Know Your Practitioner, Part VII: Shaila Suleman, LMP

Know Your Practitioner is your chance to meet our great LMPs and help you decide which one will best suit you. You might even learn something about the practitioner you’re already seeing. Our practitioners love building long term relationships with their clients and getting to know their specific needs.

By the way, do you have a favorite practitioner at The Good Life Massage? Leave us a review, and make sure to mention them by name. Your review will help others find the treatment they need from the practitioner who’s right for them. Plus, it’s a great way to say thank you for a job well done.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaila (Shy-luh) Suleman, LMP. She’s early in her massage career, but wow, do we feel lucky to be in on the ground floor! She does outstanding work, and we’re confident she’ll only get better. Shaila’s style is extremely versatile. Her skill and sensitivity will have you rolling off the table in a relaxed, euphoric haze. So let’s get to know her better! You can read the interview below, or watch the video.

Book your next massage with Shaila now!

So, first tell us about yourself. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I really like to go hiking as a hobby. I like being outdoors and I love just enjoying natural beauty at its best. I like hanging out with my friends and family when I can.

How did you get involved in massage? Tell us about the journey that lead you to GLM.
I started massage school back last year. I’ve always been interested in the body and how the body works, as well as different medical conditions. So, I went to school and I started learning about different modalities and practices: chinese cupping, gua sha treatment, moxibustion, Thai massage, and a couple of different other modalities. It just fascinates me so much that all these modalities work towards making your body better and helping improve the status of your health. So, I enjoy doing that and learning more, and getting that ancient wisdom and knowledge.

What do you like about this job? What gets you excited to work with your clients?
What really excites me about work is just seeing people smile and happy after a massage, and knowing that I helped contribute to that–I helped contribute to them becoming happier and healthier and just helping people in general. Because there are so many things in the world that can cause people to be sad or upset or stressed, and I get to be part of that one thing that makes things better for them.

What makes your massage style unique?
I like using a lot of deep pressure. I like using mostly treatment work, but I’ve been told by numerous people that I have healing hands, a healing touch. So, my spectrum of massage goes from very light pressure and really relaxing and soothing to treatment and therapeutic deep pressure.

Pick a superpower: flight or invisibility. Explain your answer.
Out of the superpowers between flying and invisibility, I would choose invisibility. The reason why I like the concept of invisibility is that You can hide away from things! With invisibility, it can be very beneficial to observe and watch things without interferrupting the status or the way things are.

What’s your favorite health habit?
I practice hot yoga in the mornings. I go and do hot yoga for an hour, and it really just helps get my muscles relaxed while being able to stretch further than you can normally stretch. I do practice the modalities I mentioned. I practice cupping on myself, an do practice mostly stretching.

Is there a client you’ve worked with in the past who really stands out in your memory?
When I was in massage school I had a client that I worked on for the first time and she was very sensitive to touch, and she had a couple of health issues regarding her legs. Pressure was a constant problem for her. I wanted to do treatment work and I was used to going in really deep and trying to exercise my strength. But with her I knew I had to go very light and easy. I had to monitor and pay attention to her a lot. At the end of the massage, she was just really ecstatic that I was very nice and used a gentle touch. As the course began to move forward, she would always return to be a client of mine, and she just really appreciated how I would take time with her and talk with her before we got the massage started and listened to her. I paid attention to what she needed and what we wanted to focus on for the day. It really made me feel good that she wanted to come back continuously with me. It was always a pleasure on my end to work with her.

Finish this sentence: “I wish my clients knew …”
I wish my clients knew the importance of stretching and how beneficial that is for everyday life.

Thanks, Shaila!

Have you had a massage from Shaila? Leave a review and be sure to mention her by name! Facebook is our favorite place to read your reviews, but you can find us on Google and Yelp as well.

If you haven’t had a massage from Shaila yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Book now.

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 blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage. You can contact him or hire him at tomgunn@gmail.com

 

 

Massage . . . for Kids?!

Massage for kids

Can my kid get a massage?
Kids aren’t the first thing you think of when you think about massage and spa treatments. It’s true that we serve herbal tea, not soda, and cartoon characters aren’t typically an element of the decor. But can your kid get a massage? Absolutely.

Something for everyone
It’s tempting to feel like there’s something particularly adult about getting a massage. You disrobe (though not necessarily), and there’s a sense that the aches and pains of having a grown body are what massage was invented to relieve. But when you think about it, touch therapy is something that can be beneficial to everyone.

Touch has great physical benefits, aiding in circulation, easing muscle soreness or stiffness, and most of these benefits are associated with what happens when a body begins to get well used and worn out. But the muscles of children and youth need some TLC as well. Growing muscles may not have to put up with the same pain and strain, but kids play hard and sometimes sustain injuries and accidents. The therapeutic benefits are there for them as well.

The psychological benefits also can’t be ignored. As social beings, we’re wired to respond positively to touch. Healthy touch assures us that we’re going to survive because we’re surrounded by people who will care for us. Do kids need to feel that any less than adults do?

It’s never too early to learn
Touch therapy can also help kids establish a stronger sense of self-love as they get through their awkward growing years. You remember adolescence–the persistent feeling that there’s something abnormal about you, the discomfort with your own changing body’s size and shape. All of these can be mitigated with regular massage and touch therapy in a professional setting. Massage helps establish a stronger mind-body connection for kids and adults alike.

Having your child or adolescent get a massage also helps them see touch therapy as a positive part of a self-care routine, and to see that self-care is an important part of a person’s life. Sure, they’ll follow your example, but why not start them now in the habits that will help them lead the happiest, healthiest life possible?

Safety is our priority
While massage has so many of the same benefits to kids as to adults, we do have to take some special measures on our end to ensure they have a safe, positive experience. Every minor client must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The parent or guardian must be in the treatment room during the session. In fact, if you like, the session can be booked as a couples session with the parent on the other table! It takes a little more notice to arrange, this can be a great way to have a good experience with your child.

We will not perform massage on a minor without the signed consent of a parent or guardian. Our clinic policy is that, whenever possible, minor clients are treated by massage practitioner of the same gender.

Aside from this, we also try to go out of our way to make our youngest clients feel comfortable. We’re mindful of their vulnerability in this setting, and the nervousness they might be feeling. We take extra care to let them know that they have total control over their massage experience, just like any adult. We show them how they’ll be draped to protect their privacy, and talk through exactly what parts of their body will be touched and how. Young clients should know that there’s nothing about a massage that they should have to tolerate or endure. The client or their parent are free to terminate the session at any time.

Yes, children and youth getting massage is rare. But maybe it shouldn’t be.

Tom Gunn is a the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage. You can reach him at tomgunn@gmail.com.

7 Mendacious Massage Misconceptions

Massage is becoming more popular every day. The public is finally getting educated on what regular massage can do to benefit your mental and physical health.

Having said that, there are a surprising number of myths and misconceptions about massage that we feel the need to clear up here and now.

This came up as a subject recently in our post about pre-natal massage. In my interview with Christie Ellis, formerly of GLM, the following misconception about prenatal massage came up:

“Prenatal massage can induce labor”
I’ll let Christie take this first one:

“That is a myth! Massage does not cause labor. Acupressure can precipitate labor, and that would be on the level of applying director pressure on a very specific spot for two or three minutes every fifteen minutes over the span of about forty-eight hours.

So there’s no way to come in for a prenatal massage and come out a mother?
“(laughs) No! And to be clear, acupuncture and acupressure are very different than massage. We’re using much broader strokes with massage and there’s absolutely no concern that a nice foot massage could put a woman into labor.

“Another myth I would point out is that abdominal massage can cause miscarriage. That’s out there, too, especially for people who are concerned about the first trimester.

“I do think it’s important to have someone that’s trained for any sort of abdominal work, but massage in general is very safe for expecting mothers.”

But there are plenty of other misconceptions about massage out there. This should put a dent in a few of the more common ones:

“Sure, you feel great right after a massage, but the effects are only temporary”
This idea probably comes from those who really need regular massage, but only tried it once, and went back to the status quo after a day or two. If you suffer from chronic pain or posture issues, regular massage can be particularly beneficial in “retraining” your muscles and your body to be well and whole.

Massage Results take time

You wouldn’t expect to reach all your fitness goals with just one workout, right? Massage is the same way: long-term improvements in your physical health almost never come in the form of a magic bullet. It just takes time and persistence.

If cost seems to be a barrier to getting the treatment you need, you might not have all the facts.

“Does it hurt? It’s supposed to. Just let it happen.”
If you feel pain or discomfort during your massage, say something! While it’s true that some discomfort can be expected in treatment massage, you need to keep talking to your practitioner about your comfort and the treatment they’re doing. Even if a particular stroke or method is supposed to be therapeutic, your therapist can and should honor your requests. The kind of care you receive is entirely in your hands, and should be wholly directed by you.

What’s more, too much pain can actually be counterproductive. If you’re sincerely in pain, you’ll unconsciously tense up other muscle groups, creating the exact opposite of the desired effect for your massage.

“Massage releases toxins and cleanses your system”
Not really. It depends on what you mean by “toxins”. What massage does do is help stimulate circulation throughout your body. This can be helpful if you’re injured. Increased blood flow can be very beneficial in that case. That circulation can include run-of-the-mill cell waste, but there’s no medical magic in stimulating processes that your body routinely caries out anyway. You can get the same effect from vigorous exercise.

“If you don’t walk away feeling like a million bucks, you got a bad massage”
It’s true that, for most cases, people walk away from their massage feeling relaxed, limber, even a little euphoric. But while this is commonly the case, a good massage can sometimes make you feel, well, lousy–at least immediately afterward.

Are you fighting a bug? If you’re getting sick, a massage can sometimes accelerate how quickly you feel the symptoms. You may walk in feeling fairly well, oblivious to the fact that you’re about to get sick, and then get off the table feeling a little weak and achy. If that turns into a bout with a cold or the flu, we feel your pain. But you can’t blame the massage therapist or the job they did for making it happen.

Another scenario is when deep tissue treatment is called for and requested. When your practitioner needs to go deep below the surface tissue to release trigger points and send circulation to distressed areas, this may cause some discomfort both during and just after the treatment.

This can be the case for specialty treatments we offer, including deep transverse friction and myoskeletal alignment. People sometimes report feeling sore after these kinds of heavy treatment-style massages. That does not mean your practitioner did a bad job. In fact, that can be a sign that more regular treatment is called for. It shouldn’t hurt every time, and there should be significant improvement after a good night’s sleep.

“If you have cancer, massage will spread the cancer cells through your body”
This is basically impossible. Massage moves lymph, but cancer doesn’t spread through the lymphatic system. Metastization (the spread of cancer) is due to genetic mutation and a number of factors that have nothing at all to do with the functioning of the lymphatic system.

Having said that, if you’re a cancer patient, it’s wise to consult with your oncologist before scheduling a massage. Relaxation massage at any stage of cancer can actually be immensely beneficial, reducing depression and anxiety. Some studies have even shown that it reduces nausea and pain.

Are there any others you’ve heard that we didn’t cover here? Do you have any questions about massage and what it can do for you?

Let us know in the comments below.

You can also contact us by phone at 425-243-7705

or by email at support@goodliferenton.com

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 marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can find him online at tgunnwriter.com

Amy Gunn, LMP is a co-founder of The Good Life Massage and has been a licensed massage practitioner since 1999. 

What the Expecting Can Expect – A Primer on Prenatal Massage

Massage can be a great help, especially when the stresses of life–good or bad–become more intense than usual. Pregnancy is one of those times of life that, for most, is an exciting and anticipated event, but which brings with it challenges that massage can help you handle.

Christie Ellis, LMP, formerly of The Good Life Massage, is an expert in prenatal and post-natal massage.

Our resident expert in prenatal massage, Christie Ellis, LMP is a former employee of The Good Life Massage and has special training in prenatal massage. As a prenatal massage expert we consulted with her to share some of the fundamentals and benefits of prenatal massage.

What exactly did your special training consist of, Christie?
“Most people don’t get a lot of training other than just very basic contraindications (signs that prenatal massage should be avoided). So I actually got extra training in prenatal techniques at Bastyr University. Carol Osborne was my instructor there, and she is one of two or three national experts on training massage therapists in prenatal massage. So I took her training, which was four days, and it was all just exclusively prenatal and post-partum massage. So I’m certified in that, and I just have more experience in working with that population than most.

You’re a mom. Did you have any experience getting prenatal massage during that time?
I did, once. That was for my first pregnancy. It was actually my first-ever professional massage. I don’t think I even began to understand the positive impact that massage can have on the pregnant body. I think I totally thought of it as a luxury service, just getting pampered. But I didn’t know it would have an impact on my bodily structures. I think that was something I didn’t really understand until after I had my second child and was post-partum and was having all kinds of problems after having two babies.

What are some of the major benefits of prenatal massage?
I would say that there is stress relief, which is really valuable. It effects the nervous system, and is able to calm down everything when there’s anxiety, potentially, about becoming a parent, giving birth, and just preparation for the big event–it lets the brain kind of take a break for a while.

And then, I think, dealing with common pre-natal concerns like psiatica, low back pain, and pain in the shoulders can be alleviated or mitigated with prenatal massage.

What’s the value of one session versus regular sessions for expecting mothers?
Essentially, there is value in one treatment. When you’re doing fewer treatments, the value is more for the nervous system. It takes longer for lasting value and lasting change for the muscles.

I think weekly massage is very reasonable for pregnancy, and is not overkill. Definitely monthly, weekly, or twice a month is great to be able to address issues and kind of help compensating muscles as the baby’s growing and putting stress continuously, increasingly over the pregnancy.

Are there any safety concerns?
Prenatal massage completely safe. Our bodies are protective, and there are a lot of protective structures in between the outside of our body and the baby.

Having said that, there are precautions that need to be taken. Someone adequately trained should be taking those precautions, such as using a side-lying position later in pregnancy or elevating the side of the pelvis, and avoiding areas of inner-tension, such as the inner-thigh. That is, the inner thigh should be an area where caution is used in late pregnancy and post-partum. When you have a practitioner who is trained, and who knows those caution areas, it’s just as safe as any other time. There shouldn’t be any alarm about it causing any harm to the baby.

There’s an increased volume of blood in the inner thigh during prenancy, and most women have a good amount of blood clots in the inner thigh. The hormones released in giving birth cause those to dissovlve on their own, but heavy pressure on the inner thigh can dislodge them and cause problems. It’s better to just keep the pressure light. And then, a few months post-partum, regular pressure can resume.

Are there a lot of signs or contraindications women should be aware of to avoid prenatal massage?
Very few.

If there is a complication, such as preeclampsia, that is probably the biggest red flag to not proceed. Some of the indicators of preeclampsia include high protein in the urine, and high blood pressure to the point where it could cause fetal demise. It’s a highly managed complication. If someone has it, they’re in with their doctor a few times a week, probably.

Where there’s high blood pressure, massage would have to be at the discretion of the healthcare provider as to whether or not the person could tolerate that.

But for the bulk of people who just have aches and pains, maybe a little nausea, but no medical complication: with proper positioning, there are no concerns.

What session enhancements would go particularly well with prenatal?
I think one of the things that is most helpful is hot stone spot treatment. This is because, especially with late pregnancy and the positioning being on their side, getting on the deep pressure can be more challenging. But if the practitioner has a tool, such as a stone, to really go into the muscle with added heat, it can really get to a deeper muscle change than without it. Those are really nice. For work along the spine and pelvic work, it’s really nice to get to those with hot stones.

I also think aromatherapy is a nice enhancement for stress relief and also, again, since the positioning forces us to use less pressure, and because pregnant women are more sensitive to pressure, aromatherapy using something like the deep blue fragrance, or something that will relax the muscles is a nice way to still get the muscle change you want with the limitations on pressure.

Are there any myths about prenatal massage that are worth dispelling?
That it can put you into labor! That is a myth! Massage does not cause labor. Acupressure can precipitate labor, and that would be on the level of applying direct pressure on a very specific spot for two or three minutes every fifteen minutes over the span of about forty-eight hours.

So there’s no way to come in for a prenatal massage and come out a mother?
(laughs) No! And to be clear, acupuncture and acupressure are very different than massage. We’re using much broader strokes with massage and there’s absolutely no concern that a nice foot massage could put a woman into labor.

Another myth I would point out is that abdominal massage can cause miscarriage. That’s out there, too, especially for people who are concerned about the first trimester.

I do think it’s important to have someone that’s trained for any sort of abdominal work, but massage in general is very safe for expecting mothers.

Thanks, Christie!

Book your prenatal massage now.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about your particular case:

Email:
support@goodliferenton.com

Phone:
425-243-7705

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 marketing director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. Find him online at TGunnWriter.com

Robot Massage, Anyone?

robot hand and butterflyArtificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are more sophisticated than ever, and are improving every year by leaps and bounds. At this rate, many of the jobs being perfomed by humans may soon be peformed by robots or computers with sophisticated AI. These include

  • cab/rideshare drivers
  • food service
  • custodians and janitors
  • receptionists and personal assistants

Even more sophisticated tasks such as writing blog posts like this one could one day be the domain of the machines.

But what about massage therapy?
Your massage practitioner does a very specific job very well. It involves a series of motions that really wouldn’t be so difficult for a robot to master, at least at first glance.

It sounds great, right? Imagine the world’s most sophisticated massage tool, but one with the smarts of a 21st century AI program.

Not so fast
For one thing, the primary benefit of massage is human touch. Skin-to-skin contact has been shown to release dopamine, oxytocin, and other neurotransmitters that give you a sense of being loved, accepted, and connected. This psychological aspect of massage and touch therapy can’t be underestimated, nor is it easily imitated by machines.

Touch therapy and massage have been shown to be an effective aid in treating depression, anxiety, and can even help improve body image. Can robots replicate these effects? Not now. Maybe not ever.

Personal touch
When you get regular massage treatment, you have the chance to form a personal relationship with your practitioners. These professionals can get to know your body: the feel of your muscles, the composition of what lies underneath the skin. They can approach whatever aches or pains you may be experience with a sense of love and compassion.

It’s all you need …
That’s right. We said love. Love might be the most significant aspect of massage a robot may never ever be able to fully replicate. Our culture tends to sexualize everything, but make no mistake: there’s nothing sexual or romantic about licensed professional massage. Having said that, there is an aspect of being a massage practitioner that has everything to do with compassion, love, and acceptance. For massage practitioners, love is what separates the mere technicians collecting paychecks and true masters of the art of massage.

To get a massage from just such a practitioner, book your massage today!

Could androids or robots ever fully replace your human massage practitioner? Possibly, but real, live, human touch may never be fully replaceable, at least in our lifetimes.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can find him on Twitter @elmanoroboto. 

 

Turtle Power, Part 2: 5 Ways to Slow Down and Be Happier

Last week we pointed out the 5 best reasons to aim for a slower pace of life. But slowing down is very easy to talk about. You may even be completely convinced of its benefits. But implementing it into your life is quite another thing.

This week, in part two of this post, we’ll get to some of the nuts and bolts of adopting a slower-paced lifestyle.

Take a day
First, you need to recognize the value of your own time. It can help to regularly take a day which in your primary focus is not to work, worry, or play any kind of role–but simply to exist.

Set aside a day off each week. On this day, try to avoid work of any kind, travel, social media, or consumerism. We call it a day of rest, and the benefits are both long and short-term.

We try to follow our own advice in our business practice, closing up shop every Sunday to ensure our employees have the opportunity to renew themselves and the important connections in their lives. We want the same for our clients, and hope that being closed one day a week will make it just a little easier to do the same.

Take some advice from Faith Hill: Just breathe! (Now that song is in your head! You’re welcome!)
When you wake up in the morning, take a few moments to breathe in and out, slowly and deliberately. Ease into it. As you go, take deeper and deeper breaths. Push away your thoughts about what will be happening today and focus on the white noise of your own breath, the feeling of the light that is your breath entering you and renewing you.

If you have a spiritual or religious tradition, this is the perfect thing to pair with whatever prayer or meditation ritual you may like to incorporate into your routine. In this way, you connect both with your own life, and with its source.

Relax!
Relaxation is more just an activity to incorporate into your routine, (though it definitely should be that as well).

Most people don’t realize that relaxation is a principle of work. The ability to relax is essential for any kind of worthy activity.

Senior woman focused with eyes closed while playing music outdoo
Relaxation is a principle of work. It takes effort to get started, but mastery comes after you stop straining, and start flowing.

Of course, you have to get your game face on and take on whatever task lies ahead. That’s the work part. But once you have your momentum going, there comes a point when you can stop trying so hard and let yourself get into a flow. You can’t get into that flow if you’re rushed.

Ever wonder why you can get through a whole day at work and feel like so little got done? Constant interruptions like meetings, phone calls, birthday cake in the break room–these all stop your flow and make it necessary to start and re-start your work throughout the day.

The late Ray Bradbury put it well when he said “Life is meant to be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at other times move forward with it.” It’s in this state that truly great work, even art, can begin to flourish.

Recognize that civilization is overrated
We’ve inherited a lot from our parents and our ancestors, good and bad. It can help to notice what came from those who have gone before, and how they’ve influenced us without realizing it. The American propensity for overwork goes way back to the Roman empire, and probably even further.

But does that go-go mindset really make sense for you, now? By that logic, pushing your car’s engine to the red line at all times should make it run better, right? Wrong! That’s a good way to prematurely end the engine. So it goes with your life.

Yes, work. But over-work could be shortening your life and siphoning your joy. It may be time to question things it’s never occured to you to question before.

So many other factors come crowding in for the present, as well: the expectations of others, the expectations others put on us.

  • Do you really have to do this or that?
  • Is this or that commitment really important to you?

The first step in taking control of your own time is to recognize that it’s yours. Take it!

Realize that Mom was right …
Chew your food! This may seem like a little thing, but in this fast-food world, this little thing can make a big difference in your life. The speed at which you eat impacts how much you eat in any given sitting and how much you enjoy your meals.

Sunrise
In Tuscany, meals are meant to be cooked and enjoyed in the best way possible: slowly. Isn’t there something to be learned there?

And given that the number of meals you’ll eat in your life are numbered, isn’t it worth making sure each one of them counts?

On a related note, if you feel like fast food is threatening to dominate your diet, try our next suggestion.

Become your own personal assistant
This can apply to planning your meals or just your life in general. While we generally associate planning our lives with a fast-paced life-style, the opposite can be true if you know how to handle it. Planning your life gives you the chance to build lots of gaps between tasks and breaks where you can work them in. Many people find that for things like massage, exercise, focused relaxation, and other forms of self-care, planning is the only way to go.

Imagine how you would feel if, yes, you had your day mapped out for you, and that you had plenty of time for every task?

You may not be able to afford a personal assistant, but a little extra time spent planning your week, say, on Sunday nights in front of Netflix, could help you hit the breaks and slow down.

Be well.

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

Turtle Power, Part One: 5 Reasons Slow is Better

Pretty businesswoman experiencing road rage
Is faster really better? How many times have you been aggressively passed on the highway by someone who just has to go faster than you, only to look over and see them next to you at the next traffic light?

This post is part I in a two-part series. Follow our blog to catch the next installment!

Slow down! Sure, you could probably stand to break your lead foot habit. But slow is more than just a mode or an easier-to-catch version of speed. It can be the way you live your life–a philosophy that can absorb you and enrich your life in ways you may never have considered.

Here are GLM, we try to embrace this way of thinking in everything we do. Of course, we’re prompt and we stick to our schedule, but the way we structure that schedule is informed by this idea: slow is better.

For example, some massage clinics only leave a five minute gap between appointments in which the practitioner is supposed to be able to change the sheets, run to the restroom, take a deep breath, greet their next client, and start the next session.

We actually extend that 5 or 10 minute gap to 30 minutes. We do this not just for the practitioners (though we’re thinking of them, for sure), but for our clients as well. If the clinic becomes a revolving door of clients with therapists striding up and down the hallway in a rush to get the next person on the table, that doesn’t create a relaxing environment for anyone.

Further, we believe stress can actually be contagious. If a therapist is hungry, exhausted, rushed, flustered, and stretched to her limit, is it really likely that some of those feelings won’t spread to the client through the touch therapy?

If your massage practitioner doesn’t have a chance to slow down and take time for self-care, and to make sure the job is done right, we will never be capable of giving the kind of massage you deserve and need.

Think for a moment about how that same principle might be expressing itself in your own life.

No, really.

Stop skimming this at light-speed for a second, close your eyes, and think about how rushing might be harming your life. Just a second or two is enough, but take all the time you need.

Go ahead, we’ll wait.

What did you come up with? Write your answer down somewhere.

Answering some of these questions might help:

How could your rushing around and “busy-ness” be effecting your spouse/partner? Your children? Your co-workers and subordinates? Do you really like living life at high speed, or do you just have problems with procrastination? Is being busy too much a part of your self-image and sense of worth? It might be time to questions those ideas.

Let it go
Is being busy a part of your self-image and sense of worth? It might be time to questions that.

If you’re still not convinced that slow is better, we have at least five reasons you should consider lifting your foot from the gas pedal of your life.

Greater awareness
When you’re slow, you’re present in the moment. You’re experiencing the precious time of your life as it passes irretrievably into the future. You’re living your life as it was meant to be lived.

How much time do you have left on earth, anyway? You have no way of knowing for sure. Speeding through your life may help you believe the lie that you’re packing a lot in, but are you really tasting it? Do you appreciate how fragile your life is, and how quickly it’s passing?

The span of your life is like an ice cream cone on a hot day: you better savor it, because it won’t last forever.

Slow is cheaper!
Moving, thinking, living at high speed comes with a high cost. In your rush to get things done, you may find that you all-too-easily stay busy while not actually getting much done at all. While checking to see how fast you’re moving, you may not be noticing in which direction you’re going.

Ever hear the expression “Haste makes waste?” Old proverbs like that get passed along because they’re catchy, sure, but also because they’re true. Have you really saved time rushing out the door in the morning at top speed if you forgot something important and had to go back for it?

Moving fast, isn’t
Don’t believe me? How many times have you been aggressively passed on the highway by someone who just has to go faster than you, only to look over and see them next to you at the next traffic light?

For most things in life, you’re not earning any extra points for speed. So why not take your time?

If a job’s worth doing…
It’s worth doing right, which means taking the time it takes to do a task with your full attention. Here’s a mind blower: you know that multitasking thing you’ve heard so much about in job descriptions? It doesn’t exist. Human beings aren’t capable of it.

You can do one thing–ONE–at any given time, and no more. You may be able to shift between things rapidly, but only one will ever have your total focus in the moment. Remember that the next time you’re playing with your kids, or when you get behind the wheel of a car.

Where you place your focus and attention truly matters.

Your physical health
Ongoing stress can tax your body in ways you don’t realize. It increases the risk of heart disease and several kinds of cancer, not to mention high blood pressure and hypertension. Slowing down puts you in tune with your body’s natural rhythms and pace.

While vigorous exercise is important, consider the exercise methods that also bring outstanding health benefits, but which are much slower by nature.

Handsome young man resting after workout in gym
Working the free weights–slowly and steadily–increases muscle control and endurance.

Yoga and tai chi are great examples of this kind of exercise. But this approach isn’t limited to eastern traditions and practices. Even good-old-fashioned weightlifting has benefits when you decide to slow down your reps and focus on control. Your mind can focus more intently on each motion of your body as you go through your routine. If possible, consult with a trainer for a session or two. You might find that your form is much worse than you ever thought!

Also, slow-lifting increases your muscle endurance, de-emphasizing the explosive motion and training your muscles to endure great weight for longer periods of time.

Are you convinced yet? If you’re not sure where to begin, that’s understandable. In the next part of this series, we’ll address the nuts and bolts of throttling down your life and living with more intent and focus.

Tom Gunn is the director of marketing and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. You can find him online at http://www.tgunnwriter.com.