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Use the form on the right to contact Megan to schedule or for any questions you may have. 

2700 West Anderson Lane, Suite 509
Austin, TX, 78757
United States

(512)744-7483

Living Anew Therapeutic Massage is the product of 9 years in the business of bodywork and massage as well as lifetime of experiences beginning with childhood sports, college athletics, spirituality and healing, beautiful teachers, and a car wreck. We all have our stories to share. A past which brought us to the person we see in the mirror. What if we loved those stories and let them go? You know, focused on the present and the steps we are taking to create the tomorrow we want. Literally, Living Anew. To live in a new or different and usually a more positive way. Through a combination of structural massage and bodywork techniques to release physical tension and stress management  and self-care education, hopefully you, too, will begin to Live Anew. 

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Blog

This blog will contemplate a variety of topics from personal thoughts on life to informative articles about Massage, or humorous narratives and poetry. Perhaps studies on touch, and well, other things that might make you go "huh?" will be included. Come back often and put in your two cents! 

Filtering by Tag: Massage Therapy

How I came to Massage Therapy

Megan Crystal

I tend to get asked by new clients, “How did you get into this profession”? It’s somewhat of an interesting story, to me anyway, since I literally had no idea what I was going to “be” when I “grew up”.

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Some might say, we don’t really grow up, but expand our experiences, and grow in some direction, based on that expansion of knowledge through those experiences.

The idea that there is a “grown up destination” has definitely eluded me for, well, most all of my life.

If we’re being honest, turns out, I’m not the only one who still laughs at inappropriate times, and you have no idea how hard it is to keep it together when someone passes gas during a massage. NO IDEA!

I digress….

My freshman year of college I was thinking I’d be a teacher and a coach. I had always been a student of all of my sports, and a collegiate athlete after all. What else could I have possibly been good at?

I had zero imagination when it came to seeing what could be out there for me to do upon graduation. Let’s face it, even when society puts the pressure on us to get that job and make that money, the truth is, it’s OK to still be unsure. It’s all going to be ok. Really. You’ll see.

After doing some private shot put and discus coaching, I soon realized I had no patience for high school athletes who didn’t want to be there, and/or listen to what I had to say. I also wasn’t keen on the idea of dealing with the parents who forced them to show up. Ugh. NEXT.

I was finishing up my Bachelors of Science in Health and Sports Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. I was tossing around the idea of going to Chiropractic school. I had seen a Chiro for years and felt it would be a good transition from what I was already studying.

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I soon found out that I would need more pre-requisites beyond all the sciences I had already taken, in order to apply.

I called up my uncle, who is a Chiropractor, and asked him what seemed like a million questions. What came of that conversation was that not only did I not want to attend 4 more years of school, I also told my Self I didn’t want to be responsible for cracking peoples necks.

Now we all know that’s not what they are doing, cracking necks, and through training and practice, I would have been just fine. It’s truly amazing to think about the lies I told my Self in order to not have to try something challenging. Like I wasn’t smart enough or didn’t have the right study habits to buckle down and do it. What if I failed?

Fear is really a bitch, y’all.

During the same conversation, my uncle asked what I thought about soft tissue work, or Rolfing. I had never heard of Rolfing and it sounded interesting.

The next occurrence was nothing short of a gift from the Universe. I found out I was just ONE hour short of graduating with my Bachelors. At the time I was certainly not happy because of this massive oversight, but looking back, yeah, it was perfect.

I went to Dr. Ratliff, my favorite Biomechanics professor, to get my orders for this one-hour independent study course for the summer. I knew he’d be fun to work with one-on-one. I once saw him stand on a desk and yell his lecture to our small laboratory class room in order to show his excitement for the subject matter. I’ll definitely never forget him.

While I was there, he said to pick a topic, read three journal articles and critique them, read a book on the topic and write a book review, then write a 5 page paper on what I learned.

Give it to me by the end of the summer”, he said.

I chose Rolfing.

Turns out, he was mostly absent from my study unless I emailed or called him up for something. It was fantastic not being micromanaged, but also unfortunate that I didn’t get to spend more time chatting with him.

During this study I ordered information from the Rolf Institute in Colorado and found that if I was already a Massage Therapist, I would start at a different level in the program.

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Again, I picked up the phone to call Uncle Mike to talk it out.

He said to me, “Before you head off to the Rolf Institute, you might better see if you can be in a small room, alone, with a naked person, for an hour, because it’s not for everyone”. Um…I hadn’t really thought about it that way.

With that in mind, I enrolled in an Associates of Occupational Studies Degree in Therapeutic Massage in Oklahoma City. I began my training just two months after finishing up at OU.

I never made it to Colorado.

What I had learned about the human body during my time as an athlete at OU, in the cadaver labs, in numerous physiology and biomechanics classes, then finally, during my 14 month massage program, was something comprehensive and expansive. I wanted to practice all of that and make it my own. It was a natural fit that I truly can’t explain with words. It just felt right.

Now, 14 years later, I am still doing it and loving it.

I have added Parent/Infant massage Classes, Cupping Therapy, and currently working on an adult class to teach massage techniques to help each other at home, as well as teaching the benefits of touch.

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Of course, there are always new modalities and techniques I may learn from Continuing Ed. and other Therapists, and I’m always looking for more ways to get the word out about bodywork and it’s amazing effects.

Looking back, I don’t know that I consciously chose to be a Massage Therapist when I grew up. I think it chose me, and I was open to the possibility.

Telling this story reminds me to listen to my gut and trust that everything always works out. Even that random missing hour of course work at OU wasn’t such a terrible thing.

Much love and joy to you all!

Get More From Your Bodywork and Massage

Megan Crystal

One thing I've noticed is we don't get the full affect of our massage because we move through life full speed ahead. While relaxing after a massage sounds perfect and I'd prefer everyone to do it, I'm also very aware of the demands we put ourselves under.

I get questions like, "Can I workout after my massage?" No. You may not. Relax, and let your body recover and recuperate. Does the client always listen? Well, in a perfect world, yes. 

Or "I have a bottle of whiskey calling my name tonight". Nope. Allow the toxins to flush by drinking plenty of water. Have your whiskey tomorrow. (Hey, I like whiskey too, and I understand that people are going to do what they like). Get your water intake up, folks.

Ideally, we are hydrated. We get our massage and relax afterward, continuing to drink water. If there is a certain area of the body which was "worked over" pretty well, throw an ice pack on to bring down any inflammation.

Engage in meditation or breathing exercises. Restorative Yoga is amazing after a massage. (Relaxing in poses and focusing on the breathing.) Seems easy enough, right?

Above all, listen to your body. Again, we are all going to do what we are going to do, and in the end, it's our choice to say "yes" to our body and "no" the rat race....for a day at least. 

Below is an article I read which gives 10 tips to getting more out of your massage. Check it out. I thought it was pretty helpful. 

 

Get more from massage: 10 tips

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your sessions.

Time it right

“When I’m really training hard, I’ll add a massage because I want to make sure I’m recovering as fast as I can,” Eric Young (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) says. And Tiidus agrees that heavy training may push us beyond that inflammatory threshold, where massage might be of the most help. So if you’re going to get a rub down, the best time to do it is after hard workouts.

See the therapist who’s on top of the research

You’re not looking for incense and mood lighting. If a massage is going to help you, it will be in large part because it was delivered by someone who specializes in sport science and stays abreast of the literature on things like mechanotransduction (the process by which soft-tissue pressure and stretching promotes immune and biochemical responses). Ask for recommendations and interview different therapists. You’re after something more akin to a medical treatment than a spa day.

Find a middle ground

Clearly you want more than gentle caressing. But, as Young points out, “if you’re grabbing onto the table and crying, that’s probably doing damage.” One study on massage found that overly vigorous sessions increased muscle damage. It has also been shown that the degree of pressure has an impact on the balance between inflammation-promoting and repair-promoting macrophages.

Work your way up

Our veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction. Massaging against blood flow can damage these valves and cause varicose veins. Make sure the therapist works your arms and legs in the direction toward your heart.

Don’t wait too long

The immunological benefits of massage appear to be greatest when treatment takes place within two hours of damaging exercise. If you can’t fit one into that window, plan for no later than the next day. Macrophages shift from inflammatory to repair mode 48 hours after muscle damage occurs. Inhibiting them with massage when they’re in this mode could be counterproductive.

Mind the pills

The same rules apply to painkillers. NSAIDs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen block inflammation, which can be good or bad, depending on where your balance is at. While researchers still debate their effects on training, there is growing evidence. This includes a well-cited study from Denmark in the Journal of Applied Physiology, showing that NSAIDs taken post-exercise by male endurance athletes inhibit satellite cell activity, which is critical to muscle repair and super-compensation.

Don’t ignore the other stuff

Massage doesn’t replace things like cool downs, recovery rides, and stretching — all of which are backed by extensive research. In fact, a 1983 study out of Sweden published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that stretching was more effective for recovery and range of motion than massage in healthy male volunteers.

But don’t exercise after massage

No study has found benefits to pre-workout massage. Hard exercise does further damage and would undo any potential immunological gains from massage.

Yes, use your foam roller

The rabbit study that found benefits to muscle repair used a mechanical massager that was more like a foam roller than a regular massage. (Apologies if you were envisioning lab assistants pampering rabbits on little bunny massage tables.) Two recent studies showed that foam rolling reduces soreness and allows runners to restore their full sprint speed sooner. Higher density foam with bevels appears to increase the effects.

Tune out

Physiological benefits or not, there’s no denying a massage can be good for the soul. “Sometimes it’s just nice to sit there and force yourself to think about the race,” Young says. (We also like thinking about nothing at all.