Massage for the many, not just the few.

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Stop. Take A minute

Eeeeeeeeeee! Loop Massage studio has been open for just a couple of months. It has been an exciting, busy time. We started the build in the very chilly months of early 2017. Now, as the days are longer and (sometimes) warmer I've finally a moment to pause and reflect. 

Starting my own business has been teaching me some valuables lessons. Like many, I strive to, but often fail, to make time to look after myself. When you work for yourself there is always something you could be doing to help your new endeavour to thrive. In a society that gages self-worth with how long our working hours are, the number of emails in our inbox, the length of the ‘to-do’ lists. It seems like the only time we get to stop is on our annual summer holiday and then it’s not so much a stop but a crash out. 

The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure, we all know life needn’t be this way. Who hasn’t returned from holiday making resolutions to take the lunch break, to finish early, to hire the babysitter, to switch off the phone? Noting that other cultures seem to manage it - working hours are shorter, lunches are longer and a siesta is part of the daily rhythm of things; and the world hasn’t stopped! It doesn’t seem to pan out that way back in our ‘real world’.

Taking time is important, think of how well-rounded and well-rested we would be if instead of hoping a two week break in the sun will fix us. Take smaller pauses for the 50 other weeks of the year as well. It doesn't have to be much; Take an hour to paint, read or walk, you could catch up with a friend, or take a minute to stretch, or at the very least  a second for a deep breath. We need to take the time to cultivate habits which will serve our minds and our bodies in the long run. Imagine how much more refreshing those two summer weeks will be, if, instead of having to recover and reboot for the next onslaught; we are already centred and prepared for a well deserved break from everyday life. 

I've been making little lists to remind myself of the small things I can do for myself to look after myself mindfully.

  1. Reading actual books before I go to sleep, cuts down on screen time and relaxes me for rest. I like to check out charity shops to score interesting finds.
  2. As I'm pretty much constantly mentioning, I'm all about the Yoga. A little goes a long way and it's such a good way.
  3. Listening to Podcasts and little lunch time walks - I'm super lucky to work down by the harbour-side. Which is great for a lunch time amble. Also I urge you to listen to this programme on octopuses from BBC Radio 4  - amazing molluscs. You can listen again here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b090xs6y
  4. At the risk of sounding slightly unhinged I take a little time out, in the studio, to talk to my air-plants. They're completely nonjudgmental. Did you know plants in the home or work place have been proven to boost attentiveness, lower anxiety and blood pressure, and raise productivity... just so you know.
  5. I'm a huge believer in the cat nap. Sleep is so incredibly restorative and important for our well being.
Polly Meech
Why I heart Massage
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Opening your own business is scary and exciting and a whole mix of emotions. There’s no getting around it, there’s been a lot of change in my life of late and I’m not always the best with change. Instead of writing an essay on how scary it is, in a world which feels pretty scary these days. I thought I’d remind myself why I’m doing it.

A while ago, I was in a bad way. I bottled a lot of things up and was a pretty mixed up chick. Long story short, I very nearly imploded and wound up on the door step of a therapist in a terrible state. I spent an hour sobbing and incoherently trying to explain just how awful I was feeling. I remember thinking that this was probably why interpretive dance was invented because words just didn’t express how bad I felt.  At the end of the hour, my therapist said ‘you haven’t grieved, you are depressed, but don’t worry we can work through it. What you really need to do now is be kind to yourself. Go and get a massage.’

I walked out into a perfectly ordinary May day, this tear streaked, shell-shocked husk of a human. Entirely unsure as to how to proceed for the next few days, until my next appointment.  I was willing to try anything to make myself feel even half a scrap better but I wasn’t sure that it would help. To be frank, I thought it would be a waste of time , of money but I booked myself in for a massage anyway.  I lay down on that massage table, the first time, just to see what would happen really. An experiment.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it changed my life (well I guess, eventually it kind of did, but that’s for another time). I didn’t have a massage and somehow, via the medium of whale music, figure out all my junk (I’ve gotta say I am unconvinced that whales should make music or that listening to it would help you solve anything).

But there was something freeing about letting go of it all for just a little while. What I know now about muscles and tissues I wonder just what my body felt like to the therapist that first time - so much tension. It felt like she unlocked this vice, that tight little ball inside me. I can’t say it never came back, that one massage and I was cured yet, simply being kind to myself and allowing someone else to be kind to me as well, it was a huge relief. It allowed me some time out.

One of the main reasons while I decided to study massage was because I wanted to be able to help some one as I was once helped.

Top 5 things I love about getting a Massage:

  1. The time and space it gives you to just breath and reboot.
  2. How free your muscles feel afterwards, like you’ve been uncurled and ironed out. 
  3. The sleep you sleep after a good massage, it’s so refreshing.
  4. My self-esteem improves after a massage, don’t know why I think it’s just being kind to myself…
  5. Entirely superficial but my skin always feels so great after a massage, and it is the largest organ we have…
LOOP (VERB) TO ENFOLD OR ENCIRCLE 

It seems best that the first Blog post on the newly launched 'Loop Massage' website should introduce ourselves and explain the name. 

Back before Loop Massage, there was plain Polly Meech, Massage Therapist and my ‘branding’, for want of a better word, were some beautiful vintage Knots images; reef knots, clove hitch, bowline - you get the idea. “Knots? Why knots?” Some of you may cry (I know this because some people did already), well, it’s because of the knots or adhesions which can often be found in our the muscles - you know the kinks you get, those clicky things that MT’s are always working on. In a sea of lotus blossoms and hand prints, it was a fresh take on things and it made me smile, so that was that.

When my little Cargo studio became a twinkle in my eye, I decided a new name was needed for this new venture and the new chapter in my life. Now, as I'm sure you're aware, there’s a lot to think about when starting a new business. Of all the things I probably should have focused on - budget, viability etc, what I chose to do instead was fixate on a name. It may sound silly but until I named this new project it really didn't seem real, which IS silly because I had a very real lease in front of me.

Having no pets or children, it’s been a while since I’ve named something, I thought it would be easy, and possibly fun. I was wrong, it's nerve wracking and anxiety inducing.  Whatsapp groups were formed, friends and family consulted - without falling into cliche or in some cases, down right smuttiness,  naming a massage studio is HARD, even with a hive mind. 

I honestly don’t know when 'Loop' popped into my head, but when it did, it stuck. I liked that Loops are kind of the opposite of knots, that we had come full circle. That through massage we let go of the knots. Plus, I love saying the word Loop, and as it's a name I'll probably be using more than my own name now, I thought I’d better pick something I love to say.  

I took it to the WhatsApp group and in all honesty while some people loved it, a few didn’t, which is the same with any name or anything, I guess. Apart from baby animals, we can all get behind the love of baby animals right? 

While still mulling 'Loop' over and thinking of alternatives to appease the haters, I was doing an at-home Yoga practice (probably trying to chill out about what to name the business) - side-note: I’m a huge, huge, yoga fan and still can’t quite believe that my little studio is right next-door to a yoga studio, how cool is that? 

Anyway, Yoga with Adrienne is a favourite of mine for at-home practice and she has this habit of, at some point during the class, reminding you to  "loop those shoulders back", she's from Texas and I guess it's short hand to tell you to to relax, to sit up straight, and to prepare. I've adopted the phrase as my own personal "chin-up" mantra, but until that moment hadn't linked my loving of the word to this 'relax, you've got this' phrase. After that revelation it just stuck, and here we are. Come hell or high water, we Loop our shoulders back and relax. 

So those first vintage knots have been transformed into a loop of rope, which also rather nicely ties into our harbourside setting…

If you want to know a little more about me head to the "about' page here