Tales From The Massage Table

Understanding the Possible Link of Vitamin D & Breast CancerSunshine1

What is Vitamin D? Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for good bone health. Vitamin D also helps the immune, muscle, and nervous systems function properly. What’s occurring is when your skin comes into contact with sun exposure it activates the inactive nutrients in the body to work properly.

Researchers have found a potential mechanism to explain the relationship between vitamin D and breast cancer. Vitamin D receptors are found on the surface of a cell where they receive chemical signals. By attaching themselves to a receptor, these chemical signals direct a cell to do something, for example to act in a certain way, divide or die.

There are vitamin D receptors in breast tissue, and vitamin D can bind to these receptors. This can cause cells like oncogenes to die or stop growing, and can stop the cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body.  Therefore, it is thought that vitamin D may help in protecting against breast cancer, by making cells in the breast smarter.

Sunshine2Ways to get more Vitamin D:

  1. Sun Exposure – 15-20 minutes a day or at least 3 times a week
  2. Supplements – Vitamin D tablets/capsules recommend by your doctor D3 is the form of supplement you want to take not D2. Myself I take 5000mg once a day because when I was test my Vitamin D was 10 with taking the supplement it is at 47. Normal range for good Vitamin D is 40-80ng/ml.
  3. Adding these foods in may help to bump up your Vitamin D level: salmon, tuna, herring, oysters, mackerel, sardines, certain mushrooms, fortified milk, fortified orange juice, egg yolks and cod liver oil

Just another level to keep into account when taking care of yourself. I was tested and found to be extrememly low. Once I was put onto a daily Vitamin D regiment I started to feel better. Less depression, less aches and muscles pain and just more productive. It’s a simple blood test time to get yours tested. Lets stay ahead of any possible links to breast cancer with this simple test.


Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Your Weight


     As a society each year we all collectively expand our waistlines. We are not helping ourselves by doing this as we all already know. Instead we are creating the perfect storms for disease to manifest in our bodies.

     One such disease is Breast Cancer. For women in the US, breast cancer death rates are higher than any other country. China never had breast cancer, but now that the American Diet has arrived in their country. Breast cancer rates are increasing more and more each year.

     About 80% of all breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of the disease. Some risk factors associated with this possibility are: lifestyle factors(stress), being peri-menopausal and overweight, post-menopausal and overweight, Caucasian, females, and age.

The following guidelines are recommended for everyone. We all already know what we need to do. These are just reminders to check in with our eating habits and see where we can start incorporating more of these.

-Eat at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables every day.

-Choose 100% whole grain foods(such as brown rice, millet, quinoa, whole grain breads).

-Limit red meat and processed meat(lunchmeat) choose chicken, fish or beans for protein.

-Limit alcohol intake

-Eat good fats they help you feel more satiated such as olive and canola oils, nuts(tree growing nuts), natural nut butters, avocados and olives.

-Cut out junk food. If it comes out of bag such as chips and pretzels it’s not real food.

The other really good activity to incorporate into your lifestyle is physical activity(exercise). Some studies have suggested being active lowers the risk of breast cancer recurrence and breast cancer-specific mortalities(death from breast cancer).

Finally, we all know that avoiding weight gain is helpful, whether you are overweight now or not. If you’re carrying extra pounds, losing as little as 5-10% of your weight improves your overall health tremendously. A good goal for most overweight women is to drop half a pound per week for 6 months. What’s more, exercise can also lower breast cancer risk above and beyond the impact it can have on losing weight. Many studies have found that exercise is a breast-healthy habit to create for yourself.  Be patient, take baby steps, be realistic and be BREAST well!



Here we are again SPRING! A lot of people’s favorite time of year.allergies1

Not to hot not to cold, a time to begin again and take another chance in life.

As we start to do spring cleaning in the house or clean up the outside yard, we must also take care of our bodies like we do our houses. Seasonal changes bring a comfortable rhythm to life, but they also bring physical challenges for many individuals. Massage therapy can help you address the seasonal difficulties of spring and summer allergies, which are the primary culprits for physical tension. Everything is beginning to bud and bloom bringing all kinds of pollen, mold, dust and sinus congestion. All of these bring added stress that then increases our cortisol level. Most people rely primarily on conventional treatments, such as antihistamines and steroids. I believe you can also include massage therapy as an added benefit when treating the allergy symptoms. Massage can help relieve some allergy symptoms by reducing stress, increasing circulation, releasing muscle tension and reprogramming the body’s panic reaction which can exacerbate symptoms when we aren’t feeling well. In addition to the massage certain essential oils can also help such as peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil when used correctly can decrease inflammation in the sinuses and flush out congestion.

 Seeing clients come in with swollen eyes, nonstop sneezing and coughing fits start to put a damper on life. By relaxing the muscles and using specific trigger points can relax the body and induce relief. So this spring consider adding in massage therapy to stay ahead of your allergy symptoms. It just might be the ticket to you enjoying spring and summer and being outdoors more!



Let’s define what the difference between the two are:

Curing is what medical science attempts to do through medication, treatment and external intervention. It usually is the result of a series of treatments that hopefully lead to an event – the absence of disease.

Healing is an internal process you do for yourself. Healing restores the balance and harmony to the body, mind and spirit. It can be done without a cure. Healing activities are essential when the negative influences of illness, loss or life changes that encompass your life.


 Now that we understand the difference between the two notice what you do when illness occurs for you or a loved one.  Is it your first impulse to go to the doctor or do you step back and evaluate what’s all going on in the situation then proceed? It’s hard when someone we know or love is ill and we want to help them feel better. We get caught up in the panic of the situation, or that it’s a parent, sibling or close friend that we don’t want to lose. Or how about someone sick with multiple problems and watching how they are handling the disease and what they are doing to help themselves get well or not.

It’s really all about how we handle the cards we are dealt especially with a life threatening disease or illness. I’ve worked on over 200 men and women with breast cancer and it’s always interesting to see how their outlooks are when dealing with the cancer. Some are very upbeat and positive, others are afraid, anxious, & worried and not sure what is happening while others feel like it’s just a hiccup in their lives. They all feel all of these emotions along the journey but some stay longer than others at different spots on the journey.

As the saying goes “It takes a village” to heal one self. There is no one fix. Each of us are individuals just like our own healing needs to be individualized. Here’s a good example where the two worked brilliantly together.

 I had to have a knee replacement last year and everyone around me was like “oh boy”. My mom had hers done and she was like well that’s a year to get better if you do. So I took the approach I had no choice that it had to get done. So I wanted my knee to be a positive experience. Every appointment I said the mantra “I know this will be a positive visit/outcome”, I drank an anti-inflammatory smoothie for a month before surgery to help with inflammation, I increased eating healthy whole foods, amazingly after surgery I had little swelling, I was up and moving that day, with mild pain and discomfort. I started physical therapy 4 days later for 3 months, continued my anti-inflammatory smoothie for another month. While also getting lymphatic drainage massage on the knee, riding my bike, meditation, chiropractor adjustments, oil painting, using essential oils to help with pain and discomfort along with oils to help with scarring and nerve regeneration. All of this is to show you how incorporating both curing and healing approaches can work for your greatest outcome. It took 3-4 months to fully be back in my body not a year. Plus always having the mind set of I will heal easily and quickly. I highly recommend this approach, it worked for me! What approach do you choose?


Do You Know the Difference Between

Traditional Massage vs Oncology Massage?

260I thought it would be good to ask if you know the difference between traditional massage versus Oncology massage? And why it’s important for you to consider when selecting a massage therapist for your needs. Most people don’t know other than it feels good to get a massage. Let’s define what massage therapy is. It’s the manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods also called modalities. Such as Swedish, deep tissue and sports are ones most people have heard of.  Generally, massage is known to affect the circulation of blood and lymph, reduce muscular tension or flaccidity of the muscles, affect the nervous system through stimulation or sedation, and enhance tissue healing.

Benefits of Traditional Massage Therapy:

  • reduction of muscle tension and stiffness
  • creation of a feeling of well-being
  • reduction in levels of anxiety and fatigue
  • promotion of a relaxed state of mental awareness
  • sleeping better at night after the massage
  • relief of muscle spasms
  • greater flexibility and range of motion
  • great stress reliever
  • improvement of the circulation of blood and movement of lymph
  • relief of tension-related conditions, such as headaches and eyestrain


cancermassage4Now Oncology massage is defined as the modification of existing massage therapy techniques in order to safely work with complications of cancer and cancer treatment.  Anyone who has ever received cancer treatment, from those in active treatment to those in recovery or survivorship, as well as those at the end of life, are best served by a massage therapist who has received training in oncology massage.

Benefits of Oncology Massage Therapy

  • cancer treatment history
  • tumor site or metastasis
  • compromised blood cell counts
  • lymph node involvement
  • blood clots or blood clot risk
  • medications (short and long term)
  • vital organ involvement
  • fragile or unstable tissue
  • medical devices
  • fatigue, neuropathy, or pain
  • changes in sensation
  • late effects of treatment
  • reduction in the formation of excessive scar tissue following soft tissue injuries
  • helps to reduce side effects of chemo/radiation treatments
  • improves sleeping at night

Essential aspects of an oncology massage therapists skill set are an informed understanding of the disease itself and the many ways it can affect the human body; the side effects of cancer treatments, such as medications, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation; and the ability to modify massage techniques in order to adapt for these side effects, as well as for the disease.

Hopefully, this makes you more aware of the different kinds of massage and how beneficial they can be especially when treating someone with cancer or any other kind of compromised conditions.




     I am SURRENDERING in 2016. Did you ever have that thought that enough is enough and it’s time to step into your bigness and leave this life behind? But unable to do it when we are holding on to the past, old beliefs, old ways, old ideas or just old thinking?

   The definition of surrendering via Webster dictionary is to “agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, holding on, etc…because you know that you will not win or succeed. To give the control or use of (something) to someone else or to allow something (such as a habit or desire) to influence or control you.” I smell the DIVINE in that definition and WOW that statement speaks nothing but the truth!

Here are things I want to surrender in 2016.


Not knowing my next step

Being ok with nothing happening

To not being able to eat healthy, drink enough water & exercise daily

My love of butter

To not knowing the answer

To not wanting to clean my house, doing wash & grocery shopping every week.

Being alone with myself

To having old friends, things and experiences leave

To creating something new and exciting for myself

To not always being as spiritual as others at times

To not wanting to do yoga or aerobics like everyone else

To not having written a book like many others

My sporadicness of sticking to things

My smallness

My being truthful – to a fault at times

To wanting to help but being stronger to step away without helping

To being here and present now

To just being human and me

To being fearful at times

To being the crazy person at time

To the DIVINE and his all-knowing and divine timing not mine

     Now you have read mine what is it you want to surrender in 2016?

Let’s start a discussion I’d love to know.

Stress, the Holidays and PATIENCE

     I am always a little stressed when the holidays come. Besides doing all the holiday stuff like buying gifts, wrapping, food shopping and cleaning, I am still trying to run my business. When the kids are off from school, and summer vacation starts or when people become sick, business tends to slow down which equals STRESS!!!!

How do I take care of myself when I’m stressed? Here are some of the ways when the stress is peaking.

  1. Focus on all the positive and express gratitude
  2. Get a massage and do the self-care tips I recommend to my clients
  3. Laugh! Watch funny movies or tv shows that make us laugh
  4. Take a walk in nature
  5. Ride my bike
  6. Paint a painting
  7. Play fun, motivational music
  8. Diffuse oils in my diffusor such as “lavender”, “believe” or “joy”
  9. Keep building on the success of what I have already done in my business. Keep reaching out and trying to see what can be new in my business.

And most important

BE Present with what is and just BREATHE through it!!!!!

     Each of us has our own level of stress that we can handle when life gets hard, and knocks us down or just isn’t what we were wanting for ourselves at that time. It’s time to move out of FEAR. The unknown will drive you crazy so just step back enjoy what’s present and know this too shall pass. It may not happen in our timeframe but on the Divine’s timetable, which is always divinely planned and have a lot of PATIENCE while waiting.


Happy 2015 Holidays




Give the Gift of Oncology Massage

this Holiday Season

As a licensed and insured PA. Massage Therapist with specialized training in oncology massage, I offer Oncology Massage to patients who are either recently diagnosed with cancer, undergoing treatment or survivors. We have all been touched by someone who has endured the ravages of cancer lets give back to them.

If you would like to donate by purchasing gift certificates here is the pricing:

         – Buy 2 gift certificates for massage – $160 you save $10   

      – Buy 3 gift certificates for massage – $225 you save $30

          – Buy 4 gift certificates for massage – $280 you save $60    

        – Buy 5 gift certificates for massage – $325 you save $100

You receive the gift certificates at the time of purchase. You can then give them to the individual who you want to help. The gift certificates offer a ONE hour private massage and are valid for ONE year from the purchase date.

Because this is a special package pricing for ONCOLOGY PATIENTS ONLY, splitting of services or giving gift certificates to friends, spouses, or children is not allowed. Please ask about my services for other individuals who are not cancer patients, I also offer packages for their self-care. Any questions contact Kathy Stahl, LMT, S4OM 267-231-8522

FALL 2015

5 Myths You May Not Know About Breast Cancer


  1. 75% of all breast cancers are NOT related to family history or genetics  (In the US:  higher obesity rates, the western diet, higher consummation of alcohol and inactivity can increase your chances. China has the fastest growing Breast Cancer rates right now because the western diet has arrived, not breast feeding, and waiting longer to have a child are also factors.)
  1. Breast Cancer only affects women age 40 or older (Breast cancer also affects men and the fastest growing age category for breast cancer is the age 30 and under)
  1. Wearing an underwire bra or any bra can cause Breast Cancer (No study that has been done to date shows any results confirming this) However your lymphatic system can be affected with not wearing the proper bra or one that is too tight.
  1. Antiperspirants and Deodorants can cause cancer (This has been a long debate. It was thought there was a greater incident of Breast Cancer found in the upper outer quadrant(61%). Antiperspirants have been in use for thousands of years there is no conclusive studies linking the two. Aluminum is the concern.
  1. Getting massaged can spread any kind of cancer (There is no evidence of any kind shown to link that massage can cause or spread the cancer. If you are with a trained Oncologist Massage Therapist who knows how to work with cancer patients you’re in good hands.


Winter 2014

As winter settles in massage360 wants to give you 8 ways to survive the winter.

1. WATER – Drink lots of water. Water is so cleansing and hydrating especially when we are all spending so much time inside with our heaters running. In addition if you drink 8oz of water with a squeeze of lemon first thing in the morning it starts your day off right hydrating the body.

2. MEDITATION – what is it u need to hear from spirit? Taking 10 minutes in the morning for quiet reflection does a soul good. Just sit and listen to the whispers maybe something will come forth that you have been waiting to hear. Meditation can be done anywhere and anytime of a day all you need to do is breathe. It lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and relaxes the mind, body and spirit. Now who doesn’t  want that?

3. WALKING – even though it’s cold out taking a ten minute walk outside will clear your head, get you moving, help your vitamin d level and renew spirit. Bundle up, no excuses just walk nature has so much to offer. Plus it helps with keeping your weight stable,  lowers stress and raises endorphins the feel good hormone.

4. MASSAGE – massage is a great way to help your body stay ahead of getting sick. Getting weekly, bi-weekly or monthly massages helps the body systems to work more efficiently. It flushes your lymphatic system so if anything is starting to begin with illness it will move it out of your body quicker and stay off  illness. Who doesn’t want to avoid getting sick?

5. EATING – eat as healthy as possible. We are all stuck inside and can be in our own hibernation mode. However come spring u don’t want to have dig yourself a deeper whole with your weight. Take baby steps to change try one thing instead of a dramatic or super big change. For example cut out snacking after dinner or cut out bread at one of your meals, eat one slice of pizza instead of 2, or try cutting dairy from your diet. Dairy can be very inflammatory and create more mucus and who needs more phelgm? One thing at a time to make a lasting change you will feel so much better.

6. SKILLS – learn something new whether it’s going back to school for a different career path. To learning how to paint, write a book or play an instrument. There are unlimited possibilities to bring something fresh  and new in, and who knows where it might lead? All good possibilities for sure.

7. CONNECTING. – make connections w girlfriends, guy friends coworkers or make new acquaintances. There is nothing like meeting for tea or coffee and having an adult conversation with someone else. We can tend to isolate during the winter months which in turn can make u feel depressed, alone and create illness along w keeping us in our head constantly. Time for chance get out and mingle.

8. GRADITUDE – daily write a list of things your grateful in your life. Whether it’s that you got up today to the new contract you have been wanting to come thorough did. Being grateful is so powerful and creates such wonderful energy around you that you will notice all day long how good life can be.


August 29, 2013

Falling Into YOURself


As summer winds down, cooler temperatures start happening more often, kids go back to school, routines come back and life in the fall brings you back to YOU.

How do YOU get back to YOU and your routines of life? Do you get up earlier, have time to exercise again, plan more, get organized better, get back to regular eating times or just continue running around always trying to catch up?

How about this FALL considering YOURSELF and what works and doesn’t work for you any longer. What would help you have a fuller, richer, juicer life so you can do all of the things you want to do and more. I suggest thinking about adding massage into one of your routines. Just like eating right and exercising, paying bills, and food shopping massage can be incorporated into your daily life. It’s not just a relaxing occasional thing anymore. More and more people are using it as their “medicine” for their well-being helping them stay healthier and being ahead of getting sick. There are so many benefits to adding it to your “wellness toolbox”. Don’t we all just want more energy, to feel better and live a richer, fuller happy life?

Here are some suggestions for items to add into your “wellness toolbox”:

–      Get regular exercise, whatever it is you like to do

–      Walk in nature to reconnect to the earth, trees and animals

–      Read more

–      Ride your bike

–      Start a new hobby

–      Say positive affirmations to yourself until you actually believe them

–      Make wishes

–      Set tangible goals for yourself so you are not disappointed

–      Volunteer

–      Sit in the sun during a break to get more Vitamin D

–      Laugh and have more fun

–      And of course incorporate 1-2x a month massage for your overall well-being, your body, mind and spirit will thank you

fueltankAs you can see from the list above you have to fill your tank up first to be all 4 yourself and everyone else. Once you take care of you first then you are able to do some more of what you want. Enjoy the fall this year in a new way. Pick a couple of things you want more of and just stand back and watch how life unfolds like the falling leaves.


June 5, 2013

Vacation All Year With Massage

“It’s not more vacation we need, but more MASSAGE we need all year long.”

Do you look forward to your vacation every year? Do you also allow yourself to get a massage while away? Is this the only time of year you do get massages?  If you answered YES to any of the above you are not alone.  Many people believe that getting massage is just a way to pamper or indulge themselves. This is why so many of us wait to have one. We treat it as a way to reward ourselves for special occasions, like birthdays or vacations. The truth is, the benefits of receiving a therapeutic massage run much deeper than the superficial “feeling good”. It is a great tool to have for our overall well-being on a regular basis.

We all know a massage t feels oh so good while on vacation. We are all so relaxed and feel no stress or discomfort in the body which makes it feel even better.  How about allowing yourself to feel that more often in your daily routine?  More and more studies are showing that if you get massage on a more regular basis it can benefit you and your body and prevent many illnesses, pains and discomfort.

Here is a list of just a few of the positive benefits of massage:

  1. Eases Pain and Discomfort**
  2. Can help to manage Anxiety and Depression
  3. Improves Sleep
  4. Boost Immunity
  5. Raises Alertness
  6. Alleviates PMS
  7. Curb Headaches
  8. Ease Cancer Treatments
  9. Lower blood pressure

So why would you wait until vacation to enjoy any or all of these? Massage is a powerful tool to have in your daily life.  All the energy systems of the body get worked on during your massage. The idea of massage is to stay ahead of any illnesses, pain or discomfort. Just like exercising and eating healthy that we are doing to prevent heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses. Massage can help you in achieving your best you, while helping your body to function at it’s best.

Don’t wait for your Vacation to get a massage, get one today!

**Footnote – (part of this list is from this Huffington Post article) The Huffington Post   Sarah Klein First Posted: 02/08/2012


February 21, 2013


Being a massage therapist puts me in an interesting position. Doctors usually speak to patients face to face. Teachers usually speak to students face to face, or side by side. In my profession, I’m speaking to my clients from above, behind, or upside down.

I’ve been a professional massage therapist for over five years. I do massage in my studio as well as in client homes.  The home visits have provided me with some interesting insights to human behavior, all recounted here, anonymously of course, for a bit of workplace humor.

  • Most men feel a bit awkward at first, but within five minutes they are snoring. I often have to wake them up when their session is complete.
  • When I tell clients to undress and get comfortable under my covers, I leave the room while they do. It is always a surprise to me when I begin the massage and find people still in their underwear, shoes, and even fully dressed.
  • During a house call, cats tend to jump up on the massage tables and swat at me as I massage the client’s legs.  Most clients make no effort to move the cats away.  At this point in my career, I do not massage pets.
  • Dogs will lie under the table and then start barking if they hear something. Most clients tell me that the dog will stop barking in a few minutes. They do not.
  • Creating an atmosphere of rest and relaxation is a primary function of massage, but it is difficult to accomplish at home while family members walk around the table talking to the client about how and what to make for dinner.
  • The most surprising event of my career has been arriving at the front door for an at-home massage and having the client answer the door naked.

As a professional, I work with care and confidentiality to provide a safe and private atmosphere. Massage eases stress by relaxing the body, restores the mind, and reinvents the spirit.  The benefits of massage are limitless, and at times….funny!


January 28, 2013

Did You Know there are Different Types of Massage?

Let’s Define What Massage is:

Massage therapy is the practice of using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. It is performed for a variety of reasons, including treating painful ailments, decompressing tired and overworked muscles, reducing stress, rehabilitating sports injuries, and promoting general health. Clients often seek massage for its medical benefits and for relaxation purposes, and there is a wide range of massage treatments available.

Here are the 4 Most Popular Types of Massage
Swedish massage. Uses medium pressure, Swedish massage is a deeply relaxing massage for the mind and body. At the same time, it reduces both physical tension and emotional stress, creating a heightened sense of well-being. It is the most popular massage as well as being great for first time massage clients. swedish1

Deep-tissue massage. This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries. This is great for tight and painful muscles and very targeted massage work is performed. In addition, this massage works gently on the nervous system, sending a message to muscles throughout your body to LET GO and RELAX!deeptissue1

Sports massage. For an active person, an injury can be frustrating, even emotionally devastating. The good news is sports massage is highly effective for common sports injuries such as tendonitis, muscle strains and ligament sprains. Because massage reduces inflammation and swelling, tissues heal faster with less discomfort. Massage also relieves secondary pain in areas that may tighten up to “guard” an injury. Finally it can help restore range of motion and the balance between muscle groups, helping you resume activity sooner, with less pain and freer movement. sports1

Trigger point massage. Similar to Sports Massage but with emphasis this massage focuses on trigger points, or sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse. It can be intense but highly effective when seeking relief for chronic pain conditions such as whiplash/neck pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, or low back pain. Great when blended into the Deep Tissue Massage. triggerpoint1

So the next time you go for your massage now you will know what kinds of massage you can choose from. Enjoy your Massage!!!!