Deep Tissue Work, what it is, how it should be and what to look out for.

Today I want to talk about massage, more so about Deep Tissue massage and what it really is (in my view) and what it is not.  One of my definitions of Deep Tissue work is: (from my web site) Deep Tissue: deep tissue work is the specific manipulation of the deeper tissue and structures of the muscle and fascia, also called connective tissue. Deep Tissue manipulation therapy uses many of the same movements and techniques as Swedish massage as well as cross fiber, pin and stretch, active and passive movements with others, and the depth is more intense. It is also a more focused and slow, as it works to release chronic muscle tension or knots (also known as “adhesions.”) Although it is more uncomfortable then Swedish massage, it shouldn’t be painful. The presser used should not exceed a 4 to 6 (the client’s tolerance) and is only performed on one or two parts of the body.

The term “deep tissue” is often misused to identify a massage that is performed with sustained deep pressure. Deep tissue massage is a separate category of massage therapy, used to treat particular muscular-skeletal disorders and complaints and employs a dedicated set of techniques and strokes to achieve a measure of relief. It should not be confused with “deep pressure” massage, which is one that is performed with sustained strong, occasionally intense pressure throughout an entire full-body session, and that is not performed to address a specific complaint. If a practitioner employs deep tissue techniques on the entire body in one session, it would be next to impossible to perform; and will lead to injury or localized muscle and nerve trauma, thereby rendering the session counterproductive. This type of work is done, in no more then 1/4th of the body in a massage session.

Deep Tissue massage is not a type of massage into itself, but a way of doing a massage. Lots of massage modalities work the deeper tissues, Orthopedic Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Neuromuscular Massage, Rolfing and others all fall into the category of DT work. Some therapist like to put all modalities that work “deep” into the body into the category of DT work even if they do not work the deeper tissues directly like Thai massage, Tui NA, Visceral, Reflexology, Lomi-Lomi, Cranio-Sacral and others. While they do affect the deeper body they do not work the deeper tissues directly and fall into different categories.

Some things to look for when receiving Deep Tissue work.

1)      NO PAIN, while DT work can and will be uncomfortable it should not be painful, this can be a very fine line, but when this work is done right, it will be slow to move deep, the tissue will be warmed first and allowed to relax before moving deeper.

2)      It’s SLOW. This is not a full body, done in an hour type of work. It can take 15 to 40 min just to work one arm with good DT work, depending on how your muscles react.

3)      Not a lot of PRESSURE is used.  With DT work the surface muscles are worked and allowed to relax first before going to the next level. When a lot of pressure is used to reach the deeper muscles it can bring on some pain, then your fight or flight response kicks in.

What happens at this point is your nervous system will kick in, your muscles will do 2 things tighten up to protect itself from what is bring on the pain (at this point 99% of therapist just use more pressure) then it will relax to keep damage from accruing.  This could be a good thing as booth the therapist and client think “wow, it worked the muscle released”, true it did but 99.999% of the time it is short lived.  The muscles “released” to keep damage from happening to it, but after the stimulus is gone, as nothing about the muscle has changed, for the “release” was part of the fight or flight response and not a true change in the muscle, it will tighten back up and most time as the muscle was under a great deal of stress from to much pressure being used, it will tighten up more than it was before the massage work.

Now some people really like deep pressure. After a deep pressure massage they are like, “I just feel so good after it”, true for an hour or four, or a day or two you do. Mosley from the endorphins that were released from the massage.  Now if you don’t know endorphins are your happy hormones, they are released when the body is in pain, stress or the like and make you feel better, they kill pain and give you a “high”.  But like all “highs” they don’t last and you end up right back where you started (or worse).

So now that you know some about what Deep Tissue  work really is (or should be)I would like to add one more thing. Massage takes time to work, over time when your muscles are chronically tight they get to a point where they want to stay that way, they feel that “this is how we are meant to be”.  It will take time to retrain them to be relaxed and move like they should. So give it time to work. One massage just might not do it, one massage a month might not. Massages benefits are cumulative over time, the more you get them the better and longer lasting it is.


Face Scrub, Now you can customize it! New InFo!

Last week I talked about the new ReNew face scrub/mask. Now there have been some changes to it. I am now offering the scrub/mask without an essential oil blend pre-added, and have (for now) 3 essential oil blends you can choose to have added to the scrub. They are, the ReNew blend, for its anti-aging properties, Soothing, had anti-inflammatory and helps reduce redness, and Clear, with antiseptic / acne fighting essential oils.  So now when you perches the scrub you can pick what healing properties you want it to impart to your skin.  

Face Scrub / Mask 2oz  $10.00

With Essential oils Blend $12.00

New Body and Face exfoliators

I have been making and redoing body and face scrubs for some years now, adding things and taking things out to try to make them better and better. Well now I think I have them how I want them (well for now LOL).  The body scrub in a mix of medium, fine and powered sea salt with raw honey and frizzed dried raw honey.  The face scrub, or exfoliater that is also a mask, is a mix of organic powered milk, honey, organic rice bran, powered sea salt and extra fine organic oats, and extra fine organic raw sugar.  

I was asked some time back why I use so much salt in my scrubs and why I don’t have one that is just sugar. Well sugar feeds bacteria and yeast, salt is antiseptic and cleansing. Many people enjoy soaking in baths. Soaking in a sugar bath would not be a healthy choice for women (or men), while soaking in salt is a delightfully healthy choice for everyone. I do understand that Sugar does not sting after shaving, I tell people to use the scrub first, it helps loosen the hair, and then rinse with cool water, which leaves a layer of oils for a gentle shave and few nicks and cuts.

When making my products I do not use preservatives, I don’t want to and if made right I don’t need to. I have yet to find a 100% natural and 100% save preservative. All, yes I am telling you ALL pure sugar scrubs need some type of preservative in it. While sugar can be used as a preservative the percentage must remain high or bacteria and mold can grow (the little bit of sugar that can be left on the skin can feed some types of bacteria and fungus), salt, even in fairly low percentages can inhibit or kill bacteria and most funguses.  The high salt content of these two products act as a preservative without the negative side effects.

Brake down of the ingredients:

Renew Body Scrub:  Sea salt, medium for a intense scrub, fine for a more refined scrub and powered for a nice polish to the skin. The medium and fine sea salt work to remove dead and very ruff skin like what we get on our knees and elbows, the powered sea salt works as a polish to finish and smooth the skin. Oils of organic coconut, jojoba, rice bran and sesame soften and sooth the skin and help to trap in moisture.  The honey, raw and frizzed dried raw, add enzymes and acids that help remove old dead skin.  You can use this scrub two or three times a week. Now some have asked about the oils and making things slippery, yes they will so step carefully. So what about the scrubs that are out there that don’t make things slippery? Well most of them use altered oils that have things taken out or added to them to make them water dispersible, the bad thing with this is 1) that stuff is not organic or natural, 2) most of them are known to dry the skin or be irritating to the skin.  The oils I use, while not being water dispersible, are easily removed with warm or hot water and absorb into the skin easily.

ReNew Exfoliator:  this is a mix of gentle exfoliators for use on the face. Powered sea salt acts as a nice polish for the skin as well as preserving the product, rice bran and extra fine oats exfoliate as well as soften and sooth the skin, honey adds moisture and with the organic powered milk add enzymes and acids to help remove old dead skin. Glycerin and Vit E help soften the skin and help it retain moisture.  Use about once a week (or twice if needed), just apply to the skin, work around gently and then just leave on to dry.   This will tighten and tone the skin. Rinse off with luck warm water. The skin will get red for a time, as working this into the skin opens up and increases blood flow to the surface of the skin.

Booth of these have the ReNew essential oils blend in them (you can read more about that blend in earlier blogs ). 

Ingredients, what I use and way, first up JOJOBA!

I use Jojoba oil in just about everything I make; it is one of the best things you can use on your skin and hair. But first Jojoba is not really an oil but a liquid wax esters akin to the natural restorative esters produced by human sebaceous glands. For you chemists out there, the esters, of high molecular weight, are composed almost entirely of straight-chain acids and alcohols. The acids are a mixture of eicosanoic and docosanoic, with small quantities of palmitoleic and oleic. The alcohols consist of eicosanol and docosanol, with smaller quantities of hexacosanol and alcohols of lower molecular weight.

Jojoba seeds contain alpha, delta, and gamma tocopherols, all forms of vitamin E. The extractable liquid content of matured jojoba seeds ranges from 50% to 54%.

 Jojoba’s conditioning effects are well known and widely recognized. It is found in numerous up-scale personal care products as an ingredient. The product is gentle enough for newborn babies. It soothes, and it restores elasticity to any dry skin area while conditioning and softening. Jojoba soothes and conditions sun- or wind-burned skin.

Jojoba has an SPF of only 2 to 4, so I don’t recommend it for use as a sun screen alternative. Those with darkened or dark skin may wish, however, to use it before applying sunscreen to maintain the skin while in the sun. I would recommend applying Jojoba after sun exposure (but not to sun burnt skin) to soothe and maintain the skin.

Note: Toxicological test data from human and animal studies using jojoba, as well as cosmetic formulations containing jojoba, support the conclusion that jojoba is considered safe (Journal of the American College of Toxicology, Volume 11, Number 1, 1992). In the USA, after more than 30 years of public use of cosmetics containing jojoba, there is no evidence of Jojobas incompatibility with the skin.

Psoriasis Relief. Jojoba does not cure psoriasis. It does provide soothing relief. Moisten the skin and massage in.

Scalp and Hair. Jojoba conditions hair and scalp, prevents dryness, and restores manageability. Jojoba relieves babies’ cradle cap and is far more congenial to the hair and scalp than olive or other vegetable oils or mineral oils.

Jojoba is often found in shampoos and conditioners as an ingredient. Manufacturers include jojoba in their formulas because it is safe, stable, mixes well with other ingredients gives their products a silky feeling and is known to be good for the skin. Also they can add more $$$ to the price!  However, such formulations do not include sufficient amounts of jojoba to make a difference. Symbolic uses of jojoba as an ingredient belie the logic of using it. Consumers want jojoba to penetrate the hair follicle and scalp. Penetration won’t effectively occur if the consumer is washing hair with it. Penetration is best achieved by applying jojoba directly to the scalp and hair prior to shampooing.

Each of us has unique hair and scalp conditions. Formulated products with small amounts of jojoba (sometimes as little as 1% of the total ingredients) do not address our individual needs. Use of Jojoba eliminates the generalizations of formulated products.

Chapped and Cracking Hands. Doctors, nurses, musicians, carpenters, gardeners-those working with their hands find Jojoba an excellent conditioner, which restores suppleness and prevents dryness.

Give your hands a Jojoba bath at night, just before sleeping. Place a generous amount of Jojoba oil in a palm and then “wash” your hands with the product, massaging it into the backs of the hands, between the fingers, and into the cuticles. Continue massaging until all of it has been absorbed. Put on a pair of cotton gloves and leave them on all night. Repeat the treatment from time to time during the day.


Jojoba is non-allergenic. Why? First, it’s a liquid ester akin to the esters we produce in our own skin. Second, it’s unadulterated. There is no formulation. The Jojoba I use contains only the pure expeller pressed extract of the jojoba seed, grown to unique requirements. Absolutely nothing is added. Jojoba is pure. Period. The product is especially useful to people with sensitive skin. Everyone, no matter what his or her skin type, benefits from using Jojoba.

Jojoba is stable. It does not oxidize or turn rancid. It has an indefinite shelf life. Heat does not affect it. Jojoba does not require refrigeration. Indeed, Jojoba will congeal at temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If congealing does occur, simply restore the product to room temperature. It will re-liquefy and can be used immediately. Congealing does not affect its quality. Store Jojoba away from direct sunlight.

Jojoba does not clog the pores. It is non-comedogenic. Aestheticians give facial massages with jojoba. They value the silky quality it gives to facial skin and its ability to cleanse the skin.

Jojoba does not stain. It washes out of clothing and linens with hot water and detergent. If used appropriately, the product will stay in the skin and will not come out on linens or clothing.

Remember, Jojoba works by conditioning (not moisturizing) the skin.

One of the big things I love about using this oil/wax is that it is stable. Very, very stable, and by adding it to products it helps make the product stable so I do not need to use preservatives.

Jojoba quality!

First, the company I get my Jojoba from has set the standard for the quality of the jojoba seed pressed to obtain there Jojoba. They do not permit a combination of good, average and substandard batches of seed to obtain an average quality extract. They require only the best seed available from their own growers to produce our product.

Second, unlike ordinary commercial grades, known as “single-press” jojoba, what I use is pressed to optimize quality, not to maximize yields.

Third, they do not refine (de-color, de-odorize, de-gum, stabilize and neutralize) the jojoba. Refining strips jojoba of its natural goodness.

All of the foregoing practices ensure that I am obtaining the finest quality, pure golden jojoba available anywhere to use in my products and can pass that quality on to you. 

A Closer Look At The ReNew Products

Ok, in the last post we talked about the essential oil blend that is used in the ReNew skin care line. Now I want to talk more in-depth about each product in the line.

ReNew Cleanser: made using a non soap, plant based cleanser .The base is aloe gel, a coconut and herb (soap root) sudsing agent and herbal extracts and hydrosols.  Unlike the “detergents” use in most cleansers, this one will not strip the skin but gently cleans excess oils and removes impurities while living the protective acid mantle intact.  You will not get that dry and tight feeling from this cleanser. Also it is very concentrated, so a little goes a long way. As with most all natural things how you use it is very important.  To get the best results, wet skin with warm water, apply a small amount (one pump works 99.9% of the time) to hands and work up a light lather. Being that it has only natural sudsing agents you will not get a lot of lather. Apply to the face and neck, work in lightly for 60 to 90 seconds and rinse.  Repeat, you will see more lather the second time.  If you have a lot of makeup on you might need to use this a third time to remove it all.

ReNew Toner: This is a mix of hydrosols (to learn more about hydrosols go to know for their skin healing properties. They are antiseptic, toning, moisturizing and protective.  Add to that they are mildly acidic so they help keep the PH of the skin were it should be.  To use this, just spray on the skin, you can use it thru out the day for a quick pick me up.

ReNew Face Scrub/Mask: This is a mix of organic dry milk, local honey, oats, rice bran and a little sugar, coffee and white clay. It gently removes dead skin, stimulates the circulation and tightens / tones and helps pull up and remove impurities. To use this just add a little hot water to make a wet paste, apply gently to the skin, work it in lightly, letting the  oats, rice bran and sugar do the work. Working it in to hard can damage the skin. After massaging / scrubbing the skin for 60 seconds or so allow to dry. Rinse off, if the skin is irritated you might have worked it in to hard. Be gentle with it, and your skin. Let the exfoliator do the work.  Use this after cleaning the skin, no more than two or three times a week.

ReNew Night Serum: is a mix of very powerful oils that heal, strengthen and repair the skin. So what makes this better than the $50 to $100 serums out there? The ingredients!!  Most of your high end serums will have 2 or maybe 3 active ingredients; mine has 100% active ingredients! The base is organic jojoba oil:  known for 1000s of years for its skin healing and protective properties. To that I have added Argan oil: is rich in poly-unsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic acid, Omega 6, and natural tocopherols.  It is said to be nourishing, regenerating and protective for all skin types. Amaranth oil: Rich in polyunsaturated fats, it is an excellent preventative for sagging, aging skin, and mature skin, as well as dry, irritated, itchy skin caused by harsh winter weather. Cranberry seed: said to moisturize the skin as no other oil can contributes to the lipid barrier protection of the skin and assists in moisture retention. The oil also contains high concentrations of tocopherols, tocotrienols, phytosterols, phospholipids and Vitamin A.  Pomegranate seed: found to nourish and moisturize, improve elasticity, reducing wrinkles and preventing aging.  Has been shown to help sunburned and ultraviolet damaged skin.  And more! I have use no cheap fillers is this Serum, so all you get is active ingredients. When you use this you want to add a small amount to the skin, covering the face and neck with a thin layer of the serum, let it sit on the skin for 15 min or so, if all the serum has been absorbed (a good sign for dry skin especially in the deep layers) reapply and let penetrate for 15 min. You want to have a little serum left on the skin.

ReNew Body Scrub:  using fine sea salt, raw frizzed dried honey and organic oils of avocado, argan, rice brain, amaranth, borage seed, evening primrose and pumpkin seed in a coconut oil base. Rich and creamy, deeply nutritive to the skin and gently exfoliating.  After a bath or shower just put some in your hands, work them together to warm it some and apply to the body, gently work in and rinse. You might want to work it in longer on the knees and elbows. You can let yourself air dry for a deeper penetration of the oils or lightly dry with a soft towel.  If you use on the feet (and it is very good for ruff, dry feet) be careful as it will make the feet slippery.

ReNew Body Oil:  with the same oils as the Body Scrub but with added sesame oil to lighten it up. A little goes a long way, put one pump in the hands and work into the skin, you might want to use a little more on the knees and elbows.

ReNew Body Butter:  this is the same as the body oil, but without the sesame oil and with added shea butter for a richer thicker and better for very rough day skin.  Take a small amount and work into knees, elbows and where ever you have very dry skin.

ReNew Pomegranate Lip Balm: you can find lip balms with pomegranate (something) added for $8 to $10 and if you really look at it the “pomegranate” is one of the last ingredients after a lot of waxes and other things that don’t really do much for the health of your lips. Like all the other things I make every ingredient has something to offer, Shea Butter not only softens the skin but has some SPF (about a 2 to 5), cocoa butter protects, even the local bees wax helps lock in moisture and protect the skin.  The pomegranate we use in an organic Pomegranate seed CO2 extract, so it has all the phytochemicals intact and is very concreted and is about 20% of the total ingredients! Much better than the 2% or 5% in the high end $10 lip balms!

 ReNew Hair Treatment:  this can be used either as a levee in or hot oil like treatment for deep conducing of the hair and scalp. Made with organic jojoba and coconut oils, known and use for 1000s of years for strong, beautiful and health hair.  Argan oil makes up about 25% if this treatment (that’s about 80% more then what is in some of the high end “Argan oil” hair treatments you find out there)and is known to fortify the hair giving it brightness, softness and a silky effect, nourishes and revitalizes the scalp. It has essential oils of West Indies Bay: said to stimulate hair growth (this is what has been used in the Bay Rum hair tonics for 100s of years), Rosemary: fresh and stimulating, stimulates circulation, hair growth and combats dandruff, Sage: helps to clarify scalp, Atlas Cedarwood: helps give a “brightness” to the hair, helps balance the scalp.  Using is easy, after cleaning the hair (for best results do not use a conditioner) apply to hair and scalp, using more or less as needed, massage in well, for a levee in conditioner apply just as much as you need to cover hair and scalp, for a “hot oil” type of treatment apply a little more and wrap the hair in some plastic wrap and put a towel over that, let it sit for 15 to 20 min then rinse with warm water and go.