• 5 Awesome Things That Happened When I Tried this Organization Technique

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    As a longtime list maker and former stationery addict, when I began seeing the recent influx of posts on the organizational trend that is the ‘Bullet Journal’, I was instantly intrigued. Not one to follow crazes but always open to anything that is a self-started organizational tool, I started my own. Though I have always kept somewhat coherent lists and notes, often jotted throughout a tiny spiral book, what I noticed instantly about the ‘Bullet Journaling’ technique, (which I translated very loosely into a larger spiralled notebook) was that the segmentation and occasionally drawing little images to break up the monotony of the written chaos did in fact seem to help. Here are a few ways in which the bullet journalling technique has upped my daily game in concentration, prioritization and relaxation.

    I feel less stressed.

    Blessed with the gift of a good memory, I have a tendency to rely on it and overload my internal to-do list to the point where my present tasks take a hit, as I am pre-occupied with the up and coming tasks that subconsciously whirl through my mind.

    Even if some things do not get checked off at the end of each day or desired timeframe, the mere fact that they are now residing in their respective spaces in the book allows me to clear my head and focus on present endeavours, free from constantly ‘reminding myself to remind myself to remember’.

    I feel clearer about my progress.

    As a visual person, it helps me keep tabs on goals, tasks, and the like by providing an image I can latch onto instead of consistently having to refer to my own chicken scratch. This way of maintaining clarity in the book also proves to maintain it in my mind. Although perhaps silly, this allowed me to take time for myself more and practice self care

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    My daily intentions and mantras have become more consistent.

    Keeping a written recollection of the intentions and positive reminders that I strive to make a part of my everyday routine has become easier, as upon waking, I can refer to these points as a kickstarter for a successful day, even if I am feeling out of sorts or running late with a million things going through my head.

    My shopping has become streamlined.

    Although as aforementioned a proud list-maker, where it seems to take the wayside is when it comes to grocery lists. But employing a specific section for this entices me to actually include my desired ingredients there, and utilize it when out. In turn, my mealtimes have recently become more organized and balanced, which has helped me save money.

    I feel less confused in general.

    Keeping everything in one book has been a big one. In the past, I would designate different notebooks for their own specific subject, but since merging into one, I find that having one book instead of two or four has greatly reduced the impact of external disjointed topics, and in response, the internal. Unloading all of the ideas, inspirations, ‘to-dos’ and projects that come up on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, has allowed me to focus on the present moment, prioritize within them, and find a new sense of freedom even with a busy schedule.

    The best thing about starting your own ‘Bullet Journal’ is that there are really no rules, just guidelines to help you design a system that works for you!

    Check out this post with tips on how to start: http://creativesavingsblog.com/life-and-style/time-management/how-to-start-a-bullet-journal/

  • RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    We hope you’ve been enjoying our RMT Fast 5 Series. We’ve loved hearing their most cherished ways to maintain balance and what brings a smile to their faces!

    Today we hear from Soma Studio founder and lifelong healer Lori Johnson. Having started Soma from the ground up in 2000, and with more than 20 years of experience, her vision has remained constant- for Soma Studio to stand as a warm and welcoming environment where one trusts that they are truly in good hands, providing professional and knowledgable treatments through the work of gifted RMTs.

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    Lori’s original focus was helping pregnant women, their partners and babies adjust to the changes that happen during the childbearing year, but through an array of techniques, she actively supports and treats clients who suffer from stress-induced pain and overuse conditions, or who are interested in preventative massage.

    Here’s Lori’s response to our Fast 5!

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    I do yoga and then look forward to a nice glass of wine…

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen? 

    My Mandoline, the slicing tool, couldn’t live without it.  It makes salad making a dream. I have to be careful not to slice my fingers though…

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    I love yoga and I work out with my excellent trainer once per week. Janella, she is amazing.

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy? 

    Releasing, Healing, Necessary

    A favourite quote? 

    “We are all Spiritual Beings having a Human experience.”

    You can read more about Lori here: 

    http://www.somastudio.net/about/our-registered-massage-therapists/lori-johnson-rmt/

  • RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    Next up in our RMT ‘Get to Know’ series we have Carla Van Elslande.

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    As a musician with an intuitive passion for helping others through music and teaching, Carla found that massage therapy provided an equally powerful outlet for her to connect and support healing and growth. Here are her answers to our fast 5!

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    I enjoy spending time with family & friends, going for bike rides and walks along the seawall, chatting over a glass of wine, watching movies with my partner and reading.

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen?

    Extra virgin olive oil, wine, olives, fresh herbs.

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    I love hot yoga because it provides me with a good workout, and helps with strength, flexibility and balance all at once. It gives me a sense of community in a non-competitive environment, and allows me to engage in active meditation.

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy?

    Intuition, effectiveness, healing

    A favourite quote?

    ‘Forever is composed of nows’
    -Emily Dickinson.

    Read more about Carla’s massage story and philosophy here: http://www.somastudio.net/about/our-registered-massage-therapists/carla-van-elslande-rmt/

  • RMT Fast 5 Spotlight: Get to know the Soma team!

    We hope everyone is enjoying their transition into a beautiful spring!

    We are very pleased to be welcoming two new therapists to our team at Soma, and are excited to have such skilled RMTs joining us! To help you get to know our therapists here at Soma we are happy to kick off our RMT Spotlight with one of our lovely new team members, where they share a bit about what makes them tick and ways they find balance in a fast paced world!

    Introducing: Tess Halldorson

    image1Tess graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy, where she learned to effectively address a variety of conditions. She is proficient in several modalities, including Swedish massage, myofascial release, trigger point therapy and joint mobilizations, and believes in keeping up to date on the latest treatment techniques, obtaining measurable outcomes before and after treatment assessment. She is passionate about helping her patients reach their therapeutic goals, whether it be injury recovery, stress related, or maintaining general wellness.

    What are some of your favourite ways to unwind?

    Relaxing in the bath with a good book is the ultimate way to unwind. As long as you don’t mind all your pages starting to curl!

    Things that you must always have on hand in your kitchen? 

    My fiancé, haha! I’m not allowed in the kitchen anymore, I’d burn water if I could.

    Preferred exercise style and why? 

    Honestly, taking my dog for long walks. I’m much more of an outdoorsy exercise girl. The constant change of scenery, the fresh air, with the added perk of giving my Puggle a good workout!

    3 words that come to mind when you think of massage therapy? 

    Tranquility, Good-pain (I’m counting that as one!), Preventative

    A favourite quote? 

    My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

    Thanks for sharing! Give us a call of have a look online for Tess’ next availability. 

     

     

  • Reflections of a First RMT Experience

    jairo-alzate-45540As a dedicated yogi and advocate for good health, and throughout much self research into various healing dualities, strangely, massage has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. Sure I’d had a few relaxing experiences in tropical locales that did seem to provide noticeable benefits to my state of calm, particularly during the session, but coming in to Soma Studio I was greeted with not only a different environment but an unanticipated approach altogether. Instantly upon my assessment with my RMT, I could tell that this was much more involved than I had imagined. While some come to massage for general relaxation and relief of your everyday tensions, some are drawn to it seeking to heal deeper rooted concerns, whether that is physical imbalance or injury, emotional trauma or a knot that just won’t seem to budge.

    What remained intact through a treatment that continued to pleasantly surprise me was the encapsulating tranquil and comfortable atmosphere that was maintained the whole way through. Often times nowadays, medicine and remedial practices tend to take a sterile and unwelcoming persona, so much so that a lot of people are put off by say, going in for a doctor’s appointment, and I realized that this calibre of massage therapy was breaking that stigma, through the use of techniques and skills that stand before a backbone of in depth physiological science and first hand experience.

    I briefly shared with my RMT my physical concerns, and she was receptive and very professional as she did a postural assessment. Meeting me back in the room, I was given an overview of what to expect, and that at any time to let her know if something was not working, or was. Due to my specific needs, my RMT started off with what they call ‘Myofascial Release’ techniques. This method uses no oil, as the therapist needs to be able to grip the skin, working not only with the muscles but the subtler layers of connective tissues, known as fascia, that can be the cause of tightness and discomfort. I immediately felt the difference in how my body was reacting to this practice, as it wasn’t just a specific muscle that was causing my distress but an entire cohesive area. Giving the utmost attention to the spots that I had highlighted and a balanced level of care to the rest of my body, I was impressed an intrigued by my RMT’s intuitive knowledge regarding pressure level, pinpointing muscles I didn’t even know were there, and fluid motion, even using an oil-free technique.

    The session took a natural curve, beginning with lighter impressions and working up to a full on therapeutic treatment, before easing into a soothing finale to the upper back, neck, shoulders and head in what I would describe as ‘assertive yet reassuring wavelike movements’. I was left feeling light and fascinated by how accurate my RMT’s techniques had been.

    Moral of the story, booking an appointment with an RMT may be just what you’ve been seeking to restore balance in the body, and can become an important ritual in a self care routine, that doesn’t feel like a chore in the slightest.

    Many thanks to Tina at Soma Studio East for providing an excellent treatment from which to share the experience. To book an appointment with a Registered Massage Therapist, give us a call or book online. 

  • Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

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    Pamela Nadav has said, “There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.” Preganancy is a remarkable journey that invites a woman to completely new terrain, and to explore facets of herself that she may have never uncovered lest she embarked up this journey. It’s a time of introspection and inner nurturing, a time when she learns the intuitive capacity she has for being a vessel of life, of caring, and of love. Yet so often, the adventure to motherhood is fraught with physical discomfort and emotional ups and downs! Because a woman goes through so many changes during this time, having a support network in place in the form of community, breathing classes, massage, and yoga, can give a soon­to­be mom exactly what she needs.

    Preganancy is a time that prepares a woman to connect with her own intuition and
    wisdom. Especially for a woman, parenting begins with conception, as the tools she
    develops while carrying her child will be important ones she uses once the child is born
    and growing. It’s a time that is meant to allow the woman to rely more fully on her
    instincts, as these instincts are what give her the ability to move gracefully through the
    birthing process, no matter what the outcome, and to parent in a way that is connected to
    her deep inner knowing.

    A woman’s body inevitably experiences a multitude of changes during pregnancy, which
    can at times disconnect her from her own inner voice. As her uterus expands with the
    weight of the growing baby, there is more stress on her back, neck, shoulders and
    abdominal muscles. An aching lower back is a common sensation for many pregnant
    women, while others may experience aching legs, sore hips, swelling and/or insomnia.

    To reconnect inwardly, find ease in her body and mind, and reconnect with her spirit,
    prenatal massage therapy is a wonderful way to lessen her discomfort. A massage during
    pregnancy brings about a sense of well­being through relaxation, giving an expecting
    mother a once again clear channel to her own intuition, as well as a feeling of being
    settled and grounded.

    Benefits of Prenatal Massage

    • Soothes tired and tense muscles

    • Improves sleep

    • Relieves muscle cramps, spasms and tension in the lower back, neck, hips and

    legs

    • Reduces the release of stress hormones

    • Reduces heart rate and blood pressure

    • Improves blood and lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling (edema)

    • Can improve labour outcome and ease pain

    Soma’s therapists seek to support their pregnant clients by helping them to reconnect
    with themselves, to feel good in their bodies, and to feel prepared for the adventure of a
    liftetime. Our therapists are professionally trained prenatal massage therapists in
    Vancouver who understand the needs of a pregnant body, which techniques to use, and
    how to safely massage it to alleviate some of the discomfort. We recognize the
    importance of positioning the body during a pregnancy massage not only for comfort, but
    also for a woman and her baby’s well­being.

    As well as pregnancy massage, our prenatal massage therapists are happy to share their
    expertise in other aspects of prenatal care, from abdominal exercises to sleeping
    positions to postural correction. And when the time is right and a woman is ready, Soma’s
    therapists are also trained in postnatal massage.
    “The most important thing a woman would learn over the years was that there was no
    way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one” (Jill Churchill). Let Soma
    support you in your dynamic and exciting journey to motherhood, and feel the benefits
    immediately!

     

    By Lori Johnson, RMT & Owner of Soma Studio

  • Early Pregnancy Workshop

    Newly pregnant? While this can be an exciting time, it can also be overwhelming. With so much information available and so many decisions to make, many people find that waiting to take a full prenatal class (later in pregnancy) is too long to wait.

    The goal of the Early Pregnancy Workshop hosted by Jenn King, CHt and founder of HypnoMammas is to provide expecting couples/women with information about healthy pregnancy, informed decision making and preparing for baby.

    This workshop is a comprehensive 2.5 hour class covering many of the questions newly pregnant women/couples have early on (please see the content overview below). It is also a great opportunity to feel proactive and involved earlier in pregnancy since most other workshops & classes are typically taken later in pregnancy. One of the main goals of this workshop is to connect people with the wonderful pregnancy-related resources, practitioners & classes that we have in Vancouver. Every woman/couple leaves with a full package of materials including non-biased information as well as actual promotional materials for a number of different local services and practitioners.

    Register for upcoming classes and workshops here.

    Overview

    Part One –
    The Physiology of Pregnancy
    Your Developing Baby
    Body Changes
    Comfort in Pregnancy & Alternative Therapies
    Nutrition & Exercise
    Avoiding Harmful/Toxic Substances in Pregnancy

    Part Two –
    Choices in Pregnancy
    Care Providers
    Prenatal Classes
    Doulas
    Place of Birth
    Understanding your EDD
    Travel Tips in Pregnancy

    Part Three –
    Preparing to Co-Parent & Postpartum Planning
    Relationship Changes & Preparation for Parenting
    Creating a Parenting Philosophy
    Baby Rearing Options
    Finding Breastfeeding Support

     

  • Soma Studio Welcomes Michealla Redeker, RMT

    Soma Studio would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest RMT, Michealla Redeker.

    Michealla is a skilled, resourceful, intuitive, and approachable Registered Massage Therapist with extensive knowledge and experience in the field. A graduate of the West Coast College of Massage Therapy, Michealla obtained her registered status in the fall of 2001 after completing 3000 hours of training.

    Michealla has been a dedicated practitioner of Massage Therapy for the past 11 years and has continually upgraded her skills over this period of time.  She has advanced study in therapeutic deep tissue massage, Myofascial release, muscle energy techniques, Thai massage, and perinatal. She also is a dedicated yoga practioner.

    Michealla has travelled to various parts of Asia including, Thailand and India, to learn and experience different holistic healing practices.  In her practice, Michealla treats a wide spectrum of patients with issues stemming from chronic illness, athletics, pregnancy, work, stress and accident related injuries.

    Michealla has recently returned to work after taking some time off to spend with her first child and love of her life. A grounded down to earth mom and professional, Michealla is passionate about travel, foreign culture, music the outdoors and activities including, Yoga, running and hiking.

  • 5 Reasons for Pregnancy Back Pain

    While being pregnant can be a wonderful experience, it often comes with a few challenges such as lower back pain.

    There are essentially two types of pregnancy back pain: lumbar pain (over and around the lumbar vertebrae area) and posterior pelvic pain (in the back of your pelvis). Pelvic pain can be felt deep inside the buttocks, in the back of your thighs and/or over your pubic bone.

    There are many potential reasons behind your back pain – here are five of the most common causes:

    1. Hormonal changes – The hormone relaxin literally allows the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine to relax. Your also joints loosen, leading to instability and pain when walking, bending, sitting for long periods or rolling over in bed.
    2. Postural changes – Your growing belly shifts your centre of gravity forward. Along with weakened abdominal muscles, your posture may be compensating (i.e. slouching or allowing your back to bow and your pelvis to shift back) and putting additional strain on your back.
    3. Extra weight – Women typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds during a healthy pregnancy. Not only does this weight need to be supported by the spine, it creates extra work for the muscles and stress on the joints, all causing lower back pain.
    4. Stress – Emotional stress can cause muscle tension in the back.
    5. Previous or chronic back pain – With all the changes that occur in your body during pregnancy, old issues may flare up.

    WHAT TO DO

    There are several things you can do to ease the discomfort of back pain during pregnancy and prevent it from turning into a long-term problem.

    1. Exercise – Regular exercise strengthens muscles and increases flexibility, easing the stress on your spine. Swimming is a fantastic option as it strengthens muscles while the water’s buoyancy removes any strain.
    2. Keep active – If you can’t get to the gym or pool, make walking and stretching part of your daily routine. Avoid sitting for long periods or bed rest.
    3. Check your posture – When standing, ensure that you use a pelvic tilt, stand tall and hold your shoulders back. When sitting at a desk, rest your feet on a box or stack of books, sit up straight, use additional support behind your back and, if in the third trimester, a pillow on your lap under your belly.
    4. Sleep position – Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees. The pillow should be wide or thick enough to almost set your legs hip distance apart. As your belly grows, use another pillow underneath it for support.
    5. Massage therapy – See a certified prenatal massage therapist, who will relax muscles that are overworking and tense due to the changing body. Prenatal massage therapy deals with some of the other pregnancy-related conditions as well such as carpal tunnel syndrome, edema in legs and hands, insomnia and headaches. A certified prenatal massage therapist will also provide advice about where to take prenatal classes, proper breast feeding positions for your body, the importance of rest after delivery as well as appropriate exercise after baby.

    If you have pregnancy-related back pain, make an appointment with one of our certified massage therapists to relax and experience some relief.

  • Fit for Two Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness CONTEST

    Soma Studio East and Fit for Two® have partnered in a monthly draw to win a free pass at Fit for Two Vancouver East! The free pass is for four consecutive classes at the East Vancouver location only.

    How to Enter

    Starting December 1st, 2012, all one-hour pregnancy massage clients at our Soma East location will be entered into the draw after their appointment. On the last day of the month, one name will be drawn from the group as the monthly winner. Winners will be notified by phone.

    Learn More About Fit for Two

    Find out general information on the organization or view the class schedule for Vancouver East.

    Please contact us with any questions about the contest.