Health & Wellness Blog

    

Yoga for Health & Wellness

As we live our busy lives, we often need to find a form of exercise that will help us un-wind. One of the most rejuvenating and good-health promoting activities is Yoga. 

Yoga is a perfect retreat for relaxation as well as physical benefit. By practicing yoga for health and relaxation, you are engaging technique to optimize your time and physical benefits while enjoying the mental and emotional relaxation that practicing yoga provides.

Better Self-Awareness Through Yoga

When practicing yoga for health benefits, you may realize many things about yourself, such as your degree of flexibility and strength. This may help you better understand bodily issues that you can focus and improve upon.

Also a self-awareness aspect of Yoga derives from the deep breathing involved with the practice. Beginner yogis can immediately start unlocking a much greater lung capacity upon a commencing a consistent Yoga practice.  More breathing means your body will better oxygenated, helping to nourish every cell in the body.

Yoga in Many Forms

There are many different styles or forms of Yoga. When deciding on the style of Yoga, it is important take into consideration what your ultimate goals are from your practice.

Some forms of Yoga are more relaxing and breathing intensive, such as Hatha or Restorative Yoga. On the other hand, some styles of Yoga are more aerobic with more movements and postural transitions, such as Vinyasa.

If you are getting into Yoga for health reasons, then the outlets may seem vast and overwhelming. You will want to talk to an experienced Yoga instructor about the various options. In addition, there are a number of different Yoga resources online that can help lead you in the right direction.

Whether you seeking ways to alleviate stress in your life, or simply want to explore a new road to better strength and flexibility, Yoga can be a solution for many things in life.

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Somatic Education and Sensory-Motor Amnesia

Somatic education is a means of learning how to properly function and coordinate one's body through sensory motor awareness.

While the term "Somatic" refers to an individual's ability to sense his or her inner processes, education in this practice reflects the learning and increased ability to sense oneself from within. The underlying connection to Somatic Education is mind-body integration, which in turn enhances natural control of the body's muscular system. This can provide more efficiency as well as flow of energy through improved physiological functioning.

The video above is from Somatics.com. It was created by Lawrence Gold, a Hanna Somatic practitioner.

In numerous cases the Somatic education approach has been useful in overcoming chronic pain, as well as improving physical performance. One of the chronic conditions alleviated through this approach is the Sensory-Motor Amnesia (SMA).

What is Sensory-Motor Amnesia?

Sensory-motor amnesia is a state under which we lose our sense of muscular activity and control due to habituated movements. The amnesia occurs as certain muscles take more control of others, causing the inactive muscle to be less effective, and often times tight and sometimes painful.

With Sensory-Motor Amnesia, one is left with a sensation of pain and stiffness in a part of the body without the sense of the action of the muscles causing it. The remedy to this condition is to learn how to sense the muscular actions causing the pain and consequently learning how to control those muscular actions.

Prevalence of Sensory-Motor Amnesia

It is not uncommon for an individual during his or her lifetime to lose a certain degree of awareness in certain muscles. This is often times because we subconsciously hold muscles tight, without being fully aware of it.

However what we are aware of is the pain or soreness, as well as skewed bodily movement. Somatics seeks to overcome that unawareness, and train our minds to recognize those muscles that are being held tight. 

Role of Somatic Education for SMA

Somatics is essentially a method of mind-body training that aids in overcoming common health difficulties that would otherwise be remedied through physical therapy, chiropractic, osteopathy, massage therapy among other treatments.

In the case of Sensory-Motor Amnesia, Somatic education supersedes the traditional physical therapy approaches of stretching and strengthening of muscles to alleviate muscular spasticity. Unlike the standard physical therapies that accentuate strength and flexibility, Somatic education puts an emphasis on control and release of muscular tension.

In addition, while most therapies will use stretching, Somatic education helps one learn to relax which translates to longer lasting and greater freedom of movement.

Practicing Somatics

There are many techniques that have been proven for Somatic education. Body-mind centering is a Somatic approach that relies on experiential anatomy, breathing, use of movement, and our perceptions. Many techniques of somatic education focus to train people on how to make habit changes while using your body with more ease and freedom.

A process of learn-by-doing making various techniques based on movement and sensation is employed during Somatic training. This enhances a sense of awareness to the body parts to feel more intensely thus encouraging a more clearly defined and voluntary control of the muscles. The results of Somatic training is actually self-perpetuating and improves with continuous practice.

Somatics greatly depends on an individual's self-awareness and thus ability to better control his or her muscular control. To learn more about Somatic education, visit Somatics.com.

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Swedish Massage: Going Deep Into the Practice & Health Benefits

Massage Bloomington ILMassage is touted as a powerful tool that helps you to take charge of your physical and emotional health and well-being. Massage has been around for centuries in many different cultures. Massage techniques are becoming increasingly popular in the recent years mainly because of the health promoting qualities and curative properties associated with it.

Swedish massage is one of the popular forms of massages practiced in the United States. This therapy incorporates gentle strokes and kneading motions to enhance blood circulation and remove toxins from the muscles.

What is Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage is a massage technique wherein professional massage therapists incorporates a variety of basic strokes that are applied with light to medium pressure. The extent of pressure generally depends on the client’s personal preferences.

This form of massage implements the use of five distinct massage strokes to provide a healing, relaxing, and rejuvenating experience for the tired muscles in the body. In short the main goal of this massage technique is to provide a relaxing effect for the entire body. This technique has been around for years and considered as the best form of massage for beginners.

11 Health Benefits of Swedish Massage

Interested in the health benefits of Swedish massage? Below we share 11 great benefits that Swedish massage can have on one's health:

1. Swedish massage techniques are touted to relieve anxiety and alleviate symptoms of stress and depression. This is because the pressure applied relaxes taut muscles and relieves tension.

2. Manipulating the muscles with gliding strokes assures excellent relaxation of the entire body. It is also hailed as an excellent technique to repair overworked and injured muscles.

3. It enhances the blood circulation in the body by delivering more oxygen to all parts of the body.

4. It stimulates the lymphatic system, helps to release the toxins accumulated in the muscles and strengthens the immune system of the body. Elimination of the toxins helps to improve muscle tone.

5. The gliding movements and rhythmic strokes help to relax cramped muscles and relieve spasms.

6. It improves the flexibility of the joints and muscles by providing excellent relief for muscle stiffness and body aches. It short it helps in effective pain management.

7. It enhances the overall function of the nervous system by stimulating the release of the feel good hormones.

8. It is also acclaimed to treat insomnia, headaches, neck pain, eyestrain and excessive anger.

9. It improves digestion and reduces digestive disorders.

10. The long strokes and kneading techniques increases blood circulation and improves skin tone.

11. Last but not the least it improves flexibility and range of motion.

Many wellness spas and massage centers offer Swedish massage to make you look better and feel better. With Swedish massage you are sure to experience a technique that soothes and relaxes the entire body. You can enjoy a slow and gentle or a rigorous treatment depending upon your personal and physical needs.

If you are seeking a soothing and relaxing massage, set your mind free and surrender to the power of a Swedish massage. Swedish massage is a dynamic and directive approach to provide an invigorating and energetic experience. Treat yourself to a Swedish massage and feel the difference.

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The Amazing Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage TherapyStudy after study, it has been proven that massage therapy actually works. As a matter of fact the health benefits of massage therapy go beyond soothing muscle pains and aches. If you’ve not been visiting spas for a massage session, it’s about time you considered making massage appointments part and parcel of your wellness plan due to the following health benefits;

Stress Relief

Research has shown that massage lowers the heart rate and blood pressure which in effect increases the production of endorphins also known as the “feel good” chemical. In addition, chemicals known to as serotonin and dopamine are released through massage, bringing about a feeling of calm relaxation. All these factors combined make it easy to overcome chronic, habitual and acute as well as short term stress.

Improvement of Post Operative Surgical Operation

The rehabilitation recovery process is an important phase after surgical procedure. It is during this phase that that your body gets accustomed to natural movements again. The free movement of tissues is reinforced during this time as well. Studies show that patients who embark on a regular massage regimen after a surgical procedure are able to rehabilitate their bodies much faster than those who don’t. Basically, massage helps increase blood circulation thereby bringing nutrients to the affected tissue for speedy repair.

Tension and Headaches Relief

It’s estimated that more than 3 million people suffer from chronic headaches and migraines in the US alone. This is a disorder mostly associated with high levels of stress combined with lack of sleep. Massage therapy carried out on a regular basis can help the body maintain an optimal level of relaxation thus lowering the odds of migraine attack and tension. This is achieved by relaxing muscle spasms and trigger points.

Promotion of Deeper and Easier Breathing

It has been said that one of the telltale signs of anxiety is constricted breathing. When you take shallow, short breaths than what would be regarded as normal, it’s almost impossible to get to a relaxed state. Constricted breathing is partly caused by the tightening of the muscles around the abdomen and the rib cage. Regular massage helps train your body how to relax and enhance breathing which by extension improves respiratory conditions such as allergies, asthma and sinus problems as well as bronchitis.

Improvement of Flexibility

Injuries are more common these days than they were 5 decades ago. Some quarters argue that this is brought about by our tendency of being sedentary. As if that’s not enough, the current generation has joints that are more or less rigid which greatly impedes flexibility and range of motion. However motion and flexibility can be improved and maintained through massage therapy. Your muscles, tendons, connective tissues, joints and ligaments become more fluid and less prone to injuries when you work on them regularly.

Great massage therapy has no geographical limitations. Whether you're seeking a professional massage therapist in Peoria, IL or perhaps need a sports massage in Bloomington, IL Massage therapy can be an incredible addition to your healthcare regimen. Bearing in mind that many diseases are stress related, nothing can come in handy than regular appointments at the massage parlor. Just because massage sounds more like a luxury than a necessity doesn't in any way make it less therapeutic. In this fast paced world, the need to eliminate anxiety and pressure cannot be over emphasized.

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5 Exercises for Greater Hip Mobility & Range of Motion

Hip Monbility ExercisesThe hips play an essential role in movement; propelling the body to walk forward, climb, kneel and even squat, the hips are an essential element of most sporting activities.

One’s ability to muster the strength and flexibility of their hips can often make the difference between success and failure in sports.

However, the daily efforts of life tend to inhibit the functionality of the hips. This is an even more prominent issue among athletes, the tightness of whose hips can cause stiffness over time, complicating the process of holding certain positions. This signals the need to practice specific hip mobility exercises for greater range of motion.

5 Powerful Hip Mobility Exercises

The key to maintaining hip mobility and flexibility is consistent practice of hip mobility exercises and proper training. To attain the required results, one is encouraged to approach these exercises in moderation, starting with a gentle level of intensity and progressing as required with the passing of time, some of those most effective hip mobility exercises including the following:

The Goblet Squat

Goblet SquatYou will need a kettle bell for this exercise. Lift your chest while keeping the kettle bell close to your body. Your feet should be hip distance apart. Sink to the lowest possible point where you can hold a squat, moving slowly and steadily.

Keeping the weight on your heels, the elbows pressed to your knees (in order to drive them out), settle in this position for about thirty seconds before setting the kettle bell down and standing. Shake some life into your legs before repeating the exercise a few more times.

Clamshell

First, lie on your side, with your legs and ankles together, and knees slightly bent. With outstretched arms cushioning your head, open and close your knees like a clam. Your feet must remain together throughout this exercise. And endeavor to move as slowly as possible in order to work all the right muscles. A resistance band might prove essential for this exercise.

Single Leg Deadlift

This exercise, though effective, is pretty easy to execute. First, find some dumbbells and hold one in each hand. With arms straight, lower the dumbbells to the floor while raising your trail leg back.

Endeavor to keep your back rigid even while keeping the knee of the supporting leg bent. Allow the dumbbells to touch the floor before returning to your initial position. Five sets of this exercise executed on each leg should do.

TRX Lunge

You will need TRX suspension training to perform this exercise. Configure the TRX system in a manner that allows the handles to hang down to your calves. Hang your right foot in the straps (in such a way that the shoelaces are pointed to the floor), and then step forward (or out) with the left.

Use this left leg to squat, with your shin remaining vertical. Ensure to maintain a tight core. Stand up and repeat the action another 8 or so times. You could also hold dumbbells in your hands to add resistance.

Psoas Gut SmashPsoas Gut Smash

Lie Prone on the floor, position a lacrosse ball two inches to the right of your belly button, using your forearms for support. Using small movements, roll the ball down to your femur. The purpose of this exercise is to decrease hip extensions even while accelerating hip flexion. It is particularly effective for runners.

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