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Dyeing for a Cause

Notice anything different? Linda Zukowski, owner, with purple hair

I (Linda) turned 55 in January and wanted to do something a little different to mark the occasion.  I decided to add some color to my hair, but would do it with a twist. I chose to do a fundraiser for Love Wins Community Engagement Center, a local organization providing support to people experiencing homelessness.  With 28 inches of hair, I feared having an entire head of purple hair, and set a lofty goal of $5522.77.  With 28 inches of hair, that worked out to about $200 an inch.

I managed to raise $724 for Love Wins Community Engagement Center! And so, I colored about 3-1/2 inches of my hair purple.  We decided to go vertical instead of horizontal, as that way the color would be there longer, to remind folks of the plight of those experiencing homelessness….otherwise, it would be gone in my next  (albeit rare) haircut.

I’m not done.

It came to my attention last week that there is a woman with three children who is desperate for housing. The folks at Love Wins Community Engagement Center are trying to secure safe housing for her family. While they are trying to work with social services, the agencies are overflowing, and it is difficult to get an overworked social worker to even speak with on the phone right now. Until they can get housing, LWCEC is trying to pay for some time at a hotel, at the cost of $370.00 a week. (read the full story)

And so, I am at it again. If folks donate and help this woman out, I will dye two inches of hair for every week covered, or 2 inches per $370 raised. I will keep this up until the end of February. BONUS: If I raise $370 in the first week, which will cover an immediate week for the family, I will dye four inches for the first $370, but only if it is collected by 2/11. This time it will be blue.
You can donate by sending money directly to Love Wins Community Engagement Center via their website or by mail, but you must show me that you have done so for it to count towards the hair dyeing. You can donate via the link in the facebook fundraising event, and the money will go directly to Love Wins. You can also drop off checks written out directly to LWCEC at the office of Metamorphic Massage for Women, and I will bring it to them at the end of the month.

How blue will I be?  It’s up to you…

We Won for Best Massage!

At the end of 2018, WRAL held their Voter’s Choice Awards contest.  Metamorphic Massage for Women won in the category of Best Massage!

I’d like to thank all our loyal clients.

Your support means a lot to me. I have worked hard over the past 13 years building a solid reputation as a leading provider of massage therapy for women, and I could not have done it without you!

Thanks to all who continue to support Metamorphic Massage for Women over the years. For trusting me with their bodies, and trusting my choice to hire Karla to join me in offering services for women.  She has built her own loyal following, including a few folks who used to see me for treatments!

Together we will continue to grow towards what I envision…a place where all women can go for healing, rest, and support in all their wellness endeavors.

~Linda Zukowski, NC-LMBT #5951
Owner, Metamorphic Massage for Women

#WRALVCAs #BestMassageInTheTriangle

How Breastfeeding Affects the Body of a New Mother

Breastfeed or bottle?

The choice is a personal one, and no one outside of the baby’s mother and her medical providers can or should have input into the decision. Of course, if the parents have a healthy relationship, the other parent can contribute to the decision.  I say this because not all pregnancies are the result of a healthy relationship, and I honor a woman’s choice to have total control over her body.

Why would a woman choose to breastfeed her child?   Most folks talk about the benefits breast milk has on the child.  But what about the mother?

On a physical level, the act of breastfeeding does amazing things for a woman’s body. Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone produced in the hypothalamus that contributes to reproductive functions, which helps the uterus return to normal size and functioning after childbirth.

When a mother breastfeeds a child, it forces her to sit and rest.  There is no handing the baby off to a loved one. This allows the mother to rest her body.  The fourth trimester, which is the first three months post birth, are crucial to the proper healing of new mother’s body.

Producing milk is hard work.  Did you know you can burn 500-1000 calories a day while breastfeeding?  It helps your body return to a weight that is closer to what it was pre-pregnancy. Of course, no one should expect you to have the same exact body they had prior to becoming pregnant.  Our bodies just went through a major process, and they’re changed for life. I encourage you to embrace the changes, they are the marks of a mother and a warrior!

Breastfeeding can also reduce the risk of breast cancer. While women who breastfeed for longer than two years are the least likely to contract the disease, any length of nursing will help.  The longer you breastfeed, the lower your chances of contracting the disease.  It also lowers your chances of contracting uterine and ovarian cancer.

Most women who breastfeed have their favorite ways to hold their babies while nursing.  Did you know that how you hold your baby not only affects the health of your breasts, it also can affect your shoulders, necks, and arms?

Babies weigh a lot.  The average baby born in the U.S. weights approximately 7-1/2 pounds.  To sit and hold that weight every three hours can do a number on your upper body. (To make it real for those without an infant around, a gallon of milk weighs 8-1/2 pounds.  Imagine holding a gallon of milk in one position for 30-45 minutes every three hours.) The weight pulls on the muscles of your shoulder, chest, neck, and arms.  This goes for those who bottle feed, as well!

Switching the position of your body, and the position of the baby, can help reduce strain from overuse.  Different nursing positions can also help prevent clogged milk ducts in nursing moms!

Whatever you choose, breastfeeding or bottle, know that you are doing the best you can for your child.  Keep up the good work.

Introducing…The VIC (Very Important Client) Award!

There are a lot of incredible women who have come through the doors of Metamorphic Massage for Women.  From all walks of life, women of all ages have graced me with their presence on my massage table.

Very Important Client at Metamorphic Massage For Women

Karen was born in Raleigh and has lived here her whole life.  Her favorite thing to do in North Carolina is going to the beach…her favorites are Topsail and Kill Devil Hills. She has fond memories of annual family trips that have happened since she was an infant and always enjoyed hanging out with her seven cousins.  Both her grandmother and an aunt had beach houses, which made the annual trips easier.  Her favorite part of the beach is watching the sunset while feeling the breeze and listening to the birds and the surf.

When asked why she continues to come to Metamorphic Massage for Women, Karen responded “Linda is very flexible…Sometimes I sleep, sometimes she I talk a lot.  She’s also very considerate.  One time, someone wanted to bring their baby to their session which was happening at the same time as my massage, so she called me, to see if I was okay with that.  She also does a very thorough evaluation when I first arrive, always checking to see if something has changed, address issues each session.   I also love Linda’s sense of humor, and her knowledge about all things healthy.  I’ve learned a lot of organic food and natural remedies, which has been really fun to learn.  I never would have touched anything organic in a grocery store until I met Linda.  As soon as you eat one organic banana, you never go back.  Now I eat as organic as possible.  It tastes better, plus it’s better for you. I’ve also noticed my food lasts a lot longer…it has saved me money because of that.”

Karen retired December 16th,  and is very passionate about enjoying her time.  She’s spent the last several months catching up on reading, bible study, reconnecting with friends, church activities, doing home maintenance projects.  She is loving retirement, doesn’t miss work one bit, and knows it will be hard if she ever has to return to work for some reason.

When asked about what has been most beneficial about getting massage regularly, Karen quickly answered “The relief of achiness and stress has been great. Self- care in general has been much easier since retirement…regular massage, food, sleep…it’s all much easier now that I’m retired. My biological clock is kind of messed up due to the crazy work schedule for years.  I’m trying to find my balance again. I go to gym & work out with trainer twice a week.  I want to start walking again to make up for all the lost movement since leaving nursing, which had me walking all day long.

As always, Karen made me laugh…when asked “If you had one piece of advice to give to someone who is looking to incorporate better self-care habits in her life Karen answered: “Start with a massage with Linda because she can teach you everything you need to know. “

Wellness Series: Let’s Get Physical: Eating Well

In my last blog post, I introduced the seven aspects of wellness… a well-balanced person will care for their physical, emotional. spiritual, social, occupational, environmental, and intellectual needs.  This week, I’m going to begin to tackle physical wellness.

What constitutes physical well-being?  If we are able to create healthy habits that allow us to have a healthy diet, quality sleep, and regular exercise, and avoid unhealthy amounts of things like sugar and alcohol, chances are pretty good we achieve physical wellness,  and can function without feeling fatigued or experiencing a high level of physical stress in our activities.

But how do you get there?  It can be daunting, trying to change habits.  That is why I always suggest to folks to chance one thing at a time.  Let’s talk about healthy eating.

I’ve been a vegetarian most of my life.  I grew up in a meat-eating household, and at the tender age of 14, decided I was done eating red meat.  I had to learn how to cook, because as my mother said”I’m not a short-order cook.  If you don;t want to eat what I cook, you’re going to have to learn how to cook for yourself.”  I bought a couple of cookbooks, made some really bad meals at the beginning, but over time, I started making better meals that my dad even wanted to try.

By the time I was 21, all meat, including fish, was gone from my diet.  I now go in and out of veganism…which means no dairy or eggs, either. I do this because dairy is my gateway drug…if I start eating cheese, then along with it comes crackers, chips, a lot of eggs (think omelets for breakfast every morning), and all of a sudden I’m 20 pounds heavier.  And so, I do my best to eat dairy in moderation, and if it gets out of control, it’s not in my refrigerator.

A lot of my clients ask me about my diet on a regular basis.  I’ve had clients say they wished they could see into my kitchen, to find out what I cook.     Newsflash:  While I like salad, I eat so much more than that, which is what many folks used to think when they heard I was a vegetarian.    When I do salads, they generally have beans or nuts in them to add protein.   I will chop veggies to make enough salad to get me through several days, and bring it to work for lunch.  

 

When I prepare meals, I try to make enough to give me leftovers for a few other meals,  That way, when I get home from work and feel too tired to cook, I’m not eating tortilla chips and dip for dinner.   Instead, I have something yummy, like a tasty vegetable and bean soup, curried tofu and vegetables, or beans, rice, and greens.

    

 

 

 

 

If I have a super busy week, on Sunday, I will do massive food prep….chop lots of veggies, cook a few meals, package up stuff for lunches and snacks at work, so I can just grab something out of the fridge in the morning, pop it in my bag, and head out the door.  My lunches and snacks usually consist of fresh veggie salads, a rice salad like the one pictured below, apple slices and nut butter, veggie sticks and hummus, and other things that can easily be eaten between clients.  

 

What about breakfast? In the winters, I like a hot breakfast.  While some mornings I like to eat oatmeal with fruit and nuts,  I tend to make something on Sunday that I can heat up a few mornings a week.   As a huge fan of vegetables, these breakfasts tend to be veg-heavy.

 

 

 

 

 

Eating a lot of vegetables fills me up, so that I tend to not want to eat as much junk.

I’d like to encourage you to consider doing some meal prep on Sunday for the week’s lunches that incorporated lots of vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins.

 

The Holiday Season is Quickly Approaching…

The Holiday Season is quickly approaching, and the massage elves are busy getting ready with something extra special this year!  They’ve been scurrying around Raleigh, NC  in order to provide local,hand-made, local  items to give you a new option this year!

Metamorphic Massage For Women will be offering Self-Lovebuckets in additional to traditional gift certificates.  You’ll find a vast array of handmade items for relaxation and stress management. These locally-made items support small women-owned cottage businesses in the Raleigh area.

Self-Lovebuckets will be available for purchase separately, as well as in combination with the purchase of a massage gift certificate.  They’re a great way to give her a unique gift that will allow her to stretch the benefits of the massage session.

Our elves are placing the finishing touch on their contribution to the Self-Lovebuckets, and they’ll be available soon after Thanksgiving. Keep an eye on out facebook page, where we’ll announce their availability.

 

 

 

Small Business Saturday

Support the little people!

Saturday, November 25th is Small Business Saturday.

Small, local businesses often get overlooked during the holiday season, because they don’t have the advertising budget of the big chains.  Do your best to support your friendly neighborhood businesses!

Metamorphic Massage For Women is offering 10% off of all 60- and 90-minute gift certificates for 24 hours on November 25, 2017!! These must be purchased via the following link: www.massagebook.com/MetamorphicMassageForWomen/massage/deals/Small-Business-Saturday/2921https://metamorphicmassageforwomen.com/services/gift-certificates/

There is a limited amount of these available, so act now.

Do all your holiday shopping locally and help support an independent business owner!

Family Fun…Hoop Jam…Drumming and Hula Hooping!

Every Wednesday night from 6:30-8:30, from the beginning of April until it gets really cold in the fall, Hoop Jam happens at Pullen Park in Raleigh.  It truly is fun for the whole family!

If you don’t have one, there are extra hula hoops available, and people willing to show you how to use one.  There’s some great drumming, with extra drums and other hand percussion toys if you want to get into the groove and be part of the rhythm.

Often, there’s even a man with a giant bubble-making wand to delight for children and adults alike!

Even better…the event is FREE!!!!

Enter Pullen Park at the Ashe Avenue entrance.  Hoop Jam is located at the event stage, near the carousel.  For more information, check out the Raleigh Drum Circle on facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/RaleighDrumCircle.

The Benefits of Regular Massage

There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Whether we look at it as pampering, rejuvenating, or therapeutic, massage can be a powerful addition to your healthcare regime.

Experts estimate that over ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress.

 
Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health.

Here are some of the ways you can benefit from regular massage:

  • Relaxes muscles and helps ease stress and tension.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
  • Tones the body keeping it supple by exercising and stretching weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Helps flush out wastes from the body.
  • Stimulates and tones the skin.
  • Increases energy and vitality.
  • Reduces fatigue and improves sleep.
  • Decreases inflammation, swelling and pain in joints, & increases joint flexibility.
  • Decreases anxiety and depression.
  • Reduces chronic pain, including migraine pain.
  • Contributes to healthy Blood Pressure levels.
  • Enhancse immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
  • Pumps oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Release endorphins, which act as natural pain regulators, increase feelings of euphoria, and regulates appetite.
  • Improves concentration.
  • Makes you feel good!

Remember:  just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.

Raleigh Mother’s Day Gift Idea

It’s Mother’s Day, and its time to show the mothers in your life just how much you appreciate them! What better way than to give them a gift certificate for a massage!

At Metamorphic Massage For Women, we are offering Gift Certificates for a special Mother’s Day Package. Choose a 60- or 90- minute massage, which includes  berries and chocolates after the session.

Mom will surely love you for this special gift! Gift certificates are available at https://metamorphicmassageforwomen.com/services/gift-certificates/