Walking Meditation


To perform meditation, you do not necessarily need to be seated in the lotus position. You can be cycling, running, walking etc.

Walking meditation instructions:

1.  Take a few long, slow and deep breaths. As you exhale, let go of all tension I’ll let your attention flow deep into your belly, legs and feet.
2. Start walking with small steps: as you inhale, step forward and feel that sensation of your foot as it moves to the air and each part of your food as it touches the ground.
3. Exhale as a weight of your body sinks to your foot.
4. Slow down, concentrate on your steps and be aware of each move. Consciously make an imprint on the ground as you step. Fully relax your foot as it presses into the ground.
5. Go slowly with a smile on your lips, with your heart open to an experience of peace.
6. You can feel truly at ease with yourself. If you could take one peaceful step, you can take two. If your steps are peaceful, the world will have peace.
Inspired by Thich Nhat Hahn

Recommended HEALTHY Reading!



8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Remember When It Didn’t Hurt – by Esther Gokhale, L.Ac.:  A book about improving posture and treating pain.

The Alexander Technique: How to Use Your Body Without Stress – by Wilfred Barlow and Nikolaas Timbergren:  An updated edition of the classic F.M. Alexander’s technique for successful body mechanics

Awareness Through Movement– by Moshe Feldenkrais:  Illustrated, easy-to-use exercise to improve posture, vision, motivation and self awareness

Getting Back in Shape– by Bob Anderson:  30 Programs with 3 components of fitness each: stretching, weight training and moving exercises. A simple approach to life long fitness.

Getting Stronger:  Weight Training for Sports – by Bill Pearl:  This book is three books in one: weight training for sports, bodybuilding and general conditioning.  The most complete book on weight training every produced.   Over half a million copies in print.

Healing Moves:  How to Cure, Relieve and Prevent Common Ailments With Exercise – by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell and Krucoff, M.D. Healthy Learning:  This book is authored by a award winning health columnist and a renowned cardiologist no the importance of vigorous exercise for general good health.  There are exercise programs for general fitness, as well as exercise prescriptions for specific illnesses and health issues.

8 Weeks to Optimal Health – by Andrew Weil:  Dr. Weil believes in the body’s natural abilities to heal itself (yay! MY belief also).  This book contains a series of simple small steps to optimum health.

Stretching in the Office – by Bob Anderson:  Stretches and exercises for people who work in offices or at computers.


Self Help Massage Tools!


In between massage sessions, here a few tools you can use:

Here is a partial list of body tools – (self help devices that allow you to do body work (massage, acupressure) without the need of assistance).

TheraCane – An acupressure tool that loosens tight, painful muscular areas.  You use leverage and slight downward pull to create the desired pressure wherever you want.  This device is especially designed for the back of the neck, mid-back (between shoulder blades), upper back, sides of neck and shoulders.  It can even be used all over the body as a stretching aid.

The Stick – A non motorized massage device used by serious athletes to loosen trigger points (knotted up muscles).  The flexible core with the revolving spindles easily molds to various body contours.  This tool is great for the legs, especially the calves, and can be used effectively on all major muscle groups.

The Massage Stone This device was designed with the professional massage therapist in mind.  It is supposed to aid the hands, not replace them.  The stone may be used over clothing so it can be used often.  J   When heated, the Massage Stone drives the heat deep into the muscle tissues, relaxing the muscles for deeper massage.   When chilled, the stone can help reduce inflammation from a sports injury.

The Trigger Wheel – A 2” nylon wheel on a 4” handle for deep massage.  The Trigger Wheel works on trigger points and be used directly on skin or through light clothing.  It works the way a tire rolls back and forth on pavement. It is very effective in reaching specific sore spots, such as small areas in the neck, hands, wrists, arms, legs and feet.  It’s small enough you can carry it with you and use it throughout the day to keep pain at bay.

The Foot Massage A 2”x9” roller with raised knobs for foot massage, and rubber rings to protect the floor.  A super tool for tired feet. The studded knobs give you pinpoint access to the bottom of the foot.  This is used to stimulate nerve endings, reduce discomfort, and improve circulation. If your job is sedentary, use this tool on the job.

Breath Builder This device was originally designed for musicians to develop breath control; however it is excellent for anyone who desires to develop restorative deep breathing.  You blow into a tube and the pressure of your breath keeps a ping pong ball afloat in the cylinder.  It forces you to use your diaphragm muscles and to breathe correctly, with the goal of increasing your lung capacity.

The Back Revolution– This device is an inversion device which keeps your pelvis stabilized and decompresses discs and works wonders for store, stiff necks. Health professionals recommend using it for 70 seconds, 2 to 3 times a day.  Can help you control persistent back and neck pain.

The Pain Eraser 1 An exceptional hand-held tool that is firm enough for deep massage yet soft enough for more tender parts of your body, including your face.  Access arms, legs, hands, feet, back etc., easily with this high quality massage tool.  1-1/2” wide roller is made of 100% natural rubber with 36” fingers.  Great for travel.


~ A Different Kind of Nooner! ~


Don’t think you can get a massage other than in the evenings after work, or on the weekends???



Here are few reasons why you shouldn’t hesitate to schedule a midday weekday massage:


 I typically end the session face up. I do this so that you have time for your eyes to adjust, your sinuses to clear, and your mind to wake up.  The entire session can be face up or in the side lying position to avoid sleep induced drooling and Cradle face.

Other things we can do?  Music selections can be a tad more upbeat for the whole session, or even just the last 5 minutes.  Aromatherapy used can be more uplifting (grapefruit, bergamot, rosemary), than calming (lavender, frankincense).  Or, I can begin easing you back into reality with gentle conversation and passive stretching.


 It’s quite simple, really, you let me know areas that are okay to work on and what areas you would rather have me leave out.  That’s how I work for any session, anyway.  I can still work on your scalp and face without using any oil or aromatherapy. If you just can’t do without a massage of the scalp or face, no worries, those areas can still be addressed.  Your face will positively glow after a facial massage so you really shouldn’t miss out.  Give your fellow office mates something to talk about when you return to the office with that wicked Cheshire cat grin post massage.


The common areas that people want massaged are the upper torso, neck and back.  I can massage those areas without any oil or lotion at all. Slow and full dry work is perfectly paired with the large canvas of the back.

If you don’t really like the idea of dry work, that’s okay.  Excess oil or lotion can be gently wiped away with a warm towel after your session.  I typically provide a hot towel after every session anyway.


I have just began implementing 45 minute sessions soon because I have so many professional offices within minutes of my office with people wanting to escape for massage during their lunch hour.  This is also a less expensive option for those who wish to receive a massage and/or only have a limited amount of time during the day.


What options do you have? Sitting at your desk to eat your lunch?   Over time, that has been known to contribute to weight gain and stress.  Have another coffee or smoking break to add some variety to your day?  If you have those types of breaks multiple times a day, it’s likely not really adding variety, and if you are spending the majority of the time complaining with your co-workers about the office, then it’s really not giving you a break, either.  And I won’t even comment on the smoking bit?  (I can’t say anything about coffee, because I like a cup on occasion as well.)  Not taking a break at all and working all day through?  This is not a great idea for creativity and spark in your work.  Going to the gym? Okay, you won’t get an argument me from me there.  But, I can comment that if you’re willing to clean up after a sweaty workout then on one day, you could get some fresh air outside on a walk to and from the office. Just sayin’…

So what do you say?  Stare at your computer all day and schedule a lunchtime meeting hoping they pick up the tab (they won’t) or get some fresh air and go out get a massage!!!  And no, I don’t mean chair massage!!!





Why It’s Better to Be Gumby (Flexible)

Okay, I hate to admit it, but I haven’t always been the best when it comes to stretching, but I have vowed to make it more of a habit from here on in.  As I approach the half century mark the latter part of this year, it has become abundantly clear to me that I need to be more flexible.  I have the cardio/weight lifting habit down, but am seriously lacking in the stretching department.

Since I can’t seem to make it into yoga as much as I would like to, I did some research on some worthwhile stretching books. I have two really good books already, but wanted something new.   I found an excellent one entitled:  Stretching: 30th Anniversary Edition by Bob Anderson I plan to scan copies of relative pages so that I may forward them on to family/friends/clients/colleagues!  If you are new to stretching, or want something for just about every sport or activity you could think of, this is the book for you.  Here are highlights from the book:

Stretching When to stretch?

Before you begin your day in the morning

At the workplace to release nervous tension

After sitting or standing for long periods of time

When you feel stiff

At odd times during the day, i.e, when watching TV, listening to music, reading, sitting and talking

Stretching_2 Why stretch?

 √Release muscle tension making the body feel more relaxed

√Help coordination by allowing for freer and easier movement

√Increase range of motion

√Help prevent injuries such as muscle strains/sprains.

√Make strenuous activities like running, skiing, swimming, and cycling easier because it prepares you for the activity; it’s a way of signaling the muscles that they are about to be used.

 √Helps maintain your current level of flexibility, so as you do not become stiffer and stiffer over time

 √Develop body awareness; as you stretch various parts of your body, you focus on them and get in touch with them; you get to know yourself.

 √Helps loosen the mind’s control of the body so that the body moves for “it’s own sake” rather than for competition or ego.


TMJ Pain

What is the TMJ?

“TMJ” stands for Temporo Mandibular Joint.  Your TMJ is basically your jaw joint that joins and hinges the jaw (mandible) onto the skull (temporal plate of the skull) which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head.


Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

TMJ Dysfunction or TMJ Disorder refers to irritation or improper functioning of the TMJ jaw joint.  Typical symptoms of TMJ Disorder are:

  • jaw pain
  • clicking in the jaw
  • difficulty opening or closing the jaw
  • locking of the jaw
  • grinding the teeth at night
  • headache
  • neck pain

How to Relieve TMJ Pain

To treat TMJ Pain effectively it is essential to do more that treat only the TMJ joint.  One must take into account several of the surrounding structures:

  • The treatment should treat the structures directly related to the joint such as: medial pterygoid, lateral pterygoid, masseter, and temporal muscles
  • The fascia around this area is all very connected and interrelated.  The SCM muscle, for example weaves into the fascia of the TMJ joint as well as the fascia of the face.  Releasing the SCM can thus partially relieve the TMJ joint.
  • The hyoid muscles should also be treated as they can deviate the mandible/jaw laterally
  • Cranial work to rebalance the skull plates can also help relieve tension
  • The suboccipital muscles and other neck muscles can all pull on the fascia of the TMJ causing tension on the joint and should therefore be relieved.

My Approach to treating TMJ Pain

My TMJ treatments typically cover the areas I just mentioned by incorporating a combination of massage, reflexive techniques, stretches, and fascial techniques.

For best results it is recommended to receive treatment once a week for 4 to 6 weeks.


Think Outside the Box This Valentine’s — It’s Not Too Late

Don’t worry….

It’s not too late… there’s still time to get your loved one or yourself something special for Valentine’s Day.

Think OUTSIDE the box ….


Most people prefer an experience vs a tangible item.

Why not get a massage??  It makes you feel great!  And the beneficial effects of a massage will last much longer than the (not as great effects) of eating a pound of Godiva chocolates.  Do chocolates boost the immune system?

No significant other? Who cares?  Get a massage for yourself.

With someone?  What’s more romantic than a massage? Not only does it get your blood flowing, a relaxing massage melts away the outside stresses that can diminish a loving mood.

Instant online massage gift certificates/packages can be purchased via my website 24/7 @ https://vricci6.boomtime.com/lgift

Whatever you do this Valentine’s Day — make it a GREAT one!  Happy Valentine’s Day!



What You Should Know About Low Back Pain




Massage and Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common complaints heard by doctors and massage therapists today. It is highly likely that you will experience some level of back pain at some point during your life. Unfortunately, if the condition does not resolve quickly, you can end up with chronic back pain that can become difficult to treat. The good news is that regular massage treatments can help you manage your back pain and lead a healthier life.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain can appear anywhere along your spine, leading to the development of neck pain, mid-back pain, and lower back pain. The most common causes are muscle spasms, sprains or strains of tendons or ligaments, herniated discs, or a variety of degenerative disorders related to the spine.

It is always recommended to get a thorough medical examination if you have chronic back or neck pain to eliminate any serious structural or physiological issues with your spine. X-rays and MRIs of the relevant area can help determine the best treatments for you. If you suddenly experience any unusually symptoms with your back pain, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.

Try to avoid suppressing your back pain with over-the-counter pain killers. While these drugs may provide temporary relief of back pain, they do not help resolve your condition and may cause unwanted side-effect or develop into chemical dependency.

How Can Massage Help Back Pain?

Back pain can be a difficult condition to treat, especially if it is something that you have been suffering from for awhile. Often, the cause is related to a postural or repetitive stress on the body. Fortunately, regular massage treatments can help identify which muscles are tight and begin to dissolve this tension to provide relief.

Depending on the severity of your back pain, it may be necessary to have several massage treatments before you have sustainable relief of your back pain. Consult with your massage therapist for the proper frequency of treatment best suited to your condition.

When treating back pain, it is advisable for you to use several methods of massage together to enhance your recovery. Often, an experienced massage therapist will have training in several styles of massage allowing them to use a variety of techniques to help your back pain decrease without having to empty your bank account.

Here are some well-known styles of massage that can be beneficial for back pain:

Swedish Massage:
Swedish massage can be an excellent way to start treatment for back pain. The relaxing oil-based massage can release of many of the surface muscles and decrease the emotional stress that may be contributing to your back pain condition.

Deep Tissue Massage:
Deep tissue massage is commonly used in conjunction with Swedish massage to work the deeper muscles of the back. Hard compression and cross fiber friction can be applied to your back muscles to break up any adhesions or scar tissue that may be causing your back pain.

Trigger Point Therapy:
Trigger point therapy can be used to release muscles in your back that are in spasm. By applying steady pressure on the knots in your muscles, you can “reset” the muscle and release the spasm. This will allow fresh blood and nutrients to flow through the area and promote healing. Trigger Point therapy is excellent at correcting postural imbalances of muscles, a common cause of back pain.

Helpful Tips for Back Pain

Always seek an experienced, certified massage therapist for treatment:
There are many techniques of massage that can help, but they can also aggravate a back pain condition. The massage therapist should never work directly on any area that is acutely swollen or inflamed.

Stretching and Exercise can help rehabilitate your back:
Back pain often occurs due to muscle imbalances or weakness in your body. By regularly stretching and performing core strengthening exercises, you can decrease your back pain and prevent it from coming back. Hamstring tightness is a common cause of back pain. Yoga can be an excellent method to both stretch and strengthen you body when performed correctly.

If your back pain is not preventing you from moving, keep active:
By immobilizing yourself when you feel back pain, you maybe preventing circulation of blood through you back that can assist your body’s self-healing mechanisms.

Maintain good posture and get a good quality mattress:
The way you stand and sit places significant strain on your back. This can lead to back and neck pain if you are not aligned properly. You should try to always maintain a natural spine position. Consider a lumbar support cushion for your car seat or desk chair. Also, make sure your mattress is providing proper support when you sleep; often, a worn out mattress can lead to back pain.



Deep Tissue Massage Sacramento

Many people like massages. It is a nice feeling when tired muscles experiences relief.  In particular, a deep tissue massage is a type of massage that penetrates the deep tissue layers of the muscles thereby relieving the body from undue stress.  In Sacramento, California where people are involved in active lifestyle and career-driven environment, a deep tissue massage at the end of a tiring day or week has some benefits.

Deep tissue massage Sacramento improves the overall wellness of a person. Here are some of the benefits of deep tissue massage Sacramento:

1. Improves blood circulation.  Massages, in general, lower blood pressure.  Deep tissue massage Sacramento puts enough pressure into the deep tissues; improving how the muscles work around large blood vessels.  Deep tissue massage Sacramento allows blood to flow smoothly around the body which improves other body functions. Good circulation that is improved by deep tissue massage Sacramento brings oxygen-rich blood thereby supplying the necessary nutrients to the muscles

2. Alleviates muscle pain. Because deep tissue massage Sacramento works into the deep muscle tissues, the improved circulation reduces the inflammation that can cause pain.  Deep tissue massage Sacramento can also help relax tight muscles. Toxins that accumulate into the muscles are also released by deep tissue massage Sacramento.

3. Heals muscle injuries. Injured muscles build up toxins which can hamper the healing process.  Deep tissue massage Sacramento stretches the muscle tissues releasing tension and toxins. With this, deep tissue massage Sacramento improves the condition of the injury because pain is controlled. In many sports injuries, deep tissue massage Sacramento is applied to promote rehabilitation of the muscles.

There is indeed healing powers in deep tissue massage Sacramento. Vonda taps into the natural healing power of the body through the power of touch.   Vonda believes that massage, including deep tissue massage Sacramento, is an experience of the body and soul.  Vonda is a certified and educated therapist who heals and relaxes your muscles by listening to your preferences and how your body adapts to the deep tissue massage Sacramento. Such specialized service allows her to customize your session of deep tissue massage Sacramento to address your needs. For more information on deep tissue massage Sacramento, visit http://www.vssage.com/.



Give a Massage this Valentine’s Day!!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, the perfect time to treat yourself, or a loved one to a massage (hint, hint husband, boyfriend, or significant other??).  If that’s not a good enough reason, how about this: Not only can massage therapy evoke relaxation and relieve, it can lessen chronic pain, reduce muscle soreness, increase blood circulation and flush out toxins.

Visiting a spa or visiting a independent CMT is always a welcome treat, but if money’s tight, why not try the DIY approach? Offering a partner a massage can be romantic, especially with the variety of aromatherapy oils on the market. Perhaps, you could create a cute coupon redeemable for one 30-minute massage. Make sure to communicate while doing the massage, asking questions like, “does this feel good?” and “how’s the pressure?”

If you’re flying solo this V-day, why not try self-massage? Use oils to enhance the experience and focus on areas where you tend to hold the most tension; maybe it’s your shoulders or calves. You can try a muscle massage stick or other tools made for muscle soreness, or even just your own hands. Lance Armstrong’s site, LiveStrong.com has a great article about how to do self-massage. Read it here.