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”
Wikipedia defines “hug” as “a near universal form of physical intimacy in which two people put their arms around the neck, back, or waist of one another and hold each other closely. If more than two persons are involved, this is informally referred to as a group hug.”
Virtually every language on the planet has a word for hug, most have more than one: embrace, squeeze, cuddle, snuggle, jhappi, pyaar karna, pass rakhna, cwtch, aalingan, abbracciami, abraço, abrazo, étreindre, 抱き締める(dakishimeru), klemmer, knuddel, hibukim, gale lagnaa, αγκάλες, yakap, Обнимаю, hodn, objeti and a whole lot more.
Continue reading “All About Hugs”
Studies have shown that a sensible amount of sun actually reduces your risk of several cancers and other serious health conditions. It’s all thanks to vitamin D
, made by our bodies as a result of our skin’s absorption of the sun’s UVB rays. Most of us get about 90 per cent of our vitamin D from the sun – even in Winter time!
But, too much of a good thing is definitely not good for us. While we cannot live without sun, it is, by far, the worst enemy of our skin. In excess amounts, sunlight creates free radicals
, which cause cell damage, eventually leading to very serious skin damage, premature aging, and skin cancer.
It’s all about the rays
The sun emits three kinds of ultraviolet (UV) rays: UVC, UVB, and UVA. UVC rays are short rays that are, thankfully, blocked by the ozone layer, and in large doses are deadly to all live creatures because of their germicidal properties. UVB rays are the next longest UV rays. These are the rays that, in excess amounts, contribute to most skin cancers and are responsible for sunburns. UVB are much stronger than UVA rays, which are the longest rays, and responsible for damage of precious collagen and elastin fibrils causing skin to age prematurely.
Continue reading “Do I Really Need Sunscreen?”
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.
Continue reading “Release Anger Through Massage”
The ability for us to consciously sense the tension and release in our muscles describes a state known as sensory motor awareness. That ability’s functionality depends on how actively we engage it. Humans tend be creatures of habit, forming routines in the way we relate to both our internal and external worlds. As we put ourselves on “auto-pilot”, especially when it comes to posture and movement patterns, the relationship between our conscious minds and the parts of bodies that may need attention can enter a state of sensory motor amnesia, where the internal sense of awareness becomes muted.
Pain Free Isn’t Problem Free
Continue reading “Sensory Motor Amnesia: Hidden Pain Wearing You Down”
Some people believe listening to music while they run pushes them harder. Others believe it’s a distraction. Who’s right? Does music aid running?
In 2014, 15 well-trained male long-distance runners with an average age of 24 participated in a study to investigate the effects of music on performance during a 5km run. They gave each runner a mobile music device and tested five different types of songs:
- PM: Motivational songs, applied before 5 km of running;
- SM: Slow motivational songs, applied during 5 km;
- FM: Fast and motivational songs, applied during 5 km;
- CS: Calm songs, applied after 5 km;
- CO: Control.
Continue reading “Does Music Aid Running?”
Acne outbreaks can be a very difficult and devastating occurrence for any teenager or their parents. Acne is especially impactful for teens, since so much of their self esteem is tied up in their appearance. Teenage acne can have an impact far beyond simple appearance too.
Anyone who has seen an acne-affected teen fail to make eye-contact or a newly affected teen begin to do poorly in school, understands the effect acne can have on self-esteem. Adolescents with acne are reported to have higher rates of stress
, mental health problems, affective isolation, social impairment, depression and even thoughts of suicide. In cases where the impact on the psychological health of the client is particularly burdensome, effective treatment of acne may result in dramatic improvement in self-esteem, reducing shame and embarrassment, and improving body image and self-confidence.
Continue reading “Combating Teenage Acne”
Every athlete is on the lookout for an edge that helps them train more effectively, perform better and recover from injuries more quickly. For teens, whose bodies are still growing, muscles are more vulnerable to physical stressors, and because the muscles are getting longer, sometimes there are naturally occurring “growing pains”.
In any competitive or recreational sport, the risk of injury is high, and the risk of acquiring a long term injury is very real Teen sports are no exception. School injury prevention programs are typically limited to padding and equipment, and maybe a few stretches. For an active, growing teen, this really isn’t enough.
Stress is also a significant factor in growing teens, just like it is for adults. Whether it’s school, the pressure to excel, family issues, or relationships, stress can be a real and harmful emotional drain.
Continue reading “Teen Sports and Massage Therapy”
In many cases, the difference between a basic massage provider and a massage therapist comes down to trust. Trusting in your therapist means you believe they are reliable, truthful, and that they have the ability to help you relax, reduce aches and pains, or help you meet other massage goals. Most will agree that trust is earned, mostly by acting in a trustworthy manner.
As bodyworkers, we’re aware that clients enter a trust relationship when they walk through the door. They are trusting that we know what we are doing, that we will keep them safe, that we have strong ethical boundaries, and that what we do will help, not harm, the client’s overall body, mind and spirit.
Here are a five things to consider when you’re answering the question “can you trust your massage therapist”?
Continue reading “Can You Trust Your Massage Therapist?”
Put a couple drops of rose oil in a diffuser and you get the attention of every woman within smelling distance. The wonderfully intense smell of a rose is sweet and floral and generally effects women by calming them. Other benefits can include balancing hormones, easing menstrual cramps, PMS symptoms and leveling mood. The effect of the scent of a rose is usually instantaneous and most women will report it’s one of their favorite scents. That’s why it’s used in thousands of facial creams and costly perfumes. And, rose oil is a very well known natural aphrodisiac.
While rose oil is also an aphrodisiac for men, the most often reported effects usually center around relief from stress, mental fatigue, and adding to memory and alertness. It’s also effective in treating insomnia. For many men, sweet and tasty scents, like vanilla and almond and more fruity scents, are preferred to florals like rose oil.
Continue reading “The Effects of Rose Oil on Women and Men”
If you’ve ever heard of someone with “swayback” or “no butt”, then you’ve seen the results of postural changes related to pelvic tilt. The pelvis is a bony structure that connects the base of your spine to the upper end of each of your legs. A healthy pelvis is important for movement, stability and posture.
There are basically two types of postural deficiencies involving the pelvis: anterior pelvic tilt and posterior pelvic tilt.
The most common type of pelvic deficiency occurs when your pelvis is tilted forward, known technically as anterior pelvic tilt (APT). APT is more common in females, but many males have it too. This is a relatively common postural deviation characterized by a forward tipped pelvis, increased lower back curve (sway back) and sometimes a bulging (but not necessarily fat) abdomen. The tilt is a result of tight or stiff hip flexor muscles (posts, iliac, rectus femoris, tensor facia late, erector spinae) coupled with poor or unequal gluteal, hamstring, oblique or abdominal muscle strength. Continue reading “Posture 101: Pelvic Tilt”
The holiday season can be one of the most joyous times of the year. Festive decorations, gifting, renewed connections with friends and family, and a chance to reflect on the year behind and the year to come. All around you there are reminders of the season, the Christmas tree lots, travel, schedule changes, and a barrage of retail advertising.
There are also plenty of reasons to be stressed. Obligations, office parties, and keeping up with family traditions, spending money, and worrying about how it will all work out. Holiday stress is very real and can have a huge impact on how you experience and feel the holiday season. If you’re prone to stress, have had depression in the past, or are fighting clinical depression now, this can be a tough time if you don’t take control. In a study by the American Psychological Association, fully eighty percent of Americans anticipated stress during the holiday season. Another study suggests a whopping 69 percent attribute their stress to money related concerns.
Five ways to fight holiday stress Continue reading “Is Holiday Stress Real?”
Massage therapy isn’t magic. It’s a research-based therapy that can have incredibly effective results and improve the overall state of wellness in your body, mind, and spirit. Here are a few myths about massage therapy and the “real story” that goes with them.
1 If it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t effective. The goal of massage is to relax the muscles to allow proper tissue release and effective healing. If you find yourself holding your breathe, or tightening the muscle being worked because it’s painful, the pressure is too deep and the massage is counter-productive to its purpose. Always talk to your therapist during the session if you’re uncomfortable. Good massage therapists cause results, not pain.
2 Massage is only for women. 35% of women and 24% of men have received a massage in past 12 months. The number of professional athletes receiving therapeutic massage has doubled in the last 2 years.
3 If you’re pregnant, don’t get a message! Not at all true. Touch can convey comfort, awareness and induce relaxation. It can also help alleviate aches and pains. Prenatal massage is different from a regular massage–both in technique and intent. Ask if your therapist has had specific training in pre-natal massage and run away from any practitioner who doesn’t ask questions of collect additional information about the stage and condition of your pregnancy. Massage can be incredibly effective for mothers-to-be.
Continue reading “10 Myths About Massage Therapy”