Friday, July 31, 2009

Weathering the heat.

Summer is often a hard time for me to go to work, since the spa is a little like a cave. Normally, it's difficult to miss out on being in the sunshine. These last few days have been lovely in the coolness of the spa.

We discovered that 97 degrees is the perfect temperature for the hot tub when it's hot like it has been. Warm enough that it still relaxes the muscles but cool enough to be comfortable. We'll keep the tub temperature lower for the rest of the summer or until it cools off significantly. I also added peppermint essential oil to the clay so that it has a cooling effect. That is quite the decadent treat after getting floated into a blissful state.

We'll be taking these fun ways of cooling down to tonight's Gold Show at the Little Red Studio.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Aquatic Rejuvenation

Courtnee, Cheri & I got together for a watsu practice session the other day. Cheri attended a Watsu workshop at Breitenbush Hot Springs last month and was sharing her tidbits of new information.

The practice session steadily shifted course away from the more clinical forms that Cheri learned. We started exploring various ways to use our whole bodies during the stretches and different ways to hold someone so that more massage could be done. The "noodles", that have until this point in time only been used to add buoyancy, were pressed into service to hold up the neck, thereby freeing both hands. With this configuration we were able to get more dynamic stretches, massage the body from numerous angles and incorporate more fascial pulls. It was an incredibly informative and fun exercise.

I have been experimenting as people come in for sessions that include watsu and it's unanimous that it is just as relaxing and even more soothing.

We need a new name for this type of bodywork. For a while now I have been using Water Contact Massage as a way to differentiate what we do from the traditional forms of Watsu. Much less of a mouthful would be better. Also, having a name that expressed the flowing and improvisational nature that could give people more of an idea of what they were signing up for would be ideal. Names in the running are in the vein of Aquatic Bodywork. This is much more difficult than I thought.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Update: 7/27 Ladies' Night

I have received 2 emails and will be extending tomorrow's hours until 10pm. Feel free to stop by anytime tonight between 6pm and 10pm for Ladies' Spa Night.

Reminder about "summer hours"

Tomorrow is Ladies' Spa Night and I wanted to let everyone know that the extended hours are still available as long as I get 2 or more women to RSVP by noon on Monday.

Ladies' Night official hours will remain 6pm - 9pm every 2nd and 4th Monday, and with prior arrangement, I will extend the evening to 10pm. To make your "late" reservations for Ladies' Spa Night, on July 27th, please give me a call at (206) 963-0772 or email me:

I am a bit behind on coming up with a recipe for the new salt scrub, so we may have another batch of the Lime for the evening.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Bash and Grand Opening join forces!

Little Red Studio Summer Bash & Little Red Bistro Grand Opening!!!

Saturday - July 25th @ 9PM

Once again we're throwing a big Summer Bash - complete with entertainment and one of our favorite dance bands - The Nasty Habits! Come play with us in our fabulous Studio and celebrate the height of summer and much awaited Grand Opening of the Little Red Bistro!

There will be drink specials offered in the Little Red Bistro and food including BBQ and complimentary hors d'oeuvres. And for this event only, we'll have two bars - one in the Bistro and one inside Little Red Studio.

A very exciting development is the recent purchase of a hot tub for LRS. It's not as big as the one in the Spa, but it's close! I have been helping Jeff to create a miniature version of the Spa at the Little Red Studio Gold Show for some time and now with a hot tub in place, we have a perfect set up. We will have a massage table. salt scrub, scented oils and a large, hewn shower to approximate the LittleRed Day Spa.

Remember to bring your dollar bills to buy tickets for the fun and sexy activities you have come to associate with the Little Red Studio. Imagine a carnival of things to do that will delight your senses! You can trade your tickets for: Tarot card readings, a soak in the new Hot Tub, Hand scrubs (featuring the custom made salt scrubs from the Little Red day Spa), Photo Booth and more! Tickets are $1 each or get your inseam or bust measurement in tickets for $10!

Where: 400 Dexter Ave N.

How Much: $20

Tickets can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets or reserved by calling (206) 328-4758

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Emails that make me glow.

Cheri and I worked with a lovely couple recently and I was warmed by this sweet note the next day:
Last night’s spa session was wonderful, just what the doctor ordered. Although neither of us had done anything like that before, you made us instantly comfortable and I plan on scheduling another session as soon as we can find a slot in our schedule.

We also truly enjoyed the opportunity to talk with you and especially view a small portion of Jeff’s wonderful art.

Part of the draw to the Little Red “Empire” for me is just how dang friendly everyone involved is, and last night was yet another reminder, so again, thank you very much!

Thank you for the incredibly kind words, Dave & Tammy. It was truly our pleasure to work with you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stitches update.

My hand is doing great. I already have full use of my thumb and the only movement that hurts is the one where I smack the back of my hand on something hard. I have declared myself back in action. Officially, I still have to keep my hand out of the tub so if I am wearing glove when you come in for a session, that's why. A nitrile examination glove with athletic tape around the wrist is water tight for 15-20 minutes.

I have scheduled my fist massage since my little accident for tomorrow. Even though it is less than a week, I am confident that I will be able to work. I have been healing so fast, at the very least I will be able to use my forearm on the left side, even if I can't use the hand. I actually did one handed massage for 8 months after a severe car accident in 1999 left me with sprained sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular ligaments. Luckily, skin takes much less time than ligament to heal due to the increased blood supply.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Anatomy in daily life.

Or why learning Latin might have been a good idea before taking anatomy classes.

The Sartorius muscle is not generally the main culprit in any pathology and dysfunction of the leg. Usually it gets "stuck" fascially to the Quadraceps. It sticks in your head because it is the longest muscle in the human body and when you pull your leg into the lotus position or to sit tailor style, you are engage it in it's fullest contraction.

Imagine my delight when this was the word of the day recently:
sartorial \sar-TOR-ee-uhl\, adjective:
1. Of or relating to a tailor or to tailoring.
2. Of or relating to clothing, or style or manner of dress.
3. [Anatomy] Of or relating to the sartorius muscle.

Most muscles are named for their shape or location or what they do. Sartorius is much more poetic than, say, the Levator Scapulae, which roughly translates to elevate the shoulder blade.

Friday, July 17, 2009

At least I will have a great story to go with the scar.

Yesterday, Jeff had a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the troupe to commemorate the opening of the Bistro. The grand Opening isn't until next week, when we have our Summer Bash on the 25th. Jeff wanted a little ritual to honour all the hard work that has gone into building and preparing the Bistro to open and also to hand over the reigns of operation to the new manager, Jim.

I was incredibly touched when Jeff asked me to coordinate with Cheri on a little ceremony, giving us the directive that he trusted whatever we came up with as long as he was the one who got to cut the ribbon. He also asked me if I would christen the Bistro by smashing a bottle of champagne on the corner of the building. See where this is going?

During the planning, Jim was sharing horror stories with Jeff of ship christenings where the bottle had to be swung numerous times to get it to break on the prow of the ship. As a result, Jeff emphatically directed me to use all my strength. Everyone gave a small count down and I swung, getting my torso behind my swing, and the bottle smashed spectacularly with a satisfying pop and spray of bubbles! Unfortunately, one of the pieces somehow bounced back and cut my left hand bad enough to need two stitches. At the time, we washed it out and I applied pressure and decided it was safe to finish out the ceremony. Next, a quick trip to the walk-in clinic where I was in and out in 30 minutes. Then back for a panini dinner at the Bistro. James, the Chef, thanked me for being the first one to get cut at the Bistro.

As a result, I will be unable to perform massage for at least a week. This is a fabulous time to take the opportunity to work with one of my other incredible practitioners. They have all graciously stepped up to cover my shifts at the spa until I get the go-ahead from the doctor to resume my full work. While you may be saying, "but, you are right handed, how come you can't massage." Actually, I am left
hand dominant during massage and the cut is on the back of my hand, close to the thumb knuckle. Using my thumb painfully stretches the skin, pulling at the stitches. I also can't get my hand wet for at least three days and I can't get into the hot tub with an open wound. So I am unsure of when I will be able to do a watsu session.

The upside is that I will be easier to get a hold of by phone since I won't be in session! Feel free to give me a call at (206) 963-0772 or email Sophia@ to schedule a spa session or massage with Cheri, Courtnee, Dion, Zan or Cody.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The Lime, Avocado and Peppermint salt scrub is running low. Time to make up a new batch. The question is, do I do the Lime again, or shall I make up a new on? Requests or the Pineapple from last year have reached my ears. Raspberries are in season right now, too. A friend from San Diego who I gave my salt scrub base recipe to emailed me the other day to say she was enjoying a mango scrub right now.

So, Lime, Pineapple, Raspberry or Mango? Feel free to cast your vote for any of these or throw another option into the mix!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spa party on a budget.

This last Monday was Ladies' Spa Night. And interestingly enough, 6 of the 10 people in attendance were friends who decided to attend together. It made for a lively evening, yet they still gave a lot of respect and were inclusive of the other people in the Spa with their conversations and sharing the treats they had brought to add to the fare I had on hand. The energy was really uplifting. I had arranged to leave once the evening was set up and decided to stay because it felt so good being around these incredible women having fun pampering themselves and each other.

That night also marked the first Ladies' Night that was catered by the Little Red Bistro. The fruit platter and plate of bite sized chicken/chevre/sun-dried tomato sandwiches were delicious and beautiful! I was very pleased. I am tempted to say that Ladies' Night is "all that and a box of crackers" but now there are no crackers in sight! Not a bad deal for $15 a person.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Catching up.

I didn't realize it had been so long since I had written a blog post. Last week was completely out of sorts for me. My grandfather passed away and while it was expected, it was very difficult emotionally and logistically, as I had to arrange last minute travel to California. I am really glad that I went, though, Attending the funeral with 60 members of my immediate family was very healing. (We were only missing a few people.) It was wonderful to look around at all my aunts and uncles and cousins and all the new babies and know that there was a little bit of my grandfather in each of us.

Luckily for me, I have a wonderful staff and the spa ran fluidly while I was gone for three days. A special thank you to Cheri for doing such a good job of answering the Spa's phone.

Tomorrow is Ladies' Spa Night and I am looking forward to getting back into the rhythm of the Spa as a way to becomes more grounded.

Ladies' Spa Night - 2nd and 4th Monday of the Month
Drop In: 6-9pm
Cost: $15
Little Red Day Spa
1506 Franklin Ave. E. Seattle (Please park on the street, leaving the spaces in the lot for those with mobility issues.)

These nights are designed to be a casual and social evening. There will be a practitioner present to make you feel welcome and facilitate use of the spa's equipment. There will be areas set up for clay, salt scrubs and massage for you and your friends to pamper each other. For an extra fee, one can get a short massage during the evening from our massage therapist on staff.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Seattle 100 Ride for the Cure

A good friend of mine, a motorcycle enthusiast and artist, is participating in a fund raiser for research to find a cure for Nephrotic Syndrome. Kidney dysfunction and disease runs in my family so I am happy to support her fund raising efforts. She has a modest goal of $500. If you can afford even $5, please click on the link below and lend your money to the cause.

Here is the email she sent out.

As most of you know I love riding my motorcycle on the track. The Seattle 100 is an opportunity to put my passion to good use by raising funds to find a cure for Nephrotic Syndrome. This condition occurs when kidney filters malfunction and protein needed by the body is instead lost though urine. Swelling occurs throughout the body, especially around the eyes and limbs, cholesterol soars, and hospitalization is generally required. Long-term effects of Nephrotic Syndrome can cause Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), kidney scarring that can require daily dialysis, or a kidney transplant.

On Saturday, July 25th, I will be in a group of one hundred motorcycle enthusiasts who will attempt to circle Pacific Raceway’s road course as many times as we can with the sole purpose of raising money towards kidney disease research. Each and every rider in the Seattle 100 is raising money through friends and family, with proceeds of the event going directly to The NephCure Foundation - the only organization in the world dedicated specifically to the cure of glomerular kidney disease. Riders raise funds through per lap pledges or fixed contributions, and contributions are tax-deductible.

Prior year’s events have raised over $125,000. This year, one hundred riders are expected to participate, and the fundraising goal for this year’s 2009 Seattle 100 is to exceed $150,000.


To donate, please go to and follow the instructions there.

Please feel free to forward to friends, family, and colleagues.

Thank you so much for your help!