4 Ways to Keep Stress at Bay

As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and warmer weather of April, there can be a bit of a dark cloud hanging in the spring sky. Often the first few weeks of the month are a rush of receipts and 1040’s as the April 15 Tax deadline looms, and a rush of new schedules as the kids’ sports seasons fire up. Maybe that’s why April is Stress Awareness Month; to remind us to take care of ourselves, and not let stress go unchecked.

 

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 “Who’s on first?” or dance around with your kids while making dinner and work some giggling and humming into your day.

 

Massage

Regular massage can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve moods. Plus, massage feels good. When you feel good, you play more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love. Schedule a massage now to prepare for a busy (and fun) spring!

 

Commit to taking care of yourself this spring! You may be surprised with the results.

Let’s Touch Tummies!

Written by Megan Jett

There are many reasons why abdominal massage should be included in your next massage. Not many people are aware of the benefits of abdominal massage or the technique itself. I’m here to tell you why the organs should not be ignored, what those benefits are, and how you can do some home care massage for yourself.

The term “trust your gut” has more meaning than you may think. Did you know that your stomach has its own nervous system? It’s called the enteric nervous system, or ENS. This visceral motor system controls involuntary functions. The canal that leads all the way from your esophagus to your stomach, to your colon is lined with sheathes of 100 million neurons—that’s more neurons than in the spinal cord! These neurons  are what give you that butterfly feeling deep inside. The ENS is also known as the second brain because it can still function independently of the brain and the spinal cord. It’s estimated that 90% of the body’s serotonin lies in the gut, as well as about 50% of the body’s dopamine. That’s a lot of emotion! Knowing all of this paints the importance of relaxing this area of the body.

https://www.123rf.com/profile_hxdbzxy

The benefits of massage are being seen more and more each day; there are also great benefits of abdominal massage. Livestrong has a great list, which includes improving digestive efficiency, detoxing the intestines, stimulating the organs, and improving circulation. Sometimes the sliding surfaces of the organs stick together due to inflammation, general lack of movement, and poor fluid circulation. Massage can help relieve some tension and discomfort that comes with that; however, abdominal work isn’t for everyone. You should avoid this technique if you are pregnant, have gallstones, kidney stones, calcium deposits in your bladder, hernias, or stomach ulcers.

If you want to try this technique at home, it’s very simple. The hands should be warm and moving clockwise. Starting up the right side, across the top (below the ribcage), down the left side, into the ascending colon. Practicing this form of massage on yourself promotes body acceptance. The physical touch and positive energy you are giving yourself will help you feel more confident about an area that is commonly shamed through society.

Abdominal massage can also help with infertility. According to the National Survey of Family Growth by the CDC, 1 in 8 couples struggle to start a family. Infertility issues can be stressful; stress can alter the brain signals to the hormone center. Getting a massage can help reduce anxiety and may help the brain send out reproductive hormones necessary to tell the ovaries when to release an egg. It promotes circulation to the uterus and can help break up scar tissue.

Adding abdominal massage to your sessions has the potential to alleviate much more than digestive issues. If you have more questions about abdominal massage specifically for you, ask your Massage Therapist.

National Stress Awareness Month

Written by Eleanor Le Fevre

National Stress Awareness Month, sounds silly right? Really if you think about stress and its effect on your body, mind, and spirit, EVERY month should be stress awareness month! Chronic stress is linked to the 6 leading causes of death including heart disease and cancer. Stress! Can you believe it?

We are a society who thrives on stress; deadlines, the constant need to be going and doing, staying connected to society at all times. Our blanket response to “How are you” is either “Busy” or “Stressed” at least I know that is my response. According to the American Institute of Stress,  44% of Americans feel more stressed than they did 5 years ago and 3 of 4 doctor’s visits are due to stress related illnesses. Not surprising when stress is linked to 60% of all illness and disease.

So what does stress look like for you? Are you overtired or not sleeping well? Secretly noshing on chocolate in the middle of your day? Are you feeling extra tension in your neck and shoulders, or sometimes find it difficult to take a deep breath? Or do you have chronic stomach issues that will just not go away? These are signs and symptoms of being over stressed, so what can we do about that?

Here are a list of 8 things I want you to work on right now to help you combat stress:

  • Turn off your phone! (That’s right people turn it off!) When you get home tonight just completely unplug and do not switch back on until the morning.
  • Sit outside and breathe. Tress are blooming and birds are singing right now! Go outside for just 5 mins and sit in silence, listen, and breathe!
  • Notice your breathing patterns. Is it shallow? Are you hunched over? Try this; stand up and place your hands over your belly button. Now inhale and fill your belly to 80% capacity, then allow the next 20% to inflate and lift your chest. Reverse the motion on the exhale letting breath out of chest then belly. Repeat 10 times and be mindful of how you feel afterwards.
  • Say no to things you do not want to do. (Within reason) I’m talking about the extraneous stuff that we don’t HAVE to do but feel like we SHOULD. Just don’t do them today, and don’t worry about doing them either.
  • Book a massage! Now I wouldn’t be a good massage therapist if I wasn’t trying to promo the office at least a little bit. Seriously though! We are specialists in the field of stress reduction, this is what we do!
  • Take a bubble bath! Lock the kids (or furry children in my case) out of the bathroom. Light some candles and put on some soft music and just lay there for 20 mins.
  • Lay off the coffee. I know I have no room to talk on this matter, since coffee is essentially my life force. Try some herbal tea, water or seltzer water after the clock strikes noon. It will reduce your anxiety levels and help you wind down throughout the day instead of keeping you amped up. You’ll be ready for your bed as soon as you hit the pillow and have less tossing and turning at night.
  • Lavender oil – super beneficial for relaxation and stress reduction. Try adding a couple of drops to some lotion and give yourself a little leg and foot massage before bed, or put some in a diffuser overnight. As a bonus we’re running a special 20% off Lavender oil this month so it’s a good time to stock up! Or if Lavender isn’t your jam I recommend YL’s Stress Away. It’s a light scent and amazing in a diffuser.

Give some of these a try over the next week and take note of how you feel. Less stressed? Excellent.

Meet Jackie – Our Extern

The Institute of Business and Medical Careers offers a great opportunity for their students and for local businesses, and starting the 17th, we will be hosting an extern. Her name is Jackie, and we are offering massages with her for 40% off!
Discounted services available ONLY with Jackie:
30 min – $24
60 min – $39
90 min – $57
Jackie will be available Monday the 17th through Friday the 21st, and you cannot schedule with her online – you MUST call or text (970) 286-0033 or email marissa@uptmassage.com.
Jackie is a student who is excited to be entering the professional massage world and is eager to learn. She’s quite talented and we are excited to see how Jackie progresses.

Massage and Body Image

Almost everybody has something about their body that they don’t like. It can range from not liking how your toes look to some serious issues where the person gets panic attacks just thinking about shopping for new clothes. In any case, it can and does affect how they live and has tremendous negative impact on their happiness and quality of life.

Most people think that everyone loves a massage therapist – who wouldn’t, right? Well for some people, it can cause panic and distress, and it shows either through their body language or they flat out tell us that massage isn’t good for them. Their body image creates such a false sense of self that they don’t think anyone else could see them and accept them for their own individual self.

The paradox here is that massage can really help with body image issues. In massage school we were all nervous about taking off our clothes and letting somebody else touch us. It didn’t take long for us to discover that bodies are just bodies and become much more comfortable with our own. We also experienced how good receiving a massage made us feel. Something unexpected happened – when our bodies felt better we felt better about our bodies.

 

There are three options to consider. Let’s look at the risk versus reward for each of them.

 

1. Don’t get a massage.

 

This is the easiest because it involves doing absolutely nothing. The risk is nonexistent since you are not stepping out of your comfort zone to possibly think about a reward.

 

Conversely, the reward also adds up to zero. You didn’t get a massage so your body doesn’t feel any better, and you still have the stress you had before. Nothing happened. Nothing changed.

 

2. You get a massage, but the massage therapist comments about the one (or many) aspect(s) of yourself you desperately hope no one else notices.

 

If this has happened to you, please know that you got landed with a crappy massage therapist. There’s no other way of putting it – that person was unprofessional and disregarded ethics trainings built into every accredited massage therapy program. It’s inexcusable, and we deeply apologize on behalf of that practitioner.


On the positive side: that will NEVER happen at Under Pressure Therapeutics. We are here to help you, not think about how you look in any capacity. It goes against what we believe and it prohibits our abilities to actually help you with your specific needs. The only thing that we judge is your posture and range of motion because that’s part of our job! We look at it to determine what treatments could help you with your pain or range of motion, and that’s it!

3. You get a massage. A great massage. And the therapist does nothing to make you feel uncomfortable about your body. In fact, you feel pretty good about your body after the massage.

 

For some this might seem like a really high risk from that individual’s perspective. It causes you to be vulnerable. However, from the perspective of a professionally trained Licensed Massage Therapist, risk doesn’t even exist! We don’t care how your body looks. We just want to help you feel better! Which means that the reward is high. Again your body will feel better from the massage and you can start feeling better about it.

We have no idea how your body got to be in the condition that it’s in, and we don’t care! That’s not to say that we don’t want to know of your struggles – we do! We want to know if you have a medical condition or if you were in an accident that really messed up your body or if you’ve had multiple surgeries. If you’re coming in for therapeutic massage, the most we assume is you’re in pain and need help.

 

https://www.123rf.com/profile_bradcalkins

We have worked on all different body types, and each person has different goals and pains. We are here to help, not to hurt or judge or anything like that! So please, let us help you. That’s what we want to do! We want to help you instill a more positive view on your body image. If you’ve been avoiding us because you feel uncomfortable about your body, please talk to us, and we will figure out ways to help you. We don’t need explanations. We just need to know that you want a massage because you’re in this kind of pain and you want to leave your clothes on. If laying face down can make you feel uncomfortable, we can have you in a side-lying position. It’s YOUR massage, so we want to make sure YOU are comfortable. Together let’s find a way to help you relieve your pain and stress. Don’t let your body image keep you from feeling good.

20% off Lavender in April 2017

We love Lavender Essential Oil, and we think that it needs to be a staple in everyone’s medicine cabinet! From cuts to bruises to stress management, Lavender oil helps with so many things! If you have to choose only one oil to have, Lavender would be it!

 

To learn more about lavender oil, check out our previous article in our newsroom!

 

Retail Price: $30.92

Sale Price: $24.75

 

To order yours, call or text (970) 286-0033 or email marissa@uptmassage.com.

 

A Different View on Procrastination

Written by Noel Beck
Procrastination.  Just seeing the word gives me anxiety. For as long as I can remember, procrastination had been considered a motivator for both school and work.  I always thought that my best work would come out when I was racing the clock last minute.  I still struggle with putting off deadlines, but as I enter this new phase of my life, I’m realizing that procrastination can actually take a more mindful and positive form. Check out the following examples of self care that may help you handle the day to day stressors of life.
Reading!
Reading for just 7 minutes can lower one’s blood pressure and anxiety levels. However, reading is being recommended as a form of self care. So pull out your favorite book, newspaper, magazine or periodical and give yourself the gift of a good read today.  The outside world will be there when you’re done.
Creativity!
Just a reminder- it’s not necessary to wait for last minute inspiration to be creative.  Today, try to set some time aside for a favorite hobby or fun activity that allows you to express your creative genius.  Some examples could include drawing, knitting, cooking/baking, or even playing imagination games with your kids.  Whatever it is, just remember that it’s all part of your self care by staying healthy with procrastination.
Cleaning!
Some of us love it, some of us endure it and some of us will do everything but clean at all cost.  Usually cleaning is something most of us just want to be over and done with as quick as possible, but for your mindful procrastination week, we want you to use cleaning as a slow down in life activity.  And to help take it one activity at a time, heres a a fantastic all inclusive spring cleaning list.  You can start now and take your time instead of trying to cram it all in one weekend.
Exercise!
Going to the gym or a class may not always be something we have time for in our busy schedules.  For those of us that manage to exercise at home, hats are off to you.  When it comes to procrastinating with exercise, make a mindful and healthy decision to set some time aside for a good sweat today.  The National Sleep Foundation recommends cardio, yoga and strength training to get a proper nights rest. Just think- this mindful decision could lead to a happier and healthier future!
Drink!
Being mindful and taking the time to drink water throughout the day is awesome! Even enjoying a nice cup of tea in your pjs is giving you some quality “me” time.  But sometimes we can unwind with some social drinking.  Have a coffee date with a friend or get dressed up and have a night out on the town.  Whatever you chose to do, just remember its a healthy break that we all can use from life.
Nap!
Personally, this is one of my favorite forms of healthy procrastination – especially on the weekends.  Whether you’re a kid or an adult, naps are for all of us.  Naps regenerate our minds and bodies which gives us the chance to wake up refreshed and finish our day with a bang! Europe believes in napping so much that they have long lunch periods just so their citizens can grab a quick snooze if they need it. Good sleep in general helps with day to day performance, promotes weight loss and lowers anxiety and depression.  So don’t forget to catch some zzzz!
Massage!
One of the best ways (in my opinion) to indulge your procrastination bug would be to set some time aside for a massage.  I would procrastinate with a massage everyday if I could! The mental and physical break in a treatment room cannot be beat. And if you’re still feeling the need to be productive, multitask by scheduling a massage and nap while you are there!
All I’m saying is, we’re only human! Give yourself a break once in a while.  De-escalate from life’s stressors and anxieties.  If you can start to view the above activities as positive coping methods instead of life interferences, then you might start to see a whole new emotionally and physically better you.