Suzy's Massage* LMT #3745*'s Blog

Regular massage – yes, but how often?

June 1st, 2017 • Posted by Suzy Frick • Permalink

Regular massage – yes, but how often?
There is no question that massage is very beneficial for physical and mental well-being. Also, without a shadow of a doubt, a regular and controlled therapy is much better than just a random one-off treatment. But the question how often one should receive a massage to get the most out of it inevitably comes up. So what’s the right duration and frequency to maintain the balance of your body and mind?
Things to remember about
There are two important aspects you need to be aware of when considering a massage therapy. Firstly, massage has a cumulative effect which means when received at the right (for your individual needs) intervals, every next session builds up on the results of the previous one(s). When two sessions are too much apart, the effect is not as good as it could be. Secondly, an isolated treatment will not cure a chronic problem. Sometimes, it takes years to develop a medical condition so you should not expect to reverse it with a 1-hour massage session. If you understand these two basic things, you can be sure your money will be well invested.
Your life patterns, your condition, your goals…
Are you a sales person spending a dozen of hours a day on the road lacking any physical exercise? Are you a ‘white collar’ working at high pace and under constant stress? Or maybe you are an athlete working out intensely every day in preparation for a sports event?
All these people have different life patterns, different physical and health conditions and different goals to achieve. So will their needs and massage therapy differ. Every person is unique, so there is another thing you need to know. Remember, always…
… Listen to your body
You need to find your own best interval of regularity. Consider how you feel before and after the session and be aware of how long you have maintained that improved state. Consult the results with your professional masseur to work out the best pattern of your massage therapy. Here are some general recommendations:
For general wellness plan to reduce stress and relax tight muscles, massage once a month is a good recommendation. If going through especially stressful time or having a permanent high stress life, a session every 1-2 weeks can help establish a pattern of relaxation.
Athletes doing intense workouts often receive massage even as often as twice per week to help maintain flexibility and the healthy condition of their muscles. During less intense training, massage frequency may drop down to once every two weeks or even once a month.
Patients with chronic muscle tension or long-term musculoskeletal problems (like headaches, shoulder and low back pain) need to attend more frequently for a short period of time. Typically weekly visits for 4-6 weeks will help overcome a chronic problem. Afterwards a less intense maintenance schedule will be suitable for them, typically about once a month.
In case of extreme conditions such as a muscle strain or spasms, frequent visits (2-3 per week) of shorter duration (30-45 min) for 1-3 weeks often help resolve problems. You can then diminish frequency until you reach a maintenance schedule to help keep you pain-free.
Struggling with the bucks?
It is a no-brainer that health should come first but many of us are faced with the dilemma of deciding how much we can spend on it. If that’s the case, a reasonable and cost effective solution could be to purchase a pre-paid package which can significantly reduce the price of an individual massage session.

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Longevity Recipe: 10 Fruit, Veggie Servings Daily

March 16th, 2017 • Posted by Suzy Frick • Permalink

Longevity Recipe: 10 Fruit, Veggie Servings Daily
Reductions seen in risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and early death

By Randy Dotinga

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- If you want to add years to your life, 10 daily servings of fruits and vegetables may be the best recipe you can follow, a new analysis suggests.

The benefits appear to come through lower rates of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death. And if everyone found a way to get 10 daily servings of produce, 7.8 million premature deaths would be avoided each year worldwide, the British researchers estimated.

Exactly how much in the way of fruits and vegetables is that? Anywhere from 10 small bananas or apples to 30 tablespoons of cooked spinach, peas, broccoli or cauliflower -- or roughly 800 grams of produce, the researchers said.

At least five servings (400 grams) of fruits and vegetables each day is what is currently recommended by many health agencies.

"Although five portions of fruit and vegetables is good, 10 a day is even better," said study author Dagfinn Aune, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London.

But even just over two portions a day made a difference in the review, the researchers added.

Eating 2.5 portions (200 grams) of produce on a daily basis was associated with reductions in: heart disease (by 16 percent); stroke (18 percent); cardiovascular disease (13 percent); cancer risk (4 percent); and premature death (15 percent).

The results for 10 daily servings were even stronger: a 24 percent reduced risk of heart disease; a 33 percent reduced risk of stroke; a 28 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; a 13 percent reduced risk of cancer; and a 31 percent reduction in premature death risk.

"Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system," Aune said in a university news release.

"This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold. For instance, they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage, and lead to a reduction in cancer risk," Aune explained.

However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between eating more fruits and vegetables and longer life.

"Most likely it is the whole package of beneficial nutrients you obtain by eating fruits and vegetables that is crucial in health," Aune said.

"This is why it is important to eat whole plant foods to get the benefit, instead of taking antioxidant or vitamin supplements (which have not been shown to reduce disease risk)," Aune noted.

Together, the 95 studies the Imperial College London scientists analyzed included almost 2 million people.

In their review, the researchers also found signs that these types of produce seemed to confer the greatest benefits: apples, pears, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower), and green and yellow vegetables (such as green beans, spinach, carrots and peppers).

The study was published Feb. 22 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

SOURCE: Imperial College London, news release, Feb. 22, 2017

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The Etiquette of Achoo!

February 2nd, 2017 • Posted by Suzy Frick • Permalink

The Etiquette of Achoo!
Cover your sneeze to protect those around you, health experts advise

By Randy Dotinga

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Sneezing is your body's way of getting rid of nasal invaders like pollen, pet hair or viruses. But while sneezes may be good for you, they can spread germs to others.

Texas A&M University Health Science Center researchers offer some suggestions about protecting yourself and everyone else during the sneezing season:

Look at the big picture. Be aware that the germs in a sneeze can travel far, potentially more than 10 feet, to land on surfaces where they can live for weeks. Antibacterial wipes can help reduce the risk that you'll touch germs when you make your way around the world each day.
Hand hygiene helps. If you cover your sneeze with your hands, make sure to wash them afterward using soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds. Hand sanitizer isn't enough on its own. Otherwise, the germs may take up residence in your hands and spread to other people through handshaking, doorknobs and anything else you touch.
Count on your sleeve. Consider covering your nose and mouth with your upper arm, vampire-style, when you feel a sneeze coming on, because it may reduce the risk that you'll spread germs.
Use a tissue. It's a good idea to keep a box handy. Just make sure to throw used tissues away and wash your hands afterward.
More information

For more about coughing and sneezing etiquette, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCE: Texas A&M University, news release

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