The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction basically states that what you think about, you bring about.

Energy flows where attention goes. This is a concept that came into my life when I was in massage school. I had never heard it before, but the more I learned, the more intrigued I became. I learned it from a DVD that someone gave me of “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. The concept is hundreds of years old, but she and her team broke it down and simplified it in such a way as to make it understandable to everyone, not just the intellectual philosophers who spend a lifetime studying such things.

The Law of Attraction was a life-changing experience for me.

It freed me from the thoughts that I grew up with that life is a terrible struggle and that success and happiness were meant for everyone except me. It gave me a new perspective on scriptures (I am a religious person), and on how God desires to bless us, if we but ask. I played with the concepts that were discussed. I bought the book and the CDs, and listened to them endlessly in my car as I drove around, drilling them into my head.

It took a while to override 50 years of thinking that I am nobody and not worthy, but when I began to have real faith and understanding, things happened. I became stronger, people were attracted to my business, things that I desired appeared as if by magic. But when I lose site of that, when I get in the dumps and start beating myself up because clients aren’t knocking down my doors, suddenly it gets worse. People cancel appointments. Nobody calls.

The most important thing is to be thankful for what we have. Make the time daily to be thankful for your blessings, and see how quickly things improve.

I am thankful that the people who need my help have been able to find me. I’m thankful for their loyalty and kindness. (One client recently kissed my hands and said, “bless your hands!”) I’m thankful for people who genuinely care about me and lift their hands to help me when I need it and sing my praises to their friends. I’m thankful for the people who seem to magically find me on Google. I’m thankful for the health and strength that have permitted me to continue doing this remarkable work for people.

Massage is Good for Emotional Release

Are you feeling emotional and tied up in knots?

Life is hard. When I was a child, I couldn’t wait to be a grown-up. I thought that all my problems would be solved, and that life would suddenly be good because I would be in charge, my path would be made clear, and all my dreams would come true.

emotional release massage sandy utahBut, as the years have passed, I have discovered that live is an emotional roller-coaster ride, filled with thrilling ups and terrifying downs. Nothing, absolutely nothing, has gone according to plan. There is an old Yiddish proverb that states, “Man makes plans. and God laughs.” Truer words were never spoken.

Have you ever felt frustrated when things don’t go according to plan? Do you feel like your emotions are going to explode out of the top of your head? Do you endlessly second-guess every decision you’ve seemingly ever made? Do you feel that every emotion you’ve ever had is trapped in your body?

Well, have no fear! There is hope!

You can:

  1. Go to the doctor and get some pills that may or may not make you feel better, and may cause suicidal thoughts and threaten your organs, but hey — they might make you feel better!
  2. Go to a psychiatrist for bi-weekly sessions at $100 per hour for the next five years, and maybe at least be able to vent your emotions, and possibly get some help.
  3. Get a massage! To be able to lie down in a quiet room with soft music and your own thoughts, while the nurturing hands of a trained massage therapist sooth the stress and emotions out of your back, shoulders, neck, head, hands and feet works wonders for your soul.

Okay — DISCLAIMER HERE! — Points #1 and #2 were said in jest to make a point. I am not a doctor nor a psychiatrist and have NO RIGHT to make general assumptions on those noble professions. However, I do have experience with anti-depressants that caused suicidal thoughts and endless counseling sessions that didn’t help, I have to say from MY experience that massage, combined with healthy diet and exercise, has done more to improve my emotional stability than anything else I have ever done.

Everyone has stress in their life. Everyone handles it differently. If you internalize your emotions, maybe it’s time for you to think about incorporating massage into your life.

Fall is in the Air

Fall is coming. You can feel it in the air.

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain pouring down on the roof and on the patio outside my bedroom window. No longer is the morning air warm, inviting me outdoors to see the flowers and renew my soul as my bare feet touch the grass.

No, there’s a definite chill in the air. Fall approaches. I close the windows against the chill and snuggle down under a coverlet for warmth. The fall flowers are showing off the last of their color. They know that snow is coming soon and they’re putting forth their last effort before returning to the earth to hopefully return next year.

The sun is later and later dragging itself out of bed and shedding forth light on the earth. This morning was darker than ever with a heavy cloud cover and rain pouring down. But still, I enjoy the sunrise. It is different every single morning. It’s fascinating to live all these years on this planet and never see the same sunrise twice. And it seems to come and go at a quicker pace than it did in my youth. Where have all the years gone?

fall is coming massage sandy utah

The hummingbirds at my feeder are vying for the last of the fall nectar. In nature, the flowers will stop giving the sweet liquid, so the hummingbirds constantly fight for a position to drink, not knowing that the feeder has a bottomless supply.

Soon, we’ll be picking the fall garden harvest and adding the garden debris to the compost pile to nourish next year’s garden. The hoses will be brought in and the lawn chair cushions stored. And the cycle repeats itself again next year.

Are you ready for change?

Are you ready to “fall” into some change for your life, or will you repeat the same habits from the past year that have given you bad results? Are you willing to put away the bad choices that have affected your health and plant the seeds for a new, healthy beginning? What are you willing to throw on the compost heap of your life? What are you willing to start? Does your plan include more vegetables? More activity? Do you have a plan to reduce the stress in your life?

 

Noise in my Head

Turn down the noise!

I live in the city. Or, more accurately, the suburbs. Most of the time I’m okay with that, but I’m a Country Mouse at heart. I love the earth and the beauty of the flowers and animals that were put here for us to enjoy. I enjoy making that connection and feeling of being “at one with God.”

calm the noise in your brain with sandy massageRecently, though, I have been distracted by the noise of mankind. It is NEVER silent where I live. I’m never alone with my own thoughts. There’s always a barking dog, a lawn mower or trimmer, a truck with a loud muffler, a plane flying overhead, a child screaming or laughing, teens playing or fighting (I’m never quite sure if all their noise is playful or hateful). The noise is endless. Inside my home, my spouse is a television-holic, and it’s on almost every minute that he’s there.

All of this noise assaulting my brain causes calamity in my mind and the inability to form a coherent thought or make a decision or even remember what I was intending to accomplish today. I relish the days when I have the house to myself, when I can turn the TV off and listen to the thoughts rattling around in my head and try to organize them. I’m looking forward to taking a day next week and go up to the mountains to re-connect. If I take pictures, I will share them.

Meanwhile…what do YOU do to calm down the noise in your head? Where do you turn for peace when life is got you in a knot? It’s good to retreat once in a while to a nice, relaxing place to close your eyes and let your mind drift. Where do you go?

 

Women’s Health

5 facts you should know about women’s health

1. Women are more prone to certain health conditions than men. Women are more likely to experience depression, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis. Some conditions, like osteoporosis, are directly related to women’s hormone fluctuations and smaller frames. Others, like fibromyalgia, are much more common in women, but scientists have yet to figure out why.

health women massage sandy utah2. Women do not always experience the same symptoms as men with the same conditions. While men are more likely to experience a heart attack than women, women are more likely to die of the same heart attack. The reasons may be related to the publicized symptoms: while everyone knows about chest pressure and pain down the left arm, these are symptoms typically experienced by men. Women may experience dizziness, light-headedness, or fatigue. Knowing the different ways conditions manifest in men and women can truly be a lifesaver.

3. Women have different risk factors than men. Remember that bit about women being more susceptible to stroke? In addition to the risk factors shared with men, there are also many women-specific risks, including being pregnant, taking hormonal birth control pills, using hormone replacement therapy, and experiencing frequent migraines. Unfortunately, these additional risk factors don’t always show up in educational materials.

4. Women and men sometimes react differently to drugs and other treatments. Women wake up faster from anesthesia. Some drugs, like ibuprofen, seem to be more effective in men than women, while others like erythromycin (an antibiotic) work better in women. And of course there are medications typically prescribed for sex-specific issues that can interfere with each other. As an example, acetaminophen (AKA Tylenol) can interfere with the effectiveness of birth control.

5. In spite of all this, women’s and men’s bodies are more similar than they are different. We share 99% of our genetic material with every other person on the planet. We have the same basic structure, suffer from most of the same illnesses, and heal in the same way. A healthy diet, active lifestyle, adequate sleep, and positive attitude are beneficial to men and women alike.

 

There are no studies showing whether massage therapy is better for any one subset of people than others. Maybe that research will be done in the future. In the meantime, if you’d like to know whether it works for you, there’s only one way to find out!

Relax and Enjoy Life

Are you able to relax and enjoy life?

04 every second massage sandyIn today’s fast-paced way of life, I wonder how many people are physically capable of stopping and relaxing. There’s always more to do, more to accomplish. With the internet and Facebook giving us windows into everyone else’s lives, we feel this urgency to keep up. To be more perfect, accomplish more, do more.

Think about it. When you surf Facebook and all the doings of your “friends” (who are mostly just distant acquaintances), you see lists and lists of things to make you feel inadequate and pressured to keep up. Susie went on a fantastic vacation with her husband and four kids and they visited all the great places and it was fabulous! (I should create more memorable things like that for my children, says your inner voice.) Jason read War and Peace and gave it fabulous reviews. (I really need to read more of the classics, says your inner voice.) Karen has started a food blog with recipes for all the fabulous things she cooks for her family. (I really need to be a better cook and fix all these fabulous things EVERY DAY for my family. And blog about it, says your inner voice.) Dave posts the fabulous photos he took while walking in his back yard. They make you drool with their National Geographic-esque artistry. (I should take a class in photography, says your inner voice.)

Feeling the pressure yet?

You’ve only been on Facebook for five minutes! Within 20 minutes you’re ready to call an make an appointment in the nearest psyche ward.

It’s time to relax. First, stop and remember that NOBODY can do it all. You are comparing your worst with everyone else’s best ALL AT THE SAME TIME. You can’t keep up with the whole world. Stop it. Maybe it’s a good idea to turn off your media for a while and just sit focus on your own needs. Does your family really NEED to go somewhere to be a great family? Will reading a book that you’ve heretofore had not interest in really enhance your life? What do you REALLY need?

Sometimes it’s beneficial to just sit under a tree and read a book. Or not even do that much. Just sit in a hammock and ponder the leaves of the tree. Stop. Take care of yourself. Relax.

For a touch of humor, I love the Betty comickstrip this week:

do nothing sandy massage

Stress

Life is stressful.

When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I thought my life was stressful. It was during a time when I left home, went to college, dated without the protective umbrella of my parents, got married, bought a home, started a family, was holding down a job, had to keep the house and yard perfect at all times. It was stressful! It didn’t help that I was a very driven perfectionist (now called OCD … giving it a different name doesn’t help much). I nearly drove myself insane. I thought that if I could just control everything and make sure it was perfect, life would be easy.

Instead, it got worse, mostly because no matter how hard you try, you can’t be perfect in all things. It’s impossible. You are setting yourself up for failure from the outset. When I learned to let things go (and surprisingly, the world didn’t end in a flaming ball of confusion), and nobody blamed me for everything that went wrong, it became easier.

But I’m still a high-stress individual. If only they’d had massage therapists back then! Maybe they did, but they weren’t very well received and there were a lot of misconceptions about massage. And most of the massage places were either luxury spas (very expensive) or houses of prostitution.

There is help!

stress demon massage sandy utahNowadays, things are different. Massage therapists are educated in anatomy and physiology, they are trained in different methods of massage. They are knowledgeable about why massage is helpful and when it is not. The mystique is gone. There are massage therapists who specialize in injury recovery, there are some who focus on headaches and back pain. Some just want to help you let go of your stress and relax. Massage is more of a “health benefit” these days than a “luxury.”

So if you are feeling the pressure of everyday life, if you are feeling stressed and need to let go for a while, call a massage therapist and schedule an appointment. There are a lot of health benefits to be derived from massage. Stress relief is one of them, and we all know that stress is associated with all manner of health problems. Shake off that stress demon! Get a massage now!

Dress for Success

The idea for this post came from a discussion on Facebook about how to dress as a professional massage therapist. It probably applies to all walks of life in a lot of areas, but it got me to thinking about the impressions that we make, either deliberately or subconsciously.

Dress standards have changed.

Society has become increasingly relaxed in its dress standards over the course of my lifetime. I am 63 years old and remember when women only wore dresses. There were “house dresses” and “dressy dresses.” You wouldn’t be seen dead in public in less than a dressy dress. You had to get dressed up to go to the grocery store, and around the house, you wore more comfortable dresses, but always with an apron (or as my grandmother called them, “front apron”) to keep your clothes clean.

dress for successIn the sixties, women finally started wearing slacks. I remember how shocked I was the first time my mother wore slacks!

Nowadays, as witnessed by the ever-popular “people of Walmart” website, people will go out in public wearing (nor NOT wearing) any old thing. My grandmother is turning in her grave, I’m sure.

Anyway, the gist of the post on Facebook was that this professional had gone to a large gathering of health care professionals in a professional environment, and was shocked and embarrassed by the attire worn by her fellow massage therapists. While other professions attending showed up in clean, pressed, appropriate attire, the MTs looked like a bunch of slobs in cut-offs, wrinkled t-shirts and scrubs, low-cut tops, and other overly-casual attire. The point was well-taken and I was forced to take a look at my own appearance, which has suffered lately from a case of apathy.

After all, there’s no one here but me; my clients have their eyes closed most of the time and they certainly don’t care what I’m wearing. Why bother? I have put on some weight and my scrubs were looking kind of shabby with lotion stains on the hem, so I used that as an excuse not to change my clothes every day.

Time to return to better values.

It’s time to shape up! I bought a new uniform. I’m re-committed to spiffing myself up a little bit every day.

There was a lot of negative feedback to the post along the lines of “you have no right to judge” and “I will wear what I want because it’s the work that matters.” This is the general attitude of a society that has let our public appearance slide from dressing your best all the time, to your “best” being wrinkled and dirty t-shirts and jeans. In a world where there are a lot of slobs in the business world, dressing well would probably attract more clients to my world, so I’m going to re-commit to having a better image.

How Often Should I Get a Massage?

The Big Question — How often do I get a Massage?

Whenever I get a new client, I am asked, “How often do you recommend that I get a massage?” The answer, like most answers, is:

It Depends.

It depends on your budget, your health, and why you’re coming in.

You need to assess your budget and determine what you can afford. I have clients who come in for a massage every week, every two weeks, every month, and every whenever-they-feel-like-coming-in. For people who have chronic issues, such as stress, anxiety, headaches, repetitive strain aches and pains, I recommend a massage every two weeks until we get it under control, then once a month thereafter. Remember the saying, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.”

STOP PAIN massage sandyI’ve observed with my clients that the people with chronic problems need to come in once a month to stay on top of it. If they let it go for 6 or 8 weeks, their symptoms start to creep  back in, and then we have to start all over again from ground zero.

It also depends on your body’s reaction to massage. Does it improve your immune system? Have you noticed that you don’t get sick as often as your counterparts, or as severely? Are you more relaxed and able to function in your day-to-day life? Would you like to keep it that way? Does getting a massage once a month do it for you, or is it more beneficial to come in twice a month? Have you asked about package discounts? Maybe you can save some money by purchasing several massages together.

Massage has been proven, time and again, in numerous scientific studies, to be beneficial on so many levels. Consult with your massage therapist and figure out what is the best treatment plan for you.

Vacations and Massages

Vacation and Massage

The other day I was scheduling a massage for a client. She gets her massages regularly, every four weeks. This time, however, the four-week date fell in the middle of a family vacation, and she was planning to be out of town. So the question came up: Do you schedule your massage just BEFORE you vacation, or AFTER?

Which would you do?

vacation massage sandy utahIf you get your massage before you leave, you’ll be all relaxed and ready to transition into a different space with your family, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life; away from the household chores, the job, the yard work, the responsibilities and commitments of church and friends and other social events.

On the other hand, a vacation can sometimes be more stressful than staying home. For women, at least, it’s a transition from doing your “job” at home and doing it on the road. You’re still responsible for these people, but you’re also responsible for making sure that all of the children stay nearby and safe, that their belongings are constantly accounted for and not left behind at some campground or resort. You’re responsible for keeping the children entertained so that they don’t get tired and cranky and annoy the other travelers. The list goes on and on.

I don’t know about you, but I actually dread “vacations” because they’re more work than staying home.

Then you have to come home. You have to catch up on all the stuff you didn’t do while you were gone, you have to unpack and put away everything, along with several loads of laundry.

It’s a story for another day, but the best vacation I ever had was the week my family went somewhere and left me home by myself. Now THAT’S a vacation!

Anyway …

How do you feel about vacations? Would you schedule your massage before or after? What is best for you?