Prenatal Massage: What The Expecting Can Expect

Being pregnant brings with it all kinds of changes and stresses on a woman’s body. At The Good Life Massage, we’re proud to offer prenatal massage. This specialized approach to massage gives pregnant women all the benefits of massage as they get ready for delivery.

We sat down with Michelle Green, LMT to talk about some of the differences between prenatal massage and regular massage. Prenatal clients are among our favorite clients to work with, but there are some things you should know before you come in for a prenatal session.

First, whether you’re a returning client or you’re new to The Good Life Massage, you need to inform your massage therapist if you are pregnant. As healthcare providers, this is something we need to know to keep both you and the baby safe, so please be sure to mention your pregnancy on your intake form. If you are pregnant, the front desk will give you an additional intake form with questions relating to your pregnancy. We understand that you may want to keep the news to yourself, and that’s understandable. But we really do need to know, and are bound by law to keep your medical information private.

How massage can help you cope until delivery day
Whether pregnant or not, regular massage therapy helps with a number of issues, including muscle soreness, posture issues, and chronic pain, as you might expect. But it has also been shown to help with depression, digestive issues, and sleep. All of these are things pregnant women could use extra help with, but there’s even more to it than that.

In Michelle’s experience, pregnant clients have particular needs that massage can most directly address. “Prenatal work can really help with a lot of those pregnancy aches and pains whether it’s low back and hip pain, to pain in the knees and feet. I’ve also come across a lot of women who have had some upper back and shoulder pain as they get a little bit farther along, and some of the massage techniques used can really help to relax those and kind of stretch things back out to keep you comfortable during the length of your pregnancy.”

Getting you comfortable
Baby bumps don’t fit on a massage table in the traditional way, and massage therapists need to adjust their modalities and techniques to accommodate pregnancy. This isn’t just a nice adjustment–it can be critical to the safety of the mother and unborn child.

“The massage therapist is going to take a little bit of extra time and care with the massage,” Michelle says. “They’re going to set the table up a bit differently, depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, usually keeping you on your side and making you really comfortable with bolsters or pillows that we’ll put underneath the legs.

“We’ll give you a nice little pillow to snuggle with as well. It kinda helps to keep your spine and your shoulders as well as your low back in alignment to keep you comfortable while you’re on the table. And just like any other massage, you can undress down to whatever your comfort level is and really get a chance to relax.”

Your therapist may also use specially designed support cushions to allow you to lay face-down on the table as with a traditional massage. This is one of the reasons it’s important that we know about your pregnancy in advance of the session–so we can be sure we’re prepared with the necessary equipment on the day of your session.

The right massage at the right time
How and where you’re massaged depends on where you’re at with your pregnancy. Very early on, there are few noticeable differences in how we’ll work on you. “A massage therapist will do the majority of the work while you’re on your side. And this is for a little bit later into your pregnancy,” Michelle explains. “A lot of the times when you’re early on, you can still lay comfortably on your back so that some upper shoulder and back work can be done from that position as well.”

If you think you may need assistance getting on and off the table, our therapists would be happy to help. For this reason, you may feel more comfortable working with a female therapist, so please note that when you book your massage. While we are happy to accommodate any request regarding the gender of your therapist, you should know that all our therapists of any gender are well-trained and qualified to give our pregnant clients a safe, comfortable massage experience.

Can massage induce labor?
This myth seems to have legs, and it’s not hard to understand why. Who would want to give birth on a massage table? But massage professionals like Michelle know this just isn’t true. “You don’t really need to worry about early labor being induced during massage. The techniques that are used are very safe and won’t affect that at all.”

Pregnancy is difficult enough. Let us help you get through it. Book your prenatal massage now.

If you want to buy a massage for someone special in your life who might be expecting, you can purchase a gift card here in any amount you wish.

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

Michelle Green is a licensed massage therapist at The Good Life Massage. You can reach her at support@goodliferenton.com

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How to Help When Things Get Real

how to help when things get real

There’s been much made in the news about terrible things happening around the world, and rightly so. Families are displaced by wars, genocide goes unchecked in Asia and the middle east, and natural disasters cripple entire societies. When disasters like this strike, aid is organized, charities and religious groups scramble to the rescue.

But what about the smaller tragedies, those disasters that feel enormous and earth-shaking only to that one person or that handful of people you’re close to? The loss of a spouse through death or divorce, incarceration, separation from children, death of a loved one, violent crime, or even the loss of health or employment? Mental health problems can be simultaneously shaming and debilitating, with stigma driving the sufferers and their loved ones deeper into isolation.

When these things happen to someone you know, it’s hard to know what to do or what to say. The best most of us can do is politely offer help (knowing they won’t want to impose by actually asking us for anything), try to “be there” for them (whatever that means). We wish we could do more. We mean well. But we feel paralyzed by fear of doing the wrong thing, of maybe making things worse.

You can do something. It won’t change their life or make everything okay, but it also won’t be impossible for you to do, an they really will feel their burden being lightened, even if only a little. What follows are some suggestions to consider when someone you know has been through something traumatic or devastating.

All of these suggestions are just that, and you should use your own judgement to tailor these ideas to the circumstances.

Dancing hotdog
Give Hallmark the day off. Nobody really buys the schmalzy messages in overpriced gift-cards, anyway. But you’d be surprised what good a little laughter can do.

Send them something funny, something that might draw out a smile–a dancing hotdog GIF, a link to a cat video. But whatever you send, make it personal and private. Use a text message, Instagram, Facebook, whichever platform you prefer. Send one every day, or at least a few times a week. It lets them know you’re thinking about them without getting all sappy about it, and without drawing any possibly unwanted attention to their misfortune.

Logistics
Treat them to some food. Sure, it’s cliché to bring a casserole to the doorstep. But clichés are clichés for a reason. Someone who’s going through something terrible may struggle to do the basics. Modulate your strategy to suit how close you are to the person, but it might be greatly appreciated if you can help with the small stuff.

Have a load of groceries or toiletries delivered to their home.

An Uber gift card, or a parking garage membership can make all the difference, especially when someone is facing frequent hospital trips or have some other crisis that’s making transportation more complicated for them. Even if all you got them was a small pre-paid gas card, the gesture could make a big difference.

It’s easier than ever to send care packages to cover the little necessities of life. It’s both a thoughtful gesture that lets the person know they’re not alone while also relieving some of their troubles.

Shut up
Try to resist the urge to offer advice or be the shoulder to cry on, be someone to vent/rage to, be the one to offer advice. Numbness is a defense strategy that shouldn’t be trifled with, and might result in the person pushing you away–possibly even violently.

Besides, this isn’t about you and your role, or how you see yourself. Make it about them and what they need. Make yourself available and be ready to respond to their needs without needing to be asked, and without drawing attention to the generosity of your offer. Just be present and responsive to what they need.

Be present in every sense and just listen to them. It’s amazing what people say when you just sit quietly and let them express whatever they need to say at their own pace. This is harder than it sounds, so bring some imaginary duct tape to put over your mouth.

Thoughts and Prayers
Now this one kind of is about you. Pray about them. Think about them. You can tell them you’re sending them thoughts and prayers if you want to, but don’t just say it. It’s better to do it and not say it, than to say it and not do it.

Pondering their difficult situation will increase your compassion for them in a deep and genuine way. You’ll be more emotionally responsive to their needs. Side benefit: exercising your compassion in this way could even make you a better person long-term.

Life is hard, as you’ve probably figured out by now. No matter how immaculate our own choices may be, bad things will happen, even to you. If you’re paying attention to the needs of those you love, and are attentive, that builds you crucial social capital–a social savings account of sorts. You’ll build your network of emergency responders of your own, and make you better prepared to survive the encounter when death knocks on your door.

Choose the good life.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage. You can hire him to help build your brand and reach your customers by emailing him at tomgunn@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Give Experiences, Not “Stuff”

5 Reasons to Give Experiences Not Stuff

You’ve seen it year after year now–the “deals” that come tumbling into your phone notifications and email inbox. Every retailer imaginable feeding a narrative that seems to build on itself like an avalanche until it becomes a seemingly unstoppable force. That narrative: that there’s low-hanging fruit waiting to be plucked, and if you miss it, well–you MISSED IT! Imagine how much worse your life will be if you don’t land that DEAL! If it feels like this message is being screamed at you, that’s only because it is–from all sides.

But let’s pause for a moment and consider this message. Is it true? How does it jibe with your experience as a consumer?

Think about last year. How much of the stuff you bought (for just a great deal!) last year is something you still use? Do you even still have any of those items? Chances are, even if you have them, you probably don’t use them. Maybe they turned out to be not what you’d hoped. Maybe the enticement of a deal got you so wound up you purchased something you found you didn’t really want. And where does it end up? In the trash? Donated to charity? Passed on to someone else?

We can all agree that giving is good, but how can you give better? How do you stop yourself from falling for the same consumerist trap every year?

Here we’ll discuss 5 reasons to stop giving “stuff” and start giving experiences instead!

Memory, not stuff, makes your identity
True, sometimes giving stuff IS giving an experience. Who doesn’t remember being a kid and tearing the wrapping paper of a hoped-for gift? Maybe it broke the next day or you played with it for years, but that moment is what you were really given. That moment is what you take with you. When you experience something, it influences your whole future–every future decision you make. The trick is that your mind tends to jettison memories of things that seem to be useless or mundane–like the disappointing gift you got from your Aunt Sally. Why hang on to that memory? The memory of receiving it is gone at almost the same moment the gift itself is discarded or put in a closet–out of sight, out of mind.

Experiences, on the other hand, remain, especially if it takes the person out of the mundane grind of daily life. Maybe it’s something they would love to do, but for some reason wouldn’t ever decide to try on their own? Maybe the experience you give them will actually help them to become a better person, or will help them achieve a goal they’ve always wanted to reach for. Giving an experience is giving them something that will stick with them, something they’ll be telling their friends about, something they might even remember on their death bed.

Giving STUFF–bad for the economy
When you give stuff, you’re playing an odd game of roulette with your giving. Maybe they’ll find that thing useful or entertaining. But you can’t always be sure. For this reason, economists have argued that gifting is actually bad for the economy: people spend good money on something for another person, which most of the time is unwanted by that other person. This evaluation passes over the social value of gifting, but the point is well taken. Aren’t we being a bit wasteful, spending money on this stuff (on sale!) that’s likely to be forgotten anyway?

Experiences don’t need storage units or landfills
Americans are drowning in stuff. The off-site storage unit business has exploded in recent decades as people find there’s not enough room in their houses-garages-attics-basements for all their STUFF. And they cling to that STUFF so dearly that they’re actually willing to take on considerable monthly rental fees just to keep it under someone else’s roof across town.

On the other end of the spectrum, regarding STUFF we throw away, that has to go somewhere. We contaminate soil and defile the natural world just so we can bury the STUFF we can’t use anymore. Maybe some of it gets recycled, but that recycling process doesn’t come without environmental cost. And let’s not forget the energy spent, the natural resources used to produce that nick-knack in the first place. And all for what? A transitory feeling of pleasure at opening a gift, at best, and a feeling of disappointment and obligation at worst. Doesn’t it make more sense to send your loved one to a concert, or give them an excuse to finally visit that museum they’ve always wanted to check out?

Everybody loves a good experience
Great experiences know no age. Young or old, everyone likes to have fun, to learn new things, to have a chance to improve themselves. We’re wired to enjoy novelty, no matter what form it takes, and no matter how young or old we are. And that novelty is far more memorable when it comes in the form of experience that delights all the senses and isn’t just another soon-to-be-forgotten shiny thing.

Experiences are easier to buy
There’s at least one person on your list who’s impossible to shop for–that person who doesn’t seem to want anything, or who already has everything they could want (that’s in your price range). Or maybe it’s just hard to tell what they would want. Buying them an experience is so much easier! Think about that difficult person on your list: do they like learning new things, eating out, getting massages, going to plays or concerts? Chances are they like at least ONE of these things! And you only need one!

On top of all this, experiences can be given year after year! Did they love that massage gift certificate they got last year? Why not give it again? Maybe you could even add on enough for them to try one of our great session enhancements or try a longer massage. Sure, you sent them to the symphony last year, but maybe they’d love to see a rock concert this year.

Giving experiences beats giving stuff for so many reasons. We could keep going, but we don’t want to keep you. Get out there and enjoy the experiences of your life. And when it’s time to gift, share those experiences with those you love.

Be good to yourself this week.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage. You can hire him to design your logo, create social media posts and other content, or strategically develop your brand by contacting him at tomgunn@gmail.com