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being nessasary

a quirky look into being

Category Archives: Health

Why hello faithful blog!   I have missed you – I am unfortunately using you for efforts other than your intention (sorta). Yes, it is a bit out of character – I deeply apologize for my disloyalty.

You see, I have to give a certain amount of FREE massages to get my grade for my Clinical Massage class (as well as my kinesiology  course).  While I have been on top of the game the entire quarter, things have been a bit choppy lately with quick cancellations and no-shows.  As you can imagine, it is a bit frustrating.  It is not only me that is effected, but also the other students who could have used my time slot with the massage table.

That being said, I would LOVE for you to contact me if you would like to receive:

1)  Side lying massage (1 hour)

2)  Face/scalp/neck massage note: you DO NOT have to remove any clothing for this!  NO products will be used on your face! (30 mins)

3) Foot massage (Reflexology) note:  you DO NOT have to remove any clothing for this! (30 mins)

yet another note:  The face/scalp/neck massage & foot massage (Reflexology) can be combined to create an hour (this is actually preferred – that way you will get your time’s worth).

*There is more information about the benefits of each massage at the bottom of the page.

My available openings are:

Tuesday, June 7  :  7:00 – 8:00

Wednesday, June 8 : 7:00 – 8:00

Friday, June 10  :  4:00 – 5:00 , 5:00 – 6:00


Saturday June 11  :  12:00 – 1:00  , 2:30 – 3:00 (this can only be a face/scalp/neck OR a foot massage)

Massages will be given at The Harrison College – East Training Spa.  The address, phone number and map are below:

Harrison – Indianapolis East Campus
8150 Brookville Road
Indianapolis, IN 46239
You can schedule an appointment by:
e-mailing me at
replying to this post (with your name).
sending me a facebook message.

*A little more information about the massages being offered:

1) Side-lying massages are often given to pregnant women, the elderly, and clients with certain injuries/disabilities.  Pillows cradle and surround the client into a very cozy position (I typically drift to sleep during one).  The goal of this massage is to relax the client and to relieve his/her aches and pains.

2) Face/Scalp/Neck massages are great for those with sinus (allergies!) issues, tension headaches, and high stress levels.  There are many places on your face that, with the help of massage, may help with congestion. Our tension headaches are often caused by our tendency to squint and scowl as we work (especially on computers).   Those muscles tighten up and pull on the rest of our head (this makes Tylonol and Advil very happy).  A neck massage can address achy muscles caused by bad posture (typical of people who sit down at a desk to work).  That scalp massage?  We all know how relaxing it is!

3)  Foot Massage (Reflexology):  Okay.  We know it feels good to have our feet rubbed, yet it is hard to get someone to do it.  Lucky for you, I will!  At the same time, I will work with you to address any issues you are having ABOVE your ankles.  Foot reflexology is like acupuncture, but without the needles.  It involves using the thumb to gently push certain points on your feet that have an energetic connection to another place on your body (come on, give it a try!).

I have learned many other trades this past quarter, but these happen to be the only ones remaining on my qualification sheet.  I will have a day or two in July that I will set up shop to give FREE 60-minute Swedish massage routines!!!


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My last post may have illuminated that I have been struggling a bit lately as far as anti-epileptic medications go.  Sleeping for 18 hours a day is not really my thing – there are way too many fun things to do out there in the world.  Including the anatomy homework I am about to attempt.

I forced myself out of bed this morning to do the most mundane and necessary of tasks:   laundry. I get a lot of peace from doing laundry – which I think is why I MUST have a washer and dryer in every apartment/condo I live in from now on.  Maybe even two sets:  one for when I go outside to play with my future mud-covered poochies/garden/hike/jump in a gross pond, and another for my amazing collection of underthings.

The thing is, I like simplicity.  It has been incredibly tough to apply the theory to my life the past 4 years with all the pitchy jazz that comes with cancer, the deaths of friends/those afflicted with cancer, medications, and relationships.  It takes a lot of deep breaths, a very strong support group, and a whole lot of the icey cream.

The more I attend my massage classes, the more I learn how many ways one can learn about their body, spirit, and the planet we live on.  The simplicity of having air in my lungs and a pair of hands to lay upon someone else’s body, gives me some of the simplicity I need – most of us are born with these two things.  No diamonds or decadent designs needed.

I suggest we all focus on simplicity, especially in the wake of the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan.  Many lost family, friends, homes, pets, and possessions.  I would much rather cope with the 10+ pills I swallow each day than lose my beloved family, friends, Betty and Maggie, and the roof over my head.

One of my favorite songs featured in the Waycross Camp songbook/sung at my grandmother’s funeral is called “Tis a Gift to be Simple.”  I will leave you with the lyrics:

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,

‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained

To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,

To turn, turn, will be our delight

Till turning, turning we come round right.

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Oh fooie!  I’m late! The pipes burst, my cat got out, it snowed ten feet, my car wouldn’t start, and a rodent chewed through my computer’s power cord!!!

Kinda legit, right?

No, I did not follow through with my month long “write in your blog every day, Nessa” pledge. This is not because I didn’t wanna.  I found out Friday evening that one of the greatest friends a gal can have was only a feeble drive away.  After adventuring around the world since she graduated from IU in 2008, she has taken up residence in Maui.  Real unfortunate, right?  A sad story.  I feel really bad for her, having to come home to trump through the foot deep brack basting Indiana’s beheaded corn stalks.

Because her life is so sad and sunless, I decided she needed me to bring some light to her life.  I ventured to the old stomping grounds: Bloomington, Indiana, home of the Hoosiers.  I needed to get there bright and early, just so I could save her tan from fading.

I spent a lovely 24 hours laughing, eating, playing, and dancing with her family and a friend of ours.  The internet and my writing responsibilities could wait – or not even exist – in exchange for precious time with my beloved college companion. December 18, 2010 does not need an excuse.  It is safe to hold onto the handle, but it is much more fun to let go and let the wind take you (Thank You, Story People).  I like fun and laughing until you can’t breathe.  It is all good for your being. 

Too many yesterdays pass like the hummingbirds in your window feeder.  They’re there if you’re paying attention or if you catch their flirty feeding methods out of the corner of your eye, but if they’re closed, its like it never even happened. I really would have hated to miss a hummingbird in an Indiana December because I was too involved with a computer screen.

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Chicago is being hammered with snow, ice, and its infamous gusts.  I am on my journey home, and am not really thinking about how my bus was delayed because of said weather or the fact that my new UGGs are prematurely aging.  My heart is focused on a wheelchair-bound woman.  She lacked the bottom half of her left leg, but her spirit – that was completely intact.

She initially chatted up my boyfriend as we waited at a bus stop. Finding refuge in a used bookshop’s storefront, we huddled close to hear the lady talk about the weather, and her keen ability to use swears (swears that no one’s daddy can even imagine, she said).  She won me over right then – I knew she was the kind of crazy I relate to.  After all, you have to be a little nuts if you’re disabled, and as I came to find out, sick.  I gathered that she was around seventy years old, having been born and raised on the streets of the Chicago.

We got a good taste of what her life was like.  I could tell she was into her God and the holiday season.  She couldn’t be too poor off considering she was dressed well, didn’t have an odor of any kind, and she lacked that stressed, sad look that some folks have when life has them down (or maybe she was crazier than I perceived).

Conversation flitted from topic to topic until I saw the bus through the falling frosty air.  She rolled herself onto the sidewalk while I made sure the bus stopped for us (we had attempted to catch an earlier bus, but it blew past us as if we were yellow snowmen).  When it stopped, the personality who had delighted my boyfriend and I with several laughs and smiles, paused.  She could not move herself over the icy mound obscuring the street curb.

I know stubborn.  Yet, with all my health issues these past few years, I have learned when to accept help.  This woman was on that page with me, though I am most certain she got there much sooner than I.  She lived independently, yet knew when to accept my offer to push her forward.  Thankfully, when the tread on my boots didn’t allow me the traction to push her forward without the terror of spilling her into the gutter, I asked my kindly escort to step in.  He pushed her over the threat, and helped her up the bus’ wheelchair ramp.  It was quite the feat considering she asked the crowed bus to give the driver and us nice white folk a round of applause.

The passengers were a bit confused by her merry behavior, but it did not seem to faze her.  We stood behind her as the bus did its business.  I noticed her fidgeting with a long pink ribbon on the handle of her wheelchair.

I’m a nosey cancer survivor.  I ask when I sense another troop.  She smiled up at me and questioned how I knew.  I pointed at the ribbon and smiled while saying, “I’m one too!”  She didn’t do the whole, “Baby you’re to young,” speech.  She grabbed my hand in the most congratulatory manner I have ever felt (forget those two graduations I have gone through) and said, “We are survivors! We are here to prove things can be done!”  If we weren’t on a crowded, slippery bus, I would have hugged the lady.  What a woman.

She continued on to talk about my dimple, and how she wanted one when she was little.  She used to stick her fingers in her cheeks hoping the dent would stay.  When she asked her mother where dimples came from, she replied, “They came from angel kisses.” Like all curious children, there was a second question along the lines of, “Well, then how come you have them and I don’t?”  Her mother playfully answered, “Well, God just must love me more.”  She laughed.

As my boyfriend and I prepared to get off the bus she wished us a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We returned the well wishes.  But after reflecting upon this woman, I demand that she is Happy and Merry.

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Finding a memorable burger joint involves intense concentration and flavor bud sophistication.  One must invest some serious time and caloric intake to do the endeavor any justice.  Lately, I have been consuming a fair share of veggie, garden, and black bean burgers.  This is mostly because I have watched too many Peta videos.  I am a fan of the humane treatment of animals before they are put down (I am also comforted if I know how they are put to rest).  If the creatures are mistreated or jam packed full of hormones and crazy ass chemicals, I will not eat them.  Not cool.  I respect the animal that is giving me the stuff I need to stay alive.

Organic/all natural food tangent aside, I also like my burgers to be topped with the best ingredients.  Fresh, delicious, organic and balanced.  The bun must be grilled/toasted; I also like to be able to take a bite containing every topping.

Today, I was taken to a place that served me what I have been seeking:  the holy burger.

Chicago’s The Counter is quick to notify its hungry customers of its organic and hormone free critters. The animals were also given lives lacking abuse.  This is a thing to smile about.  The waitstaff lacked frazzled faces, mostly because they didn’t need to scribble down complex orders.  Like a sushi restaurant, a piece of paper listing meat (or non-meat) options, an overwhelming amount of topping options (from your tomato, pickle, and onion classics, right down to cranberries, sprouts, and scallions) gives the hungry guest the ability to place a check next to the desired morsel to top their burger.  There are probably 15 cheeses and a crazy tasty assortment of sauces, like Russian sauce and garlic aoili.  The Counter also offers health nuts with a whole grain bun.  Bless them.

I constructed a stellar burger topped with cheddar, loads of spring greens, onions, and my personal favorite, avocado.  I smeared a bit of mayo on the top bun, and BAM!  The pile of ingredients shone with all the sparkle and glory as God on the shimmering waters of the sea. The lovely flavor of a creamy slice of avocado mixed with the savory taste of happily farmed meat made me melt.  My first bite was nothing short of the first kiss with THAT boy with the pretty eyes and gentle demeanor.

It was love at first bite.

Great Job "The Counter!"

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I woke up nice and early this lovely 9 degree morning to get some sun.  Nothing like a cuddling up with a book in the frosty air surrounded by Christmas lights and puzzled mailmen.  Teaser sentence aside, I went to get an spray tan to look somewhat human for the Groupon office party this Friday evening.

Call me an oompa loompa all you’d like, but you’re the one who sounds silly when you ask if I recently went to Mexico.  The ladies at Indy Air Tan do an amazing job, and they don’t give me cancer.

Being fake isn’t all that bad when done in moderation.  It is not exactly nessasary, but it can help one feel better when battling a bout of self-conciousitis.  In the wild world of women, we have established our own religion when it comes to beauty and maintenance, much of which stems from an inner state of being.

Last night, while trying on cocktail dresses, I was struggling to find one that was even worth buying.  They were either too small (I do not suggest eating a heavily salted meal with a beer before dress shopping),  too big (I was swollen, but not two sizes larger!), or my pastiness overwhelmed me in this season’s black and sequined fashions.

I typically opt for color when it comes to dresses.  Black just reminds me of funerals. I have seen to many of those the past five years, so my one LBD hides far beneath the crust of my closet (plus some of the internal makings of it poke out and stab me in the bosom).

LBDs aside, I do not mind it when girls wear ridiculously high heels to conceal the fact they’re 5’2 or wear glue on lashes – whatever helps a lady feel that much cuter is fine by me.  The only time I find fake sad is when a woman is decked out head to toe with artificial lights.

Her hair is dyed (usually poorly), she has had bad botox injections in her cheeks and lips, her make-up that looks like Barbie did the honors, her boobs tuck under her chin and so on.  You know what I am talking about.  I want women to be happy, but masking practically everything on the outside also masks what is going on indoors.

Halloween is for masks (and it is one of my favorite nights of the year!) – but I don’t want to be Britney Spears for longer than 6 hours.  It would be nice to not have a bald spot anymore, but I happen to like my body’s many imperfections – like my crazy crooked spine and my cheekbones. Hell, I even like the massive scar on my head.  It’s super badass if you ask me, and it is an amazing conversation starter!  Every woman should really focus on her freckles before making a permanent change to what she was born with.  No one really enjoys fake flowers that much.

We all have our little secrets – mine being the occasional tone inducing spray tan.  Others have their eyelashes and collagen enhanced lip gloss. I urge ladies to not lose themselves into making outer perfection.  What would a sea with a few swells be without the fish and shipwrecks beneath?

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I am stubborn, almost destructively, really.  When I get an idea of what I want, and there is some sort of urgency to it, I won’t quit the chase until I get it, or at least, until I find something better to tackle.  College was easy, I wanted good grades and an English degree.  Check.  Cancer was easy, I wanted to set fire to its pimply ass, and stay alive in doing so.  Check.  Writing, well, let’s say it is always a work in progress, and someday that book will come flapping to a store near you. Quasi-check.  Career – I have trouble spelling the word at times.

I have tried teaching, but with my medical issues, did not have the stamina to keep up with student teaching and the coinciding classes.  Tutoring high school kids:  I was told to be easier on kids while writing their senior papers (which I believe is doing them an injustice), and also, once again, was held back by a medical issue.  Interning in the advertising department for a magazine:  I am pretty much an ornament with a rare talent in data entry and proofreading.

Stubbornness V Career Setbacks = More Stubborness.  I have met with people regarding my resume, applied for retail positions, even looked on Craigslist for dog-walking gigs.  But in this economy, a BA in English from Indiana University is just not enough for any of these positions.  I need experience. The irony lies in the fact that no one is willing to provide the opportunity to gain experience.

So, a stubborn young woman swallows her pride for months. Eventually December arrives and the Christmas lights ignite!  Bright colors, Yellow! Green! Red! Blue! Orange!  Why doesn’t this cancer survivor, who absolutely loves massages, aromatherapy and natural remedies return to school to study said practices?  Brilliant!

After I met with the nearest college that provides a massage therapy program, I found myself and found myself smiling as I sipped on a frost topped Diet Coke.  I am finally making a change I like. This is cool – this whole trying something completely different:  it is liberating.  I won’t even need to check a bag.  I can carry a change of clothes, a pair of shoes, and a notebook in my satchel!

I believe that the joy of learning and the near-promise of really having a career are enough to keep the cancer goblins at bay – or even make them run further from my beautiful body and brain.  Without even starting this new path, I feel loads of mud letting me go.

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