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Archive for the ‘self care’ Category

JUNE 2017 – MASSAGE SPECIAL

In Massage, Refresh, self care, Specials on May 24, 2017 at 1:02 PM

JUNE 2017 MASSAGE SPECIAL FB POST

Summer’s coming. This is the time of year to rest and rejuvenate. If you can’t escape for a week, how about an hour?  I’ve heard that a one hour massage can be the equivalent rest of one full night of sleep! Could you use a little down time?

When you book and receive your next regularly priced one hour therapeutic massage in June 2017, you’ll receive a coupon for $30 off of your massage in July 2017.

BOOK ONLINE TODAY : PICK “SPECIAL OFFER JUNE 2017”

Give the Gift of Massage

In Massage, self care, Uncategorized on December 17, 2016 at 8:56 AM

massage

Purchase the GIFT of MASSAGE for someone right now. Click HERE.

Online Booking for Massage Appointments!

In Massage, Refresh, self care, Uncategorized on August 20, 2016 at 12:42 PM

“Self care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.”  ~Jennifer Loudon~

 

Finding time to fill your well just got super easy!  Just click on the “booknow on MassageBook” button to book your next appointment. Then take a big sigh of relief as you anticipate the peace and relaxation that awaits you.

 

Book Now on MassageBook.com!

 

Looking for the perfect present for a loved one who needs a mini vacation?  Gift certificates can now be purchased online too. What could be more simple?

 

Purchase gift card on MassageBook.com!

14 things I’ve learned since leaving massage school : #7

In Massage, self care, Uncategorized on March 24, 2016 at 2:14 PM

(March 15th marked 14 years since my first day of massage school out in Port Townsend, WA. I spent a little time reflecting on what I’ve learned from having my hands on countless bodies of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of health over the years.  In random order here are some of my observations and things I wish my clients knew.)

#7  Pressure is subjective

A common question I’ll ask a new client is “What kind of pressure do you like?” Then I’ll remind them that pressure is subjective and ask them to communicate with me throughout their session if anything is too deep or too light.

I have an idea of what a light amount of pressure feels like from my perspective as the giver [about 4 pound of pressure] and let my clients preference guide me in regards to how much deeper to go. The challenge is, we all live in our bodies differently. Some of us are sensitive and others have high pain tolerance levels. Some of us think we need pain in order to heal and other people think gentle prodding works better. Occasionally people are so checked out from their bodies that they don’t feel much of anything at all.

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A regular client I had asked for moderate to light pressure.  As we worked together I quickly learned that what I thought of as extremely light pressure felt very deep to them. They came to see me every two weeks. Each time I backed off the pressure more, trying to find their sweet spot. They joked around that they felt like my Goldilocks client. During one session I had backed off so much that I felt like I wasn’t massaging them at all.  I didn’t believe it would be possible to use less pressure. As I gently used my thumb to work on the upper part of the Trapezius they burst out laughing and said, “Oh great … here comes that thumb again. It feels like you’re trying to reach down from the top of my shoulder to the bottom of my scapula and just wrestle a knot right out of me …”

We both laughed for the next 5 minutes of the session. I actually believe that the laughter was a release of a holding pattern for them because afterwards the same amount of pressure didn’t cause as much discomfort.

Please know that it’s your body, your massage session and your right [and responsibility] to let us know what’s going on for you. We do our best to honor what you’ve asked for, and every once in a while you may have to bust out a ‘back off sister’ or ‘I could use more pressure there’ because we don’t know what it’s like to live in your body.

14 things I’ve learned since leaving massage school : #6

In CT, Manchester, Massage, self care, Uncategorized on March 23, 2016 at 12:05 PM

(March 15th marked 14 years since my first day of massage school out in Port Townsend, WA. I spent a little time reflecting on what I’ve learned from having my hands on countless bodies of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of health over the years.  In random order here are some of my observations and things I wish my clients knew.)

#6  I am not a masseuse.

OK well technically, semantically, I am.

Dictionary.com defines masseuse as: “A woman who provides massage as a profession or occupation.”

What some people think masseuse means is better defined by UrbanDictionary.com:

“Generally considered to be a woman who practices massage therapy, however this is a misnomer. A masseuse is a woman who practices massage and has none of the western medical training and is not licensed and may be associated with prostitution. In most states this is illegal.”

Even though I know that it’s likely that most people mean no harm when using the term, I cringe whenever I hear it. I’m not sure if other licensed massage therapists feel this way or if it’s just one of those things I’m sensitive to. Unfortunately, over the course of my career, I’ve had one too many people ask me if a “happy ending massage” was an option, for me to let a word slide by that may be encouraging that kind of mentality. I’ve received repeated offensive phone calls. A few times it’s been necessary to “fire” my clients when their behavior has crossed a line that has made me feel unsafe.

This could be you...

It has been disheartening over the years to have to wonder if that potential new client on the phone is really understanding what a professional therapeutic massage is. My massage school was 17 months long. It included 650 hours of in class instruction and a tremendous amount of out of class time spent not only studying but giving massage to friends / family members in turn for their critique / review which was handed in and reviewed by the school. I had to pass an exam in the state of WA, where I went to school, and in CT so that I could become nationally certified as a Licensed Massage Therapist. In order to maintain my license and insurance I am required to continue my schooling every year, taking continuing education classes on different massage modalities.

I may be a bit sensitive to the way the word masseuse can be used to imply services that are illegal. It may be just because I’ve had some uncomfortable experiences with people. I’m curious to know what you think. Have you ever heard someone mention a masseuse with a wink and a smile? Did you laugh? Feel uncomfortable? Maybe I need to rethink this word that makes me cringe … or maybe it’s cool that I ask you to refer to me as your Massage Therapist.

14 things I’ve learned since leaving massage school : #5

In CT, Indulge, Manchester, Massage, self care, Uncategorized on March 22, 2016 at 5:44 PM

(March 15th marked 14 years since my first day of massage school out in Port Townsend, WA. I spent a little time reflecting on what I’ve learned from having my hands on countless bodies of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of health over the years.  In random order here are some of my observations and things I wish my clients knew.)

#5  It’s an honor to work with you.

Back when I started my first practice in CT, over 12 years ago now, I had a client come to me to receive massage while she went through her treatment for cancer. I felt unqualified and a little bit nervous to lay my hands on this beautiful soul. At the time I was still fairly fresh out of school and I hadn’t done any long term work with anyone battling that disease. For various reasons, at that time there was still some lingering debate going on about whether or not it was even OK to do certain types of bodywork while a patient was receiving treatment.  [The landscape has changed a lot since then.]

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Needless to say we proceeded mindfully and with approval from her doctor. We were intentional about communication, not doing work that was too deep for her to be able to process, etc.  As the months went by we were doing less physical bodywork and more laying on of hands and energy work because that was all she could handle. My client was losing her battle with cancer and continued to come see me week after week because she needed a safe place to be. She needed to be witnessed. She needed a place to fall apart before she went back to her husband and children at home.  The simple, but powerful art of therapeutic touch gave her comfort and helped fill her spirit just enough to get through a few more hours.

I was heartbroken when I heard she lost her battle with cancer. All these years later I am still awed that she choose me and trusted me to share those sacred moments with her. I consider myself lucky to have spent that time with her and I still feel that way today any time a new client chooses to trust me with their well-being for an hour or so. It is an honor to work with you. ♥

14 things I’ve learned since leaving massage school : #4

In CT, Manchester, Massage, self care, Uncategorized on March 19, 2016 at 10:25 AM

(March 15th marked 14 years since my first day of massage school out in Port Townsend, WA. I spent a little time reflecting on what I’ve learned from having my hands on countless bodies of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of health over the years.  In random order here are some of my observations and things I wish my clients knew.)

#4  Increasing your intake of water is one of the most overlooked free and easy tools available to you to increase your health and wellness.

Since I am not a nutritionist or medical professional I don’t feel qualified to educate you on the importance of water in regards to our biological functions. As someone who lays her hands on bodies, palpating muscle tissue to assess suppleness, flexibility and areas of “stuckness” I’d lay odds that lack of hydration contributes to many of the aches and pains my clients report.

Most mornings, before doing anything else, I drink at least 24 ounces of water mixed with apple cider vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon juice, real maple syrup and cayenne pepper. This is both hydrating and alkalizing for the body. If I had to guess I’d say most of the people I know don’t drink 24 ounces of water in their whole day. An easy guideline to follow is to consume half your body weight in ounces of water every day.  So, if you weigh in at 150 pounds, you’d aim to drink 75 ounces of water daily.  Of course, this can vary. If your diet is mostly fresh raw fruits and vegetables you’ll derive some of your hydration from them. If you go do hot yoga for 90 minutes you’ll sweat out more than usual and need to increase that number. I’ll let you do your own research and make your own determinations.

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Some signs you may not be drinking enough water:

  • Headache
  • Back or joint ache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Mental fog
  • Bad mood
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain

 

Those are some of the most common things I get asked to help with during massage sessions. I’d recommend experimenting. Take stock of how you feel day to day. Increase your water intake and see if anything shifts. I’d love to know if you make this subtle shift in your daily routine if any of your chronic aches and pains start to decrease. Cheers!

14 things I’ve learned since leaving massage school : #3

In Manchester, Massage, self care, Uncategorized on March 18, 2016 at 5:13 PM

(March 15th marked 14 years since my first day of massage school out in Port Townsend, WA. I spent a little time reflecting on what I’ve learned from having my hands on countless bodies of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of health over the years.  In random order here are some of my observations and things I wish my clients knew.)

#3  Sometimes being gentle is actually the deeper work

Many people tell me they want/need deep work. Their belief is that if it doesn’t hurt, it’s not doing anything. They ask me to use deep pressure and dig in with my elbows or any means necessary to make sure their body is beat into submission.

What I think they are really asking for is a therapeutic massage. Rather than something that is just pleasurable and relaxing, a therapeutic massage will consider addressing areas of the body with long term holding patterns and seek ways to encourage release in order to help create new movement patterns.

All kinds of massage are beneficial to the mind and body, and none require pain to create change.

The majority of the time, when someone tells me they need incredibly deep pressure to ‘fix’ their aches and pains, their body tells me something different.

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I start every area of the body I’m working on with lighter pressure while applying lotion and assessing the area, then go in deeper as the muscles begin to soften and open up. When approaching an area of tension, per the client’s request, with deeper pressure, what often happens is a tightening of that muscle group, along with others, as the clients clenches their body to protect them from the pain the deeper pressure is causing. Now we are being counterproductive and degrading a relationship of trust which I think is crucial to allowing deeper healing.

One client told me they’d had pain in a particular area for years and just couldn’t figure out how to get relief from it. They asked me for deep tissue work as described above. When I laid my hands on the area and began using a little more pressure I felt their body tense and the muscle tissue sort of ‘push my hands back out’. After a few moments of this I choose to listen to their body and back off completely. I laid my hands on that area and offered up the intention of simply being a witness to whatever was going on, and silently asked permission to continue working. This time I used only gentle, mindful massage strokes and quickly felt the body let go.

When the client came out of the massage room they were in tears. They shared a deep emotional trauma that had occurred, which they had never really dealt with or let go. It was connected to that area of their body and had been trapped into the cell memory all this time. The next time I saw them they were no longer experiencing discomfort in that area and we’ve never had to dig deep since.

There is nothing wrong with deeper pressure … and … experience has taught me that our bodies are wise. If we’d quiet our minds now and then and  tune in, we’d know exactly what we need for true transformational healing.

14 things I’ve learned since leaving massage school : #2

In CT, Indulge, Manchester, Massage, self care, Uncategorized on March 17, 2016 at 2:24 PM

March 15th marked 14 years since my first day of massage school out in Port Townsend, WA.

I spent a little time reflecting on what I’ve learned from having my hands on countless bodies of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of health over the years.  In random order here are some of my observations and things I wish my clients knew.

#2 Wherever you are in your self-care journey is OK

Yesterday I encouraged you to consider not drinking that quad espresso before arriving for your relaxing massage appointment.

I also need to state that, if you do – it’s OK.

Just show up. Be as present as you can. Do your best to just BE in your body. Let go of an attachment to the outcome of your session time and simply pay attention to what your body may be telling you.

The massage room is a no-judgment zone.

Sometimes you’re going to come in and zone right out. Other times you’re going to chat nonstop because it’s the only way to let yourself unwind. You may get one massage a year because you still feel guilty taking “me-time” or because that’s what your budget allows. Sometimes you’ll come in once a week and think a 90 minute massage isn’t enough time because you know that the more your needs are met, the more of you there is to offer to your loved ones. It’s all good.

This could be you...

One of my favorite regular clients was an older woman who started taking care of herself much later in life. She said she didn’t start understanding the value of self-care until she was an ‘old lady.’

At our first meeting she told me (para phrasing), “Look – this is my body. Take it or leave it. It’s been well used. It’s birthed children. It has scars and wobbly bits. There is a tattoo where most people will never see it and hair growing in places I wish it wouldn’t. I’ve spent my whole life taking care of others, putting myself last or not on the list at all. I’ve never felt worthy of this kind of indulgence. Now I know. Life goes by fast. People I spent my whole life nurturing have died. I worked 40 years at a job and never felt appreciated. Now my body is breaking down and there is no one here to piece me back together.  I deserve to be loved, nurtured, valued and respected. I’m making up for lost time here doll, so make it good!”

It took her most of her life to learn how to receive, but once she figured out how valuable she was nothing was going to stand in her way. I know you deserve to carve out time to take care of you. My client knows it too. And wherever you are on that journey – whatever kind of time and space you carve out, or don’t –  however you show up – is perfectly OK.

14 things I’ve learned since leaving massage school : #1

In Massage, self care, Uncategorized on March 16, 2016 at 6:23 PM

Yesterday marked 14 years since my first day of massage school out in Port Townsend, WA.

I spent a little time reflecting on what I’ve learned from having my hands on countless bodies of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of health over the years.  In random order here are some of my observations and things I wish my clients knew.

#1 Massage is a collaboration.

As experienced of a body worker as I am – I can’t force you to relax.

We have to work in partnership with one another.

It is my job to create a safe, calming space. I approach our time together with as much presence and reverence as I can and treat you with kindness, gentleness and respect when you are on my table. I use any of the modalities I’ve learned over the years to help improve your range of motion, reduce your stress and calm the nervous system.

YOU have a job too.

Show up 5 minutes before your appointment time to give yourself a chance to transition from your fast paced life into a more meditative head space. Communicate your needs both before and during the session. BREATHE. Taking a deep breath when we approach an area of tension helps the body let go.  Let yourself be taken care of. People who try to “help” me in the massage by lifting their legs, arms or heads are actually working against the process by engaging and tensing the very muscles we are working to soften.

I had a regular client who after a few months of coming for massage remarked that she was never able to fully turn her mind off or get into that blissful, peaceful massage space we all crave. After a bit of exploring I discovered that she had been so tired in the afternoons that she was having a quad espresso before she came for her appointments!

She was speeding herself up to come here and relax. No wonder she could never quite go there. :)

Help me help you and we will achieve much greater results in our time together.

[Come back for #2 tomorrow]

 

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