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Archive for the ‘Wellness for Parents’ Category

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

Happy Mother’s Day!

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

Want to eat local and healthy produce from Chicago area farmers?

Farmer's Markets

Farmer’s Markets Fresh!

 

Check out this helpful map and schedule of Chicago farmers markets from DNAInfo here. The City of Chicago’s Farmer’s Market schedule is here.

A helpful Seasonality chart to show when eat type of fruit or veggie is in season is here. 

Why shop at Farmers Markets? CUESA (The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture website explains 10 reasons to shop at Farmer’s markets here. Huffington Post (also affectionately known as HuffPo), finds even more reasons to shop at farmer’s markets in their post, 15 benefits of Shopping at a Local Farmer’s Markets here.

 

Why do you shop at local farmer’s markets?

 

What is your favorite Chicago area farmer’s market?

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

The story about lead contamination in Flint, Michigan’s water supply is all over the news the past week. but lead contamination is not solely a problem in Flint. Any home with old pipes, or that obtains water from sources that are contaminated, can have lead in the water coming out of the tap.

From guelph.ca website

From guelph.ca website

Pregnant women and children are most vulnerable to the effects of lead ingestion, but there is no “safe” level of lead exposure. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) website, “Lead in the body is distributed to the brain, liver, kidney and bones. It is stored in the teeth and bones, where it accumulates over time. Human exposure is usually assessed through the measurement of lead in blood.”

The WHO website goes on to explain how the higher lead levels affects children’s health specifically, causing  coma, convulsions and, in some cases, death. Children who survive severe lead poisoning may experience severe cognitive declines and behavioral issues.  Kids with lower levels of lead exposure may have lower intelligence quotient (IQs),  shorter attention spans and increased antisocial behavior, and do less well in academic achievement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has information on how lead can get into your water and how to get your water tested here.

And outside Chicago, according to Vox, lead contamination in water is not just limited to Flint, Michigan water. Check out this article on Vox, “It’s not just Flint — every major American city has hazardous amounts of lead hurting kids” for information on lead contamination in New York City and New Orleans as well as other areas.

Chicago parent has specific tips on how to protect your children and family from lead exposure in your water here.

To learn more about preventing and treating lead exposure, check out, “9 Ways to Prevent and Deal with Lead Poisoning,” from Parents.com.

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

For many years, we’ve been offering gift certificates for sale in our WWM booths inside Whole Foods. However, customers have asked us if there is any way they can buy gift certificates online. We are happy to report that starting today, Working Well Massage is now offering gift certificates for our chair massage stations through our website!

Brian gives a relaxing chair massage at our Lincoln Park Location

Brian gives a relaxing chair massage at our Lincoln Park Location

Giving the gift of massage for the holidays let’s you make gift giving easy and appreciated! We offer individual gift certificates in increments of 15, 20 and 30 minutes. We also offer packages of 5 gift certificates and packs of 10 in increments of 15 or 20 minutes.

When you purchase your gift certificates online they will be mailed to you within one business day, along with a WWM brochure so that your gift recipient can learn more about using our massage services before he or she comes into the booth.

To purchase your gift certificates, go to the WWM website and make your selection. The website will guide to through  the purchasing process.

 

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

It’s helpful to receive comments on this blog. Comments often lead to new resource and connections. A recent Working Well Resource commenter, Julituli, directed me to Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky and her blog on Psychology Today, The How of Happiness.

I read through Dr. Lyubomirsky’s blog and found an intriguing post on Martin Seligman’s latest book, Flourish.

 

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Dr. Lyubomirsky’s review summarizes the premise of Dr. Seligman’s book, that we should focus on “flourishing” versus the overused term, “happiness.” Dr. Lyubomirsky makes the convincing agreement that, “Research reveals that happy people are not self-centered, gratification-seeking hedonists lacking in meaning or fulfillment.  To the contrary, hundreds of studies have shown that happiness relates and leads to such positive outcomes as creativity, productivity, effective coping, satisfying marriages, close friendships, higher earnings, longevity, and strong immune systems.” and she cites this as reason enough to continue to use the term “happiness.”

I’ve followed Dr. Selgiman’s work since I first heard the term “positive psychology.” His research has led to the creation of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness which teaches  resilience training for our nation’s soldiers to help them prevent incidences of PTSD and suicide and to help them cope with, not only the impact of serving in wartime, but of coming home to a life so different from what they experience in the field of battle.

Merriam Webster defines the word “flourish” as to grow well: to be healthy; to be very successful: to do very well, and to thrive. According to Amazon’s summary of Flourish, Dr. Seligman asks, “What is it that enables you to cultivate your talents, to build deep, lasting relationships with others, to feel pleasure, and to contribute meaningfully to the world? In a word, what is it that allows you to flourish? “Well-being” takes the stage front and center, and Happiness (or Positive Emotion) becomes one of the five pillars of Positive Psychology, along with Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment—or PERMA, the permanent building blocks for a life of profound fulfillment. ” In addition to stories of how the U.S. Army is now trained in emotional resilience, the book provides the reader with interactive exercises to help you explore your own attitudes and aims, with the goal of helping you get more out of life and to well, flourish!

If you want to learn more about how to Flourish, check out Dr. Seligman’s book, Flourish.

To read more of Dr. Lyubomirsky’s blog, go to The How of Happiness.

Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D.

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