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
Back in the day when I worked in corporate, multitasking was seen as a positive. I would go to a job interview and tell the interviewer my "best" quality was the ability to multitask. I knew in my heart that while I wanted it to be my best and I tried, it wasn't. At the time, employers wanted their perfect employees to be perfect multitaskers. Quite frankly, IMHO, multitasking is nearly impossible and it is not a real quality, nor is it being mindful. Imagine if I gave a massage or taught yoga while checking my phone and making a grocery list? No way!
I am sure some of you are saying "but I can actually multitask and I'm really good at it!" Naw....not really true. Mallory Creveling for Life by Daily Burn wrote an article posted on CNN entitled, "Fight Stress, Boost Productivity with Single Tasking." Spoiler alert: Multitasking doesn't really work...well. It takes a lot of brain bandwidth with reduced attention and efficiency: "...the truth is our brains can't actually multi-task....We finish about 50 percent less when attempting to tackle a few duties at once, instead of focusing on each one individually, says James Rouse, naturopathic doctor, author of Think Eat Move Thrive and co-founder of Healthy Skoop."
To a degree, you HAVE to multitask in certain situations - like a bartender making a drink for one person while someone else is shouting at them to make another drink and a third person is telling them about their recent break up story. For the most part you don't need to actually multitask; you are at your best when being mindful and focused on one thing at a time.
One of my massage clients was recently telling me he massages his upper back with a tennis ball while driving. I immediately made that yikes face. This is definitely not the first time I heard of a client doing that exact same thing. There are a few things not ideal about this situation but the main points are: If you're trying to massage yourself while driving, you're 1) probably not driving very well - so it's dangerous; and, 2) not really doing much massaging since it's stressful to drive.
I suggested taking the time whenever he has 10 free minutes - perhaps in the beginning or end of the day to roll on the tennis ball on the floor or against the wall. That way, the self-massage will be the only thing actually happening in that moment; therefore, the massage will be more effective (results). In addition, it'll be less stressful to massage yourself while relaxing at home instead of driving to a job in traffic.
I brainstormed a few ways to help single-task, allowing a more mindful approach to one main task. Some of these are similar to what I talked about in my "Savoring the Weekend" blog post:
What are some things you can do to single task instead of multitask?