Can Massage Benefit Your Business?

Many of you are probably familiar with massage for personal health & wellness. But have you ever thought about using massage to improve the health & wellness of your business?

As more people have become familiar with chair massage, portable massage chairs are appearing in more locations and at more events.

On-site chair massage is a brief massage which:

  • Is done while seated in a specially designed portable chair.
  • Is done through the clothing, no need to undress.
  • Uses no oil.
  • Lasts 5 to 30 minutes
  • Can be done virtually anywhere.
  • Targets areas of chronic tension – head, neck, shoulders, back and arms.

In a short period of time, chair massage:

  • Reduces stress
  • Boosts energy & alertness
  • Improves morale
  • Allows the body & mind to relax

For employees, you can use massage as

  • Part of a wellness & relaxation program
  • Reward for completing a project, reaching a sales goal, etc.
  • Holiday gift
  • Alternative or addition to the traditional office party

For customers, you can use massage to reward customer loyalty or to attract new customers. Offer on-site chair massage during

  • Client appreciation events
  • Grand Opening or Anniversary Parties
  • Waiting rooms or long lines

You can also give massage gift certificates as part of a customer loyalty or employee award program.

Have other ideas?  Let’s talk!

Email michelle@relaxationplantation.com for more information or to discuss your chair massage event.

Why your legs need a massage

Our legs do a lot for us. We use them all day, every day. Like other parts of our body they can get tired, overused, sore, and in need of some care.

Our legs take us where we want to go. They let us walk around to do what we need to do – even if it’s just to grab a snack from the kitchen.

Some jobs are physical and involve being on your feet a lot. If lifting and moving things are involved you use your legs to lift and haul them around. Job responsibilities can have repetitive actions than can overwork your muscles.

Other jobs are not very physical and involve a lot of sitting. Long periods of time with your legs in the same position causes your leg muscles to shorten, so when you do stand and walk your legs feel tight. Add commuting time in a vehicle and your legs may spend most of the day inactive. Try to include regular times through the day to get up and walk around if you can.

We may run to catch a bus, keep up with a child, or to get out of the rain.

At home we walk around to take care of our place, our family,  and our things. We carry laundry and groceries. We shop, cook, clean and put things away. If you have stairs you will make multiple trips up and down every day.

Yard work and home maintenance such as mowing grass, gardening, and digging puts our legs to use.

If you enjoy sports you use your legs to run, jump, and kick. You pedal your bike, kick your legs to swim, and run and kick in soccer. You jump in volleyball and basketball. Depending on where you live you may surf or ski which involves a lot of leg use.

For exercise or fun activities you use your legs for yoga, pilates, or fitness classes. You use your legs for lifting weights, boxing, hiking, climbing, kickboxing, and dance.

Your hip, knee, and ankle joints are all affected by your legs. Joints are under pressure from muscles and bones pulling and twisting on them. Relieving muscle pain decreases the pressure on those joints and you feel better.

Wearing high heels can add to pain in your legs, too. The heels cause your muscles to be used in different ways since they not in their natural positions.

Hip and back pain can start in your legs. If one leg hurts you will change how you walk, stand, and even sit to keep it from hurting. That adjustment will affect your other leg. Your legs attach to your hips, which connects to your back, and as more muscles are out of normal position pain begins to develop there too.

Your legs do a lot for you. Give them some attention with a massage so you can keep doing what you want.

4 Ways to Celebrate Giving this Holiday Season

The leftover turkey has been refrigerated. The Black Friday madness is over. And maybe you’ve patronized the webs on Cyber Monday and even remembered Giving Tuesday.

Don’t limit the love to Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving; November 19th  this year. It’s a chance for you, your family, community, company, and/or organization to give something more. But there’s no need to limit the giving to one day, we’re in a whole season of giving!

We’ve come up with a list of 4 ways to give – and they cost zero dollars.

  • Give something you already have

Rummage through your cabinets and donate dry goods to a food bank. Ditto for your bookcases. Find some books and share them with a shelter, a school in need, or even a friend collecting stuff for a fundraising yard sale. Box up some old coats, hats and gloves and bring them to a homeless shelter or a local school (sometimes the school has to find hats/gloves so kids without them can play outside with their peers). Bring old blankets to an animal rescue, or donate blood.

  • Make something

Bake some cookies and deliver to your neighbors or coworkers. If you are particularly gifted in couponing, gather up some free stuff and fill stockings. Donate them to a food bank or other program for holiday giving.

  • Do something

Run an errand for someone. Smile at a stranger. Give a genuine compliment. Spread good news. Volunteer at a children’s hospital, nursing home, or anywhere you think another human being could use a smiling face.

  • Write a letter/make a phone call

Leave a nice note on someone’s windshield. Even if you don’t know them. Call a friend or loved one you haven’t spoken to in a long time – especially if it’s someone you’re at odds with. Send an email to someone who has greatly impacted your life (and may not know it).

  • Bonus: And if you have a little money to throw around

Give a generous tip, whether you’re at the coffee shop, out to eat, or your often-unseen postal worker. Pay someone’s layaway anonymously. Sign up for a 5k that gives to a good cause. Bring some pet food or toys to a local animal shelter.

Giving doesn’t have to be a huge, elaborate and grand event. Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest splash. As a massage therapist, I know that sometimes it’s not the hands-on work that is most helpful to a client. Often it’s just being seen and heard and cared for that makes all the difference in the world.

Show Your Employees You Value Them with Chair Massage

Valued Employees

UPDATE: I recently discovered that 2016 was the 30th anniversary of the invention of the massage chair and the birth of modern chair massage! A 10-part History Channel documentary series titled Million Dollar Genius featured a story about the invention of the first massage chair. Click to view that segment.

Right now, I am looking for a few small to mid sized companies who are interested in providing regular chair massage to their employees or clients.

Over the last 15 years, I have done chair massage at Grand Opening events, large and small conventions, board meetings, small 1-2 person offices, law firms, accounting firms, major insurance company headquarters, major department store headquarters and more.

Universally, the folks who take the time to sit in the chair and relax for even a 5 minute massage walk away with a smile on their face and a noticeably more relaxed posture!

Most people who receive regular chair massage are surprised to find that while their immediate reaction is that they want to take a nap, once they move around, they are actually more energized & more focused.

So, what is chair massage?

ChairMassageImageChair massage uses a specially designed chair that supports the client’s body, allowing them to comfortably relax.

Other common names are seated massage, on-site massage, or corporate massage.

Modern chair massage was created in the mid 1980s by a massage therapist named David Palmer. David saw the benefits of massage first hand and wanted to demystify massage, bring it out of darkened rooms into public spaces where people could experience & witness the benefits of massage.

After designing the first massage chair to allow the therapist to easily work on common areas of tension: head, neck,shoulders, back, arms, and hands, he took it to the tech companies in Silicon Valley.  Companies, like Apple, who were known for break rooms with ping pong tables & foosball machines, knew that to keep their people at their best, they needed breaks from their routine.  They also knew that these breaks boosted creativity and helped build company loyalty. Chair massage fit this culture perfectly!

Today, chair massage is offered in many shopping malls and most major airports.  It is often seen at street festivals and health fairs. While every business does not have a massage therapist on staff, chair massage is offered in a wide range of businesses, from manufacturing to accounting firms.

For more information or to schedule chair massage event for your company, send email to michelle@relaxationplantation.com!

Four ways to keep stress at bay

As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and warmer weather of April, there can be a bit of a dark cloud hanging in the spring sky. Often the first few weeks of the month are a rush of receipts and 1040’s as the April 15 (actually, April 18, 2016) Tax deadline looms, and a rush of new schedules as the kids’ sports seasons fire up. Maybe that’s why April is Stress Awareness Month; to remind us to take care of ourselves, and not let stress go unchecked.

Meditation

Meditation does not have to be about pretzeled legs, chanting, and reaching enlightenment. It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed. Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.

Exercise

It can be tough to make time for exercise when the schedule gets tight and tensions get high. But that’s when it becomes even more important. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness. If you can’t make time for daily workout, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day. A little goes a long way when you need it.

Giggle and hum

Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure. In fact, this study in 2011 showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication.

So cue up the “Who’s on first?” or dance around with your kids, or grandkids, while making dinner and work some giggling and humming into your day.

Massage

Regular massage can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve moods. Plus, massage feels good. When you feel good, you play more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love. Schedule a massage now to prepare for a busy (and fun) spring! (Make your appointment today!)

 
Commit to taking care of yourself this spring! You may be surprised with the results.

Four ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

 

It’s February! We made it through the holidays just to get inundated with notions of chocolate, flowers, bling, and extravagant weekends in wine country to ‘reconnect with the one you love’.

But what if we pass on the chocolate and overpriced roses and approach the day (or the whole month!) with a focus on connecting with the people we care about. Not just your significant other, but your best friend that you never have a chance to talk to for more than 4 minutes before a baby demands attention. Or maybe your favorite uncle who was always quick with a lousy joke and equally fast in sneaking you a cookie when your mom wasn’t looking.

Share some time with someone

Make a pedicure date with your best friend. If you can each bring along your favorite mom, aunt, extremely sweet older neighbor who watches out for your kids, even better.

If you can’t set aside that much time with everyone’s busy schedules, drop off a piece of cake from your favorite bakery. Or keep it crazy cost effective and have your kid finger-paint a very special valentine for their teacher.

Appreciate someone

Look your favorite dry cleaner/butcher/school bus driver right in the eye and say, “Thank you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you do for me. You make my life easier.”

Drop an email to your kid’s basketball coach and say, “Thank you. My kid loves playing basketball, and I really appreciate that you give your time to make that possible.”

Massage someone

I know, this sounds weird, huh? I’m a massage therapist and I’m telling you to Do It Yourself. But massage doesn’t have to be an hour long ordeal with fancy oils and a complicated routine.

Watch a video and treat your partner to a hand or foot massage. Grab this amazing book, A Modern Day Guide to Massage for Children, and learn how to massage your favorite little buddy.

Give the gift of massage

You can pick up a gift certificate right here.

Bonus: Connect with YOU

Not everyone schedules regular massage, and that’s okay. But if it’s been awhile, maybe it’s time to practice a little self-care and get yourself a massage, too. The best gift you can give the people you love is a happy, healthy you.

 

3 Ideas to Help You Have a Happier Year

The New Year is something of a clean slate. We start a new calendar, make resolutions, pop champagne, and a few days later, jump into a January of slightly elongating days with a fresh hope that this year we can begin again, and do it all better.

But wherever you go, there you are. Flipping a page on the calendar isn’t going to dramatically alter our day-to-day habits. For the average person change happens incrementally, just a little at a time, with baby steps.

Here are some ideas, just a few little changes you can make to improve your health, life, and happiness over the next year.

Use your tools

You’ve probably got a computer and a smart phone. And I bet you spend plenty of time using them. But are you using them well?

A great grocery list app can reduce the number of trips you make to the store, and the amount of cash you spend on groceries. Mint is a fantastic money app to keep track of your cash, create (and stick to) a budget, and plan for the future. TripIt can keep your travel plans organized and makes it easy to share that info with the people who need to know. Doodle can help you easily schedule group meetings (or just dinner with friends). If you’re balancing a family with multiple schedules, use Cozi to get everyone to the right place at the right time.

Taking full advantage of the technology at hand can actually simplify your life.

Say no

You’ve heard this before, no doubt. But this year actually do that. Your time and energy are valuable commodities, spend them carefully. If you have trouble saying no, practice it. Really. It helps to be prepared with a reply that is kind, but still conveys a firm, “No.”  My personal favorite is, “Thank you so much for thinking of me, but this project sounds wonderful, and there is no way I could do it justice with my schedule right now.”

Schedule regular massage (you had to know that was coming)

Massage is known to reduce stress, alleviate pain, and enhance the quality of sleep. All good things. If you think you can’t spare the time or funds for massage, consider this: what’s it worth to give your family, friends, and coworkers a happier, more productive YOU? (A lot. It’s worth A LOT.) Regular can mean weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Whatever works for you is just fine, but stick to it. After you get a massage, I’ll always ask if you want to schedule your next appointment. Do it! You can call me now at 888-560-1671 or schedule online here to get started.

4 Ways to Celebrate Giving this Holiday Season

The leftover turkey has been refrigerated. The Black Friday madness is over. And maybe you’ve patronized the webs on Cyber Monday and even remembered Giving Tuesday.

Don’t limit the love to Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving; December 1st this year. It’s a chance for you, your family, community, company, and/or organization to give something more. But there’s no need to limit the giving to one day, we’re in a whole season of giving!

Here’s a list of 4 ways to give – and they cost zero dollars.

  1. Give something you already have

Rummage through your cabinets and donate dry goods to a food bank. Ditto for your bookcases. Find some books and share them with a shelter, a school in need, or even a friend collecting stuff for a fundraising yard sale. Box up some old coats, hats and gloves and bring them to a homeless shelter or a local school (sometimes the school has to find hats/gloves so kids without them can play outside with their peers). Bring old blankets to an animal rescue, or donate blood.

  1. Make something

Bake some cookies and deliver to your neighbors or coworkers. If you are particularly gifted in couponing, gather up some free stuff and fill stockings. Donate them to a food bank or other program for holiday giving.

  1. Do something

Run an errand for someone. Smile at a stranger. Give a genuine compliment. Spread good news. Volunteer at a children’s hospital, nursing home, or anywhere you think another human being could use a smiling face.

  1. Write a letter/make a phone call

Leave a nice note on someone’s windshield. Even if you don’t know them. Call a friend or loved one you haven’t spoken to in a long time – especially if it’s someone you’re at odds with. Send an email to someone who has greatly impacted your life (and may not know it).

Bonus: And if you have a little money to throw around

Give a generous tip, whether you’re at the coffee shop, out to eat, or your often-unseen postal worker. Pay someone’s layaway anonymously. Sign up for a 5k that gives to a good cause. Bring some pet food or toys to a local animal shelter. Buy a gift certificate for dinner or a massage for a person close to you and your family.
Giving doesn’t have to be a huge, elaborate and grand event. Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest splash. As a massage therapist, I know that sometimes it’s not the hands-on work that is most helpful to a client. Often it’s just being seen and heard and cared for that makes all the difference in the world.

5 tips for a happier holiday season

Happy holidays! Happy ‘getting stressed out, trying to do too many things and please everyone’ season. Oh, wait. That’s not promising.

Maybe this is the year to mix it up a little and make the holidays a little easier.

Forget perfection

Sometimes gingerbread men will be missing a limb. The tree may have a bald spot. The kugel may not taste exactly like your grandma’s. Know what? None of it matters. Decide what’s truly important to you over the holidays, and focus on that.

Enlist help

Once you drop the desire for Norman Rockwell levels of perfection, it gets much easier to ask for help and delegate tasks.

Kids can sign the names and address holiday cards. Wrap gifts in plain brown paper and kids can stay occupied decorating with crayons and ribbon.

Stick to a budget

Much of the holiday stress people feel can be attributed to money woes. Make a list and check it twice, making sure the gifts you choose are within your budget’s reach. And when you’re tempted to overspend, remember that things are rarely as meaningful as a kind thought or gesture.

Shop local

Shy away from the average stuff you get at chain stores and Amazon. Visit your local bookstore, bakery and massage office (Hey! That’s me!) to get gifts and gift certificates that really mean something.

Look for a winter farmers’ market where you can buy jars of local honey or handmade ornaments. Keep a stash in your car with some gift bags for last-minute “I can’t believe I forgot to get a gift for my kid’s teacher” type situations.

Bonus: you’re supporting small business at the same time!

Get a massage

Taking care of yourself makes you better able to take care of all the people who depend on you! Here’s to a wonderful holiday low on stress and filled with fun!

8 Non-Traditional Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving

Who says Thanksgiving has to be traditional? Maybe you’re the type of person who thinks out of the box or maybe you’re just tired of the same food, same people, and same thing every year. I’m here to help!

Here are a few unique ways to celebrate Thanksgiving found around the internet:

Change it up

Have a potluck, set up a cheese (or chocolate!) fondue, or try your hand at a vegan Thanksgiving spread. You could also have a contest with friends to create a turkey out of random food, like carved canned cranberry or sculpted mashed potatoes.

Reflection

Pass out some index cards. Have everyone write what they are grateful for on one side and their goals for following year on the other. Seal it up in an envelope with their name on it and have them open it the following year. (Mail cards to those who can’t make it.)

Go out to eat

Dinner and dishes shouldn’t be heaped on the host. Let someone else do the cooking and cleaning. Just enjoy the company. Easy peasy.

Invite a (sort-of) stranger

Consider extending your circle to include someone you wouldn’t normally see at Thanksgiving. Maybe a distant relative or friend. Go a little further and invite someone you know from church/library/grocery store who might have nowhere to go.

Travel to a faraway land

If you’re really frisky, start your own tradition and get out of dodge. Plan to go somewhere fun or focus on relaxation and rejuvenation. Or just have a close-to-home vacation in a nearby city or off-season vacation spot. Make sure you plan to get a massage! (Click here if you plan on staying local!) 

Build a tree

This one works especially well with kids. Take a big piece of paper and draw a simple tree. Hang it on a wall. On November 1st, and each day after, write on a leaf something you’re grateful for and add it to the tree. By the end of the month, you will have a beautiful tree full of all the things you are thankful for!

Themed Thanksgiving

Plan a themed Thanksgiving dinner. Venture into another culture and see what surfaces. Italian, Middle Eastern, Chinese to name a few.

Cocktail party

Mix it up with a mixology party, play charades, or sing karaoke. Plan to hang out in your sweats or get all dolled up in your formal wear. Anything goes.

As you can see there are no rules. If you feel some rules still apply, don’t you think it’s about time to break a few? The most important thing is spending time with loved ones and doing what makes you happy.
Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!