You Are Welcome

I had something happen to me that I thought I’d share, a reflection of sorts upon the importance of taking good care of your customers and being conscious of their experience…and allergies (sort of).

I went in to see an allergist I found on my insurance approved list to get some advice on how to deal with these annoying allergy attacks I seem to be getting right around the same time of year, a growing problem. I began to accept I had entered the “oy gevalt, my aching back/ that’s nothing what about my hernia?!” club, and reoccurring allergies was enough of an ailment to get me a membership, but not quite into the Admiral’s Club.


I had concerns, reservation, fears about what the doctor would tell me: “come in for shots, once a month, for the rest of your life.” I surmised she would settle my fears, tell me seasonal allergies are common and it wasn’t a prelude to itching and sneezing my way into retirement. I’d have to take a series of tests, she’d assess my situation and give advise on how I can manage my allergy stuff. Even perhaps prescribe some meds too, then I could walk out into the world practicing my “ooh, my allergies are bad today” mantra.

Well folks, that’s not what happened.

The appointment started with a standard intake, taking my blood pressure and weight (their scale was very generous), all performed by what seemed to be a competent assistant. I was instructed have a seat and  take my shirt off, all the while the assistant was preparing what seemed to be about 40 little needles. I found out shortly they were to poke me in various parts of my back to see what allergens I would react to. I definitely reacted to the poking, which I didn’t like, making me say to myself “she should probably stop that. I think I’m allergic to the poking”.

The doctor came back after about 30 minutes, surveyed the spots on my back and started making “hmm, interesting” noises behind me. I put my shirt back on and the assistant and doctor sat down to go over the results.

"Well, you ARE allergic to some grasses, cat dander (which I knew already), and no dog. Your problem isn’t seasonal allergies…it’s mites. MITES!"

And then she told me what she really thought.

She spent 20 minutes, without taking a breath, telling me I HAD to move out of my home or make the landlord rip out the carpets. She said she would write a doctors note to give to the property manager, demanding they take evasive action because it was my home that was causing my allergies. Their wasn’t a moment where I felt like my allergy attacks weren’t my fault. In the brief moment I got to speak, I told her this wasn’t happening and I’m not going to pick up and move, nor am I willing to jeopardize my living situation by forcing my landlord to do anything. I moved in, clearly understanding the place had carpets, which apparently is a problem because of mites? Gross. Insult to injury, her assistant thought it was appropriate to join in and question by resistance to the doctor’s advise. The result of my trip to the allergist was a slap in the face, no real advise that i could take to go, and a $250 deficit.


I am a professional, a professional massage therapist with more than 14 years experience, and  I have the privilege of making people feel better, whether I am meeting them for the first time or working with clients who have supported throughout my career.

My clients come to me in need of comfort and advise, often in acute pain. I pride myself on listening from a non judgmental and understanding place, and I do my best to make people feel welcome and at home, from the moment they enter my office. I set a tone and make them feel at ease. It let’s their minds relax which makes it that much easier for their bodies to relax. A level of trust is established. I can deliver advise that isn’t always easy to hear like, ” maybe one less squat next time” or “give your legs a break and maybe only a half Iron Man this weekend”.


The long and short of it: People pay good money to get the best customer service. It’s my job to deliver that. I have a responsibility to manage those in my care, lest I leave my clients frustrated and upset, driving them to rant on a blog about their experience.

Hey wait…


Get Your 30

Hey folks. Happy Friday! Sorry I kind of disappeared on you. It’s been another crazy week. My mom is in town from Vietnam (she lives there now, moved back some years ago), and it has been a challenge visiting and keeping up with my studies.

Its also been a challenge to care for her poor, sore hip. She fell on while feeding her 13 dogs (yep. I said it. 13). She lives on a 30 plus acre farm in south Vietnam…

…so plenty of room for 13 dogs. She LOVES them like they are her children.

Hey wait. I’m her kid too. Oh yeah, I’m a grown up but enjoy a good belly rub and a game of throw stick once in a while).

So, I’m doing light massage work and icing/ heating to increase the healing and getting her to walk more often to build stability and promote circulation of nutrient rich fluids.

I digress.

So what do I mean by get your 30? 30 minutes of exercise, brah! That’s all it takes, according to the CDC, to maintain your cardiovascular health. 30 minutes. To which you say, “I don’t have time…I have too much to do”. Hogwash, fiddlesticks. No time? Okay. I get it. There’s work and the kids and the commute and the… Well, let’s break it down. What does your day look like?

That leaves 1 hour. 1 Hour.

So what do you do with that hour, hmmm?

Park a distance from work to allow for a walk

Calf raises while making breakfast/ lunch

Take the stairs to another floor to use the restroom

Take 5 minutes to go outside and walk around the block

Do 5 minutes of jumping jacks before your morning shower

Arrange a walking meeting instead of meeting in a cramped room

Do bicep curls with a can of soup while watching T.V.

Be creative. Getting 30 minutes a day of some kind of exercise doesn’t have to be cumbersome. You just have to do it. You don’t want to be one of the statistics for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and a host of other preventable health conditions. It’s not how you do it, it’s that you do it.

Always remember why you are making sure to get some exercise in your day: for your family, your friends, yourself.

Get fit. Eat well. Be well.

Roger Chandler, CMT

Chandler Massage



Taking a recess from recess


Happy Friday everybody! Hope you are staying healthy and sane in September. We had some pretty devastating fires in California this month which created amazing displays of color on the skyline here in Alameda, but created havoc for people in the Clayton and Yosemite regions, not to mention, made the air kind of funky and gross.

Dodgeball Days

In Kinesiology class this week I was asked (well, assigned, prompted, encouraged with light pressure and discomfort) to investigate the rules and regulations for P.E. in California schools and match them up with other states. I found out on the interwebs that while the Feds laid out the guidelines, templates really, it is put to the state legislation and individual districts to decide how and what methods are implemented. Simply put, if the government suggests kids should have physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, the state legislature could say “schools, we will have the kids run back and forth…as a team.” Maybe a little bit of a ridiculous example, but you get the idea. This makes sense, to a certain degree. Many programs are kept under state control and Uncle Sam has his hands in some things, not in others.

Well, sadly, many schools have cut back fitness programs because the federal money isn’t there to provide for ongoing fitness programs, but with the rise in obesity rates among school-age children, finding the means to keep kids active is more important than ever. 

Read More


So tolls the school bell

It’s been quite a couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my betrothed this weekend.

As many of my family and friends know I am inching ever so slowly toward my Bachelor in Science degree and I started this fall semester with a class in Human Physiology and one in Kinesiology.

Kinesiology, you ask, is what?

Kinesiology is a complex and dynamic study of human movement, specifically purposeful movement with a goal in mind. That suits me just fine because my goal is to purposely move my body as much as possible, on purpose.

Sorry. What was I saying?

Ah, yes Kinesiology. I’m happy to report it has been fulfilling. I’m so fascinated by the technical aspects of exercise and the physiological angle of the human machine. We are in the cell function phase of the course and learning how our bodies metabolize the various food stuffs we eat. With this in-depth knowledge, I’m opting to keep eating well so my body doesn’t get pissed and decide to take a permanent vacation.

Onward… A client came in today speaking boldly about the consistency of his trips to the gym and how good it made him feel. He, at the gym, not just doing crunches and pushups but performing the kinds of exercises that target muscle groups computer athletes complain about and the kind of exercises I recommend ad nauseum. Makes me a very happy boy…

Rest and Recover

I took the day off from training, because I had been pushing my body the past few weeks, so the alarm this morning served as a simple reminder to get up and throw the clock across the room, instead of it’s usual gentle encouragement to get my running shoes on and get running. As I drifted gently back to thoughts of white puffy clouds, I contemplated the value of the recovery day, a day to let your body rest and, well, recover.

To add a rest day in one’s exercise schedule or a light workout day, helps prevent overuse injuries and allows your body to restore the necessary resources for physical activity.We need time to replenish glucose stores in order to produce the ATP energy necessary to drive our muscles. A full day off can give you a physical and mental boost. For the novice athlete, like most of us, the drive to stay healthy can be difficult, so giving your body a rest, allowing your physical and mental energy to recover, can give you motivation to get back on the treadmill, elliptical machine, or whatever method of exercise suits you.

You may opt for a lighter workout as your recovery approach by taking a hike with your family, cycling, or go for a swim (I usually choose the hike because I’m a terrible swimmer and this would be less recovery for me and mostly flailing desperately). Take a yoga class and try stretching for a change (I really need to try this yoga thing. I hear it’s very popular). The important factor is you benefit physiologically and mentally from decreasing the intensity of your workout by giving your body a break.

Tomorrow, I will hit the road again, having gotten some much needed sleep and muscle rest, with fresh legs and maybe a few clouds left over.

I think I have to buy a new alarm clock too…

Have a great weekend!

Roger Chandler, CMT

Chandler Massage Oakland



Get On The Double Dutch Bus

It’s the whistle of air as the rope cuts a forward arc, the thwack it makes on the floor as it rounds beneath my feet for another pass, and the spring of energy generated as I bounce from the balls of my feet.

“Five little monkeys,
Jumping on the bed.
One fell off,
And bumped his head
Mama called the doctor,
And the doctor said:
No more monkeys
jumping on the bed!”


This is old school jump rope baby.

It’s a fun way to blast calories, anywhere you have a little space, and it is probably the cheapest piece of gym gear you’ll ever buy, besides your tri-colored elastic headband of course. 

Fun, I say, but why good for you?

Jumping rope works many different muscles at once while building aerobic endurance. Essentially it is a cardiovascular exercise but you can improve balance, timing, and agility while toning your calves, legs, back, and core muscles. As a rehabilitative and strength maintenance tool, jumping rope can fortify tendons and ligaments like those in the wrists and shoulders, which is great if you play a sport that involves throwing a ball, swinging a golf club or tennis racket. By involving the ankles, calves, and thighs, runners can benefit from stronger leg muscles and increased stability in the knee. 

Jumping rope may not be for everyone, especially those with high blood pressure, but used as an added training tool mixed in during your weekly routines, jumping rope could be the funnest and most invigorating exercise you could do with a $20 piece of gym equipment. I like the Gofit leather jump rope I bought at REI because it has comfortable foam handles and the leather rope is quite durable. Very reasonably priced at around 15 bucks and goes everywhere with me, from my gym bag to my carry-on luggage for cardio on the road.

“Cinderella dressed in yella,

Went downstairs to kiss a fella,

Made a mistake and kissed a snake.

How many doctors did it take

1, 2, 3, … . 

Roger Chandler, CMT 

Get fit. Eat well. Be well. 


The information contained in this article is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for treatment by a medical professional.


Season’s best, season’s rest


I stand here with this Hobbit sized delicacy, having to come to terms with the impending finality of the season of my beloved Citrullus lanatus. The past few weeks of marketing have yielded determinately less sweet watermelon acquisitions, and I must look forth to the fall months for appropriate seasonal treats.

Sorry to sound so dire. I like watermelon. My wife on the other hand thinks they are disgusting. I might have shared that with you.

Before heading out to the Alameda Farmer’s Market this morning with the anticipation of getting a Paleo treat from my new favorite booth run by Muffin Revolution, I took a gander at the PFCFMA Certified Farmer’s Market 2013 schedule to see what was in season for September and October:

Apricots, cherries, blueberries and citrus fruits ( relevant dietary sources of antioxidant phytochemicals, fibre, vitamins and minerals)

Kiwi (packing a punch of 120% of the daily value of vitamin C)

Parsnips, squash, and asparagus (good sources of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, B1, Mg, calcium, selenium, iron)

As the months march on, we get back some of the other stone fruits like nectarines, melons, and peaches, but I would check to see which farmer’s markets have them. They may be subject to availability by region.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend. I’m off to spend a couple of hours learning about metabolism and something called the Krebs cycle. Is that what they’re calling the Google bike?



Get fit. Eat well. Be well.


"What’s the time? It’s time to get ill"


In just 1 week I’ve come across 3 people who have been, shall I say, blessed with that “thing that’s been going around”, that thing that hijacked their lungs and knocked them out fast, that thing that probably hitched a ride on the unwashed hand of some unsuspecting strap-hanger riding BART, then arrived at work to touch every door knob, elevator button, and refrigerator handle within a 100 feet of your desk. Now, while warming up your leftovers, you’ve punched your ticket to a camping trip on the couch, armed with tissues and tea, drifting into sniffly solitude and daytime T.V. dreamland.

While an afternoon of Judge Judy and swollen nasal passages may be like a vacation of a lifetime, I’d like to share some tips and info that will help protect you from the bacterial invasion that comes around like the holidays but not as fun:

Wash your hands!
You touch so many surfaces from home to work and back. Make a practice to immediately wash your hands when you arrive at your destination, as well as before eating, after touching a pet, handling trash, etc. Follow up with a simple unscented hand cream to handle dry skin. All it takes is a simple rubbing of the eyes or touching your nose for you to contract a cold or eye infection. Wash for 15 seconds or simply sing “Happy Birthday” twice (to yourself. I think you have to pay royalties otherwise).

Eat well. Avoid sugary, processed foods
Just a 12 ounce soda can (about 75 to 100 grams of sugar) can disrupt white blood cells ability to kill bacteria. The immune system is just that, a system, so you have to treat it holistically which means paying attention to the fuel you are providing your body “machine”.

Eat foods that are rich in vitamin C like oranges and other citrus fruits, broccoli, green peppers,and spinach. Include a healthy dose of vitamin E too, from foods like seeds, almonds, peanuts, and olive oil. Both vitamin C and E are antioxidants (free-radical fighters) and have shown to provide additional support to our immune systems. The jury is still out on whether it speeds up the healing process, but studies have shown that A and E are more effective as a preventative measure. Eating healthy in general is just as important as eating to avoid illness.

Here is a more comprehensive list courtesy of the National Cancer Institute.

Sleep. Get some, get plenty
Studies have shown that sleep and immune system function go hand in hand. According to the Harvard Medical School, people who sleep an average of 7 hours or less were three times more likely to develop cold symptoms than those who got 8 hours or more, who also were least likely to come down with one.

Sleep deprivation can alter hormone levels by encouraging the release of the stress hormone cortisol, feed inflammation, and hinder your immune systems response to infection.

Get active
Regular exercise promotes the production of leukocytes, or white blood cells, the frontline soldiers of the immune system. Getting your heart rate up for 20 minutes, three times a week can reduce your risk of catching a cold. Exercise also releases endorphins, or “feel good” hormones, that improve mood and sleep quality.

Manage stress
Easy to suggest and often hard to put into practice, managing stress is also your key to combating illness. Along with inadequate sleep, constant stress leads to the release of the cortisol stress hormone which increases inflammation and immune deficiency. Getting a handle on stress can help you sleep better, lower cortisol, and keep you healthy.

Stress can come from many sources and those of you who are under it constantly, know what I’m referring to. The key is to put into practice, ways to deal with stressful situations as they occur. Deep breathing, counting to ten, or simply going outside to get fresh air can make a huge difference. Try starting a meditation practice. A “mindfulness” study conducted in 2003 by the National Institutes of Health showed that participants who meditated regularly over an 8 week period produced an increased level of influenza antibodies compared to a control group.

Meditating doesn’t have to be complicated. You can simply sit in a chair and breath deeply for 5-10 minutes, focusing on your inhalation and exhalation. You can listen to meditation tracks that help guide you through the process. I can tell you there are a million of them on iTunes. I like listening to the sound of a stream or ocean tides. It’s like white noise and it cancels out the cacophony of thoughts in my head. Yes, I deal with stress too.

I hope this gives you some tools you can use. As you can tell, it takes more than just popping an Emergenc-C every once in a while and leaving it up to chance. Your immune system is a system and requires more input than you would imagine. Taking care of the wholecar is just as important as putting in high quality gas every once in a while. You don’t want it to break down, right? Sorry for the car metaphors.

Have a great weekend. Now go wash your hands.

Roger Chandler, CMT

Chandler Massage Oakland


Get fit. Eat well. Be well.

The information contained in this article is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for treatment by a medical professional. References

"Fighting the Flu: 10 Ways to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season." UW Health. University of Wisconson, n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2013. .

"Sleep and Health." Healthy Sleep. Harvard Medical School, n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2013. .

This Is How Germs Spread… It’s Sickening!” This Is How Germs Spread… It’s Sickening! New York Dept. of Health, n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2013.


Fit Friday 8/23/13

Being fit not only means being of sound body, but mind too!

I have been taking a hiatus this week folks. School has started up again and I am a few credits shy of being able to transfer to SFSU. I am excited to be just a little closer to earning my B.S. in KInesiology so wish me luck. I will post again in the next day or two.

BTW. There is an Oakland Chinatown streetfest this weekend. Should be a fun event with music, crafts, and chinese food?

Check it out! I might doddle off to the other side of the Alameda tube for a spell.

Have a great weekend!


Produce and the Paleo Purveyors

Saturday mornings are meant for long runs and early trips to the farmer’s market. So it was, this Saturday, when I scampered to the Alameda Farmer’s Market to acquire the week’s provisions of seasonal sweet and nutritional rewards, sans my betrothed as it was pretty early to be bounding out of the house on a weekend day, and well, she works her tush off, so I let her sleep.

I went first to my usual booth to get fruit for the week, gently testing the peaches for ripeness while jockying for position among the early shoppers and somewhat aggressive older chinese women, who for the most part, are nice and shove me out of the way, without malice of course. Cultural thing I guess.


Before leaving, I found this awesome booth run by a company called Muffin Revolution and sampled a few their of Paleo and Gluten free sweets. I am new to Paleo and it is often tricky to find Paleo “approved” things to eat, so this was a welcome find.

Having garnered a certain pride with following the Paleo diet and reaping the benefits from how it’s changed the way my body feels, for the better, I approached the booth, feeling I had “found my people”, my Paleo brethren who have prepared a delicious array of scrumptious pastries for me to bring home to my wife, who will love me even more, I think.

Marirose Piciucco and Christy Kovacs, co-owners of Muffin Revolution based in the Bay Area, are graduates of Bauman College, a bay area school devoted to therapeutic cooking and nutrition, gave birth to their business idea while rock climbing at Berkeley Ironworks. They contemplated the processed nature of gym food and wanted to create a compact and nutritional food that had all the essential elements to sustain an active lifestyle. Their baked goods are full of healthy protein and minerals, but you don’t notice them because they are so darn tasty!

In addition to the sweet varietals they have some savory ones too like the “Taj Mahal” with peas, curry, and turmeric that yield an antioxidant benefit. I had the “Spicy Inca Warrior”, a blend of Mexican Chocolate, puffed quinoa, and chia seeds, gluten free with a hint of spiciness from the cayenne.

You can order half dozen or dozen lots of Gluten-free, Dairy-free, or Grain-free types. This is great news because my wife and I are Paleo eaters and gluten is not her friend, so it’s all about choices and substitutions for us. I can tell you, Muffin Revolution had a flavor revolution on my taste buds because they are darn good. I’ve had some aweful gluten-free baked goods that had me wanting to scarf a Krispy Kreme just to get the funky taste out of my mouth. You can order from their website www.MuffinRevolution.com or from GoodEggs.com, but I’m likely to get them at the farmers market.


I chatted with Marirose, who is warm and friendly, before scooting off to devour my chocolaty and healthy treat. She spoke enthusiastically about entering the refrigerated foods market, so Muffin Revolution may be coming to a health food or Piggly Wiggly grocery store near you ( I think maybe Piggly Wiggly markets are a Midwest thing, but hey, when you’re reaching for the stars).

She also said Muffin Revolution may not be here next week, so this means no farmer’s market for me.

I’m sleeping in.





It is the amazing food that can make one recall summer BBQs, warm, lazy days, spitting out seeds and casting red watermelon smiles. Oh Citrullus Lanatus, the tasty melon with the thick rind and delicate fruit (actually not a fruit, rather part of the gourd family) that warms my heart and pleases my palette, how more perfect can you be?

Well, as it turns out it not only satisfies the cravings of the most voracious sweet addict, it also has amazing nutritional value.

High in vitamins A, C, and potassium, as well as a modest amount of indigestible fiber, watermelon contains a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, found in other foods like tomatoes, apricots, blood oranges, and guavas. Lycopene is also a powerful defender against free radicals which are unstable biological molecules that, in order to stabilize their polarized molecular bonds, “latch” onto or bond with other body molecules and can cause damage to cells( this means if you care about your skin’s youthful glow, you don’t want them). Not all free radicals are harmful though. Our bodies metabolize free radicals to neutralize viruses and bacteria, but for the most part, free radicals can cause irreversible damage. Pollution and environmental toxins like smoking, herbicides and radiation can increase the free radical levels internally so, though we do metabolize a certain amount of biological defenders to deal with it, we need to boost our immune systems with antioxidants. This is where lycopene can be your friend.

Watermelon is low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol, and has a low glycemic load of about 3. A typical diet should be limited to a rating of 100 per day of foods that affect blood sugar. It has been shown when eaten in it’s “whole food” form, meaning fresh and raw, it can be beneficial to cardiovascular health. The flesh of the watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid that gets converted into arginine by our kidneys and other organs systems, aiding blood flow by blocking the accumulation of fat in fat cells.

Now if you’re an athlete like I am (most of the time. My wife may think otherwise), you will be happy to know that the carbohydrates in the form of fructose can give you a pre workout energy boost and the citrulline and lycopene components of watermelon can help you fight post workout soreness. Watermelon isn’t the only food that can fight free radicals, boost your cardiovascular and immune system, and fortify your workout nutrition. You can also find it in foods like garlic, chick peas, onions, salmon, almonds, and walnuts. But did I mention that watermelon was, well, yummy?

Watermelon is available from April until November, hitting a peak in May, June, July, and August. This year I have been delighting in the fact that our Farmer’s Market in Alameda, California has had melons-o’-plenty so the rest of the food in my refrigerator has had to fight for space with my weekly, Saturday treasure. 

Have a great weekend everyone. Thanks for stopping by.

Get fit. Eat well. Stay well.  

Roger Chandler, CMT