A recent study conducted at the Center on an Aging Society at Georgetown University found that back pain is the most common cause of workdays lost in the US. It is the 2ndmost common cause of visits to the doctor’s office and experts estimate that 80% of the population will have a back pain issue at some point in their lives. Not only are we a society in pain, but when it gets bad enough we lose work, money, and then have to pay in an attempt to relieve the pain. Many of us are currently facing these problems and are met with the question of how do I get better and how do I decrease the likelihood that the pain will return. One answer is understanding and breaking the pain cycle.
Hormonal ups and downs can wreak havoc on your life. They can affect your mood, your weight, your food cravings, even your desire for sex. For many women, hormones balance normally and it’s smooth sailing–but for others, any imbalance can be a train wreck. And guys, you’re not immune either, recent research suggests your hormonal imbalances can be just as crazy.
Enter massage therapy. Among the many benefits of massage therapy are those related to the body’s production and regulation of neurohormones. Neurohormones are produced by the nervous system and affect an individual’s behavior and general well-being. Recent studies have solidly concluded that massage can help balance mood levels by moving your body toward homeostasis (a naturally balanced state). And the story’s even better! Research conducted at the TOUCH Research Institute at the University of Miami suggests that massage increases the availability of all neurohormones affecting brain chemistry.
There’s a better-than-average chance that you have completely forgotten about “me time”. You know, the time you actually set aside for doing something you enjoy, or sitting by yourself, or treating yourself to a relaxing massage? Today’s always-connected life makes it easy to forget “me time”. There’s just stuff to do EVERYWHERE. Work stuff. School stuff. Family stuff. Car stuff. Home stuff. Medical stuff. Financial stuff. See?
Humans are hard-wired to need recharge time. That means more than just the 6-8 hours you’re actually (hopefully) sleeping each night. It means that the human brain needs periods of down-time to recharge, especially in the face of stress or strain. Just like the battery in your smartphone, most of us need at least 30 minutes each day to disconnect from deep thought and rest the brain cells. Physically we need breaks too. If you are in a high-stress job that requires lots of manual labor, at least two 30 minute breaks a day are in order, or you’ll quickly burn out.
Squatting exercises have long been touted as the magic behind everything from total body fitness to weight loss. Basically, squatting exercises involve bending at the waist and bending your knees, with or without additional weight. Trainers everywhere inject squats and squat combinations into exercise routines for their clients often. But are squatting exercises doing more harm that good? Continue reading “Are Squats Hurting Your Back?”