Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Winter in Maine: Cancellation Policies

It's that time of the year again!

Mr. Cardinal has no time for this "snow" business.

Throughout the year, my cancellation policy requests 12-hours advance notice if you will be unable to make your appointment. Emergencies happen, and so they are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Given that we live in New England, many of us have learned that the weather can change in an instant. Computer models can only predict so much, and Mother Nature will do whatever she darn well pleases.

With that in mind, please be aware of the following guidelines:

  • In the event that we have booked a weekday morning appointment and RSU/MSAD 6 (Bonny Eagle) has cancelled school, your appointment will also be cancelled.
  • If RSU/MSAD 6 (Bonny Eagle) cancels their weekday afternoon activities due to the weather, my afternoon or evening appointments will likely be cancelled.
  • Regardless of your appointment time, if you don't feel safe to drive, please call to cancel your appointment as soon as possible. Missed appointment fees due to the weather will be waived.
  • If the above closings occur and/or I don't feel safe to drive, I will call to reschedule appointments. Please consider all confirmation messages to be "tentative," dependent on the road conditions.
For our mutual well-being and the safety of others on the road, please stay home in inclement weather. A massage will do little good if you have to drive home white-knuckled!

Thank you for your understanding! Be safe!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Safety & Security at I Knead Serenity

As we head into Winter and most of my hours are in the evening, I wanted to take a moment to talk about security. While I'm just down the street from where I used to work, it's a different environment with a few new considerations.

Someone's Knockin' At the Door---

First and foremost, you need to know that I don't have a lobby and I don't have typical "open office hours." Sessions are by appointment only, at this time, and I enforce my 12-hour Cancellation Policy.

The door I use is the blue one facing Route 4A (Main Street), and it is usually locked. When I'm expecting a client, I put out a doorbell attached to the little black box, along with a sign on the door explaining that, once you ring the bell, I will be with you shortly.

If the sign says something along the lines of, "Quiet Please," then I am still with a client.

If there is no sign and no doorbell, go ahead and knock on the door -- I might be in the middle of setting up and have yet to put them out.

Lights, Cameras---

In the photo above, you'll see there is a light and a security camera over that door. There are other cameras located inside and outside of the building. They are not mine and I do not have access to them, but I just want you to be aware that they're there.

If you are able to park by the door, please do so -- the lighting in the back and side lots isn't great, though there are a couple at the post office next door that help.

The halls and common areas of the building feature motion-activated lights. You may hear them quietly flick on and off during your session as other tenants come and go.

Once your session is over and we say goodnight, I am more than willing to walk you to your car! If you're the last client of the evening, I might ask you to wait a few moments so that we can leave together.

Information Privacy---

Just like at your doctor's office, your identifying and health information is covered by HIPAA. It will never be given away without your consent, except under certain provisions. You can read my Notice of Privacy Practices here. You sign an Acknowledgement of Receipt of this notice in your Intake Packet.

There is also a page in the intake packet about how to contact you regarding last minute appointments and e-mail newsletters. You can choose not to be contacted at all, or to be contacted by phone and/or e-mail.

All information submitted through my on-line scheduler is protected by Full Slate itself. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch with them.

If you pay for services using PayPal or Square, they will encrypt any sensitive information; I never see it. Again, if you ever have concerns about the security of your information, contact them directly.

You Are Welcome---

In many social circles, industries, and establishments, there are topics that are considered verboten. These topics stir up our sympathetic nervous systems, our "fight-or-flight" response. Members of the massage industry work to provide support for relaxation, health, and wellness -- essentially, giving you time to turn that sympathetic nervous system off.

With that said, please refrain from discussing topics such as politics or religion during our time together.

I have often called my office a Judgment-Free Zone, and I stand by it: regardless of your body type, your age, your ethnicity, your political views, your gender, your sexual orientation, your religious practices, your citizenship, your abilities or disabilities -- so long as these things do no harm, you will be treated with the utmost respect.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Some Quick Updates!

First off, thank you to all who participated in the raffle for the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society! Congratulations to the winners of the 30-minute Gift Certificates:
  • Nyree Y. of Limerick
  • Laura K. of Standish
  • Katie P. of Gray

● Good news for Buxton and Hollis residents: the Veteran's Memorial Bridge should be open November 8th!

● I did some reorganizing of the links in the bar above. The new Massages page is worth a read; it could have been a blog post, but I wanted to be sure people saw it, front and center. The information that had been on that page is now under "Location."

For New Clients, I have included a new section for you on my on-line scheduler. Those sessions will automatically block off extra time for your first appointment, so that we have plenty of time to go over your health history and expectations.

● Did you know you can purchase instant gift certificates through my scheduler? You can print them straight from your computer!

I have more plans in the works for this site, but in the meantime, you can also find me on:

Until next time!
-- Bethany

Saturday, October 22, 2016

"What Can Your Massages Do For Me?"

My massages can make you feel like you've just slipped into the perfect pair of LuLaRoe leggings (like "buttah"). Your head and shoulders will feel lighter. You will discover you had more aches and pains in places you hadn't even realized were tense. I know -- because I've been both a massage client and a practitioner for five years.

After a session with me -- if you haven't had a massage before and/or you don't like people touching you -- you will likely ask yourself, "Why didn't I do this sooner?" One client said during her first massage, "I can't remember the last time I felt like I was being cared for."

"Okay, but what is it like?"

A good massage should feel like settling into your favorite chair with a warm drink in-hand, your favorite music playing in the background. You know that feeling when you slide into bed after putting on fresh, clean sheets? You'll get to experience that on my table at each massage.

If you haven't slept well in a while, you will either fall asleep on my table or want to go home and go straight to bed. Some clients bring their pajamas to change into afterward.

If you've been thinking, "I'm not as young as I used to be," and find it difficult to keep up with your life's demands, there's good news: I can help give you more mobility and flexibility to get your daily tasks done. The effects of massages are cumulative, so the more of them you get, the better you'll feel and be able to move. I tell my clients to come in as often as their budgets and schedules will allow -- even if that means receiving shorter sessions more frequently.

A long-term client of mine has lived with chronic pain for 40-years. She used to receive massage once a month, and the pain would come back long before her next session. She now sees me once a week and it has made a world of difference. (She calls me her "angel.")

The First Session:

Your comfort and well-being are important to me. We sit down at our first session to go over your health history. It's important for me to know if you have any conditions where massage might not be beneficial for you. If you have fibromyalgia or peripheral neuropathy, I may have to adjust my pressure or avoid certain areas altogether.

Speaking of comfort -- please know that you do not have to be nude, if that makes you uncomfortable. I will always step out of the room while you get on and off the table. I use sheets and blankets for draping so that you'll be covered except for whatever area I'm working on at the time. I also give sessions with clients remaining fully-clothed. My space is a "Judgement-Free Zone," so don't worry if you forgot to shave or have extra curves (or a lack thereof).

As far as a "menu" goes, I keep your options super simple: choose from a 30-, 60-, or 90-minute massage session. Depending on your goals, I will choose techniques that I think will work best for you.

One Thing I Don't Believe In: "No Pain, No Gain."

If your body is telling you that something hurts, this is your time to listen. When it comes to massage, if a practitioner pushes too deep, too quickly, your muscles will tighten up to protect themselves from further damage. Communicating with your therapist is very important! I promise that I won't be offended if you tell me I need to ease up -- or, conversely, to go ahead and push a little harder.

Some people actively seek out deep work, and that's fine -- so long as they make an educated choice. I can use deep pressure, but generally, this style is not my forte.

If you're looking for something more than therapeutic massage, my practice is not for you.

There's One Thing I Can't Do:

While I've been told that I have "magic fingers," I haven't been able to wave them around and make every ailment and ache disappear completely. Rome wasn't built in a day; your pain and dysfunction likely didn't develop in a day, either. Massage is very good at relieving pain symptoms -- sometimes for a few hours, up to a few days.

I'm not a doctor or a chiropractor -- I can't diagnose any conditions or prescribe medications. I will always point you in the direction of medical professionals if I find reason to.

After your session, I will encourage you to be gentle on yourself in the days ahead. Drinking water and getting rest are important for your body to heal. Sometimes your body may overreact -- prompting headaches, stomach aches, or flu-like symptoms. This shouldn't happen after every massage, but it does happen on occasion.

From there, find other ways to take care of yourself between sessions. Massage is good on its own, but it can be so much more effective when paired with stretching routines, exercise, and healthy habits. Use heat or ice therapy on the spots that are sore or stiff; topical analgesics like IcyHot are great to have on hand, too.

I am here for you if you ever have questions about massage. Whatever is holding you back from booking a session, I want to know about it! Get in touch with me!

Frequently Asked Questions

As adapted from the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals website:http://www.massagetherapy.com/learnmore/whattoexpect.php

Where Will My Massage or Bodywork Session Take Place? 
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

Must I Be Completely Undressed? 
Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped during the entire session.

Will the Practitioner Be Present When I Disrobe? 
The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet or towel.

Will I Be Covered During the Session? 
You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

What Parts of My Body Will Be Massaged? 
You and the practitioner will discuss the desired outcome of your session. This will determine which parts of your body require massage. A typical full body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. You will not be touched on or near your genitals (male or female) or breasts (female).

What Will the Massage or Bodywork Feel Like?
It depends on the techniques used. Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is often a baseline for practitioners. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.

Are There Different Kinds of Massage and Bodywork? 
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more. Ask the practitioner about the methods he or she uses.

How Long Will the Session Last? 
The average full-body massage or bodywork session lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.

What Should I Do During the Massage or Bodywork Session? 
Prior to the massage, feel free to ask the practitioner any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the massage, make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax, communicating if/when they need more or less pressure, another blanket, or anything else relevant to the session. If you have any questions regarding the session or about the particular technique you are receiving, feel free to ask the practitioner.

How Will I Feel After the Massage or Bodywork Session? 
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage.

What Are the Benefits of Massage and Bodywork? 
Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being.

Are There Any Medical Conditions That Would Make Massage or Bodywork Inadvisable? 
Yes. That’s why it’s imperative that, before you begin your session, the practitioner asks general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Your practitioner may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Buxton Hollis Historical Society Raffle || Oct. 1st through Oct. 15th

Starting October 1st and running through October 15th, I will be selling raffle tickets for three 30-minute massage gift certificates, with proceeds benefitting the Buxton Hollis Historical Society! You'll have the opportunity to purchase tickets in my office and at their Memorial Fountain Re-Dedication Event on the 15th.

For more information on the event and to RSVP, click here: https://www.facebook.com/events/647676762076609/

You can also purchase tickets through PayPal below! Remember, you can buy single tickets for $1 a piece, or $5 for a pack of six tickets. Winners will be drawn and announced the afternoon of October 15th.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"What Do You Have For Music?"

If bird songs don't leave you twitterpated or ocean waves don't float your boat, there are many, many more music options available through the Pandora Radio app. I use it to stream music from my phone or iPad.

If you've never used it before, you can create a free account and then start searching for whatever music you love: polyphonic chant, hang drums, Hawaiian Reggae, Christmas classics, basement jazz, Ed Sheeran, Annie Lennox -- the choices are nearly endless!

Pandora takes your music du jour and searches for artists and styles similar to it. Sometimes it'll find something absolutely wonderful -- and other times it misses the mark. You can "Thumbs Up" or "Thumbs Down" each individual track and Pandora will adjust your preferences on that station accordingly.

If you have your own music you'd like to listen to, I have a cord that plugs into my speaker and connects to the audio jack of your device. I can work to just about anything, and I tend to tune out the music after a while. Please speak up if you ever need me to change the station during your massage!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

"How do I contact you? When is a good time to call?"

I need to be honest -- I'm not a fan of phone calls. I have a difficult time both hearing and being heard, and sometimes I get tongue-tied when I'm put on the spot.

That's not to say that you can't call me at all, ever -- if something comes up and it's the quickest way for you to reach me, give me a call at (207) 370-4222. If I don't answer, I may be chasing small children or with a client, or I just plain missed it. You can also text me at that number!

As a general rule, I don't answer phone calls before 9:00am unless I know I have a client that morning, and I don't usually make or answer calls after 7:00pm. Like I said, I'm usually child-sitting throughout the day, so sometimes it takes me a while to respond.

I try to answer e-mails throughout the day, and it's the best way to get a long, thought-out answer if you have any specific questions. My e-mail address is located on my contact page. My Facebook page is listed there and throughout the site, but the Messaging feature should only be used as a last resort.

(I don't usually respond to smoke-signals or missives carried by swallows, regardless of regional preference.)

I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

"Where Should I Park?"

Oftentimes, when I arrive at the office, there are trucks parked out front by my door (the blue one facing 4A), so I will sometimes park out back. A few clients have been concerned about where they should park, so here are some handy-dandy photos to serve as your guide:

(Edit March 2, 2020: The parking spaces on the side of the Post Office are reserved for postal patrons and staff Monday through Friday, 7:00am-5:00pm, and Saturday, 7:00am to Noon.)

Between 6:00pm and 7:00pm, you may hear the rumble of a truck that pulls in next door to pick up the day's mail. Nobody wants to interrupt their massage to get up and move their car! So long as you keep the garage door clear, you should be fine.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bar Mills Bridge Closing 7/11/2016

In case you haven't seen it -- the Maine DOT now has a sign on Route 4A to warn drivers that the Bar Mills bridge will be closed for construction as of July 11. I haven't heard when it will be open again, but the whole project is due to be completed by summer of next year. (Bleh!)

Speaking of renovations, the exterior of my office space got a fresh coat of paint this week! The common areas inside the building have also been painted and given new carpet. (I actually had clients the day they were laying the carpet down -- whoops.)

After being in the space for three weeks, I have yet to find anything I can't live with. Some of the doors tend to slam and trucks pull up to pick-up mail from the post office, but I'd say it's still a good 80% quieter than the hair salon was. Everyone who has been in to see the space loves it!

Summer can be a crazy season for scheduling sessions, but I do have flexibility in the hours I can offer for massages. If you can't find a slot that works for you, give me a call and I'll look for some other options on my end!

Hope to see you soon!

-- Bethany