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.’”

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

 

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

A Healthy Lifestyle Starts With Sleep

Lack of sleep is never good, but did you know that it increases your risk for serious health concerns?

If you’ve ever spent a night staring at your ceiling or checking the clock every 5 minutes, you know how you feel the next day: tired, cranky, and generally out of sorts. But missing out on the recommended 7 to 8 hours of slumber nightly does more than make you feel grumpy. The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real. It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk.

Scientific studies show that a lack of sleep causes significant changes in the body, affects long-term memory and increases your risk for obesity, disease, and even early death.

Why Sleep is Important

Sleep is an important function for many reasons. When you sleep, your brain signals your body to release hormones and compounds that help:  

  • decrease risk for health conditions
  • manage your hunger levels
  • maintain your immune system
  • retain memory

Sleep Helps Your Memory

Besides helping you focus, sleep helps protect and strengthen your memory. Research shows that sleeping after learning can help with memory retention. It also reduces interference from external events.

People who are sleep-deprived:

  • have a harder time receiving information due to the brain’s overworked neurons
  • may interpret events differently
  • tend to have impaired judgment
  • lose their ability to access previous information

Harvard Research suggests that sleep helps learning and memory in two distinct ways. First, a sleep-deprived person cannot focus attention optimally and therefore cannot learn efficiently. Second, sleep itself has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information.

It’s important to get seven to eight hours of sleep so that you can experience all the sleep stages. No one stage is responsible for memory and learning. Two stages (rapid eye movement and slow wave sleep) contribute to:

  • creative thinking
  • procedural memory
  • long-term memories
  • memory processing

Sleep loss and sleep disorders are among the most common yet frequently overlooked and readily treatable health problems in the United States.

After decades of research, the case can be confidently made that sleep loss and sleep disorders have profound and widespread effects on human health.

7  to 8 Hours for Longevity

Again, the healthy amount of sleep for the average adult is around seven to eight hours each night.

Researchers in the United Kingdom and Italy analyzed data from 16 separate studies conducted over 25 years, covering more than 1.3 million people and more than 100,000 deaths. They published their findings in the journal Sleep. Those who generally slept for less than six hours a night were 12 percent more likely to experience a premature death. People who slept more than eight to nine hours per night had an even higher risk, at 30 percent.

Researchers also found that people who reduced their sleep time from seven hours to five hours or less had 1.7 times the risk of death from all causes.

When we are sleep deprived, our focus, attention, and vigilance drift, making it more difficult to receive information. Without adequate sleep and rest, over-worked neurons can no longer function to coordinate information properly, and we lose our ability to access previously learned information.

In addition, our interpretation of events may be affected. We lose our ability to make sound decisions because we can no longer accurately assess the situation, plan accordingly, and choose the correct behavior. So our overall judgment becomes impaired.

Although chronic sleep deprivation affects different individuals in a variety of ways (and the effects are not entirely known), it is clear that a good night’s rest has a strong impact on learning and memory.

 

For more information about sleep see these articles:

https://www.healthambition.com/health-benefits-sleeping/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep

https://www.howsleepworks.com/need_debt.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body

Https://www.healthline.com/health/science-sleep-why-you-need-7-8-hours-night#Overview1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768102/

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory