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Archive for the ‘Health and Wellness’ Category

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

Now that WWM has closed our Gold Coast location, we want to remind Chicagoans that we are still open and serving chair massage clients in the Lincoln Park area in our WWM chair massage station! WWM is open daily from 12-8pm. That’s right, seven days a week (excluding holidays).

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WWM Lincoln Park Chair massage station is located inside Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park at 1550 N Kingsbury. Find us on the main floor right ext to Express check out line and in front of the in store restaurants.

 

WWM booth inside WFM Lincoln Park near Express checkout

WWM booth inside WFM Lincoln Park near Express checkout

WWM has been inside the giant Lincoln Park Whole Foods Market since the store was first opened in 2009.   We are grateful to Store Team Leader, Rich Howley for his support and welcome to his Lincoln Park store.

WWM Massage Therapists at WWM Lincoln Park

Many of our WWM Gold Coast massage therapist are still available at the WWM Lincoln Park chair massage station. See below for our usual weekly line up. And for the next few weeks, Najat will be on vacation and back Mid March. Until then Bernardo, David M., Andrew and Patty and David K will be subbing for Najat. And once she is back, Patty and David K will not have regular shifts the Lincoln Park WWM booth, but will be subbing from time to time.

WWM Lincoln Park (Usual) Massage Therapist Weekly Schedule

Mondays, 12-4pm, David M

David M

David M

 

Mondays, 4-8pm, Najat

Najat

Najat

 

Tuesdays, 12-4pm, Jeanie (not pictured)

 

Tuesdays, 4-8pm, Starlette

Starlette

Starlette

 

Wednesdays, 12-4pm, Andrew

Andrew Petrikiv, LMT

Andrew

 

Wednesdays, 4-8pm, Najat

Najat

Najat

 

Thursdays, 12-4pm, David M

David M.

David M.

 

Thursdays, 4-8pm, Aaron

Aaron

Aaron

 

Friday’s 12-4pm, Najat

Najat

Najat

 

Fridays,  4-8pm, Trina

Trina

Trina

 

Saturdays, 12-4pm, Najat

Najat

Najat

 

Saturday, 4-8pm, Kimosha

Kimosha

Kimosha

Sundays, 12-4pm, Trina

Trina

Trina

 

Sundays, 4-8pm, Bernardo

Bernado

Bernado

 

Guest Appearances by Patty M and David K from time to time!

Patty

Patty

 

David K

David K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

In my role as a massage therapist, I spend a lot of time trying to help people relax their nervous systems, allowing them to “de-stress” and feel their bodies relax, thus reducing muscle and mental tension. In my role as a psychotherapist, I do something similar, helping clients learn to manage emotional and psychological stress in a more functional way, to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and PTSD, along with reducing need for relying on addictive coping skills like substance use.

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Photo from livebold&bloom.com

Working with clients that have social and communication deficits known as Autism Spectrum Disorder, or previously known as Asperger’s Disorder, requires a good understanding of the nervous system and how being in a highly activated nervous system state (known as flight or flight or Sympathetic Nervous System mode) tends to shut down Executive Functioning processes like problem solving, decision making, impulse control and working memory.ae_mainlogo_tagline-9-300x136

Asperger’s Experts, my new favorite website for learning about Asperger’s and Autistic traits, provides a wonderful video explaining how people with Asperger’s tend to process information and sensations and gives really great tips on how to work with children and adults with this disorder.

When humans are in fight or flight mode, the brain and body is trying to save the person from perceived harm. It’s not a good time to learn or listen to directions or face social anxiety fears. People with Asperger’s tend to be overwhelmed by sensory input and thus tend to be in sympathetic mode much of the time.  This makes it super difficult for them to learn social and communication skills unless they have taught how to handle the overload and self soothe or calm themselves down.

Danny Raede explains the Sensory Funnel here. My favorite quote is this, “Lack of social skills are a symptom of being too overwhelmed and in Defense Mode. And until you get somebody with Asperger’s out of defense mode, you won’t be able to teach him social skills. It’s like taking somebody in Iraq that’s involved in an active battle and saying, hey, do you want to learn how to knit? And while they may want to make sweaters, they have more important things on their mind. They’re just trying to stay alive.”

When parents work with children, when managers work with employees and when people in relationships  become emotionally overwhelmed, we can all experience a similar feeling of not being able to think clearly, control our emotions and make decisions. Learning how to manage our sensory overloads and self soothe are valuable skills for us all, and even more important for working with people with Asperger’s and Autistic traits!

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Happy New Year from Working Well Massage!By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

 

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Happy New Year from Working Well Massage!

With each New Year we start a fresh clean calendar. We have choices on how we want to spend our time in 2017. Balancing rest and relaxation with activity allows us to maintain optimal health and better cope with stress and difficulties of life. Be good to yourself in 2017. Schedule times for relaxation, massages, and naps to balance activities and obligations as best you can. Visit us at one of our chair massage stations or your regular massage therapist as needed.

Also, remember you only have one more month to visit us in the Gold Coast. On January 31, 2017, Working Well Massage will be closing our Gold Coast location inside Whole Foods Market at 30 W. Huron at the end of January, at the request of Whole Foods management. While our staff and clients are saddened by this change, we are looking forward to continuing to serve our Chicago area clients in the Whole Foods Lincoln Park location at 1550 N Kingsbury.  And we look forward to continuing to serve our existing and future clients in your office with our on site corporate massage services.

The Working Well Massage massage team has given literally thousands of massages in the past 17 years and helped many people feel more relaxed, peaceful and cared for.

Watch this blog for more news about Working Well Massage in 2017.

 

 

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

I am sad to say that as of January 31, 2017, Working Well Massage will be picking up our chair massage booth and leaving the Whole Foods Market-Gold Coast location at 30 W Huron. We’ve been there for over 15 years and I leave with many happy memories of working in the booth inside this store!

WWM inside WFM Gold Coast

WWM inside WFM Gold Coast

Current Whole Foods Market Store Team Leader, John Edwards has graciously given us notice to allow us to prepare our staff and clients for the closure of our chair massage booth on January 31, 2017. According to WFM leadership, the store needs more seating space in the cafe and our booth is taking up space needed for Whole Food Shoppers to dine in the store.

WFM-Gold Coast seating

WFM-Gold Coast seating

While I am sorry we are leaving, I am extremely grateful that we’ve been able to remain in the store for the past 15 years and been able to give really great massages to WFM team members, Shoppers and to our own WWM staff! Like our clients, I have personally benefited from the convenience and affordability of being able to stop by and get a short 15-20 minute chair massage and pick up a few groceries or a nice lunch or dinner from WFM.

Working Well Massage has been a fixture at the Gold Coast WFM location since 2001, when current WFM Midwest Regional President Michael Bashaw was the Gold Coast Store Team Leader. Since then, Michael has opened numerous new Whole Food Market stores around the country (and in Canada) and WWM has given thousands of relaxing chair massages at the Gold Coast location. We’ve worked with about 7 different Store Team Leaders that have rotated through the store. It has been a very generous and wonderful partnership!

In 15 years, we have seen WFM expand into nearby Streeterville, West Loop and DePaul locations.  And WWM has also expanded, moving into the WFM in Lincoln Park. At one point, we had booths in the WFMs in South Loop, Evanston and River Forest. Once we close the WFM-Gold Coast store, however, WWM will only be in the WFM in Lincoln Park. (Unless other Chicago WFM’s decide to take us on!)

WWM inside WFM Lincoln Park

WWM inside WFM-Lincoln Park

While we are leaving WFM-Gold Coast, we are grateful to Rich Howley, for inviting into the WFM-Lincoln Park store when it relocated in 2009. Rich has been a urstwhile supporter of WWM and has gone out of his way to make us feel welcome and help us meet the needs of Lincoln Park WFM Shoppers! We are hopeful that some of our long time happy WWM clients from our Gold Coast location will make the trek in February to WFM-Lincoln Park to visit us there!

As the manager of Working Well Massage, I’ve had a number of really talented massage therapists work in our Gold Coast location. Some of them have moved on, like Heidi O’Hair to a nursing career; Ann-Marie Provost, to an entrepreneur of natural body care products, Lulu’s Conscious Skincare, in Florida; Ingrid Reyna, now an acupuncturist in AZ; and Rania Baxter who has relocated to Omaha, Nebraska to give her special smile and energy with her relaxing massages!

Luckily, many others have stayed, including Andrew Petrikiv, who will be working at the WFM-Gold Coast location until we close!

Andrew Petrikiv, LMT

Andrew Petrikiv, LMT

Andrew, our most senior massage therapist, has been with WWM for over 14 years. Andrew is seemingly ageless, and continues to provide quality, stress relieving massages, and will continue to do in at our Lincoln Park Location at 1550 N. Kingsbury inside WFM-Lincoln Park.

Najat, David McClinton, and Kimosha will remain with WWM at our Lincoln Park location. And we this past year, we added some new massage therapists with great massage skills to Lincoln Park, including Trina Sanford, Jake Frey, Starlette Ousley and Jeannie Blair. Aaron Hanna, a truly talented massage therapist and Corrective Exercise Specialist and personal trainer will continue to be working a tour Lincoln Park location as well!  David Karall, Patty Marks and Bernard Mangilin (now a massage therapist for the Chicago Bulls), will be in the booth from time to time filling in for our other regular Lincoln Park WWM massage therapists.

Please do stop by and see us before we vacate the WFM-Gold Coast store. And if anything changes or we find another location where we can reopen our Gold Coast booth, we will let you know in this blog!

 

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner,Working Well Massage

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers, clients, friends, families and to our staff!

Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Gratitude is in the name of today’s holiday: Thankfulness is defined by the dictionary as appreciation, gratitude.

According to scientific research, expressing gratitude is actually good for our health! in her article,
7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round
in Forbes magazine, Amy Morin, provides us with helpful ways that gratitude improves health.

• Gratitude helps us expand our social support network, important to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and give us friend to turn to when we need emotional support.

• Gratitude improves physical and psychological health. People that are thankful tend to take better care of themselves, feel happiness and a sense of well-being.

• Gratitude increases our ability to feel empathy and reduces our tendency to become aggressive.

• Gratitude improves our self-esteem and reduces our tendency to make social comparisons which can leave us feeling less than. When we look at what we have rather than what we don’t have, we tend to feel more satisfied and less envious of what we feel we lack.

• Gratitude improves our resilience helping us heal from trauma and making us more resistant to the negative effects of difficult circumstances in the future.

I am grateful to be able to provide hundreds if not thousands of massages for the past 16 years at Working Well Massage, grateful to have such wonderful clients and team members and relationships with partners such as Whole Foods Market and River North Wellness Center and grateful to be able to blog about it!

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer, Owner,Working Well Massage

I am sad to say that our very own Cindy Bokhof, LMT, will be leaving Working Well Massage and Chicago. Cindy leaves us to begin the next phase of her life in Sunny Florida this Winter!

Cindy Bokhof, LMT

Cindy Bokhof, LMT

Stop by the  WWM booths inside Whole Foods Lincoln Park and Gold Coast in the next week to receive your last massage with Cindy!

Cindy will be at the WWM Lincoln Park booth on:

• Tuesday, November 22 and 29 from 12 noon-4pm,

• Wednesday, November 23 and 30, from 4-8pm

•  Friday, November 25 from 4-8pm.

Cindy will be at the  WWM booth inside Whole Foods Market Gold Coast on Saturday, November 26, from 4-8pm for the last time.

Cindy has been a valued team member and massage therapist with Working Well Massage since August, 2008. Cindy originally worked at the old Whole Foods Market Lincoln Park when it was on Sheffield. When that massage station closed, Cindy joined WWM and has worked at our South Loop (now closed), Lincoln Park and Gold Coast booths since then over the past few years.

Cindy is a warm and welcoming woman, giving very soothing relaxing massages to clients every day she has been in the booth. What many do not know is that Cindy is also a huge help to fellow WWM team members, to the WWM company and to me personally. Cindy has substituted for fellow massage therapists, staying late during emergencies, and working past her shift end time for her clients. Cindy has helped maintain and decorate the booths, helping to keep the dust and dirt that accumulates in grocery stores from building up on our screens. Cindy has set a high standard for professionalism, teamwork and skill. She always has a kind word to say, has been a great asset to WWM and has been a calm, gentle presence in the stores.

Cindy says she loves chair massage more so than table massage and will really miss Lincoln Park and Gold Coast Whole Foods Markets, her clients,  and WWM team members. Although she will soon be gone, Cindy will not be forgotten!

We wish you well, Cindy and will remember you fondly!

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer, Owner,Working Well Massage

In her post, Losing Inches but Not Losing Weight, Paige Waehner talks about how focusing on the scale and pounds as a measurement of wellness and fitness is a losing proposition (bad pun intended). I really like this post about how to conceptualize body fitness versus focusing on weight loss.

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I frequently hear people say, “I need to lose weight,” but that is a frightening idea if you really think about it. Losing weight implies losing important parts of our bodies. What people likely mean is they want to lose fat, get more fit, feel better about my body. The words we use to describe our goals are important. What we tell ourselves effects how we feel about ourselves. Telling ourselves we want to feel better, be more fit is a positive empowering thought. Telling ourselves, I need to lose weight is a more punitive judgemental and frequently unrealistic thought.

A few highlights of Waehner’s post: The number you see on the scale of your weight is a measure of every part of your body. Your bones are heavy, your muscle is heavy, your organs have weight. And most of your body weight is in water!

She also mentions that the weight you measure is not an accurate measure of your overall health nor the proportion of muscle to fat.  And she also agrees with me that focusing on losing “weight” is not a strong motivator to work out. Focusing on feeling better, stronger, more fit helps motivate us to work out.

Lastly she gives great tips about how to change your fitness focus to be more motivating and positive and kind to yourself!

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