Archives for category: Personal

dreamstime_m_1934443.jpgOne of the most common questions asked about massage therapy is how often you should get a massage. The answer is that it all depends on why you get massages. My advice is at least monthly, but to listen to YOUR body. If it tells you to get massage more often, then maybe once a week is better for you even if it is temporarily. Do you get massages for health benefits? Do you get massages to help you relax? Are you in immediate pain? I also suggest that you get in before you are all stove up. Because I book out three to four weeks in advance, last minute appointments are not usually available. It is best to allow me to work out the knots and malfunctions before they become a problem rather than wait until you can not move your head or stand up straight.

Included is a list of reasons why people get massages and the recommended number of times you go get a massage for that reason. This should help guide you in determining how often you should get your massages.

Relaxation

The first reason to get a massage is for complete relaxation. These massages will provide people with support of their body functions, which includes better blood circulation and flexibility of joints. Regular visits will prevent pain, muscle tension, and stress points from building up. It is recommended that massage therapy for relaxation is scheduled for every one to three months.

Stress Relief

Another common reason to get a massage is for stress relief. There may be times in your life where you experience higher levels of stress and more muscle tension than normal. If you are in a high-stress job or you work in an environment where you stay in a certain position for a long period of time, you may begin to develop tightly-knotted muscles. This will usually occur in your shoulders, arms, and back. Having tightly-knotted muscles will make movement harder and cause a great deal of pain.

Not only that, but having high levels of stress for a prolonged amount of time increases the risk of contracting heart diseases. To help cope with your high stress levels caused by work or by everyday life, it is recommended that you get a massage once or twice a month.

Sports Recovery

Massages help with sports performances and recovery. A lot of athletes and physically active people often get these types of massages because it enhances their performance, prevents injury, and speeds up their muscles’ recovery. Competitive sports puts a lot of stress on a person’s muscles, so massage therapy is used to strengthen their muscles before the activity. This therapy is also used to heal their muscles afterward.

It’s recommended that if you get this type of therapy, you get a massage up to three times a week or at least three times a month.

Post Operative Recovery

Massage helps with recovery from all kinds of surgical procedures. Depending on the type of surgery, this type of massage assists the body to reduce swelling, improve range of motion, promote cell regeneration, and reduce scarring. The trained massage therapist will begin with gentle lymphatic techniques to avoid further damage to the area and progress to deeper myofascial type work as the body heals.

It’s recommended that if you get this type of therapy, you get a massage up to three times a week or at least once a week.

Chronic Complaints

People with chronic issues often go to get massages for treatment. Chronic issues that would greatly benefit from getting massage therapy include issues with your back, joint pain, and localized inflammation. If you get therapy for specific issues, the frequency of getting massage therapy varies with the type of chronic illness you have and how severe it is.

Scar Tissue Issues would be included in this category and frequency of Scar Tissue Release therapy varies depending on the age of the scar, how it was obtained, and even sometimes the mental and emotional associations with that particular scar.

Cellulite Massage helps to minimize the appearance of cellulite and it is probably one of the most intense types of massage that I offer. With this type you would schedule three sessions a week for nine weeks.

Relief from your chronic illness can be achieved by going for at least three sessions a week.

Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant will often get massages. This type of massage is called prenatal massage and is popular among expectant mothers, who often experience a lot of aches and pains as their pregnancy progresses. A lot of women get aches in their backs and will experience swollen ankles. As a certified pregnancy massage therapist and certified doula, I can help to relieve those discomforts.

Going to your massage therapist once or twice a month will do the trick on relieving some of these symptoms caused by pregnancy.

Fertility Massage

Despite it’s name, fertility massage is about more than just helping someone get pregnant. Post baby, fertility massage, helps the body prepare for baby by realigning internal organs putting them back where they are supposed to be as opposed to where they were pushed by baby’s presence. Post baby fertility massage, helps the body heal and go back to it’s pre-baby state quicker and more efficiently. Pre-baby, it helps to reduce scarring from previous surgeries, endometriosis and poly-cystic ovarian syndrome allowing the body to become pregnant easier. If you are not even interested in getting pregnant, fertility massage can help with such issues as chronic constipation, prolapsed uterus, prolapsed bladder and other issues of the abdominal area. Frequency of fertility massage is dependent upon the reasons you are receiving it. If you are indeed wanting to get pregnant fertility massage needs to be scheduled within your cycle with the first session being after the last day of your period and the last session before you ovulate; a tiny window. Ideally, at least 3 sessions during that time period are suggested. If pregnancy is not a goal, monthly is fine.

There are always other considerations to take before scheduling massage. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor and your massage therapist to ensure that it’s a healthy idea to get massages on a regular basis. To book your massage login to JenAdamsLMT.com

 

 

 

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A few weeks ago, I was watching the show Outlander and Claire was explaining how she used compartmentalizing to disassociate herself from her patients.

Elias asks Claire her secret for remaining calm in the face of so much death. She responds that she’s learned to compartmentalize — separate certain areas of her life so she can do her work. She explains that if she let herself be affected by every death, she’d never save a life.

During the show, I realized in that moment that even though I do not have to deal with life and death, I do the same thing during my massage sessions. It is really rather fascinating and I suppose we are either taught this at some point or we do it instinctively. Either way, I thought it would be something interesting to share and explain since I have been dwelling on the deepness of it since watching that show.

I try to do most of my intake in my waiting room so that I can focus on the massage and the individual in my session room. Once I pass through the threshold of where the massage will be held, it is my intent to leave the outside world behind. This is my first little compartment. When within the room, my client and I exist in our own little world. Nothing else matters in that moment. All of my focus is on that individual and their needs for the time being.

fibonacci sea shell

The next compartment is the individual, and then the body, and then the section of the body, and then the individual muscles and finally, especially with detail work, I might go so far as each individual knot, muscle fiber, scar etc. After I have addressed the issues in the tiniest necessary section, I back out gradually connecting everything back to the whole and finishing with the whole person, thanking them for the privilege of working on them and finally ending by asking them to get up slowly, taking their time before we meet again “on the other side” of the door in the waiting room. The last little space before we are bombarded by the real world again.

In my practice I often refer to the fact that I recognize the Fibonacci Sequence or the Golden Ratio frequently. This is another of those prime examples. The point being each compartment gets more and more detailed, more and more finite, more and more miniscule. I can not treat the whole body without treating parts, but at the same time I need to recognize that I have to treat the whole body not just individual parts for a holistic approach.

Someone challenged me recently with a statement that I could not, just not think of something important during a session and at that time I did not have the explanation of how in fact I could. I do it all the time. Through the practice of compartmentalization, we can actually set aside issues that do not pertain to the immediate situation. Yes, it takes practice. Truthfully, I believe it is key to the practice of living in the “now”, or being present, or being zen. It is an art that I suppose not everyone is adept in. Yeah, even I fail on occasion. I am human, after all. But having a word for it … I guess that just makes me happy.

 

stop-sexual-harassmentIn the past few days it has become very public the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in the massage industry, especially the large chains. As a licensed massage therapist, I have seen and participated in discussions about it and how to handle situations appropriately as they arise but as is the case in most industries, these discussions are usually kept behind closed doors.

Here’s the thing. So long as it is discussed behind closed doors, there will always be problems. It has to stop now. We have to discuss it. We have to change the way we accept or fight against things. We have to start calling people out who do it without thinking. You know those sexual slurs made about happy endings when they aren’t really meant? Guess what? That is adding to the problem. Some people don’t know that those are jokes and others take offense anyway. There is a fine line between political correctness and common curtesy to be sure. But if you just check yourself before saying it then the problem is nixed before it becomes real. If you see someone talking about inappropriateness in relation to massage therapy, STOP THEM.

There are always two sides to the sexual harassment issues in massage therapy, therapists get harassed and clients get harassed. Neither is OK!

NO MORE Therapists getting harassed and assaulted

As a professional and licensed massage therapist, I have it plastered everywhere, on intakes, on my website etc that I will absolutely not tolerate any sexual misconduct in my office pertaining to massage. My policy is as soon as misconduct is insinuated, session is immediately terminated, payment is due in full, and the miscreant is blacklisted from all future appointments. ZERO TOLERANCE – NO SECOND CHANCES There is also a contingency plan for escalation if that is necessary. Self Defense is not taken for granted. My most powerful weapon of course is my extremely jealous and PTSD suffering Prior Service Combat Tested Marine of a Husband. Fortunately, up to this point, I have not had to call on the use of that weapon. 😉

NO MORE Clients getting harassed and assaulted

Ok so where does that leave clients? Well, my office is a sanctuary, a safe place and it is strictly enforced. Every person who enters my office is treated with respect and will never be harassed sexually or otherwise. Should a client be receiving abuse or harassment otherwise, my space is a safe place to disclose this and together we will find a way to make it stop. It doesn’t matter if it is helping find a place to stay, a counselor, a lawyer, self-defense classes, law enforcement involvement or just an ear to listen. I will help where-ever I can.

Every client of mine is informed that if something needs to be adjusted during their time, to please speak up. I do not believe in no pain no gain. I will make the chances necessary for your comfort whether it is depth of pressure, change of technique, more or less heat. State of Alabama dictates draping laws, and I abide by those fully. I also cover which areas I will be addressing during intake and ask if there are any areas to be avoided. If you tell me you don’t want your feet, nose, ears, belly whatever touched then I am bound by your request and will honor it! Bottom line here is … if you are uncomfortable for ANY reason … STOP the therapist and have adjustments made, if adjustments can’t be made to your satisfaction it is OK to end the session immediately. Do NOT suffer through a service you are paying for if you are not happy with the service you are receiving.

There are creeps in every field. But I make this promise … there are no creeps in my office!

If you would like to book an appointment in a guaranteed safe place, please do so online 24/7 at jenadamslmt.com

  1. ABMP Statement
  2. AMTA Statement
  3. CNN Article
  4. ABC Article
  5. Allure Article
  6. Harvest Moon Article – Client Bill of Rights

 

Massage Can Melt Holiday Stress

Stress is a highly personal experience, as not all stress is the result of a major traumatic event. While we can all agree that certain occurrences such as car accidents or violent attacks and other major events are stressful, smaller and more personal events can affect us just as much over time.

When we experience stress the sympathetic nervous system jumps into action and our heart rate and breathing increases while adrenaline floods the bloodstream. Physiological changes include the release of epinephrine and cortisol production in order to prepare the individual to better cope with the situation. This reaction causes the well-known “fight-or-flight” response, and you may notice breathing becoming shallower, palms sweating and heart racing.

Acute Stress

Short term, major traumatic events are what we call acute stress; they are significant events that spike our stress levels over a relatively short period of time. In acute stress, our sympathetic nervous system ups our respiration and heart rate, floods us with adrenaline, we deal with the stress and then we are able to calm down, returning to a normal state, called homeostasis.

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress, however, takes place over long periods of time and can bring on significant health concerns as we remain in the “fight-or-flight” state of hyper-readiness. Digestive disorders like acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cardiovascular disease, insomnia, anxiety and depression can result from long term, chronic stress.

Stress Is Personal

Stress is also extremely personal. What one person considers very stressful others may not even bat an eye at. For example, for some people driving in city traffic is highly stressful while others do not think twice about it. For some, public speaking of any type brings on a major stress reaction that includes vomiting, while others have no problem speaking in front of thousands.

Now, Bring on the Holidays!

While the holiday season can be a great deal of fun and most of us enjoy it greatly, it can also be particularly stressful. Also, because the holiday season takes place over an extended period of time, the stress experienced from this time of year may become chronic, causing significant health concerns.

9 Reasons Why the Holidays May Cause Stress for People

  1. Stressful family gatherings
  2. Stressful office gatherings
  3. Scheduling difficulties, as we are all so busy
  4. Coping with loneliness for those who do not have close family or friends nearby
  5. Lack of money for gifts or entertaining
  6. Stress over entertaining as we try to make things perfect
  7. Seasonal Affective Disorder from diminished sunlight during the winter months – 10% of people suffer from this condition
  8. Unwanted weight gain from all the holiday parties and treats
  9. Social pressure to “enjoy the holidays”

Signs of Stress

Signs and symptoms that stress has been taking a toll on you include:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Increased appetite
  • Digestive disorders like diarrhea or acid reflux
  • An increase in colds or flu
  • An increase in drinking alcohol

In fact, experts warn that increased alcohol consumption during the holiday season may be one of the major signs of stress, anxiety or depression.

3 Ways to Reduce Stress

There are many things that can be done to reduce stress, allowing us to return to a state of relaxation.

These include:

  1. exercise
  2. social activities
  3. massage therapy

Exercise

Physical exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. Even a 30-minute walk every day can significantly reduce stress levels. Exercise has been shown to improve sleep significantly as well.

Social Activities

Social interaction has been shown to significantly reduce stress levels and improve the ability to manage stress.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, reduce pain and improve depression in those who receive regular massage. Massage therapy activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the body’s “rest and digest” actions, allowing the body to recover, digest food and make repairs to injuries. The heart rate is decreased and breathing becomes easier, reducing feelings of anxiety and returning the body to the state of homeostasis. Book your Massage Today!

Studies Support Massage Therapy Can Effectively Reduce Stress

In fact, in a review of studies on the use of massage therapy for the reduction of stress, both single treatments and multiple treatments of massage therapy, consistently reduced salivary cortisol and heart rate. Another study showed that staff who received 20 minutes of massage two times per week for eight weeks reported lower levels of anxiety and sleep disturbances, along with decreased blood pressure and heart rates. In fact, in a meta-study of over 37 studies on the effects of massage therapy on stress – significant and immediate improvements where demonstrated time and time again.

Massage therapy is a wonderful, non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical method of reducing stress and anxiety that has been proven effective against both acute and chronic stress. Since massage therapy is so effective, it is not only a great way to manage our own holiday stress, but makes a nice gift for those special people in our lives.

The Chinese five element system is an ancient way of looking at the human body, human personalities, the environment and much more. Wood, fire, earth, metal and water are viewed as the primary natural elements.

Below is a simple chart to give you an idea of natural cycles that the body and the emotions evolves through, during various phases in a twelve month period. Understanding how to approach the body’s phases with foods, herbs, essential oils, supplementation and lifestyle can lead to a more balanced healthier state of being.
5elements-e1433120865602

The Five Phases of the Seasons
SEASON
ORGAN
BODY SIGNALS
BODY CUES
Summer
FIRE ENERGY
Small Intestines
Heart
Over excitable
Can’t Relax
Self-Pity
Chronic Tension
High Blood Pressure
Chest Aching
Ache Between Shoulders
Red Complexion

Late Summer
SOIL ENERGY
Waning Energy
Spleen
Pancreas
Stomach
Mood Swings
Jealousy
Overly Sensitive
Anxious
Erratic Energy Levels
Binging on Sweets
Self-Pity
Belching

Fall
METAL ENERGY
Contraction Energy
Lungs
Large Intestines
Melancholy
Disinterested
Depression
Weary
Fatigue
Pale Complexion
Intestinal Issues
Sinuses/Phlegm

Winter
Water Energy
Quiet Energy
Kidneys
Bladder
Sexual Organs
Overwhelmed
Timid
Insecure
Fear
Frequent Pale Urine
Or Scant Dark Urine
Often Feel Cold
Lower back Ache

Spring
Wood/Tree Energy
Ascending Energy
Liver
Gallbladder
Anger
Domineering
Frustrated
Sensitive
Headaches
Irritated Eyes
Often Overeat
Restless 11am-2pm

Reference: Maria Low A.O., Steven Acuff, The Self-Healing Cookbook: Whole Foods to Balance Body, Mind & Moods by Kristina Turner, Ultimate Balance: Infusing the Vibrational Energy of Essential Oils into Chakras, Meridians and Organs

The natural cycles of the body and the emotions evolve seasonally through the year Being able to understand and approach the body’s phases with foods, herbs, essential oils, supplementation and lifestyle can lead to a healthier life.

Products to Help Balance the Five Seasons These Products can be found in my online shop. (Password JALMT) Always check with your physician or personal health provider to ensure these products are safe for you.

Heart/Small Intestine Support

Spleen/Pancreas/Stomach Support

Lungs/Large Intestine Support

Kidneys/Bladder/Sexual Organs

Liver/Gallbladder

 

A couple of days ago, I awoke in a panic with this on my mind and have been simmering on it trying to figure out a way to share this very important information with my clients and colleagues.

How many times have my clients forgotten to tell me what medicines they are taking? OMG a million times over! And this is so very important not only for their health but for mine! Some medicines are contraindicated for massage because while taking it, harm can come to the individual who is on those drugs. Some medicines are contraindicated because while taking it, the massage can be negated rather quickly. Some medicines are contraindicated because they are topical and can cross over to the therapist. Yes, I said that!

I have on my intake form What medicines are you taking for a reason. I have to be able to determine how and where I can work on you. I don’t just rub bodies.

Additionally, I have on my intake the direct question of Are you taking any topical medicines? This is doubly important!

I’m not sure why, but many people feel that if it is a cream or gel, it isn’t really a medicine. That is so not true! Just because it fades into your skin almost immediately does not mean it is not still working, or able to be transmitted to someone who touches that area. ESPECIALLY if that person is doing a bit more than just rubbing it and is actually reactivating the agent using oils and creams and friction!

A few years ago a colleague was having medical issues. She found out that she was overdosing on female hormones because a client she was seeing multiple times a week was using a topical version of the same thing she was taking. When my colleague found out she was ODing somehow I asked her if any of her clients were on hormones and taking them topically. We surveyed and got our answer.

I immediately changed my intake forms to include that.

Fast forward.

How many of you know a man with low testosterone? How much more prevalent is the advertisement of drugs for low T? How many people believe that talking about anything in that region is taboo and should be avoided at all costs? How many people are embarrassed about why they might have to take any kind of drug? If they are hiding it from their spouse or significant other, do you think maybe they might “forget” to put that on their intake massage when they are “just going for a bit of relaxation in a massage?” Absolutely!

Testosterone gel is rubbed onto the body (the insert I saw suggested the pectoral muscles, shoulders or belly) daily. How many male shoulders and pecs do you think I work on? Um every client male or female that comes in to see me gets worked on there! Female hormones are generally rubbed onto the hips or belly, and I work on just about every hip that comes into my office too .. male or female. Bellies I do work on, but not as often.

It clearly says on the package that females are NOT to touch treated areas. In fact some say women are not to touch the treated areas for at least 6 hours. And if so to wash hands thoroughly with alcohol. Others say it is never safe for a female to touch  a treated area and that a shirt should be worn during intercourse. Massage isn’t intercourse, but I’m doing quite a bit of touching.

I would say that massage is much more intense than mere touch.

OK … that’s just the hormones….

I’ve heard stories of clients coming in with pain patches who thought they were not working only to have the therapist have to stop the session because her tongue went numb from all the pain meds on the person’s body. That’s from patches not even creams! Who would have thought? Needless to say, because of this, I will not work on anyone who has a pain patch. Sorry, I don’t need a dose of pain meds. I need to be able to feel what I am doing to work on my clients.

OK … so what about other topicals?

Many people take topical steroids for different issues. Those are also able to be transferred to others. I don’t need steroids either, but thanks!

How many people out there forget that supplements are drugs? How many people forget that topical are drugs? How many people out there think that massage therapist just don’t need to know the medicines they are taking and don’t fill out the intake completely?

Please, I’m begging you. Be honest with your therapists! It’s not just about being able to take care of you the way we need to. It is about being able to take care of all of our clients and also ourselves. Please fill out your intake forms completely. Please be honest. We aren’t asking just to be nosy.

If you are coming in to get a massage and you are taking topicals, IF IT IS POSSIBLE … please apply in an area that I will not be working on. If your low back is hurting, I’ll need to work on your hips. If your neck and upper back are hurting, I’ll need to work on your shoulders and pecs. Bellies are generally safe unless I’m doing abdominal work of course. If it is not possible to put in a different area, maybe try to apply AFTER your appointment instead of before. If that is not possible, we therapists, understand! But we, as therapists will need to work around that area. And if you choose to deliberately withhold that information from us just so you can get an awesome massage, please know OUR health is quite literally at stake in that decision.

Every one of us has been a child. And as children, we all know there are two kinds of adults: There are those who get it, who know how to talk, play, imagine, and explore like a kid. And there are, well, the rest of them. The excruciatingly boring ones, the ones who terrify us into swearing, cross our hearts, that we’ll never turn into that kind of grown up. The kind that sent Peter Pan hightailing it for Neverland as fast as Tinkerbell could take him.

You may be an adult now, one who pays bills and takes vitamins and reads about the things politicians say, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have high-quality, meaningful interactions with the kids in your life, whether they’re your own or simply the kids next door. Here are three places to start:

Ask different questions

Dinner table or car ride conversation is often stunted. Kids are great at one word answers to typical daily questions like “How was your day? Did you learn anything cool in school today?”

And every kid gets the same two questions when they see adults who are not their parents. “How old are you now?” and “How’s school?”

So mix it up! Here are some great conversation starters to ask (and answer) when you’re hanging out with kids.

  • If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?
  • If you could, what type of animal would you be?
  • If you could make up a brand new school subject, what would it be?
  • If you could make up a new holiday, what would it be?
  • If you could put frosting on any food in the world what would it be?
  • If you could trade places with anyone for one day, who would it be?
  • If someone wrote an article about you in your school’s newspaper, what would you want them to say?

Exercise together

We can use the word ‘exercise’ loosely here. The key is to move around, get the endorphins flowing, and have fun.

Play the kids your favorite dance song, and let them choose one, too. Race up and down the driveway a few times. Bust out some old-school jumping jacks or a jump rope. Even 5 minutes is enough to get the blood pumping and some giggles happening.

Massage each other

Massage does not have to be a big complex endeavor. It can be quick and easy, and you can do it just about anywhere.  Watch this video together, and practice massaging other. and incorporating stories.

Create your own stories to make it even more fun. This type of anywhere, anytime massage is especially great for kids with anxiety. Try it at bedtime, or in the morning before school, or even in the waiting room at the dentist.

There you have it! Three ways to be the cool adult in your favorite kid’s life!

Get a Professional Massage together!

Really! Couples massages don’t have to be romantic. I work on Parent/Kid couples all the time. It is especially great for those special birthdays! You still get the choices (at least in my office) of:

1. Kid can remain dressed in bathing suit for comfort or disrobe to their comfort level.
2. Couples massage with two therapists present
Both of ya getting a massage at the same time side by side, in the same room
3. Couples massage with one therapist present
One of you getting a massage while the other enjoys a relaxing foot bath or just observes from the chair in the corner.

With this time of couples massage, the idea is to introduce massage to the kids at a young age, educating them on positive touch and bringing awareness to how wonderful their body can be in a safe and trusted environment. It can be as extravagant (cucumbers on the eyes and warm moist towels) or as simple as you want it to be. SIDENOTE: State of Alabama recognizes the Legal Medical Age of consent to be 14. Young, I know. But at that age, they can choose to have a parent present or not. Children younger than that, it is my policy to require that a parent be present at all times. This is for the benefit of the child as well as to allow a parent to intercede if necessary. Juvenile massage time does not mean free babysitter so the parent can go run an errand, Sorry, and sorry it has to be said.

It’s not hard to think up great ways to treat yourself. We’d all love a spa day topped off with a meal prepared and served by someone else. Maybe a sitter for the night, so the little angels are asleep when we get home. Or just a morning where the cat doesn’t wake you up by sitting on your windpipe.

But for every article I see about self care, I roll my eyes at least 12 times and think “Who can afford that?”  And sure, I would love to have an afternoon to myself and a bucket of fried chicken, and a cookie dough chaser. But that’s not particularly healthy.
gift8So I’m a fan of realistic self care. That is, activities that aren’t expensive, don’t involve food, and will make you feel good about how you spent that time. Here’s a list of my favorites

Meditate, the easy way

If you’re the kind of person who can’t sleep during the day, napping can be  more like torture. But guided meditation is a whole other story. It gives your mind something (easy) to do so the rest of you can relax a bit. There are plenty of free guided meditations online, my favorites are at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center website.   

Walk and a picnic

Okay, this one involves food, or just a beverage. Pack a little bag with a snack and a drink and go for a walk. Doesn’t need to be far, doesn’t need to be fancy. Just get outside, find a rock or a glade or a bench, settle in and sip your beverage. Listen to the quiet, or people-watch. Even better, bring a little trash bag and pick up litter along your route. You’ve just added in a random act of kindness to your personal time. Go, you!

Read a book

When was the last time you read for pleasure. Even if you can’t get to your library, there are plenty of Free ebooks on Amazon, and your local library probably may have a free online borrowing program. Or reread some of your favorite books from childhood if you have them hanging around.

Learn something

If you choose the topic right, learning is great self-care. Pick a topic for FUN. Don’t feel like you need to learn something pertinent to your work or a current hobby.  Check out Coursera, MIT or Harvard to start. (But there are PLENTY of sources for free online classes, do your own searching, too!)        

Draw

Bust out a piece for paper and draw something. Even if you don’t have fancy pencils or crayons or markers, you can play with shading and pressure and make something cool. There are plenty of free coloring pages you can download and print out.

Write a letter (this one will cost you the price of a stamp)

Remember letters? On real paper? It’s becoming a lost art, which is kinda sad. it used to be so exciting to get a real letter in the mail. Not a bill, not an advertisement, but a real letter, with news, from someone you love. It was downright magical.

If you feel totally lost and don’t know where to start, here’s a site to help you out.

Geocaching! (Pre-PokemonGo-Style)

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. There are plenty of free apps to help you learn geocaching and get started. My family’s favorite is Geocaching.com.  

YouTube Karaoke

For nearly every song out there, there’s a karaoke accompaniment on YouTube. For reals. Crank it up and let ‘er rip. You’re a stress-free superstar now.

Play cards

Get a kid and play Uno, or find an old deck of real cards and fall into a game of solitaire.

Foot bath

You can go nuts and find a whole bunch of fancy recipes on the internet, or just throw some salt into big bowl of warm water. Put a foot in there. Scrub it a bit with a washcloth. It feels good, the warmth is calming (or use cool water if it’s a zillion degrees where you’re at), and your feet will be all soft and good-smelling when you take ‘em out.

Got a teabag? Throw it in. Got an essential oil you like? A few drops’ll do. No big whoop.

When you’re ready, dry that foot off and slather with some lotion. Or coconut oil. Or olive oil. Whatever you have is just fine. (Put some socks on to really make it last, and so you don’t slip, ok?)

And when all else fails: Nap

Put your jammies on and take a nap. In your bed. Not all jammed up on the couch with the TV on. Close the shades in your bedroom and hunker down for a proper sleep.
There. You don’t have to spend money or fill your belly to feel great and treat yourself well! But if you just want to spend money on yourself, you could always book a massage. 😉 

I’ve come up with 19 potential injuries that can happen due to playing Pokemon Go. While some are due to repetitive actions that are common in the tech world, some are due to people not paying attention, people suddenly getting active after being mostly sedentary, and others just from being active in and of itself. I’m not saying you are going to get all of these or even if you are going to get any of these, but it’s good to be aware of things that massage therapy can either prevent, or assist in healing in the long run.

  1. Carpal tunnel syndrome: This is the girl using cell phoneswelling inside a narrow “tunnel” formed by bone and ligament in the wrist. The tunnel surrounds nerves that conduct sensory and motor impulses to and from the hand, leading to pain, tingling, and numbness.
  2. Cubital tunnel syndrome: Similar to Carpal tunnel syndrome, the symptoms include numbness and tingling in the ring and small finger and soreness in the inside of the elbow or forearm.
  3. Tenis Elbow: This is actually tendinitis or swelling of the tendons that causes pain in the elbow and arm and is caused by repetitive movements.
  4. Texting Thumb: This can be either trigger thumb, the constriction of a flexor tendon in the thumb caused by repetitive gripping motions with symptoms that include a painful popping or snapping when the thumb bends and straightens; sometimes the thumb even becomes locked in a curled position. Or it could also be something as simple as arthritis of the joint where the thumb joins the wrist.
  5. iPad/iPhone Hand: This is caused by holding a device in the same position and repeating the same motions over and over again, this type of repetitive strain injury sometimes must be fixed with surgery due to the damage done to tendons, ligaments or muscles.
  6. Photosensitive seizures: Many games and devices contain certain light flashing patterns that can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy.
  7. Computer Vision Syndrome: These are eye problems that result from prolonged digital device use(computers and any other back lit screen). Most commonly, people experience eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes.
  8. Palmar hydradenitis: This is the the formation of painful lesions on the palms of the hand from holding a device for extended periods of time with a tight grip.
  9. Bible Bump: Also known as ganglion cyst, this is a swelling or lump in the wrist resulting from jelly-like substance that has leaked from a joint or tendon sheath. It is called a Bible Bump because of the history of banging it with the largest flattest object in the house to make it go away, and that was usually the family Bible.
  10. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy: This is a condition characterized by dry, swollen hands and loss of muscle control; consistently painful, it is usually caused by acute injury.
  11. Tendinitis: This can occur anywhere in the body, it is a tearing and inflammation of tendons connecting bones to muscles.
  12. Shin Splints: Your shins have to bear up to 6 times your weight while you exercise, so foot-pounding activities like walking can cause problems for the muscles and surrounding tissues and create inflammation. The strain and leg pain results from strong calves pulling repeatedly on weaker muscles near the shin.
  13. Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fascia is the band of tissue that runs from your heel bone to the ball of your foot. When this dual-purpose shock absorber and arch support is strained, small tears develop and the tissue stiffens as a protective response, causing foot pain.
  14. Bunions: A bunion develops when the bones in the joint on the outer side of the big or little toe become misaligned, forming a painful swelling. Walkers with flat feet, low arches, or arthritis may be more apt to develop bunions.
  15. Low Back Pain: Walking doesn’t usually cause lower-back pain, but the repetitive movement can make an existing lower-back injury worse.
  16. Morton’s Neuroma: If tissue surrounding a nerve near the base of the toes thickens, it can cause tingling, numbness, or pain that radiates to surrounding areas. It may feel as though you’re treading on a marble.
  17. Bursitis: Although there are many potential causes of hip pain, it’s common for the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion the hip joint to become inflamed with repetitive stress. People with one leg slightly longer than the other are more susceptible to this kind of hip pain. Too much walking without building up to it can also be a cause.
  18. Runner’s Knee: Every time your shoe strikes the ground, your knee feels it. Eventually, your kneecap may start to rub against your femur (the bone that connects your knee to your hip), causing cartilage damage and tendinitis.
  19. Stress Fracture: Tenderness or pain when you press on a specific spot on your foot or lower leg, you may have a stress fracture—a tiny crack in a bone. Most common in the lower leg, they happen when your leg muscles become overloaded from repetitive stress because the shock is absorbed by the bone, rather than the muscle. This can occur if you ignore a shin splint, for instance, because the continued strain on muscles and tissues will eventually shift to the bone.

And these don’t even begin to address the issues of not watching where you are going, not paying attention and stepping in a hole to twist and ankle, tripping over something, running into something, or walking into an unsafe area.

Please be responsible, pay attention, and if you do end up with an injury that can be addressed by massage, give me a shout, I’ll be glad to let you hunt pokemon around my office between sessions. 😛