NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

Stress Free Tips for the School Year

School in the South has already started! It shouldn’t be a stressful time for parents and children alike, so here are some tips to take some of the stress out of the school year –

1. Plan ahead – No one Expects the Spanish Inquisition, but expect that kids will leave things until the last minute. Create a basket or bulletin board in a common area to hang all permission slips, reports and assignments due.

2. Keep in touch with the Teacher(s) – Make sure your child’s teacher can get in touch with you so that your kid’s ‘last minute’ assignment isn’t actually last minute. If your child knows that his or her teacher is a speed dial or click away, the less likely it is that they will try to get away with something. This also goes for parents of the friends.

3. Have the kids take ownership of their OWN homework. – When I was in school, twenty (cough, cough) plus years ago, homework took forever. I don’t think it has gotten any easier or less stressful for kback-to-schoolids to do their assignments. Kids are going to get frustrated, which will result in YOU getting frustrated. Doing their homework for them doesn’t solve their problem, at all. It saves tears and late nights, but it doesn’t solve the problem. There are a lot of apps, and free videos (especially Khan Academy) that can help your students in subjects that even you needed (or still need) help in!

4. Take a break! Taking short breaks throughout homework time lets the body relax a bit and move the blood around, giving you more energy and creativity.  Skipping breaks tends to wear you down, because the stress level never really abates. Even if you take time to do self-massage, meditate or have a dance break, all of these will help reduce stress.

These are only a few tips, but I’m sure that you have some great ones! What are your best ways to get the School Year off to a stress free start?

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What ‘NOT’ to Say to a Therapist (Part 3 of 3)

This is the final part of the series. If you’ve missed part one or two, you can click here and here.

What NOT to say to a massage therapist

17.         I don’t drink water. Before I was a massage therapist, I was in the same camp. I didn’t drink water AT ALL. My body let you know I didn’t either – my skin was compared to elephant hide, and I had severe acne. During a massage class, my classmates were brought up to look at my back, to see what dehydration looked like. (That really happened.) Now that I drink much more water than I have in ages, my skin is much better, and although my acne hasn’t completely cleared up, I cannot be mistaken for what high schoolers would call a ‘pizza face’.

18.         I’ve been told I give ‘pretty good’ massages. I’m glad other people think you have good hands. It’s a very good talent to have, but a few classes under your belt would not hurt! This way, you’ll know how to help someone, as opposed to making a situation worse.  Hey, people may just say that you give excellent massages then!

19.         I just came in from work; Sorry I didn’t take a shower. Unless there is thick green smoke wafting from you, body odor can be dealt with. Now with that being said, don’t jump into a porta-potty on the way to your session.

20.         I didn’t shave. I would SO rather massage a hairy body, than a stubbly one. But that’s just my preference. When you shave, you remove a layer of skin cells. You have no idea what media the therapist is using for your massage. As a result, you may end up with clogged pores or blackheads. What would you rather have – a hairy body, or backne (back acne)?

21.         Do I ‘have’ to tip? This is a *very* sensitive subject among Massage Therapists. Some therapists get fairly upset by not getting a tip. Talking to a therapist that I look up to, he put it this way –

If you’re paying full rate for a massage — tip or don’t tip, it doesn’t matter to me. I set the price at a livable wage for myself.

If you’re getting a discount because you’re on a fixed income — don’t tip. Treat your family well — except maybe at the holidays (nice, but not necessary).

If you’re redeeming a gift certificate that someone else bought — well, the buyer should have included the tip.

If you’re redeeming a gift certificate that I donated to a non-profit — definitely tip — there is still overhead associated with that massage and the opportunity cost of working for ‘free’ vs working for a paying client.

As far as I’m concerned, tip if you feel that you’ve gotten a good massage. If you can’t afford to tip, don’t feel bad about it, please. I’d much rather you feel better, and tell others about your experience. You won’t get a lesser experience because you don’t give a tip. But this is my personal opinion, based on my own experiences.

Well, what do you think? Do you have any questions or comments that weren’t covered in these past posts? I would really 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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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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