Thai on the Table Massage is a Win-Win

Amelia Massage Associates Thai on the Table TherapyThai on the Table massage is a Win-Win, both for “the giver” and especially “the receiver.”

Our first thoughts while Molly, Susan, and Nancy were learning this uniquely different, relaxing, and effective massage was “WANT.” We could see and feel the positive health effects for our clients-and for our therapists. If there exists a therapeutic massage that is as beneficial to the massage therapist as it is to you, the receiver, it is Thai On The Table. Continue reading “Thai on the Table Massage is a Win-Win”

What is Reiki?

Reiki (pronounced ray-key in English) is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Created by Dr. Mikao Usui in the early 1900’s, it is administered by “laying on hands.” Similar techniques have been practiced for thousands of years. According to many Reiki texts, as well as Susan Caples, our very own Level I and II Reiki practitioner, this simple, but powerful methodology can be learned by anyone.

Some call it an art form, others call it a therapy and yet others see it as a spiritual discipline; we call it a methodology that can reduce pain and anxiety. Continue reading “What is Reiki?”

Honoring Couples In September

Couples Massages at Amelia Massage AssociatesHonoring Couples in September is the result of our very popular Couples Massages, which created the expansion of our Massage Salon with the addition of a second massage room dedicated to Couples Massage.

If you’ve never had a couple’s massage, you’re missing out on one of the most relaxing and intimate spa services available.

We invite you to celebrate this addition with us and receive $10 off our menu price for every 50 minute Couples Massage scheduled for the month of September. Continue reading “Honoring Couples In September”

Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy For Your Back Pain

Oriental Ashiatsu I knew nothing about Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy (barefoot massage) until 18 years ago when my husband, a Florida Licensed Massage Therapist and my massage therapy business partner, became a Certified Ashiatsu Practitioner. Thanks to his first generation training with the creator and instructor of Oriental Bar Therapy, Ruthie Hardee, he has helped relieve or eliminate chronic low back pain for me and many clients through the years. Continue reading “Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy For Your Back Pain”

It’s All About You Mom

Mother's Day 2018 SpecialIt’s all about you mom on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day 2018 is rapidly approaching, a mere six weeks out, on the second Sunday in May (May 13). Don’t get caught with empty hands and forget Mom! Pamper her with the gift card of our ‘It’s All About You’ special, which includes a Relaxation Massage that will help her forget the worries and stress from the past year, followed by a European Facial to get mom ready for the next installment in life.

Continue reading “It’s All About You Mom”

Amelia Massage Staff Volunteered For “Bug Duty”

It has been more than 21 years since we established Amelia Massage Associates, Inc. Time has flown by and the journey has brought many changes, but our mission to serve the community and visitors by providing superior therapeutic massage and spa services remains the same. A short while ago we had the honor to participate in a new community event. The Amelia Massage staff volunteered for “Bug Duty” at the Third Annual “Buggies on the Beach Event”.

Continue reading “Amelia Massage Staff Volunteered For “Bug Duty””

Was Mothers Day The Inspiration For Fathers Day?

Father's Day PhotoYes, Mothers Day was in fact the inspiration for Fathers Day Gift Ideas and Celebrations. And other than the enormous commercialism of both of these national holidays, the inspiration was noble and worthy of consideration. Honoring our mothers and fathers is a life-long process because we can honor our parents, even after their deaths. According to History.com there are more than 70 million fathers in the United States, so it is natural that just as we honor our mothers, so should we honor our fathers.

Continue reading “Was Mothers Day The Inspiration For Fathers Day?”

In Honor of the Shrimpers Who Put Fernandina Beach on the Map

crowds at the annual shrimp festivalIn Honor of the shrimpers who put Fernandina Beach on the map more than a hundred years ago, the community and city organize the the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival in the historic district of Fernandina Beach. On Thursday May 4th, the Fernandina Beach Pirate’s Parade kicks off the festival festivities with an exciting 100 plus entries in the Parade.

Continue reading “In Honor of the Shrimpers Who Put Fernandina Beach on the Map”

The History Behind Honoring Mothers on Mother’s Day

Honoring mothers is considered a noble lifelong pursuit, but have you ever wondered how and why honoring mothers evolved to a National Holiday?

In the United States Mother’s Day reportedly started as a way for mourning women to honor fallen soldiers. A “Mother’s Friendship Day” was organized in 1868 to allow mothers of Union and Confederate soldiers to get together.

The “founder” of Mother’s Day that turned into a National Holiday in the U.S., Anna Jarvis, vividly remembered heartfelt acts of motherly love and sacrifice upon her own mother’s death in 1905. During the next few years Anna pursued her goal to honor all mothers. In May 1908, after gaining financial backing from Philadelphia department store owner John Wanamaker, she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. At the same time thousands attended a Mother’s Day event at Wanamaker’s retail store in Philadelphia, (which ironically was proof that commercialism and mother’s day celebrations went hand-in-hand from Day One).

Seeing how successful the first two Mother’s Day celebrations had been, Jarvis started a massive letter writing campaign, arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements. She wrote to newspapers and prominent politicians, urging the adoption of a special day to honor motherhood. By 1912 many churches, towns and states had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday. Anna’s persistence paid off in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Her vision of Mother’s Day had been of a day of personal celebration between mothers and families, which involved wearing a white carnation as a badge while visiting one’s mother or attending church services together. It was in those early days that Carnations were often sold for Mother’s Day to fund charities

Ironically, Anna Jarvis remained unmarried and childless her whole life,  but by the time of her death in 1948, Jarvis had spent most of her personal wealth fighting the holiday she helped conceive. She apparently found the commercialization of the day deplorable and sued groups that used the “Mother’s Day” name to promote consumerism. She even lobbied the government to remove it from the U.S.’ official calendar. Unfortunately she never regained control over Mother’s Day in her lifelong struggle.

But today the Mother’s Day holiday is celebrated all over the world. Anna had first imagined, then proclaimed that a special day of formal recognition for motherhood should become a forever testimonial. She witnessed a special birth in May 1914 when the official U.S. holiday we celebrate today was born. Happy Mother’s Day.

PERSONAL NOTE: My mother knew at the age of twenty one that she could not have children. She was selfless and gave unconditional love to three children whom she chose for a lifetime, as well as several foster children. As adoptees, we were told our whole lives that we were “chosen” and that she knew that any biological children would not have been as special. You know, I think she was correct. We WERE special- because of her. Miss you, Mama. ❤️

Nancy Shores

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.” Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service. Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.

Florida’s Hands On Continuing Education Protocol For LMTs Is A Good Thing

We have always enjoyed Florida’s Hands On Continuing Education Protocol For Licensed Massage Therapists as a Good Thing.

Imagine one or more sets of professional massage therapists’ hands massaging your body at one time in the same session-a six hour session? Ahhhhh……Florida’s Continuing Education Protocol is a good thing! Lots of fun and an adventure into a world of learning and continuously perfecting our trade.

Every two years we are required to fulfill 24 credit hours of education in order to satisfy our Florida Massage Therapy License renewal (LMT). Twelve of the hours must be obtained in a live classroom setting which equates to a lot of fun and camaraderie with other therapists who practice in Florida. It’s always a special care-giving meeting with a group of anti-stress bodywork practitioners who enjoy learning, not just from the instructor, but also from each other. And the after-hours camaraderie is a great time to meet therapists of varying ages, walks of life, educational backgrounds, career paths, and experiences.

Orlando Sessions

In January my spouse, Michael, and I chose Orlando, the home of Mickey and his Magic Kingdom, as the “learning site” for our bi-annual sessions. We enjoyed two days of instruction, followed by a day with Mickey. Part of our adventure was traveling in-and living in-our 20′ motor home.

Thank you, KOA Kissimmee! The hot tub was awesome, by the way. But the one thing we had not considered was how much SPACE a massage table can occupy in a 20′ x 8′ temporary home. It’s all about how you stack it. The good news? We, along with about 100 therapists, set up our massage table in the SPACIOUS conference room at the Caribe Royal Hotel; and left it in place for the two-day class. Thank you, Caribe Royal! We enjoyed your beautiful hotel and amenities and we look forward to another visit-minus the motor home!

Our teacher, Brendan Rogers, was laid back, very knowledgeable, and organized. As seasoned massage therapists, 15 years for me, 20 years for Michael, we were refreshed on standard techniques, learned new methods and also reviewed upper body anatomy and physiology. We had not utilized a few of the techniques in awhile, so it was a great opportunity to re-think and change it up with techniques to diversify and expand our clients’ experiences. Regularly scheduled clients (hint, hint…) who know that we have recently attended massage license renewal classes enjoy their own renewal, often asking “what did you learn?” 

Many LMT’s and their clients will benefit from the CE Massage Institute’s ‘Advanced Massage Techniques for Shoulder and Neck Pain.’ The course was well received, especially since shoulder and neck complaints are high on the list of client issues that we bodyworkers treat daily. It’s a win-win. Come see us, the ‘We Do Necks’ therapists, so we can show you what we’ve learned. After we tell you the effects on the body from living in a 20′ x 8′ space, called Motor Home.

Yep, Florida’s Hands On Continuing Education protocol for Licensed Massage Therapists is a good thing! 

Nancy Shores, LMT, Facial Specialist

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Preventative Massages for The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2017

amelia massage associates event preparationPrepare Your Body For The Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance 2017.

If you are one of the thousands of vintage car enthusiasts planning to attend the March 2017 Amelia Island Concours d’ Elégance, get your motor-and your body-revved and ready for a day trip to Amelia Island, Florida, aka Paradise. A barrier island! The beach! Fresh local seafood! and a preventative MASSAGE! 

This year’s event, the 22nd annual, honors The Cars of Brumos Racing and is hosted by the Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island. As in every year of the last two decades or so, it once again promises to be an exciting and memorable event. Dedicated organizers and volunteers make this huge charitable event come together, after months and months of preparation. And we locals enjoy our bragging rights: Amelia Island is one of only two Concours d’ Elégance locations in the country and it is among the top automotive events in the world. 

Walking, walking, walking, March breezes, blue skies, green grass, yellow sun, salt air, walking, cars, cars, period fashion shows, more walking, more cars. What’s not to love? Your strained, aching, dehydrated, sunburned body. It doesn’t have to be this way. Preparation is the key. 

After scheduling your pre and post event MASSAGES, consider these additional recommendations to keep you healthy, mobile and happy at the event.

  • Apply the highest SPF possible before you leave. 

Since we tend to not reapply as much as we should, applying a high SPF, according to dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., will offer the longest, highest quality protection possible. 

  • Wear comfortable, close-toed shoes. 

Now is not the time to be fashion conscious at the expense of injury or inadequate support for your feet. Blisters and aching feet will be kept at bay.

  • Opt for a broad brim hat and wear layers. A fanny pack will be your best friend. 
  • Don’t forget a refillable water bottle. The importance of staying hydrated, by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, can’t be overstated. And even small amounts of alcohol throughout the day can lead to serious dehydration in the Florida heat. 
  • Don’t go hungry. Have a plan for eating and/or take snacks with you to replenish electrolytes. 
  • Take breaks in the shade.
  • Don’t push yourself. Pace. 

Preparation of your body for the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2017 with good planning and MASSAGE will keep you day-tripping to Amelia Island again and again. See you there! 

Nancy Shores, LMT, Facial Specialist

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With a Valentine’s Day Gift Massage U Will Be My Valentine 4 Ever

amelia massage associates valentine gift cardsWill U Be My Valentine 4 Ever? Consider a valentine’s day gift massage!

Saint Valentine’s Day, celebrated in our country on February 14th every year, is liturgical in origin, like other holidays that we commemorate and enjoy. History books tell us that Saint Valentine’s Day was fixed by the Western Christian Church to be recognized on February 14th, while the Eastern Orthodox Church fixed the date to July 6th. Today it is observed as a Day of Love and Romance in many countries and celebrated by many people of all faiths, indoctrinations, and beliefs.

Even though the Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni, both ironically martyrs of the Roman Empire, the original significance of Valentine’s Day is cited as ‘Feast Day of Saint Valentine; the celebration of love and affection.’ And so we continue the tradition to observe “Will U B My Valentine 4 Ever?” by celebrating our love and affection for our sweethearts, whether as grammar school children in ‘puppy love,’ or as adults in life-long partnership love.

Most of us think of Valentine’s Day as a special day to treat one another with candy, flowers, Michelin star restaurants, and that one special card that undeniably proclaims the perfect message of ‘I love you!’
But there is another wonderful and meaningful experience that will further proclaim your appreciation, affection, and love for your sweetheart.

The gift of an Escape Spa Package says it all. Better yet, you can accrue extra ‘pamper points’ with a Couples Massage, the perfect wintery bridge to Springtime Romance for both of you. Awaiting is a soothing haven of quiet solitude that fosters oneness, prepared for just the two of you, with two therapists in one coupling environment. Ahhhhh…..

Remember. With a Valentine’s Day Gift Massage for couples you can double your pleasure: U Will B Valentines 4 Ever!

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Cold Weather, Pain and Massage Therapy

winter-cold-massage-therapyHey, baby, it’s cold outside! Cold Weather, Pain, and Massage Therapy go hand in hand. Whether you are in Alaska or Florida-cold weather “demands” a massage from Amelia Massage Associates. Yep, it’s winter, when we all feel those aches and pains that seemed less obvious or restrictive during the fall and summer seasons. But there is an unsuspected non-prescription remedy to address your weather-related “why am I feeling so stiff and non-flexible?” and “why does everything ache?” questions. 

Pain is the reason behind about 80% of physician visits in America. Not only does pain, especially persistent and chronic pain, take a physical toll, it also interferes with our social, mental, emotional and spiritual sides, according to Dr. Mercola, associated with Peak Fitness. A person struggling with pain often finds it difficult to carry out the simplest activities or engage in their usual social activities. 

Now add cold temperatures to this scenario. The effects of cold weather on pain used to fall in the realm of old wives’ tales. Not anymore. A number of studies have suggested the link between cold weather and increased pain. Harriet Cooper’s article ‘Dealing With Winter Aches and Pains’ noted that one study found that for every 5.56° Celsius (10° Fahrenheit) drop in temperature, there was a corresponding incremental increase in arthritis pain.  Researchers and physicians point to cold weather’s shrinking effect on tissues, which pulls on nerves and causes pain. And a typical more sedentary winter lifestyle allows our joints to “gel,” resulting in discomfort and stiffness. 

Winter Fun

Snowball battles are fun, but for many hibernation and watching from the sideline becomes their physical reality. This doesn’t have to be the case. A readily available remedial answer to these queries is massage therapy. Massage therapy comes with an excellent safety record, and while it may seem easier to take a pill to alleviate chronic pain, the non-invasiveness and overall effectiveness of massage for chronic pain makes it a great treatment plan with minimal, if any, side effects.

Massage can help alleviate weather-related pain, in both cold or warm, humid temperatures. Painful conditions, such as migraine headaches, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy, to name a few, are often worsened in cold weather. 

Arthritis, a very common health condition that we work with daily, has been studied at length and can be helped by regularly scheduled massages. And there are some other things that you can do to minimize your pain between maintenance massages.

  • Wear layers and pre-warm clothes in the dryer.
  • Keep home temperatures comfortably warm.
  • Warm up the car.
  • Use heating pads to relax muscles and soothe pain.
  • Exercise and stretch to loosen joints before going outside.

Hey, baby, it’s cold outside! But cold weather, pain, and massage therapy work well together-like warm, well-fitting gloves. 

Nancy Shores, LMT, Facial Specialist at Amelia Massage Associates

It’s the Season for Giving

Albert Einstein's Frontal LobeWhat comes to mind when you see or hear the phrase “It’s the season for giving”? For many it brings the mindless but not heartless pre-occupation of gift-giving, as it presents itself to our Anatomy & Physiology. This time of year it starts surfing within the brainwaves and flowing through the heart, sometimes as early as September and continues through December 24 and and for certain people even beyond, year after year.

Our life’s work -our purpose and passion at Amelia Massage Associates – encompasses anatomy and physiology every day, so it’s reasonable to think that the tradition of gift-giving during the holiday season, or throughout the year, is actually all about two of our most vital anatomical organs: the brain and the heart.

The Frontal Lobe of the brain is associated with reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, emotions, and problem solving. The Occipital Lobe is associated with visual processing.

The heart represents love, affection, and the central or innermost parts of us, our character, feelings, or inclinations. Whether you are the giver or the receiver, your gift will be processed through your brain and your heart, and your entire body will feel the positive effects. 

So is it better to give or to receive? Giving yourself a Relaxing Couple Massage negates that dilemma completely.

My personal anatomy and physiology tells me that both options are positive resolutions to “It’s The Season For Giving.”

Thanksgiving, Tryptophan, and Therapeutic Massage

boomersbottomlineWhat are the shared benefits of the Thanksgiving feast, tryptophan, and therapeutic massage? You might think hmmmmm…….nothing. But let’s reconsider.

Thanksgiving is that time of the year when we traditionally come together around a feast-laden table to give of ourselves by giving to each other. What unfolds is a testament of our thankfulness, our gratitude, and a celebration of ‘the blessing of the harvest.’

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time when friends and family come together, unified for a sole purpose. It’s a time for preparing and then feasting on delectable dishes while enjoying the ebb and flow of laughter echoing through story telling and the sharing of vivid memories held close by, in the heart. Peace, Relaxation, Rejuvenation, Contentment.

Tryptophan: a crystalline essential amino acid that is widely distributed in dietary proteins such as turkey and thought to reduce anxiety, induce a slumbered state of body and mind, and beckon one to sleep by mid-afternoon. Peace, Relaxation, Rejuvenation, Contentment. 

Therapeutic massage: professional manipulation of the soft tissues of the body through therapeutic techniques to promote healing of the body, mind, and spirit. Peace, Relaxation, Rejuvenation, Contentment. 

So what, exactly, are the shared benefits of the Thanksgiving feast, tryptophan, and therapeutic massage? 

Peace, Relaxation, Rejuvenation, Contentment, Thankfulness.

Fall, A Kaleidoscope Season for The Body, Mind and Spirit

Fall kaleidoscope SeasonWhen Fall arrives-the kaleidoscope season for the body, mind and spirit-wouldn’t a relaxing massage provide your “kneaded” break after a hot, humid summer and the ‘hurry up and take a vacation with the kids before school starts’ scenario? 

Are you thinking about the upcoming holidays and the hustle and bustle-the cleaning, the cooking, and the major gift and grocery shopping seasons? If your answers are YES and YES, there are many  therapeutic solutions awaiting you.

With the refreshing and colorful Fall season here, it’s time to call us or visit us On Line to reserve the appointment that you know is kneaded now and also to order and print your Gift Cards for the busy gift-giving season.

Our services are comprehensive. There is something for everyone. You will find a kaleidoscope of relaxation & therapeutic “self-time” services available just for you, or printable Gift Cards for your friends and family to enjoy the spa service of their choice. Massages, Facials, and Escape Spa Packages will take you and your loved ones on a journey to a relaxed, but energized and rejuvenated state of body and mind.

What better time than the beautiful Fall season for you or that special someone to enjoy positive down-time?

Fall Massages

Any of our massage selections will melt away your summer knots and your stress. Enter Fall, the kaleidoscope season for the body, mind and spirit in peace and comfort.

Genuine Customer Service Is Heart Borne

Amelia Massage AssociatesHave you heard the expression: “If your heart’s not in it, why bother?” Wise words. I ponder the reality that all too often we see and feel complacency within the various businesses that we encounter throughout our everyday lives. Why is this? And what do we as consumers expect ‘customer service’ to be? Where does it begin and where does it end?

I took my sweet 10 year old Lab to the Vet today and while I waited for my turn to discuss the minor surgery about to take place, I scanned the waiting room. It was fun to watch the other pets and their various states of “OK, I’m ready to go home NOW” when presented to their owners. I noticed various informational posters, health update notifications, retail products, and photos of pets needing forever homes within the waiting area, but then something very special caught my eye. It was a plaque on the wall inscribed Best Of The Best 2016. Above it was another plaque, Best Of The Best 2015. As I watched and listened it was easy to smile at the friendly, caring support staff and the doctors who were patiently giving the “parents” at-home care instructions for their 4-legged patients about to be discharged. Here it was, right in front of me: genuine customer service. I thought ‘wow, these folks really want to be here and they love what they do.’ They exuded knowledge, trustworthiness, support of the pets and their owners, and a unified display of love and compassion for all. But somehow I didn’t feel like a customer being served; I felt like I was a part of their unity and purpose, their heart. The Best Of The Best plaques indirectly, but clearly, defined customer service for me. Genuine customer service is building upon a foundation of knowledge and simply loving what you do and those you serve.

When we, Amelia Massage Associates, also achieved the same recognition for 2016 (and 2015), I felt a kindred spirit evolving. ‘They love what they do. They really want to be here.’ 

When it comes from the heart, the result is genuine customer service.

Genuine customer service is more than saying “at my pleasure.” It’s more than saying “no problem.” It’s putting others’ needs and requirements, perceived or actual, above all else while remaining vigilant in our purpose to hold each other accountable and provide the best possible experience for our quests. We must always show our love of the work-and our love for those we serve. It’s a high calling: we are entrusted to do no harm; we are entrusted to reflect a professional code of ethics; we are entrusted to learn and grow as individual therapists and as a team. We are not perfect. No business is perfect. But it is the heart that makes all the difference. Genuine customer service is heart borne. It begins and ends with the heart.

best of the best fernandina beach