March 17, 2019

Thai Massage

One of the hardships of being a massage therapist and receiving massages is the difficulty of finding a great therapist. There is a big difference between intentional touch and “just being rubbed”, as one of my massage friends likes to say.

I’m constantly trying to improve my touch awareness. And trying to feel how the muscle, the body and the energy responds to touch.

Practicing intentional touch in my own work, makes me acutely aware of how it feels to have someone not adjust pressure or just endlessly bump over a knot in a muscle.

I’ve received a good share of “being rubbed” in Asia, and in the US. Since Thai massage is very common, (there were literally rows of massage studios on every street we visited) it was not unusual to see a therapist giving a massage while chatting on her phone or talking to another therapist. When deciding on where to go, my trick is usually to selfishly send John first and get a review from him.

After receiving an awesome Thai massage (on John’s recommendation) from Sae at Friends Massage, in Chiang Mai, we decided to take a three day class. We did our research and found a reputable, well reviewed school called, Sabai De Ka.

Our teacher, Na, was delightful and abundant with both humor and knowledge about her craft. The first thing she did was apologize for her English, which I assured her was 99.9% better than my Thai.

Thai massage is performed over loose clothing and involves a lot more stretches and compressions rather than the long strokes of the Swedish technique. It has been used for centuries and was originally taught in the temples. There is no oil used other than the occasional salve for a tight muscle.

The course covered all the techniques for a full Thai Massage, but adapted for a table, since traditionally it is done on a mat on the floor. We wanted to be able to integrate it with our other types of massage, so we opted for the table course.

I really like how Thai massage encourages the therapist to use her whole body to improve stretches. It’s not unusual to use a foot for better leverage for a stretch. Since it uses a lot of stretches, a therapist needs to listen to the body and the client to make sure the stretch is just right. The wonderful massage I received from Sae, at Friends Massage, used experienced intuitive touch to not overstretch my wonky shoulders. Even with a huge language barrier, she was able to feel when a stretch was a little too intense and she easily adapted.

Our teacher, Na, also had to be intuitive about our techniques, constantly helping us to adapt and change for our clients.  A phrase that I heard regularly was, “You no flexible. You go like this” and then she would teach us some adaptation to the technique.

Thai massage involves lots of repetition, so we were taught to use 10-30 repetitions of a particular move. Of course, we had limited time, so sometimes, when we worked on each other, we would shorten the repetitions considerably, which was typically accompanied with my favorite line of all time, “Mr. JOHN, your wife have great body, you no cheat her!” I can assure you that John will be hearing that phrase for a long time to come!

All together, we learned enough techniques to give a 4 hour Thai massage. We obviously have many hours of practice ahead to master these new techniques, but we are both excited about integrating lots of these techniques into our practice and offering our most authentic Thai Massage when we return home.

Keep an eye out at our website for this new offering. We hope to be ready to offer full Thai Massage sessions soon.

April 23, 2018

Got Lymph? Detoxify.

Tired of puffiness? Wondering what is going on when some days you wake up and your face is dull and puffy and other days you look great?

Lymph is what is going on. Our bodies use lymph to remove waste. Waste products are carried away from the tissues and back to the heart where they are then sent to the kidneys and liver for detoxification.

Lymph doesn’t move by itself. It depends on the movement and contractions of muscles to circulate through the body. That’s why the lymphatic drainage massage in the detoxifying Munjoyous facial is such a rich part of the treatment. This gentle pressure moves lymph toward the lymph nodes so that it can be balanced.

The Detoxifying Munjoyous Facial includes:

  • A deep cleanse that includes a facial steam with detoxifying herbs including ginger root, rosemary, allspice, eucalyptus and cloves.
  • A gentle enzyme peel.
  • A lymphatic neck, shoulder and face massage using a lymphatic detoxifying seaweed gel.
  • An acupressure point facial massage using detoxifying ayurvedic oils
  • Finally a rich purified clay mask is applied while you receive a mini-reflexology foot massage.

This healing treatment will leave you glowing both inside and out!

BOOK NOW!  Or get more details. . spa@munjoyous.com

April 19, 2018

Not All Scrubs are the Same!

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Exfoliation. We are constantly building up dead skin cells. That build up leaves our skin looking dull and lifeless. So, exfoliation is your skin’s best friend.

Except….not all scrubs are created equal. Scrubs have tiny little particles that scrub away dead cells as you wash your face. Unfortunately, some scrubs are made by crushing up seed shells or other substances that can have rough edges. When you scrub your face with them, they create tiny microscopic tears in your skin which allow for bacteria to move in, making the problem your trying to fix even worse.

Some scrubs use tiny little plastic particles. These are not so bad for your skin, but they never dissolve and get into our water supplies. They have actually found the little particles in fish and other swimming creatures.

I love our new Rose Face Polish. A unique powdered exfoliant that turns any cleanser into a gentle scrub. It’s combination of fine sugar and rose kaolin clay detoxifies and works as a delicate polisher without tearing or irritating the skin. The sugar, galactoarabinan, a natural polysaccharide, is extracted from North American larch trees that have already been harvested. It offers exfoliating benefits and leaves the skin smooth and radiant. This really enhances any make-up application.

This face polish is a great, once a week exfoliation that doesn’t tear or scrape your skin. Just create a paste with equal halves of your cleanser and the rose powder and gently massage it into a slightly damp face. Organic essential oils of Bulgarian rose and Malagasy ylang ylang stimulate, soothe, and contribute an intoxicating scent. Rinse immediately or leave on as a mask for five minutes.

Munjoyous…Your Neighborhood Oasis has “Rose Face Polish” for $10 for a 4 ounce container. Ask for a sample during your next visit to us. Call 207-956-7780 or email spa@munjoyous.com for an appointment today.

April 19, 2018

What is CranialSacral?

CranialSacral is quiet and deep work done fully clothed. The CranialSacral system encases the central nervous which affects our entire being. A session consists of a ten step protocol where we gently hold and invite your body to “reset” or heal itself. The body is constantly trying to return to its perfect healthy state of equilibrium and a CranialSacral session is an invitation to just that. For the techies out there, it is like rebooting your internal computer.

I just finished a course on CranialSacral and now I’m offering sessions along with John. He has been doing it for years and he lit up when I mentioned that there was a course in Portland. He said he uses it all the time in his practice and he loves it. He told me a few of his stories and then dug out John Upledger’s very readable book, “Your Inner Physician and You”. After reading the book, I knew I would love the work…and I was right.

CranialSacral is that place where massage and energy meet. It’s much gentler than massage, but more anatomically centered than energy work, which focuses on the energetic body and not the physical body. The cool part of it is that people can see huge shifts in their health as a result of the work. It’s great work for folks of all ages.

Some of the conditions CranialSacral can help include:

  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
  • Motor-Coordination Impairments
  • Infant and Childhood Disorders
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Post-Concussion Symptoms
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • And Many Other Conditions.

If you’re thinking about trying CranialSacral, We would love to work with you. Book at Munjoyous.com. We have online booking or you can email spa@munjoyous or call 207-956-7780 for an appointment. A 60 min session is $65.

March 9, 2018

Munjoyous Meets Microdermabrasion

I’m excited to add microdermabrasion to the collection of skin treatments available at Munjoyous. I use a device called a DermaDiscTM. This resurfacing tool uses gentle vibration and a convex diamond tip that gently files away dead skin cells leaving your skin feeling smooth, fresh and rejuvenated.

Depending on your skin type, I can use a fine, medium or coarse textured tip. Unlike other devices, DermaDisc doesn’t use suction, so it won’t cause broken capillaries.

After you receive this treatment, you will notice that your face feels smoother and softer. Make-up and creams slide on smoothly.

It’s very effective for treating sun damaged skin, scars, acne scarring, pigmentation, stretch marks and fine lines.

The stimulation to the skin surface triggers cell renewal that increases the production of collagen and elastin, which plump up skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and open pores.

This service can be added on to a Munjoyous Customized Facial or a Rejuvenating Facial for $30.

It’s a great way to activate your skin and get new cell renewal for the spring. Remember, old skin cells absorb light, while new skin cells reflect it. This is the source of that dewy glow enhanced by your customized Munjoyous mask. Book Now, Email or Call us.

September 27, 2016

The Beauty Gauntlet

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One of my pet peeves about visiting a spa is what I call the “beauty gauntlet”. I know we’re supposed to go there to relax and feel good, but I have built up a resistance to the process of getting there and leaving. Some folks look great after a massage or facial. They have that perfect hair that looks a little sexy when it’s mussed up. But I have the kind of hair that turns to a Brillo pad after an hour or so on the table. And after that awesome head massage…bam…the only glam star I resemble is Side Show Bob from “The Simpsons”.

I dislike that right around the foot massage (my favorite part) I’m distracted by the fact that I’m still trying to plot out my escape route past the product display and the waiting room filled with perfectly “un-mussed” clients.

Going to a spa should be a fully relaxing experience. I don’t want to run through the spa “beauty gauntlet”. I want to enter privately and leave even more privately. I want the experience to be between me and my trusted therapist and perhaps a supportive friend. This was what I envisioned when we were starting “Munjoyous…Your Neighborhood Oasis”. Folks can show up just as they are and have a comfortable experience with just the plain old Pitchers.

September 15, 2016

The Ancient Wisdom of India

 

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The Ayurvedic Face, Scalp and Foot treatment is an experience reflexing to the entire body. It uses the ancient wisdom of Indian healing to help transform the body and mind. After this treatment, clients feel relaxed, not only on a physical level, but on a mental level.

At Munjoyous….Your Neighborhood Oasis, we use a series of oils carefully formulated based on ancient Indian wisdom. Our products come from Sarada Ayurvedic Remedies, which you can learn more about here .

The treatment begins with a vigorous scalp massage that activates energetic centers in the head, beginning the process of deep relaxation. It also leaves your hair vibrant.

Another warmed oil is massaged up and down the spine and around the sacrum, activating the nervous system (Vata energy). This stroke enhances self-awareness.

Then, an oil formulated with carefully processed herbal extracts known in India for their life giving properties to facial skin and tissue is massaged into the face in a series of very specific strokes that support respiration, mental ease, and lymph movement.

Following the massage, a face wash mask is applied. This mask is made from mineral rich purified clays and other native Indian ingredients. It gently exfoliates, while relaxing facial muscles. Naturally antiseptic herbs work deeply into the skin pores and epidermal layers to remove dirt, toxins and make-up.

While the mask does its magic, you receive another stimulating scalp massage, along with a shoulder, neck and hand massage, designed to deepen your inner peace.

Another carefully formulated mask is applied that is specifically oriented to your individual skin needs. While that mask nourishes and heals, you receive a foot massage using Ayurvedic techniques and carefully formulated traditional Indian oil. The purpose of the foot massage is to stimulate nerve and energy centers on the feet. The massage is invigorating and stimulating.

Once the final mask is removed, the face is massaged again with particular attention to massaging specific energy points on the face known as marma points. These points are believed to be “the subtle junctions between consciousness and matter”, thus helping to bring you to a level of deeper, more profound consciousness.

A sweet and satisfying mist of rose essential oil completes this amazing treatment that you can receive now at Munjoyous…Your Neighborhood Oasis. Call now for an appointment or email us at spa@munjoyous.com