Change Your Life
Change Your Life
Which comes first? The anxiety or the chronically tight muscles and pain? It’s a vicious cycle.
What is anxiety?
The dictionary definition from the internet is:
Massage has, for many years, been thought of as a luxury, but society has changed those ideas over the past few years. Many people are using massage therapy as a part of their healthy lifestyle.
In the case of anxiety, massage therapy has been proven to help in tremendous ways. There have been many studies done that have proven that a variety of therapeutic massage does calm anxious clients. Trained professional massage therapists promote relaxation and soothe their clients. Massage can also alleviate pain and muscle tension, which is just one of the physical symptoms of anxiety in many people.
Massage also improves blood, lymph and oxygen flow, which cleanses the blood and the body of impurities, toxins and waste. Anytime you can cleanse those impurities out of your body, you will feel better. Massage definitely addresses headaches, irritability, and fatigue.
You should feel very calm and relaxed within just the first few minutes in the massage room, if your therapist has set it up correctly. The feeling of calm and relax should go with you and last for as long as you allow it. If you get right back into the stress of your life, it may not last as long as you want it to.
Every time you come for a massage, however, you will get better and better at remembering to relax and be calm. Your muscles will remember to relax and let go. The therapist’s job is to create a healing environment, that will last long after you leave the studio. They should also be very good at releasing the muscle tissue in a firm but gentle way, so that you can be relaxed during the massage as well as for days afterward. Each massage is cumulative, and will result in your muscles being released deeper and deeper, which correlates into the muscles staying relaxed for longer periods of time.
Although we cannot eliminate all stress or anxiety in our lives, we can combat it with a variety of lifestyle choices. Whether we choose to exercise, read, visit with friends or family, play a musical instrument, cook, be creative, hike, get a massage, or any other number of things, we can create a more calming and relaxing lifestyle. At least enough that we can deal with the stress and anxiety that everyday life throws at us.
Some studies have shown that massage can lower cortisol, which is a stress hormone, which then increases serotonin, the feel good and anti-pain one. This obviously can and does help increase feelings of self worth and self image, while decreasing feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.
There have been numerous studies done on the effects of massage therapy for a variety of symptoms and issues that we face each and every day of our lives. From mental, emotional, to physical and medical. It’s worth looking into and even trying to see if it is a viable option for your life, your situation, your health and happiness.
Make sure that you find a reputable, experienced, thoughtful and kind therapist who is there to help YOU with whatever you need. Each massage should be customized to the client and if you feel like you’re getting one that’s just on a conveyor belt, go somewhere else.
Have fun and enjoy your massage!
Can a massage therapy appointment boost immunity? Clinical studies say that it can.
Though massage has previously been viewed as a luxury, massage is fast becoming part of living a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. We use our bodies every day, putting stress on the muscles, our psyche, emotions, heart and other vital organs. (See my previous blog about Massage and Stress). So we know that massage helps relax stressed out muscles, psyche and emotions, but how does it boost the immune system?
Some studies report that massage has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol, (a stress hormone), and vasopressin (a possible aggressive hormone). Since massage improves blood and lymph flow, massage is beneficial to the entire body, including the immune system.
Some of the benefits of increased blood/lymph flow are:
In addition to alleviating stress, which can cause more sickness than in people who have less stress, regular massage can increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (the body’s “killer cells”), and decrease T-cells. This improves immune functioning throughout the body.
Benefits of Strengthening the Immune System
In a study by Gail Ironson, M.D., a group of HIV positive men were given 45 minute massages for five days a week, over the course of a month. This study showed an increase in their serotonin levels, as well as an increase in certain cells are the first line of defense for their immune system.
How DOES Massage
Help the Immune System?
Well, since our immune systems are compromised when our emotions are high, whether elated or angry, it stands to reason that a massage that calms, relaxes and soothes would in turn, positively affect our immune system, by strengthening it.
The Touch Research Institute, at the University of Miami, did a study on women with breast cancer. After 5 weeks of massage therapy being performed 3x/week, 80% of these women showed improved immune function! This is great news!
It is so much better to prevent illness than to fix it. Just like your car. We drive our car every day. If we don’t want it to stop working in the middle of a long road trip, or on the way to work or home, we make sure it has oil, gas, tune ups, etc. Otherwise, the cost and inconvenience will be much higher. Being late to or missing work completely, calling a tow truck, having emergency fixes done to the car (they always cost more).
We have an inborn ability to heal ourselves (our body). The immune system is the body’s first and natural defense against illness and disease. So, like our cars, it’s so important to address and maintain it. When we choose to take care of our body, then our body will more effectively take care of us.
Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
It’t time to schedule your massage today, and make sure you rebook regularly!
Have a great day!
Did you know that STRESS is not ALL bad? We often refer to stress as a very negative emotion that we have to deal with. Sometimes stress is positive stress.
Imagine you're a caveman (or woman), and a saber-tooth tiger is running toward your camp. What would you do? Get up, grab your small children, run to the nearest tree and climb as fast as you can? Good choice. That reaction, fear, jumping up, snatching up a small child, running, climbing a tree, is STRESS. Stress is a a good thing in this situation since it got you away from becoming dinner for that tiger. You survived!
When you're playing a sport, exercising or moving . . . that is creating stress on your body, your mind and even your psyche. If our muscles experienced no stress, they wouldn't be toned and strong. When working out or moving regularly, our muscles NEED to experience stress in order for them to get stronger. The whole "Opposition in all things" concept. Notice the tight rope walker to the left. If the ROPE didn't have STRESS, where would she BE?
College courses can be stressful, but learning is good. Driving is stressful, but we like to get where we want to go quickly. Making dinner can be stressful, but we need to eat. Many things contribute stress to our bodies/minds.
So then why do we have this negative connotation associated with the word "STRESS"?
When stress becomes the rule, rather than the exception, or when we allow stress to affect our daily lives more than we bring in experiences to create calm and relaxation, it becomes a problem.
Stress is different for everyone. Perhaps you're one of those people who do not have a stressful reaction to the things mentioned above. Maybe something else causes stress in your life. Regardless, too much stress, good or bad, can and will affect our bodies/minds in a negative way.
We are all familiar with the body's "fight-or-flight" response, which is simply a chemical reaction in our body to a stressful situation. Your heart will beat faster, breathing increases, you can perspire, tense up and have much more energy. All of these reactions prepare us for that “fight-or-flight". Negative feelings/thoughts create some of these symptoms for us. Being angry, scared, worried, or frustrated are not good for us (and really don't accomplish anything). Obviously, things that happen in life that we cannot control. Death of a loved one, illness, disease, loss of a job, financial difficulties, working too much/hard, bullying, accidents, etc.
If you have a hard time resolving these issues, or living with any kind of negative situation in your life, it can cause a long term issue with stress. And stress will affect you, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well.
There are as many answers to this question as there are people in the world. Not every thing works for every person. For some, travel is relaxing. For others, traveling is one of the most stressful things they could do. Anything I could list here, meditation, reading, listening to music, exercise, sleep, taking to someone, crafting, could be either stressful or stress relieving to anyone.
Relieving stress is considered one of the most popular reasons to get a massage. How does this happen?
Research has shown that a massage can lower heart rate and blood pressure, relieve anxiety, relax your muscles, increase circulation, increase the production of endorphins (feel good hormone), and release serotonin and dopamine. All of this leads to a feeling of relaxation and calm that really helps overcome and deal with the stress that you have experienced. Even a single session has been cited as a significant benefit to all of the above.
Many people still think of massage therapy as a luxury. These ideas and misconceptions have changed dramatically in recent years. Regular massage therapy is an important part of personal health care.
We take good care of our cars. We make sure they are filled with gas and oil. We get new tires and oil changes regularly. We wash and vacuum them. All this to keep them running smoothly and performing well for us when we want to go somewhere.
Most of us are also conscious of our health, we watch what we eat, how much water we drink, how much sleep we get, and we exercise.
How many of us make sure that we have down time? Deep relaxation time? Time just to let go and have someone remind our muscles, that have been working so hard for us, to relax when we are trying to relax.
Your body will thank you.
Hi, my name is Loraine. Do you wake up tired, achy and stiff from a restless, sleepless night? Do painful muscles keep you from doing what you want to do? Do you want your "old" self-back? I can help. I will remove layers of tension, stress and anxiety, so you can function and feel better than ever. You will feel results in your very first session with little to no pain or discomfort. Come see me soon! I would love to meet you and help you truly let go of it all.