I Got a Deep Tissue Massage for Pain. Here’s How It Went:

Sometimes, I feel like I’m an old woman in a mid-twenty body. The amount of muscle aches and joint cracks that I have throughout the day just doesn’t seem right. Years of sports, dancing, and studying with poor posture makes the chiropractor a must for me. Recently, though, I got a deep tissue massage to see if my pain would go away! Here’s how it went:

The Location I Chose

One thing that’s good about adulthood: you get gifts that actually make sense in your life. For Christmas, I now ask for upgraded kitchen appliances or linen rather than iTunes gift cards & bedazzled yoga pants I was asking for before

My parents loaded a hefty sum onto a gift card for me for my birthday to a local spa so I had to treat myself. It’s something I would never spend my actual money on, but desperately needed. Go to a spa with great reviews and make sure the massage therapist also have raving reviews! I went to Bellasazi in Janesville, WI and love it there! (Not sponsored, by the way – just a happy customer!)

The Process

First and foremost, I want to reiterate that my joints, muscles, and ligaments are effed up. One job, I sit at a desk or pose for photos and the other one I’m upright on a cement floor for 8 hours at a time. Neither really mend themselves to great musco-skelatal health. So, when the paperwork said to disclose every single time you were uncomfortable, I knew that I had to listen to my body. I knew that getting deep knots out of my shoulders wouldn’t feel like a feather. There were parts that were a little uncomfortable.

However, the massage therapist I saw was great at asking questions before we started, during, and even after the appointment. If something starts to actually hurt, don’t be afraid to make that known. Their job is to make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Unfortunately, they can’t read your mind – so it’s your job to speak up when something isn’t feeling too good!

That Being Said…

I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to speaking up at professional salons, clinics, and spas. I often gaslight myself into thinking that I’m making up pain or invalidate the uncomfortability I’m feeling in my stomach. So, I get not wanting to verbalize those feelings in that space. My advice: write down the specifics on your intake paperwork! If they don’t have paperwork, really consider if this is the place for you!

The Aftermath

I’ve only gotten a couple massages in my short life. Not because I don’t want to get them all the time, but because I’m bad at scheduling things JUST for me! In my life, self care usually comes in small doses. A massage feels like a big, luxurious dedication of time that I don’t often feel like I have. I definitely do have the time. It exists. I just have to make it a priority!

My selfie from right after the massage. Notice the headrest line on my forehead? LOL!

In the days following my massage, I felt a little bit of soreness in my upper body. It almost felt like something had been released and those muscles were still setting into place – like when you take trips to the chiropractor! Also, the places where we really had to focus on knots were obviously tender, but nothing too crazy! My massage therapist prepared me for these things. I was told to:

  • – drink lots of water
  • – stretch (roll my head and my shoulders before bed)
  • – focus on my posture at work for the next couple day

My Thoughts

Asking for a massage is always a good idea. That’s not a hot take, that’s just the truth. Most of us are much less likely to spend our money on an experience that benefits us like a massage rather than a bag or shirt – even though they can be so beneficial! It’s definitely worth the time and money to go to a clean, highly rated spa in your area that you trust.

Next time, I won’t wait until after I’ve hit a breaking point when it comes to back pain in hopes that it could be a little more relaxing for me! I will definitely be going again when I get a couple of days off to go and recover for maximum results. Deep tissue massages are the ultimate self care tool. 

Like what you see? Read more blogs here! Connect with me on any socials for daily content and tell me your massage stories!

Finding the Silver Lining

In both my podcast and my blog, I’ve talked about how quarantine has seriously changed everyone’s way of life. Whether your senior year came to an end, you were laid off, or you try to find normal at work every shift – it’s weird! With people continuing to get sick and no vaccine available quite yet, we’re probably going to be living in this weird uncertainty for a bit longer.

The best way that I’ve heard this period described was similar to “mourning.” We mourn the loss of hugging our friends when we see them after a while. We mourn the loss of being able to walk around Target at the drop of a hat. We mourn the loss of being able to even get our nails done. Some of us have even had to mourn the loss of our loved one’s lives due to the terrible illness. It’s a time of mourning a life as we knew it, and attempting to make this our new normal.

Separate from religion, I believe in energy. Things happen for a reason and lessons presenting themselves when we need them most. I have faith in the Universe. I know that even in the worst moments there can be a silver lining with which we grow. No, I don’t believe that Coronavirus is God’s wrath sent down to punish the sinners. If that makes you stop reading this blog, I’m sorry for the disappointment. But, I do believe that something is to be learned from the worst moments that Coronavirus has presented in front of us. Whether or not it was fair for us to learn them, we were ready to learn them, or we even needed them at the time, there might be a bright side to this dark time.

The silver lining

I’ve more saved now, then I ever would have. I know that some people can’t say the same thing. However, not having the ability to go to bars, nail salons, and malls has been a huge blessing to my bank account. It’s also made me realize that some of my coping mechanisms include spending money rather than dealing with a problem.

I haven’t been adding to our fossil fuel problem. I seriously drive my car twice a week. Again, I know that I am speaking for myself here. However, at the height of quarantine, I had no need to go anywhere. “Getting out of the house” was just taking a long walk – something I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t done in a while. In the nicest way possible, there isn’t anywhere to go, so I don’t go anywhere.

This is a big one. My dogs are really happy I’m home. I’m not a cat person, so cats might be a different story. My dogs, however, are in literal Heaven having their humans constantly at home with them. My little Nala is an anxious wreck sometimes (just like her mom) but seems to be thriving. As the weather has gotten nicer, the dogs spend more time outside sunbathing and occasionally chasing a rabbit or two. You can tell they’re just happy to have more cuddles when they’re ready to go to bed at night.

Most importantly, I’ve been able to find peace with myself. Before all of this happened, I was going. I was trying to run a blog and a podcast while working full-time to make rent. Before the restaurants shut down, I was working, eating, and sleeping. The only other thing that I had time for was an occasional night of drinking with my friends. Needless to say, though, my lifestyle was not healthy or sustainable for someone who was trying to be successful. Though I was pushing content and getting to work, the burnout was absolutely on the horizon. The resentment for the life that I was living was coming – I could feel it.

The takeaway

Even if it was through bad circumstances, COVID19 forced me to take a breath. It forced me to take a break from the routine that I had fallen into. I had to question whether or not I was okay with it. It made me find peace with parts of my life I loved. At the same time, I was pushed to change the parts that I didn’t.

No, I may not say that I’m glad that it’s happening. Far from it, actually. However, that I can see the silver lining that washed up after all the waves of bad news. At the end of the day, I can say that I will survive. I can say that I am stronger because of Coronavirus.

Have you seen the silver lining in your life in this time of uncertainty? If so, what is it? Are you having a hard time finding it? If so, let’s talk about it! Start a convo with with me with any of my socials below!

I Was Scared of Working Out

I gained an exceptional amount of weight in a short amount of time. I packed on about 60 pounds in three years. It doesn’t sound like a ton when you’re reading it, but it felt like a hell of a lot when I was looking in the mirror.

This is the part of the blog when everyone gets excited because I’m about to uncover the magic recipe to how I lost 60+ pounds quickly and easily. It’s the blog where I tell you how you can unlock the secret too.

A day when I was celebrating two of my favorite people getting married and I look back and I remember how scared I was to take care of myself. I remember how sad I was behind that smile.

SIKE. This is  the blog where I get unbelievably vulnerable about the “rock bottom” of my relationship with weight. It’s about the photos that I would  cry over, because I had no idea where to start. I hated every single part of my body which in turn made me hate myself as a whole. In the perfect story, this would be the part where I went to the gym everyday, only ate things that were green, and lost all that weight and then some. Honestly, though, I was terrified of working out.

I would say I am decently athletic. I’m no marathon runner, but I could swim some damn laps. I wasn’t necessarily a star, but if I put my mind to it I would at least be better than average.

When I looked in the mirror and saw inches in places that I had never seen, I couldn’t even imagine myself back in the pool. Do people get back in the pool when they’ve retired from their high school swimming career? Where do ‘fat’ people go to buy workout clothes? My Nike shorts were so tight at this point that there was no possible way that I would be seen at my local YMCA. So, seriously, where do you start? At that point, I couldn’t even get in touch with the bones holding me together. I felt gigantic. All I wanted to feel was tiny.

At that point in my life, I needed to work out to lose weight. I didn’t care about my health – mental, emotional, or otherwise. Working out because I loved myself wasn’t something I would learn for a long, long time.

When I started to rationalize that paying $15.00 for an Uber was better than walking 3 blocks to the bars, I realized I had a problem. It wasn’t because I had heels on… When I gained a bunch of weight, I didn’t like wearing heels anymore. It definitely wasn’t because I was too drunk. Nope, I just got all sweaty walking a relatively small distance.

So, I had to start at home. I had to do something in the privacy of my own home that I could sweat unbelievably hard and quit after just 10 minutes. (If you’re looking for a workout that you can do at your own pace but that gets you GOING check out TheFitnessMarshall) I started following women who were in the same place that I was in. They validated me, knowing that I wasn’t able to do everything I previously was able to, but they also inspired me to work hard.

Slowly, I started to feel like I could do more. I made it to the YMCA and worked out in front of people for the first time. I felt totally out of my element and I was extremely aware of the amount of sweat falling from my face onto the machines. I loved looking up those body transformations on Instagram and dreaming about what it must be like.

I started to see actual changes; little toned up muscles here and there. I started to dance a little longer at Latin Night without feeling like I was actually going to die. The accounts that I followed started to multiply and turn into body positive ones.

A big part of fixing my fear of working out in public was fixing my mind. It was convincing myself that people weren’t watching every step that I was taking on the elliptical. I healed emotional wounds that led me to a bunch of binge eating fits. I reformed my inner dialogue after many sessions of therapy.

It wasn’t easy. I tried to take the easy way out with pills or crash diets just to see a different number on the scale and avoid facing that fear.  I still have days when I have to work incredibly hard on my positive inner dialogue when I look in the mirror. There are still days when I avoid my workout at all costs because I still can’t do two hours like I could when I was 15.

But now, working out is something I get up and plan. It’s something that I want to do. Now I am an ambassador for FNXFit – a role where I can prove that supplements and gear aren’t limited to one type of person. I am an example that any body type can benefit from fitness. I am a member of a gym that I love (even if I’ve had to get really creative while staying home).

I’m still carrying a lot more weight than I want to be carrying, but I’m not scared of the starting point. I don’t have to hate my body anymore. I am not terrified of the workout. In fact, there’s even times I crave it.

You can also get involved with FNXFit by trying out any of their amazing supplements or gear. I’m not kidding when I say it made me feel like a total beast & made me actually want to workout! My current favorite is Recharge preworkout in Blackberry Lemonade. You can use my code “emyd” at checkout for an additional 15% off your entire purchase!

What is your relationship with working out look like? Are you having trouble getting into the gym? Contact me on any of my socials below to tell me your story!

Edited by Vanessa Reza. Contact info can be found on the ‘Contact Me’ page!

Girls Gotta Stick Together

I don’t know if you guys get this vibe from me, but I’m definitely one of those girls that’s let the phrase “it’s so hard to get along with girls,” come out of my mouth. You know the type. My best guy friend when I graduated high school was a dude (shoutout to MC).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m dramatic. Like I’m the definition of the word. BUT, I always found it easier to get along with guys than I did girls, again you know the type. Growing up, I was closest in age to all my boy cousins – so I always wanted to fit in with them at family events. I wanted to joke around, like get all gross, and play a really rousing game of kick soccer balls as hard as we could at each other. It was fun at the time.

Lynds, Syd, and I are definitely queens in our own right, but you can see how the cousins are a little male dominated.

In middle school, I had my first super close group of all girl friends. We were all really involved in our sports, some of us were in theater, we had the cheerleader. But most of all, in that phase of our life that everyone was supposed to be like wearing the darkest shades of lipstick they could find to attract all the 6th grade boys – we were much more concerned with having fun in our little group. We went to different high schools, grew into different people, and were never nearly as close as those formative middle school years, but damn if those girls didn’t set the standard for the kind of girls I want in my life.

Keep in mind, again, that I’m dramatic. Okay? We’re all on the same page there? Cool. I was on the girls swim team and in a lot of theater. It was definitely the environment I was in and a terribly depleting self confidence level, but I kind of started to see girls as constant competition. Like, there was always something better about the girls around me. I mean, in swim, it came down to literal times… numbers on a clock. So essentially, everyone that wasn’t in your lane was someone you wanted to touch faster than. For theatre, everyone that auditioned was someone that could get the role or the spot over you. You just had to be better.

I don’t necessarily think that that mindset is isolated to young women. Young men are in constant competition to be the best in those formative years too. Regardless, it’s a fucking exhausting mindset to be in and it’s a truly a never ending race.

It’s hard to unlearn that behavior when you’ve been doing it for so long. But, right now, think of the coolest person that you possibly can. You don’t have to have met them. In your head, you probably imagined someone who’s able to relate and get along with everyone, right? The coolest people around aren’t the one’s that are mean to everyone or constantly at people’s throats. They’re the ones with genuine hearts that shine threw when you desperately need them.

I say this a little bit in a podcast about toxicity in one’s life (which you can find here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6lTH6P96KvyRNyVgTqDIqW?si=lzAd0x8rStWNaqgo1b9AhA) You’re not going to get along with everyone. There are going to be coaches, coworkers, and bosses that you really don’t like. Part of growing up and showing maturity, though, is being able to communicate with those people in a civil way. Especially for women. We’re already at odds in the workplace and society – showing respect for everyone is just one way that you can be an ally!

Also, this is not to be confused with the fact that you should just stfu and not speak your truth. Civil disobedience has made some serious changes to this world. There’s a difference, though, between speaking up for your injustices or for the voices that aren’t always heard, and trying to stifle out a voice.

I got the international women’s sign behind my ear as my fourth tattoo because I wanted another tattoo. I wanted something behind my ear. I was feeling like a strong ass woman. Truthfully, I forget that it’s there, but it’s moment when I’m standing up for women, spreading my arms, or giving love to those who need it that I know I made the right decision.

My ex’s ex recently came to me apologizing if she had overstepped for sharing a story about her experience with him. Someone had pointed out similarities and said she was “copying” me. Nah, she just also had the unfortunate chapter that involved the same narcissistic abuser. I’m not the first to feel that way, nor am I going to be the last. Sharing my experience does not mean that hers didn’t happen! It got me thinking about how quick people are to pin women against each other. Online, in person, whatever.

We know that some of the most powerful moments are those that we support one another. A strong woman can change the tides, but a strong woman and her army??? DAMN.

As I’ve grown up, I still find it really easy to get along with guys. Now, however, I have a fierce urge to stand up for, connect with, and love the women around me as well. I have been on this earth for 22 years dealing with just some of the bullshit that women have to go through – having each other as allies just makes this world a better place. So, yeah, that phrase that the nicest person you’ll ever meet is the drunk girl in the bathroom is totally true. What if we didn’t live in a world where alcohol was needed to break down those barriers? What if showing sincere affection and compassion for others was what was ingrained, rather than hypothetical competition? Just food for thought.

Find a crowd that makes you feel good & that cherishes you for being unapologetically you. Ladies, I can promise you that there’s nothing better than walking into the function with some of your best friends, looking great, and knowing that you all have each other’s backs.

Who’s your girl group? Who makes you feel like a badass bitch? I wanna hear about it! Let’s celebrate womanhood!! Slide into my DMs on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Or, email me at emydsaliby@gmail.com to chat with me today.