Body image risk and reward in massage

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Body image. Almost everybody has something about their body that they don’t like. For many people it’s a minor issue, no big deal. But some people have a major issue with their body image. It affects how they live and their happiness.

When I tell some people that I’m a massage therapist it can cause a strong reaction. They tell me, whether verbally or through their reaction and body language, that massage is not for them. Their body image is such an issue that they don’t think anybody else can accept them.

The paradox here is that massage can really help with body image issues. In massage school we were all nervous about taking off our clothes and letting somebody else touch us. It didn’t take long for us to discover that bodies are just bodies and become much more comfortable with our own. We also experienced how good receiving a massage made us feel. Something unexpected happened – when our bodies felt better we felt better about our bodies.

I think there are three options to consider. Let’s look at the risk versus reward for them.

1. Don’t get a massage.

This is the easiest because it involves doing nothing. The risk is low since you are not letting another person see or touch you at all.

The reward is zero. You didn’t get a massage so your body doesn’t feel any better, and you still have the stress you had before.

2. You get a massage, but the massage therapist either makes note of how you look, as if it matters.

If this has happened to you, I’m sorry. You got a crappy massage therapist. That’s a bummer, and I’m really sorry. You took a risk, and even if the rest of the massage was decent, got very little reward.
This is not going to happen if you come to me. Never. No way. I can’t say this strongly enough. It goes against the very nature of who I am, how I treat people, and what I believe.

3. You get a massage. A great massage. And the therapist does nothing to make you feel uncomfortable about your body. In fact, you feel pretty good about your body after the massage.

In this option your risk is low. I don’t care how your body looks. That’s none of my business. I just want to help it feel better. Your reward is high. Again your body will feel better from the massage and you can start feeling better about it.

I have no idea how your body got to be in the condition that it’s in. You may be dealing with something that you can’t control, such as a medical condition or an injury or accident. You may be in a lot of pain or are limited in what you can do physically. Since I don’t know what caused your body to be like it is now I can’t make any judgments about you.

I’ve worked on hundreds – maybe thousands – of people. Each body is interesting and I’ve yet to come across one that I could not help.
If you have been avoiding massage because you feel uncomfortable about your body, let’s find an option that works for you. You don’t even have to explain anything to me. Leave your clothes on. Stay sitting up or face down or lying on your side or however you want. It’s up to you.
It’s my job to help you feel better. That’s it. Together let’s find a way to help you relieve your pain and stress. Don’t let your body image keep you from feeling good.

www.Massagebook.com/biz/bodybless

“Has Your Body Been Blessed Today?”

 

Building a Spiritual Practice

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This life existence is all about the fulfillment of dreams.

“What do I want to be when I grow up?”

“When will I get my first kiss?”

“Who will I marry?”

“Where will I live?”

“How many children will I have, if any?”

Learning how to bring our dreams into reality takes work.  We have a vision, we may believe this vision will benefit others in some way as well as ourselves, and so we start the process of bringing that dream into fruition.  Body Blessings Massage & Aromatherapy was a dream that I had several years ago, and it was birthed while I was going through a ‘dark night of the soul’.

I have generally held Sales & Marketing or Management positions throughout my career, however when I had my son at age 30 I decided to do something less demanding, so I started working at a local Sacramento health club.  I worked there part-time when I was a ‘stay- at-home’ Mom and then went full time when I was facing a divorce.  My manager and friend at the health club had just received her massage certification, and she would give me free massages to help me deal with the stress.  Up until that time, I had always considered getting a massage a very frivolous and unnecessary service, but once I started receiving them frequently, I could see how they were quite beneficial in helping me with the anxiety and stress that I was dealing with, and I told myself that one day I would get my certification.

That ‘one day’ did not come until 2009, when I finally had some extra money to attend the Healing Arts Institute in Citrus Heights, Ca.  At that time, an individual was only required to obtain 125 C.E.U.’s to practice, so I enrolled, and while I was in class, the State of California moved the requirement up to 250 C.E.U.’s.  After I completed my initial 125 hours, I saved my money again so that I could get the new, higher required amount of hours and start my practice part time.  Once I obtained the 250 hours, there was a national law signed into effect that to practice legally anywhere in the United States you would need a minimum of 500 C.E.U.s.  I saved my money yet again, and completed the 500 hours in 2012.  I then moved back home to my beloved Idaho and started working at JMZ Spa-lon on State Street, now Zoberski’s.

Along the way through massage school in California, I had met a post 9-11 Veteran who, along with a fellow Veteran, was developing a non-profit for Veterans where they could receive holistic services for free.  I was immediately interested in helping the organization grow, and volunteered where and while I could.  When I first arrived back in Idaho, I tried starting a chapter here and held a massage clinic in conjunction with the Veterans Administration and Three Oaks Academy massage school while I was working at JMZ.  I knew that the benefits of massage therapy in helping Veterans in their healing process were tremendous, and I kept my idea moving forward.  It was at that time that I first heard about the Wyakin Warriors Foundation (www.wyakin.org).   I served as an intern while attending Boise State during 2014-2015 and grew to appreciate this non-profit tremendously, as I saw that they not only ‘talked the talk’, but they also ‘walked the walk’ when it came to helping their participants.

I had put my massage practice on hold for my second semester, then started my position at ChargeItPro in June of 2015.  It was in December of 2016 when I decided to re-open my practice and pursue my dream once again.  This time, I decided to start donating 10% of my quarterly profit to Wyakin as well as offer to see a few of the Warriors free of charge monthly.

Every year I since I have obtained my licensure, I have participated in an event sponsored by the Associated Body Massage Professionals (A.B.M.P.).  This event is designed for participating therapists to raise awareness about the benefits of massage therapy as well as to give back to their community.  I was at the Crunch Fitness (formerly Idaho Athletic Club) Eagle location, and the Clinic Director of Mountain Land Physical Therapy, Jeff Box, came out and started talking to me about the possibility of moving my practice to their location.  We started the negotiation process, and I opened my doors on October 1st of 2016.

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I see my practice growing, and I believe it is because I have finally learned to build a ‘spiritual’ practice.  Spiritual practice can mean many things:

  • Attending Church every Saturday or Sunday with an organized religion in a building.
  • Meeting once a week with someone to study the Bible.
  • Taking time to mediate in the morning and/or evening.
  • Having an altar to pray at in the morning and/or evening at home.
  • Talking to God.
  • Listening to God.
  • Being thankful for what God has brought you through.

There are as many ways to practice spirituality as there are denominations of Christianity.

But this isn’t what I am referring to when I say I learned to build a ‘spiritual’ practice.

When I served as a Chaplain as well as a Youth Ministry Leader at Spiritual Life Center in Sacramento, California, I learned volumes about building a ‘spiritual’ practice.  Concepts such as tithing 10% to an organization, ministry or individual I believed in, as in ‘giving to the Universe’ would increase my own abundance, donating my talent/time/treasure to a church, organization or cause, again increasing my own abundance, learning to allow my sails to ‘blow in the wind’ freely at times, and most importantly, to thank God and allow Him to be my ‘partner’ in the process.

My practice is growing, once again, and I am working with more medical issues as opposed to a ‘feel good’ massage.  I have been blessed to work with some incredible and incredibly helpful people – the staff of both Mountain Land Physical Therapy and Crunch Fitness in Eagle.  Most importantly, I have grown stronger in my faith, which brings me to five key concepts I believe are important to embrace when bringing your dream into reality:

Have Faith

You had this dream for a reason.  The reality may not be exactly the way that you dreamt it to be, in fact, it often isn’t, as in the dream, we aren’t envisioning all the hidden variables life may through our way – just the beautiful essence of the dream.  It is in the facing of obstacles that your faith will be exercised the most!  Strive to have the faith of a mustard seed!

Luke 17:6 ESV

       And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey.

Embrace and learn to ‘love the processs’

The vision you have in your head is a dream.  Bringing that dream into reality generally takes hard work, and it might not happen in the time frame you would desire.

I have always known from a very young age that I would go through tremendous challenges but one day I would be able to help many people.  I had no idea what those challenges looked like, or how I would help people, I just had a ‘sense’ about it.   I have also had the dream of having my own business at a time when women had no other occupation than teacher, nurse, or secretary, and that occupation generally wasn’t pursued until after the children had grown and left the home.   These ideas had somehow been planted in my thought process years before I ever experienced any life-altering hardships that would eventually teach me my greatest lessons – or started my business.  I have been on this planet for some time now, and I believe my ‘season’ is finally arriving.

Learning to ‘love the process’ has always been challenging for me.  My elder sister likes to tell a story about how I would go outside when I was just a child and pull up the flowers by their tops as they would not grow fast enough for me!  Loving the process is where we learn patience, and as we all know, patience is indeed a virtue!

I Cor. 9:24 ESV

       Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

Stay Focused on the Goal

Keep your mind on the ultimate outcome of your goal, don’t let life’s drama get you side-tracked for long.  If you don’t meet your goal in the timeframe you envisioned, perhaps the timing isn’t quite right – but remember that God’s timing isn’t the same as our timing.  The Bible says the world was created in seven days – but was that seven days at 24 hours each?

There will be many temptations along the way, changes at work, issues with family, new opportunities, new dreams.  I have a ‘rule of three’ that I follow – I only allow three projects on my ‘plate’ at one time, and I do not add another until one is fully completed.  Creative individuals tend to jump from vision to vision to vision, because that is what we are good at – creating –  and it has taken me years to learn that if I follow one dream through to completion, not only will that dream have a better chance of taking a stronghold in the ‘real’ world, but I will also achieve a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that will spur me on to bigger and better dreams.

Proverbs 16:9 ESV

       The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Hold yourself accountable for your actions

Holding yourself accountable for your actions can be done in different ways.  It could be a hiring a personal coach, joining a MasterMind group, or posting your goals on Facebook so all of your friends can give you feedback.  I personally believe that MasterMind groups are extremely powerful, as there are at least two other people that you talk with on a weekly basis that can help you think beyond your own thinking and bring light to ideas and concepts you may not have considered.  When we have another person we have to ‘report’ to about our progress, we are more likely to take action on our goals.

Proverbs 15:22 ESV

       Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed

Don’t.  Give.  Up.

If your dream isn’t born into this world in the timeframe you originally chose it, again – perhaps it is a matter of timing.  It took me three years before I finally was given an opportunity to work with the Wyakin Warrior Foundation, and three years to find the right space for my own studio.  It could also be that the dream isn’t met to be.  If you continue to persevere, your dream will morph into something else that is even more wonderful than the original dream.

Over 15 years ago I started playing around with essential oils and the idea of creating my own bath products.  I created a name, the artwork for the label, prototypes for the different products, and my dream/goal was to start producing them.   Then life took me down a different path.  This Spring, I am revisiting this idea by introducing samples in my monthly massage specials.

Even when the steps we are taking don’t seem to be taking us forward, they are teaching us with every single step.

In this society, we tend to value success and we have created a label for our efforts that haven’t gone exactly as planned as ‘failures’.  The longer I live, the more I realize that those ‘failures’ are just building blocks on the same exact road as the building blocks to’ success.’

Our definition of success generally changes as we travel through life as well.  I believe that as long as you are alive, you have an opportunity to achieve, an opportunity to contribute, and an opportunity to dream.  Sometimes when I am feeling like my life isn’t where it should be, I will take a drive over to Cloverdale Memorial Park  or Terrace Lawn and go visit my relatives gravestones, or drive through any other local Cemetary, and just sit out on a bench for a while to remind myself that I still have life in me, and as long as I can feel my heart beat and hear the sound of my own voice, I still have an opportunity to fulfill my dreams.

God willing.

Phillippians 4:13 ESV  

        I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Give God the opportunity to become your ‘business’ partner.  For me, this means making sure that I take time to pray and study the Bible each morning, give thanks to God for the good I have in my life, ask Him to help me let go of the past, and become still enough to hear that still, quiet voice that belongs to God.  Some people call this ‘good judgement’ or ‘sound judgement’.  To some, it is listening to their ‘higher power’.  In my planning, I do my best to think everything through from every angle to prepare myself, and then remember and acknowledge that no matter how prepared I am,  it is in my best interest to allow space for God to work His miracles.

One day, a ‘miracle’ might be that someone I have been sharing information with about the Wyakin Warriors and how I want to work with them comes to me and asks me to explain the organization and my ‘dream’ further.  It might be seeing another therapist ask for help at the ‘Run for Robie’ event, and responding to that request.  It might be, and often is, just being present for another human being as they work on healing themselves through bodywork.

So keep dreaming your dreams. Nurture them, water them with faith, hope and love, and remember, without dreaming, our life on this planet would not exist – for we are the  result of the most magnificent dream ever dreamt – the Creator’s dream!

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#LifeIs2Short2NotLuvIt! #BodyBless4U #MLRehab #CrunchFitness #MassageTherapy #Health #Fitness #MentalHealth

 

 

 

Do Your Body Organs Know What Time It Is?

In my quest to educate others about the benefits of alternative or holistic modalities, I spend many hours reading up on different methods of body work. This week, I am focusing on the work of Dr. LeAnne Deardeuff, DC. Dr. Deardeuff also uses essential oils in her practice, and she has written and published a very informative, easy-to-read book titled, “Ultimate Balance – Infusing the Vibrational Energy of Essential Oils into Chakras, Meridians and Organs.” (www.essentialscience.net).

I am thoroughly enjoying this book as it combines energy work with essential oils, and it explains how any one can use the oils for their own specific health routine, and the relationship between our body organs, meridians, chakras and our thoughts and feelings. This book takes energy work with essential oils one step further; it adds the chakras and explains what time of day is optimal to work on a specific body organ.

I have been reading about the adrenal glands, as many of us suffer from adrenal fatigue without even knowing it. I did for many years and was mis-diagnosed, and it wasn’t until I went to a naturopathic doctor that I learned about the adrenals. The adrenal glands are very small in size, and are at the top of our kidneys, one on each side at the top of the kidney. These organs are designed to boost our energy levels and to produce corticosteroid hormones. They require vitamin B and trace minerals to achieve their goal. Minerals help manufacture steroidal hormones as well as serving as a co-factor in liver enzymes that digest the necessary fats that our adrenal hormones need.

Some symptoms of adrenal exhaustion are:

Always active, or ‘on-the-go’.
Difficulty in starting in the morning.
Feeling jittery or ‘wired’ inside.
Experience high anxiety frequently.
Chronic fatigue.
These are just a few of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, and adrenal fatigue can often times be mis-diagnosed and therefore, mistreated.

The solar plexus chakra (yellow) is the chakra that coincides with the adrenal glands. The optimum time of day to ‘work’ with the adrenal glands, according to Dr. Deardeuff, is between the hours of 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Dr. Deardeuff suggests using the following essential oils/blends at this specific time of day: Endoflex, N-R-Gee, Hope, Surrender, Nutmeg, or Clove. Dr. Deardeuff uses the Young Living brand of oils, and she also suggests using Thyromin, Ultra Young Spray, SuperB, and Mineral Essence products, also from the Young Living line.

There are several ways to use essential oils, and each person’s body will have its own unique sensitivity, so it is important to learn which method works best for you. Following is a breakdown of the different methods of usage:

NEAT – This means directly on the skin. Many people use a carrier oil under the essential oil, such as Almond or Grapeseed, if they have sensitive skin.

INHALING – Using the oils manner allows the molecules to be delivered directly to the limbic center of the brain. You can either inhale from the bottle, or place a few drops on the right palm of your hand and rub your hands together, and inhale.

CAPSULES – You can use an eyedropper to drop 10-15 drops into each capsule. The capsules can then be swallowed.

RECTAL OR VAGINAL IMPLANTS – You can place the same capsules into your rectum or your vagina. IF you choose to place them in your vagina, it is very important to use a carrier oil as well so that the area is not burned. A good dilution is seven drops of essential oil to one tablespoon of V-6, a vegetable oil product from Young Living, or a cold-pressed vegetable oil of equal quality.

COMPRESSES – You can make warm or cold compresses with the essential oils.

If you would like to find out more about using essential oils, please feel free to connect with me at directly at BodyBlessings1@gmail.com.

 

#Aromatherapy #Essential Oils# Massage #Health  #Health&Fitness  #Fitness  #Beauty  #Relaxation

#LifeIs2Short2NotLuvIt!