NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

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 – 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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Client Question – What Kind of Client is Your Favorite?

Got a Question?

Questions are free – Ask away!

So often, during a conversation, someone will ask me a question where as I am answering I say to myself,’This would make a great blog post!‘ I had just such a situation happen last week at the Atlanta Pampered Ladies’ Expo.

As I was manning my massage chair, waiting for the doors to open, a nearby booth mate asked, “Who is your best type of client?”

My best client is one who has never had a massage before, but have always wanted to get one. They want ask a lot of questions, but they don’t want to feel they are pestering you by asking a lot of questions. I encourage the questions, because I would like you to understand what your body is telling you. As Sy Syms would say, “An educated consumer is my best customer.” (Yes, I’m that old!) I try to relate information in plain English, so that the jargon doesn’t confuse or disinterest the client. (My husband is a computer programmer, so when he uses technical jargon to convey his story, I tend to look like the

Have you ever had someone talk to you, and you looked like this?

Have you ever had someone talk to you, and you looked like this?

RCA/Victor dog.) Now, if the technical jargon doesn’t throw you, I’ll use it. It also helps keep me sharp on my anatomy; what muscles work together to do a specific action and what muscles work against each other. I also try to throw in some humor, because if it’s even a little funny, the message tends to be memorable.

I’ve had all kinds of questions thrown at me, so not too much tends to throw me off my game. If I don’t know, I don’t know, but I’ll do my research. This way, we learn together! So come on, ask those questions, you’ve always wanted to ask!

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Are your feet holding your whole body hostage?

I walked a 5K this past weekend for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. Now normally, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I’ve had breathing issues most of this year, so walking even at a brisk pace was a challenge.

I walked it, in better time than I had the last time (I came in with the truck that picked up the cones at my last 5K). I was so happy that I went shopping to treat myself for a job well done, and was out for hours.

When I got home, hours later, I was tired, but wasn’t as tired as I had been in the past walks. My feet felt fine, but apparently were beginning to throw a serious hissy fit. As I slept, my feet held a meeting with the muscles in my calves.

If you've been on your feet for most of the day, and you haven't taken care of them, be prepared to be taken hostage by them.

If you’ve been on your feet for most of the day, and you haven’t taken care of them, be prepared to be taken hostage by them.

They regaled my calves with stories of abuse and mistreatment, and after all the stories, the calves believed my feet! In solidarity with my feet, my calves began to twitch, ever so slightly, my brain didn’t even notice. My feet were really upset that the brain still didn’t tell me to get up, that they gave an ultimatum – move that leg one more time, and SEE what happens next!

Again, as far as the brain was concerned, it was off the clock. ‘Time for maintenance, please come back later,’ the message replied. As I fell back to sleep, my legs shifted into a more comfortable position, and the feet seized the opportunity to wake me up.

The foot began to curl, as the calf muscles contracted. Just before it fully seized up, I bolted out of bed, and almost stood up on my foot, like I used to when I would get a Charlie horse. Once I calmed down, I took deep breaths, massaged the muscles, and got in that knot before any of the other muscles tried to gang up on me.

Now, as a massage therapist, I should know better. Yes, I see you shaking your head as you read the post. Everyone has a slip now and again.

Here’s how you can do better than I did. If you don’t take care of your feet, no matter how long your to-do list is, your feet will take your whole body hostage.

– After doing an activity, such as a 5K or a run, have a banana. The magnesium in the banana will help feed the muscles the nutrients they need to regulate and repair. Don’t like bananas? Here is a link of magnesium rich foods.

– A cool water bottle rolled under foot will help soothe sore soles. A golf ball will help address knots, but don’t press so hard, the cramp in your foot may just get worse. Apply pressure to your level of comfort only.

– Self massage always helps when you just want to take care of that knot that’s been bothering you. Again, digging into a knot may not be the best idea; bruises look cute on noone.

– Warm ups before and gentle stretching afterwards helps the muscles prepare for and recover from an activity. This is a hotly contested idea, and opinions vary widely. I’d rather let my muscles know that they’re getting ready to work, than to cramp up in the middle of an activity. Check out the last post – Leg Cramps – for some great stretches that you can do for your legs.

– A pre-event massage helps warm the muscles up and prepare them for your upcoming activity, as a post-event massage will help the muscles calm down and recover. If your event has therapists on site, go and check them out. They are there to help you!

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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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How to survive AmericasMart Atlanta

Hi, this is Sonia, your Positive Attitude Adjuster with a few tips to survive the International Gift & Home Furnishings Market® at AmericasMart Atlanta!

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The Campus is HUGE! Pace yourself, and don’t get intimidated.

First – have an idea as to what you are looking for. The campus is huge, and it is easy to get intimidated trying to survey everything all at once. Map out your day & stay focused! Take breaks often, stay hydrated, and filter your fliers & handouts. See if you can get online catalogs, to cut down on carrying so much.

Second – as I said before – the campus is huge; Wear some comfortable shoes! You can always tell who is new to the Mart- they have beautiful high heeled shoes in the morning, and by the end of the day, they’ll be barefoot. You have no idea as to what’s in the carpet, so please, for your sake wear shoes that won’t have your feet talking about you by the end of the day! (And if they are, get a foot massage!)

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Third – TAKE A BREAK! There are massage therapists all over buildings 2 & 3, that are looking to help you have a great experience while you’re here, so take advantage of the services – Treat your body AND your feet!

Fourth – Don’t try to carry everything home. Your back, neck and shoulders can only carry so much; You are NOT a pack animal! Get a modest piece of rolling luggage and put the work on the floor, where it belongs. There are plenty of shops in Building 3 that sell rolling bags.

Lastly – The AmericasMart has many social media accounts, including an APP! If you are trying to streamline your visits to the shops, or discover new ones on your trip, get the app – it’s a great resource.

P.S. – It’s a few days until the show, so be on the lookout for an external battery for your phone/laptop. Service isn’t great for AT&T users, but there are a few Wi-Fi spots in building 3, so pack your patience!

I hope that you have a GREAT time the next time that you are there, and I hope to see you! I tend to be between buildings 2 & 3, so I’m looking forward to seeing you!

Have a great Mart!

Sonia

MHS Mary Kay 6 11

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