Tag Archives: massage

How Do I Prepare for My First Massage?

Massage is scary. There, I said it. I should know: When I went into massage school, I was terrified of the touching, the vulnerability, the possible nudity, the drum circles, the… man, how did I make it? Anyway, I stuck with it for one reason: Massage is awesome.

Let me tell you about my first massage. I was 19, and I was sick and tired of my back betraying me for seemingly no reason (I now know the reasons, and they were legion). I had been to physical therapy (helped some), and now I was giving chiropractic a shot. It was… okay. Lots of back cracking, but I mostly liked the machine that loosened my back up beforehand. That’s what they call foreshadowing, people.

One day, the chiro asked me if I’d like to add on a massage. I said yes, and I was directed to a little room where a nice man greeted me. He asked me a few questions, and then… it hit me. I was about to let a stranger touch me, nay, massage me, while I lay there in my jean shorts. Wait, was I allowed to keep my shorts on? How was I supposed to lay? Was I supposed to let him know when I was ready, or would he knock? I suppose he could have explained things a little better, but it’s easy to assume that people know the drill when you work at a high-volume place like a chiropractor’s. I’m pretty sure I did something wrong (ignored the face cradle, maybe, or perhaps I was curled up under the table), but he quickly got me situated and then… ... continue reading.

How To Fix Your Stupid Jaw: Self-Massage For TMJ

From the ages of, oh, 17-24, my jaw was a complete piece of crap. It clicked, it popped, it hurt to open, and damn it hurt to close. Not all the time, of course. It came in waves, and some days would be better than others.

TMJ disorder (often just called TMJ) is a problem with the temporomandibular joint, a very complex place where the jaw bone is connected to the head bone. This is a floaty joint, meant to come a bit out of socket as you open wide, move your jaw side to side, forward and back, etc. As you may have noticed, there’s a disc involved, a little piece of cartilage just like the ones between your vertebrae. Some of you will notice it pop in and out of place, and others will have had a very painful experience with this. Sorry about all that.

Iiiii ain't got no body

Anxiety was definitely involved in my case, no doubt about it. I had several fun, overlapping anxiety disorders that made sure that my jaw got no rest while I slept, and that I felt like crap by the time I needed to wake up. This is a phenomenon known as sleep bruxism, otherwise known as grinding the shit out of your teeth at night. Ever wake up with a sore jaw or wiggly teeth? Have a problem with receding gums? Get frequent headaches in your temples? You’re a prime candidate. ... continue reading.