Melt Massage Blog

Couples Massage Class!


(Makes a great gift!)

Do you want to know how to give and receive an even better massage at home? For any pair of people who love to give, and receive, massage from each other. In 60 minutes, start leveraging the skills I’ve learned from 30 years of practice to both give and receive a great massage, every time. Feel better right away and take home the tools to continue getting better and better at giving a massage that makes them Melt. In person – all Covid protocols followed. Also offered Virtually to do from the comfort of your own home.

Book Now!

Virtual Massage? Yes! (it works!)


Although the global Covid-19 pandemic continues, since Alameda County has lifted its Shelter in Place order and I am now fully vaccinated I am still offering Virtual Massage services.

It is different. But, it works!

Offering Virtual Instruction in:

  • Self-care with Self-Massage Class
  • Other-care with massage for one another; friends, family or lovers, as “Couples Massage Class
    • or Mother & Daughter/Son Massage!

Clients of Virtual Massage Services say,

“Feeling good. Slept better last night.” Rebecca D.

“…really appreciate getting to learn some new techniques and ways to make massages easier and more effective.” – Carla H.

“My pain seems to me to be markedly diminished….You are a good and patient teacher.” – Glenn H.


How it works – by video call:

  • We start with a Discovery Dialogue
    • For self-care, to more effectively treat your discomfort, we review 10 topics to more fully understand the nature it
    • For other-care, we review your top 2 or 3 nagging physical complaints
  • We Set Goals and Establish Expectations for our time together
  • We assess your baseline Knowledge and I add to it

How long it takes ~ 1hr:

  • 15-30 minutes for Discovery dialogue
  • 30-45 minutes for goals, expectations, demonstration and instruction

What to expect ~ Relief!

  • In the comfort of your own home
  • Fully clothed
  • We will
    • establish a baseline for skills
      • What self/other care do you already do?
      • What works/doesn’t?
      • What do you want to work better?
    • demonstrate techniques
      • you show me – what you do, so I can determine what to add to it
      • I show you / guide you – what else I would do
        • leveraging what you already do
          • + ergonomic tips
          • + how to get more out of what you already do
        • adding easy-to-use secrets I’ve learned over 20 years
          • customized for what works for (both of) you
    • practice, review & refine techniques for
      • safety,
      • effectiveness &
      • stamina.

What to take away – New Skills!

  • By the time we’re done you should have new and proven, easy and effective ways to help yourself and the loved ones in your germ-pod feel lasting relief from stress and tension leveraging your learning from one massage to the next.

How to schedule / For more information:

  • email:
  • call / text: 510-418-4262

Looking forward to connecting with you.

In health,


“Why am I always sore after my massage?”

I heard this question from a client recently. I don’t hear this question a lot, but I figured they are not the only one to have this question.

Here are some possible reasons:

1) That massage was too deep for your body. It should never hurt. Always tell the therapist if it feels like too much pressure;

  • if you’re tightening up in response
  • if you’re holding your breath
  • if you’re thinking:
  •  “Maybe this is good for me….?”
  •  “Maybe it will feel better when they’re done…?”
  •  “Maybe they know something I don’t know…?”

Tell your therapist.


2) Your body wasn’t propped properly. If certain parts are sore – ie, your lower back or your neck – perhaps you needed more props. When you’re face up on the table, a pillow under your neck and the full round bolster or a couple of pillows under your knees can help. Other adjustments can be made with props when you’re face down.  It’s easy to know if this was the cause if, in your next massage, you ask the therapist to use these props for you and you’re not sore afterward.

3) Massages are detoxing and they push toxins through your system which can make you feel sore. This is why it is always recommended to drink at least 2 extra glasses of water after your massage. Some folks recommend drinking extra water beforehand, too. Proceed here with caution for when you’re lying face down. 🙂

4) You’re dehydrated. -> Drink more water.

5) Your awareness of your body is increasing and if you finally have the chance to give it attention you may notice aches and pains you’ve been overlooking simply to get through your days. This is a good thing. Take an Epsom soak, drink extra water and have a nap.

You should feel much better in no time. If not, talk with your therapist. In an open inquiry, you two should be able to figure out what’s causing it and how to avoid it in the future.

Massage in Winter during Covid

We’ve come a long way but we’re not completely out of the woods in regard to the risk of contracting, getting sick from, and spreading Covid-19.

I continue with my Covid Protocols, including keeping windows open for fresh air. With Winter this means that air can be very refreshing.

In order to balance our needs for health and safety with your comfort, I have several options to keep you warm. We can:

  1. Do the session with you fully clothed.
  2. Do the session with over the sheet and blanket with you undressed to your level of comfort under the sheet and blanket.
  3. Turn the table warmer on high.
  4. Cover you with a second blanket.
  5. Use the small heating pad to keep your toes toasty.

If you choose to have your session over clothing, consider wearing loose comfortable cotton clothing. I can work over sweatshirts and fleece jackets, too (thanks to many years of doing Chair Massage outside.)

Looking forward to seeing you for your next Melt Massage.

In health,


Too hot? Try this trick

Feeling the heat? Keep cool by tapping into your body’s own temperature control centers. Just apply a wet cloth to any or all of these
top 5 temperature control centers to
chill out fast:

  1. Wrists
  2. Inside elbows
  3. Neck – both sides and back
  4. Backs of knees
  5. Inside ankles

Out at a restaurant and can’t do this easily? Wrap your wrists around a cold drink and see how fast you cool down.

Share these tips to keep your friends cool!
Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly.

Monkeypox and Massage – What you need to know

Risk Management

The risk of getting Monkeypox is present in massage, but very, very low. Here’s how I am mitigating against that risk anyway.

For your protection against Covid-19, Monkeypox, and any communicable disease, at Melt Massage I continue to create a safe space for your massage by applying my Safety protocols throughout our time together. This includes having clients complete health pre-screening forms before appointments, our wearing masks, my cleaning and sanitizing all contact surfaces between clients and, as always, using fresh linens for each client that are professionally cleaned after each use.

The risk of contracting Monkeypox from fabric, according to Peter Chin-Hong, MD, a professor of medicine specializing in infectious disease at UCSF, is “very, very unlikely”  as reported in SELF Magazine, Aug. 9, 2022. That risk would only increase “if you rubbed your skin along the contaminated fabric until you experienced microscopic cuts.” For this reason, and to protect against transmission of any bodily fluids, including the low risk of Monkeypox, in addition to screening for any infectious disease before a massage, I also ask my clients to wear a complete sealing water-proof bandaid covering any cut, scrape, or open skin.

If you have any communicable disease spread by respiratory droplets or skin contact, or know you’ve been around someone at risk of having a communicable disease within the past 21 days, please reschedule your massage.


What we know so far; Prevention, Transmission, Symptoms and Care

Monkeypox presents like some other contagious skin diseases.  Dr. Catherine Schuster-Bruce distinguished Monkeypox from 7 other diseases with rashes that look similar, in an article for The Insider.

Although at least 50% of Covid-19 infections have been considered to be from a- or pre-symptomatic transmission, the risk of a- or pre-symptomatic transmission of Monkeypox is still unknown, according to the latest report on How it Spreads, by the CDC, July 29, 2022.  Therefore, please remember the key points below:

Prevention: Avoid getting it, or at least minimize your risk. If you touch a surface you are unsure of in regard to whether it has been disinfected since the last person touched it,

–> Do not touch your:

  • Mask
  • Face
  • Phone
  • Keys
  • Clothing
  • Etc

         until you have washed your hands well for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or well disinfected your hands.

Transmission: Monkeypox is transmitted through:

  • direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact
  • touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
  • and more (CDC, July 29, 2022).

Transmission can occur from symptom onset until all rashes are fully healed and new skin appears which can take up to 4 weeks.

The incubation period is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days (WHO, May 19, 2022), although a rash can occur as soon as 1-5 days after exposure.

Symptoms: Symptoms evolve.

Early symptoms, before seeing a rash, include:

  • feeling ill
  • swollen lymph nodes (in neck, groin)

As of August 31, 2022, the joint ECDC-WHO Monkeypox Surveillance Bulletin which continues to monitor and update it’s reporting on Monkeypox, noted symptoms including:

  • “rash* in 76.5% of cases

and in 68% of cases:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • muscle pain
  • chills, or
  • headache.”

The NEJM described other symptoms including:

  • body aches and
  • generalized weakness

*The UK’s National Health Service, NHS, reports that the rash “usually appears 1-5 days after the first symptoms”, starting at the point of contact and spreading to rest of the body, including the palms and soles, can look like white raised pimples that swell with fluid, pop, then scab over and drop off. They can be dry and itchy.

Care: If you think you may have it, don’t worry – get information. Isolate, talk with your Doctor and reschedule your massage.

Take care, be safe and be well.


Additional resources:

TWiV Special: Monkeypox clinical update with Dr. Daniel Griffin, TWIV, 5/26/22

Monkeypox, emerging data, 8/8/22, Dr. John Campbell YouTube

Monkeypox Virus Infection in Humans across 16 Countries — April–June 2022, NEJM, 7/21/22, updated 8/25/22


New Masking Policy, as of Sept. 2022

While in the building and throughout your massage, please wear a well-fitting NIOSH approved N95 mask as recommend by the California Department of Public Health as the best way to get the most out of masking. If you do not have one, I will provide one for you.

Want to see how your mask matches up? Compare yours against the others by searching for it on the independently reviewed list by Mask Nerd and Mechanical Engineer with a background in aerosol science, Aaron Collins.

Want to test the effectiveness of your mask yourself? Consider trying this one test as a start: the Candle test.

Be safe and be well.

Top 3 Tips for Traveling without Pain

How many travel injuries have I seen? Pulled backs from lifting luggage, strained necks from sleeping on a flight or on strange beds… Travel can be fun, but it’s not worth injuring yourself over when you’re going on vacation.

Try these tips:

1) Tennis ball – In your carry-on, use on tight spots in glutes, lower back and under soles of feet. Seated, place tennis ball under tight spot in glute, or lean on between lower back and the seat or in socked feet, lean foot onto ball to leverage pressure. For more check the first Tennis Ball video.

2) Hot water bottle (empty) – If room, add this to your carry-on, too! Because Security will take your ice gel packs, pack an empty hot water bottle to use for crushed ice or hot water! Once past Security look for crushed ice or hot water at a food vendor or ask a flight attendant on a plane. Fill your hot water bottle and you’re good to go! If your body feels injured, inflamed or irritated, use ice. If you’ve sat still too long in a dry environment and stiffened up, use heat. Remember, before re-engaging iced muscles, remove ice and wait at least 20 minutes until the iced area has returned to body temperature before exerting normal strain, like getting your luggage on deplaning. Better than your reusable drinking bottle because it can conform to your form. 🙂

3) PYOP – Pack Your Own Pillow! You’ve seen those folks walking through the airport carrying their bed pillows like a security blanket. I used to scoff, but now I humbly admire their simple wisdom in planning ahead for a good night’s sleep wherever they land. You know the best pillow for you at home. If you can, pack it in your luggage. You can’t pack your bed, but you can pack your own pillow. Your neck will already have been through new strains from travel. Why not give it a good night’s sleep when you get there?

For more tips on self-care, while traveling and at home, check out these self-care videos.

And if you have other ideas like these, please share!


(Revised July 6, 2022 from original post Aug. 28, 2019)

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Melt Massage LLC

Melt Massage LLC