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specialty bodywork: headaches, neck & shoulder pain, chronic pain

Why Specialties?

There’s an old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” While it’s often used in a disparaging way, it shouldn’t be. Sometimes you need a good, all purpose, relaxing yet therapeutic massage. However, sometimes you need specific work for specific issues. That’s where specialties come in.

Massage and bodywork specialties require a lot of extra study and practice to:

  • Learn uncommon causes of an issue
  • Learn the anatomy of a specific region in greater detail
  • Learn all the other areas of the body that can affect the region
  • Hone assessment skills
  • Hone palpation (ability to feel things in the body) skills
  • Learn and hone numerous techniques to address an issue (there is no single technique that works on everyone)
  • Learn how an issue or condition affects other conditions or other areas of the body (you are more than just your aching head)

Specialties at New Yew (Find them quickly by looking for the pictures as you scroll):


collage of essential oils, reiki on woman's head, and massage on woman's head

We tend to divide stress into handy categories like mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, good, bad, and even “normal” (whatever that is). The trouble is, your body treats every type of stress as a physical threat, even though very few modern stressors are physical. It’s also only designed to deal with the stress response for short periods of time… basically the length of time it should take you to either fight or run away from that proverbial saber tooth tiger.

Most people have near constant stress at work, and large amounts of stress in their personal lives as well. Some of that stress is part and parcel to life in the modern world… after all, bosses and kids gonna be bosses and kids.

The good news is, you can relieve some of the bodily effects of stress with massage and bodywork.

Some common effects of stress:

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Worry or anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic illness or auto-immune disease
  • Headaches
  • Tense, tight and/or painful muscles
  • Unexplained body pain

Tension Headache Relief

collage of woman with headache, man receiving reiki to head, and man receiving massage to head

Did you know that it’s not healthy to have more than 3-12 headaches per year? Yes, per year. If you have more than that you need to find the cause. You also need to find relief! 

A few headache facts you need to know: 

  • Tension headaches have a variety of causes, symptoms, and solutions
  • Headaches shouldn’t last more than an hour or two
  • Some headaches start in the neck before moving to your head
  • Some headaches start in the head before moving into the neck and shoulders
  • Some headaches are a pain in your backside (and vice versa)
  • Sometimes a tension headache isn’t really a tension headache at all; it’s a different type of headache altogether and won’t be relieved by massage
  • Many pain relievers cause rebound headaches if taken too often

Through the right combination of massage, bodywork, Reiki, and aromatherapy, the frequency and the intensity of your headaches can be reduced. Many times, by working together we can eliminate your headaches altogether. If your headaches are caused by allergy or food related issues, I can refer you to excellent practitioners who can help you manage or possibly even eliminate those issues. 

Migraine Headaches

collage with pic of woman with migraine, woman receiving reiki on head, man receiving myofascial release on forehead

Migraines cannot be treated as if they’re just a really bad headaches, because they’re not; they’re a neurological disorder. When you have a migraine, you can feel intense pulsating or throbbing pain on one side of your head that limits or impairs normal activity and is often intensified by physical exertion. To be considered a migraine headache, these symptoms must be accompanied by nausea and at least one of the following: sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, and/or sensitivity to smell.

If you have headaches that fit the description of a migraine, you NEED to have them diagnosed by a doctor because many very serious conditions can mimic the pain patterns of migraines. While the more serious conditions are fairly rare, it really is a case of better safe than sorry. As a responsible massage therapist, I won’t work on your migraines if you haven’t been diagnosed. This is because, in many cases, headache massage will make these serious conditions worse.

Sadly, there is no cure for migraine headaches and you should be wary of anyone who promises one. However, A combination of skilled massage, bodywork, trigger identification, stress reduction, and aromatherapy can reduce both the intensity and the frequency of your migraines.

Neck and Shoulder Pain

collage of man holding sore shoulder, man getting shoulder massage, woman getting shoulder massage

It’s time your neck and shoulders stopped hurting. The right combination of massage, bodywork, reiki, and aromatherapy can get you on the road to less pain and a higher quality of life. Because let’s face it, you deserve nothing less.

Just Because Neck and Shoulder Pain is Common, Doesn’t Mean it’s Normal

Neck and shoulder pain are linked by several muscles that live in, or pass through, both areas. This means you can’t fully address one, without addressing the other.

A few neck and shoulder pain facts you need to know:

  • The pain and dysfunction are caused by stress more often than your posture
  • The area that hurts all the time may not be the area causing your pain
  • The muscles causing your pain may be on the opposite side of your body than the pain itself
  • It often takes a variety of techniques to fully address all the muscles involved
  • There are muscles in places you would never imagine that contribute to your pain (like the ones in your armpit)
  • Nervy sensations like pins and needles, intense burning, and numbness should be dealt with sooner rather than later because they can become intractable
  • Deep tissue isn’t appropriate in parts of the neck and shoulder area due to the nerves and blood vessels that are present near the surface
  • Those sensitive areas can still be worked by a skilled and experienced therapist

You don’t have to live with neck and shoulder pain. The right combination of massage, bodywork, and aromatherapy can reduce your pain and increase your range of motion. 

Chronic Pain

collage with woman with sore neck and back, woman receiving MFR to back, man receiving neck massage

Chronic pain is very different from the pain you have from an injury, which also called acute pain. While most people have experienced a fair amount of acute/injury pain, they’ve never experienced chronic pain. They think pain = pain and don’t realize that the quality of chronic pain is very different to that of an injury.

If you have chronic pain such as that caused by long-term stress, injuries that didn’t heal correctly, or from fibromyalgia,  you know how debilitating it can be. You know what it’s like to get through every day with pain. You also know how frustrating it is when people tell you that you “don’t look sick” or “don’t look like you’re in that much pain.” I will never do that.

There are many causes of chronic pain and many ways to reduce it. Depending on the cause, it may not be possible to totally eliminate your chronic pain, but together we can usually reduce the intensity of the pain and the frequency of the flare ups.

Pain Science Can Help

Researchers around the world are studying all aspects of pain: What causes it, how it really works (we’ve had it wrong for a long time), and what makes it better. That’s good news if you have chronic pain because we now realize how complex the problem is. 

Understanding that complexity means taking a multi-faceted approach to your pain. It may also mean multiple healthcare providers. When your healthcare provider understands the complexity of your pain, they won’t shame, blame, or otherwise dismiss your experience simply because it doesn’t match theirs.

*Click the Book Appointment link below to schedule your massage*