Off To The Gym

Well, not right this minute. Ted and I were supposed to go across the street on Wednesday morning to Gulf Breeze Aerobics and Fitness and do promo massage for the early crowd. When I got to the office this morning, though, there was message that they want to push that back a few days and put together a whole customer appreciation day thing around it.

That works for me, and really I wasn’t looking forward to 3 am reveille so I could get to the gym by 4:30. I used to go to the gym that early, but not recently. The folks in Gulf Breeze apparently do, some of them, and they’re the ones we want to catch, and let them know we’re here – but encourage them to set their massage appointments at a little more humane hour.

Also, some time this week I need to go over and join. I have a gym at my apartment complex that I use all the time, but it’s only $15 a month for GBA&F, and they have showers there so if I work up a sweat and need a cleanliness break I don’t have to drive all the way home.

Gulf Breeze Aerobics & Fitness have a nice web page, and I put a link in the blog roll.

That is all.

Mark out.

NOW I’m A Professional Massage Therapist!

For the first time today, I got paid for my work, and I feel great!

We put my table in Ted’s room at ECMS, and he and I did a couples’ massage this afternoon. The young people seemed a bit nervous since neither had ever had a professional massage before, but they floated, a bit wobbly but smiling wide, out of the office a while later.

Ted and I gave them a bit more than the hour, which he frequently does if he isn’t booked back to back, and it was delightful to see their grins when we’d finished with them.

Not that I ever had much doubt, but I think I’m going to like this job.

That is all.

Mark out.

Picnic on the Gulf

Everyone knows what is happening to the Gulf of Mexico and it’s horrid and ghastly and catastrophic beyond words, so I won’t go into it. But Saturday I went down to Pensacola Beach for what might be a last-gasp picnic to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

The water was beautiful and clean and emerald green, the sands white and sugary and hot, and schools of minnows darted through surf not even a foot high.

There are free pavilions all along miles of open beach, with grills and restrooms and open air showers to rinse off the sand.

So come join us. We’re enjoying it while it lasts.

That is all.

Mark out.

Exercise For Pain Relief

Recently someone very close to me joined a gym. I have mentioned this person before, something in regards her neck muscles especially, which frequently play her up, as we say in England. (Okay, I’m not sure I ever said that when I was in England though I might have, so just take the pronoun as the editorial ‘we.’)

In any case she has been treated by a chiropractor and a couple of massage therapists for the pain in her neck amongst other issues, but it was only after she started exercising with weights at the gym did she notice a significant and to her mind spontaneous decrease in neck muscle discomfort.

I was very pleased to hear this, of course, though not surprised. When Swedish massage first was developed, it included both active and passive exercises and was called Swedish Gymnastics. Therapists still stretch their clients’ muscles, do active, passive, and resisted range of motion movements, and encourage exercise.

By now everyone knows about endorphins and how they act as an analgesic, runner’s high, and so forth, but with neck muscles the benefit of active, load-bearing exercise is more in the movement itself.

Neck muscles ache because stress makes them hypertonic, that is, tense and painful not from over work, but from lack of it – in effect, the muscle is all revved up with no place to go, no way to release and relax.

Pushing, pulling, moving in a different direction in order to attain the goal of shifting a weight allows the muscle fibers to un-bunch, lets fluid in and waste products out of the tissues, and then having accomplished a real task, the muscle can let go its hypertonicity and relax.

That of course means less pain and less stiffness, and the tension-pain-more tension cycle is broken.

So go on and exercise. It’s good for you. Really.

That is all.

Mark out.

Keeping My Hands In

Tuesday I got to work on someone. He wasn’t a paying client, and was in fact a friend and fellow therapist, but it had been much too long since I’d worked on anyone, apart from those folks on the picnic table, and it really felt good!

He has been at this job quite a while and was not displeased with my efforts, but I have to say he was a bit of a challenge for my first trip out of the chute in a while. Besides the usual issues massage therapists have with their own bodies – arm and hand fatigue and so on – he also runs and works out quite a bit at the gym.

Frankly the guy is built like a brick shipyard, and his upper back muscles are like granite slabs. So it took some doing to dig down into his shoulder girdle muscles, but it was worth it when I finally got under his scapulas. Then he showed me how to get up under his gastrocs to the soleus, which was way tight from all the running. He said it hurt, and that he was a real baby about it but I didn’t notice anything of the kind. Well, I knew it hurt when dug my thumbs up under there, but he must have a very different definition of acting like a baby. I may have heard him whimper once.

Anyhow, as I said, it’s good to be back at work even if there was no money involved. It will come if I just keep plugging.

That is all.

Mark out.

Obama To Visit Gulf Breeze


President Obama is coming to Gulf Breeze tomorrow. There are signs saying that Highway 98 will be closed from 8 to 11 in the morning. Gulf Breeze is on a narrow peninsula and Highway 98 is the only way into, out of, or through town, so in essence the city will be shut down for three hours tomorrow.

I don’t have his itinerary but I assume he’ll be going out to Pensacola Beach, to see what effect the oil has had. From what I hear there isn’t as much as in Louisiana, not yet anyway, and I’m glad he’s showing an interest.

But I think most people would prefer that he stop viewing with alarm and start kicking people’s a**** like he said he was going to a few days ago. If you’re going to talk street tough, you ought to act it as well.

I’m not going to make a habit of this sort of pseudo political comment, but I thought it worth noting that I won’t be able to get to the ECMS office until around noon, if I make it at all. You still can call my cell phone though.

That is all.

Mark out.

Emerald Coast Massage Specialists

Isn’t that a great name, Emerald Coast? That’s where I live, what the area around Pensacola is called. The ’emerald’ part is for the bright green water along the beach, and as late as day before yesterday that water was sparkling clear despite the oil spill.


That hasn’t got here yet though I expect it will eventually, and it’s going to be nasty. But then eventually it will be stopped and cleaned up, though that may take a few years, or decades.


But that isn’t what I’m writing about. Maybe it’s selfish but I want to write about my new job working at ECMS, Emerald Coast Massage Specialists, located at 1198 Gulf Breeze Parkway in Gulf Breeze, Florida, right across the long bay bridge from Pensacola.

If it sounds like I’m doing a commercial that’s because I am, and with no apologies. Our phone number is 850-934-4440. Call now!



I really like the building – very open, very Florida – though of course when you get your massage here it’s indoors and has air conditioning. Someday I’ll do open air massage on the beach, like in that photo a couple of posts back, but really ECMS is more about the treatment of injuries and conditions, which is better handled, literally, in a more closed, medicine-like environment.


I like the people I’m working with, Sean, Ted, Gail, Clary, and Candy, Sean’s wife, though I haven’t seen her in a few weeks. Sean and Ted run the place – though I think Candy kind of runs Sean – and I’ll be sharing a room with Gail when the new ones are ready in July.


Clary is from Sweden though she has been in the States for quite some time. She still made me homesick for rural Minnesota the first time I met her and heard her accent, but she says she never has even been there. At some point I’ll post photos of these folks, and talk more about them and what, in general terms, we’re doing.


Meanwhile enjoy the pix! (Oh, and that’s Ted’s truck with the emerald green business sign on it, not my Massage Mobile – though the truck’s color is quite similar.)

That is all.

Mark out.