My bodywork and changework practice

Featured

I provide massage and bodywork and other interesting activities (peripheral walking, yoga coaching, wellness coaching) at The Well: bodywork & changework, my downtown Austin, Texas, studio. My bodywork services include:

  • craniosacral therapy
  • TMJ treatment
  • Swedish-based integrated massage
  • Ashiatsu barefoot massage and Ashi-Thai
  • Extreme Yin-Yang (Ashiatsu + craniosacral)
  • Back/Shoulders/Neck/Head sessions (choose your focus areas)
  • Zero Balancing practice
  • orthopedic massage practice for specific injuries and conditions

To make an appointment, please click the Schedule Now menu or this link to access my online booking site, or call 512-507-4184.

To subscribe to my occasional wellness newsletter, please send your email address to mareynolds27 at gmail dot com. Thank you!

SI belt update, plus insoles for Morton’s foot

The sacroiliac belt is still working for me. It’s been 3.5 weeks since I started wearing it 24/7. It can get hot and a bit itchy at times, but I love what it’s doing for me.

Remember, my plan is to wear it so much that my pelvis and sacrum become aligned and I don’t have SI joint discomfort. It takes time for ligaments to adjust, but I’ve been assured that they do adjust. I’m willing to give this a few months.

Last week I started wearing something else designed to improve my alignment. I have a condition called Morton’s foot (or Morton’s toe). It’s very common and is often called Greek foot. It’s something people are born with.

feet

Consider the image above as a guideline, because toe length is actually irrelevant. Metatarsal length is what counts. Continue reading

A cheaper sacroiliac belt, working toward “the new normal”

I went to an informal gathering for Zero Balancing practitioners (certified or not) Thursday evening, and I was very fortunate in that the man I partnered with is an experienced Zero Balancer, massage therapist, and physical therapy assistant.

I received first on our trade. I told him I wanted to take off my sacroiliac belt (repurposing a torso wrap for an ice pack) before getting on the table, which engendered him telling me what he uses to make SI belts for his clients.

He goes to a sporting goods store and gets a product sold as a waist cincher or a slimmer belt. It’s made of black neoprene with Velcro at one end, has anti-microbial properties, and is about 42 inches long and 8 inches wide.

He then takes a pair of scissors and cuts it in half lengthwise. The cut velcro can be sewn, glued down, or left as is. Continue reading

Update on using the sacroiliac belt

It’s been a week now. I’ve made some changes in my self-treatment after talking with my teacher that I want to share, in case you’re doing this at home. (If you’re just tuning in, you may want to read my first post on this topic.)

First, I am wearing the sacroiliac belt at night while I sleep.

Since we spend about one-third of our life sleeping, and we’re unconscious and thus subject to our habitual, automatic behavior while we sleep, sleep posture is extremely important when working on alignment issues like an SI joint whose default position has been misalignment for years.

I decided to sleep with the sacroiliac belt on 24/7 for a few weeks just to prevent the alignment occurring during the daytime hours from being undone while I sleep. Of course I take it off to shower and swim, or when it feels itchy and like my skin needs to breathe.  Continue reading

When the healer needs healing: chronic pain in a sacroiliac joint

There’s an old saying that people go into healing professions to heal themselves.

I believe it’s true. I went to many healers seeking healing of my own body, mind, heart, and spirit. All of those healers helped me, and none hurt me.

Could I have saved myself pain, time, and money by knowing which kind of healer I needed most for what issue? Yes. I didn’t have a guide, just my own knowledge and intuition and willingness to see what worked.

For the longest time it never occurred to me that I could become a healer. I liked the people who worked on healing me. Their work seemed more interesting than my jobs in government and technology. They were obviously caring people who had honed various kinds of healing skills, and the healing work seemed to be an extension of who they were, not just a job they did.

When I finally began to think about what I wanted to do in “retirement,” healing came to mind…and here I am, in a new profession, offering massage therapy, bodywork, and changework.

For 19 years, since a car wreck on April 24, 1996, I have had semi-chronic pain in one of my sacroiliac joints. My lap belt held, my shoulder belt didn’t, the air bag didn’t deploy, there were two head-banging impacts (I was knocked unconscious), and my sacroiliac joints took the brunt of the trauma.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.34.49 PM

Last week I got the help I needed to know how to fix it.  Continue reading

Applying Cold and Heat Therapeutically

Healing an injury or treating a painful condition can be significantly impacted by the appropriate application of cold and/or heat. Both cold and heat relieve pain and help with tight muscles, but other considerations (especially inflammation and depth of injured tissue) apply.

COLD

Apply cold immediately following any muscle, joint, or bone injury to relieve swelling, reduce pain and inflammation, and decrease muscle soreness and tightness. You can use cold any time after that. Cold only penetrates about 1 cm below the surface, so it works best for initial swelling/inflammation and for superficial conditions.

Do NOT use cold on broken or irritated skin, on superficial nerves, or when circulation is impaired. Also avoid applying cold when these conditions are present: Raynaud’s disease, cold intolerance, cold allergy, any previous experience of frostbite, impaired mental ability or sensation.

How to apply: Wet a cloth in hot water, wring it to dampness, wrap it around the cold pack, and apply. Check the skin in 5 minutes. If it’s bright red or numb, add another layer of insulation. Leave cold pack in place until it warms to room temperature. Repeat if needed. Never apply a gel pack directly to skin. Continue reading

Inviting deep, restful sleep: tips for positioning and good sleep practices

Positioning for Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is hugely important for your well-being. Use sleep positioning to align your bones, support your limbs, and open your joints, relaxing muscles and minimizing tension and pain so that your sleep is fully restful.

Have on hand a variety of pillows of various sizes and firmness as well as towels in various sizes to prevent rolling and add support. Special pillows support the neck and head.

When preparing for sleep, scan your body for tension and adjust to relieve tension. Re-scan and re-adjust. You may need to keep doing this for a few weeks as your body responds.

Sleeping on Your Back

Support your neck and upper back. Place a pillow with the bottom edge at the level of the shoulder blades or use a cervical support cushion under the upper spine and neck. You may prefer a pillow that cradles the back of your head as well.

For leg and hip comfort, make a wedge-shaped support under the thighs with the upper edge tucked under the buttocks to create a slight bend in the knees.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 8.08.29 AM

If the small of the back is not resting on the bed, support it with a small cushion or rolled hand towel. If desired, place pillows along the body to support the arms and hands. Continue reading

My version of bulletproof tea, an excellent morning drink

You may have heard of Bulletproof Coffee. It even has its own listing on Wikipedia: Bulletproof Coffee! It’s a brand created by the man who blogs at Bulletproof Exec, who adds a proprietary “brain octane” medium-chain triglyceride oil to it.

The term is also used generically to refer to high-quality coffee blended with high-quality butter or ghee. The inspiration is butter tea, a traditional energy-giving drink in the Himalayan region that uses black tea, yak butter, hot water, and salt (using those pink Himalayan salt crystals, methinks).

I realized a few years ago that – after drinking coffee for my whole adult life – that I didn’t even enjoy the taste, always doctoring it with cream and sugar (waaaaay back before I went dairy- and sugar-free). I started drinking it for the stimulation of the caffeine when I was a young college student, and it became a habit.

Even freshly ground, organic coffee beans just didn’t and still don’t taste good to me. Too acidic and too much caffeine. Smells good, though.

Then I discovered green tea. I enjoy the taste, the lower level of caffeine, the health benefits, and the way my stomach feels. So it was natural to experiment and come up with my own version of “bulletproof tea”.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.43.04 AMEquipment:
Have a mug with lid and a built-in infuser ready (or mug plus strainer, whatever you’ve got).

Ingredients:
green tea
pu-erh tea
yerba maté
coconut oil or grass-fed ghee
very hot water
lemon juice
stevia to taste (optional)
salt to taste (optional) Continue reading

Beet kvass: The easiest, quickest fermented drink you can make

I just made this for the first time, and I want to share how easy it is! I found it full of umami flavor – earthy, salty, and tangy.

Everyone is learning how good fermented foods are – tasty and a way to get probiotics into your gut without expensive supplements that may or may not actually get those probiotics to exactly the right place in your digestive tract.

Beet kvass is something you can easily make at home that is ready to consume in just two days! And…it’s a time-tested traditional food known to have health-giving qualities.

beet kvass, The Well

Continue reading

Orthopedic massage for injuries and conditions

In the Advanced Program at the Lauterstein-Conway Massage School, I’m currently in the segment learning Orthopedic Massage, as taught by Jan Hutchinson, PT, LMT, and assisted by Lizabeth Franklin, LMT extraordinaire.

I feel very fortunate to be able to get this training, because I’m learning how to work on specific soft tissue injuries and ailments beyond simply relieving muscle tension. It’s very different from a full-body Swedish/integrative massage in that the focus of a session is on the injured/ailing part rather than working on the full body. I’ll get a history of the injury, observe, palpate, do range-of-motion and resistance tests, and treat.

foot milagroSo far, I’ve learned techniques for working on plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, and anterior compartment syndrome.

I just learned some fabulous foot exercises to teach for homework that can help strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the feet, the ones that don’t get used much because we wear shoes and walk on hard, flat surfaces all day. Using these muscles can prevent and relieve many foot issues.

Some of you are first-hand familiar with these conditions/injuries, and I want you to know that while I am in this program, I’m offering half price sessions so I can put into practice what I’ve learned in class. I’m a pretty good student, so you’ll get your money’s worth. If you are in the Austin area, I’d sure like to see you on my table.  Continue reading

What is ‘enlightenment,’ really?

Here’s a new quote I just added to my Favorite quotes page:

One idea that really hampers us is to believe that people get ‘enlightened,’ and then they’re that way forever and ever. We may have our moments, and if we get sick and have lots of things happening, we may fall back. But a person who practices consistently over years and years is more that way, more of the time, all the time. And that’s enough. There is no such thing as getting it. ~ Charlotte Joko Beck

Courtesy of Tricycle Daily Dharma. Click here to link to an interview with her in which she shares more about how to practice.

For more quotes from Joko Beck, click this link to read what I posted right after her death.