Carpal Tunnel can massage help?

This blog was a request from a client. A lot of people suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome(CTS) because of work related injuries or just the repetitiveness of their jobs. Massage can help with the pain associated with this chronic condition.  First let’s look at the behind cause of CTS. In the area of the wrist there are bones, ligaments, and connective tissue supporting the channel to promote pivot movement for the wrists to move. When the channel itself becomes irritated due to a movement, this is what is classified as CTS. There are a variety of treatment options and massage can be one.

With massage what a therapist would do for pain management is to palpate the muscles effected in the hand and the forearms. Massaging the muscles in the forearm will relax the ligament which as causing pain from being stretched. Then working the muscles in the palm of the hand the therapist will use small circular motion. If the fingers have not been injured before stretching each finger will bring relief and release any air bubbles from the phalanges(the finger joints). After the phalanges have been worked on working on the top part of the hand will help with any pain associated with overworked ligaments.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is chronic and though massage does help carpal tunnel pain may still persist after a series of massage sessions. Doing little things to help yourself everyday will help 1) with pain and 2) from further injury.

What are those?

First thing you can do is to take your hand palm side up like your a waitress delivering food to a table and bend each finger backward gently to the point you can felt it stretch but not put you on the floor pain. Do this once in the morning and once after work, your joints will thank you. Another quick exercise to do is to grab your wrist with one hand holding tight and just rotate your hand up and down and side to side. This helps with the ligaments to not be overstretched.

Next blog topic:TBA


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Help my Back!

Everyone at one point in their lives will experience back pain and more then likely it will be low back pain. Some of the low back sufferers it will become chornic and severe enough to seek out medical help. I just wanted to show some back stretches to help keep your back healthy. If you have low back pain getting on the floor and doing yoga poses yeah you can do them but how are you going to get up? So here are three stretches you can do by yourself without a spotter or a 911 call for help.

1. Standing Hip Flexor Stretch

Stand by a doorway, take your leg and bend it towards your glutes(butt muscles). Hold for 5 seconds. For those with balance issues like myself hold on to the door frame and do this stretch. Once you d0 one side 2 to 3 times repeat process on the other side.

2. Lunge hip flexor stretch.

Basically it’s a lunge but you can use a chair for balance. Lunge forward resting your knee on the ground but your foot against a wall. A lot of runners do this but it’s a great stretch for everyone. It opens up your hips which a lot of my clients have an issue with lately. Again like the first stretch hold for 5 seconds and repeat 2 or 3 times for maximum benefit.

3. Seated Lower Back Stretch

This one can be done by all fitness levels. Sit on the edge of a chair but not so close you will fall. Then take both hands and reach to the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times.

These are just some stretches that may help if you or someone you know suffers from low back pain. As always take care.

**Any time that you plan on doing stretches or starting a fitness program always consult your physician. If you have disk issues or other underlying conditions safety first.


Next blog: Carpal Tunnel

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Reflexology is the study of Chinese Meridian points and how they relate to the organs of the body. This is short version of what Reflexology is in laymen’s terms. Each point of reference on the foot or hands relates to an organ.

Reflexology has a host of benefits:

  • Stress reduction (who doesn’t need that)
  • Improvement in circulation (great for diabetics and recovering surgery patients)
  • Boost in immune system (moves around lymph fluid)
  • Helps sore achy feet

These are just some of the things that Reflexology can help with. Different disorders from mood to nervous system related disorders can be helped by the massaging aspect of Reflexology.

I just wanted to type a blurb of what Reflexology is for those that have no clue. How I was taught to do Reflexology was to perform a massage on the soles of the feet and then work the muscles on the top of the foot and finish on the muscles on the side of the feet. Still working on finding a chair that will fit in my room so I can start performing Reflexology sessions as a full service versus just an add on service.

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How massage can help after a shoveling snow

Here in Michigan we had a big snow fall not as much as their were saying just enough to make it messy. A lot of people shoveled snow in the last 24 hours and are experiencing aches and pains as a result. There are some at home treatments that one can do to ease the pain and stiffness. First off DO NOT USE HEAT, heat will constrict your muscles leaving you prone to tears within the muscles plus it promotes inflammation. Inflammation is bad for muscles and your body as a whole. First thing to try is cold packs, the cold will bring relief to the sore muscles. If cold packs do not work try something like an Arnica cream, Tiger Balm or even Icy Hot. If you have exhausted all avenues come see a Massage Therapist like myself.

How can massage help? Massage after an injury can help by manipulating the soft tissue layers of your muscles. The kind of strokes that are used in massage can help relieve any stuck muscle fibers or connective issue. While most therapists conclude that Deep Tissue is the way to go not everyone can handle the pressure. Try a Swedish Fusion massage for that. Swedish Fusion is a combination of Swedish techniques like Effleurage, Trigger Point Therapy or Cross Fiber Friction, along with Deep Tissue in areas you need. As with all my clients a health history form is needed so we can assess the areas that you want focused on and areas that need to be addressed too.

For the next big dig stretch before hand and if you can pay a kid down the street or a neighbor out of work it is always well worth the money.

Take Care,

until next week

Stephanie Keffer CMT

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Massage Therapy offered in Hospital Setting

When I was looking up subjects for this weeks blog I came across an article in the Oakland Press. Henry Ford Medical Center in Grosse Pointe Farms is offering chiropractic and massage therapy to their clients. It is good to see the medical community embracing us rather than trying to burn us at the stake. The center is run by Dr. Lanny Orr, a board certified chiropractic sports physician who takes a holistic approach to treating senior citizens, as well as sports injuries in young and older athletes. (2011) Since Dr. Orr understands the benefits of massage my hope is that other hospitals will get on the bandwagon. St John’s in Michigan as well offers a CAM program and Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak offers an Oncology course as well. When you are suffering from a illness all forms of medicine Western or Alternative should be used for a well rounded experience for the patient.

Massage therapist Diane Urquhart sees patients at Cottage independently or in conjunction with Dr. Orr to help loosen patients’ muscles and soft tissues prior to chiropractic manipulations. Urquart also performs neuromuscular therapy, or NMT.(2011) Working at a chiropractic office the benefits of having us both there are we are able to help. Massage before or after an adjustment is up for debate. At our office we do massage before the adjustment to loosen the muscles. Our MT’s in the area I have spoken too do massage after an adjustment. Either way the two modalities play well off of each other.

If you want to read more on the article from the Oakland Press follow the link below.

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Massage Etiquette

This week’s blog is going to be about what to do and what not to do before, during and after a massage. Kind of like an FYI to newbies if you will.


  • Call ahead and make an appointment. There is just one of me so I can’t massage two people at once.
  • Arrive early if this is the first time we are meeting each other. 5 or 10 minutes would be great.
  • Tip just like you would a hairdresser or a waitress. I’m in the service industry so it would be nice to be tipped.
  • Take a shower beforehand if you work a physical job
  • Tell your friends


  1. Be late
  2. On your cellphone
  3. Shave your legs the day of ladies. Massage creme and fresh open pores= not fun
  4. Forget to tip
  5. Be rude!
  6. Ask if I have showers
  7. Ask if I give you know one of “those” massages
  8. Ask personal questions about my dating life(awkward!)
  9. Be nervous

Massages are meant to be relaxing but some people talk all the way through them both ways are fine. If you have questions about where I went to school, what organizations I belong to, how long my training was just ask. If you want me to explain the difference between Swedish and Deep Tissue I can. When it comes to questions about my profession I believe in educating the consumer. You can ask questions about me personally as long as they don’t get creepy. It’s only fair since I ask you to fill out a health history form. Guys though I will not discuss my dating life with you or whether or not my boyfriend or husband enjoys receiving massages. That’s overboard and I will answer generically sorry. But I get asked all the time if I live in the area, if I have siblings and if I go to people’s homes. Those are fine just please nothing about if I am single because I have an ethics code that i have to abide by. No dating clients unless I am no longer your therapist for six months from the time of your last massage according to ABMP.

Since this topic was from Jill on my Facebook Fan Page she receives $5.00 off her massage with me 🙂

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Stress and massage

I decided to do a poll on what topics to discuss when it came to massages. My client Julie suggested stress and massage so Julie is the winner of $5.00 off her next massage with me.

Everyone is stressed, the holidays are over yippee!!

How can massage benefit someone who is stressed out? Massage helps relieve muscle tension which in turn relaxes the muscles and the whole person. Ever get a “knot” in your shoulder or in between your shoulder blades and that corner of the door wall just does not cut it? Massage can help. That knot is actually a bunched up ball of tissue that is begging to be released. Massage can do that. Tension headaches are a big complaint in the clinic from clients. These are caused from your trapezius tightening up causing you grief. With massage there are techniques that MT’s know how to do to help release tension so tension headaches and shoulder pain are things of the past.

A common question asked of me is who should receive a massage? I say anyone with a body. Those in chronic pain it is especially helpful to or to those with weakened immune systems. During school was the only winter in my 30 years of life on earth that I was not sick. For cancer patients this is extremely beneficial as chemotherapy and radiation deprive them of their immune system. Anyone with injuries or recovering from surgery massage can help.

This post is suppose to be about massage and stress so let me get back on topic. Internalizing stress does nothing but hurt you as a person. It damages your organs and creates disease. If you read any magazine articles or books on stress they will confirm this. Massage decreases stress by pulling the toxins the body has created out of the tissues. This is why sometimes Swedish massage is referred to as a relaxation massage.

Hope this explains a little better about how massage can help destress someone.

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Latest News from Massages by Stephanie

Just wanted to pot a blog about the different things I have going on. Since everyone is getting on the bandwagon for Black Friday I am doing a turkey touchdown. Book a massage on Black Friday or Black Saturday and you can get a 60 minute Swedish for $35.00 or a Deep Tissue massage for $45.00.

The second thing I have going is Wednesday December 8th I’m doing my next Motor City Daily Deal.  Same as last time it’s $25 for a sixty minute Swedish massage. Just in time for the holidays.

Last thing I have going is a promo for gift certificates. Buy one gift certificate at full price and get the second one 1/2 price. This special pricing is going until December 31st.


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Even One Massage Can be beneficial

Most massage clients will attest that the more massage they receive, the better they feel and function. New research shows that even one massage-therapy session “produces measurable biologic effects” and may have implications for managing autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.

Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, set out to determine the effects of a single session of Swedish massage on neuroendocrine and immune function.

“Massage therapy is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States with 8.7 percent of adults receiving at least one massage within the last year; yet, little is known about the physiologic effects of a single session of massage in healthy individuals,” the study’s abstract noted.

One group of people received a 45-minute Swedish massage session while a control group received a light-touch control condition. Both groups comprised medically and psychiatrically healthy adults, 18-45 years old.

The researchers hypothesized that the massage session would enhance

immune function, according to the report published on


The results showed that compared to light touch, Swedish massage “caused a large effect size decrease in arginine-vasopressin, and a small effect size decrease in cortisol. Massage increased the number of circulating lymphocytes … ”

The researchers noted, “preliminary data suggest that a single session of Swedish massage therapy produces measurable biologic effects. If replicated, these findings may have implications for managing inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.”

“A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Single Session of Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal and Immune Function in Normal Individuals” is running in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

from Massage Magazine

My commentary: The more you receive massage the more you notice the effects. One massage is great however if you have them on a regular basis you can feel the effects more and sustain them longer. When a Massage Therapist tells you it’s beneficial to come back in six weeks it’s not for your money, though it’s nice to get paid. It’s because having massages about every 6 to 8 weeks gives you the most benefit for your money. I do have clients that come in bi weekly but they have chronic conditions. Your run of the mill healthy person I encourage regular massage sessions but no sooner then once a month and that’s pushing it. My goal as a therapist is bring the best results in the quickest amount of time so you notice a difference.

One of the main benefits of massage is the increase in your immune system. By massaging you are moving around your lymphatic system causing it to flow better. If you are one to get sick constantly massage bi monthly might be a very good option. When in school we had to get massages weekly, it was the only winter since 1994 that I was not sick. In the three years since then I try to get massages routinely to stay healthy. Who wants to be massaged by the sick girl? I know I don’t.

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Stephanie’s Bio

I decided it was time to make a change and start blogging. With this being the first blog I decided that I would talk a little about my history as a massage therapist. In September 2006 I decided it was time to go back to school because the publishing company I was working for hinted layoffs or “right-sizing” were in our future. So I said to myself “Self, what can you do that doesn’t take a lot of time?” At the time several friends were doing the massage thing and doing pretty well at it. So I signed up and two days later poof I was in class. My courses were 9 months and went over things from Swedish, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point Therapy,Pre-natal, Hot stones,Reflexology and some boring Chinese modalities.

Two months before school was to be let out I was let go from my very study job. I found a job working in a spa as a Massage Therapist. There I learned so much and did more in the areas of Hot Stones and Deep Tissue. The two other therapists didn’t really do anything than Swedish and working on males wasn’t their thing. After working at the spa I moved to a massage studio in Southgate. The flexbility and freedom was great. Again I learned a lot of what not to do when I had my own place.

From there I moved to another massage studio on the other side of town in Southgate. There I learned a lot as well. The owner was great and guiding me in things in different modalities.

All in all through my experiences I have learned how I want to run my practice. My clients are my first priority. If you come in for a rotator cuff issue spending 30 minutes on your lower back does not really work. If you’re looking for a therapist that always puts your needs first then i am your chicky 🙂

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