Kindness starts with you.

Did you know that this week, Valentine’s Day week, is also International Kindness week? It is and right now the world needs more kindness, so let’s spread the love!

Random Acts of Kindness
This week make the conscious decision to do at least 1 Random Act of Kindness. Who knows, you may feel so good afterwards that you’ll do another one. And then another!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

❤️ Facebook message a genuine compliment to three people right now.
❤️ Let the person behind you at the checkout with one or two items go ahead of you.
❤️ If you spill creamer or sugar on the counter at the coffee shop, wipe it up.
❤️ Hold the elevator.
❤️ Give someone a hug.

Be Kind to Yourself
The most important person to be kind to is YOU. We’re all so hard on ourselves and often time engage in negative self-talk or self-sabotage.

While you’re doing your Random Acts of Kindness be sure to include yourself!
Love yourself!

Depression, Ear Seeds & Essential Oils

Get you some!It’s February. My least favorite month, and maybe yours as well; depression sets in, the holidays are over, it’s cold, it’s gray and Spring seems so far off…

A simple and effective way to help combat the “Winter Blues” is with the powerful combination of auricular acupressure (ear seeds) and aromatherapy (essential oils).

Ear seeds are a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and have been used
for millennia to treat many health issues.  Ear seeds are small seeds from the Vaccaria plant and are held in place on the ear by a small adhesive backing and may be left in for a few days or up to two weeks (if you keep your picking fingers away).

Aromatherapy for depression consist of either applying a specific oil or blend topically or inhaling the aromas. (for topical application the EO is diluted to 4% in an organic safflower oil base)

The blend I use contains tangerine, geranium bourbon & pink grapefruit essential oils and may help to increase your emotional well-being.

This powerful combination, using various essential oils and acupoints, may also be used to assist you with easing anxiety, appetite reduction, smoking cessation and immune boosting.

Email me today (beth@bwlmt.com) to find out if this ancient and natural remedy is for you!

MASSAGE FOR ANXIETY & DEPRESSION

We all know how good bodywork can make us feel physically, however the mental & emotional benefits are even bigger. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 40 million American adults are suffering from anxiety disorders.

Because these disorders affect the quality of life and overall health, relieving anxiety is essential.

A 2011 study published in the National Institutes of Health,  says that massage can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety by:

  • Increasing neurotransmitters associated with reduced anxiety.
  • Decreasing hormones associated with intensified anxiety.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports that at least 10% of all American adults are suffering from depression.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage is effective for managing depression, thanks to its ability to reduce levels of cortisol (a stress hormone). The study also showed that massage increases serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters that are linked to depression).

A 2010 study published by the National Institutes of Health concluded that the anti-depression benefits of massage are similar to those of psychotherapy.

SHARE THE LOVE

 

IL-ACLU
FREE GIFTS : essential oil diffuser or roller ball and pocket Constitution.

For the month of February I will be donating 5% of every booked appointment to the IL ACLU. And, in addition to February’s Essential Oil of the Month you will also receive your own pocket Constitution from the ACLU.

The ACLU is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the liberties of ALL Americans as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Learn more here: www.aclu-il.org

Show yourself some love. Show your fellow citizens some love.

 The more services I provide, the more I’ll be able to give so BOOK NOW!

Good Massage Therapist VS Fantastic Massage Therapist

So you made the commitment to yourself to start getting a regular massage and now have to find the right person to make you feel relaxed and awesome….but there are so many practitioners out there how can you possibly make a decision on who is the right one for you?

Below are my top 5 differences between a good therapist and a FANTASTIC one:

1. Fantastic therapists make you feel welcomed, calm and relaxed before they have even started massaging you. Good therapists are polite and smile but there can sometimes be an intangible barrier.

2. Fantastic therapists maintain their energy throughout the day. It takes a strong person with great stamina to give many treatments in a row. If you’re going to get treatment at the end of your workday – you want to make sure your therapist gives you the same level of service that they did for their first client of the day.

3. Fantastic therapists will accommodate your needs on the rule of talking. If you prefer to chat they will engage you and if you prefer silence they will sit with their thoughts. A good therapist will be silent and even if you want to chat, they will steer you to silence.

4. Fantastic therapists will give you a glass of water after your treatment. This is to help your muscles to stay hydrated and relaxed. A Good therapist will tell you to drink water.

5. Fantastic massage therapists run efficient businesses that run on time and have awesome customer service. They respect your time and your investment with them. Good therapists may run late for a variety of reasons external to their powers but struggle to bring their calendar back on schedule.

Regardless of whether you work with me or not, I want to be sure that you’re getting the service you deserve and the best way for me to do this (I can’t massage everyone) is to educate you on how you can have the best experience.

Like any industry everyone has different skills, experiences and styles on how they treat their clients so it is important that you find someone that works with your needs and resonates with you.Best Massage Chicago

SELF-CARE: MAKE TIME FOR YOU

So often people get so caught up in being busy that they forget about the most important person in their lives – themselves!

self-care is self-love
self-care is self-love

When I tried to Google the definition of “busy” for this short article using the voice-to-text feature on my laptop what came back was the definition for disease. I found this to be extremely fitting and eye-opening:

“A disease is a particular abnormal condition, a disorder of a structure or function, that affects part or all of an organism. The study of disease is called pathology which includes the causal study of etiology. Disease is often construed as a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disease

Stress is a chronic epidemic worn like a badge of honor by some, as if somehow being stressed out means you’re more productive? Important? Valuable?

Our hard-wired stress response is designed to give us the quick burst of heightened alertness and energy needed to perform our best. But stress isn’t all good. When activated too long or too often, stress can damage virtually every part of our body.

The reality is that stress, when chronic, can lead to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Some other effects of chronic stress are:

– systemic inflammation
– muscle tension or pain
– digestive and sleep problems
– fatigue
– anxiety, depression and other mood disturbances
– lack of motivation or focus
– overeating or undereating
– inability to control emotions, angry outbursts
– drug, alcohol or tobacco use
– social withdrawal

Some great ways to manage your stress and practice good self-care:

– regular physical activity
– relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga or getting regular massages
– keeping your sense of humor
– practicing gratitude
– getting enough good quality sleep
– making time for hobbies, including reading books or listening to music

Self-care is not a luxury. Self-care is a vital part of living a healthy life for yourself and those that rely on you. You can’t pour from an empty vessel. Re-fill your cup today!

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YouTube Channel!

I’ve launched a YouTube Channel! Not 100% sure what I’ll end up doing with it, however I’m hoping it can be a fun and interactive way for you to learn more about me and my practice.

Be sure to subscribe – and tell your friends too! (once I get 100 subscribers I can get a custom URL *fancy*)

Here’s one of the videos I made. In it I’m briefly talking about Reiki. Enjoy!

Best of Chicago 2016

Image credit: Design by Paul John Higgins, Danielle A. Scruggs, Sue Kwong
Image credit: Design by Paul John Higgins, Danielle A. Scruggs, Sue Kwong

The results of the annual Chicago Reader’s Poll are in.

My office was voted 2nd BEST MASSAGE in Chicago!

This is great big news and I’m thrilled an honored to be associated with such an amazing establishment. Be sure to check out all the wonderful practitioners at Millennium Park Massage and hope to see you soon.

Massage for Low Back Pain

Research shows regular massage provides pain relief and improves daily function.
Massage may be serious medicine, at least when it comes to treating persistent low back pain, a new study shows.

Low back pain is one of the top reasons people seek medical attention in the U.S., and it is notoriously tough to treat. Studies show very few medical therapies, from medications to injections to surgeries, reliably relieve it, and some can aggravate the problem.

The new study randomly assigned 400 adults with moderate-to-severe low back pain lasting for at least three months to either weekly whole-body massages for relaxation, weekly massages that focused on specific muscle problems around the lower back and hips, or usual care.

People assigned to the usual care group were tracked by researchers, but they dealt with their back problems on their own. The approach could include, for instance, taking pain medications or muscle relaxants, seeing doctors or chiropractors, physical therapy, or simply not doing anything.

Conclusion
Over the 10 week study it was noted that daily functioning, for example, improved, on average, between 2 to 4 points on a 23-point scale and average pain improved about 2 points on a 10-point scale.

Experts say that’s better than the degree of benefit that most people see from taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, for low back pain.

At the end of the 10-week study, 36% and 39% of patients in the massage groups said their pain was nearly or completely gone, compared to 4% in the usual care group.

“It’s not really harmful, and it does help a significant chunk of people who have not benefited from other treatments,” says study researcher Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, associate director and senior scientific investigator with the Center for Health Studies at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle.