Never Stop Learning

I’ve been fortunate to work several Burn Scar Survivors over the years. In an effort to better serve the Burn Survivor Community, I have completed additional training with Handle With Care Massage.

I’m proud to be among such a talented group of therapist from all over the country who are providing care to this community and can’t wait to become more involved.


Science Informed Massage

I’m not a Neuroscientist, but I play one on TV.

If you are currently seeing me for pain or injury or considering doing so, please take some time to watch this. 20 minutes of your time is a small investment to beginning a new way of thinking about pain. Living in the seat of the opioid epidemic has given me a unique personal and professional perspective on manual therapy. My whole way of thinking about what I do has changed. Good science does that. It changes us. I’m no longer fixing ‘issues in the tissues’. My goal is provide resources and coaching that allows clients to understand what pain actually means and just how much control they can gain when they understand their nervous system. Key points in this talk from Lorimer Mosely

Pain is real!

Our brain so adept at producing pain messages, it can produce sensations even when there is an actual threat to tissues.

Pain relies on context and cues!

Pain is all about protection!

Lorimer uses and example of violin players. I’ll insert my own story here. If you’ve read my story, you understand that I had a fairly significant neck injury in my late teens.  For 20(ish) years I’ve have protected my neck. Any tiny bump to the head and I was in excruciating pain. Whether there was any damage or not. Unlearning this has completely changed the way I respond to bumping my head on a cupboard door. What used to result in a few weeks of ibuprofen, ice, massage, etc. I’ve learned to recognize that pain is coming from the nervous system and it’s desire to protect me.

Pain and tissue state are poorly related!

This so important! The statistics on back pain and the numbers as we age are demonstrative of how normal changes in the body are. If I had a dime for every conversation I’ve had with someone who has chronic back pain, has had surgery (sometimes multiple surgeries) and five years later is no less pain…

We are amazingly adaptable, bioplastic learners!

Movement is KING!

“Motion is lotion.”

Understanding pain and retraining your system works!

This is the hardest part. It requires us to the work. As a patient the desire is to go to someone who has more knowledge than we do about our condition and have them ‘fix’ us. With persistent pain the fix often requires us to do a considerable amount of relearning and retraining our brain.

Check out some of these recommendations and resources. As always, I am happy to be part of the journey.


Pain Exposure Therapy and Massage

Just a quick check and a share. Eric Dalton is widely respected in massage culture. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from him in the past and find his teaching style and anatomy knowledge impressive.

This is a semi-recent article that he shared in a professional journal about his own philosophy and how pain and the therapeutic relationship coexist.

I can’t say that I agree with everything that he says in this article. Gate Control Theory of pain has been arguably on it’s way out of pain research for a long time. It is worth a read and his perspective is valuable in that it may be the prelude to thinking about pain differently for massage therapists, physical therapists and bodyworkers. Food for thought at the very least.pexels-photo-576831.jpeg

Self Massage Techniques

How do you keep yourself in tip-top shape between appointments at Oakwood Massage?

Self care is not just bubble baths and chocolate. (Although I will rarely turn down either of those!) Have a look at this quick video for techniques for neck pain relief. Tiger Balm is not necessary to make this effective, by the way. It is easy to find and one of my favorites. Make sure you read labels to confirm that any topical you use is not harmful to you!

By Popular Demand-Timeless Massage

The Reboot for your Mind and Body

Do you feel stretched in a hundred different directions? Does a Timeless Massage sound like just what you need? This  long session is not for everyone, but it’s perfect for some!

Obligations, deadlines, appointments, meetings, work, housework, sports, everything. More often than not, it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week for all that needs to be done. We’re on constant high alert. We’re always moving.

All this chaos can be hard on your body and mind.
When this happens, we tend to be less mindful of our eating. Or chasing sleep like it’s a lively kitten. Or we get grumpy with loved ones and coworkers.

The effects of this day to day stress are cumulative for most of us. Stiff joints get stiffer. Cranky shoulders get crankier, then one rogue golf swing or one heavy laundry basket makes it worse.

Massage is the mini-vacation you probably need. A Timeless Massage is the ultimate in ‘factory reset’.
Without the sand in your shoes and having to pull your computer out of your backpack.

Massage therapy is a reboot. It’s the control-alt-delete for your body and mind.
A massage resets your thoughts, slows your pulse, regulates your breathing, and recharges your mind.

Spend some time on my massage table, taking care of you. You can schedule online right here,  or call or text me at 937-668-9454 to make your appointment.


13 Things You Didn’t Know About Massage


Only 32% of adult Americans got a massage in the past 5 years. And only even fewer get massage regularly. So it’s not surprising that most people don’t know much about massage.

Here are some fun facts to build your knowledge:

Massage can help you sleep better. (Even if you don’t nap during the actual massage.)

When your back hurts, that might not be the only area that needs massage. Sometimes back pain comes from the hip, legs or even the abdomen.Likewise, sometimes hand and arm pain is caused by dysfunction in the neck and shoulder.

You can stop a massage session at any time. You never cede control of your body. At any time during a massage you can say “no”, “stop”, or even “can you just work on my neck for the rest of the time and skip everything else?” If you are uncomfortable or feel like the therapist isn’t hearing your feedback, or if you just feel like the table is too hard and you have to pee and gosh, this is awful. You can end it.

Massage can help your mood. It’s been shown to be helpful in treating both anxiety and depression.

Even small therapists can provide deeeeep pressure. It’s not about size, it’s about the techniques we use!

Massage doesn’t ‘detoxify’ your body. That whole thing is a silly myth!! It was taught in many schools and you may have heard me say it, back before I knew better. But we know now that it’s just not true.

Massage is safe in the first trimester of pregnancy (unless there are unusual health issues).  Some practitioners choose to not do it, but that’s a liability choice.

Deep tissue massage, or any massage, doesn’t need to be painful to be effective. For reals. Run screaming from any practitioner who insists there needs to be pain in a treatment.

Scars are living tissue that can be transformed with massage and other manual therapies, no matter how old they are. And they can be affecting you in places farther away from the visible scar than you’d ever suspect.

It’s OK to focus on certain areas of discomfort and not always get a full body session. If you only want your arms massaged, that’s fine, too.

Your massage therapist loves feedback. We like to know if you hate having your feet touched, and if you looove having your ears massaged. We like knowing your musical preference and if you prefer to start face down or face up.

We’re also cool if you just want to chill and let us use our judgement to design the treatment.

Do you have questions about massage? Contact me  or ask at your next appointment and I would LOVE to answer them!

Chronic Pain and Why Education Matters

Advances in Pain Research

As a massage therapist, I am often asked why I follow research so closely. It’s all just sandals and candles, right?  The more I’m able to learn about the mechanism of pain and how the nervous system contributes, the more effective I am. Results matter!

This Q&A with Scott Fishman, MD is a quick read. Chronic pain demands a proactive approach. Therapeutic massage is only a part of the puzzle. Dr. Fishman highlights what’s working and what’s next in the field of pain relief.

Exercise With Your Child Challenge

Physical activity is good for our bodies. There is no question about that. The benefits of a good workout are countless. When we break a good sweat, we reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Our bones and muscles get stronger. We gain mental clarity and relieve stress. But I’m curious, how much are we setting an example for our children?

Whether you exercise or not, your children witness your actions daily. This leaves an impression on them that could impact how they live their lives down the road. Seeing you leave for the gym or take to the streets for a good run is great but what happens when you include them?

August 6-12th, we are celebrating “Exercise with Your Child Week” and we want to challenge you to one full week of exercise with your kiddo. Don’t worry if you don’t have a child, you could always reach out to borrow a friend’s, neighbor’s or take someone who needs a break from “the norm.”

Physical activity is awesome. Here’s why:

Combat health issues.
Conditions and diseases are drastically reduced with frequent workouts. Couple that with weight loss or preventing excess gain, and it’s all around a good idea. Starting your child on the right foot can lead to healthy lifelong habits.

You just feel better.
Exercise is a natural mood elevator. It boosts your mood – not only from the happy chemicals that have been stirred up, but the feeling of accomplishment that comes with a good burn. (Bonus: Going for a run or walk also makes an awesome attitude reset. When a child is in a funk, going for a run is a fantastic way to shake it off. And if that doesn’t seem to work, you could always loop the block one more time. That usually inspires a better mood!)

Sleep more soundly.
Right up there with therapeutic massage ( Book Now )   physical activity can be you (and your child’s) ticket to a quality good night’s sleep.

Relationship building.
Truthfully, working out together is a bonding experience. It opens the door to curious conversation, heart to heart chats, and the opportunity to grow as an athlete together.

By committing to working out with your child for one week, you are making a commitment to your health and your child’s health. Don’t worry if you haven’t worked out before. When your child sees your ability to try something new, learn, adapt and push through, you become a role model. It doesn’t have to be pretty and you don’t have to have a degree in health or physical education. You just need a desire to learn and want to spend time with a loved one. So go out there and try something new and bring along your child. We hope your new routine sticks for longer than a week.


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