Happy Holidays, and welcome to this month's article! Are you prepared for this year's holiday season? As busy as day-to-day life can be, the pace always seems to pick up at the end of the year. The season can be much more enjoyable when you can focus your time and attention on the things that are most important to you. It can be an ideal time to step back from life's challenges and to devote some quality time with the people who mean the most to you.
Count on your massages to help you to fend off the stress and keep you feeling your best. What else can both relax and rejuvenate you so thoroughly in just an hour or so the way a massage session can?
As a massage therapist, it's truly exciting seeing the "before" and "after" from providing massage, watching someone get such positive change so quickly. So, thank you for your trust.
Take proper care of yourself and make your regular massage sessions a life-enhancing priority.
Enjoy your holidays; see you soon!
Stay Healthy for the Holidays
The busier you are, the easier it is to overlook those important aspects that contribute to a healthy and happy life. And what busier time is there than the end-of-year holiday season? Here are a few tips:
• Know when to say "No, thanks." There's so much to do at this time of year, and many people find it difficult to say "no." Do what you can, but know where you need to draw the line. You don't want to push yourself too hard and end up in bed, recovering.
• Plan ahead. With so many tasty temptations available at this time of year, it's wise to decide before you hit the parties what you're willing to consume. Remember that your body must pay the price if you choose to overindulge, so try to decide in advance how to handle your holiday feasting. And be sure to drink plenty of pure water; it's the "rinse cycle" that helps to cleanse your body internally.
• Feeling valuable contributes to your happiness. Include activities in your life that give you a sense of purpose. Helping others offers major personal rewards. Choose things that have meaning to you.
• Take care of yourself with massage. De-stress, stay relaxed, and help keep your body functioning smoothly. Take those vital few minutes just for you---put the rest of the world on hold for a couple of hours while you take care of yourself. When you make the commitment, you and your life will be better for it!
Massage Therapy for a Better Night's Sleep
by Kray Kibler
Adequate sleep is necessary for healthy functioning, and quality sleep is vital to health and wellness. But an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans experience sleep issues that affect their health, often leading to low work performance, slowed reaction time, obesity, higher risk of long-term disease, and substance abuse.
Chronic insomnia causes extreme fatigue and problems with concentration, and can adversely affect a person's mood and well-being. For healthcare professionals, helping patients overcome insomnia is critical for fostering overall health and wellness. According to Ralph Pascualy, MD, medical director of the Swedish Sleep Medicine Institute (SSMI) in Seattle, both the quantity and quality of an individual's sleep directly affect their health.
Nutrition and exercise are often recommended as the foundation of good health, but research shows that quality sleep should also be part of any holistic treatment. Those who sleep less than 8 hours per night are experiencing "sleep debt," which cannot be reversed by sleeping more on the weekend.
According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have found massage to be beneficial for insomnia-related stress, as well as:
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Digestive disorders
- Paresthesias and nerve pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)
- Sports injuries
Benefits of Massage Therapy
The National Institutes of Health has advised that massage therapy can reduce fatigue and improve sleep and, based on research gathered by the American Massage Therapy Association, massage has been shown to improve sleep in infants, children, adults, and the elderly alike, as well as individuals with psychiatric disorders, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, lower back pain, cerebral palsy, and breast disease.
Anne Williams, director of education, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, and author of Spa Bodywork and Teaching Massage, says, "Massage helps people spend more time in deep sleep, the restorative stage in which the body barely moves, which reduces the neurotransmitter associated with pain."
Massage is a smart, healthy, and drug-free option that has helped many people overcome insomnia. Because melatonin influences the sleep stage of an individual's circadian rhythm, a natural way of boosting serotonin is a positive sleep-inducing option. This connection calls for further research showing the direct effects massage therapy has on serotonin and sleep. In the meantime, the existing evidence is enough to recommend regular massages for sleepless patients.
True friendship is seen through the heart not through the eyes.
The content of this article is not designed
to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, consult a physician.
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