Here are some of the questions I am often asked:
This therapy is based on the cranium, the sacrum and what lies between, the spine and the spinal chord.
The cranium is the head, the sacrum is the triangular bone which ends in your coccyx or tailbone.
Strange though it may seem, if your sacrum is not sitting in your hips properly, it can cause a slight rotation all the way up the spine and cause headaches! The skull or cranium contains 22 bones, 8 of which are considered cranial bones and 14 facial bones. The 8 Cranial Bones are :
The Ethmoid Bone
The Frontal Bone
The Occipital Bone
Two Parietal Bones
The Sphenoid Bone
Two Temporal Bones
It used to be considered that these bones were all fused together, but in fact there is a certain amount of give, a bit like a jigsaw puzzle.
Craniosacral therapy can be used to try and free up or gap some of these bones after trauma and impact injuries or to relieve headaches.
The occipital bone is at the base of the cranium at the back and plays a key role in anchoring muscle attachments so the muscles can pull your head in various different directions.
After performing the atlanto-occipital release (below), I love to stretch your spinal chord. Many people spontaneously tell me it feels good, partly because they have never had it done before! Stretching your spinal chord is great for your nervous system. The spinal chord is only attached at the second vertebra in the neck, C2 or the axis, and again in the sacrum.
First let us talk about the top two vertebrae in your neck. They have special names, the atlas and the axis
The atlas is the largest of your vertebrae as it supports the weight of your head, around 8 to 10 kilos. It rotates with your head and pivots around the axis, which stays where it is. Because it rotates, the atlas does not have such a pronounced spine sticking out as do the other vertebrae. The atlanto-occipital release tries to free up the atlas, as it can sometime get wedged and be the cause of headaches. Likewise, trigger points in the muscles below the base of the cranium (skull), can cause headaches. The atlanto-occipital release is designed to relieve these trigger points, which can improve the range of motion of the head in looking up, looking down and to the left and right, and also reduces the frequency and severity of headaches.
Massage is, like hairdressing, an unregulated industry. It is buyer beware!
An electrician cant put an ad in the local paper without producing a licence.
However, anyone can advertise their services to do massage. Some people go on a weekend course, emerge with a worthless certificate and advertise that they are qualified!
Even if you are not in a health fund, you should look for someone offering health fund rebates because you can rest assured that they:
are members of a professional association which also means that they:
have two Diplomas of Remedial Massage from accredited RTOs (registered training organization)
have a current first aid certificate
have public liability
Members' Choice Providers have had their clinics inspected by Medibank
Members' Choice Providers offer instant health fund rebates for many health funds so you just pay the gap fee
Members' Choice Providers abide by Medibank's fee structure
At the time of writing there are around 25 Members' Choice Providers of Remedial Massage in WA, and I am the only one for miles around!
One of the reasons for this is that many masseurs charge more than Medibank's guidelines, not so much in the Rockingham / Kwinana area, but in Perth.
BUPA also have a similar system, but it only applies for dentists and physios, not remedial massage. I have asked them to reconsider their position.
Yes, but only if you are the one doing the massaging? (Sorry, I couldn't resist! I felt I was getting a bit serious with some of the stuff above!).
The fancy name for reasons not to have a massage is contraindications.
Some contraindications include:
Some people have conditions which flare up from time to time. Massage is safe when in remission periods, but contraindicated when the condition is in the acute stage
This is discussed further in Can massage help my condition?
Massage and lymphatic drainage can definitely help, if used in conjunction with diet and exercise.
Blood is pumped out in the arteries. As the arteries divide into smaller and smaller arteries called arterioles. Here the blood leaves the arteries to take nutrients and oxygen to every cell in the body. It returns in two ways. One is via the veins, which returns the blood directly to the heart. The other is via a colourless liquid called lymph which collects all the toxic wastes. Not many people know too much about this system, but it maintains the body's immune system. The lymph is transport via tiny channels close to the surface of the skin to the nearest lymph nodes, which is where the toxicity is removed from the lymph. The lymph eventually returns to the blood stream. If the lymph channels are blocked, swelling known as edema is the result. A poorly working lymphatic system means that toxicity remains in the body, and this can be a cause of cancer. Bras can reduce the transport of lymph in breast tissue. Over time this can lead to breast cancer, so it is important for ladies to learn how to do some lymphatic drainage on themselves rather than wait until they are 50 to have a mammogram.
We recently had a plumber round. $80 for about 15 minutes work.
We recently had an electrician round. An incredible $385 for 20 minutes work. Well done BT Electrical of Kardinya! This name and shame will remain here for some time..
About three years ago I needed an electrician and paid $165 for half an hours work, but apparently that is a bargain! Last year I use BT Electrics of Kardinya and paid over $350 for less than half an hours' work!
My car mechanic charges $110 per hour. Usually the cars are all dropped off in the morning and the mechanic works through them all day, so has a high income.
A doctor can charges $60 or more for around 10 minutes and pays no GST
A chiropractor charges around $50 or more, usually for less than twenty minutes and pays no GST
A physiotherapist charges around $50 plus for half an hour or often less and pays no GST
A skilled and experienced remedial masseur has to pay GST and battle against a public perception
that massage is not a highly skilled job. I have known several people complete
their two year Diploma of Remedial Massage and then go off into a different job
because they can't make enough to live on. It is part of my crusade to
help change the perception of politicians (to remove GST), the health funds so
that remedial massage is covered by basic packages, and the public perception of what is a fair wage for the effective relief of aches and pains. To date I have lobbied both sides of parliament, so far without success but I am still trying!
We also have a great deal of washing to do of table covers and drapes / towels, we have to be ready in case clients arrive early. We also get no shows and late cancellations. About one in 5 new clients who make appointments dont show up! We also have to spend time answering phones to arrange appointments, spend money on electricity, massage oil, public liability insurance, marketing, membership of professional associations etc etc, so the money we earn is not a straight salary as others earn, we have to take off a lot of expenses first!
We also have to compete with all the people doing massage who are not fully qualified, ie dont have Diplomas of Remedial Massage, are not in a professional assocation and do not offer Health Fund Rebates
Basically a masseur shouldn't be working much more than 20 hours a week, otherwise the thumbs fall off! Thumb problems are the leading cause of masseurs leaving the industry. So if a masseur charges $50 an hour, that is $1000 per week, still less than the median wage, and this is before the expenses of insurance, advertising, rent, towels, oils etc. That is also the point that GST kicks in, another impost that doctors, chiropractors and physiotherapists don't have. Now you tell me how many doctors, chiropractors and physiotherapists are willing to work for less than the median wage? So, if you think $50, $60 or $70 per hour is expensive, perhaps I can persuade you to do a rethink!
My views prompted a fiery flame from a chiropractor who was very angry and demeaning. I asked him if I could publish his email here for you all to see but he declined! I asked whether Flaming 101 was a compulsory part of the chiropractic course or whether it was an elective!! I wonder if he treats his clients the same way he attacked me, a complete stranger. As a director of a large facility I feel he deserves to be exposed, but I have rather more integrity than he does!
And why should I be telling competitors?
Because I welcome improved standards in the profession and that includes marketing ourselves in a positive way.
So here is my version of How To Improve Your Rankings in Googles search results.
I wont repeat all the blogs and forums and Google's own guidelines as to how to get a top ranking, but the three main things I have focussed on over the years has been content, content and content.
Google thrives on content! It hates all those flashy animations! Dull, boring text does the tricks, and a few graphics with ALT tags. Throw in some meta tags and the job is done!
Pretend the user is blind!!
Vision impaired people use software which reads your content to them. Images are great for humans to see, but google is vision impaired!!
So, while people are drawn to flashy animations and graphics, google loves my dull, boring (visually at least) text! Google loves my grammar and punctuation, not just the text!
Include a robots.txt file
Submit your website to google! Google's webmaster tools page
What Google hates:
Hidden text. White text on a white background one pixel high so user doesnt read it but google search engine does. Google can remove you from the rankings altogether if you do this... at least that's what they say, but just how clever are their googlebots?
Cloaked links. Hidden links are a no no, Google thinks you could be attempting to lead people astray to porn sites.
Repetition or duplication of text, google thinks of this as spam
Many companies now employ an SEO who is almost as important as a CEO. An SEO is a Search Engine Optimizer whose job it is to get the companies website high up in Google's rankings, and all the other search engines.
People such as Yellow Pages and Natural Therapy Pages thrive by getting their databases top of the list so they can charge us to advertise with them.
Anyway, if it all too hard for you, here I am! My prices are reasonable for ensuring you have an effective website which attracts visitors through Google and other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo etc
And if all else fails, write a letter to google! I did!