Massage can be a savvy investment in your future health
If the economic downturn has got you thinking that you need to cut back on spending, you are not alone. But if you're thinking, "Massages are a luxury that I can easily forego," think again. Massages are an investment in your health.
The discussion in Congress about the drain on our country's resources by healthcare costs has made us aware that poor health is expensive. Besides lost workdays, the costs of visits to the doctor and medications can mount up even if you are insured.
That's not even putting a value on the time you spend in waiting room or on the quality of life lost when you are debilitated by pain and disease.
Receiving massage from a capable, qualified massage therapist can relieve pain and greatly improve your physical and emotional health.
- Increases circulation thereby benefiting the organs and muscles on a cellular level by increasing their oxygen and nutrient supply;
- Stimulates the lymphatics thus supporting the body's natural immune response;
- Flushes toxins from the tissues;
- Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, improving the "rest and digest" response (and calming "fight or flight");
- Loosens adhesions in the fascia and tissues;
- Relieves chronic pain;
- Provides "safe touch" for people who don't otherwise receive tactile contact (touch helps reduce stress);
- Relieves anxiety and emotional stressors;
- Releases endorphins to promote feelings of well-being and reduce depression.
Wow! With all the benefits of massage, it looks like Congress would add that the the healthcare package!
The fact is we are living in the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. And besides the financial stressors and threats of job loss, we are coping with the ordinary demands that plague us anytime, such as the demands of families, friendships, loss, transitions, illness, pain, and similar circumstances.
Massage can help you deal with these stressors and can help you maximize the return on your other self-care measures.
Regular massages are a sound investments. Pain and stress are expensive. Getting a massage is an investment in your future health.
At Body Balance II, a 30 minute session is $35, a 60 minute massage is $60 (seniors $55). Please call or Suzanne Eller at 315-9900 or Susan Smith and Laura Queen at 828-322-BODY to schedule an appointment.
Staying hydrated in the summer heat
Your body is estimated to be between 60-70% water. Water is necessary for the metabolism of every cell in the body.
Image: Andy Newson / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Without water, your body cannot regulate your basal temperature; provide oxygen and nutrients to your blood, tissues and organs; remove waste products; or lubricate your joints and organs.
If you don't have enough water in your body, your systems will start to show signs of stress from dehydration. These include chronic pain in the joints; muscle cramps and/or low back pain; headaches; constipation; dark, smelly urine; dizziness; and nausea.
In the summer, you are a greater risk for dehydration because you perspire more. When the temperature is in the 80s and 90s, it is important that you drink more even if you are sedentary, and remember that drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine have a diuretic effect. They increase your risk of becoming dehydrated even though you are drinking liquid.
The rule for staying hydrated on these hot days is to drink before you are thirsty. If your mouth and lips are dry, you've waited too long.
You can calculate the amount of water your body needs by dividing your weight in half. That's the amount of water you need in ounces each day. If you are active in this heat, you need additional water beyond this minimum requirement.
When it's hot, take special precautions if you're going to be involved in physical activity. You need about 20 ounces of water before beginning an activity and about 10 more ounces for each 20 minutes you are active. Afterwards, you need to consume another 24-30 ounces.
One word of caution: If you stop sweating in extreme heat, you may be experiencing heat exhaustion or its more serious counterpart, heat stroke. You may feel dizzy or disoriented, and you may feel nauseated and have a weak pulse.
Stop all activity immediately if you experience these symptoms. Move somewhere you can cool off. If heat stroke is occurring, your core temperature will rise. This is an emergency, and you will need to call 911.
Stay safe in the heat. Drink plenty of water and don't become dehydrated and over-heated.
Image: Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Cypress tree is a tall, conical-shaped evergreen with slender branches and round brown seed cones. It is native to the Mediterranean and gave its name to island of Cypress, where it was worshipped in ancient times. In the United States, the Giant Sequoia is a well-known variety of cypress.
Today, Cypress harvested for its essential oil comes from the Cupressus semprervirens variety of France and other Mediterranean counties. There are other varieties of Cypress, but Cupressus semprervirens, which means "lives forever", is considered superior for aromatherapy grades.
The EO has an herbaceous, fresh, evergreen aroma. First recorded as a medicinal oil in an ancient Egyptian papyrus, Cypress is considered one of the essential oils of the Bible.
Cypress has been called the funeral oil because of its association with death and eternity. The Greeks dedicated it to Hades, and for centuries, Cypress was planted in Mediterranean cemeteries as a symbol of grief and comfort of life after death.
Aromatically, Cypress influences the mind and spirit by strengthening feelings of trust, patience, stability and security and minimizing feelings of grief, loss, anger, frustration and fear. Cypress is particularly helpful in times of transition and strife.
Cypress EO is good for a variety of physical problems, and it is especially good in cases where there has been excessive fluid, including edema, excessive perspiration, chronic diarrhea, bleeding gums, nosebleeds and heavy menstrual flow. It is great for summertime swelling of the feet and ankles.
Many massage and spa treatments use Cypress EO to reduce cellulite, decrease fluid retention and improve circulation. It is beneficial to the liver and to the respiratory system, and it is especially good for asthma sufferers when diffused.
Cypress EO can tighten pores and is a good treatment for excessively oily skin because of its astringent properties. Likewise, it is effective in the treatment of varicose veins and wounds.
Avoid if you are pregnant, taking testosterone or have kidney disease. If you have sensitive skin, use with a carrier oil.
Finding Your Voice
Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Travel journals vary widely, they can range from dry statements of what happened when— little more than an itinerary— to wildly evocative word pictures which transport the reader to far away places. The latter are a fascinating insight and can be rightly treasured by their owners.
But what makes a great travel journal and how do you write one? Practice and experience helps, so let's make a start.
When you write your travel journal consider who you are writing it for [sic]. If it's a private journal that only you will see, you will probably use a very different style than if you intend to allow the journal to be read by others.
Think about all of your senses— what you see, hear, feel. Be descriptive— "the softly crumbling honey coloured stone of the chapel walls sweltered in the oppressive midday heat" is more descriptive of a moment and a feeling than "it was very hot today when we visited the chapel". The first phrase evokes more strongly the essence of the place and gives the reader a feel for what it was like to feel that heat and see the colour and age of the chapel walls.
Try reading what you write aloud— does it sound vivid and interesting or stilted and confused? Reading a passage aloud will allow you to identify if what you have written is in your voice and if it works. It may also trigger you to write something extra as memory sparks.
I find it's best to keep the travel journal pocket-sized. Then, I can easily carry the journal … with me and make a brief notes when having coffee or when something inspires.
It is often useful to record practicalities after the trip is over as well as descriptive word pictures. I find I often want to recall how much things cost, or the specifics of transport routes and methods. Such issues are quickly forgotten, (at least by me!) so noting them in bullet-point style helps in this respect.
You can use a camera as a useful memory jogger when taking notes is simply not possible. If you bear in mind this useful purpose you will take specific memory-trigger photographs as well as artistic travel photos. A shot of a menu for instance or a street map sign can be an enormous help if you don't write your journal immediately.
Whatever style you decide to use in your travel journal, if it has loads of personality it will certainly be a more colorful and interesting record. I'll leave you with a short checklist to help you find your own voice and make your travel journal meaningful.
Things to collect (use an envelope and attach directly using a glue stick):
- Costs and itinerary info
- Clippings from found items (hotel, restaurant, tickets)
Make a note of:
- Things forgotten or not anticipated which would have been useful
- What about the place was good, bad, ugly, beautiful?
- Let yourself imagination take over, immerse your thoughts and sense or remember the atmosphere, then try writing a short piece of poetry descriptive of place and impressions.
- What were the practical and pragmatic essential bullet points?
Trigger words and phrases for travel journal entries:
- Liked - why
- Disliked - why
- My feelings - and the reasons why
- Weather conditions and light quality
- Flora and fauna
- The same but different
In this article I have explored why it is important to let your personality into your travel journal writing and explored examples as well as ways to do this. To conclude: in travel journal writing there is no right or wrong but there is your way which should be as unique as you are.
The summer heat getting you down? The bill from running your air conditioner to stay cool getting you down even more?
That is how summer seems to go. You can't win— either you are dying in the stifling heat, or you are enjoying the AC and paying the price (literally) for it later.
So, how can you have the best of both worlds, and stay cool in the summer without relying on the air conditioner? Consider the following tips:
- Tip one: Take advantage of the cooler days.
One of the best things you can do is give yourself a chance to not run your air conditioner. The way you do this is allow cool air into your home when you can, and keep it in there. If it is cool in the evenings, open your windows, and get your fans going so that you can cool down your house, then hopefully it will stay cool all day. If a day is cool, then same thing, get those windows open, and get the air flowing. However, when using this tactic to keep your home cool without relying on your air conditioner, make sure you shut your windows and screen doors when the outside gets warm. If you open them at night, but forget to close them in the morning when it gets hot, you will be wasting your time.
- Tip two: Shade your home and windows:
Heat gets into your home through open doors and windows, but it can also get into your home just by being hot outside. Even with insulation, some heat will get in. So, help your home get less heat in by basically shading the outside. You can put awnings over sliding glass doors and patios, or you can plant tall trees to provide shade on your roof and other parts of your home to bring the temperature down. An awning can reduce temperature by as much as 20 degrees. That much cooler can mean far less need to run your air conditioner, and yet you will still stay cool all summer long.
- Tip three: Don't let heat in.
One of the problems people have that makes them rely on their air conditioners too much in the summer is that after they cool their homes, they let all the cold air escape and let too much hot hair inside. If you want to have a cool home without the problems, there are a few things you need to do, like keeping doors and windows closed in the hot parts of the day. Keep drapes closed. Keep blinds closed. Doing these things will help you keep your home nice and cool.
- Tip four: Keep yourself cool with cold foods.
Cooking can heat up your house, so stay cool without relying on the air conditioner by eating cool foods, and by cooling yourself down with popsicles, ice cream, lemonade and the like.
Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com