Can pain be the other side of pleasure not tending to it’s own needs?

Source: Sankofa

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The body is the nexus, the intersection of the self…thoughts, deeds and genes…crystalized into flesh and bone.

Stretched, tightened, tucked, toned, nipped, cut, tattooed, lightened, burned, bleached, picked, pierced…no other part of the body is either loved or despised other than the skin.  Oh, but it has its’ revenge for all of this pushing, pulling, manipulating and hatin’ on it.

It refuses to keep our secrets and will tell on us in a heartbeat when we’ve had too much to drink, smoke, eat or if we’ve deprived it of what it craves most…water and caress.

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Bringing Diamonds From The Darkness: Learning to see in the dark

Bringing Diamonds From The Darkness: Learning to see in the dark.

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Bringing Diamonds From The Darkness: Learning to see in the dark

We all know it and have intimate experience with it. Books and books are written on the topic and how to manage it. Institutes have been created to study it. Its effect is as all-pervasive in our culture as gravity, weighing as down with its pressure. It’s been called the number one cause of death in the modern world.

Monday mourning heart attacks, a weakened immune system, stroke, cancer, substance abuse, weight loss or gain, hair loss, tired, irritable, depression, rage, burn-out, hyperactivity, inactivity, insomnia, anxiety, digestive problems, headaches, indecision, aches and pains, skin rashes, hot flashes, paranoia, and just not feeling good “in your own skin”.

I didn’t want to have to bring it up, but I couldn’t write a book about massage without talking about it…thy name is stress. Stress is no joke. I know too many that have checked out of this life because of it. Continue reading

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TALES FROM THE TABLE: What Every Massage Therapist (and their clients/patients) Should Know

TALES FROM THE TABLE: My Massage Practice – What every massage therapist (and their clients/patients) should know

I remember the kind words of various clients throughout my career as a massage therapist. One young woman told me that my hands reminded her of the tender touch of her mother. I was so honored to hear that. Therapists need to always remember that to serve your patients/clients is an honor and a privilege.

There would be times when I could feel the healing energy running through my hands. As therapists we always need to remember and not get it twisted, the healing energy comes from the Creator, (whatever name you choose to use, (God, Allah, Jah, Jehovah, Ntr, Great Spirit…) not us, we are merely the channel or river which it chooses to flow through.

Unfortunately, there are times when clients can be very demanding, unreasonable so. Perhaps because massage is such a close relationship between therapist and client/patient, some clients/patients may blur the line, becoming territorial and project their own desires or confusions to their massage therapist. Continue reading

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SPRING CLEANING: A Zen Moment: Creating the Space For Relaxation and Romance

SPRING CLEANING: A Zen Moment:    Tulips       Creating the Space For Relaxation and Romance (excerpt from “Touch, The Language of Massage, How To Speak It”)

A cluttered mind, creates a restless mind, creates a cluttered home that fosters cluttered, restless relationships. Junk the clutter in your home, it’s an energy drain and there’s nothing romantic about stepping over boxes and dirty clothes, reaching over dirty dishes, wading through paper, magazines or stuff, to get to the bedroom, the floor (can you even see the floor?) or to the massage table! Continue reading

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Dancing Under One Sun


“Beloveds, as we come together in sacred space with our love, prayers and divine invocations for our brothers and sisters in Japan, it is important that we all stay healthy so that we may be sound vessels to transmit healing energy.

I wanted to share that cilantro, yes cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley counters radiation! It chelates heavy metals like mercury, aluminum, and lead out of the . Put it in your green smoothies, salads, or make cilantro pesto. Whatever you do just stay healthy. We have miles to go before we sleep; and sacred promises to keep.”

Namonyah Soipan
Center For Sacred Dialogue

Years ago I produced an arts festival called “Under One Sun” which highlighted the cultural connections and intersections in Los Angeles. If we still hadn’t realized that “yes, we are truly living under one sun”, here in California we are experiencing that in real terms. Some parts of Northern California have been evacuated and there are real concerns for the long-lasting effects of the fallout from radiation.

With all the panic of ill winds blowing our way, it’s time to call the healers to come Continue reading
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What’s Not Talked About In The HealthCare Debate/Discussions: Access to Healthcare, Complimentary Medicine

Now that massage therapy and other wholistic health modalities have become more popular, some would say the massage industry has become saturated. In some cities and countries it has. A country like Dubai has one of the highest concentrations of spas per capita in the world.

There was a running joke among us massage students that in one particular Southern California city there was a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, a yoga studio and a massage therapist on every corner. The ugly reality of that joke was that there were other Southland communities that were not getting the health benefits of these preventive care treatments due to economics, so instead of wellness practitioners on every corner, there were liquor stores and street pharmacists on those corners. So much for healthy stress management and preventive care in those communities. Unfortunately, that scenario is duplicated in cities across America.

Early on in my health practice, I was blessed to have met and networked with other massage therapists and health practitioners (herbalists, acupuncturist, martial arts teachers, medical doctors, nutritionists, wholistic health educators, yoga teachers) that were passionate about awakening the knowledge of wholistic health back into these under served communities and neighborhoods. I use the word awaken because for many African American, Latino and American Indian communities, wholistic health was our traditional medicine for generations. However, as we moved away from living in connection to the land and our elders, much of that knowledge was forgotten or simply dismissed as “old ways”. Even in modern-day China, there was a period of renaissance and re-discovery of their own Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), now used in association with a modern model of medicine and healthcare delivery.

Decades later, while there are still massive institutional health disparities and barriers across the board, for both African American healthcare practitioners and patients, I am happy to see that using their own innovation, business imagination and acumen, these health practitioners have offered the community safe places to get a massage-a legitimate massage, take a yoga class, grow their own food and start food cooperatives, learn stress management skills, or simply offer a safe place to sit and sip some herb tea and take a breath break in one’s own neighborhood.

While Western quantum physics is affirming many of the principles of indigenous traditional healing modalities such as TCM, Western medical science has been slow to welcome these preventative healing practices into the medical marketplace. I challenge those on the wave of the current healthcare transition to incorporate a more integrative healthcare system that uses these practitioners and formalizes the payment for services in a fair way that serves the interest of the patient, the practitioner and the larger community.

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Of Pecs, Packs & Poles: In honor of all those new year resolutions!

If I hear the phrase “men are visual” one more time — as if women are not — I’m going to scream!

Growing up, how many of us women can remember hearing their grandmothers, great grandmothers or “big Mommas” say, “baby, better think about how it’s goin’  be lookin’ at that man in the morning across the breakfast table. Think about the kids.”

In other words, God don’t like ugly, so don’t bring no ugly home. Continue reading

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Finding a good massage therapist may not be as hard as finding a good dating relationship, but it can be just as challenging. There are plenty of them out there, but how do you find the right one for you?

The best referrals are from family, friends, co-workers, even church friends that may have a good massage therapist to recommend. One of the best gifts to give this holiday season is a gift certificate to your favorite spa or salon for massage and salon services with your favorite massage therapist.

Whether you receive your therapeutic massage in your medical or chiropractic office as a physical therapy patient or at the day spa, salon, or gym as a regular client, your relationship with your massage therapist is like a good dating relationship. There should be respect, trust, cooperation, listening, rapport (chemistry) and a healthy dose of awe. Here are the rules! Continue reading

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