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Today is the day we are encouraged to show our loved ones we care!

What’s the history of Valentine’s Day? According to the History Channel, there are many stories about how the day got it’s name, the primary story being about a saint named Valentine or Valentinus either protesting the Emperer’s outlawing marriage for young men (So they would make better soldiers) or being imprisoned for protesting harsh treatment of prisoners and while imprisoned himself, sending the first “valentine” love letter to a girl he fancied. And, according to the History Channel, Saint Valentine is the patron saint not only of love, but of beekeeping, travel, epilepsy, fainting and the plague.

Nowadays, people most likely think of Valentine’s as a day of romance, showing you care, giving pink or red flowers, candy and cards. It is also a great day to show the ones you love you care by gifting them a relaxing massage!

Feel free to purchase gift certificates for chair massage for your loved ones today via this link. Or stop by our WWM chair massage station at Whole Foods Lincoln park and buy gift certificates in person from 12noon to 8pm every day (except on major holidays or during polar vortexes!).

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Owner, Working Well Massage

Last week in the MidWest we can such dangerously cold weather, many people did not leave their house, hunkering down in the central heat and safety of their homes. Yet many people I spoke with felt exhausted, more anxious or tearful than usual, had more negative thoughts and felt more unstable …and wondered why.

One reason I think we feel more exhausted and emotional in such weather conditions is that our bodies know that, even though we are indoors, we are in danger. As I sat in my home last Wednesday, I felt the stillness, I heard the news reports. “Dangerously” cold is the message I heard. I thought of the animals outside, the people that don’t have adequate shelter. I worried about our heat, our electricity. My body felt the effects of the weather even though I was indoors. Our bodies are pretty smart!

According to one study, Cognitive Function and Mood During Acute Cold Stress After Extended Military Training and Recovery by HR Lieberman, JW Castellani and AJ Young, military subjects were tested before and after being exposed to cold weather conditions. Results were that subjects had adverse effects to their moods: “Acute cold exposure itself significantly degraded vigilance, overall mood, and increased tension.”

This article, Prolonged extreme cold could be taking a toll on your mental health, by Marney Blunt, discusses the effect extreme cold weather has due to isolation, lack of energy to exercise and feeling a lack of control of your environment.

Thankfully the recent cold snap has come to an end in Chicago and this week looks like it is warming up! In the future, if you experience a cold snap again, know that low energy, feeling less optimistic and feeling “Out of sorts” is partly due to your body’s natural reaction to extreme cold. And now that it is “warmer,” if you can, get out and engage in activity and socializing! And stop by the Working Well Massage booth which reopened Friday 2-1-19 to get a relaxing massage, warm up your muscles and out a smile on your face!

New WWM Booth in WFM Lincoln Park

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Owner, Working Well Massage

Chicago (and actually the entire the Midwest) is experience such extreme cold even the U.S. Post Office shut down today!

At Working Well Massage, we not only care about the safety and wellbeing of our clients, we care about our massage therapists and their safety and wellbeing. So we closed our massage station inside Whole Foods Lincoln Park from Tuesday 4pm to Friday noon so that our massage therapists can stay safe and not travel in these conditions.

Although we will not be in the WWM booth to give you warming massages the next few days, we will be back in the booth again on Friday at 12noon!

New WWM Booth in WFM Lincoln Park

Please stay warm and be safe. Travel only if absolutely necessary today. We will be happy to see you at our WWM chair massage booth and hear your Winter stories Friday!

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Owner, Working Well Massage

Clutter can be stressful. And Marie Kondo’s new Netflix reality show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo shows us how to declutter and keep our spaces neater and less stressful. her approach seems to be only keep those items that bring you joy! Check out the trailer here. 

Japanese cleaning consultant, Marie Kondo is known best for her book “the life-changing magic of tidying up.”  In the book, she explains that to declutter, it is best to use category approach versus approaching declutters little by little or by  a room approach.  Her KonMari Method leads to lasting results and the book reports that most people that use her method remain clutter free over time.

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How Does clutter lead to stress? According to Psychology Today, Clutter can increase uncomfortable feelings of anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and lead us to feel guilty and unfocused. Read more here, in Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies by

Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D.

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Owner, Working Well Massage

To all our our readers, clients, massage therapists and family and friends, Happy New Year!! We wish you, health, happiness and a sense of meaning and purpose in your world in 2019.  Stop by and see us at our Lincoln Park chair massage station starting tomorrow 1-2-19!!

 

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Owner, Working Well Massage

Recently, I had the chance to work a few hours in the Working Well Massage chair massage station inside Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park. In years past, I’ve spent many hours in the WWM booths, giving chair massages, talking to clients and enjoying the time in the store. While I was giving massages recently, I was mindful of the time I started and kept track of the pace of my massages based on the clock we have in our booth. And I thought back to a Yelp review we once had in which a client complained that her massage therapist was a “clock watcher.”

 

Normally the term “clock watcher” is a pejorative term. According to dictionary. com,  a clock watcher is “an employee who demonstrates lack of interest in a job by watching the time closely to be sure to stop work as soon as the workday or shift is over,” or “any person who watches the time closely, as in expectation of some news or event.” It seems the Yelper thought the massage therapist was watching the lock because she was disinterested in giving her a massage. Far from it. Like a coach using a stop watch to track a students race times, or a dentist waiting a certain number of minutes for Novocaine to kick in, some jobs are time dependent.

Minute Hand Time Clock Hour Stopwatch Second

When a massage therapist gives a massage, but especially a chair massage, we based our pace and the amount of time we allocate to each area we massage, on the number of minutes of the massage the client requests.

Addressing neck pain means we may focus more time on the upper torso and neck. How much time we focus directly on the neck depends on the overall length of time of the massage.

Massage therapists watch the clock to make sure we stay on track and have enough time to effectively address each area the client wants work on. Most massage therapists will periodically look at the clock and note how much time we have left to address the areas we need to work. If we did not do this, you might get a really great massage on one side the body and then about 1 minute to address the other side!

Andrew Petrikiv, LMT ready to give massages by the minute!

So if you are receiving a massage and see your massage therapist glance at the clock,  it is not that he or she is bored or wants to get the massage over with. Rest assured that your massage therapist is doing their best to pace themselves and make sure the areas you need addressed are massaged effectively. Then, go ahead and relax and enjoy the massage!

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Owner, Working Well Massage

Can we actually make camping more fun! Yes, we can! For those of us that enjoy outdoor adventures, but like our comforts as well, I like to share a video with you about 9 Products You Need for The Ultimate Camping Trip. 

I found out more details about the products shown in the video and am sharing the info with my loyal readers below! Let me know if you have tried any of these products by posting your comment in the comment section of this blog post.

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Hammocraft

 

Hammocraft-an easy to transport and set up hammock for your stand up paddle boards! Can also be used on snow. Over the last 10 years Hammocraft staff has worked hard to improve their design to make the Hammocraft easy to transport and assemble to enable you to set sail in a matter of minutes and float the day away!

Inflatable Car Mattress–an easy to inflate car mattress that allows you to use your car as a camper! Many options to chose from here.

Sealander, is my personal favorite, (and the most expensive, natch). The Sealander is a trailer that is also a boat! More info from the Sealander Facebook page: “The Sealander is a worldwide unique amphibious vehicle. It is a combination of trailer, caravan and yacht in one. High quality and aesthetics of boat-building are combined with the flexibility of a mobile home that results in dynamic and modern product. The Sealander is an innovative lightweight vehicle that is a custom-made caravan in the first place, but with the help of a few handles and an outboard engine it turns into your miniature private island: a floating place for relaxation.” The Sealander company is German and the website is in German. For more info on Sealander in English, go to their Facebook page here.

 

Zombait–is a small device that fits inside fish bait and moves the bait to make it look like a live fish. “Brings Dead Bait Back to Life!”

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How Zombait works

GoSun Grill is a solar powered grill. Comes in a travel size as well for camping.

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GoSun Grill

 

Chillbo Baggins–is a sack that you easily fill with air and it inflates to become a couch/lounger. No need for a pump or to even blow up the bag. you simply wave it back and forth in the air and it inflates!

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Grubstick-is a set of tools that lets you quickly and easily grill burgers, s’mores and other food over a fire.

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Grubstick tools

Hammocka Trailer Hitch Stand is a trailer hitch that lets you hand hammocks and swings from the back of your car!

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Hammocka Trailer Hitch Stand, chair sold separately

LifeStraw--this is  product that would make Les Stroud envious! Lifestraw lets you filter stream water or any potentially contaminated water and make it safe for drinking. A must have if you camp or backpack.

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LifeStraw

 

 

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