Ways to Stay Connected to Your Clients that Don’t Include Stretching Videos… (but keep doing that too!)

Ways to Stay Connected to Your Clients that Don’t Include Stretching Videos… (but keep doing that too!)

Ways to Stay Connected to Your Clients that Don’t Include Stretching Videos… (but keep doing that too!)

Don’t get me wrong, I love stretching! In fact, I did some partner stretching with my son a few days ago (I’ll post on my social media soon). There are other creative ways to be a beacon of self-care for your clients in their time of need. Below are four ways to stay connected by offering tangible resources for your beloved clients. (The links included are NOT affiliate links).

DIY Face Mask
If you are crafty, then you can make them yourself. There’s a link in the resource section at the end of the blog to get you started. If you are not the crafty type, you can purchase them from Etsy. There are MANY sellers making homemade masks. You can have the masks sent directly to your clients or to your home. As an added precaution, be sure to wash the mask(s) once they arrive.

Essential Oil(s)
Many essential oils are known to have anti-viral properties. They are excellent for cleaning the home and creating homemade hand sanitizer.

  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Lavender
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Eucalyptus
  • Thyme
  • Clove
  • Oregano
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon

You can find essential oils in stores like Whole Foods…even Target will often have tea tree oil. You can also purchase online (link is below).

Travel-Sized Hand Sanitizer
Promotional companies make travel-sized hand sanitizer to give away at trade shows. You can also add your own logo if you choose. Just a heads up, the minimum order is 100-500 depending on the product…but don’t let that deter you! Connect with other LMTs and split the order. In the resource section below, I posted a company that has relatively low minimum order amount and a 10 day turn around.

Immune-Boosting Herbs
There is an array of herbs that are great for boosting the immune system. According to a study published by Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, “… natural products serve as an excellent source of biodiversity for discovering novel antivirals, revealing new structure–activity relationships, and developing effective protective/therapeutic strategies against viral infections” (Lin et.al. 2014). Below are herbs that are readily available in the United States:

  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Oregano
  • Licorice Root
  • Elderberry
  • Echinacea
  • Calendula
  • Astragalus Root
  • Cat’s Claw
  • Olive Leaf

Send your clients dried herbs, along with a recipe or two on how to use them. This is an excellent way to send your love! You can find these herbs in your local market or online.

It is important to stay connected with your clients by sending them small, affordable, yet meaningful care packages. It helps to keep the continuity of care and the relationship that you have built throughout the years. It is truly a worthwhile investment in their health.

Be well healers,

Vanessa Hazzard, M.Ed., LMT

LINKS TO HELP ON YOUR JOURNEY:
Face mask tutorial: https://hellosewing.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/

Etsy search for face mask sellers: https://www.etsy.com/search?q=face%20mask

Bulk essential oils: https://www.bulkapothecary.com/categories/essential-oils/pure-therapeutic-grade/

Positive Promotions (hand sanitizer): https://www.positivepromotions.com/hand-sanitizer-bzk-towelette-kit-personalization-available/p/osw8985/

Lin, L. T., Hsu, W. C., & Lin, C. C. (2014). Antiviral natural products and herbal medicines. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine4(1), 24–35. https://doi.org/10.4103/2225-4110.124335

Starwest Botanicals (dried bulk herbs): https://www.starwest-botanicals.com/category/bulk-herbs/?utm_campaign=herbs&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=adcenter&utm_content=bulk-herbs-exact&utm_term=bulk%2520herbs&msclkid=2742169cad66148a9f7b48e32f911c91

Golden Milk Recipe: https://wellnessmama.com/223/turmeric-tea/

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Meet Vanessa Hazzard, M.Ed., LMT

Since 2005, I have been helping folks to reduce chronic and acute pain, decrease stress, improve athletic performance, restore range of motion, and simply relax while hiding from the kids and in-laws. In short, I help you be resilient to whatever life throws at you!

Lets get to know each other! Join my Thai Yoga Massage community on Facebook. 

Check out my upcoming classes to learn with me in person!

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Faith is the Opposite of Anxiety

Faith is the Opposite of Anxiety

I’d like to share something with you all that I never really talk about. I don’t like to get too personal because personal and professional boundaries are important. Yet, I’m choosing to share this part of my life with you all because I often hear other healing arts entrepreneurs struggle with this same thing.

I had a pretty challenging childhood. I grew up poor and that affected my relationship towards money and self-worth. Poverty messes with your brain in ways that can affect you over time and in many ways.  Ways that have taken years of therapy to work through! In the past, I have even had panic attacks when working on wealthy clients because the voice in my head that says, “I’m not worthy”, won’t shut the hell up!

Here I am, a healing arts professional with 14 years of experience under my belt. I have multiple degrees and countless certifications. I’ve worked on thousands of clients and had hundreds of students over the years, and yet shaking that feeling of not being good enough is still a struggle for me.

Thankfully, most days the negative voice is quiet or non-existent. This is the result of years of practice with re-educating my brain. Being a wellness professional doesn’t mean that I am immune to intrapersonal struggles, but it does mean that I have come up with ways to help myself when I am panicked. When I feel the anxiety coming on, I remind myself of these things:

Quiet Your Mind

  • The harmful things my mind is telling me is a result of my childhood and is not rooted in an assessment of my skills. Reminding myself of this brings me back into the present instead of replaying old mental tapes.

Faith in Your Foundation

  • Faith is the opposite of anxiety. If I am struggling with faith in myself, my faith in the foundation of the healing modalities I practice is forever unshaken! Having a strong foundation in eastern and western approaches to massage and bodywork makes me feel like I am supported by all of the healers who have lent their wisdom over the ages to perfect these traditions. Studying with experienced professionals has helped me to build confidence.

Trust the Work

  • When I quiet my mind and have faith in my foundation, it makes me feel like the work is bigger than myself…which it is! It helps me to trust the work and get out of my own way.

  Are you struggling with confidence in yourself as a healing arts professional? Wouldn’t it be great to build a stronger foundation in massage and bodywork, replete with a larger body of knowledge?

I can help you with that.

Along with an array of courses in the United States, I’m going back to Thailand for the third time June 22-30, 2019 and I’d love for you to join me! This time, I’ll be teaching at Samahita Retreat Center, located on the lovely island, Koh Samui.

Spend 9-days learning Thai massage, partner yoga, and how to incorporate eastern knowledge in western settings. The course I’ll be teaching is eligible for NCBTMB CE hours in most states, including New York. (Contact me for details and I can tell you if it is approved in your state). You will learn traditional Thai massage combined with innovative techniques that are evidence-based…and plenty of variations based on body types and injuries!

Not a massage therapist? Yoga and fitness professionals are welcome!

This is not only an opportunity to build your practice and earn continuing education hours, but it is also a chance to explore the other side of the world! Click here to learn more and register! Anyway, I’m so glad that I was able to share my experiences with you all in hopes of helping someone else that struggles with the same thing.

Remember…quiet your mind, have faith in your foundation, and trust the work.

Join Vanessa in Thailand!

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Thai culture. Breathe in the sights and sounds while relaxing on gorgeous beaches. Eat healthy meals while meeting new friends!

Learn More

Don't Forget Your Freebie!

Get my free book on relieving low back pain

Get It Now!

Meet Vanessa Hazzard, M.Ed., LMT

Since 2005, I have been helping folks to reduce chronic and acute pain, decrease stress, improve athletic performance, restore range of motion, and simply relax while hiding from the kids and in-laws. In short, I help you be resilient to whatever life throws at you!

Lets get to know each other! Join my Thai Yoga Massage community on Facebook. 

Check out my upcoming classes to learn with me in person!

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Massaging My Mom After Surgery

Massaging My Mom After Surgery

A couple weeks ago, my mom had a partial gastrectomy. This surgery removed the lower part of her stomach. It is becoming a more widely used weight loss intervention. While the surgery went well, there was obviously a lot of discomfort. My mom had a hard time getting comfortable and having a full night’s rest. She was often woken up in the middle of the night from all of the pain she was experiencing.
I stopped by to see how she was feeling, and she told me about the discomfort and lack of sleep. She asked me to rub her back. Now, my mom, rarely asks for massages, and when she does, she only wants the lightest pressure ever. She’s the most sensitive client I’ve ever had…and I’ve had plenty over the years! The slightest bit of pressure, and she’s jumping off the table. So, I knew if she was asking me for a massage, she must’ve been in a lot of pain. Without hesitation, I gently rubbed her back in the area that was hurting. Because she can’t lay flat yet, I massaged her while she was sitting in a chair. The massage was less than 5 minutes but it made a world of difference.
The next day, on Facebook, she posted,
“Happiness is having a daughter that is the best massage therapist there for you when you need her most. Thank you Vanessa Hazzard.  I slept like a baby last night and no pain medication. Love you to the moon.”
While I love helping all of my clients become pain free, it’s nothing like helping out those closest to you. Not only is my mom the person that introduced me to anatomy and kinesiology when I was 10 years old, she is the backbone (pun intended) of our family. To be able to help the person that has helped countless others, both professionally and personally, is an honor. She’s since told me that she is counting down the days until the doctor gives her the okay to get deeper massage work on her back. Because of this, I’ve been doing my research!
I’d like to share some of it with you, in case you also end up working with post-surgical partial gastrectomy clients:

  • According to a study at Chungnam National University Hospital, the degree of pain [after the partial gastrectomy] was significantly reduced according to post operation day and quality of sleep was significantly increased (Asian Oncology Nursing 2012).
  • Complications such as postoperative bleeding, delayed gastric emptying, early satiety, and nutritional deficiencies may occur in some patients.
  • Abdominal massage can help with hypertrophic scarring (adhesions)
  • In most cases, after 6 weeks post-surgery, clients are able to receive massage. Any time before then, request a doctor’s note.
  • Once client is cleared for massage, depending on sensitivity to pressure, they may need to be worked on side-lying. (They may be able to sleep on their stomach, but sleeping and having pressure applied while laying prone, are two different sensations. Always check in with them, and adjust accordingly.)

I’d like to hear about any experiences you’ve had working with post -surgical clients. Tell me about it in the comments section!
Sources:
Asian Oncol Nurs. 2012 Feb;12(1):69-76. Korean. http://dx.doi.org/10.5388/aon.2012.12.1.69

I Gave My 8-Year-Old a Deep Tissue Massage

I Gave My 8-Year-Old a Deep Tissue Massage

My son, Phoenix, and I were coming up the stairs after grocery shopping. When we get inside our apartment, he says, “Ah, I hurt my back mommy! I need a massage immediately!” Now, my son is a bit dramatic…and by a bit, I mean extremely. You would think the sky was falling…all day, every day! That being said, he’s never asked for a massage for pain relief before. In fact, I didn’t even think he knew that massage could do that!

 Phoenix falls asleep ANYWHERE!

Most parents massage their kids when they are little. Being that Phoenix has a massage therapist for a mom, he is no different, except maybe in the way I use massage. Phoenix was never the kid that needed a relaxing massage to go to sleep. This kid never had a problem sleeping! He’s been sleeping through the night ever since he was a few weeks old. I know, I was super lucky! In fact, if I tried to cuddle or massage him when he was falling asleep, he’d get agitated. When I do massage Phoenix, it’s after he showers. I use really thick oils and creams for his incredibly dry skin and eczema, so the massage is somewhat vigorous.  He’s also used to receiving Thai massage on occasion (which I’ll talk about in a later blog). Those are the only two contexts he knows massage…so I thought.
Given all this, I was kind of shocked when he ask for a massage because his back hurt. When he flung the bag of groceries on the floor, he did so in a way that hurt his right rhomboid. I sat him on my lap, and brought his arm across his body. I pressed his right pec backward while manipulating his scapula, then I massaged his right rhomboid and levator scapula from that position. He let me know when I found the spots that hurt, and then breathed a sigh of relief once the pain was gone.  While massaging Phoenix, I realized that I’ve never done deep work on a body his size before. I was surprised to feel how tense his little muscles were. The whole process was quite intuitive though…and kind of fun!

silly phoenix

Phoenix getting ready to take over the world!

There’s a lot of myths about deep tissue massage (again, the subject of a later blog), one of which I’ve heard is that you shouldn’t do that particular kind of massage on minors, or smaller people. I’m not sure how that myth got started. Working on my son, who is both small, and a minor, I can tell you that idea is erroneous. There was no way I could’ve given Phoenix a fluffy “spa massage” and still alleviated his pain. The dude needed the works!
Even though the massages Phoenix received in the past weren’t aimed at pain relief, the fact that he had decreased pain as
a side effect, prompted him to ask for a massage when he was in pain. I’m glad that he instinctively knew what to do to take care of himself.

Wellness Wednesdays: Self Care

Wellness Wednesdays: Self Care

Young woman stays and laugh. It hot summer day.“If compassion doesn’t include ourselves, it is incomplete.”-Jack Kornfield
It is not uncommon for healers to forget to heal themselves. When our energy is depleted, it is near impossible for us to give quality care to our clients. Eventually it takes a toll on us, can ultimately cut our career short.
There are certain barriers that LMTs have that prevent them from caring for themselves on a regular basis. Namely time and money! I came across this cool little article, 23 Ways to Treat Yo’ Self without Buying or Eating Anything. It’s pretty awesome! I definitely plan on doing some of these…especially numbers 1, 6, and 10. I hope you will too!
Have other self-care tips to share? Write in the comments section below!

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