Massage Helps with Insomnia

Do you have trouble sleeping at night?  Recent studies by the National Institutes of Health have found that regular massage can reduce fatigue and improve sleep.

Regular massage increases serotonin levels which leads to increased melatonin levels.  Massage also helps individuals spend more time in deep sleep which, in turn, reduces the neurotransmitter associated with pain.  Better sleep and less pain without a prescription!

Many of my clients report they always sleep well after receiving massage.  In fact, it is common for a sleep-deprived client to fall asleep on the massage table and enjoy a short nap.

If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of regular massage and you live in or near the Lehigh Valley, call Sharon at Stillpoint Therapy Center at 610-330-6844 to schedule an appointment.  Stillpoint is located at 400 Northampton Street in Easton, PA.  Sharon works by appointment only and does not accept walk-ins.  Appointments can be scheduled Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM and Saturday 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM.  It is best to call at least one day in advance.

Stillpoint Therapy Center no longer accepts the Downtown Easton Gift Card

Sharon is sorry to say that Stillpoint Therapy Center will no longer be accepting the downtown Easton gift card. If you hold one of these cards, there are still many wonderful downtown Easton businesses at which the cards can be redeemed.

Stillpoint Therapy Center gift certificates can be purchased:

  • In person.  If you wish to pick up the gift certificate yourself, please call Sharon at 610-330-6844 to schedule a mutually-convenient time to make your purchase.  You will leave with the gift certificate in hand.  This is the best option if you prefer to pay cash.
  • Over the phone.  If you order a gift certificate from Sharon over the phone, you can pay by either check or credit card and Sharon will mail (or email) the gift certificate to you or to the requested recipient.  If you choose to mail a check, the gift certificate will not be honored until the check clears.  Please allow up to five days for postal delivery.  Sharon will fill out the gift certificate by hand and personally take it to the post office.

And, now, the fine print:

Gift certificates are non-refundable, but they are transferrable if the recipient would like to pass it on to someone else.  A gift certificate can not be split between two people or between two sessions.  In other words, a gift certificate for a one-hour massage can not be redeemed for two half-hour massages.  Gift certificates have a 1-year expiration date.  After the expiration date, the certificate may still be exchanged for services at the original purchase price.  For example, if you find a 2-year-old gift certificate for a one-hour massage in the back of your desk drawer, and the price for a  one-hour massage has gone up $5 in that time, you would be asked to pay $5 when you redeem the certificate (or the length of the massage could be shortened).

Massage Helps with Gardening Aches and Pains

Spring is a wonderful time of year, especially for avid gardeners. This is the time of year to create new flower and vegetable beds, weed, spread mulch, install fences, and redesign walkways. Many of these activities are hard on the back, the neck, the knees, and the hands.

A massage is a wonderful way to recover from all of that bending and lifting. Just imagine someone kneading away those knots in your upper back and loosening those tight low back muscles! Massage on the hands can ease the cramps and stiffness from hours of weeding and pruning.

Consider a massage to celebrate the end of your Spring clean-up!

If you live in the Lehigh Valley and you are interested in scheduling a relaxation or therapeutic massage, call Sharon at Stillpoint Therapy Center at 610-330-6844. Stillpoint is located at 400 Northampton Street in downtown Easton. If you enjoy purchasing fresh and local produce, you might consider scheduling a Saturday appointment to coincide with the downtown Easton Farmer’s Market. Sharon’s office is walking distance from the market. Sharon works by appointment only. Appointments are available 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday. Please leave a voice message with your preferred appointment times if Sharon does not answer the phone.

Sharon, what is your favorite type of bodywork to receive?

Clients sometimes ask me what I do when I need bodywork.  My preference is to receive CranioSacral Therapy.  For me, it is light and subtle, yet very effective.

I was in a car accident a number of years ago.  My head was turned toward the passenger side as I watched a car coming toward me.  My car was struck on the passenger side; my head and neck were hit by the air bag.  Since the accident, sometimes the side of my face and neck become a little bit stiff and tight.  If I don’t exercise regularly, I can feel a slight twist to my spine and hips (the position I was in when my car was struck.)

CranioSacral Therapy gently unwinds my body, balances my brain, and puts me into a deep state of relaxation.  It is the bodywork to which I turn when I need relief from stress.  The very deep state of relaxation I enter helps me to feel peaceful and balanced when I need to make a serious decision.

If you would like to experience CranioSacral Therapy, and you live in or near the Lehigh Valley, call Sharon at Stillpoint Therapy Center and schedule an appointment.  The phone number is 610-330-6844.

Visitor Comments

I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who has left supportive and thoughtful comments on my articles.  I am sorry to say that I will no longer be accepting comments on this blog.  With a busy practice, I don’t have the time to wade through all of the spam.

I hope those of you who appreciate my expertise will continue to visit.

Can You Balance my Chakras?

I’m an Advanced Reiki practitioner.  Sometimes people ask me if I can balance their chakras.

Most holistic health practices, if properly performed, facilitate balancing the body’s energy and functioning.  Meditation, tai chi, acupuncture, bodywork, energy work, yoga, chiropractic, etc. are all avenues to improving energy balance.

Rather than just doing a Reiki session and telling the client what I perceive is happening to their energy, I prefer to work with a client and help them perceive their own energy.  Most people can learn to sense their own chakras.

Some people see energy using clairvoyance.  Others feel energy with their kinesthetic sense (or clairsentience).  Some people hear energy using clairaudience.  Some people can even taste and/or smell energy.  It can be helpful to work with a bodyworker or Reiki Master when you are first learning to evaluate your own energy.

Once you are able to perceive your own energy, you can learn how to influence it yourself.

If you’re interested in learning about your chakras and their state of balance, and you live near Easton, PA, schedule an appointment with Sharon at Stillpoint Therapy Center by calling 610-330-6844.  Stillpoint Therapy Center is located in the National Building at the corner of 4th and Northampton Streets in downtown Easton.

Do you recommend a gift certificate?

“My friend has never had a massage.  I think she’d love it.  Should I buy her a gift certificate?”

Obviously, I would like to sell as many gift certificates as possible and I’d like as many people as possible to experience the gift of massage.  However, not everyone enjoys massage.

Some people don’t like the idea of being touched by a stranger.  Has your friend ever had a manicure, a pedicure, or a facial?  If she enjoyed it, chances are she would enjoy a massage.

I am happy to offer less intimidating options to a massage newbie.  I can massage through clothing or we can limit the massage to hands, feet, and face.  That sort of massage can be incredibly relaxing and not too scary.  Some modalities like Reiki and craniosacral therapy do not require the client to undress.

“My husband’s back really hurts.  Do you think you could help him?”  In this case, I would not necessarily recommend a gift certificate either.  I think it is best for your husband to call me and we can discuss his back pain before deciding if massage is the best course of action.  It might be more appropriate for him to get x-rays or visit a doctor or chiropractor.

Stillpoint Therapy Center offers gift certificates year round.  If you’d like to give a gift of health and well-being and are located near Easton, PA, give Sharon a call at 610-330-6844.  We can arrange a time for you to pick up the gift certificate in person or you can pay via credit card over the phone and we can mail (or email) the certificate.

 

CranioSacral Therapy and the Immune Response

In August I took a terrific class called CranioSacral Therapy and the Immune Response through the Upledger Institute.  This work is fascinating.  It helps people to have a better dialogue with their bodies.

When you have a serious compromise to your system, such as lupus or cancer or MS, being able to have a better dialogue with your body may help you to take better care of yourself.

In a CranioSacral session, the client remains fully dressed (in loose, comfortable clothing).   When dialoguing, the therapist places their hands on different parts of the body and brings the client’s awareness to what is happening in that area. 

For example, it is possible to have a conversation with your thymus about your body’s immunity.  The thymus is located just under your sternum (or breastbone).  It serves as a library of pathogens that have previously attacked the body.  The thymus is able to remember these previous attacks and has learned what to do if a pathogen returns.

If you live near Easton, PA and would like to dialogue with your body, please make an appointment to see Sharon at Stillpoint Therapy Center.  The number is 610-330-6844.  Sharon Bouton is a licensed massage therapist and certified hypnotherapist.  Sharon is also trained to provide relaxation massage and hypnotherapy.  These practices have been medically-approved to supplement the healing protocols prescribed by your doctor.  Please discuss any serious illnesses with Sharon before making an appointment.  Your physician’s approval may be required.

Do I just lie there silently for the whole session?

My answer: “It depends on the type of session and whatever is most beneficial for you.”

During a relaxation (or Swedish) massage, many clients prefer to lie quietly or meditate or even sleep.  Other people relax best if they participate in a conversation, especially about subjects they enjoy, such as pets, hobbies, movies or grandchildren.  Some people find that speaking about their problems helps them to let go of their stress.  I will try to notice and alert the client if their body begins to tense when speaking about certain topics.  For example, if your neck tightens while you talk about your Aunt Sally, I’ll point this out to as a little food for thought … and then we’ll change the subject.

Many people enjoy a little friendly conversation and then wind down into silence, listening to the relaxing music.  Some people like to laugh and make jokes.  If someone is grieving, they may find themselves crying.  All emotions are normal during massage.

Most people close their eyes as they relax … but not everyone does.  I have colorful butterflies on the ceiling of my office, if you prefer to keep your eyes open.

During therapeutic massage for pain or injury, some conversation will be necessary.  I will need feedback if the bodywork is uncomfortable or if the client feels referred pain.

If I notice particularly tight muscles or a different tension pattern, I will typically point this out to a client so we can try to determine the source of the issue.

Since I am a hypnotherapist, as well as a massage therapist, it is also possible to combine hypnotic suggestions, imagery, and/or affirmations into a bodywork session.  We could also dialogue with your body using CranioSacral Therapy techniques.

If you are interested in exploring different types of bodywork such as Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue massage, CranioSacral Therapy, and Myofascial Release, and if you live in or near Easton, PA, please call Sharon at Stillpoint Therapy Center to schedule an appointment.   The number is 610-330-6844.  If you don’t live near Easton, PA, I recommend you find a qualified practitioner near you.

 

The Inner Physician

“The Inner Physician” is a term coined by John E. Upledger, D.O. O.M.M, to refer to the body’s inner wisdom.  Bodywork such as CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and SomatoEmotional Release (SER), both developed by Dr. Upledger, helps a practitioner create a relationship with the body’s inner wisdom.

The client is placed into a deep state of relaxation using very gentle bodywork.  Once the noise of every day life is quieted, this stillness allows subconscious information to rise to the surface.  The practitioner is guided to detect subtle (and not so subtle) imbalances in the body and perform very gentle corrections that can have profound effects on the client’s health.  (If this sounds very strange to you, it is somewhat similar to the way an acupuncturist knows where to place the acupuncture needles.)

Unlike deep tissue massage, which can be stressful to a body in pain, there are very few contraindications for receiving CST.  CST can be safe and pain-relieving for people with many different illnesses and injuries.  If you call a practitioner to inquire about CST for you, it is very important that you disclose any serious illnesses or injuries over the phone before your appointment.  Some clients should only be seen in a doctor-supervised setting.  Not all practitioners have facilities equipped for all handicaps.

If you live in or near the Lehigh Valley and you are interested in meeting your Inner Physician, contact Sharon at Stillpoint Therapy Center in the National Building in historic downtown Easton, PA.  The phone number is 610-330-6844.  If Sharon is out of the office or busy with a client, please leave a message so that she may return your call.