The stresses of our modern day life are wearing on people like never before. One area of our society that is being particularly affected is our tween/teen group. The "...increased rates of anxiety and depression among America’s youth signal a palpable threat from suicide," and teens are not the only ones being affected (see https://dailysign.al/38tZsx7).
Yet, there is GOOD NEWS. Lifestyle interventions such as receiving regular massage therapy, implementing simple nutritional changes, adopting regular exercise practices, and utilizing water based therapies among other things can have a profoundly positive impact on mood and whole-body wellness. An article from Mayo Clinic details further, "research suggests that more than 90 percent of illness results from stress alone." Yet, "a 60-minute massage can lower cortisol, a hormone that’s produced in response to stress, by an average of 30 percent... by lowering cortisol and [thereby] increasing serotonin, you’re boosting your body’s ability to fight off pain, anxiety and feelings of sadness." The author further states, "massage can be considered an hour-long hug, providing you with a nurturing safe place to rest physically and emotionally." See https://mayocl.in/35hmLZ9 for further details. Massage therapy is a known to boost immunity due to its direct effect on cortisol levels which, in excess, suppress immune function.
Want to give regular massage therapy a try or find out about other self-help strategies? Give us a call at 308-432-4558 and we'll schedule a time for a massage, or just a time to visit in depth with you! 😊❤️
IMPORTANT NOTE: Massage therapy is not a replacement for medical intervention. If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety, depression, or thoughts of suicide, please contact your local healthcare provider, your local faith community, and/or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255 immediately.
Field, T., Morrow, C., Valdeon, C., Larson, S., Kuhn, C., Schanberg, S. (1992). Massage reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 31(1):125-31. "A 30-minute back massage was given daily for a 5-day period to 52 hospitalized depressed and adjustment disorder children and adolescents. Compared with a control group who viewed relaxing videotapes, the massaged subjects were less depressed and anxious and had lower saliva cortisol levels after the massage. In addition, nurses rated the subjects as being less anxious and more cooperative on the last day of the study, and nighttime sleep increased over this period. Finally, urinary cortisol and norepinephrine levels decreased, but only for the depressed subjects."
Moyer, C.A., Rounds, J., Hannum, J.W. (2004). A Meta-Analysis of Massage Therapy Research. APA Psychological Bulletin. 130(1): 3–18. "Massage therapy (MT) is an ancient form of treatment that is now gaining popularity as part of the complementary and alternative medical therapy movement. A meta-analysis was conducted of studies that used random assignment to test the effectiveness of MT. Mean effect sizes were calculated from 37 studies for 9 dependent variables. Single applications of MT reduced state anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate but not negative mood, immediate assessment of pain, and cortisol level. Multiple applications reduced delayed assessment of pain. Reductions of trait anxiety and depression were MT’s largest effects, with a course of treatment providing benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy. No moderators were statistically significant, though continued testing is needed. The limitations of a medical model of MT are discussed, and it is proposed that new MT theories and research use a psychotherapy perspective." See also https://bit.ly/2InlSFr .
Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Diego, M., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C.. (2005). Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. Int J Neuroscience: 115(10):1397-413. "In this article the positive effects of massage therapy on biochemistry are reviewed including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. The research reviewed includes studies on depression (including sex abuse and eating disorder studies), pain syndrome studies, research on auto-immune conditions (including asthma and chronic fatigue), immune studies (including HIV and breast cancer), and studies on the reduction of stress on the job, the stress of aging, and pregnancy stress. In studies in which cortisol was assayed either in saliva or in urine, significant decreases were noted in cortisol levels (averaging decreases 31%). In studies in which the activating neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) were assayed in urine, an average increase of 28% was noted for serotonin and an average increase of 31% was noted for dopamine. These studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences."
The Depression Recovery Program by Neil Nedley, MD
In addition to other liftestyle programs, we have helped direct and facilitate the Nedley Depression Recovery Program for 5+ years. It is a lifestyle-education based program that has a whopping 90% (that's Ninety Percent!) success rate for helping people overcome depression (also anxiety and anger issues) for those who fully adhere to the lifestyle principles and practices taught within the program. Nutrition, massage therapy, hydrotherapy, mental exercises, et cetera are what make this program so enormously successful. In this capacity, we function merely as lifestyle/wellness educators/coaches and teach scientifically validated lifestyle principles that can be used to help individuals improve quality of life, and as licensed professional massage therapy providers. We work in conjunction with licensed mental healthcare providers, and always refer individuals to appropriate resources. The Depression Recovery Program's overall (and ENORMOUS) success rate is a testament to the fact that when you focus on the underlying lifestyle aspects that may be contributing to someone's depression (there are 10 "hit" categories), individuals are often able to stop relapsing and overcome depression and anxiety for good! The Depression Recovery Program is hosted by Neil Nedley, MD, a world renown mental health expert focusing on lifestyle intervention for depression and anxiety. For further information see https://bit.ly/3lnGBYe. NOTE: This is not to take away from the importance of professional mental healthcare, or drug therapy when necessary; nor do we profess to treat, cure or prescribe to treat any illness or disease.
Regular fasting has proven to be exceptionally effective for reducing the incidence of illness and disease. Overindulgence on the other hand is well known to produce a wealth of disease processes. Fasting can be done in many different ways; from once in a blue moon to daily; from full and water only, to fasting from or with the use of specific foods; or coupled with rest or specific activities -- all depending upon the desired outcome. For length of life, health and general daily detox, caloric restriction diets practiced on a daily basis seem to be incredibly effective. Words of wisdom from the ancients say, "eat until you are 80% full" and if you focus intently on ensuring exceptional nutrient intake along with caloric restriction, one might rightfully expect to live to a healthy, happy old age.
If you've never fasted before it would be beneficial to seek out more information prior to venturing on any intensive technique as some do come with precautionary measures. Always be sure to talk to your primary care provider before starting any major health venture, especially if you are already under medical care.
If you'd like more information on general fasting techniques, we'd be happy to visit with you. Just call 308-432-4558 for info.
In the winter when the temperatures begin to drop, it can be easy for us to unwittingly steer away from getting the required daily water intake, and this can have a direct impact on our general health and well-being. Did you know?
Symptoms of mild or moderate dehydration may include:
• Dry or sticky mouth or mucus membranes
• Reduced urination/peeing
• Dark yellow urine/pee
• Dry/flaky, cool, or itchy skin
• Muscle cramps/spasms
• Digestive troubles
Symptoms of severe dehydration may include:
• Significantly reduced or absence of urination/peeing
• Having very dark yellow, red or brown urine/pee
• Very dry, flaky, burning or itching skin
• Feeling of dizziness or light-headedness
• Rapid or irregular heartbeat
• Rapid breathing
• Sunken eyes
• Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability
If you have difficulty drinking your daily dose of water, try:
• Drinking 50% in the morning and 50% in the afternoon. (Avoid drinking during, 30 minutes before, or 2 hours after eating to reduce digestive upset.)
• Drink it warm. Even slightly increasing the temperature of your water before consuming can help those who tend to get cold after consuming water.
• Drinking other hot or cold beverages does not count! Other liquids contain solids or other nutrients that require water to digest. If you have issues with dehydration, particularly avoid diuretics such as tea, coffee, soda, chocolate, or anything else that contains caffeine, such as energy drinks.
• Add a hint of lemon, mint, or cucumber to make it more refreshing.
MINIMUM DAILY WATER GOAL:
Body Weight (lbs) ÷ 2 = Bare Minimum Ounces Required Daily
[A person weighing 200 lbs should drink a minimum of 100 ounces of pure water daily. Requirement increases during extremely hot or cold weather, illness, physical activity, or detoxification programs, etc.]
*All information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or cure. Use at the own discretion, and see your primary care provider as necessary.
In our 27 year history, we have seen a lot happen and we find that we have a whole lot to be especially grateful for. First we'd like to mention that it has been through thousands of outstanding clients like you that we feel we have been especially blessed. You have kept us going all this time. We've shared tears, laughter, and smiles. You've allowed us the great privilege of being part of your journey towards health and wellness. And in hard times many of you have been there to encourage and stand behind us. For all of this we could never express enough thanks!
We are also humbled and absolutely grateful to God for our being in this profession for so long! The question is often posed to us, "don't your hands ever hurt?" The answer is "yes," from time to time our hands have hurt, which is likely true for any genuinely honest massage therapist. The average career length of a professional massage therapist is said to be between 5-7 years, and if you've ever given a pain relieving massage to anyone, you'll know that it's not easy work. Yet, even after all this time, we believe God has, and will continue to sustain us. We can honestly say that we still love, and happily practice our work. He has indeed blessed, and we are so thankful to Him for this! 💕
And last but not least, we want to offer special thanks to our family! With five massage therapists in our midst, and a wealth of other family here to support us, we anticipate many more years of humbly serving others (at 85, Florence is still blessing others with her gifted hands, and sharing her experiential wisdom with us)!!
WE HAVE A GIFT FOR YOU, TO SAY THANK YOU!!
To all our long-standing clients, for the next seven weeks (starting October 19 and ending December 11, 2020), we are offering $1.00 off for every year you have been with us!! Discount applies to any 60 or 90 minute massage service. Be sure to schedule soon to ensure your appointment time is reserved. Call 308-432-4558 or send us a message on Facebook, and be sure to mention the "DOLLAR FOR A YEAR DISCOUNT" when scheduling! 👍😁
NOTE: Some scheduling restrictions may apply; all appointments must be scheduled during regular business hours, and scheduling is subject to availability. Offer good towards the purchase of one massage per client; discount may not be applied to sessions for other family members, or with other specials or discounts. Terms subject to change without notice. Cash or check payment only (with valid ID). Discount is based on client intake history, for inactive clients some records are disposed of periodically; if you have proof of purchase for a previous date than our records indicate, we'll be happy to honor it (a marked receipt or official bank statement necessary). Remember active illness is contraindicated for massage therapy. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology — yes it's a mouthful!! More simply, it's the science of how the mind, nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system all interact and affect the health of the body.
You've probably heard the phrase, "as a man therefore thinks in his heart, so is he" -- the underlying principle in this case being the power of the mind over the physiology (the quote also having other applications as well). Years ago while doing some studies I came across a claim which said, "nine-tenths (9/10) of all disease begins in the mind," which appears to align with the aforementioned theory. But I wondered, "how is this possible?" Well, in a nutshell, and after much more reading I discovered, "the body's primary stress management system is the HPA axis. The HPA axis responds to physical and mental challenge to maintain homeostasis in part by controlling the body's cortisol level. Dysregulation of the HPA axis is implicated in numerous stress-related diseases, with evidence from meta-analyses indicating that different types/duration of stressors and unique personal variables can shape the HPA response" (https://bit.ly/2Fm5yDm). And otherwise noted, "the hypothalamus receives feelings from the amygdala. The hypothalamus then uses the endocrine system to convert feelings into emotions through powerful chemicals, called hormones" (https://bit.ly/3jvjytz). 🤓‼️
So what does this actually mean? It means that the power of the mind in thinking can have a significant impact on the production of hormones. The hormones affected can be almost anything, from the growth and repair hormones , the stress response hormones , and even the "destruction" or "death" hormones. How serious can this influence of human thought on the body get? Well, there are astounding stories of individuals, both women and men, who SO believed they were pregnant that they began to experience physical symptoms within the body, swollen bellies and even breast swelling, only to find out later that they were not actually pregnant (not surprising for the men in these scenarios). It is a condition called "pseudocyesis" (aka: false pregnancy). It stands to reason then, that the impact the mind and thoughts have on the body can be nothing short of extraordinary!
If the above is true, think how much of an impact can be made by simply thinking, "I am fine and healthy," or the converse, "I am ill and dying". Whatever the thoughts may be, the hypothalamus, will cause the body to come into line with the thinking!! That's not just opinion, that is verified science speaking.
So the next time a negative thought comes to the mind, it may be especially beneficial to stop the thought in its tracks and think a positive thought instead!! [IMPORTANT NOTE: This of course doesn't mean that if an individual is bitten by a deadly snake, they should simply think themselves well, (although it certainly wouldn't hurt, I'm sure)! So, in addition to positive thinking, reason also says to use common sense too. ]
They taught us in school about "emotional release", the potential for the body to elicit emotional response due to emotion having deep ties to physical pain. If one has ever been in a treatment session and experienced the apparently random onset of tears, or memories that they hadn't thought of in years, this "emotional release" phenomenon is the reason why. Another phrase that was offered us in school is that of "muscle memory", which, when referring to emotions or past trauma, is essentially the same thing. Although scientists do not fully understand how it works yet, our bodies (or perhaps more accurately our nervous system), has the potential to "hold" or "store" memories.
One of the most incredible things we do as massage therapists, is help bridge the healing gap between the physical and mental human being, even so far as to help foster a release of "stuck" or pent up neurological energies by relaxing surrounding muscles, tendons, ligaments, or other soft tissues. Yes, the body has the capacity to do this too -- to have an "emotional release" or to express "muscle memories" -- even if one has never before experienced such a thing. Perhaps it is an uncomfortable thought to finally face parts of the past that have consciously or unconsciously been buried many months or years before. Yet, those memories that have been buried so carefully may be the key to unlocking a pain free life. One can imagine what it would be like to not have pain anymore!!
And what of rejection? We've ALL experienced it from time to time. Maybe someone reading this is experiencing it now. Manifesting itself in headache, jaw pain, neck pain, heartache, stomach ache, low back or hip pain... or one of many other ways it settles into the body. Instead of stifling, stuffing, covering over, or shoving these feelings deep down within, perhaps it's time to schedule regular massage, and let the (drug-free) healing begin?
"The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many realize. Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of mental depression. Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, all tend to break down the life forces and to invite decay and death.
Disease is sometimes produced, and is often greatly aggravated, by the imagination. Many are lifelong invalids who might be well if they only thought so. Many imagine that every slight exposure will cause illness, and the evil effect is produced because it is expected. Many die from disease the cause of which is wholly imaginary.
Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health and prolong life. A contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to the soul." - E. White
Health experts have long recognized that what we think about our health can actually cause the body to trigger the physiological and biochemical processes necessary to come to that end. For example, if one who is healthy thinks to themselves, "I am sick and I am dying" the body will literally trigger the production of hormones and biological process to begin to meet that thought!! Whereas if one who is ill begins to think and believe that they are healthy and will recover, the thoughts will trigger the body to produce hormones and begin biological processes to meet the thought!!
Of course, there are other variables that must also fall in line, such as adequate rest, proper nutrition and abstaining from all things harmful, healthful environment, sunshine and fresh air, clean water inside and out, suitable and regular exercise, and trust in God above all. Yet the human body was designed not just to survive, but to thrive, and it can and will do so if offered the right environment and thoughts to make it happen.
Last but not least, gratitude is an attitude for healing -- simply choosing to be thankful about things in your life literally changes the biochemistry of the body to help foster health and healing. So what are your positive, healthful, thankful thoughts for the day? If you can't think of anything now, just remember that practice makes perfect (it's true what they say).
September 2020 -- "Phase 4" DHM indicates masks are now optional for both therapist and client, no further restrictions are required. If you prefer to wear a mask during your session, please feel free. If you desire your therapist to wear a mask, please don't hesitate to ask. We are doing everything within our power to reduce your risk of exposure at our facility, however, if you are concerned of potential infection for any reason, please know that you are visiting our establishment at your own risk, and we cannot be held liable for any illness you may contract while out of your home. If you would like to upgrade your normal session to an Aromatherapy massage, we are happy to do so at your request (some advanced preparation is necessary, so please call ahead) -- some essential oils have been purported to be antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal and may help mitigate the spread of pathogens in the treatment room via air or physical contact*.
[Previous DHM] April 2020 -- According to the DHM (Directed Health Measures) "Phases 1-3", Masks MUST be worn by BOTH therapists and clients during your appointment, no exceptions. IMPORANT: We are requiring that clients to bring their own mask to all appointments. Providing your own mask for your session will help ensure your comfort, and also that your preferred safety level is met (you may bring an N-95 if you have one; we will personally be using reusable, multi-layer, carbon filter masks at this time).
2020, it's the year someone recently likened to a hula hoop made of barbed wire, and perhaps quite appropriately. With stay-at-home measures and offers of free entertainment TV, it's no wonder it hasn't been a year conducive to getting regular physical activity. Yet while masks and social isolation measures have been put in place to keep us healthy, the inability to get out may be doing the opposite for some. "According to the well-respected Cleveland Clinic, cutting back on physical activity can take a toll on muscle mass and increase body fat in just two weeks," states Joy Stephenson-Laws (founder of Proactive Health Labs, a national nonprofit health and wellness information company).
Furthermore, she says, "It may be tempting for you to believe that if you don’t have a weight issue, you are in the clear and don’t need as much exercise, or any, physical activity to stay healthy. The truth is that not being physically active increases everyone’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression and certain cancers, just to name a few. In fact, someone who is mostly sedentary has an up to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who move regularly." But the good news is that individuals who get back on a gradually progressive fitness plan "can begin to reverse the damage of inactivity pretty quickly."
Cleveland clinic also states other physiological changes that typically occur over even brief periods of inactivity (quote):
• A rise in blood pressure, especially for those who use exercise as a way to lower their blood pressure
• Post meal blood sugar levels remaining elevated
• Reduced metabolic rate, which can lead to unwanted weight gain
• The heart losing the efficiency it built up with exercise and physical activity – it can start losing its ability to handle extra blood flow by up to five percent in 24 hours, and resting heartbeat also starts increasing by up to four to 15 beats per minute within a month of reducing physical activity
• Cholesterol levels may increase
• A decline in VO2 max (or the body’s ability to effectively use oxygen) so drastically that most of the aerobic capacity gained over the previous two or three months is lost within two to four weeks
• Loss of muscle mass, research indicates that muscles begin to atrophy with as little as 72 hours of inactivity (this includes the heart muscles, and those that operate the lungs).
So what's a person to do it they can't get outside? We'd like to suggest indoor exercise, and no, it doesn't have to be jazzercise! Try any number of HIIT exercise routines. One of the most famous in recent years is the "7 Minute HIIT Workout" that has been shown to significantly improve health and well-being. Buy a treadmill. An exercise hula hoop, weighted for adults. A jump rope. Or even try isometric contractions and seated leg lifts, or walking in place. The point is to keep those muscles active, the body moving, and keep the lungs and heart active and engaged too. Need more help or ideas? We're happy to talk to you!
NOTE: For extra safety, always talk to you physician before beginning any fitness routine. We're not here to diagnose, prescribe, or attempt to cure anything. Use the included information at your own discretion and liability.
(Quoted information from this month's Massage Magazine article, "Are You Back At Work? You Need To Get Back In Shape, Too — Here's Why")
Coronavirus has affected our operations in reference to many of the subjects or services listed herein. Please see our dedicated COVID-19 page for information. Until further notice, all of our standard policies and procedures will be trumped by the Nebraska State DHM (Directed Health Measures) in order to stay in compliance with state law as far as possible. Thank you all for your continued support and patience as we collectively work through this.
Jerri W., LMT, CWC
Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Wellness Coach with over 25+ years of experience in pain management, relaxation techniques and lifestyle education.
Heather R., LMT, CWC
Certified Wellness Coach and Licensed Massage Therapist with a passion for helping others achieve optimal wellness through healthier living.
NOTICE: The information provided herein is meant for educational purposes only. We accept no liability for your use of the information provided. As always, use your best judgment and if in doubt, please consult your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.