Massage Basics

Massage Basics

Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. There are several types of massage that focus on different parts of the body or healing approaches. Keep reading and decide which type of massage might be right for you.

Swedish massage

Swedish massage is a gentle full-body massage that’s ideal for people who:

  • are new to massage
  • have a lot of tension
  • are sensitive to touch

It can help release muscle knots, and it’s also a good choice for when you want to fully relax during a massage.

For this massage, you’ll remove your clothes, though you may choose to keep your underwear on. You’ll be covered with a sheet while lying on the massage table. The massage therapist will move the sheet to uncover areas that they are actively working on.

The massage therapist will use a combination of:

  • kneading
  • long, flowing strokes in the direction of the heart
  • deep circular motions
  • vibration and tapping
  • passive joint movement techniques

Usually, a Swedish massage will last for 60–90 minutes.

Hot stone massage

Hot stone massage is best for people who have muscle pain and tension or who simply want to relax. This type of therapeutic massage is similar to a Swedish massage, only the massage therapist uses heated stones in lieu of or in addition to their hands. It eases muscle tension, improves blood flow, and relieves pain by using heated stones. Hot stone massage may help:

  • ease muscle tension
  • improve blood flow
  • alleviate pain
  • promote relaxation
  • relieve stress

During a hot stone massage, heated stones are placed on different areas around your whole body. Your therapist may hold a stone as they massage different parts of your body using Swedish massage techniques using gentle pressure. Sometimes cold stones are also used.

You don’t wear clothes for hot stone massage unless you’ll feel more comfortable wearing your underwear. You will be covered with a sheet. Usually, the massage is 90 minutes long.

Aromatherapy massage

Aromatherapy massages are best for people who want to have an emotional healing component to their massage. This type of massage can help:

  • boost your mood
  • reduce stress and anxiety
  • reduce symptoms of depression
  • relieve muscle tension
  • relieve pain

Aromatherapy massages combine soft, gentle pressure with the use of essential oils. Your massage therapist will usually decide which essential oils to use, but you can let them know if you have a preference. Essential oils are diluted before being applied to the skin.

During the massage, you’ll be given a full-body massage while inhaling essential oils through a diffuser and absorbing them through your skin. Sometimes an aromatherapy massage will only focus on your back, shoulders, and head. You won’t wear any clothing other than underwear, which is optional.

An aromatherapy massage is 60–90 minutes.

Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. It’s a good option if you have chronic muscle problems, such as soreness, injury, or imbalance. It can help relieve tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.

During a deep tissue massage, your massage therapist will use slow strokes and deep finger pressure to relieve tension from the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissues. You can be naked during this massage or wear your underwear.

The massage will last for 60–90 minutes.

While deep tissue may be more intense, you shouldn’t feel any pain or soreness.

Sports massage

Sports massage is a good option if you have a repetitive use injury to a muscle, such as what you may get from playing a sport. It’s also a good option if you’re prone to injuries because it can be used to help prevent sports injuries. You may also use sports massage to increase flexibility and performance. Additionally, sports massage can be used to relieve pain, anxiety, and muscle tension.

A sports massage can be done as a full-body massage or the massage therapist may focus on the parts of the body that need the most attention. Deep pressure may be alternated with soothing strokes depending on your needs.

You can have a sports massage while clothed or naked. If you prefer to wear clothing, make sure it’s thin, loose, and allows the therapist access to your muscles. Loose shorts and a tank top are options.

The massage will last for 60–90 minutes.

Trigger point massage

Trigger point massages are best suited for people who have injuries, chronic pain, or a specific issue or condition. Sometimes areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, can cause pain in other parts of the body. By focusing on relieving trigger points, this type of massage can reduce pain.

Trigger point massage uses broad, flowing strokes that are gentle and relaxing combined with stronger, deeper pressure. The massage will include work on your entire body, though your therapist will focus on specific areas of your body that need to be released. You can wear lightweight clothing for the massage or be fully or partially undressed.

This type of massage will usually last for 60–90 minutes.

Reflexology

Reflexology is best for people who are looking to relax or restore their natural energy levels. It’s also a good option if you aren’t comfortable being touched on your entire body. Reflexology uses gentle to firm pressure on different pressure points of the feet, hands, and ears. You can wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows access to your legs.

A reflexology massage lasts for 30–60 minutes.

Shiatsu massage

Shiatsu massage is best for people who want to feel relaxed and relieve stress, pain, and tension. It’s a Japanese type of massage that:

  • promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation
  • helps to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression
  • may relieve headache
  • reduces muscle tension

Shiatsu massage works the whole body, but your therapist may focus on areas of your body that need extra attention. During the massage, your therapist will use their hands, palms, and thumbs to massage certain points of your body. Pulsing or rhythmic pressure is used. You can be fully clothed during this massage.

Shiatsu massages typically last for 60–90 minutes.

Couple’s massage

A couple’s massage is a massage that you do with your partner, friend or family member in the same room. It brings all the benefits of a regular massage and sometimes provides you with access to the spa’s hot tubs, saunas, and other facilities. Other treatments such as pedicures, facials, and body scrubs are sometimes offered as part of a package.

You can usually choose which type of massage you’d like to receive, and you and your partner can each get a different type of massage depending on your preference and the offerings at the spa. Your partner and you will be on tables side-by-side, and you’ll each have your own massage therapist working on your body. You can talk during the massage if you wish.

Chair massage

A chair massage is best for people who want a quick massage that focuses on your neck, shoulders, and back. A chair massage can also be a way to introduce you to massage if you’ve never had one before. Chair massage also helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation. This type of massage uses light to medium pressure.

During the massage, you’ll remain fully clothed and sit in a specially designed chair. You’ll straddle the chair so that your chest pushes into the back of the chair, allowing the massage therapist to have access to your back.

These massages are usually 10–30 minutes.

Communication 

Always communicate your expectations and intentions with your massage therapist and speak up if there is something with which you aren’t comfortable. Talk to your doctor before getting any type of massage if you have any health concerns or conditions.

Massage may be a way for you to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. Experiment with different types of massage and with different massage therapists to find the type and provider that is most ideal for you.

Zen Massage Therapists, Salt Lake City

When it comes to massage therapy, no amount of exotic marble, fountains, lights, and monograms on fancy terrycloth robes and slippers can equal the skilled, experienced hands of a master massage therapist. A luxurious interior can make a great impression, but when you’re back in your clothes again walking out the door, the only thing that matters is how you feel in the real world. The quality of any spa experience is quite literally in the hands of the therapist. Nobody understands this better than ZEN Massage of Salt Lake City. Our partner-therapists make ZEN Massage what it is. We partner with only the best therapists who share a sincere passion for the craft of healing and the art of massage. But most of all, our partner-therapists are approachable. They know how to listen and to understand. They want to make you feel great. They enjoy what they do because they do it exceptionally well.  

Book My Zen Massage

Zen Massage in Salt Lake City

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

(801) 467-3529

 

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What is Asian Massage?

Ever wonder what they mean by an Asian Massage? 

Well, as the name suggests, an Asian Massage is bodywork that follows the principles of traditional Asian medicine, which usually means touch-based therapy with very specific purposes. Although all the many kinds of Asian massages aim to rejuvenate the body and promote some degree of physical and mental relief, each comes with its own different effects on the body.

Different Kinds of Asian Massage

Most Asian massages employ techniques that work with the body’s energy flow or chi. Basically, the goal is to create balance within one’s inner elements or chakras so that the body is reset. In contrast, western massage techniques are mostly meant for relaxation. The other difference is that Asian massages can be performed while the person is fully clothed. As opposed to its Western massage that applies the techniques on the bare skin.

Acupressure Massage

Developed by Chinese medicine over 5,000 years, this is a type of massage that uses pinpoint pressure on parts of the body. By specifically targeting these specific parts, tensions that normally build up within these areas are released, giving the person significant relief. The acupressure massage uses the same principles as acupuncture treatment in that they target the same acupoints. However, they don’t use needles to “puncture” these spots. Instead, they apply pressure, which is where the massage got its name.

What’s interesting about this massage is that it can be done on yourself if you know how. When done properly, it can provide immediate relief for certain sicknesses and conditions.

Amma or Anma

Amma uses a technique that combines application of pressure on acupoints with deep-tissue massage. It aims to cure the imbalances in one’s system, refreshing the entire body after. 

This therapy is based on traditional Japanese massage techniques introduced by Gan Jon Osho, a Buddhist Priest who practiced the Chinese anmo back in the 6th century. It was further developed in the 17th century by Waichi Sugiyama, who established schools for the blind. Being blind himself, Sugiyama taught the blind the ways of amma and they became quite common in the 20th century.

Ayurveda Massage

The Ayurveda Massage gets its roots from India. It’s a technique that focuses on the body’s chakras and marmas, which are similar to the acupoints in Chinese medicine. According to tradition, the body is filled with countless marmas. The massage, however, will focus on 107 major marmas that are all found at the junctions where the joints, bones, arteries, tendons, flesh, and veins meet. This is also where most body pains meet.

The massage also uses oils in order to employ techniques that aim to open and cleanse energy channels that could be blocked over time. The technique also stimulates all the senses, which also contributes to the healing process.

Shiatsu

The word means “finger pressure” in Japanese, but the massage actually uses a wide variety of techniques such as soothing, pressing, kneading, tapping, and even stretching in order to induce relaxation of the mind and body. Although a kind of Asian massage in itself, Shiatsu further branches out into different styles, with all having some association with one of the three massage systems that originated in Japan back in the 1900s. This kind of massage is actually commonly known even in the west. Unlike other well-known treatments, however, this kind of massage does not use any oil at all, and can be done while the client is fully clothed.

Jin Shin Jyutsu

Jin Shin Jyutsu is an incredibly simple version of acupressure massage. It follows the same principles of acupressure, except that it only focuses on 26 points, which are few compared to the 300 points that acupressurists work with. The 26 points are called SELs, which stand for Safety Energy Locks and are located along the body’s energy pathways. Using his hands, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner will hold on to a combination of these SELs and gently massage through them, allowing the client to experience the flow of energy, which can be as relaxing as it is healing.

Chi Nei Tsang

This Chinese detoxifying massage is said to treat the emotional conditions that have been associated with diseases. It targets the body’s organs, specifically the ones affected by any illness, in order to help with healing and recovery.

Chi Nei Tsang uses old Taoist techniques where the organs are gently but deeply massaged, which results in physical, spiritual, and emotional relief. When translated, the phrase “Chi Nei Tsang” means to work the internal organs. The abdomen is normally oiled up so it feels warm before it is subjected to massage strokes with the palm. Sometimes the person would feel some pain because the organs are indeed being targeted, but feels relaxed after.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is a full body contact massage that uses a combination of Indian Ayurvedic principles, acupressure massages, and yoga poses. It generally does not use oil and can be applied with the client fully-clothed. During the massage, the therapist follows identified lines along the body, and the client will be positioned in a way that they follow these lines. Hence, the client can expect being put into different positions on top of his fingers and extremities of the body being pulled and some knuckles being cracked. Of course, much like actual yoga, the client would feel relieved after the session, which normally lasts for up to two hours.

Asian massages have really come a long way since they were developed by ancient Asian tradition. But no matter how different they are, they all have the aim of promoting health and wellness to those who experience it. 

If you haven’t yet, make it a point to try them all and see which one suits your needs and preferences best. Don’t hesitate to ask your therapist if you want to know more about the treatment you’re looking to get so you can make the most of the experience.

 

Source

Zen Massage in Salt Lake City 

http://zenmassage.net/

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

How to Begin a Workout Routine

Begin a Workout Routine Again

Have you been planted in the couch cushions too long?  Here are some tips we’ve found on how to start exercising and establish a fitness routine you’ll actually stick with.

Stop beating yourself up for your lack of effort, it’s time to move on and forgive yourself.

Here’s how to start:

1 Take Some Selfies

In order to accurately track your progress, it’s helpful to identify your starting point and then define your goal. If you do this every two to four weeks you can track your progress. Another option is to use a tape measure and track measurements in your biceps, waist, hips, bust, and thigh areas so you can see you’re losing inches, even on weeks when it seems the scale hasn’t budged.

2 Start Small

So you haven’t lifted a weight since who knows when? That’s OK. The first week you’re easing back into exercising, start small. Know that any movement is good movement. Commit to doing 10 minutes of an exercise video or walking for exercise three days this week. This will help you establish behaviors and create the habits your body will thank you for.

3 Make One Change at a Time

The first week you intend to exercise, look ahead at your schedule and establish modest changes to your routine. Write down five ways you are going to be healthy today. Your daily success list could include things like not drinking soda, eating more vegetables, doing 30 minutes of walking today, taking the stairs in your office once a day, and drinking more water. Keep them small and achievable so you’ll be motivated by your daily victories.

4 Plan Out Your Mornings

Starting a morning workout routine is just like establishing any other new habit: It requires some planning and dedication. Prep your coffeemaker to go off when you wake up, pack your lunch the night before. Look at each week ahead of time and plan exercise accordingly. Advance prepping and planning can eliminate decisions about your workout, clothes, or what you’re eating that day—freeing up time to actually exercise.

5 Expect to Fall

Here’s the reality of any journey, whether it’s business, relationships, diet, or fitness—you’re going to make mistakes and stumble along the way. Just remember, like you would if you were faced with an issue in the workplace, identify the problem and take action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

6 Look Beyond Weight Loss

Exercise for the health benefits that aren’t related to weight loss, like feeling more energized, happier, calmer, and experiencing better sleep. When you don’t feel like exercising, remind yourself of how good you’ll feel during or after exercise. If you can begin to associate being active with pleasure and how good you feel as a result of it, you’ll be more inclined to stick to your exercise routine.

7 Find Something You Can Stick With

Fitness experts and doctors alike often say the “best exercise” is the one you enjoy and will keep doing. If you hate boot camp workouts or can’t see yourself making a weekly commitment to yoga, move on to something you’ll look forward to showing up for. Maybe a dance class, Spinning, ballet-inspired barre workouts, or walking with friends. You want to make this experience as pleasant as possible. 

8 Make New Habits

If you can nail down a few fitness habits—whether that’s getting up a few mornings a week or even showing up to the gym when you don’t feel like it—you’re more likely to be successful. Once your mental game is on point and established, the physical aspect of following through with your intentions will be easier.

9 Do It for Yourself

When you make a promise to anyone else in your life—your husband, child, boss, or friend—you stick to it, but because it’s you, you might not stick to your commitment. You must treat the fitness and health commitments you make for yourself like you would your job, family, and friendships. You wouldn’t let important people in your life who are counting on you down, so why do it to yourself? 

In the end it’s all about taking care of you.

Zen Massage in Salt Lake City 

ZenMassage.net

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

Back to School Specials for Mom’s – Spa Massage in Utah

Back to School Specials for Mom’s – Spa Massage in Utah

Back to School Specials for Mom’s – Spa Massage in Utah

Over the school holidays, if you had a dollar for every harassed mom who said she REALLY needed a massage you would probably be able to close your massage and spa business for a week and fly out to the Bahamas.

When the summer vacation is all over and life has returned to near normal, there are stressed parents everywhere looking for some respite, and a little treat after the weeks of ‘Mom, I’m bored’ from their little darlings. So why not come up with a few back to school specials that will soothe and restore them again?

  1. Most Moms will have spent a lot of the school holidays on their feet. Whether they’ve been on a vacation with the kids, on day trips or just running around after them constantly, the first part of their body (well, other than their nerves) that needs to recuperate is probably their feet. Promote overall stress relief, well-being and foot care with a package that will give real results; a ‘Take the Weight Off’ pamper package offering a reflexology session with all the extras!
  2. Cover all bases with an aromatic foot soak with essential oils, sugar or salt scrub, relaxing massage and reflexology, followed by a moisturizing foot mask or paraffin wax treatment. You’re your mom is relaxed, you can complete the treatment with a choice of polish and she’ll feel just like new!
  3. Another area that busy moms neglect when the kids are home is their own personal grooming. Let’s be honest, who has the time for a wax, a facial or manicure when they have a houseful of little ones to keep entertained? Taking them to the salon is a no-no so after a few weeks, unless they’ve managed to sneak off for an afternoon of me-time, they’ll be in need of some upkeep. A pick and mix package for all the bits they’ve missed, with discounts for the more treatments they book at one time, could be a winner.
  4. So, if they are coming in for their wax, you could offer 10 per cent off a regular facial booked at the same time, and if two treatments are booked, offer a further discount on a manicure or an eyebrow/lash treatment. They don’t have to have all the treatments at the same time, but they must be booked at the same time. Promote it as ‘Back to school and back to YOU’ to encourage moms to book the deals, and get them feeling more like themselves after a frazzled few weeks.
  5. Finally, a massage package is always a winner with moms who have been feeling stressed from all the extra demands of their kids. Offer a Back to School Massage deal – all full body, aromatherapy or shoulder, neck and back massages are 10 per cent off if booked for the first two weeks after the holidays – and add in a 15 minute foot massage as a free upgrade.

The main thing to remember is that for weeks, moms everywhere have been focusing on everyone but themselves – so you’re going to put the focus right back onto them and make them feel special.

Book your Back to School Massage today at Zen Massage – (801) 467-3529

Sports Massage “Hurts So Good”

Sports Massage Really Does Hurt So Good

According to Johnson Memorial Health’s blog, Sports Massage Really Does Hurt So Good.

 “It’s a good kind of hurt.” Sports Massage Therapy may not have the same ambiance or effects of a luxurious spa treatment, but the benefits will improve your athletic performance and help injury recovery. 

There’s no need to suffer with tight or sore muscles for weeks on end when regular therapy can help expedite recovery. The deep tissue rubdown can be painful at first but the effects on conditioning and improvement on performance is well worth the initial discomfort.

Many professional, collegiate and high school athletic programs integrate Sports Massage into their training programs, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. Massages take place before or after competition. And, while Sports Massage is more physically intense than a spa massage, you’ll still walk away with less stress and tension.

The specific technique used in Sports Massage Therapy gives your muscles more oxygen and nutrients necessary for quick recovery and to prepare them for competition. To give you a better idea of how exactly this happens, we broke down the benefits for you.

Pacing

Often fast-paced, Sports Massage Therapy can be administered before or after competition or a workout. It is designed to increase flexibility and reduce soreness – and can be customized by the sport or athlete’s body type. Typically pre-event massages are performed at a faster pace to prepare the muscles for competition; stimulating them to increase speed and flexibility.

Technique

The Certified Sports Massage Therapist administering the massage uses specific techniques that apply heavier pressure on layers of muscles and deep tissues. This helps to:

  • Get blood flowing back to the heart
  • Deliver fresh oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and tissue

The goal is to remove knots and tension within the muscles. The tissue movement also removes waste products and toxins from your tissues and muscles through the blood and lymphatic system. Drinking plenty of water after a massage helps to move these out of your body.  — with the help of lots of water following the massage.

Physical Benefits

While a Sports Massage can leave you sore for about a day or two, the therapy directly benefits the muscles and integrated cardiovascular system. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine said the increased and enhanced blood circulation and relaxed muscles helps to:

  • Relieve muscle tension
  • Reduce soreness
  • Make for faster recovery
  • Increase range of motion and flexibility

Sports Massage Therapy can also prevent or relieve Delayed Onset Muscle soreness by encouraging blood and lymph flow throughout the body and preventing muscle fatigue.

Psychological Benefits

Besides helping the body recover physically, Sports Massage Therapy also gets you into competition mod and mentally prepares you for your next workout. During the release of tight muscles, the body increases dopamine and serotonin levels. This reduces stress, tension and anxiety by activating your parasympathetic nervous system.

Therapist Qualifications

A therapist’s credentials help give you a clearer idea of a therapist’s capabilities and competency surrounding different massage therapies. In general, according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), credentials include:

  • Licensing
  • Board Certification
  • Education and Training with an accredited school
  • Membership with a professional association like AMTA, NCBTMB or ABMP.

To ensure that your therapist is understanding of sports-related injuries or prevention, it’s recommended that you look for a therapist with certification in particular modalities used in sports therapy, for example, myofascial techniques

Make sure to ask them about any questions or concerns you have about Sports Massage Therapy.

Originally Posted by Johnson Memorial Health

 

For professional Sports Massage in Salt Lake City Contact Zen Massage (801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

The Benefits of Prenatal Massage

The Benefits of Prenatal Massage

FOR MOTHER AND BABIES TOGETHER

Both mother and baby

First and foremost, prenatal massage makes you feel good. It nurtures and pampers the body at a time when it needs it most. Book your appointment at Zen Massage in Salt Lake City, UT today. (801) 467-3529

In addition to soothing the body and dissolving stress, a trained touch delivers a wide range of physiological, psychological and emotional benefits.

It’s a safe and relaxing way to relieve pregnancy’s common discomforts like backaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, leg cramps and shakes, headaches, heartburn, fatigue, hemorrhoids, nasal congestion, sciatica and shortness of breath.

Prenatal massage does more than benefit the mother. Everything a pregnant woman does — from her diet and fitness to her relaxation and relative state of contentment – also directly affects the child she is carrying.

Study after study has proven that calmness in the mother leads to healthier in-utero development.

Regular prenatal massage can help prepare you for labor by making the pelvis more supple.

Just like a regular massage, prenatal massage:

  • improves circulation
  • aids lymphatic flow
  • removes toxins
  • promotes relaxation
  • raises endorphin levels
  • eases neck, back, and joint pain
  • relieves muscle spasms and cramps

Book your appointment at Zen Massage in Salt Lake City, UT today. (801) 467-3529

4 Reasons To Give the Gift of Massage

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be tricky holidays to maneuver. In one day we try to sum up our feelings of gratitude, appreciation & Love.

Newsday once posted an ebates.com survey reporting on what moms actually want for Mother’s Day. While 31% would NOT like perfume, and 40% would NOT like a cookbook, a full 60% have “quality family time” as their list topper. Not far behind, 44% put “spa day” on their short list. Combining these two top gift wishes with mother-daughter massages at Zen Massage is a win-win idea, and here’s why:

  • Whether Mom is as healthy as she was decades ago, or has started experiencing some health problems, massage is a therapeutic, soothing, immunity-boosting experience for all. Everyone can benefit from having increased circulation and muscle relaxation yes even Dad.

  • If your mom or dad does not regularly receive massage, this is a great way to introduce her to the many life-enhancing benefits it offers.

  • Start or end your day together with an invigorating experience that raises your “feel-good” hormones will enhance your experience all the more.  

  • Mom deserves a little pampering and Dad could use some downtime. Treating them while also improving her health?  Doesn’t get much better!

By giving your mother or father a massage at Zen Massage (and getting one yourself at the same time), you’re setting a powerful example of health. By prioritizing your own wellness, and allowing them to enjoy the benefits as well, you’re starting a truly wonderful family tradition. An entire legacy of wellness can be born with one or two smart choices. Start yours this year by introducing this very important aspect of good health. Start a Mom and daughter tradition enjoying a Mother’s Day massage together or a father-daughter tradition for Father’s day. You’ll be so glad you did.

Book Your ZEN Massage in SLC today!

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

 

Value of Massage Therapy for Surgical Pain

Massage Therapy for Surgical Pain

Massage therapy can be effective for reducing pain intensity/severity and anxiety in patients undergoing surgical procedures.

That was the conclusion of a collaborative meta-analysis of research on massage therapy for pain conducted by Samueli Institute, commissioned by the Massage Therapy Foundation, with support from the American Massage Therapy Association.

The review and analysis was published in the September issue of the journal Pain Medicine.

The study concludes that patients should consider massage therapy as a therapeutic option to help manage their pain and anxiety from surgical procedures.

About the Study

This systematic review and meta-analysis was the first to rigorously assess the quality of massage therapy research and evidence for its efficacy and effectiveness in treating pain, function-related and health-related quality of life outcomes for people with various types of surgical pain and anxiety.

Source

Book Your ZEN Massage in SLC today!

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

 

How Our Bodies Register the Power of Touch

The Surprising Science Behind the Healing Power of Touch

By Anne Mullens with additional research by Jennifer Krissilas, Reader’s Digest Canada

It’s the sense that we most often take for granted—and one cannot live without. Check out the surprising science behind the healing power of touch.

How Our Bodies Register the Power of Touch

Of our five senses, touch is often the one we take for granted. Science has only begun to understand the highly complex system of nerves, sensors and receptors that link our skin and brain to our environment and the people around us.

“There’s still so much we don’t know about touch sensations,” says David J. Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and the author of 2015’s Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind. What we do know, he says, is that there are separate sensors for texture, vibration, pressure and itch.

One of the leading touch researchers in the world is Dr. Håkan Olausson, professor of clinical neuroscience at Linköping University in Sweden. He was part of a team that found special touch fibres, called C-tactile afferent fibres, which are responsible for regis­tering and transmitting to the brain the emotional meaning of gentle strokes and caresses. These nerves respond optimally when touched at around 32 C—the temperature of a human hand. “They are particularly sensitive to caresses but also respond to many other types of touch, such as pressing on the skin,” Olausson says.

When the CT fibres aren’t working properly, a gentle touch instead feels aversive and can undermine attempts to form emotional connections to others, says Francis McGlone, a neuroscientist at Liverpool John Moores University in England. CT stimulation, when delivered through nurturing touch, impacts the neural networks in our brains that allow us to see ourselves as separate beings with needs that are different from others. Without this ability, individ­uals may be unable to read emotional cues, making it difficult for them to empathize. Research last year, led by McGlone, found that children on the autism spectrum may have a difference in the functioning of their CT fibres that causes them to find soft touch from others unpleasant.

For individuals whose CT fibres function normally, however, touch can bring a great amount of bene­fit, McGlone says. Gentle contact can reinforce social relationships, communicate positive feelings, and even make us more capable of dealing with stress.

 

Continue Reading the Original Article Here

Stealing a Little Time for Yourself, Guilt Free

Making Time for Yourself Can Greatly Improve Your Relationships

Whether you’re single, married, or in a relationship, the demands of life and the expectations of those nearest and dearest to your heart can make finding time for yourself a huge challenge. Between dedicating time to parents, children, partners, siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends, colleagues, and work, it’s hard to even dream of stealing a little time for yourself.

Couple that with the guilt that many people, especially women, experience when they manage to find a few moments of time for themselves, and it becomes clear why so many people feel that finding time for themselves isn’t worth the effort. But worth the effort it is, and not only because of the personal benefits you’ll reap. Alone time has interpersonal benefits as well.

Personal Benefits of Solitude

Taking time for yourself gives your brain a chance to reboot, improves concentration, increases productivity, helps you discover (or rediscover) your own voice, gives you a chance to think deeply, and helps you problem solve more effectively. It also gives you a better sense of balance and self-awareness that can lead to a better understanding of yourself–what drives you, what inspires you, what excites you. This, in turn, can have a positive effect not only on the quality of your relationship with yourself, but also on the quality of your relationships with others.

But in today’s world, how do you find the time to give to yourself? And equally important, how do you deal with the guilt when you somehow manage to find it?

“Finding” Time

As overscheduled as our lives are these days, it can be quite a challenge to find time for yourself. There are a few things you can do, such as using your lunch hour, waking up a little earlier than everyone else, and temporarily disconnecting from your gadgets. If you’ve tried these tricks and still can’t seem to find any time to schedule for yourself, then you may need to take a hard look at your schedule and your priorities.

What are some things you’re doing now that can be consolidated or eliminated? Is there anything that can be postponed? What can be delegated? Maybe it’s true that you can do things better than everyone else, but in most schedules, there are some things that don’t need to be done better; they just need to be done. By delegating those tasks, you can free up some time for yourself, which may be much more productive in the long run than doing everything yourself.

Another important point to remember is that you don’t have to come up with hours and hours of alone time. Just start off small and see what happens. Hopefully, the little bit of time you steal for yourself will become so reinforcing that you’ll find more and more ways to get more of it.

Overcoming the Guilt

Some people, particularly women, feel guilty about taking time for themselves. They see themselves as the one who should be taking care of everyone else, and their needs often fall by the wayside. However, taking care of yourself is something that you should never feel guilty about. It not only models healthy behavior for the ones you love, but it also keeps you happy, healthy, and strong so that you can continue doing what fulfills you; and if that’s taking care of others, then you’re in an even better position to do that.

Guilt is counterproductive to reaping the full benefits of solitude. If you spend all or even some of your “found” time feeling guilty that you found it, then doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

If you need even more justification to lose the guilt, consider these points:

♦ Spending time with yourself is time well spent because it makes you a happier person to be around.

♦ Spending time with yourself benefits everyone because by having a happier and healthier mindset, you’re in a better frame of mind to take care of the people who are important to you.

♦ Spending time with yourself is preventative medicine to combat burnout. What good will you be to anyone if you eventually burnout? (And you will if you don’t take care of yourself.)

Overcoming Resistance

Once you begin making time for yourself, dont be surprised if you don’t run into a little resistance from those in your life who are used to you always being available. There are many reasons why this resistance might happen–insecurity, overdependence, feeling slighted or rejected, or simply because they have become accustomed to always having you around. Don’t let their resistance stop you. Reassure these people that you’re still there for them, but in order to be there for them over the long haul, you also have to also take care of yourself. Then, do it! Just as they’ve grown accustomed to you always being there for them, they’ll get accustomed to you taking time for yourself.

Hopefully, the ideas here will leave you inspired and motivated to find ways to make time for yourself.

“When we take some time to solely think about ourselves, and not have to consider our impact on others, we begin the process of true self-awareness. It can be a little daunting at first, but the result of this awareness is that you learn what drives you, what excites you, and what motivates you. This new-found self-awareness is a beautiful thing and it can have a dramatically positive effect on your life and relationships.” – Marty Herald’s Personal Growth and the Art of Inspired Living blog.

So give yourself a gift that will keep on giving … time for yourself.

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Take time for yourself and feel great!

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Source:  Psychology Today