Valentine’s Day Treats for Your Sweetheart

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It’s almost Valentine’s day! Are you still trying to find an gift idea for your sweetheart? How about a completely relaxing 30 minute chair massage wherever they may be?
I travel anywhere in the metro Atlanta and at any workplace or venue. You don’t have to worry about a thing! Plus if you schedule by the 10th your sweetie will get a free spa gift along with their massage!

Email bethcruzlmt@gmail.com to schedule

A New Change For A New Year

 My career as a massage therapist has been blessed with many people and many chapters. As 2013 comes to a close so does another chapter in my journey in massage.
     Starting January 1, 2014, I will no longer be taking on new clients for table massage at home. I feel that my journey as a massage therapist has always been to introduce and help as many people as possible to massage as I possibly can and it has been my experience throughout 2013 that I am able to meet this goal through my chair massage practice. I am very grateful for all of you who have journeyed with me this year and I hope to see you and work with you again in a chair massage capacity.
     I will be offering chair massage in a variety of settings, such as:

– Corporate Settings
– Guest Services in Upscale Hotels
– Health Fairs
– Employee and Customer Appreciation 
– Medical Offices
…and many more!

If you would like more information and a quote for an event please feel free to email me at bethcruzlmt@gmail.com

October Wellness – Day 18 – Massage

October Wellness – Day 18 – Massage. This blog post is from a wonderful blog I stumbled upon while researching this past weekend. Kudos to her for taking a month for her health. If you’d like to see how the rest of her month goes please head over to A Woman’s Lifestyle blog at the links below. Enjoy her article! (It was too good not to share 🙂 )

Continue reading

No Stress Wedding Planning

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I know firsthand how stressful planning a wedding or special event can be! You have vendors, appointments, fittings, payments, scheduling, coordinating with your family and wedding party, gifts for special persons, showers and get togethers. If you are finding yourself in the same position I was in then(STRESSED!) I have a fun and unique solution for you: What if you could take care of at least two of those things on your list in one event? Well, you can!

Why not have your bridal shower also be your “thank you” to your family and bridesmaids? Or, why not make your bachelorette party extra special by adding 15-30 minute table or chair massages or a mini massage bar with aromatherapy? It’s a thoughtful, simple and RELAXING way to treat yourself and those closest to you during one of the most exciting chapters of your life. There are many options for using massage therapy for your event that can fit any budget. If you’d like to customize a massage service or would like more details please contact me by emailing:

bethcruzlmt@gmail.com

“Oh My Aching Neck!” – Part 2

Finally, the much awaited part 2 of the series! Ok so during Part 1 of “Oh My Aching Neck” we talking about posture and what sort of strategies we can use to counteract bad posture and neck pain that results from it. In this post we will talk a little more on the “What can be done?” instead of the “How and Why” of neck pain and tension.

First and foremost, I would encourage you to check out the “Home Care” page if you already have not. That is where I direct most people who don’t have much time or want to try something simple and relaxing at home. If you have already visited there or would like to try something more keep reading below. I will be addressing two areas; the ones I am most familiar with and have seen the best effects.

Stretching

First, there is stretching. It does take some time but if you do it first thing in the morning or right before bed, trust me, if makes all the difference. I prefer the morning so it gets your blood flowing and encourages you to breathe and start your day on a good, healthy note. There are some very good and simple stretches for your neck that you can see below. If you feel motivated, stretching your back and shoulders is helpful as well since they are connected and are the foundation of your neck and head.
When stretching always remember to b-r-e-a-t-h-e. Breathing has been shown to relax the body and mind. Holding your breath only encourages your muscles to tense more. Secondly, do not stretch to pain! Stretch until it feels good and relaxing and you can push a little further each time if you’d like a deeper stretch. The point is to relax muscles, not tear them.
Below are a few images of stretches that help alleviate tension in the neck, head and upper back.

Neck Stretch

neck stretchy

Massage At Home

While it is ideal that you see your favorite LMT for a great massage to work out those specific aches and pains, we understand that you can’t always make it to see us. Massage at home is a great way to help work through some tension and soreness when you’re in a pinch (literally and figuratively!). Below are some tools and short videos that show how you can do some simple massage techniques at home.
The first tool that I use at home is a Thumbby. The Thumbby is great because it is basically like a detachable thumb. It’s slightly softer than a human thumb but the same width and you can use it to pinpoint sore spots at the base of the skull, upper traps and in between your shoulder blades very effectively. An added bonus is you can also stick it to a wall and lean against it. Perfect for those spots you can’t reach on your own. As a LMT I use this regularly. If you can’t find/afford a Thumbby I have had clients tell me they also use tennis or lacrosse balls that work well too. Click on the picture below for purchasing information.

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My second favorite product is Nelly Herbal Neck Wraps (they also have larger packs for the back or eye packs as well). Nelly packs are great because not only do they have herbal benefits, they are also aromatherapeutic. Lavender, Chamomile, Vanilla, Spearmint, Eucalyptus and others make the pack not only relaxing but also invigorating. Great for headaches, neck tension and sinus congestion. The reason I love these packs more than others is because of the ability to be heated for moist heat (what most neck problems need) and to be put in the freezer. This makes the pack great for inflammation, acute injuries, chronic injuries, tension, a great way to relax after using a Thumbby or getting a massage or just a nice after work treat.

nelly pack

By no means are these meant to be cure-alls for all neck pain. If you’re experiencing pain longer than a week please seek the advice of the health professional of your choice. If your pain is out of the scope of your favorite LMT’s experience they should be able to recommend someone to you who can help. If you live in Georgia I am happy to help or recommend you to someone who can. The reason I posted these options above is from my education in training as a Licensed Massage Therapist and from my personal experience and experience with my clients. For more information on relieving muscle pain and tension please see the Home Care page on this website. If you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to leave a comment on this post or email me at bethcruzlmt@gmail.com. I am happy to help you anyway I can! Enjoy the post and I’d love to hear your feedback.

Tipping Made Easy: All Your Questions Answered

I’ve had a few clients ask me about tipping recently (whether they should tip, how much, etc.) and I found this great article from Deepreliefmassagetherapy.com from another fellow therapist. I believe she has explained it beautifully and simply. I would love to get your feedback on this article whether this was helpful to you or not. Also, she is so very right when she says that reviews and referrals are truly the BEST tips you can ever give us! Thank you! And please go visit her site: www.deepreliefmassagetherapy.com

“People are often unsure about this whole tipping etiquette thing. And there are a lot of opinions among clients and massage therapists. There aren’t any real clear cut answers for this very common question. I am going to do my best to help clear up any confusion.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is where are you getting your massage? And is your massage therapist working for someone or is a renter? Why does this matter? Well if you are getting a massage in a spa setting most of the time the massage therapist is an employee and is making 40 – 50 % of the service, plus a commission if product is sold. In that type of setting it is very common to tip about 20% of the service. And in the more high end spa’s your tip is already added into the bill. But to be very clear you should pay what you feel comfortable paying for a tip. If your service wasn’t a good experience then you shouldn’t tip and make sure you bring up your concerns to the manager.

In a more medical setting such as a chiropractic office, the massage is seen as a medical service and in those types of cases tips are generally not given. When people get a massage for a chronic medical condition they tend to see their therapist often. Not all medical office are strict about the no tipping policy, if you feel you have had great results from your therapist and want to give a tip, just ask what is the tipping etiquette policy. If you can’t give a tip referrals are always a great gift too.

Then we have the massage therapist/business owner. Most massage therapists who are business owners generally charge enough for their services so clients don’t need to worry about a tip. A monetary tip is appreciated, but never required. We just love it when a client rebooks and sends their friends in for a massage. That’s the best tip of all. A nice candle or homemade goodies always make my day. I have lots of wonderful treasures that clients have given me over the years and I enjoying looking at them every day.

I hope that clears up some tipping etiquette confusion. At the end of the day the best tip is always a referral or a glowing review on a site such as Yelp. Constant business is what helps keep your favourite massage therapist in business.”

Help Your Back While Helping Others

July is going to be a very special month at Beth Cruz, LMT. This month, I would like to express gratitude to those who have worked very hard to ensure that we all have the opportunity to speak and live freely. From service men and women, to civil rights activists, social workers, counselors, humanitarians, etc. we all owe their hard work and passion a huge “thank you”.

During the month of July, 25% of all services purchased with me will go directly to RAINN. RAINN is an organization which aims to “prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure[s] that rapists are brought to justice.” In my line of work sexual slavery and abuse is a real and urgent issue. It is something I would like to bring your to attention and educate you so we can give back in a real and tangible way.

As a way of expressing my gratitude to a very special organization that has grown dear to my heart, I would like to set aside a call to you this month.

Please tell EVERYONE you know about this special during the month of July! I would love to be able to give back as much as possible and tell others about this great organization. You can learn more about RAINN, their programming, education and how they use their funding at www.rainn.org. 

If you would like to learn more about human trafficking’s impact on the profession of therapeutic massage and our society, please see “Hiding In Plain Sight” by Heather McCutcheon.

Farmer’s Market Fridays!

Tomorrow is another Farmer’s Market Friday!! Will you be joining us? We hope to see you there for more great food, friends and fun. What’s in store this week?

  • Chair Massage by donation (part of your donation goes straight back to the market to help fund healthy and affordable food for everyone in our community)
  • Free, cold bottled water! Stay hydrated and cool on the first day of summer in Atlanta
  • The chance to win a free 30 minute massage! Just put your name and email in the jar. Drawing will be held July 19th.

Come out and see us and the rest of the vendors at Truly Living Well Community Urban Agriculture Market!

Every Friday from 2-7pm

75 Hilliard Street
Atlanta, GA 30312

(please keep in mind Auburn Ave is closed for Atlanta Street Car Construction but Irwin St. is open)

“Oh My Aching Neck!”

As any LMT will tell you, the most requested area to massage is the neck and shoulders. Without a doubt you feel tension or pain there too. Because this is by far the most requested area to receive work I thought it would be helpful to address this issue with a series on neck and shoulder issues, discussing posture and ergonomics, and what we can do to help alleviate some of it. Let’s start  out this series by discussing posture. Continue reading