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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT

Covid 19 Procedural Changes

Some things are different, but the most important things are the same - I want to help you feel better and relax!

As of June 17, 2020, I'M REOPEN! I can't wait to see all of you in my office again. Below are the changes I'm instituting to keep you safe while enjoying your massage therapy session:

Prior to your session:

1. Please do not schedule an appointment if you or anyone you live with is experiencing virus symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, unexplained rash, etc.) OR if you have recently taken a Covid 19 test and are awaiting results. If you wake up the morning of your session with any symptoms, PLEASE CALL ME TO CANCEL. It's for everyone's health, and I won't be the least offended.

2. The state is still recommending that anyone in a high risk group, or who lives with someone high risk or immune-compromised, stay home. If this describes you, you may wish to postpone scheduling a session at this time.

3. I'm disinfecting all hard surfaces and the massage table with an EPA-approved, environmentally friendly, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial cleanser between each client.  Will you be able to eat off any surface in my office now? Yes, I think so. But I don't recommend it with soup.

4.  The same cleanser is rated for "fogging", that is, cleaning particulate in the air.  I give it a few sprays around the office every hour or so.  I'm also using an air purifier and window AC to keep fresh air circulating.

5. My linens have always been, and continue to be, sterilized between every client. There's never been danger of contracting anything from my linens, and there still won't be.

Upon your arrival:

1. Please only use my private entrance off the side parking lot. I'm keeping my waiting room off the main building entrance closed and locked at this time. When I'm ready for you to come in to the office, I'll open my door. You can feel free to wait in your car or on my outdoor bench if you like. If my door is open, come on in.

2. I'll be wearing a face mask and goggles, and have to direct you to wear a mask as well. If you forget yours, I do have plenty of sanitized masks in the office, so no need to stress! 

3. I'm asking every client to wash their hands prior to their session. I also have hand sanitizer available for you near the front door. (Washing with soap is just preferable.)

4. I'll ask you to sign a statement, like an extra intake, with specific questions about the virus. That document will help me make sure that you're not at extra risk.

During your session:

1. I'll provide you the best possible experience I can! I'm still laser focused on making every client feel better. That's always going to be paramount to me.

2. I'm prohibited from working on the face and jaw at this time, in order for you to keep your face mask on.

After your session:

1. Relax!

2. Please make use of the hand sanitizer as you leave the office.

3. Book another session!

Piriformis Stretch / The Posterior Hip

Many clients come in to my office complaining of "glute pain." Now, it is completely valid that one or more of your three gluteal group muscles could be causing a muscular problem. But they're big, powerful muscles which we can usually get under control fairly quickly. Typically, the underhanded culprits are of the "Deep Lateral Rotator Group", which are a group of six small muscles underneath the gluteal group. Since they're physically smaller, therefore weaker, closer to the nerves and more difficult to stretch, they're hard to keep relaxed and healthy. The most (in)famous of this group is the Piriformis muscle.

the nerve, so when it’s hypertonic (“tight”), it can press down on the nerve like a rolling pin pushing down a piece of cotton. This nerve compression (referred to as “Piriformis Syndrome”) can lead to numbness and tingling down the leg and is often mistaken for sciatica, which has similar symptoms. While true sciatica requires surgical intervention, Piriformis Syndrome is a soft tissue dysfunction that responds quite well to massage therapy. and stretching. If you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms, give this stretch a try!

The Piriformis is one of six muscles in the "Deep Lateral Rotator Group". We call them that, because, you guessed it, they're deeper than the other muscles in the area, and they rotate the leg laterally. Anatomists are typically very literal.

They attach, roughly, from the sacrum and pelvis to the head of the femur. If you imagine holding a string from your sacrum to the very top of your thigh, that's about the direction these muscles take. If you keep your leg stationary and move your toes in and out, it's this muscle group that's doing most of the moving.

Since these muscles are between the pelvis and the femur, to stretch them, we want to move those bones apart. But we also need to rotate the leg laterally to keep the head of the femur in the correct position. It's this rotation of the femur that makes the stretch correct or not – and it translates into the position of the lower leg.

Beginning standing next to a hard flat surface that’s about the height of your pelvis. Rotate and place one leg up, with your knee pointing out. It’s critical here that your lower leg is perpendicular to your body; if it’s turned in, your femur isn’t rotated enough and there isn't enough space between your pelvis and femur. If it’s turned out, your femur is rotated too far and there’s going to be too much stress on your knee.

Gently bend the knee of your standing leg, lowering yourself further in to the surface your leg is on. Get used to the feeling of your weight on the leg that's stretching, using the stability of the surface. Keeping your abs pulled in, pivot your body forward, aiming to rest your chest on your leg. When you get as far as you comfortably can drop your body, hold the stretch for a good 30-60 seconds, or until it feels like the muscles have relaxed. You can even drop your head down to relax your shoulders and feel the stretch affect your entire spine. This is my favorite part of this stretch!

Keep in mind that some people can’t come close to the full movement here, and that’s perfectly fine. The idea of the stretch is to try to move your body in to this position, and whatever range of motion you’ve got on a particular day is to be respected. Especially when dealing with the hips and lower back, you never want to bounce or force a stretch. There are days when this movement is effortless for me, and others when it’s incredibly difficult to move in to the proper position. On those more difficult days, I don’t try to force myself in to any position, but I do spend extra time letting myself “fall” in to it. The idea is that the longer you let your mind and muscles relax, the more fully you’ll stretch. 

 

The deep lateral rotators, and especially the Piriformis, are prone to dysfunction, unfortunately. So stretching them regularly is crucial if you’ve experienced any kind of hip pain or numbness and tingling in the legs. And massage therapy can really help! Book your session today and we can begin to move you out of pain and toward proper movement and function again. I’ll see you in my Westport office!

Stretching the Trap, revisited

This muscle group is likely tight right now!

This is a re-post of one of my oldest blog entries, from 2015.  The stretch itself is still one that I show 80% of my new clients, so I wanted to revamp this entry. It's worth it to get this move correct!

If you're feeling tension in your neck and shoulders, give this one a try.

Anatomy Lesson:

 The Trapezius (“Trap”) muscle attaches from roughly the base of the head, goes out to form what we refer to as “shoulders”, attaches to the top of the arm, moves in toward the shoulder blades, then down the spine. In this stretch, we take advantage of the attachment on the arm.

This stretch works by letting the  leg pull down on the arm; if you tense your shoulder, it won't work. Let your shoulders drop as far to the ground as possible. Turning your head to the opposite side stretches the entire length of upper musculature – pay attention to any particularly tense spots up your neck. If you notice a tender area, you can turn your chin up toward the sky, even rotating it a bit to try to release the tension and increase range of motion.

 The stretch:

Begin by holding your ankle, as if you were going to stretch the front of your thigh.

 

 

 Rather than pulling your ankle toward the back of your hip, stretch the Trap by letting the weight of your ankle and leg pull down on your arm. Turn your neck and head to the opposite side to increase the stretch. Hold for at least 20 seconds, moving your head further if possible.  Ideally, your ear would be able to touch your shoulder. I have to admit, though, mine only comes close on my most relaxed day!

Repeat on the both sides.

 

If you're stuck in your office chair or in a car, you can still do this stretch, just by grabbing the bottom of your seat instead of your ankle.  It's not AS complete, but it works in a pinch.

Once you master this stretch, I guarantee you'll be doing it constantly! It's wonderful when you're having a stressful day, and before and after exercising.

And remember that massage therapy is fantastic for the traps in particular.  Book a session today if you're still feeling some tension.  I'll see you in my Westport office!

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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT