Category Archives: Community

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

 

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

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

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.

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

Running with my Sons

It’s Christmas break in between semesters of Nursing School at the University of Arkansas and my boys got me running in 30 something degree weather at 10:30 at night.

Midnight Run with my Two Middle Sons
Midnight Run with my Two Middle Sons

My life is amazing and I am so grateful for these two guys and that I live in a town where we can run late at night and not be afraid!

Where do you like to run?

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

 

Grateful Year in Review: 18 Things Remembered

This has been an amazing and busy year.  I wonder if I’m normal because I take on so much work.  Does everybody do that?

There are so many amazing things I want to get into and so little time.

My Stroller makes it possible for me to run everywhere I go
My Stroller makes it possible for me to run everywhere I go

My year in review:

  1. Completed 3 semesters of nursing school with a 4.0 gpa (not sure that matters to anybody but me, but there it is).

    My Clinical Group 2014
    My Clinical Group 2014
  2. Fed my family mostly vegan, mostly raw, most of the year!
  3. Ate lots of veggies out of my own garden (which was a miracle because I had zero time for gardening).
  4. Kept my business going for a whole year while I simultaneously attended nursing school.
    I.M. Spa Store Front
    I.M. Spa Store Front

    Also didn’t think that was possible.  There are amazing people who work at I.M. Spa, that’s all there is to it.

  5. Took my work crew to Dallas spas and raw food restaurants.

    I.M. Spa Crew
    I.M. Spa Crew
  6. Traveled to Disney World with my family over Spring Break.

    Ben Wins the School Spelling Bee
    Ben Wins the School Spelling Bee
  7. Watched my kids:  win the school spelling bee (Ben), play soccer and baseball (Zach and Ben), march in band (Sean) and go to Disney with the Band, sing a solo in the St. Paul’s Christmas Pagaent (Ben), take crazy courses in college like Calculus 3 and chemical engineering (Levi), attend their first homecoming dance (Sean), and fall in love with drumming (Zach).
  8. Floated the Buffalo River with dear friends.

    Float the Buffalo
    Float the Buffalo
  9. Saw Boston in concert.
  10. Revived my meditation practice.
  11. Ran to school and work regularly.
  12. me and my momMade dreamcatchers with my mom and just always love being with her.

    Made Dream Catchers with My Mom
    Made Dream Catchers with My Mom
  13. Watched Craig pour a concrete slab for a Hot Tub that we have not yet found.  Watched Craig do amazing things in personal growth, change his food, and get his blood pressure under control with meditation.  He amazes me.  And he bikes 60 miles round trip to nursing school in Bentonville.
  14. Took my neice (Bella) to the Nutcracker.
  15. Picked blueberries with my family from Texas.
  16. Maintained my gratitude practice with my Gratitude Partner via email.  For that I am eternally grateful 🙂
  17. Snuggled with my boys a LOT!  It’s a favorite.
  18. Blogged a little.My Family

I am so grateful to be here and can’t even begin to imagine what kinds of things we’ll be getting into this year.  I’m glad to have survived a year of nursing school while being a working mom, and I am constantly amazed at all the opportunities and experiences that we have.

What are you grateful for this year?

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

Nursing School Finals

My butt is numb. My low back hurts. I have been sitting in front of the computer nonstop for days and days and days studying for nursing school finals.  Tomorrow is my last one.

By the time I get done with this degree program I will have zero muscle mass because all I do is sit in my room and study.

Yes, I run to class and to work but that is it.  No other movement.  But after tomorrow I will have three weeks to move about freely!

So far I have an “A” in Clinicals, Older Adult, Foundations, and Pharmacology.  Last test is in Health Assessment.  Sure hope I can pull off another “A.”

In between studying for hours, I take breaks to look at my next projects.  I’m all fired up about writing a couple of books, touring the world’s best institutional food places and figuring out how to do good food institutionally here in Arkansas.  I don’t think that is a nursing job, but hey you never know.  It’s possible that somebody could hire me to be a diplomat and negotiate better food systems that represent health in health care settings.  A girl can dream, right?

The first place I’m going after this exam tomorrow is the chiropractor.  I’m a mess.

Then I’m going to do some Christmas shopping (yes, I know it’s crazy to do Christmas shopping the week before Christmas, but I’ve been a little busy).  Then I’m going to do a massage for a client.  And then I’m going to sit down and prioritize my next three weeks so I can get as much as I can done on my ‘to do’ list.

I’m taking my neice Bella to the Nutcracker Ballet on Sunday, and then my 9 year old son Ben is ‘Joseph’ in our church Christmas Pageant this year.  I love to hear my boys sing.  It’s the best.

Today my back aches, my butt is numb, I’m exhausted, frustrated, and down right ‘tarred.’  A little chiropractic, a few yoga sessions, some fun with my beautiful family, and hopefully I’ll be raring and ready to go for the next semester.

Right now I’m going to bed.  Wish me luck on my test tomorrow.

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

Tea Tree Sanitizer

Flu Season is Coming!

As soon as my kids started back to school they started bringing home the germs.  Ben, my 9 year old just recovered from an upper respiratory infection that knocked him down for 3 days.  Yuck.  And all the girls around me in nursing school are sniffling and sneezing.  Flu season is coming!

One of my teachers was actually teaching a section on proper procedures and systems to help employees be able to go home sick without consequences to keep from spreading contagious illnesses in the nursing home.

She taught this class while she was so sick she couldn’t even talk.

I was sick this semester and didn’t want to contaminate the patients at the hospital and stayed home for one day, but I probably should have stayed home 2 days.

Sometimes it’s hard to go home when we should.

You may have heard me say it before, we are 10 times more bacterial cells than we are our own cells.  We need those little buggers.  But we don’t want to get those germs that make us get sick and have to call in.

I have a bad attitude towards the toxic hand sanitizers that are all over our kids’ schools, hospitals, and in the checkout lanes of the major stores.  The ones that are alcohol based are just fine.  The ones you want to watch out for are those containing TRICLOSAN. It is a thyroid and estrogen disrupting chemical that is also related to an increase in food allergies.  It is found in hand sanitizers and toothpastes and has been banned in Minnesota, and is being investigated by the FDA.

When we are looking at products we can put our name behind here at the spa we look for products that do the job, but don’t make you sick in the process.

We carry a hand sanitizer at I.M. Spa that uses Tea Tree Oil and we love it.  So if you feel like you need a hand sanitizer this flu season and you don’t feel like damaging yourself in the process, come by and pick some up.

When I took Microbiology at the University of Arkansas, we did a lab test on different kinds of antiseptics to see which ones were most effective, and tea tree oil outperformed all the others.

Tea Tree Sanitizer
Tea Tree Sanitizer

I think the future of medicine is going to involve more development of healthy bacterial biomes and environments, and less attempts to wipe out bacterial populations.  In the meantime, this hand sanitizer will help you maintain your bacterial biome without threatening your hormonal balance, your potential for food allergies, or your risk for getting the flu.

Can’t wait to see you at the spa!  Happy shopping!

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

Vaccines and Evidence or Fear Based Practice

I get a little irritated at health care professionals and health care educators who tout Evidence Based Practice in the same breath as proclaiming that everybody needs to get vaccinated against everything, and if you don’t get vaccinated against everything you’re just not educated.  Poor uneducated stupid people.

Vaccinating is just one issue of this point on Evidenced Based Practice that I want to make.

Evidence based practice means questioning with a critical mind and evaluating ALL the evidence.  Just because there is research on something doesn’t mean the method is sound.  Evidence based practice means evaluating all the research, evaluating the client’s history, the need for the intervention, as well as the culture of conformity in which it exists.

I’m not saying that you should or shouldn’t get vaccinations.  I am saying that if you really wanted to make an educated decision about whether to get them you would evaluate the disease, the likelihood of contracting it here in the States, whether you will be traveling to a region where that disease is prevalent, the percentage of adverse reactions associated with that vaccination, who did the research, as well as the size, duration, and efficacy of the trial period of that particular vaccine.

We have a polarized cultural climate around vaccinations.  This does not help us reach an educated decision about whether and when to vaccinate.  It’s understandable that the government would prefer that everybody get vaccinated in the interest of herd immunity.  It’s also understandable that they would want people to be afraid of getting sick or losing a child to an illness to encourage compliance with immunizations.  But the truth of it is, it’s your body and nobody can force you to alter it.  Well, unless you get Ebola or Tuberculosis.  Then all bets are off.

In opposition to the government stance on vaccinations are the families who have suffered losses from adverse reactions to vaccinations.  Some have lost children.  Some have children permanently damaged for the rest of their lives.  Their experience is real as well.  It is understandable that they would want to shout from the rooftops how evil and horrible and scary immunizations can be.`

In the middle of it all are the pharmaceutical companies.  They stand to gain billions every time a new vaccine is mandated.  Why not come up with a vaccine for everything and anything.  People don’t want to suffer from common colds.  Get a vaccination for it.  After all, the payoff is HUGE.

On the other hand, it’s good for healthy people to get sick.  Not small pox or polio, but colds and the flu and the chicken pox–there are a lot of illnesses that are part of life, and developing natural immunity, allowing your immune system to do its job is a good thing.  It makes us stronger and it might mean better immunity than a vaccination.

The person who gives you your vaccinations is required to give you an information sheet about the vaccination, but I’ve never seen anybody read the sheet or try to understand it.  Not even the person giving the vaccine.  If they did read it, seriously, they would see that there are some very real adverse reactions that could jack up your life when you get that vaccination.  And the reality of it is that we don’t really have good data about how often adverse reactions occur or how severe they are because in this culture of conformity and Fear Based Practice we are bullied into believing that we would be stupid to even question if a vaccination is safe, much less to believe that we should report an adverse reaction to the VAERS (what is that anyway?).

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate is a very personal decision.  Most people just trust the health department, and for the most part that works out just fine.  I’ve been shot up with everything, probably multiple times.  And while I did not see the point of vaccinating my infants at the ripe old age of 2 months, now that they are older (my youngest is nine) they are all up to date on their vaccines.  Well, except for Ben.  He had an adverse reaction to the MMR vaccine and we applied for a medical exemption to keep him from having to get the second shot.

I know people who have suffered from Guillain Barre syndrome after a flu vaccine-losing the ability to walk for several years, and people whose children were sick for months after receiving vaccinations.  I don’t know anybody who ever reported an adverse reaction, and I’m pretty sure there is no benefit to the doctor, financial or otherwise, to report a reaction.  It’s just more unnecessary paperwork.

I did not live through the polio epidemic, but I do know people whose children survived pertussis at a young age.  It’s got to be difficult watching your children coughing so much that they can’t breathe and they are losing weight because of the coughing and gagging and inability to get air.

Whether or not to vaccinate is a heavy decision if you take it seriously.  But people on either side would do well to reconcile to the middle.  We need vaccines.  We also need to look at each of them critically.  And we especially need to advocate for education and not bully people into making decisions because our culture allows it.

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 479-251-7422