come as you are
start small: simple body movements, ideas and ways to help you feel better on the regular
I was interested to see yesterday’s NPR article "The Millennial Obsession With Self-Care." I’m in the health & wellness field after all. The term self-care has become a trendy term, yet there is a reason for it - it is an important piece of every day life that we often ignore until we're whipped out and exhausted. According to the article, the new generation is focusing a lot of their time and resources on self-care.
Millennials aren’t the only generation to do self-care, though this article suggests they’re making it more of a priority than past generations. In fact, most of my massage clients are Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers. All the while, many of my yoga students are Millennials. Millennials approach self-care (as the article mentions) in a bit of a different way than generations past - it’s more phone and internet induced. While there are cool apps and internet self-care techniques that I know very little about, I still think I’m a bit old school in my self-care approach. It could be the Gen X’er in me but rather I think it is because of what I do. I teach yoga and give therapeutic massages for a living. Both of which are phone-free (with the exception of the music coming out of my phone during those sessions).
“In 2015, according to the Pew Research Center, more millennials reported making personal improvement commitments than any generation before them. They spend twice as much as boomers on self-care essentials such as workout regimens, diet plans, life coaching, therapy and apps to improve their personal well-being. They've even created self-care Twitter bots.”
Taking time out for yourself is super important now more than ever. Our phones, social media, the internet, the news, our President/gov’t are huge stressors these days. You don’t want to burn out from social activism, your job, relationships, or even from your friend’s constant social media updates. A break from these things can help energize and re-focus on yourself. My suggestion is to go beyond a break. Be active in your self-care. Do something specific, thoughtful and intentional for you and your wellbeing.
Self-care looks different to different people. I wrote about one of my favorite self-care techniques (under the guise of mindfulness) last year here. My favorite well-being plan is a free one too! I bike to a park, take a walk and read a book, or set up a picnic with friends. There is no wrong way to do self-care. But what I will say before you suggest to yourself 2 bottles of wine while binge watching a TV show alone for 8 hours (I've done it many a time) as your self-care technique, make sure you’ll feel good about your idea/plan in the long run.
So, how do you find out what kind of self-care idea will work for you? Ask yourself a few questions before you decide what wellbeing activity might be the best:
Will I feel:
I’m excited! After 5 years of practicing massage in Boston, I’m also (finally) official here in NY! As of a few weeks ago, I received word from the NY State Education Licensing Board that I passed my massage therapy board exam. Not only am I an Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) here in New York state , but I also now have an office!
For those who don’t know my background, I moved from Boston May 1, 2016, where I previously practiced massage and taught yoga. While it was hard to leave my life, friends and clients, I came to NY to do what I did in Massachusetts - teach yoga on the regular and build a massage practice with regular clients. I’ve been teaching yoga in and around Rochester from the get-go, and now I’m super excited I can continue to practice massage here! So what does this all mean?
It means you can schedule a massage with me! I have my own massage studio/office - starting this week/April 10th. My office is located 30 Allens Creek Road, Rochester, NY 14618 (In Brighton). You can book with me via email or phone: email@example.com or 585-348-7980.
My therapeutic massage sessions are tailored to each person’s individual needs. I often combine several different massage techniques into a session. See below for some of the modalities I offer my clients. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Therapeutic massage therapy works with those who have:
30min/$45 60min/$75 90min/$110
*Cupping is an additional $10/session
For further details, check out my massage page here.
"I really need a massage" is a phrase I hear at least once a week from someone. And I have definitely heard that phrase uttered even more lately as we experience a huge uptick in stress and anxiety due to this year's election. Yet many do not actively seek out a massage, unless gifted one or when desperately seeking bodywork if they can't move their neck. From my conversations with people who have or have not gotten a massage, including clients, I've found that people believe they:
Little To-No-Time for Self-Care
Self-care is a hard thing to do. Especially as Americans. We are always in a hurry and always busy. We glorify working more than 40 hours a week while shamming those who take time out for themselves. However, running on steam can't last. As the saying goes "You can't pour from an empty cup." In other words, how you can continue to work, be productive and creative, help your friends, and connect with your family, etc if you're running on low? You can't; eventually you'll burn out, walk around in pain, get sick, etc. Take time for yourself for self-care - a massage, a walk in the park, alone time with a book, no phone, etc. If you have time for an hour of TV or an hour of FB, you have time for a massage.
Why A Massage Can Help
Last year, the Huffington Post published an article entitled, Touch As Nutrition. The first line of the article reads: "Touch could properly be regarded as a form of nutrition." Safe, human touch and contact is a necessary part of being happy and healthy. Without it, children's brains don't develop and "solitary elderly people are almost 50 percent more likely to die early than those who have family, friends or community."
For many of us adults, human contact "soon becomes rationed out, reserved for appropriate moments with appropriate people." So often that leaves us little to no touch from another human. Depression can set in and the immune system weakens. Massage does the opposite: boosts the immune system, helps with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and relieves muscles tension, along with much more positive outcomes. I get bodywork 1-2 times/month. I have for years. If I miss a month, my body is pretty much screaming at me and my anxiety is up.
Human connection in a comfortable and safe way simply feels good. I have had clients over the years simply come to me not to just get the "knots out," but because they want physical human contact. That's more than enough reason to get some sort of bodywork.
Affording a Massage
Fact: you do not have to pay $150 to get a really good massage. Below are ways to find a really good massage therapist (LMT) for way under $100 :
Hopefully these suggestions help inspire you to find an affordable therapist that works well with your needs. Let me know if you have any other ideas.
Photo by Maria Kogan from Radically Restorative Yoga - a restorative class with 4 dedicated bodyworkers assisting the class
Hi Rochester Area Friends -
I'm looking to meet, research, and create a list of inclusive healers/supportive people in the Rochester community. Can you help me out? See below on what & who I'm looking for. You can send suggestions via the comment section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to add any other support person/category I may have missed. This list is not the end all be all, or in any particular order. I posted this on my Facebook page today. But wanted to post here, as I am interested in your thoughts and suggestions.
Please forward to friends, colleagues, and family members who might have suggestions as well. I plan to post a working comprehensive list int he coming weeks once I have a good amount of suggestions and do my research. Thank you for your support and help!
-Therapeutic Massage Therapist
- Any type of Bodyworker
- Reiki Master
- Yoga Therapist
- Movement Therapist (including but not limited to music, theater, dance therapy)
-Body Image Educator
- Restorative Yoga Teacher
- Ayurvedic Doctor
-Holistic Medicine Practitioner
- Plant-based Nutritionist
- LCSW/Therapist specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Trauma and/or PTSD Therapist
- Any PCP's who support and offer hormone therapy for Trans people
*I already have a good list for Chiropractor's so let's focus on building the rest up.
Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY
La Liz Blogs Again! Hint: This Time It’s Not About Lobster Rolls but Simple Movements to Help You Feel Good on the Regular
I’m blogging! Again. The last time I had a blog it was about my two favorite things to eat. The blog was entitled “La Liz Eats Lobster Rolls and Mac n Cheese.” It had a nice ring to it, amiright? It was filled with posts about different lobster rolls in Boston, as well as mac and cheese bake-off’s I hosted at my place back in the day. Much to the dismay of my “fans,” I deleted the sad debunked site a few years ago. Though I’m still often asked by my Boston friends to recommend “the best lobster roll” in and around New Englad. I’ll take it!
While this new blog won’t be focused on mac n cheese,(that lactose gets me every time!) it will focus on another passion of mine: movement and working inward to feel better. This is my style of self care. Everyone's is different. For me, it includes a variety of things: biking outside, doing yoga, taking walks without a specific spot to land, performing on stage, and meditation. For this blog, I’m breaking it down more specifically. I’ll offer simple & supportive body movements to help alleviate pain, destress and focus internally to perhaps help you feel more comfortable. This isn’t about fancy yoga poses, or expensive yoga clothing. I aim to provide short & sweet tactics and a variety of options to do on the regular, using pictures and guidelines. This is meant for every body and every ability.
So why is it called “Come As You Are”? Not only is it one of my favorite Nirvana songs, but it is a saying my close friend Molly and I often say to each other when we’re not in the mood to do something or go somewhere. Long story, short, it means even if you’re not feeling “on” or 100% your best, just come (wherever that may be) and be yourself, as you are in that very moment. Whether that’s showing up to work, at a yoga class, dinner with a friend, or lazying around with your significant other, every day and moment feels different in your body, as do your emotions and mentality. So just come as you are…and work with that moment to show up fully.
Ok, that about sums it up for now. This will be the longest blog post of the bunch. The rest will be simple and less wordy (brevity is a challenge I’m working on). Take ‘em or leave ‘em. But hopefully in the midst of a few of my posts, you’ll find something that works for you in your body and soul. If it doesn’t, feel free to ask me a question and we can work together to figure out what might work.