So, your muscles are aching, your bones are cracking like a box of Rice Krispies, and there is even a pop and a snap here or there, thrown in for good measure. You are exhausted, and you need help. Actually, what you need is a really good massage.
Tips for Choosing the Right Massage Therapist for You
What is a massage therapist? Northwestern Health Science University defines it as "Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person's health and well-being".
Don't just choose the first massage therapist that you see on the internet. Visit a few therapists to review service offerings, availability and pricing before choosing one.
Be High Maintenance
Respectfully request what you want. If the therapist can not or will not meet your needs, move along. This one tip will save you so much time and money.
Look For Credentials
What certifications does this person have? A fly-by-night therapist or someone without experience and training probably won't have any credentials hanging on his or her wall.
It's not sexist to want a certain gender to perform massage therapy services. Massage therapy is supposed to be a relaxing experience. If you are not comfortable with the person intimately touching your body, you won't be relaxed and the entire experience will be awkward.
When are you available to get massages? Are you a busy professional who works 60 hours a week and in need of evening hours? Or, do you run your business from home and need a traveling massage therapist? Review hours of availability and whether a premium is charged for in-home or off-hour services.
Ultimately, choose a massage therapist you're comfortable with and one who takes time to put your needs first.
Storytelling is a major buzzword in the marketing industry these days, and it is an aspect of promoting your business that you cannot afford to ignore. Rather than focusing your marketing efforts on promoting your products or services, the new business model requires telling the story of your brand to help your customers feel connected to and engaged with your business. Follow these tips to do it right.
Stay True to Your Core
When coming up with your "brand story," it is important to stay true to the foundation of your business. For example, if your company manufactures reusable water bottles, you wouldn't want your brand to be associated with anything that is disposable in nature. Instead, you would want to tell a story that coincides with sustainable values. Viewers these days are becoming more and more discerning in terms of the brands they choose to patronize, and they will immediately identify anything disingenuous.
Tug at the Heartstrings
Emotions are incredibly powerful when it comes to influencing consumer behavior, and your brand can use this fact to its advantage. People love seeing stories of triumph over adversity, personal growth and achievement, and giving back to the community, so try to incorporate these or similar storylines into your brand storytelling. Of course, any content you produce should still align with your company goals at the same time as telling your story.
The primary goal of brand storytelling is to get prospective customers excited about your brand. Whether you do this through associating with popular local events or by offering frequent promotions and discounts, the goal is to keep your customer base interested in your offerings and excited about buying from your company rather than your competitors. Aim for a high energy level in your marketing materials and branded content online so that your customers are excited to share your content with their friends and followers, helping to expand your reach even further.
Tie in Your Company's Offerings
At the end of the day, the ultimate purpose of brand storytelling is to attract new customers, and you can't accomplish this without letting people know what your company has to offer. With any content you create, whether it be blog posts, social media posts, advertisements or videos, there should almost always be an element that speaks specifically to your company's products or services. Without this critical aspect, your audience won't know why your brand is sharing its story. You need to help them make the connection between the story and your offerings.
Overall, brand storytelling is about more than just selling products; it is about helping your customers to feel more connected to your business, increasing the likelihood that they will continue to buy your products or services in the future. Keep this end goal in mind at all times to help guide you in creating your brand story. With a bit of creativity and effort, you'll draw in customers and establish dedicated brand loyalty, setting your business up for ongoing success in the future.
Lower Back Pain: Did You Know?
A study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine estimated that over 80 percent of Americans will experience an episode of lower back pain (LBP), over the course of their lifetimes. An estimated 31 million Americans are affected by lower back pain (LBP) at any given time. The American Chiropractic Association notes the following: Low back pain (LBP) is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. Outnumbered only by upper-respiratory Infections, back pain is the leading cause of missing work. The average cost of a back injury related workers comp claim can be $40,000 - $80,000 per employee.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information estimates that the loss of productivity, (Hours of work lost, days of work missed, and lower wages combined) is over 300 million dollars a year. When the costs of medical care for lower back pain (LBP) is added, the total annual cost rises to over 500 million dollars per annum. In addition, the incidence of chronic lower back pain (LBP) is a major contributor to the opioid crisis, in America.
The above statistics are shocking, and the bottom line is that lower back pain (LBP) affects all businesses. The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce would like to offer some tips on how to choose a chiropractor.
How to Choose a Chiropractor: A Few Good Tips
Choosing to use a chiropractor, much like choosing a General Practitioner, it is a personal and practical decision. If an employee chooses to make use of a chiropractor, here is a little advice.
Do a Little Research Before Making a Final Choice. Know who your doctor is, and what their credentials experience is. Take a little time check reviews. A quick online search for reviews could save you time, money, and frustration. A good chiropractor should be accredited by independent and peer reviewed organizations. The Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) is one the largest such groups in Canada.
Get It for Free. Just like a lawyer, most chiropractors offer a free consultation to discuss your injury and pain, as well as to answer any questions, including future costs.
Know What Your Insurance Will Pay For. You should absolutely know what your insurance plan will pay for additional costs will come out of your pocket!
Should the time come when one of your employees is the next person to suffer lower back pain (LBP), you will now be prepared to offer them some advice. The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce hopes to encourage business owners to be proactive with their employees and thus reduce potential costs.
Spoiler alert! Long-stemmed red roses continue to be the most popular flower for Valentine's Day. But that doesn't mean you can't find beautiful alternatives. Whether you are buying flowers for your wife, mother, daughter, or someone you just started dating, we have this year's most popular Valentine's Day flowers ready to help.
Valentine's Day gifts including flowers, chocolate, and jewelry have been exchanged for centuries. The popularity of the red rose goes back even further, as it was believed to have been the favorite flower of the Goddess of Love, Venus.
This Year's Most Popular Flowers for Valentine's Day
Although we have already mentioned red roses, pink roses are also very popular. They are associated with perfection, beauty, love, and romance, making them apropos for the holiday of love. White roses stand for purity, light pink for admiration and gentleness, and dark pink roses symbolize appreciation.
Red is the color of the day, and red carnations are the second most popular, and less expensive option for Valentine's Day. They are associated with new love and freshness, making carnations the ideal gift for a budding relationship.
Orchids continue to climb up the list as they denote similar meanings as roses, including beauty and love, while adding strength and luxury.
Tulips in red or pink are a popular option for new relationships. As with roses, each color of tulip symbolizes a unique quality. White is for forgiveness and yellow for cheerfulness.
Gardenias represent love, purity and joy. They are one of the most fragrant of Valentine's Day flowers and may be given individually in a bowl.
Peonies represent a prosperous marriage and are the 12th anniversary flower. They are a popular choice for giving to a loved one as they also symbolize romance and good fortune.
Lilies, including stargazers and alstroemerias are popular Valentine's Day choices. They can be mixed in with roses, carnations, and other flowers, or presented as a bunch in a vase. Perhaps the most popular lily for the season is the Casa Blanca lily, which makes a stunning presentation with its large fragrant blooms.
Giving one of this year's most popular flowers for Valentine's Day is the perfect way to show someone you care. Our local florists can help you choose the perfect gift based on your budget and relationship status. Whether you choose a single gardenia or a dozen red roses, they will be a hit.
Looking for a new ride? Shopping for a pre-owned vehicle can help you save thousands of dollars on your next car, van, or light-duty truck, given the steep depreciation rate on new vehicles.
According to data from Edmunds.com, a mid-sized sedan that sells new for $27,660 will lose about $7,419 in value within the first 12 months, despite the fact that most new car warranties extend well beyond the first year of ownership.
Depreciation in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year of ownership slows down significantly - in general, vehicles depreciate less in years 2-4 than they do during the first year of ownership, which is why the top used car dealers focus their business model on delivering savings and great service to their customers.
Today's Used Car Dealers Are Different
In the past, used car dealers were widely viewed as unscrupulous, fly-by-night operators who would take advantage of shoppers by concealing damage and mechanical problems.
Thanks to widespread efforts to improve the image of the used car dealership industry, along with online resources like the National Motor Vehicle Title Information Service (NMVTIS), buying a used car from your local pre-owned dealership is a safe, viable alternative to purchasing a new car.
Better yet, buying used gives you access to vehicles that might otherwise be priced outside of your budget, giving you the chance to shop for a more expensive make or model than you might be able to if you were to buy a new car.
Most used car dealers also offer warranties on the vehicles they sell, giving you the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you're protected against mechanical defects or maintenance issues just like you are with a brand-new vehicle. Known as Certified Pre-Owned programs, these extended used car warranties often come along with added perks like free oil changes, car washes, and special financing options.
Drive Like A Billionaire
If the significant savings on depreciation and extra focus on customer service isn't enough to convince you to consider shopping at your local used car dealer for your next vehicle, maybe this will - Warren Buffet, a.k.a. the "Oracle of Omaha" has long been an advocate of cut-rate cars.
In a BBC documentary about his life, Buffett's daughter disclosed that Buffett liked to buy cars at a steep discount, including cars that had been previously-owned or hail-damaged - despite the fact that Buffet has a net worth of approximately 87.4 billion!
Whether you're getting married for the first time or you're making a repeat trip down the aisle, there's a lot to think about when planning your big day. Thankfully, there are also lots of dedicated wedding experts right here in our community who have the skills and experience it takes to make your big event everything you always dreamed it would be.
Wedding Dresses and Gowns
Wedding dresses are unique in the fact that they don't come ready-made - buying a wedding dress involves choosing your budget, narrowing down the style you like, and having a fitting to try out a variety of dresses.
During your first fitting, plan on wearing the same undergarments and shoes you'll wear on your wedding day, since these both affect the final fit of your dress. You'll be paired up with an expert dress fitter who will make sure you're happy with the color, neckline, and trim - once those details are confirmed, a seamstress will make numerous alterations to give you a truly customized wedding dress.
Whether you plan on having a big formal meal, light appetizers, or even a casual cook-out on your big day, there's plenty of options to choose from in our community. Start by thinking about what kind of food you want to serve, and whether or not you'll be providing alcohol to your guests. Set a budget and contact various vendors for quotes as early as possible - the most popular restaurants and catering companies book up early!
In the past, weddings were usually held in churches, but today's couples are increasingly opting for alternative locations like parks, golf courses, hotels, and even private homes.
Our region offers a wide variety of unique wedding venues which means it's a good idea to start early when looking for your perfect spot to exchange your vows. Some venues also offer on-site wedding services such as food and accommodation, giving you the option of holding your entire event all in one convenient spot.
You've put a lot of thought into planning a renovation for your home or business, you've invested time in researching local contractors and hiring the best one for the job, and you've looked forward to seeing the beautiful results unfold. Unfortunately, things don't always go according to plan. Sometimes it's a small hiccup that you can easily recover from; other times, however, you end up with a massive (and expensive) mess that can only be blamed on your contractor. Here's what to do when your contractor does poor work.
First Things First: Know the Red Flags
Few contractors provide a bad first impression. Most will seem professional at first, but over time, they'll begin to show some warning signs, such as:
Handling a Bad Contractor
If you have a contractor that has done poor work, left you with a huge mess, or perhaps left a job undone, then follow these steps to minimize damage.
Document, Document, Document
Among the most important things you can do when you suspect that your renovation is going to become a bigger headache than anticipated is to document everything. Every single conversation, phone call, email, text message, and every attempt you've made to contact them should be documented. If they've abandoned the job and cannot be reached, send certified letters with return receipt requested, outlining the problems that you're experiencing and ask that they contact you immediately. If you later go to court or seek out the assistance of a third party, these records will play a crucial role in supporting your case.
Use Whatever Leverage You Have
Most contractors agree to accepting a small upfront payment to cover materials and labor and then payment in full when the job is done. If your contractor is dragging out the job, use the money that you still owe them as leverage to encourage them to finish the job. If the job is done, full payment has been provided, and the work ends up being subpar, then the threat of bad publicity may be all it takes to prompt them to come back and make any necessary repairs and improvements. Threaten to take your complaints to a local reporter and post about your negative experience on social media.
If your efforts to resolve the issues yourself aren't yielding the desired results, then it may be time to seek out help. For example, if you've paid your contractor an upfront amount for supplies and he or she ghosted, then obviously that constitutes theft and you should call the police. Other options include pursuing the contractor via the board that approved their license, hiring an attorney, or contacting the Better Business Bureau, your local consumer protection office, or your state's attorney general's office. In the end, you may not be able to recoup your financial loss, but you can have the satisfaction of ensuring that no one else is taken advantage of.
Improving your home or business comes with risks. As with any large project, taking the time to thoroughly vet the people that you're entrusting with your renovation can prevent a lot of frustration later on.
In football, it is the quarterback who drives each play. However, the quarterback also has to contend with the other team's defenders coming in to try to tackle him before he can make a play. It is his offensive linemen who hold off the defenders to give him the time he needs to find an open player down the field.
Although your employees won't have defenders trying to tackle them (hopefully), they'll still come across a variety of setbacks and complications when working on projects. Just like a quarterback in football, your quarterback employee, or team leader, needs to have protections in place as well. This will better enable them to do their job properly with minimal distractions. Here are the primary areas you need to defend.
Whenever you make changes to your company's products or services, your customers are bound to have input on the changes. Make sure that you have dedicated employees whose responsibility it is to deal with customer comments and complaints. Your team leader needs to be focused on the bigger picture, which is difficult for them to do when they are bogged down in talking to customers. Have your customer service representatives make note of the comments and complaints received to be passed on to the team leader, freeing him or her up to focus on the overall progress of the project.
It is not just the others in your company who can protect your team leader, but those on the team as well. Just as a quarterback has to rely on wide receivers, running backs and tight ends to find an opening, your team leader needs to have confidence that they can rely on the members of their work team. Make sure that the people you choose to work on a team are up to the task and can handle their duties with minimal supervision. Of course, the team leader will provide general guidance, but they should not have to guide their team members through each individual step.
Team leaders report to their managers, who then report to their own managers, and so on up the chain of command in your organization. Any communications should follow the chain accordingly, meaning that those at the highest levels of the company should not be pressing your team leader for details; instead, they should seek the answers they need from the team leader's manager. This way, the team leader can focus on completing the task at hand, rather than trying to assuage the worries of stakeholders.
Of course, defenders in football can and do break through the offensive line on occasion, and this will happen to your team leader as well. However, the more protections you can put into place for your team leader, the better their chances of getting their project done on time. Listen to your team leaders to identify the areas where they could use additional support, and do your best to provide them with that support whenever it is possible.
Looking for a drug-free way to deal with chronic pain, sports injuries, stress, and other medical issues?
If so, you might want to explore acupuncture - the ancient practice of inserting tiny, sterilized stainless steel needles into specific spots on the body to manipulate the flow of energy (known as 'Qi).
How Acupuncture Works
According to the UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine, acupuncture works by "stimulating specific anatomic sites - commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints." This is designed to relieve any blockages of energy within the body caused by injury or illness, which in turn promotes natural healing within the body.
While tiny needles are usually used to stimulate these specific 'acupoints', acupuncture practitioners can also use manual massage, cupping, heat therapy, and topic ointments to promote the flow of 'Qi' within the body.
What Can Acupuncture Be Used to Treat?
The World Health Organization recognizes that acupuncture has been proven to provide measurable, effective relief from a host of health conditions, including:
In addition, the WHO recognizes that acupuncture shows promise in the treatment of a wide variety of diseases, including diabetes, herpes, osteoarthritis, gout, vascular dementia, and colitis. It has even been used to help people in recovery from opioid dependency.
So, the next time you need relief from an injury, chronic pain, or other health problem, why not visit your local acupuncture clinic?
Check out our members that offer this great treatment!
Moving is challenging, as you have to coordinate everything perfectly so that you can move straight from your old property to your new one. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible. The purchase of your new home may take longer to close than you had expected, or any renovations you are working on for your new property could run past their scheduled completion date.
In these and other similar cases, you won't be able to move into your new property right away. If you have already sold your old home or given notice to move out of a rental property, you'll need somewhere else to stay until your new home is ready.
Of course, you could stay in a hotel for the duration, but this can end up costing you a lot of money on top of your moving expenses, especially if you will be displaced for an extended period. Here are some other options available to you to help you save a bit of money in this area.
Many hotels offer attractive rates for those who plan on staying for an extended period. Some have full kitchens, bachelor suite or 1 bed room suites. As an added bonus, hotels also offer amenities like washer and dryer, parking, free local calls, gym, pool. Some are pet friendly.
Websites like Airbnb and VRBO make it easier than ever to find properties to rent temporarily. If you choose to go this route, you'll be renting a fully furnished property that the owners treat somewhat like a hotel. Each property owner sets their own specific rules for their guests, so be sure to do plenty of research in advance to ensure you can find a property that can accommodate children, pets and any other needs you have.
Friends and Family
Of course, you always have the option of staying with friends and family if they'll allow it. Family and friends may even let you stay with them free of charge, but you shouldn't assume that this will be the case. Always offer to pay your way. Even if your host chooses not to take you up on your offer, they'll still appreciate that you took their needs into consideration.
When it comes to real estate, the only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain. You could be without a permanent home for just a few days, or it could go on for months on end. Take some time before you move out of your current property to come up with a contingency plan in case things don't progress as smoothly as you had hoped.