therapy

4 Ways to Enjoy Some ‘ME Time’ Even If You Are Busy

Being an adult can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be very overwhelming because of the increased amount of responsibilities that you acquire over time. Your to-do list always gets longer as you progress through different stages in life and time is a precious commodity that you can’t afford to waste. If you have been struggling to make time to enjoy yourself or to do some activities to improve your overall wellbeing, take a look at the following 4 tips that can help you accomplish that:

Be Specific

Ask yourself these questions: What specifically do I want to do for myself? What does relaxing, resting, recharging or exercising mean to me? If you are very broad and schedule ‘free time’ for yourself, you are probably going to have a hard time deciding exactly what do to when that time comes, which can lead to wasted time, or you are going to end up yielding that space to on-the-go activities that come up. For example, if you are specific, you know what type of exercise you want to do, instead of just vaguely stating you want to workout. If you want to relax, be specific! Are you going to meditate, get a massage, go for a walk or take a nap? Be specific about what you want to accomplish, start with one or two activities a week and work your way up to integrate more.

Schedule It

Now that you know what you want, you can go ahead and put it in your calendar. This is where you make time for it and find time for yourself. This is as simple as scheduling a doctor’s appointment. You know at what time it is and where to be; by scheduling it you make sure you don’t miss it. So think of your ‘me time’ as the activities that help lift your spirit and keep you healthy. Schedule them just as you would schedule anything important. After all, you are very important!

Make time for yourself

Image: Jon Fife/ Flickr

Make It Non-Negotiable

Since these activities will probably help you be in a better mood, feel better, be healthier, be stronger, or be more relaxed, they should be regarded as non-negotiable and as part of your life habits. Don’t replace them once you have scheduled them unless an emergency needs your attention. Since you have them in your calendar and you understand that taking care of yourself is very important, block those times out. Those 30 minutes or that hour that you took for yourself will help you perform better throughout the rest of the day.

Get Accountability

If you really want to include new activities on your routine, getting some support along the way will make a huge difference. If your goal is to workout and be more active, getting accountability can be as simple as joining an exercise group and sharing your goals with the instructor so they can help keep you on track. You can also rely on your best friend or partner and ask them to keep you accountable, motivated, and to be supportive. Sharing with someone else what you want to accomplish and asking them to join your efforts will provide you with extra motivation!

Taking time for yourself is important; if you are not well, you can’t serve others well. Making time for yourself doesn’t mean you are neglecting other priorities in your life, it just means that you are also one of your priorities—perhaps the most important one since without your health and well being, none of the other priorities can be met.

We hope you are able to enjoy more ‘ME time’ from now on!

American Diabetes Awareness Month

It’s November, which means it’s American Diabetes Awareness Month. Currently, millions of people are affected by diabetes. By making healthier choices with your diet and including whole grains and fiber you can prevent diabetes.

Many people over look the severity of diabetes but in fact it is serious. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and new cases of blindness. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

Prevention is key to curing diabetes. Stay healthy by increasing physical activity and maintaining your weight. Also, regular massage therapy enhances circulation, which helps cure diabetic wounds.

For more information, visit http://www.massageenvy.com/regions/FL/Orlando.aspx.

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week

The American Massage Therapy Association is gearing up for the 16th annual National Massage Therapy Awareness Week! The Association hosts this week every year to spread awareness of the importance of massage therapy and all of the fantastic benefits that come along with it!

This year’s official dates are October 21st-27th. Clear your calendars and book your appointments today!

Visit http://www.massageenvy.com/regions/FL/Orlando.aspx to learn more about the Massage Envy experience.

 

June is National Migraine Awareness Month

According to the National Headache Foundation an estimated 28 million Americans suffer from migraines. Migraines are painful headaches often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Women tend to be more prone to migraines than men; many suffering four or more attacks a month, lasting from four hours to three days.

The exact causes of migraines are unknown, however there can be certain things that trigger the headache such as dehydration, bright lights, weather changes, genetics, etc. They can be treated with various drugs and preventatives. But also, natural remedies such as the cranial sacral massage can reduce frequency and severity of migraines.

A massage can help to manage migraines because it reduces stress and relieves tension- a common cause of migraines. Research at The Touch Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine found that massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms while increasing serotonin levels in adults with migraine headaches.

To acknowledge National Migraine Awareness Month, schedule a massage to help with your migraine symptoms and give you peace of mind. You can also, check out Chronic Migraine Awareness on Facebook for more information and tips. http://www.facebook.com/ChronicMigrainAwareness?ref=ts

Massages can provide Allergy Relief

If you are one of 40 million Americans who suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies, you are already aware that the season is among us. It’s time to break out the Benadryl, tissues and eye drops but who knew that making an appointment for a massage was among allergy relief treatments?

 

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massage therapists can help relieve some allergy symptoms by reducing stress, increasing circulation, releasing muscle tension and reprogramming the body’s panic reaction, which can exacerbate symptoms.

 

While there are few studies researching massage therapy and allergy relief, we do know that massage helps to relieve stress and stress definitely impacts your allergies. Also, just lying in the face down position can provide immediate relief from sinus congestion related to allergies. This position also allows your therapist to work on the upper back and shoulders, where many sinus trigger points are located.

 

You also may want to add aromatherapy to your massage session. Essential oils such as eucalyptus, pine, menthol, peppermint and lemon placed on points such as temples, neck and ears can open up your sinus cavities and create excellent movement within.

Cranial Sacral Massage Therapy used for treatment of migraines

Are you one of approximately 28 million Americans suffering from migraine headaches? If you are, you should know about Cranial Sacral massage therapy. This is a gentle, noninvasive form of massage therapy that will help to release compression in the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum, thus alleviating stress and pain causing your migraines. It also promotes relaxation and proper immune system function, enhancing healing throughout your body.

 

Migraines remain one of the most prevalent and puzzling conditions in the medical world today. According to the National Headache Foundation, approximately 28 million Americas suffer from migraine headaches. Cranial Sacral massage therapy is giving these migraine sufferers hope. The goal of this innovative therapy is to restore the natural position of the bones and decrease stress to provide relief from migraine headaches. Through light touch and gentle manipulation of areas on the head, one of our trained experts can detect where the natural flow of the craniosacral system is restricted and facilitate a release where flow can be restored.

 

This is a great alternative for people seeking non-pharmacological intervention for the treatment of migraine headaches. Unlike certain medications, Cranial Sacral massage therapy comes without side effects. Also, overuse of medication is a risk factor for the development of chronic daily migraines. So, for those looking for other options in headache relief, this form of massage therapy is a powerful alternative.

 

Relieve Tired Eyes

Finally, you have a great night’s sleep and feel relaxed and rejuvenated. You start your morning routine, look in the mirror and notice that those annoying dark circles are still there. We know how frustrating this can be. But it’s important to remember that the skin around your eyes is very delicate. One night of restful sleep may not do the trick. So, we called upon the skincare experts at Murad® to learn more about dark circles and how to prevent them.

The skin around the eyes is fragile, and readily shows the signs of age, fatigue and stress. The tissue is thinner, water evaporation is rapid and the collagen and elastin fibers are less numerous. In addition, the eye area has few (if any) oil-producing glands, so it requires intense hydration that my not be appropriate for the rest of your face.

Although some dark circles are genetic, you can reduce their appearance by getting plenty of sleep and keeping your body hydrated by eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables on daily basis.

You can also relieve tired eyes with products that contain wild yam and soybean to increase firmness, caffeine and light refractors to minimize puffiness and chamomile extract to calm and soothe.

Most importantly, take time to relax! Sleep and relaxation are key to keeping your eyes looking refreshed and youthful. Try taking a hot bath before bed and make sure to shut off all distractions (television, Smartphone and computers) an hour before you turn in for the night.

At all Massage Envy Spa clinics, we offer four different Murad® Healthy Skin facials, as well as an array of Murad® skincare products. To determine what treatment is best for your skin, visit http://www.massageenvy.com/facials.

Massage the Pain Away

One of the reasons many of us turn to massage therapy is to heal and help manage pain, including chronic pain such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), the effectiveness of massage lies in a simple and direct strategy: working from the external, outer mechanisms of pain to the primary, root cause.

From backaches and shoulder pain to leg cramps and muscle spasms, massage can help. We turned to our own C.G. Funk, Licensed Massage Therapist and Vice President of Industry Relations and Product Development for Massage Envy, to give us the scoop.

Proper Posture

Many aches and pains are due to poor posture. With a consistent program of massage therapy, the painful points in muscles are loosened and relaxed, joints have greater freedom, and pressure points are relieved. This allows the body to position itself in a healthy and natural posture, therefore avoiding the movements and positions developed over time as a reaction to the pain.

Tense Muscles

Massage therapy flushes lactic acid from the muscles and improves the circulation of the lymph fluid that carries metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs, resulting in lower blood pressure and improved body function.

Flexibility

By working on muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints, massage can stimulate the production and retention of our bodies’ natural lubricants between the connective tissue fibers, making stretching and movement easier, and keeping the body flexible.

Pain Management

Especially when nursing an injury back to full strength, increasing circulation and relaxing muscles helps the body pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs. This allows the rehabilitating areas to become more flexible and heal at an accelerated rate.

Visit Massage Envy’s Touch of Wellness Blog or http://www.massageenvy.com/ to learn more.

6 Easy Mood Boosters

1. Make a gratitude list.

“The most effective way I know of to shake a bad mood is to brainstorm everything possible that you’re grateful for and write it down,” says Amy Wood, PsyD, author of Life Your Way. She suggests starting with broad strokes, like being thankful the sun is shining or that you’re breathing. “You’ll find that once you get the ball rolling, more and more ideas will come to you. Studies actually show that it’s impossible to feel gratitude and unhappiness simultaneously. That’s why this strategy works so well, and so quickly!”

2. Practice mindfulness.

“If you’re in a slump, you may also be stuck ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Both of these thoughts are nonproductive,” says Simon Rego, PsyD, director of Psychology Training at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Instead, he suggests practicing mindfulness, which involves being present in the moment without judgment. “Try taking five minutes and eating your meal in a mindful way, paying attention to how it looks, smells and tastes with each bite, before swallowing it. Or take a quick mindful walk, considering the sights, smells, sounds and temperature with each step.” By focusing on the present, you’re less likely to dwell on the outside circumstances that are making you unhappy.

3. Practice a random act of kindness.

According to Dr. Rego, doing nice things for other people will make you feel good about yourself. Try holding a door open for someone else, offering a compliment or smiling at a stranger. These acts of kindness lead to positive thinking about yourself, and usually garner a positive response, like “thank you,” which can easily put a smile on your face, he says.

4. Have A Laugh

“Set up a YouTube channel with your favorite comedy sketches and comedians,” suggests Cory Bank, PhD, founder of StompStressAway.com. “Have it saved so that if you’re in a bad mood you can take a three-minute break and infuse some humor into your day.” Belly laughter will make your endorphins kick in within minutes. Plus, he notes, “you’ll feel better when you take a short break from your day-to-day reality.”

5. Eat An Orange

According to celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, foods packed with vitamin C, like citrus fruits, green peppers and broccoli, are proven to cheer you up. In fact, a study published in a 2010 edition of Nutrition found that vitamin C therapy can help improve the moods of patients who are hospitalized for long-term or critical care. Dr. Sams also stresses the importance of vitamin C (as well as other antioxidants, like vitamins A and E) when it comes to boosting your mood because it helps stabilize free radicals in the body, which are known to accelerate aging and increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. When these highly reactive atoms are neutralized, it prevents them from also damaging brain cells, resulting in better health and improved mood.

6. Just Breathe

Sure, we do this all day long, but breathing in a certain way has the power to relax us as well as lift us out of a slump. Dr. Sams is an advocate of diaphragmatic breathing. “Take a five-count breath in, and a five-count breath out. The goal is to manage your breath, instead of having your breath manage you.” When you breathe into your diaphragm as opposed to just your chest, which many of us do when we’re feeling stressed, you will absorb a lot more oxygen into your system. “Our brains thrive on oxygen—it’s very powerful in boosting your mood.”

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