Back & Neck Massage
Massage Therapy as Part of Your Wellness Plan
Our lifestyles have changed and the need for massage therapy today has increased. It is no longer just a luxury, but a beneficial part of an ongoing wellness plan. Poor posture, repetitive tasks, stress, poorly designed work stations, lack of exercise, poor core muscles – all contribute to musculature problems. Over time these problems increase resulting in back/shoulder/neck aches and tension, migraines and more. Massage therapy can offer relief for many people. This often takes ongoing visits to relieve stress-related pain and prevent it from recurring in the future.
Our lives are stressful on so many levels and for so many reasons. Stressors don’t usually all go away. Massage therapy plays an important role in reducing the negative consequences of stress. You only have one body. Regular massage treatments, even if just once a month, combined with a healthy lifestyle can help you take care of it.
Massage therapy alone will not meet all of your health goals. But massage therapy, an exercise program like walking, adequate sleep and a healthful diet should all be included in an ongoing wellness program. (Please see your physician prior to starting an exercise program.)
The benefits of massage therapy tend to be cumulative, so increasingly, you will feel improved health and a deeper sense of wellbeing as you get additional massages. The benefits will be worth the time and energy you put into your wellness plan.
Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress
Article from the Mayo Clinic
April 21, 2011
If stress has you anxious, tense and worried consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. Anyone can practice meditation. It's simple and inexpensive, and it doesn't require any special equipment. And you can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you're out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor's office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. It was originally meant to help deepen the understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction.
Considered to be a type of mind-body complementary medicine, meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process results in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.
Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don't end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and can even improve certain medical conditions. When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.
For the entire article and types of meditation, click on:
The Importance of Deep Breathing to Improve and Maintain Health
Many people don't know the powerful effects deep breathing has on their vitality and well-being. Something as fundamental as proper breathing goes unnoticed as being an important contributing factor to good health. The way you breathe affects the health of all of your body's functions.
Bring your attention to your breathing now. What is it like? Is it deep and slow or shallow and constricted? If you are like most people, you will notice that your breathing pattern is constricted most of the time. This is how practically everyone breathes without being aware of it. Once you notice that you habitually breathe in a shallow fashion you can remedy the situation. Here are some of the benefits deep breathing offers:
· Purifies the bloodstream and strengthens the lungs thereby increasing stamina.
· More efficient digestion due to increased oxygen reaching the stomach.
· Improved health of the brain, spinal cord and nerves due to increased oxygen.
· Complexion becomes smoother, healthier and more radiant.
· The movements of the diaphragm massages the stomach, small intestine, liver, pancreas and heart.
· The upward movement of the diaphragm also massages and loosens tight upper back and neck muscles.
· Reduces the occurrence of tension headaches by relieving stress and giving you a greater sense of wellbeing.
· Relaxes the mind and body without generating tiredness. You feel calm and energized at the same time.
All of the above will leave you feeling full of life and healthier than before. These are powerful effects from something as simple as deep breathing. Practice deep, slow breathing as many times as you can throughout the day. Even if you stop for only a few seconds and take two deep, full breaths it is a start.
Here is how you deep breathe properly:
1. Fully exhale all air out through your mouth, making sure to completely empty the lungs.
2. Breathe in through your nose into your lower abdomen. You want the lower part of the lungs to fill with air first, then the upper. Fully fill your lungs until they reach their capacity.
3. Slowly exhale all air out through your mouth, being sure to completely empty the lungs.
As you can see this is very simple. What you are doing is using your lungs to their complete capacity. This will quickly oxygenate your body and allow for increased strength, energy and vitality. The more time you spend deep breathing each day the better your results will be.
Lorraine "Lori" Sparks
State Certified Massage Therapist
& Foot Reflexology Practitioner
California Massage Therapy Council
CAMTC Certified/License #6671
Located in Albany, CA
By Appt. Only