Celebrating Simple Holidays

As we move into the holidays; generally a stressful time of the year.  I am reminded of a documentary that I saw a couple of years ago, called Money and Life.  It discusses the dangers of attaching too much of our lives and worth to a dollar figure. iStock_000017117640XSmall

Over the years, money has lost its roots… it was created as a spiritual exchange of energy between people.  Today, money feels more like something that controls our lives and divides us.  Money today, causes a feeling of division and lack.  The holidays feed into this feeling, causing us to spend money on things we don’t need and on presents that are forgotten within a month.  Many times people will go into debt to fill this expectation of spending over the holidays.

What can you do?  How can you buck traditional consumer culture?

  • The first thing is to start from within. Start by shifting your inner paradigm around money and spending.  Trade spending and consuming for more time to think and relax.
  • Buy experiences rather than consumer goods, for example: gift cards for dinner, a massage, tickets to the movie or theatre the options are endless. (Even better, take your friends or family out on an adventure, you get to spend time with them and remember the experience.)
  • Tap into your creative side and make something this year, a photo book, knit a hat or scarf, make jewelry, make a mix of your favorite music, bake cookies.
  • Shop at a local small business to keep the money in the local economy, click here to read about the multipier effect. 
  • Donate to your gift recipient’s favorite not for profit.

Here’s a very juicy, healthy and happy holiday season!

sharonsig

 

 

Hot Stone Massage

therapyHave you ever gotten a hot stone massage?  What is hot stone therapy? Well not only does it feel amazing, there are also many health benefits to receiving a Hot Stone Massage.

Hot stone massage is proven to be safe and effective in treating the following:

  • arthritis
  • carpal tunnel
  • tension from strained muscles
  • muscle spasms and chronic stress

Using the hot stones during a massage, improves circulation and “energy flow” throughout the body, aiding in detoxification, activating our immune systems.

Deep Muscle Relaxation

The heat from the stones helps your muscles relax, allowing the massage therapist to manipulate your deep tissues more effectively. Overly tense muscles can hinder the massage procedure, so if your muscles are extremely tight or stiff, the heated stones may provide the extra relaxation you need for the massage to be beneficial in releasing tension and easing sore muscles.

The therapist will use hot stones throughout the massage and will place several stones in strategic “energy points” or acupressure points of the body, including the spine, hands, feet and even toes to help prepare the body for massage.

We generally recommend that you book a 90 minute session if you would like a full Hot Stone Treatment, but therapists can also accommodate 60 minute Hot Stone sessions.

Ready to melt into the table?  Hot Stone Therapy is for you.

For information on hot stone therapy CLICK HERE.

Being Human

graceOne thing that I have learned over the years is that sometimes you need to give yourself and others a pass for being human. We all make mistakes; we sometimes forget things, we get sick, stressed and overwhelmed, and we make bad or hasty decisions. When we are rushed, we may not treat people as well as what we would have liked. It happens to the best of us. It is all part of being human. The key is to observe these moments, learn from them and make conscious changes to try to mitigate them in the future.

At The Wellness Center, I am reminded that we are truly in the business of being human. Giving grace to our clients when they are sick or running late, and doing the same for our practitioners as they are also human. It all goes into running a supportive and caring business that is truly here to serve you the client, and support the local community.

This month give yourself lots of grace when you make a mistake or just feel tired and run down. It is ok, if not mandatory to give yourself permission to sit and do nothing. As we move into the holiday season it is very easy for us to get caught up in all the activities and craziness, try hard not to over-schedule yourself and schedule 30 minutes of down time each day for you to sit and do nothing or take a walk in nature.

There are a couple of exciting changes happening at The Wellness Center.

1) We launched our new website! We hope you love it…

2) We have streamlined to ONE massage membership that covers both tenured and non-tenured therapists with one rate. CLICK HERE TO SEE NEW RATES

Look forward to seeing you soon.

With gratitude,

sharonsig

Reflecting on What Matters Most

I am feeling very sentimental this month, as I observe and reflect upon the ups and downs of life.

There have been many losses these past few months, I lost my Aunt in June to Cancer, one of our former Massage Therapists was struck by a car and died instantly, one of our therapist’s mother passed away suddenly. These events have caused me to take pause and reflect on how important our day to day relationships are with those around us. We should never take for granted how life can suddenly change so quickly.

It is a reminder to enjoy every day and every moment. Being a mother, seeing my daughter grow, change and gain a greater understanding of the world is such an amazing gift. Every day I feel so blessed to have this soul in my life.  I am grateful that I have the spaciousness in my life to be able to spend lots of time with my family and friends.

Take a deep breathe, take in this moment and enjoy this beautiful Colorado summer!

I am grateful for all of the talented and dedicated staff and practitioners that have come to The Wellness Center to provide healing to all of our wonderful clients. I am grateful for all of our clients (you!) for helping us build a sustainable and successful wellness center.

In Health,

Sharon

PS: Please don’t forget to vote for us for Denver’s TOP Massage! We are still currently in the #2 position. Click here to vote!

Had your Vitamin D checked recently?

The nice thing about a blog is you can look back at old entries to see how far you have changed or come.  I was looking back at a blog I wrote on July 13th, 2009 (5 years ago) in reference to my vitamin D levels being at third world deficiency levels.   Believe it or not I just got my vitamin D levels tested again, and they are actually lower than they were 5 years ago.  Yep, my test came back at 15.3 and a healthy range is generally 32-100.  If you are below 32 in vitamin D levels then you are deficient in vitamin D.  7 Signs  if You’re Deficient in Vitamin D.

There are so many reasons to check and monitor your vitamin D levels.  One of the biggest is that when you have low vitamin D, you also have lower immune function which means a higher risk of contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory tract infections, feeling depressed, tired or fatigued, experiencing a low mood (especially in the Winter).   Who would have thought that getting the flu or sick is related to your vitamin D levels.  Read more on vitamin D…

I am back on vitamin D supplements and will get re-checked in 3 months.  I hope you take the time to get your vitamin D checked.  You can ask for it when you go to see your doctor for your annual wellness visit.  Or you can get a vitamin D test through The Wellness Center at it is extremely affordable.  Contact us if you are interested.

Another great reason to enjoy the summer sun!

To your health,

Sharon

 

Happenings at The Wellness Center

First, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.  The weather has been really fantastic here in Denver, this is the best time of the year to stay in the city!

We recently returned from a trip to Taiwan and China with my parents. It was a wonderful trip, with lots of good food, time with family that we don’t get to see too often, and sightseeing. Here are a few highlights from the trip…

1) Seeing my grandfather and grandmother’s grave at the military cemetery in Taiwan, that sits next to Chiang Kai Shek’s gravesite.
2) Visiting beautiful Jiuzhaigou
3) Arriving in Beijing after a huge rainfall which made the skies clear and pollution free for the 3 days we were there. Of course the Great Wall is pretty magnificent also.

There have also been some in office happenings, many of you know Andrea one of our key administrators, she has been so dedicated to The Wellness Center that we have promoted her to Office Manager.  Thank you Andrea for all that you do!

Carrie Sanders, one of our Massage Therapists is preparing to go to Nepal for a yoga retreat and has made homemade greeting cards to collect funds for children’s school supplies for the Nepalese.  Cards are available at The Wellness Center with a suggested donation of $2-$5 per card.

The case for guilt free time to yourself

I just finished, “Overwhelmed Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time,” by Brigid Schulte.  The biggest thing that struck me, is how BAD Americans are at taking time for leisure, when we do take time off we often feel guilty.  What is leisure anyway?  For many of us we don’t know anymore, because we live in a society that thinks work is far better than leisure.

Many of us feel guilty for taking leisure time to play.  When we do take time for ourselves, many times it is fractured/interrupted time filled with multitasking and constant interruptions by our phones with new messages and status updates.  Research is finding that play is what enables humans to create, improvise, imagine, innovate, learn solve problems, be smart, curious, resilient and happy!

Take time for yourself, guilt free.  We give you permission.

Here are 5 tips to help you on your way towards guilt free leisure time:

#1- Stop feeling guilty about taking time for yourself.  When you do take time to play or relax you fully enjoy it and experience it.

#2- Unplug. Set reasonable parameters for using instant communication and technology and set aside time every day where you are technology free.  Give yourself time and space to do “nothing.”

#3- Choose happiness first.  Happiness breeds success and achievement.  The converse is not necessarily true.

#4- Remind yourself that play is useful.  Humans need it, give yourself permission to take time for it.

#5- Keep it simple.  Live within your means and give yourself financial margin, where you have savings if something unexpected was to happen.  Literally there is a weight that is lifted when you know you have money in the bank for unexpected emergencies.

Why Choose Sports Massage?

Summer is right around the corner. Due to the interesting spring, however, my body is craving a walk, a bike ride, a good lift in the gym, or just a full day of sunshine! But what keeps me from actually doing any of this stuff is the thought of getting back into the routine. In other words, I’m not a big fan of feeling sore or tired, and I know that my first few workouts will consist of burning lungs and lazy muscles.

But one thing is consistent in all active people: whether we’re starting a new workout routine or training for a high school sports team, our muscles need continual maintenance. Even if you or your young athlete doesn’t feel a need or consistent craving for a tune up, the longer we go without recovering, the harder it’s going to hit us later.

So what can we do?

The Wellness Center offers “Sports Massages” for people who are or want to be more active – athletes or non-athletes alike. This means that a Sports massage is for anyone, of any age, doing anything from marathon training or playing competitive sports to mowing the lawn or moving a couch.

Think of a Sports massage as treating your muscles to tune-ups. They will not only help some of us get back into a routine, like me, but they will also help us stay in a routine and increase the odds of staying injury-free. The purpose, then, behind this type of therapy, is to prepare, recover, and maintain muscles before, during, and after any type of physical activity.

The two types of Sports massages are “Preventative Sports Massages” and “Conditioning/Maintenance Sports Massages.” Preventative Sports Massages are designed to prevent injuries as we get into our routine of activities. These sessions are designed to prepare and relax the body for and from physical strain; though, stretching and other preventative measures can be taken for injury prevention. Conditioning/Maintenance Sports Massages, on the other hand, are designed to treat the body of an already active person. It will simply improve your or your young athlete’s current physical condition and performance.

A Sports massage uses slow, light pressure strokes in order to relax and release the muscles. Unlike a Swedish massage, which uses long strokes, or a Deep-tissue massage, which uses deep pressure, a Sports massage will not allow your muscles to get sorer or spasm; instead, getting a Sports massage is like giving your body extra credit – it will improve your overall performance in your chosen activity no matter what.

Maybe if I had started Sports massages sooner, I’d be in better shape today. But the good news is that it’s never too late to get back in the game! That’s what I plan on doing, and that’s what I often tell my young athletes…even though they still think they’re invincible!

If you are considering a Sports Massage for you, contact The Wellness Center today at 303-357-9355. If your young athlete could benefit from a Sports massage, here are some tips that should help make the experience comfortable and therapeutic:

1. Choose a Wellness Center therapist with the same gender as your child.
2. Start with a shorter sessions time (30-45 minutes).
3. Have them dress in comfortable clothing that will allow for active stretching during the session.
4. Consider being in the room during the massage to alleviate any hesitation on your or your child’s part.

Whether you’re like me and are a little intimidated getting back into it, or if you or your young athlete want to up the personal or competitive performances, consider getting a Sports massage today.

Finding your Perfect Life “Mix”

I recently went to an interesting seminar called Women in the Mix.  It wasn’t about the elusive work-life balance that seems so unattainable.  It was more about what is your perfect “Mix” of: Family, Community, Work, House, and Self that feels good and fits with the time in your life.

Your life “Mix” changes during different periods of your life.  The theme for most of the women I met there, was that before getting married and having children, work was a BIG part of their “Mix”.  Once they started a family, values started to shift and working 50-60 hours a week wasn’t part of their “Mix” anymore.  Unfortunately. the American workplace is not very “family” friendly, “flexible” hours and working part-time is career suicide.   Many women end up leaving the workplace, or starting their own businesses.

Not everyone has that luxury.  What is the solution?  Ultimately, I think we need to have a cultural shift.  Rather than ostracize part-time and flexible work schedules, embrace and value having an employee that is happy, healthy and living their perfect “Mix.”  I personally believe that fostering a work environment that supports your staff in attaining the perfect work “Mix”, means more productive, creative and loyal employees.  It feels like a win win all around.

I believe there is a shift that is happening… with so many women that have burned out and are now advocating for change.  Here are some recent books that speak to this change:

  • Maxed Out, American Women on the Brink by Katrian Alcorn
  • All Joy and No Fun the Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior
  • Overwhelmed- Work, Love, and Play when no one has time by Brigid Schulte
  • Thrive, The Third Metric to Refining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder by Arianna Huffington

I hold a vision that our culture will change over time, and allow our children and grandchildren more flexibility.  With it will come more options for women and men that are looking for their perfect “Mix” Which for many, means doing fulfilling, rewarding and intellectually stimulating work, part-time.

Here’s to finding and achieving your “Work Life Five.”

To your health,

 

Congrats to our Tenured Therapists at The Wellness Center

2014 heralds The Wellness Center’s 13th year in business!  Over the years, we have been fortunate to have found and maintained an exemplary staff of massage therapists, some of which, have been here for 5-10 years.

To honor the therapists that have been with our team 5 years or more, we are moving them to a “tenured therapist” status, effective June 1st.  The massage rates for a tenured therapist will an additional $10 per 60 minute massage.  These therapists are:  Bill Woodall, Amy Gage, Kevyn Nguyen, Dana Marlow and Allegra Hoopingarner. As a result of the new tiered fees, we are completely eliminating the $10 upgrade charge for CranioSacral Therapy and Ashiastu.

If you have any questions, please let us know.  Our goal is to remain competitive with our pricing AND reward our long-standing therapists.  We feel that these changes balance our aims.  We hope you do too!

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