Jan 20, 2008

Essential Oils For: Arthritis, Tendonitis, Sciatica, Migraines, Depression, Sinuses, Stress & Anxiety

Essential Oils

100% Pure Essentials.
These pure essential oils come from all around the world--Italy, France, Indonesia, Morocco, etc. Our essential oils are freshly poured for each order placed. They are of the highest quality available in the industry. There is no carrier oil or cut added. It's for this reason only a drop or two is needed to do the job. To help you get just the right amount with out wasting it, are parapets. These will also be available soon.

Try our "Stress Relief" blend. I add this to the gel I use in my sessions. It adds a subtle aroma of lavender, bergamot, ylang, and sandlewood to the room. I notice when my clients come into my room, they take a deep breath. You can almost hear the stress leave their body when they exhale.

My most popular is the oil for "Arthritis". When I put this on people I tell them, they will feel better as soon as the oil gets absorbed.

My other most popular oils are for Migraines, Fatigue, Depression, and Allergy and Sinuses. How about an "All-over well being" we like to call, "Balance." Which ever oil you choose, you'll love it. They are absolutely wonderful and worth every cent!

Jan 10, 2008

10 interview questions to ask your massage therapist

Many people try massage, but don't get the relief they're looking for. Clients make the mistake of not interviewing their massage therapist when they schedule the appointment. I think this is important for people to do. Massage is expensive and it's a shame for people to waste their time and money on someone who doesn't know, or have any interest in helping them. The biggest reason this is too bad, is because the person in pain then thinks that since they tried massage once and it didn't work, it doesn't.

1. Are you licenced? Where? Now, all therapist should be licenced at least by the National Massage Board. They don't have to have a national license, if they are licensed by the state they work in. Also, some states like New Jersey and Vermont don't have their own test. This is important, because from my experience your paying top dollar for someone who really didn't study massage.

2. Where did you go to school? If they went to a university, they will have a degree of some sort.

3. How long was your school? Good schools are two years. Less then that, chances are they aren't going to be able to help you with your pain. Unless, they are naturally gifted, worked as a nurse, or physical therapist or some other type of bodywork. Not energy work so much.

The reason I say this about energy is because, many people self teach themselves things like Reiki. Also, if you have pain, you want relief now. Energy work takes time to get things flowing. Trigger point work is the fastest way to alleviate pain associated with the muscles.

4. Do they specialize in a type of massage? There are 206 types of massage.

5. Did they get certified in it? Not all continuing ed classes have certifications or offer college credits, but knowing who certified them will add to there credibility. Ex. I was medically certified to work in the hospital, HIV/ AIDS, and geriatrics through Cheryl Chapman and Benedictine Hospital. Cheryl Chapman is highly skilled and trained and certified. People in this field around here, know her. I was certified to do hot rock by a massage therapist in her office. I'm actually embarrassed about the hot rock and don't offer it in my services because I don't want people to know who certified me in it.

Now, it's your turn. Explain why you're looking for massage. If you have a problem area tell them about it, If there is pain involved let them know.

At this point the therapist should ask you questions like:
Does the pain radiate?
Is it constant or intermittent?
Is it in one place or does the pain travel? To where?
Is it sharp and shooting or dull and achy?
When did it start, do you know how it happened?
Has it affected your range of motion?
What are you doing for self care?
Have you seen your general practitioner?

Do you have any spinal column disorders or herniated discs?
Have you had a history of Cancer?
Are you getting a cold?
Are you three months or less pregnant?

Now, they probably won't ask all these questions, but they are designed so the therapist can come up with a treatment plan.

Once these questions have been asked. If they didn't red flags should go up.

6. Ask them if they think massage can help you? If it's muscle related the answer is yes. Massage helps so many other things too that people don't associate with massage like: reducing blood pressure, aiding in healing after surgery, sciatica, arthritis, fibromyalagia etc. However, you have to realize that until the therapist actually touches the person, all of this is speculative.

7. Ask them what type of work they think you need based on the information you gave them? Ask them to explain what that means? I tell people kinda what we will do in the session. I let them know it's not a fun process, but if it is what I think it is, they will feel better when they get off the table.

8. Ask them if they have any ideas why you are experiencing these issues? I usually ask about occupations since we spend most of our time doing it. Work and travel, and the computer are the big culprits. I ask about sleeping positions, how old their pillows are, old injuries/ accidents etc..

9. Ask what the cost is and based off of the initial interview how many times a week they should come? This again is a ballpark number. You can only get an idea based on the one conversation, but until you get worked on, you can't give a accurate number.

I had a client complaining of shoulder issues. Our phone interview was short because he didn't have time for it. When he got here, he had a spinal column disorder that through his whole body off, esp. his neck and hips. One leg was longer than the other because of his compensation, he had a stroke and is deaf in one ear. The stroke compromised his posture even more. And, hearing out of the one ear, he keeps his head cocked to that side to be able to hear. My phone assessment was vastly different from the one in person.

10. What can they expect the out come to be if they follow the therapist plan? Now, it depends on what the problem is, how long you've had it and how long your booking your session for. I usually, go over the first session. I do this so people go through the pain for a reason and get that, "Oh my God, I feel wonderful!" I also do it, so they get an idea how long it takes to get the desired effect. Your problems didn't happen over night and they wont go away in one session. Even though, you feel good getting off the table, I tell people, I don't know how long it'll last. It depends on how long you've had it. Do you have to contuinue to the action that put you in this position in the first place? Some people don't have symptoms for 6 months or more. Others are back the next week.

If you hurt your back doing something you don't normally do, the issue is easier to fix.

If your neck is your problem, but you have a stressful job, spend a lot of time on the phone, traveling or on the computer, or your sleeping patterns or your posture. These things are perpetuating your problems because you repeat the action constantly. Your muscles think they're suppose to be that way, and stay contracted. Our muscles are very good at doing what we tell them to do.
These issues are ones that always need to be worked on, on a regular basis, to be kept at bay so to speak.

Jan 7, 2008

Brochure and Business Card






Thank-you letters


I want to thank-you for doing so much for me. I don't know if you remember me, but I came in last week when I could hardly move my neck. I had constant pain and muscle spasms in my arms, and I had numbness and tingling in my hands and feet.

When I called you to make the appointment, I quickly realized that you are both passionate and knowledgable about massage therapy. You explained the cause of my discomfort and how massage therapy could help.

What you didn't know was I that had seen two doctors that suggested I use heat, wear a neck brace, and take muscle relaxers. Not only do these "remedies" interfere with my daily activities, but I found them to be ineffective. A neck brace? How cool would I look with that? Plus, I wouldn't be able to go the gym.

Anyway, I REALLY WANT TO THANK YOU, for improving my quility of life, getting rid of this pain I've had periodically for years. I also want to thank-you for giving me hope and getting me off the medications. I know you said I was a mess and the work is a process, but I still feel great and I'm looking forard to my next session.


Michaela Kochan


Over the past three years, you've helped me with the pain in my neck and shoulders that kept me up at night. You found the tight muscles and worked the knots out until the problem was resolved.

More recently, you've helped me with my hip. I know I will eventually have to have a hip replacement, but in the mean time, you've been a tramendous help. I want to tell you how much I appreciate all that you do. It has to be difficult to listen to people complain about their aches and pains all day. When I walk in though, I'm invited in with a warm smile. You 're always cheerful and sympathetic, while maintaing a professional approach.

I limp into your office and you greet me with a smile and offer empathy for my pain. You worked out the knots in my legs and hip, like you did in my neck and shoulders. I was able to walk out of your office in little or no pain and no limp. Your ability to use a variety of techniques to work the knots out, is no less than amazing!

By the way, what was the oil you put on my hip and hands at the end? Can I order some of that? You were right, it did take away the arthritis pain in my hands.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you thank you for making aging less painful.

Emily Hart


You've done it again. You've impressed me with your ability. The range of motion in my back is better than it's been in years! I can play golf again!

I thought after the first session I felt good, but in the second session when you focused on the areas causing my low back pain, I felt remarkable. I like the way you explained how everything was interconnected and why I was having these problems. I went to play golf that day. My golf partners were surprised at my recovery. I told them, I went to see Kristi. I also told them to stop complaining about their pain and have something done about it. I gave them your name, but could you leave some business cards for me to give them?

Tom Drake


Just a quick note to thank-you. After my car accident I had one option when my shoulder was frozen and my muscles in spasm.- take pills and stay in bed. You've let me know I have another option. I want to thank- you for taking the time to explain to me what was going on in my body. It does offer some help to know why my neck and back hurts when it was my shoulder that was injured. I go from complete agony, to little or no pain after our session. So thanks for offering me another choice that doesn't hinder my very active lifestyle.



I want to thank-you for diligently investigating and educating me on my problem neck. I appeciate the research you've done to get to the bottom of my problems. I like how you sit down with me, and show me self care techniques, pictures of the body and show me what's going on in my body. I also believe in your philosophy, that by educating me, it will help in my recovery. By the way, I am using the accupressure points for the neck and shoulder. They really help.

I have recommended you to many co-workers, family, members, and friends. I've told them how at GE you have a fabulous reputation and are know for your magical hands! At this point there is no other massage therapist I would go to.

Andrea Nevins


I have to tell you, when the GE fitness staff suggested I come and see you to improve my golf
game, I was skeptical. Up until recently, I've seen myself as an avid golfer with a single digit handicap. However, as the years go by, many physical problems were starting to occur. I was extremly stiff in my neck and had severe back pain. My golf game was going South.

After a few sessions my neck and back felt much better. I started to get flexibility back in my problem spots. You're knowledge and skills combined with your determination to help, set you apart from the rest. You are the best! Without your help, my golf game and general health would surely suffer. After all, how would I enjoy retirment if I couldn't get out and play a round or two of golf?

Pete Kanches


I just had my birthday massage and it got me to thinking about the first time I saw you. Do you remember? It was 5 years ago for my free birthday massage. I had never had one, but I did have neck pain. In fact, I had lived with it for 20 years!

It started when I was putting Valerie's bike in the trunk. I felt something give. The doctors said it was nothing. I was given excercises to do which gave limited relief. From time to time I was referred for physical therapy, but that didn't seem to help. Finally, a few years ago, I was diagnosed with bulging disks in my neck. It hurt to exercise. Sleep was difficult. Long car rides were agony. I have lived with this pain since. Sometimes it's severe, but it's always present.
I gave up a lot of activities I enjoyed.

Then came your birthday massage. I felt some short-term relief. I decided to try an hour massage. I had better movement. Then I went for another massage. And another. There were gains with each massage. I was able to lift the laundry basket! I started doing some of the activities I had given up. I was even able to ride my bike!

I'm a believer now. I highly recommend you to everyone- notice how you work on my whole family now, plus boyfriends. I tell people, even if they don't think they have a specific pain area, massage will make you feel so much better!


Shared massage horror stories help people recognize the signs

K. So, we a group of girlfriends went to the city for a "Sex in the City" weekend. It was one of my girlfriends birthday's and the hotel offered this package. Part of the package included massage. There was a gift bag we got when we checked in and it included what our package included. One of the items was massage. I can't remember how it was worded exactly, but all 6 of us got the impression it was an hour. Plus, when my friends husband put this together he told us the massage was an hour.

So three therapist show up, none speak English. Two women, one male. There were 6 girls so two therapist set up in one room and the other one set up in the room next door. Let me say this, I loved my massage. Everything about it was illegal. These therapist were not licensed in NY state. The girl I had said she took some classes in Russia. They had no sheets. They used the hotel towels. And we know how much those cover! Anyway my session, was good. I tied to talk to her, but there was a big language barrier. She didn't work trigger points, but she did loosen me up. Then, I thought she was doing some deep compressions. She was pushing so hard I couldn't talk, but I wanted her to stop.

There was no health form, and I went in there with low expectations and expected a relaxation massage. A few months earlier I had foot surgery, he noticed my bones and cartilage looked like they were from someone 25 years older than myself. So now at this point, panic is setting in. I'm thinking she's going to crack my spine. She's going to paralize me! Then I thought, if she does hurt me, I won't be able to track her down- she's probably not even a legal citizen. She won't have insurance. What am I going to do?

I got up and other than a pain in my neck that did get worse that night, but I had it checked out and I was fine.

Meanwhile, in the next room, the therapist didn't leave the room when we got on the table either. My girl turned her back. The other therapist, one a man did not. My friend is a massage therapist, by the way. Now none of us are prudish. One didn't want to take her underwear off because she had her period, another one has been thin her whole life, went to school and gained some weight and didn't feel comfortable getting on the table with them watching. The one friend with her periond said she felt like the man was so far up her leg she thought he would pull her tampon string. She also made fun of the way he had her ass cheeks slapping together. My friend that's the therapist was on the table already when he told her, her underwear had to come off. So now she's trying to take them off and stay covered under this tiny towl. Her panties got stuck on her tow and sling- shotted across the room. That part was funny. Now she knew all this was wrong and didn't feel comfortable with it, but she didn't say anything. Partly, because there was such a communications barrier and because it was suppose to be a fun weekend and she didn't want to complain. So now, she has the man too. He was like breathing on her foot when she was lying on her stomach and she didn't know where his other hand was. The breathing was a slow breath, a breath made in pleasure. All she could think of, was he was the guy with the weird foot fetish and wanted it to be over.

The point is, she had that feeling right away. I don't know why we don't speak up. She is an Earth element. Even thoughit was her birthday, she didn't want any one to worry and she wanted everyone to have fun. But How we feel is important. If you don't feel comfortable than it's nt worht getting a session. I have people say all the time they want so and so to come in, but they say they wouldn't be comfortable. I tell them they shouldn't try to make them come because they wont be comfortable and the massage is torture.

To top this weekend off, they were going to charge us like $80 per hour massage, because the package only offered a half hour. Now, I work out of an up scale hotel. I have worked on famous people there. I agree risk goes up, price goes up, but there was no way we were paying that much for the massage we recieved. First they weren't licensed, second, so many things were illegal and inappropriate and we bitched believe me. We didn't pay it.

Another friend of mine had a session with a man and it was good until he turned her over. She had massages from me, but I live 3 hours away and went to this guy who was referred to her. When he turned her, he stood at the head of the table, made a tent with the sheet and she was already turning over before she realized he just checked out her whole body. She didn't say anything. She said she didn't know what to say. She just wanted the session to be over, so she could get out of there.

Jan 6, 2008

How an Eastern Massage, Shiatsu session, can help with your imbalances

So, now you, know which elemental types are your dominate ones, and can see how your imbalances relates to those elements. What next?

Well, what a shiatsu session is, is a balancing of the elements and their energy. Shiatsu is an accupunture session without needles. Instead, the therapist uses their palms and thumbs to create the energy changes in your body. A shiatsu session is done with both the client and therapist dressed in loose clothing and clean socks. It's done on a dense cotton mat. The client lays on their back and the therapist does a hara session. Your hara is the area from the edge of your rib cage, along the sides, and down to the pubic bone. The therapist sits in seiza. They lightly place their fingertips in different areas in the hara that represent the meridians in the elements. When you exhale their fingertips "read" what that element needs. This is about feeling that spot, is it hot, cold, does it feel hollow or hard, is it pulsing? Looking at these examples, you can see where it would fall in the Yin/Yang circle.

What the therapist feels in the hara, will tell them what is going on in the body at that moment. So you can walk in and get a session. Ideally, if you have a good therapist, when you schedule the appointment, they should send you an Eastern Intake form. It should also include a COMPLETE, health form. Mine is more than you fill out for your doctor. The eastern part will ask a bunch of questions that seem irrelevant and you might not think isn't anyone's business, or it's embarressing. It's all important. It goes back to the elements. I need to know which elements are the strongest and what imbalances you have to get to the root of the problem.

In the session after the hara, the therapist starts with opening up your energy channels, or meridians. It's so wonderful. You get stretched in ways you've never been stretched before. Your job is to lay there and breath.

The therpist begins working the elements and points themselves. First we start by lightly palming the merdian. Remember, this is energy work, so there doesn't need to be a lot of pressure. The points can be tender though, especially if there's something going on then within that meridian. Then the points get worked with the thumb. As the therapist works the elements, one hand stays in contact. It's known as the mother hand. The other one works the energy. The therapist leans into the points. They shouldn't push. Some points need tonifying and others need to be dispersed to help clear the energy channels that are creating your imbalances.

The therpaist will turn you over and work your back and end the session with another hara evaluation to see about changes in the energy. It's important to note, if you've never had energy work done before, you have to almost retrain the body to pay attention to it's self. The more you work the meridians and the points, the faster things happen. I used to have to hold points like 2 hours and might get some relief. Now, I hold a point maybe 20 minutes. Some things there are point sequences for and I rarely have to go beyond the first few points to get, rid of something like hiccups. I would eventually like to post things like sequences for common conditions/ ailments like: neck and shoulder tension, back pain, migrains, hangovers, period cramps, hot flashes, depression, general wellness, immune boosters. I could go on and on. These are things that will help open your energy channels and take care of the your own imbalances without medication, and to just feel good. I'd also like to post partner makko's- the stetches.

Your whole body gets stretched and touched for about an hour and half to two hours. It's very relaxing. There's nice music playing, I like to play eastern music to help set the mood. The best part is, as it should be in all your sessions, it's all about you! And how much time do you spend on no one, but yourself? Probably not enough. In the end remember, if you don't replenish your own energy, jing, than you will burn out and have nothing to give and won't be any good to any one. So take care of yourself and get a massage!

By the way, most people feel guilty about doing something for themselves. I hate this about our culture. We are just as worthy of treats and taking time out for ourselves as any one else we're doing things for. We aren't Superman or Wonder Woman. We get sick, tired, run down, and stressed. Yet, what do we do? We go to work anyway, the kid's still need to be fed and bathed, homework needs to get done, laundry...the list goes on and on, I know. That's the point. If you only stop and take care of yourself when every thing else is done/ taken care of, then you won't have time for you until your dead; or your on your deathbed. ENJOY life. Value YOUR life. REALLY, take care of YOURSELF! And, Have a wonderful day!

Visuals of the set up of the elements and vocabulary

Fire is on top of the circle. Wood is to the right. On the Opposite side of wood is Earth. Under Wood is Water. Next to water, under earth is metal.

See how these form
a circle? Wood generates fire. Ashes from fire nourish the earth. Earth generates metal. Metal generates water. Water generates wood. This is called the GENERATING SEQUENCE.

In this circle, Wood is the mother to fire and fire is the mother to earth. Fire is the child of wood as earth is the child to fire and so on. When it's out of balance it's either because the mother element isn't nourishing the child element, or, the child element is taking too much from the mother element.

ex. Liver, mother affects the heart, child: the liver fails to nourish the heart, making the liver-blood deficient. This will affect heart blood and make it deficient, which in turn create heart palpitations and insomnia. The gall bladder affects the heart too. This is on a more psychological level though. The gall bladder controls the capacity to make decisions. Not that it makes the right one, mind you, it provides the courage to make the decision. The mind is housed in the heart and thus an impaired gall bladder may make making the decisions difficult, emotional weakness, lack of assertion.

There is also the CONTROLLING SEQUENCE. So, now inside the circle draw lines. Wood crosses over to earth. Earth goes down to water. Water goes up to fire. Fire goes down to metal. Metal goes up to wood.

Wood, trees prevent erosion and help hold the earth in place. Earth gives water boundaries. Wood needs water to grow. Fire needs wood to burn. Fire melts metal. Metal cuts wood.
Each element needs the others to be balanced to be able to do it's jobs.

There is also the INSULTING SEQUENCE. So, wood insults metal. Metal insults fire. fire insults water. Water insults earth. Earth insults wood. This also takes place when there is a disruption in the balance.
The essence of eastern philosophy lies in the yin yang together they are chi/Qi. Yin/ yang are are more of associations.

YIN- soft, hollow, dark, moist, shade, rest, earth, flat, space, west, north, right

YANG- Light, sun, brightness, activity, Heaven, round, time, east, south, left

CHI/QI- Energy that's in all living things.

MERIDIAN- A river of Qi. The Twelve regular meridians have organ systems associated with them and have internal and external trajectoires. The energy pathways running in the body. Ex. Metal's organs or meridians are lung and large intestine. One travels up the body one travels down, as each one is either yin/yang.

EIGHT PRINCIPLES- An evaluation paradigm common in modern acupncture in China and the West. The eight principles are 4 sets of polar opposites used to define and assess a pattern of disharmony. Signs and symptoms are categorized as cold/hot, deficient/excessive, Yin/ Yang. Internal/ External.

FIVE ELEMENTS- An evaluating paradigm used in acuuncture and bodywork. The Five Elements are culled from observable phenomena and can be seen as the different ways an organism can resppond to stimuli. These possible responses can be associated with elements of nature that have similar characteristics. The elements are: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.

KEYO- Yin. Soft, Hollow, cold, bottomless, deficient.

JITSU-Yang. Overactive, hard, warm, pulsing, in a state of excess.

TONIFY - To support, built, nourishment. To strengthen the energy of an element or meridian.

DISPERSE-To cut the energy of an element or meridian that's jitsu. To remove stagnant Qi.
Generating Cyle/ Sequence- The Creation relationship of the Five Elements, when one element transforms itself to give birth to the next. Can be used to tonify or disperse

HARA- Abdominal area. The center of energy in the body. The quality of the different energy zones in the hara is a microcosm of the energetic pattern in the Body/ Mind/ Spirit that is most acute- in that moment.

HARA EVALUATION- Using the Hara to know how to work that session so the client achieves optimal results.

MU POINTS- Are on the yin side of the torso, face up. They also correspond to the different meridians. They reflect the state of our "being", or consitutional energy. When used in evaluation, they can indicate a disharmony that is slightly more chronic. When used in a treatment they can be used to consolidate and nurture the constitional energy. Note these are not the hara points. Mu points run directly down the center of the front of your body. Hara is in abdominal area only.

SHU POINTS- These points are located along the spine and reflect our state of "becoming". When used for evaluation they can tell us the most chronic imbalances. When used in treatment, they correspond to each of the meridians and particularly resonate with the condition of the physical body.
GU QI- Also known as, food Qi. The energetic component of food. The process of it's extraction and cultivation is begun by the stomach and governed by the spleen. It's the basis for blood, moisture, and post-natal Qi.

TA QI- The energetic component of air, combines in the lung with Gu Qi to form Zong Qi.

ZONG QI- Chest Qi, Ancestral Qi, Gathering Qi. The combination of Gu Qi and Ta Qi. Zong Qi fuels the voice andporives support to the lung and heart.

SHIATSU- An oriental massage that involves passive stretches, and palming and thumbing the energy channels to create balance.

KATA- A form. A basic formula for a complete full body session.

SEIZA- Traditional posture in Japanese culture. Allows the practitioner to work from a centerd place with an elongated spine and with a great degree of maneuverablity.

IMBALANCES- Disruption in the energy flow that manifests itself either physically, psycologically, or emotionally.

MOTHER HAND- The hand that doesn't break contact with the client. This is done for grounding and so the client always knows where the therapist is at all times.

Jan 4, 2008

How Eastern Philosophy relates to you

So, now that you have looked at the elements, you're wondering what all that means. Well, by looking at the body type, personalities, and some imbalances, hopefully you were able to pick which ones are dominate in you. Remember, you are all of them, though.

If you look at your circle of friends, they are also probably in your dominate element. But, what what does that mean? Well, I'm a Fire Element so I am optimistic, fun, I like to laugh and be with a lot of people. I like to circulate in a group and I stay pretty busy. My friends are the same. When we get together, we are loud, we laugh a lot and we all mix. We strengthen our element by being together.

But what happens when people aren't in you're element? This is where the control cycle comes in: Earth gives water boundaries, water puts out fire.... So if you interact with a water element as a fire, they'll calm you down. An Earth element will bring out the care giver, Wood fuels Fire, so a Wood element will make your Fire traits more obvious.

What else is interesting to realize is that people are what they are. It's a part of them. So if someone has traits that bother you, realize now, it's not their fault and it probably won't change. The Chinese believe, you change your primary elements every 7 years. Think about how much you changed from 0-7, 7-14, 14-21, 21-28... Or if you have kids, it's easier to see it in them.

But not all people's primary elements change. If they don't grow mentally, their elements will stay the same. As we age, we lose our jing, our life force, so like my dad is the meanest S.O.B. you ever want to meet. He has been this way my whole life. He is a Wood element. He is very angry,- Vietnam, but I think there's more to it too. Anyway, he has always been abusive and everyone my family and neighborhood knew, no one did anything because they were afraid of him. He' fed his anger with drinking and ruined his liver. Liver is one of the wood elements and the mind set is anger. Which just goes to show you, with anger you ultimately end up hurting yourself. Anyway, he stopped drinking, but the anger is still there. He has kidney issues and his liver is failing among so many other things. The point is, he's dying. He doesn't have the fight left in him to actually fight, but everyone in town is still intimidated by my dad and no one would cross him.

Anyway, aside from figuring out what elements are your primary ones and learning about why you have some conditions/ pathologies what does it do? Well, as a fire element, insomnia, anxiety, excessive sweating are some imbalances. If you have more than one imbalances in any element, your body is telling you, your out of balance. So, in the fire example, These symptoms are jitsu, or overactive. Fire needs to be dispersed. You can disperse, or cut, fire by working the dispersal points in the fire element, and work water, thus strengthening it to put out fire. You must realize however, once one element is unbalanced they all become unbalanced to an extent. They form a circle. If one is deficient, or keyo, than other's will compensate. Like wise when one element or meridian is jitsu, others will suffer because energy is going to

The Chinese believe you should treat the whole body and everything is significant. They use all their senses to diagnose. The western world treats the symptoms and I think it's all about the all mighty dollar here. It's sad. I also find it ironic, that eastern medicine is considered new age here, yet it's been around and proven since 2,5000 b.c.. If it's lasted this long, it must be doing something right.

A quick funny story. I went to a party where I only knew 3 people, including my husband. Not knowing anyone and waiting for the other 2 people I knew to show up, I listened. The other 2 arrived and where surprised to see my husband and I. They had a few drinks, and yelled that I was the best massage therapist. I was instantly a celebrity. I was asking questions relating to the Eastern elemental association and people were amazed I knew so much about them. I would no sooner make it back to my husband and someone would come and get me because someone else wanted to talk to me.
So, this one guy followed me around all night. As we were getting ready to leave he asked me to do a psychic reading for him. First of all, everyone thought I was psychic, and I kept saying, "I'm not psychic. This is ancient Chinese philosophy." Second he didn't say one word to me all night outside of asking for a reading. I again explained I'm not psychic and I can't just tell you things. I know this stuff because of a few things they said then I asked questions to get more direction until I hit the element.

Basic Eastern Philosophy

Have you ever noticed how your personality has changed over the years? Or how you have more fun with some people than others? Or that your personality changes depending on the group of people your with? Here's why.

There are five elemental types. You are everyone of them, but you have dominate ones. Each one effects the others. They make a circle and need each other to stay in balance; or to keep you in optimal health.

There's Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, and Metal.

The Earth gives Water boundaries.
Water puts out Fire.
Fire melts Metal.
Metal comes from the Earth.
Wood fuels Fire and keeps the Earth together.


Earth people are the caregivers and nurturers, the worriers. They tend to be fleshy around the middle and earth people are family oriented and like to be in the among many people.

Stage of Developement- Transformation
Body Type:
Feet firmly planted, don't move quickly, fleshy, strong thighs, large head and Jaws, "opera singers body"
Amiable, down to earth, calm, adaptable to the needs of others, territorial, generous, reliable.
Season: Indian Summer
Color: Yellow/Orange
Meridians: Stomach is Yin, Spleen is Yang
Time of Day: 7:00-9:00am Stomach 9:00-11:00am Spleen
Direction: Center
Flavor: Sweet
Sense Organ: Mouth
Fluid Secretion: Saliva
Emotion: Worry, sympathy
Sound: Singing
Body Parts Governed: Flesh
External Physical Manifestation: Lips
Smell: Fragrant
Climate: Damp, humid
Mental Aspect: Worry Concentration

Stomach functions: Transformation of food into Qi. Receives nourishments from food. Rules decending functions. Rotting and Ripening of spleen.

General Indicators for Stomach: Excessive consumption of cold drinks or raw food, bad eating habits; irregular and or rushed meals, eating in stressful conditions, unhealthy diet. Bad Breath.

Spleen Functions: Holds up Qi, makes blood, governs flesh. governs transformation and ascending transportaton. Extracts Gu Qi from food and drink. Ascends Gu Qi to the lungs to mix with air, Ta Qi, and form chest Qi, Zong Qi. Ascends Gu Qi to heart for the formation of blood. controls the blood and keeps it within it's vessels. Keeps internal organs and blood vessels upright and in proper shape. Maitaince and regulates metabolism.. The residence of thought/ affects the ability to study, concentrate, and memorize. Opens into the mouth, manifests in the lips.

General Indicators for Spleen: Irregular dietary habits, Excessive study and use of the mind, prolonged exposure to dampness, sweet tooth, and weight fluctuations.

Stomach Imbalances: Cold sores, nausea, vomiting, hiccups, belching, farting, stomach disorders, sore or dry lips, heat in stomach, acid reflux, diabetes, ulcers, fatigue in the am, dry mouth, manic behavior, severe anxiety,bleeding gums, hyperactivity.

Spleen Imbalances: Hernia, prolapsed organs, varicose veins, bruising, endometriosis, menstrual problems, dampness, hemorrhoids, weakness in legs, anemia, weight fluctuations, fatigue upon waking, loose stool, burning anus.

Numbers- 5

Planet- Saturn

Animal- Human

Domestic Animal- Ox

Graines- Rice

Earth is center rather than Yin or Yang.


Fire people are very communicative, they tend to burn the candle at both ends and burn out. They are all over, like fire, they spatter. They like to have fun and laugh, they have a lot of friends and like large gatherings. They often forget words or they are, "on the tip of their tongue. " They loose their train of thought because their mind works faster than their mouth. They tend to have addictive personalities. They feed their fire with caffeine and dark chocolate.

Stage of Development- Growth
Body Type: Warm skin with elasticity, soft moist skin, graceful active hands, long neck arms and legs, willowy physique, pointed chin, walks and talks quickly.

Personality: Enthusiastic, communicative, charismatic, optimistic, empathetic, affectionate, intuitive, prone to excess.
Season: Summer
Color: Red
Meridians: Heart- Yin, Small Intestine- Yang, Pericardium- Yin, Triple Heater- Yang
Times Of Day: 11:00am-1:00pm Heart
1:00pm-3:00pm Small Intestine
7:00-9:00pm Pericardium
9:00-11:00pm Triple Heater
Direction: South
Flavor: Bitter
Sense Organ: Tip of the Tongue
Fluid Secretion: Perspiration
Emotion: Joy
Sound: Laughter
Body Parts Governed: Blood Vessels
External Physical Manifestation: Complexion
Smell: Burned, scorched
Climate: Heat
Mental Aspect: Rules Shen

Heart Functions: Governs blood and blood vessels. Rules spirit and emotions. Houses the mind affects mental/emotional activity, consciousness, thinking, clarity), memory, and sleep.

General Indicators for the Heart: One the go lifestyle, mental clarity, excess of emotions, chest/ pathway pain, lack of moderation, coffee craving.

Small Instestine Functions: Governs absorbtion and assimilation. Discerns what is relevant, useful, healthy etc.. On a physical plane, it's what our body needs. On a metaphysical plane, it's what's good for the mind and spirit; supplies clarity. Separtes pure and impure. Impure liquid goes to the Bladder for purification and impure solids goes to the large intestine for elimination. Assimilates and absobs essential substances and some water in food.

General Indicators for Smalll Intestine: Abdominal bloating, pain in shoulders and neck, excess of either cold or hot foods, inability to distinguish various options, and sadness that obliterates mental clarity.

Pericardium Function: Protects the heart and aids in circulation. Connected to the ability to sustain sexual and emotional relationships, and it influences the emotional and mental state.

General Indicators for Pericardium: Discomfort in upper heater/ energizer, abnormal focus on relationships, emotional sensitive, rounded shoulders and caved in upper heater, and chocolate cravings.

Triple Heater Functions: Thermoregulator of the chest, solar plexus, lower abdoman. Linked with the immune system. Regulator of Qi. Maintains optimum environment in the 3 divisions of the body:
Upper Heater/ Energizer- Heart, Lungs, Pericardium and is the mist intake and interpretation.

Middle Heater/ Energizer: Stomach, Splee, and Gall Bladder is the bubbling cauldron of absorbtion and assimilation.

Lower Heater/Energizer: Lver, Kidneys, Intestines, and Bladder it's the swamp. Reproduction and elimination.

General Indicators for Triple Heater: Weak response to infection, palpable temperature differnece in the torso, and sighns and syptoms cluped together in one Hearter/ Energizer.

Heart Imbalances: poor memory, migraines, desire cold drinks, anxiety, cardiac infarction, stammering, timidity, sweaty palms, restlessness, heart palpitations, pallor, mental fatigue, excessive sweating, cold hands, insomnia, dream disturbed asleep, nightmares, excessive / inappropriate laughter/ crying, pain in chest, bitter taste in mouth. Over bright or lifeless eyes.

Small Intestine Imbalances: Dull abdominal pain,desire for hot drinks, bloating, manic behavior, constipation, poor digestion, puffy eyes, poor circulation, strong determination, difficulty in turning neck, has trouble making a decision.

Pericardium Imbalances: Easily fatigues, frequent dreaming, absentmindedness, restless but immobile, feverish palms, high temperature, delirium low/high blood pressure,hypersensitive, dizziness, shortness of breath, poor circulation.

Triple Heater Imbalances: Headaches, sensitive to humidity/ weather changes, catch colds easy, swollen lymph glands, slow to throw off colds, neck and shoulder pain, tendency to clutch arms and palms, nervous reaction to external environmental changes, prone to tonsillitis.

Number- 7

Planet- Mars

Amnimal- Birds

Domestic Animal- Fowl

Grains- Beans

Fire is more of a Yang Element.


Water people are often mistaken for shy, when really they are more reflective. They seek the lowest level and often they will sit or lay on the floor. Water people like to spread out. They prefer a one on one conversation than with a group. They often melt into the back round. They tend to be easy going and to go with the flow and don't like causing waves.

Stage of Development- Storage
Body Type: Fluid movement,/lazy, long, narrow head and face, long large bones, long fingers and toes, silky hair.
Personality: Introspective, candid, objective, careful, curious, perceptive, sensitive/psychic.
Season: Winter
Color: Blue, black
Meridians: Bladder -Yang, Kidney, Yin
Time of Day: 3:00-5:00pm Bladder 5:00-7:00pm Kidney
Direction: North
Flavor: Salty
Sense Organ: Ear
Fluid Secretion: Urine
Emotion: Fear
Sound: Groaning
Body Parts Governed: Bones, marrow
External Physical Manifestation: Head hair
Smell: Putrid
Climate: Cold
Mental Aspect: Will Power

Bladder Functions: Purification, stores and eliminates urine. Relates to Autonomic Nervous System by the Shu points, Communicates with pituitary gland and the kidnewy hormone system.

General Indicators of the Bladder: Night urinatin, pathway pain, posture, ability to move forward in life.

Kidney Functions: Stores jing- governs birth, growth, and reproducton. Houses the will power. Rules bones; produces bone marrow and brain tissue. Responsible for water metabolism. Grasps the Qi of the lungs and holds it down. Affects the Adrenals. Opens in the ear.

General Indicators for Kindney: Excessive/ repression of fear, low back pain, fertility problems, premature aging,health of head hair, stamina.

Bladder Imbalances: Incontinence, night time enuresis, frequent /abundant urination, lower backache, easily fatigued, burning urination, thirst, fever/ infection, stiffness in shoulders and thorax, inflammation of bladder and prostate, nervous, suspicion or jealousy that is repressed.

Kidney Imbalances: Frequent urination, pain in lower back, feels cold, tinnitus, deafness, night sweats, aches in bones, lack of stamina, kidney stones, dark urine, edema, impotence, pituitary issues, hormone imbalances, painful menstruation's, losing hair, ear problems, greying premature, problems with your teeth, infertility, urinary tracked issues, joint problems, arthritis.

Numbers- 6

Planet- Mercury

Animal- Shell Covered

Domestic Animal- Pig

Water is a Yin element.


Metal people are very organized, they pay attention to detail, they like things where they belong, they tend to have no clutter or they keep every little piece of paper. They like to make list and schedules. They like to cross things off the list and keep to a stick schedule. They are often early risers. Often waking up going over their list mentally. They thrive on structure. Many metal people have OCD issues. Many have jobs where they work alone with areas where details count. They are good accountants, scientists. They are often seen as cold and unyeilding.

Stage of Development- Harvest

Body Type: Walks deliberately, have a strong voice, stand erect, light clear skin, oval face, broad shoulders, strongly built body, often have little or no neck and are barrel chested.

Personality: Independent, meticulous, rational, well organized, likes ceremony/discipline, reserved.
Season: Autumn
Color: White
Meridians: Lung- Yin, Large Intestine-Yang
Time of Day: 3:00-5:00am Lung 5:00-7:00pm Large Intestine
Direction: West
Sense Organ: Nose
Fluid Secretion: Mucus
Emotion: Grief
Sound: Weeping
Body Parts Governed: Skin
External Physical Manifestation: Body hair
Smell: Rotten
Climate: Dry
Mental Aspect: Inability to let go of old habits, grudges, grief.

Lung Functions- Intake and circulation of Qi. Governs the skin, pores and sweat. Wei (protective) Qi. Lid of Yin organs- open to the outside world, first to be invaded by germs, Decends to communicate with other organs. Opens into the nose. Adjust water channels. Easily damaged by dryness. Houses the Corporeal Soul, the Po.

General Indicators of Lung: Health of skin, Excessive or suprssion of grief, allergies/ sinus problems, and pain pathway.

Large Intestine Function- Absorbs and cleans fluids from the small intestine. Elimination of stagnant Qi. Letting go of grudges, grief, and possessions.

General Indicators of Large Intestine: Pattern of bowel movement, tendency to hang on, and pathway pain.

Lung Imbalances: Shortness of breath, cough, watery sputum, catch colds easy, weak voice, negative attitude, resistant to new ideas, asthma, pain in chest, stuffed nose, occipital headaches, bronchitis, jealousy, detachment, over anxiety, inability to release tension.

Large Intestine Imbalances: Loose stool, dull pain in abdomen, constipation, hemorrhoids, overdependent, tends to be disappointed, blood in stool, mucus in stool, inability to let go, always seems dissatisfied, nosebleeds, itchy skin, dry or congested nose.

Numbers- 9

Planet- Venus

Animal- Mammals

Domestic Animal- Dog

Grains- Hemp

Metal tends to be a Yin element in general.


Wood people are always on the go and hate to sit still, they are very goal oriented, and athletic. They may also have quick flare ups of a bad temper only to be gone in the next second. They tend to be bitter jealous people who feed their anger with drugs and thus destroy their liver. They bite their nails, like chewey foods like gum or meat, they chew and stew. They also like cruchy foods like nuts- that have fat to feed the anger, or chips, raw vegtables, anything to draw attention to themselves to let every one know they are mad. Many wood elements have that vien in their forheads. Julia Roberts has an obvious one.

Stage of Development- Birth

Body Type: Darkish faces, thick skin, strong sinewy hands and feet, loves movement, slender muscular bodies.

Personality: Bold, ambitious, competitive, decisive, powerful, independent, impatient.

Season: Spring
Color: Green
Meridians: Gallbladder- Yang, Liver- Yin
Time of Day: 11:00pm-1:00am Gall bladder 1:00-3:00am Liver
Direction: East
Flavor: Sour
Sense Organ: Eyes
Fluid Secretion: Tears,bile
Emotion: Anger
Sound: Shouting
Body Parts Governed: Muscles & sinews
External manifestation: Nails
Climate: Windy
Mental Aspect: Righteous Anger

Gall Bladder Functions: Decision maker/Far sighted. Holds body in from the sides, stores and extracts bile. sinews equals muscles and tendons. Stores blood and makes Qi flow smoothly. Provides Qi to the sinews.

General Indicators of Gall Bladder: Level of decisiveness, pathway pain, temporal headaches, stregth of joints.

Liver Functions: Stores and moves blood, brings blood to muscles and tendons during physical activity, detoxifies blood, maintains even flow of movement and emotions, opens into the eyes.
Manifest in the nails, master plannerm reinforces drive and resolutness. Easily affected by wind. Houses the Etheral Soul- the Hun.

General Indicators of Liver: Evenness of emotional life, health of eyes. nails, migrains, temporal headaches, menstrual irregularities, need for sedatives.

Gall Bladder Imbalances: Trouble digesting fats, dreams of "fights, trials, suicide", timidity, nervousness, easily startled, blurred vision, hypochondriac, gallstones, diet heavy in fats, pain in legs, stiff muscles/ sinews, migraines.

Liver Imbalances: Weepiness/P.M.S., tired eyes blurred vision, physical tiredness, weak tendons, scanty menstruation, muscle spams, eye twitches, brittle nails, insomnia,frustration, irritability, mood swings, angry outbursts, nausea, poor appetite, masses in abdomen, temporal headaches, red itchy eyes, excessive alcohol consumption, dizziness.

Numbers: 8

Planet- Jupiter

Animal- Fish

Domestic Animal- Sheep

Graines- Wheat

Wood in general is more Yang.

Commenly asked questions

K so most people ask the same basic questions.

1. Do I have to get naked? No. If any one tells you otherwise request someone else or leave. We we told to tell clients to get undressed down to their comfort level. I have some people who stay fully clothed the first time. I do go under the neck of the shirt in the back it is easier and more effective to work on the skin. I explain this, and they feel the difference and gradually the clothes come off.

Notes: The therapist should always leave the room while you undress and get on the table. Only the body part that is getting worked on is uncovered. You should be covered with a sheet at all times. When they turn you over, the therapist stands on one side of the table leans against the table trapping the sheet, makes a tent with the sheet and the client rolls away from the therapist and into the new position. If they stand at the head of the table they get a full view down your body. It's sad, but this happens more often than you would like to think. We had students get kicked out of the program for doing this and being inappropriate in general. The kicker is, it was their own mouths bragging about it to a group of people that got them caught.

For stories about bad massages check out the post. If you've had a bad experience and want to share it, to let other people know what happened to you please share.

2. What is a knot? K if you can imagine your muscle being a balloon filled with water and a nylon sock wrapped around it, the nylon sock represents the fascia that surrounds and connects your muscles and organs. When you use a muscle the nylon fibers at the top of the muscle overlap, the fibers at the bottom get stretched. That's why someone with low back pain may actually be getting it from their neck and shoulders. Now, these overlapped fibers cut off your blood supply, so your muscles aren't getting fresh oxygen and nutrients and it isn't able to wash away carbon monoxide and waste. Part of that waste is lactic acid. Lactic acid is a byproduct of ATP. ATP is what your muscles use for energy. In a normal knot I go against these fibers to lay them flat. The fresh blood flows in and washes the toxins away.

3. What is a trigger point? It's a hypersensitive knot that hasn't been addressed. Now going back to our example in question 2. Your blood runs through your body like a river. Now a river has tributaries that feed into each other, in this case, the tributaries are coming from your arms and legs and leads to a bigger pool of water, or your trunk. If there is a lot of pollutants in the water or debris, the flow stops. It's like how when you get to the mouth of the river you see all the crap that came from upstream. In your body, what happens is, the lactic acid acts like a glue and glues your nylon fibers, fascia ,together. Your body starts to get backed up with toxins. Your muscles aren't getting fresh oxygen and nutrients. You feel more run down, you may have muscle cramps/ spasms, limited range of motion, you'll be more susceptible to colds and diseases (The immune systems works with the circulatory system and it can only go where your blood goes to do it's job.), you may have migraines, numbness and tingling, have back pain, pain or weakness in your limbs esp. the hands.
A massage releases these toxins. Many people feel drunk or disoriented that's why it's important to drink water before and after your session, to help get rid of the toxins before they get trapped again.

Note: Everybody has cancer cells in you body. You immune system kills 99.9% of them. But if it can't get there or your circulation is low and bacteria high cancer will grow. That's why cancers like prostate, ovarian, colon, cervical, and even breast cancer are so common. There is a lot of bacteria and not a lot of movement. Breast cancer is partly caused by the restriction of movement around the body by the bra. Cheryl Chapman, the woman who certified me to work with breast cancer, asks people if they have, "Fluffed the girls today?" She even has a pink t-shirt asking if you have. Men's breast cancer is on the rise. Obesity is on the rise and they have developed the boob crease cutting down their circulation.

Also many seniors die of pneumonia. Often they can't fight a common cold and it turns into something more serious.

People who have comprised immune systems due to illness should really have massage to help boost their immune systems.

4. What do I think of chiropractors? I think that chiropractors defiantly have their place in the medical community. That being said, I think that many people will see their chiropractor 2-3X a week for years and love them for making them feel better. My issue is they gave you a temporary fix. That's why you have to go back so often. The chiropractor works the structure of the body- the bones. some do do trigger point work, but not enough, and not for nothing, that isn't their training. It's the muscles that are pulling your bones out of alignment. Get a massage then go for your adjustment. Your adjustment will go easier and last longer.

Note: Now by the time I see people the first time their body is usually screaming for attention. You didn't do the damage to your body over night and it isn't going to get fixed in one session. Now the chiropractor may make you feel better, but for a short time. And initially you may need to see them 3x a week, but it should be for long.
Same with massage, now I have made people feel better in one session- it's a long one, but I do. They may not have that pain again for 6 months, some may come back in 2 days. I also require some people to see me more often in the beginning, but our goal is to get to the point where they come in for a once a month massage for maintenance to break up knots before they become trigger points.

5. How often should I get a massage? Ideally once a month. Getting a massage once a month is like getting an oil change for your body. Except, you can't change your body in every five years when it starts giving you problems.

Giving yourself a massage once a month, helps break up knots before they become trigger points. We know trigger points are hypersensitive knots that didn't get addressed. These trigger points trap toxins and are the cause of things like limited range of motion, pain, migrains etc.. It increases your circulation, thus, improving your immune system. By increasing productivity in these systems, your body heals faster and and helps in pathologies where circulation is deficient. By lowering stress it lowers your blood pressure.

6. Should I get a massage before or after I work out? Well, if you're getting a swedish/ relaxation massage, or a therapeutic session, where trigger points are worked, I say work out first.

If you're doing shiatsu, you can get a session that will boost energy and the session will do your prework-out stretches for you.

Jan 3, 2008

Why I know what I'm talking about

Hi! Let me start my blog off with, I LOVE my job. I feel blessed to go to work every day. Here's why: I get treated like a mini celebrity, people are happy to see me and happier when they leave, my ego gets boosted with comments like, "YOU'RE THE BEST!" all day, but the real reason is, to see the look of amazement when they get off the table and their pain is gone.

The next thing I would like to say, is any little bit of work is helpful- except when you're put in pain with no relief at the end. I don't care if it's getting done by another massage therapist, your spouse, your kids, or some massaging chair or device.

However, if you have any muscle related issues that cause pain in that area or that radiates else where or have a condition or illness that gives you chronic pain and you want someone to take care of the pain then you need to see someone like me. There are many things massage can help with that people just don't realize. Like sciatica, low back pain, arthritis, chrones disease diabetes, fibromyalgia, whiplash, high blood pressure, numbness and tingling, limited range of motion, migrains, carpal tunnel.... I could go on and on, but these are the common ones

Let me tell you how I work differently than most therapist. First, I went to Columbia-Greene-Community- College and graduated with an Associates in Applied Science. Most schools are 6-9 months,- with vacations.

I have taken review classes for the NYS boards with them, worked events, and in offices. They don't get a quarter of the information we got. They're told what to memorize for their test/ licensing board. Now, some people have a natural gift and talent and the education is icing so to speak- unless you learn the science and theory of why you're doing what your doing. In my opinion, they missed this crucial part.

We LEARNED about the human body from using western medicine and eastern medicine. We learned theory and the anatomical, physiological, and nerological reasons people have pain. I emphasis that we learned. They memorized. Any one who has memorized anything can tell you, you don't retain that information. Don't get me wrong, initially it is all memorization. I think that's where their schools ends and ours really began.

We studied the body over and over using common conditions and pathologies to learn what we could do from a western poin, eastern point and through massage. I know the human body. People are always surprised how much I, as a massage therapist, knows.

I work at a GE Research and Development Center, a Physical Therapy office, I go to local business, sport events, health fairs etc. At GE I am told constantly that I am better than anyone else. I get told this every where and while it's always appreciated, it's really nice to hear it from the GE people bc they come from all over the world and they travel the world. GE pays for them to get massages in the best places, and they still look forward to seeing me when they get back. I get presents from around the world bc they're thinking of me and how they can't wait to see me. I don't care what the gift is, I just love that they think of me and appreciate what I do. I get told that I have healing hands, magic fingers.... But you have to understand, these people, although highly intelligent, you might as well be speaking a foreign language when you say, "relax". They live in their minds and don't pay attention to their bodies; until it stops them from working. They come and see me and can't turn their head in any direction. They tell me, they don't know how they even drove to see me. Give me two hours and they have 98% of their movement back.

Here is a quick funny story. One of my clients, who is an actual rocket scientist. He wears a T-shirt at the gym that says, "I Really Am a Rocket Scientist!" Anyway, he came in with low back issues and I started with his neck. I hit a trigger point, (that's defined in the glossery) and there are basic refferal patterns for each point. Now I don't like to tell them where it's suppose to go, generally, bc sometimes it goes outside of the refferral pattern and that tells me which direction to work. But he was surprised where this one went, now for some reason, maybe bc it was an unusual pattern I stopped him before he could show me where it was going and showed him where the pain went down his back, but off to the side before the hip. He was so impressed with me. I was impressed that I impressed a rocket scientist. That became my funny story of the week.

But it isn't just me that gets told I'm the best. Everyone I went to school with gets told this. That's why I give the credit to my education and my teachers. I couldn't say enough wonderful things about them.

Our teachrs told us that 2 years would give us the basics for massage and stressed continuing ed classes. Some of the classes I have taken include: Medically getting certified to work in the hospital, certified to work with cancer- focusing on breast cancer, and I've been certified to work wth geriatics, HIV/ AIDS.

I have worked with and had many massages by the people who went to these 6-9 month schools and I haven't found anyone who knew what they were doing. These therapist also are loved by their clients... until they have me. It sounds arrogant to say all of this, but it's true.

K here is my first story. Now, I'm a fire sign,- (look under eastern theory for what this means), but when I tell a story it may have a lot of tangents, but they're all relivent and tie into the end of the story. So bear with me. I also get told I have a knack for telling stories, so enjoy!

My first job was in a spa, now initially when you get out of school you have to work under another therapists' license until you take and recieve notice you passed the NYS board. I worked under a man who didn't go to school at the local 9 month school, but went to a 6 month school in Florida. He did work at the local school for a time though, and he told me, that he told the owners not to hire anyone from that school bc they didn't know what they were doing! I was floored! Our teachers were calling us to let us know about jobs in our field of continuing ed and recommended us for jobs and had some students with other massage related training to come in and lecture in our advanced topics classes. They knew we knew our stuff and would put 110% into any job we did.
Ok so, this is the way it worked in the spa I was in. Let's say you wanted to book a massage. First it goes to the "senior" therapist, if he was busy it went to me- if 2 other girls didn't need the room for facials. So there were times I got some of his regular clients bc he was booked. He loved to tell me how great his clients thought he was. As part of my interview, I worked on him and he on me. He was nothing special. I had better sessions from first year students in clinic. Anyway, soon his clients were booking with me. The clients felt guilty when they saw him in the hall on the way into my room; it was very awkward. But the thing is, even though it was a spa givin the choice people always want to get rid of pain over relaxation.

At a triatholon the therapist got pissed at me and stopped putting me into the rotation, bc I was making more money than them and on the day of the event I had a line of people just to see me. The reason is simple. I listen to what they tell me and let them know I can help. I take the time needed to get the job done. There is no time limit at these things. We go in as independant contractors. There were like 10 therapist. Why only spent 10-15 minutes on someone just to stand around for your turn again. They want to work on as many people as they can making $1.00/minute. I let them know it was going to take some time, but it could be done. That's why they came to see me before and after their events; what I did worked.

Recently, I got a referral from a client. This woman had been going to the most expensive spa for massages every month. She was telling my client how she had horrible migraines forever and was on medication and was seeing a massage therapist, but it was getting worse and giving her range issues in her neck. When she came to see me, I felt her and she was the wall. The wall is the term I use for people who are so tight you can't even distinguish their skin from muscle. It's like trying to manipulate the wall into a softer form. My first comment to her was, "Oh my God, you're a mess!" Now when she booked, she told me her range issues, but I asked many other questions she was impressed I knew so many things about her body and personality just by touching her and asking some questions. Personality stuff incorporates the eastern medicine that's always telling you what is going on with them. Then she told me how her regular therapist says she doesn't have knots. I gasped, "But you're riddled with them!" Long story short, she cancelled out the rest of the year with this other person and sees me.

K so I want to just say, I hope that you don't see this as cocky or arrogent or whatever. I don't want to bad mouth other therapist, but I see people everyday at work, in the store all over who complain of pain. Many won't think of massage as a way to break the pain cycle or to get off medications. The ones who do try are most likely going to get someone who doesn't have the education to help then say, "I've tried it and it doesn't work."

My goal is to educate you. I'll answer questions or concerns, I'll post self care things, suggest great oitments and oils to buy that REALLY work, I'll explain why people have chronic pain in popular places, go over eastern philosophy, my own funny stories and thoughts. What I hope you get out of this, is a better knowledge of your body and that there is hope to at least manage the pain.