It's been a little while since the last post here. You'll find a new layout and more posts at
I've joined the team at Abundant Wellness who have held the title of Valley Advocate's Reader's Poll - Best Place for Massage the past few years.
I'm happy to be part of such a great team and look forward to great things there.
Yoga classes will be held Wednesday evenings at 7:30 in the Great Room on the Second Floor, there is plenty of parking and we're just off 391 exit 3 (94 Chicopee St. Chicopee, MA 01013)
I look forward to hearing from you.
Monday, November 17, 2008
It's been a little while since the last post here. You'll find a new layout and more posts at
Friday, September 5, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Yoga will now begin at 8 pm on Mondays at 755 Grattan St, Chicopee, MA
Labor Day will be observed and classes will resume on September 8th.
All are welcome. Yoga classes are geared to beginners with a focus on connecting the mind and body. Balance, stretch, strengthen, concentration and relaxation to your heart's content.
First class free - $10 per class
Friday, August 22, 2008
The weather could not be better. The sun is out, not a cloud in the sky and the temperature is perfect.
This is the part of being a therapist that I love - working outdoors with people from all different backgrounds (and stories to match) who understand the benefits of massage.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
It may be a bit of an investment, but compared to other treatments, a wax bath can be a simple and effective therapy for the treatment of arthritis. The bath itself is available at many department stores, typically for under 30 dollars.
This is not something you want to buy super cheap and any second-hand(no pun intended) wax bath should be left alone in most cases.
The unit itself should be placed somewhere relatively convenient and can be stored when not in use(just let the wax dry first). When you want to use it, just plug it in and set the dial, be sure to adjust the temperature before dipping your hands in and as a great doctor once said, if it hurts don't do that - it should be hot but tolerable for a second or two. Dip a few times and you can be done, just let the wax cure on your hand. **note - just make sure you don't need that hand for 10 - 20 min.* If you want to be fancy you can use saran wrap type gloves (typically provided) and place your hands in mitts ( also provided) However, the purpose of these is mostly to keep the heat in. Using the wax without the gloves is not uncommon and for home usage a few times a week can be effective. The wax can be left in the unit, but should be replaced every few months, unless you decide to have a hand-warming party(wax should only be shared with those near and dear - you and your joints)
Your joints will appreciate the attention and you synovial fluid will feel the freedom that warmth provides.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Over the past week I decided to put the usual music (ie. oceans, asian-inspired, classical) away and use a few mixes that I have in my iPod. I tag most of these with "possiblie massage" because frankly I'm not sure how they'll go over and they could be used for other backgrounds Yoga, meditation, etc. I was pleasantly suprised by how well received " my" music has been. *note to other therapists: I worked better and my client's seemed happier.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
It's great wake up in a different place. It doesn't matter how far you go to get there. The little changes can make all the difference. The way the sun rises and sets, trails and woods surrounding the location. Exploring a new town and finding an actual local grocery store and a cafe that offers just good coffee and a great location. Being able to simply relax by some water zhould be near the top of anyone's summer list. Activities will happen as things unfold, some of the greatest are totally spur of the moment. Fly a kite, touch the bottom of the pool, do a handstand in the water, the little excitements can make all the difference and be even more fun than "the BIG plans".
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Just across from Baystate is a wonderful B&B. Naomi's Inn is quite possibly the most charming place in Springfield. Marci Webber, myself, and other area MTs, reiki practitioners, among others are working to create a Wellness center.
The center will focus on recovery stays as well as serving oncology patients. Stay tuned as this exciting project unfolds.
If you are a practitioner in or around the Springfield area and would be interested in seeing what the center may offer you Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, July 4, 2008
JT- James Taylor - was great this year. There were not a whole lot of people getting in our chairs, rain can have that impact. The sky did clear a bit and JT played a great set. Tanglewood is such a great venue, although driving in and out can be slow like molasses. I was able to get my Dad a t-shirt. I tried to take a picture with my phone, but it came out a bit fuzzy. I should have gone closer for another attempt but it didn't work out.
I saw my prom date. Blast from the past seems only appropriate at a JT concert. She now has a beautiful little girl - and a husband. I didn't get a chance to go say Hi to her mom. It was so great to see her and have my memory jogged like that. I imagine there were other connections like this throughout the venue.
It's fun to hit the rewind button for a bit, but going back?, I'll stay right here thanks.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
On my way into my office today I found a lone Robin's Egg in the driveway. I wasn't sure what to do, so I picked it up and took it inside. Figuring that the mother would have a heck of a time getting it back into the nest herself.
I consulted with Robin - who works for the chiropractors downstairs hoping that because it was her namesake she would know what to do. Evidently, I wasn't supposed to have touched it , although, it's fate was pretty much sealed being so far from the nest in the first place.
I've made a nest and put it on the front porch as it does tend to be the warmest place in the building, sunny too.
I'll try to post a picture and hopefully, the poor thing will be okay, although the outlook is not too good.
I tried - Do you know how to save a robin's egg?
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
have you noticed strange things happening? Forgetfulness, things mysteriously disappearing?
Mercury is in Retrograde and whether the impact of the universe is something you believe in or not, you may be seeing things or experiencing things just a bit out of the ordinary.
I have one friend who can not seem to stop rhyming, other glitches include schedule mix-ups, misplacing things, going out to deliver literature and leaving it on the desk at home.
Situation Normal - during this astronomic event - be kind to yourself and others caught in the clutches of our universe's gremlin.
"screws fall out all the time, the world is a very imperfect place."
Monday, June 16, 2008
The summer is in full swing. And along come those minor aches that can build up into big pain. The same thing you add to your drinks to make them a little more refreshing can be applied to your body. ICE is NICE - I can't stress (haha) how important ICE can be to help ease the aches and pains that come with prolonged activity.
If you didn't play golf throughout the winter - and we're in New England so if you did what's your secret then your body can have a bit of a hard time getting back into the swing of things. Be mindful of the signals your body is trying to give you. Some of us get a little reluctant, and dare I say stubborn, about the way the body seems to change overnight. "i've never had this pain before" we can ignore these changes or work with them.
Find what works for you, if you make an effort to listen to your body you may be able to avoid serious injury.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Today, I was pleased to donate massage sessions to help KIX 97.9 raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
I am sorry that I couldn't make it to meet the Kix crew over at the Holyoke mall, the spa called, I was very pleased when I heard that the donations totalled - $1200, thanks so much to those who gave and contributed to the Grand Total of nearly $90,000. There are so many worthy charities out there, I make every effort to donate my time and anyhting I can to those related to research. The more we learn the more we can change.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Schedules changes sometimes by the day, sometimes by the minute.
At one moment cancellations and rescheduling were happening one after another. Then it changed at some point to bookings. My book changing from full to nearly empty to full again. A flutter of emotions came but throughout I was able to resolve them by reminding myself that sometimes this is the way things happen.
Life is change. If we could absolutely predict the future then where would the fun be.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I unintentionally tried a Bikram class last night. The AC was down at my yoga studio - yikes. I have to admit I didn't last very long in the conditions - I heard it was in the hundreds. Being a naturally warm person it was not too long before it felt like it might be raining in the studio. All things considered my headstand is coming along nicely. So, there was something redeeming as there typically is. It was one class where I had to listen to my body and be resolute with the fact that there were some things to leave undone as the risk of fainting seemed somewhat likely. WATER _ WATER - WATER -
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
For a small portion of the weekend I was able to donate my time to some very deserving people. The American Cancer Society puts on many of these weekend retreat/workshops for those diagnosed with cancer, their friends and family. They provide a great amount of information and an excellent forum for all to talk about just what kind of impact cancer can have in all of it's forms .
Want to help someone get to a place where they can talk about their cancer?
There were people from all over New England in attendance. A group was on hand providing Reiki sessions and there was me, one therapist providing a brief bit of respite for these great people. Next year I'll be sure to have a couple more Massage Therapists with me as the line was pretty long and I'm sure the more the merrier. One great pair of friends was using the weekend as a way to both get together and help others at the same time.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Previously I posted about the recent changes in Massage Therapy licensure in Massachusetts. I recieved my official document in the mail today. Although, I have to admit I was expecting something a bit larger, you know, frameworthy, instead it's more along the lines of wallet size. I'm hoping that maybe the board can make some changes and the next time around give plaques.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Self-employment can be tricky. On the outside it appears that there is a bit of freedom and the ability to make your own schedule and free time. However, it can be more difficult to give yourself time off or schedule things just for you. Many times the prospect of generating more, whether that be clients, money, or contacts, is more pressing than taking time to recouperate from the long hours that oneputs in to their own business.
It is a constant struggle, but the rewards, while not always visible or tactile can be great. Taking time for oneself, not matter what your occupation, domestic engineer, nine to fiver, business owner, is incredibly important. I have to put it in my calendar, and make sure that throughout the day I remind myself that a day to recover is just as critical as any appointment or meeting. It is equally if not more important to take a certain amount of time each day to just be. There are many options - it is entirely up to you to choose and seek out what is right for you.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
I have to admit that laundry is definitely not one of the perks of being a massage therapist. Wash - Dry - Fold - repeat. Occasionally, I splurge and have the laundromat do the works, it's really nice and I have to admit I think they make folding an artform. This, as many complaints, is one of those that is equally positive and negative. More laundry means more sessions and more sessions mean more money - so more laundry means more money. I don't like this fact but it holds - algebra says so.
It makes me wonder how many things have this dual negative and positive in life. Can everything be looked at in this way?
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
It was time to say goodbye to the Maroon Platoon for the summer. Here's hoping that they are all well, and off to great summer experiences. It was great to work with the athletic trainers and students. They are all amazing and truly inspiring. I can't wait to see them again in the fall.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
ME time! Many mother's feel pulled in several directions. At-home Moms, working moms, single moms, they all have similar fears and worries. It can be difficult to allay fears and worries, and most often a mother's biggest struggle is taking care of herself. It's easy to put everyone ahead of yourself, however, it is also very draining. There is no magic cure - the cure is to be attentive to mom, just as you are to the rest of your family. Stop and listen. These may be words that any mom finds herself saying over and over. Is it do as I say not as I do? Take time to check in with yourself. It can also be very valuable to communicate with your family what it is you are doing. While moms can be tempted to keep the schedule full to the brim for whatever reason. Many studies show that kids want and even need quality time. It's fine to do nothing, have a family nap time. Watch clouds together. Quiet or stillness contests can yield great results for everyone involved. Make it a habit, start small, and the rewards will pour in.
Friday, May 9, 2008
I am a member of a networking organization, one that actually covers the globe. Weekly we get together and have a meeting to discuss our respective businesses and one member, presents something about their business for ten minutes. Originally, I was under the impression that my presentation would happen next week, I stood corrected. I had prepared in my head but had nothing on paper. Now, these are twenty people that I'm fairly familiar with, and whether that makes it easier or more difficult is a point of debate.
However, I think the key for me was knowing my subject. I make an effort to educate myself on massage and also be attentive to what questions people have - they are limitless and range from serious to hilarious, however, there is no such thing as a bad or even silly question. Especially, when it concerns your body, have you seen Doctor Oz?, people have questions and they are all good questions, and surpising or not many people have similar questions but are often afraid to ask.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I know many MTs that enter the profession with the hyped up "You can make sixty dollars an hour as a massage therapist!" That's exciting I know, however, the reality is that it takes some time and also their are costs involved in getting that sixty dollars. When you have your own business their will be costs. When you work for someone else they will not pay you the full amount that the client pays - they have costs too. The other side is that in this profession it is physically impossible to do 40 hours of massage consistently. I imagine the body could take it for a few weeks or so, after that, good luck using your arms or hands for anything. The work is physical labor in the utmost form.
The massage schools - even my alma mater - throw the number out because it sounds exciting. It is, who could deny that. However, the business of massage is not as simple as hanging a sign or simply telling friends who tell friends or even working at a spa or in a salon. Like anything, you have to work for your money. It is a rewarding field don't get me wrong. The money should not be your only drive - again true with anything - you have to be willing to put some effort in.
If you look deeper into the statistics the average massage therapist "salary" is a little over 32,000 per year. This works out to about 10 hours per week - which is pretty good by some standards. There will be great weeks and there will be terrible weeks. I'm sure I will post more on this at a later date as whenever I hear that a school is selling themselves with the "60 dollar per hour myth" It really gets under my skin - hahaha. Another statistic - 80 percent of MTs leave the field after two years or less. (note: this is proof that the sales pitch works)
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I had such a great yoga class today. I'd love to pinpoint exactly what made it feel so great. I think for the most part I was pretty open. I actually started the class with pretty low expectations. My practice has been in the background of my life lately. This class though, everything felt so great. I had my moments sure, but my backbends and just the feeling that every pose brought on was absolutely fantastic. I wanted the class to keep going. It's funny that sometimes even when you expect less of yourself your body can surprise you in the end.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
I participated as a vendor at Noho Pride this year. It was cold and overcast. I didn't really do much vending but I did get to hang out with my colleague's daughter and also catch up with friends and other colleagues from the area. The drum circle was really great and there were some great dogs around - the people were pretty great too.
My friend Alex is part of Generation Q - he was even in the paper on Sunday. A good time was had, maybe next year the sun will come out again.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I played hookie today. It's not for something that I get paid for or even something I have to do. However, it is something that my body loves. I typically take many yoga classes per week on top of my home practice. I really get a lot from my practice, however, the time away seemed to serve me well too. Sometimes inaction is a powerful action in itself. We often hear how the greatest athletes use visualization to strengthen their game - it works, in all aspects of life I imagine. Taking the time to visualize and play with situations using the mind is very useful for conversations, situations of all types, and any activity. Try it out.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Mother's Day is on the way.
If you're having trouble finding the right gift for your mother or the mother of your children.
A gift certificate for massage can be a wonderfully well-deserved gift of that peace and quiet that every mother craves.
A half-hour Feet Retreat for the mother who's always on the go or how about one full hour that she can have to herself. A tranquil room where all she has to do is breathe.
Gift Certificates come with a relaxing blended lotion, bath salts, and Peppermint Foot Cream.
She will feel wonderful all over.
Friday, April 25, 2008
An article about me.... I recently sat down with Bob McCarthy to talk about my career in massage, how I got here, why I chose Massage Therapy as a profession and the benefits companies report when they employ a chair massage program for their employees.
It was a bit surreal to be interviewed and even more to see my picture and quotes from me in print.
The article in its entirety can be found on my site here.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I'm having some first-hand experiences with stress. Major life changes, apartment hunting, loss, etc. Most of the time I'm handling it fairly well, however, occasionally I find myself teetering on the edge. These moments happen for all of us.
It stands out how difficult it can be to take pause in these times. Will the ten breaths be enough? If I close my eyes can I really give the feelings their due and move on.
I'd like to have all of the answers and the resolve - the steps you take to work with your negative emotions do work. While it may not always be perfect - you may react or blame or try to pull someone else into your mess - making an effort to calm yourself is always the best action.
Letting those that love you know that you are having difficulty can be a very key step in the process of dealing with hard times. If they don't know what's going on, they might think that they are to blame. This holds true for those little annoyances as well as the tragic events that happen in life.
All I can say is - best of luck, and be patient with yourself as it will help you be more patient with others.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I have one client who keeps me extremely grounded. She's very special and we talk and laugh, not every session but most. She's blind and I have to go see her at her house. She is a reminder that communication can take many forms. It helps me a great deal with my other clients - to better understand what their bodies say even if they don't use words. It also helps me to communicate and help my clients to understand me better. I am so thankful to have a client like this - every massage therapist should be so lucky.
Monday, April 21, 2008
The on-line booking calendar is undergoing some renovations. It will not be available again until May 5th. If you would like to book an appointment in the coming week or would like to order gift certificates. Please call me directly and I will be happy to help. My response time is usually within four hours if I am unable to take your call.
Labels: chicopee massage
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I had a great time at the March for Babies in Forest Park today. They say there were nearly twelve hundred participants which is great . It was great to see some friends from last year's walk - to catch up and chat. Although we were pretty busy. Three therapists and so many people we had many people in the massage chair. I am always so glad to provide my services for people that are doing so much to help others. It's also great that the sun was on our side. Everybody had fun and it's amazing what can be accomplished with a walk in the park.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
I've been with the Chicopee Chamber now for nearly a year I've also been a member of BNI. Both have been great for my business, however, they each hold certain client types that I'm sure any therapist would find. I call this client the Round Tuit. They say things like "I really enjoy massage.... I'll have to come see you some time..." but then all of their intent seems just that. All talk and no action. I'm not the type to force my services on anyone. Quite the contrary, I understand that massage is not for everyone and that people will hopefully find the therapist that's right for them. I believe we all encounter these Round Tuits in any business. They are proof that patience can pay off. Also, sometimes these clients give the true reason they waited to use your services. This lesson can be invaluable. Oftentimes, the relationship just has to be built to a certain level. The level of trust required for massage or any service can often be great and sometimes taken for granted by the professional. Build trust, no matter how long it takes, it is always important to have trust.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I'm currently enrolled in a teacher training program and find it somewhat funny when people look at me and say " You do Yoga?!" I'm not a small guy I know, but size is more irrelevant than people lead themselves to believe. While I love backbends and enjoy relaxing in a Full Wheel conversely my biggest challenge is in core work. I aim to excel and get my core to where I'd like it to be. However, it's the challenge of yoga - and there are many- that I love.
If you haven't noticed I highly recommend yoga - to anyone and everyone - your yoga teacher will let you know what to not do or avoid. If you don't feel you can trust your yoga teacher - find another yoga teacher. I personally like Mama Nirvana's and VegaYoga but there are quite a few in the area that are trustworthy.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Baystate offers a special program for it's employees. Discounts from area vendors of all types. Today we all went over to Baystate in Springfield to show our stuff. It was great to meet some of the employees, doctors, nurses, and especially the workers who really keep things going over there. An added bonus was meeting with others who participate in the vendor program.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
During my time today at UMass I worked with two runners and a football player with various types of hip pain.
One of the bigger problem areas of the rotator group is a small muscle called the piriformis. It attaches at the pelvis and inserts at the greater trochanter. Often problems occur for various reasons, sitting-style, gait, anatomical, etc. It can often contribute to feelings of sciatic pain - ie numbness or tingling in the leg, pain when sitting for long periods.
There are simple stretches for this little PIA
1) sitting with one leg crossed in front of the other, it is recommended that you use something like a pillow or cushion underneath your seat to raise you up slightly, in order to protect the knees, making an effort to sit "indian-style" like this for even a few minutes throughout the day can often have great impact on releasing tension and making regular sitting more comfortable.
NO PAIN - if there is pain associated with sitting in this fashion stop - comfort is the goal
2)Laying on the floor facing the ceiling feet flat on the ground bring one ankle to the opposite knee (make triangles - like a number four that's bent) reach one arm through your legs and the other behind the thigh pull your foot off the floor - you will need to raise your shoulder blades off the floor - be careful not to strain your neck - ears should stay in line with the shoulders.
Monday, April 7, 2008
I attendend one of the premier yoga classes over at Aaron & Debra Vega's new studio in Holyoke. It is a great space with lots of light coming in through big windows and a great view over looking the canals. There were so many people there - for 9am on a Sunday morning to have people come out for anything is quite a feat. We all had plenty of room to practice and it was really great to see new faces along with others that have been regulars in Aaron's classes. They have some really great programs over there.
Two that are particularly worth noting are - Yoga en Espanol - A 5pm class on Thursday nights entirely in Spanish. I myself, regret not knowing much spanish other than what I;ve Learned from Sesame Street - Speaking of Sesame the other brilliant concept is to have a day class with a simultaneous kids class - no need for babysitters or leaving the kids at mom & dad's when you go to class.
The new studio is at Open Square in Holyoke - Classes on-going and beginners are encouraged for most classes - avid Yogis who love to be challenged get classes just for them too.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
I found myself slightly impatient and always trying to maintain professionalism, I did not let it out with clients, rather , I unleashed my wrath on someone. We all find a scapegoat whether it’s the one we love or just happens to be the one we’re with. I explained to her what was really happening and while it helped a little I still have some remorse over putting her in a position she did not deserve to be in.
It would be wonderful to never need forgiveness, but sometimes a little understanding can go a long way – it helps if you stop to understand where you’re mind is “stuck”. There will be no understanding if you don’t understand yourself.
Friday, April 4, 2008
We brought our chairs and got to work on the UMass Equestrian Team. Sports of most types are relatively foreign to me. I can follow along okay when it comes to baseball or basketball but these girls were speaking what seemed to me like a foreign language. Trots and gallops aside, the many types of horses as well as the many things that they are required to have the horses perform are amazing. They make it look as though they telepathically tell the horses when to jump, turn, or even come to a complete stop. I was definitely impressed with how much control these ladies could have over animals five or ten times their size.
Congratulations to them as they are off to California after a big win over the weekend.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I recently teamed up with two other Pioneer Valley massage therapists(Karin O'Brien & Bonnie Lafayette) to do some work with the athletic teams over at UMass. It's a great opportunity to see the varying body compositions from runners to football players. Each has their own set of issues and common problems as well as the not so common. It's a great environment to work in alongside coaches, athletic trainers, and the athletes themselves. The sporting world from a different angle so to speak. The truth is I know little about the sports themselves, but since becoming a massage therapist I have an appreciation of the body that continues to lead me to new discoveries of myself and the patterns that people, athletes or not, are prone to.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Runners and cyclists rejoice, the season is just getting started and whether you are an avid racer or just a fair weather jogger, the opportunities to get off the treadmill or stationary bike are coming - even if it does seem at times that there will be six more months of winter.
Should I heat or should I ice? You may find yourself asking yourself this question. Simply put ice is best for acute injuries (that ankle that only started hurting today) and heat is best when applied to chronic injuries (the other ankle - the one that you nearly lost in the skiing incident of '94 when you didn't quite hit that mogul the way you should have.)
Ice reduces swelling and pain, because it constricts the blood vessels which limits internal bleeding at the injury site. You can apply ice to the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time - several times a day for up to three days.
Side note - this can also be effective for chronic injuries that are brought on by certain activities - ie the shoulder that was injured in the great football moment that hurts after pitching a few innings to your little league team.
Heat on the other hand increases circulation and raises temperature of course. It can be an effective preventative when applied to an injury before exercise or above average use. Similar time frames 10 - 20 minutes. Also note that applying heat to inflamed areas(swollen or red) is a bad idea and overheating should be avoided (you don't want to turn it into a burn site). Heat can also help relax tightened muscles - moist heat is best - a relaxing bath after a run can do a body good.
If an injury worsens or does not seem to be getting relief after 48 hours you should consult a physician or other health professional.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
About dot com is a great resource for information regarding just about everything.
I only recently discovered that they've caught on to the Youtube-type format and they have some great short vids regarding health and wellness.
Follow the link below for a great brief video of what the ACL really is (BTW - ligaments are bone to bone attachments, tendons are muscle to bone attachments)
Monday, March 24, 2008
It's finally spring. It feels as though the winter was going to hang around endlessly. The sun came out a bit infrequently and with the "spring forward" time change it altered the evenings a little. Today, however, feels like a spring day. The air is slightly crisp, but the sun feels warm and has definitely brightened a once dreary backdrop.
During a massage session I could hear the birds in the background. For the most part it's a day off for me, barring yoga class, a meditation group, and one massage (a trade with another local massage therapist).
I hope I can find my way outside to enjoy it.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
At my RYT class the subject of fitting things in to your schedule came up and was a common theme among nearly every student. One factor I certainly hadn't thought of was fitting in a personal yoga class when we become teachers. Teaching classes, work, family, attending classes, daily meditation - at times it can feel like your juggling too many things.
However, there are certain things that seem to lend themselves to better time management - meditation, yoga practice, etc. Taking time for yourself is somehow seen as a negative among some people, however, this tends to also be their biggest complaint. Taking time for you - whether mere moments or even an hour, can be very beneficial to overall well-being. It seems counter-intuitive that dedicating an hour or so to oneself lends to better time management, but using your time wisely to relax and refresh yourself so that you in essence become more productive. More focussed and better able to see events, problems, quarrels, and the like in a calm and rational manner.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Dr. Anastacia - The wonderful chiropractor - will be at the Fit Fair being held at the Springfield YMCA this Saturday. This table-top event will have many of the areas best in the health industry - from financial health to physical health.
Your health should be your top priority and you should talk to the experts and stay informed whenever possible.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Recently, I have had a few clients who had never before received a massage.
For many the first exposure to massage is through a gift certificate. While this can be a great introduction to massage, it can also make or break feelings towards massage. Some may even never use the gift certificate because of all of the unknowns and what ifs. If you have questions - talk to the therapist - ask any question. Massage Therapists are accustomed to fielding a wide variety of questions and if the one you talk to doesn't respond in a kind, understanding manner. Find another therapist.
Massage Therapy is about you feeling relaxed and comfortable.
Honestly fill out a health history.
- The information you provide will then be reviewed with you by the therapist.
The therapist should then describe the session
- How to lay on the table
- Session Sequence including what areas will be targeted
- Where to put your clothing (note: it is very seldom necessary to remove everything)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Massage Therapists have options when it comes to professional association membership. I myself, am a member of ABMP - the other option is the AMTA. Both have their benefits, these associations are focussed on educating the public, their members, and students of massage.
I've found that the forums on the ABMP site are very beneficial as far as sharing information and seeking guidance about business, practices, modalities, etc. I noticed something today when perusing this part of the site, many of the same massage therapists post or reply regularly. While there are so many members of these associations there seem to be so few who actually take an active role.
It is probably similar in many organizations, the 80-20 principle seems to ring true in many aspects of both business and our personal lives. I learn a lot from these other therapists and I'm sure it goes both ways. I'm proud to say I'm an Active Member of this organization and I'm sure as time goes on I'll increase my activity as it seems to be a natural progression. It makes me wonder though, about those who choose to have an association simply to say so more than anything else. It'd be amazing how much power any organization or business or anyone in particular would be if they reversed the principle somehow.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Ah the change of seasons what wonderful chaos it brings about. Time changes, temperature changes, attitude changes, with so many changes what are we to do. I'm finding myself reminding myself to breathe, to eat, to relax - I should be an expert as a massage therapist, but as with anything it's easier to teach others than it is to take your own advice sometimes.
This seems to ring true for other wellness professionals and colleagues. Self-care can often be last on the list for those of us in the Healing Arts. OMG we're human, it happens, this is often the source of our own humility and humble nature. We treat people most often because we are like them not because we are in any way superior. It's not always easy to be personally aware of what thoughts or activities are getting in our own way or contributing to our emotional or physical state. Sometimes we don't realize until we're hit head on with the reality that we've been sort o living a delusion, no matter how brief or long.
Hopefully, the change greets you well on the other side. Whether there was some small lesson or not(which is not-likely, there's nearly always a lesson) hopefully you find yourself richer for the change.
Monday, March 17, 2008
It was the second in our series at 755 Grattan St. The turn out was a little light, but I have high hopes for the growth of our 3rd Saturday Free@3 Series. I myself, had to leave early so I wasn't too sure how it all turned out in the end. I came to find that it was actually quite a productive little group in the end. It shows that sometimes you never can tell. Even the smallest efforts can produce big connections.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
As a massage therapist I know that not every client will be able to make their appointment. Things come up, things go down - Life Happens. While there are certain ways I try to protect myself from these things happening again and again. Recurring lateness, last-minute cancellation, no shows, can often be avoided.
I had a perfect cancellation the other day. The client called a few hours before the session. "I'm not going to make it to my appointment today."
Then she did the perfect thing. "However, I am available the following days."
This set the stage for a perfect compromise - she was able to give me at least some advance notice that she would not make her massage session and also she gave some options so that our schedules could blend.
The perfect cancellation - reschedule - anyone in a service industry like massage should understand that life happens, and more often than not - not exactly according to plan. If you're a massage therapist, it can be difficult at times to think to suggest a better time for the client's schedule, and, if you're the client you may be thinking of only the immediate - I can't make that appointment, understandably so. However, a little consideration on both sides goes a long way.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I'm often asked just how often is often enough to get massage.
Mainly, it depends on your goals and what sort of condition brings you into the office in the first place. Like any other service, self-care or otherwise, the decision is yours. You may consider how often your symptoms present themselves, be they stress, tension, or pain, are you looking for things to subside as they appear, or could the condition possibly get worse. In some instances, greater frequency may be recommended at the begininng of treatment however, this may be reevaluated after the first few months or weeks.
The best course of action is to get informed. Your massage therapist can help to inform you as to what the possible causes for your condition might be. However, you hold the key to most of the information how often do your symptoms inhibit your activity? Are there certain things you just can't do or that may be getting more and more difficult? Are you constantly feeling stressed? Are you having trouble sleeping more than a few nights per week?
If you have goals in mind - make them clear to your massage therapist. They may be just the massage therapist to help you achieve your goals or perhaps they could refer you to a colleague - acupuncturist, chiropractor, Physical Therapist. If you don't feel that the massage therapist you've found is going to be able to help you for what ever reason, you will more than likely be right. There are some great studies being done on the placebo effect and just how important it is to wellness. (Translation - Your body believes everything you tell it.)
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I see Greta Williams for acupuncture over at Indigo Massage. This evening I attended a special presentation she gave on stress and exhaustion. It turns out the season is priming us for both in its own way. Greta provided great insight into chinese medicine and its view of our constitution. Tune ups might not be just for cars anymore. This morning I had a Great session with Greta - it always amazes me how the points are activated and the difference I feel before and after a session. At one time I thought it was primarily due to the meditative state that can be brought on while the needles are doing their work. Lately however, I'm realizing more and more just how much work the needles actually do. If you haven't tried acupuncture I highly recommend going over to Indigo or someplace similar - Indigo offers a low-cost clinic, however, full sessions are well worth the investment in your self.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
So part of the "big lesson" (see yesterday) was that I should take some time for myself - one of the forgotten edicts of working with people. So why am I compelled to work my day-off away. I should definitely not be blogging on such a day. I'll try to stop but I'll probably make yet another post as there were some days I recently missed. If I should be catching up on anything it should really be nothing. I am creating my own workplace stress - easy to do I guess when you are the only one in the office. I think I can - I think I can - I think
Monday, March 10, 2008
I had a client recently give me excellent feedback. While it wasn't all positive I was extremely happy to receive it. Clients often feel guilty about expressing negative experiences. The trouble is that failure leads to more growth than success.
I try my best to provide the best experience possible for all clients, however, I am human. It would be nice to be perfect, it's on my list somewhere below attaining enlightment. As a massage therapist I do have to remember that I need to communicate and do my best to facilitate communication - this is often where problems lie.
While I can make any number of excuses and list reasons(my own neglect of self-care, timing) as to why this client's experience was not optimal I do have to look closely at the root of the problem - which was (and typically is) communication. I spend time educating myself and I need to take the same care when it comes to my clients.
Education is power - expectation, techniques, basic anatomy, goals, pressure - to name a few these areas are what clients should be aware of before, during and after each session. If I can't communicate what you will get, how can I expect you to be a happy receiver.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
I had an amazing experience at the Bodies Revealed exhibit. I went through at least four times - finding myself drawn to something diffent each time. The body is so complex there is no better way to "put it together" than the physical models. Each display was fascinating in the way it highlighted different aspects of anatomy. I was glad to have made it on it's last day in Hartford - I had been trying to find time, and someone to attend with me, but finally carved out a few hours and went myself. I spent quite some time in front of the larger displays especially those that drove home the relationships of muscles and bones. The physical really is much better to learn from than any text or picture. While I do have quite a few anatomy books that I reference often, the collection in the exhibit has certainly helped me to put things together.
There were also a number of attendees overheard to have revelations regarding conditions - breaks, strains, and the like - these aha moments are why this exhibit is so educational beyond compare.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
I was able to run through the Whole Health Expo. I had a little bit on my plate for the day and wasn't able to peruse quite as much as I would have liked. I did however, get an introduction to some great practitioners and a myriad of new ideas. I particular liked the Omnivos booth. You may have seen there wares at your yoga studio or perhaps if you have had a sound healing session. These bowls produce tones that are truly amazing and bring a smile to your face almost instantly. I am quite fascinated by acutonics and the effects of sound on the body. While in my own practice I focus mainly on anatomy and the muscles relationships to pain - sound does have a profound effect on the body. (how long have you gone without listening to one piece of music?)
I was also glad to see other practitioners and friends from the area both those who had booth space and those that were "mere attendees" I've heard that some of the presentations were great and plan on making the time next year to participate and learn. I was able to stroll through the books downstairs and pick up some things that will be sure to help me in my practice.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Your scapula, as a bone, is not like the vertabrae or elbow, it is somewhat connected to the humerus, albeit delicately. However, it is not attached to your ribs in the same way. The scapula is where it is mainly because of the muscles attached to it. These many muscles need to work together, both for effective use of the shoulder, but in conjunction to hold the arm where it's supposed to be. So many Range Of Motion problems are caused by these muscles that must work in near perfect harmony.
The Rotator Cuff is a group of muscles - Supraspinatus - Infraspinatis - Teres Minor - Subscapularis that work together to keep the humerus (upper arm bone) held in the facet of the scapula - a lot of work for four not so large muscles.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
It was recently pointed out to me that when I speak - especially in front of groups - I casually rub my hands together as I talk. It was brought to my attention because someone thought it was some sort of subliminal message. It's purely subconcious, I hardly realize that I do it myself. It's funny the things that people pick up on when we speak and the way they translate them for themselves. This perhaps is why politicians use these little details - which color to wear, how they use their hands when they speak. We actually do pay attention to the slight nuances and they matter. I have to admit it made me a bit more mindful of the other ways I present myself when I speak. To be attentive to our bodies may be just as important as being attentive to the words and ways we speak.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I was driving in the rain on my cell phone and got myself totally lost. I obeyed all traffic rules, rights of way stopping at stop signs however, I somehow managed to miss a turn or sign. I am not frequently a drive while talking person. I try to use the cell phone only when I am stationary - as I don't have a hands free device. Even still it wasn't that my attention was pulled from the traffic in essence it was that it made me somewhat disregard the larger surrooundings, buildings and identifiers that would have helped me find that lost turn.
I eventually made it to my destination but it made me reconsider my decision to talk and drive - hands free or not. the world can wait - but if you use your cell phone while driving it will wait awhile longer in most cases.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I had a great experience at during Guided Meditation this evening. At first, I was under the impression that in order to truly meditate there was only one road. However, through recent training and the experience with people like Russell Clay I've realized that as in most things in life, sometimes there is more than one way and each has its own merit. Russell has recently decided that he wants nothing more than to teach others about meditation. If you get the chance no matter what denomination you feel a part of (or distant from as the case may be) gathering any bit of guidance from Russell is highly recommended.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Originally, I thought it was due to Valentine's Day week - a busy time for MTs and spas. However, the more I looked at my schedule the more I realized that I had maybe added to much to my plate at some point and thus something needs to go. It's always difficult when you relaize that you need to give something up, however, the benefit - personal time or quality time at home can often far outweigh the scheduled activities and things you may feel need you. It's easy to forget that your needs are important and some things, activities, even work, can get in the way of your self. You forget that time is as important to you as it is to others - you deserve it. I'm working towards where exactly I will find this time or how I will go about reclaiming it. I do realize that I need it and if I were to continue without making a change, one day I'll just check out and I'll be moving through life a little more like a robot or zombie rather than being present and able to enjoy all that life has to offer.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
As a member of a group focussed on business building I am looking to the other members both for how to lessons and how to handle what may go wrong. I've been knowticing a strange trend, there are times when we do nothing because we can't take the time to make things perfect or we may not be the best at it. I rescently had a conversation with someone about "failing forward". If we learn best from the misstakes that we make - shouldn't we allow ourselves some mistakes. THings can be corrected, wrongs can be righted, with technology somethings will even correct themselves or catch our mistakes. "are you sure you want to delete" etc. It's sometimes not obvious why we hold ourselves back - our own feers, success, money, being the center of attention, et cetera et cetera. However, sometimes any sort of doing "taking action" can be a good thing no matter how bad we may think it appears. I love this topic and may return to it.
I may actually make corrections to this post.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
As I watched the end of the lunar eclipse - I thought of how it looked somewhat like a hatching -the moon shedding old skin to return even more bright than before. We have these opportunities - whether we choose to see them or not. To start fresh - aim to not respond to certain situations in the same way - try a new way. Be they - sweets, quarrels, traffic, and on and on.
I hope that I can give myself new beginnings and shine better than before and that I can have patience with others as they deal with their own new beginnings.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I feel as though I've been through some sort of tidal shift. I'm on the shore, walking along a familiar beach, but something is slightly different. There's either a little more water or a little more sand, but I"m nearly certain it's the same beach.
Time is now divided now nearly equally between my own practice, the spa, yoga and this other place - at least it feels that way. I think though, for the first time in a while the pattern has been able to surface, like the trail of the mussels in the sand as the tide pulls away. This pattern is sometimes equally as confusing as the pattern of the mussels - an erratic display if you've seen it. There may be something in the water. I'm just hoping that the pattern - whether it looks like a Rorschach test or something happy is oen that stays for a little while.
I could use something formulaic about now.
Monday, February 18, 2008
As earlier stated Valentine's is quite a season - some nights I had 7 sessions - as the weekend came to a close I was seriously drained. The week ahead brought it's own difficulties - flat tire, finally spending some family time, and my part-time work. Sometimes recovery is something that needs to be scheduled too. I slept very well last night and intend on resting for most of the day today. It can be hard not to aim to "push through" and keep going. However, making efforts to "catch up" often fail. Sleeping longer on days off or otherwise shifting schedules sometimes do more harm than good. Resting and relaxing for a couple of days is one thing, but once you mess with your sleep/wake schedule forget about it, it will take more time to get back on track and in the meantime your body and mind will not be happy until they're on some semblance of a schedule.
Keep the rhythm but let the tempo drift.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
There are some new faces - I'll just call the newest Teach and the oldest I'll call The Salesman. The Salesman has a sharp mind, though his body is not cooperating - Teach is nearly opposite. They would make quite the odd couple - although something should be said of their organizational skills - Note to Self : Keep things in order, it may assist in longevity.
The Salesman and I tend to repeat - almost to the point of having the same conversation - It's good, though, stability can be a blessing. Teach and I tend to have new experiences almost constantly, which can be taxing (on the both of us). I'm learning a lot from each of them. They are both fascinating and have a wealth of knowledge that they've had enough time to make concise. Each bit just as important, but more of a bulleted list that once was a book.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
It's a busy time of year for massage therapists. Couples are making trips to the spa, getting and giving gift certificates and such. As our books fill up we wonder - Why can't every day be Valentine's Day? Clients often come in for their first massage or their yearly visit expecting at the very least relaxation and at the most extreme - a fix.
The expectation of relaxation is typically easily provided, although, some clients need more time than others to get to the point where they allow themselves to relax - there is a level of trust that needs to be considered. If you're seeing a professional therapist - you're more than likely in good hands - all you need to do is breathe - your therapist will do the rest (oh, you will probably need to turn over at some point). This is sometimes easier said than done, if you need to be reassured about your therapists level of expertise or what you need to do - ask questions - there are no bad questions - trust me, we here a lot of interesting questions.
If you're looking for a fix - think of rebooking. We'd like to perform miracles and do magical things but one session can simply lead toward the path to wellness. Book another session, especially if you feel a connection with the massage therapist. It took some time to get your body into a not-so-great state, it will take some time for your body to re-adjust and get to a state of wellness.
Celebrate often - you deserve it. The benefits will be tremendous.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The Third Saturday @ Three Series is kicking off with a talk given by Dr. Anastacia Samson
She is the first Brimhall Certified Wellness chiropractic physician in Western MA to train with and use this safe and effective innovation in painless, non-invasive health care..
Join us for discussion, Q & A with Dr. A, and demonstration.
755 Grattan St. 2nd Floor
Exit 4 - 391 (chicopee falls)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Recently, I was asked by a friend to make a donation of any sort for the daughter of one of his co-workers. They were putting together a fundraiser as medical bills were piling up. I also contacted friends of mine, who, as it turned out, had closer connections to her and told me stories of someone I wish I had met or at least seen.
From what I've heard she had an amazing gift for dance that she shared with the world - teaching others and traveling to perform throughout the area.
I am glad I was able to collect gift certificates from other local businesses and also that I had the opportunity - albeit too late - to have my life touched by her amazing spirit.
If possible, please click on either of the above links to purchase a video or send a donation to the address given at her site. It also shows the love she had for her craft and how much she shared it with others.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
I attended two wonderful yoga classes today. I've been in a very transitional place with yoga as of late. The undertaking of a teacher training program put me into a sort of spell within myself. The original intention was - to expand my knowledge of yoga, as I find that postures can be effective for my massage clients - because I am a big advocate for yoga practice and for stretches that can help with their particular issues.
Somewhere along the way this original intention transformed me into a yogi I'm not quite ready to be, attempting poses and pushing myself a little further than my body was telling me I should. After some discussion with my teacher and much inner contemplation I am working my way through this problem and for the first time in awhile I took a yoga class with fresh eyes. I'm hoping I can continue working more in tune with my body - as this is also something I encourage clients to do.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I realize that I am not the only massage therapist in the world - especially since I live in a relative hub of bodywork and complementary therapies.
My radical idea is to promote as many of these people(bodyworkers) as I come into contact with - many will be posted here, some will make it to my links page . Those local to me may get some sort of review or synopsis of my interaction with them while those further away may receive praise or recommendations regarding their website.
I hope to keep this venture informative and broaden the reach as time goes on. I will allow comments throughout, mostly to keep myself in check. Anything inappropriate will be deleted.
That's is - shameless promotion of other people in my profession - strengths, background, their ideal client-type. Can't make any promises, but if I do one or two a week, I would still need a year and that wouldn't even get me through everyone in Northampton.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I learned a valuable lesson today about the connection between the energy needed when you ask your body to do things and the food you choose to eat. I love my Flow class, flow as in yoga in continuous movement, I take this class every Tuesday. Typically, I try to have at least a small meal an hour and a half before class. Today however, I had a little something maybe 6 hours before class and apple sauce thinking I should eat something just before getting in the car.
Nutritional value of apple sauce aside - it wasn't quite enough. My stamina and strength were really low throughout the class - I think I would have preffered to have stayed in downward facing dog for most of it. Mama decided that we needed more triangles and warriors and parsvos - I won't get in to the chattaranga sequence at the end.
Honestly, I loved the sequence and the underlying challenge that comes along with every yoga class. I just thought after a very wonderful savasana - I should have had something a bit more substantial than apple sauce.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I have a client that I see only briefly - yet weekly. Sometimes this client laughs, of course it's contagious, so I laugh, and then we're laughing. It's amazing the effect this has on sessions. I wish all clients felt comfortable enough to laugh,
Some are stoic, mostly because that's the way they think they should behave.
I tend to invite at least some conversation and inevitably even the chattiest Cathy settles into a relaxed state. The ones I worry about are those that seem to be "Quiet for the MTs Sake" - I'm well aware that your massage is not about me, but why feel that there are expecations other than, say, getting comfortable, breathing, being on time(sometimes negotiable - both ways, within reason, things happen), other than the more obvious blatant wrong-doings, that's basically what's expected.
I make efforts to help these quiet-for-me types. I hope that I can make every client feel open enough to laugh. It truly believe it is the best medicine and certainly makes life more enjoyable. If you're not willing to be yourself with your therapist - maybe they're not the right therapist. I won't go on again about the big secret of MTs (not every therapist is the right therapist for you). But hopefully, you can connect enough with your MT, while perhaps not on all levels, (you're not expected to be BFFs) yet comfortable enough so that the session is enjoyable and gives you a good dose of what you need whether it's laughter, relaxation, tranquility, centering, focus, pain relief.
Enjoy Your Massage - whether you get one regularly or just once in a while- Your massage is about you, really, "your" should be high-lighted, underlined, italicized, etc.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
After the holidays many of us find ourselves still wrapped in the stress that the season can bring. Family Time, resolution time, etc. can all be very pressing.
Take a breath. Perhaps setting aside some time to yourself should be on your list of resolutions. Five minutes or even hours dedicated to you. Allow thoughts to come and just go. Try a new hobby. Make a summertime favorite. You deserve it.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Dr. Anastacia Daspit-Samson will be on Valley Free Radio 103.3 Monday evening at 7pm here in our happy valley as well as other valleys throughout the nation, perhaps even on a hilltop or two.
We are sure this performance will repeat as Dr. A is a wealth of wellness information.
A podcast will be available at www.aldchiro.com shortly.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
The severe cold can have a real impact on the joints in your body. Especially, but not only, if you suffer from arthritis.
Take the time to move a bit.
Do some yoga.
Warm up, before braving the cold -
move your wrists and fingers for a couple minutes,
reach up and over your head to move the shoulders,
do the can-can or play rockette for a moment to get the knock out of those knees
nothing high impact just moving and warming
Get the fluid in your joints warmed up and the bitter cold won't be biting so hard.
Take a hot bath when you get back inside, have some cocoa, and cuddle up.