In-Home Massage

Listening Massage

Listening Massage

What on Earth is a listening massage?

 

When you go to your massage therapist for a massage, the entire session from intake to goodbye is about you – the client. You want,  and are paying for, your massage therapist’s full attention. This means not only the attentions of my physical massage upon your body – but also a listening ear. Therefore I mentally prepare myself to listen to words as well as what the body is telling me. I call it a Listening Massage. You may need more, you may need less. But whatever it is,  your massage therapist’s good listening ear will make your massage extra meaningful – and it’s a good business move for the massage therapist as it can make regular customers out of first-time clients. That’s what we try to do at Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole.

 

With the massage intake form filled out, it is of course normal and customary to review what you want from your massage – especially if  you are a first-time client with this therapist. Whilst the massage therapist will generally repeat the information on the intake form back to you, it is important, at this time, to ask questions and make comments where appropriate. This is where the Listenint Massage starts – not on the massage table. You should be doing most of the talking. If you have certain specific reasons for wanting a massage, you should find your massage therapist listening, empathizing, and showing understanding of what you are saying – but without saying too much.

If your massage therapist is listening to – you can tell by observing this advice to those in listening-type work fields or just for social reasons:

Listening Massage 3

And it’s not appropriate for the massage therapist to get caught up in too much small-talk or add to your points by adding examples of their own similar issues. Here’s me with my ‘Listening Massage’ hat on…

I had a client, a young lady, who warned me that she had badly bruised her Coccyx about three months previously – and that it still hurt. Well, that was very interesting to me as I had had that exact same injury earlier this summer. I asked her how it happened (MOI, Mechanism of Injury, could be important knowledge to the massage) and she told me that she had fallen on (not off) her bicycle – and landed on the rear wheel hub with her Coccyx. Well – my goodness – there’s an incredibly strange coincidence – that’s exactly how I suffered my own injury. So in fact there was quite a conversation I could have had with her. I could have gotten into the whole story of how this same thing had happened to me and all such other time-wasting small-talk. But the that would have been about me! – And how could this possibly have helped or contributed to the massage or the way I would give the massage? Not one little bit. I remembered to make this a Listening Massage. So of course I made empathizing noises, said ‘Ouch’ to show that I, as a massage professional, understood the nature of the pain of an injured Coccyx, and left it at that. Therefore she got to do 95% of the talking at the time of discussing the intake form, and I’m sure she felt satisfied that she had been listened to. And after all, what is it we’re after if it isn’t a satisfied customer?

But once you’re in the room with your massage therapist, in my view – this is where the chat stops and the listening massage becomes more about the massage therapist listening for breath and ‘listening’ by feel, to your body as the changes occur while the massage gets its rhythm. There will be more about that in later posts.

Be Well,

Hamish and Rochelle

Inside Jackson Hole

Inside Jackson Hole

Inside Jackson Hole is this weeks post – and it has to do with a few of the things to do ‘inside’ if you’re visiting Jackson Hole and the weather isn’t cooperating with your outside plans.

There are wonderfully tasty eateries – from simple ‘great food’ cafes, like Cafe Genevieve, Lotus Organic Cafe, and Cafe Boheme; and more conventional restaurants like Bubba’s and the Virginian Restaurant; and then there are the high-end places like Snake River Grille, the Granary at Spring Creek Ranch, and the Blue Lion – but all that eating will be for later Jackson Hole food in my blog posts.

Inside Jackson Hole 2

This is about entertaining yourselves when the weather is poor. The first inside Jackson Hole activity to spring to mind is the National Museum of Wildlife Art – which is a must-visit Jackson Hole attraction – even in fine weather. There’s a permanent fine art collection that lives in the NMWA – that alone could keep you going for a day; and visiting exhibitions are ‘Western Visions‘, through October 26th., ‘The Odd Couple‘ – a New Pairing of Thought-Provoking Art – through December 31; ‘Tusk Horn, Flesh and Bone‘ by Graphic Designer Asher Jay, through January 18, 2015;  ‘From Stone to Glass‘ Wildlife Sculpture in Multiple Media, through April 19, 2015.

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Something for the kids? Well – there’s the Teton County Recreation Center to consider as inside Jackson Hole. There’s a lap pool, hot tub, steam room, dry sauna, kids pool, a large flume slide and a little one for toddlers. A couple of large gyms for playing organized sports are there if you can join a basket ball league for the day – and there are toddler play days there as well. Do check the pool schedules as local swim teams and other activities can make it unavailable.

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Something else for the kids inside Jackson Hole is Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Now – believe it or not – I’ve never been in there – but it is one of Jackson’s iconic businesses, right by the Jackson Town Square – so it must be good – right?

Inside Jackson Hole 4

And last but not least – back to the adults – another inside Jackson Hole activity is…MASSAGE. Ah yes – getting a massage when the weather is less than optimal makes so much sense. There are many massage companies to choose from, in addition to our very own Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole. There’s the Banya Day Spa, Jackson Hole Massage Therapy, Bliss Bodywork, the Harmonic Spa – to name a few. At the resorts, there’s Sena Spa, the Wilderness Adventure Spa at Spring Creek Ranch, and the Amangani Spa. At Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole, we offer couples massages in the comfort of our office at 270 Veronica Lane, Jackson, WY 83001 – and we will also come to your home or vacation residence.

Inside Jackson Hole 5          Inside Jackson Hole 6

We hope you enjoy your time – inside Jackson Hole.

Be well,

 

Hamish and Rochelle.

You Gotta Go Deeper Than That, Man

You Gotta Go Deeper Than That, Man

Image showing deep tissue massage

Yes, those were my client’s actual words. And, believe me, for the first hour of this two-hour massage – that’s precisely what I thought I had been doing…and exhausting myself in the process. I should qualify that – and I explained this to my client before he got onto the table – it can’t ‘all’ be deep tissue massage. Perhaps a third of it will be – and then only in areas that merit deep work (in my view) and aren’t ‘danger zones’ (poplietal, lower back, for example). The other two thirds of the time consist of gentler work where, first, I am bringing the client into a comfortable relaxed zone in both body and mind – this in order for me to gain ‘permission’ to go deeper. To the same goal I am also warming with vibration, loosening with tapotement, assessing and ‘melting’ muscles with both soft and more aggressive effleurage and sometimes still pressure.

 

This post is a continuation of the previous post ‘Taking it Easy’ – and the client has skied a combined vertical of 30,000 ft. that day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Having employed a mountain ski guide in uniform – he didn’t have to wait in lift or tram lines.

 

This client is an athlete through-and-through – every muscle an element of a highly-tuned machine. A body-builder and a TRX exerciser. He has every right to ask for a deep tissue massage and frankly I was apprehensive going into it. He is accustomed to receiving sports massages from his sports trainer twice per week. And so, back to the beginning, after giving it all I had in the way of ‘deep pressure without hurting’ – I discovered that he actually wanted me to hurt him. My client, nicely, let me know that nothing I had done so far had made much impression. The expectations had been high. It is also worth noting here that, in deep tissue or sports massage – communication is everything (unlike Swedish massage where I, and usually the client, prefer to keep quiet). He should have felt free to comment much earlier – and I should have solicited.

I’m no slouch either…a mountain athlete myself with a regular workout schedule. I understand the human form – especially from an athletic perspective. I’m 6’2, 195 lbs and can deliver a good, strong massage – not often letting people down.

 

By this time I was massaging the calves – often a tender area, especially on skiers, and there was nothing – no amount of pressure I could lay on with all of my weight – that could elicit a twitch in those tell-tale fingers or any sign of pulling away. Yet he still described having discomfort that HE thought I could address – which I could only contribute to the peroneal muscles -where, I admit, I rarely ‘go’ with clients. ‘OK – you asked for it – I thought – and went in there deep and long with the very point of my elbow and stripped like crazy. Aha – that did it! I could feel him breathing into it and enjoying the pain and, yes, relief that it gave him. This gave me confidence and much more ‘permission’ from both him and his body to go deeper to the point of pain (and – for him – relief) – which I did for the rest of his massage – including, incredibly, a strong elbowing of his biceps and triceps tendons (he had considerable tendinitis there, I think, from the TRX exercises and a hand-dragging trick in snowboarding called ‘pat-the-dog’).

 

My experience as a massage therapist grew with that session. Beyond knowing that I had done well by receiving the biggest tip of my career, my confidence soared along with my ability to expand my offering of (very) deep tissue massage to well-tuned athletic hard-men (and women) who need it.

 

Be well,

Hamish and Rochelle.

 

 

 

 

 

You Come to Us.

You Come To Us

Last week my blog post was all about ‘We Come To You’.  This was indeed how we defined our business when we started out – it seemed like a really good idea – and it IS – up to a point.  There are some people who just don’t want us to come to them.  For various reasons, it’s not convenient. There might be interruptions at home, or the noise of TV, kids, dogs, construction…who knows.

For the occasional visitor who comes to Jackson Hole and stays in nice hotels or vacation residences, in-home massage is a great service and one that is much appreciated as part of a pampering massage experience. But we now feel that this leaves out our more local customers who may not have large places for us to come to – and they’d rather be in a more purpose-oriented massage studio to get down to the business or regular sports or deep tissue massage therapy.

So Rochelle and I have decided to expand our practice and our thinking…and just this week we have taken on a shared space in ‘The Connection‘ (270 Veronica Lane, Jackson), which will enable people to come to a centrally located massage studio in Jackson at their convenience…and ours.

And, like so many things in life, this has turned out to be a fabulous move for Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole.  For starters, we now have Tina Seay in our lives – and what a beautiful, nurturing person she is.  Rochelle and I are immediately better off for knowing her.  Tina runs The Connection – ‘A Place To Connect at All Levels’ – it’s a lovely, relaxing, quiet suite of rooms where different massage / body work / energy work professionals practice their professions.  Here’s how Tina describes The Connection:

It is a collective center where people meet to explore themselves, their place in the world, and how to reach their highest most exquisite Self.  Through bodywork, energy work, workshops, and products The Connection is a center created for the evolution of body, mind, and spirit.

Aside from creating the physical presence of ‘The Connection’, Tina’s own practice is Healing Touch Massage and Body Work.  The following few lines from her web site should tell it all:

Get out of exist mode; Move into the present moment, Become more optimistic, Allow yourself to move forward; Rebound from your extreme sports activities; Recover from your crippled posture after the long plane ride; Look good, feel good.  Become more flexible.

Also present in The Connection is Sheri Todd, NCMT (Nationally Certified Massage Therapist) with her business Teton Manual Therapy – Orthopedic Health Assessment and Wellness.

What is ‘Manual Therapy’? – Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manual_therapy

Sheri’s qualifications, experience and expertise are just too great to go into here (so go check out her web site) – but let’s just say she’s another wonderful person to be ‘connected’ with and Rochelle and I look forward to working in unison with these two wonderful professionals.

Be well,

Hamish and Rochelle.

 

We Come to You

We Come to You

 

My previous posts have been about the experience and what to expect in massage mostly in a setting where clients come to a clinic or a spa. Where massage techniques, types, benefits, strokes, tools and so on stay the same – what is different when massage therapists come to your home or vacation residence?

Massage Professionals of Jackson Hole prides itself in quality home visits. Hence our tag line – We Come To You.   (However, for various reasons we just took on a shared space in  on Veronica Lane in Jackson – see next post). Here’s how it works:

Well, to start with – we come to you! In the days of cell-phone GPS it’s usually easy to get there – but if there are any directions that could help us identify your door and where to park that might helpful. In quite a few areas of Jackson Hole there is no cell service, so we are careful to ask for details. Even if it is a couples massage we will come in one vehicle to save parking space.

 

We will arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to the appointment time, allowing us time to say hello, change into our indoor footwear, set up our equipment (while you fill out our intake forms) and generally get ready. We bring: Massage Table (duh), bolster, face cradle, sheets, table-warming blanket, over blanket, massage oil or lotion, music and player, intake forms and a fabulous attitude.

 

We do need adequate space to set up. Often, with couples’ massages, this might put people in two different rooms or areas of the house. A typical massage table is 6’5″ long and between 27 and 33 inches wide. Add another foot in length for the face cradle. Then we need as much space around the table as possible to work – a minimum of three feet on each side and at the foot of the table is ideal – and I like a good four feet absolute minimum at the head. These considerations are important for both the quality of the massage that you will receive, and the health and safety of your massage therapist. We have to concern ourselves with correct ‘body mechanics’, which helps us to avoid injury via proper positioning and angles of our bodies whilst doing this physical work. Clearly, that ability is compromised in a restricted place.

It is also best if the room is warm – even with table warmers, uncovered areas of the body quickly become cold and not responsive to massage – and there are no barking dogs or other distractions (aka noisy kids, football on the TV…).

When all is ready, the therapist(s) will call you into the room, instruct you about how they want you to be on the table (I usually start clients face-down), and then retreat to the closest bathroom to wash hands and give privacy whilst you disrobe and get on the table, under the sheet and blanket. The massage commences, you luxuriate in the excellence of your therapist’s touch for an hour or (preferably) 90 minutes – and you’re done! Easy – that’s all there is to it. The therapists once again retreat to the bathroom to wash hands while you slip into your robes. After that, we pack up, accept your very gracious payment (credit card payment is very easy these days with ‘square’ payments), have a little ‘goodbye’ session – and leave. You get to stay in your robes, hang out at home, glow in the aftermath of your ‘massage coma’ – and contemplate making this into a weekly, or at least monthly, habit. And why not…you deserve it.

 

Be well,

Hamish and Rochelle/