Many people still view massage therapy as something you only treat yourself to on birthdays or while on vacation. In fact, some people maintain their cars better than they do their own bodies.
It often takes a dramatic event like whiplash or reaching the point where chronic pain becomes unlivable before peeps decide to schedule regular bodywork sessions.When you begin to experience what regular bodywork can do to not only help your body heal, but to help you function at your optimum, you realize there’s a whole lot more going on than a froufrou treat.
Aside from pain reduction or elimination, increased mobility and flexibility, massage has a profound effect on our stress levels.
Stress has been called the “stealth disease” because so many of us experience it without realizing how seriously it is impacting the physical systems of our body:
- Digestion slows – increases our inability to absorb vital nutrients from our food, which explains why even people who “eat well” experience bloating, indigestion, cramping, nausea, irritable bowl syndrome, or ulcers.
- Immune system is suppressed – how many of us get sick when we’re stressed? Stress can impair the body’s inflammatory response. Conditions caused by excess inflammation include allergies, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases.
- Respiratory system — shortness of breath; chest pains; lack of oxygen to our cells. How important is our breath? We can live without food and water for a few days, but not so well without oxygen. 😉
- Eliminatory system — we may experience excess sweat, constipation and/or diarrhea (fun times). When toxins back up in our system, they release through our skin (the largest elimination organ), which can cause rashes, outbreaks, and blemishes.
- Muscular system — chronic tension in muscles leads to decreased mobility, strain, tension headaches and crappy postural imbalances.
- Anti-aging hormones are sabotaged — people age faster under stress; our adrenals also produce more cortisol, the infamous “death hormone.”
- Loss of libido — the fight or flight response inhibits the release of the hormone responsible for sexual behavior. Stress can affect our fertility and our menstrual cycles – and certainly our interest in having sex. Let’s face it — there ain’t nobody out there feelin’ up for sexy times when they’re stressed out.
Therapeutic bodywork can help all of those areas:
- Massage improves digestion
- Gets the lymph flowing and boosts the immune system (massage has been shown to increase natural killer cells, responsible for fighting cancer)
- Reconnects us with our body, deepens our breath, centers our thoughts, and increases our sense of well-being
- Massage improves the circulatory system
- Releases muscular tension, increases joint mobility and overall flexibility
- Has a balancing effect on the adrenal glands; lowers cortisol by 31%
- Increases the production of serotonin and dopamine (the feel good hormones)
Even health insurance companies are beginning to embrace the benefits of bodywork by changing their policies to include coverage for massage therapy. With increased awareness, the healing power of touch — especially when mixed with the uplifting and soothing effect of therapeutic grade essential oils, is now viewed as an integral therapy for increasing your overall health and wellness.
Learn more about therapeutic bodywork at www.katfleming.net.
My favorite barre studio in Sacramento, The Dailey Method, just gave me a small stack of free class cards to hand out!
I highly recommend this workout for anyone who is thinking about getting back in shape and is interested in toning, strengthening and lengthening their muscles. It’s a safe, super effective workout that focuses on core conditioning, proper alignment, and orthopedic exercises.
In the three years I’ve been coming to class, I’ve become stronger, leaner and much more toned. The atmosphere is fun, upbeat and non-competitive. And for those who are already workout enthusiasts, The Dailey Method is a perfect way to cross train with running, yoga or your regular gym routine.
Owners Stacey Armijo and Sandra Lemos are two, truly inspiring women (business owners, wives and mothers) who know what it means to balance work with family and fitness. They’ve recently opened a new location in Downtown Sac, just blocks from my studio! Visit me any time between now until June 21st, and I will give you two free class cards so you can start getting toned up for summer.
Check out this inspiring video of the Dailey Method Downtown Sac on Fox40 News!
Check out this little animation about what’s in our beauty products. Many of you are already aware of this issue. What’s interesting is that since 1938 the FDA hasn’t banned more than 8 out of 12,000 toxic chemicals.
So who is the FDA protecting?
Legally, you can’t write about the clinical studies behind natural remedies like essential oils which demonstrate the oils’ ability to inhibit cancer cells, kill toxic mold, or fight viruses without stating that the FDA hasn’t “evaluated” those statements, which therefore means the statements cannot intend to cure any disease. How’s that for backwards? Especially when essential oils are scientifically proving themselves to be worthy opponents of many diseases.
Meanwhile the FDA allows antifreeze and other known cancer causing agents in our soaps, shampoos, and moisturizers without a second glance. Sweet.
The awesome ladies at Sage Wellness put together a day of Health and Wellness for the Oprah Winfrey Network employees yesterday and invited me to host an essential oil “stress busting clinic.”
To set the tone, we diffused Joy in the air which contains an exotic blend of rose, mandarin, ylang ylang, lemon, geranium, rosewood, and jasmine.
Jasmine has been recently studied by a group of German scientists who found it has “the same molecular action and strength as barbiturates” on the GABA receptors (which produce the “feel good” endorphins) in our brain. Inhaling jasmine was found to increase GABA just as much as pharmaceuticals, but without any of the harmful side effects.
As the scent enveloped the room and floated down the hall, people commented on how deliciously relaxing the entire office smelled! We passed around lavender and peppermint for people to apply to their neck & shoulders. Both lavender and peppermint oils have numerous health benefits and are excellent for helping the body, mind, and emotions unwind from the toll of stress.
It was a fun group with lots of questions, including one gentleman who asked whether I knew of an oil that could be considered an aphrodisiac. Since everyone’s senses and tastes are different, I encouraged him to play around with the oils to see what works for him. But in general, the group collectively decided that oils like lemon – which has been studied for its ability to improve mental acuity and shown to create 54% fewer errors when diffused in an office – might not be exactly the vibe you’re going for in the bedroom – unless you’d like your lover to cut back on some errors!
Many thanks to all the people who attended for creating a super fun clinic!
Order Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils.