It was December of 2008, and my daughter was due any day. I was at Walmart getting a newborn medical kit with the suction bulb for stuffy noses and an extra bottle of Mylicon Infant Gas Drops. I waited in line patiently with my hand on my low back swaying to relieve pressure off my hips and ankles.
Then this terrible screaming high pitch noise came from over my shoulder ” Oh my Gosh you are beautiful” ( In my head: I know that lady do I know you?”) Then she puts both hands on my belly and her ear up to my stomach…
UMMM CUSE ME NUT CASE AUNTIE! GETCHO DIRTY HANDS OFF MY MIRACLE CHILD
Why do people think its ok to touch a pregnant mother’s belly? Some people think it is ok to just walk up and start rubbing on your belly.
It is not OK to walk up to a stranger and start touching body parts so WHY on earth would people think it’s ok to rub a pregnant woman’s belly?
Mom’s let me give you some SASSY Kung Fu Walmart line tips.
- Don’t be shy to say NO or block or slap their hand like a kid that is about to touch something he/she should not be touching. It’s your body. Speak up! Find your voice! Let me have it. It’s ok everyone will be on your side.
- Be firm you can say “ I don’t let strangers touch my baby”. If baby were in his/her stroller would you let a stranger walk up and touch him/her? NO! You would be in Lioness mode protecting her cub.
- Work your kindergarten kungfu double hand rotation paddle smackdown. That will freak them out.
Why do people touch pregnant bellies?
Can you believe is some cultures it’s believed to bring good luck to the person? Maybe I would allow it, if it were another woman trying to get pregnant, then I would understand her trying to catch it like it’s a cold by touching the belly. Most people cannot believe there is a miniature person curled up in there. We know it’s a blessing it’s a miracle, but not everyone has the privilege to touch the sacred belly.
Of course there will be times when you want some to rub on the belly. Once the baby starts moving and can be felt easily from the outside, you will want to share this special time with someone. Friends, family member, spouse, or partner, but not the stranger at Walmart.
Oh, It gets better! Walmart Auntie took her ear off my belly and moved in for a hug. I lifted both my hands in a claw-like manner and groped both her breasts. She screamed and said, “lady you are nutts.” I said, “takes a nutt to know a nut to call a nutt a nutt” then there was laughing and oooooh ing. Then I yelled “stranger danger.”
Honestly I didn’t care if anyone thought I was mean or could have handled it better. I was due in a few days, feeling fat, miserable and in pain. Besides, it was Walmart anything could happen.
And in case you reading this and thinking what the big deal is? The big deal is it’s illegal in PA. So before you go touching random bellies know you could be charged with harassment. And mom’s know your rights and speak up.
When I created my Summer Mojito Exfoliating Scrub in August, everyone that came in for their summer massage treat wanted to upgrade their service with a Summer Mojito and got naturally drunk off of increased endorphin levels. My massage room smelled of lime and mint goodness with tropical music in the background. If you didn’t get a chance to come in you missed it sorry.
So let me back up, two years ago Fall, I jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon. I loved pumpkin spice in my coffee so much I offered a pumpkin spice exfoliation as my Fall promotion. Every spa in town was doing it. I figured it was working so why not? I had a pumpkin spice candle. I thought it was a hit. A couple of people loved it, so I brought it back last year. Who wouldn’t repeat what works right? Wrong! It did not do so well the second time around. I had a client told me she HATED pumpkin spice. I was shocked. She is my top VIP client. Why wait until summer to say something to me, ma’am. I thought we had a relationship. We do. But she was super busy and decided to skip that month so all the Pumpkin freaks can get it all in. Naturally, I checked to see if she came last Fall. Welp, she skipped the whole month because of it. Then yesterday I had another VIP told me he hated pumpkin spice. What? Do all my VIPs hate pumpkin spice? Well, I made something special for my VIP Haters.
For my Pumpkin Spice Haters ( I love you all to life)
For my population of Pumpkin Spice haters. I mean that in a good way! I broke up with my coffee addiction about a year ago; Now I understand how you feel. I walked into WAWA for a salad the other day, and the pumpkin spice smell hit me right in the sinuses. I started doing the weird nose thing allergy sufferers do. That smell can SUCK for real. Yesterday I went to Starbucks because I had a gift card.
I wanted to scream Jesus take the wheel. Who invented this? So I got on my phone “ok google who invited pumpkin spice coffee” That darn google said PETER DUKES. What? A man with MY last name invented it. Oh, the irony. I’m so sorry I put some people on level 10 of pumpkin trauma.
So for all the Pumpkin Spice Haters, I’ve tossed out the Pumpkin Spice. I’ve created a fabulous Apple Cinnamon Brown Sugar Scrub. I’ll even add nutmeg and cloves IF you like those smells. I’ve checked every spa in town, and no one is offering my blend. Praise the Scrub Gods I’m standing out this FALL. #WINNING
Here is my easy DIY scrub recipe
APPLE CINNAMON EXFOLIATING BODY SCRUB RECIPE
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
5 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Directions: Mix all of it in a bowl and presto you are ready for your shower.
If you rather get it done by Ellie Dukes, your massage therapist located in Blue Bell PA. Click here to book your massage “Fall Special” today.
If you have no idea what Thai Massage is then Prenatal Thai Massage is not even on your radar. But, It’s not a new at all it’s been around for years. Most people have heard of Thai Massage but have no clue can be on Pregnant women also.
My friend and massage instructor Vanessa messaged me one day and said she had a class on Prenatal Thai Massage. I was so excited because Vaness studied Thai Massage in Thailand for a month. She has many years of experience in Thai Massage and Yoga.
Being a prenatal massage therapist for ten years and counting I got a bit weary of my skills as a prenatal therapist. I learned the foundation of prenatal massage in school in 2007. The side-lying position was the only option at the time. Then fast forward to 2009 I was four months postpartum (my 3rd and final child) I had what I call level II prenatal massage education. In this class, I was taught how to use The bodyCushion system so pregnant women could have the option to lay face down while getting a massage. I know right? My 2nd and 3rd pregnancies I did not know about the cushion system I had the table with the hole so my belly could fit in it. I was not a fan of this at all. My back hurt more than when I came, and the ligaments in my stomach were stressed even more. Not a good idea for me and my body. It was time to take my skills to the next level. It was time to get grounded.
What is Prenatal Thai Massage
Prenatal Thai Massage techniques are combined gentle, yoga-like stretching with compression of the muscles and energy lines with hands and foot, forearm rolling, thumb pressure and joint movement. A pregnant mom can receive her massage in side-lying, seated and sitting positions. While there are believed to have 72,000 hundreds of energy lines in the body, Thai massage focuses on the ten main energy lines with the intention to free stagnation of “lom” which translates to “wind.” When lom is not flowing freely, dis-ease can is present.
How is Prenatal Thai Massage Done?
Prenatal Thai is performed on the floor on a Thai Massage mat that looks like a futon mattress. It is firm yet very comfortable. There are a lot of pillow, bolsters, and cushions to support the pregnant mom as well as the practitioner. Thai Massage can also be performed on the massage table. However, I will be offering it the traditional way, on the mat.
On the Thai mat, I was able to get the body leverage necessary for the stretches and postures used in Thai Massage. Depending on the needs of the client. I was able to include my elbows, knees, and feet in addition to my hands. Yes, I did find my self-winded a few times when not using proper body mechanics. Once my posture was corrected it was smooth sailing.
I am so excited to add Prenatal Thai Massage new tools added to my toolbox of massage therapy skills to my practice as an option for my pregnant mommy clients. I consider this my level III prenatal massage. Prenatal Thai Massage is where training and preparation for your labor day take place. Your muscles must be healthy and well prepared, your endurance and mental grit will be enhanced for your delivery day.
P.S I got some much-needed bodywork myself for two days while in this class. I was so zoned and zen at night. On Monday I after I took my youngest to school I came back home and slept until 1:30 pm. My body had to process the two days of bodywork I received because I did not take the time to get a massage since late spring. I won’t be doing that again.
I’m so over SUMMER! Can you believe your massage therapist who was born and raised on a tropical Island is over summer?
However, I am over the moon happy because my three kids are back in school. They were sick and tired of me being around, making them do chores and special projects. I’m especially excited to get back into a routine with my healthcare regimen. I need my massages darling, let’s not get that confused!
Can you believe all summer I only had one massage? That is a big no-no in my book. I won’t be doing that again. I usually get a massage no less than a 90 minutes massage every month. Oh yeah, I practice what I preach about getting massage regularly. But this year, I found it a bit harder to do. I noticed choose to go home and sit on the porch with ice tea (sometimes spiked) or hang out with my kids watching them do something fun. But I did feel like something was missing all summer. Then when I finally got two days of bodywork last weekend, the lights went off. Yes, honey, I said TWO DAYS!
I finally got my bodywork done when I took a Prenatal Thai Massage Class. For two days I learned over 50 new amazingly helpful techniques to help moms to alleviate or minimize pain and discomfort in their hips, lower back, legs, feet, etc. What is Prenatal Thai Massage? You ask. Check out this link for more information. But let’s not stray off topic (I know I do that a lot).
I also received all those amazing techniques on my own body. Boy oh boy, let me tell you how I slept like a log. On Monday when I came back from taking my daughter to school, I ate breakfast then went right back to bed and did not wake up until 1:30 pm. My body needed that REST to RESET and RECONNECT!
How many times have you ditched your massage because you told yourself ” oh I can skip it this week,” ” I’ll book next week” or my favorite one of all times,” I can’t afford it right now.” or
“massage is a treat.” Why would I not want to “treat” body to a good healthy TREATment to keep me functioning at full capacity so I can be whole and complete, stress-free and pain-free for my clients as well as my family? So, I won’t be doing that again.
Let’s be honest we will pay for what we need and what we want when we want. Am I I right? SoI WON’T be doing that again. I’ve scheduled all of my massages for the rest of the year as a commitment to myself. Did you know that a one-hour massage is only $20 a week if you saved for it?
Did you know at Trinity Massage Haven if you purchase a package you can save money and get free upgrades? Ok, I think you get the point. I won’t be slacking on my massages anymore.
So let’s get back on track together. Let’s FALL back into our massage routines. Take a moment to CARVE out some time for a this month’s massage special.
P.S It has nothing to do with the pumpkin spice mania that goes on at fall I promise. In fact, check this out, I gotchu pumpkin spice haters.
Summer is here! I can’t think of a better way to beat the heat than with a nice, refreshing summer mojito. It turns out this summer treat isn’t just good for the taste buds. It’s even good for your body as well!
Back by popular demand, clients can now enjoy a Summer Mojito Body Scrub as an addition to any service. In case the thought of a mojito isn’t convincing enough here are 8 benefits you can get from exfoliating your body.
• Smoother skin
• Reduce chances of a breakout
• Lessen the appearance of dark spots
• Minimize the appearance of large pores
• Smoother elbows and knees
• Allow your moisturizer to work better
• Prevent ingrown hairs and make hair removal easier
• Reduce stress
I promise the last point is not due to alcohol
A body scrub is a skin care product that is created to remove dead skin cells present on the outermost layer of your skin. It helps to improve the look and feel of your skin by removing dirt and dead skin as well as increasing blood circulation. The essential part of the scrub needs to be abrasive enough to exfoliate but not too abrasive to damage healthy skin.
Facial scrubs sound be gentler, something with finer granules than a body scrub. Larger granules or pellets are better for rough areas like elbows, knees, and heels. Those areas have a thicker skin and are better able to handle a harsher exfoliant.
After the skin is exfoliated, your softer new skin is brought to the surface. Looking brighter, supple and better able to absorb moisturizers. Moisturizing after a scrub promotes healthy skin hydration leaving you with the perfect glow.
Summer Mojito Exfoliating Body Scrub Recipe
1 cup of organic Brown Sugar/ Sea/Himalayan Salt
1 lime (zest grated for color)
2-3 fresh chopped peppermint leaves
3-5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (Young Living Brand)
3-5 drops Lime Essential Oil ( Young Living Brand)
1/3-cup coconut or jojoba oil
Directions: Soften coconut oil by running the closed jar under warm water or leave it on the counter to warm before using.
Combine oil, sugar, grated lime zest and chopped in a small bowl or jar. Add essential oils 2 drops at a time until you have desired level of aroma. Stir. Check the consistency you want of your scrub on the back of your hand. Your exfoliating sugar scrub may harden when not in use because pure coconut oil sets unless you’ve to use fractionated coconut oil instead. No worries it only takes a few minutes to soften. Enjoy your home DIY Island Mojito Exfoliating Body Scrub.
Back By Popular Demand: Ellie Dukes LMT will be offering her Special Island Mojito Exfoliating Back, and Foot Scrub accompanied with relaxing island music for the Month of August only. Click here to schedule your Island Experience today!
Prenatal massage is my specialty. As a prenatal massage therapist, I have taken extra training to provide the safest and most comfortable massage available during your pregnancy. I’ve also been practicing prenatal massage for ten years and counting. Here is a snapshot of what to expect in one of my prenatal massage treatments.
What to expect:
When you call to schedule your appointment, I may not answer right away; I apologize in advance. 95% of the times I am in a massage session and cannot answer my phone. However, my lovely voice mail will direct you to my website to schedule the next available appointment. Yes, you can schedule your massage appointment online. It’s quick, easy, secure and user-friendly. This option is perfect when you are considering a massage late at night and don’t want to wait to call in the morning.
If and when you schedule your appointment online, I will call to touch base, give directions if needed, ask a few questions to prepare for your prenatal massage and to help you prepare for your massage session. You can also read my FAQs page for more info.
On the day of your appointment give yourself some time if you do not know the area. Walk down the short pathway thru the garden. My office is private, away from traffic and noise, very comfortable and clean.
What I use in the treatment:
You do have to complete a health assessment form (arrive ten mins before) and chat a little about your needs and how I can help facilitate your healing. I offer the choice of several different positioning options for your massage. These are either side-lying, semi-reclined or I use the bodyCushion™. I use the bodyCushion™ so you can lay face down with ease and comfort and it is very safe for you and your baby. Warm towels are applied to the treatment on the back and feet. Here is a short video demonstrating how it works.
Source: Youtube ~ bodyCushion Positioning For Pregnancy Part 3 of 3
I know how it feels to be pregnant; I know the aches and pains, the good days and the not so good days. I also know and have personally experienced the nurturing, therapeutic benefits of prenatal massage can have on an expecting mom. So come on in, leave your aches and pains on my pregnancy cushions.
5 Star Review
” Eleanor gave me two prenatal massages, one at 33 weeks and one at 38 weeks ( 2 days before I was induced). She checked in with me a few times during the massage to check for pressure and concentrated on my lower back and once I flipped over. which was my sorest area. The cushions that cradle your belly and allow you to lay on your front are comfy- I never felt any pressure on my stomach or ribcage. I plan on returning for regular massages in the future. Highly recommend!!!” ~ Karen S
So you have never had a massage before, and you are wondering “what should I wear to my massage appointment?” or ” do I take off my underwear?” You may not know what the procedure is for a massage session, what to ask, or if you should be clothed. Massage therapist answers these questions all the time. At Trinity Massage Haven LLC in Blue Bell PA, Licensed Massage Therapist Eleanor Dukes (that is me) recommends undressing to your comfort level. Frankly, every professional massage therapist should be telling you that.
What does that mean? It means you can remove your underwear if you are comfortable doing so. Alternatively, you can keep them on if you prefer too also. It is entirely your choice. I do recommend if you are experiencing glutes and lower back pain, wearing a thong can be very helpful for accessing those areas problem free. If you are absolutely 100% uncomfortable removing your underwear or thongs are not your style, don’t worry! I have many techniques I use that will not compromise your comfort level. We will discuss those options before I leave you to undress privately. However, ditching your bra is highly recommended. Getting a massage to help back pain relief may require removing your bra completely or unclasping it until massage in that area is complete. Again if this is also a no-go for you, I can alter my techniques to get the best possible results for you. If you are self-conscious about a part of your body that may require massage (i.e. glutes), you can ask me your massage therapist to avoid that area altogether. It is your massage you are in control, communicate your likes, dislikes and what you are not sure of before or during the session. Don’t be afraid to speak up. It helps us both to have a smooth session.
Try to wear as little to no jewelry or makeup on the day of your massage. Necklaces, bracelets, watches and rings can be a bit obstructive with the flow of massage. Your eyeliner will get smudge when laying face down.
Please bring a hair tie or a hair clamp/claw thingy if you have long hair. Keeping your off the back of your neck is helpful when working those occipital muscles. It also helps to minimize getting oil in your hair if you just had it done.
If you are self-conscious, about your body and shy away from massage because of this, please know I am here to provide a service, to help you be your best self, feel whole and complete and to have the best massage experience
I have had online booking option for a few years now. But recently I changed to another company that is a more secure site and has better features. Vagaro allows me to keep track of packages and gift certificates, write newsletters, store credit cards, process credit cards as well as make reminder notes on the client account. You do have access to your account also once you’ve created a username and password.
The best thing about having an online schedule integrated into my website is that is available 24/7. My business hours are by appointment only, and I do not have a front desk with someone answering the phone. Online booking is an awesome option for when I am in a massage session and cannot get to the phone. Yes, you do have to create a username and password. This step is placed to protect your information. I do abide by HIPPA Laws. You can go to my site, click the button and follow the steps to book your massage. It is very user-friendly. I have a few elderly clients that utilize it monthly.
I work with lots of prenatal moms and some work at home moms, I get an appointment at odd times of the night and morning, so it works well for people working long and odd hours of the day and night. Also, it helps us not to play phone tag or email back and forth trying to find a right time for you to come in.
When scheduling online, you do have to use a credit card to hold your appointment for the first massage. You can also get familiar with my policies about having a credit card to hold your appointment. If you lose your password, I can send you a temporary one via email.
Once you have made your appointment and I confirm the appointment, you will receive an email with the date, time of your session and a health assessment form attached to the email. Please complete it and bring it with you. Doing so will help expedite our first time together efficiently. If you forget, don’t worry I have copies in my office.
Text Message Alert
24 hours before your massage appointment you will get a reminder of your appointment time with me via text message if you added your cell phone to your user account. (This is automated text if you reply I will not get it). See cancellation/no show policy.
Is it safe to receive a massage in the 1st Trimester?
You may have if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant you should not receive a massage in your first three months of being pregnant. Many license massage therapists will not provide pregnancy massages during the first trimester. Many spas and licensed massage therapist may ask that you bring a doctor’s note recommending massage. The reason they/we ask for a Dr’s clearance is that at this time the potential for a miscarriage is great in some women. Prenatal massage experts argue that pregnancy massage does not, in itself, cause a miscarriage, but there has not been any researching done to show a link between a massage and miscarriages. (Honestly how many pregnant women would sign up for that study), Due to miscarriages occurring in the first trimester for many reasons, many prenatal experts counsel against massages in the first three months of pregnancy only to deter from the potential lawsuits should a miscarriage happen to occur.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recommends all pregnant women to consult with their OBGYN before seeking out a prenatal massage. If you are in your first trimester, and still not sure or confident you can receive a prenatal massage at Trinity Massage Haven, please call, and we can discuss your concerns in detail.
I believe it is important to inform your OBGYN of all complementary and alternative medicine service you are considering during your pregnancy. It is also important for your Dr. to know who your alternative health care professionals are. Should there be any questions or concerns, both your health care practitioners can communicate and educate each other with regards to you and your baby’s wellbeing.
When should a pregnancy massage be a no go?
Prenatal Massage is perfect for mom’s with a low-risk or healthy pregnancy; there are times prenatal massage may not be suggested, or a Midwife/OB consent is requested:
- High blood pressure
- Blood clots/Deep Vein Thrombosis (D.V.T)
- Bleeding / Leaking
- If the pregnancy is high risk (depending on the reason, some techniques may be avoided)
If at any time during the massage you are uncomfortable or feel any internal discomfort, please speak up so I can alter your massage or make other changes so that you may be more comfortable.
How late in my pregnancy can I get a massage?
You can get a prenatal massage a late as being on your due date, days or weeks past your due date. In fact, you can have a massage during labor if you have a doula or support person with you. Massage can help you calm your anxiety and aid your body to relax so that you can be ready emotionally, mentally and hopefully physically. If you choose to come in for a prenatal massage close to your due date or after your due date, consider haveing someone else to drive you. You may want to sit back and relax on the way home.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to help calm your anxiety, reduce lower back and hip discomfort at any stage of your pregnancy you can use my online scheduler to book the next available prenatal massage.
Whenever people ask me ” so what do you do” the next question that follows is usually “ is your massage place in your home?” Although that would be the most excellent option for a mom of 3 kids (17, 10 and 8 years old) to work from a home office, my home does not have the accommodation for a home office. However, I’m glad it does not because my children are very energetic and most days the noise levels are less than soothing.
Trinity Massage Haven is a hidden gem, tucked away in Blue Bell Village, a red and white country barn themed business park located in historic Blue Bell, PA since 2011. Clients can walk up to my office through my beautiful (when in bloom) perennial garden, through my door and right into my waiting room. My waiting room seats two people. You and your guest if you brought someone with you. My treatment room is located immediately inside, separated from the seating/intake area by a door that can be locked. I also have a spacious bathroom with huge mirrors.
I love that my office is not in my house because it gives me great a sense of accomplishment/ownership and gratitude that I can drive to a location where I provide relaxation and comfort for my clients. I love my “ Massage Haven” because I believe it creates a personal, efficient, and unique customer experience; here’s how:
#1 PEACE AND QUIET: I have no front desk phone that may ring, or colleagues hurrying about, opening and closing doors, or other clients talking loudly in the next room over. Thanks to being tucked behind the other buildings, surrounded by trees and some wildlife you do not hear street noise or sidewalk traffic during your massage. It is quiet. Allowing your mind to relax and the treatment to be more efficient and effective.
#2 IN CONTROL OF COMFORT: If you are warm or chilly, I can fix that, instantly, without even leaving the room. My treatment room has a faux fireplace and baseboard heaters within the room, allowing me to adjust heating. Oh, and my table is heated. I have an air condition unit as well as an extra fan for or cooling. Just in case those hot flashes occur for the ladies. I also have a closet full of linens, bolsters, and pillows so I can ensure every client is optimally comfortable.
#3 ON TIME, ALL THE TIME: Because it is just me when you show up, we can just start. There’s no time you have to kill in a waiting room alongside reading old trashy magazines. I value your time as well as mines. Starting upon arrival also helps folks with busy schedules and allows for fitting in short lunchtime treatments. I do however leave a few minutes buffer time to discuss any changes or adjustments to your health and wellness care.
#4 FREE PARKING: The office complex has free parking. No need to search for a spot, pay to park in a ramp, feed a meter, walk two blocks, or worry about your car getting dinged in a lot. You can bring out your favorite ride, and it will be safe. There’s always a spot for you here.
5 Star Review
“I have had many massages and Ellie gives by far one of the best I have had. Her studio is also quite nice with a sincere ambiance of relaxation and healing energy. Definitely treat for my body and soul.” ~ A.B
Call today to schedule your next Therapeutic Massage 267-584-3015 or use this link for online scheduling