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Posts Tagged ‘healthy-living’

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]

 

Small Business Saturday 11-28-15

In Indulge, Massage, Open House, self care, Specials, Uncategorized on November 23, 2015 at 5:51 PM

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Small Business Saturday | Gift Certificate for Massage | Manchester, CT

In Massage, Specials on November 18, 2014 at 7:13 PM

“A massage is just like a movie, really relaxing and a total escape, except in a massage you’re the star. And you don’t miss anything by falling asleep!”

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Make this your year of self-care! Tell a loved one you need a gift certificate for massage. On Small Business Saturday – 11/29/14 – from 11 AM – 3 PM all gift certificates for a one hour therapeutic massage will be $20 off.

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While supplies last each gift certificate will come with a free gift! I spent this morning making delicious smelling lemon sugar scrubs; holiday spice sugar scrubs; and essential oil infused massage lotion. It’s a little slice of heaven in a jar. Don’t you deserve a little “me time”?

 

 

May Massage Special | Mother’s Day | Manchester, CT

In Indulge, Massage, Refresh, Specials on May 9, 2014 at 5:39 PM

I posted a few days back that May 1, 2014 was the one year anniversary in the studio. As a thank you for your continued support I’ve created my own mini “living social” sort of special. Buy one massage | get one half off!! The coupons can be purchased through May 31, 2014 and are valid through October 2014.  I’ve had many last-minute phone calls today inquiring if these can be purchased for Mother’s Day Gifts. Yes! Hurry on down. You still have time. :)

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Massage Gift Certificates | Special | Manchester, CT

In Indulge, Massage, Specials on November 27, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Massage Therapist | Manchester, CT | November Special

In Massage, Specials on October 31, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Tomorrow is the big day! Six months in business and still growing. Remember there are two ways to celebrate.

 

1. All one hour Swedish Massages for November and December 2013 will be only $60.00!! That’s $20.00 off the regular price.

 

2. Start your holiday shopping here in the studio. Anyone who spends $25.00 in November will be entered to win a 30 minute massage in December.

 

Call today to book your appointment :  860.306.0067

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