Believe it or not, sometimes the “holiday season of joy” brings on a surprising sidekick. Stress and depression. It kind of makes sense… there are things to prepare for, shopping (and worries about money), entertaining, travel and many more behaviors that are confined to a very short time period once a year. Holiday depression is more common than you might think. It’s also something that, with a little forethought, you can eliminate or at least control holiday depression.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the most likely types of people who seek and benefit from regular massage. Can you find yourself or someone else you know in this list?
- Betty/Billy Back Pain. Back pain comes from joints, muscles, joints in the spine, bones, and nerves around the back. The pain could be in one area or could have a wider spread effect on an individual. A massage helps this client feel and function better compared to friends who don’t receive any massage treatment. Studies show it improves range of motion and decreases discomfort, too. Continue reading “Can You Find Yourself in these Massage Profiles?”
Depending on your current circumstances, sometimes summertime can bring on sadness. While others seem carefree, you’re feeling a little sad or stressed, or both. You wonder why you feel like you’re in a daze or just don’t feel like engaging with other people. Welcome to summertime sadness.
Causes of summertime sadness
Pain affects every facet of daily life, our work, our attitude, our relationships, and our outlook on our future. For some, controlling pain with medications results in unpleasant side effects. Americans are reaching out in record numbers to find the best options for pain relief without the unpredictability traditional medicine. The CDC reports that the top four reasons adults used traditional medicines were to treat pain including back pain or problems, neck pain or problems, joint pain or stiffness/other joint condition, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions.
Teens are anxious about a lot of things in their lives and, like adults, they need an outlet for stress. If we don’t suggest some options, they’ll likely experiment for themselves, sometimes with unexpected and undesirable consequences.
How pronounced is stress in teens? A survey by the APA (August 2013) showed more than 64% of the teens surveyed experienced moderate or extreme stress in the last month. About 13% of teens say they experienced extreme stress levels. Compare that to the 21% of adults reporting extreme stress levels and it’s easy to draw the conclusion that teens are following in their parents footsteps on the way toward a future of chronic stress and the chronic illness that often follows.
Anxiety disorders affect almost 7 million American adults–about twice as many women as men. Anxiety comes on gradually, typically between childhood and middle age. A Surgeon General’s report on Mental Health revealed that 16% of adults between the ages of 18 and 54 suffer from various anxiety disorders for at least one year.
Causes of anxiety
The causes of anxiety are many, which is one of the reasons it’s so common. Anxiety is produced when you are overly concerned about relationship or job issues, many, your health, and lots more. These concerns blend into negative, fearful thoughts about the future or debilitating guilt about the past.
Trauma is a “stressful event or events that are ongoing or unpredictable that result in overwhelming feelings of fear, anxiety, and helplessness”. Trauma can be caused by natural disasters/events (like tornadoes, earthquakes, fire, flood, explosion) or physical, psychological or emotional injury caused by abuse, neglect and/or willful misconduct.
Everyone responds to traumatic events differently. Children, for example, sometimes deal with trauma is they simply freezing and become unresponsive, their “fight or flight” basic instincts are engaged. Hearts pump, breathing goes rapid and shallow, hands perspire, stomachs tighten. Children lack the ego strengths and cognitive emotional inhibitors necessary to cope with trauma, so they respond with physical hyper-arousal (like ADHD), emotional numbing or reactivity, startle responses, all which can lead to neuro-endocrine abnormalities and developmental delays.
In adults, response to trauma can include aches and pains like headaches & backaches, sudden sweating or heart palpitations, changes in sleep patterns, enhanced startle reflex, fear, anxiety, grief, hyper-alertness, irritability, mood swings, shame, guilt and more. It’s pretty clear that trauma has significant impact on physical and emotional wellness.
Long term effects
In some cases, in both children and adults, trauma can lead to PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) which manifests itself in flashbacks, intrusive thoughts or nightmares, avoidance and emotional numbing, and physical symptoms like elevated heart rate. Those symptoms can be long lasting.
Touch is the very first sense humans acquire. It develops in simple form in the womb, well before birth. Newborns are born with sight, but initially focus at 8-12 inches from their face. Newborns can hear, even in the womb, and initially respond mostly to high-pitched exaggerated sounds and voices. Newborns can taste and smell at birth, with a preference toward sweetness and pleasant smells.
Newborns love skin-to-skin contact. Newborns who share bare-chested snuggles with their moms (sometimes called “kangaroo care”) may breathe better, cry less, and breastfeed longer.
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, 2012
As it is with newborns, our sense of touch remains very important as we grow. We learn about our surroundings and learn to associate touch with sense memory–things like the warmth of a blanket, a cool breeze, comforting hugs, and loving caresses. With almost every touch you learn more about life.
Western cultures, sadly, are pretty touch-deprived and this is especially true of the US. Psychologist Sidney Jourard (1960s) studied conversations between friends in a cafe in different parts of the world. He watched conversations for an hour and noted touch interactions. In England, the two friends touched zero times. In the US, twice–mostly associated with an emphatic or enthusiastic moment in the conversation. But in France, the number dramatically increased to 110 times per hour. In Puerto Rico, friends touched each other 180 times. Cultural norms dictate public touch behavior along with each individual’s sense of personal space. In general, though, people feel more connected (“closer”) when nonverbal communication, like touch, is involved in a conversation.
Half of all men and one-third of all women in the US will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Survivability is increasing exponentially as medicine and lifestyle changes help us understand more about the disease.
Massage therapy is completely safe for people living with cancer, and there are some significant benefits that can help improve the quality of life for the cancer patient. Massage can NOT spread cancer and when massage therapy is practiced by a skilled therapist, it can dramatically reduce stress and provide welcome relief from many cancer treatment related maladies.
A healing massage can soothe your body, mind and soul. How? It’s all about science.
Getting a massage feels amazing. You feel better even before your therapist enters the room. You’re in our dimly lit, clean & quiet space enveloped with calming music, a warm massage table and cool, soft linens. You’ll feel relaxation begin to take over almost immediately.
As the massage session begins, you’ll be able to close your eyes and focus on your own breath, leaving behind all the worries of the day. You’ll get a sense of calm called mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of awareness that helps regulate emotion and boosts body awareness. When you’re in a mindful state, parts of your brain become less active, causing you to be less reactive. You can disconnect from the world.
Massage therapy is one of the best investments you can make for your personal well-being. All kinds of people seek massage therapy for all kinds of different reasons. The end result is almost always pain relief and relaxation.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the client types who already benefit from regular massage.
- Betty Back Pain. Back pain comes from joints, muscles, joints in the spine, bones, and nerves around the back. The pain could be in one area or could have a wider spread effect on an individual. A massage helps Betty feel and function better compared to her friends who don’t receive any massage treatment. Studies show it improves her range of motion and decreases discomfort, too. Continue reading “Five Massage Therapy Snapshots: Is This You?”