Relax – It’s good for you!

Jennifer Symemassage, stress

Busy-ness is the trend these days. People carry over-packed schedules like winning trophies. “I’m SO busy at work!” “How do you have time to do that? I’m too busy to read/watch TV/exercise/do anything fun.” “I can’t get monthly massages I have too much to DO!”   Too much “busy” could be making you tired, sick, and probably cranky. When do you relax? RELAX. “Relaxation” is a word we hear often, but don’t know always know what it means. Here, I’ve compiled some options for you.   re·lax  verb \ri-ˈlaks\   1: the state of being free from tension or anxiety. 2: a way to rest and enjoy yourself 3: recreation or rest, especially after a period of work. 4: the loss of tension in a part of the body, especially in a muscle when it ceases to contract. 5: something that you do to stop feeling nervous, worried, etc.   More importantly, what does relaxation mean to you? If you’re not a “hot bath and good book” kind of person, you probably cringe at Calgon commercials and spa photos of people with stones piled on their backs. But here’s the beauty: You can make your own definition of relaxation.   It’s your job to figure out what you enjoy doing, what makes you smile, and what makes you feel like you are a hundred miles from work or home jobs?   Then, make time for that. You have a schedule. Write in special time for a hobby, a nap, massage, … Read More

5 Tips for Neck and Shoulder Care Between Massage Appointments

Jennifer SymeBlog, massage, stress, Therapies

5 Tips for Neck and Shoulder Care Between Massage Appointments People with neck and shoulder issues often have their pain return before their next massage appointment. Work, play and children all make demands on the body. A dull ache can quickly turn into a burning pain especially while folding laundry, doing yard work, playing on the computer or any of the other million things you do. What can you do between professional massage appointments to take the edge off neck and shoulder pain? Here are some ideas. Take a Break Take short breaks as often as you can if you sit at a computer all day. Move your shoulders around and s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Ideally you can get up and move around a bit. But even if you’re chained to the desk, you can rock out a little Deskercise to stay loose. Get the kids into it Have a short yoga break together! There are plenty of videos made especially for kids, and the moves are just as beneficial for adults. Bonus: got a little one averse to naptime? Try the lying down postures here and maybe you’ll get a short break. Heat it Just 10-15 minutes of heat on your shoulders can make a huge difference in how your tissue moves and feels. You don’t need a fancy heating pad, you can use a hot water bottle. Or make your own –  I’ve seen various videos on a Google search but as I’ve not tried any of them, I don’t want … Read More

Stop Headaches Before They Start

Jennifer Symemassage, stress

Stop headaches before they start I see so many people with headaches. Sometimes these are due to tension, others are due to posture, and of course some are due to eye strain. Some are due to actual migraines.  Luckily there are some things you can do to reduce or stop the likelihood of getting a headache. Let’s look at some – Avoid triggers If certain foods or scents have triggered headaches in the past, it could be time to make a note of them and avoid them at all costs. Things like caffeine, cigarette smoke, and bright lights can be a big culprit in spurring on pain, but it doesn’t have to be that obvious. Perfumes, loud noises, flowers, and even lunch meat have the power to make you miserable.   Workout often Exercising on a regular basis reduces tension and can help prevent headaches. Choose something you enjoy doing – walking, biking, kayaking, hiking, etc. – and follow the proper guidelines for the exercise you’re engaging in. That means stretching and warming up slowly. And don’t forget proper hydration.   Bonus: It is also said that obesity can be a factor in triggering migraines, so exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight or lose excess pounds.   Eat and sleep regularly Lack of sleep and skipping meals can aggravate symptoms for the migraine sufferer. Make sure you are getting enough fluids and are eating meals at regular times. Lack of sleep (or even getting too much sleep) will … Read More

How Mindfulness Can Help Both Mind And Body

Jennifer Symemindfulness, stress

What is Mindfulness? I first published this post a few years ago, but as I’ve recently been talking to clients about mindfulness and relaxation, I thought I would revisit it. People seem very stressed right now, and in need of help to deal with it. In general, people seem to spend the majority of their time brooding about the past or worrying about the future. Neither of which are very healthy or particularly useful. Mindfulness has been described as – ‘paying attention to the present moment with intention, while letting go of judgment, as if our life depends on it. The present is the only real moment we have.’ (Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness expert, more of him later)   From a personal point of view, I have always been drawn to the idea of meditation, and tried it when I was younger, for about 5 minutes before I got bored. That was after seeing Billy Connolly talking about it tv. Billy made it sound fun, but I soon discovered it was hard, and being a lazy 20 something, I gave up. Later, I did dabble occasionally and as I passed a mediation centre on my way to University lectures, wondered what went on inside. I imagined lots of cross legged people, chanting quietly to themselves, or perhaps a room of utter silence. It all seemed mysterious and odd. Fast forward a few years, and I found myself discovering exactly what went on in such a class as I took a Mindfulness … Read More