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5 Benefits of Getting a Massage

Ahhhh…A massage. It is something that you may get once in a while since it is considered to be a luxury for most. However, it is perhaps one of the oldest healing traditions. Many ancient cultures – including Ancient Greek, Egyptian, Chinese, and Indian – were convinced of the therapeutic properties of massage and used it to treat various ailments. What is massage therapy? Massage therapy (including myotherapy) is the practice of kneading or manipulating a person’s muscles and other soft-tissues to improve their overall well being or health. It is a form of manual therapy that includes holding, moving, and applying pressure to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. There are so many benefits to getting a massage. Not only does it relieve stress, but it can also help physically. Here are 5 benefits of getting a massage! 

Relieves Anxiety and Stress

One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and peace. Why does this occur? This happens because massage prompts the release of endorphins – the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of wellbeing. Levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol, and norepinephrine, are also reduced. For example, studies have shown that high levels of stress hormones impair the immune system. So if you suffer from anxiety or endure a lot of stress, try to consider getting a massage. 

Boosts Focus

Another benefit to getting a massage is that it helps boost focus! For you to best pay attention, your heart rate needs to be lowered. Because a massage slows your nervous system, your heart rate is effectively slowed down, too. During a massage, your pressure receptors stimulate vagal activity, which stems from a nerve in your brain that leads to several branches of the body, including the heart, says Field. So when you’re undergoing the pressure of a massage, it could decrease your heart rate, as well, which ultimately will improve your focus.

Fights Fatigue

We have all been there. You’ve been tossing and turning all night, work has been completely draining, and you feel like you don’t even have five minutes to take a deep breath. You may be tired because you are not sleeping enough, or it could be just because of biological factors. No matter what the cause of your fatigue is, one easy solution is getting a massage. One 2018 study found that breast cancer survivors who received weekly Swedish massages experienced a reduction in their exhaustion, particularly the disease’s debilitating effect. To fight your constant fatigue, we would recommend a massage! 

Aids in Health Conditions

Did you know? Getting a massage also helps aid in certain health conditions. Your body has two different immune responses: Th1 and Th2, and they need to be in balance to have your immune system working optimally. If the Th2 gets in excess of the Th1 system, then you have autoimmune problems. But during a massage, you’re slowing down stress hormones to help maintain this balance. In turn, this can help make autoimmune conditions like asthma, type 1 diabetes, or dermatitis more manageable through things like decreased pain or fatigue.

Heals Injuries

If you experience injury or joint pain, you’ll also have soft-tissue restrictions, which cause knots or trigger points of pain. These restrictions can, over time, lead to problems like joint decay or other ligament problems, so by actively massaging out those soft-tissue restrictions, you’re not only helping your current injury but also helping prevent future issues down the road. However, when getting a massage for your injury, the most important thing is to go to an experienced, licensed massage therapist who has extensive experience with injured patients. Why is that? You should see a good, licensed massage therapist because they will assess which areas around the injury need a massage, and which sites are best to avoid.

How can I find a credible massage therapist?

The best (and easiest) way to find a credible massage therapist is to call a local massage therapy school or the American Massage Therapy Association. Massage therapy schools, in particular, put their massage therapists through intensive training, so you’ll know the therapist you’re going to is reliable. At Be Well Lifestyle Centers, we also have great massage therapists. You deserve to feel fantastic! No doubt, a massage is just what you need to enjoy the numerous benefits of having a relaxed body. The effects are felt both internally and externally, as you have that emotional relief that keeps you ready to tackle difficulties head-on. By knowing the following 5 benefits of getting a massage, you can now consider treating yourself to one. Feel free to schedule a massage with us today! 

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10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Clean

Are you looking to lose weight? Are you wanting your body to feel better after eating? Then, you may want to consider eating clean. Eating clean has benefits beyond weight loss. Eating the right foods is linked to a wide range of health benefits, from more energy to an improved mood. No matter what your goals are, eating clean can revolutionize your life. Here are 10 reasons why you should eat clean! 

1. You Will Save Money

Many say that eating healthy is more expensive than eating processed foods. But actually, it isn’t. If you plan out your clean meals for the week, you won’t risk overspending at the store or going to restaurants. By skipping pricey restaurants and unhealthy takeout orders, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. Want to stretch your clean-eating dollars? Take leftovers for lunch. 

2. Makes You Smarter

In addition to saving money, eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts keeps our minds sharper, and our memories stronger by a whopping 24%, proved a study published in the spring 2015 issue of Neurology. For instance, our brains function better with nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids while they slow down when we fill them with sugar (including alcohol), fast food, and the wrong kinds of fats. To sum it up, a balanced diet means better brain health!

3. Boosts Your Energy

The third reason why you should eat clean is that you will feel more energetic! Fruit is just one of the many clean foods that provide an instant dose of energy. High-fiber fruits like apples take longer to digest and can instantly stave off that afternoon slump while providing critical vitamins for the evening ahead. Other pick-me-ups include quinoa, almonds, eggs, kale, citrus fruit, and a glass of water.

4. Improves Your Mood

Your overall mood and food go hand in hand. The better the food, the better your mood! If you are feeling down, go for berries, bananas, coffee, lean proteins, chocolate, turmeric, and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these foods are proven to boost your mental state.

5. You Will Feel Stronger

Eating clean equals feeling stronger! The lean protein that comprises part of the clean-eating philosophy builds lean muscle mass and boosts metabolism, found in a study presented at The Obesity Society’s annual meeting. Some great choices for your muscles include quinoa, chickpeas, nuts, spinach, and seeds. Don’t forget animal-based products like chicken, fish, and lean beef! 

6. You Will Live Longer

Try to imagine the fountain of youth made out of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Studies show that consuming these foods can extend your lifespan. A recent JAMA Internal Medicine report found that each additional 28-gram serving of whole grains per day (go for nutrient-dense ancient grains like teff, amaranth, millet, and sorghum) was associated with a 5% lower risk of dying from any cause. European researchers have also found that increasing your produce intake to more than 569 grams per day reduces your risk of mortality by 10%. So choose raw veggies whenever you can! 

7. Helps Improve Sleep

While getting a good night’s sleep will help you in all aspects, eating right will also help you get the sleep you crave. Researchers found that people who ate the widest variety of foods also consumed the most antioxidants. They also drank the most water. To help improve your sleep, strive to eat a balanced diet that emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins rich in B vitamins, like fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy. B vitamins may also help to regulate melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycles.

8. Fights Off Inflammation

 Inflammation is linked to everything from stress and brain fog to diseases such as heart disease and cancer. But according to an article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat whole grains over refined ones cut their levels of C-reactive protein—a key indicator of inflammation—by 38%. And for your information, that was after controlling for weight loss.

9. Boosts Your Immunity

Not only will you feel better after eating clean, but it also helps boost your immune system! Studies show that keeping your gut bacteria happy and healthy (reach for probiotics and complex carbs!) can strengthen your immune system to reduce your likelihood of infections. Research in BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine shows that green tea can also help fight off the flu.

10. Relieves Stress

Last but not least, eating clean will help relieve stress. Foods have a significant influence on your levels of relaxing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, and your levels of stress-inducing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. For example, in one study, people who ate flavonoid-rich dark chocolate before undergoing a mock interview came out on top with lower adrenaline levels and felt not as stressed out.

Now that you know the top 10 reasons why you should eat clean, you have the option to choose to eat healthier. Consistently eating clean foods fills your body with many vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, and healthy fats. Eating clean helps improve brain health, assist with weight management, build a stronger immune system, and increase energy levels, among other benefits. Check out The Kitchen at Be Well through our website and begin your clean eating journey!