Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Sun and Your Skin

Massage therapists are very conscientious of skin. Summer is a difficult time for our skin; it gets warm, it gets damp, and too often, it gets sunburned. The best thing to do is to stay out of the midday sun, and know that even when the sun is hiding under the clouds on these hot and humid days, you are still catching rays. So when you enjoy the outdoors wear sunscreen -I usually wear Badger natural sunscreen- and always try to wear a hat, and a light-weight long-sleeved shirt. If you do get a sunburn, slather on plenty of pure aloe vera or calendula oil to help soothe irritated skin.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

peaceful abiding

Karuna Contemplative Living posted a link to this the other day.
Take some time, take a breath.

Preparing to Practice
Taming our mind through shamatha meditation, or “peaceful abiding,” is the most important thing we can do. Through peaceful abiding, we learn to rest fearlessly in our natural state, which is basic goodness. We experience basic goodness when we relax deeply into how things are, without wanting to change them. This is why we meditate. Even though we may think we don’t have time to practice, the stability, clarity and strength we’ll discover through meditation can make our life simpler and less pressured.

The first step is to establish a basic routine. When will you practice, and where? Once you settle on a regular time, stick to it. A successful meditation practice is a consistent practice. Ten to twenty minutes of sitting practice a couple of times daily over a lifetime is good.
Create a proper environment for practice—a place that is comfortable, quiet, and clean. Buy a proper meditation cushion. Prepare the body for meditation with yoga, a martial art, or simply stretching. A supple body helps support peaceful abiding. So does eating properly.

Prepare your mind for practice by assessing how it feels before your session. Be compassionate and honest in this; each day is different. If you’re feeling speedy or drowsy, a slow walk or a cool shower might help your meditation before you start. If you’re just out of the office or an argument, reading about meditation can provide a helpful bridge to the cushion.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

have chair, will travel

You guys, I got to work with the wonderful and gracious employees of Pigeon Toe Ceramics yesterday. I am basking in the after-glow of a local small business that not only makes beautiful hand-crafted ceramic treats, but also cares for their employee's wellness and health.

Thanks, Pigeon Toe, for a wonderful day!

Are you a business owner? Do you want to thank your employees for their hard work? Do you want to treat your office to a day of relaxation? Contact Stephanie for rates.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New Studio (SE PDX) Open House

Since the beginning of the year, I set the intention to find my own studio for massage. It has been delightful meeting new therapists and sharing space with some great bodyworkers, however I was called to create my own space for my clients and my work.

I am happy to announce that I will be moving into a gorgeous studio in Karuna Contemplative Living, in great company of Anandi Gefroh, the proprietress of this meditation supply store, and another licensed massage therapist, Wes Burden, specializing in Somatics and sound therapy.

Find us at:
1725 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214

Come say hello at our Open House: Thursday, June 11th 6:30-8:30pm.

Monday, June 1, 2015

injurious feelings

As the days get sunnier and beckon us to play, and we begin to move our bodies more (often in new or renewed ways), we might find ourselves with some aches, a little pain or tightness.

I woke up one morning this week in a tremendous amount of pain. I stretched a little, and got ready for my day. I worked, and found myself not walking my walk, my body contorted, wincing with every step.

What do we do when our body isn't working how we expect it to? I went through a little denial "It's nothing big," I thought, "it will go away in a couple hours."  The pain subsided, but I had a long day ahead; running around, driving, and massage clients. By the time I could kick my feet up, I was sore.

I laid on my mat, took thirty minutes -I was convinced I didn't have- to stretch, a slow, meditative session of stretching and breathing.

The next morning it was worse. I could hardly get out of bed! I cried as I got ready for another long day. I got to work and hobbled along, until I couldn't. I call my chiropractor and he got me in an hour later.

I was reminded of what of some my clients feel when they come to me; desperate, in unbearable pain. I wanted to feel better, right now! But, after my adjustment I felt worse.

I went home drew a hot bath, soaked in Epsom salts. I slathered my pain with Sombra warming gel, and got back to my day. It wasn't until 10 hours later, that I felt like I could fully use my body again. I am still recovering, still allowing my muscles and bones to return to their alignment, still allowing myself to slow down enough to listen to what my body needs.

Immediate relief can happen, but sometimes our bodies take their own pace to heal. What are some of your self-care habits that help you body heal?