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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

 

colorful-new-year-pictures

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, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Dear Working Well Resource Readers,

2013 has been an amazing year. First off, the world did not end on December 21, 2012 as some reported might happen. Getting to see 2013 is a huge success now that the Mayan’s have been disproven. Aside from this major hurdle, Working Well Massage has had a fantastic year, giving thousands of massages in the Chicagoland area, relaxing many Chicagoans (And out-of-town visitors to our corporate locations and chair massage stations inside Whole Foods Markets).

Chair massage is coming to Palatine inside Whole Foods Market!

Chair massage is our Working Well Massage specialty!

In 2012, we continued our partnership with Whole Foods Market in the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park stores in Chicago. I am very proud of our strong association with Whole Foods because I believe in their products and I am happy WWM can align with Whole Food Markets core values to provide healthy relaxation services inside two Chicagoland stores. Thanks to Rich Holley, Store team leader at the Lincoln Park Whole Foods Market ,and Mike Farmer, Store team Leader of the Gold Coast store for allowing us to operate our chair massage stations inside their stores!

Sue Shekut, Owner of Working Well Massage

Working Well Massage inside Lincoln Park Whole Foods Market

In 2012, Working Well Massage continued to provide excellent massage therapists to our retail and corporate clients–and we will do so in 2013 as well! We are happy to be able to provide high quality services at affordable prices. Notice, I don’t say high quality services at low prices. We don’t do that and we don’t recommend it. Paying low prices usually means someone is getting ripped off, either the massage therapist or the customer (because the low paid services are usually not high quality!). As 2012 came to a close, I admit I was happy to hear that the company “Groupon” has had massive layoffs and is losing investors. I have written about the negative effects of deep discounting and sadly, I am seeing my beliefs bear out. I know I am in good company when Peter Cohan, Contributor to Forbes magazine,  agrees that Groupon is a bad idea for small businesses–and I say it’s bad for small business customers as well. At Working Well Massage, we have always tried to keep our prices affordable, but we still need to make a living. By offering a living wage to our massage therapists, we can continue to provide quality services, stay in business (a very important goal for small businesses!) and treat our current and future clients with respect and care. We love what we do and we are happy to help people save money on our services..but not at the cost of our business and our personal health!

Lorian Bates, Working Well Massage Therapist inside Whole Foods Market

Lorian Bates, Working Well Massage Therapist as she prepares to provide high quality massage to WWM clients inside Whole Foods Market. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Working Well Massage corporate clients have been happy to have us provide our stress relieving services on a daily, weekly, monthly and periodic basis. For reasons of confidentiality, we do not broadcast our client companies names, but we can say that our clients include financial services, marketing companies, software manufacturers, manufacturing firms, schools, universities, police stations, private pampering parties and not-for-profits. This year Working Well Massage also donated time and money to local and national charities such as Climate Cycle among other groups.

Working Well Massage therapists give a small moment of relaxation to officers as they prepare to go out into the streets and as they come off duty after a long shift. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Working Well Massage therapists give a small moment of relaxation to officers as they prepare to go out into the streets and as they come off duty after a long shift. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Thanks to all our readers, Working Well Massage clients, Working Well Massage team members, and Chicago area police and fire fighters! We appreciate your business in 2012 and look forward to service you again in 2013!

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

When you think of health insurance companies, what comes to mind first about them? (And, no, this is not a commercial!)  Is it that your health insurance company is a great source of healthful tips on managing stress, improving your health and saving you money on health care costs? Well, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois does more than just process insurance claims. They provide some really helpful info about your health! The Blue Cross website provides members with tips to beat the holiday blues here.  

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And note that I am not paid by BCBS nor do I have any stock in the company. But I do think their website is a great service, even if you are not a member!

Among the helpful healthful tips: keep your holiday expectations realistic. Not low, but realistic. What this means varies from person to person. During this holiday season, there are a lot of invitations to events, gifts to buy, end of year financial obligations to handle. And for those with children in homes that celebrate Christmas, presents to buy, hide and wrap. It’s a time of family and friend visits and parties. But we still all have to go to work, school or take care of children or elderly loved ones. And adding high expectations (that everything be perfect, that our loved ones will love every gift we get them, that we can work, shop, cook and still maintain our health despite many additional demands without compromising anything) adds significant stress to our lives.

This holiday season, give yourself the gift of relaxation, either by getting a relaxing massage, taking time out to sit in a hot bath, going to the gym to work off some stress, meditation, resting, stopping and taking a walk in the woods or by the lake (bundle up though!). Your heart, your pancreas, your blood pressure will all benefit as you remove yourself from the face pace of the holiday shopping frenzy and let your body rest and recharge.

Here are some of my tips on maintaining your health and not overdoing during the holiday season:

• When someone asks you to take on one more event or obligation, say “let me think about it.”  Then take the time to really think if you have time and energy to take this on, if the event is more important than other obligations you may have, and then give your denial or approval.

• Make a list of all the extra holiday related things you need to do in the next month. Then check your list and decide if anything can go or be done in an easier way. For example, you can shop in a store or you can save time and shop via the internet. I hate to beat the death knoll for big box stores and retail shopping, but when people are pressed for time, shopping online saves the hassle of fighting through long lines and heavy traffic and lets you check an item off your to do list without leaving your computer.

• Consider giving less gifts and giving more of yourself. Not to contradict myself, but instead of rushing around to save a few bucks on the latest electronic gift or trendy item that will likely be unused and relegated to the closet  soon after unwrapping, consider giving gift certificates or coupons either for actual professional services (spa, dinner, movie passes) to be enjoyed along with you or make home made certificates for future events with you. A dinner, a back rub, a vacation, a plan for a hike, a walk, an afternoon in any of the fabulous museums in Chicago (which have free days for the budget conscious). Whatever you and your family and friends like to do together when the holidays are over and you all have more free time to spend with one another.

• Commit to spending at least 10 minutes a day laying down, either on a bed, on the floor or on a mat. All you need to do is be comfortable, focus on your breathing (counting as you breathe in out with a 4-count for inhalation and a 4-count for your exhalation) and let your thoughts come and go without getting to attached to any one thought. (Trust me, those thoughts and to do lists will be there after 10 minutes of rest and relaxation.)

• Commit to spending at least an hour a day unplugged no phone, no television, no game system, no computer. Whether you spend the hour talking in person to loved ones or whether you simply stare out the window and pet your cat, just spend one hour a day not using electronic devises and not responding to the call of a phone, television commercial or email. If the thought of doing this panics you, then you need that hour more than most!

 Overall, do less, slow down and ENJOY the time you have with those you love. Then just to prove you are not in such a rush that you forget to be kind, let the guy or gal in front of you in line or on the street. That small act of kindness may just make you feel a little less stressed and a little more in the holiday spirit!
And (shameless plug for self-promotion), feel free to stop by our Working Well Massage chair stations inside the Whole Foods Markets in the Gold Coast (30 W Huron) and Lincoln Park (1550 N Kingsbury) any time from noon to 8pm daily. No appointment needed! Just stop in and in 10 or 15 or 20 minutes we can help you feel less stressed and more relaxed! Click here for our website with more information.
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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Working Well Massage is partnering with Balance & Harmony Massage to bring chair massage to  the Palatine Whole Foods Market on Saturdays from 11am to 3pm. starting October 6, 2012.

Palatine Whole Foods Market on Rand Road

Palatine Whole Foods Market is located at 1331 North Rand Rd in Palatine,  Illinois  60074-2922. (Note: The store is relocating to a larger building nearby in March of 2013.) Map of Palatine Whole Foods Market location here.

Dawn Mucha, LMT

Dawn Mucha of Balance & Harmony Massage, located in Schaumberg is going to be providing massages on Saturdays at the Palatine store. Working Well Massage is testing out the new location to determine if we need to add more days and hours of massage for our suburban relaxation fans.

Hours: Dawn will be giving relaxing massages from 11am to 3pm on Saturdays in the Whole Body section of the store.

Prices:
Quick Fix (5-Minute Massage) = $6
Short Stop (10-Minute Massage) = $12
Mellow Moment (15-Minute Massage) = $18
Complete Retreat I (20-Minute Massage) = $24
Complete Retreat II (30-Minute Massage) = $35

Additional increments of 5 minutes = $6. Please note that we do not accept credit card payments at the Massage Stations. Payment accepted in cash or checks only.

Look for Dawn’s smiling face and her massage chair coming soon to this space inside Whole Foods Market in Palatine, IL

How to Use WWM Chair Massage Stations

  • No need to make an appointment! If someone else is already receiving a massage when you arrive, simply sign in and wait your turn.
  • Before your massage begins, let the therapist know how long you’d like the massage to last and any areas that are bothering you. Be sure to let him or her know if you have any medical contraindications such as high or low blood pressure, pregnancy, or fever.
  • Your therapist will help you get seated in the chair and begin the massage. Let him or her know if you need the pressure adjusted. We welcome your feedback; it helps us give you a better massage.
  • When your massage ends, your therapist will help you out of the chair . He or she will provide you with any feedback you may need about stretching or follow-up.
  • Pay the therapist for the massage. Gratuity is always appreciated but not required.

Stop by the Palatine Whole Foods and try out Dawn’s relaxing massages on Saturdays in October. Then let us know what you think!  Do you want more massage in this location or are you so relaxed already in your life that you can’t even type a reply?
For more information, contact Working Well Massage or contact Dawn directly at Balance & Harmony at 847-452-8987.

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UPDATE: Our first three weeks at Whole Foods Market in Palatine was a big success! However, in an effort to reduce confusion by our new clients, Working Well Massage has turned over operation of the chair massage station at this location to our partner company, Balance & Harmony Massage. Working Well Massage continues to support the efforts of the new chair massage business in Palatine. We wish Balance and Harmony Massage great success in this new business endeavor!

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Fresh fruit

After eating a wonderful traditional Thanksgiving meal, I was inspired to look for some new healthy eating tips. I came across one that I think we should all check out: Healthy Dining. It is an all-volunteer community education and outreach program in Chicago devoted to providing simple, healthy lifestyle options for Chicago diners. By subscribing to the newsletter (free), you have access to “a steady diet of bite-size, easy-to-digest morsels of practical information, valuable resources, easy recipes, time and money-saving ideas, conservation tips and special subscriber-only invitations and offers that support good clean living.”

Who Started Healthy Dining in Chicago?

Laura Bruzas

 

In 2003, Laura Bruzas founded Healthy Dining to help teach Chicagoans that good nutrition and an eco-friendly lifestyle can aid in to disease prevention and management. Bruzas’ holds a degree in Marketing, has 15 years in HR/Recruiting and spent five years working with Whole Foods Market. When Laura was in college, a friend gave her a copy of Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe and she has been on that path ever since.  Laura is also the author of Eat Well for Less, a collection of 50 simple tips and fast recipes to save time and cut your natural food bill in half.

 

For ten years, Laura has been an adult education instructor at the Latin School. She received a grant for developing and delivering a series of community wellness workshops, has taught healthy cooking classes at Whole Foods Market, Gildas Club of Chicago and the Discovery Center, presented a motivational lecture series on wellness and personal effectiveness for Chicago Public Library patrons and has spoken to audiences at the Chicago Women in Publishing Conference, Chicago Green Drinks, and FamilyFarmed.org EXPO.  Prior to publishing Healthy Dining Chicago, she was the editor of Living Well from 1998 to 2002.

60 Second Desserts and a variety of Four-Course Dinners in Under an Hour.

Laura has a full list of Q&A’s about healthy dining. Check out the questions and answers here.

Bruzas also teaches classes at the Moraine Valley Environmental Institute, as well as hosting corporate Lunch & Learns on the topic of Healthy Dining on a Dime and offering home parties with menu options that include 60 Second Desserts and a variety of Four-Course Dinners in Under an Hour.

For More Information or to Schedule a Lunch & Learn or Home Party
Please contact Laura at 312.666.9979 or via e-mail Laura@HealthyDining.org.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Can a business be TOO successful? How about two businesses? Sometimes they can be! In the case of Working Well Massage and the Whole Foods Wellness Club, being too successful in some areas made it a better idea to split our two businesses and focus on what we each do best.

On Sept 5, 2011, Working Well Massage expanded our massage business to offer table massages in the new Wellness Club in Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park. We aligned with the Wellness Club to offer discounted massages to Wellness Club members and full price massages to non-wellness club members. Both Wellness Club leadership and WWM thought that the massage business would be very successful in the Wellness Club and that we would need the consultation room to provide table massages. However, we found that table massages were not as big of a draw to the Wellness Club as nutritional consultations turned out to be.  We also found that the WWM chair massages business was so successful on the main floor that there was less of a need for massage in the WC than we thought. Both the Wellness Club nutritional offerings and the chair massage offerings on the main floor resulted in few table massage clients in the Wellness Club and a greater need for the use of the consultation room for nutritional services.

At the same time, WWM resources were being stretched thin. A massage business can only survive financially if it has clients. WWM massage clients ended up preferring the affordable, accessible, walk in appointment at the WWM chair massage station to table massages in the Wellness Club upstairs. Trying to market both massage and fitness and nutrition was taxing the resources of both WWM and the WC and confusing WWM customers.

By Oct 12 2011, both Wellness Club leadership and WWM agreed that it made more sense and was a better business decision to close the table massage business. Instead Whole Foods Market decided to focus the Wellness Club more on nutritional offerings and fitness and channel massage clients to the already established and successful WWM chair massages booth near Express on the main floor.

I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this rapid opening and shutting down of table massage services may have been to some of our clients. Working Well Massage continues to offer chair massages at the Lincoln Park Whole Foods Market. And the Wellness Club is focusing on nutrition and fitness in the balcony (mezzanine) upstairs!

Visit us in the WWM chair massage booth from Noon to 8p.m. Daily and receive your own relaxing chair massage.

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