Couples Massage May Save Your Relationship

Let’s face it. We live in an incredibly stressful world. This stresses pile up, too. They make us tense. Short-tempered. Tired. Achy. Stress can turn just about any teddy bear into a angry grizzly. All that stress doesn’t do any favors for a relationship, either.

That’s where massage comes in. It’s well known that massage is good for relaxation, but there are plenty more reasons you might want to consider massage. And pairing up with your significant other for the experience has added benefits.

Here are just a few:

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Real Change in Mind and Body

Think about the last time you made a decision about something. It may have been something trivial, like taking a different route during a morning bike ride. It may have been something major, like reaching out to someone with whom you’ve had an argument to patch things up. It may have been health-related, like giving up sugar for a week. Decisions, however trivial, can have a huge impact on your life. And your process for decision-making can dramatically affect the impact of the change created by your decision on your mind and body.

The process of getting your head around the challenges and opportunities presented by life’s choices usually begins with your method for decision-making. Some people run away and avoid the decision, and it usually comes back to haunt them. Others seek advice and counsel from others. Some make decisions quickly, some slowly. Still others find a way to hear and listen to their own inner voice.

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Make Kindness a Habit

During a recent visit to a discount store to buy some batteries, I stopped to hold the door open for a young mother and her 4 year-old daughter. Right behind them was a businessman carrying a large box. I held the door for him, too. Each said a polite “thank you” as they went through.

As I entered the store I noticed the mother and daughter still standing near the door. The daughter asked the mother why I had held the door open.

“He is a nice man,” replied the mom.

The daughter looked around, stared at the door, and replied “Oh.”. Continue reading “Make Kindness a Habit”

Feel Awkward About Massage?

It’s true. Some people feel a little awkward the first time they get a massage. It’s mostly concern about the unknown; wondering what it’s like and if you will enjoy the experience.

In reality, awkward feelings fade away very quickly when you’re in the hands of a qualified professional massage therapist. They provide a safe and comfortable experience. They will talk you through the experience so you won’t feel embarrassed or uninformed.

There are a few things to know beforehand, though, that will help you feel more comfortable when you arrive for your massage. Here’s a short list:

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Massage and Skin Conditions

The skin is actually the largest organ in the body. It protects your bones, muscles and organs, helps resist disease, and allows you to sense and ract to stimuli like hot, cold and pain. Your skin sheds close to 50,000 cells every minute.

Virtually everyone will suffer some sort of skin condition at some time in their lives. Whether it’s something like acne or skin tags, or something more chronic like basal cell carcinoma, treatments and proactive and preventative measures can shorten the duration of the condition.

When it comes to getting a massage, you should always disclose to your therapist any skin conditions you are aware of before the session. A qualified therapist is well trained to made decisions about how (or if) they will massage the affected areas. In some cases they’ll send you back to your physician for clearance before a massage session.

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Massage for Seniors Top Five Benefits

There is a lot for most seniors to celebrate. All those years mean you’ve grown in wisdom and pretty much figured out the world. You have had many life experiences. You have built routines in your daily life that help you stay on top of things. You may have family and friends that delight you. You might get a kick out of pursuing a hobby or interest. Senior life can be very good.

It’s not always a bed of roses, though. There are the not-so-celebratory parts of senior life. Sometimes you get achy or ill, sometimes you get lonely, sometimes you feel like you just need to get away for some well-deserved rest.

The frustrations life brings are pretty much the same no matter what age you are. Stress and strain brought on by working, dealing with day-to-day life, family, responsibilities, and getting adjusted to life as a senior can take its toll on you.

Many seniors have turned to massage to help improve the quality of their lives. It’s completely natural, incredibly effective when delivered by a qualified therapist, and has many benefits for seniors that counteract the frustrations you experience.

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Four Kinds of Stress

stresscracksAhhhh STRESS. Everybody has it, but few know how to deal with it Many different things can cause stress — physical elements (illness and injury), psychological elements (such as fear of falling or snakes) and/or emotional (worry about your family or job). Identifying what may be causing your stress is the first step in learning how to better deal with it.

Here are four common sources of stress: Continue reading “Four Kinds of Stress”

Has Your Massage Therapist Passed The Test?

mblexblogLicensing and certification are important for any profession. They indicate levels of education, knowledge, and experience that the public can trust. We license drivers for safety. Your architect is licensed. So is your doctor. Your contractor is too. These licenses give us a little peace of mind that the practitioner actually knows what they are doing and, at minimum, has demonstrated that knowledge. Many times, that demonstration of knowledge comes in the form of an exam. It’s the same for massage therapy.

In massage therapy, a professional exam is now required in many states (but not all) in order to become a “Certified Massage Therapist” (CMT) and to get a license to work or do business. The nationwide professional exam is called the MBLEx, an acronym for Massage and Body Licensing Examination. It’s a challenging, well constructed evaluation tool created with input from many medical and wellness professionals (including experienced massage therapists) and governed by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).

What does the MBLEx exam cover?

The MBLEx checks knowledge, comprehension, and application focused on eight areas:

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Five Tips for a Busy Mom

Having trouble finding the time to take care of yourself and get the exercise you need? You’re not alone.

Most non-parents think “summer break” means mom (or Mr. Mom) can kick back and do what they want while the kids entertain themselves. Not always true! In fact, pretty much never true.

No matter what, most moms have trouble finding time for themselves while the kids are out of school. And that lack of “me-time” can have pretty significant impact on your mental and physical wellness.

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Are You Easily Distracted?

distractedLife today is far from simple and sometimes it’s difficult to focus. But guess what? There’s something you can do about that.

According to recent research, our ability to concentrate is decreasing. We’re becoming more scattered, more distractible. There are quite a few reasons why you might find it difficult to concentrate. It could be a habit that’s retraining your brain to scatter it’s focus–like too much texting or not paying attention to environmental factors, like light and noise, when you’re trying to focus. Lack of concentration can also be due to medical or psychological issues, which are often excellent reasons to regularly visit your massage therapist.

“Concentration is the secret of strength.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803)

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So Goes the Psoas

psoas muscleThe Psoas (“so-az”) muscle helps flex the hip and stabilize the spine and is involved in everyday activities like walking and running. One of the iliopsoas group of muscles (along with the iliacus muscles), it is also is one of the most targeted muscles in discussions of lower back pain.

Your psoas major (so-az) muscles (you have one on each side of your spine) connect the lower portion of your back to the top of your thighs. Its major function is to stabilize the back and it’s the strongest and biggest player in a group of muscles called hip flexors that help flex your hips. Lay down and bring your knees to your chest and you’ll experience the psoas in action.

The psoas originates from the lumbar vertebrae and forms a strip of muscle about as big as your wrist along each side of the spine. It proceeds down and forward, crossing the outer edge of each pubis, then moves back again to attach on a bony prominence of the inner upper posterior femur (thigh bone) called the lesser trochanter. Continue reading “So Goes the Psoas”

Why Your Physician Likes Massage

In 2007, just 5% of physicians recommended massage as part of wellness and recovery, in 2013 that number climbed to 59% and it’s still growing.

It’s no secret that many physicians recommend massage, and that many are massage clients themselves. According to the results of a 2011 survey conducted by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum, the use of massage is on the rise.

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Isotonic vs Isometric, Huh?

Look at your upper arms as you flex (bend your arm at the elbow). You’ll see the top-of-the-arm muscle push up the skin (or “bulge” for those with python upper arms). What you’re observing is the contraction of your bicep. Contractions are the action that happened when muscles shorten. Lengthen or shortening of muscles are involved in most every movement we make.

In the case of contractions, there are two major types: isotonic and isometric. And you can tell the difference by what happens to the length of the muscle (shorten, lengthen, or no change).

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The Parenthood Challenge

parenthoodIt’s not as easy as everyone thinks to be SUPERMOM or AWESOMEDAD. You carry all the weight of your family–and that can take it’s toll over time.

Nobody has to tell you that parenthood is both the best job in the world, and the hardest. If you are a parent, you know it’s a roller-coaster ride of priceless moments countered by emotional challenges too intense even for today’s reality shows. But somehow, you do it.

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Top 5 Reasons Massage is a Great Gift

Whether it’s Mother’s Day, a birthday, or just a “really wanted to show you I care” opportunity, massage makes a great gift. Here are the top five reasons you might want to consider offering mom (or any other significant person in your life) a wonderful massage experience.

  1. An hour of “me time”: In today’s hectic world of gym, work, eat, sleep, repeat it’s hard to take a moment and just “be”. Did you know almost HALF of the working population doesn’t take vacation? One of the most welcomed gifts you can give someone is time. Time to rest. Time to disconnect. Time to breathe. Massage presents an opportunity for an hour (or more) of blissful quiet.
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