CBD Massage

CBD Oil & Massage: Controversy & Possible Benefits – Massage CEU



CBD oil has garnered much attention in recent times regarding it’s use and regulation. In this short article, we explore some of the controversies and potential benefits surrounding CBD.

CBD, known as cannabinoids, is just one of the numerous compounds found in the cannabis plant.  The cannabis plant is often referred to as the hemp or marijuana plant.  The CBD is extracted from the plant and can be used in many different ways to help treat a lot of different disorders, such as epilepsy, cancer, anxiety disorders, diabetes, and inflammatory diseases.

CBD oil is slowly gaining popularity in massage therapy because of it’s benefits, especially to those with inflammatory diseases. In comparison to many medications and drugs used to treat inflammatory diseases, CBD has little to no side effects. This is great because most medications for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, come with a large number of possible severe side effects.

Benefits of CBD Oil

Benefits of CBD Oil Massage

In regards to inflammation, the CBD oil helps to increase blood flow, loosen muscles, and is absorbed through the skin to activate our body’s own cannabinoid receptors for beneficial effects in the body. CBD works to indirectly interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which helps to reduce the inflammatory response and relieve muscle stiffness.

Most people associate massages with relaxation. But sometimes when our body is inflamed and in pain, it can still be slightly painful while trying to work out all of those kinks. CBD oil can help body and tissues relax as it desensitizes pain so that the client can fully enjoy the massage, while getting all of the great benefits of this plant oil. 

CBD oil may also be beneficial for the skin, with moisturizing and protective properties.  It may help with acne, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and even bug bites.

Side Effects of CBD Oil

There are so many positives to using CBD, but it does not come without possible side effects. Most people show little to no side effects, but in some cases individuals may experience tiredness, insomnia, irritability, nausea, diarrhea, changes in weight and changes in appetite. 

It’s important for people to speak to their doctor before using CBD oil, especially if they are taking medications. CBD can work as a blood thinner, which can increase the risk of low blood pressure. CBD has been known to have bad interactions with medications that warn about grapefruit as well. Grapefruit and CBD oil are both known to block and bind the enzyme CYP450. The last side effect to be aware of is that CBD oil can increase the risk of liver toxicity in high doses. 

The Controversy Surrounding CBD Oil

CBD Controversy

Misconceptions and hesitation still surround the use of CBD oil.  Many people still believe that CBD is marijuana. They are very closely related to each other, but serve two very different purposes. 

While CBD oil is only illegal in 3 states, it is highly regulated in most states because there is not enough research on it. For the states that do not allow CBD oil at all, their main concern is that CBD oil has not been recognized by the FDA.  For example, in South Dakota, CBD products are only allowed if they are approved by the FDA. The FDA has approved a CBD solution called Epidiolex.  At this time, additional research on CBD oil is needed. 

Research on CBD Oil Efficacy

Massage CBD

In one study, rats were used to see if CBD would reduce inflammation. Rats were induced with arthritis and then applied CBD gels for 4 days. They monitored the level of inflammation in the rats and their level of activity. At the end of the study, it showed that the CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling and pain and that the CBD showed no signs of any negative side effects.

Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series

In this 2019 research study, researchers sought to determine if CBD could help improve people’s sleep and/or anxiety. This study recruited 72 adults who were dealing with anxiety and sleep complaints. Researchers used sleep and anxiety scores to measure their findings. The participants were given CBD 25 mg/d in a capsule form. These scores were taken at baseline and after the CBD treatment. The study lasted for one month. Patients dealing with anxiety problems were given one capsule every morning after breakfast. For patients with sleep issues, they were given one capsule every night after dinner. Within the month, fifty-seven patients saw a decrease in their anxiety and continued throughout the duration of the study. Out of the patients dealing with sleep issues, forty-eight of them had decreased sleep scores. Three out of seventy-two patients did not tolerate the CBD well. Two of the three patients dealt with fatigue that caused them to drop out of the study early. The third patient experienced an increase in sexually inappropriate behavior due to a developmental disorder that interacted badly with the CBD.

While we still need a lot more research done on CBD, we can all agree that it is showing great progress and hopefully it continues to become more widely accepted. CBD is already showing to be extremely helpful in massage and in treatment for epilepsy. As we continue to learn and research on the benefits of CBD, hopefully the bad stigma surrounding CBD will diminish so that we can work towards a better, healthier way to treat more diseases and disorders, and work towards helping people live a more fulfilled life.


McKellar, S. 2018. “What Are The Benefits of Getting A CBD Massage?” NanocraftCBD

Durrheim, A. “Cannibus Oil- Why Such Crazy Controversy?”. Endoca

Wong, C. 2018. “CBD Oil: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, and Safety”. Very Well Health

Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2015;20(6):936-48.

Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18–041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041

Swedish Massage

10 Most Popular Types of Massage & Their Benefits – Massage CEUs

Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage

A Swedish massage is the most popular and well-known type of massage. This type of massage is a full body massage and usually takes between 60-90 minutes. It is best known and used for promoting relaxation and releasing muscle tension. Massage therapists use kneading, long strokes, deep circular movements, and passive joint movements during this treatment. Before your massage begins, make sure to tell your massage therapist if there are any areas that you feel definitely need to be targeted so that you get the best possible experience and come out feeling refreshed.


Benefits of Swedish Massage:

  • Pain management
  • Increased Blood Flow
  • Rehabilitation for muscle injuries
  • Increased flexibility
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved immune system



Hot Stone Massage 

Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage is just a massage implementing the usage of hot stones, typically made from a volcanic rock type called basalt. The massage therapist will emerge the stones into hot water and then they will apply them to the specific area that they are needed most. These stones can be applied to your back, stomach, face, hands, and feet. Massage therapists also can hold the stones in their hands while they are massaging to help get deep into the muscles. While hot stone massages are very popular today, it does require a lot of skill so it’s important to make sure that the massage therapist is reputable and is knowledgeable in hot stone massages.


Benefits of Hot Stone Massage:

  • Pain relief
  • Stress relief
  • Increased joint flexibility
  • Decreased muscle spasms and tension
  • Better sleep

Hot stone massages are not recommended for everyone. Here are some circumstances when a hot stone massage is not the best option for you:

  • Breaks in the skin
  • Infection/Illness
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • If you have used drugs or alcohol prior to beginning treatment
  • Pregnancy



Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy Massage

An aromatherapy massage is essentially a Swedish massage using essential oils in a massage oil or lotion. Aromatherapy uses these essential oils to help improve the mind, body, and spirit. An aromatherapy massage is used to treat the same areas as a Swedish massage such as back, neck, and shoulder muscles. It is important to make sure that the massage therapist you are using is knowledgeable and is using quality essential oils. If the quality of the oil is low, it probably is not going to give you the results that you came in for.


Most Common Essential Oils Used:

  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Pine
  • Tea Tree Oil

While the effectiveness is still unknown, aromatherapy massages are currently being tested to help with anxiety, dementia, depression, insomnia, and menstrual pain.



Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage works to manipulate the deep layers of your muscles and soft tissues. The massage therapist will use techniques such as stripping and friction during a deep tissue massage. The massage will begin lightly to prepare your muscles, as your muscles may tighten up further if they feel as though you are experiencing too much pain.


Conditions that a Deep Tissue Massage Can Help With:

  • Low back pain
  • Limited mobility
  • Osteoarthritis pain
  • Sciatica
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Fibromyalgia


Sports Massage 

Sports Massage

Sports massages have been growing in popularity over the years for how effective they are before and after someone is participating in a game or a run, etc. After exercising or playing a sport, your body has to recover from the stress of the activity. After the event, this is going to combat the metabolic build up and muscle spasms. Also, getting regular sports massage will help speed up the healing process if you are to get hurt during your event or sport.


Benefits of Sports Massage:

  • Reduce the chance of injury
  • Improve range of motion
  • Shorten recovery time



Trigger Point MassageTrigger Point Massage

Trigger points are described as small, tight knots that develop in your muscles. These knots can cause pain in other areas of your body. This type of massage focuses on applying pressure onto your trigger points to get the knot out. Because they are knots in your muscles, this pressure can be painful, so do not expect this to be a relaxing massage. While it is not as relaxing as others, it will definitely give you the relief that you need to function better after those knots are gone.


Trigger Point Massage Can Help Relieve:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sciatica
  • Muscle Pain
  • Joint Pain


Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu Massage 1

A Shiatsu massage uses fingers, thumbs, and palms to apply pressure onto specific areas, or points, on the body. By using these points, the massage therapist can attain Qi by using the vital points. Shiatsu massage is a specialized area of massage, so be sure that you find someone who specializes in this specifically. Only a trained Shiatsu massage therapist can recognize patterns of disharmony.


Conditions that Benefit from a Shiatsu Massage:

  • Constipation
  • Migraines
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Sciatica


Thai Massage 

Thai massages are very different from the traditional type of massage we think of. This technique is done by the massage therapist using stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques, which helps relieve tension and enhances range of motion. When you think of Thai massage, think of yoga. Instead of you doing the poses yourself, the massage therapist uses their arms and legs to move you into these yoga-like stretches. While doing so, they are also applying a deep muscle compression and acupressure.


Benefits of a Thai Massage:

  • Relives stress
  • Improve range of motion
  • Relieve tension headaches
  • Reduce back pain
  • Relieve muscle pain
  • Boost energy


Chair Massage

Chair Massage

A chair massage is a pretty basic massage. It’s used for convenience, especially if you don’t have time to sit for an hour-long massage. These massages typically last 15-30 minutes. The chair massage usually is not deep tissue related, just a quick massage meant for relaxation on the go. Not only can you have a massage done by a massage therapist at their office, you can use a massage chair which is conveniently located in many places. The massage chair is made to do your shoulders, necks, and upper backs, sometimes including your arms and lower back. You can find these massage therapists or chairs at a small or airport. Some nail salons even have them as their chair for people receiving pedicures.


Prenatal Massage

Prenatal Massage

During pregnancy, your body is constantly in pain it feels like. The added weight of the baby definitely doesn’t help. A prenatal massage is a safe and easy way to help dull those aches. This type of massage is similar to a Swedish massage. During this massage, it’s best to lay on your side or on your stomach. The massage chair should have an area with a cut out for your stomach. Laying on your back isn’t safe because it compresses blood vessels and reduces the circulation to your placenta. You should not get a prenatal massage until you have passed your first trimester to avoid any chance of miscarriage.


Benefits of a Prenatal Massage:

  • Hormone Regulation
  • Reduction of Swelling
  • Improvement of Nerve Pain
  • Reduced Back Pain



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Tigger Point Massage. My Time.

2018. What to Expect.

2016. Massage and Pregnancy – Prenatal Massage. American Pregnancy Association.

Massage PTSD

Veterans & PTSD – How Massage Therapy Can Help – Massage CEU

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD is defined as a mental health condition that is brought on by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It has been said that 70% of adults in the U.S have been through drama to cause PTSD. Most of the time PTSD is associated with the war, but anyone can develop PTSD. Abuse victims, people involved in natural disasters, police officers and ambulance personnel who arrive on a traumatic scene, and people who are involved in any other type of traumatic event such as a car accident can also experience PTSD.



What are symptoms of PTSD?

It’s hard for some people to admit or understand that they are dealing with PTSD, as they can think that the traumatic event couldn’t affect them in that way. But it’s never a safe bet to ignore signs and symptoms of PTSD and if you are showing symptoms, it’s best to talk to your doctor to be properly diagnosed. There are certain signs and symptoms to look out for such as:

  • Memories or Intrusive Thoughts: This consists of flashbacks of the traumatic event. These can appear suddenly while you’re out living your day-to-day life, or it can be seen in reoccurring dreams or nightmares. These can cause feelings of nervousness, fear, guilt, or suspicion.
  • Avoidance of reminders: Certain places, objects, or people can serve as triggers to your painful memories. Some people think that avoiding these things will slowly make the PTSD go away, but it’s a bad coping mechanism of dealing with it. They may also not want to discuss the traumatic event and pretend like it never happened.
  • Negative thoughts: Negative thoughts can be about themselves or about other people. They may feel as though they cannot trust people and this makes them detach from the world. They lose interest in their favorite activities and they live in a constant fear.
  • Reactive symptoms: This can be seen in mood changes, such as extreme outbursts of anger or in reckless behavior, such as driving recklessly and not caring about a possible negative outcome.



A Massage Therapist’s Approach on Battling PTSD       

Massage PTSD

Massage therapy can promote better sleep patterns, relax tension, and promote circulation. Massage therapists can help these PTSD victims with stress relief, decreasing anxiety, reducing depression, and improving their mood. The main reason someone with PTSD seeks out help from massage is because of their problem with dissociation. They want to find themselves again and massage therapy can help them. These people have been through so much trauma and a massage session can truly give them a sense of comfort, safety, and control that they feel as though they’ve lost.

In a 2012 research study, researchers were focused on finding out which therapies could best help veterans dealing with PTSD. Massage therapy reported the most significant reductions in physical pain, tension, irritability, anxiety/worry, and depression.


Trauma Touch Therapy

Trauma Touch Therapy

Chris Smith, a massage therapist, had been seeing PTSD patients for a while. She had so many patients who just broke down on her table during a massage and she wanted to get more information on ways to deal with this. She then founded Trauma Touch Therapy.

The goal of trauma touch therapy is to help these patients work through their needs by the massage therapist letting the patient guide the treatment. It is required that the patient is also seeing a psychotherapist. Trauma touch therapy is meant to bring emotions to the surface, but the psychotherapist helps them work through those emotions.

At the beginning of a trauma touch therapy session, the massage therapist will ask basic questions to get to the root of their trauma, while not pressuring them to divulge too much information that they aren’t willing to share. During the massage session, it’s best to make sure it’s okay to touch an area before you do so, as one area might trigger an emotional response.


Research Done on Massage Therapy for Females Battling PTSD

Female PTSD

In a research study, 14 women were either in a control group or a treatment group plus massage therapy. Participants had 8 one hour sessions within a 10-week period. The results of the study? Most of the participants said the massage had a positive effect on their PTSD, one was unsure, and the remaining two had no effect. While it’s still being researched and this was a small study, massage is a safe way to help combat PTSD.


Hands for Heroes – Free Massage & Bodywork Therapy to Veterans Suffering from PTSD

Hands for Heroes

Hands for heroes is an organization that is dedicated to providing Veterans with massage therapy for free. They are constantly working to find more help and to be able to provide help at more health care centers around the world.

Providers will be able to sign up as a Hands for Heroes partner and provide free services at their own practice. Hands for heroes will provide the partner with marketing tools and will be added to a database on the site for veterans to search for providers located around them.

For more information on Hands for Heroes, you can visit their site here.




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Hands for Heroes

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