Posts Tagged ‘Decatur’

FasciAshi ashiatsu barefoot massage

So I’m going to be out of town for a few days this week getting my feet educated.

My feet are already pretty smart, but this is something new and I’m not one to shirk from a challenge. It’s new, but the same. It’s called FasciAshi. And even though I haven’t learned it yet, I’ve been talking to my Ashi sisters, the ones who created it and the ones who are a bit more unbiased, and I have to say that I am excited. If you’ve been in to see me lately you have probably heard all about it. If not, I would love to introduce you to this new style of Ashiatsu barefoot massage.

I’ll be home on the 23rd and  there are still appointments available for that week. Shoot me a text if you’re interested in trying out this new style of Ashi and I’ll get you on the schedule for after I return home.

If not, just stay tuned I’m sure I’ll have pictures and lots more to say about it when I get home!

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage Therapy is Decatur’s Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Specialist!

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Relaxed Feet!

It’s that time of year when everyone is running off to the beach or the mountains to relax a bit. I’ll be joining them this week for some much needed R&R. I plan on sitting with my feet in the dirt and sand as much as possible, soaking up some sun and recharging my batteries in anticipation of this very, busy upcoming summer.

I’ll be slow to respond to phone calls, voicemail, text messages, and emails this week so if you are an existing client please use my online scheduler. Remember to use the same email address from which you receive my emails when booking online. Otherwise my scheduler will think you’re new and won’t let you book. New clients, please call and leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

The particulars:

Harvest Moon Massage Therapy & Reflexology will be closed beginning May 30th and will reopen June 6th.

I hope each of you will be able to take some time to rest and recharge this summer. And when you do, I want to hear about it!

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage is Decatur, Alabama’s Original Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapist!

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SymphCellsHarvest Moon Massage Therapy & Reflexology in Decatur, AL invites you to join us for a demonstration of the doTerra Symphony of the Cells technique.

We will have Norma Willock and Anna Rickabaugh from the Auburn/Opelika area here to share with us about integrating essential oils into your wellness journey.

If you are interested in learning more about essentials oils, their uses and application techniques please plan on attending this talk.

When: March 25th @ 4pm
Where: 1900 Flint Road, Decatur, AL 35601
Cost: Free – Please RSVP here, space is limited

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage Therapy is Decatur’s newest Certified AromaTouch Therapist!

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BrokenFingerI was recently approached by a client with this question about massage and broken bones. My initial reaction was, “No way!” But then with a little more thought and research I reasoned that while it would be nice (and much cheaper, less painful, easier, and great for business!) to rub away a break, massage therapy can indirectly help the healing process when bones have been broken.

How Massage Helps Broken Bones

Let’s talk about the healing process for a minute. It starts as we breathe oxygen into our lungs. Our lungs allow the oxygen to dissolve into our bloodstream. Blood then delivers the oxygen to our cells. After the cells have used up the oxygen, they spit out all the by-products of the healing process into the interstitial fluid between cells. The lymphatic system then sweeps them up and transports them through the lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes and eventually out through your eliminatory system. This is a gross oversimplification of the miracle of life, but you get the gist.

Applying the healing process to broken bones it would look something like this. Cells and all the things they make up, muscles, tendons, bones, etc., heal when they are bathed in oxygen. So in order to heal, blood (and oxygen) must reach cells in the area that has the fracture. That oxygen must get used up in order for healing to occur and the lymphatic system has to do its job taking out the trash to keep the area from swelling and squeezing out the possibility for fresh, oxygenated blood to enter. Thus, it only makes sense that the goal of massage therapy in respect to help heal broken bones is to promote and restore optimal blood and lymphatic flow to the area of injury.

What if you have a broken bone and you’re in a hard cast?

You might think massage therapy can’t help, but lymphatic drainage can help reduce swelling and decongest the region around the fracture even when you’re in a cast. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. Certified manual lymphatic drainage therapists are trained to ramp up the lymphatic system. And a busy lymphatic system reaches parts of the body that the therapist can’t touch thus reducing swelling, removing cellular debris and promoting healing. So even if you are in a cast, a massage therapist certified in manual lymphatic drainage can definitely help you along your healing journey.

After you’re out of the cast massage therapy can help in a more direct manner. Muscle atrophy, stiffness and sub-functioning joints can all benefit from an appropriately tailored massage. Delivering a good dose of blood and oxygen via massage and lymphatic drainage to the injured area will be one of the best things about breaking a bone (after the cast coming off, that is).

What you can do to help heal broken bones

  • Eat healthy, nutritious foods – This gives your body the nutrients and building blocks to make the needed repairs
  • Move as much as you can within the guidelines of your medical advice – Get your blood moving so your cells can do their jobs and get you fixed up, also movement helps combat stiffness and gets you going faster and easier after the more restricted healing period
  • Breathe deeply in a clean air environment – Give your blood plenty of good oxygen to deliver to those hard working cells
  • Meditate! – Since you’ve been forced to slow down physically, why not take some time to give your brain a break too?

What to watch out for

  • All massage therapists are not lymphatic drainage therapists. Find someone who is certified in manual lymphatic drainage. This is important.
  • Massage therapists claiming you don’t need to see a doctor for a suspected broken bone. Run/hobble away!
  • Any other ridiculous claims. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

And so now you know how massage can and can’t help when you’ve broken a bone.

Be well, my friends!

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage Therapy is a Certified Holistic Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist!

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Thanks for stopping by. You may have noticed I’m off taking some much needed rest and relaxation. You can still make an appointment through my online scheduler if you like. If not just call and leave a message and I’ll call you when I get back.

Oh and check back here next week. I have some exciting news about a new service that I’m adding.

Hope you’re all having a terrific summer!

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage is Decatur, Alabama’s Original Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapist!

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sun-wearing-sunglassesThis week is National Sun Safety Week and with schools letting out for the summer it can’t come at a better time.

I well remember the summer between my junior and senior year when we spent a week on St. George’s Island. Senior portraits were the week after our beach trip and I was determined to have a tan to remember. Determination quickly led that pale princess to Lobsterville. There were no toes in the water, no ass in the sand, oh no, I spent most of the week inside or on the screened porch reading Crime and Punishment and smelling like a salad. I don’t know what was worse, no water, no sand, the book, or the pervasive eau du vinegar. Ugh!

So I thought I would take a minute to share with you a few tips that I’ve learned over the years in regard to sun safety. Most of them learned the hard way…

  1. Bug spray and sunscreen don’t play nice together. The Sun Safety Alliance says bug spray reduces SPF by 1/3. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that combined they make for a very painful after sun experience.
  2. You can get sunburned in the shade. Experience, y’all. Experience… wear sunscreen even if you’re sitting in the shade, wearing a hat and covered up by a sarong. Also, on overcast days…again, experience.
  3. Spray sunscreen is the devil. I heard something about this on the news recently. They were advising against its use. I don’t know what their issue with it is, but in my experience it doesn’t just spray on nice and even. You have to rub it in just like the regular stuff if you’re going to use it or just go ahead and expect to be sporting a bizarrely shaped sunburn and (if you’re lucky) follow-on tan. Also, I suspect the propellants are dangerous to the atmosphere or our health or the wildlife.
  4. Use way more than you think you need. No really, slather that stuff on like it’s running from the faucets.
  5. Towels and clothing will steal your sunscreen. If you touch any part of your skin with any kind of fabric just go ahead and plan to reapply cause more than likely it took it off of you. Wet towels are the worst for this!
  6. If you develop a fine rash all over your exposed skin after applying sunscreen, go inside and wash it off immediately. Then schedule an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist. Do not spend the entire day outside re-applying the same sunscreen over and over. It’s just not worth it.

So there you go, just a few of my hard hitting, personal learning experiences with the sun.

And if you’re wondering how sunburns and massage relate, they don’t. If you have an appointment for a massage and also have a sunburn that is less than 48-72 hours old, just go ahead and call and reschedule. It’ll save you a trip as most good therapists will send you home anyway.

Take care of yourselves out there in the beautiful summer sun!

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage is Decatur, Alabama’s Only Fijian Barefoot Massage Therapist!

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Muscles_rhomboïdesIf you’ve been to see me and spent any time at all on my table you know I’m constantly harping on how we not only need to stretch muscles, but we also need to strengthen the opposing muscles in order to address and heal the problem. In pursuit of that I have decided to begin a series of self-care articles that will hopefully be helpful to someone.

I’m beginning with Cracking the Walnut because most of us are familiar with the insidious upper back pain that manifests between the shoulder blades. You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all experienced the burning, tingling, sparkling, tightness and/or tiredness between the shoulders that tends to spend weeks or months torturing us before it mysteriously retreats only to return again when we least need or expect it.

Cracking the walnut refers to an exercise I once learned from a Pilates instructor who for several months put me through the unique torture that is called a Body Reformer machine. Her version of cracking the walnut involved me lying on my belly on a big box while holding onto straps and extending my arms straight out to their respective sides as I tried desperately to continue breathing. Eventually I was able to correctly perform this exercise and am glad that I learned it because I attribute it to fixing a host of problems with my upper back and neck.

The good news today is that you don’t need a Body Reformer machine or a Pilates instructor to learn how to crack this walnut. My philosophy for these self-care articles is to give you simple things that you can do with little to no equipment or by using everyday objects and items you already own in the comfort and convenience of your own space.

You simply need to relax and find a place to be. This scapula squeeze strengthener can be done by sitting with your arms loosely held by your sides, head facing forward and aligned over the spine, shoulders down, abs contracted and maintaining a protected, stable, and flat low back. When you’re aligned, gently squeeze the shoulder blades together while keeping the elbows low and at your side. Here’s a short video that illustrates the move.



In most folks, the shoulders start to drift up, a noticeable sway develops in the low back and the chest puffs out. Don’t do this! See the ProTip below to learn how to access the correct muscles and keep your alignment impeccable.

Once you can maintain your alignment through the move, engage and hold for a count of three. Do that 10 times. Observe how you feel before and after each set.

ProTip: If you’re having trouble isolating the rhomboids and middle trapezius muscles, extend both arms straight out to the sides of your body with palms facing forward. Then visualize using your scapula to squeeze out a sponge. Experiment and really pay attention to what it feels like to move and access these muscles.

In the beginning you might get sore from only one set of 10. Remember that these muscles are very seldom engaged in our hunched over a desk, laptop, tablet, and cellphone society. In fact, they are more likely to be in a constant state of stretch which sounds great until the muscles want to go home and rest for a while.

So be kind to yourself, go slow, and work your way up to a stronger set of rhomboids, middle trapezius muscles, and less pain in the upper back.

As always, I’m here with my table if you need me, but I hope you’ll try some of these self-care techniques. Feel better!

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage is Decatur, Alabama’s Only Master Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapist!

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