Melt Massage Blog

Virtual Massage? Yes! (it works!)

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Before Covid shut down business in March of 2020, I was working into my 20th year of relieving stress and tension through therapeutic massage full time.

Although it continues to be unclear exactly when in-person massage can safely and reliably reopen, what has become clear is how important it is that people are empowered to manage their own stress every day and how I can safely play a role to help.

That’s why I’m now offering Virtual Massage Services.

(It is different. But, it works!)

Offering Virtual Instruction in:

  • Self-care with Self-Massage Class
  • Other-care with massage for one another; friends, family or lovers, as “Couples Massage Class
    • or Mother & Daughter/Son Massage!

Clients of Virtual Massage Services say,

“Feeling good. Slept better last night.” Rebecca D.

“…really appreciate getting to learn some new techniques and ways to make massages easier and more effective.” – Carla H.

“My pain seems to me to be markedly diminished….You are a good and patient teacher.” – Glenn H.

 

How it works – by video call:

  • We start with a Discovery Dialogue
    • For self-care, to more effectively treat your discomfort, we review 10 topics to more fully understand the nature it
    • For other-care, we review your top 2 or 3 nagging physical complaints
  • We Set Goals and Establish Expectations for our time together
  • We assess your baseline Knowledge and I add to it

How long it takes ~ 1hr:

  • 15-30 minutes for Discovery dialogue
  • 30-45 minutes for goals, expectations, demonstration and instruction

What to expect ~ Relief!

  • In the comfort of your own home
  • Fully clothed
  • We will
    • establish a baseline for skills
      • What self/other care do you already do?
      • What works/doesn’t?
      • What do you want to work better?
    • demonstrate techniques
      • you show me – what you do, so I can determine what to add to it
      • I show you / guide you – what else I would do
        • leveraging what you already do
          • + ergonomic tips
          • + how to get more out of what you already do
        • adding easy-to-use secrets I’ve learned over 20 years
          • customized for what works for (both of) you
    • practice, review & refine techniques for
      • safety,
      • effectiveness &
      • stamina.

What to take away – New Skills!

  • By the time we’re done you should have new and proven, easy and effective ways to help yourself and the loved ones in your germ-pod feel lasting relief from stress and tension leveraging your learning from one massage to the next.

How to schedule / For more information:

  • email: Hana@MeltMassage.net
  • call / text: 510-418-4262

Looking forward to connecting with you.

In health,

Hana

Corona-versary? It’s been a heck of a year.

It’s been a heck of a year.

Be kind to yourself.

Healing is a process.

We’ve circled around the sun to where it all began a year ago here, the official pronouncement of the global pandemic. Today is a year since Melt Massage stopped seeing clients in-person. It’s a sort of anniversary (a Corona-versary?), but not the kind with champagne and flowers. But, maybe it should be.

Although it was painful in many ways for me to stop seeing clients in person, my primary goal shifted to surviving this year. And I did, knock on wood.* I am reminded by friends and colleagues to celebrate small wins, too. So this, too, may be cause for celebration.

Yet this celebration is not without sadness, for all that was lost this year and, as painful as those losses may be, I know I will not be whole, I will not be fully healed, until I fully grieve and integrate those losses into me; the loss of my massage practice as I have known it for 20 years, the loss of lives in my community and around the globe from Covid, the relentless loss of Black lives to police brutality and unrecognized racism.

Healing is a process.

How are you healing through the trauma of this pandemic?

I have been baking, gardening, exercising, researching how to live with the impacts of the evolving pandemic, taking new classes in anatomy, making massage videos, journaling, reading to illuminate my blindspots around racism and learning more about processing trauma through My Grandmothers Hands.

Just when we’re recovering from something – an injury, an illness, a trauma, is the time when we’re most vulnerable.

I don’t say this to make things seem worse, just to acknowledge this delicate time in our recovery. We as a people, as a global community, we the human race have endured this global pandemic for a year now, some even longer. And some have not been so lucky. Some have lost their lives to this virus.

This strange unifier, putting us all in the same schoolhouse, in a global intensive workshop on navigating a new world with a novel virus where teachers are learning as they teach, like building the plane while it’s flying.

This has been a stressful time for the human race, and so stressful for some as to be traumatic.

Recognizing this anniversary of the beginning of this stress, this trauma, can be re-traumatizing. It can also trigger other traumas we have experienced, rekindle old pain, remind us of unprocessed emotional experiences, dredge up the past that may have been so neatly buried, or so we thought.

On one level, this is a delicate, sensitive, vulnerable time for the global community and hits us all differently as individuals.

So, during this time, be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Love yourself. If you notice yourself acting out, engaging in micro-aggressions toward yourself or others, step back for a minute. Consider how you would respond if this were a small child who were under your care. How would you love it? How would you care for it? Be kind and trust, with time and gentle attention, we are integrating this challenging period into the fabric of who we are as a human race. Let us do so with patience and compassion and with love for ourselves and others. And let us celebrate what progress we have made.

 

                        

 

*Knock on wood. If we’ve been in conversation when the moment presented itself for us to acknowledge our good luck by saying “Knock on wood” you may recall at my studio I emphasized the importance of knocking on raw wood, nothing varnished, painted or stained over. This, I’m told, is the real deal. My husband gave me a piece of raw wood to have handy just for these very occasions. Seek it out if needed, or lmk if you need one. I have a special collection I’d love to share with you.

 

Pending Questions to Re-Open Safely

OPEN LETTER

Dear Clients,

I miss you! And, I miss massaging.

However, before I feel it’s safe for me and for you for me to re-open, I still have some pending questions:

1. Regarding the latest variants,

1a. How much more contagious are they?

1b. How much more potent are they in causing disease and even death?

1c. How effective are they at eluding antibody or vaccine efficacy?

1d. Will the variants generate another surge?

2. What are the chances of asymptomatic transmission either from those with natural antibodies or vaccination?

3. How durable is immunity from natural antibodies or different vaccinations?

 

The thing is, I know the delay between real-time risk and research reporting can be weeks, months or even years from my time working as a researcher at UCSF before doing massage work full-time. The data simply won’t be in until well after risks may have been taken, until they would have been too late to avoid.

Before returning to in-person practice, I’m waiting for more answers and following the guidance of professionals I trust.

Stay tuned.

Professionals I Trust

Who do you turn to for reliable health and safety information while navigating a world with Coronavirus?

So far, here are my resources:

  1. WHO
  2. CDC
  3. CDPH (California Department of Public Health)
  4. UCSF Covid TownHall
  5. ACPHD (Alameda County Public Health Department)
  6. Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
  7. Mike Olsterholm, CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy)
  8. Medscape
  9. Ruth Werner, CMT, Pathology Expert
  10. Dr. John Campbell, former Nurse and Nurse instructor in the UK
  11. Healwell, Providers of Therapeutic massage, interdisciplinary education, and research for those with serious illness (in Virginia).
  12. New York Times
  13. Washington Post
  14. Ed Yong, Science Journalist at The Atlantic

And here are a few sites where some first person reporting is done where the impetus for robust scientific studies often begins.

  1. VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System)
  2. Massage, Health Practitioners and COVID-19 Facebook group
  3. Survivor Corps FaceBook page, raising awareness about Long Haulers

What are your resources?

I’d love to learn. Please share at Hana@MeltMassage.net

An important announcement about Melt

Lack of information about the novel corona virus and financial demands of the business are requiring us to close this location. Read below or watch the video I emailed clients for more on this.

~                            ~                               ~                                ~                             ~

I can’t believe we’re entering our 6th month of Shelter-in-Place with our business temporarily closed due to the pandemic.

Although some have thought I’ve had nothing but time on my hands, quite the opposite is true. I’ve been working daily doing research and inquiry to answer critical questions about how to safely navigate the novel corona virus and the possibility of reopening at some point while finding ways to keep the business alive until that time.

At this point, here is what it all boils down to. Even now, with all the information I have, and with information changing on a regular basis, there is still not enough that is understood about this virus for me to confidently know that I wouldn’t be putting myself or my clients at risk if Melt Massage reopens, even with an outdoor option. Plus, I injured my back years ago doing out-call, so I don’t do that anymore.

However, Joanna does do out-call and now that it is legal in Alameda County with a Doctor’s note, Joanna would consider seeing clients outdoors or indoors on a case by case basis since she, herself, is immuno-compromised.

So, it is with great sadness, after 9 years in this location, and after 19 years in Montclair Village, that I am formally closing in-person operations of Melt Massage until further notice. I am relinquishing our location at 6180 Antioch Street. The business can no longer support the ongoing rent without income, and with so much uncertainty about when this can change to a feasible level, the only thing that makes sense now is to close.

Who do you know who can make good use of the space? Please let me know right away.

I will continue researching, learning as much as I can about this virus and how to stay safe and practice as safely as possible around it, and share with those who are interested. Please share what you learn with me, as well.

I will continue to offer on-line self-care and massage instruction for couples, friends, and social bubbles / pods. I will continue to explore new ways virtually to help you stress less to be your best.

For those of you with gift certificate or package credit that has yet to be redeemed, I will be in touch to offer you refunds. If you reach out first, please be patient with me as recent purchases are easier to research digitally but historical purchases, kept on paper, are now housed in moving boxes and may require some digging. And, closing a business requires closing many different open ends that take time.

To our existing clients, I am grateful to each and every one of you for the gifts you have given me over the years; the honor of being present with you, learning from you, facilitating with you releasing your stress and tension, and melting into your better selves.  I am grateful to you for allowing me to do that.

To our future clients, I look forward to a time when it is safe to meet and work with you helping you stress less to be your best.

To all clients, doing massage has been the most gratifying work I’ve done. For that privilege, I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

In health,

~ Hana
Hana Levin, cmt, Founder
Melt Massage LLC

Save your lungs from Smoke damage

(Update 8/24/20**) Fortunately? due to COVID-19, we are well versed in the first way to

protect your lungs: wear a mask, and*

While we are now also experiencing smoke from lightning fires, too, wearing a mask is doubly helpful.

Around the Bay Area there are various levels of air pollutants including from these fires. To protect your lungs, the best thing you can do right now is to get to an area with lower levels and stay there until you can return home.

If you can’t, consider tapping into these resources:

*Take recommendations from:

Monitor Air Quality in your area on:

During the wildfires, consider some natural remedies suggested by Acupuncturist, Leslie Oldershaw, including:

  • Doing saline rinses for both eyes and sinuses. Make your own saline solution.
    Staying well hydrated can help the lungs stay moist and help to clear out particulate matter.
  • Drinking herbal tea such as Throat Coat can help sooth an irritated throat.
  • After the wildfires, consider:
    aerobic exercise (once the smoke has cleared) to clear your lungs,
    other remedies to detox your lungs and
    therapeutic massage to help detox your body (once we reopen – see our latest Blog post for more on reopening).

Do you have any other tips to share? Please do!

**Thank you to our client, Kim W., for these DIY home air purifier suggestions!:

https://www.wikihow.com/Make-an-Air-Filter
https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/how-to-diy-an-air-purifier/

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