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Sleep Awareness Week-- Tips for quality ZZZ's

March 9, 2020

Celebrate Sleep Awareness Week!

Sometimes getting a full night's sleep seems impossible to achieve. No matter the cause-- stress, pain, your work schedule or another reason. If you are not getting quality sleep it can interfere with your health. The Centers for Disease Control says, "Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression-- which threaten our nation's health."

To celebrate Sleep Awareness Week (March 8-14), here are a few ways you can start getting on track to a better night's sleep.

Say goodnight to technology-- well before bedtime.

Smartphones are everywhere and it's not uncommon to find them creeping into your bedroom. Turn them off. Better than that-- turn them off and keep them in another room. Nix the TV, tablet, laptop, and whatever else has found its way into your resting space. The bedroom should be for sleep only.

Establish a routine that is calming.

Humans are habitual creatures. How you wrap up your day can impact the quality of sleep you get. Finish the day with a warm bath or shower, a cup of tea, lower the temperature in your bedroom and shut out the lights. Establishing a routine can trigger a natural response that tells the body, "It's time for bed."

Massage. Massage. Massage.

There I said it. Massage is HUGE when it comes to improving your sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have found massage to be beneficial for insomnia related stress, as well as:

- Anxiety

- Digestive disorders

- Fibromyalgia

- Headaches

- Nerve pain

- Soft tissue strains or injuries

- Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)

Massage can increase relaxation and decrease pain to improve your quality of sleep. Our need for sleep has dramatically increased with the busier our schedules get. In an effort to celebrate sleep awareness week, schedule a massage and be on your way to a better night's sleep. 

Body Image and Massage

October 30, 2019

Let's talk body image. Almost everybody has something about their body that they don’t like. For many people it’s a minor issue, but some people have a major issue with their body image. It affects their happiness and life.

When I tell people that I’m a massage therapist sometimes it can cause a strong reaction. They tell me, whether verbally or through their reaction and body language, that massage is not for them. 

The paradox here is that massage can really help with body image issues. In massage school we were all nervous about taking off our clothes and letting someone else touch us. It didn’t take long for us to discover that bodies are just bodies and become comfortable with our own. We also experienced how good receiving a massage made us feel. Something unexpected happened -- when our bodies felt better we felt better about our bodies. 

I think there are a few options to consider. Let’s look at the risk versus reward for them.

1. Don’t get a massage.

 This is the easiest because it involves doing nothing. The risk is low since you are not letting another person see or touch you at all.

The reward is zero. You didn’t get a massage so your body doesn’t feel any better, and you still have the stress you had before.

2. You get a massage, but the massage therapist says or does something that makes you feel uncomfortable about your body. If this has happened to you, I’m sorry. You got a crappy massage therapist. You took a risk, and even if the rest of the massage was decent, got very little reward. This will NEVER happen if you come to me. Never. I can’t say this strongly enough. It goes against the very nature of who I am, how I treat people, and what I believe. 

3. You get a massage. The therapist does nothing to make you feel uncomfortable about your body. In fact, you feel pretty good after. With this option your risk is low. Your reward is high. Again your body will feel better from the massage and you can start feeling better about it.

I have no idea how your body got to be in the condition that it’s in. You may be dealing with something that you can’t control, such as a medical condition, an injury, or accident. You may be in a lot of pain or limited in what you can do physically. Since I don’t know what caused your body to be like it is now I can’t make any judgments about you. 

I’ve worked on hundreds – maybe thousands – of people. Each body is interesting and beautiful. 

If you have been avoiding massage because you feel uncomfortable about your body, let’s find an option that works for you. Leave your clothes on. Stay sitting up or face down or lying on your side or however you want. It’s up to you. 
It’s my job to help you feel better. That’s it. Together let’s find a way to help you relieve your pain and stress. 

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