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Stand Up to Decrease Back Pain

Have you heard about the new trend in standing desks?  There’s a strong reason for it – continuous sitting for long periods of time weakens back guy at deskmuscles which can lead to pain.  Back pain is a very common cause of visits to the doctor. It’s the fifth most common reason for hospitalisation and the third most common cause of surgery. Sitting also puts 40% more pressure on your spine than standing.  Considering how many hours we need to be at our desks, one thing we can change is how many hours we’re sitting down.

Maintaining correct posture is probably the last thing you’re thinking about when working on a deadline, but there are simple things you can do.  Changing the angle at which you sit can reduce compression of the discs in the spine, so lean back slightly every now and then, perhaps setting a chime on your phone for every half hour. Get up and walk around for a couple of minutes every hour.  You can even pair it with a trip to get water so you stay hydrated.

You don’t have to go so far as installing a stand-up desk, but incorporating standing, walking, and any other non-sitting poses into your day will help alot. Wiggling probably wasn’t fostered in your elementary school, but it’s certainly good for your back!

Lose Weight, Be Happy, Meditate!

According to Jane Pernotto Ehrman, M. Ed., behavioral health specialist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Lifestyle Medicine, meditation not only helps with stress relief, it also boosts your immune system, and decreases anger.  It ultimately works on reducing cortisone, the stress hormone, which can lead to health problems including weight gain if levels are too high in your body.meditative girl

I’m just like you and have a real difficulty finding the motivation to meditate.  The easy part is that you really don’t have to worry about doing it wrong.  The hardest part is just making time in a quiet place and staying there.  Use your breathing, chant a mantra, stare at a flame, visualize a favorite place or some other tool to focus your attention.  Your mind will wander.  Forgive yourself, even the great yogis have wandering minds.  The important thing is to remind yourself to focus whenever you notice your mind is wandering.  No punishment, no guilt, just back to your focus.  Breathe in and out, fully, deeply, peacefully.  It’s really worth it.

How to Bring Peace to the End of Your Day

To preserve the peace, finish your day with a long, hot bath, says Dr. Kathleen Hall, international stress expert, and founder and CEO of The Stress Institute. legs up the wallSoothing music and dim lights help set a restful mood along with little luxuries like a loofa sponge, scented soap, or a soft bath robe.

A detoxifying bath protects your positive outlook, says Jennifer Davidson Dowd, certified aromatherapist and yoga teacher. Add 8 drops of grapefruit, 5 drops of juniper, and 5 drops of fennel essential oils to Epsom salts before adding it to your bathwater, she suggests. Kick back and enjoy a soak for at least 20 minutes.

After your bath, try the Viparita karani pose, also known as Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose, for ten minutes. When you’re done, drink a glass of water or pour a cup of chamomile tea, and curl up with your favorite book, movie. or music. Place 3 drops of lavender on your pillow before bed and enjoy sweet dreams!

Would you like the highest quality essential oils you can get?  Find out more at and like me at

Get Goofy, Live Longer

If you want to curb stress, increase happiness, and improve your cardiovascular health, try smiling and laughing more.  It’s proven to help not only your emotional health, but increases your overall success in life as well as your longevity.silly einstein

The Mayo Clinic suggests that smiling instantly improves your mood and laughing 20 minutes can increase the health of your heart. If you can’t find something to laugh at, try this trick I learned from having a father who taught elementary kids.  Being silly makes you laugh and relaxes those around you.  When there’s nothing funny going on, sit in front of a mirror and make funny faces at yourself until you laugh.  I even wore a clown nose for awhile and thinking about it still makes me chuckle. I have a friend who wore a snorkle while changing her son’s diaper to keep the mood light.

Get goofy, it works. I have stopped my children’s temper tantrums and survived the swings of teenagers by being silly.  Even if I don’t make my kids laugh every time, I crack myself up on a regular basis.  I know my own goofiness helps me behave with more patience and kindness towards others, but I was pleased to find out it just might be helping me live longer too. 

Got Gratitude?

You know those voices in your head?  It’s okay, everyone has them, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy.  The only bad thingsmiling girl is that most of what they say is negative. They put you down, make you worry, and generally stress you out.  Other than tuning out the voices with a good massage, another antidote is practicing gratitude.

Practicing gratitude is easy.  Just keep track of what you’re grateful for or even what makes you feel good. You can write down ten things every day in a journal or share them on facebook. Can’t think of ten?  Write three or even just one.  Each day you start notice more and more as you begin looking for them throughout your day.

There’s several benefits. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that you can lower your levels of harmful cortisol hormones and even improve your memory and critical thinking skills by 10 to 15 percent.  You’re less stressed AND more productive.  I would even suggest you become happier.

It’s OK to rest

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.

– John Lubbock

Don’t Stay Thirsty

Did you know that essential oils can help keep you hydrated in hot weather?  Admost interesting man in the worldding high quality essential oils to your drinking water increases your motivation to down enough water to keep away common symptoms of mild dehydration such as muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue.  

Try different blends of peppermint, lemon, orange, or grapefruit to suit your taste buds. Of course, you need to use a high quality, therapeutic grade essential oil in order to be able to use them internally.  If you’d like more information, please give me a call or email, or visit   I disagree with the most interesting man in the world.  Don’t stay thirsty, my friends.

Meditate for Better Health

According to Jane Pernotto Ehrman, M, Ed., behavioral health specialist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Lifestyle Medicine, meditation is a tool to fight stress, calm your body and mind, boost your immune system, and decrease anger.  meditative rocks

Meditation works directly on your brain, leading to lower anxiety, improved communication skills, and reduced inflammation associated with stress.  In addition, it seems to improve your decision-making abilities, which helps you figure out more easily what you should or shouldn’t stress about.

Now that you have no reason not to meditate, the hard part is just sitting down and doing it.

Join me this Thursday July 23, 2015 at my massage office from 5-6 pm to see which Young Living Essential Oils are especially for meditating!

Find more Energy With Essential Oils

Did you ever have one of those days when you didn’t have the energy to do things you love, let alone have energy for healthy activities like exercising?  Luckily, just the smell of a quality oil can give you the burst you need to get moving.  Rubbing peppermint, lemon, orange, or grapefruit on your skin provides motivation for movement.happy woman with hands

Join me this Wednesday July 15, 2015  from 6-7 pm at Massage By Lesley for essential oils that aid digestion.

Health and Happiness

Life can get hectic and it seems like our healthy habits fall away too easily.  I’d like to offer a few suggestions on how to stay on track with your wellness despite occasional chaos.happy woman with hands

1) Eat right!  Keep convenient, healthy snacks available so that even when you’re crunched for time, you’re still giving your body good nutrients.  My favorite convenient foods are mixed nuts or baby carrots with hummus.

2) Reduce clutter.  Trust me, I know it’s easier said than done, but I can also testify to the power of an uncluttered space for freeing up room in your head to think or brightening your mood.  It’s worth it to take a day to organize.

3) Play.  Recess is as important as an adult as it was in grade school.  Take a walk, sit in the sun, ride your bike, read a book for fun, just let it be something you enjoy.