Know Your Practitioner, Part IV: Vanessa Mabra

Know Your Practitioner is your chance to become more familiar and comfortable with your massage practitioner. If you aren’t sure which of our talented practitioners would be best for you to come back to regularly, this is a great way to meet them and get to know who they are both personally and professionally. This is Part 4 in the series. To learn more about our other therapists, check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

As of this posting, Vanessa Mabra is a more recent addition to the GLM team, but she also happens to be our most experienced therapist, having practiced massage for more than seventeen years. Her experience, skill set, and positive attitude stood out immediately as a perfect fit for GLM. In the time she’s been with us, she’s already started building a loyal clientele.

 

Tell us a little something about your personal life. Hobbies, interests, family, friends, etc.
I live on a mini-farm with goats, chickens, ducks, dogs and cats. We grow lots of

Portraits - JessPhotography (3)
Vanessa Mabra, LMP

vegetables and fruit. We make jam in the summer–strawberry and blackberry.

I have a life-long obsession with the Seahawks.

Tell us about your career in massage. How did you get started? What events lead to you working here?
I saw a small massage school in Moscow, Idaho while staying with a friend who was going to Washington State University. I walked in, met the owners, and decided to stay.

After my training, I started with chair massage for two years. I worked in a physical therapy clinic for about fourteen years, but always wanted to do more relaxation and spa work.

What’s your favorite part of this job? What gets you excited to come to work?
Well, for one thing, people are never unhappy to see me. I love to make people walk out of the clinic feeling like jelly.

Pick a superpower: flying or turning invisible. Explain your answer.
I don’t know if I could decide between those two, but I would love to have the ability to read minds. I could give the best massage ever!

We’re all about wellness here. What’s your favorite health habit? 
I stretch every muscle I can, every day. I take 10-15 minutes at night and hold every stretch.

I also drink 8 – 10 cups of water every day.

Finish this statement: I wish my clients knew …
…how much I like working with those new to massage. Although, I worked in physical therapy for so long, I really would rather just have people come for relaxation and de-stressing.

Thanks, Vanessa! This is the fourth part of a series. Watch for more profiles in this series as more practitioners join our team down the line.

Book a massage with Vanessa today!

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

Tom Gunn is the official blogger and marketing director for The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @elmanoroboto.

Fancy Feet: A Healing Enhancement For Your Hardest-Working Body Part

Feet are a miracle of nature. Every day we put more and more miles on our feet, whether its by walking or running. And they don’t just bear your bodyweight: every day your feet bear your weight, plus atmospheric pressure equal to the weight of small car. Even just standing in line can put your feet to the test. Sometimes we just need to take the time and appreciate our feet by just kicking them up and getting off them. That doesn’t sound like a bad idea right?

Well, what about a foot massage? That would definitely show your feet some appreciation.

GLM offers a massage enhancement to go along with your regular full-body massage session called “Fancy Feet”. This enhancement allows our practitioners to give your feet the focused work and attention they deserve.

The Fancy Feet enhancement consist of two options that are available to you that will last 30 blissful minutes. The first option is a foot sugar scrub and the second option is a hot-stone spot treatment. If there is any inflammation around the area, we do offer the cold-stone spa treatment as well. Fancy Feet is designed to bring relaxation and healing to you and your feet.

Sugar Sugar

Why sugar? Salt is a common abrasive agent for many spa treatments, but unlike sugar, salt dehydrates the skin. Sugar naturally soothes and protects the skin of the feet and also eases discomfort from dry and tight skin. Sugar adds hydration to your parched skin and can refresh parts of a tired foot. We offer four different types of handmade sugar scrubs for you to choose from:

  • Sweet pea
  • Peppermint
  • Energize
  • Peaceful Nights

You can also purchase these handmade sugar scrubs right at our location before or after your massage is complete or through our online store. Our practitioners will gently scrub in a circular motion, which will exfoliate the skin on the foot. Once the practitioner is done scrubbing the foot, they will rinse off the foot with a moistened towel, leaving the skin of the foot healthier and noticeably softer than before.

The Stones

The Second option that you can choose with this enhancement would be the hot or cold stone spot treatment. At GLM we do not have manufactured stones. Our smooth stones are hand-picked from the Pacific Northwest coastline. Hot stones allow your feet to receive a more luxurious foot massage. It feels great, but it can also help relax soft tissues and break down adhesions in the muscles which cause unnecessary tension in your feet. It also allows increased blood flow and circulation when the heated stones are applied.

Our stones aren't manufactured: they're individually plucked from the shores of the Pacific Northwest with our own hands.
Our stones aren’t manufactured: they’re individually plucked from the shores of the Pacific Northwest with our own hands.

If you are suffering from inflammation in your feet, we do offer the cold stone spa treatment to help reduced the pain and discomfort that you may be experiencing.

Click here to book a Fancy Feet today!

None of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

Byron Benson is a marketing intern for The Good Life Massage from Eastern Oregon University.

Know Your Practitioner, Part III: Nicolle Dourte

Know Your Practitioner is your chance to become more familiar and comfortable with your massage practitioner. If you aren’t sure which of our talented practitioners would be best for you to come back to regularly, this is a great way to meet them and get to know who they are, both personally and professionally. This is Part 3 in the series. To learn more about our other therapists, check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Nicolle Dourte, LMP
Nicolle Dourte, LMP

Nicolle Dourte was the first GLM therapist who is not also one of the owners. Nicolle got her massage training right here in town at Renton Technical College. While she’s originally Canadian, she’s lived in Renton most of her life, and has family connections here going back two generations. GLM hired her right out of school in 2014, having provided her with a required internship as part of her training. While she is relatively young in her career, we were instantly impressed with her skill. We have continued to be impressed with the consistent quality of her work. Her clients feel the same way.

We sat down with her and asked her a few questions about her life, her work, and what makes her particular brand of massage unique.

Tell us a little something about your personal life.
Hobbies, interests, family, friends, etc.

I really like playing sports with my friends; football and basketball are my favorite. I love hiking and camping. If you combine the two, it is even better. I have been playing musical instruments since i was in third grade. A few of those include the alto and tenor sax, flute, and piccolo. The only one I still play is the flute. I am also an expert Netflix marathon watcher.

Tell us about your career in massage. How did you get started? What events lead to you working here?

When I was younger, my sister was diagnosed with scoliosis while going through puberty. Since she had scoliosis, she was always in pain and, me being a nice sister, I would massage her back. The more I helped her, the more I realized it was something that I enjoyed and could possibly make a career out of. I have wanted to be an LMP since I was 13.

What’s your favorite part of this job? What gets you excited to come to work?

My favorite part about this job is that I am always learning new things. It keeps me busy. Seeing and working with my clients makes me excited to come to work.

What is it about your massage that keeps your clients coming back? What makes you stand out from the other GLM therapists?

The thing with my massages that keeps people coming back is that I believe that you can relax a little while getting a treatment massage. You can work on an area that needs extra help, but still feel good throughout the session.

Pick a superpower: flying or turning invisible. Explain your answer.

I would pick flying. If i were able to fly, then I wouldn’t need a car to get to and from places. Flying is also cheaper than driving, so that is always a plus as well.

We’re all about wellness here. What’s your favorite health habit? This can be something that you’re working on, have mastered, or just feel like our clients should be doing.

I like to experiment with cooking. I would much rather cook a whole meal from scratch than to buy it. To me, it tastes better, and is overall healthier for you. It’s just so hard to take the time to actually cook it. Also, I am pretty physical. I like running, swimming, and playing other sports, too. I would say, just try and stay active. You don’t have to go run five miles to be healthy, but try and take the time to at least walk 15 minutes or so if that is all you can do. The more you do this, the better you will feel, and you will have more energy

Finish this statement: I wish my clients knew …

That i really love my job! Also, that I might be small, but that doesn’t mean that I am weak or can’t give a really great massage.

Thanks, Nicolle! This was part 3 of a series, so watch for more therapist profiles in the coming weeks and as more therapists are added to our team.

Click here to book a massage with Nicolle today!

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

To stay up-to-date on all our promotions, news, events, and last-minute bookings, follow us on social media.

Facebook: facebook.com/TheGoodLifeMassage
Twitter: @GoodLifeRenton

Know Your Practitioner, Part II: Amy Gunn

Know Your Practitioner is your chance to become more familiar and comfortable with your massage practitioner. If you aren’t sure which of our talented practitioners would be best for you to come back to regularly, this is a great way to meet them and get to know who they are both personally and professionally. This is part 2 of a series of posts. Click here to read Part 1.

Amy Gunn has been a massage practitioner since 2000 and is one of our most experienced employees. She’s the co-founder of our clinic, and is as passionate about business as she is about massage. She’s built a loyal following over the years, so she can be hard to schedule on short notice, but her clients will tell you her massages are well worth the wait.

We sat down with her and asked her a few questions about her life, her work, and what makes her particular brand of massage unique.

Tell us a little something about your personal life. Hobbies, interests, family, friends, etc.

Amy Gunn, LMP, Co-Founder of The Good Life Massage
Amy Gunn, LMP, Co-Founder of The Good Life Massage

I’ve been married almost 11 years. We have a superhero-obsessed son who is 3 going on 18. He definitely keeps me busy when I’m not at work, and I love it.

I’m a little embarrassed by my number of different hobbies. I really love to write novels (nothing published yet), and knit (always have a project or two in the works) I’ve also dabbled in several different musical instruments. I used to be a decent cellist, but I sound pretty rusty now.

I also did martial arts for several years and really enjoyed it. Lately, I’ve been getting my aggression out at the gym running on a treadmill and doing strength training.

Tell us about your career in massage. How did you get started? What events lead to you working here?

I was actually getting ready to go back to school on scholarship for business marketing back in 1998-99 when I suddenly realized that I didn’t really love the things I was doing and couldn’t imagine doing them for the rest of my career (I mean seriously – I still can’t understand why people enjoy working at a desk all day long!).

I took a break from school instead, and I guess heard one too many commercials for a local massage program. I thought “Hey, I could do that…” Yeah, honestly–that was about all the thought I put into it at first.

I happened to live a few miles away from the Utah College of Massage Therapy, which had such a great program that many people regularly came from out of state, and even out of the country, to study there. I had some great teachers and learned a lot of different modalities, but especially loved my training in deep tissue and other treatment work.

After I graduated, I hung up my shingle with a massage room out of my home. I did that for a few years, and then moved to only outcall sessions for awhile.

Most of my early career, though, was spent doing additional work with hospice agencies, which was rewarding, but stressful. I drove a lot. By the time I left Utah in 2009 I had put over 120,000 miles on my 4 year-old car, and I was pretty burned out too.

I took a few years to go work for someone else at a local franchise. I actually enjoyed a lot of it: mostly the fact that I was working with a team of other LMPs for the first time in my life. But I missed being in the driver’s seat and feeling like I had control over the direction of the business. When I started working there, I’d actually thought that I was just winding down my massage career before doing something else completely. Instead, I found it got me excited to get back out on my own again, this time with even more knowledge under my belt.

I started my own practice called This Side of Paradise in early 2013 and initially just rented space from Kylee and her business, The Good Life Massage. We were technically completely separate businesses. But because we were sharing a single treatment room, we ended up making a lot of business decisions together.

This pretty naturally morphed into an official business merger a year later, though we had no idea that would happen when we first started sharing the space. It’s been awesome to see all the growth we’ve had in the past year since we merged.

What’s your favorite part of this job? What gets you excited to come to work?

I love working one on one with my clients. The most rewarding moments are when someone walks out of the treatment room with a completely different outlook on life because they finally found relief from something they thought was going to plague them forever.

What is it about your massage that keeps your clients coming back? What makes you stand out from the other GLM practitioners?

I enjoy giving serious treatment work, partly because the body is a puzzle and I’m trying to work out how to put it back together. I love a challenge! I can go deeper than many therapists do, but in a controlled way. Don’t ask me to go as deep as I can unless you know what you’re really asking for.

Pick a superpower: flying or turning invisible. Explain your answer.

I would probably have to pick flying. Which is maybe ridiculous considering that my ears hurt like crazy when I get on a plane.

We’re all about wellness here. What’s your favorite health habit? This can be something that you’re working on, have mastered, or just feel like our clients should be doing.

I’ve been into having vegetables with every meal lately. I’m not perfect at it, but I work at it. What I like about trying to live this habit is that it has challenged my creativity and sense of adventure.

I’ve gotten very good at sneaking spinach into things like protein shakes and pancakes–where my family and I get the benefit, but they don’t feel like they’re just eating rabbit food.

Finish this statement: I wish my clients knew …

… that I don’t judge their bodies nearly as harshly as they judge themselves. They may look in the mirror and see flabby this or saggy that–imperfections they see above all else.

To me, the human body is a sacred thing–a miracle of nature. And I think that, no matter how the bodies of real people measure up to the ideal body images that are in the media.

I honestly don’t remember those things my clients may hate most about their bodies. What really stays with me is who they are as a whole person. My hope with every massage is that my clients come away feeling more complete, more comfortable in their own skin–more in harmony with the world around them.

Thanks, Amy!

Click here to book a massage with Amy today!

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

To stay up-to-date on last minute openings in the schedule and blog posts, follow us on twitter!

@goodliferenton

You can also follow our Facebook page: facebook.com/thegoodlifemassage

Tom Gunn is the official blogger and social media marketer for The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on twitter @tomgunnpoet. 

Our Coolest Enhancement: Ice Treatment

Ice is amazing. Think about it: we mainly use ice for keeping drinks or food cold, but it is especially amazing because it contributes to wellness in surprising ways.

At GLM, we offer a session enhancement called Ice Treatment.

BRR!

Hearing the word “Ice Treatment” may make this sound uncomfortable, but don’t be put off by it. This enhancement to your regular massage session actually brings a soothing and healing sensation to painful or inflamed areas that are bothering you.

Did you know Ice is the most effective and safest techniques to use in treating soft tissue injuries and muscle soreness? It helps decrease pain, muscle spasms, inflammation, and uncontrolled swelling.

How does ice work?ice

Ice constricts blood flow and slows down circulation in an inflamed area, which is the reason we feel a decrease in pain and swelling. The application of ice has the potential to reduce recovery time significantly for soft tissue injuries.

How Is It Applied?

We use a great little tool to apply the ice directly which is called a cryo cup. Cryo cups are simple and easy-to-use ice massagers that have a contoured polymer base which acts as a handle for the therapist, so it’s easier to apply directly to the injured area.

During an ice treatment, your comfort is a key necessity, so we want to make sure that you are ready before we apply the ice to the targeted area that you want to be treated. Once you’re comfortable, your practitioner will apply the cryo cup to the area and rotate gently in circular motions, healing and soothing the area. We keep the ice moving over your skin to work the cold into the tissue, but also to prevent you from feeling a burning sensation form the ice. This process goes on for about 10 minutes, which should reduce some of the pain and inflammation.

Why not just use an ice pack?

Raw ice is far more effective than when it’s wrapped in a plastic bag or a towel. When your soft tissues are inflamed, they tend to conduct more heat. But once the ice is applied, it constricts the blood flow to that area. When you use ice at home, be sure to wrap it up or at least keep it moving while applying it to prevent discomfort.

Who should get ice treatment?

Ice treatment is beneficial for anyone who is suffering from an injury that is causing pain or inflammation to a joint or muscle. It’s also a pretty good way to cool down on a hot day.

Ice is such an underdog and is often overlooked, but when it’s used, it’s almost always effective. Ice has the potential to be your best friend when you are suffering from an injury, but you have to make sure you utilize it the correct way.

Click here to book a massage with ice treatment today!

None of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

Byron Benson is a marketing intern for The Good Life Massage from Eastern Oregon University.

Know Your Practitioner, Part I: Kylee Davis

Know Your Practitioner is your chance to become more familiar and comfortable with your massage practitioner. If you aren’t sure which of our talented practitioners would be best for you to come back to regularly, this is a great way to meet them and get to know who they are both personally and professionally.

Our first entry in the series is from one of the founding members of our team, Kylee Davis. In 2012 Kylee Davis opened The Good Life Massage within a few years of getting her massage license. What started as a one-room clinic with two therapists has now grown to a four-room clinic with as many therapists as of this posting. She’s tenacious, outgoing, passionate about her work, and regularly wins the friendship and loyalty of co-workers and clients alike.

We sat down with her and asked her a few questions about her life, her work, and what makes her particular brand of massage unique.

Kylee Davis, Co-Founder of The Good Life Massage
Kylee Davis, Co-Founder of The Good Life Massage

Tell us a little something about your personal life: hobbies, interests, family, friends, etc.

Not many clients see any of the other hats I wear. I’ve been married for almost 10 years to my best friend, and I’m a mother to two amazing kids. I’m a geeky fan-girl, best expressed in my love for British television, with my two major loves being Doctor Who and Merlin. I also can’t describe myself without including my love for music. I sing in a community choir, and often at church, as well as every day with my kids. Though I don’t have as much time for this next hobby, I LOVE to read. I can get lost for hours in a good book. I’m a huge social media junkie. I use it for work and home; Facebook, Twitter (just started on that), Pinterest (I use it almost every day for something), and Instagram. Lastly, I also love to dance and be crazy, but I also really enjoy stillness and time to reflect.

How did you get started in massage? What events lead to you working here?

Initially I came to massage because I wanted a career with flexibility for a family-based schedule. My son was nine months old when I started massage school. But within two weeks of classes, I fell deeply in love with the complexity and beauty of the human body. I had found my passion!
After I got out of massage school, I worked for someone else for about six months. I didn’t love the environment and wanted to set up my own space. I wanted time before and after each session to talk with my clients and educate them regarding their body, their session, etc.
So The Good Life Massage got started in June 2012. Then Amy (Amy Gunn) started sharing space with me in 2013. After a year, we joined forces and became business partners, and now we’re here. I love walking through the door every day and feeling such peace and clarity.

I love that my business is more than just clients and numbers. It’s about lives and passions and ups and downs. It’s about finding inner peace, wellness, and stillness when needed. It’s so much more than can be expressed in a few sentences. I feel blessed to have come to this place where I can serve others doing something I love.

What’s your favorite part of this job? What gets you excited to come to work?

 In my life, regardless of the circumstance, I always want to know why. It’s been that way since I was a child. My favorite part of my job is helping people find out the “why”: why is my low back hurting? why am I limited in this motion? why did my neck flare up after months of being fine?

Sometimes the why is a physical thing, other times its answer is found in the emotional connection of brain and body. I’m excited to come to work when I know I have a puzzle to figure out.

 What is it about your massage that keeps your clients coming back? What makes you stand out from the other GLM therapists?

I wish I knew the answer to this. I think the reasons point back to who I am as an individual: I’m a very thorough and perfecting person. I think these traits come out in my massage and make me different from other practitioners. Whether it is a session focused on relaxation or a specific treatment plan, I want to perfect that session–I want it to be as thorough as possible, always exploring the possible reasons for that pain, tension, or discomfort. I try to make sure it’s never just a “routine session”.  Finding a way to connect with my clients is very important to me, as I really value the trust and relationship I build with them. So I try to honor that in every massage. I’m not just here to make a living or use the skills I learned, I want to make a difference in someone’s life every single day.

Pick a superpower: flying or turning invisible. Explain your answer.

Only one of those two? Personally I would love the ability to apparate. (Did I mention I also love Harry Potter?) Being able to get from one place to another instantly would save me so much time as working mom.

We’re all about wellness here. What’s your favorite health habit? This can be something that you’re working on, have mastered, or just feel like our clients should be doing.

This is a hard one. There are so many! I’m working on a number of these with a health coach. I think my favorite habit would be the building of habits. For so long I thought I had to tear down all my “bad” habits in order to be healthy and all it got me was negativity and no progress.

Now I focus on building up new habits. The mental shift of building up has made it so much easier to work on my health; it creates a drive to keep moving forward. Even on a rough day where I don’t make much progress, I know I am heading in the right direction.

Finish this statement: I wish my clients knew …

The power of their minds. I still don’t know all the full power of my own, but I do know that we possess so much more strength than we tap into on a regular basis. Our brain is just like our body and needs to be fed the most nutritious things possible. Often the things we hold on to are junk food and don’t serve us well.

If we believed that we are capable of anything, what would we do? Would we sit by and let life wash over us or would we grab every opportunity with fervor and drive? I try to remember this saying (found it on Pinterest – see I told you I use it every day): “A bird sitting in a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not in the branch but in the power of her own wings. Always believe in yourself.” I wish my clients and the entire world could tune in to this strength!

Thanks, Kylee! This was only part one of this series, so watch for more posts about our practitioners in the coming weeks.

Click here to book a massage with Kylee today!

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

To stay up-to-date on all our promotions, news, events, and last-minute bookings, follow us on social media.

5 Hydration Myths

If you’ve been in to see us, there’s one thing all our practitioners recommend after a massage session:

“Drink plenty of water.”

But just how much is “plenty”? How much do you need, anyway?Gold fish jumping to big fishbowl

The Internet is full of information on hydration, but it turns out that the Internet is as good at spreading myths and misconceptions as it is at spreading facts.

Here are 7 myths about water to watch out for, and the facts you need to maximize your self care.

1. Drinking a glass of water before taking a bath helps lower blood pressure.

This simply isn’t true. According to the University of Washington, blood pressure is controlled by hormones, not your water intake. Decreasing the salt and sodium in your diet and increasing physical activity is the best way to lower your blood pressure.

2. Everyone should drink at least eight glasses of water per day.

This oft-repeated rule of thumb is just a starting point. Every body is different, and fluid intake should increase with heat and exercise to stay hydrated. But there’s no need to force-feed yourself water if your urine is a pale yellow and odorless and you’re not thirsty.

3. Caffeine dehydrates you. It’s like drinking negative water.

Caffeine is a dihurettic, which means it makes you need to urinate more often. According to the Mayo Clinic, however, caffeine poses no real risk of dehydration. While cafeinnated beverages like coffee and soda can be considered part of your fluid intake, water is still best. Water has no extra calories and doesn’t cause headaches or insomnia the way cafeinne does. Water, in fact, has been shown to reduce headaches and staying hydrated generally improves sleep.

4. Water keeps your skin looking young.

According to UW, your skin is about 30% water, so it naturally follows that staying hydrated is key for healthy skin. It should be remembered, however, that a number of other factors determine the health and longevity of your skin including genetics, age, sun exposure, diet, and more.

Hydrating may make a visible difference in someone who’s usually dehydrated, but you can’t expect that drinking your eight-a-day will keep you looking twenty forever. While water is not a magical youth potion, it is essential for maintaining health and that goes for your skin as much as any other part of you.

5. Drinking cold water helps you lose weight.

The logic goes like this: your body burns approximately 8 extra calories warming up a glass of ice water in your stomach so your body can process it. You do that ten times, and that’s a total of 80 calories.

That sounds pretty good, right? It might even help you burn off that stick of string-cheese you binged on or that small handful of grapes. Yep, that’s it. You can’t expect dramatic weight loss results from drinking ice-cold water.

Staying generally hydrated is essential to weight loss, but the primary proven method is a combination of increasing physical activity while decreasing calorie intake.

Drinking plenty of water may not offer all the magical benefits some Facebook memes may promise, but the real health benefits are well worth remembering this important aspect of health.

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

For more tips on wellness, you can keep up with us on social media including:

Facebook: facebook.com/TheGoodLifeMassage
Twitter: @goodliferenton