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The Power of Massage
Have you ever eaten something really amazing and said, "this food was made with A LOT OF LOVE"? It was so good, you could somehow taste the time and effort that the chef put into making it.
I had a similar experience the other day, only it was not with food. While in a lot of pain, I went for a massage. As my therapist was working, I remember thinking to myself, every move she made was being carefully crafted, just as an artist would precisely take a brush and with each stroke carefully create a masterpiece. In other words, my therapist was the artist, and I was the canvas. She very strategically took each muscle of my body gently pulling, stretching, & placing them exactly where she wanted them to be. I could feel the tension being released with every movement. I immediately felt total relaxation come over my body. For the time being at least, my body & mind had completely surrendered to the power of massage therapy. I was at peace. What is it about massage therapy that promotes mental & physical wellness?
Therapists are now able to use the power of massage and touch therapy for such things as balancing hormone levels, stimulating the nervous system, and even reducing anxiety and depression. This is done by increasing the serotonin and dopamine levels in our bodies. Massage is excellent for this, because it naturally stimulates the release of endorphins in your body. And, endorphins are the feel good chemicals in your body.
I decided to call on an expert who has been practicing and perfecting this profession for 11 years now, to see what other interesting facts we could learn on the subject. For that, I tossed some questions out to my own therapist, Gina Puglisi LMT, proprietor of Massage Center of Niagara.
When one of my children was an infant, I would have to gently massage him to sleep at night, in order to calm him down. Starting on his tiny foot, slowly working my way up his chubby little leg, then repeating the same routine all over again on his other leg. This method of touch therapy worked at immediately stopping his crying, while soothing him into a peaceful sleep. Interestingly enough, I found that Gina also massages her small doggies into a state of relaxation. Much like the way, I used to put my own son to sleep.
Because we live in such a fast-paced, society, I believe people often tend to be so driven. As a result, we end up putting ourselves at the bottom of the list, and only consider going for a massage if we're in pain. However as was the case with my infant, not only are there various forms of massage therapy today; but when used on a more regular basis, it can be a powerful and effective resource to bring peace in our life. I asked Ms. Puglisi to share with us the variety of therapy, which she offers at her Massage Center, which is located at 920 Main St. in Niagara Falls, NY. In addition, I asked Gina for some practical ways, much like the one I gave, in which massage therapy may provide healing, peace, or relief.
Ms. Puglisi suggests,"a consistent massage therapy schedule of every 4-12 weeks, depending on your needs, along with an at home stretching regiment". She went on to say that doing so, " would greatly improve your quality of life". Gina added, "when you're not channeling these energies properly, stress and tension can build up and result in physical pain and clouded thoughts. When stress levels are minimal to none your mind is free to focus on the joys in life including family and careers."
With headaches and migraines being an increasing issue facing Americans today, myself included, I asked Gina Puglisi for any recommendations to help alleviate sufferers. She responded, "therapeutic massage is one of the best ways to help relieve stress and tension. Regularly receiving 30 minute sessions could alleviate tension headaches". Here is a link (https://www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Can-Be-Effective-for-Tension-Headaches.html) for more information on the study of massage therapy and headache relief.
Furthermore, Ms. Puglisi made note that, "Massage therapy has a very long list of benefits from improved cognitive thinking, increased mind-body awareness to the diffusion of lactic acid and carbon monoxide build up in muscle tissue that can cause aches and pains." Click here (http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Massage_Therapy.aspx) for more detailed information on massage therapy.
In Closing, it is my belief that when the body is touched, rubbed, and massaged, it stimulates us, relaxes us, promotes healing, and releases all kinds of positive feelings, and chemicals in our bodies. Basically, it does the exact opposite of what stress, worrying, and tension does to us. In other words, I believe that we owe it to ourselves, to take even a little time out of our busy schedules for going for a massage, in order to cleanse our body and minds of all of the negative elements which we collect on an everyday basis. If we take a little more time to do this more regularly, I agree with Ms. Puglisi, in saying that our stress levels would be lower. Thus, we would be "free to focus on the joys in life", and probably even live longer too.
Do What You Said You Were Going to Do! (Integrity)
IT HAS BEEN SAID that "integrity" is difficult to define, yet most of us can recognize it in another person. The word "integrity" is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions. (It is the opposite of hypocrisy!)
IT HAS BEEN SAID that the true test of a person's character (integrity) is what he/she does when no one is watching." How do you rate on Integrity?
Why is this word, “integrity”, front and center for me—enough to write a column on it? Because I recently concluded a consulting gig with a group of women who happen to be assigned to the same work group, and who cannot get along; women who are so selfish that they’ve become blind to the reason they are employed! These women feign niceness, while undermining the other. They promise cooperation, collaboration and attention to deadlines in their words, yet their behavior and results tell a different story. Their hypocrisy, dishonesty, deceptiveness, selfish egos, misalliances, and other immature behaviors shine through.
Have you a workplace situation where people have forgotten why they are employed there? Or, who’ve forgotten that respectful and honest interpersonal behaviors are key to success? Where the mission of their work is being eroded by dysfunction and cruel behaviors? Whatever happened to Basic Business 101? Whatever happened to playing nice in the business sandbox?
Tom Peters, co-author of In Search of Excellence, said it best. “There is no such thing as a lapse in integrity.” Leaders set the expectations and hold people accountable to act with integrity. Where do you stand on integrity? Time to take it up a notch?
Claire Knowles is a 2-time Amazon best-selling author, in-demand Speaker and Business Leadership Consultant, helping Leaders (especially women leaders) and their Teams become the most effective they can be at accomplishing their goals (together). www.ClaireEKnowles.com 716-622-7753
Loving Your Car
Loving Your Car: How to Take Charge of Your Car and Get On With Your Life
Designed for general audiences, Lauren Fix provides the ultimate “fix” to keep people in the know about their car and to keep their cars on the road. Moving beyond standard car-care tips, Lauren shares all the tools needed to purchase, care for, and basic car repair, including how to talk to your mechanic in a language you can both understand, how to find the best car for your lifestyle, what car repairs you can do yourself and which ones to avoid.
The East Coast Premiere of 10 DAYS TO HAPPINESS
O'Connell & Company proudly presents the
The East Coast Premiere of
10 DAYS TO HAPPINESS
by Donna Rae Davidson
SEPTEMBER 17 – OCTOBER 18, 2015
“10 Days to Happiness does for Buddhism what Late Night Catechism did for Catholicism.”
Buffalo, NY – O’Connell & Company, the professional theatre in residence at The Park School of Buffalo, presents The East Coast Premiere of, 10 DAYS TO HAPPINESS by Donna Rae Davidson, opening on September 17 and running through October 18, 2015.
When do hilarity, torture, and enlightenment go together? 10 DAYS TO HAPPINESS. This is no doubt the first and only play about a silent mediation retreat, the main character is supported by a laugh-out-loud slideshow and 3 silent assistants who meditate, eat, and walk the walking path with her.