Progressive Relaxation Exercises


This is easy and quick to learn. Try it when you feel anxious, stressed, or when you can’t sleep. Doing it every day will give you the most benefit.


• Lie comfortably with your arms and legs outstretched.

• Clench one fist and hold it for 10 seconds.

• Relax the fist for 10 seconds, then clench again, and relax.

• Repeat with the other hand.

• Draw the toes of one foot toward the knee. Hold for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat.

• Do the same with the other foot.

• Repeat the same sequence for the following body parts, first on one side of the body, then the other.

 

You can experiment with other muscle groups as well.

 

Back of the lower legs. Point, tense your toes, and relax.

Buttocks. Squeeze together and relax.

Shoulder blades. Draw together and relax.

Abdomen. Pull in tightly and relax.

Neck. Push your neck down towards the floor and relax.

Face. Tighten and contract the muscles around your eyes and mouth, and relax.

 

After a week, try combining muscle groups. For example, tense and relax the following parts together. Hands and arms on both sides. Face and neck. Shoulders and back. Legs and feet.

After another week, try to quit the tensing part of the exercise. Lie down and focus on different areas, relaxing areas that feel tight.

Source: Fibromyalgia and Muscle Pain: Your Self-Treatment Guide by
Leon Chaitow N.D., D.O., Thorsons, 2001

 


Loosen Up Bodywork provides the highest quality service by educating our clients on how to best utilize our services and products that are available. We have multiple online resources and our phones are answered by our therapists so you can always reach a trained professional to answer your questions.

Our goal is to empower our clients to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. With our therapists vast knowledge in various natural health treatments, we can assist you in finding the best modalities to match your unique body.

Visit our massage services page to see how we can partner in cultivating health and wellness in to your life.

Ten Ways to Relax

Woman doing yoga meditation at home

Relaxation is key to reducing excess stress and its effects. Here are some ideas which may help.

1. Get an extra massage. When you relax with massage, you let go of muscle tension, worry and mental confusion. This may be one of the few times you slow down and notice what it feels like to relax. This actually helps you program yourself to tune into those feelings and encourage your body and mind to let go of stress and tension.

 

2. Practice focused relaxation. Sit comfortably or lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Support your neck with a pillow if you prefer. Scan your body, noticing where you feel tension or discomfort. Breathe slowly into these areas. Imagine relaxation flooding into the areas of discomfort. Begin by practicing ten minutes once a day.

 

3. Meditate. You will probably have a better chance of sticking with a technique you learn in a class or other group, but in the meantime, try this. Silently repeat a word that has little emotional meaning for you, such as “one.” Give it your full attention. When other thoughts or images come into your mind, ignore them and return your focus to the unspoken word. Don’t strain or try too hard. Simply let your mind keep coming back to your chosen word again and again as thoughts pass through your mind.

 

4. Practice abdominal breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose. Exhale completely, squeezing the belly tight. Begin by practicing for 5 minutes at a time. Try it when you feel anxious or can’t sleep.

 

5. Soak in a hot bath. Add several drops of essential oils like lavender or ylang-ylang for relaxation. Or just soak your feet. Add Epsom salts to a bathtub or basin of warm water and enjoy!

 

6. Try biofeedback. A professional biofeedback practitioner can help you develop self-regulation over the mental and physical processes that are associated with stress-related disorders.

 

7. Take a nap, even if it’s only for ten minutes.

 

8. Take a warm shower. As the water rushes around your neck, drop your neck forward and stretch it from side to side. Then circle your shoulders slowly under the hot water.

 

9. Try auto suggestion. Frequently repeat a suggestion to yourself such as “Shoulders free” or “Neck relaxed.” Repeat the suggestion, but don’t strain or do anything at all but say the phrase. This plants an idea which may gently support muscle relaxation.

 

10. Take a yoga class. Many people find yoga increases relaxation and relieves many of the effects of stress.

 


Loosen Up Bodywork provides the highest quality service by educating our clients on how to best utilize our services and products that are available. We have multiple online resources and our phones are answered by our therapists so you can always reach a trained professional to answer your questions.

Our goal is to empower our clients to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. With our therapists vast knowledge in various natural health treatments, we can assist you in finding the best modalities to match your unique body.

Visit our services page to see how we can partner in cultivating health and wellness in to your life @ http://loosenupbodywork.com/services/massage/

Health Strategies Building Resistance to Stress

These are healthful tips for better managing your stress levels.


1. Jog, swim, or bike. Exercise increases the flow of endorphins, natural pain relievers that are responsible for what is called “the runner’s high.” In addition, exercising, if done two to three times a week, will improve your circulation and help relieve chronic tension and anxiety. You may also find you reap more enjoyment from life!

 

2. Walk. Simply walking in good shoes with flexible soles can be one of the best forms of exercise. If you can only manage a short walk in the beginning, even ten minutes, remember that any new habit begins with one small step.

 

3. Stretch frequently. Practicing stretches every hour or two, if done properly, can help relieve muscle tension and even prevent injury. Ask your massage therapist for suggestions.

 

4. Get regular exposure to outdoor light and fresh air. This can reduce the effects of seasonal affective disorder, and stress in general to lift your spirits!

 

5. Get a complete physical evaluation to rule out any conditions that may be taking their toll.

 

6. Ask your physician for recommendations for vitamins and other supplements. Some supplements seem to help increase energy levels and balance hormones and other chemicals in the body.

 

7. If you feel that stress threatens to overwhelm you, seek a professional counselor.

 

8. Drink plenty of water. Many of us don’t drink enough pure water.

 

9. Get regular massage to reinforce your ability to let go of stress.

 

10. Take a yoga or tai chi class. Ask your massage therapist for referrals for qualified instructors.

 


Loosen Up Bodywork provides the highest quality service by educating our clients on how to best utilize our services and products that are available. We have multiple online resources and our phones are answered by our therapists so you can always reach a trained professional to answer your questions.

Our goal is to empower our clients to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. With our therapists vast knowledge in various natural health treatments, we can assist you in finding the best modalities to match your unique body.

Visit our services page to see how we can partner in cultivating health and wellness in to your life @ http://loosenupbodywork.com/services/massage/

Why to Cancel When You’re Ill

If you have a fever or an infectious sickness, even a common cold, that is good reason to postpone your massage appointment.

For one thing, touch may not feel good. For another thing, you may be contagious, especially in the first stages of a cold or flu. This is usually when you are feeling the worst, when you are coughing and sneezing frequently.

The more you limit your contact with others, including your massage therapist, the less you will spread it around. For example, if you don’t “pass” a cold on to your massage therapist, he or she won’t spread it to all the other clients.

Studies show that you can transmit a cold or flu to others one or two days before your symptoms appear, and up to five days after first being exposed to the virus. According to the National Institutes of Health NIH), colds are most contagious two to four days after original exposure, when there is plenty of the virus present in nasal secretions.

There is another reason to avoid massage when you have a cold or flu.  Because one of the major impacts of massage is on the circulation (including the removal of wasteful by-products and infectious materials), it is thought that massage can actually increase the spread of infection in your body.

If you are sick, your immune system is already working hard. One of the best immune supports may truly be resting and drinking plenty of liquids.

And, remember, whenever you have any questions about the appropriateness of massage, be sure to talk with a massage therapist when you schedule the appointment. And, if you are under the care of a physician for any reason, let them know you are receiving massage therapy.

See this website for more information: www.goaskalice.columbia.edu


Loosen Up Bodywork provides the highest quality service by educating our clients on how to best utilize our services and products that are available. We have multiple online resources and our phones are answered by our therapists so you can always reach a trained professional to answer your questions.

Our goal is to empower our clients to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. With our therapists vast knowledge in various natural health treatments, we can assist you in finding the best modalities to match your unique body.

Visit our services page to see how we can partner in cultivating health and wellness in to your life @ http://loosenupbodywork.com/services/massage/

Pain, Activity, and Treatment Log

back pain

The purpose of tracking pain and other symptoms is to better understand the pattern of your symptoms and the results of your activities, such as pain and stress.

Things you can track that you may find helpful are:treatment sessions and effects, pain levels, mood changes, what causes you stress, and what helps you feel better.

This will get you started tracking your symptoms. Complete it once a week for 3 or 4 weeks in a row. Then compare and share the results with your massage therapist and any other practitioners who you are seeing for pain reduction.

1. Draw a simple picture of a body figure and mark where you feel pain now and/or have felt pain since your last massage.

2. Do you often feel pain in this area?

3. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate your pain? (One is no pain, ten is extreme pain.)

4. How do you describe your pain (dull, nagging, driving, pins and needles, stabbing, etc.)?

5. What activities bring on pain?

6. What have you noticed reduces your pain?

7. What other kinds of stress or discomfort are you feeling?

8. What have you noticed makes your symptoms worse/better?

9. Was your pain and stress significantly better after your last massage session?

10. What has your activity level been since the last massage?

11. How do you feel after exercising?

12. How do you feel after working?

13. What other types of treatment have you had for your pain/stress since your last massage? Did they help?


Loosen Up Bodywork provides the highest quality service by educating our clients on how to best utilize our services and products that are available. We have multiple online resources and our phones are answered by our therapists so you can always reach a trained professional to answer your questions.

Our goal is to empower our clients to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. With our therapists vast knowledge in various natural health treatments, we can assist you in finding the best modalities to match your unique body.

Visit our services page to see how we can partner in cultivating health and wellness in to your life @ http://loosenupbodywork.com/services/massage/