NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

Make yourself a priority this New Year!

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Take care of yourself this year!

The New Year is HERE, now is a good time to resolve to take better care of yourself! Taking care of yourself is NOT a selfish act, but many times, we tend to feel as if it is. Take time to recharge your batteries, for a dead battery is good for no one.

Exercise is a great way to increase endorphin hormones in the body – the ones that increase your feeling of overall well-being. Exercise is not strictly relegated to the gym, you can do it indoors, or out, at home, or in the mall. Partnering up with a friend will help you have an accountability to each other, as well as have a cheerleader when the times get hard. Black Girls Run is a national running team that encourages you to get off the couch and get going, and if you’ve never run a race before, but you’ve always wanted to, they have a Walk Before You Run (WALKB4URUN) program.  That way, you can train properly for the run with other women, at your own speed (pun intended!). You could also get a great playlist of music to get you moving, this way you can sneak some fun into your exercise, and really have a great time.

Make sure that you put yourself on the TOP of your priority list this year!

Make sure that you put yourself on the TOP of your priority list this year!

Aromatherapy – is a great way to help improve your emotional balance and a sense of well being. Think it doesn’t work? If you go to Bath & Body Works, or use scented soaps, bodywashes, or anything that has a scent, you are using aromatherapy, to an extent. My earliest remembrance of aromatherapy is my Mom doing my hair, as a child. She used Blue Magic hair conditioner with Bergamot when she did our hair every week. Different scents require different means of use. Aura Cacia is a great resource on how to properly use essential oils and scents.

Lets make 2014 the best year ever!

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Get a Move On!

Today is National Walking Day! With the weather getting warmer, this day couldn’t come soon enough!

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It is estimated that the average person gets less than 5,000 steps a day. Since I work at home, I can see how that can be the case – taking lunch at your desk, working longer hours, not taking time to stretch – all are contributors to a sedentary lifestyle. When I get that feeling to walk though, I get those headphones on, and out the door I go! Not necessarily for exercise purposes, but to clear my head, to get out of the house, and just enjoy being outside.

If you want to be a goal-oriented walker, there are pedometers that you can clip to your hip, and measure your overall step count. If you are more of a tech-head, there are plenty of apps and accessories that can help you measure your overall health, not just your steps. The FitBit or the Fuel Bracelet by Nike you set your goals, and it measures your activity. The more active you are, the higher the score! The All-In Pedometer, which is the app I have for my phone, measures my step count, my pace, heart rate, calories burned, and it sets it to my playlist, so I can get going. It also reminds me (often) that I haven’t been as active as I should be, so I can get out there.

Whatever reason you decide to get out there and walk, JUST DO IT! Walk in a group, or by yourself, with your “Move It” playlist, or enjoying nature’s playlist, walking is about the cheapest form of exercise there is. Get out there, and enjoy the day!

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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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