NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

Racing to the End of the Year

I woke up this morning with “The Devil Wears Prada” on the brain…and then, I remembered – We are all on a mad dash to the end of the year – filled with hurdles & potholes! As the months roll out, there will be days with multiple events that you will *have* to attend, followed by gifts that you’ll have to get for all the parties that you’ve been invited to, and the relatives that drop by unexpectedly, that seem to stay forever. And the LINES…don’t forget the lines! Buy this, return that, ‘ I thought that I had the right receipt for this purchase’… (Yes, ‘The 12 Pains of Christmas’ is already running in my head.)

Well, Halloween was just yesterday, and I can see it, even if you don’t, and I refuse to stress this season, and I will have a great end of the year, because:

1. I will prioritize what is important, and commit to what I can. It will result in hurt feelings, but you know what? I can’t be everywhere at once and everything to everybody. I overbooked myself this month, trying to please too many people. This will have you curled up in a ball in the corner of the room, with your thumb rooted in your mouth. What will I do? I will try to get the coverage that I can for the events that I can’t make, and will send apologies for my sloppy scheduling.

2. WRITE EVENTS DOWN. I am 42 years old with a bad memory to begin with, and my ego always tells me that I’m going to remember, but the truth will tell you that you forget a majority of what you’re told an hour after it is told to you, so as my Algebra teacher Mr. Keegan would say, “Write it dooowwwn!” If you have a smartphone, set reminders and alarms, make that thing work for YOU! Give Siri a job; you paid how much for her to sit around your phone?

3. Make time for MYSELF! Why is this third on the list? Because if it was first, you wouldn’t read it! Making time yourself should always be a priority, because you can’t be your best self if you are running on fumes. I also make it a point to go to Godiva at least once a month, so I can get some great chocolate! It makes it something to look forward to, and it’s just for me.

4. Make time for FUN in my day! Do you have a Holiday playlist that you have that just makes you smile? I have parody playlist that I LOVE so A) I’m listening to what songs I like, and B) not having to hear radio play the same 10 songs for 2 months straight. It helps me have a sense of humor about everything that happens, and even with some of those relatives….you know who I’m talking about!

5. Take time to be GRATEFUL. Take time this season to appreciate all that you already have, not ‘how am I gonna get this gift from X, Y or Z…’ You’ve been blessed with a great life; it’s time that you see that, too.

Now that you’re ready to start running this race to the end of the year, recognize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and some of the foolishness you just don’t have to participate in. Have fun – I’m cheering you on! Get on your marks…get SET…GO!

Editor’s note – I want to hear how YOU are going to keep your sanity through the holidays!

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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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