Tag Archives: massage therapy

Functionally ready!

My time for me this evening was finishing my home office as close as I could for functionality.

I’m still missing a small round side table and my hot stone warmer and the massage table bolster. They will be found and added to the room ASAP. I also remembered that I need to find and hang duplicates of my credentials. In the mean time, I can use the bolster from my portable table, and deal without the other 2 items. My office is as ready as need be for now.

Everything thing in this room we either already had, or purchased at thrift very inexpensively. The exception being the small bit of lumber for the desk and the area rug (which was on clearance at IKEA).

I’m so excited. My graphic design computer is in my custom closet built-in desk, which conveniently hides behind a curtain when the room is being used for massage. Regardless of my purpose of using the office I can close the door and have peaceful focus. It makes me soooo happy. I have earned this moment a thousand times over.

Now I can schedule Nathan’s first massage in ages, as well as a couple of trades to get myself caught up and less achy.

Here’s the nearly finished product.

Dome on the Range

Atira Home Dome

So this week has brought ups and downs. I had a lot of emotional roller coaster riding, which the acupuncturist was uncomfortably quick to point out the cause. (Am I really that transparent?) It was a combination of hormones from trying to sync up with the rest of the female staff, in addition to liver heat and congestion I stirred up from doing cupping on my arms. Yea… not. As TCM practitioners, they were very helpful with some herbs for the emotional side, and needles for the physicality, and I took extra walks for the anti-inflammatory benefits. I can say after several days I am doing better.

I did also get a fair amount of wonderful artwork in, both digitally and by hand.

I was able to complete the first shirt design I posted about previously, and with a minimum of edits. Mainly they had me change font once, take out a few of the contour lines in the figure, and adjust colors. In my book that’s an excellent start for only having done 5 commissions in the last 12 years. They then requested a second shirt and a business sign, which I have drafts pending for. I am super appreciative of not only being able to play with my design software, but for having gotten the commission work as well. It feels really good to be doing a variety of things that I am good at.

I told Nathan that I always was really good at giving people what they asked for. Mainly because I don’t like having to rebuild or make significant time consuming changes. I would much rather ask enough questions up front to get the idea, and hit the mark as close as possible on the first try. Fonts are almost always where the edits come in, as I have so many fonts that I tend to aim for more creative, and sometimes the plain fonts are more desired by the customer.  The customer is always right, and their font preferences will always win.

Regardless, within a day or two I will likely clear my 3rd design approval, and that is in addition to working full time as a massage therapist. That is happy dance worthy in my book.

Now pile on top of that having had enough time to do some coloring and I am feeling much more buoyant. I chose a mandala and colored in between clients. The day I started it, I was wearing the colors that I started the mandala with- blues and lavenders. The office manager thought that was amusing, and after she pointed it out, I did too. I kept coloring and began to realize I had been coloring in the chakra palette. Blues and violets being throat, third eye and crown. Pinks and greens being for heart chakra, and yellow for solar plexus. By that point, having accidentally accomplished that much, I decided to finish the mandala in appropriate progression.

Here are the results, which I’m super happy with:

20191009_1554192054716829049856828.jpg

I also accomplished some really amazing massage work this week helping a client with multiple-decades-old scar tissue and what she thought was an underdeveloped scapula. After some very intense myofascial release, I was able to show her that not only were her shoulder blades the same size, but that the damaged shoulder was capable of laying flat. I also helped not one, but two people, with major constriction in their hips. It was a very good massage week.

My final note of upswing is in the image I began with. It is the design for my dream dome home. I’m working on turning my sketches into drafted images. Obviously, I’ve barely gotten started as it was a low priority. I won’t be building it next week, and unless a miracle happens, probably not this year. So, it falls last on the list after all other computing and design work wraps up. Considering I’ve literally only devoted a few precious minutes to it, I think I have a great start. I am so looking forward to finishing it.

I leave you with the following blessings:

May you find joy in your work and time enough for other joys.

May you have days filled with beauty, and the emotional fortitude to breathe and see it.

May you have more than enough, and ample miracles in your life.

Finally, may you see your strengths and your own inner beauty and light.

Siva Hir Su

If I ask you to fix it, then at least make an attempt!

So, I’m a practicing massage therapist. Unless I’m working on someone over the age of 80, I fully intend to fix whatever is in front of me. If I can’t completely fix something, I get as close as humanly possible with the time allotted.

I have traded for 6 years with a therapist of the same caliber. When she retired she asked me to replace her. We traded once after her retirement and we’ve had trouble linking up our schedules to do a second trade.

I tried to schedule a trade with a few other occasional trade partners and the one therapist at the clinic. It seems my current schedule just is not conducive to trading right now.

Yesterday I cried uncle, and resorted to paid massages until I can figure out another trade. I knew that even an hour of regular deep tissue wasn’t going to be the same as my usual 90 min trade, so I went ahead and set up 2 hours.

The first one was at a place called “Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa” then an hour later I went to “Massage Envy”. The first place charged me extra for deep tissue saying that I had the best therapist available for that on that particular evening- $70 first time appointment for regular price of $95. Massage Envy admitted they didn’t have a deep tissue person available, so I knew that was not going to fix anything significant. Yet their intro price $55, for a normally $75 appointment.

The clinic charges $80 and I’m feeling like that’s totally not enough.

The comparison was night and day. My deep tissue appointment really just scratched the surface, and the second appointment was only slightly less pressure. There really wasn’t enough difference to have justified the extra charge at the first massage, and neither of them were anywhere near what I provide at the clinic.

I felt severely ripped off, but knowing that spas like those pay their therapists like crap, I tipped well. I spent $170 including tips, to walk away with 100 minutes of hands on time that left me feeling like it was a good start, instead of the 90min fix I’m used to.

I ended up going home to do 3 cycles on my Homemedics massage roller mat, and followed that with detailed instruction for Nathan to polish off most of what was missed. I still need to get a fix it massage scheduled ASAP.

Where this really gets my goat and why I decided to rant about it here today, is that I asked for a service and received inadequate results.

For instance: I specified that I was a massage therapist and sorely overdue for my massage. I specifically asked the ‘deep tissue’ person to stick to upper body, mainly arms shoulders and pectoral muscles.

She almost forgot that I requested upper body only and ended up doing my glutes in a pretend correction. Something a seasoned therapist can spot easily. Then, she barely grazed my pectorals, and was horribly ineffective at releasing any chronic areas, even a little. She barely grazed my rhomboids (shoulder blade) a couple of times which left me screaming in my head: “No! Go back, go back, you missed it!”

Here’s the thing, if you charge extra for deep tissue, it should actually be a deep tissue massage. Additionally, there’s no reason she couldn’t have worked my pectorals at least enough to count it.

Here’s the deal, I have no desire to see or touch anyone’s junk, and in 12 years I’ve only been forced to see that 3 times, all of which I put the kibosh on by pulling out a towel. Yet, when someone brings a problem, a hurt, that lies where their junk is, I still fix it. It’s called, keep it covered with the sheet, and if you really have to get super close-you have them hold it out of the way. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man and his penis or a woman and her breasts. Move it over and I’ll get the job done. There’s been twice where a womans breasts were so large I had them lay on their side to allow gravity to get them out of the way. Effing get creative if you have to, but fix the damn problem. So if I, as a therapist, tell you my pecs hurt and I’ve approved working on them, them you better damn well do it. Grazing them with your pinky finger doesn’t count.

Additionally there’s simply no reason that she didn’t get my rhomboids, or really any of my shoulders and arms better than she did.

Except for the fact that I kept redirecting myself to mantras, I would have left both massages infuriated.

As it was, I’m glad they at least accomplished a good start, and that I was able to figure out a solution for the rest. I wish them as therapists well, but sincerely hope that the one doesn’t keep selling herself as a deep tissue therapist. They both need to specify that they are solely relaxation specialists, and people like me won’t waste our time.

May you all have the fixes you need and great massages. May you all have the schedule to accommodate self-care and good results from that self-care. May you enjoy your days and be free from pain or discomfort.

Siva Hir Su

Happy endings.

Watch “Poets of the Fall – Temple of Thought (Unplugged Studio Live)” on YouTube

I imagine that my Shiva would say these things to me, it’s how I feel that divine connection. Yet, more so is my own inner being. My spirit is really where I find my own sense of safety and security and love. The world has yet to provide that for me, so I must rely on what is found within.

But perhaps my world will have a happy ending yet. Especially the kind of happy ending where you know there’s more to the story, where there will be a sequel with the rest of the story.

I realized that, today, as I commented about liking happy endings in movies. I like the happy endings where you know the lovers get together, and live happily ever after. Where the sequel would be about building home and family and community and sharing love with everyone in their lives. Where they take fun filled journeys and discover all of the beauty in this world. Where they get to rest from their more challenging endeavors. Those are the happy endings I enjoy so much. It’s why to this day, I will watch reruns of Hallmark movies that I’ve already seen dozens of times.

Those are the stories I wish filled my real daily life.

Instead, I find myself in conversations about people expecting happy endings to massage and that just pisses me off. Fortunately, I’ve only had 3 such run-ins with that in my dozen years of practice. Every time I taught them a lesson. I’m the massage therapist that if you lay on top of the sheets buck naked, and I’ve never seen you before, I pull out a towel and cover your naughty bits and proceed to give you the deepest deep tissue possible. Except for the fact that I’m so damn strong, and beginning to think it’s near impossible, I’d rather hurt myself teaching someone like that a lesson, than send them on their way unscathed. It gets my goat that people think they can pay massage rates and expect to be jacked off. I say people, because 2 of the 3 were Male, the third was female.

It infuriates me because since the sex trade is kept illegal, people masquerade as massage therapists to provide sex services, usually the business owner is the pimp, and it’s hardly concentual. It further infuriates me because both trades are severely undervalued, and because the “perps” are often the one demanding sexual favors, but the punished are the women that feel like they have no other choice than to provide those services, or worse yet are forced into doing so.

First: a happy ending implies that everyone involved is respected and valued. Throwing yourself in front of someone and demanding sexual favors is disrespectful. Unless that person is being lavished in thousands of dollars they are far from being valued. So, it is far from a real happy ending, quit calling it that. The real name is pig manipulation, and the pigs are the ones that belong in jail. So as long as I’m a massage therapist anyone that tries that with me will walk out hurting and having been charged full price including upcharge for deep tissue. That is my happy ending in that situation, especially since 2 of the 3 were hurt so much they terminated the appointment early. Serves them right.

So, for now I will take those small victories, focus on my inner being as much as possible, and look forward to possibly having a true happy ending to my current challenging journey. I look forward to relief, joy, bigger and closer family, and lots and lots of love.

May you all have respect and find that you are shown your value. May you all have your loving happy endings, and find joyous journeys. Finally, may you see justice prevail in this world and may all the pigs run and hide.

Siva Hir Su.

Do you enjoy vanity?

I found myself saying: it must be nice to be vain; that is after experiencing the 3rd person this week to comment on the lines the face creadle cover made on their face.

I’m from the perspective of- I like my massages, and so what if the face creadle cover leaves lines on my face. At least I got a good massage to combat and eliminate the stress this world produces in my body. I’d much rather have face cradle lines than the look of weary and downtrodden stress-bots that most people carry.

Then I started thinking, do people really enjoy vanity? The kind of vanity that is afraid others might notice your massage face. What is your brain telling you that makes massage face a bad thing?

Why would you even want to carry stressed face like everyone else? What is so appealing about sameness, that you want sameness even when the reality of that sameness is an element you work to undo every 1 to 3 weeks?

To me relaxed massage face or genuine glowing happiness and joy are the best faces to have, and anymore they are both rare.

Mostly, I have enough sense to get my massage and then go home. The few times I haven’t, I later thought: what the hell was I thinking, I’m not functional after a good massage. So I tend to think others would do the same.

I guess not; and in your instant worry about lines on your face and trying to be functional afterward, you’ve just wasted what your $80 just paid for. The moment you go back into worry, your body begins to ramp up your stress response and literally within minutes to hours it will be as if I never worked on you to begin with.

However, that is my job security.

No matter how well I demolish your stress and built up tension, I know that it’ll come right back. It comes back with every negative thought, every stress induced action, every repetitive motion, every moment of WORK, every worry. Frankly, most of society is really good at that side of the equation and really lazy on the stress reduction side of the equation. Why do any real work on/for yourself, when you can go pay someone to do it for you, and convince yourself that your occasional massage is adequate.

The real work, I used to give as homework, until I realized my words were bouncing off of thin air.

Now, I just willingly accept your $80/hour and smile politely when you make remarks about the lines.

The real work:

Self-care, including but not limited to:

Meditation

Yoga

Epsom salt baths

Regular Mag-a-hol usage

Supplements including but not limited to Magnesium, Potassium, Fish Oil, and Turmeric

Self-massage with a variety of easily accessible tools, some as simple as a tennis ball or foam roller.

Better diet choices to reduce inflammation

Consistent and ample sleep

Regular Sunlight

The not so hilarious corker here is that all these same things fight depression. You can read “The Depression Cure” yourself for the science of why, but in simple terms.

Stress=Inflammation=Tight Muscles

Stress=Inflammation=Pain

Stress=Inflammation=Depression

So tight muscles are usually experienced alongside pain, and as statistics are showing, increasingly alongside depression as well.

Massage fights the tight muscles element and can combat stress itself to a certain degree, but unless you work on the whole package, you will never find whole relief.

So go ahead and waste many dollars and many hours seeing therapists like me to convince yourself you’re doing what you can to feel better. I’ll gladly accept the job security, and inside laugh at your vanity over lines.

For those willing to do the work, I’ll gladly answer direct questions on any number of topics.

May you all have abundance of self-care and a famine of stress and worry.