As I reflect on the year, on this longest night of the year, I am feeling very grateful for each of you- all uniquely beautiful as snowflakes. Thank you to everyone who has taken precautions against covid in their lives, and had faith in the precautions I have taken as well. Thank you to those who’ve not come in due to extenuating health concerns. I know these can be tough calls. I miss you but understand and support you completely. This longest year of our collective lifetime is passing. I look forward to seeing your sunny face in due time. Til then!
Photo credit to Jill Wellington via Pixabay- isn’t it nice? It reminds me of the pictures taken by Vermont’s own Snowflake Bentley.
Join Mary Hill, artist and community advocate, and I in leading you and your partner through a fun and lighthearted “date night”. (For those of you who haven’t had the delight of knowing Mary and her art yet, Mary works in a variety of mediums including sculpture and fabric design in Underhill, Vermont. Check out her fantastic website at maryhill.studio)
Mary & I both believe strongly that art and massage can strengthen and brighten a marriage! During a sparkly spring chat in my driveway we came up with the idea of collaborating and want to share our offering with YOU.
The class is designed for partner massage, so bring your spouse or best friend to the class. I will begin with a demonstration of neck and head massage done in a chair followed by shoulders, arms and hands. Follow along, practicing on your partner, asking questions as they arise.
After 45 minutes of massage, Mary will lead you through your partner painting.
A banner “kit” will be sent to you before the class so you can sketch out a design prior to actual class time. The “kit” includes a design sheet of ideas which you can follow or not. Painting the banner together can worki in a variety of ways. Each of you suggests a color., or, one of you can paint. However you’d like to play. No pressure! This will be a little visual reminder to each other to display in your bedroom, or kitchen. Creating a memory, a reminder of your massage time together nurturing each other and your relationship.
I deeply appreciate your continued regard for massage and trust in my practice. As with the transmission of any communicable disease, you may be exposed to COVID-19, also known as “Coronavirus,” at any time or in any place. In response to this novel virus, there are a few, not insignificant, changes I will be making to my massage practice. I know there is a wide range of thought in our society regarding how we should handle our present situation, so please reach out with questions. I appreciate hearing your thoughts and perspectives. Given what we know right now about this coronavirus, these are the protocols I will be adopting when I re-open:
In order for the office space to be as virus-free as possible, I will be disinfecting surfaces and running a HEPA-13 air filtering system between sessions. (HEPA-13 filters are designed to remove viruses, not just dust, pollen etc. Read from MIT News aboutHow to Stop the Flu for more information). The air filtering system will also be running during your session.
Per VT Dept of Health, if you have symptoms of respiratory illness, I cannot serve you.
The following form will be part of our intake process, to confirm you are feeling well and understand the risks in this COVID-19 time:
During the session, we will be wearing face masks and only talking to check in regarding your experience of the bodywork. I look forward to chatting and catching up with you outside if you have time before or after your session.
What’s not new:
If you are sick, massage is not in anyone’s best interest. There is never a cancellation fee for having to cancel because you are sick.
My intention is still to give you the best bodywork I can, to help you tune into your body so it can make changes so you can feel more at ease in it.
Some things may feel weird at first in this new era. Thank you in advance for your adaptability. I look forward to continuing our journey together. A votre sante!
Okay, so I’m not RUSHING back- having spent a lot of the last two months researching how to do massage as safely as possible, given what we know and what we don’t know about this novel virus. By combing information from the CDC and my professional organization, ABMP, listening to different points of view, and researching effectiveness of different options, I’m feeling optimistic about minimizing exposure to you and vice versa while providing massage. (I feel flutters of happiness just writing that sentence!) In my next post, I will be sharing with you the protocols I’ll be initiating for safe massage sessions. Given that VT’s rate of infection is at a crawl, I anticipate close contact businesses will be re-opened by early June.
Until then, I hope you have had space to let go of things and ways of being that no longer serve you, discovered new ways to be nourished and have renewed appreciation for what you valued before COVID came along. While there have been very real stresses to this disorienting time, there have been precious moments as well. I look forward to the sweet moment of re-opening:)
Try it to believe it! Take a few moments to let the tension out of your body through your feet. Giving yourself this effective, hands-free foot massage is even easier than making bandana/hair tie face masks! (Click here for instructions on that from the CDC).
First, thank you for the encouragement I have received from so many of you signing up to receive these posts. May they help you stay healthy, grounded and resilient! Feel free to email me with any questions, musings, feedback, experiences. Even from a physical distance, we can be there for each other. Cords of love traverse all distance.
This next video shows variations on the restorative pose shown in the last video. Deep breathing calms my mind. Sometimes I feel calm enough to listen to something I’ve been meaning to get to but just haven’t found time for. This episode of But Why?is a kid-friendly, thus non-alarmist look at the coronavirus and why soap is so effective in getting rid of it.
If you’d rather listen to something non-cerebral, you could try a session of biofield tuning while you are in a restorative pose. VT’s own Eileen McKusick, a leader in the field of sound therapy, is offering a 3 part session free here.
(If you are so moved and have the ability to contribute to Eileen’s research applying the scientific method to questions concerning the human biofield, there is an option to donate in the link above).
Listening to these recordings could help you focus on and guide your energy in a positive way.
If you’re like me, you’ve had a time where you feel the weight, the confusion, and the unknown of the moment starting to overcome your ability to deal with it. The tunnel vision of stress can limit my ability to even think. Remembering to breathe returns me to the moment with expanded awareness. This stretch helps me do that.
Coming back into your body is a great way to destress after dealing with the outer world all day. It’s also a great way to start your day- from an internal awareness of your body and the joy of being you.
Do let me know if you have trouble understanding the video and I will articulate more clearly. I’m open to any feedback that would help these videos be more helpful to you.
Before you start, take into account your particular situation. If you have a health condition that would be worsened by this stretch, don’t do it. (For example, if you’ve recently torn your sartorius- best wishes for speedy healing, C!- simply take some deep breaths in whatever position you find yourself now).
…or should we say physical distancing and distance socializing:)
It has been almost a week since I last gave massage. I have been thinking daily about how to make it possible, but given our ever-evolving knowledge of COVID-19, I will not be giving massage until further notice. If we all do our part to flatten the curve, it likely means a more positive outcome. I found the simulations in this article very helpful in driving home the importance of social distancing:
These graphs show the extremely positive impact of extensive social distancing:
Blue represents uninfected population, orange are infected, pink are recovered from infection (deaths are not represented).
What can you do instead of coming in for bodywork?
Until we can resume our massage time together, I will be posting videos with suggestions for achieving some of the same goals as massage: coming back into your body, releasing tension, re-centering, and supporting your mental and physical health.
I miss seeing you all, but I’m so grateful we can at least be in “touch” technologically!
In the Hippocratic vein of “First, do no harm”, I am following the protocols suggested to massage therapists by my professional organization:
Most of these protocols are ones you’ve probably heard about already. I won’t be wearing a mask or gloves, but I will be washing my hands even more thoroughly than before as well as wiping down doorknobs and other commonly touched surfaces in between appointments. An ounce of prevention is worth it to keep us all healthy. A votre sante!