What's New At Connections
January 2017
Table of Contents

Approaching a new year can cause some introspection - what changes do we want to make?  What do we want to discard and what do we want to nourish?  For most of us, it's a similar list every year.  We can eat better.  We can exercise more.  We can lose weight.  We can lower our stress.  The list goes on.
Many of the changes we'd like to make can be addressed with mindfulness.  According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, mindfulness means "maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment."  Sounds simple, right?  For most of us, unfortunately, we have to actually practice mindfulness to get good enough at it.  So why bother?

If you've been around us for very long, you know we value and trust science.  Research studies have shown there are physical, psychological and social benefits of mindfulness.  The studies revealed mindfulness can boost your immune system, improve memory and attention skills, enhance relationships, reduce stress, and even fight obesity.  

So how can you practice achieving this state of mindfulness? 
MTC client, Barbara Whitfield, and her husband built this beautiful walking labyrinth by her house
It can be as simple as walking, where you focus on the movement of your body as you take each step, your feet touching and leaving the ground - an everyday activity we usually take for granted. This exercise is often practiced walking back and forth along a path 10 paces long, or you could walk a labyrinth in and out like the one above.

Massage can also bring about a state of mindfulness - into the present, where sore muscles you didn't even recognize become apparent, where all the "monkey chatter" quiets in your brain, where you become conscious of your body and how it is feeling.  Physical and psychological benefits for sure.  And when you leave a massage session feeling better, social benefits as well.

If you'd like to learn more about mindfulness and additional suggestions on how to practice it, read this article from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley.  And if you'd like to take the online quiz to see how mindful you are, go here.

Start the new year off with great specials of the month, or redeem that gift certificate you were given!  Check out our Holiday Party picture and staff updates.  And see how much our first on-line auction raised for Manual Therapy Foundation, with a special thanks to all of you who donated or bid!
MTC Team Office Party
It's always wonderful to spend time with each other outside the office - something that's difficult to do with 17 different schedules!  From our December Office Party - From L to R Bottom Row:  Melissa Kelly, Sharon Sadlow, Shea Shulman, Nancy Strand, Lisa Weingart, Jenna Pollard.  Second Row: Keil Unger, Sally Ramsey, Bethany Springer, Donna Koehnen, Mary Ann Maloney.  Back Row:  Misa McCue, Patty Spatz, Susan Klein.  Not pictured:  Jeanette Keyso, Hannah Johnson, Vladik Zalevskiy
Congratulations to Jenna Pollard!
Jenna Pollard
That is the positive spin we can put on the news that Jenna has been hired into a position in her chosen field, having recently earned her Masters in Homeland Security.  Jenna has been with us about two years and was our first front desk receptionist, working part time while attending school.   Jenna brought that rare combination of personality that everyone is drawn to with the capability to make a real difference in our office procedures and she quickly became an office manager.  We can't thank her enough for all she's done and while very sorry to see her go, we're also very proud of her!

Donna Koehnen
In the last few months, we were again very fortunate to find another talented person with excellent administrative skills to help out until Jenna found her new job.  With Jenna leaving, Donna Koehnen will be working more hours, increasing our overall coverage at the front desk.  Donna has already made great contributions to office procedures and we look forward to having her with us 30 hours a week!


This month we decided to address one of our most frequently asked questions:  What is the difference between OTC (over the counter) products sold at drugstores or department stores compared to professional skin products? Do professional products really work better?
The reality is there are thousands of OTC products that are less expensive and have good ingredients but are less effective in  giving you results.  Read more to learn why....

Mary Ann Maloney
Bethany Springer, LMT
Bethany Springer
All our facials are customized to your unique skin!   If you have questions regarding our Skin Script products, don't hesitate to ask Bethany or Mary Ann.
The first on-line auction held for the benefit of the Manual Therapy Foundation Report raised $2,509.19, exceeding our goal by 125%!  The auction itself had 1,564 views and 133 total bids.  Some of the bidding was very competitive!  The highest dollar amount package went to the golf for four at the Concessions Golf Club, thanks to Bruce and Cindy Cassidy.  With over 75 donations, some others with high bid activity came from Lakewood Ranch Pilates, Lobster Pound, Texas Roadhouse, Erbelli's, See Spot Grooming, and those wonderful hand-made wooden bowls by Dan Shulman!

We also learned in December that our non-profit application was approved.  We'll be focused in the next few months on not only bringing more people into the program who need assistance, but with fun events designed to continue raising money for the foundation.

We thank all of the donors AND all of you who participated in the bidding!  Once again, you've demonstrated that we have the best clientele who is willing to give back to the community and is educated on the powerful benefits of manual therapy.

The Back Attack!

After taking down the lights and Christmas tree, your back can use some special TLC.  This 60-minute special focuses on the back and includes moist heat, vibration, our OrthoEase Massage oil and focused massage techniques to put your back together!  

Just $69 (Regularly $81)

Start the year off right by learning to slow down and take care of yourself with this New Year's Special.  This full-body 90-minute "tune-up" massage includes an application of Young Living Relaxation oil blend, hot stones and a scalp massage.
Just $89 (Regularly $116)

Thai Massage
on the Mat

Take advantage of Melissa Kelly's three weeks of training in Thailand and experience the ancient healing system combining acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures.  Already a certified Thai Massage therapist, Melissa augmented her skills with intensive training in November and is eager to introduce this session to beginners or experienced recipients!

90 Minutes:  Just $89 (Regularly $111)

120 Minutes:   Just $129 (Regularly $151)

In Appreciation
There is an old adage about small business owners:  "The good news is you are your own boss.  The bad news is that you are your own boss."   It's a lot of hard work, but that hard work comes from a commitment to what we do - help people who are in pain, have certain conditions that can be treated with manual therapy, and health issues often related to stress.  Thanks to you and to our wonderful MTC team, the business has grown 29% in 2016 from 2015, a pattern that continues from previous years.  

If you ever have any questions or concerns about a visit to our office, we want to hear from you.  We thank you for placing your trust in us and wish you all a happy and healthy 2017!

In appreciation,

Shea and Nancy
Massage Therapy Connections
9020 58th Dr E
Ste 101
Bradenton, Florida 34202