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Monthly Archives: May 2013

What is a Swedish Massage?

What is a Swedish Massage?

What is a Swedish Massage?

swedish massage


When most people think of massage, they think of Swedish massage.  The invention of Swedish massage is credited to Pehr Henrik Ling (1776-1839), a prominent Swedish physician and fencing teacher who combined Chinese gymnastic and medical techniques with early 19th century sports medicine to create a system for relieving sore muscles, increasing flexibility and promoting general health. Ling’s theories were popularized by a fellow Swedish physician, Johann Mezger, who helped legitimize Ling’s techniques in the public’s mind by giving them French names. Most massage practiced in the West is in one way or another derived from Ling’s original work.

Swedish massage is defined by four or five (somewhat familiar) techniques, which have French names: effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic chopping), and friction (rubbing). Some therapists now incorporate advanced techniques that have rehabilitating effects and stretches for improving your range of motion. But the ultimate goal is relaxation. As the default Western massage, Swedish massage is extremely popular and is simple, soothing touch therapy.

Traditional Swedish massage, “classical massage,” consists mainly of long strokes over oiled skin and kneading of the outer layers of muscle tissue to reduce stress and soothe sore joints and muscles. Swedish massage relaxes the nervous system, aids circulation, and helps with detoxification.

The Swedish body massage has become the most common massage practice in the West, that’s because of the soothing strokes and gentle kneading, which are meant to relax, not stimulate, the body. And yet studies have shown, Swedish massage reduces stress, promotes health, and prevents injuries. At most spas, Swedish massage is the most popular treatment, and it’s for good reason. It helps jangled nerves and release neck knots without being too demanding of the spa-goer

. The principal moves of Swedish massage are:

A typical Swedish massage usually consists of five types of moves. Below are the five moves in Swedish massage. They can be used in any order and is part of the basics of Swedish massage.

effleurage movement1. Effleurage – making long and gliding strokes along the body. The rubbing and pushing of the muscles helps you relax plus reduce tension and stress levels. It has many other health benefits as well such as increase circulation of blood flow to the heart.  Great for the upper back, neck, and shoulders. This is the most common move use in many massages.




Petrissage technique2. Petrissage – Simply put this technique looks like you are kneading dough. It works on your muscle tension and unwinds. The kneading and squeezing motion of this technique gets rid of and smooth out any sort of lumps or impure substances from the muscle so it will be efficient once more.



tapotment movement3. Tapotement – This is the gentle pounding of the body like the motion you are drumming. There are many ways to form your hands for the drumming. The way you form your hand produces a different sound from slapping to chopping to cupping. This is a very noisy move and is usually used at the end of a massage session as it helps wake you up if you became sleepy.



vibration technique4. Vibration – This is the rhythmic and rapid shaking of the body.  Great for the neck and shoulders, normally this is done by a therapists ‘hands but there are now devices that provide the same vibration from cushions and chairs.  It has a very good feeling sensation and you can fall asleep to this very easily.




friction massage5. Friction – This worked on your muscle fibers and is done using circular or perpendicular motions.  The use of oil also helps in creating friction; it is commonly used in Swedish massage.  What type of massage oil that is used depends on the therapist, besides creating friction, the oil also helps in stretching of the muscles.  If you are feeling fatigued, exhausted, or feeling discomfort in the joints getting a massage can help alleviate the aches and pains.



Today there are many types of massages available.  From deep tissue massage to sports massage, many of these massages of which were based from the foundation of the Swedish massage.  No matter which type of massage you use, there are many available out there.  So for the days you want some time to just relax or unwind head out for a massage.

The Swedish massage is an excellent way to relax your muscles.


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Black Skin Care

Black Skin Care

Every day women come into my center asking me how to get their skin looking as perfect as possible.  Here are a few of the concerns I hear about most – plus my suggestions for how to take care of your skin so that it always looks it’s absolute best.

Liquid GoldAs a skin care therapist and founder of LB Skin Care and Body Work Center, I understand that, the Big Secret to Black Skin Care is having a daily regimen for cleansing, toning, exfoliating and moisturizing your skin.  Learning your skin type is extremely important to the type of skin care products you choose in caring for your skin. Though the functions of ‘skin’ in general are the same regardless of what color of skin one has, but the truth is that people with black and brown skins face different kinds of problems than that of the Caucasians. This happens because people with dark skin have more melanin. It is true that this pigment plays important roles in protecting skins from the sunshine, but it is also true that dark skin care largely differs from that of others’. However, if you are a dark skin person looking for some skin care tips, then this short writing will guide you to the perfect destination.


You might have that tendency to look gray and ashy, that could be because you’ve not exfoliated your skin.  What exactly will exfoliating your skin do for you?  One of the main thing is to remove dead skin cells from the surface layer of your skin.  By gently exfoliating your skin, not only will you rid your skin of it’s dull grayness but you will see a more even toned and radiant appearance to your skin.


Toner restore the acid/alkaline balance of the skin, because they are pH balanced. Toners also assist in removing the remaining dirt that might have been missed in your cleansing process.


When you think of Black Skin Care, moisturizers are one of the most important product to use on your skin.  Moisturizers remove that dull, ashy appearance on your skin that you have a tendency to get.

black beauty tip

I still break out every month

Hormonal fluctuations, plus stress, can add up to adult acne.  Look for cleansers that will clear out your pores without over-drying your skin.  I like ones that contain salicylic acid because the ingredient is anti-inflammatory and it helps skin shed the dead cells that can build up and clog pores.  And treat areas prone to pimples with something that will kill the acne-causing bacteria products with benzoyl peroxide is a great choice.


I’m starting to see some fine lines—especially around my eyes and on my forehead.

Wrinkles are caused by making the same facial expressions (like smiling and frowning) repeatedly over many years.  Other ways to help fend off fine lines include using sunscreen daily (the UV rays break down collagen which makes skin to start to sag and wrinkle) and using treatment products that contain potent anti-aging ingredients like retinol to help rebuild collagen and smooth out the skin.

I have dark spots on my face that didn’t used to be there.

Dark spots on your skin can result from different situations.  The inflammation of acne breakouts can activate melanin, so that even when the blemish is gone, a mark can be left behind.  During pregnancy or sometimes when taking the pill, the extra estrogen in your body can make your pigment cells more sensitive to sunlight, resulting in a brown or tan skin discoloration called melisma.  First of all, you need to wear sunscreen with an SPF 30 every single day.  I know, you’re saying my dark skin doesn’t burn, why do I need sunscreen?  Whether you burn or not, the sun’s UV rays are still penetrating into your skin and killing off collagen and messing with your melanin production.  So protecting your skin from the sun is the number one way to prevent brown spots.  To help get rid of existing spots topical treatments may be your best bet, look for products that contain ingredients such as arbutin and kojic acid or use lasers and chemical peels to treat hyperpigmentation.


In addition to regular skin care products, facials are beneficial for looking younger longer. Most everyone washes their face and uses a lotion for moisturizing every day. Soaps and lotions can build up in the skin pores and leave the skin in worse health than it was before using the soap or moisturizer. Facials are a good way to maintain a healthy balance in the skin. Your face is exposed to elements in the air and daily skin hazards. Facials can be a relaxing way to rejuvenate the skin and maintain a healthy looking glow.

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De-Stress With Massage

De-Stress With Massage

stress massage

With today’s high-stress lifestyles and careers, massage therapy is one form of treatment many people are indulging in to help de-stress, relieve tension, or simply get some alone time full of pampering.

Massage therapy consists of several different techniques, including:

• Swedish Massage
• Deep Tissue Massage
• Sports Massage
• Chair Massage
• Stone Massage
• Geriatric Massage
• Pregnancy Massage
• Baby Massage
• Reflexology
• Energy Work


Massage isn’t just a luxurious treat to pamper yourself; there are many other healthful reasons to get a massage on a regular basis, including the big one – stress.

Since stress can translate in different ways for different people, from aches and pains, to muscle tension, to both physical and emotional exhaustion, massage can actually help your body and mind de-stress, providing relief as well as, if not better than, medication for some of these ailments.

Because massage activates your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, it counteracts your body’s negative response to stress, relaxing muscle tension and allowing your heart rate, blood pressure, and circulation to return to normal.  At the same time, massage can increase awareness of your body and where you hold tension.

stress headache

Here are five positive things a massage can do for you and your body:

1.      Decrease chronic pain: Massage releases endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller) into the brain and nervous system to reduce pain and discomfort without the use of medication. It also activates nerve receptor signals to temporarily block chronic pain signals from reaching the brain. For lower-back pain, try Thai, a form of massage using acupressure points to ease tension and release endorphins.

2.      Strengthen your immune system: Massage increases circulation in your lymphatic system, which plays a major role in warding off infection and healing injuries.

3.      Improve nerve function: Massage relaxes contracted muscles, which can press or pinch your nerves, causing tingling, numbness, or pain. For athletes or those who just love a good workout, try a Swedish massage to lessen the muscle pain that comes with exercise.

4.      Sleep better: Since massage relaxes tense muscles and calms the nervous system, causing your body’s rhythm to slow down, blood pressure is lowered, your heart rate settles and your breathing become deeper and more rhythmic, setting you up for a great night’s sleep. We suggest trying a myofascial massage – forty-five minutes twice a week may help alleviate symptoms of restless leg syndrome, according to the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. Swedish massage can also help prevent insomnia.

5.      Improve your skin: With so many factors taking a toll on our skin, including the sun, pollution, poor diet, and just the natural ageing process, massage therapy can increase the uptake of vital skin-repairing nutrients and speed the removal of toxins. Improved circulation helps moisturize your skin, improving skin texture, while relieving dryness and itching.

stress health

Stressed or not, everyone can improve their health while enjoying a little R&R.


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PCASkin Advanced Peeling Techniques For Complex Skin Conditions

Today I attend PCASkin Advanced Peeling Techniques for Complex Skin Conditions, a hands-on seminar providing detailed information to more experienced PCA SKIN® Certified Professionals on the benefits of combining exfoliation methods, using unique ingredient blends and employing advanced application techniques to clear multiple conditions simultaneously.
Review advanced skin conditions, Review clinical trials, Learn to combine treatments, Discuss variables & factors of peel depth, Perform & receive advanced treatment protocols.
Great training, very informative, well presented!

pcaskin advanced seminar

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