Massage After Care

Have you ever left a massage thinking that you hurt in places you didn’t hurt before you walked in? Have you woken up one or two days after a massage with extreme soreness?

Some might have these effects and decide to never get a massage again! There are many ways to alleviate the soreness that you might feel, and all are easy remedies and worth doing so that you can recover faster.

1)    Drink at least double the amount of water that you usually do on the day of your massage, but especially afterward. The flushing of the body will help prevent soreness after your massage.

2)    Epson salt bath or magnesium supplement always helps relieve soreness and muscle tension.

3)    Ice is your best bet for preventing and relieving soreness.

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Some might wonder why they now feel soreness in areas that didn’t bother them when before the massage. Many times, the body only sends pain signals from a certain area even though you might have other areas that are tight or congested. A massage brings attention to any area that is touched and if that area happens to have tightness you will become aware of it very soon.

 It is not uncommon to feel a bit “run over” after a deep tissue massage, but if you follow these recommendations and do your part at home to stretch and foam roll on a regular basis, you should be feeling like a new person very soon!

If you are ready to book your next massage click here.

You Could Have More Pollution INSIDE Your Home than Out

Spring is almost here! It is a wonderful time to binge watch Marie Kondo on Netflix and then get your house in order. What some people don’t realize is that the cleaners they are using in their home could be polluting the very air they and their family breathes.

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An article from the Huffington Post stated that the EPA estimates that household air can be two to five times more polluted than outside. Some of the recommendations are common sense, for instance, don’t smoke in your home and keep the dust away with regular vacuuming, but others are a bit unexpected.

Your cleaning products and air fresheners could be adding substantial pollution to your home. The best idea is to use all-natural ingredients and most of them you probably already have in your home! The best all-purpose cleaner recipe is listed at the end of this post.

If you want to check the safety of cleaners you already own, look for these chemicals as they cause the most pollution:

You can also check the EWG’s cleaning product database here.


ALL PURPOSE CLEANER

1 large spray bottle

1 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 cup water

A few drops of essential oil of your choice until it reaches a desired scent

Shake each time before using

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February Wrap Up

February is almost over! Thank you so much for being here in this little space on the web. We hope you have enjoyed our writings this month and we want your input for next month! Any burning questions or ideas that you would like us to write about? We want to hear from you, so leave a comment or email us with your ideas or thoughts.

We are wrapping this month up with a healthy heart chakra recipe. When you make this at home be sure to post it on Instagram with #tmtcooks so we can give you a shout-out!

 

Recipe:

The heart chakra is associated with love, of course, and self-care is a huge part of learning to love yourself. Self love begins with taking care of yourself, which begins with healthy eating, yum! Tons of healthy detoxing greens is a great place to start. Basil is particularly heart-healthy, since its compounds can soothe blood vessels and promote better circulation.

Recipe: Basil-Spinach Pesto with Gluten-Free Pasta

Serves 6

2 cups fresh basil leaves
5 ounces baby spinach leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Parmesan (optional. Or use nutritional yeast in place)
2 tablespoons walnuts (or use sunflower seeds)
½ teaspoon real sea salt

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Place the basil and spinach in a food processor and chop it. Add the olive oil, Parmesan/nutritional yeast, nuts, and salt, and pulse until a creamy mixture forms. Toss with your favorite pasta (we like lentil pasta, kelp noodles, or zoodles) and serve immediately or add your favorite protein like tofu, chicken or shrimp.


Wrap Up:

Self-Love: What does it really mean?

Heart Chakra: What is it and why should we be paying attention

Empathy

Empathy

Empathy is usually explained by saying "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another" but, what if we said, "it is an attempt to better understand the other person by getting to know their perspective."

Some people believe you either have empathy, or you don't, but this is just not true. The truth is that empathy takes effort and work for many people, and some are not willing or don't know how to do the work.

The reason empathy is important today now more than ever, is that everyone seems to be on a side and there is not much effort to come together and work on more significant issues that face us in the world and our communities. If someone feels understood by you, they are much more likely to reciprocate the effort and try to understand your position and beliefs as well.

Steps to take to learn how to have empathy:

1)      When you first encounter someone who has gone through something intense, try to remember a time in your life when you have felt those intense feelings. You do NOT have to have had the same experience, but the same feelings.

2)      Now imagine you had those feelings and you were put in the situation that this person is going through. How would it feel to you? Resist the urge to judge or tell this person what you think the solution is.

3)      Now that you can feel what this person may be going through, it is time to act. First, ask them what you can do to help. If they are unable to answer or do not know how you can help offer suggestions. Do they need a day of childcare, meals delivered this week, or just someone to sit with them until they are ready? Think about yourself again, and what made you feel better or what you would have liked someone to have done for you when you felt those similar feelings in the past. Be prepared for them not to want any help and in that case make sure they have your number and check in on them.

Remember this takes effort and some time to get the hang of it. Never stop trying to be a good person.

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Empathy also applies to groups of people. The best way to understand and have empathy for a group of people that you might not be a part of is to educate yourself. What is the history of this group, how have they been oppressed or made to feel "less-than," has the group you associate with had any part in the making of this other group feel the way they do?

Can we all humble ourselves enough to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and walk a mile? Maybe then we might see how we can lift up each other.

Heart Chakra: What is it and why should we be paying attention

Chakras, by definition, are energy centers within the human body that help to regulate all its processes, from organ function to the immune system and emotions. Seven chakras are positioned throughout your body, from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. Each chakra has its vibrational frequency, color, and governs specific functions that help make you who you are.

The heart Chakra is located in the middle of your upper chest. When the heart chakra is open you may feel deeply connected to yourself and others, a feeling of openness and serenity will prevail. If this chakra is closed, you may feel like you are having a hard time connecting with others. The heart chakra also is associated with the Thymus gland which is responsible for hormone production and regulation of the immune system.

            Tips to unblock or maintain a healthy heart chakra are:

1)      practice self-love and self-care

2)      yoga poses that open the heart

3)      self-compassion

4)      try deep forgiveness of old wounds

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Stones associated with the heart chakra: green aventurine, jade, rose quartz

Nutrition: warm soups and foods rich in vitamin C

Essential oils: rose, geranium, ylang-ylang, bergamot

Self-Love: What does it really mean?

A definition is always a good place to start! Self-love means the regard for one’s well-being and happiness. If it sounds narcissistic than you are not alone. Many people and especially women are prone to put everyone else above themselves, and that creates problems when burn-out and other symptoms arise.

How much or how little you love yourself can influence whom you pick as a life partner, your friends, and how you cope with life stressors. Unfortunately, self-love has to be grown and tended to instead of bought, in other words, you must work for it.

            Some tips for growing more self-love are:

1)      Know your core beliefs and truths. You can listen to other's beliefs and appreciate that person without having to change your own beliefs to match theirs. Everyone is different, and it’s about accepting those differences while still knowing that your beliefs are just as valid and true for you.

2)      Practice self-care. Many people think this is mani-pedis or a spa day, but it can be much simpler if you want it to be. Eating healthy, spending time outside without your phone, getting adequate sleep, physical or massage therapy, and maintaining healthy relationships are very much a part of self-care.

3)      Know your boundaries. Some of us don’t know our boundaries until they are crossed, and that is OK. Once you know your boundaries, don’t allow anyone to cross them.

4)      Have a life plan. Of course, this plan will change many times, but having a definite plan and goals to work at to reach the execution of that plan means you will be living intentionally instead of allowing life to blow you all over the place, which can lead to feelings of losing control and apathy.

Allow yourself to make mistakes. We are all going to make many small and large mistakes in our life but learning to forgive yourself and in turn, learn from those mistakes is the only way to move one from them.

Remember self-love is a process and takes time and dedicated effort. Don’t beat yourself up when you fall, pick yourself up and try again.

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 Photo by Tommie Huffman - www.WomynintheWild.com

P.S. We are not medical professionals. If you realize that you can’t pick yourself up, or things are too out of control for you to manage, please seek professional help right away. Seeking professional help is self-love.

A word on self-care in these uncertain times…  

With news programs streaming 24 hours a day 365 days a year, it is very easy to get bogged down with the rhetoric and images flying at you from your tv or phone. Many people at work may seem on edge or preoccupied and you are finding it harder and harder to concentrate. Most of us have felt all or some of these feelings in the past few weeks and now is not the time to neglect yourself.

It is easier to hole yourself up in your house after work and not see anyone or do anything except try to relax, which let me guess…you haven’t been able to do. Self-care is always important, but it is most important in these times of unrest. You can only be and do so much for your family, your friends, your coworkers, and yourself if you are running on empty. 

The only way to fill yourself back up is with intentional self-care. This doesn’t have to be mani -pedis, or a spa retreat. It can be as simple as going on walk, taking a bubble bath, or our personal favorite…receiving a massage.

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Receiving a massage not only relaxes your tight shoulders and neck, it can also help your body release oxytocin and reduce levels of cortisol.  In other words, it can help you feel relaxed and safe, while bringing down your blood pressure. 

Please be good to yourself and, if you see someone you know struggling, a hug and a chat can always help. Let’s take care of ourselves so we can take care of those around us.

Workplace Checklist to Reduce Poor Posture, Neck Tension, and Shoulder Fatigue.

Many of us have a desk job or go to school and therefore spend a lot of time in front of the computer. If you suffer from tension headaches, sore neck or shoulders, or even low back pain then you might need to make some changes to your office set up. Here is a four-step checklist that you can carry out at your workstation, to make sure you’re comfortable, safe and productive at the office.

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STEP 1: Your Chair

Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair.

Adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to, or slightly lower than, your hips.

Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-110° reclined angle. Make sure your upper and lower back are supported. Use inflatable cushions or small pillows if necessary. If you have an active back mechanism on your chair, use it to make frequent position changes.

Adjust the armrests (if fitted) so that your shoulders are relaxed. If your armrests are in the way, remove them.

STEP 2: Your Keyboard 

An articulating keyboard tray can provide optimal positioning of input devices. However, it should accommodate the mouse, enable leg clearance, and have an adjustable height and tilt mechanism. The tray should not push you too far away from other work materials, such as your telephone.

Pull up close to your keyboard.

Position the keyboard directly in front of your body.

Determine what section of the keyboard you use most frequently and readjust the keyboard so that section is centered with your body.

Adjust the keyboard height so that your shoulders are relaxed, your elbows are in a slightly open position (100° to 110°), and your wrists and hands are straight.

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The tilt of your keyboard is dependent upon your sitting position. Use the keyboard tray mechanism, or keyboard feet, to adjust the tilt. If you sit in a forward or upright position, try tilting your keyboard away from you at a negative angle. If you are reclined, a slight positive tilt will help maintain a straight wrist position.

Wrist rests can help to maintain neutral postures and pad hard surfaces. However, the wrist rest should only be used to rest the palms of the hands between keystrokes. Resting on the wrist rest while typing is not recommended. Avoid using excessively wide wrist rests, or wrist rests that are higher than the space bar of your keyboard.

Place the pointer as close as possible to the keyboard. Placing it on a slightly inclined surface or using it on a mouse bridge placed over the 10-keypad, can help to bring it closer.

If you do not have a fully adjustable keyboard tray, you may need to adjust your workstation height, the height of your chair, or use a seat cushion to get into a comfortable position. Remember to use a footrest if your feet dangle. 

STEP 3: Screen, Document, and Telephone 

Incorrect positioning of the screen and source documents can result in awkward postures. Adjust the screen and source documents so that your neck is in a neutral, relaxed position.

Centre the screen directly in front of you, above your keyboard.

Position the top of the screen approximately 2-3” above seated eye level (If you wear bifocals, lower the screen to a comfortable reading level.)

Sit at least an arm’s length away from the screen and then adjust the distance for your vision.

Reduce glare by careful positioning of the screen. Position source documents directly in front of you, between the screen and the keyboard, using an in-line copy stand. If there is insufficient space, place source documents on a document holder positioned adjacent to the screen.

Place screen at right angles to windows.

Adjust curtains or blinds as needed.

Adjust the vertical screen angle and screen controls to minimize glare from overhead lights.

Other techniques to reduce glare include use of optical glass glare filters, light filters, or secondary task lights.

Place your telephone within easy reach. Telephone stands or arms can help.

Use headsets and speaker phone to eliminate cradling the handset.

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STEP 4: Pauses and Breaks 

Once you have correctly set up your computer workstation use good work habits. No matter how perfect the environment, prolonged, static postures will inhibit blood circulation and take a toll on your body.

Take short 1-2 minute stretch breaks every 20-30 minutes. After each hour of work, take a break or change tasks for at least 5-10 minutes. Always try to get away from your computer during lunch breaks.

Avoid eye fatigue by resting and refocusing your eyes periodically. Look away from the monitor and focus on something in the distance.

Rest your eyes by covering them with your palms for 10-15 seconds.

Use correct posture when working. Keep moving as much as possible.

*Information supplied by UCLA Ergonomics

Don’t forget to schedule your massage to help reduce tension as well!

Book online now.

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