Love Thyself

There is a lot of love in the air – and a lot of hype, too. What used to be a cute thing to do with the kids, or something that you would do with a new sweetheart has now turned into a multi-million-dollar industry! Expectations have risen, as well. It used to be that a simple card, carnations (or roses for a very significant other), or some chocolates would be expected of a beau, but, now, it’s jewelry, trips, and other big ticket items! And woe be to anyone who finds themselves partner-less on V Day! I, however, have a slightly different take on Valentine’s Day…

I am a firm believer in the many different types of love. The Greeks had 6 different words for “Love”, each with their own nuances. Ranging from camaraderie, or “brotherly love”, to the love between family members, to the best-known Eros, or “sexual love”, the Greeks knew that love was not confined to our sexual partner, and I think we need to extend that thinking to our expectations of the day when we celebrate Love. Ultimately, in our modern society, when we are constantly drained by all of the demands placed on us, I think the most precious love is the love we hold for ourselves. For, if we are drained, if our “love cups” are not filled, how can we then give to someone else? So, instead of focusing on hyping up romantic love, we need to learn how to love ourselves!

What does loving yourself mean, in today’s real world, especially with the pandemic going on? Part of it means realizing that living in a state of total exhaustion doesn’t do anyone any good. We are taught that it is selfish to ensure that our own needs are met, especially if it conflicts with another person’s. This is just not true! Just like when in an airplane, you are instructed to put your own oxygen mask on, first, it’s the same when it comes to making sure your needs are met. Now, I’m talking about needs, not wants or desires. We have a need for healthy food, decent clothes, adequate sleep, positive physical contact, emotional support, and a safe and clean environment. We can go without these needs being met for a short period of time, but they do need to be met!

If we don’t meet those basic, essential needs, we can end up with stress, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and be more prone to emotional and psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. (Sound familiar, anyone?) All of these things are contributors to poor health, physical as well as mental. Withholding sleep is considered to be a form of torture, and yet, we do this to ourselves all the time!

So, in real terms, what does this look like? If you live alone, it could mean making a date with friends to do a Netflix Watch Party, or dressing up in your Cosplay costumes and posting pics online. Putting on some music and rocking out in the living room, or going out to the mountains for a hike in the fresh air. Or, curling up with a blanket and a good book, and shutting off your Facebook notifications. It could even mean reaching out to another single friend, or be as simple as booking a massage. And, yes, it could also be the traditional soak in a tub with bath salts and candles.

If you live with others, this could mean spending some time playing a game with your children, and letting them create the rules. Let your older children help you make a special, healthy meal. Or, cuddle up with your significant other. Or, let your partner take the kids outside for an energetic slide down the snowy hill while you get some much-needed peace and quiet. What this looks like for you will be different than what it looks like for someone else. Replenish. Do what feeds your body, your mind, and your soul.

So, instead of restricting ourselves to celebrating romantic relationships, reach out to friends and family. Make sure to include those who may be feeling alone. Plan a girl’s night watching movies, or host a virtual night in with the bro’s. Give your grandmother a call. Send (peanut-free!) cookies to your child’s class (school-permitting, of course!). Hand out chocolate kisses at work. Or, simply pay attention to the love that is all around us. By doing this, we are reducing the stress we are exposed to continuously, we are backing away from such a material (and unfulfilling) society, and we are refreshing our own selves and our outlook on the world. And that is the best kind of Love of them all!

Inglewood Massage Is Closing…

It is with a heavy heart that I need to announce that I will be closing Inglewood Massage, effective June 30th, 2020. Over the past 3 and a half years, I have loved the experience of living and working in the Inglewood/Ramsay neighbourhoods. The people here in these sister communities are some of the kindest, hardest-working, and most supportive people. I have loved every minute of working with you!

Unfortunately, the realities that I have had to face in the last 6 months means that I have used up my resources, and I cannot afford to continue on on my own. Between the struggles of: finding a suitable space to work from, the cost of rent, the challenge of finding staff who are not only good therapists, but who are also honest and dependable, as well as the new challenges of working in a world with Covid-19, means that the status quo is simply unsustainable.

During the first quarter of 2020, I was operating at a loss to begin with, and then Covid-19 hit, and we were shut down. As we were gearing up to get back to work, I had selected a therapist to work with me, however, she backed out at the last minute. However, all is not lost, a new opportunity has arisen!

I have had an excellent offer from a physiotherapist that I have known for most of the time I have lived in Calgary. I will be working with him in his two clinics. He offers a number of health and wellness services, and is a fantastic physiotherapist, as well as a great person!

My schedule has yet to be confirmed, but, I do know that I will be in the SW location on Tuesdays. Please contact the clinics to be put on the waiting list so that you can be called as soon as my schedule is confirmed and in their system! The contact information for the two clinics is:

Spirit of Physiotherapy
80 - 2525 Bridlecrest Way SW
Calgary AB T2Y 5J4
(403) 454-4451
info@spiritofphysiotherapy.com
www.spiritofphysiotherapy.com

 

Sage Meadows Medical Clinic
240 - 2971 136 Ave NW
Calgary, AB T3P 1N7
(587) 997-0091
info@sagemeadowsmedical.ca
www.sagemeadowsmedical.ca

For those of you with credit or gift certificates, I am pleased to announce that they will be honoured at the new locations. It is important, however, that you email me for confirmation after you have booked. This is so that I can notify the reception staff ahead of time so they don't bill you when you come in.

I want to thank the Commons, where my clinic has been located, for being incredibly supportive and as flexible as they could be. I recommend them for anyone who is looking for space to work from, either temporarily or long-term. They have created a true community, just like the larger communities that they are located in.

I also want to thank you, my clients. While many are from the Ramsay/Inglewood area, some also come from afar. I have loved being your massage therapist, and I welcome you to follow me, if you wish.  I am looking forward to my new adventure with you!

Best of health,

Kim Umphrey, RMT/Owner
Inglewood Massage

There's A Light At The End Of The Tunnel, And It's Not Looking Like A Freight Train Anymore

Tunnel

As many of you are aware, Premier Kenny has made the announcement that we are preparing to re-open Alberta. This will occur in several stages, massage therapy being in Stage 2. I'm sure you have many questions, some of them I can answer now, some will have to wait until I get specific direction, and some I can make an educated guess as to an answer. I will say, this is not going to be an easy process! Just as there was a lot of confusion around the time that we shut down, there will be a lot of confusion now, but I will do my best to guide you through it!

When Will I Be Open?
I don't know, yet.  Stage 1 is set to open May 14th, and it takes a minimum of 14 days to determine if there's going to be a spike in infections. This being Calgary, a major hotspot, it may take even longer than that. I am paying attention to our current numbers, and how our curve is looking. We do NOT want to re-open too early, as that will trigger another lock down, let alone putting you at risk!  I also have to negotiate with my landlord, as I may need to use a different room than the one I am currently in. I am anticipating a possibility of opening for July, but, that is only a guess at this point!

What Changes Will There Be To The Treatment And The Room?
Because we still don't have a vaccine, herd immunity, or, really, an effective treatment, there will be a LOT of changes to both the room, and the treatment itself! I may need to change to a different room that does not have carpeting. I am looking at getting a HEPA air purifier. I will need to change my open shelves to cabinets with doors, and pare down as much as I can - as it all needs to be disinfected between every client! I already had pretty strict cleaning protocols, you will now be able to use it as an operating theater!

I will also be using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Final word has not come down, yet, but, an educated guess would be a mask, eye protection, and a smock or apron. All of which will need to be cleaned between every client. I am also going to be asking you to wear a mask, as well, whether it's officially required or not. My mask protects you, but your mask protects me.

Is It Safe To Get A Massage?
I will be honest with you. We don't have a vaccine, or a real treatment. Flattening the curve was about ensuring that we didn't have so many critically ill patients that it overwhelmed the health care system. We have reduced the curve, which is fantastic! We have also increased our hospital capacities, so that they can handle a spike in the curve, if it happens. There is still a risk of transmission with getting a massage. I will do my best to reduce that risk as much as I can, and I would encourage any of you who are at higher risk really consider what the risk:benefit ratio is before making an appointment.

  • If you are not comfortable with the risk, don't come in.
  • If you have any kind of illness, even a minor cold or allergies, or if a member of your household does, don't come in.
  • I give you my guarantee that I will NOT treat you if I am feeling at all under the weather.

As always, I never charge the late cancellation fee if you need to cancel last minute because you are sick. I will extend that to include any reason that you feel that you might have become a vector - such as someone in your household having a cold. You do need to send me a quick email to let me know, though.

I hope this has answered your most burning questions. As I know more, I will keep you informed. Please follow my page on Facebook, as that is an easier place to do quick updates. If you have a concern, please let me know! I will do my best to respond as quickly as I can!

We're almost through the worst of this!

Stay strong, stay healthy!

 

Kim Umphrey, RMT
Owner, Inglewood Massage

Exciting Updates!

News

Exciting Updates for Inglewood Massage!

So, we at Inglewood Massage have decided to do a bit of upgrading and housecleaning, and we are making some changes! I decided to list them all here, together, instead of bombarding you with them, one by one. All the changes are effective November 1st, to keep it all nice and neat.

Pricing System

The first change is that, while I do like the concept of tiered pricing (different prices for different levels of therapists), I just don't think it really works for a small clinic like ours. It's something that would work better if we had several treatment rooms, and many different therapists to choose from, which we just aren't, right now. Therefore, we are switching back to a rate of $95 for a standard 60-minute massage (plus GST). Now, with experience comes specialized training, and this is where we can recognize those who have additional skills. Specialized types of massage (such as aromatherapy, TMJD and Sports Massage) will be priced a little higher, depending on the training and experience involved.

Tipping

Tipping is a tricky issue when it comes to massage. Previously, our attitude was, while we don't ask for tips, we will accept them. After looking at the direction that we want Inglewood Massage to take, and that we are a more scientifically-focused clinic, as a team, we decided to eliminate tipping. So, as of November 1st, we will no longer be accepting tips on our credit/debit machine. This is a benefit for those who use insurance, too, as you will be able to claim the entire amount you pay, not just the charge for the massage.

Member's Rate

Along with the other price adjustments, we are also edging our member's rate upwards, just a smidge. The new Member's Rate will be $74 (plus GST). While we are still offering a no-contract membership, we are implementing a few limits, just to keep things fair for everyone. If you accumulate more than 3 months worth of credit ($217) on your account, we will automatically put your membership on hold until you are able to use your credit. If this happens again, or if it takes a long time to catch up, we will need to have a conversation with you about if the membership is really the best option to suit your needs, and we'll try to find a solution that does. Keep in mind, too, that removing your credit card from the system does not cancel the membership! For that, you need to send us an email, or tell us when you come in to see us.

Booking System

While we don't really have any complaints against our current booking system, Clinic Sense, we have come across another system that is comparable, and maybe even offers a few extra options, and yet is almost half the cost! So, we are working steadily towards migrating to the new system, Soap Vault. You won't need to do a thing, just be aware of what's happening, and when the migration actually occurs, you might receive double notifications for a short time. Soap Vault also allows you to log in with a user name (email) and password, so you will be able to view all of your appointments coming up, which will help you make any changes, if you need to. Unfortunately, this will also mean that you will need to do a new health history form, once you are in the new system, but for many of you, it's time to update it, anyways!

Gift Certificates

With all the other changes going on, we will now be moving our gift card function into the payment system, Square. Once again, you won't need to do a thing! If you have previously purchased a gift certificate for someone, they can use the exact same code they had before! Everything is behind the scenes, so don't worry! If something does go wrong, we will have a paper back-up of our active gift certificates that are still outstanding, just in case!

Staffing

While we had a brief scare that Gwen might have to leave, due to going back to school, we have found a way to make things work, and he is staying with us! Whew! This means that we are going to be adjusting our schedules to the following:

Kim                      Monday, Wednesday                                12:30 – 7:00 pm
Tuesday                                                              10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Friday, Saturday                                             1:00 – 6:00 pm
Gwen                  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday     2:00 – 8:30 pm
Carly                   Tuesday, Wednesday                                    10:00 am – 6:30 pm
Thursday, Saturday                                       1:00 – 7:00 pm
Rebekah            Occasional As she fits in

We are still open to accepting another member to the team, however, that is not a priority at the moment.

Those are the changes that we will be implementing. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask any of us, or send us an email at info@inglewoodmassage.ca We will be more than happy to help you!

As always,

Best of health,

The Team at Inglewood Massage

TMJ Is Such A Pain!!!

There are few educational courses you can sink your teeth into… Puns aside, last Tuesday I took a one-day course on an area of massage I am immensely interested in: the TMJ.

The TMJ, also known as the temporomandibular joint, is, at its simplest, the jaw. Made up of the mandibular fossa of the temporal bone and the condylar process of the mandiblei, the TMJ is a very important joint but like all joints, is susceptible to both normal wear and tear and repetitive strain. Either of these can lead to dysfunctionii and this also can mean pain to surrounding bones and muscles.

Profile image of TMJ bone structuresiii

When we think of jaw pain, one group that often springs to mind are those who have had or are going in for dental work. When we get braces put on or taken off, fix that root canal, book in for implants or extraction surgery, or even just go for a cleaning, we ask a lot from our jaws – keep the mouth wide, keep the head and neck as still as possible, keep that tongue out of the way, and of course, remember to keep breathing.

Other groups whose jaws are similarly at risk from overuse, misuse, or even abuseiv might include actors, singers, mouth-instrument players, athletes who wear mouth guards, nightly-teeth grinders, and people involved in motor vehicle accidents. This is because, like their dental counterparts, these people continually put emphasis on specific jaw movement and/or are dealing with jaw recovery.

Now back to pain. Pain is a very subjective concept so I will not try to define it here but what I can review is how pain might present itself in someone experiencing TMJD:

  • Limitation in opening the jaw
  • Limitation in closing the jaw
  • Headaches (frontal, temporal, occipital)
  • Tenderness on the muscles surrounding or on the joint itself
  • Ear ache
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Postural issues (how a person ‘carries’ themselves when sitting and standing)
  • Trigger pointsv
  • Clicking, popping or other noises when opening/closing the jaw
  • (to a lesser extent) Ringing in ears

So if this is sounding somewhat familiar, what should you do?

Book in for an assessment and treatment, of course!

What can you expect at your first visit?

  1. The first time we meet, I will review your online health history intake form (whether you are a returning or new client).
  2. Then I will take 10-15 minutes to do a specific TMJ assessment. I have many tools to use such as asking you questions, taking measurements of your jaw, palpating (specific, external touch) around the muscles and bones affected, performing a test for jaw function, etc.
  3. If I believe there is a possible dysfunction in the TMJ, a 45-minute treatment will follow.
    • Although the components of the treatment can vary, it usually starts with the massaging of external areas like the pecs, shoulders, neck, cheeks and jaw. This is because these areas, often postural in nature, can have a huge influence on our jaw’s position. Like a typical massage, this “pre-work” is used to warm up but also assess the tissues and structures involved.
    • After the external components have been massaged, I will use a gloved hand (latex free!) to work inside the mouth. Please note that before any work is done inside the mouth, we will discuss hand gestures so that you may stop treatment at any time, ask questions, give feedback, etc. Once inside the mouth, I will work on the main muscles that affect jaw dysfunction: the masseter, temporalis, and pterygoids. I don’t expect you to know what each of these do but I will explain why I am working on each one when in treatment.
    • Again, as with any type of massage you receive from Inglewood Massage, our aim is always to keep you comfortable, confident and informed.
  4. After the treatment, you can expect some homecare. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask at the treatment or email/call later.

Follow-up appointments will depend on the severity of the issue(s) found but you should expect that jaw work, like most treatments, relies partly on the therapist and partly on the client. I will do everything to make/keep you educated and empowered in your health journey.

And, as I learn more about assessing and treating TMJD and take further classes to become fully certifiedvi (please note, I can still work on you without this!), I am excited to add this new modality to our roster of services!

Yours in Health,

Carly Turner, RMT

i 2019 Mara Boaru for Seminars for Health

ii When someone says TMJD, they are referring to temporomandibular joint dysfunction

iii Creator: PJS – Information extracted from IPTC Photo Metadata. Viewed Google image on March 4, 2019. https://www.health.harvard.edu/oral-health/temporomandibular-joint-dysfunction

iv It isn’t to say that misuse is always conscious. Instead, I am suggesting that when we are in pain doing an action or using our body in a certain way/position, we often create new habits that decrease the pain/discomfort and that becomes our new “normal”. However, misuse can also lead to abuse and by ‘abuse’ I mean when we are conscious of our actions when we know better.

v “a localized usually tender or painful area of the body and especially of a muscle that when stimulated gives rise to pain elsewhere in the body” – as defined by Merriam-Webster.com.

vi Carly completed the Seminars for Health one-day course called TMJ Level 1 – Intraoral. She plans to take Level 2 in November 2019 and become fully certified.

A Touch of Luck, Doubles Days, and Moving On Up!

Four leaf clover on Black background

Believe it or not, Spring really is right around the corner, and to celebrate it, we are making a few changes!

Firstly, we are holding a contest, A Touch of Luck!!!! For every massage done in March, you will receive a ballot to win a 60-minute massage with one of our Graduate Therapists, Carly or Gwen! The winner will be chosen end of day on March 31st, and will be announced on Facebook via a live video draw. The winner will get an emailed gift certificate, which they can keep for themselves, or give to someone else!

Double’s Days

Next, we recently hosted our first Couples Massage Day for Valentine’s. We had such overwhelming positive feedback, that we’ve decided to do it again, on a regular basis! We are making a few adjustments, based on feedback. We are calling them Double’s Days, as it’s not just for romantic couples, but BFF’s, Bro’s, moms and daughters (or, fathers and sons), basically, anyone you wouldn’t feel awkward changing in front of. Gwen and Carly will be the therapists doing the massages and will feature a unique aromatherapy blend in the diffuser and the massage oil each month, as well, for an incredibly relaxing experience! The price point for the massages will be $89 per person, which is an $11 savings vs. a standard aromatherapy massage, and it is billable to insurance. Our next Double’s Day will be on March 26th. Booking is NOT available online, so email or text us with your preference of time, as well as the names and contact information of the people receiving the massages, and we will set you up!

Lastly, Kim has now been working as a Registered Massage Therapist for 9 years! She has put it off for a couple of years while she built her business, but has decided that it’s time that she move to the next level of tiered pricing and increase her rates. The new rates will be: $77 for a 45-minute appointment, $100 for a 60-minute appointment, and $138 for a 90-minute appointment, all plus GST, of course. This takes effect on May 1st, which is the transitioning month. What this means is that, as of May 1st, all new appointments booked will be at the new rate. Any appointments already booked for the month of May will stay at the old rate, but as of June 1st, all appointment, old or new, will be at the new rate. Members, of course, stay at the same rate. 🙂

As always, we are open to questions and feedback, so please feel free to contact us!

~ Kim Umphrey, RMT

Let’s Talk…

Today is the day that Bell does their #LetsTalk campaign, encouraging talking about, and reducing the stigma of mental health issues. This is a fantastic goal, and one that we have needed for a very long time, to break the silence surrounding mental health issues, but, I feel that we need to take this to the next level, and do more than just talk.

We are now at a point in time where most people have at least heard the message about mental health. We are generally aware that it affects many, many people, in all walks of life, that it affects not only the person, but their families, work environment, and so on. Celebrities such as Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga are actively open about their battles with mental health issues. Larger companies are putting more money into providing mental health supports, such as Telus, who has recently provided $5,000 per employee per year towards mental health treatment as part of their benefits package. We are talking the talk. But, can we walk the walk?

I think we need to take a deeper look into why so many of us have issues with anxiety, depression, and addictions. What is it about our lives that have so many in such desperate need? I think a big part of that is, many of us are under enormous pressure to “succeed”, and yet, we have such a narrow view on what “success” is. North Americans work some of the longest hours, with the fewest days off, of most of the industrialized nations, yet, we not only feel guilty for actually taking our legitimate vacation and sick days, but we sometimes even brag about how long it’s been since we last had a day off! We compensate for our lack of time with our children by keeping them over-busy with sports, clubs, and other after-school activities, and organize elaborate, expensive birthday parties and gifts. We feel compelled to buy the latest gadget, phone, vehicle, and fashions – even if we can’t afford it, it’s the mark of “success”! In the meantime, we struggle with fitting all this busy-ness into our lives, with long hours at work (or sometimes 2 or even 3 different jobs!), often trying to do the workload of 2 or 3 people due to cut-backs, then struggling to keep the house clean, and, who has time to cook properly now?, so we get take-out or frozen food and feel guilty that we didn’t find time for that yoga class, or to prep food for the following week… And we wonder why anxiety and depression is affecting so many of us, and that’s not even taking into account the many people who don’t have neuro-typical brains, who have learning differences, or chronic health issues, or who just can’t handle sitting at a desk for 8 (or 9 or 10) hours a day.

It’s time for a change. Now, change is going to be more difficult for those who are barely struggling to get by. That’s why it’s up to ALL of us. We need to start by making those little changes, that we can. We need to start by being KIND and FORGIVING to one another. That includes, especially, online. It’s so easy to make snarky comments on Facebook and Twitter. To point out how “ridiculous” someone is being. To start name-calling and hate-bombing. If you don’t agree with someone, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion. State your opinion with grace, and provide back-up information. Be respectful, even if you disagree. But, don’t start bashing someone and calling them names just because they hold a different opinion from you! And, if you see online bullying, stand up for the receiver, even if you don’t agree with their position, NO-ONE deserves to be bullied! And, kindness does not mean that we allow people to walk all over us.

We need to start encouraging NORMAL, POSITIVE TOUCH (with consent!) to casual friends. Ranging from a hand on the shoulder, to a hug in greeting, to whatever it looks like for you, but NOT including aggressive, possessive, non-consensual, invasive touch! When in doubt, ask if it’s ok, and be totally fine if the person says no, even if they received a hug from you in the past. Human beings need human touch in order to survive and thrive. While we need to be aware of creepy, intrusive behaviour, we shouldn’t be afraid to reach out and touch someone, and, sometimes, all it takes is a hug to calm anxiety down or break through a depressive episode (not always, but sometimes). (On a side note: because it is a source of positive, safe human touch, massage therapy can be an effective treatment for depression and anxiety.)

We need to SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER! Let me say this, again. We need to SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER! Whether it’s organizing a daycare carpool or babysitting circle, or encouraging your friends to come with you for a hike in the mountains, or bringing over food when a friend has a new baby or has been sick. This used to be the norm, but it’s fallen apart. It takes a village to not only raise a child, but to live, and we have lost our village. It is EXHAUSTING trying to do everything by ourselves, having no-one to catch us when we fall! Even if we just don’t have the mental or physical energy to do something like that, ourselves, simply sending a text to a friend, letting them know that you are thinking about them, and want to make sure they are OK can make a difference.

We also need to open our minds to ALTERNATIVE DEFINITIONS OF “SUCCESS”. Ultimately, success should mean that the person is becoming the best version of themselves, and are happy. That may differ from what is traditionally thought of as “success”. For some, it’s the high-end corporate job, with the big house, fancy cars, etc. For others, it’s the quiet cabin in the middle of no-where, with a garden and a few animals. Yet others have few of the traditional trappings of success, and may struggle financially, but they have a big, happy, noisy family filled with love. Or, it may be an artist who can’t handle a traditional job, and may have mental health issues, but creates beauty on a canvas. Whatever it means to that person, we need to accept it, and see them as a human being. We also need to recognize that there is no timeline to being “successful”. Life is a journey, and there are many paths that we take, and many stops along the way.

Is this going to put a halt to mental health issues? No. Absolutely not. But, what it will do is grant space in this world to people who have those issues, and reduce some of the pressure we place on people in general. But, by being KIND and FORGIVING, NORMALIZING POSITIVE TOUCH, SUPPORTING ONE ANOTHER, and opening our minds to ALTERNATIVE DEFINITIONS OF “SUCCESS”, we learn compassion, and take some of the weight off of each other’s shoulders, including our own, making this a better, and easier, world to live in.

~ by Kim Umphrey, RMT

Happy New Year!!!

I’m so strong! © Redbaron ID 3462379 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The new year is upon us, and many of us will be setting goals and resolutions for what they want to accomplish in 2019. For some, that’s losing that extra 10 (or 20, or 30) pounds, running a marathon, or even keeping a balanced chequebook! Making a New Year’s Resolution can be a great way to motivate yourself, to give that little push to get started, and to keep going when the going gets tough. Unfortunately, most of us set those goals unrealistically high, which then means that we feel depressed and like a “failure” when we don’t reach those heights of achievement. Instead, why not set yourself up for success?

What do I mean, setting yourself up for success? What I mean by that is being thoughtful about what you decide to do, and how you go about doing it, so that you are likely to be successful, rather than “biting off more than you can chew” and dropping out a month or so down the road. Here’s a few steps you can take to achieve this:

Is this too big of a step?
Dreaming big is good, but, is it possible? Wanting to drop 250 lbs in a year is (without a good deal of medical help) unattainable! Want to run a marathon, but have never run a block before? What about any health conditions you might have that could interfere? I’m not saying to give in to excuses, but it’s not typically healthy to lose more than 1.5 – 2 lbs in a week, and while it’s totally possible to train to run long distances in a year, if you have untreated asthma or a knee injury that needs physiotherapy, it’s just not realistic to set a goal that high. In this case, it’s better to modify it to something that’s attainable.

How will this fit into my current lifestyle?
This is a tough one!!! Everyone knows that our modern, North American lifestyle is crazy-busy! We work some of the longest hours, with the fewest days off, compared to most developed countries! There’s work, cleaning the house, doing laundry, meal prepping, and the list goes on and on! In a society where we don’t have time to cook a healthy meal on a regular basis, how are we going to fit in something new? Sometimes our resolutions work that very concept into itself! Sometimes there’s a way to either multi-task, get a gadget that will help us get things done faster, or simply a way we can organize ourselves so that we can accomplish more in a day. (That could be a resolution on it’s own!)

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to do more, though, and it’s important to recognize this. Lots of people are caring for relatives who cannot care for themselves, due to disability, illness, or simply aging. More and more people are dealing with this by looking into things like meal services, once-a-month house cleaning, and more. Bartering service for service is becoming more of a norm, too, as people find creative ways to afford the help they need.

Do I have the resources/support necessary to do this?
Do you need equipment? Tools? Babysitting? Make getting those resources part of your plan! Sometimes you can get sports equipment on sale, or at low cost on Kijiji or Buy and Sell sites, but make sure you are properly equipped! There’s nothing worse that being excited to go on that snowshoe, and discover that you have broken equipment! (This has happened to me! lol) Sometimes you can rent equipment while you try out something new, and the rental places can have some good advice for beginners. If you are a larger-sized person, there may not be as much available in terms of sports equipment. It can be challenging to find thermals in larger sizes, for instance, or skis or snowshoes that will support your weight. Do some research to find out what you need, and where you might find it.

Sometimes that support is supporting a change in lifestyle, too. If you decide to go vegan, but your family are firm meat-eaters, you might have an issue, unless you get their support! Want to cut back on drinking cola, but your spouse is guzzling Pepsi in front of you, or pours you a glass without you asking? You might need some help with that! There are lots of little things that your friends and family can do to support you, without necessarily sacrificing anything for themselves

This can also means finding something to give you that little push, too! Not to toot our own horn, but our membership program is designed to do just that. By pre-paying for one massage per month (at a reduced rate, only $69 + GST, and you can still get reimbursed by your insurance), it’s that little nudge to actually go and get it, rather than keep putting it off.

Is this something I actually want to do, or am I doing it because I am “supposed to”?
This is, perhaps, one of the biggest issues of all, especially with health-related resolutions. If you are deciding to something just because you “should”, it’s probably not going to stick, unless you can find some joy or satisfaction in it. It’s not a matter of will-power, it’s a matter of human nature. Will-power can get you going, and get you through a rough adjustment, but it’s not enough to keep you going long-term. Find a way to inject some fun into your resolution! Instead of doing boring cardio at the gym, take a belly-dance or cardio-drumming class! Want to eat healthier? Look up some interesting recipes or try some new spices! Learn to play with flavour!

In the long run, only you can decide what’s right and what works for you. Some people are able to dream the impossible dream, and achieve it! Most of us, though, need to put a little thought and planning into it. And, for some of us, the best New Year’s Resolution is no resolution at all!

May 2019 bring you happiness and good health! ~~ Kim

Gentle Drop Massage

Gentle Drop Massage

We’re excited to announce that Gentle Drop Massage is now available as a service! We’re also aware that many of you may be wondering exactly what it is, and why it was developed, so we’ve taken the liberty of answering some questions that are likely to come up, and break down what it is, its benefits, and what to expect.



What is Gentle Drop Massage?

Gentle Drop Massage is the application of a small collection of pre-diluted essential oils to the entire back (including abdominal sides), neck, shoulder,calves and feet. Several drops of each essential oil is released from a tincture dropper creating a subtle and pleasant “raindrop” sensation, and then massaged into the skin using various light to moderate pressure massage techniques. The standard essential oils used in each session were selected for their noted abilities to assist in fortification of the immune system, reduce muscular tension and overall stress, provide additional support the natural functions of the body, and promote general sense of well-being.


Pre-diluted essential oils?

Yes! Gentle Drop Massage was designed with safety at its core, so each essential oil used in treatment is diluted in a Jojoba base, at a 1% – 5% dilution rate (varying from oil to oil). These dilutions are based on Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young’s safety protocols, which can be found in “Essential Oil Safety – 2ndEdition”. Additionally, great care was taken when deciding which primary and optional essential oils to use in this process, so you won’t find harsher oils(such as Oregano or Wintergreen) in this process.


What essential oils are in the standard “set”?

The single note essential oils we have chosen for the standard treatment are Bergamot, Eucalyptus,Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender, Marjoram, Peppermint, Ravintsara, and Rosemary.The only synergy blend we have chosen for use in the process is called “Air”. Additionally, to keep our product and quality consistent, we obtain our essential oils from our in-building neighbors, The Apothecary in Inglewood.



What if I’m allergic to an essential oil?

If you have a known allergy to any essential oil, we have additional pre-diluted alternative oils available. These include Cedarwood, Fennel, Geranium, Lemon, Blood Orange, TeaTree, and Ylang Ylang. This allows for a level of flexibility in the Gentle Drop Massage process, to ensure it is available to most individuals.

Are there any safety concerns?

Although the essential oils used are pre-diluted to what is considered their “safest but strongest” ratios, there is always a small risk of an adverse reaction. This can vary from person to person, and come in the form of a previously unknown allergy, an unmet essential oil contraindication, or a client’s pre-existing medical condition/concern. As with all massages we perform, a medical history and brief 5 to 10 minute interview is completed during your appointment to ensure this service is right for you.



Who shouldn’t have a Gentle Drop Massage session?

As a general rule,those that are pregnant, children (16 years of age and younger), and/or those with frail or compromised health should avoid having Gentle Drop Massage treatments.

 

Can I claim this with my health benefits?

Absolutely! While we cannot say how much your plan will cover (as this service is a bit more expensive than a standard massage), we can both direct bill your Gentle Drop Massage appointment, or provide you with a receipt that you may submit for a claim at your own discretion.

 

We hope that this addresses the most important questions you may have about Gentle Drop Massage. Some other things to consider if you plan on having a Gentle Drop Massage treatment:

  • Plan your day in advance. If you’re required to work in a scent free area, or fast-paced environment, it may be best to have your Gentle Drop Massage treatment towards the end of the day, or on a day off instead.
  • Stay hydrated after your treatment. Due to the nature of essential oils and massage, you may feel slightly dehydrated afterwards.
  • As gentle drop therapy uses quite a bit of essential oils in a short span of time, we strongly recommend that you minimize the use of essential oils and products rich in essential oil ingredients the day of and day after treatment.

 

As always, should you have any questions or concerns about our services, or the products we use, we invite you to contact us and we will be happy to help you!