Hurts So Good

“If this whole massage thing doesn’t work out for you, you could get a job with the CIA torturing people.”
“You have elbows of a sadistic angel!”
“This is rough, man! And I’m paying for this pain!!”
These are only a few of the things I hear from clients when I’m causing a bit of pain. I know that many of you might dread coming to see me or you might not tell me things that hurt for fear of grinning and bearing the imminent pain that I would be causing.
I’m here to tell you that pain is a good thing!! Now, I want to make something clear: I want to cause pain, but I do not want to hurt! There is a difference! Pain tells your body that there’s something not enjoyable going on and you should be aware of it. Hurt tells your body that something isbreaking down or degenerating in your body!
Pain is important! It tells us that the burner is hot. It reminds us that we can’t lift a car with one arm. It tells us when something isn’t functioning right! So why pain when receiving a massage? Because your Massage Therapist is preventing it from feeling that way all of the time!!
The human body has only 13% of nerves that feel pain! This is one reason why I think that it “hurts so good” when I’m pushing on you. The pain sends receptors to your brain telling it that something isn’t quite right. Your brain, then, sends in more blood to take care of the problem! When you have a knot or a trigger point, it is preventing fluid, effective blood flow to that area of the body, making activities or tasks difficult. The blood helps eat away this build up and allows for an easier flow of blood.
But here’s a key that you all need to know: If it is too painful for you, you HAVE to let us know! It’s okay to need less pressure or take a break. It’s okay if an area is too tender for that amount of pressure!
That’s it in a nutshell! So next time you’re thinking that a massage is the most painful experience in the world, just remember that it’s not stepping on a Lego kind of pain.

Don’t Be a Pain in the Butt!!

I am always surprised when a client does not want their glutes massaged. I understand that it may be personal and you might be uncomfortable with the idea, but maybe I can explain why it’s so important for me to work your glutes!

Your spine works as a unit, meaning from the base of your skull down to your tailbone is so interconnected that you cannot isolate your pain to only one section of your spine! If you have neck problems, it radiates down to your mid and lower back, which radiates into your glutes. If you have leg pain (knee, ankle, etc.), then your glutes will have issues I can work, since your glutes are one of the main muscles that moves your legs.


Gluteus maximusEven if you sit on your glutes all day and don’t think you work them very much, NOT TRUE!! If you sit on them too much, you are over-stretching them! This means that when you do use them, they have to work HARDER just to do the same motions! Your glutes help you stand up, walk, sit down, run, and almost every other major motion the average person does in a day.


If that doesn’t convince you, if I don’t work your glutes, that’s 20 muscles you are not letting me work! You have 3 glute (specific) muscles, and 7 muscles that rotate your leg outward located directly under those glutes. Your gluteus maximus is the largest (or should be) muscle in your body. If you’re having pain and knots in your tiny neck muscles, why do you think you wouldn’t have knots in the largest muscle in your body?


Ultimately, it’s your massage. If you’re uncomfortable, then you’re uncomfortable. But if you are having lower back pain, leg pain, or some kind of pain that just hasn’t gone away, let me massage your glutes!


Be well.
Marissa Orchard, LMT
Written June 12, 2013

Insurance Can Cover Care

That’s right! Under Pressure Therapeutics is officially billing insurance! However, it is only currently for car accidents and workman’s compensation cases. We will slowly be introducing more insurance coverage throughout the year.
Everyone knows someone (or has been that someone) who has been in a car accident. If you are among the fortunate, you walk away from it. However, many don’t realize the long-term issues that come from even an impact as little as 10 mph! It only takes that much to cause soft tissue damage. Doctors at the emergency room will check for breaks, bleeding, etc, which is great; but they don’t pay much attention to your muscles and what they went through for that “little” fender bender. If you do damage at 10 mph, imagine the damage your muscles, tendons, and ligaments go through at higher speeds.
Good news: In the state of Colorado, it is required to have MedPay on your car insurance. Why is this good news? Because whether or not it is your fault in an accident, there is a minimum of $5,000 of coverage just for your physical care. This means that if you (or someone you know) were in a car accident, GET INTO MY OFFICE!! We can help you take care of your whiplash so it doesn’t snowball into you not being able to turn your head 15 years down the road! We can prevent your lower back from seizing up and causing pain down your legs in 5 years! We can get you healthy so you don’t have to know what it’s like to wake up with severe pain! Whiplash, especially, is a musculoskeletal condition that lies dormant and waits to rear its ugly head!
If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to ask! I am happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have about insurance.
Be well.
Marissa Orchard, LMT
Written May 14, 2013

Are Hot Stones For You?

The summer is coming soon, which means warmer weather! Because it’s warmer outside, hot stones are usually the last thing on your mind when coming in for a massage. But there are so many amazing benefits from hot stones!
Heat relaxes muscles–we all know this. So why add it to your already relaxing (or a little painful) massage? Because it allows me to work more on the causes of issues.
Our bodies hold onto things quickly and easily, which creates layers of tension, knots, and pain. Initial massages work only the first few layers. As I work through layers of tension, I have the opportunity to work more of the deeper layers.
This is where hot stones are great!
Application of hot stones increases the immediate relaxation of a muscle or of muscle groups. This allows me to get to more of the underlying areas of your issues, which makes you get more out of your massage!
The application of hot stones is simple, yet variant. I can use the rocks as tools to go deeper, as gliding strokes, or I can place them on you (or under you) so your body can absorb more of the heat.
Next time you are sore from stress, working out, or whatever life throws at you, think about adding on some hot stones to your massage!
Be well!
Marissa Orchard, LMT
Written April 12, 2013

The Many Unexpected Benefits of Massage

There are many standard benefits that people associate with getting a massage:
~Stress relief
~Decrease in mental and physical fatigue
~Decrease mental strain, improving productivity
However, there are many more benefits to massage, if you find the right one for you! Because I specialize in rehabilitative massage, I can decrease scar tissue from overuse of a muscle, past injury, or over-stretching of a muscle, which thereby increases the range of motion. This means that your flexibility will increase by receiving massages. By limiting the amount of scar tissue in a body, it prevents pain and muscle spasms as well as increasing joint mobility and relieving aches.
Massages also boost your immune system and circulatory system. This means that your immune system will be working better and more efficiently, and your heart will be easier to manage. Your immune system, or lymph system, doesn’t have a pump, like your circulatory system does. However, it needs to flow through your body. Your lymph gets pumped by your skeletal muscles, meaning if you don’t move around enough, your lymph doesn’t move, compromising your health. Because the vessels of your lymph system are rather superficial, massages really get things pumped through!
The most important benefit to massage is the fact that it allows your body to heal more efficiently. Your cells have to regenerate every day; however, stress of everyday life can stop it, delay it, or not do the best job of it until and unless you relax. Many people don’t take the time to relax, so their bodies rely on sleep to regenerate and heal. If you aren’t sleeping well, this will also take a toll on your body’s ability to heal itself. Massages (even painful ones) help the body to relax, allowing optimum healing to occur! Because of that, many other “regular” symptoms will often disappear, such as headaches, lower back pain, and stiff joints.
All benefits of massage can only be felt to their greatest potential based on the frequency of massage. Each person is different, however. Some people need to see me twice a week! (Not all of you are in that situation.) Others come once a month. But many of you don’t come enough! The average massage client gets 6 massages a year! Once a month to once every 2 months should be the least you should come in for a massage, and that’s if you’re feeling fantastic! But remember that symptoms are never first–they’re always last. If you wait for symptoms to come, it will be harder for me to help you when you come in hurting!
I have had the opportunity to work with many different situations and issues, and I love figuring out how I can help each of you! I really do love what I do, and I have you to thank for it!
Be well!
Marissa Orchard, LMT
Written March 5, 2013