Reach Out and Touch Someone

Reach Out and Touch Someone

One of my biggest pet peeves is learning more about my loved ones on Facebook than by actually spending quality time with them.

Know what I mean?

When the cogs and wheels of the machine of my life really get going, it’s easy for me to put the blinders on, keep my nose to the grindstone, and fail to connect to the people that mean the most to me.

I’m so not okay with this!

 

Let’s be real:

Is the minutiae of life more important than our loved ones?

Are we really that important, or do we just want to feel important?

Who do we want to be important to?

 

In today’s Self-care Tuesday, we’re talking connection.

 

 

 

Can I challenge you?

How long has it been since you sat down with the one person who seems to keep popping into your mind?

You see their status updates and feel like you are participating in life with them, but when was the last time you sat across from a table with them, or at the very least, heard the sound of their voice?

Maybe it’s time to phone a friend.

 

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Make a call. Set a date.

Coffee. Tea. Cocktails.

Play date. Walking date. Slumber party.

If you need to re-connect to yourself, find a way to slow down and quiet down in order to touch base with yourself.

Are you are on the right path at the right pace for your priorities, preferences, and goals?

Maybe you need to re-connect with something bigger than yourself.

Source. Universe. Nature. God.

Whatever you call it, phone that friend too.

 

Connection is Vital to Health

Human connection is super important to health and well-being.

Having friends on Facebook is more of a relationship with a computer screen, not an actual person.

Living in social media isolation is not true connection, nor is health promoting.

 

Make the call. Set it up. Hear a voice. See a smile.

I assure you, connecting is going to fill your tank in an amazing way.

You will feel inspired, loved, important, and energetic.

And as an added benefit, with the energy hanging out with your loved ones provides, you will experience a tremendous boost of excitement and motivation when it comes to that busy to-do list!

 

Now it’s your turn!

In the comments below, tell us who you are going to connect with.

Consider it a “cosmic contract” and a promise to yourself.

How long has it been since you’ve seen this person? What would meeting and re-connecting with them mean to you?

 

 

 

 

Are You Deficient in Vitamin N?

Are You Deficient in Vitamin N?

Sometimes I look around and I see more concrete than grass.

More tall buildings than trees.

Hear more blaring car horns than chirping birds.

Smell more gasoline fumes than sweetly fragrant flowers.

 

We live in an Urban Jungle.

And like all nutrients important to your health and well-being, Vitamin N is quite essential.

 

 

Vitamin N?

That isn’t on the supplement label of my multi-vitamin. What’s the RDA of that?

Can I put that into my blender bottle protein shake?

 

Vitamin Nature

Studies have shown time spent in nature is a sure-fire way of getting out of your own head.

In science speak, that time stuck in your head is called rumination.

Rumination is the over-thinking or obsessing over of situations or relationships, and is thought to be responsible for a wide array of negative consequences such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addictive behaviors.

Could it really be so easy as to spend time outdoors to clear the static in your attic?

 

Clear your Mind. Soothe your Soul.

I think the musings of John Muir, Naturalist, Environmental Philosopher, and Preservation Advocate, sums up the outdoors in the most romantically poetic nature:

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.    (From Our National Parks)

That single quote above makes me want to grab my tent out of the garage, tie up my hiking boots and head out to a place with no cell service.

 

But Responsibilities

It’s not easy spending a week (or two) in a national park.

Deadlines. Responsibilities. Finals. Graduations. Dance Recitals.

Life happens regardless, and not many of us can just pack up and haul out.

Not many also have the skill set and desire to “camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows”.

Climbing mountains is hard, dangerous work. I wouldn’t recommend just heading out.

 

So How Do Us Urban Dwellers Get Our Nature On?

Kick off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass.

Plant some flowers and get some dirt under your fingernails.

Splash around in puddles.

The opportunities are as endless as your imagination allows, and your willingness to get a little dirty.

 

As I write this, I hear a gentle rainfall outside. The windows are wide open so I can fully hear it, as well as experience the cool caress of the crisp breeze accompanying it.

I made plans and reservations earlier today to go camping for two nights with the Hubs in a few weeks for our 17th wedding anniversary.

I hiked in two different local forest preserves this past weekend.

I like to get my Vitamin N in in as many varied, super-dosed ways as possible.

 

How do you like to spend time communing with nature?

Share your most favorite Vitamin N stories below.

How do you spend time outdoors?

What benefits do you feel after some essential time in nature?

(and if you know of any great hiking trails…let me know! I’m always up for a new adventure)

 

 

 

 

 

Biggest Myth About Massage Therapy

Biggest Myth About Massage Therapy

I’ve got a bone to pick.

This makes me mad as Hell, and I can’t just keep quiet about it anymore.

What’s got my feathers ruffled, you ask?

I’m sick and tired of hearing people tell terrible stories about how they went for massage therapy and the therapist beat the shit out of them.

Here’s someone who took time out of their busy life and spent good money in the hopes of feeling better in their own body, but what actually happened is another sad case of misinformation on the part of the client and the professional.

What we got is someone looking for pain relief, and got a heaping dose of hurt shoved on them.

 

So, who’s at fault?

As a 17 year veteran, I think I have a leg to stand on when it comes to my opinion on this topic.

I’ve logged in hundreds of thousands of hours laying my hands on human bodies, as well as collecting stories from the people whom entrust their body’s well-being (quite literally) into my hands.

And if there is one myth, misrepresentation, and piece of misinformation still circulating in the massage and bodywork profession it’s this:

 

MYTH: for massage therapy to be effective, it has to be painful.

 

Wrong!

Hate to break it to you, but this is as false as it gets!

The human body doesn’t respond favorably to aggressive, noxious stimuli.

In fact, the part of your brain hardwired for survival reads painful stimuli as a threat and a stressor.

A cascade of chemical and hormonal responses begins.  In 8th grade science class, it’s called the Fight-or-Flight response.

Eat, or be eaten!

And guess what….we don’t heal in that state.  Like, 0%.

 

Riddle me this

Know what the difference is between a knife fight and surgery?  One is socially acceptable.

The brain reads it the same way. Stress.

That’s why big time drugs are used during surgery; to paralyze your body and turn pain receptors and memory centers off in your brain.

Why do you think you need a breathing tube during surgery?  Because your body shuts off enough that you can’t do it yourself anymore.

So, you wanting to be painfully ironed out during your very poorly executed deep tissue massage actually has diminishing returns.

 

Deep is a geographical term.  It has nothing to do with how hard a massage therapist presses into your tissues.

 

Then Why Do I Still Hurt?

Probably a couple of reasons.

  1. Your brain is juiced! On stress.  It can’t come down. We know (re:science) that chronic mental stress makes our bodies inflamed and pained.
  2. The wrong areas were addressed.

If your brain is amped up, all of the time, relaxing is going to be tough for you. It’s not going to be like flipping a light switch.

 

Stress resilience is a skill set. You can learn it.

 

Relaxation does not come from a single massage performed once a month, only on vacation, or for your Mother’s Day or Christmas gift certificate.

 

Wait…Did you say wrong area?

Yes, I did. Good catch!

In the words of one of my favorite teachers, Ida Rolf, “Where you think the pain is, it ain’t.”

Too often, well-intentioned but under-educated massage therapists will only look at the area that you tell them is hurting.

And, to be fair, it makes sense……well, no, it doesn’t make sense to me at all, knowing what I know.

Just because your traps hurt doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your traps. Yet most massage therapists will massage holes into that thing because you say you’re tight there.

Maybe your traps hurt and are knotted up because your posture at work, where you sit way too much during the course of the day, has left that area angry and weak.

Not actually tight at all!

 

Everything has a cause and effect relationship.

It’s our job as professionally trained massage therapists to collect the information you present, ask the right questions to get the bigger picture, and then use our glorious and wonderfully trained brains to figure it out.

You know you got a great massage session when the therapist has taken the time to get to know you, takes a closer look at your individual situation, zeros in on the exact causes, and gives you some recommendations to play around with on your own time.

You feel relief, not like you were beaten with a baseball bat.

You shouldn’t have to recover because of your massage session. The massage is supposed to be a part of your recovery.

 

How about you?

Have you ever experienced a terrible massage?  (I have!  I could tell you stories)

Have found an incredibly gifted massage therapist?  What is it about them that keeps you coming back for continued care?

Share your stories below in the comments; I would love to hear what your experiences are!