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.

Massage and Weight Loss: Fact vs. Fiction

Massage & Weight Loss

Let’s rip a bandage off right now: there’s no miracle cure for weight loss. Any doctor worth their salt will tell you the truth: to lose weight, there’s no real substitute for exercise and diet. This easy to say, much harder to do. Most people need a strong social support system, and must be willing to commit to long term change to achieve permanent results.

Now for some good news: Massage can play a key role in helping you achieve your weight loss goal.

No miracles, just healing
While some have tried to find in massage some kind of miracle weight-loss cure, massage isn’t that. Massage does nothing directly to burn fat or calories or reduce your waistline.

But massage can be a great supplemental treatment to give your efforts a vital boost to your brain chemisty and morale as your body transitions to a healthier way of living. Massage can help you transition your mindset from self-loathing and punishment to self-worth and healing, all while providing real physical benefits that accumulate over time.

True recovery
As a mode of touch therapy, massage has been shown to have measurable mental health benefits. Studies have shown that regular massage can help improve body image generally, and can be an effective treatment for depression.

It’s been well established by multiple studies that massage reduces cortisol levels–the stress hormone–and helps increase production of dopamine and norepenephrine–the hormones that give us a feeling of happiness and well being.

This really isn’t all that surprsing when you think about it. Humans have evolved to be connected, social creatures. We thrive on personal connection, and struggle in isolation. Touch gives a sense that we’re going to survive, that we’re not alone, and that we’re an individual with value.

And for many, sugary and fatty foods serve as a way to medicate against feelings of isolation and depression. These foods can trick your brain into wanting more by releasing those pleasurable hormones as you eat. Massage can be a healthy alternative to get that dopamine fix as you try to get your brain chemistry back to a healthy balance.

And when you consider the fact that retaining body fat has been linked to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, massage is a no-brainer for helping you lose weight.

Reward yourself
It’s key to your efforts to set up rewards for doing the hard work of behavioral change. The challenge is to find rewards for yourself that don’t involve food–a reward that could derail your efforts to change.

Massage is the ideal reward for making progress towards your goals. Let’s say, for instance, that you set a goal to work out three times a week for a month. If, at the end of that month, you’ve reached your goal, go ahead and book a massage for yourself! You might even consider a session enhancement or two. (Who knows? Maybe, for you, aromatherapy will become the sweet smell of success.)

Whether your weight loss goals are major or modest, regular massage therapy could mean the difference between success and failure.

If you’d like to get regular massage, but are concerned about the cost, a pre-paid package can save you 10% or more, and can help ensure you’re getting the care you need over time.

If you’re struggling with weight, The Good Life Massage would love to be on your team, both cheering you on and giving you a supportive push along the way.

Book a massage 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 marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can learn more about his freelance writing and editing work by contacting him at marketstediting@gmail.com

Add a Little Extra, Get a Lot More – A Primer on Massage Enhancements, Part II

Treat Yourself - Web Graphic

In the last post we reviewed a few of the session enhancements available at our clinic. These are a fantastic way to make a great massage experience even better, so if you haven’t already read it, check out that post.

What we haven’t covered, however, are the spa treatment enhancements that are also available. Like any spa treatment, these must be reserved in advance. Don’t ask your practitioner for these on the day of your massage, because these require extra time on the schedule and/or prep time that make it impossible to prepare on-demand.

As you’ll see, however, it’s well worth the effort to plan ahead and schedule one of these with your session.

Fancy Feet
If you like the hand or foot sugar scrub, you’ll love this! This is quite a full pedicure, but it’s the next best thing. For 30 blissful minutes, your hardest working body parts get the TLC they deserve. We start with a gentle exfoliating sugar scrub and follow that with hot stone massage. This is a perfect add-on for someone who spends a lot of time on their feet, or who just need some extra attention in that area.

HFS Upgrade
HFS stands for hands, feet, or scalp. You’ll get 15 extra minutes in one of these targeted focus areas. We’ve posted on this space before about how amazing this upgrade can be, but briefly, this adds time to your session dedicated to one of these areas.

Hands. You may not realize just how hard your hands work until you try this. The practitioner will spend time on each joint of the finger, soothing all those tight muscles and connective tissues with focused touch therapy. This is highly recommended for anyone who works with their hands, or even just uses a computer a lot (which is pretty much everybody, right?).

Feet. Is there any part of your body that needs more attention than your feet? This enhancement adds 15 blissful minutes of attention just on your feet. This is considerably more than the 3 to 5 minutes your feet would each get in a full body massage, and will have you dancing out the door.

Scalp. It’s counter-intuitive, but the scalp is a great place to get some focus work done. It’s deeply relaxing and can even help relieve headaches. This is ideal for stress relief or to aid with mental health or addiction recovery.

Chocolate Hydrating Face Mask
Good news: this one involves chocolate! Not so good news: it doesn’t involve eating any. It turns out that the flavonoids in cocoa are great for your skin. It smells great, has been proven to leave your face feeling smooth and moisturized, and most of all, gives you that feeling of being treated like royalty.

Again, whichever of these enhancements you decide to go with, remember that each of them require extra time be added to your session. That means these must be booked in advance and can not be added at the last minute. For enhancements that can be added on the fly, see our last post.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director at and blod editor of The Good Life Massage. You hire him to help with your content marketing and social media tasks by contacting him at tomgun@gmail.com.

When NOT to Get a Massage

As much as we’d like to say that any time is a good time, sometimes it really is best to reschedule your massage. Massage has a significant impact on the body, and that means you need to use just a little self-awareness before getting the table. If you get this wrong, the consequences range from mild discomfort to needing serious medical attention.

Injuries
If you’ve been injured, say on the job or in a car accident, massage can be extremely beneficial and therapeutic, depending on the nature of your injuries. Having said that, we highly recommend a doctor’s referral before you come in after an injury. Massage could actually aggravate your injury, making a bad situation even worse.

Yes, we’re trained professionals, but we’re not medical doctors. It’s crucial that you be honest with your practitioner and yourself before you get on the table.

After Drinking
We strongly recommend spacing out your alcohol consumption and massage. This is an easy trap to fall into on a cruise or some kind of vacation situation. If a couples massage, for instance, is part of a date night, make sure the massage comes before, not after, dinner or drinks.

Have you ever noticed that your practitioner will offer you water after a massage? That’s because massage makes you feel dehydrated … just like alcohol. Getting a massage after a few drinks might feel really good during the session, but you may really be feeling it in the morning.

“Uh oh. Am I getting this?”
Do you have that little tickle in the back of your throat? Are you feeling some queasiness or chills? Listen to your body. If you’re feeling some of the telltale signs that indicate that you’re about to get sick, reschedule your massage. (It should go without saying that getting a massage while you’re sick is usually a bad idea. But really–whatever you’ve got, we don’t want.)

In a way that’s similar to exercise, massage encourages circulation of bodily fluids, which can temporarily tax your immune system. If your body is already fighting a bug when you get a massage, you can expect to feel worse–definitely the morning after, and maybe even right after the session.

Pregnancy?
No problem. In fact, we highly recommend prenatal massage, right up to the time you give birth. There’s a myth out there that massage can actually cause you to go into labor. This isn’t really true.

Postpartum massage is also safe, in general, but if you’ve had a c-section or other complication, it’s best to clear it with your doctor first.

… But the money!
Your health is more important. Having said that, it’s understandable to be concerned about losing a prepaid session or having to pay for a session you won’t get because of a late cancellation. It’s true that we have a late cancellation/no-show policy, but we’ve been known to grant exceptions. Talk to your practitioner or a manager if you have health concerns around keeping your appointment.

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 hire his services as a writer, editor, or social media expert at www.TGunnWriter.com.

Do you know your rights as a massage client?

bill-of-rights

Whether you’re a veteran of the message therapy experience or a novice, you should fully understand everything you have the right to expect from your providers. We like to call this the client’s bill of rights. Whether you come to see us, or get your massage from elsewhere, these are all things you have the right to expect.

You have the right …

To receive treatment from a qualified massage practitioner licensed by the state. State licensing helps to ensure your safety, quality of service, and establishes legal and ethical accountability. All the practitioners at The Good Life Massage are licensed by the State of Washington. License numbers are published on our website for each therapist, and we can produce a copy of their licenses on demand.

To receive all the benefits of massage, understanding the scope of massage as a medical treatment. Massage therapy is not a cure-all. It is for general wellness purposes, and this includes relief from muscular tension or spasms, improved flexibility, promotion of circulation of the blood and lymph, and stress reduction.

To be touched only on the areas you specify, excluding genitals or breast tissue.

To receive treatment based on health care information you volunteer. We do not receive or keep complete medical records of our clients, so, with few exceptions, all the information we have about your health condition comes directly from you. This includes physical and mental health. Remember that communication is essential to a good massage experience.

To end the massage session at any time, for any reason. If anything about the session is causing you pain or makes you uncomfortable, you can stop it.

To have any and all treatments and modalities explained to you. If there’s something about your treatment you have questions about, you deserve answers to those in a way that you can understand. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.

To refuse any stroke, method, or modality used by your therapist. Every aspect of your treatment is meant to be completed only with your consent, and can be customized to your liking.

To be informed if your treatment is a part of any study or experimentation. You also have the right to refuse to participate in any experimentation or research. We don’t conduct any research in our clinic at this time, but if we did, we would do anything but keep it a secret.

To confidentiality and privacy. Our client list is kept confidential, and any personal or health care information you provide us is secure. Our record keeping practices are fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

To be treated fairly and humanely, regardless of nationality, sexual orientation, body type, disability, gender identity, race, religion, or political persuasion. The Good Life Massage is fully ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible. Our top priority is to create a healing space for our clients where they feel safe and welcome, regardless of any of these factors. In fact, some of you may have noticed some of our practitioners wearing safety pins on their uniforms. This is just another sign of that commitment to inclusiveness and fairness.

Do you have any questions about this list? We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment on this post or social media. If you’d prefer to keep it private, our door is always open. You can contact us by phone or email with your questions.

425-243-7705
support@goodliferenton.com

Have you been in to see us, and enjoyed your experience? Please leave a review online, mentioning your practitioner by name. This helps other clients find the therapist most suited to them.

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 a freelance writer and social media manager. He is also the marketing director at The Good Life Massage. To hire him, or to see more of his work, please visit www.TGunnWriter.com, or follow him on Twitter, @elmanoroboto

4 Early Warning Signs You Need A Massage

4-warning-signs-that-its-time-for-a-massage

Is it time for a massage? Don’t answer so fast. Your body could be telling you, and you don’t even know it.

They say ignorance is bliss, but it can also be very expensive. That pain in your neck could become debilitating, preventing you from working and enjoying your life. Consider the cost of doing nothing, and you’ll see why it’s wiser to take care of yourself from the beginning.

Exhaustion
Are you getting to the end of a normal day feeling like you just did a 50 mile hike? Do you seem to fall asleep the moment you get comfortable? Your body may be working harder than it has to. This could be due to bad posture, poor sleeping habits, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, or all of the above.

Regular massage can help you feel like yourself again and boost your energy by improving circulation. Massage can also help correct poor posture, making it easier to rest and move your body more naturally.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, massage is one of the best treatments for that. A study by the Mayo clinic found that patients reported better sleep and lower fatigue than a control group. It really does help.

Loss of muscle control
For athletes and musicians, control is everything. Power and energy in using your muscles is important, but control is what turns that power into inspiring wins or beautiful music.

You may not be in pain, but if you’re noticing control errors in your playing, it might be time to schedule an appointment.

Pain that goes away–for a while
Headaches are the most common form of this, but pain can be your body’s way of sending you subtle and not-so-subtle messages. You may try temporary measures to find relief (aspirin, hot or cold packs), and you feel better…for a while. But if the pain keeps coming back, you’re not getting the message.

The message almost always has to do with self-care, but how to best interpret that message depends on the situation. If you just had a massage yesterday, you probably need to rest your body from the usual strain, and probably need additional treatment down the line anyway. But if it’s been some time since your last massage, and the pain keeps coming back, it might be a good time to schedule your next one.

Loss of emotional control
Your feelings are like lightning calculators, taking the input your brain receives and manifesting a tidy sum response to that input. What most people forget is that your feelings are responses–not just to what happens to you–but what’s happening inside you as well.

Pain can be like an annoying sound in the background–you may almost forget it’s there or how irritating it is–until, suddenly, it’s gone. Your body can develop a tolerance for it, a numbness. But your feelings and emotions aren’t so easily distracted.

Irritation in the body can come out as irritability with friends or with yourself. Are you feeling more sad for no apparent reason? Are your responses to things more dramatic than usual, in either a happy or sad/angry direction? Do you ever feel like you’re watching yourself react, but can’t stop the reaction?

Regular massage can help you stabilize your emotional responses by reducing the input your mind is receiving from within–quieting that noise of the body so you can respond to the stresses of life in a balanced and healthy way.

Do any or all of these describe you? Consider a massage. It really isn’t just a luxury, and you really don’t have to be rich to get it on a regular basis. And it could be a lot less expensive than trying to go without it.

When you come in, be open with your practitioner about what you’ve been going through and what you need. The more you tell them, the more effective the treatment will be.

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 a freelance writer and social media editor. He is also the editor of this blog and the marketing director for The Good Life Massage. You can see more of his work or hire him at www.TGunnWriter.com