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The Magic Touch of Massage

By on February 6, 2018 in health

Have you ever had a massage? Chances are you have gotten a shoulder and neck rub from your partner, but those don’t count. We mean have you ever received the magic, relaxing touch of a professional? When properly executed, a massage from a qualified massage therapist can provide a great relief from pain and considerably improve your quality of life. Millions of people swear by this therapy and benefit from it on a regular basis.

Massage therapists relieve more than just stiffness and pain. Their talents can also be used to assist with the following:

Mental Health

People suffering from anxiety find it extremely difficult to relax. That leads to knotted and sore muscles. If your body is in an unhappy state, your mind almost inevitably follows suit. Massage relaxes those tense muscles allowing the whole body to relax. When your body is at rest, it’s easier for a person’s mind to get out of those endless anxiety loops and calm down.

Improved Sleep

Ever try to sleep when you are feeling tense and/or your muscles are sore? Not too easy, is it? A good professional massage will leave your body in a relaxed state more amenable to a good night’s sleep.

Better Exercise

Do you stretch before performing your favorite sporting activity? It’s a great way avoid muscle pulls and strains. Massage is even better for relaxing those muscles. It may seem odd to get a massage before you get down to business, but many professional athletes swear by it.

Keep Your Body Functioning Well

Do you sit at a desk for the most of your work week? That lack of activity can cause knotted, sore muscles, particularly if you are in front of a computer and typing. Massage therapists regularly relieve neck and shoulder tension in office workers (and they are very grateful for that!).

If your massage therapist lets you choose your own music, we recommend the following for your next session:

Helping Your Children Manage Stress at School

By on November 15, 2017 in health

 

Do you remember your school days as a child? Some immediately flashback to events that greatly enhanced their confidence, such as a track and field victory or doing especially well on an exam in a tough subject.

Others have less rosy memories. School can be intensely stressful for children and some are better able to handle this pressure than others. Most teachers will alert parents when they feel a child might be struggling, but it is important to regularly check in with your kids and find out how well they are coping.

If your child is having difficulty with stress at school, here are some suggestions that might help:

Sleep

It is imperative for children to get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sufficient rest affects everything from mood to basic concentration. From ages 6 through 17, the recommended minimum is 8-10 hours per evening.

Technology Embargo

Scientists are still studying what represents a healthy amount of screen time for children per day. This can be especially tough for parents to police, particularly if children have their own cellphones. Basic rule: if your child’s screen use is compromising their ability to study and do homework, then you need to crack down. This can often produce high emotion on both sides, but it is a necessary step.

Practice Relaxation

Adults can find meditation difficult to master, so it may be too much for a young child. However, there are alternative strategies, such as taking deep breaths, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization.

Music

Your kids no doubt love the top pop artists of the day, but it is also good to get them interested in music that is calmer and slower paced. Try playing some during meals or other family times.

Spending Time Together

The older children get, the less they want to spend time with their parents. But do your best to cultivate an open atmosphere where your child feels comfortable talking to you in detail about what is happening at school. That means also doing your part by listening attentively and offering suggestions and follow-up.

How To Help Someone With Dementia

By on December 28, 2016 in health

With dementia on the rise, it is very uncommon to hear of anyone who doesn’t know someone afflicted.

Image via pexels

It is a group of diseases that none of us wants to get to know, but many of us will. Whether it’s a family member or ourselves, dementia will touch us. The most common of the dementias being Alzheimer’s, most people have some idea of what this illness is.

My mother passed away after a decade-long illness with dementia. There was nothing easy about this experience for any of us, most especially her. She knew something was happening to her brain and it terrified her. What she needed at that time and in all the years since, was care and compassion and to be assured that she would be comfortable, safe and loved.

When it became clear that she would be best cared for in a long-term care facility, my father moved her in along with her familiar, most-favoured belongings. We got through each step in the process together and with the help of the care home community. And again, while there was nothing easy about this, what made it better was the support of my mother’s caregivers. Friendly smiles, connection, acknowledgement of this trauma in our family.

Over the years, some of my mother’s closest friendships disappeared. Friends were unsure what was causing her mood changes and they didn’t know how to ask. It still hurts to think about, but I also realize the enormity of telling a friend you’ve noticed worrying changes and want to know how to help.

If you know of someone who has been diagnosed with dementia, here are some ways you can help them:

  • Stay in touch: A brief, regular visit will help your friend or family member feel loved and comfortable. Even if they are no longer speaking, they are still seeing and feeling. Show them familiar photos or tell stories about favourite memories.
  • Music: Almost everyone loves to listen to music. For the person in your life who is affected by dementia, sing, play music, and, if their care home provides it, take them to a musical performance. If their care home doesn’t already have a music program, why not suggest one?
  • Reach out: The family will be going through many emotions over the course of their loved one’s diagnosis and illness. Reach out to them. A quick phone call or a cup of coffee will keep them encouraged and feeling remembered.

The best way you can help someone afflicted with dementia, is by reaching out. No matter how you choose to do it, let them know you care.

 

How To Prevent Weight Gain?

By on December 9, 2016 in health

After 30, weight gain can be a big concern for many of us. Unlike when we were young you can’t eat anything you’d like without getting fat. We tend to try different exercises routine, drinking juices for detox,  diet pills, while restricting our caloric intake.

A new research by the universities of Exeter and Bristol has found that repeated dieting may lead to weight gain because the brain interprets the diets as short famines and urges the person to store more fat for future shortages.

woman dieting

This may explain why people who try low-calorie diets often overeat when not dieting and so don’t keep the weight off.

By contrast, people who don’t diet will learn that food supplies are reliable and they do not need to store so much fat.

The study, published in the journal Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, looked at how animals respond to the risk of food shortage by gaining weight, which is why garden birds are fatter in the winter when seeds and insects are hard to find.

Dr Andrew Higginson, Senior Lecturer in psychology at the University of Exeter, says: “Surprisingly, our model predicts that the average weight gain for dieters will actually be greater than those who never diet.

“This happens because non-dieters learn that the food supply is reliable so there is less need for the insurance of fat stores.”

With the rising rates of obesity, scientists are looking for evolutionary reasons to explain why many find it hard to resist overeating.

For centuries humans have lived in a world where food was sometimes plentiful and sometimes scarce.  What researchers found was that in the latter case those with more fat would be more likely to survive.

Today, people often go through severe diets  which only convinces the brain it must store ever more fat.

The researchers’ model predicts that the urge to eat increases hugely as a diet goes on, and this urge won’t diminish as weight is gained because the brain gets convinced that famines are likely.

“Our simple model shows that weight gain does not mean that people’s physiology is malfunctioning or that they are being overwhelmed by unnaturally sweet tastes,” says Professor John McNamara, of the University of Bristol’s School of Mathematics.

“The brain could be functioning perfectly, but uncertainty about the food supply triggers the evolved response to gain weight.”

So how should people try to lose weight?

“The best thing for weight loss is to take it steady. Our work suggests that eating only slightly less than you should, all the time, and doing physical exercise is much more likely to help you reach a healthy weight than going on low-calorie diets,” Dr Higginson says.

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