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Massage therapy — from arthritis to migraines, there’s a plan for relief

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Massage therapy — from arthritis to migraines, there’s a plan for relief

By Tribune Content Agency, CareerBuilder

By Erinn Hutkin

Jeff Muskovin’s job is most rewarding when a client has a “Eureka!” moment. The licensed massage therapist has watched a musician return to playing without pain, a marathon runner finish a race with a faster time and no injuries, and a couple with fertility challenges report they’re expecting.

Muskovin, 57, has a private practice in Evanston and also treats clients at Chicago’s Lakeview Athletic Club. He’s trained to understand and help correct pain, tension and circulation issues in the body’s soft tissues, including muscles and tendons.

He works six days a week, seeing 3-8 clients a day. Patients seek out Muskovin for everything from stress reduction and relaxation to relief from restricted movement. Many clients suffer from headaches and neck pain related to working on a computer. Muskovin sees many amateur athletes who need help with muscle injuries and overall conditioning.

“I get to meet interesting people every day, and I get to help make a difference in their lives,” said Muskovin, who trained at the Chicago School of Massage (now Cortiva Institute of Chicago). “Sometimes, it’s simply helping someone learn how to stretch properly after their long runs. Sometimes, it’s a more lengthy, complicated process of helping someone rehabilitate after a serious injury. I enjoy physical work, and I get plenty of that in this profession.”

In fact, said Felicia Tyler, owner of Universal Spa Training Academy, Downers Grove, because the job is so physically demanding, massage therapists can’t — and shouldn’t — work a 40-hour week. Most work 20-30 hours per week.

Some therapists work on contract for chiropractors, treating a certain number of clients per week. Those at day spas see clients for 60- to 90-minute sessions. Self-employed MTs treat clients in an office, at the client’s home, or in the therapist’s home. Universal Spa Training Academy grads have found jobs in health care facilities, hotels and spas, doctor’s offices, even aboard cruise ships, Tyler said.

“Massage therapy is a good career for people who like to work for themselves and have flexible hours,” she noted. “Also, all of your clients are happy to see you and so appreciative of your skills.”

Once licensed, therapists stay current on advancements in the field through continuing education. Reading trade journals and new massage textbooks is also important, as new discoveries are continually being made, Muskovin said.

“You can learn the basics in (about) a year. You’ll spend the rest of your career trying to master the details.”

Massage therapy isn’t just a luxury, Tyler said. It can reduce muscle stiffness and inflammation and improve circulation. It’s also good for people with sore muscles, arthritis, high blood pressure, stress and anxiety. Stress is at the root of many illnesses, Muskovin said.

Therapists can also learn specialized procedures to address fertility issues, digestive problems, breathing restrictions, headaches, tendinitis, joint dislocation and posture issues.

The job comes with challenges. Massage therapists must make clients feel safe and secure enough to be touched. Clients who have unanswered questions or don’t feel comfortable may not be satisfied with treatment, Muskovin said.

Because the work is physical, therapists must stay fit to avoid self-injury. They must also manage their time well to accomplish everything agreed upon within each session, and maintain relationship boundaries, with both parties respecting each other’s privacy.

Nicole Boeger, owner and founder of Radiant Life Massage Therapy, Naperville, said some male therapists have a difficult time starting out. Many men and women are more comfortable with a female therapist. However, some men question the strength of female therapists when it comes to providing effective deep tissue massage, Boeger said.

Massage therapy can be highly gratifying.

After a Swedish massage session, an 82-year-old woman once told Boeger she’d been to spas across the country, but that Boeger was by far the best therapist she’d ever had.

“Nothing can beat the feeling of accomplishment more than that. It’s at that point I know I’m doing something right,” Boeger said. “I live for those moments to help people feel radiant.”

Demand up as more people learn benefits

A massage therapist’s job involves using touch to treat clients’ injuries and enhance wellness. Treatment involves working the soft tissues of the body to relieve pain, help rehabilitate patients from injuries, improve circulation, ease stress and promote relaxation.

On the job, MTs typically talk with clients about their symptoms, medical history and desired results. They evaluate each patient to find painful, tense areas of the body; manipulate muscles or other soft tissues; provide guidance on stretching, strengthening and improving posture; and document clients’ condition and progress.

MTs can specialize in several different types of massage. Swedish massage — the most commonly thought of massage — uses five stroking styles. Deep-tissue massage is more vigorous and often helpful for those with injuries. Sports massage promotes flexibility, reduces fatigue, improves endurance, helps prevent injuries and prepares the body and mind for optimal performance. The type of massage used depends on a client’s needs and physical condition.

Educational requirements vary from state to state. Training is available in private or public postsecondary schools. In Illinois, a massage therapist must complete at least 600 hours of training at an approved school. At Tyler’s academy, students can complete the program in about nine months.

“Most states regulate massage therapy and require massage therapist to have a license or certification,” the BLS notes. Candidates must also undergo a background check, be fingerprinted and pass a national board test.

Many local schools offer massage training, including Universal Spa Training Academy, Downers Grove, and the Cortiva Institute, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and the Soma Institute, all in Chicago. For a full list, visit http://www.massageschool.org/search/illinois/chicago.html.

A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required for admission. Massage therapy programs typically include both classroom training and hands-on practice, covering topics such as anatomy, physiology (the study of organs and tissues), kinesiology (the study of motion and body mechanics), pathology (the study of disease), business management and ethics.

Most massage therapy schools have a student clinic open to the public at a reduced rate so students can get experience.

According to the BLS, in 2012, 44 states and Washington, D.C., regulated massage therapy. Not all states license massage therapists, but there may be regulations at the local level. In states with massage therapy regulations, workers must be licensed or certified after completing an approved program.

In May 2012, the median annual wage for massage therapists was $35,970, the BLS said. Most earn a combination of wages and tips. Most work part-time (only about 1 in 3 worked full-time in 2012). Most work by appointment, so schedules and work hours vary widely.

Employment is projected to grow 23 percent by 2022, the BLS reports. As more states adopt licensing requirements for therapists, massage is likely to become more accepted as a legitimate therapy to treat pain and improve wellness. Also, as more health care providers understand the benefits of massage, demand likely will increase as massage becomes part of treatment.

 

 

Read more on the Chicago Tribune

 

 

The Mindset of Successful People: Is Your Head in the Right Place?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

The Mindset of Successful People: Is Your Head in the Right Place?

By Angie Patrick

We all know them. The people who seem to breeze from one client to the next, one project to the next, one crisis to the next and always seem to come out on top. While many of us feel like there is a glass ceiling, an insurmountable hurdle, or feel fear in stretching our own bubble to try something new, there are those who seem to simply take any challenge and own it with gusto.  However, those people who seem to be a success in most of the things they do are not magicians, nor are they genetically predisposed to be successful and they aren’t simply lucky. Being successful is as much about how you think as it is about the actions you take to get there. I would like to share with you five things strong and successful people think about and live by.

The Past

Successful people do not dwell on the past. We all have things we have done or mistakes we have made that may have been anything from minor or catastrophic. You know the things I mean; like saying something you regretted the moment it was said. Then when you remember it, you find yourself right back in the same embarrassed state and relive it all over again. Successful people do these things, too. The difference is, they do not beat themselves up for it repeatedly. They acknowledge it, make the apologies, set it right and move on.

So you made a mistake in scheduling and it caused some undue angst for a client. Acknowledge the error, own it, make amends, compensate the client and move on. Don’t let the one instance of awkwardness or challenge wreck your relationship with the client. The true testimony of character for a person or a business is in how they manage a challenge. Learn from whatever led to the problem and make sure you do not repeat it. Success comes not from always being an ace, but from learning from the errors along the way. Chalk it up to experience. Be fair, be prompt, be humble, be honest; then take steps to correct the situation and let it go.

 Learning

Successful people never stop learning. It can be easy to feel set in your ways and do things the same as they have always been done because it’s easy. Some may even feel like they know all they need to know to get by and are not interested in seeking new horizons or reaching new goals. For these people, this idea may work however, success is not achieved by being complacent. The world in which we live changes every single day. From technology to techniques, people are out there working hard to do better, be better, make better goods, provide better service and offer more. Successful people stay informed of new ideas and advancements by being well read in their chosen profession, being involved in events that pertain to what they do and consistently educating themselves on new modalities, applications, equipment, supplies and trends. As the world changes and expands its knowledge, so must we in order to remain competitive, sharp and above all else, successful.

Goals

Successful people have clearly set goals and focus to achieve them. Being able to visualize your path is essential in preparing for success. Having a clear vision of what success looks like in your own eyes and maintaining focus on the steps you must take to get there is paramount in creating successful outcomes. Often, it is easy to get waylaid and deviate from the course. Sometimes that deviation cannot be avoided, after all life happens to all of us. The kids, the pets, the parents, the partner, the day-to-day business and more, all compete for your attention and focus. The key is to be able to come back to center and when these bunny trails come up you must be thoughtful, care for the needs at hand, but then return to the path you have set to reach the goal.

If your goal is to gain 50 new clients by June, then do the research and find the way that will work best in your application and then execute the plan. When setting your goals, stretch yourself some. Anyone can set a goal they feel they can easily achieve, however, pushing the envelope and going for more is cathartic! When you focus your mind, your actions and your energy on a task, you will indeed be surprised at how well you will do.

Fear

Successful people do not adopt the fears of others. Advice is great. In fact, advice from those who may have walked a few miles in the shoes you hope to be in is essential. Learning from others mistakes and taking the time to listen to their experiences and pitfalls can help you avoid making them for yourself. As helpful as positive advice and direction can be, you must also be wary of those who detract from the vision and embodiment of your goals. Inevitably, there will be those who may not want to see you succeed or are afraid you may achieve more than they have and want to stall you. There are those who may even want you to fail and they are quick to tell you your ideas have little merit or your efforts are pointless. These people may truly feel they have your best interests at heart however, many times, they are speaking from a place of their own fear. If after careful consideration, research, advice and initiative you have set about your path, then let no one impose their fears upon you. If you feel you are on the right path and that it is the path that fits YOU to get where you want to go, then it need not fit another’s expectations. I am not suggesting you block out anyone who has an opinion different from yours, but I am advocating placing the appropriate amount of importance to those ideas that detract from your goal.

Balance

Successful people find a work/life balance. Yes, it is possible to accomplish, despite all the reasons many say it is impossible. Many will say to be successful in business you must put business first, always. While this notion may have worked for some, often the trade-off is a lackluster or virtually non-existent personal life. Finding a way to place importance on both your work and your home life in equal measure is a skill you must try and master. After all, what is the point of gaining success if you have only that success with which to identify. There are times in which your business may need added attention. This is absolutely acceptable and expected. You may find it has become a problem when you find yourself working around the clock, missing family events and not being present for your family or for yourself. You must allocate the time required to solely focus on the goals of success, but also allow yourself the time to set it aside to enjoy your life outside work as well. You are more than your job, and while it is a hugely important part of your life, it cannot become all there is.

People find their own definition of success. Once you have given this thought, you will find what will make you feel successful. Don’t measure your definition by the definition of others. Find your own voice. Whether that is in business, home life, parenting, education, marriage, sports, fitness or whatever your heart desires, you can apply these five skills and they will undoubtedly help you in reaching the pinnacle you seek. Success is attainable for all of us and to recognize you are worthy and deserving is the first step.View more of Angie Patrick’s articles at Massage Today.

 

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Introducing Bubalina Natural Body Products

Friday, January 7th, 2011

A Mediterranean term of endearment, Bubalina is an appropriate name for a company that encourages nourishment and pampering of the skin. Bubalina products are natural, gluten free, made without parabens, and contain certified organic ingredients. All Bubalina products are also available in professional sizes for spa treatments.     

Bubalina Sugar Scrub                          Bubalina Massage Gel Oil                      Bubalina Shower Gel     

Shower Gel
In your shower or bath, use Bubalina Shower Gel as soap or bathe in our almost edible scents of fruits, floral, herbs and more. Glow with the natural ingredients that nourish and hydrate!

Body Sugar Scrub
Bubalina’s Body Sugar Scrub with natural extracts exfoliates gently and leaves skin spectacularly clean. Perfect as a scrub following Bubalina’s Bath and Shower Gel.

Professional Massage Gel Oil
Pumps out like a gel for ease of use and then melts into a warm, delicate, fragrant oil when put on the body. The organic jojoba oil helps condition the skin and the coconut oil aids in healing and repairing for lasting benefits. A small amount goes a long way!

Hand and Body Lotions
Pamper yourself! Soften and moisturize your skin after showering or throughout the day. Hand and Body Lotion is ideal as a moisturizer after showering or bathing, especially in conjunction with the bath and shower gels! Available in 8 oz and 1 gallon sizes.

Body Butter Crème
Bubalina’s rich and hydrating Body Butter Crème is perfect for keeping dry skin hydrated. Use after Bubalina’s Body Sugar Scrub for a pampering and moisturizing experience! Available in 6 oz and 1 gallon sizes.

Gift Sets
Perfect for any occasion, all are packaged attractively in a beautiful organza bag tied with ribbon and decorated with a charm. Gift sets include one 6 oz butter cream, one 2 oz body sugar scrub, one 2 oz hand and body lotion, and one 2 oz bath and shower gel.

All products are available in the following scents:

Wild Pomegranate
Rich with pomegranate seed oil and rooibos tea extract – excellent moisturizers rich in flavonoids and polyphenol anti-oxidants vital to health and well being

Dolcetto
Infused with ingredients like wild-crafted shea butter and high oleic safflower oil to highly moisturize and deeply soothe

Tropical Lime
Natural extracts of lime essential oils will rejuvenate – stimulating cell renewal while smoothing and softening your skin