Hanna Kim - November 14, 2018
A Shoutout For Gratitude
A popular tradition on Thanksgiving is to go around the table and each name something that we are thankful for in our lives. What if we applied this to our everyday lives? Is there any reason to do that? Science says yes, there are a number of benefits to acknowledging the things we appreciate.
Research in positive psychology has seen an uptick in recent years, including a study that focuses on actions that increase individual happiness in American Psychology. Martin Seligman and his team found those who produced a one-time act of intentional gratitude produced a 10% increase in happiness and 35% decrease in depressive symptoms which lasted six and three months respectively.
In addition, participants who participated in daily journaling for a week reported small, incremental increases throughout time and were so happy with the exercise they continued to journal on their own. Regularly incorporating small mindful actions into our lives can lead to long lasting, positive change.
Celebrate The Good Things Each Day
In the study above, participants simply wrote about three things that well each day. Try taking just five minutes each night to jot down a few things you’re grateful for, and why they make you feel that way for bonus points.
If you’re feeling stuck, here are some more prompts to get you going:
An alternative is keeping a gratitude jar or box. After you write down the three things you’re grateful for, place them in the jar and repeat. Over time, you’ll see the pile of things you’re grateful for grow, and it can serve as a visual reminder of all the things that bring you joy. Applying the theme of gratitude from Thanksgiving to our daily lives can make us feel happier and more fulfilled. Happy Thanksgiving - each and every day!
"I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual."
-Henry David Thoreau
Hanna Kim - November 7, 2018
Can Massage Remove Toxins From Your Body?
The short answer is no, massage does not remove or release toxins from your body. Something you might have heard about massage therapy is that it helps release toxins in your muscles or even detoxify the pollutants that might have accumulated in your body from the food you eat or air you breathe. Despite constant action from massage educators like Sandy Fritz, a founding member of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education who has also written a number of evidence-based texts for massage therapists, massage myths about toxins still persist.
Lactic Acid Is Not A Toxin
A common pseudoscientific version of the claim that massage therapy can help you detoxify lactic acid produced when you exercise is untrue as well. In reality, lactic acid is a metabolic by-product of energy production when the glucose (sugar) you’ve eaten is converted to a form of energy that is usable for your cells in a process called glycolysis.
The “burn” you feel while exercising is not from toxic lactic acid accumulating in your muscles, but much more obvious: you’re sore because your muscles undergo strain during a good workout. Same with muscle soreness a day or two after a workout: the sensation is simply fatigue.
Lactic acid disappears from your muscles and bloodstream about an hour after exercise, shown in a study dating back to the 1930’s in the Harvard Fatigue Lab (2). Furthermore, a 2004 study on the “Biochemistry of exercise-induced metabolic acidosis” found actually is aimed to diminish the burn.
Self-care like massage will help reduce tension and soreness by helping relax overworked, contracted muscles and fascia, but there is no research to show lactic acid is a harmful, pain-inducing toxin. It can be tempting to simplify what’s going on in our bodies, but sometimes words are used in the wrong context or misconstrued so far out of the realm of truth, which leads to confusion and misinformation.
Massage Has Many Other Benefits
Despite the disproven claim about the power of massage therapy to detoxify your body, there are still many other proven reasons to get a massage. Take a look at our massage therapist staff page to get an idea of the benefits of different modalities practiced at our massage studios. Both LoDo Massage Studio locations in RiNo and the Highlands are open from 9AM to 9PM mountain time each day.
Hanna Kim - 11/1/2018
Is Massage Therapy Bad for My Pregnancy?
It’s still not an uncommon belief that massage should be avoided during a pregnancy. Some people still have the impression that getting a massage while pregnant may trigger an early delivery or even a miscarriage, but that is simply untrue. Some other variations on this myth are:
⊘ The baby will kick if it doesn’t like the massage: Women who have experienced pregnancy before know how much their babies move around especially as they grow bigger in the later weeks of pregnancy.
⊘ Touching the ankles or feet will induce pregnancy or miscarriage: There is no research to support the belief that pressing on certain reflex points in the ankles or feet is harmful to a pregnancy.
⊘ Massage is contraindicated during ___ trimester: In reality, miscarriage is common - it occurs in 10% of all pregnancies, and 80% of miscarriages occur in the first trimester (1) The first trimester is often the one that is avoided, perhaps because of this correlation. Massage is helpful for women at all stages of pregnancy.
Old wives’ tales against pregnancy massage date back to the early 1900’s when pregnancy was considered a “dangerous and fragile condition” for women and a time when many different activities should be avoided because of the potential risks (2). It took nearly another hundred years around the 1990’s when research on pregnancy health and the benefits of massage on pregnant moms-to-be increased.
Many women now know it’s perfectly fine to get regular exercise, continue working, and go about their daily lives during their pregnancies. Massage doesn’t require any high levels of exertion on the part of the client and isn’t any more dangerous than any other normal day-to-day activity. Women with a high-risk pregnancy or conditions like pre-eclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension, extreme swelling, or hypertension should speak with their health-care providers before seeking massage therapy. It doesn’t hurt for healthy pregnant women to check with their doctors first, but it is not a requirement, as pregnancy is a normal part of life.
Massage actually offers many health benefits and can relieve the many discomforts that come with the changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy.
Benefits of pregnancy massage include:
✓ Regulate hormones - massage helps decrease stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine and increase dopamine and serotonin
✓ Reduce joint swelling and pain
✓ Reduce nerve pain (most commonly, sciatic nerve inflammation from the pressure of a growing womb)
✓ Reduce back pain
✓ Improve sleep
Many LoDo Massage Studio practitioners have additional training specifically for pregnancy massage. Call us today at (720) 999-3336 to book at our Highlands studio or (720) 360-0035 for our RiNo location.
Hanna Kim - 10/26/2018
Life Is Stressful for Many Americans
Americans are stressed about many things and rightfully so, with the current political climate bringing about uncertainty and exacerbating day-to-day stressors. According to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2018 Stress in America report, the most common stressors today are the future of our nation (63%), money (62%), and work (61%). Moreover, the APA found more respondents reporting feeling stress in 2017, marking the first statistically significant increase in ten years of annual surveys.
Reducing stress starts with awareness. Our bodies know when we’re stressed, even if our minds may not always be entirely attuned to it. Stress can come up in our bodies in many ways, differing from person to person. Often, stress can increase pre-existing health conditions. Some common signs and symptoms of stress to look out for include:
Have you found yourself feeling not hungry at all, despite missing multiple meals? Or perhaps you feel yourself craving more food, especially those that are high in salt, fat, or sugar? One study of college women found that in times of stress, 81% of these women experienced a change in appetite, with 62% experiencing an increase, and 38% a decrease (3).
Look out for the different ways stress may manifest in your body. Treating stress, which may be the heart of the issue, instead of only the surface symptoms may help you more significantly improve your health. A daily mindfulness ritual can help you learn to recognize and let go of stress.
We want to help you have a stress-free holiday! Follow the LoDo Massage Studio Facebook page for Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts on massage services.
Hanna Kim - 10/18/2018