Work….

Today was not a good day at work…. I left at 8:45am because according to the schedule I had a massage booked at 9:45.
By the time I got to work at 9:30, the guy had already cancelled (not cool folks!!! give us some notice if you are going to cancel!!!! 30 mins is NOT enough! the clinic does not open until 9am). then my next scheduled appointment was an RTA at 11…. he was a no show… (GRRRRRR means I did not get paid for that one either!… again not cool! If you book SHOW UP! even if it is not costing you a penny because your insurance is paying- if you don’t show up I don’t get paid!).
Then there was a HUGE gap… next massage was a 45 min one at 2pm…, followed by a 60 min at 3pm and finally a 60 min at 4:40… and I eventually got home at nearly 7pm… a long, long day with only 3 massages due to people messing me around – and lots of time wandering around downtown getting bored.  And I didn’t get paid much because it was only 2.75 hours of massage…  REMEMBER, massage therapists are mostly contractors, we only get paid when we do massages…  you mess us around, we loose money!

I am not annoyed with the front desk/reception ppl – they can’t control the cancellations and no shows – just that people wasted my time and meant I spent more than I needed in coffee shops because people were inconsiderate! And I HATE inconsiderate people!

please guys, if you book a massage keep that appointment! your therapist will thank you for it!

Blogging, work and so tired!

Blogging after a long, hard day at work sucks!

Today I started at 9:45am…  I finished at 6pm.  In total I did 6.5 hours of massage (5 x 60 minute massages, 1 x 90 minute massage) all with 15 minutes between and with a 45 min lunch break (which by the time you have turned the room around, cleaned up the table, talked to the previous client and completed the notes means you get less than a 30 minute lunch break!).  The 15 mins I get between massages is barely enough to do all that needs to be done.

It may not sound like a lot compared to your average office worker, but I have mentioned it before, and that is a LOT for a massage therapist to do in one day, especially one like me who specializes in deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy…  the vast majority of what I do each day is very physical – I am using my entire upper body-weight on my forearm (ulnar border) or elbow to get deep enough for what most of my clients want and need…  but it is worth it because they love it!

And when I do a lot of trigger-point work, I always follow it up with a whole bunch of stretches (see the stretching page!)…  it is not only important that I stretch them after the treatment (if you don’t stretch after trigger-point work you should always use heat!), but I always give them a bunch of homework that almost always involves stretching the muscles that need attention….  And that makes it even more physical because I nearly always uses MET stretches that involve resistance to the muscle that is being stretched as it is so much more effective.  And of course I have to demonstrate the stretches that they need to do as homework as well (meh – that means that I get to stretch my muscles as well!)

I did have a 1 hour relaxation massage with a client who is 10 weeks pregnant.  She wanted nothing more than an hour of pure relaxation – upper body only and a very light touch.  That was a welcome respite.  And BTW it is perfectly safe to have a massage in the first trimester of your pregnancy, it just needs to be modified to take into account your body’s special needs.  A lighter touch, no sacral work and I personally avoid work on the ankles as there are reflexology points there that can stimulate both the uterus and ovaries.

But as I said, it is worth it when your client gets up from the table saying they feel great and that the treatment they received was just what they need.  And when they start raving about you to other people it makes it even more worthwhile!

I knew that there was a reason I love my job…  it is that instant feel good satisfaction when you say “how do you feel” after the treatment and they say “better” or “I feel great” or “that did the trick”…

That is WHY I am a massage therapist – because I want to help people and make them feel better!

It is the comments like those that make days like today possible – it keeps me going even when I am on my knees. I don’t care if I am virtually crawling up the front steps to the house on my way home from work after a day like today because every single person told me that I had helped them.

And that is what makes my job so worthwhile…

But that isn’t the reason I can put in those kind of hours and this kind of effort…  Back when I was eating the SAD (Standard American Diet), I was diagnosed with both Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia (and fwisw, when I was tested for fybromyalgia, I had every single one of the tender points bilaterally – now I am convinced they are trigger points! – more on that in a future post!)  But back then I was a mess…  I could barely get out of bed, I was crawling up the stairs on my hand and knees.  It was all I could do to go to school for my massage class, and by the end of the once weekly class I was physically and mentally exhausted.  I went home, I slept.  Doing my practicum was a challenge – I barely had the energy…  There was no way that I could have done 6.5 hours of physical activity I can do now.  I would have collapsed in a heap after the commute down to work (it takes me aprox 45 minutes btw). Eating Paleo cured me of that!

The Paleo diet provides me with the nutrients I need in order to keep my body in tip-top shape..  I do not feel hungry during my long stints at work  – often I find a good, protein rich breakfast  (today was 2 eggs and one breakfast sausage patty that I found in the freezer along with some blueberries) will sustain me until dinner time, so there is no need for me to eat lunch – instead it becomes a stretching break when I can make sure my muscles don’t protest too much about the “abuse” I have put them through.  Occasionally I use self massage techniques on my arms and hands, other times I postpone those until I get home in the evening.   Sometimes I will go for a walk, or I will sit in the park with a book and read for half an hour.  Sometimes I go and buy a coffee!

My blood-glucose and insulin levels are stable, so I don’t get an sugar-crash in that mid morning period.  I don’t need to eat because I am feeling hungry as a result.  Yes by the time I get home at around 7pm I am feeling starving… but that just gives me a really healthy appetite for our evening meal….

My new job

I had my first day at my new job yesterday…

Fortunately the clinic was not affected by the flooding last week despite being downtown, but it was closed for most of the week.  But finally the city allowed them to open on Thursday, so I was able to start as planed.

I did 7 (yes 7!) massages! BOY is that a lot for a massage therapist to do in one day.  I did 5x 60 minute massages (that is a lot in itself!), one 45 minute one and a 30 minute one.  Needless to say, I was absolutely exhausted when I got home.

Today was easier.  Only 4 clients (and strangely all of them men with upper back/neck/shoulder problems).  I did 2x 60 minute, one 30 minute and one 45 minute treatments.  All good though.

And now I am off until Tuesday.  Three bookings so far, all in the morning.  That will no doubt increase.

Well I did say I wanted to work in a busy place….

And BOY is this place busy!

I got a job!

So late last night I got a job…

On Monday I went for 2 interviews – one at a Chiropractic clinic, the other at a multidisciplinary health clinic (they have chiro’s, acupuncturists, naturopaths, nutritional therapists and massage therapists).

The multidisciplinary one asked me to go today to do 2 demo massages, so they must have liked me in the interview.  But then I got a call from the Chiro asking me if I wanted the job!  I came over well at the interview and when I did the demo massage on his dad apparently I gave him the best massage he has ever had!

Anyway, I start on the 27th, part-time, 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and alternate Saturdays..

Life is good 🙂

Time to revamp the blog

I keep doing this and keep slipping.  But this time I feel I want to start blogging more.

A lot has changed in the past 2 years…

I graduated as a massage therapist with a 2200 hour diploma.  I did a pregnancy and post-natal massage course.  I did a course in myofascial release.  I got a job at a chronic pain management and soft tissue injury rehab clinic (and received training in low intensity laser therapy and a small amount of training in some manual osteopathic techniques – no qualifications though mores the pity).  I worked there for almost 10 months when they decided to let me go due to lack of work.

So now I am looking for another position.  Several interviews under my belt I have two scheduled for Monday and the possiblility of a self-employed contractor role where I have to build a client base from the ground up.

Other than that I radically overhauled my families diet and we are now all a combination of Paleo, Primal, Clean Eating and Weston Price.

Hubby and I are both more Paleo than anything else – Hubby wants to loose lots of weight (And is succeeding too – he looks fab!), so he is avoiding the carbs and dairy.  I can’t eat the dairy because of my allergy to casein.  A (eldest daughter) is primal.  She has felt the benefits of eating low carb and avoiding grains and pulses and feels fantastic.  But she can’t give up the cheese – feta is her passion!  And the other 3 girls (C, J and B) are more Weston Price combined with some clean eating….  they eat some carbs in the form of bread, sprouted grains etc.  Overall it is working well for our family and we are all much healthier.

What prompted the change was that I weighed myself at Christmas and realized to my horror that I was the heaviest I have ever been – 190lb.  At 5″8″ that put my BMI at 28.9 – well at the upper end of the normal weight range and not far off being obese.  For years I had prided myself on being a healthy weight and eating a  healthy diet, yet somehow the weight had crept on despite me doing a job that was very physically active and meant that I was on my feet all day long.

I decided that something HAD to change.

Random googling lead me to Marks Daily Apple and it all took off from there.  I cut out the carbs and started to loose weight and felt better and better – healthier than I had in years.  Then Hubby decided to join me.  From there it was natural to include the kids because who wants to cook several meals after a long day and an even longer commute (I was working 40 hours a week and had a 90 minute commute by transit each way).

So that is the update in a nutshell – I have changed my diet, become healthier, and am looking for a new massage job.

Dusting things off

OK so I have been prompted to dust off the blog and get posting again.

Quite a lot has changed since I last posted…  the awkward legal situation has been resolved, I passed my first year (average grade of 95% – whooo!), we went camping (and everyone decided they hated it and never wanted to go again.  And we got a dog.

He is called Caesar, is as cute as a button, is 14 weeks old and weights just over 10kg… oh and he is a boxer (should have mentioned that earlier!)

And now I have started back at school for my second year – lots of  assessment, treatments, conditions etc this year…

I also had an interview for a job/practicum placement – it seemed to go well.  Hopefully I will hear back from them for a second interview/massage demo.

And that is about it – very boring, very vanilla…  but hey, that is my life 95% of the time.