NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

My Response to Some of the ’31 Thoughts During a Massage’

I recently read a hilarious blog post called “31 thoughts during a massage that everyone has, because it’s truly a bizarre experience“, by Kara Weymouth Although, they are 31 thoughts in this article, I will only answer a few of these, because I’ve already covered most of this in previous blog posts. Now again, these responses only apply to me and my business. Other therapists and businesses may think and do differently.

  1. Do other people neatly folded and stacked their clothing here? Whether you fold your clothes or just drape them across the chair, it makes no difference. So as long as my feet are not tangled in your clothes, it should not be a problem.
  1. This really hurts, but that means it’s working. Not in every case. Definitely let your
    If you're making faces, the pressure is probably too deep.

    If you’re making faces, the pressure is probably too deep.

    therapist know if the pressure is ever too much or too little. They can always adjust to your best pressure so that you don’t feel as if you have been run over by a steam roller, if you don’t want that. Bruises don’t look cute on anyone.

  1. Wow, she’s really digging in there. Please don’t bruise, skin. Again, please tell your therapist if the pressure is ever too much or too little. You don’t want to be bruised; the therapist doesn’t want to bruise you.
  1. I hope the massage oil she’s using doesn’t make my back break out because I really want to wear that new silk cami this weekend. If you prefer, you can bring your own massage media. If you have a preference of lotion over oil, you can ask that prior to your session.
  1. Does she get grossed out by people with bacne? Oh no, she just kneaded around a pimple on my back. This is a good thing. You don’t want the bacteria from the pimple to be spread across your back. That is something an aesthetician should take care of.
  1. This calming music really makes me anxious. Where’s the soothing Taylor Swift? If you prefer your own music, you should be able to bring it, and ask if you can use it, especially if you’re in a spa. Not everyone is able to relax to Megadeth or the soothing sounds of Black Sabbath.
  1. Can she really feel a pressure point on my shoulder and relieve it by pressing one on my hips? That doesn’t seem possible. More than likely, you have some referred pain going on. It is possible to touch one area, and relieve another. Ask your therapist; they should be happy to answer that question for you.
  1. OMG, does she think it’s strange that I left my underwear on? I would think it strange if you had scuba gear on, but not really your underwear.
  1. God, please don’t let me fart right now. You and me both, sister; you and me both. During this whole session, I’m sure were asking God the same thing for both our sanity sake. If it happens, it’s a natural reaction of muscles relaxing. Relax.
  2. Did she just use her elbows? It hurts so good. Ask. They’ll be more than happy to answer that question for you.
  1. Do massage therapists get massages after work? Yes, but not always.
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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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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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Ten Things – (Part 1 of 2) From the Massage Therapist’s 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.

1. I hope that I don’t fart. I promise you that as soon as we talk about what your needs are for the massage session, and I leave the room, both of us are thinking the same thing, “I hope that I don’t fart.” It’s a bodily function, and in most cases, when you are relaxed, is no longer in your control. Don’t stress on it. All it means is that your body is working.

2. This music confuses me. Here’s the thing – we listen to ‘massage music’ all day. When I worked at Logan Airport after 9/11, the owner had very few CDs, and one was Enya. Not everyone wants to hear the “Sounds of the Blue Whale” during their sessions, because they think it’s too ethereal. If you don’t like the music, by all means ask me to change it, or you can play your own.

3. Do I have a medical problem? Diagnosing anything is outside of our scope of practice. We may refer you to see your doctor if we see something out of the ordinary. Knots can be stiff, inflexible groups or parts of muscles that may take a little work to get back to feeling better. Just make sure you breathe when you getting it worked on. (Sometimes it can feel a little intense. Taking deep breaths can help to work through it.) Ask questions when you wonder what’s going on. It’s OK!

If you're making faces, the pressure is probably too deep.

If you’re making faces, the pressure is probably too deep.

4. Is this person trying to kill me? Trigger points and knots can feel really intense when they are worked on. As deep as ‘deep tissue massage’ can get, bruises don’t look cute on anyone. Deep pressure is relative; some people want to feel like they were run over by a steamroller. You, not so much. It’s okay, there is more than one way to address sore muscles. Let me know if the pressure is too much. I can’t see your face when you’re on your stomach, making squidgy faces, wondering why I’m trying to kill you.

5. Did I forget to shave my legs?  This should NEVER be a worry, unless you’ve actually cut yourself on your own stubble. Again, growing body hair is a bodily function. Here’s the thing – when you shave your legs, you remove the most superficial barrier of your skin, along with the hair you’re trying to get rid of. This barrier prevents bacteria and other irritants being absorbed into your skin, like a bouncer at a club. Although many therapists use hypo-allergenic, non skin-clogging massage media (Oil, lotion, or cream), some may not, causing more problems such as ingrown hairs and blackheads. Which would you rather have – stubble or blackheads? I’ll take Stubble for $200, Alex.

Now, this is half of Susannah’s list. I’ll be back next week to reply to the rest of her post. Make sure you read the other posts there; you’ll enjoy the posts!

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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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How to Ace Your Next Exam

Exam time is approaching for many students of all ages. Everyone knows that this time of year can be very stressful for anyone cramming for multiple midterms, all to be completed in a very short period of time. It doesn’t have to be a time filled with hair tearing, energy draining, long sleepless nights it may have been before. Here are a few tips to ace your next exam.

Studying for Exams doesn't have to be a chore. Use these tips to ace your test!

Studying for Exams doesn’t have to be a chore. Use these tips to ace your test!

1. Use Peppermint – In either an essential oil or edible form, peppermint helps you to de-stress, as well as concentrate. Take a few pieces of peppermint candy when you are studying, and a few to your exam.

2. Study in Chunks – Studying everything all at once will not help you at all with preparing for the test. Your facts become jumbled, and the what you studied will literally go in one ear and out the other. Study several days before the test, and not the night before.

3. Write It Down – (I am NOT talking about a cheat sheet!)  As much as I hated it, out 7th grade Math teacher had us repeatedly write down tautologies and math rules. I’m also sure that you’ve had homework assignments where you had to write your vocabulary words multiple times. Oh, that was a pain in the butt, but there is a reason for that. The things your write down, you tend to remember.

4. Take a Stress Break – Get up from your desk that you’ve been poring over for hours, and move your body! Getting that blood moving will help improve oxygen circulation throughout the body, and dancing will help! Getting a Chair Massage will also help reduce stress, and get those knots out that you’ve

You’ve been studying for hours. DANCE IT OUT.

acquired during your study session. Ask your Campus Events Coordinator if they’ll have Stress Break Sessions on the calendar. If not, ask to have Chair Massage events throughout Testing Week. A few minutes of massage in your day will help immensely. There are even some campuses that have puppies to play with during a study break.

5. Get Adequate Sleep. Getting a great night’s sleep is essential, natch. But even taking a nap during the day, even for 30 minutes, can help with your alertness, and energy level.

You need all the positive vibes you can get. So, chill out, get a few Zzz’s. You’ll do great on this test. May the odds be ever in your favor!

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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 12 Favorite Social Media Platform

Photo Apr 17, 9 31 17 PM

Pinterest is where I can share more of my passions, aside from Massage Therapy to a wide variety of people.

The place I’ve been spending a lot of my social media time is Pinterest, primarily because it’s where I can share other ideas other than Massage Therapy. I like to be known for what I do, but I am so much more than what I do. Sharing my other interests and passions makes me a more rounded person, and able to meet so many other people aside from the great ones in my line of work. I enjoy using Pinterest enough that I did a class earlier this year on how you could use it.

This, however doesn’t diminish my love for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They are absolutely great for connection and sharing ideas, but for being creative, most of the stuff that I share or create myself, it goes right to Pinterest.

Here is my Pinterest page, to the right. This is one of the slides that I used for the class that I taught a while ago. If you’d like to check out the page, here’s the link.

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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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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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