Improve Your Well-Being


Using Massage To Improve General Well-Being

Did you ever wonder about the health benefits of massage, or did you think it was just a luxury item for self-indulgent rich folks with lots of time on their hands for pampering? There are several different types of massage and many ways that massage can help to increase your general well-being.

Some of the most commonly known types of massage are Swedish, Lomi Lomi, Shiatsu (Japanese finger pressure), Aromatherapy massage, and Reflexology.
A quick definition of these types follows below:

Swedish massage typically uses oil on bare skin and long sweeping, or circular, and rhythmical strokes that induce a sense of relaxation, peace, and calm.

Lomi Lomi is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of healing. Lomi Lomi is one of the most profound forms of massage. The flowing with total energy, using long continuous, flowing strokes, combined with a very loving touch, relaxes the entire being. The Hawaiians view all aspects of the body as one and believe that the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual are all part of the “whole” self – when healing is effected on one level, all levels are affected.

Shiatsu is typically performed through clothing on a mat known as a futon on the floor or a massage table and can be integrated into the massage using oil.  Deep pressure on acupuncture or acupressure points using thumbs, hands, elbows, and even feet may be used. Shiatsu works by balancing the distribution of energy throughout the body.

Aromatherapy massage uses oils blended with essential plant oils whose properties are known to have medicinal qualities. The beneficial molecules get absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin or inhalation and aid in healing.

Reflexology is an ancient form of foot massage. Points on the feet relate to various parts of the body and are pressed and massaged to bring about healing or relaxation in the related body part.

You probably know that massage is incredibly relaxing. If you are into natural highs, or just want to feel better overall, then massage is probably a good choice for you.

So, how does it work? You know that when you have a massage your body quickly softens into a deep state of relaxation. Massage works by relieving muscular tension, increasing blood flow to and promoting relaxation.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, massage helps to alleviate stagnation in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, and improve the circulation of energy. When energy in the body is in flow, health ensues. When energy is stuck, disease, pain, and discomfort is the result.

Various studies have found massage to be helpful in reducing symptoms in the following conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia 
  • Muscular Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Plantar Fasciitis 
  • Stress
  • Improve Circulation
  • Sleep Disorders 
  • Arthritis 
  • Migraines
  • Blood Pressure 
  • Lack of Focus
  • Lack of Creativity 

The benefits of gentle caring touch should not be underestimated in and of themselves. Remember, the body is designed to heal itself.  

There are a few contra-indications for massage, which include deep vein thrombosis, cancer, blood disorders, open wounds, severe osteoporosis, and fractures. If in doubt, consult your physician before trying massage.

Regular sessions can increase your quality of life by enhancing your mood, reducing the tension you carry, and alleviating an array of physical symptoms.

If you can manage a session, a week you will really notice an improvement in how you feel about yourself and your outlook on life will improve, as you feel more comfortable inside your own skin.

Burnout

  Assessing Your Need For Relaxation: Are You On The Verge Of Burnout

It is kind of obvious once you have hit burnout, the exhaustion, lack of motivation, lack of interest, poor efficacy, and overwhelming doubts of whether you should even be at your job are hard to miss. But, if you are not there yet, perhaps the symptoms aren’t as obvious.
So what is burnout? Burnout is the result of too much stress either from your job, a life situation, or maybe you are just over thinking situations and circumstances in your daily life. In the simplest of terms, burnout is absolute exhaustion, physical, mental, and emotional.
It is a combination of symptoms that cause you to be much less effective at work, less happy at home, and if left unchecked could cause you serious health complications. Burnout can leave you anxious, depressed, unmotivated, and ineffective. The list of symptoms can be vague and sound just like life, but life isn’t supposed to feel like burnout.
The first things you will notice looking for burnout are the causes. You will experience poor work-life balance, poor job fit, mismatched values, lack of control, or a dysfunctional work environment that wear on your peace of mind and your sanity. At first, it won’t seem like much, we have all muscled through hectic times, made it through, and not suffered any consequences.
Then, the symptoms hit. They creep in quietly and gradually as the enjoyment drips from your job and then your life. Perhaps just a general air of negativity and apathy towards your everyday activities. You might just feel stuck or indifferent. But, soon you lose sight of your values and your ability to focus; anxiety, depression, and insomnia set in as your mental faculties deteriorate from the weight of the stress.
Scariest of all, if left unchecked your physical health can begin to take the brunt of the burnout. You may begin noticing weight gain, frequent illnesses, various bouts of pain, high blood pressure, and an increase in the severity of existing conditions.      With burnout being something everybody would live better without, how do we prevent the mental turmoil and physical deterioration?
If you are beginning to experience any of the symptoms of burnout, consider reassessing your interests, skills, and passions and compare against current options. If you have good options, to move within your company or career path, these changes will be the easiest to make and cause the least amount of stress. Identify and manage your stressors as best as you can.
Another thing you can do to lessen the effects of burnout on your health and your life is keep your own attitude in check. Find gratitude and enjoyment in your job and life, it could be your lunch break or the drive home. Just find something you can enjoy and look forward to it through your day so it doesn’t feel like the deep dark hole. Making a conscious effort to change your attitude may buy you the time to make a change.
Reach out and gather support around you. Friends, family, co-workers, and professional help can all help you through the difficulties associated with burnout and decrease symptoms like depression that make the experience so much worse.
Lastly, take time for self-care, it isn’t selfish. Getting the time to relax, sleep, and exercise can be vital to curbing burnout before it starts. The required amount of sleep, 7-8 hours a night, can nip exhaustion in the bud and help your concentration. Exercise decreases pain and releases dopamine and serotonin to decrease depression and anxiety.
If you are feeling the effects of burnout and especially denying these feelings, you might need to assess your need to be proactive against burnout in your job and in life.