Monthly Archives: November 2014

Relieve Back Pain with Massage Therapy

Bodywork For Life's Seasons/spine imageChronic or not, a little bit of back pain goes a long way! Massage Therapy can be a key component in gaining relief from back pain. In my massage practice in Iowa City, IA I see a diverse population. Neck and shoulder pain is a common complaint with back pain following close behind.

When folks come to me with back pain I find out as many details as possible. To form a comprehensive plan of treatment I want to know it’s origin, intensity of discomfort/pain, length of time of discomfort and about consultations with doctors or specialists.

I combine several different massage techniques and find that working the affected area of muscles releases tension and spasms while producing feel good hormones (endorphins)
that result in less pain and discomfort and help with depression and anxiety caused by back pain. By treating the affected muscles, metabolic waste from the tissue will release and circulation will increase to bring nutrition to the muscles and tissues. This combination assists the muscles in recovering from soreness or soft tissue injury and begin renewing.

It’s important to take your back pain seriously. Speaking from my own experience I know that it can be a long road to recovery. Finding a comprehensive team of both traditional and alternative practitioners who can assist in your recovery plan is important for your recovery.

Remember, Barb Brender of Bodywork For Life’s Seasons in Iowa City, Iowa has your back! I would love to team with you and your other practitioners to ease your pain and discomfort into a distant memory. I am living proof that with dedication and perseverance it can be done!

Trouble Sleeping? Massage Therapy Helps!

Keep Calm:dreamDo you have difficulty with sleep? Is it hard to unwind? Do you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep? Does your mind take you places no mind should go, especially in the middle of the night?

Try this simple series of self-massage to shift your mood from frustrated to relaxed.

Begin by noticing your breath, take a slow, soothing breath in filling your lungs comfortably, and exhale out sending that soothing feeling throughout your body. Just breath! So easy, yet we forget that this simple act will always bring us back to the present moment, not the moments before or after.

Sleepy Time Self-Massage

Stimulating specific acupuncture points relieves tension and helps release melatonin, your body’s natural sleep hormone.

Begin by massaging the crown of your head with fingertips, in a circular motion for approximately 30 seconds. Don’t watch the clock! Massage long enough to feel the soothing affect.

Next, with fingertips, make small circular movements at the outer ends of your eyebrows for 30 seconds.

Then, with the pads of your thumbs, swipe the upper, then lower edges of your eye sockets, from the inner to the outer corners. This feels really good.

Finish by rubbing your palms together until they feel warm, and then place them over your eyes for 45 seconds. Gently rest the heels of your hands over your closed eyelids for another 30 seconds.

And remember, having regular massage therapy helps balance your over all sense of well-being, benefiting every part of your day, waking or sleeping.

Massage Therapy Helps Support Immune System


It’s fall in Iowa City. With the change of seasons, daylight savings time and colder temperatures, it’s ripe territory for seasonal allergies, colds, flu and SAD. Studies have shown that massage therapy is a viable option in our regiment to stay healthy, happy and active during the fall and winter months. In addition to other benefits research shows that regular massage therapy helps support our immune system, keeping us healthier.

Researchers from Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found that people who receive regular massage experience measurable changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response and had an increased number of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are white blood cells that defend the body from disease.

Boost your immune system, increase circulation and overall well-being by enjoying the many benefits of massage therapy this fall and winter season.