Carli Lloyd nails the penalty kick!

It’s a joy thing to watch people at the top of their craft. And that’s just what the experience of Tuesday’s Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match between the USA and Germany delivered. The USA squad played the best they had all tournament and made it nearly impossible for the (usually) excellent German players to gather momentum. The Americans first goal came from some luck (a foul that drew a penalty instead of direct kick) and focus (Carli Lloyd’s excellent execution).


Kelley O’Hara’s super-skill to get a foot on that ball (before the defender) and place it in the net!

On the other hand, their second goal … well, their second goal was pure beauty – a sequence of passes from Megan Rapinoe on the side that was dropped back to Tobin Heath who sent it direct to Carli Lloyd, with her perfect set-up, to Kelley O’Hara’s brilliant completion (watch it here).

The play exemplified skill, patience, practice, awareness, and teamwork – that is what soccer is all about.

And that is exactly what we have going for us at Focus Bodywork with the addition of Brenna Gardner, LMT, to our team! With our own stroke of luck, we’ve nabbed Brenna from one of the high-end spas in Park City. With her nearly 15 years of experience and extensive additional training, Brenna has a host of skills that complements the injury and training needs that face our clients. Just when I was looking for a way to make sure our clients get seen in a timely fashion, Brenna was looking for a venue where she could build on-going relationships with folks navigating the pre- and post-surgery world of injuries. Score!

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I’ve known Brenna for almost three years (we both worked at Prana Yoga) – she has been one of my go-to people when my body starts complaining. I’d often wished I could send on clients needing her special skill but, for most of us, the fancy spa setting is out of our reach. But now, wish granted! She is ready to pick-up some orthopedic assessment and treatment techniques and Shannon and I are lucky to learn more from her about manual lymphatic drainage (in which Brenna is a certified therapist), muscle attachment therapy, and hydrotherapy (to name a few!).

As the US women re-group for Sunday’s final match (with whomever wins today’s line-up between Japan and England), please join me in welcoming Brenna. Over the next few months, she will be building up her hours at Focus Bodywork, starting now with Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. You can book with her online or give us a call at 801-359-5149.

– Margaret Madsen

How Earth-Friendly is Focus Bodywork?

One of the benefits of owning a small business is that you get to make choices that reflect what you believe in.  At Focus Bodywork we are dedicated excellent bodywork and client care, but we also strive to make choices that enhance our local and global community. Here are some of the ways we strive to make less of a footprint on the planet:

Bike Friendly: We bike to work as often as possible (even with a mound of sheet laundry strapped to a pannier rack), we worked with our landlord to get bike racks installed at the plaza so that our clients may be enticed to bike to the studio, and we are a member of Bicycle Benefits.

Reusables: The health department requires us to have disposable hand towels, but we also provide cloth hand towels. It is important to stay hydrated, especially after bodywork.  For this reason we have filtered water (from a refillable pitcher) available to consume in glassware, not disposable cups.  We also reduce waste by buying massage lotion by the gallon and refill small dispensers to use in the treatment room.  (The gallon jugs are also great for storing flour or sugar; let us know if you would like one!)

Green Products: We do a lot of laundry.  Not only do we only run full loads, but we use an environmentally friendly detergent.  Our office is cleaned with green products as well.

Local Sources: We use and sell local or regional products whenever possible. Among our favorites are Beyond Coastal sunscreen (Salt Lake City), JTree embrocations (CA), Big Dipper Waxworks candles (WA) and Peaceful Mountain arnica gel (CO).

Less Waste: In business there is a lot of paper waste.  For this reason we do our bookkeeping and scheduling electronically as well as we e-mail receipts/invoices if they are requested.

Energy Efficient: To reduce energy use we set our thermostat to 80 in the summer and 60 in the winter using blankets to keep our clients comfy while reducing energy demands. And, we use LED light bulbs if natural light will not do.

We are always looking for other ways to support the health of our community and would appreciate any ideas you may have. Happy Earth Day!

By Emma Maaranen

Do I Want To Ice, or To Heat?

By Emma Maaranen

My reply to this question is, “do you want a flood or a swamp?”  First, a little physiology.

At various times each of us has been told to ice an injury.  Maybe a soccer coach sent you to the locker room to ice a sprained ankle, or a co-worker recommended it to treat a stiff neck.  Usually the ice treatment helped.  Why?  When you experience a soft tissue injury (muscle strain, joint sprain, bruise, muscle spasm, etc.) cells are damaged and leak their contents into the surrounding tissue.  These bits of cellular debris and chemicals irritate healthy cells and stimulate nerve receptors to illicit a pain response, as well as to call in your immune system to start cleaning up the mess.  When you ice an injury, making sure you do not frostbite the area and create a bigger problem, the tissue cools to a point where the blood vessels constrict, preventing blood to perfuse the injured area.  Then, after the ice is removed and the tissue rewarms, there is a moment where the blood vessels dilate and flood the injury site with blood.  This flood not only pushes out the bits of damaged cells and chemicals that are causing pain and slowing healing, but bathe the area with fresh white blood cells and nutrients to repair the damage and decrease the pain.  Although the brief numbing may be relief in itself, note that the most important part of this process is not cooling the area for a long period of time, but the rewarming phase.  I recommend applying ice (direct ice massage, insulated chemical ice pack or bag of frozen carrots) as long as it takes to make the area numb.

Heat on the other hand acts more like a swamp at the injury site rather than a flood.  Heat will increase circulation to the injured tissue bringing in white blood cells and nutrients to heal tissue, but does not pack the punch of a flood to push out irritants.  However, in the middle of winter after a long day of skiing in a snowstorm, heat really does feel nice on that aching low back.

So what should you do?  During the first 72 hours of an injury damage may still be taking place from the assault.  Swelling, if excessive, will hinder circulation to the injured area, and ice will do a better job or reducing swelling.  Heat causes fluids to expand.  If cells are delicate, the increased pressure on their walls may cause them to rupture.  For this reason, ice is almost universally recommended for the first three days of an injury to prevent further damage.  After this phase, there is little empirical data to support greater benefit of ice over heat.  I personally believe ice does a better job, but if you simply won’t do an ice treatment, heat is a great alternative.  Another option is to use heat to amplify the flood event of icing by applying heat after the tissue is numb, and go back and forth between ice and heat.  I typically ice an injury in the evening, hop into a hot shower then go to bed and dream of speedy tissue repair!

Hopefully this makes the choice to flood or swamp for an injury more clear.

Need a Fantastic Last Minute Gift?

We can help!  We have the perfect gift for the athlete in your life… a session at Focus Bodywork.  We can take gift certificate orders over the phone with a credit card and ship it the same day.  The postmaster recommends shipping by Tuesday December 20 for Christmas delivery, or you can pick one up at our office by noon on Thursday December 22 (just call in advance 801-359-5149 so we can have it ready).

We Are Moving (sort-of)!

Today, Monday November 21, Focus Bodywork is in it’s new swanky location:

150 S. 600 E. Suite 9D

Yes, this is a new suite in the same business plaza, the Ambassador Plaza.

Our new studio is larger and will provide us the opportunity to grow to meet your needs and our dreams.  We are so excited to show you our new space.

Spooky and Ghoulish Body Facts

Every square inch of your body has around 32 million bacteria on it

Blood sucking hookworms inhabit 700 million people worldwide

Three hundred million cells die in your body every minute

A human head remains conscious for about 15 to 20 seconds after it is been decapitated

In late 19th century Egypt where wood and coal were scarce but human mummies were abundant, millions of mummies were used as fuel for locomotives

Humans shed 600,000 particles of skin every hour; 1.5 pounds a year. By age 70, you will have lost 105 pounds of skin

Your heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet

When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart

In the course of a lifetime you will grow 2 meters of nose hair

You produce 25,000 quarts of spit in a lifetime, enough to fill two swimming pools

You were born with 300 bones, but by adulthood you have only 206

The Neanderthal’s brain was bigger than your

Happy Halloween!