NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

This is NOT what Sheryl Sandberg meant by “Leaning In”

With so many young people using cell phones, texting has exploded with expanded data features, and addictive interaction on social media. With prolonged use of cellphones, tablets and laptops, many chiropractors and massage therapists are treating ‘Text Neck’, or leaning into the screen.

Before this happens to you, these are tips that you can do to help deal with it –

  1. Dial the font size up on your screen. Whether you use your tablet, laptop or cellphone most often, sometimes the font size will cause you to squint or lean in to the screen. This isn’t what Sheryl Sandberg meant by the term. On your computer, Hold down CTRL + the dial on your mouse, and dial to your preferred size of font. On the tablet/smartphone (Apple), go to General > Accessibility > Larger Text > Drag Slider Right. Check your Android phone or tablet in the settings area, for similar prompts.
  2. Take time to look away and focus. Leaning into the screen also affects your eyesight, akin to moving to movie projector closer to the screen. It also puts a ton of pressure on your neck, as it’s holding up your head in a position that it was not really designed for it to be. For every inch you lean into the screen it adds 10 pounds of weight to your head and neck. Take a few minutes to look away from your screen, and focus on a faraway object.
  3. Look up. When you lean in to your screen for a prolonged time, it is about the
    Take a few moments to look away from the screen.

    Take a few moments to look away from the screen.

    same as repeating the same action over and over. This contributes to headaches and stiff necks. Allow your head to loll back, and lower your shoulders. Don’t worry; your head won’t fall off, even though it just may feel like it. Close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Definitely do this several times a day – It gives your neck and eyes a break.

  4. Use the dictation feature. One of the great things you probably never use on your phone is the dictation feature. As often as I am live tweeting (#Gladiator4Life), I have learned that dictation helps to keep up with the program, and keeps you from looking down SO often. I use the mic, and clip it in my ear. Just make sure that you proofread what it is writing, on your behalf. (Dang autocorrect!) Once the software gets used to your style, it tends to make corrections on its own.
  5. PUT THE PHONE DOWN – I get it – when I was in junior high (mumblemumble) years ago, I had classes with my best friend on EARTH all day for a year. I LOVED it; School was a daily hangout all day long. Then, we’d get home, and then get on the phone for hours. We even watched Jeopardy over the phone. This was back in the day when even the house line had a minutes plan. I truly understand what it means to just want to share every single thought with your friends all the time. But at some point, you just have to put the phone down. It’s hard to disengage at first, but actually talking in person does have its’ perks.
  6. Get a massage – Of course getting the muscles to relax increases flexibility, range of motion
    Prolonged texting with your neck craned forward without taking a break can cause a myriad of problems.

    Prolonged texting with your neck craned forward without taking a break can cause a myriad of problems.

    in your neck and relieves headaches. Prolonged texting with your neck craned forward without taking a break can cause pinched nerves, arthritis, and over time, disc degeneration. You are far too young to have to deal with that. Get a massage, or maybe an adjustment, if the problem cannot be solved with just the massage. These treatments are a great compliment to each other.

Note – This blog post is dedicated to Michele McDonald, who gave me the inspiration to write this post. If you have any questions about massage, please feel free to ask away!

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Reasons for Chair Massage in the Office

Although many offices do have some type of Wellness Sessions occurring at the office, many don’t see it as a true benefit to the workplace. Here are 3 quick reasons to have Chair Massage as a part of the workday-

1. It takes the excuse of “I don’t have time” out of the equation. The chair is already there, and you have a few minutes in your day to take care of yourself. It is a matter of priority. Where are you on your Priority List?

Your ears and shoulders should be like exes; they should be aware of each other, but nowhere near each other.

Your ears and shoulders should be like exes; they should be aware of each other, but nowhere near each other.

2. It reduces pain in tension areas of the body that tend to be overused – the head, neck and shoulders. Leaning into your computer screen, peering into your cell phone, poring over paperwork, or even cradling the phone between your neck and shoulders all contribute to sore muscles that can create headaches, eyestrain and afternoon lethargy.
3. It creates a refreshing afternoon break in the day. It’s after lunch, and 5 PM seems like a LONG way away. What do you have to look forward to- Going home? With that last break of the day, getting a quick massage can give you a calorie free quick burst of energy and a well needed (and well-kneaded) stress break! Adding peppermint (essential oil or even candy) to the session can help increase concentration on tasks.

Of course, there are many more reasons – what is your reason to have Chair Massage at your office?

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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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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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Does Size Really Matter?

This is a response to a news article from KDVR in Aurora, Colorado about a client that was turned away from getting a massage, because of her size.

Laura Smith, after training for months to complete a 1/2 marathon, scheduled a massage post-race, to recover. She was turned away because, at 6’1″ and 250 pounds, she was told that she was too large for the table.

I have a problem with this. At her size, ‘being too large’ for the table should not have been an issue. If the client would have been male, it definitely wouldn’t have been. On a quality table, the weight wouldn’t even matter. Most tables, especially portable ones, the static weight (just the client, alone)  that the table can hold is approximately 500, pounds. When I bought my table, the VERY first thing I did was to lay on my table, turn over, and roll around. I did this because if I feel comfortable on my table, at MY size, anyone on my table would feel safe doing the same thing. When I worked on my clients in Massachusetts (pic below, 2003) I was 5’9″ and 325 pounds, so even me working on my clients didn’t even worry me at all, and I was heavy handed, then. I also bought it so that if I needed to do some deep tissue work, it would do the job.

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Volunteer Team at the LowellWalk for Cancer Care, Lowell, MA 2003.

I make it a point to ensure that whoever is on my table feels the MOST comfortable, because this massage isn’t about me, it’s about them, and what they need to accomplish in the session. I check my table for creaks and cracks, because that is the last thing that you need to hear on my table, and worry if this table is going to hold. A nervous client doesn’t make for a great massage, and bracing every five seconds thinking that the table may not hold you will definitely not make for a great session. I would definitely NOT put you on a table that would break under your weight, and then, insult upon injury, charge you for breaking the table.

If you have any questions about anything prior to your massage session, you go ahead and ask them. If the therapist tells you anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t you DARE be afraid to ask for another therapist. I really hope that Laura goes to get that massage. Body image is already such a sensitive issue, and this shouldn’t have been a worry, for the client, much less, the therapist.  Anyone that trains and runs marathons I have the deepest respect for; That is no joke.

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Completing The Color Run & the Long Walk Home. April, 2011

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