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Inked & Knotty

Offering them, not having them. If I could go back to when Paradox was in it’s infancy, we wouldn’t offer piercings. Why? Because I spend way too much time explaining basic hygiene to grown adults and hearing “I know you said not to.. but I did”.

I love it as a body modification! I’ll have my septum till I die. It gives me that much confidence. I love that we get to give that to others. BUT!!!! Whats the saying? “1 bad apple spoils the bunch?”

The truth is, not everyone has the anatomy for every piercing. Not everyone has the lifestyle for every piercing. And if you don’t wash your hands, none are for you 🤷🏻‍♀️ Just because you want something doesn’t mean you should or can have it.

Theyre work. They require a lengthier healing time than tattoos and require more aftercare. They’re not cheap to get or maintain properly. Some take over a year to heal completely. While it’s tempting to exchange the presterilized starter jewelry out for something cute before you were told, you shouldn’t. The starter jewelry is typically a higher quality. We use what we use for a reason. Barring a metal allergy, it’s meant to last for the entire healing process and longer. It could cost you your piercing and a doctors visit changing it too soon.

Its also extremely unlikely you’ll leave a professional studio with an infection. Everything, down to the clamps, are presterilized. So, yes, we know when aftercare hasn’t been followed. We also know when theres been trauma. (DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR FRESH PIERCINGS) Swelling, some fluids, tenderness are ALL common and easy to manage. If you have questions, call or text your piercer. Before you get ANY body modification, research. Do allllll your research. Go somewhere licensed. Be honest with us and yourself if the upkeep doesn't fit with your lifestyle. And if you DO decide to ignore aftercare, just be honest. Let us help you. Then PLEASE for the love of all things inked, knotty and pierced LEARN FROM IT! —Ashley

This one is not only for clients but other LMTs. The things Im about to talk about are not from any studies, they’re not measurable and they’re based solely on my clients feedback and what works for us.

As someone with ADHD I realized pretty quickly that massage therapy spaces typically were not set up for a neurodivergent mind. Depending on the type of practice it can be downright uncomfortable.

A resort or spa for example, the LMTs have no control of lighting, usually not the sound, the decor, the smells, the products or even the modalities offered. Its set up so that every client gets the same experience. The experience offered has to be easily duplicated.

In doctors offices, its very much the same. You can expect the LMT to have no control over sounds, smells, lighting or product. In both resorts and doctors offices supplies are usually rationed out as well. LMTs are only permitted so many towels, blankets and body creams for each individual client.

So, where do we go? How do we voice what is overstimulating, what smells disturb us, if we need to be draped tighter, prefer a different texture of body cream or would like more sound or less sound.

First, I recommend seeking a private practice. Privately owned Massage practices have much more control over their entire space and session. Next, call ahead and ask if the LMT is familiar with ADHD, Autism, Tourettes or whatever flavor of spicy brain you have. If not, ask if they’re willing to consult with you before scheduling a session. In that consultation, tell them what you need to relax. If they can and are willing to accommodate, awesome! If not, keep searching, we are out here.

Now, LMTs, what can we do to become more accommodating? If you currently have an intake form, awesome! If not, you need to. Ask!!! When you see ADHD, Autism, Tourettes and so on, on the intake ask in what ways you can make the space more comfortable. Just like you would for any other necessary accommodation.

Some things I’ve found helpful to stock in my neurodivergent friendly practice:

-I currently do not use a weighted blanket as I can’t find one that would hold up to that kind of cleaning. Instead, I use an extra blanket or heavy quilt. -Keep multiple options for lotions, creams and oils. Different textures and scents.

-Be willing to blow out candles and turn off diffusers.

-Get comfortable working through tics, both verbal and physical.

-Discuss sounds. If more noise or less is more comfortable. -Be willing to change the music. Even if your client needs Metallica to relax.

-Buy a white noise machine or 3.

-Discuss with your client which days and times are less crowded.

-Be willing to change your space and session from what’s “normal” and “correct”. Massaging to Metallica while in a completely bright room with no essential oils may seem like chaos to you but if it’s the first bit of relaxation your client has had in months, it’s worth it.

Be accessible to your clients. Spicy brains deserve and NEED a relaxing massage experience. Even if it’s atypical.

❤️Ashley Caudill CoOwner/LMT

I could ramble on about the benefits of massage and I’m sure I will at some point, but that’s not what this post is about. No, i’m not going to list all the reasons you need massage and more to the point MY massage. Instead, i’m going to touch on what I feel is a big ethical dilemma in massage and honestly, all aspects of health and wellness..but ill stay in my lane 😉

I once had a client come to me via referral. Intake usually takes me 15 minutes,(30 if I get chatty) with her it took an hour. A lot of that hour was spent with her telling me, in GREAT detail, what her previous LMT had uncovered and what they’d been working on. Which is standard. It got UNstandard when she described the organic magic medicinal soup diet her previous LMT had her on. Even more UNstandard when she listed all of the supplements her previous LMT had her taking for the list of ailments her previous LMT told her she had. Of course, she could only purchase these special concoctions from, you guessed it, her previous LMT. Then we got into the list of stretches, quiet daily meditations and exercise regime.

I was pleasantly surprised during our massage session. This woman had few palpable adhesions. She gave no feedback of pain or referral of pain to other areas. She fell asleep, which is the highest compliment! At the close of her massage we sat down to discuss the session. I told her that I didnt palpate anything remarkable as far as needing an intense massage schedule. I invited her to listen to her body and to schedule when she wanted. She asked if I could prepare her soup and her supplements. At that point I had to be completely honest with her.

Nutrition, apart from general herbs and helpful remedies for sickness and hydration, are out of an LMTs scope of practice. As well as prescribing supplement. We can recommend you consult with your doctor but even turmeric can be dangerous. Especially if you have gallbladder issues. Not all supplements mix well with prescribed medications either. So, this is also out of an LMTs scope of practice. I’m also not a fitness expert nor a doctor. I have no business telling you which exercises are safe for you to do. I can recommend certain muscle groups you can research to strengthen to help remove strain from another. I can also recommend local fitness trainers to assist in that research and strengthening. I can help you stretch.

Her response? “Youre just not as experienced or knowledgeable as she is.”

That could’ve been true. I don’t know the other LMT personally but I did check her credentials. Which are just like mine, L M T. Now, I couldve told this woman exactly what she was accustomed to hearing. I could have listed a ton of made up ailments and explained how I’m her savior for all of them. I could have told her she needed 5 60 minute sessions a week to get her neck lined out. I’m quite confident she would have came! I mean, she was paying someone for magic soup! 🤷🏻‍♀️

Alas, I did not, that’s unethical. If you know me in real life, especially from our studio, you know I don’t care enough about money to harm someone. And it would be harm. What I do is an energy exchange. I give my energy and compassion into your massage. In turn, you pay me money that you earned through putting your energy into your job. It only works on faith, consent, submission and a lot of trust. I’d never break that. That would be taking advantage of my client.

On the other hand, if a client comes in and I do palpate issues that will require extensive treatment and/or medical referral, not telling them that is also unethical.

So, how do you know if you’ve got a good LMT? (Or any healthcare provider) Well, for starters, don’t buy into magic soup! If your LMT tells you something that seems absolutely outlandish, out of their scope of practice, insists you come a specific crazy schedule, or that you ONLY listen to them, it’s likely hooey. Now, if you do need extensive treatment, and lots of us do, LMTs become part of your medical and care team. The goal is to become maintenance and not necessary. At least it is for me. I want my clients to get to a point where their pain is so well managed that I’m just a maintenance tool. Ask questions! I love questions! Ill be honest. Most LMTs are honest❤️ Most of us leave everything we have on our table every day pouring into our clients. We hold your trust to the highest honor.

That client left that day convinced I’m bad at my job. But she left without magic soup.

—Ashley Caudill LMT CoOwner

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