For immediate release
healing arts
Laura Malouf-Renning CMT recently completed a 32 hour advanced certification training in maternity massage therapy. The course was held in El Cerrito, CA on March 14-17, 2011. The training included: safety guidelines and precautions, comprehensive hands-on training, and both written and practical exams. Techniques learned help to enhance pregnant, laboring and postpartum women's comfort, health, and enjoyment of their pregnancies.

The workshop, Pre- & Perinatal Massage Therapy, is presented by Body Therapy Associates of San Diego, CA, under the direction of Carole Osborne, a nationally recognized authority in the field. The course offers the highest level of education in maternity massage available in the United States.

Ms. Malouf-Renning has been in practice since 2000, working in a variety of settings including corporate massage, gyms, private practice, and the yoga and spa industries. She draws from backgrounds in dance, yoga and Eastern and Western bodywork styles to create dynamic sessions custom-tailored to each client's unique needs, facilitating the mind-body-spirit connection and promoting greater ease of movement and overall wellbeing. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 510-381-2801 or e-mail

Summer comes to La La Land
Sugarbug, Boo-yah!
For those of us here in the Northern hemisphere, June heralds the beginning of summer. Days grow longer, hotter, and sunnier, and the fruits which were mere blossoms on the trees are now ripe and luscious and ready for the picking. Summer's lusciousness can show up in our lives as well. Finally it's warm enough to pursue those sports from which the rain and the cold kept you away. Hard-earned dollars socked away during the dark time of the year are now being put toward vacations and adventures in the Great Outdoors. We play as hard during the summer as we've worked all year long. And sometimes this leads to soreness, Vacation Warrior Syndrome, and bodies out of balance as through these summer activities we wake up muscles we haven't used for awhile.

That's where we at La La Land come in. We have been hard at work all winter to create a welcoming space where you can come to work out the kinks sustained from working hard and playing harder, and we can help keep you aligned so you can enjoy all the lusciousness that summer has to offer. CAMTC Certified Massage Therapists kineticphoenix and riseorbleed bring their combined 25 years of experience in the field to create therapeutic, customized sessions tailored to your individual needs to keep you as vital and active as you want to be.

Benefits of Massage


There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen.

Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress.

Some of the benefits of massage include:

* Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
* Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
* Ease medication dependence.
* Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
* Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
* Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
* Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
* Increase joint flexibility.
* Lessen depression and anxiety.
* Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
* Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
* Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
* Reduce spasms and cramping.
* Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
* Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
* Relieve migraine pain.


For those of you who like to peruse the research for yourselves, here is a link to clinical research studies examining the benefits of massage.

June Promotional Special

Book a session with us for the month of June, and we'll include a free paraffin hand treatment (regular $20 value). The soothing heat of paraffin wax can soften hands, improve circulation, rejuvenate skin coloring, and ease joint stiffness. Paraffin hand treatments also give you the time and environment to relax completely from a tough schedule or rough day. This treatment can be done at the beginning of your session to prime your hands for a detailed massage, or at the end to help your hands adapt to the work just performed. It's a great add-on for knitters, gardeners, computer users, arthritis sufferers, or anyone experiencing repetitive stress from using their hands a lot.

Hand Care at Home

Reinforce the benefits of your massage and your paraffin hand treatment at home with these simple stretches:

Finger abduction and adduction (Spread the fingers apart widely then bring them back together)- This is an exercise that just feels good and can help reduce swelling in the fingers. It also stretches the hand out of the position it is held in for most of the day.

Thumb stretch - Using your other hand, pull the thumb back into the hitch-hike position. You should feel a nice stretch in the muscles at the base of the thumb. Push from the base of the thumb where it meets the palm. Do not pull from the thumb tip. This can hyper-extend the tip or the middle thumb joint. This is an important stretch to perform if you use a blackberry or text-message frequently.

Forearm Extensor Stretch: Place your hand in front of your body with the elbow straight and the palm down. Let gravity bend the wrist forward. With your other hand, gently push the wrist further until you feel a good stretch. Hold for 30-40 seconds. Close your fingers gently to increase the stretching sensation.

Forearm Flexor Stretch with Supination: Begin from the "stop" position with the fingers pointing up towards the ceiling. Swing your fingers out and rotate your arm until the fingers are now pointing to the floor. Make sure the muscles are relaxed and not pulling the wrist back actively. Gently push the wrist further with the other hand until you feel a good stretch. Hold for 30-40 seconds. This forearm stretch is often the most uncomfortable for people to perform. If necessary, bend the elbow to make this stretch more comfortable.

For frequent computer users, I often suggest scheduling reminders to sit up, stretch, and revive. Taking short stretch breaks throughout the day may help to ward of RSI symptoms in between massages.

Note: These stretching exercises are provided as an educational tool and should not be a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a medical professional. When in doubt, clear these exercises with your doctor.


For location and rates and to schedule an appointment, message, call or e-mail kineticphoenix and riseorbleed. We are looking forward to becoming part of your health care regimen.


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