Monthly Archives: August 2013

Negative Nellies

Negative Nellies, nay-sayers, haters…just plain rude people. You know them. With comments like “Must be nice”, “There’s no way that’ll work” & “Oh. My. God. Becky. Look at her butt.” 😉 how can you miss these constantly negative people?

What are they? Jealous. What are they jealous of? Everything. They’re just toxic, because negativity breeds negativity. You hang around with someone like that long enough and they’ll have you convinced your husband’s cheating, your kids are mental and everyone at work is secretly plotting your demise. They somehow make you feel guilty for being happy and/or successful. Like somehow just by smiling you’re ruining their day so they have to take your happiness down a peg with some back-handed compliment.

I know these people well. I’ve taken them on as little projects in the past, trying to shine a little sun under their gloomy thundercloud. And it never fails…pretty soon I’m being rained on too. I decided a long time ago I just can’t continue to let myself be slowly poisoned by association. Not only is it bad for my mental well being, but (since negativity breeds negativity) my entire family would suffer as well. Since that little beauty of a realization I’ve been happier, more positive and no longer let myself be drug down in petty drama.

Do you have one of these people in your social circle? Is it time to decide whether they’re more of a liability to your mental well being than an asset? I’m not one to judge anyone, but I have realized that sometimes when you want to help someone who doesn’t want or think they need help…you may just end up becoming part of the problem. When that’s the case, sometimes one needs to cut their losses and move on. And that’s ok.

Jennifer Parker, Body Harmony Massage
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MT Test Drive – what to look for in your perfect Massage Therapist

Every massage therapist is different, and every person has a different preference on what type or style of massage is perfect for them. Sometimes one will find the most glorious massage therapist ever at your very first massage…which is awesome! Other times one needs to do a little “test driving” to see what the best fit is. Here’s a few pointers to know what you’re looking for:

1. Know Your Goals – Do you want to relax or do you want someone to work out that pesky knot that’s been bothering you for days/weeks/years? This makes a huge difference in the type of therapist you’re looking for.

2. Know Your Boundaries – Does the gender of the therapist matter to you? Will being naked (though draped) bother you or would you like the option to stay completely or partially clothed? There’s nothing wrong with being uncomfortable with something, but ask all your questions in advance so you don’t end up surprised at the session. Above all you should feel comfortable with your massage therapist and always feel your boundaries and wishes are respected.

3. Know Your Preferences – Have knots that need worked but you don’t want someone digging away at them? That’s ok too. There are several different techniques that can work deeper tissues without painful pressure. Hate being cold? Ask if they offer heated blankets or towels. Accommodations can be made and a good massage therapist is happy to oblige.

Also, don’t be afraid to try a few different therapists before you decide on your favorite. We have five massage therapists in our office and encourage new clients to try us all if they’re unsure about what they prefer in a massage treatment.

Jennifer Parker, Body Harmony Massage

TMJ Syndrome – What it is

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome – or a pain in the jaw. It can present itself as a clicking when you chew, tension and pain in the face or even a general ache in the ear or side of the head.

To understand this condition let’s start with what the heck a temporomandibular joint is. Right where the jaw meets that nice little notch on the skull is your Temporo (Temporal Bone) mandibular (Mandible) joint. There’s a little disk in there, similar to the ones in your spine between the vertebrae. Now if that little bugger gets inflamed – bam – TMJ Syndrome. If that guy swells it’s going to be sore like any other swollen joint, and may even cause that joint to dislocate.

I’ve had discussions with my chiropractor and my dentist about this little beauty of a condition, as I frequently treat it in my office. What we’ve concluded is that in a majority of cases we see these patients/clients have forward head posture.

What does that have to do with the jaw? There can be other causes, but head posture seems to be a big player in this condition. There are muscles in the neck that open the jaw, and muscles in the face that close it. When you carry your head forward, meaning your head sits more forward than it should, muscles in the neck are now constantly being pulled and pull down on the jaw. In response many of these clients subconsciously will clench the jaw, especially while sleeping, to keep the mouth closed. Now we’ve got opposing forces pulling an already delicate joint and sliding the jaw around which irritates the joint and disk. No worries, it’s treatable. Depending on the cause either your chiropractor, massage therapist or dentist can get you some relief.

If any of this sound like something you have it’s worth having checked out. With any condition, the longer it’s left untreated the harder it is to fix when you do…and by that point it can be really painful.

-Jennifer Parker, Body Harmony Massage

Self Image

Picture15What do you see when you look in the mirror? A mole, scar or blemish? To big or to small? Does that thing you’re self conscious about keep you from doing things you want to do…like get a massage?

Let them go.

You are lovely…exactly how you are. And, in my experience, many times you’re the only one they bother. Unless you were to point them out, most of the world wouldn’t even notice.

I’m a 5’2″ woman. I was 98 pounds at 20 years old. Then I got pregnant and gained 60 POUNDS during my pregnancy. Needless to say…some stretching occurred. Not on my tummy, but I swear it got all the skin it needed to expand from my butt. I had a complex about it for years until I met my now boyfriend. He’s a wonderful man who tells me I’m beautiful, and lovingly called them my “Mama-Marks” with a grin on his face. He said the most obvious thing ever, but it totally changed my perspective…”Well of course you got stretchmarks, but I don’t even see them until you complain about them.” It was a “DUH” moment for me. I tell my clients that all the time! Why am I letting these genetic inevitabilities bother me?? And that was that. Yes, I still make sure my butt is covered when I wear a swim suit; but that’s simply because I don’t believe a 32 year old mom of a hormonal 12 year old boy belongs in a teeny-bikini. It’s a maturity thing, not a self-conscious thing.

In regards to massage: I can’t speak for other professions, but I can say that in general the massage community is a wonderful and accepting bunch. We’ve seen hairy & moley, round & boney…and a professional will not notice unless it’s medically necessary for us to do so. I promise you, we see a body in need of repair. That’s it. We simply see what we need to work on, and work on it. No judging eyes here.

In the words of Dr. Seuss “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Love you…and when someone gives you a compliment, accept it with an open and grateful heart.

-Jennifer Parker, Body Harmony Massage