Spinal Dynamics & Body Dynamics of Wisconsin recently welcomed Amanda Valentine to our clinic. Amanda provides nutrition counseling and massage therapy to clients. We are so excited to offer this service to our patients to help them improve their health. We spent a few minutes interviewing Amanda to help introduce her to our patients.
Hi Amanda! Welcome to Spinal Dynamics & Body Dynamics of Wisconsin! Tell us, how did you get into your field?
So, when I did my undergrad, I studied Health Promotion/Health Protection & Wellness. My senior year they added a joint program with the local massage school. I did that on top of my undergrad my senior year. I fell in love with it. I really liked how the two went together–promoting healthy lifestyles and helping the body with the massage. I have done both medical and spa massage for the last 10+ years. In 2008, I went onto aesthetic school. I wanted to start doing more body treatments, scrubs and things like that, in the spa. So, I do have my aesthetics license as well. That tied in with everything else, helping the body inside and out, through massage, nutrition and skin care. A lot of the time, when you treat the nutrition side, the skin will clear up.
What kinds of clients do you like to work with for massage?
It varies. I like a challenge. I like to see people a little more regularly. What I didn’t like about working in a spa was that you did not get regular clientele. It was people in and out and…you never got anywhere with it. So, I prefer more therapeutic, deep tissue work, seeing people more regularly to progress them. That may be seeing me every week or every other week, then once a month or every other month, more frequently with flare ups.
I like getting people to the point where they’re not in constant pain and they can last longer in between appointments…I like to see the progression. It’s all client-based, whether today you come in with this and tomorrow you come in with that, we will customize it to whatever is going on.
Tell us a little bit about your nutrition background and philosophy.
Food is definitely medicine. It definitely plays a huge role in our bodies in how we live, how we act, how we feel. I am not a quick-fix kind of person. I am not just going to give you a pill and then you go on your way. I definitely focus on lifestyle changes, how to get you there. If I have to email you or call you once a week and check in with you and say, “Yay! You had an apple today! Let’s work on having one piece of fruit a day,” then I will. Or, you’re the type of person that says, “Hey, just give me a plan and check in with me in six weeks, see you later,” I am flexible.
Whether you need more hand-holding, or if you just need to check in with me when you have a question, I just want to supply you with the resources to make those changes.
A few of my patients have read that you do a grocery store trip and have asked me questions on what that entails. Can you tell us more about that?
Whether you want to actually purchase your items or if you just want more information, we go through the grocery store together. You put a list together of your normal groceries that you would typically buy in a week. Then, we will go through that entire section. If we are in the canned food section, we will go, “Okay, this is the typical can of tomatoes you buy, let’s look at the ingredients,” and look at the other cans and compare calorie and sodium content and find which one is your best option. Some people will say, “Well, this is the can my mom always bought,” so that is the kind they get, without even looking at it.
They may think they are eating a can of tomatoes or a can of peas, but might not always know what’s in the can or added to it. Or, they may not take the calories or sodium and multiply it by the serving size. They may eat a can that says it is only 30 calories, but if there are 10 servings in the can, then they may have had way more calories than they thought. It is education that way.
Some people don’t know the produce aisle and have never bought fresh vegetables or fresh fruit. They may buy only canned or frozen. I help them navigate the aisles and figure out their choices. I then give handouts on how to clean your fruit and how to clean your vegetables and go through that. I also give them a handout on how to read a food label. Sometimes the grocery store tour is the only thing they need from me. Then I am giving them knowledge on making healthier choices. At some point, they may say, “You know, I need a little more help,” and that is fine too.
It usually takes about an hour and a half to go through the store, depending on the person. We try to avoid the center aisles, but it depends on the grocery list of the person. A lot of people do what their parents did and this is just a different way of looking at the grocery store. They may ask, “What’s kale?” or “What’s spinach?” and we can talk about that. We can go to the meat section and look at things that are prepackaged, or look at the meat counter. We look at whether you want pre-packaged Jimmy Dean sausage, or something fresh that is ready to go right there, usually without the chemicals or preservatives and stuff like that.
What do you like to do in your free time?
When I have free time, I am usually outside, either hiking or walking, or by a lake, fishing if I can, usually outside doing something.
We are so excited to welcome Amanda to the clinic! Nutrition is often a vital and overlooked part of the healing process and we are happy to be able to provide this service to our patients conveniently in our clinic.
For more information on her nutrition and massage therapy services, check out her website by clicking here. Amanda does her own scheduling either through her website or by calling her directly at 414-301-1250.