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12 Things You Didn't Know About Massage

Only 32% of adult Americans got a massage in the past 5 years, and even fewer get massage regularly. So it’s not surprising that most people don’t know much about massage.

Here are some fun facts to build your knowledge:

Massage can help you sleep better. (Even if you don’t nap during the actual massage.)

When your back hurts, that might not be the only area that needs massage. Sometimes back pain comes from the hip, legs or even the abdomen.

Likewise, sometimes hand and arm pain is caused by dysfunction in the neck and shoulder.

You can stop a massage session at any time. You never cede control of your body. At any time during a massage you can say “no”, “stop”, or even “can you just work on my neck for the rest of the time and skip everything else?” If you are uncomfortable or feel like the therapist isn’t hearing your feedback, or if you just feel like the table is too hard or you think that gosh, this is awful - you can end it.

Massage can help your mood. It’s been shown to be helpful in treating both anxiety and depression.  

Even small therapists can provide deeeeep pressure. It’s not about size, it’s about the techniques we use!

Massage is safe in the first trimester of pregnancy (unless there are unusual health issues).  Some practitioners choose to not do it, but that’s a liability choice. In the state of Texas, you can receive massage after the first month of pregnancy. (I require a doctors note though!)

Deep tissue massage, or any massage, doesn’t need to be painful to be effective. For reals. Run screaming from any practitioner who insists there needs to be pain in a treatment.

Scars are living tissue that can be transformed with massage and other manual therapies, no matter how old they are. And they can be affecting you in places farther away from the visible scar than you’d ever suspect.

It’s OK to focus on certain areas of discomfort and not always get a full body session. If you only want your arms massaged, that’s fine, too.

Your massage therapist loves feedback. We like to know if you hate having your feet touched, and if you looove having your ears massaged. We like knowing your musical preference and if you prefer to start face down or face up.

We’re also cool if you just want to chill and let us use our judgement to design the treatment.

Do you have questions about massage? Contact me at nichole@massagemovil.com or ask me at your next appointment. You can book HERE !

11 Ways to Treat Yourself (that don’t involve money or food)

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, or maybe a sitter for the night, 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. 

So 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 does involve food, or just a beverage. Pack a little bag with a snack and a drink and go for a walk. It doesn’t need to be far and it doesn’t need to be fancy. Just get outside, find a rock 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.

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. 

When you’re ready, dry that foot off and slather it 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!

Consistency

Consistency is key in anything you do. If you want to see results you have to work at it. 

Your health and wellness goals are no different. Will getting a massage once a year make you feel better? Absolutely. 

But if your pain is chronic or stress is an everyday obstacle, then consistency in your treatment plans may be what you need. 

So what is your wellness goal? Even if its not with massage how will you commit to your goal?

The Reboot for you Mind and Body

Do you ever feel stretched in a hundred different directions?

Obligations, deadlines, appointments, meetings, work, housework, sports, everything. More often than not, it seems that there just aren’t enough hours in the day or days in a week for all that we need to do. We’re on constant high alert. We’re always moving.

All this chaos can be hard on your body and mind.

When this happens, we tend to be less mindful of our eating, or chasing sleep like it’s a lively kitten, or we get snippy with loved ones and coworkers.

The effects of this day to day stress are cumulative for most of us. Stiff joints get stiffer. Cranky shoulders get crankier, then one rogue golf swing or one heavy laundry basket makes it worse.

Massage is the mini-vacation you probably need.

Without the sand in your shoes and having to pull your computer out of your backpack.

Massage therapy is a reboot. It’s the control-alt-delete for your body and mind.

A massage resets your thoughts, slows your pulse, regulates your breathing, and recharges your mind.

Spend some time on my massage table, taking care of you. You can schedule online right here, at the Massage Móvil Online Scheduler or call or text me at 210-378-8939 to make your appointment.

Stop headaches before they start

As June comes to a close we are sad to say that we missed the bandwagon for Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. I don’t know about you but when a headache comes on or worse a migraine I don’t want to do much of anything, but as someone with a hectic lifestyle I can undoubtedly say, ain’t nobody got time for that! So, we are going to jump right in and look at some ways to stop the pain before it starts. Are you ready? Let’s go.

Avoid triggers

If certain foods or scents have triggered headaches in the past, it could be time to make a note of them and avoid them at all costs. Things like caffeine, cigarette smoke, and bright lights can be a big culprit in spurring on pain, but it doesn’t have to be that obvious. Perfumes, loud noises, flowers, and even lunch meat have the power to make you miserable.

Workout often

Exercising on a regular basis reduces tension and can help prevent headaches. Choose something you enjoy doing - walking, biking, kayaking, hiking, etc. - and follow the proper guidelines for the exercise you’re engaging in. That means stretching and warming up slowly. And don’t forget proper hydration.

Bonus: It is also said that being overweight can be a factor in triggering migraines, so not only will exercise help you stay healthy but it can help curb the pain that can be caused from headaches or migraines.

Eat and sleep regularly

Lack of sleep and skipping meals can aggravate symptoms for the migraine sufferer. Make sure you are getting enough fluids and are eating meals at regular times. Lack of sleep (or even getting too much sleep) can also aggravate symptoms, so implement routine and stick to it.

Control stress

Stress. Stress. Stress. It happens. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid. The only thing we can change is our response to it. Learn techniques to reduce stress levels like breathing, yoga and meditation. You can also combat stress with a massage, a long walk, a hot shower, or whatever you need to do to take the edge off.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, nearly 36 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Acknowledging the triggers and patterns surrounding your migraine episodes will help you figure out what’s causing them and minimize your chances of experiencing headache pain.

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