admin on May 21st, 2013

rain outside window

I have a few clients who have difficulty sleeping. Massage and especially reflexology helps, but I wanted to try to find some gentle natural “rain” sounds that would be good their home-life.

After spending a few hours listening to what Amazon has to offer in their mp3 store (I know most of you prefer mp3’s to CD’s), I have come up with what I think is going to be a useful list of tracks to consider.

 

Most are an hour or more in length and cost 89¢ – 99¢ for the entire track.

I’ve listed all of them in the ” ‘Rain’ Relaxation mp3’s ” section on a “Massage/Bodywork Related” site that I’ve created through Amazon (see link below), which should help you to access and compare them in a simple format.

 

When I get time, I’ll also add a section for ” ‘Ocean’ Relaxation mp3’s “, so feel free to check back often. :)
 
 
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99 centsFor anyone who is looking for “just mp3’s” that are “cheap-for-the-length-of-the-track”, each of the following links should take you to an Amazon list of all mp3’s in the given genre from longest to shortest song.  Many from the list start around 122 minutes for about 99¢.

 

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  5. Review: “Rain Dance” by: Rob Whitesides Woo
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  7. Review: “Caribbean Surf” by: Magic Moods / CD
  8. Review: Falling Water / Mist and Sand – Two Relaxation CD’s by Michael Strening Jr.

 

 

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admin on April 29th, 2013

Dental wipes are quite convenient when you need to “re-brush” your teeth quickly and without water or other supplies.

oral b brush upsI have used the Oral-B Brush-Ups on a number of occasions and really feel like they are a perfect asset to keep in the office. The package is basically flat and  2″ x 3½”, so they can virtually be stored anywhere; desk drawer, vehicle glove box, handbag, wallet, massage carry bag, etc.

I think they may be discontinuing these, although I am not sure, nor have I checked into that further. 

On the off-chance that these are discontinued, I have located a few other brands for those of you who may not have the Oral-B brand in your neighborhood.

I’ve also found:

 

 

 

Be careful!  They also make teeth wipes specifically for Pets and Kids.  Neither of which you probably want for your office.

 

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  3. What to Expect When Working for a Hotel Concierge Desk
  4. Should You E-mail Your Therapist When He/She Is On Vacation?
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  6. Japanese Massage by Shogo Mochizuki
  7. Draping Methods – Sheets or Towels
  8. Boundaries – The Hostile Client

 

 

 

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sew and sew company logoOVERVIEW

I am pleased to be writing this review of the face cradle covers from The Sew & Sew Company.

I was given the opportunity to take some time to look at and experience the “Smoothie Crease Free” face cradle covers over the past few months and now I feel I can properly write about them.

 

The “Smoothies” really are as good as they sound. 

The covers are sewn with a “rolling m” type shape that removes most any crease from the clients face (think about the King Ranch brand and then turn it upside down).

As a seamstress, I have been playing with the idea of creating a seamless cradle cover for many years.  They have figured it out.  And, it is a complicated enough and time intensive pattern, that I would rather purchase the cover than make it.  That’s saying a lot, because I can sew well and like to.  I don’t have an aversion to a complicated pattern, but I do have time constraints.  I really think it is worth the money to just purchase them from The Sew & Sew Company in this case.

Previously I created a blog post entitled – which mentions these cradle covers in passing:

 

So, although my main review is for the “Smoothies”, I have incorporated other information into this post, which will enable you to make a better decision for your practice and pocketbook.  My plan is to purchase a package of the “Smoothies” for the office.  And, after loaning this same “smoothie” face cradle to a massage therapist friend for more evaluation, she has decided to do the same. 

 

“SEW & SEW” FACE CRADLE COVER OPTIONS

 

The Draped Ultra Face Rest Cover:

    • Cut in a flat pattern which fully drapes over the massage table face cradle. 
    • It does not have any elastic and is finished in a flat zig-zag stitch around the edges.
    • Made in the USA, with 5 oz. double nap American flannel (unlike the lighter 3-4.5oz. flannel usually found). – Singles ~$2.95 / Multiples at a discount.
    • I know a few MT’s who prefer these kinds of drapes.  They are not for me, as I feel they leave some exposure to a face cradle that an elasticized option covers up.  I do honestly believe that in this instance it is just a personal opinion, as the cut itself does completely cover the top and sides of the cradle.

 

The Standard Ultra Face Rest Cover:

    • Sewn just like any other face cradle cover you see on the market, but with the important manufacturing stats noted (Made in the USA).
    • Made in the USA, with 5 oz. double nap American flannel (unlike the lighter 3-4.5oz. flannel usually found). – Singles ~$4.99 / Multiples at a discount.
    • This is the style of cover I have used for over 10 years.  I like the fullness of these cradle covers, but still don’t like the idea of the client getting creases on their forehead.

 

The Smoothies” “Crease-Free” Ultra Face Rest Cover:

    • Sewn with a “rolling m”.
    • Made in the USA, with 5 oz. double nap American flannel (unlike the lighter 3-4.5oz. flannel usually found). – Singles ~$5.99 / Multiples at a discount.
    • This is the style of cover I will now be changing my office over to.  I like the fullness of these cradle covers and found them to fit better than my current face cradle covers. Creasing to the clients forehead is non-existent, with just a very little amount that shows up on only a few clients cheeks.  My clients loved them! 

 

In the pictures below, I have tried to give you a topographical view of where the small “rolling m” sits once the cover is placed on the face cradle.  You will see that the “rolling m” drops down into the hole of the face cradle, so although the face sinks down, practically no markings are left behind on the client.  Of course some of this also has to do with the clients actual facial composition.  I did have one client who had a very small crease on her face above one cheek after a session with these. 

Figures 3 & 4 show the close up with and without demarcation lines.

 

crease free headrest entire without markings  crease free headrest topographical

Figure 1: Crease-Free Cover              Figure 2: Crease Free Cover Topographical

 

crease free headrest closeup without markings  Crease free headrest red line

 Figure 3: Crease-Free Close-Up    Figure 4: Crease-Free Close-Up with Markings

 

 

SEW & SEW” FACE CRADLE COVER COLOR OPTIONS

I also was able to view and test the natural and white colors.  My preference for cradle cover coloring is white, while my massage therapist friend I spoke of earlier, prefers natural.  This will just depend on how you like things in your practice.  Natural is the company’s best seller.

You may ask, “why” do I “prefer white”?  It is so I can bleach the cover if a client has mascara that won’t come out any other way.  But, these cradle covers passed my mascara test and it was easily removed with Oxy-Clean stain remover and a full load wash (I wash hot and dry hot, even though this is not what is recommended for flannel.  Instead you should: “Machine Wash Warm, Gentle Cycle, with like colors. Only Non-Chlorine Bleach when needed. Tumble Dry Low Setting, Remove Promptly.”).  My friend was able to get the mascara out of the face cradle she borrowed, with simple soap and water.

sew and sew face cradle coversMaybe you would prefer a real color instead of a plain one.  For those of you who have this preference, all of the face cradle forms that Sew & Sew makes, come in Natural, White, Sky Blue, Pastel Lavender, Sage Green, Forest Green.

These products really do speak for themselves.  The quality is exceptional, and they are considered to be the thickest cradle covers on the market.  They do not contain formaldehyde and are sewn extra-large to ensure a proper shrink to fit ratio.

I did not find any weird threads hanging out of the seams or wonky seams as if the seamstress or tailor was dozing off as they worked.  This is very important to me, as poor quality seam work is uncalled for.  There is no doubt that they will hold up for many years to come.

 

What else do I think you should know about The Sew & Sew Company?

  • Fabrics are not imported from overseas; meaning that all of the fabrics are subject to strict standards and are free from caustic/toxic container shipping. 
  • Close-Outs and Specials are listed on the website and you can join their e-mail list and receive messages about give-aways, discontinued products and upcoming/ongoing specials (e-mails are sent about four times per year).
  • Lower S&H rates due to the use of recycled boxes.
  • Concentration on quality and value; attention to detail.
  • They don’t like imported “junk” or the fact that many of the massage companies have started to cheapen the industry with inferior products.
  • They provide items for distributors and major massage table companies, but still allow the regular MT to purchase directly from them (this cuts out the middle man and saves all of us money).
  • Products are available to resale merchants and massage schools at wholesale prices.
  • They may be able to provide contract sewing, if you have a project and would like to discuss a volume order.
  • They support their local community by keeping their manufacturing business in the USA.
  • They care about your input.
    • Please call or write to them if you have a suggestion or need for an item.  They are interested in creating or finding a solution.
    • “If you have products that you would like to see, please call us at (541)496-3136. We would really appreciate your input!”

 

SEW & SEW” FLANNEL SHEETS

I also received two sample flannel “top” sheets from them in the face cradle cover review package.  Having never used flannel on my massage table, I have some input that I hope will be useful to others.

These sheets were really nice.  If you are in an area where you need something more “breathable”, but still like flannel, then you may like the Feather Soft sheets.  They are lighter weight, and you don’t get quite as warm. 

But, if you are in a cold climate, need a denser fabric or have very cold-natured clients, the Ultra Soft Flannel sheets are very substantial, warm and heavenly to the touch.  They also wash well.  The Sew & Sew face cradle covers are made of the same flannel as is found in these sheets.

Flannel sheets come in all of the colors listed above for the face cradle covers (Natural, White, Sky Blue, Pastel Lavender, Sage Green, Forest Green).

Difference between Feather Soft and Ultra Soft flannel sheets at a glance:

Feather Soft

    • Medium weight 3.8 ounce flannel.
    • Top sheet is 45″ x 94″.
    • Very soft, durable, and economical.
    • Feather Soft sheet is the economy sheet but still has the imports beat by a mile.

Ultra Soft flannel

    • Premium full 5 ounce flannel.
    • Top sheet is 58″ x 94″.
    • “We know of no other flannel massage sheet that compares in feel and plushness, and strength.”  

 

I think as massage therapists we’re all looking for “Stuff That Works” (song by Guy Clark) and The Sew & Sew Company is a prime example of a business that produces quality products.  They aren’t the type that is going to produce something that lasts “just until the warranty runs out”.  

I hope you’ll order a set of “Smoothie” face cradle covers soon!  :)

 

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  8. My Pandora Stations

 

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admin on April 9th, 2013

delivery of docsYou may never think about this until it’s too late.  But, it makes sense to get some sort of employment/service verification form from anywhere you have taught classes in the past.

Don’t wait until it is too late and the school has closed (which happens more times than not, with small independently owned massage schools).

I never even thought about this until recently when I considered applying for a summer teaching job at a local college (Biology – which I thought might be fun to teach again). 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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admin on April 6th, 2013

thumbtack iconIf you haven’t seen it yet, there is a company called “Thumbtack” which generates “leads” via e-mail for different businesses.

I have spent 9 months testing this service.  I have not found it to be a valuable resource for Massage Therapists.  Although, someone else may have another experience.

Below is some information I wrote at the BodyworkOnline.com forums in regard to my personal experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

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admin on April 2nd, 2013

networking

 

A few years ago I tried to create a networking group in my city.  This is the information I wrote up, in case anyone else wants to use it (or build a unique version based on this) for their own community. 

If nothing else, maybe it will give you a few ideas.

Networking among like-minded people.
 
What “<name of my group>” Is All About
 
 
Greetings!
 
I have established this page in order to form a group of bodyworkers and movement therapy practitioners who are interested in continuing to build their client base along with having others to confidently refer clients to during moments of need.

For example: “Maybe you have a new client who has found you, but wants a massage today or tomorrow. Why not refer them to someone in the group, instead of chancing that the new client who does not know your business practices, schedules an appointment with you next week – only to call back three hours later and cancel because they found someone else willing to take them sooner? It’s a win-win for everyone involved. The client gets *good* bodywork (from a known entity); the client appreciates your willingness to help and remembers you kind act; and the practitioner you referred the client to now has an opportunity to refer the client back to you when they see the client. Maybe the client will return to you and maybe not, but one way or the other everyone involved wins.”
 
Try this one on for size: “You are great at what you do, but just can’t seem to break through with a particular client. The referral group allows you a few options of people you know who will be there for the client, who don’t cancel appointments on a whim and who may have some other tools in their toolbox that will be beneficial. Again, a win-win.”
 
And, here’s an important one: “You have a client who you feel is a great client, *but* your energies just don’t “match”. Why not refer to another competent therapist from our little independent group?”
 
What if you have a client who needs some Pilates, Yoga or Feldenkrais work? Problem solved.
 
We’ll have a great group of dedicated practitioners to refer to.
 
Why? Because we are interested in having people who aren’t *just* teachers, but excellent at their craft, as part of our group! :)
 
Dues?
There aren’t any.
 
 
Weekly networking events that take up too much time in a busy schedule?
I don’t think so!! We only try to meet once a quarter in order to visit, catch up and find out what’s new.
 
 
Morning breakfasts?
Only if we agree on it. Lunch and dinner seem to be better for many therapists schedules, don’t they?
 
 
Won’t you consider referring two or three therapists into our network? Maybe someone who has a specialty?
 
My goal is to have about 15 bodyworkers when it’s all said and done.
 
Will you join me?
 
Recently I ran across some information about a bodyworker who has an occasional “Massage Share” event at her office for a few therapists to come together for a half-day to work on each other.  They may try out new techniques, talk shop and/or trade sessions.  I think it’s a great idea! 
 
 
 
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Referral headerI refer to others on a weekly basis and have found a number of people who I trust for different styles of bodywork, additional aspects of health care, movement therapy, exercise, PT, etc. 

I also keep cards for a certified picture framer, a few good mechanics, a clothing cleaner, an alterations group and a podiatrist – just to name a few.

When I have a new client who can use the services of any of these individuals, I will give them one of their cards. If I have a client who is new to the city/area, I automatically pick out a number of business cards of “people I like” and give them to the new person, so that they at least have some good people to reference until they find a fit for their needs.

For example: A few weeks ago I had a new client who moved to my city from Atlanta, GA. When her session was complete, I gave her cards for Pilates, Yoga, a good Orthopedic and a good Mechanic.  I also called her back a few days later with information on a good OB/GYN which she had asked about. I know if I am new to a place, any referrals which are known entities are going to help me out, so I try to do the same for others.

Not everyone refers back to me as often as I refer to them, but I feel it is a benefit to the client. The client knows I am looking out for their best interest. If another practitioner chooses to do the same regarding my work, then it is a bonus.

 

Referral Cards

 

Recently, I have re-introduced an old system I used to have implemented in my office many years ago.  I like it and it works well.    I have created both a  “Referral” &  a “Thank You” card on Vistaprint (see picture below).  Along with providing necessary information in an easy manner, it also serves to keep my name in front of the people I refer to/receive referrals from  most frequently.

A Referral - card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You - card 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also search Amazon for “Thank You” and “Referral” cards or even *blank* notecards, here, if you don’t want to make your own:

 

 

Try adding new referrals today, your clients will love you for it!

 

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admin on March 31st, 2013

Somehow my “widgets” haven’t been showing up like they should.  But, I think I’ve fixed the problem, and once again you can sign-up in the lower portion of the right side-bar, to get included in the monthly mailing list.   

Once a month we’ll drop you a line with the ten most recent articles that have been written, in case you missed them.

Nothing spammy, just a few links as to what’s been written with the first few lines of the article so that you can decide if you want to click on it or not (see photo below).  You can remove yourself from the list at any time.

I am very understanding of privacy preferences, so I’ve made it so that you can you can sign up with your own or any other initials you choose.  

Simple, easy and convenient.  Feel fee to join in today.

G-Lock Opt In

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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admin on February 28th, 2013

folded sheetsSo, how do you recycle your sheets?  Do you think it’s worth it to take the time to re-purpose them?  Or, would you rather just toss them?

I donate mine to the local animal shelter. 

But, I’ve also made a casing and filled it with cut scraps for a rather large dog my parents have.  And, a while back I took an old blanket,  cut it into 4 equally sized pieces, seamed the edges and then sewed it with a plus shape in the middle (looked like this: +) and gave it to my cat for her to sleep on.  She loves it because she can “make biscuits” and knead the external portions of the stacked blanket pieces to her heart’s content, but the center always stays perfectly in place.  Read the rest of this entry »

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