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Austin, Beauty, Gift Guide, Houston

The Official milk+ honey 2016 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

February 4, 2016

Our annual Valentine’s Day gift guide is here. No matter who you’re shopping for — man, woman, or best friend — in your life, we’ve got you covered.
 

GIFTS FOR HER

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The 2016 Valentine’s Date Night  package includes a 60-minute Couples Massage and side-by-side m + h pedicures.

 

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Set the mood with these Makana candles. Made from USA-grown soybeans, these handcrafted vegan candles will make any place a feel like a romantic getaway.

 

GIFTS FOR HIM

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Treat him to Back Rub 101. You’ll both learn how to give relaxing neck and back massages in a 30-minute hands-on class, followed by a relaxing 60-minute Couples Signature Massage.

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For the guy who loves working out, our Active Set is a must have. The set includes the milk + honey  Arnica Balm, No. 18 Bath Soak, No. 18 Bath & Body Oil, and Calendula Cream,making sore and achy joints a thing of the past.

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If he loves beer and coffee, then Benjamin Soap Co. Coffee Stout Beer Soap is a great gift option. Handcrafted by the Zilker Brewing Company, this luxurious soap is ultra-moisturizing for all skin types.

GIFTS FOR YOUR BFF

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Indulge your best friend with our 2016 Valentine’s Head-to-Toe Retreat. This spa day includes a 60-minute Signature Massage and Lux Pedicure.

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Gift your BFF with some milk + honey staples, such as our Essential Gift Set. This set is packed with beauty greats, including  No. 16 Body Cream, No. 14 Body Wash, Everything Roll On, Lip Polish No. 35, and Lip Butter No. 40.

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Is your friend a makeup lover? Look no further than Youngblood Cosmetics. From the Contour Palette to the Mineral Matte Lipsticks, this luxurious vegan mineral cosmetics line is cruelty-free, paraben-free, and has become the go-to for celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, and long-time fan, Jessica Alba.

DON’T FORGET YOURSELF!

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You deserve the 2016 Valentine’s Ultimate Retreat. Enjoy a relaxing day at the spa with an Ultimate Massage, Ultimate Facial, and Ultimate Pedicure.

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Want healthy, glowing skin for your big date night? Our HydraFacial, — available only at our 2nd Street District location  — cleanses and exfoliates your skin while providing nourishing serums to create flawless skin. Head straight from the spa to your romantic rendezvous without any downtime or redness.

Culture, Houston, New Spa Partisans, Salon

Meet the Newest Members of the milk + honey team

February 1, 2016

Our team is growing and we’re always looking for more exceptional talent. Click here to see our career page. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we’d like to introduce you to the newest Spa Partisans. 

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Meet Alana, concierge. As a certified yoga teacher, Alana has a passion and love for health and wellness, and knew that milk + honey would be the perfect fit for her. Born and raised in Austin, her favorite way to start the day is with a yoga session at Sanctuary Yoga or Wanderlust, a jog around the Greenbelt or Lady Bird Lake, and then have brunch at Justine’s Brasserie.

 

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Meet Shantel, a massage therapist at our 2nd Street location. Originally from Montana, she’s a second generation massage therapist. After seeing her mother help people, she decided this healing and rewarding path was for her too. Though Shantel doesn’t have any pets, her housemates have two precious pups and four chickens! Her number one beauty tip is that people should drink more water and regularly receive messages.

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Meet Elizabeth, concierge. She has been living in Austin for three months and is loving every second of it. Originally from Las Vegas, Elizabeth decided to become a concierge because she loves helping people. Outside of milk + honey, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her curious cat, Doug, and cheeky dog, Ringo, both of whom are in her words: spoiled rotten!

 

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Say hello to Jennifer, concierge. She considers herself lucky having lived in Austin all her life and loves to spend her time outside of milk + honey seeing and listening to live music around the city. 

 

Celine

Meet Celine, massage therapist at Hill Country Galleria location. Hailing from Chizé, France, she has been in Austin for just over a year and has always had a passion for people and wellness. When she’s not using her healing touch to relax and rejuvenate clients, you can find her enjoying a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse, taking swing dance lessons, or watching the bats take off from under the Congress Bridge.

 

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Meet Josiah, stylist at Hill Country Galleria location. Josiah loves providing his clients with an amazing haircut and a great experience. Originally from the Greater Seattle Area, he lived in San Diego for  two years before moving to Austin only two months ago! His wellness tip to all is that you need to pamper your mind, body, and spirit and everything else will follow.

 

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Meet Dawn, concierge. She has lived in Austin for two years and enjoys visiting all of the various food trucks the city has to offer. What Dawn loves most about milk + honey is the company’s unique culture and loves working with others who enjoy creating a wonderful and excellent experience for guests. After a day of helping people relax and unwind, she loves to spend time with her two furry children, KC and Stogey, who are best buds.

 

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Meet Jackie,  concierge at our Houston location. She is passionate about health and wellness and decided to fuse her passion for these industries into milk + honey’s newest  location. Born in San Francisco, she has lived in Houston almost her whole life, and has a two-year-old Red Lacy (the official state dog of Texas) named Barley Hops and a bearded dragon named Kitty.

Austin, Hairstyles, News, Salon

New Service Alert! The American Wave…

February 1, 2016

For hair that has curl, texture, body, and movement, it’s time to join the American Wave movement. Available exclusively at our Arboretum Market location with stylists Susanna and Krystal, this new, damage-free, texturizing service creates soft, natural-looking waves and curls.

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Perm vs. American Wave

Traditionally, perms create tight, patterned curls by using harsh chemicals in the hair. The American Wave treatment uses different styling tools, such as soft Flexi rods wich allow the stylist to create looser more natural-looking curls and waves. Plus, this service doesn’t cause damage to your hair. After the service, the wave will continue to drop and loosen the curl for up to four weeks. This allows the hair to grow out nicely, creating that tousled, beachy look.

For a step-by-step look, check out the ARROJO American Wave video.

Which hair types are best for American Wave?

All hair types are welcomed to try the American Wave. Recently, the American Wave launched the new American Color Wave, which is perfect for clients with color-treated hair.

You’re ready to try the American Wave, now what?

Before booking your American Wave appointment, please call 512.236.1115 to schedule a consultation with our stylists. This service takes about three hours and will transform the way you look. Along with the American Wave service, clients will also receive one complimentary blowout to be used seven days after the service. During this time, our stylist will help you find the perfect shampoo, conditioners, and styling products for your new look.

P.S. the Kevin Murphy Resort Spray is a fantastic choice to quickly enhance and hold the curl.

 

Before & After Transformation

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(Photo source: ARROJO Studio in New York)
Austin, Houston, Now Trending

Remembering Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 18, 2016

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“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1955, he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He unified a nation in 1963 with his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech during the March on Washington, and in 1965 he led a march through Selma to help gain African-Americans the right to vote in the South. He championed for the rights of African-Americans, and it’s because of his work that African-Americans are able to become astronauts, industry leaders, and even the president. On January 18, we honor a man who did so much for our country, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

In retrospect, 2015 was an amazing year. We saw love win and the world come together to adopt the first universal climate agreement in Paris. In the African-American community, we witnessed great moments like the 50th Anniversary of the March on Selma and Viola Davis’ impassioned speech, after becoming the first African-American woman in history to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. We saw a football team unite behind a young man at the University of  Missouri, who went on a hunger strike to protest the school’s handling of racial tension. It’s moments like these that allow me to believe that Dr. King would be proud to see us and what the future has become. But, as bright as 2015 seemed, it wasn’t without its shadows. So, with all the goodness in my heart, I choose to believe that in 2016 we, as a nation, will revitalize the vision of Dr. King, and what better day than January 18 to breathe life back into his dream.

What many people might not know is that Martin Luther King Jr. Day has evolved from a federal holiday into so much more. In 1983, legislation was signed to create a holiday marking Dr. King’s birth, and Americans first observed this holiday three years later in 1986. Then, in 1994, Congress chose to honor Dr. King by passing the King Holiday and Service Act and marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national day of service. Congress entrusted the Corporation for National and Community Service to lead this effort, and thus a Day of Service was born. On this day, the Corporation for National and Community Service asks us to join hands and serve our community in remembrance of Dr. King. So, on January 18, don’t just take a day off — take a day on and answer one of Dr. King’s most important questions, “ What are you doing for others?” 

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This year, I’ve decided to take his question to heart, and participate in the Day of Service. I will be volunteering at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas, where I’ll sort through hundreds of pounds of food that is used to feed Central Texans who suffer from hunger. For those looking to lend a helping hand in your area, click here to find Day of Service events in your community. Volunteering isn’t the only way to experience Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In Austin and Houston, there are many events going on such as parades, speech competitions, and marches in his memory. No matter how you celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it’s important to remember the man who preached nonviolence, fought for the equality of others, and most importantly, helped move America forward.

If you’re looking to lend a helping hand in your community, or just want to experience the energy at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, check out some of these exciting events in Austin and Houston:

Day of Service in events Austin: Concordia University | Houston-Tillotson University | Austin Parks FoundationCapital Area Food Bank of Texas

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activities in Austin: March and Festival | MLK Oratory Competition

Day of Service in events Houston: University of Houston The Student Conservation Association Houston Food Bank 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activities in Houston: Children’s Museum of Houston | Youth Parade | Battle of the Bands | MLK Grande Parade Houston

New Spa Partisans

Q&A with milk + honey Marketing Coordinator, Gina

January 5, 2016

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Have you met our Marketing Coordinator, Gina?

There’s no better way to get to know someone than with a good, ‘ol fashioned Q&A. So, let’s see what the newest member of our milk + honey marketing team had to say.

Favorite spa service? The 60-minute Signature Facial is my mini-slice of heaven. I’m completely hooked.

Goals for 2016? To create a series of ‘how-to’ videos with our stylists, estheticians, massage therapists, and nail therapists and to create more original content for the blog.

Best thing about Austin? The music. On any night of the week, you can catch a great band playing. Not to mention, Austin boasts some amazing record shops like Breakaway Records. The two other things I love about this city is the food (especially the tacos!) and the Alamo Drafthouse. I spend a lot of time watching amazing films at the Alamo.

Where would you like to see milk + honey next? In Dallas or New Orleans.

Best beauty advice ever received? “You should always drink more water to even out the skin.”

Dinner guests (dead or alive): My dinner guests would be Johnny Cash, Shirley Chisholm, and Kathy Griffin. As a music fan, I have always loved Johnny Cash and have a ton of his LPs. Shirley Chisholm is one of the most fascinating women ever in politics and was a trailblazer for women. My last guest would have to be Kathy Griffin, who has been my favorite comedian for a long time.  I started watching her on her TV show, “My Life on the D-List,” and my goal is to see her perform live.

Favorite book? Ender’s Game (before the movie came out). Orson Scott Card created some amazing characters and I love the sci-fi element of this book.

News, Products

New Year, New Products

January 4, 2016

With the start of the New Year, we’re excited to introduce you to a handful of new products and brands — available at all of our locations.

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Meet milk + honey’s latest additions: Body Cream No. 46 and Cream Deodorant No. 33, inspired by our bestselling blends and products. Cream Deodorant No. 33 is aluminum-free, has an invigorating scent of coconut and lemongrass, and keeps you feeling fresh and dry all day long. If you’re wondering — but does it really work? — don’t take our word for it. Read customers’ reviews right here.

If you’ve already fallen in love with the warm, heady scent of our Home Fragrance No. 46, then you are in luck. Crafted in the same bestselling blend, our Body Cream No. 46 delivers deep hydration without the oily/greasy finish. It’s packed with antioxidants and good-for-you ingredients and its earthy notes of sandalwood, vetiver, and cardamom are instantly uplifting.

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Benjamin Soap Co. was established in 2014 with the goal of producing pure, additive-free, and affordable bath, body, and home care products. This Round Rock-based company crafts soapslotion bars, and candles using raw Round Rock honey, local craft beer from breweries, and homegrown herbs. Plus, all of their products are GMO-free and have no artificial colors or ingredients.

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Hailing from Hawaii, Salato Designs is known for its colorful, print-heavy wristletsleather clutches, and vegan leather clutches — all made from the finest fabrics. Sure, these accessories have the ability to make an eye-catching statement, but it’s also worthing noting: Salato’s designer and founder, Katie Evans, was voted 2015 Accessories of the Year for RAW San Antonio.

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Exclusive to our Houston pop-up, Made in Rye offers beautiful jewelry and handcrafted leatherwork by local designer, Abbie Drue. These Sage clutches and bar necklaces are quickly becoming a favorite amongst our Houston milk + honey team. To celebrate this exciting brand, we’re hosting a Made in Rye trunk show on Tuesday, January 5 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Details here.

Austin, Massage, News

Everything You Need to Know About Rolfing

January 4, 2016

“It is gravity that is the tool; it is gravity that is the therapist.”

— Dr. Ida Rolf

Hello everybody! It has been a long, long time since I last wrote for milk + honey and I feel blessed to be invited to do so again. Where have I been? I went to Colorado for five months. During this time, I “entered” the world of Rolfing® Structural Integration. I studied the nuts and bolts of the art, science, and craft of Rolfing, and received the internationally-recognized designation of Certified Rolfer. I have launched a practice based around this Rolf work and have been having a blast.

Why did I get interested in Rolfing? 

About eight years ago, I was introduced to a man named Ritchie Mintz (Certified Advanced Rolfer in Westlake). This man did more good for my body than any doctor, chiropractor, personal trainer, sensei, or acupuncturist had ever in my life. The Ten Series treatment did wonders to relieve the semi-constant pain, discomfort, and general failure to thrive brought on by scoliosis. In fact, the Japanese jujutsu I practice improved dramatically and immediately, almost by a whole belt level. I felt like I had cheated. This begs the question…

What is Rolfing?

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Rolfing is sophisticated system of manual therapy and movement education that — over a series of sessions — help restore and improve structural alignment and functional movement. From this treatment, clients enjoy improved uprightness and range of motion. Many have reported that they experience an increase in energy, ease, and lightness within the body. In a way, it’s a life hack to better performance and quality of life.

Is Rolfing painful?

Rolfing can and does get more intense; though, many usually described it as a “good” pain. It’s important that the Rolfing massage therapist know how much intensity the client’s nervous system can accommodate in order for this treatment to remain safe and effective. Some Rolfers are known for the white-light pain they cause. I am not that kind of Rolfer, but I do understand that this may be what some clients want and expect. Regardless, the experience differs quite a bit from massage, but still feels good for the most part. Furthermore, every intervention has a purpose — structurally or relationally — it’s not random.

How does a Rolfing series work ?

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Most Rolfers model sessions to follow one another in a progressive and thorough series. Traditional Rolfers tailor a Ten Series to meet their client’s needs. Each session may have its own goal, but this series will ultimately aim to align your body vertically within gravity. Many of us believe that it is gravity and its effect on our structure and nervous system that produces the incredible effects of Rolfing.

Dr. Who?

The story of Rolfing is inseparable from its founder. In the 1920s, Dr. Ida P. Rolf began working as an associate in the chemistry labs at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City. There, she first began to study fascia. Fascia is the archetypical representation of our bodies’ connective tissue and is the basis of Dr. Rolf’s work.

Later in life, she began remarking on body’s plastic nature, its ubiquity, and its tensile strength. During her study, she found she could elicit astounding changes in posture, function, and stress. During the 1960s, Dr. Rolf was invited to demonstrate her work at Esalen Institute, where she codified her work into a teachable body of craft that she called Structural Integration. Her students and clients called it ‘Rolfing.’ In 1971, she left Esalen and established the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado where students could learn to become Rolfers.

What are the benefits of Rolfing?

Rolfing is good for people too healthy to receive a diagnosis from a doctor, but not quite as vital as they would desire. It can delay surgeries and it can help people recover faster from surgery. It makes an excellent support for people making a fresh start, people beginning a new fitness regime, or even a new commitment to mental health. It is good for feeling a little younger — for personal “spring cleaning.” It simply helps people to realign themselves in gravity. Obstacles dissolve and people discover what they need when gravity can flow through them in a healthy manner.

I will never forget my first Ten Series with Ritchie. Of all the benefit I received, the most important one was that Ritchie had helped me to restore myself to something I had no idea I had ever lost. As I received the work, my body became more self aware and wiser to its own functioning and presence. I simply had to go and plunge into that world myself. Now I get to hear those same sentiments echoed by my clients. Maybe they’ll become Rolfers too.

I appreciate all the love and support I have received from both milk + honey and all of my clients over the years. Happy New Year!

Austin, Houston, News, Wellness

Find Balance in Your New Year’s Workout Resolution Here.

January 4, 2016

It’s that time of year again — the time for reflection that comes after holiday indulgence, but before the realistic onset of life in the New Year. Take this time to plan ahead and to create healthy goals and intentions (“resolutions,” if you will) that are challenging yet attainable. At milk + honey, we’re not extremists. We like balance and strive to keep it that way. So, when it comes to thinking about the year ahead, we’re setting out to engage our minds and our bodies equally — here’s how.

 

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CrossFit + Sports Massage

Sprinting, climbing rope, box jumps, kettlebells, and flipping tires are only a handful of the high-intensity exercises CrossFit utilizes in its interval training program. After your WOD, take your stretching to the next level. Our deep-tissue, full-body Sports Massage helps to ease any muscle tension and soreness in joints, which will in turn, prevent injury.

Where to go in Austin: CrossFit Central

Where to go in Houston: Urban Animal

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Yoga + HydraFacial 

Bikram, Hatha, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Vinyasa. Whatever your practice may be, yoga is one of the meditative ways to exercise. Extend your calming environment outside of the yoga studio to include another relaxing sanctuary: the spa. Our Ultimate HydraFacial is exactly what your skin needs after a sweaty stretch session. Smoothe rough-textured skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and bring your skin back to its natural, youthful state without any redness or downtime.

Where to go in Austin: Black Swan Yoga | Wanderlust | CorePower Yoga

Where to go in Houston: Your Body Center | DEFINE | Yoga One

 

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Indoor Cycling + The Spa Partisan 

Between the adrenaline-pumping music, synchronized pedaling, and the feeling of relief after that last incline (er, turn of the resistance knob), we can’t get enough of indoor cycling. It’s not for the faint of the heart, but we challenge everyone to tap it back at least once in the New Year. Plus, if you cycle to the finish line, then you’ve certainly earned our Spa Partisan treatment. This full-body brushing is followed by a brown sugar, coffee, and crushed almond skin-polishing blend that leaves you feeling relaxed and renewed.

Where to go in Austin: RIDE | Love Cycling Studio

Where to go in Houston: Revolution Studio {Bonus: take your cycling outside with Houston’s new about-town red cruisers, available for on-demand rent all around town.}

 

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Dancing + Signature Massage with Foot Scrub

After shaking your hips and breaking it down on the dance floor, treat your feet to some TLC with our Lux Pedicure. The nail soak, shaping, cuticle maintenance, extra hydration, exfoliation, and warm oil treatment offer up an incredible one-two punch for your feet.

Where to go in Austin: Corazon Latino

Where to go in Houston: MET Dance | Vitacca Productions & Company

 

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Running + Hit the Trail Retreat

If you prefer to hit the trail (or treadmill), don’t overlook our Hit The Trail Retreat for the post-run cooldown. This retreat includes an hour-long Sports Massage followed by the Buff + Go Combo, 15 minutes of extra foot massage, and CosMedix SPF 30 sunblock. Leave happy and refreshed.

Where to go in Austin: Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail

Where to go in Houston: the new Sandy Reed Memorial Trail

 

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Barre + Hydrating Body Cocoon 

Dance enthusiasts, unite. Barre class is composed of isometric holds, small range movements, and large dynamic movements, which in turn, effectively build strength, flexibility, and improve posture and balance. Finish your workout with our Hydrating Body Cocoon, which will leave your mind and body relaxed and your skin healthy and hydrated. Start with an invigorating full body brushing, then move to a 45-minute Signature Massage complete with an aromatherapy-infused body butter.

Where to go in Austin: Barre3 | Mod Fitness 

Where to go in Houston: DEFINE | Pure Barre

 

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Boxing + Manicures

Who knew jabs, crosses, and hooks could greatly improve your cardiovascular health? Thanks to the vigorous workout that is boxing, you not only work up a great, healthy sweat, but you also tone muscle and improve flexibility and strength. Once the gloves are off, consider it time to polish that right-left combo. For guys, try our Buff + Go manicure. For ladies, you can’t go wrong with our m + h Manicure.

Where to go in Austin: Austin Boxing Babes | Austin Fight Club

Where to go in Houston: Elite Mixed Martial Arts

Massage, Wellness

How Can I Treat Jaw Pain?

December 28, 2015

Today, one of our expert 2nd Street District massage therapists, Kelly, talks jaw pain — and how to ease the tension we create for ourselves.

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Many of my clients experience jaw pain and tension — it’s very common. Too often, we clench and grind our teeth as a response to stress, a habit that occurs when we try to concentrate, or sometimes, it manifests itself as a subconscious holding pattern we’re not even aware of.

 

The Context

Let’s start from the beginning. In orthopedic medicine, there is a prevailing idea that the mandible (jaw bone) and the pelvis “talk” to one another. Both of theses bones are directly connected to one another via the spine. The jaw connects to the hyoid bone, which dictates posture and alignment in the neck, along with the atlas. And, on the pelvic end, the pelvis and the sacrum work in tandem to balance us in an upright position at the base of the spine. In short, jaw tension can throw off your entire posture — and it can even cause both hip and lower back pain.
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The Culprit

Tension in the jaw can lead to lots of symptomatic pain in the body. For example: did you know that your Masseter muscles — muscles that run from your cheek to your jaw — can exert upwards of 250 pounds of pressure per bite? Now, if you think about that kind of semi-constant tension in your head, it makes sense why those who suffer from chronic jaw tension experience headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and whole-body misalignment.
Another culprit of jaw tension, pain, and TMJ is Malocclusion. Malocclusion is when your teeth meet in a misaligned way as the two dental arches approach each other as the jaws close. Almost everyone has some form of malocclusion, and, generally, orthodontists are only interested in your malocclusion if it causes you pain.
Many orthodontic surgeons think that the best way to treat severe malocclusion is through surgery, believing that night guards, retainers, and other dental applications will not help. What many orthodontist don’t take into consideration is that chronic jaw tension is more often than not a symptom of anxiety and high stress. More importantly it’s a postural choice we make. Whether we are aware that we are making that choice is another question entirely.

Make Yourself Aware

Body awareness is a somatic skill that must be honed in everyone, but especially when you’re dealing with chronic pain and stress. Meditation and physical practices like yoga, pilates, dance, or sports can help you become aware of the inner machinations and connections between your body and mind. See if you can catch yourself in the act of clenching and grinding your teeth.When this happens engage in the mantra, “soften jaw and breathe.” Notice the breath in your body when your teeth are clenched: is it deep or shallow? Rapid or slow? Notice the position of your shoulder blades. Inhale deeply, shrug your shoulders up by your ears tightly, then exhale and drop them completely. Do this several times to allow all of the muscles in your shoulders to release.
Remember you are in control of what you are aware of. Where awareness goes, energy grows.

The Solution

In a spa setting, chronic jaw tension and TMJ pain can be addressed, as long as the client is consistent with massage appointments. Regular-focused masseter, pterygoid, scalp, face, and neck massage can relieve built-up tension and pain. Therapists trained in Craniosacral Therapy can address jaw pain and tension via manual adjustment.
The spa environment, and even the act of carving out time on a consistent basis solely for self-care and self-love, is a huge step toward managing stress. Often, massage therapists and other spa employees are a lot like ESS (Emergency Stress Services). Ideally though, we want our clients to live their best, pain, and stress-free lives. In this day and age, massage and other self-care services are not luxury experiences, but necessary investments in overall well-being and health.
If you are experiencing chronic jaw or if you suffer from TMJ, know that you have support from milk + honey. We have an amazing team of massage therapists who can help you if you are experiencing acute discomfort, and we can refer you to other wellness professionals in the area who can help you tackle the issue from a multidimensional approach.

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