Wow! I just celebrated my birthday number 38. I see no reason to lie about this. I have earned every one of those years (and every one of those gray hairs). I have been looking back on the past year (actually year-and-a-half). It has been an interesting time. I saw my nephew turn 18, I had a death in the family, had health scares of people close to me. I was reacquainted with Yoga; a past love. And in June, I moved out of the house in Portland that I have been living in for 2 years and working in for 1. I moved back to Corvallis, OR into a funky old little apartment with my Chihuahua, and started renting space in Monroe Avenue Salon to resume my work providing Massage Therapy, Full Service Waxing, Facials, and Osmosis Skin Care.
Life needs to have major changes every once in a while to stay exciting. I think the thing that has pushed me through has been learning to be easy on myself, remembering that I am only capable of doing one thing well at a time (well being the operative word here...) I try to step back, dis-attach, and know that there is a bigger picture (even if I can't see what it is) instead of punishing myself for what I do wrong... Non judgment... easier said than done, right?
At the end of the day it's all about baby steps. Now, as the school year gears up to begin and Corvallis will be swarming with college students, it's easy to feel panic start creep into the edges of my mind... Have I thought of everything? Am I doing everything I'm supposed to be doing? Now I actually have to work. And at the same time I will be commuting to Portland for yoga teacher training. The me of 5 years ago would not be enjoying this. But the me of today knows that by "dis-attaching" I am given the chance to enjoy the ride; to be present.
I am ready for the next leg of this adventure. Bring it!
After 4 1/2 years in Portland, I have decided to move back to my hometown to be closer to and to be able to be more involved with my family. It feels good to reflect upon the time I have spent here and the things that I have learned as I opened my first business.
I will be renting space in a very busy salon in Corvallis called Monroe Avenue Salon. This will be an exciting opportunity for me due to the high volume and the high demand for waxing services.
I am truly blessed to have a friend here in Portland (also a massage therapist) who will be allowing me to use her space on NE Broadway once or twice a month to take appointments for existing clients. When I have more details as to what the specific plan is, I will post it in my newsletter.
I already have my apartment, and am gradually making the move down there. I'm trying to make the transition as smooth as possible and am attempting to service my Portland clients while at the same time making time to turn over this house and get moved in to both my new home and my new salon. Therefore, I am not accepting online appointments. However, I will be seeing clients here in Portland through the afternoon of Friday June 28th. If you need to book an appointment, please call me or (even better)text me at 503-619-6415. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . In order to expedite the process, you may want to give me a few dates/times that work so I can be able to help you as much as possible.
Also, please let me know by Friday, June 21st if you need any product (other than what I have in stock) so that I have time to place and receive the order (and get it to you) before I leave.
Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to serve you over the last 4 1/2 years. I have learned so much. There have been so many twists and turns but they have all served the purpose of setting me up for this new adventure. It has been such an enriching experience which I am so grateful for.
I recently ran into a friend and the subject of auto accidents came up along with the fact that I treat them. My friend didn’t know that when she had been in an accident in the past that she was entitled to receive massage through her auto insurance. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to educate my clients a little about what they can do in case of a motor vehicle accident.
Anyone who has driven in Oregon knows that when the rains start, the roads become a lot more dangerous. If you are in an accident in Oregon you are required by law to file an accident report with the DMV within 72 hours if your car’s vehicle damage is over $1,500, if damage to any of the cars involved is greater than $1,500 and any involved vehicle is towed from the scene, or when property damages are over $1,500. You can find more information about your rights and responsibilities at the Oregon DMV’s website http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/Pages/driverid/accidentreport.aspx
You are also required to file an accident report if you or anybody else involved is injured. Now you might see this and think “no biggie, as long as I’m not injured and it’s a minor fender bender then I don’t have to report it, right?” While that may be true, it can get tricky because you don’t always know if you are injured.
Case in point; someone pulled out of a parallel spot on MLK Boulevard and side swiped my front right fender a couple of years ago. At the time, I felt like nothing was wrong and drove home. A couple hours later the adrenaline wore off and I was hurting. Pains radiated down my chest and into my arms and my neck and low back were also very sore. So I went to the doctor to get checked out. I had whiplash. Fortunately I had learned my lesson from a previous accident and I got the other drivers insurance information and I took pictures. I ended up needing several treatments of both massage and chiropractic over the course of a few months until I was fully recovered.
If you are in a car accident, you should always seek medical treatment as soon as possible. And you should never just let the other driver go because you feel sorry for them or because you think that nothing is wrong with your car. At least get their information. If you turn out to be fine and your car doesn’t need any repairs (although you should have it at least checked for alignment issues but that’s a different topic), then great; no harm no foul. But if you do end up with an injury and the other driver was at fault, you could be paying for it for many years to come. Not just in the form of auto repair bills but in pain and suffering. Have you ever met someone who suffered from an untreated physical accident from years ago? The longer you go without treatment, the more likely permanent damage is possible.
Also, if you suspect that the other driver is uninsured, you are actually breaking the law if you do not report your suspicions to the DMV. So this brings up another point. In addition to liability coverage, you should carry Personal Injury Protection (or PIP) coverage. That way, if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you will still be covered. Once you are involved in an accident, whether your fault or not, your PIP coverage kicks in and all billing will go through your insurance plan. Then when the treatments are finished and all repairs are made, your insurance company will retrieve payment from the other person’s insurance company or from the person if not insured. And you don’t have to worry about it.
With all of that said, please know that you are entitled to whatever care you need to get back on your feet again. You are allowed to ask your doctor for a prescription for massage therapy (chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, etc.) and you are allowed to see whatever qualified healthcare provider you want with said prescription. Auto insurance is different than your private insurance where you have to see someone in network. You can pick your practitioner, and if you aren’t happy with them, you can get another one to treat you.
God forbid you find yourself in a traffic accident but chances are many of us will end up in one at one time or another. So please know that if you happen to be in this situation I am happy to treat you and one of my specialties is treating whiplash. If this happens, I will need your insurance information, including your agent who is handling the claim, the claim number, your full name and the date of the incident. I can then call your agent to verify your information and to make sure massage is covered (It almost always is) and then we can start treatment right away. If you have any questions please contact me and I can walk you through the process. Remember that you have rights and that you don’t have to needlessly suffer pain.
After 3 years in my current location, I will be moving out of my studio on NW Westover Rd. This has been a really difficult decision for me but I have decided that it is necessary in order to re-evaluate the direction that my career needs to go.
I will be seeing my final clients in the Westover building on Saturday, July 28. And then will take a few days to get settled and then, assuming all goes well, I will begin seeing clients at my home office on August 1st or sooner. Aside from the benefits to me personally & professionally, one major benefit for you, my clients, will be that you will never have to worry about finding a parking spot or getting a parking ticket ever again. Another benefit is easy access. My home is very conveniently located in SW Portland about a half mile from Multnomah Village it is 15 minutes from my old location and very easy to get to from NW Portland even in rush hour (when you transit the West Hills via Vista and Dosch Rd).
I would still like to use online booking because of the convenience to my clients; however, I will most likely just begin sending my address to clients as they book just to ensure safety. Safety has always been one of the reasons that I require a credit card when booking an appointment.
I will still offer the same services that I offer now, and possibly more because I will have more room to work and will no longer be spending my time taking care of two “homes”. I really feel that this will offer me the peace that I need in order to try new things with my business. If you have any gift certificates that have not expired, please be assured that they will still be valid at my new location.
Unfortunately, my ability to advertise and to attract new clients will be greatly impacted. Also, while I hope that my wonderful and loyal clients will visit me in my new location, I understand that this won’t be possible for everyone. At the same time, I am hoping to see some faces I haven’t seen in a while, those who weren’t all that fond of trekking though NW Portland. I will be offering a new incentive for you all to recommend your friends, family, and colleagues; I will be offering (to those who want them) gift certificates of $25 to be used towards services for you to give out to people who you really think will use them (limit 3). They will be personalized from you to your friend (relative, neighbor, etc.). For each gift certificate that comes back to me, you will receive a $25 credit for services on your account. If you are interested in this offer, please email me at email@example.com and I will arrange for delivery to you.
If you have been waiting to come in, this month is a great time to do it. Please enjoy this coupon for $15 off any service over $40 good through 7/28/12, and help me send off with a bang.
The thing that I love the most about what I do is that there is always something new to learn. When I have downtime, I read. Lately, one of the books that I have been reading is “Transform Your Skin Naturally” by Ben Johnson, MD. Dr. Johnson is the creator of the product line Osmosis. I have carried this line ever since I went into business. Dr. Johnson and I both believe in the approach of alternative skincare. This means that I am here to assist my clients in learning how the skin actually functions and helping them to assist their skin in the process of what it does naturally.
Our skin is constantly re-building itself turning over every 30 days (meaning every 30 days you have a whole new set of skin). This rate slows down in most humans by about age 25 and the Dermis begins to thin at about 1% a year (double that for sufferers of Rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions). This thinning is what causes our skin to lose its healthy appearance over time.
The most common approach to skincare today is to use harsh methods to exfoliate the skin in order to speed up this skin turnover. That seems all well and good, but what that is doing is actually aging the skin by starving it. Growing in my understanding of how the skin works has caused me to pull away from this idea and to focus on healing and rebuilding the skin. I choose to work with the skin’s natural functions because the skin is very efficiently designed to protect us, and it knows what it is doing.
The skin has three main layers; The Subcutis (deepest), the Dermis (middle), and the Epidermis (outer layer). All of the nutrients that the skin needs come from the Dermis which sends nutrients to the Epidermis in order to help it repair itself so that we can be protected from the elements. Many skincare professionals see the Epidermis simply as dead skin that is responsible for wrinkles when it is actually there to protect us from infection, sun damage, and aging. When we do anything above very gentle exfoliation, we are interfering with the Epidermis’ function and increasing our skin’s susceptibility to the above factors. Harsh exfoliation causes inflammation that sets into motion the Dermal response because the Dermis sends nutrients to the Epidermis to repair the skin once it has become inflamed.
Over the years, the skincare industry has made a shift to constant exfoliation with products that have high concentrations of Alpha Hydroxy acids, Retin-A, and other harsh exfoliants. Prolonged use of these products gives us a temporary plumping due to the trauma caused by exfoliation, but this is only an illusion. We are actually aging the skin more as we use these products because we are starving the skin as we cause it to work harder to keep up and re-supply nutrients to the Epidermis. We are also decreasing the skin’s ability to protect itself from aging. If you would like to know more about the Osmosis line or treatments I have available, please call, email, or even schedule a consultation.
If you would like to see before and after photographs from the Osmosis website, please click here.
“Hey Grandma, do you know what a Brazilian wax is?” my housemate asks. Her grandma shakes her head to say no. Well, “It’s when they wax everything ‘down there’”, she informs Grandma with a snicker as if trying to shock her. I’m a little uncomfortable at this point being the first time I have met this lady. Although she seems like a sweet little grandma on the surface, I am informed on the drive over she will most likely behave because she doesn’t know me… “Oh I don’t need that, I’m all bald down there” ever since my surgery nothing grows down there. “Bald as a cue ball”, her husband chimes in with a grin.
This is but one of many conversation starters used by my sophomoric friends to talk about what I do for a living. Yes, I’m a waxer, among other things. I own a small (yet lovely) studio called “Absolutely Flawless” located at 2340 NW Westover Road in Portland, OR where I am a licensed esthetician and massage therapist. I provide services such skincare consultations, facials, body wraps, massage and full service waxing. This includes Brazilian Waxing, and yes (I can hear the gasps beginning to form), as an equal opportunity waxer; I wax both women and men.
So what is a Brazilian? In short, a Brazilian wax is when the hair is removed from the genitalia via the root of the hair follicle. On the female, the hair is removed from the outer labia and a small “landing strip” or triangle is left remaining on the mound above the labia. On the male, the hair is removed from the shaft of the penis, as well as the scrotum, and a patch is left behind the shaft on the skin that covers the bladder area. The hair is also removed from the anus and the buttocks on both the male and female. Some people even like to have shapes created in the hair that is left such as Horseshoes, stars, hearts, etc. A completely bald wax is often called a “Hollywood Wax” but there are many other names depending on the technician.
A Brazilian wax hurts a little, but (as was explained to me by my Brazilian waxing mentor) “the pain is “transitory””. The pain can be lessened by a few key things. First, take a couple of Ibuprofen about 30 minutes before waxing. This helps to lessen both the pain, and any swelling that might be involved. There are also topical products that can be used to numb the skin before hand, but the jury is still out on if they really help enough to make them worth using. Secondly, regular waxing is essential. Over time, with regular waxing, the hair follicle will have less and less of a grip on the hair to be pulled and the hairs will come out more easily. The skin will be less sensitive if this is done every 4 weeks (another reason to wax frequently is that you may even experience less hair growth over time). In addition, don’t wax within 3 days the three days prior to through the three days post menstruation while your body is more sensitive to pain. Most women instinctively know this, but many surprisingly don’t think about it and how it relates to waxing. The horror stories I have heard on this matter are another blog within itself and I just won’t go there. That’s why my policy is no Brazilian wax during menstruation – period (no pun intended)!
One thing that I find to be crucial in lessening the pain of a Brazilian is to simply take a Zen approach. The less you fight anything, the less resistance you will have. You know it’s going to look and feel great, and you know you will have less ingrown hairs and more days of smoothness, so sit back and relax. Remember to breathe. Tensing up throws the body into a “fight or flight” mode constricting the blood vessels as well as the muscles of the hair follicles (this is why when you are afraid, the hair on your body stands up). Not only that, if the follicles tense up, there is a chance the hair will break instead of being pulled out and then there is a very good chance of getting an ingrown hair once it curls up underneath the skin and can’t find its way out of the follicle. Recently, I had a client who kept trying to sit up every time I even laid the wax down on her. She would jump before I even pulled the wax. As a result, her skin was looking very angry and the wax took much longer than it should have, the ordeal was strenuous on the both of us. If you just focus on breathing and whatever your happy place is, it goes by much faster and is much less painful.
Finally, exfoliate regularly, but don’t overdo it. I supply topical products that can help to exfoliate the skin and prevent ingrown hairs. By using a topical exfoliant a couple of days before waxing, the thin top layer of skin is loosened around the opening of the hair follicle also making the hair easier to remove.
One day my mother said jokingly (sort of) “I can’t believe my daughter does this for a living”. We both had a laugh about that, but the truth is, I wear it like a badge of honor. I am a perfectionist Virgo and I am really good at what I do. My Brazilian clients are some of my most loyal ones and it would be way more difficult to survive in a recession without them. They know that they will get a thorough waxing, at a fair price, and most importantly, that they will feel comfortable and maybe even have a laugh or two because after all, it’s simply wax, hair, and skin.