Let’s Talk Hormones

What is a Hormone?

It is a biochemical produced in tissue that travels through the bloodstream and produces physiological responses in other parts of the body. Let’s examine oxytocin. Oxytocin is often called the “love or feel good” hormone. It stimulates contractions of the uterus during and after labor. The hypothalamus releases oxytocin during breastfeeding, which causes milk release as the mother’s nipples are stimulated when the baby suckles. Oxytocin also encourages feelings of bonding between mother and child, man and woman (especially during intimacy), and as the diagram shows, between father and child. It is very interesting to see how an uninvolved dad affects the oxytocin levels in the mother and baby.



Some other hormones present in either parent or the baby are: Prolactin, which helps with milk production, and fosters nurturing and caring. It also helps regulate immune function; and like oxytocin, it is released by the stimulation of baby’s suckling. Vasopressin is a relative hormone to oxytocin. It promotes feelings and motivations of pleasure and reward, and promotes social and intimate attachments in men. Isn’t it fascinating how our bodies can produce hormones that encourage love and bonding in a family?

Massage in History

In ancient times people lived in tribes and groups where women held babies next to them in slings and packs and touch was constant.  Every member of the village had a role in the survival of the people and helped to care for the babies.  Infant massage is thought to have begun before recorded history as since recorded history it has existed as a common practice among the oldest cultures in the world today.  The first written records began to reference the positive health benefits from massage:

Ancient_Egyptian_massage2700 BC – from China,  1800 BC – from India,  350 to 500 BC – from Egypt, Persia, Japan and Greece, Hippocrates, the father of medicine wrote: “The physician must be experienced in many things but assuredly in rubbing…For rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose and loosen a joint that is too rigid.”

100 BC to 50 AD – from the Romans, Caesar & physician Celsus

Biblical references –  to healing as “laying on of hands” and “anointing with oil”.

1450 to 1600 AD Renaissance from Persia to Italy’s medical schools references to massage and then spreading to other European cities of rising prosperity.

1517-1590 AD French Dr. Ambroise Pare one of the founders of modern surgery, used massage, particularly friction massage, in the treatment of stiff and injured joints.

1776-1839 AD Swedish fencing master and gymnastics teacher Per Henrik Ling designed the Swedish Movement System and Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger, adopted the French names of basic strokes under which he systemized massage as we know it today, as Swedish or classic massage.

Mid 1800’s to mid 1900’s – Many behaviorists, from Luther Emmett Holt, John Watson, to Dr. Benjamin Spock recommended less handling of babies in favor of training them to master schedules of eating and sleeping.  During the nineteenth century, many babies died of Marasmus, a wasting away generally by neglect and as a result Dr. Fritz Talbot in 1910 changed the care of babies in german hospitals in favor of handling, carrying, and rocking babies.  “Tender Loving Care” in the children’s clinic in Dusseldorf , Germany found that babies who were rocked after nursing generally had less colic, intestinal spasm, and became happier babies than those who remained in their beds without rocking.

1957 – Dr. Harry Harlow’s studies showed baby monkeys preferred a soft cloth artificial mother to food from a wire artificial mother.  Since then, numerous studies with human babies have repeatedly shown the benefits of touch, carrying, rocking and massage.

At Family Massage Education Center, massage for the entire family is our passion! We offer several classes for families to learn, in a nurturing and encouraging environment, how to help each other give and receive the many benefits of massage. Check out our schedule to find a class just right for you. Call us at 541-482-3567 to register.

An Idea for Date Night

What are you doing on Friday night for two hours? Dinner? Movie? Concert? Play?

How much do you think those options would cost you? $40? $60? $100? More?

I’m here to suggest another option that is not only fun, relaxing, financially practical, and unusual (for a typical date night) but also comes with some long term health benefits for you and your date. Learn basic massage!

Here at Family Massage Education Center, we have a two hour massage class for beginners, every Friday night from 630-830pm, for $55 per pair. We teach basic massage techniques to use at home, to improve health and happiness, and promote loving relationships with respect and trusting commmunication. We provide the massage oil, the massage table, sheets for those tables, and nurturing instruction presented in a relaxed, enjoyable, and fun environment by an experienced massage therapist who teaches massage locally and internationally.  Not only will you learn basic massage and proper body mechanics (so you don’t get tired giving a massage), but you will also get a massage in the process!

Register for a Friday date night by calling 541-482-3567, or online.


We offer more classes for the public at Family Massage Education Center, please see our offerings at: www.hellofmec.com

June Classes

Call 541-482-3567 to register for our public education classes.

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Massage of foots

Please Touch Me

A Poem by Phyllis K. Davis
If I am your baby, please touch me. I need your touch in ways you may never know. Don’t just wash and change and feed me; but rock me close, kiss my face, and stroke my body. Your soothing, gentle touch says security and love. 


If I am your child, please touch me. Though I may resist, even push you away, persist. Find ways to meet my needs. Your goodnight hug helps sweeten my dreams. Your daytime touching tells me how you really feel. 


If I am your teenager, please touch me. Don’t think because I’m almost grown I don’t need to know that you still care. I need your loving arms, I need a tender voice. When the road gets rocky, then the child in me still needs. 


If I am your friend, please touch me. Nothing lets me know you care like a warm embrace. A healing touch when I’m depressed assures me I am loved and reassures me that I am not alone. Yours may be the only comforting touch I get. 


If I am your sexual partner, please touch me. You may think that your passion is enough, but only your arms hold back my fears. I need your tender reassuring touch to remind me I am loved just because I am me. 


If I am your grown-up child, please touch me. Though I may have a family of my own to hold, I still need Mummy’s and Daddy’s arms when I hurt. As a parent, the view is different. I appreciate you more. 


If I am your aging parent, please touch me the way I was touched when I was very young. Hold my hands, sit close to me, give me strength, and warm my tired body with your nearness. Although my skin is worn and wrinkled, it loves to be stroked. 


Family Massage Education Center is a great place to learn how to touch those you love with confidence. We have classes available for the public. Please visit our website for more information. Or call 541-482-3567. 



May classes start next week…

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Massage For All

We can get kinda serious about massage at the Family Massage Education Center. Not only is massage a big part of our livelihood; more importantly, massage is our PASSION! Our wonderful leader, JoAnn Lewis is not only the founder, creator, lead instructor, and owner of Family Massage Education Center, she’s also “Mom” to our other massage therapist, Kirk Dunlap. We are all about family and massage.

Additionally, we love cuteness. After all, we offer Pregnant Partners classes and Parent Baby classes, it’s no wonder we absolutely love babies! If you ever want sign up for these classes, check ’em out on our website, here.

Today’s bit of cuteness is this video we wanted to share: Puppy Massage. Hope you enjoy it. 🙂


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