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I was a fan of the show Friends, and my favorite character of the ensemble was Phoebe, the unusual, flighty massage therapist and coffeehouse singer. In one episode in particular, Phoebe is trying to soothe the high-strung perfectionist, Monica, to rest and sleep, and encourages her to listen to the “plinky-plunky music” – the same music Phoebe uses during massage to help her clients relax.
We regularly get asked about the music playing in the background at the MedSpa. “Why the instrumental/ambient/space music? Why no words?”
The effects of sound and music choices are apparent in our everyday life. For example, we experience the energizing effect of sound and music every time we hear music with a heavy beat. Just think of the last time you heard a favorite dance hit and couldn't help but start dancing along or singing in your car.
We choose less intense beats for body work because we want to encourage relaxation and calm rather than the normal rush-rush of everyday life. We want our guests to have a mini-vacation each time they come to see us. Often during a massage with a soothing song in the background, I find that not only do strokes become more rhythmic and fluid, but my breathing and my guest’s will often synchronize – possibly even our pulses, though I’ve never tried to verify this.
Part of the reason we tend to stay away from songs with lyrics or “popular” music is the memories they may bring up for us or the guest – and though fond memories are wonderful, they can also be painful if associated with loss or a hard time. It is our goal that the MedSpa be a place that encourages physical, mental and emotional well-being for our clients. Instrumental or ambient music also tends to be unfamiliar, so time passes without meter, allowing our guests to get lost in the experience and their minds to wander.
Come join us at the JCMG MedSpa for a mini-vacation: zone out, bliss out, relax, refresh. We don’t mind if you hum along.
I’m Virginia Louise (Johnson) Shetler, a massage therapist for the JCMG Laser & Vein Med Spa. I’m also named after both my maternal and paternal grandmothers, and lessons I learned from each of them I still get to use quite often in my work with massage guests.
My mom’s mom, Virginia (“GG” to my sisters and myself), was a natural beauty and lived to be 91. She shared many things with me, including her recipe for Au Gratin Potatoes, and they are truly delicious. When I complained that she must have left out a “secret” ingredient because mine didn’t exactly taste like the ones she made, she told me, “Food prepared for you by someone who loves you always tastes better than food you make for yourself.” Now I prepare them when I know I can share them with my family – just one of the incredible lessons she patiently shared with me.
GG was also great about using natural “cures”, like tobacco rubbed in bee stings, aloe on a burn – actual aloe, she cut from an actual plant, that she actually grew – and the many benefits of Epsom salts, from bath soaks to reducing toothache pain.
I recommend Epsom salt soaks regularly to our massage guests who have deep joint pain or recent muscle strains. Epsom salts are made of magnesium sulfate, which forms in crystals that look a lot like large crystal or flake-style table salt.
Epsom salts can be applied locally to a sprain/strain by soaking towels or wraps in Epsom salt solution and applying those to the affected area, or a bath can be prepared by dissolving Epsom salts in warm water for a full body soak.
My dad’s mom, Louise, passed at a much younger age; she was 77 and I was only 11 years old. But she and my grandfather Johnson were avid gardeners and beekeepers. Grandma Louise was also an incredible baker, and regularly used their honey – that they collected from bees they actually kept and cared for – in her recipes.
Imagine my delight in discovering that the Med Spa not only carries a local honey variety in the store, but that I also got to design one of our body treatments around this local honey and the benefits it offers to skin! Honey is naturally antibacterial so it's a great skin purifier. Honey is full of antioxidants, which help slow the aging process. Honey is extremely moisturizing and soothing, giving skin a warm glow.
Come see us at the JCMG Laser & Vein Med Spa – we have the perfect combination of traditional treatments and the latest technologies to offer every level of relaxation and beauty enhancements to our guests.