Tag Archives: massage

Give love.

Today I worked and received my much needed massage. It was good.

The person I have been trading with, a man named Robb, is a massage therapist I met when we first got to KC. Schedule changes on my side caused us to part ways for years, and I traded with another wonderful therapist for several years. After my first couple of years at the clinic attempting to find a replacement for the second now retired therapist, I decided to reach out and see if we could make schedules match again. I’m glad I did, because he was able to work on connections I was unable to get myself and provided more relief for my arm. It’s at about 98% now, and I have a couple of new ideas to try and get the rest.

He has about 3 more years of practice than I do, so I pick his brain often. We have very different styles, but what we do works and the trades work just fine. He does a ton with energy work and has the connections between tension patterns down so well he often reminds me of things I’m missing with clients. He also does a fair amount of isolated stretching and range of motion together to help release burried or hiding patterns. Something that is a weak spot of mine, I know them both individually, but never managed to get them down well enough to function as a pair in my practice. I have been using some of his techniques a little more lately, so maybe that will change. We have also talked about those elements we share, and I discovered he learned them directly from the source, whereas I learned them second hand. That likely explains differences in how we utilize techniques.

It’s also nice that he knows bicycling, because after my week of biking to work my legs needed love. He was more than capable and I feel so much better all over. My massage was good and very needed, I realized that I trust him as fully and completely as the now retired therapist. I think I love both him and the retired therapist, because they have both invested many hours into helping me take care of my body. I am very grateful for skilled and genuinely caring hands. So now I’m doing my best to keep my relaxation long term.

Later, as Nathan was cooking dinner, Katherine started singing while “playing” piano. After a minute or two it was clear she was singing our mutual favorite MC Yogi sing called “Give Love”. I loved it so much I caught a clip to share. I’ll post that and the original MC version.

Despite time shortage to play on my piano, it seems my daughter has made friends with it just like me.

May you have good massages, plenty of care for your self, and feel good mostly. May you have plenty of relaxation time and find ways to prolong the relief as long as possible. May you have happy moments with your children on very frequent occasions. May you see your children’s talents manifest easily. May you enjoy your days and have millions of reasons to give love away to everyone around you. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

I feel icky.

I had to cut my last appointment short this afternoon and spent several hours growling and stewing.

The man was developmentally delayed and had nervous ticks, which I initially thought was something akin to turret’s syndrome.

He had no concerns of note and had come for a relaxing massage. I work at a chiropractic clinic, those words are not common in that environment, but not unheard of either. Some of my female clients came to me initially because of a problem, but when said problem resolved they were hooked and now keep coming back even without major complaints. So just because someone asks for a relaxing massage, my spidey sense doesn’t necessarily activate. Bonus this man was new to me, but not the clinic, as far as I was aware.

I proceeded to complete my session as requested, and most often I start men face down, this was no different.

I never used to do that, as in Iowa it wasn’t a problem- ever- to start men face up. But once in the KC area, another therapist had recommended it at one point for helping men to chill out. Apparently, men down here have more trouble controlling themselves and relaxing into therapeutic sessions. Don’t ask me why geography causes that, I have no idea, and bonus it ticks me off.

Anyway as I worked he kept adjusting himself. Once I had him turn over, still under the sheets, he began fidgeting excessively. I stopped several times until he would settle.

Then he did the show stopping act of touching himself. The first time I thought I’d made it up in my head and paused. Second time was obvious. I stopped again and looked at the clock, I was 20 min from end of session. I looked back to see his hands moving and was done.

I thought what if this man is so damn delayed that he genuinely doesn’t know what he’s doing is wrong. Where I would normally punish that act on my table, this time I didn’t. I finished working on his shoulders, dropped the table to normal height and walked out without saying a word.

As soon as I cleared the hallway I informed both the chiropractor and the front desk that he was not allowed to schedule any further massages due to touching himself in session. I also required full payment for his shortened session as punishment, saying he needs to learn that lesson.

Later I found out that his card bounced and will have to be sent to collections. Not only was I subjected to icky, I may not get paid for my time. I seriously wanted to hunt him down.

As it is, I’ve stewed over it for several hours and it’s caused me to want to change one of my art images hanging on my wall.

I can’t say my art piece had anything to do with it, but I have gone nearly 2 years without such vulgarity and the only thing that changed was I hung an image I did almost a decade ago.

The image was a commentary on creation. It shows the silohuette of a cell, sperm, and embryo over a watercolor resembling a star nebula. I was trying to make a statement that conception is only part of creation. You must follow through by nourishing the growing embryo to even hope to birth anything. A star is not born overnight, it takes aeons to go from a colorful gaseous cloud to what we know of as a star. I was conveying that it doesn’t matter what birth you are aiming for, they all take time, nourishment and patience.

I think it is a beautiful image with a beautiful message was why I hung it in the first place. I thought it deserved for others to see it and no longer hide in my portfolio. So I hung it last week.

Now this icky man.

So I’m going to take down my beautiful image and replace it with one fitting of a chiropractic office. I have a drawing a few years older even the is of a whitetail deer sacrum from the proximal view. I suppose it is the better image for the environment and will hopefully keep any further icky out of my office.

I don’t know that I have either image accessible to post here, so I’ll post them when I do the exchange.

May you never have icky throw up on you at work. May you know for certain that you did nothing to attract such icky moments. May your creations be truly appreciated and see the light of day more frequently. May you know that the true meaning of your work is known and appreciated always, regardless of whether it is artwork, healing, or anything else you do. May you know that God loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

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, then you better damn well do it. Grazing them with your pinky finger doesn’t count. See picture, excerpt from textbook: “Trail Guide to the Body” by Andrew Biel

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