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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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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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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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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10 Reasons Why I Get Massage Every 2 Weeks

10 Reasons to Get Massage Every 2 Weeks.

If you go to the doctor they will tell you to take these antibiotics 2 times a day for the next 10 days.  If you go to the physical therapist they will tell you to come back and see them 3 times a week for the next 4 weeks, twice a week for the following 2 weeks, and once a week for the month after that.

If you go to the massage they say, “See how you are feeling and give us a call when you need us.”

The problem is, we forget to think about how we are feeling until our bodies are screaming at us.  We need some general recommendations for how often it is appropriate to get massage.

I can tell you that if you are preparing for a marathon, it’s a good idea to step up your massage sessions to weekly, with serious emphasis on leg massage.  You might want to do it in conjunction with your long runs.  You will notice a change in your performance and your legs will feel amazing.  It’s okay to do twice a week sessions as well if you are having a lot of tension or pain.

If you are suffering with muscle spasms you can do massage several times a week until you reach a happy place.  You can even shorten the massages to 20 to 30 minutes if you are only focusing on one area.

If you are recovering from an injury it is common to coordinate massage therapy with your physical therapy schedule.

If you are only getting massage once or twice a year then you definitely need to step it up to quarterly.  Put that appointment on the calendar before you leave the spa or it will not happen and the next thing you know, another year has gone by and you have not had a massage in all that time.

Don’t let that be you!

If you are healthy and only dealing with every day stress of life on the planet then once a month, or once every two weeks is optimum and I’ll tell you why this works for me:

  1. It keeps me out of pain
  2. It’s something I give intentionally to myself. If I have gotten my massage then not even poison bullets can’t take me down.  I can handle whatever the world throws at me (I keep a picture of Wonder Woman on my refrigerator with her bullet deflecting wrist cuffs).
  3. As a mom it gives me something that is quiet, special, and belongs only to me (I’m not sharing!).
  4. It puts me in a meditative state (Alpha Level) similar to what you experience in Shavasana and it is completely rejuvenating.
  5. It keeps me aware of my body.  Very often I will ask people about their pain or their body and they have to stop and question themselves because they haven’t actually visited their bodies for a while.  When I get massage I often discover areas that need my attention that I didn’t know existed. You can’t maintain your body if you don’t know where you need maintenance.  The massage therapist is like a tour guide for your body.
  6. It feels amazing.  One of my goals in life is to be as healthy as possible, have as much energy as possible (with my food), and feel as good as possible.  If I don’t make time to feel amazing it is harder to know that it is a possibility.
  7. Relaxation takes practice.  Meditation takes practice.  Anything you want to do well takes practice.  I have watched many clients start receiving massage therapy and not know how to let go and receive.  They want to hold their arm up to help with the massage.  I still find myself tensing up sometimes when the therapist lifts my head to massage my neck.  Learning how to relax on the massage table teaches me how to relax in my real life situations when I’m frustrated.
  8. It’s good for my heart and circulation, calms my nervous system and digestion, and obviously good for my muscles.  Supple muscles do better work that hypertrophied taut muscles.  Moving through life with supple muscles is a much better approach.
  9. Keeps me from getting injured easily.
  10. Mental health.  It’s good for me and it’s good for my family.  Everybody benefits from me feeling better.

If you can only make it to the spa quarterly go quarterly.  If you can step it up to once a month you will definitely notice a difference.  But if you can manage every two weeks it makes life worth living!

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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Acupuncture Works, Have You Tried it Yet?

This is the phone call we get over and over at the spa.  “I want to ask the acupuncturist some questions.”  We want to know if the needles hurt.  Is acupuncture recommended for pain, for endometriosis, for depression, for erectile dysfunction, for neuropathy, and for a million other ailments.  Can I receive acupuncture when I’m pregnant.

The answer is a resounding yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.  And no, the needles do not hurt.  They’re tiny.

In this New York Times article about bioelectronics, the author talks about getting the nervous system to heal itself, and that neuroscientists are learning how to hack into our nervous systems.

That is what acupuncture does.  And you can read Michael Behar’s behind the scenes interview about how Eastern Medicine practitioners have known this for 4,000 years.

Acupuncture works for so many things.  There is no way to know for sure if it will be the perfect thing for your body right now until you try it, and we would love to introduce you to the world of acupuncture.

Schedule an 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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Do You Have a Case of Dry Lizard Skin?

My skin is DRY.  Dry, dry, dry.  And I mean dry.

I am a low maintenance woman, trucking through my days, minding my own business.  I never look in the mirror, and I’m doing good to coordinate my clothes from one day to the next.  I just don’t have time for it.

But every now and then I notice my legs are flaking, my feet are cracked, and my face is dry like the Sahara.

One of my 20 year old colleagues in nursing school showed me her hands one day and they did look like dry cracked desert ground.  They were to the point of bleeding.  She was using a generic cleanser that had lotion in it with mineral oil (besides constantly using hand sanitizer at our clinical site. One time we were in post conference and I pointed out to her that while we had been sitting there she had sanitized her hands 3 times–serious overkill).  And she was using a lotion with mineral oil in it as well.  She had been putting the generic lotion on at night with socks on her hands to try to keep the lotion in, but she didn’t realize that mineral oil actually robs the skin and causes a dependence on the lotion (even though the lotion isn’t really helping–nice marketing strategy eh?).

I brought her some organic, beeswax based Badger Balm for Hardworking Hands and told her to start using a basic nontoxic soap like Dr. Bronner’s (diluted).  She started using the Badger Balm on her hands at bedtime with socks on them and 4 days later I asked her about it.

Badger Balm Body Butter
Badger Balm Body Butter

She said, “Oh my God, I wanted to text you guys (our clinical group) a picture because, look at my hands!  They are so much better.”

It has been my experience that organic, natural, basic products work better than mainstream products created by large chemical companies.  Don’t get sucked in by the pretty packaging and the unsubstantiated claims.  Your skin needs edible products, not shelf stable chemicals.

Want a recipe for an amazing home facial?  Go here to read about our facial post.

In the meantime, if you are ready for your skin to be well cared for, come in to see us and we will cleanse, exfoliate, mask, and moisturize you so that you can once again face the brutal cold that is winter.

And yes, we carry Badger Balm, Eminence Organics, and other clean products that you can trust.  Come on in and play with the samples.

Make an appointment for a massage and a facial: 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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