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: 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!  🙂


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.


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.

Refresh On-Site Chair Massage in your work place.



By now, you have probably heard of On-Site Chair Massage. You may have seen it in an airport or perhaps in your local mall. It can provide a 10 minute reprieve from the demands of the day. Are you aware that On-Site Chair Massage can be a strategic addition to your organization’s business plan for success?  Stress is expensive. On-Site Chair Massage is a low cost, high return offering, that addresses the impact of stress in the workplace.

Employers- Finding new employees to meet your business’s needs can be a long and expensive process. You are looking for the best candidate. Once you’ve found that person you will want to retain them and get the highest return on your investment of time and money. On-Site Chair massage is a great addition to your employee benefit package to help achieve that goal. It is also a perfect fit as part of any Wellness or EAP program that may already be in place. The offering of On Site Chair Massage as a benefit can set you apart from your competition and be a positive addition to any advertising or public relations campaign.

Studies have shown that as high as 60% of all employee call-ins are in some way stress related. This creates a major strain when trying to meet your company’s goals. Providing On-Site Chair Massage to employees directly addresses the inescapable workplace stresses that can drain your workforce’s productivity and lead to absenteeism.

  • On-Site Chair Massage is a great morale booster. Employees anticipate the day, enjoy and benefit from the massage, and feel it’s effects (both physically and emotionally) well beyond the day of the massage.
  • Educational materials can provide suggestions  for general wellness and specifically address the impact of repetitive action injuries.
  • Creating a culture of being appreciated promotes loyalty and team building within your organization.
  • The addition of On-Site Chair Massage can separate you from the crowd at job fairs you attend, in search for that ideal employee candidate, by creating a buzz of activity at your booth.

Employees-On-Site Chair Massage allows you to have those problem areas where you carry your tension massaged away. Studies have shown that massage leaves you more alert and better able to focus on the task at hand. You are left feeling refreshed, renewed and ready to take on the challenges of the day. It feels great and it’s great to be appreciated! Seize your day with On-Site Chair Massage. Contact your HR Dept.manager or Wellness Coordinator to explore On-Site Chair Massage at your place of employment.

Interested in learning more? Setup a time to talk with Claire about making on-site chair massage work for your organization.

(See Medical Disclaimer Blog Post)

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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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.


Water Wise

Depositphotos_8452909_xsDid you know that if you use the feeling of thirst as your signal to replenish fluids, your body is already on it’s way to a state of dehydration?

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60% of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. We loose up to 20 oz of fluids each day before factoring in any activities and our bodies have no way of replenishing this on it’s own. Some of the signs of dehydration include: thirst, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness and fatigue.

So how much should I drink? It is a simple question with no easy answer. Your water needs will depend on many factors including your health, how active you are and where you live. The Institute of Medicine determined that a healthy adult male living in a temperate climate should consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total fluids (this would include water contained in foods you may eat). A healthy adult female in that same temperate climate; 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total fluids a day.

What about the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day? That’s about 1.9 liters, which isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation. Although the “8 by 8” rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it is easy to remember. Drinking at least 8 glasses a day and including foods high in water content is a good way to reach your target fluid intake.

Factors that influence fluid replacement:

Exercise- If you sweat, you need to drink extra fluids to compensate for that loss. Short bouts of exercise: rehydrate with 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 cups. Intense work outs lasting more than an hour will require more fluids. You may also want to alternate with a sports drink.

Environment-  Hot humid weather or heated indoor air can both create a need for fluid replacement.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding- This is a time of great changes within a women’s body and there is an increased need for fluid intake in these circumstances. Consult your doctor for your specific fluid replacement needs.

Illness and Health Conditions- Fever, vomitting or diarrhea will cause fluid loss, you will want to increase your fluids. Your doctor may recommend rehyration solutions. Some circumstances on the other hand, such as heart failure, some types of kidney, liver and adrenal conditions may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake. Consult your doctor in case of illness or health issues for their specific guidelines.

So, what fluids should I choose?- Water is best. No surprises here! Avoid fluids high in suger or artificial flavors or other additives. Caffinated teas, coffee and soft drinks will cause you to loss more fluids than you are consuming. (It is suggested that you consume 2 glasses of water for each caffinated beverage you consume.) An occasional caffinated beverage is OK, but don’t count on them for fluid replacement.

Is there a way to know if I’m adequatley hydrated?- Generally, if you drink enough fluids so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 6 or more cups of colorless or light yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate.

If you are committed to a healthy lifestyle and long-term health, make drinking water a habit and a priority in your life.

(See Medical Disclaimer Blog Post)

Benefits of Massage


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