Monthly Archives: August 2014

Thai Massage for Health

Thai massage is a beautiful modality of massage therapy and I always tell people that receiving a Thai massage is like somebody doing yoga to you and massage all at the same time.  And yes, it’s that good.

Thai Hip Stretch
Thai Hip Stretch

I was lucky enough to study Thai massage in Thailand in 2009 and have not yet made it back as much as I would like to.  I’d love to take my whole family to Thailand.  It’s an amazing country and it has spoiled me for traveling other places.  Nothing compares.

Thai Spinal Twist
Thai Spinal Twist

Thai massage doesn’t leave you feeling like you need a nap the way a Swedish massage does.  You get up from a Thai massage relaxed, but ready to get on with your day.  The deep pressure stimulates the Sen Sib lines, the stretches are divine, and the overall effect is therapeutic, relaxing, and energizing.

Thai Backbend
Thai Backbend
Backbend with a Lift
Backbend with a Lift

If you have always wanted to try something different at the spa and didn’t know what to do, you might consider getting a Thai Massage. It’s pretty good mojo. I don’t know if you can tell from this picture, but her back is arched onto my knee and I’m lifting her arms to give a little traction to her spine.

Thai Stretch
Thai Stretch
Hip Stretch
Hip Stretch
Spinal Twist
Spinal Twist

I wish I could wake up every morning with a Thai Massage!  Next time I go to Thailand I’ll let you know.  We could take a group.  Did I mention that Thai massages in Thailand cost about $3 for an hour?  Yeah.  You’ll want to go.

Call I.M. Spa to schedule a Massage: 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.

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Our Travel Minivan outside of Cosmic Cafe in Dallas.

$100 Giveaway. Spa Girls on the Road 2014

Spa Girls on the Road 2014.  Where should we go next?  We’re having another $100 giveaway because we need ideas.

When I started nursing school I said to the girls (employees) at I.M. Spa, “We should go on a trip to celebrate the business (and me) surviving the semester.  Where do you want to go?  And that’s how we ended up going to Dallas to visit Cosmic Cafe, Shuang Feng Foot Massage, King Spa, and Be Raw Food and Juice together.

Well, another semester is upon us.  It’s intimidating.  It’s challenging.  It’s a lot of work.  But we’re determined to make it through.  And when we do, we want to travel somewhere awesome and be clients at somebody else’s amazing spa location, eat amazing healthy food, meet amazing spa people, and see things we don’t always get to see.

Where should we go?  Post a comment below about places we could go and you will be entered to win $100 worth of spa services or products from I.M. Spa.

Our Travel Minivan Outside of Cosmic Cafe in Dallas
Our Travel Minivan Outside of Cosmic Cafe in Dallas

Places we’re considering going?  Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, New Mexico, and Colorado.

What kind of places do we want to visit?  Spas, hot springs, local independent stores, vegan or raw food restaurants, yoga studios, and other cool local attractions.

The last $100 giveaway we did only had 6 people participating.  Which is crazy, considering that there are thousands of people who come to I.M. Spa for services.  But that means the odds of winning are in your favor.

So post a comment below, and we’ll put your name in the drawing for the $100 giveaway.

Or just call I.M. Spa for an appointment!  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.

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Julie gets a deep massage

Chinese Foot Massage in Frisco, Texas

One of our most excellent, awesome clients, Alpha, recommended that we travel through Frisco on our trip to celebrate I.M. Spa surviving me being in nursing school full time.   Why Frisco?  There is a quirky little, hole in the wall foot massage place, where they’re not very good at advertising, marketing, signage, or branding.  But they’re amazing at Chinese Foot Massage.  It’s called Shuang Feng Foot Massage.  And for $30 each, all 6 of us from our little day spa here in Arkansas, piled out of my minivan in Frisco Texas, and received a full hour of Chinese foot massage together.

Chinese Foot Massage in Frisco Texas.
Chinese Foot Massage in Frisco Texas.

Chinese foot massage isn’t really just a foot massage.  It starts with a hot foot soak and foot massage, but it is a full body experience.

And it’s not anything like what we do at I.M. Spa where we’re all about connection and, ‘How are you feeling?  Do you like deep pressure, medium pressure?  What would you like me to focus on during your massage?”  That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s just a different focus.  It’s actually quite amazing and great.

The focus is definitely on stimulating energy lines.  The massage was methodical, deep, and sometimes uncomfortably so, but the goal was not to send us into a relaxing coma.  The goal was to balance the acupressure meridians.  If you get relaxed in the process that’s great, but not required.

Wendy Gets 'Foot' Massage
Wendy Gets ‘Foot’ Massage

When we got done with our massage and were all talking about it on the sidewalk, everybody admitted that there was a point in the massage when the pressure was uncomfortably deep around the throat and there wasn’t really a way or time to adjust our bodies or communicate with the therapist to ask for lighter pressure.  We all just suffered through, hoping that part would end soon.  And it did.

Jessica Crass was particularly happy with the deep pressure of this massage.  Loved it.

The therapists really work hard in this kind of

 Julie gets a deep massage
Julie gets a deep massage

massage.  The amount of pressure is intense and constant.  I felt guilty that they only charged $30 for the session and left a good tip.

When my therapist was done with me she said, “You done, Lady,” and tapped me on the shoulder.  I felt amazing.  I was sore for two days afterwards, but in a good way.

And I guarantee you, the next time I go to Texas to visit my family, I’m making a one hour stop in Frisco at the Shuang Feng foot massage place.  Let me know if you want to join me.

Oh, and don’t get discouraged when you are looking for the place and you don’t feel like you can find it.  This is what their store front looks like:

Shuang Feng Front Door
Shuang Feng Front Door
Shuang Feng Price list
Shuang Feng Price list

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.

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I.M. Spa girls at King Spa

Spa Girls Road Trip to King Spa, Dallas.

To celebrate making it through a semester of Nursing School we took the team from I.M. Spa to Dallas to explore Raw Food Restaurants and spend some time at King Spa, a Korean Jimjilbang.  Seriously though, the only way to get Jessica Crass to relax is to extract her from her environment and stick her in a spa where there is no other choice.  Some of us are just driven.

We Made It!
We Made It!

It costs $30 to get into King Spa and you can stay for 24 hours.  Any services cost extra.  At the reception they gave us some towels, uniforms, and a locker key.  We took off our shoes and entered the locker room.

We locked up all of our belongings (and yes I mean all of them), showered, and those who wanted to steam room, hot tub, and cool plunge stayed in the shower areas.  Everybody else put on their T-shirt and shorts uniform and headed out to the 9 dry sauna rooms in the co-ed area.

I.M. Spa girls at King Spa
I.M. Spa girls at King Spa

In the shower area is where they do the full body scrubs, and we do mean full body.  I thought I was going to brave up and do one, but after everything I learned about my microbiome and resident bacteria in my skin and how much they protect me from other pathogenic bacteria I decided to keep my microbiome intact.  The women who work in the full body scrub area come to work in a bra and panties.  And while this might seem off putting to us Westerners, the comfort that they have in their bodies makes the locker room nudity a nonissue.  It helps, if you are not comfortable with locker room nudity, that there are all body types in the shower areas.  Every body is different and every body is perfect, just the way it is.  It’s just a body.

Spa Crew
Spa Crew

I don’t think the girls thought we could possibly spend 9 hours lounging at the spa, but that is exactly what we did and it was lovely.  Of course I ended up taking a Pathophysiology class this summer so I spent half of my time at the spa studying and taking an online quiz.  And I’m so grateful to Jessica for driving down there so I could study in the car.

Yes.  I know. I’m a downer on road trip.  I’m a very focused person.

Since we had all gotten ‘foot massages’ earlier in the day at Shuang Feng in Frisco, none of the girls got services at King Spa, but they do offer amazing foot massages (not the full body ‘foot massages’ you get at some Chinese massage places), full body scrubs that people rave about, acupressure massage, and vaginal steams (for the health of your lady parts).

I love that it’s a family oriented health spa and whole families come in together and will lounge together.  Women brush their teeth and scrub their own bodies from head to toe in the showers.  It’s a very comfortable and relaxed environment for families.  There is even a Korean restaurant inside the spa.

Oh, and I almost forgot.  King Spa just opened up a Water Park that is attached to the spa.  It has a swim up bar (where Katie and Julie felt right at home), slides, and waterfalls with access to the outdoors as well.

Jessica and I made a point of doing the alternating hot tub and cool pool for the health of it.  Alternating hot and cold is great for the circulatory system, the immune system, and has been used over the ages for the health benefits.  Besides, it’s a shocking good time!

Lots of our clients said that they would like to caravan out with us next time we survive a semester.  You are welcome to join us!

We were thinking Colorado, but Kansas City, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and New Mexico are options too.  Any suggestions?

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.

 

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The Dread Urinary Tract Infection

I paused before writing this post as I considered whether it was TMI and erred on the side of ‘we’re all in this boat together.’  If you are a woman chances are that you have had to deal with Urinary Tract Infection.  50% of women get them.

It’s one of those things that is sooo uncomfortable that it’s easy to go running to the doctor for an antibiotic to get rid of the pain, oh, and get rid of that blood in my urine too please, pronto.  The problem is, if you take the antibiotics to clear up the Urinary Tract Infection the antibiotics will wipe out all the good bacteria in your body too, and then you’re stuck dealing with another one of those aggravating things most women have had to deal with–yeast infections.  So you escape one painful horrible problem by taking the antibiotic and you have effectively replaced one horrible problem for another horrible problem, all while smiling at friends and coworkers and the unsuspecting general public.

But if you’ve had more than a couple of them, then you can certainly tell when they are coming and start treating them right away.  I have never had to go to the doctor for a UTI, not to say that you shouldn’t go to the doctor if you need to–I prefer to handle things myself if I can.    “Conventional” methods tend to leave me with more problems to fix and I have always been able to take care of UTIs myself.  The girls at the spa helped me compile a ‘go to’ list for everything you can do when you start noticing that you have the tell tale signs of the dread infection:

  • urgency to pee even though not much of anything coming out
  • irritation in the urethra, especially when pee-ing
  • general discomfort in your lower abdomen
  • burning sensation
  • start to get worried if you are having fever and chills or if you have flank pain (time to go to the doctor for sure)

What can cause UTI?  UTI is a bacterial infection in the urethra that can spread to the bladder and then up to the kidneys where it can inflict serious damage.  As women, with short, little, somewhat exposed urethras there are some things that we do that give the wrong bacteria access to our insides:

  • Sex-all kinds of bacteria meshing together
  • Too much time in the hot tub-soften and swells tissue
  • wiping from back to front-brings E. Coli bacteria to the front
  • using a wash cloth to clean the area-roughs up the tissue making it easier for bacteria to ascend
  • women have a shorter urethra than men, 4cm in women compare to 20cm in men. This is why we are more susceptible.
  • some women simply have anatomically susceptible urethras.

It’s possible that you might have a resident population of bacteria that normally gets along just fine, but given ideal opportunities, takes advantage and overgrows repeatedly–kind of a dormant gang that has to be put in its place by your good bacteria on a regular basis.  Cops and robbers of planet Urethra!

What to do:

  • Drink water.  Lots.
  • Homeopathics
  • Uva Ursi (tea, tincture, or capsules)
  • “Just Cranberry “Juice (doesn’t have sugar which feeds bacteria)
  • Yarrow tincture
  • Cranberry (capsules)
  • Always pee after sex
  • don’t use a washcloth to cleanse

First thing you should do is stay hydrated.  Drink huge glasses of water.  Getting through the discomfort of a UTI is much easier with a full bladder and a steady stream of fresh urine.  If you have to have an urgent need to pee a lot it’s tons easier to do with a stream instead of a trickle.

My go to, first thing I used to tell people who asked was the Homeopathic Boiron Cantharis pills.  They can make life bearable while you are working on cleaning out your insides.  But one of the girls at the spa turned me on to Uva Ursi, something I bathed in after home birthing my babies (Web MD says not to use it with children or pregnant woment).  She has pills of Uva Ursi that she swallows and marvels at my ability to drink it as a tea.  I guess I’m pretty hard core.  I’d just as soon get rid of it than worry about what it tastes like.  “Just Cranberry” is super bitter too, but I just chug it straight down.  I’m interested in feeling better.  Tastes are temporary.

My nursing pathophysiology book even talks about cranberry juice as a remedy for UTI.  It works because the substances in the cranberry make the surfaces of the urinary tract slippery so that the bacteria cannot adhere and are washed out with the urine.

10% of women are asymptomatic and don’t feel a thing when they have a UTI.  UTIs can spread all the way to the kidneys if left untreated and become a serious problem.  Always check with the doctor when in doubt.

It helps to know that you’re not alone and there are plenty of options that can work that don’t involve medication, especially if it is a recurrent thing for you.

Do you have other tips for eliminating urinary tract infections?

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.

 

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Tomatoes!

Tomatoes!

“What would life be without home grown tomatoes.”  Guy Clark said it best, “When I die, don’t you bury me, in a box in the cemetary.  Out the garden would be much better, and I could be pushing up home grown tomatoes.”

Full Excalibur of Dehydrated Tomatoes
Full Excalibur of Dehydrated Tomatoes

Yeah that’s right. I did it.  Loaded up all nine trays of my Excaliber with second tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market.   One full grocery bag of second tomatoes.  I don’t even know how much it weighed but it was heavy and I carried it all the way from the market down to my shop.

The girls at work were like, “Dang!”

And I was like, “Shah!”

Total cost?  $12.

I hope to do it a couple more times before nursing school starts.

Yeah, don’t come crying to me in the middle of winter when there aren’t any fresh tomatoes to be found and you’re paying $8 for 2 ounces of sun dried tomatoes to thicken your marinara sauce.  🙂

Yep, feeling pretty full of myself.  Mighty tomato hunter!  I can stalk a bag of tomatoes in the middle of a crowded Farmer’s Market in the middle of summer, drag it into my kitchen, slaughter it, dehydrate it, and stash it till stocks are low.

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.

 

 

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