10 Waywest Ways to Stay on top of Stress


Stay on Top

of stress

Welcome my fellow stressed humans!

None of us are immune, but we all handle the tense times differently. I thought it would be helpful to share the steps I take to stay on top of the stress mountain in my life. You may be surprised, but even massage therapists can't always get in to see their favorite bodyworker for a mini-escape the moment some stress goes down. 

1. Take a minute.

When things are feeling chaotic, out of your control, and just legit bonkers its easy to get wrapped up in the moment. Remove yourself from the constant swirling craziness just for even a minute. Take a big breath and sigh it out. Giving yourself a timeout can work wonders, it worked when we were toddlers, why not now?

2. Get Outside.

This shouldn't come as a surprise, but I like to be outside. And turns out, nature has stress reducing effects on us humans. The trees, the sky, the songs that the birds sing. Its a wonderful distraction for anything stressful. I love the book The Nature Fix for some insight as to why being outside can calm you down so much. 

3. Move.

Getting my heart pumping and my blood flowing. The gym, a trail, just some pushups or jumping jacks, a brisk walk around the block. The ultimate quick fix to stress. *You may need to schedule a massage after you've overdone it with the push ups. 

4. Music. 

Sometimes the stress is all up in my head, a worrying situation that is looping in the mind. So I give myself a different ear worm to distract and it works out. Sometimes the messages in music are enough to shake me out of my stressful thought loop. Check out our Waywest Spotify playlists for relaxing. 

5. Audiobooks/Podcasts.

This is has been my cure for road rage. I used to walk to work when I lived in the neighborhood, but now I'm one of those people who spend almost an hour every day in the car (OMG!). Irritability with traffic, news feeling frustrating, and the top hits on the radio weren't cutting it. I needed a change so I downloaded an audiobook out of boredom and the effects of listening to a story have totally transformed my driving experience. Stress way less. 

6. Good Smells.

Have you tried essential oils? Lavender quells the stress for me. I keep some in my bag and every once in a while I just take a hit off the ole bottle and let the switch flip and it helps. 

7. Talk it out.

Mom, friends, my dog, the walls.. sometimes just saying whats stressing me out takes the power away from it and I can move on. 

8. Speaking of dogs. 

To me, animal time is the stress cure all. I have fantasized about creating a massage space that is also an animal sanctuary. Just imagine, you could cuddle furry friends before and after massages, or maybe a sweet kitty could curl up on your belly while you get your temples massaged... The dream. 

9.  Down with the screen.

Maybe this correlates to my nature time, but looking at memes, responding to emails, and getting lost in the instagram/facebook blackhole are little stress pools that can be avoided. Setting screen time works for me to manage stress around time and other feelings that crop up from the blessing/curse of social media. 

10. Practice Gratitude.

That is such a buzz-wordy new age way to phrase it, but damn if they aren't right. You mad, be glad.. Listing what I'm thankful for in my life on a regular basis combats the stress. Doing this before you're stressed makes it that much easier to stay out of the state of stress. 

Example: "I'm so grateful for my job, I get to make people feel better everyday, I am thankful for my clients, for the light they bring to the office and my life.." And just writing that I connected to the serious joy that work brings me and I can't wait to get in there! Thank you!

Hope some of these practices help find their way into your stress less routine, and if not make sure to book a massage in advance to help combat the stress out there! 

Thank you!


Leg Hair, Dont Care


Hey Massage Friends!

We care about a lot of things big and small, but body hair isn't on our list.

We want you to know that there is no need to apologize for not shaving your legs or having hair there at all.

Don't Worry About It.

"If you're not worried about my leg hair, then what are you thinking about?"

When we're working our mind is on making sure we are applying pressure at the right depth, feeling the constancy of muscle tissue on the right compared to the left, noticing the attachments of Gastrocnemius and its relationship to the Soleous muscle, and whether it could be the culprit to the pain you have when you point your toes. 

We want you to feel at ease during your massage sessions.

We want the ambiance to make you feel comfortable and able to let go of stress.

We want to give you the best massage you've ever had.  

Leg hair, dont care. 


I'm sick, should I cancel my massage?


Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 10.20.20 AM.png

You've waited weeks and planned ahead for this reprieve for your mind and muscles. As the time etches closer to your appointment you feel the symptoms of a cold. Nobody ever wants to cancel their massage, but this is a time that rescheduling is necessary. If you come in for a massage while suffering a head cold or symptoms from the flu, massage could actually increase these symptoms. 

When you are sick, your body needs rest. It’s strange to think about it this way, but receiving bodywork is an active task, it is not entirely rest. Massage causes change in the body, and your body has to work to maintain stability. Getting a massage when you are sick takes attention away from infection-fighting. 

Since most of the common winter viruses are contagious even before symptoms show up, your therapist could pass the cooties along to more clients before they even know it’s happening. Further, when we bodyworkers get sick, we have to cancel clients and take a few days off work. This derails others self-care planning and our ability to make the world a better place one massage at a time. 

When to cancel

If you are itchy, runny, and/or sneezy, and you’re not 100% certain it’s seasonal allergies. And even then, allergies may leave you so miserable that the hour on the table would be wasted time and money for you.

If you are coughing constantly, or just a lot.

If you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in the past 24 hours, or are still feeling funky from a recent bout of such things.

If you’ve had a fever in the past 24 hours, or fever-related symptoms. This includes chills, aches, and fatigue. Even if you’re keeping the fever down with medicine, you’re still sick. The fever counts.

If someone in your household is ill and you are feeling at all funky, please cancel.


Prevent colds with frequent hand washing, stay hydrated, well rested, and a little vitamin C wont hurt. 

Stay healthy! 


Why did you become a Massage Therapist?


“So, why did you become a massage therapist?” A question I still have trouble answering, and I get asked pretty often. Truth is, I was an untethered directionless 21 year old wandering around thinking I should be doing something. Massage therapy wasn't a calling, or something I had a vested interest in, I didn’t have a miraculous recovery from an injury that inspired me to do the work. I hardly had a grasp on the potential of massage beyond relaxation.

While talking with a friend they mentioned they were considering massage school as something they wanted to do. After going home and googling “Massage School Portland” I came to the conclusion that it seemed like something I could do (for now) and I could commit a year of my life to education and see where things fell. I went to an orientation the next week and enrolled at East West College in 2010.

That’s how I found myself holding the title Licensed Massage Therapist.

End of story. Kind of..

 Photo by  John carleton

Photo by John carleton

Now having been a massage therapist for six years, it occurs to me that I'd rather answer the question “So, why are you a massage therapist?”

Let me tell you! I’m a massage therapist because this work is endlessly rewarding! I've facilitated healing in ways I never thought possible! I get to help others by using intentional, positive touch combined with therapeutic knowledge. I've watched my clients of every age, gender, and physical ability have more ease in their body, let go of emotional burdens, heal injuries, release restrictions, and feel better overall body and mind.

I feel lucky to have a job that enhances my life keeping me connected to my own body and mind while helping others connect to theirs. Massage isn't just about relaxation or working out knots, it can be a tool to help people continue down the path of life with a little more ease. This work to me is meaningful. Massage fulfills my desire to do good in the world and it makes me happy.

I suppose that’s why.

What do I wear during a massage?

What do you wear when it comes to massage?

I usually encourage clients to, “Undress to your level of comfort.” But sometimes that can seem vague, especially to a new client. Here’s what you need to know about clothing during a session:

First, no matter what, you’ll always be covered (draped) with a sheet and a blanket. You’ll never be left feeling exposed or chilly. When I work on an arm, I fold the sheet back and tuck it under your arm so it’s secure. (No drafts, my friends.) I follow the same protocol for the leg.

When I work on the full back, I fold the drape down at the hips. If you’re wearing a bra, I’ll work around it. If you’re wearing a tank top or shorts or long johns, I’ll work through it. I know plenty of very effective massage techniques that can be administered over clothing. If I feel I can’t effectively treat your issue through the clothing you’ve chosen to wear, I’ll tell you, and we’ll figure out another approach.

Please know that I don’t care, and I’m not judging you. This massage is about you and it’s important you feel comfortable. For some people that means leaving some clothing on. For others, it means taking it all off. There is no right or wrong, this is your massage.

Enjoy your next massage!