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Do You Text?

Text neck is a very real thing.  Over the years, I have seen the areas of muscle tightness move around to different front-neck-stretchparts of our bodies. It corresponds to the changes in the technology we use.  I have less mouse-related shoulder issues and more text-related neck issues as I spend more time on my smart phone and less time on my laptop.  This seems to be true of the majority of you that I work on.   Yes, I suffer from it too and am learning how to help you thru my own aches and pains.

What we do everyday matters! It can build up, but there is a simple cure.  All you need is a little vigilance and effort and do some regular stretching. Taking care of your neck now will also help prevent and alleviate issues in the future such as pinched nerves.   

Here’s an excellent website to give you many more stretches and some good background info

Happy Labor Day!

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend oalbert einsteinn the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” Albert Einstein

Massage Cupping is for You

If you want to move better than you are now, massage cupping is for you.  Whether you need more flexibility, bettercupping marks - michael phelps range of motion, less pain, or you’re just not getting around as well as you once were, I can help.

Massage cupping isn’t new, it’s just not well known.  Cupping has been done for thousands of years in Egypt and Asia.  Luckily, since then, they’ve invented a machine that creates easily regulated, gentle pressure so I won’t need to leave circular marks like you’ve seen on Olympic athletes and celebrities.

Cupping can be as gentle and relaxing as you’d like.  It can also create incredible changes in your body from both old and new injuries.  I personally have had results from one session of cupping on injuries I had decades earlier.

Best of all, I can combine cupping work right into your regular massage session so you get the best of both worlds.

Massage Cupping Isn’t Just for Michael Phelps

Massage cupping works for olympic athletes like Michael Phelps and gymnast, Alex Naddour.  It restores circulation,michael phelps cupping improves your immune response, relieves tight muscles, soothes your nerves, and as an added bonus it’s also restorative for your skin.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to get those “bruises” to get the great effects of cupping therapy.  You don’t need to be an athlete either!  Cupping marks are created when pressure is used to draw your tissues up under a glass or plastic cup. Traditionally, this vaccum pressure is created by the heat from fire. I use a more modern method of air vaccum that is much more easily regulated so there is no need to create those telltale circle marks while still getting therapeutic results.

They’re not really bruises either.  Cupping helps improve the efficiency of your body’s systems, removing what is no longer needed, some of which are old red blood cells.  These come up beneath the layer of your skin and look similar to bruises because when you’re recovering from an injury, you also slough off old blood cells.

Cupping can help you heal from injuries that are years, even decades old, helping you move more freely and with less pain.  But more importantly, it still feels good. I usually blend massage cupping into a traditional massage so you get the best of both worlds.  Ask for it with your next massage.  We can try it out for a few minutes and see if you like it.

How to Become a Morning Person

No amount of coffee can change me into a morning person.  Not even a grande drenched in mocha. However, our woman waking upsociety runs on a daylight schedule so I’ve learned a few tricks over the years to help me face the day with a reasonably good attitude. 

The best advice I have is to stop hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock.  Just set it for the right time and face the fact that sleep time is over.  The good news is, you don’t have to get out of bed right away.  I do my stretches right there.  Lengthen your legs, arms, breathe in and out deeply, and massage any achy parts.  This way the morning not only feels more luxurious, but you’ve increased the oxygen in both your body and your brain.  For me this translates into less stupidity and a higher level of functioning once I get out of bed.

The other tips help my mood:  don’t watch the news, check email, or answer the phone before you’re dressed and have had breakfast.  Having either sacred quiet time or a light conversation nurtures your sensitive side before jumping into the busyness of your day and the demands of others. 

Shoulder Rolls May Prevent Back Pain

We can prevent back pain if we look at how cultures with little to no back pain behave.  Americans tend toshoulder-roll-down scrunch their shoulders forward, so our arms are in front of our bodies. That’s not how people in indigenous cultures carry their arms. To fix that, gently pull your shoulders up, push them back and then let them drop. Now your arms should dangle by your side, with your thumbs pointing out. 

The Sound of Silence

silent miceA 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice. The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension,  silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.

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Practice Having an Open Heart

This election cycle has been one of the longest, most divisive one I can recall.  At times, I have resorted to talking garden-hose-bg-nozzlesback to the TV when I didn’t like what I heard a candidate say. Not my most enlightened moment.  I try to learn from these lower points in my life to see how I can improve personally and  also make the space around me more peaceful and healing for others.

One of the techniques I’ve found most helpful when I’m feeling aggravated is to just focus on my heart and imagine love pouring out of it like a sprinkler hose.  There is no target, no agenda, just love watering the hearts of anyone within range. Hopefully, it affects someone.  I know it calms me down and puts me in a better, more accepting mood.

Now that you’ve stopped laughing at my suggestion, just try it.  Next time you’re stuck in traffic, hassled at work, or wherever your stressful triggers are, just picture love pouring out of your heart. Do it long enough to notice if your heart rate has decreased, your breathing has slowed, or even better, that your mind has moved on to other, more pleasant thoughts.

Who Are Your Heroes?

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.” — Socratesflags and gazebo

In the bustle and fun of this Memorial holiday, I suggest that you take a moment of reflection on the qualities of those you consider to be heroes.  How can you make one small change to embody just one of those principles in your daily routine?  Little shifts can cause big ripples down the line, creating a better future for you.  My current principles to model are more courage, kindness, and love.  It’s especially hard to do while I’m stuck in traffic, but there’s no exceptions.  Turning up the radio and singing helps me shift my mood in the car.  What are your strategies?

The Importance of Doing Nothing

Every day around the same time, Kathy Hollinger, a successful and remarkably productive executive, closes her meditation silhouetteoffice door for half an hour. Co-workers assumed she was trying to get work done until a friend looked through the sliver of glass in her door one day and saw that she appeared to be doing nothing more than staring off into space. It seemed curious enough that the friend began to pass by periodically when her door was closed to see what she was doing. Like clockwork, she closed her door once a day and appeared to engage in… nothing at all.

Eventually the friend asked Hollinger about the practice. She laughed and said one of the secrets to her incredible productivity was the time she took every day to just… be.

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