Therapeutic Massage

Four Ways to Stay Stress-Free This Summer

Are you counting the days until the kids go back to school?

Do you long for just one relaxed summer evening?

Have you ever said, “I need a vacation from my vacation?”

If you said yes to any of these, it’s time to give yourself permission to de-stress this summer.

Modern parenting and perceived obligations can make your summer one of the most stressful times of the year. Here are a few ways to put the “vacation” back in “summer vacation.”

Keep it Simple

Summer should be a time for you and your kids to relax and get a much-needed break from school. While there is something to be said for staying mentally active during the summer, kids also benefit from unstructured play and time spent in the great outdoors.

Depending on your work obligations, be sure to get your kids a balance of planned activities like day camps, tutoring and sports, and days of free-range play.

What’s on the schedule for today? Not a darn thing. Where do we have to drive? Nowhere.

Permission to Say “No”

Do you have a list of out-of-town friends and family clamoring for you and the kids to visit this summer? If you’re not looking forward to the trip, or if it feels like just one more thing you have to do, give yourself permission to take a raincheck. Make this the summer of self-care for you and your kids.

Consider a “Staycation”

Out-of-town vacations are supposed to be for relaxing, but when you’re a parent they can be loaded with stress. You find yourself in charge of logistics, travel, scheduling and packing for the entire family, not to mention the stress of catching the right flight or driving for hours with kids.

You can have just as much fun with a fraction of the stress if you go with a staycation instead. Just like the name implies, you stay at home for your summer holiday. No packing! Plan short daytrips to local attractions, or forget the plan and just hit the road with a picnic lunch and explore.

You’ll definitely save money, removing the stress of paying for an expensive vacation.

Make Time for Yourself

Remember that vacation is not just about your kids. It’s about you, too. As a parent and caretaker, you probably feel like you have to make everyone’s experience stellar…except yours.

But, if you spend all your energy taking care of others and don’t recharge your batteries, you’ll run out of energy to give. You have permission to take time just for you.

Why not take one day from that staycation to hire a sitter and give yourself a day to do what you want? Sleep in. Enjoy an afternoon with a good book. Treat yourself to dinner and a movie that you want to see. Wander around a museum, or get a spa treatment.

Just 30 minutes of relaxation massage can give you a much-needed break and put you on the right track to a less stressed summer.

Photo Copyright: stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo

Prenatal Massage: How Massage Helps Moms to Be

Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom.  ~Harriette Hartigan

Pregnancy is both a stressful time and a joyful one. The body undergoes changes rapidly. Some are obvious physical shifts and there is also less overt changes. Pregnancy or prenatal massage is one way to help mother and child-to-be through this time.

Prenatal massage therapy is an effective and beneficial practice for all trimesters – if performed properly. It is both safe and effective prenatal massage therapy can help the mother through difficult times. It can counteract some of the effects of pregnancy while helping her relax.

There are quite a few benefits to prenatal massage. The most common result is stress relief. The pregnant mother relaxes under the hands of a skilled massage therapist. This helps both psychologically and emotionally. It allows the woman to relax and to enjoy the massage and the experience of pregnancy.
Pregnancy massage also helps reduce the problems of swelling of the arms and legs. Muscles relax and, as time goes on, prepare mom’s body for birth. Pain may be relieved while the therapist works on the back, legs, arms neck and hips. Cramps and muscle spasms decrease. The therapist works to alleviate discomfort and even myofascial pain. After all, sleeping on your side for many months can lead to hip, thigh and shoulder discomfort.

The use of pregnancy massage can also help reduce the weight on the joints. Like other forms of massage therapy, it may also affect the flow of blood circulation and lymphatic flow. A regime of massage may also increase the pliability of the skin. This is helpful both during the pregnancy and while the client is in labor.
Used appropriately, pregnancy massage can also be beneficial during labor by a specifically trained massage therapist doula. It can be comforting to have touch therapy during this time. Therapeutic massage can help decrease the tension and anxiety associated with labor. Massage therapy is also suggested post partum, up to six weeks post birth. Timing factors include whether or not there was a caesarean section to deliver baby.

Prenatal massage requires special training. A thorough medical history is needed during the first visit. Your massage therapist must always be aware of change in condition between visits. When in doubt, always ask your physician if pregnancy massage is safe.
Prenatal massage also takes into consideration proper positioning of the client. Pillows or other positioning devices are used to make mom as comfortable as possible.

Prenatal massage can be a positive experience. It can help pregnant women emotionally and physically. The massage therapist also needs to communicate clearly with mom and understand any specific worries and possible problems. Only by understanding the general physical and emotional changes as well as specific problems many women experience can a massage therapist begin to provide beneficial therapeutic massage.

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