NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

Just Blog It – 5 things I’ve learned since I’ve turned 40

I tell you- the List Post for me is the most challenging one to do! This post took all day to write, and took on several iterations. Here is the one that finally took-

1- Saying NO by far, is the best diet plan in the world.

2- Your taste preference will change, whether you want it to, or not.

3- In my 30’s, my type of exercise was jumping to a conclusion. Now, I’ll do a 5K. You run (or walk) your race. All you need to do finish.

4- Your hormones will go on strike. If people call you Sybil, don’t take it personally.

5- Before your kids leave home, find something fun for YOU to do.

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You Really Don’t Have Time?

I hear more often than not “I don’t have time to get a massage, even if you came to my office.” So from what I understand, you are OK with dealing with pain and stiffnness in your:
Neck and Head – Leaning forward toward computer desktop monitors, laptop and smartphone screens contribute to a stiff neck and eyestrain. Taking frequent breaks to have your eyes focus on more 3-D objects approximately 20 feet away can help your eye muscles relax, and not be contracted to focus on flat, 2-D objects closer to your face.

Shoulders– Your ears and your shoulders should be like exes; Aware of each other, but nowhere near one another. Your shoulders should be relaxed, and not rolled forward

Good Door Stretch

Excellent Shoulder Stretch (Image Credit- http://www.Abbotcenter.com)

(slouching posture). If you lean against a wall, your shoulder blades shouldn’t be the only things touching the wall. Stretch your pecs in the doorway, doing a forward lean, to help release the tension in your shoulder blades.

Lower Back – Locking your knees does nothing good for the lower back. It tightens and compresses all the lower back muscles in to one small area. Remember when you sat in the back seat of the car as a child on long road trips, all stuffed and cramped back there? Well, now you know how your lower back feels! Bending your knees slightly, not so bent that you are slouching, will help all muscles responsible work together to help you stand better, be more agile on your feet, and tilt your pelvis to give your lower back muscles more room to move.

High Heels– I know, your legs look GREAT in your favorite pair of stilettos, but being in

High heels look great, but is it worth all the pain in your feet? (Image Credit - webmd.com)

those shoes does more harm than good. You already know about your Achilles tendon shortening, heel pain, hammer toes, and your toes crammed into too small of a toe box contributes to bunions with prolonged use of high heels. What about your overall posture, hip displacement and muscle pain, especially your calves, shins because you’re walking on your tiptoes? Massage would be great to help your muscles in your lower back, thighs and calves feel better and help articulate your ankle to improve mobility.

Backs of Legs/ Sitting all Day – We spend WAY too much time sitting down. Whether it is at the computer, behind the wheel, on the couch, et cetera, we weren’t designed to be sitting all day long. Even if we work out after sitting all day, the detriment will outweigh the benefits. Take breaks and walk around throughout the day if at all possible. Stand when you can, and make sure you slightly bend those knees!

Taking care of yourself, a few minutes each day will do WONDERS for your overall health, stress levels, and your personal well-being. If no one has told you, you are definitely worth all the effort that it takes to take care of yourself. If you don’t, how will you do what you love to do?

If you want to feel better at work, talk with your massage therapist to come up with a
customized stretching regimen so that you feel better throughout the day. If I happen to be YOUR massage therapist, why haven’t you called me yet?

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What Do You Do to De-stress?

You cannot avoid negative stress, just like you cannot avoid breathing. You can deal with it, abate it, ignore it, or increase it. Getting rest in the afternoon is great, but can disrupt your sleeping habits, if you sleep too long. Complaining about it, especially to people that cannot do anything to change the source of the stress, can abate it, transfer the stress to the person that you are complaining to, but it does not do much to change the source of the stress.

What do I do to reduce my stress levels?

  1. Laugh my butt off – Sometimes there is nothing funny about certain stresses in the immediate moment, but later on, there can be something funny about it. I had someone close to me die at age 104. She babysat my sister and me as children, our kids, and the neighborhood kids. She was a staple in the neighborhood, and she will be sorely missed. As I was relaying this message to a friend that knew the woman, she asked me how the woman died.

      “Really?!?” I replied, taking a page from Bill Engvall, “She wrecked her Harley at Bike Week. She was 104!!!” I burst out laughing, knowing that Ms. Pryor would have laughed too, upon hearing that.

Laughter releases all sorts of endorphins and helps increase immunities, and reduces other hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, a ‘fight or flight’ hormone, which can lead to adrenal fatigue. Having a good laugh also engages the core abdominal muscles and diaphragm, gives the heart a good workout, relaxes the shoulders, and increases the oxygen intake throughout the body. If you ever meet me, ask me what songs are on my Mp3 to help me de-stress.

2.   Exercise – Taking 20 minutes out to just get away, to take a walk, workout, yoga, tai chi, Wii, PS3 Kinect, just getting out there and MOVE helps gets the body to reduce stressors. Boxing on my Wii is my de-stressor of choice. I can work on my stress, and get some exercise done in the process. Personally, I hate to sweat, but the after effects of working out outweigh the not moving of it all. I get over it, and get going.

3. Finding different ways to say “No” – Someone’s always going to want your time. There are going to be times that you are going to want to scream “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO” at the top of your lungs, but you don’t. You can say, ”Let me get back to you”, or “Let me sleep on it”, etc., so that you can take a breath before you commit to something. Find several different ways to say no, and reply to the request accordingly.

4. Meditation – Taking a few minutes to clear your mind will help decrease stress levels and may give you a new perspective on the very thing that stressed you out in the first place. There are many ways that one can meditate, which is great, because one always cannot do Downward Facing Dog in your cubicle.

5. Massage – Massage releases muscles that have been overworked and taut due to stress, also releases endorphins, reduces anxiety and increases calm, but I’m sure you knew that already.

These are only a few ways that you can de-stress. What do you do to reduce your stress levels? Can’t wait to hear from you!

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