Know Your Therapist – Jadian Isaac, LMT

We’re pleased to introduce you to Jadian Isaac, LMT. Jadian comes to us fresh out of Cortiva Institute’s massage therapy program, but we’re lucky to have her. Her talent is clear and we feel lucky to be on the ground floor of what will surely be an amazing career. Her particular strength is in relaxation massage, but that’s not to say you won’t walk away feeling better. Her treatment skills are state-of-the-art. After only a week, she’s already building a loyal following of clients. We sat down with Jadian to get to know her better.

Tell us about your career in massage. How did you get started? What events lead you to working at GLM?
I’ve always had a passion for helping people, and there’s always been a massage school (Cortiva Institute) five minutes away from my house. I decided to check it out. I ended up signing up the same day. I went through a seven-month program, but I graduated about a year ago, and I’ve been at The Good Life Massage ever since.

The Good Life Massage has an incredible family feel to it, and it doesn’t feel like a job to me. It feels like coming and doing something that I love with people that I love.

What do you like most about this job?
I really like helping people. I like seeing their pain go down, or go away completely. I like seeing them being happy after a good massage–that feeling of relief that most people have after getting a massage. It’s very satisfying, and I find giving a massage to be as relaxing as getting a massage.

Describe your ideal client
My ideal client is someone that’s willing to learn, someone that’s willing to try new techniques that I might have to get done what they need to get done, whether it’s treatment work, getting pain relieved, or whether you just want to fall asleep on the table for a little while. I want a client that is willing to accept my professional opinion.

I had one client, he loved to learn about the techniques I was using, and he was really interested in what they were called, what they were doing to the body, and how I knew how to use them. One part of massage I love is educating the clients and it was really fun to have someone that was willing to learn as well as receive the treatment.

What sets you apart from the other therapists at The Good Life Massage? What makes a massage from you special?
My massage is very relaxing. Most of my clients fall asleep, and they still feel the changes of muscle release, muscle tensions going away. I specialize on feet and low back, which are two places people tend to feel tension and pain. And I want to try my hardest to get that to go away.

We’re big on health and wellness here. What’s your favorite health habit?
One health habit I’ve always been fond of is drinking lots of water. I drink between a gallon and a gallon and a half of water every day, and it’s really hard to start when I fall off the wagon and don’t drink that much water. It’s hard to get back up to that much, but the benefits of it are amazing.

Hydration and massage go hand-in-hand in my opinion. Muscles, when they’re not hydrated, they can get dry, and then they can clump together, which is the knots that people feel in their back and their feet and everywhere. And if you hydrate, there’s less likely of a chance that those will happen. And then the massage can just be more about relaxation than deep work that could be slightly uncomfortable. So if you hydrate properly, then it’ll be a lot easier to live your day with less pain and be happier.

Pick a super power: flying or turning invisible, and explain your answer
If I picked a superpower I would pick turning invisible because I’m already quiet, and I’m not someone that needs huge recognition from everyone. I do what I do to help people, to make their lives a little easier. Being invisible–I don’t want them to feel like they need to recognize me. It would be a little easier to just do good throughout the world and have that be it.

Thanks, Jadian!

Book your next massage with Jadian now!

425-243-7705

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage.

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Why Adhesions Cause Pain And What To Do About It

Ad-whatnow?
Adhesions. You may hear your massage therapist use this word. It sounds medical, and usually comes out during your massage as an explanation for why this or that stroke hurts like crazy.

As in, “It feels like you have some adhesions in there!”

What are adhesions?
Adhesions are scar tissue that forms between muscle fibers and organs. They’re a natural result of stress on muscles or organs. They’re one of the reasons you feel stiff and sore after a heavy workout or after surgery.

Usually, however, adhesions have no symptoms at all. This is why you may come out of a massage saying “I’m feeling places I didn’t even know I had!” The adhesions were pulling on your muscle tissue, causing a stinging pain.

Most adhesions are fairly innocuous, and result as a part of normal muscle function and exertion. Most have the consistency of wet tissue paper. With repetitive stress and motion, however, they can get strong, firm, and can begin to adhere tightly to muscle fibers.

Abdominal adhesions
Abdominal adhesions are a special case, and can cause major health problems and chronic pain. Adhesions in the uterus, also called endometriosis, can even cause infertility and painful periods.

Solutions
There’s really very little that can be done for adhesions. There’s no miracle drug, and adhesions won’t even appear on x-rays, CT scans, or any kind of imaging. There’s not even a test to confirm their presence definitively, and Doctors won’t even diagnose endometriosis without surgery.

For severe cases of abdominal adhesions, laproscopic or open surgery is the primary method of diagnosis and treatment.

But there is hope outside of surgery.

Massage to the rescue!
The biggest benefit of massage for adhesions is prevention. Regular massage helps prevent adhesions from becoming so strong that they cause pain and affect your posture. The more they’re broken down with regular massage, they less likely they are to become a problem.

Keep in mind that breaking down adhesions in muscle tissue isn’t for the faint of heart or those who only want massage for relaxation and not treatment. When your massage therapist encounters adhesions in your muscle tissue, you’ll know it. Massaging adhesions causes a distinct, stinging pain you’ll feel on contact.

As the massage therapist continues the strokes, the pain will decrease. This is a good kind of pain! Still, if you want your therapist to ease into it or back off the pressure, please say so. Don’t suffer in silence.

To help manage the pain of having adhesions worked in a massage, remember to relax. Easier said than done. Relaxation takes a real conscious effort in this case, but it’s well worth it.

Breathing is also key here. Focus on your breath, and by no means should you hold your breath through the pain. Slow, deep breaths help decrease the pain and takes your focus off how much it hurts. You’re also sending more oxygen to the area in pain, which can only do it good.

Abdominal massage
The Good Life Massage offers a distinctive abdominal treatment designed specifically to ease the suffering of those who have a large number of abdominal adhesions. It consists of a series of half-hour treatments focused wholly on the abdomen. It was devised by our own Amy Gunn, LMP and is based on scientific research indicating the benefits of massage for treating endometriosis. This treatment is ideal for anyone experiencing abdominal pain that might be a result of adhesions.

Need pain relief? Book a massage now!
For general work on muscles throughout your body, any massage session will work.

For a specialized session for abdominal adhesions, be sure to select Visceral Manipulation when booking.

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.

5 Reasons to Make Couples Massage Part of Your Next Night Out

When was the last time you went on a date? Dating, especially when you’re in a well-established relationship, can be tough to manage. You’ve heard so many of the other person’s stories. You’ve fallen into familiar patterns that, while reliable and maybe even enjoyable, have made your dating life a little repetitive and boring. What’s more, if you share a household with the other person, it’s all too easy for every-day hassles and worries to intrude on your time together.

If you’re dating someone new, the pressure is on to impress, to help the relationship progress.

These two common dating scenarios have one thing in common: STRESS.

And science has shown that stress generally isn’t fun. Not only that, but it can get in the way of intimate time with your partner.

That’s why we’d like to humbly recommend a modification to your dating routine that could make a huge difference.

Couples massage

To define our terms here, a couples massage is when two people come in for a massage together at the same time in the same room. Each of you get a custom massage from your own massage therapist in a relaxing setting.

There are several benefits to recommend this, beyond just stress relief. These are just a few:

Great value
Couples massage is a great value! Our couples session is significantly less than if you booked two separate sessions. To add even more to the value, every massage includes a free select session enhancement of your choice and a chocolate to enjoy on your way to whatever else the evening holds.

Not spontaneous
Trust us, this is a feature, not a bug. Our couples sessions require some advance planning. This shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider the sheer logistics involved: two therapists with different schedules need to both be available at the same time on the same day. This is one reason we’re one of the few massage clinics in the Seattle area that offer couples massage, and we may be the only one the area that has more than one room devoted to that kind of session.

For this reason, you’ll need to plan your session at least a day or two in advance. Even if you could do a couples massage on a whim, keep in mind that a couples massage as a surprise is not a great idea unless you’re very clear on how well your surprise will be received. People sometimes get anxious about disrobing, bodily functions, or have hang-ups about being touched in this kind of setting. Be sensitive to these possible concerns!

Note: if you wish to book a couples massage with us, we recommend calling us at

425-243-7705

Couples massages can be requested through our online booking, but the booking isn’t complete until you’ve had a phone conversation with us, so you may as well just call.

In the mood
If you’re both game, a couples massage can melt the stress out of date night right away. You’ll both be more able to relax and enjoy whatever your evening holds, and stay resilient if things do go quite to plan.

The ultimate appetizer
We recommend making the massage the first item on your itinerary for several reasons. First, you’ll both be in the same relaxed frame of mind at the beginning of the date. You’ll already be on the same page! Also, since massage increases your mind-body awareness, you’ll be able to fully enjoy whatever sensual experiences lie ahead, whether they be intimate or culinary.

Note: do not come for your massage after drinking alcohol, so you may want to save dinner or drinks for after.

So, consider making a couples massage your new date night tradition! You won’t regret it.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage.

Essential Gear for a Good Nights’ Sleep

 

As we struggle to take care of ourselves and not drown in stress, sleep is your life jacket. It lengthens your life long-term while improving creativity and brain function in the short term. On the flip side, doing without can have serious consequences and can’t be “caught up” on. We can’t always control our circumstances, but your bedroom is personal–yours–and with rare exception, entirely within your power to change. A few simple tools could make a big difference in the quality of your sleep.

Before your fill your bedroom with new gear, we strongly recommend getting rid of the junk. Relocate that TV, get that junk out from under your bed and either get rid of it or store it somewhere else. Chuck that practically-unused fitness equipment, fold your laundry and switch to body-weight exercises or join a gym. That room is made for two things: sleep, and … the other one (eh-hem). The more you focus the space to those purposes, the more it will serve you instead of the other way around.

Once you’ve cleared out the junk that’s holding you back from getting a good nights’ sleep, it’s time to select a few important things that can help you embrace a peaceful night of sleep, every night.

An alarm clock
No, your phone really isn’t good for this. Charge it somewhere else at night. The blue-white lights of the phone screen will activate chemicals in your brain that will actually stimulate you and keep you up. It’s also best to stick to clocks that have red or amber displays. Green and blue displays can have the same effect as your phone.

A white noise machine
White noise can help drown out drippy faucets, ticking clocks, creaking boards, a siren down the street, or other little sounds that might disrupt your sleep. We recommend a fan or a white noise machine that doesn’t generate the noise electronically, but electronic ones do have more options if you prefer to listen to rain or ocean wave noises as you drift off.

A medium firm pillow
Most of us think that the softer the pillow is, the better. Not so, according to sleep studies conducted in Germany. Pillows with medium firmness give you comfort along with adequate support. Sinking into a fluffy cloud every night may sound nice, but in practice it destabilizes your neck and disrupts your sleep.

An air conditioner
Did you know that there’s an optimal temperature for sleep? In the Pacific Northwest many find AC to be indispensable during the summer months, and it turns out that those people are on to something. Most experts agree that the ideal bedroom temperature is around 68 degrees–slightly cooler than usual room temperature. Keeping your room comfortable helps prevent you from waking, and makes it easier for you to go back to sleep if you do wake up.

A face mask
We offer face masks to our clients as a courtesy whenever sensory deprivation is desirable, but there’s no reason you can’t benefit from one at home. They’re inexpensive, comfortable, and prevent light from waking you up or decreasing the quality of your sleep. If you can’t handle having something on your face, at least invest in some opaque window shades so you have the option of shutting out light completely.

Experiment with these! Have fun with your new toys as you see how well they work.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage.

Why Massage Feels So Good, And Why It Matters

Why Massage Feels So Good

Why does massage feel so good? Most of the time we try to defend massage on a medical basis. But what about the fact that it just feels good?

Massage has a number of well-documented medical benefits. Massage has been shown to:

  • improve sleep
  • decrease depression
  • help with headaches
  • treat soft-tissue strains and injuries
  • ease joint pain
  • mitigate digestive disorders

And many more! But one benefit of massage that often gets forgotten in the race to demonstrate its value is that it just feels so good.

Why do we distrust that something that feels good can also be good for us? The puritanical roots of American culture run deep, warning us that anything that feels good, especially when done unclothed. Out distrust of human touch makes no sense.

Therapeutic massage can enable you to live your best life, not just because of what it can do, but because of how it feels. Yes, massage does a lot of good, but why are those benefits somehow less valid than the fact that it feels good?

Focusing for the moment on the fact that massage feels so good, let’s examine for a moment why it feels so good, and why it matters.

Primal touch
From the moment we’re born, we depend on human contact. We depend on this less as we grow, but social contact and physical affection remain as necessities for human health, survival, and sanity. This has been well established by numerous studies, unfortunately often when the subjects have been deprived of human contact and touch through some terrible circumstance.

Children from over-crowded orphanages around the world don’t get the touch they need from a parent or the over-taxed staff at these facilities, and often develop severe emotional disorders as they grow, if they even survive infancy. Prisoners subjected to solitary confinement for large stretches of time come out a shadow of their former selves, manifesting debilitating mental disorders. All this for lack of simple human touch.

Touch is powerful. We’re primarily social creatures, which means as a species we depend on each other to survive. This runs deep and goes back tens of thousands, perhaps millions of years. When you receive touch from another human being, something interesting happens. The part of your brain that activates the fight-or-flight response to stress is shut down. Touch activates the Parasympathetic Nervous system, which essentially tells every cell in your body that you’re safe, and that you’re going to survive. This is true relaxation. This is true freedom from stress.

Lifetime benefits
And the effect of touch isn’t just short term. Demographic studies show that people who live in families and communities live longer, healthier, happier lives. If that’s not what our focus on wellness and health is all about, then what is it about? Touch means everything, for your whole life.

The value of touch therapy
A licensed massage therapist has the skill and sensitivity to respond to what your body needs most. If the LMT is doing their job, you’ll feel great no matter what your unique needs and conditions happen to be.

At The Good Life Massage, we strive to foster an environment where therapists can focus on the needs of the client. Most massage chains try to “pack-em-in”, leaving little-to-no transition time between clients. This makes it difficult to do detailed consults with clients about pain they’re feeling or health goals they’re working on.

At The Good Life Massage, we give our therapists between 15 and 30 minutes between sessions, which usually allows for ample time to consult with clients before and after. Nobody feels rushed out the door, and therapists can take the time to listen to their clients and offer expert advice to decrease pain and improve health over all.

Book your next massage today.

Choose the good life.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage. You can contact him for a consultation on how content marketing can work to build your presence online and drive your business by emailing him at tomgunn@gmail.com

 

 

The Mind Games You Can’t Win

Head Games You Can't Win

You’re a con artist, do you realize that? You really are. Most people are, it turns out. It’s just that most of us are also our own marks for the con.

It’s not usually an act of malice, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Most of us are too busy marshaling our minds to get through one day and then the next to notice what we’re doing to ourselves. That is, until the abuse we’ve been dishing out to the person in the mirror mounts, and a day (or days) of reckoning come.

This reckoning can come in many forms, too many to list here, but let’s just say the cleanup usually involves professionals–people like defense or divorce attorneys, police, doctors, psychologists, sometimes even massage or physical therapists. You can imagine, then, that these are the kinds of consequences you’d like to avoid.

There are so many ways we torment, lie to, and fool ourselves. But here, we’ll try to list some of the big ones and suggest some ways to get out of the traps your are setting for yourself.

Shortsightedness
Are you just reacting to everything? It can happen to the best of us as we bounce from one activity to another just responding to a stimulus, avoiding pain, or feeding appetites. You rise to avoid being late and getting in trouble at work. Someone cuts you off in traffic and you curse without even thinking. Someone says something snotty to you at work and before you know it, your voice is raised and you’re having violent fantasies. You fix yourself a drink after work to unwind. And then another, etc. Keep that up, and you’ll hurt someone–yourself or someone else.

You live in the body of an animal, true, but you’re also a self-conscious human being. So act like it! Be mindful. Be intentional. Take a moment, maybe first thing in the morning, to set just one important intention for the day.
Maybe some of these questions might help get you started.

  • What do you want people to remember about their encounters with you today?
  • What can you do today to move towards creating the future you want?
  • What are your values, and what’s one thing you can do today to live one of those values?

Not only will you help to avoid some unnecessary anguish for a decision made in the heat of the moment, you’ll be much more likely to end your day not feeling merely sated or amused, but satisfied. Content.

Procrastination
Have you ever thought of procrastination as a lie you tell yourself? The lie is basically this: that if you don’t do it now, maybe–somehow, some way–you won’t ever have to do it at all.

This simple decision–a lie told in the mirror without a second thought–creates a terrible tension in your mind and heart. This tension creates a buzzing in the brain that’s so persistent that you might not even be aware of it, like an annoying sound you learn to tune out. But it’s also so obnoxious that it slowly erodes your sense of self-worth and confidence. And that’s where you pay the price for this one.

There’s a really wonderful children’s book about this called “There’s No Such Thing As A Dragon” by Jack Kent. In the story, a boy wakes up to find a kitten-sized dragon in his room. He tells his parents about it, and the more they deny the dragon exists, the larger it gets. Through each stage of the dragon’s growth, the boy tries to get his parents to believe and pay attention to the dragon to no avail. By the end of the book, it’s carrying away their house on its massive back. When the parents finally acknowledge the dragon is there and the boy pets it, the dragon quickly becomes kitten-sized again. What are your dragons? The more you ignore them, the larger, scarier, and more disruptive they’ll become. Ignore them completely, and you may get burned.

Rationalization
Logic is a frightening tool because it can work so well, but you can also fool yourself with it so easily because, by definition, it makes sense. But check your premises–the assumptions, ideas, and beliefs that inform that logic. Logic works, but it’s only helpful if the information is good. Garbage in, garbage out.

One thing that can be so beneficial about talking regularly to a friend or loved one. There can be great benefit in consulting with a mental health professional. They can help you identify some errors in your thinking, like the ones in this blog, especially when you can’t detect them yourself.
.
Worry
Worry is a primary way you can wear your mind out to exhaustion, and for no good reason! It’s like riding the brakes of your mind. Worry serves a purpose: it’s a feeling generated by an awareness that something is amiss and needs our attention. The best strategy is to try to cope with whatever you’re worrying about by taking some kind of action–or— if that’s not possible, recognizing that what’s wrong can’t be fixed, not right now or not by you, and letting the worry go. True, this is much easier said than done, but it also may not as difficult as you might think.

Jagged pills
You may not consciously intend to play these mind games with yourself. If it’s any consolation, it’s very common. You’re far from alone. But being mindful, embracing your network of social support, and consulting with caring people around you can help you live with intention and balance. This requires some humility. It may be hard to swallow, but you don’t know yourself half as well as you think you do.

So meditate, exercise, learn. Do nice things for yourself like making new friends, getting regular massages, and filling your life with beauty. This isn’t just a nice option–it’s key to avoiding terrible consequences if you don’t act.

The only real way to win these mind games is not to play.

Choose the good life.

 

Tom's Byline Photo Cropped

 

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and Marketing Director at The Good Life Massage. You can email him at tomgunn@gmail.com to comment or to get his help developing your brand with content marketing.

Play With A Purpose, Relax With Intention

Unwinding, A Master Class–Part 2How to Play With Purpose Relax With Intention

Sharpen your saw
When a saw blade becomes dull, you put way more work into it than necessary. So it is with you. We’ve talked on this space before about relaxation, and how important it is to practice it as a skill, but it’s high time to revive the topic with some reflections on how to improve your relaxation practice in every area of your life.

The most important work
Unstring your bow, sharpen your saw, whatever analogy you like to use, these metaphors are trying to teach us something about relaxation, and it’s this: relaxation is a form of work–the kind of work that helps you work better. It’s time we start treating it as such. Don’t believe me? Work means change! If you’re doing relaxation well, there should be some change from the beginning of it to the end.

Further, you put yourself to the task for a specific purpose. Unwinding helps you get perspective on your life in a holistic way. True, you need to relax to work most efficiently, but you’re not just a cog in some machine–you’re a multifaceted, complex creature. Sometimes just the right kind of relaxation can help you remember that.

You can pace yourself. Small and incremental change is still change, and it has a sort of compound interest effect as the days add up. The results may be small at first, but they can accumulate over time. Long vacations give you the advantage of being able to go deep in your self-care, but don’t dismiss the benefits of doing a little every day. Establishing habits of self care and relaxation can enrich your life in ways you can’t yet know.

Just as not all stress is the same, so not all relaxation is the same. You need to take that into account before you choose what kind of relaxation you pursue.

Rest the body

This is where regular massage comes in and can be of most benefit to you. The body is put through it’s own stresses, regardless of your activity level, and you need to care for it.

Relax by … moving?
Exercise can be immensely relaxing–not because of how you feel while doing it, necessarily, but how you feel afterwards. Yoga practitioners will talk your ear off about how soothing it is on the nerves, and how good it is for stabilizing both your body and your mood. What any kind of exercise does for you is that it puts your body through stress in small, tolerable portions. When your body goes through this regularly, it grows stronger in order to adapt to this regular, tolerable stress. When something big hits, like a major stressful event, your body is better able to cope with what’s happening, and recovers from the shock of it more quickly.

That aside, a there’s no body more relaxed than a body that’s been thoroughly worked out. If you don’t feel as weak as a kitten coming out of the gym, you might not be getting as much out of the experience as you could.

Regular massage can also play a key role in helping your body recover from exercise and help you get the most out of your workouts. Not to mention that it feels great.

Nom nom
Have you thought of eating as relaxation? It really can be! But it’s not about eating for entertainment–that’s a different thing. Sweets and comfort foods may feed the soul, but a good, nutritious meal can be truly relaxing to your body in the sense that it can prepare your body to do its work better.

A meal that’s truly relaxing to your system

  • tastes good
  • is well-balanced, both in terms of portions and nutrition
  • is light enough to not stress your digestive system

Foodies all over the world are discovering that not only can this kind of eating be good for you, it can be an amazing sensory experience, and an adventure that’s well worth having. What’s more, they’re eager to share what they’ve tasted and how to make it.

Go ahead and add some novelty to the foods you choose when it’s time to party, keeping in mind that what your body really wants is a balance of flavors incorporating whole grains, green vegetables, and lean meat or proteins. Your body will thank you.

Breathing
Close your eyes and take a deep breath right now. Doesn’t that feel good? Taking care of your breath, and learning to breathe deeply is key to helping your body stay relaxed and help you cope with stress as it comes. Activities like aerobic exercise, massage, and meditation can all help you improve your breathing. Pursue improving your breath with intention, and every day will begin to feel like a gift.

The bottom line with relaxing the body is that your body is after balance. You can’t just live on wheat grass and water all the time, and you can’t expect to stay healthy if your body is under constant strain with no rest or variation. The opposite is also true. Always eating the same things and always doing the same things with your body creates stress and wear over time. Remember that your body is that of an animal–it needs a natural balance of rest and activity, feast and fasting to truly thrive.

Rest the mind

Exorcise
Expel the demons! It can be helpful to feed your mind with something other than the worries of the day. There’s something about humans that makes us crave stories. We want our heart strings pulled and our senses shocked. But make your catharsis meaningful. Whether it’s video games, movies, or a long-form television drama, use with moderation, and make sure the morals, meanings, and messages reflect your values. Entertainment can be a test drive for your emotions. What are you preparing your emotions to do? What kinds of reactions are you training your brain to have to different situations?

Reading, writing, learning
Similar to the exercise you put your body through, reading, writing and learning are necessary ways to exercise the powers of the mind. Is it stressful to the mind to learn something new, or to concentrate the powers of expression and reason? Absolutely. But it’s stressful in the mild, strengthening way exercise is helpful to the body.

Journaling or other creative writing has been shown to benefit health in surprising ways. University of Texas Austin psychologist and researcher contends that journaling actually strengthens the immune cells known as T-lymphocytes. It can also just help you cope with the challenges you’re facing, giving you insights about yourself you might not otherwise discover. It can also help you set aside unproductive worrying and focus your work time more effectively.

Relaxation is a skill you can spend your life improving on and enjoying. Pursue it with gusto and intention rather just going through the motions.

Choose the good life.

Tom Gunn is the blog editor and Marketing Director for The Good Life Massage. You can reach him to help you develop your brand with content marketing by reaching out to him at tomgunn@gmail.com