Wednesday, February 13, 2019

How to give your valentine a loving massage

Everyone wants a massage, but sometimes, going to see your favorite massage therapist (hi there!) as often as you want a massage just isn’t feasible or affordable. And it can be very special to show your love to your valentine with your touch. My daughter has shown me how very important the love language of touch is. She doesn’t understand all of my words, so I have to show her my love through how I touch her.  Most people would be so grateful to receive a loving massage from their partner. But many people are afraid that their partner won't like it, or that they will get tired or sore from working too hard. Many people don’t know that in addition to practicing massage, I love to teach massage! So, for a valentine’s day gift for you, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips. So grab someone you love, light a couple candles, get some coconut oil or lotion and a favorite essential oil, and give them a loving massage that they will be forever grateful for! 

Slooooooow doooooown.

Life is busy and fast paced and stressful, and most people's nervous systems are on high alert. Before you start the massage, slow yourself down and clear your mind with some deep breaths. Feel the love that you have for your partner in your heart and imagine that love flowing out past your shoulders, into your arms and hands and fingers. Slowly bring your hands to make contact with your loved one, and feel this love pour through each stroke and hold and caress. Try using the massage as an opportunity for you to relax and meditate. It might be almost as relaxing and enjoyable for you to give a massage as it will be for your partner to receive it! And the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your partner will be because they will resonate with your state of being... so let go of the nervousness, and follow your intuition. 

Use firm pressure, but not hard.

People get confused about pressure in two opposite ways. If your partner is smaller than you, you may have a tendency to use very light pressure. This is okay to a point (you probably won’t hurt anyone), but can be a little uncomfortable if your partner is tense or sore or, even worse, ticklish. On the other side are the people who come from the “no pain, no gain” school of massage. Don’t buy into this myth! Massage should be pleasant. If your partner has to tense their muscles and clench their jaw in order to get through your massage, it’s not helping.

If you meet a bone, leave it alone.

There is one exception to the firm pressure rule, and that is bones. You don’t need to be an anatomist to recognize the ones that stick out, like knees, elbows, ribs, and spines. With little padding between them and the skin, these areas can be quick to bruise or feel painful. If you find your hands arriving at one of these bony landmarks (yes, that’s actually what massage therapists call them, it’s like reading a topographical map), you have two options: turn around and go back the way you came, or skim over them using gentle pressure and keep going with your massage on the other side.

Practice good body mechanics.

If massage shouldn’t be painful for your partner, it also shouldn’t be painful for you. Set yourself up to be comfortable by choosing the position that they are resting in. If you don’t have a massage table, you can have them rest on one side of the bed. If you use the bed frequently for massage, you might want to invest in this handy face cradle that fits onto any mattress! You can also have your partner sit sideways in a chair while you massage their shoulders and neck. Another option is to have the recipient lay on the floor and you use a lunge position to get your weight on top of them. If you are hunched over, if your wrists are bent at an awkward angle, if you are using your thumbs or fingers in ways they weren’t designed to work, you will end up regretting the day you ever offered to give a massage. Use the weight of your body to provide pressure instead of your arms, and your arms,  fingers, or thumbs. When you move to a new part of your partner’s body, adjust your entire position, not just your hand placement. 

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Really, you probably don’t need to talk to a massage therapist to learn that open communication between you and your partner is key to anything you undertake together. But it’s especially true in a situation like a massage, where one of you is more vulnerable than the other. As the massage giver, it’s important that you check in regularly: How does this feel? Would you like more or less pressure? The same goes for communicating your own needs. If you are getting tired, or thirsty, or really need to leave for work, say something. Don’t leave your partner feeling guilty about enjoying a massage because you made a unilateral decision to sacrifice your needs for theirs.

Learn from the pros.

As with any skill, one of the best ways to learn to give a massage is by watching the people who are already great at it. Getting regular professional massage (hello again!) and taking a couples massage class are both helpful. Barring that, YouTube is a fantastic source of tutorials for beginners. You can search for a style you like—Swedish massage is a great place to start, or Thai Massage—or an area of the body that your partner would like to focus on, like the neck and shoulders.

Remember, massage with love!

If you are feeling nervous or incompetent, just let your hands rest on your partner's body, breathe gratitude into that part of you that feels worried, and come back to the love that you feel for this person. Even if you are not confident in your skills, if you reach out and massage your partner with the intention of sharing your love with them, they will feel your love, and be so grateful! If you would like to learn more about massaging your partner, schedule a massage and bring in a partner, and I will be happy to show you some great techniques that feel comfortable for you to give, and amazing for your partner to receive!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Greet Grief and Grow Gratitude

Do you want to feel more grateful in your life? I invite you try something new as you enter into the holiday season... I call it "Greet Grief and Grow Gratitude." It can be so tempting for us to jump right into holiday cheer, gratitude, and giving gifts, and get so busy with the holidays that we forget to take care of ourselves. This year, make a different choice. Take some time to acknowledge the parts of you that aren't quite ready for the joy of the season. There is so much to be acknowledged and greeted within our human experience, and if we don't acknowledge the hard or painful aspects of our experience, we can become tight, hardened, stuck, stressed, and closed-off. I have found that in my experience, if I take the time to acknowledge the things that I have lost, and that I am grieving, that it creates the opportunity for gratitude to grow

Many people have experienced personal losses this year, whether we lost a loved one, our health declined, or due to aging, we have lost some freedom or mobility. Some of us experienced financial losses, or lost of community after moving to a new location. And many of us are getting more acquainted with loss in our culture these days as it is becoming harder to ignore environmental losses, political discord, lost feelings of safety and belonging with increasing violence and hate crimes. 

We are so conditioned to think that we need to be strong and muscle through our sadness to find happiness. But I have found that if grief and loss is not expressed or greeted with compassion by another human being or community, we can experience a hardening in the body which creates tension, pain, depression, and even rage.  We also then can have a heavy heart that is not open to the joys of life because of the heaviness of the unexpressed sorrow. 

So, give yourself some space to greet your sorrow with some of these ideas: 
  • Walk to somewhere in nature and talk to the river, trees, birds, or clouds.  
  • Take a long shower and let the sadness be released with the water.
  • Sing a sad song until the tears surface and let them roll. 
  • Put on some music and walk or dance until you cry out loud. 
  • Write in your journal about the losses that you are feeling. 
  • Schedule some bodywork and be with all of your feelings with the loving presence of your healing arts practitioner. 
  • Let yourself be supported by a qualified mental health practitioner if the feelings are overwhelming.

When you are ready, find a friend, family member, healer, or therapist to listen to you and witness you as you acknowledge your grief and sadness. And sense what nourishment you truly need to feel engaged and alive: nourishing touch, laughter, kindness, shared meals, time in nature, rituals and stories.  

Notice how you feel after you express these feelings... you might feel release, 
or freedom... 
And then watch the gratitude grow and celebrate! 

This quote sums it up for me:

"Gratitude is the other hand of grief. To deny either reality is to slip into chronic depression or to live in denial of life's difficult reality. Together they form a prayer that makes tangible the exquisite richness of life in this moment. Life is hard and filled with suffering. Life is also a most precious gift, a reason for continual celebration and appreciation. To everything, as the old prophet said, there is a season. This is the time of Thanksgiving." - Francis Weller

And this year, while I greet and acknowledge my grief, I also feel so the gratitude for YOU... and my heart softens... and I bow to you in gratitude... it fills my heart to know that I am supporting people to live healthy, happy lives through transformational bodywork and massage.

Warmest Holiday Wishes to you and yours,

Laura Rose

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Keeping sinuses clear and open with self massage!

It's Spring!

And along with spring come spring winds that often blow sweet smells of flowers blossoming, which also brings "aaaaah choo!!!" Allergies!

When our system responds to pollen, dust and pollutants with an allergic reaction, we have swelling in our sinuses which results in a stuffy head, and sometimes a head ache. And if we don't attend to this situation, it becomes the perfect place for bacteria and viruses to move in, and then we have a full blown head cold! So, it is so important to do everything we can do to keep those sinuses clear and moving freely!

Click here to watch a video and learn how to do some self massage that you can do to improve your health!

Wishing you and your sinuses well!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Grateful for EVERYthing?

How can you be grateful for everything? 

When I was first introduced to the concept of being grateful for everything, I thought, "How can I can be grateful for everything? Bad stuff happens in life, and I don't want it to have a bad life, so how can I be grateful for it?" 

I have learned over the years that if I can slow down, close my eyes, and be curious and welcoming to the uncomfortable, yucky, even painful places, that there is wisdom there.  

Underneath an aching neck might be a little voice that says "please don't forget to speak your truth." 

Or a sad place in my heart might show me a vision of a loved one hurting which encourages me to reach out and connect.

Or my aching back might say "can you just schedule a massage for yourself" and once I have that massage scheduled, it softens a bit.   

Or the aching pain of grief... even that pain can open you up to gratitude for the love for the person who was so dear to your heart... and to the miracle of life itself.

There might be a strong part that speaks up with resistance about not wanting to sit with these painful places... and you can welcome that part too... and eventually find gratitude for it too! If you didn't experience pain, your body would have no way to communicate with you that something is wrong...

And almost 100% of the time, I find that after I sit with these places, I feel grateful.  I feel grateful that these parts came into my awareness and for the spaciousness that I feel once the part that is resisting these feelings has relaxed.  

When I am practicing being grateful for everything, it is easier for me to find gratitude for my relatives that I might have normally gotten irritated with.  I have more spaciousness in my being for myself, which means that I have more spaciousness in my being for others to be as they are. 

Aaaaaaahhh, space feels so good!   

If you're feeling like there isn't enough space within you for yourself or someone around you, try saying these:

I would love to explore this concept with you when you come in for your next treatment... just mention it the next time I see you, or if you can't wait until then, I'm giving away 5 free 30 minute gratitude coaching sessions that can be done on the phone!  Just click here to set up your time... click "phone sessions" and let's uncover that gratitude! 

I am grateful for you!


Laura Rose

PS Let me know how it goes!  Do you notice less tension when you find gratitude? Is it easier to find gratitude when you are alone or with people?  What helps you to find gratitude? 

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Power of Intention with Bodywork and Massgae

What is your intention?
I have found that when people set an intention for their bodywork session, that the session goes much better. 

Even if you just think "I am relaxing" or "Letting go of my day", you can aim your treatment in a positive direction. 
Intention: "aim or a plan that guides an action to reach an objective."

Some people like to simplify their intention to a word or two - and they can then use the words to focus their mind on their breath and the present moment.  For example, you can breathe IN "peace" and breathe OUT "serenity"
     Sometimes people use intention to try to get away from a feeling or a problem and might be tempted to exhale out the word that represents the problem.  But I find that if you instead find a word that describes how you really want to feel, then your mind and body are going to move in the direction you want to move in.  For example, you might want to let go of stress so you might be tempted to breathe OUT "stress" and breathe IN "calm".  But when you hear the word "stress" your mind might start to think about what is causing your stress and move in that direction. 

     So instead, you can acknowledge the part of you that is feeling stressed and ask it what it needs.  When you are clear about what it needs, you can simplify it into a short statement or a word.   For example you might hear the stressed part say "I just want life to be more simple."  And when you check in to see how you would feel if your life was more simple, and you might hear "serene."  So then you breathe IN "calm" and breathe OUT "serene."

Visit Laura Rose to learn more about setting intention with your massage or bodywork session.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Staying cool in the heat with essential oils!

Summer brings some pretty intense heat and if you're like me, you often feel like melting into a pool of, well, blaaah....  I use essential oils to stay cool and calm and healthy through the summer months, and these are some of my favorite oils, as well as ways to use them!

contains a significant amount of menthol which has cooling and refreshing properties, and also eases tension and relieves aches and pains.  Peppermint is also soothing for the digestive system and it increases mental alertness!

 also contains menthol, but has a softer scent then peppermint. It is very nourishing for the respiratory and nervous system.

is an adaptogen, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. It is a great aid for relaxing and winding down before bedtime, yet has balancing properties that can also boost stamina and energy.  Lavender is also an amazing healing agent for the skin - especially when there is a burn.  Lavender is also soothing on cuts, bruises and even bug bites, so it is essential in the summertime! 

My favorite ways to
use essential oils in the summer:

Foot Soak

Soak your feet in a tub of cool water
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils and epsom salts if your feet are achy from summer fun! 
Body Spray / Mist
keep spray bottles handy with purified water and your favorite essential oils
I like 12 drops of peppermint and 12 drops of lavender in a bottle of purified water.
Cooling Bandanas
When hiking, in addition to a sun hat, wear a bandana dipped in ice water and a few drops of your essential oil of your choice.  There are even bandanas with little beads in them that absorb the water!   Check them out! 
 Cooling Bath
If you've been out in the heat or are feeling sunburned, take a lukewarm bath with a couple tablespoons of baking soda and 10-30 drops of lavender essential oil (which has healing properties for burns and skin health)
Add to lotion or oil
Essential oils can be added to your lotion and body oil.  Just add a few drops into your palm full of lotion or oil and slather yourself in the healing aroma. 
And of course, essential oils can be added to your massage treatment... just ask!

Diffuse into the air
Essential oils can be diffused into your home by adding some drops to your humidifier, or using a simple candle diffuser.  The most efficient way to distribute oils through air is with an electric diffuser. 

*When using essential oils, you want to be sure that you are getting the best quality because they are absorbed right into your blood stream.  Young Living Oils are some of the purest and cleanest you can find, and are even safe enough to ingest! 

 Laura Rose is a distributor for Young Living Oils -
contact me to order essential oil products for yourself!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mom deserves an AWESOME Massage!

AWESOME Moms deserves an AWESOME Massage!

Moms and Moms-to-be can win a ***FREE*** Listening Touch Massage or Private Yoga session!

(and YES you have my full permission to enter your awesome self!)

All you have to do is tell me why a mother that you know is an AWESOME MOM and you could win one of two prizes!

Prize #1

75 minute Awesome Mom Massage

Customized for Mom's special needs 
-tension reduction
-stress relief
-peace and quiet
(whatever she needs most!)

Moms deserve massage!

Prize # 2

75 minute Private Relaxing Yoga Lesson

(perfect for a Mom who doesn't live in Colorado or Illinois... we can do a skype session!)


FACEBOOK: write on the Listening Touch facebook wall
what makes her  -  or you...  (it's totally fine to nominate yourself)... 


(and why she deserves an awesome massage!)

The more you post, the higher your chances!
Like the Listening Touch facebook page: 1 entry
Write on the Listening Touch facebook wall: 1 entry
Write on the facebook wall and share it on your page: 5 entries
Post a photo on the facebook wall: 5 entries
Post a photo on the page and share it on your page: 10 entries
Every "Like" or comment that you get will earn you 1 entry

Don't do facebook?  Just email me and you will be entered!  
And one week after Mother's Day (May 18th) two lucky winners will be drawn out of a hat!

Here is an example of a post I made about my sister:
It's easy and fun... and the Mom in your life will thank you!  

Can't wait until the contest? You can purchase a gift card online!  

Save 10% with PROMO code mothersday