Finding your way to counterbalance stress

In my practice, I have many people seeking out Massage Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, and Reiki because of anxiety and stress and the psychological and physical ailments that come along with those.  Stress, especially on-going stress, can impact our body in some pretty serious ways.  This article from WebMD explains how the major systems of our bodies respond to stress.  What Stress Does to Your Body

I love being able to assist others in ‘resetting’ their minds and bodies; to relax, unwind, and hopefully counterbalance some of these negative effects. It’s amazing to hear someone’s breathing become deeper as they relax on the table; to feel the muscles of their neck soften in my hands; to sense the shift in their energy when they exit the treatment room.  And I am also sure to receive these treatments on a regular basis as part of my own self-care.

The problem is that once we leave that treatment room, the cell phone is turned back on and we immerse ourselves back into the world of “doing”. We are once again swept up into the stress of our daily lives, looking forward to the next time we can lay on that treatment table for 60-90 minutes.

We can’t always eliminate stress from our lives (as nice as that would be!), but we can find ways to manage it and lessen its impact. Receiving bodywork on a consistent basis is one way we can do this.  But there are many things we can do in our homes or on our own that can also help us counterbalance stress.  Things like meditating, gardening, exercising, getting involved in a hobby, etc. The important thing is to find what works for you. For me, spending time in the woods, hiking or simply sitting in the grass or on a large rock, is one of my favorite ways to balance the busyness of my life. How about you?

No gratuities, but thank you!

When I made the move from working in a wellness center to having my own massage therapy practice, I also made the decision to no longer take tips. Tipping is a fairly common practice in the massage industry and it’s been a bit of an adjustment for the clients that stayed with me from the wellness center. It also surprises many of my new clients when I let them know that it is not necessary and hand them back their tip. There’s this skeptical look that comes across their eyes. Why would I not take tips?!

Here’s why…I consider the work I do, whether it’s Massage Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, or Reiki, to be an important part of your regular wellness care. I respect that my clients value what I do enough to be budgeting these treatments into their finances. I want you to know that the price listed on my website is the price you pay, and that’s it.

If you’re compelled to tip because you love what I do so much, that’s awesome and I really appreciate the thought! But I’d prefer you use that tip money to come in more often, or to put towards other aspects of your own personal wellness care.

Instead, consider sending me a note to let me know why you love what I do. I enjoy hearing from you and knowing how my work has helped you. Or write a review on Google or Facebook. Or take some of my business cards and pass them on to your family and friends. I truly appreciate your referrals.

As always, it’s an honor and privilege to work with you!

Cancellations and Late Arrivals

One of the more challenging aspects of running a service business is deciding how to handle last-minute cancellations, missed appointments and late arrivals. I understand that unanticipated events happen occasionally in everyone’s life. I do my best to be thoughtful and fair with these polices, especially in the event of illness and emergencies. I’m pretty certain if we’re working together, you will be someone who is respectful of my time, so this won’t be an issue. Here are my new policies:

Cancellation Policy

Ideally, 24-48 hours advance notice is requested when canceling an appointment. This allows the opportunity for someone else to schedule an appointment.

Failure to cancel prior to 2 hours before the appointment time will result in a charge for 50% of the scheduled appointment price. You will receive an invoice via email for this charge and the amount must be paid prior to your next scheduled appointment.

Late Arrivals  

If you arrive late, your session may be shortened in order to accommodate others whose appointments follow yours. Regardless of the length of the treatment actually given, you will be responsible for the full amount of the scheduled session.

Cancellation List

On the flip side, I do keep a cancellation list (separate from my weekly “Open Appointment” email specials that you can sign up for here) for clients who are waiting for a specific appointment time to open up. If you have requested to be added to my cancellation list, you will be notified by phone or email when your desired appointment time becomes available. Please understand that there may be more than one person waiting for a specific time. Although I will usually give it some time to hear back from you before moving to the next person on the list, ultimately these appointments will be scheduled on a first come (or first to reply), first serve basis.


Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of the craniosacral system. The craniosacral system extends from the skull (cranium) down to the tailbone (sacrum).  It consists of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.  Releasing restrictions in the craniosacral system can help to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

CST complements the body’s natural healing processes.  It can be used alone or combined with other therapies, like massage.  In a typical session, the client remains fully clothed.  Using a light touch, the practitioner assists in releasing tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole body health and performance.  These gentle techniques also help to bring about a state of deep calm and relaxation.

Craniosacral Therapy may be able to assist the body in relieving:

  • Migraines and headaches
  • Chronic neck and back pain
  • Low back and hip joint pain
  • Stress and tension-related problems
  • Teeth clenching and TMJ
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Central nervous system disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • And many other conditions

For more information, check out this article by Paul Brown – Craniosacral Therapy: Accessing the Healer Within


Reiki is a Japanese word meaning Universal Life Force or Energy.  It is a system of healing used for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. In a typical Reiki treatment, the recipient remains fully clothed.  The Reiki Practitioner places her hands on or above the recipient’s body with the intention of balancing the natural flow of energy within the body.  Reiki is also ideal for health concerns where massage is not recommended.

Reiki Classes

There are 3 main levels to Traditional Usui Reiki.  Classes may be taught on a group or individual basis.  Please call or email for more details.

Reiki 1:  Learn the techniques for self-healing and practicing Reiki on family and friends.  The benefits and history of Reiki will be covered, as well as hand positions and an introduction into the body’s energy system.

Reiki 2: Learn the 3 main Reiki symbols and techniques for sending distance Reiki.  The 5 Reiki Elements and Principles are also covered in detail.

Reiki 3 or Master/Teacher:  Learn the Master symbol and personally explore how Reiki can be a way of life.  Learn how to teach Reiki and pass Reiki attunements to others.

Benefits of Massage

Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:

  • Decreased anxiety.
  • Enhanced sleep quality.
  • Greater energy.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Increased circulation.
  • Reduced fatigue.

Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:

  • Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
  • Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
  • Ease medication dependence.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
  • Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Lessen depression and anxiety.
  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
  • Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
  • Relieve migraine pain.

Source: Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP)