With the busyness and financial burden of the holidays approaching it might be difficult to keep up with regular massage and bodywork. Although massage is going to make the most impactful difference in keeping your muscular system working well and staying loose, doing simple stretches at home every day can help you from accumulating too much stress and tension in between massage sessions. Along with stretching, self massage tools, like the Theracane, are simple and easy to use but provide a big impact on tension in the body. Linked below are a series of simple stretches you can do 2-3 x daily to help you stay well the whole holiday season!
Gua sha is a very easy technique to perform on yourself. Gentle Guasha on the face can increase facial tightness, reduce wrinkles, and inflammation. Follow this simple chart and the direction of the arrows daily for 5 – 10 minutes and let the results show for themselves!
Reflexology is a type of massage that uses light to moderate pressure on specific points in the feet, hands, or ears. These points correspond to certain body parts and organs. By massaging these points, beneficial effects can be experienced by the other part or organ. Massage movements are slow and deliberate, allowing the patient to relax and calm the mind. Here’s a great educational article about the benefits for reflexology on the mind.
Our wrists are one of the most complex structures of our bodies yet we tend to neglect taking care of them. In this video they talk about exercises for older people but as a massage therapist I feel this video is good for everyone. With so many adults working remotely and kids doing remote schooling our fingers and wrists are being used in manners that can create long-term problems if not addressed during early onset of dysfunction. I would recommend these stretches and exercises to anyone who wants to be proactive with their wrist health.
Manuka honey is said to be effective for treating everything from a sore throat to clearing up blemishes on your skin.
Other purported benefits of honey include:
- Other purported benefits of honey include:
- helping heal cuts and scrapes
- clearing infections
- easing stomach aches
- improving digestion
- boosting the immune system
- providing energy
It’s that time of year again when the flowers start blooming and the trees turn green! But all of the lovely blooms bring pollen that cause increased sinus pressure and mucus production which lead to headaches and many other unwanted symptoms. Self massage on the sinuses and other facial points can help to decrease inflammation, reduce excess mucus production, and relieve sinus pressure headaches. Here’s a short video on a sinus draining self massage to help you fight those spring allergies:
The Perfect Combination for a Balanced Body
One of the greatest benefits of getting a massage is that it can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, allowing the muscles throughout the body to relax, while yoga improves respiration, energy, and vitality. Together, they are the perfect duo for us to relieve the stress we carry within ourselves. While it’s important to relax the body, it is just as important to relax the mind. Especially with how hectic the world is around us currently. We need to tune back into our bodies and nourish our minds so we can combat the stress as well as disease and sickness around us. The long term practice of yoga helps rid the body of toxins, just like massage, as the specific movements and breathing patterns help create a massage-like effect on the organs, moving the lymph nodes which rids the body of these toxins. This allows the body to regenerate, boosting our immune systems. Research has also shown that receiving regular massage therapy helps boost the immune system, as well as flushing the body of toxins and increasing the blood flow and circulation throughout the body. Massage also increases the activity of white blood cells that help our body fight off diseases! So incorporating just these two simple practices into your life can dramatically change these crazy times. Making sure that not only our body is in good condition, but also our minds!
Here are 10 Yoga Poses you can try out to improve the natural function of our bodies:
Cat and Cow- Beneficial for digestive and reproductive systems
Sphinx- Soothes nervous systems and alleviates constipation
Camel Pose- Improves digestion and respiratory ailments
Fish Pose (or Supported Fish)- Boosts immune system, aids constipation and respiratory system
Bridge Pose- Opens chest, heart and calms the body and improves digestion
Shoulder Stand- Improves vitality, prevents cough, cold and flu and improves digestion
Plow Pose- Improves liver and kidney function, activates digestion and balances metabolic rate
Wind Relieving Pose- Improves digestion, relieves wind, constipation and massages internal organs
Happy Baby Pose- Helps relieve stress and increases vitality
Legs Up the Wall- Lowers stress, anxiety and insomnia. Increases circulation and quiets the mind.
Massage therapy has positive effects on several pediatric conditions such as: psychological problems, gastrointestinal problems like constipation and diarrhea, painful conditions including burns and sickle cell, muscle tone disorders including cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, and chronic illnesses including diabetes, asthma, cancer, and HIV. Here’s a link to a great article supporting these claims.