Self-Care for Survival

Self-Care for Survival

I was walking down the street today drinking water, thinking about my to-do list and returning an email on my phone when I happened to almost run into someone who was, I assume from the phone in their hand, doing the same thing.  At this moment I looked around and realized that more than half of the people around me were multitasking in their brains, on their phones and with their bodies.  It occurred to me that this is our world right now; busy, rushed, bursting with activity, layered with tasks and not enough time.  Not enough time especially for ourselves, being a massage therapist has placed the concept of self-care directly in the forefront of my world.  I notice every time I work on someone just how important caring for yourself is and just how low on our priority list it has become.

How many people do you know that are affected by chronic stress, pain or just a general feeling of discomfort?  Perhaps you can relate to some of these feelings?  Lack of self-care in one’s life can lead to stress and pain, stress and pain can lead to disease, depression and an inability to fully function in one’s day to day life.  You may be asking yourself how the heck you are suppose to work self-care into your already overly demanding schedule?  My question is: How are you suppose to keep up with such a high intensity schedule without taking care of yourself?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What in your life is more important than you, your health and your well-being?
  • What are you putting before your own health and well-being, where are you on your “to-do” list?
  • Is the way that you are living your life right now sustainable from the age you are now until retirement?  Do you already have aches and pains, imagine how those might become worse in 5/10/20 years.
  • What will your body/mind/spirit look and feel like long term if you don’t make yourself a priority?
  • Do you want to function at an optimal level in your life? Have more energy now and in the future? Live happy and healthy for many years to come?

Common excuses that might arise at this point are:  lack of funds, no time, family/work comes first-or by giving to work and family I am giving to myself, I can rest when I retire

I challenge you to re-think these excuses and make yourself a priority now by realizing that you are as or more important than anyone or anything else in your life.  The only way for you to be happily successful, functioning at an optimal level and to be healthy and full of energy for many years to come is to treat your body, mind and spirit with care and consideration beginning right now-no matter how young you may be.

Here are a few suggestions on how to treat  yourself with the care that you deserve so that you can stay in the best condition possible for as long as possible:

  • Do what you love and love what you doThis can be a difficult task because it is not always completely easy to accomplish or 100% within our control.  My advise is if you do have the option to make a change into a profession or situation that is fulfilling DO IT even if you will be taking a risk.  If you don’t have this option keep your eyes open for opportunities and make the best of your situation.  Positivity attracts positivity and changing your perspective could change everything!
  • Take time for yourself every single dayEven if you can only set aside ten minutes a day, make those ten minutes only about you. This means putting away the internet and distractions, getting quiet or loud, giving yourself space to breathe, grow and hear what your own internal self is saying.
  • Take mini vacationsIf you find yourself with a busy schedule that doesn’t allow time or resources for regular vacations, take mini breaks instead.  You need space from the demands of life to renew your commitment to your responsibilities and to regain energy for your life.  Don’t underestimate the power of a weekend getaway or day trip-just remember to leave work and the to-do list at home.
  • Laugh, dance, play Finding joy in the small things can make a big difference in your day.  Notice the sound of the rain, the way someone smiled when you gave them a compliment or the sweetness of your pet when you first arrive home.  Life is made of moments, don’t allow them to be wasted.
  • Take care of your healthExercise regularly by finding something you enjoy such as dance classes, martial arts, gardening, boot camp, acrobatics, basketball, weight lifting etc… Get a friend to go, get in a routine, just do whatever it takes to get yourself in shape.   Stretching is one of the most overlooked things that we should be doing for ourselves.  Our muscles should be balanced and working together, this means strong AND flexible.  Get massage and/or other forms of bodywork at least once per month and more if possible (I may be biased). I can assure you that adding massage into your health care routine will improve your quality of life, the quality of your skin and muscles and I am certain it will not be a decision that you soon regret.  Eat Healthy, you will never hear me say that you should never eat anything sugary again, I love junk food and food in general, so my philosophy is everything in moderation.  With that said, the majority of your meals should be healthy and well balanced.  View the American Diabetes Association food guide here for more information.

Remember:

Self-Care is Health Care

*For an affordable way to get regular monthly massage sessions check out Written on the Body’s $50 VIP Monthly Membership here!


free massage, local art & live music

You may have been to one of Portland’s Alberta Street Last Thursday events during the summertime, but did you know that they continue through the entire winter as well?

Written on the body hosts an open house event every other Last Thursday during the winter months. Join us for great art, music, massage, food and fun. And to gather with amazing people and connect with our lovely community.  Check out this month for a celebration of love and get a chance to win a free massage!

About the Event:

Into the Vortex by Masha Falkov


Digital artwork by Masha Falkov

Date Time Location
2/27/14 6-8pm Written on the Body Massage and Acupuncture, 5005 NE 13th Ave. 97227

We will have sweet beats by DJ TrickAssedMarxist

Amazing local art by Masha Falkov, Artist

  • Free heart shaped and filled-with-love refreshments!
  • Free mini massages and a raffle with a chance for you to win a free massage!
  • Discounts on your favorite products and of course lovely company (there may even be the possibility of heart shaped Twister)!

Join the event on Facebook

We can’t wait to see you there!

About the artist:  Masha Falkov

Masha is a sweet, creative and unique individual.  I had the pleasure of meeting Masha at written on the body massage and acupuncture’s previous location when she happened in from Bitch Media’s lending library.  The first thing I noticed about her was her amazing hat, rimmed with glass vials containing everything from candy nerds to bones!  Since then Masha has shown her beautiful artwork at written on the body many times.  Masha’s work is very unique and detail oriented, if you stare at one of her creations you will see worlds within worlds and beyond.  Even if her “psychedelic” style isn’t normally your cup of tea, I can guarantee that you will find something to enjoy at this month’s open house event!


Love Month – Massage Specials

Love. حُب. láska. kærlighed. 喜爱. amour. die Liebe. 愛. mīlestība. ljubezen. zamiłowanie. aşk. αγάπη. 애정

So many beautiful ways to say it and even more to celebrate it!

It’s LOVE MONTH at Written on the Body Massage and we have a few fantastic treatments to help you love yourself and share the love with those you adore:

Something Sweet $55
30 minutes of bliss with focused massage work combined with a luxurious warming foot treatment…
Book online              Buy a Gift Certificate

Head, Shoulders, Hands and Toes $60
Pamper the parts of your body that serve you the most, your hands, feet and head to a treatment designed just for them.  We combine an extended scalp, neck and face massage with our signature foot and hand treatments for an incredibly relaxing experience.  You are guaranteed to leave feeling shiny and new!
Book online              Buy a Gift Certificate

Swoon $80
The definition of Swoon is to be overwhelmed by ecstatic joy and we promise you will be with this hour long  aromatherapy infused hot stone massage.  Let the stones soothe your tension while Umay’s Swoon blend lifts your spirits!
Book online              Buy a Gift Certificate

AND take 10% off Munio Candela products!

*specials run through 2/28/14, you may book them directly or purchase them online as a gift certificate


Need a vacation or staycation? Look no further!

We have partnered with our lovely neighbors to offer an awesome Alberta Street vacation or staycation! Looking for a getaway or know someone who is? With our deal you can stay in one of the coolest houses, browse the sweetest fashions and treat yourself to an amazing massage on one of the best streets in Portland. We hope to see you soon and don’t forget to share the love!
Written on the Body: www.writtenonthebody.info
Shift Vacation Rentals: www.shiftvacationrentals.com
Frock: www.frockboutique.com
Download the PDF Flyer


Sparkles and Sweets-Have fun-Get great gifts!

5040419Join us for this fun Alberta Street event! Many Alberta Street businesses will be making the last couple of shopping days a little bit more fun and hopefully a lot less stressful!
Businesses will be providing “sparkles” (effervescent beverages) and “sweets” creating a festive atmosphere on Alberta Street just for you!

Written on the Body will be offering complimentary refreshments, great last minute deals and chances to win free massage from 11-6 Saturday and Sunday! All gifts priced $100 or less with many ideas in the $20 or less range!

To get the details on what businesses will be participating check out the Alberta Main Street website: http://albertamainst.org/whats-happening/lit-up-local/sparkles-sweets/


Holiday Open House 12/5 6-9

We have put together an exciting event for you to enjoy! Many of Portland’s best artists will be decorating our walls with small creations all priced at $100 or less! We will also have crafty local gift baskets, gift certificates and much much more to make your holiday shopping as easy as humanly possible! To top it all off, we will be offering FREE mini Massages all night, live music, free refreshments and a chance to WIN an awesome gift basket! You can’t get this shopping experience at the mall;) You should bring your friends, have some bubbly, get a mini massage and enjoy some pretty sweet company! We are looking forward to seeing you all there.


A post written for EcoGrrl by our owner Julie Campbell

Here is a copy of the Guest Blog Post our owner Julie Campbell wrote for “EcoGrrl’s” amazing and informative website!  Link:  http://ecogrrl.net/2013/04/12/wellness-wisdom-8-tips-for-self-care-when-the-well-is-dry/

“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

As I’ve begun to focus on taking a more holistic approach to my own wellness, one of my key transformations was in no longer considering massage as simply “pampering” or “extra”.  As human beings, we are often asked to put the needs of others before spending quiet time with ourselves – why is that? As mentioned in a post last month, I’ve made monthly massage a “prescription” to nurture the often-ignored mind-body connection that relates directly to my overall health.

Julie Campbell is one of the people who I rely on to look after me.  As owner of Written on the Body on NE 13th and Alberta, her studio offers incredibly relaxing therapeutic massage, acupuncture and Feldenkrais treatments.  She is not only the best massage therapist I’ve ever been to, but she offers an environment that truly nurtures.  I know I can open up about lots of “stuff” going on with me and she’ll customize her treatment to my needs. Julie, quite simply, is amazing.

So yes, as you guessed it, I convinced her to share her own story with me and some tips for self-care I thought we could all benefit from.



My first year of business was a mixture of extreme highs and lows. I started non-traditionally – no financial backing and no client base – I relied on me, my tax refund and some serious passion.

Six months in, business exploded. I was working too much and barely surviving.  A year in, I no longer recognized myself. I was depleted, parched, spirit shrunken, and weak – a shell filled with dust. I hit bottom with a hard thud. And as I was in my darkened bedroom, crying to my boyfriend about how it was probably over, I was a failure, and so on and so forth, he gave me the gift of a question.

“Do you want this or not?”

A simple question that has been asked more than a trillion times in the universe, but at that moment it was a biblical revelation.

  • What do I want?  The question is so massive and sometimes so difficult to answer in all of the surrounding movement and noise. 
  • What do I need?  To me those are often one and the same.  

I responded. OF COURSE! To own and grow a business, to be a massage therapist and offer a place of peace and healing – I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!

So I started regularly asking myself that question. And then I started to answer it and to actually listen to my answers.

  • I needed more time for me.
  • I needed time for my health.
  • I needed a space to breathe.

I began to allow myself to find peace through yoga, massage, acupuncture, Feldenkrais, baths, breaths and soooo many other self-care modalities.  And because of this, I rediscovered joy in my work and happiness in my life. I now realize the importance of my own well-being.

When I’m not ensuring my own wellness, I’m incapable of offering my best face to the world (or any face when it comes right down to it).

With that, here are my personal favorites for self-care:

  1. Tell yourself every single day you are important enough and “worth it” enough to be well, to be happy, to have what you want and need.  This is not just some “fu fu” self help thing – it works because it is true!
  2. Explore massage and other forms of bodywork.  I partake in a mixture of acupuncture, Feldenkrais and weekly massage, combining deep tissue and relaxation.  When I miss a week I can absolutely tell the difference, I am less patient with others as well as myself.  I am stiff, crackly, and have less energy.  Even if you can only afford one per month, it will make a gigantic difference.  Try it and if I am wrong, please let me know.
  3. Yoga!!  I don’t practice yoga regularly, rather I go through phases when I just want to do it so bad I can’t not go. And then I’m a yoga fiend!  Returning to yoga always makes me feel like it’s the first time I’ve breathed in who knows how long.  Amazing, Amazing, Amazing.
  4. Find a warming & centering atmosphere of peace and healing.  Whichever way you go, I promise you will leave feeling renewed! How can that not be wonderful? A few of my favorites include Ashiyu Foot Spa for an inexpensive soak, Common Ground Wellness Center for an incredible soak & sauna experience, and trying out a float shop where I love to float, meditate and find quiet with my thoughts.  And of course, I highly recommend the free stuff too – drinking tea and water, chatting with friends, and meditation.
  5. Get outside!  I know it’s rainy forever and then some in Portland (believe me I am a sun lover so I am always struggling with that fact), but what I’ve realized is that good rain gear is worth the money!  We live in one of the most beautiful states  – so go outside even when it rains. Garden, hike, bike, walk, run, puddle jump, sunbathe, swim, or if you live in the area, go to Bagby Hot Springs. Whatever you do, go outside and play every single day if you can. Nature is healing.
  6. Exercise!  Even if you can only manage 10 minutes a day of some type of movement, it will make a huge difference mentally and physically.  Better yet, find some active thing that you love and do that, even if it seems outlandish! One of my clients says when she’s invited to go to happy hour or dinner with friends, she asks them to go for a run or take a fun exercise class with her instead.  What a cool way to hang out!
  7. Decide to do what feels good from now on.  When something isn’t feeling good, examine it, reevaluate why, then figure out what you can do to change or eliminate it.  I have seen a marked difference watching those who follow this philosophy – they look and feel younger and more vibrant. Try it and see, then let me know what happens, I’m interested!
  8. Let go of that which no longer serves you.  Enough said. If it is not serving you or your purpose and what you are trying to accomplish in life, leave it behind and make space for those things that do. Smile, breathe, find quiet moments in your day and enjoy yourself! Life is unpredictable and way too short to waste being stagnant and unhappy.

Free 12 Week Makeover

Dragonfly Project PDX

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“Things do not change; we change.” –Henry David Thoreau

Dragonfly Project PDX Seeking Candidate for a Free 12-Week Makeover

Dragonfly Project PDX is searching the city of Portland to award one free 12-week makeover to a deserving individual.  This makeover will include weekly fitness and nutrition coaching, monthly massage therapy sessions, and professional hair services.  Close-in Portland city residents are encouraged to nominate someone special by May 1, 2013.  Nomination forms are available here.

Everyone is well aware of the negative consequences of the body and mind left unattended, but not everyone has the money or time to devote to the necessary components of healthy living.  Taking time to nurture your mind and body is often a hard thing for people to do in this rapid-paced world we live in, but it has never been more important.

When we look good, we feel good, and that goodness is contagious. Fitness and nutrition coaching can help individuals reach and maintain their health goals while boosting self-esteem and promoting an overall sense of wellness. Beyond muscular tension relief and increased range of motion, massage reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, resulting in a more positive state of being. Professional hair care and maintenance promotes a sense of powerful renewal and self-confidence in daily life.  Dragonfly Project PDX is founded on the belief that the combination of these services can help to transform one’s life in the most balanced way possible and aims to remind those touched by the project of the importance of self care.

About Dragonfly Project PDX

This project is intended to give back to the community and offer someone an opportunity that otherwise would not be within their grasp—a chance to be empowered in their own skin, a chance to be revitalized in mind, body, and spirit.

 “The meaning of a dragonfly changes with each culture. Mainly, the dragonfly symbolizes renewal, positive force and the power of life in general. The dragonfly has been a symbol of happiness, new beginnings and change for many centuries and even though the representation of the dragonfly seems to change across cultures, there are still a few things that are similar: the dragonfly means hope, change and love.” [source: www.dragonfly-site.com/meaning-symbolize.html

Dragonfly Project PDX was founded by three entrepreneurs: Julie Campbell, owner of Written on The Body Massage and Acupuncture Studio, Alexis McFate, owner of Trust Salon, and Jessica Scardina, Certified Personal Trainer and nutrition consultant. To learn more about these women and the mission of Dragonfly Project PDX, please check click here.



Spring is almost here!

The Spring Equinox is on Wednesday March 20th!   Spring is a time of growth, cleansing and rejuvenation in our lives, bodies and homes.  In Ayurveda, India’s ancient herbal medical system, massage is viewed as an integral part of any cleansing or detoxification program. The patient, or “cleanser” will eat a pure and simple diet during this time. Each day they will eat some ghee and receive a vigorous lymphatic massage. The therapist will apply copious amounts of medicated herbal oil to the body. This will continue for up to 7 seven days. Each massage is followed by a steam sauna. Of course, there are variations and many more details to this protocol, but the main elements of oleation and massage are constants. The idea behind the use of vigorous, oily massage is that the oils, which are both consumed internally and applied externally work to dislodge toxic substances from the accumulated areas in the body and move them out into the colon for elimination and out through the pores of the skin via the sauna, out through the stomach, etc.

During a detox process, it is especially important to keep your blood, lymph and other bodily fluids flowing freely, to keep your joints lose and limber, to stretch your tendons and other connective tissue and to stimulate your organs and glands. A daily massage will do all of the above.

Massage therapy benefits the lymphatic system. Massage, by stimulating the lymph nodes, boosts the circulatory and immune systems. This positively affects blood pressure, circulation, muscle tone, digestion and elimination.

A daily massage assists in the detox process as it helps the toxins, which are being released into your bloodstream from cleansing, exit your system with support. Massage can do this as it:

* Kneads toxins from the tissues and allows them to be excreted from the body, enhancing the detox process.

* Activates lymph drainage

*Calms the nervous system and improves blood circulation

* Improves breathing

In Chinese medicine the organ related to Spring is the liver, the bodies toxin filter.  This time of year is perfect for revitalizing the liver after the heaviness and hibernation of its long winters nap.  You can do this in a variety of ways:  diet, exercise and bodywork to name a few.  Written on the Body has several ways to support your Spring renewal!  Spring Clean Massage-
This 75 minute treatment includes a circulation enhancing massage infused with Umay’s signature detoxifying aromatherapy blend.  To assist in lymphatic stimulation we will also utilize the extensive benefits of dry brushing.  The dry brush as well as a specially created detox Epsom salt bath are yours to take home at no extra charge!

For the ultimate benefits we recommend a pack of 5 daily treatments or a month of weekly treatments, to purchase the buy 4 get 1 free Spring Clean Package for $310  give us a call at 503-473-8515.

For a single appointment the cost is $85

To add this treatment to an existing VIP Membership it is $20, please let us know before your appointment if you would like to add this treatment on.

Acupuncture-Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are excellent tools to support Springtime detoxification and general immune function!  Check out this great article on the Chinese Medicine perspective on Spring and liver function.
Community:  $50 per couple
Private:  $70
Herbal Consultation:  $25 plus the cost of herbs

Book your appointments online today!