Valentine’s Massage Specials for 2014

Choose from 3 specials for your valentine

Choose from 3 specials for your valentine

Spoil your Valentine with one of these great gift ideas:

  • $240   3-hours Pack of Therapeutic Massages with a Valentines Gift Basket (while supplies last)
  • $95     Valentine’s Choice, any 1-hour massage style with 2 extra added goodies of your choice: aromatherapy, hot towels, facial massage, a take-home skin brush, and several other choices
  • $75     A 1-hour Relaxation Massage with Valentine’s choice of a handmade gift: handmade soap, spritzes, aromatherapy oil

Buy Valentine’s Specials here, if you have any questions, call 505-332-9292.

On Valentines Night, for a unique alternative to dinner and movie traditions, learn to give your Valentine a massage at home and come to our Valentines Couples Massage Class on Friday night, 6:00-9:00.  Call us, for more information.

 

5 Benefits of Massage, by Diane Chase

by Diane Chase, MA, LMT

Diane Chase, MA, LMT, Athletic Touch Therapeutic Massage Therapist

Diane Chase, MA, LMT, Athletic Touch Therapeutic Massage Therapist

5 Benefits of Massage

It was in my mid twenties when I first encountered the ominous sounding

word “stress”

…It was the first time I felt my body communicating something to me that was uncomfortable in the gut, a ‘spastic colon’ as the  doctor diagnosed and gave the prescription for Librium.

Yet the symptoms continued and the stress of solitary  life in a big city, riding the packed and stuffy, gloomy and  glum bus packed full of workers continued to takes its toll.  And there were more scary and stressful incidents there in the city that kept my little self on edge.

If it hadn’t been for  Shiatsu (Acupressure)massage and meditation back there in San Francisco  my life and my health  would have taken another direction entirely. This small example from my  personal history is a constant reminder of how beneficial  are the effects of massage and  the holistic healing arts.

Five of the numerous  benefits of massage  come to mind rolling with R’s to give and indication of how wonderful bodywork can be.

Massage provides an opportunity to:

  1. Relax the tension and aches and pains that accumulate in various parts of the body  from daily living,  athletic training, challenging physical conditions and other circumstances.
  1. Repose, the state of being at rest, free from anxiety, tranquility, to lie supported by something, to stop, to pause.  This definition alone is reason enough to schedule a massage given the varying levels of intensity , immersion and  stimulation we as modern urban people are interacting with on a steady basis.
  1. Remember  that it is a good thing to nurture and support your body’s  sensitive, intelligent lifelong  functioning as an  entity, am operating  system if your will,  that requires care and consideration.  Also, often during a massage  one can literally remember or be reminded of something important or long forgotten that has a chanceto surface  as one enters into a deeper state or zone of relaxation.
  1. To  Receive  allows a person a time frame in which to let go of having to do and  allows the yang aspect  that drives the daily life activities a chance to be harmonized in a yin or receptive posturing and mind state.  To be willing and able to take in the care and skilled touch of a massage  professional to relieve stress is also  learning to balance and harmonize  the dynamics of give and take, of yin and yang.
  1. Restore essential patternings and flows in the body’s circulatory and nervous systems.For example, the blood has a strong muscle to pump and circulate the blood but the lymphatic system which affects our immune system requires movement and exercise to maintain the efficient flows to the lymph glands and ducts.  Massage helps to facilitate and support this movement as well as stimulate the nerve receptors in the skin and reduce ‘stickiness’ or  adhesions in the connective tissue that lead to more muscle tension and stiffness.  Massage restores peace of mind and provides the body necessary time to recharge and restore the vital essence.

Core Synchronism with Robert Stevens

Robert Stevens, Core Synchronism

Robert Stevens, Core Synchronism

I highly, highly recommend Core Synchronism with Robert Stevens for any massage therapist, chiropractor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or neurologist.  I had the pleasure of taking Core Synchronism with it’s creator, Robert Stevens.

If you have the chance, come to Albuquerque and learn “Core” from Robert. He is incredible.  You will learn about the brain like you never have before.  Robert is inspiring, leading me and most of his students to crave more learning.  After his classes, I always find myself reading, exploring, searching and being curious more than I did before his classes.

A brilliant scholar & masterful communicator, Robert is able to explain how to palpate and learn Core Synchronism so it becomes natural in your practice.  This is subtle work; it’s easy on your hands and body, yet it’s effective on your toughest clients.  I use Core on my tough athletes and softer clients alike. 🙂 And, I use it on my ADHD husband when he has trouble being still.  Out of all modalities, my husband requests Core the most. So do my kids, btw.

The Class had about 20 students and 3 assistants.  Each assistant was incredibly helpful, patient and kind.  The class I took, Core 4, was 5 days long, 1:30-5:30, M-F, in the main classroom in The New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics where Robert Stevens in the director.  There are 7 weeks possible, Core 1-7, each class is a one-week class except for Core 7 which is 3 days and for which registration is full for about a year in advance (FYI).  Each class is a pre-requisite for the next. Many people take the first 3 at one time (I did too, years ago).  I would not recommend taking all 7 at one time.  It’s better to use Core for a year or two and understand the basics and then add to it from there.

After practicing Core 1, 2 & 3 since 1996, I was ready to move on to Core 4.  I do wish I had the childcare in order to take Core 4, 5 & 6 this year, but I’ll need to wait until next year.

Don’t get discouraged if you can’t palpate the rhythms at first.  It’s like riding a bike.  It seems impossible at first for some students, but once they feel the movement the first time, everything changes for them.

The classroom was large with plenty of tables and chairs.  The restrooms are in the classroom and there is filtered water available and a fridge for lunches/snacks.  Each student sat with a different partner each day and we traded as we learned from Robert, who worked on one of the assistants-unless the class is an odd number, in which case, he works on a student.

I would recommend arriving early each day and settling in.  There is oodles of info and it’s non-stop and very cerebral work, not physical, so being centered, well-rested and caught up with what happened the day before is helpful.  Also, bring a good snack.  You will have 1-3 breaks, but only one of them is long enough to enjoy your snack.

Core Synchronism is a great “tool” in your toolbox.  You won’t regret trying it, trust me. 🙂

Add a Few Minutes to Your Massage Time

One of the best ways to keep clients is to add a few minutes to their massage hour.

Add 1-2 minutes for your clients

Add 1-2 minutes for your clients

They are paying you per minute, for you time.  If you add just 1-4 minutes, it’s great for their neck, hands or feet, and they will love it.  Sometimes you could even let them know, “Are you in a rush today? I was going to add a few minutes so I can focus a bit more on your neck, or would you rather I end on your hand?”

Schedule 15 minutes at least in between each client to allow for time to change sheets, take payments, reschedule and let the next client get ready.  The only time clients can be scheduled back to back is when you only have 2. This way, if you start your next client a few minutes late, which you will, then you can go over a few minutes and not create a traffic jam of waiting clients.

Don’t short your clients!  This is the worst business practice in our profession.  Have integrity about your time.  If you have to short them at some point, let them know that you are aware of stopping early and offer to give them more time for their next massage.  If it’s a new client, then discount the massage. Keep the practice that “the client is always right”.

When you “take the hit” of a client discount and/or less money for a short massage, or a treatment you were late to, too tired/hungry to do your best, etc, a few dollars less is worth their loyalty.  They will appreciate the gesture, and in most cases will tip you more, or if not a tip, at least will remember your integrity. Respect their time & money.

A few minutes of your time given as a gift will return to you much more abundance than a few minutes of time.

Hiring a New Massage Therapist..The Challenges for Both Sides

Find Matching Goals & Agendas for new Employees

Find Matching Goals & Agendas for new Employees

We are in the process of looking for, interviewing & hiring a new massage therapist to join our team.  This process is so much easier said than done.  After interviewing and determining a possible fit, then there are several layers of requirements before they are permanently hired.

The interesting thing about creating a career for another human being, is how specific each career is and how different each human being is.  Each of us is trying to determine whether the other is a good fit.  This is not always quickly established.  That’s why there needs to be clear expectations and “probationary” periods where either side can jump ship without much loss to either party.

Communication is key. But  just because one side feels they have communicated clearly doesn’t always mean that the other side heard/understood what was said.  Each side has their own agenda.  How can one create a way to have those agendas match?

What are the best ways to first determine a person’s integrity, honesty, teamwork & respect for others?  I think these qualities are often assumed to exist in others, or at least HOPED to exist in others. I have learned NOT to assume this after several massage therapists have NOT been honest or respectful or professional.

Unfortunately, this complaint is common with employers of most career types, and they end up having a hard time trusting incoming employees.  So much so that the employees are EXPECTED to lie or cheat, look out only for themselves, do the minimum required of them, etc, etc.  Instead of expecting honesty, the employers prepare for dishonesty.

This is so sad.

One can’t blame the employers.  They are basing their judgements on past experiences.  I am too.  It’s hard to have trust for new employees when others before them have been so dishonest.

On the other hand, the employee could have a pre-conceived idea of how bad an employer will treat them:  The employers will use them, not appreciate them, make oodles of money and not pay them enough for their efforts, etc, etc. So the employee could come into the relationship expecting poor treatment, thus starting out in a resentful, feeling-like-they-need-to-be-sneaky-about their-real-intentions manner leaving each side already unhappy before any work is ever done.

So, how does this dilemma go away?

By finding matching agendas & goals, which can take time.

Employees will be hired and they will do great work, under the scrutiny of a watchful employer.  And eventually the trust is earned.  This is how the dilemma goes away.  With time.

But there will also be those employees who create the bad taste in employer’s mouthes.

I sure wish those type would go away. You make it hard for everyone.  Because of you there are cameras, paper trails, uncertainty, mistrust.  Because of you there are “No Compete Clauses”. Because of you, national chains in many businesses have a running list of employees willing to take 1/3 of the pay because the chain can then afford to be lied to or cheated.

In the end, I trust.  I take another chance that they are telling the truth. I try to state clear expectations.  I try to listen between the lines of what their agenda really is.

In the end, I’m very happy to have an office manager who does this all for me! 🙂

Remember the Crossing Guards

Redesigned logo used from 2011-present.

Redesigned logo used from 2011-present. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we prepare for the end of yet another school year, I give money to each child’s Room Mom to collectively buy a gift for the teachers.

Sometimes I add to the “main gift” and sometimes I find something to give separately.  A Massage gift certificate is not always a good choice, I found out, depending on whether the teacher likes or has ever tried massage.  Teachers are also TERRIBLE at finding time for themselves, so they may not use a massage GC, or just give it to their spouse.

I have assumed (wrongly) that teachers like chocolate and/or Starbucks gift certificates …because that’s usually a safe bet and “there are 15 Starbucks fairly close to me” according to Siri on my iPhone.  But, again, a tad bit of communication with the teacher proves helpful.

At our school we can volunteer quite a bit and I do.  I love this year’s teachers and yet have not slipped the “what would you like” conversation between the “how’s my kid doing in class” conversations.

Though there is a “my favorites” list passed out at the beginning of the year for each teacher to answer such questions, I tend to like to get a unique gift that they will forever cherish….which is not at all on this list…a gift which I can figure out with my mind reading powers.

Here we are, at the last few days of school, which are jammed packed with massage appointments as I realize that my “open” schedule is about to go away for the summer months.  As you can imagine, this leaves me oodles of extra time to find an amazingly meaningful remembrance of our family to these wonderful Role Models.

I think we are also trying to savor the last bit of teacherly influence as the hours of belonging in their classrooms disappear.  Time marches on, and another set of students will take this classes place.  Maybe the gift I find can remind the teachers of the wonderful impact they had on my kids so they can continue their patience on a hard day with new students.

It turns out that the love-filled trips I’ve taken to the Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival with my Mom have landed the perfect gift ideas, especially from a glass art maker, Brian Vaughn from Tortolita Creations.

As I get out of my car with gift bags a-plenty, holding some with my teeth, closing the car door with my glorious backside, I look up with strings and tags in my mouth, only to notice the always-there, always-helpful crossing guard is smiling, keeping us all safe as we are oblivious to moving cars with texting parents inside…oblivious because our awesome crossing guard is doing his job keeping those dangers at bay. Oops. Forgot him again.

Back to Starbucks I go.

7 Reasons to Be a Massage Therapist

 

Are you thinking about a career in Massage Therapy?  Here is a list from our office staff and other therapists of why they became massage therapists:

Is Massage Therapy the best career for you?

Is Massage Therapy the best career for you?became a massage therapist:

1.  A career to serve others:  If you have a passion for helping others, this is a great career for you.  Each massage can show you miracles of healing, of the human spirit & the amazing human body, spirituality & a powerful healing of touch.  This is the good part and most rewarding part of this profession.

2.  Flexible schedule:  Once you are established, and even when you are becoming established, the hours you choose to work are up to you.  Maybe you want to work full time, even 60+ hours per week…you can do this.  And, if massage therapy might be a part time gig for you, bringing in extra cash while you raise a family or go to school, this could work too.  The schedule is very flexible.  This is another great reward of massage therapy.

3.  A space to be calm in an otherwise stressful lifestyle: Many of the therapists we spoke with said that they like to use Massage Therapy as a way to be calm in their otherwise overwhelmed life.  When therapists are running from one activity, class or job to another, giving a massage can be very calming and rewarding in a spiritually peaceful sense.

4.  Cause positive change for others:  A very rewarding aspect of being a Massage Therapist is the pride, excitement, joy and relief when your clients feel better for extended periods of time. These changes that you facilitate are not just for 1-2 days but for weeks and months, empowering your clients with good health.  A trust is built between you and these clients that is powerful.  With this trust comes responsibility and loyalty.  For you, being loyal to your client’s true needs will be as important as their loyalty to you.  It’s like winning a championship on the same team together…this feeling never goes away.

5.  Create safe, compassionate & relaxing spaces for others: There are not many places that we, as adults, can go and just be quiet, still, safe.  Many irons prod at us all.  As a Massage Therapist, you get to create that quiet, safe space for your clients.  What is relaxing to you might not be relaxing to everyone, but the people who do find your style relaxing and rejuvenating will find you.  Once your space is created, treat it as a sanctuary, with quiet, respect, loving thoughts & deeds at all times.  You will pray in this space, cry in this space, focus in this space and heal in this space.  So enjoy this precious opportunity that not many professions experience.  Your massage room will become an area where your clients feel instantly at ease.  They are able to talk about things no one else will ever hear, to cry, laugh, breath and let go.  

6.  Express creativity:  Each massage is like a blank canvas.  There is the “square” massage we are all taught in massage school.  This “square” is important and serves as the basic borders of where to start.  But each person is different and unique.  There is no exception to this rule with Massage Therapists.  Each Massage Therapist will move just a bit differently for the same problem with which they are presented.  In this sense, no picture of a massage would ever be the same, even from the same therapist.  You can try starting at the feet or back, the neck or head.  You can use deep pressure, light pressure, rocking, compressions, etc, etc.  It is never boring.  Change the music you listen to during your massage, try more or less lighting. Change the colors in your room or the weight of your blankets or sheets. Use aromatherapy oils, hot stones or ice.  Expressing yourself through massage is extremely unique.

7.  Connect with people in a safe & healthy way:  There is a clear boundary with massage.  You are the healing facilitator and your client is trusting you to guide them to a healthier being.  This takes tremendous energy on your part, and integrity, honesty, respect, honor, love & compassion.  There is no healthier relationship than this.  Together you will experience laughter, ah ha moments for both of you, amazement, and mutual respect & gratitude.  Ask a Massage Therapist to describe the relationships they have with 2 of their most profound clients and you will see deep appreciation.