August 23, 2012

Olympic Massage Therapist

Filed under: massage — Rizzieri School of Massage @ 8:18 am

August 22, 2012

DIY – 5 Minute Massage

Filed under: Facts and Tips,massage — Rizzieri School of Massage @ 7:48 am

Need a massage in less than five minutes? Ok, how about four? Always keeping our time constraints in mind,’s Shaun Benzies offers relaxation technique exercises perfect for that office self-face massage.

Relax! “Forget the oil. All you need is your own touch and to monitor your breathing. Every self-massage technique should start with a few deep breathes. Breathe in through your nose, hold and then exhale through your mouth,” Benzies states.

Warm Up: Rub your hands together and have the friction generate some heat. Place the palms of your hands on your face, fingers up. Feel the warmth from your hands as you take a few more deep breathes. Move your fingers up to the middle of your forehead so they interlock in the center. Slowly trace each hand down your jaw line to meet in the middle of your chin. Repeat two to three times,” Benzies adds.

Jaw Tension:“An amazing amount of tension builds up within the jaw during a work day, so to relieve this tension, start by slacking your jaw, letting the bottom jaw hang loose. Perform small circles using your index and middle fingers, starting at the joint and working towards your chin. Repeat a few times. Hold your lower jaw in both hands (palms under your chin, fingers at the joint) and pull slightly forward to reduce the pressure on the joint. Hold for 30 seconds,” Benzies suggests.

Sinus Pressure:“Air-conditioned offices often cause a person to feel ‘stuffed up’, so relieving sinus pressure should be part of any self-facial massage. Place both index fingers above the bridge of your nose and one thumb on each side of your nostrils. Perform short strokes with your thumbs along your cheek bones away from your nose to relieve any sinus pressure.”

Between the Eyes & Temples:“Massaging the area right between the eyes is thought to affect the body’s natural circadian rhythms (sleep cycle), so pinch this area for about 30 seconds with mild pressure, breathing deeply throughout. Do the same thing for your temples. Apply minimal pressure and simply hold these points. You will quickly feel why pressure applied here is often used to treat headaches.”

Courtesy of Shecky’s DIY Massages You Can Do At Your Desk. Image Credit:

August 21, 2012

Meditation Made Easy – Walking Meditation

Filed under: Facts and Tips — Rizzieri School of Massage @ 8:11 am

Walking Meditation
What is it?
This component of numerous meditation traditions slows the walking process with the intention of bringing into awareness its most basic parts—lifting the foot, swinging it, placing it down—in order to bring a greater consciousness to daily life. When we break down the motion of walking, we realize how each action is a collection of sub-actions, and how the mind and body work together to create movement. “This is not walking for transportation, it’s walking as a tool for developing mindfulness in the present moment,” says John LeMunyon, L.M.T., co-owner of Heartwood Yoga in Birmingham, Ala., and a meditator for 30-plus years. You can practice walking meditation by itself, or combine it with one of the seated styles on the preceding pages. Used as an interlude, the walking technique is a good way to embody the insights gained during seated practice and to heighten their relevance in your daily life. Walking meditation shows clearly the Buddhist precept that “all action is preceded by intention,” says LeMunyon. “There’s always an intention; and when we are present to the moment, there is always a choice. It’s at the level of intention that we make our choices of how skillfully we want to live our lives.”

What’s it good for?
When you find yourself feeling restless or agitated, a physical practice like walking is a great way to quiet your mind and find grounding in your body. It can also help ease your transition from sitting meditation to the motion of “real life,” and vice versa.

How long does it take?
To begin, try walking for about 15 steps in two directions, about five minutes total. Or try interspersing this with five minutes of seated meditation.

How do I do it?
1. Find a private indoor or outdoor place with level ground and at least 20 feet of space to move.
2. Stand in a relaxed position with your feet parallel, shoulders loose, arms draped at your sides or clasped lightly in front of or behind you. Focus your eyes softly on the ground about 6 to 8 feet ahead (looking right at your feet can be distracting).
3. Breathe in as you lift your right heel. Pause and breathe out, leaving your toes resting on the ground.
4. Breathe in again as you slowly swing your right foot forward. Place the heel of your right foot on the ground as you exhale and roll the rest of the foot down, transferring your weight so it’s balanced between both feet. Pause for a full breath.
5. Repeat the entire sequence with your left foot, again matching each movement with an inhalation or exhalation, alternating for 15 steps. The goal is to keep your mind fully focused on your bodily sensations; it may help to think or softly say, “Lift, pause, swing, place, transfer, pause,” as you perform these movements.
6. When you’ve completed your paces in one direction, come to a stop with your feet parallel and pause for a few breaths. Then turn slowly, using the same movement pattern and matching each movement with an inhalation or exhalation. Pause again, facing the path you just walked. End by retracing your steps back to where you started.


August 20, 2012

AVEDA Energizing Composition

Filed under: Aveda Product — Rizzieri School of Massage @ 7:54 am

A lightweight, aromatic oil for bath, body and scalp. Contains organic sunflower oil, organic green coffee seed oil, vitamin E and an uplifting blend of essences including lavender, ylang ylang and sweet orange.

  • Leaves skin feeling soft, supple and conditioned.
  • Exhilarating, energizing aroma uplifts the senses.

To use:

  • After shower or bath–apply a few drops of Energizing Composition™ to damp skin to seal in moisture.
  • Add to running water for an energizing bath.
  • Use for an energizing scalp and body massage.

August 16, 2012

Ayurvedic Oil Massage

Filed under: massage — Rizzieri School of Massage @ 8:03 am

Ayurvedic oil massage helps strengthen and balance your whole body, improves circulation and vitality, and rejuvenates your skin.

This massage uses sesame oil, and it is recommended as part of any daily routine because it rejuvenates and revitalizes the physiology.

It produces a youthful influence for the skin and helps to balance.

1. Start with cold-pressed sesame oil, available from your health food store. Ideally, the oil should be “cured” before using (by heating slowly to the boiling temperature of water, 212 degrees F, and cooling). The oil should be warmed each time you use it.

2. Use the open part of your hand (rather than your fingertips) to massage your entire body. In general, use circular motions over rounded areas (joints, head) and straight strokes over straight areas (neck, long bones). Apply moderate pressure over most of your body and light pressure over your abdomen and heart.

3. Start with your head. Pour a small amount of oil on your hands and vigorously massage it into your scalp. With the flat part of your hands, use circular strokes to cover your whole head. Spend more time massaging your head than other parts of your body.

4. Next, massage your face and outer ears, remembering to apply a small amount of oil as you move from one part of your body to the next. Massage this area more gently.

5. Massage the front and back of your neck and the upper part of your spine. At this point you may want to cover the rest of your body with a thin layer of oil to give maximum time for the oil to soak in.

6. Vigorously massage your arms, using a circular motion on your shoulders and elbows and long, back-and-forth strokes on your upper arms and forearms.

7. Now massage your chest and stomach. Use a very gentle, circular motion over your heart and abdomen. You can start in the lower right part of your abdomen and move clockwise, ending up at the lower left part. This gently massages your intestines.

8. Massage your back and spine. You may have trouble reaching your entire back.

9. Massage your legs, vigorously, making circular motions over your hips, knees, and ankles. Use long, straight strokes over your thighs and calves.

10. Finally, massage the bottoms of your feet. As with your head, this important area of your body deserves more time. Use the palm of your hand to massage your soles vigorously.

11. Follow your oil massage with a warm bath or shower, using a mild soap.

August 15, 2012

DIY Massage at Your Desk

Filed under: massage — Rizzieri School of Massage @ 7:44 am

At Park Avenue Nutrition, Lisa Cohn deals with massages head on with these must-have tips. From painful facial muscles to tense shoulders, these easy-to-do tips are beauty cheat sheet-approved.

Massage Those Temples “Massage your temples as this helps blood flow to your head, then take your hands and massage your face gently as this relaxes your facial muscles,” Cohn says.

De-Stressing Shoulders “For your head and neck, move head forward and back, and side to side. For shoulders, do shoulder shrugs, bringing up shoulders to your ears and then down. Inhale while raising shoulders upward and exhale while relaxing them down. Rotate them backward and forward, and also make big circles with arms open,” Cohn adds.

Stretch Your Back “To stretch entire back, relax your head, neck and shoulders. Sitting in a stable chair, position feet and knees wide apart while sitting up straight, stretch torso out over thighs and simply drop arms and hands between legs and release head and neck down, resting hands on tops of feet,” Cohn concludes.

Image Credit:

Shecky’s DIY Massages You Can Do At Your Desk-Courtney Leiva of The Doll House

August 14, 2012

Meditation Made Easy – Mantra Meditation

Filed under: Facts and Tips — Rizzieri School of Massage @ 8:07 am



Mantra Meditation
What is it?
Mantra meditation utilizes the power of sound and vibration to create stillness in the body, calm the nervous system and ultimately transform the mind. The words typically come from ancient spiritual languages, such as Sanskrit or Gurumukhi. The sacred meanings of the words enable you to establish a connection to profound truths that have been spoken for thousands of years, explains Krishna Kaur, a kundalini yoga teacher since 1970 and founding member of the International Association of Black Yoga Teachers (

What’s it good for?
Because each mantra differs in its meaning and vibrations produced, you can select mantras to create specific effects— such as increasing mental clarity, developing intuition, or reducing anger and stress. Kaur suggests starting with the simple mantra sat nam because it’s easy to say and remember, yet offers profound effects. Sat translates as “truth,” and nam as “identity.” This mantra helps you identify with a universal spiritual truth in which such transient emotional states as fear, anger and doubt fall away.

How long does it take?
Start with three to five minutes, increasing by a minute at a time until you can sit and chant for a full 11 minutes.

How do I do it?
1. Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor with your spine straight to help your breath and the sound it creates flow smoothly. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath for a moment to get centered.
2. Take a long, deep inhalation through your nose. As you exhale, utter an extended sat (pronounced “sut”) to almost the end of your breath, followed by a short burst of nam (“nom”). Together, the mantra will sound like “saaaaaaaaaaat nam.”
3. Inhale slowly and evenly, then repeat the mantra as you exhale. Continue this pattern.
4. At the end of your session, inhale and hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale through your nose. Do this three times, then sit quietly for a moment and feel the energy flow through your body. Open your eyes, stand slowly and carry your sense of calm and clarity with you.



August 13, 2012

AVEDA Active Composition

Filed under: Aveda Product — Rizzieri School of Massage @ 7:52 am


With wintergreen oil and menthol, this exhilarating blend of essences helps soothe tired, sore muscles with a combination of cooling and heating sensations.

  • Invigorating aroma
  • Excellent for deep-penetrating massage
  • Awakens and refreshes senses
  • Not recommended for children
 To use:

  • Apply a small amount of Active Composition™ directly to problem areas and massage onto skin.
  • Use it to create a rejuvenating foot bath.

August 9, 2012

Sports Massage an Integral Part of The Olympics

Filed under: massage — Rizzieri School of Massage @ 7:27 am

The Olympic Games offer a unique opportunity for skilled massage therapists to blend their passion for healing with a love of sports. Considered to be the pinnacle of competition, the internationally studded Olympic stage is the ultimate event for sport lovers. For practitioners of sports massage, there is no greater honor than helping Olympic athletes bring their A game. Its prominence at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games is testament to the value elite athletes place on massage therapy.

Massage for Olympians
Massaging muscles in preparation for their being stressed to the maximum is not a new idea. In the first Olympic games of 776 BC, athletes received massage before an event. Afterwards, the competitors would take a dip in a hot bath, receive massage and then dip in a cold bath to prepare their muscles for the next event. However, massage therapy did not become an official component of the Olympics until Athens in 2004 where it was categorized under recreation, sharing a building with social lounges and computer labs.

The worth of sports massage during the biggest global sporting competition has finally been acknowledged this year. Because it is crucial to the well-being and performance of the athletes, the 2012 Games in London have included massage therapy under the medical category. After applying to be an Olympic games massage therapist and enduring interviews and trainings, those lucky enough to be among the chosen to be a volunteer at London’s Summer Olympic Games are able to make a legendary contribution to the world of sports.

Sports Massage
A growing specialty for massage therapists, sports massage is a necessity for many professional athletes. Boosting an individual’s competitive edge, the performance and wellness advantages afforded by sports massage is highly sought after. There are three main goals of sports massage:

1. Assist the athlete in achieving his or her peak performance
2. Prevent or reduce the risk of injury
3. Help with injury recovery when needed

Sports massage can occur in a variety of different settings and administered at different times with different goals. In general, there are four times to administer sports massage:

1. Pre-event Massage – Pre-event massage typically occurs at the sports event, 20 to 30 minutes before the event. Encompassing techniques such as friction to help warm muscles up, compression to increase circulation in specific muscles and range of motion to assist in joint mobility, pre-event massage focuses on the muscles that will be stressed most during competition.

2. Post-event Massage – Also administered at the event site, post-event massage is aimed at helping the athlete recover from muscle soreness or cramping while reestablishing range of motion and circulation. Post-event massage might consist of compressive effleurage for calming the nervous system and pushing fluid, stretching and petrissage to relieve muscular tension, compression for spreading muscle fibers and restoring blood flow, broadening strokes to lengthen tight muscles, and reciprocal inhibition to relieve muscle cramps.

3. Maintenance Massage – Administered in between competitive events, a sports maintenance massage is part of an optimal wellness program that targets an athlete’s strength, flexibility, coordination, biomechanics, posture, stress patterns, scar tissue and existing injuries.

4. Rehabilitation Massage – Because muscles worked to their limit cramp, tear, bruise and ache, even the most cautious athlete could benefit from rehabilitation massage. While sports massage should only be administered in unison with proper medical care, rehabilitative work can dramatically speed healing and ease pain. Rehabilitation sports massage techniques could include effleurage, neuromuscular therapy, compression, cross-fiber friction, lymphatic drainage and trigger point massage.

Sports massage is a satisfying and growing field, as professional athletes are grateful for the service. Since their bodies are in top physical condition, injury recovery time is dramatically reduced. Professional athletes’ careers depend on their body’s ability to function optimally. Especially because the benefits of sports massage are recognized immediately, professional athletes have a very high likelihood of treatment compliance.

Particularly for therapists who enjoy being a part of the excitement of a sports game, tournament or competition, investing time and energy into the specialty of sports massage can be a great career move. Although certainly not for an initial foray into sports massage, those practitioners already flourishing in this field can experience the ultimate professional high by sharing their skills at the next Olympic Games.

This article was written by Nicole Cutler L. Ac. –

August 8, 2012

DIY – Massage with Tennis Balls

Filed under: massage — Rizzieri School of Massage @ 7:37 am

Are you looking for an easy way to release some tension at home?  Here are a few ideas that can be done while using a tennis ball.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place two tennis balls on either side of your spine just behind you on the floor.
  • Place your palms on the floor behind you and, propping the weight of your torso on your hands, lift your seat up just enough to come to sit on the tennis balls. They should be on either side of your tail bone.
  • Take three to five breaths here, allowing the tennis balls to penetrate the muscles in your buttocks.
  • After three to five breaths, roll your hips toward your feet so the tennis balls move further up the lowest part of your back an inch or two.
  • Take several breaths here; then roll again.
  • When it feels comfortable to you, lower your elbows to the floor so that your arms don’t have to overwork to keep your torso supported. The idea is to soften as much as possible at each step of the way.
  • Once the tennis balls reach the bottom of your rib cage, bring your torso all the way down and rest your head and neck on the folded up blanket or firm pillow.
  • When you reach your neck, use your hands to keep the tennis balls from popping out to the side.
  • When you’ve massaged the entire spine, remove the tennis balls and the cushion from under your head and lie flat on the floor for a few breaths, noticing the difference in how your back feels from before you started.


  • When you find a spot where the sensation of the tennis balls is particularly intense—and you will—either rock slowly so that the pressure isn’t constant, or move the tennis balls slightly up or down until you find the point where you can tolerate the intensity.


  • Spending several breaths working on each spot releases the stiffer connective tissue that holds the muscles in place as well as the muscles themselves.
  • This increases blood flow to the back of your body, encouraging tension and stress to wash away as new energy rushes in.
  • It offers a cheap, simple way to indulge yourself (no expensive trips to a fancy spa required—although fancy spas definitely have their time and place, you can’t exactly go every week).

Kate Hanley is a regular contributor to Whole Living, a passionate yogi, and the author of The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide. She’s also founder of

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