NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

I just had a panic attack.

I haven’t had one in ages. The last time I had a full blown panic attack was over 12 years ago, when I was lost in Seattle, and I couldn’t remember where we parked after the Seafair parade. It was absolutely debilitating, and I just couldn’t function. I had my daughter with me, and I must have scared her half to death.

I’ve since learned how to recognize what a panic attack ‘looks like’ for me, and to know how to combat the feeling before it gets out of hand. But this one, I didn’t see coming. I wasn’t looking for it, and it didn’t come on suddenly. It was one of those slow-to-boil panic attacks, very much like how one would put a lobster into a cool pot of water, and then turn up the heat.

Yesterday, I just couldn’t seem to get motivated to leave the house. I made all the tasks that I had to do be inside, and near my desk. I had calls to make, but yet, didn’t make them. I had family commitments to attend to, but didn’t go to them. I have several events the rest of this month I have to attend/run/work at, so it wasn’t an opportune time to ‘take a break’ from life. I got what I had to do in the house done, but not much else.

As the day progressed, I started to understand what was going on. I get on Facebook, and I start to see the 9/11 pictures go up on statuses and pages. I didn’t realize the date until last night that 12 years ago, we were in NY, visiting friends and family, quite by surprise (for them – we lived on the West coast, and moved back East a few days before), and we were on our way back home to Massachusetts. I was home by the time the second plane hit the tower after sending my then boyfriend to work, and daughter off to school. I remember being in the Towers 10 years before, on a date, pressing my head against the glass to look down, recalling how, even that far up, that ice crystals change over to rain, before they hit the ground. The hyperventilating began, and my heart began to race. Tears rolled down my face as I sat on the couch, just frozen to the spot, hands firmly stuck under my legs.

I had to tell myself that these events are two separate incidents, and it’s OK to be upset, but it’s not OK to stay upset. I shook myself, to bring me to the present. All I could do is sit and just be aware that it’s 2013, not 2011. I’m not in Massachusetts, by myself, glued to the TV. I closed my eyes, pried my hands away from my legs, and placed my right hand over my rapidly beating heart, and the left one over my stomach. Take a deep breath, I repeated to myself. As I got more and more calm, and aware of my surroundings, I got up and shook that mess (for the lack of a better word) off. I realize that it isn’t as easy for those who actually lost friends, family and colleagues, but sitting in that space of fear and despair wasn’t going to serve me today. What I need to do today is serve others.

As I sit here, finishing this post. I feel much better. I have clients to serve, and will shift my focus on how to help, as opposed to feeling helpless. Now that I know what was going on, and how I can do better, I think this 9/11 will be better for me than the last 12.

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Why do I like doing chair massage?

I’ve been asked by many people why I like to do Chair Massage over Table Massage. As often as I’ve answered this question, I hadn’t answered with the same singular answer. Here are a few of the reasons that I’ve given –

1- It’s a non-invasive way of getting people to enjoy a massage without taking off all of one’s clothes. You get pampered, fall asleep and feel better all in one session. It is the most fun you can have while your clothes are on.

Not at all. If you have several layers, you can take a few off, but you can keep your clothes on.

One of the biggest fears of people have about getting a Chair Massage.

2- I enjoy the traveling of it all. I used to work in a spa, and as much as I liked it, I didn’t get to travel. I was new to the area, and I didn’t get to see but for what in the area of the spa and home. Being able to travel gets me out of my comfort zone and I see more of Atlanta and the surrounding area.

3- It takes the excuse of ‘I don’t have time to take care of myself‘ out of the equation. If I come to you, you are able to de-stress and not have to travel to the spa to do it. Not only have I done massages in the office, I’ve done chair massages at several networking events, launch parties, airports, hospitals, parks, garages (yes, garages – Outdoor event in Atlantic Station – it rained cats and dogs!) and stadiums.

4 – It allows you to get together with your friends and have a great time! When you get together, it adds another level of care to your event. During the weekend, especially during football season, if you aren’t into the game as much as your partner is, you both can have a good time – you are getting a massage and relaxing with your friends; your partner is watching the football game. Everyone comes out a winner (unless your team loses!)

5 – It gets what you need done in a short period of time. Don’t have time for a full body massage, but your neck and back hurt? Get in the chair and take a 15 minute vacation! You’ll wake up refreshed and revived.

6 – It helps you to understand why your body aches the way it does. I try to explain your knots in layman’s terms, so that you are able to do self-care, between your massage sessions.

7- I get to go to the AmericasMart at least twice a year. Store owners and buyers come in from all over the world to buy products for the upcoming season for their stores. It combines my loves – seeing new people, food, shopping and massage.

What questions do you have for me in regards to massage therapy? I’ll do my best to answer any questions you send my way!

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Put the oxygen mask on yourself first!

I noticed something last week as I went to an appointment at an office. As often as I make sure that everyone else gets a break from work, I had not scheduled any for myself. I looked thorugh my paperwork, and nowhere in any descriptions for services that I offered had I scheduled myself to take a break! I remind others that taking care of yourself helps you take care of others, but I hadn’t taken my own advice. I was thoroughly irritated with myself, and changed my protocols in services.

Apparently, I am not the only one that is so busy that we don’t take care of ourselves – I found a Facebook fan page called Have You Peed Today.com.

Take some time to take care of yourself...your body will thank you for it.

Take some time to take care of yourself…your body will thank you for it.

Making sure that everyone takes a break is good. Making sure that YOU take a break is important. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Matter of fact, it should be mandatory. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care for others, either, but to not rank someone else’s need so far above yours that you don’t take care of yourself. We always honor those who are selfless, and take care of every stray and stranger that crosses our path, but berate someone that takes a few hours to go to a museum, a movie, or even just sit still and read. Why do we have to lock ourselves in the bathroom or car to get a few minutes to ourselves?

Ask your trusted friends or family members to help you out. This way, you can return the favor when they need help. If they can’t help, ask for a referral for a trusted sitter, and recharge your batteries. Most importantly, when you DO make the time, don’t do errands, and DON’T feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Make the time count!

What do you to take time for yourself? I’d love to know!

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Be Your Own Cheerleader

When things don’t go your way, disappointment does happen. When things don’t go your way for a LONG time, depression and stress can set in. As much as you’d like to have others cheer you up, sometimes you have to be your own cheerleader.

Instead of focusing on the failure, focus on what you have learned instead. The more likely you learn the lesson, you are less likely to repeat the outcome.

Are you standing in your own way?  Self-doubt and negative thinking can help you create your own obstacles.  As soon as you recognize your thoughts going negative, catch yourself. Never get into the habit of rooting against yourself! 64 year-old Diana Nyad finally made her goal of swimming from Cuba to Florida – that’s 103 miles in jellyfish and shark infested water. She started at 28 years of age; It took her FIVE times to do it, and she never gave up!

Cheerleader

Are you trying to please other people, or listening/ worrying what other people are thinking? Everyone has haters, they’re there to let you know you are headed in the right direction.  Listen to your inner cheerleader – at your center, your own soul is rooting for you to succeed!

You have your own cheering section. Don't root against yourself!

You have your own cheering section. Don’t root against yourself!

Also, quit comparing yourself to anyone. This race you are running, your competitor is yourself and time. You have the same amount of time as everyone else; how you use it makes the difference. (This is a reminder to myself as well.)

I hope that these help you change the way your see your situation, and begin to cheer yourself on!

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