Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A technology detox.

I've been striving for a simplified life.  One where I can enjoy every minute, and be present for my six month old son.  Too much time with technology has turned my brain to mush and I've become addicted to information.  I look at it when I nurse, when I'm about to go to bed, when I wake up, even when I'm playing with him.  I've come to the conclusion that this is bad for us!  He is the one that deserves the most of my attention, not this distracting shiny apple box.  

In an effort to end this, I've done three things.

I turned off all notifications on my phone except for voicemail and texts.
I keep technology out of the bedroom.
I minimized my apps.

So far so good.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to enjoy the evening.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tips on how to get a massage.

Many people who are getting a massage for the first time ask me how they should prepare, or what they should bring.  Here are some suggestions on what massage therapists appreciate from their clients, and ways for you to get the most out of your massage.  I've come across several Do and Don't lists lately, but instead of commanding, I'm asking Please and Thank you.

  • If it's your first time with a new therapist, arrive 5-10 minutes early to get settled in, fill out the intake form, and discuss any pain you have. 
  • Inform the therapist if you have any open sores anywhere.  It's summertime, bug bites happen.
  • Are you sick?  Call to cancel your appointment as soon as you can. Massage therapists shouldn't work when they're sick, it's unethical.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.  At Moon Valley, there are stairs to descend after the massage.  I would feel horrible if you came in wearing heels, got all relaxed and took a tumble on the steps afterwards
  • Let me know about any major surgeries or injuries you've had within the last 5-10 years so I can modify the treatment accordingly.
  • Talking is okay, but not required.  I'm happy to let you drift off in to relaxation, or even to sleep!  But I also understand if you enjoy talking.  I'll take your lead, if you want to talk, great!  If not, I will focus all my attention on helping you relax. 
  • Jewelry is beautiful, but unnecessary for a massage.  Please remove it before the session begins. I wouldn't want to get it all oily, or disrupt the flow if I have to ask you to take it off.
  • Ladies, I'm not offended your hairy legs or armpits.  I too get lazy with the razor and let my own legs get stubbly now and then.
  • Your safety is our priority.  If something doesn't feel right, either physically, or mentally, speak up!  I've heard of some recent news where women were molested by therapists who were practicing illegally.  Although I assure you that wouldn't happen here, please be smart when you go to a new therapist.  Look for a license posted in the waiting room or massage room, in Missouri, it's the law to publicly display this information with a picture.  Also, look online for reviews to help you make your decision about wether or not to go to a particular therapist.  If you feel unsafe, or in danger, ask to end the session immediately.  If someone ever tells you "I need to do this to help you heal" after you've informed them to stop, that's bullshit.  It's our ethical duty to listen to you and respect your feelings. 
Thank You!
Ways to thank us.
  • At Moon Valley we do accept tips, but they're not expected. A typical gratuity for a massage is about 20%.     
  • The best compliment for any therapist, is for you to tell your friends.  Even a shout out on Facebook makes us feel warm and fuzzy. 
  • We also love seeing people come out of the massage room with a blissful look on their face.
Take these tips into consideration and your next massage will surely be a huge success, for you and your therapist!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Escape to Moon Valley

Sometimes, for my job, I travel off site to give massages.  Although I am happy to do this, I feel my massages are the best in my studio.  There's a lot of good energy there, it's a clean, safe environment, and I know where everything is.  When I'm off site, my attention is distracted from my client by the drive, setting up my equipment, and adapting to a new environment in a short amount of time.
At my studio, I am in my element.  If my client walks through the door and had a stressful day, I can grab my lavender oil and put a few drops on the sheets.  If they slept on their neck wrong, I can toss a rice bag in the microwave and apply some heat to loosen it up before I work on it.  If the weather's nice, I can open the windows.  If it's too bright, I can close the curtains.  If anything seems off, I have the freedom to adjust it to create balance and harmony in the studio.  These things, although not necessary, are part of the experience of getting a massage.  You come to Moon Valley to escape the stress of your every day, and  unfortunately, I can not create that in your home, or office.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My husband and I went looking for a new car yesterday.  We set off in the morning armed with Car Fax, interest rates, places we wanted to visit, and cars we wanted to drive. We drove around all day being schmoozed by salespeople and captivated by cars that were way out of our price range.  We felt like we were on the television show House Hunters, only without a helpful narrator.

About midday, we took a break from our car hunt and stopped at a place called Sump Coffee, on Jefferson Avenue in South City St. Louis, to hash out some car decisions.  Jacob and I really dug the bar made of salvaged boards and concrete countertops.  The atmosphere was simple, so as not to detract from the coffee. We ordered two hand brewed coffees and sat down while they made them for us.  Hot water was manually poured over the ground beans slowly and served to us in decanters with small coffee cups.  It was pretty high class.  I was afraid to ask for my usual half and half accompaniment, but it turns out, I didn't need it.  The coffee was light and roasted well, it didn't taste bitter at all.

After our pit stop at Sump, we continued on our quest for our new car.  I 'll remember Sump coffee as an oasis in the middle of a crazy, stressful, major decision making day.
...We also found a car within our price range and we are thrilled about it.  I call this weekend, a success!