NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

10 Things – (Part 2 of 2) From the Massage Therapists’ Point of View

I came across a hilarious blog named HaHasforHooHas.com, and a post written by Susannah named “Ten Things You’ll Probably Think While Getting a Professional Massage”. I loved it so much, I wanted to post my reply to her (and many of your) concerns. Here’s my response. Now mind you, this is my view on the subject, not on behalf of any other therapist. The first half of this post is here, if you missed it.

6.  What if someone secretly slips into the room, murders the massage therapist and then proceeds with my massage, all the while I have no clue because my face is buried in this terrycloth donut hole? Your mind had a tendency to roam when you want it to be quiet, even to the extreme, sometimes. The trick is to nip these thoughts in the bud as soon as you can, so that you are able to enjoy your session. There is a very low likelihood of a murder happening during the session, so just take a nice deep breath, hold it a sec, and exhale.

7.  I wonder if my body feels weird. This is the last thing you need to worry about, yet everyone worries about this very thing. Everyone’s body – even twins – is unique to itself. Each body feels weird, yet none of them are. Loving the skin you’re in is the trick.

8.  I bet my feet stink. Unless I’m passed out on the floor, with my nostril flaps bolted shut, your feet are fine. If you have malodorous feet, there are things that can be sprayed on them, such as wintergreen or lavender, that smell wonderful, and clean your feet at the same time. If you are truly concerned about The State of the Feet, here is a recipe to treat them, from Aura Cacia, or your could buy my Diva’s Bathtime Tea, on Etsy. Just do me a favor; please don’t walk through any garbage dumps barefoot. That will help both of us.

9.  Would it be weird if I moaned? No, so as long as it doesn’t go any farther than that. I used to have a regular client getting chair massage at when I worked at Logan Airport, who sounded like he was straight out of an Herbal Essences commercial. This was at a booth that had a modest privacy screen, meaning that you saw my head, when I stood up to work. You should have seen the faces of the people that walked by that heard the client, and saw just my head, until they walked around the wall, to see what I was doing. He didn’t care; he was getting his back taken care of, so that he would be able to enjoy his flight. Sometimes, clients will cry or laugh uncontrollably during a session. Emotional releases tend to be spontaneous and not always controllable.

10.   Will I ever shut off my mind and relax? You are not the only one with this challenge. Mindfulness is something that we are all challenged with. Your mind shoots off in so many directions, never wanting to be quiet. It’s called ‘monkey mind’ in many circles. Again, catching runaway thoughts and nipping them in the bud helps. Refocusing on quiet, calming thoughts takes practice and diligence, and always is a work in process.

I’m sure that you have more things on your mind than just these 10. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to to answer them!

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It’s quiet…TOO quiet.

It’s that quiet time again. TOO quiet. Not quite in the holidays, but it’s getting close. The Christmas trees are ALREADY up in quite a few stores, and you haven’t seen frost on the pumpkins yet. PSL was already offered at Starbucks, two weeks ahead of schedule. Too many things are happening far earlier than they’re supposed to. You have enough time to plan to have a stress free holiday season, but you’re not ready yet. It’ll get here faster than you think!

Don’t let yourself get caught out there!

You have several weeks; let’s get a handle on your To-Do Lists, before they get a hold on YOU!

1. Finding meals on Pinterest can be the greatest source of new ideas for recipes. If you’re trying a new meal this year during the holidays, NOW is the time to try it out. You can make the mistakes ahead of time, and serve your new favorite meal with no worries. If you don’t have the skill to attack a recipe, ask someone who can help.  Also, do a quick inventory on all the spices and accessories that you’d need to do all the baking and cooking. Nothing is worse than finding out that you are out of baking soda in the middle of making cookies.

2. Even Martha Stewart has a team to help her have her house look fabulous. Find your own way to put your own fabulous spin on whatever holiday you wish to celebrate. The days of Norman Rockwell, although wonderful, can be a little canned and dated. Sometimes your best attempt at a traditional holiday event can look more like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Ask for help, and make it fun – this way you all get to decorate, and still be able to get together. If you are in the habit of making cards, get together with friends, and collaborate and craft together. If you want to have a Wrap Party, have everyone bring a little something, so that you aren’t doing everything all by yourself.

Don't just get through the Holidays! Have a "Time Out' with your friends.

Don’t just get through the Holidays! Have a “Time Out’ with your friends.

3. Get together with your friends and have a “Time Out” for adults. Create downtime away from running errands and take care of yourself! I was invited to do chair massages for a group of great ladies at a church event last year, where they also had makeovers, facials and just fellowship among friends that hadn’t seen each other for a good portion of the season. Everyone had a great time catching up with each other, and was relaxed by the end of the evening. Making time for yourself, even just a little everyday, will go a long way to helping you thrive!

Now is a good time to start thinking what you want to get out of the season – rushing around, stressing out or to be able to enjoy the time. What are you tips and tricks for dealing with holiday stress?

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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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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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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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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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Relax, Chill, Take a Breath…

OK, it’s almost halfway to the middle of November, and I am trying to avoid that space…you know what I am talking about- Not having nearly ANYthing on your “To Do” list done, but feeling like I just want to chuck it all, and stay home for the rest of the year. Now, that is an extreme idea, even for me, but one wonders…20131113-115129.jpg

What usually works for me, not always mind you, is to sit and take a breath. A nice DEEP breath. When we are stressed, our hormone response tells the body to take quick, shallow breaths. When this happens, our mental and physical decision-making skills are overloaded with too much information, and sometimes renders us into a huddled mass, down in the trenches, waiting to strike out at the right moment.

With the holidays looming, one way to enjoy the upcoming hustle and bustle is to take care of YOURSELF first. Have a get together with your friends (who are also probably as stressed out as you are) and share ideas – find out who has the best babysitting resources, coupons, recipes, etc. and do a Swap of sorts. Have a Massage Therapist on hand (hint, hint) to give those ever so needed stress relieving Chair or Foot massages, to get everyone in the spirit!

Understanding your reality (all of us are NOT Martha Stewart), prioritizing your lists, collaboration, delegating tasks on the list(s) and asking for HELP will also help lower those stress levels, as well. If you are trying out a new dish or project, try it out ahead of time, so you can make the mistakes without the ‘pressure to be perfect’ at any holiday event. Ask others for help – I use Pinterest as a resource for all kinds of ideas, so I can enjoy and not just endure the holidays. We still have about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, so we can send the DEF-CON Level back to 4.

Before you go ahead and run off the cliff, stop, take a breath. A nice, deep breath.

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Body Language, Body Language…

Body Language, Body Language...

You know it’s coming…it’s almost the end of the day, and you’re looking forward to getting out of the office, and someone comes up to you and asks,

“Can you stay late/ finish the project/ start a new project? OK, thanks!”

You tend to notice that that doesn’t usually happen first thing in the morning, right? People can tell when it’s the best time to ask you for things, because your body is telling them!

When you arrive in the morning, you tend to look alert, shoulders back, head up, eyes alert. People who want to stress you out aren’t coming to mess with you, because they know they can’t get away with it. You’re on to them, and they may get a ‘NO’ right off the bat.

As the day progresses, and you’ve been sitting at that desk all day. You’re tired, you haven’t been stretching, and you are ready to just go home. That’s when General Foolishness wants to strike! Your shoulders are rolled forward, head bowed in near defeat – you are just asking them to give you grief!

Take time throughout the day to stretch, and take a walk to get the blood moving! The stretching will improve your posture, and reduce tension.

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