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Taking Massage-On-Demand Nationwide, Zeel Rolls Out In Miami, LA, and SF Bay
Taking Massage-On-Demand Nationwide, Zeel Rolls Out In Miami, LA, and SF Bay It’s a year later than they had initially planned, but Zeel is finally expanding its massage-on-demand service beyond New York to more cities in the U.S. — rolling out in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Miami. It’s the next step toward creating what Chief Executive Samer Hamadeh says is at least a billion-dollar business. “We believe we’re creating something that is unique and interesting,” Hamadeh says. “We believe that we can be all over the world in 200 plus cities and this is a billion dollar plus revenue opportunity.” For now, Zeel’s massage therapists are only operating in four of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Customers in the Bay Area from the South Bay to the East Bay, greater Los Angeles, and South Florida (from Miami to Palm Beach) will now be able to treat yo selves . Zeel launched the massage-on-demand service in New York in April 2013, after beginning its life as a sort of ZocDoc for alternative health practitioners in early 2012. During that first year, Hamadeh and his team noticed that one category was by far the most popular among customers — massage.Zeel_SF_Booking “We ended up booking 15,000 massages with the old Zeel and massage was over half the bookings,” says Hamadeh. Through its matchmaking and booking service, Zeel noticed that most massages were arranged as more of an impulse buy. “If massages were booked two or more days out there would be cancellation rates of 28%,” says Hamadeh. “And 55% of requests were for within four hours. The industry isn’t set up to offer massages within four hours.” Beyond basic booking logistics, industry professionals had problems with the current system for scheduling appointments, and the safety issues involved with delivering “in-home” massages. Zeel moved to address that by providing a vetting system for both massage therapists (who have to be licensed or certified in every state where Zeel operates) and customers who have to have their identity verified through Experian when they set up an account. While safety is one consideration for massage therapists, compensation is another — and it’s another area where Zeel says it beats traditional competition. The massage costs about as much as a treatment at a nice spa, with prices (including tax & tip) in Manhattan for a 60-minute massage ranging from roughly $141 to $159 and in the SF Bay Area from $117 to $130, depending on whether the customer has a massage table in their home or apartment. Zeel also offers a “Zeelot” membership program, where customers pay a flat rate of $121.88 per month for one massage in NYC and a flat rate of $99.12 per month for one massage in Miami, Los Angeles, or San Francisco and the surrounding counties. Even at those prices, therapists can make up to 75% more than they would at a spa, Hamadeh says. The service has taken off in New York with tens of thousands of massages delivered over the course of the last year-and-a-half. Zeel has 420 therapists in New York, another 170 in South Florida, 150 in Los Angeles, and nearly 150 in the Bay Area. It began beta-testing its service through the summer and is now set to go live in those geographies. The company’s app is available for iOS and Android devices and new customers can get $25 off their first massage with the special code “LAUNCH”. To support the company’s continued growth, Zeel quietly went back to the market at the end of last year to raise $1.75 million in a second seed round with participation from investors including Lightbank and Corigin Ventures, Prolog Ventures also invested in the round along with several angel investors who’d previously backed the company. Bringing massages to customers’ doors has opened up a new range of customers who previously hadn’t considered massages, Hamadeh says. Roughly 72% of the company’s orders come in after 5 in the afternoon. Around 26% of those are actually happening between 9 at night and 1030. Hamadeh, the former chief executive at the employment information clearing house, Vault.com*, came to Zeel through the notion that the company could make the market for alternative medical health practitioners more transparent in the same way Vault sought to bring greater transparency to the job market. Over the next year or so, customers around the country should expect to see Zeel’s services expanding to even more geographies as the company looks to raise a significant new round in the first or second quarter of 2015. “It’s going to be a big round,” says Hamadeh. “That’s the nature of the world right now. If you’re trying to build a global, local-services business you need a lot of cash if you’re going to stay ahead of everybody.”
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Oklahoma cop charged with raping, abusing 8 women
Oklahoma cop charged with raping, abusing 8 women An Oklahoma City police officer was charged Friday with raping or sexually abusing eight women he allegedly threatened to arrest if they did not submit. Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, 27, was charged with two counts of first-degree rape, four counts of sexual battery, four counts of forcible oral sodomy, four counts of indecent exposure, one count of first-degree burglary and one count of stalking. Holtzclaw is accused of raping at least two women while on duty and forcing four to perform oral sex, in addition to fondling the women and forcing them to expose themselves. Holtzclaw reportedly forced women to expose themselves, fondled the women, forced four of them to perform oral sex on him and had intercourse with at least two of the women, court records show. The women, between 34 and 58 years old, all are black. Some women were stopped as they were walking. In one case, the victim told police that Holtzclaw broke into her home in March, kicked out her boyfriend and then forced her to perform sexual acts. The president of the Oklahoma NAACP told KOCO-TV civil rights group will ask the U.S. Justice Department to review the case for possible hate-crime charges. Police said they may be additional victims. Holtzclaw has remained jailed since his arrest Aug. 21. He denies the allegations, his attorney told the Associated Press that his client really isnt that smart. 
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LAPD Detective Pleads to Assault at Massage Parlors
       A Los Angeles Police Department detective pleaded no contest Wednesday to assaulting three women who worked at massage parlors across the San Fernando Valley from 2011 through early 2012.At a sentencing hearing Aug. 8, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Horwitz is expected to order 49-year-old Oris Pace to serve 180 days in county jail and to resign from the police department. Pace will also be ordered to serve three years of formal probation.According to prosecutors, Pace was a supervisor with the LAPD’s Commission Investigation Division, which is responsible for enforcing business permits at massage parlors and other establishments. Pace was accused of forcing three victims to undress and fondling them.Pace was arrested Jan. 2 and placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the criminal case. He pleaded to three counts of assault while on duty as a public officer. Eight additional charges, including six felony counts of sexual battery by restraint, are expected to be dismissed at the sentencing hearing. He had faced a maximum of nine years in prison if convicted of all charges.  
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Massage therapist eases aches and pains
Pratt, Kan. Got an ache or pain? Cliff Mock might just be the answer. Pratt’s newest massage therapist has set up shop in Kempton Chiropractic and is ready to help getting rid of those pesky sore spots. Mock completed his massage therapist certification through Heritage College in Wichita in July. He is certified to perform Swedish, deep tissue, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, neuromuscular techniques, sports massage chair massage and pregnancy massage. He will be available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. by appointment. He also works in Wichita on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in New Market Square at Massage Envy. Mock had been a surgery nurse but decided that God was leading him to pursue a healing career through massage. The massage program is a year long and students use each other to practice their newly learned skills. Once a month, the students would set up at a location and have a chair massage event, Mock said. The massage events were designed to promote the school and to give students some real world practice. Events were held at Friends University and for the Wichita Medical Society. Mock does his work on a massage table and a massage chair. The chair is ergonomically designed to put the person in the best position for a massage. The chair massage focuses on the neck, shoulders, back and arms. The change he sees in patients as the pain and discomfort go away is gratifying and some times surprising. “It’s amazing the difference you can see in an hour,” Mock said. “To see someone get relief in one hour, those are the days that make it worthwhile.” Mock considers the two treatments of chiropractic and massage complementary to each other. What he does can help improve the effects of a chiropractic treatment and sometimes the chiropractic treatment can improve the effects of Mock’s massage. “It works well to work here in conjunction with Bruce (Kempton),” Mock said. The more relaxed the patient, the easier it is to get to deeper problems, Mock said. Mock spends time finding out what is bothering the client to determine which type of massage will be the most beneficial. Even though two people may have the same problem, it may require different types of massage to best match the body type. “Everybody’s body is different,” Mock said. A typical massage on the table will take from an hour to an hour and a half. A chair massage will take about 20 minutes. It all depends on what the person needs and what is cost effective for the client.  
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A Calming Touch: Massage Helps Sick Children
A Calming Touch: Massage Helps Sick Children For the sickest children who rely on life-sustaining technology – a calming touch helps them breathe a little easier. Outside they swing happily, freely. An adapted playground hints at the more complex equipment housed inside Maryville’s Children’s Healthcare Center. There’s room for 12 – all classified as medically fragile. The young patients rely on respirators, pumps and monitors to keep them alive and well. This is transitional care – the children stay until they’re stable enough to go home and their parents or caretakers are well practiced in the constant care they require. And amidst all the technology – a simpler, soothing form of therapy. Karen Selph, massage therapist: “I’m a massage therapist. I love seeing the kids respond.” Her joy is obvious. Karen Selph spends two days a week at Maryville sharing her soft touch. Karen Selph: “These children here have more issues with anxiety and stress. And the purpose here is really to reduce the suffering that goes on.” Jonathan is an active 7-year-old boy born with a neurological disorder that leaves him prone to seizures. Today’s massage seems to quiet his mind. Karen Selph: “On a medically fragile child, you have to keep in mind what their diagnoses are, what their limitations are.” He’s unable to speak, yet Christopher clearly communicates. His legs weakened from lack of mobility, the pressure eases the aches and pains. Karen Selph: “You can sense it in their little bodies and their muscles. When you touch them you can sense their anxiety and stress, and it takes some time to get to know them and their bodies and how they react.” And then there’s Daniel. The one-year-old was born with a narrowed esophagus that prevents him from swallowing food properly. Karen regularly works with Daniel and, perhaps for a few minutes, takes his mind off the discomfort of his round the clock routine. Karen Selph: “You really sense a relaxation and an acceptance of the touch that you’re giving them.” Like many of the services provided at Maryville, the massage program was made possible by grant money. You can learn more about the care provided at the Children’s Healthcare Center at:http://www.maryvilleacademy.org/programs/maryville-family-support-services/maryville-childrens-healthcare-center/
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Massage business owner sues city councilor for defamation
Massage business owner sues city councilor for defamation By Russell Mills TULSA —  A man who owns two massage therapy businesses in Tulsa has sued City Councilor Blake Ewing and 30 "John Doe" city employees for defamation, malicious prosecution, and six other causes of action. Dennis Cousino owns Hands On Resources, Inc. which operates two therapeutic massage businesses, All Hands On Massage and Swedish Relaxation Center. In May of  2013, an undercover Tulsa police officer arrested a woman at All Hands On Massage, 11502 E. 21st Street, after he said she agreed to perform a sex act for money. That eventually led Working in Neighborhoods (WIN), a department of the city tasked with code enforcement and other safety and health issues, to declare Cousino's businesses a public nuisance. According to the lawsuit, filed July 25 in Tulsa District Court, Cousino was not allowed to appeal or offer any evidence in defense of his business. More TPD arrests led to further sanction by WIN, and eventually Cousino was told to present his case to the city council. During a March 27, 2014 meeting Cousino's attorney attempted to do just that, at which point Councilor Ewing made statements that form the basis of the defamation part of the lawsuit. Council meetings are televised, and archived on the city's website, and Ewing is heard telling Cousino's attorney “when somebody owns a business like that, and over and over and over again he's choosing to objectify and victimize young women, and putting them into prostitution through a massage veil, I can call it what it is." “Is that business a nuisance? Is that property a nuisance to my community?" Ewing continued. "And yes, it is, man, it is. My kids live here, in this town, and that business is a nuisance and the guy that owns it is a nuisance," statements Cousino's attorney told FOX23 news he found "shocking." He says the lawsuit is mostly about the city denying due process to Cousino. Ewing and the city have so far declined to comment on the pending litigation.
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Redwood City sting targets 2 massage parlors
Redwood City sting targets 2 massage parlors Three women were arrested in Redwood City massage parlors for alleged solicitation of prostitution, pimping and pandering after a two-month investigation that included undercover stings, police officials said Wednesday.   Ting Sun, 27, of Milpitas, Li Zheng, 38, of Fremont and Winnie Tse, 44, of Daly City were taken into custody during the crackdown, which targeted two massage parlors. The investigation began in June when police got a tip that prostitutes were working out of the New Spa located at 636 El Camino Real and the Aurora Spa at 1685 Broadway. On July 22, an undercover detective went to the Aurora Spa and was allegedly solicited by Tse. A search of her Daly City home, officials said, gave investigators evidence they needed to establish a connection between the two spas. On Friday, police conducted a similar operation at the New Spa, with an undercover officer allegedly solicited by Zheng. She was arrested at the scene. After searching her Milpitas home, detectives determined that Sun, who was working at the New Spa at the time of the bust, owned both spas, knew illegal activities were taking place and profited from them. Sun was jailed on suspicion of pimping and pandering. Redwood City police are also seeking to revoke the businesses’ permits to operate.
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The Best Hands-On Demo in Tech: Unwind Me’s On-Demand Massage
The Best Hands-On Demo in Tech: Unwind Me’s On-Demand Massage I had, without a doubt, the best journalistic assignment a reporter could ask for on Monday. My task: Leave work early to get a 60-minute private massage in my apartment, an assignment that took all of two seconds to accept, and only that long because I had to ensure I wasn’t being hazed (I am the new guy, after all). The goal, which I nearly forgot to write after an hour on the table, was to get a grip on the latest example of the instant gratification economy run amok. This time, it’s Unwind Me, a massage-booking service that will launch publicly this morning at Y Combinator’s semi-annual Demo Day in Mountain View, Calif. Which is to say: It’s now apparently time for the massage-trepreneur. The service is about as close to on-demand as you can get — I booked my massage at 12:30 pm and was on the table in my living room by 4 pm. Massage reservations have been available online for a while now, of course, but the overall trend to create the “Uber of X” is a strong one these days, echoing the push-a-button-get-a-car service. But becoming the “Uber of massages” isn’t the ultimate goal, said cofounder Akaash Achreja. “That strikes us as a fad or a trend,” he explained, noting that most Unwind Me customers schedule one to three days in advance. Instead, the startup wants to simplify the entire process, from payments to scheduling, in one central location. In less than five minutes — even quicker once you’ve set up an account — you can have an in-home massage paid for and on the schedule. In typical San Francisco fashion, my massage therapist, Liam, arrived on his bicycle, lugging nearly 50 pounds of gear along with him. He typically rides two to three miles for appointments, but has traveled upward of six miles each way on multiple occasions. With a decade of experience under his belt, Liam started with Unwind Me in February as a way to pick up extra appointments while working at a local massage studio. It’s now his full-time job: He books several massages a day and regularly does five appointments on a Saturday or Sunday. liam-w-bike Kurt Wagner/Recode In-home massages aren’t revolutionary; Liam says he’s been doing them his whole career. Unwind Me brings a number of other major benefits to the table, he says. For starters, it pays better. Of the $89 flat fee per massage, Unwind Me only takes 15 percent, leaving more than $75 for the massage therapist, as much as three times the amount Liam says he would earn at a spa. Unwind Me also handles the dirty work — billing, scheduling and marketing. “Those are the big three things that I hate,” he said. Just as Uber and Lyft use social profiles to help users feel safe when taking rides with strangers, Unwind Me serves as a safe, reliable middleman for in-home massages, requiring all customers to sign up with Facebook. The company knows where a massage therapist is going, and customers are welcoming trusted, licensed massage therapists into their home. Liam was even required to send an alert to Unwind Me when he left my apartment, letting them know he was safely out the door. Since Unwind Me started in January, it has fulfilled about 300 massages per month, says Achreja. Unwind Me is limited to San Francisco at launch. While it seems like a luxury still, Achreja doesn’t want to be seen as a service strictly for the one-percenter. The $89 price tag (which includes tip) is comparable to, if not better than, nearly all of the local spas I found on Yelp. Unwind Me’s biggest downfall, it seems, is it has no mobile app, an element I assumed was a requirement for any consumer startup these days. Plus, an app would be the easiest way to hook massage-ready clientele. After all, who needs a midday massage more than those who spend their day constantly working from their phones?
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From Google to First Street: Massage therapist sets up studio in downtown Los Altos
From Google to First Street: Massage therapist sets up studio in downtown Los Altos A massage therapist with ties to Google Inc. is slated to open a new – and shared – studio at 106 First St.Upuia Ahkiong is scheduled to open Kua Body Studios Sept. 5 as part of a grand-opening weekend celebration. Ahkiong, who previously spent 10 years as the massage therapist for Google, plans to share studio space with an existing Los Altos business – Evolve Classical Pilates.Reached by the Town Crier, Ahkiong said her foray into Los Altos is part of a larger overall expansion. Earlier this month, she opened another Kua Body Studios location in Pleasanton, where she currently resides.“The opportunity just presented itself and I really wanted to build my practice,” said Ahkiong, who specializes in Thai massage and several other modalities, including prenatal and therapeutic massage, as well as shiatsu and craniosacral therapy. “For me, it just made more sense to stay local – close to Google. After all, the majority of my clients are here.”Ahkiong, who has more than 1,000 hours of comprehensive massage therapy training, said a career in massage therapy was the furthest thing from her mind more than a decade ago when she was working as a school counselor in South San Francisco.“I wanted to be a principal … and I was on track to become a principal, but I just took a detour,” she said. “I didn’t see it coming.”That detour, she noted, occurred when she started taking a massage therapy night class for fun. Ahkiong said she always had “a curiosity” about massage, adding that she was inspired in part by her Samoan paternal grandmother, Upuia Tuialu’ulu’u, considered a healer in her village.Soon after her first class, Ahkiong began to pursue an education in massage therapy more vigorously, taking more night classes at Palo Alto’s Body Therapy Center while simultaneously continuing her work as a school counselor by day.“It was just random – just for fun,” said Ahkiong, who graduated from the center in 2002. “That first semester the light just came on for me.”Faced with looming school budget cuts shortly after completing her training, Ahkiong said she decided the time was right to become a full-time massage therapist instead.“I just told myself that I’m going to take a risk and jump,” Ahkiong said, adding that she spent her first nine months working as a massage therapist for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay before joining Google as its lead massage therapist.With the opening of her Los Altos studio around the corner, Ahkiong said she’s eager to see what the future holds.“I’m on a huge high right now,” she said. “This opportunity and everything that’s unfolding really excites me.”Ahkiong said she’s in the midst of building a team of “seasoned” massage therapists over the next several months. In addition, she plans to team up with Evolve owner Allison Gonzalez to offer various workshops and classes in the near future. The duo is slated to host massage and Pilates demonstrations 3-5 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Third Street Green pop-up park.
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Could Massage Therapy Improve Circulation?
Could Massage Therapy Improve Circulation? More Americans are getting massages each year, and they are not just getting a “body rub.” The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) states that about 43 percent of American adults who had received a massage between July 2011 and July 2012 did so because of medical or health reasons, such a soreness, muscle spasms, pain, and injury rehabilitation. Among that population, 89 percent agreed that massage can be effective for pain reduction, and 32 percent received a massage for stress reduction or relaxation. Clients may also hear from their therapist or from a massage website that massage therapy could improve blood flow and circulation, but does it really do so? There are currently few scientific studies that examine the claim that massage therapy could improve circulation. The belief is most likely to have stemmed from an observation of the redness that appears on a client’s skin and the fact that the skin feels warmer. After a few minutes of massage, the tissues and the skin feel softer and more pliable, giving the illusion that there is better circulation. However, research shows that massage therapy has very little effect on blood flow. A small 1995 study, published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, from Wilfrid Laurier University’s Department of Physical Education in Waterloo, Ontario, showed that massage of the quadriceps muscles did not raise arterial or venous blood velocity much above resting levels. In fact, light voluntary contractions of the quadriceps had higher elevation of blood flow. Thus, the researchers concluded that massage therapy was not an effective way to improve muscle soreness recovery and the purpose of massage used in an athletic setting should be questioned. In 2004, another such study that was published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise was conducted to compare the blood flow of the quadriceps between two groups after they work out their legs: the experimental group received a massage (effleurage and petrissage work) while the control group did not. Researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K. used a laser blow flow meter (laser Doppler flowmetry) to measure the amount of blow flow by sensing red blood cell motion. Massage did not significantly increase blood flow in the femoral artery, within the skin, or in the muscles when the results were compared with the control group. In fact, blood was “diverted” away from the quadriceps during the massage, which made the researchers question its efficacy in post-exercise recovery. Further evidence from a 2010 study from Queen’s University’s kinesiology department in Ontario that was published in the same journal showed that massage therapy could impede lactic acid and hydrogen ion removal from massaged forearm muscles. Not all research indicate such findings since a few can be conflicting. A Japanese study from Tsukuba College of Technology that was published in Medical Science Monitor showed some increased blood flow upon the lumbar spine area after the subject had performed an isometric back extension exercise followed by either a short massage session to the lower back or five minutes of rest before doing another set of the same exercise. Even though the results showed some promise that massage could improve circulation, the researchers stated in the discussion part of the paper that “it is not clear as to whether the increase was due to massage, heat conduction from the therapist’s hands, or both.” They also stated that since this study used rest as a control, they cannot determine if “massage application is useful for increasing [muscle blood volume] compared to dynamic warmup exercise such as repetitive trunk rotation.” “So basically, although we would like to think massage increases blood flow, there isn’t any definitive research to demonstrate as such,” remarked massage therapist Rajam Roose, who practices in San Diego, California. “Making the claim that massage increases blood flow should be avoided without evidence to show.”  However, there is a slight possibility that massage may help postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes increase their venous blow flow to the heart. A Spanish study from the University of Granada randomly assigned 65 subjects to an experimental group that received 20 sessions of myofascial release therapy with kinesiotherapy or to a control group that received no massage with the same kinesiotherapy. Researchers found that  basal metabolism, diastolic blood pressure, venous blood flow velocity, pain, and emotional role were significantly higher among those who had received both myofascial release therapy and kinesiotherapy than those without the former therapy. Even so, one study on a very specific population does not necessarily negate previous studies nor does this outcome apply for everyone. “In general, we aren’t completely sure what goes on in the body during a massage. As more research is being performed, we are learning more,” Roose said in an online interview with Guardian Liberty Voice. “The effect of massage on stress and anxiety has been documented and these effects may be what is really is contributing to our clients feelings of reduced pain and better movement. Many of the phrases such as ‘massage increases circulation’ and ‘reduces scar tissue’ and removes toxins and other such are general assumptions placed on why people felt better after massage. These misinterpretations were handed down over the decades and taught to every massage student. In truth, it’s akin to being taught the world is flat because of how the landscape looks. If massage therapists want to be accepted by the general public and recognized as members of the healthcare system, then we need to start by letting go of statements about massage that have not been proven or fully studied. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that yes, our clients do feel reduced pain and notice better quality of life, but we don’t know why.” While massage therapy does not significantly improve circulation for a majority of the population, there are many benefits of receiving a massage. The AMTA cited some scientific literature that massage therapy can be beneficial for those with low back pain, certain types of cancer, post-operative pain, osteoarthritis in the knee, and improving blood pressure. And no, AMTA does not say massage therapy improves circulation. By Nick Ng
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Massage therapy gives pro wrestling new edge; Who'll beat the invincible Brock Lesnar?
It's hardly a secret that professional wrestlers take a pounding. So how do they get relief from the constant wear and tear on their bodies? Many practitioners of the grappling game receive regular treatments from sports massage therapists like Jarrod Fritz of Charleston. Fritz, who has been in the business for 10 years, administers his magic to a number of athletes, including professional wrestlers, on a weekly basis. "The first thing I do is take a look at the postural setup of any athlete, whether it be a professional wrestler or a regular runner, and find out where the imbalances are. Then I treat the muscles accordingly so they can perform better and recover faster." Fritz, 32, points out that there's a difference between an ordinary massage and a sports massage. "Ordinary massage really focuses more on the relaxation and de-stressing aspect, whereas sports massage looks at the actual movements and impacts that the body goes through and treats them accordingly to make those movements easier and for the athlete to recover faster." A sports massage is ideal to treat injuries, and can be a preventative treatment dealing with the health of muscle and connective tissue, range of movement, tone, symmetry and quality of posture. A sports massage is meant to be deeper than an ordinary body massage. Massage therapy, says Fritz, is geared toward athletes of every kind, from world-class professionals to weekend joggers, and has become an increasingly important part of pro sports. One of the most important things professional athletes can do for themselves is to receive regular therapeutic massage, he says. Pro wrestlers, in particular, require special attention due to the bruising bumps and grueling travel schedule. "Some of these guys are on the road four days in a row," says Fritz, who notes that pro wrestlers absorb more punishment to the body than the average athlete. "I can speak from personal experience that there's so much more impact on the body in general." Pro wrestlers, like other elite athletes, are high-performance machines, says Fritz. MIKE MOONEYHAM/STAFF Jarrod Fritz applies a simple hip and leg stretch to Kevin Phoenix during an Old School Championship Wrestling show. The stretch is designed for more fluid movements in the ring.  Enlarge MIKE MOONEYHAM/STAFF Jarrod Fritz applies a simple hip and leg stretch to Kevin Phoenix during an Old School Championship Wrestling show. The stretch is designed for more fluid movements in the ring. "And any high-performance machine has to go through a rigorous amount of maintenance. And that's what massage therapy is. I tell people all the time that it's like an oil change for the body. The more that you do, the more often you have to take care of your body. You want to optimize your performance. You want to recover quicker. You want to feel and look better. That's what massage therapy does." Fritz explains the process. "Anytime the body feels pain or discomfort, it wants to recoil up against it. And with most sports, you can weather yourself to do the same motions over and over again, and the body gets used to it. With wrestling, you can take the same bump 15 different ways and your body is going to react by recoiling up. They (wrestlers) definitely top the list with wear and tear." The biggest complaint from wrestlers, he says, concerns back issues. "The mid-back is usually the worst because of them constantly hitting the ropes and taking bumps. That's just the essential location where they're getting hit the most." The first WWE performer Fritz ever treated was perhaps the most intimidating. The therapist was called in to perform a sports massage on former WWE champ and current company executive Paul "Triple H" Levesque. "It was interesting because it was actually the first massage I had ever done when getting called up to work with WWE," says Fritz. "Overall it was nerve-racking to start with Triple H because it was my first and because he is the son-in-law of the WWE CEO (Vince McMahon)." The session, says Fritz, went surprisingly smooth. "He was an extremely nice guy and very well-educated, so he understood the work that I was doing and how it was affecting him, and that made it even more enjoyable for me," says Fritz. Two particular WWE clients, though, posed a bigger challenge - 6-4, 450-pound former gold medal weightlifter Mark Henry and the 7-1, 350-pound Great Khali from India. PROVIDED Jarrod Fritz says nearly half of his clientele is made up of athletes.  Enlarge PROVIDED Jarrod Fritz says nearly half of his clientele is made up of athletes. "Unfortunately his English was just so-so," Fritz says of Khali. "But afterwards he said he felt really, really good." "Mark Henry was so large because of his Olympic lifting that he actually had to lay one leg and one arm off the side of the table as I worked on one side, and then shift to the other side. He's a huge guy." Fritz, who works locally with the independent Old School Championship Wrestling promotion, says nearly half of his clientele is made up of athletes. "And not necessarily at the elite level, but a lot of people that are in the gym, such as CrossFitters and triathletes." Fritz also has worked with a number of organizations and teams such as the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Charleston RiverDogs and the College of Charleston athletic department. "I got the opportunity to go to the 2008 Olympics with the U.S. women's soccer team when the won a gold medal. That was really special." The particulars of the sports massage technique are specific to the athlete's sport of choice. The application of sports massage, says Fritz, varies. "There's many different techniques or modalities that can be used specifically for pre- or post-event. The work that I do is more integrative. I kind of figure out what's going on. Before the event I might do something that's a little more exciting to the body and can get the muscles stimulated so that they can function better, whereas at the end I might be treating a trigger point or a stiff muscle that doesn't need any of that exciting work, but that needs to calm down. It's an application of the same technique." Fritz started out his college career in pre-med and wanted to be a pediatrician. "I always knew that I wanted to work with my hands. But I eventually decided that I really didn't like the medicine aspect of it. I wanted to be more hands-on. An opportunity (in message therapy) presented itself, so I gave it a shot. And I just fell in love with it from day one." Fritz says the occasional opportunity to work with wrestlers makes his job that much more enjoyable. "I've been a wrestling fan for as long as I can remember. I really love it." Fritz's office is located on Savannah Highway across from Krispy Kreme. Who'll beat Brock? Brock Lesnar proved again why he may just might be the most intimidating world champion in WWE history. His domination of former champ John Cena at last weekend's Summer Slam pay-per-view put an exclamation point on his claim of being the most invincible force in the game today. The problem now for WWE is presenting a legitimate contender that fans actually believe could pose a credible challenge to Lesnar. The list is very short. Cena, who has been the company's top star over most of the past decade, is getting a rematch at the next pay-per-view. But those who witnessed the lopsided Summer Slam shellacking would be hard-pressed to believe Cena can somehow take the measure of Lesnar. Daniel Bryan, whose world title win at this year's Wrestlemania capped a tremendous feel-good campaign, recently said that he'd like a match with Lesnar when he recovers from neck surgery that has sidelined him for the past few months. Despite his tremendous fan following, a match with Lesnar presents a major physical mismatch on paper. Antonio Cesaro could have presented an interesting challenge to Lesnar. Regarded as pound-for-pound the strongest man in the company, Cesaro would have been a fresh contender as well as a former "Paul Heyman Guy," adding another layer of intrigue to the match. But Cesaro has been the victim of poor booking in recent months and would be unlikely to draw with Lesnar. WWE's long-term plan remains for Lesnar to carry the title into next year's Wrestlemania, with superstar-in-the-making Roman Reigns as his opponent. As popular as Reigns has become, at this point he's nowhere ready for Lesnar. WWE will have to be very careful in how they book Reigns over the next seven months, especially if the plan is for Lesnar to pass the torch to him. Reach Mike Mooneyham at 843-937-5517 or mooneyham@postandcourier.com, or follow him on Twitter at @ByMike Mooneyham and on Facebook at Facebook.com/MikeMooneyham.
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Backstory: Massage is going to the dogs; it's more than just belly rubs
RALEIGH --- Nicole King knows some people snicker when they learn that her dog has her own masseuse."Even my relatives thought I was crazy," said King, 45, an unemployed information technology worker.They laughed, she said, until they saw how the massages helped Jewel, a 10-year-old, 100-pound Rottweiler and shepherd mix, who was left with a numb back leg after a seven-hour back surgery for hip dysplasia.Twice a week, Melanie Hampton, owner of Raleigh-based mobile Serenity Pet Massage, visits Jewel.Last week, Hampton set up a portable massage table (made for an up to 300-pound human) and covered it with a fleece pad and a white sheet.Calming spa music played in the background, as Hampton and King lifted Jewel onto the table. Hampton rubbed Jewel's head, and then up and down her legs and spine. Jewel looked around and shifted a bit before she eventually relaxed on her side and drifted into a heavy slumber."It is not just petting," Hampton said. It is actually getting in there and kneading and manipulating the soft tissues to keep them healthy, she said.Hampton, 53, a certified veterinarian technician who has worked in animal care for more than 30 years, began researching pet massages after she started rubbing her dog Kassie to relieve pain from bone growths underneath her spine."She loved, loved, loved, loved for me to just love her, rub her around her back and her hip area," Hampton said.She came across information on canine massage certification in July 2013 and enrolled in a 100-hour training with Abundant Life Massage in Sarasota, Fla., that September. Hampton spent two weeks in Sarasota, then did internship projects in the Triangle that included volunteering to give massages at a Second Chance Pet Adoptions event, giving a pet massage presentation at a local vet and massaging 10 dogs, including Jewel.Hampton also had to choose two dogs with different problems and complete a case study. One was a Boston terrier who had a pinched nerve and wasn't responding to medicine. The second was a dog with an amputated leg who was having trouble getting up and down as he got older.Massage, Hampton said, helps pets relieve stress and relax. It softens irritated and aging muscles, increases circulation and helps identify problem or painful areas. If dogs are hyper or won't stay still, Hampton said, she gets down on their level and works with them until they relax.Before she opened her business, Hampton also met with Raleigh SCORE counselors and attended small-business workshops.Hampton's husband, a computer software engineer, built her a website. She started a Facebook page and contacted animal rescue organizations and locally owned pet stores, asking if she could offer free massages at their stores or set up at their events.Hampton charges $60 for a 60-minute canine massage and $25 for a 30-minute cat massage.Hampton has worked as a vet technician with Veterinary Surgical Referral Practice in Cary for six years. In April, she went part time as the massage business started to pick up.Hampton officially started offering massages in December and has about 30 clients.Her clients include a 130-pound retired service black Labrador retriever with arthritis, an 8-pound Yorkipoo (yorkie poodle mix) with anxiety and Jewel.Hampton met Jewel in November and started working with her regularly in December. King said the massages have been key to Jewel regaining feeling in her legs."It was the most relaxed we had seen her since she had surgery," King said. "You see her feel better. Her appetite is back to normal. She goes out for walks with her wheelchair."Bridges: 919-829-8917; Twitter: @virginiabridges
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Clown Massage Is Exactly What It Sounds Like, Unfortunately
Are you afraid of clowns? How about being naked in front of strangers? Maybe a small fear of people touching you? Well, then my friends, this might be your nightmare scenario. Nick Swardson stars in this Funny or Die video in which getting a simple massage turns hilariously terrifying. Always keep this in mind: When being given a massage by some clowns, never ask for the happy ending. You've been warned.
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Elements Massage expands into Sugar Land, debuts personalized approach
 Elements Massage expands into Sugar Land, debuts personalized approach It’s a myth that all massages are created equal, and local entrepreneurs Tim and Melissa Moriarty, owners of the new Elements Massage in Sugar Land, are on a mission to help area consumers experience the healing benefits of massage therapy services tailored to meet their unique needs. The new massage studio, located in The Exchange at Telfair at 13425 University Blvd., is seeing a lot of success since opening its doors on Aug. 16. Elements, the only massage franchise in the United States founded by a licensed massage therapist, has carved a niche in the industry by specializing solely in massage services and providing a highly customized experience to each client. According to a study from Trajectory Research of 829 massage users, Elements clients reported more than 50 percent higher satisfaction levels than users of independent massage providers or other major franchise massage brands. “What sets us apart is our dedication to listening to clients’ needs in order to pair them with the right massage therapist. We identify key details such as type of massage desired, specific pressure needs and individual issues before matching clients and therapists. This approach allows us to provide a high quality and customized massage for each client,” said Melissa Moriarty. “The Elements franchise was founded on the healing benefits of massage, and we’re looking forward to making a positive impact in our clients’ lives.” Melissa Moriarty joins Elements as a former corporate executive in the retail industry. After working for many national retailers across the country, she and her husband Tim Moriarty were ready to settle into a community and own a business of their own. When she moved to the Houston area, the couple fell in love with the community. The two sat down and contemplated how they could both make a living while ensuring that they got to remain in the Houston area. The decision to open an Elements came fairly quickly and there was no looking back. Once viewed as an expensive splurge, Elements is making therapeutic massage increasingly affordable and available to time-starved consumers who recognize the value of massage in maintaining their overall health and wellness. Those who receive regular massages benefit from lower levels of stress hormones, a heightened immune system, increase in circulation, etc. The new Sugar Land studio is open seven days a week, welcomes walk-ins and offers a membership program that allows clients to receive regular, discounted massage therapy services throughout each month. For more information, please call 832-500-5950. About Elements Massage Elements Massage is part of Highlands Ranch, Colorado-based WellBiz Brands, Inc., one of the largest wellness franchise organizations in the United States. The company owns Fitness Together Franchise Corporation (Fitness Together), which franchises one-on-one and small group personal physical fitness training studios, and Elements Therapeutic Massage, Inc. (Elements), which franchises Elements Massage studios, providing custom therapeutic massage to meet clients’ individual needs. Elements began franchising in 2006 and now has more than 175 locations in 32 states. The company is listed as one of 2014’s fastest-growing franchises in Entrepreneur magazine and is also ranked in the publication’s 35th Annual Franchise 500 for its exceptional performance in areas including financial strength and stability, growth rate, and system size. For more information about Elements Massage, please visit www.elementsmassage.com or www.elementsfranchise.com.
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Westfield massage studio owner engaged in prostitution, police say
WESTFIELD — The owner of Jenny's Massage Studio in Westfield was arrested and charged with promoting and engaging in prostitution on Aug. 12, Westfield police said. Westfield prostitution arrest.pngWestfield police say Xue Juan Han was engaging in prostitution at Jenny's Massage Studio at 409 Westfield Avenue.Google Maps  Police said Xue Juan Han, 47, owns the massage business at 409 Westfield Avenue and was released on a summons. Westfield police said they could not reveal how they determined Han was engaging in prostitution as the investigation is ongoing. Westfield Police Chief David Wayman told the Alternative Press police do not have the right to close down the business and said the massage parlor likely began as a legitimate business and “progressed from there.” However, he also said police "didn’t come across any signs of legitimate business taking place." Police said they believe Han was the only employee at Jenny's Massage Studio, according to the report. Jessica Remo may be reached at jremo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter@JessicaRemoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Stay up-to-the-minute with the latest Union County news by bookmarking nj.com/union.
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█❀--- $30 ♥ PRETTY Asian Therapists ; RELAX Massage (Pasadena; 626-795-1628)
█❀--- $30 ♥ PRETTY Asian Therapists ; RELAX Massage (Pasadena; 626-795-1628) ♥ GRAND OPENING•:*:♥NEW STAFF VISIT US    *10 YEARS IN BUSINESS* PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Foot Massage, Hot oil massage, Combo Massage, TABLE SHOWER   SPECIAL PRICE: Bring this ad and get a special for $35/hr, $60/90mins, $70/2hrs!!! 626- 795-1628 OPEN 7 DAYS.: 10:00am-10:00pm   1199 E. Walnut Street Pasadena , CA 91106
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Does Massage Therapy Remove Lactic Acid From Muscles After Exercise?
Does Massage Therapy Remove Lactic Acid From Muscles After Exercise? There is a common belief that massage therapy can help relieve sore muscles and aid exercise recovery by removing lactic acid from the muscles after exercise. However, this belief is not supported among scientific research since the 1990s, nor is it accordant to the basics of human physiology. One of the earliest studies on this was published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine in 1996, and it compared the effects of massage with active recovery after a bout of heavy exercise. Researchers from the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports in India found that short-term massage therapy is “ineffective in enhancing the lactate removal” and active recovery is a much better modality for lactate removal after exercise. A small 2013 study from the University of Milan in Italy also showed that massage therapy (and stretching) had no significant influence on blood lactate removal. First, the terms “lactic acid” and “blood lactate” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same products nor are they wastes. According to Sports Fitness Advisor, lactic acid was once thought of as a waste product during glycolysis, which is a cellular metabolic process that produces short-term energy. Glycolysis produces lactic acid, which quickly releases hydrogen ions (H+). The remaining compound latches on to electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, to form lactate. This is the substance that scientists use to measure athletes’ recovery and metabolic processes in a laboratory. “The idea behind the myth that massage removes toxins from tissues comes from visualizing the physiology in a mistaken way,” said licensed massage therapist Ravensara Travillian, Ph.D., in an online interview with Guardian Liberty Voice, who also volunteers with Massage Therapy Foundation. “The visualization goes something like this: Exercise and other regular metabolic activities of normal life produce toxins that need to be removed from tissues. Since massage increases circulation, this increase flushes the toxins out of the tissues, leaving them detoxified. The problem is that each of these steps in the concept—although they sound like they could be reasonable—are not what happens in reality.” A British study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in 2004 found no significant increase of circulation in the femoral artery within the quadriceps muscle or the rate of blood lactate removal after massage therapy was performed after exercise. Researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University found that increases in skin blood flow “provide no nutritive benefit to the muscle in post-exercise conditions.” Since massage therapy is suggested to increase skin blood flow, it is possible that massage could “reroute” blood from the skeletal muscle and may hinder recovery process. “Vertebrates—animals with backbones, like us—have closed circulatory systems, so if circulation increases in one part of the system, it has to decrease somewhere else to compensate for that constant overall amount,” Travillian explains. “So if it were true that massage increased circulation, we would also have to say that massage decreases circulation elsewhere in the system.” “Massage can cause minute local changes,” Travillian continued. “You can see the skin redden (rubor) as blood rushes to fill areas made temporarily ischemic by rubbing. But overall, it does nothing to either increase blood amount (more blood cells and plasma) or more blood flow (faster rate per unit time). If you look at all we can touch—just skin and nerve endings—and how superficial and narrow capillaries are, versus how deep and wide the femoral artery really is—this is actually quite plausible. It makes sense, and it matches the material, physical, natural reality.” In fact, another study that was published in the same journal in 2010 found that massage therapy could mechanically reduce blow flow which impedes blood lactate removal. If massage does not work in exercise recovery, then one must question if any technique works better. A fairly recent study from Shiraz University in Iran showed evidence to support the 1996 Indian study that exercise is better than massage therapy to remove “lactic acid” from muscles. However, the experiment, which involved 17 professional male swimmers, compared three groups where one performed active recovery, one received massage and one performed passive recovery as a control group. What the researchers found was that active recovery was more effective in blood lactate removal than massage, and massage therapy was more effective than passive recovery. They found that there were no differences in performance between the active recovery group and the massage group. “Lactic acid is not a toxin; it’s a normal metabolite, and the body gets rid of it normally, with or without massage,” said Travillian. “While it is true that too much concentration of metabolites can be toxic, that’s true of almost any substance, including water. And water’s not considered a toxin. In biology, the word ‘toxin’ means a foreign, naturally-produced substance, such as bee or snake venom, or Botulinum toxin, a by-product of microbes. If we appropriate a well-known scientific word and use it to mean something totally different that does not match reality, such as ‘metabolite,’ we’re sending a message to other healthcare professionals, who are our potential partners, and to clients that we’re not interested in participating in the shared body of knowledge that the rest of the healthcare team has in common.” “In fact, if massage did increase blood flow, we would expect to see higher blood pressure after massage,” Travillian continued, “as the body compensates to push that higher flow through the same amount of vessels in the same time. But that’s not what we see; in fact, when we consult the final authority—the human body itself —we see the opposite: lower blood pressure after massage. Additionally, the model assumes ‘flushing’ in only the ‘right’ direction. But actually, when we press on the skin, the effects or the pressure radiate out in all directions—as much as we’re ‘pushing fluid’ forward, we’re also pushing it backwards and sideways, which makes the net (overall) effect much less than if it were only in one direction.” While massage therapy does not significantly increase circulation or remove “lactic acid” from muscles after exercise, there are other benefits to massage after a workout, such as lowering stress and anxiety. Travillian posed her final thoughts. “I believe that massage is good after exercise for the same reasons it’s good at other times. We are social animals who derive a great deal of benefit on many levels—biological, psychological, and social—from the focused caring attention of another human being.” By Nick Ng  
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My First Massage
My First Massage I’m ready. I’m ready.   I SAID, I’M REA— Whoop, there you are! Didn’t hear you come in. That little fountain thingy is quite a noise canceller. I couldn’t remember if you said to start face down, but— That is what you said? Great, great. Looks like my brain doesn’t need a massage, huh? Although if you could rub my head at some point that would be super. Really? That’s a normal part of it? Great, great.   I know you said that I could strip down all the way, but, as you can see, I didn’t. It just seems, I don’t know, forward? I mean, I get that there’s an intimacy to this—not “intimacy” like something inappropriate, just, you know, the fact that we only met, what, forty-five seconds ago, and you’re about to rub my whole body. That’s just what it is. And I’m fine with that. That’s why I’m here. I got the gift certificate from work, and you guys wouldn’t let me exchange it for cash, so I said, “Screw it. It is time to see what this massage thing is all about.” But is it not fair to say that if I’m not relaxed this whole thing is pointless? Exactly. That’s what I thought. So that’s why I decided to keep my boxers on. And also my socks. Good call starting me on my stomach. I’ve been told that I hold my tension in my lats. Don’t know if you could sense that—I imagine people in your profession are very empathic. Empathetic. Empathic? Empathetic? Empathic? Face down is just the standard way to start? Great, great. Standard is great. So am I supposed to be breathing in a particular way right now? ’Cause I’m trying to breathe in time with your movements, but I don’t know if that’s helping or— O.K., I’ll just breathe normally. I like your sneakers. I’m looking at them through the hole in this head-doughnut thing, and they’re very cool. Does the spa give them to you? No? Well, I guess with what these massages cost, you can get all the sneakers you want. Really? The spa takes that much? Looks like you and me are in the wrong business! Ow ow ow ow ow! Anyway, they look very comfortable. I know, I’m still breathing with your movements. But it felt like it helped that time. I’ll stop. Mmmmwuhhh! O.K., that was a weird sound. It’s just, no one’s ever done that to my shoulder before. It’s, like, you’re taking it apart and putting it back together again, but from the outside, just by squeezing it … and I basically just described a massage. I can’t imagine how much stupid stuff you must hear in a day, but that’s got to be up there. Most people just lie here quietly? Great, great. Wasn’t sure. Didn’t want you to think that I was ignoring you. Oh my god, you’re going to do the exact same thing to the other shoulder? Awesome. I’m just gonna lie here quietly and enjoy it…. Um, I think you forgot the rotation thing. The thing where you stretch out my arm and then kind of tuck it up and under. You did it on the other side. Well, you can say that you were “getting to that,” but it was the second thing you did on the first arm, so— Ow ow ow ow ow! No, the lady at the desk said that I might be sore tomorrow, not during, but—HELLO!
 I haven’t been able to bend my arm like this since I don’t even know when. Wow! Whatever you’re doing, keep going! Heading over to the back, I see. Good luck. Or whatever you would say in your native language. I just assumed that English wasn’t your native language. It is? Huh. No, I have no idea why I would have guessed that it wasn’t. So … I think you were, um, about to do my back? There. What did I tell you? That lat’s like a tense slab of beef, right? Hey, as long as you’re there, do you mind checking out that mole under my left shoulder blade? No, it’s a little lower. Here, I’ll show you. Holy crap, check me out! I can get my finger right on it! Anyway, would you call this an “asymmetrical border”? My dermatologist is always, like, “Don’t worry about it,” but I’m starting to think that if he can’t shoot Botox in it, he just doesn’t— Hmm? Nope, I’m not tired at all. O.K., you can just skip my, um, gluteal area. My butt. You don’t have to do my butt. No, I understand that you’re fine with it, and thank you for saying that, but, to be honest, I’m not feeling very … confident. I mean, I try to stay in shape—hopefully you can tell that, even though you haven’t mentioned anything, probably because you pride yourself on your discretion—but I’m thinking about all the other butts that have been on this table, and I’m imagining that they were all rounder and firmer than mine. Even though I box twice a week. Cardio boxing. No contact, but there are very authentic punching movements. That’s sweet, and I swear I wasn’t fishing for a compliment, but really? My butt is “better than a lot”? That sounds like the top one per cent. That’s pretty amazing. I guess you can massage it a little. You know, over the boxers. Woof, I’ll bet it must suck when you get a flat-butt fatty on here, huh? It must. Turn over? Oh, yeah, baby, I’ve heard about this kind of massage.… Was that over the line? I’m so sorry. Like I said, this is my first massage, and I don’t know where the line is. Well, clearly it’s not “obvious”— Ow ow ow ow ow! Can I, uh, turn over now? Great, great. Yes, I’m very relaxed. No, I’m definitely not holding in my stomach. That’s just the way it looks—naturally, aggressively flexed. I’m telling you, you should try this cardio boxing. Mmm, now this feels nice. I must say, you are almost making me rethink the socks…. Buh? Did I fall asleep? Wow, you are amazing. It’s like your hands cast a magic spell … that makes me stop holding in my stomach. So, yeah, that’s what it looks like in its normal state. Still, probably “better than a lot,” right? Could you not hear me over the fountain thingy? Oh, I didn’t realize that the massage was over. Well, thank you. That was incredible. You truly honored your ancestors. I just assumed that your ancestors were also massage therapists. They weren’t? Huh. No, I have no idea why I would have guessed that they were. Ow ow ow ow WOW! I thought the massage was over! Would I like some lemon water? Is it included? Great, great.
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Gov. Brown signs bill giving cities control over massage businesses
Local government officials have complained that under current law, it is too difficult to regulate massage businesses or shut down parlors with suspected links to prostitution or human trafficking. Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), one of three authors of the measure, said such bad actors "hijacked the massage industry and overwhelmed smaller cities who felt their hands were tied when dealing with the proliferation of these businesses."  The newly signed measure will give local governments more authority over zoning and regulation of these businesses, allowing them to close down bad actors. It also establishes more training requirements for individuals applying for a license to be a massage practitioner. Tony Ferrara, president of the League of California Cities, cheered the new law. "Our cities once again have the power to regulate massage businesses just as we can regulate other businesses in our jurisdictions," said Ferrara, who is also mayor of Arroyo Grande. "This will help keep our residents safe and protect the people who work in the massage therapy industry.” Assembly members Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) and Jimmy Gomez (D-Echo Park) were also authors of the bill, AB 1147. Brown also signed two drought-inspired bills promoting water conservation by homeowners associations.  One measure, AB 2104 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), prohibits such associations from fining residents for replacing their lawns with low water-using plants.              
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How Can A Massage Help Me?
How Can A Massage Help Me? Q: Can getting a massage help me sleep better?   A: You bet it can! Massage therapy leads to a feeling of relaxation and calm, and clients often report a sense of clarity and perspective. Not only does massage therapy feel good physically, but it also seems to hit a mental “reset button,” leading to clearer thoughts and enhanced sleep. Massage therapy can also manage two common sleep stealers: stress and pain. (See “On the Inside,” page 10.) Massage therapy tackles stress on the physical level by easing muscle tightness and on the biochemical level by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol and prompting the release of endorphins, which make us feel good. Massage therapy has also been shown to mediate pain, which is very good news for people living with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis or even cancer. The pain-lessening benefits of regular massage therapy lead to better sleep. Better sleep will ultimately give your body time to restore and heal.   —C.G. Funk, Licensed Massage Therapist and Vice President of Industry Relations and Product Development for Massage Envy     Q: Can massage therapy enhance my exercise program?   A: Yes, it can! Massage therapy aids in overall blood circulation in the body. Increasing circulation means that more oxygen is delivered to the muscles to allow for longer endurance periods and toxins are removed quicker, which reduces recovery time and residual pain. Massage therapy also has been shown to improve range of motion which creates more flexibility in the body. Increased flexibility allows you to perform movements of the exercise more effectively and with greater ease. Massage therapy also improves overall muscle and joint strength which, along with increased flexibility, helps to prevent injuries to muscles, joints and tendons. Whether you are just getting started on an exercise program or are revising your current exercise routines, keep in mind that any new exercise activities require the body to engage in a variety of movements to perform effectively. The new movements introduced to the body will create different stress and strain on muscles and joints, which can often create increased stiffness and pain. Integrating massage therapy sessions into your regular schedule will enhance and benefit any exercise routine. Massage therapy can benefit everyone from the elite athlete to the casual walker or weekend warrior. All that hard work won’t pay if our muscles and over-stressed and strained. Receiving massage therapy on a regular basis helps us maintain overall health and wellness and will keep us enjoying our favorite exercise activities.   —C.G. Funk, Licensed Massage Therapist and Vice President of Industry Relations and Product Development for Massage Envy     Q: Can regular massage help alleviate depression?   A: Yes, massage therapy can help those suffering from depression. Studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute, at the University of Miami School of Medicine, showed participants had reduced levels of anxiety and depression after receiving a series of massage therapy treatments. Massage therapy also positively impacts emotional and physical health by increasing feelings of overall well-being and improving responses to stress. Our skin has millions of nerve receptors linked to the nervous system. During massage, those receptors are stimulated, which signals the body to release “feel-good” chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin. Massage also can help reduce levels of your body’s stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, which can contribute to alleviating worry and tension. Depression comes in many forms and has many roots. While massage can be an important part of therapy for those suffering from depression, medication or psychotherapy also may be prescribed depending upon your symptoms. Always talk with your primary care doctor if you are concerned about depression. Your physician will help create the appropriate treatment plan for you.     Q: Can regular massage therapy during the winter months help keep me healthy?   A: Regular therapeutic massage can provide significant advantages beyond the immediate benefit of relaxation. People who experience high levels of stress tend to get sick more than others. Combine stress with lack of sleep and poor nutrition, and our body’s ability to naturally protect itself against bacteria and infection is greatly reduced. Numerous studies have indicated that massage increases the immune system’s level of the body’s natural “killer cells,” which improves the body’s overall immune function. Regular massage therapy treatments help boost the immune system by directly affecting circulation and indirectly affecting your lymphatic system. The circulation of red and white blood cells increases, which in turn helps to rid your body of unwanted debris or waste products that can cause disease. When your immune system is stronger, your body is more prepared to defend itself against those cold and flu viruses going around your workplace, school or even your home during the winter months. So keep yourself healthy during the long winter months by scheduling regular massage appointments.   Q: How often should I receive a massage?   A: The amount of massages a person receives in a month can depend on many things: the type of massage being received, the recommendations of the massage therapist, the physical condition of the client and, of course, time and finances. People receive massages for many reasons. Some are looking for therapy that helps them to de-stress and relax. Some are receiving massage to help relieve the pain and discomfort of a physical condition and some integrate massage into their individual health and wellness regimen. Massage therapy not only decreases pain and tension in muscles but also has other benefits such as improving posture, promoting a healthy circulatory system, improving flexibility, relieving stress and strengthening the immune system. The effects of massage are cumulative, and scheduling on a regular basis will increase the length of time these benefits are experienced. For a general recommendation of massage frequency, I would suggest receiving a massage at least twice a month in order to maintain the effects and results from each session. However, even receiving massage once a month will produce great results when scheduled on a regular basis.     Q: Is it OK to tell my massage therapist what I want out of my session; and, if so, what’s the best way to communicate with him or her?   A: It’s more than OK to talk to your massage therapist. In fact, you should never hesitate to communicate your needs and requests to your massage therapist before and during your massage session. Massage therapists are the experts when it comes to the choice and application of techniques they feel would best suit you—but you are the expert on yourself. Massage therapists want to hear from you and they know your satisfaction depends on how well they listen to and fulfill your requests. Your session should always begin with your therapist asking you about your reasons for getting a massage, your current physical condition, a brief medical history, lifestyle and stress level, and any areas of pain. During this initial interview, talk directly to your therapist about your expectations and requests. Although your massage therapist will check in with you a few times during the massage, it’s always acceptable for you to communicate with him or her at any time during the session.
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