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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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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5 Tips for Stress Relief at Work

You’re at work, and you’re feeling sore & stressed – that knot between your shoulder blades is trying to give you a headache, and that one co-worker that gets on your nerves is headed in your direction. What are you to do? Here are 5 quick tips –

1- Use a tennis ball – A great tool to soothe sore feet & massage unreachable knots. Check earlier posts to show you how!

2- Your favorite tea – Teas with low levels of caffeine helps reduce stress levels.  Using honey instead of sugar helps regulate your blood sugar and won’t contribute to a sugar crash. It also causes you to get up & make the tea. (Get the blood moving!)

David Lister using Tension Sheets (bubble wrap, painted red) to de-stress on UK's 'Red Dwarf'.

David Lister using Tension Sheets (bubble wrap, painted red) to de-stress on UK’s ‘Red Dwarf’.

3- A sheet of bubble wrap – or what the TV show ‘Red Dwarf’ calls a Tension Sheet. Popping the little bubbles whether one at a time, or all at once reduces stress level. I’ve even put a sheet down on a tiled floor & run an office chair over it. Yes, it looked silly, but I really felt a lot better when I ran out of bubbles to pop!

4- Aromatherapy – studies show using essential oils such as lavender and lemongrass reduces stress & increases calm.

5- Soothing music playlist– music soothes the savage beast, it can also reduce stress levels. I have a Silly Song playlist, so I can de-stress at the office or on the road. I even go as far as to give really silly ringtones to calls that can be stressful. That way when I hear them, it makes me laugh a little, taking the stress out of answering the phone.  Music that tends to have a faster beat in stressful situations, tend to drive up stress levels. (Besides, who listens to ‘Bodies’ to de-stress?) You wouldn’t have to listen to it all day; just a few minutes when you’re stressed goes a long way!

Seated Stretches

2 Great Stretches to help you throughout the day.

BONUS – A good Stretching routine- you’ve been sitting at your desk for a while, and you hadn’t stretched in a few hours, admit it.  Get your blood moving & loosen up those tight muscles!

Here are a few good ideas – what are YOURS? I’d love to know!

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Racing to the End of the Year

I woke up this morning with “The Devil Wears Prada” on the brain…and then, I remembered – We are all on a mad dash to the end of the year – filled with hurdles & potholes! As the months roll out, there will be days with multiple events that you will *have* to attend, followed by gifts that you’ll have to get for all the parties that you’ve been invited to, and the relatives that drop by unexpectedly, that seem to stay forever. And the LINES…don’t forget the lines! Buy this, return that, ‘ I thought that I had the right receipt for this purchase’… (Yes, ‘The 12 Pains of Christmas’ is already running in my head.)

Well, Halloween was just yesterday, and I can see it, even if you don’t, and I refuse to stress this season, and I will have a great end of the year, because:

1. I will prioritize what is important, and commit to what I can. It will result in hurt feelings, but you know what? I can’t be everywhere at once and everything to everybody. I overbooked myself this month, trying to please too many people. This will have you curled up in a ball in the corner of the room, with your thumb rooted in your mouth. What will I do? I will try to get the coverage that I can for the events that I can’t make, and will send apologies for my sloppy scheduling.

2. WRITE EVENTS DOWN. I am 42 years old with a bad memory to begin with, and my ego always tells me that I’m going to remember, but the truth will tell you that you forget a majority of what you’re told an hour after it is told to you, so as my Algebra teacher Mr. Keegan would say, “Write it dooowwwn!” If you have a smartphone, set reminders and alarms, make that thing work for YOU! Give Siri a job; you paid how much for her to sit around your phone?

3. Make time for MYSELF! Why is this third on the list? Because if it was first, you wouldn’t read it! Making time yourself should always be a priority, because you can’t be your best self if you are running on fumes. I also make it a point to go to Godiva at least once a month, so I can get some great chocolate! It makes it something to look forward to, and it’s just for me.

4. Make time for FUN in my day! Do you have a Holiday playlist that you have that just makes you smile? I have parody playlist that I LOVE so A) I’m listening to what songs I like, and B) not having to hear radio play the same 10 songs for 2 months straight. It helps me have a sense of humor about everything that happens, and even with some of those relatives….you know who I’m talking about!

5. Take time to be GRATEFUL. Take time this season to appreciate all that you already have, not ‘how am I gonna get this gift from X, Y or Z…’ You’ve been blessed with a great life; it’s time that you see that, too.

Now that you’re ready to start running this race to the end of the year, recognize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and some of the foolishness you just don’t have to participate in. Have fun – I’m cheering you on! Get on your marks…get SET…GO!

Editor’s note – I want to hear how YOU are going to keep your sanity through the holidays!

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