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

 

 

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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.