December 23, 2008

The Dark Side of your Computer Mouse

A New Voice for the Blog
Just thought I'd give you a brief intro to the new "blog voice." I'm Jan, and I've been a massage therapist for close to 30 years (hmmm, sounds like an AA confession - "My name is Jan and I am..."). In additional to being an LMP, my background includes some geekiness - I've written about 20 computer books, taught software classes, and worked as a tech writer for a sadly departed internet start-up.

I look forward to sharing stuff with you like: interviews with establishments that employ massage therapists, tips you can share with your clients, professional development tidbits (CEU info, etc.), and self-care. I'd love to hear any comments you have about my posts, answer questions, and find out about topics you'd like to see included in the blog.

Ergonomics and Your Clients
Enough of that for now. On to my major soapbox issue: ERGONOMICS. I've been researching and counseling my clients on this for many years, and I put together a series of ergonomics brown bags for downtown offices when I was working as a software training coordinator back in the early 90's. (Fair warning: ergonomics is one of my favorite topics).

I learned that a lot of your clients' aches, pains and other issues could be greatly alleviated by paying more attention to what they're doing with their bodies on a daily basis. I often talk to my massage clients about lifestyle/ergonomic changes that can be helpful. Here's one area you can explore with yours. If you or your clients have upper back and/or shoulder pain that gets progressively worse as the day goes on, that sneaky mouse might be the culprit.

Mouse Test
There's no such thing as an ergonomic mouse. I realize this is considered heresy, but bear with me for a moment. You'll need a partner for this little experiment. Just grab anyone and sit them down at the computer. Now, rest your open palm gently over their right shoulder blade area and have them move the mouse around for about 30 seconds.

Just notice the muscle movement under your hand. That's it. The muscle action will be slight, but realize that every single time you move the mouse, you're initiating that muscle action. That muscle and several others. Several hundred times a day. Doesn't matter how cute the mouse looks; that arm still has to move. No wonder your client's neck, shoulder, and possibly forearm are painful and maybe burning at the end of those 13 hour days! In honor of Jacob, a Biznik friend of mine, this issue shall henceforth be called Computer Mouse Syndrome. AKA CMS (gotta have an acronym).

Why Should You Use a Touchpad?
If you've used a laptop, you've probably used a touchpad. Instead of having to move your whole arm every time, you just move your index finger and tap (it doesn't even have to be your index finger). So you're not activating those back and shoulder muscles that get so overworked with heavy mouse use. Next time you use a laptop, pay attention and see if you notice a difference.

Of course, laptops create different ergonomic issues because the monitor's connected to the keyboard, so you're usually looking down... - but that's another story for another day.

If you notice a difference when you use a touchpad, consider buying one to replace your mouse and suggesting touchpads to your clients with computer-related neck and shoulder issues. Cirque makes several versions of their Glidepoint touchpads with various levels of bells and whistles.

I hope you're all having a fabulous holiday. And I REALLY hope you're all managing to stay safe, warm and dry with this seemingly never-ending snow and ice.

Jan W, LMP

December 14, 2008

Find Touch update adds Convenience for Massage Employers

We have some exciting news! We have just finished updating our website and we made it much more convenient for those of you hiring through Find Touch. Specifically…

New My Candidates area for Employers
In the past, in order to view contact information for a therapist that applied to one of their jobs, Employers had to search through each job, one at a time. It’s now easy to view and search through all job applicants, past and present, using the new My Candidates screen.

Notes about Candidates
Employers can now keep private notes about candidates during the hiring process and beyond. These notes are easy to view and edit directly from the Job Details screen for any job and also from the My Candidates screen.

Enhanced Employer Profile
Many Employer members of the Find Touch community wanted to include their own logo and links to other web pages in their profile in order to provide additional information about the business to potential job applicants. This is now possible for those with the right type of subscription plan. Please contact us for specifics if you are interested in this feature.

All members of the Find Touch community now gain a little more insight about the activity related to their account. Employers can see how many views their job has received since it was opened to gauge the effectiveness of their job ad. Therapists can learn about the businesses that have recently viewed their profile to see if they are drawing the desired level of interest.

Thanks to all of you for great feedback. Our goal is to make Find Touch useful for both massage therapists and employers, and with your help, we’ve just achieved another milestone on that path. As of today, there are 950 therapist members in the Find Touch community. Over 120 companies posted jobs with Find Touch in the past year. With extensive coverage of the Seattle/Tacoma metropolitan area, Find Touch is expanding to Portland – and soon, to more US cities. Please spread the word!

December 6, 2008

New Balance Chiropractic - West Seattle

The other day I decided to venture out and visit New Balance Chiropractic which is conveniently located in the West Seattle neighborhood near Roxbury! Upon my arrival to this nicely established practice, I received a warm greeting and within a few short moments had the opportunity to visit with one of the Chiropractors here, Dr. Swanson, to learn a bit more about this growing practice.

Dr. Hill opened the clinic in 2001 and Dr. Swanson joined him about a year ago. They primarily work in family care and take care of clients with L & I cases. Throughout the course of the treatment, clients are educated and given a self care plan. Since a more natural approach is taken here, the Doctors work with their hands, include hydrotherapy and offer recommendations for supplements such as Omega 3's, which as we all know are beneficial to us all!

As a massage therapist here, you will primarily be providing treatment work and helping clients with L & I cases. If you have taken Spanish before, or happen to be Spanish speaking you are already one step ahead because 80% of the clientele is Hispanic... if you aren't, then this may be an opportunity for you to learn some Spanish and enhance your communication skills.

They are currently looking for a PT or FT massage therapist. If you live in the area and are interested in consistent income, convenient location and a pleasant work environment with a non-stop opportunity to learn, I would like to invite you to check it out!

You may apply directly through
Find Touch or you can send your resume to:

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season,

Michelle B, LMP