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Body Sense Online Issue

There is a fantastic publication put out by Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, geared to clients…Body Sense.

The most recent issue can be read online, and is full of wonderful information, including Managing Stress, the beneits of moderate pressure during massage, and more!

You can read it right here: http://cp.revolio.com/issue/50186

Laughter IS The Best Medicine

Did you know that laughter is good for you ?  Not only does it increase levels of happiness, it turns out that laughter can also be a form of exercise!  When we laugh, we tend to breathe much deeper, just like we do when participating in aerobic exercise.  If we laugh hard enough, we also engage our abdominal muscles, and can actually get a mini-workout in!

Laughter also provides several physiological benefits.  It helps to decrease stress, thereby lowering our blood pressure and increasing blood flow.  What a great way to reduce the risk of  a heart attack!   When we are less stressed, our muscles relax, and our immune system also gets a boost. It can also increase energy, and reduce pain through the release of endorphins.  Think about it…how much better do you feel when you are laughing on a regular basis?

Many years ago, I was a whitewater raft quide.  One day, in the midst of an incident, I found myself and half the paddlers from my boat sitting on top of a large rock in the middle of the river,  my boat wrapped around the rock, with rushing water preventing me from easily getting the raft off the rock.  None of my paddlers were comfortable in the water to begin with, so the entire time I worked to get the boat ready for the crew on shore to peel it off the rock, I cracked a bunch of jokes.  This helped alleviate the stress of the situation for the nervous paddlers.  Other people in our boating party were on the banks of the river thinking we were having a grand time…which  we were!  I recall after the trip my participants saying how my light attitude and ability to make them laugh helped calm their nerves.  Using humor helped to shift our perspective from feeling threatening by the situation to it just being part of the adventure.

Find more ways to increase the laughter in your life…learn some new jokes and share them with friends….go to a comedy club….learn to laugh at yourself.  Take life less seriouisly, and feel better!  Its certainly cheaper and a lot more fun than going to the doctor!

Prental Yoga Class in Raleigh

Pregnancy is  a wonderful time, which can also be riddled with aches and pains.  Besides getting regular massage, it is a good idea to take part in a prenatal yoga class.

Prenatal yoga helps to strengthen uterine and pelvic muscles, improves circulation, and can aid digestion, while increasing the mother-to-be’s overall comfort.  The class consists of gentle postures, breathwork, and meditation.

Anisha Desai will be offering prenatal classed as Gateway Yoga on Oberlin Road in Raleigh, on Fridays from 11:15 to 12:30, beginning on April 23rd.  There is a FREE introductory class on April 18th from 4:00 to 5:15.  No experience is necessary.

 

Eat Your Veggies!

In March of 2007, the Center for Disease Control and the Produce for Better Health Foundation launched a national campaign with the slogan, “Fruits & Veggies — More Matters”, replacing the old  “Five a Day” campaign, which dates back to the early 1990s.  They have discovered that five servings of fruits and vegetables is just not enough. According to these organizations, adults need anywhere from seven to 13 cups of produce daily to reap all the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Many folks have a hard enough time eating 5 servings a day, which generally equals 5 cups of raw fruit or veggies or 2-1/2 cups cooked.  The thought of 7 to 13 cups a day is probably overwhelming to most folks.  How can that much produce be incorporated into the diet?  It really is quite easy.

I have been a vegetarian for most of my life.  Sometimes my diet is not that good, but generally, I can say that I easily eat 7 to 13 cups of fruits and veggies a day.  How?

Breakfast:  I usually  start my day off with a smoothie, made with  1 cup organic vanilla yogurt, 1 banana (about 1 cup) and 1 cup strawberries, or any other fuit that suits your tastes (frozen fruit is great for smoothies).  Or, slice a banana or some strawberries on your favorite cereal.  If you are a morning bagel eater, try it with sliced red onion and tomato, or spread some avocado on top of it. 

Lunch:  Generally, I eat a salad.  I like colorful salads, and often they have seven different vegetables….lettuce, cucumber, red bell pepper, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrot, red onion, celery, and avocado.  A big salad is about 4 -5 cups worth of veggies.  Sound like too much work?  Buy veggies already cut up.  Still too much work?  My “lazy” salad is mixed baby salad greens (pre-washed) with steamed asparagus or snow peas and red bell pepper, with walnuts.  still, about 4 cups worth of veggies.  If you are fortunate to live or work near a store like Whole Foods, they have a great salad bar….it may cost a little more to buy your salad ingredients that way, but it cuts down on the work.  And anyway, aren’t you worth it?  Add a harb-boiled egg, some shredded or cubed cheese, or a small handful of nuts for some protein.

Dinner?  If you don’t want to spend a bunch of time chopping fresh veggies, buy frozen…you can even buy bags of mixed vegetables for a bit a variety.  Add them to soups, or stir-fry them with your favorite protein. Steam them  and serve them as a side, sprinkled with parmesian cheese, Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids or soy sauce, or a splash of your favorite viniagrette.

Snacks:  Buy a bag of baby carrots, celerty sticks, broccoli crowns, cherry tomatoes…these all go great dipped into hummus, which you can also get pre-made.  Dried fruit is also a great snack, you can even keeep them in a desk drawer…just don’t eat too much, as dried fruit has a heavy sugar content, and can also cause stomach pains if you are no drinking enough water.

With a little bit of practice, it really is not that difficult to eat healthy meals. The more veggies you eat, the better you will feel. Mom was right….eat your veggies!

Raleigh’s Best Mother’s Day Massage Gift!

Mothers.  Where would we be without them?  They are the glue that holds the family together.  Mothers work hard, day and night, to make sure all the needs of the family are being met.  Who in your family does most of the  grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework supervision, and driving children to the multitude of activites they are involved with….the list doesn’t end.

Because of this, it is very important to show the mothers in your life just how much you appreciate all they do.  What better way than to give her a gift certificate that will allow her to stop running for a while and take some time for herself?

This Mother’s Day, Metamorphic Massage For Women is offering a special Mothers Day Package.  Mothers receive a 60 or 90-minute session, which consists of their choice of including a 30-minute Body Polish or the addition of heated stones to the massage.  After the session, they will enjoy some berries and chocolate.

Another option is for both mothers and daughters.  Come in together for a special afternoon together…you each choose the service you would like to receive, either a body polish with a massage or a heated stone masssage, and meet up in the reception area afterwards to share a few moments over berries and chocolate.    What a great way to spend some girl time with a family member!

Show the mother in your life how much you appreciate her and give her the gift of relaxation.

Karma Yoga Day

Looking for something new to do, where you can both give and receive at the same time?  An interesting event is being held at Moving Mantra Yoga Studio in Raleigh, to benefit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.  On Saturday, May 30th, from 9:00 a.m. until noon, several opportunites are presented.  You can take part in a yoga class or sit in a meditation group, giving you a chance to try one of regular offerings at the yoga center.   You can also receive special self-care services including chair massage, paraffin hand waxes, haircuts, Ayurvedic treatments, and foot reflexology. If you are one who likes to shop, items such as jewelry, t-shirts, and refreshments will be available.  Raffle tickets are also being sold for some really cool prizes, including a gift certificate for a one-hour massage from Metamorphic Massage For Women!

All proceeds from this event benefit the Inter-Faith food Shuttle, a Raleigh-based organization working to alleviate hunger through recovering, preparing and distributing wholesome food to poor, hungry, undernourished and homeless people in the area.
For more information on the event, go to http://www.movingmantrayoga.com.  To learn more about the Interfaith Food Shuttle, go to http://www.foodshuttle.org.

Spend some time May 30th at Moving Mantra Yoga Studio, and help feed the hungry,  while you nourish your own body and spirit!

Massage is Healthcare, Not a Luxury

Often when its time to tighten up purse strings, we look at trimming the luxury items from our budget….things that are fun, not really necessary, but that make us feel happy.  Activities such as movies at the theater,  eating out, and recreational shopping are three things that come to mind immediately when looking where to cut spending.  Others may look at their regular massage sessions and think that this is also a luxury item that can be tabled for the moment while balancing the checkbook.

Some believe that massage is something you do to pamper yourself while you are on vacation, or on your birthday or some other special occasion.  Each time you receive one, you always feel so good, and swear that you are going to schedule one more often.  But, the regular routine sets in again, and all of a sudden a year has gone by since your last massage.

Many people recognize that massage is not a luxury, but a necessity.  Receiving regular massage, whether once or twice a month,  or every other month,  helps to keep stress at a manageable level, and keep muscles from getting too tense and knotted.  Some believe that regular massage helps keep them healthy, and look at massage as a form of healthcare.

    When you feel good, it is much easier to face the things that come your way. 

It is important to recognize that your health is a necessity, not a luxury.  Studies have shown that massage can help reduce blood pressure and improve your immune system.  The stress-reducing factor alone helps improve sleep, balances out stress hormones, and improves overall energy levels. Your thinking is clearer and your moods are stable.   When you are taking care of yourself, you make a better parent, spouse, employee or employer.

 With all the ways you can benefit from receiving massage at regular intervals, there’s no way you can consider it anything but necessary!

Don’t feel like you can justify budgeting money for a massage?  One idea is to start a massage fund. Get a good old fashioned piggy-bank or a jar.  Put all your loose change in it on a daily basis. Throw in a dollar bill every few days.  Skip that cup of coffee, or rent a movie instead of going to the theater, and put the money in your massage bank instead.  In no time, you’ll have enough to pay for something that lasts a lot longer, and is better for you all around.

Remember, your health is the ultimate way to pamper yourself.

Conversation About The Authentic Self

During these stressful times, it is often beneficial to look deeper within ourselves to find true healing, which makes it easier to handle the stresses and strains of day-to-day living.  As I understand it, healing the deep wounds allows us to clearly see what is occurring in our lives, and helps us discover the best path to follow.  When we truly work on our selves, we respond authentically, which contributes to our personal growth and the healing of the planet.

Amy Pierce, a friend and colleague of mine leads a  five-part series of conversations, or interactive workshops,  which she calls Conversations About Authentic Self.  The five conversations are:  ~Authentic Self:  The Story Big Enough to Live In    ~New Wine or Old Wine Skins:  Symptom, Illness, and the Emotional Body     ~The Other Trinity:  Inner Child/Re-parenting work   ~As A Man Thinketh in His Heart:  The Deeper Meaning of the Law of Attraction   ~Is it About What We Expect of Life or What Life Expects of Us?

The next series is taking place on March 14 and 28, April 11 and 25, and May 7.  The fee for each conversation is on a sliding scale  of $10-$20. If you speak with the facilitator, Amy, an additional savings is available if you wish to pay in advance for the entire series.  Ideally, you would attend all five meetings ofthe workshop, but if you can only attend a portion of them, you will still benefit from the knowledge that Amy will share.

If you would like more information  on the series, or to sign up for a workshop,  go to http://www.meetup.com/WFC-SacredRealms/calendar/9791474/

 For more information on Any Pierce, go to http://www.authenticself.us

 

 

Self Care During Stressful Times

I recently read an article that stated that when women are experiencing financial stress, the first thing they let go of is self-care.  I find this fascinating, as the article stated that men continue to take care of themselves, even when money is tight.

What in our psyches makes us believe that our self-care is the least important thing in our lives?  In reality, taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do for yourself or anyone else. 

When we take care of ourselves, through eating right, exercise, massage, and participating in activities we enjoy, our stress levels are reduced, thereby making us better wives, mothers, employees, employers, and friends.  When we are managing our stress appropriately, we are less apt to get sick, forget things, or lash out at a loved one.

The tag line for my business is “You are the most important person in your life.  Treat your body right.”  Continue to do the things that help reduce stress, and you will be a better person for it.

Staying Healthy in the Cold and Flu Season

I cannot count the number of times I heard my mother (and others) say “you’re going to catch cold going outside dressed like that”, or something along those lines.  Many people still believe that more people get sick in the winter because it is cold outside, and the colder temperatures are what causes us to catch a cold.  In a sense, that is the reason.  But the reality of the situation is this:  When it is colder outside, people spend more time inside, with the windows shut. 

When more people are spending time inside, the germs that are spreading around are concentrated in a smaller area.  We touch the same objects and breathe the same air.  When the windows are closed all the time, it does not give opportunity for fresh air to flush out germs that may be lingering.  So, the air we breathe and the objects we touch are full of cold-causing germs.

Think about how many times you’ve been in an environment with sick people…at work, at home, or the grocery store. People coughing and sneezing.  It’s great when they think about covering their mouths with their hands when they cough.  But then, watch what they touch….thereby spreading their germs to doorknobs, shopping carts, office phones, the buttons on the copy machine,  or the pens the cashier in the checkout line gives them to sign their credit slip with, just to name a few. 

Call me crazy, if you wish.  I am the one you see turning the water on and off at the public sink with her elbow, using her forearm to push the lever to get the paper towel from the dispenser, and using that towel to open the door of the public restroom.  I use my own pen when I am in a store checkout line.  I wash the grocery cart handle.  I also carry antibacterial wipes in my car, and wash my hands when I get out of the store.  And I rarely get sick.   I’m also the one who notices how often people leave the restroom without washing their hands. 

One of the best things you can do to prevent getting sick in the winter is to wash your hands frequently, using plenty of soap and hot water.  If you find the skin on your hands is dry from frequent washing, then use a moisturizer afterwards. 

It is also a great idea to not touch your face…your mouth, eyes, or nose..when you are in a public space.  The germs that you may have picked up on your hands can easily infect you when you touch these mucous membranes.

Drinking lots of water is also beneficial during the cold season.  If we are dehydrated, our systems are more susceptible to illness.  Many of us tend to drink less in the winter because we are not as thirsty.  We still need the same amount of fluids regardless of what the temperature is outside.  Try drinking a nice cup of herbal tea…its warming, and will help keep you properly hydrated. 

Getting proper sleep also helps keep the immune system strong.  When your immune system is functioning properly, you are less likely to catch everything that goes around.  And, as always, eat a well-balalnced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables.  The vitamins and minerals in these choices help keep your body functioning properly.

Develop these healthy habits now, and you might just make it through the winter without catching the colds and flus that everyone else seems to come down with.