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A 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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A 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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Many 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.
With 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!
- 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.
- 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!
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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.
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.
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.
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!
The 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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In 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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Do you go weak in the knees when you spot someone snacking on a meal of ‘mashed avocados seasoned with bell peppers, tomatoes, and chopped onions’ better known as guacamole? If you do, then you’re in good luck as a fresh evaluation of scientific reports pinpoints that feasting on avocados may help in delaying and reducing the risks of ‘metabolic syndrome’. Metabolic syndrome is being touted as the ‘new silent killer’ and can be a major impediment to healthy living.
You’re said to be suffering from ‘metabolic syndrome’ if you’re hypertensive, have a large girth, and your triglyceride level is abnormally high. The peer review which was issued in ‘Phytotherapy Research’-a leading medical journal was carried out by Iranian scientists. These researchers meticulously sifted through 129 studies published earlier that evaluated the impacts of consuming avocado on various aspects related to metabolic syndrome.
A majority of the trials focused on the flesh of avocado the section of the fruit that we generally consume but quite a few were dedicated to its leaves, seeds, oil, and skin. The researchers came to a conclusion that eating avocados contributed hugely towards maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Biting into avocados on a regular basis helps contain bad or ‘LDL cholesterol’, and raise ‘HDL cholesterol’ level as well as regulate the proportion of phospholipids and triglycerides in the bloodstream.
The Iranian researchers also believed gorging on avocados led to numerous other health benefits. Avocados could go a long way in accelerating weight loss and help bring down high blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels. The antithrombotic, cardioprotective, and anti-atherosclerotic properties of the fruit were also observed in numerous trials.
Simply put, the researchers overwhelmingly agreed avocados were incredibly effective in dealing with metabolic syndrome in a comprehensive manner. Cynthia Sass RD, MPH who regularly posts nutrition articles to ‘Health’ journal opined that ‘this is just yet another study to show that avocados truly deserve superfood status’. She went on to express avocados were extremely instrumental in touching belly fat considered as the most unhealthy and harmful kind of fat.
Another important finding of the research hinted that individuals who included avocados in everyday diets were more prone to weight loss compared to those who didn’t. Avocados also abound in minerals, fibers, vitamins, and antioxidants besides being richly endowed with fats that were beneficial for the heart. Also, our bodies can assimilate nutrients from the fruit better than supplements and medications.
Avocado is a super delicious and juicy fruit that is best consumed raw. However, there are plenty other ways in which you can eat the fruit. Avocados are used for rustling up mouthwatering guacamoles as well as go as an ingredient in salads and omelets. Whisk a glass of smoothie or concoct a glass of Indonesian-styled milkshake or spread a paste of the fruit in toasts or tortilla chips. The fruit also serves as an excellent substitute for butter when baking cakes and biscuits. Eat an avocado a day for keeping ‘metabolic syndrome’ at bay.
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Ginger-the humble rhizome that is believed to have been first used in the Indian subcontinent millenniums ago-is extensively used for spicing up a range of food preparations. This herbaceous perennial spice also touted to have numerous health benefits, has long been used as a folk medicine. Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine are replete with different formulations of this rhizome that can help in dealing with various ailments.
And it is reassuring to hear that medical science is corroborating the curative properties of this herbal spice. You might be aware that ginger is extremely effective in tackling common cold and flu, promote digestion, and reduce muscle pain or soreness. But did you know that the spice is highly effective in dealing with motion sickness that results from voyaging on the sea, flying long hours, and driving for hours on mountainous or elevated routes?
Apart from seasickness or airsickness, the herb can be used for remedying bloating, headaches or pain caused due to PMS. Significantly enough, you can either use zests sliced from raw ginger or the powdery form for boosting your health. Surprisingly enough, you won’t have to consume large amounts of the spices for realizing the perks as imbibing simply 2gms (equivalent to a ¾ teaspoon in powdered form or 1 tablespoon in grated form) every day will suffice.
Following are 7 convincing reasons why you should start chewing or consuming this pungent-tasting herb or spice.
1. Ginger Can Help Alleviate Arthritic Pain
Dietitian Danielle Capalino who authored books such as ‘Flat Stomach’ and ‘Healthy Gut’ is strong of the opinion that ginger could go a long way in tackling inflammation and alleviating arthritic pain, especially in arthritis patients. She has found evidence for the above benefits as powerful anti-inflammatory agents called ‘gingerols’ found naturally in the herb can thwart the development of cytokines that are known to aggravate inflammation.
If a medical report (issued in Arthritis & Rheumatology) or study is to be believed, extracts of the spice had the potential of assuaging osteoarthritis symptoms in the knees.
2. Reinforces Immunity
Perhaps there’s not a single person in this whole wide world who never was under the weather owing to common cold or had an attack of flu. And this rhizome is one of the best natural substances that have been used for tackling this upper respiratory tract infection for a long time. The sesquiterpenes in the herb are efficient in thwarting the thriving of rhinovirus (the virus responsible for causing the common cold). Throw 3-4 slices of ginger in your morning or evening tea if you want quick relief from nasal congestion. Loaded with antioxidants, ginger helps check pain and symptoms of fever.
3. Relieves Muscle Soreness
During your next trip to the gym, be sure to keep finely trimmed tests of the herb under your tongue. Studies and trials have increasingly evidenced that the spice which helped ease PMS pain and checked inflammation, could also soothe muscles that feel sore after a strenuous workout. According to a trial issued in the ‘Journal of Pain’, participants that imbibed two grams of the herb felt a noticeable alleviation in muscle soreness and pain resulting from strength building workouts just a day after vis-à-vis a placebo.
4. Sidelines and minimizes PMS Pain
Perhaps the most worthwhile health benefit that women and teenaged females can have from consuming the spice is relief from pain that predominates a menstrual cycle. As a matter of fact, it has been demonstrated that ginger is as effective as OTC medications in getting respite from PMS pain. In a study appearing in the ‘Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine’, it was reported that taking the herb was as good as swallowing an ibuprofen pill for dealing with the pain.
5. Thwarts Abdominal Bloating
Ginger not only reduces and checks nausea but also boosts digestion and prevents the abdomen from getting bloated or distended. The herb contains carminative agents that expedite the secretion of gastric juices for promoting digestion.
6. Hones Your Memory Skills
This wonder herb can be highly effective in bulwarking or cushion your brain from dementia and Alzheimer’s. The spice shields your brain from the sticky amyloid proteins that form a plaque thereby prolonging or putting off the disease progression.
7. Combating Migraines
Ginger plays a stellar role in thwarting the buildup of prostaglandin that is known to increase swelling of blood vessels giving you head-splitting migraines. Going by one study, the powdery form of the spice was equally efficient as sumatriptan for dealing with migraines.
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Stress is a natural reaction to situations which our mind perceives to be dangerous or that require a level of high alert. It is a protection mechanism that is necessary at times but sometimes gets overplayed in the modern world due to excessive stress alerts. This makes it necessary to ensure we get adequate stress relief to mitigate the effects of too much stress- namely cardiac or mental health issues. Amongst these include a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, substance abuse issues, anxiety, sadness or anger, or physical changes to the body including changes in sex drive, sleep, and even body composition with increased fat being linked to high levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone. It is important to manage your life and your stress so that these risks are mitigated as best as possible because no one wants to deal with these comorbidities and conditions. Thankfully, there are many different forms of stress relief out there- everything from meditation to exercising to getting massages and it is really a matter of trying different things out to see what works best for you.
The latter, getting a massage, is especially growing in popularity right now. Many people seem to find that it just helps their worries seep away as they almost travel to another world for that half hour or hour session. Looking at the specific downstream effects of excessive stress, there are many case studies which suggest that massages can help alleviate those issues, making it a logical option at combatting stress given the fantastic safety profile. There have also been scientific studies which have shown associations with massages and reduced heart rates and blood pressure. Some studies have even shown increased endorphin levels after massages, which may be causing the positive feeling people get after receiving one. Massages are certainly on the upward trend right now, but they should not be your only form of stress management.
It should be noted that the best thing for stress is likely a combination of many things. It is important to eat right, exercise, and take care of your body in order for it to function properly and for stress to be minimized. Massages may be an add-on to those other activities as may meditation too. Stress relief has great potency in improving your life beyond just your health, though. It can help increase vitality and improve your state of mind.
If you think you are interested in trying out massages, the next question is where do you go to get a quality one? There are now many retail outlets at which you can get professional massage services including Massage Envy, which is one of the most popular chains. There are also many local masseuses who can offer custom services to their clients including home visits, etc. Just be sure to do your research on the massage service to make sure that they are a legitimate business with certified professionals. Once you find someone you like you can stick with them and continue to fight back the never-ending onslaught of stress!
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