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About bodycafe

A collaborative of professional, experience therapeutic massage therapists in the Curtis Park area of Sacramento, CA

Guide to Back and Neck Pain – from YooHealth

Back and neck pain can be incredibly inconvenient and have a massive impact on our daily lives. There are a number of different causes, each of them ranging from mild to severe. Whether your pain is fleeting or chronic, there is no need to suffer in silence.

In this guide, we look at back pain relief, back pain treatment, and the causes behind it. Additionally, we also explore neck pain relief, neck pain causes, and treatment for it, all in an effort to help you understand more about your condition and the ways in which you can make life a little easier.

Mental Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

Thanks to Joe Neely, Massagetique Correspondent

Today’s medical researchers have found massage therapy can provide benefits to those who experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Experts have shown many types of massage therapy can be a great complement to psychotherapy for treating certain conditions. Here are some conditions massage therapy can have an effect on:

1. Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health issues, and both can negatively impact lives. Studies have shown massage therapy can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Researchers at Taiwan’s E-Da Hospital and College of Medicine reviewed 17 scientific studies involving 786 people. The findings showed massage had many positive benefits for people experiencing depression and led to a reduction in symptoms. At Japan’s Kyushu University, a team of experts found facial massage soothed participants’ physiological distress. They concluded that massage activated participants’ sympathetic nervous system, reducing their anxiety and improving their mood.

Before your next massage, ask your practitioner to help you choose treatments options that address your depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issues.

2. Neurotransmitter and Hormone Balance

Researchers have shown massage therapy activates neurotransmitters that can decrease anxiety and lower stress hormone levels. At the University of Miami School of Medicine, researchers found massage therapy had positive effects on people who were experiencing a range of mental health issues, including depression, eating disorders, and stress. The research team found about a 30% increase in serotonin and dopamine levels in the study participants who underwent massage, as well as a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol. These findings suggest massage was responsible for an increase in feel-good neurotransmitters and a decrease in stress.

3. Blood Pressure and Circulatory Issues

A massage therapist can help lower your heart rate as well as your systolic (pumping) and diastolic (resting) high blood pressure.

At Iran’s Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, a researcher compared two groups of 25 women. One group received 10-15 minutes of Swedish massage three times a week for a total of 10 sessions; the women in the other group relaxed in the same environment, but did not receive massages. The researchers found massage caused a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure that persisted for as many as three days after treatment.

A researcher at the University of South Florida studied the effects of back massage on hypertension (high blood pressure) and found blood pressure reductions in study participants who received massage. Those reductions lasted for two days after treatment.

If you experience high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about adding massage therapy to your current course of treatment. Though massage helps many people, it may not be an advised solution for everyone, especially if you have deep-vein thrombosis (blood clots). Make sure to talk to your physician before scheduling a massage appointment.

4. Alleviating Symptoms of Illness or Disease

People with life-threatening illnesses or diseases often experience anxiety and depression that can exacerbate their condition. Massage therapy can greatly increase quality of life, freeing up mental and physiological resources to fight off disease. Many physicians recommend massage as a complementary therapy to medical care for its healing power and low incidence of side effects.

At the Columbia University Medical Center, experts studied children with cancer and found massage therapy helped manage many side effects of cancer treatment, including pain, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and reduced immune function.

A University of Miami research team found study participants with AIDS had less anxiety, stress, anger, and overall mood issues after receiving massage therapy and learning home care relaxation techniques. The people who were treated by massage therapists had lower norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter linked to depression) levels as compared to a control group.

5. Veterans’ Mental Health

Researchers recently published a paper in the journal Military Medicine describing the reintegration process for National Guard members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The researchers followed service members and their partners for eight weeks as part of a pilot program to develop treatments for returning veterans. They found massage therapy helped veterans relieve pain, irritability, tension, worry, anxiety, and depression.

At the Fort Bliss Restoration and Resilience Center, clinical psychologist John Fortunato puts people experiencing posttraumatic stress through a rigorous and comprehensive regimen of therapies, including different types of massage. These therapies helped veterans turn off their hyperaroused survival mechanisms, learn to relax again, and get the healthy sleep their bodies needed. Of the 37 soldiers in the program, only two had to take medical discharges from service. Twelve of the service members returned to active duty.

6. Work-Related Stress in Health Care Professionals

Mayo Clinic researchers recently studied 38 nurses who received chair massages (one of the quickest and simplest forms of massage therapy) once a week for 10 weeks during work hours. The health care professionals who received massage therapy experienced a reduction in many stress-related symptoms, including joint and muscle pain, shoulder tension, fatigue, headaches, and insomnia.

No matter your line of work, regular massage therapy can increase your health, well-being, and stamina. Many organizations hire massage therapists to lower employee stress levels and improve productivity. Not only can a massage break feel good and improve morale, research shows it can also improve workplace efficiency.
Is Massage Therapy Right for You?

If you think massage therapy is right for you, check with your doctor to be sure. Find a licensed massage practitioner with specialized training for working with any preexisting conditions you may have, so the therapist can meet your particular needs and maximize the benefits massage therapy can provide. Share details of your medical history, tests, treatments, and any other relevant information with your massage therapist so your sessions can be adjusted accordingly.

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Customer Raves about Vicki Mah

“I would recommend Vicki to anyone in need of stress and pain relief.  I went to Vicki with a very bad neck pain and knots in my back, and left completely loose and feeling much better. Vicki is very in-tuned with your needs, and does a very good job of helping eliminate pain.       -Will M.”

“My dog was unable to walk up or down the stairs due to an injury, so I called up release the pain for help. After two sessions, my dog is now able climb up and down the stairs again like before. Overall, great customer satisfaction and will gladly come back if I need help again.     -Kobe L.”

“Vickie is intuitive and has healing energy. She worked on my dog and his  pain/stiffness, and she worked on releasing pain from my neck afterwards. She seems to know exactly what We need in order to heal. I look forward to going back for more healing and learning more about myself.      -Cat D.”

” Vicki really did a great job! I am 32 weeks pregnant, and for some reason i was having unbearable body aching and pain. Vicki worked on my neck, shoulder and full back. Everywhere it ached, she was able to release tension and make me feel light again. Thanks a lot and looking forward to go to her often!!      -Sonilla P.”

“I suffer from complete lockjaw at times from my TMJ. Vicki was able to release tension and gave me techniques to try at home. After a week I found the muscle in my face that was causing my alignment issues. Easy and interesting to talk to. Must be doing something right since she looks 30 years younger than she says she is.   -Mason P.”

“Vicki’s myofascial and energy work is wonderful! After two treatments, I was able to sleep through the night without pain medicine for the first time in over two weeks. My shoulder, back and neck muscles were “frozen” so tightly that shooting pain would prevent me from sitting or lying down. The pain traveled down my right arm to my fingers, two of which were numb and tingling. The first appointment we worked hard to loosen things up. I felt good after the treatment, but tightened up again that night. A few days later, I went back and we made huge progress, releasing the original area as well as other related places along my back and hips. Prior to these treatments, 3 doctors, 2 muscle relaxants and a variety of different pain medicines had not eased my pain or solved the problem.
Thank you, Vicki!!    -Jennifer T.”

“Vicki can help with physical and emotional pain. After seeing Vicki, my range of motion improved drastically. Pain prevented me from moving freely, but Vicki helped to get the body to work at healing itself. I appreciate her and her ability to help my body heal.  -Davin Y.”

“Vicky helped me so much my pain was unbearable after two consecutive injury’s one to my jaw, and one to my neck.. In one session she made it bearable, the second session she fixed more, and did so as well on the third. I am always happy to have
Her work on me .  She is an Amazing Healer!  -Will B.”

“I have suffered agonizing emotional pain from a family issue and called Vicki for help.  She helped me restore my harmonic resonance and release all the pain that I carried for 65 years.  I have know many practitioners in the Myofacial, Sacrocranial fields and Vicki is truly a Master with her gifts.  She helped me more than I could imagine.  I have peace, but more than that, she taught me to take responsibility for the control of my feelings and actions.  She holds the Ancient Wisdom to help all who come to her.  Please do visit her.  You will be so glad you did. God bless you Vicki      -Li W.”

“She was great and easy to open up to.   -April G.”

“Vicki has a real talent for helping people release pain using Myofascial Release. I was extremely satisfied with her work on me, and felt a real improvement in my condition, which has remained with me, thanks Vicki for you hard work and dedication to helping others. -Carin H.”

“After my regular therapist left town, I searched for another therapist, I found Vicki’s practice on the web and scheduled an appointment, I was not familiar with  Myofascial Release & Craniosacral Therapy at all, Vicki explained it to me and how it works,  I found that treatment very effective and felt an improvement after only two sessions, I suffer from lower back pain and groin  tension and knots that need attention and therapy regularly, I found Vicki a true professional, patient, listens to  the client and she is gifted with her ability to release the pain. I strongly recommend her to any one that is suffering from any kind of pain, especially in the groin area, lower back and sciatica.
-Peter A.”

“I’ve been training for a marathon which has had a HUGE toll on my muscles and joints.  One appointment relieved a lot of the stress and really helped me focus on future stretches/practices to continue at home.”   -Haley B.

“Tension free method while having a feeling of relaxation and lightness. Extended range of motion.”  -GF  L.

“Vicki is awesome! !!!   I was in a major accident couldn’t move my right arm without excruciating pain.  After the first session I was able to move it a little without pain and she straightened out my shoulders a bit.  The second treatment I gained more movement with a little pain.  I can’t wait for the third treatment later on today :)”   -Alex L.

“Before Vicki, I repeatedly experienced chronic pains in different parts of my shoulders and neck, and another painful spot in my mid-upper back that felt “out” more often than “in.” One quick treatment from Vicki (there was limited time when she agreed to see me) and no more pain! In fact, it seemed I didn’t even HAVE a back or neck, although I could feel the rest of my body and its end-of-the-day fatigue normally. Schedule with Vicki now!! This healer is good–insightful and professional–and bound to be in even higher demand as word gets around. -Julie W.”

“While Vicki was working on my neck she asked me to give the blocked energy permission to release and when I did I felt things moving inside my neck.  Then she touched an area around my jaw bone and I felt a huge amount of energy stream out like a volcano.  Vicki commented on it at the same time without me saying anything and I knew she was really feeling what was going on. After the session I felt like my neck was going to fall off and I laughed thinking how many years I had lived with the stiffness.  Now it’s been about a week since my first session and I would say I have at least 70% less pain and stiffness.  I can’t wait for my next session.  Vicki is such a delight to work with…friendly, professional and so powerful.  And I thank her for giving me relief after so many years of neck pain. -Janette B.”

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My Massage Therapist Charges… What Actually Goes Into The Cost Of A Massage.

A colleague posted this and we thought it was really apropos.

He writes: This came up in my “Facebook Memories” this weekend. It went over really well when I posted in 2013. So I thought it would make a good blog post.

My wife and I were having a discussion this morning about a coworker of hers who will not pay anything over $40.00 an hour for a massage. This sparked an idea to help educate the general public who work at an job that pays them a regular salary about why therapists charge different fees.

And why cheap is not always good when looking for a Massage Therapist.

Go to his page to read the rest of the article



AMBP Article: Should I Cancel my Massage if I am Sick?


Should I Cancel?

Short answer: Yes.

Long Answer: Yes, please. But there’s more.

Massage is great. You know this. But it’s not always a great idea.

As cold and flu season approaches again, it’s important that you know when it may be necessary to cancel your appointment.


When you are sick, your body needs rest. It’s strange to think about it this way, but receiving massage is an active task, it is not entirely rest. Massage causes change in the body, and your body has to work to maintain stability. Getting a massage when you are sick takes attention away from infection-fighting. That’s no good.

You’re not going to be cozy on the massage table.  Sure, it sounds like a warm squishy massage table would be great. But the moment you put your already-stuffy head into that face cradle, you’ll realize the error of your ways. Gravity and pressure are not your friend here. Even if I do a great face massage to drain your sinuses, you’ll likely feel worse when you get off the table.

You could get me sick. Since most of the common winter viruses are contagious even before symptoms show up, I could pass the cooties along to more clients before I even know it’s happening.

Further, when I get sick, I have to cancel clients and take a few days off work. I work for myself, with no paid sick days to compensate for lost wages. Sure, as a responsible business owner I have a fund for these situations. But I would rather use that fund for a jetski or a fancy new oil holster. So I’m gonna try to stay germ-free this winter.

So it’s a deal. You’ll cancel so as not to infect me and my massage room, and I’ll do the same for you. We’ll keep each other safe.

When to cancel

If you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in the past 24 hours, or are still feeling punky from a recent bout of such things.

If you’ve had a fever in the past 24 hours, or fever-related symptoms. This includes chills, aches, and fatigue. Even if you’re keeping the fever down with medicine, you’re still sick. The fever counts.

If you are itchy, runny, and/or sneezy, and you’re not 100% certain it’s seasonal allergies. And even then, allergies may leave you so miserable that the hour on my table would be wasted time and money for you.

If you are coughing constantly, or just a lot.

If someone in your household is ill and you are feeling at all funky, please cancel.

There is often some gray area here, especially if you are in the recovery phase of a virus or bacterial infection.  If you’re unsure about your situation, please call me before your appointment and we can make a decision together.

Continue reading AMBP Article: Should I Cancel my Massage if I am Sick?

Lymphatic Drainage Benefits

By Nancy Barrett

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is one of the oldest, most often preformed treatment of the body and cleansing of tissue spaces. In the early 1930’s, Dr. Emil Vodder created a special series of light massage-like movements that included massaging lightly over cervical lymph nodes. In doing this, he found that it cured a range of issues. In his studies Dr. Vodder noted 60 different aliments and conditions for which this special massage can treat. These include migraine and chronic headaches, constipation, common acne and acne rosacea, tinnitus, eczema, whiplash, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, sinus congestion and tendonitis just to name a few. It is also an excellent therapeutic method to rejuvenate beauty and reduce puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles.  By the 1950’s, Dr, Vodder, along with his wife, Estrid, began educating the European world on lymphology and began teaching others about the benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage or MLD.

Continue reading Lymphatic Drainage Benefits