Beret Kirkeby, Author at Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage : Sports Massage and Massage Therapy New York City

Sleep Hygiene and Massage Therapy

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Sleep Hygiene and Massage Therapy

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together”

-Thomas Dekker

What is sleep hygiene?

The CDC defines sleep hygiene as “the good habits that can lead to you getting a good night’s sleep” As a yoga therapist, I talk a lot about sleep hygiene and refer our clients to sleep hygiene resources in our massage therapy practice. Good sleep habits are one of the fundamental lifestyle modifications that you can do to improve your health and wellbeing. The steps are simple and there is a fairly significant payoff for small changes. Many people have never heard of sleep hygiene, and even if they are complaining of poor sleep, poor health and chronic fatigue, they do not realize they may be inadvertently contributing to those feeling with their behavior. Sleep hygiene alone may not be enough to ensure quality rest. You may require additional intervention from a medical professional, medication, or cognitive behavioral therapy. You should check with your medical provider. This is an excellent self-care place to start.

What does sleep hygiene have to do with massage therapy?

As both a yoga therapist and a massage therapist, I wanted to do this little post on sleep because over the years I have had clients and patients who are specifically using massage as a sleep intervention. Back in my early days of massage, I worked at a number of locations that were open until 10 pm. I remember thinking, “who would want a massage that late?”. Those 9-10 pm spots were always booked though. It turns out, many people are NOT good at relaxing. They do not know how to send the message to their brain that it is time to turn off. They probably did not know what sleep hygiene was, but they had reached the conclusion that they needed HELP and they were getting it.

Massage therapist demonstrating Sleep hygiene for healthy sleep habits

I have always said loosely, that since massage is a passive intervention, that what I am really doing as a massage therapist is more of a complex mediation using touch, where I am teaching people to relax. Even with the massage treatments that I do that are more complex, for example a manual therapy treatment that is more movement based, I am trying to get you to move in a relaxed way and guiding you through that.

Those late night massages that I used to do did not come cheap! Not everyone has the means to spend $150 dollars a few days a week to help communicate with their brain that it needs to shut off. The good news is, sleep hygiene is free. Read on to see some of the basics I suggest as a Yoga Therapist. (p.s if you have children and have sleep trained, these steps might seem familiar to you or you can try them to help make bed better)

1. Do not try to sleep unless sleepy

Only try to sleep when you are actually tired. If you find that around bedtime you have no desire to sleep, you may need to move your bedtime or adjust some of your other habits discussed below. If you get into bed and find you can’t shut off, get out of bed and do something relaxing, then try again in 20 minutes.

2. Stick to a schedule

One of the best ways to tell your body it is time for bed is to keep a regular schedule. Going to sleep at the same time and waking at the same time (regardless of the day of the week) can help your body and mind know how to behave depending on the time of day.

3. Avoid caffeine and alcohol

If possible, avoid taking in caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine within 6 hours of bedtime. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that can disrupt your natural sleep rhythms and your ability to fall asleep, alcohol is a depressant, and while it can encourage falling asleep in the short term, in the long term it disrupts the sleep cycles and your ability to get deep restful sleep.

4. Develop a pre-bed routine

Communicating with your nervous system that it is time to shut down can be hard. Doing the same thing every night as a soothing routine can help cue your body and mind that it is time for bed. Examples of quality sleep routines are: baths, meditation, self-massage, gentle stretching in a dim room, or drinking a ‘good night’ tea. Most people do well to avoid overly stimulating activities like checking the news or watching sports. Pick something that works for you and stick with it.

5. Use your bed primarily for sleeping

Help cue yourself that it is sleepy time by ONLY using your bed for bedroom activities. Refrain from eating, reading, watching TV, using your phone, or working in bed. This will help you associate your bed as a restful stress-free space away from the rest of the world.

6. No screen time before bed

TVs, computers, and phone screens give off blue light, which makes your brain think it’s the middle of the day. Set your timers for nighttime modes without blue light and do not use electronics within at least 30-60 minutes before bed. Make sure your dings and alerts are silenced so that your sleep is not accidentally disrupted.

7. Control your sleep environment

There are some common things that set the stage for good sleep that you can do in your home to create a sleep-friendly environment. Make sure the room is cool, dark, and quiet. If the room is not quiet, use a sound machine to fill the space with white noise or a sound you find relaxing. Blocking out the outside light can also be helpful, especially if you live in an area with ambient lighting. Have a blanket on hand, and consider experimenting with a weighted blanket.

Summing up…

Sleep is an important activity. We often think of sleep as passive because we are not up and doing things, but our body is in an active state of rest and digest. In today’s world, it is easy to put emphasis on the more conscious active parts of life. It also may NOT feel natural or easy for you to communicate with your brain and tell it to slow down and prepare for the function of sleep. Taking the above steps into consideration is a great first step. The CDC recommended The American Alliance for Healthy Sleep for more information on sleep hygiene. It is also important to remember this is not a prescription, it is an assessment and a tool. You should check in with your care provider if your sleep issues persist.

You can read more on relaxing on or blog: Don’t tell me to relax!

Supporting Small Businesses in the Holiday Season of Covid

The Ultimate Guide to Paying it Forward to Small Business During Covid

 

It is no surprise that 2020 is a hard year for most people. As a small business owner, it has been especially challenging. Many New York businesses were closed upwards of four months at the start of the season representing crushing financial losses.  While most of us New Yorkers gripe about the big box stores coming in, New York is still mainly made up of small businesses, and those businesses represent jobs, and more importantly, people.

The SBDC of New York, which offers free business counseling for New York business, lists that small business makes up 99.9% of all business in New York. As a group, we made up 50.2% of the private workforce and employed 4.0 million people. That is a lot of people, of those, 708,962 of those are also minority/woman-owned. With the current situation, there is less money in people’s pockets which means less spending money, there is less foot traffic and many businesses have capacity restrictions on them (such as ours follow us @bodymechanicsnyc) that make paying the rent a challenge. As a community, we need to come together to support each other.

With that in mind I wanted to put together a list of things you, the public (or fellow small businesses) can do to help make sure your favorite Mom and POP’s make it through the winter.


Prime Guide Partners Logo

We reached out to PrimeGuide Partners, a social media marketing agency based in NYC, to get some advice on best FREE practices to support small businesses. They are women and minority-owned small businesses themselves. Here is the list of completely free tools most people have at their disposal. They recommended some of the following bolded tips. Be sure to follow @primeguide on Instagram for more social media advice:

  1. Posting a positive review to Yelp or Google. (or both) Posting reviews for a business is FREE marketing for them. It can also provide content for Google to crawl/read so it can affect how businesses come up in search, so putting words that include the neighborhood and service into their review can be extra helpful. Since Google is a huge search engine, it is preferred, especially since Yelp sometimes filters first-time reviewers.
  2. Following the business on Facebook and Instagram…and commenting on their posts. Prime Guide specified that “Engagement on a post can be as simple as a smiley face emoji or heart. It helps businesses understand what type of content is resonating with their audience. Also, posts with more active and thoughtful interactions will get more reach and help the business grow its online presence. And don’t forget to share on your page or story!”
  3. Feature the business in a story or post. If you have a favorite photographer or are remembering an event, remember to tag/geotag and give a shout out to the business involved. Telling your friends via a story that you just had your workout with your favorite trainer is literally invaluable.
  4. Recommend them online in social groups. While these kinds of recommendations do not come up in Google the same way reviews do, they are often more trusted as they are personal recommendations from online community groups. The thread may be searched over and over again by others looking for recommendations from real people that they trust. Trust is a high-value reward.
  5. Sign up for their mailing list. Signing up for a business mailing list can keep you aware of opportunities you might be interested in.
  6. Word of mouth referral. This one is old fashioned, but it works. Face to face referrals are trusted…and can build long-lasting relationships.

For industry-specific advice, we reached out to some of our other favorite businesses to see if they had ideas about things that might help them the most in the next few months.

Photography:

Katie Ward Photography
Katie Ward Photography

Katie Ward, a family photographer, is currently only offering outdoor shoots due to COVID. This has cut her season short since no one wants to have outdoor shoots when it gets cold. In addition to the suggestion of buying gift certificates for friends and family, or booking shoots now for next year, she also added that many photographers can provide prints and holiday cards for you as well. “I know that most of my clients are already planning on spending money to have prints and holiday cards made. What would be ideal is if they love my work, and the photos I provide to them, to make these purchases through me. The commissions from these purchases would be helpful in keeping me afloat during the winter when I can’t be shooting.”@katie_n_ward


Yoga Studios:

Due to both being labeled as exercise and being a face-to-face business, yoga studios have been hit hard. Yoga studios are not necessarily a place to go exercise, they are technically schools and community meeting places. We reached out to Teri from Park Slope Yoga and she had this to say:” There are many thoughts on what support looks like – and the longer this goes, the amounts required keep rising. Coming to class and purchasing online memberships seems obvious, but can be problematic to those who struggle with space (mental/physical) in NYC apartments. Our beautiful community has provided donations that have allowed us great benefit.” She recommended introducing your neighbors, friends, and coworkers to studios you love…this season it seems like it might be time to give the gift of yoga, after all it will be a gift that flows two ways. To help right now you can access on-demand yoga from their website rather than go to YouTube, and buy gently used props for home practice. Please check with your local studio for their offerings.  @parkslopeyoga


Fitness:

Luisa Noelle

Making it as a small fitness + wellness business on the other side of Covid requires flexibility, a focus on safety and quality more than ever.  We talked to Luisa Noelle about her personal training business and she said she has, “shifted about 80% of my fitness and yoga clients online.  My nutrition services were generally online already or shifted along with my personal training clients to online. 10% of clients have shifted to training outside.  As it’s getting colder, we are layering up and are still training outside.” While some gyms are open, it is at limited capacity and there are no classes, so now might be the time to start having some fitness dates at a distance. Being open to modifying your usual routine to train outside or online really helps. She also noted, because she took off 3 months in the pandemic, finding balance is hard, things can suddenly drop off, and “it’s hard to fit in the needed time for nonspecific client communication along with my other work-related tasks.  On the weeks where things sink to 5 sessions a week,  it’s hard to power work through a communications plan effectively due to change@noelleh33


Beauty:

Beauty industries have been hit hard because they are face to face and they were closed the longest. We talked to Hibba Kapil about her business Hibba Soho that specializes in waxing, threading, and eyebrow shaping about what she needs most. She said, “many people are reluctant to buy packages right now, due to the uncertainty of it all, but rest assured your packages will be there when this is over.” Buying them now is very helpful. She also said to enquire about other options if you do not want to come in. For example,  right now Hibba will come to you if you are in the NYC area for services over $100. Your whole pod can get pampered. Bottom line email the business and ask questions @hibbabeautystudio


Florists:

Stems Brooklyn
Stems Brooklyn

Businesses that produce things, like florists, gift basket makers, and personalized products face a different set of challenges altogether. We reached out to Suzanna Cameron of Stems Brooklyn, an eco-conscious florist in Bushwick to ask her about what would best help businesses such as her in this holiday season and she recommended, “To look for any items locally versus just going online to a big chain. And having patience with small businesses by understanding everyone is working more restricted services so that sometimes impacts how quickly you can get what you want.”. New York State has placed restrictions on business capacities and many mom and POP’s are now working with reduced staffing due to moves, finances, and staff changes. Buying local even when there is a big distributor for a service is super important right now. @stemsbrooklyn


Cafes:

Mojo Mousse Bar

We can all see what is happening to the restaurants and cafes….We have outdoor dining but winter is coming. We reached out to Jaqueline Assumpcao of Mojo Desserts on the Upper East Side to ask what she thought would be the best help. She had recently heard of something called a “‘cash mob‘, which is where groups of people come together and shower the business”. Buying in groups so the money really adds up, taking the initiative to organize and support your community can make a huge difference. And of course, if you’re wondering, order directly from the business. @mojodesserts


There are a LOT more suggestions. While I was putting this list together and talking to business owners, this website came out to support the UES Stores. Big thank you to the designers for taking the initiative. For businesses like mine, and massage therapy, that requires long face-to-face contact I would recommend contacting the city council for rent relief. In the end our survival depends on US working together as a community to keep the beautiful things we have built. I encourage you to tag, share, post, buy, recommend, ask questions about what you can do. Many small businesses are working at 25-50% capacity by law, and that does not cover the rent.

The other thing you can do is GET INVOLVED. There are things that could be legislated to help small businesses, but so far not much relief has been provided. If you have more ideas feel free to let us know!

Header photo by DiEtte Henderson on Unsplash

Continue reading “Supporting Small Businesses in the Holiday Season of Covid”

Yoga Therapy in a Clinical Setting

Why Yoga Therapy? Ditching the Gym

A Message from Yuliana,

I am thrilled to be joining Body Mechanics as a yoga therapist. “What is Yoga Therapy“, you might be asking yourself as you read this. Yoga therapy as defined by IAYT, the governing board for yoga therapy, is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of Yoga. An individualized assessment and individualized treatment protocol employing all of the modalities of yoga is provided by the yoga therapist to treat the client holistically. We believe these treatments are to complement whatever traditional treatments the client is undergoing.

 

COVID has chanYoga Therapyged our lives in ways we could never have predicted and the wellness industry is no different. Previously I had worked as a yoga therapist seeing clients in various yoga studios. In this climate, many of these studios are closed, many of them for good. These closures and the new stricter guidelines for the re-opening of businesses have created new challenges. It is within these conditions that working within a more clinical practice makes the most sense, if not also providing a path forward for yoga therapy overall. We should not lose access to Yoga and the connection to self, simply due to COVID. To be able to work within an integrative practice will provide clients with greater opportunity to truly provide a comprehensive wellness program that manages the challenges that we are currently facing. Read more about Yoga Therapy on our website.

 

The benefits of practicing Yoga Therapy or using Yoga as a therapeutic tool in this clinical space are many:

  • A controlled environment
  • OSHA level cleaning for surfaces and blankets
  • A private room with your therapist
  • No high traffic gym style common area
  • Personalized reception and booking
  • 1 on 1 assessment and application of the therapy
  • A window you can open for ventilation

 

Being a part of Body Mechanics, an established clinical Orthopedic Massage practice has made meeting the new strict guidelines less onerous. Like any clinical practice, many of the sanitizing requirements were already in place before COVID. As per the requirements for social distancing, clients are being scheduled to ensure the necessary social distancing. As the philosophy of yoga therapy offering individualized treatment programs, Body Mechanics also offers each client a safe, clean, and all the mandated requirements of COVID for a very special experience.

To book with Yuliana check out our booking page for Yoga Therapy!

If you want to read more about me, my practice and connect to other offerings you can explore my website at www.yulianakimgrant.com 

Body Mechanics NYC

1 W 34th St
#204,
New York, NY 10001
United States (US)
Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

 

Women in Business. It is Harder Than You Think.

This is a post about being a woman in business.

It is a post about how far we have come and how far we have not. Full disclosure, if you do not like boobs or feel weird when women breastfeed in public, you should probably stop reading…but I guess that’s the point of this blog entirely.

It is hard to be a woman in business.

I do not mean the sort of hard where you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and grow a thick skin, because I have done that. As an entrepreneur, my job is essentially having uncomfortable conversations in uncomfortable places and writing checks that are gulp worthy.  The kind of hard I mean is the kind where the playing field is uneven and you were not given boots, let alone bootstraps to pull yourself by.

My husband is a wonderful man and a terrible picture taker. Our phones are full of shots where I have one eye open, but every year he takes at least one shot where I feel he captured the moment unbelievably well. This blog contains the two pictures that I feel like best sum up the last 3 years of my life.

I had a daughter in 2018. I knew parenting would be hard…I did not know how deeply I would feel the total loss of myself and by extension, my business.  I spent most of my maternity leave multitasking to a level I did not know was possible. I was often working from home while pumping and holding a crying baby. I was protected in some ways financially through NYS Paid family leave (and if you are a self-employed person who would like to carry an insurance policy that will help you take a leave for bonding you can- most do not know this) but I was NOT protected emotionally.

When things got hard, I had a choice, take care of my daughter or take care of the business. I felt deeply the loss of control and freedom, there were weeks on end where I did not leave the house because, if the baby slept, then I had piles of work to do. People kept telling me, sleep when the baby sleeps…and I kept thinking how? My business would fail if I did. And no matter how much my husband ‘helped’, it was still helping. He was not shouldering the same burden I was…he was not on a 3-hour tether dependent on milk supply…and he did not have to ask if it was ok to leave the house. I did. Somehow it was all on me. I deeply resented that nothing had really changed for him, he had not had to give anything up to have a family. He was tired but happy.

I was not prepared, and 8 weeks of poorly paid maternity leave without child care is not nearly a good enough safety net. The only real thing I could do was take a pay cut by working less and not move forward as an owner. I was left wondering, is postpartum depression really a thing? Or do we just not adequately care for our mothers. It was simply put, a depressing and stressful time, but it had nothing to do with the act of giving birth. I felt like I missed out a lot of bonding with my daughter because of it. 

This year I had a baby at the height of the pandemic. At 9 months pregnant, I was sleeping 4 hours a night and having rolling panic attacks.  Hospitals in NYC announced that women would give birth unattended, leaving no one to make medical decisions for me or my child if there was a problem. I felt marginalized and it was very stressful. Afraid they would cut NYC off from the rest of the country, we left home for my in-laws in NJ.

I had also failed to secure funding in the first round of government loans called the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), meant to help save small businesses. While helpful in theory, the loans were organized as first come first serve, and frequently the servers would crash while I was applying due to the crush of applications. The battle for financial survival was real. I stayed up at all hours frantically applying for grants. I  applied everywhere, for everything, and cried. I cried a lot. After multiple applications and failed attempts, I tweeted a reporter who helped me secure a loan.

Here is where things get interesting though…I received this loan the week before I gave birth. This loan was meant to be used in 8 weeks immediately post-funding (a funding that you were often not aware was coming–it just showed up) and it also required complicated payroll and legal administration for my twelve employees. I have no HR department or a full-time lawyer. Getting an accountant on the phone took a week…How was I supposed to administer these funds while in the hospital, or with a days-old newborn? The Cares Act, which is the bit of legislation that the PPP (the loan) was part of, made no accommodations for women who might be pregnant, or on maternity leave at the time of their funding. So if I was unable to use the money because I was otherwise occupied creating a human, I would miss out?? It is not a huge accommodation for them to make a single line of text granting exceptions for a business owner on medical leave, but no one even thought about the women owners out there. We are frequently unsupported and overlooked. I spent the week before birth, emailing and calling congress-people trying to get the PPP loan changed so I could use it outside of 8 weeks when I was recovered. I went back to work trying to save my business days after giving birth.

Having children ghosted me in some ways. I became invisible because I could not force my way in by brute alone. Instead, I have to run home and stay home in order to function. As much promise as NY offers; it is also a prison. With my child, I cannot leave my neighborhood if I am not strong enough to carry my child up and down the steps of the subway in a stroller. Certainly now with two, I cannot really go anywhere.  The world is not built for us here. As a woman, I have to run home every 3 hours because there is nowhere to pump breast milk safely if you are out and about. So I have to choose…what is more important, my infant’s health or my right to be out?  Women are frequently overlooked in legislation and in medicine. No doubt when the dosage for the vaccine comes out, that will be based on men as well.

The hard part is we have come so far. I remember celebrating when the paid family leave (my maternity leave) rolled out in NY…because finally we had some validation that we deserved some leave by law, but it is not enough. It makes no difference if I have leave, if when the leave is done I do not have child care. It makes no difference if I have leave if I do not have legislation that always considers women might be owners and mothers as well.  Why do we have to fight so hard for such basic things? We are half of the world. I pay my share just as much as anyone. Why have we come so far and it is not much at all??

ps. The PPP loan was turned into a 24-month program. I am still struggling at home with work-life balance, trying to save a company while having a newborn.

Read more about Beret as a massage therapist.

Check out Beret’s other Blogs about practice

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage supports the LGBTQIA+ community

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage has always been a place where inclusivity and diversity have been highly valued. However, as our collective education grows, we have come to understand that simply being accepting is not the same as being actively welcoming. This is why we would like to formally announce that Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage supports the LGBTQIA+ community as an official company policy.

People within LGBTQIA+ communities undergo high levels of stigmatization from both society at large and many medical providers. These continued failings have contributed to the harrowingly high rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide in LGBTQIA+ people. Among trans and non-binary adolescents studied, between ~30-51% of people report having attempted suicide. These are sobering statistics that reflect an endemic societal problem that does not treat vulnerable young people with the care or dignity that every person deserves.

We at Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage would like to assure everyone that regardless of who you are, we will respect: your body, your identity, and your experience. We have always recognized that one of the most important things a health care provider can do is validate the experience of the person in front of them. This simple act is tremendously powerful, and we promise we will always do this with every person who comes through our door.

As part of our commitment to being an inclusive space, we have made several changes recently.

  • Our online intake forms leave a place for your pronouns so that our therapists will know how to properly communicate about you with other providers if necessary.
  • Near the front desk, we have updated our signage to reflect that you should use whichever restroom facilities you are most comfortable with. Ideally, we would make the restrooms on our floor gender-neutral, but this is out of our hands because they belong to the building.
  • Additionally, all of our therapists will be undergoing continuing education on LGBTQIA+ issues from a biopsychosocial lens of care.

Being allies in the struggle for acceptance and equality is an ongoing process that we hope you will join us in. It’s very likely we will make mistakes in this process, and we ask that you hold us accountable so that we can become a more welcoming space for everyone. No one should have to worry about being judged when seeking massage therapy, and together we can build a space where everyone feels safe to be themselves.

Additional LGBTQIA+ friendly spaces:

Deep River Healing Arts- SohoDeep River Healing Arts is a private practice that provides thoughtful, educated therapeutic massage for all humans.  The founder is a queer-identified, biracial woman that wants especially to create a healing space for the LGBTQ+ community and people of color.  She specializes in massage for the transgender client, post-cancer treatment work, chronic pain management, and recovery from injury

If you want to be added to our list or you know someone who should be added, let us know!

More Resources-

Why pronouns are important 

Sexual minority women

Glossary of health care terms

To check out more of our writing on equality issues see our blog Racism is Both a Moral Issue and a Public Health Issue

Massage at our location during COVID-19

Welcome to your local Massage Therapy information page for Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage!

If you are reading this blog, you probably have some questions about whether or not it is safe to receive a massage in the time of Covid-19, and what our practice and our cleaning regimen looks like since opening. If you have been directed here by reception or management, it is so that we can put all the information you need in one place.

** UPDATE as of September 3rd, NYS allows services, where you need to touch the face to take off their masks, provided the practitioner has had a Covid test….we are NOT taking masks off in treatment. It is unnecessary and creates undue risk. However, we feel that the ruling is an EXCELLENT indication of how safe it is to have a massage at this point. We look forward to breathing a little more deeply with you all when the risk is over. 

** UPDATE NYS posted as of Dec 12th that in-person services with precautions are not the driver of infections.

In July, Phase 3 allowed massage therapy to open in New York City. You can see our initial announcement about that at the bottom of this page. We were given specific guidelines to follow in a multiple page document from Forward New York that included a summary, as well as a detailed explanation of how a business is supposed to operate to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The instructions provide a comprehensive outline of required cleaning, safety, and operations. If you want to see the full document, you can follow the links here.

  • Fortunately, we have always operated as a medical practice, so most of what was in the document was already being used by our facility in the routine care of universal and standard precautions ( the accepted standard for cleaning and disease prevention).
  • Each of our rooms has always been equipped with 70% alcohol which is the CDC/OSHA standard for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • We have also always had 30 minutes between appointments because I was used to hospital-based care and I did not think 10-15 minute breaks between patients was a reasonable time to clean, disinfect and do a full assessment.
  • On a similar note, when we designed our space, all of the treatment room furniture was chosen to be able to be disinfected by chemical means. The chairs and tables may look nice, but we picked plastic for a reason.
  • Now, of course, we are paying extra attention to cleaning things like light switches and buttons in addition to wiping down all of our tables and chairs. Rest assured, however, that we have and will always strive towards a medical level of clean, as that was how we were built.

So what are we doing with our massage safety, and what will you find to be different? 

  • All staff is masked, and you will be too, for the entirety of your treatment. Not to worry, we have multiple ways of making this very comfortable and have extra masks on hand if you need a spare.
  • Our staff is wearing scrubs/smocks so that they are not bringing outside transportation yuckies in.
  • We upgraded our booking platform to a new one that is completely paper-free and HIPAA compliant. No passing forms back and forth, no touching clipboards.  All of your notes are now online (if you are an old customer, we kindly ask you to start with a new health history and consent form- but do not worry, we have access to all of our old information as well).
  • You might also notice that our linens are a little brighter. Previously we used a local laundry company. We have switched to a hospital laundry service. Everything is packaged and handled for medical care. Our laundry was clean….now it is pristine.
  • Your temperature will be taken on arrival.
  • There is hand sanitizer provided in the rooms, not just at the desk, as it was pre-COVID.

There have also been some changes you may not see:

  • Reception is disinfecting the desk on a regular schedule
  • We now have tap and go EMV payments
  • The waiting room is technically closed so most people go directly to their rooms after a brief pause to have their temperature checked. Our office has always been low traffic, but you may not even see another customer now or just see them briefly. You can help us by showing up promptly 5 minutes before your appointment so we can keep that happening.
  • Our staff is testing regularly.
  • Each room and the lobby has a discreetly placed HEPA filter device
  • Reception is tracking visitors to our office who do not have appointments such as mailmen and pest inspection.
  • All of our bedding/extra pillows/pregnancy supports have been modified to allow for disinfecting, not just regular laundering. * For example, our pregnancy pillows for side-lying used to be double covered in pillowcases to protect you. Now the pregnancy pillow itself is made from vinyl and that is covered with a pillowcase. We had custom pillows made for this
  • We fitted each room air filter that brings the outside air in with a MERV filter. All the air coming into our space is CLEAN.

We are ha{“type”:”block”,”srcClientIds”:[“dc67528d-d54e-428e-9e49-f4f067454a42″],”srcRootClientId”:””}ppy to answer any specific questions you have…please ask!

Our Massage Therapy Clinic in NYC Opening in Phase 3

Massage Therapy Opens in Phase 3!

We have an important update to share! Massage Therapy is scheduled for phase 3 re-opening in NYC! Phase 3 may be as early as July 6th. We will tentatively start taking appointments now for that date on a modified schedule. Our front desk is not yet open so all appointments must be made online.

If the opening is delayed, we will work with our customers and reschedule any appointments.  Due to Covid-19, there will be some office changes. 

Both you and your therapist will be required to wear a mask for the duration of your visit. This is now New York State law for staying operational. If you do not have a mask one can be provided for you, but please let us know before you enter so that we can provide it. Your therapist will also be wearing clean scrubs as their new uniform. 


Your temperature will be taken when you arrive to make sure that you are not running a fever. Our therapists will have their temperatures taken daily, as well as having the government required COVID-19 tests on an ongoing schedule. Please let us know in ADVANCE if you have any symptoms so that we can appropriately reschedule you. We will still be maintaining a cancellation policy. If you fall ill, send us a doctor’s note and we can waive it. 

We have cleaned your space just for you. We always operated as a medical facility so this was not a big change for us. You will notice some small changes in our protocol in the way our linens are handled and some of the products we use. Additionally, our building HVAC system has been upgraded and a HEPA filtration has been added to each room.


We have also upgraded our booking platform to a streamlined HIPPA compliant system, have less contact, and have all of our notes online. Please be PATIENT with us. This is a process and we did this to keep everyone safer and have a long term better experience, but in the beginning, there may be challenges. Before your first visit, you will need to fill out updated paperwork. If you do not see your favorite therapist, they have yet to be added, check back in a week or two.

Thank you for waiting…we are excited to see you. 

Body Mechanics NYC

1 W 34th St
#204,
New York, NY 10001
United States (US)
Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

 

 

Racism is Both a Moral Issue and a Public Health Issue

Black lives matter image

 

Within the span of just the past few weeks, a number of Black Americans have been killed. Many of these people were murdered by police officers over non-violent offenses or no offenses at all. Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, Jamel Floyd, and Sean Reed are just a few of the names we must remember as this list appallingly keeps growing. This is tragically familiar territory in this country and it needs to stop. We here at Body Mechanics extend our deepest condolences to all who have been affected by these grave injustices, both past and present. We stand firmly alongside those who seek justice and systemic reform from a system that so clearly does not value human lives equally.

As healthcare providers, we recognize that systemic racism is both a moral issue and a public health issue. We recognize that the medical care you have access to, and how you are treated when you receive that care is often determined by the color of your skin. We vow to confront the pernicious racist myths and misinformation that are still highly pervasive across the medical field – because being silent is being complicit.

As New Yorkers, we recognize that our strength lies in the diversity of our community. That none of us are safe until all of us are safe. We promise to listen to our clients, coworkers, friends, family, and partners if or when they are ready to speak. We may not always have answers, but we are committed to hearing from you and supporting you however we can.

The phrase “these uncertain times” has become cliché amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so we want to make absolutely certain where we stand: Black Lives Matter

Further Reading/Resources:

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1609535

https://nymag.com/strategist/article/anti-racist-reading-list.html

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/race-and-health/

https://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/webinars/racism-and-health

Additionally, we would like to highlight a personal perspective from Yoga Therapist and author Yuliana Kim-Grant’s personal perspective on family, racism, and the current state of events. Please take a moment to check out her deeply personal blog here. 

To read more about Body Mechanics views on equality, check out our blog on Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage supports the LGBTQIA+ community

Our Clean Routine and Your Health

We are currently open for business, but on a limited schedule with strict health care precautions in place. We are checking in daily with our therapists and clients. If you or someone you know is sick, please stay home. Please wash before entering our space. This is a challenging time for everyone. We understand. Luckily we buy sterilization products in bulk:)

Please reach out if you have any questions.

Pain and the Zombie Apocalypse

Whether it’s another exhausting election cycle or the impending zombie apocalypse, many of us are a bit more stressed and anxious lately than usual.  Intense times, it’s totally normal to start experiencing some physical symptoms that might feel abnormal if you don’t realize their source.  Some of your old injuries might start hurting again, your back or neck may become stiffer or achier, and if you’re already dealing with some kind of pain, that may become worse.

Stress and/or anxiety can increase or decrease normal pain thresholds directly or indirectly.  Prolonged stress will tend to decrease a person’s pain threshold so that the exact same physical stimuli might become more painful than usual, or something that didn’t used to hurt might begin hurting.  People with persistent pain are often aware of how a stressful day at work can cause a flare-up, but far fewer people realize that stress and depression are two of the biggest predictors of painful flare-ups in people with acute low back pain.

Stress can also decrease pain thresholds by influencing behavior.  Most of us know that a stressful day, week, or decade can make it harder to get to sleep or stay asleep.  Lack of sleep and non-restful sleep are significant risk factors in developing physical pain and prolonging it.  Being tired can also make it far more difficult to push yourself to get some of the physical activity our bodies need to stay happy and healthy.

In these stressful times, it’s perfectly normal to begin experiencing all sorts of symptoms that might seem as if they came out of nowhere.  That’s all the more reason to take care of yourself in all the ways you can.  Spend time engaging in meaningful activities, talk to the people you care about, make time to be mindful or to relax, practice good sleep hygiene, ask for and accept more help from others, and get in some movement where you can.  You’re not broken and you’re not falling apart—we promise.

By Matthew Danziger

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4795524/?report=classic

https://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2018/03150/Do_Physical_Activities_Trigger_Flare_ups_During_an.14.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4046588/