I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it way too easy to get focused on the negative…on what’s not working. Or, just when I start to feel good about things, I encounter folks who really want to wallow in their own miseries. I think part of taking care of ourselves is learning to change this propensity for negative self-talk, and try to turn the focus on what is good in our lives, and what is actually working. There’s probably more than you’d think!
I came across this blog post from Kris Carr, and I think it makes some good points on how to be brave and share your successes with others. I hope that it inspires you!
It’s like the guy says–“You can’t be stressed out after sitting in a box full of kittens!”
From the people at SoulPancake
Your eyes do a lot for you everyday, so try giving them a rest every day by doing relaxing eyeball exercises. With open or closed eyes, roll your eye-balls around in their sockets by looking right, left, up, and down.
Comfort tired eyes with compresses: Use cold, sliced cucumber rounds, spoons you’ve let chill in the freezer, frozen gel masks, or even a hot washcloth. Compresses are especially nice after a good cry or to soothe allergies.
Image and quote from Lynn Gordon’s “52 Relaxing Rituals“
I was looking at the website of one of my Thai Massage teachers, and saw this:
Thai yoga massage is most effective as a form of preventive medicine –much like regular oil changes for a car, having periodic massage is one of the ways we can keep our bodies in good working order and avoid major breakdowns. In general, we recommend having a massage a minimum of once a month and as often as once a week, depending on your body`s condition and your personal goals.
I love this sentiment, and it applies to regular massage as well. I’ve met so many people who only get a massage once or twice a year. One hour of massage (or even two) out of approximately 8766 hours in a year is not enough!
How often do you get a massage? How often would you like to? What’s stopping you?
Today’s muscle is a small group of muscles in the anterior neck, known as the scalenes.
Origin: Transverse processes of the 2nd-6th cervical (neck) vertebrae
Insertion: Upper surfaces of 1st & 2nd ribs
Actions: Bilaterally, elevates rib cage during inhalation. Unilaterally, laterally flexes the neck, and rotates head & neck to the opposite side
If you’re looking for a simple way to unwind, here’s a nice 30 minute yoga video. I’ve done it several times, and it’s a relaxing way to end the day.
Twist and Stretch with Melissa McLeod
Infraspinatus is one of my favorite muscles to work on. Clients rarely know about it, but almost everyone has some trigger points there, and people are often amazed by the intensity of sensation when it gets worked on.
“Infraspinatus muscle” by Anatomography – CC BY-SA
Did that statement just stress you out? I hope not, but it’s likely that we’ll all feel a little frazzled for the next few weeks.
If you’re too busy to schedule a massage for yourself, or to practice some yoga, you might still be able to find a little relief with a simple yet powerful breathing exercise, Alternate Nostril Breathing. The instructions are pretty much right there in the name: you inhale first through the left nostril (while blocking the right nostril with your thumb) and then exhale out through the right (blocking the left nostril with your ring finger. Then reverse by inhaling through the right and exhaling through the left. It helps to slow the breathing, causing us to become more mindful and relaxed, and induces a wonderful feeling of calm and clarity.
More info can be found here: http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2598
I would like to share a small excerpt from the morning affirmation section of Tapping for Stress Relief, from Jessica Ortner of The Tapping Solution:
Today is a gift.
I’m grateful to be alive,
And to have this day.
I refuse to waste it
By complaining about what is.
I choose to focus on what I create.
I create my reality.
I choose wisely.
Enjoy your day! 😀
So Teebs (the black and white cat) reminded me of my promise to tell you about one of my favorite massage books: The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, by Clair Davies.
The subtitle is “Your self-treatment guide for pain relief,” and that is the truth. Basically, it breaks down the big red Travell trigger point manuals for the layperson, and gives symptoms, causes, and treatment for almost every trigger point of the body. I mentioned the Theracane yesterday, and that is one of the primary treatment tools. The book features many clear pictures of where to place the Theracane, the lacrosse ball, or the supported thumbs–whatever tool is best–for the most immediate relief.
Really, I can’t recommend this book enough. I refer to it several times a week for use with clients, and on myself at home. As you can see in the picture, I’ve added my own tabs for easy reference. As a massage therapist, I definitely suggest getting frequent massage, but in between, this book and some self-massage tools can often help life feel more bearable!