About Me

My goal as a Licensed Massage Therapist is to provide you with more than just relaxation and stress relief. I focus on helping relieve pain and muscle tightness by working to align your body back to its natural posture and help increase the body's full range of movement through various forms of soft tissue massage, deep tissue massage and energy work. I also am deeply committed to fully understanding your individual needs so we can work together toward a positive outcome. My clients often comment that they’ve never had a massage therapist spend so much time talking and asking questions prior to a massage, that its refreshing to know that I really do care and want to know exactly how they are feeling or how they actually injured themselves. No two people are alike, which is why no two massages I give are the same. I customize my work to create the best possible results for each of my clients.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Massage Benefits....How can massage help you?

In a recent article from MassageTherapy.com the author discussed the many benefits of massage therapy and how investing in massage not only helps you feel better, but creates a more fulfilling life for you and your loved ones.

I thought the article was informative and very helpful and wanted to discuss some of the main points while reading through, so come on along and find out how massage really can help you enjoy your time on this big rotating ball

Now, More Than Ever, You Need a Massage
Invest in Your Health, and Navigate Difficult Times with Grace

Consumers may be tempted to trim their wellness budgets when economic times are tough. Yet a recent national consumer survey showed most massage-minded Americans are committed to maintaining the health benefits they experience with massage. It only makes sense. The better you feel, the better job you can do of caring for yourself and your loved ones.

Now, more than ever, massage should play a role in reducing stress and strengthening the health of Americans. When people feel their best, they are more likely to be able to face the challenges difficult times present. With greater health and peace of mind, consumers can face difficulties with poise, clarity of purpose, and strengthened emotional reserves.

Truly, massage is more than a luxury--it's a vital part of self-care that has a positive ripple effect on us as we work, play, and care for others.

I have spent a lot of time working in the massage field with clients that have injuries, depression and anxiety.  For people in pain, depressed or filled with anxiety, massage is not a luxury.  Massage is a pill free option to help reduce or eliminate the problems at hand.  Unlike man made pills, massage does not have a long listing of side effects except those that are beneficial.  We see every day that pain  killers and pills that help with depression and anxiety all have long lists of negative side effects.  Instead of focusing on all the negative side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, lets take a moment and look at some of the beneficial side effects of massage. 

Invest In Yourself and Those You Love

If you think about it, massage is an excellent value. The price of massage has remained stable in recent years, as the cost of movies, meals out, and sports events has risen. Which of these has the power to improve your health and your outlook on life?

Following are health reasons all American adults should be including massage in their family budgets and schedules. Massage:

* Reduces anxiety
* Reduces the flow of stress hormones
* Improves sleep
* Boosts the immune system
* Improves energy levels and reduces fatigue
* Improves concentration
* Increases circulation
* Improves self-esteem
* Reduces frequency of headaches
* Releases endorphins

The positive effects of regular massage can have benefits in many areas of your life.

Home. Massage therapy will also help families under stress create healthier households with clear-thinking and more relaxed moms and dads. Children are very sensitive and often pick up on tension in a household; parents who are taking care of themselves are more likely to be better caregivers and provide a sense of security to their kids. This goes for caregivers of aging parents and other family members.

Everyone wants to have a healthy household.  No one comes home and says "It's so nice to come home to a depressed angry out of control house."  We want to come home to a stress free environment.  Yet the stress free environment can only happen if we create it.  The only way we will create it, is by being ourselves pain and stress free.

Work. The health benefits of massage can help forestall illnesses and lost work time, especially when you may be asked to produce more with fewer resources. Decision-making skills will be better and your performance is likely to be improved with a clear focus and more energy. A hint for the boss: Research shows employees exhibit less stress and improved performance when given twice-weekly, 15-minute massages in the office!  

This last paragraph is for not only the employee who wants to do better at their job, but also the business owner.  A happier healthier workplace creates a more productive workplace.  Many businesses offer space in their building for massage therapists to set up on a daily or weekly basis.  This could be a room that allows for standard full body massage or a quiet space for a quick Chair massage.  Offices that offer massage as a perk are sought after offices and even if they offer massage but it is self pay, people will still see the option as a benefit.

Health Conditions. Those with already existing health conditions can continue to reap benefits in the following ways. And proactively caring for health through massage may help reduce costly doctor visits and use of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Research shows:

* Massage can reduce sports-related soreness and improve circulation--good to know when you may be exercising more to reduce stress.

* Deep-tissue massage is effective in treating back pain, arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia patients receiving massage also have less pain, depression, anxiety, stiffness, fatigue, and sleep problems.

*Massage reduces symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

* Oncology patients show less pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and depression following massage therapy.

* Stroke patients show less anxiety and lower blood pressure with massage therapy.

* Massage therapy is effective in reducing postsurgical pain.

* Alzheimer's patients exhibit reduced pacing, irritability and restlessness after neck and shoulder massage.

* Labor pain. Massage during labor appears to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles and help block pain. Some medical professionals believe massage also reduces tearing, shortens labor, reduces the need for medication and shortens hospital stays.

* Preterm babies receiving massage therapy gain more weight and have shorter hospital stays than infants not receiving massage.

* Massage is beneficial in reducing symptoms associated with arthritis, asthma burns, high blood pressure, and premenstrual syndrome.

All the above massage benefits are just a small section of the areas of your life that can be affected by massage.  How many areas of your life would be helped by a reduction of pain or reduced stress and anxiety?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spicy Noodles and Vegetables (protein rich without adding any meat)

Vegetable Protein Recipe #1 

This recipe is VERY simple and quick to make.  The ingredient list is short and you may even have most of it in your kitchen already.  This recipe is also VERY flexible.  You can use different vegetables, and yes you can even add meat :)  just remember that if you add more of anything increase the sauce to match.

Total recipe calories and protein - 1516 calories 101 protein 
5 individual meals average - 303 cal 20 protein


10oz Whole wheat pasta (your choice, I used Fusilli to help hold the sauce better)
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cup carrots (small rounds or julienned)
2 teaspoons sriracha Sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce (I used “Braggs” Liquid Amino’s a soy sauce substitute, to extremely cut down on salt.  )
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
2 garlic cloves minced

Optional protein additions
-To stay vegetarian/vegan you could add

Tofu - cubed or strips
Tempeh - cubed or strips

-If meat is your game (get it? “game” just a little funny I smiled at myself)

Pre-cooked chicken – cubed or cut into small strips
Pre-cooked pork – cubed or cut into small strips

In a large enough pot to hold all the ingredients above cook the pasta according to the package directions.

While you are waiting for the water to boil, cut up the broccoli and carrots.  (I cut the broccoli into individual florets and julienned the carrots)

In a small bowl mix together the sriracha, soy sauce, natural peanut butter and the minced garlic.  Stir until it is all evenly mixed together.

Two minutes before pasta will be done add your carrots and broccoli to the water

Check the noodles for your preferred doneness.  (I prefer my noodles a bit more al dente or having a bit more tooth) Once the noodles are done pour the entire pot of water, noodles, broccoli and carrot into a strainer making sure as much of the water as possible is strained out.

Return the noodles, broccoli and carrots back into the pot and pour the sauce you made earlier over the top.  Slowly mix all of the ingredients together over a low heat allowing the sauce to coat everything.  If you are using any of the forms of precooked added protein such as the tempeh or chicken listed above, this is when you would add those ingredients.

Makes approximately 5-6 servings

Friday, July 27, 2012

But wait… how will you get your protein??

How will you get your protein?

It’s a question I hear a lot when speaking of my move towards a more vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, and interestingly enough it’s the same question I asked myself only a few years ago as I began to consider eating a more vegetable-based diet.  After much research and reading, I found that getting my body the right amount of protein from eating vegetables is easier than I could have imagined.  So I thought I would pass on some of the helpful information that I have found during my own search to answer the great “Protein” question.

First off, let me say that vegetarian and vegan are different, but there are way too many forms of vegetarian for me to explain here, so we will stick with a very simplistic view of the main differences between the two.  Vegetarians allow for the use of eggs, milk or other foods which do not necessitate the death of the animal.  Vegans do not eat anything that is derived from an animal.  The use of eggs or milk will of course offer a greater chance to fortify your meals with protein, but for this article I will be using the generic vegetarian/vegan title since many people still asked the same question about protein even after I say that I am more vegetarian.

“Many myths surround protein. For the record, vegetarians will not die of protein deprivation. I hope no one believes that anymore. It helps to understand that protein is a macronutrient. What we call “protein” is, in fact, a family of amino acid molecules. When grouped together in various combinations we get proteins. There’s no protein molecule hanging out in that hamburger; rather, the animal tissue is made of many different amino acid building blocks. Protein is just a catch-all term we use.”

As a macronutrient, protein can be found in any combination of food that offers the needed amino acids.  Therefore, a well-balanced meal will inevitably allow you to create the macronutrient protein. 
According to the “Vegetarian Resource Group,”

“It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein, as long as calorie intake is adequate. Strict protein combining is not necessary; it is more important to eat a varied diet throughout the day.”

Yet vegetarians/vegans are still asked how they get their protein.

The question of protein probably came about due to the overabundance of commercials promoting the fact that beef chicken or pork is the choice for protein.  When was the last time you saw a commercial telling us that a single cup of broccoli has 4.38g of protein?  Ok, ok… broccoli is not your favorite, how about some of the following:

1 slice of whole wheat bread which contains 4g of protein,

1 cup of black beans which contains 6.7g of protein, OR

1 cup of brown rice which contains 2.1g of protein. 

This is not to mention the many forms of soy, peanut butter, potatoes and well, the list goes on.

Another possible confusion is that there are nine main amino acids that the body needs to get from an outside source.  The rest of the amino acids can be produced within the body.  So the way in which we eat must offer our bodies an option to acquire those nine missing amino acids.  The nine amino acids that our bodies cannot create are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.  Since most vegetables carry only some of the nine missing amino acids, the missing amino acids are what scare some people into believing that vegetarians/vegans must fully monitor their food intake or create elaborate recipes that will give them the exact nine missing amino acids at each meal.  This is just not true.  If every day you were to eat, over multiple meals, a variety of vegetables including beans, grains, nuts, and seeds, your body would be able to take the amino acids from those multiple sources and create the necessary proteins our bodies need.

 Here though is the difficulty.  We in America tend to eat mostly pre-processed foods made to cook quickly and simply, not fresh vegetables or grains.  How often does anyone cook or bake from scratch like Grandma did?  How often do we use whole fresh ingredients in our foods?  Sadly, not often, and if we do use whole ingredients, do we use a variety of different ingredients every day?  Probably not - most people I know who try to increase their vegetable intake do so with a few main vegetables, and they try to incorporate these few vegetables into every meal.  What this does is makes us VERY bored with the food we are eating.  There is no variety.  I know so many people (and this includes the one in the mirror I see every day) who say they are going to help themselves lose weight by having a salad for a meal every day.  After a week or two and a ton of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and a fat free salad dressing, they stop.  Now why did they stop? NO VARIETY!  It’s like eating the same sandwich for lunch every day for years.  How often do you really look forward to eating your lunch without variety?

 I will admit that as a country we are getting better.  The more chefs we see on TV like Jaime Oliver or Curtis Stone, the better we will be.  They teach us to make foods that are simple, healthy and amazingly flavorful.  They make our taste buds look forward to each meal.

So I guess here is what I am going to do.  Over the next few weeks I am going to find some really great recipes, taste test them and post them here on this blog.  Check back each week and see what’s cooking or even what’s not cooking!

Remember, food is for enjoyment AND fuel!  Let’s enjoy fueling up our bodies with the best foods available.

Friday, July 6, 2012

What is Kinesio Taping?

With the recent addition of a Chiropractor to our team, I have had many questions thrown my way.  One question in particular though has stood out.

"What is Kinesio Taping?"

Many people think that Kinesio taping is something new but as you will see below, that is more false than you could imagine.  Even I was shocked to find out that Kinesio Taping began OVER 25 years ago! 

The pictures above are a demonstration of how Kinesio Tape can be used to help support different muscle and joint groups within the body.  These methods can help not only help support the joints and the muscles, but also reduce pain, decrease nerve restriction and increase lymph and blood flow.

Now the pictures may look funny and very colorful, but I just wanted to point out that Joe uses a light tan colored tape that is not so bold.  mind you I think I like the more colorful look :)

Below is the "ABOUT KINESIO" information from  http://www.kinesiotaping.com/
It gives a brief introduction to what Kinesio taping is and why it has the ability to help us in our day to day lives.

So read on and when you are done, give Joe a call and see how Kinesio Taping can help you!!!

"From http://www.kinesiotaping.com/"

For more than 25 years,  Kinesio Taping has been breaking new ground in the fields of sports performance, pain management and physical therapy.

The Kinesio Taping Method is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while allowing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion. It is used to successfully treat a variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological and medical conditions. Both Kinesio® Tex Tape and the training protocol have shown results that would have been unheard of using older methods and materials.

In the mid-1970s, Dr. Kenzo Kase was already a well-known Japanese practitioner licensed in chiropractic and acupuncture. He developed the tape, which has a texture and elasticity very close to living human skin, in response to limitations he encountered working with rigid sports taping methods on his own patients.

Dr. Kase was experienced with both Japanese and US norms for patient treatment. He began to have questions about the limitations of the Western medical mindset. He heard of a cryotherapy treatment for arthritis that utilized tape to adjust joint distortion.  In Western medicine the presumption had been that once a joint is in a certain shape that cannot be changed. He was intrigued by the possibilities that this treatment could remediate the distortion.

He developed the tape, which has a texture and elasticity very close to living human tissue, in response to limitations he encountered working with rigid sports taping methods on his own patients.
To develop such a modality, he ordered supplies of the different athletic tapes that were available at that time. None of them gave him the results he was looking for. By trial and error, he realized that the source of the complaint was actually in the muscle, not in the joint or in the bone. To stabilize the joint he saw that it was more effective to tape around the muscle to achieve joint correction. The tapes that he was able to obtain were rigid, designed to immobilize the joint.

In cases of injury or overuse, the muscle loses its elasticity. Dr. Kase needed to develop a tape that would have the same elasticity as healthy human muscle. He knew from his practice that the tape would also need to stay on the skin where it was applied. He spent two years doing a lot of research relating to elasticity, adhesives and breathability.

Finally, he came up with a tape that possessed the proper degree of elasticity, and that lifts the skin microscopically.  From that beginning, Kinesio® Tex Tape was invented. Its unique properties were based on a study of kinesiology.
Kinesio® Tex Tape is used to
  • Re-educate the neuromuscular system
  • Reduce pain
  • Optimize performance
  • Prevent injury
  • Promote improved circulation and healing

Thursday, June 28, 2012

We have added a CHIROPRACTOR!!!


We have added a Chiropractor to our holistic team!!

 Dr. Joseph Pilarski DC, CKTP
“I am looking forward to using my skills as a Chiropractor to change each patient’s perception of their physical ailment and empower them to take ownership and to make changes to their life in a positive direction!”

Joe and I plan to work as a team, helping all of you maintain the balance between stability and mobility. Our goal of providing patients with the right tools too actively care for themselves will help allow all of you to see an increase in not only physical health but psychological and emotional health as well.   

As a Chiropractor Joe focuses on evidenced based medicine is a principle, utilizing a combination of Chiropractic manipulation, functional rehabilitation and soft tissue manipulation to treat not only the problem area but the resulting structural dis-ease or kinetic chain dysfunction which happens when our bodies are out of alignment.   

By combining passive care with active care Joe will teach you ways to help heal yourself at home between treatments which will decrease healing times.  By spending time talking to you and actually getting to know you Joe will be better able to understand how you will react to specific treatments and adjust them accordingly to your own needs.

The Best part is that you do not have to go to multiple locations to see your massage therapist and your Chiropractor!

We are now under the same roof!!
Call and set up your appointment today!

Chiropractic Service Options

Chiropractic Manipulation & Mobilization*
Using the principles of "Motion Palpation" www.motionpalpation.org I am able to locate the areas of the body that are restricted in motion. Areas often become restricted with improper biomechanics, injury and posture. Just as too much of a good thing can be bad, we also locate the joints that are moving excessively. We will help to maintain the balance between mobility and stability in the joints of the spine and extremities.

*For those patients who are uncomfortable with the traditional methods of Chiropractic manipulation, we also offer mobilization as a service, this low velocity technique helps restore function as well.

Functional Rehabilitation
Each patient’s response to injury is different and each evaluation of their movement patterns will be different. We will evaluate the possible causes for the dysfunction and pain that you feel as a result of those unbalanced movements. By providing you with at home exercises and in office exercises that are specific to your problem, you can help return yourself to your favorite activities more quickly.

Soft Tissue Manipulation
By using manual therapies such as myofascial release we will incorporate movement into the treatment for specific musculature, tendons, ligaments and other structures throughout the body.

Kinesio Taping Methods
As a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, I will use Kinesio Tape to help activate and inhibit muscles, as well as to support proper joint function. The applications of this tape vary with each problem it is used for and will help you go home with a treatment that can last for up to three days. Kinesio® Tex Tape can be used to help promote improved circulation and healing and optimize performance as well. More information can be found at http://www.kinesiotaping.com/

Treatments Options
All half hour and hour treatments will use a combination of the services listed above.  Joe will take the time to listen to your needs and create a treatment plan that will offer you the best option for success and healing.

Half Hour Treatment – $40                                
One Hour Treatment – $70

“NEW PATIENT” Packages
Full Initial exam and treatment – $60
New patients will benefit from a single price for both Initial Exam and Treatment.

You can contact Joe via phone or email

Joseph Pilarski DC,CKTP
Functional Symmetry, LLC