Our Summer Theme is 8 Signs you need a Massage!
Many consider massages to be a luxury – something to do on special occasions to pamper yourself. Regular massages, however, improve overall health, and your body may be giving you signs that you need a massage ASAP.
Let’s look at 8 signs you should be watching for and talk about how exactly a massage may benefit you.
1.You’re Feeling Stressed
While we may not be able to take the source of stress out of our lives completely, we can relieve it. And getting a massage is a perfect way to do that.
Massage decreases the level of stress hormones in the body. At the same time, it increases levels of endorphins, hormones that make us happy.
Not to mention, massages give us time out of our daily lives to decompress, relax, and do something to help ourselves recharge.
2.You’re Getting Headaches
If you find you’re getting more headaches than usual, it could be coming from tension. Tension can build up in our neck, shoulders, and trapezius muscles. And this tension causes strain that triggers headaches.
Getting regular massages can relieve this tension. Relaxing the muscles will promote better blood flow to the head, which will ease headache pains. It can also help ease the severity of migraine symptoms.
3.You’re Sedentary for Most of the Day
Working a desk job or having a relatively sedentary routine can seem harmless enough. But it can be wrecking more havoc on your body than you realize.
Being hunched over a desk or sitting in the same position for too long builds tension in your body. This can lead to poor posture, headaches, or overall pain.
Getting a massage will relieve this strain and improve your spinal health.
Most poor posture stems from tension held in the back and neck in combination with poor muscle strength.
Massage will naturally relieve this tension, promote better spinal and postural health, and allow muscles to move freely into their natural positions.
Furthermore, if any of the muscles in the back or neck have shortened over time, regular massages can assist in lengthening them, increasing flexibility.
5.You’re in Pain or Don’t Have a Full Range of Motion
Pain is a way for your body to signal that something is wrong. And the problem is many of us ignore it until it gets worse.
Pain in your back, neck, hips, and shoulders could signal a soft tissue injury or muscle pain. We can help you find the root cause of your pain.
A massage therapist will pinpoint any trigger points, which are bundles of muscle fibers that are restricting blood flow and causing pain. Working these trigger points out will relieve the pain and relax the muscles involved.
The increased blood flow will also promote healing of any soft tissue injuries.
6.You’re Training or Just Started Working out
Training and working out result in building new muscles, straining muscles, and even tearing muscle fibers. Cardio activity and weight lifting can put a lot of stress and strain on your body.
That’s why it’s so important to take care of your muscles with massage.
Getting a deep tissue massage can restore range of motion when muscles get tight. It can also promote better circulation which will aid in a quicker recovery from muscle injuries.
7.You’re Having Trouble Sleeping
When having trouble sleeping, most people turn to sleep aids or maybe even a cup of warm tea.
A massage is something that is often overlooked.
Along with relaxing your muscles, massage will increase your circulation, decrease your stress hormones, increase your endorphins, and makes you feel better overall.
It’s a natural and effective way to get better rest and deeper sleep.
8.You’ve Never Had a Massage Before
If you’ve never had a massage before, you don’t know what you’re missing out on! It’s a great way to improve your overall health and do something to better yourself and your mood.
Regular massages are the way to maintain the benefits. Most massage therapists recommend having a massage at least once a month. More may be necessary if you’re training or recovering from an injury.
Listen to your body… it’s always giving you signs !
Click to learn more about Massage Therapy and how we can help!
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
Summer Stretch and Self-Care: Get a grip on Summer – Forearm/Wrist Flexors and Extensors
Summer is finally here and with the arrival of the nice weather comes fun summer activities like bicycling, gardening and outdoor sports and hobbies. We spend a lot of time stretching and strengthening our larger muscles groups like our quadriceps, hamstrings and core muscles, but we often neglect the essential muscles in our forearms. Our forearm flexors and extensors are put through a tremendous amount of strain on a daily basis, whether it be from texting, working at our computers, carrying heavy loads or gripping things in the course of our daily activities. These muscles are further challenged in the summer when we add our weekend leisure activities, especially hand-intensive activities like bicycling and gardening, that put a lot of stress on the muscles that cross our wrists.
It’s important to warm up our forearm muscles with some dynamic mobilization movements before we undertake any strenuous activities, much like we would warm up our muscles before doing a workout at the gym or at a sporting event. Warming up before any prolonged activity can greatly reduce the risk of injury, especially injuries caused by repetitive strain. Clenching and unclenching our fists, flexing and extending our wrists, and performing gentle wrist circles are just a few activities we can do to warm up and promote circulation to our forearms and hands.
Equally important, but much neglected, is stretching after prolonged or intensive use of our forearms. Stretching will really help to reduce the stress and strain on tired muscles, and help restore your forearms to their normal, pain-free, functional range of motion.
Here are a series of stretches for your forearm/wrist flexors and extensors, that you can easily do sitting at your desk, out in the garden, or on your bike when you’re waiting at a stop light.
Forearm Flexors Stretch:
Some of our wrist flexor muscles originate above our elbow, so we need to extend or straighten the elbow to achieve an effective stretch.
1.To stretch your right wrist flexors, extend your right arm in front of you, palm facing up, and use your left hand to apply gentle pressure and pull the fingers of your right hand towards the floor. Switch hands and perform the same stretch on the opposite wrist.
2.To stretch both arms at the same time, place both palms of the hands down on the floor, a table top, wall, or other supportive surface, about shoulder width apart, and with both elbows straight (but not hyperextended), gently lean back until you feel a stretch on the flexor surface of both forearms.
Forearm Extensors Stretch:
As above, begin with your arm outstretched, elbow straightened.
1.To stretch your right wrist extensors, extend your right arm in front of you, palm facing down, and use your left hand to apply gentle pressure and pull the fingers of your right hand towards your body. Switch hands and perform the same stretch on the opposite wrist.
2.To stretch both arms at the same time, extend your arms in front of you, elbows straight, and gently flex both wrists, palms facing towards your body, placing the back of your hands on the floor, table, wall, or other supportive surface, about shoulder width apart, gently lean back until you feel a stretch on the extensor surface of both forearms.
NOTE: First warm up the wrists with gentle circles in both directions to increase the range of motion and to prepare the tissue. If you are feeling extra stiff try taking a warm epsom salts bath or shower to warm up your muscles prior to these stretches. Hold the stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds, focusing on your breath, repeating 3 times and always stretch both side. Move in and out of each stretch carefully. You should feel a slight tension in the muscles when you stretch, and all stretches should be PAIN FREE. If you feel pain during any of these stretches please STOP performing the stretch.
Forearm Self-care: Ice Water Bath
If you’ve had a particularly gruelling day in the garden, you can also give your forearms an ice water bath to energize tired, achy arms and hands.
Fill a tub or basin with cold water or ice water (as cold as tolerable). Submerge your forearms and hands in the water for 10 – 120 seconds or just until your arm/hand begins to ache. Remove from the water bath and dry thoroughly. Perform a few wrist circles to encourage circulation.
Hopefully these stretches and self-care will help relieve any tension you might be feeling in your forearms this summer. Please feel free to contact me at Therapy Lounge if you have any questions about the stretches or self-care for your forearms, or if you would like to book a treatment. Have a healthy and happy summer!
Summer Recipe: ABC (Apple, Broccoli, Carrot & Cabbage) Slaw with Lemon-Tahini Dressing
The next time you make broccoli be sure to save the stems and make this salad with them. What’s so great about about my ABC Slaw, besides being packed with vitamins, minerals and good fats, is that it keeps in the fridge for up to a week (trust me when I tell you that you’ll finish it up way before that) as long as you store the dressing separately. That means stress-free lunches and side dishes. Add some toasted pumpkin seeds for a protein and good fat boost!
2 apples with peel, sliced thin
2-3 broccoli stems, sliced thin
3 carrots, sliced thin
1.5 cups red cabbage, sliced thin
½ cup fresh cilantro, parsley or mint, finely chopped
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
· In a large bowl, combine apples, broccoli, cabbage and carrots.
· Toss slaw with dressing and fresh herbs
¼ cup tahini butter
1 clove garlic
1-inch fresh ginger
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
· In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend on high speed until dressing is smooth.