Kick some Cancer Booty!

Gulley Park Trail
Gulley Park Trail

Last night I went for a run at Gulley Park.  I used to run there regularly, so it’s like visiting an old friend when, like yesterday, I got to run it after so long being away.

Running is like church.  When I’m running I feel like I could fly, and sometimes I do run with my arms raised like a bird.  Yes, I’m that crazy lady on the trail, but I don’t care because it feels so damn good.  There is so much joy and gratitude in being able to run outside in January here in Arkansas.  Our weather is so erratic in the winter that it will be 60 and sunny one day and 20 degrees the next.  So we grab the good days when we can and fly with them.  It feels amazing and I’m so grateful to be able to run, grateful that my body has allowed me at this point in my life to be able to feel that joy.  The exhileration is priceless.  Immeasurable.  Beautiful.

I was listening to the John Butler Trio radio station on Spotify.  Let me just take a detour and say that Craig has been telling me about the John Butler Trio for years.  We will be listening to them and every time I ask him, “Who is that?  I really like them.”  And he patiently answers, “The John Butler Trio.  You ask me that every time.”  I finally got the message and played them voluntarily on my own for the first time yesterday.  As I listened to the John Butler Trio and ran up the hill next to the pine trees with all the young lovers giggling in their double hammocks together, breathing the cool air deep into my lungs for that sweet burning sensation that I love, and that feeling of my body burning with effort, I thought about my friend Eileen who just started her first rounds of chemo on Friday.  She runs too.  But she can’t right now because she needs to take a break and let her body kick some serious cancer booty.

I know she is in good hands.  She has a great team of nurses helping her, a great doctor, and an amazing and supportive husband and beautiful family, not to mention a supportive community.

In my joyful, exhilerating, and grateful run I am intentionally lifting Eileen up to a space where she can tap into that joy and exhileration and heal her body.  This is church.  And yes, if you see me lifting my arms like a bird when I’m running you might think I’m crazy, but I don’t care because in my own way I’m lifting Eileen up so that she can soar.   And no, Episcopaleans aren’t known for lifting up their hands during a service, but I think they’d appreciate the sentiment of surrender, acceptance, and grace.  We are gratefully and joyously receiving the blessing that is this life, this breath, this moment.

She’ll be done with chemo in July and hopefully back running again soon.  In the meantime I hope to be able to keep lifting her up in my practice till she can get back on the trail and do it herself.

With gratitude

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, entrepreneur, student nurse tech at a local hospital, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 22 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health. 

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Make That Phone Call…479-251-7422

It’s been a whirlwind shutting down the spa.  So many people dropped by while we were getting rid of things, moving things, and cleaning up.  It has been wonderful to connect with you all one last time at the spa, and heartwarming to see all the people reaching out to connect and share how much they loved coming to I.M. Spa.

I have always felt grateful for my ability to connect with people at the spa.  Grateful that people allowed me the honor of connecting with them on that level.  There is no other job on the planet where you can give another human your undivided attention for a whole hour in that way, providing a supportive environment on the table for release and healing.  A special thank you to all the people who intentionally did business with us consistently and unwaveringly throughout the years.  You know who you are.  We would not have been able to have such a stable business for 10 years without your support.  So much gratitude!! Thank you for being such an important part of my life.

I have so many things I want to do now.  You can follow me on my new adventures by putting your email address in the ‘subscribe’ box on the upper right hand corner of this blog.

So, if you have not already heard, Fiddlehead Fern Therapeutics is taking over our client load.  Many of you will remember Jesse Lynn from the earlier days of I.M. Spa.  She did the first mobile spa party for 10 women with me 10 years ago.  OMG that was sooo much work preparing for that, making sure that we had everything we needed to pull that off seemlessly.  Both of us were nursing babies at the time, her son Rubin and my fourth son Ben.  I know she and her colleagues at the Fern will take good care of you.  All you have to do to make an appointment is call our phone number 479-251-7422.

Linay Walker was new to our staff this year.  She gave an amazing and therapeutic massage and had quite a following.  She can be found at  Santos Chiropractic where they offer a $50 one hour massage and an $80 hour and a half massage:

Santos Chiropractic (479-464-4413)
1706 SE Walton Blvd., Suite 6
Bentonville, AR 72712

 

Lisa Fogel has been our acupuncturist for years and years.  I love her.  I especially love how she is just as nerdy about acupuncture as I am about health and massage.  She is always sharing articles with me of research on the effectiveness of acupuncture.  So great. Her new office is:  479-435-3901

 Fayetteville Acupuncture

2013 Green Acres Road, Suite D,

Fayetteville, AR 72703 (Gray Building behind Enve Salon)

Nora has worked with me for almost 10 years and she is in the same boat as me physically.  She has decided to retire from massage therapy because of pain related to practice.  She has touched so many people and will be greatly missed.  I love getting massages from Nora.  Trading days were good days, though there were not as many as their should have been.

The Breast Center scooped up our fabulous Natalie.  You will probably see her when you go for your biannual breast mashing.  She will be helping women dealing with breast cancer which is a huge thing.  We’re really fortunate to have such good people on that mission over at the Breast Center.

Thank you for your patience with this transition.  The community has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive, and always I feel so fortunate to live with all of you here in Fayetteville.  We really have a great community y’all.

Love, love, love,

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, student nurse tech at a local hospital, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 22 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health. 

 

 

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The New Normal

We have startling news for everybody about I.M. Spa.

In July I was playing catch with my son Ben in the city pool with a waterlogged ball and it jammed my finger.  The thing never healed and in November I went to get it X-rayed because it seemed ridiculous that it wouldn’t have healed in that amount of time.  VA health care is amazing.  They X-rayed my finger in all possible directions and called me in November with the verdict.  Arthritis.

At first I was like hm.  That sucks.  And I went back to work thinking nothing more of it.

In the next couple of weeks I noticed that all my fingers ached.  They felt like the had gum or taffy around the joints, my hands ached when I did massages, and I was having pain with everyday use.  Playing volleyball with my boys jarred my fingers, Whenever Craig would squeeze my hands, a loving gesture, it surprised us both when I yelped in pain.  Opening jars in the kitchen was a challenge.

It took me a while to comprehend what having arthritis in my fingers meant to me in the grand scheme of things.  I have discovered that it means I can no longer practice massage therapy. Yes, my doctor had to tell me this before I got the hint, especially since doing massage for 22 years caused the problem to begin with.

This is the new normal.

So, I.M. Spa had just started renovating the new space for expansion.  We were adding a yoga studio and an extra treatment room, as well as building in plans to expand and include a smoothie bar when my life wasn’t so complicated with nursing school.  We had just bought $350 worth of body wax and thousands in Eminence products.

Towards the end of December it was clear that there was no other decision to make.  We had to close I.M. Spa.

What does this mean to you if you are a client?  We are in the process of negotiating a new home for our clients.  You don’t need to worry about using your gift certificates.  There will be a place for you to go, but because this happened so fast we are still navigating that territory.  When we get it sorted out (within the next couple of weeks) we will give you detailed instructions.  You should be able to simply call the same number and book an appointment in the new location.

If you currently have an appointment you will be rescheduled.  It’s going to be okay.  We anticipate having a ton of phone calls in reaction to this information.  I would encourage you to wait a couple weeks to call  (Mid-January) while we find a home for you.  If you feel like you can’t wait, then please leave a detailed message when you do call.

I feel very fortunate for being able to touch people the way we have been able to with I.M. Spa.  I have worked on this business for 10 years and it has been amazing.  Our clients are fabulous, a wonderful network of extended family that I will miss immensely.

Building this business has taught me so much.  I have learned that I have tremendous stamina and drive (enough to crush the cartilege in between my finger joints :).  I have learned to do accounting, marketing, managing, human resources, retail (not the favorite), and conflict resolution.  I have learned how tremendously difficult it is to be a small business owner and I love our community of small business owners in downtown Fayetteville.  They exist because you consciously choose to support them.  I have learned that I love helping people, and no matter where I end up, I know that that is what I want to do.

If you know anybody who needs an awesome, organized, reliable, loyal, good tempered problem solver let us know, because sweet Natalie needs a job now.  She definitely gets stuff done!  Don’t have them contact me unless they plan to pay her well and take good care of her because she deserves it.

Thank you for supporting I.M. Spa for the past 10 years.  And keep an eye out for our next newsletter!!

Love, love, love,  and Happy New Year!!                                                                                                                                                         Wendy

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, student nurse tech at a local hospital, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 22 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health. 

 

 

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Gratitude and Abundance!

It has been almost 2 years since my husband Craig and I both decided to go to nursing school full time.  At the time I didn’t think there was any way possible for me to continue with I.M. Spa and be in school full time, and I am grateful every day for the opportunity to keep walking into our space and connecting with our community through health and massage.  I’m grateful to our staff because they truly are the ones who have made it happen.

 

We’re also grateful to you. Without you choosing to get massage, facials, acupuncture, and waxing at I.M. Spa we would not be here. Thank you for choosing I.M. Spa for your bodywork needs.  I’m so honored every time I walk into a treatment room that I get to share that space with this community.

 

I am busier than I have ever been at this point in my life. I work with I.M. Spa, I go to nursing school full time, I have a part time job at the VA as a student nurse tech to get experience, and I have 3 of my 4 kids at home doing everything they do.  Thank goodness we have such an amazing community helping us out. Friends helping pick up our kids from school when we’re in class, friends helping kids get where they need to go, community everywhere supporting us all along the way.  You know who you are :). Fayetteville is an amazing place and I can’t imagine making it through without this beautiful combination of people in our community.  We’re so grateful.

 

I’m really looking forward to getting done with nursing school in May of 2016!  What a relief that will be!  We’ll have to have a party!

 

There are some exciting changes in the works for I.M. Spa.  We are moving to Evelyn Hills (next to Ozark Natural Foods, Uncle Sam’s, Cardamom & Curry, Treasures from Africa, and Handmade) and expanding to include a yoga studio. Downtown has been good to us. We are looking forward to more great neighbors, great parking, a place for you to drop off your kids while you get a facial or do a yoga class (Arkadia), and continuing doing what we do best.

We’ll keep you posted as the transition happens. We’ll be on Block Street till the beginning of January. And then we’ll have a big party in the new space!!  In August we will have been on Block Street for 6 years! Hard to believe.  It has been a sweet time.
Thank you for continuing to support I.M. Spa!  We look forward to serving you. It’s a favorite.
Love, love, love,
Wendy Finn
Schedule a massage, facial, acupuncture, or wax appointment at I.M. Spa:  479-251-7422
Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, student nurse tech at the VA hospital, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422
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Father’s Day Foot Massages

It’s that time of year again.  Time to honor our father’s for their contributions to our lives.  Whether it’s with time fishing or a hiking date, time in the spa for a foot massage date with your dad, I hope you are able to connect with your dad this Father’s Day, the 21st of June (which also happens to be the Summer Solstice).

My dad has passed, but he was a troubador, traveling all over the states, playing music, sleeping at friends houses and in a camper on his truck on the way.  I wouldn’t hear from him for months sometimes and then one of my friends would have what we called an “Ed sighting.”  Somebody had seen him at a festival or some town along the way, Luckenbach, Kerrville, Mexico, Cody, or somewhere in New Mexico or Arizona and they always went out of their way to tell us about it.  It was a pretty good system.

I was at the bank last week and ran into an old friend, Josh, who has a deep appreciation for my dad.  I hadn’t seen Josh in a few years.  We hugged and he started to tell me a story about coming home one day to a hand written card attached to a CD of my dad’s music.  The card said, “a wind blew through while you were gone.”  It was a reference to a song that my dad had gotten some recognition for called, “A Wind Blows Through West Texas.”  It was the first “Ed Sighting” we have had for a while.  My dad was a character.  A charismatic performer and story teller.  I’m so glad when people remember him to me.

Do you have a good memory of your dad to share?

Call to make a foot massage appointment with the Dad in your life: 479-251-7422

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

 

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Black Raspberries from a Good Friend

Where are the Berries?

Gina's Raw Food Birthday Cake!
Gina’s Raw Food Birthday Cake!

A friend of mine called me up and asked me to come help her make a raw food cake for her birthday.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a friend’s birthday than to do it playing in the kitchen together.  And besides, it’s a berry time of year.  Strawberries, blueberries, black raspberries.  Berries.

We used a recipe from “Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Essentials.”  But we had to modify it to make it work for us.  Here is the original recipe:

  • 3 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Medjool dates
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp agave

All this is processed one ingredient at a time in the food processor.  We discovered that walnuts are very oily and needed to counteract that so we added enough almond flour to dry it up and give it a better texture.  For the filling we used Ani’s original recipe:

  • 2 cups fruit (Gina chose lemons)
  • 1/2 cup agave

Whizzed up in the blender.  Once again our sauce was too liquid, not like a cake filling at all.  So we added psyllium till the texture was more like a pudding.  One of the cool things about psyllium is that it is great for the digestive tract and is used in the medical industry as fiber for the GI tract.  We added whole raspberries to the sauce and sprinkled the top with shredded coconut.  Super Yum for my beautiful friend on her birthday!

 

Where do you get berries in Northwest Arkansas?

Strawberry cake for another day
Strawberry cake for another day

As an add on to this tribute to berries, a friend of our family’s whom we have known for years came by the other day and brought us Black Raspberries (yes, that’s a thing).  She said the birds planted them in her yard.  How cool is that?

Black Raspberries from a Good Friend
Black Raspberries from a Good Friend

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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Line out the door at Block Street Records

Mother’s Day Local Shopping Guide!

Mother’s Day is coming this Sunday!  And you already know that the best thing you can get the moms in your life is a Gift Certificate and a Gift Basket from I.M. Spa.  I can’t tell you how many women come in to the spa and say, “I keep telling them to get me a massage, but they never remember.”

But you may not know about some other awesome local businesses in the area that would be perfect for your mom’s day presents.  For instance, there is a Mother’s Day tradition here in Northwest Arkansas at Chotkowski Gardens where you can walk through the peony gardens from 1 to 4p.m.  Every year I see the invitations for this event and never seem to be able to make it out, but this year I’m taking my whole family and as many friends as I can wrangle.  I love peonies

I wish there was a smell feature on the computer, because peonies smell divine!

Other places you will want to shop for Mother’s Day are:

Click here to buy a Gift Certificate for a massage, acupuncture treatment, or facial online! Or call us at I.M. Spa and we can make it beautiful for you: 479-251-7422

Read here if you want a little giggle about why you should honor your mother.

Me and My Mom
Me and My Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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Ben Climbs Cross in the Skyline

Fayetteville Skyline Love

Ben Climbs Cross in the Skyline
Ben Climbs Cross in the Skyline

When you have a small business and you are a full time nursing student and you have four sons, it’s important that you grab every moment you can to do special things like go up to Mt. Sequoyah at sunset with your 10 year old.  These are the best things in life, eh?  Not to mention, he got up early with me this morning to do yoga together. My life is amazing.

Another Cross in the Sky Tonight
Another Cross in the Sky Tonight

Spring is my favorite. Vibrant colors. Clouds. Fresh turned dirt. Clouds. Sunshine. So much green. Fayetteville is amazing in the Spring, and I’m so glad I get to share it with my sons. Makes me breathe deeper just looking at these pictures.

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Foot Massage is AMAZING!

Massage Therapy for Mental Health

I just finished up a clinical rotation in Mental Health this semester.  It’s enough to make you suffer from depression!  Or at the very least need a massage for your Mental Health.

Our instructors and books say repeatedly that our jail systems are the biggest warehouse for the mentally ill.  There may not be any inpatient beds for somebody suffering with psychosis, but somehow they fit right into our jails.  Our mentally ill are being incarcerated for behaviors that are a result of mental illness, schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s, or addiction.  Many of them are homeless.  They need treatment, medications, and support.

And probably the most depressing part of Mental Health Clinicals is the adolescent unit.  These kids have endured trauma and abuse beyond what I can fathom, and when they leave the treatment facility will return to the people and situations that caused their pain to begin with.  It’s downright depressing.

Massage Therapy for Mental Health
My mental health textbook references massage therapy 4 times. I’m so impressed with how far we have come.

And it’s not just that there is a little bit of mental illness.  Mental health is similar to physical health.  Sometimes you get sick.  Most of the time you’re pretty healthy.  And sometimes you have a lifelong illness (physical or mental) that needs lifelong treatment.  Most people can identify times in their lives when they were out of balance, overly anxious, stressed, depressed, or just not functioning as well mentally as they know they are capable.  And all of us know people in our family, friends, or community who are suffering with more extreme forms of those imbalances.  Mental illness touches us all.

I’m grateful for the dedicated Mental Health care professionals that I have met this semester.  God Bless Them!  We need them so badly.  We need funding and policy changes to allow mental health the same importance and voice that physical problems like cancer get.  We need more health care providers to get excited about helping people with mental health problems, to serve health care in that capacity.

I actually feel guilty because I prefer to work with people with their guts falling out than with mental health problems, because at least if your guts are falling out I can stuff ’em back inside and slap a bandage on it.  In mental health, the guts are falling out, and people are bleeding out, but you can’t stuff it back in.  You can’t see it.  It’s not so easy.  I guess I feel disempowered by mental illness.  There is no immediate fix, no bandage, just a winding road of possibilities and not enough resources for long term support.

But at the same time, I deal with mental illness/health all the time in a positive way, on the massage table.  And it has been a very empowering relationship.  People come to us in pain, grieving loss, with anxiety and depression, and needing help with dealing with the stress of everyday life on the planet. We are honored every day that our community chooses to come to us for stress relief.

According to University of Maryland, massage makes us feel better by the “release of endorphins (natural painkillers and mood elevators),” and reducing the levels of stress hormones (cortisol).  Endorphins are one of the main neurotransmitters involved in depression and bipolar.

Foot Massage is AMAZING!
Massage Therapy for Mental Health

So, looking at the mental health problems our country is faced with right now may be devastatingly depressing, but thank goodness there is massage therapy for those times when we are in pain, grieving loss, having anxiety and depression, and needing help with dealing with the stress of everyday life on the planet.  I guess massage is the bandage that I feel empowered by when dealing with the guts of every day mental health/illness.  I’m grateful to have it in my life.

If this post was so stressful that you now need a massage, call 479-251-7422 to schedule an appointment.  Or you could just come get a massage because you know you need it.  Or because we haven’t seen you in forever.  Please pop in to I.M. Spa to see us when you are downtown for the Farmer’s Market!  If for no other reason than that it is good for OUR mental health to see you!

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

 

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6 Commitments or New Year’s Resolutions

Today was the first day back in nursing school after a 3 week break.  And during the break I took some time to try to define what was important to me to keep up with if it was at all possible during the craziness that is full time nursing school, full time business owner, and full time mama of four boys.

Planner
My 2015 Planner (covered with post its).

Things I put in my planner were:

  1. I want to continue to run to school and to work, but I’m also training for the Hogeye Half Marathon with my son Sean (he’s 16) and Ellie, a young colleague from nursing school.  We’re training 5 days a week.  Yeah.  I don’t know how that’s gonna get done either–but there it is.
  2. I want to meditate daily-15minutes.
  3. I want to blog 3 days a week and not get onto myself if it’s not perfect.  I at least need to show up.
  4. I want to do yoga with Ben one day a week (Mondays because it’s a rest day from running).  When your nine year old kid wants to do something with you, you’d better make time for it, because God knows, soon enough he’s going to have a life that is too busy for yoga dates with mom (hopefully not, but it’s a distinct possibility).
  5. I want to continue developing my book.  Yeah, I said it.
  6. I want to invite friends over to play once a month.  Because I love them and they’re just going to have to forgive my messy home.  It is what it is.

I really don’t know if there are actually enough hours in the day for this crazy list.  But surely if I just do a little bit regularly I will be okay.  I’ll try to keep you posted on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  But if you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know that I’m buried with school work.

And if I lose my mind in the process, you’ll be hearing bout it.

Schedule your appointment at I.M. Spa :  479-251-7422

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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