Chronically Living and how to make the most of it

Massage Therapy for Chronic Pain with special guest Danielle Potvin

November 08, 2020 Kelsey, Danielle Potvin Season 1 Episode 21
Chronically Living and how to make the most of it
Massage Therapy for Chronic Pain with special guest Danielle Potvin
Chapters
Chronically Living and how to make the most of it
Massage Therapy for Chronic Pain with special guest Danielle Potvin
Nov 08, 2020 Season 1 Episode 21
Kelsey, Danielle Potvin

My guest this week is registered massage therapist, Danielle Potvin, who takes us through the benefits of getting consistent massages (not necessarily frequent) for managing chronic pain and mental health.
In this episode we discuss:

  • the benefits of touch
  • different types of massages
  • how massages help chronic pain
  • how often we should be getting a massage
  • what we can do to help our bodies when we can't go for a massage
  • the importance of authenticity and life balance

Guest Bio:

Danielle Potvin, RMT, has been practicing massage therapy in Toronto for 9 years. She is passionate about many things, but mostly her dog. She can be found at Gesund, 614 Church St. 

Show Notes Transcript

My guest this week is registered massage therapist, Danielle Potvin, who takes us through the benefits of getting consistent massages (not necessarily frequent) for managing chronic pain and mental health.
In this episode we discuss:

  • the benefits of touch
  • different types of massages
  • how massages help chronic pain
  • how often we should be getting a massage
  • what we can do to help our bodies when we can't go for a massage
  • the importance of authenticity and life balance

Guest Bio:

Danielle Potvin, RMT, has been practicing massage therapy in Toronto for 9 years. She is passionate about many things, but mostly her dog. She can be found at Gesund, 614 Church St. 

Kelsey Harris:

Hello my warriors. Did you all know that I co host another show? It's called into everything with Pete and Kels for some easy laid back fun and topics like movies, music, books, wrestling, the paranormal and so much more. You should check us out into everything with Pete and Kells is available everywhere you get your podcasts. Welcome to the chronically living and how to make the most of it podcast. I'm Kelsey Harris, a chronic pain warrior here to inspire hope and strength to the spoony community, get ready to lift each other up and find ways to live the best life possible. Welcome, everybody to this week's podcast. My guest this week is a legit spectacular registered massage therapist that has been giving massages for the past few years. Danielle potvin Welcome to the show. And thanks for being here.

Danielle Potvin:

Thank you, Kelsey. That was lovely.

Kelsey Harris:

It's very true. So today, we're going to talk about the benefits of massage therapy for chronic pain. And there's tons of studies that show massage therapy is very effective in treating chronic pain for many conditions, including cancer, fibromyalgia, and muscle damage. So I mean, I'm a huge fan, obviously, I'm getting massages, because I don't know why anybody wouldn't be. But I also think it's very overlooked when it comes to treating a lot of these conditions. So I guess To start off, why don't you just tell us how you got into massage therapy and what you like about your career.

Danielle Potvin:

All right. Um, I retrained as a massage therapist when I was in my early 30s, I actually got certified when I was 35. I languished in retail and food service for many years before that, like most of us do when we're figuring out what we wanted to do. And honestly, I kind of stumbled into massage. My wife is a chef and a taller person. So always is in pain. And chefs are have a crazy job and so on your on their feet and you know, low back pain, all sorts of like chronic injury and like repetitive strain there. And I had gotten in the habit of just giving her back rubs or shoulder rubs or whatever. And we've been talking about me retraining and going back to school because I hated retail. And one day she said to me, you know, you're really good at this, and you don't know anything about it. Why don't you go and learn something about this. And all of a sudden I remembered every like Sutherland shared poster I had ever seen on the subway, you know, like they're all over the place, like time for a career. And I was like, a career. So I went and I knew I was gonna like it because it was just a really interesting program. It was really interesting. We learned we like it was a 2200 hour program where you do anatomy and physiology and pathology and human relationships. And just like, kind of it's all over everything. It's really, really interesting to learn about. But when I originally went in, I was thinking about the segments of the population that didn't get enough touch. And I was honestly thinking about adults with special needs. And I was thinking about the elderly, I was thinking about people who don't get enough touch. And after my very first student clinic, which was in my second semester of massage school, I was massaging a lawyer. And I realized, Oh, it's all of us, none of us get enough touch. None of us in Western society get enough, specifically non sexual, non reciprocal touch. We don't as a society, we don't tend to hug each other hug our friends, kiss our friends, hold our friends hands. And like get that really intimate touch that if we're lucky, we get a lot of in our infancy and early childhood. But most of us, we don't get that in our adult lives. And that is what I love most about my job that sometimes, especially now with COVID it's been so interesting that I'm touching people who haven't been touched,

Kelsey Harris:

right,

Danielle Potvin:

in months right now. And that was true pre COVID. Right? That was true for people who work crazy hours and were single or, you know, lived alone. I would I'm often the only person who really spends time touching and looking at a back. Yeah, in a way that doesn't have expectation or reciprocity attached to it. Yeah. And we just don't get enough of that. And so I think that That, you know, there are all sorts of scientific benefits about massage. There are all sorts of, you know, physiological things that we can mark and say, yes, this happens during a massage. But it's touch. And touch is magic. And that is what I love most about my job.

Kelsey Harris:

That's, you know, that's really cool. Because I, you know, that touch definitely has all these mental health benefits that we don't buy. And that's like, some of you definitely don't think about when you go get a massage. But it's true.

Danielle Potvin:

Yeah, and I think that's actually part of the reason that like people don't. It's almost like massage has been like this elitist, boozy, sort of like, treat yourself thing that fancy ladies do. You know, you go for lunch, and you get a massage when you don't have a job? That's what a lot of people associate it with. And like, because, you know, there's still people, so many people who have massage benefits through their work for like extended health benefits who don't use them. Because they don't think of it as a self care or health care. thing. They think of it as a luxury. Yeah. And how sad is it that we think of touch as a luxury. So true. It's so weird. Yeah.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, it's interesting is like, I've literally told so many coworkers. They're like, you're getting massage? I'm like, Yeah, yeah, with their cover, man. Like, what if your back hurts? So you just you know, or you just need you just feel like you want to go for? Why wouldn't you go get one?

Danielle Potvin:

Yeah. And what I say to people is, you know, it is an instinct that we have as people because who forget we're animals. You know, I say that all the time you go when you hit your leg, you rub it, huh? Because rubbing something makes it feel better. Yeah. Right. And so we do it when we do it to ourselves, we do it like when you know, if you if you're, if you're at work, when we were allowed to touch each other at work. Right? If you moved your neck and hurt yourself a little bit, a co worker would put their hand on there and kind of squeeze it a little bit. Because it makes it feel better.

Kelsey Harris:

Mm hmm. Totally.

Danielle Potvin:

Right. And but we do these things. instinctually. But then you think, okay, now you're going to go and book an appointment, and lay down on the table for 30, 45, 60 minutes, and somebody is just going to rub you like, well, I don't have time for that. Or that seems like a ridiculous thing to spend my time or money on. Right? Yeah.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah. But no, that's that's very interesting. Very, very true. So what so we're talking about, you know, chronic pain and not what kind of health and pain issues do the clients you work with have typically?

Danielle Potvin:

Well, so I definitely see people with chronic health issues. I have a number of clients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I have a number of clients who have self diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which I still don't necessarily think is wrong. I but I see a lot of people with depression, with anxiety with, um, who have had cancer or dealing with cancer currently, surgeries like it's just, but honestly, I really think that a chronic illness in our society is desk and computer work. And so I mostly see people who are dealing with that, right. Which is still because if that is a chronic situation, I say to people all the time, even if it's just a desk, you know, a desk working situation, your jobs not changing.

Kelsey Harris:

Mm hmm.

Danielle Potvin:

This isn't like it's not like suddenly you're going to have a job where you get up and are walking around. But I would say in terms of like, yeah, the chronic stuff. I see mostly people where it's, it is kind of more of a mental health.

Kelsey Harris:

Right. Okay.

Danielle Potvin:

situation.

Kelsey Harris:

Makes sense. Yeah. You mentioned a lot of the mental health benefits of getting massage like touch. What are some of the physical health benefits of getting a massage?

Danielle Potvin:

Well, blood flow. So here's a little anatomy and physiology lesson, right? Your muscles are made up of all sorts of tissue and there's blood vessels going through them nerve at nerves going through your muscles, and when your muscles are tight. When your muscles are when people say they feel those knots, when your shoulders are up around your shoulders, your muscles aren't getting enough blood, and if they're not getting enough blood, they're not getting enough oxygen, and if you're not getting enough oxygen, it's not breathing. Muscles need to breathe through the whole body needs to breathe. That's why stretching is so important. That's why exercise and physicality So important, but blood flow and opening up of the muscles i think is just super important for everybody. There's Yeah, there's there's lymphatic drainage that gets, you know, people's the lymph system, the lymph. Lymph is kind of like another circulatory system, it's just different fluid that is going through your body and that stuff can get stuck and, and built up as well. Right? So that is a physical benefit. Honestly, I you know, me I'm a total woowoo hippie about this stuff like you could, you could have just as much benefit from doing a yoga class or from stretching or from, you know, doing other forms of self care, but I really feel that the letting it be in someone else's hands. Yeah, is massive, right and taking sort of, like, you know, like when you come to when you get consistent treatment, when you come in and you lay on the table, you start to relax before you even happens. Totally. Right. Like, you know what's gonna happen, you, you, you, you get ready, you're on the table, your faces in the cradle, you're waiting for the person to knock and come in, and you're already like, yeah, 100% let's do this, right. And the same benefit can be reached with a good yoga class or with another practice that you really enjoy. But then you are actively doing it. Right. I think it's huge to have somebody else doing it for you.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, I like that. That's, that's true. That's so true.

Danielle Potvin:

Because we don't like as like as a society grown ups. Were also weird. In the West, I'm such a Lulu, I'm sorry. But like, we just, we have this whole, like, pull yourself up by your bootstraps work as many hours as you can don't take care of yourself. There's weakness, like, right, and we're killing ourselves. We're working for nothing. Like, I probably yelled at a couple of clients this week. If you're getting paid for eight hours, work for eight hours, right? Right. Like if you're everybody who works on like, most people are working from home right now. It's a totally different situation. But if you're getting paid for eight hours work for eight hours, because they don't care about you.

Kelsey Harris:

Right? sounds terrible. But like, yeah, like most companies?

Danielle Potvin:

Oh, yeah, the company doesn't care about you. Maybe your supervisor does maybe your co workers, right, like the people individually linked to you. But like, you know, the bank you've worked for doesn't care. You got to take care of you. True. Yeah.

Kelsey Harris:

Okay, so there's a whole bunch of different types of massages out there. So I just kind of run through what the differences are between some of these. So now we've got like Swedish relaxation, massages, deep tissue, you can do the massages with the Roma therapy. Stone. So what are what are the differences between these? Why would someone get one versus another.

Danielle Potvin:

So it's all in umbrella of Swedish massage. The other like there are, there's time massage, there's Shiatsu massage. There's like other types. But all the ones you just described are all under the umbrella of Swedish massage, which is what most well, all our MPs in Ontario specifically are trained in. They can have other training modalities, but that is our basic cmto certificate. So it's all pretty much the same techniques. It's just about intention, and depth of work. You can reach really deep structures with massage like you have to kind of melt through the layers, right? Because if you think about like, the body is so very interesting, but we've got our skin which you think about and when you get a massage, a lot of people think you're rubbing lotion on the skin, right? Sort of like it's a hydrating, lovely sort of thing. But underneath there, you've got muscle, you've got nerves and you've got blood vessels and you got arteries and you've got fascia, which is a fascinating structure, which is connective tissue that is wrapped around everything. And it's so depending on what you're dealing with is why you would do sort of a relaxation massage versus a deep tissue massage. What you and I do together the work we do that's deep tissue massage because I do deep tissue massage. A client said to me the other day As much as I'm a Whoo, I get in there under the things that and I do effective work. I had a client the other day, we're working on his legs, and I said, this isn't going to be pleasant. And he said, Oh darlin, nothing you do is pleasant. But that's why I like you. Because you know, it's not unpleasant. Right? Exactly. But it's not fluffy. Like, right. So it's Yeah, it's about intention, it's about the structures you are trying to get to, it's about, because you have muscles between your ribs, right, like you have muscles, you have teeny tiny little muscles that are attached to your skeleton, we are able to get to those muscles. It's about cutting through the other layers, right and sort of relaxing. And that's why with any kind of massage, you have those sort of gentler, more gentle strokes at the beginning, and then it gets deeper and then we sort of come out of it again, to those lighter strokes. Again, that's one of the principles of massage is like surface to surface again. Because you need to work with all of it to get to the deeper stuff. But if you are doing a true deep tissue massage is generally focused on one area more often and it is more of an intentional, like we are going to get taking our time slowly, deeply into those deeper structures. aroma therapy massage, is any of the above massage with oils that smell nice.

Kelsey Harris:

I like those ones. Yeah, right.

Danielle Potvin:

Those ones are nice ones. Um, yeah, in my clinic, where I work, what we do is we, we have personalized blends right there company blends that my clinic owner has made. And we choose that scent, and we put it into boiling water. And then we put that under the face of the person who was having the massage. So you were breathing in those essential oils that blend. That's really nice. And then I also add the oils, those oils to the lotion that I'm using. So you get it all over the body as well. hot stone massage is Kate, this is my spiel about hot stone massage, you know those posters that you see. And it's always a white lady with a flower behind her ear and there's like six stones down her back. That's not hot stone massage, that's actually illegal. I am not allowed as massage therapists to put a hot stone static on a person's body without a barrier that would burn them.

Kelsey Harris:

That's fair,

Danielle Potvin:

Right. So what I do when I do hot stone massages, I use those hot stones as an extension of my hands. I do the same sort of lotion application at the beginning of the massage to get everything going. But then I take a stone and I use it as an extension of my hand. And that is I love hot stone massage because it really cuts through everything. I don't have to work as hard to get through those surface muscles to get down to the deeper muscles. Because he does that for you. Right It is like a hot knife through butter. And I should have a caveat in the COVID world when I do on hot stones right now because I'm worried about the sanitization. But you know if the world were normal, it's a really good thing to do. They're all sorted. Yeah, under the Swedish Swedish umbrella, and they all have different benefits. A relaxation massage is an incredible thing. If you don't want to have that not quite so pleasant feeling that sometimes you're working on the deeper structures. Then, you know, you might need a deeper massage if you actually have pain, like I know with you Kelsey that I don't think that you would like it if it was just sort of gentle

Kelsey Harris:

I'm always like Oh, I like as hard as she can go that's what I want.

Danielle Potvin:

Yes, yes. And I go as hard as your tissues will allow you to you know, a safe that way. But yeah, there are but there are people that if I did that, you know if I use my elbow the way to with you they would cry and then would have so how it Why Is that good? Right? Like I don't believe in no pain, no gain. I don't believe in going outside of a person's pain tolerance level. Because if you are being the tough guy and like gritting your teeth through something, you're also undoing all the work I've done on everything else. What's the point of that? What's the point of being so tense during your massage because that hurts. Like? That's ridiculous. Yeah, for sure. You know, my personal philosophy is actually that all relaxation massage needs a certain amount of therapeutic and all things therapeutic massage needs a certain amount of relaxation. I think that the best work happens when you're sort of, at the marriage of those two things. And, you know, intentionally, I always set an intention when I'm working with something of what it is that I want to, you know, I say to you, I'm gonna get you walking out of here feeling a little bit better than when you walked in. Right? Like, that's kind of that's my goal. But, you know, there is, I like to know, my clients, I like to get to know them as people and you know, you sort of get to feel someone's energy, right? Like, there are days when someone maybe thinks that they need an elbow in the piriformis. But they don't. Right. Like, there's something you know, and I'm not a therapist, or whatever. But there is something like a sort of a spiritual need that, you know, when you get to know somebody I do anyway, feel that energetically from people, right? Which I think is an honor. Yeah. Yeah.

Kelsey Harris:

So that kind of ties right into my next question, which was, you know, how do we know what type of massage we should be getting? So if someone's listening, and they're like, Oh, I want to get a massage. But like, Oh, we just talked about a bunch of different types. And I have no idea.

Danielle Potvin:

Yeah, try them all. Like, try them all. If I think the most important thing though, is finding your person, right. It's finding a therapist, I hear from people all the time that they'll be like, you know, I don't like my therapist gives a great massage, but I don't really like them. And I don't really like spending that time with them, like, well, but like my brother said that to me one time that his therapist talked to the entire massage, and he hated it. And I was like, Well, did you tell her to stop? Right? And he? And he was like, Well, yeah, but she doesn't. And I was like, let's stop going to her. Like, you know, you know, I love a chat. But when someone says to me, like, I just need to not talk, I'm like, great. Like, then let's not talk. Because you need this. Some people do process things out loud. And some people don't. Yeah, some people need to chat and some people don't. But you need to find the one that's right for you. And if that means you try a few different people, then you try a few different people. But if you don't really like the person you're spending that time with, and I'm not saying like you want to be friends with them, right? That you want to, like, hang out with them all the time or anything. But if you don't, again, energetically get along with that person, then like, there's kind of no point. And then after that, there are the other things, you know, like most massage therapists do aroma therapy, because pretty easy to throw some smelly things in a smelly thing. And then things smell great. heartstone not everybody does. We're all trained as massage therapists and Ontario to do relaxation or deep tissue massage, some people do more sports massage. I think communication is really key with the therapist that you are going to see if the person doesn't take feedback. Like you don't want to go to them. I hear from people, they'll be like, you know, I told them it was too deep. And they said, Yeah, you need this. Oh, you don't? Like No, you don't. I was the therapist, I was any massage therapist gonna say I know what your body needs to feel like, like, know what? I know what I feel in your body. And I know what I think I can do with that. But like, that's really frustrating. So I think Yeah, the person you find your person and then try different things. hot stone massage is really cool. And a really interesting thing. And it's often a little bit more expensive, because it takes a little bit more time to prepare and then to deal with afterwards. But you know, it's a treat. It's like your birthday massage. I'm going to get myself a hot stone massage. Um, but yeah, I do. I do think like, all of them are great. And it is about what your body tolerates. If someone says to you, you know, you're like, you know, I've had people who come to me who have been recommended by other people. And then they will say, yeah, that's too much for me. And I'm like, yep, then please go see my co worker who does very different has a very different style, because massage is a science, but it is very much an art. Right, as well. And everybody sort of has their own way. And I'm not saying that every treatment is exactly the same, right that you do. You're going to do different things, but like everybody's got a different style a different way. They they deliver it. Mm hmm. And maybe someone's style isn't for you.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, right. It's the kind of goes with everything. And healthcare like if you have a good like psycho therapist, but they don't you don't click with them, why would you go keep going to see them? Right? Like,

Danielle Potvin:

I hate my therapist, like, please do not go. Right. Exactly.

Kelsey Harris:

Find someone else. Yeah, exactly. That makes so much sense. Awesome. So the other thing you mentioned was that you I mean, you'd like to talk during massages. Which, to be honest, I wasn't used to I'd never had a massage therapist, talk to your massage before. And my first massage with you was on my birthday. And it was a little half hour one because I was getting massages somewhere else. And the therapist didn't show up. So I, there were some emergency calls and you fit me in, which was amazing. But like, I was just like, oh, like she's talking the time. But I love it. I just used to it. And so you mentioned that you do have some clients who don't like like it when you talk is that Yeah, yeah.

Danielle Potvin:

Okay, so my first time working with someone the very first time I asked a couple of questions at the beginning of the massage because I engaging, are you a talker? Are you not a talker, right? And people respond or they don't respond. If you get like a one word answer. You're like, okay, maybe this person doesn't really want to talk. But if I think I remember actually that massage with you. And you I think there were still moments of silence, like if I remember correctly, that it's like, I asked you a question. And then you answered it. And then it wasn't really a, an open ended answer. And so I don't think I said anything again. But then a couple of minutes later, you like asked me a question. And then I think it's sort of like, went back and forth like that. And then we kind of realized that, you know, we get along pretty well. And we have a lot of the same opinions about things and pretty interesting conversations. Um, yeah, I am I I'm, I'm a talker in general, I am a person who actually processes things when I talk about them. I sometimes don't know how I feel about something until I've said it out loud. And then I say it out loud. No. I think that. Yeah, I, some people really like it. And some people really don't. The people who I am one guy who actually books 90 minutes, and we chat for about the first half hour. And we talk about all sorts of things. And then the first couple times he said to me, okay, now I'm going to concentrate on my breathing. I like the half hour mark. And I was like, absolutely. And the last time I saw him, he had stopped talking at about the half hour mark was a natural into the conversation. And then he started to say, and I said, No, no, that's okay. This is the point where we stopped talking. And he was like, Yeah, and I was like, No, this is great. This is what we do. Right. Right. And but I've also had people who will come in and they'll say, you know, Danielle, I really need to just like focus on me today, I really need to think about like, what's going on, or whatever it is, or I just like, really need to not talk today. And I'll be like, yeah, okay, that's absolutely fair. We're not going to talk today. And I don't like I don't even ask about the pressure. Because it's generally people that I've seen in a while, like, we know what, you know, I know what they they enjoy. I know what I can do. But sometimes they'll just start talking, like I said to a woman at the end of a 60 minute massage. We didn't do that thing about not talking that you said you wanted to do. And she said, Well, apparently I needed to talk. And it was like, Yeah, apparently you did. So I really do respect it either way. Right? Like, yeah, I

Kelsey Harris:

think it's nice to have the option to talk or not to talk, because so often. I think the assumption is that you're not going to talk so then, you know, or like, I think that's a spa experience. When people go to like a spa for massage, they don't know and talks. So then you just get accustomed to that. And then yeah, it's nice to know that like, you can talk if you need to talk like I also am and I'm not normal, right? Like, I'm not your sort of regular like, I'm just a regular person, but I'm kind of not. I actually thought of a referral recently where the person referred his friend and said, if you can get over the fact that she's really weird. You're gonna get a great massage. And I said, like, how am I really weird? And he goes, you're very interesting opinions about things. And you talk about very interesting things during massage and I'm like, well, we live in an interesting world. Like, there's a lot to Talk about in the world and, you know, part of understanding the world is talking to other people. Totally. Right. And I'm lucky enough that I sometimes get a captive audience and you know, I fancy myself funny. So sometimes, I offer what I like to call lay down comedy. It's not stand up comedy, it's lay down comedy, you just lay there and I'm gonna laugh or you're gonna laugh for a while. Yes, I like that.

Danielle Potvin:

Um, but you know, if you also want me to shut up and just like, I'll do that too.

Kelsey Harris:

You know, I we do have great and very interesting conversations, always, every time I get massages, we have amazing conversations. So much fun. Like, you know, you don't think massage is going to be like fun, but it can.

Danielle Potvin:

That's also my trick to distract from the relatively deep work that I do. Like, if I get people talking about if they're having a very interesting conversation about the state of the world, and I am jamming my fingers into your subscapularis muscle. You know, you might do a quick intake of breath, but you're also thinking about the thing that you're going to say. So you're gonna keep talking while I am manipulating that generally painful muscle.

Kelsey Harris:

There you go. Yes.

Danielle Potvin:

Version. I am also a mother, you know, so I know how to divert attention from the not pleasant thing.

Kelsey Harris:

Yes. So in the, in the non COVID times, used to use things like, well, you mentioned like hot stones, I know you use like heat on my back. So assuming we go back to non COVID times, at some point, when, when would you use those different items and like for what purposes, like if you're gonna need something like heat on someone,

Danielle Potvin:

I mostly use heat. Heat is everybody's friend. And this all of your listeners at home who have muscle muscular pain in any way, unless it's an injury, unless there's an inflammation, he is your friend, he is going to bring blood to an area he is going to soften the muscle, he is going to make things a little bit easier to work with, like when I talked about the hot stone earlier. And I said it's like a hot knife through butter. Heat helps things relax before I get there. So yes, in the non COVID world, we would use the thermal four on your back, which is a really nice, deep, moist heat. And I would put that on your back and work on the legs a little bit while that sort of heated up. So when I got up there, it wasn't as much of the you know, the the strokes to get to those deeper muscles. It was like the top guys were already good. We went through there. Yeah, it really is a sanitization issue with a lot of the tools that we use, right? If it is a porous or material cloth thing, we have to be able to really sanitize it. I was looking at my third before at the clinic today and thinking how could I do that? And I did a little bit of research. And there are some vinyl covers and things that you can get that I'm thinking because he is so important. And it's like, it's almost November. The still the only thing we can do is go outside. Yeah, right. So before I'm going to be going outside in the cold heat in treatment is actually going to become way more important. So

Kelsey Harris:

makes Yes. Especially for anybody listening who lives somewhere cold like Canada.

Danielle Potvin:

Yeah. Like Canada

Kelsey Harris:

or the northern US states. Like you know, like if you live somewhere cold. You know how

Danielle Potvin:

Yeah. Yeah, and we're lucky here even in Toronto, right. Like it was cold this morning, but it was pretty sunny and lovely this afternoon, if there's snow in Edmonton.

Kelsey Harris:

Oh, my I'm was talk to my mom in Winnipeg. And it snowed all night there. Yeah, right. I'm pretty sure it's snowed up north in Ontario. Like it's, yeah. I mean, it was almost Halloween. I grew up in Northern Ontario. You had two costumes. You had the one that you wore to school. That was cute. And the one that you wore trick or treating that you could fit over your coat? Yes. I literally have a picture of myself as like three where my costume is built over my snowsuit absolutely amazing.

Danielle Potvin:

Winter and yeah, that's winter. That's that's Canada tolerating Canada. Yeah.

Kelsey Harris:

Oh, yeah. So yes, heat definitely, definitely

Danielle Potvin:

heat everybody's friend. Yeah, and yeah, I would use heat. When there is extra tension in a muscle and spoiler alert, there is always extra tension in a muscle. All right, right. I actually I honestly, I don't know that I would trust a human who didn't have neck and shoulder or back tension. Like, I would be like, what is your secret?

Kelsey Harris:

Mm hmm. Yeah, for sure.

Danielle Potvin:

You possibly have too much money? Or, you know, not anything like stress. I don't know that that person actually exists. But yeah, especially like you said, in Canada with the weather, right? Like, our shoulders go up around our ears this time of the year, and they don't really come back down until June. Yeah.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, Sad but true.

Danielle Potvin:

Yeah.

Kelsey Harris:

All right. So yes, I'm yeah, I'm also all about the heat. So great.

Danielle Potvin:

No, I was just gonna say nobody has ever come home and wrapped themselves, like maybe in the summertime, I guess. But like, you don't wrap yourself in a shell of ice. Right? Right. Even if you're really hot. You don't do that. But you will wrap yourself in?

Kelsey Harris:

Yes, yes. So how often do you recommend people get a massage?

Danielle Potvin:

So I think it depends. For me, it's actually consistency. Whether it's every four weeks, whether it's every six weeks, whether it's every eight weeks, I recognize that there are budgetary constraints to massage, if someone is lucky enough to have extended health benefits to their employer, a lot of times, it's not a ton of coverage, right? So or even worse, you're paying out of pocket for massage. What you want to do is figure out what you can reasonably and feasibly do, how much would your does your plan cover? Would it cover a 30 minute massage every three weeks, which you think would be benefit? Because you have a really sore neck that is always giving you trouble? Or can you do a 60 minute massage every six weeks, because you know, a full body experience is better you figure out what it is that you want and what you like, and you set that schedule because it kind of doesn't matter. I mean, Frank Sinatra had a 90 minute massage every day of his adult life, right? Like it did him no harm. But it's, it's that consistency of getting it every three weeks, every four weeks, every six weeks, your body gets used to it, your body starts to really crave it right, you know that it's about to happen when you get a massage every for every five weeks, those couple of days before the massage, you're like it's coming. I know that in the coming days, this is what it's going to feel like. So that consistency, you also do get to know your body a lot better when you are having any sort of consistent physical, right even if you're doing a fit, like an like a physical activity, if you are running every day, if you are doing a treadmill every day, like if you're doing anything consistently, you get to know what your body feels like without it. Right? Right, if you miss it if you skip it. So ideally, every human in the world, including myself, and I don't should get a weekly massage. But that is not.

Kelsey Harris:

That's my life dream is not a 60 minute massage every week.

Danielle Potvin:

Yeah, you win the lottery. And that's like what you do, right? Yeah, so but it is it is very much about consistency, whatever your budget allows, whatever your schedule allows. But I do say that when because people get excited about it, right, they book a massage, like people are gonna listen to this, they're gonna be like, I'm gonna go get a massage with that weird massage therapist. And they booked it and they get all excited. And then when people are leaving, and I say, okay, when do you want to rebook, and they go, let me look at my schedule, and I go, Okay, see, and never right? Because it is easier to rebook a massage you already have than to remember to book a massage until you really need it. Right? Right. So if you decide that it's every five weeks, six weeks, whatever, when you make that first appointment, and you leave that first appointment, you make the next one for six weeks out. And like at my clinic, we do a 48 hour reminder, via email, right? So you get that reminder two days before and you're like, Oh, no, I actually can't do that massage. Calling and rescheduling said massage more is more likely that you're going to get massage in that timely manner. Whereas if you leave your like it's fine, but you know how like one week turns into nine weeks as an adult, right because time is weird, and especially in the COVID times when it means absolutely nothing. Yeah, then you are, you're more likely to get it if you book it, it's easier to reschedule than it is to book when you need.

Kelsey Harris:

Right. totally makes sense. Yeah. So, you know, you kind of mentioned this, but some people listening, you know, maybe not be able to afford a regular massage appointments, you know, maybe they have to spread them out much further distance. So what are some some things that you can recommend they do between appointments to kind of help them get through?

Danielle Potvin:

Stretching. Okay, so stretching is your friend, you know that I always call us the worst animals in the kingdom to humans, right? We are the absolute worst animals in the kingdom, because we're the only animal that forgets we're animals, right? Every other animal when they get up, like my dog is sitting next to me right now being perfect. And when she gets up from this spot on the couch, she is going to stretch every muscle in her body, right? Before she walks across the room before she gets into another position doesn't matter. That's what she does, because that's what animals do. Except humans, who are the bad animals that forget we're animals. And we walk around thinking that we're brains, in meat suits, right, like, so stretching is he, and especially as we age, right youth very much is wasted on the young. And all the advantages are true. If you don't use it, you will lose it and all these things, right. So stretching is key. But I want everybody to think about their muscles as elastic bands. If you take an elastic band and you stretch it too far, it will snap. Hmm. If you stretch it really slowly, you can go forever, right? Think about your muscles in the same way, we have a tendency as the worst animals in the kingdom, to stretch until we feel pain. Right? That is not a thing that we want to do. You want to stretch until you feel sensation, and then you want to let that sensation relax a little bit. And then you stretch a little bit further. So stretching is huge. Stretching slowly is really important. Stretching consistently. When people say oh, I do stretches every morning. Great, fantastic. You do your stretches in the morning. Are you doing them throughout the day? Are you doing them at night, none of us are stretching enough. There's just you know, maybe people who teach multiple yoga classes a day are stretching enough. But the rest of us certainly are not. Yeah, and really self care. Getting in water in any form baths if you like them, showers, swimming. Being in water is a really grounding and good experience for your body. And it's good way to incorporate some heat, right? If you want to end stretching, every time you have a shower, you let the water hit your neck and you do some gentle stretches of the neck that's going to make things better. It's going to let more blood flow through your neck which ultimately gets to your brain. Yeah, taking care of yourself giving yourself a break. We if you get paid for eight hours work eight hours. I cannot believe how many times I've had to say this in the past couple of months since people have been working from home.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, totally. Yes. Totally. How do you inspire your clients to live an amazing life?

Danielle Potvin:

By being amazing.

Kelsey Harris:

Or being hilarious!

Danielle Potvin:

Well, there's that because I'm not super amazing. Um, I don't know, I really I believe very much in being exactly who you are. And kind of unapologetically. So because we get you know, one go round that we can remember because if reincarnation is real, I don't remember it. So you know, you get when go around that you remember and you want to do as much as you possibly can to be as happy as you can without being a ridiculous decadent hedonist. Right? Because there has to be some balance, but I personally believe live but why would I call the deathbed philosophy. So nobody has ever gotten to the end of their life and said, You know what, I'm so glad I worked that extra shift. True. Nobody has ever done that nobody has ever said I'm really glad I didn't take that vacation in exchange for, you know, whatever. So like, within reason we can't blow everything off to only have fun all of the time, but our society tends very much to focus On what our output is, as opposed to what our experiences, right and you know, we are judged by the value of what we, you know, bring to society or like, you know, and really what that reads in a capitalist Western society is how much money we make, and therefore, how much money we put back into the economy, right, which is ridiculous and a metric that I am not interested in measuring my life by, you know, there are days, I wish I had been much more ambitious and made way more money, but you know, would I be happier? Probably not. So, I think that, I don't know that I am capable of inspiring anybody to do anything. But I do know that I am always me, in every situation, right, I, I talk to everybody pretty much the same, I don't believe in a hierarchal sort of, like societal thing. So because I'm an anarchist at heart. So we, you know, you you do your best, all the time to be who you are, and as happy as you can possibly be in that moment in time.

Kelsey Harris:

Like that, you know, I think authenticity is so underrated and yeah, yeah, I think you nailed it. And then what you said about, you know, basically, we need balance in our lives, because too much of anything is counter kind of counterproductive.

Danielle Potvin:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. If you're, if you're just like hanging out and having fun all the time, like, then that's great. But also, how do you know you're having fun if you're having fun all the time?

Kelsey Harris:

Right? Totally.

Danielle Potvin:

You gotta have some boring, terrible times to be able to be like, Oh, no, this is one of the good ones.

Kelsey Harris:

Exactly. And where can, where can my l steners reach you if they have a y questions?

Danielle Potvin:

Might know, I was gonna say, my Instagram page, but I was joking. So I currently work out of a clinic in downtown Toronto at church and Isabella called a good sumed Clinic assumed.ca GS umd.ca we have a number of practitioners and therapists with naturopathic doctors and chiropractors. That is the only clinic that I work out of these days. I am one of the blessed ones who has one job. And I work Monday to Friday, eight to three, which ridiculously in terms of hours. So yeah, they can check me out there if they wanted to come in and see me but really, Google massage near me and read reviews, read people's biographies, you know, go in and go into a place to book an appointment in person and chat with some people. You might think that you want to get one therapist, but you have a really great conversation at the desk with another one, right? Like not all clinics work that way. And it's totally times, right. Don't forget social distancing mask wearing all of those things. But, yeah.

Kelsey Harris:

Cool. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on today. Danielle, you are amazingly wonderful. As always.

Danielle Potvin:

Thank you very much, Kelsey, you as well.

Kelsey Harris:

Thank you, and everyone listening. Thanks so much for taking the time to tune in this week. Remember, keep making the most of it. Thank you so much for joining me today on the chronically living podcast. If you love this week's podcast, please subscribe, rate and leave a review. Until next week, stay strong.