Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why Exercise?

exercise to ease pain
Just wanted to remind you that I will be out of town from today through August 3rd. I'll be doing a little work and a little play in Europe with another VIP client. And because you are a VIP to me too, I wanted to give you another tip for managing pain and stress while I'm gone.

That tip is: Exercise...

Yup! Stay active!

If you have had a knee injury, back, neck or shoulder strain, I know that you may feel just a bit reluctant to exercise; thinking that it could cause you more harm than good. But the opposite is true!

Strengthening the muscles that support these structures, and keeping them flexible, is the best way to prevent further injuries. Plus - exercise releases Endorphins that will help modify and reduce your pain.

Just don't be a hero, and don't overdo it when it comes to exercise. Start slowly. Do normal functional movements like walking, mild yoga, or exercise moderately with weights, and build your strength over time.

Remember: Muscle soreness after a workout is normal, but any kind of sharp, shooting, or sudden pain in the muscles or joints (especially during the act of exercise) may be a sign that something is wrong. If you experience this type of pain while exercising, I want you to stop right away and check with your doctor before resuming activity again.

“Listen to your Body”

John Aaron

Monday, July 14, 2014

First Time Massage Tips

john aaron massage for pain management
Sometimes I come across someone who doesn't quite know what it is that a massage therapist does exactly. If you are one of these folks, take a look at the following guidelines I’ve laid out to help you feel at ease and perhaps give you a better understanding of what to expect during your massage session.

Aside from the manipulation of muscle tissue, your massage experience should reach the senses of security, trust and relaxation. Actual massage technique (the touch, pressure and use of friction) are only a part of the session.

In other words, you deserve to be treated well. Your concerns should be listened to and respected.

No matter which massage therapist you see, you deserve that therapist to:


  1. Provide a safe and secure environment and carry liability insurance for you protection as well as the therapists.
  2. The therapist should have competency in human anatomy & physiology.
  3. Maintain records including continuing education, certifications and session notes.
  4. Do his or her best to secure your comfort on the massage table.
  5. Should you be too warm or cold, a therapist should adjust room temperature and/or provide you with coverings.
  6. You should be regularly asked about the comfort of the pressure and technique she or he uses during your session.
  7. You should have privacy to dress and undress, and unless you both agree otherwise, the areas of your body that are not receiving massage should be covered.
  8. You are unique and deserve an individualized approach to your session. Not some stereotypical, cookie cutter “rub down.”

To get the most out of your massage experience, you DO need to take some responsibility, too. Don’t be afraid to communicate your needs with your therapist. Speak up! Remember to:


  • Tell your therapist if the pressure is too light, deep, painful or otherwise uncomfortable.
  • Update your medical information frequently with your therapist.
  • Honor your therapists’ time and call 24 hours in advance if you need to cancel.
  • Definitely cancel if you are sick or contagious.
  • Don’t forget to let your physician know that you are receiving massage therapy.
  • If you are confused or need more information you should be able to freely share your concerns with your therapist as they arise.

Not only do I specialize in massage for pain management, but I am excellent at introducing the benefits of massage to first time clients, too. Feel free to call 713-562-2474 or book your session with me online HERE. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How Does Sports Massage Improve Your Performance?

It's common knowledge that regularly stretching the muscles helps prevent injuries, but sports massage takes it one step further. Sports massage supports your training and stretching program by building healthier tissues and preventing injuries.

Using this type of massage can help you prevent muscle strains and sprains, recover from events and strenuous workouts, and heal from injuries. Before athletic events and workouts, massage prepares you by stretching, loosening, and oxygenating muscles. Between workouts and events, massage can help increase flexibility with assisted stretching and the release of chronically contracted muscles.

Massage Increases Circulation
After a sports event, massage can hep soothe soft tissues of the body, aid in repairing micro-tears to the muscles, and further help enhance circulation. When tight, bunched muscles relax and lengthen, they aren't apt to press as much on surrounding structures. As a result, when circulation is restored the flow of nutrients and natural pain-relievers to the stressed area increases. Improved circulation helps reduce fluid buildup in areas of swelling, too.

Injury Treatment Program
Sports massage focuses on using specific massage techniques to help heal recent injuries. Massage relaxes tension in areas surrounding an injury, reduces the painful buildup of fluids in swelling, and helps to improve the condition of the tissues so they can become stronger and more pliable.

Here's the caveat; massage treatment for sports injuries often works best when it is frequent and gentle, especially in the beginning. After a period of rest and a series of treatments the pain should ease, and you can resume your training program, stronger than ever.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Massage offers Headache Relief

Research published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, the American Journal of Public Health, and Journal of Child Neurology indicates that massage can reduce the occurrence and frequency of tension and migraine headaches. This supports the experience that many of my massage clients have had in which they tell me they have experienced a decrease in both headaches and neck and shoulder pain.

How does massage help?
Massage relaxes tense muscles and eases pressure on joints and nerves. When tension held in the muscles of the head, shoulders, and neck eases, there is less agitation to the nerves and blood vessels that supply them. Blood flow is improved and muscle spasms are often relieved.

Trigger points in the neck, head and shoulders can be another cause of pain which respond well to specific massage techniques.

These factors all add up to the relief of tension or migraine headaches.

Massage therapy often reduces the anxiety and worry that can accompany headaches, too. As overall stress eases and muscle tension that can trigger headaches lessens, headaches can be prevented as well as relieved.

Self-massage for stress and headache relief
Sometimes my schedule is completely booked. So if you can't get in to see me for a massage, try the following moves to help relieve stress and pain in the short term.


  1. Press the palms into the center of the forehead. Using a comfortable pressure, stroke across the forehead outward.
  2. Find the center line of your forehead with the first two fingers of each hand. Move the fingers about one inch horizontally to the sides of the center line. Press and release from the hairline downward.
  3. Move your fingers one inch more away from the center line, and repeat the press and release movements. Keep inching away from the center line and vary using the fingers to press into points with making small circles.
  4. Place your thumbs or index fingers at the center of your forehead, just above the eyebrows. "Draw" a line from the mid-line to the temples. Smooth the skin across the eyebrows, making small circles at temples.
  5. Trace with your fingers from the temples down to the jaw. Make small circles into the jaw.
  6. Move the fingers to the center of the forehead, and repeat the movements, again finishing at the jaw.
  7. Place the fingers near the hairline and repeat the sequence.

While this sequence might not be as ggod as having a trained professional do it for you, it does offer some relief until you can make your next massage appointment. If you'd like to know more, ask for help. I am happy to develop one or more techniques to help manage your "hot spots."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Shin Splints: A Pain in The Leg!

After last night's soccer game, your daughter complained that her shins hurt, so you iced her legs before she went to bed. Her legs felt fine after a good night's sleep and you sent her off to school this morning with a kiss and soccer practice clothes in her backpack. Now she's calling and saying that her legs hurt again.

Could it be something more than simple pain?

Shin splints are a common injury among athletes - especially runners, sprinters, figure skaters, and gymnasts.

The term "shin splints" refers to pain felt in the shinbone or tibia (the large bone in the front of your lower leg) after an athlete has run or "pounded the ground" for a period of time. This force of impact can sometimes cause the muscles around the tibia to tighten, pull, or become inflamed, which leads to pain. Shin splints often respond well to home treatment, but if the pain continues, it's a good idea to have a medical professional check it out just to be sure it's not a stress fracture in your shinbone or another serious condition.

Symptoms of Shin Splints

The most common symptoms of shin splints include:

  • Tenderness, soreness, or pain along the inner part of your leg
  • Mild swelling
  • Pain that worsens when you run or participate in other weight-bearing exercise
  • Discomfort in your lower leg that lingers even after you've stopped exercising

These symptoms are most likely to occur after you've been running downhill, on a slanted or tilted surface, or engaging in sports like basketball or tennis that require frequent starts and stops. You may also experience shin splints if you're running in worn out footwear, which offer less support for your feet.

Along with treating the pain of shin splints with ice, rest and elevation, you may consider the benefits of massage to improve healing times and reduce muscular adhesions that may lead to muscular imbalance.