Things in Erin’s Brain 

It was a day quite the opposite of today. If you’re not in South Florida, right now it’s blustery, warm, and we are dodging the bands of rain and tornadoes drug in by Ian, the Cat 4 hurricane torturing the west coast of our state. In fact, on the particular day I’m thinking of, we may have been lounging by a resort pool, with a pina colada in hand. Jerry and I were fantasizing about places we’d like to retire. “What about the Bahamas? Or Florida? The water is nice and warm,” I didn’t need to look over at Jerry because I could hear the smile on his lips.

“Nope,” I declared, “I do NOT want to live anywhere that has an entire SEASON dedicated to a natural disaster.”

Yet, here I am, munching on my hurricane snacks, checking on the weather, and hoping my friends on the west coast of Florida are all okay. 

I’ve had people tell me they don’t mind the hurricanes because “at least you get notice it’s coming.” This is TRUE… yet, with that knowledge comes great responsibility. One has to be very mindful to filter out the speculation that floods the airwaves a week before a storm arrives (or doesn’t). We ponder life threatening choices: evacuate or don’t evacuate? Then there’s the storm. I’m blessed to have impact windows so I can at least see what’s happening outside. I would likely lose my mind behind shutters, in the darkness, not seeing, not knowing. I’ve been told that a hurricane sounds like a freight train running through your home. I’m hoping to never experience it firsthand. Once the storm itself passes, you work through the storm debris, both physical and emotional. It’s a lot. 

Me? I lived through the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. I was pretty much at the epicenter of the historical 6.9 quake. Yeah, in those 15 seconds I thought I was going to die. I wish I could say that after the 15 seconds of terror it was just over, but aftershocks continued to rock us for a week after the main event (in that week there were 20 aftershocks 4.0 or larger). When I just looked it up, I was reminded that there was a 5.2 aftershock just 2.5 minutes after the initial quake. Reliving that trauma twenty times in a single week can be life altering.

So which is better? Knowing? Not knowing? As I shovel this Publix Asian Style Wasabi Mix into my mouth by the handful, I really can’t say. What I do know is that my family is nearby. My house is sturdy. I’ve got snacks.

And Faith. Faith in the Universe. Faith in my family and friends. Faith in my community. And Love.

Because it’s all about love…

Massage Minute brought to you by

HuI love a good scalp massage.

My scalp is my super, very most favorite thing to have massaged. It is THE thing that relaxes me. If you don’t massage my scalp, I have not relaxed. If you are a hairdresser, I might fall asleep in the shampoo bowl.  

That’s why I pepper scalp massage throughout my clients’ massage sessions. In the beginning to ground them. After a while… because it feels good. Again before we turn over (more grounding). Again AFTER we turn over. Then, always at the end to finish off a fantastic massage session. To me, scalp massage just says, “You’re here. You’re safe. I got you.” 


I have had more than one person tell me (brace yourself Hump Day Fan), that they don’t LIKE it.

It kinda breaks my heart, but they tell me it’s just not for them. 

I’ve heard all different reasons: 

A) they don’t want to get “stuff” in their hair
B) they don’t find it relaxing (or maybe they never had a good one…)
C) they don’t like the sound of their hair scrunching on their head

Recently I had someone tell me they don’t mind it, “Just don’t pull my hair.” 

Yes. Hair pulling is a real, honest to goodness massage technique that is supposed to be beneficial for circulation, help stretch the fascia in the scalp, and some say the stimulation of the follicles can help prevent hair loss. I don’t know about the latter, but what I do know is:

A) I’ve received it and totally dug it
B) I’ve received it and totally hated it

When done correctly, the hairpulling technique is done by gently grabbing hair very close to the scalp and giving a gentle tug. But it’s all got to be in the right proportions with the right tension and frankly with the right energy (if the person pulling your hair feels a little crazy, it’s not gonna be good). One slight mishap, like a single, stray hair out of place, and OUCH – the entire massage session can be ruined (it HURTS when one stray hair gets pulled!!). So I personally choose not to play with the technique because I hate causing unnecessary pain.

There are so many other magnificent scalp techniques. I love receiving massage work at the occipital ridge (the bony base of your skull where the neck attaches). There’s so many muscle attachments in there and it just feels so good to have them all released. I don’t particularly like it when therapists “shampoo” my scalp. In my most humble opinion, only hairdressers are allowed to use that move, with actual shampoo and water. I love the lymphatic drainage technique along the back of the scalp – slow and methodic, all in one direction, stroking down toward the base of the neck. I have some clients who like lots and lots of pressure on their scalp so it feels like I’m massaging their brains, chasing away all the angst with my fingertips. Ohhh the temples. We can’t forget the temples. And on both sides of the ears. At the same time. Working down the center of the head – I’ve got this new move with swirly thumbs and people are diggin it.

Bonus: There’s a 2016 study that shows scalp massage has a positive effect on stress hormones and blood pressure. If you’re in South Florida and Ian has you wanting to pull all of your hair out, consider turning off the news for a spell and trade scalp massages with your bunker mate. Riding it out solo? A self scalp massage feels great too. 

Stay safe my friends