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WHY WE SHOULD ALL MAKE TIME FOR A MASSAGE…

Research has revealed that massage has various health benefits. Massage treatments can be utilized to assist with dealing with things like nervousness and sorrow, sleep deprivation, and bad posture.

Aromatherapy massage in particular is very popular for pain release. Aromatherapy is a combination of two words “aroma” which means smell or fragrance, and ‘therapy” which means treatment for the body, mind, or social condition of a person, to assist a process where healing and change can take place. People who are suffering from problems such as arthritis, or fibromyalgia can benefit from the service of therapist to improve their quality of life.

Massage is one of the most important activities that help people to recuperate from injuries. Wounds are converted into scar tissues hampering the movement of the body. Over a period of time, the muscles acquire strength and the healing occurs at a faster rate.

It is a method of healing using very concentrated essential oils that are often highly aromatic and are extracted from plants. On a personal note, I do find that aromatherapy massage helps with pain relief be it only for a short period of time. Some say that it’s a placebo effect but I do genuinely feel in less pain and more calm. Let’s put it this way, if I could afford a massage on a weekly basis I would have it booked in a second but once a month is a help to me for the time being.

The massage generally refers to the use of hands or other tools to rub and knead muscles and joints of the body, often to relieve tension or pain. Other types of massage include Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point, Hot Stone or Tai massage.

According to Rest Less Research shows that 20-minute massages are enough to see positive results. This means that the majority of professional massages – most of which tend to be around 50 minutes long – provide more than enough pressure to the body to experience optimal benefits.

Massage has so many benefits from relieving stress, anxiety, depression and helping you sleep better. It can help with chronic fatigue, give pain relief, and can boost your immune system. It can also improve your posture and relieve headaches and can be done on yourself or by using a massage gun or having treatment. I find massaging acupressure points of great benefit to me although I can obviously not reach certain areas.

A great home massage tip is to use a tennis ball, which can help with back and other muscle pains.

For self-massage, they suggest that you lie on a mat with two tennis balls under your back, and roll up and down. The balls then massage the muscles and ligaments around your spine. This then stretches the muscles and surrounding tissue, increasing blood flow and nutrients to the area to help ease the pain.

For specific acupressure using your tennis ball lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor or sofa if you cannot get onto the floor. Your knees should be separated by about the width of your hips. Then raise your hips slightly and slide the tennis ball under one of them. Come back down and rest on the ball. You can treat both sides of your body and the sides of your hips.

There is a great book on how to use self-massage with a tennis ball by Angie Sage ‘Tennis Ball Self Massage : Effective Trigger Point Therapy to Relieve Your Muscle and Joint Pain, available on Amazon

This book offers you lots to learn from what is Tennis Ball Self-Massage, Trigger Point Therapy for Head and Neck, Massage to Relieve a Headache, and Massaging the Neck., and Tigger Point Therapy for your Back, Shoulder, Arm, Forearm, Hand, Hip, Thigh and Knee and much more.

Massage guns are very popular at the moment but for someone treating themselves and already in pain then the best type to buy is the lightest you can find otherwise it will just aggravate your pain.

A brilliant app that can help you find a therapist is

Source: Rest Less

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IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LETS TALK ABOUT TIPS TO HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER…

My first Sleep Sunday post for 2022. For this weeks post I thought some tips on getting a good nights sleep might help as I am sure many of us have disrupted our sleep patterns over Christmas.

Before we start with a few tips make yourself a relaxing chamomile tea with milk. Chamomile calms the mind and the milk helps to nourish the body.

Now just find 5 minutes to breathe consciously. If you can sit with your legs crossed ( I was always able to do this before I had problems with my sacroiliac joints). Find a nice comfy cushion to sit on then close your eyes and turn your attention on yourself. Don’t think of anything else in the room except yourself and say out loud or if you prefer in your head “I am calm and relaxed and focused on a good nights sleep”. Say it a few times before you go up to bed.

Take a warm bath or shower as the heat soothes and relaxes your muscles and if you have any Lavender products to hand use them as Lavender is known for its relaxing properties.

Do not eat after 7pm and preferably a lighter evening meal rather than a heavy one.

Sooth with the smell of Lavender using the oil or spray your pillow with it, or put some moisturiser on that is scented with it.

Leave your iPad downstairs and only read in bed if you have a Kindle with it set to night light as this will help you to soon feel sleepy.

If you can meditate then try this pre-sleep meditation. Get yourself comfortable in bed and tell yourself it’s now time to stop thinking about your day but to think about going to sleep. Now start relaxing by thinking about your heels relaxing then all the way up to your head softening each body part as you travel up. With every breath in, imagine yourself lifting. With every breath out, imagine yourself sinking. Continue for a while until you feel completely relaxed.

Finish by popping an eye mask on and snuggle down to a great nights sleep.

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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AROMATHERAPY OILS FOR PAIN…

Eucalyptus oil, it’s not just a beautiful tree and leaf but also great as oil to ease pain, thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits. It can help sore muscles from pain caused by arthritis or Fibromyalgia. Mix one or two drops with either coconut, argan or jojoba oil, then rub in the sore area in a circular motion. You can also blend with peppermint and rosemary oil to create a feel-good muscle rub. Lots of other oils also work well for pain relief.

Lavender is the most famous essential oil for pain relief and relaxation is lavender. It’s also good for your cardiovascular and digestive systems, lowers blood pressure, and helps relieve insomnia.

For relaxation try vanilla. Place a few drops of vanilla extract onto a handkerchief and carry it with you throughout the day. It helps fight infections, reduces inflammation, helps respiratory problems, and can work as an antioxidant.

To help you recharge try peppermint, jasmine, citrus. These scents make you feel more awake. Apparently, even though these scents are pleasant, they act as mild irritants and the effect is similar to that of smelling salts.

Sprinkle a few drops of the essential oil of your choice in a candle diffuser, or dilute two drops in 1 tsp. of avocado or almond oil, then rub it onto the back of your hand.

For pain relief try Green apple. The smell of green apples can reduce the severity and duration of migraine headaches and may have a similar effect on joint pain.

Another way for pain relief is to eat a green apple for a snack or bathe with green apple bath salts.

My love of essential oils goes back about 20+ years. The hospital where I had my first spinal surgeries had a lady that came into the hospital on a weekly basis and gave patients aromatherapy massage if they wished to have it.

She was a quiet small lady whose aura gave a feeling of calm before she even gave you the aromatherapy massage. She would mix the oils at the time you arrived by first finding out what sort of pain you were in. If I go somewhere that sells or uses these oils it takes me straight back to my regular session with my aromatherapist.

Unfortunately, like all of us, she eventually retired and although I still have the odd aromatherapy massage I have yet to have a treatment that reacted in quite the same way.

Sometimes I will use an aromatherapy diffuser scent ring, to fill the room with my favourite oils. Lavender (which also reminds me of my Grandma as she always wore it) mixed with rosemary oil is top of my list.

Storing your oils is important for their lifespan. Try to store your oils in a dark amber glass bottle, this will store it better. If they are stored in a clear or plastic bottle they will deteriorate in about 8 weeks.

Always store away from direct sunlight, in a cool and dark place is best. If stored correctly they could last up to one year.

To make your oils go further, add five to 10% of wheat-germ oil, as it helps to preserve the mixture.

Before you massage ALWAYS do a patch test first to check you are not allergic to it.

Always wash your hands when you have finished the massage.

Many Fibromyalgia forums have written comments on this oil with some having great results and others no so great, but that can be the same with drugs or treatments as it seems pains affect people differently.

Written by the experts, Neals Yard Remedies: Complete Massage – All the techniques, Disciplines & Skills You Need to Massage for Wellness. The book will bring the rejuvenating aromatherapy benefits into your life.