Soulstice Spa Blog

Embracing Change in your Massage Experience June 06 2016

When it comes to massage therapy, your rapport with your Massage Therapist is a meaningful part of your overall experience.  In order to fully relax - both mentally and physically - it's important to feel at ease and place trust in your therapist.  Each individual therapist brings their own unique skills to the table, but they also bring their own energy, personality and communication style as well.  It is our job at the reception desk to try to match each client to the very best therapist for them on any given day - this massage matchmaking is perhaps the most important part of our job!

Sometimes a perfect match is made on the very first visit; other times it might take a bit more 'shopping around' and trying different therapists and massage styles.  Once a client really 'clicks' with a particular therapist, they frequently prefer to request that therapist for all of their future visits.  For weeks or months, the client will love coming in, typically seeing amazing progress on whatever issues originally led them in --- their rotator cuff shows greater mobility, their knee is less inflamed, their sciatica flare has disappeared --- until hopefully the issue is completely resolved. 

This is ideal, but it also might mean you're ready for a new massage therapist!

When we are growing, we are changing... and with those changes come changes in our individual bodywork needs.  For example, the physical issues that originally led you to massage therapy may now be much improved, but now you're experiencing anxiety or mental stress more than physical pain.  While all massage therapy will benefit you, each therapist has different strengths and excels at working with different types of people and issues.  One therapist might be a wizard with neck work, while another is magical with migraines.  As your body and mind change over time, so may your needs and therapist.

How do you know when it's time for a change??

If you've been receiving regular massage from the same therapist, over time you may experience feeling in a rut, a plateau or strange disconnect from your therapist.  You may not leave feeling the same euphoric feeling you have left with in the past.  You usually won't be able to quite put your finger on why, but you may have an innate feeling that your body needs to mix it up or try something new.  More often than not, your therapist is feeling it too!

If you have been experiencing a lot of transition and change in your life, our goal as therapists is to meet you where you are in any given visit.  Many of our clients worry that if they want to try a new therapist that they may hurt the feelings of their current therapist - you won't!  Our therapists understand that people's needs change over time...  Moreover, our therapists work as a team, respect each other's talent immensely, and encourage clients to experience the unique skills and healing touch that everyone brings to the table.  The goal for all of us at Soulstice is for you to get the perfect care you need as your body, mind and spiritual needs grow and shift over time.  If you need help, our caring reception team is here to help your bodywork and massages reflect the needs of evolving you...    See you soon!

 

 


Let Freedom Ring! ~ Mind, Body + Spirit May 29 2016

Massage Brain.  Massage Daze.  Spa Stupor.  We jokingly call it many things, but the contented, blissed-out state that our clients emerge from their sessions in are an important opportunity to soak up all the amazing benefits of massage.

A great massage reorganizes your senses and brings you into touch with your body.  It's not unusual during the course of a massage to be surprised by how tight or stressed certain parts of your body really are...  Likewise, you may suddenly feel neural sensations or energetic connections from one part of your body to another, leading you to feel a brand new sense of wholeness.  As overworked muscles and knots are unwound, your entire body will shift to accommodate this newfound sense of freedom and ease of movement.  Once your focus shifts from the processing, thinking, analytical mind and deepens into the physical, intuitive, heart-centered realm of the body, you will experience what it means to really be "in your body."  At times and for some, this sensation can occasionally be a disconcerting feeling.

Touch, more than any other sensation, holds the key to bringing us into greater physical awareness and wholeness.  It's that head-to-toe warm fuzzy feeling you feel when holding a brand new baby, snuggling your beloved pet, or while in the embrace of an amazing kiss.  Most of us dwell in our minds most of our waking hours - thoughts of the past, present and future flow together in an unending stream.  Touch can lead us deeper, beyond the plane of mental chatter, and open us physically, mentally and spiritually.

All of the positive effects of massage - enhanced mobility and range of motion, freedom in your joints and tissues, a spacious and peaceful mind, a calm, contented heart - will be prolonged if you can create space following your session.  

Whenever possible, schedule special free time to follow your massage where you may continue to feel and experience these shifts and changes.  Give yourself space, freedom and time to absorb and integrate the transition.  Here are some tips from our team of therapists: 

1. If you live near the coast or a body of water, plan a gentle stroll nearby.  Natural elements - water, soil, sand - soothe and calm the spirit.  Being outdoors in nature, catching some natural sunlight and fresh air will nurture your massage's effects.  

2.  Don't. Do. Anything.  The best thing you can do is just, well, be.  Take a few minutes to sit and remain in a state of non-thinking.  Listen to your breath.  View the clouds, the trees, the landscape and just feel.

3.  Ground yourself.  The sensation of truly being in your body and feeling at a deeper level can leave you feeling out of sorts, confused and unable to think clearly.  It's a great time to kick off your shoes and ground yourself to the earth, perhaps in your garden or a nearby park.

4. Schedule at least an hour of nothing after your massage.  No phone calls, no meetings, no tv or reading.  Just let your mind remain in the "off" position a little longer.

5. Embrace silence.  Feeling fully in your body will make you feel whole and complete in a way you may have never felt before.  The more you're grounded within yourself, the less outside stimulus you will need to feel fully - colors will be more vibrant, tones will be richer, feelings will be deeper.  Enjoy the new level of internal sensitivity that comes with quieting your external surroundings.

 


Our "Best" Massage Therapist March 29 2016

“So, who is your best therapist?”

Our “best therapist.”  As the founder of Soulstice Spa, I get asked this question pretty often, and it still makes me smile nearly four years after we opened in Santa Rosa with just four therapists.  We didn’t have a “best” therapist then, and today with over two dozen therapists in two locations… we still don’t!

In our competitive and achievement-oriented society we like to rate and rank, well, just about everything.  As kids we’re awarded stickers and stars, then given grades and ribbons… As adults we’re conditioned to judge people by their degree, their alma mater and their title, as if these things signify meaning, value, or importance.  We weigh, we analyze, we think-think-think.  We’re influenced to look for superficial markers of success and stamps of approval – degrees from top-rated schools, certifications for all kinds of specialties, and an assumption that things that cost more are better and more worthwhile.  The problem with all of this weighing and ranking and thinking is that it gets in the way of what the human experience is all about = being and feeling in the present moment.  It’s impossible to go deeply within, relaxing the body and opening the heart, while constantly judging the external with our thinking mind. 

Individuals come to massage therapy for all kinds of reasons… Some reasons are physical (pain, discomfort, range of motion limitations and muscular knots) some are mental (stress, overstimulated nervous systems, anxiety) while others seek a spiritual connection (deeper self-awareness, connection, healing.)  There is no one “best” therapist because what is “best” will be different for each and every person, and it will change over the course of one’s lifetime.

Traditionally and historically, spas have offered a menu of services where guests can choose between types of massage like Swedish, sports massage or deep tissue.  It’s more about the process, and less about the person.  A client’s choice from a menu tells us a little bit about their preferences in a massage, but is only one page of a larger, more important story.  We have a different philosophy at Soulstice:  we listen and focus on the type of massage each client is seeking, but we also want to know who you are.  We strive to create an experience that addresses how you feel, not only what you think.  And for each person this is going to be unique, personal and vary in any given moment.

How do we learn who is the “best” therapist for you?  By listening.  You can help us learn what and who is best for you by giving us time with you and sharing a bit of yourself with our caring staff.  We believe massage therapy has a special, meaningful role in everyone’s life.  To be silent, still and connected to another person who has no intention other than to provide you with caring, healing and love is a special thing.  We can provide you with your best experience – and the “best therapist” for you – the better we know the authentic you.  Thank you for trusting us to care for you… mind, body and spirit!


Finding Your Perfect Massage Match! March 01 2016

An important part of what makes an amazing massage therapy experience is having a wonderful rapport and connection with your therapist. Each of our therapists at Soulstice is unique and brings his or her own individual skills, training and background to the table. We embrace the diversity of our team, encourage them to be themselves and support them in customizing their massages for each client.

Our fantastic reception team excels at matching each customer to the perfect therapist according to their needs. They are trained to ask questions… What type of pressure do you prefer for your massage? Are you seeking therapeutic bodywork for a specific physical pain, or looking for a more relaxing experience? Are there any modalities that you especially love, such as shiatsu or reflexology? A basic understanding of the type of massage you enjoy provides our team with the minimum information we like to have while booking your first massage with us.

Just as important though, our team wants to know how you hope to feel and gauge your expectations for your visit. Are you experiencing a great deal of stress and need to calm your nervous system? Are you feeling low energy and hope to leave uplifted and revitalized? Are your back and hips locked up from sitting in a desk chair and need to be unwound? Each of our therapists excels at easing different mental, physical and emotional conditions, and we encourage our customers to communicate with our team in order to get the best result.

Here are a few hints and tips to help you receive your best massage ever!

- Take your time when booking your introductory massage at Soulstice. Please don’t rush through booking your appointment, book while driving or multi-tasking, or book your first appointment over email. We can do our best job of matching you if you give us an ability to get to know you, please do!

- Cushion your massage time with special “you” time… If possible, please don’t pack your massage day to the gills so you’re rushing into your massage or racing out the door afterwards. The benefits of your massage will be enhanced exponentially if you arrive early and have time to unwind, relax and clear your head before your session. Afterward, give yourself some space to soak up all the amazing vibes you just received, hydrate your body and ease back into the world.

- Give us some time to get to know you! We care about our customers very much, and want you to have the best experience possible. Let us get to know you both over the phone as well as during your visit. If you can come in a bit early, please do! Our reception team enjoys getting to know you, learning about your work and lifestyle, and hearing about your hopes and expectations for your massage. The better we know you, the better we can create a great experience for you.

- If you’re booking a massage for a spouse or loved one, please keep in mind that they may enjoy an entirely different type of massage than you do. In the case of many couples, one of you may adore very deep tissue work while the other prefers a gentler, nurturing touch. Whenever possible, we love to speak directly to the person receiving the massage to ensure we’re matching them with their ideal practitioner.

- For your best massage match, please give our team some time and flexibility by booking in advance. All of our therapists are amazing in their own way, but it is likely there are a select few that will be the absolute best matches for your needs. When you book last-minute, it limits our options for you. We understand that life is busy, but give this gift to yourself. By giving us some lead time and allowing us to listen carefully to your preferences, we can create a special experience just for you.

We look forward to caring for you soon!


Snap, Crackle, Pop --- Demystifying Chiropractic Care May 21 2014

 

 

Are your shoulders rounded and head jutting forward?  Does your neck make snapping, cracking and popping sounds when you rotate it?  Is your spine stiff, or back out of whack?  If so, it may be time to visit the chiropractor.

Many common back and neck complaints are muscular in origin and can be treated by massage.  But every so often we see a client who's clearly out of alignment or has subluxations, meaning they have vertebrae in their neck or spine that are out of position.  We asked Dr. Jeannette Anderson of New York City's Anderson Peak Performance to answer some of our client's frequently asked questions about chiropractic.

1.       How is Chiropractic different from massage?

Chiropractic removes spinal fixations (subluxations) to restore nerve function to the affected area and improve function, alignment and posture.  It’s tuning up the engine so that massage can improve all the soft tissue covering the affected area, like waxing the car. 

2.       How do I know when I need to see a Chiropractor?

If you are suffering from pain and other symptoms, Forward Head Posture, scoliosis, TMJ, overuse injuries and chronic conditions. 

3.       Is Chiropractic for everyone? 

Not necessarily.  After an initial consult, exam and x-rays, the Chiropractor will make the recommendation for Chiropractic or prescribe another allied health professional. 

4.       Should I get Chiropractic care if I’m already getting massages and seeing a physical therapist?

Yes, I recommend receiving the benefits of care of a top notch medical team.  This is the Olympic model and I follow it in my office.

5.       Does Chiropractic hurt?

Chiropractic adjustments can cause short, temporary discomfort.  As the body heals the acute stage lessens making the Chiropractic adjustment more comfortable for the patient.  There are also over 20 techniques in Chiropractic adjustments, many of which are gentle and painless.

6.       How many times should I expect to see a Chiropractor to get something fixed?

It depends on the severity of the problem. 

7.       Is Chiropractic just for neck and back?

No, wherever the nervous system goes, which is the entire body: the senses of the face, the organs, and all your muscles, joints and your extremities. 

 

 


Pain, Pain Go Away... January 18 2014

Pain.  Physical pain is what brings most people in for their first massage initially...  Chronic back pain, headaches, sciatica and neck/shoulder tension are the most common types of presenting pain we see in our clients at Soulstice Spa.  Depending on the severity of the pain, and how long you've had it, it can take one massage to a series of sessions to experience relief.  Remember, in most cases it took months and years to accumulate the tension in your body;  give yourself time, space and plenty of nurturing to "undo" those knots... 
 
Massage therapy is a safe and natural form of healing and a wonderful complement to other health care including acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, energy balancing, cardiovascular exercise, weight training, yoga, dance and pilates.  Regular massage enhances the immune system which allows you to heal more readily and easily.  It can amplify the effect of other wellness practices and motivate you to continue a well-rounded healthy lifestyle.  A great massage will put you in touch with your body, your feelings and your breath... and the more regular massage you receive the more you will become self-aware on a daily basis.
 
Massage is a great natural alternative to pharmaceuticals, many of which have unfortunate and long term side effects.  Instead of covering up the pain with acetaminophen (potential liver damage), ibuprofen (possible stomach issues), alcohol (cognitive impairment and dependency issues) and sleeping pills (habit-forming), try weekly massage for 4-6 weeks and notice if your pain lessens naturally.  Massage therapy works to dissolve the source of the pain, not simply cover it up... and it just so happens to feel wonderful in the process!
 
Finally, massage encourages you to "tune into" what your body is telling you --- the place where your pain lies in the body can often provide great insight and serve as a catalyst for healthy life changes.  Before receiving your massage, let your therapist know not only where your pains are, but also "how" they feel...  For example, does the pain feel like a knot?  Is it burning?  Stiff?  Does it hurt all the time, or only in the morning?  Does it hurt when you move one way, but not another?  Does the pain occur all day long at work, or only at home?  All of these things will provide clues to your therapist and help them be the best partner they can be in your healing process.
 
Our ultimate goal as massage practitioners and bodyworkers is to help you feel as healthy and happy inside your body as possible.  If you've been experiencing muscle pain and chronic tension that effects your daily life or prevents you from sleeping peacefully, give massage therapy a try!  

A Match Made in Heaven December 29 2013

Massage Therapy is a dazzlingly varied health practice.  From Shiatsu to Esalen to Reiki to trigger point, you can find a dizzying number of treatment modalities on a typical spa massage menu.  How do you know what is the right type and therapist for you?  We have over a dozen massage therapists at Soulstice Spa and encourage their individuality and unique practices.  By sharing a bit of information with us, we're happy to suggest what type of massage might presently be best for you.  Here are some pointers to help you find your perfect match.

1/  What do wish to get out of your session? (Out of pain? De-stress and unwind?  Detoxification?  Meditation?)

2/ How do you want to feel? (Ironed out?  Nurtured? Soothed?  Stretched out?  Calmed down?  Energized?)

3/ Have often do you receive massage? (Never?  Once in awhile?  Monthly?)

4/ What kind of touch do you prefer? (Gentle? Medium?  Firm?  Very hard or deep?)

5/ Is there anything specific going on in your life or body?  (I have a migraine, I'm in the middle of a move, Just quit my job, Have sciatica...)

Reflect on the questions above before phoning to book your appointment.  While scheduling your appointment it can also be helpful to provide some additional information about your lifestyle or body type over the phone, especially if it will be your first visit to the spa.  Examples of this would be...

"I drive a lot for my work"

"I sit at a computer all day"

"I'm a big guy/tall guy"

"I'm tiny/petite"

Also be sure to let us know if you are under 18, pregnant, have mobility issues or any chronic health concerns so we can be sure we're able to accommodate you, make special arrangements if necessary or advise you if massage might be contraindicated.

If you are brand new to massage, please don't hesitate to say so!  We love working with clients new to massage therapy and introducing them to its many health benefits; by letting us know you're new we can take extra time to show you the ropes and make you feel completely comfortable.

Whether you're brand new to massage or it's the first time you're visiting us at Soulstice Spa, the more information and clues you can give us, the better! 


Your Five Daily Healthy Habits December 07 2013

Because of our modern, hectic schedules and family demands, it can be a challenge to make it in for regular massage therapy.  The busier we are, though, the more important massage is for the mind, body and spirit.  Our membership program is designed to make massage a wonderful habit - something you can commit to on a monthly basis - the benefits of which you will enjoy all month long.

There are a few things you can do to enhance and prolong the positive effects of your massage...

1/ Drink plenty of water before, after and on a daily basis.  The more hydrated your muscles are, the better your body can respond to bugs and germs, recover from fatigue and injury and stay toned and healthy.

2/ Get plenty of vitamins and nutrients through food sources as often as possible, particularly B vitamins and potassium.  B vitamins are particularly supportive to the adrenal system... the system that reacts to daily and sudden stressors.  Excellent sources include avocado, pomegranate, dates, watermelon, and some berries are especially high in B-complex vitamins. Leafy greens and vegetables such as amaranth, bok choy, Swiss chard, kale, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, squashes and parsnips also contain significant amounts. Most legumes have a lot of B vitamins; however, soy beans, black-eye peas and edamame contain the highest amounts of B9, also known as folate.  Potassium is vitally important in tissue repair and recovery.  Great sources include avocados, leafy greens, bananas, apricots, dates, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, beets, tomatoes, mushrooms, soy and soy foods, peas, beans, turkey, beef, salmon and cod. 

3.  Stretch!  Don't wait until your next massage to be stretched out.  If time allows, try to attend a stretching or yoga class, practice in your home with DVDs, or develop your own easy routine.   Even ten minutes of stretching per day will yield terrific results.  Most people will be best served by stretching the neck, shoulders, back, hamstrings and hips;  those areas are typically the most impacted by too much sitting, computing, and driving.

4. Practice relaxation techniques each day.  Again, even ten minutes a day is beneficial!  Do whatever you can and whatever works for you...  a warm bath, soothing aromatherapy, meditation, a walk in fresh air, or even several deep breaths with your eyes closed. 

5. Practice self-massage techniques or trade massage with a loved one.  Touch is good for you!  If you receive massage therapy on a regular basis you're already a believer in the healing power of touch...  But everyday touch is wonderful for your well being as well.  Caring touch can be shared with the one you love, hugging a friend, holding a child or petting an animal.  Touch is soothing, nurturing and relaxing for both the giver and the receiver. 

Practicing the healthy diet and lifestyle tips above will ensure your body, mind and spirit stay strong between your visits to your massage therapist.


Quick & Painless Feel-Better Fixes November 16 2013

 

At Soulstice Spa we see hundreds of customers every month and in the process we notice patterns showing up in people's bodies.  Tight hips, aching lower backs, creaky necks, swollen feet ....  these are just a few of the all-too-common symptoms we see walking through our doors.

Many of our daily life activities create or contribute to these issues, and with awareness and some minor fixes, they can be greatly improved with minimal effort!  The key is becoming aware of our bodies throughout the day and making small corrections consistently.  Below is a list of common things we see and our quick & easy fixes:

Stiff and Sore Muscles:  If you wake up stiff and sore, give your body time to warm up before leaping into action.  Every morning, be more conscious about moving more slowly, breathing more deeply and perform a few gentle stretches to begin the day.

Tight Forearms and Hands:  Many of us use far too much grip and pressure necessary, and this puts unnecessary wear and stress on the arms and hands.  Pay attention and relax the arms and hands when gripping the steering wheel, holding your children, and - most of all - while texting and typing!

Sore Lower Back and Inflexible Hips:  Don't sit when you can stand!  Many muscular and skeletal imbalances are created by too much sitting... in cars, on airplanes and at desks.  Too much sitting tightens hamstrings and hips, and can in turn lead to lower back pain and sciatica.  Whenever you have the choice of sitting or standing, opt to stand.  And if you must sit for long periods be sure to counterbalance by stretching to counteract its effects - strengthen your core and stretch/open hip flexors and hamstrings.

Swollen, Achy Feet:  Whenever possible, spend time without shoes... Many shoes (especially men's dress shoes and women's high heels) do a number on the feet, ankles and lower legs.  Symptoms of wearing unfortunate shoes are inflammation, plantar fasciitis, tight calves, and cramping in the lower legs.  When at home, give your feet room to breathe by wearing socks, slippers or going barefoot.

Creaky and/or Stiff Neck:  Most of us are staring over and into a computer screen, desk or reading material for a large part of the day. Parents are toting young children around, and many women are dragging around huge and heavy over-the-shoulder purses.  All of these things create postural imbalances and - in particular - a forward rotation of the neck.  (If you wonder if this is you, stand naturally then look at yourself from the side, in profile, in the mirror.  If you notice that your jaw and chin are thrusted forward, this is typical of an imbalance in your cervical spine.)  To correct this, take time throughout the day to check your posture by opening your chest, lowering and bringing back your shoulders, tucking your hips and keeping your neck held in alignment with your spine.  Keeping your posture in check will do wonders for your neck stiffness and immobility.

Minor changes, applied consistently each day, will help alleviate the most common aches and pains and help prevent them from turning into more chronic conditions down the road....

 

 

 


Staying Soothed and Sane this Holiday Season! November 09 2013

 

The holidays are a time of celebration, joyful reunions and shared meals and laughter...  However they can also be a time of traffic jams, long lines and high expectations.  For many, the weeks leading up to the new year can be the most stressful of the year.  Stress leads to muscular tightness, lowered immune system, headaches, insomnia, anxiety and depression.  Rushing around, tense and anxious, are not what the holidays are meant to be about... so make a pact with yourself that you will float through this holiday season feeling calm, peaceful and detached from the stress that so many in our society get caught up in.

Here are some of our best tips to help you stay physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy!

1/ Unplug.  Choose to turn off the television, talk radio and popular magazines that bombard you with the non-stop marketing of gift-giving. 

2/ Choose experiences over "things."  If you do participate in gift-giving, make a conscious effort to give meaningfully, not out of a sense of guilt or pressure from society.  Shared meals, experiences, outings... these things often mean much more than widgets.

3/ Pre-plan "you time."  This one is important!  The holidays are a time when many are running around like mad; it's very easy to let your health and self-care go by the wayside.  Now more than ever, it's important you take care of yourself, so schedule time for healthy activities like exercise, yoga, massages, and walks in fresh air.  Yes, that's right!  Pick up your planner right now and schedule in "you time" each week from now until the clock strikes 2014.

4/ Get your shopping done early.  Avoid malls and corporate America.  Shop local and buy from small businesses.  Waiting till the last minute and "door-busting" big business isn't good for your sanity or your community. By shopping local, you help keep money in your community, create jobs and get to know the people who are making your goods and providing your services.  You'll feel great knowing you're supporting people you actually know, and chances are you'll be much more appreciated as a customer than you will at the mall.

5/ Get a massage or two!  I know, I know... I can hear what you're saying: "I don't have TIME for a massage!"   But it is precisely because you're busy that you most need a massage.  Massage relieves stress, reduces anxiety and makes you feel like everything in life is that much more manageable.  By renewing your mind, body and spirit, you'll stay strong and healthy and better able to enjoy the true spirit of the holidays. 

From now through December 24, 2013, we're offering a special Give One Get One Massage Special to help make massage convenient and affordable for you, and a thoughtful and meaningful gift for a loved one or colleague.  For $99, you receive a 50-Minute Massage for yourself plus a 50-Minute Massage Gift Card to gift to someone special.  To take advantage of this special package, please stop by the spa or phone us at 707-843-3539.

Cheers to a beautiful holiday season!!


Foil the Flu this Season! October 24 2013

 

Regular massage therapy is a wonderful way to boost and prime your immune system as we transition into the fall season, a time when cold and flu germs abound.  Massages reduce stress, relax the body and mind, and restore balance.  They improve circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system.  Finally, they help flush toxins from the body and create a sense of space, lightness and freedom of movement.

When you're stressed, the body's adrenals are in a constant fight-or-flight state and expend energy in an effort to manage your stress reaction.  By alleviating stress, you keep your body strong and better able to fight off bugs and infections.  Combined with plenty of purified water, deep tissue or Swedish massages enhance detoxification and balance in all the body's systems.

Other ways to keep your body strong and healthy:

- Minimize or avoid sugar altogether... instead, substitute stevia, a plant-based sweetener

- Break a sweat!  Cardiovascular exercise raises endorphin levels and, like massage therapy, relieves stress. 

- Wash hands regularly and often.

- Avoid crowds, especially if you're feeling run-down or tired.

- Drink extra water.  It can be harder to remember to consume as much water as we need during the colder winter months, but it's particularly important now, especially when we might be drinking more coffee or tea to keep warm.  Carry a large water bottle to work to help monitor your water intake.

- Get plenty of vitamin C and Bs - these antioxidants help fight off infection and keep the adrenals strong. 

- Consume leafy greens, lemon water and/or apple cider vinegar daily to alkalize the body

Finally, get plenty of deep, delicious shut-eye each night!  Give your body and mind all the rest they need during the darker, damp months. You may find yourself falling asleep earlier at night... or perhaps needing more hours of sleep than usual.  The body has its own deep wisdom and wants you to thrive and be healthy - listen to it!  

 

 

 


Sweet Dreams are Made of This... October 17 2013

"A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow" ~ Charlotte Bronte

If you've suffered from insomnia, you're not alone.  More than 1 in 3 people struggle with insomnia in their lifetime and over one half of all Americans lose sleep due to stress or anxiety.  Millions rely on alcohol, prescription sleep aids or synthetic melatonin to fall asleep at night...

The effects of disturbed or limited sleep are powerful:

1/ Lowered immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and flus

2/ Irregular digestion and metabolism:  the mind can confuse the feeling of fatigue with hunger, and instead of taking a nap or going to bed early you'll reach for a late night snack or caffeine boost

3/ Inability to think clearly and remain emotionally balanced: people who are sleep deprived have shorter fuses, are more impatient, and tend to have a yo-yo temperament with high highs and low lows

4/ Excess or fluctuating weight:  insomniacs will often reach for coffee, nicotine and sugar-laden foods (desserts, sodas, etc.) to counteract the physical and mental fatigue they're experiencing, often leading to weight gain

5/ Volatile or unstable mood: fatigue causes crankiness, negativity and sudden/severe mood swings

Do you dream of hitting the pillow at night and sleeping peacefully for 7-8 hours? 

1/ Exercise daily - even a 20-minute brisk walk will help you relax and unwind.

2/ Limit caffeine - especially coffee - intake to prior to 9am only.  If you're desperate for a midday pick-me-up, try green tea.

3/ Eat a balanced diet that is low in sugar and contains adequate lean protein.

4/ Make sure your body is getting enough magnesium; a calcium-magnesium supplement at the end of the day may promote calm and restfulness.

5/ Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea a couple of hours before bedtime.  Skip the nightly beer, cocktail or glass of wine - even one alcoholic drink can disturb sleep.

6/ Take a warm bath or shower an hour before bedtime... it's a great way to rinse the energy of the day away and prepare the body for the many cleansing processes that occur during your sleep cycle.  Try to hit the pillow at nearly the same time every night.

7/ Avoid over-stimulating books, films and television shows right before bedtime.

8/ Diffuse soothing essential oils that promote relaxation, such as pure lavender.

How can Massage Therapy help?

Regular massages are one of the best natural combats against stress and anxiety.  Massage eases the mind, calms the muscles and nervous system and makes you feel comforted and cared for...   Combined with a healthy diet, strategic supplementation and regular exercise, constant and contented sleep is possible for everyone.  Therapeutic practices such as massage therapy, yoga and acupuncture will put you in better touch with your body and spirit.  Disordered sleep and insomnia is very often linked to anxiety and depression, and the more you get in touch with yourself it is more likely you can overcome the root cause of whatever is troubling your sleep.  Full and restful sleep is a powerful force - if you wake up fully refreshed and rested you will make better choices throughout the day, whether it's choosing a smoothie over a soda, driving to work with more patience or communicating with compassion & kindness. 

If you're currently suffering from insomnia, give the above tips a try and commit to receiving bodywork and massage therapy once a week for 6-8 weeks.  The better you feel inside, the more the world will reflect that on the outside... like attracts like!