Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Happy Holidays for everyone!

As you have noticed, I have been slowing down for a past couple of months. I am so grateful for all my wonderful and patient clients, who have been following me at my house - not so perfect setting, but doable for awhile. Now you can guess my big news, right?

I have found a new office and will be moving sometime in January! 

I am pleased to announce, that I will be working in very cozy setting with my dear mentor, Effie Spurlin ( She has been a massage therapist for a long time and I have already learned so much from her, and the best thing is that learning will continue on a daily basis. I am so happy to be surrounded by other professionals again. We will be sharing a condo with 3-4 therapists with different specialities in bodywork with some adds on (Pilates instruction as aa addition to Kata's Way therapy, Infra Red Sauna Sessions, Chi Machine, Essentian oils etc.).

All this means some changes, so please be mindful and double check with me if you don't get any notification about your appointment (I have been manually sending a text message one day before). I will be gradually joining in Acuity Scheduling System, which will send you a confirmation via email and/or text, and this system also allows you to book or reschedule on-line. I'm doing my best in the transition process.

The new office is at Renaissance Gardens with entrance from JONHSTON ROAD between Carmel Road and Highway 51 (Pineville-Matthews). GPS will probably take you to Devince Circle, so DO NOT turn to Carmel, but straight from Johnston. Our building is first on the left and there is 3 parking spots right in fromt of number 7818B! The address is 7818B Renaissance Court, Charlotte, 28226. I will send these directions in every confirmation email!

I’m so excited about the year 2018 and we will have AN OPEN HOUSE with refreshments etc. on Valentines Day, although I will start in the new office already in the middle of January! I can’t wait the new opportunities and co-operation this office will bring to Kata’s Way, which still is Painless, because Balanced is Painless and that’s Kata’s Way! 

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.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Plantar Fasciitis

My clients keep asking me about plantar fasciitis and is there anything to be done? Yes! There is a lot I can do to help you either with your diagnosed plantar fasciitis or any other unspecified  heel, foot or ankle pain or discomfort. This is one of my specialties and usually pretty easy to fix.

Question number 2 is usually (and it should be) that how many treatments is needed to 'heal' plantar fasciitis? That is a bit harder to answer without knowing what has happened to the ankle (yes, an ankle is always involved), is there more muscular or ligamental changes and what is the current state of inflammation. If there is an acute inflammatory processes going on (that means there is pretty severe pain), that needs to be dealt with first, before we can really treat the area of pain. But that doesn't mean we can't start the treatment, on the opposite.

What ever part of the body I am balancing or treating, I will first treat all the surrounding tissues to 'make room' for the troubled part of the body to accept healing properties and lymphatic fluids to do their cleaning. In case of a foot issue that means concentrating on the muscles and tendons on your shins and calves.You can read more about the ankle on my last post, all that is valid with plantar pain! But the deeper (or original) reason for the discomfort could be found actually anywhere in the body, so there is no treatment plan without going through the whole body at least once.

With plantar fasciitis there is a pretty effective stretching program for you to follow, so I will be teaching that too, so you can fast up your healing process. But remember, stretching is much more effective if the tissues are relaxed, bones in their right place and muscles brought back to their normal length.

An answer to the question number 2 will always be an estimate, but I have been able to help my clients with these issues in 4 to 10 treatments. Sometimes we have concentrated to relax the foot for a half an hour twice a week for a couple weeks, before being able to rally work through the muscles of the calves and shins. Some clients have been training for a marathon, so we needed to schedule the treatments a bit differently: you just can not run 16 miles the day (actually 2 days) after the treatment!

In Kata's Way the key is, that Balanced is Painless and on our way to the whole body balance there is some steps forward and backward. Pain is your body's cry for help and we have to respect that and proceed accordingly. But, if you can not see ANY improvement after 3 sessions, we need to re-consider our treatment plan and if Kata's Way is the best suitable way for you.

I wish to see you soon and find a right way to help you. This is Kata's Way and it means Balanced is Painless!

P.S. I also offer an excellent, PAINFREE and most beneficial foot reflexology done in my way; half an hour ($40) or 45 minutes ($60) session available. Check the pricing for 3 or 5 series. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Have you twisted your ankle?

Silly question actually. We all have twisted an ankle or too, and I certainly hope that you haven't sprained either one of your ankles. It is called a strain when an injury affects mostly on muscles and tendons (tendon is a part of a muscle that attaches muscle to the bone) and usually muscle tissue can heal itself easier and faster than more firm ligamental tissue. Sprain is much more serious, because it usually affects the structure of the ankle more profoundly. Here are the ligaments of an ankle:

From my point of view this, as any other sprain or strain, is an issue of bringing back a balance, since my specialty is not in an acute situation (you need to see your doctor and wait for an inflammation to calm down before you can have any massage on the injured area). I am always checking the balance of the ankles and since you really can not massage the bony structure like an ankle, there is a gentle technique to release ligamental and muscular tightness of the ankle.

My work will include opening all the muscles of shins and calves and also checking if muscles around the knees are affecting to the imbalance of the ankle. Because: imbalance in the ankle makes an imbalance happening to the knee and vice versa. In my world there is no treatment of the ankle without treating the knee.

In some cases, when the ligaments are really sprained far over their limits, the ankle stays 'too loose' and there really is no way of changing that, but even in that case we will strengthen the muscles to do part of the ligaments' job. In this you need to be careful, so you won't keep strengthening already strong muscles and tendons (in that case you would KEEP the imbalance there), but those that have become weaker. Yes, I will help you with this combination of stretches and strengthening in each of the ankle (most probably, you would NOT do the same things in both ankles).

The ankles are 'the basement' of our body, and from my point of view we definitely need to make corrections on the basement before any work in the main floor will be sustainable. Even years of old injuries in ankles are affecting the fine balance of the way we use our body: in Kata's Way the treatment always starts from the 'basement', which means ankles and feet. I did not explain the importance of the muscles of the feet in this post, but believe me: opening every single of over a hundred muscles of your foot, will definitely be relaxing, comfortable and the first step to heal your body. My style of foot treatment is not at all painful, but extremely relaxing! And yes, I know some reflexology, but still my first step is: open the muscles and tendons and bring them to their original length. After that, some rexlexology or other advanced techniques can truly do their work.

This is Kata's Way which means Balanced, since Balanced is Painless!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day / Hyvää ystävänpäivää!

Valentine's Day is coming!

In Finland we don't really celebrate Valentine's but Friendship's Day. Literally a Friend translates Ystävä and Day as Päivä, so Ystävänpäivä means Friend's Day. And in Finnish we state the date 14.2. meaning 14th of February. So February 14th I will be celebrating with my friends.

Kata's Way will offer something special for you too:

Refer a friend and get an extra 10 minutes foot reflexology added to your next appointment! For free. Your friend just needs to make an appointment for a first time session BEFORE February 15th. And your friend gets it for only $65 (normal 75). Great deal for You and Your friend!

Hyvää Ystävänpäivää!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Let's talk about head and neck ache

Do you have a tension neck or migraine? I certainly hope that you don't but if you do, let me explain my way of helping you.

In case of a migraine, I will not quarantine any results, since the migraine can be caused by so many different factors that are beyond my knowledge (like hormonal imbalance), but if there's any muscle tension involved, I might be able to ease your situation a bit. So, what I will explain next, is more how to deal with a tension neck or tension head ache.

First of all: there is no easy or fast fix! For some people, massaging can actually make the headache worse and some cliets always get a headache after a neck massage. Is that normal? Yes. Is that necessary? NO. From my point of view, there should NEVER be headache after my treatment, because it means that we have done something to aggravate your body.

If you tend to get headaches after the treatment, the first thing to do, is to drink more water before and after the treatment. The second thing is: tell me about it, and we'll make a treatment plan so careful that you won't get your ache again!

How is that done? In Kata's Way I will treat you each session only as long as needed, and I will first make sure that your lymphatic drainage is working the best possible way (this is pretty much opening the chest and arms). After that I will work on your mid and low back, that is to make room for upper back muscles to relax. Think about a room full of people (upper back muscles) and you need to get in (without a headache). It will definitely happen easier, if some of the people get out of the room (opening mid back muscles) before you squeeze in! In my way, this is preferably done in a seated position, because that is the best way to release tension on rotatores and deep erector muscles.

Only after that, if we decide that it's comfortable for both me and my client, we will work on upper back and shoulder muscles. Most probably, in the first session, I hardly touch your neck or head more than opening a lymphatic drainage in a very gentle way. And that's simply because your body isn't ready for it yet!  No matter how much you want, you can not force your body to open or relax faster than it's able to do in a given moment!

So, it might take one 90 minutes session (in an ideal world) to get rid of a headache, but most probably it's going to take 5-10 sessions of 30-45 minutes. In this time we will have enough time to discover if the underlying cause for your headache is truly in your neck, in upper back muscles or maybe one of the nerves down to your hands are impinging so that we need to release muscles, tendons and other blockages in arms and forearms before the neck gets any release. Sometimes the neck ache can be caused by tendinitis in forearms or wrist issues.

My pricing is by a minute and I could be selling you a package deal of 5X45 minutes to begin with, but if we are only using 30 minutes, the remaining 15 minutes will be put to your bank. I am willing to deal with a fact that your body is unpredictable in it's current state of accepting therapeutic treatment! If you want some relaxation for the remaining 15 minutes, that's another thing, in which case we can maybe add a truly relaxing foot massage at the end of a session.

Kata's Way is best in practice when we are resolving some therapeutic goals, not in relaxation. To get the best possible outcome for your money, come open minded and communicate with me towards our goal in each and every session. If the goal for the session is relaxation, I'm happy to put you to sleep, but in therapeutic work I might need to keep you awake to get truly important feedback during our session!

I hope to see you soon in my office. This is Kata's Way which is Balanced, because only Balanced is Painless!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Why I don't call myself a massage therapist?

Happy and peaceful 2017 to all my clients, friends and colleagues!

It is a snowy (about one fifth of an inch in my back yard) and cold (as least relatively) day in Charlotte and I am sitting on my couch by the fire to keep my toes warm. I have managed to do my bookkeeping for 2016 and some planning for 2017, and now I am trying to think something new to tell you. Like, it's new beginning, new year and everything is fresh and time to turn the next page.

But I don' think so. I am really excited to start a new year and all, but there will be no significant changes is my business this year. I have set my pricing, I have a very comfortable office (and by the way, we might stay at this office after all, so no panicing about that either) and my name is now out there. I have a wonderful, full calendar year working for Kata's Way, LLC behind me, so I have some material to make more detailed planning and keep going forward. So, it's time to look back before rushing forward.

Looking back brought me to one specific question, kind of in the beginning of my (second) career: what am I supposed to call myself when massage therapist really doesn't cover what I do?

I AM a massage therapist, but I am also specialized and majority of my skills (although it's hard to know anymore how much I have learned while living and learning here in US) are from a different learning paradigm and can not be compared in North Carolina's system. I can not just tell people that I am functional massage therapist because I have not done a specific studies about functional massage in NC. Or can I?

How important is it to have a specific title? The titles are for everybody to recognize my style, but that's the question: my style is not recognizable here in NC. So I will keep up doing my work to make it a bit more recognizable! I am specialized massage therapist and structural bodyworker. I also do some functional bodywork, but I don't know anything about functional medicine (well, I am a patient in functional medicine, so I do know something, but I have no professional knowledge in this matter). I have a holistic view to a human body specially in it's motion and mobility: how left side's restriction affects to right side's function and vice versa.

I think that this year is time to keep talking more about Kata's Way and less about specific terms which really do not give us enough information. But if you have a fresh new term in mind, that describes what I do (you really need to be my client to do that), please, share it! Until that, I am going to keep Balancing my Clients because Balanced is Painless and that, my friends, is Kata's Way!

Keep following me, this is going to be the best year so far. I will have visitors from home and I will travel home (after 2 years) in June. I will be telling a bit about my new exercise program and developing even more individual stretching/exercising program for my clients and much more. I have also returned to my roots and I am teaching some Finnish again, Isn't that great or what? I really wish to see you soon!