Monday, August 7, 2017

Why I Take My Own Self Care Seriously

I want to share my own personal story and perceptions about self care and how it impacts everyone's lives that we touch. I firmly believe that when we are emotionally triggered, feeling snarky,etc., that something or someone is acting as a mirror to show us what is really going on inside of us. That can be scary for some people. It's not an easy pill to swallow. Like attracts like, even if we think the person or experience is projecting the opposite of what we think we would do.

I grew up the youngest of four kids. My two older sisters and I share the same biological parents. My step Mom adopted my brother when she was married to her second husband. My Dad was her third husband. When my step Mom and Dad first got together, us three girls lived with our biological mother. Her name is Deb. Deb called my Dad one day ready to send us to social services. My Dad was going to let her, as he didn't feel adequate to care for our needs, either. My step Mom, or my Mom as I call her, stepped in and said she would take care of us. She didn't want us separated or worse yet, on the streets. Wow!!! What a sacrifice! My sisters were 4 and 5 years old at the time. I was 6 months old.

The sacrifices that my Mom made for us did not stop there. It was non stop. Everything we ever needed was provided, at the expense of Mom and Dad going without. There was no other choice that could have been made and nothing anyone could do about it. The sacrifices were beyond just basic necessity. My Mom and her side of the family have very high standards. My Mom is a perfectionist. When we went to the lake, burgers on the grill on paper plates wasn't good enough. It was steak with real dishes and silverware. Sounds great, right? OMG, those standards were the most stressful part of childhood for me. When Mom went through that kind of trouble, being around her was like walking on eggshells. She was constantly upset, angry and yelling at us the whole time. This was also what every holiday she ever hosted was like. Going to potlucks meant bringing enough food from one family to feed an army. She told us that's what people with class do and that too many other people were bringing one small dish just enough to feed 3 people were coming. She was worried about shortage of food. Is it any wonder why going home for the holidays or just visits are something I would rather avoid?

The other families who did not put as much pressure on themselves were having fun and their Mom's super cool and relaxed. Everyone was jealous of our meals. We were jealous of the peace and harmony in their families. Observing our parents and their choices certainly shapes who we are. My take away from my upbringing is that putting other people's needs above your own can manifest in ways that actually hurt the people you are trying to help. When we are not whole, everyone around us knows it. This is not meant to judge my upbringing. It is only meant as an observation of my upbringing. 

I notice similar types of interactions with other people in general. One example is therapists and other body workers putting their clients needs above their own by not scheduling appointments for themselves with other professionals or cancelling on them when a client wants the same day and time. When I get worked on by these same professionals, they are tired and express hoping their next client won't show up. What? When I used to work out of a massage franchise, the break room was filled with constant negativity of listening to the other therapists complain about which clients they didn't like and who they wish would stop requesting them. Yep, you heard that right. When you work for someone else other than yourself, you don't get to make any of your own decisions and this type of negativity is the result. This has actually been my experience at every multi therapist practice I have been at, whether or was a massage franchise or a privately owned massage practice. If you are being worked on by a therapist who works for someone else other than themselves, you risk being worked on by someone who may wish that they didn't have to work on you at all. 

The point that I am making with this post, are my perceptions and observations about why I make the self care choices for myself that I do. I screen all potential new clients to determine whether or not we are a right fit to be working together. I think this is the level of service that potential clients deserve and it's the fair and right thing to do. I offer a unique style of body work that is not a massage and gets better long term chronic pain relief results. You appreciate knowing what your getting is advance and what to expect. I was not allowed to be unique at the other massage places that I worked out of. They do not like that. 

The reason I work on myself and get worked on by other professionals is so that I can be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. I really can't do that without putting my own needs first. Everyone deserves me at my best. If you are particularly moody, you might be an empath. This is something to watch out for. Are you taking stuff out of other people who haven't done anything wrong? Are other people taking their stuff out on you when you haven't done anything wrong? This is a result of not cleaning up your own "laundry". How many piles of dirty "laundry" do you have hanging around. 

Back to my family. Many of them have serious major medical problems. I do not. While there are numerous reasons for illness and I am not placing blame. Even self care junkies may have some major medical issues they were born with. My point is, that self care can have big rewards in the long run. The are two kinds of people out there. Those who only see what is in front of them and then the big picture people. I am the big picture type who knows that all of the money that I am spending on body work services, chiropractic appointments, special supplements, exercise DVDs, fitness equipment,etc., is significantly less than what my family is spending on their health, even with good insurance. Any time and money I don't put toward my well being now, could lead to an inevitable trip to the hospital. 

Do what is right and realistic for yourself. Is there something you always do yourself that you can delegate? What are you comfortable delegating and what would you rather handle yourself? When I used to go to networking groups, several people who work on websites and print for a living wanted to work with me, but I am a control freak who doesn't want other people touching my stuff, but I am willing to take suggestions and apply them. Take on honest assessment of what is right and realistic for you. Not what other people think is right for you. But what you know is right for you.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

How To Know When Your Pain May Have Non-Physical Roots

I am going to give you my cheat sheet that I use when speaking with potential new clients.  This cheat sheet is how I decide where to start them off in their first session with me.  This is how I determine whether or not to start them off with energy work in my Columbus pain relief practice, before doing any physical manual therapy with them.  I ask them their full history.  Not just their physical symptoms, diagnoses, etc., but I also ask them what else was going on in their lives when the pain first started, when the injury first occurred, etc.  And yes, there is usually something, whether anything comes to mind right away or not.

How I suspect non physical aspects of pain:

-When they say they have tried everything and nothing works

-When they schedule their appointment with me and then immediately have a serious injury right afterward, causing them to have to reschedule for a later date.

-When they walk out of my office feeling great and then immediately re injure themselves

-When they are obsessed with certain life events, to the point that it comes up in every conversation

-When current life events prevent them from coming up with the time and money to do self care or get professional help (being "too busy")

-When they are gifted with the tools and resources, but keep forgetting those tools and resources are sitting right on their bedside table

-When they are easily triggered to the point of resistance by what other people have to say

-When they are only willing to see one therapist and will not consider combining therapies (emotional attachment to your favorite therapist is a real thing and will hold you back 100% of the time)

-When they have their mind made up that they are only going to see a new therapist once and this decision is made before they pick up the phone to call that new therapist (these people are the de-bunkers who feel coerced to make the appointment by a friend or family member and want to prove that nothing works for them)

-Secondary gains, such as going back to a job they hate once they recover, etc.

How to know when someone is ready to look into their non physical components of their pain:

-They are open to everything and anything in regard to different treatments and therapists

-They are focused on symptom resolution, rather than what the technique or modality is (they don't care whether it's myofascial release, trigger point therapy, reiki, basket weaving 101, etc.)

-They trust the professional to decide what techniques, modalities and treatments that they need (someone who found me online because they searched "neurokinetic therapy" didn't care that they ended up getting craniosacral therapy instead)

-They are not easily triggered by what other people have to say and appreciate all of the help and insights that they receive

-They are never "too busy" for self care or professional help.  They make it a priority.  (If you are another body worker, you make sure you pencil in "you time" and don't schedule your own clients during your "you time" even if they ask for that day and time)

-They understand that the important people in their lives deserve them at their best and they also understand how the important people in their lives are affected when they are not at their best

These lists are compiled from my own years of experience and observations.  You may have more that you would like to add, based on your own experiences and observations as well.

So, what do we do about these non physical aspects of pain, you ask?  I am going to keep the it very simple by recommending my number one favorite resource.  It is a tapping book.  The difference between tapping on your own from home and doing it with a professional is that the professional will help you find stuff that all of the self care in the world will not.  This book is great and best to use in conjunction with working with a professional.  The more self work you do in between appointments, the further you progress with the professional and the less appointments with them that you need, saving you some serious $$$$$$. This not not counseling or psychotherapy. The purpose of tapping for pain relief is to remove any obstacles getting in your way.

This book took care of excruciating pain and burning inflammation that I had in my shoulder for over a decade.  I also recently facilitated a session with a client who had the same thing going on in her hips and groin area for over a decade, and the pain and inflammation were gone before getting her onto the table to do some manual therapy.  I believe in this book so much, that I keep a stock at my office to gift to clients in need. My goal for this post, is to empower you, whether you are a client of mine or not.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Do You Notice Shoulder Pain After Hiking?

Do you notice shoulder pain after hiking?  Do you hold any objects in your hands such as a water bottle while you are hiking?  This can prevent your body from the proper arm swing.  Typically in gait, the right arm should swing when we step forward with the left leg and the left arm should swing when we step forward with the right leg.  When this doesn't happen, it creates imbalance in the body.  When we walk, run or jog, the arms need to be free to move.

Whenever I have gone hiking with a water bottle in my hand, I would end up with shoulder pain after my hike, even though I changed which hand that I carried the water bottle in throughout the hike.  I only noticed the correlation through trial and error.  Whenever I remember to bring my water bottle holster, my shoulder didn't hurt afterward.  The arms do not like to be stagnant during movement.  Unnatural movement of the body or forcing an area of the body to stay stagnate when it should move creates compensation patterns throughout the body that can create more pain and dysfunction in other areas of the body not related to the shoulder area at all.  One common area are the hips.  When you go for walks or hikes, do you notice the hips not feeling lined up with each other?  Pay attention, because this can lead to no longer being able to hike anymore of not addressed right away.  One thing that I do like about long walks and hikes, is if my hips do feel unbalanced at the beginning, they usually balanced toward the end.  Long walks and hikes for me usually make my hips feel like they have been adjusted.

For a long hike in the woods, I like to have a fanny pack, for essentials such as keys, phone and driver's license, and a water bottle holster for my water bottle to hang off of my hip.  Some fanny packs come attached to a water bottle holster.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Garden Injury Prevention

Every spring, summer and fall and see an influx of garden injuries in my Columbus pain relief clinic.  Much if what I see is preventable. One of the main reasons I see them, is because of bending over from a standing position.  This can be problematic, especially if you have large gardens and plant a lot of vegetables.  Even with small flower gardens, this can still aggravate the back, no matter what your lifestyle is like.  You cannot out exercise bad body mechanics.  With that being said, proper body mechanics alone are not always enough, so lifestyle is important in addition to proper body mechanics.

One way to address the lifestyle issue is this.  I am not a fitness expert and am not passing this off as advice, only stating what I do.  Certain things I have noticed about my body through trial and error.  I do my best with a strong core and loose hips.  I workout regularly and I have noticed that the more I sweat through working out, the less heat sensitive I am overall, so I am less affected by the heat during outdoor activities such as gardening, hiking, etc.  I still have to be safe about it.  My exercise routine is a little shorter in the summer time, despite having air conditioning, since that is what is safe for my body.  Safety first, always.  In order to keep my hips loose, I like the gentle styles of yoga that include a lot of deep hip stretches.  I feel like that helps to counter how tight they get during cardio and strength training.

Now, on to body mechanics.  Bending over from a standing position while gardening is a recipe for disaster and can injure your back.  I always recommend that clients get a stool for kneeling and sitting.  I like the kind that offers both options and has sleeves in it to hold your garden tools.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Do You See Your Therapist As Healer Or Facilitator?

This is a very important question to ask yourself. Seeing your therapist as a healer gives away your power to your therapist. Seeing your therapist as a facilitator empowers you. One of my mottos in my own Columbus pain relief practice is 10% of your progress is what happens while you are at my office. The other 90% is the lifestyle choices that you are making in between your appointments with me. In other words, we do NOT "fix" anybody. We facilitate the process, but you fix yourself. I share a lot of affiliated Amazon product links to self care products and books on my website, blog and Facebook page to empower YOU, regardless of whether you are a client of mine or not.

There are two types of people who look for help with their pain. 

Those who see us as facilitators:

-Have realistic expectations

-Understand their role with self care in between appointments

-Show up to appointments without expectations and remain open to possibility

-They focus on symptom resolution, NOT the technique or modality, meaning they are open to everything and anything and will allow the facilitator to do whatever they think is necessary to help them on their pain relief journey

Those who see us as healers:

-Expect us to "fix" them

-Expect to be completely cured after only one session

-Do not want to participate in lifestyle changes that would improve treatment outcome

-Tell the therapist which of their techniques and modalities they can and cannot use on them. Sorry, folks, you will NOT get results with this mindset!

-Expect guarantees.

-Expect the therapist to know ahead of time which techniques they need. This can change moment to moment based on how you take to treatment.

I will give some examples:

I had a phone call from another therapist last week who wanted 100% guarantee that I could "fix" her and feels that anyone who cannot "fix" 100% of the population should not be licensed.

I had a woman calling about Neurokinetic therapy for her husband. Whenever someone calls me about one specific modality, I make sure that they understand that I combine modalities and techniques for symptom resolution and that I cannot guarantee that the specific modality they are requesting in necessarily what they are going to get or how much of it they are going to get. He wasn't open to my other modalities, so I kindly declined him as a client, knowing that he would not get desired symptom resolution.

I also had a lady with major jaw issues express her disappointment over starting out the session with tapping because she expected bodywork.

Here is how to get the most out of your wellness sessions with a therapist:

-Show up with zero expectations. It is a process.

-Allow the therapist to come up with your treatment plan by being open to everything and anything. If the therapist has tried a treatment or modality on you in the past that clearly does not work for you, that is when it is appropriate to speak up and say so. If you are new and haven't tried it before, then hear them out.

-Be prepared to do whatever it takes in between sessions to get better, even it that means turning your lifestyle completely upside down. Nothing moves forward without change.

-Make sure your therapist knows your entire history, not matter how insignificant you think that is it. I had two clients who had dysfunction in their hip coming from their eyes. I would not have thought to check them for that particular dysfunction if they had not told me they had been to the eye doctor earlier that day. They are both elderly. One of them told me that the older you get, the longer and more invasive an eye exam can be.

Make sure you have read their website before scheduling. We all work on pain in a different way. It is always best to speak directly to a therapist you have never been to before, even if they have online scheduling. DO NOT schedule a session online with a new therapist you have never been to before. Make sure they treat what you are seeing them for.  Massage  therapy has a very limited scope of practice. I have had people on occasion call me about conditions  that sounded serious enough for an orthopedic surgeon consult. I saved them the time and money by not scheduling them in the first place. Massage therapists do not treat acute injuries. That is out of our scope of practice.

-Only schedule appointments for yourself. Do NOT schedule a session via third party for a family member or friend for many of the reasons stated above. Those who are vested enough to schedule their own appointments are more likely to do the self care. If you have to schedule it for them, they are not vested enough to want the session. I always speak directly to the person that the appointment is for, in order to make sure we are on the same page and that they resonate with what I do.

Everyone that I treat in my office sees me as a facilitator. I speak with all new clients ahead of time in order to determine if it's a right match. I think I confuse people when I ask them questions, even after that have said they are ready to schedule an appointment. I get it. Most therapists only care about their pocket books and do not do this. But I do, so expect it 😃

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Is All Of Your Pain Really Yours? Maybe Not!

The layers that can cause us to feel pain in our physical bodies are many.  We all know that stress is a big one.  But what about other people's stress?  Do you notice feeling what is going on with other people as if it's your own?  Do you ever hear someone go on about their back pain, just for your back to start hurting after the conversation?  We live in a very linear culture that would try to lead you to believe that this is your imagination.  It is not your imagination.  Do you feel yourself feeling peaceful and calm during a traffic jam one minute, just to feel angry about it the very next minute?  That would be because it may not be your anger.  You might be feeling what is going on with the other drivers near you.

Do you feel energetic and chipper at home and then the second you are around people, you immediately feel drained?  This may not have anything to do with your physical health.  You might be an empath.  Some examples on how this can affect pain are numerous.  I will give examples that clients have shared with me:

-Being worried that once stress and pain in one area of the body leaves, where else in the body will it end up.

-I have tried everything from rocks, crystals and shields, and it only works for about 3 weeks and then stops working.

-Seeking a therapy treatment, feeling amazing afterward, just to feel bad once being around someone who mentions being in pain, e.g. I felt great after being worked on by you, then when I got into a conversation with someone who said their shoulder hurt, my shoulder really started to hurt and now I can barely exercise.

In my last blog post, I had recommended a book called, "Enlightenment Unveiled" by Jen Ward for those who stay stuck in their story about their pain and wish to move forward.  I follow Jen on Facebook and one thing that she emphasizes over and over again, is to never burden your friends and family with your problems.  It not only adds energy to the problem, but if the person happens to be an empath, then they just took on what you burdened them with.  Do you ever feel lousy after talking to a particularly negative person who seems like they always want something to complain about, and so you find yourself planning escape routes or trying to avoid them all together?  Then you might be an empath.

Those of you are are already familiar with being an empath, you may already know about rocks, crystals, shields, cleansing, etc.  It has been my personal experience and experience of clients that these things eventually stop working.  I was worked on by another energy worker who gave me her explanation as to why this is.  She said that on a Law of Attraction scale, we use these things out of fear and therefore attract more fear with the intention of needing to protect ourselves.  So, where do we go from here, you ask?  I also commonly hear that once an empath, that's just how it is and you always take on other people's stuff.  As an empath myself, I can tell you that there is more than one way of doing anything.  I am going to share a link to the book that helped myself and my clients gain control of this once as for all.

This book was written by a friend of mine, Sonia Gracescott.  The book is short, the exercises are stupidly simple and not at all what is normally discussed for taking control of your energy.  This book is why I rarely need to smudge my office anymore, but I will still do it if I know I have someone coming in who is particularly sensitive.  When attending Sonia's workshop, she stated that needing to carry around rocks and crystals means that you are not in control of your energy, but also does not recommend going cold turkey by immediately eliminating them, either.  Sonia also stated that she can now to to the grocery store and have enough control of her energy to make people want to back away from her.

Here is the link to her book:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Do You Consider Yourself A "Hot Mess"? Have You Tried Everything For Your Pain, But Nothing Works?

More than likely, you might be staying stuck in your story.  Not sure what I mean by that?  How many of us believe that we are in a situation that we are unable to change either because that is how it always is or because someone else told us so.  Were you diagnosed with a medical condition and told it is permanent and would never go away?  Were you worked on by an energy worker who gave you way too many insights into what they saw and you adopted what they said as "truth"? I can't tell you how many times I see these two types of truth in my clinical practice.  Clients will say, "This how it hip will always be out of alignment, because this is how I was born" or "This is always a pattern because my reiki master saw it in a past life".  The only thing that both of these beliefs are guaranteed to do is keep you stuck in whatever you believe.

My suggestion for getting unstuck is not a guarantee of a diagnosis reversal, but it will get you moving forward, rather than backward.  In order for this to work, you have to be willing to work on yourself.  I have always believed that the most precious gift we can give anyone, is to work on ourselves.  Ever feel a shift in your mood before a massage vs. after or before a yoga class vs. after?  Our loved ones deserve us at our best.

When I see clients stuck in their pain, running the same story over and over again in every session or using phrases such as "yes, but", "I'm a hot mess" or "I have tried everything for my pain and nothing works", I know they are stuck in their story.  Do not put self blame on yourself for this.  It is not as simple as being consciously aware of it and just deciding you are not going to do it anymore.    It takes self work.

This book has a lot of tapping on just about every single topic that I can possibly think of.  The topics are very deep and of the metaphysical nature:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Reintregation For Healing and Moving Forward

Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you try or how hard you work, it is never enough?  Do you feel stagnant and blame yourself and beat yourself up for being "lazy"?  Do you feel like no matter how many treatments or therapists that you try, nothing works?  This is all more common than you think.  There can be any number of reasons for feeling stuck.

That was my story for many years while trying to find stuff that worked for the pain and injuries that I had.  Everything would work temporarily and then get worse.  I really beat myself up thinking it was something that I was doing.  I thought that I wasn't taking care of myself enough.  But the truth was, I booked the amount of sessions recommended and applied all of the self care advice that I was given.  I made it my personal goal to need to go less often, but ended up going more.  I am all for getting the amount of therapy that you need.  But I am not about unhealthy attachments of not moving forward and that is exactly what it felt like I was doing.  I have used numerous self care tools over the years in addition to mixing it up and seeing many professionals for different therapies.

The manual physical therapies were great for immediate pain relief.  But the relief never lasted.  I got the most benefit from modalities that went even deeper than the physical layer such as reiki, EFT (Tapping), meditation, etc.  Because the truth is, if you have unexplained pain, been to numerous therapists and nothing worked, that is NOT a coincidence.  In my own clinical practice, I love the challenge of cracking these difficult cases.  When someone has a history of unexplained pain and they have already tried everything else, I do NOT start them off with the physical manual therapies.  If I did, I would be financially taking advantage of them.   We start out with possible non physical layers FIRST.

I have been meditating to a CD lately that has helped me out so much, that it is too good NOT to share.  If you have ever heard of "soul retrieval", that is exactly what this CD does.  It regresses you to times in your life that were traumatic enough to make you want to "flee" and brings that fragmented part of yourself back.  When we lose parts of ourselves, it can prevent us from making forward strides in any area of our lives.  When I do this CD, I get clarity, new realizations and a sense of joy.  Most importantly, it is giving me my innocence back.  I was getting worried because I was becoming extremely ornery at only 44 years old.  It is my opinion that the older we get, the more we develop preconceived notions that if something always had the same result in the past, then it always will in the future as well.  We lose that fun sense of wonder.  I am going to list an Amazon link to the CD that I have been meditating to.  If the topic of looking into non physical components of pain resonates with you, check out my last blog post as well titled, "Self Care For Removing Energy Blockages".  I recommended a book in that blog post whose techniques I use almost everyday.  The techniques in that book are quick.  I left an Amazon link to the book in that blog post.  I will only mention one product per blog post, so not to overwhelm you, but feel free to read earlier blogs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Self Care For Removing Energy Blockages

There is a lot that I do for myself in regard to self care.  I am only going to mention one self care tool per blog post, so not to overwhelm you with too much information at one time.  One particular technique that I use a lot throughout my day because it can be very fast and simple once you get the hang of it.  Like anything else new you learn, it may take some getting used to at first.  I am talking about what I learned in the book, "The Emotion Code" by Dr. Bradley Nelson.  I won't spoil the book for you, but I will provide an amazon link that takes you directly to the book.

I want to mention the creative ways in which I have used the techniques in the book.  The only limit is your imagination.  The Emotion Code can be used on any topic that you want, from knee pain, back pain, migraines, headaches, anger, fear, doubt, you name it.

I went on a weekend retreat recently to a spiritualist camp in Indiana called, "Camp Chesterfield".  Camp Chesterfield has many amazing mediums who live in cottages on the grounds.  The first weekend of every month, they have a psychic fair.  I sat for 10 minutes with an amazing medium who writes down important things from the reading.  She told me that if I did not remember anything else from her reading, to remember 3 important things that she wrote down for me.  Well, this self care junkie kept her list.  I have been using different techniques to work with these 3 things that she wrote down for me, but the Emotion Code is the one I used the most.  Within one single breath of using the techniques from this book, I would feel an immediate difference in perspective.  If something is bothering me to the point of being on my mind a lot, I would use the techniques in this book and within one breath, feel an immediate difference in my perspective on what was on my mind.  I would either see it differently, or never think of it again.  How many of you dwell on stuff that happened in the past, or worry that something will turn out bad, just for everything to be fine?  We all do it.  It's human nature.  For the longest time, it made me feel imprisoned because I didn't know what to do about it.  This book is one of many self care tools that I have been using to no longer feel imprisoned.  What does this have to do with pain and injuries, you ask me?  Oh, you would be surprised where you might feel the shifts in your body while using the amazing tools set out before you in this book.

Monday, July 10, 2017

What I Do For Relaxation

I talk enough about self care.  I want to change modes to relaxation.  The truth about self care is, it IS important.  However, it is also possible to obsess about it to the point of setting yourself back.  I am talking about the stress part of it.  If you are worried about outcome, then you may not be satisfied with the results, no matter how far you have come.  I have to remind clients all the time how far they have come, because they sometimes forget.  I am also speaking from personal experience as well.  I used to beat myself up, thought I wasn't taking good enough care of myself, etc.  and the stress made the pain and injuries WORSE!!!  So yes, do the self care with an open heart and open mind.  Set aside the expectations on where you think you should be on your journey.  Everyone's journey is too different to compare.  Celebrate what you can do, that you did not used to be able to do before.

Alright, enough of that.  Sometimes, the most therapeutic thing you can is unwind.  One of the things that I like to do is meditate while doing a full body scan.  I look for energy blockages, old memories, etc. that no longer serve me.  I just did this last night with my hip that frequently becomes unstable and needs repeated treatments.  I released a huge energy there and woke up today feeling more stable than I have in a long time.  There are times when NOT overthinking something gets the job done.

One of my favorite ways of shutting off monkey mind is gentle relaxation yoga.  My favorite yoga DVD that does that and always puts me to sleep 100% of the time is Candlelight Yoga:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

How To Stay On Track While Traveling

On the eve of my first travels for the summer, I want to pass along tips on how to stay on track while you are traveling.  This is stuff that I do as well as tips that I pass along to clients while they are in my office.  As we all know, exercising has benefits that far surpass weight loss and weight maintenance.  The reason that I am anal about keeping a routine on the road has nothing to do with weight.  It is my therapy mentally, emotionally and physically.  It keeps me out of pain and helps me stay properly aligned.  These tips may not necessarily be right for everyone, depending on their circumstances.  My hope for you by writing this blog, in to inspire you to figure out what does work for you.  Years ago, when exercise VHS tapes were the extent of technology, I was anal about making sure I got in a workout the day of departure, knowing I would not get in a workout while gone.  This was when I used to stay with the people I was visiting.  The problem with this was, the impact of being in the car or plane for several hours still caused me quite a bit of physical discomfort, lack of privacy from staying with the people we were visiting would almost always either erupt into an argument or frustration from holding in anger and resentment.  So what is it that I do differently now?  This is meant as sharing what I do, NOT meant as straight forward advice, as everyone's experiences are different.

1) First of all, if I stay with the people I am visiting, instead of at a hotel, I will get off track.  None of the other stuff that I do will be possible without this very first important step.  I DO NOT stay with the people I am visiting anymore.  My husband and I get our own hotel room during the duration of the stay.  This first step is important to me because time to myself in a way that is not considered rude to hosts, is how I stay on track while traveling.

2) Now that we are in the modern age of technology that is more sophisticated than an exercise VHS tape, I am able to take my workouts with me on the road.  This has significantly lessened the impact that being in a car or plane for a long period of time has on my body.  I have two yoga apps and an exercise digital download in my ipad.  I pick what I take on the road with me based on NOT needing to pack a lot of equipment.  I have a travel yoga towel that I keep in my suitcase at all times.  One side of it has a grippy surface and the other side is like a towel surface.  I pack that, a yoga block and a yoga strap.  That's it!!!!  The exercise digital download that I have is a combination of cardio and strength training with the only piece of fitness equipment used is a resistance band.  That's it!!!!  No need to lug around a bunch of stuff.  If you know you will always have access to WiFi while traveling, you can find just about anything on YouTube.  I don't always have access to WiFi and I'm a value over price type of person, so the apps and digital download were money well spent for me.

3)  I plan in advance.  I wake up early enough to get in my yoga or workout when I first wake up, so that it is done for the day.  Then I don't get too busy or engrossed in something that will stop me from being able to do it.  By staying in a hotel, I get my me time without being rude to my hosts.  I not only feel better physically, but I am much calmer and in a better mood and have more energy. Traveling used to drain my energy before I started working out on the road.  My husband and I will sometimes go for a walk through the neighborhood of whoever we are visiting midday as well, if the opportunity presents itself.

4)  Since traveling tends to make my low back compress and feel very tight, I carry a sacral wedgy and a craniocradle with me.  Both are small and easy to pack.  Instructions on how to use both are included with the products.

5)  Staying at a hotel is not only easier on me, but also easier on our hosts as well.  Being a guest or a host is very stressful when you are together 24/7.  I can tell that our hosts are a lot more relaxed ever since we started staying at hotels.  They were offended in the beginning.  I think this was based on upbringing.  But it is obvious by how much more relaxed they are, that they secretly prefer this arrangement as well.

6)  Last, but not least, staying on track on the road keeps me on track when I get back home.  When I used to travel in the past, it was hard for me to get back on my exercise track when I first got back home, then I would go days to weeks after I got back without doing it.  This is no longer the case now that I take them with me on the road. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bad Days Can Happen After You Have Been Out of Pain

It is OK to have a bad day.  We're not all sunshine and unicorns 24/7.  You can come a long way in your rehabilitation and still get surprised by something coming back that you thought you were over with a long time ago.  It happens!  Yesterday was one of those days for me.  I woke up in a bad mood and in pain, feeling grouchy, wanting my space, wanting quiet with no interaction.  Except that doesn't happen when you're not the only one who lives there.  My day started off with waking up feeling tired.  I wanted to go back to sleep.  I also wanted to make sure I had a chance to lay on my inversion board before my husband claimed the couch, since I lay my inversion board against the couch.  So inversion board it was.  As soon as I layed on it,  I instantly noticed problems that I used to have years ago were back.  This has not happened in a very long time.  Luckily, I can do Voila Method of structural joint balancing on myself.  I balanced out what I could while laying on my board.  With Voila, position matters, though.  Certain things still didn't feel right throughout my day, so I spent my day sleuthing off and on.  Fast forward to later on that day when I got out a yoga DVD to do.  It was an intense hour and a half practice that I normally love.  I wasn't loving it this time.  I was feeling frustrated.  I kept correcting things off and on, but could not figure out why my right hip still hurt.  It hasn't hurt this bad in a very long time.  My husband was on the couch and I was on the floor in front of the TV doing my yoga.  He could tell I did not listen to my body when I chose the yoga practice that I did for that day.  He encouraged me to shut it off an hour in, which I quickly did.  I never do that!  Fast forward to later on that night.  We had decided to give me the night off of cooking and go to my favorite restaurant to cheer me up.  While getting ready to leave, I remembered what my chiropractor said he corrected for my right hip in my last appointment with him.  I assessed that it was back and corrected it.  Bingo!  No more right hip pain.  Went out and had a nice dinner and nice conversation.  I woke up this morning feeling great.  I had plenty of sleep, layed on my board, but everything felt pretty normal, only maybe one or two corrections.  The amount of yoga that I did do yesterday felt like it paid off.

What I do for self care:

What I do from home: I break it up throughout the week between strength training, cardio and yoga.  Being able to get back into cardio and strength training after getting away from it many years ago is only possible for me due to a combination of being able to do self Voila corrections and no longer eating the foods that I am sensitive enough to to give me bad reactions.

The people that I see for sessions:  An LMT for Voila/Neurokinetic therapy, a chiropractor, a craniosacral therapist and a Thai yoga massage practitioner.  The first three I see once a month for maintenance.  The Thai yoga massage practitioner I have been seeing every couple of weeks since I am new to seeing her and that is her professional opinion on how often I need it for now.  I pace myself and don't do all of this at once.

The people that I see maintain treatment results:

Those who understand that 90% of treatment results are what they are doing in between sessions and actually follow up with self care.

The people that I don't see maintain treatments results:

Those who don't or can't workout.

It is a process.  Sometimes people who were getting somewhere in their therapy will abandon treatments due to expecting instant gratification and will later on tell me they opted for a shot or something instead. I have never had shots, but clients of mine who have said they stop working.  Here is my question for you.  What are your treatment goals?  Do you want it fast or do you want it done right?  It is like peeling away layers of an onion.  When people expect instant gratification, it's not their fault that they expect that.  Our culture teaches us results should always be permanent based on what insurance companies will and will not cover. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Why It's Not Always Easy to Find A Specialist

I have had several new clients tell me that it's hard to a specialist with a lot of continuing education.  Whenever I have had a regular client move, they would ask me how to find a specialist with a lot of continuing education.  Well, that is not an easy question to answer.  There are numerous reasons why it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  I am going to give you my perspective and the perspective that I have heard from others.

Not everyone is self employed with a website.  Most of the people I have taken continuing education classes with work for a fitness facility or a clinic.  Depending on how the website is laid out at places like that, will depend on the information that you find on the website.  Some of those businesses will have biographies of each of their staff, but most of the ones that I have seen do not.

Not everyone who is self employed has a website.  I have met several specialists who go by word of mouth only.  There can be as many reasons for this decision as there are people.  Some may do it for safety reasons and just prefer to work on people that they already know.  I don't know the other reasons since this is not how I operate my business.

I have my own website so that new people can find me online.  Past experience is what has shaped the running of my business.  Offering cutting edge techniques that are different and more effective than the traditional approach sounds like all fun and games, but there is a dark side to it.  The dark side to it is that if it's something most people haven't heard of, including other therapists, than it can create a lot of skepticism.  I am going to be blunt and say that for me, skeptics suck the fun out of my job.  Not all specialists feel this way.  Some love trying to prove them wrong as get a buzz off of it.

There are two types of skeptics:  The curious skeptics who want to know more and are willing to be proven wrong and then you have the debunkers.  The debunkers are going to block every effort that you put into helping them so that the treatment will not work.  Before I put a new policy in place requiring all new people to commit to a 3 session minimum, I was constantly being set up by the debunkers.  The debunkers have their minds made up before calling the person up that they are only coming exactly once.  They weren't there for pain relief.  They were there to try to prove a point.  THIS is why people say that the therapist isn't the healer, the client is.  It's true, because you have the power to block the efforts of those working on you and preventing change from taking place. This is also why I don't offer demos of my services at public events. It has been my expereince that people can tell by reading my website or hearing me talk whether or not they feel drawn to come.  No proof needed! People who are coerced into coming by friends and family members are a similar experience as the debunkers.  Most coerced friends and family members are also the debunkers.  They want to prove to their family member or friend that nothing works for them.

I used to be the type of therapist who really put myself out there.  I went to several networking groups, used to do talks at public events, etc.  While I have developed some wonderful professional relationships and have picked up some wonderful clients from doing that, the largest chunk of my experiences from doing that were negative.  This was before I started having new people do a minimum of 3 sessions and people expected to be completely cured after one session.  And they were rude and behaved horribly.

Many body workers are sensitive empaths and can be easily traumatized.  If someone walks into our office who doesn't want to be there at all or doesn't want to get better, that can be traumatizing for the person who is going to be spending the next hour or more with them.  The reason I am writing this blog and this topic, is because of how many other body workers have admitted to feeling this way and run their business in a way that only attracts who they want to work with.  I recently worked on another body worker who is very sensitive when someone comes for the wrong reasons.  He left my office telling me that my new client 3 pack policy has given him ideas for his own business.

Not all body workers are just trying to keep their schedules full.  Many really do care if it's a right fit.  However, some of the confusion lays on the part of the body worker.  Some body workers are more worried about not having enough business than they are about being true to themselves and will offer services that they do not enjoy offering.  As a massage therapist who would rather stick to the clinical treatments and energy work, clinical treatments and energy work are all that are offered at my office.  I don't offer full body massage.  Many body workers who specialize do offer full body massage as well.  Some like doing both and offer it gladly and some prefer not doing it, but offer it anyway and that can confuse the public into wondering what they are getting when they schedule an appointment.  I had a regular client years ago who booked a full body massage with a therapist who kept trying to fix her with specific techniques.  She did not want fixed.  She wanted a relaxation massage. Some body workers are also scared to let their unique brand shine on their website.  If they are scared of scaring someone off who isn't open to energy work for example, then their website is more likely to be confusing to a consumer who is looking for their unique style.

Being a specialist who offers a unique, unheard of approach is not for wimps.  Some body workers are scared to put themselves out there for this very reason and are not always clear and concise about what they do and the benefits of it.  Also, not everyone cares how much business they get.  It's not always about keeping every time slot and date full for some professionals.  If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area and want to know how to find a specialist, one way is through the All Life Center in Delaware, Ohio.  It's an integrative health co-op.  However, I still think the best approach is through word of mouth and Google.  The folks that I see for my care are not with the All Life Center. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What is Your Worth? What do You Value?

Who do you put first in your life? Does that keep your cup filled enough to be there for others in the way that they deserve you to be? Think about this! I mean REALLY think about this. Put yourself in the shoes of those in your life and look at yourself through their eyes. I came from a family where women were taught to put everyone else's needs above their own. Through my eyes, the people who lived this way were hard to get along with. They were moody, angry and upset all the time. And filled with bitterness and resentment. Being around them was like walking on eggshells. There wasn't consistency as to what would set them off, either. What they would laugh off and consider funny one day, would send them through the roof in a fit of rage the next day. Still think that putting other people's needs above your own makes you unselfish? I was always the rebel in that regard. People would criticize me for making sure I got what I needed first. I was smart enough to know that was they only way I would get what I needed, or I wouldn't get it. I know myself well enough to know that I am not the type of person anyone wants to be around when my own needs are not met first. Selfish? I don't think so. Selfish people do not constantly work on themselves on a daily basis in order to make sure they have a hold of their emotions. When people react the way that they do when interacting with others says a lot about where they are. Where they are affects everyone else around them. 

Like many others, health and wellness was not not a huge topic in my house when we were growing up. The only time any of us went to the doctor is if something was either broken or sprained. If my parents were in pain, they slapped on the heating pad and bengay. The only exception I can think of was when my Dad was hurt at the factory he worked at and needed back surgery and was off of work for 6 months.  Knowing what I know now, was it from a one time injury that led to inevitable surgery, or were other things going on in his body that made him more vulnerable to injury, that could have been avoided, if health and wellness were valued in my family. Who knows? It could go either way. All I know is that he has always had back pain for as far back as I can remember. He always talked about his "bad back". Even if we had knowledge of the benefits of alternatives such as masssage and chiropractic back then, they had four kids to feed, so they would not have gone. How many of you can relate to this? It's very common!

I have observed some interesting things in the community when I interact with others. And this is true among lay people and wellness practitioners. Often times, wellness practitioners are more guilty of this than lay people. It involves observing who is obviously vested in their wellness. Some people trap themselves by limiting what they can and cannot have and others are unstoppable. I have some wellness practitioners who love my services and would see me regardless of whether or not they were paying in the form of money or an exchange in services. I have some regulars in the wellness industry who always pay in money. To be honest, most of the wellness practitioners I have met who have shown a lot of interest in my services have been very much "barter or bust".  Just like I get lay people who are unstoppable and will drive over two hours to come see me and others who live just the next suburb over, but consider me too far of a drive. I am going to be blunt and say that this speaks volumes to me about where the person is. I recently had someone who likes to send me referrals encourage me to come to some of her classes, because her clients are relationship oriented and she feels that would help my business. These same relationship oriented people see the same chiropractor that I see and he never comes to her classes. I have also had other wellness practitioners who put their client's needs above their own by cancelling an appointment they had scheduled with me because a client of theirs wanted that same day and time. 

I give myself scheduled days off and never miss my wellness appointments. Morning people wonder why I don't take my first appointment until 11am. For two reasons. One, I'm a night owl who wakes up at noon on my days off. Two, since my clients deserve me at my best, my workout days are the same day of the week that I see clients. Getting it in before work is what keeps me centered and present. I gives me my energy for the day. I can't do caffeine. That means that this night owl is waking up at least four hours or more before her first client of the day, in order to be centered and present for clients. Many wellness practitioners answer their phone during their workouts, multi task, etc. My phone is on silent when I am working out, in order to make sure that I arrive to my office in plenty of time for my first client. By putting my own needs first, I am able to give everyone else my best. And that makes me feel good! I feel well balanced. I don't live a life of regrets. Do you want a wellness practitioner whose cup is filled, or one who always seems tired? What fills your cup? Find a way to get it! It doesn't have to be anything that costs a lot. For me, it is often the little things, like a hike in the woods or good quality dark chocolate. It doesn't take much to make me happy at all.

And if you are guilty of limiting yourself, stop it!  Who you pick as your wellness practitioner should be based on whether or not they offer what you need, regardless of location, accepted forms of payment, etc.  As wellness practitioners, we do not set a good example if our own cups are not filled first. We can't offer anything that we don't have. Now go fill your cups!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Why I Choose To Continue Care Now That I Am Pain Free

I am a big picture person who can see down the road what my life will be like, based on the decisions that I make today.  I see 3 different people once a month for maintenance, whether I feel like I need it or not.  I get craniosacral therapy, Voila/NeuroKinetic Therapy and chiropractic.  We constantly do things throughout the day, week, month, etc. that our body is constantly reacting to.  Everyone that I see for care, finds stuff that could have turned into disability for me later on down the road, even if I am not in any obvious pain.  Seeing them once a month like clockwork is cheaper for me than waiting for the pain to come back.  When you wait for pain to come back, it will always be worse than you initially think and you will have to continue going at least once a week for a while, in order for going at all to be worth your time and money.  Otherwise, you have flushed your money down the toilet.  I like knowing my money is well spent.  To me, it is well spent when I know I am doing what self care that I need to do on my own in between appointments.  This saves me money on how often I need to go.  I also like to know I have done my homework before reaching out for professional help because every professional I know, doesn't like working with clients who don't do self care.  They care and really want you to get better and will not take advantage of you.

I will give some examples of big picture moments for me:
Years ago, when I wanted to lose a significant amount of weight, I joined a weight loss center.  I tried doing it on my own several times and had to come to the realization that I could not do it alone.  Best decision of my life.  I had several friends tell me they would like to if they could afford it.  What?????  I couldn't either.  But my mind was made up that I was going to make it work and I did.  I couldn't afford not to.  At the time I joined, that was the only health insurance that I had.  If I got sick, I couldn't go to the doctor.  I come from a family of heart disease, diabetes, etc.  But I also don't blame my genetics since I have seen what they eat and what little else they do.  Even with good insurance, I spend less money on self care than my family does on doctors visits, prescriptions, etc.  When something is a priority, amazing how quickly I can suddenly afford it. 

Another example:  My husband had a cousin across the country who was getting married.  Everyone else in our area of the country was going, so we were being pressured as well.  As a big picture person, I knew that plane tickets, hotel and special clothes to wear were the expenses we could plan for, but I also know unexpected stuff you don't know to plan for happens as well.  Even the stuff we could plan for was not smart for out budget, so I told my husband we were not going.  His family is sentimental, so my husband still really wanted to go, until he was the price of a plane ticket just for him.  He quickly saw my point of view.  His brother really wanted everyone to go and said they would help anyone who couldn't.  Once his brother saw the cost of a plane ticket, he went alone, leaving his wife and kids behind.  When his family skyped us in during the reception, all we heard was how much trouble it was to get there and how unexpectedly expensive it was.  I think I was able to see this ahead of time because my Mom is the same way.  My side of the family would have never had this expectation for everyone to go.

The point of this, is to encourage you to weigh pros and cons when determining your needs.  Where is your money best spent.  Think about that.  Be it and then go for it.  Are you doing it for yourself, or for someone else.  The reason I don't book clients via third party, is because if they are doing it for someone who is coercing them to come and not for themselves, that never goes well.  If you discontinue treatment that has worked well for you, does that mean that everything will un-work itself back out and leave you where you were before treatment?  What a huge waste of money!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Does Exercise Make Pain Better or Worse?

It can go either way. So the answer is, yes! The body has the ability to compensate all the time in order to keep us moving throughout our day. As we move throughout the day, our body changes along with it. Our structure changes and our muscles change roles as well. I have clients who workout in order to stay out of pain and I have clients who claim that working out makes their pain much worse. I have walked both roads, so I am going to share what my path was like with you. 

My husband and I moved to Columbus, Ohio in 2001. I was very heavy at the time. The heaviest I had ever been. I was working at a music store at the time. I was in a plaza in between a Kroger and a Papa John's, so my "snack" every day was either a king sized Snickers from Kroger or a full order of bread sticks from Papa John's. After a few months of that, I joined Jenny Craig and started exercising. Exercising went great for many years. I was feeling better, stronger and lost a lot of weight. I was exercising to exercise videos at home. Something in my body started to change over time, however. When I used to be a physical therapist assistant student, I noticed that my classmates, who did not workout, could do things that I could not. It was drastic to the point that my instructors were concerned about whether or not I could physically handle being a PTA. When I took their advice about exercise and stepped it up in the manner they suggested, I would get better and stronger at first, but when I relapsed, I was worse than I was before and weaker, instead of stronger. The more I pushed myself, the worse and the more weak that I got. Fast forward after graduating massage school. I was told by another massage therapist that yoga is good and other types of workouts caused further injury. Since yoga made me feel better, instead of worse, I became a yoga only person for a while. For many years, actually. After years of being a massage therapist, I had taken some continuing education. Neurokinetic therapy and Voila Method of Structural Joint balancing changed my life so that I can do more traditional workouts again. Neurokinetic therapy addresses muscle function and compensation patterns and addresses it so that muscles can do their job. I realized when I was getting weaker, instead of stronger, that my muscles were dysfunctional. When you work out a muscle that is functioning properly, you feel stronger. When you workout a muscle that is dysfunctional, you feel like you are fighting a losing battle. Even the yoga had its challenges. By going to classes on occasion instead of only doing it from home via DVD, I realized that I used my neck jaw to compensate for my core whenever I did downdog or chaturanga. Having a teacher to watch you and correct form made all the difference in the world. And the person who did Neurokinetic therapy on me would fix these compensation patterns, so that I could use my muscles properly, as long as I remembered not to kick in my neck and jaw for my core. When I took the Voila Method class, that took my healing even further. Since it is gentle and can correct structure quickly, it got me back into my more traditional workouts, in addition to my yoga. When trained in Voila, the practitioner can do it on themselves, so I balance myself out before, during and after working out. Since working on ourselves is not the same thing as seeing professionals, I still see someone else for Voila and Neurokinetic therapy. She finds patterns that could have turned into something bad, even when I feel great and am there for maintenance/prevention. Now, the workouts have me feeling better than I have in years, instead of worse like years ago. It took me many years and seeing different people to get where I am at today. It did not happen overnight. I also worked out one on one with a fitness coach who watches for muscle function and can tell when your body is done. Working out with her gave me hope and a new lease on life. Now, she's a little bummed that her group classes aren't challenging enough for me, more like a warm up compared to the level of intensity that I am now used to with my DVDs  LOL. 

The most important take away is don't go at it alone. If you go at it alone, you will be more prone to injury. I have clients who workout at gyms without seeing the trainers or who workout on their own from home or ask me what yoga DVDs I like, etc.  I do not like the idea of them making these decisions on their own. I used to do yoga on my own from home before going to a studio and I made a lot of mistakes with form that caused me more problems. I currently have a client right now who used to go at it alone. She kept giving me plenty of things to do with her each session.  Now that she has a gym memebership and takes advantage of group classes with instruction, she is doing amazing in her sessions with me. She is now maintenance/prevention instead of treatments.

For more information about what Voila Method and Neurokinetic Therapy are, I have a page about each on my website:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Staying Stuck in Pain

There are numerous reasons why the body can stay stuck in pain.  Those of us who specialize are used to seeing people who have already tried everything else out there.  Some, we have been able to help and some, we haven't.  The biggest challenge are those who don't want to try something else.  I get that.  How much more can you take emotionally if you end up with another disappointment and more money spent.  Yep, it sucks.  Many of us who specialize have been there.  Many of us got into our chosen fields due to needing help for ourselves.  Years ago, I was getting therapy that no matter how often I went or what self care advice that I took, the problem always came back.  I was angry!  I was frustrated!  I blamed myself and thought that maybe I wasn't taking care of myself enough.  The therapist I was seeing thought it must have been something that I was doing because he was baffled and couldn't figure it out.  I kept going for years, because it was the best thing I had found to date at that point and the pain when things got bad was too bad to tolerate.  While I am not knocking pain medications, I refuse to go down that road.  By not giving up and being open to trying different therapies and different therapists, I finally found stuff that worked for me.  It was a process of peeling away several layers.  It took many different professionals and many different skill sets.  I was only seeing one or two of them at a time since that can be expensive and the body can only process so much healing at a time.

That is a Reader's Digest version of my story.  Now, I am going to address what issues I have noticed in my experience that I have noticed in many other people with pain.  Not everyone wants it to go away.  Sounds absurd, but it's true.  Not everyone is consciously aware of this.  Our mind can keep us stuck!  I am going to list some of the stuff that therapists notice.

-Referring to yourself as a "hot mess" or seeing yourself as "broken"

-Stating that you have tried everything and that nothing works (nice affirmation there)

-Telling a therapist that you are in a lot of pain and that you wish you could afford them.  Many of the people who have said this to me get pedicures, facials, eat out a lot, etc.  Next time you find yourself telling yourself that you can't afford something, ask yourself if you really want to go.  It's OK if the answer is "no".  If the answer is "no", then why don't you want to get out of pain?  Be honest with yourself.  This is more common than you think. 

-Going to a therapist for so long, that you look forward to it like a social gab fest and would not consider a different therapy or therapist.  I once worked on someone who sees two therapists every single week.  One for over 10 years and one for over 15.  He saw me once and we got great results.  I haven't seen him since.  If you need the same therapy every single week for that many years, it's not working for you.  A good therapist will tell you that and refer you out.

-Always injuring yourself right after a pain treatment.  If this happens to you more than once, pay attention.

-Limiting yourself to what insurance will cover

-Limiting yourself to how far you are willing to drive to see a therapist

-Refusing self care suggestions.

-Refusing referrals.  It often takes more than one set of hands.

-Refusing the treatment suggested by the therapist and insisting on something else that requires no effort on your part at all.  When I used to offer traditional massage, people turned down clinical treatment recommendations all the time stating that they just wanted a massage. 

One of the most common reasons I will see for people not wanting to get better is the need to be "right".  Before I started having new clients book a minimum of 3 sessions up front, I had people coming to me for the purpose of debunking me.  They had their mind made up before calling me that they were only coming once.  The need to be right is very powerful. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Does the Weather Determine How You Feel?

This is a topic that I hear brought up a lot, especially during the winter time.  I have certain types of weather that I prefer over others, but I try to roll with it.  My Mom and Step-Dad live in Texas during the winter time.  Their arthritis is the the point that that is what makes them feel better.  Some people are affected by pressure.  Today is a cloudy, mild day here in Columbus, Ohio.  Many people say they get the blues on days like that.  I will admit that when I go on walks, hikes, etc., I tend to pick sunny days if possible.  But when I do go hiking on days like today, I practically have the whole hiking trail to myself because everyone else is hibernating.  On sunny mild days, good luck even finding a parking spot at the hiking trails.  Today was a work from home day today for me and an exercise rest day as well, so I took advantage of the opportunity to air out the house.  I was grateful to have that opportunity, after my husband was down with the flu last week.

I know many people struggled with just how hot and humid is was this past summer.  Some complained that they couldn't even breathe, therefore, no walks or hikes for them.  I am sensitive to over heating, so instead of always staying indoors in air conditioning, I decided I was going to gently get my body more used to it.  The only air conditioning we have in our townhouse, is a bedroom unit in each bedroom upstairs.  Nothing downstairs.  We used to have a window unit downstairs, but it no longer fits ever since property management put in new windows, so we sold it on Craig's list.  So, downstairs, a fan was it.  We left the upstairs doors open, in order to allow the upstairs air conditioners to circulate.  This is enough to keep the whole place cool when summer temps are not in the 90's.  This summer, it got a little warm.  This summer is also when I decided I was stepping up my workouts.  I was doing some very challenging step aerobics DVDs in front of my fan and taking as many water breaks as I needed.  I had no idea how often you are supposed to stop for water breaks, until I started working out with a professional fitness coach.  She has me stop a lot.  Anyway, everything was fine.  When I was in the mood to hike, I purposely picked well shaded trails.

One winter, when it was constantly below zero and knee deep in snow, I knew I would not get in any outdoor walks or hikes.  I didn't let that get me down.  I did indoor water aerobics and belly dance classes.  I was just as happy as I would have been if I could get outside.

Everyone's body is different in regard to weather.  I prefer the mild temps of spring and fall, however, with extreme temps that are either below zero or over 90 degrees, as long as the temps are consistent from day to day and don't drastically change, my body can adapt to anything.  I eventually got used to the heat enough over the summer to not really care.  Now, if it got mild for a couple of days and then hot again, my body would have to readjust.

When it's not below zero out in the winter, I still try to get in outdoor walks and hikes about once or twice a week.  This keeps me from getting the winter blues, even on cloudy and wet days like today.  Getting outside in all types of weather is how I get my body to adapt, but I make sure that I stay safe and listen to my body.  In the winter, my limit is at least in the 20's, no wind with sun.  If there is wind with no sun, then in the 30's it is.  In the summer, I pick well shaded hiking trails and have a lot of water with me.  Exposure that is safe for me, is how I get my body to adapt to any kind of temperature.  Always staying indoors in heat or air conditioning, gives me the blues.  I like the pinks LOL

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year, New Changes!

We can have self reflection any time of the year that we want.  That is what I usually do.  I am reflecting on some positive health changes that I have made over the past year.  Over a year ago, I met a wonderful fitness coach.  Her name is Jane Stauffer and she owns "The New Lifestyle" in Hilliard, Ohio.  She does one on one coaching, small groups and regular classes.  Meeting Jane has taught me a lot and has really inspired me to continue making positive changes.  The biggest thing that meeting Jane has taught me, is that there are good trainers out there who will watch your form and make sure that you don't do anything that you shouldn't.  I used to have a negative image of all personal trainers being over zealous without regard to proper form.  I thought they all over push their clients to the extreme.  As someone who knows how muscle compensation works, I know what problems this can cause.  Pushing through an exercise after you are already shaking, shuts off muscle function, creating more pain and dysfunction.  I used to be the stubborn type who had my mind made up that I was not letting any trainer work out with me.  Then, I met Jane.  Jane can tell by looking at you, if you are compensating a different muscle other than what she wants you to work.  She can also tell by looking at your body when you are done with certain reps.  And she has you do something different when she can tell you are done.  She really listens to you, too.  When I told her that the neck is one of the most common compensators for the abdominal muscles, she immediately stopped having her clients do crunches.  She still finds equally challenging ways of working out their core, though.  Jane learned from me as well.  Since we get together to exchange services, Jane learned that it can take more than one set of hands to take care of everything that you need.  I knew that Jane needed chiropractic in addition to seeing me.  She kept putting it off.  She kept needing me every single week for months.  One day, I told her she was not leaving my office without calling a chiropractor.  Despite how much fun she is to exchange services with, I do not take advantage of people, either.  Guess who is now on maintenance?  Jane!  That's right!  I am so happy for her.

Now, on to some positive health changes I have made for myself since being inspired by Jane's enthusiasm.  I work out more.  I have also changed the way that I work out.  I realized I wasn't getting everything that I needed from one way of working out.   I was a yoga only person for a while.  I did different styles of yoga in order to make sure I was getting strength, flexibility and cardio.  You can get all of that from yoga.  But traditional strength and cardio are different enough to be a good variety to yoga.  The reason I became a yoga only person, is because it made me feel better.  Traditional workouts used to make my pain worse.  I hear this complaint a lot from others as well.  Jane knows how to not make that happen.  I used to only make time to get in maybe 20-30 minutes of yoga before work.  Now, I make enough time for workouts that are roughly an hour or more before work. It gives me energy to work on clients all day and keeps me in a great place physically, mentally and emotionally so that I can be present for my clients.  I have bought a ton of home exercise videos now that Jane is on maintenance and doesn't need me very often anymore.  I buy my home exercise videos from  The website tells you what equipment you need, whether it's beginner, intermediate or advanced, whether it's high impact, low impact, etc.  and has short videos you can watch before purchasing so you can decide whether or not you like it before buying.  I show Collage love by doing business with them instead of Amazon since I benefit so much from their website.  And the minimum amount that you have to spend to get free shipping is significantly lower than Amazon.  I mix it up between cardio, strength, yoga, hiking, etc.  I feel better.  I have more energy.  I am gaining muscle weight and losing inches.  Jane and I also like to be cute and text each other whenever one of us is out on a walk or a hike.  We send each other a picture of ourselves and say which park we choose to walk or hike at.  And we do it year round.  Jane sells cool gear that keeps me warmer than anything I can find at a store and way cheaper.  These texts back and forth inspires me to get in more outdoor walks and hikes.  Jane has a dog, so no matter where I am at or what I am doing, she is always at a park with her dog, Squirt.  Squirt is a ham and sometimes likes to workout with us LOL  My advice to folks who have worse pain when they workout is to find a good trainer.  If the hourly rates are too high for you, ask them if you can split the time up with others as a small group class.  I know Jane allows that.  DO NOT to every single workout on your own!  I learned the hard way.  And make sure it is a good trainer who went to school to do what they do.  Many massage therapists who are also trainers, took the personal trainer exam without any education behind it.  There is nothing wrong with being a massage therapist and a personal trainer as long as they have a solid education in both and some of them do.  Do your homework!  Group classes are great and inexpensive, but the instructor can't notice everything in a large group class. 

I have also noticed that I don't get sick as often as I used to.  And when I do, I am not down long at all.  I am from Michigan originally.  In Michigan, people are out year round.  Down here in Columbus, folks like to hibernate in the winter.  When I lived in Michigan, I didn't notice people getting sick the way that they do in Columbus.  Michigan people rarely got sick and when they did, they were only down for a day or two.  In Columbus, I constantly see people post on Facebook that they are now day 10 of not feeling any better, etc.  This realization is why I try to get in an outdoor walk or hike about once or twice a week.  I don't get seasonal affective disorder anymore since I have started doing this.  I never even heard of seasonal affective disorder before moving to Ohio.

If you want to get in contact with Jane: