

Experiments DW

Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been running an experiment to see just how much I can lighten up my daily commute (see the last blog post on how much we carry around with us and tips to help with that).

I’ve gotten down to just leaving home with the following:

That’s right….NO BAG.

I had to get really clear on what my time is worth to me and what my long term health is worth to me. And I had to spend some extra cash to duplicate certain items at work and at home so that I wouldn’t have to cart them back and forth.

Is it worth it? For me this experiment has been a fascinating eye opener. It’s also reduced my daily stress levels by about 20-30%.

I have less issues with headaches at day end, my back feels better, and my overall mood has noticeably improved.

I’ve got new rules for my text neck, I count em:

#1: I am not allowed to look at my phone during my commute except to choose music.

#2: I am only allowed to work while at the office, or while at my desk at my home office. The couch is only for relaxing and the bed is only for sleeping (and well, you know…).

#3: If I need something both at work and at home, I duplicate that item rather than carry it back and forth. The value in stress reduction and ease of movement on my body is a long-term savings in health and self-care costs down the road.

#4: If I do have to look at a device, I hold it up to horizon level and keep my head up.

#5: When my arm gets tired of holding up the device to eye level rather than looking down, it’s time to take a break and put it away.

You may think I’m crazy for buying a second iPad to keep one at work and one at the office. Really the only reason for me to do that is that it has become my primary note taking device for my life coaching sessions. Sure, I could take notes on paper, but then I’d have to create a filing system for them. The iPad keeps all my notes for each client on the cloud.

Of course, you’ll have to do your own analysis of the following:

- what you can and can’t do without

- how much is your time is worth

- which work can be left until tomorrow or

- what work can be put on hold for the 45 minutes to 2 hours you spend on your commute

You’ll probably come up with different ways to reduce your load and stress than I have. (For instance, maybe it’s spending the extra cash on a monthly gym locker. You can leave your workout gear there most of the time.) Prioritize those ideas and see for yourself how helpful it can be. 

Are you willing to give lightening your load and keeping your head up a try? Yes? Your text neck will thank you.

massage therapy for diastasis recti massage case study

Massage Therapy for Diastasis Recti

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about treatment options and massage therapy benefits for Diastasis Recti.

 

David Weintraub

Getting to the core of the issue

First off, what is this strange sounding condition?

It’s most common among pregnant or postpartum women. About two thirds of pregnant women have it. So why have you never heard of it?
People don’t talk about.

The facts:

Diastasis Recti is a condition where the rectus abdominis splits down the middle causing a vertical gap in the abdominal muscles. It can cause lower back pain, constipation, and urine leaking. It can even make it harder to breathe and to move normally.

How to treat it if you have it:

Massage therapy for Diastasis Recti can be very helpful to rebuild proper abdominal tone as long as you’re also working with a physical therapist who specializes in this issue. An experienced massage therapist can open stuck tissues that are pulling the abdominal muscles outward. These stuck tissues are generally from previous injuries that have left scar tissue behind. In addition to this kind of bodywork, you’ll need physical therapy exercises to knit the torn muscles back together.

 

Why “ab” exercises don’t work for you now…

 

It’s counter-intuitive, but doing “ab” exercises such as sit ups, or pilates, can often make the problem worse. Without proper firing of the correct support muscles, these exercises often pull outwards on the linea alba (centerline where the gap develops). This can either increase the separation, or keep it from knitting back together.

A combination of massage and physical therapy can speed up the healing process considerably. In most cases it will open up the stuck tissues that would keep physical therapy exercises from working. The synergy between the two modalities is worth way more than the sum of the parts.

Why?

Because massage therapy is an “opening” practice. Our training is in releasing tissues that are either tight (ie over-firing) or stuck (ie glued with scar tissue). We also work to retrain the nervous system to allow muscles that are over-firing to relax and settle into a balanced tone.

Physical Therapy is a “closing” practice. It’s based in strengthening and tightening muscles that are weak (ie under-firing). The repetition of certain exercises draw blood flow to areas that need it, allowing the body to heal and reconstruct itself.


Ready to put in the work?

Diastasis Recti is not a one-time fix situation. It takes a coordinated effort, diligent homework, and focused effort for 8-12 weeks. It is next to impossible to self-heal without a minimum of a few guided sessions. Most clients will need the following:

4-7 sessions with a professional massage therapist

3-5 sessions with a physical therapist who specializes in working with Diastasis Recti

15 minutes a day of homework exercises


If you’d like to know if massage therapy for diastasis recti can help you, don’t hesitate to call us and arrange a phone consultation with David Weintraub. Or book an initial session online!

 

self care, entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs, Please Don’t Ignore Your Self Care!

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about the perks of working from home and good self care for the entrepreneur.

David Weintraub

Simple Tips for Making the Home Office Work for You

I’ve now been a 10 year self-employed writer, then a 10+ year massage therapist, a life coach, and most recently have grown my practice to have 20 employees. Including 15 massage therapists who train under me and see clients at my practice. In that time I've had to learn self care for the entrepreneur the hard way! 

I’ve seen entrepreneurship from a lot of different angles. Both from my own experience and from working with and talking to hundreds of self-employed massage and coaching clients.

Along the way we’ve learned good practices for keeping your business from feeling like it’s all consuming. And ways to actually get and feel the freedom you were looking for going in... And the stability you thought you might never see again.

So, for whatever stage of entrepreneurship you are at, whether just starting out, or building out your third 100+ employee company, here’s some of our best self care for the entrepreneur advice for de-stressing.

It was a scary leap of faith to quit my “real” job but the benefits were just too enticing to pass by:

  • working from home
  • controlling my own hours
  • making way more per hour worked than when working for someone else
  • different job experiences each time
  • major tax write offs

But with the rewards come stress that can take a physical toll on your body.

  • The feast or famine syndrome (either having too much work at one time or none at all)
  • Managing your own schedule. A skill that none of us realized we lacked since parents, school and “job” handled all of that for us.
  • Learning how to negotiate, create contracts, and stick to deadlines. At least if you want to get paid decently, on time, and keep clients...
  • Saving money for when the work is slow (no more steady paycheck)
  • Beating the learning curve for every new client
  • Doing your own taxes (and they are far more complex)

Unless you’ve got a major investor or a business savvy partner (and often even if you DO), the beginning phase of any new business is a pretty stressful wild ride. Especially if this is your first venture into working for yourself. There are whole sets of systems that are needed that you had no idea were necessary. Suddenly you are building the boat to cross the river to success…… in the middle of the trip.

So, how do we practice self care for the entrepreneur at home?

  1. Ergonomics (ie using the tools of your job in the most body friendly and efficient way) is a lot more important than you’ve given it credit for.

Glad to ditch the desk?…think again…

Desks were invented for a reason. Desks are designed to sit at and be able to write on at a height that is generally good for most people.

Work desks may not have been perfect. They are still light years better than typing at your kitchen table, the coffee table, or (god-forbid) on your lap on your couch.

If you spend more than 1 hour per workday typing,
I highly recommend investing the extra money in a real ergonomic workstation, meaning:

  • an actual desk (pro tip, buy a vintage desk rather than a cheap Ikea one and you’ll be able to sell it later with little to no loss of money and possible make a profit on it)
  • a desktop computer (either as your only computer or in addition to your laptop) with decent sized monitor and wireless keyboard/mouse
  • a good comfortable chair that has the ability to roll and easily change height, and has no arms
  • a convertible sit/stand desk unit to place on top of your desk (especially if you are typing several hours per day or staring at the screen for long periods)
  • a comfortable set of headphones with a mic for phone calls (holding the phone against your shoulder with your head while trying to type is a surefire way to give yourself a cervical spine injury)

However, if you are stuck with your laptop as your main computing tool, try these mods:

    • do at least get a wireless keyboard and mouse (you can find something halfway decent on eBay for $20-30)
    • stack the laptop on several books on your kitchen table (or the desk if you managed to get one) to bring the monitor height up to eye level
    • get the most comfortable chair you can find and get used to switching between typing on the wireless keyboard both on the table and on your lap (the table will be slightly too high and your lap slightly too low so switch every 30 minutes or so to relieve your wrists)


I’ve talked a lot here on at home care. Part 2 of this series will focus on self care for the entrepreneur when you have to leave the office (on-site meetings, travel tips, etc.)

Book Appointment

massage therapy for athletes

The 6 Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid Workout Injury

David Weintraub, LMT and owner of Bodyworks DW, writes about do's and don'ts during workouts to prevent injury.

David Weintraub

Massage Therapy for Athletes

It’s nearing the end of winter and we are all a bit tired of it! Everyone is recommitting to their health goals, trying to get in shape, keep in shape, improve, etc. Bodyworks DW starts to see a lot more injuries this time of year from pushing too hard at the gym. Here’s our top advice for when to push hard and when to take it easier to prevent injury. We’ll also discuss when massage therapy for athletes is worth exploring as both a preventative measure if and when you do get an injury. 

There are a lot of amazing fitness classes available in NYC. It seems like something new is popping up almost every month. And while the variety is fantastic for helping you zero in on something that really works for you, it also means exposure to a lot of different and opposing opinions on what is good for you and what is not. As massage therapists, we have a unique viewpoint on fitness. We get to see hundreds of different clients and track what activities lead to the injuries that we work on every day, and we get to see what you can do to prevent injury that really works.

Fitness instructors don’t know as much as you would think about injuries.

The instructor of your class has one job - push you to your limits and beyond. The training they have is on exercise routines, form, and leading a class. Most don’t get very detailed anatomy training. Few, if any, are trained to deal with injuries.

Only you can have an accurate read on what your limits actually are.

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t work out to exhaustion such that you lose fluid balance and ability to perform movements cleanly and well (if you find your balance being affected, stop and rest for a bit then try again)

  2. Don’t overdo movement in one area of the body without also working on the opposing side for balance

  3. Don’t keep going if you feel any sharp pain

  4. Don’t forget to drink water and eat

  5. Don’t do any lift or movement that is so difficult that you can barely pull it off (you need to work up to these as this range of difficulty is a surefire way to injure yourself)

  6. Don’t let an instructor push you past a healthy limit

Do’s:

  1. Do challenge yourself to try different movements on a regular basis

  2. Do try to slowly and steadily increase your range of motion, run times, weights, distances, etc. The key here is slowly and steadily over dozens of workouts

  3. Do slow down and concentrate on smooth and easy form for movements. Getting the movement aligned and efficient from the get go prevents injuries later

  4. Do ask for guidance from an experienced and well-trained instructor on form as good form is essential and do your research on massage therapy for athletes! See for yourself how helpful it can be

  5. Do quit while you are ahead as it’s almost always those last few reps or pushing past that last bit that gets you injured

  6. Do know what the common injuries for your favorite class are and how to prevent them happening to you (scroll down for a list of what injuries are common in our experience). 

Common Injuries for Popular Exercise Classes:

We see hundreds of clients engaging in all manner of exercise. The repetitive motions of most forms of exercise lead to common injuries. While the following are by no means the only way you can get injured in class, they are far more common than you may realize.

If you know what the common injuries are to your activity, you can take it a bit easier when you start to feel anything “off” in those areas.

Basic rule of thumb for pain:

STOP exercising for at least 24 hours. Try exercise again. If you feel okay, great, if you don’t wait another day.

Yoga: hamstring attachment tear, SI joint instability, cervical disc herniations, mid back pain

Pilates: plantar fasciitis, mid back pain

Crossfit: rotator cuff tear, biceps tendonitis, hip issues, groin pull

Soul Cycle/spinning: cervical disc and lumbar disc herniation, hip issues, low back pain, shoulder pain

Swimming: rotator cuff tear, hip issues, plantar fasciitis

Running (distance): plantar fasciitis, knee issues, ankle sprains, low back pain

Martial Arts (striking heavy ones like karate or kung fu): ankle sprains, hip issues, wrist sprains

Martial Arts (soft styles like aikido): hip issues, rotator cuff tear

Ju-juitsu: cervical disc herniations, rotator cuff tear, finger injuries

Boot Camp Style Classes: plantar fasciitis, groin pull, biceps tendonitis

Tennis: tennis elbow, hip issues

Kettlebell: wrist sprains, hip issues

Barre: hip issues, mid back pain

Rowing: Shoulder pain, hip issues

Boxing: wrist sprains, shoulder pain, plantar fasciitis

Kickboxing: wrist sprains, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains

How Massage Therapy for Athletes can help:

If you feel pain during a class or workout and follow the above advice, it will go away for small injuries. After rest with light movement and stretching, try exercising again. If you feel okay, awesome! You are good to go.

If the pain persists and does not go away, it’s not going to heal on its own without at least several weeks of rest. And that just plain sucks if you have specific goals such as running a marathon, losing weight, increasing your times, etc.

Working with our team of experienced and well-trained therapists can kick start your healing and get you back in action much faster. Customized massage therapy for athletes is different than your average spa massage as we target the problem areas and work with you to improve your form, body awareness, and exercise routine so that you can continue to progress without further injury.

Book Appointment