Summer’s over and you’re heading into a busy season. Chances are you might have let things slide a bit. Maybe things were super busy. Maybe summer is about relaxation, regardless of what’s on the list to do. Now’s the best time to take stock of where you are and take control over your own wellness.
It turns out nobody is more in control of your renewal, rebirth and recovery than YOU are. The Fall and Winter can be a great time to contemplate and resolve to get in touch with yourself again and reach out to seek your passions, your purpose, your dreams, work on your relationships, make job changes, and, most importantly, think about your wellness.
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.
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. Continue reading “Top 5 Reasons Massage is a Great Gift”
Like any profession, the day to day cycle of helping clients with expert massage therapy can take a toll on massage therapists. Since our hands, forearms and elbows are primary tools, those tend to be the trouble spots.
If you’re not a therapist, you might be surprised to learn that during your year+ school time, we learn proper form and body mechanics that allow us to work “smarter” (not harder) and protect ourselves from injury. By the time we’re through with more than 700 hours of class, internships, and other practice, we’ve built up the stamina to do a full day’s work with no problem.
Happiness really is a state of mind. Everyone defines it a bit differently. For some, it’s contentment, others satisfaction, some pleasure, some joy, some well-being, and for others just “feeling all right”.
Your happiness is influenced both by your perception of what’s going on in your life and actual environmental occurrences. Happy people actually do things that keep them happy. In other words, they actively pursue happiness, sometimes instinctively, sometimes because they’ve learned good habits, other times because they feel the need to be even happier.
Think about Scrat, the squirrel from the Ice Age films. He’s oh so happy when he finally gets his tiny hands on his beloved acorn. But think also that Scrat goes to great lengths to move toward his goal. As long as he is moving toward the goal, actually taking steps forward, he’s moving closer to his nut every moment. Luckily, you don’t have to scale icebergs or slide off cliffs to be happy, but you do have to work at it. Here are twenty things, in no particular order, that you can do to help yourself move your brain toward a happier perception of yourself and your world.
Here in Silicon Valley we work hard– we put in ridiculous hours, manage crazy deadlines, and co-exist in super competitive workplaces. As workloads increase and we reach our bandwidth limits, harmful stress can begin to take its toll. You feel tired all the time. You get cranky. You scream at the dog. You eat 4 donuts in 1 hour. Your spouse/partner/BFF thinks you’ve turned into another (not-so-pleasant) person. There’s only so much of this we can take as mere mortals, but we work ALL the time. What to do?
When most of us are just slapping the SNOOZE button for the second time, Bo Rivera is already in high gear at the gym. Not just any gym, Santa Clara’s premiere gym, Fitness Never Sleeps (FNS). And he’s not there just for his own wellness, he’s part of the FNS team, both as superstar coach and marketing lead. He’s been with FNS since the club opened in 2012 helping hundreds of athletes and weekend warriors build new skills, acquire new fitness habits, and push themselves to reach their personal goals.
Bo has a true passion for fitness and helping others achieve their fitness goals. He’s a lifelong athlete who grew up playing soccer in high school and college, and has been an avid snowboarder, cyclist, and martial artist for more than 10 years. He’s committed to building excellent habits for fitness, nutrition, wellness, and a positive attitude.
Bo practices what he preaches, too. He’s an accomplished triathlete and designed his own customized fitness and nutrition program. He’s also a big believer in the benefits of massage therapy in helping him maintain maximum wellness.
Bo’s passion is contagious, as any FNS member will tell you. We were curious as to why he believes massage is such an important part of a wellness program, and a little more about his own motivations, so we sat down with Bo for a quick Q&A.
About one in three Americans make a New Year’s resolution. It’s a great tradition, offering us an opportunity to kick bad habits, create new opportunities, soften the rough edges of our behavior, and polish up relationships. The trick, of course, is sticking with it.
Just in case you were sitting around wondering which one of the zillions of promises you’d like to make to yourself, we’ve collected 10 resolutions that are relatively easy to keep and will certainly go a long way toward a healthier and happier 2015.
1. More FTF and less TXT. It’s easy to think that a random text now and then can substitute for a real conversation if you’re working on keeping relationships with friends and relatives strong. It doesn’t. Try talking to your friends and relatives more IN PERSON, or at least hear their voices. Use tech like FaceTime and Skype more. Put DOWN the phone while you eat or talk with others. You will find the quality of your relationships improve, your fingers aren’t as sore from texting, and you’ll avoid that $300 texting-while-driving traffic ticket, too. Continue reading “Top 10 Wellness New Year’s Resolutions”
Everyone gets angry sometimes. Anger is a normal emotion with a wide range of intensity, from mild frustration to outright rage. Anger is usually a reaction to a perceived threat to ourself, those we love, our property, or our identity. It’s also a red flag that tells us something is wrong.
Anger, if managed well, can prompt us to make positive changes in our lives. Managed poorly, however, it leads to poor decision making and creates problems all around you. It can also affect your health.
Any massage therapist will tell you that your emotions like anger can contribute to or aggravate muscle tension and pain. When they work on you they can feel the extra tension, more knots, and observe physical signs that there are unexpressed emotions. There is strong evidence that suppressed anger can lead to heightened pain and aches (www.pubmed.gov) and the body tension and tightness that accompanies anger can have long term affects on your health.
Did you know optimism combats stress? That’s right, having a positive attitude actually reduces stressors in your life. You worry less. You believe that things are going to work out and stress less about the small things. Positive thinking also helps stop “negative self-talk”–those little voices telling you to expect the worst. This is all a conscious decision. And positive thinking positively works.
For thousands of years, massage recipients have known that therapeutic massage reduces stress and people who get regular massage are generally much happier. It turns out that there is evidence that massage also helps you have a more positive outlook on life and helps you cope better with the things that make you stressed.
Massage calms the mind
Massage can help you feel better about yourself and the relaxation can help with focus after your session. Anyone who has had a relaxing massage knows that when you finish, you feel peaceful and even a little “foggy”. This “fogginess” is a true sign that for the time you were on the table you experienced “physical ease” which your body carries over into emotional ease. And while your mind and all your thoughts were focused on the quiet stillness of relaxation, your stress melted away.
Have you ever noticed that laziness fuels more laziness and activity fuels more activity?
Whether it’s dealing with a family matter, pursuing a professional goal, picking up your socks, or managing your own wellness, it’s easy to procrastinate, delay, justify and deny yourself right into a big pile of inactivity.
For many people, stress from making big decisions or dealing with an ongoing stressful situation creates a level of discomfort and confusion in our minds and bodies. The burden of inaction weighs heavier than we think on the nervous system and on just about every other body system. You can feel guilty for being lazy, especially when you naturally compare yourself to others who you see as decidedly not lazy. It can take a lot of energy to suppress feelings and it takes a lot of work by your body to resist the temptation to transfer inaction into muscle aches, pain, and a general lack of wellness. That’s why when we’re lazy, we get more lazy. Our system just finally says “oh well” and gives in.
It’s not a fad, but a lifestyle. Yoga can have significant positive physical and mental effects for people of all ages.
Yoga is an ancient practice. Originating in India more than 500 years ago, the term yoga means “to unite”. It’s the journey of learning about yourself and your body that makes yoga more effective for some than just a trip to the gym.
Yoga uses asanas (postures), focused concentration on specific body parts, and pranayama (breathing techniques) to integrate the body with mind and mind with soul.
An estimated 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches, and whether the headache is tension-related or a full-blown migraine, massage therapy may help.
Chronic headaches are one of the most common complaints made to healthcare professionals each year. Headaches are most often treated with over-the-counter or prescription medication. While these treatments are effective, they can be a temporary solution for a chronic problem.
Most headaches fall into one of two categories: tension and migraine. Tension headaches can be caused by stress, dehydration, muscle spasms, trigger points, eye strain, hormonal changes, neck misalignment, or TMJ.
Every single day, a runner tweaks a muscle, an active adult injures a shoulder, someone shackled to a computer gets a pain in their wrist or finger and someone wakes up from a restless night of sleep with back, neck or shoulder pain. Some attempt to “walk it off”, some race to a doctor or grab an over-the-counter pain reliever. Others just wait, hoping the pain will go away on it’s own.
You Don’t Have to Wait for Wellness
In each of the aforementioned cases, massage can usually make a significant, noticeable difference in your level of pain or discomfort, and often speeds healing of the traumatized area. Add a well-trained massage therapist who listens to your needs, performs exemplary work, and coaches you on home-care activities and you’ve got a wellness program that works. Continue reading “Waiting for Wellness”
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 2nd most 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. In order to determine the best way to answer these questions, we must first understand what is causing the pain from a structural and physiological standpoint.
Webster’s dictionary defines pain as “the physical feeling caused by disease, injury, or something that hurts the body.” So how do our bodies interpret these “hurts.” What it boils down to is the irritation of nerves. Nerves form an extensive meshwork that traverses every square inch of our bodies and allows our brain to interpret our environment. Nerves can be irritated either by direct trauma or the processes of inflammation. Inflammation is a cellular/chemical storm that takes place at the site of pain to conduct the healing process. This brings us to the standard pain theory diagram illustrated in figure 1.