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wellness & wonder what happens when.. {recommendations to consider before getting a massage} CONTRIBUTED BY CHelsea Brewer, LMT Mental & physical aspects People think a massage is a luxury and should be reserved only for special occasions, like a birthday or a weekend away.  Not true!  Regular massages help with lowering cortisol levels, which reduces everyday or built-up stress. This is going to help you stress less, sleep better and maintain a better overall physical and mental attitude.  blood pressure Massage is especially great for those with blood pressure issues.  Massage induces relaxation and regulates circulation, which helps to lower blood pressure. When our blood pressure regulates, our body doesn’t have to work so hard to function and heal itself. Where people carry stress Most people tend to shrug their shoulders and hunch their backs when feeling stressed.  This causes tension and discomfort, which can lead to pinched nerves and headaches, in addition to the pain already experienced. A half-hour massage focused on the upper back area is beneficial in relieving those overworked and overstressed muscles. Pressure points By using reflexology methods, pressure points associated to our muscles and organs are stimulated to heal themselves. Different levels of pressure applied to a certain pressure point can help your lower back, sinuses, and even our internal organs get the circulation and oxygenation they need to repair themselves. Reflexology is used mainly on the feet and hands, but can also be used on the ears and throughout the entire body.   How Knots are formed Knots in the back or shoulders are small, calcified deposits of lactic acids that have built up over time. Massage can help to break these deposits up. Once they’re broken up, it is important to drink plenty of water to help flush them out of our bodies naturally. These knots can cause pain and discomfort, but remember, they took quite awhile to build up, so it’s going to take more than just one massage to break them apart. Internal Benefits Massage is a great way to get your body functioning normally. With more relaxation and lower cortisol levels, our bodily systems process better. We digest food better, our circulation improves, our minds focus more clearly, and our overall energy is revitalized. It’s not just for your back! Two-second tip: Drink lots of water after a massage! Massaging muscles releases built-up toxins that have been settling in. Drinking water helps to flush them out of your system. If you don’t, they can reabsorb elsewhere and you can get sick! 58 B Well Magazine · Ma y 2013

Bakersfield Wellness Magazine May 2013

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