NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

Just Blog it – Day 11 – Tooting my Own Horn

Chair Massage - Atlanta Pampered Ladies Expo - Photo Credit Moore Memories

Chair Massage – Atlanta Pampered Ladies Expo – Photo Credit Moore Memories

The one thing I love about myself, in regards to massage therapy, is that I love to tell clients and potential clients about things that we hadn’t talked about prior to the massage.

It’s weird, and the looks I get are amazing. I’ll find a knot, or really tight muscles in the lower back, and I’ll ask if they lock their knees when they stand up during the day.

“How did you know?” they ask quizzically. We hadn’t talked about it previously, and you can already see that they’re wondering really, how did I know their back was bothering them.

“Your back is talking about you…behind your back!” I usually reply, which make them laugh. After the session is over, I explain to them as to how I figured it out, and how they can get back into the habit of loosening those muscles and making them more flexible.

Just last week, I was doing a Chair Massage session for Daycare employees, and asked a few of them if they had a headache. A similar quizzical comment came through the face cradle, asking how did I know. Again, I explained to them how I figured it out, and how to take care after the session was over.

The one time I freaked myself out doing this was when I was working at Logan Airport, right after 9/11. I was in my first year of doing massage, and did a foot massage for a client on a layover. He’d been on his feet after refereeing an NBA game the night before. After I prepped to start this massage session, I misted his foot with a lavender and peppermint spray, and began to start working on his foot, when he flinched. My thought process is ticklish people also flinch, but this was different. And when I say he flinched, he jerked his foot so quickly, he kicked the chair.

“You must be a middle child,” I blurted out. We hadn’t had a conversation about family, so this comment was really out of left field for both of us.

He looked at me as if I tapped into an earlier phone call with family, and overheard something I shouldn’t.

“How did you know???”

“As an older sibling, I know what a ‘Punchbuggy’ flinch looks like.”

That was the last time I asked about birth order. That was freaky, even for me.

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Just Blog It – Best Advice I’d Ever Been Given

I was in my 10th year doing massage, and working for someone else before I decided to go and start my own business. After working for a few months, head down, just grinding, it seemed as if I wasn’t getting too far.

Isn’t it great how life just puts people on your path to let you know whether you’re on the right path? I met Tierra Destiny Reid at a gathering at an Atlanta Capital event, celebrating Women Business Owners. After I peeled myself off the ceiling and finished gushing, we talked for a while that day, and several years afterward. The thing she always told me was that “If you show up, I mean really show up, things will fall into place for you.” Go above and beyond, exceed customers’ expectations, and just do your best. And, for a while, business did well.

After dealing with an illness in our family, I changed my focus, so that I could be there. I literally stopped showing up. Now, that it has been a few months since the passing, I feel as if I’m back to square one.

The best way I know how to cope is watching comedies, or anything that would make me laugh. Bill Cosby was just recently awarded the Johnny Carson Award at the American Comedy Awards, and during his acceptance speech, he reminded me what I’m supposed to be doing to get back on the path. During his acceptance speech, he reminded everyone that you have to SHOW UP, not only for your audience, but for YOURSELF.

I just sat there, and cried. It was a very good and happy cry. The very thing I was already told, was being told to me by someone else. Sometimes, you just need to be reminded. So now, I’m going to get back to what I’m supposed to be doing, and show up, not only for my awesome and patient clients, but for myself.

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Just Blog It – Industry Pet Peeve

2014-01-19 09.07.04As a Massage Therapist, many people believe a few stereotypes about us. We’re flaky, rarely ever on time, either fix every problem they have on the first session, or just bruise clients all over. All therapists are called “Masseuses”, and give Happy Endings are a few others stereotypes that are bandied about.

I cannot speak on behalf of all therapists, so I do my best to break every opinion that I can about massage therapists just by doing my job. Before I was a massage therapist, I was rarely ever on time, but being in a networking group called BNI changed that at the very first meeting. The beauty of that was that it didn’t just change only for meetings, but every attendance that required me being there. My family didn’t even recognize me, wanting to be everywhere on time, not just going to meetings.

To avoid driving Therapists crazy trying to distinguish a Masseuse (Female) from a Masseur (Male), just call them a Massage Therapist. They’ll correct you if they want to be called a Masseuse or Masseur. I usually correct you by saying, “I call myself a ‘Positive Attitude Adjuster'”.

From my standpoint, clients will never get a “Happy Ending” from me, and if they are looking for that, they have come to the wrong person. I enjoy helping people too much to be doing such foolishness. The last time I was subtly asked, I was so in a therapeutic mindset, I had no idea what was being asked of me. I closed the session, saying thank you for coming to me for your massage.

“That’s it?” he quizzically asked me.

“Yep, that’s it!” I replied, enthusiastically.

He asked me the same question twice more, and I left the room, wondering why he kept asking. Then, the light bulb exploded over my head, and I stood in the hall, and just laughed to myself, sent him to the cashier to pay for his services, and quit at the end of the day.

You can never control what other people think about what you do, you just have to do the best YOU can with what you DO.

 

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Just Blog It – My Favorite Quotes

Inspirational quotes help a lot to keep one’s spirits up, especially when it comes at the right time.

What works for me are the ones that have a little humor, because laughter is my favorite coping mechanism. Here are a few of my favorites-

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(Ed. Note- As I was writing this last night, a fight broke out on the train, so these 2 quotes were SO apropos! The fight just meandered from one end of the car, to the other, spanning several stations. It seemed as most folks in the cab weren’t immune to Stupiditis.)

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Just Blog It – 5 things I’ve learned since I’ve turned 40

I tell you- the List Post for me is the most challenging one to do! This post took all day to write, and took on several iterations. Here is the one that finally took-

1- Saying NO by far, is the best diet plan in the world.

2- Your taste preference will change, whether you want it to, or not.

3- In my 30’s, my type of exercise was jumping to a conclusion. Now, I’ll do a 5K. You run (or walk) your race. All you need to do finish.

4- Your hormones will go on strike. If people call you Sybil, don’t take it personally.

5- Before your kids leave home, find something fun for YOU to do.

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Just Blog It – Introduce Yourself!

Image Hi! My name is Sonia Hazard, and I am a self-described Positive Attitude Adjuster (otherwise known as a Massage Therapist). I am in my mid forties, and an empty-nester. I’ve been married for about 8 years now, and have my own business. 

My business is NiaMassage, a mobile massage business in the Metro Atlanta Area, that brings stress relief through massage therapy to offices and homes for the past three years. ‘Nia’ in Swahili means ‘Purpose’, and that is what I feel my purpose in life is, to help make other people feel better! I’ve done massages at Launch Parties, Diva Parties, Ambush Massages at work (The only people that knew we were coming was the boss!), as well as appearances at store and community events.Image

Writing blog posts for me are challenging, because I want to entertain and educate. This is an opportunity for me to get in the habit of writing, and have FUN with it! I’m still learning, so bear with me.  😉  See you tomorrow!

 

 

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Tactical Operations Kit for Finals Week

Testing time, especially Finals Week can be especially stressful for any student of any age. Cramming over books or a computer doing research, can tie the calmest person in knots! It can almost feel as if the Hunger Games are a real event –

Sometimes, Finals week can feel like the Hunger Games...

Sometimes, Finals week can feel like the Hunger Games…

Here are some things that can help you not only stress less during testing time, but actually thrive-

  • Peppermint – This can be Essential Oil, candles, teas or candy. This can help with clarity, focus and concentration.
  • Lavender – This can be Essential Oil, lavender buds, teas or candy. This will help calm you, and relax.
  • Chamomile – This can be Essential Oil, chamomile buds, teas or candy. This also can help calm you.
  • Tennis Ball & Sock – This can help address knots that you cannot reach on neck & shoulders.
  • Golf Ball – Self massage for feet. Roll foot over ball to your preferred pressure. Pick it up after you’re done! 😉
These can help even the most stressed student stress less during testing period.

These can help even the most stressed student stress less during testing period.

Naturespace app for iPhone, Nature Sounds for Relax & Sleep for Android – Relaxing atmospheric soundtracks. You can ‘be’ at the beach or in the woods, for hours on end to help studying, or sleep!
My Thought Coach – Meditations, guided imagery and positive thoughts for varied occasions.
Get a Massage – You may not have enough time to get a full body massage during testing time, but getting a massage is a good investment on your stress level, and those knots you get from studying and doing research for hours on end. Check to see if your Student Activities Board has Massage Sessions set up at your college or university. If not, check out ‘Find A Massage Therapist’ on the AMTA or ABMP websites.

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Own Your ‘Tall’!

Unless you are the World's Tallest Person, there will always be someone taller or shorter than YOU.

Unless you are the World’s Tallest Person, there will always be someone taller or shorter than YOU.

We’ve all been there – the first day of middle school – and you look around the playground or cafeteria. Your friends, who you’ve just seen, only a few months ago that were your same height, have either grown taller without you, or, vice versa. It’s not even slight; it’s noticeable. You crave being back where you used to be, just so you don’t stand out so much. So, you slouch and shrink, just to fit in.

There’s only one problem. You are where you are, for the time being. You’ve either grown as much as you can, or have more growing to do. There’s not much you can do about it, except own your ‘tall’. Unless you are the World’s Tallest Person, there will always be someone taller or shorter than you.

You were designed to stand out as you are. So, why try to conform on something so arbitrary as height! Own every inch of height you have, and don’t ever let anyone make you feel little. (Or too tall, for that matter!) Own your own version of “tall”; better yet, celebrate it!

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NiaMassage FAQ #4 – Can I Keep My Underwear On?

scared client undercover

 

Believe it or not, I get this question more often than not. Working on your back, it wouldn’t be a good idea to have your bra on, since it could end up with whatever massage medium (gel, oil or lotion) that the therapist uses during a standard massage. In a Chair Massage setting, it will be less likely that oils or lotions would be used. You will be covered up, and the only part of the body that will be exposed is the part that I’m working on. If I’m working near your underwear, the sheet would be tucked into the underwear, to protect them, as well as providing a border to show you where the work will be done. Boxers makes the tucking a little tricky, but not impossible. It helps you know where I’m going to be working.

If I have to work on the pecs, or inside leg, a hand – yours or mine – would be placed in the area, providing a modesty border to work with. Pec work is primarily done when your shoulders are tight, and need to be loosened, to increase range of motion, and increase lung capacity. If balance is kept in mind, if the pecs are contracted, the shoulders must be stretched out.

In either case, if you are not feeling comfortable during your session, please speak up, and let your therapist know.

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I got the letter!

I got the letter!

Imagine my surprise, after applying in December, and with not hearing a yea or nay, I got the familiar blue & white envelope last week, allowing me to return to volunteer at the Boston Marathon!

I’m not looking for donations… I am looking to do a combination of 5 Workplace Wellness Chair Massage Sessions with local companies (3 Hour Session), or Diva Parties (2 Hour session) within the next month, starting this Monday for my trip to Boston. If you own a business or know of one that would appreciate having this service in the Metro Atlanta area, please let make your appointment today!

If you’d rather have a Table Massage, I am also looking to do at least five to ten 60 or 90-minute massages in that same time frame, as well. If you would like to book an appointment, please click here.

If you’re not in the area, I also have an Etsy Store called The Relaxation Station, where you can purchase handmade items to help you de-stress, and take care of yourself. Purchase a gift for yourself, or someone else!

Thank you in advance for all of your help! I truly appreciate it.

 

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