I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Massage Therapist with over 15 years experience teaching and providing relaxation, stress reduction and guided meditation training.

https://twitter.com/jcrossstitch

Comments: 59 • Responses: 20  • Date: 

lyinggrump4 karma

What is a good way to relax, and how do you like making people relax?

JessCross4 karma

I use Guided Meditation and ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) What is ASMR? Many people experience a tingling sensation on the back of their head in response to a whisper, soft spoken voice, or certain relaxing sounds (triggers). This sensation (tingles) causes a feeling of well-being, relaxation, and helps many people to sleep. You can find these on YouTube and ITunes - I have some of mine on my website: www.jessicacrossasmr.com

ClumsyVal1 karma

Is this why when I was being guided through a relaxation exercise I felt almost like I was going to faint? I felt uncomfortable and started worrying that I was no longer comfortable feeling relaxed. I have fibro so my body always seems to be in a tense state. Reading what you said about the tingling sensation, I wonder if I was actually more relaxed than I thought. Maybe I should try it again and rather than getting panicky about feeling faint, I can realize that the relaxation technique is actually working.

JessCross3 karma

Lay down when you meditate and do guided meditation that doesn't just focus on deep breathing. Don't panic about feeling a bit out of your body, that is normal, although hyperventilating is bad...

jumpup2 karma

what parts of the body need stress relief the most and whats the best way to do so as a novice?

JessCross5 karma

The Social Worker answer is "The Brain." Honestly if you can relax your brain with meditation your body starts to relax as well. The Massage Therapist answer is the shoulders, especially for those on computers a lot. I think yoga is the best for shoulder release. Self massage is good too. For a novice, pinch your shoulders with your fingers and find a tender spot. A little discomfort is fine but don't pinch so it is terribly painful and hold for 10 seconds. Then move to another spot. Be careful though as if you have medical issues with your shoulders, even that could cause problems. Be gentle with yourself.

Cilor2 karma

Why did you decide to go into this area of work and do you learn new things about it every so often?

JessCross3 karma

I was working as a Social Worker and found that almost all of my counseling was coming back to stress reduction. I then got my Massage License while still counseling and found that between the two jobs I was mostly teaching people how to relax. then I started making meditations and ASMR videos, but everything seems to revolve around relaxation. In each of these areas I have learned more about reducing stress and ASMR was not even known about 10 years ago. We know so little about the brain that new research is coming out all the time. I read a lot but will never keep up.

johnnynoname122 karma

do you believe that some (again "some", not "all") people's body's make up stress as a distraction so they don't have to face what truly is making them upset?

I've never had "anxiety" in my life and I'm fairly normal...I'm in good health but as of the last few years I do get fleeting moments of heavy anxiety......but i don't think it's coincidental that the last few years have been filled with a lot of bad moments (for lack of better term)

JessCross3 karma

It depends on if you are asking if your body makes up physical stress or mental stress. It is proven that many physical problems are exacerbated by stress.
If you are asking about anxiety, the answer is a bit more complicated. What I think, and has been found in studies is that we have a limited amount of resilience. A lot of "bad moments" wears down that resilience and so what might not have phased you in the past can stress you out, now just because you don't have the extra resilience to cope with it. You need to find ways to "reboot" and increase your resilience with self-care when these tough times come up (counseling, massages, meditation, retreats, ASMR, sleep, etc.) whatever helps you to really recharge, not just escape with TV, alcohol, addictions... I hope that is helpful despite my limited knowledge of what is going on.

phoenixrisingatl1 karma

What is your ultimate goal with the combination of innate skills and certifications you have there? What is your typical session like?

13+yr LMT here

JessCross1 karma

That is counseling sessions. I still do massage, mostly with the same clients once a month. I love having long term massage clients for stress reduction.

JessCross1 karma

Right now I am rarely doing sessions. I am mostly doing recordings of meditations and online workshops. I loved doing one-on-one but I kind of burnt out and was raising a toddler so looked for something that would allow me to be home more. I really love doing the live online workshops as I can connect with so many more people. My goal is to give people tools so they can cope better with stress and anxiety.

Noinar1 karma

I've recently been considering a career change to something in your general area of employment. What do you think are the most important skills in your job? What are your most difficult moments?

JessCross1 karma

Depends on if you are talking about counseling or massage. Authenticity is really important for both, people can really feel if you are phony. The ability to summarize what you heard and do research is really important for counseling. For both you really have to focus on what you are doing at all times and never just go through the motions. The business running part is the most difficult for both for me. In the past when I worked in addictions the hardest times were much more serious and usually client death, unfortunately.

uberneoconcert1 karma

I never knew folks like you existed! I have had many people comment to me "You don't know how to relax," "I don't know if you could take a vacation," and "You don't feel your feelings." I know I have some ACOA things going on but do not know what other people mean or what they are talking about, except that yes, I am always thinking about what I should get done next. How am I supposed to relax when I can't watch TV (which I do a few times a week) without feeling guilty?

JessCross1 karma

Do you feel stressed? Some people also just like to work. I can't watch TV either because I find so much of it stupid and can't stand commercials but I do other things to relax that some people would consider work but that I don't (give massages, perform with a band, art).

tribalDemon1 karma

Could therapy dogs ( or untrained but loyal pets) be used for relaxation as well as therapeutic purposes? Are those two one in the same?

JessCross4 karma

Of COURSE! There are studies that pets definitely help with relaxation. Therapy dogs are mostly trained to act like a loyal pet even with strangers.

DrDooooooom1 karma

Does the legalization of Marijuana put your job in jeopardy?

JessCross1 karma

Not if my experience is anything. I just got paranoid.

Professor_Pikachu1 karma

What is a typical work day like for you?

JessCross1 karma

Right now every day is different. I have multiple jobs. I do massages, make videos, record meditations, write ebooks and blog, run online workshops and even do some part-time editing so my stress levels don't rise when other income is down...

nerfherder19911 karma

Nothing relaxes me like Pink Floyd. What is your favourite relaxing music?

JessCross3 karma

I love Floyd too. I am a singer so I don't really listen to music to relax, I use it more to sing and dance around. I do love Javenese Gamelan but I sing that too so I have a hard time zoning out when I listen to music. Bouncing around and singing is good for stress reduction too though.

herefortheedibles1 karma

Falling asleep has always been difficult for me. I'm not open to taking sleep aids because I'm too groggy in the morning. Yoga nidra has helped in the past but I find the dialogue in most of them to be too similar that I can't stay focused on it. What are some other ways to relax my mind and fall asleep easy?

JessCross1 karma

Definitely Try ASMR, millions of people use it to sleep. Here is my channel but if my voice doesn't relax you try some others before you give up on it: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsOta-lFy2jLcfm1z6vJ55Q

Sonic_the_HodgeHeg1 karma

When my girlfriend is pissed, I tell her to relax. This often has the opposite of the intended effect. Why is this?

JessCross3 karma

Because if we could just get ourselves to relax that easily life would be completely different. Our brain doesn't usually do what we "tell" it to. Try this "Honey, let me give you a foot massage to help you relax..." Then you better get ready to get married.

B11silvyCc1 karma

Hah! Unless your wife hates Massage and. hates her feet being touched. Any pointers?

She's always said the slow breathing trick was useless and a waste of time because it never helped her. u Until I found an app that helped her visually see the breathing.

JessCross2 karma

A funny one is to pretend you are smoking a joint. Breath in using pursed lips then hold it for 10 seconds and release... How about "Let me run you a bath..." "do the dishes..." What is the app?

B11silvyCc1 karma

The app we use is called " 3 minute mindfulness" for breathing. We also use another one called "Mindshift" that's got some great chill out tools.

Sometimes I find the bath trick helps, other times it makes things worse. There's nothing to do but ruminate.

JessCross3 karma

Also, my recommendation to Men, is listen don't try to fix (unless you are the problem, then you are in trouble). I am a fixer too so I need that advice as well.

HerbalWine1 karma

What is your take on how to avoid/prevent work burnout, apart from making variations in routine?

JessCross1 karma

For me it was always continuing education and new challenges. I had to feel I was moving forward. I also really had to learn how to disconnect when I went home. I would listen to audio books on the drive home so I would stop focusing on issues at work. I know I keep coming back to this, but meditation made a big difference. Even just closing my eyes for two minutes and asking for guidance in meditation helped put my work problems into perspective.

Madoff_Hitler420-3 karma

Do you give a lot of handjobs?

JessCross14 karma

Nope, not that I get paid for. My husband has no complaints.

ZombiWorm-5 karma

Guided meditation, brainwashing, got it. Do you prescribe the red or the blue pill to be taken with your propaganda?

JessCross5 karma

Guided Meditation, clearly, my evil plan to take over the world...