Health

How Can Massage Therapy Calm Your Mind and Improve Your Mood

Powerful Effects Of Massage Therapy On The Nervous System Your Mood And Improve Your MoodA massage session can have way more benefits than relieving back pain after a hard day at work! However, nowadays, things have been taken to a whole new level, as more and more people are trying massage therapy, a concept with some exceptional benefits. Let’s find out exactly how it works and why it’s actually so good for you!

What is massage therapy?

During a therapy session, a specialist manipulates your muscles, as well as other soft tissues, in order to enhance their function, but also induces relaxation. It’s not a new practice, though, as it has been used in China for more than 3,000 years, a lot of people revealing that it even help them get rid of depression, in a certain extent.

The truth is that a great massage has beneficial effects on our bodies, releasing hormones which create a sense of an emotional connection, thus calming your mind and improve your mood significantly.

How can massage therapy help relieve depression?

Let’s put things straight: if you’re suffering from depression, massage therapy probably won’t help you get rid of it completely. However, it can have a major impact on helping you relieve some of the physical symptoms associated with it.

To be more specific, we’re referring to sluggishness, back pain, joint pain, as well as muscle aches. Besides this, it’s also great against fatigue and other sleep problems.
What does massage therapy involve?

Now that we are aware of its benefits, let’s take some time and see what massage therapy actually involves. After all, it’s far from being just your average back rub.

During the therapy, your therapist will perform various moves, like rubbing, stretching, and applying pressure to the muscles in your body. However, there are various styles of massage, some of them including over-the-clothes touching, while others involve direct contact with the skin. Usually, the latter is made using scented oils, acupuncture needles, warm stones, or even some complex twisting poses.

Currently, these are the styles which can be encountered the most across the United States:

Swedish massage: By far the most common form. The therapist applies smooth and circular actions to your muscles, helping them relax.

Chair massage: Unlike most styles, this one doesn’t require sitting on a massage bed, but on a special chair, then leaning forward into a headrest. It consists of short sessions and you don’t need to remove any clothing.

Deep tissue massage: Preferred among athletes and not only, this type of massage therapy focuses on the muscles that are the closest to your bones, but their connective tissues as well.

Shiatsu: Expect some firm pressure during a therapy session including this massage, as it’s very similar to acupuncture. Compared to other types of massage though, Shiatsu massage implies more pressure, but it doesn’t produce any stiffness shortly after.

Reflexology: The therapist applies pressure to specific areas of your body, believed to correspond with the most important systems and organs in your body.

Aromatherapy: The main ‘attraction’ of this type of massage therapy is that it also implies scented oils, these being great for reducing stress and boosting your energy.

Hot stone massage: Your therapist places warm flat stones on your body, in an attempt to relax your muscles and relieve tension.

Benefits of massage therapy

Obviously, if performed by a professional, massage therapy is safe and provides immediate gratification, helping you feel relaxed and calm. As for its ability to combat depression, combined with a more conventional treatment, like medication or psychotherapy, it can deliver some great results.

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Want To Improve Your Running? This Is How Massage Can Help You!

Want To Improve Your RunningA top runner is never alone, as he or she is constantly surrounded by an entire team who makes sure that everything is going well. And you know who plays one of the most important roles? The professional massage therapist.

Runners say that massages help them to get through muscle tension with ease, but also improves their range of motion and make them feel relaxed after putting a lot of effort into a training session.

Overall, everything sounds great, but is there any scientific evidence supporting the idea that sport massage can improve performances?  According to practitioners, these moves relieve muscle soreness, promote circulation, flush toxins and lactic acid from the body, but also ease joint strain. And these claims are actually supported by evidence from several countries. But unfortunately, nothing had been confirmed by science until just recently.
Therapists reveal that sport massage can’t actually push toxins out of the muscles and into the bloodstream. Science also says that there’s no actual physiological way for this to happen. Also, it can’t flush lactic acid from muscles either. Basically, the pain after an intensive training session remains there, no matter how much massage you’re getting.
On the other side, sport massage applies a moving pressure to muscle, as well as other tissues, like ligaments, tendons, and fascia. Simply put, the energy applied to the body softens fascia tissue and helps muscles relax It also removes adhesions between fascia and muscles, which is great, especially for those who are new to running. Since they put a lot of pressure on limber joints and muscles, this surely comes in handy.

But to answer our initial question, if massage can actually help you improve your running, let’s talk about another science-backed fact. A series of studies discovered that massage after exercise – running, in our case – can reduce the intensity of delayed onset muscle soreness. Or, if you prefer, that peg-legged feeling you get a few days after running for a long distance.

Moving on, another research found less inflammation in massaged limbs, while the recovery in muscle function was up to 60 percent faster. Considering all these, we can say that the answer is ‘yes’. All runners, including beginners, can benefit from sport massage. Getting rid of that soreness that comes immediately after starting a new sport makes people likely to stick with it for a long period.

The good part is that you don’t need a specialized person for this, as you can opt for special foam rollers, allowing you to massage yourself with ease. On the other side, if you prefer specialized massage sessions, Maria’s Professional Massage can offer you the services you need.

Combining the knowledge of professional massage training with customs and practices of her Asian heritage, Maria can help you recover from an intense workout. Schedule an appointment today and get rid of that soreness in your muscles instantly!

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Top 8 Benefits Of Deep Tissue Massage

Benefits Of Deep Tissue MassageA good massage therapy can always perform a miracle on your body. Reduced pain, stress relief or a general feeling of happiness are just a few benefits of a deep tissue massage. For you to know more and be informed, we’ve prepared a list of advantages this treatment can have for you and your body.

1. Helps in lowering high blood pressure

A deep tissue massage is ideal for people who have to deal with high blood pressure. 45-60 minutes of such threat and you’ve got yourself a viable solution to treat hypertension.

2. Prevents scar tissue

It’s always hard to recover after an accident, both physically and mentally. And the fact that a scar tissue may develop, causing stiffness and uneasiness followed by pain doesn’t help you get back on track. Fortunately, we know a type of massage which can speed up the recovery by reducing inflammation in the affected area.

3. Reduces arthritis symptoms

Arthritis is something that eats you piece by piece, causing chronic joint pains and stiffness. To remove the pain, a firm massage is highly recommended.

4. Treats back pain

In the modern era, where people often spend up to 10 hours sitting at a desk, back pain has become something very common. But with deep tissue massage significantly reducing chronic lower back pain, there’s always a solution. A pleasant one, we would add.

5. Handles labor pain

We don’t need to tell how much pain pregnant women experience, especially if you are or have been in this category. Depression, anxiety, and leg, back pain, you name it. But a deep tissue massage comes like Tom Brady to save the day. Just like the superstar, it can’t always perform a miracle, yet it has enough super powers to make things better.

6. Diminishes fibromyalgia symptoms

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common disorder that feels like a widespread pain. On short-term, deep tissue massages can ease the pain, but if the symptoms are getting worse, you should consult a specialist.

7. Aids recovery in athletes

Deep tissue massages can do wonders for the body, such as increased blood flow, reduced muscle tension, and an increased sense of well-being. Therefore, it becomes a veritable Fountain of Youth for athletes, with positive effects on recovery and on the severity of muscle soreness.

8. Reduces stress

Starting with our job, friends or even family, everyone and everything can become a stress factor. A deep tissue massage can represent the perfect solution for you to increase the production of a hormone called oxytocin. Why? Because it creates positive emotions, and your social interactions will change for the better.

Our lives have become more stressful and it’s essential for our well-being to find solutions to relieve the pressure that comes with such feelings. Combining professional massage training with Asian heritage, Maria can provide a unique massage experience, one that can help you obtain a healthier body and a fresh mind. Regular massage therapy sessions with her can even change your life in a lot of good ways!

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Cupping Your Cold Away

Cupping back of the Neck for a cold virusMany people are unfamiliar with the concept behind a cupping massage today. However, this concept has been around for quite some time. It’s an ancient Chinese way of detoxifying your body, which is why it’s great for anyone who’s suffering from a cold or otherwise has aches and pains in their body. Once you’ve received this non-invasive, truly relaxing massage you’ll actually feel more energized. Oftentimes it’s done right alongside of acupuncture so your body is fully restored to wellness. This is why practitioners really recommend it when you have a cold.

How a Cupping Massage Works

During this massage modality, a practitioner uses several glass or rubber cups. They suction seal these cups in place on your skin. This causes such a strong vacuum that your blood is forced to flow strongly in these affected areas where the cups were applied. At the same time, the cups force your tissue to release any toxins it has. These flow up and out of your body where they’re disposed of in a similar fashion as how acupuncture works. In fact, there’s an old Chinese saying that supports the use of traditional Chinese medicine, “Acupuncture and cupping, more than half of the ills cured,”

Scientific research backs this massage modality, linking it back to the ancient Chinese practice of Chi (energy). The idea here is that your body has thousands of small energy flows. These enrich our lives and keep us healthy. However, when they’re interrupted, we get sick.

The Chinese believe that with cupping you can get the blood flowing and the energy moving again. When this happens your body can start healing its wounds, reducing its infections, and detoxing its tissue. In comparison to many of the detox diets and herbal pill remedies in existence today, cupping is much safer. This is because these diets typically force you to starve yourself to remove the toxins from your body. With this in mind, you can also understand why a cupping massage is also much more relaxing.

Using Cupping Massage for Colds

When your blood flow is strong and you have good energy flowing through your body, it’s easier for your body to respond to invasive bacteria and viruses, such as the common cold. Cupping promotes this type of well-being in your body by removing any toxins in your body. Typically, these toxins would keep your immune system so busy that it couldn’t fight off any foreign invaders. Once they’re removed from your body you start feeling better. You’re also able to ward off any colds.

If you already have a cold when you go for a cupping massage, a strengthened immune system will help shorten the length of your cold. It will also help break up any mucus so it’s easier for you to dislodge. Overall, you’ll feel more comfortable.

Getting Your Massage

This really is a pain-free massage modality. While some people say they felt like a bug bit them sometimes, this isn’t unbearable but it may take you some time to get used to it. After your first few massages you’ll also have some round bruises on your body. However, as your body has less toxins in it, you’ll have less bruises – eventually you’ll have none at all.

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Maintaining Proper Health And How The Body Changes In Space

Maintaining Proper Health And How The Body Changes In SpaceWith the tourism industry continuously organizing space-travel opportunities, technology, and opportunities, people around the globe are becoming anxious as to when they can have their turn to experience an out of this world experience!

In consideration of NASA and the U.S. governments recent advertisements and opportunities to fly into space, occupy, or Live on Mars indefinitely for a large, unspecified amount of money or stipend has likewise increased the appeal to people of space travel including making it more affordable or even cost-free!

However, space travel, just like any other travel on earth takes some serious adjusting to your environment also known as adaption – and is not for everyone.
Read below to learn three major TIPS and pieces of advice before you decide to set off into space with or without an expected return!

  1. Using the bathroom is hard, but not impossible. Experts and conditioned astronauts note that while it takes some getting used to, using the bathroom to pass stool or urinate is anything but impossible. However, like many things in space, the process including internally can be much slower, and take some getting used to.
  2. Loving others, love-making, and romance So, it’s a question that most adults would likely have, not because its always on their mind, but more than likely because they are curious about the procreation process when abroad during space travel.

With that being said, the truth is, even cuddling can be difficult when in space or on a distant planet assuming zero to little gravity. Even the slightest movement or nudge could easily send your partner floating across the room and lead to them hurting themselves. As for procreation well, we recommend you ask a scientist personally if you must know. Just know, that nearly everything you can do on earth can more or less be done, or made possible with some slight variations in space.

3. Understanding diet restrictions, nutrition, and food consumption. There’s no easy way to tell you this, but the truth is eating in space is hardly anything like you’ve grown accustomed to here on earth. From dehydrated space food, to limited vegetables which you can grow on your spaceship while traveling or living abroad, along with a loss of sense of smell and alterations to your taste-buds this can be TOUGH transition!

There are other serious things to consider before flying or volunteering to live in space. Along with physical health, it’s critical to also consider or evaluate your mental health, history, susceptibility to illnesses, and of course any required medications you might take regularly as there are unfortunately no pharmacies available outside of planet earth!
Happy space-travels!

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3 Scientifically Proven Reasons “Warm Ups” and “Cool Downs” For Workouts Are Effective

Warming up before and after an exerciseWarming up before and after an exercise, may it be a cardio workout or weight lifting can make a major difference in both physical, and mental preparedness.

According to a trusted, professional and well known personal trainer in New York, Sayco Williams draws a strong focus on making sure his students always give warming up and cooling down their best efforts before working out.

Suffering from a rotator cuff injury in the past himself, Williams makes sure he educates both his students and the public about the important, short-term and even long-term possible damage associated with not doing the necessary pre-workout and post-workout stretching.

Let’s review 3 Scientifically Proven Reasons “Warm Ups” and “Cool Downs” For Workouts Work– read more BELOW!

1. A lot of people might overestimate what’s required in a pre-workout or post-workout stretching routine. But, scientific studies show that only keeping it ‘short and light’ really help the next time you perform your exercise routine – may it be running a marathon or bench-pressing 300lbs. Properly stretching (all) or as many as possible muscles as possible to prepare you both mentally and physically for your workout will help prevent injury – and also increase overall performance.

2. Don’t mistake static for dynamic stretching. Kicking your feet, stretching out your arms, and doing pre-workout and post-workout exercises for your legs, butt, and hips can increase not just overall performance and preparedness, but also your comfort later on.

3. In fact, try avoiding stretches like static hamstring exercises, and never complete a pre or post-workout if your muscles are cold – as this can be counterproductive and even cause pain or injury later on.

4. Target the right muscles and bones – before you workout, carefully consider whether it will be just ‘cardio,’ or also weight-lifting and other strenuous activities so that you can appropriately stretch and prepare both your body and mind. In other words, doing “flutter kicks” before doing back and arm exercises, while indeed is cardio, is likely little to no help in properly stretching the intrinsic muscles and bones connected to your arm-concentrated lifting.

5. Finally, consider the value of psychological preparation, hygiene, and letting your body and mind communicate to the best of your ability before beginning ANY workout. In other words, if your mind is saying: “No,” or telling you that you’re too tired, give yourself a break! Know when enough is enough, listen to your body, and remember there’s a tremendous difference between something like getting past the “Runners Wall” or runners-block, versus attempting to (harmfully) workout your bicep and triceps muscles three days in a row with massive weight – which will likely lead to ‘burn out.’

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5 Easy Steps To Healthier Living

Living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t necessarily have to include dramatic diet changes, strenuous workout routines that leave you dreading the gym, or personal hygiene habits that make you roar at the idea of starting your day.

Creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself can be done with simple things too, and you can start small while still seeing significant, positive changes and results.

Let’s examine 5 Easy Steps To Healthier Living, and things you can start doing today, to be a healthier, happier you tomorrow.

HEALTHY LIVING: 5 Easy Steps To Healthier Living

1. Aiming for 10,000 steps a day – There’s no doubt you can start off small, and whether you decide to invest in a step-counter at the local sports store, Amazon, or simply use your mobile device this “simple” exercise routine and goal can be set and done by nearly anyone.
Doing so will dramatically improve your health, motivate you, and give you a clearer mind which is likely to improve your performance both at work, school, and even at home.

2. Improve your sleep and stay active – Believe it or not, just 15 minutes a day of sprinting, and 10 minutes of jogging or fast walking can help you lose or better manage your weight, gain muscle, and even improve sleep and stress feels.

HEALTHY LIVING: 5 Easy Steps To Healthier Living

 

3. Drink more water – Consuming more water on a daily basis will not only keep your muscles in tip-top performance, but also help curb (unnecessary) hunger, promote weight loss, and an overall happier, healthier you. Drinking more water will also give you the nutrients necessary for healthier, supple, and naturally glowing skin.

 

4. Be positive toward others – This one is relatively simple – do good things for others! That’s right, just volunteering at the local animal shelter or homeless shelter can improve your overall mood, confidence level, and even promote a more structured, consistent schedule for your everyday life – as well as add balance.

HEALTHY LIVING: 5 Easy Steps To Healthier Living

5. Napping and improving strength – A lot of people don’t realize it, but just taking a 20-minute nap a day can provide serious rest and recovery for your mind, body, muscles, and bones.

You’re never too young or too old to reap the benefits of a nap – just make sure you turn off all electronic devices and shut the lights off first to ensure a proper rest.

Honestly, there are hundreds if not thousands of ways to improve your everyday health. Getting rid of bad habits like eating too many sweets, consuming stimulants like coffee and cigarettes, and of course, excessive drinking are also great places to start – so what are you waiting for?

Start feeling better TODAY!

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Looking At Alternative Health Solutions

jill111 / 967 imagesThe whole world is talking about alternative health. It’s so big an issue that entire governments are ridding themselves of traditional medical solutions and embracing alternative health solutions that offer less dangerous side effects. The alternative health industry is a global one nowadays and it’s ironic that what we call alternative health today, was called standard medicine just 100 years or more ago. Now those old methods are considered better than what science has dug up.

Just because something is considered alternative doesn’t give it credibility. Science still applies here as any alternative health solution you pick should be examined and qualified by professionals in medicine and science. Now there are some who’ll say that it’s impossible for people to trust the government and mainstream medicine to support alternative health solutions. There’s plenty of proof of that and that’s why the alternative health industry gets so much mileage out of the gate. Just one person shouting about how great some liquid or grass or nut or grain is and it spreads like wildfire. So fast that no one has time to examine it nor list any side effects.

With people being desperate for treatments and cures, the only way we can watchdog is to keep tabs on people who use these alternative treatments. We look at them to see how they fare along the way and whether they end up in trouble. Luckily there are many alternative treatment physicians who are top notch in their fields. They’ve led the charge to make the fields of alternative medicine safe for one and all.

It takes teamwork from the public and the professionals to nail down which alternative treatments actually work and are safe. The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) prohibits anyone stating that something is a cure. The reason is multifold. If anyone could claim they had a cure for just about anything, the unsuspecting public would be vulnerable to any con man that came along with any snake oil proposal they can find. Also, Big Pharma doesn’t want the competition and they lobby lawmakers with billions of dollars to make sure their products and procedures get approval whether they’re dangerous or not. Every other month people see stories about how this drug or that treatment approved by the FDA finally turned out to be bogus and dangerous. This is where the trust issues come into play.

Any alternative treatment you’re thinking of undertaking calls for lots of studies first. Coordination with your doctor and realize that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

Don’t let commercials or loud friends and relatives sell you. Take their advice but follow it up with a disciplined study that is backed by the scientific fact not housewive’s gossip or barber shop lip service. Your health is more important and when it comes to stepping outside the box for health treatments is your responsibility.

Finally, just because it’s alternative doesn’t mean it’s good or bad, just alternative and that means knowing as much as you can before you apply. Better to be safe than sorry.

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Coffee Does Have Health Benefits

Coffee Does Have Health BenefitsIn a study published June 2017 and published in BMJ Open, the health benefits of coffee are clearly shown and encouraging to those who have to have more than one cup of Joe per day.

The study entitled “Coffee, including caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: a systematic review and does-response meta-analysis” shows that having several cups of coffee whether caffeinated or decaf does lead to significant drops in developing cancer.

The caffeinated coffee had higher results than the decaffeinated, but the bottom line is science has shown the beverage is far more important than previously realized.  For decades the arguments regarding coffee’s benefits for health have been strongly debated.  Study after study conflicted one another but this time, the data is on the table for everyone to take a bite out of.

The objective of the study was to determine: “To examine the association between coffee, including caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, with hepatocellular (HCC) and assess the influence of HCC etiology and preexisting liver disease.”.

With over 1,000 participants in the study, the researchers found that having just two cups of coffee per day brought about on average, a 35% reduction in the risk of HCC.  It didn’t matter if the subjects had minimal or more serious liver disease, nor the amount of alcohol consumption, the decrease in developing cancer was the same.

The strengths of the study shows that not only is this study the first meta-analysis to do the calculations to find the relative risks of hepatocellular carcinoma for those who consumed 1 to 5 cups of coffee daily, but this data should allow for the designing of an intervention strategy that is coffee based in use in a clinical trial.

Furthermore, this study is a first-time meta-analysis to discover the influence of all the main HCC risk factors that are associated with HCC and coffee.  The same is for the decaffeinated coffee consumption.  The study found that there is a heterogeneity between the studies included in the meta-analysis.

The results of the study have startled the public and medical community.  Since liver cancer is the 6th most regularly diagnosed cancer throughout the world, it behooves other researchers as well as the medical industry to follow up on this research and see how it can be applied to the problem of liver cancer.  Whether coffee diminishes the chances of other forms of cancer isn’t listed, but many feel the benefits are the same.

The compounds found in coffee are known to have antioxidants, anti-fibrotic, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

What does all this have to do for the average consumer who enjoys coffee but is worried that too much might cause harm?  It’s on a case by case basis as to how much coffee a person can tolerate per day.  The caffeine might be too much for some and they’ll have to switch to decaffeinated or supplement their caffeinated coffee with decaf for later in the afternoon and evening.  In addition, living a healthy lifestyle should boost the success of coffee on the body.

So, enjoy that cup of Joe with full peace of mind that not only are you satisfying your taste buds, but you’re preventing cancer from taking root.

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Benefits of Couples Massaging Each Other

Benefits of Couples Massaging Each OtherThere is a large body of articles and various forms of evidence which support the mental and physical benefits of getting massages. The vast majority of these focus on the benefits of receiving a massage, however, a new study suggests that for couples, massaging your partner can have a positive effect for the massager as well as the partner getting the massage. The study from Northumbria University in the UK studied couples over three weeks and found that both giving and receiving them led to reduced stress and increased feelings of wellbeing for both partners.

The popularity of massages continues to grow worldwide with almost one in five getting massages in 2016 in the United States. Of these, about half said it helped alleviate some sort of pain and improved wellness or helped with other issues. About a quarter said it reduced stress too. The majority of these respondents likely got their massages from professionals because that is the typical thing to do with almost 62% of massages getting done at spas, massage parlors, or a physical therapist’s office. This new finding offers perhaps a better way to get massages if both partners are willing. It can be financially beneficial compared to getting them from others and it may also improve intimacy. Learning to properly massage may be a good investment for couples interested in this sort of thing.

Further research should be conducted to verify the findings of this study, which looked at 38 people in 19 couples over 3 weeks. It will be interesting to see if this also extends to non-couples, or whether it is something about the relationship that might be driving the mutual benefits. This is plausible given that couples typically want their partner to be happy and feel good, so seeing them that way may, in turn, help them feel better and happier as well.

This study is the latest in a wide body of new studies which have looked at massages and their impacts in various scenarios from a scientific standpoint. Other studies have looked at things like recovering from athletic events, improvements in mental function, changes in blood flow, and injury recovery time after massages. Larger randomized controlled trials should be conducted in order to verify these results before prescribing them widely in medical practice, but the safety profile is good enough for most people that they can likely get massages (or now give them) and see if they notice a benefit in themselves. It is always optimal to talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you want to see whether massages can have a clinical impact on you if this is possible (although you probably do not need to schedule a special meeting for that unless you have some other condition that makes that a good idea). Massages are growing in popularity for a reason and the trend is likely to continue as research such as this one support the use and as a culture in general starts to better value wellbeing, relaxation, and meditation.

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