Laura Bechtold's Massage (Kirkwood)
Learning to Love Who We Are
"Life is a series
The statistics are alarming. The majority magazine covers, others are trying to
of U.S. women--some estimate more teach young girls to love their bodies,
than 80 percent--are unhappy with beautiful imperfections and all. One way
their appearance. At least 10 million to combat the Hollywood hype and to
young women, and 1 million young men
have an eating disorder. Girls as young
as 6 and 7 are expressing disapproval of
create an appreciation for the bodies we
have is through hands-on massage and
of steps and
their looks, and most fourth-grade girls
are already diet veterans. Most
unsettling is the fact that more women,
Why Massage Affects
and girls, fear becoming fat than they do
dying. Being unhappy with our bodies has
serious, and sometimes lifelong,
ramifications. Feelings of unworthiness
Combating the Images
How do you see yourself? Are you
content with the person looking back at
and self-loathing can set up a lifetime of
self-deprecating behaviors. What
regularly scheduled massage allows us to
you from the mirror each morning or do is "get back" into our bodies and
do you frown in frustration? reconnect with ourselves. Massage can
-Dr. Audrey Nelson
Office Hours and Contact
Please don't call past 7pm
Massage can help restore feelings of self-worth and nurturing--key for body image issues.
In this Issue
Unfortunately, many of us are unhappy help us release physical and mental Body Image
with the person looking back. Whether patterns of tension, enhancing our The Art of Bathing
it's lamenting about having a ability to experience our bodies Tips for an Even Complexion
pear-shaped figure instead of an (regardless of their shape and size) in a
hourglass, or exhibiting more serious, more positive way. Just as it facilitates
self-hating body dysmorphic disorders, our ability to relax, massage also
body image is under siege in our encourages an awareness of the body,
celebrity-fixated society. While Madison often allowing us to more clearly see and
Avenue continues to airbrush photos of
svelte, 120-pound supermodels for Continued on page 2
Continued from page 1 Through the Scars to integrate again. The chasm between
identify destructive behaviors, including We also have to remember that a body and mind that created the eating
overeating or purging. negative body image is not necessarily disorder, or fueled the negative body
about those few extra pounds on the image, begins to narrow. In her book,
Massage also creates a sense of nurturing hips. It might instead be tied to the scars "Molecules of Emotion," Georgetown
that is especially powerful when it comes of past injuries and surgeries. Massage University Medical School professor
to poor body image. Accepting the can help here, too. For burn victims, Candace Pert explains that the body is
nonjudgmental touch of a trained research has shown massage can help in the "actual outward manifestation, in
therapist goes a long way toward the healing process, while for physical space, of the mind." She says
rebuilding an appreciation and respect postsurgery breast cancer patients, that if we generate negative energy in
for your own body. If we find acceptance massage and bodywork can reintegrate a response to our appearance, it can
for who we are and how we look, we are battered body and spirit. In addition to eventually find its way into reality.
giving ourselves permission to live softening scar tissue and speeding
comfortably in the skin we have. postsurgery recovery, massage and Self-acceptance, then, is paramount for
bodywork for these clients is about living well, and massage/bodywork is a
respect, reverence, and learning to look healthy path to get you there. Finding
The Value of Massage the stillness in a massage session allows
Research shows that touch is a powerful at, and beyond, the scars.
you to just "be," without judgment.
ally in the quest for physical and mental Partner that with the comfort that comes
health. Not only does it help us be more Finding the Stillness from allowing your body to be nurtured
in tune with our bodies, it can also helps Experts say that when the tissues start to by someone else, and we begin to
restore a sense of "wholeness" that is let go and relax under a massage remember our value, regardless of our
often lost in our segmented, therapist's hands, profound shifts occur outward appearance, or what we perceive
overscheduled lives. When we regain that emotionally and physically. A softening it to be.
connection, it's much easier to happens, and the brain and body begin
remember that our bodies are
something to be cherished, nurtured,
and loved, not belittled, betrayed, and
Valuable for every age and every body
type, massage and bodywork have
innumerable benefits. Here are a few:
- Alleviates low-back pain and improves
range of motion.
- Decreases medication dependence.
- Eases anxiety and depression.
- Enhances immunity by stimulating
- Exercises and stretches weak, tight, or
- Increases joint flexibility.
- Improves circulation by pumping
oxygen and nutrients into tissues and
- Releases endorphins--the body's
Every Shape and Size
Whether a client weighs 30 pounds or
300 pounds, massage and bodywork
therapists are trained to appreciate all
bodies, without judgment, and to
deliver the best care possible. As in any
session, a therapist's goal is to create an
environment that feels safe and
nurturing for clients, all while
delivering much needed therapeutic
touch. For heavier clients, some minor
adjustments might be needed in the
delivery of the bodywork, but its
nurturing, therapeutic, nonjudgmental
role will remain unchanged.
Cultivating a positive sense of self, from the inside out, contributes to a life well lived.
The Art of Bathing
Simple Recipes to Soothe Mind and Body
From bubble baths to essential oils to Most American diets are deficient in
Dead Sea salts, prepared bath products magnesium. However, one of the best
are designed to enhance a bathing ways to boost dietary intake is by bathing
experience, but they can be expensive. in Epsom salts, which are readily
Instead of spending the extra money on absorbed through the skin.
special bath products, try one of these
natural, simple bath recipes with Milk
ingredients you probably already have in Add 2-4 cups milk or buttermilk to bath
your cupboard or refrigerator. water.
Rich in calcium, protein, and vitamins,
Epsom Salts milk replenishes the skin, while lactic
Add 2 cups Epsom salts to bath water. acid found in milk acts as a natural
Magnesium sulfate, or Epsom salts, has exfoliant. A member of the alpha
been used for centuries as a folk remedy, hydroxy acid family, lactic acid breaks
and research now confirms its numerous the glue-like bonds between the outer
benefits. The second most abundant layer of dead skin cells. Soak in a milk
element in human cells and a crucial bath for 20 minutes, then gently scrub Turn your home bath into a spa experience.
component for bone health, magnesium skin with a loofah or washcloth.
is also needed for muscle control,
energy production, and the elimination Honey
of toxins. Magnesium eases stress, aids Add 1/4 cup honey to bath water.
sleep, and improves concentration while A fragrant, natural humectant, honey
reducing inflammation, joint pain, and helps skin attract and retain moisture.
muscle cramps. Sulfates help to flush Its antibacterial and anti-irritant
toxins from the body, prevent or reduce properties make it an ideal cleansing
headaches, and even improve brain and soothing additive to a warm bath.
Tips for an Even Complexion
Diminishing Freckles and Age Spots
While freckles tend to develop in people When you do notice freckles or age spots Many skin care products contain AHAs,
with fair skin, red or blonde hair, and gaining ground, the following options but they can also be found in fruits and
blue or green eyes, age spots happen may be beneficial. milk. Apply a mask of sour milk and
later in life regardless of skin type. But allow it to dry before rinsing, or, for a
both are caused by an accumulation of Lighten Naturally more aromatic option, make a fruit
melanin in the skin, the pigment that Lemon juice is a natural lightener. Used mask of pureed ripe papaya. This fruit
makes us tan. Both will also likely darken twice a day, it will help fade age spots contains papain, an enzyme that helps
in the summer with sun exposure and and freckles. Apply fresh lemon juice to dissolve dead skin cells.
fade in the winter months. skin with a cotton ball and allow it to dry
before applying sunscreen and makeup. Supplement with C
A Prevention Plan Taking a vitamin C supplement helps
The best way to avoid these unsightly Exfoliate reduce skin's sensitivity to the sun and
spots is with a prevention plan. Use a Human skin constantly sloughs old dead can prevent melanin buildup.
sunscreen with at least a sun protection cells as new ones are produced. With
factor (SPF) of at least 15 as a part of aging, the skin tends to lose some of its Talk to a Skin Care Professional
your daily skin care regimen, and wear ability to eliminate these skin cells. Estheticians can provide products and
protective clothing when outside. Age Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) loosens the treatments to help reduce or eliminate
spots will concentrate on the backs of the glue that holds old skin cells in place. skin spots. Discuss your spots with a skin
hands, so be sure to apply sunscreen When used regularly, AHA helps care professional to determine the best
there, as well as your face. eliminate old cells and excess melanin. options for you.
"Don't smoke." "Most over-the-counter and almost all prescribed drug
treatments merely mask symptoms or control health
-Mayo Clinic MD's. problems or in some way alter the way organs or systems
such as the circulatory system work. Drugs almost never
deal with the reasons why these problems exist, while they
frequently create new health problems as side effects of their
-John R. Lee, M.D.
Laura Bechtold - Segur