Winter time is cold, consider warming it up with a Hot Stone Massage!
A hot stone massage is a 90-minute therapeutic massage using perfectly heated stones. The volcanic stones are heated to the perfect temperature and applied to the muscles of the back. Other hot stones are applied to key muscles in the arms and legs and even between the toes.
Hot stones is especially effective for people who need deep tissue therapy. The hot stones loosen the muscles and fascia with their penetrating heat and gentle, gliding pressure. Hot stone therapy is perfect for people who could benefit from a deep tissue massage but are sensitive to the increased pressure that is usually associated with a deep tissue treatment.
Hot Stone massage is excellent for pain relief. Heat is a typical treatment for muscle soreness and the heat from the hot stones helps to relax muscles and tendons, making them more flexible. Heating the muscles of the back before beginning a deep tissue massage helps since massaging muscles that are too tight or strained can be painful. With relaxed muscles, your therapist can penetrate the muscles more deeply to relieve pain.
Hot stone therapy can also improve circulation by opening up the blood vessels and allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach your muscles. Poor circulation in your extremities can lead to stiff muscles as well as lactic acid buildup. Your therapist will place the stones strategically to help improve the blood flow to your problem areas. Improved circulation also plays a role in cell renewal and lymphatic drainage.
Massage therapy in general but also hot stone therapy reduces stress and tension in the body. The physical symptoms of stress like tight muscles and poor sleep can be treated with massage. Relaxation from massage therapy washes away symptoms of stress while reducing blood pressure and fatigue. Restful sleep is also restored by massage therapy, helping you to keep stress at bay.
Prepare for your hot stone massage therapy by drinking plenty of water! Communicate to your therapist areas of your body that are troubling you. After your massage, drink more fluids to help with the restoration process.
Winter is here which also means it is cold and flu season. There are many strategies to help keep you from getting sick like thoroughly washing your hands, especially before you eat or after coughing or sneezing and keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. These strategies prevent germs from getting into your body in the first place. Getting enough sleep each night, eating a balanced diet with many fruits and vegetables, and drinking plenty of fluids is also beneficial to improving your immunity and can keep you from getting sick even when you are exposed to germs. Regular exercise is another way to improve your resistance to germs since it helps your immune system fight off invaders!
Another way to improve your resistance to winter germs is through massage therapy. Massage therapy relieves sore, stiff muscles that may worsen in cold weather in addition to improving the circulatory and lymphatic systems in your body, increasing and improving the flow of blood and lymph. Massage therapy also helps release endorphins which can amp up your immune system in their fight against germs while also promoting sleep. Stress and anxiety are also lowered with massage therapy; too much stress has been linked with poor health and more incidences of colds or flu.
Adding aromatherapy to your massage can elevate your protection from colds. Essential oils have been used for centuries to improve physical and mental fatigue, exhaustion, dry skin, and irritated nasal passages. Essential oils also help promote relaxation, clear the mind, and promote restful sleep, which will help you stay healthy.
If you are already sick, wait until you are better to schedule your massage to avoid spreading your cold to other people. Get extra rest, drink plenty of fluids, and have some chicken soup. Doing too much or pushing yourself too hard when you are sick can lead to a longer, dragged out illness or a secondary infection like bronchitis. Visit your healthcare provider if you are not feeling better within a few days.
Holidays bring many treasured holiday memories but can also be a source of stress in our lives.
Thanksgiving pops up quick, just when you noticed the air turned chilly and on a weekday too! Many people have neither the day before or after off and may find themselves not fully relaxed by minimal time off. Others may dread the commercialization of the holiday with Black Friday sales encroaching on the holiday, leaving less time to celebrate; particularly for those who work in a retail environment.
Cooking a huge meal and cleaning your home for guests is not completely enjoyable for everyone, and traveling is not without its own stressors as well. All of these stressors can be managed however with a little advanced planning and the right mindset.
Plan Ahead: Are you traveling or hosting? If you are traveling, try to leave early since Thanksgiving can mean plane delays, traffic, and potentially bad weather. Pack books, movies, and small toys to keep the kids entertained along with plenty of snacks.
If you are hosting, plan out your shopping, cooking, and cleaning schedule. If you feel overwhelmed, reach out for help from other people. Other guests can bring a dish or come over to help you cook! Tell yourself that you do not have to do it all!
Give Back: It can be easy to lose sight of all we are thankful for on Thanksgiving when we let the little things stress us out. Volunteer your time or resources to giving to those less fortunate. People who volunteer feel the benefit of their good deeds and can really help themselves learn to let go of the things that do not matter.
Change Your Expectations: Treasured holiday memories can sometimes be hard to live up to! Families change over the course of the years and you may be missing a loved one or annoyed by your brother’s newest love! Leave some space for new memories to happen or you may miss out! If you are hosting and have visions of serving a perfect meal or exquisite decorating, keep in mind that this may not work out. Focus on making your guests feel welcome and comfortable, this is all that matters in the long run. Things that don’t go according to plan also make some of the best stories so keep an open mind!
Schedule Time for Yourself: Step back from the bustle of holiday shopping and cooking to take some time for you! Take a bubble bath, meet up with a friend, exercise, or get a massage! There are amazing stress relieving benefits to them, anything that makes you feel good will help you feel less stressed.
Did you know that your body’s response to stress can make you seriously ill and take years off your life?
Stress plays a powerful role in the development or worsening of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke, as well as diabetes, dementia, anxiety, and depression. Everyone experiences stress in their life but managing the potency of stress is essential to a long and healthy life.
Stress is considered a measure of your mental and physical resistance to circumstances beyond your control. A stressor is any threat, demand, or change that you attach special importance to, or that you struggle with or feel uncertainty about. Common major stressors are the death of a loved one, a relationship ending, financial distress, being overworked at your job, or overwhelmed with chores or a busy schedule.
Stress causes stress hormones to flood your bloodstream so that your body can respond quickly to a stressful situation. When something stressful happens, your pituitary gland discharges a hormone called ACTH into the bloodstream, which catalyzes the release of two hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Epinephrine is commonly known as adrenalin, and prepares your body for emergency action. These hormones cause many physiological changes throughout the body such as an increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension, and higher levels of fatty acids and blood sugar to be released to serve as immediate energy. In emergency situations, these physiological changes are necessary, but they happen anytime we feel stressed about a situation.
Long-term chronic stress, such as when dealing with a divorce, grief, or a terrible work situation, can cause your body to undergo a constant adrenaline rush. This causes damage to the tissues of the body, leading to inflammation. Heart disease, diabetes, and dementia are some of the diseases associated with inflammation. Under long-term stress, your body will adapt to a constant state of vigilance, pumping out an excess of the stress hormone cortisol. Over time, this will exhaust you, accelerate aging, harm your immune system, and can lead to memory loss and problems concentrating.
Stressful situations are often out of your control, but there are ways to manage and deal with the stress in your life for better health! Saying no to extra commitments, looking for a new job, or marital counseling could help if these are stressful components of your life. Adapting a “don’t sweat the small stuff” attitude is easier said than done, but recognizing the things in your life which bring you stress is an important first step!
Self-care is an important aspect of stress management. Taking time to eat nutritious meals, get enough sleep, and exercise are all beneficial. Watching a funny movie, reading a book, grabbing a coffee with a friend, or treating yourself to a massage can help you handle the little stressors and annoyances in life with a calmer mindset. Massage therapy can also help you recover from the long-term effects of stress in your life, by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, reducing muscle tension, and leading to restful, restorative sleep.
Digestive disorders are very common, affecting many Americans daily, some chronically and some intermittently. Occasional gastrointestinal discomfort is an annoyance, but chronic digestive issues can seriously impact a person’s quality of life and happiness. Some digestive disorders that can throw you off balance include constipation, gas, and abdominal strains. Massage is a great therapy for many ailments of the body, including your digestive system!
Constipation is incredibly uncomfortable and may be caused by a poor diet, lack of exercise, a side effect of medication, or an aging body. Try adding more fruits and vegetables and extra fluid intake to your diet for relief. If there is no clear cause for your constipation, a visit to your doctor is in order, but massage therapy can help provide you with relief while waiting for your appointment. Self-massage of the abdomen involving light pressure and circular movements can help stimulate blood flow and improve the situation. Regular therapy from a massage therapist can help improve circulation and digestion, warding off bouts of constipation!
Gas and stomach bloating are common, due to an excess of trapped gas inside of the digestive system. Massage therapy, either done yourself or by a professional can help alleviate excess gas in the digestive tract and help with bloating. Lying on your stomach while having your back and neck massaged can help, since there is extra pressure on your abdomen, but targeted massage of your abdomen can work wonders with bloating!
Pain in the abdominal region from a muscle strain or tear can lead to digestive issues. Pain in this region makes it difficult for your digestive tract to function properly, since you may be tense or scared to “go” from the pain you feel. Recovering from a muscle strain typically involves reduced physical activity, which can also affect how well your digestive system is functioning. Visiting your health care provider can help you determine what is causing your pain but massage therapy can be a wonderful treatment if approved by your provider.
How Massage Therapy Helps
Massage therapy feels good, releasing pain-relieving and mood-lifting endorphins throughout your body. Massage stimulates blood flow, improving circulation to a sluggish digestive tract. Massage therapy is also shown to reduce stress, a factor in digestive issues, as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression which can all lead to digestive troubles as well. Targeted abdominal massage can help stimulate the muscles involved in peristalsis, a highly coordinated contraction and relaxation of muscles that creates the wavelike movements that push the contents of the intestines forward.
Schedule a massage for relief today!
Reducing stress is imperative to living a healthy life! Our society places an unhealthy emphasis on busyness! You may feel like a successful career means you must be struggling to stay on top of it all or checking work email late into the night. Family life may mean many social engagements or overcommitted parents and children, always rushing to sports and after school activities. This busy lifestyle is exhausting, stressful, and ultimately not worthwhile if you feel drained instead of fulfilled.
One word can help you reduce this unnecessary stress and that word is No!
It is hard to say no, that is how we wind up with too many activities and to do’s on our plate. We feel like bad parents if we don’t volunteer at school or enroll our children in many activities, feel guilty if we say no to social events with friends, and downright uncomfortable saying no to a boss who wants you to work over the weekend for the millionth time. But the word no is a powerful word and a great tool for reducing stress in your life!
With requests or invitations for things you really do not want to do or will not add value to your life, just say no! Only one word is required, no..or no thank you! Giving excuses or rationale for your answer draws it out and can make things more awkward. You have a right to say no!
Other ways to say no are, “I’m sorry, I can’t make it” or “We won’t be able to come that day”. Delete emails with requests beyond what you can handle. Pick one or two school functions to volunteer at throughout the year and say no to the rest. Have you kids choose one or two activities to be a part of and stick to that limit.
You may feel like you are disappointing people but being true to yourself is much more important. If you made the right decision for you, you will be reducing stress in your life and being true to yourself.
Recovering from Stress
If you have started saying no to the extra unnecessary things in your life, you may find yourself with some much needed, restorative downtime! Don’t be tempted to fill this time! Reading a book, taking a walk, exercise, and quality family time are meant for this space! Deep breathing, yoga, and massage therapy can build you up and prepare you for the stressful events you can’t say no to. Massage therapy is clinically proven to reduce stress by lowering levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the blood and can help you restore your body and mind! If you are feeling stressed, you may be holding your neck and back in a tight, unnatural way, almost as if by maintaining this rigid posture you will prevent the world from crashing in on you. Get a massage to relax these muscles and release this built up, unhealthy tension.
Schedule a session today for some amazing stress relief!
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition associated with widespread chronic pain, fatigue, memory problems, and mood changes. It is more typically diagnosed in women than men. It is not life threatening but is a chronic, painful problem.
Massage therapy can be a beneficial treatment for fibromyalgia. Massage techniques encourage circulation in the muscles, increasing the flow of nutrients and flushing toxins. Massage can increase the range of motion in the muscles and joints effected by fibromyalgia while also activating the release of the body’s natural painkillers. Massage can also reduce heart rate and blood pressure while relieving stress. Fibromyalgia symptoms become much more painful when the body is under stress so staying stress-free is extra important for fibromyalgia patients.
Massage therapy can also help fibromyalgia sufferers sleep better. Chronic pain is associated with poor sleep and fibromyalgia patients commonly struggle with insomnia. They may also wake up feeling exhausted, even if they have received plenty of sleep. A therapeutic massage helps you sleep better, falling into a deeper, restorative sleep. Deep sleep is also when the body’s restorative processes take place, so good sleep is necessary for healing and cell recovery.
Since fibromyalgia is associated with chronic pain, patients may be apprehensive to try massage, which may involve pressure on the painful areas of their body. With clearance from your health care provider, massage therapy should be a safe treatment. Additionally, it is important to communicate with your therapist while receiving treatment your comfort level.
There are several types of massage that may benefit fibromyalgia patients. Swedish massage is designed specifically to increase oxygen flow to the muscles. This helps improve the health of the muscles as well as their flexibility and flushes toxins out of the body. Your massage therapist will use long, gliding motions along the muscles, along with kneading techniques to benefit the body.
Deep tissue massage is a more entailed massage that works the body tissues and muscles deeper to loosen t hem and reduce tension and pain. Deep tissue massage involves firm, deep, stroking movements that delivers quite a bit of pressure. You may feel a little pain from this type of massage but the pain typically subsides after several treatments. A hot stone massage could be combined with deep tissue massage techniques if you feel very sensitive to the pressure of deep tissue massage. Hot stones are placed on the back and help warm up the muscles before massage for a relaxing therapeutic treatment.
Before your massage session begins, talk to your therapist about your condition and the areas of your body you feel the most pain. You can come up with a plan together for a great massage session that will deliver big results!
AromaTouch Technique is a clinical massage method involving essential oils being applied along energy meridians and visceral contact points of the back and feet to help balance sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of the body.
This method was developed by Dr. David Hill, a leading expert in integrative medicine and the therapeutic applications of essential oils. The AromaTouch Technique improves wellbeing by reducing physical and emotional stressors while supporting healthy autonomic function. This technique is simple and uses eight different essential oils and essential oil blends designed to support balance and restoration of healthy emotional and physiological functions.
The oils used in the AromaTouch Technique are
1. Rosewood/Spruce Blend:
An essential oil blend promoting calmness and well-being.
2. Tea Tree:
A powerful essential oil with cleansing and immune system boosting properties.
This relaxing, familiar scent has soothing properties that calm the mind and spirit. Lavender is an immune system boost and also relieves nervous tension while increasing blood circulation.
4. Cinnamon/Eucalyptus Blend:
An essential oil blend with cleansing properties that revitalizes essential bodily fucntions.
Amazing health benefits, immune system boost, and uplifting scent. Peppermint oil stimulates the mind and eliminates headaches.
6. Wintergreen/Camphor Blend:
An immediate tingling and warming feeling, added to AromaTouch massage
7. Wild Orange:
An energizing, citrusy aroma that reenergizes and revitalizes the body.
8. Basil/Grapefruit Blend
A calming and relaxing blend used for its soothing properties.
These eight oils are combined with specialty massage techniques to deliver amazing benefits to the body. These oils are applied to the back and the feet using various massage techniques. When receiving a massage, you will lie on your abdomen so that your therapist can work on your head, neck, back, and feet, along with some hand techniques. Each massage session runs from 40 minutes to one hour. Let your therapist know before your session begins if you have any sensitivities to one or more of the essential oils or blends so they can eliminate that one from the massage. Like with any massage, communicate any medical conditions or concerns as well as your comfort level to your massage therapist during your massage session. Your therapist wants you to be comfortable and relaxed so it is important to communicate your needs with them.
Regular massage therapy is great for keeping you physically and mentally healthy, but adding essential aromatherapy oils and blends can transform your massage into a super treatment! Massage reduces stress and anxiety, relieves headaches, and relaxes sore muscles on its own, but with aromatherapy it can really pack a healthy punch for those allergies!
Many individuals suffer from seasonal allergies in the spring, but fall is also difficult for those with allergies to ragweed, currently in full bloom. Raking leaves or other outdoor activities may also aggravate seasonal allergies during the fall. Allergies can cause uncomfortable watery, itchy eyes, a sore throat, nasal congestion, and coughing, and may be difficult to manage without daily medication. Allergies impact your quality of life
Essential oils and aromatherapy have been used for centuries to address a variety of ailments, including allergies, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and alleviating symptoms of cold and flu. The skin absorbs these essential oils while your respiratory system breathes them in during a massage treatment, bringing relief from a variety of ailments. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant oils that are added to a carrier oil or lotion and then spread on the body.
Adding aromatherapy to your massage is a great way to alleviate allergy symptoms as well as lingering sinus pressure and congestion from colds and the flu. In addition to alleviating symptoms, inhaling essential oils is thought to promote beneficial changes in the mind and body by affecting the limbic system, which is a region of the brain that heavily influences the balance of the nervous system. Aromatherapy is commonly used for stress reduction and insomnia relief since restoring this balance can bring on peaceful feelings.
Your massage therapist may choose an oil for you based on your most bothersome symptoms. Tea tree, pine, or eucalyptus oils are commonly used for alleviating allergic symptoms since they all help reduce congestion and inflammation of the nasal passages. Peppermint, German chamomile, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and myrtle all have expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties, with many essential oils also being antimicrobial or stimulating to the immune system. Lavender and wintergreen essential oils act as vasodilators, which means they can relax or dilate your blood vessels. Tightened blood vessels causes impaired circulation, headaches, and nasal congestion when the blood vessels effected are the many tiny ones in your nasal passages.
Aromatherapy essential oils can be diffused in the air during your massage or added to a lotion and put on your body to be absorbed through your skin. Let your massage therapist know if you have any allergies or have bad reactions to scents. Many people with allergies or asthma may have difficulty breathing in certain aromatherapy oils. A sniff test with a small amount of oil may be helpful for those who are not sure how they may react. Communicate with your massage therapist about your comfort and any adverse symptoms, they are there to help you relax!