Primer Complete

The walls are primed! Whew! Primer is not easy to apply, especially when you aren’t good at DIY stuff.

Paint is purchased. It’s a muted, beautiful Medici Gray. If you want to see it, you’ll have to make an appointment for massage 🙂

The renovation and decoration will not be complete by opening day. All paint will be done, but I have a few plans for the decor. Baby steps!

I’ll be back to work tonight and will finish the first coat of paint.

Happy Monday!

Remodel, Day 2

Another hour, another step accomplished! One and 1/4 walls primed for paint. Not too bad for someone who doesn’t do DIY well.
What I’ve done:

  • Gathered paint swatches to ponder
  • Primed 1 1/4 walls
  • Got totally addicted to a podcast, “Homecoming.” It’s a psychological thriller. *
  • Learned I can only handle Kilz about an hour at a time.

* I didn’t realize there were podcasts that are shows! I LOVE it. I can imagine everything myself.

Now to decide which color paint 😉

PS I am having major trouble adding pictures to posts. Sad face.

New Room!

A new location means a new massage space. Last night I started the official remodel! I decided to chronicle this process on the blog. I’ll share with you each new thing that happens in the space upgrade.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017:

  • Painter’s tape applied.
  • Kilz, rollers, and floor covering placed in floor.
  • Ladder elegantly angled for ease of use.
  • End for the night because the Kilz lid is stuck and I’m by myself.

Confession: I have no idea what color the walls will be!

To be continued… 🙂

Taking appointments.

 

I’m Back!

Guess who is back in the massage business? ME! After 2 years home with the baby and pre-teen I am officially working again. My office has moved to T’Zers Family Hair Care in Paris, Arkansas. I’m in town 🙂

What is different:

  • Location in town
  • Paper appointment book, no online schedule
  • No automatic email reminders (but I can text you if needed)
  • No gift certificates sales
  • No Hot Stones

What is the same:

  • Prices are the same as before (here)
  • Phone number
  • Intake forms
  • table warmer
  • comfy sheets
  • privacy
  • comfort
  • music
  • aroma of your choice
  • recurring appointments available

What’s new:

  • Nourishing Face Mask and Massage using Perfectly Posh products
  • Detoxing Face Mask and Massage
  • Scrubby foot treatment with peppermint massage

I am happy to be back! See you in mid-April 🙂

Headache relief with scalp massage

The Morning Rush

I don’t know about you but mornings are HECTIC  at my house. Things start out quietly, with gentle singing to wake my 8-year-old. Once the whole house is awake, cats and all, it can feel like a riptide slowly dragging me away from shore. These rushed mornings set us up for a stressful day.

“Every minute counts!”

I say this countless times! One minute we have a whole hour to use, the next I’m running in circles getting everything ready! How does this happen? I start out with good intentions. I have a plan in my head, you know? Do this, get that, brush that, prepare this, pack those, dress them, dress myself, and the list goes on. You understand, don’t you? How can we make things a little easier?

Zzzz...
Zzzz…

Prepare a few things the night before.

What can you do the night before to make the morning flow easier?

  • Set out clothes
  • Pack backpacks/folders
  • Sign any notes/teacher correspondence
  • Make sure coats, hats, gloves, shoes, belts are easy to find
  • Know what’s for breakfast
  • Pack part of lunch
  • Go to bed

Can anything help the morning rush?

  • Print a list of what your child needs to do
  • Try to go in order to create a routine rather than a rush
  • Get yourself up 15-30 minutes earlier to gather your thoughts, have caffeine, and mentally prepare (I know, I said earlier, but it might help)
  • Play your kid’s favorite music for some lighthearted motivation
  • Do NOT turn on the TV
  • If you yell a lot try saying what you yell in a singing voice. It’s still loud but not as harsh. Easier on your body, easier on your kid’s body.

You’ll come together as a team with jobs to do. You will still need to move swiftly, but maybe with a little preparation and delegation things won’t be so scattered.

Once everyone and everything is dropped off or taken where they need to be do these important things:

  • Take a deep breath. You did it.
  • Let the morning go. Let it go. Even if it was a stressful, crazy race to car, let it go. It’s over. You succeeded!

Maybe our mornings could go just a tad bit smoother! And if not, we need to stop dwelling on it the rest of the day. After all, if everyone is where they need to be we succeeded!

It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week!

February 9 starts International Random Acts of Kindness Week. Their website is packed with great ideas on how to celebrate, and I especially love the approach of committing a random act of kindness for three different people:

  • Someone you don’t know
  • Someone you know
  • Yourself

 

Someone you don’t know

This is pretty simple and can quickly become a habit. (That’s a good thing!)

Smile! When you’re in a depressingly long line at the bank, watching a parent deal with their toddler’s public meltdown, or sitting next to another car in traffic. A kind grin goes a long way when you’re feeling a bit hopeless about the daily hassles in life. Trust me, the parent will be grateful for the encouragement! Another person to show kindness would be the cashier at the grocery store. He/She has probably heard more complaints and seen more frowns today than the average person. Smiles are contagious, spread them around 🙂

 

Someone you know

Take a moment to think about who in your life may be a little touch-deficient. Maybe you know someone who is recently widowed, a single parent with older children, or a new empty-nester. Maybe even a young teenager in an especially introverted stage of awkwardness.

Write a little note to the people you live with. My 8-year-old LOVES to receive messages from us. You don’t need to fill a legal pad with a bunch of words. Grab a stack of post-it notes and write a few words. Draw a smiley face. Color in a heart. Place them where your kids, spouse, mom/dad, friend, co-worker, mail delivery person, nurse, boss, employee, (the list is endless) can see them. Make someone’s day.

Make it a point to touch someone. It could be a warm hand shake, high-five, or great hug, whatever is appropriate for that person and situation. Touch is shown to make us happier and healthier, and it benefits both you and the receiver!

Yourself

People depend on you, so it’s important to take care of yourself. If you’ve only got a few minutes, steal away and flip through a great magazine. If you can set aside some more time, get a massage, go for a walk by yourself to recharge, or window shop on the square. Play music during your shower as you get ready for the day. Music makes us happy. It’s a great way to start out.

Kindness doesn’t have to cost you anything, and it doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. A little goes a long way!

Laughter (a poem)

Laughter seeps through the walls

intermittently sliding ‘neath the door,

Serenading the unheard story

unraveling in a distant room.

Laughter caps the ocean wave sounds

blending with soft music

as quiet breaths rise and fall inside

an envelope of sheets and blankets and warmth.

Laughter quietly accentuates

it does not interrupt.

An audible smile is catching,

Contagiously flowing from room to room.

Laughter seeps through the walls,

intermittently sliding ‘neath the door,

So quiet some moments,

bursting through at others.

Laughter never ruins the hour,

contagiously flowing from room to room,

Melding with the music,

blending beautifully into the background.

Laughter seeps through the walls …

An Open Letter to My Massage Clients

I have been a Licensed Massage Therapist for almost 12 years. 12 years, y’all! It’s gone by so fast! Some days I feel like a seasoned veteran of my profession while other days I feel as if I know nothing and never did. Something I love about massage therapy is that there is ALWAYS something to learn, read about, analyze or evaluate. Ethics and client relationships are two of the most important things to me. Lots of folks think studying ethics after a decade is pointless. I beg to differ. How we communicate to clients is a huge ethical priority, I’ve failed numerous times. But I strive to do better, to be better.

This brings me to my letter to you, my Important Client.

Dear Client,

If you’ve gotten massages through the years from different people you’ve heard many things said to you about your body.  Comments may have been funny, sweet, even complimentary. A few words may have been wrong, hurtful, or confusing.  (Unintentionally, usually) You ask questions about this knot or that tightness. You’ve been answered with varying degrees of medical jargon, science-y words, made up words, guesses, and well-intended blaming.

In the beginning of my career I admit to doing this to clients. Speaking out of turn, incorrectly about a body. The truth is some of what you ask we don’t know. Or *I* don’t know and am willing to admit it. The following are things I no longer say, words that no massage therapist should be saying to you.

OMG, your shoulders are SO tight!

I’ve stopped pointing out “tightness” or “knots.” It draws attention to a perceived flaw. You are not flawed. You are you. Your body has aches and pains and those may or may not have anything to do with “tightness.” Incidentally, many of what I once considered muscle knots are actually muscle attachments. Sometimes when muscles attach to a bone we feel a lump or knot. That kind of knot isn’t going to be rubbed away.  Exclaiming words like these is dramatic and serves no purpose. Besides, it may make you feel badly about yourself. I want no part of that. 

What did you do to yourself? I’ve never felt shoulders this bad!

The first sentence lays blame onto you. Then you might begin thinking “if I’d only not do this” or “If I wasn’t so ___ I wouldn’t hurt all the time.” Our bodies develop pain or discomfort for any number of reasons. I cannot determine why a muscle hurts.  Sure, repetitive motion injuries exist and, yes, we can often assume extended computer work causes shoulder pain. But I’m only assuming. And I should really keep my mouth shut about the “why” and concentrate on the “make it feel better.” If you have questions about doing certain things which may cause pain we will have a conversation about movement and changing positions.  That’s all, though.  Client blaming/shaming isn’t my thing. My words do not need to give you a complex. Negative words such as these could have a nocebo affect making you feel pain you didn’t feel before. Nope, your massage experience should be positive. Accusations such as this only cause insecurity and guilt. You aren’t guilty of anything, you’re simply in pain seeking help.

 

You should always/You should never …

It’s not my place to tell you what to do with your body, especially if you don’t ask.  If you ask about ways to reduce certain pain we’ll have a discussion. I’ll ask questions and we’ll talk about different ways to try things. I don’t always have the answer. And it isn’t always “your fault” you are in pain. Again, these statements lay blame where no blame exists.

 

You should try this weight-loss product

No. Nope. Never.  If I fill my retail shelves with weight-loss items then try to peddle them to all my clients I’m breaking all kinds of ethical rules. I would never intentionally insinuate any of you should lose weight. It is NONE of my business. Asking you to buy something like that would likely hurt your feelings and cause you emotional distress. I WILL NEVER, EVER PUT YOU IN THAT SITUATION.

I care about your whole person: muscles and bones, nerves, brain, heart, spirit and soul. I promise to try my best to build you up, never lay blame, and never cause shame. I have created a safe place for you. You are always welcome here 🙂

Sincerely,

Tracy Bradley, LMT

The 60 Minute Massage

The 60 Minute Massage is, by far, the most popular service I offer. People choose an hour for a variety of reasons. Budget, schedule, physical needs, etc. Why an hour? I had a big post planned out to talk about money, schedules, and such but I scrapped it just now. Talking about why we *can’t* get massage isn’t as fun as talking about we *should* get a massage.

IMG_0414

Why is a 60 minute massage right for you?

Sixty minutes of massage therapy allows time to address most of your body. Many of us have aches and pains in more places than we don’t. Devoting a whole hour to a session gives me enough time to apply massage techniques to most large areas of your body. Thirty minutes is great in a pinch. I can really work over your shoulders in that time.

What about the rest of your body?

During the 60 minutes I have time to massage your feet. That’s right, your feet. Hot towels and foot massage help to decompress your mind and get your body to relax. Plus, it feels dang good.

Included in the hour treatment is significant time for hot compresses on your back/shoulders. Just when you think “it doesn’t get better than this!” I sneak over a couple of hot towels to rest on your shoulders. And then I cover them with a big dry towel so they don’t get cold quickly. This seems to be the point of almost total relaxation. Ahhhhh …

If you schedule an hour massage we have time to work on your lower back, too. Upper back, lower back, middle back. All of the back. I have so many clients who deal with different back problems. Having an hour to slow down and focus on these areas is a good thing.

Hands. Oh, let’s talk about hand massage. You don’t even remember it’s your favorite part until I start kneading your palms. My goodness, the tension that’s present in the hands in fingers! Time for a hand/finger massage is time well spent.

There is enough time for a scalp/face/neck massage in an hour session. This is typically toward the end of the massage. When my hands begin to caress your scalp the rest of your body releases the last bit of tension it’s been holding. Getting your face massaged is magnificent. It’s the icing on the cake of an already fantastic massage session.

Sometimes 30 minutes is all you have. I’ll do my very best to make the most of those minutes and help your body. But, when you have time I recommend trying a full hour massage.  You get 60 minutes devoted to your whole back, each leg, both feet, arms, two hands, neck, scalp, and face.

When would you like to try a 60 minute massage?

 

5 Things Massage Can Help You With Right Now

You know I think massage is awesome, right? Here are five things massage therapy can help you with right now. Do you only get massage on special occasions? Check these out, you may find you need to come in sooner:

1. Headaches

Muscle tension headaches can make you feel like your head is going to explode or your eyeballs pop out. Put some heat on your neck and call for a massage appointment. Hot packs and slow, steady massage of the neck, shoulder, scalp, and face muscles will gently ease the pounding between your ears.

anxiety_amp2014 (1)

2. Dry Skin

Winter air is dry. I know this because I shock the crap out of myself every time I touch something. Pop! The harsh air dries out your skin causing itchiness. Not fun. I use a pure massage oil with no preservatives or parabens. Your skin will LOVE getting rubbed down with an all natural oil. You get your muscles massaged AND your skin nourished. Win-win.

3. SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder

Recent research suggests that regular massage therapy could lessen the severity of depression symptoms. Yep, good, dependable research discovered that. That’s probably one of the most awesome benefits of massage therapy I can talk about. SAD tends to occur in the darker winter months. It’s often too cold to go out. It gets dark early and stays dark longer. That sets a person up to get lonely or sad. Schedule regular massages this winter. My room is warm, I have a table warmer, blankets, and hot towels. Added bonus: Our smiles are warm and welcoming 🙂

4. Lower Back Pain

In 2011 a major research study was published showing that massage therapy was better than drugs and usual care for general lower back pain. Better than drugs. I just had to say that twice.

Headache relief with scalp massage
Headache relief with scalp massage

5. Irritability

Have you ever been so cranky you got on your own nerves? Yeah, me, too. It isn’t fun. When you feel yourself biting everyone’s head off when they ask you a question it might be time for stress reliever. I happen to know massage a fabulous stress reliever. You get to shut off all the annoying things when you shut the massage room door and lie down on the table. Music, silence, lavender, warmth, massage. All the cranky disappears.

If you needed a good reason to schedule a massage now you have 5! (follow the link, click the “schedule massage” button.)