Monday, September 22, 2008

Generating interest at events with seated massage

It was my pleasure to spend an action-packed few days last week doing seated massage at one of the year's big IT Trade Shows - Cisco Networkers.
One of the exhibitors at the event, APC by Schneider, decided to offer free seated massages for visitors to the company's booth. It proved to be a great addition to their stand, with people queuing up for massages for pretty much the entire time - we got through 100 seated massages in 2.5 days!

While the massage was by no means the main focus, APC used it, and a Wii playstation to attract visitors to their booth. This gave the APC sales team a chance to engage with their visitors, and created a fun and lively atmosphere.

Curiously, while other exhibitors offered an array of prizes and competitions on their booths, there were no other seated massage therapists at the event. This surprised me, but it worked out well for APC, who were able to claim another yet unique point of differentation on their booth.

APC's Channel Manager, Joyce Sl Ng, said, "We recently engaged Melanie for a 3-day exhibition in Brisbane. A free 10-min shoulder & back massage was offered to everyone who visited our booth during this time. It has been a fantastic experience for all who took up the offer. The free massage was an absolute winner at this event; attracted a lot of traffic to our booth during the exhibition time. Melanie's service is fabulous & professional. Highly recommended for corporate events."

If you are planning an event - large or small, consider offering seated massage as a way of generating interest, saying "thank you" to customers, staff or guests, or just providing a little something different.

Seated massage is extremely versatile and requires minimal space. If your guests are seated, for example at roundtables or business meetings, the massage therapist can massage them in those seats. Alternatively, the purpose-built massage chair can be set up in the corner of a room, meeting or board rooms, booths etc.

Feel free to contact me to discuss the possibility of seated massage at your next corporate event.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

EMPOWER - a new magazine worth reading

I discovered a new magazine yesterday - Empower.

With its second issue on the newsstands now, Empower says it is "a magazine to inspire, motivate and challenge you to improve your life."

The brainchild of Helen Rosing, a businesswoman and success coach, many of Empower's articles are written by coaches with different specialties - so they're all very action-oriented, positive and encouraging.

In the launch edition I've just read, there were articles on motivation, the art of forgiveness, complementary therapies such as Reiki and Bowen Therapy, business, career and wealth creation. Almost all of the articles list five or so key tips and provide additional useful resources. Empower also has a group on Facebook, which I imagine will start to generate some interesting conversations over time.

"Giving in Kind" was an article about random acts of kindness, and you can check out reader's acts of kindness at Empower's website. It's nice...uplifting to read about this sort of stuff. And there's a fairly substantial collection of free content on the site.

I really enjoyed the first edition of Empower and hope that the magazine will succeed. I think it's filling an important gap in the women's magazine market.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Free reflexology treatments during World Reflexology Week!

Feel like a free reflexology treatment?

If you're around the Burleigh Heads area next Friday (26 September) check out the Reflexology Open Day at Massage Schools of Queensland.

Members of the public are invited to attend the event, and will hear one of Australia’s pioneers in reflexology, Heather Edwards, discuss and demonstrate this fascinating holistic therapy. Visitors can then sample free reflexology treatments, with qualified reflexologists on hand to answer any questions.

Date: Friday, 26 September 2008
Time: 9.45am for a 10.00am start; reflexology treatments will run all day till 5.00pm
Venue: Massage Schools of Queensland, Level 1, 36 Kortum Drive, Burleigh Heads, QLD 4220
Ph: 5576 6366

Heather is involved in many firsts’ in reflexology education in Australia, most notably being one of Australia’s first registered reflexologists with the International Institute of Reflexology. She is a trained teacher, Aromatherapist and herbalist. She is a founding member of the Reflexology Association of Australia (RAA) and the International Council of Reflexologists (ICR).

Heather commenced her training with Dwight Byers in 1984 and became Australian Director in 1991. She has developed, co-ordinated and taught reflexology courses throughout Australia and Singapore for the past 19 years.

Having just completed my introductory reflexology studies with Heather, I'm sure that anyone who wants to learn more about reflexology, will find her talk invaluable.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Illusion and Reality

Wow - I just watched two fascinating videos on YouTube: Illusion and Reality 2012 Part 1 and Part 2.

There are so many interesting concepts in the 20 minutes worth of footage - everything from the significance of the year 2012, the major shift in both the physical and spiritual vibrations of every being in the universe, individual and world chakras, perception and reality, fear and love.

Really too much to summarise in a blog post, so you'll have to check it out for yourself!

Wanted: Chief Happiness Officer

I was flicking through the Sunday papers today and came across an article by psychologist and executive coach, Dr. Timothy Sharp, called Against the Odds.

It was about how easy victories don't bring much satisfaction, whereas well-fought battles invariably do. How true is that! It was an interesting, upbeat article, but what really caught my attention was Dr. Timothy's bio:

"Dr. Sharp is a best-selling author, a corporate speaker and consultant, and Chief Happiness Officer at The Happiness Institute."

Chief Happiness - some job, huh! I checked out The Happiness Institute's site. The company offers coaching and courses as well as happiness books, CD's & tapes and workbooks.

You can even take a free happiness test or sign up to Dr. Happy's e-newsletter. Once you subscribe to the newsletter, you can download a free e-book about happiness.

I'm feeling happier having used the word 10 times so far in this post - imagine how happy Dr Happy, the Chief Happiness Officer of The Happiness Institute must be!

The e-book was based on the philosphy that:
  • Happiness is the ultimate purpose in life
  • Happiness is achievable, for all of us
  • Happiness is determined more by our minds than by our circumstances
  • The disciplines that will lead to and enhance happiness (such as helpful thinking and good habits) can be learned and mastered, with practice.
It provides 21 tips about how to incorporate happiness into our lives, starting with Tip #1: make happiness a priority. It's one of those obvious things, but one that's nice to be reminded of occasionally.

It also got me thinking that we are all (or should be) Chief Happiness Officers. We are all utimately responsible for our own happiness - relying on other people to provide for it for us usually leaves us feeling underwhelmed or disappointed.

Dr. Happy's e-book is a timely reminder about the basics of happiness, and definitely worth a read. Check it out!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Infatuated by shakuhachi

I had never heard of Riley Lee until I saw him profiled on a recent TV show. The segment was about the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese flute made from bamboo.

According to his website, Riley Lee began playing the shakuhachi in Japan in 1971, studying with Chikuho Sakai until 1980, and has been a student of Katsuya Yokoyama since 1984. He was given the rank of Dai Shihan (grand master) in 1980.

He is Australia's only Grand Master of the shakuhachi, and one of the few outside Japan.

As well as my love of all things Japanese, I’m always on the lookout for relaxation music to play during massages (or for my own use!).

The shakuhachi music was just amazing! I was transfixed by the hauntingly beautiful sounds produced by such a seemingly simple instrument.

Lee’s website says:

“It has no pads like those on a western flute. There is no reed, like on a clarinet or saxophone, and no strings like on a guitar or violin. It doesn't even have a mouthpiece like the recorder. There are no mechanisms inside it that make the sound, like those inside a piano or organ.

With only five finger holes, (four in the front of the flute and one in the back for a thumb), it has less finger holes than almost any other common wind instrument, including the penny whistle. Yet despite its simple construction, the shakuhachi in the hands of a master can produce an unbelievable wide range of sounds. It can be as
expressive as the human voice.”

I was inspired to download an album from iTunes straight after the show – I chose Rainforest Reverie which combines Lee’s shakuhachi music with the natural sounds of a rainforest. You can hear a small snippet of one of the tracks here.

I love the music – it’s so calming, and perfect for anyone living in a bustling city who needs to get a sense of space and peace.

The shakuhachi grand master is as prolific as is he is talented. He teaches and performs frequently, and was the Artistic Director for the recent World Shakuhachi festival 2008, which brought together as many as 400 shakuhachi enthusiasts.

I was also fascinated to learn that Lee has developed a series of exercises that are designed to create an awareness of one's breath while improving the strength and control of the muscles used in breathing. His workshops last from one to six hours, and single sessions have been attended by as many as two thousand people. Wow!

If you’re stressed out and needing a good dose of relaxation, check out the magical music of Riley Lee’s shakuhachi.

Be positive about your health!

I'm sure we all know someone who loves to bask in their ill health.

New research suggests that people who focus on ill heath (whether it is perceived or real) could actually be talking themselves into illness, and even an early death.

Healthy Pages reports on an article in the Medical Care journal, where researchers from Duke University discovered the astonishing difference in survival rate for 3,000 heart patients who were requested to describe their health as 'poor' or 'very good', irrespective of their condition. Those who said 'very good' were three times more likely to survive.

"This report supports the results from Johns Hopkins University who questioned 5,000 people over 65 years of age about their health. Those who said 'poor', regardless of their actual condition doubled their risk of death within five years."

A positive attitude about health can ward off mental distress and may help provide important protection against diseases," says Professor Gunnar Engstrom, MD, from Lund University, Sweden."

The article also goes on to suggest that laughter can play a huge role in physiological stimulation that leads to a number of health benefits by reducing stress, and boosting antibodies that fight infection.

Holistic therapies such as massage and reflexology have similar benefits, in that they have also been proven to reduce stress, and improve the body's circulatory systems - which assist in the production of antibodies.

Next time that person you know is moaning about their ill health, suggest that they watch a funny movie, have a giggle or have a massage!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A thoughtful housewarming gift

Wow - it's been a long time between posts! I've been busily renovating my place, which, I'm happy to say, is now almost complete.

I've lived in rental accommodation for much of the last 10 years and as my Dad and I were replacing, repainting or revamping virtually every surface in my place over the last three months, it got me thinking that I would like to have some sort of personal housewarming ceremony. Of course, I'll have a house-warming party with family and friends, but I wanted to have a little ceremony, a ritual if you like, that brought new energy into the place and put my own stamp on it.

As I painted wall after 14ft wall, I thought about how I would represent the various natural elements in my place, and started to think about the types of qualities I wanted to bring in. I decided I would have this little ceremony when all the boxes were unpacked, and I had consolidated all of my belongings from London and those stored at my parent's house.

Last week, as I was shovelling boxes of my posessions into the flat, I happened to pass the postman, who gave me a package. I wasn't expecting anything, so it came as a bit of a surprise.

And what a gorgeous surprise it was - a Sacred Space Clearing Pack, from a cool little NSW company called Your Sacred Space. It was from my friend Mike, who is studying shamanic healing.

The gift box was beautiful (I'm a sucker for stylish packaging), and inside I found a quartz crystal, candle, room mist, smudge stick, bag of salt, and helpful instructions how to use it all to "support you clear your home or work environment".

I love crystals and have several clear quartz stones. The one in the kit had been programmed to assist in the clearing of the space.

The room mist was Your Sacred Space's own blend of rosemary, lemongrass and eucalyptus that had also been amplified with quartz crystals and sodalite. The candle contained the same blend of oils and was a lovely calming green colour.

The smudge stick was interesting - I hadn't used them before, and the instructions suggested that "smoke from the white sage engulfs releases and clears energies."

Finally, the salt can be used on a continuing basis to absorb energies from the space, by placing in a glass or ceramic bowl.

It was a really thoughtful gift (thanks again Mike!), and I'm looking forward to unpacking the final boxes in the next few days and doing my space-clearing.

Suzanne Lewarne, founder of Your Sacred Space runs various workshops in Sydney about working with energy and crystals and offers holistic healing services. Check it out, and consider a space-clearing kit if you or someone you know has just moved homes or offices, or simply want to reinvigorate your personal space.