Does Size Really Matter?

This is a response to a news article from KDVR in Aurora, Colorado about a client that was turned away from getting a massage, because of her size.

Laura Smith, after training for months to complete a 1/2 marathon, scheduled a massage post-race, to recover. She was turned away because, at 6’1″ and 250 pounds, she was told that she was too large for the table.

I have a problem with this. At her size, ‘being too large’ for the table should not have been an issue. If the client would have been male, it definitely wouldn’t have been. On a quality table, the weight wouldn’t even matter. Most tables, especially portable ones, the static weight (just the client, alone)  that the table can hold is approximately 500, pounds. When I bought my table, the VERY first thing I did was to lay on my table, turn over, and roll around. I did this because if I feel comfortable on my table, at MY size, anyone on my table would feel safe doing the same thing. When I worked on my clients in Massachusetts (pic below, 2003) I was 5’9″ and 325 pounds, so even me working on my clients didn’t even worry me at all, and I was heavy handed, then. I also bought it so that if I needed to do some deep tissue work, it would do the job.

Image

Volunteer Team at the LowellWalk for Cancer Care, Lowell, MA 2003.

I make it a point to ensure that whoever is on my table feels the MOST comfortable, because this massage isn’t about me, it’s about them, and what they need to accomplish in the session. I check my table for creaks and cracks, because that is the last thing that you need to hear on my table, and worry if this table is going to hold. A nervous client doesn’t make for a great massage, and bracing every five seconds thinking that the table may not hold you will definitely not make for a great session. I would definitely NOT put you on a table that would break under your weight, and then, insult upon injury, charge you for breaking the table.

If you have any questions about anything prior to your massage session, you go ahead and ask them. If the therapist tells you anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t you DARE be afraid to ask for another therapist. I really hope that Laura goes to get that massage. Body image is already such a sensitive issue, and this shouldn’t have been a worry, for the client, much less, the therapist.  Anyone that trains and runs marathons I have the deepest respect for; That is no joke.

Image

Completing The Color Run & the Long Walk Home. April, 2011

What are you waiting for?

My husband has been away for the past couple of weeks, and will be away for Valentine’s Day, and I started to get pretty depressed at the thought of not celebrating with him. Then, my ‘single’ voice popped into my head.

“What? Are you serious? We did Valentine’s Day stuff for ourselves LONG before you were married!”

And you know what? The relationship you have with yourself, and more importantly, how YOU treat yourself is so very important. So, I’m not waiting to treat myself well for Valentine’s Day. You can’t sit and wait for others to make you happy, that’s YOUR job to do. It’s nice to have someone to do it with, but it’s not mandatory. Do things that you’ve always wanted to, but never been able to – get that massage, go to the museum or the movies, volunteer to help others, but for the LOVE of Heaven, please do something to show that YOU love YOU! It’s your first, last and best relationship.

Image

Racing to the End of the Year

I woke up this morning with “The Devil Wears Prada” on the brain…and then, I remembered – We are all on a mad dash to the end of the year – filled with hurdles & potholes! As the months roll out, there will be days with multiple events that you will *have* to attend, followed by gifts that you’ll have to get for all the parties that you’ve been invited to, and the relatives that drop by unexpectedly, that seem to stay forever. And the LINES…don’t forget the lines! Buy this, return that, ‘ I thought that I had the right receipt for this purchase’… (Yes, ‘The 12 Pains of Christmas’ is already running in my head.)

Well, Halloween was just yesterday, and I can see it, even if you don’t, and I refuse to stress this season, and I will have a great end of the year, because:

1. I will prioritize what is important, and commit to what I can. It will result in hurt feelings, but you know what? I can’t be everywhere at once and everything to everybody. I overbooked myself this month, trying to please too many people. This will have you curled up in a ball in the corner of the room, with your thumb rooted in your mouth. What will I do? I will try to get the coverage that I can for the events that I can’t make, and will send apologies for my sloppy scheduling.

2. WRITE EVENTS DOWN. I am 42 years old with a bad memory to begin with, and my ego always tells me that I’m going to remember, but the truth will tell you that you forget a majority of what you’re told an hour after it is told to you, so as my Algebra teacher Mr. Keegan would say, “Write it dooowwwn!” If you have a smartphone, set reminders and alarms, make that thing work for YOU! Give Siri a job; you paid how much for her to sit around your phone?

3. Make time for MYSELF! Why is this third on the list? Because if it was first, you wouldn’t read it! Making time yourself should always be a priority, because you can’t be your best self if you are running on fumes. I also make it a point to go to Godiva at least once a month, so I can get some great chocolate! It makes it something to look forward to, and it’s just for me.

4. Make time for FUN in my day! Do you have a Holiday playlist that you have that just makes you smile? I have parody playlist that I LOVE so A) I’m listening to what songs I like, and B) not having to hear radio play the same 10 songs for 2 months straight. It helps me have a sense of humor about everything that happens, and even with some of those relatives….you know who I’m talking about!

5. Take time to be GRATEFUL. Take time this season to appreciate all that you already have, not ‘how am I gonna get this gift from X, Y or Z…’ You’ve been blessed with a great life; it’s time that you see that, too.

Now that you’re ready to start running this race to the end of the year, recognize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and some of the foolishness you just don’t have to participate in. Have fun – I’m cheering you on! Get on your marks…get SET…GO!

Editor’s note – I want to hear how YOU are going to keep your sanity through the holidays!

Client Empowerment – Ask Those Questions!

This blog post is in response to a story that aired earlier this year on our local TV Station about a female client that was assaulted during a massage session in a Student Clinic at a local Massage School.

As a Therapist, you want your client be as comfortable as possible on the table, so the client gets the most effective massage possible. New clients who have never had a massage before aren’t the most comfortable, for good reason:

  1. They’ve never experienced it;
  2. They don’t have any idea what’s going to happen, or;
  3. They’ve heard horror stories about bad massage
    sessions, and expect that to happen to them.

Massage Therapy Clients, I want to empower you to ask questions. You should know what to expect so that you are comfortable with your therapy session. Many people just want to get to the session and not talk. If you’re not sure as to what I’m doing, ask me why!  I’ll be more than happy to explain why I’m working on you in the manner that I am, so that you understand why I’m there.

My main concern is that there are certain parts of the session where you are asking yourself, “Why are they doing that? That may be a part of the session. I don’t want to ask; they may think that I’m a prude.”

I have said this before — I don’t charge for questions, so feel free to ask questions when you need clarification about a particular treatment you are undergoing.

If you are feeling that the therapist is talking too much, or you feel that you may need to stop, say something, anything, so that you can understand what’s going on.

I strive to get you as comfortable as possible during the session so that you are able to relax, and have the best massage possible.

What questions do you have about massage? I’d LOVE to know!

Affirmations – The Power of Positive Self Talk

August 11, 2011

We spend a lot of time running a negative train of thought through our mind through self-deprecating talk. Our thoughts become what we believe – if we think negatively, our actions will fall in line with what we think. If you think that you are going to fail a test, it’s in good likelihood that you will in fact fail that test. If you tell yourself that you will always be broke, your thoughts and actions will fall into line. It’s better to spend your energies thinking positively, so that your actions will fall into line with a better, more positive way of thinking. Affirmations will help with that.

According to Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles, Affirmations (Principle 10) have 9 basic characteristics –
1. Start with the words I am.
2. Use the present tense when creating your affirmation.
3. State it in the positive. Affirm what you want, not what you don’t want.
4. Keep it brief, and more importantly, memorable. Rhyming helps!
5. Make it specific.
6. Include an action word ending with ‘-ing’
7. Include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word.
8. Make affirmations for yourself, not others.
9. Add ‘or something better’.

Example: I am excited to having all my outstanding student bills paid off by July 30, 2013.

I would also add 10. Be realistic. Making an affirmation that you are going to lose 100 pounds, and all the while you’re still eating junk food, the affirmation loses a bit of its’ strength.

Now just saying that these affirmations won’t create change without action. The thoughts are just a start. What affirmations can you create today that can have you change the way you think about how you see yourself?

P.S. Another great book to read is Change the Way You See Yourself, by Hank Wasiak. Both books are good read, not overly heady, and don’t have to be read all at once. A great website to listen to affirmations is www.MyThoughtCoach.com. There are affirmations that are varied in length, and cover a wide vaierty of subjects. You can download them on your favorite mp3 player, or play them on your computer. Check them out, and let me know what you think! Happy Thursday!