Got Health?


365138027_origWe all have health of one kind or other.



Some bad, some good, some indifferent. That condition changes daily, or even hourly.



What many of us don’t have is health insurance. I’m not sure what health insurance looks like, exactly, except where it pertains to me. It’s fairly dear, health insurance, though not necessarily in dollar terms.



I’m not talking about insurance for paying medical bills. I don’t have any of that, although I am off the hook as far as the tax penalty for not having federally mandated coverage is concerned.



The VA saw to that, and thank them very much.



You wouldn’t have thought just five years of my life all those decades ago would pay so many dividends, but it did.



But having somewhere to go when (and if) I get sick or hurt, or even having someone to help me pay for treatment if that happens, which is the purpose of medical insurance, is not HEALTH insurance.



I haven’t been to a doctor, apart from the dentist, in over five years. That isn’t me  just above, by the way, nor am I the guy in the first photo, though I’m working on it. I’m somewhere in between, but one thing that keeps me healthy is working out regularly.



Here you go – this is my health insurance, and like I said, it’s not cheap. Yeah, I do cook it, but from fresh, as much as possible. And as little starch as possible.



Although I don’t deprive myself of the finer incarnations of wheat and barley entirely.



Then, along with a bit of massage for yours truly once in a while …



Some sunshine on the beach …



A few concerned friends who made sure I didn’t miss out on the VA medical help …




And a little bit of luck …




I might just make it long enough to add my own tuppence and then some to the craft of massage and body work. Let’s hope so, right?

That is all.

Mark out.









Massage Therapy Finder – A New Link To The World


The hardest part about being a massage therapist isn’t the therapy, it’s finding someone to work on. Until a therapist has a solid base of repeat clientele, a great deal of his time is spent looking for clients or simply not having any. Today I signed on with Massage Therapy Finder, listed at the very top of the sidebar to your right. I have no idea whether this will generate any calls, but it can’t hurt to get out there.

I also looked into listing myself on Craig’s List, but it’s kind of pricey to do that. I might try it later on though.

Right now I’m doing fill-in work at a chiropractor’s office. I’ll talk more about that next week.

Enough for now.  

Mark out.  

If It Feels Good …

I spent all day Saturday giving half-hour massages at a clinic on Nine Mile Road. It was a great experience, despite the two no shows.

And I can’t really imagine that – not showing up for a massage. Sure, miss your procto exam, totally space that two-hour root canal thing, forget you agreed to meet your life insurance agent for coffee, but not show up for a massage?

You get a massage because it feels good! Doesn’t it?

I’ve never had one that didn’t. Even amateur massage feels good; even when Sean used me for a test dummy for Sports Massage class and twisted me up like a pretzel and did something called the Peanut Grinder on me, even THAT felt good once I decided he really didn’t intend to leave me permanently with my left foot behind my right ear.

Intentional, therapeutic, goal-oriented touch feels good, and it’s good for you.

But unfortunately there’s a pseudo philosophy or quasi-ethos whose main principle is that what feels good probably isn’t good for you, and conversely that in order to feel good one has to first feel bad. Sometimes the espousers of this philosophy are correct, though not always.

Alcohol and recreational drugs, and even prescription drugs, make you feel good but they really aren’t good for you. Junk food makes you feel good for a bit, but definitely isn’t good for you. (I do draw the line at Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream, which, if taken in moderate doses, will in fact make one immortal.)

Then of course I could talk about sex, or TV, or films, or trashy novels, or the internet, all of which have abuse potential, along with the potential to make us feel good, if only temporarily.

And then there is medicine, and the practice thereof. Its entire reason for being is to make us feel good, or to get us back up to functional normal. But a lot of the stuff medical doctors, chiropractors, psychiatrists, acupuncturists, dentists and so on do to us in the course of treatment doesn’t feel good at ALL.

They tell us it’s just a pinch; there may be a bit of nausea/swelling/discomfort; when I shoot this in you may experience something similar to burning napalm in your rectum; this may taste exactly like toxic factory waste, but it’s for your own good!

It’s as if the more horrific the treatment, the surer the cure, and I just don’t buy that.

Sure I get down deep in clogged up, jacked up muscles, and sort them out. Every therapist I know does. You should hear Ted’s clients yelling some mornings. But they love him and they come back week after week, and frankly I think the yelling is just to reassure Ted that the client appreciates what he’s doing, and that he’s on target.

But feeling better can feel good right from the start, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. You don’t have to suffer, or feel bad in order to feel better. The protagonist’s descent into hell and subsequent renewal is great as metaphor and as story device, and some really good authors have used it.

Only you don’t have to. Go find a massage therapist and tell him or her, or me for that matter, that you want to feel better NOW.

Chances are he or she or I will sort you out straight away, and send you off a bit drained but all smiles.

That is all.

Mark out.

Controlling The Muscles

Today I worked on another therapist. She had been working three months without getting a massage and was really feeling it. I could feel it too, in her back and shoulders and arms, and she seemed a lot better when I got done.

But I was SO pleased because just before she got off the table she said, “I really like the way you take control of the muscles.”

I think that’s the nicest compliment I ever got about my work, from other than my girlfriend, and it made me feel really good.

Hope everyone’s having a great weekend!

That is all.

Mark out.

Happy Fourth of July, Everyone!

Somewhere among the hamburgers and the corn on the cob and the cold beer and the fireworks at the fairgrounds grandstand, take a minute or two and remember what and who this is all about.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Don’t disappoint your founding fathers, much less the guys in the video up there. Heroes every one, they are doing their best to make sure you have Liberty. You’ve got Life or I would be very surprised to find you reading this. So go get some Happiness.

Call your massage therapist first thing tomorrow and book an appointment. And do it proudly, whether you’re an American or not.

Americans love to share – happiness, C-rations, relaxed muscles, whatever we’ve got.

That is all.

Mark out.

Getting Onto the Table

One thing massage therapists need maybe even more than anyone else is massage therapy. Our business is physically intense, so naturally our muscles get lots of wear and tear, and need to be worked on. Last week and this week both I worked on one of the other therapists here at ECMS, Clary, and then a fellow student from Pensacola School of Massage Therapy called Saturday with fairly serious muscle issues she had trouble coping with herself.

Miranda dropped by my apartment in the afternoon and I worked on her, and then we had a nice long visit catching up with everything that’s been going on since we graduated. She asked how long it had been since I’d got onto the table, and I had to admit it had been quite some time, so she urged me to call her and let her return the favor.

So I gave her a ring Wednesday and asked if she had time Thursday morning, which she did, so I drove out to Head to Toe Spa in Pace, and she gave me a good working over. I hadn’t been hurting anywhere in particular, or didn’t realize I had, but my neck felt SO much better after she stripped a few muscles and gave me a good bit of torsion with a folded pillow case.

And just so you know, therapists don’t charge each other. That’s why I was able to work on Miranda in my apartment – just a friend massaging a friend at home. Otherwise one gets into things like establishment license requirements and so on, and I’m not ready for that yet.

So this afternoon I have my second ever real, paying client, whom I will work on at ECMS. And now that I’ve not only practiced this week but been practiced on, I feel more than ready to help my client with whatever she needs.

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.