#22 of 31 posts in 31 days

Twenty-two days I’ve been typing words into this white box. There is always a blinking cursor. No matter how many words I type the cursor keeps blinking as if to say, “what else do you have to say?” I accepted this challenge and I WILL finish! Since I accepted this 31-days-in-a-row-challenge someone has offered up trophies to those of us who finish! I’m going to get that trophy!

I took this challenge to get out of a writing funk. I love to write and I love to share helpful information to all my wonderful readers. But in the real world sometimes work, family and other things can make me push things to the side. I was suffering writer’s block. I was neglecting my brain. This challenge has kick-started my brain! I am now disciplined to write something every day. I think I’ve improved my writing a bit and I know I am able to come up with ideas a little better. I’m getting a little tired, but I’m inspired to finish!

What have you done lately to challenge yourself? Have you started running? Do you have plans for a first 5K? You rock! Keep it up! I’m proud of you!

Have you just started going to a workout class? Zumba, maybe? Or Yoga? You don’t look stupid, I promise. Keep going! You inspire me!

Have you started a novel? Short stories? Don’t give up. My husband’s late uncle Mike always had this to say when someone asked him how in the world he could write a book, “If you only write one page a day, after a year you’ll have a 365 page book.” Remember that when you’re feeling over whelmed. One page at a time. You’re awesome!

Quitting smoking? DO IT! It may be one of the hardest things to do but you can do it. I DID IT. I did it! I quit smoking over 3 years ago. It.Is.Hard. But keep it up. You will feel amazing and I think you are amazing for trying. I could say “One day at a time,” but the first few days are tough. ONE HOUR AT A TIME!  You can do it! Keep it up!

You all are helping me with my challenge, I thought you might need a little push, too! Whatever your challenge is, I believe in you!

Hot Stone Massage Q and A

#21 of 31 posts in 31 days

**Edited to add I no longer offer this service, but the Q&A is still good.”

Q:  What is Hot Stone Massage?

A:  Really awesome!

Hot Stone Massage is a unique blend of heat, relaxation,and muscle work tailored to your needs. Hot,oiled stones are glided over the body. The heat from the stones penetrates the muscles releasing tension loosening tight muscles. The movements during a Hot Stone Massage are slow and deliberate in order to induce your muscles and your mind to release and relax. The slow massage mixed with heat and aromatherapy allows your body to relax and your mind to let go. Ahh…

Melt facial tension with Hot Stone Face Massage

Aches and pains are melted away by specially trained hands. The stones are heated in water to 120 to 130 degrees in a special stone warmer. (Once the massage starts and the lid is off the water stays around 118-120) I am able to retrieve stones from the water without gloves. The stones are hot, but not so hot that I cannot hold them in my hands. After all, if I can’t hold them I won’t be able to glide them across your muscles. Safety first!

CAUTION:  May cause happiness 🙂

Q:  Why Hot Stone Massage?

A:  Improves mood
Reduces frequency of headaches
Comforts Arthritis Pain
Improved Sleep
Soothes Fibromyalgia
Eases Lower Back Pain
Provides Stress Relief
Moisturizes skin
Relieve Neck/Shoulder Pain

Even though Hot Stone Massage is extremely awesome it may not be perfect for everyone.

Q:  Why shouldn’t someone get a Hot Stone Massage?

A:   Pregnancy
Uncontrolled diabetes
Neuropathy or decreased sensation
Open Sores, wounds, rashes
People who cannot tolerate heat well
Blood Clots


Do you have any questions? I’d love to answer!

Totally Random Post

#20 of 31 posts in 31 days

Whew! This 31 posts challenge is proving to be exhilarating! And a bit worrisome. You see, I’m not a “planner” when it comes to things like writing. I can’t make of list of 10 things and then write about them a week later. I should, but I can’t. Basically I open my laptop, open up and start typing. I would NOT advise anyone else to do it this way, but it’s how I roll. So what will I talk about today?

My five-year-old participated in her 2nd gymnastics class today. She loves it! She runs and jumps and turns cartwheels. They stretch and practice back-bends and other techniques. It’s really fun to watch how much fun she’s having!

The Licensed Massage Therapist in me noticed the older group practicing round-offs and back hand springs. Can I just say, “Wow!” These girls are strong! The power in the arms, legs and core is amazing! They just flip and flop effortlessly. Some are graceful, others not so but working on it.

All I could see was muscles. The arms, especially. On the beginner’s side the coach would hold the girl up because her arms weren’t strong enough to keep her head off the ground. On the more advanced side the girls were able to flip twice with minimal spotting. It definitely takes arm strength to make that happen. And leg strength to propel her toward her arms.

Of course, my sweet child got a massage before bed tonight! I paid special attention to her arms. Her little arms aren’t quite strong enough to keep her from falling on her head. She can turn a cart-wheel, but needs help with the back bend.

I was entertained at the end of class because they had the girls run line drills. You know the kind, run to the first line and back, the second line and back, and so on and so forth. Well the girls are ages 4-10. They were running in zigzags, circles, and every direction but the right one! My girl ran as hard as she could and smiled the whole time! It must be nice to be able to run and smile the whole time!

She’s sound asleep. School and gymnastics will wear anyone out, I guess!

Ask me a question! Comment or Tracy (at) thecomfortzonemassage (dot) com

Massage. Just Because

#19 of 31 posts in 31 days

You don’t have to be in pain to get a massage, you know. You can get a massage while you’re feeling great. How’s that? I feel great so I go get a massage and feel even BETTER?! Yep. You heard it right here!

You don’t have to be in pain to get a massage.  Get a massage because it feels good! That’s a “good enough” reason. Not experiencing any of these?

Tight shoulders
Lower back pain
Trouble Sleeping
Arm pain

Massage will still benefit you even if you don’t have a “problem” to fix.

You will still get some benefits that you will love!

Soft, smooth skin
Better mood
Good night’s sleep
Loosened up muscles
A spring in your step!

I’m not going to give you load of reasons to get a massage. I’m just going to remind you how AWESOME it feels!
Psst… Massage feels AWESOME!

If you can’t remember how great getting your feet rubbed feels, I can help.

If you’re not sure which is your favorite part of the massage, the shoulders or legs, I can help.

If you don’t remember the last time you had a great, relaxing, professional, feel-good massage, I can help. My website can help. Find a service and make the time. Massage feels great!

Relieve Stress

#18 of 31 posts in 31 days

Stress relief could be a full day at the spa with a massage, facial and lunch.

~Or it could be an extra long hug from someone special.

You could spend the whole day shopping.

~Or you could stop for a full 15 minutes and sit on the porch.

Stress management could involve Facebook, internet games, chatting and sharing.

~Or an afternoon of blowing bubbles, chasing butterflies and wishing on dandelions with a 5-year-old.

Relieving stress is easy.

Some days you have time to get a Therapeutic Massage.

Other days you have to force yourself to sit down with no distractions.

Every day you should strive for a little time. Ten minutes in the tub, 15 minutes doing stuff outside, 20 minutes of conversation. You could start a gratitude journal. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write down things you are grateful for that day. No spell-check or grammar police, just thankfulness.  🙂

Everyone needs a little something to distract you from the pressures of life.

Make stress management a priority. Too much stress can make you sick, tired and cranky. Schedule regular massages. Spend time outside. Exercise. Spend time with loved ones.

Today we danced, chased bubbles, played games and watched TV. What’s your favorite way to unwind?

Fever = No Massage

#17 of 31 posts in 31 days

“I have a fever today and I feel horrible but I didn’t want to cancel my massage. Is that ok?” (Cough, cough, cough)

In a word? No. On the one hand I really appreciate everyone who keeps their massage appointments. I appreciate when someone calls to cancel an appointment a day or two in advance.

However, if you have a fever you shouldn’t get a massage. You feel awful, your head hurts, your body hurts and you *might* be contagious. You really aren’t going to enjoy your massage.  In fact, the massage could actually make you feel worse! I won’t be mad if you cancel last-minute because you are sick.

If you are sick you should stay home and take care of YOU. Rest. Watch TV. Play computer games. Sleep. If you are contagious you risk spreading your illness to me, my family, and every one that gets a massage after you. You wouldn’t want that, would you?! Of course not, you’re an awesomely nice person!

I want you to see your smiling face. I want you to feel the awesomeness of a great massage. More importantly, I want you to get better. Please, if you’re sick stay home. What might feel great during a massage when you’re well could feel horrible while you are sick.

I repeat, I will not get mad if you cancel last-minute because you are sick! I will appreciate it. And I will encourage you to get better soon. 🙂

If you’re worried I might be left with nothing to do here are a few things that might happen if you cancel because you are sick:

I will call someone who is trying to get in for a massage.

I might write a blog post.

I could organize receipts.

I will peruse Facebook.

I could eat a snack.

I will fold sheets and towels.

I will wish you “get well soon!”



#16 of 31 posts in 31 days

Maybe they are not so much confessions but a way to answer some questions that I get asked. Sometimes there are comments or questions during the session. Maybe you don’t say it out loud, but you’re thinking it.  So here it goes!

Confessions from a Massage Therapist:

I don’t really care if you forgot to shave your legs before your massage.  Seriously, I don’t even notice until you bring it up. So stop stressing about it! 🙂

I don’t think that you are rude if you don’t want to talk during your massage. I will follow your lead. If you don’t talk, I won’t talk. It’s your massage time you deserve silence if that’s what you want.

You can talk as much as you want during your massage. Some people relax more while talking. I will listen to you with open ears. I will try to keep my mouth shut. I will provide quiet support. Or we can laugh hysterically talking about reality TV and Soap Operas.  😉

If you get massage from me right now and we tend to talk and you really wish it was more quiet, tell me. PLEASE tell me.  You will NOT hurt my feelings, I am specially trained to work in near silence. We can talk later!  🙂

If you don’t tell me the pressure is too light, I probably won’t know.  Speak up! I want you to have the BEST massage experience every single time. If I need to apply more pressure let me know!

When I work on the muscles I really get into it.  My brain focuses so much and I become very focused on what my hands and the muscles are doing. Once my client even startled me because it was so quiet when she asked a question that I jumped!

Your feet are not ugly. I’ve seen bunions, crooked toes, missing toes and extra toes. And they aren’t ugly.

Your skin is fine. I’ve been a massage therapist for 9 years. I’ve seen psoriasis, eczema, moles of all shapes and sizes.

You are not too fat. I repeat: you are not too fat.

Sometimes I’m just as nervous as you might be.  I strive to do the best job I can but each person and each session is different.  I have to bring my A game every time.

I never get tired of hearing about how great someone feels after a massage.  If your neck has stopped hurting, that’s awesome!  I love it when someone tells me that the tingling in his hands has stopped.  I love to hear about the headaches that don’t come back for weeks!

I love being a massage therapist.  🙂

These confessions aren’t earth-shattering gossip, just honest thoughts from a massage therapist.

Q & A Running and Lower Back Pain

#15 of 31 posts in 31 days

Q- “Why do my hips and lower back hurt after I run?”

A- Running is a fantastic way to keep in shape. It engages the whole body, increases your heart rate and burns calories. (Yay!) My clients who run often tell me how great they feel after their regular runs.

They also tell me about their aches and pains. Running also puts strain on the body, especially the hips. Runners often complain of pain in the hip flexors. Hip flexors raise the thigh with every step you take. The most common cause for pain in these muscles is overuse.

So what are these muscles?

*Psoas Major
*Rectus Femoris

The Psoas and Iliacus are most commonly referred to as the Iliopsoas. They are located deep in the pelvic/abdominal area. They are strong muscles and get stronger with running. The Psoas originates in the lumbar region of the spine and attaches into the lesser trochanter of the femur. If these muscles are strained and pulling tight then it results  in lower back pain or pain in the pelvic area. The tighter the muscles, the harder the pull.

File:Anterior Hip Muscles 2.PNG

So what do we do?

First assess your training regimen. Are you running too much too soon? Consult a qualified trainer or running coach if you need help with this.

I work with this kind of hip pain with some massage techniques and some Active Isolated Stretching. Starting with compression, I begin by relaxing the body and the muscles. Compression is on the hips/glutes and down the back of the legs. Trigger points are next. I do address the area of and around the piriformis. I perform kneading  along the leg. I also apply friction to the IT band down the side of the leg.

Before you turn over we isolate the Iliopsoas with some AIS mentioned above. This means that you lift your leg against my resistance, hold for 3-5 seconds and relax. We do this several times with each leg. We also do this with other while face up.

Then I help you stretch your legs! This feels amazing! We talk about how you can do stretches at home. We talk about adjusting your run time. We plan your next massage session.

With a combined effort we can work to reduce the discomforts that develop from running 🙂

PS This is my first time to add an image to my blog! (woo hoo) I have no idea how to tell you how I got it.  I found it on Wikipedia 🙂

PSS If you know a way for me to properly include that on or under the picture please email me!

Sciatica is a Pain in the…

#14 of 31 posts in 31 days

Oh, my sciatica! What a pain in the…

What do we do about it? First, tell me your symptoms. Does the pain shoot down the side of your leg? Maybe your hip hurts a bit. Maybe your hip hurts so badly you limp. I see this all the time. Sciatica is a symptom of another problem. Different causes of sciatica are:

Slipped disk
Piriformis Syndrome
Pelvic injury or fracture

Basically you have pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in the leg. It may hurt in the calf and the bottom of the foot. Bottom line? It hurts!

So what DO we do? Just lie down and let me take care of it.  🙂   I’ll have you lay face down on the massage table under a nice sheet. We start with compression on your hip muscles. You see, the sciatic nerve is located deep in the pelvis. Sometimes the muscles will get really tight and aggravate the sciatic nerve. That’s when you’ll feel these symptoms.

So I push and knead one hip. The compression continues down the back of your leg in a slow, orderly rhythm. The knee gets rotated out and the knee bent. I push and pull the bent leg while pushing on the hip. While resting the leg I release three trigger points in the hip. This takes about 3-5 minutes. After the trigger points the whole leg, hip and foot gets a massage. Kneading, pushing and pulling on the larger muscles of the upper leg. I repeat the same steps on the other leg. All this takes about 30 minutes.

Kick that pain in the tush in about 30 minutes. Perfect pain relief in a short amount of time. Cost effective, time effective. I have had several people INSTANTLY feel better. Others feel relief in about 3 sessions.

What have we learned?

That pain in your leg could actually be caused by a pain in your tush.
Relief can be felt in as little as 30 minutes.

You can schedule your appointment at

PS   I still need material to write about! Any questions? Topic ideas? email me Tracy <at> thecomfortzonemassage  <dot>com or leave a comment.  🙂

The Feel-Good Lottery

-Or a practical way to set up a maintenance massage schedule-

#13 of 31 posts in 31 days

I just saw a sign that the Powerball Lottery is around 300 million dollars.  Great curse-words!   That’s a pile of moo-lah!   All my life I’ve heard people talk about what they would do if they won the lottery.  Sometimes we will buy two tickets and spend a couple of days dreaming of having all the money in the world.  🙂   It’s a long shot, but it makes for great conversations!  If I had a boat-load of money I would build a women’s health center, complete with Certified Nurse Midwives, a Cardiologist, Endocrinologist, Cancer Specialist, Dermatology, and a full service Therapy Spa.  Maybe more, maybe less, but something to meet the needs of women in my rural area. And these services would be available to lower-income women, as well.  Of course, a new house and some travelling with the family are given.  😉

I hear from people all the time, “If I won the lottery I would get a massage every day!”  Maybe you can’t get a massage every day, but it IS possible to plan for every 3 weeks, or even one every 5 weeks.  The benefits you can get from regular massage can make your body feel like it has won the “Feel-good” lottery.  Computer desk warriors have extremely tight shoulder muscles.  I work with a few who tell me that since they get regular massages (about once a month) their shoulders actually hurt less.  Instead of hurting every day all day, their shoulders may not hurt for a whole week and then gradually become sore and painful before their next appointment.  The more regular the massage the less pain in the shoulders (usually).  Lower back pain often gets better with frequent massage sessions.
Hurting less and sleeping better are two very good reasons to spend the money on regular massage.   A routine massage schedule is a fantastic way to relieve your aches and pains.  Maybe you even take fewer pain relievers.

Relaxation Massage

Massage costs money.  But money spent on improving your quality of life is like investing in yourself and your happiness.  You could even be increasing your earning potential if you are able to work  BETTER.  At The Comfort Zone Massage an hour session is$55. Setting back $10 a week yields you a massage every 5 weeks.  That is about once a month.  That is a great maintenance routine to set up for your mind and body!  Or try $10 a week for 3 weeks and get a half-hour massage every 3rd week.  Not too bad when you break it down by the week.

We can talk about your massage needs and work out  a treatment plan.  We can determine how often you want massage and how much you want to spend.

Tell me, what would you do with $300 million?