In a recent study from San Francisco State University, students were told to either walk down a hall in a slouched position or to skip. The slouchers reported increased feelings of depression and lower energy than skippers.
That’s no surprise, even our language reflects this connection between proper posture and emotional affect—someone weak is called spineless and someone proud has backbone.
The fix: Imagine there’s a headlight right in the middle of your chest at the sternum (breast bone). Sitting or standing, your headlight should always shine forward. Now, keeping your head centered over your shoulders, extend your head toward the ceiling without lifting your chin.
Problems Slouching doesn’t just hurt your attitude—it can affect how people see you. You don’t want to walk into your boss’s office slouching and bent over because you will be perceive as not as vital. Imagine how a very elder person looks, all hunched over. (when you’re 80 you’ve earned your hunch – but for now? sit up!)
The fix: To improve posture long term, you need to strengthen muscles mid-back. To avoid being a slouch on the job I recommend doing this exercise at your desk: Lift the bottom of your rib cage an inch or two off your hipbone, pulling your shoulder blades back and down. To make sure you maintain the position, pin a ribbon to the top and to the bottom of your shirt and keep it taut for 10 minutes at a time.
Makes You Look Heavier
Does this chair make me look fat? Well, yes.
We’ve become a nation of professional sitters, when you are slouched over, your internal organs have nowhere to go but down and out—you immediately look fatter. (and this allows disallows your organs to function properly)
The fix: Get up and move. When we stand as opposed to sit, we burn 20% more calories and strengthen our muscles, boost metabolism and increase bone density. (Check out these easy ways to move more at work.)
Stresses You Out
A recent study from Harvard showed that when people who adopted powerful postures (open shoulders and straight spines) had a 20% increase in testosterone levels and a 25% decrease in cortisol levels—but people who slouched had a 10% decrease in testosterone and a 15% increase in cortisol. That translates into low self-confidence and high stress. Also, sitting slouched over can compound the problem. Shallow chest breathing strains the lungs, which must move faster to ensure adequate oxygen flow, and taxes the heart, which is forced to speed up to provide enough blood for oxygen transport. The result is a vicious cycle, where stress prompts shallow breathing, which in turn creates more stress.
The fix: Take everyday cues—a ringing phone, a stoplight—as reminders to take relaxed abdominal breaths to combat stress. Here’s how to make sure you’re breathing deeply: Rest your hand below your belly button; you should feel your belly expand as you inhale – let that belly stick out like a balloon. Invite the air all the way down to the deepest portion of the lungs, where oxygen exchange is most efficient. As you exhale, you should feel your belly contract again and stress leave your body. (regular massage helps too – just sayin’)
Years ago I used to rely on artificially fragranced candles, air fresheners and body products to give myself and my home a “nice” aroma.
Then I discovered essential oils & essential oil diffusers and I haven’t looked back. Not even a little. Nowadays I can’t walk by certain mall retailers without getting watery eyes and short of breath from the over power and artificial smells wafting out.
In addition to making you and your space smell amazing (without artificial ingredients) many essential oils have medicinal benefits when diffused into the air or used in proper dilution* on the body.
Personally I use essential oils from Plant Therapy. They are a small, family owned & operated company based in Idaho. They have the strictest standards for their products and use only 100% pure essential oils.
Always use a cool mist diffuser, such as [THIS], to avoid overheating the oils. Heat can often damage and diminish the oils fragrance and benefits. I have a couple of these diffusers in my home as well as my office.
Here are my top 3 favorite essential oil recipes for you to try in your diffuser:
RELAXATION (also helps with clear breathing)
2 drops Sweet Orange
2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Lavender
THIEVES IMMUNE BOOST (I diffuse this in my treatment room. A lot.)
1 drop Rosemary
1 drop Clove
1 drop Eucalyptus
1 drop Cinnamon
1 drop Sweet Orange
ENERGY BLAST (use this when you need a kick)
2 drops Sweet Orange
2 drops Frankincense
2 drops Cinnamon
BUZZ OFF! (use this all summer long as a spray : 7oz distilled water, 1oz witch hazel)
3 drops Lemongrass
3 drops Thyme
3 drops Eucalyptus
3 drops Basil
3 drops Citronella
*essential oils, like herbs, should be treated with respect; to avoid contraindications check with your doctor before using on your body if you’re currently taking medication – do not ingest any essential oil
I’m excited to now be able to offer every client the healing benefits of far infrared heat and jade in the form of my NEW table pad. (Far infrared heat is isolated and has no know dangerous effects.)
Some of the benefits of this amazing tool are:
– Drug free, natural pain relief
– Increases blood circulation
– Supports a healthy immune system
– Reduces inflammation & stress
– Encourages deep relaxation
In Traditional Chinese Medicine Jade is used to help balance Qi. Additionally, Jade is scientifically proven to be one of the best materials to conduct far infrared heat. Jade stones absorb the FIR waves and distribute them evenly and continuously better than almost any other material.
Jade and far infrared heat work together extremely well. Your chronically achy back and joints will love the gentle, healing heat!
Jade & far infrared heat have been prove to help relieve many conditions such as:
– Back pain
– Deep muscle pain
– Arthritis pain
– …basically any body pain that would have you reaching for the Tylenol
WHY I DON’T OFFER “DEEP TISSUE” MASSAGE ON MY MENU
The biggest piece of misinformation about deep tissue massage that I deal with as a therapist, is that most people believe that that deep tissue means applying a lot of heavy-handed, deep pressure.
The second piece of misinformation is that if it’s a “deep tissue” massage has to be painful in order to be effective.
In reality deep tissue massage has nothing to do with the amount of pressure being used or the level of pain the client is experiencing.
Deep tissue has everything to do with working the deeper tissue layers of muscle and fascia in order to facilitate healing.
When clients come to me with the misguided notion that deep pressure & pain = deep tissue & a “good” massage it is my job to educate them on why deep pressure is often ineffective and may actually cause more damage. (Also, I’m not going to injure myself trying to intentionally cause pain to a client. I want to be able to do this work for many years to come.)
The ‘deep’ in deep tissue is referring to the deeper layers of muscles, not the amount of pressure used. A true deep tissue massage is done slowly and with light to medium pressure.
Soft tissue can’t be forced into relaxation. Muscles will actually fight back against too much pressure as a way of protecting themselves from potential injury. At that point the only things happening are pain, for clients and possibly therapist, bruising and tissue damage.
Also, a “deep tissue” massage isn’t meant to be a head-to-toe experience, it’s used for specific areas of concern.
All of this doesn’t mean there won’t be moments of pain or discomfort during a massage session, deep or otherwise. Working on “knots” and already sore, tight areas can be somewhat uncomfortable. I tell my clients that “comfortably uncomfortable” is a s far as we ideally want to go. The discomfort should never be to the point where you feel as if you can’t relax, or breathe through it. If you want to hold your breath it’s too much. Communication with your therapist is key since every client has a different threshold of comfort.
So, next time your getting a massage remember “no pain, no pain” will get you much better results than the dangerous and outdated notion of “no pain, no gain”.
Many clients have commented on the music I play during our sessions together and how they enjoy that it’s not “the usual” massage/spa music of soft harps and whales talking to each other.
For me, the music I play is an extension of the experience I’m trying to provide for my clients. One that’s not “the usual”, but rather unique, restorative and meaningful.
Music can help set a mood, shift our mindset and bring back pleasant memories and reminders of enjoyable and fun experiences we’ve had. Music can help us tap into our emotions and ourselves.
If you’d like to bring some of the relaxing & rejuvenating mood of the treatment room into your life, I’ve shared some links to my favorite artists, just click on the images. (I’m sure you’ll hear a familiar track or three)
Indulge yourself with these Holiday Upgrades!
BOOK NOW (select your service & upgrades)
Headaches can really ruin a good day. Try working with these pressure points to bring some much needed relief.
Join us on Saturday, December 16th for a workshop of Winter Self-Care, Solstice Traditions & Lore.
You may RSVP [HERE] via the event on my Facebook Page.