7 Ways to Indulge Your Inner Procrastinator

Jennifer SymeBlog

Procrastinate…..me? In many ways “procrastination” is a naughty word. To some, it implies laziness, being unmotivated, distracted, unfocused and countless other trigger words. It means that we aren’t getting the things done and we are failing as contributing adults. Now maybe that’s an exaggeration, but maybe it’s not.  The point is we heap a bunch of responsibilities and pressure on ourselves. There is always a deadline and there is always the next thing to complete. But where is the real procrastination? More often than not we are procrastinating on our self-care and the things that really matter. In the U.S they even have a special week for it –  National Procrastination Week (March 5-11), so this week what if we embrace the holiday that is devoted to putting things off and delaying those oh-so-important tasks. Now, it might sound like the focus for this holiday is inactivity, but actually, it is more to do with being ‘active in getting a mental and emotional break’ which will lead to decreased stress and anxiety. And as massage therapists, we are all about that. And as a massage therapist, I am all for that. Here are a few ways you can indulge in procrastination. (Don’t worry, all that other stuff will still be there when you’re done.)   1. Read Ahhh, a good book – there’s nothing like it. No matter the genre, reading is the quickest escape route into another land. Once you pass through that portal there’s no turning back. And … Read More

Do You Get S.A.D?

Jennifer SymeBlog

An estimated 1 in 5 adults in the UK suffers from some kind of depression, according to the mental health organisation, with about 1 in 15 suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). So, since it’s fairly common, it’s odd that there is still stigma and silence surrounding depression as an illness. There have been various campaigns in recent years to change this but I still see people every week in the clinic who are ashamed to tell me that they are on tablets or have had to see a counsellor. So let’s talk: what is depression? Why is it problematic? And is there anything that can help? What is depression? Let’s start with what depression isn’t: a bad day, a brief period of mourning after a loss, or a pessimistic outlook on life. It consists of a period of more than two weeks of a bad mood, decreased interest in things that one normally finds enjoyable, and can also include fatigue, changes in weight, difficulty concentrating, inappropriate guilt, and even suicidal thoughts. While two weeks is the minimum length for defining depression, it can continue for months or even years. Are there different kinds of depression? Yes. Major depression is an episode of depression two weeks or longer that messes with your ability to function throughout the day. People can have multiple episodes of major depression throughout their lives. Postpartum depression is a depressive episode that occurs after a woman has given birth. Seasonal Affective Disorder (aptly abbreviated SAD) is a … Read More

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

Why You Don’t Need to Diet

Jennifer SymeBlog

4 Reasons Why the Last Thing You Need is a Diet I'm not a nutritionist, but diet and eating healthily is all part of well-being, and something I have taken an interest in for myself. January is the time for endless New Year’s resolutions and pacts with oneself to improve this or change that. Businesses in the health and wellness industry experience a spike in sales as people attempt to change themselves “for the better.” You know, the gym membership that only get used for a month, the 'giving up on...whatever is bad'.  Let’s face it, diets are a big portion of those sales. I've seen several articles lately on both the latest diet ideas, and also, more interestingly, why the last thing you need is a diet. This is a summary of the main points they generally make -  Changing your menu… often temporarily More often than not a diet is a change in your menu and if you’ve ever attempted to change your eating habits you know it can be downright hard. If you’re not prepared or totally ready for the change, the upkeep of a diet can be too much and eventually you’ll fall off the wagon. Not all diets are created equal In fact, some diets are dangerous. Trends in the media would leave you to believe that what they are promoting is healthy and good for you, but if you read the fine (often barely seen) fine print in these ads you’ll find a disclaimer. ... Read More

Holiday Stress – ways to help you relax

Jennifer SymeBlog

As much as we enjoy the warmer weather of our all too brief Scottish summer, there can be a bit of a dark cloud hanging in the sky. That is the dark cloud of stress and tension as the kids are off school, holidays and activities need planned, and it is easy to become a bit frazzled. And that's before we watch Andy Murray at Wimbledon!   Meditation Meditation does not have to be about pretzeled legs, chanting, and reaching enlightenment. It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed. Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.   Exercise It can be tough to make time for exercise when the schedule gets tight and tensions get high. But that's when it becomes even more important. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness. If you can't make time for daily workout, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day. A little goes a long way when you need it.   Giggle and hum Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure. In fact, this study in 2011 showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication. So cue up the ... Read More

Edinburgh Location Change

Jennifer SymeBlog

Important Update For Edinburgh Clients! Knotstressed is moving to a lovely new clinic in Montrose Terrace. See here for details. So from Wednesday 1st July all Edinburgh appointments will be at the new venue. There will also be a slight change to time as I will no longer have a 2:30pm appointment, but will have a 7:30pm one instead.