Most of you know that I am a huge fan of stretching. Sometimes we stretch your muscles while we are in session or perhaps you have received hand outs from me, followed by some discussion, but why is stretching your body so important?
Stretching your body is a major part of any physical exercise, but we don't have to associate it with exercise alone. It can also be beneficial if you are sedentary. Standing up and moving around after sitting for long periods returns the blood flow to stiff arms and legs and keeps you mentally alert. Proper stretching is thought to help avoid injury by increasing your flexibility, which can also improve performance in physical activity.
Stretching the body offers other benefits in addition to keeping the body flexible to avoid injury, according to author and physical therapist Dr. Suzanne Martin. Proper stretching helps lengthen the muscles, which leads to better posture. Stretching the muscles and tendons also improves circulation of water and nutrients throughout the body, which slows the aging process. It can also reduce stress and promote relaxation. Stretching your muscles can help avoid muscle spasms, and help your joints move through their full range of motion. Stretching the neck muscles can also help reduce headaches.
Let's say, for example, that your Achilles tendon is tight and lacks flexibility. If you do a lot of hill walking, your foot may not move through its full range of motion. Over time, this can increase your risk of tendinitis or tendinopathy in your Achilles tendon. Stretching your Achilles tendon, though, may improve the range of motion in your ankle. This, in turn, can decrease the risk of microtrauma to your tendon that can lead to overload and injury.
Stretching needs to be done properly to be effective. Following some basic advice can help avoid losing any possible benefits. Warm up the muscles before stretching by walking, jogging or biking for 10 minutes. Don't stretch cold muscles. Focus on the muscles that need stretching the most -- neck, shoulders, calves, thighs, lower back and hips. Stretch both sides evenly. For example, stretch both the left and right shoulder. Avoid bouncing when you are stretching; aim for a slow, gradual stretch. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and do three to four stretches for each muscle, avoiding stretching to the point of pain. Stretch regularly, at least twice a week. If you stop stretching, your muscles will stiffen and shorten over time.
Stretching is beneficial, but there may be times when you need to be very careful or avoid stretching altogether. If you are participating in a very intense activity, such as a sprint, it's best to wait until after you
are finished to stretch. Stretching an injured muscle or tendon can cause further damage. Some chronic health conditions are exacerbated by stretching. Consult a doctor if you have an injury or health condition that may cause problems when stretching. A doctor can advise you of your limitations and will make recommendations for your condition.
In 30 days you will see noticible improvement to your flexibility and you may come to enjoy the ritual of stretching before — or better yet, after — hitting the trail, ballet floor or soccer field.
All information found at the following sites:
As you can imagine, any component that makes up 60 to 70 percent
of our body weight has to be important when it comes to one’s body and health. Since the majority of our bodies are made up of water, it is constantly running through our blood, muscles, and joints, assisting in brain and lung functions. All the essential organs of our body require ample amounts of water in order to perform properly. Although we see it and use it everyday for multiple purposes, many individuals do not understand how important consuming water is to our overall health.
If you do not drink enough water there can be severe consequences. The most common negative effect of not consuming enough water is dehydration. When someone becomes dehydrated, their organs do not have the fluids they need in order to operate. This can cause many problems, sometimes quite severe, and may even lead to organ failure. Some signs of dehydration include dry mouth, headache, dizziness, weakness, or being lightheaded. Because dehydration has been a cause of death among many infants and elderly, it is important to remember all of these symptoms.
We all know we cannot breathe or live without air. What many of us did not know is that after air, water is the most important element in order to survive. Unfortunately, studies have shown that the majority of individuals
do not drink enough water in order to maintain a good and healthy life. Our bodies’ lose large amounts of water on a daily basis just in normal activities. What activities am I referring to? Well, by just breathing, urinating, and sweating, our bodies are losing most of the water it uses in order to keep functioning. This is why it is important to replenish your body by drinking beverages or eating foods that contain water. Also, not only does water help our bodies maintain a normal body temperature, it helps carry oxygen to our blood cells as well as removing wastes from our bodies. Since every system in our bodies depends on water, consuming the right amount will help keep us all healthy. But, what exactly is the “right” amount?
As you have probably heard, many experts say one should consume eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Although this is a good estimate, the actual amount of water your body needs varies depending on the individual. Here are three aspects you should consider when figuring out how much water you should drink on a daily basis.
1. Your weight.
2. Physical activity (running, working out, or any activity).
3. The climate you live in.
Starting off with weight, it’s obvious that the more you weigh, the more water you should consume. Studies have shown that by drinking 50 to 75 percent of your body weight in ounces is an accurate amount. If you do not consider yourself an active person, then 50 percent would be more in your range. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should drink at least 60 ounces of water each day. However, if you work out daily or you are involved in other activities then you should drink more towards 75 percent of your body weight. You will need more water to keep your body hydrated. Although it is important to keep your body hydrated while you are exercising, it is also important to drink a full glass after you work out. Also keep in mind how much you sweat. Obviously the more you sweat, the more water your body is releasing. If this is the case, make sure to drink enough so you will not become dehydrated. Weather conditions you live in should also be taken into consideration. If you live in a hot or dry climate then you should drink an additional 16 ounces everyday. It is always important to remember these three things when determining the amount of water you should to drink daily.
In order to give your body the nutrients it needs it is essential to ensure you drink enough water each day. Drinking it all at once is not necessarily a good idea though. When you wake up in the morning, fill up a glass. This will even help you come awake if you are not a morning person! Throughout the day continue to drink glasses of water, before and after meals. If you are someone who does not necessarily enjoy the taste of water, then try adding some lemon or another fruit juice to give it some flavor. Make it special by using a pretty glass, and adding ice cubes. Have a small dish of fruit with your water and it becomes a treat!
Now that you know what to do, you can calculate the amount of water your body needs and begin living a healthy lifestyle!
When was the last time you took an Epsom salt bath?
Epsom salt is a combination of magnesium and sulfates. Soaking in a bath of Epsom salts can relax your muscles, reduce inflammation, minimize pain, fade bruising, aid digestion, relieve stress and tension, and detoxify your body.
Thank you all for reading and supporting Breakthrough Bodywork! Thank you for spreading the Massage Therapy love and referring friends and family. I hope you will be coming back for more news and info about the world of bodywork in the upcoming months.
I am so grateful to be a part of your health care regimen. I look forward to growing and sharing my passion for massage with you and celebrating All Things Massage in the upcoming year.
Angelique at Breakthrough Bodywork
Exposure to Chemicals in Plastic
Depending on where you live and work, you're likely to be exposed to many plastic products every day. Food and beverage containers, some disposable plates, and toiletry bottles are all plastic and all are made from chemicals. Research suggests that all plastics may leach chemicals if they're scratched or heated. Research also strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in these products, such
as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause cancer in people.
BPA is a weak synthetic estrogen found in many rigid plastic products, food and formula can linings, dental sealants, and on the shiny side of paper cashier receipts (to stabilize the ink). Its estrogen-like activity makes it a hormone disruptor, like many other chemicals in plastics. Hormone disruptors can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body's hormonal balance. Because estrogen can make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow, many women choose to limit their exposure to these chemicals that can act like estrogen.
BPA also seems to affect brain development in the womb. In 2011, a study found that pregnant women with high levels of BPA in their urine were more likely to have daughters who showed signs of hyperactivity, anxiety, and depression. The symptoms were seen in girls as young as 3. It’s not clear why boys aren’t affected in the same way.
Steps you can take
While it's likely impossible to completely avoid all plastic products, try to use as little plastic as possible,
especially if you're pregnant, and never use it around food.
To reduce your exposure to BPA:
To reduce your exposure to other chemicals in plastics:
Polyethylene terephtalate (PETE or PET): includes clear plastic soda and water
bottles; generally considered OK to use, but don't reuse
High density polyethylene (HDPE): includes opaque milk jugs, detergent bottles,
juice bottles, butter tubs and toiletry bottles; considered OK to use
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): includes food wrap, cooking oil bottles, and plumbing
pipes; do not cook food in these plastics and try to minimize using no. 3
plastics around any type of food (use wax paper instead of plastic wrap and use
glass containers in the microwave)
Low density polyethylene (LDPE): includes grocery bags, some food wraps,
squeezable bottles, and bread bags; considered OK to use
Polypropylene: includes most yogurt cups, water bottles with a cloudy finish,
medicine bottles, ketchup and syrup bottles, and straws; considered OK to use
Polystyrene/Styrofoam: includes disposable foam plates and cups and packing
materials; do not cook food in these plastics and avoid using no. 6 plastics
around any type of food
All other plastics not included in the other categories and mixes of plastics 1 through 6 are labeled with a 7, including compact discs, computer cases, BPA-containing products, and some baby bottles.
PLA (polymer polylactide) is a plastic made from plants (usually corn or sugarcane) that is also labeled
with a 7. PLA plastics don't contain BPA; no safety concerns have been raised about using PLA plastic with food. Right now, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a PLA no. 7 plastic and a BPA-containing no. 7 plastic. Some PLA plastics may also say "PLA" near the recycling symbol. Others may have a leaf symbol near the recycling symbol.
To clear up any confusion, the manufacturers of PLA plastic are working with the American Society for Testing and Materials International, a global group that develops standards, to create a new recycling numbering system that would give PLA plastic its own number.
Do not cook food in no. 7 plastics that aren't PLA and avoid using non-PLA no. 7 plastics around any type of food.
All information found at Breast Cancer.org
The inside of the heart!
Tissue-paper thin but tough, the valves of the human heart open and close to pump 6 quarts of blood a day through 60,000 miles (97,000 kilometers) of vessels. That’s equivalent to 20 treks across the United States from coast to coast.
If you have a headache or have been getting headaches, I want to know at your next massage session. These muscles have significant
referral pain patterns into your head, (shown in spotted red). Massage can reduce or get rid of your headache. If you happen to have some peppermint essential oils at home, try rubbing a little on your temples. This too can help with headaches.
Angelique is a professional massage therapist, specializing in therapeutic bodywork that breaks through physical injuries, chronic muscular problems and joint pain. Angelique will use her professional bodywork techniques to help you toward physical fitness, mental and emotional well-being, relief from chronic pain, and adjustment to lifestyle changes.