NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

Are your feet holding your whole body hostage?

I walked a 5K this past weekend for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. Now normally, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I’ve had breathing issues most of this year, so walking even at a brisk pace was a challenge.

I walked it, in better time than I had the last time (I came in with the truck that picked up the cones at my last 5K). I was so happy that I went shopping to treat myself for a job well done, and was out for hours.

When I got home, hours later, I was tired, but wasn’t as tired as I had been in the past walks. My feet felt fine, but apparently were beginning to throw a serious hissy fit. As I slept, my feet held a meeting with the muscles in my calves.

If you've been on your feet for most of the day, and you haven't taken care of them, be prepared to be taken hostage by them.

If you’ve been on your feet for most of the day, and you haven’t taken care of them, be prepared to be taken hostage by them.

They regaled my calves with stories of abuse and mistreatment, and after all the stories, the calves believed my feet! In solidarity with my feet, my calves began to twitch, ever so slightly, my brain didn’t even notice. My feet were really upset that the brain still didn’t tell me to get up, that they gave an ultimatum – move that leg one more time, and SEE what happens next!

Again, as far as the brain was concerned, it was off the clock. ‘Time for maintenance, please come back later,’ the message replied. As I fell back to sleep, my legs shifted into a more comfortable position, and the feet seized the opportunity to wake me up.

The foot began to curl, as the calf muscles contracted. Just before it fully seized up, I bolted out of bed, and almost stood up on my foot, like I used to when I would get a Charlie horse. Once I calmed down, I took deep breaths, massaged the muscles, and got in that knot before any of the other muscles tried to gang up on me.

Now, as a massage therapist, I should know better. Yes, I see you shaking your head as you read the post. Everyone has a slip now and again.

Here’s how you can do better than I did. If you don’t take care of your feet, no matter how long your to-do list is, your feet will take your whole body hostage.

– After doing an activity, such as a 5K or a run, have a banana. The magnesium in the banana will help feed the muscles the nutrients they need to regulate and repair. Don’t like bananas? Here is a link of magnesium rich foods.

– A cool water bottle rolled under foot will help soothe sore soles. A golf ball will help address knots, but don’t press so hard, the cramp in your foot may just get worse. Apply pressure to your level of comfort only.

– Self massage always helps when you just want to take care of that knot that’s been bothering you. Again, digging into a knot may not be the best idea; bruises look cute on noone.

– Warm ups before and gentle stretching afterwards helps the muscles prepare for and recover from an activity. This is a hotly contested idea, and opinions vary widely. I’d rather let my muscles know that they’re getting ready to work, than to cramp up in the middle of an activity. Check out the last post – Leg Cramps – for some great stretches that you can do for your legs.

– A pre-event massage helps warm the muscles up and prepare them for your upcoming activity, as a post-event massage will help the muscles calm down and recover. If your event has therapists on site, go and check them out. They are there to help you!

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Got a Knot You Can’t Reach?

Got a Knot You Can't Reach?

You know that knot that you’ve had for the longest…sitting right in between your shoulderblades? Here’s a quick & easy trick to get that knot busted!

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Affirmations – The Power of Positive Self Talk

August 11, 2011

We spend a lot of time running a negative train of thought through our mind through self-deprecating talk. Our thoughts become what we believe – if we think negatively, our actions will fall in line with what we think. If you think that you are going to fail a test, it’s in good likelihood that you will in fact fail that test. If you tell yourself that you will always be broke, your thoughts and actions will fall into line. It’s better to spend your energies thinking positively, so that your actions will fall into line with a better, more positive way of thinking. Affirmations will help with that.

According to Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles, Affirmations (Principle 10) have 9 basic characteristics –
1. Start with the words I am.
2. Use the present tense when creating your affirmation.
3. State it in the positive. Affirm what you want, not what you don’t want.
4. Keep it brief, and more importantly, memorable. Rhyming helps!
5. Make it specific.
6. Include an action word ending with ‘-ing’
7. Include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word.
8. Make affirmations for yourself, not others.
9. Add ‘or something better’.

Example: I am excited to having all my outstanding student bills paid off by July 30, 2013.

I would also add 10. Be realistic. Making an affirmation that you are going to lose 100 pounds, and all the while you’re still eating junk food, the affirmation loses a bit of its’ strength.

Now just saying that these affirmations won’t create change without action. The thoughts are just a start. What affirmations can you create today that can have you change the way you think about how you see yourself?

P.S. Another great book to read is Change the Way You See Yourself, by Hank Wasiak. Both books are good read, not overly heady, and don’t have to be read all at once. A great website to listen to affirmations is www.MyThoughtCoach.com. There are affirmations that are varied in length, and cover a wide vaierty of subjects. You can download them on your favorite mp3 player, or play them on your computer. Check them out, and let me know what you think! Happy Thursday!

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