New Year, New Me

Kaleah McClain, FST LMT FMT NMRT.

Congratulations on making it to 2021! You have leveled up! 😉

In all earnest, though, it is a new year with new opportunities and choices and responsibilities. I have often heard the adage from this article title, “New Year, New Me!” used fervently in this first month which then dwindles back to the eventual trudge towards “next year” or “tomorrow” or “one day”. My only question is what about today? Isn’t there opportunity and potential still dormant within that?

I hope that each of you feels the potential within yourselves this year. Each moment, each experience, each thought is full of hope for being something that adds meaning, intention, quality, and love to your life. My other hope is that you do not feel the need for a “new you”. While the saying has its purpose, I would like to add that “new” implies that the original was not good enough. I disagree entirely, the original is just as beautiful.

In sessions, if a joint could use a bit more mobility or a muscle group could function better, I like to tell clients “it looks like there is more potential within this area”. I hope that this new year brings more self awareness, self love, kindness, and vulnerability. I hope that you get the chance to explore your potential and find newness within the already worthy and amazing being that you are.

For me personally, I have changed the quote in my head. It’s no longer “New Year, New Me”, but rather “New Year, Growing Me”. Happy New Year, and happy exploring and growing to you, as well!

Proprioception: What is it? Ways to improve it!


When I see new clients, they often define themselves as clumsy. Being clumsy is just something that is commonplace and thought of as a trait. However, being clumsy can mean that you need to build your proprioception.

Proprioception is how your body perceives the surrounding environment and how your body moves in said environment. Basically, it’s the ability of your body to gauge how to maneuver around a stick in your path, or how to go up and down steps.

If you are less aware of the environment surrounding you, then you lack proprioception. But, can you build up the proprioception you have currently? Of course!!

Many corrective exercise workouts are actually geared towards building proprioception. Whether it be using a stabilization technique, performing a task with your eyes closed, or jumping, you can actually improve how you perceive your environment.

While I myself have been known to consider myself as clumsy, I now try to incorporate all sorts of exercises to improve my own proprioception. Look for my videos about ankle stability and lower leg mobility if you want to start improving your own proprioception!!

For more content and instructional videos, check out my future blog posts and our app!

Wellness Outside of Sessions: Inform Yourself

Kaleah McClain, FST LMT FMT NMRT.

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” – Maya Angelou

We can only work with the knowledge that we have. To improve our lifestyle, pain levels, and outlook, there has to be a time investment to educate ourselves. It is an investment, but one that is well worth it. Let’s break this down in scenario for stretching:

You may recognize the need to stretch to maintain work in sessions, to aid mobility, or simply to give yourself time to yourself during your busy day. Remembering stretches from high school athletics, you do a few of those quickly as you are thinking about it.

What does that look like if you do some research? You acknowledge that those initial stretches were a good beginning point, and you do some research on further stretching for specific areas. You target those a few times a week and see some results.

After doing additional research, you consistently find studies showing dynamic stretching to be more effective and seek out programs that offer that. You are now targeting tissue that has felt restricted for quite some time and seeing results in mobility. The effectiveness of your routine makes it easier for you to justify taking time out of your week to continue.

With just a little extra effort put into education, the results of these habits magnified. This scenario is easily applicable to most other habits we are trying to incorporate. Best of luck finding improved ways to help yourself!

Wellness Outside of Sessions: Sustainable Habits

Kaleah McClain, FST LMT FMT NMRT.

When receiving a massage session, completing a personal training session, or completing a nutrition consultation, the biggest challenge is maintaining and contributing to the progress made during the session. While a session can be a kickstart to reducing pain or achieving goals, the most life changing work happens during daily life.

How do we impact our health and wellbeing during our day?
Drinking enough water
Sleeping well and long enough
Eating well
Regular physical activity like stretching, exercise, and walking
Self massage like foam-rolling, cupping, heat/cold packs
Creating stress management techniques

One obstacle to lifestyle changes is lacking consistency. Habits are easier to break and difficult to create. As a way to make it easier, we have videos with stretching, exercise, foam rolling, trigger point release, and cupping available to members. Use the resources you have available to you.

If you need more help implementing new ideas, a great resource is the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Best of luck discovering new methods to help yourself!

Wellness Outside of Sessions: Prioritize Mindfulness

Kaleah McClain, FST LMT FMT NMRT.

“Go ahead and take a deep breath.”

We’ve all been in a massage session that perhaps began with that instruction. However, when is the last time that you stopped for a deep breath as you go about your day? When you get a massage you have the opportunity to take time out of your life to process, recharge, and recover. Why do we stop that process once we leave a session?

Especially as we are going through this difficult time, investing in ourselves is becoming more fundamentally vital. So much research is being released on meditation and “flow state” and the correlation with our productivity and fulfillment. While most of us are familiar with the benefits of mindfulness sometimes we don’t allow ourselves the moments to recharge.

As we experience abnormal amounts of trauma and loss during this difficult time, personally I find it more difficult to allow myself mindful moments to recharge or process. Part of this for me is that when things pile up, it feels like ten minutes will make no difference in the overwhelming feeling of crisis. One of my clients recently told me, “today I was told that I don’t need to thrive, and that was the nicest thing I’ve been told.” So, I challenge you. If you feel like you are in a tough spot emotionally, physically, mentally, sexually, or spiritually, please take one minute and complete these steps.

Take a deep breath
Tell yourself that you are magnificent.
Do not say “I am magnificent because….” There is no justification necessary.
One more deep breath

With just that, you have given yourself one moment, extra oxygen, one positive thought, and an opportunity to recharge. For more insight into mindfulness, I highly recommend Widen the Window by Elizabeth A. Stanley. This book specifically discusses training the brain during times of stress and trauma. It may not be our time to thrive. Today is our time to survive, and that’s okay. Stay well, friends.

Wellness Outside of Sessions: Prioritize Sleep

Kaleah McClain, FST LMT FMT NMRT.

“If you have to choose between taking the time out to stretch or sleep, please choose sleep.” Many of you have heard me say this after giving suggestions to prolong the effectiveness of a treatment session. Studies continue to highlight the irreplaceable value of allowing the body and mind to go through a full sleep cycle.

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Ethics – Boundaries for Practitioners and Clientele

Kaleah McClain, LMT FMT NMRT.

“Lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect.”

We’ve probably all heard this saying as we talked with a friend about a difficult situation. As practitioners in many different fields, we have all taken classes and spent hours studying and discussing ethics. As a client, however, how does that impact you? There are a few ways that ethics are just as valuable to a client. Consider these:

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Ability, Mobility, Stability: The Value of Perspective

Kaleah McClain, LMT FMT NMRT.

Having recently visited my favorite local Physical Therapist, Jason with Vital 6 Pain Solutions and Physical Therapy, I wanted to share a few gems from our conversations. I spend hours obsessing over the correlation between physical and psychological. So, naturally, with another professional that’s exactly what we discuss. Specifically, we began digging into the effects of choosing athletic sports or even workout styles that tend to aggravate pre existing imbalances or put the person at greater risk of injury.

To highlight this, some studies have been conducted to show correlations between things like core stability and a variety of movements. It concluded, “There appears to be a link between a core stability test and athletic performance tests. Ideally, specific performance tests will be able to better define and to examine relationships to core stability. Future studies should also seek to determine if there are specific sub-categories of core stability which are most important to allow for optimal training and performance for individual sports.”

So, as we discussed the variety of needs for different athletes, the idea arose that screening an individual while young to determine some specific sports which would be optimal for their individual physical makeup could potentially allow people to intelligently make decisions for themselves or for their children. What would be some assessments included for this screening?

Signs of hypermobility or hypomobility
Body proportions
Tonicity of tissue
Pre Existing conditions
Personality or emotional demeanor
Exposure to specific sports and movement patterns

Of course, this can be expanded upon, but imagine creating a way to start athletic activities at any age with the confidence that you are doing activities that are optimal for your body and decreasing risks of injury at the same time. If you want to begin that process, we recommend Jason highly! Of course, we will be here along the way, as well, ready to help with recovery and maintenance.

Collaboration Means Pain Mitigation

Kaleah McClain, LMT FMT NMRT.

We’ve all been told, “Teamwork makes the dream work!” However, how does that apply to your wellness and healthcare?

Sometimes, as professionals we get so focused on our own success and impact in our community. However, rather than vying for business or clientele, what would happen if we each communicated with other outstanding healthcare professionals to work towards common goals? How many more people could be positively affected if, as collaboration researcher Thomas Stallkamp noted, “(we) gang up on the problem, rather than each other.”?

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