When the Walls are Falling In

When the Walls are Falling In

#OfficeProblems. I have high standards. If you know me, you know that I’m constantly striving to find better efficiency, and have the best possible experience for my clients.

I H A T E the thought of potentially being seen as the flaky massage therapist that moved again- but I need us to be safe. I have poured my heart and income into this office space, but the building’s structural integrity, and the building as a whole are not a good investment. I’m just trying to do my best so I can offer my best… and continuing to try to make the best out of the situation.

September 2017: I’ve preferred having a solo, private office so that I can have everything ‘just so’. This definitely comes at a literal cost though. By shouldering commercial overhead by myself, I find that the offices that I can make work ‘within my budget’ seem to be plagued with overall building issues. I was *so excited and relieved* to really settle into my Bird Rock office, in BEAUTIFUL La Jolla, customizing it to be mine, long-term. But, from the start I’ve had major building problems that I’ve tried to make the best of.

This has been (some of) my journey. And my reason for vacating and relocating to temporary medical office space one mile north.

Not Turnkey: At move-in, I didn’t realize that the flooring wasn’t just unique, it was base, sub flooring and that I was renting the office as a shell. After I had signed the lease, I remember asking whoever I could describe my flooring to if it sounded weird, and am embarrassed to say that I didn’t realize a management company would lease me a shell space without telling me, knowing that I was looking for a turnkey for my massage therapy business. I sucked it up, and decided I was now in a lease- I’ll make the best of it and opt for putting in flooring rather than using a lot of rugs and looking cheesy. I’m blessed to have a client who does excellent contractor work and offered his services to do the install. While we were at it, we added ceiling fans because it was stiflingly stuffy that September month, and added a sink since the stubout(?) was available. To ‘make things work’, I sunk over $2k into the rental space on product and install.

Watch Your Step: Once the install was complete and sunset was happening later, I realized the exterior lights were set on a timer that I didn’t have access to. I can’t remember how long it was, but for over a month, despite my calls, texts and emails… the exterior building stairwell would be PITCH dark for the remainder of my evening sessions until 8pm, and I leave approximately 30-60 minutes later after cleanup. All I needed was the timer to be changed so that the stairs were lit. I would, embarrassed, try to walk clients up using my flashlight app on my phone. After reaching out to my building contact constantly- it became apparent he was ignoring me and wasn’t going to help. After much complaint, I finally got the overall JNFinancial maintenance manager’s contact and got the lights turned on.

Cleanup, Cleanup, Everybody Cleanup: Throughout my 18 months in this office, the open stairwell has been a cozy little nook for homeless nesting, smokers, drinking, urinating, and d e f e c a t i n g. There’s a boxed tree growing into the stairwell that I’ve asked, constantly, to be removed to make it less of a barricade and hideout spot. I’m the only business that takes clients upstairs- so I’m the only tenant that cares to clean up the stairwell- which I do, everyday before clients arrive. Trash, cigarettes, brown bag empty alcohol containers, homeless belongings storage, and f e c e s (decidedly not pictured) don’t get removed from the stairwell unless I make time to clean it. I had even started sending photos of the feces to every building contact I had so that they understood the gravity of what they weren’t cleaning up themselves.

 

I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet: Remember when the cleaners now located beneath my office moved in and started demo’ing two units into one big unit, removing the structural wall? For approximately 6 weeks, I continued to notice my office slumping- so much so that both doors stopped fitting in the door frame and the fix from maintenance was to shave the doors down and re-position the lock latch for the door to CLOSE and LOCK. There was a block of time that I was UNABLE to close and lock my exterior business door… at all. Nothing was being done, so I wrote into the city of San Diego for an investigation. A few days later, the cleaners started required construction to build back in an archway for structural support- and I gained downstairs neighbors that harass me, still, for notifying the city and requiring them to do additional contract work.

When the Walls Start Falling In: I can only guess that it’s due to all of the rain that we’ve received, but over the last month, the roof has apparently been leaking, causing water damage, and the ceiling of the neighbors on b o t h sides of my office have f a l l e n in. Horrible. Scary. They’ve now started immediate demo and reno of the roof and vacant cafe (pictured) with 3 days notice, only because I found out by being pesky and asking contractors assessing the building. Demo started 3/21 and potentially will last 2-3 weeks. Also, new tenant has turned off running water for the entire building without notice on 3 separate days, for extended periods of time. I wrap up with a client, and haven’t had running water to wash hands, soak cups, etc. and have had to use gallon jugs of water to make it work.

March, 2019: I’ve confirmed a temporary private office to use one block north, same road, on La Jolla Blvd. My new landlord is gracious to let me be flexible in length of stay in this medical office. I’m subleasing a space that may not renew their lease in a year, while I continue to look for a better long-term solution.

In the meantime, I’ve been allowed to circumstantially vacate my lease in my beautiful office I’ve tended to and loved, but have received written confirmation that they’re allowing me to break lease, and I think it’s for the best.

The new medical office space (temporary) is spacious and well-managed. It has a restroom inside the reception area, with ample non-metered street parking.

6505 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, California, 92037

Questions? Please do contact me at IntentionBodywork@gmail.com

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How often you should ACTUALLY get a massage… it’s not just pampering! #FixYoSelf before you wreck YoSelf

How often you should ACTUALLY get a massage… it’s not just pampering! #FixYoSelf before you wreck YoSelf

Written by Courtney Adams, BA, CMT of Intention Massage and Bodywork

QUARTERLY INTERVAL: A general rule I strongly believe is that everyone should receive bodywork, quarterly, at a bare minimum. The way we sleep, drive, sit, walk, exercise, express with body language… all provide a constant imbalance for most of us. For every HOUR of your life that your muscles are too tight or too weak, your body is pulled out of optimal alignment that cause sharp and dull pain, constricted movement, migraines and headaches, and sometimes tingling and numbness. Determining your personalized wellness plan to include approaches to address musculoskeletal imbalances is crucial! Commit to at BARE MINIMUM a quarterly interval bodywork.

MONTHLY MASSAGE: Monthly maintenance massage is a great self-care commitment that can be planned and budgeted. For most, a few months is the span of time that posture and body positions build up super dense fascial consistency that feels rigid or like armor, shortened muscles that feel tight, and knots/trigger points that can pinpoint aches/pains. Commit to your self-care with monthly interval scheduled massage- choose a day/time that generally will always work for you… your #MassageDay that you can look forward to!

Do you have pain, aches, tight muscles that are constricting your movement on a daily basis? Are you in intense pain?

COMMITTED ‘REGULAR’ STATUS: Are you a regular? Come here often? How youuu doin’? On a scale, where would say the intensity is, or how much does it impact you? If it’s manageable, keep up your homework (stretching, strengthening, compression techniques). If you have a usual suspect(s), consider every 2-3 weeks. Clients commit to weekly massages with chronic, persistent pain, high stress level, and even as part of solo getaway time that’s focused completely on personal needs. How often do we get to have someone’s COMPLETE attention on making us feel better?

Budgeting: Take an honest, detailed look at your monthly/weekly expenses. Where does your expendable income go? What do you #TreatYoSelf on? Is it assisting your goals and ideal lifestyle? How are you managing pain- is it based on fixing the issue, or hiding it from you? Determine what you can commit to for an ongoing wellness plan.

Scheduling: When do you have a chunk of time you can block off for yourself to include buffer time before and after to be able to arrive relaxed to your appointment as well as soak up the relaxation effects after your massage? Determine if you have a typical day that works well and even decide on morning, afternoon, or evening for when you most prefer to keep a scheduled appointment.

Self-Care: Depending on where you go and what you communicate as your needs… massage is not a luxurious pampering treat to feel shameful or insecure to prioritize. The state of your muscles impacts the state of your body and mind that impacts your daily status, lifestyle, productivity, and physical/mental health. Respect how much your body, your muscles, do for you and commit to your self-care.

… Don’t Commit (to an overwhelming schedule): Our bodies experience a range of states. How you feel now on a consistent basis could be very different from 4 months from now. For better or worse. Consider a reset program if you’re currently in pain that would taper as your body state improves. Imagine if you committed to a few weeks of super regular bodywork to reset your posture… and gradually taper to a monthly maintenance massage. For most clients in pain, this would be SO BENEFICIAL!

MUSCLE RESET PROGRAM: Consider a structure of weekly sessions for 4-6 weeks, 4 bi-weekly sessions, then tapering to every 3-5 weeks for monthly follow-up. Can you IMAGINE the improvement you could make and MAINTAIN? It would be a financial investment, but an investment in your long-term well-being. Committing to a structured plan for 3 months. Consider investing in a structured, short-term reset program.

Please help my awareness by answering in the comments or shoot me a short email (intentionbodywork@gmail.com):

  • Are you in pain; how painful; does it impact your sleep, work, personal time?
  • How often do you currently receive massage?
  • How often would be optimal for you to receive massage, right now?
  • What are your main barriers- schedule, commitments, money, self-worth? Is there a work-around?
  • What are your thoughts? Do you have discrepancy between your needs and what you can commit to?

 

Find this helpful? Feel free to please ‘share’ this! Are you a local client? I’m currently rewarding $20 off your session for each new local client referral! It’s as easy as sharing IntentionSD.com or @IntentionSD in a post or conversation. 

Find Intention Massage and Bodywork! IntentionSD.com in La Jolla, California … book your next session online! Follow @IntentionSD

Photo credit: JeremySchneider.com

 

Intention Massage and Bodywork

 

 

An open letter to the new guy who asked ME for a ‘happy ending’ the day of his scheduled session

An open letter to the new guy who asked ME for a ‘happy ending’ the day of his scheduled session

You are the epitome of why I have shame about my passion.

“If I became a regular and got a weekly massage… would you provide sensual massage… a ‘happy ending’?” -Rawley Williamson (Sp?)

You are the reason I get nervous with new male clients and put up a wall to be ultra-professional so it’s understood I give a legitimate and therapeutic session. You are the reason I’ve come to cringe when I’m referred to as a masseuse or even massage therapist at this point. I’ve considered quitting massage therapy all-together and also tried another career route twice because of your projection and assumptions.

You are the reason I call my appointments ‘sessions’ and not ‘massages’. Why I have to correct ‘bed’ to ‘table’ and ‘masseuse’ to ‘massage therapist’. Why I have to make sure I don’t say ‘release’ or ‘naked’ or any other term that could imply less than professionalism.

Introducing myself and answering the question of what I do for a living… leaves me holding my breath and hoping for a positive reaction… with each stranger I meet. Mentally preparing myself for a seemingly harmless but truly crude joke but always unprepared and caught off guard.

You are the reason I’ve lied when asked what I do for a living on occasion, and feel concern about sharing my profession in my dating life.

I’ve had a passion for understanding muscles and how they move and how they work since middle school. I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in Health and Kinesiology with emphasis on motivation, psychology, and of course anatomy and physiology. I interned and worked in one of the top rated destination spas in the world. I finally got the confidence to pursue all of this on my own… only to realize how scary it actually is to be on my own with men I don’t know asking to meet me and be in an enclosed space without their clothes on. That was very, very weird when I first started my business… despite having spent 5 years working in spas and chiro office settings. Now I don’t have someone sitting right outside in case anything goes wrong or to filter new clients for me.

I’m educated, experienced, mature and professional- loving what I do and so proud of my work. And you just asked if I’ll provide you with prostitution services. Why? Because you googled ‘Massage Therapy’ and found my business? Because you’re hoping to find a pretty girl that’s willing to take your money for touching your penis weekly for you?

“Ok great, do you do sensual touch for certain clients?” -Rawley (208) 315-4168

You are every guy that has to make a crude joke. You are the male client that asks me out to dinner, then backtracks to say it would only be as friends to dinner- and never returns when I decline. You are the negative in my positive world.

I respond simply, politely… and in the back of my mind fear that if I respond too this or that way, that you’ll be able to retaliate. My business address is publically listed. Now do I have to worry about leaving my office at night? Or having you book under another name now? Or that you could be any other male client thinking what you’ve now requested?

As with our rape culture… why do I have to be the one that feels I’ve done something wrong. That I need to do better.

Should I only accept female clients now? Yes, I should only accept female clients and allow male clients only if they’ve been referred to me by a female client. I hate that. Does that give you power, or does it take away your potential power to hurt me emotionally or physically. Would you hurt me physically? I assume if you don’t have the politeness / filter / mindfulness to not ask me that question… I can assume you’re not a very empathetic person.

I don’t know what your story is. I don’t know if you’ve tried this before and failed or succeeded. But I know that you make me want to remove massage from my business name and description. You make me agree with a friend that prostitution should be legalized so that if girls out there are willing to fulfill your requests, there’s a direct service and service provider you can search out.

Not me.

To the guy who texted me. Fuuuuuuudge… you.

Thank the universe you texted me that question and didn’t have the opportunity to ask in-person on my table.

Watch ‘Sticky: A (Self) Love Story’ and take care of your own needs.

Don’t call me, don’t text me, don’t schedule me. And don’t do any of that to another Licensed or Certified Massage Therapist.

Oh, and have a nice day.

Right now is the perfect time.

Right now is the perfect time.

Well, it’s been almost a year since I got the idea to blog off the ground… then life happened!

To my clients here from the beginning of ‘Intention’, thank you for sticking it out through the (location) moves with me!

The idea to blog about my perspective and experiences as they relate to massage- giving and receiving, fitness and wellness… keep popping up! So here we are, 11 months since the last post, but now feels so right.

Some of us have discussed our goals for 2017. For accountabilities sake, here we go- my current list!

Massage:

  • Buy a second setup for in-home sessions. This will cut down on the time it takes to fully pack and unpack the massage table, accessories, and supplies. Convenience, yes… but saving time and hassle equals a win!
  • Gift certificates! Clients ask for them- figure out and implement an easy way for clients to purchase and gift. Sharing is caring!
  • Three BIG goals. Maybe not this year, but putting the wheels in motion. 1) TA my favorite massage teacher’s deep tissue class! I’ve been asked to be a Lead Massage Therapist as well as to help start and teach at a massage school- this could be the start of something amazing if I enjoy and am good at teaching! 2) Yoga Teacher Training! I’d enjoy offering one-on-one private yoga and stretch sessions! 3) Work on my guided meditation game… and offer half or full-length sessions of guided meditation DURING massage sessions as an add-on experience!

Personal Self-Care:

  • Work from a list of San Diego hikes and accomplish a weekly hike! Create the list, work from it, and have the list as a fun way to be active with friends!
  • San Diego has SO many yoga and fitness studios… many of which offer great student/intro specials. Why not actually check them (all?!) out! Create and work from a list to experience the great studios available!
  • Treat myself each day with more micronutrients! Some favorite documentaries available on Netflix are ‘Food Matters’, ‘Hungry for Change’, and ‘Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead’.

What are some of your top goals for 2017?

The other night, I watched a great TED talk by Laura Vanderkam titled, ‘How to Gain Control of Your Free Time’- SUCH a great message. Thinking ahead to the end of the year… which goals or priorities do you want to say you accomplished? Prioritize those, or steps to achieve those, into your schedule NOW. If it doesn’t fit… it isn’t that much of a priority to you, is it?

What would you like to hear about with this blog?

Are you foam rolling?

Are you foam rolling?

You might have noticed the Styrofoam tube hanging out in the corner at the gym, or you may even have one at home.

During a therapeutic massage therapy session, your certified massage therapist (CMT) is assessing the level of tension and static contraction your muscles are in at that time. This mindful, information gathering is used to navigate the session and set intentions for your  CMT’s work.  After each session, it’s helpful to discuss what you felt, what the therapist found, and a plan for follow-up sessions. Although almost every body should receive massage therapy for active muscles and stress relief monthly (quarterly as a bare minimum!), if a client has added stress affecting his or her mind and body, or increased physical activity, the next session may optimally be a week out from the initial session. Progress should be tracked, and a follow-up assessment should be done after every session to reevaluate the body’s current state. A frequent question which is posed to CMTs is,

“What can I do between massage sessions to help with tightness and pain?”

Back to the foam roller. For many, there is a love/loathe relationship with the foam roller. Loving your foam roller will be easy if you commit to easing into the work slowly. Find an instructional YouTube video or there may even be an included DVD within the packaging when purchased from stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, or a sports-specific store. In the same thinking that a massage is much more enjoyable if the CMT warms the muscle first before diving into some pressure, the same goes for easing your bodyweight onto the foam roller. Similar to how a massage therapist will work parallel to the larger muscle group fibers- you will be compressing and lengthening your muscles by actively participating in the work. Yes, the passivity of receiving massage therapy is relaxing and pleasing, but this will be beneficial for maintaining progress and helping you to feel relaxed, flexible, and with better range of movement.  Please ask your CMT for more information and how to customize regular foam rolling into your wellness routine.

Q & A ‘ s

Q & A ‘ s

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

Having an impact on my clients’ physical, mental, and emotion state. Hearing about immediate and continued change in posture, pain relief, and better function is very rewarding and makes this my passion. I value the connection made with my clients.

How does your service stand out?

I have a thorough understanding of the body from extensive anatomy, kinesiology, psychology/motivation, and exercise planning courses at Purdue University, where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Health and Kinesiology. I use this knowledge to create the intention of muscular balance through stretching, lengthening, and personalized suggestions for activity and daily routine.

What questions should clients think through before talking to massage therapists?

The more feedback on your likes and dislikes, the better. MT’s learn many modalities and techniques… but tend to give the massage they’d like to receive. If you enjoy traction stretching- mention it. If the pressure is feeling a little bit too intense but you think the therapist will move on- just mention it’s getting intense. Meet therapists and look for the right fit for you.

What types of clients have you worked with?

Clients’ necks, shoulders and hips have aches and pain. I work on elongating the muscles, slowly stretching the muscle to give length- similar to working with putty. Compressions and cross-muscle fiber techniques as well as deep tissue sculpting can lessen tension immediately for lasting results.

Do you have special offers?

You may receive discounted sessions by purchasing packages, receiving additional sessions monthly, as well accumulating referral credit by sharing your experience with others.