Monday, January 26, 2009

A Day Just For Me

Although I never blogged on Saturday, I have decided that this past Saturday will be the subject of this particular post.
I decided that Saturday would be a day just for me. The day before I had written my first Oral Practical exam and had a rough time of it, so I thought that a “girl’s day” was in order.
My day started with a good hardy breakfast and then it was off to hot yoga for the first time. It was a pretty amazing experience. I’ve never done yoga before, never mind hot yoga. One of my classmates had invited me to go with her and hesitantly I had agreed. I am so glad I went.
For those of you who don’t much about it, hot yoga is basically yoga performed in a very, very warm room. When you first enter you spread out your yoga mat with a towel laid on top of it and lay down on top of those yourself. You lay and deep breathe, getting used to the warm climate. When the instructor enters, the actual session begins. There are two different sets of exercises-the standing and lying down series. I was terrible at the standing series and had to keep sitting down after each one because I was getting incredibly light headed, but when it came to the seated ones, I began to enjoy myself. It was amazing to see how far I could actually bend in different directions and the yoga also showed where I lacked a lot of strength. You have to make sure you hydrate thoroughly throughout because it’s so hot in there and that coupled with the exercise makes you sweat like crazy. I think my elbows may have been sweating! I know, you’re probably thinking that this does not sound enjoyable at all, and at first it wasn’t, but as we continued along, I really began to like it.
By the end of the session I was completely drenched and in bad need of a shower. I had finished a water bottle and a half and polished the rest of the second off in the car on the way to lunch; where I proceeded to drink a mango smoothie and some more water. I can’t explain how good I felt afterwards. My body felt so light and almost-well, sort of cleansed. That night I slept like a baby. I’ve always been a good sleeper, but hot yoga made me sleep even more soundly. I was buried under bunches of blankets, flannel sheets and fuzzy pyjamas and I didn’t even sweat. I woke up feeling very revitalised and happy. Maybe it’s just a psychological thing, but whatever it was, hot yoga worked for me-I’m definitely going back!
That said, my day did not end after hot yoga. My classmate and I also stopped in at a little specialty tea store that was near the yoga studio and there I bought some ”chocolate mint” tea and “key largo” tea. Both are delicious!
Then we headed over to this Thai restaurant where we both chowed down. The food was amazing, cheap and you came away with a lot of leftovers.
Upon returning home, I had a long soothing shower, put on my pyjamas and spent eh night curled up with my new tea, a good movie and Glacier sprawled on my feet. All and all, it was a great “girl’s day” and was just what the doctor ordered after a disappointing exam. Not to mention, Glacier was fantastic for the entire day-even when I left him alone out in a little hallway for an hour while we did hot yoga.
So if there is ever a time when you’re up for a little adventure, or need a little pick me up, try hot yoga-it’s not for everyone, but some of you will find it fantastic.

PS: The instructors advise you to try it at least four times before you decide if hot yoga is for you or not. It takes that long for your body to acclimatise and therefore it may take you three or four times before you can truly enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

English Please?

Today was the first day that we were taught to “palpate” in our practical class. Basically, we are given a part of the skeleton-or other bodily structures-and asked to find it. There are a lot of purposes for palpation. Although, I admit my knowledge about this subject is quite limited as I just started the massage therapy course. In the future we will be asked to “palpate” to make decisions about a client’s condition, but today we were using certain “landmarks” to determine where our “draping lines” are located. For example, when one massages the back, the draping (also known as a sheet) is brought down to expose the back. We are supposed to use body “landmarks” in order to know how far down the sheet is to go. Sounds simple enough? Not exactly.
You see. We’re expected to know both the laymen’s terms for the body part, for example the lower back, and the proper nomenclature. Your hip is not just called a hip you know. In fact, the bone that your massage therapist uses to determine the draping line on your back is called the “posterior superior iliac spine,” and the back of your lower leg is called the “inferior aspect of the iliac crest.” I mean, seriously, who comes up with these things? To all of those people who are sceptical about massage therapists out there, we are not just crazy quacks waiting to make your “happy ending” come true. We are highly, specialised trained people. Well, at least in Ontario and British Columbia we are. In Ontario you have to put in 2200 hours before you can become a Registered Massage therapist (RMT), and in B.C. it’s about 3000 hours respectively. That isn’t even taking into consideration the crazy insane provincial board exams we have to pass. If even just a centametre of our massage table is showing during this provincially sanctioned exam, we fail. We could be wearing the wrong coloured pants and they will fail us.
How crazy strict you think? Yes and rightfully so. We’re touching people’s bodies. How many people can say that their profession allows them to touch naked bodies? We have to respect this prvelege and treat it just as that, a privelege. And, as I have alredy mentioned, we’re paid to ensure people get treated for their injuries and if we don’t have the proper training, those people will end up with further complications. I just have to keep telling myself when I’m sitting through fifteen hours of anatomy class a week or when my instructor asks me to palpate my own xyophoid process so that I know where to draw the sheets down to when undraping to massage someone’s head, neck and shoulders.

PS: please excuse the typing errors-my computer is not allowing me to edit. : that thisll worth it and that even though I may not have a xyphoid rocess, I canit!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Change Is Good

2009 is definitely full of changes for me-some of which started at the end of last yearbut now the magnitude of all of these changes has really taken hold. I have a new dog, which everyone knows, started a new program, and I'm now in an apartment on my own with Glacier for company.
I think that is the biggest change I have to get used to. I am so used to always having either Tenie or Carmen around to go and talk to if I need to, but now it's just me. Both girls are now in Scotland completing a Master's in European Archaeology. I wish them all the best, but damn, doI ever miss them. The nice thing about living on my own though is that I have the freedom to kind of do my own thing whenever I feel like it. I can crank the music whenever I want; when I come home from class the place is quiet so I can wind down; I can get up as early as I want and don't have to worry about bothering anyone; and the best part, the mess left is my own! :) I can be as messy or as neat as I want. It's nice to be able to do the dishes one day and still have an empty sink the next.
I also think living on my own is giving Glacier and I the opportunity to bond really well. It's just the two of us and so he knows that I'm in charge. He seems more affectionate than when we were at my parents house and his work is improving at a very high rate. He's a lot of dog to handle since he's so big, so I think this situation is extremely beneficial for us both. Besides, I've only had him for three months, I really don't want to share him just yet. :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Jess Ni the Science Guy

I’ve been studying anatomy tonight and totally rocking it! I think I’m the next best thing to Hypocrates!
Who am I kidding? I am terrible at science and I'm pretty sure Glacier isn't about to give me any help. I tried to get him to quiz me on my regional anatomy material and he just curled up into a little ball and went to sleep! I am really excited about the practical aspect of the massage college, but this science will be the death of me. That said, my classmates are all really supportive of each other and I am setting up a tutorial to be held once a week after my anatomy class, so maybe just maybe I'll be able to rhyme off the 26 bones of the spine…erm, wait. Well never mind!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Goofy Boy

Have you ever just had one of those days? It’s like this heavy gloom hangs over you and you just can’t shake it. Today sort of started out that way.
There are many times in the day when Glacier makes me laugh. Even when I’m grumpy he can usually make me smile. Today was our second day of massage college and I was a bit frustrated by people’s attitudes. One administrative woman decided that when I took Glacier out an administration member should come out with me so they could “clean up after him.” She assumed that I couldn’t pick up after my dog. If she only knew that Leader Dogs does not let you graduate unless you are completely capable of cleaning up. I informed her of this and she backed off, but was quite insistent that I should bring the full bag into the school and someone would take it out back where the garbage can resides. I informed her that if someone showed me where the can was I would be able to complete this task on my own, but she was adamant that I should not be on “those stairs.” What fucking planet does she think I live on that there are no stairs?!
I was quite perturbed by that and a few other ignorant comments that people made, so by the time I got home I was feeling kind of cranky. But sure enough, as soon as Glacier’s harness came off he had me cracking up. As soon as he was released, he galloped up and down the main hall of my apartment carrying around this giant, purple, rubber squirrel he has. It’s one of the only toys he hasn’t managed to destroy. He kept flipping it out of his mouth into the air and catching it. After he had tired of this game, he thought it was a fantastic idea to give me his nyla bone to hold while he chewed it. After rough housing a bit with him, I started making my supper and got his ready for him as well. Half way through this process, he loudly demanded I take him out and then instead of peeing he grabbed a stick that was taller than me and proceeded to try to carry it back up stairs. I finally managed to stop laughing long enough to remove the humongous branch from his jaws. When I returned him to his relieving area, he found another branch-not as big as the first one-and plunked himself down with every intention to chew it into a million pieces. Whoever told dogs that chewing wood was a good idea? Needless to say, my big goofy dog-who is now curled up on a bright pink Disney Princess blanket he confiscated from the couch-definitely turns a bad day into a good one.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy 2009!

As some of you may have noticed, my blog has a new name. My new leader dog, Glacier, is the reason for this change. Gone are the days of “Jess and Jetta’s adventures” as she is now retired and living happily at my parents. Since the new year is upon us, I thought it was fitting to start anew blog, that has been named after a new dog. But don’t be fooled by my blog’s ironic title-there is nothing slow moving about the giant yellow lab that guides me helter-skelter through the twists and turns of every day life. He’s big and goofy and although I’ve only had him for a little less than three months, he’s left his mark on my heart already-as I am sure you will soon understand why. So sit back and enjoy 2009 and stop by once in a while to see how Glacier and I are doing.