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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How to survive AmericasMart Atlanta

Hi, this is Sonia, your Positive Attitude Adjuster with a few tips to survive the International Gift & Home Furnishings Market® at AmericasMart Atlanta!

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The Campus is HUGE! Pace yourself, and don’t get intimidated.

First – have an idea as to what you are looking for. The campus is huge, and it is easy to get intimidated trying to survey everything all at once. Map out your day & stay focused! Take breaks often, stay hydrated, and filter your fliers & handouts. See if you can get online catalogs, to cut down on carrying so much.

Second – as I said before – the campus is huge; Wear some comfortable shoes! You can always tell who is new to the Mart- they have beautiful high heeled shoes in the morning, and by the end of the day, they’ll be barefoot. You have no idea as to what’s in the carpet, so please, for your sake wear shoes that won’t have your feet talking about you by the end of the day! (And if they are, get a foot massage!)

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Third – TAKE A BREAK! There are massage therapists all over buildings 2 & 3, that are looking to help you have a great experience while you’re here, so take advantage of the services – Treat your body AND your feet!

Fourth – Don’t try to carry everything home. Your back, neck and shoulders can only carry so much; You are NOT a pack animal! Get a modest piece of rolling luggage and put the work on the floor, where it belongs. There are plenty of shops in Building 3 that sell rolling bags.

Lastly – The AmericasMart has many social media accounts, including an APP! If you are trying to streamline your visits to the shops, or discover new ones on your trip, get the app – it’s a great resource.

P.S. – It’s a few days until the show, so be on the lookout for an external battery for your phone/laptop. Service isn’t great for AT&T users, but there are a few Wi-Fi spots in building 3, so pack your patience!

I hope that you have a GREAT time the next time that you are there, and I hope to see you! I tend to be between buildings 2 & 3, so I’m looking forward to seeing you!

Have a great Mart!

Sonia

MHS Mary Kay 6 11

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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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