Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved to!  This is my main website, and now an updated one-stop-shop for info about me, online booking, and my blog.

Stay tuned later this year, when has an online store!

Thanks for following me.  Looking forward to seeing you at my blog's new location.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm Moving! (My Blog, That Is)

For those of you who have been reading my blog, thank you!  It turns out that my website ( has been lonely and my blog is going to move in to keep it company.

What does that mean?  (Has he gone mad?)

My blog is soon going to be part of my website, so if you're following it, you'll need to change your bookmark when it moves.  My website will then be the Grand Central of Patrick Smith, LMT.  (And a store is coming later this year where you will be able to purchase products and services, including gift certificates!)

I'll send out the official moving cards in the next week or so with the new address once it's live.  In the meantime, thanks for following me!

What other topics would like me to write about?  I'm happy to serve.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Go Ahead and Sleep

There's nothing like getting a great massage.  But the next thing you know it, you're waking up and it's over!  Where did my massage go???

Many of my clients fall asleep on the table, and it's truly okay to fall asleep during a massage.  Your body still gets the full benefit of increased circulation, a boost to the immune system, and other benefits.

And if you're falling asleep on the table, you probably need it.  Too many of us are sleep deprived.  Michael Breus, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, recently blogged about sleep (or lack thereof) and its relationship to weight gain.  Lack of sleep drives us to eat poorly.  Not only that, it makes us irritable and dangerous on the road.

So go ahead and sleep.  Allow your body to restore itself naturally.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Validation for Natural Health

I started making and using natural skin products in a serious way just this year, and I've been sharing them with friends.  In the past couple of weeks, I have been hearing that the products are incredibly effective.  What a thrill!

I heard from one person that the face serum made him feel that his skin was "protected."  This was from someone who had never used any kind of moisturizer or cream.

Another friend said that the skin on her face felt "smooth and soft."  This is a friend who has tried all kinds of different brands, including some of the most popular "natural" brands.

I have to say that I, too, have noticed a real difference in my face and body, using only simple, natural methods to clean and moisturize.  My skin feels softer and more nourished.  In fact, I love this stuff so much, I'm converting most products in my home to simple, natural ones (e.g. a wood polish with jojoba and beeswax, a floor scrub from baking soda and essential oils).  They are just as effective, and they support health at the same time.

Hooray for natural health!

Monday, May 23, 2011

What's Up (and a Discovery)

I've been a little out of blogging touch, as we've been working on the next phases of my website.  First of all, this blog will soon move over to  My site will have my favorite links, online booking for massage treatments, and my blog, all in one place.  SO much easier.

But wait -- there's more -- in the coming months we'll be introducing an online store, where you can purchase my massage and skincare products.  Great, natural, paraben- and other yucky stuff-free products.  More on that as it develops.

And I discovered that a favorite maker of beauty products -- who shall remain nameless...J.M... -- uses parabens and synthetic fragrances in its products.  Very disappointing to some of my friends who swear by this company...which is owned by Estee Lauder.  Lesson: if the full ingredients are not on its website, write to the company and ASK.  Keep that nasty stuff off of your skin!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oil & Water/Serum & Lotion

I started moisturizing my face my first year in college.  I'm not sure why; it just seemed to make sense, and it felt good on my face.  Now, after, ahem, several years of moisturizing, I've tried just about everything.

That is, until I started using natural oils.  It started with a great serum from Naturopathica.  Then I started blending my own serums.  It's amazing how great my face feels using these nourishing oils.  Who knew?

What I'm trying to understand is what the difference in effectiveness is between lotion (water & oil, basically) and serums (oils).  Does anyone know?  What's the benefit of a lotion?  A serum?

In the meantime, I'm going to stick to my serums (evening primrose, rosehip, pumpkin seed, avocado...ahhhh....)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Massage & Depression (2)

As a follow-up to yesterday's posting about how massage can help depression, I just read that depression can worsen arthritis symptoms.  As this article relates, a massage addresses 2 things at once (at least).

With that in mind, doesn't it make sense to get regular massage?

See the article in Massage magazine here:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Massage & Depression

A 2010 review of studies has suggested that massage may be beneficial in the battle against depression.  Despite the inability to perform truly "blind" clinical trials (i.e. it is obvious to the subject and clinicians if a subject is receiving a massage or not), there seems to be sufficient evidence in studies to point to the effectiveness of massage in reducing depression.

This is an encouraging development in research.  Although the percentage of adults with major depressive disorder has declined over the past years (7.9% --> 6.4% from 2004 to 2008, according to the National Institute of Mental Health), it is still a positive development that natural methods of treatment are options for combating depression.

As research is constantly proving, massage is good for you.

Read the original article from Reuters here:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chiropractor Spotlight: West 79th Street Chiropractic

Feeling a little off? Trouble turning your neck? Pain in the leg? Pay a visit to West 79th Street Chiropractic.

With a practice on a beautiful block on the Upper West Side in NYC, Dr. Rob provides chiropractic care to a range of patients, from newborns to 92-year-olds. "It is never to early or too late to start" is his philosophy.

The office is open, light and inviting. And Jesse, Dr. Rob's seven-year-old cocker spaniel, is always waiting at the door to welcome you in.

Now, in full disclosure, I am fortunate to rent my equally beautiful massage space from Dr. Rob. Within a month of moving in, however, I discovered that half of my friends were already seeing him! As one of them said, "He's a great guy." After hearing this from her, I knew I had landed in the right place.

Dr. Rob participates in most insurance plans, and he takes appointments as well as walk-ins. Check out his website for more information:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oleic, Linoleic, Linolenic, Oh My!

I've been boning up on my carrier oils and their benefits.  Although I have used jojoba and olive oil (infused with arnica) in my massages, I have been exploring some of the other oils out there.  I'm still learning, but here are some things I've found:

Apricot Kernel Oil
With a high percentage of oleic and linoleic acids, this oil is very good for sensitive and aging skin.  A base in many cosmetics.  As linoleic acid is one of the 2 essential fatty acids that we need for various biological processes, absorption of this oil through the skin can be beneficial to its health.  I use this in my skin care products.

Grape Seed Oil
Another oil with a high percentage of linoleic acid.  Grape seed oil is easily absorbed and has a somewhat astringent quality.  Good for sensitive skin.  I am eager to work with this oil to see how it performs in skin care tests.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil
Rich in fatty acids (98% long chain fatty acids), this oil is moisturizing and very good for damaged skin.  It may also provide some ultraviolet ray protection, and serves as a moisture barrer (i.e. keeps moisture in).  This is a sustainable oil, as the seeds are edible and are often served to animals after the oil has been expelled.  Meadowfoam is also a renewable crop and is planted in rotation with other crops.  I'm definitely going to check this one out!

What other oils have you used in your massage and skin care practices?  I'm eager to hear what you've learned.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rover Wants a Massage!

Did you know that animals can benefit from massage just as much as humans?  Yes, Rover does indeed enjoy a massage, and so does Fluffy.  And the benefits are the same: strengthened immune system, decreased pain, improved range of motion, etc.

State regulations of animal (usually horse or dog) massage vary.  According to the International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork (IAAMB) in 2009, 21 states allowed animal massage without veterinary supervision.  Some states restrict animal massage to veterinarians only.

So the next time you are sitting with Rover (or Fluffy), go ahead and give him a nice shoulder rub.  He'll appreciate it.

Note: Please perform animal massage within your scope of practice and following your state's regulations.  For more information about animal massage, including state regulations, safety, contraindications, and other precautions, please visit the following sites:

All About Animal Massage

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Healthcare Spotlight: Brigham and Women's Hospital

When my father needed some work on his heart recently, we did a lot of research to find the best doctor and the best hospital, a classic chore.

So many health care institutions and health care providers seem to have lost their purpose: care.  Patients are stuffed, four or more, into poorly lit rooms, wondering when they will be attended to.  Overworked doctors only briefly check in with patients and families, who are left with questions and frustration.

We were thrilled to find that Brigham and Women's Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston, has a very different philosophy and practice.  Patients and their families are its prime focus.  Rooms are private -- that is, one patient per room -- light filled, and able to accommodate a visiting family member.  Most important, however, are the people and their care of patients and families.  The receptionists in the family center keep you up to date on your loved one's status.  The medical staff is attentive and constantly informative.  In fact, I was shocked when the attending nurse called my cell phone mid-procedure to tell me how things were going with my Dad.  And the doctor called me immediately upon completing to give me a full summary.

Brigham and Women's Hospital has not forgotten that the person is at the center of health care.  In a world that is increasingly impersonal, it is heartening to know that health care is not dead.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Frankincense & Myrrh: Those Men Were Wise

If the story is true and the three wise men brought gold, frankincense and myrrh, they were wise, indeed.  Frankincense and Myrrh are both excellent choices to bring to a baby.  They are both good for the skin (I use them both in my massage treatments), and they are anti-septic, as well.

There is preliminary indications that Frankincense may also hold a key to the cure for cancer.  The BBC recently reported on studies that show some agent in Frankincense to cause cancer cells to "close down." (  Although they are still trying to isolate which of 17 active components are having this effect, it is a sign of hope.

Myrrh has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory, for circulatory problems, and for symptoms of menopause.  A recent study showed the lowering of LDL ("bad" cholesterol) and raising of HDL ("good" cholesterol).  (Al-Amoudi, N. (2009). Hypocholesterolemic effect of some plants and their blend as studied on albino rats. International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health.)

And who doesn't like a little bit of gold?