So, you’re busy, and you probably just spent a ton of cash over the holidays. I get it. And trust me, I also know that the idea of bundling up just to head to someplace where you’ll have to peel of your all your warm winter gear, may make you feel like hibernating until the spring. But despite all that, I'm here to tell you that this is actually the best time of year to book a massage. Why? Because the bitter cold, shorter days, and grey skies of winter have all kinds of not so great effects on your body, and massage therapy can help you to …
1. BEAT THE WINTER BLUES (aka S.A.D.) We all need to pay attention to our emotional and psychological wellness in order to stay healthy and stress free, right? Well, did you know that massage therapy is a surefire way to shake off the winter blues that tend to show up with the coming of the cold weather and less hours of sunlight each day? Getting regular massages this season will help to boost your mood and help you ditch the stress – via the release of serotonin and endorphins that are released by your therapist’s soothing touch.
2. BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. Let’s face it, winter time is prime time to catch colds and flus. But you know what is a natural and non-invasive way to give your immune system a boost as you brave the cold this winter? You guessed it, massage treatments. Why? Because massage – particularly Manual Lymph Drainage massage - increases lymphatic flow, giving your immune system a much-needed assist at this time of year.
3. IMPROVE SKIN HEALTH & HYDRATION. Dry winter air, bone-chilling winds, and near constant exposure to heaters can quickly leave your skin feeling parched. The oils and lotions used during a massage session will give you a head-to-toe dose of nourishing hydration, which will go a long way to improving the appearance, feel and health of your skin.
4. RELIEVE MUSCLE TENSION & JOINT ACHE. Whether you love or hate the winter, it’s likely that you’ve noticed that you experience more muscle tension and joint discomfort in the winter. Our bodies tend to tense up in response to the cold, especially if we’re out in the cold for a long time. And since the increased tension leads to tighter muscles and more restricted joints, the chance injuring yourself during common winter activities like shovelling snow or slipping on a patch of ice is pretty high if you don’t do something to ease all that tension. Fortunately, massage therapy is a super easy way to give your body the warmth and tension relief it needs to make it safely through the winter.
5. INCREASE BLOOD FLOW & DECREASE HYPERTENSION. The drop in the mercury that accompanies winter also makes our blood vessels to constrict, which slows the circulation of our blood, and increases blood pressure. Regular massage enhances your blood flow through the cardiovascular system, naturally lowering blood pressure.
So, do something truly good for your health and sense well-being this winter, and book a massage today!
Interested in learning more about Decongestive and Breathing Exercises for lymphedema?
Then check out this article detailing how to do both; and a video of a very gentle decongestive exercise class.
If you’ve already fallen of the wagon with respect to New year’s Resolutions, or feel like you’re about to, know that you’re not alone. Studies show that by January 15th the number of people keeping their resolutions has already dropped to approximately 70%, and that less than 10% of us actually achieve our resolutions for the year. But if you’re determined not to dash your hopes of making a fresh start this year stick around, and check out the list of 10 top tips below, that will get you back on track in no time…
1. Reassess your goals and get clear about your motivation. Anytime start to lose focus and determination to achieve a goal, it’s a good idea to take a step back and figure out if they are still actually important to you. If after reviewing your resolutions, you still feel like the changes you decided to make will move you in the direction you want to go in life, then think about your motivation, or your 'whys' for wanting to achieve your goals. Whether you have health and fitness, relationship or financial goals, having clear understanding of why achieving a given goal is important to you, will go a long way to helping you get back (and stay) on track.
2. Start small and make a plan. If you’ve set goals for yourself that are achievable, but lean a bit lofty, you’ll likely need to chunk them down into smaller action steps you can check off your list as you go So, take the time to list all the steps you’ll have to take to get you from where you are now to where you want to be, and then create an action plan. Having a plan made up of small, easily achievable ‘mini resolutions’ will not only make the whole process less intimidating, it will also make it that much easier for you to keep moving forward.
3. Be specific. If you can’t measure it how will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? So put a number - be it pounds, dates on a calendar, or dollars - on it, so you have a crystal clear target in mind as you chug along.
Christy, holistic nutritionist at your service, here to share 3 key nutrition tips to help you spring into better health – from the inside out – in 2018!
But before I begin, I’d like to ask you to think about the type of environment that you are eating in. Over the years, I have found that stressful environments can have a negative impact on how well many people, myself included, digest meals. That’s why I always talk to my clients about how crucial it is to evaluate:
because all of these factors can impact our stress levels and our quality of digestion.
Now, with that out of the way, let's move on to my tips...
1. Eat in peace. Ensure that you’re able to take the time to eat in a space where you feel at peace. Savour your flavours and chew your food! In the past I have successfully used a few different ways to reduce my stress level when consuming a meal, including: listening to music that I love, tuning into a podcast that tickles my brain, and meditating. By relaxing your mind as you digest your food, you can profoundly improve your overall nutrient absorption. So, try putting yourself in a “chilled out” environment and head space, for at least 15 minutes, whenever you sit down to eat a meal.
2. Drink lots of water. Another way to improve your health from the inside out – by decreasing feelings of lethargy and improving digestive function – is to make sure that you are drinking enough water. Even as a nutritionist, I had to work hard to get my water intake up to the recommended 8 glasses per day. If you find that you are not drinking enough water, it’s time to increase your intake. If 8 glasses seem like a lot to you, it’s ok to start small. Begin by aiming for 4 glasses each day, and then increase by one glass, each week, until you hit 8. Also, if you are consuming anything that has a diuretic effect on the body (i.e. cola or coffee), you’ll need to have few extra glasses to offset its effect.
3. Think about food as fuel. Eating is the way we refuel our bodies, so having a minimum of three meals each day is important. Focus on balanced eating to get the all the nutrients your body requires. Specifically: proteins, fats and carbs (the big building blocks of the body); vitamins and minerals (essential nutrients that help the body to perform at its best); probiotics (microbes that play a role in breaking down food to make vitamins and in protecting the immune system); and prebiotics (which function as food for the good microbes in the gut).
So to recap: we talked about being mindful of our environment and mindset when we eat; drinking enough water; and eating right to get the nutrients we need.
If you have any questions about nutrition and how you can eat your way to better health, this year and beyond, I would be happy to answer. Feel feel to leave your queries, thoughts on this post or any tips of your own in the comment section below. Or connect with me here.
Ciao for now!
P.S. Please, share, like and stay tuned! ;-)
Making a Fresh Start is the theme for the month on this blog, and as a result I’ve been spending a lot of time asking myself “what does Making a Fresh Start mean to you?” For me the phrase means having a chance to hit the pause button on my life so I can reassess and get clear about how well I’m taking care of me, in all aspects of my life – mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.
The list of tips below is the fruit of my reflections on the subject, and I hope my ideas on the subject will be helpful to you too.
Now, before you run off, why not take a few moments to share what are you doing to reset and Make a Fresh Start for 2018 in the comments?
Till next time,
The hot and hazy days of summer are here, which means that it’s time to indulge in all the sunshine and awesome outdoor activities, we craved all winter. However, for people living with lymphedema, the heat and humidity of the summer also brings on something no one wants: more swelling. That’s why keeping cool is a must for anyone affected by the condition, as the mercury climbs. And what better way to beat the summer heat than taking to the water?
In addition to being a great way to cool down on a hot day, partaking in some water play or exercise:
With Water, Temperature Matters:
Whether you prefer to hit your local pool or a lake at the cottage, it’s important to be aware of the temperature. Remember that water 20-30 degrees is the safest range, and that the cooler that water the longer you can stay in it. Avoid water that is too hot or too cold, as extreme temperatures can exacerbate your symptoms.
Get in the Water and Move:
While in the water keep your affected limbs or body parts beneath the water, as often as you can and swim (breaststroke is great for swelling in the arm and chest), walk, march (with high knees), or kick. Do shoulder rolls, arm circles, or simply move your arms through the water (just beneath the surface) in front of you. The key is to listen to your body, by doing what feels comfortable and right for you.
A word of caution: If after exercising in the water, you notice any increase in swelling, it’s a sign that you pushed yourself too hard. In your next session, just reduce the duration and/or intensity of your exercise to prevent your symptoms from worsening.
For more information on ideas of about specific exercises and movements to do in the water check out the video below.