Tag Archives: Relax

DIY Massage Hacks

There are many simple and inexpensive things you can do at home for self care and I would like to tell you just a few of the things I share with my clients.

Don’t have a heating pad?

No worries, you can make a microwavable rice pack, simply put uncooked (must be uncooked, no minute rice) into a long sock, you can either sew the open end or simply tie a not in it. Toss it into the microwave for about a minute and a half (depending on your microwave settings) and viola, a heating pad that you can put under your neck, sling over your shoulder, or place at the small of you back.

Imagine the creative rice packs you can make with some of the cute socks from the dollar store!

You can also take a hand towel, moisten it and toss that in the microwave for about a minute depending on your microwave settings, as long as it is damp it will not burn.

Need an ice pack?

Yes, you can put that rice pack in the freezer but when it comes to cold I prefer uncooked kidney beans.  You can keep the cold pack either in the fridge or in the freezer.

Some use this same method but on a larger scale by taking pillow cases and sewing horizontal lines and filling the channels with rice then sewing the open end for a large ice pack for the back. You can get creative, have fun with this.

You can also add some herbs such as lavender or rosemary to your rice pack, but over time those can lose their fragrance and can also catch fire in the microwave so I prefer to just add some essential oil if I want a relaxing scent.

Need some self massaging tools?

For the hard to reach places such as the shoulders a tennis ball placed in a long sock and slung over the shoulder can help you roll out those tense shoulders.

You can also place a lacrosse ball or soft ball under you glute muscles and gently roll out any glute tension.

A golf ball can work wonders on tight forearm muscles, simply cup it in your hand and gently rock it back and forth on the muscles of the forearm, you will get a deep tissue massage with minimal effort on your part.

Want a soothing sugar scrub?

You can make your own sugar scrubs at a fraction of the cost of commercial ones. Using your favorite oil, jojoba,  olive oil, argan oil, almond oil, etc and mix it into some finely granulated sugar (brown sugar also works great for this) and add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Avoid “fragrance” oils as those are synthetic, always look for “essential oils” for use on the body.

You can also do the same thing with salt or sea salt and make a salt scrub.

Keep in mind that the homemade scrubs will not keep as long as commercial ones because you are not using added preservatives or chemicals and oils do go rancid after a while.

 

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist

 

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Health and Human Touch

Today I was inspired to write about the benefits of human touch

I have been aware for many years that some childrens hospitals have volunteer positions for “cuddlers” to come and hold and rock the sick babies and children to help increase their survival rate.

One such hospital has elderly volunteers that come to rock the babies with AIDS and says that it is of benefit to both the babies and to the elderly volunteers to have that human touch.

A simple pat on the back, a hug, or a gentle touch of the hand can have a profound impact on health and healing.

The following quotes and information can be found in this article:

http://www.exhibithealth.com/general-health/health-benefits-of-human-touch-1345/

Even though touch has been shown to have measurable health benefits, it is also true that touch deprivation can have a detrimental effect on health. A growing body of research suggests that American children and adolescents are dangerously touch-deprived. Psychologist Matthew Hertenstein, PhD, director of the Touch and Emotion Lab at DePauw University says that touch deprivation is a real thing. “Most of us, whatever our relationship status, need more human contact than we’re getting,” says Hertenstein.

Neurologist Shekar Raman, MD, in Richmond, Virginia explains: “A hug, pat on the back, and even a friendly handshake are processed by the reward center in the central nervous system, which is why they can have a powerful impact on the human psyche, making us feel happiness and joy. And it doesn’t matter if you’re the toucher or touchee. The more you connect with others — on even the smallest physical level — the happier you’ll be.”

Touch can also benefit the immune system. According to Ms Field: “In studies of women with breast cancer, we found that when cortisol levels are up, natural killer (NK) cells are down. –

Health Benefits of Human Touch:

  • eases pain
  • helps with infant growth
  • enhances vital signs
  • stabilizes body temp
  • can communicate positivity
  • helps provide better sleep
  • reduces irritability
  • increases sociability
  • strengthens relationships
  • strengthens immune system
  • helps with depression
  • increases proper digestion
  • releases serotonin
  • enhances a sense of well-being
  • stimulates oxytocin – the cuddle hormone
  • slows heart rate – lowers blood pressure
  • lowers the stress hormone cortisol
  • gives comfort and relieves sadness
  • can help us feel happiness & joy
  • releases tension & tightness
  • helps migraine pain
    Read more at WPBeginner: Health Benefits of Human Touch http://www.exhibithealth.com/general-health/health-benefits-of-human-touch-1345/
Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist
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Holidays Can Be Stressful

Between the preparations, last minute shopping in crowded stores, travel, and festivities it can leave you feeling stressed out and tired.

There is no better time than the Holidays to take some time for yourself and get a relaxing massage to unwind and de-stress.

Massage reduces Cortisol stress hormones and releases endorphins to help you recover from a stressful holiday season.

In this article the positive effects of massage therapy on biochemistry are reviewed including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. The research reviewed includes studies on depression (including sex abuse and eating disorder studies), pain syndrome studies, research on auto-immune conditions (including asthma and chronic fatigue), immune studies (including HIV and breast cancer), and studies on the reduction of stress on the job, the stress of aging, and pregnancy stress. In studies in which cortisol was assayed either in saliva or in urine, significant decreases were noted in cortisol levels (averaging decreases 31%). In studies in which the activating neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) were assayed in urine, an average increase of 28% was noted for serotonin and an average increase of 31% was noted for dopamine. These studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences.
Have a relaxing Holiday Season!

Yours in Health and Wellness,

Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist

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