Tag Archives: Wellness

Apothecanna: Cannibis infused Spa products

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Where there’s smoke there is fire and the cannabis cloud over Colorado appears to be lingering like smog on a otherwise clear day. Cannabis proponent Apothecanna has positioned itself beyond the pale, as an adjunct measure in pain management and only time will tell if they can remain straight enough to keep their wellness branding intact.

I wrote this piece originally in June of 2015 and removed it from this blog over a reservation about logical reasoning summed up simply by “begging the question.” But let’s talk products for now.

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Apothecanna does offer a variety of scents that leave the 1960’s behind.

The statement on their website detailing the benefits of their “natural” products Topical Cannabis, Hemp Lotion, & THC Spray (located under the tab “learn” and “apothecanna massage”) is simple and basic:

Revitalizing botanicals like arnica and capsaicin combine with topical marijuana to provide natural herbal pain relief .

The Marketing is both Spartan and clever.

“Here at Apothecanna, we’re committed to providing innovative topical pain relievers that combine topical cannabis with other healing and soothing botanicals for a more natural option for topical pain relief. Unlike conventional topical pain relief cream products, our cannabis calming cream offer pain relief without unpleasant “medicine” scents, instead incorporating sense-soothing botanicals like lavender, chamomile, and frankincense. These botanicals make using our topical marijuana products more enjoyable, contributing to a sense of well being that can aid the healing process. In addition to our full line of cannabis cream and THC spray products for pain relief, which are available at over 200 Colorado medical marijuana centers, we also offer several invigorating, calming, and pain relieving cream products made with hemp and arnica cream, as well as other botanicals to soothe your skin as well as your senses.”

Rejuvenate your skin and senses with topical cannabis cream and botanical skin therapies from Apothecanna.

Under the “About” tab are three discreet paragraphs that provide a brief nod to both legality and their position on the role of natural philosophy in society at large.

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By reordering the brands statements, it may be a bit more obvious to educated consumers and those who question the politics involved, how the advent of Apothecanna will impact the Spa and Wellness Industry. And in particular, the Professional Massage Community which may utilize such products IN TANDEM with mainstream pain management professionals.

Let’s break it down like any syllogism, but let’s do it backwards and examine the logic of the marketing.

“Our mission at Apothecanna is to spread the wisdom of traditional plant medicine. We believe in the fundamental right of access to the healing powers of nature and promote sustainable interaction with the world around us.”

Preceeding this ‘tidbit’ is the following ‘tidbit.”

“We do not use artificial ingredients, fillers, parabens and only test on humans. We believe that natural treatments are the best treatments, and strive to create products with uncompromised purity, quality, and functionality.”

And the page begins with this introduction:

“Apothecanna is a natural apothecary featuring cannabis extract as the primary active ingredient due to its potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Our formulations combine cannabis with other organic and wild crafted essential oils to create highly functional topical treatments for pain and stress relief, while delivering a host of skin nurturing benefits.”

Viewed and analyzed from last statement to first, Apothecanna’s marketing strategy seems to be suffering from marijuana induced paranoia if not ordinary anxiety. Remember this assessment proceeds in reverse order from their official website circa 2015!

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The first (last) CLAIM Apothecanna puts forward, is that their products have scientifically proven value. (This is TRUE of Cannabis- as science has admitted.)

The second or (middle) premise Apothecanna offers is that their products are 100% “Natural” and that they TEST only on humans.

In the third (first) STATEMENT that in traditional logic would be called a premise, Apothecanna DOES INDEED draw a CONCLUSION predicated on the two preceding premises! Want some pseudoscience wellness professionals or just a side of religion to go with your own and your clients health investments?

Consumers are informed of Apothecannas “rights” and significantly there is an appeal to nature for sovereign status as if this is an innate right, protected by the United States constitution and by the State of Colorado. Don’t choke on Abraham Lincoln’s comment that The Bill of rights “Is a REBUKE” or the fact that it’s not A LAW in or of itself. 4th amendment is mere Axiology? Taste? Genre? 

Oh my! Isn’t this Gnosticism Mitt Romney’s and John McCain’s territory? Colorado did have a FEMALE TEA PARTY INCUMBENT BATTLE DIDN’T THEY…

Since when does any government, at the national or state level have an ability to regulate “unalienable” rights? Gnosticism, gender and Lawd at all the LEGAL PROSTITUTION NEXT DOOR IN NEVADA…Neither LEGAL governing body DOES have that right pro Mblex crusaders. American laws deal with ‘inalienable rights.’ LOOK AT THAT “science based” MARKETING NOW.

The “premise” that any class system is subject to the economic system, which is presumably subject to the political system, which in turn is subject to the legal system, which then, and only then, is subject to a religious system…with an ethical framework, such as one that acknowledges and ensures ‘rights‘ which entail free will, are now on display.

Given that in 99% if not most instances, the defacto and default premise that an esthetics license is required, in addition to a Bachelor’s degree to work for a Professional Spa Product Line and that LMT’s with a Bachelor’s degree are overlooked if they have no outside B2B sales experience ought to give the Spa and Esthetics industry something to mull over when considering the SUBSTANCE of education.

Consider for instance this “new” education offering that is scarcely 20 years old: Disability Studies. It would seem “science” v. “management” rather than “pain” is the canker sore in the post-modern lotus?

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I will leave it to the “moral educators” with political axes to grind about bell jars, States right’s, healthcare and massage monopolies on entry level right to practice (that the FSMTB fails to call collusion but most certainly calls patriotism,) to pander to their fellow citizens about universal relativism and plan for the future conspiracy theories this trend will no doubt spawn.

Until Next Time Campers!

Absolute Values Part Three: Language and Professionalism in Context

*This is the third installment of a four-part series on Professional Development for Spa Therapists. The series utilizes the terms Masseur, Masseuse and Massage Therapist as a Touchstone.

What does the structure of language have to do with Professional Development for Spa Therapists/Technicians?

What is the difference between an adjective, a metaphor and a simile? Are they synonyms for one another and if they are not, what makes them distinct and discreetly different? Why does it matter what anyone calls themselves as long as they give a ‘good’ massage?

adjective noun

An adjective is a word that describes a noun and can include the words Masseur and Masseuse.

  • The red car.
  • I am tired of dating him.
  • He is too idealistic.
  • He is a self motivated professional.
  • The name of the book is Stone Soup.

metaphor-diagram

 

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase compares two very different objects, concepts, ideas, or feelings to provide a clearer description.

  • He is the black sheep of our family.
  • You ain’t nothing but a hound dog. – Elvis Presley
  • A blanket of snow fell today.
  • I have a half-baked idea in mind.
  • “Why I am a little black rain cloud of course!” – Winnie the Pooh

Giraffe Similie

Metaphors are different from similes. A simile is a figure of speech involving the comparison of two different things and 9 times out of 10 will incorporate the words “like” or “as.” Because simile’s AND metaphors serve the purpose of enhancing a description they are both considered literary devices. More precisely, the true distinction between a metaphor and a simile is that a simile makes an explicit comparison, while a metaphor makes an implicit one.

BUT WAIT!!! What does this have to do with Professional development?

PLENTY! And here is WHY: As you may have already noticed, the definitions above OVERLAP. What one person will call an adjective may be further categorized as a metaphor or in some instances as a simile depending on the usage. These definitions underscore both the creativity and subjectivity involved in personal self-expression.

Massage Therapist: Tenor or Vehicle?

I’m not talking about music or cars! So what do Professionals mean when asking the question above?  Metaphors can be described by several means and methods. Tenor and Vehicle are terms that were coined by I.A. Richards in the early 20th century.

  • The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the terms this way: “tenor and vehicle, the components of a metaphor, with the tenor referring to the concept, object, or person meant, and the vehicle being the image that carries the weight of the comparison.” This is not the only way to define the terms.

Here is a broader definition.

An academic source from Carson Newman College’s English Department affords tenor and vehicle more liberal definitions: “In common usage, tenor refers to the course of thought, meaning or emotion in anything written or spoken.”  

“A modern theory would object, first, that in many of the most important uses of metaphor, the co-presence of the vehicle and the tenor results in a meaning (to be clearly distinguished from the tenor) which is not attainable without their interaction. That the vehicle is not normally a mere embellishment of a tenor which is otherwise unchanged by it but that vehicle and tenor in co-operation give a meaning of more varied powers that can be ascribed to either. And a modern theory would go on to point out that with different metaphors the relative importance of the contributions of vehicle and tenor to this resultant meaning varies immensely. At one extreme the vehicle may become almost a mere decoration or coloring of the tenor, at the other extreme, the tenor may become almost a mere excuse for the introduction of the vehicle, and so no longer be ‘the principal subject.’ And the degree to which the tenor is imagined ‘to be that very thing which it only resembles’ also varies immensely.” (I.A. Richards, The Philosophy of Rhetoric. Oxford Univ. Press, 1936)

Philosophically speaking, the witty amongst us will have already noted that Richards describes a “modern theory” and thereby indicates that he has a basis for making a distinction between tenor and vehicle that avoids the solipsism he is describing!

Richard’s may have had an agenda of sorts or not. Regardless of his own views of what constituted “modernism” or even his private politics, by categorizing “modern” rhetoric as having “relative” meaning Richards accomplished or obscured two important historical developments of his era. Richards wrote the passage above in 1936, prior to Hitler, Hiroshima and the Holocaust. As previously noted in this series, logical positivism was reaching it’s zenith in Europe in the 1940’s as the discovery of the atom bomb illustrated. The taxonomy Richards created and “embellished” beyond rhetoric and into literature as a whole stream of thought, rather than the nuts and bolts of language structure allows us to note that the solipsism he describes is a feature of both logical positivism AND relativism which facilitates the unspoken “POST MODERN” label predicated on Richard’s own definitions which imply reflexivity.  This occurred at least 40 years prior to the supposed advent of the term in the 1970’s according to art historians.

The relationship between logical positivism and language as we have noted in prior installments of this series was carried forward by Ludwig Wittgenstein and his contributions to logic and language. Popper and Kuhn built on this existing legacy and made contributions to the philosophy of science that form the basis of many massage education curriculums today.

Professional Foundations and the Individual: Why and Where does gender matter in professional communication?

Let’s revisit the second post in this series to provide a starting point and context from which to answer the question above.

“Logical Positivism was supposedly abandoned because it was revealed that empirical PHILOSOPHICAL claims which were presumed to undergird scientific endeavors cannot be VERIFIED to be UNIVERSALLY true and that this revelation placed limits on how much we can know. This “revelation” (a form of knowledge itself) filtered into common parlance (language) in phrases such as “the linguistic turn” cited above. It is also another way to describe phrases such as “asymmetrical information” which are frequently floated to describe a variety of imbalances in power implied by terms such as “Balkanization” and resulting abuses.”

Awareness of how the growth of modern views on language and linguistics fits into the history of science can shed more light on WHY the professional massage, spa, wellness and allied CAM community has agreed by general consensus to uphold the term “massage therapist” as the most appropriate term for professional use by bodyworkers.

“Masseur” and “masseuse” are descriptive stand alone words. With such gendered terminology as a starting point, who is the observer and who is the subject?

Massage Therapist is not a metaphor any more than Masseur or Masseuse: therefore it is illogical to ask what is the tenor and what or whom is the vehicle in this word phrase.

One of the facts of professional practice for LMT’s in the 21st century is that the massage profession will never be able to replace the scientifically mainstream profession of physical therapy. Due to this impasse, the massage profession is viewed by some within the industry as ‘struggling’ against everything from health care politics and monied vested interests, to conspiracy theories of every stripe and even with private matters for individuals such as religion, faith and sexuality.

Choosing the term “Massage Therapist” is in many respects a discretionary decision. Many LMT’s make this choice because it is what they were taught. Other’s make this distinction predicated on axiology and value judgments. Yet others if asked will say that they find the decision to utilize the professional designation “Massage Therapist” because they are supporting the growth of the profession and of the wellness industry as a whole.

Regardless of the reasons one has for choosing to ‘follow the crowd’ there are still more reasons than we have yet discussed for chosing to adhere to the term “Massage Therapist” as a professional designation.

We will touch on some of those reasons in the final installment in this series. Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Licensure and Portability: National Certification Board teams up with British Education company ITEC to offer internationally recognized massage curriculum

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The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork announced on March 14th, 2015 that they have partnered with ITEC, a British education company specializing in international credentialing. The goal is to facilitate ‘portability’ and ‘standardization’ for the massage profession. This partnership is similar to ISPA’s Spa Certifications that have been available to members and non members since around 2004.

ITEC describes themselves as a “an examination board” specializing in Beauty & Spa Therapy, Hairdressing, Complementary Therapies, Sports & Fitness Training and Customer Service. ITEC has hubs in London, South Africa, Asia and the Pacific in addition to representation in Ireland and the United States of America. What more could a Spa therapist ask for? Let’s take a cursory look.

ITEC-Logo(3)

Student benefit highlights include:

  • The benefit to the student is that they hold a certification that is recognised by employers in over 40 countries worldwide. The ITEC/NCB partnership will open doors to employment around the globe.
  • The ITEC Certification also means that the students have been benchmarked against other student’s from all over the world and achieved International status. No matter where a student’s studies for an ITEC certification the assessment is exactly the same which maintains standardisation around the globe.

School benefit highlights include:

  • curriculum benchmarked against sister schools in 40 different countries.
  • marketing opportunity for your institution.

What a blessing it would have been for me, had this option been available when I first graduated from massage school in 1998. I have family who immigrated to the USA, including my maternal grandmother who became a naturalized citizen. Both my maternal uncles were eligible for dual citizenship at birth. I have known professionals who hailed from Japan and studied massage therapy in London, worked with supervisors from The Netherlands and many other countries. Some former coworkers grew up overseas and started families during their travels. Many of my former coworkers have traveled the globe at various levels of the wellness industry from line positions in the Spa to Spa Management. For those of us who have lived such lives and whose families are indeed multi cultural if somewhat scattered, this is a welcome addition to massage education.

However, speaking from an American perspective in a non professional or educational context, if like me, you were blindsided by the “patriotic” and unquestionably “morally validated” emergence of the FSMTB (while working for a globally recognized, multi-national hospitality conglomerate) this may amuse you or at least make you pause for a moment of reflection.

What possible drawbacks may be found in this new educational partnership for students, educators, the massage and allied esthetics and cosmetology professions and for the spa industry?

One angle to consider is the current lay of the professional landscape. The FSMTB despite it’s monopoly on entry level credentialing that some have elevated to the status of positive law or done so in ignorance and stupidity, is only a monopoly for lack of competition at present. The addition of an international credential by the NCB is no skin off their nose or professionals backs.

For educators, the issues are different. Standardization of curriculums across international lines will necessitate the creation of new programs in participating schools. Adding ITEC curriculum to an existing education program need not require massage educators too, in the words of the NCB: “Agree to merge/map your curriculum(s) to ITEC’s International Diploma in Holistic Massage or any other specialty certifications you wish to offer.”

Why would an ITEC/NCB certification require a school to alter existing or prior proven curriculums that would or could remain independent from the ‘international’ certification program? Why not just add the NCB/ITEC international certification as a new program offering and be done with it? That is what Educational Program Directors do – design curriculums.

curriculum-lifecycle-diagram

However, there are strategic reasons some schools may choose to partner with the NCB and ITEC specifically for the above referenced purpose.

Rhetoric exists for a reason. That said, if I were in charge of the NCB news, I would have chosen different language or crafted a completely different sentence to express this requirement. I often blog with curt language. Apparently, I am not the only one as the NCB quote above illustrates.

From the standpoint of esthetics education and cosmetology education, there should not be a great deal of difference for private institutions. There is no mention of two year community colleges and I know of no reason to presume that they would be ineligible candidates to provide this new certification. I would think they would be some of the biggest supporters and possibly better suited to have the ability to add to international standardization thru educational program development.

I will be musing on this topic for a bit. I’m sitting with the idea for the moment like it’s tea in a kettle or an old time coffee percolator. I will catch the scent in a bit and I will see where it leads me. As will we all.

Good Luck NCB and ITEC. Better late than never!

http://www.ncbtmb.org/itec

http://www.itecworld.co.uk/ncbtmb/

http://www.itecworld.co.uk/home/Registration/

 

 

Baiting CAM: Commentary on Plus Sized Models

Is there an oxymoron in the phrase “plus sized model?” If there is, for whom is it relevant and why?

A writer over at The Libertarian Republic “weighed” in recently but failed to ask a “nagging” question.

In attempting to stem the tide of criticism, the writer attempts to make a moral point about weight and public health. Critics have already noted the obvious fly in the ointment here.

What is the role of an image? What is the role of those who portray an image?

This was hashed post 911 when Spain one of the “pigs” (Portugal, Italy Greece or Spain) had a size 12 model on the cover of one of the biggest fashion magazines.

Does anyone really think this conversation went away in the midsts of “austerity” cuts and Obamacare with a pooling of insurance risk and the prior incorporating of the EU?

Grab a fork I smell pork.

Dieticians and Natural Health practitioners be wary if you aren’t already. If its not one assault on privacy it’s another. I assure you.

Letter to recovering addicts and those who loved one

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Atonement: satisfaction or reparation for awrong or injury; amends.

Atonement AA (Step 8): Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Atonement in a Religious context: Thereconciliation of God and humankind through Jesus Christ.

Closure is the end of something. After being caught sending naked pictures to minors or someone other than your spouse (for those of you who are married or cheating), expect theclosure of your political career and a boycott of your business for example. The cookie cutter definition of psychological closure (which is the topic of this post) is “… an individual’s desire for a firm solution as opposed to enduring ambiguity.”

Closure comes from the Latin claus (“shut”), and has numerous synonyms and linguistic or contextual applications. A road closure blocks that road from traffic. If you find closure after an emotional hardship, you’re ready to move on. An obstruction in a small passage, like a pipe, is also a closure, as is the button on your sweater. In debate, closure (usually cloture), stops debate and starts the vote.

Closure is a principle from Gestalt psychologyand Grief counseling as well.

I did not lose a battle with addiction and did not struggle with chemical dependency.I did not get lost in pop science trying to stabilize my perception of why I could not stop using drugs of any kind.Make a note, that I have just listed TWO reasons why I am blessed and I will return to this at the end of this post.

Process Philosophy:

My first exposure to the drug scene was straight out of a movie and far less glamorous. I was six years old and my father was arrested in the early 1980’s for what the DEA and RCMP said was his role in a 12 million dollar drug sting. He was arrested in Buffalo New York and his face was plastered all over the evening news on all three major news networks. My mother had just graduated from college with two degrees and was denied any opportunity to use her education degree in our community. She was presumed to be too emotionally unstable due to the public nature of my father’s arrest and of course, she was guilty before she was innocent in the eyes of many. Privately, neither of my parents used any kind of drug other than alcohol though they were both children of alcoholics. Of my grandparents, my father’s mother was the only one who did not drink at all.  I saw addiction and abuse from other angles than one would expect.

What do I know about drugs and addiction personally?

I am a sexual abuse survivor: I was a drugfor a sick grandfather and neighbor who could not control himself and who would not and presumably ‘could not’ stop. His excuse I presume would have been PTSD had he been confronted.My mother was anorexic and bulimic until my sister was born when I was 7 years old and used food as a drug. My parents raised me as a vegetarian which was promoted by their religious views at the time and abandoned the practice when she became pregnant with my sister.I have a step sibling who thru a variety of personal challenges of her own, was placed into rehab with Bradford at the age of 13. She relapsed 20 years later and has now recovered but at a price. I have also dated a recovering addict in my youth and as recently as three years ago for a brief time.Due to the fact that I live and breathe and survived childhood (Freud and Jung critics beware) I have had and still have ‘friends’ who used to various degrees. I also have done various drugs both legal and illegal.

What do I know about atonement and closure professionally?

I have a degree in Health and Wellness and have practiced Professional Massage Therapy since 1998.

Why am I writing this post?

I am writing this post for personal therapeutic reasons on several levels. When I began this post, I was thinking about the animosity I hold toward members of my family and how various facts of their lives and my own have been butchered in order to feed conspiracy thinking privately and publicly and how this fostered a burden of liability that cannot and has not been rectified or atoned for privately or publicly. This morning as I continue to draft this post, the topic of criticism of the AA model and religion has reminded me again of yet another angle on my need to compose this post.

When I hear addicts talk about their experiences I am reminded of why group therapy has value. In no other setting are the actions of others and their value systems so exposed. My ex who twice went thru rehab was an accountant. His profession is or was, to use mathematical skills to assign value. Need it be said that group therapy is closed for a reason just as many circles and distribution channels are closed to outsiders? Addicts remain addicted for a variety of reasons.

When friendships and family ties suffer for the sake of an addiction addicts often go thru various stages of grief and denial when they are informed of just how heinous the behaviour and actions of former associates turned out to be. My step sister talked about a theft ring that that bartered for drugs and I know I have heard similar tales as most casual drug users have. What addicts close the door on by speaking only in peer groups are the stories of bodily horror. They leave economic scandals to political media commentators to opine about so they can justify their own narcissism while still using and waving the flag of their choice. Its the stories of rape, child molestation, aggravated assault, forced or cohersed prostitution that trips their PTSD triggers that drive them underground into treatment out of horror and shame. Even then, for some, the horror only becomes real when they lose their teeth thru addiction.

I do not forgive my step sister or her family. All of them, including my father’s wife. As my ex who was an accountant reminded me thru accusation rather than reason mind you, is that addiction paradigms are not without flaws. One of the excuses my step sister and her family used to justify a number of significant transgressions and abuses was a mind body paradigm which presupposed a biological basis for mental processes which veered into hard core scientific reductionism and determinism. In the process of excusing various issues they abused far more and I fear that in their stupidity they allowed and facilitated the projection of larger societal issues into inappropriate contexts.

As an individual, I may one day accept my step mother again. I will always accept my step sisters children. For the time being, I despise her 13 years later. Infinity. Along with her brother and ALL the former friends and associates from two counties that she spread her lies in and MOST of my own home county.

Biological paradigms that mimic horror stories of “the gulag” coming prior to and on the heels of 911 could not be trusted – then or now. That was the genius of Osma Bin Laden and the germ of conspiracy post 911. They lend themselves to the ideas of eugenics and yet more conspiracy. When you know what I do and whom I know and you sit and watch what falls away after the fact you realize how little we know and just how much.

But back to closure and why it is often elusive. Closure is not about acceptance of bullshit decisions, choices or actions. Closure is about reaching a point where free will returns to us.

For those dealing with these issues, remember that free will is not a logical fallacy. Information and paradigms may contain them. Finding peace requires a clear mind. Peace is not a endless journey. It is available. It does exist.

And actions have consequences.

Survey Says?

Both The Telegraph and The Guardian have cited a sketchy survey about the hygienic habits of UK women ages 18-50.

Here’s my question: Is the old trope about “Euro Trash” being recycled or is the study actually honest? Not only does the study seem to be of dubious design, it only surveyed women’s habits. God forbid an Englishman be asked to account for the same!

The study states that 33% of women surveyed go as long as 3 days between baths or showers, and that a larger percentage can’t be bothered to remove their make up at the end of the day or brush their teeth.

Keep the in mind the age range of survey participants: 18-50.

Neither article mentions any reference to the relationship status of participants.

One article states that a percentage of those surveyed acknowledge the value of a skin care regime.

The survey does not note or make allowance for the economic threshold of participants, whether or not they are single, parents, or their employment and educational status.

Greece just got an extension on some major loans. #Conspiracy

Poorly designed studies are the bane of the Spa industry. This study was actually conducted by a cosmetics firm and suffers from the same systemic errors common to the Wellness industry. What is just as deplorable, is the fact that both news outlets did not provide a link to the abstract where their “poetic license” to sell papers and rack up clicks per view could be set aside and the data disseminated by associated industry.

Here’s another question, derivative of its modernist origins: For whom is data? How can or should such information be used and by whom? What are the presumptions embedded in the survey questions and what ideas do those questions reveal and conceal?

This is about lack of vision. Strategic vision. If this company or any other needs research designers, they should be elsewhere. Immediately.

Wisdom for the Day: The Virtue of Spiritual Foods

I apologize for being missing in action the past month! Unfortunately, my living situation has been turned upside down and I’ve had to make some drastic adjustments temporarily. And yet, all is well. I have accepted a position with Massage Envy in Nashville Tennessee and I am looking forward to learning new things and joining a new team.

Thought for the day:

“If you were arrested for being kind to yourself, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” – Peter McWilliams