New work-related blog

I am blessed and fortunate enough to have a worldwide reader base for this blog. See the graphic map on this post to view all the countries where readers are from.

I live and work in the Austin, Texas, USA, area, and I have created a new website, MaryAnn Reynolds, MS, LMT, BCTMB, on WordPress for my private massage and bodywork practice. I also have a blog as a page on that site.

To prevent confusion:

  • The new blog will be limited to posts about local events I’m participating in and my massage and bodywork practice. If you are interested, check it out and see if you want to follow that blog.
  • This blog will remain dedicated to more general topics relating to wellness.
  • I haven’t done so yet, but I may occasionally cross-post if the information seems related to both blogs.

To your health and well-being!

Blog stats for 2016

Well, folks, I broke 100,000 views in 2016, something I never dreamed of when I started this blog at the tail end of 2009. This little blog got 108,999 total views in 2016. In 2015, I got 51,449, so views more than doubled last year.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-9-33-44-pmIt started in January. Total views jumped to over 10,000 per month. The main driver seems to have been a single post, How to drink water with lemon and preserve your tooth enamel. That post got 52,433 views in 2016, and only 10,715 in 2015. First published in January 2014, it only got 209 views that entire year.

I’m guessing that starting in January 2015, people were drinking lemon water, felt something different going on in their mouths, and they got concerned, Googled, and found my post. I wish I knew more about why that post went viral. Did WordPress feature it? Did it get reblogged elsewhere? Who linked to it? It’s a mystery to me.

So 2016 turned out to be the year of preserving tooth enamel. In response to the interest, and after a visit to my dentist, I wrote another post, Rebuilding tooth enamel after drinking water with lemon, in June 2016 that got 2,148 views last year. That was the only top post I actually wrote in 2016.

There was also a lot of interest in the posts Recovering from a virus, recovering from adrenal exhaustion, My experience with brainwave optimization, and Healing bruised, strained toes, which round out the top 5 posts for 2016.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-9-34-49-pm

Continue reading

No more ads!

As of November 2, you will not see any advertising on this blog! WordPress used to charge $100 to run an ad-free blog, which I thought was too expensive, given that I’m already paying them to run this blog.

The price came down, as I learned when I helped a friend set up a simple, one-page website. It now costs $2.99 a month, payable annually, to remove all advertising. I can afford that.

Thank you, WordPress.

It’s not that I’m totally opposed to advertising. A lot of what we do in our human interactions is marketing goods and services, when we praise or disdain restaurants, books, movies, massage therapists, cars, candidates, jobs, insurance companies, and so on. I use Google to advertise my business, and Moo.com for business cards, and lots of word-of-mouth.

Advertising is so prevalent in our 21st century American culture: on signs, billboards, the sides of trucks, bumper stickers, television, and rampant on the internet. It feels distracting, like I’m being yelled at or grabbed without my consent. It’s insidious and annoying.

I thought I could I ignore the ads, but when I began to use AdBlock, I must say it feels satisfying to view websites without the ads. I can appreciate the design, and it feels like a more peaceful, relaxing experience I can savor.

I know that some good websites rely on the income from ads. My response is, give me the option to subscribe without ads. If I like it, I might pay a few bucks to keep it ad-free.

I had no choice about which ads appeared on my blog. Wanting to be in integrity, when I saw a McDonald’s ad on my blog about wellness, I stopped allowing WordPress to freely run ads. (Not that I ever had enough views to earn anything.)

The single ad WordPress insisted on making me pay to remove is now gone. I hope you enjoy your ad-free experience.

TMJ massage relieves jaw issues and renews the spirit

A client came to me a couple of weeks ago for 90 minutes of “Whatever Works”. During the session, she learned that I offer TMJ* care sessions and asked a lot of questions about it. She had not known previously that a trained, skilled bodyworker could relieve the symptoms of TMJ disorder – jaw pain and tightness, clenching, grinding, popping, clicking, locking, etc.

I explained to her a bit about the anatomy of the jaw, my TMJ Care package, and the outcomes of my TMJ clients. Since others are likely unaware that trained massage therapists can offer TMJ relief, I’ll share that info here. Continue reading

2015 blog review

I’m curiously sorting through my blog stats, now that 2015 is nearing its end. Before I get into the data, I want to acknowledge that I haven’t posted as often this year as in the past. (This is number 43 for the year.) Part of that is that I have less time to write. If you’re not familiar with my story, I quit my last job as an employee in 2010, went to massage school in 2011, and have been working, learning, and building my private practice since then. Business has grown sweetly this year.

Another reason I’ve posted less is that because of my work, I pay more attention to the non-verbal realm of life, to the haptic experience, to yours and my felt sense of being and how it changes. It’s difficult to write about. Not impossible, though, and I hope to do more of it in 2016.

On to the stats! My blog received a record number of views in 2015. The most popular posts were published before 2015. I’ve gotten 49,166 views as of today, December 20, so there’s still time to reach 50,000 this year! All-time views since the blog started in late 2009 have reached 177,513. Continue reading

Check out my new massage therapy website!

Here’s the link: http://http://thewell.massagetherapy.com/home. And if you don’t mind, while you’re there, please click a “share” button on the left or a “follow” button at top right. It helps with search engine rankings.

The Well website

This is just a screenshot! Click the link to view the actual website!

It’s a work in progress, but it is complete enough at present to go public with it. I’ll be adding images, videos, and more as I have time.  Continue reading

2013 in review: WordPress.com’s annual report for blog

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2013: The year that a lot of Texas women like me woke up…

to the fact that a bunch of conservative white men (and a few conservative white women) in suits believe that Texas women are incapable of making good reproductive choices for themselves and that therefore they (the aforesaid officials) need to take away some of those options. Continue reading

How to get 100,000 views on your blog

Sometime in the early hours of December 13, 2013, my blog received its 100,000th view. My first post went up on December 30, 2009, so it took just short of four years to pass that milestone.

I think that perhaps that establishes this as a successful blog!

Some of the keys to getting there have been: Continue reading

If you have State Farm insurance and are pro-choice, here’s something you should know

State Farm is a supporter of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In fact, State Farm is deeply entwined in this extreme right-wing, pro-corporation, anti-choice, anti-women group, which provided the “model legislation” for the recent spate of anti-abortion bills as well as the “Stand Your Ground” laws as brought to public attention in the Travon Martin shooting tragedy.

According to Sourcewatch, which lists corporate supporters of ALEC (as well as corporations that have cut ties to ALEC), State Farm is not “just” a member but is extremely active in supporting ALEC’s radical, anti-consumer agenda.

I don’t want to change insurance companies. I’d like for State Farm to cut its ties with ALEC. I simply will not be handing over a hundred-plus dollars per month for car insurance to a company that supports ALEC.

The non-ALEC alternatives are Progressive Insurance and All-State. (GEICO is an ALEC member.)

Note: A Facebook friend recommended Texas State Low Cost Insurance, a brokerage that I’m also checking out. They provide homeowner insurance as well as auto coverage.

If you’d like to let State Farm hear your opinion about their political activities, you can go here to leave your comment.

Here’s what I wrote:

I’ve been a State Farm customer since 2000, and I live in Texas. I was very, very disappointed to find out that State Farm is a supporter of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is writing anti-choice, anti-women legislation being enacted legislatures in several states, including Texas. I’m strongly considering changing companies.

A bunch of comments like that may change their tune. Let’s put the chill on the ALEC members whose products and services we use! We have a choice too. If they can influence legislation, we consumers can vote with our dollars as well as vote non-ALEC supporting politicians into office. (Did I mention I can now register voters?)

Also, just reminding y’all that the smartphone app/website Buycott has campaigns you can join that allow you to scan items with your phone that you’re about to buy to find out if they’re made by an ALEC supporter.