Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Finland 100yrs

I’m pleased to announce that Finland has turned 100 years!
We had a wonderful celebration here in Charlotte and I was so proud to give a speech at our festivities for over 60 people. Here are some highlights of my first part of the speech (the second part was of course in Finnish).
My name is Kata Hyvärinen and I have been living in Charlotte for almost 5,5 years now. Among you all, 5,5 yrs is still short time period, but for me it’s a lifetime, a completely different way of living.
Finland is, and will always be my home country, place for my soul to be in peace and place that I weekly but happily miss from our sweet Carolinas.  I, and my family are 100% Finns, we speak Finnish and I still think and dream in Finnish. It was kinda hard for me to leave my home, family and career in this age, but I have managed pretty well to bring Finland here with me! Being a traditional Finnish bodyworker, although I’m also NC licensed massage therapist, is not only my job, it’s my way of living and my trademark. So, I brought this Finnishness with me and made it my brand. I’d say that it’s something to be extremely proud of.  But even more than my work, I’m proud and touched about, is our language: Finnish.
Ok, let’s stop for a moment and emphasize that in Finland we have 2 national languages, Finnish and Swedish, and also Sami languages, Finnish and Swedish Finnish sign language, Romani and Karelian have their semi-official status in Finland. The third biggest languages at the moment is actually Russian, followed by Estonian, Somali, English and Arabic.
Finnish is one the oldest languages in the world and it’s estimated that Finnish was spoken already 5000 years ago. I am grateful and proud about the fact that we have been able to sustain our own, peculiar language in the middle of all the Scandinavian and Slavic languages surrounding Finland. I am thankful for those great men and women that struggled to collect and develop our tongue to one of the official languages of our country. The tongue that has it’s specific status, written form and that we can go to school from Kindergarten to doctoral level using our own language! That’s much more than for example sami people can say (although since 1992 sami has had an official status in northern Finland, meaning that sami people can speak their language in health care and social services, but that’s only in a few cities up north). And actually, several of our related languages (Votic, Livonian, Ingrian for example) are in danger of dying out, or has already died, since there is no common written language. To give you a perspective about this: they speak 3 different Sami language in Finland and those three are as different from each others than Finnish is from Hungarian. They do not understand each others and that could be our situation if were’t Elias Lönnrot, Mikael Agricola and even Aleksis Kivi. Without them I would’t be able to understand some of you even if we would speak Finnish, because the development of spoken forms eventually separates tongues. But today, we don’t have worry about eastern and western dialects of Finnish going farther away from each others, because we have one, common written language to keep us together.
At this point, you have probably figured out that for me Finnish is not just a language I speak, it’s a language of my thoughts, my feelings, it`s my passion and my profession. And I have been able to keep teaching my language even when I live here in NC: who would have thought that they need Finnish teacher here? 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Self help and exercise

Part of this profession is to help my clients to help themselves. Taking care of him/herself should be everyone's priority and seeing a massage therapist (or any healthcare provider) just an addition among other things. Here's some of my tips to take care of yourself!

First of all, do something you really like to do! I know that the world is full of different programs, guidelines and 'this is what you should do to gain this or that' information about everything, but if you really don't like doing yoga, you should find something else to do that gives you the same benefits and enjoyment. There is plenty of options just among different styles of yoga, so go and try them all and then decide if you really enjoy one or the other. If you don't enjoy going outdoors, you won't get the benefits you are meant to get out of wandering in the forests. So do something you enjoy.

But we all need to find some type of exercise to do daily! Only active body stays active and movement benefits each and every system of your body. From my profession I can see many postural problems in today's world, so my suggestion is to also find enough movement to the upper body: yoga (partly), stretching, Pilates, boxing, dancing etc. I suggest you think about boxing for a moment: punching a bag not only takes out of some tension of your (mind) upper body, it also gives some desperately needed movement in all the plates of upper spine movement! That is what we all need.

All my clients are helped with their posture and I give a bunch of self help upper body stretching for every day use. Keeping an upright posture needs some effort in the world of iPads, computers and sell phones, so seeing me (or any other massage therapists) is not enough but everyday movement is essential. If you really want to gain some improvement in your posture, you also need to concentrate on your abdominal corset, and this is not at all what you think it is! The proper engagement of, let's say for example, transversus abdominis muscle is a delicate thing and most of us (yes, me too) have been doing it 'wrong' for years. You need guidance and long-term work to learn to isolate certain muscles and then use them in co-operation to 'hold' your core. I can help you with this too, but I rather guide you to see a true specialist who works with me on this. And yes, it took me 9 months to figure out what am I supposed to do when using the core strength in a proper way.

I think it's essential to do something for your body EVERY DAY! There's no need to run for miles if you don't like running, but go out and see the nature for 20 minutes. There's no need to do heavy weightlifting unless you enjoy doing weights, but move your whole body for 20 minutes every day. There's no need to go sweat in 90 minutes hot yoga if you don't enjoy that, but stretch yourself 20 minutes every day! And if all this is too much, rotate these exercises and do one of them every day. For me this is easy to do while listening books. I'm happy to pay my monthly Audible payment for a health reasons and with a good book it's easier to walk 30 or 60 minutes once in awhile.

But if you need some extra release for your body, Kata's Way is totally Painless and Balanced way of adding some extra care for yourself. I have Gift Cards for those loved ones who may need some extra pampering too... just call/text and ask.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season!


Thursday, August 31, 2017

How to treat "Frozen Shoulder"

Frozen Shoulder
Picture from Sports Injury Clinic

Frozen shoulder can be extremely painful condition and it takes years to heal! So, if you have any pain or ache in your shoulder, at the proximal end (close to shoulder) of humerus or on the top of your collar bone, please, go get help before it gets worse! The first signal for any conditions in the shoulder area is restricted movement while reaching back (like trying to zip your bras) and reaching up (trying to reach something from the top shelf).

Shoulder issues always take months to develop. Sometimes the 'beginning' of an issue might be an injury, but the fact is that frozen shoulder won't be a simple result of that, although the injury will speed up the worsening of the situation. With the shoulder issues, every other muscle and joint (and tendon, ligament and nerve) of the upper body are impacted. So the treatment protocol includes a wide variety of work in the whole body. From my point of view the muscles need to be RELAXED before they can be stretched and/or strengthened, so the first weeks of treatment plan WILL NOT include strengthening or stretching (that will be extremely important later).

This client has a full range of motion in her shoulder!
Here's an example of the process of healing the frozen shoulder in 3-4 months. Be informed, that 3 or even 4 months protocol is only an example, and each and every situation is different depending on how bad the tendinitis and inflammation are in the beginning of the process. With extremely painful situation we need to wait things to calm down before we can actually start the movement therapy. If you are also seeing your physical therapist, my protocol will need to be cut to a half to make sure that the shoulder won't be exercised and treated too heavily (that would keep the inflammation going in which case no healing can happen).

Here we go with an example on the shoulder that is painless in rest, but restricted in movement (flexion, extension, inward and outward rotation, adduction and abduction):

1st and 2nd week: 2 times 60 mins every week to evaluate the situation and educate you about the meaning of upper body's impact to the shoulder.
3rd and 4th week: 2 times 45 mins every week to gently open up muscle tightness 360 degrees on the upper body. Starting a movement therapy if pain allows.
5th and 6th week: 2 times 30 mins every week to keep the movement therapy going and making sure that postural muscles are 're-educated' (this means holding a natural posture). At this time the other appointment can be replaced by physical therapy session if your insurance allows that.)
7th and 8th week: home stretching (or physical therapy) and a careful assessment of the lower body's impact to the whole body situation. 75 minutes whole body treatment each week.
9th to 12th week: depending on how much imbalance needs to be worked on the lower body, I would suggest to meet you 2 times every week for 30 minutes session OR one 60 mins session once a week depending on your situation. Some cases at this point I suggest 2-4 weeks break on the treatment and re-evaluate the process after the recess.
I also highly recommend maintenance plan to keep the shoulder in a good shape and to prevent the other shoulder from facing any issues.

As I already mentioned, all the situations are different and many variables needs to be taken into account, but with a lods of information, self-help, stretching, exercising and being open-minded when NOT to exercise but wait for the inflammation to calm down, I have been able to help my clients to recover from adhesive capsulitis in 3 months! When this happen, I feel deeply satisfied on the field of the treatment I have chosen.

Feel free to ask me more! Here's some information about Adhesive Capsulitis (which is usually called just Frozen Shoulder):
Web MD
Sports Injury Clinic

I still need to remind you, that my treatment is completely painless and still effective! Because that's Kata's Way and Balanced is Painless.

P.S. I do NOT take insurance and the value of the protocol I just described for 4 months is $1230. With my payment plan you could save up to 15% when paying each month ahead of time, but I won't accept 4 month payment ahead since we can't tell how the treatment plan develops in your special situation!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Back to Business!



I had the best possible 3 week vacation home with my friends and relatives! The sun was shining (occasionally) and saunas were warm, what else can a Finn ask?
Smoked Sauna with Vihtas is waiting.





Sea at Kasnäs, Finnish Archipelago
I am back to work and since I haven't found the perfect office space yet, I will see my clients at my house for awhile. I will text you my address when you do your booking. I am located very close to Ballantyne, right behind Blakeney Shopping Center and my office room is very cozy and next to a half bath. You may park on our driveway!
Midsummer Night in Ikaalinen. Around 2am.

I will announce some new things this fall, but since it's still summer and hot, I will just start slowly and see how I feel about working at my house... My hours will stay the same: Monday/Wednesday 12-8 and Tuesday/Thursday 9-5. I'm keeping all Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays off.

Sun setting in Ruovesi around 11.30pm
I hope to see you soon, this is Kata's Way and as you know: Balanced is Painless, that's why I do this!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Vacation time!

I know that this is a blog about my work, but this time I write about my vacation! Since we all need one. At least at the moment I desperately need to take some distance from work. And distance it'll be: around 5500 miles since I'm going back home for 3 weeks! (And then I'll be coming back home to Charlotte; in Finland the home is the whole country, here it's my house.)

I am beyond excited to meet my friends and family after more than 3 years. I also know that I'm not going to be able to spend as much time with everyone than I'd like to, and some of my friends will be disappointed with the fact that I can't meet them at all, but I'm still going to enjoy every moment of my (pretty much fully scheduled) time! One of the biggest things to me will be the fact that I'll get the best possible treatment for myself! I just can't wait to get my spine aligned... although my husband has (been forced to) developed some serious treatment skills in the near past.

This trip will be important also from my career's point of view: I'm leaving the office where I started my career in Charlotte! I have learned so much since I started, and I can only thank wholeheartedly my mentor and friend Dr. Cheri Snipes, who has given me this opportunity to grow my practice under her supportive wings. There's no words to describe my gratitude! I'm very sure that our co-operation will continue if Dr. Snipes will open up a new office.

The fact is, that I will never find as great a location as Ballantyne Village has been to me. I will miss my co-workers and the splendid coffee at Rush Espresso (and will drop by for a cup of coffee pretty often), and of course only seven minutes drive from my house. There's no way any new place can beat my experience with Ballantyne Chiropractic Wellness, but life is all about going forward, growing and making compromises.

I will return from Finland in the beginning of July and will be back at work before the beginning of August. I am going to keep my starting day open until I'm back in Charlotte and recovered from jet lag. I also need to prepare my new location, my new business cards, flyers, web pages, hours, sheets and supplies. I need to plan the new (exciting and awesome) products with my very knowledgeable and awesome new partner! I will also be offering infrared heating pad to add for my services and I have purchased relaxing chi-machine to help my clients in need of low (along with mid and upper) back relaxation. There is so much to look forward to.

The fall 2017 will be awesome, and Kata's Way will be renewed, refreshed and more helpful than ever for you, who struggle with finding the balance in your life! Kata's Way is Painless, it's Balancing and it is a Facilitator to your Better Health!

Have a wonderful summer and see you in August! (Or earlier if you already have an appointment, I don't schedule anyone right now.)

P.S. My new office lease is not confirmed yet, but when it will be, I'll announce it at once!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Change of my Location

Some of you already know that our lease in the current office will expire at the end of the June. It means that I need to find a new office close to Ballantyne as soon as possible. I have 3 choices to choose from: 1) Stay with Dr. Snipes (most probably at Carmel) 2) find a place of my own (everything is pretty expensive around here, but I have done some research and there might be something interesting) or 3) work at my house for awhile.

Well, like you all know, we have to think these big changes from several different perspectives one of them being a financial situation. It's simple to think that working at my house would save me the rent (my biggest monthly expense for sure), but we would also lose some privacy even if I would restrict my hours between 9 and 5. I also like going out of my house for work, so working at my home would cost me more money spent in coffee houses...

One really important part for me in this decision is who to work with. My goal still is to be surrounded by people whom I can learn from, and working by myself would keep me at the current level of skills (well, I do need to take some continuing education classes, but everyday learning in a contact with other professionals is a completely different thing). On the other hand, my treatment is so special and different, that maybe I should actually be teaching others. Another big decision for the future to make.

The third, and the most important thing in my life at the moment, is to work the way I really want and am able to handle. To help others in their healing process is pretty demanding job, and although I have already done changes in my schedule, I will need to monitor my own capability to work even more carefully. I do have aches and pains, and sometimes 3 day weekend is not enough to compensate my work load and recover physically. No, I'm not getting old, I'm just giving more thought to the important aspects of life and, I really love what I do, so I want to keep doing this for years to come!

After all this being said, I really hope to find a perfect office space for next fall! Meanwhile, I will work at Ballantyne Village until the end of May and enjoy a bit longer  summer mainly in Finland (from  June 13th until July 9th). I know that it's a long time (5 weeks altogether) to be away, and the rest of the July I might still have restricted hours. But I do have some new ideas for the fall to serve you better in facilitating your health. What is manageable depend also a bit about the size and location of the new office.

I am so excited about this vacation and new possibilities to explore next fall! I will be back with a burst of energy and new things, so stay tuned. Kata's Way will be stronger, because Kata will be more balanced and as you already know: Balanced is Painless and that is Kata's Way!



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Love for Languages

Some of you might not know that I am also a qualified Finnish Teacher, and worked as so for 17 years. Well, I actually still do, but I can't make my living out of it living in the States, so I am more than happy that I decided to learn a new profession in my late thirties. But if you ever need someone to teach you this special, interesting and a bit challenging language, I can, and will,  definitely help you! Currently I am giving private lessons through Skype and it works really well.

All this also means that I am a Master of Arts in Finnish Language and I have minors in Pedagogy, Adult Education, Psychology and Russian language. If I can count right, I have studied basics of 12 languages in my life. Don't get excited, I only can speak 4 at the moment, and most of my studies were introductory courses that you need to take when you study languages at the university.

I do love my own tongue and am doing all I can to keep both my oral and written skills in perfect level (I read most of my books in Finnish) and suffer that my English will never be as good as my Finnish. I know that most of you don't see this as a problem, but it is for me. I'm too good a writer in my language to accept bad English... but there's no classes in Charlotte to help me with this! I don't want to take a written English class because I know how to structure texts and the courses wouldn't serve me well. I'm also too lazy to take advanced English grammar courses (my basic grammar is probably just fine and I don't want to read Shakespeare) because I don't think that grammatically perfect text is necessarily the most interesting. So what can I do?

I think I have learned the most of my vocabulary by listening and speaking to you. A big  part of  learning is to be okay with making a lods of mistakes and challenging yourself. By this I mean that sometimes you need to use phrases and vocabulary that you're not 100 percent sure that are correct in that situation. You need to trust your brains to make the connections and the expression in your friends face will show how did it go! I'm also lucky to have close friends from who I can ask specifications and try my homemade vocabulary and expressions with. I also listen to a bunch of books by Audible, so I really read and listen  in separate languages. At the moment I understand my novels and short stories perfectly, the trouble comes with political language and legal and 'governmental' terms.



For me living is learning and at the moment I'm learning, surprise suprise: a new language! I started to study Spanish in CPCC just for fun and it's amazing how your brains process new vocabulary to a low understanding level in a short time. I started from zero (I really didn't know the difference between tortilla and quesadilla), but the most interesting and fun part starts when you can truly start putting understandable sentences together. Understandable doesn't mean at all correct, but collecting the structure of the language bit by bit. How cool is that!? Well, don't expect me to understand what you speak to me in Spanish quite yet.. it'll come a bit later. Hopefully. After one and half semester of studying I still can't tolerate to watch Spanish speaking tv shows because it's just too annoying not to understand anything!

I'm making my living at studying the languages of a human body's functioning  and well, that's sometimes pretty unknown territory. In balancing bodies you also need to trust your guts: sometimes your brains take the control but sometimes you need to trust your thumbs and let the sensation lead the way. I'm constantly searching the connection  between my hands and brains to find the Balance. Because this is Kata's Way in searching Balance and Painless! 

If you're new to this: you're warmly welcome to my treatment and my life.