Listen to Your Body

Recently, I heard from a client that she really didn’t understand what people mean when they say “listen to your body”.

Thanks to Jessi Kneeland for explaining it to us!

“Listening to your body” simply means learning how to tune in, to the way your body talks to you.

It’s a skill that lets you tune into the way your body talks to you. You’re constantly receiving messages from your body in various forms like hunger, thirst, pain, pleasure, lust, sickness, emotions, and the desire to find a bathroom. Some messages feel good, and some are uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean that the message itself is actually good or bad.  Your body’s messages to you are always neutral; they’re just information being sent to you by your body. In fact, by judging those messages as good or bad, it’s actually much harder to hear them.

We have such an aversion to feeling uncomfortable that our first impulse upon is often to suppress or ignore uncomfortable feelings as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, when you get in the habit of automatically suppressing your body’s messages, you miss out on what those messages were here to tell you. All of our body’s messages are neutral. They’re just information, and each message has a specific purpose and job.

Unfortunately, people rarely seek out solutions for messages that are less loud-and-clear. Society has us convinced that it’s normal for our bodies to feel broken most of the time. Most people live with chronic fatigue, headaches, low back pain, anxiety, and/or poor digestion. They suppress and ignore their body’s messages as best they can, never stopping to explore what the message is there to teach them.

We are meant to feel far more vibrant than most people feel nowadays. But you simply cannot achieve optimal levels of energy and health without learning how to listen to and interpret your body’s messages. 

Ways your life improves when you learn to listen to your body:

1. Feel less crazy around food

Many women have completely screwed up hunger and fullness signals, thanks to years or decades of intermittent yo-yo dieting. Many of my clients have spent their entire adult lives suppressing and ignoring their body’s messages around food in an effort to lose weight, and they come to me completely unaware of what it actually feels like to be hungry or full.

As you might imagine, being able to hear your body when it says “I’m hungry” and “I’m full” makes it a helluva lot easier to know when to eat and when to stop. It also makes it easier to know what to eat. Imagine knowing the difference between real cravings and emotional/boredom cravings, and being able to consciously decide which ones you’ll act on!

Doing the work (and yes, trust me, this one often takes a lot of work) to hear and understand your body’s messages around food and eating will make it easier to lose and keep off weight, remove guilt from the eating equation, and erase chronic stress around food. Instead of trying to adhere to a random set of rules and restrictions, it becomes mind-blowingly simple: what will make my body feel good?

2. Less pain

Many people sit at desks all day and move only during their workouts. It’s impossible to completely undo the physical stress of a lifestyle like that, but by listening to your body, you can keep the damage to a minimum. Lower back pain isn’t always a lifetime sentence, for example. It’s often just a message that something needs to be explored and adjusted. Often that means changing the way you sit, stand, move, sleep, breathe, or train.

Also, you’ll be less likely to get injured as you increase awareness and start to explore yourself. You’ll move better, get stronger, and become more unbreakable as you listen to how your body feels in each posture, movement, and position.

It’s important to mention here that our society will try to convince you that everyone has chronic pain and that it’s totally normal to feel broken from your mid-twenties on. I challenge you to not accept that because it’s simply not true. 

3. Better workouts

Learn the difference between “good pain,” and “bad pain,” and you’ll know when to safely push yourself at the gym, and when to dial it down a notch.

What does it feel like when your body is craving rest, versus when it’s craving a workout? What does it feel like for your glutes to be firing and functioning properly in a squat, versus your low back or hip flexors to be doing most of the work?

Tuning into your body gives you better information to work with, which leads to better overall durability, as well as stronger muscle contractions. This means better, faster, and safer results at the gym.

4. Better health

Your body tells you when you need to slow down and relax, often in the form of subtle signals like tiredness and flare-ups of old chronic issues. If you ignore those messages, it’ll send louder messages in the form of sickness, injury, panic attacks, or mysterious and seemingly random physical symptoms.

By paying attention to your body’s messages, you can avoid a lot of those health issues by catching them early and figuring out what you need, re-balancing, and bring yourself back up to 100%. That can include anything from getting a massage or more sleep,  to prioritizing alone time, remembering how to truly relax, or practicing better self-care.

Beyond avoiding sickness though, learning how to tune into your body will also give you the information you need to elevate your day-to-day health from “I feel fine” to “I feel amazing.”

5. More pleasure

One of the side effects of habitually suppressing the body’s uncomfortable messages is that you also automatically suppress a lot of the pleasurable messages! Learning how to tune back into pleasure will help you identify and pursue more of what feels good for you, bringing more immediate joy and gratification into your life! This applies to movement, sex, friendship, hobbies, and pretty much everything else.

Plus, the brain will strengthen any neural pathways you make it travel down frequently. That means the more you practice tuning into your pleasure messages, the louder and stronger those messages get. (Aka: you’ll be able to experience more frequent and intense pleasure.)

6. Sharpen your emotional intelligence

Emotions are physical. We feel them in our bodies, so habitually tuning out your body’s signals means you also tune out your emotions! That makes for some seriously confusing adulting. (What do I want to do with my life? Who do I want to date? WHO AM I?!)

Don’t put your brain in charge of shit it’s not qualified to do. It’ll do the best it can, but being in touch with your emotional landscape is crucial if you want to be able to make informed decisions that help you build a rich, fulfilling, authentic, and joyful life.

Being in touch with your emotional landscape is crucial if you want to be able to make informed decisions that help you build a rich, fulfilling, authentic, and joyful life.

Start thinking about your emotions. Where in your body do you feel sadness? How about anger? Joy? What does each emotion feel like? Is it cold, warm, soft, or hard? Does it have a color or texture? Is it tight and small, or big and open? Does it move around or sit very still? Get to know your emotions as physical experiences, and then start noticing when each one shows up.

This will offer you some CIA level intelligence when it comes to what you need and what’s going on for you. Maybe your brain doesn’t know you’re mad yet, but the cold tightening feeling in your belly when you see your partner says otherwise.  Access to this data will truly transform your life.

7. Stronger intuition

Much like emotions, your intuition shows up physically; that’s why we call it a “gut feeling.” Learning exactly what your intuition feels like will allow you to identify and trust it quickly and effectively. If something feels “off” to you about a person or situation, but you’re not in tune with your body’s signals, you may confuse your body’s “get out of here” signal with anxiety, even indigestion!

8. Increase your autonomy

The brain will strengthen whatever neural pathways you frequently use, meaning the more you listen to your body’s messages, the louder those messages become. You want those messages to be loud because that means you never again need to listen to anyone else who tries to tell you what’s best for you.

Your body is the be-all, end-all when it comes to knowing what’s right for you. Dr. Oz and fear-mongering fitness magazines have no power over you if you’re listening to and trusting your body. If some celebrity starts an “only eat blue foods” trend, for example, you won’t have to blindly fall prey. You can simply use your body’s messages to inform you. Do you feel good when you eat red, brown, yellow, and green food? Yes? Great, then this diet trend probably isn’t for you.

9. More self-trust

The louder your body’s messages get, the better of a job you can do of asking questions, exploring, and addressing whatever you uncover. With practice listening and responding to your body’s messages, you’ll very likely feel more energized, empowered, stronger, happier, hotter, and healthier. With all of those things comes trust in yourself.

This is huge because self-trust is the enemy of anxiety and insecurity. Knowing that I did this lets you relax into yourself, trusting that you and your body are always on the same team and that the answers are always inside you.

Credit to :

9 Unexpected Benefits to “Listening to Your Body”

Massage Therapy

Daily frustrations manifest in your muscles, leaving you sore, achy, only adding to the mounting stress. Massage is a service that focuses on you and gives you time to relax and let the stress melt away. You and your masseur work together to identify the areas where your stress hides, relieving you of physical pain and clearing your mind so you can tackle any task. More than anything, massage clients report feeling revitalized after a massage.

Book a massage appointment online today!

ZEN Massage in SLC. Has monthly memberships to make your massages more affordable.

We know that you live a busy life and we are here to help take your mind off the daily stresses in your life and make your massage therapy experience as relaxing as possible. Try our online scheduling feature to schedule your next massage to a relaxed state of mind. So if you’re ready to reduce stress and feel great, and only want the best masseurs in Salt Lake City, contact us and set up an appointment with ZEN Massage today! 

Zen Massage Membership Program | 12-month Massage Membership

Zen Massage Membership Program

12-month Massage Membership details.
60 Minute Massage – $65 Per Month with a 12-month membership.
90 Minute Massage – $100 Per Month with a 12-month membership.
Call Today to Sign up for your Membership 801-467-3529!

Membership Information and Terms

All membership benefits are for active members in good standing during the term of their membership.

  1. No Sign-up Fee – No Cancellation Fee (if the contract terms are observed).
  2. Membership Services – All memberships include your choice of a one-hour massage.
  3. Booking Priority for all Members.
  4. Additional Membership Massage – Members may purchase an unlimited number of additional services for their personal use at discounted rates.
  5. Memberships are transferable with a small fee and refundable only in the form of a gift card.
  6. Zen Massage must be notified of any changes in address, contact information and/or credit card information.
  7. Guests must follow spa rules and regulations. Zen Massage reserves the right to refuse or discontinue services for any reason.
  8. Zen Massage reserves the right to modify/change spa rules, regulations, services and pricing with reasonable notice.
  9. Twenty-four-hour advance notice is required on any appointment cancellation.
  10. No call / No show – will result in a fee equivalent to 100% of the cost of the scheduled service.
  11. Late Cancelation fee $25.00.
  12. Zen Massage is not responsible for lost or stolen property.
  13. Age requirements for receiving spa services at Zen Massage is as follows:
    • No person will be denied admission based upon race, religion or appearance. CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 12 SHALL BE STRICTLY PROHIBITED FROM ENTERING THE SPA. No children under the age of 18 will be able to receive any service without the express written consent of their parent or guardian. For children 15 and under (or where required by state law), a parent or guardian MUST remain in the treatment room and for all minor children the parent must remain on premises during services.

 

*Introductory Offers valid for first visits. Not valid for gift cards. Services include 60-minute hands-on service and time allotted for dressing and consultation. Prices and services are subject to change. Offers may not be combined. Zen Massage is independently owned and operated.

Give us a call this week to sign up for your membership at 801-467-3529!

Father’s Day Massage Special

“Having children is like living in a frat house — nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.” — Ray Romano

 

With all Dad puts up with, why not get him a little stress relief for Father’s Day this year?

Here @ Zen Massage, we are having a Father’s Day Special. You’ll SAVE $51.00 on Three 30 minute massages for dad! Call to Book Today (801) 467-3529.

A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.

 

Father’s Day Special – SAVE $51.00

Buy three- 30 min massages! For only $99.00 Regularly $150.00 – Call to Book Today (801) 467-3529.

 

How to Embrace Aging?

How to embrace aging and the life changes that come with it?

According to Pablo Picasso youth has no age, and as much of a cliché as it is, it’s our attitude to age that truly matters. After all, we’re younger at this moment than we’ll ever be again.

However, it isn’t much comfort if the thought of your next big birthday is filling you with dread. Staring obsessively at fine lines in the mirror, regretting wasted time, wishing you’d done things differently. Aging and anxiety can make you feel miserable. Ironically, you are bound to regret in the future. You’ll be older and be wondering why you spent so much time worrying when you could’ve been enjoying your relative youth. This kind of anxiety makes us forget to live life.

In “Why My 40s Are My Best Life”, Donna Freydkin talks about how a dramatic turn of events helped her love the aging process and become the woman she was always meant to be. We hope you’ll feel inspired by her story and empowered to embrace the changes that come your way.

“The first time my dermatologist injected botulinum toxin into the crease between my brows, I had just learned that my then-boyfriend, who would go on to become my husband, had cheated on me with a vibrant, vivacious, and line-free redhead. I was in my mid-30s, and I heeded the advice of a girlfriend who verbally bullied me into erasing anything that made me look, well, older, and by (her) definition less desirable. Within 72 hours, my forehead was creamy and tranquil, all signs of life zapped away. It felt like I’d dipped my face into a deep-freeze, and emerged encased in a weird cocoon.

Never again, I swore, never again. OK, I did it once more — same result, same reaction. But since then, truly never again.

A few things happened between my first date with Botox, in roughly 2009, and today. I got married to the reformed cheater, I got pregnant, and when I was one month away from giving birth, we learned that my husband had a stage 4 glioblastoma thriving and mushrooming inside his brain. Life expectancy from diagnosis to death: roughly 15 months. Meaning he’d never see our son learn to walk, start kindergarten, or play with his first set of Legos.

And just like that, wrinkles, crow’s-feet, age spots, and laugh lines became badges of honor that my husband would never get to wear. Why, I asked myself, would I expunge the very proof that I was alive?

That’s not to say that I’m not vain. In terms of skincare, I keep things as simple and efficient as possible, mostly because as a single parent, I don’t have time to multi-mask each week or pile serum on top of serum. And I’d rather use the good stuff than experiment. A few tried and true products that have always delivered for me: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser for gentle washing; SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic for that dash of firmness and brightness; Farmacy Rise N’Shine Daily Moisture Lock Moisturizer With Echinacea GreenEnvy because it smells heavenly and goes on like buttah; and La Prairie Swiss Moisture Cellular Eye Contouring Cream because if you’re gonna splurge, this is the way to go. I’m addicted to face oils, so I slather on African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil like it’s a drug. As for hair, you can’t really beat Jen Atkin’s Ouai Smooth Shampoo, which makes conditioner feel redundant. On my lips, a dab of Sisley Phyto Lip Shine in Sheer Burgundy is a winner.

Because I played soccer in high school and ran around the Central Park reservoir for years (until the knees gave out), my legs have also remained long, lean, and toned. Shout-out to my genes. But it’s only now that I’ve come to accept my body for the gift that it is — because of it, I have a healthy, functioning brain. I was able to carry and deliver a healthy, wondrous, magical unicorn of a boy, who is now six years old and begins most sentences with “Mommy, I know you’ll say no to this, but I’m going to ask anyway.” I know that writing and editing, in all mediums, is my jam and what I’ve been lucky enough to do since I graduated from the University of Maryland. I’ve interviewed scores of celebrities and even forged legitimate relationships and friendships with a few of them.

None of this is braggadocio. It’s more me looking back in wonder to my 20s when I tried so hard and failed so pathetically at being cool, dynamic, and happy. I let men use my body, disposing of me at whim, never attaining anything resembling a lasting relationship. And why would I, when I thought of myself as sexual sediment? I remember seeing a guy at breakfast one morning, in the wake of yet another blackout, not realizing that he’d been my one-night stand. Instead of facing that it was most likely nonconsensual sex at best or rape at worst, I made a joke about maybe needing glasses. No, honey, what I needed was to know myself, what I stood for, and what was important to me, both internally and externally. So I stopped with the pointless hookups that led nowhere but to the toilet to hack up cheap vodka.

Apropos of nothing, a friend of a friend mentioned that her brother had just moved to Manhattan. She thought we might get along. Lo and behold, we did. Our instant bond: when he heard me, over dinner, mindlessly humming Khia’s classic “My Neck, My Back.” Anchored by the command to “Lick it good,” he joined in.

Externally, too, things had to shift. I was turning up to interviews looking like I’d gotten dressed in the dark while wasted on gin. I had zero fashion sense, frenetically scrambling from one trend to another. Oversize plaid shirts, ripped jeans, Steve Madden slides, babydoll dresses, asexual tunics, goth-inspired slip dresses — all were crammed into my bulging closet. It wasn’t until I careened into my late 30s that I took stock of my life and realized what a hot mess it was that I made some changes.

I pursued and landed a job I loved, covering entertainment for a daily newspaper, and it provided me with a grounding sense of stability and purpose. I stopped throwing cash at marginally cute but disposable tops I could scoop up and instead began investing in pieces by Valentino and Prada that I still own. With the help of the boyfriend who’d become my husband, I paid off every cent of my $40,000 worth of credit card debt — in eight months. I expunged people from my life who added no value, who made me feel bad, who left me emotionally drained and stripped. There were no blowout fights. Just unreturned calls or texts that gradually petered away into zero contact. Ghosting felt so good.

Today, I’m living my #BestLife. I’m a widow, a word that makes my skin twitch, crawl, and itch, and it’s an identity that seems as foreign to me as if you’d told me I were a giraffe. But it is what it is. When my husband died, I had to divest myself of all the dreams we’d cooked up, the plans we’d made, and forge a new way forward on my own, with a kid. I’ve also come to accept who I am. I look at fellow editors on Instagram, shimmying from party to opening, their eyes bedazzled with Pat McGrath‘s newest launch, their lips perfectly pouty, their bodies toned and taut. I really, honestly, truly don’t feel jealous (OK, of the makeup, maybe) because everyone has their time — mine was then, and this is now. Go forth, millennials.

No, I don’t plan on ever having any nips or tucks done, unless deemed medically necessary (like Hollywood’s favorite euphemism for nose job: repairing a deviated septum). My body is bulky and bulging in places I don’t like, but it’s also proof that I created another human inside it. Yes, I should do more barre classes, go on longer walks, eat less bread. And tomorrow, or the day after, I will. Maybe. But instead of hating myself, I camouflage my flaws with clothes designed by smart ladies like Maria Cornejo and Rachel Comey, who get that women’s bodies don’t subsist on lettuce and oxygen.

I don’t even acknowledge or moan about my wrinkles except in jest because guess what? My husband, who died in 2012, would give anything material that he’d owned to be here with us — gray hairs, forehead creases, and all. I feel so immensely blessed, so fucking fortunate, that I get to wake up every day and hear my child fight me over screen time. That my now slightly blurry, no longer 20/20 eyes witnessed his birth and saw my husband’s final days on this earth. Why would anyone want to go back in time to cling to a youth that’s passed you by? Or worse yet, turn back the clock and not experience all the formative things that help make us wiser, kinder, more empathetic and accepting of people?”

 

Sources: Allure  inwealthandhealth

Relaxation & Good Health Habits | Zen Massage Salt Lake

 

We’d all like to live a healthier life. But where to start?

One step at a time as the saying goes. Habits are hard to break but easier to start. Here are seven simple ways to launch yourself into a healthier lifestyle.

Pick fresh seasonal veggies, berries, and fruits

Knowing How to Choose Fresh Fruits and Vegetables is key. If you are unsure when it comes to choosing ripe good fruit, check out this great article from Family Circle.

Picking fruit and veggies in season in your area is also a great way to stay healthy. Find out when local Utah Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables are best here.

Eat more healthy fats

According to Fitness Magazine – The Big Fat Truth: Why Non-Fat Isn’t the Answer – Of your total daily calories, 25 to 30 percent should come from fat. The keys: Pick good-for-you fats, and limit the bad kinds. Don’t know a saturated from a poly? Here’s the skinny on which fats to eat and which to avoid.

 

Be hungry more often

It’s being discovered that Intermittent fasting brings great benefits, it protects your brain, slows aging & fights cancer.  Why Intermittent Fasting Is The Best Thing To Ever Happen To Your Metabolism

When it comes to intermittent fasting, there are several options. Some people eat only during an eight-hour window. For example, you can eat from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., then fast from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. Or you can fast for 24 to 36 hours once or twice weekly. There are also several ways to deal with hunger cravings and stay hydrated. You can stick with just water or add some combination of coffee, green tea, and fiber. My good friend, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, author of The Bone Broth Diet, recommends drinking bone broth during a fast. I’ve tried this fasting technique, and it’s my absolute favorite way to do it.

Before you begin fasting you should know if fasting is right for you.

Sleep & Relax More

Healthy Sleep Basics – Along with nutrition and exercise, sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy sleep improves your health and quality of life in a variety of ways:

Healthy sleep is vital for your physical health

Healthy sleep is essential for your mental health

Healthy sleep improves your memory and focus

Healthy sleep promotes personal and public safety

Get less processed food, less salt

How to cut back on highly processed foods

  • Start slowly. 
  • Supplement your meals with fresh foods. 
  • Fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, more water. 
  • Stop adding salt to foods. 
  • Choose whole grains over processed grains. 
  • Limit or avoid processed meats. 
  • Plan ahead. 
  • Use substitutes for highly processed snacks and foods.

Think fun!

Take a deep breath and smile. A rose by any other name might smell as sweet. But call exercise by another name and it might do you more good, a pair of experiments suggest.

In one, 46 adults went for a 2-kilometer walk around a lake. Half were told it was an “exercise walk” and half were told it was a “scenic walk.” When it came time for a mid-afternoon snack, the “exercise” walkers ate more than twice as many M&Ms as the “scenic” walkers — a difference that amounted to 206 additional calories. In the other, the “exercise” group ate 35% more chocolate pudding at lunch.

The key is to think of activity as fun, says Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and one of the researchers involved in the experiments. If you tell yourself you’re working out, you’re likely to reward yourself by eating more. “So tell yourself it’s personal time,” Wansink says. “Say, ‘I’m doing this for me.’”

Mother’s Day Special | Zen Massage Salt Lake City, Utah

Mother’s day is just around the corner!


Don’t forget Zen Massage has the perfect gift for the women in your life!

Mother’s Day Special – SAVE $56.00

Buy three- 1-hour massages for only $199.00 Regularly $255.00 – Call to Book Today! (801) 467-3529

Available until May 20th!

Give the gift of relaxation!

 

How Sore is “Too Sore” for a Massage?

A massage after a vigorous workout unquestionably feels good, reduces pain and helps muscles recover. Athletes and health professionals speak of how it eases inflammation, improves blood flow and reduces muscle tightness.

So, how does massage give this beneficial effect?

Well, vigorous exercise causes tiny tears in our muscle fibers, leading to inflammation, which is an immune reaction, as our bodies get to work repairing the injured cells.

Researchers have found that when a masseur goes to work, the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation, are reduced. They also found that massage stimulated mitochondria, tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy. These are essential for cell function and repair and the stimulation helps our muscles adapt to the demands of increased exercise.

When your body aches, your muscles are tight, swollen, and in desperate need of release.

So when people ask, “Is deep tissue massage safe to get one while you’re still super sore? Or will that pressure make your tender muscles feel worse?”

Our short answer is usually, “Go for it!”

Because a post-workout massage is a great way to flush out the toxic waste your muscles produce during a workout. For the normal workout warrior getting a massage after working out is most beneficial for your body. It helps flush lactic acid build up out of muscle fiber and reduce recovery time.

On the other hand, if you are an athlete about to compete, an invigorating pre-competition massage is great to get you ready. Then a post-event massage to flush toxins and help you relax and recover afterward.

Really Really Sore?

Hold off on a strong, heavy-handed deep tissue massage. If your muscles are very tender to the touch, a traditional Swedish massage would be best because it stimulates blood and lymph circulation, bringing newly oxygenated blood to tender areas. This oxygenated blood helps “flush out” toxic waste in your muscles, which is the cause of typical soreness.

If the traditional Swedish massage turns out to be not enough for your muscle soreness, go for a stronger deep tissue or sports massage, but take note of how your body reacts.

If you feel pain mid-massage, ask your massage therapist to STOP to avoid irritating the muscles further!

Still sore?

You could get another massage as soon as two days after your first, but we recommend waiting five days. Drinking plenty of water and do light stretching to encourage full recovery. You should know that another massage won’t necessarily double-decrease your soreness over this short period of time.

Recovering from an injury?

If you’re injured, back away from the massage table!

There is a difference between being really sore and recovering from a true injury. If you’ve injured yourself recently, such as a pulled muscle, you should wait 24 to 48 hours before receiving a massage. In fact, a deep tissue massage could make matters worse for you and your injury. Instead, simply ice the tender areas and take a rest day to reduce the inflammation.

Every ache, pain, & sore muscle will react differently to massage. Some people may experience nearly instant relief post-massage, others might feel tender in trigger-point areas that were worked repeatedly during the massage. Whatever you’re feeling, as long as it’s not worsening or acute pain, you’re all good.

Book a Massage @ Zen Massage Today! 

Sources:

https://nyti.ms/2luIrbD

https://bit.ly/2KlDii7

 

Prenatal Massages | Pregnancy Pampering

Prenatal Massages | Pregnancy Pampering

Lower back pain, leg cramps, swollen feet, heartburn. Pregnancy is beautiful, but it’s anything but comfortable. Expectant mothers can help their bodies adjust with diet, massage, yoga, and even by taking a dip in the pool.

Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques. From the first to third trimester, prenatal massages can have profound physical and psychological benefits.

While we always suggest getting your doctor or midwife’s advice before booking your prenatal massage, a massage therapist with prenatal massage experience and education will know how to ensure a safe, relaxing experience for you.

First Trimester Massage – Many women have been led to believe it isn’t safe to get a massage during this period. Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. But many facilities will refuse to offer massage to a woman who is still in her first trimester because of the increased risk for miscarriage associated with the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

During the first trimester, a prenatal massage can help relieve some of the headaches, constipation, and yes even morning sickness. Along with the physical benefits of a massage, taking the time to deeply relax will do wonders for your well-being as you prepare for motherhood!

Second Trimester Massage – Many women find this stage of pregnancy to be easy going compared to the first and third trimesters. However, as your belly grows, your posture will change as your center of gravity shifts, resulting in back pain. Prenatal massages can ease those tense back muscles as well as enhance your posture and bodily alignment. Your body and mind will benefit greatly from the healthy habits you’ve adopted.

Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered when massage therapy is introduced to women’s prenatal care. This leads to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health. In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (hormones associated with stress) were reduced, and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression).

These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence strongly suggests there are maternal and newborn health benefits when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.

Third Trimester Massage – You may find that the anticipation of delivery has increased your stress levels. This is the perfect time for you to book yourself a massage. You’ll find that regular prenatal massages during this last trimester can enhance your sleep, reduce pain and swelling, and generally assist in lowering stress as the delivery day draws near.

Massages during the third trimester can even help prepare your pelvic muscles for the birthing process. Some women find deep tissue massages especially helpful during the final stretch of pregnancy, though it’s always best to consult with your obstetrician and massage therapist beforehand.

Many women have experienced a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through massage.

Potential benefits of prenatal massage –

  • Reduced back pain
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced edema
  • Reduced muscle tension and headaches
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
  • Better sleep

Precautions – As with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness, women should discuss massage with their prenatal care provider. The best way to address the risks of prenatal massage is to be informed and to work together with knowledgeable professionals.

Women who have recently experienced bleeding, pre-term contractions, or have any of the following conditions should speak with a healthcare provider prior to receiving a massage –

The benefits of massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women. Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, massage therapy can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement shown to improve pregnancy outcome and maternal health. Consult with your midwife or obstetrician before beginning any new therapeutic practice.

From the early stages to the days before delivery, prenatal massages offer numerous benefits for your body and mind.

Sources:

http://www.massagebook.com/massage-therapy/pregnancy-pampering-benefits-prenatal-massages-trimester/

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/prenatal-massage/

Massage | 6 Vital Body Parts Often Overlooked

6 Often Overlooked Body Parts & Massage

For most of us, we tend to feel most tense or in need of massage in our shoulders, back, and neck. Working on these areas feels great and can help you feel much better, but what you may not realize is that there are parts of your body, not commonly thought of, that when massaged, can help create a whole body state of calm and relaxation. 

These 6 often overlooked hotspots on our body, can help you find a new meaning to feeling amazing. You can even massage some of these areas yourself.

1 – Ears

Ears weren’t just made for hearing. They have reflex points that we can massage to counteract whole body and mental stress as well.

One of the most famous anxiety-releasing spots is called Shen Men, or “The Gate of Heaven”.

The Chinese believe pressing near the top of our ears, just inside the rim can immediately bring us into a state of calm, relieve headaches and reduce stress.

Joseph Feuerstein, MD, director of Integrative Medicine at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut reveals how you can self-massage this point:

“Press or massage Shen Men firmly on one ear for a minute as you breathe deeply. Do each ear. Tilt the head from side to side to release the neck, between pressings.”

2 – Thumb

We spend a lot of time using our hands. Our thumbs are a vital part of what makes our hands so versatile and useful. Without our thumbs, we can’t grip, throw, punch, or even get dressed.

There are 8 muscles in our thumb alone!

Fingers have a gazillion nerve receptors connected to our body, which is why our fingers provide a window into our health.

Massaging fingers can release tension throughout the rest of the body. Try it for yourself and feel the difference.

If your thumb is really sore or stiff, to the point that you can’t open a jar, try massaging your hand and thumb to bring relief to tight, painful areas of your hands.

3 – Wrist

Our wrists and fingers tend to be neglected despite their importance and constant use.

Below the wrist is another vital acupressure point known as the “Inner gate” or the Pericardium 6.

According to Mind Body Green, massaging this point helps calm a racing heart. The “wristband technique” is also popular among those who suffer anxiety. Wearing and snapping the rubber bands whenever we’re anxious can calm us down.

If you want a more soothing experience then opt for a wrist massage, or do it yourself. by using your thumb to press on your wrist for four seconds then massaging it in a circular motion.

Clasping your hands as if you’re praying and to open and stretch the wrists relaxes the surrounding muscles and helps relieve wrist tension.

4 – Diaphragm

The average person at rest takes about 23,040 breaths per day.

And the diaphragm is the primary muscle of breathing.

But did you know the diaphragm is also the neglected superstar for core and spinal stability?

Meaning, if your diaphragm isn’t in top shape, you’re more prone to pain and injury. Hence the importance to maintain “core strength”.

5 – Gut

There’s always been a scientific link between gut health and digestion.

Recently there’s a buzz around how massaging our stomachs can be helpful to good digestion.

Dr Iona Bramati of IBC Care, who is a specialist in Visceral Osteopathic Treatment (VOT) believes massage is all about increasing the mobility of our guts.

“Visceral osteopathy is used to optimize blood and lymphatic supply to the internal organs aiming to restore its function.”

Walking, running and exercising are the usual ways that movement of food through the digestive tract is promoted, but as many of us will admit, we don’t move our bodies as much as we should, often sitting at our desks or couches for long periods of time.

The benefits of a simple belly rub are also numerous such as promoting a good nights sleep and relieving abdominal and hip flexor tension.

 

6 – Buttocks or Gluteus Maximus

We often skip massage on our buttocks, even though the gluteus muscles are some of the largest and most used in our bodies.

A variety of techniques include compression, friction, and deep strokes. Getting a butt massage can help counteract long hours of sitting.

It can also help with acute pain, tight muscles and soreness from overuse by relaxing these strong muscles and encouraging proper blood flow to return to the deep tissues of the glutes.

What Does Massage do to Improve the quality of our lives?

Massage has always had a reputation for being the “ultimate pamper treatment”. It just feels good, no matter any related benefits.

 

Unfortunately, stress is the norm for many of us and massage is no longer a luxury.

It is preventive health care that our bodies need to help stay physically and emotionally balanced.

Different massage techniques serve different purposes and help relieve pain, anxiety, depression, improve blood circulation – all leading us to enjoy a happier, healthier life.

We hope you’ve learned a few new tricks to help you manage your health and well-being. We also encourage you to seek out the assistance of a massage professional near you to help keep you on the right track to personal wellness.

Make massage part of your health routine. 

Get in touch with one of our Zen Massage Therapists in Salt Lake City.

Source

Golfer’s Elbow Care & Prevention

Repetitive motion injuries, such as Golfer’s Elbow, are on the rise. 

If you begin having an intense pain in your inner elbow and forearm, or have difficulty gripping and lifting things, you may be suffering from a condition known as golfer’s elbow, which, occurs as a direct result of repetitive motion, generally done incorrectly, over a long period of time.

You don’t have to play golf to get golfer’s elbow

  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Bowling
  • Football
  • Archery
  • Baseball
  • Carpentry
  • Plumbing

All of the above can cause Golfer’s Elbow or medial epicondylitis. It happens when repetitive motion irritates the common wrist flexor tendons near their elbow. The irritation causes pain and decreased functional use of your elbow.

For athletes, Golfer’s Elbow is often brought on by using the wrong equipment, like a golf club or tennis racket that is too heavy or that has a grip that is too large.

Symptoms typically include

  • Pain on the inner, or medial side of your elbow
  • Forearm pain
  • Difficulty gripping and lifting items
  • Pain when flexing your wrist

The key to preventing golfer’s elbow is to avoid overuse. If you feel any pain in your elbow during an activity, stop before it gets worse.

Treatments

A few sessions with your sports massage therapist may be in order to help you gain control of your condition and get back to normal activity.

Sports massage is beneficial for Golfer’s Elbow and for rehabilitation of previous injuries. At Zen Massage our therapists work on the injury location as well as on the muscle groups associated with the injury that may be causing additional pain from over-compensation due to the injury.

Stretches can also be helpful in controlling the symptoms of golfer’s elbow. These should be simple stretches and should not cause pain, and if they do they should be stopped until the pain resolves.

Exercises, also simple ones can be done to help strengthen the muscles and tendons involved with golfers’ elbow, by building up the muscles using proper motions you can help prevent the problem from returning.

Golfer’s elbow usually heals with simple treatment, and does not cause any long-term elbow problems. Treatment is rarely surgical, as this condition is well managed with a little rest and proper treatment and rehabilitation.

Note: Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, should not be confused with tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis.

The massage therapists at ZEN Massage are ready to get you back in playing form. Contact us for Sports Massage Therapy in Salt Lake City

Sports / Injury Therapy — 45 minutes for $65

Call (801) 467-3529

Book Now! http://zen.gettimely.com/book

Learn More: http://zenmassage.net/sports-massage/

Sources:

http://zenmassage.net/sports-massage/

https://paindoctor.com/prevent-tennis-golfers-elbow/

https://www.verywell.com/kinesiology-tape-for-golfers-elbow-2696038

http://golftips.golfweek.com/cure-prevention-golf-elbow-20309.html

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/golfers-elbow-prevention

https://www.verywell.com/physical-therapy-for-golfers-elbow-2696438