Tuesday, September 29, 2009


When receiving Shiatsu, you keep your clothes on for the duration of the massage, and no oils or lotions are involved. We use a floor mat wherein both you and your massage therapist remove your shoes, heavy jewelry, and any belts. The massage itself contains softening, stretching, point work, joint rotation, and percussion. These styles are rhythmically performed over the entire body to restore and revitalize you. The full sequence of Shiatsu starts with you lying face down (prone) and ends with you lying face up (supine). At the end of this Shiatsu sequence, your entire body is restored from the top of your head to your smallest toe.

Shiatsu massage has many benefits, the most common being increased energy and circulation, a relaxed body and mind, and a feeling of overall balance. What drew me to this type of massage modality above all others was its effectiveness in helping and healing all body types, no matter the physical condition or state (unless extremely terminally ill or suffering from a disease that would be negatively enhanced due to this type of massage). It is a non-invasive, energizing, or relaxing massage, which leaves you satisfied whether you are in optimal health or ill health. Shiatsu helps you heal yourself with the aid of a massage therapist, and more than anything in the world, I enjoy being that aid.

Monday, September 28, 2009


The very first modality that I learned in massage school was Shiatsu, and I immediately fell in love with it. The innermost intention of this form of massage is to balance the body’s “chi,” or energetic life force. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, this type of healing taught us how to optimize our clients’ intake and utilization of energy, as well as prevent any reduction or imbalance.

In Shiatsu, we create this energy balance by using acupressure along the meridian lines and tsubo points on your body. Meridian lines are invisible. Each one has a certain number of points and is linked to a major organ in your body. For example, the urinary bladder meridian line starts right above the corner of your eye, wraps around the back of your head, down your back, and ends on the right side of your little toenail. There are twelve main meridian lines that flow throughout everyone’s bodies! They flow every day, all the time.

This style of massage also incorporates the Yin and Yang and Five Elements Theories. These theories emphasize even more the importance of balance in the body. For me, the concept of Yin and Yang used to enter my mind as simply a black and white hippie logo, so prominently seen on tie dyed T-shirts and yoga tank tops. However, when you look into the meaning of this theory, you see that those T-shirts are really displaying a powerful symbol. Yin means the dark side of the mountain (the black) and yang represents the side facing the sun (the white). The yang meridians on the body are on the side that is normally in the sun (your back) and the yin meridians are on the darker side (your front). Yin tends to be more feminine while yang tends to be more masculine. Every yin organ relates to a yang organ with a similar function. The yin organs are: lung, spleen, kidney, heart, and liver, while the yang organs are the large intestine, stomach, bladder, small intestine and gallbladder.

The Five Elements Theory, like Yin and Yang, also corresponds to a specific part of the body. In the Five Elements Theory, each element (water, wood, fire, earth, and metal) corresponds to a vital organ. For example, the element of water is associated with the kidneys, and the element of wood is associated with the liver. There are two cycles within the Five Elements Theory: the cycle of generation and the cycle of regulation. The first cycle occurs naturally, for example the water element (kidneys) supports the wood element (your liver), and the liver then supports the heart, which corresponds to the element of fire. This relationship continues in a cycle involving all five elements. Each element, corresponding to a certain body part, takes care of and balances another. You cannot have one without the other. When one body part is out of balance, the regulating cycle kicks in, where one body part or organ controls another. For example, the kidney (water element) controls the heart (fire element), and the heart (fire element) controls the lungs (metal element).

Shiatsu is a powerful form of massage that harnesses the Yin-Yang and Five Elements Theory with incredible intention. The benefits of receiving Shiatsu are endless, for the body is always changing, and sometimes needs a hand - a massage therapist’s hand! J - to help obtain and maintain that balance. I am excited to bring this form of massage to Pavia – and think I have finally convinced Mare to let me do it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall into Pavia was a great time!

We had another one of our fun quarterly spa parties on Sunday, September 20, 2009. I had so much fun it should be illegal. Our guests enjoyed some whimsically-named services - I had a great time naming these: "Stick-Me" for Acupuncture, "Peel-Me" for the mini-facial, "Read-Me" for the mini-Tarot reading, "Wrap-Me" for the mini-Pumpkin Cream Body Wrap, "Me-Dogs-Are-Barking" for the mini-foot treatment, and "Forget-Me-Knots" for the mini-massage. I don't know how I'm supposed to top those names for the next party, although our delightful partygoers said to me, "Don't bother with new names. We won't remember the old ones!" Hee hee, our clients are so sweet.

Speaking of the next party, their suggestion is to do a post-holidays detox party in early to mid-January, and to have it be a "pajama party." Meaning, the guests wear pajamas, not the staff (right? That would be weird if we wore pajamas, too). I don't know, I may have too much of a stick up my butt about looking professional. Anyway, I have already come up with some fun detox mini-services, like a mini-weight loss hypnotherapy session, a mini-steam inhalation immunity massage treatment, and a detoxifying acupunture treatment. I am sure I will come up with more as time gets closer. If anyone has any ideas for names and/or treatments and/or future party themes, I am open to hearing them!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Welcome to the Pav Blog!

"You can't do everything by yourself."

How true that is, and I realized that it even applies to blogging. By blogging about Pavia all by myself, our readers are not getting a full picture of who we are, what we stand for, and what we're about - all they're doing is reading my musings, ravings, rantings, and stream-of-consciousness.

So I've asked my staff to join me in sending their thoughts and feelings out into the Ether, and I am pretty excited to read what they have to say myself. Stay tuned!