Some Final Thoughts Before Reopening….

As always, I hope this finds you doing well.

So, it won’t be long now before re-opening day is upon us! I have decided on a few (temporary) policy changes that I think will help streamline operations during this time of adjustment. These changes will be in effect until the fall, when I will reevaluate their need.

Unless already purchased, I will be putting on hold all 30 minute offerings along with the Thermal Palms offering. The purchase of future Packages will also be on hold until the fall. All 60 or 90 minute offerings and Gift Certificates will continue to be available.  I apologize for any inconvenience these changes might cause.

I forgot to mention a couple of other safety measures that will be put into practice. In order for me to reopen my business  NYS is requiring me to get Covid-19 tested. I will also need to be tested every two weeks thereafter while in Phase III. This requirement is subject to extension beyond Phase III. Also, as a matter of “Best Practices”, in addition to the enhanced cleaning procedures that are required between clients, it is also recommended that therapists change their clothes between clients. All measures are taken in an attempt to decrease the chance of any virus transmission. They recommend wearing scrubs. As luck would have it, I have a lot of them already!!  Prepare for a scrubs fashion show!!  🙂

I will be contacting the on-line scheduling people today to get that app. fired up again. It may take me some time to tweek the site to reflect all the changes I’ve talked about. (Tech. know-how is mid tier, at best, in my skill set!!)  I will complete that asap. The opening date is still planned for July 1st.

I think I’ve covered everything I had intended to.

Please visit the website: www.TBWinAverillPark.com and click on the Resources tab where you will find the Information and Consent Form. If you have access to a printer, you can bring that signed and dated form to your first appointment. No printer, no problem! We can take care of it at your appointment. You will also find the expanded Policy and Procedure document related to Covid-19 for your review in the Resources section.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the new massage world we live in now, never hesitate to give me a call (518-573-5059). I will do my best to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Until then…Be Well. I hope to see you soon!  🙂

~Claire

Massage Therapy Re-Opens in Phase III Yaaaah!! :-)

Greetings from Therapeutic Bodyworks.

It’s true! Phase III will mark the re-opening for Therapeutic Bodyworks!! The date should be June 16 or 17th, if all the metrics that are being tracked stay on track. We have been Blessed that our numbers have been slowly getting lower. #NY Smart, #NY Tough!

When last we left the story of “How to get a massage in the time of Covid-19”, I believe I had just gotten you in the door! One thing I had not mentioned is that I will quickly review the information from the night before and take a no-touch, forehead temperature before you come in. So NOW you’re in the door!

You may  immediately notice a more spartan look to the reception area and the massage room. It is recommended that to make the cleaning processes easier to accomplish that all objects that can’t be wiped down or spayed down be removed from the room. You will also notice the placement of various signs reminding you of Respiratory Etiquette, Hand Washing and Social Distancing. These are required by the state. There will still be music during the session, so hopefully that will help to retain some normalcy for your experience. There will be hand sanitizer in the room for your use before you get on the table. You will need to keep your mask on (while face up) during the session, so scalp and forehead massage are still possible, but not the rest of you face. I will be wearing a mask and protective eye wear as well. Gloves are only required if I have a break in my skin or you have a break in yours. (This has always been the case.) At the end of the session I will have you use the hand sanitizer again before  handling the door knob to exit the room. Hopefully you were able to pay for the session on-line at the time that you scheduled it. If not, we would take care of it either before or after the session, your choice.

You will notice that I have adjusted my pricing ($5 per service provided, unless already purchased). This is to offset the costs involved with meeting the NYS mandated requirements to reopen. As I had mentioned in the prior email. I will reopen the scheduling app. on the day Phase III begins. Where I had thought I might need up to a month to get things in place in the office, I think I’m in better shape than that, and am currently shooting for 2 weeks! That would put my office re-open date at July 1st, so available appointment dates will proceed from there. A new month, a fresh start!! I think that’s probably enough to absorb for this email! I will reach out at least one more time before reopening to tie up any other loose ends that come up. So until then….Take Care….Be Well ……and I hope to see you soon.

~Claire

TBW Covid-19 Re-Opening Up-Date

Greetings from Therapeutic Bodyworks!

I hope this finds you doing well. As we hopefully approach the beginning of Phase II in the re-opening process, it still appears to me that Massage Therapy will have to wait longer. In doing my research I find that while hair salons and barber shops are in Phase II, massage therapy is specifically excluded at this time. I can only surmise that this is related to the close proximity necessary when providing massage and the extended time together in close proximity. Fear not, we will have our day! In the meantime I prepare. I took a glimpse at the mandatory and best practices  changes required for hair salons to reopen. It was six pages long. Again, fear not, (and I may be talking to myself at this point!) we will get there!  What I am planning for is a period of time, up to a month, post reopen date before I would reopen.  Creating the required Covid-19 policy and procedure manual is happening now. Implementation of those changes and a thorough cleaning of the facility will take some time as well. I ask for your patience to bear with me in this process. In the absence of a vaccine or reliable treatment the ultimate goal is to arrive at a place where massage can be provided in the safest environment possible.

Before addressing procedural changes I just wanted to spend a moment discussing an overview of how this virus is transmitted. This is to the best of our current knowledge and the rationale behind the changes being made.

Covid -19 is a respiratory infection caused by a virus that is easily transmittable between people. It transmits or spreads by droplets that come from our mouth and nose when we breath, talk or sneeze. These droplets can stay aloft in the air or land on surfaces. Others can be infected when they breath in these droplets or touch a surface that has these droplets on it, then touch their own eyes, nose or mouth. Studies are on-going but depending on the type of surface material, these surfaces can remain capable of transmitting the virus and therefore infection for anywhere from hours to as long 5 days (Source CDC). This coupled with the finding that 80% of cases are mild or without any symptoms at all and that you are most infectious two days prior to the onset of any symptoms (Source CDC) shows the need for vigilance and heightened cleaning practices.

Today I thought I would start to address some of the changes that will be necessary when making an appointment.:

I will resume use of my scheduling app when the re-opening date is announced. It will show available dates one month from that time. On-line scheduling is appreciated. You will notice that there will be fewer time slots available per day. This is to accommodate the cleaning measures that will be required between clients.

On-line payment (when possible) is appreciated, as this further decreases the chance of virus transmission.

The day prior to your appt. I will be calling to do a Covid -19 Health Screening and to see what issues may be bringing you in for massage. This will replace the “desk time” we used to do upon your arrival. From our conversation I will create a form with that information that would then need to be signed and dated by you, at your appt. A renewal of an informed consent for massage will also need to be signed. (For long time clients, this was at the bottom of your initial intake form.)

My late cancellation policy is suspended for the foreseeable future. This is done in case you find you don’t feel well at the last minute before your appt. It’s more important to stay home and be well, whether the problem is Covid-19 related or not.

Upon arrival to the office on the day of your appt., please remain in your car until I indicate I’m ready for you to come in.

I will need to take and record a non-contact temperature and I will have hand sanitizer readily available to you for use upon arrival.

Masks are also required to be worn by each of us during the session. I know that’s a drag, but it’s necessary. Please come with your mask.

So with all of that said, you’re in the door! There are a lot changes. No doubt about it. I think that’s more than enough to digest for one email!

Until the next up-date…Be Well.

~Claire

Remaining Resolute about your Resolutions or Resolutions Arrrrrgghhh!

RESOLUTIONS: can strike fear in us.

Fear of FAILURE.  

Fear of the PAIN of the PROCESS.

Even Fear of Success.

For that matter FEAR of FEAR itself……OK…I’m sorry… but, you get the idea?

It’s publicly declaring your intentions to CHANGE something about yourself or do something completely different. Yicks!!

There’s lots to consider before “putting yourself out there.” Here are my 2 cents worth (?) on the topic along with the source of what has worked so well for me.

Weight loss, starting an exercise program, vowing to eat a better diet, learning something new; resolutions can run the gamut.  For best results I’ve found:

Rule #1    Make it YOUR resolution, not someone else’s for you.

Even if it’s your Doctor’s recommendation, you know in your gut whether or not you’ll comply as you walk out the office door. Am I right? (We’ll talk more about those things that certainly ARE the right thing to do, that you have just been putting off, later.)  So start with what matters to YOU.

Rule #2  Make your resolution REASONABLE. No: I’m going to drop 20 lbs in 2 weeks or the like. (Here’s the nurse in me talking: Any major diet / exercise changes should  first be discussed with your Physician. Just do it!)

Rule #3   Don’t be overwhelmed by the size of the task. Don’t be discouraged if you’ve tried before and failed. Don’t be afraid. It’s immobilizing.

Rule #4 Create a plan. Write it down. It gives your resolution  legitimacy. This should also take some of the angst out of the process as you take the big, scary  change and break it down into do-able, progressive steps. It allows you to track your progress and see how far you’ve come. It also allows you to evaluate your strategy and make changes before heading too far in a less than productive direction.

Rule #5 You need to do at least ONE thing, every day, to get you closer to your goal. Document it. I found that if it was something particularly unfamiliar to me (aka scary), I was better off doing it as soon as possible in the day so it didn’t loom ever larger as the day progressed. It lead to a sense of relief and accomplishment that could positively color the rest of the day.

Rule #6 Is your plan getting you where you want to go? Don’t be afraid to rethink your original plan if you’ve found a better way, progressed faster than you thought (Yaay!!) or are not progressing as fast as you think you could, Change your plan! Nothing is chiseled in stone here.

Rule #7 Repeat steps 5 &6 until you reach your goal. (Yaaaay!!)

Rule #8 Don’t beat yourself up for miss-steps. There’s no point in it and to do so can grind your efforts to a halt. In the words of Miss Scarlett:” Tomorrow’s another day! ” See Rule #3 and proceed!

Hmmm a strategy for success in under 9 Rules?    Sweeeet!!

But wait a minute, back to that pesky scenario of when you know it’s something you should do, but you just keep putting it off. No… I did not forget….for I have been here too!!

Let’s go back to 1998.

It’s a late September night and I’m flipping through the TV channels. I land on an infomercial by Anthony Robbins (stick with me here!). I’d seen him before on TV and was intrigued by his story, and so, I listened. At the end of the program I bought the 30 day program: Personnel Power II. It came and I promptly put it on a shelf, until the following January. Why, you might ask? Well, because I smoked at the time. I’m not talking occasional cigarette, I’m talking, if I was awake, I was smoking. Not cigarettes left unattended (how rude!), no, SMOKING!! As a nurse I knew all the reasons why I shouldn’t. Smoking was my pal, and my crutch and certainly what happens to others wouldn’t happen to me (Really, Claire??!) I had tried (and succeeded) a number of times to stop, only to restart for one reason or another, feeling the sense of failure that accompanies that merry-go-round. (See Rule#8). I knew the program would address such a transgression and I wasn’t sure I was ready to say good-bye to such a good friend.

None the less, I started the program on January 1st of 1999 and by day three he addressed my transgression (Dagmabit!).  The difference here was that he used what he called the “Dickens Process”. Check it out on You Tube for the best explanation, but it involves evaluating your present situation. What it costs you physically, emotionally, financially, relationships wise and so on. Not just thinking of these things, but feeling the impact of those costs, and then projecting and compounding that impact out over 5, 10 and 20 years.

On day four of the program I stopped smoking. No kidding, and remarkably it was without angst or struggle. The benefits of not smoking far outweighed the costs, on so many levels, of continuing to do so.

Certainly they always had! Where I had failed by thinking it through, trying to stay busy, sheer will, and acupuncture (Which did work,  but not in face of really needing a crutch.) FEELING the impact made all the difference in the world. I knew I didn’t want to be the me I saw 20 years out and still smoking like that. Heck, if there would even BE a 20 years out! I’d been Dickens-ed and it worked! I finished that 30 day program and I credit much of what I have achieved to it.

So the next time your Doctor or a family member or a friend suggests a resolution that you know in your heart you should take up, rather than dismissing them, perhaps, allow yourself to be Dickens-ed. It worked for me and I sincerely hope it will work for you as well.

Ahhhh,  there IS a Rule #9 to add to this effort.  Different things work for different people. Should you find that this strategy is not the “Holy Grail” for you, that it was for me- KEEP LOOKING, KEEP TRYING and NEVER GIVE UP ON THOSE THINGS YOU WANT TO CHANGE OR ACHIEVE IN YOUR LIFE!

MAY YOUR COMING YEAR BE BLESSED WITH PEACE, the CONTENTMENT of RESOLUTIONS KEPT and, of course MASSAGE!

(See Medical Disclaimer Blog Post)

It’s cold and flu season :-(

Flu or Cold. Sneezing Woman Sick Blowing Nose

As cold and flu season descend upon us, it’s a good time to remind you that getting a massage when you’re not feeling well is not a good idea. Massage stimulates your circulation. In doing so, if you feel as though you may be getting ill, if you are coughing, congested or feeling weakened, or if you are not fully recovered, massage can actually make you feel worse. It is better for you (and for me too ) to reschedule your appointment, if you’re not feeling well.
Also, should I find that I’m not feeling well, I will call you so we can talk about rescheduling. No one needs a massage and a cold as a parting gift!! Stay rested, stay well and hope to see you soon.

What a Pain in the Neck!!

Studio shot of sportsman with pain in neck

We’ve all been there at one time or another.

You have a stiff, painful neck with a decrease in normal range of motion (AKA pain with movement).

What the heck is going on??!

Casual Businessman With Pain In His NeckFirst let’s take a snapshot look at the structures and function of the neck. You have the delicate cervical spinal vertebrae that make up the bony support for the head (while encasing the spinal column through this region). Between the vertebrae are the shock-absorbing discs. There are layers of muscles, large and small that are responsible for stability and movement. There are major blood vessels and nerves that course through this region as well. The neck is a complicated place, so that stiffness and pain can arise from problems with muscles, nerves, vertebrae, discs or any combination thereof.

The neck’s main function: to hold up your Big Ole Head!  (Estimates vary, but your head weighs between 8-10 pounds!) That’s a lot of “mellon” atop a rather small pedestal. If it were just to sit there, that would be work enough, but with what we put it through in the course of even an average day, it’s a wonder we don’t always have a real Pain in the Neck!

So what to do?

That depends on the cause. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, fallen for any reason hitting your head or hurting your neck, you should seek immediate medical attention so that the extent of your injuries canWoman Painfully Carrying Boxes be determined. The same is true for any sudden onset of severe pain, numbness or weakness. These would all be circumstances where massage would be contraindicated until a medical evaluation has been done.

When your neck pain is not readily connected to an injury episode, it may be the result of everyday living. Perhaps you slept awkwardly, carried one too many packages at the same time or spent too much time on the computer. These are the circumstances where massage can help get you back to your old self.

Man trying to sleep on couchLastly, if your neck discomfort has not improved after massage, a few days of rest and home remedies, it’s still a good idea to get it evaluated by your physician.

(See Medical Disclaimer Blog post)

 

Book a massage online or give us a call!

 

What are those knots I’m feeling?

Depositphotos_40039989_mThe knots that you feel, that so often bring you to a massage therapist are actually muscles that have gone into spasm. Muscle spasms may also be called a cramp or Charley Horse. (Hmmm, not sure who Charley was or how a horse got involved – but I digress…)

These spasms can occur in all types of muscle, but in this case I am referring to skeletal (voluntary) muscles. Those that we use for movement and / or stability. Muscles contain both fast and slow twitch fibers. Muscles responsible for movement tend to contain more fast twitch fibers. (Think of a sprinter or the Rabbit of that well known race.)  Muscles responsible for our posture / stability tend to contain more slow twitch fibers. (Think long distance runner or the Turtle of same said race.) They tire less quickly.

Muscle spasms can have a sudden onset, such as when someone “throws their back out” from an overly strenuous activity. This type of pain can be severe, stabbing and incapacitating in nature.

When an injury such as this occurs, muscles that were intended to be the “movers” of our body are called upon to become the “stabilizers” that keep us upright. This is the body’s attempt to splint a vulnerable area and prevent further injury.
A sprinter does not a good long distance runner make and so those muscles quickly tire, creating a cascading effect as more muscles are called upon to “get in on the act” of movement, stabilization and prevention of further injury. Ouch!!

Another example of muscle spasm occurs with sustained, lower level effort that can produce a duller, aching type pain that may also include a burning sensation (as surrounding nerves are impinged upon). It is not as incapacitating in nature as a sudden onset muscle spasm but gets our attention as everyday activities are accomplished with less range of motion and some degree of discomfort that we manage to tolerate.

So What can Contribute to the Development of Muscle Spasms?

  • Injury to the muscle. (Some blunt force trauma)
  • Overuse of a toned muscle. (A Wt. lifter lifting too much wt.)
  • Overuse of a weakened muscle. (A weekend warrior over doing it.)
  • Posture during use of the muscle. (Twisting or bending with lifting)
  • Sustained poor posture. (with walking or sitting.)
  • Dehydration.(This can cause individual muscle fibers or muscle groups to stick together. Think of a clump of spaghetti that’s tough to separate).
  • Electrolyte Imbalances secondary to dehydration. (Electrolytes are substances within our blood necessary for proper muscle contraction).
  • Repetitive movement / Cumulative trauma (names given to activities of daily living like long hours of computer work, or driving).
  • Gravitational Stress (this one is not going away and takes on more significance if our posture is challenged as well).
  • Emotional Stress can be a contributor as well.

So What can I Do once I have a Muscle Spasm?

If the spasm is sudden onset / activity related :
Ice packs can block the pain sensations. Later, heat can help the relaxation process.
(Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use to avoid further tissue damage.)
Massage can work out these knots / spasms (also the lower intensity, sustained spasms described above) and get you back on track.
Plan to incorporate pre and post activity stretching and sufficient hydration through out the day.
For more persistent muscular issues a visit to your physician may be needed to explore the cause and perhaps treat with other pain relievers or muscle relaxants.
If your being troubled with sudden onset muscular pain or dull aching muscles: schedule your appointment TODAY and Get Back to Your Life!
(See Medical Disclaimer Blog post.)
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CORE EXERCISES

Getting ready to hit the slopes, the ice skating rink, ski cross country or perhaps some snow shoe hiking? Get ready by improving your core muscles with these exercises.

Drawing in maneuver: Assume a 4 point stance on hands and knees keeping spine straight from head to glutes. Draw the lower abdomen up and in while breathing naturally. When performed correctly, the lower abdomen will elevate before the upper portion. The spine should remain straight at all times. Do not roll the spine into an arch. You can raise your leg up, and out to the side (as in the B) to include some glute and thigh work, to help engage and strengthen those muscles as well.

Step by step instructions: Place a mini-band just above your knees. Get down on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the floor. (A) Engage your abs, and slowly raise your left leg up to the side until it is inline with the hip. (B)

Floor Bridge: Begin by lying flat in the floor, on your back with your knees bent, feet flat, toes pointing straight ahead and arms by your sides. Draw your navel towards your spine and squeeze your gluts. Lift your hips off the ground while keeping your navel down in and your glutes tight until you form a straight line between your knees and shoulders. Hold for 5-10 seconds and slowly return to the floor momentarily then repeat.

Pilates woman shoulder bridge exercise workout at gym indoor

Of course, when beginning any exercise regime, check with your physician first.

 

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Illustration showing the bones of the shoulder

Frozen shoulder (also known as adhesive capsulitis) is a condition characterized by pain and a loss in range of motion of the shoulder joint.  The shoulder is a “ball and socket” joint. The “ball” is the tip of the arm bone (the humeral head) and the socket is the glenoid fossa. Together they form the glenohumeral joint. The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up the shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. In the normal state, the shoulder joint has more range of motion than any other joint in the body. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the joint causing painful, restricted movement. The limits in motion can lead to a functionally useless joint.

What Causes It?

The cause is not always known. In some cases, Frozen shoulder has been associated with circumstances of prolonged immobility, as with recovery from a broken arm, surgery in general, rotator cuff surgery in particular or after a stroke. Age (40+), sex (females) and some medical conditions (Diabetes, an over or under active Thyroid or Parkinson’s disease) can be a factors that increase the likelihood of experiencing this condition.

Treatment Options

Treatment goals involve controlling pain and maintaining as much mobility as possible.  Your doctor will probably prescribe “over the counter” pain medications and physical therapy exercises to preserve and eventually improve the range of motion that you currently have. Other options and interventions exist that can be explored with your physician in the treatment of this condition. Massage therapy is among those options. It addresses the muscles of the shoulder and the surrounding musculature of the shoulder that may be guarding or bracing against further painful movement, or assisting in movement when that is not the muscle’s “typical” job. This can lead to an extension of pain, soreness and limitation in movement beyond the frozen shoulder region.

If you think you may have frozen shoulder see your physician for diagnosis. Then call for possible massage therapy treatment options.

Summer Vacation: We’re all looking for Stress Relief.

finger family travels at the beach as concept

We look forward to it all year long. We head to the beach, or the mountains, the warmer weather, the countryside, a change of scenery and an escape from our everyday responsibilities. It may be a week or two. It may be traveling to far, far away or taking short day trips. Whatever the distance or the destination we look to relieve the effects of stress that have accumulated over time.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes even going on vacation can be stressful! There’s the planning and the packing. Will your means of getting there work out without having to stress over connecting flights or hours in standstill traffic? Depending on the number and ages of the people you are traveling with, there can be many different plans for what will be done once you arrive at your destination. Some folks want to head “straight for the beach” and unpack and settle in latter. Others want to get that behind them before they can truly start to unwind. Some may want to “check out the town” or head out to the outlet stores or local treasure shops to catch the first of many, hoped for, bargains or mementos. Some folks want to”pack in” as much activity as they can while others just want to “veg out”. It can be stressful successfully navigating everyone’s expectations of this precious and limited commodity called vacation time.
So with all that having been said, here are a few suggestions to (hopefully) increase the chances that you don’t return from vacation, in need of a vacation!

🙂 It all starts with communication. Doesn’t it (or shouldn’t it) always! Time for a family / group meeting. If you have decided on a location, get a feel for who might fall into the above mentioned categories. (I’m sure you’ll discover as many categories as there are people going.)

🙂 Discuss group time vs individual time. Find out if there are any common interests and if there any special “most do” activities for anyone.

🙂 Look to share the inescapable everyday responsibilities so that no one person is saddled with them. For example, create a shopping list and take turns getting the groceries. Take turns making meals. Dinner is a nice time to reconnect after a day of everyone “doing their own thing”. New experiences and new discoveries can be shared with the group. In doing so, you never know, you may turn a “shopper” into a “ocean watcher” or vice versa!

:-)Try not to chisel any plans in stone, but instead, go with the flow. This way expectations and disappointment can be (better) held in check.

🙂 If aches and pains turn up from increased physical activity or stress finds it’s way into your vacation time, check out a local massage therapist. They can provide a “reboot” session and get you back into vacation mode again.

Planning a journey

So how does all of this relate to Therapeutic Bodyworks, you might ask? Receiving regular Massage Therapy sessions can be the escape and relief that you seek in a vacation. Imagine feeling de-stressed, refreshed and renewed in the middle of your demanding work week! Ready to get out, and have more to give, toward “getting the job done”! When you take advantage of one of my massage packages, you can decompress from stress as frequently as you’d like without having to wait for months on end. Some customers come every two weeks to get a handle on their stress, then shift to monthly massages. Imagine feeling as relaxed as you do at the end of a “beach day” in the middle of a work week! That’s what a massage session can do for you. Really! Call or schedule your next vacation, I mean massage, from the booking page, here on the website!

Here’s hoping your vacation is all that you hoped for! When you get back home, and before you fall back into that daily routine, schedule your next appointment. You’ll thank me for it. 🙂

(See Medical Disclaimer Blog Post)