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.

Family Fun in Albuquerque for the Summer, Our Top 15 Suggestions

Summer Camp Fun, Rock Climbing at Stone Age Climbing Gym

Summer Camp Fun, Rock Climbing at Stone Age Climbing Gym

Each summer, the kids and I love visiting all Albuquerque has to offer.  We love it so much that we created a summer camp to invite other kids!  I’ve done this for several summers, before I was married, and had a blast.  This year we have an intern for about 18 months, and together we will play all around the city.

Here is the list of our top 15 activities our camp includes, and our most favorite places to go with kids ages 7-16 in Albuquerque: (most of these prices are for day passes for kids, adult prices are usually more)

$4, Zoo (ABQ Biopark)

$4 Aquarium/Botanical Gardens

$4 New Mexico Natural History Museum

$4-8 Explora

$2 Bowling (sign up for FREE BOWLING here!)

$6 Rail Runner Train to Santa Fe

Free, Los Poblanos Organic Farm (call ahead 505-344-9297)

$22+ Cliff’s Amusement Park

$27 Hinkle Family Fun Center

$12 Gravity Park (Trampoline Park, 1 hour)

$18+ Stone Age Climbing Gym (Rock Climbing)

$10 Archery Shoppe (1 hour)

$11 Putt Putt (Mondays)

$12-17 Sandia Peak Tramway

$35+ Radisson Water Park (weekends only w purchase of hotel stay)

Have a great summer!!

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! 🙂

Albuquerque Summer Fun, a Review

Our goal this summer was to share our “2013 Summer Bucket List” with some great friends. Which we did and we had a blast.  Here are some notes on our adventures.

An Outline:

Zoo-PolarBears

They were fighting over a huge water toy

The first day of our camp we started at the Zoo for a nice stroll and a yummy picnic.  The Zoo turned out to be a top 5 favorite!  Who knew?? Next we stopped by our favorite toy store: Biggle Snorts.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 7.46.04 PM

The little puzzles and card games are some of our favorites of any toy store. This gem of a store is always a great motivator for saving money.

2 for 1's at Baskin Robins Ice Cream

We also used as many 2 for 1coupons at 31 Flavors Ice Cream that we could get our hands on! 🙂 Some other treat favorites included “Pop-Pops” Italian shaved ice and Romero’s Cafe in Old Town.

Volunteering at Los Poblanos Organic Farms was great fun and we learned how to plant and water in a better way.  This was really hot and we didn’t have many options for finding a cooler time since our camp started at 9:00 am.

Hinkle Family Fun Center day pass turned out to be #2 favorite of the summer.  The kids liked it so much that we abandoned our second Cliff’s trip to go to Hinkle a second time.  We played lazer tag over and over, and the spraying boats were always fun in the sun.  Some of the kids were too short to ride the go-carts on their own, so that was disappointing at times, but there was still lots to do instead.

The Christmas week was fun, especially making the Christmas window cookies with Grandma.  Though we didn’t get to the gingerbread houses, the cookies were fun to make and we enjoyed eating them just as much.

From all the summer activities we did, the trampoline parks were the favorite by far, but with a $12 per hour price tag (which is more expensive than Disneyland prices per hour) we could only do the trampoline parks a few times.

Explora, The Natural History Museum, The Aquarium & Old Town were great favorites as well, especially the Dynamax Movies.

What Worked:

The math flashcards were very successful.  Though kids don’t really WANT to do flashcards, it went fast, the older kids helped the younger kids, and as such the older kids also had a little math review.

The most fun were the amusement parks with friends.  These were also the most popular and made the most sense to do as a group.

The smaller groups really worked well for the rock climbing, trampoline parks & the day trips around town.  We were very mobile in 1-2 cars and could split up if someone wanted to stay at the Climbing Gym while others needed to eat or go home, for example.

Having 2 activities per day was a good amount, with a nice lunch break in between. Keeping activities on the same part of town was great to save from having to drive too much.  Also, doing one activity inside and one outside was a good combo.

Movies in the car, and movies at home were a big hit.  So were water balloon fights.

Going to the baseball games was really fun!

The ages worked together. Having each child responsible for their own lunch and snack worked out…though some of the kids saved their “lunch” money, didn’t buy lunch, and spent the money on other things. Bringing a sack lunched worked better than having money.

What We Would Change:

There was too much scheduled, so we would add more down time, more down days and have less planned on any given day.

The kids were so worn out by Tuesday, that some weeks we wouldn’t meet again until Friday!

We would plan more arts & crafts at home, with everything organized and ready to go for a good 2-3 hour project.  We would also make more healthy snacks to show the kids how to do these on their own.

The igloo made out of plastic milk cartons needs 600 milk cartons, and needs to be finished in 1-2 days.  When more time is taken to finish, the base falls apart without the upper part to help keep it together. Collecting 600 mild cartons takes 3 months.

We would go on the Tram, to Santa Fe’s Children’s museum & into the mountains.  This summer, we didn’t get those done.  We would also do more dollar movies & picnics in the park.

2013 Summer Bucket List

SumThe kids and I came up with the activities we wanted to add to this summer’s list of how to spend our time…besides relaxing, reading & traveling to Alaska.  We also try to add daily flashcards and writing.  The school work is good to keep track of with stickers for each completion to earn some “Toy store money”.

Since there were so many activities, we made a schedule of events and then invited some friends to have a itty bitty summer camp of fun. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  • Zoo
  • Aquarium
  • Explora
  • Natural History Museum (and Dynamax movies)
  • Romero’s Street Cafe
  • Gravity Park (Trampoline Park)
  • Stone Age Climbing Gym
  • Swimming
  • Xtreme Hangtime (Trampoline Park)
  • A day in the Jemez Mountains
  • Take the Rail Runner to Santa Fe
  • Putt-Putt Golf
  • Hinkle Family Fun Center
  • Cliffs Amusement Park
  • Isotopes Baseball Game
  • Sandia Tram Ride & Picnic
  • Radisson Water Park
  • Make Flubber
  • Gardening at Los Polanos Organic Farm
  • Archery
  • Hiking
  • Roller Skating
  • Ice Skating
  • Bowling
  • Movies
  • Water Fights
  • Water Balloon Tosses
  • Cooking Contests
  • Make Father’s Day gifts
  • Make Silly Putty
  • Have a Backyard Movie
  • Make our own Putt Putt course
  • Make an igloo out of milk cartons
  • Have a “Christmas Week” in July
  • Make tents, forts and swings
  • Plant an Herb Garden
  • Tea Parties outside
  • Learn to make smoothies
  • Learn to make healthy snacks
  • Make homemade “passports” or scrapbooks of the summer
  • Go to some Aquarium Concerts

Phew!  Let’s see if we can include all of these activities in our summer plans for 2013.  I’ll give you weekly updates on the progress. :))

What are you doing for the summer?