How to Customize Your Massage

When you get your first massage, you may be coming in as a blank slate, not totally sure what you should be expecting from the experience. After that first session, out of sheer habit, you may be taking everything as it comes with little additional thought. That’s totally understandable, especially if you’re new to massage.

But if you keep going like this, you may be missing out on an amazing experience.

There are many ways your practitioner can customize your experience to your liking, many of which are absolutely free. All you have to do is ask.

Music
Did you know you can decide what music is playing during your session?

playing jazz guitar
Music, like massage, is a very personal experience. You have the right to make it your own. 

We typically play soothing music, white noise, or both on a small set of speakers in each room. We have chosen music to please, or least not offend most people. But everyone has their own taste; if you don’t like it, don’t tolerate it for a second! The practitioner would be happy to turn off any music or white noise at any point in the session.

You can even bring in your own tunes! Some of our clients have been known to make their own massage playlists on their phones and then have those played during their sessions.

Keep in mind, though, that not anything goes. The music you choose shouldn’t be disruptive to the clinic environment. Death metal, for instance, probably wouldn’t be appropriate. This is, after all, a massage clinic, not a crossfit gym.

We’ll also need to keep the volume low enough so as not to disturb any other clients. Please also avoid lyrics or subject matter that are explicit or overtly sexual.*

Rule of thumb: if it’s not safe for work, it’s not safe for the massage clinic.

Alternatively, you’re also welcome to bring in headphones. However, please keep the volume low enough that your practitioner can ask you questions without having to shout at you.

Young beautiful woman getting spine massage
If you decide to bring in headphones, just make sure you can hear and understand your practitioner while you listen

Personalized care
Before you’re left alone in the room to disrobe and get under the sheets on the table, your practitioner will ask you about what areas you want worked on and any areas you would like them to focus on. This is the time to speak up! Our practitioners are not mind readers.

One of our clients says: “Once I was getting a massage from Nicolle, and at the end she rubbed my feet through the sheets just as part of her finishing move. I loved that! I’ve always had sensitive feet, so I’ve asked for that with every session since.”

You may not be experienced and may not really know what you want. Over time, however, you’ll find that there are certain things that make a massage extra good for you. If you know what that is, please ask for it!*

Do you like your head and face worked on? Ask! That isn’t usually considered part of a full-body session, but we’ll be happy to skip another area of your body to fit it in for you. If you want it added to your full body massage, be sure to book an HFS upgrade ahead of time.

Is there an area you’d prefer your practitioner avoid all together? Say so!

Enhancements
We offer a number of great enhancements to improve your massage experience and make it a little different every time. If you’re an experienced massage client and want to change things up a little, these can be a great way to do that. Some are designed more as little extra indulgences, while others have a more therapeutic function. These range in price from $6 to $40. Some of them lengthen your session time or involve special equipment, so those will need to be requested in advance of your appointment.

Otherwise, though, you can add many of our enhancements upon arrival. Just ask!

Little indulgences

  • Foot or Hand Scrub – leaves skin on hands and feet smooth and soft
  • Fancy Feet Treatment – perfect for those on their feet all day, this adds 30 extra minutes of focus for your feet alone, and includes your choice of special treatments to make your feet feel like new.
  • Hand, Food, or Scalp Upgrade
  • Hot Stone Massage
  • Rejuvenating Rest – get an extra 15 minutes alone in the room to nap or meditate, comes with a free chocolate truffle
  • Chocolate Hydrating Face Mask – a treatment to leave your face soft and glowing
  • Essential Oil Aromatherapy – Choose from several different oils to boost your mood and help you feel like a new person

Therapy & Muscle Treatments

  • Thermotherapy Treatment – hot towels, deep tissue massage, and muscle freeze treatment combine to soothe and warm an area of your choosing
  • Tension Release-full or spot treatment
  • Ice Treatment
  • Cold Stone Spot Treatment

Book your next session today, and this time be thinking about how you want to customize your massage and make it your own.

*WARNING: The Good Life Massage is a legal, licensed massage clinic, and does not provide a sexual service. If you ask for sexual touch (on breasts or genitals) or attempt to initiate sexual touch, your session will be instantly terminated, and you will be charged in full. We will report you to the authorities and you will then be asked to leave the clinic permanently.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet

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4 Common Myths About Hot Stone Massage

Hot Stone Myths

You’ve seen it before, maybe on a glossy insert or ad found at a hotel or on a cruise ship: an image advertising hot stone massage. The rocks are uniformly black and smooth, laid out in a straight line down a relaxed lady’s spine.

If you’re not familiar with hot stone massage, this image might be simultaneously inviting and baffling. Why would I want hot rocks placed on me? And why would I pay extra for the privilege?

These are legitimate questions. Here are some legitimate answers.

But first, some myth-busting
This popular image of hot stone massage is somewhat misleading and confusing. You may have guessed that applying heat in a massage can be beneficial. But this principle isn’t properly applied by placing and leaving exposed hot stones directly on the skin. This could result in first or second degree burns.

You also might infer from the smooth blackness of the stones used in photos like this that there is supposed to be some kind of special property in them to somehow magic your tension away. This isn’t the case.

abstract background with dry round reeble stones
Our stones aren’t manufactured: they’re individually plucked from the shores of the Pacific Northwest with our own hands.

Any smooth stones will work for a hot stone massage. While most spas and clinics will use cut or synthetic stones that come with that uniformly black shape and color, we have opted to go with stones pulled from rivers and shorelines right here in the Pacific Northwest. These stones have been handpicked by our experienced owners to be the best possible tools in the hands of our practitioners.

Note, also, that the person in these ads looks completely dry. In practice, hot stone massage involves a lot of oil, or at least much more than would be typically used in a massage. While it’s true that the stones are smooth, oil is still necessary. We typically use grape seed oil. If you’re allergic to grape seed oil, we carry a variety of other vegetable and synthetic oils that can be used as alternatives.

The most common misconception is that hot stone is good for deep tissue and treatment work. This isn’t the case. Hot stone massage is primarily a relaxing experience. It’s like a combination of a good, thorough massage and a long soak in a bubble bath. These qualities made it a favorite in spa settings and on cruise ships.

Having said that, the heat of the stones accomplishes quite a lot. It helps the muscle fibers and connective tissue relax and loosen so that the massage can do more good with less discomfort.

It doesn’t matter how experienced you are at getting regular massage. If you’ve never had a hot stone massage, you really don’t know what you’re missing.

What a real hot stone massage is and why you’ll really want one
Hot stone massage is a session of 90 minutes or more that involves stones heated to 120 – 135 degrees, Farenheit. The stones are heated in water inside of a slow cooker. When the stones are used, they are coated in oil and used by the practitioner as massage tools. While the stones do make contact with the skin, the practitioner generally keeps the stones moving. This is to ensure the maximum benefit to sore or inflamed muscles and connective tissues, and also prevents the burns that would result if placed and left on the skin.

The practitioner may place the stones on an area of your body that could use extra heat, but this is done with a hot, moistened towel between the skin and the stones to prevent burns. In this way, the stones act like a second set of hands for the practitioner, applying heat and pressure to one area while the practitioner starts work on another.

At the end of the massage, the stones are carefully cleaned and sanitized.

What if I get burned?
There’s nothing to worry about. All our practitioners have been carefully trained and are fully certified to give this kind of massage safely.

What could be better? This, that’s what
A number of our available session enhancements are well suited to this kind of massage.

  • Aromatherapy: citrus or lavender are optimal choices when paired with a hot stone massage
  • Hand or Foot Scrub
  • Cold Stone Treatment
  • Ice Treatment

A hot stone session is a great time to try one of our cold treatments since the heat of the session tends to make the cold more bearable.

Be sure to add one of these enhancements when you book your session.

Keep in mind, too, that hot stone is available for couples sessions.

Visit our main page to book your couples session or give us a call if you have any questions.

425-243-7705

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. Follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.

Are You Guilty of One of These Four Deadly Posture Habits?

Good and bad posture

Whether you realize it or not, many of the little aches and pains you may be quietly enduring each day can be attributed to bad posture. Bad posture can also lead to increased headaches. Sometimes, in an attempt to compensate for bad posture, we over-correct and further damage our spines. Where is the balance?

Our spines have three natural curves that stretch from the top to the bottom of the back. The cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), and lumbar (lower back). Remembering to keep these three parts of your spine in a natural form will improve overall body health.

These are the most common bad posture habits we’ve seen in our clients. Are you guilty of any of these?

1. Weight-Shifting
Imagine yourself waiting in a check out line at a grocery store. Your feet are tired and you feel yourself shifting weight from one foot to the other. This is common. You may be distributing the weight of our body from one leg to the other to relieve pressure on our feet and ankles, but in fact you could be doing more harm than good. Center your weight evenly on our legs to provide greater stability. Other tips to improve your stance:

  • Relax your back and shoulders.
  • Keep your feet about waist width apart.
  • Pull in your abdominals.

2. Lazy Sitting
We often find sitting to be a much more relaxing alternative to standing, and sometimes let ourselves slack off when it comes to good posture while sitting. Slouching while sitting not only can hurt your posture in the long run, you also get more tired while working on your current task. While working sitting down, try to do the following:

  •  Sit in a chair that is firm enough and has a back support. It is preferable that the back goes up to the shoulders so your whole back can relax.
  • Sit as deeply as you can in the chair so that way your back is straightened against the back. This helps prevent slouching.
  • Keep both your feet flat on the floor.

3. Bad bed, bad!
If you take naps, make sure to take them on surfaces that aren’t too firm or too soft, and that your back is supported in a comfortable position. If you find your back hurting after waking up, that is probably a sign that you are not in a good position or that you are not sleeping on a good surface. Be sure to have a bed that supports your back enough but isn’t too firm. If your bed is too firm, it can cause extra pressure to be placed on small sections of your spine. A bed that’s too soft pulls the pressure on your spine inward as your body curls on itself unnaturally.

Yes, nice beds are expensive. But remember, we’re talking about something you’ll spend about half of your life on. Sure, get a great deal on that extra set for the guest room, but your bed is not something you should be going cheap on.

5. Your dad was right …
Lift with the legs, not the back! Your legs are much stronger than your back and are accustomed to carrying heavier loads. Another danger regarding heavier objects is having to constantly carry them. A backpack filled with books or a large laptop bag, over time, can cause hunched shoulders and back. If you must have your heavy load with you, consider carrying your things in a trolley bag or roller bag so that the ground is bearing most of the weight.

How do I fix this?
Next time you schedule a massage, talk to your practitioner about your posture habits–how you sit, sleep, and move through your day. They can feel what’s really going on under your skin, and can make some recommendations to help you take better care of yourself. They’ll also be able to help work out some of the adhesions and tightness that have arisen as a result of your bad habits.

The Power of No

Charity.jpgYou are a giving person. You care about your family and friends, and even try to help strangers whenever you can.

worn out.jpgBut some days you just can’t take it anymore. You’ve been worn down, turned over, and worn out on the other side as well.

How did this happen?

You may be suffering from a lack of balance in your life.

It may be time to start saying no.

“No”: the other magic word
There’s nothing wrong with being the giving, loving, loyal, valuable individual you are. But sometimes it’s important to remember that you are valuable no matter how much or how little you do. Your value as a person is inherent and infinite. No failing or mistake or limitation on your part can take that away.

Sometimes you need a chance to remind yourself of this. But you can’t do that if you set expectations for yourself too high and commit to too much.

“Can you take on a part of this project for me? I’m just swamped.”

“Do you mind watching my kids tonight? My sitter backed out at the last moment.”

“We were looking for someone to chair the dance committee. Would you be willing to help out?”

If you say yes to one of these things, you have to live with the reality that you may have to say no to the other two. This doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a mortal human being with a predicted lifespan of roughly 80 years only 24 hours allotted to you each day, just the same as everyone else. Thinking you are more than this is a lie you tell yourself, and it’s not doing you any good.

Saying no to things can be powerful because it can get you out of your own way. You’re acknowledging the truth about yourself–that you need care and nurturing just like everyone else. It’s amazing how easy it is to lose sight of that, and lose yourself in the process.

How do I find myself again?
It doesn’t have to take long, and nobody will resent you for taking care of yourself first.

Happy teen

Take a walk.

Study and practice the art of relaxation.

Get a massage.

Breathe.

Results!
Piling your plate with too much may give you some sense of being a busy, accomplished person, but buckle up: other people may not see you that way.

sad little girl.jpg
Your kids may see you as being too busy to give them the attention they crave.

Depressed man working late at nightYour boss may see you as someone who struggles to follow through.

Worried Young Couple In BedYour significant other may be sensing you drifting away.

Mother and Daughter Happy.jpgWhen you take care of yourself, you’ll find that all the people in your life will light up as you engage them more fully and completely with your whole self.

So when you hear that little voice in your head saying you’re “too busy,” that voice may be exactly right.

And now you know what to do about it.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. Follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet

Better Together: A Primer on Couples Massage

Couple lying on massage table at spa centerShare the power of touch with our couples massage treatment. Our couples massage packages allow you and a friend or loved one to come in and get massages in the same room at the same time. Each of you can request a therapist, or one can be assigned to you. This service is a great way to put each of you in the same relaxed frame of mind. Whether the rest of your plans involve going out or staying in, it’s the perfect way to kick off an evening or a day together.

You can book your couples session online any time.

Our couples massage package includes a free enhancement for both you and your guest. The enhancements available in a couples massage include:

* Hands or feet sugar scrub
* Hot stone spot treatment
* Ice Treatment
* Aromatherapy (essential oils are applied during the massage)
* Tension Release Treatment (Massage oil is applied on high tension areas of the body)

You also receive a complimentary hand dipped chocolate truffle after your session.

Please note that the free enhancement and chocolate truffle are not available for those redeeming promotional coupons from Groupon or Amazon Local, or who are using prepaid package credits for their massage.

Not seeing anyone?
A Couples Massage is still for you! Though the treatment is named “couples” massage, you don’t need to be married or in a relationship for this service. If you want to do something fun with a friend, the couples massage is your ticket to a relaxing day or evening together.

You don’t need to worry about being undressed in front of others, either. Here at The Good Life Massage, we respect your privacy and will skillfully keep you covered throughout the session.

A Couples Massage is best for:

  • An evening date between you and your spouse
  • A night out with a best friend
  • A surprise gift for a friend

Touch: our specialized love language
Touch is one of the five ways people best express their love or feelings of appreciation. You might have felt it when you received a much needed hug from a friend or when a parent held your hand to comfort you when you were child. Feelings of peace, happiness, comfort, and appreciation can all come from the language of touch. Since we are certified massage practitioners here at The Good Life Massage, we understand perfectly the power of touch. Rekindle this love language with the couples massage

What if I’m tense and my partner isn’t?
In our couples room, two of our skilled massage practitioners will be able to work on both you and your friend on separate tables. Our practitioners will be able to help you with any particular body work you need to have done. And don’t worry! If your spouse is having back pain, whereas you’re in for simple relaxation, we are more than capable of accommodating both of your needs.

How do I book a couples massage?
When you book online, add the couples massage for whatever length you desire: 60, 90, or 120 minute sessions are available. When you complete the booking, you’ll receive an email confirming your request for a couples session. If we can accommodate your request, you’ll receive another email confirming the appointment with the names of both practitioners you’ll be seeing.

It’s best to plan for a couples session at least a few days in advance. This is because we may not be able to arrange two practitioners to be on the schedule at the time you’ve requested. We do our best to fu

fill every request, but your patience is appreciated as we try to arrange the logistics of these kinds of sessions. Bottom line: you’re more likely to get the day and time you want for a couples session if you plan ahead.

If you request a session online and have any questions about scheduling, please feel free to call us at 425-243-7705 or email us.

Tanner Zornes is a blog contributor for The Good Life Massage and a student at Brigham Young University.