February 8, 2013

Newsletter – February 2012

Posted in NEWSLETTERS, Thai Yoga Massage at 4:06 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

Happy February!   The month that features groundhogs, presidents and cupid; the month that brings with it hints of spring, blooming azaleas in Florida and oak pollen allergies is a great time of the year to give the loving gift of good health to yourself!  In this newsletter:
  • Update on Clean Start 2013
  • Plan Ahead for Clean Start 2014
  • Thai Herbal Compress Massage – back by popular demand
  • Valentine’s Day Gift Certificates
  • Injury of the Month – Elbow tendinitis

Clean Program Update

We completed the 21 day Clean Start 2013 cleanse program at the end of January.  Congratulations to all who made it through and picked up some new habits, learned some new information or got to know their own bodies better!
My personal results from 21 days on the Clean Program include:
  • Dramatic reduction in seasonal allergy symptoms – I’ve found when I don’t eat wheat, dairy or processed foods, I have very few allergy symptoms.
  • Improved and increased sleep – when I eat ‘clean’, sleeping a solid 7-8 hours most nights is easy
  • Increased energy throughout the day – as long as I eat enough protein, I’m able to easily work 10-12 hours without getting tired
  • Lost some weight – I don’t weigh myself, but I’ve lost about 1 clothing size since Christmas
  • After going through the intense days of physical purging, now when I eat ‘clean’ I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my life; no exaggeration.
  • Elimination Challenge – I’ve now moved into the phase of testing all the potential ‘problem’ food groups in my body to finally learn exactly which foods irritate my body
Here’s a blog post about the end of the program:
http://cleanstart2013.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/day-21-of-clean-start-2013/
Even if you didn’t start with us at the beginning of the year, I’d highly recommend the program to anyone at anytime.  Simply buy the book, Clean and start on the program.  If you’d like some motivation and support, we still have our facebook group going, it looks like there’s a new Sugar Detox Challenge starting in February.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/172931599497252/
Our blog will continue to be available at:
www.CleanStart2013.wordpress.com
I’m planning on doing the 21 Day Clean Program again around mid-year, and….

Save the dates – Clean Start 2014 retreat next year

Jump start 2014 with a 4 day Clean Retreat.  Save the dates 1/2 thru 1/6; this 4 day retreat will get you New Year’s New Eating program started right. We’ll feature morning juice & smoothies, shopping for and cooking Clean meals, yoga, massage, meditation and exercise.  More details unfolding, but mark your calendars now!
Oh, yeah; I should mention something about massage in here…..
Thai Herbal Compress Massage
If you’ve never had an Herbal Compress Massage, now is the time to try one!  I’m again featuring this service in February because so many clients had such terrific experiences trying the Herbal Compress session last month.   Here’s a bit more info:
Offered as either a 90 minute or 120 minute session, the Herbal Compress Massage is the perfect type of session if you’ve been sick, you’ve been stressed or you just need some TLC.  Schedule yours now before the outside temperatures heat up!
Makes a great Valentine’s Gift – buy a Gift Certificate for someone you love!
Valentine’s Day 
There’s still time to give your love the sweetest gift of all – massage!  Buy a 75, 90 or 120 minute session on a gift certificate.  Hit reply to this email and I’ll drop it in the mail today!
(and if you don’t have a special someone this year – you definitely should buy yourself an extra massage or two!)
Blog – Elbow Tendinitis?
I don’t know what it is about January; maybe more people working out because of New Year’s Resolutions, maybe the cooler weather; but regardless of the reason, the most common injury clients have been complaining about this last month is elbow tendinitis.  Here’s a quick exercise anyone can do nearly anywhere to find immediate relief from the symptoms of elbow tenditis:
Isolated eccentric stretching is the perfect solution for so many joint and muscle pains.
In Closing
What I most enjoy about the work I do is being able to witness so many incredible transformations happening in all of you.  I have clients who are healing themselves from long-term chronic disease, successfully rehabbing from new and old injuries, managing chronic illnesses with massage, regaining good health after suffering undetected illnesses for years; and it is so incredibly inspiring to watch people heal.  It is a profound honor to witness all of your transformations; that’s the humbling part of this work and what keeps me committed.   Thank you all for sharing your journeys with me!
Namaste,
Suzanne

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor and General Health Zealot.  Contact her directly to schedule a session:  727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

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January 31, 2013

Thai Herbal Compress Therapy

Posted in Energy Work, Thai Yoga Massage at 9:40 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

If you haven’t experienced a Thai Herbal Compress Massage session, now is the perfect time to do so.  What is a Thai Herbal Compress Massage? Some quick explanations:

  • The perfect antidote for winter’s chill and the cold/flu season
  • A powerful inflammation fighter and circulation builder
  • An incredibly soothing form of deep stress relief and relaxation

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Part of the rich therapeutic Thai Massage  system of bodywork, some say the herbal compress massage was considered to be a ‘Royal Treatment’; a special form of therapy reserved for relieving the pains and strains of royalty and warriors in ancient Thailand.

Today’s herbal compresses are a powerful blend of herbs; prai (a Thai root similar to ginger), ginger, lemongrass, tamarind, turmeric, camphor, patchouli, keffir lime and orange.  The herbs are cooked and combined into a poultice then wrapped in a muslin cloth tied into a ball with a handle.  When the compresses are warmed with steam, the aromatherapeutic properties of the herbs are released.  Then the herbal compress is pressed into the skin,  following the energy lines of the body, releasing the essential oils of the herbs into your open pores.  A multi-sensory form of therapy, a Thai Herbal Compress Massage simultaneously works on the muscle & connective tissue system, the nervous system, the blood and lymph circulation systems, the respiratory and digestive systems.

The therapeutic qualities of the herbs help reduce inflammation, calm stress, ward off colds and flu, act as an antiseptic and analgesic, tone the skin and boost circulation; making the Thai Herbal Compress Massage the perfect choice of therapy for anyone struggling to get over the end of the season illness, manage a chronic health condition or simply relax more deeply than you have in years. Adding in a ayurvedic oil massage, heated massage table, hot towels and hot packs further warms the body, soothes the mind and enhances relaxation.

If you’d like more information about the compresses themselves, here’s a link:

http://thaiherbalcompress.net/index.html

If you’ve never experienced the Thai Herbal Compress Massage, schedule one now.  If you’re trying to wrap up the last bits of the seasonal illness, struggling through a period of high stress or simply have a body that is craving some TLC; a Thai Herbal Compress Massage may be just the treatment you need.

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Contact Suzanne directly to schedule your Thai Herbal Compress Massage: www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com, Suzanne@TryThaiYogaMassage.com or 727-641-6941.

Suzanne Andrew  is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master in St. Petersburg, Florida.  FLMA#51338

September 8, 2012

Improve Your Desk Chair with a Tennis Ball??

Posted in Anatomy, Back, Choices, Ergonomics, Living Vibrantly, Thai Yoga Massage, Uncategorized at 9:46 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

In these times of constant connection to our computers and gadgets, many of us spend more time sitting at our desk chairs as we do in our beds; which takes a toll on our bodies, our posture, even our emotions.

Those of you who’ve worked with me for a while have probably heard me recommend ‘a variety’ when asked which is the best type of office chair to use.  However, even the best ergonomically designed chair can become a torture device when used 8+ hours a day 5,6 or even 7 days a week..

If you must spend hours sitting in meetings, at a desk, in front of a computer; make your body as comfortable as possible by first varying the chairs and the work position.  In my office I have a regular desk chair, a balance ball chair and a kneeling chair; plus a box I can rest my computer on so I can sometimes stand while working.

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Second, make sure you’re taking at least a 5 minute break every hour; get up, stretch, walk around; give both your body and your vision a rest.

Third, improve your posture.   I know, I know; it is easy to say ‘I’m going to practice better posture’ but it is a whole different thing to actually do it.  For most of us, years of slouching and rounding the shoulders forward have changed our posture; and it isn’t easy to force our bodies to keep a long spine.  We may start the day sitting with good posture; but usually, within a few minutes, we start to slump forward again.

So try this easy trick to improve your posture; use tennis balls with your office chair.  Simply place two tennis balls along side of your spine near the bottom of your shoulder blades.  Rest your back against the tennis balls which will help your spine naturally straighten up and help guide your shoulders back.

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The tennis ball has several key benefits:

*The acupressure points pressed by the ball should help relieve tension through your entire upper torso.

*By using two balls, one on either side of your body; you’ll help better balance your left and right sides of your body both in your sitting position and as you’re working and reaching forward.

*Improved posture.  If you start to slump, the balls will slide and fall on the floor; so the constant gentle reminder and slight pressure of the tennis balls will help you build better posture over time.

Give the tennis ball trick a try at your own desk chair; or even in your car or on an airplane, and let me know how it works for you.

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor and General Health Zealot.  Contact her directly to schedule a session:  727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

June 26, 2012

Tight Calves? Tight Hamstrings? Sore feet? Roll Your Feet

Posted in Anatomy, Back, Choices, Ergonomics, Hips, Injuries, Knees, Living Vibrantly, Thai Yoga Massage, Yoga at 1:34 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

Roll Your Feet with a Ball

Whether you struggle with tight hamstrings, suffer with plantar fasciitis, get leg cramps or just have tightness in the back of your body; try this simple trick for loosening up the entire back of the body from your heels to the top of your head.

The human body has one long, continuous line of connective tissue that runs from the sole of the foot, up around the ankle, up the leg, around the knee, up the thigh, over the sitting bone, up the back all the way to the top of the head ending just over your eyebrows. Tightness in any part of that chain can cause tension anywhere else along the back body. When you find yourself with tightness, tension or pain in any of those areas; start with loosening up the tissues on the soles of the feet and see how much better the entire body feels.

Simply roll the sole of your foot over a ball for 5 minutes daily. Use a tennis ball, a physical therapy ball, or when you’ve built up some tolerance, a golf ball. Begin by rolling the ball under the toes, then along the outside edge of the foot. Roll it around the arch area and back & forth across the heel making sure to treat all areas of the surface of the foot. Spend 2-3 minutes rolling each foot.

You’ll be amazed immediately at how good your feel!  Opening up all the tissues on the bottoms of the feet will cause your entire back body to loosen and relax; your feet will feel lively,  your leg muscles more open, you may even get a bit of relief from back pain or a headache.   Resist the urge to overdo this exercise, limit yourself to once or twice a day; but make sure to do it daily.   This is such a simple way to immediately feel better in your body; give it a try and let me know how you feel.

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor and General Health Zealot.  Contact her directly to schedule a session:  727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

March 14, 2012

Sciatica Stretch

Posted in Anatomy, Back, Hips, Injuries, Thai Yoga Massage, Yoga at 3:43 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

If you’ve been diagnosed with sciatica, the pain that centers in the middle of the glute then runs up or down the body from the low back to the knee, you’ve probably been told that keeping the area stretched out will help lessen your pain.

The sciatic nerve as it runs through the hip is about as big around as your thumb; and it easily gets impinged by tight muscles.  Most frequently, the piriformis muscle, one of the hip extensors underneath your gluteus maximus, fanning out from your sacrum to the ball-and-socket joint of the hip, is the  culprit for muscle tightness in the hip.

Here’s the easy way to safely stretch your piriformis muscles, hopefully relieving sciatica.

  • Lie on the floor on your back.
  • Place both feet on the floor, knees point up.
  • Cross one ankle across the opposite knee just above the knee-joint.
  • Keeping your back flat on the floor, pull the crossed legs directly to your chest.
  • Hold stretch for 10 full breaths.
  • Repeat on other side.

By lying on the floor to do this stretch you neutralize and protect the low back, so if there are any disk issues or dysfunction with the sacroiliac joint; you won’t further exacerbate the problem.  In this position the focus of the stretch is squarely on the hip extensor muscles, specifically the piriformis.

Use this stretch to get yourself out of pain; and add it to your regular daily routine to keep your posterior hips open and flexible, better able to support your low back.

Suzanne Andrew is  a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master and general zealot about living vibrantly.  Contact her directly at 727-641-6941 or www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

February 1, 2012

Back Sore in the Morning?

Posted in Anatomy, Back, Ergonomics, Hips, Injuries, Neck/Shoulders, Thai Yoga Massage, Yoga at 11:43 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

If you wake up and find your low back sore in the morning, before getting out of bed and having a grouchy, achy day; try this!

1. Pull Your Knees to Your Chest – hold for 5 breaths, then rock from left to right 5 times in each direction.

2. Twist to Both Sides –  starting with your knees into the chest, allow your knees to drop off the the left. Widen across the arms. Hold for 5 full breaths. Repeat on right side.

3.  Sitting on the Edge of the Bed, Fold Forward – plant feet firmly on floor, sitting bones on bed, bend of knees should be touching edge of bed.  Bend the torso forward over the legs, let the arms fall towards the floor.  Hold this posture 5 full breaths.

These three simple postures should loosen all the low back and hip muscles; getting rid of any tightness or shortened muscles from sleep.  So next, just stand  up and go enjoy your day!

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master and zealot for taking charge of your own good health.  Contact her directly at: 727-641-6941 or Suzanne@TryThaiYogaMassage.com.    www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

January 5, 2012

Rotator Cuff Stuff?

Posted in Anatomy, Ergonomics, Injuries, Living Vibrantly, Neck/Shoulders, Thai Yoga Massage, Yoga at 11:38 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

Are you prone to rotator cuff problems?  Strains, pains, maybe some tears.  Estimates are that 25-33% of adults suffer with chronic shoulder pain; much of that due to rotator cuff strains, pains, tears.

Surrounding your shoulder-blade, the rotator cuff is composed of 4 muscles that perform the action of moving your shoulder in its ball & socket joint.  The four muscles of the rotator cuff actually stabilize your arm in the shoulder joint so that the bigger muscles of the arms can do the work. Rotator cuff injuries; from strains to tears, usually happen during strength bearing activities where the shoulder joint is a bit out of alignment while being used strongly.  Over exercising, carrying heavy objects, and repetitive overhead reaching motions are some common causes of rotator cuff problems.

The good news is that you may be able to strengthen and rehabilitate your rotator cuff problem on your own using a couple of simple yoga poses.

Below are two articles that outline the findings of Dr. Loren Fishman – a pioneer at integrating western medicine with yoga.  After a rotator cuff injury of his own, Dr. Fishman discovered that by using the forearm platform common to so many yoga poses; he was able to relieve the pain and other symptoms of his rotator cuff injury.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/02/health/02brody.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/loren-fishman-md/yoga-for-rotator-cuff-injury_b_916728.html

In a nutshell, any posture using the forearm platform (wall push-ups, forearm plank, forearm downward dog, dolphin, head stand) all can help train the subscapularis muscle of the rotator cuff to take over the strength role from supraspinatus.

So if you’re already practicing yoga; you may want to experiment with incorporating some forearm platform poses into your daily workout to see how they help your shoulder strength.  If not, find an experienced yoga teacher to guide you into the poses.

Even if you’re not currently experiencing rotator cuff problems; but you have in the past or sense an instability in your rotator cuff, try incorporating some of these postures into your routine.  Prevention may really be the best cure of all.

(the information in this blog is no substitute for proper medical care; always consult your doctor before altering your exercise routine.)

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master and zealot for taking charge of your own good health.  Contact her directly at: 727-641-6941 or Suzanne@TryThaiYogaMassage.com.    www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com

September 30, 2011

Added Flexibility Improves Heart Health?

Posted in Anatomy, Choices, Living Vibrantly, Thai Yoga Massage, Uncategorized, Yoga at 9:47 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

We’re all used to thinking of improved flexibility as something that primarily benefits the muscular and skeletal systems in the body.  We start practicing yoga to relieve back pain, or are prescribed stretches to help with sciatica.  We add stretching to our workout routines in hopes of improving sports performance or intuitively stretch to counteract the pain and stiffness of working at a computer all day.

However, just as important as these benefits of stretching out the muscles and improving joint flexibility are the really exciting results of stretching the arteries and veins of the cardiovascular system, the nerves of the nervous system and the lymph ducts of the lymph system.  As detailed in this article, science is now supporting stretching for improved flexibility as having a whole host of health benefits.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-soram-khalsa/yoga-health-the-flexibili_b_570848.html

So improved flexibility seems to equate to improved heart health, not just in more flexible arteries and veins; but also there seems to be a direct correlation between improved flexibility and lower blood pressure.

That means today a yoga practice, begin a regular stretching routine or come see me regularly for Thai Yoga Massage; and help not just your muscles and joints feel better, but help improve your heart health!

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and Wellness Coach in St. Petersburg, FL.  Contact her directly to schedule a customized session.   Suzanne@TryThaiYogaMassage.com, www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com or 727-641-6941

August 4, 2011

Thai Yoga Massage Video

Posted in Thai Yoga Massage at 1:18 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

So, what does a Thai Yoga Massage actually look like?

Doing this work for a living, sometimes I forget that many people out there (including me until about 8 years ago) don’t know Thai Yoga Massage.  While I can describe Thai Yoga Massage as a combination of assisted yoga, with acupressure massage, energywork, breathwork and meditation added in; often a picture is worth 1000 words.  So here’s a great video from a Thai Yoga Massage Teacher in the U.K.:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TP3vNjVXb-c

You can watch how a session opens up movement in all the joints in the body, stretches and massages most of the muscles; and while a very interactive form of body work is still deeply relaxing.

If you’ve never tried Thai Yoga Massage before, and you’re near the Tampa/St. Petersburg area; schedule a session with me today!

Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and Wellness Coach in St. Petersburg, Fl.  Contact her directly to schedule a customized thai yoga massage, reiki or bodywork session or program to help you live healthier and happier in your body. — Suzanne@TryThaiYogaMassage.com, www.TryThaiYogaMassage.com or 727-641-6941

July 19, 2011

The Best Travel Companion Ever? Your massage ball….

Posted in Anatomy, Back, Choices, Energy Work, Ergonomics, Living Vibrantly, Neck/Shoulders, Thai Yoga Massage at 5:56 pm by SuzanneMAndrew

If you’re going to be flying, driving, riding trains – really any form of travel that features long hours sitting in uncomfortable seats – be sure to pack your massage ball!

During a recent 11 day trip to the west coast; my trip included 4 plane rides across the US, two 3 hour ferry rides to Canada, plus a 22 hour train ride and countless hours sightseeing in myriad of cars.  As fun as the trip was, each day brought with it new aches and pains in my neck, shoulders, low back, hips; the human body just wasn’t designed to sit so many hours.

Luckily, I packed my massage ball.  About size of a tennis ball; a massage ball (or pt ball) is spiky and much harder than a tennis ball.  While traveling, I’d place the massage ball between my back and the seat in all the sore spots along my back, around the shoulder-blades and in the hips.  Then I’d roll it up and down the spine to release all the tension in the muscles on either side of the spine.  Finally, I’d place it between the seat and that trigger points in the glutes.  Within about 10 minutes; I’d feel so much better, ready to enjoy the next leg of my trip.

At the end of a busy day of sightseeing, I’d lay on the ball on the floor; moving the massage ball to each sore spot on my body and holding each spot about 10 full, deep breaths.  Finally, after a long day of walking, I’d sit in a chair and roll the ball between the sole of each foot and the floor for several minutes to reinvigorate tired feet.  Other uses include rolling it along the arms after a busy day skiing or playing tennis, rolling your quadriceps over it after a long run or bike ride, and resting it right under your occiput to relieve tension headaches.

Buy your massage ball online at: http://www.optp.com/ReflexBall-LE9758.aspx  These are the same massage balls many of you will recognize from our sessions; I love to use them for stubborn, stuck places in my clients’ bodies.

So if the summer ahead has any travel in it, be sure to pack your massage ball; your body will thank you!

 Suzanne Andrew is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and Wellness Coach. Contact her directly to design a customized session or program to live better in your body and, perhaps, in your life.  SuzanneMAndrew@gmail.com or 727-641-6941

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