Archive for the ‘Physical Health’ Category

Which massage is right for you?

Posted on: February 22nd, 2016 by healthy1 No Comments

Do you consider massage a luxury? A treatment only received at a spa – when you have a day to relax and unwind? You need to view it as a necessity! You work long hours, often with poor posture, under stressful conditions. Your body is your temple and your tool. You must maintain it as a star athlete would. According to The Franklin Institute web site on the human brain and stress, “Massage releases endorphins that calm the peripheral nervous system” – impacting everything from digestion and body temperature to your muscles and joints. The Mayo Clinic website identifies massage as a valid medical method to reduce stress and pain. Continue reading to learn about the differences between the most popular options so you’ll know which is most appropriate for your needs. For additional resources visit About Health for a listing of even more choices!

  • Swedish: Swedish massage is often referred to as relaxation massage.  It consists of long, flowing strokes often in the direction of the heart.  Therapists use lotion to minimize friction or pulling on the tissue and may incorporate circular movements and kneading of the muscles.  While typically received in a spa setting, a swedish massage is very effective for releasing tension and stress. 
  • Deep Tissue: This type of massage is targeted at muscles that have been strained or are related to chronic pain or posture problems. The therapist targets deep layers of muscles and connective tissue by using short strokes and intense pressure. It’s not uncommon for clients to feel sore for several days after such a deep tissue massage session, but the benefits can be well worth it.  Therapists at chiropractic offices are extensively trained to target the muscles that are contributing to your diagnosis to help resolution take place as quickly as possible.
  • Trigger Point Therapy:  Trigger Point Therapy is similar to deep tissue massage in that a specific area of the body is focused on and may cause some discomfort during the procedure. A trigger point is a tight area in one muscle that can refer pain to other areas of the body. For instance, a trigger point in the neck can cause headaches or one in the upper back can cause chest pain. While not a pleasurable experience, the results can be system wide! With a little equipment such as a lacrosse ball or a “theracane” this is even a therapy that can be provided to yourself!
  • Sports:  Sports massage can be a combination of all of the above. Sports massage is the best of all worlds – stretching of over worked muscles, trigger point eradication, cross friction pressure and even flowing strokes to conclude. A sports massage can help not only keep you in the game but recuperate from the last competition.  elements-massage-types

Whether your main concern is a tight neck and shoulders from studying briefs all night or a sore low back due to poor posture from working on your laptop, there’s a technique that could be highly advantageous. It may even be an office benefit to bring in a company to do chair massage for the entire firm! Many firms utilize therapists monthly as part of their wellness program or yearly as an added bonus. If this is something you’d like to incorporate into your firm culture, have your HR department contact us today!

Trouble Sleeping? Change these four habits!

Posted on: October 15th, 2015 by healthy1 No Comments

Despite being fundamental and vital to our daily lives, sleeping well often eludes the best of us. Many of the daily activities we choose to engage in —or choose to avoid — can affect our quality and quantity of sleep. Stress, hormones, diet and exercise play an important role in how we are feeling overall and how well we sleep. Sleep should be restorative — not only for your mind but also your body. It allows for healing to take place through tissue repair, produces growth hormone which regulates body composition, affects our metabolism, and may even affect heart function. Studies have even shown shown depressed immune functioning directly stemming from sleep deprivation; this reduced state of immunity mirrors what we experience during times of high stress.

Are you having trouble sleeping? The following remedies may help.

  • Set a schedule and adhere to it. Listen to your body. Do you get up every weekday morning at five to work out? Maintain the habit on the weekend. Nap if you must; but maintaining the same schedule when you rise will help to keep it habitual.
  • Keep the bedroom activities simple! The bedroom should be for two things – sleeping and intimacy. No need for a television, reading, texting, etc. Don’t work in bed — it weakens “the mental association between your bedroom and sleep,” according to Harvard’s Division of Sleep Medicine.
  • Minimize your bedroom guests. While it may be difficult “just say no!” Don’t allow the kids to set up shop in your room. Don’t train your children or pets to sleep in your bed. The National Sleep Foundation has found as many as 24 percent of parents have their children sleep in their beds for at least part of the night. It’s important to create and maintain a schedule where your children have their own space of retreat and it allows you the time not only to relax and recoup but also be intimate.
  • Keep the temperature low and the clothes to a minimum. The ideal sleeping temperature is somewhere around 65 degrees (Fahrenheit). Sleeping in as little clothes as possible.  Your body temperature naturally declines with sleep so having heavy layers of clothes on disrupts that natural inclination. Sleeping naked (gasp!) also helps regulate your hormones. In maintaining temperatures, your body may regulate your cortisol, melatonin oxytocin and growth hormone levels.

Implementation is easy – start tonight! Create your schedule, kick out the kids and the electronics, set the temperature down, get into the buff and have sweet dreams!

This post was originally published on October 15,2015 on American Daily News.

Walking For Health Means More Than Taking The Stairs

Posted on: September 16th, 2015 by healthy1 No Comments

 

When asking patients what sort of daily exercise they are getting I often receive the response “well, I walk all day.” I don’t want to be discouraging but that’s not exactly the exercise I’m talking about. We were built to be ambulatory creatures. We weren’t meant to sit on the couch, at our desk, in the car or in a chair for 8-12 hours a day (the national average). Meaning we are spending 60 percent of our waking time in sedentary activities. Our physiology was designed to spend our days hunting, gathering, dancing, crawling, climbing, and yes, even walking. Our genome craves it, we can actually alter our genes based on our level or activity!

Now, if you do make it a habit of walking for exercise – or if you’re going to start – here’s what you need to know. In order to receive a benefit from walking it should be done as often as possible. I’m talking about more than just taking breaks at work, using the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the door, etc. Make walking a challenge. You will almost never see me with a cart at the grocery store. I’ll either bundle my groceries in my arms (this also keeps me from impulse buying) or I’ll grab a basket and carry it (most of us ladies could use more toned arms).

Make it a family game. Buy pedometers for everyone and see who wins on a – daily, weekly, monthly basis. Challenge each other to push further, add steps in before work or school, start a walking club at work to get everyone away from their desk during lunch, take a family walk together after dinner. If family and friends aren’t supporting your goals find your own tribe! There are tons of active people looking for comrades. Join a walking club or start your own. We have to keep each other healthy! Creating a consistent habit, especially one backed by the support of others is the easiest way to stay on track.

How far do you need to go? There really is no magic number – the 10,000 daily steps is an awesome goal, originating in Japan with pedometers sold in the 1960s. It’s not only an easy number to remember it’s practical for most people. It translates into about five miles daily and should be done at a moderate pace. Meaning hypothetically you could “walk” it in just over an hour’s time. Take an hour away from your television watching or computer time (which is probably done sitting) and get out there and walk.

Your results will depend on your goals. Are you looking to improve your cardiovascular health? Wanting to lose weight? Just maintain your health? Watching your diet as well as adding in exercise will double-time your results. Make sure to speak with your physician to outline a personal set of goals and recommendations for your wellness program before starting anything new.

Now get out there and walk!

This post was originally published on September 16, 2015 on American Daily News.