Peace at Hand's Healing Blog

Peace at Hand Partners With The Yarn Spot

Posted on January 2, 2010 in: Events - Tags: events, seated massage

I'm excited to announce a partnership between Peace at Hand and The Yarn Spot, a new yarn shop in Wheaton, MD.  I'll be offering seated massage on-site at the shop, as well as teaching self-care and injury relief workshops for handcrafters.

If you live in the DC metro area and knit, crochet or spin, you owe it to yourself to stop by The Yarn Spot.  Its a bright, sunny, friendly place where I felt instantly at home, and they have a great, ecclectic selection of yarn and notions to boot.  Being able to spend time there while I do massage is going to be such a treat!

Any sort of handcrafting requires constant small, repetitive motions and if you knit or crochet, you probably know how it is to end up with a sore wrist, aching shoulder, or crick in your neck.  Or how about that tension that creeps in to your jaw and the base of your skull after a couple of really tedious rows of lace?  I'm convinced that you end the process with your shoudlers three inches closer to your ears.  I know how it feels, and I know where to look for knitter's knots.

The first seated massage event will be next Sunday, January 10th from 12:30 to 4:30.  Rates will be $20 for 15 minutes or $40 for a half hour.  To reserve a time, call The Yarn Spot at 301-933-9550.  Walk-in appointments will be taken as space is available.  The shop is located at the old Anchor Inn site, and is accessible by the Wheaton metro.

Come get a massage, check out a great shop, and sit and knit for awhile!  Can you think of a better way to spend a Sunday?

Gratuity for Massage Therapists?

Posted on January 12, 2010 in: FAQ - Tags: FAQ

I mentioned something offhandedly on Twitter today about my tips at the spa and quickly had at least half a dozen people admitting that they were lost when it came to tipping at spas, or that they hadn't realized they were meant to tip at all.  Here is a crash course in what you might need to know:

Where Should I Tip?

Gratuities are appreciated any time you are seeing a massage therapist at a location where you are not paying them directly for their services.  In a spa or salon environment, tips are probably not only appreciated, but expected.  In most cases, MTs working at those locations are giving a portion (often the lion's share) of the treatment's cost to the facility and count on tips to make up the difference.

You never need to tip a therapist at their private or group practice.  In those situations, they are charging what they believe their work is worth, and generally not paying out to anyone else.  It is also unnecessary to tip massage therapists working in a medical environment.

If you are receiving a massage at a training facility or clinic, be sure to ask about their tipping policy.  Also, be aware that students are never allowed to accept tips or payment for their services.


How Much Should I Tip?

The standard tip for a massage therapist (or any other spa/salon provider) is 20% of the treatment cost, though tipping 15% is not uncommon.

If you are receiving a treatment at a discounted cost--particularly if it is a steep discount, such as those offered through a service like Groupon--consider tipping based on the actual treatment cost and not the discounted price.


Don't get me wrong: I appreciate any gratuity a client leaves.  I respect that anything above and beyond the treatment cost is optional.  The trouble is that social convention dictates that clients leave tips for spa services and anymore, tips aren't a reward for exceptional service.  They're factored in to what service providers earn.  That means that when I'm given a small tip, I have no way of knowing whether the client didn't know any better or couldn't afford more, or if they are trying to tell me something.  If a client can't or doesn't want to tip me, that's fine and I don't think any less of them--I just wish I were able to find out if there was a reason.

Homework: Drink Your Water

Posted on January 30, 2010 in: Homework - Tags: water, advice, contest

There are three questions that I find myself asking my clients more than any others.  They are, in no particular order:

  • How much time do you spend in front of a computer? 
  • Do you stretch after you work out? 
  • How much water do you drink?

The answer to the first question, one hundred percent of the time, is: "Too much."  The answer to the second two questions, more often than not?  "Not enough."

I'll come back to the first two questions another day.  Today, I'm interested in water because I haven't been drinking enough of it.  Just as importantly, an arresting number of my clients don't have the first idea why their water consumption, or lack thereof, water might have anything to do with their tight shoulders, stiff joints, or even their headache or chronically dry skin.

Let's talk about that for a minute. 

Try to think back and remember the grade school statistic.  The human body is something like 60% water.  (Full disclosure: That number might be a little off.  I didn't look it up.  Its reasonably accurate, though.)  That's more than half.  Not only are we full of the stuff, but water powers everything we do, begining on a cellular leve.

Basic metabolism requires water in order to happen.  Our body takes in nutrients and our bodies use water to dissolve them and turn them in to something we can use.  Most of our organs are saturated in it.  The brain?  Close to 70% water.  The lungs are more like 90.  Most of our blood is water.  You can't argue that those things aren't all critical.

In the past few years, I've come across some articles arguing the fact that we need our 8 glasses of water a day.  They've claimed that just a few glasses is fine, that any beverage is fine, that if we eat well, we'll get plenty of hydration from the foods that we eat.  Some of my clients who find water particularly distasteful are quick to remind me of those articles.  Maybe they're right, but I just can't get behind the idea.

To me, its science.  Surely we can agree that different things have a different chemical structure.  Water's is unique, and when we drink something that isn't water, we process it differently and to a different effect.  The question of getting water from vegetables or soup or other areas of our diet is similar.  Sure, our bodies are getting water, but they are also using water to process the Other Stuff that its trying to get water out of.  Maybe drinking tea all day long is better for you than drinking nothing at all, and I would never argue that vegetables don't have a laundry-list of benefits, but I still think that water is key.

Obviously, I'm over simplifying here, but I think it helps to look at this on an extremely elementary level: Our bodies need water to function.  They need a lot of water to function optimally.  And most of us don't drink enough.  And when I say "enough," I mean at least 64 ounces a day.

If you're not a water-drinker, that sounds like a lot.  You're going to complain that its boring, that you don't like the taste, or that you'll be in the bathroom all day.  All that I can say to that is that I'm sorry, and that you and your body will learn to get used to it.  After awhile, you'll feel better.  You might have more energy or better skin or lose weight or get fewer headaches.

My goal for February is going to be to drink 8 glasses of water a day, and I'd like to try an experiment.  Will you help me out, and do your bodies a favor in the process?

Email me before February 14th and tell me that you're going to try drinking 8 glasses of water a day.  Also tell me how your body typically feels.  Really think about it.  Stiff?  Lethargic?  Dry? Headachey?  Drink your water for at least two weeks.  All your water--eight glasses a day.  Email me again at the end of the two weeks, and tell me whether or not you feel different.  At the end of the month, I'll randomly select one person and send them a gift certificate for a drink at Starbucks.  After two weeks of water, you'll deserve a caffeinated reward.